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Thursday, 11 October 2007

THE GASMAN - Audiogold, Planet Mu

THE GASMAN

Audiogold

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.49

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ185

Planet Mu mainstay The Gasman manages to piece together another twelve tracks of post-rave electronic oddness for this fourth full-length album. It might not be the most contemporary sound on the block any more, but 'Audiogold' is a successful exercise in mischievous retrograde enjoyment and should have regular followers of the Mu in fits of rabid pleasure. If you've heard any of the man's back catalogue you should know what to expect; ear-pounding beatplay straight out of the Rephlex instruction manual somewhat strangely accompanied by haunting classical strings and faux-emotive melodies. Occasion… Read more
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THE GASMAN - Audiogold, Planet Mu
A WHISPER IN THE NOISE - Dry Land, Exile On Mainstream

A WHISPER IN THE NOISE

Dry Land

Exile On Mainstream

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: EOM030

'Dry Land' is the third album from A Whisper in the Noise, and thanks to the help of long-time friend Steve Albini (what a friend) from the first few notes it sounds absolutely stunning. They call their style Southern Gothic and I can certainly hear why, it feels intensely reverent of traditional American music, but at the same time it is dark, sinister and deeply moving. The best comparison I can come up with is Low who share A Whisper in the Noise's tendency to slow things down to a snail's pace or Radiohead for the harrowing sentiment present but the reliance on unusual production met… Read more
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A WHISPER IN THE NOISE - Dry Land, Exile On Mainstream
UUSITALO (VLADISLAV DELAY) - Karhunainen, Huume
Sidestepping the well known Vladislav Delay and Luomo monikers, Sasu Ripatti uses the Uusitalo moniker to frame his abstract house tracks - rolling basslines, reverberating beats and warm, dub-flecked pads and, this time, he's taken his sound back to basics. The laptop has been thrown away (so to speak) and for 'Karhunainen', which is named after a well known stage play written by his father, Ripatti has used entirely analogue equipement and unlike many others who claim this route, he has forgone even digital post-processing. This strategy has given the album a fuzzy charm missing f… Read more
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UUSITALO (VLADISLAV DELAY) - Karhunainen, Huume
SAMARA LUBELSKI - Parallel Suns, The Social Registry

SAMARA LUBELSKI

Parallel Suns

The Social Registry

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TSR056

Freaky folk goddess Samara Lubelski's last album 'Spectacular of Passages' came seemingly from nowhere but quickly captured our hearts and became one of our most played records of last year - so you can imagine how excited we were at the prospect of a new full-length. With a history of playing with such avant-folk mainstays as Tower Recordings and Hall of Fame, she has some pedigree to live up to, but instead of looking back she moves on further into the realms of lounge-pop. Indeed the last album's highlight 'Sister Silver' proves the best reference for the sound of 'Parallel Suns', which… Read more
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SAMARA LUBELSKI - Parallel Suns, The Social Registry
CANON BLUE - Colonies, Rumraket

CANON BLUE

Colonies

Rumraket

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: RUM010

This debut LP from Daniel James AKA Canon Blue is the latest offering from Copenhagen-based label Rumraket. Written, recorded and produced by Daniel in Nashville, Colonies is a dizzying collection of eccentric-pop compositions wrapped warmly in a fluffy electronic blanket. This one fits nicely alongside the work of label-heads Efterklang whose work similarly seeks to invert the acoustic-folk aesthetic and re-package it for a new generation. This central concern packs its most powerful punch in album centre-piece Battle Hymn, untreated piano and chanting voice clashing head-to-head with pounding elec… Read more
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CANON BLUE - Colonies, Rumraket

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

VARIOUS / CREEPING BENT - Electronic Lullabies, Creeping Bent

VARIOUS / CREEPING BENT

Electronic Lullabies

Creeping Bent

Format_dot_cdCD // £6.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: BENT050CD

Featuring rare and exclusive tracks by....ALAN VEGA, MONGOOSE, THE NECTARINE No9, TRANSELEMENT, THE MEASUREMENT OF SOULS, SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT DEPT, MOUNT VERNON ARTS LAB, REVOLUTIONARY CORPS OF TEENAGE JESUS. The Creeping Bent Organisation present an album of eclectic electronic musique, Electronic Lullabies, which highlights some of the more outré artists operating in the electronic field...
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VARIOUS / CREEPING BENT - Bentboutique: Chasing The Chimera, Creeping Bent
Featuring rare and exclusive tracks by Future Pilot AKA, Adventures in Stereo, Speeder, Vic Godard, The Nectarine No9, The Leopards, Mongoose, The Secret Goldfish, The Bitter Springs, Element, Alan Vega & RCTJ, Quad 90, Jazzateers, Spacehopper, Frank Blake, Scientific Support Dept, Jock Scot, Appendix Out. Bent Boutique CD1 features a selection of tracks across multiple genres. Early deleted Creeping Bent 7" releases by Future Pilot AKA vs Kim Fowley (cut n' paste), mingle with Drag City's Appendix Out (Alasdair Robert's neo-folk outfit), to electronic proto punk A… Read more
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VARIOUS / CREEPING BENT - Bentboutique: Chasing The Chimera, Creeping Bent
ALL SIDES - Dedalus, Make Mine Music

ALL SIDES

Dedalus

Make Mine Music

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: MMM036CD

All Sides pull a Two Gallants on this latest album, going for that smarter-than-thou James Joyce reference (the album draws its name from the Stephen Dedalus character of Ulysses). Although they might belong to the same book club, musically All Sides (aka Bremen's Nina Kernicke) could hardly be further removed from the Texan troubadours: this album is a distinctly dystopic application of technology and post-industrial electronics. Heck, album opener 'The Idea' sounds a bit like the theme music from The Terminator, while more beat-driven pieces like 'They Come By Night' and 'Icarus' sound like they mig… Read more
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ALL SIDES - Dedalus, Make Mine Music

Tuesday, 09 October 2007

SLEEPING PEOPLE - Growing, Temporary Residence Ltd.

SLEEPING PEOPLE

Growing

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TRR123

The ever-derided prog rock genre gets a kick up the derriere with this sophomore effort from US 4-piece Sleeping People. Featuring Prints/Tarentel/Pinback feller Kenseth Thibideau on bass Kasey Boekholt and Joileah Maddock duelling on guitars and Brandon Relf ably backing on drums there's a certain pedigree to uphold which the four piece pull off majestically. In fact the musicianship on the record is the first thing you notice while plunging into such epics as the seven-minute 'James Spader' (a track no doubt a tribute to the man best known for inserting his nether-regions into car accident wou… Read more
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SLEEPING PEOPLE - Growing, Temporary Residence Ltd.
PRINTS - Prints, Temporary Residence Ltd.

PRINTS

Prints

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TRR127

Pop is back with a vengeance with this new bid for world domination from the ever-interesting Temporary Residence imprint, and with the combined talents of Kenseth Thibideau (Tarentel, Pinback, Sleeping People) and Zac Nelson (Who's Your Favourite Son God) the label send forth their most commercial outing to date. It's sunny stuff, and with the kind of good-time vibe you'd more readily associate with Brian Wilson and his band of merry men it's almost guaranteed to put a grin on yer face. Multi-instrumentalist and general smart cookie Thibideau rocks out on the guitars and synthesizers like a demented many… Read more
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PRINTS - Prints, Temporary Residence Ltd.
LETTERS LETTERS - Letters Letters, Type Recordings
Featured CD

LETTERS LETTERS

Letters Letters

Type Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £6.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TYPE022

Letters Letters marks quite a departure for the Type label and offers up their most tantalising, giddy transmission of the year so far. Far removed from the epic soundscaping and quiet displays the label is best known for, Letters Letters finds Mitchell Akiyama and friends developing a maverick songwriting style housed in complex, almost discordant structures that take some time to sink in - but which eventually plaster themselves to your mind with a determined accessibility that's just effortlessly cool and utterly memorable. We'd go as far as to suggest that "Letters Letters" is one of… Read more
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LETTERS LETTERS - Letters Letters, Type Recordings

Monday, 08 October 2007

MAGIK MARKERS - Boss, Ecstatic Peace

MAGIK MARKERS

Boss

Ecstatic Peace

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: E100F

Having already helped Wooden Wand achieve his most fully realised statement to date on the splendid James & The Quiet, Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! imprint once again allows more heroes of the American underground to flourish under the spotlight of a proper production job. As with the Wooden Wand LP, BOSS benefits from Lee Ranaldo's production expertise and even a touch of his guitar playing. The band (now streamlined to the duo of Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan) can for once be heard with a decent degree of clarity. Having released a slew of on-the-fly, resolutely lo-fi CD-Rs and an impenetrab… Read more
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MAGIK MARKERS - Boss, Ecstatic Peace
FLYKKILLER - Experiments In Violent Light, FLYKKILLER

FLYKKILLER

Experiments In Violent Light

FLYKKILLER

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: FKK026CD

Chances are you haven't heard of FlyKKiller yet, but if the press-monkeys are doing their jobs correctly then it's only a matter of time. They're the latest underground hype-sensation to emerge from the annals of London (via Poland) but surprisingly they're no newcomers to the scene, not by a long shot in fact. Producer Stephen Hilton is in fact the musical partner of none other than David Holmes (who pops up here for a rather tasty remix) in the Free Association, so having cut his teeth on Hollywood film soundtracks here we find him teaming up with Polish chanteuse Pati Yang. Wi… Read more
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FLYKKILLER - Experiments In Violent Light, FLYKKILLER
MAPS - To The Sky, Emi

MAPS

To The Sky

Emi

Format_dot_cdCDS // £2.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CDMUTE396

Mercury Music prize nomination alumnus Maps, AKA James Chapman, sets out to further prove his worth with this blissful three track single release, To The Sky. This CD version pairs the title track with non-album cut In Chemistry and a Fantastic Mr Fox remix of the album-culled Don't Fear. Chapman's debut LP, We Can Create, was a synth-laden and extremely promising first offering. It is natural then that choice cut To The Sky should now be offered up as a single. Valgeir Sigurdsson, producer of such notables as Bjork and Bonnie Prince Billy works wonders behind the scenes in this impressionistic, late-su… Read more
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MAPS - To The Sky, Emi
HORTON PARKS - Sleepers, SQUIRREL

HORTON PARKS

Sleepers

SQUIRREL

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: SQRL07CD

With a name sounding like a National Trust reserve, this Leeds-based singer/songwriter (real name Dan Austin) seems to yearn for the authenticity of Americana, yet with a distinct Yorkshire accent finding its way into the equation. Listening to Sleepers, you'll find yourself thinking of Shack, especially on tracks like 'Broken English', which has a melody that's fairly typical of Michael Head's oeuvre, though sadly Austin's voice lets him down a little, sounding at once slightly wayward in its pitching and somehow a little disinterested. This isn't the impassioned, detuned wail of a Simon Joyner -… Read more
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HORTON PARKS - Sleepers, SQUIRREL
VENETIAN SNARES - Hospitality, Planet Mu

VENETIAN SNARES

Hospitality

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.49

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ140CD

The man Funk returns with yet another Venetian Snares release, proving that inactivity gets you nowhere - with 'Hospitality' fizzing straight off the back of 'Cavalcade Of Glee And Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms' and trying to recapture the intricate peaks of 'Rossz Csillag Allat Szeletett'. As with his spiritual sibling Squarepusher, Aaron Funk seems to have approached this new album from a more melodious perspective - tethering the spastic rhythms and clattering breaks with a firm batch of tunes that will see it appeal to old hands and newcomers alike. Opening with 'Frictional Nevada', … Read more
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VENETIAN SNARES - Hospitality, Planet Mu
LUKE VIBERT - Chicago, Detroit, Redruth, Planet Mu

LUKE VIBERT

Chicago, Detroit, Redruth

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: ZIQ175CD

Another month, another Luke Vibert album, but this latest for Planet Mu (his second to be exact) is different, mainly because it's released under (shock horror!) his own name. Yep the man otherwise known as Plug, Wagon Christ, Ace of Clubs, Kerrier District, Spac Hand Luke, Amen Andrews and many, many other weird and womderful names has ditched all the pseudonyms yet again to come up with a rounded collection of tracks which borrow liberally from his entire recording history. That's no bad thing either when you consider a recording history as colourful as Vibert's - we've got drum 'n… Read more
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LUKE VIBERT - Chicago, Detroit, Redruth, Planet Mu
LEXAUNCULPT - The Blurring Of Trees, Planet Mu

LEXAUNCULPT

The Blurring Of Trees

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.49

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: Ziq069

This is an album that seems to have been forever in the making. From the debut 12" for Isophlux (pressed up numerous times in different colours of lush transparent vinyl), to the collectable 12" for Miami's Orange Imprint (complete with MP3 riddled Floppy Disks) and the various sparkling compilation contributions, Lexaunculpt's material has been treated with a certain amount of revenance from a crowd of listeners desperate for more. This album (or various, earlier versions of it) seems to have been intended for or due for imminent release on various labels over the last couple of years… Read more
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LEXAUNCULPT - The Blurring Of Trees, Planet Mu
REMARC - Unreleased Dubs 94-96, Planet Mu

REMARC

Unreleased Dubs 94-96

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £7.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: ZIQ085CD

The Sound Murderer once again comes absolutely correct with this compilation of unreleased dubplates, a release that's had us smiling all week with its deliciously warm old school strings mangled in with the fiercest, most robust Amen breaks the jungle scene delivered almost 10 years ago. "Unreleased Dubs" features 12 tracks of jungle ruffige, Amen breaks galore, super loud 12" pressings and killer basslines to boot. Open up with 'Bad No Bloodclat' which has a killer reggae loop backed by the obligatory sub bass and some goddamn awesome drum editing, proper sick!! Remarc's plays for the ju… Read more
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REMARC - Unreleased Dubs 94-96, Planet Mu
SHITMAT - Killa Babylon Cutz, Planet Mu

SHITMAT

Killa Babylon Cutz

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ089CD

Massive set from the Shitmat for Planet Mu, seriously tight messy mentalisms for all you hardcore revivalists, dancehall bezerkerists and mashed-up jackers out there. Built around eight tracks utilising the "Babylon Bwoy" accapella, check the brutal percussive carnage offered up by the Amen-break obsessed "Amen Babylon" - complete with obligatory gospel "Amen" renditions fed through helium effects, or the Ace-of Bass cussing "Ace of Bass Babylon" - taking bootlegging to new, fierce, briliantly funny terrain, or the massive michael-jackson medley "Jackson$ Babylon" working in the babylon vocal… Read more
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SHITMAT - Killa Babylon Cutz, Planet Mu
MRK1 - One Way, Planet Mu

MRK1

One Way

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: ZIQ112CD

And so Planet Mu step into the Grime arena with the debut full-length from scene veteran Mark One. With a spate of releases for all the right labels : Soulja, Tempa, Texture, Southside, Immunity, his own Contagious imprint and, most recently, the notorious Grime compilation on Rephlex - Mark fuses a dirty low-end scrape and tumble with a ghetto mentality - shards of Hip Hop, R & B, Garage, 2-step and even electro stainin his template in fine gangsta style. It's all about the basslines kids, and "One Way" is a veritable cesspit of f*cked up low end wobbles and knuckle cracking stabs - complete with the Viru… Read more
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MRK1 - One Way, Planet Mu
BIZZY B - Science EP (Volumes III & IV), Planet Mu

BIZZY B

Science EP (Volumes III & IV)

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: ZIQ117CD

PARTS 3 AND 4 NOW AVAILABLE ON ONE HANDY CD!! Another legend unearthed, Planet Mu follow up the blistering Remarc set with this ace COLLECTION from Bizzy B (Brain/Joker/Sub Base/Whitehouse) - a pioneer of junglist raves and hardcore pirate radio (Centerforce, Fantasy, Kool fm, Conflict). He's been releasing records since '91 and set up one of the most influential Hardcore/Jungle labels "Brain" which also released the debut material of Peshay , Zinc, and Marc Caro (Technical Itch) among others. Vol.3 features all new material from Bizzy B.and follows up Volumes 1 and 2 that came out in … Read more
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BIZZY B - Science EP (Volumes III & IV), Planet Mu
EXILE - Pro Agonist, Planet Mu

EXILE

Pro Agonist

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ116CD

Growling subterranean bass? Check. Epic breakdowns? Of course. Seven- shades-of-shit beat pillage? How much do you want, cos 24 year old Tim Exile has got the lot. And a bit more. Having gained an MA in electroacoustic compositions, Exile has been releasing stuff left, right and centre for the past few years, clocking up appearances on Moving Shadow, Ram/Frequency, Beta, Renegade Hardware, Mosquito and now Planet-Mu. Opening as he means to go on, Exile ushers us into 'Pro Against' through the cavernous 'Silicon Chop', wherein a mass of crushed electro is shattered by a cluster-f*ck of drum & bass inde… Read more
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EXILE - Pro Agonist, Planet Mu
TOM BURBANK - Famous First Words, Planet Mu

TOM BURBANK

Famous First Words

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ160CD

Alongside the likes of Kyler and The Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble, Tom Burbank further extends the Planet Mu remit beyond the perceived boundaries of its splenetic catalogue - with 'Famous First Words' a glitchy river of melodic hip-hop and electronic intricacies. Very much a contemporary of Prefuse 73, Burbank's sound relies heavily on the slippage that occurs deep within the digital heart when all is not right; lending 'Famous Last Words' a moody and melancholic edge that marks him out from the usual cut-up merchants. Kicking off with 'Fragile', the usual tick-list of elements are u… Read more
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TOM BURBANK - Famous First Words, Planet Mu
MRK1 - Copyright Laws, Planet Mu

MRK1

Copyright Laws

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: ZiQ169CD

First coming to the attention through his caustic production for Manchester's Virus Syndicate, MRK 1 (aka Mark One) returns to the mighty Mu with new album 'Copyright Laws' - a record which sees a throbbing dubstep heart stepping out on the town with all manner of styles and production adjuncts in tow. A real evolution from 'One Way', 'Copyright Laws' sees MRK 1 spooling in sub-blows and eroded urban fragments galore, creating a textured vision of 21st Century Britain that extends beyond the tired clichés of rain lashed tarmac and feral hoodies. Kicking proceedings in the teeth, MRK1 launches thro… Read more
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MRK1 - Copyright Laws, Planet Mu
JULIAN FANE - Our New Quarters, Planet Mu

JULIAN FANE

Our New Quarters

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.49

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ161CD

For this follow-up to his acclaimed Special Forces album, Vancouver-dweller Julian Fane has placed far greater emphasis on more conventional song structures than its predecessor, with vocals taking a central role at every turn. Fane's voice bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Thom Yorke, and the Radiohead frontman's solo outing, The Eraser provides an obvious reference point. But while Yorke's album was an exercise in minimalism (by his standards at least) Our New Quarters positively exudes epic ambition. The title track sets the tone, with its quietly dramatic Sigur Ros-style … Read more
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JULIAN FANE - Our New Quarters, Planet Mu
THE GASMAN - Love Collection, Planet Mu

THE GASMAN

Love Collection

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: ZIQ171CD

As the price of natural gas rockets and the world seems poised on the brink of carbon-fuelled oblivion, there's not a lot of love these days for your trusty gasman. Possibly taking this as inspiration (although we seriously doubt it...), 'Love Collection' is the latest album from Portsmouth based Christopher Reeves (aka The Gasman), wherein he follows up the 'This One's For You' with some more of the shattered digital plates that made his name originally over on Sublight. Consistently teeth-juddering throughout, 'Love Collection' is a heart shaped dispatch to all things electronic - hugging… Read more
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THE GASMAN - Love Collection, Planet Mu
LAST STEP - Last Step, Planet Mu

LAST STEP

Last Step

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.49

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: ZIQ149CD

In the grand tradition of vintage analogue Braindance, Last Step delivers a debut album evoking the spirit of Depeche Mode, Drexciya, Giorgio Moroder, The Human League and Phuture, recorded using nothing but analogue gear (The Roland 303, 606, 707 and Jupiter are among the items listed in the sales notes). Like a more tempered Ceephax Acid crew with an emphasis on instrumental song structures, the album is an unashamedly simplistic, purist affair that works at its best when the production steers clear of the more busy arrangements often associated with this label's output. If, like me, your way into… Read more
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LAST STEP - Last Step, Planet Mu

Thursday, 04 October 2007

FIRE ENGINES - Hungry Beat, Acute

FIRE ENGINES

Hungry Beat

Acute

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: ACT009

Released by the wonderful Acute label (a subsidiary of Carpark who brought us the awesome Ike Yard collection a few months back) this re-issue is from short-lived Scottish post-punkers Fire Engines, a band who's biggest claim to fame is that they can count Franz Ferdinand, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream among their fans. Well that's quite some following, especially when you're cited as the primary influence for these bands forming in the first place, and listening to 'Hungry Beat' which collects up all the recorded material from their 18 month long career I can see why they hooked i… Read more
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FIRE ENGINES - Hungry Beat, Acute
TANGORODRIM - Justus Ex Fide Vivit, Southern Lord Recordings

TANGORODRIM

Justus Ex Fide Vivit

Southern Lord Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

EXTREME / NOISE / COMPUTER MUSIC

Cat. Number: SUNN85

Israel might not be the most obvious melting pot for the creation of misanthropic black metal, but with Tangorodrim Southern Lord have found a band who not only typify the genre but also manage to inject their music with the tangled conflict of their disputed homeland. Taking cues from Mayhem and Darkthrone with their hyper dual-kick drumming, crunching guitars and pained vocals the band also manage to inject a good proportion of avant garde swill into the mix just to mix things up enough to endear them to Hellhammer fans everywhere. In fact listening to 'Justus Ex Fide Vivit', a much s… Read more
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TANGORODRIM - Justus Ex Fide Vivit, Southern Lord Recordings