Thursday, 09 April
Premo beat breaker fLako presents a sterling 3rd album and magnum opus with 'Natureboy' for UK's Five Easy Pieces. Where many in the beat scene can tend to twiddle off into jazzy frippery, fLako defines a filigree balance of restraint and technical innovation with jazz-wise expression, meshing slick, tensile electronics nodding to footwork, grime and lush 4th world ambient tones with grid-skipping drum patterns and feathered instrumental touches.
Mike Simonetti (Italians Do It Better) inaugurates his 2MR (Two Mikes Records) label with this lush debut double slab as Pale Blue with vocalists Liz Wight (Silver Hands) and Jana Hunter (Lower Dens). The vibe gauge is set to heartfelt from the outset, strafing component elements of melodic techno, dream-pop and disco with a dancefloor-honed sense of motorik trance momentum and romance. Simonetti's previous credentials are as diverse as they are impressive, covering so much ground between his punk background at Troubleman Unlimited and the disco inspirations of Italians Do It Better… Read more
**In which Michael Price, composer for the BBC's 'Sherlock' TV series, explores "the spontaneity of performance and the sound of musicians hearing, connecting and responding" ** "‘Entanglement’, the debut album by Michael Price fulfils his long-term desire to explore new musical territories, featuring Michael on the piano, with the addition of cello, soprano voice, string orchestra, modular synth, tape effects and electronics. Throughout the record you will hear street sounds from 'Budapest' captured and processed on Michael’s mobile phone, as well as chamber music recorded direct to … Read more
*5 CD box set, collating tracks from their entire catalogue, including the brand new album, Offgrid:Offline plus rarities & previously unreleased material* "In an inventive reinterpretation of ‘the box set’, Looper have curated the database of their entire body of work as five separate CDs, themed by type and entitled ‘Lexiphonics’, ‘Kinokraft’, ‘Voxtrot’, ‘Transmitte’ and ‘Melos’: Inspired by mixtapes and their modern day equivalent, the playlist, ‘These Things’ puts the songs in new contexts, allowing new relationships between works previously kept apart. Looper explain, “For us this box is a r… Read more
"Dinner is the alias for Danish singer and producer Anders Rhedin. Since 2012, Dinner has released 2 EPs and a guided meditation-tape. Dinner lives a somewhat nomadic existence, having alternated between LA, Berlin, and Copenhagen for years. This last year, Dinner’s itinerary has included falling in love with a baroness in Berlin, being taught Qi Gong from a renowned Sufi on a mountainside in the Algarve, working on commercial pop songs in Hollywood (“The essence of dark magic”, according to Dinner), and playing shows at festivals and galleries all over Europe. Dinner’s songs seem to be ins… Read more
"Third album from Villagers - the follow-up to Conor O’Brien’s debut, ‘Becoming A Jackal’ and its successor ‘Awayland’ (both Mercury-nominated), is a breathtakingly beautiful, intimate album entirely about love and relationships. Features additional production from Paul Epworth."
"A delicate, slinky figure with a powerhouse voice, Ann Peebles occupied a special place among the many great talents that roamed the halls of Memphis’ iconic R&B label Hi Records in the 1960s and 1970s. While producer Willie Mitchell was the company’s heart, musicians the Hodges Brothers its soul and Al Green its top star, it was Peebles who gave the label its first national success and a lasting female identity. Over the course of seven albums and dozens of singles for Hi, Peebles expressed a complex range of moods and emotions in her music. Her songs were alternately pleading … Read more
Thursday, 02 April
Alva Noto beautifully exchanges austerity for cinematographic lushness with the remarkably widescreen 3rd volume in his 'Xerrox' series. Inspired by private, formative influences such as 'La Isla Misteriosa y el Capitán' - based on Jules Verne's 'The Mysterious Island' - and Tarvosky's screen adaptation of 'Solaris', he uses the self-designed Xerrox software to transpose early, ingenuous feelings of awe and wonder into innovative, intimate atmospheres and dynamic soundscapes. In keeping with the series' focus on "using the process of copying as a basis", and the manner in which the inherent inf… Read more
Kelela's world-taking 'Cut 4 Me' (2013) mixtape blooms from 13 to 22 tracks, augmented with dramatic new remixes and riddims from Jam City, Neana, Kingdom, Mike Q, Massacooramaan… Y'all know what the sublime original sounds like so let's skip fwd: Jam City entirely overhauls 'Keep It Cool' with a smoother sorta tension; Kingdom resets 'Enemy' with a low-riding ballroom swagger; Mike Q ramps the spare Jam City mix of 'Cherry Coffee' with flash and bolshy ballroom flair; 'Go All Night' gets a kick drum reinforcement from Neana, contrasting sharply with the tessellating prisms of Massacooramaan's crystalline render. A worthwhile refreshment. Tip!
**Woozy trip hop waking dreams** "Lapalux knew where and how his sound should change with a second album. As a result, Lustmore feels like a record as compulsively inspired and meticulously crafted as you’re likely to hear in 2015. Lustmore is loosely based on the experience of hypnogogia, a transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Listeners familiar with his 2011 debut, Nostalgic, will know that Stuart Howard’s woozy, infectious rhythms, enveloping textures and unfamiliarly familiar melodies conjure that territory perfectly. Lapalux attracted the direct attention of Brainfe… Read more
Shlomo rolls emotional in his long-awaited 3rd LP of instrumental hip hop hybrids. 'Dark Red' distills a viscous mix of coldwave and shoegaze memes together with ghostly traces of jungle, grime and footwork to a more mature, vintage-sounding appeal. It feels as though the tracks were created out of time and place; cherry-picking and arranging the choicest morsels of bygone styles before burying them in a rusty reel-to-reel tin and allowing the whole thing to gently emulsify. The resulting, foisty candies are aged beautifully and marked up with titles that ring true with their dysphoric pallor and int… Read more
**Beautiful Neo-Classical vocal electronics produced by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Prurient)** "Gabrielle’s formal training began at an early age, studying Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the clarinet and piano. Herbst continued her training at Bard College where she studied voice and composition under the tutelage of Joan Tower, Zeena Parkins and Marina Rosenfeld. Her work has already been showcased at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, as well as Roulette, who in 2014 commissioned and premiered her first opera, … Read more
"Berlin-based composer Nils Frahm has fast become know as a prolific performer and recording artist with the piano at the core of his work. Piano Day is an official body created by Nils and his closest friends, and will house various exciting, piano-related projects. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team is the building of what will be world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450. As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it even exceeds the currently largest upright piano there is, the Klavins M370. Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high, its longest strings are abou… Read more
'Wilderness of Mirrors' is a harrowing and compelling slab of dense ambient doom from esteemed Room40 proprietor, Lawrence English. Two years in the making and arguably ranking among his finest works, 'Wilderness of Mirrors' is, as English puts it, "reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality". Taking its title from a phrase rooted in T.S. Eliot's poem 'Gerontion' and later used to describe the misinformation campaigns of the cold war, it finds English channelling inspiration from the affective dynamics of Earth, MBV and Swans, together with his own fascina… Read more
Following on from an extended period of silence broken by 2013’s "The Weighing of the Heart” album, Cécile Schott a.k.a. Colleen returns with the fantastic "Captain Of None”, without question the finest record of her career to date. It’s the second Colleen outing that features her own vocals, but this time round there is a heightened pop sensibility fuelled by an immersion in the works of Arthur Russell (and in particular Tim Lawrence’s excellent biography "Hold On to Your Dreams”), as well as an unexpected love of Jamaican music manifest here via her first ever incorporation of basslines, but… Read more
**Edition of 300 housed in letter-pressed gatefold card sleeve and poly jacket** Wall and Rodgers' 2nd batch of surgically disassembled syntax and probing psycho-acoustics for Entr'acte is a bewt. Following on from 'Work 2006-2011' (E114) it presents a single, 27-minute piece of vitriolic vocal convulsions and computer music minutiae finding the long-term collaborators operating at liminal levels of psychoacoustic perception with an avant-garde, Beckettian feel for literary absurdity with Rodgers taking real pleasure in masticating juicy, uncomfortably sandwiched phrases. Very satisfying indeed.
*2CD double album* "Half Lives is the Gizeh Records follow-up album to Baker’s acclaimed 2013 album Already Drowning. While that album was built around the guest vocals of female singers - including Carla Bozulich, Jessica Bailiff and Geneviéve Castrée (O Paon) - Half Lives comprises two separate but interconnected albums and Baker’s loose concept was that they would bridge the more abstract/experimental and song-oriented natures of his work. Both albums were recorded in August 2014 in Berlin and are the product of initial extended improvisations that were then arranged into coherent pieces - ‘… Read more
**2015 CD Reissue** "‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981. After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove. Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement."
**Remastered double CD edition with bonus tracks** "Factory Benelux deliver an expanded double disc edition of Always Now, the debut album by cult Factory Records group Section 25, produced by legendary sonic architect Martin Hannett in 1981. This new edition is housed in a miniature version of the folding pochette wallet designed by Peter Saville - famously one of the most expensive sleeves produced by Factory. Recorded as a trio at Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row studio in London, Always Now combined austere post-punk rhythms with elements of Can, Krautrock and modern psychedelia. … Read more
"Culture Of Volume’ is East India Youth's first album since signing to XL. The record follows his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Total Strife Forever’ (released in January 2014 on Stolen Records) that went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize."
*Ships Friday** Pysch-rock on Thrill Jockey in the vein of Acid Mothers-meets-Hawkwind. A week on from the issuing of their ace four-track LP, Dead, here's White Hills eponymous Thrill Jockey album - a tremendous slab of Hawkwind style bludgeoning psychedelia and grunge-era riffing, with a good measure of electronic strangeness thrown into the bargain. In addition to immense, over-compressed Acid Mothers-style rockers like 'Counting Sevens', this is a band that isn't shy of stretching out into more classic-rock terrain with solos (check the bluesy licks of 'Three Quarters'), or explor… Read more
"Nadine Shah released her debut album 'Love Your Dum and Mad' in 2013. Created with trusted collaborator and producer Ben Hillier the follow-up 'Fast Food' is here. Born from a fervid 2 month writing session, Fast Food was recorded at Ben’s studio The Pool, its jagged nature is owed in part to the contributions of guitarist Nick Webb and bassist Pete Jobson (I Am Kloot)..."
*Comeback album from German wave group* "The music on "Greyscale" sounds expansive and atmospheric, yet is simultaneously compelling and tight. Once again responsible for the production is Heiko Maile, who has enjoyed success as a film music composer (for films such as "Die Welle" and "Wir sind die Nacht") for several years now. Stylistically confident, he contrasts electronic elements, guitars, sonic experimentation and beats with acoustic instruments, such as the string ensemble of the Babelsberg Film Orchestra. Great support for the musicality and sound of the album came from renewed collabora… Read more
"Zu are an Italian instrumental / experimental music band from Rome, this new album is released on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. The album was recorded in the countryside near Bologna, Italy, in the summer of 2014 and features guest contributions from Joey Karam (The Locust), Italian guitar maverick Stefano Pilia (who plays regularly with the likes of Mike Watt, David Grubbs and Rokia Traore) and, perhaps most unexpectedly, a field recording of an indigenous Shipibo medicine man recorded by Zu bass player Massimo during his travels around the Amazon..."
Thursday, 26 March
**Unexpected new one from the hugely celebrated Canadian band. The amorphous, visceral and doom-laced mid-section is especially outstanding** "Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE) returns with its first single LP-length release since the group's earliest days in 1997-99. 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' clocks in at a succinct 40:23 and is arguably the most focused and best-sounding recording of the band's career. Working with sound engineer Greg Norman (Electrical Audio) at studios in North Carolina and Montreal, GYBE slowly and steadily put the new album … Read more
Remarkable, processed vocal studies from Rome. 'Sintetizzatrice' is the first time Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy have worked together but you'd never tell. Their debut release features Anna's voice as the sole source, whisked, chopped and layered into an astonishing spectrum of styles touching on traditional Italian folk music as well as classical chamber music, kosmische and R&B. In stark contrast with the invasive tones of Florian Hecker's recent vocal studies, Dozzy deigns for a more heavenly form and accessible approach with differently transcendent results. Blooming fr… Read more
*Deluxe 2CD Digipak edition* Unexpected 4th album from the ever-elusive, ever-controversial Death Grips.
Norway's Geir Jenssen (Biosphere) & Helge Sten (Deathprod) broach liminal ambient zones in their very keenly-awaited collaboration, 'Stator' for Touch. It's the 2nd time they've appeared together, following 1998's 'Nordheim Transformed', but the first time that they've actually collaborated. You'd be forgiven for assuming what ensues, as the duo plumb very closely to their signatures across seven tracks spread over 41 minutes. Entering with the unheimlich creep of 'Muses-C', balanced right on the biting point of phasing distortion and clarity, they cover vast tracts of ambient terrain with … Read more
*Ships Friday* Luis Vasquez a.k.a. The Soft Moon nails his strongest, most-malleable take on post-punk/wave techno to date with third album, 'Deeper'. Since his last LP effort, 'Zeros', he's moved from Oakland, CA to Venice, Italy, with numerous raids on Berlin between. This has clearly influenced his sound, lending a more stringent focus and amped-up studio production ringing deeply true with his mix of formative influences; American EBM muscle and synthetic European emotions. It's kinda what we hoped the last Cold Cave album would sound like, before it went horribly wrong and Fernow scarpered. RIYL Silent Servant, Lust For Youth, Factory Floor.