Thursday, 27 February
"This collection sees epic45 stripping away the layers of processed sound and instrumentation that characterised their last album ‘Weathering’, and reveals the bare bones of their sound. Sparse, resonant drum loops frame a bed of warm synths, chiming electric guitar and clear vocals, making these four tracks the most direct the duo have sounded yet. In addition to the three original songs, the EP includes an inventive cover of the Tears For Fears song ‘Ideas As Opiates’ from their album The Hurting. Musically, throughout there are echoes of Talk Talk, The Montgolfier Bros, Depeche Mode, The Durutti … Read more
"The musical snapshots of The Micronaut draw their expressive power and liveliness from a play of contrasts: Between 2-Step, broken Bass Music rhythms and stomping straightness, between catchy melodies and subliminal drama, between electronic sound synthesis and human vocals. Carefully arranged the single tracks create a majestic Panorama that reveals yet unheard new perspectives on music genres, crushing their boundaries in a very playful way. The full width of this Panorama unfolds on CD, its full acoustic depth on vinyl."
"'Atlas’, the new album by New Jersey’s Real Estate, is a triumph of highly evocative, perceptive songwriting and graceful, precise musicianship. The album is intimate and spare. It conjures quiet, late night drives down wooded highways, rural rambles with friends on the sunniest afternoons of the year, and hazy summer evenings spent alone, thinking back to those times and the people who were with you for them. Within the music one can catch hints of Galaxie 500, Little Wings, Luna, Neu, Nick Drake, and Pavement, and also Fairfield Porter, Milton Avery, and Albert York."
Thursday, 20 February
"Canadian artist Nicolas Bernier creates sound performances, installations, musique concrète, live electronics and video art while also working with dance, theatre, moving images and interdisciplinary contexts. In the midst of this eclecticism, his artistic concerns remain constant: the balance between the cerebral and the sensual, and between organic sound sources and digital processing. The sound of Nicolas Bernier is somewhere between the old and the new. It is electronic music made from objects of the past: typewriter, old machines, tuning forks, soundscape memories and, yes… Read more
Fabric 74 is in the safe hands of Dave Moufang aka Move D for a cherry-picked 15 tracks selection spanning House music vintage and up-to-the-minute. As you probably all well know by now, Move D is a one of the most cultishly adored European Deep House DJs and electronic producers in the world. Since the early '90s he's amassed a massive stockpile of eclectic releases on his own Source label, based in historic Heidelberg, South West Germany, including 26 albums with the late ambient music pioneer, Pete Namlook, beside countless other collaborations and solo productions strafing the lines between… Read more
"Present Tense is a dramatically new album – taking cues from the most intense and effervescent of 1980s and 1990s electronic sound but rethinking and retooling these elements with exquisite detail for the 21st century. Longer in creation than any of its predecessors, Hayden Thorpe, Tom Fleming, Chris Talbot and Ben Little took almost a full year away from touring to conceive and construct the eleven tracks of Present Tense. Written in London and recorded at Konk Studios in London and at The Distillery in Bath, the band worked in close collaboration with co-producers Lexxx and Brian Eno proté… Read more
"Neneh Cherry releases her first solo album in 16 years – a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn. While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album’s sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh’s wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw voca… Read more
"Developed over a four year period, and entirely funded by a part time job working as a SAT university entrance exam mathematics tutor, Nº2 was composed using synthesizers and a variety of unidentiﬁed samples that were manipulated beyond recognition. Christina Vantzou then collaborated with Minna Choi of the San Francisco based Magik*Magik Orchestra. Vantzou and Choi worked on the notation and arrangements and recorded the compositions with a 15-piece ensemble at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco. The chamber layer on Nº2 follows a similar pattern as her ﬁrst record with the addition of ba… Read more
Phonica celebrate 10 years in the game with this epic 3CD set featuring 33 contributions from their mates far and wide, including tracks from Midland, Juju & Jordash, Legowelt, STL, Moiré, Joakim, Special Request, Skudge, I:Cube, Mr.G, Trevor Jackson and much more, presented in a nice 8-panel triple Digipak.
"This is the first project from Brooklyn DJ/producer Pocketknife (Tambourine Dream, Flagrant Fowl) working under his new moniker Boonlorm. An eleven track album featuring “piano not piano” house music created solely with a prepared piano and raw drum programming that pays homage to Chicago, Detroit, and the 20th century avant-garde. String Figures is “screw music” in the most literal sense with direct ties to the late composer John Cage who created the first prepared piano pieces by inserting objects into the strings of a grand piano. The sound that resonates is a rich combination of tonal, ato… Read more
"Following on from Mathias Kaden’s effort in September, next in line to mix it up for the ‘Watergate’ CD series is New Jersey house innovator and widely loved scene figurehead Kerri Chandler.Kerri has enjoyed a long running relationship with Watergate, and this album is the perfect coming together of two clubbing tour de forces. Across the course of 18 tracks, the MadHouse and MadTech boss, tireless DJ, and ever evolving house producer lays out his vision of house music as it sounds in 2013, calling on tracks old and new from a wide array of labels, as well as some exclusives, including two… Read more
"Band of Holy Joy’s latest album Easy Listening – a set that finds Johny Brown’s ragamuffin street warriors hit yet another artistic peak – a rejuvenated collective on a relentless mission. Away from the complex conceptual conceits of "How to Kill a Butterfly" and the raging Casio trauma of "City of Tales", "Easy Listening" has a defiantly old school manifesto – a collection of sculpted, resonant SONGS…So we move through the destructive magic of George Best (When a Gift is a Curse) to the death of Ian Tomlinson to lonely late night observations on London buses. Always open to the fullne… Read more
*Remastered from the original stereo 1/4" tapes with expanded gatefold tip-on jackets and liner notes* "Light In The Attic and the legendary folk/blues/roots label Vanguard Records are proud to begin a series of collaborations under the umbrella Vanguard Vault. The series will explore the vaults of Vanguard and see the reissuing of obscure nuggets, psychedelic weirdness and just some good old-fashioned seminal music. Originally released in 1972 on Vanguard Records, Bob Frank’s self titled debut album took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infuse… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* "D. Charles Speer, aka Dave Shuford, is a founding member of both Rhyton and No Neck Blues Band, and also known for his work with Enos Slaughter, The Suntanama, Egypt Is The Magick #, and Coach Fingers. On ‘Doubled Exposure’ The Helix take their loose and free country rock boogie and enhance it with the blistering psych Speer explores in Rhyton, and the traditional Greek melodies delved into on the Speer solo album, ‘Arghiledes’. ‘Doubled Exposure’ was recorded by Jason Meagher at the increasingly legendary Black … Read more
"4AD release ‘Blue Film’, the debut album by LA based producer Lo-Fang (née Matthew Hemerlein). Classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano and guitar, Hemerlein’s soulful falsetto floats above a rich blend of classical, R&B and electronic music, telling stories of love, loss and deceit. The album was written and recorded during Hemerlein’s world travels everywhere from a farmhouse in Maryland to a hotel in Cambodia to studios in London and Nashville. He completed the album at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with Award winning producer Francois Tetaz."
*CD version packaged in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold sleeve* "2013 was a notable year for Thalia Zedek. She released her first album in five years, ‘Via’, which PopMatters called a “rumbling, sweet, muscled set of tunes, as resilient as they are beautiful,” followed by a tour across North America with Low. She also reunited with Come, the classic band she formed with Chris Brokaw in 1990, reissuing their classic debut ‘Eleven:Eleven’ and playing their first shows in over a decade across the US and Europe. Following this intense flurry of activity, Thalia regrouped with her band in Boston to record a… Read more
*New on Nicolas Jaar's 'Other People' label* "Several years ago, Valentin Stip was sitting alone by a harbour in the small French town where his parents grew up. “I heard all the sailing strings hit the masts, and I realized that every sound you hear is potentially music,” he says. “The only thing that makes sound into music is the mind, arranging it.” Since then, Valentin Stip has been building a bridge between the sounds that live inside and outside his head. On ‘Sigh’, the 21-year-old producer’s full-length debut on Other People, Stip organizes classical piano, lightly sputtering grooves and inti… Read more
The Notwist return with their first album in 6 years, 'Close to The Glass'. "The Notwist have always been pioneering their own sound, walking a trail of songs across genres toward something definitively new and distinctly them. Yet the German born band are never running ‘from’ their previous creations rather ‘toward’ the next, and in doing so have crafted a series of personal yet impeccable records that warmly thread together the far corners of independent music. Simply speaking, the Notwist make this careful and banging, private yet pop, post-everything music, for the movie going on ins… Read more
"Recorded using the Orchestra’s signature analogue techniques at their studio HQ in their home city of Ottawa, the new set continues their musical journey as they effortlessly fuse Eastern influences, Afro beats, Egyptian jazz, Latin styles and spiritual elements into their musical melting pot. The secret to the band’s sound remains an openness to global music of all kinds and the individual experiences of the Orchestra’s band members. “We all have very wide tastes, we’re always digging for new sounds, and we’ve had the chance to work with master musicians from all over, from Nigeria … Read more
A spoil of splintering, lushly awkward rhythms, kaotic harmonix and fractal electronics, it's a proper, future shock of a record. it exists in it's own parallel dimension, holding up a smashed mirror to 30 years of developments in the avant-garde, on the dancefloor, and in virtual reality. It's a sound Patten's been edging towards since orbiting underground echelons with his releases for his own Kaleidoscope label, and the excellent 'Glaqjo Xaacsso' LP for No Pain In Pop, but we reckon few would have predicted quite how glorious this album would turn out, us included. At it's whirring, amorphous … Read more
Thursday, 13 February
**Gatefold double vinyl** Sun Araw yields his most cryptic glyph to date with 'Belomancie' for Drag City. Replete with a recommendation "to give 'Belomancie' your full attention, and to listen at the highest volume that is comfortable on high quality speakers with a pronounced stereo field or on an excellent pair of headphones", it's the most cerebral and focussed effort we've yet heard from Cameron Stallones', acutely contrasting with his looser, noisier psychedelic dub excursions. Its predominantly electronic palette and labyrinthine arrangement veers into Jazz-Fusion, Japanese ambient and modula… Read more
Nicolas Jaar's Other People label picks up new Russian name, Vtgnike (pronounced Vintage Nike dontyaknow) for a diverse debut vinyl album. 'Dubna' collects nine tracks shape-shifting between OPN-like chopped & screwed experiment 'Stimulate' through to Shackleton-esque polyrhythms and aqueous sound design in 'Panarama Bar Shitt', but the majority is given to a ghostly, detached strain of rave and electronica filtered through a mazy prism of Footwork rhythms and smudged, hypnagogia-inducing FX. It's not a sound you might typically associate with Nicolas Jaar and his label, and should come as little surpris… Read more
*Includes Download Code For Bonus Tracks Redeemable From The Label. Pared-down, economical new album from this enigmatic, forward-facing artist, returning to roots in the dance music** "For Jam Rostron, the Bolton-born, Berlin-based artist behind the multimedia recording and performance project Planningtorock, All Love’s Legal is both an extension of her previous work and a refinement and of its ideas and sonics. Planningtorock has always incorporated politics into her music, but this is by far her most explicitly political record yet. It follows W, which was released on DFA in 20… Read more
Brendon Moeller tests his darker techno muscle on his return to Prologue with a full album. 14 tracks mutate between wild modular scree ('The Frequency Of Love'), digitizied dub techno rolige ('Next Exit'), shifier tech-house ('Tricks Of The Shade'), kosmiche trance ('Lost', 'M13 + DPO'), and grinding acid ('Goodbye').
**Redux version with killer bonus cuts - including three previously unreleased - plus download code and fold out Japanese insert** This has to be one of the strongest and strangest juke full-lengths yet to emerge from Chicago, with an austerely psychedelic undertow to its hi-octane ghetto bounce. The darkest, sparsest jams are the first to grab your attention: 'Burn Dat Boy' and 'Horns' are on a choppy grime tip, the latter packing darkside string stabs that remind us of Cooly G's 'Narst'. 'Torture Rack' is brutal and brilliant, beat-'em-up vocal snippets and stanked-out, dissonant syn… Read more
"‘Dust & Mirrors’ is the second full-length album by the trio of Andrea Belfi (drums, percussion, electronics), David Grubbs (electric guitar, piano, voice), and Stefano Pilia (electric guitar). It follows 2010’s ‘Onrushing Cloud’ LP and finds the trio confidently taking stabs in a number of opposed directions. It dramatically widens the terrain in which the group operates. Between albums, the three musicians worked together on David Grubbs’s 2013 album ‘The Plain Where The Palace Stood’, and took part in Grubbs’ and visual artist Angela Bulloch’s performance piece … Read more
'Angel Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy. This is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2014 so far - the buzz on Angel Olsen from her previous releases has been growing steadily for the last year or so, coupled with sold out solo London shows and a mesmerizing performance at the End Of The Road festival. Now she unleashes this majestic album - her first with a full band - and it is wowing critics and fans. This is going to be Angel’s breakout year."
**The debut full length of pastoral ambience from Kemper Norton** "From a recent interview by Russell Cuzner at The Quietus: The sound is formed of acoustic folk miniatures swimming through pools of synthetic texture, while found sounds float to the surface, dredging up tiny hints of dance rhythms in their wake. These ingredients - far from being a casually picked, if natty, selection from the twentieth century's smorgasbord of genres - are stirred together with idiosyncratic focus to produce a strange, heady brew that's neither folk nor electronica, neither analogue nor digital, but something else; boasting new flavours with familiar seasoning."
Thursday, 06 February
**Includes two tracks exclusive to the CD and digital formats** Hamburg's Smallville play host to this superb album of signature dub house styles from Stephen Laubner aka STL. Excepting his now-classic 'Silent State' and 'Neurotransmitting Clouds On The Secret Freeway' (issued by Smallville in 2009) which are exclusive to the CD/Digital versions, it's all new material, spanning skanking, Chain Reaction style dub-house on 'Scuba's Motion Dub' and 'Amelie's Dub' or the seriously heavy 'Ghostly Ambit' thru to a mixture of Maurizio and Theo Parrish styles on 'Space Cats' and two beautifully gl… Read more
Marissa Nadler returns with her first new material since "The Sister" with excellent new album 'July', produced by Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))) who brings with him an engrossing, weighty sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Recorded at Seattle’s Avast Studio, the album features the maginificent Eyvand Kang on strings, Steve Moore’s synths and Phil Wandscher’s guitar lines, escalating the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder.