Thursday, 03 April
*A beautiful suite of minimal percussive compoisitions from Eric Thielemans, new on Miasmah* "Adventurous Belgian percussionist Eric Thielemans makes a fairly unusual entry into the Miasmah catalogue with the surprisingly positive sounding album Sprang. Thielemans has actually appeared on the label earlier - as guest percussionist on Kreng´s debut album L´Autopsie Phenomenal De Dieu. Although you can recognize the sound on this record, the main focus of Sprang is to revert to the pure joy of sound experimentation and letting go of your foothold. Thielemans's previous exercises in expanding singu… Read more
"Second full-length album from Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Los Angeles-based producer Teebs. ‘E s t a r a’ finds Teebs returning to Flying Lotus’ genrebending Brainfeeder imprint, following 2011’s ‘Collections 01’ and 2010’s full-length ‘Ardour’, an effort that came together in the midst of personal turmoil and the death of his father. In contrast, ‘E s t a r a’ encapsulates a time when the producer (and painter) has been making art entirely on his own terms. That freedom has not only strengthened his creative voice, but led to some of the finest work of his career and a remarkable album in it… Read more
"The third album from Canadian composer Christopher Bissonnette sees him expanding his palette by narrowing his sound sources to a self built analog synthesizer. Eschewing the whiplash and/or everything including the kitchen sink style of assembly so common among current analog aﬁcionados, Bissonnette instead applies his signature compositional style of using long held tones and sweeping drones that alternate between, and fuse, pure tonal transcendence and patient, sparkling melodies that slowly reveal themselves. "Essays in Idleness was born from a desire for a more tactile … Read more
Quite easily the most interesting artists on InFiné's books, Downliners Sekt deliver their debut album proper following a string of excellent EP's for Disboot and a run of MP3 albums released some years back on their own dsekt[dot]com label. The label notes reference everything from Autechre to Rhythm & Sound and My Bloody Valentine, and there is indeed a dubbed-out, rhythmically complex aesthetic that runs throughout the album, but DS work best when they step outside of those parameters and forge stylistic hybrids which are much harder to place - such as on the excellent 'Balt Shakt II',… Read more
*CD is packaged in a Japanese import gatefold wallet with obi strip and Japanese liner notes* ‘Music For Robots’ is a five track mini album composed by Squarepusher and performed by the three robots that comprise the Z-Machines. In 2013, a team of Japanese roboticists were assembled with the challenge of creating a music-performing system that was beyond the capabilities of the most advanced musicians - Z-Machines were the result. The roboticists’ music producer - Kenjiro Matsuo - and his team invited a number of Japanese composers, as well as Squarepusher, to develop music s… Read more
"‘Enter The Slasher House’ is the debut album from Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, comprised of Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), Angel Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian), and drummer Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail, Dan Deacon), Avery Tare’s Slasher Flicks unites Avey Tare’s songwriting abilities with Deradoorian’s melody lines and Hyman’s flexible rhythms. The band could be described as a monstrous and nightmarish jazz power trio inspired by campy horror movie themes…"
"For "Yearling" ORCAS members Benoît Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) teamed up with Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) on drums to built upon the subdued ambience of their self-titled debut, adding a huge dose of analog warmth to their hazy pop leanings. Whereas many songs on ORCAS' first album were built from guitar improvisations and impromptu vocal sessions, most of "Yearling" was constructed from short pieces Pioulard wrote and developed while staying in Germany during the summer of 2012. Working together at Heyne's Lichte Studio i… Read more
**Historically important pieces documenting John Cage's early electronic and tape practice** "Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios - for example, when he composed Fontana Mix in 1958 - his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mas… Read more
Jan Jelinek's Faitiche label presents a new album and, at the same time, a well-known name: Farben presents James DIN A4. In the summer of 2013 Farben (Jan Jelinek) remixed his way through the extensive oeuvre of the sample and collage artist James DIN A4 (Dennis Busch) – and gathered ten of his favorite titles here.
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the album, bu… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package with spot UV printing* ‘Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unkown’ is the new album from Swedish group The Skull Defekts, with the legendary Daniel Higgs (Lungfish) joining Joachim Nordwall and Daniel Fagerstroem on vocal duties and acting as the group’s spiritual ringleader. The Defekts have long acted as the backbone of the Swedish experimental underground, but since their 2011 breakthrough ‘Peer Amid’, the group has emerged at the vanguard of a new wave of radical Scandinavian rock music alongside Ic… Read more
"Having tantalised with ‘The Wheel’, ‘Bloodflows’ and ‘Lessons’, SOHN has added the final touches to his debut solo album, the anticipated ‘Tremors’. ‘Tremors’ is the way in which past traumas, as much as past successes, linger like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Even in the calmest moments its effects continue to reverberate and inform who we become. Throughout the eleven songs that form ‘Tremors’ runs a sense of the nocturnal - a sensitivity to the darkness and its inhibitions - with London-born SOHN adopting a night time schedule for an intense period of long nights writing and recording in his Vien… Read more
"Ellis Island Sound are Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets, Wisdom Of Harry) and David Sheppard (State River Widening, Snow Palms). ‘Regions’ is the duo’s third album since their inception and has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life”. It is possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, along with polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads. Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias adds vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki."
*Slow-motion-piano-punk from Munich-based female duo akin to CocoRosie/Scout Niblett/Moldy Peaches - new on Chicks on Speed* "One third piano, one third drums, one third singing sewing machines, talking skirts, buzzing laser guns und clacking typewriters. The Munich-based Duo beißpony reveal what it sounds like when a singer-songwriter and textile artist with roots in the riot-grrrl and feminist d.i.y-movement join forces. Laura hails from the singer-songwriter and antifolk-scene. They used the facilities to record the first couple of songs for their debut album “Brush Your Teeth" in a one-w… Read more
"‘Intoxicated Man’ (1995) and ‘Pink Elephants’ (1997) are Mick Harvey’s interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg and are the first major works translating Gainsbourg’s influential work from French to English. The collection includes two unreleased tracks, ‘Dr. Jeckyll’ and ‘Run From Happiness’. Originally Harvey embarked on the project as a result of his own curiosity about the songs and particularly the lyrics. At the time of the original recordings Gainsbourg was little known outside classic works such as ‘Je T’ai… Read more
"Tributes & Diatribes is the lovely second set of tracks from the entirely unusual duo of Jesse Sparhawk (38-string lever harp) and Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar, banjo, nylon string guitar). The four tracks here are restrained and unhurried, letting the elegant string flow breathe and build over each cut. Like on their debut Sixty Strings (also on VHF), there’s plenty of virtuosity, but it’s not showy and crass. These guys are more mood-builders (deep, cosmic, meditative) than doodlers. Even though Tributes & Diatribes is immediately graspable by… Read more
"On the 20th anniversary of the passing of Derek Jarman and this reissue Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) reviewed many of the materials in his archive and discovered four selections that were originally left off the release but feel now that they offer another viewing. 'this is a creative mind and man I still miss, but who thankfully and finally seems to be receiving the accolation he should have received long ago.' (Robin Rimbaud) this album is a collection of memories taking recordings from spaces that Jarman inhabited or experienced - from the walk to th… Read more
RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Eluvium, Sigur Rós, Stars Of The Lid, Brian Eno. "Inventions is the new band formed by longtime friends, tourmates, and labelmates Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. There are plenty of talking points here: The fact that Cooper hasn’t been in a “band” of any sort since he was a teenager; no member of Explosions In The Sky has released an album outside of the context of EITS since their inception in the late 90s; and, of course, this is a dream duo for anyone familiar with the unparalleled emotional resonance of Cooper and Smith’s re… Read more
*CD version in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket* "Man Forever is an exploratory percussion project helmed by John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most versatile and critically lauded collaborators and a founding member of Oneida. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, but few have been as specially qualified to perform Colpitts’ technically challenging meditative workouts as So Percussion, the United States’ premiere contemporary percussion ensemble. So Percussion have commissioned and premiered new composi… Read more
‘So It Goes’ is the debut album on XL imprint Hot Charity from arsonists Ratking - aka Wiki and Hak - and producer Sporting Life. Wiki met uptown-raised Hak, now 19, when they were both in the 2nd Grade. They’ve been friends and conspirators ever since. Sporting Life, 32, hails from Virginia but has been in the city since 2005. Eventually they all met at a rap show and soon started serious collaboration. The sound isn’t the boom-bap and outmoded slang of ‘95. The circumstances have changed but the melting pot mentality and cold-blooded scepticism remain. You can hear the Krylon color and syllable-av… Read more
"Steve Gunn and Mike Gangloff (Pelt) combine six-and 12-string guitars with gongs, tanpura, singing bowls, shruti box, and banjo fora gorgeous collection of improvised compositions. The two artists took it pretty far off the beaten path for Melodies for a Savage Fix, sequestering themselves for an overnight session in the remote farmhouse/recording studio of noted roots-music engineer Joseph Dejarnette (Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bruce Greene, Curtis Eller) in the countryside of Floyd County, Virginia.There in the tiny community of Topeka, miles from the county's one t… Read more
"After a seven-year hiatus, Boneset is the seventh album from the excellent Diane Cluck. Cluck's uniquely clipped, glottal vocals and harp-like acoustic guitar embed in rich textures from cellist Isabel Castellvi and drummer Anders Griffen. Recorded to analog tape at Brooklyn's Trout Recording, Boneset is comprised of songs written years ago, not so long ago, just recently, laid out in near-chronological order. Dark to light to dark, the album overends as a kind of mobius strip, songs seeded with birds, death, wealth, poverty, boldness and heart. "Diane Cluck has been under-appreciated for so long,… Read more
"Working with the producer Nave, the man behind the beats for such Brazilian rap greats as Emicida and Marcelo D2, Karol Conka presents her debut album 'Batufreak' on Mr Bongo. A classic mix of Brasilian hip hop and soul, Karoline dos Santos de Oliveira first performed in Curitiba, Brazil at just 17 years of age. The young Curitiban MC showed just what she could do and soon enough proved that she had what it took to become one of the most distinctive voices of the modern Brazilian hip hop scene…"
Thursday, 27 March
Florian Hecker's latest major work for Editions Mego investigates the serrated schism of nature and culture through a further focus on the unique timbral properties of the voice and our perceptions of language. "Articulação deepens Hecker’s collaboration with Reza Negarestani, author of the libretto created for Hinge . In two distinct renderings this piece articulates a complex scene in which the two obelisks of the script - one from the perspective of nature and one from the perspective of culture - are recited simultaneously in an informational yet dramatic style. Hinge* features the legendary art… Read more
Constructed from material recorded between 1987 and 2013, 'Bauteile' is an intensely detailed electronic study constructed by two veterans of the German electronic scene. It's one of the freakiest emissions we've heard from either producer, a fractal melee of avant-electronic funk and gyroscopic sound design culminating their extensive research in all areas of contemporary music. The piece plays thru as an unbroken, 70-minute wormhole of sorts, effectively spanning two centuries of musical development in a mind-bending chicane of psycho-acoustic trickery and advanced processes.
**Sublime small-sound electronics and neo-classical minimalism** "Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equ… Read more
Mac DeMarco gone done it again with an infectious blend of indie seduction and irresistible, blue-eyed soul songcraft on 'Salad Days' - his keenly awaited follow-up to 'Rock And Roll Night Club'. We've had a total love/hate thing with this guy since his solo debut first crossed our paths back in 2012. There's something about his whole image and even half his songs which gets right on our tits, but then we manage to ignore that endearing gap toothed grin and get hooked on the sheer pop brilliance of 'Only You' or 'Rock And Roll Night Club' and we're like, we really want to hate you but we're humm… Read more
'A Series Of Shocks' collates the latest house and techno research from Tobias Freund's Non Standard studio. It appears three years since his debut solo album, 'Leaning Over Backwards' on Ostgut Ton, and a year since his latest outings with longtime collaborator Atom ™. There's eight tracks in total, delving deep into a classically stripped down, powerful club sound characteristic of *that* Berghain/P'bar vibe. We're really feeling the darkside breakbeat house Wild Pitch vibes of 'If' and the rolling techno aerobics of 'Ya Po', and its 'Heartbeat' inversion, but also the cavernous daft o'clock techno minimalism of 'The Scheme Of Things'.
Ambient chillout veterans present arguably the strongest record in their 17 years together. Finding welcome ground on R&S's Apollo sub-division, '4' yields an eight-song cycle of timelessly laidback music subtly mixing "live" sounding, organic instrumentation with plush, dubbed electronics in the pursuit of a perfect mid-ground to suspend time and space for me-time with a cognac and spliff on the sofa.
**Rare live actions from Nurse With Wound, recorded between 1984 and 1986 at Bar Maldoror at in Ghent, Belgium, 2007** "“In our very short spell as a ‘live band’ Nurse With Wound performed eight times, five in public, between the years of 1984-86. These events were shambolic, chaotic and uneven affairs, sometimes as boring for the performers as the non-plussed audiences but at other times reaching an amazing intensity. Some were quite amusing—I remember one in particular, a Christmas event in Amsterdam. We had decided no electric lights, just hundreds of candles around the stage and, in a… Read more