Thursday, 30 May
*Compiling the series of EP's on Sullen Tone into a continuous mix* "Old Apparatus started life on Mala’s Deep Medi record label 2 or so years ago, releasing two highly praised singles. In 2012, Old Apparatus launched a bid for independence with their own ‘Sullen Tone’ imprint to release their own projects and others. The first of these releases on the label were EPs that spanned the second half of the year, opening with the Derren EP before releasing a series of EPs from three separate members of the group. Compendium draws together the highlights of those EPs into a sequenced mix that draws … Read more
*Housed in a deluxe flip-over box* The Collection 1967-1970' collects together five Scott Walker's solo albums released between 1967 – 1970. They showcase Scott’s inimitable vocals to an array of orchestral arrangements and powerful lyrical imagery, explored both through Scott’s self-written material alongside his much documented interpretations of the work of Jacques Brel, passionately delivered and beautifully arranged. Cut from the original stereo tapes this beautifully packaged collection brings together Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, Scott 4 plus the rare ‘Til The Band Comes… Read more
Chicago-based trumpet player and electronic experimenter Justin Walter makes a lovely debut appearance on Kranky with his rarified first solo album. Sounding uncannily like the results of a secret hook up between Golden Retriever, Arve Henriksen and BoC, on 'Lullabies & Nightmares' Justin employs the Electronic Valve Instrument - a sort of hybrid trumpet and analogue synthesiser created in the '80s - to gorgeous effect, improvising frothy, fizzing loops of languid melody and scorched dissonance overdubbed with blunted drum patter and fractured electronics. It's all miles off Jus… Read more
Another week and another one of R&S/Apollo’s much-feted new generation of post-dubsteppers delivers their debut album. Up to bat is Cloud Boat, the London duo of Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke, delivering a vision of post-rock-accented, quasi-emotive steppers' drift that ranges from the inoffensively pretty to the downright absurd: you’ll have to stifle a laugh when you hear the pitched-down vocal lament of ‘Bastion', and 'Wanderlust' is mawkish enough to make a five-year-old blush. As song-led electronica for doleful adolescents goes, it’s accomplished, and the cinematic flourishes on, for insta… Read more
Hardy perennial Kel McKeown aka Kelpe drops his fourth album, also the first full-length on his own recently minted Drut label. It's business as usual really - squelchy, tactile electronica informed by library music, hip-hop, soundtracks, kosmische and beyond - though the Londoner does pursue an even warmer, more analogue-centric sound, and generally comes over as more accomplished, than ever before. Fans will be pleased with the spoils: 'Astrolomy' offers a nice line in suspenseful, cinematic jazz-funk, as if Weather Report had been commissioned to score Blow Out, while 'Beaks Of Eagles… Read more
*The original album plus a bonus disc of remixes feat Not Moving, Ghosting Season, Kate Wax and more* Sam Willis takes a minute out from Walls to further explore a gorgeous personal vision of kosmic disco-tech. A solo endeavour of this sort has been some time coming from Sam who, aside from his Snoretex 12", has always been inseparable from duos. 'Winterval' possibly feels lighter, more expressive because of this, working with wonderfully aerated grooves and melodically layered arrangements which unfold with a dreamy quality. From the top 'Hello Wendy' comes off like an '80s movie dre… Read more
*Second set of 11 new songs from Scratch, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann* "Last year’s collaboration between The Orb and Lee Scratch Perry unsurprisingly produced more music than one album could handle, so Scratch, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann are returning in fine style with ‘More Tales From The Orbservatory’. These 11 new tracks continue the full-blooded immersion in reggae‘s infinite studio universe which characterised the first set; shards of old songs loom like aural ghosts while rhythms resurface, morphing into something fresh and new. … Read more
"Empire is GRMLN’s album for the crusin' world: Upbeat rock ‘n’ roll with the feel of ‘90s poppunk. The new tracks are much more rockdriven than Explore’s gentle, dreamy tunes. Wanting to capture the sound of a live band, Yoodoo Park recorded the album with his brother Tae San Park on bass and friend Keith Frerichs on drums. Album standout “Hand Pistol” is a catchy mix of polished Superchunk and poppier Jimmy Eat World. There’s “Cheer Up” with its ‘50s style chord progression and climactic, fiery plea of “Don’t break me down!” Empire’s quietest number is the closer “Dear Fear,” an acoustic strummer about … Read more
*The original series of four 7"s now compiled on one CD, with three bonus tracks* Andy Moor ov The Ex presents a collaboration with sound poet Anne James Chaton through his Unsounds imprint ''Dernière Minute' is "constructed from factual information", namely cut-up and layered French vocals over an abstracted swirl of guitar, while 'Une Histoire De L'Aviation' features Anne-James recounting dates of fatal plane crashes interspersed with black box recordings and fragments of conversation between pilots and air traffic controllers set against a backdrop of melancholic twangs and humming subbass. Guest musicians include Yannis Kyriakides and Christine Abdelnour.
Creepy, elliptical new solo work from The Necks' Chris Abrahams for Lawrence Engilshs's Room40 imprint. The title 'Memory Night' isn't arbitrarily chosen: this is a record concerned precisely with those two things, memory and nighttime, and it evokes both confidently, but most importantly it does so without recourse to the usual bleak nocturnal cliches. There's a murky heart to this music, make no mistake, but it's also seductive and playful, recognising the liminal zone between sunset and sunrise as a time for excitement and enchantment as much as anxiety. 'Stabilised Ruin' is a highlight … Read more
Veteran English experimentalist Mike Cooper flies about the balmy climes of Oceania aboard his slide guitar on 'White Shadows In The South Seas'. It follows his ongoing aural expeditions to this region since the late '80s and could be considered a direct descendant of his celebrated 'Rayon Hula' album and 'Beach Crossings - Pacific Footprints' commission, transposing a long and potted history of blues and avant guitar experience to a dreamy, distant headspace coloured with rich tropical rhythms and field recordings. If you've previously encountered Mike's work then you'll ha… Read more
*Double CD in a book style card sleeve* "Soundway Records present Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s & ‘80s - a treasure-trove of rare and unusual recordings from East Africa. It follows on from Soundway’s much acclaimed African ‘Special’ series that to date has focused on the highlife and afrobeat output from 1970s Nigeria and Ghana. Kenya Special is a collection of 32 recordings (most of which were only ever released on small-run 45rpm 7" singles) that stand out as being different or unique as well as some … Read more
*Featuring Cluekid, Moving Ninja, Truth, Gantz, Seven and more* "Four years on from Aquatic Lab’s first compilation, ‘Sessions Vol. 2’ unites Cluekid, Moving Ninja, Seven and Truth with a finely curated crop of upcoming producers. From the warm, half-time autonomic stylings of Bardeya’s ‘Gordon’ and the laid back vibes of Truth & Dutty Ranks and Subreachers & Kiev shift in juxtaposition with the upbeat swing of Perverse and the murkier tones of Seven, Core, Moving Ninja, Shredexx and Gantz."
*Written and performed by Larry Seftel with production from Panos Ghikas and Johannes von Weizsäcker of The Chap* "Influenced as much by literature as music, Hackney-based Larry Seftel weaves emotive and poetic lyrics over intricate engaging art-pop backing, sometimes intimate and warm, frequently obscure and disturbing, but always a tad discomforting. This is due in no small part to Seftel's deadpan vocal delivery juxtaposed with the often-nightmarish scenes that his songs describe. He cites influences such as Lenny Tristano, Robert Wyatt and Boulez and Ligeti during the writing of the album, but Seftel… Read more
Thursday, 23 May
Mount Kimbie look likely to expand their audience greatly with this, the follow-up to their 2011 debut Crooks & Lovers, and their first for Warp. Unlike its home-spun predecessor, 'Cold Spring Fault Less Youth' was recorded at a proper studio, and as such there's a thicker, creamier production than before, not to mention a much greater emphasis on live instrumentation, particularly drums and percussion. While ordinarily this wouldn't bode well, in reality it gives the album an earthiness and character that certainly the duo's legion descendants (naming no names) lack. The pres… Read more
Another gem by the Tangerine Dream and Kluster founder member gets the Bureau B reissue treatment, now packaged with nine - count 'em! - bonus tracks on this CD issue (eight on the vinyl). 'Contempora' was one of seven LPs privately issued by Schnitzler in '81 and also his fifth solo album proper, part of a remarkably creative fallow patch that also included the incredible 'Conrad & Sohn' LP with his offspring, Gregor. Utilising EMS Synthi A and Korg MS-10 for rhythms and sequencing he supposes 22 primitive yet futuristic and abstract star charts for mental travel, following oblique vector… Read more
*Deluxe book-style package, includes notes, musical scores and photographs* In which the titular German composer/musician reinterprets highlights from Kompakt's 20 year catalogue for the classical idiom. As you'd expect, it's a bag of mixed nuts: sometimes the approach works, sometimes it doesn't; but you have to salute Schwellenbach's ambition and derring-do. Most of Kompakt's artists, whether producing for the club or driven by a more gaseous notion of "pop ambient", make music that feels naturally sympathetic to classical minimalism, and as such Schw… Read more
**Remastered collection of Carl Orff & Gunild Keetman's eductional tools, which were widely used in German and English schools. How very Trunk!** "These important recordings have been out of print since 1958. Yes, I'll say it again, 1958. The original UK albums ran across two long-playing LPs and were translations of the German versions issued around the same time. These two volumes could only be bought separately (foolishly they were never for sale as a pair or package or box set), the trouble was both looked identical and a prospective buyer could only… Read more
*Expanded gatefold reissue of Loop's head-burning 2nd album, including the original and bonus disc with demos, guitar loops and their 1988 John Peel session* The band's 1989 LP was their second album proper, following on from their 1987 debut Heaven's End and The World In Your Eyes compilation released in 1988. By this point the band's line-up was all-but unrecognisable from its original roster, with both bassist Glen Ray and drummer Bex having been replaced, and yet the music policy remained very much on course for Fade Out. A variety of studio tricks heighten the sense of experimentation and all roun… Read more
Originally issued 1981 on Mute's The Grey Area sublabel, this CD collects the Cab's 1986 'The Drain Train' and a live recording made at Sheffield University 1982. The former features Richard H Kirk and Stephen Mallider augmented by Norty on drums and Eric Random on guitar in a funked up five track frisson including multiple versions of the body-rocking 'Shakedown' plus the New York-styled 'Electro-Motive' and 'Menace'. The live section includes grubby renditions for 'War Of Nerves', the spiralling psychedelic groover 'Wait And Shuffle', a prodding 'Get Out Of My Face' and the dense rolling funk punk of 'Vitrious China'. Killer stuff, wish we there!
Tectonic’s compilation series is always a reliable gauge of where dubstep’s at, and Volume Four suggests it’s in an open-minded place indeed. Most of the participating artists are familiar names: Guido is in fine form with ‘State of Joy’, his extrapolation from the ol' purple wow sound now approaching a kind of fine-tuned, psychedelic future-soul, while Beneath’s house creeper ‘Flight’ rattles the bones like an old Skull Disco track. Kryptic Minds’ ease off the snares on ‘Convoluted’ to produce one of the most serpentine, compelling tracks in their oeuvre, more darkling minima… Read more
Aleksi Perala, aka the talented Finn behind Ovuca, sheds another brilliant load of certified braindance on 'Mental Union 3'. With a knack for naif alien melody, spherical sound design and the punchiest drums this side of AFX, his sound is a perfect distillation of IDM memes done with humour and skill, hence his close relationship with Rephlex over the years. These 17 tracks are a controlled mind-burst of colourful harmony and supple groove, jackin' ideas from house, techno, jungle and classic European electronics into his own strange soundworld. And it's sequenced for a proper, immersive listen, cycling f… Read more
Sweeping ambient electronics from Glacial Movements Records boss, Alessandro Tedeschi. Six tracks of slow moving and richly sonorous field recordings made in caves of Lazio, Italy, and weft with subtle electronics in sparse arrangements. Mastering was expertly handled by Denis Blackham (Coil, William Basinski, Biosphere) out at Skye Mastering for optimal fidelity. RIYL Thomas Köner, Geir Jenssen, Deathprod.
Classy debut album of soulful deep house strokes from Bristol. In key with their 12"s for Immerse, Well Rounded Housing Project and BRSTL, Outboxx return to Idle Hands with a plush and wholesome long player nodding to the classic American modes of Ron Trent or Chez Damier with a dash of UK soul flavour.
**17 classic vocals from the vaults of Jamaican super-producer, Bunny Lee!** "After two heavyweight dub excursions, firstly from Bunny Lee & The Agrovators and then from The Breadwinners, King Spinna’s third release is an all-singing affair. In fact it was suggested by Bunny Lee himself – “Why you don’t put out the vocals?” he asked on first hearing “Dub Will Change Your Mind” which featured all the B-side versions from this set. It turned out to be an excellent suggestion; Bunny worked with every Jamaican singer of note during the period from 1967 when he first made his debut as a producer… Read more
John Roberts made a big impression with his last album for Dial, Glass Eights, and he's done himself proud on this refined, impressionistic follow-up, resisting as he has the deep house soft option in favour of weirder rhythmic arrangements and a well-defined, evidently very personal palette of post-modern chamber instrumentation and field recordings. Unlike, say, Pantha Du Prince, JR mostly favours subtlety and interiority over grandiloquence; there are no explosions of melody, the prettiness of each track is only gradually, almost shyly, disclosed - not least on gleaming highlight 'Mussels', a cu… Read more
"The Pastels return after 16 years, their first album proper since 1997s ‘Illuminations’; their collaborative works, ‘The Last Great Wilderness’ soundtrack / theatre commissions and the ‘Two Sunsets’ album with Tenniscoats keeping the band busy since then. ‘Slow Summits’ gathers on all these works but moves off in newer and older ways too, with its flowing montage of autumn instrumentals, pop songs, slowmotion build ups and suddenly optimistic melody lines. Recorded in Glasgow by John McEntire and Bal Cooke, 'Slow Summits’ features the core Pastels line-up of Stephen McRobbie, Katrina Mitchell… Read more
"Recorded live at the Roundhouse in June 2010. Analogue Circuit: Live At The Roundhouse is limited to 1000 copies only.The 3 disc set features the first ever live John Foxx DVD, plus a double album of the show, all in striking new artwork by designer Jonathan Barnbrook. Analogue Circuit brings to life one of the most lavish and ambitious projects of the artist's 30 year career - filmed in June 2010 with multiple cameras at one of London's biggest and most distinctive venues. Rich, powerful analogue synths; Robin Simon on guitar playing early Ultravox mate… Read more