Thursday, 23 July
Ed Rush & Optical sum up the sound of big room D&B in 2015 with Fabriclive82. It's akin to being fired from a slingshot at 180bpm down a long dark tunnel whilst alien tribespeople pelt your head with spiky fruit from all angles, accelerating the sound to G-force levels of cheek-wobbling torsion and frankly ludicrous levels of hi-velocity "funk". In just under 70 minutes they manage to cover 39 tracks, rarely sticking with one for longer than 2 minutes and constantly upping the ante between ferocious numbers by Noisia, Current Value, Konflict and Mefjus, plus a healthy selection of their own productions, including the classic 'Watermelon'.
*Deluxe 10th Anniversary Reissue* Following on from the genius that was the Madvilliany collab, MF Doom looked to Dangermouse for a co-production; resulting in a sound that isn't many degrees of separation from his King Geedorah project, albeit given a more upfront set of beats. Based around the Adult Swim series, 'The Mouse & the Mask' favours some fantastically murky beats and monochrome atmospherics which lend a real sense of subterranean menace to the gloriously childish content. Kicking things off is the darkheart canyon jump of 'El Chupa Ni… Read more
"Hermetically sealed and reveling in tumult, All Tense Now Lax is the most significant and developed work yet forged by Liberez. Based in main orchestrator John Hannon’s remote studio No Recordings in Rayleigh, England, Liberez have expanded their palette from previous outings on Alter to produce a perfectly engineered machine that consumes the beholder. A tense, gut-wrenching listen wrought with carefully considered space, the range of techniques and the depth of atmosphere is staggering. All Tense Now Lax never settles on a simple depiction of dread, foreboding or anxiety but layers textur… Read more
"Metamatic Records’ first major compilation of John Foxx material is the first part of a double release spanning 35 years as a solo artist. John Foxx – 20th Century: The Noise covers the years from his debut single ‘Underpass’ in January 1980 to the rest of the last century, up to his ‘comeback’ albums with Louis Gordon, Shifting City and The Omnedelic Exotour in 1997 and 1998. There’s also a precious Cathedral Oceans gem, ‘Splendour’ which has only ever been available on a rare album by various artists entitled Orphée and 20th Century also includes an unreleased instrumental track fr… Read more
*CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket* “Eleventh Dream Day have forged one of the most durable sounds to emerge from the indie-rock underground. Balancing ragged guitars against fragile melodies and sweet vocal harmonies, the Chicago group’s albums perfectly encapsulated the promise - both artistic and commercial - of post-punk alternative rock.” - Rolling Stone On ‘Works For Tomorrow’ core Eleventh Dream Day members Rick Rizzo, Janet Beveridge Bean, Mark Greenberg, and Douglas McCombs are joined by James Elkington (Brokeback, Tweedy), marking the first time the ba… Read more
Thursday, 16 July
*Long-Awaited debut album from Janus Collective member M.E.S.H. - recorded in Berlin in winter 2015, mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M* Janus crew's M.E.S.H. unpackages a vast internal world across the ornate topographies of his incredible debut album. Combining scything club dynamics and Hollywood sound design with a sample bank of archaic renaissance instruments, 'Piteous Gate' describes a hyperreal place-out-of-time framed by matrices of tessellating grids and vapour-trace contours rent in near-VR detail. Collapsing the stadium-sized structures of "festival trance" with oblique elements of bar… Read more
**Super-charming suite of obscure minimal wave and synth-pop from Mexico 1980** "These recordings pull back a curtain to reveal the mysterious world of Syntoma and early-80s underground Mexico. Founded by Alex Eisenring in 1980, making use of synths and drum machines and driven by a freedom-seeking DIY ethos but informed by a "rock-jazz-prog-experimental" background. These 70s-born influences throw crazed funhouse mirror reflections onto later Kraftwerk, UK synth-pop, post-punk and pure pop forms. The first five tracks are instrumental, evidencing some intelligent melodic and harmonic conceptions; the… Read more
"This is a second selection of independent disco records featuring rare and classic tracks originally released in the USA between the halcyon years of 1977 and 1985. This release features only the finest disco, modern soul and boogie and is compiled by Disco Patrick who last year put together the mighty ‘Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide To The Cover Art Of Disco Records’ 400+ page deluxe book for Soul Jazz Records, as well as the first installment of ‘Disco: A Fine Selection Of Independent Disco, Modern Soul And Boogie.’ This alb… Read more
Chicago's own DJ Roc volleys an electrified 2nd album of footwork with 'Practice What U Preach' for scene supporters, Duck N' Cover. Working a perfect balance of sampled soul and technoid Afro-futurism, it weighs up some of his deadliest cuts and jabs in the likes of 'Lowend Unity', named after his 'hood and flush with a mix of pealing sax, droning subs and mercurial synth drops; with the lump-in-throat brilliance of his hyper Jhene Aiko flip, 'The Worst'; and not least the staccato pulses, ricochet rimshots and choking bass pressure of 'I Make Gutta'.
**A grand debut album statement of operatic composition gilded with electronics by Mira Calix and co-produced with Valgeir Sigurdsson** "With ‘Folie à Deux’, Bedroom Community introduces a new artist to their roster in the form of award winning British composer Emily Hall. ‘Folie à Deux’ is a sonic voyage into a shared psychosis where a delusion is transmitted from one person to another and is a lyrical and intense investigation into love and loneliness within a relationship. The piece is a collaboration with Icelandic writer and long-time Björk collaborator Sjón and was co-conceived as both c… Read more
Kurt Dahlke a.k.a. NDW pioneer Pyrolator takes his turn to reconstruct and adapt the work of pivotal Berlin-skool composer, Conrad Schnitzler. This posthumous, inter-generational collaboration is even better than it reads on paper/screen, with Dahlke aiming to "present a side of Conrad which I has always heard in his music but one which often goes unnoticed: a darker, technoid side". He arguably fulfils his intentions in style over 12 vast, amorphous synthscapes foregrounding the compatibilities between Schnitzler's modular extractions and a modern day sound of Berlin techno. A… Read more
*48-track 2CD set packed with early Jamaican mento, a sequel to popular Mento, Not Calypso! comp* "Drawing mainly on recordings from the genre’s golden age of the 1950s, the 48-track Jamaica Is The Place To Go explores Mento, the island’s original popular music. Together with the American R&B favoured by local sound systems, Mento represents the origins of modern Jamaican music. History lesson aside, Jamaica Is The Place To Go offers over two hours of infectious fun: the perfect soundtrack to your summer! When Fantastic Voyage released Mento, Not Calypso! The Original Sound Of Jamai… Read more
"Whenever Markus Acher finds time between his work with The Notwist and Lali Puna, he sets out to record film soundtracks under his solo moniker Rayon. This time it's Eleonora Danco's 2015 film N-Capace that inspired ten cinematic, instrumental sketches based on loops that loom, take shape, and change colors, only to vanish an instant later. Acher's understated tracks, created with both electronic and acoustic layers, can do without titles -- "Il Collo e la Collana 01" through "10" is perfectly sufficient -- because, ultimately, they're one entity anyway. After all, it's Danco's fi… Read more
Deluxe re-issue of this 80’s classic from NWW. Expertly re-mastered by Denis Blackham. Beautifully packaged in 6 panel gloss laminated digipac, with special gloss 12 page booklet with artwork by Babs Santini. Includes a bonus disc of outtakes, unreleased material and remixes from Irr. App. (Ext.) and Andrew Liles.
"The mighty Merzbow presents four tracks of blistering music recorded and to be played at maximum volume. This leaves the also-rans at the gate and is full of psychedelic twists and turns, with one completely guitar-based track. Incredible stuff from Masami. It's also a benefit release for the Wildwood Trust in Kent. All proceeds from sales will go to them, toward the care of two rescued European brown bears. For more information about this wonderful organization, go to www.wildwoodtrust.org. Comes in beautiful reverse board digipak."
Thursday, 09 July
**Edition of 200** Anthoney J Hart a.k.a. Imaginary Forces offers a typically ascetic suite of broken techno and invasive electronics with 'Low Key Movements' for Entr'acte. Last spotted on the 'Shift Work' 12" for Bedouin Records - and, before that on a stack for his own Sleep Codes label - over the past five years of releases Anthoney has established a probing, antagonistic style and rhetoric heavily informed by his working class background and inspirations ranging from Pan Sonic thru to Coil, Source Direct and The Fall. Under a title hearkening to his Junglist background, 'Low Ke… Read more
On ambidextrous producer Lee Bannon's follow-up LP for Ninja Tune, he swaps junglist intensity for gauzy ambient, IDM and dustbowl tones. Clearly a producer who does not like to sit on his laurels - especially when considering the acclaim surrounding his jungle diversion, 'Alternate/Ending' - his latest switch is also executed with authenticity and originality, teasing out a melancholy miasma of vapourous chords and rustling concrète haptics shot thru with skeletal, fractured traces of techno and jungle rhythm. We'd triangulate this sound somewhere between the weightless zones of Logos and… Read more
"In honour of Terry Riley’s 80th birthday, Nonesuch Records releases “One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley” - a five-disc box set of four albums of his work composed for, and performed by, his longtime friends and champions Kronos Quartet. Riley and Kronos met more than 35 years ago, and since then, the quartet has commissioned 27 works from him, more than from any other composer in the group’s history. The “One Earth, One People, One Love” set includes three albums previously released by Nonesuch - the two-disc album Salome … Read more
The North American producer deviates between deepest techno, acidic electro and ambient drone-pop in his sterling debut album. The breadth of diversity and quality of his execution in 'Homesick' is as much testament to Matrixxman's skill as a producer as his deft dancefloor instinct; whether he doing ghetto-ready techno-house like 'Switchblade', bending on a breakbeat acid flex with 'Red Light District', or fathoming beatless sci-fi terrain in 'Annika's Theme' or 'Earth Like Conditions', he impresses at every turn.
"Heather Woods Broderick excels at distilling her experiences into a soulful melancholy that's enduring both for it's intimate relatable moments and its persistent sense of mystery. Her uncanny ear for evocative production and gorgeous vocal harmonies serves her well on her new album Glider. Throughout the album, the rich dreamlike atmospheres she creates hint at a darkness looming on the horizon, while the singularity of her ethereal voice always seems to linger long after the music has stopped. Though the songs on Glider aren't explicitly about touring, her life on the road provides t… Read more
Thursday, 02 July
**Deluxe, remastered reissue of Biosphere's seminal 1991 debut LP, expanded with 7 bonus tracks** 'Microgravity' introduced the world to Geir Jenssen's Biosphere project and his patented electronic ambient sounds. The album was the first in a long line of work from Jenssen, and saw him fusing house-influenced beats with film samples and floating synthesized textures. As with the album's followup 'Patashnik', the most appropriate comparison would be to the early work of Richard D. James, but it also contains elements of early Orb or 808 State, albeit with much more of an… Read more
Firecracker really push the coracle out with this gorgeous, sprawling collection of folk songs and pastoral ambience gloved in exquisite packaging by House of Traps. Conceived by Wounded Knee, Lord of the Isles, Other Lands, and House of Traps in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland, 'Mac Talla Nan Creag' is part heritage study, part whisky-sozzled travelogue; featuring the processed results of a road trip between Iron age forts, ruined brochs and sites of ancient rock art located around the mystic Scottish Highlands dear their mutual interests - and said to be one of the first pl… Read more
**Impeccably distorted and bittersweet dream-pop. RIYL Motion Sickness of Time Travel, High Wolf, Sun Araw** "Crystal Dorval from Vancouver, Canada has been making healing, distorted rug-gaze music from a coastal mindset all her own since 2011. Natural Phenomena is her second album, and it echoes 2013’s previous self-titled effort in its isolationist origins, as the record emerged slowly across a 9-month retreat alone on a farm on Vancouver Island: “Some days I would only add one tiny guitar line or keyboard texture and that would be it for the day… it was a long process.” However gruell… Read more
Thursday, 25 June
*Ships Friday* RP Boo, the OG source of all things Chicago footwork, comes correct with a killer 2nd solo album for Planet Mu. 'Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints' is an armoury of battle trax for the 'floor, delivered with a conviction and density of energy that's impossible to ignore if you're into electronic dance music or the lineage of Afro-American sonics. As with its predecessor, 'Legacy', this album is a showcase of RP Boo's finely-honed dancer's instinct and incisive sampling technique, using uniquely fractured motifs and complex repetitions to reconfigure our physiology, s… Read more
*2015 reissue on Magic Wire* Deriving its name from a lost, mythical continent, Lemurian has little to do with lost undersea cities and the like, although there is something ever so slightly fantastical about these heavily compressed instrumental hip hop productions and their evocative song titles: 'Lens Flare Lagoon' conjures up the glistening, watery effect suggested by its name, and 'Buried Coral Banks' has a Boards Of Canada-meets-Jacques Cousteau feel that's hard not to love. Incongruous with all this, interlude tracks like the gratuitous '80s soul sampling of 'Green Sea Pageant' steer… Read more
Fredrick Lonberg-Holm (cello & electronics) and Ken Vandermark (reeds), documented on 21 September, 2013, at a benefit for the Malachi Ritscher Collection (an archive of high-fidelity recordings made by the eponymous "amateur" enthusiast in Chicago). Dabnces from skronking shards of chaos to deft, angular minimalism, and back to far-out orbit.
All City finally sling a new album from Onra! Trailing the 2nd volume of his acclaimed 'Chinoiseries' by some four years, 'Fundamentals' gets back to what he does best; cracking the sun out of classic boogie, R&B and soul tropes inna lean, criss-cut '80s-meets-'10s style. There are 13 tracks featuring a plethora of new MCs and soul voices, all playing out like the perfect soundtrack to sunset on the balcony or glyding deckside with fruity cocktails and your boo. You know the vibes, and so does Onra.
**The French synth-pop freaks return in colourful, spiky fashion** "Their new album ‘NO VOID’ is now being released on SHITKATAPULT, whose label slogan ‘Special Musick for Special People’ fits perfectly to the often euphorically rocking music of the French duo. DAT POLITICS themselves refer to their latest LP as a “hallucinating ride in a space roller coaster: scary and funny!” This time around, their songs took shape once again under influences outside of music such as astronomy, philosophy and programming language as well as surrealism, fantasy films and their own dreams. The nine tracks, all o… Read more
*Newly remastered audio, Includes rare archive photos and liner notes Q&A with Krog* "The work of Karin Krog may be unfamiliar to much of the world, but in her native Norway and Scandinavia at large, she’s practically a household name. This says much about the local enthusiasm for post-bop jazz but also about the tyranny of distribution: until 1994, Krog’s albums weren’t available in the USA or UK, meaning three decades of recordings were waiting to be discovered. With this anthology of her best recordings from 1963 to 1999–curated with Krog’s own input–we h… Read more
"More than 25 years after releasing his debut single and dancefloor anthem 'Tears’ Satoshi Tomiie returns with a new album. This legendary collaboration with Frankie Knuckles, that’s now considered as one of house music’s most important moments, was only the start of an exciting career. Satoshi Tomiie has been at the forefront of the global house music movement ever since. He released on a variety of labels going from Strictly Rhythm to Sony, toured with the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra Fame, worked with artists like Robert Owens, remixed many pop inclined tracks… Read more