Thursday, 19 March
**Expanded CD Edition featuring 84-tracks of US R&B favourites from the early Jamaican sound system era* "This 3CD selection features US jump/shuffle blues recordings, which will be of equal interest to both Jamaican music fans and connoisseurs of classic US rhythm & blues. Putting this compilation together was no easy matter, considering that many labels scratched out their releases and were retitled by DJs keen to preserve their “exclusives”, meaning that they were known on the island by their sound system titles. This is the music that provided the inspirati… Read more
"Elizabeth Eaton Converse grew up in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1924. Described as a polymath, she attended Mt. Holyoke College, but by 1944 she decided to leave college and, in 1949, she made her way to New York City. Over the course of the next decade, in addition to acquiring her new moniker, “Connie” wrote and recorded songs that captured the hearts of those close to her. Some were recorded by the artist in her Greenwich Village apartment, others by friends enamored of the music. These included animator Gene Deitch and his colleague Bill Bernal, who helped coordinate an appearanc… Read more
"‘Lease Of Life’ is the follow up to ‘Have Some Faith In Magic’. Formulated on the Hebridean Isle Of Jura - the location where George Orwell wrote ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and the place where The KLF are rumoured to have burned a million pounds - the new album combines the exploration of fresh soundworlds with their most accessible, immediate songwriting yet. Incorporating featured vocalists Cecila Stamp and Bek Oliva, ‘Lease Of Life’ is also the band’s most cohesive album statement to date bound by recurring constituents and accomplished craft. For fans of Alt-J, Django Django, Beach House, Chvrches, London Grammar..."
"St. Jude’s ear for pop music and the sound of teenage rebellion had been sharpened over the years since he first started playing in dance bands across the northeast US in the mid-60s. His first solo album’ ‘Here I Am’, was released in 1977. Even though ‘Gang War’ is a studio recording, it captured entirely his presence and incendiary vibe. FM St. Jude’s musical concept for ‘Gang War’ formed a synthesis of different rock styles then in vogue, played expertly by studio pros capable of generating the sound of the radio in all its forms. Marinated in the sounds of Rush, ELP, Styx, Jour… Read more
Thursday, 12 March
Mumdance resets the game with his astonishing, dynamic mix for Fabric. Running a gamut of affective styles - from atonal noise thru happy hardcore and full-bore grime - he shows up most modern selectors as pedestrian with the unprecedented breadth of his vision and adroit intricacy of layered blends and angular cuts. Seriously, who else would traverse tracks by Shapednoise, @C, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Fis and Sculpture in the opening passage of a Fabric mix?! We're clearly in bold new territory here, and it's exhilarating to witness where, and just how far out, he takes the session witho… Read more
**Edition of 100 housed in folded riso-print artwork** ONO make good with the 3rd session of lower-case composition by Watch Repair, who were last spotted in Jon K's Reel Torque mix and, most notably, as part of Fact Magazine's "Most Important Records of the Decade So Far" list. In contrast to the stark simplicity and conceptual beauty of their much-loved 'Stopped Clock Chimes', they course looser vectors of improvised guitar, accordion, "shadow synth" and violin washed with field recordings and sprinkled with electronic tweaks along 'The Tidal Path'. With a sense of Cageian magick, they … Read more
**A wicked disgrace from Prurient/Vatican Shadow in his lesser-spotted Jezebel costume. FOR ADULTS ONLY** Dominick Fernow's libidinous imagination knows no bounds, as evidenced in his long-awaited 'Exploring Jezebel' shocker for Blackest Ever Black. 'On a Business Trip To London' could be considered the release valve for a hard-touring artist or itinerant noise don, a place to retreat when business is done and playtime begins. Inverting P.E. masculinity with a stilettoed heel, it follows a line of curiosity from a series of releases for Hospital Productions, including 20… Read more
Björk comes to terms with the breakdown of a longterm relationship with some help from Arca, The Haxan Cloak, Antony and Spaces. It's arguably her most coherent and focused album since 'Vespertine' (2001), her vocals incredibly raw and emotional - understandably in the light of tragic, personal events - yet controlled with near operatic poise and matched by the waking-dream-like qualities of the production's skewed meter and tendencies toward keening, lushly expressive discord. It must be said that Arca really comes into his own here, expanding upon certain rhythmic ideas found in 'Xen… Read more
Another monstrous blow-out from Craig Clouse's $&$, returning to Rocket Recordings after assaults on Diagonal and ahead of their Editions Mego LP. Brandishing distorted guitars, clogged samplers and bucket-loads of gonzo attitude, Clouse runs amok from the diesel-fuelled horsepower of 'Electric Pony 2' to a loping, trunk-rattling beat jam, 'Egg Mm-Muffin / Pimp Different' via daft sampler exercise, 'C2-6', to cracked and swaggering breakbeats in 'Goat $hit' and the ruder clip of 'Love Your Hair - Hope You Win!'. And the potential song-title of the year award goes to 'Writing Poetry On Your Forehead With The Tip Of a Hunting Knife'. Wot a charmer.
**Ten CD box set - an 11 hour collection** Created in celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday, "Le Domaine Musical" documents the decade of concerts which revolutionised and dominated Parisian musical life from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, under his direction. Previously presented across 2 volumes, this 10CD set is a mixture of live and studio recordings, many conducted by Boulez himself. Composers include Boulez himself plus the dominant modernists of the 20th and 21st centuries including Messiaen, Berio, Stockhausen, Henze and Nono. A bonus includes an interview with Pierre Boulez.
"Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a contemporary group from Burkina Faso. Coming from Bobo-Dioulasso, the group is steeped in the Mandingue musical traditions of their ancestral legacy. The enigmatic lead singer Baba Commandant (Mamadou Sanou) is an original and eccentric character who is well respected in the Burkinabé musical community. A sort of punk Faso Dan Fani activist for traditional Mandingo music, Baba continues to redefine the boundaries between traditional and modern. In 1981, he joined the Koule Dafourou troupe as a dancer. Later, he embarked on his c… Read more
*First new album of material from 23 Skidoo in fifteen years, released in a special double disc edition combining the soundtrack music to 2011 documentary film Beyond Time, and a DVD of the film itself* "Directed by Alex Turnbull and Pete Stern, Beyond Time is a journey into the life and work of artist William Turnbull, from his modest roots as the son of a Dundee shipyard engineer to his standing as one of the world’s most highly regarded modern sculptors. Narration is by Jude Law. “An insightful, irreverent documentary, yet with a palpable sense of purpose” said the Daily Telegraph, with the G… Read more
"From the dawn of doo-wop to the death of disco, the Notations saw—and sang—it all. Persisting through changing trends and technologies, on major labels and minor ones, produced by both Syl Johnson and Curtis Mayfield, nothing could stop the Notations from representing Chicago’s Southside for decades. The first overview of their indie label golden age, Still Here 1967–1973 finds the Notations at a musical crossroads, turning from simmering R&B ballads to socially-conscious soul. Offering up a platter of golden-dipped harmonies, inventive arrangements, and super-powered soul, the Notations survived as unheralded legends in their own time."
"Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat’s much anticipated follow up to ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ Wrapped in the handiwork of Moffat’s six-year-old son and taking its name from an IKEA marketing slogan, ‘The Most Important Place In The World’ reunites Bill and Aidan with Chemikal’s imperious in-house producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, King Creosote). Recorded at Chem19 and Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom in Glasgow, the sessions feature saxophone, trumpet and tuba as well as contributions from the Cairn String Quartet, members of Wells’ National Jazz Trio Of Sco… Read more
Wednesday, 11 March
*Gatefold Red 2LP with digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "The meaning of dreams usually stays hidden in stacks of abstract layers, obscuring their essence in surreal and bizarre imagery. Exploring the depths of our subconscious, they lead us from stories of lighthearted innocence to our most gruesome ghastly fantasies, making us live through multiple scenarios each and every night. While in sleeping-state, we are at our most vulnerable and at a total loss of control over mind and body. At the same time, we feel most free and safe during REM, with none of our worldly worries b… Read more
Thursday, 05 March
*This CD edition combines both of Suicideyear’s Software EPs, Remembrance and Japan on a single CD* "James Prudhomme wrote Remembrance while reflecting on themes of love and loss against the backdrop of the deep American south he calls home. "Remembrance deals with letting go," he explains. Alive with an idiosyncratic sense of melodic space, his repertoire eschews a topical palette for a personal aesthetic that offers a visceral love letter to abstraction. Suicidyear’s proper label debut deviates from the darker hues of Japan while exploring a blossoming, water colored … Read more
Remarkable, trasncendent new recordings by dextrous multi-instrumentalist Roland P. Young, his 4th LP for Japan's EM Records. Created in 2014 after a move to Tel Aviv, 'Confluences' marks a new phase in Young's oeuvre, with a title both signifying the cultural blend of his new home region, and his ability to naturally comprovise disparate musical influence and textures - clarinet, bass clarinet, kalimba, NAF flute, keyboard, voice and electronic accoutrements. Blending properly rugged but smartly reduced rhythms with pensile synthlines and minimal acoustic phrasing, it's possible to draw a … Read more
Mike Paradinas combines 2013's vinyl-only 'XTEP' and 'Rediffusion' EPs plus a new bonus track, 'Forger' in the 'XTLP' for 2015. 'XTEP' is flush with the sort of nostalgic melody, rave romance and charm that endeared him to so many in the first place. It's an unashamed return to his roots, from the bubbling pastoral melody and proggy chimes of 'XT' to the happy-as-larry piano house of 'Ritm' and 'Pulsar''s nEuro-electro futurism, while the footwork-style drum flux and swooning, emotional melody of 'Monj2' and the bluer swing of 'New Bimple' concede to current trends but not at the expense of his integrity.… Read more
Genre-defying, LA-based Eskmo presents the follow-up album to his eponymous 2010 LP for Ninja Tune. With heart firmly placed on sleeve, 'Sol' spills between strung-out folk motifs, Lidell-like pop twysts, and noisy, shoegazing techno-tronica exploits with a fine balance of melancholic moments and optimistic, chest-bursting power surges.
**Featuring music by Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders…** "The power of the human voice, especially when held in song, has long been known to be immensely influential, potent and emotive across all of humankind. When conveying a message, the spoken word - whether in speech, poetry or song - is infinitely more evocative than that of written. And when that message is voiced in the realm of jazz, amidst the open and dramatic freedom that only jazz can provide, the message can be all the more poignant. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and then foll… Read more
Remix package from Daniel Avery, all previously B-Sides or rarities, including remixes from Powell, Factory Floor, Silent Servant, Roman Flugel, Audion, Rodhad, Conforce, Special Request, Perc, Volte-Faceand more.
"Ikue Mori is one of the most respected composers working in the growing field of laptop electronics. A dedicated and passionate perfectionist, she has created a completely unique and original sound world unlike any other electronic composer around. Her newest album adds a beautiful melodic twist to her moody, detailed and unique soundscapes and is her most stunning creation to date..."
"Tall Tales And The Silver Lining are a Los Angeles based band led by songwriter Trevor Beld Jimenez. Beld Jimenez grew up on the sounds of 70s AM radio, along with LA classics like Jackson Browne, Court and ‘Spark’-era Joni Mitchell, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and The Byrds. His music incorporates all of that - classic songwriting, great playing, simple, hook-heavy arrangements and thoughtful production - but updates the sound for today.It’s straightforward, heartfelt rock & roll, ten songs of love and loss, ocean-scented breezes and the hum of the open road beneath your wheels."
Keath Mead comes for your FM dial with the classic MOR song-writing chops of 'Sunday Dinner', produced by Chaz Bundick a.k.a. Toro Y Moi, Les Sins etc. Hailing from South Carolina, Keath gives firm nods to the classics of 10cc and Todd Rundgren, backed by Bundick's authentically vintage-sounding production. To be fair, you could just turn on the radio, but fans of real, down-home Americana and such will likely appreciate his efforts.
"Violet is a lovingly crafted progression from Contour Lines - Shield Patterns' highly acclaimed debut album released in the Summer of 2014. The experimentation found there has been explored further to feature samples made from clicking bones, field recordings, heavy drones and a starker approach to production. On first listen the sound is more minimalistic than that debut album but multiple layers gradually reveal themselves over time. Brentnall’s vocals were singled out for particular praise in early reviews and she has refined her vision further here, with her lyrical concerns focussing on t… Read more
Monday, 02 March
Thursday, 26 February
Ata Kak's debut album of dibby Ghanaian hiplife, 'Obaa Sima' is the stuff diggers' dreams are made of. It's the cassette that sparked Awesome Tapes From Africa to life as a blog back in 2006, before it morphed into a record label of world-renown from 2011. Written and self-released by Ata in edition of 50 circa 1994 and subsequently re-discovered by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2004, it would take nearly a whole decade for the Fulbright University graduate to track down and request official reissue permission from Yaw Atta-Owusu a.k.a. Ata. It turns… Read more
Dasha Rush fully explores her latent ambient side with 'Sleepstep', her debut suite of tech-nocturnes for Raster Noton. It's quite a departure from her sleek, signature club sound, largely leaving the big kicks at home and heading towards dark, brooding scapes and skeletal rhythms perfused with her own vocals and icy-fingered melodies. The ambient/sound design aspect is a constant throughout Dasha's oeuvre, whether in the drone elements or expansive club track intros like LADA's 'Indust' or in her work for Fullpanda sub-label, Hunger To Create. But 'Sleepstep' is clearly her most expansive ambien… Read more
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Russell … Read more