Thursday, 04 June
"Politically speaking, not much has changed about the way Austin’s Institute exists as a band since signing to Sacred Bones. Having members in Glue, Wiccans, and Back to Back, all fellow stalwarts of the Texas punk scene, helps streamline the approach for them, as all of their bands operate from the same basic ethos (i.e. operating outside of the normal cycle of PRs, agents, social networking and self-promotion). In fact, singer Moses Brown has said they’re only comfortable being on Sacred Bones because he considers the label “a punk label on steroids.” (A note from the label—“Drugs, yes. Steroid… Read more
Thursday, 28 May
Jamie xx practises safe raving with his debut solo album proper, following a 2011 collaboration with Gil Scott-Heron and production as part of The xx. 'In Colour' posits Jamie as the pre-eminent posh soul boy, lifting and massaging inspiration from the rich heritage of late '80s + early '90s London dance culture and channelling it into a pop-ready format palatable to Radio 1 daytime tastes and festival soundtracks. The putative "soul" of rare groove, boogie, hardcore and early jungle is sucked out and spliced with vocals in feathered arrangements ripened up for students and yummy mummys alike - all… Read more
Jaw-dropping debut solo album from Nozinja, the brains behind South Africa's maddest export - Shangaan Electro. Arriving five years since he set floors alight from Limpopo to Salford with an acclaimed compilation for Honest Jon's, he presents the most diverse Shangaan expo to date with 'Nozinja Lodge' cycling between free-wheeling 180bpm signatures to highly idiosyncratic takes on militant Hi-NRG disco via string-heavy epics and pinging digi-dub pop mutations, all sprinkled with his patented, super-bright and melodic arrangements. For energy and soul he's practically unrivalled on the world stag… Read more
“Different things are happening in my life now, so there is no doubt that it will be a very different album.” - Mark Kozelek ‘Universal Themes’ includes ‘The Possum’, a nine minute track featuring Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley about dead possums and hanging out with Godflesh. Guitars and vocals by Mark Kozelek. Percussion by Steve Shelley. Recorded in San Francisco, 2014 / 2015. Additional recording in Hoboken, 2015."
*This version includes parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the series and does not include parts 1 & 2, but comes with the box so that those of you who own the first two parts can slot them in* "Epic in scale, static, timbre and stillness, "Null" is a vast and profound music project that Luigi Archetti has been pursuing over a long period. His musical research is not about Null (the German word for zero) as a mathematical object, as a real number. Instead, the term Null (zero) is used here as a metaphor in order to describe a state of pausing and anticipatory waiting. The music in project NU… Read more
**Includes download code for album plus 4 bonus remixes** The virtuosic sampler fiend and pioneering dancefloor composer presents his 1st new album of dance music in nine years with 'The Shakes' - effectively the follow-up to 'Scale' (2006). With an emotional range as fine and varied as his sample banks, the venerable UK composer spins out twelve tracks spanning signature hurky-jerky house patterns thru to sanguine soul drifts and jazzy big band antics, always with an idiosyncratic timbre and grain and blessed with the sort of chicanery that could only come from a composer confident in his techniqu… Read more
*First new solo album in six years from founding member of pioneering chamber-rock ensemble, Rachel’s. Features members of Loscil, Rachel’s, Shipping News, Amsterdam Sinfonietta* "Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky – most renowned for her work in Rachel's, the groundbreaking chamber-rock ensemble that introduced an entire generation of underground rock fans to the unexpected similarities and appeal of neoclassical music. Grimes has toured the world as a solo pianist, and as a collaborator with chamber ensembles such as Portland Cello Project, astrïd, Cicada… Read more
**Adroit electronic reconstructions of "original 1930s field recordings" made in the Then Belgian Congo** "Peder Mannerfelt’s release for Archives Intérieures takes us back to Belgian Congo in the 1930's. This adventurous album finds its roots in a very obscure 78 rpm record, put together by Belgian filmmaker Armand Denis, who was one of the first Europeans to capture the incredible sounds of Central Congo. These recordings were published in 1950 as The Belgian Congo Records. Mannerfelt is an avid collector of African tribal music. When he came across this record he was immed… Read more
**Unreal electro-acoustic magick from Italian composer Osvaldo Coluccino for Milan's ever-trustworthy Die Schachtel label. Highly recommended for those who cherish peering into the abyss and holding its gaze** "Another welcomed return in our Zeit Series - his 2010 Neuma Q being one of the best received titles in the series - Osvaldo Coluccino presents a collection of his early (1997-2007) electroacoustic pieces. From the dark drones of Dimensioni (interspersed with the treated voice of Jacques Lacan) to the treated percussions of Nell'attimo, to the acousmatic brilliance of Dal margine, t… Read more
After leaving us hanging in 2013 with a delectable 7", Sally Dige commits her debut album of neon noir synth-pop to Night School Records. With the exception of that single's ice cold, 'Losing You', it's all new material, nocturnally skooled in classic 4AD and '80s FM pop, a perfectly manicured balance of cracking drum machine punctuation and swooning synth/vocals expressing a dark, luxuriant sensuality painted in a brooding, new romantic relief. With 'Hard To Please' she nods to the latin freestyle inflections of Madonna, whereas 'Immaculate Deception' is more like Kate Bush gone EBM and 'So… Read more
"Enduring and influential Detroit techno act Octave One release their fifth full length album, Burn It Down, an 11 track opus collecting the unreleased music that has been lighting up their much talked about live shows for the last few years. Octave One are Lenny Burden and Lawrence Burden (with revolving members of Lynell Burden, Lorne Burden, and Lance Burden) and are known for their impressive and immersive, fully live shows. Their recorded output has come exclusively on influential labels Tresor and their own 430 West and has very much defined the techno trends of the day. From hard edged … Read more
**Letter-pressed card jacket** "On Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains, Tokyo’s Chihei Hatakeyama evokes an instrumental poetic grace, that marks him out as one of the icons of his generation. Drawing broadly from aesthetic references, that traverse music of the past 30 years, he seamlessly melts glacial ambient drifts with richly harmonic guitar strata that echo the gliding motions of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Cocteau Twins. Never resolving to clear melody, his interest in unrestrained harmonics creates a depth to his compositions and moreover a profound se… Read more
*First time on CD. Includes sleevenotes, photos and bonus tracks* The Mothmen's brilliant Manchester post-punk-dub oddity, 'Pay Attention' (1981) is pulled up for reissue by Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound. Featuring Chris Joyce and Tony Bowers - who later formed the rhythm section for Simply Red's first three albums - plus Bob Harding - who would manage the internationally renowned reggae distributor Blood & Fire - and the late David Rowbotham, The Mothmen were appreciated by those who knew their music at the time, but, due to label complications and delays, their playful, prescient… Read more
The esteemed Norwegian troupe forge a tougher, dizzying sound galvanised by electronic experimentation in their 6th studio album. Since their last LP, 'Live With Britten Sinfonia' (2013), the band's principle song-writer Lars Hortveth took off to L.A. where, inspired by the scale of space and its flashing neon lights, he started composing the material which would become 'Starfire'. Recorded back in Oslo at his band's own studio, the album neatly transposes the rolling, glittering landscapes of California to Jaga Jazzist's rockier topographies and smart jazz chops, manifesting a wide-scoped… Read more
"Automat is: Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut), Achim Färber (Project Pitchfork, Prag, Philipp Boa), Georg Zeitblom (Sovetskoe Foto). The Berlin-based trio has recorded an exceptional album. Denser and yet even more unflinching than the debut they released one year ago, PLUSMINUS recalls the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s '2001'. There’s nothing here that one could hold onto, and yet so much of it that the listener is transported into a kind of trance. While its predecessor was still characterized by prominent guest vocalists like Lydia Lunch, Blixa Bargeld and Genesis P-Orr… Read more
"Staubgold presents the first ever reissue of "While the recording engineer sleeps", the first album by The Cocoon, recorded in 1985. The Cocoon was a kind of psychedelic supergroup featuring legendary figures of the German music scene of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s: Gunter Hampel (vibraphone, piano, flute, bassclarinet, lead vocals), Jürgen Gleue (bass, guitar), Matthias Arfmann (guitar, bass organ, electric piano, lead vocals), Rüdiger Klose (drums, vocals) and guest musician Thomas Keyserling (flute, alto saxophone). The legendary jazz composer, bandleader, vibraph… Read more
"Sometimes miracles happen. In the case of 'Contraband' (1980) it took 35 years! One of the most-wanted scores of Lucio Fulci’s filmography, it’s not a horror but a crime/action movie, produced during one of the most prolific and creative phases of the director’s career. It’s a story of two gangs, one devoted to cigarette smuggling (the “good” guys) and the other to drug dealing. With Fabio Testi in the starring role, Fulci created one of his most violent movies, adding Maesto Frizzi to the pentagram and inspiring him to create one of the most iconic scores of his career. On the trail of t… Read more
Thursday, 21 May
Arch techno-conceptualist Thomas Brinkmann presents his most intriguing solo outing yet with the abstract sound structures of 'What You Hear (Is What You Hear)' for Editions Mego. In an attempt to detach himself and his art from any concrete descriptors and also camouflage the intent behind these tracks, Brinkmann offers a greyscale of electronic fundamentals largely devoid of his patented minimalist rhythm trickery or discernible melody, allowing the music to do the talking and make us poor sods work harder to describe what he's doing. Thing is, he just kinda gave it a… Read more
We find Wolfgang Voigt in his natural habitat amidst the sweeping, Gas-like ambient scenery of 'Rückverzauberung 10'. Written to commemorate the opening of German national park, Hunsrück-Hochwald, where the piece is played through loudspeakers to enchant the woodland and vice-versa, it gracefully unfurls just over an hour of deep forested strings and quietly intoxicating atonality in a reflection of the the wild, rolling landscape and its natural topography. From the elegiac appeal to the woodland cover art, it's arguably the closest you'll come to Voigt's template-set… Read more
Thore Pfeiffer makes his maiden voyage on Kompakt's Pop Ambient artist album series. Hand-picked for the job by Wolfgang Voigt (a.k.a. Gas etc.), Pfeiffer's 'Im Blickfeld' follows Leandro Fresca's inaugural edition with a feather-light moire of panning pads and quiet ambient thought bubbles owing much to the original Pop Ambient aesthetic whilst also gently refreshing its now well-established memes. Rather than any grand, layered statements, Pfeiffer exhales wispy chords and airborne chimes in a smoky mesh of tones and phrases, forging intangible structures somewhere between the elusive po… Read more
Honey Owens makes a rare and welcome outing as Valet with 'Nature' for Kranky. Her first album in seven years finds the American indie-child making broad gestures to '90s dream-pop and shoegaze with eight songs aided and abetted by regular spars Rafael Fauria (guitar) and Mark Burden (drums/bass/keys). It's an enveloping sound, layering up swirling guitars and stoned drums around her glossolalic vocals at the centre of its slow-shifting harmonic pressure systems.
*White Vinyl Edition* 2nd LP of ear-worming electronic-pop from Becoming Real - a strong tip for those missing Holy Other or Tri Angle's bewitched pop aesthetics. Between 2010 and 2012 Becoming Real was behind a string of smart releases for the likes of Ramp, Moshi Moshi and GETME!, and then… nothing until 2015. With 'Pure Apparition' he reminds us what we have (or might have) been missing with 12 tracks of eldritch-tinted pop deviation soused in dreamy melodies and stranger electronic tones given impetus by strong yet deft dancefloor impulses. Dunno if it's just us but it seems like thi… Read more
Invada present a collection of unreleased instrumentals and analogue experiments by The KVB. Originally issued thru the band's own Flesh Tapes in a super limited edition of 100 cassettes, 'Mirror Bein' serves to reveal another side of the duo, mixing the apocalyptic synth appeal of T2 and John Carpenter with a throbbing cyberpunk techno attitude in eight iterations. Guitars and vocals are largely subservient to drum machines and synths, resulting a sound more akin to Beppu's recent blow outs on Other Ideas than their cadaverous death rock 'n roll sound. From cinematic intro, 'Atlas' the storm bui… Read more
Swanky, diverse new Dial compilation featuring exclusive material from all your deep, techy and ambient house faves. This has to be the most far-flung suite we've heard fromt he Hamburg-based label, unravelling a fine spectrum of coherant styles between Christian Naujocks' poignant opener, 'For A While' and Dawn Mok's R&B abstraction, 'Like Thoughts Or Moments We'll Fall' via the simmering, airborne deep house of Lawrence's 'Chex Dupont', drifting shoegaze-pop from Pawel, Physical Therapy's skewed junglism, and the posh trancey luft of DJ Richard's 'Zero'.
*Ships Friday* A brilliant expansion of the invaluable, cherry-picked expo of NYC's experimental Latin streak covering ground prior to the disco explosion. You should expect some incredible, definitive rhythm trips, with outstanding highlights in the likes of Ocho's far-out 'Tornado', replete with blustering intro; the hip-gripping battery of drums cycling thru tempo changes in Stone Alliance's 'Amigos'; the visionary fourteen minutes of modular synth and expansive electro-acoustic jazz scapes in Eddie Palmi… Read more
Expertly selected compilation of blindspot gems from the 'Worldwide New-Wave, Post-Punk and Industrial Underground 1978-1984' picked up and spat out by London's venerated Cherrystones. A killer compilation for both the insatiable digger and curious psych-o-naut alike, it starts at the fringe and moves every farther outwards via the sort of selections that only come from decades of paper cut cuticles and breathing in decayed cardboard in mildewed basements and record shops. From an unfamiliar treat i… Read more
"While legions of artists show fidelity to psychedelia's roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has always shared the rare quality that makes the genre's legends vital, a constant need for exploration. Last year, frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson descended into his home studio in a Portland basement to chart out where's he traveled since his last set of unhinged psych-soul ballads. He discovered that the best way for him to move forward would be to look back. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together."
Jay Ahern (Cheap And Deep) and Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot) a.k.a Hauntologists deliver their debut full-length as The Hauntologists after five EP'. They form a microcosmos of massive, pulsing bass objects orbited by planetary percussions and filigree dust clouds, or, in other words, haughty minimal techno for the best Berlin darkrooms.
"Oiseaux-Tempête return with "Ütopiya?" - and travels move to Istanbul and Sicily. While the structures still hint at moments of post-rock, they go further now, almost into the area of free-jazz yet without loosing a directness rooted in punk (highlighted perhaps by the presence of G.W.Sok from The Ex). In addition, the bass clarinet of Gareth Davis references both the roughest of experiments of Akosh Szelevényi and of The Stooges Fun House. File under Experimental, Stoner, Post-Rock, Ambient, Free Music."
Thursday, 14 May
**5-track CD** Beppu (Andrew Hargreaves) presents a companion piece to his current album trilogy, 'Coercion Persuasion Subversion', containing unreleased material recorded during the same sessions. They're as fierce, if not more so, than anything off the vinyl, drifting head-down from craggy ambient to ferocious Merzbow-ian sturm und drang and stressed, jagged EBM thunder delivered like he means it.