Thursday, 04 September
"‘Decimation Blues’, Raymond Raposa’s sixth release as Castanets, marks a decade of scavenger architecture. ‘Decimation Blues’ sees Raposa stepping out in front of the hermetic persona he’s crafted over ten years. There have always been shards of pop songs glinting in the dark corners of Castanets records. Here we get whole gleaming edifices. ‘Decimation Blues’ is the music of a man who’s learned to live and build among the wreckage - twelve seemingly offhand, secretly meticulous tracks that we can hunker down in. “Still always good to be alone in someone else’s home,” Raposa sings. Come in… Read more
A pop-infused, electronic album, littered with vocals from Zyra, Py, Shy Girls and Madelyn Grant.
Thursday, 28 August
KILLER Ruffneck griot rap and tumbling mbalax from Senegal circa 1994: another stunning discovery by Awesome Tapes From Africa! Showcasing the remarkably fierce "taasu" - a form of oral poetry set to sabar and tama drums - style of Aby Ngana Diop, the undisputed "taasukat" of her generation, 'Liital' presents a shock of six cuts charged with ferocious talking drums, subtle DX7 tones, and Diop's stentorian call-and-response vocals. Whilst many of us have heard the mbalax style via classic recordings from Youssou N'Dour and even Mark Ernestus' Jeri-Jeri ensemble, we, for one, have never heard such… Read more
Doom rock's sandman, Dylan Carlson returns with Mark Lanegan (QOTSA) and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) in tow for Earth's 7th full-length studio album. 'Primitive and Deadly' by name, it yields seven signature pieces of crushing, tectonic guitar chords leavened by poised vocals from the aforementioned, and augmented by Brett Netson ov Built To Spill's 2nd guitar. The addition of another axe, together with the extra vocals makes for a more proggy, psychedelic affair than their previous 'Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light' dispatch, to these ears at least.
*New reissue and repackage via Temporary Residence of WIlliam Basinski's legendary series* For all those wondering where the reissue of Basinski's first instalment of the 'Disintegration Loops' series was, your wait is over! Having been held back till last, the anticipation surrounding this release could cripple a lesser man; but Basinski more than matches the task. With the back story of their inception now well documented (detailed in the liner notes) Basinski seems to have captured a sound that would overtly suggest death (i.e.. the decay of archiv… Read more
**Lou Reed's totemic 'Metal Machine Music' is tackled with fiery finesse by Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer Ensemble** About 10 years after their first, critically acclaimed performances of Lou Reed’s adventurous album, zeitkratzer presents an audacious new interpretation of this 20th century avant-garde classic. Here, for the first time ever, all four parts of Metal Machine Music played by zeitkratzer on one recording! Seriously "clangorous"! Metal Machine Music has become even more intense and worked out during the ten years of zeitkratzer playi… Read more
'Imagin' is the eagerly awaited debut album from Dark Sky for Modeselektor's Monkeytown label. Since their early 12"s for Black Acre and Pictures Music, we've witnessed Dark Sky evolve from a dextrous duo dealing in twisted post-dubstep, pop and techno hybrids to a canny trio pushing near-symphonic big room electronica/techno on a level with the likes of Jon Hopkins and Modeselektor. It feels very much of its time, spanning murky trip hop/dubstep-pop references in 'Nothing Changes', 'Vivid' and 'Rainkist' alongside lean, techy London house in 'Odyssey', and at best in the Kraftwerk-meets-Thom Yorke st… Read more
In 1994 the seminal electronic duo Cluster (Dieter Moebius & Hans-Joachim Roedelius) continued what they had begun in 1990 with 'Apropos Cluster', their comeback album. The more mature 'One Hour' condenses essential passages from two lengthy sessions into 60 minutes. We hear sprawling soundscapes, clear acoustic sketches, musical extravaganzas, in short: highly impressionistic electronica. Liner notes by Asmus Tietchens. Originally released 1994 on Prudence Records.
Some of the UK's most colourful producers make-over Joker classics. Swindle deep fries 'Purple City' with typical flair, and Gemmy yokes the bombast of 'Snake Charmer' to leaner hiphop/halfstep. Trolley Snatcha amps the electric potential of 'Newham Generals' with cutthroat dubstep style, and the OG Kromestar reworks 'Tron' with pendulous, cosmic swagger.
*Second album from founding member and principal songwriter of acclaimed collage-pop duo the Books. Features guest vocals from Daniela Gesundheit of Snowblink* "Following the dissolution of his groundbreaking collage-pop duo, the Books, Zammuto rebounded with an eponymous debut album submerged in transitional anxiety and audio effects designed to intentionally obscure the very humanistic qualities that marked Nick Zammuto's best work in the Books. An enormous weight has been lifted from Nick Zammuto, and you can hear as much in the opening minutes of Anchor. The arrangements have more space, the songs … Read more
**Ram jam with edits of Fela classics plus an exclusive live track** "The soundtrack to the documentary, ‘Finding Fela,’ directed by Acadamy Award winning director, Alex Gibney. The film tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life, his music, and his social and political importance contrasted against the hit Broadway musical, Fela! and culminates in the bringing Fela! to The Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (the fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) includes 17 of Fela's classic tracks plus a never-before rele… Read more
**Sleepy ambient/shoegaze on the new album from Christopher Willits** ""For years, I’ve imagined the work I do in music, photography, video/film, immersive audio and meditation all coming into one space," says music-art guru Christopher Willits from his home in San Francisco. It's an ambition that seems especially befitting of a worldly polymath like Willits. "Sound and light can transform and inspire our imaginations," he continues. "It can be used as a tool to awaken our consciousness." And that is exactly what he has set out to do with OPENING, the veteran Ghostly artist's new immersiv… Read more
**Fascinating, worldly and necessary collection of remastered, rare jazz orchids** "Until it was swept aside by the pop explosion of the 1960s, jazz was the most popular modern sound on earth. From the New World and the Caribbean to Africa, across the Soviet Bloc and the British Empire to the Far East, jazz music was embraced, adopted, played and enjoyed. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and followed its messengers and influences in Europe, this fifth installment of our Spiritual Jazz series presents jazz from the rest of the world: a collection of j… Read more
**Edition of 200** A brace of Entr'acte regulars remix selections from hamaYôko's four album's for the label. KK Null open the account with a brilliant version of 'Tsumetai Tsuki' veering from discordant, jagged keys and vocals to prime industrial steppers rhythms; Felix Kubin transplants 'NMichelle Moustache' to an alien planet; Modiri Hirano turns 'Senkô Hanabi' into a sweet n sticky glicth pop tune; Dale Cornish squishes and fillets 'LH3373' with electro-acoustic expertise; Lionel Marchetti impresses with a spectacular 20 minute rework of darkside, multi-dimensional chicanery in 'un être en dehors de la Terre'.
"German minimal composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler celebrated his 80th birthday this year. M=minimal honours the work of this master of reduction with the third release dedicated exclusivly to his work. Unlike many modern composers that use avantgardistic special effects, Stiebler builds his compositions around small sound spaces. As the composer himself said in an interview, his music is not intended to be easy. He demands a certain concentration of his listeners. Once you accept it you get rewarded with shifted time perception. A piece of 15 minutes duration can be perceived as 45 … Read more
"Two years after leveling the expectations of critics and listeners alike with Atma, doom trio powerhouse YOB unleashes Clearing The Path To Ascend, an aptly titled album for what will undoubtedly be the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the YOB way, the tracks here don’t simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre While giving due sonic credit to cornerstone influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath – YOB immediately set out to define a s… Read more
"Following his acclaimed 2CD (Compositions For Geomungo and Gayageum) here is Baudouin De Jaer's new album: Crocus, performed by Fabian Fiorini (piano).. Five crocuses have ben selected for this cd. From 2004 to 2007, i reduced the music i wrote between 1979 and 1994 to monophonic strands, sonic dna, although some of the chords survived. Some of these strands went into sonates curieuses for muted violin, while others turned into 10 crocuses with sustained notes. Crocus is notated in a classical fashion with bars; it is visual music, each musical element a picture. Interpretation is cold, neu… Read more
"As a body of repertoire, these works are remarkable for their freshness of musical thought and energy (John Cage considered Wolff to be the most 'musical' of the experimental composers). The Project Wolff uniquely blends experimental concerns with classical tendencies.In these pieces not only are older composers referenced (Ives, Schumann) but Wolff's love of clarity of line and transparency of texture betrays an empathy with Webern, Haydn and Bach. This aesthetic is, however, combined with a tendency toward discontinuity and fragmentation, isolated sounds and silence, and, perhaps mos… Read more
Thursday, 21 August
*CD Edition includes 3 bonus tracks lifted off the DIAG004 EP* Neo-no wave agitator $hit & $hine dumps a killer funk load on Powell's Diagonal Records, hard on the heels of 2014 madness from the label boss, plus Russell Haswell and Bronze Teeth. 'Powder Horn''s wiry, banjoed skronk marks Craig Clouse aka $&$'s 1st new album since 'Jream Baby Jream' and that split slab with Gnod back in 2012. Poised between rambunctious clatter and clipped, in-the-pocket groove, nine tracks fling-a-body from the virile strut of 'Astro's Hat' to the burned-out Pump styles of 'Spray Bottle', taking in the rollicki… Read more
From hooded Wegie scamp to world-taking producer, Rustie continues to blaze a neon trail with his crackshot 2nd album, 'Green Language'. Packing all the stomach-churning, heart-bursting rush of a triple-barrelled mitsi, it's a dancefloor melding, accelerationist expression of emotions that can't be adequately summed up in the English lexicon, amped with guest vocals by D Double E, Redinho, Danny Brown and Gorgeous Children. It scales up the thizz attacks of 'Glass Swords' to impossibly ecstatic levels with his signature blend of tiered harmonies, crashing trap dynamics and traces of jaw-breaking… Read more
Reissue of 'Oceanheart', the 1986 follow-up to 'Synthesist' by Ashra drummer Harald Grosskopf. Whilst its better known predecessor dealt on the cusp of Krautrock's twilight period and new age spheres, 'Oceanheart' very much sounds of its mid '80s era with polished digital drums and synths balanced between the dancefloor and Miami yacht decks. The DJs really need to cop a listen to the taut, arpeggiated funk of 'Eve On The Hill', the MIDI-tethered tablas, slick bassline and sparkling pirouettes of 'Pondicherry Dream', and the airborne swing of 'Minimal Boogie', whilst suave home listeners a… Read more
'Synthesist' was created on the cusp of a new decade, as the New Age of the '80s was dawning and the titans of Krautrock had largely left their best work behind them. Harald had worked with the very best of them, playing drums on seminal albums by Klaus Schulze, the notorious Cosmic Jokers, Ashra, and Tarot before he retreated to the West German countryside with a MiniMoog and Revox Reel-to-Reel in 1979 to create his personal opus. It's been said elsewhere, but it bears repeating that this album feels like a symbiosis of the two eras, the proggy excesses of the '70s reigned in by percussiv… Read more
Ital continues to twist the putative conventions of house and techno on his third album in two years. 'Endgame' feels light years away from his earliest transmissions of natty, lo-fi house, and much closer to brooding, minimal, modern house and techno styles, eking out a headier, weirder space somewhere between the styles of Tin Man, Kassem Mosse, and Joey Anderson, for comparison. The difference between then and now is perhaps his switch from software to select pieces of hardware, resulting in a more linear plot and liquified, worm-holing momentum on 'Endgame', no doubt enhanced by mixing and mastering … Read more
"Par Hasard is a unique collection of avant-garde music by Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and John Cage, all composed during the first half of the 20th century using chance techniques and operations. All selections are performed on piano. Iconic French conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp conceived both of his Musical errata in 1913. One consists of notes drawn at random from a hat; for the second, balls are dropped through a funnel into wagons drawn by a toy train. "Execution," Duchamp confided, "is rather pointless in any event." In fact both… Read more
LA's Mono/Poly makes good with his most high profile album to date landing on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder. "From the first orchestral trills of “Winds of Change” you know you’re in for something special. As the track builds the listener notices not only the content but also the production chops – this is a record which sounds exactly as big, glossy and up front as its creator wants it to. Rebekah Raff adds scintillating harp work to “Transit to the Gold Planet,” but it’s the way Dickerson integrates it and builds on it which is really special. “Ra Rise” sounds like sunbathing in space, Niki Rand… Read more
Acclaimed and pioneering techno stalwart, Cristian Vogel presents this excellent suite of avant-garde computer music. Taking inspiration from Xenakis' rigorous application of formal systems, mathematics and number theory to open new routes in his compositions, 'Eselbrücke' manifests a bold and striking body of ten pieces sounding quite unlike anything in his previous catalogue. RIYL Andre Vida, Xenakis, Keith Fullerton Whitman.
*Two black polycarbonate CDs in a 6 panel digi wallet pack which includes poster insert* "XL compile ‘Pay Close Attention’, a label history-spanning compilation album. The album documents and celebrates the key releases and moments from the 25 year history of the label, says label owner Richard Russell: “XL Recordings is a collaborative endeavour, and many people have contributed to its evolution. In the song ‘Out Of Space’, Liam Howlett of The Prodigy provided a blueprint when he sampled Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MC’s rapping these words: “Pay Close Attention”. And whilst XL has never h… Read more
**Impressive debut album of vaulted, GYBE!-like post-rock, new on Sub Rosa** "Oiseaux-Tempête debut album retraces, in a sonic odyssey, the qualms and queries of a sickly and dysfunctional Western society. The trio was created in Paris in 2012 by the musically versatile pair Frédéric D. Oberland (guitar) and Stéphane Pigneul (bass) (members of FareWell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques) and percussionist Ben Mc Connell (drummer for bands such as Beach House, Rain Machine, Au Revoir Simone, Marissa Nadler and Winter Family). The band's creative process is intertwined with that of Stépha… Read more
**Standard edition** First new album in five years for the UK's funky house stalwarts. Somehow, after 20 years Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton manage to keep the same dancefloor optimism that's burned them onto the consciousness of anyone who's even flirted with house music in that time. This standard edition features 13 original production for the more colourful parties.
**Special edition double CD** First new album in five years for the UK stalwarts. Somehow, after 20 years Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton manage to keep the same dancefloor optimism that's burned them onto the consciousness of anyone who's even flirted with house music in that time. This special edition of their seventh album proper features 14 original productions for the more colourful dancefloors, supplemented by a 2nd disc of remixes and extended edits from themselves, Boris Brejcha, Gorgon City and more.