Thursday, 28 November
Andrea Parker's Touchin' Bass crew remerge for a proper electro showcase. The timing feels appropriate as everyone from the Swamp81 crew to James T Cotton are appropriating vintage electro tropes, perhaps in defiance of the term's bastardisation, or probably because they work so damn well on the 'floor. Either way, Andrea Parker's electro credentials are certifiable and she's picked a fine selection spanning veteran button-pushers and new skool electroids. For fans of that vintage '90s/early '00s sound there's plenty to check, from the Drexciyan darkness of Sonar Base's 'Last Transit… Read more
**Imagine Sugababes produced by Phork and Salem** "Manoeuvering the perilous depths of heartbreak and ecstasy, SKIN TOWN's bewitching R&B pop stunner The Room approaches the elusive mysteries of desire and longing with directness and urgency. Unabashedly romantic (and delightfully hedonistic), the LA-based outfit's modern R&B may sit alongside nicely with contemporary hitmakers like The-Dream or Mike Will Made It, but they align closer to the freakiness of Ginuwine and Silk juxtaposed against the feather-weight synth trails of new age. There is a narcotic pull in Nick Turco’s (synth/keys man for Zol… Read more
The mellow Danes return on the twin-engine, 200 foot cruiser, 'Uptimisitic Music'. Expect a debonaire sound destined for beachside soirée's with Balearic Hoi Polloi and minor royalty on their hols, ranging from deep house boogie ('Make You Day') to slow-motion reggae-disco ('Don't Step On The Grass'), dub-house pop ('Around The Park') and red wine soaked ballads ('Time To Live').
"Lights is the successor to The Fauns’ self-titled debut album. The organic success of The Fauns also garnered a valuable champion of the band in the form of Hollywood soundtrack composer Clint Mansell, (Moon, Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream) who remixed the album cut ‘Fragile’ for a limited edition Record Store Day 12”, all 1000 copies of which sold out in under a day. Produced by the band’s own Michael Savage and engineered by well-respected Bristol figures Jim Barr and Tim Allen, Lights pits the barely-there vocals of front-woman Alison Garner (Hyetal) against guitar work which is by alternate turn… Read more
"Produced by JC/DC and recorded at their studio in Vancouver earlier this summer, ‘Five Spanish Songs’ features musical contributions from Nicolas Bragg, David Carswell, John Collins, Stephen Hamm, and Josh Wells. Destroyer’s Dan Bejar writes: “It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that’s about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I've been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affa… Read more
Ejecta is a fresh synth-pop project formed by producer, Joel Ford (Autre Ne Veut, Ford & Lopatin), and vocalist Leanne Macomber (Neon Indian) for new London label, Happy Death. Their sound is firmly rooted in '80s minimal wave and 4AD pop, by turns economically arranged and flush with sparkling synth and vocal hooks and detailed production. Ten songs scope out gauzy ground somewhere between This Mortal Coil, Chromatics, Sally Shapiro and Autre Ne Veut at his most reserved; an intriguing proposition…
"Adrian Crowley teams up with Fife balladeer James Yorkston to pay homage to the songs of Daniel Johnston. The album’s origins can be traced back to 2006 when James asked Adrian to play with him at The Barbican in London for the ‘Devil And Daniel Johnston’ tribute concert. In 2008 the decision was made to make an album of Daniel Johnston songs, forsaking a studio for home recordings sent back and forth between Dublin and Fife. Recording onto weather-beaten Portastudios, the album features a baby monitor, a magpie, a smashed bouzouki and, of co… Read more
"When our human experiences defy articulation, music and film can sometimes be the only languages we have to communicate with. In 1975, Peter Weir directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, a haunting film in which a group of schoolgirls disappear while exploring a volcanic rock in the Australian outback. Through the film, Weir explores landscapes of intense memory, and the mysterious forces that bend, mold, and erode the core of our psyches. Similarly, Lava Diviner (Truestory), the debut full-length from Texas native, Spencer Stephenson, gives voice to those ancient transformative forces within o… Read more
Thursday, 21 November
When You Are Crawling' is a 35 minute addendum to Vatican Shadow's recent album, 'Remember Your Black Day'. The iconography and track titles clearly follow the album's theme, but the music is more focussed on the 'floor thanks to assistant production from Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant and the crucial inclusion of the 15 minute techno stepper, 'Atta's Apartment Slated For Demolition (Bouthayna Engineering)' on vinyl for the first time. It opens with a reinforced mix of Remember Your Black Day (Bouthayna Tradition)', suitably augmented by kevlar kicks and flaying hi-hats for opti… Read more
**Improvised jazz from two titans of their arena** "On a sultry July evening on an intimate stage at Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Norway, two elder statesmen of improvised music – one wearing a grey shirt, the other sporting a T-shirt with the legend ‘Thunder Pussy’ – stepped up to the platform. What followed resembled an in depth conversation between two old friends and sparring partners – one that ranged from the amicable to the argumentative, from hush to harmony. Now, Norway’s adventurous Rune Grammofon label is releasing a forty minute recording of that event. What/I… Read more
**Spellbinding new album produced by Susanna and Deathprod** "Barely one year after the Rune Grammofon-release of critically acclaimed “Wild Dog”, Susanna returns with a new album. Released on her own label SusannaSonata on CD, vinyl and download in September 2013. Susanna is known for both her own songwriting, with songs such as ‘Believer’ and her huge range of highly personal interpretations of other people’s songs. She is an intensely arresting performer; holding audiences captive with her hypnotizing vocal timbre and the powerful, all consuming sound of her band, her concerts are… Read more
**A darker neon-lit return from NNF's far-eastern dream-pop idol** "On her first proper full-length album, Tokyo netscape nightingale Sapphire Slows impressively expands on the spider web tone-bank nocturnes of 2011’s True Breath EP, with headier, haunted highs and eerier, elegant depths. Patiently pieced together across all of 2012 (plus change), and inspired by everything from St. Etienne’s plasticine Euro-house, obscured J-pop memories, Blue Bell Knoll and the saddest Section 25 remixes, Allegoria swirls and spirals through ten textural electronic melancholias composed in solitude. The reco… Read more
**Stunning suite of far-out, psychedelic collaborations between three virtuosic players. Really sounds like little else out there. Intrepid listeners need to check this** "Wake Up Awesome, by C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), Okkyung Lee, and Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkamer), is the second chapter of SSTUDIOS (Software Studios Series). SSTUDIOS is a new venture in the Software Recording Co.‘s expanding catalog that invites artists in the field of electronic music to create collaborative works of quality and vision. Inspired by the historical intersections of live perf… Read more
**Reissue of an amazing, late Kraut-rocket mixing echo-laden guitar, electronics and field recordings originally issued on David Elliott aka Pump's YHR tape label, now presented with two previously unreleased bonus tracks. Mesmerising, driving, mind-blowing stuff - do not miss!** "Acclaimed in the Krautrock scene, Gunter Schickert is the most closely associated with the repetitive echoes of his distinctive guitar sound. Following "Samtvogel" (1974) and "Uberfallig" (1979), he released "Kinder in der Wildnes", a collection of songs from the 1981 to 1983 period. The fact that the a… Read more
**18-track, gatefold 2CD digipak including collaborations and work with Cocteau Twins and Robin Guthrie, John Foxx, and Brian Eno. Features sleevenotes by Mark Prendergast, author of The Ambient Century** "Emerging from the 60s US avant garde and originally influenced by the likes of John Cage and Morton Feldman, Harold Budd rebelled against the heavily conceptual works of his peers to explore his own artistic path of ‘existential prettiness’. This two disc set is the first ever career-spanning collection of his music, featuring tracks from classic albums such as ‘Plateaux O… Read more
*10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, includes the original album plus an album of home recorded solo demos and two never before heard tracks from the album sessions*
Molly Berg and Stephen Vitiello reacquaint for a 2nd album of lower case electro-acoustic improvisations. Erring to the less sanitised side of the small sound/rustling ambient sectors, 'Between You And The Shapes You Take' manages to be intimate and quiet without being dull, using carefully calculated and subtle edits to juice the best from their extended gatherings - Molly performing with clarinet, slide whistles and extended vocal techniques, and Stephen on guitar and electronics, plus some violin by Hahn Rowe (fka Hugo Largo).
**New York's 12k present an expanded reissue of Gareth Dickson's intimate debut album, 'Collected Recordings' in edition of 500** "In 2009 Drifting/Falling released Gareth Dickson’s debut album, Collected Recordings, a stunningly beautiful and haunting ambient folk album which caught the attention of 12k’s Taylor Deupree. Thus began a not-as-easy-as- expected search for Dickson to try to coax him into writing an album for 12k. After a couple of cross-Atlantic voyages and a brief run-in involving a failing rental car and a herd of sheep on a dusty Scotish road, Deupree and Dickson me… Read more
"With the CD "Kuuntele" poemproducer AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti) interprets poetry of her new homeland Finland with a few well chosen examples. Her method is the same as in her former CD Gedichterbe (2011) for which she just received and Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica in 2013 in Digital Music & Sound Art. "
F****k, this is good: perplexingly talented Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love teams up with avant-metal overlord James Plotkin for a "role-reversal" of the traditional drum-and-guitar set-up. Plotkin rightly didn't dare try and match the infernal chaos of Paal's drums, instead providing repetitive melodic hooks and harmonic squall that he could batter against. The result is four extended pieces of complicated rhythmelolodic sequences entangled with some of the lushest, free drumming you'll hear this year, featuring both players catalysing and reacting with each othe… Read more
The Swedish producer and co-owner of Studio Barnhus presents a debut album of thirteen warm and friendly house and disco joints. As with his breakthrough single for Koze's Pampa label, 'Family Vacation' finds a neat balance between louche dancefloor groove and home/headphone listening with highlights in the dreamy house swing of 'Fantastic Piano', on the dusty beatdown bump of 'Hello', and the fuzzy-eyed deep house of 'New Krau Era'.
"Frank Schültge aka F.S. BLUMM has released his melodic experiments around the acoustic guitar for over 15 years. In their contemplative reduction they miraculously always hit right in the heart. "The man makes some damn charming music", Pitchfork said about his last album. With Up Up And Astray F.S. BLUMM proves that he doesn't opt for routine with his eighth full-length solo release: his unfailing arsenal of acoustic instruments and choice circuits frame the most energetic BLUMM sound we have lived to see so far. It all goes on, and always up, and from there into unknown dimensions. He goe… Read more
Thursday, 14 November
Having just recently been unmasked as the producer behind Blackest Ever Black's excellent Alexander Lewis album, Shifted follows up last years 'Crossed Paths' LP for Mote-Evolver, as well as releases under the Covered in Sand and Pacific Blue aliases with this strong debut album for Hospital Productions offshoot Bed of Nails. 'Under A Single Banner' consolidates the ductile reference points of his nebulous aliases, from cranky, club-crunching gear to noisier experiments, making for the bleakest definition of his sound to date. It's an uncannily tight fit with the Bed of Nails' aesthetic a… Read more
'Supercodex' completes the trilogy of Ryoji Ikeda's advanced frequency studies ('Dataplex' 2005, 'Test Pattern' 2008) exploring the potentials between "data of sound" and "sound of data" for Raster Noton. The raw material comes from re/de/meta-constructed music from his first two albums plus subsequent art installations and projects and his ongoing, parallel project 'Superimposition' focused on quantum information. It features all the convoluted frequency f**kery a minimalist glitch fiend could wish for; 20 tracks of hyper-precise, abstracted auditory representations of complex visual patterns. … Read more
The KVB's debut album, finally available on physical format beyond the original 100 copy cassette edition in 2012. Coming off like moodier English cousins to Wooden Shjips and Cold Cave and landing somewhere between MBV and Factory Floor, 'Minus One', Kat Day and Nicholas Woods' first missive, was recorded, produced and mixed over the course of five days in 2011 and barrels out eight tracks of motorik, gothic bloodlust powered by vitamin C-deficient drum machines, droning synths and razor-cutting clouds of guitar distortion. It will sound perfect with your new leather jacket and studied sneer.
**Insoluble blend of synthetic and organic textures and rhythms by exploratory producer and sound artist, Raudve, for Stefan Goldmann's Macro label. An unusual piece of work, may appeal to fans of Rashad Becker, Non Place, Jamal Moss, Frak** "When Messiaen set out to transcribe birds songs as models for his compositions, he couldn’t have predicted that by now wild birds would have started to learn mobile phone ringtone patterns. For A System of Objects, RAUDIVE aka OLIVER HO maps an obliquely constructed world in which you lose all certainty of what is nature and what is design. Raudive cel… Read more
'Spät-Europa' (1982) is a crucial part of Asmus Tietchens' early '80s catalogue, now mercifully reissued by Bureau B. His work can be roughly described as avant-garde synth-pop, or "pseudo pop" in much the same manner you could call Conrad Schnitzler's music of the same era "pop". 'Spät-Europa' was originally released by the legendary Sky Records and conveys a melancholic, alien mood across twenty succinct vignettes oscillating with wild vision between hi-velocity rhythms, charmingly daft, tongue-in-cheek NDW melodies and darkside coldwave aces all falling under the 3 minute barrier - hence the "pop" tag we guess. RIYL Conrad Schnitzler, Felix Kubin, MFH.
'Litia' is another remarkable treasure from Asmus Tietchens' innovative and prolific early period circa 1982 which also saw his music released on the UK's influential YHR Tapes. During this period the Hamburg-based legend isolated a particular, peculiar brand of abstract dance music driven by spiky, pointillist drum programming and rife with weirdo synth melodies as funky as they are outright odd - a unique highpoint of wave era meshing NDW, EBM and kosmic elektroniks. There are some total bullets inside, none more so than the dark, swaggering, psychedelic Hamburg funk of 'Zeebrügge' the storming… Read more
**Reissue of a spiky NDW gem originally released on Sky Records in '82** "It stands to reason that any musical journey undertaken by a sceptic like Asmus Tietchens is destined to head into the night (In die Nacht) rather than into the day. In die Nacht, the third album in the so-called time signal (Zeitzeichen) phase continuing in the same vein as Biotop and Spät-Europa, whilst laying down its own stylistic markers, no doubt attributable to the sizeable challenges facing the composer. Time, or the lack thereof, was the most pressing concern. With only a few weeks available in which to prod… Read more