Thursday, 11 April
"After a string of twenty plus 12-inches, various high-flying mix-compact-discs, other audio-visual eccentricities and even books, she is finally ready to make a collection public that embodies the very character of Live At Robert Johnson and its affiliated club in Offenbach am Main. During this collection of 11 tracks, you will meet old and new companions; hear withdrawn songs and extrovert compositions, experience Frankfurt skyline techno-soul, hobo house and divergent disco. Starting off with new kid on the block Chinaski and an extended mix of the frag… Read more
*CD version packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* "Life Coach is a collaboration between Phil Manley (Trans Am, The F*cking Champs, Oneida, Jonas Reinhardt) and Jon Theodore (Mars Volta, One Day as a Lion), with guest appearances from Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless, Golden Void) and Michael Elrod (Date Palms, The Alps). Phil Manley’s solo debut, ‘Life Coach’, was an album of instrumental Kraut and kosmische music, while Alphawaves features a full band, with Manley now joined by drummer extraordinaire Jon Theodore. ‘Alphawaves’ delivers technicolour charm and grit in equal measures. It… Read more
Terrifically bewildering release from Jonny Mugwump's consistently nutty Exotic Pylon camp, which the man himself describes as being somewhere between Nurse With Wound and Robot Wars. It's thirteen minutes of insane DIY concrete, a tapestry of zinging electronics, orchestral fragments, stray percussion hits; depending on your disposition, it's a sweet fever-dream or an unmitigated nightmare. Either way, there's no denying it's compelling, and for dedicated students of the weird it's a must-check.
Cindytalk's Jacob Burns debuts as Lata on Exotic Pylon with an immersive album of atmospheric, industrial electronics. 'Starlings' plays through as one continuous track, adopting a morphing form akin to the train journeys Jacob would take when he recently moved to London and became seduced and enmeshed by its layered, syncretic psycho-sonic-geography. Mastered by Ensemble Economique's Brian Pyle.
British eccentricity pressed onto a slab of plastic – the Yorkshire chap gargles, spits and bay-speaks his way through the album’s duration, with only occasional instrumental help. You’ve got to give him credit, I can think of little else that sounds so haphazardly intriguing (maybe at a stretch Inca Ore’s collaboration with Lemon Bear, but that’s about it), so if you’re an adventurous type, you might want to give this one a go. I dare you.
Wermonster lands a blue and dusty-textured suite of electronic hip hop on his debut CD issue via Jonny Mugwump's Exotic Pylon. Behind the Wermonster mask is musician and Frenchman-in-Berlin Nicolas Mercet, a skilled producer with a thing for loping beats and thick bass complemented by his taste for layered and tactile sampledelia. 'Ghosts Move Slowly' was inspired by a winter spent in Berlin, where "people were moving on the snow, really slowly, and I had the feeling they were like ghosts…" and takes shape as twelve tracks coming off like Parallel Thought or that recent Wa… Read more
"Born out of the largesse created from Rene & Rene’s Hot 100 Tejano tornado “Angelito,” Dynamic Records was but one of half a dozen labels run by San Antonio music and real estate mogul Abe Epstein. His flagship group, the Commands, took their AFB circuit-honed chops up to the middle of the charts in 1966 with “No Time For You,” paving the way for 20 other soulful singles over Dynamic’s impressive two and a half year run. Epstein’s open door policy led to a diverse cross section of the population converging inside his studio on General McMullan Drive, as whites, blacks, … Read more
"Combining elements of electronica, post-rock & alt rock with subtle progressive undertones, Midas Fall have spent 3 years carving a distinctive & captivating sound, creating taut, shimmering soundscapes led by the hauntingly melancholic vocals of Elizabeth Heaton."
"Telekinesis is both a band and a person. It's taken Michael Benjamin Lerner, now a wizened, grizzled 26-year-old, four years to come to terms with this and understand what responsibilities it does and does not entail, although one would not, from listening to its/his previous two albums, 2009's self-titled debut and 2011's 12 Desperate Straight Lines, detect any hint of confusion or self-doubt, aside from the songs that were directly about confusion or self-doubt. His third album, Dormarion, is, then, in ways both practical and profound, the sound of a man figuring out exactly who he is. Also,… Read more
"The sound of Spacemen 3 and Mazzy Star being thrown into the most tranquil ocean leaving the listener pining for the inevitable beautiful songs to emerge from below.” This is Low Sea and their album that they appropriately describe as Grey Disco. It is synth pop of a very European nature, shot through with a bolt of blue.The duo, Bosnian-born Billie and Bobby D from Liverpool first met while living in the United States. Billie had spent her early years in Bosnia until the war broke out in Former Yugoslavia, during which she fled to live in San Francisco (and was initially unwillingly part of a … Read more
"The last few months have seen a wildly accelerated trajectory for Parquet Courts, who are a glorious encapsulation of everything NYC punk should be - a frenzied and frantic ramraid on the history of garage rock but with more whip smart intelligence, cutting humour and emotional honesty than most other bands. From start to finish, this is a full throttle experience which you have no choice but to dive in to headfirst, with ridiculously infectious melodies and propulsive guitars that grab you, as messrs Brown and Savage spin their short, sharp tales of quarter-life ennui (‘Borrowed Time’),… Read more
Wednesday, 10 April
"Bill Ryder-Jones left The Coral after their fifth studio album, ‘Roots & Echoes’, on which his arrangements hinted at a deeper and spectacular compositional talent. Last year Ryder-Jones explored this side of his creative talent in full with the orchestral album ‘If…’, which was a grand imaginary soundtrack to Italo Calvino’s post modernist novel ‘If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller’. Now Ryder-Jones has completed his new album, ‘A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart’, which marries his masterful capacities as arranger and composer with his first firm steps as a singer songwriter. … Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Tuesday, 09 April
It seems inevitable that ex-Pocahaunted weirdo and co-founder of the Not Not Fun empire Amanda Brown (aka LA Vampires) would jump into bed with avant starlet Maria Minerva at some point. Their musical paths over the last few years have skated close to each other, and unsurprisingly 'The Integration' finds both artists eccentricities compliment eachother perfectly. The eroded dub that made Brown's electrifying collaboration with Zola Jesus so surprising is still just about there in the background somewhere, but it's slathered in the 2am neon charm that made an indie darlin… Read more
Monday, 08 April
Review to follow shortly…
Thursday, 04 April
**Edition of 300 double CDs and 7" plus 6 offset metallic printed postcards housed in black varnished wooden box with slide close lid** 'This amazing archival collection from Vinyl on Demand brings together 28 tracks of kinetic, dark and unusual French wave and industrial aces by Clair Obscur. Many of them formerly appeared on the 'A Collection Of Isolated Tracks' CD, but this compilation adds 13 previously unpublished gems bundled with the first ever vinyl issue of their 1982 tape, 'La Cassette Noir', and a double CD not included in V-O-D's first, 2007 edition. Handily o… Read more
**12 track, single CD version with 13th track included as a bonus MP3 download redeemable from the label** Over its sprawling 100 minute length, 'Shaking The Habitual' is a bold, almost overly self-aware statement from one of the most exciting prospects in pop music. Some of the reviews that have already surfaced have described the 'impenetrability' of the album, and while the originality and non-conformity at play is to be applauded, there is little on this album that would (or should) scare off anyone with an interest in music beyond the mainstream. It's the fact that… Read more
**Glossy gatefold slipcase with label catalogue and 12-page booklet. To achieve the original sound quality of this live recording it is suggested to listen to this CD at the lowest possible volume** Quiet music conceptualist and practitioner, Jakob Ullmann's 2nd release and first with Editions RZ was first issued in 2005. It yields a single 73 minute piece written for an ensemble of thirteen solo strings and up to three additional solo parts arranged to explore the filigree infidelities of their range between almost "pure", natural harmonics to diffuse noise at the lowest threshold … Read more
**Gatefold slipcase with 8-page booklet and label catalogue. "We would like to point out that this piece is extremely quiet. Please choose the volume setting of your sound system so as to just barely mask the ambient sounds of the room"** Jakob Ullmann: "voice, books and FIRE is the result of my reflections about the relationship between music and language: language as sound and language as text, the numerous relationships between texts of different cultural and religious traditions, between the work of the human spirit in the present and in the past and the questions arising from … Read more
**Four CDs housed in individual gatefold cardstock jackets with label catalogue and glossy black & white booklet in German and English housed within a box case** 'Fremde Zeit - Addendum' collects four discs, five pieces of engrossingly etheric, liminal composition by Jakob Ullmann (1958), the widely acknowledged master of quiet music and recent cover star of The Wire magazine. For us, as we'd imagine many others, this is a striking first introduction to the devoted German minimalist's very particular body of work. Comprising 4 hours of barely-there strings, percussions, wind instrume… Read more
**Beautifully presented as miniature books, saddle-stitched, with 40 pages of photographs and in-depth commentary accompanying 2 CDs** "Proper Brit Pop" from London a long time ago, collecting 39 contemporary calypsos, highlife, mento, jazz and Afro-cubisms from fifties & sixties young Black London. All tracks were taken from HMV's GV label, a series intended for export to Africa, and showcase the inestimable talents of characters such as the legendary Lord Kitchener or Ambrose Ca… Read more
**Gatefold CD slipcase** Terrific field recordings of the Mijikenda tribes of Kenya, crisply recorded, mixed and produced by Sven Kacriek and To Rococo Rot's Stefan Schneider for an Honest Jon's & Goethe-Institut co-operation. Focussed around Mukunguni village, these 14 songs capture Sengenya percussive traditions fit for varying purpose, from healing to celebration, replete with a rich spirit of the place in the recordings' atmosphere and natural, unforced feel. The most literal example of this is their recording of a spontaneous Swahili love-song, 'Matatizo (Worries… Read more
**Trifold glossy slipcase includes two CDs, label catalogue and 16-page booklet of liner notes and images** This double disc collects eight historically important recordings of essential Iannis Xenakis works, among them some of his earliest, pioneering stochastic composition, and the staggering sound architecture of 'Persépolis'. Highly recommended! CD 1: 1. ST/48-1,240162 for 48 Instruments, 1959-62 (8:22, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; Ltg. Michel Tabachnik); 2. Le Polytope de Montreal for four Orchestras, 1967 (6:18, Ensemble Ars Nova de l'O.R.T.F., Ltg. Marius Constant); 3. Nom… Read more
After three years of cutting edge grime operations, Terror Danjah's Hardrive ramps up its first label compilation with full crew in effect. It's notable not least for a rare Kode 9 away day, the sidewinding stepper 'Ice', and a pair of Champion aces, 'Yardman', and the swerving madness of 'Lose Control', but also for introductions to nu players Lex Envy with the emosh dubstep/jungle of 'Hard Candy' and Swifta Beater's crushing 'Move'. There's ample weight from label boss, Danjah, whether in collaboration with Joker on 'Gully Goon Estate', or Zed Bias in the lush glyder 'Ice… Read more
**Debut album from The Sign Of Four on Jazzman Reords** "Oscillating and reverberating chaotically through sonic orbs and polyphonic sound textures, The Sign of Four is a new creative concept from the Natural Yogurt Band's Miles Newbold. Recorded live at Chicken Shack studios in Nottingham, real musical instruments are used to create a swirling jungle of throbbing palpitations evoking the spaced-out vibes of an unsound mind. It's an infectious fermentation of debauched instrumental chaos, sometimes calming, but often unnerving, that will leave the listener bewildered, wide-eyed an… Read more
"In Loveland With You is Tetine's fourth album - a follow up to their Tropical Punk album trilogy which included debut album Let Your X's Be Y's on Soul Jazz Records (2008) and both of their self-released records; From A Forest Near You (2010) and Voodoo Dance & Other Stories (2011) out on Slum Dunk Music. But this is in fact their 14th album since the band formed in Sao Paulo, back in 1995. Sonically, the new album sees Tetine's distinctive pop sensibilities freely flowing around an unusual collection of minimalistic electronic pop, discordant disco punk, dark sambas & spoken words pieces… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Double disc showcase of new built house musics from Catz 'n Dogz, A1 bassline, Tom Demac, Death On The Balcony, Breach & T. Williams, Dave Aju, Billy Disney, Till Von Sein & Tigerskin and more. 31 tracks over 2 CDs in trifold digicase.
Review to follow shortly…
"After over 16 years as Kreidler drummer and a number of other guest appearances, Thomas Klein now presents his second solo album under the name SØLYST. "Lead" is a hypnotic journey into the heart of darkness. Foreboding synth patterns, menacing bass lines, driving drum figures, cavernous percussion effects: SØLYST delves into new depths with his "Tribal Kraut Dub". Kreidler connaisseurs will be familiar with Klein's style of drumming. His trademark simultaneity of functionality and expressiveness cannot be mistaken. Thomas Klein has thus earned his rightful place alongside illustrious Krautrock drummers l… Read more