Thursday, 12 March
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.
In the slipstream of his Shed project Berlin resident René Pawlowitz has created a sequence of Techno cuts reminiscent of the diverse breakbeat-heavy Techno of the early 1990s. This mix contains previously Vinyl-12" only releases, published mainly under the Head High pseudonym over the past 5 years.
**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..."
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
**A fascinating insight to Vietnamese radio - crammed with electroid jingles, news excerpts and haunting folk songs - recorded, compiled, sequenced and assembled by Mark Gergis on location between 2013-2014. Housed in gatefold sleeve with 8-page booklet** "This disc continues the Sublime Frequencies locale-specific radio collage series with Vietnamese radio recordings culled and assembled from signals received in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between December 2013 and November 2014. Inside the program are moments of outstanding folkloric, traditional and pop music – including performances on th… Read more
*4 panel digifile CD Edition* "Jarboe is a famed vocalist, musician and performer, who came to prominence as co-front and co-writer in Swans. In addition to her X solo albums, she has notably worked with Neurosis as well as many other legends such as Blixa Bargeld. Helen Money is the nomme de guerre of cellist Alison Chesley. In addition to working with Mono, Anthrax and Russian Circles, she has toured with Joe Lally and Shellac among others, and released her third album 'Arriving Angels' on respected metal label Profound Lore in 2013. While still a "heavy" record in many ways, C… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
"This historical recording is something of a milestone, and it´s a mystery why it has been kept away from the public for over thirty years. More about that later. If anybody deserves to be called a living legend in Norwegian free jazz it must surely be saxophone, flute and clarinet player Frode Gjerstad. Born in 1948 in Stavanger, he has since the late 70s been central on more than fifty records and played with a number of free jazz players such as Evan Parker, Johnny Dyani, John Stevens, Derek Bailey, Barry Guy, Bobby Bradford, Paul Rutherford, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Peter Brötzmann, John E… Read more
*Shadowy electro-acoustic dimensions for those who appreciate the darkness of Mika Vainio, Valerio Tricoli, or Main* "On Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker creates a biotope of musical characters that is sober, delicate, complex and vivid, with a restrained intensity, a “cold fire.” The characters discuss, hesitate, fight, pull closer, push back. Through the use of microtonality and recordings of acoustic instruments it is the elusive sound of a somnambulistic travelogue. “I’m searching for ways to create an intricate narrative, switching per… Read more
'Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments' is a beautiful synth music obscurity by a largely unsung hero of the genre, David Borden. Originally released in 1981 on the little-known Red label outta Holland, it has been reclaimed from the safety masters and reissued for your delectation by John Elliott's Spectrum Spools nearly 33 years later. Quite understandably, many heads are suffering synth ennui with the sheer tide of forgettable reissues in circulation right now, but this one is like a sad beacon in swelling seas, radiating the sweetest melodies and harmonic f… Read more
**Limited CD Edition - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label for unmixed track versions in both WAV and MP3 formats** CD Mix (includes unmixed tracks via download as mp3/wav) featuring tracks from Darkstar, Holy Other, Teebs, Nils Frahm, Letherette, David Holmes, Alela Diane, School of Seven Bells, Peter Broderick, Four Tet, Bibio, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Helios, Jonsi & Alex Daniell, Health, Rick Holland and Jon Hopkins himself.
Parisian Afro-futurist Bambounou projects a mystic, dystopian premonition of things to come with 2nd album, 'Centrum' for Modeselektor's label. Inspired by the sci-fi predictions of Akira and Dune, and operating in aesthetic orbit of Jeff Mills, Jamal Moss and Untold, we find ten tracks unfolding a cracked narrative of night vision synths and scuffed, semi-organic rhythms that seem to have a micro-life of their own. It works very neatly as a play-through listen, twysting between frayed, Afro-centric shuffle and Detroit-style electronics in 'Composer' and the polychromatic Mills arrangement of 'Fire … Read more