Thursday, 21 March
**The prototypical post-punk standard bearers present a collection of reworked songs originally penned during their creative heyday 1979-1980** "Out of those sessions and subsequent extensive development and production, the ostensible source material became, in the classic Wire tradition, something quite other than what it may have once been - or what it might have become if it had been pursued in 1980. 'Love Bends' is a case in point. Its roots lie in a raucous, octave-hopping number performed in February 1980 at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, but it's now morphed, improbably, into an irresis… Read more
Mike Paradinas and his missus, Lara Rix-Martin are joined by Nick Talbot of Gravenhurst for their lovely debut album as Heterotic. Summoning influence from classic house, late '80s electronic dream pop, they squarely hit upon a sound somewhere between classic New Order and early µ-Ziq, mixing breezy vocals with multi-tiered electro basslines and lushest synths to often gorgeous effect.
**Excellent, in-depth compilation starring cherry-picked music from Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Eric Dolphy, Don Cherry playing alongside European counterparts** "Radical new jazz sounds created as renowned ex-pat American jazzman mingle with the crème de la crème of their European counterparts. Early developments in world music inspired by trans-global cultural excursions to Asia, Africa and beyond. Exchange of ideas and a cultural meeting of minds as revolutionary jazz festivals take place behind the Iron Curtain. Advances in rhythm and sound where modal jazz and the pr… Read more
Maurice Fulton winks at 'floor with a 2nd album from his kinky, psychoactive house project, Syclops. It's packed with the sort of expert, precise studio trickery you'd expect from Fulton, yet it's far from a dry machine exercise; the Sheffield-based producer uses all the tools at his disposal to shape and augment the groove and the surrounding space, creating a vividly 3D otherworld of non-linear rhythm switches and hyperreal spatial simulations which ultimately sound freakier and, for us, far more effective than 99% of the nu-disco and "proto"-house stuff you'd hear him lumped in with for va… Read more
Intriguing side on Constellation from Jerusalem In My Heart, a collision of contemporary Arabic and electronic musics which is as refreshing in actuality as it is on paper. A trio comprised of Montreal-based Lebanese musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, French producer Jeremie Regnier and Chilean visual artist Malena Szlam Salazar, this is JIMH's debut album. Moumneh's melismatic Arabic singing, and the overdriven sounds he coaxes out of his acoustic buzuk and zurna, are placed in a humming matrix of saturated synths, distort, tapes echos and delays, and the resulting sound is deliciousl… Read more
Simon Bonney's Crime & The City Solution return with a new album some 28 years after their formation and frankly they sound better than they have any right to. Those expecting wild experimentation best look elsewhere, but fans will be delighted to find them in vigorous, committed and unrepentant form: from opener 'Goddess' you're left in no doubt that the dionysian rock 'n roll spirit is alive and well in their booze-bruised hearts. Formed in Sydney, Crime then relocated to Melbourne before The Birthday Party's Mick Harvey encouraged Bonney to head over to London, at which poi… Read more
Awesome Tapes From Africa live up to their name once again with a very welcome reissue of this 1987 side by legendary Somali outfit Dur-Dur Band. Previously unavailable outside of Somalia and sequenced and presented as its makers intended, it's a total revelation, spanning ecstatic high-life, gritty funk and killer leftfield pop styles, but delivered with an economy and precision that's just completely righteous and commanding. The grooves are tough, loping but fleet-footed and seemingly attuned to the psychedelic potential of repetition, and the all-pervasive tape-hiss and "accidental dub" vibe … Read more
**Mixed by Luke Abbott, mastered by Rashad Becker** Well studied mixture of drone, folk and krautrock styles from East Anglia's Transept. 'Buff As F*ck' was recorded at the group's Dronehenge studio in Norfolk and decisively moves between Sunn 0))) impersonations on 'Happysburgh' to twinkly cosmic folk tones in 'Sea Sentinel' on the A-side, to dreamy analogue studio tinkering in 'Let's Go', thru to the dry drum machine pulses and post-rocky drones of 'Muscle Beach'.
**Glacial and iridescent, microtonal drone work for fans of Stephan Mathieu from the wonderful Marsen Jules, delivering his first full-length for 12k** "Marsen Jules’ latest work is a generative music piece upon a single phrase of an old jazz record split into three audio streams. These streams are transformed into loops which break the original instrumentation down into sound resembling pure waves, harmonics and overtones.These loops play to different time signatures to create phasing patterns that continuously move and dance around each other in a constantly-evolving lattice… Read more
*Edition of 500 hand packaged CD's with foil blocked sleeves* On 8th October, 2011, Aidan Baker darkened the doorstep of Southern studios for the 2nd time, accompanied on this occasion by his Nadja tourmates, Plurals, aka Daniel McKenzie (synth/guitar), Dave Hamilton Smith (voice), Duncan Harrison (synth/tapes), Michael Neaves (tapes), Pete Dodd (synth). What followed is documented here; two sides of sprawling, intricately-layered drones and atmospheres oscillating between threatening and uplifting.
Bazzerk put Venezuelan Ghetto music in the spotlight following Jess & Crabbe's brilliant 'African Digital Dance' compilation. Spanning 20 tracks from names you've almost certainly never encountered before, 'Changa Tuki Classics' showcases a sound equally inspired by '90s electronic dance music styles and Latin street funk, manifesting a sort of favela donk primarily played out and consumed in Venezuela's more underground, perhaps less salubrious nightclubs. And we've no doubt that some dirt cheap and high grade beak plus a night of this stuff cou… Read more
Raucous three way clash from the Japanese noise titan Merzbow with Swedish saxophonist extraordinaire Mats Gustafsson and Hungarian drummer Balzs Pándi, recorded live April 14th, 2012 at Metropolis studios, Budapest, mixed by Masami Akita in Tokyo, and mastered by James Plotkin. The black metal-style blastbeat drive of Pándi lends Merzbow's excoriating white noise a sense of propulsion that's not often heard in his music, and gives both he and Gustafsson a clear impetus to cut loose. "If jazz, as the eminent critic Whitney Balliet once wrote, is the "sound of surprise," Cuts, an intensely… Read more
'Aneira' is Aidan Baker's impressionistic electro-acoustic tribute to the romantic image of "ice moving or breaking and wind or snowstorms", using only his favoured 12-string guitar. It shimmers and unfolds as one, long, 47-minute piece rendering slow-moving harmonics and trickling barely-melodies from his spindly string picks. "Aidan Baker is a multi-instrumentalist, classically-trained in flute, but best known as a guitarist. Using various electronic effects combined with prepared and/or alternate methods of playing the guitar, he creates music which generally falls within the ambient/experimental… Read more
"Having played a handful of sensational gigs as Kenneth Kapstad Group this impressive line-up is now ready with a more fitting name for their debut album. Ola Kvernberg (31) comes from a family of musicians and started classical violin studies at the age of nine. He also played folk music early on and appeared on record when fourteen. He started playing jazz at the age of sixteen and got his education at the Jazz Academy in Trondheim, breeding ground for many great musicians. His proper breakthrough came with the album ”Liarbird” (2010) which won him a Norwegian Grammy and was received with… Read more
Italy's Marcello Giordani expands upon his 2008 12" of the same title for Mule Musiq with a cool-ass collection of deep and atmospheric house and disco for their Endless Flight sisters. 'Respect Yourself' is a gleaming Italo-Disco-House gem sitting pretty in the middle of this pile ranging from swinging Italo-boogie on 'A Touch Of '83' and 'One Day' to Detroit-styled beatdown aces such as 'Comin' Down' and a clutch of nice 'n minimal deep house akin to smallville sounds on the likes of 'Stand By' or DJ Sprinkles on 'Right Now'.
Compelling third album of eccentric, operatic Finnish electro-pop from Heidi Kilpelainen. Apparently inspired by birdsong while on holiday in her homeland, she creates an otherworldly journey through laidback, hypnotic rhythms and lucid yet bizarre song-writing recalling a wealth of music we already love, from Group Rhoda to The Knife/Fever Ray, Kate Bush or Planningtorock. It should come as little surprise, then, that Christoffer Berg, producer for The Knife, Depeche Mode and Little Dragon, is the man behind the scenes. Check!
**Charming Americana with touches of psychedelia and blues** "Night Moves, the trio from Minneapolis, are set to release their debut album ‘Colored Emotions’ on Domino Recording Company. Effortlessly blending bluesy, wholesome Americana with bursts of psychedelia against atmospheric soundscapes, it’s unsurprising that the band worked with producer / mixer Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Beachwood Sparks, Devendra Banhart) to tighten and brighten the album. However, it’s the album’s apparent maturity that separates it from many debut releases. The US 7” release of album opener ‘Headlights’ was descr… Read more
Martin Wheeler gives up a new album themed and sounding like it could soundtrack an episode of Chalrie Brooker's Black Mirror series. Advancing the romance of his much loved LPs for Soma, he follows the "best of" styles of 'Electrospective' with an album entirely crafted in Nanostudio on an iPhone 4 and a pair of Sennheiser HD25's. We'll let him explain: “Nanostudio is just like a more compact version of Reason, the software I used when I first began recording as Vector Lovers... Keeping everything on my iPhone enabled me to capture ideas wherever inspiration struck. I'd hear a melody in my head… Read more
Claud VonStroke corals his Dirtybird Players, Justin martin, Goldffinch, Shadow Child, Eats Everything, Cause & Affect, Leroy Peppers, among others, for a 2013 label showcase. Blending traces of classic jungle, dub and hiphop in lean and elastic tech-house grooves, it turns up aces such as 'Black Girls White Girls' from Kill Frenzy alongside Munnibrotherz laidback 'Drum Machine' bounce and the warped flex of Justin Martin & Ardalan's 'Wheelgunner', or charms like Shadow Child's strutting bass roller 'The Only One' or Cause & Affect's jackin' spesh 'Don't Like To Do That'. Party times.
Bright, grooving blend of electronica and UK house music with flourishes of jazzy ambient and dubstep. James has a cute knack for melody and a feel for elaborate arrangement helping to neatly fold in his broad palette of influences to a whimsical and diverse personal style.
"A strong love for classic 60s/70s guitar pop (Beach Boys, Beatles) as well as soft spots for Prince and Hall & Oates display his self proclaimed 'fascination with pop music'. While his influences certainly shape his work, it is his natural ear for melody and movement which make Calder's work both fluid and engaging. His knack and ambition both in his song writing and production provide a solid foundation for Calder's music to drift in an out of psychy realms. There are no over drenched chorus or walls of sound, instead leaving space for melody and texture to beneatly co-existent. Alex has found th… Read more
**Outstanding side of quiet, considered Americana-not-Americana, playing through from woozily spellbinding, church-like organ to spectral watzs, dust-bowl strums and Morricone-esque twangs and back again via shady segues and eerie, depressed interludes. A real shot out of the dark, tipped for fans of Sun City Girls, David Lynch, Jandek. Includes download code redeemable from the label and A4 insert with notation for 'Benstrumental'** "Benjamin von Wildenhaus. Name sounds like a turn-of-the-century Prussian duke or peddler of curios, snakeoil and ersatz jewelry. Maybe not s… Read more
Hot on the heels of his 'Before Us' LP, Naynay Shineywater and Chicago-based horn ensemble invoke a vintage sounding, stoned sorta psych-rock with olde Americana influences. Recorded in the California desert, June 2011.
Monday, 18 March
**Trifold slipcase with download code for the 'Dub Versions'** After teasing us with some outstanding "disco" and "dub" versions, Brownswood unveil William Adamson's debut album proper. It's a stompin', raspin' concoction of delta blues rock hailing from deepest Suffolk - not the American deep south as we previously, perhaps justifiably, thought - and William Adamson is actually a fictional construct, the front for a bedraggled gang of acid jazz futurists counting Gilles Peterson's bro, Rob Gallagher of Galliano and Earl Zinger, backed up by production from 2 Banks Of Four and … Read more
**Hand-stamped slipcase. Individually-numbered edition of 100 vinyl-replica CDrs** Franklin De Costa aka Mudkid treks to murkier headspace as Archaetech for Greta Cottage Workshop. The dancefloor is a distant memory here as we're privy to wander the nether regions of De Costa's mind and machines from sombre string drones to textural concrète experiments via bleak ambient collage and subterranean slow techno stalkers. Fans of Emptyset or Andy Stott may want to check this out.
Thursday, 14 March
Decommissioned man-machine Karl Bartos presents 'Off The Record', his first new album in a decade and his 2nd since unplugging from Kraftwerk. Largely conceived from notes written during his time as a robot, it's prime synth-pop in the purest sense of the term; entirely synthetic and with the requisite amount of hooks from a being at least 25% responsible for some of the most influential electronic pop music ever made. Lead single 'Atomium' opens with urgent pomp, all flash stabs and stern vocoder vocals powered by motorik rhythms. 'Nachtfahrt' follows with a more human, NDW-styled pop ditty… Read more
**Double disc jewel case** Veteran artist Phil Niblock, now in his mid-seventies, has probably composed more drone pieces than you've had hot dinners. In fact, given this album's existence, he might have actually composed more drone pieces about hot dinners than you've had... you get the picture. Touch Food is a collaboration with some top flight avant-garde musicians: pianist Reinhold Friedl, saxophonist Ulrich Krieger, clarinettist Carol Robinson and Kaspar T. Toeplitz on electric bass. These musicians have their respective performances transfigured into towering, sustaining structures, ofte… Read more
10th studio album from Alan Sparhawk's troupe, who've now been active for - gulp - 20 years. Though the band are still impeccably restrained, never wasting a note, the confidently iterated folk-rock missives gathered here are some distance from the whispered confessions and gossamer-thin arrangements of their revered 90s sides. Produced by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Tom Schick, both Grammy winners, the sound conjured up is simultaneously intimate and heavy-duty, built to confidently ride the AM waves, with lots of closely mic'd piano and stacked vocal harmonies, and a real grasp of tradition. Mimi P… Read more
"It's been 287 years since Antonio Vivaldi wrote his popular masterpiece "The Four Seasons". Following in these musical footsteps, Lars Leonhard now takes on the idea of molding the distinct characteristics of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter into twelve pieces of electronic music. After the previous, purely instrumental releases by the Düsseldorf artist - the remix EP "No Comment" (2012) and his debut album "1549" (2011) - his new twelve-track album "Seasons - Les quatre saison" features singer Alvina Red lending her voice to the first of each four seasons' three tracks in pu… Read more
*CD version packaged in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package with high gloss printing* "Black Pus is the solo project of Brian Chippendale of noise rock titans Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer. 'All My Relations’ is the first Black Pus album to be recorded in a proper studio, entrusting recording and production to Keith Souza and Seth Manchester (who have worked with The Body, Battles and Skull Defekts) at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI. ‘All My Relations’ follows a series of self-released CDrs and 2011’s album ‘Primordial Pus’ (Load Records). In addition to his work in both Lightning… Read more