Thursday, 10 April
Superlative recording of Gavin Bryars performing his elegy for the Titanic accompanied by an ensemble including his four children on low strings and Philip Jeck playing improvised turntable, among others. Nearly 40 years old now, Bryar's signature and best known composition continues to undergo change and refinement in its partly pataphysical reflection of the tragedy, speculating further on the notion of Bandmaster Hartley's group performing 'Autumn' on the vertical deck of a slowly nose-diving ocean liner, and also below sea level, accompanied by the… Read more
Loops Haunt returns with an excellent album of heady, layered, woozy percussive jamz for Black Acre on his new album 'Exits'. "Toying with Jungle and Hip Hop on Zenith and outright sound design on Ark, the wilderness-bound beat alchemist uses his isolation to explore and create his otherworldly sound palate. Lurking behind immaculate drums are the windswept sounds of the desolate North and mechanized textures plucked from his Father’s workshop. Exits is designed to be listened to as one continuous track, opening with ambient mood and emotion, layering outboard synths and found-sounds on the title tra… Read more
The first album ever outside of Spain to focus on the history of Gipsy Rhumba, one of the most interesting musical culture clashes, first taking place in the early 1960s. In the Catalan region of Spain gipsies, primarily known as the creators of Flamenco, came up with a fascinating hybrid style - Gipsy Rhumba - which blended together Latin and Rhumba music of Cuba and the Caribbean together with their own flamenco, as well as the emerging rock ‘n’roll from America. As well as a musical overview of this unique art form, the r… Read more
South American-born Parisian Valentino Mora returns with a tough and convulsive take on dance music with this long awaited 13 track album for ClekClekBoom. Named after the NASA vessel currently in orbit (which itself is named in honour of seminal Astronomer Johannes Kepler), the album builds on the sound made popular by 2012's "Yo Vogue" fusing elements of House, Ghettotech and Electro nicely over-compressed for maximum impact. Highlights include the Levon Vincent aping "Change The Past" and the Millsian 'K62' featuring compatriot and labelmate Bambounou.
*CD in high gloss mini gatefold digipack with printed inner* The Amazing Snakeheads - Dale Barclay, William Coombe and Jordan Hutchinson - are truly a force of nature. ‘Amphetamine Ballads’ is the soundtrack to the dark corners of nightclubs and those dimly lit alleyways off the main drag. The smell of smoke and liquor pervades everything. Recorded at night time at The Green Door Studio in Glasgow, this is a subterranean record, an album that can show you ‘round the parts of a city that come alive after dark. A monument to the redemptive powers of rock & roll, full of rage, … Read more
"The follow up to songbird Liz Green’s rapturously received debut ‘O, Devotion!, Recorded at London’s Toe Rag Studio with producer Liam Watson, Liz’s sophomore album displays an array of sounds and styles, from the ‘drone-blues’ of ‘Battle’ to the sea shanty title track. In a departure from its predecessor, ‘Haul Away!’ sees Liz bringing the piano to the forefront, influenced by such artists as Thelonius Monk and Nina Simone. Artwork designed and conceived by Liz herself, including the iconic cover image. Includes self-styled single and ‘wonky circus tune’ ‘Where The River Don’t Flow’, a jaunty dance of life and death."
'Built on Glass' is the debut album of sickly sweet soul from Melbourne's Chet Baker, presenting 12 tracks of Faker's blue-eyed baritone delivered with Brando-jawed panache. If you're a stats kind of guy/girl you'll no doubt buy this because Chet sold out London's Village Underground in less than 24 hours and Koko 2 months in advance, whilst the album's lead single 'Talk Is Cheap' amassed over 500,00 views on YouTube in just under two weeks. Pow.
**Mounted in foil-blocked bespoke card wallet designed by Zavoloka** Kotra's 8th solo album is an uncompromising dispatch from the outer limits of glitching, experimental electronica. On ten original pieces the Ukranian sound-artist and promoter projects an abrasive soundfield using - as far as we can tell - deconstructed samples masticated into irritant tones, isolated frequencies and salty squeaks. Following this theme, five remixers present intriguing revisions ranging from a cracking, abstract Pomassl version to Sturqen's stodgy techno thumper and Zavoloka's spatialized sound re-design. RIYL Raster-Noton's Ryoji Ikeda, Frank Bretschneider et al.
"John P. Dwyer has been lancing eardrums with Thee Oh Sees in an ever-escalating flurry of records for the past six years. Since the release of The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In announced a new loud era (and excepting a few momentary detours into home-baked territory—Dog Poison and Castlemania, for example), Dwyer and company have pummeled a bit harder each time out, cementing their reputation as a live force to be reckoned with and leaving legions sweaty and bruised in the process. Late last year, after years of relentlessly touring the world, the word got out… Dwyer’s moving to Los … Read more
Thursday, 03 April
Probably our favourite release on RVNG Intl comes from metal duo Lee Buford and Chip King aka The Body produced by Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak for their crushing 4th album, 'I Shall Die Here'. Abetted by Krlic's visceral production, The Body sound more fearsome and physical than ever before, shaping a series of tracks which only seem to get more intense and nightmarish as the trip takes hold. From the funereal trudge of opener 'To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me' we pass through successive stages revealed like some hemlock-induced hallucination, from the eschatological resignation of '… Read more
"Luke Vibert has always operated on the fringes of each musical genre, but in doing so has become a well respected, and highly influential producer. From his early work as Wagon Christ (Rising High/Ninja Tine), Kerrier District and Amen Andrews (Rephlex), Plug (Ninja), Butler Kiev (Planet Mu) and recordings under his own name (including seminal albums for Mo Wax, Planet Mu and Warp Records), this is one artist who has come fully formed and in complete control of the direction his music takes. This new album is a very personal project from Vibert based largely around the Roland TB-303, and a lot of … Read more
"Second full-length album from Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Los Angeles-based producer Teebs. ‘E s t a r a’ finds Teebs returning to Flying Lotus’ genrebending Brainfeeder imprint, following 2011’s ‘Collections 01’ and 2010’s full-length ‘Ardour’, an effort that came together in the midst of personal turmoil and the death of his father. In contrast, ‘E s t a r a’ encapsulates a time when the producer (and painter) has been making art entirely on his own terms. That freedom has not only strengthened his creative voice, but led to some of the finest work of his career and a remarkable album in it… Read more
"The third album from Canadian composer Christopher Bissonnette sees him expanding his palette by narrowing his sound sources to a self built analog synthesizer. Eschewing the whiplash and/or everything including the kitchen sink style of assembly so common among current analog aﬁcionados, Bissonnette instead applies his signature compositional style of using long held tones and sweeping drones that alternate between, and fuse, pure tonal transcendence and patient, sparkling melodies that slowly reveal themselves. "Essays in Idleness was born from a desire for a more tactile … Read more
Quite easily the most interesting artists on InFiné's books, Downliners Sekt deliver their debut album proper following a string of excellent EP's for Disboot and a run of MP3 albums released some years back on their own dsekt[dot]com label. The label notes reference everything from Autechre to Rhythm & Sound and My Bloody Valentine, and there is indeed a dubbed-out, rhythmically complex aesthetic that runs throughout the album, but DS work best when they step outside of those parameters and forge stylistic hybrids which are much harder to place - such as on the excellent 'Balt Shakt II',… Read more
"‘Enter The Slasher House’ is the debut album from Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, comprised of Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), Angel Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian), and drummer Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail, Dan Deacon), Avery Tare’s Slasher Flicks unites Avey Tare’s songwriting abilities with Deradoorian’s melody lines and Hyman’s flexible rhythms. The band could be described as a monstrous and nightmarish jazz power trio inspired by campy horror movie themes…"
"For "Yearling" ORCAS members Benoît Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) teamed up with Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) on drums to built upon the subdued ambience of their self-titled debut, adding a huge dose of analog warmth to their hazy pop leanings. Whereas many songs on ORCAS' first album were built from guitar improvisations and impromptu vocal sessions, most of "Yearling" was constructed from short pieces Pioulard wrote and developed while staying in Germany during the summer of 2012. Working together at Heyne's Lichte Studio i… Read more
**Historically important pieces documenting John Cage's early electronic and tape practice** "Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios - for example, when he composed Fontana Mix in 1958 - his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mas… Read more
Jan Jelinek's Faitiche label presents a new album and, at the same time, a well-known name: Farben presents James DIN A4. In the summer of 2013 Farben (Jan Jelinek) remixed his way through the extensive oeuvre of the sample and collage artist James DIN A4 (Dennis Busch) – and gathered ten of his favorite titles here.
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the album, bu… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package with spot UV printing* ‘Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unkown’ is the new album from Swedish group The Skull Defekts, with the legendary Daniel Higgs (Lungfish) joining Joachim Nordwall and Daniel Fagerstroem on vocal duties and acting as the group’s spiritual ringleader. The Defekts have long acted as the backbone of the Swedish experimental underground, but since their 2011 breakthrough ‘Peer Amid’, the group has emerged at the vanguard of a new wave of radical Scandinavian rock music alongside Ic… Read more
"Having tantalised with ‘The Wheel’, ‘Bloodflows’ and ‘Lessons’, SOHN has added the final touches to his debut solo album, the anticipated ‘Tremors’. ‘Tremors’ is the way in which past traumas, as much as past successes, linger like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Even in the calmest moments its effects continue to reverberate and inform who we become. Throughout the eleven songs that form ‘Tremors’ runs a sense of the nocturnal - a sensitivity to the darkness and its inhibitions - with London-born SOHN adopting a night time schedule for an intense period of long nights writing and recording in his Vien… Read more
"Ellis Island Sound are Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets, Wisdom Of Harry) and David Sheppard (State River Widening, Snow Palms). ‘Regions’ is the duo’s third album since their inception and has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life”. It is possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, along with polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads. Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias adds vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki."
*Slow-motion-piano-punk from Munich-based female duo akin to CocoRosie/Scout Niblett/Moldy Peaches - new on Chicks on Speed* "One third piano, one third drums, one third singing sewing machines, talking skirts, buzzing laser guns und clacking typewriters. The Munich-based Duo beißpony reveal what it sounds like when a singer-songwriter and textile artist with roots in the riot-grrrl and feminist d.i.y-movement join forces. Laura hails from the singer-songwriter and antifolk-scene. They used the facilities to record the first couple of songs for their debut album “Brush Your Teeth" in a one-w… Read more
"‘Intoxicated Man’ (1995) and ‘Pink Elephants’ (1997) are Mick Harvey’s interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg and are the first major works translating Gainsbourg’s influential work from French to English. The collection includes two unreleased tracks, ‘Dr. Jeckyll’ and ‘Run From Happiness’. Originally Harvey embarked on the project as a result of his own curiosity about the songs and particularly the lyrics. At the time of the original recordings Gainsbourg was little known outside classic works such as ‘Je T’ai… Read more
"Tributes & Diatribes is the lovely second set of tracks from the entirely unusual duo of Jesse Sparhawk (38-string lever harp) and Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar, banjo, nylon string guitar). The four tracks here are restrained and unhurried, letting the elegant string flow breathe and build over each cut. Like on their debut Sixty Strings (also on VHF), there’s plenty of virtuosity, but it’s not showy and crass. These guys are more mood-builders (deep, cosmic, meditative) than doodlers. Even though Tributes & Diatribes is immediately graspable by… Read more
"On the 20th anniversary of the passing of Derek Jarman and this reissue Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) reviewed many of the materials in his archive and discovered four selections that were originally left off the release but feel now that they offer another viewing. 'this is a creative mind and man I still miss, but who thankfully and finally seems to be receiving the accolation he should have received long ago.' (Robin Rimbaud) this album is a collection of memories taking recordings from spaces that Jarman inhabited or experienced - from the walk to th… Read more
RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Eluvium, Sigur Rós, Stars Of The Lid, Brian Eno. "Inventions is the new band formed by longtime friends, tourmates, and labelmates Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. There are plenty of talking points here: The fact that Cooper hasn’t been in a “band” of any sort since he was a teenager; no member of Explosions In The Sky has released an album outside of the context of EITS since their inception in the late 90s; and, of course, this is a dream duo for anyone familiar with the unparalleled emotional resonance of Cooper and Smith’s re… Read more
*CD version in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket* "Man Forever is an exploratory percussion project helmed by John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most versatile and critically lauded collaborators and a founding member of Oneida. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has hosted an impressive list of guest performers, but few have been as specially qualified to perform Colpitts’ technically challenging meditative workouts as So Percussion, the United States’ premiere contemporary percussion ensemble. So Percussion have commissioned and premiered new composi… Read more
‘So It Goes’ is the debut album on XL imprint Hot Charity from arsonists Ratking - aka Wiki and Hak - and producer Sporting Life. Wiki met uptown-raised Hak, now 19, when they were both in the 2nd Grade. They’ve been friends and conspirators ever since. Sporting Life, 32, hails from Virginia but has been in the city since 2005. Eventually they all met at a rap show and soon started serious collaboration. The sound isn’t the boom-bap and outmoded slang of ‘95. The circumstances have changed but the melting pot mentality and cold-blooded scepticism remain. You can hear the Krylon color and syllable-av… Read more
"After a seven-year hiatus, Boneset is the seventh album from the excellent Diane Cluck. Cluck's uniquely clipped, glottal vocals and harp-like acoustic guitar embed in rich textures from cellist Isabel Castellvi and drummer Anders Griffen. Recorded to analog tape at Brooklyn's Trout Recording, Boneset is comprised of songs written years ago, not so long ago, just recently, laid out in near-chronological order. Dark to light to dark, the album overends as a kind of mobius strip, songs seeded with birds, death, wealth, poverty, boldness and heart. "Diane Cluck has been under-appreciated for so long,… Read more