**Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Photography by Joe Dilworth and artwork by Bill Kouligas & Kathryn Politis** Widely championed techno/electronica producer Objekt deposits his detailed and complex debut album on PAN. Since 2011 at least, the Berlin resident known as TJ Hertz has been a vital cog in the European techno machine, self-releasing some of this decade's most vaunted white labels, plus 12"s with Hessle Audio and Leisure System - including this year's great split with Dopplereffekt - beside his role as software engineer for Native Instruments. With 'Flatland' he takes the opportunit… Read more
In 2014 the ambient/electronica zeitgeist can be read as an impressionistic projection of our dreams inspired by current technologies and past memories. From T C F's mind-blowing work focussed on block chain encryption (the algorithms that run BitCoin), thru Lee Gamble's rave sublimations, to the hyper-coloured synthetic tone of 12 year old Henry Plotnick and computer games soundtrack designer, David Kanaga, we can hear a schism opening between the previous era of composition and those lush new 3D spaces favouring stranger, alien discord over staid convention. Rathe… Read more
When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, little did they know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott was back with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind. With a career spanning more than five decades, Scott Walker’s cult status remains as significant as ever before. Experiencing mega-stardom as part of The Walker Brothers before carving out a career as a solo crooner who released a quartet of peerless self-titled LPs that painted rich vignettes… Read more
Lars T C F Holdhus follows one of the very best releases of the new millenium so far, the 'Untitled' tape for YYAA, with another cryptic future-shock, his 1st for Liberation Technologies. Continuing a trajectory away from the calculated dance mash-ups of his now-defunct Cracksmurf alias, this project and mini-album is based on a whole other algorithmic strategy, rendering densely coded formulae into utterly mind-boggling and synaesthetically affective compositions. Once you've heard his music and done a little research into his academic background and visual practice - he studied at Frankfurt's f… Read more
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Chicago's Karl Meier & Johnathan Krohn aka Talker properly realise the project's industrial potential with 'Hari', their debut LP for Downwards. Last spotted on a 12" with expanded version of 'Cut The Weight' from the 'Halha' compilation, this appearance feels more affected, atmospheric, bitterly resolved. There's eight tracks on offer, including the monstrous doom copulation of 'Meniscus' featuring label-mate, Kerridge, amongst the Eraserhead ambience of 'Hari' or the ghostly industrial romance of 'Image Union', whilst the bombed-out techno hulk of 'Behemoth' and the 'floor-razing mission, 'Frame C… Read more
Dave Huismans (A Made Up Sound) returns under his 2562 codename with the oneiric ambient/concrète dancefloor states of 'The New Today', his 4th solo album in this guise. Where its predecessor, 'Air Jordan', also for his When In Doubt label, took inspiration from the arid landscapes of the Middle East, 'The New Today' draws upon ideas sketched out whilst 2562 was in New York, late summer 2013, and was later finished at his home studio in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Rather than disco samples, as with his last LP 'Fever', he sources from and splices together an enviable library of European synth e… Read more
Throughout 2014, the hyper-reflective electronic surfaces of instrumental grime have emerged as one of the year's defining sounds. From the "weightless" projections of Mumdance, Logos and co, to the iridescent prisms of Visionist, Shriekin, Cyphr and Moleskin, via retro-futurisms from Filter Dread, Slackk and JT The Goon, the scene has never been more open-minded, quick-moving or eager. This selection, whilst by no means comprehensive - there's obviously glaring omissions from the likes of Murlo, Kahn & Neek, Finn, to name a few - draws for those moodier, stranger, fo… Read more
A long time coming, 'Joined Ends' finally provides a follow-up LP to Dorian Concept's hyper-coloured debut, 'When Planets Explode' (2009). In the meantime the Austrian producer has been conspicuous by his absence from the scene, during a time which the likes of FlyLo, Rustie and HudMo have flourished with a lush, complex sound quite similar to his own. On return with 'Joined Ends' he's now best compared with the jazzy fruit of FaltyDL or Dego, a nimble warp and weft of classically trained virtuosity and processed instrumentation done with a light-hearted soul and heavy funk. Now worki… Read more
One-sided special request from the hand of Mala. Released to accompany the collector's book, 'Passion For Vinyl', it yields Part 2 of Digital Mystikz' 'I Wait' from the Soul Jazz compilation, 'Box of Dub: Dubstep and Future Dub' (2007). Choice picking for all DMZ completionists and modern digi-dubbers.
Shocking, extended double AA 12" from Russell Haswell paying tribute to OG Latino freestyle and industrial funk edits with inimitable, improvised flair. Back on Diagonal following his scintillating and unusually "pop" structured '37 Minute Workout' LP, plus a couple of furnace blast LPs for Bocian and Editions Mego, this entirely improvised session captures Russell in the wild, trapped between daemonic nO!se and snapjaw drum patterns nodding to early Omar Santana or Carlos Berrio and his own past as a go-to studio editor for labels such as Mute. The A-side is a slyly arousing but terrif… Read more
Numbers indulge a bit of mystery with the super charming debut of "anonymous" producer Deejay Deer. Apparently "born and raised in the Bavarian wilderness" and "the first forest dwelling animal to use the prefix 'Deejay'", gives pretty much f**k all away, but a quick listen to either track should trigger trigger some clues. On 'Natural' they swirl head high piano chords and rugged breakbeat house bounce landing somewhere between Martyn, Redshape and Shed, whilst 'Unnatural' rushes up with flanging metallic chords and swung garage breaks like the nexx generation of Joy O's 'Hyph Mngo' amped by Four Tet. It's probably just Dave The Drummer having a laugh, though.
**Flac format for this release is in 24 bit / 44.1kHz** Lee Gamble jacks directly into a latent stream of electronic wonder with his dream-like 'Koch' opus for PAN. Running to 76 minutes over 16 tracks, it's Gamble's most substantial and arguably definitive work, following the beautifully effective 'Diversions 1994-1996' and 'Dutch Tvashar Plumes' releases for PAN in 2012. Where those records deconstructed the elusive, enigmatic timbre of '90s electronic dance music - jungle, techno, ambient - 'Koch' (pron. 'Cotch' - UK slang for relax) is a sort of 'Pataphysical reflection and projection of wh… Read more
Cooly G returns with her unique vision of sex music in 'Wait 'Til Night', her 2nd album and follow-up to 'Playin' Me' (2012). With no verifiable evidence of its efficacy, we're gonna play it straight here and judge it with our clothes on, you'll just have to use your imagination. It's a smart, deliberate shift from her signature house styles to a sort of stark South London R&B, bringing the minimalist sensuality of her earliest 'Dub Organizer' EPs full circle into twelve subtle, well-crafted song structures. The sound is very much about private space, dealing with varying degrees of infat… Read more
In case you hadn't noticed, the gurning genius is back in a big way with 'Syro', his first new LP since 'Drukqs' (2001). Culled from his legendary trove of recordings, it's apparently "about a fifth" of what he's done in the last 10 years, "…one album out of many possible ones", according to his interview with Rolling Stone. After a couple of whizzes thru, we'd say it lands somewhere between 'Drukqs' and the Analord series of 2005 - no real surprises there, then - leaning heavy on trademark breakbeat funk and hyper-jazzy/classical arrangements for the most, and saving one saunter into pastoral … Read more
Bumpty Chi-house/disco splice job from some cat called Laurent on the Delroy Edwards-affiliated Gene's Liquor label. It's a while since we've heard this sound done so well, so gritty, with nuff verve and swerve in all the right places. The first cut's the best, full of reverse/forward edits, crispy claps and tricksy filtering to cream the crowd, whilst the other two come with mucky funk a la Shake, Sneak or Van Helden.
Flying Lotus flexes his most earnest jazz muscles on this fifth solo album, his 4th for Warp. Star-lit with guest appearances by Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, it's the work of heightened, enlightened minds projecting into spheres beyond this mortal coil. Funny then that it all sounds so familiar; the references to Alice Coltrane's celestial jazz legacy, the kinetic percussion, the intensely "vintage" sounding production all paint an almost objectively "psychedelic" vision that leaves little room for ambiguity or in… Read more
Bittersweet UK house bumps by Midland, back on Aus Music. Three trax concentrate on a breezy, subtly discordant house mutation, carrying a laidback but driving momentum between the off-kilter fonk and soured synths/strings of 'Duster' thru the salty dub house skank of 'Reflex' and Afro-centric shuffle of 'Pitch Drift'.
*New edition re-mastered from the original DAT tapes* This 35 minute EP from BoC is arguably their most complete outing, having landed a couple of years before their still unbeatable ‘Music Has The Right…’ album and including some of their best material bar none - the brooding Detroit inversion ‘See Ya Later’, the Colonel Abrams inspired ‘Nlogax’, the career-defining “Everything You Do Is A Balloon’ and ‘Turquoise Hexagon Sun’ which would later appear on ‘Music Has The Right’. Unlike so many of their peers from the era, this stuff has aged incredibly well… Read more
'Tomorrow Was the Golden Age' is an unmistakably gorgeous and refreshing suite of microtonal minimalist composition by New York-based ensemble, Bing & Ruth. Helmed by writer, conductor and lead pianist, David Moore, and supported by two upright bassists, two clarinetists, a cellist and a tape delay tech, Bing & Ruth genuinely sweep us off somewhere sublime without recourse to overblown conceit or cliche - something all too prevalent and cloying in today's neo-classical quarters. Their skill lies in the ability to drift, almost imperceptibly, between microtonal harmonies an… Read more
Slickest jazz-fusion from Boxcutter mixing lush electronics, slow/fast rhythms and radiant instrumental arrangements. It's a sterling return to the jazz-wise textures and dexterity of his first coupla albums, 'Glyph' and 'Oneiric', recapturing that sense of celestial soul with the wide-open arrangement and dusted drumfunk syncopations of 'Retina Grains', and again with the nimble knit of sweeping Eastern strings, percolating Footwork funk and plangent electronic sound sphere of 'Travel By Dragonfly'. RIYL Lone, FaltyDL, FlyLo.
Saga serves an icy six-track instrumental grime payload for the burgeoning Lit City Trax one year on from his debut for Visionist's Lost Codes label. 'Flight Risk' feels more muscular and reduced, optimising rhythms to skeletal silhouettes in cavernous sound designs streaked with strobing, synths and flash, brassy stabs. If we're picking favourites, then the coiled dread of 'Flight Risk' is up there alongside the sublow shift of 'Shades' and the manic chamber grime flex of 'Whistle Grip' and the super crisp punctuations of 'Witch Slap'. Sick session. RIYL Visionist , Rabit, Bloom, Slackk.
Lakker back for seconds on R&S with two of their craftiest, noisiest cuts to date. This 12" feels like Lakker have fully realised their potential, confident enough to bullishly pursue darkest, dramatic techno themes in their unique style. A-side 'Mountain Divide' opens a widescreen vortex of howling harmonics and surging slowfast steppers rhythms rising to a dome-blowing breakdown and back out into full-on symphonic noise assault with a throttling, roiling climax. B-side, Math Fall' embarks more cautiously with strobing synth voices and shuddering white noise shocks scudding around lik… Read more
NYC's Margaret Chardiet aka Pharmakon churns her guts out in this bloodied follow-up to her acclaimed album debut, 'Abandon' (2013). Four days before she was supposed to fly to Europe, touring in support of 'Abandon', Margaret had a medical emergency which resulted in major surgery and the loss of an organ. 'Bestial Burden' was realised during this time, written and fleshed-out whilst she came to terms with the situation; "I thought of my corporeal body anthropomorphically, with a will or intent of its own, outside of my will's control, and seeking to sabotage. I began to explore the id… Read more
Reckno's finest cassette cadets double-down on some of the strongest material in either's arsenal. Following his ace Boomkat Editions LP, Joane Skyler meets Hamish Trevis aka Kinlaw mid-air in eerie digital space, cutting elegant, melancholic figures buoyed by fractured minimal beats - from mutated JB's breaks to coiled, skeletal trap patterns - in refreshingly spacious and subtle arrangements veering from manic 'ardcore cut-ups to gorgeous ambient motifs with an endearingly eldritch eccentricity. It's like some cheeky choose-your-own-adventure mission set in the cutest recesses of y… Read more
Lukid joins the Lib Tech gang with his first release in nearly two years. A producer's producer and a perennial outsider persistently mutating styles in the cracks of current techno, electronica and bass music, Lukid still evades any net we might chuck at him with 'Crawlers'. The A-side opener, 'Nine' may well be known to you for it's brittle, anguished lead motif which was snatched by Evian Christ for his 'Propeller' on the 'Waterfall' EP. Here it sounds more sombre and petrified, shaken up with rasping drums and bass beside the strobing spectres of 'La Cucaracha'. B-side, he thwacks off angular… Read more
Shed kicks Lone onto the 'floor with a class remix of 'Restless City' from the 'Reality Testing' album. The Shake-style jazz chord chops and dusty clapping rhythms of the original are subtly rekeyed to a rolling bass ballast by Head High, recalibrating from jazz-dancing swing to skipping garage-techno with really sweet AI-style breakdown pads for peak time play. Expect to hear this out a lot.
Highly influential, Norwegian fine artist Lars Holdus aka TCF debuts on the beautifully presented YYAA label with an incredibly lush, head-spinning hit of ultra-modernist electronic composition. For the unaware, TCF is the latest handle for the artist formerly known as Cracksmurf, whose raft of hyper-eclectic DJ mixes and nascent productions circa 2011/2012 were a strong, if not pivotal inspiration for Arca's diffuse, forward style. That will become swiftly apparent once you experience the gyroscopic sound design and breathtaking vision of 'YYAA002'. It's music which quite simply wouldn't exist witho… Read more
7 months on from TP#4, Demdike return with the 5th instalment in their ongoing research and development series - a double-headed monster split between gnarly reductions on the A-side, and industrial strength edits on the flip. ‘Procrastination’ edges through Grimey detritus and gunshot snares within a vast open space perfectly primed for that Demdike slow build. ‘Past Majesty’ on the flip offers up a feral take on some kind of cyber-industrial insanity, somewhere between Ministry and Powell - with a denouement which should probably come with a public health warning attached to it. All we’re saying is - watch yr eardrums.
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt. Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
Grade A big room techno tackle from a canny new trio on 50 Weapons. Well-poised and driven, three tracks reduce techno to the barest, most effective elements primed for haughty 'floor shows between the woodblock snare pivots and achingly well-timed developments of 'Attack' thru filtered disco-tech in 'The Wind', and the surging pleasuredome monster, 'Curious'.
UTTU gets them cherry-picking fingers mucky again with Rushmore's 1st single outside of the Trax Couture label. In case you weren't following, Rushmore's dealt out a couple of killer 12"s to date fusing UK grime with Ballroom, Chi-house and footwork in excellent fashion. Here he's typically wayward, flexing out from Todd Terry styles in 'Dance Show' to an outstanding slow/fast ghetto-tech sound on 'Droptop', whereas 'Run II' eases off on a moody gherkin jerk tip and 'Throwback' juggles clipped chords and raspin' typewriter percussion like some raw-ass take on early SND. Tip!
William Bennett and Blackest Ever Black light the fuse on a delirious 3rd album from Cut Hands. Recorded from 2012-2014 in Edinburgh and London, 'Festival Of The Dead' finds a place for the explosive energy and drama of ancient percussive ritual in an accelerated modern world. Named and released to coincide with harvest or autumnal customs across the world, it's both a harbinger of darker times and a commemoration of shared ancestry and traditions common to many cultures across the world - All Saints Day, Samhain, Feast of Ancestors, Pitru Paksha etc. Only, we're in 2014 and compu… Read more
Rugged, hypnotic house from the virulent Redshape on Running Back. 'Leaves' is a real builder, escalating from locked-in voices and low-pass filtered jack to peak-time party vibes with crafty subtlety, whilst further parts break down to component elements for the DJs.
Burnt Friedman returns to Nonplace accompanied again by vocals from American actor and musician, Daniel Dodd-Ellis. In 'Cease To Matter' Friedman nudges his explorative Berlin dub sound somewhere more sensual, soulful, with no loss of his exotic and otherworldly aesthetic. Incorporating impressions from Friedman's Sub-Saharan concert tour of 2013, together with inspiration from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World - who's sampled on the two-part title track - the album takes shape as a worldly, futurist premonition of decaying, transitional metropolises and cultural m… Read more
Sick debut from 19 year old grime producer Shriekin, picked up by Local Action. A regular face at Slackk and co's influential Boxed events in London, Shriekin's riddims operate in that hi-def, cinematic space between Murlo and Slackk's fluid, chrome-warped constructions, showcasing an acute ear for melody and wickedly deft drum programming. From the quicksilver syncopations and airborne motifs of 'Cat's Eyes' to the hyper breakstep of 'Snowy Island Breaks', thru the glistening peaks of 'Steel Ships' and the kaleidoscopic radiance of 'Temple 2', it's fair to say we're listening to a massive talent coming to the fore.
Adam Wiltzie (Stars Of The Lid) and Dustin O'Halloran reprise their acclaimed strings and keys duo, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, with 'Atomos I - XII' for Erased Tapes. We can safely report that it's every bit as gorgeous as their eponymous debut, but you probably already got the hint from their teaser 12", 'Atomos VII' which landed earlier this year backed with a fearsome Ben Frost re-interpretation. The further XI parts sweep us to the most picturesque modern classical panoramas imaginable...
Living up to his unrivalled reputation as one of the most versatile and capable producers in electronic music, Mark Pritchard rolls off two of his most deadly riddims for Mala's Deep Medi stable. If you've not caught one of Mark's releases as Harmonic 313, Jedi Knights, Reload or Global Communications you need to go and do some revision mate, but if you've been keeping track of the last 20 years of dance music you'll know what we're talking about. The steamroller subs of 'Elephant Dub' are crushingly heavy, creating a dense pressure that causes the snares to ping off the surface with… Read more
*Andy Votel, Sean Demdike and Suzanne Ciani deploy the second in a proposed trilogy of excursions documenting sessions carried out in different configurations last year* Once again mining a rich source of archival material, tape works and improvised recordings, Andy Votel’s Neotantrik tap deep into the subconscious with a highly visual trip into the furthest reaches of psychedelic ambience. Following on from ‘Blue Amiga’ that came and went in a flash last month, ‘Omichrom’ is a more brooding, studied affair. Unfurling from a delicate modular opening sequence the A-side flows into a hallucin… Read more
*Almost 4 hours of absolutely immense, often harsh and visceral electronic works - ESSENTIAL* Alberich is the bleak ambient and power electronics alter ego of Kris Lapke, revered studio engineer for the likes of The Haxan Cloak and Prurient, his bandmate in Ash Pool. 'Nato-Uniformen' was released in 2010 as a micro run boxset of eight cassettes, but thankfully for the ferricly challenged it's been released digitally, collecting 30 highly diverse yet gestalt operations, nearly 4 hour in total. At the top there's the beautifully discomforting synth and bomber drones of 'Atlantic Munitions D… Read more
None hotter right now: UK's Moleskin drops his hugely anticipated solo debut proper on Goon Club Allstars - the label home to Mssingno. Heavily influenced by UK and US club sounds, namely Eski Grime, Baltimore Bass, and that hyper-funked Night Slugs aesthetic, Moleskin builds on the reputation of his Wiley edits and 'Burst' ace for Keysound with four up-to-the-second zingers cutting from brassy B-More bang on 'We Been Ready' to the percolating club fizz of 'Clemency', and his bouncing technoid bomb, 'Chips'. Mad tip for all fans of Jam City, Bok Bok, Her Records!
Airhead curls out a coupla bass-sprung aces for Untold's Hemlock label. 'October' pivots crisp, live drums off big boy 808 booms and dissonant electronics like some mutant offspring of AFX's 'Windowlicker'; 'Macondo' goes wiggly, spannered tribal house laced with scuttling electronic gremlins.
14 synth and guitar-fuelled tracks for the journey, from motorik krautrock to strung-out dusty blues and ecstatic highway burners. Driving from Hollywood soundtrack composer Brian Reitzell's 'Last Summer' collaboration with Kevin Shields to Koen Holtkamp's incredibly lush modular scape 'Endlessness', the trip takes in the smooth German momentum of down 'In The Traffic' from To Rococo Rot's new album, plus the unfurling topographies of Mark McGuire and new BEB signings, Bremen, heartbreak motel stops from Labradford and Ensemble Economique, and star-blanketed scenery from … Read more
Stroboscopic Artefacts parse four strong highlights from their five years of influential operations. Rrose's droning womrhole 'Drowned By Sight' is prime example of their purist approach, whilst Perc's 'Tri-City' represents their rugged, noirish industrial sensibilities, and the shifty detail of Lakker's 'Pier' heralds bleak new techno futures head on.
"Following the label’s acclaimed ‘Next Stop Soweto’ compilation series, Strut returns to the rich music heritage of South Africa for another landmark compilation celebrating the influential and heavily political music of drummer Julian Bahula since the mid-‘60s with the Malombo Jazz Makers, Jabula and Jazz Afrika bands. Bahula’s first group was the Malombo Jazzmen, led by guitarist Philip Tabane with flautist Abbey Cindi and they broke the mould, introducing indigenous malombo drums alongside guitar and flute to create a st… Read more