Faith In Strangers’ was written and produced between January 2013 and June 2014, and was edited and sequenced in late July this year. Making use of on an array of instruments, field recordings, found sounds and vocal treatments, it’s a largely analogue variant of hi-tech production styles arcing from the dissonant to the sublime. The first two tracks recorded during these early sessions bookend the release, the opener ‘Time Away’ featuring Euphonium played by Kim Holly Thorpe and last track ‘Missing’ a contribution by Stott’s occasional vocal collaborator Alison Skidmore who also a… Read more
Nifty UK bass pressure from Manchester's Paleman, tooling up two digi-dub meets house riddims for Loefah's 81 label. 'Beezeldub' steps up with brassy horns and billowing subs inna update of classic soundsystem steppers coolly compatible with current house patterns. 'Newun' is more brooding, with sombre intro harking back to early Skream and Loe joints before leaning off with a killer, percolated halfstep finding the sweet spot between electro-soul, dread dub and garage. Tip!
With the beautifully introspective 'Sea Island' Loscil taps back into that vein of Kranky ambient loveliness he's owned for more than a decade since his 'Triple Point' (2001) classic. Shaping a misty bridge between dub techno and ambient music proper, his music has long stood out from the crowd for his ability to effortlessly sidestep cliche in a genre swamped by folk happy to infinitely regurgitate the same patterns and pads. And 'Sea Island' shows no sign of that considered approach abating. It makes a marked step towards letting that dub techno bridge evaporate into the background as he ado… Read more
Diving back into our rudest folder for a razz around radge-packet techno and punk styles from a motley bunch. Powell boots off first with a sneaky twist on Nico Jaar aka Ancient Astronaut beside a highly-sprung JD Twitch edit of Philipp Gorbachev. There follows a cut from Cured Pink's shocking debut for Another Dark Age plus a chewy number from the Ugandan Methods (Regis & Ancient Methods) and Prurient hook-up, and a militant Adam X pounder, 'Irreformable'. There's a bomb from Sleaford Mods in 'Tweet Tweet Tweet', and a swaggering Diagonal gem off a new album from The… 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… Read more
Machinedrum brings the 'Vapor City' epoch to a close with this final chapter of 'Vapour City Archives'. Over the last 12 months he's animated a rich sonic fiction informed by psychogeography, Afro-futurism and and new technology over the course of an album, a string of 12"'s and via his subscription series. The hyperstitious results have marked him as a producer apart from the pack thanks to his mercurial meld of footwork, jungle, hip hop and electronica with etheric soul vocals that caught the attention of a lot of listeners looking for a sort of colourful romance and discipline… Read more
JME jumps on a dubstep slaughter by Commodo for Deep Medi. Riddim and rider are both on form, JME bouncing cool and calculated over rugged ballroom "ha" stabs, darkside synth voices and 'floor churning subs for the hard skankers. Big bad instrumental on the flip.
Om Unit cracks the glass on Goldie's DAT archive to present 'Inversion', his stunning follow-up to debut album 'Threads'. It's a Metalheadz album from nose to tail, chasing echoes of the label's past to reflect their present position, repping for new mutations of jungle, halfstep D&B and footwork with a timeless, atmospheric soul. There's gotta be few producers that Goldie would allow into his DAT and samples archive - we're imagining a massive oak chest embossed with lions and a Metalheadz logo - but Om Unit is clearly one of them and coolly lives up to the task, combinging his own sounds wit… Read more
Massive riddims from Brackles, Fox and Famous Eno, sparking up the new label wing of Manchester best dance, Swing Ting. Brackles is a long-time pal and semi-resident of the club-night/DJ-team run by Samrai, Platt, and Joey B with MC Fox, and makes the perfect opening play with 'Skank', a signature mash of Fox's bashment flavour and up-to-the-second UK Street Rave that sums up everything Swing Ting is about - proper roots and future dance music with an all-inclusive outlook. On the remix, Mixpak's Famous Eno gives 'Skank' a sleeker, technoid finish galvanised with a sorta robotic Afro-futurism and… Read more
Marc Richter is a bit of a musical chameleon, operating at the cusp of experimental music for many years at the helm of the Dekorder label and via his excellent Black To Comm project. His last album for the Type label, 2009’s excellent 'Alphabet 1968’ perhaps didn't quite get the attention it undoubtedly deserved, but it still stands out as one of the most oddly memorable drone-ambient albums we’ve heard this last decade, vaguely tapping into the Hauntological zeitgeist of the day but extending the remit to create something far more unsettling and ambitious. That it was subsequently … Read more
Akkord's 'HTH020' 12" undergoes exceptional transformations at the hands of The Haxan Cloak and Vatican Shadow for Houndstooth. It's arguably a pinnacle of the label's sustained attack since emerging in 2013, due in large part to The Haxan Cloak's shocking render of 'HTH020'. In the course of nearly eleven minutes, the original is hard-panned for gold, sweeping from stereo-strafing concrète dynamics into a staggering display of head-compressing delays and chest-bursting post-rock/metal dynamics over a series of concatenated peaks and noisy harmonic eruptions with an elas… Read more
My word - this is the real deal. Two massively hunted-after Chicago underground acid classics from 1988 that have NEVER been re-issued. Maximum damage is inflicted by wigged out 303 lines and pounding 909 beats. Total acid bedlam that was so totally ahead of its time - the real sicknes. Buy!!
Norwegian producer Erik Spanne comes cold correct with the technoid 'Silver Cloak' EP for Lit City Trax. Working in similar spheres to Nguzunguzu or Fatima Al Qadiri, the Her Records crew, and fellow viking Lars T C F Holdhus, he strikes with a taut, direct sound charmed with colourfully complex arrangements between the weightless zones of 'Kyselina' and the trap bounce of 'Silver Cloak'.
Bass Clef's Magic + Dreams start the 12,000 seconds series with what is effectively a mini LP from from his Bristol pal Peverelist. Adhering to the series' strict temporal guidelines - each EP must have 6 tracks with track lengths of 0:06, 0:23, 1:11, 2:37, 3:03, 3:14, 4:20 and 6:06 - the Livity Sound and Punch Drunk boss turns out some of his tightest gear in ages, from the broken beat swivel of 'Caught A Glimpse' thru the natty tribal shakedown of 'In A Spin' to amorphous, skeletal experiments such in 'Silvers' and the slippery chromatic grime shimmer of 'OK Run It'.
**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
Nexx level grime instrumentals from the one and only Murlo on Rinse. A key player on the UK street rave scene (kinda like a street party, but with more bun-ting) he's crystallised a hyper-lucid and colourful signature style over the last few years that's arguably at its sharpest and most compelling here. From the nimble sino motifs and prickling electroid body music of 'Into Mist' thru the bassline-style feminine pressure of 'Vertigo' and the strangely stately, head-high elegance of 'Roman Baths' or 'Dripstone (The Chase Scene)', these are surely some of the classiest, unique examples of the … Read more
Fruitiy, stripped-down garage-house riddims from Bambounou for 50 Weapons. 'Feel Like This' gets down with proper pneumatic hi-hat and bass swing tucked to a filtered French coda; 'Onto This' ramps the energy levels with a powerful, metallic take on Todd Edwards-style organ motifs and super skippy groove. It's infectious to say the least.
*The record that started it all for Theo Parrish, available on digital formats for the first time* Originally released on Theo's first short-lived label, Elevate Recording's, The Baby Steps EP became a legendary release in the world of Detroit House, as it showcased the delicious talents of our man Theo whose dubbed out and lo-fi tracks have changed the face of House Music as we know it. The opening track, 'Early Byrd' loops up Donald Byrd's horn and a cut vocal, add the crunchy percussion and solid sub bass kick drums and some superbly subtle filtering and the raw early sound of Theo… Read more
*Classic Theo circa 1997, available on download formats for the first time* 'Children Of The Drum' has been poached from Apricot records by the Sound Signature folk and is here given a re-release as a 'Predecessor Mix', whilst on the back Jerry the Cat makes another appearance for the previously unreleased 'I Am These Roots'. As ever, the quality assured Theo stamp is in full and reliably deep effect - with the top side offering up a nice and sparse production that embeds Jerry the Cat's languid vocals to devastating effect and sees Theo presenting the kind of spaciously harmo… Read more
Primest party tackle outta London 1996 dusted down and re-released by Optimo Music. Dominic Dawson and Rob Mello aka Reel Houze are behind both sides, including the eleven minutes of pure 'floor hypnosis sampling Arthur Russell/Dinosaur L's 'Go Bang' against toilet seat percussion from DJ Harvey (what's he like, eh?) and frantic Moog soloing from Rob Mello in 'The Chance', whilst flipside 'The Difference' yields another extended psychedelic disco trip, this one quite aptly described as "the closest thing we can imagine to Basic Channel doing disco" by Optimo themselves. Tip!
Third and quite possibly strongest release yet from Beneath's Mistry label canters back to the 'floor with two deft, blocky riddims by Enklav. boss Chevel. Working a stripped framework of percolating bleeps and woody, splintered percussion greased with oily Reese and 808 bass, the Italian producer unfurls two lean and mean productions every bit as shark-eyed and skunked-out as his recent remixes for Webstarr's 'Agreus' (Misty002) and Downliners Sekt. A-side, the icy countenance of 'Tank' is primed at a 115bpm swagger for early doors in dark, claustrophobic bass pockets and cold warehouses a… Read more
Bloom sets new precedents for instrumental grime with a quartet of nexx dimension productions for Bristol's Crazylegs. Last spotted on the label remixing Toyc's 'Keychain', in the 'Hydraulics' EP he cuts the fat with ruthless incision, leaving a shocking display of scything, mechanised rhythms tessellating in negative 3D space. Nary a fxxk is given towards rhythmic convention as he re-tools the original templates of Wiley, Waifer, and Splurt to the nth degree, replacing practically all traces of sinew or unnecessary material with explosive concrète dynamics. Quite importantly, it's also some of… Read more
*Full-length debut from the elusive Shinichi Atobe, known for an incredible 12” on Chain Reaction almost 15 years ago and never seen or heard from since. Audio mastered by Matt Colton, digital edition includes 4 bonus tracks not on the vinyl* Shinichi Atobe has managed to stay off grid since he made an appearance on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction imprint back in 2001. He delivered the second-to-last 12” on the label and then disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a solitary 12” that’s been selling for crazy money (theres a copy up on discogs at the moment for $600 - go figur… Read more
Watch yer facking bon bons, Luke Vibert aka Amen Andrews back in the dance on Falty DL's Blueberry Records. Let us scroll back 11 years to 2003 and Vibert's 5 volume Amen Andrews series was a staple on wayward floors, taking his seminal Plug sound to rugged IDM and jungle dances. Fast-fwd 2014, Falty DL has teased out a four new AA cuts, brukking between the natty funk of 'Automatic Truth' and the Valve-style blowout 'Amotherfucker' via pastoral braindance rave with 'Amen HQ' and nutty 'ardcore rufige in 'News Of The World'.
Politicised party house bangers from Essex's garage answer to Russell Brand, aka DJ Haus ov UTTU. 'Feel The Change Comin' On' burns up the titular vocal phrase over positivist flute parps and rugged garage skip laced with natty acid lines to make 'em dance like it's '94 and the plod are watching; 'When U Look At' goes a shade deeper with teasing filter treatments applied to a darker, contemporary jackin' sound designed for cuttin' shapes.
The freak pop genius returns sans Haunted Graffiti with the amazing 'Pom Pom', his first "solo" album proper. Aided by collaboration with legendary psych pop producer Kim Fowley, among other as-yet-uncredited contributors, it's a 17-song reminder of Pink's inimitable slant on '70s/'80s pop, applying a magpies eye and vultures beak to the bones of bubblegum garage, glam power pop and sun-kissed indie. We daresay this is Mr. Pink at his very, very charming best, doing ludicrous prog jams such as 'Exile On Frog Street' just as well as jinglistic psych with 'Jell-o' and timeless beachside harmon… Read more
Mr. Oizo cuts loose on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label in his first solo LP since 2011's 'Stade 2'. Now an LA resident, Oizo seems perfectly placed to show America how EDM should really be done, contextualising current production palettes with strong elements of old skool electro alloyed to fierce saw-tooth synthlines and screwed rave stabs. It all dovetails very neatly with Brainfeeder's hectic aesthetics, too, applying a freeform, jazz-funked approach that plays at odds with the surgical precision of his edits, resulting in a delirious yet disciplined party sound that straight-up kills in t… Read more
**Stellar collection of worldly new age and spiritual composition. RIYL Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Charlemagne Palestine** "An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979) compiles unreleased recordings from the archives of multiversal artist Ariel Kalma. Concerned as much with musicality as spiritual facility, Kalma’s work vibrates aside fellow travelers along the great rainbow in curved air of the 1970s avant-garde. Ariel Kalma’s boundary-blurring electronic music is heard here in radiant detail across a selection of work spanning … Read more
The mercurial Mr. Blunt keeps everyone guessing with the 'Black Metal' follow-up to his widely acclaimed LP, 'The Redeemer' (2013). Let's get it out of the way: it's not black metal, in the cold, Northerly sense, at least. Musically, its palette actually bears more resemblance to early Factory or Rough Trade records by The Durutti Column or Scritti Politti - or even Serge Gainsbourg - than anything remotely connected to Bathory or Burzum. And taken in light of his oeuvre, both with Hype Williams and solo, it's actually a canny appropriation of the term, subverting pre-conceived and conno… Read more
Tracky ballroom techno bangers from a feverish new talent, NPLGNN on the consistently brilliant Where To Now? label. We'd argue this is one of their strongest releases to date; a fearlessly stripped down and effective set of 'floor tools mixing a rugged old skool sensibility and romance with an uncompromisingly upfront sense of efficiency. 'Acid UFO' deploys bouncing kicks and splashing acid with a murderous swerve, whilst the two parts of 'Variance' tessellate the drum patterns of grime, jersey and ballroom beats with OG, brute Chicago class, whereas 'K' consolidates the essence of early Detroit, Belgian and UK hardcore with the canniest nerve. Highly recommended!
Conspicuous by their absence amidst instrumental grime's resurgence, scene stalwarts No Hats No Hoods return with the proper future funk of Kid D's 'Rhythm and Grime' EP. Four fierce shots of feminine pressure juggling achingly sharp R&B edits with rudest UK rhythm chops from the Rustie-compatible shoulder roll of 'Ghetto Queen' to thizzing Timbaland styles in 'Don't Forget' via the hair-kissing UK flex of 'Summer Queen' and 'Jasmin'. A big look for the dancers and DJs.
Efdemin ropes in a killer E.R.P. remix on the 'Decay Versions Pt.2' selection. Gerard Hansen aka Convextion aka E.R.P. gives one of his signature electro-soul reworks whirring with slinky machine rhythms and cloaked in gorgeous pads beside a classy, pumping Don Williams mix of 'Track 93', whilst Johannes Volk connects with the Millsian spirit of 'Parallaxis', which Traumprinz hears as a beautiful, trancing breakbeat roller with lush new vocal motif.
*New project from members of Zombi and Majeure and acclaimed film composer Paul Lawler. Riyl: Zombi, John Carpenter, Maserati, Vangelis* "Contact is the new duo of A.E. Paterra (aka Majeure) of famed sci-fi synth-rock group Zombi, and acclaimed British film composer, Paul Lawler. Exploring a similar orbit as Majeure and Zombi, multi-instrumentalist Lawler infuses heavy doses of melody and drama to give First Contact a sound and feel that blends late 70s Pink Floyd sprawl, the nostalgic wonder of early 80s science documentaries, and John Carpenter's 80s sci-fi action films. Equal parts fasc… Read more
Certified UK house practitioner Doc Daneeka links with Seven Davis Jr on a stylish pair of deep house and boogie numbers for Ten Thousand Yen. On 'What's It Gonna Be?' he drizzles Davis Jr's soul-fired vocal over a crunchily persistent tech-house groove, whereas 'I Promise' comes off like some naked Moodymann joint, leaving the kicks at home to vibe out with finger pops, diaphanous chords and weightless bass. You'll also find the very KDJ-styled disco-funk of 'Together' and the whirring, latinate shimmy of 'Ghosttext' for fine measure. Classy.
Always coming with the strangest new creatures, NPIP present the compelling debut of an 18 year old South London composer called Nathan Geyer aka Jire. Emerging from a background in classical composition, Jire's 'Kiowa Polytope' is a keenly considered new take on classical minimalism, acoustic improvisation and lower case electronica woven with inspiration from "across the visual arts and literature". In it he employs elements of rhythmelodic tribal percussion, acousmatic sampling and concrète process to shape four buckled structures at once recalling the crooked designs of Micachu and the d… Read more
Forma follow on from their Spectrum Spools LPs with two extended, expansive kosmic techno rollers for The Bunker New York. Since those early LPs they've reshuffled the line-up to include the swirling synthlines of John Also Bennett in these two 15 minute burners, the radiant new age techno panorama of 'Cool Haptics' and the sublime chromatic washes of 'Cloud Pillar'.
Following the frenetic, rhythmic experiments of the Ripatti 12” series, Vladislav Delay returns with his first ambient album in over a decade. ‘Visa’ is a thing of immense, absorbing beauty - harking back to his classic albums for Chain reaction and Mille Plateaux, extending 6 longform pieces over an hour of heady dub reductions. And in the fine tradition of some of the best albums, ‘Visa’ was borne out of serendipity - Ripatti was denied entry to the United States and was forced to cancel an entire tour. Suddenly left with unhindered time and a surplus of creative energy, he produced this … Read more
Hyperdub and Chicago's Teklife powerhouse join forces in tribute to fallen footwork pioneer DJ Rashad with the 20 track 'Next Life' compilation. 'Next Life' provides the broadest, most crucial overview of Chicago's febrile, fertile footwork scene you'll likely hear in 2014, running bullets from brand new producers such as DJ Phil, DJ Tre, Boylan, and Sirr Two along with bombs from elders like DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman, and of course DJ Rashad, plus a handful of aces from the scene's non-Chicago cousins. Pushed to pick instant favourites, we'd draw for the mellow pressure of Traxman's 'Sit Ya S… Read more
The Cyclist pedals to All City Records, who released his killer 12" as Buz Ludzha, with a wonderfully warped and gritty boogie-techno session in 'Flourish'. Saturated to the point of near-destruction, seven tracks ride the red line hard for a fogged-up yet surprisingly tactile, sensitive sound. Grooving somewhere in the shade of BoC and Lone et al, 'Flourish' dispenses some real dancefloor treats with the smudged rave bliss of the title track and the super gauzy 'Tape Grunge Rave' alongside the singed-synapse responses of 'Breathless' and the disintegrating disco of 'Ripples Through Ice' for those who like it raw and deeply bittersweet.
This week we pull our attention towards music with a heightened feel for spatial qualities and dynamics. Partly prompted by all that AFX (??) interview chatter with Dave Noyze about re-amping synths and recording his soundchecks to use in live shows - invoking the technique and effect of Alvin Lucier's 'I Am Sitting In A Room' - we wanted to take a closer listen to other, modern artists who're also exploring the unique partials and variables of sound-in-space. They range from purely analog room recordings such as Devon Hansen's 'A Pair Of Quiet and Empty Rooms' thru Arca's… Read more
Dry, hefty techno slammers from Dense & Pika, back on Hotflush. Five tracks for weekend practice, at best with the cavernous thump of 'Klank' or the slinkier builder 'Wandering Hands'.
llum Sphere makes moves with a Fabric selection repping for his quarterly Hoya:Hoya events at the London club. Ticking off stacks of vintage box-ticklers beside their modern analogs, these 24 tracks perhaps better represent Ryan Hunn's more recent and personal tastes, rather than the wonky hip hop and colourful electronica that his Manchester-based Hoya:Hoya club night is putatively known for. Starting up with the cold, Kölnisch ambience of E.M.A.K.'s 'Sein Und Schein', he leads a calculated tour between industrial, post punk, acid and dub touchstones, sparking runs of ac… Read more
The great instrumental grime rush of 2014 continues with Loom's killer debut, 'Grade' for Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper label. Riffing on early memories of the sound absorbed thru pirate radio, he opens with the scratchy, half-heard transmissions and struggling sub-bass of 'Grade' before emerging, butterfly like with the spiralling arpeggios and bittersweet melodic emotions of 'Rain Falls Hard Here' landing somewhere between Lorenzo Senni and Visionist. With 'North' he inverts current rhythm formulas to a sullen trudge matched by gorgeous blue chords recalling vintage mid-'90s Autechre, contrasting sharply with the radiant energy burst of 'Fukiushima'.
Jamal Moss and Noleian Reusse jack up a pair of electric stormers for Biorhythm. Some mad sh*t always happens when these two record together as Africans With Mainframes and these trax are no exception. 'Nubian Rainbows' sublimates electrical current to a vapourous light show of keening harmonic kaos and nagging bass motif tussling with metallic buck beat; 'Tonkolili' comes off like a Green Velvet or DJ Rush rhythm run ragged, proper psychosexuadelic Chicago styles for the headstrong.
Huntleys + Palmers serve up a killer side of oriental disco by Mehmet Aslan. Previously appointed to the label's Highlife sub-label volumes and Ata's For Disco Only series, here he's the star of the show with a filigree mix of traditional Turkish melodies and European-meets-African grooves blessing the swirling keys of 'Mechanical Turk', the hypnotic darkside oscillations of 'Hidden', and his twysted electro trip 'New Africanism' with an otherworldly, dancefloor-transcending beauty.
Tel Aviv's VesperTown blazes in with a hyper-funked debut for Rinse. The follow-up to a well received cassette earlier in 2014 for Brighton's Donky Pitch, 'King George' and 'Sugar Rush' approximate the effect of a Haribo binge whilst smothered in mallow fluff and listening to Hud Mo in your birthday suit.
**Ships Friday** Thirteen years since his debut LP, (Chris) 'Clark' strips back his sound to pure techno muscle and brainy arrangements on his 7th album. Presenting his sound as sculpture, thirteen tracks model dynamic electronic spaces flush with intricate, acrobatic arpeggios and endless reverbs urging his melodic flourishes into vaulted harmonies. Consumed as an album rather than individual cuts, it oscillates back and forth from dramatic moments and 'floor-ready slam, at best in the knackered trance chug of 'Winter Linn', the Visionist-like vocaloids flitting around 'Snowbird', and the swarming Black Midi-style arpeggios of 'Beacon'.