There's a tonne of infectiously brilliant designer dance/pop out right now, so we had to collect some of it here especially for U. Whether it's PC Music's Hannah Diamond with her '90s-inspired hi-def hooks; the likes of Deadboy, Murlo and Palmistry making some of the sharpest dancehall mutations; or the super cute instrumental compositions of Arca and Joe Snape - they're all quenching a real thirst for melodic modern music stuffed with hooks and fresh electronics. We've included cuts from all the above, alongside some of the cutest joints we could find from the tessellating wo… Read more
**Gigi Masin, Max D, Co La, Jordan GCZ and friends unite for this shimmering improv session for PAN** Lifted is a stellar new project sparked off by Matthew Papich (Co La) and Future Times overlord Max D for PAN. Realised and rendered together with Jordan GCZ and Gigi Masin, among others, their debut LP '1' is an elegant exercise in breaking free of the grid, consolidating a spectrum of congruent ideas and idiosyncratic styles with a beautifully communal spirit putting a contemporary spin on the freedoms of '70s jazz fusion. From initial studio sessions recorded by Matthew and Max in their respective B… Read more
*Remastered and Reworked Edition of the limited edition Cassette released in 2014 on Demdike Stare’s DDS Imprint* Mica Levi more or less owned 2014 with the release of that astonishing soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’, followed by this hour long album-cum-mixtape for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint which was released at the end of the year and sold out in a flash. It has now been reworked for this vinyl edition, and then given a full remaster by Matt Colton. Mica is an artist who basically seems to channel attention deficit into exploring and re… Read more
Drew Lustman escapes his Falty DL alias with this dizzyingly ace album under his own name. 'Crystal Cowboy' is quick and loose but flush with all the funky tricks and crafty soul that has endeared him so much to heads the world over since 2007 and a sterling run of IDM-into-breaksploitation antics. He approaches the project with X amounta humour and guile, brilliantly indulging his Anglophilic tendencies with nuff hardcore/jungle roll-outs interspersed by instinctive nods to his home city's jazz, house and R&B heritage. It was apparently written on-the-fly, freed of any conceptua… Read more
'Marhaba' shares the fruits of Floating Points and James Holden's collaboration with gnawa maâlem (master) Mahmoud Guinia on their recent trip to Morocco for the 5th Marrakech Biennale. Both producers give prominence to Guinia viocals and hypnotic guembri (a sort of 3-stringed lute) in their respective mixes, Floating Points buoying the syncopated claps with subtly feathered synthlines in 'Mimoun Marhaba', whereas Holden really vibes out on a modular set-up in three further, looser versions, including two not found on the vinyl edition.
The amorphous mass of Gnod indulge their psychedelic instincts in the nearly two hour-long 'Infinity Machines' for Rocket Recordings. Since their last major group release, 'Ingnodwetrust' (2011), they showed much promise by largely ditching guitars and swerving toward all-out electronics and nuanced songwriting in their component units - 'Gnod Presents.. Dwellings & Druss', Negra Branca's 'N B' - but here they return to a more-is-more approach, roping in crucial additions from Sam Weaver (modular electronics) and David MacLean (sax) among many other vibes and voices from the residents of … Read more
Back for '15 with a '95 jungle flex, Quinoline Yellow a.k.a. Tap Throw kills it on Yellow Machines. Drawing on similar references to Sully's acclaimed 'Blue EP' - think Steve Gurley, Rob Playford, Hyper-on-Experience - but with an airless tension recalling VHS Head or his other Skam label-mates, the 'Dip Switches EP' carves up classic samples, subs and breaks in a complex, graffiti'd maelstrom executed with stylish precision and skill.
Three outstanding, abstract deep house cuts from the man. We're truly spoilt for choice here. Uptown he comes with the writhing, jazzwise 'Dance Of The Medusa', nudging his drums and bass to the edge of distortion while Sun Ra-esque synth chords, jagged keys and sax spumes tumble in astrospace beside the dusty Afro-futurism of 'Bubbles' with its scratchy, Jamal Moss-like hi-hats and bleeps purled to glutinous bass strafes in the knottiest, hypnotic phunk. But if we're picking favourites it's gotta be the incredible downtown joint 'Ambalamps'; eight minutes of super-heavy, bumpin… Read more
Type reach inside the box to present Nochexxx's newest devilment of Drexciyan electro and grubby bleeps, 'Plot 'Defender'. Steadfast at the fringes and fronds of UK electronica since the late '90s, Dave Henson a.k.a. Nochexxx has previously done the do for Ramp Recordings and Actress' Werk Discs over the last few years, forging a sort of eldritch, radiophonic cyberpunk that frankly sound like f**k-all out there. OK there are plenty of artists working with cranky, heatsick synth and drum machines right now, but few others do it with such an unhinged grasp of groove and feel for intricate s… Read more
Strong debut from Paula Temple's new Noise Manifesto platform featuring a loosely affiliated quartet of femmes - RRoxymore, Aquarian Jugs (a.k.a. Planningtorock), Jaguar Woman (a.k.a. Paula Temple) - and one homme, Oni Ayhun. All tracks are uncredited and simply titled 'DR-1 - DR-4', leaving the question of authorship aside and focussing on an otherworldly take on techno convention. 'DR-1' comes over like an electro-swing cabaret soundtrack; 'DR-2' is a solid techno roller with glassy harmonics; 'DR-3' is a hybrid of coarse strings and industrial techno. But the best track here b… Read more
EPM present two definitive aspects of Detroit techno. Robert Hood offers one of his signature minimal techno propulsion systems with the tunnelling, darkside 'Shaker', before boosting the energy levels with an organ-burning Floorplan 'Ritual' in his gospel-techno guise.
Danny Wolfers spins the warehouse dizzy in his latest Legowelt mission. Doing it for Ninja Tune's Technicolour series this time, he presents some really dope gear following suit from smarts by Kutmah, Hieroglyphic Being and BNJMN. Best of all is the darkside Chi finesse of 'Evaporate With Me 2 Infinity', yoking a gutter EBM/acid bass to stern drums and magickal synth glistens, and likewise with the slinkier breakbeats tucked to windswept filters and fizzy-bonce keys in the title.
Intoxicating Rasta dub biz from the Wareika Hills, Jamaica, via the desk of Jackson Bailey's Tapes in London. Still hot from his reggae-pop standout on Workshop 21, he furnishes two versions of The Wareika Hill Sounds' 'Datura', getting to grips with funde, repeta and bass drums in a heads-down session licked with guitar and flute by Kenrick Diggory. Now that Honest Jon's mention Keith Hudson in their write-up, it's so easy to imagine his husky croon floating over the 'Datura Mystic' mix, however, the dub is really summat else; a rocking swirl of recursive drums recorded right on the biting point, and nowt but. It's a killer!!!
Brilliantly demented avant-House trips from the Det/Chi master - finally available on download formats. Cutting up some high-kicking, wrist-burning Shaolin movie samples on a bumpy-as-hell rhythm, 'Any Other Styles' possibly betrays a return influence from Kassem Mosse and Mix Mup's off-the-grid escapades on Trilogy Tapes - well, possibly not, but listen to that jabbing, psychotic arrangement and tell us we're totally wrong?! Flipside there's a shorter, condensed version, and a naked, riddimic instrumental called 'Beat Those'. Recommended!
**Upfront Exclusive** Semtek provides a pair of ruggedest, weirdest house rollers on Niche N Bump's annual outing. The Don't Be Afraid label boss swaggers up with sullen subs and glass-rubbing synth tones in the crooked 'Bad Teeth' landing somewhere between Beneath's dread rollers and the bashment budge of Swing Ting's Samrai, both previous contributors to the tightly defined label. However, 'John Of Worcester' is a much stranger number, bringing forward those piercing synths over melting subs and slo-mo junglist tics to sound something like the mutant 'ardcore offspring of Arpanet. TIPPED!
Richard Chartier's Line label is at its best with Triac's gorgeous 2nd album of diaphanous drones. 'Days' could be taken as a measure of time, or equally as a pun on the lush effect of their music, presenting a barely-there suite of near-baroque melodic gestures that seem to float in mid-air, as though either moving very slowly or as a midnight mirage conjured by some gauzy mind. Within its seven pieces, ranging from pop-ambient temporality thru ten minute trips, they seem to capture the resonant, lingering after-thoughts of their instruments - Rossano Polidoro (laptop), Marco Seracini (piano, synth)… Read more
'Paint En pointe' collects ten pieces for dance by Sydneyite Eugene Ward, who's probably best known as TTT and Opal Tapes' Dro Carey or Tuff Sherm. They were written with the choreography of Patric Kuo in mind, intended for a variety of ensemble performances from solo to groups of up to 16 dancers. Judging from what we've previously heard by Ward, this release stakes out his most experimental territory, exploring the intersections of his formal compositional practice and the requirements of dancers beyond the conventional 'floor/head-space. We can hear him reference everything from t… Read more
From the viral footwork scene to the UK's current jackin' sound, the influence of Chicago House has never been felt stronger since its late '80s explosion. Thanks to several recent compilations and digital reissues, we've never had so much vintage and (previously) rare-as-chuff trax available at our fingertips. This selection presents a ruck of those phreakier, raw-ass mutants that were less known outside the city, yet, were arguably integral to the scene's hardcore 'floors and beyond. We snaffled highlights from a stack of brilliant sets - we urge you to ch… Read more
Lean, liquid D&B with a brooding edge from Mark System for Exit. Quicksilver rhythms and cinematic atmospheres at best in the strongback stepper 'Pursuit' and locked-on, minimalist drum programming of 'Water Pressure'.
Pure icy grime burns from Iglew with a killer debut on Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper. As he admits, Iglew only recently experienced bass from a proper soundsystem, and, as such, approaches the genre from a relative outsider perspective. No matter though, as he's clearly developed an acute melodic instinct in the absence of physical pressure, and has clearly caught up with soundsystem dynamics since. Anyway, his 'Urban Myth' EP is straight up killer; a slick lesson in economy of production and emotion, with heart-in-mouth effect in the title track's weightless zone of flutes and slyding squares contras… Read more
Our Mechaplex is populated by myriad mutants building future music from the deep topography of electronic music past. It's a transient layering of the psycho-acoustic geographies and mindsets of New York, Cologne, Manchester, Paris, The Hague, Toronto and Vittorio Veneto. Summed up in Bill Kouligas' tactile render of 'Fallen' by John Carpenter - a deeply influential figure in the early formation and definition of "techno" - we scan 13 farther visions of a sprawling, global techno future, taking in Egyptrixx's tellingly titled 'Discipline 1982' alongside the sonic fiction of… Read more
A welcome return from Belgium's Sagat, back with his dusty, canted rhythm trips on the most excellent Vlek. In each piece he teases our sense of rhythmic anticipation with grid-twisted grooves, from the wickedly schizoid jag of 'Melt' flipping between honking stabs and serene chords, thru the cyber-tribal 2-step zone of 'Body' to blunted Andy Stott styles with the gaseous smudge of 'Earth' punctuated by woodblock cracks, or the slow motion ambient elegance of 'organs'.
Deadboy makes super nice on Local Action with the 'White Magick' EP. There's a mini-epic's worth of ideas and vibes inside, playing out like the soundtrack to a sci-fi short about occult computer hackers in the ends or, equally, some new age grime romance (we'll leave the casting to your imagination). From the crystalline synth blooms, angelic chorales and roto-drums of 'White Moon Garden', he 2-steps into lush 4th world dimensions with 'Inner Palace' and the beatless R&B sim-stim serenity of 'Rye Angel', all rendered with meticulous attention to hyperreal details. At the mid-point, the amb… Read more
London's Jonny Nash spins a glistening web of ambient mediations on 'Exit Strategies' for his own label, Melody As Truth. Taking solo time away after sterling contributions to Gaussian Curve's charming 'Clouds' LP and that epic 'Spirit Bear Mezcal Ensemble' 12", he presents a suite of balmy, crepuscular vignettes owing as much to The Durutti Column as Vangelis or Robin Guthrie and finding contemporary parallels with the likes of Bullion/Nautic or even recent Jam City in the achingly lush slow dance, 'Exit Six'. Mellow magic.
Tommy Four Seven boots up his 47 label with a forceful techno session. The boss twists out a raging stomper called '131' beside the rolling industro-dub of Kwartz's 'Locked Target', a bleeping missile from Killawatt, and the bruising, dank techno reduction of 'Obsid' by Isolated Lines.
A bounty of booty house holy grails and footwork protoypes from the vault of RP Boo! Planet Mu done so, so good here, linking with the godfather of footwork to tell it how it was in Chicago between the late '90s and early '00s. Starting up with the straight-up slam of 'Baby Come on' - reputedly the 1st ever footwork track - it goes on to correct the history books with the Godzilla-sampling '02-52-03', itself a remix of his own, monstrous '11-47-99' which, until now, has been erroneously attributed to DJ Slugo, beside the ghetto ballistics of 'Party Motion' (1998) and a trio of heavy-booty-… Read more
Full Strength house music from the inimitable DJ Qu on his own label - home of his best works. A-side plays it steady driving but with gruff bass offset by his signature shuffles and strafing synth sweeps to cream the 'floor. B-side plays out the funeral keys and ghostly vocals of 'Sadness In The Static', setting the stage for a welting acid weapon called 'Sweaty One'.
A dream-team meeting of eminent Afro-futurists - for our money Actress' finest moment, bar none. OK, we're genuinely trying to sit on the hyperbole levels here but f**k that; this one is off the scale. Tackling the king of grime, Actress distills everything good about his oeuvre over the last 10 years or more - crooked metrics; THC-fuelled fuzz; bæroque melodies; that rarest late night s-p-i-c-e - inna collaged 7 minute masterpiece that floors us every time. It's like a scrambled Disengage transmission got lost in the æther, modulated with some Wiley… Read more
Like bloody buses, Warp roll out another nugget from Aphex Twin with alternate versions of 'MARCHROMT30A Edit 2b' and 'XMAS_EVET1 N' off the Japanese and worldwide versions of 'Syro'. The first edit starts up sounding like Haswell spatterblatz before melting breaks and willowing chords across the synapsez with signature AFXian lushness, whereas the fast mix does it all again at a spannered 45rpm, resulting queerer, creamier tunings. The alternate mix of 'XMAS_EVET1 N' is half the length of the original, nipped and licked like some gem from ICBYD.
The Square one returns with his 14th album in 20 years and shows no sign of getting mellower with age. 'Damogen Furies' could be considered the club after-party for the stadium-collapsing antics of 'Ufabulum' (2012), still riding a wave of stage adrenalin into equally, if not more, demented and eccentric funk acrobatics. Peaking from the opening bars of black midi-style melodic intensity with 'Stor Eiglass', he fakes left with the melancholy chimes of 'Baltang Ort' which somehow strobes between tranquil serenity and nosebleed funk. The EDM kids will be pulling all sorts of Skrillex f… Read more
Following on from an extended period of silence broken by 2013’s "The Weighing of the Heart” album, Cécile Schott a.k.a. Colleen returns with the fantastic "Captain Of None”, without question the finest record of her career to date. It’s the second Colleen outing that features her own vocals, but this time round there is a heightened pop sensibility fuelled by an immersion in the works of Arthur Russell (and in particular Tim Lawrence’s excellent biography "Hold On to Your Dreams”), as well as an unexpected love of Jamaican music manifest here via her first ever incorporation of bassline… Read more
*Rob Aiki Lowe re-appears alongside French synth voyager Ariel Kalma with quite possibly the finest release on RVNG yet following that killer side for Type a couple of years back. Highly recommended!* The FRKWYS series has a tendency to turn out some really inspired unions, and this ranks among their best. Recorded just outside of Mullimbimby, a remote community on the eastern Australian coast, it marks a pineal, inter-generational journey aligning Kalma's naturalist tendency and invaluable background working at the GRM with Lowe's mal… Read more
D'Marc Cantu (X2) and Tadd Mullinx (JTC) do their smart psycho-jack thing on M>O>S. 'Starfist Lazerbeam' balances an EBM-strength kick with wobblier acid and flighty flute motifs sagely nodding to classy Larry Heard classics; 'Passion' opens up a warehouse space of the mind with echoic drums and a B-line murder prickled with teasing arpeggios and haunted by the ghosts of Bam Bam.
Slamming electro-techno sh*t from the Dutch badboy on Berceuse Heroique. 'GMMDI' is a crushing piece of club hydraulix sprung with Drexciyan bass and streaked by piercingly hi-pitched synths, pure night-vision mission styles. Breaker 1 2 also bosses it with a more stripped down remix, cloud-busting the noise to reveal a back-breaking jack attack loaded with thee darkest intrusive synth thoughts. Apply without caution.
Sneaker Club capture Bass Clef at his sweetest, almost Balearic-sounding, with 'Present Moment Only Moment'. "Across previous releases on Punch Drunk, Werk, Rex Records and Blank Tapes, Bass Clef has effectively melded live instrumentation, nifty analogue synthesis and intricate drum work. In his ‘Moment Only Moment’ EP he makes no exception as he offers up a deluge of saccharine melodies and flecks of 90’s Rave and UK Garage all substantiated by thick, forceful subs."
Alva Noto beautifully exchanges austerity for cinematographic lushness with the remarkably widescreen 3rd volume in his 'Xerrox' series. Inspired by private, formative influences such as 'La Isla Misteriosa y el Capitán' - based on Jules Verne's 'The Mysterious Island' - and Tarvosky's screen adaptation of 'Solaris', he uses the self-designed Xerrox software to transpose early, ingenuous feelings of awe and wonder into innovative, intimate atmospheres and dynamic soundscapes. In keeping with the series' focus on "using the process of copying as a basis", and the manner in which the inhere… Read more
Stenny rules with the hybrid techno-breaks of 'Hagale' for Ilian Tape. Picking up where Shed left with 'Shedding The Past' (before going IDM proper), Stenny finds that perfectly weighted balance of rumbling brukbeats and bruised boom, leaning heavier on the scuffed breaks in powerplant-dedication 'Caveberg', and the glittering roil of 'Sublimation', whereas 'Hagale' runs a skipping garage-techno model and 'Ruins' wrecks-a-body with swanging, percolating patterns from the future. Unmissable techno. Can't wait to hear an album from this cat.
Throwing Snow piles his emotional weight behind two bittersweet techno trancers for Houndstooth. They mark a slight departure from his well-loved 'Mosaic' album, moving closer to the laser-guided but gruff grooves of recent Chris Clark than his nimble, jazzier workouts. 'Lumen' beams killawatts of lush synth discord to taste, banking dizzy synth harmonics and swinging breaks with a lip-smacking, ecto-buzz potency. 'Paint' works on the other side of the wave, tempering the sheer high with a sweeping sense of melancholic majesty for a proper friday night rollercoaster vibe. Gwan, gizza dab then.
Oneohtrix Point Never presents a strong 2nd set of commissioned soundtrack works. The two 'Bullet Hell Abstractions' were commissioned by the RBMA and inspired by the work of computer game composer Manabu Namiki - known for his shoot-em-up soundtracks - and veers headlong between rabid Sonic Subjunkies style breakcore and buckling digital noise dimensions. The 20 minute 'Suite From Magnetic Rose' is the captivating soundtrack to a rarely seen short film by Koji Morimoto, the creator of Akira. It was commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and premiered at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, The University of Manchester, U.K. October 4, 2014.
**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
Pev & Kowton serve the first new, original material on Livity Sound in over a year. They return industrialised and eager with the fibrillating kicks and ECG bleeps of 'Signal 3' up top, holding a wicked tension between monotone rhythm 'n drone with gear-slipping chord changes that mark it somewhere between Levon Vincent and recent Beneath plays. Down below, 'Low Strobe' channels the pressure into thrumming, hydraulik subs while flanging notes stalk the scene, waiting for the shaft-of-light breakdown.
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."
DJ Nigga Fox goes hard on the heels of Nidia Minaj and CDM with his 2nd 12" for the amazing Príncipe label. Pushing arguably the most exciting dance sound in the world right now, Rogério Brandão aka DJ Nigga Fox is all about sinuous rhythms and mad technoid sounds, coiling the legacy of Angolan and Congolese drum patterns with up-to-date electronics in the styles known as Batida, Tarraxinha, Funana, Kuduro. They're dynamite on the 'floor, wrecking a body between the triplet techno tumble of 'Um Ano' and the incendiary builds and twysting vortices of 'Apocalipsiii' on the A-side, before… Read more
SD's 1996 killer remastered and reissued to download for the first time. Originally issued as part of Metalheadz seminal Razor's Edge series. Here's hoping 'This is A Baad Rmx' gets a look out for the newer heads too, massive percy that one…
**Debut album by the former 100% Silk regular for Ghostly** "Throughout Insides, Fort Romeau guides us down misty corridors lined with supple synth pads, quietly thumping kicks, and elastic low-end sequences reinforced by an emotive confidence. Thick dancefloor cuts like "All I Want" and "Folle" are built on such satisfying elements—sounds so full-bodied, you'd swear they're knocking against your bones. This, too, is by design. "I wanted to make sure all the songs have a tangible quality," says Greene of his LP's physicality, "to make texture and grain become as important a part of the vocab… Read more
Brazilian producer Bungle opens 31's 2015 account with a plush/nasty quartet of rollers. 'Alone' shadowboxes with sparring drums and dreamier chords and 'Looking Bsck' hits a similarly emotional nerve as Sam KDC before the vibe turns dark and forward with the scything, minimalist drums and choking sub pressure of 'Arcadia' for a disciplined energy release, topped by the quick-stepping dexterity of 'Fast Forward'.