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
**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
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.
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
*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
'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
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
Exquisitely glacial longform composition from the modern master of minimalism. 'Trouble' marks quite possibly the quietest, concentrated levels in Drumm's catalogue. More placid/unnerving than even his 'Imperial Distortion' / 'Imperial Horizon' couplet, or practically anything else for that matter. It's a purified exercise in immersed listening, encouraging the participant to give it their undivided attention in return for a discreetly tactile and beautifully liminal experience, "neither ambient nor drone but a more complex investigation into the deep recesses of sound." We strongly recommend your submission to 'Trouble'.
We're on a wavey boogie tip this week, cuttin' rug from mutant, outsider funk to free-stylin' bedroom jams and wonky electronic sleaze. They're party jams for alternate dancefloors, funking with classic templates in freakiy fashion. Buz Ludzha's infectious earworm, 'Basslines For Death' gets us in the mood for a session that takes in Jeff Phelps' natty dancer '80s, 'On The Corner' beside the fudged funk of Eric Copeland's 'Trophy Nuts' and Moodymann's triplet wiggler, 'Momma'. At the party's loosest point we find Glasgow's hotly-tipped Laps duo with the No Wave bop of 'K… Read more
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
Ross Abrahams aka S Maharba drifts further from his sought-after instrumental hip- hop sound and into a fuggy world of The Caretaker-esque sonics in 'Memorial'. His first original release since 2012 is a chokingly dusty mixture of creaking neo-classical motifs and knackered downbeats, a sort of earnestly wistful and cinematic emo sound at best in the water-stained mulch of 'Michelle' and the haunted shuffle of 'Memorial'.
Eagerly anticipated reissue of an Ethio jazz-and-funk cornerstone from keyboard whizz Hailu Mergia on Awesome Tapes From Africa. Unlike the last time, when we heard him solo on 'Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument', here on the highly sought-after 'Tche Belew', he's backed by The Walias, one of Ethiopia's crack units, who're perhaps best known for collaborating with Mulatu Astatke and backing for star Éthiopiques singer, Ahmed Mahmoud. The legendary Astatke also appears on this one, but Hailu is arguably the star of the show, sitting front and centre with silky smooth orga… 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
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...
*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
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.
**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
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'.
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
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.
'Golden Circle Afternoon' is the trippy, fractured travelogue of a European tour undertaken by Argentinian avant-guitarist Anla Courtis and sound artists, BJNilsen & Stilluppsteypa. It's a dense and often frightening session, condensing some months of field recordings and transitional concepts into a heavy moving mass of drones, acousmatic sound sources and noisy flux, as though hearing their lives played in fast-forward and super slow, almost as you'd imagine the sense-scrambling experience of extended touring to be. To be honest I couldn't really sp… Read more
Marcus Intalex aka Trevino coins the Birdie label for his burgeoning c.130bpm output. Essentially he's transposing his patented liquid D&B vibes onto Detroit and UK tech-house templates, manifest in the clean, metallic chassis and rolling underlying heft of 'To The Core', in the sweeping proggy arrangement of 'Warmer', and over into darker filtered funk with 'Playtime' and smooth, swinging tech-house styles on 'Mezmerise'.
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
**Outstanding debut album of dusted grooves, like a battered, hobo cousin to Actress or NWAQ, with traces of vintage post-punk and wavey disco and nuff tape noise. TIPPED!** "Bones in Motion, the Northern Ireland hailing producer's latest full-length exercise, is dance music Leaving Records style - thoroughly busted techno for the post-punk demo tape set. On a blurry path between house music's early analog experiments and astounding vistas in modern digital production, you will hear ghostly wisps of woozy trance, distorted and dazzling, cooing through a thick haze of warbling warmth a… Read more
Dark0 follows his Lost Codes debut with a lean, trancey grime session for Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper label. Like Slackk or Ikonika's forward styles, Dark0 fuses brittle 2-step/grime patterns with well-oiled, fluoro folk/road melodies in a distinctly UK fashion. However, unlike the aforementioned, his sound also errs close to Hybrid or Sasha-like prog arrangements, and if we're getting wavey in the club at 3am, it's got strobe appeal...
As promised, with 'Exit', The Bug presents deeper, further versions and cuts that couldn't fit on his 'Angels & Devils' LP. The Grouper-starring 'Void' appears again, backed with a starker version and the vaulted vocal of her yearning new piece, 'Black Wasp', again with an instrumental full of worm-charming subs and decayed drones. The flipside of this dread pound is a louder cut of the murderous 'Function' featuring Manga, and the heavy troddin' march of 'Blaow' featuring The Bug's long-time spar, Daddy Freddy.
Choice selections from Rob Hood's 1994 classic, 'The Protein Valve'. The original cuts mark a point in Hood's seminal catalogue where he really defines his own style of minimalism to deadly effect. Yet for our 2p, they're outshone here by the crazed 909 bassline and chopped drum patterns of 'Analog Track (Ghost)' which is built with the sort of sleight of hand and crazed edits that producers simply don't, or can't, do nowadays. Even if you're overly familiar with the originals, that new cut is worth the entry alone.
"New instrumental rock project of Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield from Timber Timbre long active in Quebec's experimental/punk scene. Also features Timber Timbre frontman Taylor Kirk. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Trottier's studio in Hull, Quebec, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments, and. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout … Read more
18 months since 'Nostalchic', Brainfeeder's UK attache returns bittersweet as ever with 'Movement I, II & III'. The lysergic lovechild of celestial jazz, hip hop and electronica, his return is a triumphant epic - as you mighta guessed - in three parts structured around whirring trap drums, swallow-diving flutes and hyper-coloured synth dimensions humanised with genuinely lovely folk-soul vocals.
The Hyperdub capo and his dread spar at their best on 'Killing Season' - their first joint release since 2011's 'Otherman'. Strikingly, it reveals The Space Ape at his most honest, both lyrically and aesthetically, with sparing use of effects and pitching sharpening his position over whipsmart drill snares and depth charge subs in 'Chasing A Beast', or eerily panned and centred around the coil groove and drones of 'Devil Is A Liar'. In 'Heart' he's heard lucid amidst recursive echoes and skittish hi-hat patter, whilst the beatless 'Pictures On The Wall' could almost be one o… Read more
**Sterling reissue of Witch's juicy 1984 LP, 'Kuomboka' - original copies are listed at well over 500 quid 2nd hand!** "If Movin' On is Witch's Rumours then Kuomboka is their Tusk; a remarkable follow-up to a timeless album that shows the band taking greater risks in songwriting and playfully experimenting with production techniques. This album is Witch's stunning swansong before the fast-changing music industry and political environment in Zambia took its toll on the group. Again rooted in American FM radio, from soft rock ballads to boogie, this album sees the group embrace their Zambian roots … Read more
Techy, percussive reworks of Barcelona's Downliners Sekt. There's straight-playing techno from Blondes; sulky, schizoid filter treatments from Patten; a swraming breakbeat fracture from Italy's Chevel; a rugged techno deviation by Monomood; submerged electronic dramatics from The Wanderer.
Klaves kicks off PMR's Beat Club with two lean London house shufflers. 'People' gets up with deep house keys and tight, scissoring drums for the shape-cutters; 'Oh No' simmers down on a slinkier swing with more infectious percussion.
Ricardo Donoso takes inspiration from ancient myth to consolidate all aspects of his oeuvre in the romantic ambient trance-scape of 'A Song For Echo'. Riffing on the classic tale of unrequited love, Donoso breaks down the distinctions between his claustrophobic Scubadeath output and the elusive melancholia of his highly regarded 'Assimilating The Shadows' and 'Progress Chance' albums. The result is a downward spiral from shoreside location recordings and plangent, piquant electronics to abyssal drone and blooming darkside geometries via brooding chamber techno pieces and keening drone depths capturing his sound on the cusp of transition to a heady space on the horizon.
The nights are drawing in, and with them the allure of those labels that specialise in sating our night cravings - Hospital Productions, Blackest Ever Black, Downwards, History Always Favours The Winners - who're all represented here, alongside fellow shadow lurkers such as Helge Sten and John Paul Jones' Minibus Pimps, UK's Beppu and Broken Bone, and Russia's Love Cult. From BEB we've included Xibalba Road' off Black Rain's "last word in cyberpunk techno", aka 'Dark Pool', plus the haunting Regis version of Dalhous's 'He Was Human and Belonged With Humans' beside some d… 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
Dan Snaith indulges his most sensitive indie-disco-pop side with 'Our Love', his sixth solo album as Caribou. Hingeing on the slippery ohrwurm of the title track's electro-disco-tech romp, the rest of the album features Jessy Lanza in the technoid R&B flux of 'Second Chance', plus numerous contributions of Owen Pallett's violin and viola in the moody slo-mo slug, 'Silver', that title track, and the dusty radiophonic disco-tech of 'Your Love Will Set You Free'.
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.
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
With the astounding quality of releases that have appeared on Type recently, it would be easy to become blasé over their output. Deaf Center shake you from any such complacency - delivering here a record that will be extremely hard to beat as album of the year for 2005. Apparently inspired by "old silent 8mm film reels and historical architecture", the Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland have produced a lambent debut that recalls the likes of William Basinski (particularly the 'Disintegration Loops' indebted 'Lobby'), Marsen Jules and Harold Budd. Over layers of warmly battered … Read more
In addition to re-establishing links with regular co-conspirators like Attila Csihar and Earth's Dylan Carson, this seventh SunnO))) album finds Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson greatly expanding their sound with personnel from beyond their usual circle of doom-dealing metallurgists. Julian Priester (a veteran of Sun Ra, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock recordings) joins composer Eyving Kang alongside brass, reed and string ensembles and a Viennese female choir in embellishing the usual idiom of low frequency drones and glacial guitar motions, adding a whole other dimension to … Read more
21-track Reissue of Drexciya's first album proper and a milestone for Detroit and electronic music in general. It was first released in 1999 and has since been hailed as one of the enigma's most crucial missives. Opinions will differ, but this CD version is arguably the definitive edition, containing 21 tracks to the LP's 13, and a discernibly lucid digital mastering compared with relatively smudged frequencies on the 2LP vinyl. To put it simply, and without overstatement: this is one of the finest electronic albums ever made.
*Both tracks not included on the soon to be released 'Liumin' album* Rod Modell and Steve Hitchell return to Modern Love with this new twelve and soon to be released album 'Liumin'. In the years that have passed since their last album both artists have been busy with numerous projects, building their own Echospace imprint and recording under a number of different guises. Modell in particular has developed his longstanding fascination with location recordings, and some made in Tokyo over the last couple of years provide the sour… Read more
*Thomas Köner's seminal first three albums newly mastered by the artist himself. The three albums have been long unavailable on CD and were originally released between 1992 and 1993 and are considered classics of the Dark Ambient/Drone genre* Following on from three limited vinyl editions, Type now proudly presents a triple CD package including the first three, long unavailable and newly mastered albums from influential drone sounscapist Thomas Köner. Since the release of these three albums in the early 90's Köner has gone on to enjoy something akin to a cult status among mu… Read more
**Upfront exclusive!!!** Lean and hungry dubstep minimalism from the hugely promising Objekt label. We know b*b-all about the artists but in true, facelessly underground style, the music does all the talking. For the forward steppers 'The Goose That Got Away' jams on a warped 808 rhythm and ascending chords vibe, sounding something like Pearson Sound sparring with Jam City. Next, 'Tinderbox' turns out a more menacing vibe, building a forcefield of 808 bass to protect crunked-out triplet rolls and a rush of darkside adrenaline synths tapping into a deep reserve of UK rave essence. Support from Peverelist, Appleblim, Ben UFO and Pinch. This is the sh*t, basically. TIPPED!