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
Gorgeous debut album of new age/grime fusion from Local Action's newest avatar, Yamaneko. Sublimating the structures of OG grime with the diaphanous tones of meditational aid cassettes, Yamaneko's 'Pixel Wave Embrace' reads like a strange wet dream on screen, and the results actually aren't too far off. Whilst the likes of Visionist, Moleskin, Fatima Al Qadiri and Slackk have all emphasised grime's melodic, ethereal side, Yamaneko takes that aesthetic one step further east to a synaesthetic xen space full of fragrant, reflective chimes and harmonics. It's most explicit in the title a… Read more
We kick off our 2014 survey with 14 crucial mutations that twyst the lines of grime, trance and footwork to nexx level results. Lars T C F Holdhus proved to be one of this year's most exciting, intriguing artists, and fronts this selection with the cryptography-inspired, gyroscopic post-hardstyle sweep of '54 C6 ...' beside DJ B.Boy's slo-mo bullet from Lisbon, 'Moh Cota' and a couple of other Latinate zingers from the brilliant NMO and Arca. Lorenzo Senni also made our year with his stunning 'Superimpositions' LP, from which we've included 'PointillisticT',… Read more
*Comes bundled with a killer Certified Connections mix from DJ Parris* Killer skool of 2014 survey from Dusk & Blackdown's Keysound Recordings. 14 heavyweights in the dance touching on all manner of new sounds from the weightless iMax flex of Logos' 'Metropolis' to the juicy tropical synthuality of Murlo and E.M.M.A or the gutted grime mutations of Wen and Parris. It also introduces a stack of new names to the label with bullets like Caski's dark garage grine 'Tunnel Music', Aphix's icy 'Sin King' and the nice/nasty grime shades of DLVRY's 'Guilt' or t… 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
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
Heads-down in the dance with four brooding breakbeat and ambient garage figures from Synkro for Apollo. 'Someone' tugs on the heart-strings with solemn arrangement of sweeping pads and Toasty-style breakbeats; the ghostly 'Transient' flits around Burial and dBridge-style late romance; 'Contact' slips into something more comfortable with silky dowsntrokes and a vocal reminding of Steve Spacek; 'Falling' nods to mid '00s electronica with a poised blend of Ulrich Schnauss and Arovane-esque motifs anchored by a minimalist UK groove.
Berlin's Positive Centre pays up on the slow techno promise of his early 12"s with this focused and powerful debut album for Sigha's label. On paper/screen it works to a seductive concept - decelerating industrial techno back to its temporal roots in EBM and New Beat - that proves itself in physical reality with a "blend of extreme momentum and forced introspection." Never raising its head above 115bpm, he divides a palette of squashed kicks, wide bass and polluted atmospheres across ten tracks, each as bleak and unrelenting as the next but also peppered with moments of pellucid… Read more
Tempa goes Bristolian with two lean and slinky riddims from Hodge & Facta. Both arrive at this 12" off the back of their strongest work, Hodge with the 'Mind Games' for Hotline and 'Amor Fati' for Dnuos Ytivil, and Facta on the 'Loveless' 12" for Idle Hands. Here, with 'Spheres Of Costa' they find a super-cooled balance of noirish chimes and humid, playfully tropical percussion for the early swingers, whereas 'Visions' is blatantly dark and moody, all Brizzle bass shifts and spiny drums worked for the 130bpm crew.
**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
Still Music's Jerome Derradji and Kevin Starke ov Kstarke Records present a unparalleled haul of hitherto hidden Chicago house weapons in 'The House That Jackmaster Hater Built'. Mixing previously unreleased diamonds that used to be traded on tape between the likes of Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles, along with some of Starke's own Jackmaster Hater edits and productions, plus loads more, you kinda get the sense you should be pinching yourself when listening to joints like the demented Ron Hardy edit of 'Happiness' or the freakishly ra… Read more
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
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'.
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!
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
Steffi serves a sophisticated sophomore LP for OstGut Ton with 'Power Of Anonymity'. Deeply indebted to classic Detroit house and techno, it plays out ten tracks of romantic machine soul driven by elegant grooves and alleviated by expansive atmospheres - exactly the kinda thing you'd expect to hear her spin at her Panorama Bar residency. It's a real mood setter, keeping the lights dimmed but reassuringly glowing throughout, from the E.R.P.-style electro hush of opener 'Pip' and the astral-bound techno of 'Everyday Objects' thru the Share Vari-referencing funk of highlight 'Treasure See… 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
Outstanding mid-tempo disco session from Mark E for Futureboogie. Ask us, we'll tell ya this is probably the best we've ever heard from the Brummie producer. The A-side's 'Activity' is a dangerously hypnotic chugger riding the slickest bass arpeggio on astral trajectory to proper, Carpenter-esque peaks; B-side gets right down with the buttered claves and fruity yet minimal synth strokes, and 'Shapes' comes off like some long lost NWAQ production. Choice.
Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL returns armed with a new 8-track mini album. From the moody chug of ‘Greater Antilles VIP’ - appearing in its original unedited glory - to Lustman’s own bruk beatdown version ‘Do Me’ (“This one is for the kids” he says), the palette here is as rich and diverse as on ‘In The Wild’. The reworks come direct from Lustman’s extended musical family - Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas (aka μ-Ziq), Blueberry Records’ very own Brrd and the mighty E+E.
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
Ruggedly Afro-centric grooves rolled out of Düsseldorf's Salon Des Amateurs by The Durian Brothers - Stefan Schwander, Florian Meyer, Marc Matter - for Kontra-Musik. A process based ensemble centred around prepared turntables + effects plus sequencer, the stanky monikered trio deal in a rough-edged, hypnotic style squared up for the club. The tracks on 'Das Macht Modern' are divided roughly between stripped down, lolling rhythmelodies across the front, at best in the metallic stepper 'Secession', whilst the flipside offers slightly plusher arrangements in the To Rococo Rot-g… Read more
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'.
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
Straight-up techno murder from Sleeparchive and Mike Parker for Repitch. Sleeparchive's in deadly form with the slamming Brummie momentum of 'Fifth The Station' and the spaced-out bleeps of 'White Angel Breadline' intersected by two beastly locked grooves. Mike Parker takes control on the other side with the signature lizard-tongue synth lashes and caving kicks of 'Flying Nerves' plus the aquatic flux of 'Lustrum'.
Bruce rolls off an ace 12" for Livity Sound into a trio of murky, mongrel techno trax for Hessle Audio. The lop-sided wamp of 'Not Stochastic' is a refreshing, exemplary take on the noisy, abstract techno nexus; yoking minimal, thrumming techno from the brink of psychedelic chaos to tensely gritted effect. By turns, 'Trip' takes the opportunity to investigate niche ambient zones between Burial, Inga Copeland and Dynamo, before 'My Legs Wouldn't Go Quick Enough' delivers a sort of dream-state return to the dancefloor with tetchy drums and morphing atmospheric pressure. It's a bewt. Tip!
*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
Portable delivers a real beauty to Live at Robert Johnson with 'Surrender', his follow-up to 'A Process' (2012) for Frankfurt's finest. And much like this year's 'Sportable' 12" for Perlon, it's another dose of his sensitive, expressive baritone and gilt-edged grooves, playing hard-to-get over loose, swinging drums, Lcio's heart-lifting flutes and thee most elegant keys, all broken down to instrumental dub and acapella on the B-side.
'Xen' sets a definitive new apex for 24 y.o. Venezuelan artist Alejandro Ghersi aka Arca following his pivotal production roles on two of the most important hip hop/R&B albums in recent memory; Kanye's 'Yeezus' and FKA Twigs 'EP2' & 'LP1' - plus production work on Bjork;s next album still to come. Suitably housed among the roster of electronic legends on Mute, it's a nimble leap forward from last year's incredible '&&&&&' mixtape/LP, refracting myriad variations of his chamber-like fusion of vaporwave 'tronics, tarraxho and technoid pop queered with completely unique tunings and rent with exquisite 3D … Read more
The 4th set in Hyperdub's 10th anniversary series features an exclusive Burial track among 28 cuts exploring the label's deep, rude and rugged dancefloor side. It's stuffed with killer new gear, not least Burial's blue roller 'Lambeth' but also nuff VIPs and remixes from core roster and friends of the fam. Highlights run from Cooly G's Dub Organiser era swinger 'Him da Biz' thru the lean, mean techno of Kode 9's 'Oh' ace and the minimalist slink of Ossie & PHRH's 'Ugly Observation', to a bubbling bambounou remix of Jessy Lanza's 'Fxxk Diamond' and a jazz re-fry of Matyn's 'Mega Drive Gneer… Read more
Portland, Oregon's BAT notches up his 2nd vinyl release with the murky post techno of his 'Neon Razor Chain' for Left_Blank. For the past few years he's become a bit of a cult concern in the hardware-fetishising tape scene and beyond, drawing favourable comparisons with everyone from Basic House to Prostitutes, Vessel and Container. Revving up the buzzsaw grine and haunted space of title track 'Neon Razor Chain', he gets grittier with the blown-out, tetchy techno charge of 'Strobic' in the front, before inverting the formula to crushed dub styles with 'Jackal Code' and more wayward, plonging ambient dub in 'Digi Hex' and 'Anti Code'.
Daniel Ansorge aka Barnt backs up a deeply unique swathe of singles with his debut album, 'Magazine 13' for the eponymous label he started with fellow Köln types, Crato and Jens-Uwe Beyer. Since 2010 he's released a steady stream of records which brought back a sense of kosmiche wonder and electronic enigma that was arguably lacking in German house and techno sounds. And most crucially, he did it without sacrificing the fundamentals of big bad kicks and minimal percussion, resulting absolute bewts such as 'All Worlds All Times' and more recently with the staggering chops of 'Chappell' for Joy … Read more
Appleblim and Second Storey go toe-2-toe as ALSO with their first session for R&S. Arriving four years after their 'Lipsmacker' 12" for Aus Music, this time they're darker, crunchier, and moodier, with three cuts taking in the tetchy, hay-wired electro of 'Sids Conundrum' next to the cyber dread swing of 'Ashford Swaithes', and chromed-out breakbeat twists in 'Dive Prophets'.
**Another tour of M. Geddes Gengras' wired mind, following the Moog years volume with eight purely modular constructions again for Umor Rex** "New Process Music represents a major aesthetic shift for M. Geddes Gengras, fusing the long-form modular compositions he had been exploring on a bevy of small-run cassette releases with a new obsession with post-production editing to create a deeply tuned aural environment, lush in analog electronics that are gritty along the edges, with rich textures and melodies materializing and wafting away like smoke. For New … 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
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'.
**Extended post-punk/doom session from an Ascetic House artist defected to Downwards** "Marshtepper resides somewhere on the other side. Gutter intellectualism put to sound, their first proper vinyl release is an extreme meditation on the reintegration of desire and the legitimation of individual corporeality, which reaffirms the hermeneutics of the unspoken. This is music that adds to the validity of the natural, an illusion of millennial hedonism."
*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
Fresh from his cover feature in The Wire magazine, Richard Dawson rises up from the bed of the River Tyne with a voice that crumbles and soars, steeped in age old balladry and finely-chiselled observations of the mundane. Richard Dawson is a skewed troubadour at once charming and abrasive. His shambolically virtuosic guitar playing stumbles from music hall tune- smithery to spidery swatches of noise-colour, swathed in amp static and teetering on the edge of feedback. His songs are both chucklesome and tragic, rooted in a febrile imagination that references worlds held dear and w… 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!!
"If there’s one thing Jonas Kopp has proven over the last decade is that he can turn his hand to just about anything. Since debuting on Pﬁrter’s revered MindTrip Music back in 2006, the Buenos Aires native has managed to rack up a rich and compelling discography, coursing with ease through electronic music’s various forms. From warm Chicago house through to deep, dark and driving techno on labels like Deeply Rooted House, Stroboscopic Artefacts and more, Kopp’s hypnotic and heady sentiment has remained the red thread throughout, which has allowed him to ﬂourish as one of techno’s … Read more
In orbit of deep house, ambient techno and kosmische dub, these 14 tracks map a small constellation of contemporary club dreams. Seeking a place between the 'floor and oneiric head-space, they tend toward a rethinking and refinement of classic tropes, smudging, tweaking and melting conventions to a more ambiguous yet timeless purpose. With thanks to Manchester's meandyou. label, there's an exclusive download of Herron's stumbling cosmic nugget, '33 Weeks' in the mix along with Bruce's interstellar house tangle and the dusty drift of Dresvn's Livity Sound mix for fine con… 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.
Exceptional house music on DJ Qu's Strength Music Recordings. Italy's Massimiliano Vianello aka Pixel Music steals the scene with the deeply infectious bassline, sprung drums and trancing sytnh progressions of 'M-Theory' on the A-side - worth the entry twice over - whilst newcomer Nicuri makes good with the latinate shuffle, thrumming subs and Wolfgang Voigt-like strings of 'Thoughts Of You', and DJ Qu cleans up with an ear-worming, body-tucking wiggler named 'Undescribed (Believer)'. Dancers, DJs; fill yer boots!
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.