Badboy Beneath rolls out his most substantial collection for a while with 'Shlocky' for Berceuse Heroique. His follow-up to the 'Vobes EP' [PAN, 2014] delivers 4 pressurised, shoulder-barging rollers cherry-picking from the last 25 years of rave music and updating its essence with an austere sense of modernism. In '50/50' he comes off like early '90s Shiver clashing late '90s Optical, whilst the crushed swagger of 'Freeze' feels like Digital doing UKF. In the crushed swagger of 'Soho' he spend nearly eight minutes exploring the crankiest syncopation of ruddy dancehall and dread techno tones, bef… Read more
**Audio for Flac format is 24 bit / 44.1kHz** "Virtuoso bassist and singer-songwriter Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns to the Brainfeeder fold with his first solo material in two years, having already made outstanding contributions to not one, but two, of the best albums of 2015 - Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington's The Epic. This mini-album picks up where 2013's Apocalypse left off, with Thundercat joined on production duties by longtime sparring partner Flying Lotus for six spiralling excursions to the outer limits of jazz-funk. The leg… Read more
'The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now' is the staggering debut album by Oliver Perryman a.k.a. FIS. In pursuit of a sound ecology reflecting the complex dynamics of nature thru electronic music, FIS' un-quantised, texturally abstract compositions have practically ripped the rug from beneath the feet of D&B, techno and ambient music to leave them spinning in gyroscopic hyperspace. Now, after a series of cultishly acclaimed singles for Samurai Horo, Exit and Tri Angle, a.o., he atomises that aesthetic to exhilarating and utterly arresting new levels, leaving the dancefloor and bedro… Read more
Manchester's Walton consolidates grime, techno and dubstep frames in a taut collection for Tectonic. Last spotted on a trio of 12"s for Hyperdub, he remains true to a mutant 130bpm stylein the 'Bulldoze' EP, throwing down the icy strings and whirring worksite percussion of 'Wrench' beside the ruffneck bongos and wheezing grime melodies of 'Flute Riddim' up top, whilst B-side brings a killer sound synching pirate radio barks with EBM-strength drums and massive subs, and 'L.E.A.N.' comes off like some Chiraq drill infused with roadwise UK flex. Cold and deadly.
Hyperdub pull out a posthumous collection of unreleased DJ Rashad bangers. All tried and tested in the circle, they get wild in a variety of styles, from the discofied DJ Spinn hook-up, 'CCP2', and the soul-belting burn of 'Vause I Know U Feel' with Gant-Man, to the strobing Footwork hyper-funk of 'Ya Hot', feat. Taso, and the virulent blend of trapped siren stabs, palpitating subs and darkside D&B-style synth lashes in 'Do Not Fuck With', which could well be one of the most FWD, unique footwork cuts we've heard, no messing. R.I.P. Rashad.
In the spotlight this week: 14 rugged, rude and techy rhythms from the UK's bass/house prism. Centred around the 115-130bpm framework, we find a number of players pushing house and techno down stranger, darker nooks and alleys in UK hotspots. From Manchester, you'll find the likes of Chunky, Paleman and Walton working a stripped-down, natty sound focussed on syncopated sleight and ruddy flava, whilst Bristol holds tight to a brooding dread sound in the skeletal step of Laksa's 'Touchdown' and gritty rolige of 'Lucid State' by Rhythmic Theory. On an inter-city tip, Bristol'… Read more
Like bloody buses, you don't get a new Nico Jaar for four years and then two come in the space of months! 'Nymphs Vol.III' yields a pair of subtly emotive cuts for the 'floor and home, with 'Swim' sharing 13 minutes of tousled tech-house melancholy and 'Mistress' 'fessing an richly evocative and warped solo piano vignette pulling on the auld 'art-strings.
RP Boo, the OG source of all things Chicago footwork, comes correct with a killer 2nd solo album for Planet Mu. 'Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints' is an armoury of battle trax for the 'floor, delivered with a conviction and density of energy that's impossible to ignore if you're into electronic dance music or the lineage of Afro-American sonics. As with its predecessor, 'Legacy', this album is a showcase of RP Boo's finely-honed dancer's instinct and incisive sampling technique, using uniquely fractured motifs and complex repetitions to reconfigure our physiology, so firmly … Read more
Nico Jaar serves his 1st single in four years with the moody/pastoral ambient techno tones of 'Nymphs II'. In the time that's elapsed since then, he's started and finished the Darkside project and closed his Clown + Sunset label to concentrate on Other People, which has revealed itself a fruitful endeavour with some 30 releases since 2013. These tracks, penned in NYC between 2011 and 2015 reassert his position between modern composition and dancefloor music: 'The Three Sides of Audrey and Why She's All Alone Now' moves thru the distinct movements, sweeping from ghostly pastoral shades… Read more
Nonplus trigger a keenly awaited series of Source Direct remasters + remixes with their Hokusai killer, 'Black Rose' (1996), reworked by Blawan. This is truly momentous stuff, illuminating a pivotal pinnacle of '90s dance music for a new generation whilst also providing fresh, state-of-the-art context thru modern scenes. Beloved of everyone from Kode 9 to Nonplus+'s infamous boss, Boddika, the original 'Black Rose' is an unparalleled blueprint for mid '90s jungle, a 'marish phantasia of slashing strings, bowel-spilling Reese bass and ouroboros-like breakbeats chasing their… Read more
Atmospheric slow/fast motions from the German wing of Cosmic Bridge. Danny Scrilla does that quicksilver halfstep thing best in the heady roll of 'Helium' and at a jazzy tilt with 'Rigel7', before linking with Om Unit on the jungle juggling weightless step of 'Free Flight'.
Rugged and bittersweet UK rufige from Manchester's Paleman, sprung on Loefah's 81 label. 'Like O' runs a sticky reduction of grimy flutes, sirens and junglist stabs on a cooled-out and dread 808 house bounce; with 'Dining and Bar' he's a forlorn souljah, coaxing tender ambient chords to a Burial-esque bit of sub-sunk 2-step built for deeper club play. In-the-pocket business. Tip!
Kuedo and Joe Shakespeare's hugely promising Knives label debut the hyper-lucid constructs of J.G. Biberkopf with 'Ecologies', housed in suitably striking artwork by Joe Hamilton. Hailing from Lithuania, Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf has hatched a dramatic and immersive aesthetic, drawing upon cutting edge instrumental grime, net phenomenology and cyber-ambient sound design to patch collaged spheres working across club, theatre and digital radio contexts. As with the output of contemporary artists like T C F or Elysia Crampton, thru to his networked peers such as v1984 and Sentinl, J.G.B's m… Read more
Percussive house tricks from General Ludd, who was known as Dam Mantle before enlisting in the house army with releases for Clan Destine, Mister Saturday Night Records and Autonomous Africa. 'Wigu Hill' jerks out like Soundhack meets Dego; 'Molycorps Mountain Pass' deals in flanging metallic tribalism; 'Garimpos' locks down to a Diskant-like loop-off; 'Prisoners Dilemna' gets down liek a Bookworms bewt with taut layers of writhing, driving drum patterns.
Studio Barnhus co-boss Kornél Kovács on a dope house flex for Numbers. With 'Radio Koko', the Stockholm-based producer and DJ demonstrates a deep and colourful knowledge of classic and current house and techno mechanics with four tracks of characterful grooves. They're full of 'floor-charming fake-outs and kinks, from the filtered cocktail of B-more breaks and horn stabs chopped and swung about disco bass and strings in 'Lighthouse', to the diamond-cut freestyle house slam of 'Pantalón' - proper anthem material! - thru the hip hop-cooled swing of 'Gangsta', and the Joe-style drum juggling of 'Malon'. Bit of a no brainer for the party, this one. TIP!
Dreader UK pressure from Bristol via London on PAN affiliate Beneath's Mistry label, coined for his peers and like-minded bass cadets. The label's 4th drop is Laksa's first, framing the ruggedest UK house sounds with red-eyed night vision. 'Draw For The' strides over the A-side with drunken master style; all sloshing subs and roiling drums inna cold and brittle echo chamber style. B-side, 'Baded' drops the tempo a few notches but brings up the celsius at the same time, finding a woozy sub-tropical swagger in its hard surfaces and synthetic bird calls, whilst 'Touchdown' forges a killer sort o… Read more
Koehler conducts a mutant acid skank, backed with a cranky-assed remix by A Made Up Sound. Swedish producer Koehler's 3rd shot for Berceuse Heroique knuckles out grubby sub wobbles, twysted 303 drops and shanking chords like some lost Abi Shanti acid dub. On the flip, it feels like A Made Up Sound dragged the same track backwards thru a hedge, turning out like some wild-eyed and feral bashment acid attack sparked up with crushed breaks inna Ambush records fashion. Good stuff.
*Mastered by Rashad Becker, features photography by Kim Thue and artwork by Bill Kouligas* Luke Younger's Helm undergoes a captivating metamorphosis from noise agitator to industrial ambient alchemist with 'Olympic Mess', his new album for PAN. Prompted by a period of personal turmoil and a chaotic lifestyle on the road playing support for Danish punks, Ice Age; Younger expands his sonic palette here with nods to the loop-based structures and textural sensuality of balearic disco, dub techno and industrial music. When filtered into his patented mix of hi-fidelity electro-acoustic process, fiel… Read more
Hessle Audio's Pangaea grapples with gritty UK techno/bass mutations in his 3rd, self-released number for Hadal. Raking over and reigniting an embarrassment of UK rave riches, he cuts out four tracks ranging from the early Autechreian inflections of 'Something In Your Eye' to the roguish roil of ragga chat and halfstep techno rolige in 'Stimulant Dub', before the rusty bassline house shank of 'New Shapes In The Air' bowls out on the B-side next to a Norman Nodge-like shake-down entitled 'They Buy Gold'. Super solid set for the DJs and dancers.
Moritz Von Oswald conducts a cabinet reshuffle, exchanging Vladislav Delay for legendary Afrobeat percussionist Tony Allen on his superb fourth Trio album and follow-up to 'Borderland' with Juan Atkins. Alongside original member Max Loderbauer, the trio embark on a new and deeply charming chapter of elemental rhythm and sound exploration, positioning them ever closer to some modern day version of the Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Dub is still the foundation, and jazz the teacher, but the languid roll of Allen's drums and Loderbauer's lissom bleeps now hint at … Read more
IG Culture and Alex Phountzi return with some up-to-the-second rhythms on their 2nd outing as NameBrandSound. Infusing a mercurial UK soul to the patterned structures of footwork, trap and house, the 'Spaceship' EP gets live in five parts, from the nagging vocal stabs and crooked eklectro-funky pulse of 'It's Cold' to a run of Chicago-style winners taking in the rapid flux of the title track plus the slowfast bashment bullet, 'Bran Dem Riddim', the chrome-drip chords of 'Can't Stop This', and a soulful tizzy entitled 'Head’.
Moiré, Disguise and pals flex their new Neversleep moniker for Phonica White with a trio of ruder house functions. Leading on from Moiré's 'BBoy 202' for Werk Discs/Ninja Tune, he gets busy on the A-side with a hulking, Kardashi-assed house bomb in his remix of 'Mouth Shut', before tagging in Disguise on the B-side for a sorta wonky Daft Punk (Homework era) style hip house boogie slam, and the man's own Special Mix of 'Mouth Shut' swapping the choking pressure for something much lighter, defter.
Clinical techno hypnosis conducted by Sweden's Peder Mannerfelt and Simon Haydo for Shifted's Avian label. This is some of the purest, most visceral Techno we've heard in a while, grappling with sheer frequencies and shifty patterns with a proper, bloody-minded focus. It more or less blends the best of both their worlds - Mannerfelt's uncanny studio skill and Haydo's sleek, purified dance tracks found on DEM. There's five cuts of finer wave functions oscillating between monotone jacks, rumbling rhythmic noise and EBM-tainted throbbers for the hardest-to-please experimental techno heads.
Berlin's Sleeparchive furnishes Mord with four cuts of prime bleep techno. No messing about here - it's pure techno - stoking the club with perfectly paced ice-drip bleeps and thundering momentum in the first track, beside a body-scanning 2nd part, and absolutely slaying us with the psychotomimetic cadence and raw noise stabs of the 3rd cut, before locking in the deliquescent chimes and guttural bass jabs of the 4th track.
Jamie xx practises safe raving with his debut solo album proper, following a 2011 collaboration with Gil Scott-Heron and production as part of The xx. 'In Colour' posits Jamie as the pre-eminent posh soul boy, lifting and massaging inspiration from the rich heritage of late '80s + early '90s London dance culture and channelling it into a pop-ready format palatable to Radio 1 daytime tastes and festival soundtracks. The putative "soul" of rare groove, boogie, hardcore and early jungle is sucked out and spliced with vocals in feathered arrangements ripened up for students and yummy mummys… Read more
Barcelona's excellent Arnau Sala aka Exoteric Continent serves his 3rd lot of throbbing industrial machine killers via Hospital Productions. This digital release collects both volumes of the super limited cassette (48 copies of each), 'Referèndum', spanning nine tracks of toiling drums and groaning synths with highlights found in the chewy knots of 'Definició d'Estat', the nimble techno hulk of 'La mirada llarga' and the Powell-esque synth fizz of 'Autoritat'. Highly Recommended!
One of Germany's most feted IDM acts reunite on their first new album in over 10 years. Since disbanding with 'Disconnected', the duo followed separate paths, with Chiurs De Luca continuing to make music as Phon.o and executing mastering duties at Calyx, before MoM's Andy Thoma brought them back together in 2014 for the 21 project. After a bit of bro and to, they've conjured a new album that goes easier on their signature "glitch" style and brings forward a warmer sense of soul in that sterile sense of hazy chords and swung beats accentuated by neo-trilby jazz vox from Taprikk Sweezee, Jamie Lidell and Jay-Jay Anderson.
*Download edition includes mixed and unmixed versions* Actress presents a sweeping, poetic summation of his tastes for DJ-Kicks. His first commercially available mix-tape draws a jagged freehand from the raw house of Breaker 1 2 (Greg Beato) thru to Gherkin Jerks (Larry Heard) via his own, exclusive 'Bird Matrix', and stacks of esoteric connections between Autechre, Beneath, UR, $hit & $hine and Mark Fell, to name but a few. A tour de force of the last 25 years of electronic dance music, it lays bare the far flung coordinates of Actress' deeply skewed sound, whether jamming the coarse textures … Read more
**Lossless format for this release contains 24 bit audio** "The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Camero… Read more
In-the-pocket house moves from Matt Karmil for Bristol's Idle Hands. These are tracky, bare-bones grooves, from the bumbling B-line squash of 'Play It' to the dusted, Theo-esque shuffle of 'Do It', and the nifty, percolated shunt of 'Say It'.
Juju & Jordash take it to the hilt with a bag of fruity house percolations for Dekmantel. Amsterdam's jazziest house cats return to the label they sparked off with two releases in 2009, only this time with peak, eye-fluttering club times in mind - giving up the goods in four parts they nod to classic Cajual and Glenn Underground styles between the sublime bounce of 'Down To The Roach' and its stripped dub, whereas 'Bean Bag Motel' checks out a stranger, jazzier vibe rife with wiggly, layered synths and 'Lights At Night' shows off with the dopest '80s Detroit styles.
"The Reactivate EP is Blastto's homage to classic rave music with a 2015 twist-4 energetic DJ friendly, club focussed tracks. Intro track Acid Light is a feel-good piano roll anthem flourished with the odd Eski-inspired sound and classic drum breaks, followed by Pandemonium - a peak time banger with a nod to 90's signature Altern-8/2 Bad Mice synth stabs. Such A Feeling pulls out the stops and Mitsubishis with hoovers, Amen breaks and hardcore style pitched up vocals. Rounding it all of is Ready To Go, a grimey yet fun industrial grinder. Support Plastician (Rinse FM), Sinden, Nina Las Vegas, LuckyMe, Rushmore, Catchdubs (Fools Gold), Inkke…"
The square root of hip hop, industrial and electronica, Jack Dangers a.k.a. Meat Beat Manifesto furnishes Skam's 2nd Kasm drop. As a major influence on the label's hybrid hip hop and techno aesthetics, MBM makes a logical inclusion in the series, following James Ruskin and Mark Broom's outing as The Fear Ratio with four cuts of skudgy, eldtrich acid and hip hop. Up top, he extrudes the malleable acid quirks and thrumming EBM bass of 'Nocebo' beside the pulsing, crepuscular house minimalism of 'Lurker'. Flipside, he unfurls the slippery acid dream sequence of 'Present For Sally', and clocks out with a classic Skam hip hop sound in the chiming BoC-like tone of 'Agelast'.
Clipped electro-house from Rob Clouth on his return to Leisure System, backed with Kowton and Vessels remixes. The original makes great use of a convulsive, dubstep-style toad tone wrapped to a swaggering IDM-boogie groove. Kowton's remix ruffs up the drums and spikes the atmospheres to lush, prickling effect, and Vessels (note the extra 's') knead the same elemebnts into a whirring tech-house wormhole.
Blawan returns with 'Warm Tonal Touch', a cold-hearted modular techno assault on the senses. It's also the first release on his Teresc label and represents a scything new streak in his oeuvre harnessing the maximalist might of modular electronics. As with any instrument, it's only as good as the artist's imagination and intentions, and, whilst other operators manage to make their machines sound frankly boring, Blawan manages to animate his discipline with visceral force and effect. A-side unloads the lip-bitingly brutal wallop and noise of 'Talatone' plus a clattering, dissonant jacker e… Read more
Blawan reveals his bleakest, most bleached-out and finest constructions on his second modular techno session for his Ternesc label. In contrast to the all-out barrage of 'Warm Tonal Touch', these trax are reduced to bare, viscous vibrations and spooked sci-fi atmospheres in four parts. A-side sets a shivering tone with the sputtering bass pattern and gloomy ambient motifs of 'Hanging Out With The Birds', for 'Mine Oh Mine' to pick up the pace while concentrating the vibes to serpentine effect somewhere between Baby Ford & Ifach Collective's 'Sacred Mahcine' and recent Vereker/Restra… Read more
Proper techno from Sleeparchive back on his sought-after imprint. 'And In His Eyes I Saw Death' feels just as heavy but slightly less austere than we're used to from the Berlin producer: the title track starts up like a concatenated workout for the human centipede before dispensing a piquant bleep pattern in the final chokes - plus three lethal loops - while B-side lashes out distorted claps and prickling blips on 'The Maid In The Kitchen', and the killer closer, 'Sondermarken Park In Winter' gives a stripped but shockingly melodic display recalling vintage Mills, Surgeon, Terrence Dixon. TIP!
Bicep curls a trio of proggy '90s tribal, acid and breaks formulas. On top, 'Just' nods to early bleep and Sasha-like prog arrangements, and 'Celeste' meets rolling congas with breathy, floating vocals and piano keys. B-side, 'Back 2 U (Tranz Dub)' nods to Plastikman's sweeter acid side and again with the Sasha-lite melodic prog arrangements.
*Simon Pomery aka Blood Music returns with a new EP for Diagonal, including a stellar remix from Luke Younger, aka Helm* Simon Pomery makes an emphatic return to Diagonal with the Taiko fire of ‘Chicks’, the brutal percussive workout of Badgering’ and a hardcore remix from Helm. On this long-gestated follow-up to 2013’s eponymous EP, the Blood Music project continues to rage, syncing Taiko-inspired drumming patterns with vicious metal guitar dissonance and contact mic haptics. ‘Chicks’ runs at an over-stepping, febrile EBM heart rate, pelting modular palpitations made alongside … Read more
A natural album artist, Boris Bunnik a.k.a. Conforce returns to Delsin with the latest findings from his new Rotterdam lab. Ironically enough, considering he's moved from a coastal island to the city, 'Presentism' feels more pastoral, fluid than previous transmissions. Covering a silty spectrum of styles below the surface of Detroit techno-electro and A.I. electronica, he motions an ambiguous sound shot thru with a positive, almost joyful light between the astral synth voices and machine patter of 'Artefact from a Higher Dimension' to the wistful Martyian beach tones of 'Monomorphic' and ageless ambience of 'Predictive Flow'.
"Berlin's Redshape returns with a new EP, in the vein of his sci fi laden Detroit techno style that continues to evolve but stay true to his unmistakable Redshape sound..."
Sonic Pieces - the Berlin home to handsome editions from Svarte Greiner, Hauschka, Dustin O'Halloran, Dictaphone et al - presents a new work from a new artist, Moon Ate The Dark. As fans of the label would hope and expect, it's a satisfying yolking together of tropes and strategies learned from post-rock, ambient electronica and classical minimalism, and begins with a grandstanding 10-minute piece, 'Explosions In A Four Chambered Heart', whose cyclical, cinematic melancholy recalls Philip Glass's most popular compositions. Piano is central throughout, sounding sonorous a… Read more
Gyroscopic club shockers from scene-leading producer, M.E.S.H. proceeding the hugely acclaimed 'Scythians' EP for PAN with crucial incisions for Black Ocean. In M.E.S.H.'s hands, myriad dance musics become plastic and pliable, woven into fascinating new styles and patterns. With 'Infra-Dusk' he dissolves American club, Teutonic techno and UK grime tropes with amorphous dexterity, effectively creating the aural equivalent of the cloaking devices in A Scanner Darkly. On the other hand, 'Infra-Dawn' exhibits a smoother touch, holding tight to wavey contours and blended gradients punctuated with a stuttering new skool riddim grammar.
The Room Below blends classic Chicago and Detroit strains to make their own rich blend of experimental house for DBA. Up top, Henry Keen a.k.a. the CDR regular and Gilles Peterson-favoured Soundspecies and The Room Below welcomes us in with the conscious sampling and shimmering mid-tempo move, 'Trusted', beside the pastoral acid house of 'Rainy Friday'. Down below, it gets freakier with the frayed blips and and salty, splashing drums of 'Mad Energy' and a bit-crushed samba buzz entitled, 'Freedom'.
*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
**Hardcore, FWD dance music from two leading sound artists. Mastered by Matt Colton** Mark Fell and Gábor Lázár ratchet the game with their razor-sharp debut collaboration, 'The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making'. As promised in the wake of Gábor's acclaimed vinyl debut, 'EP16', the duo have colluded on a full set of ten tracks, ranging from short synapse bursts thru to an uncannily emotive 12 minute masterpiece on the closing side. As the 10th release on The Death of Rave, it demonstrates the distance travelled since the early '90s paradigm sh… Read more
By Pitchfork’s reckoning Dominick Fernow’s discography now stands at over 150 releases long - so it isn’t without much consideration that we say that ‘Frozen Niagara Falls’ is his defining, most exploratory and ultimately rewarding work to date. It’s an epic undertaking too - spanning two discs (the vinyl edition which will follow next month is a mammoth 3LP) and includes over an hour and a half of music, veering from the surprisingly contemplative destroyed-folk of ‘Greenpoint’ and 'Christ Among The Broken Glass’, to painfully blissful, Vangelis-esque night-scapes ('Jester In Agon… Read more
**Wraparound artwork. Edition of 300. Massively recommended if you’re into Arca, TCF, Lotic, Total Freedom** We're over the moon to present the vinyl debut of Elysia Crampton with 'Moth / Lake' thru Boomkat Editions. Formerly known by the moniker, E + E, this single marks the first chapter of her Shenandoah series, "a concept work that explores Virginian American history and brownness beyond culture, as geology - as mud, dirt, and mineral." Breaking with the artist's highly influential and formerly sample-rich arrangements, the material on both sides is entirely, uniquely original. Wit… Read more