Shackleton triggers another tribalist chain reaction with 'Deliverance Series No. 2'. Shack presents two extended trips subtly refining his craft to a fluid, rhythmelodic flux sparking with vital, hypnotic energy. The eleven minute 'Dominion Rings' coolly charges up percolating drums and fizzing synth dynamics to a signature lather of lilting groove and keening pads linked with a lattice of dub-fried electronics to a staggered polymetric finale. 'Cast The Die' deals in a more worldly fusion of Eastern-gazing chant, Raga-like motifs and natty percussive patter with a queered eldritch quality that's Shackleton to the core.
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
We've saved the dark 'n heavy stuff for dessert in this 4th part of our 2014 round-up. It's been a golden year for mongrel mutations in electronic music, especially where the boundaries of black metal, techno, computer noise and dark ambient styles were concerned. Ostensibly uneasy bedfellows, they all seemed to feed off each other in a fascinating dialogue proving that they're not mutually exclusive elements. Marcus Schmickler & Julian Rohrhuber's 'Politiken der Frequenz' yielded a number of incredible pieces inspired by number theory and economics, with t… Read more
**2x140g vinyl mastered + cut by Rashad at D&M. Artwork by Bill Kouligas & Louis Reith** Easily one of our most anticipated LPs of 2014, Afrikan Sciences' 'Circuitous' transcends jazz, techno and hip hop with pineal Afro-futurist vision. Hailing from Saturn via Oakland, CA, Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences has carved an elliptic orbit thru the sonic cosmos with three albums and a string of 12"s for Aybee's Deepblak label, an empathetic home for his abstract, groovesome suppositions improvised on turntables, upright bass, and a matrix of digital tablets. Now taking flight with… 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
*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
Solid longform 2-tracker from Floating Points to seal off the year. 'Nuits Sonores' is great - nice to hear Sam Shepherd edging away from the coffee table for a mooch round moodier environs, delivering a 12-minute number that sounds like a smudged Paperclip People tangling with a bit of jazzzz as it builds. 'Nectarines' is again kinda indebted to classic Carl Craig and Main Street productions, although that floaty vocal towards the end is p'rraps a little too smooth. Still, his best for a while.
**Upfront Exclusive** Coyote Kings round up the cream of underground instrumental grime - Famous Eno, Strict Face, Yamaneko and co - for 'Coyote Kings Vol.2'. It's quite possibly one of the most extreme collections of this sound we've heard in 2014, from the sheer, widescreen minimalism of Chemist's searing 'Fall Back' and the raving onslaught of 'Puzzlebox Riddim' by famous Eno to the dizzying spar of elements in Strict Face's 'Taipan Showers', and especially in the piercing, lip-bitingly tight licks or 'Rinse Compressor' by new name, Underclass, or T_A_M with the squashed, squirming dread roil of 'Graze Tha Trax'. Wicked session.
The ductile structures of House and techno continued to expand, contract, warp and morph in 2014. Part 3 of our annual run-down checks 14 tracks from a fine spectrum of artists, mixing dancefloor perennials alongside talented, aware new producers who bring a wealth of DJ and club experience to their productions. Ideas of Afro-futurism and electronic industrial music became ever more inseparable thru the year, from the flash forward hybrids of M.E.S.H. and Afrikan Sciences on PAN to the tribalist techno of Vereker's 'Flesh & Blood' banger for Berceuse Heroi… Read more
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt. Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
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
Rolling on with our best-of-2014 selections, in Part 2 we survey more romantic ambient, pop and new composition. From Andy Stott's gorgeous return with 'Faith In Strangers' to Ensemble Economique's heart-rending 'Hey Baby' or the subtly seamless field recording/instrumental gestures of Anne Guthrie's 'Codiaeum variegatum' album, we found a seam of timeless music this year. Nautic's exquisite 'Navy Blue' EP will surely prove itself a perennial comfort, whilst Lucrecia Dalt's sorely overlooked debut for Nico Jaar's Other People pushed the envelope of lower cas… Read more
Kevin Martin and Earth's Dylan Carlson summon the apocalypse in this crushing addendum to 'Angels & Devils'. Devoid of vocals, on both sides the battle-scarred titans bunker down to a fusion of teeth rattling trap and dub rhythms with strung-out, world weary guitars as stripped back and glaring as anything from the album. A-side 'Boa' frames Carlson's contemplative electric guitar strokes inna pregnant, widescreen scene of windswept ambience and keening metallic timbre before delivering worm-charming bass shocks and shuddering trap drums; B-side plays even icier with etheric SAW II-sty… Read more
'X I E' is the first new Monolake release since the 'Ghosts' (2012). It marks his return to tensile steppers dynamics and brooding sci-fi atmospheres following an exploration of reduced D&B structures. 'Xor' unfolds a 127bpm tech-step pattern harking back to the styles of his 'Polygon_Cities'-era recordings; 'Inwards' is a cinematic panorama of grey-skied, beat-less sci-fi themes rife with brooding Berlin connotations; 'Ethernet' rolls in that narrow gap between Teutonic techno and Bristolian dub dread, anchoring slinky hi-hats with darkside bass propulsion a la Pinch and his patented ambient sound design.
One of 2014's sickest 12" gets a makeover from Grovestreet, Lotic, Logos and DJ J Heat on PAN's first digi-only release. We've become so familiar with the original cut that it's great to hear some new perspectives on its accelerated vision. M.E.S.H.'s Janus pal, Lotic diffuses the elements in a dazzling display of polymetric acrobatics and complex, sweeping synth shapes; Logos sublimates its structures into widescreen weightless gases and noirish strings with serious late night, gazing-from-the-30th storey appeal. We're also introduced to a pair of relative unknowns: Grovestreet impres… Read more
J&J’s last album 'Techno Primitivism’ totally floored us here, finding a sweet spot between elements of dub, jazz and psychedelia within a tactile house and techno framework. This new album - 'Clean-Cut’ - left us a bit cold on first listen, taking a much straighter approach feeding off classic Detroit and swung Chicago styles, but in the space of a couple of listens it has completely earwormed its way deep into our heads and refused to let go. From that off-ish pan-pipe hook on the killer title track to the red-lining drums on "Wheeze Please”, the production details and exotic flourishe… Read more
Oh boy, we've been waiting for you, 'Submit X'… The debut album by techno producer Gesloten Cirkel aka Ratsnake is a masterclass in the dark art of machine funk. It lands very heavily on I-F's elusive Murder Capital imprint with ten doses of achingly precise, fluid electro attacks of the calibre and assassin-like efficiency you really don't hear these days. To date he's only had three 12" releases in the past 5 years - including our office fave for Moustache Techno - besides some killer remixes for Conforce and Candyblasta. This album however, marks the pinnacle of his oeuvre so far, fr… Read more
The master returns with his 3rd EP of serpentine riddims for Woe To The Septic Heart! Working deeper into the synthesis-based approach which yielded the finer electronic timbres of his 'Freezing Opening Thawing' 12", here he's refined the technique to near-Villalobos levels of layered, rhythmelodic intricacy, but of course, all with his inimitable accent. First up, 'Beat His Command' is a dense, blinding display of pointillist percussion and hypnotic chimes laced with flashes of technoid gremlins and white noise explosions. Secondly, 'Vor und zurück' flips that formula for a m… Read more
With the beautifully introspective 'Sea Island' Loscil taps back into that vein of Kranky ambient loveliness he's owned for more than a decade since his 'Triple Point' (2001) classic. Shaping a misty bridge between dub techno and ambient music proper, his music has long stood out from the crowd for his ability to effortlessly sidestep cliche in a genre swamped by folk happy to infinitely regurgitate the same patterns and pads. And 'Sea Island' shows no sign of that considered approach abating. It makes a marked step towards letting that dub techno bridge evaporate into the background as he ado… Read more
Stellar 2nd album of Detroit techno sci-fi from Terrence Dixon's Population One avatar. Arriving a mere 20 years since his Population One debut, 'Unknown Black Shapes' - whose 1995 follow-up EP, 'Hippnotic Culture' coincidentally inspired Rush Hour's moniker - we're made privy to Dixon's most intimate, noirish portrayal of a 313 psyche in eight tracks traversing hi-tech jazz and cryptic electro along mesmerising minimalist patterns. It's a proper Afro-futurist document, taking flight from desolate 313 interzones with the introspective opener 'Out Of Control'. propelled … Read more
Richard H Kirk and Ancient Methods rip the skin off Powell's mutant 'Club Music' EP in a quartet of killer remix pillages for Diagonal. Rigorously tested everywhere from Mancy warehouses to Berlin power stations, the Ancient Methods mixes of 'Club Music' are among their very finest; whether in the rictus EBM funk of the 'Körpersaure91' version with its stentorian Front242-style bark and graphene-tipped snares, or the 'phet-sparked clobbering of the manic 'Pogo Im Säurebad' - surely their maddest outing ever. Richard H Kirk, however, takes a different tack entirely with 'So With Went El… Read more
'Psychic 9-5 Club' is the nigh-on flawless 3rd album from HTRK - quite easily their most ambitious and rewarding outing yet. In contrast with the affective weight and morbid pallor of their 'Work (Work, Work)' LP - which was constructed as a duo after band-member Sean Stewart tragically died halfway through recording, this new suite finds space for a sliver of reflective light epitomised by the pathos of Jonnine Standish's vocals and Nigel Yang's deft, spaciously dub-wise production. There's still that sense of grief and dysphoria, but it feels like they've come, or are coming to terms wit… Read more
Superb debut LP of effervescent house music from UK talent, Leon Vynehall. Over the past few years, the Portsmouth-based producer has built an enviable rep with dusted, detailed house studies released on some of the UK's finest house label - Aus, Well Rounded Housing Project, among others. In parallel he's also built a relationship with Martyn and his 3024 label, who provide the perfect home for the definitive opus of his catalogue this far. Over seven cuts Vynehall proves equally adept at sweeping, Brazilian-infected house music ('Inside The Deku Tree') as he is with fresh,… Read more
*Hospital Productions debut from Nine Inch Nails’ Alessandro Cortini, a suite of 9 analogue synth pieces complete with found and ambient sounds* Alessandro Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails’, but in recent years his work as ‘Sonoio' and a pair of fine albums for Important Records under his own name have highlighted his own individual productions. Known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America, Cortini makes a surprising departure on this debut album for Hospital Productions by making use of little more than a Roland MC 202 fed th… Read more
2014's most anticipated release is finally in our grubby mitts, marking a new pinnacle of R&B/pop composition. Helmed by the visionary singer, producer, writer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer Tahliah Barnett, 'LP1' sets a high benchmark for new pop and R&B, pulling together some of the most interesting studio alchemists around right now - Arca, Clams Casino, Paul Epworth and Devonte Hynes - for a project that far outweighs the sum of its parts. Augmenting the sublime templates of her two mind-blowing EPs, 'LP1’ slots everything together with a hyper-lucid logic and unreal geometry, from its pol… Read more
**Stunning new album from Milanese accelerationist Lorenzo Senni. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi** We're more than a bit gassed to pop the cork on Lorenzo Senni's thrilling, incisive new LP, the 10th release for Boomkat Editions. The conceptual sibling to his blinding 'Quantum Jelly' side for Editions Mego in 2012, 'Superimpositions' finds the Milan-based multi-disciplinary artist and owner of the brilliant Presto!? Records accelerating and evolving his idea of "Pointillistic Trance" - an ascetic, extreme approach to the aesthetics of '90s-style trance/hard-trance - in a broader rang… Read more
**Ships Friday** **2LP. Printed inners. Embossed PVC jacket contain art insert** One of Techno's slipperiest operators presents his debut album statement in the subtle but lush structures of 'Suzi Ecto' for Fabric/Rob Booth's Houndstooth. Over the last four years the London-based musician has garnered the respect of everyone from PAN's Bill Kouligas to Ben UFO and Objekt, exemplifying his artistic versatility and aptitude for transcending cerebral and club dimensions. With 'Suzi Ecto' he opens a lucidly gorgeous space between the 'floor and our imagination, sweeping us thru eleven concisely… Read more
Massive Gorgon Sound versions of Kahn's 'Dread' (2012) missile for Deep Medi. 'Dread' gets a heavy-troddin' gangsta overhaul with bloodshot vocal FX and re-tuned riddmic chassis aimed straight at the biggest speaker stacks. Likewise, 'Late Night Blues' is duppied with darker vibe, making the strings cut nastier, more electroid, and the galvanizing the mid-bass to biting impact.
Proper fug-house flex from Masks, the new duo of Patricia and Alexis Georgopoulos ov Arp, The Alps a.o. It's dreamiest techno-house soused in ferric noise, pushing deep into the night with the claggy jack of 'Wormhole' parting to the booming kicks and dusty shafts of melody in 'Vapors', alongside an tracky, trancing workout reminding of Legowelt or Xosar in 'Zebra', before easing off the 4/4 kicks for the clipped machine funk flight of 'Fragile Feelings'.
Sublime yet haunting dub house from Rod Modell's Deepchord. Now firmly ensconced in the Soma roster, Rod is making some of the finest material of his two decade long career, here presenting two richly layered pieces incorporating spectral vocal elements which have rarely been heard so explicitly in his music (as in you can almost make out full words; he's not effin' and blindin'). 'Luxury 1' cuts a deep trench of buoyant subbass layered up with refractive chords and teasing deep house memes, whilst 'Luxury 2' eases off on a gently skanking dub momentum in his time-honoured style.
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
Following on from releases from the likes of Powell, Mark Leckey and Merzbow, The Death Of Rave is buzzed to present the exceptional debut album from L.A.-based upstart Delroy Edwards. Combining combustible little noise sessions made with guitar pedals and reel-to-reel tape at Art school, together with shocking recent productions, 'Teenage Tapes' showcases a lesser-heard aspect of Delroy's highly aware and divergent tastes owing more to Minimal Wave, Noise, EBM and Black Metal than the Chicago Ghetto-House sound of his releases for L.I.E.S. and his own L.A. Club Resource label. For anyone… Read more
**Debut album from Inga Copeland, formerly of Hype WIlliams, featuring additional production from Actress** After teasing the internet with one-offs and mixtapes for the last 2 years, (Inga) Copeland (ov Hype Williams) drops a satisfyingly challenging and incisive solo debut LP proper, 'Because I'm Worth It'. Against a backdrop of forward, phantasmic dub and electronic production by herself and Actress, Copeland's vocals are a typically mercurial presence flitting between half-heard bars and spectral, detached verse such as the brilliant "with my mind over money and the other way a… Read more
Hyperdub and Chicago's Teklife powerhouse join forces in tribute to fallen footwork pioneer DJ Rashad with the 20 track 'Next Life' compilation. 'Next Life' provides the broadest, most crucial overview of Chicago's febrile, fertile footwork scene you'll likely hear in 2014, running bullets from brand new producers such as DJ Phil, DJ Tre, Boylan, and Sirr Two along with bombs from elders like DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman, and of course DJ Rashad, plus a handful of aces from the scene's non-Chicago cousins. Pushed to pick instant favourites, we'd draw for the mellow pressure of Traxman's 'Sit Ya S… Read more
Ballroom meets techno in Imaabs' banging debut for Trax Couture. Highlights for us are the dry, kicking club constrcution, 'That joint' with its metallic delays, sparse groove and sweetened drops, or the scuffed swing and parry of 'White Noise'.
James Blake channels Prince on the title cut, actually much better then we could have imagined - nice production touches n'all. '200 Pressure' delivers micro-boogie styles riding massive detuned synths, while 'Building It Still' feels like it might go a bit, you know, softy walter at any moment but just about keeps it together. The closing, minute long 'Words That We Both Know' sounds like Position Normal having a chinwag with London Grammer...??. All in all, a solid EP, nice to see JB with a bit more of a stiff upper lip.
Strickly deeper bangers from Palace on Hot Haus Recs. A-side is a big winner called 'Vision' wurkin' with slamming kicks, skippy hats and blue, dubbed-out techno chords for peak time drive. B-side deals in more sensuous, scuffed garage with the plonging square bass shift of 'Solstice' and the light-footed, bubble-headed shimmy of 'Element'.
**Incredible reissue exploring the largely unknown work of Else Marie Pade - a true pioneer of electronic music and musique concrète** Wow this is a stunner. Else Marie Pade's 'Electronic Works 1958-1995' is a truly precious survey of a lone, pioneering voice in electronic music. Born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1924, Else created the first piece of electronic music played on Danish radio, 'Syv Cirkler (Seven Circles)', marking the early development of an (up until now) largely hidden body of work inspired by her experiences while interred at a Nazi prison camp as a teenage… Read more
Fatima Al Qadiri's highly anticipated and awesome debut LP, 'Asiatisch' finds a natural home in the once again ascendant Hyperdub catalogue. Since 2011, the Senegal-born visual artist and composer has consistently wowed with her unique art and practice weaving memories of a childhood spent in Kuwait with a taste for hyper-local styles such as East London Sino-Grime, Chicago Footwork, Kurdish Dabke and Egyptian Rai, coupled with the kind of forward, vaporous and illusive sonics of up-to-the-second, rhizomic styles such as Seapunk and the micro-genres covered in online hub, DiS magazine.… Read more
7 months on from TP#4, Demdike return with the 5th instalment in their ongoing research and development series - a double-headed monster split between gnarly reductions on the A-side, and industrial strength edits on the flip. ‘Procrastination’ edges through Grimey detritus and gunshot snares within a vast open space perfectly primed for that Demdike slow build. ‘Past Majesty’ on the flip offers up a feral take on some kind of cyber-industrial insanity, somewhere between Ministry and Powell - with a denouement which should probably come with a public health warning attached to it. All we’re saying is - watch yr eardrums.
Listening to this latest album from Liz Harris’ Grouper project it’s easy to forget how much of a hard sell her music was back when 'Way Their Crept’ landed with us back in 2005. Her eerie, layered mix of bare vocals, guitar and tape delay didn't quite fit in with what anyone else was really doing on the scene back then - and it completely knocked us out even if no one was buying it. By the time her breakthrough ‘Dragging a Dead Deer…’ arrived on Type three years later she was more or less playing to a baying mob hungry for any little morsel she cared to throw their way, her (by now) more fleshed … Read more
**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
*Hyper-forward exercises in technoid reduction and frequency fxxxxckerry from the super talented Gabor Lazar, with a full-length collaboration with Mark Fell due soon on The Death of Rave* Prodigious minimalist Gábor Lázár twysts out six cuts of super-forward techno reductions on his debut vinyl, 'EP16', for The Death Of Rave. Combining viscerally affective electronic timbre and hyperkinetic patterns, they're real-time recordings of Gábor extracting maximum funk from a single note rendered as sheer gradients pitched and punctuated with unique, algorithmic meters. In a sense the process is drily… Read more
Experimental D&B/metal/IDM hybrids aka new sub-genre Drumcode, delivered by Brooklyn's Ohm Resistance. This stuff sorta sounds like the gear Björk was playing in that youtube clip of her DJ set at St. Vitus bar earlier this year; hell-for-leather fast but with a poised sense of metal discipline - threatening to eat your face but preferring to scowl like some daemon from the abyss. And while there are obvious links to be made with Drumcorps, Limewax, Scorn, essentially this is an altered beast, shedding D&B's weight in favour of aerial agility and broader atmospheric space. Imagine Raime gutting Venetian Snares and you're not far off.
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
Vereker's 'Flesh & Blood' is one of THE most vital techno tracks of 2014. On front of his 'Murder License' for Berceuse Heroique 008, it's the first and arguably most powerful in a slew of scene-defining tackle coming from the British-born, American-based producer for L.A. Club Resource and Endangered Species - his hugely promising new label. The scolding A-side rolls out like DJ Rush meets Rowland The Bastard inna Soviet gymnasium - pure 4/4 pressure for those that fxxkin' knows - whilst the flipside yields the sculpted noise incursion of 'Event Horizon' as LJV with Low Jack, and a ce… Read more
London vs Liverpool in the street rave stakes; everyone's a winner. Champion and Melé go toe-to-toe with the sparring breakbeat swagger and wide-ass bass wobble of 'Get Down' up top, and step off again with sparring, fractured breaks and caged animal bass prowl in 'Radio Babylon'. Wicked and bad.