The prodigal son of sci-fi electronica re-enters orbit with an astounding new EP as Kuedo for his newly coined Knives imprint. Arriving almost a decade to the day since his game-changing Vex'd album with Roly Porter, 'Assertion Of A Surrounding Presence' manifests his first major new work since 2011's acclaimed 'Severant' album, and also marks a lucent new pinnacle of sound design/engineering in his field. Accompanied by cameo production roles from erstwhile Vex'd bod, Roly Porter, plus Berlin's Phoebe Kiddo a.k.a Mind:Body:Fitness, and Canada's Egyptrixx, the nexx chap… Read more
In this selection we cast an ear over some of our favourite, intimate and far-flung solo string releases from recent times and far beyond. It covers a broad spectrum of emotions and (mostly) instrumental notions, taking in improvisation by US-based Bhutanese guitarist Tashi Dorji, as well as Arthur Russell's cello drone pop and the barely-there presence of Ashley Paul; plus the serrated arrangements of Bill Orcutt and the otherworldly atmosphere of Indonesia's Senyawa; ancient-sounding visions by Dean McPhee and Jozef Van Wissem; and seductive nocturnes by Loren Connor… Read more
Lorenzo Senni's inspired Presto!? imprint presents one of 2015's most singular electronic albums with the solo debut proper from Theo Burt. Originally written circa 2009/2010, it's an album that was never really intended for public consumption but, thanks to Senni's efforts, is now presented here in all it's hugely individual glory. Perhaps best thought of as avant electro-pop or even some sort of Compute/R&Baroque composition, the Casio phase synth-sculpted arrangements of 'Gloss' elicit some of the strangest, most curious sensations, visceral melodies, harmonic convolutions and pol… Read more
Wen rolls out a crucial double-pack hot on the heels of his killer 'Finesse' EP and one year on from his widely-acclaimed 'Signals' - one of the best albums of 2014. Doing it for Soundman Chronicles this time, the vibes are more atmospheric and technoid across 'Senary Cycles', still full of dread but laced with a bittersweet salvation. The first plate dances from knife-sharpening electro-acoustic sound designs in 'Arlington CT9' thru to piquant, Zomby-style pirouettes of 'Pace Myself', and a smudged rollers delicacy called 'She Giv', whilst the 2nd plate deals in vivid ambient detail and bi… Read more
Clap! Clap! on the bounce again for Black Acre with two booming, nifty dance attacks. In 'Camo' he weaves a party of African tribal percussion and chants around booming B-More kicks and sprung chord stabs at 138bpm for the hotsteppers; with 'Fever' he yokes a battery of cowbells to bustling, woody drums and swooping breakbeat techno for febrile behaviour.
*Long-Awaited debut album from Janus Collective member M.E.S.H. - recorded in Berlin in winter 2015, mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M* Janus crew's M.E.S.H. unpackages a vast internal world across the ornate topographies of his incredible debut album. Combining scything club dynamics and Hollywood sound design with a sample bank of archaic renaissance instruments, 'Piteous Gate' describes a hyperreal place-out-of-time framed by matrices of tessellating grids and vapour-trace contours rent in near-VR detail. Collapsing the stadium-sized structures of "festival trance" with oblique elements o… Read more
El Gheba' - actually, we jest; we're not sure what Peterson did, but it sounds bloody great - while Modeselektor fuse beefier, bouncing drums to Rizan Said's flowering keys in 'Leil El Bareh' and 'Ensaa El Aatab', and Four Tet infuses the title track with a fluid, heady sort of dancefloor psychedelia. Left to his own devices, however, Souleyman and band provide some of the album's most striking moments in the solemn sway of 'Mawal menzal' and the intricately woven strokes of 'Darb El Hawa', whilst Legowelt yokes 'Bahdeni Nami' to Euro 'floors with a killer New Beat acid styled remix. Pretty hard to deny this is one of Souleyman's best records to date.
Jessy Lanza finds mutual muses in Chicago lynchpins, DJ Spinn and Taso, for the romantic R&B and footwork of 'You Never Show Your Love'. A perfect match of styles, it finds Spinn & Taso working outside their usual tempo bracket with great results, creaming yacht-ready guitar licks on airborne trap triplets, all gilded with Lanza's longing lyrics placing the original up close to FKA Twigs' 'Water Me' whilst the Teklife remix comes off like 4Hero gone footwork with its ornate chords, jazzy arrangement and hi-tek funk pulsations.
Remastered reissue of Source Direct's sought-after '95 killer, 'Approach & Identify', backed up with a black hole inversion by Demdike Stare. Leading on from their essential 'Black Rose' reissue, 'Approach & Identify' presents a lusher slice of '95 jungle life with roll-out amens and tight subs swept up in a rip tide of swirling, sub-aquatic synths borrowed from Electrotete's (a.k.a. Juno Reactor) goan trance classic, 'Shark'. On the remix, Demdike Stare's Cross Border Incursion shapes amorphous black masses of sub-bass and spectral noise banking to a slowly intense, rubbling climax/collapse. Killer wares.
Tarquin debuts on Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper with a wickedly schizoid grime sound. Following equally mercurial winners from Loom, Iglew and Social State, these two explore instrumental grime's oddest ends. 'Kid U' works at a sweetboy halfstep roll with bubbling vocal idents dancing around shearing metallic synths and pizzicato strings whipped up like some Murlo spesh. On the other hand, 'Lost my Marbles' is utter insanity, augmenting a nasty bassline-style chassis with cranky drops and toad croak tone to bomb the dance. Tip!
**Lossless format for this release contains 24 bit/44.100 kHz audio** Nine Inch Nails' synthesist, Alessandro Cortini, animates an enveloping shadowplay of Roland 202 and TB303 spectres in his second album for Hospital Productions following the stunning 'Forse' trilogy for Important Records. 'Risveglio' is the 'Awakening' to 'Sonno''s 'Sleep'. Like its predecessor, it was also written and recorded while on tour but, unlike 'Sonno', it syncs his favoured 202 with the unique integers of a TB303, eliding the two via a delay unit to expand his sound without ever losing sight of the crus… Read more
Weighty wanz from Frenchman, Simo Cell, making his debut on Dnuos Ytivil (Livity Sound). With 'Cellar Doors' he triggers a rudely scuffed bass/techno roll working out close to Hodge or Rhythmic Theory's tuffer outings, while the tight subs and sizzling hi-hats of 'Piste Jaune' nail a mean impersonation of Peverelist's signature, slinky style.
Winding down from sticky heat to cool evenings thru a stack of new releases and reissued classics, we take in sugary reggae-pop from Tapes alongside classic Memphis rap by Lil Noid and lissom jazz modes from Lifted and the Moritz Von Oswald Trio with Tony Allen, respectively. You'll also find a choice nudge from Jaisu's killer beat suite, 'A Long Player' shuffled along with Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force and the easy charm of Hailu Mergia's 'Yegle Nesh', complemented by the woozy lean of Lil Jabba and the crepuscular atmospheres of Elysia Crampton's 'Lake', with a … Read more
Ipman triggers a devastating, hardcore UK sound with his Tectonic debut. Amidst bad company on the Bristol label, he sounds a junglist clarion call for 'Regicide' with ruffneck breaks and stare-down bass amping a sentiment we agree with, whereas 'Ghostrunner' tests out something new entirely with a ferocious cold-fusion of noise techno, EBM and pitching trap trills that frankly sounds like f**k-all out there. TIP!
**Spellbound archival home recordings revealing the esoteric sonic adventures of David Tyack (1978-2002), a founding artist from Andy Votel's Twisted Nerve label who sadly passed away in 2002. Includes liner notes by Andy Votel** Dave Tyack's haunting/soothing electro-acoustic project Luxury Apartments is given a necessary posthumous release via Andy Votel, Doug Shipton and Sean Demdike's Dead-Cert imprint. A heady mix of improvised electronics, mechanical folk and late night North West ambience, the Luxury Apartments project was completed just months before the G… 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
Hot on the heels of their Sound Signature session, Dego & Kaidi return to Eglo with a quartet of super-soulful rug-cutters. Vibes are strong on this wan, whether greazing the parched drums and mirage-like synth shimmers of 'Black Is Key' with deep jazz vocal harmonies and fruity keys, or loosening up the pointillist shuffle of 'Man Made' with wobbly, wavey chords on the A-side, or travelling from the Afro-centric idiosyncrasies of 'Orbiting Uhuru' to inimitably clipped and charming summer-in-West London styles with 'The Vault Descends'.
'Block The Box' finds the master of modern breakbeat/techno/house romance at his lip-smacking best since the legendary 'Natural Selection/Vancouver' 12". Operating at full dancefloor sensitivity, Martyn distills a pure rave buzz over three superb cuts, whether synching West London broken beats and swooping subs with eccied-up pads in the effortless flow of 'Done Away', or hearkening directly to his 2008 period with the clipped breakbeat spun thru golden light chords and gully dubstep LFOs in 'EF40', leaving the title cut to expend its darker energy with a deadly blend of Reese bass and dusted garage-techno momentum.
*Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley delivers an incredible solo work for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, recorded together with French 35-piece improv orchestra ONCEIM* The dark interpreter, Stephen O'Malley ov Sunn 0))), presents his towering debut orchestral composition 'Guidés'; commissioned by French 35-piece improv orchestra ONCEIM - l'Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisation Musicales - and released thru Demdike Stare's DDS label. In early 2014 O'Malley was approached by pianist and composer Frédéric Blondy to write a work for the orchestra, comprised of excepti… Read more
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.
Slow/fast wickedness from Om Unit, including a killer hook-up with OG junglist, Digital. Om Unit weighs in four aces ranging from the nimble, sparring syncopation and airy pads of 'Wagonist Riddim' to the '95-meets'15-style pressure of 'Spiritwerk', and at more atmospheric angles with the expansive sound designs of 'The Lake' and 'Demons Out'. For our 2p, the future 4/4 steppers flex of 'Midnight Oil' with Digital is the one, tho!
Silkie follows two volumes of 'City Limits' albums with the plush dubstep boogie dimensions of 'Fractals' for Distal's Anarchostar label. There's far more variation in this suite than we've previously heard from Silkie, proving equally adept at Miami-style electro in 'Escape Route', trim electro-tech in 'Moda' with J. Tijn, and swish Linn funk in 'Love Affair', alongside the trap-style lean of 'Majik' and electro-jazzy halfstep in 'Cascada'.
Taking cues from the long shadow of the mid '80s, this selection circles original European new wave disco styles and their modern antecedents. We're talking slower, sleazier and darker grooves like Liaisons Dangereuses' 'Aperitif de la Mort' or Lena Platonos' 'Shadows Of Blood beauty, right thru to Lena Willikens with the narcotic deliquescence of 'Nilpferd' or the brooding swagger of INIT's 'Talking About Talking' beauty for Hivern Discs. We've included a couple of old gems you would likely find at the AB in Brussels circa '86, namely Executive Slacks' 'So Mote It be'… Read more
Blanck Mass corrals a haunting spectra of sounds from Helm, Phil Julian, C Spencer Yeh, Konx Om Pax, and Roll The Dice to provide an alternative score for Bruno Forzani and Héléne Catet's 2013 giallo homage, 'The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears'. Each artist augments the classic atmosphere and feeling of Italian horror cinema soundtracks in their own way, ranging from the throbbing heartbeat of Roll The Dice's 'Portal' thru Helm's expanding trio of tense, lugubrious drone pieces to a concise quartet of C Spencer Yeh pieces as you'… Read more
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
Ruddy UK/US club transfusions from the one like DJ Haus. A-side, he galvanises the floor with a sick metallic take on Jersey club trax in 'Get Tha F**k Out' beside the horny garage rave tone of 'Need Sum Time'. B-side he takes it there with a breakbeat-charged booty smasher, 'Hot In Dis Muthaf**ker', and a straight-up sleaze play, 'Work Ur Body'.
Neck-snapping instrumental grime slaughter from the Slackk-championed producer, Edgem. 'Terror Fortress' runs four dramatic and concentrated DJ tools, flaring nasty brass and 8-bar lunges in the title cut alongside the string-heavy aggression of 'I See Everything', ruthless darkside bass pressure in 'Route One', and boss-level intensity of 'The Crypt'.
*Upfront Exclusive* Killah brukbeat and swing techno functions from Spatial on his resuscitated Infrasonics imprint. 5 years since leaving his label on ice with a CD round-up of their first four releases, Infra12006 marks its return with signature, minimalist efficiency and dancefloor insistence. With 'HeLa' he syncs pendulous kicks and scything chords in möbius loop twysts occurring somewhere between the oblique swing of Phork and the latinate shuffles of El-B at his slinkiest. In 'Referent' he tests out a more crack'd sorta bruk funk nodding to A Made Up Sound's earlier, ruder transmissions, but also with a squashed, in-the-pocket London funk that's tuff to fake.
Mr. Beatnick flexes a proper disco-tech sound with 'Formed In The Stance' for Semtek's DBA label. 'Stutter' opens with some weighty momentum balanced between slyding synth flares and bristling electro NRG bass, whilst the coruscating scales and slippery disco moves of 'Jellyfish' recall classic Patrick Cowley. The title track dims the lights to a noirish, jazzy West London bustle, and 'Obsidian Morning' synchs a lissom swing between wood-crack claps, dubble-dip bass and flighty arpeggios. Great stuff.
Under the cutting title, 'Conscious C*nt', Swiss-born, Nepalese-Tibetan artist Aïsha Devi explores notions of "womanhood, spirituality, materialism and societal pressure" for her Houndstooth debut. Arching up with escalating trance arpeggios and bruised bass palpitations before a spectral denouement introduces her pitched vox in 'Kim & the Wheel of Life', she continues to pursue stranger, processed vocal timbres in a beat-less recitation of an Urdu poem by Pakistani feminist Kishwar Naheed, 'Aurat (Tool)', and scales up haunting chant and hard-textured synth to a captivating accumulation of energy and emotion.
Latin freestyle electro in the crosshair this week, tracing its influence thru early House, tropical Boogie, and up-to-the-minute electronics. Conceived in the Latino communities of Miami and NYC, the original sound of freestyle electro emerged in the mid-'80s as a deadly effective hybrid of nascent electro/hip hop, machine Boogie and Italo Disco. Whilst characterised by super crisp, syncopated drum machines (cowbells!!!) and shiny melodic synthlines, it was arguably the razor-sharp tape edits and programming of producer/engineers such as Carlos Berrios and… Read more
*Visionist’s Lost Codes label re-emerges as Codes, a new collaboration with PAN* Visionist resets his Lost Codes imprint as a new PAN sublabel, with a killer, collaborative grime/techno collage by Acre and Filter Dread. Marking the first time either producer has collaborated properly, they prove a vital pairing in equilibrium between industrial techno engines, body-scanning UK bass tones and gritty, diffuse urban-gothic atmosphere. Upfront, ‘Drumz34’ burrows in with viral 8-bit squiggle and squashed subs before ‘Flash Speed’ arches up a skeletal, mutant 8-bar onslaught and ‘Trashe… Read more
Dubstep original and erstwhile pirate, Jack Sparrow launches a tribal steppers assault upon Deep Medi. 'Hold and Pull' barrels forth with high-pressure 4/4 subs and grounation-style drumming carrying serious momentum; 'Pula Riddim' cools off on a rootikal digi-dub skank for the Adriatic beach set; 'Where Am I' goes one 'step farther into dank, skunked-out dub pressure.
Berceuse Heroique bring Liverpool's Mark Forshaw into the fold with a brain-swilling acid beast backed by a bucking IBM remix from Hieroglyphic Being. The original A-side, 'The F**k' extrudes yer mind thru a barrage of polymetric oscillations to an intensely delirious breakdown and a ravenously discordant acid wig-out. On the flip, Jamal Moss a.k.a. IBM yokes 'The F**k' to a Rush-style Chicago buck riding cantering groove and hard-working, juddering synthlines.
Jlin breaks thru the Chicago footwork ranks with one of the scene's most fascinating, essential mutations in 'Dark Energy', co-presented by Planet µ and Jamie Kuedo's very promising new Knives label. It's quite possibly the most distinctive contribution to footwork since the RP Boo album and Rashad's jungle splices, and, in such a fast-moving (quite literally) and active scene, that's gotta be saying something. Keener Chi watchers may have previously checked Jlin's standout 'Erotic Heat' and 'Asylum' joints on the Bangs & Works Vol.2 compilation but, since then, the Gary, Indiana-based producer… Read more
**SDJR turns out a whole party's worth of funk with an infectious debut album sporting guest spots by Julio Bashmore, fLako and Kutmah** "From time to time a DJ or producer comes along who transcends a particular scene, bridges the gap between disparate movements and unites tribal music fans. Seven has that talismanic quality. His productions have a rawness… a loose-knit, lolloping groove that seduces even the most steadfastly stubborn of hips. Recorded in LA, San Francisco, Amsterdam and London, Universes is a unique exploration of his musical landscape, traversing tempo… Read more
Continuing our search thru the techno cosmos, this selection sifts out affective, peripheral visions by new spirits and dab hands alike. Grooves are uneven, cracked and scuffed, whilst vibes are heady, warped and psychedelic - all the better to take you some other place in headphones or at home. Between the funereal majesty of 1991's Morkebla release and the burned-out appeal of Roger West's 'End House', the session takes in a vintage machine workout from Insync alongside the gauzy blur of ACI_EDITS and keening celestial funk from Creta Kano, Herva and Masks (a.k.a. Patric… Read more
**Critical studies in velocity and rhythm conceived by Berlin's N.M.O. duo and following on from their 12" for The Death of Rave. RIYL the bleep test, EVOL, Military Space Music, Fluxus Techno** "Tempo is a decisive factor in how we relate to music. Whole genre separations and notions of taste can revolve around the BPM at which samples are triggered or musicians play. In live music BPM is obviously often a fluctuating quantity, a loose constrict affected by the musicians' spirits / audience / etc. Electronic music genres are usually more rigid in their ad… Read more
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
"In quick succession to his Tessier-Ashpool junglist reinvention via the "Emphasis" EP, Otik follows up with companion piece "Strangelove" - a statement of his versatility, and of the liminal variety possible within the framework of 130-ish BPM breaks-led electronic compositions. Operating on the boundary between a fragmented grime take and a rolling jungle stepper, opener "Glimpse" is as stammering as its telltale vocal sample, urging listeners to "do a double take"...; and leading by example, it proceeds to constantly fracture and reassemble itself in real time. Follow-up "Futile" is most rem… Read more
Fierce throw-down from P.O.L. Style backed da fuq up with killer remixes from Mike Q and Neana. Pursuing last year's 'Angry Frogs' jack-off with Vin Sol & Matrixxman, your boy raids ballroom house and Dance Mania for ideas, pumps them up with hard-bodied production, and lets them walk the runway in P.O.L. Style. On the remix flex, Mike Q flounces all over 'Saw' with catty and concussive stabs next to a brutal, industrialised fix-up from Neana. Proper DJ and dancer specials.
Kieran Hebden a.k.a. Four Tet takes a proggy saunter from hybrids of Indian classical music and House to Kosmische and rustling breaks on his 8th solo studio album. 'Morning/Evening was first conceived in summer 2014 and completed early 2015 to follow the frayed and fractured pirate/rave buzz of 'Beautiful Rewind' with a more open, rolling and entrancing framework. It's a sound that dovetails his love of long-format jazz records with the play-thru hypnosis of DJing, layering far flung yet neatly compatible elements around repetitive and subtly morphing templates for up to and over 20 mi… 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
Islam Chipsy and EEK bottle febrile street energy with their first-ever studio recordings for Nashazphone. Pursuing last year's 'Live at the Cairo High Cinema Institute', this LP captures band-leader Islam Chipsy pinging rainbow-coloured synth scales across the scudding, rapid-fire percussion of Islam Ta'ta' and Khaled Mando in four parts recorded at Cairo's 100Copies studio. If you've been lucky enough to catch Chipsy and the lads live, then you'll know exactly what to expect from their sub-tropical dance cyclone; if not, this record is a perfect place to start. We can recognise two crowd favourite… Read more
*Exclusive version of Bullion's new EP with an additional track!* On his brilliant first new release in 3 years, Bullion is sure to draw some big grins with the menagerie of technicolour, cartoonish funk in 'Rooster'. Unhinged to say the least, you get the sense that Nathan Jenkins a.k.a. Bullion has spent up all his pop chips with production for the wonderful Nautic and Laura Groves, and now really wants to reveal what's going on the "musical barnyard" of his bonce. Taking in radiophonic bloops, dubbed-out rooster crows, digickal dancehall, Gaelic jigs, ersatz Ethiopiques and Indian raga, it's … Read more
The German producer jacks up a sleazy, gritty session for Technicolour after acclaimed work for L.I.E.S. and W.T. Records. Both sides follow a similar pattern - giving you something to dance to, and then put you on your arse. A-side opens with the bestial vocal processing of 'Explora (Slave)' before putting its weight behind a proper jack attack, and lowering us into the viscous tarpits of 'Headpiece'. Flipside, he knuckles out the monotone EBM techno pulse of 'Brute Force' and melts to close with the darkroom essence of 'Shpel'.
Industrialised post-dubstep mutations from a cranky Killawatt on Osiris Music UK. Ten years on from its inception, dubstep has eaten itself and broken down to component elements that have morphed, fused and mutated into new formations strung between electro, techno and concrète sound design. The crooked, slompy 'Contort' is a case in point, twisting abstract electronics into a clanking industrial soundsystem golem, whilst 'Flustercuck' adopts a bashy sort of industro-dancehall tactic, and 'Gutter' nods to the kick/snare placement of classic electro from a more detached, noisy angle.