Monday, 28 July
Circle Traps step to Lex Records for their most developed, impressive release following 12"s for Opit and Five Easy Pieces. Comprising producer Will Ward with Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie from Portico Quartet, Circle Traps draw on a reserve of revered "musicianship" and sharp dancefloor chops to realise a sound strung between knackered house, twisted techno a la Call Super, and epic '80s FM synth sounds recalling Com Truise.
By jove he's back - Chilean producer Visonia melts our hearts again with his 2nd EP and follow-up to the Dopplereffekt-starring 'Die Reisen' anthem. Again it's an unmissable example of trancing retro-futurist synth music nodding to classic Italo, Techno and Electro with meticulous production values and undeniable effect. 'Journey To Humility' kicks off with a proper techno symphony melding epic synth arrangement to slick Italo-techno bassline, before 'Deception' rolls out an NRG electro anthem sounding like the bastard offspring of I-F and Ultradyne. 'Fake Smiles' is more desolate, g… Read more
Monday, 21 July
**Diagonal deliver the second of two EP’s from Bronze Teeth, a new project from Dominic Butler of Factory Floor and Richard Smith of Optimo Music’s L/F/D/M. First pressing comes in a limited spot gloss jacket designed by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton** Bronze Teeth bite back with a 2nd EP of bony, hardware-driven techno fizz for Diagonal, housed in another blinding sleeve by Guy Featherstone. Cut from the same electrifying sessions which yielded their debut 12", 'A Waif's Rent' follows suit with rolling, driven momentum and caustic electronics. A-side they jack up … Read more
Zola Jesus returns with a blooming massive synth-pop sound befitting of her recent move to Mute. Largely shedding her goth and operatic inflections in favour of unabashed pop, the altogether more common sound of 'Dangerous Ways' may well lose her some fans in the process, but is bound to gain her a raft of new followers.
LA's Dva Damas follow up that killer 10" on Downwards' DO series with a debut album of swaggering songs for serial killers and rogue souls. 'Nightshade' blends the same traces of Morricone's western themes often adopted by Monte Cazazza, with a stripped down gothdub approach and the kind of noirish, druggy '50s intrigue felt in Lynch classics, resulting a sinister, creepy and hip-driving sorta sawdust-and-shots backwater bar vibe. You could imagine these songs played by the duo of Taylor Burch and Joseph Cocherell from behind chicken wire to a crowd of disinterested loggers and hep kids cra… Read more
Monday, 14 July
Minimal Wave present the quintessential collection of rehearsals, rare outtakes and live recordings by Karl O'Connor and co's notorious Sandra Electronics. Spanning the group's early years in Birmingham circa late '80s/early '90s thru to more recent re-dos with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), 'Sessions' gives room for O'Connor's post-punk/goth alter ego to really get his rocks off, rending clear the binds between punk and techno in the process. It includes a handful of reworked tracks from rehearsal tapes, including electrifying, snotty versions of 'Her Needs' plus t… Read more
Karl O'Connor aka Regis presents an effective "best of" his Sandra Electronics project on Minimal Wave, comprising re-edited and remastered versions of all yer favourites, replete with rare demos and live versions. Aided and abetted by current band member Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant, O'Connor presents slickly re-edited versions of the droning, buzzing bomb 'It Slipped Her Mind', the tripped-out lurker 'Protection Now!', an extended, searing version of the skeletal ghoul riddim 'New Purpose', plus its more melodic demo version, beside a live mix of the snake-hipped 'Want Need', and demo version of shoegazing swell-on, 'Publicity'. Class.
The unpredictably brilliant Downwards label spins out three tracks of snotty goth garage from California's Dva Damas (pronounced duh-va duh-mas apparently). Their songs are brief but assured, from the the ghoulish Rock-a-billy strut of 'Brand New Head' with its sneering bassline and numb synth drones to the motorik bass rev and cascading circus synths of 'See Me' or the cantering Suicide-inspirations of 'Time Dilation'. In essence this record draws a line between the attitudes and aesthetic of leather-jacketed 50s rockers, late 70s New York punks and 90s techno industrialists to end up in 2010 where it's everything, all at once. Need!
53-track compilation charting the evolution of The Cabs from early experiments in 1974 which set the ground for the punk explosion, thru to their innovative Industrial Records era and subsequent fascinations with urban American funk and electronics in the '80s.
Monday, 07 July
Monday, 30 June
Snotty swansong from the hard-living punk, Sewn Leather, for Milan's excellent Hundebiss label. 'Freak On Hashish / Longboarding Is A Crime' commendably lives up to at least half its title (we're not what he's got against longboarding, but we're not arsed either way really) with nine blown out, sludgy misshapes that sound too wrecked to get up but still generate enough wretched energy to put off casual listeners and entice the hardcore. It starts up with the bombed-out hip hop bounce of 'Real Recognise Fake' and culminates in a 19 and half minute slayer packing proper punk techno and hip hop nastiness. See ya SewnLeather!
**Space-cadet techno-electronica from Australia. RIYL Blondes, Gardland, M. Geddes Gengras** "The transformation from trashed noise to tranced programming irks some technocrats but the truth is such shifts only highlight the kinship between these parallel modes of longform electrical activity; hypnosis and confusion can be achieved with or without drum machines. Newcastle transplants Nick Senger and Cooper Bowman both share storied pasts in improvisational amplifier damage as performers (Castings/Cistern Corrupt and Dry Mouth/Junk Sick, respectively) and label heads (Spanish Magic and … Read more
Monday, 23 June
Brooklyn's finest minimal wave duo take flight to Ghostly International for 4th album, 'Par Avion'. With their shift to more visible climes of the musical landscape, Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride have tightened up and honed their already sharp sound to a pop potency, still dealing in romance for a colder age, but now with more variety and contrasts - from upbeat to downbeat, slow to fast, light to dark. "Par Avion's rich diversity of sounds comes at least in part from the fact that it's an album-long ode to synesthesia. As singer Liz Wendelbo explains, “Sound makes me think of a sc… Read more
The Hacker, Sync 24, D.M.X. Krew and Marco Bernardi do over highlights from the World Electronix series on Cultivated Electronics. Morphology's 'darkstar' is yoked to a powerful EBM/electro coda by The Hacker; Sync 24 drops the 808 bass on a rework of The Exaltics' 'Ten Days'; D.M.X. Krew goes all Drexciyan for an overhaul of JTC's 'In Transit'; Marco Bernardi pleats Sync 24 & Deixis' 'Ah Ah Ah' into a slower electro-house style.
Mute round up the best work by their first label signing, Frank Tovey aka Fad Gadget, originally released a year prior to his untimely death in 2002. A double disc affair, it collects one disc of 18 single and album tracks, and another reserved solely for alternative mixes and versions, between them spanning the very furthest reaches of his eccentric pop spectrum and everything in between. The 2st disc includes his best known works such as 'Lady Shave', 'Back To Nature', and the Alison Moyet-starring aces 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' and 'Love Parasite', plus 'Collapsing New Peopl… Read more
Frank Tovey's debut album emerged upon an unsuspecting world in 1980. An urgent, forward thinking and spikily melodic attack on pop music, it''s often hailed as "groundbreaking" and would gift the quickly established and evolving Mute roster with one of its most demented and compelling voices. 'Fireside Favourites' notably features Mute mainman Daniel Miller assisting on sequencer and Electronic Percussion, but the real star has to be Frank's indomitable vocals, careening between sardonic sneers, deadpan monotone and unheimlich exhortations. Includes an invaluable pull-out poster of a bloodstained Fad Gadget.
Curated by Richard H Kirk , #7885 (Electropunk To Technopop)’ compiles two distinct periods of Cabaret Voltaire - 1978-81 and 1983-85 - for the first time together on one release and follows the remastered vinyl release of ‘Red Mecca’ and already sold out box set ‘#8385 (Collected Works 1983-1985)’. Kirk explains: “I decided to gather the more concise elements of the work... Hence the choice of 7” singles, edits and shorter album tracks, a kind of soundbite take on CV.” The compilation travels from 1978-81 with a line up of Richard H Kirk, Stephen Mallin… Read more
Monday, 16 June
Nobody really does it quite like DMX Krew. On his 10th album the acid veteran cranks out nine cuts of fruitiest electro-boogie, braindance and disco sauce drawing inspiration from classic library sounds, Detroit electro and European disco. So, no real change there then, but it's the consistency and integrity of his soulboy funk and flair that's the crucial, winning ingredient here, from the weekender boogie buzz of 'Paradise Grove' to the deft electro-techno of 'Reshaped Waves' to the Analord-esque acid funk of 'Fractalus' and twangin' tight boogie funk of 'Future Light Cone'.
Powerful debut album of proper EBM/Wave muscle from the Sumerian Fleet on Dark Entries. Co-conspirators Alden Tyrell and Mr. Pauli are now joined by Croatian producer Zarkoff to fully optimise their take on true '80s EBM styles previously revealed through sought-after 12" for Clone and Crème Organzation. When their eponymous 12" landed in 2010 it quietly pre-empted an avalanche of EBM/Wave projects and reissues to the scene which they've now firmly capitalised on with nine tracks owing much to classic Front 242, Liasons Dangereuses, Depeche Mode et al but resolutely their own thing.… Read more
Twitchy, nervous coldwave minimalism from Michael Wood's Redredred project, delivered by the currently untouchable Dark Entries. Sticking to a reduced and repetitive aesthetic, Wood revels in the hypnotic power of hardware on 'Pattern Completion' with eight jagged, droning, driving missiles urged on by his own vocals. For quick highlights check the aquatic jak of 'A Pattern Completion', the heads-down Industrial pump of 'Skyline' and the deft, metallic stepper 'Distance Between Objects'. RIYL Suicide, Martial Canteral, Powell, Traxx…