Monday, 01 September
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...
'Marishly cinematic and Coil-esque debut EP by Berlin-dwelling duo for Downwards. Offering a cold and gaunt hand of introduction, A-side 'Drenba nih sendaut' proceeds with muffled machine-gun percussions amidst foggy atmospheres pierced by pealing metal strikes whilst garrotting strings and wailing glossolalia raise the tension to pupil-dilating degrees. B-side, pitched choral pads uncannily reminding of John Avery's Force Nostalgia issue lay an icy bed for possessed female vocals and untoward gothic steppers undulations in 'Erajh nur dwfa', for Cut Hands-like death march drums and escalating strings to stoically finish the job.
"Self-titled debut LP by the contemporary USA based minimal synth artist. Formed in 2012, Kline Coma Xero is influenced by a number of projects in the past, spanning a realm of styles from experimental noise, tape loops and early industrial. Recorded on a plethora of hardware sequencers driving analog instruments, Kline Coma Xero produces a uniquely oblique interpretation of past-meets-present in modern electronic music. Standout tracks include the only previously released track "Left Behind" as well as the brilliantly catchy "Rewind". This record will certainly appeal to fans of… Read more
Monday, 25 August
"Severed Heads are one of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene. They began in Sydney in 1979, incorporating elements of 'industrial' noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style. After many line-up changes featuring Gary Bradbury and psychedelic guitarist Simon Knuckey, Severed Heads was the vehicle for composer Tom Ellard. By 1983 they released a C-60 cassette called “Since The … Read more
Dark Entries' rampant reissue agenda continues apace with the eponymous debut by prolific French synth-poppers, Opera Multi Steel. Expect typically elegant gallic pop a la The Human League in 'Rien', thru a sort of pacy, baroque take on Talking Heads in 'Fêtês Komité', to the noirish emoting of 'Jardin Botanique' and the disco-prime 'Massabielle'.
Downwards' gloomiest duo summon the spirits of Coil and Cocteau Twins on this compelling sophomore 12". Like Teutonic cousins to Blackest Ever Black's Dalhous, Oake channel wide ranging influences from film, literature and esoteric musics to create texturally rich and evocative arrangements which don't necessarily sit well in any pre-ordained genre. Their 2nd outing is a bleak call to like-minded souls, using worm-charming subsonic pulses and banking wails on 'Sehtohree Diin Chromtas Vehns' to seduce both techno heads and goths, whilst 'Tuturden Giit Chreteen Dwe' displays an increasingly vis… Read more
IDIB capo, Mike Simonetti presents the 3rd volume of his ongoing mixtape series, 'At The Juncture Of Dark and Light', via Opal Tapes. Positively crammed with unknown - or at least unmarked - wonders ranging from kosmische disco assaults to drum machine-driven black hole ragas and sublime new age surfers over its 60 minute lifespan, it's a challenge to the spotters - there's no tracklist as yet - and a delight to those who really appreciate a knowingly selected and sequenced mixtape. Kudos.
'Synthesist' was created on the cusp of a new decade, as the New Age of the '80s was dawning and the titans of Krautrock had largely left their best work behind them. Harald had worked with the very best of them, playing drums on seminal albums by Klaus Schulze, the notorious Cosmic Jokers, Ashra, and Tarot before he retreated to the West German countryside with a MiniMoog and Revox Reel-to-Reel in 1979 to create his personal opus. It's been said elsewhere, but it bears repeating that this album feels like a symbiosis of the two eras, the proggy excesses of the '70s reigned in by per… Read more
Reissue of 'Oceanheart', the 1986 follow-up to 'Synthesist' by Ashra drummer Harald Grosskopf. Whilst its better known predecessor dealt on the cusp of Krautrock's twilight period and new age spheres, 'Oceanheart' very much sounds of its mid '80s era with polished digital drums and synths balanced between the dancefloor and Miami yacht decks. The DJs really need to cop a listen to the taut, arpeggiated funk of 'Eve On The Hill', the MIDI-tethered tablas, slick bassline and sparkling pirouettes of 'Pondicherry Dream', and the airborne swing of 'Minimal Boogie', whilst suave home liste… Read more
As James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem said of “The Bus”, “I always wanted to make a song that sounded like that* "Executive Slacks was spawned in Philadelphia by three restless art students - Matt Marello, John Young and Albert Ganss in the early 1980s. Starting out with performance art in subways, they soon took their angst-ridden act to galleries and night clubs. They recorded four songs in the fall of 1982 that became their self-titled EP released by local independent label Red Records in 1983. On their debut EP Matt Marello roars and churns out white-hot shards of guitar while… Read more
Monday, 18 August
21-track Reissue of Drexciya's first album proper and a milestone for Detroit and electronic music in general. It was first released in 1999 and has since been hailed as one of the enigma's most crucial missives. Opinions will differ, but this CD version is arguably the definitive edition, containing 21 tracks to the LP's 13, and a discernibly lucid digital mastering compared with relatively smudged frequencies on the 2LP vinyl. To put it simply, and without overstatement: this is one of the finest electronic albums ever made.
Daz Quayle and Tony 'Bone' Snowden flex powerful rhythmic noise muscle on their debut as Broken Bone. Informed by the 20th century atrocities at infamous NYC institution, 'Willowbrook', the duo present six tracks of atonal, visceral noise textures hingeing on bruising bass and charred drums. It's a fxxking fearsome effort, amping a handful of well-selected elements to bleeding point. A-side draws us in with squealing tones and febrile, spitting drums laced with swarming crowd noise, before 'Sub Clinical' and 'Blood On Your Hands' put the boot in with crushing hip hop rhythms and viciousl… Read more
Monday, 11 August
UK techno's dark magi SUrgeon and Regis documented live in Tokyo, performing not long after reuniting for the 1st BEB event and their 'Where Pale Limbs Lie' 12" for Liberation Technologies. Techno fiends will be left gnashing their tongues with the 1st side, where Karl O'Connor (Regis) and Anthony Child (Surgeon) spend their time sculpting a wall of digital noise and gothic cries, leaving a squirrels nut taste of groove for the final strokes. Flipside they fully commit to the groove with a stormy, swaggering rendition of 'As Above So Below' and the torturous power noise drill to 'End', polite applause included.
Monday, 04 August
Remastered reissue of Soma Holiday‘s cult classic, Shake Your Molecules. Soma Holiday was a Franco-American duo consisting of Jean-Marc Vallod and Jane Honicker, based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn back in the early 1980s. They recorded “Shake Your Molecules” along with “Too Many People” and “Art Dimension” in 1984, at Unique Studios in Manhattan. The studio was known for being the first NYC studio with MIDI capabilities. With the help of Eric Dufaure, they had their 12” released on Cachalot Records in the US, and later a further pressing was made by Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L’A… Read more
Debut drop of rimshot-riding house from Boyfriend following remix actions for Mad Decent, Enchufada and more. Essentially it's a sort of deeper take on Baltimore House, perhaps more Karizma style than the naughty stuff T & A are known for. Boyfriend's 'Fears' is a brilliant groover effortlessly swinging off percolated rimshots, hi-hats and plump subs, which Saveless runs as a ruddier sort of electro-funk and DJ Ayres fuses with deep garage techno. Tipped!
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