Monday, 29 September
Nicolas Jaar's Other People celebrate a year in the game with a smart collection of unreleased music by Powell, Ancient Astronaut, Jelinek, Darkside, Visuals, and more. The obvious highlight is Powell's sly rework of Ancient Astronaut, launching from a fragment of 'SCSS' into a slicing, frothing industrial cut-up as only he does. It stands out like a sore thumb against the rest of the field, such as Visuals' dusty indie country in 'A Pixel', the lo-slung indie-disco of 'Gone Too Soon' from darkside, or Jan Jelinek's crafty deconstruction of Ancient Astronaut's 'B2'.
Kaleidoscopic styles from Paul White on his excellent album debut for R&S. With 'Shaker Notes' he swaps his hip hop garb for a psych dashiki - most literally on the album sleeve, and metaphorically speaking thru his worldly palette of jazz-wise, Afro-centric instrumentation and 4th world electronic tones. With many other producers that transition could be tragic, but White pulls it off with aplomb, much like his former One-Handed Music label-mate, Bullion's entirely successful switch from beats to luscious pop psychedelia. His production is totally prime, juggling live and programmed dru… Read more
Boothroyd serves one of the most striking debuts on Tri Angle with 'Idle Hours'. Hailing from sunny North Manchester but now defected to London, Boothroyd's music is a slyly ambiguous, 'marishly-warped mesh of lo-fi samples strung together with a deceptively grand plan. Like the mutant, half-finished offspring of Coil and Lars Holdhus, it occupies a uniquely detached space in the peripheries of modern composition, vapour wave and ambient pop, scuttling between heart-racing peaks and petrified electronica like some fractal distillation of darkweb's babylonian data flux and the stark numbness… Read more
Kim Hiorthøy returns with his first new album in almost 8 years with the excellent 'Dogs'. This time round Hiorthøy has stripped everything down to a minimum, and gone to the core of his characteristic sound. The album consists of mostly just piano and ambience with some beats, and on some tracks the occasional synth. Dogs is his purest and most beautiful album. Hiorthøy cites Jan Johansson as an inspiration, but says the music is still anchored in early hip-hop, sample-based music (though there are no samples on Dogs), and even the simple, cheesy melodies of some 90s rave tracks. That said, D… Read more
*Fully remastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy* One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby’s canon is finally given a much needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release 6 years ago. ‘Bleaklow’ is harrowing from the start, the opening "Something To Do With Death” reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. ’Solemn Dedication’ adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on 'Indefinite Rid… Read more
Anstam veers into vaulted prog-pop territory on his 3rd album, 'Names', for Monkeytown. The knotted, fractured rhythms and hi-gloss techno surfaces are all still in place, but now augmented by his vocals placing him closer to the likes of Rudi Zygadlo or his label bosses, Modeselektor.
"Stewart Walker returns with his new album release Ivory Tower Broadcast. A quarter century of the same drum machines and basslines turned future music into golden oldies. Visionaries don't make techno based on particular instruments but a set of techniques which can dilate time, implode sound, and confound expectation. Stewart Walker returns after a six-year retreat to bring his own future sound with Ivory Tower Broadcast. The Ivory Tower refers to a cloistered and elitist mental space removed from practical considerations and criticism. It's a perfect metaphor for a music … Read more
"Like his mythological namesake, Daedelus – otherwise known as Alfred Darlington – is an inventor, a creator of sonic labyrinths combining sounds from an eclectic palette into an innovative genre all his own. With The Light Brigade, Daedelus returns to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, a fitting home for the Los Angeles electronic pioneer. A successor to his 2009 Righteous Fists of Harmony (an EP inspired by the Boxer Rebellion), The Light Brigade recalls the Crimean war of 1853-56. The music was written and recorded before the recent troubles broke out in that region, a turn of events which… Read more
Machinedrum/Mark Pritchard-esque adventures in Footwork/Bass from Brighton's Alphabet's Heaven. Six cuts span lilting fusions of Afro-centric rhythmelody and percolated bass in 'Everything Stays The Same' thru the chest-bursting rush of 'Pride and Joy' produced with Deft, interspersed with shorter, canny excursions into muggy, knackered house in 'New York' and 'Glimpses OF Beauty'. Smart session, check.
**Unique ambient piano suite** ""If I had to choose [Brian Eno's] greatest contribution to popular music it would be the idea that musicians do their best work when they have no idea what they’re doing." - Sasha Frere-Jones on Brian Eno (Ambient Genius, July 7). This is something Babe Rainbow (aka Cameron Reed) believes wholeheartedly. He hadn't really made electronic music before starting Babe Rainbow a number of years back, and shortly thereafter he was signed to Warp. Before that, he had been making angular punk music in Vancouver. Each of these 12 tracks a… Read more
Stereolab's erstwhile mastermind Tim Gane has the honour of being first to dive into Sky Records' legendary krautrock catalogue to curate Kollektion 01. Inarguably the flagship model for 1970's krautrock, Sky Records was home to practically everyone in the scene, hence their vaults swell with classics for Tim to pick from, resulting a 17-track session spanning work from the Moebius/Roedelis/Eno/Cluster/Conny Plank axis alongside cherry-picked zingers by Asmus Tietchens, Riechmann, Günter Schickert.
Super-stripped rhythm excursions from another new American name and label to these pages, De Leon for Aught. Feeling out space between Shackleton and N.M.O., or Burnt Friedman and Lee Gamble, '/\\03' clocks up chiming, Afro-centric syncopations and plangent metallic atmospheres from a mixture of what sounds like a copulating mixture of programmed and live drums slithering and bathing in their own harmonic resonance.
Smartly forward dub-techno deviations from Topdown Dialectic on promising new label, Aught. The follow-up to their eponymous EP for Seattle's Further Records advances the most choking/choked aesthetics of Actress or Andy Stott into fully blown-out abstraction, blowing with force between noisily skudged Chain Reaction styles to crushed Wanda Group mulch, heaving Thriller boogie and kinetic, swarming techno buried beneath acres of atmospheric pressure. Aces.
Yung Turks present SBTRKT's strongest body of work to date with the electronic pop/soul projections of 'Wonder Where We Land'. Teeming with guest spots from A$AP Ferg, Koreless, Sampha, Jessie Ware, Warpaint, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), and Andrew Ashong, among others, it marks SBTRKT as a properly dilated producer, one open to working fresh new sounds and bolder production technique into more timeless dance-pop frameworks. At this point, the hooks of upfront singles such as 'New Dorp. New Dorp', 'Higher' and 'Voices In My Head' have… Read more
**Deluxe edition with 7 xtra trax** Yung Turks present SBTRKT's strongest body of work to date with the electronic pop/soul projections of 'Wonder Where We Land'. Teeming with guest spots from A$AP Ferg, Koreless, Sampha, Jessie Ware, Warpaint, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), and Andrew Ashong, among others, it marks SBTRKT as a properly dilated producer, one open to working fresh new sounds and bolder production technique into more timeless dance-pop frameworks. At this point, the hooks of upfront singles such as 'New Dorp. New Dorp', 'Hi… Read more
"Echo Park (by way of Minneapolis) motorcycle mechanic Nick Koenigs aka Filthy Huns follows his 2012 self-titled debut with a freshly iced 8-pack of stark tar-streaked roadburn meditations, Leopard On My Right. Echo-blurred metronomes rev from dive bar dub to aging engine chugs, laced with keyboard exhaust, stick-and-poke guitar designs, hungover highway vocals, and dust-choked American desolation. As before, Koenigs keeps the dead-eyed leather menace quotient high while bleaching the songs' rock bone structures into pale, emaciated shapes ("Ancient Hell," "Nomad Status"), occasi… Read more
**Flac format of this release is 24 bit audio** London-based sound artist/producer/DJ, Shelley Parker presents an inquisitive album of alien concrète structures compiled from edits and extracts of her performances/installations/videos over the last five years. 'Spurn' follows the aesthetic themes of her 'Sleeper Line' EP for Entr'acte in eight pieces that tease out and augment a latent sense of "techno" from industrial field recordings and documentation of her work, focussing on its rhythmic and spatial qualities. The results are best defined in terms of their physical bass presence … Read more
"This is Lowriders Recordings kick off project for the new spoof LOWf. Ard Bit, dutch composer/producer/DJ who moves between post dub step, post IDM, electronics and some of the newer hip moody stuff. His sound, coming from a IDM background has shifted to a more sensitive tactile layering that is both comfortable on the couch and on the dance floor. It’s sensitive, fragile, layered, between the early floor and headphone kinda music."
Opal Tapes and the Blowing Up The Workshop mix-blog-cum-label introduce two new artists to our ears on 'Mirror & Gate Vol. IV'. Aniello sprawls across the A-side with some 30 minutes of uniquely syncopated percussive loops and tape FX oscillating somewhere between Thought Broadcast and Decimus in its refusal to stick with any discernible structure and wickedly atonal no wave qualities. Freaky ish. John Sandia's 'Pierrot Lunaire' opens up an equally aud, abstract space on the flip with the possibly Schoenberg-referencing four-part movement of worn-down rhythms, ambient gloom and spectral presence.
The excellent Blowing Up The Workshop mix-tape blog and Opal Tapes team up again to present the machine madness of Ged Gengras' Personable and Gnod's Dwellings & Druss on the latest Mirror & gate volume. In jackin' modular synth mode, Personable churns out two bits of overheated electronic scree powered by thumping kicks on his side; Gnod squadron's Dwellings & Druss 'fess up a live set recorded on 20/06/13 on the flip, stepping off into a vortex of acidic chain reactions, staggering dub rhythms, cacophonous noise and thunderous drum patterns so dark and disorienting we can't tell up from down.