Monday, 23 February
Feted new UK artist, Romare, scales his cut-up, Afro-American-centric sound to a family-sized debut album for Ninja Tune. Elaborating on the deftly woven tapestries of his two 12"s for Black Acre, he continues to pay tribute to Romare Bearden - the seminal American cut-up artist and painter whose work recently adorned The Roots' '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' LP - with eleven loosely syncopated and blues-wise grooves. Through the dusty disco of 'Rainbow', or gospel soul with the self-explanatory 'Nina's Charm' he perceives a coherent, if endearingly hazy, line from 20th century African Ame… Read more
Outstanding, otherworldly debut album proper by the Hype Williams collaborator known as Henny Moan and John T. Gast. An ambient enigma steeped in post-hypnagogic tristesse, 'Excerpts' is a cryptic hash of mutant dance music, lo-fi pop, and screwed lounge styles every bit as skewed and enigmatic as you might hope from someone who's worked so closely with Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland (he contributed to 'Black Is Beautiful' and 'The Redeemer' a.o.). Written and recorded early 2014 in South West England, it treats nostalgia and electronic romance with equal amounta shadowy ambiguity and screwba… Read more
Morphine present a very welcome, if unexpected, return from Sote, an American-based Iranian artist who delivered one of Warp's most interesting releases of the '00s with 'Electric Deaf'. We've spoken previously about our fascination with hi-end Middle Eastern electronics and Sote would fall well in that category with these complex, super-dynamic projections gleaned from a range of synthesis techniques. We won't bore you with the finer details - google it if you're bothered - but can tell you there's some dazzling work here; a hyperkinetic rush of trance-inducing tones and completely unstable,… Read more
Bullion's Deek gang return with a lucent 2nd EP by dream-pop starlet Laura Groves. As with her enchanted 'Thinking About Thinking' 12" and contributions to Deek's Nautic project, 'Committed Language' is gilded with a classic pop magic that's clearly working its spell on us again. The titular opener is a beauty, finding Laura swooning all over floating, Sakamoto-esque chimes and flourishes of jazz-folksy Fleetwood Mac, while 'Dream Story' comes off like Grimes' in a parallel, '80s FM pop world. With 'Friday' they strip it all right back to deliquescent keys and synth staging Laura… Read more
LP5/Gantz Graf-style IDM convolutions from Arovane for Touchin' Bass. Anyone expecting his softer side will get a shock here.
"Vancouver producer Patrick Holland aka Project Pablo’s house music goes breezy and back to basics on his debut full length and first release since moving to Montreal this Fall. “I Want To Believe” is a blue-tinged walk through Little Italy; chunky disco and hybrid house inspired by ultra-real types of smoothness like George Benson, Sade or Steely Dan (“Aja”, that is) and relocating perceivably dated cafe-culture styles of groove-focused house into a newly sincere context. Project Pablo’s bright and deep slant on easy-listening is built on sturdy but loose percussion, heavy bass … Read more
Nico Jaar's unpredictable Other People label presents the overcast chamber atmospheres of John Bence's debut, 'Disquiet'. Part 1 opens with baroque vocal harmonies, giving way to discordant strings and guttural, bowed cello coming off like Ghedalia Tazartes meets Julianna Barwick. Part 2 opens up a more widescreen arrangement of precipitous strings and sweeping vocal harmony with some gorgeous phasing effects. Part 3 feels like a condensed Arvo Pärt piece.
Software's latest signings come rugged and sophisticated with the dynamic, alien hip hop and ebullient future-funk of 'Childhood Swing'. Opening with the dazzling Evian Christ or Amnesia Scanner-style sound design of single track, 'Hood Low' they tack between lush, jazzy G-funk lean with 'The Treatment' and Hud Mo heavy funk of 'Talking II' , before slipping into the glistening virtual reality space of 'Swept Over the Rug'. Better yet, 'By the Bay' drops and rolls with a delirious future soul vibe reminding of moments from Matthewdavid's psychedelic album, 'In My World', while 'Childhood Swing' fakes left with a skittish meld of boogie house and vaporous synth streaks.
'Hail Of Arrows' is an audacious new synth project from NYC's Gavin Russom - one of his best since 'The Days Of Mars' for DFA. Taking inspiration from the Falcons which resettled in his Uptown Manhattan locale, coupled with nods to J.G. Ballard and P.K. Dick, Russom spins out the imagined soundtrack to a four-part odyssey where the birds reclaim Upper Manhattan, creating a civilization in the leftover buildings and landscape. Perfect for the tape format, such a wide scope allows bags of time for him to explore every integer of his pulsing machines. We're talking obsessional levels … Read more
Pure tonal pressure with an avant-technoid edge, created by legendary Belgian figure Frans De Waard. 'Trenkel' was recorded in May 2013 at Geluidwerkplaats Extrapool, Nijmegen in preparation for a concert at Studio Trenkel with music by Wieman (Frans de Waard & Roel Meelkop).
*Sam Prekop returns with another album exploring the modular electronics he has been pursuing for the last few years* Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combi… Read more
"After an action-packed 2014, Montreal-based vinyl label Infinite Machine are raising the stakes and pushing right through the New Year with the debut ofRights, the new collaborative effort between Sepalcure’s Braille and Infinite Machine mainstay Seafloor. A functional soundtrack for the late winter nights in the city, the Brooklyn-based duo mange to encapsulate the night’s adventurous lure with dynamic House that weaves touching soundscapes over intrepid Bass exercises. The 6-track collection of originals is graceful as it is invigorating, going deep when appropriate, teasing when necessary and breaking after being naughty."
'Sokit' is a strange acid house pop fantasy, equal parts Pinkcourtesyphone, Twin Peaks and Tin Man; 'Paranormal' could be the lonely ambient theme to a waking dream.
Monday, 16 February
Beautiful and subtly enchanting debut of gauzy downbeats and dreamy footwork impressionism from a fella named Sela. 'First' is guided by instinct and emotion to a detached, personal space where beat structures work on the brink of collapse, buoyed only by tender chords and saline textures. It sounds a little like Jan Jelinek processing some 128kbps files of early DJ Nate with D/P/I, or even like some Senufo Editions piece mushed by Mica Levi, traversing screwed hip hop and soul beats to quiet pockets of field recording texture and whispered ambient, all with a sort of lower case sensibility and vulnerability that really gets us, right there.
"The new album from Tropics, aka 27 year old Chris Ward, looks outwards, armed with a newfound confidence that foregrounds his vocal performance and songwriting. It’s a musical progression that mirrors a personal one: the early Tropics output was all made in the idyllic, if isolated setting of Ward’s grandmother’s empty house in the seaside town of Southsea, which he moved into after graduating from university to focus on writing and recording. He was alone there - “like, really alone. For days, I had literally no distractions.” Having moved to London in 2013, Ward now splits his time between th… Read more
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Ru… Read more
*Shadowy electro-acoustic dimensions for those who appreciate the darkness of Mika Vainio, Valerio Tricoli, or Main* "On Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker creates a biotope of musical characters that is sober, delicate, complex and vivid, with a restrained intensity, a “cold fire.” The characters discuss, hesitate, fight, pull closer, push back. Through the use of microtonality and recordings of acoustic instruments it is the elusive sound of a somnambulistic travelogue. “I’m searching for ways to create an intricate narrative, switchi… Read more
PC Music-compatible, Hi-NRG electro-pop from Goodbye on Nico Jaar's Other People.
"Ibeyi deliver their self titled debut album. Produced by Richard Russell at his west London Residence La Revolution studio and released on XL Recordings. Ibeyi are 19 year old French Cuban twins Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz. They are daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz. Naomi plays percussive instruments, the Cajon and the Batas, while Lisa plays piano. Together the twins combine modern pop, hip hop and electronic influences with the traditional sounds of their father’s Yorùbán culture."