Monday, 14 April
Blackest Ever Black continue a strong run of releases with with this cold-burning EP from Dalhous, bringing more of the same ramshackle yet profound electronica that made their debut album An Ambassador For Laing an interesting proposition. The title was a phrase coined by theorist of punishment Michel Foucault, and the dull horror of imprisonment and surveillance seeps slowly into the fabric of this release. But there's also a gothic triumph in its eroded and barnacled fragments, robust beats swept up in cinematic reverb and hymns to drowned sailors. The eerie, expl… Read more
After a great series of vinyl issues, Desire collect the recent remixes of Ike Yard in this crucial digital package. With a span of some 30 years between the originals and the remixes, it's an interesting way to weigh up and study the influence of Ike Yard's radically stripped down post-punk/techno prototypes on the successive generation of electronic producers. It starts up with a remastered mix of Regis' desk-chopped version of 'Loss' - arguably the album's standout moment - and cycles thru some exceptional work from Powell and Tropic Of Cancer on sharply contrasting - and equally brilliant -… Read more
Exceptional, dazzling modular synth compositions from the boss of Chicago's underground incubator, Catholic Tapes for John Elliott's Spectrum Spools. A filigree mesh of field recordings and "ritual variations of a singular patch for Modular Synthesis", Naucke's 3rd solo LP since his 2010 debut for Arbor is a sophisticated and inquisitive thing of wonder, framing a macroscopic vision equally guided by academic, avant-garde intuition and painstaking studio process. Unlike so many modular pieces that feel as though we're simply being extruded thru a long wormhole, Brett's compositional strategy is… Read more
Vibe receptors at the ready: Drew Lustman aka Falty DL's Blueberry Records introduces Luke Vi..err, Luke Warm with a super charming debut of broken beats and deep house dopeness. Essentially it's a modern rare groove showcase, distilling the best from 30 years of urban dance research with X amounta soul swerve. 'Daydreamin'' starts up like 4Hero and Machiendrum doing breezy slow-fast bounce, and 'Brockley Spears' jumps to a classic hip-house coda with a Steinski-esque edit agenda and proper, up-to-date production chops. 'Instant Vibe' dips a bit deeper with infectious meld of Chicago st… Read more
Latest on Luke Younger's Alter label is a beguiling set of edited electronic improvisations by the wayward French duo, Jo Tanz and Laurent Gerard (Él-G) aka Opéra Mort. The follow-up to their last LP for the sadly defunct Parisian record shop Bimbo Tower, 'Dédales' arrives a few years after Él-G's 'Mil Pluton' LP, and the pair's brilliant 'Globe Et Dynastie' side (seriously, go check this!) with cult French outsider Ghédalia Tazartès in the Reines D'Angleterre trio. Those facts should all give you some indication of the abstract, nether territory this LP occupies. It's a result of true electro… Read more
Ralph Cumbers' Bass Clef debuts on PAN with four pieces of fluent modular acid. The most substantial dancefloor drop on a tour of duty which has seen him release on Public Information, Punch Drunk, Alter, and Mordant Music (as Some Truths) in the past 6 months or so, his 'Raven Yr Own Worl' EP carves a dead English dance sound from his favoured Bug Brand modular system, made by Tom Bug of Bristol. For want of a more concise phrase, it's a Radiophonic Dub Rave style, coming off like the eager offspring of Luke Vibert and Graham Massey after a night on Cornish acid. A-side fires up the … Read more
Hot on the heels of that ace John Lacey/COUM Transmissions release, Andrew Hargreaves returns to his Other Ideas label for a bleak, No(rthern) Industrial battery under his Beppu alias. Beppu releases in the past have been largely confined to limited CD runs that have mostly all sold out on the day of release - but this edition is the first in a proposed trilogy of albums, and the first material Hargreaves has released on vinyl under this alias. 'Coercion' was conceived whilst reading Stanley Milgram's 'Obedience To Authority' tome, and consequently closely mirrors the book's themes of claustrophob… Read more
Klara Lewis debuts on Editions Mego with the electronically animated sound organisms of 'Ett'. Sampling from a palette of modified and reconstituted field recordings, Klara's debut compositions yield ten terrarium-like sonic ecologies rich in organic texture and detail enlivened by bristling electronics and insectoid rhythms. They're strange, self-contained units amounting to a complex, beguiling lattice of unique timbres, atmospheric space and coarse yet fluidly woven texturhythms, all infused with a subtle sort of ambient (de)compositional sorcery. At its best in the wormy, humus dub 12 minute … Read more
"Donky Pitch deliver the debut album from Lockah. 'Yahoo or the Highway' packs 13 tracks into it's 45 minute running time with Lockah's sense of synth driven melody and pop tendencies being weaved into a rich mix of influences, from italo disco to electro, rave to r&b all whilst remaining resoundingly original and unconventional..."
Highly impressive new developments from Ben Vida, featuring percussive virtuoso Tyondai Braxton, and vocals by Sara Magenheimer. The latest in a hot streak of intriguing Vida releases for PAN, Alku, and Future Audio Graphics, 'Slipping Control' derives from a text piece 'Tztztztzt Î Í Í….' which he wrote and was subsequently published as a book by Shelter Press. Using the text as a score or source material, much like Florian Hecker's recent works with Reza Negarastani, and Markus Schmickler & Julian Rohrhuber's 'Politiken Der Frequenz' LP, Vida processes the recitations in varying Contr… Read more
'Mondo Black Chamber' is an important collection of David Toop's entire works for Sub Rosa between 1996-2003. The inestimable writer (Ocean Of Sound), musician (The Flying Lizards, General Strike, The 49 Americans) and musical thinker should really require little introduction to you lot so we'll crack on. 'Mondo Black Chamber' compiles the releases '37th Floor at Sunset - Music For Mondophrenetic™' (2000) and 'Black Chamber' (2003) with a compilation cut from the 'L'inacheve/Unfinished' set plus two rarities, framing a wide-angled yet focussed perspective on modern avant-garde and … Read more
Pinch, Acre, Elmono, Ipman and Batu feature on COld Recordings first compilation.
Gnod's Tesla Tapes pay tribute to the anti-fracking resistance camp at Barton Moss, miles from Gnod HQ at Islington Mill, Salford, with half an hour of stentorian rants by Michael O'Neill set to desolate northern drones produced and mixed by Druss & Dwellings. It's a fxxking uncomfortable listen, but probably not as uncomfortable as the protestor under attack from corporate dibble depicted on the inlay. There's four tracks in total, all delivered with politicised vitriol and a stoic glare, ranging from slow-marching No Wave drones and pulses to blown-out, polluted du… Read more
Accompanied by Surgeon, Richard Youngs and Matmos, among others, Daniel Lopatin returns to tracks from his outstanding 2011 LP 'Replica'. 'Dog In The Fog: 'Replica' Collaborations & Remixes' takes shape as four edits and radical revisions. Matmos splice 'Replica' with the sort of clinical precision that made their 'A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure' LP such a lasting classic, leaving the piano riff more or less intact while arranging a far denser and kinetic patina of samples around the original's sparse framework. Lopatin himself re-approache… Read more
Phil Kay ov Manchester's Working For A Nuclear City indulges his love of BoC and classic electronica in this charming debut solo album as King Of The Mountains. Whilst his bandmate and co-songwriter from WFANC Gary McLure has drifted towards writing acoustic songs, Phil Kay fully embraces his computer, along with a dash of sax and other "real" instruments to paint ten grand, lucid landscapes evidently influenced by the pastoral melodies and rugged grooves of BoC. These interests manifest clearly in the album's precise, imaginative arrangement and sound design, contouring unyielding… Read more
**Eyrie Eldritch electronics for fans of Cyclobe/Coil et al** "Utilising such diverse elements as sound collage, folk balladry, documentary and noise, coupled with a fierce political intelligence, KEMPER NORTON uses the 4-song structure of his LOWERMOOR EP to investigate the scandal of the Camelford water poisoning of 1988, which occurred on the eve of water privatisation in the UK by the Thatcher government. Themes of isolation, loss and centrality of water and the sea to the British psychology surge through the work. From the uncanny montage of voices and sound in 'SWW Circular' to t… Read more
"More Than Human has unearthed an archival recording from the future by Time Attendant, the London-based audio-visual time sensitive Paul Snowdon. This work features six new soundscapes invoking macrocosmic awe and microscopic terror. IRIDIUM WATCHER is our slightly anxious guide, wise but weary, opening forbidden portals. We pause briefly at VOIDERS DELIGHT, an utterly alien sonic landscape, before arriving at the disturbing arcane ceremony of THE HEXAPOD STAR SHUFFLE, where our only help is the spoken evocations of poet Dolly Dolly. LETHARGY QUEST is the beginning of our journ… Read more
"Rhys Chatham's 'Harmonie Du Soir' presents three compositions. The title track is the first major piece written for the configuration of six electric guitars, electric bass and drums since Die Donnergtter (1986). The second is The Dream of Rhonabwy, a piece written for large brass ensemble and percussion, realized in 2012 by a 70-piece brass band called Harmonie de Pontarlier, lead by the French conductor Patrick Erard. The last track on the CD version and bonus download for the vinyl edition is a 2012 studio performance of Drastic Classicism Revisited featuring Rhys Chatham, David… Read more
"Heady and visceral, psychedelic and intensely lucid, Hubble's mesmeric guitar webs are laser-etched incantations to the sublime." - Michael Azerrad. Well, Mr. Azerrad's just about taken the words out of our mouth. This side from Zs guitarist, Ben Greenberg aka Hubble is a wonderful thing to behold; three tracks of de-stabilized, spiralling guitar loops like a Reich-piece gone wonderfully askew and underlined by mystically slow drums and incredible, almost Reese-like bass seeming to open the ground beneath us. Genuinely engaging stuff for more adventurous ears. Recommended!
Arriving like some blockbuster sequel to 'Returnal', Oneohtrix Point Never's eagerly anticipated 'Replica' sucks us deep into a simulated 4.1 world fantasia. Most strikingly, his sonic palette is far broader than before, adding piano keys, Techno beats and somersaulting glitch edits with a fancier, hi-tech studio-honed sound design, articulating a more kinetic, progressive vision of timeless electronica. There's a palpable sense that he's excitedly exploring every option afforded him by the Mexican Summer studios, immersing himself and us in a vivid off-planet adventure every bit as… Read more
'Instrumental Tourist' is one of the year's most anticipated electronic music albums. The meeting of established artist Tim Hecker and studio magician Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never at his Software Studio yields an otherworldly and near symphonic suite apparently conducted "…to mimic the tropes and techniques of jazz-based improvisation, with little preparation prior", effecting a wide-eyed and fascinating sound as dramatic and enchanting as any we've heard this year. As you'd expect from a Tim Hecker record, the sense of diffuse, layered, analog-treated a… Read more
**Herbert or Michachu-esque reworks of Conrad Lambert aka Merz's most recent album tracks** "It was three years ago in Bern, Switzerland, that acclaimed British pop musician Conrad Lambert, known as Merz, met Swiss drummer and sound artist, Julian Sartorius. Sartorius was drafted in as percussionist for Merz‘s album ‘No Compass Will Find Home’, “A rewardingly challenging folktronic affair that covers huge thematic and sonic territory” wrote The Sunday Times in their Album of The Week review. An album containing “consistently thoughtful songwri… Read more
Monday, 07 April
'The Enlightenment Machine' is a welcome return from one of European House music and electronica's true originals. As with his whole catalogue since 1994, Khan finds an ambiguous sweetspot between soulful synth-pop, house, German cabaret and electronica with a uniquely refined production touch and elegant vocals. Released on the recently minted AlbumLabel division of Random Noize Musick (Apparat, Oval, Phon.O), it's a concerted effort to play within and around the LP format, structured with a novel-like song cycle wending thru a spectrum of both blurred and clear-cut emotions intri… Read more
Quite easily the most interesting artists on InFiné's books, Downliners Sekt deliver their debut album proper following a string of excellent EP's for Disboot and a run of MP3 albums released some years back on their own dsekt[dot]com label. The label notes reference everything from Autechre to Rhythm & Sound and My Bloody Valentine, and there is indeed a dubbed-out, rhythmically complex aesthetic that runs throughout the album, but DS work best when they step outside of those parameters and forge stylistic hybrids which are much harder to place - such as on the excellent 'Balt Shak… Read more
Under the Some Truths guise, Ralph Cumbers aka Bass Clef delivers the best of his vintage 2014 crop so far. Proceeding his glut of much-loved releases for PAN, Punch Drunk, and Public Information, these tracks, recorded in July 2012, are by far the most enigmatic, wayward of the bunch and quite befitting of Mordant Music's eldritch aesthetic. As with the other releases, Cumbers explores the potential of a Bugbrand modular system loaned from Bristolian synth builder Tom Bug, tweaking its sliding sinewaves through a matrix of Electro-Harmonix delay… Read more
A beautiful suite of extended kosmische/ambient pieces from Suzanne Kraft for Running Back.
"2013 saw the Croydon man skilfully hopping from headphone to dance styles, often within a track, his signature blend of cinematic soundscapes and crisp, intricate percussion covering hip-hop, house, and ambient. What’s more, his noteworthy contributions to the burgeoning UK footwork scene means the young producer can now count Mark Pritchard, DJ Shadow and Rockwell among his biggest fans, and boy does this boy have fans, check this Bandcamp review of his Project Mooncircle EP Voight Kampff: Emeralds opens with bubbling synths, building into epic space-station jungle juke with haunting toplin… Read more