Monday, 22 September
In the sublime darkness of 'Description Of Problem', Pinkcourtesyphone rouses itself from whatever reverie with the help of cameos from William Basinski, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Evelina Domnitch, AGF and Kid Congo Powers. Again, we're returned to that noirish, narcotised ambient space which made 'Foley Folly Folio' a staunch fave around these parts (prompting a vinyl release on our Boomkat Editions label), and which deeply infected the proceeding collections, 'Elegant & Detached', and 'A Ravishment Of Mirror'. According to the jacket, it was "formed from places, plastics, and… Read more
Soaring new age electronica from Londoner Jo Johnson - a co-organiser of the Bleep43 club/label and former guitarist for riot grrl act, Huggy Bear. Taking flight on Seattle's Further Records, 'Weaving' pays tribute to myriad composers, from Alice Coltrane to Laurie Spiegel and arch minimalists, Steve Reich and Terry Riley, whilst also informed by an anthropological theory stating that musical ability predates language in humans. With that in mind, 'Weaving' works thru a starategy of ostensibly simple/primordial, and acutely mesmerising moiré patterns that unfold across the sound-field with l… Read more
A noisy, dread-filled heave from Mordant Music, taken from the Soundeyet blog's compilation/imagined soundtrack for J.G. Ballard's 'The Enormous Space' short. In answer to a proposed question, MM proffers nine minutes of molasses wade thru a chokingly claustrophobic post-techno interzone incurring space between the basements of Andy Stott and Carter Tutti.
In case you hadn't noticed, the gurning genius is back in a big way with 'Syro', his first new LP since 'Drukqs' (2001). Culled from his legendary trove of recordings, it's apparently "about a fifth" of what he's done in the last 10 years, "…one album out of many possible ones", according to his interview with Rolling Stone. After a couple of whizzes thru, we'd say it lands somewhere between 'Drukqs' and the Analord series of 2005 - no real surprises there, then - leaning heavy on trademark breakbeat funk and hyper-jazzy/classical arrangements for the most, and saving one saunter into pastoral … Read more
Ahhh this one’s a real peach. Veering far from what we expected, ‘Games Have Rules’ is a brilliant late night excursion made in the spirit of classic Artificial Intelligence albums, instantly reminding us of that killer first Reaganz (Move D & Jonah Sharp) album from ’94 with it’s atmospheric soundscaping and nods to John Carpenter. In fact it’s not all that removed from the better end of the Fax/Rather Interesting catalogue - especially those Atom Heart/Namlook collabs that seemed to go on forever and soundtracked many a late night back in the mid 90’s. Fittingly, the a… Read more
Hot-tip, Suicideyear, bridges the gap betwixt Big Boi and Terry Riley in his debut album for Mexican Summer. Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, James Prudhomme aka Suicideyear has crafted a gorgeously sensual, lucid hybrid of ATL trap beats and classic mid-late 20th century American minimalism, first heard in the 'Japan' mixtape, and now polished up with 'Remembrance'. We'd imagine this stuff to be like a iced-tea on the ears if heard in the humid climes of Louisiana and Florida where it was created, and equally the same on a muggy Manchester afternoon. Although we don't really d… Read more
American artist, composer, essayist, Seth Cluett returns to Line with a patiently glacial follow-up to his acclaimed 'Objects Of Memory' (2011) work. Again, 'Forms of Forgetting' focusses on one of the central themes of his oeuvre, the fidelity and nature of memory, manifest over an extended electro-acoustic studio construction intended for immersed, concentrated listening with the potential to warp our perception of time and space.“It is then no longer oblivion that materiality begets, forgetting by the effacement of traces, but forgetting in terms of a reserve or a resource. Fo… Read more
NTS's Throwing Shade dance between kosmische jack and arabesque electronica for Happy Skull, the label run by Bristol house 'slebs The Kelly Twins. Infected with a mutant, spooling techno remix from Kowton, the original tracks flit from piquant melodies and spaced out teutonic chords to warehouse jack in 'Chancer' and onto the ornate, poised drum programming and chiming psilocybic sequence of 'Blanx'.
Featuring exclusive tracks from Lee Gamble, Inga Copeland, DJ Earl, Borys, among many others, Hyperdub parse their ambient elements in the wake of dancefloor and sing-a-long sessions. By its nature, ambient is a nebulous term, taken to mean many things by many people. Hyperdub's definition is one we can really get down with, spanning the emotional punishments of Burial's 'In McDonalds' and 'Night Bus' alongside the super-sensual romance of Cooly G's 'Trying' and the ambiguous sensations of Inga Copeland's 'I Am Your Ambient Wife', or the stirring syn-phonics of DJ Earl's 'Hexagonic Sound'.… Read more
Enigmatic torch song from someone called Gabi for Oneohtrix Point Never's Software Recording Co. We can't find any info online for this, but can tell you it sounds sorta like a younger sibling of Susanna Wallumrød.
Ricardo Donoso simulates the intense claustrophobia and "death anxiety" of near-drowning experience in his Scuba Death mask. Essentially 'Nitrogen Narcosis' inverts the aesthetics of his humid, tropical trance recordings released on Digitalis, and more recently Denovali. Operating at between 75-100bpm - the normal resting heart rate for adults - he fathoms a mixture of stark electronic pulses and organically shifting atmospheres reflecting his childhood memories of a close call in the South Atlantic. Using field recordings made at the same place the undertow nearly robbed his life,… Read more
SBTRKT is flying the flag for mutant, new forms of UK dance-pop with his most recent batch for Young Turks. 'Look Away' is one of his most dramatic, compelling pieces, pitching Chairlift's Caroline Polachek against reversed piano phrases and taut, agitated trap beats with totally unique flair. A real lesson in how to skew convention with imagination.
Another' wild one from SBTRKT, placing A$AP Ferg against schizoid backdrop of cosmic modular tweaks, tumbling jazz breaks, synths and keys reminding of El-P at his most unhinged.
On a hot streak, SBTRKT teams up with another new vocalist, Denai Moore, for the twisted, brooding R&B/UK soul of 'The Light'.
Jimmy Tamborello reigintes his excellent Dntel project for Leaving Records with his 'Human Voice' album, the follow-up to 'Aimlessness' for Koze's Pampa Records. Speaking from the heart, 'Human Voice' makes crafty use of kerned and pitched vocal samples to lends the whole album a unique timbre, whether he's doing flighty footwork rhythms ('If I Stay A Minute'), plinky plonky electronica ('Bike Path'), iridescent electro ('Connections') or cottony trance ('Ashby').
**Edition of 300** Hyper-fresh electronica from John Flynn aka Spaces, on London's Warp-affiliated Bleep label. After first appearing in Bleep's 2012 round-up, he debuts proper with four tracks clearly indebted to Mark Fell or Autechre, and comparable, to an extent, with the productions of Holly Herndon or Gábor Lázár. Lead cut, 'Apologies' is a deft, forward exercise in slippery, metallic electro, syncopating hiccuping vox and flash stabs seared with darkside Reese bass in a style explored to different degrees in the slower swagger of 'Outside In', and the punchy swing of 'Lever' with it's Fairlight… Read more
Airy ambient electronica with neo-classical inflections, breezin' outta Berlin. 'Autumn Bells' blows in the gaps between James Blake, Burial and Erased Tapes.
Sunday, 21 September
"The eponymous debut album from Redinho is finally out on Numbers. The 15 track record, three years in the making, showcases those trademark Redinho vocal styles and the full weight of his unique production skills. Inspirations may come from the songs, synths and drum machines of 80’s Funk records and classic British Electronica but this record is very much a product of 2014."
Monday, 15 September
Humid, post-D&B ecosystems from Fis, backed with killer Kassem Mosse and Oren Ambarchi remixes. The first release on Loopy, a new label administered Sam Strang, 'Speech Spirits' follows on from the 'Iterations' 12" with two cuts of unquantised riddmic roil, staggering from the bomber-streaked drunken-master styles of the title track to the plangent percussions and duppied atmospheres of 'Knecht' - not a million miles from his early ace, 'Love, Drama, Stress', only without the vocal. Remixing, Kassem Mosse returns to the spiky (machine?) drum palette of … Read more
One of Bristol's most interesting artists returns with an ace, oddly organic 2nd album for Tri Angle. 'Punish Honey' cements Vessel's unique position in modern electronica, not least as the first artist bestowed the honour of a 2nd full length on Tri Angle, but also due to his kink for a queered, oxidised alloy of organic and electronic tone, texture and timbre. In it, he uses electro-acoustic/concrète techniques and process to embody a unique voice and character, rather than towards any academic purposes. Employing sheet metal as percussion and sawn-off bicycles as flutes, he arrives at a r… Read more
Fist taste of Dean Blunt's keenly awaited 'Black Metal' album, his first for Rough Trade, following the critical success of 'The Redeemer'. Shoegazing ambient guitars and dry drum machine loop and lope underneath a male/female call & response dialogue in which Dean laments the loss of a girlfriend who won't take him back. Of course, being Blunt it's all mixed uncomfortably askew and ambiguously ethereal to keep you guessing for days.
Gritty but well mannered electronica from the Erased Tapes stable. Rival Consoles in control over six tracks of fuzzily motorik groove with uplifting arrangements ranging from the kosmische flutters of 'Sonne' to the ruddy slug of '3 Chords', thru the noisier, sun-dazed elation of 'Helios', spindly spectral trance notes in 'Haunt', and lovely, chiming electronica on 'Think Tank', or at best in the free-moving geometries of 'Recovery'.
Superb archival transmission from unknown sources on Mordant Music. The label's latest cassette neatly slot into the folds of time between early AFX, Portion Control and Urban Tribe, shaking a leg and melding minds between cuts that remind of Polygon Window's remix of Soft Ballet's 'Sand Lowe' thru to the lush electronic romance of The Connection Machine. It's yet another treat from one of the most staedfast, restless British labels around. The Baron speaks: "Pyramids of Space…an excavated MMusty broadside from Cornwall circa 92-96 replete with misty provenance…a nebulous col… Read more
Bittersweet, knackered electronic soul woozers from Photay on his debut EP for Astro Nautico. To the side of the same pastures as Bibio or the Border Community lot, Photay operates in a colourful little world of its own with a six track suite of keening harmonics and crushed grooves owing to boogie hip hop and IDM, at best in the salty soul bump of 'Reconstruct' featuring celestial vocal by Seafloor, or in the grinning jazz-funk queso of 'These Fruits, These Vegetables', and the Afro-centric wobble and shuffle of 'Illusion Of Seclusion'.
Nuel follows in the footsteps of his Aquaplano label co-owner, Donato Dozzy to release on Seattle's Further Records. And much like his production partner's downbeat 'K' LP, he heads away from functional 4/4 linearity into a more organic solution of acoustic instrumentation and electronics, still experimenting with hypnotic repetition albeit at a more mellow and cosmic tilt. Recorded in a single week with one day devoted to each track, 'Trance Mutation' gently spirals with a meditative introspection, using the sparest guitar, electric piano and rippling percussion run through a matrix of liv… Read more