Monday, 27 October
Listening to this latest album from Liz Harris’ Grouper project it’s easy to forget how much of a hard sell her music was back when 'Way Their Crept’ landed with us back in 2005. Her eerie, layered mix of bare vocals, guitar and tape delay didn't quite fit in with what anyone else was really doing on the scene back then - and it completely knocked us out even if no one was buying it. By the time her breakthrough ‘Dragging a Dead Deer…’ arrived on Type three years later she was more or less playing to a baying mob hungry for any little morsel she cared to throw their way, her (by now) more fleshed … Read more
*Full-length debut from the elusive Shinichi Atobe, known for an incredible 12” on Chain Reaction almost 15 years ago and never seen or heard from since. Audio mastered by Matt Colton, digital edition includes 4 bonus tracks not on the vinyl* Shinichi Atobe has managed to stay off grid since he made an appearance on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction imprint back in 2001. He delivered the second-to-last 12” on the label and then disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a solitary 12” that’s been selling for crazy money (theres a copy up on discogs at the moment for $600 - go figur… Read more
A late pinnacle of the Drexciyan oeuvre, Storm 2 aka Transllusion's 'The Opening of the Cerebral Gate' is issued to download for the first time! This is the original CD track-listing, including 12 songs, as opposed to eight on the original 2LP. We're not quite sure what they were using on this one, but it's all remarkably bass-heavy, even saturated, compared with a lot of other Drexciyan workouts, resulting some of their most ruggedly stripped down electro-techno functions ranging from the pounding might of 'Transmission Of Life' to the militant march of 'War Of The… Read more
'That Horn Track' from Bleep's 10 year compilation takes a seeing to from Marcel Dettmann. On the original Untold flashes his new fangled modular system in a knotted, chaotic tribute to Egyptian Empire's 'ardcore classic, which Dettmann duly straightens out for the techno 'floors with stone-cut kicks and combustible, discordant surface disturbances.
Stone cold classic Surgeon gear remastered for optimal impact. The 'Pet 2000' 12" was first released in 1995 and ratcheted Surgeon's taste for bittersweet microtonal discord to largely unprecedented levels within the techno scene. The evil 'Badger Bite' attacks from the front with a whirlwind of flying knife synth noise powered by storming drums that have seen more than enough carnage in their 19 years on the 'floor. Flipside, 'Electric Chicken' locks down to a skippier sort of techno brutalism, and 'Reptile Mess' really gets under the skin with its slippery synthlines and coiled groove. Now, pet…
Another reminder of Fantastic Mr Fox's dance-pop brilliance, backed with a sterling Visionist refraction. Arriving six months on from the 'On My Own' single, FMF's 'You-Turn' transmutes inspiration from early house-and-boogie prototypes into a deceptively detailed groove with minor anthem potential landing somewhere between Joe and Julio Bashmore. The Visionist mix ain't concerned with pop potential though, flipping Kid A's vocal into wavering, liquid reflections of itself around his signature pads and a re-sequenced bassline right out of the Actress or Zomby textbook.
Bruce rolls off an ace 12" for Livity Sound into a trio of murky, mongrel techno trax for Hessle Audio. The lop-sided wamp of 'Not Stochastic' is a refreshing, exemplary take on the noisy, abstract techno nexus; yoking minimal, thrumming techno from the brink of psychedelic chaos to tensely gritted effect. By turns, 'Trip' takes the opportunity to investigate niche ambient zones between Burial, Inga Copeland and Dynamo, before 'My Legs Wouldn't Go Quick Enough' delivers a sort of dream-state return to the dancefloor with tetchy drums and morphing atmospheric pressure. It's a bewt. Tip!
A brilliantly lucid dose of Chicago house psychedelia from Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being on Photomachine's Technicolour label. Everything is rendered with crystal clarity and spacious mixdown which might come as a real shock for anyone used to Jamal's noisier excursions, but to be fair just feels like a natural progression from the more lucid episodes peppered across his vast catalogue. 'The Fourth Dimension' is a real peaktime blinder, ascending spiralling crystal staircases to enlightened harmonies, gushing acid and the kind of pounding, rushing … Read more
A prime, if lesser-known, Drexciyan classic issued to download for the first time! Like the album it accompanied, 'The Opening of the Cerebral Gate' is notable for its stripped down and bass-biased electro-techno aesthetic, yielding three tracks which stand out uniquely from the duo's oeuvre: the funky trudge and sonar melodies of 'Power Of The 3rd Brain'; the spine-shivering all time classic 'Disrupted Neural Gateway'; an abyssal electro monster named 'Do You Want To Get Down'. Yes please, all day.
Reissue of Surgeon's debut template for hard-as-f**k Brummie techno, originally issued in 1994. We hardly need to tell any hard techno fans the history of this 12", but for everyone else it was released in 1995 on his pal Regis' Downwards label as Lino 06. It contains the stringent, scowling minimalism of 'Magneze' and the buck-wild Chicagoan styles of 'Move' on the A-side, backed with the slinkier, dub chord-driven 'Atol' and the thunderous attack of 'Argon' on the flip. P-r-o-p-e-r pounders.
Oren Ambarchi caps a vintage and truly prolific year of releases with the pulsing, searching, 5-part narrative of 'Quixotism'. Underpinned by the pulsing truth of Thomas Brinkmann's computable drums, the session unfolds with a preternaturally hypnotic logic, consolidating a wealth of contributions from the likes of regular collaborators Jim O'Rourke (synth), Crys Cole (contact mics, brushes), Eyvind Kang (bowed gender & violas) and John Tilbury (piano) with new input from U-zhaan (tabla) and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, plus co-production and engineering by Randall Dunn at Avast, Se… Read more
Outta the top drawer (literally), four never-before-heard Insync jams recorded in Forest Hill, South London, 1991! The combination of name and date should be ringing alarm bells for any techno fiends - it's one year before Insync released the timeless 'Storm', which, it turns out was actually recorded in 1990 with a very similar set-up of SH101, Roland 909 drum machine and some delays. As it was sourced from a dusty old tape the hiss levels are understandably high, but thanks to a subtle mastering job from Stefan Betke aka Pole, the tape reveals 4 gorgeous tracks ranging from weigh… Read more
Killer debut drop from someone named Skee Mask on the scene-taking Ilian Tapes label. 'Serum' works in five stages flexing lean dub-tech muscle between the salted twitch and tuck of 'Cylo' thru the dessicated Dettmann styles of 'Torpor (Session)', and the Shed-alike breakbeat skank of 'Reduct Live' and two shorter tools diving deep into Chain Reaction territory. A must for T++ or Peverelist fans.
Fearless techno jags from Paula Temple, back on R&S after the 'Colonized' EP in 2013. This time out she's much noisier, dynamic, baiting the apocalypse in three dramatic, tribalised onslaughts: 'Deathvox' is an outstanding collision of galloping, shuffling techno torque with 'Elephant Song'-style howls and a stunning doom denouement; from majestic intro, 'Monstro' bombs the senses with heavy artillery harking back to Techno Animal and Scorn at their fiercest; 'Ful' casts a long shadow of brassy synth plumes and thunderous drums reminding of Randomer. Tip!
Soft As Snow's debut pop shot for Houndstooth gets reworked by Lucy, Gang Gang Dance's Brian DeGraw, Factory Floor, and Maria Minerva. Stroboscopic Artefacts' Lucy turns 'Halo Heart' into a slinky techno burner with strobing snippets of the original vocal slightly reminding of Dettmann's Fever Ray rework; GGD's DeGraw gives 'All Our Beasts' a fidgety electro version; FF's Gabe Gurnsey locks 'Gklass Body' to an EBM coda; Maria Minerva really stands out with a bittersweet, elegant take on 'Black Birds' full of off-key discord and choppy samples.
Sa-Ra's Shafiq Husayn leans on a soulful downstroke with 'It's Better For You', the first glimpse of his upcoming album, 'The L∞p'. It's both his Eglo Records debut and his first solo release since 2009. Up top, 'It's Better For You' strikes to the hip with greazy bass licks, keys and shuffling drums laying the ground for his male/female harmonies with Anderson Paak beside an instrumental version and the cosmic boogie budge of 'Re-Incarnation' featuring J Mitchell. Downtown, the strident 'Twelve' bubbles up the plushest soul symphony next to further instrumentals.
**Download format includes two bonus mixes** Dusk & Blackdown seal a vintage year for Keysound Recordings with the darker pressure of their 'Back 2 Go FWD>>' doublepack, including remixes by Horsepower Productions and Facta. The pair's first material since the 'Dasaflex' (2012) album finds them reminiscin' about the red-lit sweatbox at Plastic People, which used to host the foundational FWD>> events - the Rinse-affiliated precursor to the DMZ events and today's influential Boxed nights. But Dusk + Blackdown don't feel beholden to it, instead finding a healthy balance of respect … Read more
Baron Mordant and Ekoplekz's dangerously underrated eMMplekz project regroup to agitate and baffle on the 'You Might Also Like' addend to the 'Your Crate Has Changed' and 'IZOD Days' sessions. In it, the 'plekz furnishes an increasingly confident, ever-sardonic, and acutely incisive Baron with some of his leanest, driven riddims for a furrow-browed mooch around a Southern English bloke's outsider psyche. Expect sordid, name-dropping tales about an olde English tobacconist ('Name Blotter') and misanthropic rituals set to psychoactive dub in 'Stag Don't', next to unsettling kosmic dub… Read more
This.Is.The.Sh*t! Mariano D.C. debuts on Function's revived Infrastructure New York label with five hard-working, sub-heavy techno monsters. Hailing from Argentina, Mariano duly articulates his rhythms with a proper, latinate accentuation that works so damn well in techno context. There's an almighty big-room battery on the front called 'Kaverna', but we're even more into the shifty hydraulik lash of 'Estalaktita', followed by the thunderous title track, the pendulous 'Incidental' - give us a longer edit, please! - and the bombed-out juggernaut, 'Cascada'. F**k your stodgy, funkless techno; this is how it should be done. One for the dancers.
Nicolas Jaar's Other People coax out a pair of gauzy, beat-driven aces from Catalan avant-pop composer/singer, Lucrecia Dalt. Let's get it out of the way up front, her music bears some striking resemblances with her Human Ear Music label-mate Julia Holter, both in the tone of her voice and the fine balance of emotions. But for our money Lucrecia is pursuing a more intriguing path with her inimitably shifty and suggestive sound, from the keening bass shapes, wistful electronics and slow-motion rhythms buoying her sparse, deliberate delivery in 'Esotro', to the wonderfully ambiguous se… Read more
"Sharing social circles and spiritual ideologies with artists such as Iasos, Connie Demby and Deuter, whilst splitting label release schedules with Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel and Wendy Carlos, the unique Florida raised soulmate duo known as Emerald Web released their privately pressed albums at an axis where postprog rock met proto-new age and ambient electronic music. These tracks are taken from the second ever (and rarest) release by this early synthesiser duo consisting of husband and wife synthesists Kat Epple and the late Bob Stohl. ‘Whispered Visions’ is finally committed to vin… Read more
Most forward dubstep murder from OG South Londoner Silkie. 'Bird In The Sky' comes heavy with the tribalised, hard-boidy style skanking from darkside vibes to more optimistic breakdown and back; M3000' leans in with a percolating techno-step monster; 'Limits' caresses the dance's boogie needs on a proper '80s electro-soul flex. In case you thought dubstep was dead, Silkie proves it was just off having a zoot while the shiny new grime kids came in the back door.
What looks like the penultimate edition of FatCat's split series contrasts a remarkably epic Katie Gately composition with a side of spannered psychedelic house by Tlaotlon. This is the first we've heard of Katie Gately since her fascinating side for Public Information a year ago. Again she returns to the painstaking method of sampling and editing her own vocals and concrète sources into uncannily detailed, kinetic arrangements liable to buckle, vault and twist in the most unique geometries. Her 'Pivot' plays through as one 14 minute piece collaging a tortuous narrative fro… Read more
Funkineven comes as rough as yer nan's stubble on three killer analogue sessions - his most focused and stripped release to date. In fact, it's so gnarled there's even a warning on the centre label "It's Not Your Speakers, It's The Beat", a sure sign of great things ahead. On the A-side you'll feel the gravelly wallop of 'Beat Crash', a bruxist confection of wildly overdriven electro bass, surging hyper-Boogie keys and needling hi-hats, kinda like Alec Empire jamming with Dâm Funk. Flipside 'F*ck Off' churns any remaining residue between your ears with gargled acid tweaks and brittle-but-boo… Read more
4-Track taster for Panda Bear's upcoming album 'Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper' - due out in January.
Jim lad pumps out four buck trax on his Ultramajic label, including vocal cameo by DJ Rashad (RIP). 'Burn' plays the electro-house card with coke-numbed verve; 'Decalcify' raise the temperature with a wilder ghetto-house sound; DJ Rashad is cut into barking stabs in the haughty ballroom strut of 'Walk Show'; 'Who's Watching' cools out with a taut, elastic jackin' riddim.
**Köln-based pop charms return with a typically slick sound nodding to Laid Back and their home-city's dual Krautrock and ambient pop heritage** "Precarious bon vivants, gifted musicians, radical guys – VON SPAR are many things, but above all, they are one of the most amazing bands in the realms that the British music press once baptized as Krautrock. Sebastian Blume, Jan Philipp Janzen, Christopher Marquez and Phillip Tielsch have in past been praised even more than the revenants of the genre (in 2012, together with Stephen Malkmus, before the watering eyes of CAN founding members Irmin Sch… Read more
"Vermont’s eponymous full-length debut also introduced the public to a different musical side of the project's founders Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow (of Motor City Drum Ensemble fame). An album worth of adventurous jam sessions and sleek synth soundscapes, it rather drew from sonic curiosity and the spirit of informal collaboration than the laser-like focus of the club tunes both producers have become known for. For this 12" Prins Thomas plunges into three reworks that emphasize the rhythmic elements of original cuts."
"Eskimo Recordings brings you ‘The Green Collection’, the third installment in the compilation series on Eskimo based around colours. It’s the follow-up to ‘The Pink Collection’ and ‘The Blue Collection’, the first two chapters in this series. Once again, the Ghent based imprint selected 12 brand new songs with care. An effortless journey encompassing a range of sounds through indie dance, nu disco and electronica, it’s reassuring to find that Eskimo still stands for timeless quality and originality."