Monday, 02 March
Diagonal pull another coup with 12"s of brute bitterness from Philip Best, Sarah Froelich and Russell Haswell's Consumer Electronics. With the spray of their blinding 'Estuary English' still wet on our cheek, 'Repetition Reinforcement' is a bruising, visceral reminder of CE's position on the periphery of extreme electronic music. Holding steadfast to the transgressive subject matter which Best has explored since the early '80s as part of Whitehouse and Ramleh, in this excursion he trades explicit rage for a much more reserved and creepily effective style of delivery… Read more
Ata Kak's debut album of dibby Ghanaian hiplife, 'Obaa Sima' is the stuff diggers' dreams are made of. It's the cassette that sparked Awesome Tapes From Africa to life as a blog back in 2006, before it morphed into a record label of world-renown from 2011. Written and self-released by Ata in edition of 50 circa 1994 and subsequently re-discovered by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2004, it would take nearly a whole decade for the Fulbright University graduate to track down and request official reissue permission from Yaw Atta-Owusu a.k.a. Ata. It… Read more
Janus resident Lotic fracks the future with five expansive club visions in 'Heterocetera', his first vinyl release and debut for Tri Angle. Finding and opening fissures of possibility in the facade and body of current club music, his unique approach to meter, space and tone results a genuinely affective impact: it challenges the way we dance; probes and teases our pleasure centre's tolerance for off-kilter, oily tones and soured timbre. It's quintessentially queered to the core, all deliquescent structures and plangent harmonics, perhaps finding close analogs in the music of Arca or certain E… Read more
Nervy electro from the Hamburg native, taken from her upcoming 2nd EP for Werkdiscs / Ninja Tune. Much slinkier, crisper than her soggy acid bangers, 'The First Time He Thought, He Died ' is a shivering, skeletal piece of electro with brooding Bunker-style basslines and creepy gothic tronix.
Club music's pre-eminent mutant, Powell, launches a daring raid on the mainstream with this screaming double header for XL. Marking his highest profile release to date, following the '11-14' 2CD issue and remixes for Nico Jaar and Daniel Avery, he unswervingly sticks to his modern No Wave mission with the tumbling, ravenous rhythm and noise of 'Sylvester Stallone' and 'Smut'. Operating at the extremes of the XL's remit, the Diagonal Records captain takes a hot-wired joyride thru techno badlands, colliding a cornucopia of reference points with a Ballardian sense of visceral, descri… Read more
Delinquent, deliquescent grime from Damu on return to Keysound. M.I.A. since 2013, his 'Holed In The Hovel' session reveals an even shinier chassis and curdled silicon aesthetic, in chromatic flux somewhere between SOPHIE and PC Music or the most lucent Her Records releases. 'iPolice' starts up like some Matrix sentinel, all laser scanning bleeps and wavey synths with a sci-fi agenda, while 'Whirlybird' rolls out like a mutant mix of Fis-t's 'Night Hunter'. At his maddest, 'Holed Up In The Hovel' wields wild claps and meter-melted Ballroom beats, and 'No Pain, No Gain' gives up frantic, frothing grime patterns infected with some mad computer virus.
HD-ready trap vapours from Rinse FM's new signing, Celestial Trax. Fresh from his special guest appearance on Tri Angle's recent Rinse show with Björk, he reveals a pyrex-clear mix of cloud rap signatures and Atlantan futurism in 'Stargate', unequivocally adept at working with American MCs Shady Blaze and Tynethys in the title tune's stately bounce, as well as UK singer, BBHollogramz in the Clams Casino or Evian Christ-styled trance arpeggios of 'Verticals'. On an instrumental tip, there's also the squeaky clean ace, 'Tru Love' juicing optimal emotion from brittle trap tics and ghostly synth chorales a la Visionist.
Dasha Rush fully explores her latent ambient side with 'Sleepstep', her debut suite of tech-nocturnes for Raster Noton. It's quite a departure from her sleek, signature club sound, largely leaving the big kicks at home and heading towards dark, brooding scapes and skeletal rhythms perfused with her own vocals and icy-fingered melodies. The ambient/sound design aspect is a constant throughout Dasha's oeuvre, whether in the drone elements or expansive club track intros like LADA's 'Indust' or in her work for Fullpanda sub-label, Hunger To Create. But 'Sleepstep' is clearly her most expansive … Read more
Sublime, introspective ambient from a new artist presented by Brighton's superlative Where To Now label. According to the artist, Nadia Khan; "Open Interior explores feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It is a sense of disconnection to the outside world. My intent was to form a mixture of light and heavy sounds that reflect these emotions." The results manifest these feelings in five quietly despondent transmissions, willowing from the barely-there pulse and keening chords of 'Grid Work' to the 12 minutes of stygian momentum in closer, 'Selective Thoughts', taking in menthol residues of… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
**Sterling dark pop and stark ambient noise somewhere between Grouper and Vatican Shadow** There's some genuinely dark magick at work in Paper Dollhouse's debut LP for Finders Keepers. The London-based duo of Nina Bosnic and Astrud Steehouder are in possession/possessed by a gothic, oneiric spirit which has previously been revealed on Jane Weaver's Bird Records - who also present a cassette version of this LP - and alongside Magpahi for Devon Folklore Tapes Vol. IV. But this is arguably their most effective invocation to date. Guided by black light they offer 10 concentric circles cro… Read more
Killah consolidation of drone, techno and D&B from the Ruffhouse trio on their debut Samurai mission. A-side, the 18-wheel juggernaut 'Straight 9's' rolls with shuddering sub pressure and restrained, serpentine hi-hats wrapped to a super dense drone. B-side, oh my fxxking days! 'UVB-76' comes with a military-grade warehouse hard-step that makes up for all that went wrong with D&B post '98. Strongly recommended to those that know.
Zombi's Steve Moore takes a celestial spin on Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. The space cadet who never graduated presents two earthbound visions of the cosmos painted in analogue synth, Hammond organ and vintage string machine; cutting the most melancholic figure across the sky with 'The Moon Occults Saturn at Dawn' and with more inquisitive, optimistic effect in the slow burning lushness of 'Val Sans Retuor'.
Jon Brooks meets Friendly Fires as The Pattern Forms for Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. FF's Edward MacFarlane lends his finest indie dream-pop coos and harmonised gasps to a creamy pastoral scene of flighty synths and strummed strings in 'Fluchtwege' - it's very well accomplished but the Panda Bear impersonations are perhaps a little cloying. Thankfull his bandmate Ed Gibson replaces him with an instrumental contribution to the airborne waltz of 'The Sacrifice', alongside Brooks' signature vintage zesthetics and piano provided by Will Dutta.
Swinging modern rare groove by South London's Wbeeza. His first entry for 2015 errs to a stripped down, ascetic house style, dicing with Joe-style Afro-centric kick/clap syncopation with 'Can Of Worms', and minimal, gritty filter house in 'Circles' while 'If I Ever' gets on the boogie downstroke inna Moodymann style, and 'Upside Down' blushes a more romantic, uptempo house vibe for big people.
Parisian bang gang ClekClekBoom do their raw, kinky house thing. Up top, French Fries and NSDOS double-down on the moody groove, '8 Hours From Nation', and Aleqs Notal tweaks out the midnight electro-house shift of 'Mare IMB'. Down below, Jean Nipon and WL run the clean, biting drums and willowing blue pads of 'Cause Of Action' and Barbara Ford glydes off with the smooth vibes of 'Frostbite'.
*For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic* "For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime of local post- disco casualties. Unfettered nightlife and outlandish humor poured out of oddball outpost The CopHerBox II and onto TV screens. The compilation features five previously unreleased tracks, joined by music culled from a trove of self-rele… Read more
Coarse but canny house trax from Venetian producer, Steve Murphy aka DJ Octopus, Die Roh… Murphy clearly doesn't mind a bit of grit under the nails, running hard-working house rhythms thru a crackly filter for proper bite on the 'floor, from the kinky build of 'Climax' thru the burned-out piano house banger, 'Something Around The Sun', to the Analogue Cops-style slam of 'Venus' and the jagged jack of 'Movida'.
Rolling tech-house minimalism from Montreal, Canada's Devon Hansen in Stefan Jós mode. Last spotted on a lovely ambient split with Austin Cesear for Opal Tapes, he presents another side of Jós for Japan's Flau with four tracks of tenderly melodic, dubbed out and lower case dub-house. Mastered by Miles Whittaker, cut by Lupo.
Shifted takes a quieter, creepier tack towards cinematic industrial scapes and pulsing rhythms on 'Part 2' of his 'Arrangements in Monochrome' session. Dangerously opiated and out-of-reach, his sound here marks a subtle step forward/away in terms of sound design, and a more noxious reduction of his signature palette, guiding us from lightless drone and drizzle in 'The Incoherent' to urgently scan ocean floor depths in 'Arrangement In Monochrome II' and the bleakly gorgeous 'Second Wash', while 'Entartung' gets tangled in a flux of rusty aquatic rhythm and 'Lenine' leaves us stranded in alien space station atmospheres.
Shifted follows up his 'Under a Single Banner' LP for Bed Of Nails. Part 1 of a twin 12" set, 'Arrangements in Monochrome' yields four mechanically worn-down grooves seeping from the oily, emulsifying drones of 'You're a Replacement' to the thrumming grey techno missile 'Arrangement In Monochrome I' and over to the viscous momentum of '6ft of Silence' or the ventilation shaft extrusion, 'The Velvet Rope'.
Phonica start their 2015 schedule with a haul of deep and percussive house tracks by the Italo/Hispanic unit, S. Moreira and Xinner. Slow Life's Berlin-based percussionist, S. Moreira lends a loosely fluid patter to Xinner's lushly spacious electronic in the free-floating velocity of 'Through The Rings of Saturn' and the night-drive momentum of 'Communication Breakdown', before going dolo with the psychy broken beat cleft of 'Orbiting Around' and a woozy whorl of a 'Spacedub' for 'Communication Breakdown'.
Plaid, The Field and Errors contribute symapathetic remixes to the first single from Ryan Teague's 'Block Boundaries' album. The slow burning kosmische iridescence of 'Last Known Position' is presented in Teague's own extended mix located somewhere between Pye Corner Audio and Reichian gamelan phasing, while Plaid present a more bittersweet remix ripe with deliquescent synth tone and murky groove next to a strobing shoegaze trance deceleration by The Field, and a Tangerine Dream-esque Errors remix.
The venerated German producer appropriates African musics in a long-standing Teutonic tradition on his latest for Hamburg's Dial. 'Black Towers' stretches out for nearly 12 minutes of effortless, subtly shifting groove repetition and awning, earthly synth pads; 'Sliced Africa' locks down to a percolated bounce with natty keyboard melodies reminding of recent Fiedel and MMM styles, 'Spiritual Enhancer' gets off on a sort of slow-mo mix of Roedelius and old skool electro.
"The music on this collection was written specifically to accompany video pieces by Sabrina Ratté. 'Visites Possibles' was created for the online collective Computers Club, while the “Sightings” series was created for the video label Undervolt & Co. For this series of videos we were interested in exploring a more direct relationship between sound and image, where most of the sounds contained in the pieces act as a sort of translation of the events happening within the video frame, creating an audio environment for these i… Read more
Brussels' best back on Time To Express with his latest lab creations. 'Seventy Secrets' initiates with the eponymous ambient piece, written and used as his opening track at Japan's Labyrinth festival 2014. From there on in the tempo stays at a steady keel between the Afro-centric bobble of 'Protagonist', the dried out tribal functions of 'Shadow Ground', and a slick highlight in the subtly funked arrangement of 'Swerve Damiao'.
A crucial force at the core of experimental music, Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke present 'Behold', their follow-up to 'Indeed' (2011) for Editions Mego. Recorded at the same Steamroom, Tokyo spot as their amazing live trio sets with Keiji Haino, this one finds them exploring the intersections of 4th world electronics, krautrock and classic minimalism in two extended and captivating widescreen tracts. With Ambarchi at guitar, drums (etc.) and O'Rourke on synth, piano (etc.), they oscillate earthly and kosmiche dimensions with free-flowing electronics, using field recordings to le… Read more
Schizoid electronica/dance-pop variations from a new avatar to Acéphale. At its widest parameters, 'Almost' takes in everything from trap and R&B to abstract electroncis and amen rinse-outs, but at its core is a '90s trance-pop and trip-hop romance that push queasily nostalgic buttons for many listeners of a ripe age.
Ostgut's occasional Unterton label follows that smart Kobosil session with four Berlin techno-house standards by Nitam. A-side offers a slightly trancey tech-house roller and some grittier, spaced house; B-side gets down with a rugged Chicago acid sound and a killer, pumping breakbeat piece reminding of recent Zenker Brothers styles.