Monday, 26 January
Leading up to his 'Notes' album, Johan Agebjørn meets Paper Bag label-mates Young Galaxy amidst the romantic, Gallic atmospheres of 'You Passed Through'. Canadian dream-pop duo Memoryhouse condense and furnish the same elements with a rustling march rhythm for a more succinct pop effect.
"Jib Kidder is the performing moniker of musician and artist Sean Schuster-Craig. Born in Louisville, raised in Georgia, educated in Michigan and bouncing between California and New York ever since, he has spent the last decade exploring a variety of approaches to psychedelic collage. In his audio recordings, songs, videos, sculptures, digital paintings, chalk murals & written work he has attempted to harness the humour and ambiguous poignancy specific to the experience of dreaming. The latest addition to Schuster-Craig’s unique and under-exposed body of work comes in the form o… Read more
**Features Dylan Carlson (Earth), and Markus Popp (Oval) among others** "Miscontinuum Album documents an impressive new work by seminal electronic musician Jan St. Werner, whose innovations with Mouse on Mars and Microstoria are well documented. Over a period of approximately four years Miscontinuum has been developed and refined as an operatic live performance in Munich, as well as a radio play. This recorded incarnation of the work is the third entry in Werner’s lauded Fiepblatter series, and features contributions by Dylan Carlson (Earth), Markus Popp … Read more
"Invisible Familiars’ ‘Disturbing Wildlife’ is the work of Jared Samuel, alongside producer Michael Leonhart. Guests include Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto, Nels Cline, Jolie Holland, Stuart Bogie of Antibalas and Superhuman Happiness, Scott Metzger, Ryan Sawyer, Alex Holden and Andrew Borger. “Jared kinda sounds like Mark Bolan. I’ll just say it, cause you might think it. It’s science. When I asked him what record felt to him like how he wanted ‘Disturbing Wildlife’ to feel to me, he said ‘‘Cuckooland’ by Robert Wyatt’, promptly adding ‘and the first time I lis… Read more
Pumping, heavyweight house inna vintage KMS/Belgian style from Innershades. 'CVS' rides the dub chords and clap hard over a massive kick; 'Momentum' gets looser with kosmic Detroit bleeps and strings underlined by shifty square bass; 'Dark Society' is the epic highlight nodding to classic Suburban Knight; 'Oase' returns the party with phasing chords and pendulous groove. Tip!
**Elaborate, jazz-wise electronic beat craft** "Having last appeared on Five Easy Pieces in 2012 with the Eclosure EP, Kuku is the long- awaited new release from London-based producer Dario Rojo Guerra also known as Flako. Following two collaborations with Fatima on her Eglo Records debut album Yellow Memories, Kuku is both Guerra’s first solo release in two years and the first single to be taken from his forthcoming debut album, Natureboy. Featuring two tracks from Natureboy and two productions exclusive to this release, Kuku sees him continue to build on the uncanny natural world created on Eclosur… Read more
'Klavírní' is the 2nd solo piano suite by Berlin-based composer, producer, singer, DJ Ema Jolly aka Emika. Her 'Dva' album included a download of Dilo Parts 1-3, and this LP presents parts 4-16, played on a Karl Müller piano in Milton Keynes with a Zoom H4n portable recorder positioned directly behind the artist "so the listener gets the most intimate sound possible."
"Irreal, the ﬁfth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. The album plays out as a dream sequence - hazed dub landscapes give way to the groupʼs most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era conﬁrmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip, then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity - it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. Itʼs a master class in texture, pace and control. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irr… Read more
Alternately melodic and dry jakbeat aces from Ann Arbor's D'Marc Cantu on Richard Fearless' Drone label. 'Rival' is the sweeter of the two, approximating Depeche Mode lost in the Muzic Box, with Dave Gahan presumably doing something naughty in the WC leaving the others to an instrumental jam conducted by Armando. B-side is better yet, parsing the twin helix of Chicago house and Detroit techno to reveal a visceral, snakelike warehouse killer with chattering Volca drum accents - apparently recorded the same day he bought the machine, no edits, one take.
To kick off their 20th year, Planet Mu present the widescreen visions of 'Sun Czar Temple', the 2nd EP by Berlin-based Scotsman, Claude Speeed. Steeped in all sorts of mannered loveliness, from classic American minimalism to cinematic post-rock and retro-futurist electronica, its intent is matched by its reach over five succinct pieces fanning out from the distorted dream sequence of 'Traumzeuge' to soaring synth scape 'R U Sorry?' via the curling chimes and zinging digital harmonics and binary cream of 'Dr. Liz Wilson', ascending to the crashing MIDI drums and longing vocal glossolalia of 'Fret'. RIYL Oneohtrix Point Never, Kuedo, Mogwai.
Ben Westbeech aka Breach meets Dutch lynchpin, Cinnaman for two trance-etched and deeper house groovers. Both tracks find a fine blend of warm, piquant synth clarity and dusted bass heft drawing on the producer's shared background in hip hop, soul and bass styles - Cinnaman was a pioneer of the Beat Dimensions sound and resident at Amsterdam's Trouw (RIP), Breach steeped in soulful D&B. Their A-side mixes tight, rugged bass drive with the kind of slow-burning synth arrangements you'd expect from Carl Craig, rising to a peak that earns the title 'Liberty', while B-side bumps a funked-up flex with phasing disco loops and garage-tucked swing and D-troit string pads.
One year on from the raw rump smack of 'Detroit Heat', Big Strick rounds up his boys - Omar-S, Generation Next, and Reckless Ron - for album #2, 'Resivoir Dogs'. Family ties run deep: Omar-S is Strick's cousin and 16 year old Generation Next is extended fam, lending these 13 tracks a sense of shared vision and grooving cohesion that works damn well. His yung cuz opens with the motor city astro fuel of 'Sequence 11' and also contributes the remarkably elegant minimalism of 'Windsor Nights' and 'Slow Ride', plus the gritty sci-fi jack of 'Metro' for balance. Big Strick is in large and in … Read more
New York's Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa make good with two strong cuts on Parasole's The Corner label. 'Pressure' is a simmering piece of 4/4 making the most out of modulated, filtered synthlines, slinky hi-hat patterns and rumbling but light-footed 4/4. Flipside, 'Pitched Black' is a proper builder, playing it down with percolating toms and sturdy kicks before stealthily rising to a mind-bending, discordant breakdown that pushes all the right buttons.
'Last Days of Montrose House' is an enveloping collage piece sweeping from diaphanous field recording textures to treacherous drones and semi-organic modular scree. It's a welcome return from Anduin, whose series of LPs for SMTG Limited between 2009-2012 have aged beautifully. Check also for the rumbling, Gas-like ambient techno of Tag Cloud's mix, and Radere's deeply abstracted version.
New label, Fino Y Gordo get off on the right foot with Aardvarck's olfactory funk play, 'Housenose'. Dusty drum loops, grumbling synth and vocal stabs feel out in the fuggy darkness before loosely coalescing a stoned Amsterdam disco house buzz.
Monday, 19 January
*The seventh and final instalment in the Testpressing Series for the time being* Hands-down, #7 is the best Testpressing yet from Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty's Demdike Stare. Landing almost two years since the series began back in 2013, and six months on from their last raid, it's a dichotomy of dancefloor devilment, going hard for it on one side, and running ragged emotions on the other. A-side 'Rathe' opens the doors of perception to a show-stopping bloom of heavenly voices and halfstep jungle, ratcheting the levels to heart-in-mouth effect with panoramic har… Read more
Untold kicks off the Hemlock Black sublabel with two blown-out club constructions. Picking up where 'Black Light Spiral' left off, we can hear a rugged mix of modular tweaks and machine pulses, spitting, scratching and retching like some dosed-up Night Slugs club constructs. The dry funk of 'Doff' offers glimpses of sweetness in shards of palm wine-like guitar licks but the emphasis is on jagged concatenations designed "to interrogate the dance." B-side, 'Phive' inverts that formula, bringing fwd and frilling the guitar lick around warped bass and prickling percussion like some Ernestus or Shackleton joint gone walkabout at the fringe of the sprawl.
Raster-Noton present the brain-flossing results of Frank Bretschneider's calculated muck-about on the Buchla and Serge modular synths in Stockholm's hallowed EMS facility. 'Sinn + Form', translating to "meaning + form", is the Raster-Noton co-founder's attempt to simulate the "fundamentally chaotic world as we know it" via mathematical and physical theories - dynamical systems, probability theory, stochastic systems - in an extension of humankind's endless endeavour to "recognize this world and to describe, predict, control and change it." To our ears, the results flux wildly betw… Read more
"You need people like me…" so says Tony Montana, and the sentiment rings true for yung Delroy Edwards. His 'Kickin Butts!!' EP opens with one of the most famous samples in cinematic history and pushes on thru four darker, trackier follow-ups to his addictive 'Can U Get With' 12". The raspin' rhythms and murky drones of the title track could have easily appeared on his 'Teenage Tapes' LP, while 'Die Motherfxxker' slips into Slowed Down Gangsta mode, and there's a pair of bucking raw house rhythms in 'Str8 Fuckd' and 'Insane In The Membrain' for the wall-bangers.
Dixon, Recondite, Tale Of Us and Dubfire tweak Plastikman's EX for the club. Dixon's 'Just A Different Mixdown Version' of 'EXhale' tenderises the tensile contours of the original with stacked acid harmonies and sweeping pads for proper dancefloor catharsis; Recondite clips and tucks 'EXplore' to an electroid shuffle with soaring breakdown; Tale Of Us concentrate 'EXpand' to a sort of whirring, bluesy tech-house for the first half, before turning into a Morricone-gone-to-Ibiza anthem; Dubfire plays the long game with a 13 minute take on 'EXposed' building to a panoramic trance-house peak.
Doublepack of fluid house from Vancouver's, BC's Mood Hut player, Hashman Deejay. Practically clipping the heels of his lush 12" for Berceuse Heroique, 'Sandopolis' marks his return to Future Times with six tracks tipping the tempo scale between slackened ambient hip hop and strident, heavily swung house with patented patterns of filigree, spiralling arpeggios and bouncing square basslines cuddled with a lovely analogue production. It's lip-smackingly sweet sh*t, channelling that sought-after Mood Hut vibe shared by Pender Street Steppers, Aquarian Foundation or Jack J into the deftly … Read more
Anthony Parasole lines up alongside Silent Servant and Marcel Dettmann on a banging new single from The Corner. Poised for the big rooms and writhing masses, Dettman plays out a stealthy sort of tension with the burning intensity of 'Take One'; Silent Servant yokes darkside EBM synthlines and brooding chords to a muscular techno-house canter with drily emotional climax; Anthony Parasole rallies the room with a concentrated tribalism entitled 'Intel'.
The ever-surprising Love Cult twyst between EBM techno and gothic house with strange, cut-up psych-folk inflections on the 'Wonderland' EP. From the hunched intro of 'Scenario', they fake left with the naif vocals introducing 'Wonderland', before slipping into pacey electro and keening drones, while 'Daddy Issues' grinds to a sleazier house tattoo and 'This Good' pulls off the oddest fusion of moto-roiling shuffle laced with alien chirps and leading to a blunt conclusion. Original styles.
Strickly bangers from Dance Mania legend Paul Johnson. Ain't no messing with the anthemic bounce of 'Feel My M.F. Bass', the percolating rudeness of 'Jack-U-Later', the psychosexual madness of 'U So Silly', and the hard-to-resist 'Bootycall'. You know what to do!
Class techno session from the master. 'When The Music…' follows Brinkmann's Guy Martin-dedicated EP with four sleek bits of dancefloor momentum ranging from the full flight of 'Odecca' to cruising house in '8 Ba' and the oil-spattered razz of 'Moto', taking a slower off-road vibe with 'Step a Nova'.
One of 2014's most hyped labels, 1080p, kick off 2015 with crisp and kinetic club functions from Max McFerren aka McFerrdog. Last spotted on SLO's Aery Metals label, here he's given room to explore his maddest, funkiest ideas across 12 tracks juggling ghetto house and ambient electronica with traces of Jersey club and vaporwave. Colourful doesn't start to describe it: this guy's beaming rainbows all over the dance; from the chromatic swirl of 'Bless This Mess' thru the clipped swing and garbled samples in 'Peak Of My Curiosity' to the lean but fruity club construction, 'Timeless' and j… Read more