Monday, 01 September
Killer UK house rufige from Champion's Formula label. Three tracks get progressively tuffer from the tight house stepper, 'Drop To The Max' to the billowing bassline and clipped cowbells of 'Raw Sex' and the grimy dread lash of 'Dollars'. Check!
**Ram jam with edits of Fela classics plus an exclusive live track** "The soundtrack to the documentary, ‘Finding Fela,’ directed by Acadamy Award winning director, Alex Gibney. The film tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life, his music, and his social and political importance contrasted against the hit Broadway musical, Fela! and culminates in the bringing Fela! to The Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (the fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) includes 17 of Fela's classic tracks plus a never-befor… Read more
"German minimal composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler celebrated his 80th birthday this year. M=minimal honours the work of this master of reduction with the third release dedicated exclusivly to his work. Unlike many modern composers that use avantgardistic special effects, Stiebler builds his compositions around small sound spaces. As the composer himself said in an interview, his music is not intended to be easy. He demands a certain concentration of his listeners. Once you accept it you get rewarded with shifted time perception. A piece of 15 minutes duration can be perceived … Read more
Presenting a digital edition of the super-limited (65 copies) 8 x tape boxset by longtime Hospital Productions associate Matthew Folden aka Dual Action. 'Nightmare Angel of the Expressways' is a personal vision of isolationist industrial and EBM probably best consumed on very long drives down the infinitely straight highways of North America. The tracklist reads like the psychogeographic diary of a modern day highwayman getting progressively sozzled on neat booze behind the wheel, drifting thru 33 glistening electronic reveries powered by sodden motorik throbs and choking on noxious FX.
Deaf Center dig out two extended, beautifully solemn movements to inaugurate Sonic Pieces' Pattern series. Recorded during sessions from 2008-2012, 'Recount' is a sublime entry documenting their ghostly actions before and after 'Owl Splinters' (2011), their last record for Type. Time is suspended in their eternally crepuscular headspace, affording solitude for nostalgic remembrance in an immersive, orchestral environment defined by slow swelling organs and keys, warm guitar amp fuzz and willowing strings fed thru a fuzzy matrix of FX pedals. 'Follow Still ' was recorded in Berlin 2012 with a… Read more
Chicago's D'Marc Cantu at his most atmospheric, sci fi-inspired. 'Zone 4' was conceived as a singular release around the same time 'A New World' (2012) was produced. It finally arrives on Shaddock, involving a four-part narrative leading us from the scanning, slow-motion groove and epic synth strokes in 'Point Of Fracture' thru lush, dark house in 'Psychotronics', heavier electro on 'STS - 115', to the acid-driven jakk ov 'Zone 4'.
In 1994 the seminal electronic duo Cluster (Dieter Moebius & Hans-Joachim Roedelius) continued what they had begun in 1990 with 'Apropos Cluster', their comeback album. The more mature 'One Hour' condenses essential passages from two lengthy sessions into 60 minutes. We hear sprawling soundscapes, clear acoustic sketches, musical extravaganzas, in short: highly impressionistic electronica.
**Sleepy ambient/shoegaze on the new album from Christopher Willits** ""For years, I’ve imagined the work I do in music, photography, video/film, immersive audio and meditation all coming into one space," says music-art guru Christopher Willits from his home in San Francisco. It's an ambition that seems especially befitting of a worldly polymath like Willits. "Sound and light can transform and inspire our imaginations," he continues. "It can be used as a tool to awaken our consciousness." And that is exactly what he has set out to do with OPENING, the veteran Ghostly artist's new im… Read more
'Local Agent' is a spellbinding new addition to the vast electronic worlds of Digitalis boss Brad Rose aka Charlatan. Steeped in sci-fi references, from the track titles such as 'Blur Suit' and 'Antiprism', to its cinematic industrial atmosphere and sense of retro-futurist romance/dystopia. Anchored by plonging, tactile dub bass for the most, 'Local Agent' sucks us into an abstract narrative of spatial chicanery and chattering, alien melodies given momentum by his kinetic, ever-evolving electronic synthesis. It could be an imagined soundtrack to the rasta chapters in Neuromancer or a parti… Read more
"The Nature Of Connections" almost entirely features pieces composed by Arve’s collaborators. Recorded in the sparkling acoustic of Oslo’s legendary Rainbow Studio by Jan Erik Kongshaug, it’s an album with closer ties to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of Arve’s previous releases. At the same time it features some of the most melodic and seductive music he has recorded. The trumpeter had planned to make an album with a string quartet for many years but never quite found the right formula. Finally, a special commissioned tour brought him to… Read more
Deftly broken house and shifty tech swingers from Appleblim & Komon. In duo, they deal the trippy mixing and squashed rave vibes of 'Motion Blur' and the late night tuck of 'Key Vision'. Gwan dolo, Komon goes darker with the dirge-like chords and scuffed. hard-edged swagger of 'Astir', contrasting with the lucid cosmic synths and off-kilter shuffle of 'Blim's 'Echo's Retreat'.
Afrikan Sciences' superb 2nd album, 'Theta Brain Wave Sync' arrives in digital form. For those new to the world of Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences, this is a perfect portal to his colourful sound field of chiming, bustling rhythmelody and kaotic harmonies hingeing on house music but projecting much further into the musical cosmos. Imagine a Jamal Moss DJ set deconstructed by Plaid and re-fused with The Arkestra and you're in the right zones.
KILLER Ruffneck griot rap and tumbling mbalax from Senegal circa 1994: another stunning discovery by Awesome Tapes From Africa! Showcasing the remarkably fierce "taasu" - a form of oral poetry set to sabar and tama drums - style of Aby Ngana Diop, the undisputed "taasukat" of her generation, 'Liital' presents a shock of six cuts charged with ferocious talking drums, subtle DX7 tones, and Diop's stentorian call-and-response vocals. Whilst many of us have heard the mbalax style via classic recordings from Youssou N'Dour and even Mark Ernestus' Jeri-Jeri ensemble, we, for one, have never hear… Read more
Monday, 25 August
Master-craftsman, Kevin Martin absolutely murders it with his fourth and finest LP as The Bug. A perennial pest at the outposts of dub, ragga, extreme noise and electronics, The Bug treats his periodic albums as dispatches from the brink, and 'Angels & Devils' is his most captivating of them all. Blessed with, and structured around sterling vocals from some of his favourite artists - Liz Harris (aka Grouper), Gonjasufi, Death Grips, Copeland, Flowdan, Manga, Miss Red, Warrior Queen - plus a collaboration with JK Flesh, it marks a pinnacle of not only his hard-wrought sound design skills, b… Read more
Sudanim drops a pair of proper bobby dazzlers on Her Records, backed with serious remix treatments from new cats, Drippin and Amotion. 'Pleasure Flood' is a fiercely shark-eyed reduction of ballroom, Baltimore and London club styles littered with the sound of spent shells and, quite brilliantly, not a melody in sight; it's a pure percussive thrill. Likewise, 'Abondance' allows any excess, twysting out industrialised drums and surging bass to steel the best 'floors. Remixing the former, Drippin makes an impressive introduction with his tetchy, quarter-tone edits and trap whirrs, whilst Amo… Read more
Dark0 follows his Lost Codes debut with a lean, trancey grime session for Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper label. Like Slackk or Ikonika's forward styles, Dark0 fuses brittle 2-step/grime patterns with well-oiled, fluoro folk/road melodies in a distinctly UK fashion. However, unlike the aforementioned, his sound also errs close to Hybrid or Sasha-like prog arrangements, and if we're getting wavey in the club at 3am, it's got strobe appeal...
Hot on the heels of his lovely 'King Bromliad' 12", Floating Points deals another one-sided treat for the DJs and dancers. 'Sparkling Controversy' has all the hallmarks of a sterling F.P. joint - cone-caressing subs, dusted drums and effervescent keys - given nuff room to slyde and rub up the slinkiest sorta dancefloor friction.
From hooded Wegie scamp to world-taking producer, Rustie continues to blaze a neon trail with his crackshot 2nd album, 'Green Language'. Packing all the stomach-churning, heart-bursting rush of a triple-barrelled mitsi, it's a dancefloor melding, accelerationist expression of emotions that can't be adequately summed up in the English lexicon, amped with guest vocals by D Double E, Redinho, Danny Brown and Gorgeous Children. It scales up the thizz attacks of 'Glass Swords' to impossibly ecstatic levels with his signature blend of tiered harmonies, crashing trap dynamics and traces of jaw-br… Read more
Masterful modular techno poundings from the Brummie techno boss - his first proper Token release following a remix of Grovskopa's 'Sex and Violins' in 2008. Both cuts are recognisably Surgeon productions, but perhaps not instantly so due to his new palette of modular synths. The original 'Fixed Action Pattern' galvanises signature shuffle and bruising kicks with a bristling, chaotic noise energy that's a thrilling new addition to his sound, whilst the aquatic Dub carves the groove to a solemn halfstep lurch steeped in sepulchral groans and consumed by oncoming waves of masticated electricity. It's a real burner.
Ital continues to twist the putative conventions of house and techno on his third album in two years. 'Endgame' feels light years away from his earliest transmissions of natty, lo-fi house, and much closer to brooding, minimal, modern house and techno styles, eking out a headier, weirder space somewhere between the styles of Tin Man, Kassem Mosse, and Joey Anderson, for comparison. The difference between then and now is perhaps his switch from software to select pieces of hardware, resulting in a more linear plot and liquified, worm-holing momentum on 'Endgame', no doubt enhanced by mixing and mast… Read more
Neo-no wave agitator $hit & $hine dumps a killer funk load on Powell's Diagonal Records, hard on the heels of 2014 madness from the label boss, plus Russell Haswell and Bronze Teeth. 'Powder Horn''s wiry, banjoed skronk marks Craig Clouse aka $&$'s 1st new album since 'Jream Baby Jream' and that split slab with Gnod back in 2012. Poised between rambunctious clatter and clipped, in-the-pocket groove, nine tracks fling-a-body from the virile strut of 'Astro's Hat' to the burned-out Pump styles of 'Spray Bottle', taking in the rollicking jag of 'Bingo' and the nitrous-fuelled breakbeat torsi… Read more
*Digital edition with bonus remixes from Perc and Alex Deamonds* Tensile techno, grime and electro-bass rhythms from the ever-luminous Ikonika for Hyperdub. In contrast to her previous records, there's the feeling she's taken a step back from full-on modernism to bring vintage styles forward in her unique way. A-side, 'Position' jacks up a wily fusion of Dance Mania/Chicago house with Socafied Grime and electroid synthlines, and 'Praxis' twirls a glistening helix of industrial halfstep drums and bittersweet, 3D synth motifs. Flipside is better yet, bringing the crisply punc… Read more
Proper bass excitement from Addison Groove featuring a serious footwork soul joint with the late DJ Rashad. Gwan ruffer than his recent album, 'Dat Ass' boots up flashing Chic stabs and killah strings inna pumping Miami Electro mutation, whereas 'Push It' hooks up happy hardcore/jungle samples on a pneumatic footwork bass and 'Masamune' flexes out with forward '97 D&B styles nodding to Source Direct or Photek with a mnml 2014 stance. Best of all is the uncannily titled 'U Been Gone' with Chicago's recently deceased footwork pioneer, DJ Rashad, in flux between Dilla-style soul sample chops, junglist breaks and manic bass cadence. Big shotta!
Blown-out lo-fi house and techno patter from Oakland, CA's Worker Parasite, new on Opal Tapes.
Space-headed slo-mo techno/hip hop trips from R&S's new signing. Five tracks explore downtempo zones akin to Cloud Boat in 'On The Edge Surrounded With The Shores Of Assudrey', beside the sci-fi hip hop noise of 'Deer Drink From The River' and two pieces of scratchy modular noise in 'Dialectic A' & Dialectic B'. Fans of Fhloston Paradigm or Herva should check it oot.
Dank darkside industro-dubs from Italy's Violetpoison - one half of the Violetshaped duo with Shapednoise. This has to be his most diverse yet coherent statement to date in this guise, from the captivating display of voltage control in 'Gabbia Di Faraday' thru some massively killer industrial disco romps in the searing arpeggiations of 'Lisergico' and the Autechrian convolutions of 'Run', to Silent Servant-like 115bpm sleaze in 'The Key' and 'Sovrastrutture'. Definitely the best of Opal Tapes' latest batch - purported to be their last for a little while. Hope this one makes it to vinyl… Recommended!
Nimble, dreamy remixes from LoVil (Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer) and the Booma Collective's Oren Ratowsky & Solpara. The LoVil version of 'Pendule' is surely one of the best (of many) remixes in recent memory from the venerable Berliners, squashing the groove to a seductively sticky pulp swarmed with old skool early '90s ambient pads inna 2014 hi-tech jazz style. Ratowsky & Solpara's remix is pedestrian by comparison, but useful for dreamier tech-house times.