Monday, 09 December
L.I.E.S. boldly go where most other House labels wouldn't dare, presenting an excellent LP of cosmic synth music with religious overtones conceived by Matt Morandi aka Jahiliyya Fields. It's one of the label's most substantial releases to date, and not only by length. The music itself is of a wholly more gratifying calibre than their usual - albeit excellent and unconventional - dancefloor releases, drawing upon a wealth of exploratory synth music and symbology from Islam and Thelema to set the mind off on more spiritual, intellectually nourishing forays. From a Terry Riley-li… Read more
London-style house backed with a Skudge techno remix. Dixon's three originals romp between the jacking bass and nagging vocal stabs of 'Heirloom' to the darker warehouse mode of 'Park Row' and a deeper, dubbed-out play called 'The Things I Gave You'. Skudge bring up the rear with a driving minimal remix of 'Heirloom'.
Reissued for first time in 15 years. Cool pickings for Kraut and Balearic disco jocks. "‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981. After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove. Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement."
Freak-out post-punk on NNA tapes like a troupe of four-year-olds in a hurry to redecorate your front room with a complete set of easy-squeeze poster paints. Actually though this Boston band can really play, with twangy funk, precision synth wiggles, complex math-rock structures and all kinds of detail hiding within the chaotic thrills. The distorted, outraged vocals riding the lurching guitars like a cartoon character are a particular delight. This is for those into the crazier strains of late-seventies / early-eighties post-punk, and particularly for those us who mourn Les Georges Leningrad. Maniacal.
Brand new solar funk rays from Funkineven backed with GB: The Abstract Eye's 'Reflexes', which was previously only available on the Eglo Records Vol.1 CD. It's a canny match between the like-minded artists; Funkineven's 'Egypt' feels out cosmic space between Sun-Ra's searching synthetic expressions and the freakiest sorts of Virgo 4 or Larry Heard journeys, whilst GB shuffles in hyperspace with techy latinate syncopation and beaming modular glyphs.
An endearing release from the Australian sound and visual artist, generously stocked with delicate, exquisite audio jewels. Carchesio threads minute sonic objects of every kind into sequences: diatomic machines spinning in the abyss, toy depth charges, scrunches and grimaces of noise, pipette-blobs of this and that. Bringing names like Raymond Scott and Actress to mind, the short-form constructions on 32 Days are humble in proportion but gently powerful in effect.
Yung Delroy whips it proper with a highly anticipated follow up to his 'Heart & Soul' and '4 Club Use Only' bangers for L.I.E.S. On his 3rd 12" he lives up to an assumed role as ambassador for raw, kicking' old skool Chi-house house values with fervent relish. A-side he percolates the dusty, sticky zaps, claps and booty beats of 'White Owl' at an uncompromising 140bpm designed to really get the juices going, whilst on the B-side he nudges the tempo down for a tweakier, fruitier groove called 'The Fast Lane' and picks it up again with the gruff dancefloor grammar of 'Drop Dead' - another … Read more
L.I.E.S.' run of aces shows no sign of abating with this bomb from Delroy Edwards. '4 Club Use Only' spans the A-side with proper, body-thumping bassline balanced by fizzing hi-hats and authentic deep space vibes reminding of classics from Eevolute Records and The Connection Machine. B-side 'Bells' hits a heavy New Jersey swing sound with badass toms and a trickling lead timbre that pushes the right buttons, while 'Love Goes On And On' departs on a deeply romantic technohouse note. Tip!
Slip on the gloves and headset and take a night flight over the dataplane with this latest hi-tech transmission from Zoology. The Amsterdam label have really got themselves an eye-opening sound going - neuromantic synth architectures of dazzling scale and complexity, with one foot in eighties cyberneticism and the other in burningly contemporary abstractions - and this is one of the most intense examples yet. Delaweare's sound is immersive and up-to-date, juddering and gleaming with obsidian towers and lit up lurid with laser grids. Witness mountains of data, rivers of information and a terrible m… Read more
Sub-heavy and strident techno house from Project Squared's sub-label. Melbourne-based Craig McWhinney at the wheel, cutting across deep and desolate dub-techno zones with 'Pulse For Harvest', and working a cannier step with the Pole or Deadbeat-like 'Citadel' and the persistent swing of 'Six Hundred Furlongs'.
**Ships Friday** Keeper of dubstep's darkest light, Compa steps up to Deep Medi with two rolling dreadnaughts. A-side, 'Narabeh' dices with bouncing nyabinghi drums in a pressure chamber of claustrophobic bass and dynamic noise textures. B-side, 'Alpha' locks those drums down to a halfstepping lurch and throws the subs downtown inna mystic steppers atmosphere.
"After nearly a decade of Audion—in which Matthew Dear has exorcised his dancefloor demons through sometimes heavy, occasionally dirty, always ecstatic techno—a career-spanning retrospective is not only deserved, it's welcome. Audion X culls only the best tracks from Audion's singularly reckless mind: the swarm-of-bees climax of the DEMF-defining "Mouth to Mouth" and the stair-step hook of "Look at the Moon"; the serrated mayhem of 2004's "Kisses" and 2005's Suckfish full-length, the mischievous sensuality of 2009's singles series. And with a new Audion full-length (and accompanying A/V tour) on… Read more
Eight atmospheric experiments from the desk of Auxiliary boss, ASC. Our highlights have to be the Bladerunner-esque cue, 'Los Angeles 2019' and the suspended halfstep architecture of 'Rare Earth'.
Slick disco from London's AD Bourke, following releases for Domu's Treble O label, Nature and Citinite. The vibe is deep and debonaire as you like on all four tracks, ranging from low-slung boogie house foreplay on 'Prelude' to deft Detroit-style chord riding and sweeping crimson pads in 'Astral' thru to the fruity synth funk of 'Equinox' and the beautiful solo piano and pads to close with A night in Almeria'.
Monday, 02 December
Clipping the heels of their killah 'Genesis EP', Mumdance & Logos rinse off 2013 with two searing 'ardcore mutations for Tectonic. Recalibrating the genes of '93-style jungle with bootybass claps, pneumatic bass and razing mentasms, the darkcore dread of 'Legion' is tilted at the most delirious hours of the dance, whilst 'Proto' comes with a kaotic chemistry of Belgian techno hoovers, Detroit-style pads and timeless darkside swerve. Watch yer eyebrows!
*One of Numero's finest and most fascinating compilations yet - a gargantuan effort bringing together formative Minneapolis sounds starting with Pepé Willie’s 94 East project which gave local prodigy Prince his first airing, onto Terry Lewis and Flyte Tyme and Prince’s childhood sidekick/departed bassist André Cymone. Double CD housed in a gorgeous gold-embossed oversized box which includes a detailed book* "In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound began bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Buried beneath 50 solid inches of annual snow, Minneapo… Read more
Sterling Sound Signature debut 12" from 22 year old Detroiter, Jay Daniel. Ruff, rugged, and driving, the 'Scorpio EP' yields four tracks steeped in classic 313 house styles, and blessed with an irrepressible vitality bound to work marvels on the 'floor. A-side 'No Love Lost' eases in with a tight blend of Omar-S like keys and bustling machine groove programmed with the itchy swing of Howard Thomas or Kyle Hall, and 'Brainz' knuckles down to a proper buck session a la Anthony Shakir, all noisy, tracky drums with nary a care for melody. B-side is a proper disco heater, 'I Have No Name… Read more
Team Doyobi return with more digitally damaged breaks and quivering, glitchy minisynths. Volume 2 presents a continuous barrage of pixelated explosions and implosions, music alternately small and cute enough to stroke in the palms of your hand and fierce enough to give it the odd chomp. But even within the pocket-monster digital framework there are some spectacular vistas, such as 'Parallax Avenues' and 'Azure Systems,' where solo SNES melodies and sweeping harmonies combine into something modestly mighty. Another fun, detailed and well-made adventure with Team Doyobi.
Another tasty offering from 1080p, the label founded by the Rose Quartz and Altered Zones blogger Richard MacFarlane - a key player in the burgeoning hypnagogic pop and dance aesthetic of recent years. Mind Dynamics reflects this context, sluicing out a kaleidoscopic lo-fi flow for fans of the Skaters et al, but takes it further by applying a certain unique restlessness and energetic beats that range from caffeinated trills on the hi-hat to rivet-guns toted by angry robots. What you're hearing is the blissful, child-like warmth of hazy memories being eaten up and converted by … Read more
Synkro follows his Akkord aktions alongside Indigo with a return to his ambient/dubstep sound. Manos contributes breathy vocals to the lingering halfstep swoon of 'Lost Here' and the blissed out bass cuddle of 'In My Arms'; Synkro goes dolo with plush atmospheres and minimalist D&B rhythms on 'Nights Of Pleasure' and the taut, techy junglism of 'Fading Lights'.
Marcell Dettmann and Head High (Shed) take Modeselektor and Apparat's three-headed beast to the 'floor. In his raving Head High mode René Pawlowitz aka Shed retools 'Bad Kingdom' as a moody rave-pop anthem with a scuffed garage-techno chassis, making great use of the originals soaring chords and Sascha Ring's pleading vocal over gritty, swinging rhythm engine. Dettmann's remix is squared at peaktime use with a sort of industrial carnival techno momentum mauled with coruscating distortion for unrelenting effect.
Atom ™, Kangding Ray and Ancient Methods revamp These Hidden Hands' album tracks for the 'floor. In Uwe Schmidt aka Atom ™'s hands, 'When Told' becomes a sprung, roiling techno weapon rent with dazzling spatial diffusions and streaking, Deathprod-like synthlines whilst saving that gloomy vocal for the most crucial moment. With 'Diesel' Kangding Ray flexes some brute, driving techno muscle, and Ancient Methods lock 'Isopod' down to a determined drone techno march...
Murky ambient flux from Ten Hyphen Twenty for Brighton's Where To Now? crew. Two extended pieces unravel with enigmatic logic; 'Portrait Of A House Plant' dissolving between darker ambient drones and composted ferric textures to pockets of trapped bass music, frictional rhythms against morphing swells of noise and detached melodies in between blurry ambient dimensions. 'Still Life With Indoor Water Feature' is lusher, traversing processed field recordings, crushing/crushed concrete textures and lost, ambient motifs deep into the sort of cracked, kaleidoscopic vortex you might expect from Wanda Group or DJ Purple Image. Recommended!
Eerie, oneiric electronic psychedelia from Lisbon's Ondness for Brighton's excellent Where To Now? label. 'Poor Man's Twilight Zone' exists in a headspace somewhere between Negra Branca's ethereal H-Pop scapes, Wanda Group's murky ambient and the kind of zonked post-techno purveyed by Opal Tapes, feeling out in the half light resonant, gamelan-like tones and lushest chord swirl in the 12 minute 'Trono', whilst 'Ongoing To Zona' combines celestial flute with a sort of lo-fi take on Porter Ricks' aquatic techno churn. 'Edit Sombre' is closer to techno proper with a buoyant 4/4 step… Read more
Distal and Mite represent a techy Atlantan bassbin sound on 'Concrete Space' for Distal's Embassy Recordings. Five tracks apiece render sinuous moires of house, bassy club music and sliding synthlines meshed with trap trills and swooshing concrète-like simulations. Distal's at his best with the spacious, Jam City-alike structure of 'Defnet' and the nimble mixture of air-carving dynamics and pointillist drum programming in 'Facebook Federali', whilst Mite impresses with the cold, hardcore-injected minimalism of 'Drum Habit', the shifty bubblers' flow of 'Cop Car', and holo'd UK grime style flex of 'Witch Doctor' or 'Duppy Dem'.
Slugabed returns to Ninja Tune with two intricate electronica/trap mutations. 'Do U C Me Tho' steps into a surreal interzone of piped melodies, brassy bottom end and sparse, strangely distant trap beats accelerating the oddest styles shared with Hud Mo or Rustie. 'U Right' comes off like a Yeezus instrumental that was way too weird to make the final cut, segueing from blown-out electronics to odd psilocybic melodies, hardstyle trance hooks and lean, whirring trap percussions.
OPN's 'Zones Without People' was released in 2009 on a highly limited vinyl run for Arbor. All seven tracks featured in his Wire chart-topping 'Rifts' compilation, predating his mindblowing 'Returnal' album (surely one of the best of 2010) and displaying its prodigiously gifted creator amidst some of his most affective synthscapes. From the outset we could consider this to be classic material, as the miniature 'Computer Vision' - one of his very earliest creations circa 2004 - plugs into a spiraling matrix of arpeggiations leading us into his pastoral dimensions. Follow… Read more
Oneohtrix Point Never's sublime 'Russian Mind' is centred around the evocative theme of a Russian cosmonaut past his prime, composing the score to a film from his hospital bed in a room on the east wing of an orbiting infirmary, facing a window overlooking a grove of holographic birch trees, lending a brilliantly romantic sci-fi feel to the entirely synthetic sounds within. As it's already been noted, OPN manages to capture the pastoral synth spirit of Boards of Canada or the legendary Kosmiche experimentalists Moebius & Roedelius with a shockingly tender touch, one that you mi… Read more
Back in 2007 Daniel "Oneohtrix Point Never" Lopatin pricked the hive mind's consciousness with this, his debut album. Recorded in Massachusetts between 2004 & 2007 on Roland Juno-60 and Sequential Circuits Six-Trak synthesisers, Roland SQ-700 Sequencer, voice and delay, it still stands as wonderful example of unselfconscious and richly tuneful analog synthesis practically guaranteed to please fans of Popol Vuh, Emeralds, J. D. Emmanuel and early electronics exponents like Raymond Scott. If you've not immersed yourself in the poignant new age pleasures of 'Woe Is The Transgression II' or connected with 'Parallel Minds' before, here's your chance.
Daniel Lopatin and his Software label present 'Drawn And Quartered', collecting tracks from various, sought-after tapes, CDrs and obscure releases previously found on his 'Rifts' boxset. Presented in a library style jacket replete with Dan's own succinct descriptions (i.e. 'Lovergirls Precinct': "Uncool, biased"), it orbits some total gems such as the spine melting 'Ships Without Meaning' and the ecstatic arpeggios of 'Transmat Memories' alongside the gyroscopic 16 minute cosmic meander of highlight, 'When I Get Back From New York'. Recommended!