Monday, 29 November 2010
Warped, downbeat electronic HipHop from Planes. 'Skeleton Key' finds itd form out of a dense brew of elastic, wormy bass and dissonant synth keys, while 'Sole Intention' is a far more elegant, glitch-driven groove with jazzy flourishes and 'Deep Seas' winks to 'Confield' era Ae. Recommended.
Awesome, arctic electropop soul edited by Finnish dancefloor veteran Jori Hulkkonen. 'Remains Of Love' was just one of many highlights from Villa Nah's debut album, whose tracks have already been syndicated to the likes of US emo-teen TV series 90210. With Jori on board 'Remains Of Love' couldn't be much tighter, straddling the finest line between Depeche Mode and A-HA with considerable skill. TIP!
Exquisite electro-pop jewels from Villa Nah and Au Revoir Simone. The Villa Nah remix of 'Tell Me' rightly takes precedence here, providing further proof, if their stunning 'Origin' wasn't enough, that they have some serious pop skills. It's hard to place a finger on it, but they've made the girls sound like 60's bubblegum pop heroes only with an electro backbeat nodding to Suicide style Rockabilly, and yet with traces of European synth baroque a la Cluster. I can guarantee, we'll be coming back to this for time. Au Revoir Simone's original on the flip is equally … Read more
Modeselektor proudly present volume 1 of their Modeselektion series, featuring 18 exclusive, previously unreleased and cherry-picked bombs from Mala, Marcel Dettmann, Ramadanman, Shed, Ikonika, Bok Bok, Cylob, eLan, and more. With this series the notorious party boys draw an axis between shared techno-disco-BASS sounds of London and Berlin, reflecting the technicolour scope and diversity of their eponymous parties. In among the mass of kinetic fusions certain cuts just stand out from an already impressive crowd. Bok Bok's 'Say Stupid Things' is one of the best he's ever … Read more
Frank Martiniq and Aleph Records' Aera ease us in and out of the night with two deep and mnml burners for Curle. 'Golden Dusk' stealthily creeps in with layers of opulent strings and a warmly padded bassline hinting at C2 styles, whereas 'Golden Dawn' relieves the tension with softly blurred electronics and subtle, tribal-shuffling rhythms. Lovely.
Frank Martiniq joins the deep and mnml disco party with two fine tracks for Rotary Cocktail. 'Nights In Black Satin' conjures a squashed and sultry groove rolling with plump bass and slivers of scene-setting strings, while 'Get Back' leans into a more open-ended disco form with oodles of wibbly acid-dub sounds.
Monday, 22 November 2010
**Boomkat upfront exclusive!** Hippos In Tanks have evidently turned out some of the year's most addictively essential releases, but none more so than Laurel Halo's 'King Felix' EP. The Brooklyn-via-Michigan-hailing artist has created waves of interest around her sound that simply cannot be ignored. Obvious comparisons to individual female precedents have inevitably been stirred up, but right now it's quite fair to say that there's nobody else doing quite what she does - and that's an immeasurably important fact. Her music is suspended in an ethereal alter zone equally informed by 4AD drea… Read more
Manchester's Illum Sphere and Jonny Dub present the debut release on their newly minted Hoya:hoya imprint named after the much acclaimed Manchester club night of the same name. By far the highlight of the release is Lone's 'Let The Music Play', a unique sounding disco track with a thumping kick drum and distorted vocals layered to great effect before a rugged synthline takes everything down a notch. Illum Sphere, meanwhile, deploys a killer slowed down take on UK Funky which starts off with a trademark ambient wash and thudding drums before a synth reminiscent of h… Read more
OH YES!!! Serious remix session from Falty DL and Space Dimension Controller, extending the legacy of Detroit auteur, Anthony Shakir. The Space Dimension Contoller remix of 'Detroit State Of mind' has just totally blown us away, twisting the original elements with incredible programming dexterity to drop a dipping, jacking and outstanding revision pitted with killer triplet fills and overlarge square-bass vamps, truly doing service to the original material. On the flip, another man-of-the-moment (or even year!) aka F… Read more
Ruth's 'Polaroid/Roman/Photo' is one of the most extraordinary archival discoveries to resurface thanks to a groundswell of vintage '80s coldwave/darkwave/synth-pop. Angular Records included it as part of their awesome 'Cold Waves & Minimal Electronics' compilation earlier in the year, and now give the full original album a well warranted reissue 25 years after the drop. The fact that the original only sold 50 copies back in 1985 means it exchanges hands for over £300 these days, which should tell you something about its cult status in the annals of underground synth pop. Parisian graph… Read more
Making a power move into the world of House and Techno, Untold drops two sides of Detroit-inflected techno for R&S. While he's clearly flirted with the idea on the Roska collab 'Myth' and the awesome 'Gonna Work Out Fine' EP, this is his most damagingand deadly punt into 4/4, albeit with super heavy subs. 'Stereo Freeze' arranges haughty Chicago snares and optimised acid sequences with the kind of subbass levels that makes you catch your breath, resulting in one of the meanest UK Bass fusions out there. On the flip he makes a nod to label mate Model 500 or UR with c… Read more
After a sterling hookup with Zola Jesus, Amanda Brown's LA Vampires get involved with Matrix Metals aka Outer Limits Recordings on a ridiculously good side for NNF. The vibes are quite different on this one, largely thanks to the infusion of Matrix Metals' sunbleached aesthetic, building warped 2D beachscape sonic scenery out of decaying tape loops and fizzy casio synth solos, all super heavy-lidded and practically pixellating as it comes out the speakers. All songs were recorded to 4-track by scene lynchpin M Geddes Gengras and require your attention right away if heavyweight dreampop does funny things to your head. Essential.
Daniel Martin-McCormick had us at the name, but Sex Worker's 'Waving Goodbye' also has the musical merit to keep our interest much longer. Opening to the expressive synth-pop of 'Tough Love' he quickly takes us down a dark alley with an astonishing 'Rhythm Of The Night' cover version, and into the dramatic 'Cool Boy', which sounds something like Zola Jesus haunted by the spirit of Autre Ne Veut. 'Next To You' packs up and goes to Toro Y Moi's beach hut sound for a hot eight minute daytrip and 'Sleeping Through It' manages to pull off the sound of Cold Cave being dragged backwards through a brothel full of screaming cats. This is freakin' awesome. Check it!!!
Take offers two of his most developed productions to date with the 'Took One' single for Poobah. 'Rehearsing My Thoughts' is ostensibly jazz music at heart, but conducted with a fluid programming mastery of electro-acoustic dynamics. 'The Universe Collapses' moves further out into psychedelic space, tingling with microscopic spatial awareness and smudged with warm rhodes and 12K esque electronic textures. We reckon this is what Flying Lotus listens to when he goes to bed...
Vital digital issue of previously Japan-only CD tracks from Ras G, released in 2008. This is some proper one-man spaceship business right here, leaning back in the cockpit and sparking one off with the beatless abstractions of 'Birth Of Tha Beat' and travelling sideways through the droning beatscapes of 'Random Selection' or cutting into dusty psychedelics in 'The Free Up (Party People)'.
Like a modern lo-fi Sun Ra, Ras G established his cosmic gangsta lean with early releases on PooBah such as 'Ghetto Sci-Fi'. Over 12 tracks Ras orbits the planets of psychedelic HipHop with cuts like the Ra-sampling 'Sunrise', sludgy bumpers such as 'Beyond The Sky', and deadly dub joints like 'Staring Riddim' fusing the aesthetics of Dilla and dread dub like nobody else. Heavy sh*t!
Available on download for the first time, this is C&C's 1985 production, originally commissioned by Jan Smith-Merritt and Stephen Hill's Alllotrophy Exhibition to accompany their performance art video of the same name. As you cans see, the composition moves through five stages, each getting progressively darker , especially from the third section when Cosey's vocals take root in a toxic bed of Carpenter-esque wasteland sci-fi synths, and certainly the two incredible proto-ambient drone tracks which follow. Very cinematic stuff, recommended to fans of Vangelis, Carpenter, or Coil.
Debut EP from the promising Montgomery Clunk, squeezing out seven tracks of melancholy aquacrunk head nodders. 'Asspiration' sets himself out as a moody figure with an appreciation to Dubstep and Beat Dimensions style sounds, following into the seasick James Blake-esque rhythms of 'Murder!' and crafty Dorian Concept-style arrangements in 'Entourage'. 'Heat' features a fling with toxic R&B synths and gloop electro rhythms while 'Work Your Pitch' runs with warm and nostalgic 'tronica vibes somewhere close to BoC or Hudson Mohawke. Recommended!
Super hot joint from Mandré, following the reissue of his 'M4' album with the extraordinary Loft anthem 'Solar Flight' and backed with a driving edit of 'M3000' from Felix Dickinson and Nick The Record. They really don't come more certified than 'Solar Flight', an ecstatic piece of cosmic-disco-jazz-fusion with notoriously electric synthesizer excesses famously spun out by David Mancuso and co around '78. With his futuristic, masked attire and stunning sound Michael André aka Mandré was essentially a precursor to the likes of Daft Punk and this is one of his most definitive moments. On the fli… Read more
As the UK's urban swing-o-meter veers towards a broken House flex, Rush Hour's Direct Current series drops two foundational noughties riddims, plus a remix by by Cosmin TRG. Aardvarck's 'Dam swaggering 2007 original will sit comfortably with your Seiji or Altered Natives riddims, while Cosmin TRG spices it up with some bubbling and acidic 2010 vibes. Heavy twelve!
Completing the run of the first series of Modeselektion 12"s, three tracks on a House and Techno tip from Marcel Dettmann, Robag Wruhme, and Cosmin TRG. Commanding the selection, Dettmann churns up 'Lyrate', a dubbed-out and slinky roller with kinky shuffle for bold floor moves. Robag Wruhme exercises his dextrous electronic side with a cheekily tipsy 'Bierholer, and Cosmin TRG sits on a heavy House vibe akin to his recent Rush Hour releases. One for the connoisseurs, this.
The second half of a two-part live album from Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg, documenting the trio's 2009 tour of Japan. This LP captures the Kyoto and Nagoya legs of the tour (with side-length tracks 'Kyoto 2' and 'Nagoya 2'). There had been an eight year gap between the last two Fenn O'Berg studio albums (2002's The Return Of Fenn O'Berg and this year's In Stereo), so to be on the receiving end of these two live albums so soon after the studio-based full-length is quite a treat. In reality, Fenn O'Berg's earliest albums, The Magic Of... an… Read more
The first half of a two-part live album from Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg, documenting the trio's 2009 tour of Japan. This LP captures the Kyoto and Tokyo legs of the tour, with side-length tracks 'Kyoto 1' and 'Tokyo 1'). There had been an eight year gap between the last two Fenn O'Berg studio albums (2002's The Return Of Fenn O'Berg and this year's In Stereo), so to be on the receiving end of these two live albums so soon after the studio-based full-length is quite a treat. In reality, Fenn O'Berg's earliest albums, The Magic Of... and T… Read more
Heavyweight goodies from No Hats No Hoods with two tracks of limber Garage, backed with a Funky mix from Doc Daneeka and a very spicy Grime refit from Mosca. 'Good Love' is one of those vintage-sounding Future Garage bubblers that just demands to be pulled up and rewound every time, while Doc Daneeka diverts it's charm and energy into a tighter rolling rolling Funky remix. On the flip CRST's 'Ultra64' goes deeper with bouncing dub chords and a tidily clipped 2-step rhythm, but the real winner has to be Mosca's itchin' 'Dance' remix, built rude and rugged like some vintage Dexplicit riddim or sumfink, yeah? Two scorchers, one plate.
Very crafty post-dubstep wrigglers from Belgradeyard Soundsystem member, Piece Of Shh... backed with deft remixes from Zomby and Hektagon. He's had a dope release out on Earsugar Beatbox and remixed Sutekh previously, but this is his first proper foray into the dubstep arena. His 'Diablo Riddim' skitters between concrete dubstep rave and squirming techno signatures, before Zomby steps in with a much less frantic and swaggering reduction of rave styles at ruffly 130bpm, and Hektagon runs harder with the febrile funk to give a canny flux of sea-sick dub-tech and raving acid strikes. Tuff & techy business.
Ben Klock expands his technoid sound world with a gracefully melodic yet pounding thrust for Ostgut Ton. 'Compression Session' is just about the most "musical" effort we've heard from Herr Klock, almost IDM in its focus on boldly dominant and crisply accentuated lead melody, but still Techno to its pressurised core. Just listen to those kicks and the drag-jacking percussion for assurance. On the flip 'Static Test' drives home a more stripped and tracky vibe, while 'Compression Session 2' gives a more restrained revision of the A-side. Big 12" for fans of Surgeon, LB Dub Corps and recent Rob Hood.
Touch introduce a new artist to their roster, a 26 year old called Sohrab from Tehran. His startlingly beautiful first release 'A Hidden Place', is a six track album of elaborate ambient electronics and textured drones. Sohrab's music is understandably informed by a life isolated from outside cultures, and even displaced in his own country, which makes his instinctively blissful yet subtly menacing music all the more remarkable. In 'Susanna' we glean lulling rhythms reminiscent of Biosphere's 'Dropsonde' while in 'Pedagogicheskaya Poema' we're reminded of BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa's 'Spa… Read more