Monday, 20 September 2010
Deeper post-garage and Dubstep styles from Neat on the French imprint, Airflex labs. 'Lime & Sugar' is the oen to draw for, reminding of recent exploits by XXXY, Joy Orbison or Original Face with sweetly clipped percussion and well deployed dub chords. 'A Light I Know' is a crafty construction, combining Theo Parrish-alike chords with a fluctuating rhythm finding its groove between halfstep and swinging garage.
These days it's increasingly difficult to get widespread attention simply by carving out a career as an trad singer-songwriter, but Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk has made a stealthily quite magnificent contribution to the genre with this eponymous album. Opener 'Demon Host' is as simple and unadorned as these things come, relying on a little lo-fi echo and largely unconditioned strumming right up until a lovely choral coda. From here the album begins to blossom into a more intricately arranged affair, mimicking the kind of warm, vintage feel of Fleet Foxes and - perhaps… Read more
Clone's brilliant Basement Series delivers some more of that gritty red light vibe via two heavy tracks from Literon aka 4Lux head, Gerd. On 'Storm' it's all about the ruffed-up house feeling with chest-hitting kicks and pneumatic claps optimised for big rigs. 'Nightfall' doesn't let up either, keeping a vice-like grip on the floor with gargantuan bassline and direct but trippy Latin perussion. Haughty house for the dancers.
"Henry Grimes and Rashied Ali convene on this magical live recording that holds aloft Henry's bass and violin, highlighting his recent pointilisms, ringing with the shock-by-shock rebound of the spaces between, each dyad and sweep echoing with command and authority. Below, above, in perfect tune and time, Rashied lays foundations, constructs edifices of rock and crystal that ebb and flow with the malleability and gliding susurrations of melting snow. Moving the many-sided sculpture, bass drum thunder gently queries and booms answers. Sadly, this was the final collaboration of these two master musicians, as Rashied Ali passed soon after the recording of Spirits Aloft."
Rolling mid-tempo house mixes of Ideal's 'Schöne Frau Mit Geld' courtesy of Losoul for Robert Johnson's recording wing. Losoul puts a sunny Afro-disco spin on the cut with crisp percussion, juicy bassline and sparingly used Likembe's to charm the 'floor. Also included as instrumental if you don't like the vocals.
Further proving himself to be Karaoke Kalk's most exuberant and flamboyant of signings, Roman presents a brand new album packed with gloriously gaudy pop. On the one hand, Roman's delivery is so brashly confident and upfront in the mix that you'd have a job thinking of him as anything other than a mainstream artist in the making, yet his songwriting and often bizarre approach to song structure/arrangement ensures that he's still something of an outsider. Half the time Roman sounds like Mika, and his (usually very busy) musical accompaniment can shoot off in various different directions. 'Bones & B… Read more
Folk duo Ted Barnes & Emily Barker summon up some lovely bucolic sounds on their half of this new Explorer's Club installment, rattling ably through 'As The Time Goes By' with an ever-swelling arrangement based upon some magnificent banjo twanging and a supremely velvety vocal. Origamibiro seems to use a fairly similar line in instrumentation as a starting point but takes a digital scalpel to it, fashioning a quite superb, glitching piece of experimental folktronica.
Ace Martyn twelve dating back to 2006 and now available again in very limited supply. "Missing Song" is a spannered drum & bass variation with spooked out synth washes and disjointed keys riding alongside a heavy roller, while Virgo on the flip is a more spacious, lush arrangement in the classic Martyn style. limited copies!
LTM present the seventh studio album from the cult Factory Records outfit, Section 25. Some 30 years after their beginnings as a post-punk act mentored by Joy Division and the untimely death of Larry Cassidy earlier in 2010, the group have re-recorded and remixed ten classic tracks spanning their catalogue, plus a notable remix of their biggest hit 'Looking From A Hilltop' by New Order drummer, Stephen Morris. The most distinct change from the original setup is the inclusion of Beth Cassidy's vocals, which lend an angelic sweetness to their reworked classics like 'Beating Heart' and 'From A H… Read more
Much needed obscurity from the Martyn archives dating back to 2005 and in line with his Drum & Bass output, head straight for "Deepwood", a socafied rhythmic killer complete with some nifty little synth touches and heavy bass progressions. We've played this pitched right down and it sounds even deadlier - you just can't argue with the man's production skills. Ace twelve!
Charming selection of studio tracks recorded for radio sessions by cult Manchester post-punk quartet, Dislocation Dance. The group released their earliest work on Richard Boons legendary New Hormones label, situating the group among notables such as Buzzcocks and Biting Tongues, but Dislocation Dance were a far sweeter proposition, oozing with sophisticated '60s jazz swing and a breezy pop awareness. Releases on Rough Trade followed but the band split in 1986. We can only imagine how out of place they must have sounded in Manchester circa early '80s, but it was probably a very welcome … Read more
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Majestically emotive revisions of 'Returnal', courtesy of OPN, Antony and Fennesz! On the dramatic A-side Lopatin and Hegarty recontextualise the track from its synthesized environment into a plaintive composition for piano and vocals, Daniel "OPN" Lopatin providing keys and Antony offering an intimate performance unadorned with the harmonized delays of the original. Their restraint in approach and execution is just beautiful, aesthetically flipping the track as far as possible while retaining its bracing melancholy effect. Meanwhile, Fennesz consolidates the opposin… Read more
Monday, 13 September 2010
Debut drop from Growing Records, presenting another intriguing release from Glasgow's Dam Mantle. Over the course of the last 6 months a series of beguiling, delicately sculpted and instinctively psyched releases from this guy have aroused widespread curiosity, resulting in a forthcoming remix for GonjaSufi on Warp, among others. The closest comparison for his fractal 8-bit beats would be his ally Becoming Real, also finding parallels in the fried silicon styles of LA's Alpha Pup posse. While taking inspiration from dubstep and crunked hiphop, their beats are largely subservient to spo… Read more
The latest outpouring of near insufferable hipness from the Merok stable comes from Ohio electronic duo Teengirl Fantasy, who line themselves up alongside the likes of Delorean and Tanlines amongst the current wave of artists to intelligently rethink dancefloor pop music for the post-Merriweather Post Pavilion generation. If there can be said to be such a thing. 7am really hits the spot with dream-vision '80s synth routines like the scrambled midtempo 'In An Arena' and the chillwaving majesty of 'Make The Move', whilst more cerebellum-tampering sounds crop up during the psych-ish 'In The R… Read more
The most anticipated and collectable of all the Study Series singles comes from Broadcast and Julian House's The Focus Group. 'Familiar Shapes and Noises' expands on the magick explored in their acclaimed Warp release 'Witch Cults of The Radio Age', blending collage techniques and arcane studio processes to invoke the oddest feelings of nostalgia. The longest effort, 'Inside Out' weaves Trish Keenan's ethereal murmurings into rocky drum breaks, flute and harpsichord with a brilliantly unpredictable arrangement while 'The Song Before' sounds lik… Read more
*UPFRONT EXCLUSIVE* Continuing a run of exceptional form, XXXY drops four tracks of techy post-garage on Fortified Audio. The Manchester-based producer's name has been everywhere this year and this 12" should only serve to heighten his ubiquity. 'This Much' smoothly sails in with warm chords and precisely itchy garage patterns anchored with fluid subs while 'Just For Me' perches itself between gentle house motifs and more ragged rave signifiers atop bustling 2-step rhythms. 'Turn' follows on a Zomby-fied flex with calculated bleeps precipitating a swollen bottom end, with euphoric keys… Read more
Arms folded, legs crossed, we sit down to the third in Ghost Box's highly collectable Study series. This chapter invites an amazing guest contribution from Mordant Music to accompany Mr Jupp in two assignments looking at the small Surrey town of Godalming. The location obviously holds some nostaligic weight for the pair, resulting in two deeply personal compositions. Belbury Poly's 'Swingalong' strangely combines an ever-so-slightly sleazy funk lick with sitar and acousmatic voices to sound like something from Irmin Schmidt's 'Kamasutra' soundtrack,… Read more
Highly touted vocalist Ahu Kelesoglu heads up the latest One-Handed missive, produced by Paul White and remixed by the brilliant Dimlite. Her spectral vocals previously graced 'Roberta Flack' on Flylo's 'LA', and have been warmly compared to a more soulful Trish Keenan. 'To: Love' does actually have a distinct Broadcast feel with woozy, theremin-like tones layered over the Paul White's crafty beat chops. Heck, even Dimlite goes for that vibe too with his urgent harpsichord motif, before it goes jazzier with taut drum breaks and a proper psychedelic finish. Strange, compelling, and highly recommended.
Debut full length LP steez from LA's Dibiase, following impressive drops for Fat City and All City records. Those releases called for comparisons with Madlib, Dilla and a whole heap of slump-funked producers who're taking inspiration from '80s boogiesoul and computer games; the ambient sound of half-remembered innocence. With these influences and adjuncts in mind Dibiase gives fifteen tracks of staggered MPC beats, perhaps erring more towards the electronic and ADD-afflicted style of Flying Lotus or Nosaj Thing, but always keeping an even keel of head nodders bounce. Your attention span … Read more
Warp's most promising synthpop duo present the Richard X-produced 'Pigeons', backed with a killer remix from the mysterious Blawan and Kompakt's new darlings, Walls. It's a teaser single for their forthcoming and much anticipated debut album, marrying melancholy vocals almost worthy of Trish Keenan with a 'floor-ready nu-wave pop pulse. Blawan follows, making his first appearance since that outstanding Hessle 12" to lay a broken post-dubstep roller with hints of Martyn or Ramadanman's crafty flow. The flipside is given to Walls, aka Allez-Allez's Sam Willis and… Read more
*Fantastic collaboration between two masters of immersive drone music and location recordings* This incredible ninety-minute album was originally released on cassette earlier on this year. Divided into four lengthy pieces, the album has the feel of a classic piece of analogue experimentation, populated by obliterated field recordings, vintage synth timbres, archaic, blipping tones and above all, acre after acre of sustaining, continuous sound. It's hard to know exactly how this music came about, but if you scry long enough over these vast, smoky vistas you'll hear shapes (… Read more
Weighty fresh Funky from Aramac, dropping the Marcus Nasty and Footloose fave 'Hurt Inside' b/w 'Intruder'. Apparently this guy has been at it for a while but it's the first time he's crossed our radar, sounding like a fusion of Altered Natives, Martyn and Brackles with the tremendous A-face 'Hurt Inside'. 'Intruder' on the flip is a more stripped Funky roller with a mean subbass and fairly darkside synths, but we reckon there's gonna be a lot of attention on the other track. Recommended!
Acclaimed visual artist Konx-Om-Pax presents an absolutely amazing first release from his Display Copy label, including a No Fun Acid remix by Carlos Giffoni. Konx-Om-Pax is one of those enviably hyper-active characters, equally adept at creating dazzling artwork for sleeves like Oneohtrix Point Never's 'Rifts' comp and a number of Rustie releases, as well as art direction for videos from Jamie Lidell and Hudson Mohawke, collaborations with Mogwai and even a series of seriously heavyweight mixtapes. For this release we're dealing with his sonic persona, presenting three extended tracks … Read more
Butterz drops its second release, featuring full fat tracks from Terror Danjah, SRC, Royal-T, and Mr. Mitch. We find Terror Danjah in menacing form on 'Creepy Crawler', keeping it slow and swagger with bilious stabs and is signature gremlin kinks. Royal-T meanwhile follows his massive '1UP or Shatup' EP with a minimal yet propulsive instrumental while SRC offers the highlight with the 8-Bit Mid-Eastern melodics of 'Goomba VIP' and Mr. Mitch brings the party ADD styles on 'Skittles'. Much fun!
**Translucent Red Vinyl** Finders Keepers introduce their new Cache Cache sister label with a mindblowing Hungarian Electro version of Herbie Hancock's 'Rockit' from 1984 pressed up on transparent red vinyl. Honestly, this one takes the biscuit, adding bizarre Transilvanian vocals and oodles of atmosphere to the scratches and machine rhythms of the original, proving that the pervasive futurist influence of this pivotal cut really had some impact behind the iron curtain. It also features a deadly edit version from one Tandy Love, giving the vocal an even weirder Dalek spin and extending the vi… Read more
Gordon Sharp's Cindytalk returns with another new long-player for the mighty Editions Mego imprint , a follow-up to last year's The Crackle Of My Soul. 'Up Here In The Clouds' might well be said to bear as close a resemblance to ambient music as it does noise, and while much of the record plays out as a slow influx of electronically cultivated texture - largely divorced from the usual musical languages of pitch and rhythm - there is an uneasy kind of prettiness to Cindytalk's new sound. Making for an enticing opener, 'The Eighth Sea' could either be based upon undulating, watery… Read more
Pinch lets the chain off on another killer for Tectonic, backed with a lethal Darqwan remix. 'The Boxer' squarely contrasts with his recent 'Jellybean' track alongside Pavel Ambiont, steering back to the concrete principles of dubstep with overwhelming bass and a commanding percussive reduction delivered with a voodoo intensity. Master craftsman, Darqwan, meanwhile ups the ante on the flip, augmenting the bass with cone slashing serrations twystin' the riddim with a swung triplet torque. Step in to the ring...
With a title that translates as "Shadowplayer", this new album from the excellent Marcus Fjellstrom is quick to set the scene. Combining wonderfully crackly ambient textures with ancient sounding classical instrumentation, Fjellstrom's music is perhaps like a sonic equivalent to the cinema of the Brothers Quay or Guy Maddin in its stylised and revised recreation of something old, monochromatic and somehow already familiar. It's fairly commonplace to find ambient or dark-ambient works that channel this sort of run-down aesthetic , but Fjellstrom goes somewhat further by using r… Read more
Saam Schlaminger's Chronomad is a rarified project incorporating modes of Mid-Eastern and Western music situated somewhere between Muslimgauze, Shackleton and Demdike Stare. His two previous releases for The Notwist's Alien Transistor label have long been favourites in the office, offering a lighter adjunct to the politcally charged work of Muslimgauze. These are finely detailed and beautifully crafted pieces, blurring the distinctions between collage and composition to create vividly fragrant and subtly psychedelic scenarios. Opening track, 'Asylon' shapes a wonderfully florid scene with wailing… Read more
Hobby Industries follow the excellent Aslope Ep with three tracks of screwed and squashed low-end variants from Nabo, including a lovely remix from Clouds. 'Neigh' introduces his style with a slumped James Blake/Dilla-esque structure and wickedly warped, off-key melodies somewhere between the Beat Dimensions and Skweee aesthetics. 'Parkinlot Pimp' takes the off-kilter melodies one step further with slow and crooked synth calculations in a Zomby or Rustie fashion for the smokers, while 'Rock Solid' dices guitar and theremin-like sounds on an ultra slow flow akin to Kaman Leung. Clouds … Read more