Monday, 11 April 2011
Wickedly unique riddims from Iceland's Funky anomaly, Hypno. These two are more outré than his Ramp and Pattern drops, 'Analies' fusing big-band jazz samples with skipping, Footwork-esque rhythms hinging on a crisp hi-hat, while 'Koko' is more conventional, swinging with clipped and percolating Funky patterns with uniquely spatialized elements. Cool stuff.
This is a nice surprise - it’s always nice to see someone like Taylor Deupree who is traditionally associated with longer-form works getting to flex his brain bits on a ‘single’. ‘Journal’ might even be his best work in years, and sees Deupree not only restricting himself in terms of duration, but also in the gear that he utilizes; only a single synthesizer, two field recordings and (seriously) his voice made it to the final mix. The first thing that strikes me is how noisy opening track ‘Journal’ was in comparison with Taylor’s previous works; tape saturation and hiss prove absolutely … Read more
Manchester's Hoya:Hoya institution present their 2nd release, featuring music by Eliphino, Lorn and Ras G & The Afrikan Space Programme. Giving a diverse taste of their clubnight, which was hailed by Flying Lotus as one of the best on the world, Eliphino delivers the upstroked R&B skip of 'Don't Try Be', a fluid futurist dancefloor riddim with hints of 2-Step, wonky electronics and coruscating female vocals (possibly Aaliyah?). Flipside, Lorn factors with the Arpanet-strength synths of 'Stranger' arranged for neck snapping, shoulder-rolling effect, while Ras G & his Afrikan Sp… Read more
Süd and Contextterior's Lump delivers two tracks under his own name, Arttu, for a rugged House session on Philpot. The loose jack of 'Rise Up' sounds a little like DJ Pierre beefing up an Omar-S cut, all tweaky acidic synths and unrelenting jack drums. 'Peace Will Follow' is more melodic dropping the pace for swingjackin' and hypnotic yet funky effect.
One of the world's finest Dub Techno stables celebrates 9 years of releases with an exclusive 10 track selection featuring music by Fluxion, Deadbeat, Brendon Moeller, Luke Hess, Stephen Hitchell, Fenin, and Mikkel Metal. With 49 vinyl releases and 9 CD albums the label has carved a niche as the go-to imprint for post-BC/Chain Reaction sounds, balancing refined club functionality with home listening requirements in focused fashion. The highlights run deep, but there's few deeper than Stephen Hitchell's (Echospace) 'For Convextion', a heartfelt piece of emotional puni… Read more
Emika's third single for Ninja Tune features a fine cast of remixers - Kryptic Minds and Marcel Dettmann - plus production from D&M's Rashad Becker. The original song 'Count Backwards' relates to Emika's calming technique of counting down in "overwhelming moments of panic" and retold with a London elocution over anguished sinewaves and crisply numbed drums. Remixing 'Count Backwards' Kryptic Minds keep the vibe slow and cold, dropping the bass by a few kelvin and expanding the vocals to dynamic effect. Dettmann's remix shows a pointed evolution in his pro… Read more
Strong package from Airflex Labs, featuring (if we're not mistaken) Submerse's first flirtations with Funky, alongside Neat, plus superb remix from Falty DL! 'Close' isn't strictly Funky by any means, but it's at roughly 130bpm and it's not strictly (future) Garage-debted either. Whatever it is, it's still full of the virtues which make all Submerse's gear so primed for the 'floor. Flip over and Falty DL sprinkles 'Close' with his NYC magic, reworking the vocal for a proper street diva performance while splitting the rhythm with masterful feel for feathered breaks and gut-churning subs. Jack Dixon also weighs in with a heavier version, all smack-ass drums and bass.
Welcome to one of the year's maddest disco sessions. Having made one of the "most influential disco albums of all time" Black Devil Disco Club is afforded some stellar cameos for 'Circus', featuring the likes of Nancy bleeding' Sinatra (!), Afrika Bambaataa, Faris Badwan ov The Horrors and Italo legend, Nancy Fortune among them. Sometimes when an album comes laden with guest vocalists, it means they're trying to cover up sh*t songs, but not so with this. Each appearance just feels right, from Nancy Fortune's pirouetting cadences over 'Pavement Opposite', to Farris Badwan's array of … Read more
It used to be that you could always rely on a Low record to sound a ‘certain way’. The Duluth, Minnesota band always sounded so bleak, so slow, and so beautifully depressing. Of course it was never all bad news – in its utter sadness the music had a tendency to uplift somehow (don’t ask me how). In recent years though the band seemed to be looking for a way to shatter people’s preconceptions – and while they didn’t exactly go ‘upbeat’, they managed to incorporate a whole host of new and increasingly bizarre production tics which alienated listeners just as much as amazed them. ‘C’mon’ is the band’s ret… Read more
Alfred Darlington is a man who isn’t afraid of really working at his craft, and I’m talking graft – mine shaft style. The Victorian-obsessed LA type has been chiseling away at his unique sound for so long that his music has actually transcended all the genres it’s been lumped into. First he was IDM, then he was breakcore, then hip hop, then he was w*nky, now what the hell are we even left with? To these ears it still sounds like the same Daedelus, and for an artist who’s always liberally helped himself to just about every musical genre on the planet, what’s a few more influences? Alfred just gra… Read more
ASC delves deeper still for his third Auxiliary release, side-stepping the 'floor on a near-beatless engagement. Entering the Monolake-proportioned 3D scape of 'As The Dust Settles' we find fragile IDM textures and unfathomably deep layers of ambient electronics structured around with minimal rhythmic framework. That rhythmic presence slips further into the shadows on 'Black Hole Collapses' leaving only a perceptible trace of subbass under icy synth tones, while 'Ambitronic' expands the droning atmospheres to encompass the peripheries of his sound sphere with strange acousmatic voices and cinem… Read more
What time is it? It's roughly 3:10pm, and we're checking the hotly touted '333 EP1' from the clandestine 3:33 unit. Comprising an unknown number of members and with productions for Tame One and Del The Funky Homosapien to their credit, 3:33 kick back to a time before wonky, before the Beat Dimensions revolution, to a murkier sound equally informed by the crushing drum breakage of DJ Shadow and the ethereal electro-acoustics of Pierre's Henry and Schaeffer. In the current climate the effect of their sharp contrast is raw and refreshing, and could actually be called experimental, rath… Read more
Further to his wicked mix of cherry-picked '80s club grooves, Robert Jonson boss, ATA drops his extended mix of Grauzone's 'Raum', backed with the full version of Zwischenfall's 'Flucht'. Taking Grauzone's obscure 1980 Swiss synth-pop, he extends the groove with jabbing edits and dubbed out mixing desk trickery while Zwischenfall's moody Italo-pop jaunt 'Flucht' is left unsullied for your dancing pleasure. TIP!
The latest blurt from the lovely Static Caravan label, this is definitely on the folk tip – but rather than the please-all folk these guys go for something more akin to The Wicker Man (pre Nic Cage, y’all). It’s doomy and gloomy, there’s still folk there but Dark Sky Singers show us that you don’t have to be twee when you approach the genre. Gorgeous, dark and well worth a listen.
I think we all know that with Animal Collective comes a second collective of followers who after hearing Sung Tongs and Feels felt like they needed to go out and buy a synth, a guitar and a broken microphone. Seattle fellers Beat Connection are one such act, but while they use Panda Bear and pals as the jumping off point, they’ve taken ‘Surf Noir’ into far more electronic places than AC have ever dared go. Just check the hypnotic groove of ‘In the Water’ for an after hours indie club stomper that sounds like you’ve had your head in the bog for a few minutes longer than would be safe.
As most of you probably know, Icelandic orchestral poppers Amiina used to be part of Sigur Ros in another life and despite not having worked with the band for a few years now, the influence of the epic post-rockers is still often evident. That's not to say that Amiina's latest full-length 'Puzzles' sounds exactly like Sigur Ros, but there is a distinct similarity to their attempts at the cinematic, the sublime and the quiet-loud dynamic. 'Puzzle' is a beautiful listening experience from beginning to end, and what it lacks in originality it just about makes up for in sheer resolve. There is never a … Read more
Zombies are everywhere at the moment, and if the When Harry Met Sally 2 trailer didn’t whet yr appetite (Granbies?) then this club stomper from the Zombie Disco Squad is sure to get you shuffling to the nearest brains. Neatly named after one of the best cartoons of the last twenty five years, it’s sadly nowhere near as inventive and awesome as its namesake, but for those of you that fancy some Villalobos-style South American oomph in yer minimal then you’ll definitely find enough boom in this box of pink pieces.
If like us you fell madly in love with Roll The Dice’s self-titled debut album for Digitalis last year, you’ll need no further inducement to check out this badboy. Newly signed to The Leaf Label, the Swedish duo herald their upcoming sophomore full-length with a limited 12” and digital EP comprised of two long pieces recorded live in Gothenburg last summer. Both tracks appear in studio form on that debut LP, but sound all the more organic and stirring rendered on the fly before a clearly appreciative audience. ‘Undertow’ is kosmische techno for the supine ravers and… Read more
Following his first international release, 'Love And Death', Strut offer a long overdue definitive compilation of Ebo's seminal 1970s recordings. 'Life Stories' revisits the heyday of Taylor's work, focusing on his solo albums and lesser known side projects such as the dynamite Apagya Show Band and short-lived Taylor-led combos Assase Ase, Super Sounds Namba and The Pelikans. It also touches on his writing and production work for C.K. Mann and a collaboration with fellow member of early '70s nightclub band Blue Monks, Pat Thomas. Make sure to check the rare 15-minute excursion 'Aba Yaa', … Read more
After his recent and excellent 'Arghiledes' LP of Rembetika homages for Thrill Jockey, No Neck Blues Band's Dave Shuford aka D. Charles Speer rejoins The Helix for a session of Deep South songcraft on 'Leaving The Commonwealth'. For his third album with New York-based players, The Helix, they "generate a songcraft steeped in tradition but themed for the burned", drinking from a deep well of influences, from Memphis string band blasters and Georgia Soul merchants to Texas and California psych, to Cajun and country steel strings, anything with gusto to spare was f… Read more
Following on from their excellent last album 'Choral', Mountains entered Brendon Anderegg's studio, making realtime recordings of new material, avoiding overdubs. Early on the material slowly and steadily oozes into a fluid, continuous stream of processed post-folk drones, and on this record it really starts to feel as though Mountains have evolved to the point where their music sounds very specifically like them and them alone. There are plenty of acts out there who merge digital sound collages with pastoral acoustic guitar passages, but Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp have really hit upon the for… Read more
Strong Latin-American Techno on the second release from Developer, including a Silent Servant track and Moctezuma remix. Developer's six original tracks are efficiently stripped and optimised for the 'floor, finding highlights on the sensually restrained 'Moving Forward In Reverse' and the firm but fluid deep Techno grip of 'Hypnotica Erotica'. Silent Servant complements the vibe perfectly with the mesmeric shimmy of 'El Salvaje' and Moctezuma spikes 'Talking With The Analogs' with a trippier melody to great effect. RIYL Raíz, Santiago Salazar, Roque Hernandez, Silent Servant…
I loves me some grubby, noise-laced hip hop, and this EP from Co.Fee does just the trick with its bruised MPC play and sci-fi synths. Clearly taking influence from the great Company Flow, Co.Fee does a good job of injecting his own personality into the mix, with strange dubwise experiments and a whole cache of rather bizarre world music cuts. For those of you with a keen ear, there’s even a nod to Finders Keepers in there…
Zomes is the most active current guise of Asa Osborne, guitarist with Dischord's hugely influential post-hardcore/drone group Lungfish (alongside Daniel Higgs). Preferring a more stripped down approach nowadays, the 15 tracks of 'Earth Grid' could be considered a distillation of his former sound, recording grainy keyboard melodies and tape-looped drum onto cassette to paint chiaroscuro, almost baroque soundscapes with a droning and meditative effect. There's definitely a kindred aesthetic spirit with some of Not Not Fun's recent output from Angel Eyes and Swanox, or even James Ferraro's 'Last Am… Read more
Alexander Tucker makes a welcome return with this excellent new album for Thrill Jockey, and with a far more accessible sound to boot. Working with revered multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan (Æthenor/Guapo/Mothlite), free improv drummer Paul May and additional vocals from Duke Garwood and Jesse Bryant, 'Dorwytch' greatly expands his sound with the feel of an accomplished ensemble, featuring lushly layered strings and subtle use of synths to weave flesh onto the intricately wizened bones of his uncanny, eldritch folk. The suite revolves around themes of "human/plant matter transcen… Read more
Following on from last year's triumphant vinyl-only release Mountains, Mountains, Mountains on Catsup Plate, this latest opus from Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg finds the pair decamped to Thrill Jockey. Mountains have certainly risen to the challenge of releasing via a bigger label, and Choral could reasonably be considered the duo's most refined full-length to date, serving up six tracks of highly evolved drone-folk, all exquisitely produced and filled with dynamic variation. The thirteen-minute title track marries acoustic drones, spectrally sifted electronics and a host of voices embed… Read more
'Aesthetica' is the intense sophomore LP from New York's acclaimed Black Metal unit, following their highly regarded 2009 debut 'Renihilation'. In it, Liturgy further deconsecrate the land between Black Metal, Hardcore and experimentalism with supremely dextrous instrumental abilities and the natural force of the brilliantly named Hunter Hunt hollering from front and centre. Most of the tracks deceivingly originate from simple refrains before surging into feats of complex, furious and dissonant musical athleticism, yet their effect is ironically simple, direct and often curiously hypnotic.
Taking a second out from his Asura project, LA's Ryan York delivers an album of serenely psyched pop-tronica for Leaving Records. While that other project is weighted with smudged HipHop beats, 'Zipperlegs' is inflated with an expanding head-full of pop melodies and dreamily drifting vocals, drones and ferric textures. The title track is like a more lo-fi and stranger Panda Bear, while the sprightly percussion of 'Please' comes off like something from Toro Y Moi's first album and 'All Our Favourite Colors' could almost have come from the Altar Eagle LP. Meanwhile, 'Land Ecstacy' enters lushl… Read more
"Honeysuckle Æons is the new album by hallucinatory gnostic supergroup Current 93, following hot and hard on the heels of their recent trilogy (Black Ships Ate The Sky, Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain and Baalstorm, Sing Omega). Current 93, who were as cool as flies and as real as rainbows, are now as perfect as planets: Eliot Bates, baby Dee, Andrew Liles, Lisa Pizzighella, Armen Ra and David Tibet."