Monday, 07 February 2011
The Deeep very recently charmed us with their muggy avant-disco for 100% Silk, but 'Life Light', released on cassette in 2010, is a much darker, tormented affair. The mugginess is still firmly apparent but the disco is all but gone, save some blunted beats on 'Slow Coaster' and 'Mudd', but you'd hardly dance to them. The real mood of these six tracks is subterranean and slightly occult, thanks largely to the hypnotic catharsis and sub-Carpenter-esque synth drones, especially on the amazing two part 'Ballad Of The Abyssal Plain' and the much stranger 'Dream'. Really pushing the right buttons here. Another great, hugely rewarding album from Not Not Fun.
Evocative side of primordial psyche mantras from Daughters Of The Sun. 'Ghost with Chains' was summoned into being in August '09 at Nichollet Park Recording services in the Minnesota by one Collin Gorman Weiland - who put out that deadly 7" on Downwards not long ago (and we mistakenly thought was from the North East of England - sorry, son) - and floats between seven tracks of psyche-rock with ghostly vocal drifts, ritualistic drumming and a special earthy tonality which stands out as their defining feature. File somewhere between Animal Collective, Barn Owl and High Wolf. Full colour jacket with artwork by Oakley Tapioca and pro-printed insert in an edition of 490.
Austin Peralta (son of groundbreaking skater, Stacy) makes his recorded debut outside of Japan on a fiercely confident Brainfeeder release. It's a marked step away from anything Fly Lo's label have previously offered, entering the contemporary jazz arena with Peralta commanding an ensemble including The Cinematic Orchestra and Strangeloop on electronic manipulation, Zane Musa on alto saxophone, Ben Wendel on tenor and soprano saxophone, vocals from Heidi Vogel and percussion from Zach Harmon. Like we say, he's already released two albums for the Japanese label Eighty-Eight's (four … Read more
**Contains digital-only bonus track** Superbly clean and classic sounding debut album from Panorama Bar resident and all round House music dynamo, Steffi. Since 2000 Steffi has run the ace Klakson label with Dexter, responsible for the era defining releases 'I Don't Care', and since last year she's branched out with the Dolly label, home to vital vinyl from Dexter, Jakob Korn and Tyrez. Her own productions have only emerged in the last couple of years, landing on Ostgut Ton and UQ, showcasing a supple, simple and highly effective style of deeper modern house music. All nine cuts on 'Yours & Mi… Read more
Alfred Darlington has been perfecting his ‘pots ‘n pans’ electronic subgenre for some time now, and under the Ninja Tune umbrella has put together some of the weirdest collections of post-everything dance music I’ve come across. ‘Tailor-Made’ is no different, and while it features vocals from Milosh pushed right to the front in what seems to be an attempt at full-on pop, it still sounds utterly spannered. There’s a bit of rave in there, a bit of house, a nod to the LA beat scene, a large-ass dollop of soul and then something altogether Alfred about the whole thing. There can be only one!
Originally released in 2009, now issued digitally for the 1st time, 'Quitter's Raga' is the tune that attracted a lot of attention to Gold Panda. In its tantalisingly brief 2 minute lifespan he folds samples of lush Hindi film music with crisp but cutely organic glitches and cracking head nod beats to charm the pants off anyone who encounters it. 'Fifth Avenue' is looser, free to drift in the clouds of ambient electronic HipHop and we'd have to compare the infectiously uptempo 'Police' to Actress's pseudo organic digital techno sound.
A BIG look from Oil Gang, dropping four ballistic Grime instrumentals from Spooky, Darq E Freaker, Mistayif and Splurt. We just can't get over Splurt's devastating 'The Return VIP (Mega Remix)', and it would appear that Starkey and Mosca have the same feelings, with Starkey wheeling it twice on a recent radio show! Also up there is Darq E Freaker's classic cut-up 'Rhythm & Slags', a sidewinding romp from Sppoky on 'Over Capacity' and the string-loaded 'Fortress Riddim' from Mistayif. Fiyah!
Fresh tropical bubblers from Belgium's Tete De Tigre, dropping his debut for Sheffield's Squelch & Clap crew. Both 'Omerta' and 'Pelican Bay' have that current Benelux sound on lock, taking in elements of Kuduro, Bubblin' and techno with shifty House slips and party-dipped synths. Rene van Munster's remix lends 'Pelican Bay' a discoid sidespin and Karl Kanalje refries it with a more acute Bubblin' angle. Serious.
Collecting four tropical House romps for the third Hard Ass Sessions. Working dem buns, J-Wow & Toy Selectah find their groove in between Kuduro and Cumbia on 'Mo'chaxo' and Melé comes to carnival with the percussive 'Kanopa Riddim'. Oliver Twizt & DJ Rockid rop skidding synths and strafing patterns in the Bubblin' 'Wanna Be Gangstas' and Wildlife!'s 'Metazoa' fuses gnarled Dubstep bass, disco and Fidget.
Bok Bok, Nic Sarno, Douster and Zombies For Money turn out Enchufada's 2nd volume of Hard Ass Sessions. Bok Bok burns up a Dutch Bubblin' style killer on 'Dance Report', zipping hardstyle synthlines into kinky triplets, whilst Douster flits between Reggaeton/R&B and Kuduro in 'A Mi A Loco' and Zombies For Money do frisky fidget tech on 'Me Tca So. Somewhat surprisingly, Nic Sarno of Tirk Records' Italian disc band, Love Supreme, goes in with a Sinden-like tribal-tek tune 'Mana Wasa'.
Last year brought us ‘Drape’ from the collaborative minds of British clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis and Dutch experimentalist Rutger Zuydervelt. ‘Grower’ is based on material culled from the same sessions, but manages to hold up as a very different beast to its predecessor. What sets these two musicians apart from their contemporaries is a patience and subtlety often missing in drone music. That might seem like a funny thing to say about material which would most often be called out as dull by a passer by, but too much of it is plagued by unnecessary production smarts and inces… Read more
Melancholy 2-step and jammin' Garrij on a future swivel from L2S's hottest prospect. Following their acclaimed 'Hold It Down' burner, 'Get Away' comes with the brooding emotional vibes (it's ok, just let it out, yeah?), whereas '2nite' features Submerse solo deploying classic samples and crisp swingers rhythms to soul-tugging effect.
2nd of two Frictionalism remix sessions, and it's a peach. Skudge revises Shake's 'The Floorfiller' as 'The Floor Killer', reducing it's essence for into a driving, conservative modern techno cut with canny drum fills but nowt too flash. MRSK meanwhile redoes 'Travellers' as a steady building and funked-up rhthm with steely blue atmospheres. Strong tracks.
Re-release of seminal Detroit Techno album from one of the cities adopted sons, Iranian ex-pat, Aril Brikha, including ten bonus tracks recorded between 1995-1999. Ten years since it was originally released on Transmat (the first non-Detroit artist to do so) classics like the influetial 'Groove La Chord' have clearly stood the test of time. The ten previously unreleased tunes are unmistakably Aril, assimilating the Detroit spirit like few outsiders can. This will be the first release on Aril's new imprint, Art Of Vengeance.
Brian Pyle managed to direct two near-perfect excursions into gloomy, cinematic ambience last year with ‘Psychical’ and ‘Standing Still, Facing Forward’ and ‘To Feel The Night As It Really Is’ follows that rich seam with a wry smile. Eschewing the near-psychedelia of ‘Psychical’ and the post-classicism of ‘Standing Still…’ this five-minute piece instead takes in the dustiest of breaks and brings us something closer to early DJ Shadow, Keith Fullerton Whitman’s long-departed DJ Hekla project or a rare Trunk records basement-find. It’s fantastic stuff, and if Pyle is working on an album’s worth of this kind of material we’re really in for a treat. Don’t miss it!
Superb transmission from Tevo Howard, drifting away from raw Chi-House to somewhere more elegant and tender. Backed with a propulsive minimal tech-house mix from Donnacha Costello and a sweetly warped mid-tempo mix from Berlin's Aera, both the beatless and House mixes of 'The Age Of Compassion' are definitely some of Tevo's finest works, refined with a restrained melodic subtlety and effortlessly gliding machine rhythms.
Appearing as part of VDSQ’s ‘Solo Acoustic’ series, this latest from Sonic Youth main-man Thurston Moore is notable not just because it’s ‘unplugged’, but also due to the fact that it pays tribute to Moore’s friend Jack Rose. Rose’s chosen discipline was the 12 string guitar, so it seems fitting that Moore should gravitate towards that hallowed instrument for a dedication. The music itself is tempered and melancholy but has enough of Moore’s distinctive playing style in there to drag SY fans in from the cold. Even when playing without a… Read more
Dryly funked techno aces from Perc, Sawf and DVS1. With the original 'Slim' Sawf works further into their offbeat and doomy Techno steppers from previous Perc Trax outings. Perc gives the ruffed up techno jack patterns of 'Chromamoan' and Klockworks contributor DVS1 evens the keel of 'Slim' with an expert and highly useful 4/4 rework. Sick twelve.
Extraordinary, previously unreleased album of mid-90s lo-fi pop from Krautrock iconocast, Juergen Gleue of 39 Clocks. De Stijl denote Gleue as "arguably...the most important exponent of electrified German sound since the late 1970s" which is a big claim to make, but really holds some ground once you've ingested his darkly ambiguous loner missives. It's a bewildering fact that this was never released, such is its alarmingly prescient sound, prefiguring the synths, drowned and deadpan vocals and guitar setup of so many lo-fi operators dipping in the ponds of cold European synthw… Read more
Certified Grime killers from the youthling Royal T, hitting up the 7th release for the very excellent Butterz label. The ruffneck and wickedly darkside-tinted 'Orangade' was apparently created after Silencer claimed Gucci Mane's 'Lemonade' was the best Grime tune at the moment, causing Southampton's 20 year old Royal T to respond in deadly style. On the flip the harder, Breaks-driven 'The Whistle Song' gets a look in, while a slickly suspended Devil mix of 'Music Please' closes the side. Rude.
Tripping House from Manchester-based Freak Seven - best known for his New Religion releases. On the warped old skool-meets-new skool tech-house of 'Nano Kids' and the freaked-out funk of Feel The Soul' he links with vocalist Aniff Akinola, whose CV includes co-writing A Guy Called Gerald's 'Voodoo Ray' and contributes alternately sultry and druggy vocal performances to compliment the carnivorous House actions occurring beneath. Big tracks!
One of the highlights from Scottish post-rockers Mogwai’s new full-length, ‘Mexican Grand Prix’ takes the band’s well worn sound and reinvigorates it with the ghost of Krautrock past. The influence of Neu! and Electralane hover around the track, but this is a Mogwai beast from beginning to end, and should bring a few new listeners to the fold. The gloomy piano-led B-side exclusive ‘Slight Domestic’ is where my money’s at however, showing the band in full-on soundtrack mode, effortlessly facing their instruments off against a near-orchestral backdrop. Tear-inducing stuff, and I’m not sure why it was left off the album!
Errr, WTF?! After a slew of hard tropical dance tunes, J-Wow's Enchufada label flirts with Deerhoof-esque art-rock courtesy of Lisbon's Paus. Actually, they're a bit more muscular than Deerhoof, but still have all the finely worked twiddles and right-angled arrangements down. Most interesting tune is 'Mete as Mãos à Boca', layering Animal Collective-like incantations over filtered tribal stomp before launching into a widescreen post-rock ecstasy.
If ever there was an LP that sounded EXACTLY the way its sleeve looked, this would be it. Beach Head is an unfathomably spaced out, four track long psychedelic epic, combining all those slightly queasy new age-isms that seem to be so in-vogue right now in the improv/psych community. Ancient, Popol Vuh-style synth modulations get buried under a heap of 'Eastern' vibes, echo-erased vocals and all manner of jangly, smudged out percussion. A classic of the genre - this lovely new edition on Sun Araw's own imprint comes to you with our highest recommendation.
This new bite-sized Sun Araw release finds Sun Araw's main man, Cameron Stallones delving deeper into his humid, dubbed out universe than ever, kicking back with the lo-fi organ grind and wah-wah funk of 'Bump Up (High Step)', complete with wayward, scratchy space-echo vocals, before flipping over to 'Live Mind' for more tropical vibes, beach dwelling percussion and chorused guitar squawking. Massively weird, but totally ace.
Both sides of Sun Araw's '09 'Leaves Like These' C20 for NNF. Cameron Stallones' psyche-dub lurch and swoon is in full effect on the nine minute hypnosis of 'Leaves Like This', a lysergic copulation of fuzzed-up guitar and reedy organ tones daubed and smudged with his mysterious lo-fi dub FX. 'Fern Step' is more out-and-out psyche-y, albeit in Sun Araw's sense of the term, with the country-ish guitar twang and noisy bluster giving it a bit of a Sunburned Hand Of The Man feel.
Engrossing 22 minute missive from Machinefabriek: an alternative edit of the soundtrack for Makino Takashi's film 'In Your Star', recorded by Rutger Zuydervelt, December 2010 and January 2011. We're completely and utterly pinned to our seats with this one - and not even metaphorically - as soon as the wave of subbass creeps in and takes a hold at the start of 'Apollo' this becomes an intensely visceral, physical experience when heard through headphones. Seriously, my vision just went blurry and I got a cold sweat! Anyway, after lift-off the intensity subsides and Rutger settles into h… Read more
Going by the shortened moniker of Sin Fang, Icelandic wunderkind Sindri Már Sigfusson of Seabear covers Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' and Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Only Living Boy In New York' in heartbreaking fashion. During downtime from last year's Seabear tour he worked on these two gems, siphoning away the originals gloss to give them a northerly Folk weirdness. 'Landslide' becomes an intensely fragile torchsong for solo piano with delicious multitracked vocal harmonies and 'The Only Living Boy In New York' a deceptively detailed acoustic guitar rendition daubed with shallow dub shimmer enhancing the arresting impact. Yum.