Monday, 21 March 2011
Alfred Darlington’s charmingly bizarre ‘Tailor Made’ showed up a few weeks back as a teaser for his forthcoming ‘Bespoke’ LP, and the kitchen-sink electronic salsa has now been shaken up by a smartly picked duo of talented hands. First up to the plate is LA wonky lass TOKiMONSTA, who takes Alfred’s original and pushes into a blur of down-tempo West Coast funk. You might recognize the style as somewhat indebted to the Brainfeeder crew, but Jennifer Lee handles proceedings with an expert hand and the result is hard, chunky and heavy. The standou… Read more
Following on from appearances on Hyperdub, Kevin Martin (The Bug) and Kiki Hitomi (Dokkebi Q) take a temporary leave of absence from King Midas Sound (of which they are both members) to deliver their first EP proper as Black Chow, this time for the excellent Jahtari label. Black Chow is an altogether less submerged proposition to King Midas, replacing that signature spiritual narcosis with a more overtly digital-dub-indebted aesthetic. Opening track "Wonderland" carries many of the Jahtari signatures, with the sonic detritus of 8bit machinery strewn all over the arrangement, and Hitomi's… Read more
Lighworks have the honour of dropping Ossie's anthemic 'floor killer 'Tarantula' as the first release on the label. In 2010 it picked up attention across the board after becoming a staple in the sets of Ossie's mate, DJ Petchy on Live FM, followed by support from Joy Orbison, Kode 9, Ben UFO, Bok Bok, and yer ma. For a debut production he's displaying chops ahead of his years with a firm grasp of crisp, Afro-rhythmic beat programming and silky synths, while his flipside production 'Creepy Crawlies' takes a tougher, electroid stance but still with the same sense of finesse. Cherry o… Read more
**If you're into Oneohtrix Point Never, don't miss this.** Digitalis activist Brad Rose maps out three passages to synthetic galaxies with Kevin Danchisko of Sovetskaya Gone. For the keenest of observers, they dropped two tapes last year, but 'I Will Be Missed' is their first vinyl release, containing three new tracks of vast and mysterious drones punctuated with starbursting synth patterns and a wide-eyed effect harking back to early 90s ambient qualities with a nod to narcotically laced Americana that fand of Oneohtrix will adore. However, as it's a Digitalis release, there's somethi… Read more
Police in Helicopter return for another heavy-hitting 45, this time featuring Jahtari lynchpin Disrupt alongside labelmate and forever on-it producer Jackson Bailey, aka Tapes. Disrupt helms the a-side for one of his perfectly executed digi-dub modifications, all smokey vibes and 8-bit flourishes, before Tapes obliterates the soundsystem with the hissy magnificence of "Atomica Rydim" on the flip, and you remember that everything this guy does is just S O L I D G O L D.
Heavily engaged mission music from the mysterious sect of Niggas With Guitars, coming correct with a stunningly evocative debut vinyl for Digitalis. In the vein of Dylan Ettinger's 'New Age Outlaws' or Leyland Kirby's muddled memories, 'Ethnic Frenzy' is a vivid internal soundtrack for hypnagogic dreamers, warping the memes of Vangelis or Carpenter in much the same way Pat Maher's DJ YoYo Dieting did to DJ Screw or Indignant Senility to Wagner. Cruising in to the A-side we're slowly immersed in smoked-out and sludgy choral drones punctuated with fractured gasps of drum machine r… Read more
From the exotic mind of Tandy Love the Turk Jerk comes a followup to his Fat City LP, 13 de-pipped and delectable edits of obscure and unknown Anatolian psyche. From the Bosphorus to the Irwell, nobody does it quite like this fella, selecting only the ripest, most exotic fruits from his collection and serving only the juiciest bits. On the A-side psych heads will be in their element with the ruck of fuzzy guitar driven bombs like 'Indian Zone Drum Killer Inc' and its majestic folksy flourishes, or the hard head-nodders groove of 'Vachina-Vabham' while cuts like 'Miste Me' … Read more
Om Unit presents a killer EP of fractured Electro for Civil Music, one of his very best to date. Paying dues to Aux 88 'The Timps' jams on a shark-eyed, night-hunting Detroit vibe and 'Prawn Cocktail' craftily loosens the rigid swing of the old stuff with trickily programmed patterns and cascading arpeggiations for the electro swingers. He also provides a more shaking Kenny Larkin-like 'Alternative Mix' of 'The Timps' next to Hrdvsion's dramatically slow and menacing remake and Salva's killer slowfast remix of 'Prawn Cocktail'. Solid.
Mutant dubstep ruffige fom Bristol's ID & Skinnz on Tectonic's sister imprint. 'The Most High' takes no prisoners on a tribalist Breakstep pillage armed with rugged polyrhythms and blunderbuss-up-the-dance bass. One craftier, 'No Love' initially rolls out with the Addison Groove-style dubstepXjuke patterns but can't hold back a torrent of junglist breaks and brick-hard subs getting tangled up in the madness.
Some fresh blood for the Brainfeeder label, Jeremiah Jae is a Chicago native who somehow manages to blend the cut-and-paste of the LAFMS, the synthetic pulse of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and rare groove of Madlib and emerge with something effortlessly engaging and shockingly coherent. Madlib might just be the best reference, but this is far from an exercise in second-rate ‘Unseen’ pastiches, just flip over to the Delia Derbyshire-esque ‘Stones Passage’ and prepare to have your brain cells frazzled by Jae’s genius-level of control over his unexpected, pulsing rhythms and the kin… Read more
Steve Moore, he of Zombi, Lovelock and Titan fame, presents his second solo outing for Static Caravan with the advanced synth visions of 'Primitive Neural Pathways'. Benefitting from a sterling mastering job by renowned synth boffin, Benge, this is among his most beautifully realised efforts to date, enveloping his sound with a most succinct narrative while erring ever closer to the almost unreachable authenticity of seminal works by Tangerine Dream's Edgar Froese or Jean Michel Jarre. His cinematic senses are tingling with the languid love scene lather of opener 'Orogenous … Read more
Starkey steps up to his 1st solo plate on NHNH (also their first by a non UK-producer), following his remixes of Tempa T and Silverlink for the premier Grime label. Having recently joined BBC 1Xtra's dubstep roster, Starkey is riding high at the moment, a fact surely justified by this ace release. 'PC' links with up-and-coming MCs Merky Ace & Kozzie on a Road Rap-styed halfstep/HipHop riddim built from crushing drums and a breakdown sounding strangely like Hot Chip. 'Peacekeeper' is one of his symphonic synth efforts full of extravagant, fluorescent melodies and Gangster-boucing beats. Strong.
Modeselektor head up their first solo Monkey Town release, backed with a mean Boys Noize remix! 'Monkey Flip' is a massive Berlin 'bab of party goodness, rocking a ragga sound infected with spiraling IDM arpeggios and gurgling acid licks while Nazizi and Abbas drizzle hot sauce all over the joint. For the remix, Boys Noize spin it as a percolating Booty banger with squelching bass sounds and cheeky jacking groove built for the rave. Mad fun!
Easily one of the finest producers working within the the German techno and house arena today, Stephan Laubner's 'Invisibility ep' is due to go down as a future house classic. 'Birdart' is the epic first track, taking a hefty cue from Omar-S' deeper Detroit house excursions, over the 12 min time span, STL works himself into a lather of perfected house rhythm developments, crafted from a palette of raw and unrefined Roland 707 drum machine patterns and THAT melody. It's a superbly unsettling lead line that sounds like something you may hear coming from a dancefloor in Twin Peaks, were it locat… Read more
A full spectrum display of techno might from Mike Dehnert on his first album proper for Delsin - *including two extra tracks not on the vinyl!*. In the space of only three years Dehnert has accrued considerable acclaim for his uncompromising work within the parameters of pure and raw Techno, dominating dancefloors such as Berghain or Tresor and far beyond with an unruly and kinetic sound. This CD version contains the bonus tracks 'Quattro' and 'Inversion' in addition to the sub propelled swing of 'Infix', the welting jack of 'Palindrome', the peaking riffage of 'Teilfolge' and one of his i… Read more
Legendary German imprint Raster Noton is well known for its often obtuse A&R policy, but this new album from French poet Anne-James Chaton fits in at the most esoteric end of their challenging spectrum. ‘Événements 09’ takes spoken word clips taken from abstract collection of texts and chops them together to create rhythmic patterns. The synthesized, noisy shuffle Pan Sonic might forge from a veritable collection of electronic boxes is re-imagined using the humble voice as the starting point, and although it’s not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination, as the mind gradu… Read more
Ellen Allien’s ‘Dust’ was another key step in her evolution from techno superstar to skewed pop starlet, and while it lacked the 4/4 crunch of her earlier work it still retained enough of the attitude to win over new fans. Now, however, she’s brought that pulsing beat back thanks to a whole gang of able remixers, from the tried and tested (Bodycode, Aux 88, Adultnapper) to the young bloods (Nicholas Jaar, Kassem Mosse) to the plain weird (Tim Hecker). It’s no surprise where the high points lie – Kassem Mosse’s nine-minute house burner alone makes the release worth buying with its temper… Read more
Clone's Royal Oak series introduces Sweden's Genius Of Time and their fresh take on classically deep House music. Like Space Dimension Controller before them, they've got a great grasp of the jazzier subtleties of the sound, from the spring-fesh keys and conga lather of 'Drifting Back' to the vocal-nutrified 'Houston We Have A Problem' and the dextrous Mood II Swing-style programming of 'Juxtapose'. Seriously classy stuff.
Bee Mask's mind-melting 'Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico' was released in 2010 on a c30 cassette through Gift Tapes. Editions Mego's John Elliott-helmed Spectrum Spools label has given it a vital vinyl reissue, faithfully remastered by Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering. To say we're excited by the potential of this label is a given, but let's deal with the incredible album in question first. Chris Madak aka Bee Mask's music exists in a continuum of musique concrète and tape experiments stretching back to the earliest emissions of Pi… Read more
This latest full-length from The Village Orchestra (aka Marcia Blaine School For Girls’ Ruaridh Law) is a sort of concept album built around London, specifically the Dalston area. Having never spent time in Dalston it’s hard for me to get many of the references, but this wide-ranging hour-long trip does plenty to convince me it might be worth stopping there next time I’m in town. Beginning with cracked metal guitars Law quickly takes us into a realm of smoky, melancholy ambience, punctuated by field recordings no doubt gleaned from the area In question. The electronic… Read more
Well Rounded send their hyped-up offshoot Individuals into the circle armed with four tracks of high-velocity Booty/Juke. Wheez-ie hails from Texas via Boston and makes furiously fast and varied Juke. Sometimes it's a bit Cutlass Supreme, without the idiosyncracies of the real southside side sound, but it'll work the 'floor, no doubt.
*First release on this hugely exciting new label from Emeralds' John Elliott and Editions Mego.* Chicago-based, Ohio-bred multi-instrumentalist, Matthew Mullane inaugurates the Spectrum Spools label with the spellbinding voyage of 'A Sort Of Radiance'. This is his debut album, and first release on vinyl but he's previously released cassettes in small runs on Fairchild Tapes and Stunned Records. The fact that he's skipped much of the ferric initiation/screening process should tell you that his music is of a more distinguished character than many trapped in the tape dream. He's capable of… Read more
Released to accompany their recent Japanese tour, this three-way split from the excellent White Box imprint features new and exclusive material from label-head Danny Saul alongside Greg Haines under the Liondialer moniker, Machinefabriek and Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra, each contributing a 20 minute piece. You do have to wonder when Machinefabriek will run out of steam and settle into the tried-and-tested one album a year routine, but his contribution here is very fine indeed, toying with glitches and drones with a deft hand, mixing his palette into a cloud of h… Read more
Ike returns to Philpot for a third session of raw and abstract House music. 'The Mojo' is a scuffed cowbell-driven groove akin to recent moves from the Cómeme crowd, maybe a little stranger. His title track nods to the cracked grooves of Theo Parrish with a disco-looping deep burner vibe, and 'Ribbons' is a grumbling mid-tempo joint with a killer chicken-scratch guitar lick.
Staccato Du Mal is one of the loneliest alter egos associated with of Ramiro Jeancarlo (Flesh Graey Display, Opus Finis, Xeno And Staccato). He arrives at the first SDM album 'Sin Destino' in the midst of a coldwave revival he helped instigate over the last 10 years. It's twelve bleak tracks are perfectly evocative of bleached concrete, dystopian early '80s cityscapes and synthesized sci-fi tensions, at least to us anyway. They're also much darker than many of his Wierd label mates, creating an entrancing, idiosyncratic sound of inner turmoil and anguish articulated through instinctiv… Read more
Cochlea-clawing electro-house banger on Switch's Dubsided label. The formula is simple but effective, apply one part original classic computer game melody to razor grinding synthlines and a fat kick and you've got one heavyweight club groove
A collaboration between Kompakt old-hand Markus Guentner and vocalist La Grande Illusion, ‘Learn How to Love Me’ seems to be a statement of intent from the duo. Definitely following in the footsteps of Guentner’s ‘Lovely Society’ (which featured La Grande Illusion on vocals) this debut EP is strangely free of beats. That’s not to say it is without rhythm, but the rhythms are built from the pulsing textures and repeated phrases, giving the record a distinctly Balearic sound. With links to fellow Kompakt alum The Field who tackles the sublime with s… Read more
Mind-boggling two-tracker from the uber-talented, multi-faceted, forever-surprising C S Yeh for the De Stijl label. If you were expecting another dose of his obliterated experiments as Burning Star Core, think again, for this EP Yeh is in full songwriting mode, as if to just show that really, he can do anything. "In The Blink Of An Eye" sounds like prime-period Bowie at a recording studio struck by lightening and slowly beginning to malfunction, offsetting choppy guitars and drums with inspired layered, multi-pitched vocals and a brief appearance of prismic synths.… Read more