Monday, 07 February 2011
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.
Musique Large draft fellow Parisians Baron Retif & Concepcion Perez in the fold for their debut EP. Unlike label-mates Débruit and Fulgeance, BR & CP have a more organic approach to music making, preferring live, off-the-grid drums played to sequenced subbass lines and adroit synthworks with a playful, bright and airy jazz feel so redolent of their home city. "Connecting the dots from Dr. Dre to Sun Ra, from Liquid Liquid to The Roots and back..." their sound is full of smoky grooves, best heard on the delicious 'Beijos Seus Labios' and hashish-infused headiness with 'Superman'. Ace.
Killer twelve from German producer Joyride, making his debut with eight tracks of crooked beat fusions for the newly minted Millions Of Brilliant Idiots label. Falling just short of glitch music, yet full of hyperactive, angular edits, 'Joyride' shreds 8-bit melodies with crunchy, squashed beats and a bank of unpredictable samples to sound something like Mouse On Mars meets Team Doyobi round at Black To Comm's place. Ace - make sure to check.
Magic Lantern's High Beams is a terrific and highly gratifying psych/stoner rock opus in the vein of Religious Knives, Wooden Shjips or Heavy Winged. 'Deathshead Hawkmoth' is a real masterpiece, kicking off the album with the kind of gutsy guitar riffing you'd hear on a post-Hex Earth LP or something from the uppermost echelons of Holy Mountain's catalogue. Far from being a one-trick horse, the Magic Lantern Stallion gallops into more frazzled, soundscaping texture during 'Feasting On Energy', an exhilarating peyote trip produced in shimmering echo-soaked fashion by Bobb Bruno (the alb… Read more
Monday, 31 January 2011
Ten Thousand Yen push the proverbial boat out with a fittingly resplendent screen-printed sleeve for xxxy's mighty 'You Always Start It'. Riding a wave of adulation from Fact Magazine and his label boss, Doc Daneeka, xxxy has arrived at his most substantial, emotionally arresting single to date. The title track is a proper Bobby dazzler, swinging with a sussed deep garage groove but taken in any direction you need to go through judicious use of a cascading arpeggio that envelopes the whole track and turns it into a twirling double helix of mutant Techno and anthemic Garag… Read more
Martyn and Mike Slott collude on the first 12" of a collaborative series from All City. We'd guess there's a few of you breaking out in sweats already looking at the lineup, and the music should justify your giddiness. 'All Nights' is a seriously good-looking swagger-House riddim, all buff dub chords, rumping subs and a deadly percussive palette of slinking bells, slicing snares and densely padded kicks. If the Martyn influence is clear in that one, then 'Pointing Fingers' belies a fair input from Mike Slott, set to a grooving mid-tempo swing with cosmic harp and synth interplay on a Flying Lotus tip. Heavy.
When Warp announced a new Seefeel album to be on the horizon last year there was a palpable gasp of joy from oldtime shoegazers across the world, followed by cries of "wtf?!" when they heard that Shigeru Ishihara aka DJ Scotch Egg had joined Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock to augment the original lineup. It's now 15 years since the release of '(Ch-Vox)' and Seefeel have moved with the times, adjusting their trademark sound with characteristically fractal noise textures from Shigeru and more organic, pounding drums from Boredoms' E-da. There's still a sunkissed bliss running throughout the album, … Read more
The ever-reliable Kassem Mosse impresses with three tracks for Italy's Kinda Soul Recordings - home to releases from Jus-Ed, Scott Ferguson and Rick Wade. It's hard to pick a highlight from these sublime efforts. A-side '2D' would be the obvious choice with its plaintively captivating lead synth and engrossing arrangements imbued with the same addictive qualities as his Workshop 08 12" or 'Aqueous Haze' 12", but then you encounter the snapping Deep House/Electro groove of 'Thalassocalyce' embroidered with the most gorgeous Detroit motifs, and the killer slo-mo echoic throb of 'Demo Drums Ripping… Read more
Brilliant single taken from Luke Abbott's 'Holkham Drones' debut LP, including the exclusive 'Caucus Race' a remarkable remix by Rocketnumbernine and Gavin Russom's exotic techno version. Abbott's instinctively timed, hardware-driven experiments are about the best thing on Border Community right now, full of carefully constructed, humid analogue soundscapes with supremely tangible textures and spacious 3D shapes, best heard in the morphosis from euphoric techno to visceral electronic drone zones in 'A Trans Forest Alignment'. Yet more impressive for us is the s… Read more
Experimental techno from the great Wolfgang Voigt, the co-founder and co-owner of Kompakt Records. 'Umbau' is the third missive from Profan's Protest sublabel, this time purely concerned with the sound of the Tuba, sampled, spread over the whole keyboard and synched to an offset kickdrum. The effect is like the soundtrack to Roald Dahl's unpublished (and unwritten) "Umpa Lumpas take acid and go to Bavaria" series. Mental.
Fine four-tracker from the uncompromising DMX Krew aka Ed DMX for his home-brewed Breakin' imprint. Highlights are easily the lead cut 'That Was Harder Than I Expected' with its curiously dissonant melodies, which kinda sounds like two Bochum Welt tracks playing at once, and equally the pastoral arcade glow of 'Space Invaders Meets Darth Vader' with its zonked, zappy synth pads and padded bass pulses.
Deft electronic HipHop Futurism from LA's Virtual Boy, slotting nicely with your Eskmo, Lorn and Glitch Mob cuts. Like wee Rustie, Virtual Boy have a taste from ostentatiously proggy synths, cod-classical even, adding a spiraling 8-bit grandeur to their crisp, software-driven rhythm programming. Both 'Mass' and 'Breach Of The Decsendants' have a vivid cinematic feel, like Goblin gone dubstep perhaps, whereas the curving contortions of 'The Future Holds a Beat' are made for the party.
Kompakt's recently minted label for "Rare, limited, timeless, and freaky "must haves" for fans and collectors" presents Jurgen Paape's stylishly acidic throbber 'So Wird Die Zeit Gemacht' backed with a fiercely ravenous Burger/Voigt Live Mix.
Stephan Mathieu's latest Line release is an hour long composition reprocessing original material from Janek Schaefer's 'Extended Play'. It was created between September 2008 and October 2010 using an entropic setup, spectral analysis and convolution processes. Not without good reason, Stephan is practically revered by many electro-acoustic advocates. His incredibly subtle, microscopic particle arrangements are heard uninterrupted in this piece which unfolds with the organic, life-affirming nature of a gradual sunrise over a vast desert plain, picking out glints of light from individual gra… Read more
Fiercely strong twelve featuring Ben Klock's O/V/R remixes. The Berghain and OstGut mainstay delineates 'Post-Traumatic Son' in three versions. Cut for the longer A-side, the 'Techno' mix is all about the tension of clipped and incrementally shifting loops, keeping the vibe tight-lipped and sexy. On the flip a 'Wave' mix opens the groove up with loping bassline, snakey snare bites and a wide arcing synthline before the 'Vibe' mix reduces it all into a glassy, tripping, and svelte techno jack.
Always entering the year in style, Kompakt deliver their Pop Ambient installment for 2011. This edition collects crucial downbeat and atmospheric electronic gems from a cast including Alva Noto & Blixa Bargeld's ANBB project, Marsen Jules, Wolfgang Voigt, BVdub, Mikkel Metal, Thomas Fehlmann, Barnt, Jürgen Paape, and the evocatively titled Bhutan Tiger Rescue, among others. ANBB make a distinguished entrance with 'Bernsteinzimmer', a darkly romantic orchestration of droning strings, implosive bass detonations and Blixa's pained croon. From the vanguard of contemporary classical, … Read more
Ahead of his 'Toomorrow' LP, Luke Vibert drops new Wagon Christ material on 'Manalyze This!', a sample strewn groovy breakbeat number with his usual cheeky sense of arrangement and sugary synth licks.
FK present the first ever issue of Zdenek Liska's original orchestral/electronic score to 'Malá Morská Víla' from 1976, a Czech film adaptation of Hans C. Anderson's 'The Little Mermaid'. The label's love affair with classic Czech film soundtracks in no secret, just check their acclaimed premiere reissues of 'Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders' and 'Daisies' for proof, but even they themselves regard 'Malá Morská Víla' as "one of the most idiosyncratic and haunting undiscovered scores in the annals of European cinematic history". Beautifully remastered from the original mastertapes wit… Read more
Further to their edition of 'Moondog & Suncat Suites', Trunk present two heavy rhythm trips from Kenny Graham with his Afro-Cubists group. Kenny formed the group shortly after leaving the army, playing an amalgam of bebop, African and Cuban rhythms and super-modern harmonies. But, as evidenced on the nearly all-percussive 'Kings Cross Climax' and the exotic, Ethiopiques-like sass of 'Caravan' Kenny and his group were way ahead of the mainstream and these tracks, together with 'The Caribbean Suite: Afro-Kadabra' are all that remains of thband since they disbanded not long after.
Juv is the Norwegian duo of Are Mokkelbost and Marius von der Fehr. Miasmah present what is effectively their debut release, some 13 years after it was initially conceived. Between 1996 and 1998 the solemnly attuned duo created a dark metal variant with strong traces of bleak ambient and experimental doom, following a strict methodology within limited means. Sampler-derived minimalism, guitar abstraction and field recordings were key ingredients, slowly coalescing in the confines of their bedroom studio. Unfortunately, due to disagreements, work on the album abruptly stopped. Only two years ago Are Mokke… Read more
Saigon follow that terrific Duffstep 12" with three techno-inspired Dubstep rollers from Hot Flush and Highpoint Lowlife contributor, Gravious. 'Junction City' has one foot firmly in Detroit and the other planted in a Glasgow bassbin, fusing the two styles at its apex. 'Lodestone' mellows out with a canny digidub influence in the bass balanced by an effervescent lead melody next to the sci-fi strokes of 'Lunar Module' and its sticky, 808-powered stargaze vibes.
The rumours are true, David Lynch, famed creator of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and countless other unsettling oddities has decided to embark on a career in electronic music. Weirder still, the music is actually kind of uplifting, with a driving bass-laden squelching 4/4 lying beneath Lynch’s own heavily altered vocals. Peaks fans among you will probably recognise the first couple of synth chords too (a not-so-sly reference, Mr. Lynch). In one of the oddest turns in recent memory, Lynch then hands over to Skream, Underworld, Boys Noize, Diskjokke, and Jon Hopkins. Tailoring … Read more
T Williams of Deep Teknologi goes in hard for Enchufada with the ruckus riddim 'Getting Mine'. This is some pure bushwhackers business, wielding rowdy Funky drums, an adrenalin-triggering siren blare and big-room reverbs for heavy effect. If you're not feeling the siren check the rugged drumstrumental! Weighty.
Wolfgang Voigt's music is becoming more experimental and engrossing with age. His latest batch of findings for Profan finds the elemental tests of 'Rückverzauberung', where fragments of his ambient Gas sounds are scattered in stereo formations with a feverishly dreamy quality. 'Du Musst Michts Sagen' is far less complicit, toying with your expectations to deliver a visceral, metallic shiver of techno pulses and the "Fanfare horns of fear".