Monday, 09 May 2011
The remixer of choice for everyone from Blue Daisy to Teengirl Fantasy links with Glasser for a real charm on Young Turks. The sundazed disco daydream of 'Families' follows a slow comtrail arc from 1990 Ibiza into 2011, Glasser sounding like a seductive cyber-sprite gliding over gauzily new age piano house keys and effortlessly swaying rhythms, while the club refix nudges up the tempo and smudges the vocal for a more woozy effect. 'Lover's Tradition' is more unusual, arranging uplifting Eastern string timbres and hi-pitched vocals to sound like Gold Panda in disco mood, whereas 'Lamento'… Read more
You've got your take your hat off to Gang Gang Dance. In a short space of time they've gone from being the terminally sloppy darlings of the Brooklyn art-psych underground to something approaching pop stars, and without any particular compromise on their part. Sure, hardcore fans will always miss the incarnation of the band that unleashed the lysergic mayhem of God's Money, but it was a hard heart indeed that wasn't warmed by 2008's Warp offering, Saint Dymphna, which saw the band organise their jumble of influences into some kind of order (even managing to make a guest turn from Tinc… Read more
Punch Drunk come smoother with Andy Mac's soulful and slippery debut burner. A member of Bristol's Falling Up crew, Andy represents a more Housed-up sound than many of his city's fellow producers, assimilating traces of Deep House and Broken Beat into the yearning grooves of 'Everytime' but with more than enough swing and subbass pressure to warrant a Punch Drunk release. Moving further into House blueprints, 'Asteroid Belts' belies some strong influence from Levon Vincent in his haughty hi-hat shuffles, those floor-cleaning subs and sensuously teased out synthlines. Big crossover tune. Recommended!!
It’s true, everything’s getting older – but good music has a way of transcending that. Ex-Arab Strap bloke Aiden Moffat and Scottish jazzy type Bill Wells have been working on this record for eight years now, proof if ever proof were needed that sometimes music doesn’t need to be dropped in with a date stamp. Wells’ production and melodies shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who’s come across his music before but the way it matches up with Moffat’s distinctive voice and poetry is nothing short of a revelation. The first thing I noticed about ‘Everything’s Getting Old… Read more
Robin Guthrie has been oddly prolific in the last few years, churning out a seemingly endless stream of shimmering records for his legion of fans. They’re all good too, and latest jam ‘Emeralds’ is his most consistent yet, blending the peerless haze of his patented Cocteau Twins sound with a more modern, cinematic bent. Guthrie is no stranger to the world of movie soundtracks and has composed a seriously good trio of scores for acclaimed director Greg Araki, and this has no doubt stood him in very good stead for ‘Emeralds’. The biggest change here from his last slew of records (especially … Read more
Robbie Avenaim and Oren Ambarchi played together in cult Aussie outfit Phlegm, and have coIlaborated extensively since, most notably on Alter Rebbe's Nigun (1999), a radical collision of noise and traditional Jewish textual influences. Dream Request is an edit of a live performance they gave in Tel Aviv in 2009, and it's just astonishing in its power, at once guttural and transcendental. These are true artists at work, and their long personal and professional association lends their musical interactions here a genuinely telepathic quality, their imperceptible yolking of… Read more
It’s hardly as if albums from Matt Valentine and Erika Elder are a rarity, but still it’s always a pleasure to have one drop into my lap for review. ‘Country Stash’ is their latest sticky green offering for the Three Lobed imprint, and in stark contrast to their recent bumper collection of live recordings is a more studied, studio effort. If you ever got around to grappling with ‘Green Blues’ you might know what to expect; barely heard shimmering vocals, deep basslines, and the kind of psychedelic excess that only comes after a lifetime of copious substance abuse. In fact at times MV & EE mak… Read more
Minimalist funky bleeps from Argentina's Arcade, backed with sub-heavy and crafty remixes from Kidnap Kid, Tete De Tigre and Daleduro. 'Contrincante' sounds a lot like a Hot City track, mixing grimy strings with mid-90s House riffs and dry 'n crispy swing beats. 'Tracking Down' stirs in some quicksilver techno stabs and deep house chords, and 'Don't' delivers the skip in spades. Also make sure to check for the cheeky synthline dip of Kidnap Kid's remix and the powerful subbass pressure of Tete De Tigre's Ceremony remix.
At first look this might seem like a weird move for the Constellation label as Matana Roberts’ debut for the imprint is pretty much straight-up free jazz. But she’s got some serious history with the Montreal collective, even throwing down horns with Godspeed on the fabled ‘Yanqui UXO’. Thinking about it too, there’s always been a nod towards the free jazz scene (not least on Colin Stetson’s recent genre-bending LP) but where others were a nod, ‘COIN COIN Chapter One : Gens de Couleur Libres’ is a full on two thumbs up to the fractured style. Roberts is … Read more
Freshest five track debut EP from Roska's new signing, including a remix by Rinse FM's DJ Shox. With its tilting synthlines and shoulder-dropping drum patterns we could easily imagine the tart title track to slip into a Roska or DVA set, whereas 'Grinding' comes on techier with biting synths and crisply tucked drums. 'Predator' injects a bit of Dubstep bass wobble a la Fis-T over Afro-Latin drum shivers, and 'Run The Style' leans deeper into Altered Natives-style rhythm programming and arrangement. The Shox remix of 'Lemon' features extra batt(er)y licking stabs and a killer stop/start, Dutch-House debted rhythm rearrangement for the dancers.
Third drop from Oil Gang, featuring the massive 'Cherryade' from 'Next Hype' producer, Darq E Freaker. Basically, it's all about the A-side, romping hard for the DJs and MCs with his signature punching stabs recycled over burly, swaggering drums and serrated bass slashes. The flipside tracks are a bit gash, but we're not complaining when you've got that A-side. TIP!
Smart 2nd outing for Shaddock Records, presenting the unsettled House music of young Spaniard, Pilas, including a slumpy jacking Kassem Mosse remix. The original 'Burros' is sounds like the inner thoughts of a troubled robot: synth signals are scrambled and interwoven with skittering machine patterns but somehow manage to keep focussed on their function, making you dance. In the hands of Kassem Mosse, those thoughts seem to be processed by a more stoned mind (can robots get stoned?), still confused but more eased into the groove by neatly resolved keys and more groovesome bass. Both 'Without You' and 'Monologue' are more conventional House tracks.
Detroit-indebted Dutch producer, Aroy Dee offers his first new material since 2009, including a deeper trippin' Ra.H remix. Aroy's seductiv original 'Beauty' swoons with romantic Motor City pads and arcing chords underlined by subtly deep Techno/House rhythms. Ra.H aka Morphosis gives an eerier, more alien makeover full of stray astro-jazz signals and a bulkier beat, before Aroy gazes out on the lush landscape of 'Life'. TIP!
Following from the previous curveball sent by Mick Harris and Regis, Downwards resort to darker tactics with an extraordinary release by Camella Lobo & J Mendez, who's probably better known as Sandwell District's Silent Servant. Recorded live in the spring of 2009, 'The Dull Age' is a harrowing compositon of arcane folk drones and smacked out vocals, driven by Suicide style drum machine minimalism and shuddering within some of the bleakest soundscapes this side of Sunn O))). 'Victims' on the underside was recorded in winter of 2008, and follows the same shady path inspired b… Read more
Incredible 2nd single from underground secrets, Tropic Of Cancer, featuring a possessed rewiring by Richard H Kirk! If you picked up their previous 10", 'The Dull Age' you've likely clicked buy already, but if you were too slow that day (they sold out in a flash) you reallllly don't want to miss out again. Their original 'Brave World' is blank-eyed Industrial goth music of the highest order, powered by brittle, bony drums and hypnotised by a mournful bassline and coated in grey flannel drones, Mendez's vocals pushed deep in the mix to haunt from within. Affecting with an eerier, dubbed-… Read more
The solo project of Keiichi Sugimoto of Minamo, Fourcolor is his chance to explore a more minimal, pensive sound. ‘As Pleat’ is Sugimoto’s third album, and follows its well-received predecessors with a bubbling stream of choppy DSP and haunting, nostalgic instrumental samples. As with many recent 12K releases, the guitar is at the center of the album, but Sugimoto expertly manipulates these peculiar strings almost beyond recognition, making them chime, drone, buzz and sing. Rhythms fizz and erupt from a soupy slop of ambience, occasionally bringing to mind Alva Noto if he’d thought about colla… Read more
On the face of it, Mountains' new LP Air Museum sounds a good deal more electronic than 2009's expansive drone-folk cycle Choral, though in fact the duo have deployed a hefty array of acoustic instruments (guitars, cello, piano, etc) this time around, and eschewed computer processing altogether. That said, it's their first predominantly studio-recorded (as opposed to live-recorded) album to date, and they've made extensive use of pedals, analogue synthesis and painstaking post-production techniques to more fully realise their brand of lush, levitating psychedelia. 'Thousand Square' sounds li… Read more
This new Low Point edition takes the four original tracks from Kyle Bobby Dunn's Moodgadget album, Fervency, and expands upon them with a whole extra batch of material, enough to fill up a second CD. Perhaps because of the double-length formatting, Dunn's music seems even more closely aligned with Stars Of The Lid, acheving a similarly time-elongating effect with his deeply immersive treatments of guitar, strings and brass. But for the excellent closing track, 'Small Show Of Hands' the first disc corresponds to the Fervency playlist (excluding the Moodgadget-only Viul … Read more
Absolutely vital reissue of a Detroit masterwork from Marty Bonds aka Reel By Real. 'Surkit' was originally conceived and released 20 years ago and is regarded as a holy grail of Detroit Techno, marrying inimitably funked machine rhythms and the deepest space soul synthlines imaginable. The release contains the magical and mesmerising 1990 mix of 'Surkit' plus the still devastating 'Vessels In Distress' replete with additional strings from Juan Atkins, no less. 'Sundog' will wreck your head with supremely crafty drum machine breakbeats and a sublimely intricate bassline from the upper echelons of 313 history. Mastered by Redshape - do not miss this.
As Fairmont, Toronto's Jake Fairley engages with his deeper, more song-based ideas compared to his heavier dancefloor material on Kompakt and Sender. These four track on the 'Velora EP' are a curious blend of narcotic electro-pop, Italo and synthi-disco ranging from the blunted mid-tempo wooze of the title track to glazed-eye trance arpeggio missions reminiscent of Chris Carter on 'Ununoctium' and the usefully uptempo Italo glide of 'Vanguard'.
Dani Baquet-Long’s crucial works continue to appear after her tragic death, and her own Chubby Wolf project is proving to be even more alluring then her considerable work as part of Celer. ‘The Darker Sex’ is the latest archival exploration - and the title explains more than you might guess about the music itself. This is far from simple, easy-going ambient drone - Dani approaches things from a more unexpected, disturbing angle, and the noisy, tape-dubbed shuffle we’d usually expect from her serves only as the backdrop for something far more woozy. Harmonies emerge from the distant dro… Read more
Way out in the North West American wilderness, Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl) and Lisa McGee regroup for another exceptional, ethereal session as Higuma. 'Pacific Fog Dreams' is also their 2nd release for Root Strata, following their earliest collaborative release in '08 with 'Haze Valley', and 2010s 'Den Of The Spirits' LP for Digitalis, one of the finest of its ilk in recent years. Their sound is incredibly precious and achieves the rarest of tangible sensations with glooming, ghostly drones and billowing gaseous shapes shrouded in mystery. Unlike say, the isolationist ambient tones of Thom… Read more
*Killer second release on Mark Ernestus' and Mark Ainley's Dug Out reissue imprint. - Raw, stripped funk from the Black Ark,this is the Final Weapon rhythm - that signature cowbell, tough, scrubby guitar, bass bubbling deep in the pocket, and the Upsetter mixing live on the spot* The Dug Out label follows last weeks King Kong EP with a treasured artefact from the Black Ark. Michael Rose's 'Observe Life' features a lean production from Lee Perry on the Final Weapon riddim, all signature cowbells, tough scrubby guitar and bubbling bass arranged with the deft touch and charged atmosphere o… Read more
A ruthless digi-stepper from the Mark Ernestus and Honest Jon's-curated Dug Out label!!! They've truly outdone themselves this time, laying down Anthony Redrose's 'Electric Chair' on a scorching riddim set by JA producer Dennis 'Star' Hayes in 1989. We're left breathless after five plays through, shocking out to the jolting stab syncopations and throbbing futurist bassline. If you've ever been caught up in a Mark Ernestus DJ set and pondered over how much it sounds like techno then this will join the dots for you. Don't sleep! This is a Baaad!
Strut Records and 'Nigeria 70' compiler Duncan Brooker excavate a wealth of Afro-Funk, Highlife and Juju for a charming third volume of this sterling series. Drawn from a clutch of Nigerian label archives, this new edition illuminates the fusions between jazz and funk, soul, disco and rock music occurring in Nigeria in this pivotal era. None of the tracks have ever been officially released outside of Nigeria and take in everything from Don Isaac Ezekiel's tripper psyche funk groove 'Ire' to the sultry, slow and intoxicating 'Kinrinjing… Read more
The Dug Out mission continues, this week presenting East London's Naphtali on a slick digital killer. 'Hole Up Your Hand' is one of his very first singles, produced at the Vibes Sounds studio in 1987 with Blacka at the controls crafting a minimal digital skanker with a timelessly futuristic atmosphere and a version included for the DJs. Choice cuts once again from Dug Out - stone cold killer.
It's been far too long since we've heard from Honest Jon's / Basic Replay / Conscious Music axis, but it was evidently time well spent as they dig up two deadly cuts from digital legend King Kong. 'He Was A Friend' is Kong's tribute to fallen dancehall souljah Tenor Saw, setting a heartfelt vocal to sombre, almost cinematic keys, swirling synth bleeps and a gruff bassline from the very top shelf. 'Try Not I' backs up with another immense digital production, riding echoic snares and a purposeful b-line to drive the message home. The vocals sound incredible on both cuts, but qui… Read more
The fifth FRKWYS features four revisions of tracks from Mirror Mirror's debut LP 'The Society For The Advancement of Inflammatory Consciousness' by a posse of post-punk legends including Young Marbles Giants' Stuart Moxham, Ike Yard and Death Comet Crew's Stuart Argabright, Alig Pearce of Family Fodder and Rico Conning from The Lines. Moxham remakes 'Love Is The Law' with heady vocal harmonies and his signature guitar sound next to Alig's dub-skittery mix infused with Yoga instructions from Gretchen Faust. Coinciding with the 28-year comeback of Ike Yard, Stuart Argabright's collaborat… Read more