Monday, 28 February 2011
Untouchable bum bum beats from Daniel Maloso! His first solo release for Matias Aguayo's Cómeme is a cornucopia of elastic EBM/Disco synths, supremely cheeky fills and hypnotically insistent rhythms. It's almost like Liasons Dangereuses and Ron Hardy eloped to Argentina and started their own scene, from the heroic 11th hour momentum of 'Discoteca Carvernícola' to the sultry square bass bounce and soggy claps of 'Hijos De José' or the Latin-loose and steamy 'Coliseos', all infused with a narcotic, fetishistic and darkly frivolous disco sensibility. Recommended!
Heavyweight Detroit soul music from Oliverwho Factory, following their triumphant Planet E 12". Like the best of their work 'Galactic Transit' just brims with soulful energy and that untouchable 313 spirit. Whether it's the sincere diva vocals, the upbuilding arrangement or something that we just can't lay our finger on, there's few out there making Detroit House music like this. B-side features the 'Recall Instrumental Mix'. Check!
This is a sharp departure from the Bibio sound we're used to, 'Excuses' takes its cues from the likes of Rudi Zygadlo, Eskmo or Eeprom to make proggy, metallic robo-pop. Recommended.
Having served the dance music community for years as both a digital distribution powerhouse and label promotion service, EPM finally take the plunge and kick off their very own, eponymous imprint. This opening gambit does much to set out their A&R agenda with a well judged and picked selection of tracks from the likes of Sandwell District, Rob Hood, Alexander Robotnick, Mark Broom & James Ruskin and several other characters long connected to their network. For pure and modern techno look no further than Sandwell District's brilliant 'Live In Berlin' from t… Read more
Sterling new release from Cologne's Magazine label, presenting the first substantial recordings from Jaki Liebezeit's Drums Off Chaos percussion ensemble. For their debut album they're also joined by Köln lynchpin Jens-Uwe Beyer, who's best known for his Popnoname productions on Kompakt's Pop Ambient series and as a member of future kosmiche group, Cologne Tape. Despite being in operation for nearly 30 years, the group have only committed their sound to tape on a handful of rare instances including a mail-order CD from 1985, preferring to keep their t… Read more
Fine-tuned and cruising motorhythmic House from Marco Passarani. The 2nd part of his 'Colliding Stars' session for Running Back features the outstanding 'White Dwarf', a mid-tempo, subtly building and engrossing jacker with learned flourishes of Detroit synth and the kinkiest Italo/Chicago essence. Its 'Black Dwarf' counterpart on the flip is a more condensed and cooled version. 'Colliding Stars Pt.2' completes the groove on a superlative discoid House tip. Strong.
One to watch, Midland, drops his 2nd solo single, backed with an unconventional Radio Slave remix. 'Bring Joy' is purely indicative of the Midland sound, further loosening the strictures that separate House, Garage and Techno to create a very 2011-ready sound binding elegant Tech-House builds with crisp 2-step swing. 'Dead Eyes' looks more to classic, mid-'90s US garage, where linear, propulsive Tech-House patterns are offset with relaxed subbass for firm dancefloor guidance. Strangely enough for a Radio Slave mix, his version of 'Bring Joy' dispenses with the kicks to tease out 12 minutes of spaciously minimal techno grooving around that warm subbass groove.
Kompakt's new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there's only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern beats and lead to their fusion of post punk tropes with authentic Middle Eastern vibes on debut, the 'Basta' EP in 2008. Since then they've been encouraged … Read more
Man machine, Mike Dehnert prepares the ground for his forthcoming 'Framework' album for Delsin with three pure and uncompromising Techno tracks. Since 2007 the German producer has built an enviable reputation through productions for his own Fachwerk label, and the likes of Echocord and Deeply Rooted House - his release on the latter a big fave around these parts. Here, he offers the side-long propulsive pound of 'Phase Response', backed with the skippier, sandpapered textures of 'Moment' and the swinging House structure of 'Discrete'. The album shuld be ace if this anything to go by.
‘Basic Climb Re-Imagined’ sees harpist and singer Ana Caravelle’s gorgeous ‘Basic Climb’ record stretched, moulded and somehow re-invigorated by a whole host of hand picked artists. Remix compilations always run the risk of being simply a hodge-podge of ideas, but somehow LA label Non Projects have managed to keep things reigned in well without losing that important sense of experimentation. The tracks go from the beat-driven (Shigeto, Dibiase and DNTEL) to the delightfully strange (Dakim, A.D.L.R) but the high point comes from local LA artist Julia Holter. Holter takes Cara… Read more
Homespun electronic pop music has proved far more popular in the last few years than most of us probably expected. Panda Bear, Atlas Sound, even the expanded Animal Collective have all had unexpected hits with records that sounded like they were the result of more than a few cups of tea and Digestive biscuits in the home studio and that’s no bad thing. Banjo or Freakout (aka Alessio Natalizia) is hardly a newcomer to the scene having released a slew of EPs and being part of both Kompakt’s Walls and Italian post-punkers Disco Drive, but this self titled missive is his debut sol… Read more
After sterling drops with Shortstuff and Peverelist respectively, Hyetal goes in hard with Baobinga for Build records. Both tracks bear his signature light show of lazered synth excesses, alloyed with heads-down charging tribalism on 'Anything For Now' and coating the Beat mechanisms of 'Trouble' with technicoloured electro-static funk. Fierce tunes - big twelve.
Belbury Poly is Jim Jupp, co-founder of the Ghost Box label with Julian House and a notorious lover of analog electronics circa 60s/70s such as the Radiophonic Workshop or Raymond Scott. 'The Owl's Map' originally broke through the space-time continuum in 2006, setting another flag point in the development of Hauntological thinking. In comparison to the fractal sonic tapestries of Julian House, Jupp's sonics tend towards synth-driven sequences with slightly longer track lengths, we're not talking Tangerine Dream style side-long trips, but more commonly hovering around the pop-perfected… Read more
Well this is nice isn’t it? Famed musical genius Terry Riley has become all the more relevant in the last few years with just about everyone from The Alps to Emeralds to Sufjan Stevens pointing him out as a reference, and here we find the man performing with his son Gyan. Gyan is a guitarist, and his near-flamenco inflections sit comfortably alongside his father’s well studied North Indian-influenced piano melodies. The recordings have been culled from a series of live performances yet sound as haunting and personal as if they had been recorded in the bedroom. T… Read more
Matt O'Brien strips down to the bare and rugged House essentials for Curle. 'Starting Over' serves hypnotic, driving Chicago functions, whereas 'Koh Bida' cuts a deeper, more spaced-out groove with full sunken subs and dance-enhancing synth curls. 'End Of An Error' has a sinister and sexy early '90s House feel, with just a hint of suave EBM jack. Very cool.
Tech-stepping D&B from FD. There's a distinctly Monolake-like aesthetic to the computerised voices and metallic finish of 'Stack' while 'Sent Down' turns out surging, growling Neurofunk synthlines and liquified rollers patterns.
Exotic Technowave from a clandestine collective operating under cover of the SD label. In both tracks it's possible to trace genetics from debonaire, early Detroit futurism, exported East Asian Dance music and The Hague's notorious acid scene, but fused together their features become something new, distinguished and exciting. 'Sepone Wisdom' is faster, percolating claps and tugging acid squelch with bewitching female Asian vocals. 'Mwahaha' features the same giggling ladies on a more laidback and cyber-strutting Boogie groove.
Bosconi upped their game with an Altered Natives 12" recently, and follow it up with four tracks of frisky, filtered Chicago and Detroit-isms from fellow Italians Marcello Napoletano & I.F.M. On a solo roll, Marcello gives up the hard-EQ'd conga and chord copulation of 'Noise Is the Cure', and the more rugged 'Summer Rain'. With I.F.M they go deep on 'World Is Changed' and rawer with the chiseled arrangement of 'I.F.M. Roots'.
You can always rely on Ezekiel Honig’s Microcosm imprint for some high-grade 4/4-based sounds. That said, the pulsing beats that form the backbone of many Microcosm releases are only part of the story, as these artists merely use techno as the starting point for their compositions. ‘Homesickness or Nostalgia’, the debut album from Sven Laux is no exception to this rule, and while the beats are prominent and pronounced throughout, the melodic content is more comparable with Shuttle 358 or even Tim Hecker (under his Jetone moniker). Just flip over to ‘Jackson’s Modern Bakery Cof… Read more
Dating back to 1999, Biped was one of the first commissions to be made by the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation since John Cage's passing in 1992. In keeping with the tradition established by Cunningham and Cage, apparently no direct, one-to-one relationship between music and the choreography was discussed and Bryars set to work based only on the fixture of the piece's forty-five minute duration. There is another key parallel between the auditory and visual however: key to the set design and overall production is Cunningham's use of a digital 'shadow' ef… Read more
Gavin Bryars is without a doubt one of the UK’s most important living composers, and here we find him working with the incredible Latvian Radio Choir. This isn’t the first time Bryars has set his sights on the world of sacred music, and he again manages to light up the genre with his intense, yet carefully measured compositions. Somehow he never crosses the line into melodrama, and while sacred choral music means a lot of different things to different listeners there is a gravitas which Bryars exudes which is hard not to get taken in by. T… Read more
A few years after their 'Interstellar Commute', Enemy Earth return with a near beat-free suite of cosmic psyche collages. 'Bardo' is intended to be played through as one listening experience, each track blends into the next. Any percussion, and much of the melodic structuring is backgrounded aganist weirdly wired patina of gauzy FX and almost musique concrète like daubs of sound, sometimes recalling the techniques and aesthetic of Leyland Kirby, as with 'Sephlicure', while 'Bindments' hints at some celestial guidance from Sun-ra.
Killer, extra-terrestrial electro transmissions from The Exaltics. After studying the people of earth for many years The Exaltics came to our planet in 2006 to transmit their message to the people. '1000 Lights in the sky Part 1' collects nine proper machine funk trips, from the luminescent cityscape synths of 'The Truth' through Heinrich Mueller-esque experiments such as 'The Passenger' and 'Evolution Of The Wrong Species', to the truly sublime 'Mothership to Solaris'. Recommended to fans of Convextion, recent Instra:mental moves, and Drexciya.
This solid 7-track comp from Raffertie's Super Recodings imprint features exclusive tracks from the likes of Throwing Snow, Subeena, Skinnz and the man himself, who opens the selection with the modified rave movements of "Ergo We Are Human", sort of like Frequencies-era LFO ripped apart by the sound of malfunctioning machinery. Sabina Plamenova, aka Subeena, continues her run of impressively non-linear and original productions on "Miscalculate", a kind of squashed, slowed-down rave anomaly with an ethereal vocal embedded deep into the mix for maximised zone-… Read more
Solid production from Kavsrave following on from the massive "Quotes" set for Numbers. The opener is another anthemic autotuned monster complete with emotive strings and slowed down R&B vibe, while "Illicit Dreaming" gets Grimey and the closing, alternate version of "The Break Up" follows a darker trajectory. Recommended.
Class 12" from Skirt aka Bethany Busto, the first artist to appear on Horizontal Ground without the cover of anonymity. Bethany has been DJing and working behind the scenes in underground UK techno for the best part of a decade now, releasing her debut 12" on Spanish label Subsist and has a forthcoming release on Trust Recordings. 'In The Meadow Under The Stairs' is really quite special, a dark delicacy of pulsing post-industrial techno akin to Berlin's Dasha Rush but with glimmers of Grouper-esque vocals and even sombre traces of AFX's 'SAW II' is the occluded moods and atmosp… Read more
Claire Boucher's debut as Grimes has been a long time coming and has already drawn comparisons with the work of fellow chill/drag/witch/h-pop characters Laurel Halo, Hype Williams and even Autre Ne Veut. When it gets it right - it's quite the killer too, with opener "Outer" managing to integrate sincere, properly sung vocal harmonies with the kind of compressed low-end rumble that would make Salem blush. "Rasik" is another standout, flexing shoegaze signatures with impressively heavy-hitting vocals and throbbing bass pulses that end all too abruptly, before the majestic "Heartbeats" ingests cinema… Read more
Subtly streamlined and tracky purist techno from another anonymous contributor on Frozen Border. The A-side is particularly choice, rotating around hypnotic, teasing chords, a swooping subbass grind and sparse, slinky rhythms.The flipside is more of a minimal percolator reminiscent of recent moves from James Ruskin and Mark Broom or like a groovier Sleeparchive, super efficient percussion driven by lithe, insistent bass and locked into morse-coded melody/rhythm. Heavy.