Monday, 19 January
Graceful songcraft from the recent signing to Daniel "OPN" Lopatin's Software Recording Co. RIYL Susanna.
Rugged New York TechnoHouse from Fred P for Anthony Parasole's label. Four super-strength aces, ranging from the disciplined throbs and delirious diffusions of 'Splitting Particles' to the blunted basement swagger of 'Tube Compression' on one side, and over to the emotive widescreen expression of 'Storm Clouds' and the immense bass pressure of 'State Of No State'. Cut especially loud for all dancer and DJ.
Tipped as TNBT by Modeselektor, Berlin's hardware-weilding Fjaak trio do that breakbeat techno swerve with class on 50 Weapons. The busted breaks, submerged kicks and rusty filter treatments of 'Oben' could happily sit next to your Shed/Head High killers or that sterling Skee Mask 12" on Ilian Tape - a big look for the dancers - while 'Unten' follows suit with a deeper, tantric techno play riding the kicks and hi-hats with aerated chords. Take us to the 'floor, now.
"Two Commissions for Cassette Tape is Ex-Easter Island Head's first release for the Manchester-based Tombed Visions label and their first release ever on the format. Encompassing two fifteen minute pieces, Two Commissions explores new territory for the group, following on from their recent works for trio and massed electric guitars and drums (Mallet Guitars Three, Large Electric Ensemble) to present a pair of intimate, personal works using the sonic and mechanical qualities of the cassette medium as a compositional element alongside the groups' ever expand… Read more
Shifting Peaks lean fwd with four rugged garage-house originals from Clueless, plus a kicking, mutant ballroom remix by Rushmore.
Christian Piers aka Laszlo Dancehall shakes out three slickly hypnotic yet gritty tech-house grooves for Curle. 'Never Born Beautiful' feels like a Radioslave meets PAS production; 'Angels' weighs big bad bass motifs and tense, warehouse-ready builds; 'The Kissing Of A God' eases off with warmer chords, subs and laid back swing.
Pounding dark techno from NYC's Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa. The weirdly prescient 'Atlantic Ave' is a stripped down, monotone techno tool powered by kicks/bass and sculpted white noise reminding of the Prologue sound, and offset with a slinkier, tracky counter-rhythms for that sexier downtown shuffle. A more condensed 'Retake' appears on the flip next to the throbbing, kick-less 'Oceanic Dub' tool.
Deadly tribal techno functions fresh outta NYC. The Corner CEO Anthony Parasole fronts a proper polyrhythmic shakedown built from kinky toms, pistoning hi-hats and a welting but light-footed bottom end practically guaranteed to make 'em shift. And if they don't then f**k 'em.
**Debut solo album by Mac Demarco's former Makeout Videotape bandmate** "Alex Calder’s sophomore release with Captured Tracks is as familiar as it is foreign – brining together both infectious melodies and texture to create tidy, acid-induced pop sequences. Strange Dreams takes a confident step forward from Calder’s previous release and brings the focus and ambition of Alex’s songwriting to all aspects of his music. This record delivers, while still maintaining the youthful humour that has become his trademark."
**RIYL Zelionople, Labradford, Bohren und der Club of Gore, Mark Hollis** "David McLean’s Aging project returns to the label with a suite of noirish balladry and bar room dirges, painting a murky, multi-instrumental portrait of man under the influence. Although the main focus of these recordings is largely McLean’s guitar, the spaciousness and atmosphere that characterised his solo piano debut ‘I Swear I Saw Her Halo’ is still very much intact. Pairing with drummer Andrew Cheetham for three of the five cuts, McLean’s sunken and dungeoned melodies act as a perfect foil for this e… Read more
Diverse dancefloor delivery from Iceland's Teal Recordings. A Sagittariun does his dreamy techno thing with extra breaks and ticklish rimshots harking back to vintage Detroit styles from Carl Craig. Jared Wilson's 'Spice Flow' is a more wayward take on Chicago jack, sparked with chaotic synth squirls and softened by elegant pads. Finland's Matti Turunen aka Morphology rounds out with a dark and deft bit of electro-funk in 'Substellar Object', and the noirish Heinrich Mueller atmospheres of 'Apoapsis'.
Monday, 12 January
**Flac format for this release contains 24bit 44.1KHz audio** Deep house savant and pioneer Theo Parrish serves one of his's most eagerly awaited, not to mention controversial, albums with 'American Intelligence'. Featuring more tracks than the vinyl, 15 cuts as opposed to 9, you definitely get more Parrish to the pound here, but scandals about pricing aside, we really shouldn't be focussing on the bloody price tag. As expected, it's a sterling session, unfurling inimitable (no matter how much everyone tries) grooves tangling signature drum calculations and lissom keys with s… Read more
Completely essential official reissue of THE industrial/EBM classic by Liasons Dangereuses, mixed at Conny Plank's studio in 1981 by Liaisons Dangereuses and officially unavailable on any format for what seems like forever. Written and produced by Beate Bartel & Chrislo Haas (aka CH-BB) in 1981, their only album would define a blueprint for so much bare-bones, darkside electronic body music to come, invading and irrevocably influencing discotheques from Cologne and Berlin to Manchester, Chicago and New York with a potent, sexy distillation of disco, punk and latin music… Read more
Very necessary New Beat / Acid House / early Belgian techno survey highlighting the pivotal output of Rembert De Smet aka Ro Maron. Hailed as "one of the top 5 best users of a 303 of all time" by JD Twitch (Optimo), Maron defined The Sound of Belgium circa '87-'90 with a string of then-unprecedented productions spinning elements of Chicago House, EBM and Freestyle Electro with a glammed-up Belgalo swagger and fizzy, melodic mentalism that remedied the relative cheese of prolific New Beat production team, Morton Sherman Bellucci, for example. After pop success in the mid '80s with 2… Read more
Your dreamboy, Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear meets The Grim Reaper in a magical 5th solo album outside of his Animal Collective duties. Crafted in conjunction with psychedelic supremo Pete Kember (Spacemen 3 etc), it professes a mixture of loping drums influenced by the '90s hip hop of ATCQ and Pete Rock, coupled with a colourful instrumental/hardware palette of synths, guitars and vocals, rather than the sampling methods employed in his seminal, signature side, 'Person Pitch' (2007). The songs are patently written by Panda Bear - the lilting melodies and stacked, almost… Read more
Oake really find their gothic muse in debut album, 'Auferstehung' for Downwards. Firmly building on the foundations of two shadowy 12"s released in 2013, the duo distill and transcend their influences across eleven stations of unrepentant gothic histrionics and industrial techno prostration. The production is now right up there with the detailed, excoriating levels of The Haxan Cloak, and also matching the rhythmic heft of label-mate Samuel Kerridge (with whom they recently formed the UF collusion), but with a kohl-eyed romanticism all of their own creation. From the swooning black metal/shoeg… Read more
First white label roundup release from the East London Club Trax crew, feat 8 trax from the first 4 releases re-mastered for digital. Deamonds and Dean Lyon present the best of East London Club Trax, so far.
STL crosses paths with Echocord again in the low-slung house skanks of the 'Dubs Etched Into Relief' EP. As any dub house connoisseur knows, it's a fine line between bland imitation and watermarked subtlety in this field. We'd easily place his two original tracks in the latter category, from the slow but nimble nudge and silty background atmospheres of 'Dub's End' to the reflective, blue shade of his gauzy strings, keys and disembodied voices in 'The Dark Future'. B-side, Grad-U bolsters 'Dub's End' with a more driving momentum set out for late night floorplay.
Optimo pluck out a trio of overlooked and long forgotten rhythm trax for your dancing satisfaction. A-side features Illumination's freakish half-tempo house meets jungle dub wrecker 'The Way Out Is The Way'; B-side hauls up Mr Marvin's lean and hypnotic tribal shake-down 'I Want You' (1993), and Fuel's staccato techno jack attack, 'Rigid' (1995).
Cologne-based Dame, Lena Willikens, debuts on Cómeme with a cracking EP of darkside dancefloor mystique heavily influenced by '80s wave heritage. Her 'Phantom Delia' EP pits years of experience DJing on the radio and at her residency for free-spirited Düsseldorf nightspot, Salon Des Amateurs, together with a rarified knowledge of classic wave musics, outernational rhythms and weirdo techno. The result: a delicately patterned, phantasmic meld of styles; slipping gears between the furtive, droning EBM of 'Howlin Lupus' to the poised Dominatrix ambience of 'Nilpferd' (mistress, do that… Read more
M.E.S.H. and Renaissance Man's remixes for Berlin-based pop singer/songwriter, Dan Bodan. In M.E.S.H.'s version of DP' we can hear traces of the spacious, whirring rhythmic hybrids which would be refined and diffused to exquisite degrees in his 'Scythians' EP for PAN, only here alloyed with the soft pop croon of Bodan, whereas Renaissance Man yoke the same original elements to a swinging bass drum and flighty electronic figures for a more direct dancefloor effect.
Killer incision from one of 2014's most intriguing new labels, kicking off 2015 with a typically obfuscated, technoid enigma from another new name, Xth Réflexion. Coming off like a lo-fi Autechre meets Chain Reaction, '/\\05' deals in fractured steppers momentum and abstract dub structures, sucking us in with the flux of acousmatic source material, strobing dub rhythms and coruscating noise in '01' before winding up the tightly coiled, double-time flex of highlight, '02'. Deeper in, '03' fires a lip-bitingly ace round of skittish steppers drums reminding of that Skee Mask 12" trapped in a hall… Read more
Hour long tech-house session from Suokkas ov Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia. Originally issued on tape, 'Being' breaks down to four extended pieces fanning out from hypnotic house shimmies to rugged swingers softened with widescreen ambient pads, and string-heavy house rollers.
Istanbul's Iskeletor gives up a singed mutant dub session for Boomarm Nation building on the cracked styles of his 'Gallows' 7". Imagine El Mahdy Jr soused in Ekoplekz's patented dub noise and smashed by Filter Dread and you've nearly got the measure of Iskeletor's sound, running the voodoo down from the churning muck groove of 'Gossamer Web' thru the dancehall/trap lurch of 'Deprem' to the labyrinthine scramble of 'Yangin' via a series of porous, crumbling miniatures spelling a narrative of abstract arabesques.
Kareem's Zhark Recordings deliver the penultimate blow by Dave Foster aka dark techno legend, Huren, and a member of Teste. Sourced from his 'Zeckendorf Phase 1996 - 2000' and activities as recent as 2014, it mixes archival material with new for thee most bitter taste of Huren's hoofing kicks and rotted electronics. It's a beast: A-side sustains glowering techno pressure with a grinding darkstyle mission, 'MRTVI' and a carnivalous breakbeat techno shake-down named 'Nuklearni' primed for the most 'orrid bastards; B-side gets more intimate with the invasive tones and thrust of 'Sentinonaut' and the d… Read more
Reissue of a super sweet Chicago house session circa 1987 by Bam Bam. Previously only available on a sought-after white label, 'Hot Spot' is another horny killer jam by the legendary producer behind the darkside house classic, 'Where's Your Child?', coming with wicked male/female call-and-response vocals set to funked-up drum programming in four mixes, at best in the near-Freestyle funk of the 'Club' mix and strutting 'House' mix. Let me find your hot spot…!
Monday, 05 January
**Incredible reissue exploring the largely unknown work of Else Marie Pade - a true pioneer of electronic music and musique concrète** Wow this is a stunner. Else Marie Pade's 'Electronic Works 1958-1995' is a truly precious survey of a lone, pioneering voice in electronic music. Born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1924, Else created the first piece of electronic music played on Danish radio, 'Syv Cirkler (Seven Circles)', marking the early development of an (up until now) largely hidden body of work inspired by her experiences while interred at a Nazi prison camp as a teenage… Read more
'X I E' is the first new Monolake release since the 'Ghosts' (2012). It marks his return to tensile steppers dynamics and brooding sci-fi atmospheres following an exploration of reduced D&B structures. 'Xor' unfolds a 127bpm tech-step pattern harking back to the styles of his 'Polygon_Cities'-era recordings; 'Inwards' is a cinematic panorama of grey-skied, beat-less sci-fi themes rife with brooding Berlin connotations; 'Ethernet' rolls in that narrow gap between Teutonic techno and Bristolian dub dread, anchoring slinky hi-hats with darkside bass propulsion a la Pinch and his patented ambient sound design.