Friday, 24 July
Kink and Elektro Guzzi remix each other for Berlin's Macro Recordings with brooding, proggy results.
Ed Rush & Optical sum up the sound of big room D&B in 2015 with Fabriclive82. It's akin to being fired from a slingshot at 180bpm down a long dark tunnel whilst alien tribespeople pelt your head with spiky fruit from all angles, accelerating the sound to G-force levels of cheek-wobbling torsion and frankly ludicrous levels of hi-velocity "funk". In just under 70 minutes they manage to cover 39 tracks, rarely sticking with one for longer than 2 minutes and constantly upping the ante between ferocious numbers by Noisia, Current Value, Konflict and Mefjus, plus a healthy selection of their own productions, including the classic 'Watermelon'.
Grumbling dark techno from the Bradford/Serbia axis of Dronelock & Ontal. Check for the dynamically sprung sound design of 'Parallax' and the toiling Yorkshire fun of 'Drop Steel Forge'.
Ruddy UK/US club transfusions from the one like DJ Haus. A-side, he galvanises the floor with a sick metallic take on Jersey club trax in 'Get Tha F**k Out' beside the horny garage rave tone of 'Need Sum Time'. B-side he takes it there with a breakbeat-charged booty smasher, 'Hot In Dis Muthaf**ker', and a straight-up sleaze play, 'Work Ur Body'.
Hot on the heels of their Sound Signature session, Dego & Kaidi return to Eglo with a quartet of super-soulful rug-cutters. Vibes are strong on this wan, whether greazing the parched drums and mirage-like synth shimmers of 'Black Is Key' with deep jazz vocal harmonies and fruity keys, or loosening up the pointillist shuffle of 'Man Made' with wobbly, wavey chords on the A-side, or travelling from the Afro-centric idiosyncrasies of 'Orbiting Uhuru' to inimitably clipped and charming summer-in-West London styles with 'The Vault Descends'.
In classic dub fashion, Deadbeat reworks three of his smartest, stripped down rhythm tracks for Visionquest's label. 'Berghain Drum Jack (2015 Edit)' is a fgreshly trimmed mix of 'Grounation (Berghain Drum Jack)' from his 'Roots And Wire'  album; 'Mecca Drum Jack (2015 Edit)' is a neat nip 'n tuck of the same cut from 'Eastward On To Mecca' ; the juicy 303 and writhing dub FX of 'Acid Dub Jack' make for an entirely new cut, by our reckoning.
Kurt Dahlke a.k.a. NDW pioneer Pyrolator takes his turn to reconstruct and adapt the work of pivotal Berlin-skool composer, Conrad Schnitzler. This posthumous, inter-generational collaboration is even better than it reads on paper/screen, with Dahlke aiming to "present a side of Conrad which I has always heard in his music but one which often goes unnoticed: a darker, technoid side". He arguably fulfils his intentions in style over 12 vast, amorphous synthscapes foregrounding the compatibilities between Schnitzler's modular extractions and a modern day sound of Berlin tec… Read more
Cómeme run a ruddier, sexier bum-bum sound from Carisma on their 2nd full EP following numerous remixes and compilation appearances. It's a signature fit for Matias Aguayo's label, whether slyding '90s house into slippery, latinate psychedelia with 'Fruta' or serving sub-heavy carnival functions with 'Discoteca Profunda' on top, or carving to the darker side with the polychromatic EBM trip of 'Vertigo', and giving the disco something to suck on with the salty synth thrust of 'Dueños De Este Instante'.
Aurora Halal presses a classically-informed techno sound on the 2nd 12" for her and Ital's Mutual Dreaming Recordings. Taking her cues from Claro Intellecto, Convextion, Terrence Dixon - the saints of modern deep techno - she works out five low-lit and supple grooves ranging from the coolly poised roll of the title track, 'Shapeshifter' to furtive EBM techno in 'Death of Real', and on thru the proggy momentum of 'Sunlight' to the wobbly, deep electro in 'Sleep Distortion'.
Good ol' uncle Trunk blinds us with this first-ever issue of Alan Jefferson's solo space odyssey, 'Galactic Nightmare'. It's the sort of stuff Trunk was born to release; a self-composed, played, narrated, and designed 88-minute space odyssey inspired by the War of the Worlds radio play. The author is one Alan Jefferson, who conceived and executed 'Galactic Nightmare' between 1979 and 1984 and sold it, via the adverts in the back of magazines such as C U Amiga and Future Music, for the princely sum of £4.99. Factoring for inflation, this vinyl issue is nowt less than a priceless… Read more
Friday, 17 July
*Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley delivers an incredible solo work for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, recorded together with French 35-piece improv orchestra ONCEIM* The dark interpreter, Stephen O'Malley ov Sunn 0))), presents his towering debut orchestral composition 'Guidés'; commissioned by French 35-piece improv orchestra ONCEIM - l'Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisation Musicales - and released thru Demdike Stare's DDS label. In early 2014 O'Malley was approached by pianist and composer Frédéric Blondy to write a work for the orchestra, comprised of excepti… Read more
*Long-Awaited debut album from Janus Collective member M.E.S.H. - recorded in Berlin in winter 2015, mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M* Janus crew's M.E.S.H. unpackages a vast internal world across the ornate topographies of his incredible debut album. Combining scything club dynamics and Hollywood sound design with a sample bank of archaic renaissance instruments, 'Piteous Gate' describes a hyperreal place-out-of-time framed by matrices of tessellating grids and vapour-trace contours rent in near-VR detail. Collapsing the stadium-sized structures of "festival trance" with oblique elements o… Read more
*Visionist’s Lost Codes label re-emerges as Codes, a new collaboration with PAN* Visionist resets his Lost Codes imprint as a new PAN sublabel, with a killer, collaborative grime/techno collage by Acre and Filter Dread. Marking the first time either producer has collaborated properly, they prove a vital pairing in equilibrium between industrial techno engines, body-scanning UK bass tones and gritty, diffuse urban-gothic atmosphere. Upfront, ‘Drumz34’ burrows in with viral 8-bit squiggle and squashed subs before ‘Flash Speed’ arches up a skeletal, mutant 8-bar onslaught and ‘Trashe… Read more
Superb, carbonated disco-house and good times boogie from the Pender Street Stepper and Mood Hut collective member. Doing it for Future Times, Jack J bubbles up the dub-scattered drums and walking disco bass of 'Thirstin' with soul-quenching vocals on the A-side, whilst 'Atmosphere' opens out across the flip with diaphanous jazz chords and a deep forest of shimmering chime trees giving way to a lissom boogie shuffle shivered with nifty edits from the top pocket.
Exceptional debut 12" of trippin', tape-saturated techno and electro by Antinote's latest discovery. Coming not long after the rugged techno punishments of his 'Human Condition' tape for New York Haunted, 'Menti Singole' portrays a more sensitive, melancholy character between the buttoned-up electromance of opener 'Filippo' and the roiling Andy Stott-meets-Aught styles of 'Marco', soaring under covert ferric skies across the Urban Tribe-like panorama of 'Francesco' to the noirish Lynch-meets-Gesloten Cirkel vibes of 'Leonardo'. Based on the strength of these tracks, by all rights Leonardo Martelli's name should be everywhere very soon. Massive tip!
**Highly recommended to fans of Grouper, Loren Connors, Richard Skelton** Original Bristol shoegazer, Flying Saucer Attack, completes a quietly breathtaking return with his first new album in 15 years. Where all too often this sort of return can simply reprise an old sound for diehard fans, 'Instrumentals 2015' is a timeless and otherworldly recording with a radiant, transcendent appeal for anyone with a taste for blown-out guitar drone scapes. Across 15 pieces it covers a vast, impressionistic topography in a spellbinding narrative coursing from Eraserhead-like industria… Read more
*Exclusive version of Bullion's new EP with an additional track!* On his brilliant first new release in 3 years, Bullion is sure to draw some big grins with the menagerie of technicolour, cartoonish funk in 'Rooster'. Unhinged to say the least, you get the sense that Nathan Jenkins a.k.a. Bullion has spent up all his pop chips with production for the wonderful Nautic and Laura Groves, and now really wants to reveal what's going on the "musical barnyard" of his bonce. Taking in radiophonic bloops, dubbed-out rooster crows, digickal dancehall, Gaelic jigs, ersatz Ethiopiques and Indian raga, it's … Read more
Adroit, abstract rhythm trips from De Leon on his 2nd session for the impeccable Aught imprint. Some really outstanding pieces to be found in this outing, not least the high-velocity flux of '10', which sounds something like Cut Hands gone gamelan, or the dusty, sinuous tribal techno extractions of ''08' which is maybe best compared with Bookworms' intuitive style of drum programming and arrangement. Mix in the sweltering mass of coruscating chords and echo chamber clangour in '07', and the grounation-like patter of '06', and you've got a really strong, uniquely immersive selection. Tip!
Neck-snapping instrumental grime slaughter from the Slackk-championed producer, Edgem. 'Terror Fortress' runs four dramatic and concentrated DJ tools, flaring nasty brass and 8-bar lunges in the title cut alongside the string-heavy aggression of 'I See Everything', ruthless darkside bass pressure in 'Route One', and boss-level intensity of 'The Crypt'.
Downwards remind us the genius of Female's shatterproof productions with 'The Exotic Three' presenting a previously unheard belter, 'Hung' alongside 'Cold Steel' and Contact' from his 'Into The Exotic' (1997) album. The lesser known co-founder of Downwards and early contributor to Sandwell District has too long been absent from the release schedule, so consider this a necessary reminder of his deadly and uncomprising style, from the lip-bitingly tight, latinate shufflez of the two album trax to the pensile, minimalist and properly sexy dynamics of 'Hung'. TIP!
Chicago's own DJ Roc volleys an electrified 2nd album of footwork with 'Practice What U Preach' for scene supporters, Duck N' Cover. Working a perfect balance of sampled soul and technoid Afro-futurism, it weighs up some of his deadliest cuts and jabs in the likes of 'Lowend Unity', named after his 'hood and flush with a mix of pealing sax, droning subs and mercurial synth drops; with the lump-in-throat brilliance of his hyper Jhene Aiko flip, 'The Worst'; and not least the staccato pulses, ricochet rimshots and choking bass pressure of 'I Make Gutta'.
Black Channels summon the spirit of Broadcast, hauntology and dreamy psychedelia in their deeply uncanny debut release for Death Waltz. Revolving around two spellbinding songs and an etheric outerlude, 'Oracles' hovers into view with the dry iced synth drift and roiling drums of the title track wreathing Becky Randall's swooning vocal in thorns and wilting, blood-red petals, before 'Depth of Field' sinks so low into a gothic miasma of squirming bass and ceramic rimshots perfused with glossolalia recalling classics by Pink Industry, Cocteau Twins, Chris & Cosey, and aesthetic analogues in certain Andy Stott or Jenny Hval tunes.
Justin K Broadrick and Black Rain reshape cuts from AnD's cranky debut album in their own image. Darkside hero Justin Broaderick does his JK Flesh thing on 'Non Sky Signal Noise', turning it into a charred, 100bpm banger bulging with red-lined bass protrusions and sweltering distortion before opening the hatch on a payload of nuclear drones and acid malevolence. The remixes from Ike Yard's Stuart Argabright in Black Rain mode are quieter and more subtle, whether shrouding the frazzled bleeps and stumbling techno of 'The Surface of Last Scattering' in thorny, viscose distortion, or decelerating and expanding 'Galactic Motion' inna grumbling industro-acid-dub style.
**Upfront Exclusive** Silent Servant and Lili Schulder (51717) bring the darkside out of each other in 'Jealous God 06'. Both sides build on the most unheimlich elements of their respective releases, 'Negative Fascination' (Hospital Productions) and '0VUL' for Opal Tapes, or the cracking 'Shadowlust' LP with Svengalisghost for L.I.E.S. A-side, Lili's a spectral presence, whispering like a gynoid Cosey amid industrial ambient moires and queasy trudge. B-side, Silent Servant mutters bleak nothings thru his walkie talkie (?) dialled in from a lost highway.
Berlin-based sound artist Yair Elazar Glotman returns to Subtext with the powerful electro-acoustic scapes of 'Études' a year on from his 'Nimbes' soundtrack with James Ginzburg and his pair of Ketev tape works for Where To Now? and Opal Tapes. This, his 2nd album proper, involves ten studies for contrabass, using newly-honed, counter-intuitive technique to, in a sense, bybass his classical training and draw out an "unnatural" range of secreted resonance and physically affective vibrations. By probing his instrument's acoustic dynamic range with close micing and post-production, he re… Read more
Matt Morandi's Jahiliyya Fields yield a long-delayed and highly-charged second 2LP of hypnotic loops, drones and rhythmic noise for L.I.E.S. Found in sharp relief with the meditative tone of 'Unicursal Hexagram' (2012), his debut album, this set veers between wavy alien square dance and layered, ecstatic techno impulses. But, the occultist, esoteric intentions remain the same, urging a state of dancefloor transcendence thru repetition and chaotic, hallucinogenic derangement across eleven mental stages. It's all much closer to the projections of Astral Social Club, or the febrile atm… Read more
Killer debut transmission of Millsian techno disciplines, intercepted by Function's Infrastructure New York radar. Fresh from his appearance in Function's Berghain 07 mix, Post Scriptum's eponymous double pack reveals an uncompromisingly powerful sound in eight DJ-ready parts, perfectly balanced between rolling heft and diffuse, airy dynamics. The production is delectable, detailed to microscopic degrees but not at the expense of the bigger picture, meaning steely, supple and infectious rhythms for the dancers and vast, gaseous atmospheres and hypnotic, mazy bleep patterns to really get lost in. Ace.
Ollie Holmberg's much-whispered about Moon Wheel hovers into sight on Where To Now? with the frayed, introspective beauty of 'Okänt Land'. Following up 2013's well-received 7" for Wool Recordings and an eponymous album for Not Not Fun Records, this EP plots a mazy path thru gauzy, cloud-like topologies precipitating silvery acid drips and plumes of wistful analogue synth anchored by slow-heaving yet elegant machine rhythms. Their effect equally recalls a faded version of Andy Stott's knackered house in the creaking yet viscous groove of 'Sky City' as much as Pye Corner Audio's most blunted… Read more
For anyone too lazy to go outdoors this summer, Stephan Laubner brings the 'Wilderness of Harz 2' to the comfort of your living room. "This album is an extended playing journey full of beautiful crisp and enchanted captured places within the wide Harz Mountains nature park area. All recordings were made in different techniques in 2015 by Stephan Laubner with his outdoor gadget fellows on various day and early morning excursions in native surroundings. It can be a pleasure trip and relaxation happening to get inside of this release at easy silent times or whenever you need natur… Read more