Monday, 08 September
*Includes bonus tracks 'Filthy City' & 'Filthnoid Mix'* Gully New York hip hop coated in scuzzy noise by Gut Nose, back on his home city's Styles Upon Styles label. Landing squarely between the eyes of Parallel Thought's rugged beat suites and classic El-P produce, 'Filthy City' evokes a bloodshot, street-level view of a wasted metropolis in eleven concise parts. It all feels haunted by the dread ghosts of late '90s boom bap, DJ Spooky, Wordsound, RZA's 'Ghostdog' soundtrack et al, and is also prone to wigging out into collapsing industrial house structures at will. As a sort of sonic psychogeographic derivè it really takes us there.
Sampledelic soul moves from Slowfoot's Crewdson and ascendent singer, Femme, aka Eckoclick for Sonic Router. Coming off like Matthew Herbert and FAY recording for Eglo, their eponymous debut is an impressively well-rounded and accomplished session, meeting Crewdson's meticulously scalpel-cut concrète arrangements with the natural fluidity of Femme's adroit vocals in six songs swerving between low-slung house ('Dream In Colour'), clipped future disco soul ('Dance With Me'), and '90s R&B ('Controller', 'Bad Luck').
Ruggedly abstract, Afro-centric house from Damon Bell on Aybee's excellent Deepblak label. Makes sure to check out that mind-weaving, deep burning synthline driving 'No Deuce No Dose', and get down with the squashed house swagger of 'Babylonian Spliffs'.
**Edition of 250** CPU boot up another retro-futurist Braindance session from Cygnus in the 'Tesseracter EP'. This vinyl version includes four cuts: the slinky Drexciyan electro of 'Tesseracter' and the exotic harmonic hues of 'Strange Hyper' on the A-side; some dope Juan Atkins-esque electro in 'Technologic' and tightly clipped, fluid electro-funk in 'Video Games' on the B-side.
Conrad Schnitzler is without a doubt one of the most important figures in 20th century electronic music. His CV includes a prominent role initiating the seminal Zodiak Free Arts Lab in Berlin circa 1967, essentially creating the nucleus of what would become known as the Kosmische movement. From this he became a founder member of Kluster and collaborated with the likes of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, laying the foundations for future generations of Techno and Ambient electronic musicians. It's not often that unreleased material of his comes to the surface, but Further Records have… Read more
Conforce readjusts his focus from techy sound design to machine soul with 'Depth Over Distance' for Delsin. Four tracks very much rooted in the art of old skool Detroit and UK's Artificial Intelligence quarters, setting sail with the breathy pads and silvery slink of the title track and circling in on fluid, submerged electro with 'Plateau', epic C2-style Italo-techno in 'Rendez-Vous', and gorgeous, halfstep techno romance in 'Closer'.
"Busdriver’s 8th studio album proper, ‘Perfect Hair’, features production from Mono/Poly, Jeremiah Jae, Great Dane, Kenny Segal and Riley Lake. Album artwork courtesy of the legendary and talented John Lurie (formerly of the Lounge Lizards and known for his roles in Jim Jarmusch films amongst others). The album features guest performances from Detroit’s irrepressible Danny Brown (Fools Gold) and NYC’s unflinching Aesop Rock (Rhymesayers / Def Jux). Hellfyre affiliates Open Mike Eagle and VerBS also feature. Driver has recently collaborated with Modeselektor, Son Lux, Latyrx, Kool AD, Lap… Read more
Amsterdam and London dons Tom Trago and Bok Bok get their Dance Mania on for Night Voyage. 'Pussy Trak' is a pumping house tool stabbed up with ballroom crashes and the stentorian command "work this pussy"; 'Silent G safari' works on a bassline-driven tip punctuated with phasing claps.
Bold, wayward, and rooted house brilliance from the Deepblak boss. From the teched-out pivot and bonkers lead line of 'A Novel Gesture', through the head-swimming swing and aquartic pads of 'We Come In Peace', to the lush classicism of 'Akiara', Aybee will return the faith to any house fiends who're sick of cookie cutter "deep" house or the neutered lo-fi stuff. Tip!
UNO NYC cut loose with four bittersweet bruisers, backed with an emosh Throwing Snow remix. The follow-up to 'Fan Death' dices with kuduro-strength techno and 'ardcore breakbeats between the scything torsion of 'SOMA', darkside neuro styles in 'Artifact', and deathly fusion of black metal and club beats in 'Before I Forget'. Throwing Snow's piquant remix of 'SOMA' affords some sensitive, widescreen relief from the onslaught.
Monday, 01 September
Slackk triggers one of *the* albums of 2014 with his debut LP 'Palm Tree Fire' for Local Action. Requiring little introduction around here, Slackk has been a steadfast lynchpin for grime for nigh on a decade now. From running the invaluable grimetapes source back in the day, thru his pivotal hybrid productions for Numbers and latterly Local Action, and not to mention his innumerable radio slots and club sets, most crucially at the Boxed events, founded in 2013 as an incubator for new, instrumental talent which has more than proved its worth. Basically the guy's a don in the truest sense of… Read more
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt. Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
Airhead curls out a coupla bass-sprung aces for Untold's Hemlock label. 'October' pivots crisp, live drums off big boy 808 booms and dissonant electronics like some mutant offspring of AFX's 'Windowlicker'; 'Macondo' goes wiggly, spannered tribal house laced with scuttling electronic gremlins.
Black Rain dials deep into the Blackest Ever Black psyche with 'Dark Pool', its first new material in 18 years. An eagerly awaited follow-up to 'Protoplasm' (2012) and 'Now I'm Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95' (2012), it features New York's dark interpreter, Stuart Argabright - Ike Yard instigator and erstwhile member of Dominatrix, Death Comet Crew - realise his starkest sci-fi fantasies in degrees of pitch black relief streaked with strobing neon flashes and whirring tribal/industrial rhythms comparable with his label-mates, Regis or Cut Hands. Thematically it builds upon the literary … Read more
German house and electronica's most enduring producer presents a deadly new album - only his 2nd solo LP in 18 years! In contrast to 2011's 'Fatty Folders' side, 'Happiness Is Happening' is more inquisitive, lush but gritty, and still crafted with the same exquisite delicacy we've come to expect from the man behind total classics as Acid Jesus, Warp 69, Alter Ego, and not least Eight Miles High. It starts out with fine nods to motorik kosmische styles in the grinding momentum and smudged celestial synths of 'Connecting The Ghost' and the Kraftwerkian elegance of 'Friendship S… Read more
Peckham's newest imprint presents tasty, rooted rhythms from Al Dobson Jr, backed with remixes from Ptaki and Ruf Dug. The well-tucked shuffle of 'Santiago Black' is expanded to nearly 7 minutes of dusty balearic disco bump suffused with a silky new vocal, breezy synth and keys by Poland's Ptaki for the connoisseurs. Taking it slower, lower, the tickled boogie loop of 'Kirton Street' is teased into a chug on Ruffy's 3am Canavans Special.
Lethal drum trax from the new look Randomer on Clone's excellent Basement Series. It's manna for DJ and dancer who just wanna get the fxxk doon, dropping two slamming mixes of the title track up top and a pair of echoic 'Percussion Workout''s dicing purely with tribalised techno drum cadence. Bangers all round.
'Imagin' is the eagerly awaited debut album from Dark Sky for Modeselektor's Monkeytown label. Since their early 12"s for Black Acre and Pictures Music, we've witnessed Dark Sky evolve from a dextrous duo dealing in twisted post-dubstep, pop and techno hybrids to a canny trio pushing near-symphonic big room electronica/techno on a level with the likes of Jon Hopkins and Modeselektor. It feels very much of its time, spanning murky trip hop/dubstep-pop references in 'Nothing Changes', 'Vivid' and 'Rainkist' alongside lean, techy London house in 'Odyssey', and at best in the Kraftwerk-meets-Thom Yo… Read more
The exotic, alien tone of 'Valley Girl' marks the welcome return of Oakland, CA's Madalyn Merkey, whose previous release, 'Scent' was one of 2012's most spellbinding ambient/electro-acoustic charms. As a student of the famous Mills College, Merkey's work is understandably rooted in academic process and research, yet also inspired by the agriculture and rolling landscapes of the surrounding region. However, we'd be inclined to liken them to images of martian landscapes in '70s sci-fi than anything of this planet. Using computer generated tones and sequences, she spreads out a unique to… Read more
Doom rock's sandman, Dylan Carlson returns with Mark Lanegan (QOTSA) and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) in tow for Earth's 7th full-length studio album. 'Primitive and Deadly' by name, it yields seven signature pieces of crushing, tectonic guitar chords leavened by poised vocals from the aforementioned, and augmented by Brett Netson ov Built To Spill's 2nd guitar. The addition of another axe, together with the extra vocals makes for a more proggy, psychedelic affair than their previous 'Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light' dispatch, to these ears at least.
"Two years after leveling the expectations of critics and listeners alike with Atma, doom trio powerhouse YOB unleashes Clearing The Path To Ascend, an aptly titled album for what will undoubtedly be the crowning achievement for a band whose journey now nears two decades of creating music as commanding as it is cathartic. As is the YOB way, the tracks here don’t simply offer a vacuous glimpse into the already riff-soaked doom genre While giving due sonic credit to cornerstone influences such as Cathedral, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath – YOB immediately set out to defi… Read more
The final reissue of Basinski's 'Disintergration Loops' series sees yet more mediations on the subject of mortailty, brought to bear through a level of fragility rarely glimpsed witihn modern music. Comparable to Ryuichi Sakamoto in terms of its gracefully hypnotic and deeply textured poetic outlook, the fact that Basinksi managed to retrieve such emotional tracts from decaying source material is testament to his towering talent. Made up of three extended pieces, each composition is unique in terms of sound, but united by a very real sense of unyielding emotional… Read more
The first 20 minute composition on this reissue from William Basinksi opens with one of the most heart-breaking tracts of music I've heard for many years; a looped clutch of strings, slowly shuffling into oblivion. Gorgeous. If the PR gubbins accompanying these timely reissues is to be believed, Basinksi watched the fall of the Twin Towers from his roof whilst 'The Disintegration Loops' played in the background. I can only imagine the sheer profundity that would have instilled on such a bleak situation, with Basinski's work able to make a boiling kettle take on … Read more
In possesion of a deeply ingrained vein of raw unmitigated talent coursing through his soul, William Baskinski is a modern day Midas; with everything he touches turning to aural gold. With the reissue of parts 2-4 (why part 1 isnt here yet, jah only knows!) of the jaw-dropping 'The Disintegration Loops' series, Basinski proves why he is undoubtedly one of the greatest minimalists / soundscapers of our time. Having found acres of tape he'd archived in the 1980's, Basinski decided they should be converted to digital format in order to preserve them from decay. Too … Read more
For all those wondering where the reissue of Basinski's first instalment of the 'Disintegration Loops' series was, your wait is over! Having been held back till last, the anticipation surrounding this release could cripple a lesser man; but Basinski more than matches the task. With the back story of their inception now well documented (detailed in the liner notes) Basinski seems to have captured a sound that would overtly suggest death (i.e.. the decay of archived sound files) in a way which precipitates a renewed interest in previously doomed material and thus si… Read more
**Fascinating, worldly and necessary collection of remastered, rare jazz orchids** "Until it was swept aside by the pop explosion of the 1960s, jazz was the most popular modern sound on earth. From the New World and the Caribbean to Africa, across the Soviet Bloc and the British Empire to the Far East, jazz music was embraced, adopted, played and enjoyed. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and followed its messengers and influences in Europe, this fifth installment of our Spiritual Jazz series presents jazz from the rest of the world: a collectio… Read more
Numero present David Blair Stiffler's breathtaking 1988 excursion to the isolated, landlocked Mountain Province of the Northern Philippines. Risking "life and limb" to document the region's under-recorded cultures, the noted field recordist's trip actually ended as a hostage of the MNLF rebels, who confiscated his party's equipment bar the clothes on their back and a single cassette. Upon return to America, the masters, intended for release by Folkways, were shelved in light of Folkways founder Moses Asch's death, but thankfully they' were rediscovered to become the rec… Read more