Monday, 23 March
Recollections GRM present two major works by Croatian-born, Paris-based composer, Ivo Malec, on their crucial reissue series. Originally issued on INA-GREM in 1978, 'Triola' and 'Bizarra' are challenging works of electro-acoustic abstraction conducted by steady hand to articulate a steely, cold and individual vision of sonic possibility. As an early member of the Groupe de musique concrète since 1959 alongside Pierre Schaeffer, Malec also honed his technical skills at the research services of of the french national broadcasters, ORTF prior to realising these works. Co… Read more
Superlative dark disco plays by a new, Frankfurt-based duo, backed with straighter remixes by C.P.I., Willie Burns and Cliff Lothar. The originals are both pretty special, working a palette of brooding doom voices and creepy neo-classical motifs around the slouchiest, stumbling triplets and head-turning vocals. 'Talking About Talking' comes off like a long lost dustbowl waltz between Cosey Fanni Tutti and Jhonn Balance, whilst 'Blackbird' really gets under the skin with frayed, smacky drums and exquisitely layered synths hinting at some kinda Goblin/Carpenter chimera. The remixes re-tune them for mor… Read more
Ilyas Ahmed really finds his voice in th captivating songs of 'I Am All Your Own', his first solo album since 'With Endless Fire' (2012). Rather than his usual instrumental arrangements, or the wordless poems of his Visitor duo-mate, Liz Harris a.k.a. Grouper, the Ahmed's dreamy, folk-tinged vocals are front and centre against wide, plush backdrops of his multi-tracked acoustic and electric strings blown out like some Fripp & Eno or Lawrence English composition. "Written and recorded entirely on 12-string and electric guitars, I Am All Your Own was recorded using a 4-track cassett… Read more
Recollections GRM collect four pieces by one of the 20th century's most important avant-garde musicians and thinkers for one of their most anticipated editions: Iannis Xenakis' 'GRM Works 1957-1962'. Xennakis co-founded the GRM in 1958 (the same year he designed the Philips Pavilion for the Brussels World Fair) and created a peerless body of work uniting studies in mathematics, architecture, engineering and musical theory/composition, pushing the boundaries of new music in the post-war years and pioneering the use of computers in music. His four pieces here are genuinely remar… Read more
**Another remarkable reissue from the hallowed GRM (Groupe de Recherche Musciales) archive in Paris - home to some of the world's most fascinating, advanced electronic music research. The 2nd GRM Recollection was realised in 1974 and 1976 by Guy Reibel (1936, Strasbourg, France), the first assistant to Pierre Schaeffer during his electroacoustic composition courses at the Conservatoire de Paris and a member of GRM from 1963 to 1983. Strongly recommended!** "Franges du Signe (1974): Franges du Signe, the third part of an electroacoustic triptych completed in 1973… Read more
Another breathtaking Recollection GRM release: Francois Bayle's acousmatic masterpiece, 'L'Expérience Acoustique', presented in its entirety on vinyl for the first time. Realised between 1966-1972 using the best technology available at the time, this 2 hour opus "investigates the true nature of the listening process itself" according to the GRM's Christian Zanési & François Bonnet. It's an investigation of acoustic sound at its purest levels and borders on psychedelic in effect. Chopping material from the world around him, manipulating it and juxtaposing against other, unl… Read more
**Gatefold 2LP** Premo beat breaker fLako presents a sterling 3rd album and magnum opus with 'Natureboy' for UK's Five Easy Pieces. Where many in the beat scene can tend to twiddle off into jazzy frippery, fLako defines a filigree balance of restraint and technical innovation with jazz-wise expression, meshing slick, tensile electronics nodding to footwork, grime and lush 4th world ambient tones with grid-skipping drum patterns and feathered instrumental touches.
The original, hugely influential '138 Trek' (1999) comes round again for a defintive digital version. Includes the technoid UK party bounce of the original, plus the tickier VIP, vocal version with GQ, and a darkside Zed Bias remix. Anthem.
Fracking heavy techno from the smart duo of DJ Deep and Roman Poncet. Straight-up club constricts for the DJs, building a right head on it with the unrelenting kicks and rasping shuffle of 'Hydraulic Jack' up top, and to tenser degrees with the jagged slam of 'Hydraulic Pump', whereas 'Artesian Well' hydroplanes beat-less.
Brooklyn's Denetia & Sene debut on Rinse with a curious pop hybrid of thumping slow disco and gothic R&B.
Forward-facing but classically-styled disco house budge from London's Dauwd. Refreshing timeless templates with nimble flair, he grooves between dope and lush Detroit-meets-London filter-house techniques in 'Jupiter George' to the low-slung and supple jazz shuffle of 'Ritter Sport', and intimately soulful broken beat house with 'Take Four'.
Hyper-funky chops from Austria's Cid Rim, loaded with a sweetly unhinged remix by Jameszoo. Check out 'Charge' or 'Kano' for Hud Mo/Rustie-styled future funk blaze, or the remix for kinkier, stranger, unpredictable thrills.
Patented deep house styles from Hamburg's Christopher Rau ov Smallville. Taking a trip out for Office Records here, he deals a superb slice of Sprinkles style body hypnotics with the nine minute 'Mehris Groove' plus some STL-alike jazz-house grit in 'Broke', and the faded ambient hosue designs of 'Im Sumpf' for dessert.
"Since the release of Solo Piano II, Chilly Gonzales composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re-Introduction Etudes, produced and released Octave Minds, the piano-meets-electronica album with Boys Noize and, most importantly, devoted himself to finding a modern take on chamber music. The result is "Chambers", an album for piano and string quartet (and a few surprises along the way). Inspired by the deepening relationship with Hamburg's Kaiser Quartett, the album re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today's addictive pop. Gestures from rap, ambient, easy listening and th… Read more
**Flac format for this release contains 24 / 48 kHz bit audio** Lovely lower case ambient guitar pieces and sweeping, cinematic neo-classical statements from Michael Krasner's Boxhead Ensemble.
Mannequin task Ancient Methods to remix/re-edit a Bourbonese Qualk classic with superb results. The all-too-brief original version of industrial proto-techno kicks and haunting atmosphere laced with an end-of-tether vocal is handily extended to twice the length in AM's faithful edit, before they really get to work on the remix with added Burroughs samples supplementing their whirring teutonic techno efficiency and clarity. Quite seriously, nobody else makes us want to dance quite like Ancient Methods.
Editions Mego's unarchiving of the unparalleled INA GRM catalogue reaches a momentous double header by Bernard Parmegiani - one of the 20th century's most revered and important electro-acoustic composers. Born 1927, Parmegiani started as a sound engineer for French TV in the early '50s, establishing a connection between sound and vision which he would explore to the deepest degrees after joining Pierre Schaeffer's Groupe de recherches musicales in 1959 for a two year masterclass. With his first works composed in 1962 and released in 1969, he essentially headed up t… Read more
Regarded as a hugely influential milestone of the electro-acoustic epoch, Bernard Parmegiani's breathtaking 'De Natura Sonorum' is thankfully reissued in its entirety for the first time on vinyl. It's a beguiling feat of spatially diffused concrète dynamics and precise electronic processing providing entry to an extraordinarily vivid and otherworldly soundsphere perfused with sheer, isolated tones, acousmatic alien scree and sudden percussion organised with an abstract yet palpable sense of dramatic narration and timing. These are rare and incredible sounds, plucked from nat… Read more
Monday, 16 March
*Ships Friday* Mumdance resets the game with his astonishing, dynamic mix for Fabric. Running a gamut of affective styles - from atonal noise thru happy hardcore and full-bore grime - he shows up most modern selectors as pedestrian with the unprecedented breadth of his vision and adroit intricacy of layered blends and angular cuts. Seriously, who else would traverse tracks by Shapednoise, @C, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Fis and Sculpture in the opening passage of a Fabric mix?! We're clearly in bold new territory here, and it's exhilarating to witness where, and just how far out, he ta… Read more
Nice 'n nasty floor work from Bok Bok and his pal, Sweyn Jupiter. A-side, the Club Mix hits up a fresh blend of bouncing B-More/Jersey bass shot thru with late '80s/early '90s synth chords on a sophisticate swerve; B-side, the Sour Mix, eazes off on a halfstep roll, letting the drums and bass spark off each other in more open space, allowing room in the mix for a spot of synthy string romance. Sweet.
Kid Antoine shots a hyper-lucid set of ballroom/B-more/grime mutations with the 'Proximity' EP for Her Records. Graduating from the Her Records Volume 3 compilation to a full-fledged solo debut, Antoine sits very comfortably amidst the likes of Cyphr, Sudanim, and Fraxinus. From the top, 'Recon' bounces a piquant sci-fi take on B-more beside sparse elegance of the title track and the bittersweet tang of 'Motion Sensor', making connections between '80s Japanese digital ambient and modern grime. Likewise, the breezy clarity of 'Airburst' draws links between contemporary computer game melo… Read more
Rabit makes a crucial contribution to the current discourse between US and UK club/grime styles with his stunning debut for Tri Angle. Arriving hot on the heels of 'Heterocetera' by another Houston-rooted producer, Lotic, the 'Baptizm' EP presents Rabit's smartest, most concise productions to date; 4 tracks, just over 10 minutes of crystalline, piquant electronics feeding off elements of classical composition, instrumental grime and computer music. Much like Arca, he's a master of reduction and efficiency for maximalist effect, whether cramming lucid, violent detail into every millisecond of music… Read more
Boro's finest follow their ace 1080p debut with three smog-house swingers for Brighton's outstanding Where To Now? label. Like Basic House (who also mastered this EP), Perfume Advert hail from a N.E. english town steeped in '90s house history - former home to Sugar Shack and Tall Trees - but prefer to view that sound thru a smudged, impressionistic lens, swapping friday night big room ecstasy for something more intimate, subtly gratifying. In contrast with their 'Tulpa' album for 1080p, they've peeled away the layer of chemically-altered fuzz here to reveal three sublime grooves, stre… Read more
Pev & Kowton serve the first new, original material on Livity Sound in over a year. They return industrialised and eager with the fibrillating kicks and ECG bleeps of 'Signal 3' up top, holding a wicked tension between monotone rhythm 'n drone with gear-slipping chord changes that mark it somewhere between Levon Vincent and recent Beneath plays. Down below, 'Low Strobe' channels the pressure into thrumming, hydraulik subs while flanging notes stalk the scene, waiting for the shaft-of-light breakdown.
Inga Copeland flexes a new moniker and altered palette in the surreal chamber pops of 'RELAXIN' with Lolina'. At an avant intersection of R&B, dancehall minimalism and electro-pop, Lolina creates her own world of sonic oddity and nursery rhyme delivery. The self-titled opener sounds like Autechre's 'Piezo' given a lo-fi baroque pop make-over, while the MIDI keys and grubby bounce of 'Miss Understood' warp like a funfair mirror version of a Palmistry riddim. Most unsettling of all, 'Relaxx' hits stranger pleasure centres with deliciously discordant piano and disconcerting vocal reminding us of Carole Caroompas. It's really kinda genius.
*Jeez - think you know Muslimgauze? Check this incredible album out...* Golden Muslimgauze gear retrieved from the vaults by Staalplaat. This is the strain of Bryn Jones' music that we cherish the most, mixing prickling EBM/electro patterns with lilting percussion, gloaming pads and field recordings, rather than his distorted loop jams. As we know, he would create umpteen versions of tracks which could sound very similar but we're actually all subtly different arrangements to each other. There are nine takes on the same palette of elements in 'Zilver / Feel The Hiss', including l… Read more
UTTU's knack for digging new talent in full effect! Cassius Select follows his split 12" with Tuff Sherm into the crafty-ass drums of his 'Crook' EP, showing off some seriously giddy syncopations ranging from the Mbalax-like talking drum tilt and Joe-style chopping of 'Cross Strut' to the stuttered c*nty funk of 'CROOK'; getting all grimy with the fractious bells and heads-down bass of 'Joy Mile', and simply spinning bodies wild with the killer complexities of 'He Ain't Worth It'. More like this, please!!!
**Edition of 500 mastered by Matt Colton. Includes download** Felix K invokes D&B and techno's most strung-out daemons in his almighty debut for Blackest Ever Black. Clocking in at near enough mini-LP length between the tortuous 17-minute A-side 'Tragedy of the Commons' and a pair of tribal spectres on the flip, it's certainly the most ambitious, and arguably most impressive release in the veteran producer's armoury. That A-side is "exemplary Berlin noir", as BEB put it, administering a heavy dose of subterranean dread that crawls under the skin with opiate effect. Voyeuristic fie… Read more
In the slipstream of his Shed project Berlin resident René Pawlowitz has created a sequence of Techno cuts reminiscent of the diverse breakbeat-heavy Techno of the early 1990s. This mix contains previously Vinyl-12" only releases, published mainly under the Head High pseudonym over the past 5 years.
An absolute doozy from Workshop introducing four new names to the label. Uptown, Manchester's Willow makes her debut entrance with a deeply smudged slice of house soul in 'Feel Me' and Tapes totally blindsides with the perfectly blue R&B/digidub delicacy, 'Somebodies baby'. Downtown, UK electro survivor Steven Horne (Even Steven from Z-Bop) aka The Horn blushes the gorgeous 'Villager', and it's back to Manchester with some woozy NWAQ craic in the 'Lost Track' pearl by meandyou.'s Herron. Highly recommended.