Friday, 14 August
Lakker task a strong team of remixers to their 'Tundra' album. Mark Fell does his best footwork with the quicksilver 'Oktavist' occurring somewhere between Chicago, Shangaan and south Yorkshire styles; Björk-collaborator, Spaces sparks 'Mountain Divide' with cutting mechanical funk; Kyoka's extracts and diffuses the geist from 'Three Songs'; Sam Willis a.k.a. Primitive World turns 'Pylon' to disco-techno functions; Arad boosts 'Ton'Neru' to militant E-Com techno pace, and Acid Mondays cream a slinky tech-house from 'Milch' whilst Lakker's own Eomac impresses with the spectral reduction of 'Halite'.
Lil Jabba continues to follow his own path with support from Local Action in the skewed, grimy geometries of his 'Keep' EP. We can easily say that this is Jabba's most efficient outing, tightening up on the sidelong psychedelic tendencies in favour of crisp, sidereal melodies and concise grooves flexing from the lucent grime delicacies of 'Grey' and the ruddy 'Brass Tax' to floating footwork-jungle hyperstructures in 'Waila', and a poignant ambient electronic kiss-off called 'Sooth' recalling classic Plaid or Richard D. James. It's a Local Action future classic, no doubt. Tip!
"We live in dangerous times. We are blinded by control vectors that separate us from reality. And The Black Dog returns with a viral antidote: an album of de-programming material which they’ve called Nether/Neither. This record continues the work they started with Further Vexations and Radio Scarecrow. Burroughs was right: we are now living in a world that is nothing short of a total information war. We are neither one thing nor another, endlessly on the fence in the face of an onslaught of disinformation. Non-linear hypermedia systems are openly used to control us, their operation… Read more
Appleblim tests the parameters of his sound with a trio of murky, proggy and noisy electronic abstractions. 'Avebury' rolls on a laidback tech-house groove cast with salty soft trance arpeggios, whereas 'Auburn Blaze' sounds like Vainqueur gone rogue, darkside, and the 'Wandered' convects nine minutes of inception-like modular synth noise. Great new direction for this producer, we look forward to hearing where he goes next.
Boxcutter crystallises new age, psychedelic boogie and footwork on his Vatic Dreams EP. Between its sauna-like ambient intro and outro, 'Vatic Dreams' works like the soundtrack to a romantic sci-fi short, swanging with glitched tropical cyboogie in 'Sunrise Funk' before raising the drama with intra-dimensional footwork and electro-soul in 'Login Fanfare' and the polychromatic vortices of 'Network'. RIYL Lil Jabba, SDC, Om Unit.
Murky, nicotine-stained ambience from Young Echo affiliates, Neek and Amos Childs (member of Jabu and Zhou) for Bristol's ever-expanding Idle Hands label. Working within Young Echo's now well-established style, they eviscerate the bodies of dubstep, grime, D&B - that Bristol sound - to come out with eight ghostly emissions framed between low end sub-bass presence, greying ambient chords and faint flickers of voodoo percussions.
Body Boys are spoiling for a dance in their follow-up to the claggy nocturnes of debut album, 'Growth Window'. Two years down the line they're now packing throbbing techno muscle alongside the sallow ambient signatures, resulting the pounding drone techno of 'First Time' or 'Nosebleed', and softer ambient house padding of 'Alone' alongside the beat-less, pillow-diving chords of 'Yunnan' and jittery techno fundamentals somewhere between Phork and Blondes in 'Stutter'.
**Barry Lynn a.k.a. Boxcutter's latest vessel, The Host, travels light years into beat-less new age kosmiche with the 'Esalen Lectures', starring a guest appearance from Kaidi Tatham. RIYL BoC, Emeralds, Panabrite, µ-Ziq**"“Inspired by think tanks and floatation tanks, psychological research, 2012 mythology, 1960’s social planning, stoned apes, elite transhumanism, and the counter-culture, the Esalen Lectures is an imaginary trip to a NorCal psychedelic retreat. Use the sounds to enter into a program of theory and practice, to accompany inward voyages, and for sunset induction rituals. … Read more
Deep Medi launch a killer 2nd solo attack from Dub Mechanics' K Man. 'Blink' charges up a cantering steppers riddim twisted with nasty synth roque and smoothed out with butter pads. B-side, 'Power Drill', as its name suggests, is a proper rave tool, gunning for that Coki sound with staggered mid-range synth and neck-snap snares.
Will Archer a.k.a. Slime arrives ghostly yet fully formed with a strung-out suite of ambient R&B-pop and soft focus electronics. Prefaced by a 2-track single for Weird World (and, before that, a single for Get Me!), 'Company' catches a breezy set of ten songs by the Newcastle-raised, London-based 27 year old singer/songwriter who arrives at this point from an interesting set of circumstances: at once influenced by the sounds of his dad's coffee factory as much as his background in the Geordie gabber scene and work scoring original film music for a youth orchestra at the Tate Modern. However, it's … Read more
Opal Tapes pluck out a gauzy, isolated beaut from Michael Vallera, who's probably best known on this site for his melancholic solo gems as COiN and with Steven Hess in Cleared. At once stately poised and crushingly moody, 'Distance' revolves five songs in just under 40 minutes, keening from heart-in-mouth shoegaze ambience shook-up with pained '80s drums, to the chokingly screwed doom scape of 'Animal', and onwards to the vaulted reverb structures of 'Grace of Climate', culminating with the quasi-speed bass plummets and numb drones of 'Distance'. V ery RIYL Ensemble Economique, Talker, Cleared.
UKF pioneer, D-Malice does a slinkier house sound with 'Indian Time'. Since serving 2008's definitive 'Gabryelle (Refix)' anthem, D-Malice has been busy honing a plusher Afro-house style on his DM digital label. With 'indian Time' he draws lissom connections between that original UKF flex and 2015 house, meshing shimmering strings with fluidly synched tabla and tribal percussions. Basic Soul Unit also chimes in with a tuffer remix techno refit balancing those strings with much darker pads and welting bass.
Clinical yet romantic electro-scapes from Rome's Valerio Lombardozzi (co-founder of MinimalRome label) aka Heinrich Dressel. On 'Waterproof Theory' he takes inspiration from the Roman legends of Romulus and Remus to craft four exquisite pieces nodding to the aquatic electro of his namesake, Heinrich Mueller, and the suspenseful synth atmospheres of John Carpenter with crisp melodic gestures and clipped, efficient machine rhythms.
A 2015 Dreem Teem - Royal-T, DJ Q and Flava D - go hard and sweet as TDQ for Butterz. Up top, their 'Day Mix' plays with tuffened West Yorkshire bassline vibes speckled with eski flutes and darker Reese bass blooms for the dancefloor captains. Downtown, the 'Night Mix' eases off to a 125 bpm swing, bringing fwd the crackle and glistening chords for an altogether more sensuous and low-lit version.
Steffi's electro-techno burner, 'JBW25' for Ostgut Ton comes backed with pop and rolling techno remixes from Further Reductions and Answer Code Request. The original executes Drexciyan functions in fluid form, but matters get more interesting in the remixes, where Further Reductions make Steffi sound like Inga Copeland, and Answer Code Request's Vision remix takes it to an early '90s UK AI style.
Syria's finest serves the slow, humid highlight from the 'Bahdemi nami' LP, backed with an amazing doom drone remix by The Black Lips' Cole Alexander. Where the original opens up like a twilight desert panorama of buzzing microtonal clusters and plangent guitar strokes streaked by Souleyman, the remix condenses this vision to a febrile midnight scene of crushing, stone-handed raga-blues riffage and banking synth pads accentuated with a slow techno-blues thump. colour us captivated.
Spellbinding collage work by the Algerian producer for Discrepant. In El Mahdy's own words, ''Ghost Tapes is a composition of everyday fragments based on found tapes, field recordings, beats and radio frequencies. A ruff attempt of interpreting the cultural ghost that surrounds the field and makes the difference between place and space.'' Unspooling over 30 minutes, the dubstep outlier seamlessly strafes myriad acousmatic sources, parsing their vibes for amorphous, spectral information and feeling something akin to an opiated mooch thru a labyrinth of interconnected antechambers, eliding… Read more
The time-served UK techno expert digs out four versions of his most in-demand belters. Killing it from every angle, between an Enhanced Version of 'Flyby/Falling' [Ingoma, 2006] to a dextrous unreleased demo mix of 'Bulk [Inceptive, 2006], plus the razor-cut drums and tribal momentum of 'Obscura Mix 1', and a stripped mix of the carousel banger, 'Mass'.
Jochem Paap (Speedy J) and Lucy mesh forces for a fwd follow-up to their excellent, eponymous album. Their union proves fruitful again with four pieces spreading out between the bleep techno hydrolicks of 'At The End Of The World', thru the perfectly pensile dimensions of 'An Extraordinary Man', to the exquisite, chamber-like pirouettes of 'Quantum Vibes'.
Solvent's elaborate 78 minute synth soundtrack to the documentary 'I Dream of Wires', backed with technoid remixes by Chris carter and Bronze Teeth among others. The Canadian artist's soundtrack spans a spectrum of analogue electronics in charming library/soundtrack fashion, giving strong source material for the crushing swagger of Chris Carter's 'Elephant Generators' remix, the spark-spitting techno of Bronze Teeth's 'Quantimations' rework, and a superbMartial Cantarel remix of 'King Vincent'.
Porn Sword Tobacco and SVN go swede-to-swede again for the briny house delicacies of 'Feels Good' on their native Kontra-Musik. In the 11 minute opener they fathom five minutes of unanchored drum machine patterns and silty chords before a rolling sub-bass ballast keeps them swinging to the Afro-rhythmelodic cadence of the 2nd track, and a thizzing techno miniature.
**A timely reminder of Offshore's uniquely playful and colourful beatcraft on this posthumous presentation of his unfinished and eponymous album** "Offshore is the alias of Scottish producer Ewan Robertson. Ewan died unexpectedly in December 2012 while undergoing heart surgery for treatment of his Marfan Syndrome. Born in Aberdeen in 1985, Ewan was both a celebrated musician and graphic designer. He first picked up a guitar aged 10 and by 14 had formed his first grunge band, Incendo. Moving to London in 2002 to study at Central Saint Martins, he joined experimental art rock group Lark and play… Read more
**Strong ambient/minimal techno RIYL Voices From The Lake, Thomas Brinkmann, Plastikman** "Nautil's debut single, Canopée, utilises analog synths, sampling and personal recordings to emphasize the geometrics of nature and music. On the A-side the lead track, Canopée, is a cavernous, pulsing, low-frequency techno colossus destined to hypnotise dark warehouse spaces. On the reverse Galdae is a propulsive tecnoid tweaker while Mue is designed for head rolling after hours with mesmeric synth drones suspended over a brain melting sub-bass pulse."
Lady Blacktronika stirs up a wicked Detroit beatdown and techno sound on R&S's sub-label, Meda Fury. Equally adept at dusty soul squeeze as uptempo, hi-tek funk, she dispenses gauzy KDJ styles in 'Oh So Cold' beside the late '80s-infected Detroit electro-tech class of 'Trim The Breaks', whereas 'Akua's Heart' chases a tribal spirit down tumbling, crack'd and freeform house grooves, and 'Only Just Myself To Blame' rounds out with an early '90s Detroit soul house style. RIYL Africans With Mainframes, KDJ, Theo Parrish, dancing.
Wicked and daft MIDI house funk from the one and only Kane West. On his first solo outing beyond the PC Music posse he delivers Tiga's Turbo with the New Beat-meets-Cumbia-styled jack of 'Mexicans' plus the grubbing acid fun of 'Expenses Paid' and again with the dippy New Beat-style quirks in 'Don't Stop'. A strong look for fans of Comeme, Physical Therapy, PC Music!