Monday, 22 September
Manchester's Marconi Union dial in 'Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol.2)' for Just Music, featuring "the world's most relaxing song" according to Time Magazine. We're fairly sure even the artists themselves would rankle at such a daft mantle, but there's little arguing that 'Weightless' is a relaxing album. It's definitely not vexing, anyway. RIYL Eno, old CCO gear etc.
Diverse round-up of contemporary ambient/noise techno strands, compiled by Manni Dee. Backed with some rhetoric about encouraging listeners to "to engage with music on a visceral level, liberating sound from its potentially functional shackles", it's a necessary nudge for blinkered techno bros to expand their horizons. Across eleven tracks the set covers ground from the muggy chug of Fuewa's 'Body In Earth' to the warped, textural collage of 'Every Single Thing' by Deft; knackered techno from U; chromatic new age scapes from BNJMN; crushing industrial sludge from Shelley Parker'; the mercurial mulch of Wanda Group.
2hours, 30 minutes of floatation tank ambience by Stephan Laubner aka STL cloaked in his dark ambient guise.
18 months since 'Nostalchic', Brainfeeder's UK attache returns bittersweet as ever with 'Movement I, II & III'. The lysergic lovechild of celestial jazz, hip hop and electronica, his return is a triumphant epic - as you mighta guessed - in three parts structured around whirring trap drums, swallow-diving flutes and hyper-coloured synth dimensions humanised with genuinely lovely folk-soul vocals.
In-demand drummer, Tom Skinner (Melt Yourself Down, Owiny Sigoma Band) and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings, aka Hello Skinny, covers 'Velodrome' from Kit Grill's 'Mirror Image' album. Rather than remix, the duo deftly recreate the original's electronic tones by way of circular breathing and extended technique, in Shabaka's case at least, presenting a lovely, lilting cover of the original, plus a stripped down and dubbed out Drum Version.
Holly Herndon offers a techno-pop lament on internet security and a perceived invasion of privacy with 'Home'. We'd best let her explain the song: "For my debut album Movement, I communicated an intimacy with my laptop. It is my instrument, memory, and window to most people that I love. It is my Home. The ongoing NSA revelations have fundamentally changed this relationship. I entrusted so much in my device. To learn this intimacy had been compromised felt like a grand betrayal. Is everything done privately on my laptop to be considered a public performance? In 'Home', I address that invisible… Read more
**Includes some killer electro protoypes for fans of Japanese Electronics etc** "Minimal Wave is proud to present a reissue of the seminal first album from Swiss Wavers, Guyer's Connection. Tibor Csébits and Philippe Alioth formed Guyer’‘s Connection in Basel, Switzerland when they were only 14 and 15 years old. At the time they were in a new wave rock band called “Kurtzschluss” which they decided to break from in order to make purely electronic music. They began with two synthesizers, a drum machine, a 4-track tape recorder and a multitude of ideas. They channeled their unique and h… Read more
Rocket Recordings pull out all the stops for Goat's keenly awaited follow-up to 'World Music'. With 'Commune' the Swedish troupe refine their classic sound to a slickly potent trip referencing all the right retro touchstones with all the barrelling drums, fuzzy, eastward-gazing guitars and free-wheeling solos you could hope for, cemented by those howling-from-the-cliff vocals. Rest assured you're getting the authentic luxury "psychedelic" experience - absolutely no messy bits or a longhair out of place. Can't argue with that, can you?
Enigmatic torch song from someone called Gabi for Oneohtrix Point Never's Software Recording Co. We can't find any info online for this, but can tell you it sounds sorta like a younger sibling of Susanna Wallumrød.
Solo piano torch songs from the Erased Tapes camp. Includes Rival Consoles and Throwing Snow remixes
Ram-out Kwaito House session from S.A.'s DJ Spoko for the world-taking Lit City Trax. Endemic dancefloor infection from the bellicose shake-down 'War of the Pizzi' thru the dark trance states of 'Angels and Demons' to the nifty funk of 'Oreng Mo' with DJ Mujava, and the tucked pivot of 'Moon and Sun'.
Freeky Dutch disco-tech funk from David Vunk on his Moustache Records label. Dude nearly always hits the mark and this one's no different, diverging between the percolating pinger 'De Maas' to slamming deep disco reminding of NWAQ on 'Zenica', thru darker techno zones of 'Mononomsensory' and the dark room dancer, 'Chicago Bills'. Tip!
Sterling deep house and techno from Glasgow's Dominic Capello (ov Dom & Harri) and Lee Duncan. The pair play off deep roots across three tracks of finest dancefloor calibre. A-side gives up the expressive electro-soul leads and tactile, late-night bassline of 'The Light', plus a vintage Carl Craig-style pearl in the muscular bass arpeggios and lustrous, lusting techno pads of 'D3', and B-side, 'Third Thought' follows suit with the moodiest blue chords and strangely distanced groove drawing lines between the techno souls of Detroit and Glasgow. RIYL Lord Of The Isles, NWAQ, DJ Sprinkles.
Monday, 15 September
**Ships Friday** **2LP. Printed inners. Embossed PVC jacket contain art insert** One of Techno's slipperiest operators presents his debut album statement in the subtle but lush structures of 'Suzi Ecto' for Fabric/Rob Booth's Houndstooth. Over the last four years the London-based musician has garnered the respect of everyone from PAN's Bill Kouligas to Ben UFO and Objekt, exemplifying his artistic versatility and aptitude for transcending cerebral and club dimensions. With 'Suzi Ecto' he opens a lucidly gorgeous space between the 'floor and our imagination, sweeping us thru eleven concisely… Read more
One of Bristol's most interesting artists returns with an ace, oddly organic 2nd album for Tri Angle. 'Punish Honey' cements Vessel's unique position in modern electronica, not least as the first artist bestowed the honour of a 2nd full length on Tri Angle, but also due to his kink for a queered, oxidised alloy of organic and electronic tone, texture and timbre. In it, he uses electro-acoustic/concrète techniques and process to embody a unique voice and character, rather than towards any academic purposes. Employing sheet metal as percussion and sawn-off bicycles as flutes, he arrives at a r… Read more
Brilliantly unexpected pop/house from Paul White, heralding his hugely promising album for R&S. Bolstered with a neat Andrés remix, 'Where You Gonna Go?' features White dicing with a more populist dancefloor sound to captivating effect. On the original he yokes signature palette of bright, tropical drums to a swinging 4/4 kick/bass and Jamie Woon's wounded/haunted soul vocals with the sorta class that should make this it a Radio 1 anthem. Similarly, 'Peace It Together' tempers his craftier beat skills in favour of plush, exotic instrumentation rent in gorgeous, electro-dubbed widescreen. On the remix, Andrés rolls some of his butteriest, soulful Detroit house.
Humid, post-D&B ecosystems from Fis, backed with killer Kassem Mosse and Oren Ambarchi remixes. The first release on Loopy, a new label administered Sam Strang, 'Speech Spirits' follows on from the 'Iterations' 12" with two cuts of unquantised riddmic roil, staggering from the bomber-streaked drunken-master styles of the title track to the plangent percussions and duppied atmospheres of 'Knecht' - not a million miles from his early ace, 'Love, Drama, Stress', only without the vocal. Remixing, Kassem Mosse returns to the spiky (machine?) drum palette of … Read more
Matthew Herbert turns out four lop-sided house grooves on 'Part Seven'. The EP ranges from percolating, wooden drums and breezy vocals of Hejira's Rahel in 'Bumps' to the hydraulic house swing of 'Suckers' on the A-side, to a tuff but quirky techno chug reminding of Wolfgang Voigt in 'Pretty Daddy', and daft, loopy funk on 'Get Strong'.
Keysound's most rooted unit return with a lean suite of broken beat and Afro-centric mutations on 'Islands'. Tied together with Josh Idehen's observant, poetic narration, 'Islands' follows the much-loved 'Routes' (2011) LP with a bright, spacious haul, flexing from wicked breakbeat and bass agitations to eerier ambient interludes. It feels constantly in flux between an omnipresent urban dread and moments of elation, tracing the underground/overground, hyper-capitalist/realist topologies and analogues of London town itself, from the deft bounce of 'New Pen' to lonely, solemn close of 'Is… Read more
Punch Drunk's 'Worth The Weight Vol.2: From The Edge' documents the 2nd wave of Bristolian bass mutations in the wake of dubstep's innovative eruption in the mid-late '00s. It does so thru the prism of Peverelist's ever-evolving yet rooted tastes, cannily reflective of - and influential upon - the contours of contemporary London and Berlin dancefloor trends. Yielding cuts from Kowton, Hodge, Tessela, Kahn, Andy Mac, Zhou, Bass Clef, Ekoplekz and Peverelist on CD for the first time, it covers a broad spectrum of styles within its niche, manifesting that Bristolian thi… Read more
20 years since completion of their foundational 12" series, Basic Channel present a full 14 minute version of 'Q-Loop' backed with first ever vinyl cuts of 'Q 1.2' and 'Mutism' - previously found on the 'BCD' (1995) and Scion's 'Arrange And Process Basic Channel Tracks' releases. Need we say any more?
Remastered (by Matt Colton) reissue of Juan Atkins' (and Marty Bonds') sought after ambient techno gem, originally released in 1992. 'The Passage' is a classic piece of Detroit breakbeat techno science flush with celestial synth arrangements and powerful electro/breakbeat techno torque buffed up for 2014 on the A-side. Flip it for the darker techno-pop drive of 'Mind Changes' and the midnight sci-fi mission, 'Vessels In Distress'.
Anjou is the beautifully enigmatic reunion of Labradford's Mark Nelson (Pan American) and Robert Donne with fellow Kranky star, percussionist Steven Hess. The result of four years writing and editing, it marks Donne and Nelson's first collaboration since Labradford's 'fixed:content' (2000) and the first meeting of Pan American's Nelson and Hess since 'Cloud Room, Glass Room' (2013). Now older, wiser, quieter, the trio offer a subtly involving, hazily detailed ambient suite gleaned from an intricate process of modular synthesis, Max/MSP programming and live instrumentation. Essentially it takes the t… Read more
As promised, The Bug presents a heady sniff of his additional EP of material not used in 'Angels & Devils'. Following her appearance on album highlight 'Void', Liz Harris aka Grouper lends another ghostly vocal presence to the sublimated chamber dub silhouette of 'Black Wasp', working almost closer than ever as the spiritual twin to her namesake, Liz Fraser in the process. Strong stuff this.
Fist taste of Dean Blunt's keenly awaited 'Black Metal' album, his first for Rough Trade, following the critical success of 'The Redeemer'. Shoegazing ambient guitars and dry drum machine loop and lope underneath a male/female call & response dialogue in which Dean laments the loss of a girlfriend who won't take him back. Of course, being Blunt it's all mixed uncomfortably askew and ambiguously ethereal to keep you guessing for days.
SBTRKT leans back on the low slung gangsta roll of 'Higher'. Raury rides double-time and soulful over 21" rimmed Reese bassline and trap ticks, all kept suspenseful and heady with escalating gospel harmonies and some killer electronic tweaks in the final throes.
Gamelan-inspired techno trips from New York-based composer and sculptor Aaron Taylor Kuffner. As Zemi17 he presents two extended pieces composed entirely from the concrète sound of insects, birds, motors and urban noises spliced with metallophones and gongs, manifest in the mesmerising lug of 'Impressions', and the booming, chiming electro-step of 'Rangda'.
Lean, squelchy electro-funk and house strutters from Wrong Steps for Huntleys + Palmers. First up, 'Glam' glitters the 'floor with it's ruddy seed, shifting hips with in-the-pocket bassline and clipped drums wound tight to sharp organ chords. 'Rain' follows with moodier, filtered chords and percolating Afro drums trimmed for the dancers. Flipside, 'Yyam' plays it down with hazy keys and effortlessly infectious swing, leaving 'Gyms' to fade out to shimmering chrome notes and knotted disco groove.