Monday, 13 October
William Bennett and Blackest Ever Black light the fuse on a delirious 3rd album from Cut Hands. Recorded from 2012-2014 in Edinburgh and London, 'Festival Of The Dead' finds a place for the explosive energy and drama of ancient percussive ritual in an accelerated modern world. Named and released to coincide with harvest or autumnal customs across the world, it's both a harbinger of darker times and a commemoration of shared ancestry and traditions common to many cultures across the world - All Saints Day, Samhain, Feast of Ancestors, Pitru Paksha etc. Only, we're in 2014 and compu… Read more
Lakker back for seconds on R&S with two of their craftiest, noisiest cuts to date. This 12" feels like Lakker have fully realised their potential, confident enough to bullishly pursue darkest, dramatic techno themes in their unique style. A-side 'Mountain Divide' opens a widescreen vortex of howling harmonics and surging slowfast steppers rhythms rising to a dome-blowing breakdown and back out into full-on symphonic noise assault with a throttling, roiling climax. B-side, Math Fall' embarks more cautiously with strobing synth voices and shuddering white noise shocks scudding around lik… Read more
Rudest dread techno charge from noob, Nurve, on Pinch's Tectonic. The squashed techno murder of his A-side, 'Wrong Number' was previously sandwiched into the ace Pinch B2B Mumdance mix CD, and is now unleashed as a tracky, galloping tool consolidating all corners of the darkside underground. Flipside, he ups the funk ante with a twysted, techy bomb coming off like some Skam joint gone Bristol, plus a mean bit of whirring 2-step techno bruk in 'Spasm'. Watch yer bons bons.
Eagerly anticipated reissue of an Ethio jazz-and-funk cornerstone from keyboard whizz Hailu Mergia on Awesome Tapes From Africa. Unlike the last time, when we heard him solo on 'Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument', here on the highly sought-after 'Tche Belew', he's backed by The Walias, one of Ethiopia's crack units, who're perhaps best known for collaborating with Mulatu Astatke and backing for star Éthiopiques singer, Ahmed Mahmoud. The legendary Astatke also appears on this one, but Hailu is arguably the star of the show, sitting front and centre with silky smooth orga… Read more
First digital issue of a proper tribalist house template by Ben Cenac - Dream2Science, Newcleus - originally released in 1990. A prime example of into-the-'90s Afro-futurism, 'Bang The Drums' makes explicit reference to house music's roots in seven pieces putting a rugged yet mystic New York on the Chicago sound and closely mirroring the UK's dreamy but rude bleep techno and acid styles. 'Africa' is a killer workout with technoid stabs and busy drum programming, further explored in 'Tribal Rhythm, whilst 'Zanzibar' gives room for some proper pan-pipe riffing, and 'Zulu (We're One Nation… Read more
Exquisitely glacial longform composition from the modern master of minimalism. 'Trouble' marks quite possibly the quietest, concentrated levels in Drumm's catalogue. More placid/unnerving than even his 'Imperial Distortion' / 'Imperial Horizon' couplet, or practically anything else for that matter. It's a purified exercise in immersed listening, encouraging the participant to give it their undivided attention in return for a discreetly tactile and beautifully liminal experience, "neither ambient nor drone but a more complex investigation into the deep recesses of sound." We strongly recommend your submission to 'Trouble'.
Bittersweet UK house bumps by Midland, back on Aus Music. Three trax concentrate on a breezy, subtly discordant house mutation, carrying a laidback but driving momentum between the off-kilter fonk and soured synths/strings of 'Duster' thru the salty dub house skank of 'Reflex' and Afro-centric shuffle of 'Pitch Drift'.
"After the Rain is the latest offering from Mark Van Hoen and Louis Sherman's Locust project. Following up the 2013 release 'You'll be safe together' this new album sees Locust stepping away from the abstracted forms of previous works presenting a more melodic/harmonic proposition. Bathed in a warm nostalgic memory 'After the Rain' draws on Mark's formative influences, primarily 70's electronic music. With greater input by Louis Sherman (who, although being born when Mark was originally taking in this music shares an equal enthusiasm for this particular period of European mel… Read more
Excellent primer on the diffuse, highly influential elektronik music scene centred around the N.W. German industrial city, Düsseldorf circa late '70s-early '80s. Spanning work by common elements such as Wolfgang Riechmann - who played with both Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf, and Neu!'s Michael Rother - in the sparkling 'Wunderbar', and La Düsseldorf's eponymous anthem, through to the ambient visions of Harmonia & Eno, and or the proto-techno warning volleys of D.A.F.'s 'Der Mussolini', Die Krupps' helter skelter 'Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn' and Liasons Dangereuses… Read more
"Adam Bainbridge returns, co-writing with Robyn, Kelela, Ghanaian rapper M.anifest and Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange et al), a long-time friend whose 2013 ’Cupid Deluxe’ included contributions from Bainbridge. ‘Otherness’ is Adam's vision, but it's a collective vision. On the album’s opening track, ‘World Restart’, Bainbridge’s vocals remain in the backing chorus. Kelela and Ade sing the lead parts. The song rides the sort of lithe and loose horns (by Finn Peters) you might hear on a Fela Kuti record, but they're tethered to a boogie bassline and Bainbridge's own rich percussive clatter…"
Choice selections from Rob Hood's 1994 classic, 'The Protein Valve'. The original cuts mark a point in Hood's seminal catalogue where he really defines his own style of minimalism to deadly effect. Yet for our 2p, they're outshone here by the crazed 909 bassline and chopped drum patterns of 'Analog Track (Ghost)' which is built with the sort of sleight of hand and crazed edits that producers simply don't, or can't, do nowadays. Even if you're overly familiar with the originals, that new cut is worth the entry alone.
Dark Sky's soulful 'Rainkist', remixed in moody, epic versions by Trevino and Marcel Dettmann. Last heard on their 'Imagin' album, the pleading, blue-eyed soul vocal and dusted drums of 'Rainkist' inspire a droning, electro-tooled roller from Trevino sounding like some Jon Convex piece, whereas Dettmann takes all the time he needs to break it down and rebuild as a rolling big room arrangement with nods to classic, jazzy Carl Craig.
UTTU gets them cherry-picking fingers mucky again with Rushmore's 1st single outside of the Trax Couture label. In case you weren't following, Rushmore's dealt out a couple of killer 12"s to date fusing UK grime with Ballroom, Chi-house and footwork in excellent fashion. Here he's typically wayward, flexing out from Todd Terry styles in 'Dance Show' to an outstanding slow/fast ghetto-tech sound on 'Droptop', whereas 'Run II' eases off on a moody gherkin jerk tip and 'Throwback' juggles clipped chords and raspin' typewriter percussion like some raw-ass take on early SND. Tip!
**Sterling reissue of Witch's juicy 1984 LP, 'Kuomboka' - original copies are listed at well over 500 quid 2nd hand!** "If Movin' On is Witch's Rumours then Kuomboka is their Tusk; a remarkable follow-up to a timeless album that shows the band taking greater risks in songwriting and playfully experimenting with production techniques. This album is Witch's stunning swansong before the fast-changing music industry and political environment in Zambia took its toll on the group. Again rooted in American FM radio, from soft rock ballads to boogie, this album sees the group embrace their Zambian roots … Read more
“Colours Of The Night (Satellite)’ is Peter Broderick’s first song- based release in two years, during which the singer-songwriter- composer-multi-instrumentalist and serial collaborator was struck down by a debilitating illness that forced him to re- evaluate his life. Here, in his own words, is what Peter has to say about it: “Folks! I am very excited to announce a forthcoming EP on the Bella Union label. ‘Colours Of The Night (Satellite)’ is a preview of what’s to come on my next full-length album, due out next spring, simply called ‘Colours Of The Night’. The… Read more
Ross Abrahams aka S Maharba drifts further from his sought-after instrumental hip- hop sound and into a fuggy world of The Caretaker-esque sonics in 'Memorial'. His first original release since 2012 is a chokingly dusty mixture of creaking neo-classical motifs and knackered downbeats, a sort of earnestly wistful and cinematic emo sound at best in the water-stained mulch of 'Michelle' and the haunted shuffle of 'Memorial'.
Enveloping 38-minute piece from Eleh written for performance at the Cleveland Museum Of Contemporary Art. 'For Moussavi Atrium' marks the first new Eleh material since 2012, following an invaluable programme of reissues for their Important early releases during the 2013. It starts off in near silence before fleshing out a supple sinewave flux modulating at rapid intervals to a pulsing, brain-worming coda that'll hypnotise and control anyone susceptible to a good 'wave. This is one of those instances where the format plays some part - the clarity and duration afforded by the CD really ho… Read more
Stroboscopic Artefacts parse four strong highlights from their five years of influential operations. Rrose's droning womrhole 'Drowned By Sight' is prime example of their purist approach, whilst Perc's 'Tri-City' represents their rugged, noirish industrial sensibilities, and the shifty detail of Lakker's 'Pier' heralds bleak new techno futures head on.
Noise fans unite, it's a new Whitehouse disc and the followup to the absolutely destructive 'Asceticists' album from last year. The omnipresent and always challenging duo of William Bennett and Philip Best seem to be on a roll right now, what with having the back catalogue finally issued on vinyl and new albums bleeding out left right and centre, so with any luck there should be a new generation of noise aficionados waiting eagerly to join the (un)happy throng. The pummelling African-style percussion that pushed 'Asceticists' into stratospheric heights of inventive noise is still evident here,… Read more