Monday, 23 February
The KVB unveil their gloaming industro-goth alias, Burma Camp on Avian's Mira sublabel. Three tracks home in and expand on the more coruscating, abrasive side of The KVB's sound, isolating and tempering its most esoteric side. The noxious cloud of tortured vocals and jagged pulses in 'Repulsion' falls somewhere between the desolate black metal of Wold and Silent Servant's most blown-out post-punk techno, full of evil, pregnant suspense and 'marish intent. 'Isa' reminds more of Zhark Record's bleakest, thundering techno, but alloyed with stentorian, dystopian dungeon vocals, and 'Attraction'… Read more
Part two of the darker, spiked techno sessions from the Avian-affiliated Mira label. Some really nasty industrial clank on A-side '75ml' just got us doing the chair jack, while '48ml' is more spaced out, funked up. B-side delivers a dose of jagged, stabby techno jack on '33ml' and the proper warehouse thud of '9ml'. Both sides feature locked grooves.
Experimental, monotone techno from the Avian-affiliated Mira label. A-side doses us with the numb throb and chugging, railroaded rhythms of '22ml' and the purified throb of '48ml'. B-side features the craftier swing of '33ml', reminding of some Norman Nodge B-side with its swollen subs and kinked swing, while '9ml' sinks into molasses sleep techno mode. Also includes two locked grooves.
Reissue of a seminal 1987 acid template by Armando Gallop. In the 303 hall of fame, the A-side's 'Land Of Confusion (Confusion Mix)' is right up there, and keener eared listeners may just notice a snippet of that snakey lick in Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' soundtrack.
Houndstooth's hip pop property on a psyched-out cloud rap footing. 'Dry' is a very strange take on syrup trap peppered with alien vocal inflections and a lean vibe recalling that wicked Jack Dice 12". 'Body' twists the lines even further with oily, slipping synth discord and lethargic percussion emulating the most fugged-up state of mind.
Monday, 16 February
Mumdance & Logos scout anterior, avant zones of the 'floor with the very keenly awaited 'Proto' LP for Tectonic. Haunted by the extremities of rave's past, but yanking at its future, the duo serve eight anachronistic showpieces equally adept at razing big rooms and punishing scuzzy basements. A 100% proof distillation of Belgian techno, early '90s bleep and hard-bodied American club styles turnt with grimy British rave suss, 'Proto' sidesteps superfluous sounds in favour of the most effective, visceral elements arranged with style and swagger. 'Dance Energy (89 Mix)' is Beltram battered int… Read more
After a whirlwind couple of years, Anthony Naples drops his debut album on Four Tet's Text label. Since 2012, the NYC-based producer has become a byword for fuggy, smushed house with a faded melodic fidelity, as heard in ace releases for Opal Tapes, Mister Saturday Night, TTT, and his own label, Proibito. With 'Body Pill' he explores that aesthetic at more obtuse angles, and with a broader range of tempos, vacillating woozy BoC-isms like 'Ris' with what sounds like Push Button Objects -gone lo-fi house with 'Abrazo', and Actress-style snoozy boogie with 'Changes' and the gorgeous miniat… Read more
Make time for a moment of dancefloor magic with Deadboy. Picking up where he left us floating with 'Return' for Numbers, he offers the iridescent new age pads and pitched R&B vocals of 'It Did Not Feel Right' on Crazylegs, coming off like a hyper-blue UK answer to The Dream in the process. It's so, so good!
*Debut release on Sam and Hayley Kerridge’s new label Contort, Mastered by Matt Colton with artwork by John Osborn* Samuel Kerridge puts his weight behind a crushing debut edition on Contort - a new label belonging to the eponymous Berlin event series he runs with wife, Hayley Kerridge. The de-based template of Sunn 0)))-meets-Ike Yard- meets Alberich is twisted in seven stages, tentatively introducing his own vocals to the mix for a wholly more personal and, at times, cuttingly cathartic record dealing with the devil on his shoulder. After a string of celebrated issues fo… Read more
Carter Tutti refresh their Chris & Cosey alter-egos for 2015 in something of a dream project for their legion acolytes. Compiling eleven new studio reworks of Chris & Cosey live tracks, it underlines their output to date with a showcase of the original song's durability and, simultaneously, a display of their current studio prowess. They apply a slippery modern chassis to the ghosts of classic songs, at best in the wormholing autobahn techno of 'Driving Blind' and an acidic re-rub of 'Dancing On Your Grave'. This digital edition includes thre songs not found on the vi… Read more
Hot-tip producer Imami spurts a trio of colourful club constructions backed with class edit by DJ Milktray. Following up the hyperfunk'd Linn drums of his Tommy Rawson remix for Crazylegs in 2014, the 'Contrapposto' EP presents a super well-rounded and forward sound: whether putting his own, crucial spin on Jam City-style chops with the kinetic flow of the title track; beaming dizzy ballroom beats and chrome splash synths in 'Iridescent'; or getting back on that techno-boogie bent with the pendulous torsion and cheeky-ass bassline of 'Royal Slap'. For very cool measure, there's also a smashin… Read more
Masterful debut album of infected techno from the Brothers Zenker on their excellent Ilian Tape imprint. Detailed with exquisitely gruff production values to bite in all the right places, 'Immersion' cycles ten cuts of roiling techno hydraulicks and breakbeat rolige nipped and tucked at acute angles for those who really like to get into a groove, not just stand there and "appreciate" it. We're talking premo gear in the Reese-loaded breakbeat techno of 'TSV WB'; throttling noise tech swing with 'Aisel'; turbulent 2-step and delicate electronics in 'Phing'; and strobing, caustic breakbea… Read more
The panoramas of 'Awake' open six captivating and plangent guitar scapes stirred up by prolific collaborator Mike Shiflet with John Kolodij a.k.a. High Aura'd for Type. Captured face-to-face - or rather face-to-amp - over the course of three days in Kolodji's Rhode Island studio, the improvised recordings were later edited together with sparse, pastoral field recordings to create the kind of densely woven sonic fabric that can support heavy heads on a journey. Coming from the same, great North American tradition of blown-out amp worship and feedback sculpture as Glenn Branca or Go… Read more
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Ru… Read more
Beautiful and subtly enchanting debut of gauzy downbeats and dreamy footwork impressionism from a fella named Sela. 'First' is guided by instinct and emotion to a detached, personal space where beat structures work on the brink of collapse, buoyed only by tender chords and saline textures. It sounds a little like Jan Jelinek processing some 128kbps files of early DJ Nate with D/P/I, or even like some Senufo Editions piece mushed by Mica Levi, traversing screwed hip hop and soul beats to quiet pockets of field recording texture and whispered ambient, all with a sort of lower case sensibility and vulnerability that really gets us, right there.
Ripened radiophonic techno from Nathan Fake on his 2nd Cambrian Instruments edition. After a split 12" with label co-owner, Wesley Matsell, Fake is in full solo flight, embarking with the pastoral acid positivity of 'Fortune Bru' beside the overgrown garage foliage of 'Glaive' and a salty chugger entitled 'Audio Gold' that sounds like a close cousin to Not Waving. Flipside, he freaks the box with a more lurid agenda in the cracked, twitchy techno of 'Ffantasi,' and 'Nuuk' sweeps to finish with a big hug of lop-sided techno streaked by fizzing chromatic synths. Warmest nudge to fans of Analord, Caribou, Pub, neckin' mushies in the forest.
Huerco S appears in his Royal Crown Of Sweden guise for the second edition of 'R.E.G.A.L.I.E.R.'. The opening two tracks here are lifted from the first edition. On 'Vänern' he comes close to STL for that sluggish sorta red-eyed Theo worship with the crooked, overlapping bass grooves and melting 4-bar loops, but there comes a point just before half-way when the elements mystifyingly coalesce and you realise its own provenance. 'Mälaren' takes the filter trickery to a logical conclusion with the French-sounding soul swipe, followed by two fresh cuts 'Soft Things', and the woozy, shifting focus of 'Fauno Rosso'.
Joker continues to burn up that purple Bristol sound on his 2nd album, 'The Mainframe'. Wildly colourful but controlled with deadly steady hand, it presents a far more plush and intricate sound than the rest of peers still pushing a sound rooted in post-'06 dubstep/grime styles. In fact, he's pretty much a lone soldier in this case - fusing boogie, adult contemporary jazz motifs and cod ethno flutes to a bulky yet agile halfstep. Man clearly loves this sound and relishes it from the explosive dynamics and Casualty theme tune nods of 'Boss Mode' to the dichotomous clash of boogie niceness 'n nasty rave elements in 'Fuzz Bop'.
*A definitive selection of Wolfgang Voigt’s PROTEST highlights, available on CD for the very first time. Remastered audio and unreleased bonus cuts* "In 1993, Wolfgang Voigt established iconic fringe imprint Profan to provide his own idiosyncratic ideas of techno with an uncensored, liberal publishing platform. From the very beginning, the label stood for a rampant love of experimentation and Voigt's unruly urge to habitually plough through new – and for the most part difficult – musical territory with a straight bass drum. Driven by incessant transgression of boundaries and… Read more
**Wicked fun, this: the first ever retrospective - rare single, s/t EP, unreleased demos, live gear - for San Franciscan post-punks, Pink Section - RIYL Units, Devo, Suburban Lawns. Includes download code** "Named after San Francisco Chronicle's pink-hued arts and entertainment guide, Pink Section coalesced at SF Art Institute and performed their first show at the legendary Deaf Club on Valentine's Day, 1979. These self-taught musicians existed on the fringe (even in the local underground scene), producing an unusual brand of off-kilter post-punk against a backdrop of Dadaist aesthetic… Read more
"Parallel Landscapes is the first solo full-length album from Swiss artist Steinbrüchel on 12k, despite his relationship with the label and apperances on compilations, collaborations and EP releases. You can say that Steinbrüchel was waiting for the right moment to release such an illustrious album that is not only a release of music but of visual art as well. Parallel Landscapes consists of a compact disc and a beautifully printed XX page booklet designed and conceptualized by Steinbrüchel with photographs from Taylor Deupree and an essay by Lawrence English.Together these are … Read more
"'II' is the aptly titled second album by Wax Stag - the alias of Rob Lee, a musician from St Albans, England - set for release on new label Old Habits. 'II' delves deeper into Wax Stag's infatuation with slower house tempos, dreamy synth sounds and vintage style drums all awash with melody and hooks. Since the release of his self titled debut album in 2008, Rob has been travelling the world as a full time hired multi-instrumentalist for various artists including Friendly Fires, White Lies and Warp Records' Clark. Wax Stag took a back seat during this time, with the exception of the odd remix here a… Read more
"The new album from Tropics, aka 27 year old Chris Ward, looks outwards, armed with a newfound confidence that foregrounds his vocal performance and songwriting. It’s a musical progression that mirrors a personal one: the early Tropics output was all made in the idyllic, if isolated setting of Ward’s grandmother’s empty house in the seaside town of Southsea, which he moved into after graduating from university to focus on writing and recording. He was alone there - “like, really alone. For days, I had literally no distractions.” Having moved to London in 2013, Ward now splits his time between th… Read more
"Swaggerjack return with their second album of improvised free-noise. Big Church OST is an accidental soundtrack to a non-existent film. Recorded in one session in August of 2014, this second outing for the duo shows a more refined sound built on an increasingly connected partnership and honed by the progression of both John Powell-Jones and Callum Higgins in their numerous other musical projects."
Motor City via Berlin-style electro from Steffi and pals, Dexter & Virginia. The original 'Treasure Seeking' from Steffi's 'Power of Anonymity' album takes pride of place, backed with a Shari Vare-style 130BPM version and a super sleek Diep Version with trimmed drums and a fluid, heady build. Dead smart.
Hamburg's Smallpeople with a slinky, sub-heavy house session for Smallville. Simplicity and refinement is key to 'Lowrider Anarchy', shying away from anything shiny in favour of soft, lowlit chords and gently insistent swing with 'Blissful Limbo' and deep, grubbing basslines under starry electronics in the title track, leaving 'Lazy Lama Legend' to pick up the rear with mesmerising square bass synched to itchy hi-hats in a melted Mr. Fingers styles.
Deranged techno-house disciplines from Lisbon-born, London-based Silvestre on Tokyo's unpredictable Diskotopia label. Operating in orbit of Lowjack, Andy Stott or the salty dogs on TTT, the 'Frank Pike' EP mixes incendiary noise with blunted mid-tempo thump in four coolly controlled parts, dissolving the 'floor with a titular, caustic onslaught, before shaking out the knackered nudge of 'Antes Éramos'; the droning jack of 'Flash Fashion Design' parts the fog for five minutes of supple but gritty minimalism reminding of Perfume Advert, and the killer 'Grito da Revolta' spends its energies with slamming kicks and swarming blips clocked with whipcrack snares. Tipped!
Welcome one-off from West Coast American, Shlohmo, with a grungey mix of wheezing shoegaze and smacking downbeats steeped in maudlin 4AD vibes. If 'Buried' is the sign of things to come, then his 'Dark Red' album could be choice.
Classy tape techno from Antinote's man in Japan. A-side gives up a straight-to-reel recording of Shirabe feeling out bleepy hooks and querying bassline in a sort of dancefloor uchronia imagining early house thru a foggy lense. The fluttering syn-flutes in the 2nd half are gorgeous. B-side, 'YSYEYXY' fathoms stranger worlds of underwater kosmiche house with strong Jamal Moss vibrations.