Monday, 16 March
DrumTalk scale up their sound for a cracking self-titled EP with Huntleys & Palmers. Synths and percussion work as a rhythmelodic force, twysting between colourful arpeggio patterns and calculated triplets in 'Halo' or evolving like some bittersweet, discordant cyborganism in the blinding 'Ishtar'. With 'Euphonia' they make fine use of the Euphonium's twinkling spectral timbre, juxtaposing its lilting, heady cadence with gruff kicks and brooding bass descent, while 'Everything' comes with a unique mesh of bobbling Afrobeat, UK garage swing and proggy house drive.
Raffaele Constantino AKA DJ Khaleb steps up for a tribal party on Black Acre. It's all about drums, lilting licks and chants, winding up the Shangaan/Footwork transport of 'Substance', plus the percolated peach 'Tiende!', taking a darker sideroad to the voodoo ritual of 'Amagqoboka' and 'Medal of Freedom' and back into the virtual bush with sampled percussion and chants processed into heady drones and full tilt rhythms.
'Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments' is a beautiful synth music obscurity by a largely unsung hero of the genre, David Borden. Originally released in 1981 on the little-known Red label outta Holland, it has been reclaimed from the safety masters and reissued for your delectation by John Elliott's Spectrum Spools nearly 33 years later. Quite understandably, many heads are suffering synth ennui with the sheer tide of forgettable reissues in circulation right now, but this one is like a sad beacon in swelling seas, radiating the sweetest melodies and harm… Read more
Stellar techno-boogie from new and promising name, Creta Kano for Bristol's Happy Skull. A lush and insistent lather of Detroit techno and UK braindance filtered with misty-eyed effect, 'Skyway Motel' yields some of the sweetest 'floor moves of 2015 so far. The title track nails E.R.P.-style emosh electro-funk with tantalising marimba melody and sublime chord progressions on the A-side, while the faded breakbeat beauty, 'False Water' shyly skips and melts away like one of AFX's recovered demos on the B-side next to the collapsed boogie screw of 'Skyway 81'. It's hard to resist kind of these charms.
Morphine Records collate Charles Cohen's spellbinding recordings made on a rare Buchla Music Easel modular synth circa 1976 - 1989 in this nigh-on essential retrospective. Equal parts electronic exploration, free-jazz and cosmic noise, Cohen's private body of work amassed over nearly two decades amounts to a deeply personal, vivid sketchbook of abstract ideas rendered in tangibly crisp yet elusively diffuse analogue vectors. For many, many years, folk were only privy to Charles' practice if they were keyed in to the improv music scenes of Philadelphia and downtown New York. But now… Read more
"Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat’s much anticipated follow up to ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ Wrapped in the handiwork of Moffat’s six-year-old son and taking its name from an IKEA marketing slogan, ‘The Most Important Place In The World’ reunites Bill and Aidan with Chemikal’s imperious in-house producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, King Creosote). Recorded at Chem19 and Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom in Glasgow, the sessions feature saxophone, trumpet and tuba as well as contributions from the Cairn String Quartet, members of Wells’ National Jazz Trio … Read more
**Debut edition of intriguing, minimalist composition** "Reckno is extremely proud to present the first art artefact under his own name by composer, listener, artist and all round great human Alan James Read. Two ever changing yet always the same minimalist compositions. This music doesn't have many obvious parallels; metallophone hail stones falling on a well tuned roof or an American primitive one string Zen ensemble. Visions of a robotic harpist in a sunlit field, the sky is a metallic blue; ancient and futuristic, stationary and swirling, a 3D audio sculpture of a waterfall."
**Includes grumbling acid remix by Alex Jones - digital exclusive** A Sagittariun gets down with the Hypercolour kids, backed by a pumping Detroit mix from Rolando. Taking a minute out from his Elastic Dreams series, the enigmatic producer weighs up a slamming sorta hardcore hybrid with the pile-driving 4/4 kicks, sparking breakbeats and celestial arpeggios of '3-4-3', and takes us back to Gescom-style hip hop breaks with the downtempo 'Delta House'.
Monday, 09 March
Pearson sound has the honour of releasing Hessle Audio's 1st solo artist album with his adroit and concise self-titled opus. It arrives 7 years since his earliest transmission, 'Blimey' [HES005] as Ramadanman, in which time he's carved a distinct niche between the sub-strata of UK techno, dubstep and electronica, building one of the most distinguished catalogues in modern dance music - including high profile remixes for Radiohead and Disclosure. Clearly inspired by the 'floor but not beholden to it, 'Pearson Sound' gives him wriggle room for experimentation; space to pursue those way… Read more
Liminal Sounds gang-up on their first label compilation after a string of zingers from Air Max '97, Arctic, Youngstar. 'Liminality 01' introduces five new new names: Copout comes with bouncing ballroom X sino-grime pressure in 'Fluttering'; Shining Force impresses with the militant sublow swagger of 'Initiative'; Bushido goes all dramatic with the ornate, emotive 'Bashful'; JGYB calculates some kinda mad 2-step / trap thing with twanging Fairlight-effect stabs and sharp-cut vocal chops. Forward!
**Bonus edition with two bonus sections previously only available on the deluxe version of the vinyl** 'Xen' sets a definitive new apex for 24 y.o. Venezuelan artist Alejandro Ghersi aka Arca following his pivotal production roles on two of the most important hip hop/R&B albums in recent memory; Kanye's 'Yeezus' and FKA Twigs 'EP2' & 'LP1' - plus production work on Bjork;s next album still to come. Suitably housed among the roster of electronic legends on Mute, it's a nimble leap forward from last year's incredible '&&&&&' mixtape/LP, refracting myriad variations of his chamber-like fus… Read more
Strong showing from the 1080p camp, pairing the blown-out psy-house of Junior Loves with a killer suite of EBM/New Beat/Techno codas by Scientific Dreamz Of U. Together they showcase a dark, mystic sound, as heard on their NTS show, 'Kestrel Explorations', wandering along the fringes and alleys between myriad techno and psych-minded styles. Junior Loves' half tends to a more esoteric mix ranging from glum shoegaze and doom to ambient dread via street-ready EBM/electro, whereas the Scientific Dreamz Of U sound is predisposed to a prime mix of mid-late '80 Belgium coldwave, Carpenter-esque motifs and brooding industrial grooves - a proper proto-techno style. Recommended.
**Mastered at D&M from the original DAT tapes in their original sequence** Rawest, illest hip hop/dub mixtape from '98 by Wordsound capo, Skiz Fernando Jr a.k.a. Spectre, feat contributions from sometime Madteo collaborator Sensational, Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin’s Techno Animal alias, Bill Laswell’s Dubadelic project, Godflesh’s Ted Parsons and more. This is a fine history lesson for many yungers, and a red-eyed flashback for many heads who came thru in the '90s. Originally released on cassette in edition of only 100 copies, it documents late night sessions recorded in New York during the formati… Read more
Killer Afro-Germanic grooves from Mark Ernestus Ndagga Rhythm Force. Featuring all members of Jeri-Jeri plus the Basic Channell/Rhythm & Sound boss under a new moniker, 'Yermande' yields some of their strongest material to date, making the connections between Senegalese Mbalax, Jamaican dub and Berlin minimalism ever more inseparable. Comes in a stripped-down 'Kick and Bass Mix' featuring Mbene Diatta Seck dubbed to sound uncannily like Tikiman in parts, and backed with the achingly dextrous instrumental. Better yet, the 'Prophet 5 Mix' introduces the legendary Sequential Circuits model to the blend with hypnotically technoid effect. Truly outstanding gear.
NYC's Kim Ann Foxman follows her ace 'Pleasure Principle' hookup with some proper local dance knowledge in 'Firehouse 002'. Go straight for the original mix of 'Open The House' for a fierce, deep and hypnotic '90s house sound rife with rumping toms and ghostly pads how u like it.
Mike Paradinas combines 2013's vinyl-only 'XTEP' and 'Rediffusion' EPs plus a new bonus track, 'Forger' in the 'XTLP' for 2015. 'XTEP' is flush with the sort of nostalgic melody, rave romance and charm that endeared him to so many in the first place. It's an unashamed return to his roots, from the bubbling pastoral melody and proggy chimes of 'XT' to the happy-as-larry piano house of 'Ritm' and 'Pulsar''s nEuro-electro futurism, while the footwork-style drum flux and swooning, emotional melody of 'Monj2' and the bluer swing of 'New Bimple' concede to current trends but not at the expense of his inte… Read more
SLO boots up Aery Metals for 2015 with two bits kinky techno-house class. The ruddy 'Sex Fortress' comes with jagged, industrialised bass and drums eased off with a housier slink set to ruffle big 'floors. 'Photobox' tightens up with a steely sorta EBM/acid mutation with effortlessly fluid dynamics. Tip!
**Dippin' way below the equator with a fantastic, 15-track haul of Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco & Mbaqanga from Soweto, South Africa circa 1975-1985** "Strut continue their acclaimed ’Next Stop Soweto’ series as they return to the rich archives of South African music to spotlight the fertile era of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Tightly controlled by oppressive Apartheid laws, South Africa’s music scene had nevertheless progressed into myriad new directions, embracing funk, soul, rock and disco. The era marked a crossroads for the country’s black musici… Read more
Sähkö scroll back to 1995-1997 and rescue three amazing Mika Vainio tracks produced as Ø - including one unreleased expanse of arctic ambience! I'm ashamed to say i've never heard the two A-side tracks before. Both cuts originally appeared on JD Twitch's short-lived but ace Pi Recordings in 1995; and to be fair I was more interested in football stickers and The Prodigy back then. The A-side features 'Olematon', a pendulous piece of purified, super sub-heavy minimalist swagger that genuinely beggars belief. It's going to be a staple round these parts, no doubt. As if that was all too much act… Read more
Backed up by a monstrous Regis remix, Stave's taking no prisoners on this one for Repitch. Jonathan Krohn, the Chicagoan also behind Male and Talker (with Karl Meier), sets the tone with a gravelly slammer called 'Hardened Chord' which Regis promptly kicks the fxxk out of in his nastiest, noisiest remix for quite some time. B-side, Stave gets his rocks off on a thoroughly unpleasant, thundering 'Circle Pit' assault and the cloven hoofed swarm of 'Paid Jazz'. Have mercy on the children, we beseech thee…
**Featuring music by Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders…** "The power of the human voice, especially when held in song, has long been known to be immensely influential, potent and emotive across all of humankind. When conveying a message, the spoken word - whether in speech, poetry or song - is infinitely more evocative than that of written. And when that message is voiced in the realm of jazz, amidst the open and dramatic freedom that only jazz can provide, the message can be all the more poignant. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and the… Read more
Reissue of this great twelve from '99, featuring "Night Of The Sagitarius", "Selector's Theme" and the super super deep "African Roots".
This '99 entry from Theo Parrish on Sound Signature is considered by many to be his greatest release - hugely soulful and moving House at the slowest possible pace, featuring swathes of trumpet and sax alongside the unforgettable vocal contribution from Green Pickles - a really quite mesmerising track. Essential purchase.
'Cosmopolitan 1987' collates the best of Tevo Howard's raw Chicago House-style covers of '80s dance-pop classics. Includes a charming take on Culture Club's 'Romance Beyond The Alphabet'; the extended mix of Madonna's 'Holiday'; multiple New Order versions including 'Blue Monday', 'Confusion', 'True Faith' and 'Subculture'; the Pet Shop Boys' 'My October Symphony'…
Fixmer peers into the abyss of his industrial soul on his 5th solo album. The mode is mostly sleek, powerful big room techno with a keen industrial edge and subtly infected sound design, but there a few excpetions with the dry thump of 'Inside Of Me' sporting his own over-the-shoulder vocals, and an excellent closing couplet of radiant techno rolige in 'Thoughts', and the deep blue come-down of 'Elevation'.
At last, Suicideyear's phenomenal debut mixtape/album, 'Japan' is given a proper issue courtesy of OPN's Software. OK, it's been tweaked to omit the most obvious samples from the original, digital release, but the Baton Rouge, Lousiana producer's meld of Atlantan trap and gauzy ambient plumes still stands as one of the finest of its kind. Put simply; if you're into Kuedo, Lex Luger, Clams Casino or drank, this is waiting for your ears.
Reissue of a sought-after Anthony "Shake" Shakir session circa 1993. The original 'That's What I Want (A Mix)' is a proper deep swinger with a mad, poppy edge in that rope-skipping vocal; a 'Different Mix' reduces it to bare bones swing and Detroit pads for the club. B-side, the Frictional Mix of 'The Ying & Yang' rides the bass into the red under the nastiest drums and sweetest strings, and the bright chords and inimitable bump of 'Mantra' set the scene for would come from one of Detroit's greatest.
**Flac format for this release contains 24 bit audio** **Mesmerising synth and string drone works recommended to fans of Eliane Radigue or Anne Guthrie** "“Barons Court” is the debut full length album by Canadian electroacoustic composer Sarah Davachi, following short run releases on Important Records’ Cassauna imprint and Full Spectrum. Trained at Mills College, Davachi’s work marries an academic approach to synthesis and live instrumentation with a preternatural attunement to timbre, pacing, and atmosphere. While the record employs a number of vintage and legendary synthesizers, in… Read more