Monday, 13 May
LA's Bestial Mouths follow up an excellent debut LP for Dais on this satisfying split with recent Downwards and Mannequin contributors, Deathday. The Mouths' ride Boudica-like with Sioux hollers over scorched gothic EBM rhythms and synth noise on 'White Eyes' and continue to spill blood with a battery of martial toms and explosive snares against a bellicose backdrop in 'Hollowed' - big tip for fans of Lydia Lunch, Light Asylum, or Diamanda Galas. Deathday follow an aforementioned appearance on the 'So Click Heels' comp and split with The KVB in the maudlin punk trudge of 'Dead Voices' and intense, uptempo drama of 'Parasitical Slurps'.
'Hollowed' is the carefully carved debut mini-album of Hip Hop and Bass fusions from Leeds-based beatsmith, Bambooman. For the past few years he's been cropping up with tracks and remixes issued by Project: Mooncircle and garnering acclaim from respected jocks, Gilles Peterson and Jon K. 'Hollowed' is a distinctive album statement, tweaking the contours of UK bass trends and wonkier American hip hop to his own futuristic funk blueprints and resulting seven precise, concise and curious beat constructions. Highlights have to be the brittle, concrète-textured fizz and pop of 'Stacks', the aerated… Read more
Lean, atmospheric tech-steppers from the master of his sound. 'Polemic' twysts out a moody 303 sequence with low-riding subs and pointillist hi-hats to guide your flex. 'Oracle' tilts forward with almost Mala-styled halfstep drum programming and sparingly used dub chords at fine slow/fast 'step.
**Sweeping and rustically romantic neo-classical and drone flights seemingly dropped from the sky on the wonderful Students Of Decay label** "From the very first seconds of “Within/Without,” listeners familiar with the output of Aquarelle, the nom-de-plume of Madison, WI-based sound artist Ryan Potts, will find themselves in territory that is at once familiar and new. This opening salvo explodes into being with the surging, analog fuzz blooms and preternatural sense of rhythm that endeared many to “Sung in Broken Symmetry,” his prior Students of Decay full-length as well as his sterling c… Read more
Total transformation of Animal Collective's 'New Town Burnout' from the former Digable Planet dude's Seattle-based, Sub Pop-signed Shabazz Palaces collective. iced out, Carpenter-esque atmospheres, shards of digital edit splicing and miasmic vocal spatializing in trippiest, syrup and skunk fried form.
Prime Numbers 17 welcomes three like-minded new artists to the label. Ahead of an imminent solo 12", incognito producer, Adesse, follows up his blink-and-miss edits white label with the lush grooving deep tech house of 'Baayi' on the front; Truss gives up the acid techno thunk of 'Redbrook' beside Massimo Di Lena's gritty, funked-up acid workout 'You Better Hear'.
Further Fit and Omar-S mixes to one of the year's hottest deep house trax. A-side's OG mix stars both cats working out a glyding, rolling bit of Detroit house with mesmerising vocal and body-gripping rhythms for the club. Flipside, Omar-S goes dolo on the deeper DD mix, playing with star-twinkle synth keys and reserving L'Renee's vocal for more poignant moments. Sterling stuff.
Thursday, 09 May
Actress has his way with Legowelt's 'Elementz Of Houz Music' in two contrasting mixes. On top he rides a juicy, squirming bass groove with lushest midnight chords in that ultra-effeicient, time-dilating style of his. Flipside he takes that aesthetic to the nexx level, screwing the groove to a quasi-speed blur allowing its ghostly micro-tonal harmonics to creep out and lounge all over the thing in noirish, almost Lynchian fashion. Recommended!
Hyetal gears up for a promising 2nd album with the moody but glorious 'Northwest Passage' backed up by Bristol bro Vessel's industrial dubstep revision. While Hyetal's output has been few and far between since his debut LP, you get the sense that he's been busy refining and expanding his sound with this cut, melding ideas borrowed from Animal Collective or Panda Bear-like psych-pop with his signature drum machine one-twos and ever-so-slightly detuned synthlines to a much looser, dreamier effect than previously heard. Vessel is the perfect candidate to flip that vibe on its bonce, exchang… Read more
Astro:Dynamics leans further into the leftfield with an engrossing new album of haptic machine music from Best Available Technology, fresh from smart drops on Opal Tapes and Further. For this release, the first in a proposed series, the Portland, Oregon-based producer - real name Kevin Palmer - delved deep into his archive and unearthed a cache of drum machine experiments recorded between ‘92 and ‘97. Though sparse and unfinessed, the music culled from those tapes isn’t mindlessly primitive, nor is it limited in scope. With its chattering breaks and dawn-… Read more
**Includes 40 minutes of new bonus material** As we type, Vatican Shadow is packing his fatigues and tapes in preparation for a 2nd tour of duty in Europe, and to celebrate the fact he's reissued 'It Stands To Conceal' with an hour of new and previously unreleased material. Alongside 'Jordanian Descent', 'Ghosts Of Chechnya', and 'Atta's Apartment Slated For Destruction', he discloses six new and impressionistic documents of cryptic ambience and ferric-etched post-industrial rhythm: 'Saudi Arabia' is intense and synth-heavy with a power syrge climax; 'United Ar… Read more
**Wolf Eyes Mike Connelly and his partner Tara invoke a sludgy, stoner-rock sound steeped in gothic vibes** "Clay Rendering is a new band born of Aries couple Mike (Wolf Eyes, Failing Lights) and Tara Connelly (The Pool At Metz, The Haunting). The two began work on the project in the fall of 2012, dedicated to resurrection, (much like their sun signs) with a focus on arcane structures. Electronics mix with acoustics, vocals and guitar to create these songs inspired by last days."
Alva Noto and Byetone get precisely loose and freaky on the 4th Diamond Version EP. Scoped especially for the 'floor, the boffins sound like they're having a lot of fun with these cuts, jamming on with the muscular techno-pop rocker, 'Get Yours', and a robo-sleazy 'Version' swagger, or coming off like a certain Timba joint gone nexx level on 'Live Young'. But the best by far is the sincerely titled 'When Performance Matters', a crowd-razing slab of cut-throat sawtooth synthlines and hard-stepping electro with a rabid bite. Good stuff.
Hype Williams instigator and now solo raconteur, Dean Blunt, sidesteps preconceptions with a quietly psychedelic, sparse and sensual third album. In 'The Redeemer' he tends to a wipe-clean soundworld of lite jazz fusion motifs, bluesy guitar wisps and new age synth gelled together with dreamy sound FX and distressed ansafone messages whilst nonchalant, confessional vocals dictate a drowsy internal narrative. It's a sort of surreal soul scape simulacra, an adult contemporary fantasy as seen and heard from a detached perspective, a fact accentuated by the intangible, voice-in-your-head mixi… Read more
The brilliantly enigmatic selectors at Light Sounds Dark are back with another stonking collection of prototypical wave obscurities. Yet again they've gone below and beyond the reach of even the most ardent compilers to pick out those bits you never knew existed, alongside some you knew but could never afford. We can barely contain our excitement at some of the pieces they've included here, among them the incredible early appearance of DAF's Chrislo Haas and Einstürzende Neubauten's Beate Bartel aka 2/3rds of Liasons Dangereuses, here as CHBB with the industrial funk sleaze of 'Go Go Go!… Read more
Slick, bassquaking hip-hop 2013-style from Black Daisy and Unknown Shapes. ‘Used To Give a Fk’ is custom-built for the low-riders and hipster ballers, motored by 808-thunderclaps, cartwheeling arpeggios a la Rustie’s ‘Bad Science’ and an insistent, codeine-paralysed vocal sample. It’s a tad overcooked for our tastes but it comfortably achieves what it sets out to do and is worth checking if you’ve been feeling the more trap-flavoured productions that have been proliferating like mice of late. On ‘Rick Ross’ they pay tribute to the titular MC with a butch, bugged-out … Read more
Another RSD exclusive reaches us proles in the digital wings: Nicholas Jaar revises Brian Eno's 'LUX' with dewy piano keys, chiffon layers of windswept ambience and glossolalic ghosts speaking in tongues; then sets his sights on gutting and refining Grizzly Bear's 'Sleeping Ute' for the sort of dancefloors that exist in David Lynch's red-lit dreams.
Impressive new EP from hotly-tipped Italian producer Vaghe Stelle - a member of Lorenzo Senni's One Circle band. Plugging directly into the dancefloor hive mind, his latest EP for Geneva/Lyon-based Danse Noire label rewrites club music to his own skewed swagger, veering from the robotically augmented machine funk of 'Out Of Body Sex Experience' to the techno mind-bender 'Spiral Gloom', and the EP's towering highlight, a holo-ed half-trap, half-techno shoulder roller sounding like Evian Christ's stranger cousin, whilst 'The Sure Thing' comes off… Read more
Haunting and enigmatic new name to the Hospital Productions roster debuts with a lush and epically blown-out ambient project related to Dust Belt, K.P., and Virgin Spring. At times we're reminded of The Caretaker's shellac scrapings, or even a lo-fi Stephan Mathieu, but the feeling is very much more gothic and spiritually detached, finding highlights in the gorgeous ambient flesh of 'Firmament' and the para-dimensional dread collage of 'Plague Saints I'. Do check.
London's Yola Fatoush creep us out with this beguiling debut fusing elements of dancehall, R&B, house and footwork with mutant pop sorcery. "Simultaneously elusive and earnest, Yola Fatoush's deconstructed electronic art-pop thrives off duo's infatuation with implementing opposing textures and dynamics: loud/quiet, tense/soothing, male/female, major/minor, austerity/chaos, positive/negative, conflicted/resolved - embracing the elements at odds. Up Out Of It is a wildly diverse offering, evoking a feeling of ascent though the tension. The secular gospel and murky dub techno structures th… Read more
FIT dip into Walt J's archives for their 4th and final reissue of his late '90s Detroit aces. All four tracks come from Walt's 1997 2LP, 'Reflection', taking in the clipped swing and lush pads of 'Nite Gruv' and the elegant pump of 'Don't Stop' on the front, backed with a sweeter, low-slung mover 'Will U Always Be Mine?' and the skippy thump of 'Feel What I Feel' for the DJs and dancers.
Six infectious outernational groovies selected by Matias Aguayo for the bum-bum party. Side one plays out the hypnotic drive of Carolina Stegmayer and Ismael Pinkler's Carisma cut 'Muerte Instrumental' beside the darkly sexy EBM electro of Colombia's Gladkazuka on 'El Untitled' and a shuffle-techy Uruguayan candombe badass by Lechuga Zafiro. Matias Aguayo heads up the B-side with the deftly unrelenting chug and shuffle of 'El Transatlantico' and Alejandro Paz follows up his 'Duro' anthem with the dope devotional 'El House' declaring that he'll still be dancing to house when he's a gran… Read more
Deep, rolling London house/bass groove backed with a freakier Tickles remix. Cherry-picked by Roska, Tony Tokyo's 'More Than A Fantasy' plays cool with big-bottomed subs and a simple but earworming vocal stutter refrain; Tickles drops a shoulder and cuts some shapes on his bubblin', bleepy remix.
Brooklyn's Bangers & Ash make their first move with this strong debut EP by Dutch beatmaker, tomlaan. Memes from woozy IDM, post-dubstep, instro-hip hop and blunted pop make up the EP's six tracks, moving from pastoral BoC-like downbeats on 'Weatherday' and 'Untitled', to the Balam Acab-styles of 'Want' and what sounds like Muslimgauze gone Detroit on 'Ding'. Flipside he gets more rugged with the bleepin', Zomby-esque lean of 'Cnip', and leaves on a darker, percolated flex with the drowsy 'Prehodni'. Strong stuff - looking fwd to see where this label go from here.
Sheffs captains parade two new wares backed with a cracking Regis remix. TBD's 'Broken Mind' will satisfy those of a darker, rugged disposition, but our highlight is Regis's remix, rewiring its roll with patented, body-synched swerve and abyssal bass roil to bring out the swaggering brute in you...
Classy dream-pop from London’s Greg Hughes, Tessa Murray and friends, the follow-up to their widely acclaimed 2011 set Creatures Of An Hour. The album kicks off with ‘The Trip’, in which Murray invites you to “pack your bags / hit the open road”, and she could be describing the band’s own creative trajectory: this a far airier, more widescreen LP than its predecessor, with a clarity to the production and songwriting that surely will surely lead to daytime radio play and festival ubiquity (if it hasn’t already...we’re not the people to ask). We don’t say all this to denigrate Still… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
LA mainstay Eddie Ruscha makes blissful disco psychedelia with his esteemed pals for RVNG Intl on 'Tactile Galactics'. As a former shoegazer and core member of Medicine - the first American band signed to Creation - he's certainly got a way with melody, but his focus has long since shifted from moody rock to intergalactic dance music, bringing him into contact with the likes of Rub n' Tug's Thomas Bullock as Laughing Light Of Plenty and again with Ariel Pink's Huanted Graffiti bandmate Tim Koh, Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto, and DJ Harvey as Food Of The Gods. So, credentials in order… Read more
Debut album from the heavily stylised, NME-adored but not untalented post-punk pastiche troupe Savages. The debt it owes to Siouxsie & The Banshees, particularly the peerless Juju, couldn't be more pronounced: Fay Milton's drums echo the steamrolling, tom-heavy sound of Budgie, Gemma Thompson references John McGeogh's molten guitar parts almost to the note and, most obviously, singer Jehnny Beth does a spirited karaoke impresh of our Siouxsie throughout. If you're going to ape a classic record or line-up, you could do a lot worse than Juju-era Banshees, and this is confidently written an… Read more
One of the best tracks from Photek's 'Ku:Palm' LP appears here backed with a super rugged Beneath remix of 'Oshun'. We've lamented the lack of proper breakbeat torque in recent Photek gear, y'know, how he used to do, so it's a pleasure to hear him delivering the sort of elegantly angular syncopation that made made us fall so bleeding hard for him in the first place, albeit now with an undertow of wide-ass dubstep bass. Flipside, man-of-the-moment Beneath rolls out with a shark-eyed swivel on his take of 'Oshun', also from 'Ku:Palm', collapsing and rebuilding the structures of '06 dubstep, house, jungle and techno with a proper UK flex. Bad lads, both of 'em.