Monday, 10 November
"Norwegian group Spunk join forces with one of Norway’s leading modern dance exponents, Odd Johan Fritzøe, to create a sound and movement work celebrating Darwin’s legendary, game-changing voyage to Madagascar. Premiered in 2013 at Oslo’s trailblazing Ultima Festival of Contemporary Music, Adventura Botanica was the third collaboration between Spunk and leading choreographer/dancer Odd Johan Fritzøe. Inspired by Darwin, this ‘study of the invisible laws of nature’ featured Fritzøe dancing around a three metre high sculpture set among sonic objects illuminated in white, to resemble the s… Read more
Apocalypse-baiting metal mutations from Necro Deathmort. Blackened to the core, their 'EP2' for Distraction Records yields six impressively powerful alloys of proper black and doom metal with ferrous techno and electronics, galloping in with the stepping techno of 'Sundive' to carve up scorched doom earth in 'Mirus' and twitchy, infected electronic rhythms and outcast atmospheres in 'Channel Fever'. In 'Bleeding' they release the shackles on a colossal doom metal beast, whereas 'Deadlight' peers into wickedly discordant, off-kilter ambient zones which seep into the Steve Moore or Wolves In T… Read more
Superb new ambient techno depth from Alberto Rosso aka Morkebla, following his smart debut for Where To Now onto the like-minded Reckno label, backed with excellent remixes by Opal Tapes affiliates, 1991, BAT and Body Boys. Credentials in place, 'Pisces Sun, Capricorn Rising' lives up to to the title's astrological aspirations with a deeply mystic, dream-like appeal. Eight gauzy original tracks add up to what Morkebla considers to be his debut album, framing an intimately slow moving yet detached otherworld where sampled voices and the artists own weary vocals are smudged ag… Read more
Halloween special from Luke Vibert, handily released a week after the event by Hypercolour. The lead cut is one of Vibert's acid specials, alloying the creamy crunch of the 303 with spooked out, theremin-liek tones and cheeky Chi grooves to great effect. Flipside, he slows his roll with the TNT/JTC style 111bpm acid bogle of 'Jack U Whole', which receives a plusher 1988 Vibe mix from SDC.
Conspicuous by their absence amidst instrumental grime's resurgence, scene stalwarts No Hats No Hoods return with the proper future funk of Kid D's 'Rhythm and Grime' EP. Four fierce shots of feminine pressure juggling achingly sharp R&B edits with rudest UK rhythm chops from the Rustie-compatible shoulder roll of 'Ghetto Queen' to thizzing Timbaland styles in 'Don't Forget' via the hair-kissing UK flex of 'Summer Queen' and 'Jasmin'. A big look for the dancers and DJs.
Hard-assed but soulful D&B stripes on Metalheadz. dBridge eazes off the metal-tipped snares and vicious neurto licks of Jubei's 'These Things VIP' up top; Artificial Intelligence take no prisoners with the hard-step slaughter of 'Dillirious VIP' on the flip.
Jon Hopkins gives sleepy time versions of his 'Immunity' album tracks alongside King Creosote and Raphaelle Standell.
'S_traits' is the sublime new album of generative electronic music by composer John Supko and media artist Bill Seaman, issued by Cotton Goods. Taking as their root a discarded electronic track from Supko's percussion duo, Straits, he and Seaman created more than 110 hours of source material which they whittled down and re-combined with field recordings, analog/digital noise, '60s/'70s documentary soundtracks and additional piano recordings (inside + out). The results were then parsed thru the the bearings_traits software, which selected tiny fragments from their mass of materia… Read more
John Beltran returns with a seductively trim and techy new sound, backed with label boss Four Tet's sweeter 2-step remix. Squeezing in somewhere between Hessle Joe and LP5-era Autechre, Beltran references his Latino and Detroit inspirations from a unique perspective, synching clipped claps and canted harp hook with pizzicato electronics in a fresh, bittersweet tangle where you'd almost expect Thom Yorke to come in crooning (gwan Thom, do us a version?). Four Tet's mix is much sweeter, easing the original to a dainty ambient 2-step more compatible with Actress and Martyn grooves. Class.
Ital's Lovers Rock label returns with four tracks of ambient techno from the man and his pals. Former Mi Ami dude Earthen Sea proffers the lowlit and romantic shimmy of 'Beat 13' beside the sprung techno mutant, 'Nosebleed' by DJ Wey. Another Mi Ami member, Damon Palermo aka Magic Touch, lends the arpeggiated, beatless synth stroke of 'Inner Realm', and Ital completes the session with his subbass-saturated dub house stroller, 'Resonant Chamber'.
Japan's EM Records illuminate the liberated early works of Yokohama's no wave improv unit Inryo-Fuen circa 1980-82. First issued on flexi-disc and vinyl, these four tracks have now been remastered, re-edited and remixed from original tapes to provide a record of a fertile, pre-digital era when experimental music was performed on the very fringes of society to a tightly knit audience who really had to work to seek out anything beyond the pale - perhaps unlike today's instant access all areas culture. It opens with the historically poignant 'Dakyo Sezu (Uncompromising)' from their d… Read more
*Tim Hecker, The Field and Huxley Remixes* Techno/ambient/noise reworks of Hundred Waters' Portishead-lite trip pop. Huxley takes the affected folk vocals on a moody 4:4 dancefloor mission; The Field takes it underwater with slow, drifting triplets and aerated vocal processing; Tim Hecker douses it in noisily dramatic harmonics.
"‘The Hum’ comes eighteen months after the band’s debut album ‘Pearl Mystic’, a record that steadily went on to become one of 2013’s most critically beloved releases. Even more ferocious and uncompromising than its predecessor and yet more melodic and focused than the band have ever recorded, ‘The Hum’ further cements the band’s status as a vital force in British independent music."
One of the UK's canniest labels does it again with Happy Meals' debut album of sensual, spellbinding lo-fi pop. Sounding like the work of Saada Bonaire's long-lost slacker offspring, 'Apéro' is actually the produce of two Glasgow-based artists, Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook, who originally hail from the Scottish borders. Suzanne sings in a unique mix of French and Scottish, occasionally sharing the mic with Lewis over the course of six songs taking the 100% Silk/NNF pop aesthetic and psych-dub freedom of Peaking Lights to a more ambiguous, enchanted headspace. It's all top notch stuff, from th… Read more
UK & US ambassadors of ruff house go twos on a rugged pair of hardware bug-outs for Apron. Up top on 'Discipline', London's Funkineven and Detroit's Jay Daniel ride slamming kicks with off-kilter synth squelch and skanking chords, all sparked up with clustered claps and warehouse reverbs to make 'em scatter. Down below, they meet in the noirish 'Abyss' with skeletal, dubbed drum patterns hingeing on heavy subs and streaked with moody midnight sci-fi motifs. A wicked session from two of the dopest cats in the alley.
Mondkopf cross-pollinates black metal and cinematic electronics in unique style as Extreme Precautions for In Paradisum. Bitter to the core and prickling a with diseased noise pallor, 'I' renders eleven mutations packing technoid blast beats, Carpenter-esque synth motifs and slabs of doom metal drone serrated by jagged 16th note drum machine assaults.
Just the ticket: an outstanding, genre-hopping return from Brooklyn's finest, delivered on Paul Smith's ever dependable Blast First Petite. 'Familiar' is ten tracks deeper, spiking the senses with electro-pop a la Chris & Cosey in 'Maids' and shoe-gazing motorik pop in 'Palace To Palace'; plus the incredible shamanic techno-pop of 'Sunburned Kids', 808 drone-pop on 'Holy Girl', and future-sprawl blues of 'Grinning In Your Face', culminating in a cover of Tim Buckley's 'Song To The Siren' and a massive black vortex in 'Destroy'. RIYL Animal Collective, HTRK, Chris & Cosey.
Powerful remixes of Eomac's (aka half of Lakker) album tracks on Berlin's Killekill label. Tommy Four Seven plays straightest with a sturdy darkside techno reduction of 'Spectre' aimed at your local megadome; Anno Stam aka Anstam twists the lines of 'Su Riddim' with his inimitable funk; AnD pump 'Shell Of Dark' with a monotone industrial force.
Ena returns with a ruggedly stripped-down and reconsidered D&B sound on 'Binaural', his 2nd solo album and 1st for Samurai Horo. Tumbling and stepping in space between the unquantised stagger of Fis, Felix K's lightless atmospheres, and the visceral concrète dub grit of Miles Whittaker, 'Binaural' presents 14 unstable, original productions for the dankest heads and listening spaces.
"Dream Police is an American musical production by Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, the founding members of The Men. The project began in 2010 as a reservoir for ideas which had overflowed from The Men's drainpipe. In that same year, a two-song cassette single was self-released, with a follow-up live document in 2011. In the summer of 2013, The Men had just come home from five straight months of touring. For Perro and Chiericozzi, the desire to create was still strong, so they did what they used to do when they first started the band — they started jamming. Although the production began … Read more
Dry, hefty techno slammers from Dense & Pika, back on Hotflush. Five tracks for weekend practice, at best with the cavernous thump of 'Klank' or the slinkier builder 'Wandering Hands'.
"For their third full-length for Sacred Bones, Cult of Youth have delved deeper into their style of punk-influenced psychedelic neofolk and created a self-described “post-industrial Pet Sounds.” Using acoustic and electronic instruments, found sounds and an extensive tribal rhythm section, Cult of Youth have put it all out on the table and left us with their magnum opus. The band has returned with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and an all-new lineup. Sean Ragon, once the project’s lone member, is now flanked by Jasper McGandy on bass and Christian Kount on electric guitar (both of whom w… Read more
Masque Femine should be regarded as a total work - much like a film, a ballet, a building, or, an altarpiece - rather than as an album of individual songs. And, its fundamental subject should not be understood to be romantic love. Christina Carter was born in the bayou city of Houston, Texas in November of 1968, and co-founded the group Charalambides there in December of 1991. Ever since then, she has deeply mined her own vein of sound-as-music with voice, guitar (both electric and acoustic), piano, and keys. For the past several years, Christina has utilised extended improvisatio… Read more
**Complex electronica with hints of Burial, Kuedo, Andy Stott** "Young producer Brogan Bentley returns with his debut LP, The Snake. Its 12 compositions writhe, slink, and crawl through the dark and hazy fog-scape of Bentley’s native San Francisco in the Year of the Snake. According to the producer, “The Snake is a sonic documentation of coming into new skin, living in it and shedding it.”"
Full charged techno steamers from Berlin-based UK techno artist Blue Hour. A-side cuts loose a fibrillating peak time roller with nagging vocal stab and thunderous 909s to do the do. B-side pumps out a more stripped tool reminding of late '90s brummie styles.
Andrew Hargreaves of The Boats returns with an excellent, noisy new Beppu album. Arriving in the wake of this year's 'Coercion' LP, the 'Post Content' session features eight of Andrew's most malevolent industrial/noise excursions inspired by the early waves of TG and Clock DVA and strongly compatible with the recent wave of gear from Vatican Shadow, Alberich et al. And while it might all just be "noise" to the lay listener, there's a thread of melodic ambiguity to Beppu's music that's become his charred brand; from the thunderous discord of 'Verbal Objections' thru the riotous din of 'Paradox… Read more
*Original 1994 album from these slow-core pioneers, remastered* "On a family vacation to Florida in the mid-'70s, Bubba cut his head on the bedside table in a motel room. I still remember it vividly and how I was haunted by the matter-of-fact line: 'you cut your head on the bedside table.' Its ten syllables sounded right, but the content is what really haunted me. It felt like the ultimate betrayal, the bedside table taking advantage of its proximity to a serenely sleeping body." - Matt Kadane