Monday, 15 June
Stranger dance-not-dance music from four Glaswegians under the Junto Club banner for their home city's Optimo Music. This, the quartet's debut release, recorded at the near-legendary Green Door Studios, yields the oddest pick 'n mix of styles, from the gloomcore synths and disco-dub 'tronics laced with kids choirs (or themselves pitched up?) in 'Leaving Forever', to the halfspeed Suicide styles of 'SGC', thru the swaggering, unbuttoning chug groove of 'Freedom From The Known', and The Birthday Party-style death-dub leeching of 'Let Me In'.
"This self-titled debut LP finds Jaakko on spellbinding form, composing sumptuous and wildly original music that teems with ideas and more than delivers on the promise of its predecessor, the breakthrough 2013 EP Dreamzone. Jaakko Eino Kalevi marks the start of a striking new chapter for the Berlin-based artist – a former tram driver in Helsinki – who’s already made quite an impression on the international stage these past 12 months. From the alluring opener ‘J.E.K.’ to ravishing finale ‘Ikuinen Purkautumaton Jännite’ (loosely, ‘Eternal Ejected Voltage’), this is a richly i… Read more
DMX Krew returns with the eldritch electro of 'Standing Stones'. Issued just in time for the summer solstice, it finds Ed exploring his lesser heard side of pastoral electronica and melodic ambience, as opposed to his usual electro-funksploitations. Like many of the Rephlex crew, he hails from the South West corner of England; an area steeped in mythology and folklore which richly informs this set, quite literally in track titles such as 'Glastonbury' or 'Ring of Brodgar' and 'Avebury', thru to the sort of eyrie, ambient library styles of pieces such as 'Glantane' or 'Lady of the Lake',… Read more
**Check dat stance on 'From A G Perspective'!** "Four new instrumental tracks, produced, recorded, composed & played by Dam-Funk. DF is currently on the last two weeks of a U.S. tour with Todd Rundgren. Dam's second full-length solo album Invite the Light is planned for later this year."
Pixelord adopts the Computer Graphics mantle for a more frayed, abstract and sensual house sound in the 'CCCP EP'. He's tempered his ADD production style here, allowing grooves to roll and swing out rather than convulse like an agitated Transformer. 'CCCP' works somewhere between Actress and Lutto Lento styles with cracked house swing and fizzy textures; ''Downloading' comes off like a mutant Four Tet and 'Itsnotaboutcomputers' feels out a jazzy, murky Floating Points style. 'Make Me Juice' indulges a murkier garage swing with swampy subs; 'Virtual Race' tests out a skanking dub house swelter.
Blondes' debut EP, 'Touched' (2010) is made available to download for the first time. Spanning 9 minutes of celestial slow house in 'You Mean So Much To Me', along with the 11 minute kosmiche chug fug of 'Moondance' and the psych-dub propulsion of 'Virgin Pacific', we find the duo at their most naif, emotive, prior to pushing the tempo on subsequent releases for Rvng Intl.
Monday, 08 June
Dusty synth treasure from Pye Corner Audio and Belbury Poly on Ghost Box's Other Voices series. Solo, PCA arches up the dark and dramatic industro-disco figure of 'Machines Are Obsolete', flaring some of his finest harmonic, chorale synth arrangements and most succinct, direct grooves. In tandem with Belbury Poly, he offers the much sweeter pop bop of 'Pathways', all R&B-esque claps and woozy, library-style synth cadence.
Pinch us; it's real! Audika finally unleash a vintage-fresh stash of tunes from Arthur Russell's archive, marking one of the most substantial, posthumous dispatches of his unreleased material to date. At this point, Arthur should need little introduction - he's arguably among thee most important, yet neglected, American composer/song-writers of the 20th century - so we'll skip the skooling and run to the music. There are nine songs, of which five are actually alternate and previously unheard versions of much-loved classics, while the other four are completely unheard, and also plucked from h… Read more
Container leaves his imagination out of it on a 3rd album simply called, 'LP', just like the previous two. The result is seven tracks of knuckle-headed noise techno using his body as an automated conduit for gating electrical charge between his various machines. Even the track titles hint at this cold man-machine relationship, with 'Eject', 'Cushion', or 'Calibrate' reading like commands between his CPU/CNS and the red-lining, overworked modules, whilst the music carries out its functions with detached and blinkered style, slogging out seven tracks ranging from the hard-stepping techno … Read more
Norway's most precious, provocative pop export presents the barbed strokes of 'Apocalypse, Girl' - her 3rd album - with Brooklyn's Sacred Bones. In possession of an effortlessly natural, evocative voice, coupled with probing lyrics, Jenny surrounds herself with musicians of a similarly rarified calibre, including Thor Harris (Swans), Okkyung Lee, and Rhodri Davis, who all play within her "intimate sound" parameters; empathising with her open-minded, transgressive pop rhetoric and disquietingly reserved aesthetic in a winding, hallucinatory narrative. Produced by another prime Norsk mu… Read more
Editions Mego present an immersive live recording of Donato Dozzy and Neel's Voices From The Lake, captured in Rome's breathtaking MAXXI museum. As chance would have it, this reviewer was lucky enough to walk in halfway thru the performance (word, LSWHR!), already dazed by the contours of Zaha Hadid's incredible architecture, to be pleasantly consumed by VFTL's free-floating topography of ambient techno. It was a perfect sound for such a grand container, both reflecting each others' seemingly impossible structures - precariously balanced staircases giving way to huge, sweeping… Read more
'Imagine The Future' is ASC's magnum opus, no doubt about it. Emboldened with iMAX-sized production values and framed with cinematic vision, it arrives after a relatively fallow couple of years for ASC, galvanising his strongest aspects - emotive melodic arrangements, hyper-crisp sound design, massive bass sculptures - into a stunning album-come-soundtrack for an as yet unwritten sci-fi. We've seen his own productions and those of his Auxilliary inner circle, such as Synth Sense, Central Industrial, and Sam KDC, keening towards this direction for half a decade now, with varying levels of … Read more
Boss level grime business from Slackk on R&S. Ten years after Rephlex surveyed the grime/dubstep scene with their seminal compilations, R&S host the nexx stage of the instrumental grime and techno/electronica dialogue, presenting six cuts of emotionally rich sino-grime melodies and mercurial drum programming that don't sit easy in either category, preferring to occupy their own fresh space between styles. Rolling out with the bittersweet tang of 'Bells', the session twists between skeletal, nervy 8-bar drama in 'Posrednik' to the hardstyle-d baroque halfstep majesty of 'Monument' and s… Read more
Surgeon picks out some rare (and not so rare) tracks circa 1995-96 for reissue thru Dynamic Tension. A-side includes the lesser-spotted pounding of 'Fivo', taken from a 12" for Birmingham's Round Records (MBRR-001), plus the bucking nastiness of 'Pagga', lifted from Kickin Records (KICK 64). Flipside is where it gets special, giving two highly sought-after, brain-burrowing Surgeon obscurities known and coveted as 'THX1139' and originally issued in edition of only 50 copies, hence the 2nd hand price of £125! Priceless business, bab.
Prepare to be wowed by the complex, primitive futurism of Ben Zimmerman's 'The Baltika Years', sequenced and prefaced by Software's lead developer, Dan "OPN" Lopatin. Yielding a microcosmos of 31 compositions ranging from 10 seconds to 21 minutes in length, mostly composed and recorded using a Tandy DeskMate computer between 1992 - 2002, and touching down on D&B, bit-crushed dub, and near-baroque melodic economy, it's a shocking and deeply personal revelation, well warranting Software's comparison between it and "reading an abstract diary". Whilst we're not informed exactly what … Read more
Galcher Lustwerk inaugurates Lustwerk Music with a dose of light-footed, heavy-lidded deep house. 'Parlay' appears in two versions, a chrome-swirling and subby glyding original with hushed vocal, plus a skinnier dub sans vocal, whilst 'Dockside' rolls out with a dubbier stride, and our favourite, 'Kaint' leaves the bass out of it for a heady, handy ambient cool-out.
An-i follows Traxx's lead, editing two joints by unsung Italian industrial unit, Musumeci, for Mannequin. Sounds like he had a lot of fun doing it, too, throttling maximum, jagged funk from the writhing electric eel of 'Harry Batasuna' on the front, and jacking up their 'Untitled' cut to a slab of rolling EBM thunder voiced by poltergeist yelps on the flip.
'Amusers & Puzzlers' is the incendiary kiss-off from NYC's lean, muscular noise rock unit, Sightings. After 15 years entrenched in the city's underground, and following a successful European tour and ninth album, 'Terribly Well', they disbanded in 2014, leaving us with this final document of their adroit capabilities when it comes to jackhammer noise and unorthodox axe mangling. These tracks were all recorded in parallel to 'Terribly Well', and follow a similarly bloodied path thru pulsing motorok discord with 'Counterfeited', to furious, Lightning Bolt-like roil in '1982', and ru… Read more
Welcome return from Christelle Gualdi a.k.a. Stellar Om Source with a quartet of razor-cut acid jams for RVNG INTL. Putting a keen spin on original Belgian, Detroit and Chicago rave styles, her restless 'Nite-Glo' trax are heavily infectious dancefloor exercises, whether emulating OG Phuture with a lick of extra-effective rimshot tickles in 'Sudden', or ripping like some Jack Rabbit joint in the slamming 'Never', whilst 'Live' proves her efficiency with Beltram-esque mentasm techno and 'Sure' fires like a choice Eric van den Broek number.
Workshop boss Jens Kuhn a.k.a. Lowtec has a charming, meandering away-day on L.A.'s Avenue 66. Arriving 2 years after the label's amazing Joey Anderson 12", 'Above The Cherry Moon', Lowtec stokes a curious balance of jazz-wise experimentation and laid-back, sun-baked grooves in three parts. A-side, 'Man on Wire' finds a line thru bit-crushed IDM drums and chiming jazz chords at sauntering pace, and bumped up a gear with wooden kickdrums and spidery strings in the haunting reconstruction. B-side, the 'Hidden Track' unfurls nine minutes of hypnotic, rolling house shaped by waves of skanking sub… Read more
Palmistry brings it back to Mixpak with the tenderised dancehall-pop of 'memory Taffeta'. The South London-based producer's 3rd single for the label is a charm, prickling precise, minimal riddim to sweetlad soul vocal with poetic vision.
Profligate joins Unknown Precept with a grungy, pummelling noise techno session for fans of Powell, Violetshaped or Prostitutes. Building on the snotty cyber-punk vibes of his two releases for Not Not Fun, 'Extremities' romps like the soundtrack to a bar brawl in Streets of Rage, from the melted tarmac pounding of 'Good Humour' to the toiling steam-press kicks and blank-eyed industrial drones of 'It Was Me'. Turn it over and 'Let's Eat (Working Title)' sharpens up with a bracing line of pneumatic electro rhythms and concrète tussle, before 'Every Little Rainbow' expends its energy reserves in a rollicking, Powell-esque juggernaut. Strong tip for the New Beta fiends!
*Collection featuring Hieroglyphic Being, Kaseem Mosse, Andres, Ras G and more* Strong survey of actions 2012-15 in the esoteric, Afro-futurist and avant realms of house, hip hop, techno and disco. Revolving a stellar line-up of attuned and talented minds, the first volume of 'Soul Jazz presents Sounds of the Universe: Art + Sound 2012-15' weighs in 19 exclusive cuts formerly only available on limited vinyl editions (250 copies) sold at Sounds of the Universe in London. It includes some absolute bewts, from Kassem Mosse's percolat… Read more
*Original songs by Karen Dalton reworked by Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Marissa Nadler and more* Karen Dalton (1937-1993) recorded two studio albums during her lifetime, neither of which contain any songs she wrote. By the good graces of legendary guitarist Peter Walker, who oversees Karen's Estate, we are gifted with these lost lyrics, now given voice by other great women of song, including Sharon Van Etten, Patty Griffin, Diane Cluck, Julia Holter, Lucinda Williams, Marissa Nadler, Laurel Halo, Larkin Grimm, Isobel Campbell, Tara Jane O'neil and Josephine Foster.
Tez Fixmer's 2003 EBM kicker re-activated by Kobosil, Marcel Dettmann and Norman Nodge for Ostgut Ton. In pole position, Kobosil gives a strapping 44 version run thru a barrage of filters and electro-plated with vicious new synthlines. Flipside, Norman Nodge reduces the same elements to a potent, viscous jack, and Dettmann jettisons the beat for a threatening Leitmotiv version.
Rolling techno-electronica battery from Circle Traps' Will Ward, launched by Berlin's Leisure System. Starting up at 'Digital Design' he fakes left with a sparse, tense intro yielding bruising techno bass hits and glitched edits softened with salty house chords. 'Portion' follows at a darker tilt with back-breaking kicks streaked by trancey arpeggios and cloaked in midnight atmosphere, leaving the whirring, jacking mechanics of 'Interval One' to balance more optimistic pads and percolating synth voices for big room-driving effect.