Monday, 18 August
Esher (ov Blocks & esher) rolls out two forward D&B riddims for Doc Scott's 31 Recordings. 'Deep Architecture' locks off a big boy bass roll with tight tribal drum loops slashed by minimalist synth licks. Proper 2014 jungle pressure. 'Spirits Bounce' is more sci-fi romantic, contouring oily Reese bass to sparse, tech-stepping drums and panoramic pads. Gotta be one of the most stylish, emotive new D&B singles we've heard this year.
Proper feminine presha from skipmaster DJ Q and Butterz player, Flava D. 'PS' burns up tropical chords, sweetest Todd Edwards-style vocal chops and singeing Bassline melodies with the slinkiest flair and funk. There's gotta be a month of summer left, make the most it!
**Ambient pot-pourri from St, Petersburg via LA** "“…our music goes to ambient, and sometimes atmosphere, of disturbance and worry, sometimes meditation. But it doesn’t lie.” So sayeth singer/soothsayer of Saint-Petersburg haunted romance duo Delicate Features, Radmila Nikogosian. We’re fully of the mind to concur. Nikogosian and bandmate/beau Pavel Diakov-Astvatsaturian have been lurking in the off-grid steppes for roughly two years, scotch-taping microphones to fragile percussive objects and folk flutes amidst glowing grey electric swells of depressive sensuality. The Passenger… Read more
"'December' is the new project from respected french Techno producer Tomas More. After a steady slew of well received productions, including a split 12” with Roman Flugel 'December' becomes the realm in which Tomas is able to expose and indulge his love of harsher, less dancefloor focused textures, pluming his signature gritty techno ambience into the depths of no wave and mutated motorik. The sounds given on this debut release have always been there within his dancefloor productions but when that familiar and comforting pulse is removed these productions become something totally new and other… Read more
Dark Sky set the scene for debut album 'Imagin' with a striking pair of cuts. 'Silent Fall' introduces the pleading indie-soul vocal of Brooklyn's Grey Reverend over Kraftwerkian synth chimes and a rolling bass groove, justifiably described byt he label as "in uncharted territory between James Blake and Moderat". By contrast, 'Odyssey' is squared up for the dancers with lean, industrialized electro-bass and drums swung out somewhere between Front 242, Joy O/Boddika, and Rinse-style London jack. Smart.
*Reissue on Superior Viaduct* "San Francisco's first and only rock n' roll band, Crime loomed over the entire Mabuhay Gardens scene with their blistering 1976 single "Hot Wire My Heart." Crime's loose, damaged rock n' roll was as immediate as it was controversial. They were Punk by any definition, yet shunned the label with a guttersnipe sneer. Their meticulously cultivated aesthetic of S&M graphics and police uniforms produced some of the era's most indelible imagery. One of their finest moves was playing in the San Quentin prison yard. Formed by guitarists/vocalists Johnny Strike and Fr… Read more
Black Acre mark their 50th release with two cuts by Clap! Clap! fusing African percussion, electronics, and Footwork rhythms. As such, it concisely sums up Black Acre's rooted-yet-forward aesthetic, juggling febrile, effected drums, bleeps and mystic organ like Shackleton gone Soca on 'Buck', whilst the lilting thumb pianos and chants of 'Ichnusa' are much sweeter, acidic, and fragrant. Happy 50th anniversary Black Acre!
‘Out Of Reach’ has been unavailable in any official format since its original release in 1978 and is one of Can’s rarest, lesser-known albums. This is due in a large part to the fact that bassist Holger Czukay left the band and drummer Jaki Liebezeit has a reduced role, leaving most of the rhythm duties to percussionist come-lately Reebop Kwaku Baah. As on the group’s proper swansong, 1977’s ‘Saw Delight’, new bassist Rosko Gee largely leads the group, and his jazz-inflected playing is marvellous, especially on the centrepiece improvisations ‘November’ and ‘Serpentine’.
Daz Quayle and Tony 'Bone' Snowden flex powerful rhythmic noise muscle on their debut as Broken Bone. Informed by the 20th century atrocities at infamous NYC institution, 'Willowbrook', the duo present six tracks of atonal, visceral noise textures hingeing on bruising bass and charred drums. It's a fxxking fearsome effort, amping a handful of well-selected elements to bleeding point. A-side draws us in with squealing tones and febrile, spitting drums laced with swarming crowd noise, before 'Sub Clinical' and 'Blood On Your Hands' put the boot in with crushing hip hop rhythms and viciousl… Read more
Monday, 11 August
The lone raver returns to PAN with his first new material since 2012's widely acclaimed 'Diversions 1994-1996' and 'Dutch Tvashar Plumes' sides. In the meantime he's been a busy lad, remixing Special Request, Mount Kimbie and Marcel Dettmann, and honing his A/V show with CYRK co-founder, Dave Gaskarth, not to mention prepping imminent, excellent new album, 'Koch'. But back to the here and now - the 'Kuang EP' seems to occupy multiple dimensions at once, refracting dancefloor and bedroom head-space and detached, parallel worlds torn between the impending weight of history and accelerated cybe… Read more
21 years in the game, Mike Paradinas aka µ-Ziq sticks to his guns with the charming retro-futurism of 'Rediffusion'. It's a sweet exercise in melodic nostalgia filtered thru modern rhythm prisms, starting up with the utopian, footwork-infected junglism 'Taxi Sadness' before investigating slower tempos in the following five cuts thru the airborne waltzer 'Rimmy' and Kuedo-esque dry drum programming of 'Blem' to the collapsing sci-fi structures of 'Smeester' and the eerie, Library-style themes of 'Tambor'. As always, that blend of naif insouciance and eldritch oddness hits the spot like the few others.
Standout, unique debut from Ethiopian artist Mikael Seifu and Washington D.C.-based label, 1432r. Twinning inspiration from traditional Ethiopian music with traces of garage, ambient electronica and knackered house, the 'Yarada Lij' EP is an indirect translation of styles delivered by a unique voice and accent. In an interview with Fact magazine, Seifu mentions influence from Zion Rebels to Endeguena Mulu, Burial and Scott Storch, and whilst we can certainly hear Burial's gloomy atmospheres, we reckon he sounds more like an exotic Andy Stott in the low-slung, percolated pound and melodic… Read more
Falty DL's 4th album finds the Brooklynite at his most diffuse, spacious, and dreamy. As you'd hope, there's still a strong, ductile rhythmic base to 'In The Wild' but it's largely mixed to tantalising effect, embedded fathoms deep within his radiant, dub-wise structures. Jazz and hip-hop are the album's touchstones, but heard thru a poetic prism of broken beat, electronica and latinate new age atmospheres shaping up to be some of Falty DL's most distinguished, nuanced productions. Previous single 'Danger' is the rudest thing here alongside 'Heart & Soul', with its 4Hero-style breaks, bass a… Read more
Border Community's Nathan Fake and Wesley Matsell inaugurate Fake's Cambria Instruments label with a wicked pair of knotted, wayward techno grooves. A-side reveals Fake's first new material since 2012's 'Steam Days' album with a slippery garage-techno groove buffeted by off-the-grid drums and drenched in the kind of synth dissonance that makes your fillings ring. It's gotta be one of the craftiest dancefloor trax we've heard in 2014. That outro, too! On the flip, Wesley Matsell follows his rave reminiscence 'Total Order Of Being' with a moody but sublime piece of pastoral te… Read more
Spatial steps out on Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label with a diverse, unique set of garage-techno and house trax. 'Circlon' sets a vibe with a tricksy, off-kilter techno groove fluffed with airy blips and mesmerising vocal idents, and 'Eloptic Energy' works up a carnival-ready techno stepper with ever-evolving bassline and lean acid offset by angelic coos. 'Recover' is the ruggedest, riding with soggy bass slap, scrambled drums and dancing chords reminding of old Boogizm styles, and the super-crafty 'Sufani' comes to wreck-a-body with the niftiest, shoulder-dropping syncopations.
Sick, sick, sick grime hook-up between Trim and Bristol's Ziro. Launched on the ever-ready Crazylegs label - spawned from the eponymous clubnight - Trimble sounds spine-chillingly fearsome embedded within Ziro's tense, icy bleeps and tightly coiled sublow spurts. If grime is the UK's gully answer to US hip hop's gangster tales, this should be on the soundtrack to a Bristolian version of The Wire.
UK techno's dark magi SUrgeon and Regis documented live in Tokyo, performing not long after reuniting for the 1st BEB event and their 'Where Pale Limbs Lie' 12" for Liberation Technologies. Techno fiends will be left gnashing their tongues with the 1st side, where Karl O'Connor (Regis) and Anthony Child (Surgeon) spend their time sculpting a wall of digital noise and gothic cries, leaving a squirrels nut taste of groove for the final strokes. Flipside they fully commit to the groove with a stormy, swaggering rendition of 'As Above So Below' and the torturous power noise drill to 'End', polite applause included.
At long last Skeptical's in-demand dub 'Chain Reaction' lands on the shop floor backed with the stark skank of 'Echo Dub'. Operating at 140bpm rather than his usual D&B zones really suits this producer, much like others such as SP:MC or Kryptic Minds who've also made the same, tectonic shifts. 'Echo Dub' is spacious pensile, hingeing pendulous subs off woodblock snares and Nyabinghi-like runs trimmed with scything synth slashes; 'Chain Reaction' is pure dread, stoking super-wide subs and jaw-tensing rimshot skitters to killer effect.
Outstanding modular techno deviations from Peter Van Hoesen and Yves De Mey's Sendai project on the Monad series. Continuing the themes of their under-the-radar album 'A Smaller Divide', the duo deal in proper, shape-shifting electronic minimalism feeling out sheer textures and roiling, globular bass shapes in four tracks landing somewhere between Keith Fullerton-Whitman's hybrid modular scapes and recent Autechre.
Big Dog Nozinja debuts on Warp with the Shangaan burn of 'Tsekeleke'. Fresh from soundtracking the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, 'Tsekeleke' marks Nozinja's most prominent solo release after years as the anchor of Shangaan Electro - the notorious, breakneck Afro-disco style and dance originating in Limpopo, now based in Soweto, South Africa, which was brought to wider attention via Honest Jon's seminal compilation. It's rare for indigenous African dance styles to break thru to UK and European markets, but Nozinja's music is a true Afro-accelerationst anomaly that's been greet… Read more
Big room romps from XXXY following his 'Never Enough' 12" for Rinse. 'Goldfish' works a squashed, propulsive London house sound with a hollow, metallic klonk reminding of Marcel Dettmann's debut 12" on MDR, only spiked with shape-cutting funk. On the other hand, 'Evade' is one for the armpit exhibitionists, tracing icy arpeggios up the spine of a swinging tech-house groove replete with jaw-swanging breakdown.
Four fruity, funked-up sample chop 'n paste jobs by Bob Bhamra aka West Norwood Cassette Library.
Anticipating the 'Endgame' mini-LP, Warsnare brings da drums to Seclusiasis with a percolating R&Bass burner consolidating garage, tribal house and footwork in slick style.
**Cheery, melodic electronica from the house of Ghostly International's much-loved roster** "Hohokum is a distinct creative collaboration between artist Richard Hogg and Honeyslug, a London-based game studio. The vibrantly whimsical game emphasizes exploration and creativity with a playful touch. With the vision to create an experience free of typical video games pressures, Honeyslug delivers inspiring and unique gameplay in Hohokum. Players take on the role of a flying, Technicolor being, like a curious kite. Travelling through the colorful world, players can uncover secrets by inter… Read more
Cómeme gang-up for the nine-track 'Gasoline' label expo. Starts up nice 'n slow with Auntie Flo's technoid cumbia grind 'Jas' and travels a spectrum of kinky goods from Vaskular's mellow jacker 'Black Jesus' to the clipped, slippery swing of 'Cógeme' from DJs Pareja & Alejandro Paz, the trim industrial percolator 'El Rito' from Zombies In Miami, and Carisma's fairlight-sprung remix of 'A Bailar' by Rous. Sweaty.
Refreshing debut album of hip hop/grime fusion from Toronto-based MC/producer Tre Mission starring guest bars from Wiley, JME, Skepta and Murky Ace, among others. With 'Stigmata' Tre presents a unique, relatively outsider perspective on UK styles concisely mixed with North American hip hop memes. In the wrong hands this could be another dodgy slab of EDM "fusion" stodge, but Tre's the real deal, from the clipped and moody 2-step itchiness of 'On Road' to his tripped-out trap nod to Dizzee Rascal on 'Boy In The Corner' and, of course, the nimble slyding squares and R&G keys of 'Real Grind' w… Read more
"There are a number of ways to interpret ‘Volume X’, the title of the new album by Trans Am. The first is obvious - it is the band’s tenth studio release, comprised of ten songs that display ten unique sides of Phil Manley, Nathan Means and Sebastian Thomson. You can also imagine a volume knob being cranked all the way up, the amplification level for an ideal Trans Am listening session. However, it can also be read as a representation of the band’s remarkable ability to express and even embody, unknown capacities, adopting bold stylistic and aesthetic shifts as a defining tenet of their quarte… Read more
Pure heat from Tia Maria Producoes on Lisbon's Príncipe label. Tia Maria Producoes crew in control, repping a further flung sound from Rennes and Paris, and back home in southside Lisbon. Their aesthetic is probably best described as a slower, "deeper" strain of the Príncipe sound, compared with the ruffer, grimier strains of DJ Marfox or the B.N.M. / P.D.D.G. crews. Under the gangster banner "TáTipo Já Não Vamos Morrer" - meaning "It's like we won't die anymore" - they drop six slick riddims ranging from DJ Téilo's strangely haunting "Afrohouse torchsong", '7 Marav… Read more
Stephan Laubner aka STL gets closer to nature in an extensive library of field recordings under the banner of 'From Coast To Mountain'. From birds that sound like screaming children to the swell of the North Sea, it's an immersive suite of richly detailed recordings miles away from his other dancefloor stuff.