Monday, 01 December
Ripperton's acephelic phantom returns to Clone Royal Oak with a dreamy house session. The original 'Swept Illusions' plays out a poised tech-house groove smoothed off with sparkling keys and flyaway synthlines; Dorisburg gives an Afro-centric 808 Dance Mix; Akajo dubs it out for the we small hours.
"A collection of unreleased recordings from the early days of Gravenhurst. Unexpected treasures found in the Gravenhurst archives whilst researching material for the tenth anniversary reissues of ‘Flashlight Seasons’ and ‘Black Holes In The Sand’. Comprised of two early demos that differ from album versions in intriguing ways and eight previously unheard songs, the result is a carefully selected and coherent collection. ‘The Citizen’ contrasts a lyric of urban alienation with an early demonstration of Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst’s mastery of acoustic minimalism, while … Read more
The skilled Dutch producer toys with future funk conventions in five twisted beats for the UK's Chasing Unicorns label. Up top he comes with that 33-not-45 wooze in the dubbed-off, stumbling drums and Eastern-flavoured synthline fray of 'The Same Species Occur' beside the decelerated samples and gaseous 808 patter of 'Lodges In The Mind'. On the flip, 'Dim Depths' steps off with thee most crooked slowfast drum calculations and the squeaky swagger of 'Doubloons', leaving the wistful keys and corrugated machine funk of 'Geronto' to close. RIYL Jameszoo, Vessel, Micachu.
“Just Us” is the new album from legendary Hamburg band Faust. Founder members Jean-Hervé Peron and Zappi Diermaier have laid down twelve musical foundations which are intrinsically typical of Faust in their own right, yet offer enough space for completely different works to develop. Which is exactly what they hope will happen. Whilst Diermaier largely remains true to his habitual handiwork—drums and percussion—Peron, as we might expect, incorporates all manner of unusual sonic sources alongside his bass, various string instruments and piano, even using a sewing machine as a metronome. Tracks like … Read more
The Black Dice miscreant follows his jaunt onto L.I.E.S. with a typically schizoid return to DFA in 'Ms Pretzel'. Working somewhere between $hit & $hine's lop-sided funk and the burred loops of Harmonious Thelonious, his four tracks investigate heatsick Afro-centric vibes in the slow and low chug of 'Ms Pretzel' as well as noisier, splintered grooves in 'SXIXO', while 'Scum of the Cream' prowls wayward dancefloor zones with a steadier, if still sozzled, momentum, and 'A1EZOK' pushes the tempo up for a manic flurry of stepping drums and queasy, melting loops.
Emika starts up her eponymous label with two brooding, etheric, yet pounding electro-techno tracks. 'Melancholia Euphoria A' pays dues to Dopplereffekt with icy arpeggios and pumping Detroit-style electro ballast stabbed up with her own feminine grunts. 'Melancholia Euphoria B' feels lighter, sweeter, erecting towering synth figures over hydraulic 4/4.
Modular mutant, Ekoplekz turns out the crooked dub jams for Canada's More Than Human label. There's nowt groundbreaking but Ekoplekz's charms only seem to become stronger with each release, finding stranger integers between his knobs and faders to make each release bubble and crackle with a unique energy of its own. Over six tracks he wobbles from astral steppers oscillations in 'Fluktuate' via Slen Teng-like drone deviations, 'Riddim Autonomik' and on thru the mysterious, exotic 'Ariwakz' to extended spring reverb fiddles in 'Zone Stikz' and warm, frothy radiophonic burbles on 'Unkonabulate'.
Ekman returns to Berceuse Heroique with a banging techno number backed by fiercely f**ked Vereker remix following his opening shot on BH 001. The original 'Acid7' burns up bucking claps and bruising kicks in a firestorm of distorted tape noise and psychedelic FX. Vereker goes one heavier with severe lashing of pure, guttural ghetto bang on the B-side. Watch yer eyebrows!
'Reith Trax' revolves around eight Rephlexian electro aces made by EDMX on a farm in Austria, summer 2012. The idyllic setting sparked his imagination via an Akai MPC sampler and "a very old and opaque synthesiser module called TX81Z" to craft some of his sweetest gear in years. There's a proper old skool (well, '90s at least) electronica sensibility at play, from the swaying melodies of 'Hammock Yard' to the manic funk of 'Kitchen Bench', delivering dancefloor potential in the bloopy acid house swagger of 'Guest House' or the dark 'n crunchy electro of 'Trees Are Dancing' parts 1 & 2, along… Read more
London-based disco mutant Design A Wave takes to Chloe Frieda's Alien Jams label - spawned from her NTS show - with the skewed grooves of 'International Journey of Synthetic Emotion'. Following on from his 'A.R.M.' 12"s for Rush Hour's No 'Label', a trio of idiosyncratic arrangements unfold between the hyper footwork shuffle, hovering chords and electro-jazz runs of 'I' to a crafty slow/fast swing and warm, woozy pads in 'II' and the lushly deferred gratification of 'III', blossoming from four minutes of unanchored arpeggios and grubbing bass into a supple disco shuffle.
Crepuscular trip-pop from another new addition to the Rinse fam. Whether experimenting with screwed groovse and robot/gynoid duet of 'Runnin', John Foxx-style electro-pop slugs in 'Side FX' or 'The Fan', and Scando-pop sweetness on 'Because We Are Fools' the duo's four songs find a fine balance of mutant futurism and R&B pop comfort placing them in good stead among Rinse's forward-looking roster.
Deadly house traxxx from a funked-up Delroy Edwards for Gene's Liquor Store. While we've lately heard him do slick boogie as Rx, hardcore techno as DJ Punisher, and slowed down funk under his Delroy Edwards pseudonym, here he goes back to out-and-out party tricks with the G-funk-spiced breakbeat house throwdown, 'Can U Get With', next to an incredibly infectious piano house slammer, 'Always (Edit)' - almost guarantee you're gonna hear this everywhere! - and the fruity bounce of 'Untitled'. Recommended!
Diverse clutch of forward house and footwork hybrids crossbred with atmospheric electronica by Deft. Soaring beatless pieces bookend a dynamic set of productions swooping into neuro-sparked slow/fast Footwork with 'Vapid (Pt.2)' and hardcore future-tribalism with the sparring percussion of 'Promise Me', whereas 'Drawn' enters similar airspace occupied by Machinedrum's Vapour City and 'The Night Time' switches tack entirely to electro-boosted techno-house tempos with proggy trance chords.
New edition from UK based sound artist Chris Herbert following on from releases for Kranky. Recorded in restless bursts between from 2007 and 2013, Constants was collated in early 2014 and draws on a mixed musical palette interweaving sounds sourced from field recordings and scavenged from domestic environments.
London vs Liverpool in the street rave stakes; everyone's a winner. Champion and Melé go toe-to-toe with the sparring breakbeat swagger and wide-ass bass wobble of 'Get Down' up top, and step off again with sparring, fractured breaks and caged animal bass prowl in 'Radio Babylon'. Wicked and bad.
**2014 re-cut of a 1992 compilation-cum-album of Eno's ambient recordings circa '85-'90. Includes download code** "Reissue of Brian Eno’s 1992 album dedicated to Russian artist and friend Sergei Shutov, and a continuation of the atmospheric ambient work found on records such as On Land and Thursday Afternoon. Eno had discovered that Shutov often painted to his music but was unable to obtain many of his records in then-communist Russia. He resolved to collate a tape of previously unreleased material (recorded between 1985 and 1990) to give to Shutov and upon listeni… Read more
All Saints give renewed life to Brian Eno's misunderstood and overlooked 1997 album, 'The Drop' in a heavy gatefold pressing. Generally disregarded by Eno fans as too weird or not proper "ambient", it stands out from his catalogue as a unique, minimal and alien sort of jazz incursion integrating traces of Fela Kuti's melodic basslines and the complex, labyrinthine melodies of jazz fusion heroes, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. This vinyl version includes two tracks not found on the CD, namely 'Slicing System' and 'Sharply Cornered', which could be considered as precursors to Wolfga… Read more
"Reissue of Brian Eno’s 1992 album which found him returning to a more rock-oriented sound, albeit skewed through an aesthetic that is simultaneously playful, funky and claustrophobic, and featuring a mixture of vocal and instrumental excursions. Includes contributions from Robert Fripp, Robert Quine and John Paul Jones. Vinyl edition re-cut as a double LP for improved sound quality, and includes a download card to access full audio of the original album."
"Reissue of Brian Eno’s critically acclaimed 1993 single-track album. Named after the precious sensual oil derived from the flowers of the Seville orange, Neroli is more than any other Eno work intrinsically linked with the idea of perfume and fragrance. The piece is formed from a single Phrygian mode melody which Eno constructs and deconstructs throughout the work with the subtle flair that has become his trademark. A piece of pure atmosphere that is considered by many to be the ultimate realisation of Eno’s ‘mood music’, Neroli has been played in matern… Read more
Chillaxed ambient house chuggers from the Viscount of come-downs. Three tracks sashay from the Afro-inflected bobble of 'Flashlight' to the insistent disco shuffler 'Pelican' and the fade-to-beige boogie of 'Return to Air'.
**Brooklyn's Beacon return via Ghostly International with the emotional, hypeR&B follow-up to their debut 2013 album, 'The Ways We Separate'** "The brawny synth timbres which open lead track "Fault Lines" and the stomping beats bolstering gauzy falsettos on confident songs like "Minor Structures" set the tone for a new phase in Beacon's evolution, one geared toward the movements and magnetism of human bodies. As producer Jacob Gossett puts it, "Our records have often been described as moments after the night has given way, a 'comedown after the club.' Hopefully, this record inspires people to go back… Read more
Russell Haswell, Pye Corner Audio, Beneath, Scanner, Geiom and Mark Fell yield divergent revisions of Martin & Richard Dust's (2/3rds of The Black Dog) Japanese Itamae-inspired Application project. We'd recommend drawing straight for the dark technoid dancehall flux of Beneath's 'Flange 7' rework, the asymmetric calculations of Mark Fell's take on 'Steve Reich's Ice Cream Van', and Haswell's blistered but quietly sensitive, even melodic, remix of 'Cron Job'.
"Aidan Baker's (Nadja) Triptychs takes inspiration from Erik Satie's compositions Gymnopédies and his notion of 'furniture music,' which many consider a precursor to contemporary ambient music. Each 'triptych' is based around a simple, slow moving melodic line, which repeats three times with the addition of an harmonic line upon each repetition, culminating in a three part harmony. Various musicians from different ensembles and musical backgrounds -- Peter Broderick, Julia Kent, Leah Buckareff (of Nadja), Aki Yakamoto (of Vampillia), and Baker himself - were invited to record their interpretations of these compositions."
Monday, 24 November
Still Music's Jerome Derradji and Kevin Starke ov Kstarke Records present a unparalleled haul of hitherto hidden Chicago house weapons in 'The House That Jackmaster Hater Built'. Mixing previously unreleased diamonds that used to be traded on tape between the likes of Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles, along with some of Starke's own Jackmaster Hater edits and productions, plus loads more, you kinda get the sense you should be pinching yourself when listening to joints like the demented Ron Hardy edit of 'Happiness' or the freakishly ra… Read more
Gorgeous debut album of new age/grime fusion from Local Action's newest avatar, Yamaneko. Sublimating the structures of OG grime with the diaphanous tones of meditational aid cassettes, Yamaneko's 'Pixel Wave Embrace' reads like a strange wet dream on screen, and the results actually aren't too far off. Whilst the likes of Visionist, Moleskin, Fatima Al Qadiri and Slackk have all emphasised grime's melodic, ethereal side, Yamaneko takes that aesthetic one step further east to a synaesthetic xen space full of fragrant, reflective chimes and harmonics. It's most explicit in the title a… Read more
Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL returns armed with a new 8-track mini album. From the moody chug of ‘Greater Antilles VIP’ - appearing in its original unedited glory - to Lustman’s own bruk beatdown version ‘Do Me’ (“This one is for the kids” he says), the palette here is as rich and diverse as on ‘In The Wild’. The reworks come direct from Lustman’s extended musical family - Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas (aka μ-Ziq), Blueberry Records’ very own Brrd and the mighty E+E.
Steffi serves a sophisticated sophomore LP for OstGut Ton with 'Power Of Anonymity'. Deeply indebted to classic Detroit house and techno, it plays out ten tracks of romantic machine soul driven by elegant grooves and alleviated by expansive atmospheres - exactly the kinda thing you'd expect to hear her spin at her Panorama Bar residency. It's a real mood setter, keeping the lights dimmed but reassuringly glowing throughout, from the E.R.P.-style electro hush of opener 'Pip' and the astral-bound techno of 'Everyday Objects' thru the Share Vari-referencing funk of highlight 'Treasure See… Read more
Marc Richter is a bit of a musical chameleon, operating at the cusp of experimental music for many years at the helm of the Dekorder label and via his excellent Black To Comm project. His last album for the Type label, 2009’s excellent 'Alphabet 1968’ perhaps didn't quite get the attention it undoubtedly deserved, but it still stands out as one of the most oddly memorable drone-ambient albums we’ve heard this last decade, vaguely tapping into the Hauntological zeitgeist of the day but extending the remit to create something far more unsettling and ambitious. That it was subsequently … Read more
*Comes bundled with a killer Certified Connections mix from DJ Parris* Killer skool of 2014 survey from Dusk & Blackdown's Keysound Recordings. 14 heavyweights in the dance touching on all manner of new sounds from the weightless iMax flex of Logos' 'Metropolis' to the juicy tropical synthuality of Murlo and E.M.M.A or the gutted grime mutations of Wen and Parris. It also introduces a stack of new names to the label with bullets like Caski's dark garage grine 'Tunnel Music', Aphix's icy 'Sin King' and the nice/nasty grime shades of DLVRY's 'Guilt' or t… Read more