Monday, 17 November
Prime house music from DJ Qu! One of New York's finest offers two polarised cuts of connoisseurs dancing music. 'Secret Place' on the A-side sucks us in with warped rhodes and a heavy breathing sensuality adding a wonderfully organic and soulful evolution to the track. On the flip 'Circuit' builds from the bottom up with groaning bass and highly sophisticated jackers patterns locking limbs with a supple but vice like grip. Fans of Levon Vincent, Omar S and Jus Ed do not want to miss this!
Vintage DJ Qu on Strength Music from 2008. Some serious tackle, this. The Main Mix is a bare-bones Afro-Latin House groove tool, nudged and tweaked with that signature quicksilver shimmy for deeply sensuous, mesmerizing effect on the 'floor, while the Hardknock Shaker's Dub places emphasis on heavyweight, booming kicks cloaked with a darkly sexy sense of atmosphere and late-night potential. If you copped his 'Gymnastics' album or have had the pleasure of seeing him DJ, you'll know that this guy is a weapon. Recommended.
Rich, late-night and old skool flavoured house trax from the studios of DJ Qu, Jus Ed and Fred P. At the top of the set is Jus Ed's luxuriant 'Maryland Jam' with sophisticated chord arrangements driven by raw oily bass lunges. You can always trust Fred P to go one deeper and 'It Is What It Is' takes it downlow with emotive deep jazz chords and lush strings leaving DJ Qu to do his abstract but heavily functional thing on 'Ahead', packed with hypnotic loops and a deadly bass kick to keep you going through the night.
**Cristian Vogel gets down like few others on his dub-wise, cerebral follow-up to 'The Inertials' for Shitkatapult** "‘Polyphonic Beings’ begins with a surprisingly dub track which twists and turns, the sounds growing darker and more unexpected from track to track, minute by minute. An eerie and unbelievable sound, with all as it should be: every reverb tail, every movement of the fader, every composed note takes the listener piece by piece into Vogel’s own cosmos. He foregoes interwoven elements for swaying towers of rhythm, powerful sound passages, spaces, roads, mirrors and p… Read more
*New project from members of Zombi and Majeure and acclaimed film composer Paul Lawler. Riyl: Zombi, John Carpenter, Maserati, Vangelis* "Contact is the new duo of A.E. Paterra (aka Majeure) of famed sci-fi synth-rock group Zombi, and acclaimed British film composer, Paul Lawler. Exploring a similar orbit as Majeure and Zombi, multi-instrumentalist Lawler infuses heavy doses of melody and drama to give First Contact a sound and feel that blends late 70s Pink Floyd sprawl, the nostalgic wonder of early 80s science documentaries, and John Carpenter's 80s sci-fi action films. Equal parts fasc… Read more
Grün appeared in 1981, but contained recordings from the years 1976 to 1980. Schnitzler's tracks in the 1970s were lengthy and shared a musical pattern which varied only minimally. Hence the green album has just one track on each side and any changes in melodic structure are subtle in nature. Both pieces are very much typical of Schnitzler in style, but less so tonally. An analogue rhythm machine ploughs almost brutally through the astoundingly delicate electronic veil of "Der Riese und seine Frau" ("The giant and his wife"), bearing little resemblance to Schnitzler's usual sequencer casc… Read more
Gelb appeared in 1981, but contained recordings from the year 1974, originally released in a limited run on cassette ("The Black Cassette"). The chronology of Schnitzler's solo releases in the 1970s-and even more so in the 80s-resembles a book with seven seals. Schnitzler regularly issued his music on analogue cassette or LP, often on his own as "private releases", without any help from a label or professional distributor. Gelb, for example, was issued on vinyl in 1981 by a private press run by an art gallery - Edition Block. The album is subtitled "12 pieces from the year 1974", pointing… Read more
Fruitiy, stripped-down garage-house riddims from Bambounou for 50 Weapons. 'Feel Like This' gets down with proper pneumatic hi-hat and bass swing tucked to a filtered French coda; 'Onto This' ramps the energy levels with a powerful, metallic take on Todd Edwards-style organ motifs and super skippy groove. It's infectious to say the least.
*Includes bonus tracks 'Dem Howl feat. Troels Abrahamsen (Michael Mayer Instrumental Mix)' and 'Dem Howl feat. Troels Abrahamsen (Joris Voorn Mix)'* Matthew Dear puts his Audion mask on for Kompakt. Teaming up with Troels Abrahamsen 'Dem Howl' he delivers a subtly effective big room anthem splitting the difference between posh trance and tech-house. Michael Mayer gvies a more succinct rework on the flipside, beside a moody blue instrumental version of the original.
**Stellar collection of worldly new age and spiritual composition. RIYL Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Charlemagne Palestine** "An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979) compiles unreleased recordings from the archives of multiversal artist Ariel Kalma. Concerned as much with musicality as spiritual facility, Kalma’s work vibrates aside fellow travelers along the great rainbow in curved air of the 1970s avant-garde. Ariel Kalma’s boundary-blurring electronic music is heard here in radiant detail across a selection of work spanning … Read more
Monday, 10 November
Steadfast UK techno label Perc Trax presents eleven exclusive killers from Kareem, Happa, Drvg Cvltvre, FSG, Perc, Truss and more to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Accompanied by a 64 minute mix from the label's top boy, Ali Wells aka Perc, the session shifts with incandescent energy from the moody, mittel European acid slug of Drvg Cvltvre's '(I Don't Want To Die In) James Franco's House' thru the stoic stare-down of Kareem's 'Just When You Thought It was Over' via Happa's Joyrex-style joyride, 'To Die Hating Them', Sawf's disco bullying 'Goves', and… Read more
Always coming with the strangest new creatures, NPIP present the compelling debut of an 18 year old South London composer called Nathan Geyer aka Jire. Emerging from a background in classical composition, Jire's 'Kiowa Polytope' is a keenly considered new take on classical minimalism, acoustic improvisation and lower case electronica woven with inspiration from "across the visual arts and literature". In it he employs elements of rhythmelodic tribal percussion, acousmatic sampling and concrète process to shape four buckled structures at once recalling the crooked designs of Micachu and the d… Read more
Following the frenetic, rhythmic experiments of the Ripatti 12” series, Vladislav Delay returns with his first ambient album in over a decade. ‘Visa’ is a thing of immense, absorbing beauty - harking back to his classic albums for Chain reaction and Mille Plateaux, extending 6 longform pieces over an hour of heady dub reductions. And in the fine tradition of some of the best albums, ‘Visa’ was borne out of serendipity - Ripatti was denied entry to the United States and was forced to cancel an entire tour. Suddenly left with unhindered time and a surplus of creative energy, he produced this … Read more
Hyperdub and Chicago's Teklife powerhouse join forces in tribute to fallen footwork pioneer DJ Rashad with the 20 track 'Next Life' compilation. 'Next Life' provides the broadest, most crucial overview of Chicago's febrile, fertile footwork scene you'll likely hear in 2014, running bullets from brand new producers such as DJ Phil, DJ Tre, Boylan, and Sirr Two along with bombs from elders like DJ Spinn, RP Boo, Traxman, and of course DJ Rashad, plus a handful of aces from the scene's non-Chicago cousins. Pushed to pick instant favourites, we'd draw for the mellow pressure of Traxman's 'Sit Ya S… Read more
Bloom sets new precedents for instrumental grime with a quartet of nexx dimension productions for Bristol's Crazylegs. Last spotted on the label remixing Toyc's 'Keychain', in the 'Hydraulics' EP he cuts the fat with ruthless incision, leaving a shocking display of scything, mechanised rhythms tessellating in negative 3D space. Nary a fxxk is given towards rhythmic convention as he re-tools the original templates of Wiley, Waifer, and Splurt to the nth degree, replacing practically all traces of sinew or unnecessary material with explosive concrète dynamics. Quite importantly, it's also some of… Read more
**2LP gatefold** Primo Roman sound designer Giuseppe Tillieci aka Neel takes to Spectrum Spools with his debut solo album proper, inspired by the entropic, 50 million year lifespan of Mars' 2nd and larger moon, Phobos. It's a spellbinding attempt to deal with sound on the vastest scales imaginable, using a combination of modular synths and hardware to traverse the full frequency range and achieve an immense soundscape streaked with massive sound objects and microscopic details. We were lucky enough to catch him perform a similar sound live alongside his Voices From The Lake partner, Donato Dozzy, at… Read more
Jacques Greene returns with a 4 track EP for LuckyMe, inc Sei A and Suicideyear remixes.
The great instrumental grime rush of 2014 continues with Loom's killer debut, 'Grade' for Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper label. Riffing on early memories of the sound absorbed thru pirate radio, he opens with the scratchy, half-heard transmissions and struggling sub-bass of 'Grade' before emerging, butterfly like with the spiralling arpeggios and bittersweet melodic emotions of 'Rain Falls Hard Here' landing somewhere between Lorenzo Senni and Visionist. With 'North' he inverts current rhythm formulas to a sullen trudge matched by gorgeous blue chords recalling vintage mid-'90s Autechre, contrasting sharply with the radiant energy burst of 'Fukiushima'.
Following his ‘Beautyfear’ album, Marsen Jules returns with two extended pieces recorded during a two week residency at the renowned GRM institute in Paris.The institute was founded in 1958 by composer Pierre Schaeffer, one of the main protagonists of Musique Concrète, a musical movement that focused on recorded sounds and sound manipulations as a basis for compositions. For these two extended pieces (35 minutes) Jules dives deep into the level of subatomic sound-particles. Clusters of string crescendos emerge from a nearly psychoacoustic sound-wall of warm drones in which they disappear wi… Read more
Certified UK house practitioner Doc Daneeka links with Seven Davis Jr on a stylish pair of deep house and boogie numbers for Ten Thousand Yen. On 'What's It Gonna Be?' he drizzles Davis Jr's soul-fired vocal over a crunchily persistent tech-house groove, whereas 'I Promise' comes off like some naked Moodymann joint, leaving the kicks at home to vibe out with finger pops, diaphanous chords and weightless bass. You'll also find the very KDJ-styled disco-funk of 'Together' and the whirring, latinate shimmy of 'Ghosttext' for fine measure. Classy.
Diagonal put a gallon in the tank with The Skull Defekts' devilishly hypnotic 'Street Metal' album clad in ludicrously wicked artwork by Guy Featherstone. Where the majority of modern psych rock is about as psychedelic as listening to Steve Wright, The Skull Defekts' lysergic clarity and locked-on grooves feel like they might have *actually* done some heavy drugs in their time, hence their music works where it matters. Headed up by Swedish scene lynchpin, Joachim Nordwall (vocals, guitar, oscillator), alongside Jean-Louis Huhta (percussion, electronics), Daniel Higgs (ghost catche… Read more
As the title promises, 'LPs 2002-2005' collects Deadbeat's trio of albums, 'Wild Life Documentaries', 'Something Borrowed, Something Blue', and 'New World Observer' in one handy package. We'd wager that for many listeners, they are the definitive Deadbeat works, released into a then murky pool of producers such as Pole, Substance & Vainqueur or Daniel Meteo were exploring dub techno aesthetics in the wake of BC/Rhythm & Sound/M-Series. Ten years later they still sound choice, partly due to their rooted, post-dated aesthetics, partly due Deadbeat's timeless feel for simple, effective hooks and full-bodied sonic weight.
Norwegian producer Erik Spanne comes cold correct with the technoid 'Silver Cloak' EP for Lit City Trax. Working in similar spheres to Nguzunguzu or Fatima Al Qadiri, the Her Records crew, and fellow viking Lars T C F Holdhus, he strikes with a taut, direct sound charmed with colourfully complex arrangements between the weightless zones of 'Kyselina' and the trap bounce of 'Silver Cloak'.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* 'Stateless' is Alex Zhang Hungtai aka Dirty Beaches' sweeping, beat-less swan-song under this guise. Where his previous album wallowed in the darkest recesses of post-punk pop composition, this one is still super heavy-hearted, but almost weightlessly so. It was recorded by David Lynch collaborator Dean Hurley and features viola from italian composer Vittorio Demarin meshed with Hungtai's synth and saxophone in four widescreen, airborne compositions laced with an aching sense of melancholia. If we were to read into the music, the sleeve … Read more
Kompakt's seminal series presents a ruck of new names - Thore Pfieffer, Gregor Schwellenbach, Leandro Fresco, Max Würden, Ulf Lohmann, Gustavo Lamas - on the forward looking 'Pop Ambient 2015' volume. Perfectly poised for cold nights indoors, it circulates eleven lovely pieces in the series' finest tradition, radiating inwards from the Gas-like choral bliss of two bits by Thore Pfieffer, thru the trickling radiophonic bleeps of Dirk Leyers' 'Daydreamer' to the light-headed float of Leandro Fresco's 'Nada Es Para Siempre' and the swelling crest of strings in Ulf Lohmann's 'Refresh', alongside new pieces from old hands, bvdub and Jens-Uwe Beyer.
Hard-assed and shifty techno bangers from NYC strongman Anthony Parasole for Ostgut Ton. A regular feature on Berghain line-ups and playlists, Parasole's music perfectly fits the bill for haughty techno with a slinky-but-brute big room heft. 'My Block' starts the dance with soured lead line and infectiously latinate drum patterns before 'Bizarre' puts the kicks in with belly buckling force under heady chimes. 'Typhoon' sustains the intensity with a more submerged feel, like some Von Oswald or NWAQ joint pitched up and pounded into submission.
LA's 18+ land the icy heat of debut album 'Trust' on Rob Booth's Houndstooth label. Pushing a coolly disaffected blend of '90s trip hop and screwed pop gloom since their trio of self-released mixtapes, they arrive at 'Trust' as a fully fledged and distinctive unit with an eviscerated sound palette and design perfused by proper slacker vocals. Production is handled by a cast including West Coaster Butchy Fuego, plus Mura Masa, Heavy Feelingz and Morbidly-o-Beats, all hitting a blue vein of blown-out trap and minimal, gothic atmospheres sweeping us somewhere between Tri Angle's early roster of AlunaGeorge, Holy Other, Evian Christ, and more recent Tricky works.
The master of mottled retro-vintage audio dreams under Mexican Summer's glowing halo with 'Let's Cry and do Pushups at the Same Time'. It's his 2nd LP of 2014 and one of many releases under this moniker and own name, Luke Wyatt, to be released by the likes of L.I.E.S., NNF, NPIP, Rush Hour and his own Valcrond Video label in the last couple of years. Subtly, instinctively combining his background in video art with a real knack for ear-worming hooks and driving, transcendent grooves, his music here is at its most visually appealing, dissolving classic movie and… Read more
**Eyrie mixture of Nico-esque chamber pop and woozy, fluid electronica on Public Information.** "This is Odd Rumblings, a two-piece residing in Brooklyn U.S.A and this is their debut record. An EP of icy grace, haunted atmosphere and devastating pop-hooks pitched in the half-light of a steel sharpened moon. Audrey Lim and Gabriel Sedgwick are creators of sparsely inhabited pop-dramas, mini epics in chorus and reverb reflected through a chromium camera obscura. Their voices always at play, always at war, twisting in the echo chamber soaring through whipcrack-snares, Badalamenti synth washes… Read more