Sunday, 30 March
'Four Corners' is Markus Wormstorm's eclectic electronic soundtrack to a South African coming of age film directed by Ian Gabriel and released in 2013.
Mac DeMarco gone done it again with an infectious blend of indie seduction and blue-eyed soul.Mac DeMarco gone done it again with an infectious blend of indie seduction and irresistible, blue-eyed soul songcraft on 'Salad Days' - his keenly awaited follow-up to 'Rock And Roll Night Club'. We've had a total love/hate thing with this guy since his solo debut first crossed our paths back in 2012. There's something about his whole image and even half his songs which gets right on our tits, but then we manage to ignore that endearing gap toothed grin and get hooked on the sheer pop brilliance o… Read more
'Tres Cosas' is the follow up to 2003's amazing 'Segundo' album, even though that only got a UK release earlier on this summer. This new album is slighty less electronica based, instead concentrating more on Juana's so lush vocals, acoustic guitar playing and subtle keyboard tone colouring. Again all sung in spanish, this artist is from argentina you know. Like 'Segundo' it's a perfect marriage of the cooler school of Beleza Tropical musics and the more reflective side of US indie folk. A perfect come down from these hard and stressful times. Extra cool digipack packaging with a stitched down booklet, crazy.
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the alb… Read more
**Sublime small-sound electronics and neo-classical minimalism** "Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazi… Read more
The HBE weigh in a self-released 15 track album in preparation for an upcoming winter tour. There's no mistaking their mixture of rugged brass polyphony and big bad breakbeats on 'Fly': from the classic funk themes of 'Rebel Rousin' to the Latinate title track thru the swaggering soul bump of 'Navigator' to an energetic 'Favela Funk' and the swarming attack of 'Hornet's Nest' they sound as vigorous, vital as ever.
An established producer goes incognito for All City's new alias series with four deep, dusted and bumpy house cuts. A-side loads up the Shake-like strings and skippy dip of 'Find Your Pulse' beside the phasing electronics and motorik swing of 'Hundert'; B-side rides a crafty broken beat halfstep to garage groove, and 'Syskreem' twists out a sorta Border Community gone rude vibe.
"Based in Turners Falls, MA, Flaming Dragons Of Middle Earth are the brainchild of visionary wheelchair-bound ‘band shaman’ Danny Cruz, who leads an ensemble of rotating non-musicians, artists, oddballs, kids with Down Syndrome, etc in weekly jams at a community resource centre, playing what he describes as ‘Mud Lightning Metal’. Cruz is heavily into Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart and Roky Erickson and has a fascination with zombies, punk rock, metal, horror movies and the aesthetics of the free form freak. The Seed Of Contempt is the first available document of th… Read more
Minimal Wave haul up one of their favourite releases for reissue: Robert Lawrence and Mark Philips (Five Time Of Dust) as The Dadacomputer. Created via tape swaps over the summer of '81 between their home studios in Bristol and Cardiff and issued on their own Quick Stab label, it's more or less an archetypal minimal wave moment; drily monotone but saturated with the nattiest melodies and conducted with that inimitable mixture of playfulness and seriousness inherent to the era's underground DIY scene. You may well have stumbled across their killer anthem 'Computer Bank' on MW's… Read more
Narcotic fusions of minimal wave and mutant Chicago house from Dust on Mannequin Records. 'Feel It' kicks up a queer, tripping take on Chi-jakk layered with hallucinatory vocals and sour synthlines; 'Acid Freak' feels like a long-lost Ron Hardy joint or some mad-wired Jamal Moss edit.
*New on Nicolas Jaar's Other People label* "Montreal-based composer Drew Gragg conjures those rapt moments of music that burst from solitude. Here's an artist who understands boredom, its sublime ambience, and how an idea builds to wake you from it. 'Adsr Toms' takes three things, a piano, a fuzzy pitched drum and an infectious rim-shot that shape and reshape before dropping casually into the proximity of a gentle four-four. Grooves build to elegant cairns, sounding of stones as they beat in a cold undertow. Sometimes things seem formless. On 'Ostinate', a piano and pillowy tape hiss play a… Read more
**Refreshingly wild, blown-out hip hop instrumentals and modern jazz-fonk freakiness - understandably tipped by everyone from Matthew Herbert to The Invisible's Dave Okumu** "The ‘eXPLAIN mY dRIVE’ eP is an instrumental four-song greeting card and the result of what novelist Pearl S. Buck calls ”an overpowering necessity and strange, unknown inward urgency to create.” So much so that denied a port for this creativity he would terminate. Explain My Drive is man, machines and metal guitar. A synthesis of serendipity and circuit bending. Brutal and beautiful, all watermarked with… Read more
Huntleys + Palmers swiftly followi their brilliant Drumtalk 10" with a fine introduction to four new artists - "no B-sides here!". Styles spread out between Kwaito-infected deep house of Cruffy's 'Subculture' - we guessing a nod to his home city, Glasgow's Sub Club institution - plus a kinky, whipsmart acid jack called 'Pamela Two' from Argentina's Carisma, the twirling chords of Proxymore's clinically demented 'Ministry Of Silly Talks', and an infectious, bustling Afro-house swinger from Prophets Of The South entitled 'District 6'.
'Codiaeum Variegatum' is Anne Guthrie's quietly striking solo debut opus seamlessly blending field recordings and instrumental composition into beguiling new forms. With elemental alchemy and incredible sensitivity to the smallest, most unique sounds and textures, the Brooklyn-based composer and sound artist parses multiple dimensions of room and field recordings of French horn, violoncello and contrabass into truly captivating interzones bristling with microscopic detail and quiet, curious energy. Thanks to canny use of extended microphone placement - most likely stemming from h… Read more
Monday, 24 March
*Debut album from Andy Stott and Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker, aka Millie & Andrea* Millie & Andrea are Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott, fellow labelmates at Modern Love who collaborated on an occasional series of 12” releases of jungle, garage and techno hybrids between 2008 and 2010. It’s been four years since we last heard from them but they now return with “Drop The Vowels”, their debut album. Produced fast and loose through late 2013 / early 2014, it’s an album that recalls the strict and stripped funk of Anthony Shakir as much as it does Leila’s incredible debut ‘Like Weathe… Read more
Superb debut LP of effervescent house music from UK talent, Leon Vynehall. Over the past few years, the Portsmouth-based producer has built an enviable rep with dusted, detailed house studies released on some of the UK's finest house label - Aus, Well Rounded Housing Project, among others. In parallel he's also built a relationship with Martyn and his 3024 label, who provide the perfect home for the definitive opus of his catalogue this far. Over seven cuts Vynehall proves equally adept at sweeping, Brazilian-infected house music ('Inside The Deku Tree') as he is with fresh,… Read more
*Hugely recommended second EP from Wolf Eyes’ Mike Connelly and his wife, Tara, recording together as Clay Rendering* A delicate yet uncompromising set of songs drifting somewhere between Shoegaze, Industrial, Metal and Ambient music, the tracks here recall everything from Cocteau Twins and Cranes at their most desolate to classic Sonic Youth, coloured and mis-shaped through abstract production assistance from Dominick Fernow and additional synth from Robert Beatty of Three Legged Race / Hair Police. Funereal opener 'Waters Above The Firmament' first draws us into a drow… Read more
Travis Stewart aka Machinedrum's 'Back Seat Ho' lands backed with Rustie remix and an 'Eyesdontlie' soundclash with Adrian Sherwood and Pinch. On popular DJ tool 'Back Seat Ho' he softens the edges of Chicago footwork with streaking synth comtrails and airbrushed contours, whilst Rustie runs amok on the remix with crunching hip-hop drums and squealing high-impact synths for that 'Harlem Shake' effect. Back to Machiendrum, and 'On My Mind' spills neon bleeps, Berlin dub chords and 808 boom for the 'floor beside the crafty 'Neujack' killer, leaving his 'Dub Fi Dub' soundclash with Pinch… Read more
Ross Tones rolls out in his Throwing Snow guise with four intricately detailed fusions of electronica, jazz and bass music. Staking ground somewhere between Matthew Herbert, Falty DL and Ben Frost, his 'Pathfinder' EP brims with the kind of adventurous spirit he's tempered for the soft shades and dancefloor rudeness of his more recent Snow Ghosts and Alight collaborations. Opener 'The Tempest' feat. Adda Kaleh even seems to veer as far as Golden Retriever's free modular jazz before reigning in to a folksy 2-step with rustic soul, whereas 'Caedis' bumps along on a broken down blues tip fu… Read more
J. Tijn follows up his Pennyroyal ace with this relentless warehouse EP for Overlee Assembly.
*Ships Friday* Exceptional side of tape-manipulated techno-house experiments from Detroit new waver, Manuel Gonzales aka MGUN for the DBA label. As the latest in a long line of 313 splicers stretching back to Anthony Shakir - who used to be the in-house tape engineer at Metroplex - on the 'Resin EP' MGUN revels in the nimble, hands-on possibilities of reel-to-reel recording techniques on six tracks ranging from zippy vignettes to low-slung grooves and pacy techno bangers. The quickstep shuffle and almost-baroque melody of 'Assumptions' opens beside a woozy, wigglin' jacker 'Funkshun' and the knotty… Read more
Bristol's mysterious Rhythmic Theory steps to The Kelly Twins' Happy Skull label with two vital electro/techno rollers. Next to his outstanding 'Legacy Of The Lost EP for Idle Hands, these two tracks are the best we've heard from this canny producer. 'Decadence of Delay' starts out like a darker AGCG tune before punching in propulsive kicks/bass and tweaking a locked-in hybrid of Detroit techno and UK D&B rollige. His 'Endocrine Creatures' calibrates a ruder electro sound nodding to Aux88 and Two Lone Swordsmen with ghost-in-the-machine vocal, blistered bass drum and gully acid licks.
**First edition of 600 white vinyl with free download code** Barn Owl, Jon Porras completes his transition into barren techno scapes with the entirely synthesised sound-worlds of 'Light Divide'. Over the last few solo releases both under his own name and the VALLENS moniker, we've witnessed his stygian passage from effected instrumental compositions to a much darker underworld of cavernous sound design and systolic throbs, one which owes more to the styles of Andy Stott, Basic Channel or Demdike Stare than anything ostensibly connected to the guitar and amp worship he carved his name on w… Read more
Swing Ting captain Samrai steps solo with the super sophisticated 'Riddim Trax' for London's Niche N Bump. Four tracks coolly explore the binds between UKF, Deep House, Boogie and Bashment at a breezy 115bpm, bolstered by a shot of pure vocal sunshine from MC Fox on 'Let It Ride'. It's all testament to the open-minded and focussed aesthetic guiding Samrai's duties as DJ co-host at Manchester's Swing Ting dance where he and DJ Platt seamlessly strafe styles under the street rave spectrum with quicksilver soul and finesse. Set to such a specific tempo, the 'Riddim Trax' are a pointed shift away … Read more
*Extended Digital Edition* The man from Mountains channels his energies into four majestic pieces of post-Kosmische wonder on 'Motion', his 2nd solo side for Thrill Jockey. As part of the ongoing refinement of his analogue, digital and acoustic palette, 'Motion' plays with ideas of scale and space, tempering each instrumental source's unique spatial and textural qualities into what we perceive as dynamic, sublimely fluid environments. If you're ready and willing, 'Motion' will transport listeners to the lushest new places. RIYL Emeralds/Steve Hauschildt, Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Popol Vuh, Alice Coltrane.
Enchanting, transcendent New Music from Portland, Oregon's peerless duo of Matt Carlson (modular synths) and Jonathan Sielaff (bass clarinet) aka Golden Retriever. Their 3rd album, 'Seer' arrives two years after the complex and enlightened 'Occupied With The Unspoken' and 'Light Cones' albums first breached our consciousness. In the interim they've refined their improvised techniques and their production process to take the American experimental traditions of Alvin Curran and David Behrman into bold new realms of sonic syntax. The results are challenging yet deeply gratifying, opening wide … Read more