Monday, 24 November
Tempa goes Bristolian with two lean and slinky riddims from Hodge & Facta. Both arrive at this 12" off the back of their strongest work, Hodge with the 'Mind Games' for Hotline and 'Amor Fati' for Dnuos Ytivil, and Facta on the 'Loveless' 12" for Idle Hands. Here, with 'Spheres Of Costa' they find a super-cooled balance of noirish chimes and humid, playfully tropical percussion for the early swingers, whereas 'Visions' is blatantly dark and moody, all Brizzle bass shifts and spiny drums worked for the 130bpm crew.
Heads-down in the dance with four brooding breakbeat and ambient garage figures from Synkro for Apollo. 'Someone' tugs on the heart-strings with solemn arrangement of sweeping pads and Toasty-style breakbeats; the ghostly 'Transient' flits around Burial and dBridge-style late romance; 'Contact' slips into something more comfortable with silky dowsntrokes and a vocal reminding of Steve Spacek; 'Falling' nods to mid '00s electronica with a poised blend of Ulrich Schnauss and Arovane-esque motifs anchored by a minimalist UK groove.
Berlin's Positive Centre pays up on the slow techno promise of his early 12"s with this focused and powerful debut album for Sigha's label. On paper/screen it works to a seductive concept - decelerating industrial techno back to its temporal roots in EBM and New Beat - that proves itself in physical reality with a "blend of extreme momentum and forced introspection." Never raising its head above 115bpm, he divides a palette of squashed kicks, wide bass and polluted atmospheres across ten tracks, each as bleak and unrelenting as the next but also peppered with moments of pellucid… Read more
Appleblim and Second Storey go toe-2-toe as ALSO with their first session for R&S. Arriving four years after their 'Lipsmacker' 12" for Aus Music, this time they're darker, crunchier, and moodier, with three cuts taking in the tetchy, hay-wired electro of 'Sids Conundrum' next to the cyber dread swing of 'Ashford Swaithes', and chromed-out breakbeat twists in 'Dive Prophets'.
**Extended post-punk/doom session from an Ascetic House artist defected to Downwards** "Marshtepper resides somewhere on the other side. Gutter intellectualism put to sound, their first proper vinyl release is an extreme meditation on the reintegration of desire and the legitimation of individual corporeality, which reaffirms the hermeneutics of the unspoken. This is music that adds to the validity of the natural, an illusion of millennial hedonism."
Portland, Oregon's BAT notches up his 2nd vinyl release with the murky post techno of his 'Neon Razor Chain' for Left_Blank. For the past few years he's become a bit of a cult concern in the hardware-fetishising tape scene and beyond, drawing favourable comparisons with everyone from Basic House to Prostitutes, Vessel and Container. Revving up the buzzsaw grine and haunted space of title track 'Neon Razor Chain', he gets grittier with the blown-out, tetchy techno charge of 'Strobic' in the front, before inverting the formula to crushed dub styles with 'Jackal Code' and more wayward, plonging ambient dub in 'Digi Hex' and 'Anti Code'.
The Mods are back, this time on Geoff Barrow's Invada label with the brooding 'Tiswas EP'. Naming their latest record after a '70s kids TV show, the duo are sorta showing their age here, but thanks to Jason's hungry delivery and Andrew's ascetic production they safely swerve any accusations of retrogression to continue forging a unique mix of punk rock spittle and hip hop swagger. This reviewer wasn't even born when Tiswas was on the telly, but I can definitely recognise their distaste for the stagnant, immovable English establishment of their generation, from the ongoing series of disgr… Read more
**Plush neo-classical/electro-acoustic soundtrack by Emptyset's James Ginzburg and fellow sound artist, Yair Elazar Glotman for Ginzburg's A/V collaboration with French artist, Joanie Lemercier. Includes versions by Glotman and Eric Holm** "Starting with actual footage of forests, cathedrals, deserts, and even volcanoes from around the world, Lemercier and Ginzburg then used 3D modeling and 2D photoscan imaging to alter and enhance the images, rendering them suitable for projection on a domed surface. The result is a dream-like combination of pointillism, photography, a… Read more
Daniel Ansorge aka Barnt backs up a deeply unique swathe of singles with his debut album, 'Magazine 13' for the eponymous label he started with fellow Köln types, Crato and Jens-Uwe Beyer. Since 2010 he's released a steady stream of records which brought back a sense of kosmiche wonder and electronic enigma that was arguably lacking in German house and techno sounds. And most crucially, he did it without sacrificing the fundamentals of big bad kicks and minimal percussion, resulting absolute bewts such as 'All Worlds All Times' and more recently with the staggering chops of 'Chappell' for Joy … Read more
Extended, Krautische interpretations of Paper Dollhouse's ritual praxis from Dva Damas drummer and techno producer Joe Cocherell, and Montalk. Taking to 'Space III', Cocherell renders 11 minutes of rippling motorik techno groove and prickling kosmische arpeggios that eventually subside leaving us stranded for the final minutes in outer space. Montalk's rework of 'Drone II' is more subtle, working with coolly isolated bass frequencies and salty electronics to shape a spectral scene of detached vocals and space station distress signals.
**Another tour of M. Geddes Gengras' wired mind, following the Moog years volume with eight purely modular constructions again for Umor Rex** "New Process Music represents a major aesthetic shift for M. Geddes Gengras, fusing the long-form modular compositions he had been exploring on a bevy of small-run cassette releases with a new obsession with post-production editing to create a deeply tuned aural environment, lush in analog electronics that are gritty along the edges, with rich textures and melodies materializing and wafting away like smoke. For New … Read more
"Ubre Blanca return with their second release for Clan Destine after the amazing Polygon Mountain EP. Continuing with their obsessions of 70's and 80's horror and B movie soundtracks, synth sounds and live drums, Joel Stone (ex Shitdisco) and Andy Brown (ex Divorce, Remember! Remember!) bring deliver a more evolved sound featuring a heady mix of full-on synth and drums, mixed with some more atmospheric pieces bringing to mind old cinematic masterpieces like Cannibal Holocaust mixed with Miami Vice. Worth mentioning also is the striking cover art, hand painted in oils by Joel."
Getting better with each release, the Strange U hip hop crew come correct for Par Excellence. The title cut rolls out some dusty bleeps and gruff raps like a long lost MF Doom joint produced by Dilla - sh*t you not! 'Sprites' is more robotic, abstract, reminding of Divine Styler, and 'Summertime Skeetin' gives it some low slung UK rap attitude besde the frazzled lurch of 'Monster'. Doubt you'll hear anything quite like this from UK in 2014.
Straight-up techno murder from Sleeparchive and Mike Parker for Repitch. Sleeparchive's in deadly form with the slamming Brummie momentum of 'Fifth The Station' and the spaced-out bleeps of 'White Angel Breadline' intersected by two beastly locked grooves. Mike Parker takes control on the other side with the signature lizard-tongue synth lashes and caving kicks of 'Flying Nerves' plus the aquatic flux of 'Lustrum'.
"Hi Records was founded in 1957 by a group of partners that included former Sun rockabilly artist Ray Harris and two other Sun alumni, Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch. The company would become identified with hit instrumental records from the likes of Elvis’ former bassist Bill Black’s Combo and saxophonist Ace Cannon. After a period recording and producing for Memphis’ Home Of The Blues label, Willie Mitchell hooked up with Hi Records. Mitchell’s band would back Black and Cannon, and he began turning out a series of soulful singles and albums of his own, starting with 1962’s… Read more
"'My Ghost Comes Back' sees the return of Tujiko Noriko after a hiatus exploring worlds beyond those we regularly inhabit. The results of these travels provided the formula for this, her most accomplished record to date. As rich in ambition as it is skewered in it's melodic stance, the album is a decidedly more acoustic affair in which a host of guest musicians incorporate mandolin, viola, musical saw, optigon and other such wares into the exotic environment where her unique songwriting now resides. Furthering an exploration of unorthodox arrangements, rhythm and melody Noriko … Read more
"The Ministry Of Wolves are Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten / Crime & The City Solution), Mick Harvey (co- founder of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Danielle de Picciotto (Crime & The City Solution) and Paul Wallfisch (Botanica / musical director at the Theater Dortmund). ‘Music From Republik der Wölfe’ and ‘Happily Ever After’ are based on the writings of the Brothers Grimm, in particular Anne Sexton’s ‘Transformations’ (1971), the Pulitzer Prize winning poet’s reworking of the Grimm’s fairy tales. In the hands of The Ministry Of Wolves, these morality tales and warnings are as dark as you remember them from childhood"
"The Exaltics is back with a new EP on Shipwrec that comes with a remix by Unit Moebius and artwork by Jaco Putker. The Exaltics is co founder of the Solar One Music label and has turned out a steady stream of EPs and LPs for Trust, Creme Organization and Clone West Coast Series, always coming on strong with a dense techno style. Opener 'The New Beginning' continues in that tradition where electro drums are run through with racing acid and more serene and tender synths colour in the backdrop. 'Coroded' is a much more bulky and brutal techno affair with tough drums that roll up and down, even… Read more
Ruggedly Afro-centric grooves rolled out of Düsseldorf's Salon Des Amateurs by The Durian Brothers - Stefan Schwander, Florian Meyer, Marc Matter - for Kontra-Musik. A process based ensemble centred around prepared turntables + effects plus sequencer, the stanky monikered trio deal in a rough-edged, hypnotic style squared up for the club. The tracks on 'Das Macht Modern' are divided roughly between stripped down, lolling rhythmelodies across the front, at best in the metallic stepper 'Secession', whilst the flipside offers slightly plusher arrangements in the To Rococo Rot-g… Read more
**Ace stoner/road vibes for fans of Ensemble Economique** "A sequel of sorts to his 2010 cassette, Dawnrunner, Anthony Orion’s debut vinyl long-player is a vagrant classic of stringy-haired new age loner Americana, above and beyond anything in the Swanox public domain. Mixing personal Casio squatter meditations with crystal jukebox guitar and hitchhiker whistling over echo-smeared SK1 metronomes, Duskrunner feels hungover, spaced out, worn down, and at peace – sometimes all at once. The ex-projectionist and current touring drummer for Tony Molina slowly refined the record’s nine songs across s… Read more
"Flower & Water began with an offer to work with the first Dragon’s Eye release – a flexi-disc with a recording of George Winston playing a blues piano composition called “Medley: Bread Baker’s Stomp” – as source material. Since I am not a true remixer, I decided to modify the track via physical manipulation. Most of the material began with cutting up some of the flexi’s and taping back together in ‘wrong’ ways. I then played (or tried to play) the broken records that had been taped back together, and also putting objects onto the surface of the record while being played with a cheap re… Read more
Swing Ting co-founder Samrai meets Rüf Dug, on a filtered street-rave tip for UTTU, backed with Hashman Deejay and Zanzibar Chanel remixes. Their first observation muddles Manc dancefloor history with an anachronistic blend of dusted boogie soul and jungle breaks sounding like some mutant Juice Box TP discovered in the Chorlton Oxfam, and likewise, the breathy synth voices, tropical chirps and latinate shuffle of '2nd Observation' could almost be from some Hulme-o-naut's bedroom in '91. Hashman Deejay gives a smoother ambient house re-lick of '1st Observation' and Zanzibar Chanel chimes in with a greased up remix of '2nd'.