Monday, 13 October
Divided finds a fine balance of atmospheric space and gritty heft in 'Moment (Historical)' for London's Resin label. 'Eigen' leans twards the dry, scuffed sound favoured by Blawan or Shifted, but with a percolating funk of its own; 'Eventide' is craftier, rolling with trim breakbeats and eerie spectral dubbing; 'Dawn' perfects that contrast of agitated techno groove and open space reminding of certain 2562/AMUS pieces; 'First Light' rolls out into darker industrial techno zones a la Milton Bradley or Dasha Rush.
David Holmes presents his sombre soundtrack to '71, a new feature film by Yann Demange set at the height of the troubles in Northern ireland. Following discussions with the director, Holmes wrote the entire soundtrack - presented here as a seamless 30 minute suite - before a single scene had been shot, preferring to draw upon his own experience of life in Belfast and follow the precedents of Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone, who also worked with a similar method of writing the music before shooting. The mood is almost painfully tense and overcast throughout, making nods to J… Read more
William Bennett reloads his battery of djembes, doundouns, ksing-ksing and synths for an outstanding 2nd album under the Cut Hands coat of arms. Unless you've entered your nuclear bunker way ahead of schedule, you can't fail to have noticed the clamour of attention around this project - from the delirious voodoo of 'Afro Noise I' to the incredibly compelling live-shows - and, if you're owt like us, you've probably played the records to death; so we'd imagine this album is already at the top of your wishlist. We can report that there are no major changes to the setup, but there is more atte… Read more
Surely one of the most celebrated, provocative electronic projects of recent years, beloved of everyone from The Wire to Blackest Ever Black/Fact Mag's Kiran Sande and far beyond. Whitehouse's William Bennett indulges his passion for Congolese and Ghanaian percussion on a brilliant debut as Cut Hands. 'Afro Noise' is (surprisingly) relatively short on Noise, but heavy on the African rhythms which form the core of the majority of tracks. The drums are largely suffused and rendered with spacious, industrial-sounding reverbs but played with a polyrhythmic, African/Voodoo sleight of groove whic… Read more
Slickest jazz-fusion from Boxcutter mixing lush electronics, slow/fast rhythms and radiant instrumental arrangements. It's a sterling return to the jazz-wise textures and dexterity of his first coupla albums, 'Glyph' and 'Oneiric', recapturing that sense of celestial soul with the wide-open arrangement and dusted drumfunk syncopations of 'Retina Grains', and again with the nimble knit of sweeping Eastern strings, percolating Footwork funk and plangent electronic sound sphere of 'Travel By Dragonfly'. RIYL Lone, FaltyDL, FlyLo.
Ash International present a 23 minute live recording of BJNilsen performing at Hackney's Arcola Theatre earlier in 2014. As with Nilsen's excellent cassette for Bomb Shop's Fuse Editions series, the piece takes shape as an impressionistic perspective on urban sound ecologies, collaging sirens, bird sound, human traffic and mechanical drones into a tense, slow moving sound-scape littered with incremental detail constantly enticing the ear to explore new tangents before new sources hover into view, feeding into and out of the swelling, near oppressive drone mass.
'Golden Circle Afternoon' is the trippy, fractured travelogue of a European tour undertaken by Argentinian avant-guitarist Anla Courtis and sound artists, BJNilsen & Stilluppsteypa. It's a dense and often frightening session, condensing some months of field recordings and transitional concepts into a heavy moving mass of drones, acousmatic sound sources and noisy flux, as though hearing their lives played in fast-forward and super slow, almost as you'd imagine the sense-scrambling experience of extended touring to be. To be honest I couldn't really sp… Read more
'Fountain Transmitter Medications' is a timely reminder of Neil Campbell's utter psychedelic brilliance and enduring relevance. Still operating way out on his own, this album is the first we've heard of him for some time, and lands on the mind with a potent energy. There's over 100 minutes of completely freeform expression, ripping us through a series of spangled vortices from the lysergic chuggernaut, 'Infinity Thug' and frothing brain-scramble of 'Diamonds in the Deich' thru a series of 'Squeegee Anthems' culminating with the jaw-dropping vision of #3 which … Read more
Monday, 06 October
Flying Lotus flexes his most earnest jazz muscles on this fifth solo album, his 4th for Warp. Star-lit with guest appearances by Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, it's the work of heightened, enlightened minds projecting into spheres beyond this mortal coil. Funny then that it all sounds so familiar; the references to Alice Coltrane's celestial jazz legacy, the kinetic percussion, the intensely "vintage" sounding production all paint an almost objectively "psychedelic" vision that leaves little room for ambiguity or in… Read more
As promised, with 'Exit', The Bug presents deeper, further versions and cuts that couldn't fit on his 'Angels & Devils' LP. The Grouper-starring 'Void' appears again, backed with a starker version and the vaulted vocal of her yearning new piece, 'Black Wasp', again with an instrumental full of worm-charming subs and decayed drones. The flipside of this dread pound is a louder cut of the murderous 'Function' featuring Manga, and the heavy troddin' march of 'Blaow' featuring The Bug's long-time spar, Daddy Freddy.
Lukid joins the Lib Tech gang with his first release in nearly two years. A producer's producer and a perennial outsider persistently mutating styles in the cracks of current techno, electronica and bass music, Lukid still evades any net we might chuck at him with 'Crawlers'. The A-side opener, 'Nine' may well be known to you for it's brittle, anguished lead motif which was snatched by Evian Christ for his 'Propeller' on the 'Waterfall' EP. Here it sounds more sombre and petrified, shaken up with rasping drums and bass beside the strobing spectres of 'La Cucaracha'. B-side, he thwacks off angular… Read more
Adam Wiltzie (Stars Of The Lid) and Dustin O'Halloran reprise their acclaimed strings and keys duo, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, with 'Atomos I - XII' for Erased Tapes. We can safely report that it's every bit as gorgeous as their eponymous debut, but you probably already got the hint from their teaser 12", 'Atomos VII' which landed earlier this year backed with a fearsome Ben Frost re-interpretation. The further XI parts sweep us to the most picturesque modern classical panoramas imaginable...
Chicago's Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being is 'The Seer Of Cosmic Visions'. Arriving not long since his amazing 'Worst DJ Ever' mix for Reel Torque, this is his first studio album of 2014 - unusually so, considering that he self-released some seven albums in 2013 - drawing from previously vinyl-only releases and new experiments to document his most vivid, recent revelations. They all tend to the noisier, innately abstract side of his oeuvre - call it Rhythmic Cubism or Cosmic Be-Bop rather than "outsider house" - steeped in the … Read more
Reckno's finest cassette cadets double-down on some of the strongest material in either's arsenal. Following his ace Boomkat Editions LP, Joane Skyler meets Hamish Trevis aka Kinlaw mid-air in eerie digital space, cutting elegant, melancholic figures buoyed by fractured minimal beats - from mutated JB's breaks to coiled, skeletal trap patterns - in refreshingly spacious and subtle arrangements veering from manic 'ardcore cut-ups to gorgeous ambient motifs with an endearingly eldritch eccentricity. It's like some cheeky choose-your-own-adventure mission set in the cutest recesses of y… Read more
*Hyper-forward exercises in technoid reduction and frequency fxxxxckerry from the super talented Gabor Lazar, with a full-length collaboration with Mark Fell due soon on The Death of Rave* Prodigious minimalist Gábor Lázár twysts out six cuts of super-forward techno reductions on his debut vinyl, 'EP16', for The Death Of Rave. Combining viscerally affective electronic timbre and hyperkinetic patterns, they're real-time recordings of Gábor extracting maximum funk from a single note rendered as sheer gradients pitched and punctuated with unique, algorithmic meters. In a sense the process is drily… Read more
Ssaliva (aka Cupp Cave) returns to Matthewdavid's Leaving Records with his charming first new material since 2012's excellent 'RZA' and 'Sync Thrills' sessions. If you've been holding your breath, it was worth the wait. 'Pantani' is a sublime sashay through eleven crystalline chamber electronica pieces each as etheric, heavy-hearted and elegantly moody as the next, and constructed with the sort of filigree, succinct attention to detail that draws us to music from T C F or Dynooo, but perhaps with a more elegiac, late-night appeal.
Dan Snaith indulges his most sensitive indie-disco-pop side with 'Our Love', his sixth solo album as Caribou. Hingeing on the slippery ohrwurm of the title track's electro-disco-tech romp, the rest of the album features Jessy Lanza in the technoid R&B flux of 'Second Chance', plus numerous contributions of Owen Pallett's violin and viola in the moody slo-mo slug, 'Silver', that title track, and the dusty radiophonic disco-tech of 'Your Love Will Set You Free'.
Finally Zola Jesus finds her feet with 'Taiga', her 5th solo LP, and debut for Mute. The lo-fi house horse she rode in on in 2009 has been thoroughly spooked, leaving her as a gothic survivor adapting to new modes in 'Taiga', from the brooding trap/D&B fusion bolstering her distinct vocals in the titular opener, thru martial breakbeat techno in 'Hunger' and R&B-weighted chamber pop in 'Go (Blank Sea)', or emoting like a kohl-eyed Rihanna in closer, 'It's Not Over'. For us, it's all much more palatable than anything since 'Conatus', and at least a few of the tracks, 'Dangerous Days' and that clo… Read more
Second Storey, the new alias of Al Tourettes, presents a complex, tortuous solo debut LP on Houndstooth. Clearly inspired by classic AFX and Autechre, with 'Double Divide', he draws on a deep reserve of melancholy UK bass/techno expressions to realise his most intricate and outstanding compositions to date. Freed of the immediate need to drive a dancefloor, Storey invites the listener deeper into previously unobserved parts of his sound with a ten track narrative vacillating between swirly wormholes and spacious yet knotted grooves in a quicksilver play of tension and release, or lig… Read more
L.A.'s sun-kissed psych-pop duo drop a doozy of a new album on Domino's Weird World. While still mesmeric and free-wheeling, 'Cosmic Logic' sounds as though Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes have been buffing up at a secret pop gym in Los Angeles, resulting a much firmer, efficient approach to their songwriting and production bound to satisfy their legion followers. Tuning in with the bubblegum jangle of 'Infinite Trips', their new diet of pure crystals and mushie juice appears to be paying dividends with their most trim, seductive dancefloor moves to date found in the slick boogie dip of… Read more
Matias Aguayo sounds well moody on his first new single in three years (!) for Kompakt. His follow-up to the party-ready fruit-basket of 'The Visitor' (2013) album renders a decidedly shadier slant to his sound. From the furtive minor key chords, slinky momentum and ghostly croon of 'Run Away From The Sun' to the enchanted slo-mo wine of 'Lola In The City', thru the bent EBM flux of 'Legende' and the faded 4th World voices of 'Walty', this EP marks a stylish retreat from sweaty peak times towards reflective corners of the dance and the bedroom.
Killer, free-wheeling house and electronica ruffed up by Italian anomaly Herva. His 2nd album for Delsin builds on the febrile examples of his debut album 'Meanwhile In Madland' and that wicked hook-up with Mass Prod for Kontra-Musik, shunting and shape-shifting ruffcut blocks of sampled sound into mutant grooves and off-kilter ambient headspace. It all feels like the bastard offspring of Anthony Shakir and Aphex Twin - shifted with twitchy sleight of hand to dizzying, kaleidoscopic effect. When he's kicking it out, as on 'Slam The Laptop' or the choppy skip of 'Jingle Memo Jingle' the r… Read more
*The long lost second album from the enigmatic Lewis Baloue, first time available on CD and newly re-mastered* It’s taken a while for copies of this to filter through since Light In The Attic finally managed to track down the enigmatic producer, but boy what a treat ‘Romantic Times’ is. Even harder to categorise than ‘L’Amour’, this mythical second album (well, no one really knew of its existence until a couple of months back) is a total anomaly - a highly personal, eccentric album that oozes a singular musical vision. It’s true that Lewis’ croning has an almost comic effect to it - overly … Read more