Friday, 07 August
"Sleep paralysis plagues singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, and that strange intersection of the conscious and the unconscious has inadvertently manifested itself within her work. Across the span of her first four albums, there is an underlying tension, a distorted and nebulous territory where dark shadows hover along the edges of the sublime and the graceful. But until now, Wolfe’s trials and tribulations with the boundaries between dreams and reality have only been a subconscious influence on her work. With her fifth album, Abyss, she deliberately confronts those boundaries and crafts a scor… Read more
Boya trails last years' appearance on Opal Tapes' 'Cold Holiday' compilation with three cuts of murky, psychoactive house and techno for Mister Saturday Night. He's conceived one of the finest additions to the dialogue between house, noise and lo-fi electronics you'll hear this year. 'That's Us' is a really sweet dancefloor dreamer meshing celestial harps and voices with grubby drums and bass in the strangest, weightless atmosphere, whilst 'The Idler' comes off like some Ron Hardy or Jamal Moss disco looper that's been steeped in a vat of GHB for twenty years. B-sideit gets better yet with the … Read more
Heavy swinging future jazz-dance from NYC house institute Mister Saturday Night Records. 'The Archie Pelago EP' is their debut vinyl and follows digital issues on Car Crash Set and Slime Recordings, plus a mix for Sonic Router, with three deft, loose and abstracted grooves for the late night cats. 'Brown Oxford' seduces us to their agenda with breezy percussions, pizzicato strings and dusted horns in frayed syncopation hinging on a thick bass drum while 'Alice' possibly pays dues to Mrs Coltrane with a blissed whorl of cello, clarinet locked to tight and itchy drums for the da… Read more
Hotly-tipped house playa/producer Anthony Naples proves what all the fuss is about. His 2nd 12" for NYC dance institution, Mister Saturday Night sets a tasty Jersey swing punctuated with purposeful claps, hypnotic chords and hip-swung bass on the front, all mottled by his signature swirl and ferric-filtered trippyness, proper 5am at Panorama bar styles. Going by the same name, the B-side ups the ante with irresistible effect, shuffling the drum pattern to a more rugged, heads-down flex accented by singeing hi-hats and a uniquely abrasive finish. Scorcher.
Choice Brooklyn House musique kicking off the promising Mister Saturday Night label. Anthony Naples debuts with three tracks inspired by and dedicated to the dance floor at the label's eponymous, low-key loft party in New York run by Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin, rigging a slick but dusty and driving sound akin to the likes of DJ Q or Jus Ed. The title track plays around with warm and fuzzy chords, fruity disco bleeps and and a deeply tucked-in latin swing rhythm - those syncopated hi-hats and scissored cymbal patterns are guaranteed to satisfy. Better yet, B-side 'Slackness' … Read more
Darkside electro album from Seattle-based Chris Roman a.k.a. 214, who's previously released on Frustrated Funk and here returns on another Dutch label, Shipwrec. It's a stylishly measured and coolly dramatic sequence of events, drawing us in with the choral pads and icy drums of 'At 10 Knots', to take in the bittersweet sensations of 'Pickles and Mints', alongside the laidback dancefloor crack of 'Windom Earle' and emotive highlights in the E.R.P-like melancholy of 'La Proxima Manana' and gloomy dread of 'Binaural Affirmation'.
Friday, 31 July
The prodigal son of sci-fi electronica re-enters orbit with an astounding new EP as Kuedo for his newly coined Knives imprint. Arriving almost a decade to the day since his game-changing Vex'd album with Roly Porter, 'Assertion Of A Surrounding Presence' manifests his first major new work since 2011's acclaimed 'Severant' album, and also marks a lucent new pinnacle of sound design/engineering in his field. Accompanied by cameo production roles from erstwhile Vex'd bod, Roly Porter, plus Berlin's Phoebe Kiddo a.k.a Mind:Body:Fitness, and Canada's Egyptrixx, the nexx chap… Read more
Clap! Clap! on the bounce again for Black Acre with two booming, nifty dance attacks. In 'Camo' he weaves a party of African tribal percussion and chants around booming B-More kicks and sprung chord stabs at 138bpm for the hotsteppers; with 'Fever' he yokes a battery of cowbells to bustling, woody drums and swooping breakbeat techno for febrile behaviour.
**Critical studies in velocity and rhythm conceived by Berlin's N.M.O. duo and following on from their 12" for The Death of Rave. RIYL the bleep test, EVOL, Military Space Music, Fluxus Techno** "Tempo is a decisive factor in how we relate to music. Whole genre separations and notions of taste can revolve around the BPM at which samples are triggered or musicians play. In live music BPM is obviously often a fluctuating quantity, a loose constrict affected by the musicians' spirits / audience / etc. Electronic music genres are usually more rigid in their ad… Read more
Remastered reissue of Source Direct's sought-after '95 killer, 'Approach & Identify', backed up with a black hole inversion by Demdike Stare. Leading on from their essential 'Black Rose' reissue, 'Approach & Identify' presents a lusher slice of '95 jungle life with roll-out amens and tight subs swept up in a rip tide of swirling, sub-aquatic synths borrowed from Electrotete's (a.k.a. Juno Reactor) goan trance classic, 'Shark'. On the remix, Demdike Stare's Cross Border Incursion shapes amorphous black masses of sub-bass and spectral noise banking to a slowly intense, rubbling climax/collapse. Killer wares.
Total techno winner from Russian producer, Bjarki, the highly-touted new signing to Nina Kraviz' трип label. Quite inarguably, it's all about the adrenalising welt of 'I Wanna Go Bang'; a proper big room techno play loaded with the kind of weaponised, humping sub-bass wallop that leaves internal bruising when played thru a proper pair of speakers. We're gagging to hear this in a club. Roll on the weekend!
Wen rolls out a crucial double-pack hot on the heels of his killer 'Finesse' EP and one year on from his widely-acclaimed 'Signals' - one of the best albums of 2014. Doing it for Soundman Chronicles this time, the vibes are more atmospheric and technoid across 'Senary Cycles', still full of dread but laced with a bittersweet salvation. The first plate dances from knife-sharpening electro-acoustic sound designs in 'Arlington CT9' thru to piquant, Zomby-style pirouettes of 'Pace Myself', and a smudged rollers delicacy called 'She Giv', whilst the 2nd plate deals in vivid ambient detail and bi… Read more
*Upfront Exclusive* Killah brukbeat and swing techno functions from Spatial on his resuscitated Infrasonics imprint. 5 years since leaving his label on ice with a CD round-up of their first four releases, Infra12006 marks its return with signature, minimalist efficiency and dancefloor insistence. With 'HeLa' he syncs pendulous kicks and scything chords in möbius loop twysts occurring somewhere between the oblique swing of Phork and the latinate shuffles of El-B at his slinkiest. In 'Referent' he tests out a more crack'd sorta bruk funk nodding to A Made Up Sound's earlier, ruder transmissions, but also with a squashed, in-the-pocket London funk that's tuff to fake.
Industrialised post-dubstep mutations from a cranky Killawatt on Osiris Music UK. Ten years on from its inception, dubstep has eaten itself and broken down to component elements that have morphed, fused and mutated into new formations strung between electro, techno and concrète sound design. The crooked, slompy 'Contort' is a case in point, twisting abstract electronics into a clanking industrial soundsystem golem, whilst 'Flustercuck' adopts a bashy sort of industro-dancehall tactic, and 'Gutter' nods to the kick/snare placement of classic electro from a more detached, noisy angle.
Lorenzo Senni's inspired Presto!? imprint presents one of 2015's most singular electronic albums with the solo debut proper from Theo Burt. Originally written circa 2009/2010, it's an album that was never really intended for public consumption but, thanks to Senni's efforts, is now presented here in all it's hugely individual glory. Perhaps best thought of as avant electro-pop or even some sort of Compute/R&Baroque composition, the Casio phase synth-sculpted arrangements of 'Gloss' elicit some of the strangest, most curious sensations, visceral melodies, harmonic convolutions and pol… Read more
The German producer jacks up a sleazy, gritty session for Technicolour after acclaimed work for L.I.E.S. and W.T. Records. Both sides follow a similar pattern - giving you something to dance to, and then put you on your arse. A-side opens with the bestial vocal processing of 'Explora (Slave)' before putting its weight behind a proper jack attack, and lowering us into the viscous tarpits of 'Headpiece'. Flipside, he knuckles out the monotone EBM techno pulse of 'Brute Force' and melts to close with the darkroom essence of 'Shpel'.
Atom TM's 'HD' LP yields another single with the sleek electro shape of 'Riding The Void' remixed by Scuba, Nought and Consumed. The warm, woozy pressure of the original is still best, while the remixers kern it towards straighter techno 'floors, from Scuba's surprisingly muted and efficient Pulse mix to the sunken techno of Nought's, and a swinging electro refit from Consumed.
UK techno stalwart Al Matthews a.k.a. Bleaching Agent in twisted effect for Overlee Assembly's 5th release, Perc on remix detail. BA's three original reveal a cleaner, dynamic sound when compared with his grittier, abrasive deviations on Opal Tapes or Shifted's Mira label. They're more focussed on chewy grooves and knotted synths, at best in the polychromatic warp of 'Static Renegade' and the sloshing acid cadence of 'Quango (The Cobble)', whilst Perc ramps 'Static Renegade' to a rattling peak time techno play.
**Spellbound archival home recordings revealing the esoteric sonic adventures of David Tyack (1978-2002), a founding artist from Andy Votel's Twisted Nerve label who sadly passed away in 2002. Includes liner notes by Andy Votel** Dave Tyack's haunting/soothing electro-acoustic project Luxury Apartments is given a necessary posthumous release via Andy Votel, Doug Shipton and Sean Demdike's Dead-Cert imprint. A heady mix of improvised electronics, mechanical folk and late night North West ambience, the Luxury Apartments project was completed just months before the G… Read more
Legowelt's Smackos adventure, 'The Age of Candy Candy' (2004). Apart from a couple tracks, it's a practically beat-less affair finding Danny Wolfers in a full blown, pulpy and noirish synth style loosely based on a Japanese historical drama. Longtime followers of Wolfers work will no doubt recognise this mode of his but, in case you've only paid witness his slew of dancefloor 12"s in recent years, 'The Age of Candy Candy' represents a whole other side of his oeuvre, one steeped in celluloid and charged with late night cathode rays. RIYL Leyland Kirby, samurai, John Carpenter.
"Soul Jazz Records' new album Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 charts the many links between reggae music and the Rastafarian faith. Featuring the music of Count Ossie, Johnny Clarke, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Bongo Herman, Roy Ashanti (Congos), Earth & Stone, Mutabaruka and many more, this is an in-depth look at some of the most unique and righteous music ever made and comes complete with a 40+ page outsize booklet, con… Read more
Dubstep original and erstwhile pirate, Jack Sparrow launches a tribal steppers assault upon Deep Medi. 'Hold and Pull' barrels forth with high-pressure 4/4 subs and grounation-style drumming carrying serious momentum; 'Pula Riddim' cools off on a rootikal digi-dub skank for the Adriatic beach set; 'Where Am I' goes one 'step farther into dank, skunked-out dub pressure.
"This soundtrack is not only an aural companion to Low Down–the acclaimed biopic of jazz pianist Joe Albany, based on the memoirs of his daughter Amy-Jo Albany–but also the perfect primer for Albany’s lifework. Comprised of Albany’s own compositions alongside those of Coleman Hawkins, Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, and selections from Ohad Talmor’s score, this album conjures both a feel for Albany’s own avant-garde, quick-tempo, bebop jazz and a mood that evokes the life of Hollywood's notorious jazz hustler. The album meets with the deep approval of Flea, who took the role of executive pro… Read more
Just as you thought they'd run out of narcs, Cerberus Future Technologies catch a 3rd wind of 'Frequency Adjustments' to keep the party bent. Ringmaster, Ste Spandex parts the waves with the bugged out hypno-canter of 'Red Lights', opening a portal for his other aliases and collaborations to stream forth, from the Chicago bumpty bump of 'Sex (Untucked)' featuring Sarah Bates to the freeform synth and drums freak-out, 'OSC Mix' with Nova, plus stacks of grease from Montauk Boys, Kindred Dicks, Skanky Magic, and Licking Mirrors. A big tip to fans of Ron Hardy, Jamal Moss, Danielle Baldelli, drugs.
Blanck Mass corrals a haunting spectra of sounds from Helm, Phil Julian, C Spencer Yeh, Konx Om Pax, and Roll The Dice to provide an alternative score for Bruno Forzani and Héléne Catet's 2013 giallo homage, 'The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears'. Each artist augments the classic atmosphere and feeling of Italian horror cinema soundtracks in their own way, ranging from the throbbing heartbeat of Roll The Dice's 'Portal' thru Helm's expanding trio of tense, lugubrious drone pieces to a concise quartet of C Spencer Yeh pieces as you'… Read more
Excellent debut of stylish, brooding, and muscular techno by Emanuele Porcinai and Sciahri (Ilian Tape) a.k.a. UNKNOT. Hailing from Florence, Italy, via Manchester, England, the duo's debut platter collects four precisely measured reductions of rolling techno and diffuse yet heavily impending atmospheric sound designs exceptional for their grittily fluid momentum and capacity for classic horror suspense. Up top they make a ghostly impression with the stone-carved abstractions of 'Modem' working somewhere between Metasplice, Autechre and Raime, whilst 'Magha' stomps out 4/4 scifi-techno terrain b… Read more
"Medical Records is very pleased to present the debut album by U/V Light. U/V Light sounds more than a bit like Cloudland Canyon at times. This is because it is the first “solo,” effort from Kip Uhlhorn of CC. Kip played, sang on, engineered, mixed, and collaborated with Gabby Weiss on this new recording. Eschewing standard German comparisons that CC usually receives, U/V LIGHT often sounds like either early electro or dance-pop but without the typical blueprint so commonly replicated these days. Kip's rockist tendencies make this recording more interesting and fresher than those usual refer… Read more
The Durian Brothers and erstwhile !!! member Justin Van Der Volgen rework The Unknown Cases' ersatz '83 Afro groover, 'Masimbabele' for 2015. JVDV's version hews very close to the classic original, whereas The Durian Brothers give it a whole new percussive palette and relegate the lead guitar and vocal to teasing drones.