Monday, 02 March
Sublime, introspective ambient from a new artist presented by Brighton's superlative Where To Now label. According to the artist, Nadia Khan; "Open Interior explores feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It is a sense of disconnection to the outside world. My intent was to form a mixture of light and heavy sounds that reflect these emotions." The results manifest these feelings in five quietly despondent transmissions, willowing from the barely-there pulse and keening chords of 'Grid Work' to the 12 minutes of stygian momentum in closer, 'Selective Thoughts', taking in menthol residues of… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
**Sterling dark pop and stark ambient noise somewhere between Grouper and Vatican Shadow** There's some genuinely dark magick at work in Paper Dollhouse's debut LP for Finders Keepers. The London-based duo of Nina Bosnic and Astrud Steehouder are in possession/possessed by a gothic, oneiric spirit which has previously been revealed on Jane Weaver's Bird Records - who also present a cassette version of this LP - and alongside Magpahi for Devon Folklore Tapes Vol. IV. But this is arguably their most effective invocation to date. Guided by black light they offer 10 concentric circles cro… Read more
Killah consolidation of drone, techno and D&B from the Ruffhouse trio on their debut Samurai mission. A-side, the 18-wheel juggernaut 'Straight 9's' rolls with shuddering sub pressure and restrained, serpentine hi-hats wrapped to a super dense drone. B-side, oh my fxxking days! 'UVB-76' comes with a military-grade warehouse hard-step that makes up for all that went wrong with D&B post '98. Strongly recommended to those that know.
Zombi's Steve Moore takes a celestial spin on Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. The space cadet who never graduated presents two earthbound visions of the cosmos painted in analogue synth, Hammond organ and vintage string machine; cutting the most melancholic figure across the sky with 'The Moon Occults Saturn at Dawn' and with more inquisitive, optimistic effect in the slow burning lushness of 'Val Sans Retuor'.
Jon Brooks meets Friendly Fires as The Pattern Forms for Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. FF's Edward MacFarlane lends his finest indie dream-pop coos and harmonised gasps to a creamy pastoral scene of flighty synths and strummed strings in 'Fluchtwege' - it's very well accomplished but the Panda Bear impersonations are perhaps a little cloying. Thankfull his bandmate Ed Gibson replaces him with an instrumental contribution to the airborne waltz of 'The Sacrifice', alongside Brooks' signature vintage zesthetics and piano provided by Will Dutta.
Swinging modern rare groove by South London's Wbeeza. His first entry for 2015 errs to a stripped down, ascetic house style, dicing with Joe-style Afro-centric kick/clap syncopation with 'Can Of Worms', and minimal, gritty filter house in 'Circles' while 'If I Ever' gets on the boogie downstroke inna Moodymann style, and 'Upside Down' blushes a more romantic, uptempo house vibe for big people.
Parisian bang gang ClekClekBoom do their raw, kinky house thing. Up top, French Fries and NSDOS double-down on the moody groove, '8 Hours From Nation', and Aleqs Notal tweaks out the midnight electro-house shift of 'Mare IMB'. Down below, Jean Nipon and WL run the clean, biting drums and willowing blue pads of 'Cause Of Action' and Barbara Ford glydes off with the smooth vibes of 'Frostbite'.
*For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic* "For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime of local post- disco casualties. Unfettered nightlife and outlandish humor poured out of oddball outpost The CopHerBox II and onto TV screens. The compilation features five previously unreleased tracks, joined by music culled from a trove of self-rele… Read more
Coarse but canny house trax from Venetian producer, Steve Murphy aka DJ Octopus, Die Roh… Murphy clearly doesn't mind a bit of grit under the nails, running hard-working house rhythms thru a crackly filter for proper bite on the 'floor, from the kinky build of 'Climax' thru the burned-out piano house banger, 'Something Around The Sun', to the Analogue Cops-style slam of 'Venus' and the jagged jack of 'Movida'.
Rolling tech-house minimalism from Montreal, Canada's Devon Hansen in Stefan Jós mode. Last spotted on a lovely ambient split with Austin Cesear for Opal Tapes, he presents another side of Jós for Japan's Flau with four tracks of tenderly melodic, dubbed out and lower case dub-house. Mastered by Miles Whittaker, cut by Lupo.
Shifted takes a quieter, creepier tack towards cinematic industrial scapes and pulsing rhythms on 'Part 2' of his 'Arrangements in Monochrome' session. Dangerously opiated and out-of-reach, his sound here marks a subtle step forward/away in terms of sound design, and a more noxious reduction of his signature palette, guiding us from lightless drone and drizzle in 'The Incoherent' to urgently scan ocean floor depths in 'Arrangement In Monochrome II' and the bleakly gorgeous 'Second Wash', while 'Entartung' gets tangled in a flux of rusty aquatic rhythm and 'Lenine' leaves us stranded in alien space station atmospheres.
Shifted follows up his 'Under a Single Banner' LP for Bed Of Nails. Part 1 of a twin 12" set, 'Arrangements in Monochrome' yields four mechanically worn-down grooves seeping from the oily, emulsifying drones of 'You're a Replacement' to the thrumming grey techno missile 'Arrangement In Monochrome I' and over to the viscous momentum of '6ft of Silence' or the ventilation shaft extrusion, 'The Velvet Rope'.
Phonica start their 2015 schedule with a haul of deep and percussive house tracks by the Italo/Hispanic unit, S. Moreira and Xinner. Slow Life's Berlin-based percussionist, S. Moreira lends a loosely fluid patter to Xinner's lushly spacious electronic in the free-floating velocity of 'Through The Rings of Saturn' and the night-drive momentum of 'Communication Breakdown', before going dolo with the psychy broken beat cleft of 'Orbiting Around' and a woozy whorl of a 'Spacedub' for 'Communication Breakdown'.
**UK Edition** Plaid, The Field and Errors contribute symapathetic remixes to the first single from Ryan Teague's 'Block Boundaries' album. The slow burning kosmische iridescence of 'Last Known Position' is presented in Teague's own extended mix located somewhere between Pye Corner Audio and Reichian gamelan phasing, while Plaid present a more bittersweet remix ripe with deliquescent synth tone and murky groove next to a strobing shoegaze trance deceleration by The Field, and a Tangerine Dream-esque Errors remix.
The venerated German producer appropriates African musics in a long-standing Teutonic tradition on his latest for Hamburg's Dial. 'Black Towers' stretches out for nearly 12 minutes of effortless, subtly shifting groove repetition and awning, earthly synth pads; 'Sliced Africa' locks down to a percolated bounce with natty keyboard melodies reminding of recent Fiedel and MMM styles, 'Spiritual Enhancer' gets off on a sort of slow-mo mix of Roedelius and old skool electro.
"The music on this collection was written specifically to accompany video pieces by Sabrina Ratté. 'Visites Possibles' was created for the online collective Computers Club, while the “Sightings” series was created for the video label Undervolt & Co. For this series of videos we were interested in exploring a more direct relationship between sound and image, where most of the sounds contained in the pieces act as a sort of translation of the events happening within the video frame, creating an audio environment for these i… Read more
Brussels' best back on Time To Express with his latest lab creations. 'Seventy Secrets' initiates with the eponymous ambient piece, written and used as his opening track at Japan's Labyrinth festival 2014. From there on in the tempo stays at a steady keel between the Afro-centric bobble of 'Protagonist', the dried out tribal functions of 'Shadow Ground', and a slick highlight in the subtly funked arrangement of 'Swerve Damiao'.
A crucial force at the core of experimental music, Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke present 'Behold', their follow-up to 'Indeed' (2011) for Editions Mego. Recorded at the same Steamroom, Tokyo spot as their amazing live trio sets with Keiji Haino, this one finds them exploring the intersections of 4th world electronics, krautrock and classic minimalism in two extended and captivating widescreen tracts. With Ambarchi at guitar, drums (etc.) and O'Rourke on synth, piano (etc.), they oscillate earthly and kosmiche dimensions with free-flowing electronics, using field recordings to le… Read more
Schizoid electronica/dance-pop variations from a new avatar to Acéphale. At its widest parameters, 'Almost' takes in everything from trap and R&B to abstract electroncis and amen rinse-outs, but at its core is a '90s trance-pop and trip-hop romance that push queasily nostalgic buttons for many listeners of a ripe age.
Ostgut's occasional Unterton label follows that smart Kobosil session with four Berlin techno-house standards by Nitam. A-side offers a slightly trancey tech-house roller and some grittier, spaced house; B-side gets down with a rugged Chicago acid sound and a killer, pumping breakbeat piece reminding of recent Zenker Brothers styles.
"The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes, offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivati… Read more
Kompakt's Pop Ambient series comes of age with the first full length offering in its new album series (as opposed to compilations). Hand-picked for the job by series curator, Wolfgang Voigt, Argentina's Leandro Fresco returns to the Kompakt fold more than ten years since his 'Amor Internacional' 12", which hailed as one of the label's best ever releases by Michael Mayer.
Kassem Mosse gives Simone White's timid folk songs from 'Silver Silver' a subtle but weighty overhaul. Primed for slower, woozier times, the version of 'Flowers In May' finds a tender balance between sunken subs, wooden drum knocks and White's trip-hoppy vocal; B-side, he tends to 'In The Water Where The City Ends' with funereal chamber strings and clanqing drums reminding of the recent AFX or Cylob's 'Industrial Folk Songs', and fades to close with the chiming, off-centre rhythms of 'Long Moon'.
Hip-notic trance-house dancers from New Jersey's Joey Anderson. On return to Dekmantel after 2014's 'After Forever' album, he reveals a more insistent, psychedelic sound stacked with buzzing synth sounds: '1974' oscillates sparkling arpeggios and starburst dynamics yoked to roiling kicks in spiralling escalation across the A-side; on the other, 'Under Water' inverts the formula to droning, warped and brilliantly discordant effect, and 'Back Draft' puts the drums down properly for the dancers.
Tuffened dubstep/grime hybrids from the Rinse FM DJ and producer. The tensile half-step lurch of 'Technoid' appears one side, backed with an 'Urban Gorilla' vocal version starring Juiceman, and the skippy cyber-grime styles of 'Expansion'.
'Ecstatic Music of the Jemaa El Fna' captures an assortment of spectacular musical dramas presented live and unfiltered on the home turf of the world's most dynamic string and drum specialists performing and manifesting the ecstatic truth. Ancient mystical brotherhoods have been flourishing for centuries in and around the cities of Marrakesh and Essaouira in Morocco where the trade caravans have gathered from their long journeys across the Trans-Saharan Highway. This is some of the last great street music on Earth. A must-hear for string aficionados looking for in… Read more