Monday, 10 November
Kompakt's seminal series presents a ruck of new names - Thore Pfieffer, Gregor Schwellenbach, Leandro Fresco, Max Würden, Ulf Lohmann, Gustavo Lamas - on the forward looking 'Pop Ambient 2015' volume. Perfectly poised for cold nights indoors, it circulates eleven lovely pieces in the series' finest tradition, radiating inwards from the Gas-like choral bliss of two bits by Thore Pfieffer, thru the trickling radiophonic bleeps of Dirk Leyers' 'Daydreamer' to the light-headed float of Leandro Fresco's 'Nada Es Para Siempre' and the swelling crest of strings in Ulf Lohmann's 'Refresh', alongside new pieces from old hands, bvdub and Jens-Uwe Beyer.
Hard-assed and shifty techno bangers from NYC strongman Anthony Parasole for Ostgut Ton. A regular feature on Berghain line-ups and playlists, Parasole's music perfectly fits the bill for haughty techno with a slinky-but-brute big room heft. 'My Block' starts the dance with soured lead line and infectiously latinate drum patterns before 'Bizarre' puts the kicks in with belly buckling force under heady chimes. 'Typhoon' sustains the intensity with a more submerged feel, like some Von Oswald or NWAQ joint pitched up and pounded into submission.
LA's 18+ land the icy heat of debut album 'Trust' on Rob Booth's Houndstooth label. Pushing a coolly disaffected blend of '90s trip hop and screwed pop gloom since their trio of self-released mixtapes, they arrive at 'Trust' as a fully fledged and distinctive unit with an eviscerated sound palette and design perfused by proper slacker vocals. Production is handled by a cast including West Coaster Butchy Fuego, plus Mura Masa, Heavy Feelingz and Morbidly-o-Beats, all hitting a blue vein of blown-out trap and minimal, gothic atmospheres sweeping us somewhere between Tri Angle's early roster of AlunaGeorge, Holy Other, Evian Christ, and more recent Tricky works.
The master of mottled retro-vintage audio dreams under Mexican Summer's glowing halo with 'Let's Cry and do Pushups at the Same Time'. It's his 2nd LP of 2014 and one of many releases under this moniker and own name, Luke Wyatt, to be released by the likes of L.I.E.S., NNF, NPIP, Rush Hour and his own Valcrond Video label in the last couple of years. Subtly, instinctively combining his background in video art with a real knack for ear-worming hooks and driving, transcendent grooves, his music here is at its most visually appealing, dissolving classic movie and… Read more
**Eyrie mixture of Nico-esque chamber pop and woozy, fluid electronica on Public Information.** "This is Odd Rumblings, a two-piece residing in Brooklyn U.S.A and this is their debut record. An EP of icy grace, haunted atmosphere and devastating pop-hooks pitched in the half-light of a steel sharpened moon. Audrey Lim and Gabriel Sedgwick are creators of sparsely inhabited pop-dramas, mini epics in chorus and reverb reflected through a chromium camera obscura. Their voices always at play, always at war, twisting in the echo chamber soaring through whipcrack-snares, Badalamenti synth washes… Read more
Watch yer facking bon bons, Luke Vibert aka Amen Andrews back in the dance on Falty DL's Blueberry Records. Let us scroll back 11 years to 2003 and Vibert's 5 volume Amen Andrews series was a staple on wayward floors, taking his seminal Plug sound to rugged IDM and jungle dances. Fast-fwd 2014, Falty DL has teased out a four new AA cuts, brukking between the natty funk of 'Automatic Truth' and the Valve-style blowout 'Amotherfucker' via pastoral braindance rave with 'Amen HQ' and nutty 'ardcore rufige in 'News Of The World'.
Grown-up downbeats and deep house from Prequel on Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International imprint. Hailing from melbourne but deeply indebted to late night Detroit flavours, his 'Polite Strangers' session is pointed for slick city greasers and sleazy behaviour. A quartet of juicy cuts spin out from twinkle-toed shuffle and shooting star synthlines in 'Searching' to rimshot-wriggling bluenuss in 'Fidelio', whilst 'Michelle' takes the tempo up for shot of Pepe Braddock-style psych-house, and 'The Test Dream' takes it right back down to orchestral hip hop soul bump.
Tracky ballroom techno bangers from a feverish new talent, NPLGNN on the consistently brilliant Where To Now? label. We'd argue this is one of their strongest releases to date; a fearlessly stripped down and effective set of 'floor tools mixing a rugged old skool sensibility and romance with an uncompromisingly upfront sense of efficiency. 'Acid UFO' deploys bouncing kicks and splashing acid with a murderous swerve, whilst the two parts of 'Variance' tessellate the drum patterns of grime, jersey and ballroom beats with OG, brute Chicago class, whereas 'K' consolidates the essence of early Detroit, Belgian and UK hardcore with the canniest nerve. Highly recommended!
Keiji, Ambarchi and O'Malley reprise their fearsome Nazoranai trio with a heavyweight 2nd album accentuating their improvised, hard rock foundations. Recorded by Chris Fullard at CCSO, Birmingham 9th July 2013, 'The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already?' barrels right into the mouth of hell from the off. Powered by Ambarchi's thunderous, roiling battery, the cavernous 19-minute space of 'You Should Look Closely Those Shattered Spells Never Attaining Embodiment as Prayer They Are Born Here Again' is deeply infected wit… Read more
Back on Trax Couture following his Hot Haus raid, Rushmore serves 'World Series (Vol.1)'. Make no mistake, this guy is making some of the rawest, direct dance trax around right now. No time for overly fancy arrangements, just four tracks juciing the best bits of grime, ballroom, ghetto house and acid into lean and stylish killer grooves. Check out the EBM-reinforced DJ Rush styles of 'It's Me' and 'Ment Drum' and the grime-gone-Jit flex of 'Highroad Works' and you'll understand. Tip!
Remarkably diverse, brilliant split from Eugene Hector aka Tuff Sherm and the mysterious PMM. Well, we say split, but Reckno's press release alludes to the fact that Tuff Sherm and PMM may be two sides of the same whole… anyway, 'Gracefully Force Concensus' is a real slippery fish, vacillating from quietly breathtaking ambient scapes to mutant techno and back via thee most unpredictable deviations into grimy, dread house swagger and scuttling cyber dance gremlins. If you told us each track was actually written by a different artist we probably wouldn't bat an eyelid, bu… Read more
Further to his lovely 'Shaker Notes' LP, Paul White 'fesses three stoned, blue new cuts for R&S. Combined they make for a very smart stand-alone release revealing a shadier corner of White's sound between the dubwise meditation of 'Running In A Rainy Day'; the brooding Reese bass and parched bump of 'Sahara Deserts'; and an outstanding deviation into psychedelic doom metal/industrial with the ricocheting rimshots, iron-clad guitar riffs and streaking synth dynamics of 'I Call You'.
*Fourth album by Swedish husband and wife duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin* Their first album in four years sees Wildbirds return lean, hungry and defiant . In returning to their roots they have discovered an unblinking directness, a taut muscularity honed from years of intensive live performance . For the first time, the pair wrote, recorded and produced everything in their own Stockholm studio “We wanted it to feel like a live experience. Almost every song is one take. We recorded standing in the same room, no screens or isolation, looking each other in the eyes. In recent … Read more
Soul Jazz present a sterling, 32-track audio accompaniment to their 100-page book of photography '90 Degrees of Shade'. Mambo, calypso, goombay, mento, merengue, cult and compas music from the '50s and '60s all come under the banner 'Hot Jump Up Island Sounds From The Caribbean', providing an authentic soundtrack to the archival photographs of local performers and rich, white westerners holidaying in Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and more, shot over 100 year… Read more
Rough Trade finally reissue Ultramarine’s pioneering electronic album ‘Every Man And Woman Is A Star’. Acclaimed and respected at the time of it’s original release on Rough Trade in 1992, it now stands as a classic of it’s genre, an electronica record made before the term was coined. This reissue includes additional John Peel Session tracks available for the first time and recorded in 1992, featuring the tracks; ‘Saratoga’, ‘Nova Scotia’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Pansy’.
"Norwegian group Spunk join forces with one of Norway’s leading modern dance exponents, Odd Johan Fritzøe, to create a sound and movement work celebrating Darwin’s legendary, game-changing voyage to Madagascar. Premiered in 2013 at Oslo’s trailblazing Ultima Festival of Contemporary Music, Adventura Botanica was the third collaboration between Spunk and leading choreographer/dancer Odd Johan Fritzøe. Inspired by Darwin, this ‘study of the invisible laws of nature’ featured Fritzøe dancing around a three metre high sculpture set among sonic objects illuminated in white, to resemble the s… Read more
Apocalypse-baiting metal mutations from Necro Deathmort. Blackened to the core, their 'EP2' for Distraction Records yields six impressively powerful alloys of proper black and doom metal with ferrous techno and electronics, galloping in with the stepping techno of 'Sundive' to carve up scorched doom earth in 'Mirus' and twitchy, infected electronic rhythms and outcast atmospheres in 'Channel Fever'. In 'Bleeding' they release the shackles on a colossal doom metal beast, whereas 'Deadlight' peers into wickedly discordant, off-kilter ambient zones which seep into the Steve Moore or Wolves In T… Read more
Superb new ambient techno depth from Alberto Rosso aka Morkebla, following his smart debut for Where To Now onto the like-minded Reckno label, backed with excellent remixes by Opal Tapes affiliates, 1991, BAT and Body Boys. Credentials in place, 'Pisces Sun, Capricorn Rising' lives up to to the title's astrological aspirations with a deeply mystic, dream-like appeal. Eight gauzy original tracks add up to what Morkebla considers to be his debut album, framing an intimately slow moving yet detached otherworld where sampled voices and the artists own weary vocals are smudged ag… Read more
Halloween special from Luke Vibert, handily released a week after the event by Hypercolour. The lead cut is one of Vibert's acid specials, alloying the creamy crunch of the 303 with spooked out, theremin-liek tones and cheeky Chi grooves to great effect. Flipside, he slows his roll with the TNT/JTC style 111bpm acid bogle of 'Jack U Whole', which receives a plusher 1988 Vibe mix from SDC.
Conspicuous by their absence amidst instrumental grime's resurgence, scene stalwarts No Hats No Hoods return with the proper future funk of Kid D's 'Rhythm and Grime' EP. Four fierce shots of feminine pressure juggling achingly sharp R&B edits with rudest UK rhythm chops from the Rustie-compatible shoulder roll of 'Ghetto Queen' to thizzing Timbaland styles in 'Don't Forget' via the hair-kissing UK flex of 'Summer Queen' and 'Jasmin'. A big look for the dancers and DJs.
Hard-assed but soulful D&B stripes on Metalheadz. dBridge eazes off the metal-tipped snares and vicious neurto licks of Jubei's 'These Things VIP' up top; Artificial Intelligence take no prisoners with the hard-step slaughter of 'Dillirious VIP' on the flip.
Jon Hopkins gives sleepy time versions of his 'Immunity' album tracks alongside King Creosote and Raphaelle Standell.
'S_traits' is the sublime new album of generative electronic music by composer John Supko and media artist Bill Seaman, issued by Cotton Goods. Taking as their root a discarded electronic track from Supko's percussion duo, Straits, he and Seaman created more than 110 hours of source material which they whittled down and re-combined with field recordings, analog/digital noise, '60s/'70s documentary soundtracks and additional piano recordings (inside + out). The results were then parsed thru the the bearings_traits software, which selected tiny fragments from their mass of materia… Read more
John Beltran returns with a seductively trim and techy new sound, backed with label boss Four Tet's sweeter 2-step remix. Squeezing in somewhere between Hessle Joe and LP5-era Autechre, Beltran references his Latino and Detroit inspirations from a unique perspective, synching clipped claps and canted harp hook with pizzicato electronics in a fresh, bittersweet tangle where you'd almost expect Thom Yorke to come in crooning (gwan Thom, do us a version?). Four Tet's mix is much sweeter, easing the original to a dainty ambient 2-step more compatible with Actress and Martyn grooves. Class.
Ital's Lovers Rock label returns with four tracks of ambient techno from the man and his pals. Former Mi Ami dude Earthen Sea proffers the lowlit and romantic shimmy of 'Beat 13' beside the sprung techno mutant, 'Nosebleed' by DJ Wey. Another Mi Ami member, Damon Palermo aka Magic Touch, lends the arpeggiated, beatless synth stroke of 'Inner Realm', and Ital completes the session with his subbass-saturated dub house stroller, 'Resonant Chamber'.
Japan's EM Records illuminate the liberated early works of Yokohama's no wave improv unit Inryo-Fuen circa 1980-82. First issued on flexi-disc and vinyl, these four tracks have now been remastered, re-edited and remixed from original tapes to provide a record of a fertile, pre-digital era when experimental music was performed on the very fringes of society to a tightly knit audience who really had to work to seek out anything beyond the pale - perhaps unlike today's instant access all areas culture. It opens with the historically poignant 'Dakyo Sezu (Uncompromising)' from their d… Read more
*Tim Hecker, The Field and Huxley Remixes* Techno/ambient/noise reworks of Hundred Waters' Portishead-lite trip pop. Huxley takes the affected folk vocals on a moody 4:4 dancefloor mission; The Field takes it underwater with slow, drifting triplets and aerated vocal processing; Tim Hecker douses it in noisily dramatic harmonics.
"‘The Hum’ comes eighteen months after the band’s debut album ‘Pearl Mystic’, a record that steadily went on to become one of 2013’s most critically beloved releases. Even more ferocious and uncompromising than its predecessor and yet more melodic and focused than the band have ever recorded, ‘The Hum’ further cements the band’s status as a vital force in British independent music."
One of the UK's canniest labels does it again with Happy Meals' debut album of sensual, spellbinding lo-fi pop. Sounding like the work of Saada Bonaire's long-lost slacker offspring, 'Apéro' is actually the produce of two Glasgow-based artists, Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook, who originally hail from the Scottish borders. Suzanne sings in a unique mix of French and Scottish, occasionally sharing the mic with Lewis over the course of six songs taking the 100% Silk/NNF pop aesthetic and psych-dub freedom of Peaking Lights to a more ambiguous, enchanted headspace. It's all top notch stuff, from th… Read more