Monday, 29 April
Tropics presents his sensitive pop-soul ecologies on London's burgeoning Five Easy Pieces imprint. Sweeter than his previous for Svetlana Industries, 'Home And Consonance' glydes in on a bed of chiming melodies and rustling jazz-funky drums smudged deep in the mix, before he links in duet with the equally effete vocals of Gavin Turek on the femme-friendly late night boogie soul of 'Courage'. Sustaining that velvety atmosphere, 'Don't You Know' strokes in some tidy rhodes and lowlit jazz drums and 'Fleeting Haunt' rides into the sunset/dawn with a cotton-headed soul buzz on.
Two deeper playing UK tech-house/bass rollers from Trikk on his 2nd ManMakeMusic 12". 'Basement Traxx' is built ruggedly minimal inna Boddika or Joy O style for London ravers and their provincial cousins, whereas 'Rounded' applies balmy chords to sparse and swinging drums with a classier touch. Lando Kal heats things up with a more technoid, brooding remix of 'Basement Traxx.'
Adam X invites some of the Sonic Groove roster to remix his Traversable Wormhole trax. Denmark's Northern Structures spook out 'Subliminal Warp Drive' with gasping ghost noises; Dasha Rush accentuates the rolling kicks of 'Universal Time' and teases out hypnotic lead line to tunnelling effect; Orphx grapple with 'Worldline' in their uniquely spacious soundsphere; OG industrial producer Monolith (not the Rephlex bloke) gives our highlight with a lip-bitingly overproof augmentation of 'The Wormhole Nexus'.
Eerily enchanting thirty minute electro-acoustic improvisation from a venerable roll call including Marcus Davidson, Mike Harding, JG Thirlwell, made at Experimental Intermedia, New York City, on 16th September 2012, subsequently edited and reorganised by Philip Jeck. "30 is the number of upright stones that originally encompased the Sarsen Circle, Stonehenge's best known feature."
**Mind-searing selection of 14 Sun City Girls tracks culled from compilations, singles and rare releases between mid-1980s and early 1990s** "Much of this collection reflects the Arabic guitar instrumental and acoustic pseudo-Asian vocal folk styles of the band from the period when they recorded relentlessly. The 14 cuts vary wildly in scope yet maintain a consistent listening experience throughout, bridging a wide gap between the band's second full-length LP Grotto of Miracles (Track 3 -- "Gum Arabic" -- being the only true outtake from that recording sessi… Read more
The artists formerly known as Christian AIDS and Stay+ return under the Stay Positive moniker and recruit Cooly G for this anthem-sized debut.
Throwing Snow and Augustus Ghost regroup as Snow Ghosts for this one-track teaser on Houndstooth.
Seahawks remixed by Laurel Halo, Quiet Village, Advisory Circle, Cos/Mes and more.
Review to follow shortly…
London's Church clubnight and label follow up Happa's debut 12" with two thick club tools by Rumah, backed with James Fox and Apes & Seb Wildwood remixes. Both originals fall into that hulking, square-bassed techno-house category eked out by Boddika and Joy O whilst remixes spin off into slower, deep-housed styled dub-chord swing.
Conny Plank productions remixed by Kreidler, Walls, Eye and Popnoname.
Kaleidoscopic kosmische colours and rhythm from Ben Billington's Quicksails for the wonderful Spectrum Spools. With 'Mayville Dream' the Chicago resident and multi instrumentalist routes his experience as drummer for Circuit de Yeux and underground free-jazz unit Tiger Hatchery into nine spiralling vortices of strobing rhythmelody and motorik syncopation straddling the worlds of psychedelic rock, ritual dance musics and private press weirdness with chaotic, joyful delirium. Imagine Shackleton meets Bee Mask round at Sculpture's place and you'll have a fairly lucid idea of what's going on here.
Deep house might be Dial’s stock in trade, but the Hamburg crew have always had a fetish for elegiac post-rock, slowcore and bedsit indie miserabilism - they once released a Momus track for chrissake! But by far their most convincing entry in that area to date (Momus excepted, of course) is this, the debut album from New Yorker Scott Mou, operating under the name Queens. You may remember Mou as one half of Jane, his shortlived duo with Panda Bear (their 2006 LP Berserker is a wee classic); if so, you’ll warm instantly to the elongated, crepuscular drone-folk he showcases on End Times. Opener ‘Ye… Read more
Mark Nelson's cherished Pan American quietly slip back into our consciousness as a band proper, now adding the estimable talents of Steven Hess (Cleared/Haptic) and Nelson's former Labradford bandmate, Robert Donne to the project. While Nelson assuredly handles all production, the live feel is definitely more prominent, folding in the patter of Hess's percussion and Bobby Donne's languid bass at the centre of seven beautifully diffuse soundscapes bordering on the frontier lands of post-rock, dub techno and ambient electronica, yet never clearly falling within any one sector. Ev… Read more
Civil Music introduce Ore with four sub-heavy techno tracks borrowing from classic Detroit, Berlin and Birmingham sounds with a modern London flex, plus remixes from Jon Convex and Darling Farah. A-side features the dugga-dugga chug and junglist drops of 'Four Pins' and the dubbed-out roller, 'Rise'. B-side steps out with the limber hydraulics of 'Cafe Torresfies' and the grittier swing of 'Nolita'.
Conny Plank productions remixed by Kreidler, Walls, Eye and Popnoname.
From a rupture in the disco-pop space-time continuum, Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip re-enter their Neon Neon project with a conceptual suite inspired by the life and times of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli - author of Dr. Zhivago, and The Leopard. Theirs is now a flawless melange of vintage Giallo synth intrigue and acute indie-dance-pop hooks at its cheekiest in the AM-friendly ditty 'Dr. Zhivago' and the camp '90s New Order styles of 'Mid Century Modern Nightmare'. Stars guest appearances from Sabrina Salerno, Asia Argento, Cate Le Bon, Josh Klinghoffer.
**First digital issue of this obscure 1981 post-punk obscurity with wicked elements of minimal wave, raucous punk and worldly influence. Includes bonus tracks not heard on the original LP** "An errant project of suburban Los Angeles art collective World Imitation Productions, Monitor was the sonic outlet of four young artists grappling with their terror and amazement in the convergence of the late 1970s punk scene and Southern California's consumerist decadence. As with the collective's visual artwork and events, Monitor blends archaic influences with modern technology into one of the era's most … Read more
Review to follow shortly…
**Soured and mesmerizing folk-drone hinting at classic kosmische, current dark Americana and European electro-acoustic music** "Primordial moves and stone cold drones from this New York duo of Taketo Shimada & Tres Warren. Save for a small long gone edition of CDRs, Mirage is the third full-length release by Messages, recorded in 2008 before their first two albums and has remained unreleased until now. This record documents the duo's earliest long form drone explorations and intonations, most of which were recorded during long sessions in Tres' basement bunker in the East Village. Mixing orbits o… Read more
**Bonkers little Mexican champeta version of 'Purple Haze' - sounds like Bruce Haack on holiday** "Meridian Brothers return with a brand new single that features an off-kilter, champeta version of Jimi Hendrix’s classic track ‘Purple Haze’. Straddling the line between new and old, Meridian Brothers’ mischievous blend of Latin rhythms and psychedelic grooves is the creation of Eblis Álvarez, one of the key figures of the experimental music scene in Bogota. In September 2012 Soundway Records released his album ‘Desperanza’ that features ‘Guaracha U.F.O’, selected by Gilles Peterson … Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Survive's Holodeck imprint render three fractal, pulsing avant-techno excursions by West Coast lynchpin, M. Geddes Gengras. Akin to his excellent Opal Tapes offering as Personable, 'Beyond The Curtain' is groove-driven synth esoterica of a rarified calibre, a constantly morphing tessellation of crisp synthlines crunched and folded with hands-on-the-knobs dexterity and a rudely intuitive flow. There's also a lucidity to each all three cuts which puts it head and shoulders above so many others in this arena, yielding truly powerful bass and super wide sonics in the sinewave kee… Read more
**Excellent dark-side new age drone and tape manipulations from Austin, TX's equally ace HoloDeck Records** "Originally conceived as a project based around healing frequencies, Lumens’ self-titled debut actually manifested into an exorcism of sorts; understated swells of cavernous brass and strings, decaying drum loops, warm-electronic pulses of synth & home-made tape-phrases, and ephemeral layered vocals (more playing out as an instrument than voice) are various expressions of the greater body which is Lumens (HD004). Lumens’ debut is as understated as it is emotive; the sound of tape machines ext… Read more
Sub-heavy and shifty deep house electronics from the Glasgow-based trio featuring members of Golden Teacher, Silk Cut and Dam Mantle. Rooted in studio improvisations and polished to a patently High Sheen, four grooves roll and swing with a elusively and all-too-rare fluid quality, from the seductively pendulous 'Motivation' to the grubbing, polychromatic vortex of 'Mt. Florida' and on into the refined but frayed jazz-house funk of '1178' and the freakish Detroit-style experimentation of 'Urn' reminding of some mad Three Chairs or Anthony Shakir move.
Timely reissue of this 2002 masterpiece by the shadowy man of Americana's avant-garde. 'The Departing Of A Dream' is one of those records that practically anyone with a fancy for desolate electric guitar music should own. In effect a collaboration with his amp and the space around him, it yields a captivating chiaroscuro light show of Connors' signature ghost melodies embedded within richest, overgrowing fuzz hues and decay, the sort of spindly motifs that trace the ear with cold, skeletal touch, and shimmering harmonics that beg you to bathe naked in their cloudy moonlight. Genuinely breathtaking music, highly recommended.
Lorca turns to UK house veterans 2020 Visions' Midnight series with three swinging, smoky burners backed with Citizen remix. Expanding and refining the styles of his Left Blank and Dummy issues, Lorca curls off the aerated garage-soul gait of 'Giant Stars' and the nimble shimmy of 'Have I Told You' and the pristine contours of 'Searching', all unfortunately containing some annoying trace of hackneyed vocal pitching. They're sweet otherwise.
Gorgeous solo follow-up to the heart-rendingly Grouper-esque 'Horrorism' from LA's lonely soul, Lee Noble. With 'Ruiner' Lee shows that's he's really toned his pop songwriting flex with nine sensitive, slow and yet nimbly arranged tunes. We might still struggle to make out what's he's saying, but the sentiment comes across stronger than ever as the glossolalic yearn of 'December ∞' has similar impact you might imagine from Thom Yorke with acute SAD, and 'Rewilding' could be a mid-op Julianna Barwick crooning to herself in the bathroom before undergoing surgery. But Lee's voice isn't the only big… Read more
Really excellent bit of R&B-filtered beat music and H-Pop electronics from a fella called Kinlaw on the increasingly ace Reckno label. 'Chorus ✝ Mysticus' appears to be his debut proper and slots somewhere in that haze of tape and ganja that Hype Williams, DJ Screw, KGB Man, Dem Hunger et al inhabit. You know the sound; slompy, burred beats cushioned to cassette, letting his mind slowly ooze out in a dreamy stream of consciousness that really suits the cog-turning mechanics and aesthetics of his chosen format. It's actually freakishly good, the beats knock with some proper fuzzed out deep … Read more
Stroboscopic Artefacts regular dishes out four thumping and bittersweet techno experiments. A-side, 'Tempered Inmid' chugs rugged kicks under a glacial patina of gloomy vocal samples and arctic melody beside the knotted chamber techno triplets of 'Dimen Andesso'. B-side features two smarter pieces: the grittier flex and swarming noise of 'Nuis Octury' reminds us of Ancient Methods and the EP highlight 'Ezerb Altren' sucks us into a warped vortex of fluttering synths and rolling bass drums.