Monday, 17 February
Back to the future with Ghostly's '80s fetishist Com Truise, featuring guest vocals by Joel Ford. "Wave 1 is the first new transmission the world has received from producer Seth Haley since his gloriously futuristic debut album Galactic Melt. That album cataloged the genesis and evolution of Haley's alter ego Com Truise — the world’s first synthetic/robotic astronaut, as Haley described him — and this EP continues the character's journey into the outer reaches of the musical multiverse. In the process, it also builds on Haley's signature production style, one that's rooted in classic sci-fi sou… Read more
Milton Bradley puts his Alien Rain mask on for three pure, hypnotic acid techno expeditions. 'Alienated 4A' is the highlight, setting thrumming bass against tightest 303 modulations and arcing night-sky pads. 'Alienated '4B' is more monotone, jacking, with brain-burrowing acid tweaks. 'Alienated 4C' is the most reduced and mysterious of the set, with low key acid bass orbited by silvery pads.
Having sat through two full cd's of some of the most sublime, drifting piano based variations I've ever heard im not quite sure how to go about putting the experience into words. Whilst 'archival' may bring to mind dusty stacks in library basements, there's a slew of old material being reissued by labels at the moment that might just serve to extinguish this semantic connection. Latest to enjoy a digital reappraisal is American composer William Basinksi (of 'Disintegration Loops' fame), whose extensive 'Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive' is now … Read more
Composed way back in 1979, 'A Red Score In Tile' eventually surfaced as a vinyl-only edition in 2003. Made up of piano, this shows Basinski's patented tape-loop technique perfectly and still stands as one of his most affecting pieces of music. If you've heard 'Melancholia' you'll likely know what I'm talking about, piano notes are transformed into tones by the slowly disintegrating tape, and the loops become motifs all of their own. The beauty of Basinski's work is in its patience, and this early piece is a testament to that overwhelming skill, a skill that few others possess… Read more
Powerful techno trax from Vril proceeding 12"s for Giegling and Semantica and inclusion on Marcel Dettmann's Conducted mix. All three tracks are built for strobe-lit basements and cavernous club spaces alike, slamming out the frictional swing jack groove of 'Vortekz' and its tumutluous dub ont he A-side, and the peaking chords of y7/10' on the flip.
"Infatuated with the similarities between the hard driving gridlines of European dance music and the repetitious nature that binds disparate folk music from all corners of North Africa and the Middle East together, Parisian dance duo Acid Arab have sought to enlist some of the most innovative and forward thinking producers from their native France and beyond, to bring these sonic cousins together on their pulsating new Acid Arab Collections. The compilation loosely narrates, among its collision of east-meets-west rhythms and hooks, Acid Arab’s falling in love with the world of… Read more
"Luke Wyatt's looping night-rider trance-rock instrumentals as Torn Hawk often tend towards the moody/brooding side of Brooklyn's rhythm nation but for Through Force Of Will he's flipped the script, flexing his powers for hope not mope, for rallying through those final workout reps, ripping through the tape at the finish line, pumping fists to the sky over city hall. Triumphant guitar-shred blisters atop steady cardio drum machines and heartbeat synth-basslines, invoking a FX-scrambled montage of sweaty crunches, marathons through the mountains, and muscle beach dreamers keeping t… Read more
**Tidy mix of drawn-out synthscapes and tighter coldwave machine instrumentals from the Texan synth ensemble** "This much anticipated EP follow-up shows SURVIVE evolving inside the increasingly crowded world of analog synth worship. While not totally abandoning the beat-driven sound that made their debut so great, we find them now much more willing to break out of the traditional song structure. Side A is 10+ minutes of ambient composition that is a natural departure from their previous work. Side B is considerably more akin to their release on Mannequin, retaining the horror meets Knight Rider vib… Read more
Mark Kozelek is back with a new Sun Kil Moon album featuring Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, Jen Wood (who has worked with the Postal Service), Will Oldham, and Owen Ashworth (formerly known as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, now of Advance Base).
Excellent debut EP of mesmerising, driven hardware jams by Farbwechsel boss S. Olbricht and his buddy Alpár. The 'Silf' EP is much cleaner and more charming than the last we heard from Olbricht on his 'Deutsche Amerikanische Tragödie' for Opal Tapes. Perhaps that's due to the influence of Alpár or maybe he just got some tape head cleaner - we're not sure - but these tracks are far more suitable for club use. There's still a ferric fuzz, but it doesn't dominate proceedings as much, instead providing a buoyant cushion for the acidic lattice and thrumming, skyward incline of 'Satellite Phone Blinks Red… Read more
Opal Tapes' S Olbricht returns with this excellent album for his own Farbwechsel imprint.
Another great instalment of deep, machine-driven experiments ranging from no wave house to noise and electronica from Hungary's Farbwechsel label. As they say in Football, it's a game of two halves; Route 8 offering four sublime pieces of throbbing lo-fi house compatible with 1991, Torn Hawk or Legowelt - at best in the slow-mo wade and solar synth flares of 'II' and the balmy balcony boogie of 'III' - whereas Danada Cry dices with mad, grotty, groove-driven no wave electronica in ten fractured, unstable experiments.
Sleazy, wavey machine groovers from Gergely Szilveszter Horváth aka Route 8 for the ace Farbwechsel label. From what we're hearing, Route 8 is the label's secret weapon, and on the strength of these cuts certainly due some wider exposure. He's got a proper, raw and rugged touch harking back to the baddest early Chicago jams and equally the loosest, moodiest Legowelt pieces, exemplified in the Larry Heard gone darkside vibe of 'CanYouFeelIt?', on the wiggly ace 'Slim City', with his Delroy Edwards-esque tracky jam 'Mental Murder' and especially on the 'Never Ending Journey'. Check also fo… Read more
**Percolating hip hop/electronic fusions from an Odd Future affiliate on his debut album for Stones Throw** "Pyramid Vritra is Hal Williams, prolific producer and rapper. He is recording an album for Stones Throw to be released in 2014. 22 year-old, LA-based Pyramid Vritra has been making beats and writing rhymes since he was just ten years old. When he was in high school in Atlanta, he founded the hip hop collective NRK (Nobody Really Knows) and subsequently linked up with Matt Martians of Odd Future after Martians heard NRK’s tracks on Myspace. When Pyramid Vritra and Matt Martians met, th… Read more
'Earlier / Later' features cherry-picked selections from the prolific Belgian synthpop band Polyphonic Size. Founded in 1979 by Roger-Mark Vande Voorde, from their 2nd EP 'Nagasaki Mon Amour' onwards, Polyphonic Size established a long-stading working relationship with The Stranglers bassist and producer Jean-Jacques Burnel which would strongly influence their future output, including the excellent cover version of The Rolling Stones 'Mothers Little Helper' featured in this compilation. Over the years covered here, 1979-1982 the band revolved around Roger-Ma… Read more
Odder bass grooves from the yung Club Soda label, including Mella Dee and DFRNT remixes. Parjo01's 'Shadows' reduces Sheffield style bleep bassline and choppy vocal processing to a skippy Breaks groove, which Mella Dee duly straightens to a rugged garage groove and DFRNT turns into a moody post-dubstep techno roller.
Nerftoss follows up a remix of Ahnnu's 'World Music' with a tranquil solo debut for Leaving Records. 'Spirit Advantage' drifts to the stranger, enigmatic end of the neo New Age consciousness, taking in glassy, chiming tones and harmonic bloom in 'Big Wish' before taking a left turn to more ambiguous states with the dark/light Reichian phasing of 'Truth Tackle', whilst the gauzy 'Future & Co.' reminds of Jar Moff's crushed soundscapes melded with eyrily saccharine folk signatures, a trait twhich bleeds into the looped strums of 'No Vs', and tussles with darker, psychedelic forces in 'Defeat's Outro'.
The 2nd single from Neneh Cherry's canny return to the fray comes backed with disco-ready Joe Goddard and Bouvet remixes. Lopped off her 'Blank Project' album, her krautrock-ish disco-pop duet with Robyn, 'Out Of Black' is presented in radio version and a looser album version beside Hot Chip producer Joe Goddard's direct 4/4 electro-disco mix and a sparkling Scando-Italo-disco edit by Norway's Bouvet.
Om Unit re-loads Doc Scott's darkside hardstep classic for 31 Records, backed with a re-mastered version of the original. As proved by his killah Metalheadz 12", Om Unit is the perfect candidate to put a new spin on such a definitive tune. He duly re-calibrates it to a slowfast roll, compressing the original's tension to a gully swagger loaded up with swooping, slurred sub drops under dive-bombing dread chords for the warehouse. Flipside, the original sounds mean and vital as it's ever done, sparring with jawside snares and gut-punch subs for sweaty strongback warehouse steppers at 6am. Essential tune.
**Hand-stamped white label** Lorca joins Breach's Naked Naked party for a deeper UK house session with the in-demand 'Forgive Me Love'. As with Lorca's 12"s for Left Blank, Church and Dummy, it's a perfectly crafted club tool for the deeper bass/house cats. A-side intones the pleading title over rugged bass/snare strikes and warm keys owing as much to UK D&B as original US house; B-side 'Naoko' is less forceful, given to slinkier breakbeat house vibe built with warm, wide subbass pressure, and proggy, uplifting chords.
Best yet from Brighton's Donkypitch label: four tracks of full fat Miami Bass laced with raving piano house pop hooks for the party. Up front, 'If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Wrong' ain't clever, but it is big, coming off something like Hud Mo strutting down Miami beach flinging skittles at buff bozos.There's also a more B-more styled dub mix to extend the fun. Flipside, 'Ayyo Tricknology' bring the boom-clap with hot chords and tight, rubbery bass shots, backed with a stripped down bonus beats mix.
'Shut In' is a "Beautiful piece of Easy Listening for Cabin Fever courtesy of Kevin Drumm" says Editions Mego, and who are we to argue? It yields some of the inimitable artist's most beautiful, oneiric sounds since his immense 'Imperial Distortion' album for Hospital Productions; in fact, we wouldn't be surprised if we were told it came from those same sessions. One singular piece unfolds for over 30 minutes, slowly radiating a sort of soothing harmonic balm with an underlying sense of grandness and purpose rooted in his Black Metal faith. Quite simply, this is Kevin Drumm at his most beautif… Read more
An unlikely but excellent turn from influential R&B demi-goddess Kelis and UK electronica delicacies, Mount Kimbie. Taking 'Jerk Ribs' from her upcoming, 'Food'-obsessed album for Ninja Tune, MK isolate her voice as a warm but robotically detached presence amidst darker synth blooms and bubbling proto-house/coldwave drum machine patterns making for an intriguing and sensually mysterious take on the UK's penchant for raw house and R&B vocal combinations.
"Inspired in equal measure by the throbbing urbanity of coastal cities, continental European art-rock experimentation, left-ﬁeld techno, and the freewheeling punk aesthetic of contemporary home studio recording, Jonas Reinhardt’s music transcends its inﬂuences to bring into being a work that’s wholly new while referencing a celebrated aesthetic of the past. Jonas Reinhardt's 'Ganymede' is an experimental science ﬁction ﬁlm set on the solar system's largest moon. On Ganymede, it is thought that volcanic vents supply the necessary power to fuel life. This ﬁlm imagines unknown extra-terrest… Read more
**Historically important pieces documenting John Cage's early electronic and tape practice** "Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios - for example, when he composed Fontana Mix in 1958 - his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeake… Read more
Tomlab have just made our week with the reissue of this vital, long lost electronic soul masterpiece from Jeff Phelps, restored and remastered from original vinyl and available for the first time in 25 years! 'Magnetic Eyes' was originally released in 1985 on a private press run of 1000 copies and has since become the stuff of '80s legend. Despite the enthusiastic efforts of Jeff, the album basically suffered from a lack of marketing and was destined to have a greater impact creatively rather than financially, exerting a direct influence on the likes of Dâm-Funk and Nite Jewel who both … Read more