Monday, 09 February
A Made Up Sound attacks Asusu's 'Velez' in two parts on the 2nd Livity Sound remixes 12". On one side it's cut up into a grungy, rugged breakbeat techno mix balancing chiming melody against Surgeon-esque groove; flipside the same cut is heard as a wigged-out acid swinger shuddering from massive sub detonations and concussive drums. Killah!
Evocative electro regressions and imagined archaeoacoustics, collected by Minimal Rome. Inspired by silence and the noises of the plague, five American and European producers "explore the solitude, terror, stillness and unsophisticated chaos of the epidemic". Heinrich Dressel gives his skeletal disco cadaver a Giallo-ready makeover; Anbton Maiovvi invokes the ghosts of 'Spittalfields 1665' with wormholing electro-jak; Umberto offers his synthetic sympathies from across the pond; Alessandro Parisi wins hard with the muscular slow jam, 'Calamitas Calamitatum', and Vercetti Technicolor go all Gatekeeper with 'Athens 430 BC'.
"The strain of synthesizer cosmosis harvested by Bristol-born Europe-roving psycho-maestro Antoni Maiovvi tends towards the longform and texturally opulent. Past dalliances in horror giallo and intergalactic disco have demonstrated his capacity for mood sculpture as well as dancefloor pleasure nodes, but his latest LP, Avrokosm, assumes an almost ethno-musicological perspective of a distant desert planet. Swirling sand dunes of sound, cold tonal winds, and veiled loops sweep in across pulsing, runic techno patterns. Begun in Berlin but finished in Madrid, the record shares some of the sp… Read more
More rolling techno wonk from Appleblim and Second Storey a.k.a. ALSO for R&S. EP2 features the plonging modular synth shards and milky arpeggio spumes of 'Formation' for the space 'eds, and a grittier, funked-up bit of UK Breaks revivalism in the B-side, 'Rant Check: Parts 1 & 2'.
"The less we log off, the truer it is: physical space is no place. Life’s a long-form loiter in a portal, till the service is severed. Such was the headspace of MacArthur Park deep web crawler Afterhours when crafting the ten softly glowing proxy improvisations of Post-Geography. Shades of his night-trawler trip-hop and 4 AM house still seep through (“Raw Algebraic,” “Semi-Dusk Edit”) but the bulk of the album is vibrantly grid-scrambled and dissociative, randomly accessed memories Pachinko-plinking through locked skyscraper malls and neon metropolitan infrastructures; in his words, “a… Read more
Travis Stewart a.k.a Machinedrum slinks out as Aden on Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label. The 'Tanz EP' is a shiny new skool club affair, seducing with the rimshot-freckled build of 'Lieb' and percolating proper Dance Mania meets Jersey vibes with the smooth-but-rugged 'Grau'. The haughty thrust of 'Hass' nods to ballroom and early Chi-house styles - think Mike Q meets Chip E - and 'Hell' gets off with razor sharp chords and bucking groove, like Mark Fell wurkin' his Green Velvet suit.
Acid Arab push the boat out with further deviations including a deadly An-I and Capablanca link-up. AA's 3rd single opens with their own 'Zahr' putting a streamlined, edgeless spin on Arab dance styles beside the slow, mystic chug of Gilb'R'Beesan Rum's 'A Song For Anna'. B-side is much better, though: Society of Silence pick up the tempo with a cantering techno line-dance, 'Baghdad', and An-I hits it out the park with Capablanca on the New Beat-referencing meld of industrial jack and mesmerising Middle Eastern loops in 'Farsi Farce'.
Monday, 02 February
Girl Unit goes Hysterics on a 2nd set of ballroom-slaying workouts for Night Slugs. Built on the foundation of his Club Constructions, these are fully fledged dance trax, juicing the essence of ballroom, B-more, techno and deep house with nutricious efficiency. 'Club Life' is a pressurised alloy of B-more and Vasquez-like house with a hardcore UK edge; 'HTRX9' feels like a future-steeled update of Anthony Shair or Titonton style breakbeat house. 'Eye Mask' brings the 'floor up with extreme, strobing filter dynamics amping the imagined potential of The Field gone Roulé, and 'Empt… Read more
Burial returns to Keysound nearly ten years after his underrated, KILLER remix of Blackdown's 'Crackle Blues'. Hurtling at +140bpm, 'Temple Sleeper' sounds like the theme to an episode of the BBC's Bugs drama set in a towerblock in South London, strafing '90s strains of trancey 2-step, hardcore garage and full tilt techno in just under 7 minutes. Dry your eyes if you missed the wax, this one's for U!
We’ve been waiting for this one for a while - one of the most talented and overlooked composers in the death-ambient/invisible soundtrack realm finally returns with a petrifying suite of doom-laced string compositions on this excellent new album for Miasmah; 'The Summoner'. In the course of three albums and handful of shortform releases, Pepijn Caudron has become a byword for Bosch-like visions of a soundtrack-quality calibre. It's perhaps a little odd that his music hasn't yet been used to score some ultra-bleak, mittel European horror flick (far as we're aware), but that's also partly where… Read more
In 'Vulnicura' Björk comes to terms with, and gets over, a longterm relationship, thanks to some help from Arca, The Haxan Cloak, Antony and Spaces. It's arguably her most coherent and focused album since 'Vespertine' (2001), her vocals incredibly raw and emotional - understandably in the light of some tragic, personal event - yet controlled with near operatic poise and matched by the waking-dream-like qualities of the production's skewed meter and tendencies toward keening, lushly expressive discord. It must be said that Arca really comes into his own here, expanding upon certain rhythmic ideas… Read more
Dancefloor sweetheart Caribou bequeaths three live recordings made with his Vibration Ensemble, including Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden and James Holden among their number. A-side stars an ecstatic version of the cosmic house dazzler, 'Bowls', and a blown out number called 'Ahmed, Colin, James, Kieran, Kyle, Rob And Steve' that sounds like Sun Ra meets Konono No.1, both recorded at Concertzaal Vooruit in Ghent, Belgium on December 8th, 2011. B-side is spanned by 13 minutes of soaring turbulence in 'Sun', recorded at London's Scala on December 7th, 2011.
Dominick Fernow’s Bed of Nails label returns with its first release in a while - a new 5-track EP from New York stalwart K.P aka Dual Action. These machine tools spoil for the 'floor, acting as a follow-up of sorts to the excellent, blink-and-miss 'Babe' cassette and Avian's vinyl reissue of 'Auto Body’, providing some proper club weight across four precision-sharpened pounders and one incredible noise construct. Fixing glassy chimes to stern bassdrum with 'Back In', and banking noxious drones over the pneumatic mechanisms of 'When Mine', he rolls off-the-bone with the Pan Sonic-like 'Kill T… Read more
Alex Coulton makes rude house moves on Tempa following his ace for Beneath's Mistry label and a contribution to Tempa's 'Allstars Vol.7'. The abyssal reverb and serpentine drums of 'Recall' pick up where his lean 'Bleep Sequence' for Beneath's label left us late last year, heading farther into the dread house murk with nasty, wide bass and strobing vocal spectres. if that groove is all about concentrated pressure, the scuffling brokebeats and natty bass dip of 'Wiretap' is all about spacious dynamics and airborne rolige.
Yeah this one’s a little bit special. Sonic Pieces have long set themselves apart from the plethora of home-spun, hand-made, overly-serene imprints out there, both in terms of their exquisite packaging but more importantly via their patient, hand-picked selection of some of the finest avant-classical, drone and experimental yet accessible music out there. And this new release - from the largely unknown Jasmine Guffond - really stands out as their best release yet. You may or may not have come across Guffond's other projects - Jasmina Maschina or Minit - but this debut album under her… Read more
The legendary director / composer achieves the milestone of his debut solo album with 'Lost Themes' for Sacred Bones. For the first time, after directing and scoring 15 films - including stone cold classics such as Halloween, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 - he lets the listener conjure their own imagery to accompany his signature mix of thrumming synth arpeggios and dramatic guitar solos in nine newly written 'Lost Themes'. It's likely to be loved by collectors of '80s synth horror soundtracks, especially if you have a high tolerance for overblown production... However, the remixes … Read more
Chicago's DJ Clent busts out a killer debut album of sub-heavy hyperfunk for Duck N' Cover - the world's first Footwork-only vinyl label. 'Last Bus to Lake Park' is alien jazz tech of the dopest order, hitting 14 tracks of fibrillating flux including link-ups with fellow Dance Mania veteran DJ Milton and footwork progenitor, RP Boo. We'll go straight for the highlights, a handful of Afro-futurist level-setters including the doubled-down G-Funk lean of 'The Wickedness', a blinding breakbeat and space-jazz rocket named 'Look Swole' with DJ Milton, and certainly the depth-charged sub… Read more
Slick, energetic techno session with a proper Detroit/Berlin twist. Vril's 2nd album, 'Portal' follows last year's acclaimed 'Torus' LP for Giegling's Forum sublabel and a string of inclusions in high profile mixes by Berghain cognoscenti, Marcel Dettmann, Norman Nodge and Marcel Fengler. Eight tracks perform that tricky techno feat of sounding raw but classy, abstract yet heavily functional.
Four new cats get their acid kicks on Clan Destine's Dark Acid series. Volume IV introduces Khotin with the ethereal jacker, 'Tsoi', and some crafty Caustic Window-era acid-step from Varg in 'Ultra Acid'. Kid Who takes the vibe slower, sleazier with the rugged chug of 'Gap Related Injury', and Terminator careens at a 130bpm tilt with face-melting layers of 303 and bone-rattling machine rhythm.
"Terror & Healing is a string of mind adventures, ten miniatures of possibilities, a bunch of invisible cities and imaginary beings. It’s a contribution to the exploring and unmapping of reality through imaginative research, making the ears like the fingers of the blind, piecing the multitude back into music. Terror & Healing is Tsembla’s fourth release after the 2013 LP Nouskaa henget (New Images), Fauna (Ikuisuus, 2011) and Tuplafiesta 7” (Vauva, 2009). Tsembla, aka Marja Johansson, is a Swedish-Finnish artist operating out of Turku, Finland. She’s an active worker in the musical activi… Read more
I:Cube and Prins Thomas tackle Todd Terje to the disco 'floor. French beat artiste I:Cube tailors 'Leisure Suit Preben' to a top deck VIP lounge sound flush with keys and strings and DSK vibes galore; Prins Thomas buffs up and tweaks out the sparkling arpeggios and louche groove of 'Preben Goes To Acapulco' for added cocktail time.
Strange mix of styles on this one, pairing The Soft's thrumming post rock-meets electronica piece, 'Icaria', with a gauzy, jagged dubstep-techno roller by Killawatt and some fudgy tech-house with sweetly soured melody blowing kisses at vintage AFX.
"When The Notwist returned with their 7th album 'Close To The Glass' (their debut for Sub Pop Records) in early 2014, many were enchanted by the epic instrumental 'Lineri'. It was the only instrumental track featured on the LP, but according to Notwist-singer Markus Acher, instrumental works have had an especially big impact on the album and its arrangements. Between 2008's ‘The Devil, You & Me’ and this year’s 'Close To The Glass', The Notwist not only concentrated on various solo projects, but also worked for several theatre productions and radioplays. 'The Messier Objects' is a co… Read more
NIN synth player and keyboardist Alessandro Cortini shapeshifts into the technoid Skarn guise with his debut for Shifted's Avian label. Across three tracks he puts a unique spin on the purest, monotone techno templates, capturing a brute, wormholing hardware sound comparable with classic Pan Sonic. With little background info to the 12" other than the obvious, we'd gauge that he's using a similar set-up to his acclaimed Sonno' and 'Forse' volumes, yet with very different results, possibly achieving such a kinetic, tactile buzz from only two or three re-amped machines and canny … Read more
Simoncino projects four lushly impressionistic visions of NYC Nu Groove styles with 'Dreams Of Konders' for Creme Organization. This is some classy, near psychedelic gear, rolling in with the mystic mix of Carpenter-esque synth and tribal drum machine flux in 'Meggaton', giving the hips something elliptical with the Afro-debted patterns and spacey dubbing of the glorious title track, and also nodding to Sun Ra with the solar-energised B-side boosters, 'Pyramids' and 'Space Is The Place'.
Radiant drone work by Iceland's Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, aka half of Stilluppsteypa with BJNilsen.
Houndstooth lop one off Second Storey's debut album, backed with new cut 'Layer Lock' and corresponding mixes by Cristian Vogel and Luke Vibert. With 'One Sound' Storey gives old skool wonky techno a boot to the behind with his flash production palette, whereas 'Layer Lock' dips to a more tetchy, skittish Breakbeat coda. Vibert splices 'One Sound' with stacks of junglist stabs, jazzy fake-outs and tussling drums; Vogel carves 'Layer Lock' into an advanced, polymetric techno sculpture.
Scuba parses the Hotflush archive for another volume of original dubstep pressure, 2005 - 2008. Includes some scene classics such as Loefah's remix of Search & Destroy's 'Candyfloss', the Vex'd remix of Toasty's 'Knowledge', and Elemental's hard-edged breakstepper, 'Deep Under'.