Monday, 27 April
Future Loop Foundation's Mark Barrott proceeds his 'Sketches From An Island' volumes with two chiming drug chug trips for the breeziest balearic minds. 'Bush Society' takes ten minutes to set a humid scene of cicadas, tropical storms and percolating marimbas tones precipitating a lush and oily disco dream sequence. 'Saviours or Savages' is the waking afterthought of rippling gamelan-like patter and lilting acidic synths dusted with MDMA pad magic.
**In which the legendary Can drummer and multi-percussionist Holger Mertin converge a lushly kinetic, outernational meld of complex rhythms and percussive melody** "Like a zen master of the minimal, repetitive beat, Liebezeit -- famous for his hypnotic precision -- creates with only few sound colors the perfect matrix for Mertin's unleashed playing on any imaginable percussion instrument. The result is a mighty, complex pulse -- the groove of a better world. On the basis of that musical matrix, sound magician Joseph Suchy has produced a jaw-dropping album that defies any categorization. E… Read more
Pinging hardware rhythm trax from the ever effective I:Cube. '123bpm' bites down with stereo-dancing blips yoked to grubbing kicks and Linn snare crack like some early Ø transposed back to mid '80s Chicago; '118bpm' loosens up more with frisky layers of latinate percussion and nowt but; Pilooski chips in a bendy edit reduction of 'Makossa' to ramp the tribal vibes. Aces.
Blinking megatropolis panoramas from F.E. Denning for Posh Isolation. In keeping with the label's hard-on for Hospital Productions, 'Cities Of Light' finds that tenderised balance of night-vision synth tones and salty noise distortion in five parts synching neatly with the bleaker scapes of Alberich, Lussuria or Virile Games.
Berlin tech-house wrought with swelling, proggy emotions by former Tresor resident Dave DK. 'Val Maira' builds on the example of his split 12" with Ricoshëi in fine style, exapdning on a flush of warm, 'floor-friendly strokes at best in the night-light charms of 'Immer Gut', the spaced-out sound designs of 'We Mix At Six', and Burial-esque ambience of 'Naschi'.
Lissom tech-house sophistication from the Canadian trio helmed by Mathew Jonson. Their first offering in over 3 years was worth the wait, dealing in exquisite posh trance tones and feathered groove in 'Northern Lights' and its deeply seductive inversion, 'Drawn From the Side of Crime'.
Glasgow's ever-brilliant Night School return with a new album from label head honcho Michael Kasparis under the Apostille alias. To date he's nurtured this sound with split releases alongside Meddicine and Dnbl for C.O.A.T. and Clan Destine in parallel to actions with The Lowest Form and Please, but all energies are now focused on 'Powerless' with the intention to "bridge the gap between audience and performer, to connect through the fog of power structures and post-modernism; to ferment a direct pop music unconcerned with control." What that means in reality is a cranky clutch of lo-fi, syn… Read more
Trio of techy mutations from the recently acclaimed producer. 'Shadow Play' ranges from Detroit-via-UK deep techno in 'Some Scrambled Message' and the cosmic rave zing of 'Empathogen' to slower, shuffling acid house laced with extra subs and lushest vibes.
Monday, 20 April
Deadboy makes super nice on Local Action with the 'White Magick' EP. There's a mini-epic's worth of ideas and vibes inside, playing out like the soundtrack to a sci-fi short about occult computer hackers in the ends or, equally, some new age grime romance (we'll leave the casting to your imagination). From the crystalline synth blooms, angelic chorales and roto-drums of 'White Moon Garden', he 2-steps into lush 4th world dimensions with 'Inner Palace' and the beatless R&B sim-stim serenity of 'Rye Angel', all rendered with meticulous attention to hyperreal details. At the mid-point, the amb… Read more
Type reach inside the box to present Nochexxx's newest devilment of Drexciyan electro and grubby bleeps, 'Plot 'Defender'. Steadfast at the fringes and fronds of UK electronica since the late '90s, Dave Henson a.k.a. Nochexxx has previously done the do for Ramp Recordings and Actress' Werk Discs over the last few years, forging a sort of eldritch, radiophonic cyberpunk that frankly sound like f**k-all out there. OK there are plenty of artists working with cranky, heatsick synth and drum machines right now, but few others do it with such an unhinged grasp of groove and feel for intricate s… Read more
'Paint En pointe' collects ten pieces for dance by Sydneyite Eugene Ward, who's probably best known as TTT and Opal Tapes' Dro Carey or Tuff Sherm. They were written with the choreography of Patric Kuo in mind, intended for a variety of ensemble performances from solo to groups of up to 16 dancers. Judging from what we've previously heard by Ward, this release stakes out his most experimental territory, exploring the intersections of his formal compositional practice and the requirements of dancers beyond the conventional 'floor/head-space. We can hear him reference everything from t… Read more
Drew Lustman escapes his Falty DL alias with this dizzyingly ace album under his own name. 'Crystal Cowboy' is quick and loose but flush with all the funky tricks and crafty soul that has endeared him so much to heads the world over since 2007 and a sterling run of IDM-into-breaksploitation antics. He approaches the project with X amounta humour and guile, brilliantly indulging his Anglophilic tendencies with nuff hardcore/jungle roll-outs interspersed by instinctive nods to his home city's jazz, house and R&B heritage. It was apparently written on-the-fly, freed of any conceptua… Read more
The amorphous mass of Gnod indulge their psychedelic instincts in the nearly two hour-long 'Infinity Machines' for Rocket Recordings. Since their last major group release, 'Ingnodwetrust' (2011), they showed much promise by largely ditching guitars and swerving toward all-out electronics and nuanced songwriting in their component units - 'Gnod Presents.. Dwellings & Druss', Negra Branca's 'N B' - but here they return to a more-is-more approach, roping in crucial additions from Sam Weaver (modular electronics) and David MacLean (sax) among many other vibes and voices from the residents of … Read more
Rrose presents two expanded, alternate mixes of her take on James Tenney's pillar of American minimalism, 'Having Never Written A Note For Percussion', on Seattle's Further Records. The original composition, a favourite of Rrose's, revolves a simple concept requiring the performer to play one percussive instrument constantly, taking it from the quietest point to the loudest and back again in a close exploration of volume, tone and decay. Rrose does so with a 32" inch gong in two very different environments: the first is recorded in a studio and thusly sounds visc… Read more
London's Jonny Nash spins a glistening web of ambient mediations on 'Exit Strategies' for his own label, Melody As Truth. Taking solo time away after sterling contributions to Gaussian Curve's charming 'Clouds' LP and that epic 'Spirit Bear Mezcal Ensemble' 12", he presents a suite of balmy, crepuscular vignettes owing as much to The Durutti Column as Vangelis or Robin Guthrie and finding contemporary parallels with the likes of Bullion/Nautic or even recent Jam City in the achingly lush slow dance, 'Exit Six'. Mellow magic.
The Square one returns with his 14th album in 20 years and shows no sign of getting mellower with age. 'Damogen Furies' could be considered the club after-party for the stadium-collapsing antics of 'Ufabulum' (2012), still riding a wave of stage adrenalin into equally, if not more, demented and eccentric funk acrobatics. Peaking from the opening bars of black midi-style melodic intensity with 'Stor Eiglass', he fakes left with the melancholy chimes of 'Baltang Ort' which somehow strobes between tranquil serenity and nosebleed funk. The EDM kids will be pulling all sorts of Skrillex f… Read more
Danny Wolfers spins the warehouse dizzy in his latest Legowelt mission. Doing it for Ninja Tune's Technicolour series this time, he presents some really dope gear following suit from smarts by Kutmah, Hieroglyphic Being and BNJMN. Best of all is the darkside Chi finesse of 'Evaporate With Me 2 Infinity', yoking a gutter EBM/acid bass to stern drums and magickal synth glistens, and likewise with the slinkier breakbeats tucked to windswept filters and fizzy-bonce keys in the title.
Absolute panic in the darnce with Royal-T's relentless shoot-'em-up starring P Money and Footsie. Landing 4 years since his last solo 12" on Butterz, 'Shotta' hears the South Coast's dopest grime producer stick to a simple and deadly effective formula, crafting an entire riddim outta guncocks and shots. It's maybe not recommended for dogs or those of a nervous disposition but, the vocalists are undoubtedly in their element, P Money blazing bars from the hip and Footsie coming off like a proper hungry gunman. To counter the violence, he tests out a more sensitive side in the pensile, Reese-load… Read more
**Upfront Digital Exclusive** **Exceptional psych-o-tronic trips for fans of Mordant Music, Bellows, The Stranger or BEB!** Berlin's Another Dark Age label claim an idiosyncratic nether ground with LST's aleatoric enigma, 'Th Duo'. Staking a unique position just behind the ear, right at the back of your bonce, Melbourne's Tarquin Manek (a.k.a. half of BEB's Tarcar) quietly mines his very own "lo-sci-fi" style in this series of nine corrupted memory implants meshing frayed nerves and fragmented, extra-terrestrial frequencies. The process of 'Th Duo''s creation, junked together from recordings made on … Read more
EPM present two definitive aspects of Detroit techno. Robert Hood offers one of his signature minimal techno propulsion systems with the tunnelling, darkside 'Shaker', before boosting the energy levels with an organ-burning Floorplan 'Ritual' in his gospel-techno guise.
Richard Chartier's Line label is at its best with Triac's gorgeous 2nd album of diaphanous drones. 'Days' could be taken as a measure of time, or equally as a pun on the lush effect of their music, presenting a barely-there suite of near-baroque melodic gestures that seem to float in mid-air, as though either moving very slowly or as a midnight mirage conjured by some gauzy mind. Within its seven pieces, ranging from pop-ambient temporality thru ten minute trips, they seem to capture the resonant, lingering after-thoughts of their instruments - Rossano Polidoro (laptop), Marco Seracini (piano, synth)… Read more
Crazylegs windmill into new territory with the fractious, forward GrIDM designs of Island's 'Nokia' debut. Coming off like a Hud Mo show-down with Spaces and Oneohtrix Point Never, it refracts the best of modern Warp styles with a playfully colourful sense of arrangement according to a more-is-more maxim. In headphones it feels like R'n'G ju jitsu for Air Max-clad astronauts training in a gyroscope, spinning the senses with an accelerated sense of fun and organ-churning pleasure.
Tommy Four Seven boots up his 47 label with a forceful techno session. The boss twists out a raging stomper called '131' beside the rolling industro-dub of Kwartz's 'Locked Target', a bleeping missile from Killawatt, and the bruising, dank techno reduction of 'Obsid' by Isolated Lines.