Monday, 24 November
Mercurial operator Matt Lyne aka A Taut Line shape-shifts into proto-futurist 4th world house mode on his Tokyo-based Diskotopia label. 'Bamboo Holography' imagines a space where earliest Chi-house rhythms and worldly, Hassell-esque motifs can copulate with linear yet gyroscopic freedom, yielding something creamy and sweet for the 'floor. 'Freeze Roll' is ruddier, feeding influence from cosmic Italo and early '80s Japanese disco forward into a tangled, digitally frayed boogie groove peopled with mutant titty bar chatter and bustling atmospheres.
Monday, 17 November
Faith In Strangers’ was written and produced between January 2013 and June 2014, and was edited and sequenced in late July this year. Making use of on an array of instruments, field recordings, found sounds and vocal treatments, it’s a largely analogue variant of hi-tech production styles arcing from the dissonant to the sublime. The first two tracks recorded during these early sessions bookend the release, the opener ‘Time Away’ featuring Euphonium played by Kim Holly Thorpe and last track ‘Missing’ a contribution by Stott’s occasional vocal collaborator Alison Skidmore who also a… Read more
Lars T C F Holdhus follows one of the very best releases of the new millenium so far, the 'Untitled' tape for YYAA, with another cryptic future-shock, his 1st for Liberation Technologies. Continuing a trajectory away from the calculated dance mash-ups of his now-defunct Cracksmurf alias, this project and mini-album is based on a whole other algorithmic strategy, rendering densely coded formulae into utterly mind-boggling and synaesthetically affective compositions. Once you've heard his music and done a little research into his academic background and visual practice - he studied at Frankfurt… Read more
Nifty UK bass pressure from Manchester's Paleman, tooling up two digi-dub meets house riddims for Loefah's 81 label. 'Beezeldub' steps up with brassy horns and billowing subs inna update of classic soundsystem steppers coolly compatible with current house patterns. 'Newun' is more brooding, with sombre intro harking back to early Skream and Loe joints before leaning off with a killer, percolated halfstep finding the sweet spot between electro-soul, dread dub and garage. Tip!
Machinedrum brings the 'Vapor City' epoch to a close with this final chapter of 'Vapour City Archives'. Over the last 12 months he's animated a rich sonic fiction informed by psychogeography, Afro-futurism and and new technology over the course of an album, a string of 12"'s and via his subscription series. The hyperstitious results have marked him as a producer apart from the pack thanks to his mercurial meld of footwork, jungle, hip hop and electronica with etheric soul vocals that caught the attention of a lot of listeners looking for a sort of colourful romance and discipline… Read more
Om Unit cracks the glass on Goldie's DAT archive to present 'Inversion', his stunning follow-up to debut album 'Threads'. It's a Metalheadz album from nose to tail, chasing echoes of the label's past to reflect their present position, repping for new mutations of jungle, halfstep D&B and footwork with a timeless, atmospheric soul. There's gotta be few producers that Goldie would allow into his DAT and samples archive - we're imagining a massive oak chest embossed with lions and a Metalheadz logo - but Om Unit is clearly one of them and coolly lives up to the task, combinging his own sounds wit… Read more
JME jumps on a dubstep slaughter by Commodo for Deep Medi. Riddim and rider are both on form, JME bouncing cool and calculated over rugged ballroom "ha" stabs, darkside synth voices and 'floor churning subs for the hard skankers. Big bad instrumental on the flip.
Third and quite possibly strongest release yet from Beneath's Mistry label canters back to the 'floor with two deft, blocky riddims by Enklav. boss Chevel. Working a stripped framework of percolating bleeps and woody, splintered percussion greased with oily Reese and 808 bass, the Italian producer unfurls two lean and mean productions every bit as shark-eyed and skunked-out as his recent remixes for Webstarr's 'Agreus' (Misty002) and Downliners Sekt. A-side, the icy countenance of 'Tank' is primed at a 115bpm swagger for early doors in dark, claustrophobic bass pockets and cold warehouses a… Read more
With the beautifully introspective 'Sea Island' Loscil taps back into that vein of Kranky ambient loveliness he's owned for more than a decade since his 'Triple Point' (2001) classic. Shaping a misty bridge between dub techno and ambient music proper, his music has long stood out from the crowd for his ability to effortlessly sidestep cliche in a genre swamped by folk happy to infinitely regurgitate the same patterns and pads. And 'Sea Island' shows no sign of that considered approach abating. It makes a marked step towards letting that dub techno bridge evaporate into the background as he ado… Read more
Raw, visceral psych-dub killers by a wicked new duo featuring Valentina Magaletti, who drummed on Raime's 'Quarter Turns Over A Living Line' LP. Hailing from London and releasing on Hands In The Dark - which released albums from Co La and Ensemble Economique, a.o. - their 'Futura Grotesque' side weaves and frays the lines between Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza's jazzy avant-garde incursions, the possessed communal percussions of Cannibal Movie, and the wavey, dubbed-out post-punk of Gray or Not Waving. Mark our words: this one will travel. TIP!
Akkord's 'HTH020' 12" undergoes exceptional transformations at the hands of The Haxan Cloak and Vatican Shadow for Houndstooth. It's arguably a pinnacle of the label's sustained attack since emerging in 2013, due in large part to The Haxan Cloak's shocking render of 'HTH020'. In the course of nearly eleven minutes, the original is hard-panned for gold, sweeping from stereo-strafing concrète dynamics into a staggering display of head-compressing delays and chest-bursting post-rock/metal dynamics over a series of concatenated peaks and noisy harmonic eruptions with an elas… Read more
llum Sphere makes moves with a Fabric selection repping for his quarterly Hoya:Hoya events at the London club. Ticking off stacks of vintage box-ticklers beside their modern analogs, these 24 tracks perhaps better represent Ryan Hunn's more recent and personal tastes, rather than the wonky hip hop and colourful electronica that his Manchester-based Hoya:Hoya club night is putatively known for. Starting up with the cold, Kölnisch ambience of E.M.A.K.'s 'Sein Und Schein', he leads a calculated tour between industrial, post punk, acid and dub touchstones, sparking runs of ac… Read more
Dopest deep house/boogie electronics from Russian producer OL on the R&S-affiliated Meda Fury label. After exhibiting some canny chops with his 7" for Faces Records and a string of 12" singles for Error Broadcast, the 'Scape Border' EP is arguably his highest profile release to date, and also his slickest. It's still got all the adroit touches we praised in his earlier work, but the vibe is bluer, smokier, cooler. DJs need to check for the itchy, scratchy funk of 'Lum Edit', the percolating Chicagoisms of 'Myxa', and the scuffed deep house filter treatments of 'Podumay', whilst home-listening… Read more
Mr. Oizo cuts loose on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label in his first solo LP since 2011's 'Stade 2'. Now an LA resident, Oizo seems perfectly placed to show America how EDM should really be done, contextualising current production palettes with strong elements of old skool electro alloyed to fierce saw-tooth synthlines and screwed rave stabs. It all dovetails very neatly with Brainfeeder's hectic aesthetics, too, applying a freeform, jazz-funked approach that plays at odds with the surgical precision of his edits, resulting in a delirious yet disciplined party sound that straight-up kills in t… Read more
The Cyclist pedals to All City Records, who released his killer 12" as Buz Ludzha, with a wonderfully warped and gritty boogie-techno session in 'Flourish'. Saturated to the point of near-destruction, seven tracks ride the red line hard for a fogged-up yet surprisingly tactile, sensitive sound. Grooving somewhere in the shade of BoC and Lone et al, 'Flourish' dispenses some real dancefloor treats with the smudged rave bliss of the title track and the super gauzy 'Tape Grunge Rave' alongside the singed-synapse responses of 'Breathless' and the disintegrating disco of 'Ripples Through Ice' for those who like it raw and deeply bittersweet.
Reissue of the lush and melodic Detroit/Dutch techno album by Conforce. Ever since the release of his 'Our Concern EP' in late 2007, Boris Brunnik has forged a celebrated catalogue of heart-warming techno for labels like Rush Hour and Curle. His sound takes the most florid elements of Detroit operators like Carl Craig or Derrick May and fuses them with a European dub-techno sensibility to place him in the recent tradition of Convextion. From the rumbling, bass-driven lowland topography of 'Subtraction' to the synth coralled aquatic scapes of 'Sonar Conversations' to the exquisite 'Ra… Read more
Proxima returns with three shades of techier, up-to-the-second dubstep, from clipped Coki styles in 'Trapped' to snarling dungeon slither of 'Fate' and crushing Dutch style darkness in 'Fallout'.
The freak pop genius returns sans Haunted Graffiti with the amazing 'Pom Pom', his first "solo" album proper. Aided by collaboration with legendary psych pop producer Kim Fowley, among other as-yet-uncredited contributors, it's a 17-song reminder of Pink's inimitable slant on '70s/'80s pop, applying a magpies eye and vultures beak to the bones of bubblegum garage, glam power pop and sun-kissed indie. We daresay this is Mr. Pink at his very, very charming best, doing ludicrous prog jams such as 'Exile On Frog Street' just as well as jinglistic psych with 'Jell-o' and timeless beachside harmon… Read more
Stephan Olbricht finds a sympathetic home among Turin's Gang Of Ducks with the crunchy, skudged house abstractions of 'Emtee'. Seven songs flay the flesh of house convention leaving behind the residue of kicking, skeletal patterns formed by sodden drums and blunted chords tussling it out under heavy ferric atmospheres. At times there are glimpses of the crafty hi-tech funk of Olbricht's Budapest peer, Gábor Lázár, in the singular twists of 'Wowno' and the obtuse rhythms of 'Emtee' and the off-kilter notes of 'Very Deep', but to be fair it's all probably better compared with a dead cranky Actress who's just realised his dog ate his stash.
Efdemin ropes in a killer E.R.P. remix on the 'Decay Versions Pt.2' selection. Gerard Hansen aka Convextion aka E.R.P. gives one of his signature electro-soul reworks whirring with slinky machine rhythms and cloaked in gorgeous pads beside a classy, pumping Don Williams mix of 'Track 93', whilst Johannes Volk connects with the Millsian spirit of 'Parallaxis', which Traumprinz hears as a beautiful, trancing breakbeat roller with lush new vocal motif.
Massive riddims from Brackles, Fox and Famous Eno, sparking up the new label wing of Manchester best dance, Swing Ting. Brackles is a long-time pal and semi-resident of the club-night/DJ-team run by Samrai, Platt, and Joey B with MC Fox, and makes the perfect opening play with 'Skank', a signature mash of Fox's bashment flavour and up-to-the-second UK Street Rave that sums up everything Swing Ting is about - proper roots and future dance music with an all-inclusive outlook. On the remix, Mixpak's Famous Eno gives 'Skank' a sleeker, technoid finish galvanised with a sorta robotic Afro-futurism and… Read more
Sick Sleng Teng mutation from Steve Spacek aka Beat Spacek on the first taste of his promising new album for Ninja Tune. Produced and vocalled by Spacek, ' I Wanna Know' purportedly harks back to Steve's formative roots in S.E. London circa mid '80s at a time of cross-cultural pollination between suede heads, soul boys, dreadlocks, punks, and new romantics. Hence, it's a dread-heavy, frictional stepper, boiling a whole lotta trouble down to 2mins 37 of potent, paranoid UK dancehall class. Bring on the 'Modern Streets' album, pronto!
Politicised party house bangers from Essex's garage answer to Russell Brand, aka DJ Haus ov UTTU. 'Feel The Change Comin' On' burns up the titular vocal phrase over positivist flute parps and rugged garage skip laced with natty acid lines to make 'em dance like it's '94 and the plod are watching; 'When U Look At' goes a shade deeper with teasing filter treatments applied to a darker, contemporary jackin' sound designed for cuttin' shapes.
The results of Spatial's opti-sonic installation, 'Primitives' reinterpreted by the man himself, Broken20's TVO, Bass Clef, and Sculpture. The light-controlled software at the core of the installation generates unique tones which are subsequently re-shaped into hulking UK techno patterns crawling with strange electronic figures in Spatial's own version; the TVO|SPL mix is more freakish, shot thru with piercing oscillations and slow slamming beats; Bass Clef twists it into a quirky robo-boogie; while Sculpture render a dynamic diorama of radiophonic blips and scrambled rhythms.
Jamal Moss and Noleian Reusse jack up a pair of electric stormers for Biorhythm. Some mad sh*t always happens when these two record together as Africans With Mainframes and these trax are no exception. 'Nubian Rainbows' sublimates electrical current to a vapourous light show of keening harmonic kaos and nagging bass motif tussling with metallic buck beat; 'Tonkolili' comes off like a Green Velvet or DJ Rush rhythm run ragged, proper psychosexuadelic Chicago styles for the headstrong.
*Classic Theo circa 1997, available on download formats for the first time* 'Children Of The Drum' has been poached from Apricot records by the Sound Signature folk and is here given a re-release as a 'Predecessor Mix', whilst on the back Jerry the Cat makes another appearance for the previously unreleased 'I Am These Roots'. As ever, the quality assured Theo stamp is in full and reliably deep effect - with the top side offering up a nice and sparse production that embeds Jerry the Cat's languid vocals to devastating effect and sees Theo presenting the kind of spaciously harmo… Read more