Monday, 04 August
Neon 808 heat from Lockah and his trans-Atlantic counterpart Taste Tester. There's four taut, whirring fusions of R&B, Footwork and blazing Yamaha synthlines from the duo, at best in the 3-stepping R&B zest of 'U Don't Know Me' and the Rustie/HudMo-styled excess of 'The End', whilst DJ DJ Booth eases the thizzing 'Higher' to a bouncing house/club style, and Slick Shoota juggles the vocal of 'U Don't Know' with infectious footwork patterns. Support from Starkey, Johnny Dub, Jay Scarlett.
Sublime, festive Balearia from Madrid's Javier Bergia, who, perhaps most famously, played on Finis Africae's seminal, eponymous debut. Expect to be swept away on a warm breeze of floral guitars, keys, exotic percussion and lushest synths coaxed along by Bergia's mellow vocals.
When you think of Ennio Morricone the first thing to spring to mind is probably not improvisational experimental music. It’s soundtracks, but it seems the hallowed maestro had more strings to his bow (or something) than most may have expected, and this gem of a release shows a daringly avant garde side to Morricone’s canon. Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza found Morricone on trumpet next to musicians Franco Evangelisti, Giovanni Piazza, Egisto Macchi, Antonello Neri and Giancarlo Schiaffini and was formed by the pioneer in 1964. ‘Musica Su Sc… Read more
"Melodic and playful techno interactions from one of the most crucial occupiers of the freaked out sweet spot between the hypothesized club/anti-club binary. Gobby’s skill for sampling anything and everything into strange and insanely funky techno loops is particularly apparent on this six track release that has eyes on ultra serene trance heights as much as the most fucked streaks of purist techno. Somewhere beyond the historic thump of Black Dice’s rhythmic experiments and classic acid and freaked out, Gobby’s beats are both sludgey and vivid. On “Wallet and Cellphone”, Gobby comes out … Read more
Shawn O'Sullivan (Vaputeen, 400PPM, Civil Duty, Led Er Est) meets vocalist and songwriter Katie Rose on a suite of druggy, etheric wave dance and pop deviations on Minimal Wave's Cititrax sub-label. There's six diverse but coherently related tracks on rotation, alternating between a de-glazed take on Balearic chug in 'High End Basics', to an atmospherically charged and pumping 'Woodwork', thru the cosmic '90s dream-pop of 'Spectacle Dissolved' to droning Chris & Cosey styles to the Carpenter-esque 'Death To The Beat', and a strident mid-tempo disco wader called 'Beyond Time'. It's no… Read more
Sweetest deep house from Fur, who was last heard on UNO NYC, and now backed with a sublime Linkwood remix. The original is a lovely touch of late night New York City class melting poised keys and pizzicato strings over brushed percussion and sneaky bassline with just the faintest hits of humid nocturnal streetlife bleeding in at the edges. B-side, Linkwood's Stargazer remix retreats to the balcony for a sultry, spaced-out shuffle, those distant sirens turning into silvery contrails and expansive synthlines tracing the city's imagined outline.
Dramatic, aggy grime from Newham Generals' Footsie. Sukh Knight on the buttons, lifting a Bollywood sample as used by Method Man & Busta Rhymes' 'What's Happenin'.
High-velocity jungle and liquid breakbeat styles from DJ Trax. Check for the HD amen chopping of the title tune.
"Minneapolis torn-leather psychedelicists Daughters Of The Sun cop a tripped deathless vibe on their fourth, and most far-gone, full-length, Ride To Die. Severed by distance (singer/guitarist Nick Koenigs transplanted to LA), and pulled omni-directionally by other projects (Koenigs as Filthy Huns; percussionist Bennett Johnson and multi-instrumentalist Collin Gorman Weiland in Dreamweapon), the trio transmute these tolls into seven of their best badlands kosmosis interstate benders yet taped. The disintegrated chemistry of dirt-road hunts like “Desert Grave” or “Sater’s Ghost” s… Read more
One of the UK's more promising young labels returns with the kinetic spatial studies of D Hansen's 2nd release, 'A Pair Of Quiet And Empty Rooms'. Avoiding use of samples in favour of unique tones and "something completely other", Hansen recorded bits of junk at discrete distances in a variety of rooms in order to capture their natural reverbs, which were then processed with artificial ones to create whole new semi-fictional dimensions. The results, split over four pieces, make incisive, playful use of silence and tension in a manner recalling Nicola Ratti/Giuseppe Ielas… Read more
Debut drop of rimshot-riding house from Boyfriend following remix actions for Mad Decent, Enchufada and more. Essentially it's a sort of deeper take on Baltimore House, perhaps more Karizma style than the naughty stuff T & A are known for. Boyfriend's 'Fears' is a brilliant groover effortlessly swinging off percolated rimshots, hi-hats and plump subs, which Saveless runs as a ruddier sort of electro-funk and DJ Ayres fuses with deep garage techno. Tipped!
Appleblim and Peverelist have been responsible for truly taking the Bristol dubstep scene to the forefront of the electronic music consciousness. In their individual guises both have taken the scene on similar trajectories, Appleblim, as joint head of Skull Disco and creator of some of the deadliest, deepest and most esoteric productions the scene has put forth, and Peverelist as Bristols anchorman behind the Rooted records shop, and the awesome Punch Drunk records, home to his personal brand of Berlin debted dubstep magic. Together the… Read more
18+ debut with a haunting brand of indie soul/trip hop on Houndstooth. Their first 7" arrives hot on the heels of Soft As Snow's debut, with whom 18+ clearly share a taste for ear-worming hooks and iced electronics. Their A-side 'Crow' hinges plangent finger pops and looped-up caws around the kind of frothy motif that lodges in your nut for days, whilst processed male/female vox come off like The xx's fugged-up cousins. B-side, 'Horn' is spookier, mixing wheezy concrète textures and sluggish drums to stoned laughter and nonchalant vocals with a wry, Tricky-esque appeal.
Monday, 28 July
The master returns with his 3rd EP of serpentine riddims for Woe To The Septic Heart! Working deeper into the synthesis-based approach which yielded the finer electronic timbres of his 'Freezing Opening Thawing' 12", here he's refined the technique to near-Villalobos levels of layered, rhythmelodic intricacy, but of course, all with his inimitable accent. First up, 'Beat His Command' is a dense, blinding display of pointillist percussion and hypnotic chimes laced with flashes of technoid gremlins and white noise explosions. Secondly, 'Vor und zurück' flips that formula for a m… Read more
Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) meets Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas to kick off Ghost Box's Other Voices series of singles. They're two sun-drenched piece of pop, shapeshifting between pastoral strums, bubbling exotica drum machines and fading electronics.
**Upfront Exclusive** Debut shot of dynamic grime futurism from Chemist for Coyote Records, backed up with Last Japan and Rabit remixes. Twinning his studies in composition and technology for film and games with current strains of HD UK grime, Chemist coins two lucidly detailed, kinetic constructions with the intricate polymetrics and strafing square waves of 'Defiance', and the robotic Eski origami of 'Blocks' marking him out as a slick sound designer. Rabit's remix of 'Defiance' is condenses its energy into pensive, droning subs, militant claps and sino licks owi… Read more
**An awesome compilations of the full-length tape releases from NoCorner** Prayers have been answered: Bristol's low key but brilliant cassette label NoCorner label yields prime and sought-after selections from El Kid, Filter Dread and Lily to digital for the 1st times. In the space of two years No Corner has become one of those labels you look for. Ideal for those catching up or keeping up, you'll find El Kid's concept EP, 'Labyrinth' dedicating 30 minutes of coruscating minimal techno and echo-chamber noise to a fictional sunken warship - think a… Read more
Matthewdavid's Leaving Records step correct with a swampy beat suite from Ras G and the promising debut of Veronica Lauren aka VHVL. We find Ras G at his leanest, technoid and psychoactive in seven off beats with nary an "Oh Raaaas" in sight, instead some of his knottiest electronics in '3am Downtown' plus gorgeous, lysergic cut-ups of Lonnie Holley in 'Rendered…' and 'Renderlude…', beside crunching conrcrète soul in 'Breathe_GMIX(08)', and what is effectively Workshop-style slow house meets Sun Ra exotica in 'Can't Fuck up My Good Day'. On the other hand, VHVL takes fifteen minutes - rat… Read more
Tuff City Kids, Phillip Lauer and Gerd Janson get loose and ravey with Sparky's Glasgow anthem, 'Portland'. In early '90s brekabeat house mode their Looney Mix pivots off piano stabs, tight breaks and swinging New York house drums, whilst the TB Mix brings the breaks, acid spurts and dreamy chord progressions forward to weightless effect.
Super smart 2nd album from Seattle's foremost hip hop accelerationists. Fronted by Ishmael Butler, formerly of the brilliant Digable Planets, Shabazz Palaces have cornered a unique take on contemporary hip hop melding traces of electronica, cyberactive dub and jazz inna cerebral but instantly gratifying style that swerves self-conscious oddness in favour of genuinely psychedelic lushness and off-the-dome freedom. Borrowing its title 'Lese Majesty' from a French term for offending about offending the dignity of a royal, the album is framed as a "…sort of sonic attack on the "me-mania… Read more
Widescreen visions of modern classical and electronics on the debut album from American Men's Claude Speeed. Ostensibly the odd one out in LuckyMe's fluorescent roster, the Glaswegian artist actually shares a lot in common with his native label-mates, in terms of proggy compositional nuance and his taste for glittering, emotively synthetic backdrops. Distilling a mixture of ebullient grandiosity and majestic melancholy at its core, it percolates a spectrum of modern music from the stadium rousing epics of Mogwai and Rustie to the subtler tones and sweeping, folksy arrangements of BoC o… Read more
**First ever digital edition of a 1990 cassette release** At long last, another heart-melting chapter in the musical enigma of Clive and Mark Ives' Woo is revealed to the world at large. 'Into The Heart Of Love' was issued on cassette by two different labels in 1990, containing 22 songs strung out between tropicalia, Canterbury pop, New Age and exotic easy listening styles with a charmingly quiet sort of English humour. For a long time the duo's music was the preserve of those very much in the know, but thanks to recent reissue agendas they've rightfully bubbled up tot the attention o… Read more
**Hushed debut album of chiming down-beats from Submerse** "Slow Waves is a collection of multi-layered memories, stacked like grainy polaroids in an old box in the closet or under the bed while the colours fade. A young Rob at the beach or on his first day of grammar school. Images of travels across Europe and Japan, moments slipping in trains or planes while landscapes pass by. Memories so unique to his life, yet so similar to the fading memories of youth and adolescence we all have… After a series of well acclaimed EP’s, each of them created at very specific moments in the artists life, s… Read more
Circle Traps step to Lex Records for their most developed, impressive release following 12"s for Opit and Five Easy Pieces. Comprising producer Will Ward with Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie from Portico Quartet, Circle Traps draw on a reserve of revered "musicianship" and sharp dancefloor chops to realise a sound strung between knackered house, twisted techno a la Call Super, and epic '80s FM synth sounds recalling Com Truise.
Afro-centric house heat from East London's DrumTalk. Drawing on all the classic references - Chicago, Detroit, New York, London - as well as new ones from Kwaito to Azonto and Funky, DrumTalk's debut for GetMe! backs up its intentions with robust, effective productions resulting the shape-cutting stride and lilting drum cadence of 'Super Vega' on one side, and the writhing syncopation of bouncing, technoid drums and wheezing melody in flipside, 'SNB'.
'Wilderness of Mirrors' is a harrowing and compelling slab of dense ambient doom from esteemed Room40 proprietor, Lawrence English. Two years in the making and arguably ranking among his finest works, 'Wilderness of Mirrors' is, as English puts it, "reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality". Taking its title from a phrase rooted in T.S. Eliot's poem 'Gerontion' and later used to describe the misinformation campaigns of the cold war, it finds English channelling inspiration from the affective dynamics of Earth, MBV and Swans, together with his own f… Read more
Wildest Dreams are a Modern Day Equivalent of the L.A wrecking crew. They make music inspired by the landscape of L.A and it's surrounds for your road and acid trip. The brainchild of DJ Harvey as a means to keep his multi-instrumentalist hand in so to speak. The album was recorded over a week a couple years ago and unearthed by Smalltown Supersound.
First new Monobox gear from Rob Hood on M-Plant since 2001! Following the gospel truths of his Floorplan alias, Hood explores his most minimal side with two supple, rolling aces: 'Film' meets noirish, stealthily building chords with panther-style bass and chiming martian harmonics; 'Rectangle' is signature Rob Hood - tight chord flux and poised, kicking Motor City techno groove.
Mathew Jonson and The Mole, Peter Van Hoesen, and Blue Hour remix tracks from Tobias.' 'A Series Of Shocks' LP for Ostgut Ton. Canadaians at the controls, Jonson and The Mole give a masterclass in the art of subtle, swinging build with trimmed electro drums and pendulous, scissoring synthlines guaranteed to trap bvodies ont he floor, whereas PvH takes a more atmospheric route with his acidic rework of 'Cursor Item Only' and Blue Hour burns up 'He Said' as an alarming techno romp.