Wednesday, 25 March
"Features classic sides from the peak of Jamaica’s roots reggae era, including such powerful and enduring gems as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s eerily beautiful ‘Dreadlocks In The Moonlight’, Culture’s rampaging ‘Two Sevens Clash’, Max Romeo’s ‘War Ina Babylon’, The Congos’ haunting ‘Row Fisherman Row’, Junior Byles’ ‘Curly Locks’ and The Heptones’ ‘Sufferer’s Time’, among others. A wonderfully sequenced compilation of the golden age of Jamaican pop music - no country’s pop music has ever been so ardently political as Jamaica’s was in the 1970s."
Tuesday, 24 March
"New York-based producer and texture collector Saffron (formerly Spirit Guide) paints vivid backgrounds and deep cafe situations via crisp, refined house on his debut under this name, a double release “Petra I” and “Petra II”. Saffron’s hybridized genre builds include trip-hop, moody downtempo, sturdy walking-paced house and crunchy IDM with low key cinematics drifting throughout. A multitude of textures protrude from a general coating of slick motion and moods that hover above meticulous bass grooves and piano lines, blending an undisguised sense of proficiency and surface-obsessed sensibiliti… Read more
"New York-based producer and texture collector Saffron (formerly Spirit Guide) paints vivid backgrounds and deep cafe situations via crisp, refined house on his debut under this name, a double release “Petra I” and “Petra II”. Saffron’s hybridized genre builds include trip-hop, moody downtempo, sturdy walking-paced house and crunchy IDM with low key cinematics drifting throughout. A multitude of textures protrude from a general coating of slick motion and moods that hover above meticulous bass grooves and piano lines, blending an undisguised sense of proficiency and surface-obsessed sensibilitie… Read more
Monday, 23 March
Deadly, undercover operations from a North American source with affiliations to some of the hottest underground labels. The hypergoth hybrids of his 'Last Breath EP' appears on Body High, a promising new label administered by LOL Boys and Samo Sound Boy and slicing across the face of Bass music like a rusty machete. He comes out swinging hard but nimble with the strafing syncopation of 'Last Breath', while 'The Killing' imagines Zomby gone to Haiti, all shrill bleeps and voodoun Bass rhythms. Perhaps the deadliest dancefloor dedication is 'Bounce Dat', cross-pollinating juked Dance Mani… Read more
Rising LA-based label Body High, founded in 2011 by Samo Sound Boy and Jerome LOL of Lol Boys, has been building its crew through a series of succinct EP-length statements on club sounds past and present. Work Vol. 1 is the label's first official compilation, collecting together previously released tracks and fresh material, and it makes a great introduction to the various heads-down dance heavens Body High calls home. Alternately tinted in shades of Bmore, vogue and acid, it has a bit of everything along the contemporary house spectrum, with tracks more towards the classic 80s/90s end… Read more
Important compendium of early works by London's unsung industrial pioneers, Bourbonese Qualk. In constant operation from 1979 - 2003 on the fringes of the breakcore/extreme electronics scene, this selection looks at a crucial phase in BQ's agitations, bang in the middle of the '80s, located in a South London squat/stronghold/studio amidst the The Miner's Strike, Falklands War, Thatcherism and Anarchism. They've always wilfully existed on the periphery, but haven't gone unnoticed, whether on their 1985 joint 'Pogrom' (included here) or their continued support for the a… Read more
Regarded as a hugely influential milestone of the electro-acoustic epoch, Bernard Parmegiani's breathtaking 'De Natura Sonorum' is thankfully reissued in its entirety for the first time on vinyl. It's a beguiling feat of spatially diffused concrète dynamics and precise electronic processing providing entry to an extraordinarily vivid and otherworldly soundsphere perfused with sheer, isolated tones, acousmatic alien scree and sudden percussion organised with an abstract yet palpable sense of dramatic narration and timing. These are rare and incredible sounds, plucked from nat… Read more
**Another remarkable reissue from the hallowed GRM (Groupe de Recherche Musciales) archive in Paris - home to some of the world's most fascinating, advanced electronic music research. The 2nd GRM Recollection was realised in 1974 and 1976 by Guy Reibel (1936, Strasbourg, France), the first assistant to Pierre Schaeffer during his electroacoustic composition courses at the Conservatoire de Paris and a member of GRM from 1963 to 1983. Strongly recommended!** "Franges du Signe (1974): Franges du Signe, the third part of an electroacoustic triptych completed in 1973… Read more
Recollections GRM present two major works by Croatian-born, Paris-based composer, Ivo Malec, on their crucial reissue series. Originally issued on INA-GREM in 1978, 'Triola' and 'Bizarra' are challenging works of electro-acoustic abstraction conducted by steady hand to articulate a steely, cold and individual vision of sonic possibility. As an early member of the Groupe de musique concrète since 1959 alongside Pierre Schaeffer, Malec also honed his technical skills at the research services of of the french national broadcasters, ORTF prior to realising these works. Co… Read more
Recollections GRM collect four pieces by one of the 20th century's most important avant-garde musicians and thinkers for one of their most anticipated editions: Iannis Xenakis' 'GRM Works 1957-1962'. Xennakis co-founded the GRM in 1958 (the same year he designed the Philips Pavilion for the Brussels World Fair) and created a peerless body of work uniting studies in mathematics, architecture, engineering and musical theory/composition, pushing the boundaries of new music in the post-war years and pioneering the use of computers in music. His four pieces here are genuinely remar… Read more
Another breathtaking Recollection GRM release: Francois Bayle's acousmatic masterpiece, 'L'Expérience Acoustique', presented in its entirety on vinyl for the first time. Realised between 1966-1972 using the best technology available at the time, this 2 hour opus "investigates the true nature of the listening process itself" according to the GRM's Christian Zanési & François Bonnet. It's an investigation of acoustic sound at its purest levels and borders on psychedelic in effect. Chopping material from the world around him, manipulating it and juxtaposing against other, unl… Read more
Editions Mego's unarchiving of the unparalleled INA GRM catalogue reaches a momentous double header by Bernard Parmegiani - one of the 20th century's most revered and important electro-acoustic composers. Born 1927, Parmegiani started as a sound engineer for French TV in the early '50s, establishing a connection between sound and vision which he would explore to the deepest degrees after joining Pierre Schaeffer's Groupe de recherches musicales in 1959 for a two year masterclass. With his first works composed in 1962 and released in 1969, he essentially headed up t… Read more
The vital Recollections GRM series yields some of its finest treasures yet from the Paris archive with three iconic, prototypical pieces of computer music by Jean Claude Risset. It's notable not least for the first vinyl pressing of the amazing electro-acoustic sonorities in 'Sud' (1985), but also two very early pieces recorded between 1968-69, marking some of the very first significant instances of computers used in the creation of sound itself, with 'Computer Suite From Little Boy' featuring sounds synthesised using the Music V program whilst working with Max Mathews at … Read more
'Presque Rien' or 'Almost Nothing' collects four magical electro-acoustic/field recording pieces by one of the GRM's famous founding fathers. Featuring four pieces recorded and released over a period of 31 years, these collected works offer a telescopic cross-section of Ferrari's far-reaching oeuvre, ranging from the subtly faithful, non-diegetic documentation of a Dalmation fishing village waking on 'Presque Rien nº1' (1967-70) to the altered reality of nocturnal field recordings meshed with ultra-fine electro-acoustic processing and his hushed commentary in the more dramatic compositi… Read more
Recollections GRM presents four "forgotten" and compelling electro-acoustic pieces from the institute's world famous archive. These are "early" works, created before 1976 by four composers who each went on to mark distinguished paths. Now, digitally transferred and cut to vinyl (at Berlin's D&M), these sounds are given a 2nd life, or even a first as some were previously unissued. Lovers of electronic music with a pioneering and uncompromising spirit will find much to engage with. "Dominique Guiot «L'oiseau de paradis» (1974) - The composition of this piece was inspired by the rules of cinemat… Read more
*Another indispensable glimpse into the GRM archive courtesy of the mighty Editions Mego* Editions Mego, in coordination with GRM's Christian Zanési & Francois Bonnet, present five relatively unknown pieces from the Parisian electro-acoustic music research institute's archives. At the risk of sounding lazy, we've always been afraid of the GRM catalogue; it's massive and frankly, we don't know much about it other than there's some really incredible, foundational sounds in there. So it's a blessing that these guys have undertaken the task to exhume the label's most unknown souls because let's f… Read more
Spellbinding 3rd survey of the lesser-known and previously unheard sections of Paris's hallowed GRM archive. All four pieces were created before 1980 and feature the work of composers from disparate, far-flung geographical and musical backgrounds finding common ground in the electro-acoustic sphere. For us the most striking piece is 'Moulin Diabolique' (1979) by Egeniusz Rudnik, an unsettling and urgent work cutting up and mutating military orders dictated in a number of different languages against gloomy, dynamic backdrop to echo and question the chaos and seemingly infinite presence of wa… Read more
**Upfront Exclusive** Wicked reassemblies of yung producer, Grovestreet, by M.E.S.H., Strict Face, Byrell The Great and Morcee & 199? for the burgeoning Tight Knit Records crew. Returning the favour from Grovestreet's 'Scythians' remix, M.E.S.H. rends 'Ground Zero' as bouncing para-techno bomb, metabolising ballroom, B-More and dub-tech inna gauntlet of gyroscopic b*tchslaps and nervy grooves. Struct Face heads way into weightless territory with his iced out mix of 'Altars', while Byrell The GReat makes a fierce introduction with a razor-sharp cut of 'Ground Z… Read more
Houndstooth collect Akkord's sickest EP to date, together with brand new remixes by Regis and Fis alongside grade A reworks by Vatican Shadow and The Haxan Cloak. In the original 'HTH020' Akkord ease off on the trickier elements in favour of focussing on sculpted, visceral sound designs done to powerful effect. The kerb-crawling half-tempo house pace and drizzly, sleazy atmosphere of 'Gravure' gives a brilliant opening for the collapsed 'ardcore structures of 'Continuum', splicing classic breaks and quasi-speed bass into a black void peopled by acephalic mentasms and iciest drones. By turns, 'Type… Read more
Jlin breaks thru the Chicago footwork ranks with one of the scene's most fascinating, essential mutations in 'Dark Energy', co-presented by Planet µ and Jamie Kuedo's very promising new Knives label. It's quite possibly the most distinctive contribution to footwork since the RP Boo album and Rashad's jungle splices, and, in such a fast-moving (quite literally) and active scene, that's gotta be saying something. Keener Chi watchers may have previously checked Jlin's standout 'Erotic Heat' and 'Asylum' joints on the Bangs & Works Vol.2 compilation but, since then, the Gary, Indiana-based producer… Read more
Killer 2nd batch of amorphous techno organisms from Xth Réflexion on the very watchable Aught label. Without resorting to kick drum assault or vicious noise, Xth Réflexion bypass current techno trends to investigate more fluid, minimalist modes in six parts owing as much to Basic Channel's beatless moments as T++'s steppers' techno dynamics, also finding certain points of compatibility with Vereker's Restraint output or Felix K at his bleakest. It's a striking sound; we urge adventurous techno types to check it out.
**Digital Edition includes a bonus 17 minute track** 'Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera' presents a radical mashup of works by two probing, multidisciplinary artists among the most vital of their generation. First realised as part of a two day performance at Tate Modern called 'Push and Pull', it offers a mutant configuration of Leckey's vocal track from 'GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction' (the eerie inner monologue of a Samsung fridge, as heard on the B-side of his 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' vinyl and viewable on youtube), scrambled, decomposed and modu… Read more
**Upfront Exclusive** 'Expressions' is the lush 2nd album from Edinburgh's Linkwood on Firecracker. It's the sort of album you can spend a whole evening, or equally a whole lifetime with, perfectly crafted and sequenced for immersed listening and also to be broken down into DJ components - of which there are some super strong moments in the hypnotic Detroit disco-tech of 'Object', the sophisticate house stride of 'Expressions', and a sublime dub chord lather in 'Love Lost' to close. From Firecracker's own malty sales notes: "Ah, yes! Finally some real flavours to sink our teeth into. The n… Read more
Body High expand their ace catalogue with a funked-up bag of booty crack from Todd Edwards. He's in killer form here, from the gospel-sampling, sub-heavy Ballroom styles of 'Shall Go' to the Soundhack-esque disco chops of 'The Stranger', mad, reggae-sampling carnival heat on 'This Generation' and more classic-sounding Jersey Garage on 'Hold The Faith' or 'Echo Of the Past'. TIP!
Body High's mane mayne, LA bod DJ Funeral steps rugged on his 2nd solo EP 'RIP Tribute'. Title track's a gothic bass percolator with natty MIDI melody; 'Last Breakfast' is like hypermodern aerobics for Michael Myers; 'Out There' slaps yer chops with junglist snares and whipped reggaeton claps on a bouncing bass; 'Just An Eskimo' takes Wiley to a Chicago trap sound. Wicked and bad.
The strangest and strongest album we've heard yet from avant-garde traveller, Felicia Atkinson. Arriving from Oregon, USA, via the French Alps base of Shelter Press - the publishing platform she runs with Bartolomé Sanson - it unfolds a highly visual sonic topography built upon collaged and randomly selected texts taken from her 2014 publication, 'Improvising Sculpture as Delayed Fictions', plus 'Rechereche de la Base et du Sommet' (René Char, 1955), and 'Madame Edwarda' (Georges Bataille, 1937). We're informed that the production is DIY, recorded with super basic software … Read more
Melancholic techno moods from James Kumo, who was last spotted on Dan Curtin's Metamorphic Recordings. 'Believe' appears in two mixes; a driving but atmospheric original, and subtly faded mix bringing the subs forward to warmer effect.
Label boss Lucy leads the fifth 12" in Stroboscopic Artefacts' five year anniversary sessions. His 'Rema Rema Canoero' is an extended, subtly proggy techno play, whereas Donato Dozzy gets downt o business with proper EBM techno thrills in 'OZ Taped' and the PvH/YdM axis of Sendai twists out the precise hydraulic swing and shuffle of 'Inverse Array'. Smart.
"Since the release of Solo Piano II, Chilly Gonzales composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re-Introduction Etudes, produced and released Octave Minds, the piano-meets-electronica album with Boys Noize and, most importantly, devoted himself to finding a modern take on chamber music. The result is "Chambers", an album for piano and string quartet (and a few surprises along the way). Inspired by the deepening relationship with Hamburg's Kaiser Quartett, the album re-imagines Romantic-era chamber music as today's addictive pop. Gestures from rap, ambient, easy listening and th… Read more