Tuesday, 25 November
We kick off our 2014 survey with 14 crucial mutations that twyst the lines of grime, trance and footwork to nexx level results. Lars T C F Holdhus proved to be one of this year's most exciting, intriguing artists, and fronts this selection with the cryptography-inspired, gyroscopic post-hardstyle sweep of '54 C6 ...' beside DJ B.Boy's slo-mo bullet from Lisbon, 'Moh Cota' and a couple of other Latinate zingers from the brilliant NMO and Arca. Lorenzo Senni also made our year with his stunning 'Superimpositions' LP, from which we've included 'PointillisticT',… Read more
Monday, 24 November
**Plush neo-classical/electro-acoustic soundtrack by Emptyset's James Ginzburg and fellow sound artist, Yair Elazar Glotman for Ginzburg's A/V collaboration with French artist, Joanie Lemercier. Includes versions by Glotman and Eric Holm** "Starting with actual footage of forests, cathedrals, deserts, and even volcanoes from around the world, Lemercier and Ginzburg then used 3D modeling and 2D photoscan imaging to alter and enhance the images, rendering them suitable for projection on a domed surface. The result is a dream-like combination of pointillism, photography, a… Read more
Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL returns armed with a new 8-track mini album. From the moody chug of ‘Greater Antilles VIP’ - appearing in its original unedited glory - to Lustman’s own bruk beatdown version ‘Do Me’ (“This one is for the kids” he says), the palette here is as rich and diverse as on ‘In The Wild’. The reworks come direct from Lustman’s extended musical family - Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas (aka μ-Ziq), Blueberry Records’ very own Brrd and the mighty E+E.
"Medical Records present the first official reintroduction and reissue of the iconic IKO “83” LP. This coveted album by minimal synth aficionados around the globe has been out of print and very rare since it’s original release in 1982. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, IKO has always been shrouded in mystery. All 3 members come from an academic background (electroacoustic composition, etc), and they met at the University of Montreal in the music department. Taking from their collective influences of 60’s pop, prog and minimalist composers as well as early industrial, they played in a few early bands b… Read more
*Comes bundled with a killer Certified Connections mix from DJ Parris* Killer skool of 2014 survey from Dusk & Blackdown's Keysound Recordings. 14 heavyweights in the dance touching on all manner of new sounds from the weightless iMax flex of Logos' 'Metropolis' to the juicy tropical synthuality of Murlo and E.M.M.A or the gutted grime mutations of Wen and Parris. It also introduces a stack of new names to the label with bullets like Caski's dark garage grine 'Tunnel Music', Aphix's icy 'Sin King' and the nice/nasty grime shades of DLVRY's 'Guilt' or t… Read more
Tempa goes Bristolian with two lean and slinky riddims from Hodge & Facta. Both arrive at this 12" off the back of their strongest work, Hodge with the 'Mind Games' for Hotline and 'Amor Fati' for Dnuos Ytivil, and Facta on the 'Loveless' 12" for Idle Hands. Here, with 'Spheres Of Costa' they find a super-cooled balance of noirish chimes and humid, playfully tropical percussion for the early swingers, whereas 'Visions' is blatantly dark and moody, all Brizzle bass shifts and spiny drums worked for the 130bpm crew.
Berlin's Positive Centre pays up on the slow techno promise of his early 12"s with this focused and powerful debut album for Sigha's label. On paper/screen it works to a seductive concept - decelerating industrial techno back to its temporal roots in EBM and New Beat - that proves itself in physical reality with a "blend of extreme momentum and forced introspection." Never raising its head above 115bpm, he divides a palette of squashed kicks, wide bass and polluted atmospheres across ten tracks, each as bleak and unrelenting as the next but also peppered with moments of pellucid… Read more
Ruggedly Afro-centric grooves rolled out of Düsseldorf's Salon Des Amateurs by The Durian Brothers - Stefan Schwander, Florian Meyer, Marc Matter - for Kontra-Musik. A process based ensemble centred around prepared turntables + effects plus sequencer, the stanky monikered trio deal in a rough-edged, hypnotic style squared up for the club. The tracks on 'Das Macht Modern' are divided roughly between stripped down, lolling rhythmelodies across the front, at best in the metallic stepper 'Secession', whilst the flipside offers slightly plusher arrangements in the To Rococo Rot-g… Read more
Portland, Oregon's BAT notches up his 2nd vinyl release with the murky post techno of his 'Neon Razor Chain' for Left_Blank. For the past few years he's become a bit of a cult concern in the hardware-fetishising tape scene and beyond, drawing favourable comparisons with everyone from Basic House to Prostitutes, Vessel and Container. Revving up the buzzsaw grine and haunted space of title track 'Neon Razor Chain', he gets grittier with the blown-out, tetchy techno charge of 'Strobic' in the front, before inverting the formula to crushed dub styles with 'Jackal Code' and more wayward, plonging ambient dub in 'Digi Hex' and 'Anti Code'.
The Mods are back, this time on Geoff Barrow's Invada label with the brooding 'Tiswas EP'. Naming their latest record after a '70s kids TV show, the duo are sorta showing their age here, but thanks to Jason's hungry delivery and Andrew's ascetic production they safely swerve any accusations of retrogression to continue forging a unique mix of punk rock spittle and hip hop swagger. This reviewer wasn't even born when Tiswas was on the telly, but I can definitely recognise their distaste for the stagnant, immovable English establishment of their generation, from the ongoing series of disgr… Read more
Still Music's Jerome Derradji and Kevin Starke ov Kstarke Records present a unparalleled haul of hitherto hidden Chicago house weapons in 'The House That Jackmaster Hater Built'. Mixing previously unreleased diamonds that used to be traded on tape between the likes of Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles, along with some of Starke's own Jackmaster Hater edits and productions, plus loads more, you kinda get the sense you should be pinching yourself when listening to joints like the demented Ron Hardy edit of 'Happiness' or the freakishly ra… Read more
Astral Black bossman Jon Phonics drops three cuts of dreamy new soul thump and psychedelia on Alex Nut's Hotep Records. The big one is 'Elevations', setting Yasine's belting vocal somewhere in the ether with swurling cosmic synths over a staggered soul swagger rhythm. Next to this, 'Naim' is a miore chaotic, frayed instrumental working with spannered claps and zig-zagging synth like some deep fried Om Unit joint, whilst the miniature 'Bazooka' blasts out between Sun Ra and Ras G.
Daniel Ansorge aka Barnt backs up a deeply unique swathe of singles with his debut album, 'Magazine 13' for the eponymous label he started with fellow Köln types, Crato and Jens-Uwe Beyer. Since 2010 he's released a steady stream of records which brought back a sense of kosmiche wonder and electronic enigma that was arguably lacking in German house and techno sounds. And most crucially, he did it without sacrificing the fundamentals of big bad kicks and minimal percussion, resulting absolute bewts such as 'All Worlds All Times' and more recently with the staggering chops of 'Chappell' for Joy … Read more
Steffi serves a sophisticated sophomore LP for OstGut Ton with 'Power Of Anonymity'. Deeply indebted to classic Detroit house and techno, it plays out ten tracks of romantic machine soul driven by elegant grooves and alleviated by expansive atmospheres - exactly the kinda thing you'd expect to hear her spin at her Panorama Bar residency. It's a real mood setter, keeping the lights dimmed but reassuringly glowing throughout, from the E.R.P.-style electro hush of opener 'Pip' and the astral-bound techno of 'Everyday Objects' thru the Share Vari-referencing funk of highlight 'Treasure See… Read more
Maoupa Mazzocchetti debuts with the sleazy darkwave allure of 'A-Tranquility' for Unknown Precept, who previously delivered 'The Black Ideal' compilation of noise/techno hybrids. This 12" sees them head down a narcotically sexy avenue of modern hypnobeat, working with a salty, writhing aesthetic highly comparable with your JTC, Traxx or Beau Wanzer bits. A-side delivers three cuts stretched between Carpenter-esque chimes a bubbling jakbeat with lashings of spring reverb and ghoulish chord progressions and B-side comes with the hench industrial swagger of the Skinny Puppy-esque 'Coexistence' and the killer EBM churn of 'Vernacular'. Strong twelve this.
Gorgeous debut album of new age/grime fusion from Local Action's newest avatar, Yamaneko. Sublimating the structures of OG grime with the diaphanous tones of meditational aid cassettes, Yamaneko's 'Pixel Wave Embrace' reads like a strange wet dream on screen, and the results actually aren't too far off. Whilst the likes of Visionist, Moleskin, Fatima Al Qadiri and Slackk have all emphasised grime's melodic, ethereal side, Yamaneko takes that aesthetic one step further east to a synaesthetic xen space full of fragrant, reflective chimes and harmonics. It's most explicit in the title a… Read more
Marc Richter is a bit of a musical chameleon, operating at the cusp of experimental music for many years at the helm of the Dekorder label and via his excellent Black To Comm project. His last album for the Type label, 2009’s excellent 'Alphabet 1968’ perhaps didn't quite get the attention it undoubtedly deserved, but it still stands out as one of the most oddly memorable drone-ambient albums we’ve heard this last decade, vaguely tapping into the Hauntological zeitgeist of the day but extending the remit to create something far more unsettling and ambitious. That it was subsequently … Read more
Straight-up techno murder from Sleeparchive and Mike Parker for Repitch. Sleeparchive's in deadly form with the slamming Brummie momentum of 'Fifth The Station' and the spaced-out bleeps of 'White Angel Breadline' intersected by two beastly locked grooves. Mike Parker takes control on the other side with the signature lizard-tongue synth lashes and caving kicks of 'Flying Nerves' plus the aquatic flux of 'Lustrum'.
"Ubre Blanca return with their second release for Clan Destine after the amazing Polygon Mountain EP. Continuing with their obsessions of 70's and 80's horror and B movie soundtracks, synth sounds and live drums, Joel Stone (ex Shitdisco) and Andy Brown (ex Divorce, Remember! Remember!) bring deliver a more evolved sound featuring a heady mix of full-on synth and drums, mixed with some more atmospheric pieces bringing to mind old cinematic masterpieces like Cannibal Holocaust mixed with Miami Vice. Worth mentioning also is the striking cover art, hand painted in oils by Joel."
"The Ministry Of Wolves are Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten / Crime & The City Solution), Mick Harvey (co- founder of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Danielle de Picciotto (Crime & The City Solution) and Paul Wallfisch (Botanica / musical director at the Theater Dortmund). ‘Music From Republik der Wölfe’ and ‘Happily Ever After’ are based on the writings of the Brothers Grimm, in particular Anne Sexton’s ‘Transformations’ (1971), the Pulitzer Prize winning poet’s reworking of the Grimm’s fairy tales. In the hands of The Ministry Of Wolves, these morality tales and warnings are as dark as you remember them from childhood"
"Flower & Water began with an offer to work with the first Dragon’s Eye release – a flexi-disc with a recording of George Winston playing a blues piano composition called “Medley: Bread Baker’s Stomp” – as source material. Since I am not a true remixer, I decided to modify the track via physical manipulation. Most of the material began with cutting up some of the flexi’s and taping back together in ‘wrong’ ways. I then played (or tried to play) the broken records that had been taped back together, and also putting objects onto the surface of the record while being played with a cheap re… Read more
"'My Ghost Comes Back' sees the return of Tujiko Noriko after a hiatus exploring worlds beyond those we regularly inhabit. The results of these travels provided the formula for this, her most accomplished record to date. As rich in ambition as it is skewered in it's melodic stance, the album is a decidedly more acoustic affair in which a host of guest musicians incorporate mandolin, viola, musical saw, optigon and other such wares into the exotic environment where her unique songwriting now resides. Furthering an exploration of unorthodox arrangements, rhythm and melody Noriko … Read more
Appleblim and Second Storey go toe-2-toe as ALSO with their first session for R&S. Arriving four years after their 'Lipsmacker' 12" for Aus Music, this time they're darker, crunchier, and moodier, with three cuts taking in the tetchy, hay-wired electro of 'Sids Conundrum' next to the cyber dread swing of 'Ashford Swaithes', and chromed-out breakbeat twists in 'Dive Prophets'.
Rugged, acidic electro-techno from UK veteran Milo Smee in a Bintus mood. Following up his 2013 album with four radgey tracks bowling between the sub-swung tribal industrial winner 'Reflections On Brown' to the sequencer escapades of 'Lightnin'' and on thru tired Landstrumm raver styles in 'Warwick Castle Meltdown', or breakbeat-spiked New Beat grind reminding of auld Caustic Window trax on 'Looking In Your Fridge'.