Thursday, 17 April
Tuesday, 15 April
This week we peer into the crenellated realms of contemporary computer music and digital extremes derived from digital-based techniques and processes. All the music in this selection was created more or less over the past decade - the earliest piece is taken from Florian Hecker's Prix Ars Electronica Award-winning 'Sun Pandämonium' (2003) - but we've particularly focussed on more recent, bleeding-edge iterations of the sound thru outstanding works by the likes of Lorenzo Senni, Gábor Lázár, EVOL, Opéra Mort, and Rene Hell, among others. Collected, they span a unique s… Read more
Monday, 14 April
Gritty swing-jack joints from one of the UK's dopest yung house producers, backed with two 'floor-scrambling Redshape remixes. Read's 'Shrubby' runs motor city bassline through a thicket of scratchy drums and slicing, Chez Damier/Maurizio chords to rugged effect, which Redshape duly reroutes with patented kick drum thump, haywire electronics and a surging, club-slaying synthline. On 'Zig Zag' Read locks down to a haughty, humping computer jack pattern with wickedly delirious finale, and Redshape takes it to a deeper, stranger, place with progressive builds. Tipped!
Blackest Ever Black continue a strong run of releases with with this cold-burning EP from Dalhous, bringing more of the same ramshackle yet profound electronica that made their debut album An Ambassador For Laing an interesting proposition. The title was a phrase coined by theorist of punishment Michel Foucault, and the dull horror of imprisonment and surveillance seeps slowly into the fabric of this release. But there's also a gothic triumph in its eroded and barnacled fragments, robust beats swept up in cinematic reverb and hymns to drowned sailors. The eerie, expl… Read more
Unknown Precept follow their industrial compilation 'The Black Ideal' with a noisy, clattering vinyl debut by Damaskin. Toiling scorched earth between AnD, Prostitutes and the Weevil series, four tracks rove from heads-down industrial churn to skippier, sub-heavy off-beats, wild-eyed experiments and grubby monotone slammers.
After a great series of vinyl issues, Desire collect the recent remixes of Ike Yard in this crucial digital package. With a span of some 30 years between the originals and the remixes, it's an interesting way to weigh up and study the influence of Ike Yard's radically stripped down post-punk/techno prototypes on the successive generation of electronic producers. It starts up with a remastered mix of Regis' desk-chopped version of 'Loss' - arguably the album's standout moment - and cycles thru some exceptional work from Powell and Tropic Of Cancer on sharply contrasting - and equally brilliant -… Read more
Exceptional, dazzling modular synth compositions from the boss of Chicago's underground incubator, Catholic Tapes for John Elliott's Spectrum Spools. A filigree mesh of field recordings and "ritual variations of a singular patch for Modular Synthesis", Naucke's 3rd solo LP since his 2010 debut for Arbor is a sophisticated and inquisitive thing of wonder, framing a macroscopic vision equally guided by academic, avant-garde intuition and painstaking studio process. Unlike so many modular pieces that feel as though we're simply being extruded thru a long wormhole, Brett's compositional strategy is… Read more
*Epic drone and industrial soundscapes from Eric Holm, new on Subtext, highly recommended to followers of Emptyset, Vainqueur and classic Chain Reaction* Subtext presents the debut album from the London based American electronic musician Eric Holm. The release brings together a collection of recordings produced on the arctic island of Andøya, an outpost 300 kilometers north of the arctic circle. Developed entirely from a single contact mic recording from a remote telegraph pole that connects the island's array of military listening stations, Holm crafts a detailed expansion of this solitary son… Read more
Eglo welcome Antipodean multi-instrumentalist / writer / painter Kirkis to the fold with a skewed debut of proggy electronic soul music. Both tracks are pre-cursors to what could be a very promising debut album 'Liverbleach', all bursting with colour, jagged groove meters and vocals that sound like "the spirit of Frank Zappa trapped in an answering machine." A-side is a reeling beam of future soul music laced with zig-zagging acid in balance with breezy vocal and seasick boogie groove. B-side, 'Oh Serene Zoltar' sounds like a repressed breakcore riddim to charming effect.
Vibe receptors at the ready: Drew Lustman aka Falty DL's Blueberry Records introduces Luke Vi..err, Luke Warm with a super charming debut of broken beats and deep house dopeness. Essentially it's a modern rare groove showcase, distilling the best from 30 years of urban dance research with X amounta soul swerve. 'Daydreamin'' starts up like 4Hero and Machiendrum doing breezy slow-fast bounce, and 'Brockley Spears' jumps to a classic hip-house coda with a Steinski-esque edit agenda and proper, up-to-date production chops. 'Instant Vibe' dips a bit deeper with infectious meld of Chicago st… Read more
Latest on Luke Younger's Alter label is a beguiling set of edited electronic improvisations by the wayward French duo, Jo Tanz and Laurent Gerard (Él-G) aka Opéra Mort. The follow-up to their last LP for the sadly defunct Parisian record shop Bimbo Tower, 'Dédales' arrives a few years after Él-G's 'Mil Pluton' LP, and the pair's brilliant 'Globe Et Dynastie' side (seriously, go check this!) with cult French outsider Ghédalia Tazartès in the Reines D'Angleterre trio. Those facts should all give you some indication of the abstract, nether territory this LP occupies. It's a result of true electro… Read more
Gunnar Haslam, Invisible Conga People, and Daniel Avery overhaul the jagged jakbeat 'How You Say' from Factory Floor's debut LP. L.I.E.S.-regular Haslam softens the edges and boosts the bass on a pumping, hypnotic reduction ready for open-minded 'floors, whereas IDIB/DFA dudes Invisible Conga People drag down the tempo to a waltzing chug inflected with fizzing electronics and lushest, BoC-like pads for a proper mogadon disco sound. However, we reckon it's Daniel Avery's dreamy, drugged-up tech-house version, finding the sweetest space between vaulted, Cocteau Twins-like atmospheres and Kompakt-style groove that's gonna see the most dancefloor action, and rightly so.
Now this is interesting - one of the most unusual projects to have emerged on Editions Mego for a while. Markus Schmickler is better known for his electronic output as Pluramon, while Julian Rohrhuber is a Professor of Music Informatics and Media Theory at the Robert-Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. Politken der Frequenz ('Politics of Frequency') draws on concepts from economics and advanced mathematics, including the work of contemporary philosopher Alain Badiou, for a literal sonification of cutting-edge theory and the abstractions of the modern world… Read more
Ital Tek liquifies the bind between Footwork and IDM/electronica in the super-structured 'Mega City Industry'. The Brighton-based producer continues to build on the theme of his 'Hyper Real' and 'Control' EPs for Civil Music and Planet Mu with an elastic muscularity and dramatic appeal over these four glistening new cuts. The title tune renders a brutalist arrangement of face-melting synthline rushes meshed to teetering, filigree slow-fast programming like some futurist Michael Mann soundtrack, and 'Shinra' heads far east in a spiralling vortex of hyper arpeggios punctuated by heavy s… Read more
Ralph Cumbers' Bass Clef debuts on PAN with four pieces of fluent modular acid. The most substantial dancefloor drop on a tour of duty which has seen him release on Public Information, Punch Drunk, Alter, and Mordant Music (as Some Truths) in the past 6 months or so, his 'Raven Yr Own Worl' EP carves a dead English dance sound from his favoured Bug Brand modular system, made by Tom Bug of Bristol. For want of a more concise phrase, it's a Radiophonic Dub Rave style, coming off like the eager offspring of Luke Vibert and Graham Massey after a night on Cornish acid. A-side fires up the … Read more
Hot on the heels of that ace John Lacey/COUM Transmissions release, Andrew Hargreaves returns to his Other Ideas label for a bleak, No(rthern) Industrial battery under his Beppu alias. Beppu releases in the past have been largely confined to limited CD runs that have mostly all sold out on the day of release - but this edition is the first in a proposed trilogy of albums, and the first material Hargreaves has released on vinyl under this alias. 'Coercion' was conceived whilst reading Stanley Milgram's 'Obedience To Authority' tome, and consequently closely mirrors the book's themes of claustrophob… Read more
Klara Lewis debuts on Editions Mego with the electronically animated sound organisms of 'Ett'. Sampling from a palette of modified and reconstituted field recordings, Klara's debut compositions yield ten terrarium-like sonic ecologies rich in organic texture and detail enlivened by bristling electronics and insectoid rhythms. They're strange, self-contained units amounting to a complex, beguiling lattice of unique timbres, atmospheric space and coarse yet fluidly woven texturhythms, all infused with a subtle sort of ambient (de)compositional sorcery. At its best in the wormy, humus dub 12 minute … Read more
Tightly-coiled minimal techno from Italy's Dario Tronchin aka Chevel on return to Stroboscopic Artefacts after many missions for his own Enclav label. As with the best SA releases, the five tracks of 'One Month Off' are built with a fine balance of experimentation and dancefloor suss. A-side he does this best with the chiselled but elastic swingjack of 'One Month Off' and the Itinerant Dubs-style sprung buck of 'The Wall'. B-side deals in more experimental grooves with the bare bones jack and bristling electronic textures of 'Cave Dwellings', a Lakker-like breakbeat techno number named 'Mark… Read more
"Donky Pitch deliver the debut album from Lockah. 'Yahoo or the Highway' packs 13 tracks into it's 45 minute running time with Lockah's sense of synth driven melody and pop tendencies being weaved into a rich mix of influences, from italo disco to electro, rave to r&b all whilst remaining resoundingly original and unconventional..."
"The fifth release on disko404 Records is by IZC, an artist who has been active for almost two decades in the local scene of Vienna, Austria. In 2008, he finally started Dubsquare Records together with media artist Boris Kopeinig. For "Zig-Zag", IZC brings together the sounds of dark UK Funky/Grime and Detroit House. A stripped-down hardware setup in combination with a restriction to a basic stereo-track recording technique results in four raw and direct dance tracks with an unmatched live-feeling to them. While the opening tune, "Zig-Zag", starts out as a straight 4/4 beat, its rhythm is soon twist… Read more
**Sorely overlooked NDW gem from 1982** "Medical Records presents a reissue of one of Germany’s most interesting records. The German duo Aloa only made one album in 1982 but it is one of the most peculiar and innovative records of the Neue Deutsche Welle movement. Long out of print, somewhat obscure, and very expensive, this record is due for an official reissue. The duo consisting of Al Kanz and Matthias Brendel both grew up in Kassel, Germany. Though both had different tastes of music, they fused influences and injected them into their own unique blend when they purchased Roland 606 and 808 drum mach… Read more
"Imagine Kraftwerk playing Steven Merritt songs. Medical Records presents Roladex, its first contemporary artist based in the US. Roladex nostalgically borrows from music of the past to carefully craft unique futuristic-mechanized pop, with an emphasis on songwriting and layered production. Waeaving sparse, sequenced arpeggios into fuzzy bass and bubbly melodies creating a canvas of sound where they paint a somehow bright melancholia. Part minimal synth-wave, part dream-pop Roladex fits nicely with other non-traditional pop acts such as Ariel Pink as well as Synth contemporaries… Read more
Blue Hour improves on his debut with three tracks of raw, emotive techno. 'Axis Motive' rides chunky tom/kick patterns into through a fog of dark, mystic trance-techno chords; 'Front' dries out on a claps-driven bumpty Chicago techno groove; 'Reef II' wraps up with an hypnotic 6am techno tool.
Cold, hardware-driven Russian techno from Sanys, backed with Eomac's splintered jungle-tekno remix. The sixth release on Downfall Theory is defined by Sanys darkest atmospheres and industrialised rhythms, coolly taking in the swinging momentum of 'Dominance' alongside the reduced acid techno throbs of 'My Concern', and the radioactive pumper 'Told You So'. Eomac promptly switches tack with his remix of the latter, deviating into broken techno rhythms with rusty, unstable textures and gloomy ambience.
Horny Cologne house and techno from Terranova on Kompakt. On 'Headache' they do that kinky dark disco thing for the big rooms with juicy b-line and sultry, building vocal by Cath Coffey. 'Headlock' is a ruder reduction riding the b-line with dubbed out vocal and invisible bitch-slap synth for the darkrooms, beside the chugging electro haughtiness of 'Tourette'.
Swinging, driving disco/house kinks from DJ Kaos and friends. Dr Dunk opens with a writhing, tribalised remix of 'Horny Morning Loop' saving a celestial synth flourish until crucial moment; Softwar spurts the fruity deep house chords of 'Afterhours'; Split Secs lock down to some chugging New York house fun; Jacques Renault gives a tweaky budge to the hypnotic synthlines of 'Red Axes'.
Bureau B dig deep into their vaults and reach for the good stuff- delivering another essential curio, this time from Germany circa 1981 and Die Partei's largely forgotten "La Freiheit Des Geistes". It's an offbeat slab of proto-industrial edging into electro-pop, the kind of tackle that's an absolute must for those of you into Der Plan. Another essential missive from one of the finest archival labels out there - required listening for those of you in need of further education.
**Full three-track EP** Another superb, wide-scoped dancefloor session from the inimitable Djrum. Fifteen minute epic 'The Miracle' works in two sections: First part is a breezy, swinging garage groove riding wide, skanking subs and bustling but spacious drums against his signature backdrop of cinematic, widescreen pads, exotic vocals infusions and nagging dancefloor hooks. In the 2nd part he slows his roll to a mellow sway urged by insistent subbass and dubble-timed drums bookended with dream sequence chords, field recordings and snatches of film dialogue adding up to a haunting atmosphere… Read more