Friday, 19 December
Shackleton triggers another tribalist chain reaction with 'Deliverance Series No. 2'. Shack presents two extended trips subtly refining his craft to a fluid, rhythmelodic flux sparking with vital, hypnotic energy. The eleven minute 'Dominion Rings' coolly charges up percolating drums and fizzing synth dynamics to a signature lather of lilting groove and keening pads linked with a lattice of dub-fried electronics to a staggered polymetric finale. 'Cast The Die' deals in a more worldly fusion of Eastern-gazing chant, Raga-like motifs and natty percussive patter with a queered eldritch quality that's Shackleton to the core.
Tuesday, 16 December
We've saved the dark 'n heavy stuff for dessert in this 4th part of our 2014 round-up. It's been a golden year for mongrel mutations in electronic music, especially where the boundaries of black metal, techno, computer noise and dark ambient styles were concerned. Ostensibly uneasy bedfellows, they all seemed to feed off each other in a fascinating dialogue proving that they're not mutually exclusive elements. Marcus Schmickler & Julian Rohrhuber's 'Politiken der Frequenz' yielded a number of incredible pieces inspired by number theory and economics, with t… Read more
One of 2014's most virulent labels, 1080p, give Moon B some room to stretch out with the fug-house styles of 'Lifeworld'. Dense with crushed samples lopped from boogie, new age and electro-soul tapes and wax, it's a well stoned mooch around Moon B's ferric headspace, previously glimpsed in his productions for PPU and Going Good. The closest comparison would be DJ Screw mixtapes and Delroy Edwards' 'Slowed Down Funk' sessions, but there's also something more esoteric, dreamy about B's vibe and selection that should be taken with caution if you're listening while driving, y'know? Otherwise, "stuff a stocking wid it!"
Monday, 15 December
**Triple LP includes download code** David Moufang aka Move D reprises his celebrated Reagenz duo with Jonah Sharp aka Space Time Continuum for The Bunker New York, five years since their Workshop album and two decades on from their seminal, eponymous debut LP on Source. A live recording conflation of correlating ideas from jazz, house, and ambient electronica, 'The Periodic Table' plays-through six extended meditations effortlessly, imperceptibly segueing between effervescent machine rhythms, dub house momentum and fractured jazz abstraction over the course of … Read more
Kevin Martin and Earth's Dylan Carlson summon the apocalypse in this crushing addendum to 'Angels & Devils'. Devoid of vocals, on both sides the battle-scarred titans bunker down to a fusion of teeth rattling trap and dub rhythms with strung-out, world weary guitars as stripped back and glaring as anything from the album. A-side 'Boa' frames Carlson's contemplative electric guitar strokes inna pregnant, widescreen scene of windswept ambience and keening metallic timbre before delivering worm-charming bass shocks and shuddering trap drums; B-side plays even icier with etheric SAW II-sty… Read more
Klara Lewis follows her acclaimed 'Ett' album debut for Editions Mego with four ghostly industrial inversions for Peder Mannerfelt's personal imprint. The 'Msuic' EP investigates greyscale, internalised worlds of malcontented timbre and intangible textures, drawing out darkly romantic spirits from a mesh of field recordings and electronics that resemble something like a chimeric hybrid of Micachu's mottled sculptures and the tactile spectres of Peder Mannerfelt's own electro-acoustic machine wranglings.
**Lossless format for this release is 24 bit audi0. Ace, drum machine and guitar-driven post-punk produced by Moon Wheel** "Lean times trio Ill Winds play a starved, sunken, and stained vein of bleached grey rock, as much post-life as post-punk. Formed in Berlin in 2011 by Australian ex-pats Jack Dibben (guitars, voice) and JFW (bass), they soon added scrying Dutchman Marijn Degenaar (synth), infusing their chemistry with a damp, psychotropic paranoia. When decision was finally made last year to track a full-length, the Winds set up camp at a historic squat-turned-project-housing space in Be… Read more
One of 2014's sickest 12" gets a makeover from Grovestreet, Lotic, Logos and DJ J Heat on PAN's first digi-only release. We've become so familiar with the original cut that it's great to hear some new perspectives on its accelerated vision. M.E.S.H.'s Janus pal, Lotic diffuses the elements in a dazzling display of polymetric acrobatics and complex, sweeping synth shapes; Logos sublimates its structures into widescreen weightless gases and noirish strings with serious late night, gazing-from-the-30th storey appeal. We're also introduced to a pair of relative unknowns: Grovestreet impres… Read more
"Blending the words and wisdom of visual artist David Shrigley with the whipsmart musicianship of songwriter and Arab Strap co-founder Malcolm Middleton, the pair’s absurd wit and stark delivery is perfectly captured on 'Music And Words' - a special collaboration album that started out wrong but ended up just right. “I misinterpreted the meaning of David’s words so created a certain style of music to accompany the wrong themes,” admits Middleton of the album’s non-existent narrative. “I took one song 'Sunday Morning' to be a scathing attack on the pomp and arroga… Read more
Most mellifluous garage styles from Huddersfield's finest, starting up the the White Label Series on his own Q Recordings. The original plays cooler with delicious pop/street-soul vocal, sparkling keys and laidback swing; the 2-step remix gives more prominence to the vocal around thee most infectious syncopation.
Gang of Ducks flash the winsome pop chops of DYD's Vaghe Stelle-produced 'GOD' EP from the frontline of the new Italian weird scene. In the Turin-based label's chronically cryptic style, the DYD trio and Vaghe Stelle bring the best out of each other, Stelle tempering his noisier proclivities in order to let the group's aching bleats and wiry funk out from the autotuned slink of 'Archistar' thru the stepping electro-pop-dub, '#Magic' to the whirring aerosoul bounce of 'Y Factor' and soaring, near beatless Vocal Tool Edit of 'Archistar'.
Rugged, London-style house ravers in four parts. We'd advise drawing for the twisted modern electro-house funk of 'Tempest' and the infectious, darkside swing of 'Granulate' for the shape-cutters.
Ballroom meets techno in Imaabs' banging debut for Trax Couture. Highlights for us are the dry, kicking club constrcution, 'That joint' with its metallic delays, sparse groove and sweetened drops, or the scuffed swing and parry of 'White Noise'.
Darker disco-techno for strobe-lit big rooms. Agoria at the controls for the bleeping, arpeggiated builder, 'Hélice' and the low slung swing of 'Make It Real', which is given a deft, sub-heavy remix boost by ESS.
Includes remixes from Peaking Lights, Grumbling Fur, Carter Tutti, Invisible Conga People and The Other Two, aka Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order.
*New on Pomelo, featuring remixes from DJ Stingray and Egyptian Lover!* "Delightfully nasty debut solo release from Anet K, a long-term resident of Berlin who has contributed vocals to several recent releases, including Barker's "Like An Animal" on Leisure System. For the remixes, DJ Stingray rebuilds the vocals with an aggressive slant, while the legendary Egyptian Lover raps some addictive verses and completely revamps the arrangement..."
Laidback beats 'n breaks from Coco Bryce on Myor. 'Cold As Ice' comes to warm up the winter months with four joints juggling drum machine patter and wavey synthlines in 'Love Fool' and some kinda South East Asian drums broken, Madlib-style, into the strange funk of 'Voodoo'. Bigger still, the snake-hipped 'Selesha' touches on Ethiopiques jazz modes inna rugged style, and 'Always By My Side' jams on with some crafty piano house hooks witha broken beat pivot.
Mo' bass 'n bleeps from SE27, courtesy of Don Froth and WNCL. 'The Acid House Handshake' is a bit of a misleading title: the vibes are certainly more 'ardcore rather than jackin' but there's no point in quibbling over semantics, better to get down with the skanking breakbeat cut-up of 'Cosmo', the potty mouthed bogle and bounce of 'Dip Dive', or the Shake-like breakbeat escapades of 'Body X JD' and the cartoonish rudeboy stance of 'Tools' for the party.
Roiling UK techno pressure from Makaton for Gent's Token stronghold. The 1st Makaton 12" in 5 years was worth the wait, breaching the 'floor with craftily spaced and rolling EBM drums and lip-biting string discord in 'Lead You Astray', galloping techno proper in the dynamic sound design of 'Night #1' or 'Spit To Lubricate', and an incisive balance of skipping rhythms and pensive drones in 'Dstabilise'.
Wolfgang & Reinhard get familial with their follow-up to 2013's 'Erdingertrax' series . A-side, 'Superpitch' treads that fine line between rave frivolity and mannered jack with see-sawing sinewave underpinned by hungry rave bass, before spilling over into the B-side's psychedelic 'Supertrip' extension. We'd advise getting two copies and knitting them together for super results.
Meakusma coax out a dead druggy Porter Ricks remix - their first in 12 years! - on this dubbed out session from Japan's Ryo Murakami. The originals stir up a sub-aquatic roil of elliptical bass hits swarmed with silty electronics and driven into darkest dub crevasses filled with strange voices. The remix from Thomas Köner and Andy Mellwig's Porter Ricks is a masterclass of intangible sound design, rending 'Statical' to the peripheries with fizzing electronics and weighted with an unhurried sub-bass that unfolds below fathoms of heady swirl to a glorious conclusion.
Matthew Herbert's cut-and-run dancefloor series reaches number 8 with four servings of louche, soulful house in his inimitable style. At its sweetest, the crooke soul of 'The Wrong Place' gets it right with woozy vocals by Hejira's Rahel and the laidback, string-heavy shuffler, 'Remember Ken' with Ade Omotayo, who has worked with Amy Winehouse and Kindness. For something a grittier, get on the twanging, motorik techno-stepper 'Ticket', or the Durian Brothers-esque Afro-centric wiggle and dreamy thumb piano bleeps of 'Her Face'.
Strickly deeper bangers from Palace on Hot Haus Recs. A-side is a big winner called 'Vision' wurkin' with slamming kicks, skippy hats and blue, dubbed-out techno chords for peak time drive. B-side deals in more sensuous, scuffed garage with the plonging square bass shift of 'Solstice' and the light-footed, bubble-headed shimmy of 'Element'.
Klasse Recordings boss Luca Lozano follows his Optimo Trax session with a trio of rugged early techno-house emulations backed with divine DJ Fett Burger remix. There's a certain turn-of-the'90s vibe to Luca's originals, from the pumping Dance Mania flava and gritty drums of 'Mister Right Now', thru the sub-loaded and killer early hardcore/Belgian rave vibes of 'Come With Me', to the whirring, jacking R&S psychedelia of 'The Afterworld'. DJ Fett Burger's Orgonitt Meme Deep mix is icing on the cake, taking the vibe of 'The Afterworld' to New York City circa 1991 with big ol' Nu Groove-style B-line and drusm wrapped up with mad samples chatter and lush chords. TIPPED!