Tuesday, 29 July
14 crucial cuts of that sound with no name, herein referred to as Hardwave. Bookended by two fierce pieces from Diagonal boss Powell and the Bronze Teeth duo, Dom Butler (Factory Floor) and Richard Smith (L/F/D/M), this collection stalks ground between red-lit basement and toxic warehouse sounds. There's sleazy slow EBM from Colombia's Cute Heels and Oliver Ho in Broken English Club guise, plus the peakin' NRG razz of An-i's 'Kino-i' and Traxx's ragged edit of an old Italian wave beauty to fire you up. We then track Powell's influence on Demdike Stare in the robotic 'ardstep… Read more
Monday, 28 July
**Super slick, synth-heavy and seductive soul-funk from Nigeria 1978** "Originally recorded for the EMI Nigeria label and produced by legendary producer Odion Iruoje 'Keyboard' was a one-off studio project formed by Brodricks Majuwa and Isaac Digha from circa 1978. These two session men were often used at the EMI studio and played in multiple recordings that Iruoje produced throughout the era. This extremely scarce and obscure record features amongst others Ignace de Souza of the Black Santiagos from the city of Cotonou, Benin and Jonni Wood from the band SJOB movement. Lilting, laid-back, s… Read more
'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
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
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
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
Tlaotlon gives 1080p their most frayed, cheeky release to date with 'Ektomists'. Hewing to a crooked axis of air-tumbling house drums and buoyant bass, Tlaotlon sparks off all manner of corkscrewing pings, synth stabs and scrambled electronics in a psychoactive manner belying his participation with wayward acts such as Finnish psych troupe, Kemialliset Ystävät. The results range from psilocybic sequencer arrangements like the Larry Heard-meets-Fonal styles of 'Spetra' thru the 4th world jack of 'Novodene' to the skudged, noisy disarray of 'Juicerays', and unstable house in 'Fuji VI', all keenly recommended if you like FAY, Ital, Jamal Moss, Noleian Reusse…
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
Delectable deep house, Berlin style, from Workshop founder and caretaker, Jens Kuhn aka Lowtec. One year on from the squashed functions of his 'Port Carbon' 2LP, he's operating at infectiously dope levels on three tracks taking in the two-part, ten minute swagger of 'A1' - switching from sub-swung beatdown to something like BoC's 'Twoism' - on thru the gently levitating waltz house and occidental cuteness of 'B1', to the slompy wooden knock and drowsy Berlin 'tronics of 'B2'. Witness a master at work.
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
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.
**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
Outta nowhere, Downwards present Autumns' fully formed debut record of ghoulish, drowned lo-fi productions. Described as "Jesus and Mary Chain meets Joe Meek and Ride head on" it perfectly captures that sensation of hearing a band playing from two rooms away whilst locked in paralysis brought on by quaaludes. We're sure you know the feeling. There are six tracks, each placing a noisy barrier of indeterminable distance between the charmingly rudimentary songs and the listener, at best in 'Tired Eyes' with its machine gun drums swirling against salty but sweet jangles and drugged vocals, or the dancefloor-ready sway and alluringly emaciated synths of 'Gerascophobia'.
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.
Simple/Aus Records boss meets longtime collaborator Tam Cooper on two dubbed and gritty tech-house groovers. 'Pedal Power' plays dry and rugged with plonging acid bass and skittish drums before a widescreen atmospheric breakdown, and 'Valhalla' aims higher with swinging jackers tackle rent skyward with massive reverbs and woolly ambient motifs.
**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
Shifted bosses it up on three crafty, Birmingham-style techno tools plus an industrial intermission. 'Sickness By Means Of Clairvoyance' is the follow-up to his 'Crossed Paths' album, following that trajectory into the walloping, corrugated gallop of 'Chapter' and the MB-like offcut 'Feeding'. Flipside the Brum accent is more pronounced in the Regis-style foundry work of 'Aun Weor' and with the oxidised textures and throbbing force of 'Unveiled'.
Classic Derrick May rarities, now available to download. Taut, minimalist, moody Detroit techno funk from 1989…
James Harmon Stack finally delivers a debut album of Baltimore, House, Grime and R&B hybrids for Innovative Leisure.
Shapeshifting, footworking techno/bass prisms and ADD editing from Russia's Pixelord, backed with Curl Up, Druid Cloak and Thomas White remixes. 'Polygone Fane' is a kinetic colourburst of ideas twining garage techno helixes in 'Oasis' alongside the staggered Detroit-style hi-tech jazz of 'DSL Dream Corp', the chromatic waltz of 'Tumblr Girl' and lushest boogie footwork romance on the title track.
By jove he's back - Chilean producer Visonia melts our hearts again with his 2nd EP and follow-up to the Dopplereffekt-starring 'Die Reisen' anthem. Again it's an unmissable example of trancing retro-futurist synth music nodding to classic Italo, Techno and Electro with meticulous production values and undeniable effect. 'Journey To Humility' kicks off with a proper techno symphony melding epic synth arrangement to slick Italo-techno bassline, before 'Deception' rolls out an NRG electro anthem sounding like the bastard offspring of I-F and Ultradyne. 'Fake Smiles' is more desolate, g… Read more
*Includes bonus track 'Segelboot'* Taron-Trekka follow 'Purple Magic' with their 'Yellow Magic' EP of laid back, swinging house on Freude Am Tanzen. It's a lean and gritty but sophisticated session, flexing out from the sub-hinged swing and skip of 'Yellow Magic' to the Teutonic deep house of 'Consoli' and 'Segelboot', and Herbert-styled rhythms of 'Trsnumak'.
**Cinematic synth themes and sleazy disco from Athens** From the label: "Optimo Music is known as a 12” label, but occasionally something rare and dangerous comes our way that compels us to release a full length album… It’s not exactly a dance album, although there is music you can dance to on it. It’s more filmic in nature, with references to legendary directors like Kubrick and Carpenter that will enthrall a film buff, particularly if they’re interested in electronic and dance music (It compelled me to watch Barry Lyndon again for the umpteenth time after… Read more
"Inspired by the musical lineage of London, Chicago, New York and Detroit, elements of house music, techno music, bass culture and the rhythms of West Africa are all to be found here. Distinctive in its raw immediacy, DrumTalk's music belongs in the same dark corners of the dancefloor as Daphni, Midland and Eliphino."
**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
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.
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.