Monday, 22 June 2009
More club ready Uk Funky from the increasingly productive Dark Knight following up well recieved cuts on It's Funky and Urabn Riddims. 'My Bitch' on the A-side won't get dropped at Germaine Greer's next Funky rave (the last one was steaming btw) but should get spins at all the top Funky nights with a party rolled blend plasticky Grime strings and well kinky Broken Beats. 'Mutant Funk' on the other side works up a jazzy froth with blarting horns, smooth synth pads and more rudely broken beatings. One for fans of Donaeo, Fingaprint, Cooly G etc. Sick twelve.
Pinch's 'Earwax imprint returns with a Nu-Roots reggae dubstepper backed with a remix from Noah D. NYC's Liondub is given his first 'Earwax release for 'Heartbroken', a dub wieghted and mystical roots mover featuring Sotto Bless and Jah Dan on mellifluous good form. While his production is endearingly rich and warm, it's no match for Noah D's version presence on the flipside. Dubstep followers will know Noah Ds career tajectory from D'n'B to dubstep and the production skills and talent that have transferred with it. His faithful version embellishes each ele… Read more
In an attempt to shed fresh light on the obscure Japanese psychedelia of Keizo Miyanish, Holy Mountain releases this compilation of recordings by his 1980s project, Onna, including the single 'Cortigiana Dal Velo' (plus outtake) excerpts from the album Katawa, cassette-only recordings and a live document from 1983 that marks the debut of Michio Kurihara of Ghost. The bare-bones drum machine backing lends a punk-ish DIY element to proceedings, offering a ruthlessly rigid counterpart to the spidering indiscipline of the noise-guitar and groaning vocals. You can hear where bands like LSD March and Suish… Read more
Woodsist have been on a roll over recent months, but this new Ganglians album represents a new level of brilliance, showcasing some joyous pop songwriting and channelling the Beach Boys at their most experimental. The inevitably echo-dappled, pseudo-garage production is in full effect and so perhaps from a distance this record bears some aesthetic resemblance to various other entries into the Woodsist and In The Red catalogues (Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls, etc), but this album trumps just about anything else from that school of pop. For starters there's a clarity and musicality to … Read more
A beginner's guide to the idiosyncratic musical universe of Hey-O-Hansen, this extensive archive trawl represents a best-of compilation of sorts for the Alpine dub duo. Helmut Erler and Michael Wolf are from Austria, with roots in Tyrolian folk music, yet their music has been infused with the hallmarks of ska, rocksteady and the speaker-assaulting temperament of Berlin's dub-infused techno scene. Hey-O-Hansen are one of the very few musical acts out there that you could genuinely charge with being unique, and this 15 year-spanning collec… Read more
Having spent the nineties on 4AD, Icelandic electronic heavyweights GusGus now arrive at Kompakt with this new remix EP in tow. 'Add This Song' was recorded in the Western mountains of Iceland with analogue hardware, yet this alluring slice of electronic pop fits in with Kompakt's pristine, dancefloor-ready universe perfectly, something that becomes evermore apparent from the remixes on offer: Lopazz & Zarook come up with a slick minimal version while Gluteus Maximus embraces a more textured take on the track, casting morphing synths among the terse, clicky drum patter. A deeper, darker Pa… Read more
Mindset Recording's XXXY steps on the dubtech buttons with two lean and minimal riddims on Formant. 'Science Fiction' wears its Peverelist influences proudly with slick locking grooves and spacious techno-dub synthlines while '651' adds some substance with dreamy chord sequences and submerged bongos.
Featuring contributions from Ariel Pink, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, Cassette City was never going to be an ordinary hip hop album. Philadelphia MC and producer Raj Haldar marked himself out as a talent to be closely watched when his Grey Album-style mash-up of Kanye West's College Dropout and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds attracted over two million downloads. With Cassette City, Lushlife has balanced classic hip hop sensibilities with epic production and indie experimentation, resulting in an outstanding long-player. The opening three songs combine cho… Read more
There's no shortage of love for Bodycode in the Boomkat office. Between his Portable and Bodycode pseudonyms Alan Abrahams has consistently delivered some of the most intriguing, funky and genuinely deep house music of the last 10 years. 'Immune' follows from his highly sought after 'Conservation Of Electric Charge' set on Spectral some 3 years ago with a nine track album running fathoms deep into heartfelt Chicago house tributes with an irresistable Afro-rhythmic edge. Take the reverbed keys and chopped dialects of 'Hyperlight' for a warm welcome before settling into the rich twilight hues and g… Read more
Prime tribal house grooves from Butane and a well selected cast of remixers heading up the latest Crosstown Rebels joint. Butane's original version of Inferno Jack' bobbles along atop a hugely swollen bassline kinked with africanised percussion and featuring the obligatory sexy vocals, but the real rhythm trip kicks in with Anja Schneiders ace refix. Inviting OstGut bloke Paul Brtschitsch along for the ride, their mix adds sunny piano chords and a deep funking bassline complemented by a Marimba alike polyrhythmic shift to really pick the dancefloor up. Kalabrese's mix extends the groove for t… Read more
Despite the punning title, this track isn't a cheeky remix of the Aphex classic, but rather a dark dubstep meditation on urban ambience and tricky, polyrhythmic drum programming. Possibly even better is 'Mass Erectile Dysfunktion', whose clickety-clack beats and tumescent bass prove an enormously satisfying blend of sounds.
11th Hour bossman Matt Chester is back on duty for this latest EP on the label, rather melodramatically titled Die For A Reason. 'Col D'Aubisque' is first up, building momentum with rolling basslines before an array of bright synthesizer tones floods the mix towards the end. There's a little more boom to 'Dissolver', which flirts with jazzy chord exchanges, making Detroit associations with its wilfully outmoded keyboard sounds. Following suit 'Infinite Unknowns' is pure Motor City sci-fi before the title track dispenses towering synth sweeps and overdriven beats as a triumphant finale.
Whimsical electro-funk on Chocolate Industries, combining heavily machined production with vocals that verge on having a bit of a Jamie T feel to them. It's a strange piece of pop music, and taken as a whole it wouldn't be out of place sitting next to Hot Chip and Calvin Harris on a mixtape.
This single sees Tunng taking on a cover of a song by Soy Un Caballo, a Belgian band Sam Genders et al feel a certain kinship with. Only the Tunng version appears on this digital single, so there's no opportunity for comparisons between the two renderings, but this one is a wonderful little thing, brushing off those 'folktronic' tags by just sounding like great, heartfelt modern pop music with great production values.
Having moved to Belgium a few years ago, young Venezuelan musician Ernesto Gonzalez found himself hanging out with sinister lowlands types Silvester Anfang, and now he makes a solo outing on the mighty (K-RAA-K)3 label, concocting psychedelic drone-rock atmospherics with a far-out fluency. Eastern modalities tend to dominate Gonzalez's guitar lines, serving up a wah-wah raga on the great 'Bougies Are Lighted' while delving into North African-style harmonies on 'Raaaaa!' . Midway through, the kosmische influences flood into the mix via the twin assault of 'Bass Vomiting' a… Read more
A sequel to El Records' The Complete Works Of Edgard Varese Volume 1, The View From The Edge focuses on the role of percussion in twentieth century music. The album begins with a momentous seventeen-minute Leonard Bernstein take on Varese's 'Arcana', recorded with the New York Philharmonic, going on to include The American Percussion Society's recording of 'Ionisation' (also by Varese, and out of print for some five decades) plus 1946 and 1947 recordings of Olivier Messaien piano compositions, performed by a young Yvonne Loriod.
Lovers of Dark Ambient's shadowy recesses take note: this latest Type release brings the haunted New Mexican soundworld of William Fowler Collins to the world - and it's one of the most relentless collections of dense and harrowing midnight music you'll likely have the pleasure of hearing. Flicking through this record - skimming the surface of these crumbling, derelict sonic constructions - feels like intercepting a shortwave broadcast from the hereafter. It all points towards something sinister and most unwholesome, but to give all this context, it's worth noting tha… Read more
The deranged debut album by Gablé, 7 Guitars With A Cloud Of Milk, won the band a 'Best New Act' award in French indie bible Les Inrocks. By any conventional standards the album was a whirl of sonic creativity and hair-raising, half-formed ideas - fragmented and unpolished to the core, but an awful lot of fun nonetheless. With I'm OK the group retain their surrealist electro-collaging form, slamming together all manner of different incidental sounds, samples and even the odd passage of brass and cello. The production is well finished, blurring the joins between the various digressions and detours… Read more
Another new Freude Am Tanzen twelve from one of the two Mareks in Hemmann & Kaden. 'Inessa' is an odd track, characterised primarily by its warbling, sliced up vocal which does tend to get in the way of the production somewhat, but on the rare occasion there's a break in wailing, the piece does seem to skip along merrily. 'Gemini' plays the same trick on you, this time substituting the vocal with a sax riff, the like of which is more of your Kenny G variety (maybe Lisa Simpson at a push) than Albert Ayler.
A worthy follow-up to the early promise of singles 'Too Young To Love' and 'Velvet', this latest offering from The Big Pink is a wall-of-sound production with big, euphoric choruses and enough darkness and noise to balance out those epic-bubblegum tendencies. Hype for the forthcoming album just keeps on growing, but there seems to be quite some depth to this band's sound, as hinted at by the soundscaped B-side 'Crushed Water', which sounds like a k-holed Animal Collective.
Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian set about this project to find the right platform for the songs he'd written over the years that simply wouldn't fit in with what his band had been doing (though interestingly, a great, string-laden reworking of The Life Pursuit's 'Funny Little Frog' is one of the highlights here). Moreover, when he heard these songs in his head they had someone else's voice fronting them. You'd think that being in Belle & Sebastian for as long as he has, Murdoch might have met several appropriate female vocalists on his travels, but rather than calling up… Read more
Thomas Kretscmann released his first output via Sonar Kollektiv, and now almost four years on from his Got To Be There/In Your Groove debut he's got his lightly jazzy, melodic house sound down to a fine art. 'The Time Is Now' is an elegantly assembled piece of production, driven by a solid piece of synth riffing that rests on top of a multilayered bed of sounds. The companion piece, 'Mono:poly', is a neat exercise in bloopy electro-hop that represents a more rigid, pulsating quality to Sygaire's repertoire.
'Glamouflage' might prove divisive thanks to its heavily warped, bizarre vocals. Actually, having said "divisive", I probably should have gone with "deplorable". Instead of this lumbering slab of hokum, why not flip to the far more broadly appealing 'Ground N Pound' on the other side, which maintains a coarse edginess thanks to an aggressive electro-cowbell sound, rattling percussion and a high tempo.
Last seen serving up some digital treats for the Spectral Sound imprint, Argentinean producer Jonas Kopp delivers this four-part missive via Spain's Cmyk. Clearly Kopp is a producer of some skill: 'Cocosound' is a far more sonically astute piece of work than minimal techno standards tend to demand, and its impressively spacious arrangement fizzes with life, before the comparably well-turned out 'Kopperniko' buzzes into earshot. 'Ojos Cerrados' is a slightly darker affair, flecked with deep echoes and coarse, textured filtering whereas 'Logros Actuales' provides a crisp conclusion, setting crunchy handclaps against squelched acid bass.
Superb skiffling pop from Moshi Moshi's Slow Club, building up to the release of their impending and increasingly promising debut LP. 'It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful' is just about as lovable as indie pop music gets, featuring semi-rockabilly rhythms and charmingly upbeat boy-girl vocals that thankfully stop well short of the dreaded twee threshold. Companion piece 'Wild Blue Milk' is another great duet, taking some nimble fingerpicking as its starting point, and ultimately proving to be at least as alluring as the stomping A-side. Smashing.
'Aundy' has that perfect pairing off ultra-smooth padded ambience and crisp, muscular beats. Thanks to a twinkling rhodes sweep the whole piece feels lighter than air, but that warm, contoured drum programming maintains a necessary physicality. Propelling itself with more of a swing in its trajectory, 'Storm On Lake Saint Claire' is a streamlined piece, featuring a driving beat that interweaves with thunderstorm samples while fluttering stabs provide a reduced melodic foil.
Hyper-melodic, epic techno from Boxer regular Dusty Kid, kicking off with a sprawling seventeen-minuter that combines punchy, compressed 4/4 beats with shimmering tremolo guitars to great effect. The track earns its length by continually shuffling around the arrangement whilst preserving the main theme, whilst its companion piece 'Train 3' opts for a slow build over the course of ten minutes.
Lifted from the album of Balearic kraut-jazz instrumentals, Desire Lines, 'Andromeda' here arrives in both its original version and as a remix by the Idjut Boys (who make up two thirds of Meanderthals, lining up with Rune Linbaek. As you'd imagine, the remix is very much within the spirit of the original, but more strongly emphasising the vintage disco tendencies of the piece, making for a more streamlined danceable affair.
Welder is better know to the authorities as Brendan Angelides, and even better known to the dubstep crowd as Eskmo. Under his Welder alias Angelides circumnavigates the borders of dubstep, electronica and pop with an altered to approach to his dancefloor beats.
This far-out picture disc from Bristol noise mavens F**k Buttons plays out like a more sensible version of Black Dice's hard drive-rending work on Load Blown, or even a more overdriven version of Growing and their psyched-up loop high jinks. Buried beneath the fuzz and lolloping drum sounds you'll find a surprisingly tight form to all this, with no scrimping when it comes to strategically deployed spurts of melody. Ace.