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Monday, 06 June 2011

STEVE GUNN / ILYAS AHMED - Decline Of The Stiff / Ignored The End, Immune Recordings
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STEVE GUNN / ILYAS AHMED

Decline Of The Stiff / Ignored The End

Immune Recordings

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FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: Immune 017

Chicago's wonderful Immune Recordings pair two sensitively talented solo guitarists for this split release. Steve Gunn occupies the A-side with the Fahey-esque 12-string expressions of 'Decline Of The Stiff', picking out a ribbon of complex but soulful Blues joined by his own husky vocals which are gently reverbed around the space. If you picked up his 'Sundowner' LP for Digitalis you'll certainly want to hear this. Turn over and you might find Ilyas Ahmed's 'Ignored The End' may not be as technically precise, yet elicits a more magical and heartbroken … Read more
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STEVE GUNN / ILYAS AHMED - Decline Of The Stiff / Ignored The End, Immune Recordings
VARIOUS / FREUDE AM TANZEN - Freude Am Tanzen 5zig, Freude Am Tanzen

VARIOUS / FREUDE AM TANZEN

Freude Am Tanzen 5zig

Freude Am Tanzen

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TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: FATCD 050

Freude Am Tanzen celebrate 50 releases of classy Tech-House with a compendium of 12 exclusive tracks (including four bonus tracks not on the 5LP) from their roster of Kadebostan, Monkey Mafia, Taron Trekka, Douglas Greed, Marek Hemmann, Mathias Kaden, Krause Duo, Robag Wruhme and more. From the symphonic opening statement 'Mother Cries' by Kadebostan they groove through pumping mnml House from Monkey Maffia 'Cruciate Ligament', to kinky shuffle-Tech on Mathias Kaden's 'Red Walls', proper butt-swinging House on Krause Duo's 'Drunkie Skunkie', a typically advanced wor… Read more
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VARIOUS / FREUDE AM TANZEN - Freude Am Tanzen 5zig, Freude Am Tanzen
DAKOTA SUITE - The Hearts Of Empty, Karaoke Kalk

DAKOTA SUITE

The Hearts Of Empty

Karaoke Kalk

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MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: kalkcd59

Described by the band as late night, smokey jazz counterpart to ‘The End Of Trying’, ‘The Hearts Of Empty’ is yet another low-slung collection of midnight music from this workmanlike project. Probably best known for their blisteringly good remix collection (which featured like minds Deaf Center, Peter Broderick and many more), ‘The Hearts of Empty’ should easily lodge the Dakota Suite sound into the minds of any of y’all out there tickled by gloomy, haunted sounds. Amongst all the bands who have re-appropriated Angelo Badalamenti’s doom-laden Lynchian jazz, Dakota Suite seem to … Read more
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DAKOTA SUITE - The Hearts Of Empty, Karaoke Kalk
FM BELFAST - Don't Want To Sleep, Morr Music

FM BELFAST

Don't Want To Sleep

Morr Music

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: morr105cd

Okay I’ll level with you, this ain’t gonna be an album for all of you, but if anyone out there has a love of Icelandic pop music AND a good sense of humour then there’s likely a great deal in here to latch on to. FM Belfast is apparently a ‘community’ of artists, so the less said about that the better, it’s far better to note the fact that ‘Don’t Want To Sleep’ is an unashamedly party-focused record. From the chipper rave stabs of album opener ‘Stripes’ to the cheery chant of “I’m gonna learn American” on ‘American’ there seems to be a general consensus from the band that they’re w… Read more
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FM BELFAST - Don't Want To Sleep, Morr Music
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Compilation Volume 3, Bulletdodge

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Compilation Volume 3

Bulletdodge

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TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: BDR034

Review to follow shortly…
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ROMAN RAUCH - RRRemixed, Philpot Records
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ROMAN RAUCH

RRRemixed

Philpot Records

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DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: PHP053

Joyous Disco-House from Austria's Roman Rauch. 'RRRemixed' features two revisions of tracks from the 'Can't Get Enough EP', with Soulphiction sounding like Dorian Concept-gone-disco on the titular remix, and Erdbeerschnitzl remixing 'Bio Rhythm' as a tightly tucked but loose flowing modern boogie cut. By contrast, Rauch's original production 'Dirty Haze' is more elegant, upbuilding House music.
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CHROME - Red Exposure, Beggars Banquet

CHROME

Red Exposure

Beggars Banquet

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: BBQDL2084

Review to follow shortly…
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ATARI TEENAGE RIOT - Is This Hyperreal?, Digital Hardcore Recordings

ATARI TEENAGE RIOT

Is This Hyperreal?

Digital Hardcore Recordings

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: DHRCD43

I don’t know about you but I’m comforted to see that there’s another Atari Teenage Riot album out – it makes me happy for the state of humanity that this band are still cracking on when so many of their contemporaries shriveled up and died. Sure their sound might have distanced itself from the demonic punk/jungle of their 90s records, but the grit and politically charged industrial temper is still there and Alec Empire seems more eager than ever for a new swathe of fans to discover his sound. That’s not to say he’s pandering to 2011 audiences by adding a bit of dubstep here a… Read more
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ATARI TEENAGE RIOT - Is This Hyperreal?, Digital Hardcore Recordings
F*CKED UP - David Comes To Life, Matador

F*CKED UP

David Comes To Life

Matador

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: OLE9526

So how does a Canadian band end up making a rock opera (in a clear nod to British rockers The Who) about Thatcher-era England? Well, I suppose it’s as good a subject matter as any, but it seems like a pretty off kilter choice given that the band probably know more about maple syrup and Arcade Fire. Maybe it’s that ‘David Comes To Life’ is, at its heart a druggy love story about a regular bloke that makes it flicker to life – and F*cked Up’s angular hardcore leanings lend themselves well to the 80s setting of the story. With the kind of vitriol most of us Brits can still remember fro… Read more
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F*CKED UP - David Comes To Life, Matador
KASTLE - Time Traveler, Seclusiasis
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KASTLE

Time Traveler

Seclusiasis

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GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: SECLUS026

Seclusiasis unleash four tracks of R&B-spiked Bass steppers from B. Rich in his Kastle guise. Leading off, 'Time Traveller' rides with old skool Garage bass licks, pitch-skewed vox and skipping, Bass-laced rhythms, whereas 'Walking Away' with Armanni Reign and Domonique rolls with a more gangsta R&B lean, blinding synths and bulging bass included. Flipside 'Bring Me Back' steps on that Kingdom sound, wrapped with strafing synths, string slashes and a grimy dip, while 'I Know' holds it back for a swirling R&B joint akin to Girl Unit.
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DES DEMURE - Variable / Backflash, Girls Music

DES DEMURE

Variable / Backflash

Girls Music

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GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: GIRLS005

Ninja Tune's rogue offshoot, Girls Music drops the debut productions by Des Demure. 'Variable is a restless, fidgeting 2-step number with synths drifting from hard-edged to dreamily dissonant. 'Backflash' arrives with an arresting intro and subsides int driving Garage rhythms. Fans of Submerse need to check.
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KW - Detroit to London, Boe Recordings

KW

Detroit to London

Boe Recordings

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TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: BOE012

After releases by KiNK, Burnski and Leif among others, Detroit's Kris Wadsworth returns to Boe Recordings. The 'Detroit To London' session features four perky tracks of House music, budged and nudged for the wiggle.
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VON D - Daydreaming, Boka Records

VON D

Daydreaming

Boka Records

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GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: BOKACD001

Party/radio-ready album of vocal dubstep collaborations with Riya, Phephe, Mr Lager, David Boombah, Foreign Beggars, Spyda, Moxy Phinx, Vicky Harrison, Lakaye Jolie and Simbad. Styles range from Junglist/Boogie hybrids on 'One Day' to halfsteppin' Jungle on 'You're The One', and dubbed-out rollers sounds on 'Asap'.
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ROUGH FIELDS - Watery Fable, Bomb Shop

ROUGH FIELDS

Watery Fable

Bomb Shop

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: RFR7001

Finely sculpted electro-acoustic folk tales from Rough Fields, backed with a deft remix by Elias Linn. Rough Fields, aka James Birchall, tenderly fuses a number of sonic disciplines on 'Watery Fables', sounding less street-aware than James Blake, but not quie as clasically folksy as Jamie Woon, two J's he's widely drawn comparisons with. Elias Linn's remix gives 'Watery Fable' a subtly clipped dancefloor bounce with added atmospheric detailing and James' vocal largely relegated to a dubbed-out blur.
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HEXSTATIC PRESENT TRAILER TRAX - Scan Me EP, Lower Level Records

HEXSTATIC PRESENT TRAILER TRAX

Scan Me EP

Lower Level Records

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GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: LVLEP2

Review to follow shortly…
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FOUND - Anti Climb Paint, Chemikal Underground Records

FOUND

Anti Climb Paint

Chemikal Underground Records

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CHEM159D

Review to follow shortly…
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ZACK CHRIST - Lucky Pork / Far East Side, Moodgadget Records

ZACK CHRIST

Lucky Pork / Far East Side

Moodgadget Records

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BEATS / HIP HOP

Cat. Number: MGT-084

IDM might have been maligned in recent years, but I think it’s making a comeback at the moment, spearheaded by artists like Zack Christ who has managed to inject the blueprint of the genre into the framework of house, dubstep and hip hop. Sure this might have been done before, but Christ does it with a passion and a technical pizazz that makes it hard to ignore. Just check out the lilting, lo-bitrate shuffle of midnight house jammer ‘Hach Me’ for proof! Just cuz they’re nice like that, Moodgadget have bundled these tracks with a bunch of killer reworks, the highlight of which… Read more
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ZACK CHRIST - Lucky Pork / Far East Side, Moodgadget Records
TITTSWORTH & ALVIN RISK - Two Strokes Raw, Plant Music

TITTSWORTH & ALVIN RISK

Two Strokes Raw

Plant Music

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TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: SEED 056

Tittsworth comes to the club armed with four tracks of squawkin' Moombahton productions alongside Alvin Risk. Mad Decent vocalist, Maluca turns up on the down-stroked bounce of 'La Campana', while 'Pendajas' goers one slower and steamier. 'Porcacheese' pumps the tempo up for a raved-out House sound and 'Carta Boost brings NYC DJ/producer Scottie B on another slow banger. Big bumps.
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CHILLY GONZALES - The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, Gentle Threat

CHILLY GONZALES

The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales

Gentle Threat

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: GENTLE016

I must say that in the wake of Chilly Gonzales’s successful solo piano releases I don’t think I expected to see him return to the comic rap he cut his teeth on, at least in this lifetime. He’s back though, and on fine form offering up the world’s first orchestral rap album (allegedly) and it does indeed do exactly what it says on the tin. To me Gonzales has never really been a great rapper technically, but his rhymes are funny and smart, and now have the backing of an orchestra in full-on French film score mode. He takes us through his thoughts on modern rap (it’s … Read more
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CHILLY GONZALES - The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, Gentle Threat
VARIOUS / BBE - The Beat Generation 10th Anniversary Presents: The Three Angels - Original Beat Poetry, BBE
Review to follow shortly…
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EKIN FIL - Language, Root Strata
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EKIN FIL

Language

Root Strata

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DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: RS86

Not much is known about Istanbul resident Ekin Fil, but it appears she’s a lady who has more than a passing interest in the Cocteau Twins. While the opener of ‘Language’ explores the languid synthesizer fuzziness of Emeralds, it almost wrong foots us, with the rest of the album offering a sultry range of half heard pop songs almost like Grouper covering ‘Head Over Heels’ with Zola Jesus shimmying slowly in the background. I know that sounds pretty enticing, and let me tell you it’s no let down – Ekin Fil’s grasp of production might err on the side of lo-fi, but it never seems to overwhelm the m… Read more
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EKIN FIL - Language, Root Strata
SAROOS - Yukoma (Populous Mix) / Outrigger, Alien Transistor
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SAROOS

Yukoma (Populous Mix) / Outrigger

Alien Transistor

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: N28

Any release from Alien Transistor feels like a treat, and this latest from Saroos (aka Christoph Brandner and Florian Zimmer of Lali Puna and Contriva’s Max Punktezahl) is just the kind of quality we’ve come to expect from the label. Opening with a remix of ‘Yakoma’ from Morr Music’s Populous, it shows a different dimension to his work, eschewing the choppy hip hop experimentations for thick, slowed down house grooves. A chunky kick drum pushes its way through stuttering clouds of unusual instrumentation and synthesized drones, giving a weird after-hours neon resonance to the… Read more
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SAROOS - Yukoma (Populous Mix) / Outrigger, Alien Transistor
BOOM CLAP BACHELORS - Mellem Dine Laeber, Plug Research Music
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BOOM CLAP BACHELORS

Mellem Dine Laeber

Plug Research Music

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BEATS / HIP HOP

Cat. Number: PLG111

Smart collective effort from Copenhagen's Boom Clap Bachelors, fusing mnml electronics with Scandinavian pop and folk. Highlights are found in the tender jazzfolk styles of 'Andres Hænder', with Liv Lykke's vox reminding of Cornelia's R&B-tronic sound, or the sweet blend of fragile, plangent guitars and wistful harmonics on 'Hierteslag' almost recalling Hong Kong In The 60s.
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JOHN TEJADA & ARIAN LEVISTE - Western Starland Remixes 2011, Whatpeopleplay Records
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JOHN TEJADA & ARIAN LEVISTE

Western Starland Remixes 2011

Whatpeopleplay Records

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TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: whatpeopleplay002

John Tejada revisits his 'Western Starland' EP from 2001 with 2011 VIP and remix updates. The Techy funk of the original still sounds criss today, but the 2011 remix adds more dynamic layers of bass and synth colour while his VIP almost sounds like a Todd Edwards production, all shuffled and horny.
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BASQIAM - Sigma, Detroit Underground

BASQIAM

Sigma

Detroit Underground

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: DBOY4

Six tracks of sci-fi tinted IDM gangster beats and glitched electro from one half of Agony Forces. The 'Sigma' EP travels through industrial nether zones on 'XY' to reach the chromed electro contours of 'Scan' and the romantic atmospheres of 'Terra', concluding with submerged agenda of 'Mantra'.
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BBJR - Tearjerker, Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

BBJR

Tearjerker

Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: HBSP-2X-007

Review to follow shortly…
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LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE - On Welfare, Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE

On Welfare

Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: HBSP-2X 022

*Heady shoegaze/psyche reminiscent of Spacemen 3, bits of MBV etc.* Having recently relocated from Guadalajara to D.F., LMTO's debut labum is titled 'On Welfare'. The albums brings the listener on this migration. The opening track, "Traveller" brilliantly sets the tone. However, should you see "The Obsolete Man" stumble and fall over himself through time and space repeatedly, doomed to echo his mistakes as though cast in some Sisyphean musical, would you lend him a hand? Perhaps you might take pause at the street corner and breathe: inhale, exhale: repeat, as "Waitin' on the… Read more
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LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE - On Welfare, Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)
KID606 & JESSE QUATTRO - Outside, TIGERBEAT6

KID606 & JESSE QUATTRO

Outside

TIGERBEAT6

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ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: MEOW165

A very unexpected, but not unsuccessful, dérive into indie-rock from Kid606 and Jesse Quattro of Secret Chiefs 3, and backed with a gauntlet of remixes by aXXo, DJ Rupture & Matt Shadetek, Stratgy and Cardopusher among others. With 'Outside' Miguel Depedro veers closer to Nick Cave than his Berlin 'bab-core beats of late, propelled by drummer Ryan Chittick and defined by Jesse's strong and smoky vocal. 'Holiday' is more laidback and garage-raw, with a punky swagger giving way to more typically noisy outro. Remixes spread out from aXXo's dubstep wobbler, to Rupture & Shadetek's electro-rocker, and Cardopusher squashed and sinister bogle-tek version.
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KID606 & JESSE QUATTRO - Outside, TIGERBEAT6
ONYOU - Collected Works Volume 1, Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

ONYOU

Collected Works Volume 1

Captcha Records (HBSP-2X)

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INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: HBSP-2X-027

Review to follow shortly…
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FRANK CORDELL - Theme From "The Rebel", Trunk Records
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FRANK CORDELL

Theme From "The Rebel"

Trunk Records

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EARLY ELECTRONIC / SOUNDTRACKS

Cat. Number: PD008

Breezy, Gallic-fragranced theme music for the Tony Hancock-starring movie 'The Rebel' from 1961. The man behind it, Frank Cordell, was once the head of music at His Master's Voice and composed over twenty major film scores in his career.
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