Monday, 16 August 2010
I guess I should have worked out what this would sound like from the cover - young adults playing with toys. You should probably realise that playing with toys is not big, clever or ironic, it's indicative of a certain type of person who almost invariably ends up making music that sounds a little bit like Mum or the Notwist, most likely both of those acts blended I'd say. Not that this is a bad thing per se, but it's that cutesy element of twee that can sometimes grate, when squeaky toys and the sound of paper being ripped makes up the beats - I'm sure it's all been done many times before. Still, Lile … Read more
Sometimes its hard to differentiate between all these faceless techno/minimal/house twelves that come in every week, but Karaoke Kalk's "Kalk Pets" imprint has sort of established its own signature sound with a reliable blend of Detroit-ish melodies and a more European club construction. The label's Cologne roots no doubt help in this endeavour, and Rome's Mario Masullo seems to have stepped into the brief perfectly, with "Harmonic Steel" opening the twelve with thick rays of melodic splendour and robust drums fit for the most glamorous Berlin warehouse sessions. "Egokiller" on … Read more
Meriel Braham used to be in the Pale Saints - one of the great bands to have emerged out of the burgeoning 4AD scene in the early 90’s. Having spent the last few years in Leeds listening to and producing music of an increasingly electronic nature, Meriel developed her sound and Kuchen was born. This is a breahtakingly fresh album, floating sensibilities of the most delicate kind developed into an electronic daydream that could (at first listen) be compared to the pop emissions of Isan injected with an accoustic warmth. Take, for example ‘Steamboat Travels’ - a marvel of semiconcious elect… Read more
Frank Schültge is probably better known as electronic/acoustic tinkerer F.S. Blumm - he has now released a bulging catalogue of albums on a whole host of interesting labels so you'd think he'd be struggling for ideas by now wouldn't you? Well think again, 'Summer Kling' is Schültge's most innovative and ambitious record to date, taking in a whole host of collaborative talent and distilling their influence into a bashful collision of jazz and Chicago post-rock. Many of the electronic elements present on earlier records have been pushed into the sidelines or away entirely, leaving structures… Read more
A wonderful excursion back into homespun late night listening here from Morr Music, this sublime new album from sometime Tomlab, Audiodreg and Staubgold affiliate F.S. Blumm oozes warmth and barely decipherable loveliness from every pore; seemingly sourced from an endless pool of miniature acoustic sounds and campfire crackles. The album features Blumm and a close huddle of musical instruments : xylophone, vibraphone, glockenspiel, drums, guitar, bass, harmonium, accordion, melodica, bontempi and casio keyboards, plus the wonderful footstep sounds created by remarkable French laptop folkstr… Read more
Junction SM are Sonja Moonaer and Dandy Jack. Sonja is a creative and talented dj from the swiss mountains, and Dandy Jack is a live musician well known through his productions for Perlon amongst others, as well as his amazing live performances. Their debut happened by complete chance at Weetamix, who suffered a last minute cancellation by robert hood allowing sonja & dandy to take control of the whole night. A one hour blackout paralyzed half the country that very night and when the electricity came back, the club, still packed, was ready to explode. So did both musicians playing togethe… Read more
In which an allstar cast of remixers: DNTEL, TARWATER, ELLEN ALLIEN & LAWRENCE are enlisted to do over the opener from Babs' third album, which dropped last week. Ellen does the neon electrohouse thing so well, and the added bassline beef here really fills the tune out effectively, cut-ups of Barbara's vocal gliding sublime on top. Lawrence wrings great value out of the intro, all windchimes and ethereal vocal - then subjects the beeline to a more grooving Hamburg treatment. Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello s-l-o-w-s t-h-i-n-g-s right down, to absolutely killer effect, all soulful ah-huhs… Read more
Another masterful album full of microscopic found-sounds, wildlife-documentary vignettes, de-tuned midnight chimes and ageing celluloid lullabies - Henrik Johnson's 3rd album for City Centre Offices is his most beautiful, complete release to date. "Tools for Trains" sets things in motion with a slow rustle of static and the distant chimes of a lonely vintage synth, gradually enveloping itself within layers of warm effervescence that sound like a cross between Kompakt's Pop Ambient and Boards of Canada's 30-second interludes. It's a breathtaking, fragile opening th… Read more
There must be something in the water, or maybe something in the air, because the last few months have seen some incredible albums appear out of nowhere, construct precious little stories with trickles of piano, some guitar and some carefully caressed electronic flutters and unusual recording techniques. Albums by Max Richter, Deaf Center, Sylvain Chauveau, Many Fingers, and now this quite stunning debut album from Sweden's Porn Sword Tobacco. You just don’t expect to get a demo in the post from a project with a name as unlikely as ”porn sword tobacco”. You certainly don't ex… Read more
If you've been looking for something evocative, timelessly special, a home-listening masterpiece to fall in love with - read on. Swod is the recording project of oliver doerell and stephan wohrmann, two accomplished musicians who met in Berlin sometime in 1991. Oliver plays guitar, bass and all manner of electronics - he is also a long-time family member of City Centre Offices having recorded an album and an EP under the “Dictaphone” moniker in between composing and performing musical pieces for theatre, installations and film over the last few years. Stephan plays piano and drums, arranging an almost… Read more
Cyne are back!!! Following on from last year's "Growing E.P.", “Running Water” is a double-fat 8-track 12” taster for their highly anticipated full-length "Evolution Fight" due at the end of the summer. This gargantuan EP is based around "Running Water", a key track from their forthcoming album that's available here in regular and instrumental versions. The flipside also features brand new and exclusive track "Maintain", while for many the highlight of this gigantic EP will be the Four Tet remix of "Automaton", possibly Kieran Hebden's most upfront b-boy endeavour yet and for … Read more
Cyne are part of a new breed of artists keeping focus with the beats and rhymes of traditional hip hop while utilising a love and knowledge of a myriad musical styles ranging from post rock, folktronica, exotica and lounge music, through to the most experimental and freeform variations of electronica. Having made their remarkable debut for Miami’s botanica del jibaro imprint and garnering the attention of a host of admirers (most recently kieran hebden, aka four tet, whom cyne supported on tour in miami this april) - the band are in the unique position of commanding admiration from both hip hop, … Read more
One Second bridge deliver the 2nd album for City Centre Offices’ new sublabel – Buro. Having met in their spiritual home - a record shop - the South American duo of Vicente García Landa and Matias Bieniaszewski found they had an immediate musical affinity, ignoring the clichés normally associated with such 'instant chemistry' and instead turning their hand to late-night recording sessions that tended towards boundryless improvisation. Opening with the self-titled 'One Second Bridge', Garcia and Bieniaszewski roam into view through a watercolour backdrop of Basinksi-style decay… Read more
Tijuana Mon Amour Broadcasting Inc. take their place alongside Magnolia Electric Co. as a great band with a name more suited to a utility company than a rock group. Don't let that mislead you however, this troupe purvey an innovative blend of musical styles and approaches, bringing together jazz and modern classical influences to augment the tightly honed post-rock sound they've established over the course of three prior albums. There's a mixture of vocal tracks and instrumental songs here, with the album jolting into life at the hands of 'Living I… Read more
Whilst the Tied and Tickled Trio's opening gambit was an eponymous debut of spittal-flecked enthusiasm, their second LP represented a considerable maturing of sound - taking the eclectic heart that forged the core of their work and recasting it with a firmer eye on the electronic cabal. Given that this could have led to a dilution of their idiosyncratic style, it's testament to those involved that 'EA1 EA2' is a polemical tract on the power of complex and calculated compositions - with the newly installed circuitry bringing the textures into a higher degree of focus. Released in 1999 … Read more
Roman could well be electro-pop's answer to Marmite; you either love him or can't wait to be rid of his noise... The second album from the Cologne-based Roman, 'So Ghost?' is a ADD dose of pure, uncut leftfield-pop - all given the rough and ready edge by spiralling productions that happily draft in film soundtracks, ratchet beats, Eastern European campfire aesthetics and Fairport folk. The opening salvo of 'Saving Juno' will be familiar to anyone who dipped their toes in Karaoke Kalk's recent label sampler, and time has in no way dulled it's brusque immediacy; gutting a conventional folk-song and … Read more
You know when the sun comes out the world changes that little bit for the better - in England admittedly we have to wait a little longer and maybe we don't get quite as much as most of the rest of the world, but we know how to use our sun wisely. Pimms, cricket, scantily clad ladies - and as I sit here I can see that fiery golden ball peering over the buildings ahead and it makes me smile. Which gets us to the Go Find, as to be quite honest I couldn't think of a more perfect record to herald the coming of British Summer Time. Some of you may remember Dieter Sermeus's first record un… Read more
"I thought I was over that" is the playful offspring of a band finally confident enough to re-visit their most daring, misfitting, individually conceived moments to date. it's also an opportunity to look at those artists who have inspired them in one way or another over the years, pressing them to develop through remixes, collaborations and cover versions where their ideas blossomed from raw material provided by other artists - and vice versa. the list of luminaries is impressive - starting off with tim simenon's long-dormant bomb the bass, dragged out of hibernation for lali'… Read more
Star ferry is the swoonsome track that bookends the 'Quiet Week In The House' LP and was also found on the Pool 10". Here we get a phenomenal remix from Isolee who merges a special newly recorded Donna vocal with his ocean deep spacious house music beauty. A track works on a multitude of levels. Next up is an ace deep tech mix from M.Mayer of Kompakt fame. Wechsel Garland, whos gorgeous LP on Morr Music is turning heads left, right and centre drops another gem stone mix. Lush, organic originality = next level.
Figurine creates electronic pop music perfectly poised at the transition between milleniums. Hints of 80's synth pop merge with current experimental electronics, coaxed into a sweet pop structure. Girl/boy vocals sing of love and loss in an increasingly digital world. the result is something both fresh and familiar, a soundtrack to a future where both love and technology are of primary concern. This EP collects 4 uncompleted songs from their acclaimed 2nd full length (the heartfelt) that have been re-mixed and re-tweaked by Figurine enthusiasts from around the globe.
Meteo is something of an old hand for these pages, a long term berlin protagonist caught here dropping a sextet of nuggets for cologne's Kalk Pets offshoot. the vibe is deliciously deep, less dubby than you might expect from some of Meteo's more recent excursions, cleaving instead to a brand of early guttural house, whirling in pools of simple melody and well hewn rhythm patterns. The title cut has to be the pick here, employing a few useful tones from the dub palette and an appropriately sizeable bass line to match. An impressive release which adroitly manages to straddle the divide between old school and contemporary with consumate ease.
The latest beatific broadcast to escape Morr's velvet lined roster, 'Humbucking Coil' is the long awaited new album from Bernhard Fleischamnn and once again presents a picture of a pastoral elegance refracted through a digital prism. Uniting a broad scope which encourages the use of guitars (including the Humbucking Coil and dusty 505) and a keen eye for detail, Fleischmann's music could readily be tagged 'indietronica'; combining a keen sense of song writing with finely wrought micro sound frameworks. Opening through the oscillator wobble of 'Broken Monitors', Fleichmann seems … Read more
Latest band excursion for the ever accessible Monika label. Some sensation on the internet around this band, who perform all their gigs clad in full Burka costume. Morgenstern provides a typically chirpy remix.
Following the release of 'Our Lives On Wednesdays' it was hard to see where the ever prolific John Tejada and Takeshi Nishimoto could take their I'm Not A Gun Project... Yet rather than being precipitated by a lack of ideas, the potential stale-mate arose through their combined talents having given birth to an almost perfect album. We assure you; hyperbole doesn't even come into this. So what have they gone and done with 'We Think As Instruments'? Played a f*cking blinder, that's what. Adopting an approach which sees Tejada's white-hot programming skills coming more to… Read more
It’s a busy life being john tejada, a man who has graced some of the world’s most highly regarded independent labels with his signature presence - from the mighty playhouse to detroit’s 7th city and onto ferox, jazzanova, plug research, scape and even sub pop - all the way to his own palette recordings imprint. But it’s together with japanese multi-instrumentalist takeshi nishimoto, however, that john has produced perhaps his most remarkable work - an acoustic overflow of ideas and post-rock configurations known as ‘i’m not a gun’ - a project that has already delighted with … Read more
It seems like we've had to endure an awfully long wait since Swod's debut album "Gehen" came into our lives, but finally Oliver Doerell and Stephan Wohrmann have returned with Sekunden, a second instalment in the duo's ongoing exploration of piano and cinematic scores. This time the Swod sound has expanded to incorporate a more pronounced usage of acoustic drums, bass and even guitar. Fear not however, the nucleus of florid piano elegance and subtle electronic manipulation is still the pervasive element of Wohrmann and Doerell's work, yet this is no Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto-type affair. Rather … Read more
As the imprint for the pressing date on the front of this 7” will testify, this latest release on CCO has taken us an outrageously long time to release – for logistical reasons that are far too tedious to go into right now. Anyway, suffice to say that we, and band, are relieved that said 7” is finally on the shelves!! Serving as a precursor to RV’s debut LP for us early next year, Walsh Ambrose finds the Haslingden duo in party mode, Fender keys over a spacious crisp beat and dark b-line...uplifting and smile-inducing. Boats, on the flip, is rather more reflective, in that unique,… Read more
It’s in bedroom studios, where the always present humming noise of a guitar amp is more important than the latest plugin, where you'll find The Remote Viewer quietly pieceing together their remarkable, effervescent take on minimal songwriting. Craig Tattersall and Andrew Johnson simply do what they are best at : writing incredible songs. Be it as members of Hood in the early days, be it as the "Famous Boyfriend" or in their current guise, these songs (deeply quiet, almost shy) are composed in a way that’s so intimate you wonder how Andrew, Craig and Nicola (on loan he… Read more