Monday, 21 March 2011
A perfectly paced, perfectly structured album that feels like a first masterpiece - mood, melodic, soundtrack, jazz music for the new millennium with the ghosts of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Wells collaborates with Stephen and Katrina of Pastels fame, showing his love for a great avant pop tune. Belle and Sebastian revere Bill Wells after numerous live performances together. Stevie Jackson is a permanent member of the Trio; and Bill also has an upcoming mini-album with Isobel Campbell. Check.
Unveiling their latest signing, Domino presents the first single from Los Angeles quartet Chief. 'Breaking Walls' is a lightly melancholic slice of summery, West Coast pop. At first, all this seems fairly unassuming - from the monosyllabic band name to the disarmingly gimmick-free arrangement, Chief are just a sweet sounding soft-rock band. Calling upon great vocal harmonies and crystalline guitar melodies, both the A-side itself and B-side 'Your Direction' prove to be classy, if pretty trad, showcases for Chief's talents.
It doesn’t take long for you to realize that Belong’s latest full-length ‘Common Era’ is a shocking new direction for the New Orleans duo. ‘October Language’ was an expertly realized slice of fuzzy ambience, but within seconds of album-opener ‘Come See’ we are treated to drums, guitars and vocals; all the trappings of ‘real music’. A simple exercise in pop, however, this is not and Belong take the framework of classic shoegaze (pre ’92) and put it to work deep inside clouds of white noise and cavernous reverb. Skeletal songs and wordless vocals appear from the dense depths of blurred sound like… Read more
Alfred Darlington’s charmingly bizarre ‘Tailor Made’ showed up a few weeks back as a teaser for his forthcoming ‘Bespoke’ LP, and the kitchen-sink electronic salsa has now been shaken up by a smartly picked duo of talented hands. First up to the plate is LA wonky lass TOKiMONSTA, who takes Alfred’s original and pushes into a blur of down-tempo West Coast funk. You might recognize the style as somewhat indebted to the Brainfeeder crew, but Jennifer Lee handles proceedings with an expert hand and the result is hard, chunky and heavy. The standou… Read more
Much anticipated debut 12" from touted Glaswegian producer, Koreless - a must check for fans of Becoming Real, Dam Mantle or Jamie xx. '4D' is as simple as it effective, pitching delirious, yearning female vocal with bouncing subs and clipped percussion for the swingers. 'MTI' flips the formula with a more defined and tightly tucked Juke flavour, droning subs flesh out the bottom, alternating melodic duties with percolating toms and seductive, chopped-up vocals. All the usual suspects are onto this guy, we recommend you get on it, too!
Police in Helicopter return for another heavy-hitting 45, this time featuring Jahtari lynchpin Disrupt alongside labelmate and forever on-it producer Jackson Bailey, aka Tapes. Disrupt helms the a-side for one of his perfectly executed digi-dub modifications, all smokey vibes and 8-bit flourishes, before Tapes obliterates the soundsystem with the hissy magnificence of "Atomica Rydim" on the flip, and you remember that everything this guy does is just S O L I D G O L D.
Ramadanman heads up the latest Fabriclive session with a crucial 30+ track selection spanning House and Grime to Shangaan Electro. This guy should require little introduction: his singles and remixes over the last three years are some of the most forward thinking dancefloor productions coming from the UK, and the Hessle Audio label he co-runs with Ben UFO and Pangaea is just owning things right now. His mix embraces the best of electronic dance music in 2011, judged with a pacing and narrative well beyond his years. The first section sets an efficie… Read more
Nonplus maintain a relentless streak of form with this stunning sampler 12" for Instra:Mental's forthcoming debut album 'Resolution 653'. The duo's production values have never been in doubt but this time executed to a fierce degree. Face up, 'Thomp' operates like some Cyborg funk ritual, deploying Untold-style, cone-folding kicks and grazing percussion with earth-moving subs and minimalist splashes of airlock pressure synths. Face down, 'When I Dip' is a certified future rudeboy anthem (by the international association of future rudeboys, don't u know), a double 'ard electro… Read more
**Exclusive upfront release!** Proper cheeky, caricatured rave fusions from Unknown To The Unknown, an alter ego of Hot City's DJ Haus, backed with a killer DJ Stingray remix! 'Assasin' makes the first incision, sounding like a drunken Ron Hardy making a Skweee splice of Kraftwerk, Egyptian Lover and LFO on a dicky copy of Ableton for a set at a CBBC presenters convention. If that's too daft for you, just peep Stingray's intensified version, flipping the track with his deadly intuition for a minimal, industrial-tinted and ghetto-ready electro rockers special. Back to the nutty fusions and si… Read more
Some fresh blood for the Brainfeeder label, Jeremiah Jae is a Chicago native who somehow manages to blend the cut-and-paste of the LAFMS, the synthetic pulse of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and rare groove of Madlib and emerge with something effortlessly engaging and shockingly coherent. Madlib might just be the best reference, but this is far from an exercise in second-rate ‘Unseen’ pastiches, just flip over to the Delia Derbyshire-esque ‘Stones Passage’ and prepare to have your brain cells frazzled by Jae’s genius-level of control over his unexpected, pulsing rhythms and the kin… Read more
Following on from appearances on Hyperdub, Kevin Martin (The Bug) and Kiki Hitomi (Dokkebi Q) take a temporary leave of absence from King Midas Sound (of which they are both members) to deliver their first EP proper as Black Chow, this time for the excellent Jahtari label. Black Chow is an altogether less submerged proposition to King Midas, replacing that signature spiritual narcosis with a more overtly digital-dub-indebted aesthetic. Opening track "Wonderland" carries many of the Jahtari signatures, with the sonic detritus of 8bit machinery strewn all over the arrangement, and Hitomi's… Read more
Heavily engaged mission music from the mysterious sect of Niggas With Guitars, coming correct with a stunningly evocative debut vinyl for Digitalis. In the vein of Dylan Ettinger's 'New Age Outlaws' or Leyland Kirby's muddled memories, 'Ethnic Frenzy' is a vivid internal soundtrack for hypnagogic dreamers, warping the memes of Vangelis or Carpenter in much the same way Pat Maher's DJ YoYo Dieting did to DJ Screw or Indignant Senility to Wagner. Cruising in to the A-side we're slowly immersed in smoked-out and sludgy choral drones punctuated with fractured gasps of drum machine r… Read more
Lighworks have the honour of dropping Ossie's anthemic 'floor killer 'Tarantula' as the first release on the label. In 2010 it picked up attention across the board after becoming a staple in the sets of Ossie's mate, DJ Petchy on Live FM, followed by support from Joy Orbison, Kode 9, Ben UFO, Bok Bok, and yer ma. For a debut production he's displaying chops ahead of his years with a firm grasp of crisp, Afro-rhythmic beat programming and silky synths, while his flipside production 'Creepy Crawlies' takes a tougher, electroid stance but still with the same sense of finesse. Cherry o… Read more
**If you're into Oneohtrix Point Never, don't miss this.** Digitalis activist Brad Rose maps out three passages to synthetic galaxies with Kevin Danchisko of Sovetskaya Gone. For the keenest of observers, they dropped two tapes last year, but 'I Will Be Missed' is their first vinyl release, containing three new tracks of vast and mysterious drones punctuated with starbursting synth patterns and a wide-eyed effect harking back to early 90s ambient qualities with a nod to narcotically laced Americana that fand of Oneohtrix will adore. However, as it's a Digitalis release, there's somethi… Read more
One to watch, Midland, drops his 2nd solo single, backed with an unconventional Radio Slave remix. 'Bring Joy' is purely indicative of the Midland sound, further loosening the strictures that separate House, Garage and Techno to create a very 2011-ready sound binding elegant Tech-House builds with crisp 2-step swing. 'Dead Eyes' looks more to classic, mid-'90s US garage, where linear, propulsive Tech-House patterns are offset with relaxed subbass for firm dancefloor guidance. Strangely enough for a Radio Slave mix, his version of 'Bring Joy' dispenses with the kicks to tease out 12 minutes of spaciously minimal techno grooving around that warm subbass groove.
Ellen Allien’s ‘Dust’ was another key step in her evolution from techno superstar to skewed pop starlet, and while it lacked the 4/4 crunch of her earlier work it still retained enough of the attitude to win over new fans. Now, however, she’s brought that pulsing beat back thanks to a whole gang of able remixers, from the tried and tested (Bodycode, Aux 88, Adultnapper) to the young bloods (Nicholas Jaar, Kassem Mosse) to the plain weird (Tim Hecker). It’s no surprise where the high points lie – Kassem Mosse’s nine-minute house burner alone makes the release worth buying with its temper… Read more
*First release on this hugely exciting new label from Emeralds' John Elliott and Editions Mego.* Chicago-based, Ohio-bred multi-instrumentalist, Matthew Mullane inaugurates the Spectrum Spools label with the spellbinding voyage of 'A Sort Of Radiance'. This is his debut album, and first release on vinyl but he's previously released cassettes in small runs on Fairchild Tapes and Stunned Records. The fact that he's skipped much of the ferric initiation/screening process should tell you that his music is of a more distinguished character than many trapped in the tape dream. He's capable of… Read more
Bee Mask's mind-melting 'Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico' was released in 2010 on a c30 cassette through Gift Tapes. Editions Mego's John Elliott-helmed Spectrum Spools label has given it a vital vinyl reissue, faithfully remastered by Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering. To say we're excited by the potential of this label is a given, but let's deal with the incredible album in question first. Chris Madak aka Bee Mask's music exists in a continuum of musique concrète and tape experiments stretching back to the earliest emissions of Pi… Read more