Monday, 29 September
Toiling techno grind from an intriguing Italian project named Roughlung. Improvised on hardware from nose to tail, their 'Untitled' session hauls ass from muggy, tracky industrial percolators to bleached-out, knackered house and hydraulic techno minimalism striding just the right side of noisy-but-craftily defined grooves. RIYL CUB, Positive Centre, Shifted, Fishermen.
**Adventurous, pioneering pieces from an unsung hero of Italy's influential experimental scene of the 1970s** "In an alternate universe the Rome born female synthesist Daniela Casa would be a household name. A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, abstract electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia De Mutiis (later Giulia Alessandroni), Doris Norton and Suzanne Ciani while retaining one of the most individualistic and diverse comp… Read more
*Ships Friday* Marquis Hawkes makes moves on Houndstooth with the 'Fifty Fathoms Deep' EP, featuring the Ben UFO and Move D-sponsored 'Can't Find a Reason'. That one cuts a flash Jersey house figure across the A-side, replete with Todd Edwards-esque vocal chops and fruity groove for the friday night playas, before A'dam's Stee Downes chimes in all dreamy and nipple-rubbing in the floaty depths of 'The Way'. Flipside, Hawkes swings solo with the jazzier motifs of 'Fifty Fathoms' and some class Linn chops in the haughty house boogie of 'Fat Man'.
Oakland, CA dreamer, Austin Cesear smudges back into view on Public Information with his follow-up to aces for Opal Tapes and Anthony Naples' Proibito. 'West Side' was inspired by Austin's time spent gazing over the dock of Oakland port in the San Francisco bay, and duly yields six tracks of gauzily impressionist groove and foggy atmosphere, or, as PI poetically proffer; "This is Austin Cesear beside black water in the darkest hours, white sodium light bouncing across the surf. Searching across the bay, industry stands proud in the early morning haze. Cargo, containers, machines. Cranes … Read more
Rugged robo-house swing and shuffle from Effy, tricked out with Troy Gunner and Hound Scales remixes. Check up 'Move' for a chunky, Joy O or Boddika styled jacker, and 'Bourbon Switch' for some crafty 4/4 - 2 - 3/4 time signature switches built for the moodier shape-cutters. Troy Gunner gives a nimbly brutalist halfstep techno rework of 'Move', and Hound Scales follows some smart work for Fifth Wall Records with a clattering rework of 'Bourbon Switch'.
**Unique ambient piano suite** ""If I had to choose [Brian Eno's] greatest contribution to popular music it would be the idea that musicians do their best work when they have no idea what they’re doing." - Sasha Frere-Jones on Brian Eno (Ambient Genius, July 7). This is something Babe Rainbow (aka Cameron Reed) believes wholeheartedly. He hadn't really made electronic music before starting Babe Rainbow a number of years back, and shortly thereafter he was signed to Warp. Before that, he had been making angular punk music in Vancouver. Each of these 12 tracks a… Read more
Theatrics is partly produced by reknowned producer Valgeir Sigur!sson (Björk, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, CocoRosie, Feist) and features composer Nico Muhly, both of whom are Puzzle Muteson’s label-mates on the Bedroom Community label. It also features composer and graphic designer Machinefabriek. Puzzle Muteson is the alter ego of an enigmatic songwriter from the Isle of Wight, rendering his music in a tremulous tenor over a finely spun web of fingerpicked guitar. Born in London, the southern English island provided unexpected shelter for the shuddering transformation into one-man band Puzz… Read more
"Gui Boratto strings together various contemporary strands of pop-infused techno and house and translates them into his very own stream of groove consciousness - also an act of cultural appropriation, as both Abaporu's cover artwork and title suggest: putting an inspired twist on Brazil's most famous modernist painting from early 20th century artist Tarsilo Do Amaral, they draw from the rich history of Brazilian modern art, where European and indigenous influences would collide in the most exciting manner. Elegantly swinging album opener Antropofagia elaborates on this by directly referenci… Read more
Sias plumbs murkier depths of knackered disco, house and boogie for Budapest, Hungary's Farbwechsel label. 'Office Of Public Works' works just off-centre of Andy Stott or Lily with a more dazed style leading us into pockets of time-warping field recordings and fuzz and back out to chugging, swampy grooves with a day-dreamy quality perfectly suited to the ferric fidelity.
A *stone cold* wave anthem reissued by Emotional Rescue! Since Lights Sounds Dark introduced us to the pleasures of Pink & Black's 'Sometimes I Wish' life has never been the same, basically. A perfect distillation of dancefloor ecstasy and melancholy, that vocal will not be leaving your head any time soon, and you might as well take out a restraining order on those toms and bouncing bass before it gets any worse; they're simply not gonna leave your ass alone. Essential disco music, no less.
Ras G drops volume 3 of his 'Raw Fruit' beat tape adventures. Still sippin' on that Sun Ra juice and blowing big green smoke rings to the sky, he crumbles, mixes and rolls up 17 nuggets with patented freeform flair. We're particularly feeling the taste of 'Tomita Kush' and 'T.V. Party' with their scratchy wave samples, and the Afro-concentric spirals of 'Wulu Rhythm'. Can't wait to spark this up in the easy chair.
Stereolab's erstwhile mastermind Tim Gane has the honour of being first to dive into Sky Records' legendary krautrock catalogue to curate Kollektion 01. Inarguably the flagship model for 1970's krautrock, Sky Records was home to practically everyone in the scene, hence their vaults swell with classics for Tim to pick from, resulting a 17-track session spanning work from the Moebius/Roedelis/Eno/Cluster/Conny Plank axis alongside cherry-picked zingers by Asmus Tietchens, Riechmann, Günter Schickert.
Clone's better mannered sub-label makes good with two deeper tech-house pieces by Brian Wong aka Gingy backed by a smart Serge & Tyrell remix. The original finds a classy balance of techy broken beats and rolling, soulful house replete with full blown vocal by Starving Yet Full, all trimmed down to a bumpy Jersey groove in Serge + Tyrell's Dub. Better yet, 'VSCUS' strikes on the biting point of raw modular madness and big room tech house trance.
Sh***t, that Roska sample's been bouncing around for at least 6 years now?! Celebrating that fact, the Rinse FM regular and UKF pioneer showcases his label's talents, both new and old, with jackin' house from Alex Parkin & Chris Lorenzo plus the soulful swing of Nudist's 'Crossroad Wishes' beside a stack of fresh Funky and broken house joints: at best in Bakongo's technoid tribalism 'Rolling Blackouts'; the 'ardcore razz of Beer Fridge Project's 'Motorboat'; and Tickles' rude-style dancefloor rudder, 'Between The Lines'.
Matt Edwards (Radio Slave) meets best pal Thomas Gandey (Cagedbaby) to indulge in some abstract soundscaping as Matom for Planet E. 'Love Mistakes' was created at Berlin's legendary Hansa Studios as a sort of tribute to it's hallowed clients and productions - Bowie, Iggy Pop, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno. "The entire essence of Matom’s Sounds is based around live takes and recorded snippets of conversations and ambiences from their tours, with no midi or samples so when they joined the line up for the Pyramids of Mars label showcase at Berghain’s Kantine it was a seamless transition from studi… Read more
Mannequin Records introduce us to Mexican New Wave unit Casino Shanghai with two previously unreleased aces plus a banging remix by In Aeternam Vale. While their title track is a touch too cheesy, the mixture of echoic, Liz Fraser-like vocal inflections and dry, driving drum machine in 'Le Tombeau D'Edgar Poe' really hits the mark, and harder again on the kicking, technoid remix update.
Super-stripped rhythm excursions from another new American name and label to these pages, De Leon for Aught. Feeling out space between Shackleton and N.M.O., or Burnt Friedman and Lee Gamble, '/\\03' clocks up chiming, Afro-centric syncopations and plangent metallic atmospheres from a mixture of what sounds like a copulating mixture of programmed and live drums slithering and bathing in their own harmonic resonance.
Smartly forward dub-techno deviations from Topdown Dialectic on promising new label, Aught. The follow-up to their eponymous EP for Seattle's Further Records advances the most choking/choked aesthetics of Actress or Andy Stott into fully blown-out abstraction, blowing with force between noisily skudged Chain Reaction styles to crushed Wanda Group mulch, heaving Thriller boogie and kinetic, swarming techno buried beneath acres of atmospheric pressure. Aces.
Yung Turks present SBTRKT's strongest body of work to date with the electronic pop/soul projections of 'Wonder Where We Land'. Teeming with guest spots from A$AP Ferg, Koreless, Sampha, Jessie Ware, Warpaint, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), and Andrew Ashong, among others, it marks SBTRKT as a properly dilated producer, one open to working fresh new sounds and bolder production technique into more timeless dance-pop frameworks. At this point, the hooks of upfront singles such as 'New Dorp. New Dorp', 'Higher' and 'Voices In My Head' have… Read more
Subtle but muscular techno/house trax from Darko Esser aka Tripeo for Clone's Basement series. 'Kuebiko' is a stranger ace, mixing diving subs with stepping techno groove and sparkling pads to infect the basement. 'Nargy' gets down proper with a steaming but coolly controlled techno momentum, and 'Qwerty' goes underwater with a fine flux of blips and scratchy jack attack.
Impressively puristic techno experiments from a new American name, Elizabethan Collar. Starting out with Craig Leon-like metallic rhythms, the set twists from concentrated, fibrillating 4/4 rhythms reminding of Sleeparchive or Antti Rannisto, to one pensile killer looping a lost voice in darkside chamber dub fashion recalling Dale Cornish's 'Xeric' release. Tipped!
Rrose and Dino Sabatini rework Dave Huren and co's Teste techno classic 'The Wipe' for 2014. The Rrose version opens a headlong vortex of mind-swilling synth waves and shuffled drums recalibrating the original to a sexier schematic. Berlin-based Italian, Dino Sabatini switches up with a more fluidly proggy, stark-naked version swept with ghostly, siren-like pads.
**Deluxe edition with 7 xtra trax** Yung Turks present SBTRKT's strongest body of work to date with the electronic pop/soul projections of 'Wonder Where We Land'. Teeming with guest spots from A$AP Ferg, Koreless, Sampha, Jessie Ware, Warpaint, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Caroline Polachek (Chairlift), and Andrew Ashong, among others, it marks SBTRKT as a properly dilated producer, one open to working fresh new sounds and bolder production technique into more timeless dance-pop frameworks. At this point, the hooks of upfront singles such as 'New Dorp. New Dorp', 'Hi… Read more
**Sounds like a Craig Leon re-score for Mad Max** "Regional Curse is the scarred, spectral incarnation of Melbourne-by-way-of-Adelaide musician Stacey Wilson aka Rites Wild. Her instrumentation remains similar – cyclical keyboard figures, downward tracing synths, skeletal drum machinery – but the execution follows a more disembodied, ceremonial logic. Her latest collection of uneasy electronics murmurs and seethes like threatening shadows silhouetted through the blinds. Low-lit drones stalk their waveforms, unraveling into pulsing, blank dubs for unknown presences. Like all of Wils… Read more
"Echo Park (by way of Minneapolis) motorcycle mechanic Nick Koenigs aka Filthy Huns follows his 2012 self-titled debut with a freshly iced 8-pack of stark tar-streaked roadburn meditations, Leopard On My Right. Echo-blurred metronomes rev from dive bar dub to aging engine chugs, laced with keyboard exhaust, stick-and-poke guitar designs, hungover highway vocals, and dust-choked American desolation. As before, Koenigs keeps the dead-eyed leather menace quotient high while bleaching the songs' rock bone structures into pale, emaciated shapes ("Ancient Hell," "Nomad Status"), occasi… Read more
**Plush grooves from 100% Silk's new sister label, House Of Silk** "LA/Detroit two-steppers Newbody (aka Roberto Ramone and Jonathan Roshad) keep the faith on their latest single. “Emotional” and the flip “Wut U Do” share the duo’s brisk vocal house signature: cooled garage energy, uptown piano, bass calisthenics, satin shirt soul. The remixes flex different tendons of the tracks: Emotion II Emotion pumps it to Jack City, piano stabs and discotheque horns over a lush, lewd bounce, while Cromie & Sage go more stereoscopic, dizzying the song into an abstract sunrise awakening. Also includes a ra… Read more
**100% Silk darlings scrub up nicely on a much shinier return to the label** "When Cuticle’s asteroid techno shrapnel formations finally streak the sky, they’re immediately recognizable – the stark cubic mixing eccentricities, a clashing crosshatch of alien bass patterns and arcade synth fingerpaint, acid atmospherics dripped like candlewax, poems whispered through futuristic air ducts. Brendan O’Keefe’s phantom touch has been distinct since the project’s origin but Mind Holding Pattern feels even more defined and isolated than his earlier work, nine morphing textures charged with d… Read more