Monday, 20 October
Oozing Wound is a thrash trio featuring veterans of Chicago’s underground scene. ‘Earth Suck’ is the explosive follow up to the band’s breakout debut ‘Retrash’, which earned them praise from the New York Times, Pitchfork, Decibel and more.
"The Body and Sandworm are two bands with roots in the Providence underground that take unbridled negativity and spin it in opposite directions. The Body, legendary in both underground extreme music enclaves and the wider community of metal fans, are masters of expansive expressions of pure sadness that incorporate sounds and instruments far beyond what is typical in the realm of heavy metal. Sandworm is the young and hungry duo of Ben Eberle and Pat Reilly, bursting out of the gate on this, their first proper release, with a collection of raw and elemental black metal. On several son… Read more
Sunday, 19 October
Tuesday, 14 October
Throughout 2014, the hyper-reflective electronic surfaces of instrumental grime have emerged as one of the year's defining sounds. From the "weightless" projections of Mumdance, Logos and co, to the iridescent prisms of Visionist, Shriekin, Cyphr and Moleskin, via retro-futurisms from Filter Dread, Slackk and JT The Goon, the scene has never been more open-minded, quick-moving or eager. This selection, whilst by no means comprehensive - there's obviously glaring omissions from the likes of Murlo, Kahn & Neek, Finn, to name a few - draws for those moodier, stranger, fo… Read more
Monday, 13 October
'Golden Circle Afternoon' is the trippy, fractured travelogue of a European tour undertaken by Argentinian avant-guitarist Anla Courtis and sound artists, BJNilsen & Stilluppsteypa. It's a dense and often frightening session, condensing some months of field recordings and transitional concepts into a heavy moving mass of drones, acousmatic sound sources and noisy flux, as though hearing their lives played in fast-forward and super slow, almost as you'd imagine the sense-scrambling experience of extended touring to be. To be honest I couldn't really sp… Read more
Choice selections from Rob Hood's 1994 classic, 'The Protein Valve'. The original cuts mark a point in Hood's seminal catalogue where he really defines his own style of minimalism to deadly effect. Yet for our 2p, they're outshone here by the crazed 909 bassline and chopped drum patterns of 'Analog Track (Ghost)' which is built with the sort of sleight of hand and crazed edits that producers simply don't, or can't, do nowadays. Even if you're overly familiar with the originals, that new cut is worth the entry alone.
Excellent primer on the diffuse, highly influential elektronik music scene centred around the N.W. German industrial city, Düsseldorf circa late '70s-early '80s. Spanning work by common elements such as Wolfgang Riechmann - who played with both Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf, and Neu!'s Michael Rother - in the sparkling 'Wunderbar', and La Düsseldorf's eponymous anthem, through to the ambient visions of Harmonia & Eno, and or the proto-techno warning volleys of D.A.F.'s 'Der Mussolini', Die Krupps' helter skelter 'Wahre Arbeit Wahrer Lohn' and Liasons Dangereuses… Read more
Rudest dread techno charge from noob, Nurve, on Pinch's Tectonic. The squashed techno murder of his A-side, 'Wrong Number' was previously sandwiched into the ace Pinch B2B Mumdance mix CD, and is now unleashed as a tracky, galloping tool consolidating all corners of the darkside underground. Flipside, he ups the funk ante with a twysted, techy bomb coming off like some Skam joint gone Bristol, plus a mean bit of whirring 2-step techno bruk in 'Spasm'. Watch yer bons bons.
'Tomorrow Was the Golden Age' is an unmistakably gorgeous and refreshing suite of microtonal minimalist composition by New York-based ensemble, Bing & Ruth. Helmed by writer, conductor and lead pianist, David Moore, and supported by two upright bassists, two clarinetists, a cellist and a tape delay tech, Bing & Ruth genuinely sweep us off somewhere sublime without recourse to overblown conceit or cliche - something all too prevalent and cloying in today's neo-classical quarters. Their skill lies in the ability to drift, almost imperceptibly, between microtonal harmonies an… Read more
Eagerly anticipated reissue of an Ethio jazz-and-funk cornerstone from keyboard whizz Hailu Mergia on Awesome Tapes From Africa. Unlike the last time, when we heard him solo on 'Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument', here on the highly sought-after 'Tche Belew', he's backed by The Walias, one of Ethiopia's crack units, who're perhaps best known for collaborating with Mulatu Astatke and backing for star Éthiopiques singer, Ahmed Mahmoud. The legendary Astatke also appears on this one, but Hailu is arguably the star of the show, sitting front and centre with silky smooth orga… Read more
NYC's Margaret Chardiet aka Pharmakon churns her guts out in this bloodied follow-up to her acclaimed album debut, 'Abandon' (2013). Four days before she was supposed to fly to Europe, touring in support of 'Abandon', Margaret had a medical emergency which resulted in major surgery and the loss of an organ. 'Bestial Burden' was realised during this time, written and fleshed-out whilst she came to terms with the situation; "I thought of my corporeal body anthropomorphically, with a will or intent of its own, outside of my will's control, and seeking to sabotage. I began to explore the id… Read more
UTTU gets them cherry-picking fingers mucky again with Rushmore's 1st single outside of the Trax Couture label. In case you weren't following, Rushmore's dealt out a couple of killer 12"s to date fusing UK grime with Ballroom, Chi-house and footwork in excellent fashion. Here he's typically wayward, flexing out from Todd Terry styles in 'Dance Show' to an outstanding slow/fast ghetto-tech sound on 'Droptop', whereas 'Run II' eases off on a moody gherkin jerk tip and 'Throwback' juggles clipped chords and raspin' typewriter percussion like some raw-ass take on early SND. Tip!
First digital issue of a proper tribalist house template by Ben Cenac - Dream2Science, Newcleus - originally released in 1990. A prime example of into-the-'90s Afro-futurism, 'Bang The Drums' makes explicit reference to house music's roots in seven pieces putting a rugged yet mystic New York on the Chicago sound and closely mirroring the UK's dreamy but rude bleep techno and acid styles. 'Africa' is a killer workout with technoid stabs and busy drum programming, further explored in 'Tribal Rhythm, whilst 'Zanzibar' gives room for some proper pan-pipe riffing, and 'Zulu (We're One Nation… Read more
**Sterling reissue of Witch's juicy 1984 LP, 'Kuomboka' - original copies are listed at well over 500 quid 2nd hand!** "If Movin' On is Witch's Rumours then Kuomboka is their Tusk; a remarkable follow-up to a timeless album that shows the band taking greater risks in songwriting and playfully experimenting with production techniques. This album is Witch's stunning swansong before the fast-changing music industry and political environment in Zambia took its toll on the group. Again rooted in American FM radio, from soft rock ballads to boogie, this album sees the group embrace their Zambian roots … Read more
William Bennett and Blackest Ever Black light the fuse on a delirious 3rd album from Cut Hands. Recorded from 2012-2014 in Edinburgh and London, 'Festival Of The Dead' finds a place for the explosive energy and drama of ancient percussive ritual in an accelerated modern world. Named and released to coincide with harvest or autumnal customs across the world, it's both a harbinger of darker times and a commemoration of shared ancestry and traditions common to many cultures across the world - All Saints Day, Samhain, Feast of Ancestors, Pitru Paksha etc. Only, we're in 2014 and compu… Read more
Numbers indulge a bit of mystery with the super charming debut of "anonymous" producer Deejay Deer. Apparently "born and raised in the Bavarian wilderness" and "the first forest dwelling animal to use the prefix 'Deejay'", gives pretty much f**k all away, but a quick listen to either track should trigger trigger some clues. On 'Natural' they swirl head high piano chords and rugged breakbeat house bounce landing somewhere between Martyn, Redshape and Shed, whilst 'Unnatural' rushes up with flanging metallic chords and swung garage breaks like the nexx generation of Joy O's 'Hyph Mngo' amped by Four Tet. It's probably just Dave The Drummer having a laugh, though.
*Andy Votel, Sean Demdike and Suzanne Ciani deploy the second in a proposed trilogy of excursions documenting sessions carried out in different configurations last year* Once again mining a rich source of archival material, tape works and improvised recordings, Andy Votel’s Neotantrik tap deep into the subconscious with a highly visual trip into the furthest reaches of psychedelic ambience. Following on from ‘Blue Amiga’ that came and went in a flash last month, ‘Omichrom’ is a more brooding, studied affair. Unfurling from a delicate modular opening sequence the A-side flows into a hallucin… Read more
Stroboscopic Artefacts parse four strong highlights from their five years of influential operations. Rrose's droning womrhole 'Drowned By Sight' is prime example of their purist approach, whilst Perc's 'Tri-City' represents their rugged, noirish industrial sensibilities, and the shifty detail of Lakker's 'Pier' heralds bleak new techno futures head on.
Lakker back for seconds on R&S with two of their craftiest, noisiest cuts to date. This 12" feels like Lakker have fully realised their potential, confident enough to bullishly pursue darkest, dramatic techno themes in their unique style. A-side 'Mountain Divide' opens a widescreen vortex of howling harmonics and surging slowfast steppers rhythms rising to a dome-blowing breakdown and back out into full-on symphonic noise assault with a throttling, roiling climax. B-side, Math Fall' embarks more cautiously with strobing synth voices and shuddering white noise shocks scudding around lik… Read more
Dark Sky's soulful 'Rainkist', remixed in moody, epic versions by Trevino and Marcel Dettmann. Last heard on their 'Imagin' album, the pleading, blue-eyed soul vocal and dusted drums of 'Rainkist' inspire a droning, electro-tooled roller from Trevino sounding like some Jon Convex piece, whereas Dettmann takes all the time he needs to break it down and rebuild as a rolling big room arrangement with nods to classic, jazzy Carl Craig.
Exquisitely glacial longform composition from the modern master of minimalism. 'Trouble' marks quite possibly the quietest, concentrated levels in Drumm's catalogue. More placid/unnerving than even his 'Imperial Distortion' / 'Imperial Horizon' couplet, or practically anything else for that matter. It's a purified exercise in immersed listening, encouraging the participant to give it their undivided attention in return for a discreetly tactile and beautifully liminal experience, "neither ambient nor drone but a more complex investigation into the deep recesses of sound." We strongly recommend your submission to 'Trouble'.
"Formed in the early '50s under the watchful eye of Tuskegee, Alabama, transplant Charles Chambliss, the Sensational Saints were handpicked from a Cleveland clothing store, a pool room, and from a group of friends singing from a third story window. After years spent rotating members and issuing stray singles for assorted non-denominational imprints, the group connected with the vocally inclined Reverend Melvin Kenniebrew at the close of the '60s, making good on their "Sensational" boast. "With God in their hearts and singing on their minds," the Sensational Saints mounted… Read more
"After the Rain is the latest offering from Mark Van Hoen and Louis Sherman's Locust project. Following up the 2013 release 'You'll be safe together' this new album sees Locust stepping away from the abstracted forms of previous works presenting a more melodic/harmonic proposition. Bathed in a warm nostalgic memory 'After the Rain' draws on Mark's formative influences, primarily 70's electronic music. With greater input by Louis Sherman (who, although being born when Mark was originally taking in this music shares an equal enthusiasm for this particular period of European mel… Read more
Bittersweet UK house bumps by Midland, back on Aus Music. Three trax concentrate on a breezy, subtly discordant house mutation, carrying a laidback but driving momentum between the off-kilter fonk and soured synths/strings of 'Duster' thru the salty dub house skank of 'Reflex' and Afro-centric shuffle of 'Pitch Drift'.
Ross Abrahams aka S Maharba drifts further from his sought-after instrumental hip- hop sound and into a fuggy world of The Caretaker-esque sonics in 'Memorial'. His first original release since 2012 is a chokingly dusty mixture of creaking neo-classical motifs and knackered downbeats, a sort of earnestly wistful and cinematic emo sound at best in the water-stained mulch of 'Michelle' and the haunted shuffle of 'Memorial'.
Divided finds a fine balance of atmospheric space and gritty heft in 'Moment (Historical)' for London's Resin label. 'Eigen' leans twards the dry, scuffed sound favoured by Blawan or Shifted, but with a percolating funk of its own; 'Eventide' is craftier, rolling with trim breakbeats and eerie spectral dubbing; 'Dawn' perfects that contrast of agitated techno groove and open space reminding of certain 2562/AMUS pieces; 'First Light' rolls out into darker industrial techno zones a la Milton Bradley or Dasha Rush.
Pumping four-track session from L.I.E.S. cadet, Gunnar Haslam, for Delsin. Freeform house music in four parts, rolling from the spare, corrugated groove and icy, awning atmospheres of 'Corridor Metaphysics' to grittier techno-house roil in 'Ataxia No Logos', and over thru the dub-smudged jazzy breakbeat twist and aerial drones of 'Dunsinane Hill' to a pumping dub techno motor, 'Discrete Markov Dub'. Crucially, it's all got that right balance of fizzing grit and weight where it matters.
"Formed in Austin in March 2013, Institute includes members of Wiccans, Glue, Blotter, Recide and more. Before they were even a proper band, singer Moses Brown had a couple of raw post-punk songs sitting on a four-track at his house. Once the lineup solidified, the band touched up one of those songs (“Dead Sea”) for a demo, then quickly wrote enough material to flesh out that demo (re-released on Deranged), a seven-inch (on Katorga Works), and now their debut EP for Sacred Bones. The Salt EP is as sharp as the band’s earlier work but suggests longer, more experimental forms (“An Absence”) and … Read more