Monday, 19 January
"Belle And Sebastian return with their ninth studio album, ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’. The album opens with ‘Nobody’s Empire’, which Stuart said “is absolutely the most personal [song] I’ve ever written.” About the beginnings of his lifelong struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which led to his first forays into songwriting, it is easily one of his most musically and emotionally epic songs. Produced and mixed at Maze Studios in Atlanta by Ben H. Allen III, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective and Raury, among others, the band … Read more
Strickly bangers from Dance Mania legend Paul Johnson. Ain't no messing with the anthemic bounce of 'Feel My M.F. Bass', the percolating rudeness of 'Jack-U-Later', the psychosexual madness of 'U So Silly', and the hard-to-resist 'Bootycall'. You know what to do!
Chicago on patrol! Traxman delivers six bangers for the recently revived and legendary Dance Mania campaign to work your booty proper. Uptown features a slamming juke version of the Pacman theme plus a brittle, jerkin' workout 'Getting Da Hoe' and the minimalist, bass-concentrated tool 'Work ME 2013'. Downtown he brings the funk with the chopped samples of 'U Wanna' and the outstanding footwork funk cut-up '1976', plus a tweakin' acid madness named 'AcidHouse 2013', funnily enough. Bang it, work it, jerk it.
**RIYL Zelionople, Labradford, Bohren und der Club of Gore, Mark Hollis** "David McLean’s Aging project returns to the label with a suite of noirish balladry and bar room dirges, painting a murky, multi-instrumental portrait of man under the influence. Although the main focus of these recordings is largely McLean’s guitar, the spaciousness and atmosphere that characterised his solo piano debut ‘I Swear I Saw Her Halo’ is still very much intact. Pairing with drummer Andrew Cheetham for three of the five cuts, McLean’s sunken and dungeoned melodies act as a perfect foil for this e… Read more
**Gentle, loop-based works coaxed from guitar, effects pedals into cinematic scenarios. RIYL Hood, Labradford, Loren Connors** "Apnoeic is the second EP from London-based composer and cineaste Clint Trofa. Whereas Trofa’s previous work had focused much more on a diverse pollination of sounds and instrumentation, ‘Apnoeic’ see a vast reduction in compositional tools; strictly using the electric guitar and a handful of effects pedals to create an eerie, cinematic tapestry of mood and atmosphere that is far more mature, direct and clear in its songwriting and characterised by a bruise-blue… Read more
"Two Commissions for Cassette Tape is Ex-Easter Island Head's first release for the Manchester-based Tombed Visions label and their first release ever on the format. Encompassing two fifteen minute pieces, Two Commissions explores new territory for the group, following on from their recent works for trio and massed electric guitars and drums (Mallet Guitars Three, Large Electric Ensemble) to present a pair of intimate, personal works using the sonic and mechanical qualities of the cassette medium as a compositional element alongside the groups' ever expand… Read more
Raster-Noton present the brain-flossing results of Frank Bretschneider's calculated muck-about on the Buchla and Serge modular synths in Stockholm's hallowed EMS facility. 'Sinn + Form', translating to "meaning + form", is the Raster-Noton co-founder's attempt to simulate the "fundamentally chaotic world as we know it" via mathematical and physical theories - dynamical systems, probability theory, stochastic systems - in an extension of humankind's endless endeavour to "recognize this world and to describe, predict, control and change it." To our ears, the results flux wildly betw… Read more
The ever-surprising Love Cult twyst between EBM techno and gothic house with strange, cut-up psych-folk inflections on the 'Wonderland' EP. From the hunched intro of 'Scenario', they fake left with the naif vocals introducing 'Wonderland', before slipping into pacey electro and keening drones, while 'Daddy Issues' grinds to a sleazier house tattoo and 'This Good' pulls off the oddest fusion of moto-roiling shuffle laced with alien chirps and leading to a blunt conclusion. Original styles.
Neat remixes of Todd Terje from Golf Channel associate and former member of !!!, Justin Van Der Volgen. 'Inspector Norse' is tweaked out to 10 minutes of louche groove and sustained synth excess; 'Strandbar' is soused in psychedelic disco sweetness.
Tricked-out techno killers from Dan Jugel and Beau Wanzer's new Juzer duo on Anthony Parasole's label. The New York force is strong on this one with four no-nonsense pounders built for optimal effect. A-side fires up a vintage Regis-styled weapon in 'Couch Mover' and almost PCP-strength kicks synched to rail-gunning 16th note hi-hat attacks on 'Horseplay'. Flipside they slow things down a BPM or five for the swinging, jacking 4am coda of 'Short Round', and the pneumatic bounce of 'Temple II'.
Following exemplary 12"s from Fred P, Anthony Parasole and Shawn O'Sullivan/Civil Duty, Tom Dicicco sustains the No Corner quality levels with four of his toughest, darkest tunes to date. They're probably the closest we've heard to the Levon Vincent template; a sterling balance of measured, powerful torque and wide-open spatial dynamics that really stand out from the heavier techno and house crowd.
Adam-X and Jimmy Crash reprise their X-Crashed duo for a pair of proper New York Techno bangers via Anthony Parasole's label, On The Corner. 'Where Were You In '92' offers a different perspective on Zomby's '92, one driven by memories of pounding 909s and alarm signal acid lines; 'Pre-Gentrified' harks back to a pre-Giuliani New York with bass drum thunder and tunnelling synthlines bets heard off your chops in a warehouse or pounding the sidewalk.
Deadly tribal techno functions fresh outta NYC. The Corner CEO Anthony Parasole fronts a proper polyrhythmic shakedown built from kinky toms, pistoning hi-hats and a welting but light-footed bottom end practically guaranteed to make 'em shift. And if they don't then f**k 'em.
DJ Qu & Nor'Easter kick off The Corner label with a dark Hip Hop and House split. Nor'Easter debuts with a Wu-sampling neck snap named 'Cuttin Headz (Tribute)' and the darkside, downbeat club tool 'Times Like This' sounding like some old Urban Tribe groove gone to NYC. Undoubtedly the star feature is DJ Qu's tightly tucked, heads-down and droning shaker 'Times Like This', making a highly anticipated appearance on wax after Levon Vincent included it on the Fabric 63 mix.
Pounding dark techno from NYC's Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa. The weirdly prescient 'Atlantic Ave' is a stripped down, monotone techno tool powered by kicks/bass and sculpted white noise reminding of the Prologue sound, and offset with a slinkier, tracky counter-rhythms for that sexier downtown shuffle. A more condensed 'Retake' appears on the flip next to the throbbing, kick-less 'Oceanic Dub' tool.
Murderous Chi-town techno winners from Beau Wanzer (Civil Duty/Streetwalker/Mutant Beat Dance) and Shawn O'Sullivan. Adhering to stringent analog values, Shawn O'Sullivan gives the unrepentant, pounding modulations of 'Security' on one side, and the droning, swaggering, Regis-style swing of 'Crisis' on the flip. Beau Wanzer seals the deal with a jagged pneumatic wave jacker named 'Courier'.
Rugged New York TechnoHouse from Fred P for Anthony Parasole's label. Four super-strength aces, ranging from the disciplined throbs and delirious diffusions of 'Splitting Particles' to the blunted basement swagger of 'Tube Compression' on one side, and over to the emotive widescreen expression of 'Storm Clouds' and the immense bass pressure of 'State Of No State'. Cut especially loud for all dancer and DJ.
Shifting Peaks lean fwd with four rugged garage-house originals from Clueless, plus a kicking, mutant ballroom remix by Rushmore.
**Debut solo album by Mac Demarco's former Makeout Videotape bandmate** "Alex Calder’s sophomore release with Captured Tracks is as familiar as it is foreign – brining together both infectious melodies and texture to create tidy, acid-induced pop sequences. Strange Dreams takes a confident step forward from Calder’s previous release and brings the focus and ambition of Alex’s songwriting to all aspects of his music. This record delivers, while still maintaining the youthful humour that has become his trademark."
Party-ready batch of instrumental hip hop trap bangers by the West Coast beat-maker. Best known for production on records by Qwel, Mestizo, Robust and Offwhyte from the Galapagos4 crew, gao blends far East and subcontinental Asian samples with an nimble skill for elaborate beat programming , at best in big doints like such as the plush and tumbling 'Yo Bae', the grimy electroiud twang of 'Thirst', and the cartoonish-yet-dope trunk rattler, 'Red Cars'.
"It takes less than sixty seconds of album opener "Newspaper Spoons" for you to decide that Viet Cong is a winter record. The album has barely begun, and the guitar doesn't snarl until the end of that opening minute, but it still presents a palpable iciness in just a few short moments. It's bitter. It stings. But once you're in it, and you're bracing yourself and charging ahead, "Newspaper Spoons" moves from a punishing, almost militarized drumbeat to a melody that's still menacing but also delicate, almost celestial… "Continental Shelf" orbits a thousand-watt hook with a thick crackle and a… Read more
Graceful songcraft from the recent signing to Daniel "OPN" Lopatin's Software Recording Co. RIYL Susanna.
Terntemøller shoots from the hip with a low slung remix of The Soft Moon's 'Black' gunning for gothic EBM 'floors.
Diverse dancefloor delivery from Iceland's Teal Recordings. A Sagittariun does his dreamy techno thing with extra breaks and ticklish rimshots harking back to vintage Detroit styles from Carl Craig. Jared Wilson's 'Spice Flow' is a more wayward take on Chicago jack, sparked with chaotic synth squirls and softened by elegant pads. Finland's Matti Turunen aka Morphology rounds out with a dark and deft bit of electro-funk in 'Substellar Object', and the noirish Heinrich Mueller atmospheres of 'Apoapsis'.