Monday, 13 October
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
"New instrumental rock project of Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield from Timber Timbre long active in Quebec's experimental/punk scene. Also features Timber Timbre frontman Taylor Kirk. When Timber Timbre’s ambient music for a horror film went unused back in 2012, Trottier and Fairfield began revisiting the sound palette they had built up for the soundtrack at Trottier's studio in Hull, Quebec, expanding on their techniques and textures, adding drums, bass and various other instruments, and. The duo found that they had dug into some very fertile territory, writing additional songs throughout … Read more
Ash International present a 23 minute live recording of BJNilsen performing at Hackney's Arcola Theatre earlier in 2014. As with Nilsen's excellent cassette for Bomb Shop's Fuse Editions series, the piece takes shape as an impressionistic perspective on urban sound ecologies, collaging sirens, bird sound, human traffic and mechanical drones into a tense, slow moving sound-scape littered with incremental detail constantly enticing the ear to explore new tangents before new sources hover into view, feeding into and out of the swelling, near oppressive drone mass.
David Holmes presents his sombre soundtrack to '71, a new feature film by Yann Demange set at the height of the troubles in Northern ireland. Following discussions with the director, Holmes wrote the entire soundtrack - presented here as a seamless 30 minute suite - before a single scene had been shot, preferring to draw upon his own experience of life in Belfast and follow the precedents of Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone, who also worked with a similar method of writing the music before shooting. The mood is almost painfully tense and overcast throughout, making nods to J… Read more
**Vinyl edition of 500** Sound travels: Laurent Jeanneau returns us to the endangered minority cultures of South East Asia with the mesh of location recordings and electronics in 'Gongs', his follow-up to the haunting 'Voices' for Discrepant. Two extended sides develop his understandable fascination with the unique timbre of S.E. Asian Gong orchestras, revealing and contrasting their resonant acoustic tonalities and accompanying voices with a subtle patina of electronic processing and augmentation. The first piece uses an array of source material recorded in Laos and Cambodia to lure us into a d… Read more
Dramatic Drexciyan electro styles from The Exaltics certified by Clone's West Coast Aeronautics & Space Administration. Five tracks fathom sci fi vignettes along with pumping electro-techno on 'Never Be Enough', the deep sea journey of 'Infinite Dimension', and brooding breakbeats, Analord style, in 'SL-W D-WN' making for The Exaltics most diverse and satisfying instalment yet.
Techy, percussive reworks of Barcelona's Downliners Sekt. There's straight-playing techno from Blondes; sulky, schizoid filter treatments from Patten; a swraming breakbeat fracture from Italy's Chevel; a rugged techno deviation by Monomood; submerged electronic dramatics from The Wanderer.
Ricardo Donoso takes inspiration from ancient myth to consolidate all aspects of his oeuvre in the romantic ambient trance-scape of 'A Song For Echo'. Riffing on the classic tale of unrequited love, Donoso breaks down the distinctions between his claustrophobic Scubadeath output and the elusive melancholia of his highly regarded 'Assimilating The Shadows' and 'Progress Chance' albums. The result is a downward spiral from shoreside location recordings and plangent, piquant electronics to abyssal drone and blooming darkside geometries via brooding chamber techno pieces and keening drone depths capturing his sound on the cusp of transition to a heady space on the horizon.
A trio of Hamburg's finest, Peter M. Kersten (Lawrence), Christian Naujocks, and Richard Von Der Schulenburg, feel out a quietly freeform jazz-electronica sound as Sky Walking. Improvising in hushed dialogue at a "rotten studio in the backyard of a record store in Hamburg", the trio channel influence from the rustling backdrops of Gruppo Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Gerard Grisey's spectral experiments, and Psychic TV's strange sound worlds via a "weird collection of instruments" including some Russian microphones and the "saddest sounding steel drum". The results unfurling a minia… Read more
Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi) gets his house on as Les Sins, two years after his couple of aces for Daphni's Jiaolong label. Like Lord Tusk and Brassfoot's 'Space Invaders' EP, 'Bother' can be heard as a warning shot to all the energy vampires, clearly stating "don't bother me/i'm working" as a dancefloor mantra more disco dilettantes could take notice of, all over an hypnotic, in-the-pocket disco-house groove with the kind of in-the-moment breakdown no-one should has the right to disturb.
Toro Y Moi flexes some supple dancefloor muscle with the indie-pop boogie of 'Why'. Working shades away from Junior Boys or Blood Orange, 'Why' mixes up frisky guitar chops and greazy bassline with pleading vox for the disco mass.
Enveloping 38-minute piece from Eleh written for performance at the Cleveland Museum Of Contemporary Art. 'For Moussavi Atrium' marks the first new Eleh material since 2012, following an invaluable programme of reissues for their Important early releases during the 2013. It starts off in near silence before fleshing out a supple sinewave flux modulating at rapid intervals to a pulsing, brain-worming coda that'll hypnotise and control anyone susceptible to a good 'wave. This is one of those instances where the format plays some part - the clarity and duration afforded by the CD really ho… Read more