Monday, 16 March
"From the dawn of doo-wop to the death of disco, the Notations saw—and sang—it all. Persisting through changing trends and technologies, on major labels and minor ones, produced by both Syl Johnson and Curtis Mayfield, nothing could stop the Notations from representing Chicago’s Southside for decades. The first overview of their indie label golden age, Still Here 1967–1973 finds the Notations at a musical crossroads, turning from simmering R&B ballads to socially-conscious soul. Offering up a platter of golden-dipped harmonies, inventive arrangements, and super-powered soul, the Notations survived as unheralded legends in their own time."
**Airhorn** Weighty but agile footwork/jungle deviance from Fracture and Manchester's Chimpo. Best of both worlds in three parts, mixing an old skool Manc Junglist swagger with modern Chicago bass ructions, shifting weight from skanking halfstep to soul roll and back to full bore brukout with 'From Early'; or shredding between late '90s tech-step and quickstepping footwork 808s with 'Hard Food' beside Fracture's neater reduction of 'From Early'.
Morphine Records collate Charles Cohen's spellbinding recordings made on a rare Buchla Music Easel modular synth circa 1976 - 1989 in this nigh-on essential retrospective. Equal parts electronic exploration, free-jazz and cosmic noise, Cohen's private body of work amassed over nearly two decades amounts to a deeply personal, vivid sketchbook of abstract ideas rendered in tangibly crisp yet elusively diffuse analogue vectors. For many, many years, folk were only privy to Charles' practice if they were keyed in to the improv music scenes of Philadelphia and downtown New York. But now… Read more
In the slipstream of his Shed project Berlin resident René Pawlowitz has created a sequence of Techno cuts reminiscent of the diverse breakbeat-heavy Techno of the early 1990s. This mix contains previously Vinyl-12" only releases, published mainly under the Head High pseudonym over the past 5 years.
Stellar techno-boogie from new and promising name, Creta Kano for Bristol's Happy Skull. A lush and insistent lather of Detroit techno and UK braindance filtered with misty-eyed effect, 'Skyway Motel' yields some of the sweetest 'floor moves of 2015 so far. The title track nails E.R.P.-style emosh electro-funk with tantalising marimba melody and sublime chord progressions on the A-side, while the faded breakbeat beauty, 'False Water' shyly skips and melts away like one of AFX's recovered demos on the B-side next to the collapsed boogie screw of 'Skyway 81'. It's hard to resist kind of these charms.
DrumTalk scale up their sound for a cracking self-titled EP with Huntleys & Palmers. Synths and percussion work as a rhythmelodic force, twysting between colourful arpeggio patterns and calculated triplets in 'Halo' or evolving like some bittersweet, discordant cyborganism in the blinding 'Ishtar'. With 'Euphonia' they make fine use of the Euphonium's twinkling spectral timbre, juxtaposing its lilting, heady cadence with gruff kicks and brooding bass descent, while 'Everything' comes with a unique mesh of bobbling Afrobeat, UK garage swing and proggy house drive.
Matias Aguayo gives it up for the dancers with a quartet of killer rhythm workouts. You know what to do…"El Rudo Del House is an imaginary creature who speaks to you with a pitched-down voice and produces heavy house rhythms that are engineered to directly trigger the movement of different body parts (body mechanics). His music resonates with the rhythms of everyday life: produced by big iron apparatuses that cross the sky, by voices that yell through speakers in giant halls, by machines of border security and control, the thinly clipped nagging noise of internet spam c… Read more
Unique dancefloor pressure from Swing Ting's Samrai & Platt starring the one like Trigganom (Oris Jay/2 Bears/Toddla T). Back together for the first time since their 'Head Gone' (2012) mission for Fat City, the Swing Ting captains, Samrai & Platt serve a more reduced, disciplined ace with the icy-smooth and Eskified contours, blips and distant air-horns of 'One Step' providing a slippery base for Trigganom's gruff ragga chat. On a spookier instrumental flex, 'Bad Riddim' cools off on a halfstep tip, clipping grimy bass, Funky claps and soundsystem FX at a 137bpm flex waiting to be mixed up… Read more
*Featuring tracks from Roman Flugel, Massimiliano Pagliara, Portable, Lauer and more* "Kicked off by one of the Frankfurt young guns, the compilation leans into a melody-driven warm-up with a slight hint of analogue soul – "Digital Revolution" by Orson Wells. Next up is the Italian-born and now Berlin-based Massimiliano Pagliara. His contribution "Phasing Down The Sea" enriches the second Lifesaver installment with some of his signature synth-lines paired with a classic chicago-driven beat. The secret weapon from Kilianstädten also known as Mr. Melody, who … Read more
Danish dub house stalwarts collect the best of their extensive remix collections. Features highlights in the respective Substance and Vainqueur remixes of Mikkel Metal; the pendulous syncopation of A Made Up Sound's 'Ray Of Hope' remix; a kinky Ben Klock techno version of 'Ofetriade' by Pattern Repeat.
Saccharine soul-infused house from Escape, backed with slippery Jacques Greene remix.
Subtly infectious deep house grit from L.I.E.S.' new pick up. NGLY's label debut - following a smart 12" for Russian Torrent Versions marching grounds - is arguably one their best in 2014 so far. Up top 'Service Cost' ripples with a Bookworms-like tribal coda hingeing on perfectly timed hi-hats and hypnotic, spiralling synth motifs primed for 2am face-rolling. whilst 'Some Relationships' is a sweet piece of downbeat BoC reverence. B-side 'Speechless Tape' puts down a gorgeous square bass riff beneath Wold-like choral loops and Blake Baxter-esque vox bound to send shivers thru the crowd, and 'I Do… Read more
Slick techno minimalism from Spain's answer to Sleeparchive and Jeff MIlls; Tadeo. 'Terra Incognita' is a proper deep space techno mission, book-ending a quartet of of probing 4/4 bleep rollers with sections of celestial chorales and piquant strings right out of a Mills sci-fi fantasy. Class.
Mutant proto-house deviations from a strange gang. Ste Spandex kicks off with the chugging lather of 'Oh' swarming lustrous synths around a hulking disco corpus with a raw, direct energy transfer; Asok gets down with some smudged acid grumble in 'Gridrunner'; Causa goes deeper with the tunnelling modulations of '70'; and Colours In Waves lend a touch of screwy Italo House class with 'Conservation of Momentum'. TIP!
"Brittle Love is a suite of songs scratched together from the teary depths of a computerised pop dream. From a few raggedy Technicolor melodies bloom luscious strings, xylophones, and drum machines. But something’s not quite right: you can almost hear the sticky-tape holding together the synthesisers, the vocals are forever slipping away from the beat. This is pin-point electronic music put together with Early Learning Centre scissors, a pot of PVA glue, and a page of Lonely Hearts classifieds ripped from a regional newspaper. Joe Snape makes precise music in bright colours with the help … Read more
Digital reissue of a 2001 Muslimgauze ace. Worth checking for the fizzy stepper, 'Rebiana Sand Sea' alone.
Digital reissue of a Muslimgauze heavyweight, first issued on DAT in '96 and then on CD in '02. This is a reissue of the original DAT tracklist, including some devilish jungle workouts alongside the usual blown-out beats and dubbed-out loop experiments. Those jungle pieces are totally crucial; at best in the ruthlessly filtered, brink-of-glitch edits in 'Abdul's Halal' and the lethal swerve of 'Rouge Amin Fraction', while we find other, sweeter treats in sublime New Age chimes and salty hip hop swagger of 'Glass Mughal' and recursive noise psychedelia of 'Leboneeze' - both real standouts from his wider catalogue.
Spicy Muslimgauze digital reissue, originally released on Minidisc in 1998. This is Bryn Jones in noisy mode, operating right at the biting point with a secret blend of distorted studio 'erbs. In four parts he wrecks some deadly drum loops with excoriating noise pressure, drifting from more meditative, glitch-clipped dub in Part 1 thru some lethal drums and reversed string loop friction in Part 2, onto the deep fried chops of Part 3, and the squashed drum n' noise fruit of Part 4. There are few artists who can hypnotise and sustain our attention with such minimal means as Muslimgauze. This is a prime example.
For the first time, Muslimgauze's 1998 session for the Mort Aux Vaches series, recorded at VPRO Holland, is available to download. The original 52 minute set is broken down to three parts. Accompanied by Ryan Moore (The Legendary Pink Dots) and Werner Durand, the live session renders a radically different take on Muslimgauze's usual aesthetic; freeing up the loops and oscillating between dub density an much more open space. It definitely still a Muslimgauze album, but not quite as you know it. Check!
First download issue of Muslimgauze's 2000AD album, 'Baghdad'. Written in Manchester, 1998, it's a typically challenging and ruffneck session by the prolific artist, dealing in salty, distroted dub for the most, with prime highlights found in outstanding darkside flex of 'Ceylon Dagger' with its deep Berlin dub chords and mad vocal breakdown, or in the strange disconnect between ornithological chirps, trim tablas, subs and fragrant vocal in 'Morphina Gobi'.
**Debut edition of intriguing, minimalist composition** "Reckno is extremely proud to present the first art artefact under his own name by composer, listener, artist and all round great human Alan James Read. Two ever changing yet always the same minimalist compositions. This music doesn't have many obvious parallels; metallophone hail stones falling on a well tuned roof or an American primitive one string Zen ensemble. Visions of a robotic harpist in a sunlit field, the sky is a metallic blue; ancient and futuristic, stationary and swirling, a 3D audio sculpture of a waterfall."
**Bit of a mad one; from extended vocal techniques to free improvisation and field recordings** "Beauty is a rare thing. I first caught Duncan Harrison playing in an old bank vault where he was performing as part of a duo with Dylan Nyoukis. During their short set they gave out a lot of information: abrupt tape edits, vocal approximations of frog sounds, inverted poetry, gibbering sheets of conversation, red wine, freedom and pure energy. I walked into the cool night air with my brain on fire and a lump in my trousers. Reckno is very proud to present 'Others Delete God'. Degrad… Read more
Fractured, intra-dimensional raveries from a very promising new artist plucked out by Reckno - home to Kinlaw, Joane Skyler… Imagine what Maria Minerva might sound like had she been raised on jungle and gauzy IDM rather than '90s house, and you're within grasp of 'Oh Tina No Tina'. Naif, nursey rhythm lyrics and half-heard glossolalia perfuse an bloom in the cracks of rickety lo-fi structures, whether explicitly alluding to late '90s jungle in the crumbling hard-step and wilting ambient chords of 'Simon Peter James', or implicitly bound to dancehall in the exotic sway of 'Bounce 70… Read more
Jenny Hval as we've rarely heard her, teamed with lounging organ and drums on 'That Battle Is Over' to herald her new album on Sacred Bones, 'Apocalypse, girl'.
Spilling forth from his Opal Tapes debut, James Place offers the scrambled ambient coordinates of 'Living On Superstition'. Working in æther between the gritty loop deviations of Harmonious Thelonious and Not Waving's dusty radiophonics, Place nimbly clips and nudges frayed phrases into spectral misshapes and fluidly offset grooves. A few of them could likely work on leftfield dancefloors, especially the filter-clogged string samples and hazy tones rubbed and synched into 'High Rise (Rainier)' or the Gold Panda-esque strobing chords and knobbly bass rhythm of Lyra's Grin', whi… Read more
Epic five minutes from Shlohmo: rustling chimes precipitate a wide Reese bass and crashing drums on a footwork/D&B tip also favoured by Lee Bannon, before peaking out with post-rock energy and collapsing back to whence it came.
From some rusted womb, Akatombo returns with a 4th album of mechanised illbient misshapes on Hand-Held Recordings following his contributions to Graham Lewis ov Dome/Wire's excellent 'All Over' (2014) album. 'Sometime, Never' captures the atmosphere of an isolationist mind - quite literally; he's a Scotsman marooned in Hiroshima - in ten pieces of blown out dub and hip hop doused in late night jazz motifs, drizzly ambience and all round pallor of noirish intrigue. There are distinct parallels to be made between this and the kind of beats that Spectre's Wordsound were pushing back in the … Read more