Monday, 23 February
NDW legend Holger Hiller sifts out a selection of dusty, wayward wave gems from the obscure early '80s Berlin archive of Wolfgang Seidel aka Populäre Mechanik. Rooted in the Zodiak Arts Club aesthetics of freedom and exploration, and prompted by the punk movement, Populäre Mechanik was coined as a vehicle to combine various strands of musical thought, from Devo-esque art-rock to jazz-wise detours and skinny dubs fracked with traces of slick yacht rock and exotica. RIYL K. Leimer, Felix Kubin, Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
Hot on the heels of that crackshot Imami EP, Tessier-Ashpool Recordings drop the tetchy sci-fi funk of Cloaka's 'Adapt'. Four tracks work between Electro-Breaks and Night Slugs style club constrcution, at best in the gloomy stepper, 'Adapt' and the breakstep tilt of 'Bandala'.
Software's latest signings come rugged and sophisticated with the dynamic, alien hip hop and ebullient future-funk of 'Childhood Swing'. Opening with the dazzling Evian Christ or Amnesia Scanner-style sound design of single track, 'Hood Low' they tack between lush, jazzy G-funk lean with 'The Treatment' and Hud Mo heavy funk of 'Talking II' , before slipping into the glistening virtual reality space of 'Swept Over the Rug'. Better yet, 'By the Bay' drops and rolls with a delirious future soul vibe reminding of moments from Matthewdavid's psychedelic album, 'In My World', while 'Childhood Swing' fakes left with a skittish meld of boogie house and vaporous synth streaks.
Muscular modular techno workouts from the French wave survivors for Jealous God - the label operated by Regis, Silent Servant and James Ruskin. It's a wicked survey of In Aeternam Vale's recent studio output - as opposed to Minimal Wave's archival finds - presenting a powerful industrial hip hop rhythm galvanised with acrid noise on the A-side, whereas the B-side pumps up two serious techno grooves with the frictionless 4/4 ballistics of '62,54hz', and the uncompromising old skool Sähkö styles of '808TS' showing the yung 'uns how it's done. RIYL Pan Sonic, Kim Rapatti.
Hard-bodied electro-techno-breaks by the Convex one for BNR Trax. Includes a big highlight in the Nitzer Ebb-styled juggernaut, 'Anger Levels'.
Killawatt's stylistic curve of evolution over the last half decade has been a pleasure to witness. With debut album, 'Emigre' he completes a transition from dank halfstep to a kinetic techno/electronica mutation compatible with everyone from Shackleton to Shifted. From murky, atmospheric abstractions like 'Poppin' Veins' and 'Blackhole Flamenco' he coalesces a mongrel helix of industrial techno, strobing club constructions and psychoactive tribalism, at best in the aggresive swagger of 'Excessive Hyperbole', with the modern Regis-style roil and noise of 'Onslow Road', in the twisted Radiophonic… Read more
Jack Dixon shares the latest on White Asega label with Kodiak, backed by Bambounou and Troy Gunner reworks. The Kodiak track is dope, cutting loose with a wild and grimy techno funk number 'Taargus' detailed with Classical Curves-style production. Bambounou does a smart job with a slinkier, sub-heavy remix reduction, followed by Jack Dixon's bouncing Afro-techno-funk bomb 'New Curtains' and Troy Gunner's respective remix cut-up.
"Monika Enterprise presents the debut album by Cologne artist Sonae: 'Far away is right around the corner'. Containing 10 tracks written between 2012 and 2014 the record deals with reflections about friendship, growing up and everyday life full of hope as far away is right around the corner. Sonae's music is wide, flowery and raw from the very quiet (Ambient) to tiny club moments (Electronica) always embedded in an electronic soundscape."
Teste's dark minimal techno template, 'The Wipe', taken on by two time-served veterans. London's Lost boss Steve Bicknell strips it back to buried bass rumble and a shuddering lead synth flux; Mike Parker takes it underwater with patented sound design trickery.
Ruder box jams by San Francisco's Vin Sol for Clone's Jack For Daze Series. Check it for the Gherkin Jerk-styled metallic twanger, 'Off The Chain' and the hypnotic, salacious Chicago vibes of 'House Freaks'.
Reissue of a tweaked out Detroit-style dub techno EP originally issued in 1999 on New Zealand's Nurture label. Some fine moments in the alien synth chatter and whirring techno soul of 'Engaging Causeless Mercy' and the Porter Ricks-alike sub-aquatic zones of 'Constructing Space'.
“The Cliff” is a new vocal driven EP from Chicago’s esteemed quartet Pelican. The four track EP includes remixes from Justin Broadrick (of Godflesh, Jesu), Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer of ISIS/Palms, and, for only the second time in their fourteen year career, vocals. Allen Epley (Shiner, The Life and Times) once again returns to the band’s fold to transform, in a complementary manner, the concept and overall outcome of what we have come to know as Pelican. No cheap juxtaposition, Epley’s seasoned voice is as broad and astonishingly capable on “The Cliff” as the members behind the mu… Read more
A frictional face-off from Oregon's Best Available Technology and Berlin-based BNJMN. It's the result of years of file exchange, each producer parsing the other's material for nuggets of ideas and unique tones, textures which would make it onto the record. they're abstract, strangely semi-organic creatures, oscillating from salted electronica thru spiralling wormholes to unstable techno bumps and industrial ambient episodes, constantly in flux between and effecting a very disoriented state.
Houndstooth's hip pop property on a psyched-out cloud rap footing. 'Dry' is a very strange take on syrup trap peppered with alien vocal inflections and a lean vibe recalling that wicked Jack Dice 12". 'Body' twists the lines even further with oily, slipping synth discord and lethargic percussion emulating the most fugged-up state of mind.
Ace free-styling house trips from L.I.E.S.' man in Germany. Opener 'This Society' invokes blackest atmospheres with a choral intro before launching into a jagged, booming jakk assault on the 'floor, while 'Resistors' deploys ruff-cut samples stabbed to a sleazy, slow buck. Best of all is 'Reach Another System', which juggles prodding electro and techno rhythms with darker Detroit signatures to sound like the mad diary of Carl Craig, replete with a discordant keyboard freakout in the closing minutes.
Randomer does his dope tribalized percussive thing on L.I.E.S. On the A-side he cuts loose with the clipped Afro drum cadence and druggy wheeze of 'Residents' besides the tunnelling motorik clatter of 'Jakobs Dream'. Better by far, the super rugged Gesloten Cirkel electro styles of 'Huh' on the B-side bends where it matters for the dancers.
DJ Deep on a rumpy psychedelic house tip for L.I.E.S. Following the dictum, free your ass and thy mind shall follow, he lays down robust , driving jack tracks layered up with expressive sequencer licks for subtly mind-bending effect in the club, swirling up sweeping arpeggios over the pendulous toms and claps of 'Chantage', before getting gritty and psy-trancey with the wormy 'Brainiac' and the mesmerising weave of 'B Is Naggin'.
Prolific deep house producer/fiend Simone Vescovo returns to L.I.E.S. with a hot haul of 313 and Chi-inspired goodies. 'Abele Dance' starts up with a ritualistic bit of cowbell and flute interplay offset by muscular, tactile bass and darker pads - breezy but burly styles - before the rest of the EP variably pays dues to Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson on 'Beyond The Dance', 'Spirit Of Transmat', and 'Bio Rhythm'.
"Gunnar Haslam returns to LIES for his second album, Mirrors and Copulation. Following a slew of 12" releases this year, Gunnar delves deep into his darkest palettes for a return to his patient, haunted soundscapes that shrouded his debut LP, Mimesiak. Across eight tracks of ambient techno both brooding and tumultuous, Haslam unravels a narrative on overpopulation and its potential environmental ramifications inspired by the Borges quote the album title references. "Meter By Me, Sybil" cascades arpeggios through a thick fog that never leaves Mirrors. "Ajapajapam Version" cut… Read more
A touch of reel house class from Willie Burns as Daywalker and Entro Senestre aka C.F. on the mighty L.I.E.S. It's all about the deeply romantic A-side, 'Supersonic Transport', with its sweeping, tiered synth layers and effortless swing jack momentum, but the B-side is none-too-shabby either, with the introspective ambience, purring groove and sampled monologue of 'Bulldog Named Carl', and a slow-mo celestial arpeggios of the closing 'Untitled' cut.
"In the 1960s Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s legendary Studio One Records laid down the template for all reggae music, the equivalent of Jamaica’s Motown Records. Artists who launched their careers there comprise an A-Z of the Jamaican music scene - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Horace Andy and many, many more. In the early releases featured here you will find the roots of Studio One’s unique sound - from the first jump-up, boogie-woogie and shuffle recordings… Read more
'Hail Of Arrows' is an audacious new synth project from NYC's Gavin Russom - one of his best since 'The Days Of Mars' for DFA. Taking inspiration from the Falcons which resettled in his Uptown Manhattan locale, coupled with nods to J.G. Ballard and P.K. Dick, Russom spins out the imagined soundtrack to a four-part odyssey where the birds reclaim Upper Manhattan, creating a civilization in the leftover buildings and landscape. Perfect for the tape format, such a wide scope allows bags of time for him to explore every integer of his pulsing machines. We're talking obsessional levels … Read more
Mattheis Verschuure takes a debut flight on Not Waving's Ecstatic label with a suite of shimmering kosmiche techno. 'Luminous Frames' expands on his work for the Nous'Klaer label with five sensitive arrangements of soaring arpeggios and pads powered by sleek analogue bass pulses. Pye Corner Audio fans will find much to love in the expansive, narcotic chugger, 'A State of Suspended Animation' and the effervescent likes of 'Four Dimensional Echoes' or 'Light Cones Reversed', and equally, fans of Carl Craig's 'Landcruising' need to take the strobing pulses and progressive arrangements of '… Read more
"Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg chronicles Phoenix, Arizona’s off-”Funky Broadway” scene that happened while Dyke and his Blazers were setting national charts on fire in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s. Covering Tejano psych, flute funk, both horny soul and horny kid soul, cackling R&B, deep ballads, and fist-fight doo-wop, Lenaburg channeled that wrong side of the desert sound to a dozen 45s for the Mighty, Darlene, Homogenized Sound, Ramco, and Out of Sight imprints. Although listing these totally obscure groups is an exercise in futility, we’ve typed them out anyway… Read more
Pure tonal pressure with an avant-technoid edge, created by legendary Belgian figure Frans De Waard. 'Trenkel' was recorded in May 2013 at Geluidwerkplaats Extrapool, Nijmegen in preparation for a concert at Studio Trenkel with music by Wieman (Frans de Waard & Roel Meelkop).
DJ Q, Samename, Strict Face and Fallow have a lark with Finn's killer debut EP of R&G funk. The thuggish roll of 'Keep Calling' gets a skippin' overhaul by DJ Q, whereas Manchester's Samename turns 'My My' into a brooding hardstyle grime mutation - quite possibly the first of its ilk. Sweetboy, Strict Face serves a restrained, rolling version of 'Only Boy', and Fallow brings the drums on his scything re-cut of 'Keep Calling'. A strong look for dancers and DJs.
London's Moiré drops the scuffed-up rug-cutter, 'Theme' an offcut from of his debut album, 'Shelter'. It feels like three tracks playing at once, in synch, with a finely-mixed tangle of gritty drums and swirling chords comparable with some imagined blend of Mark Ernestus, Actress and Kassem Mosse. Honestly, suck it and see…
**Excellent debut of compellingly visceral new composition by Greek composer for ace new imprint, Holotype Editions. RIYL Reinhold Friedl or Iancu Dumitrescu** "[herewith] is Danae Stefanou’s first full-length solo piano release. The album centers around the tactile exploration of the piano interior as a sonorous surface, and as a resonant chamber. The resultant eight tracks, at times sharp and abrasive, at others densely immersive, aim to convey a physical sense of listening to the piano “from the inside”, rather than upkeeping the convention of appreciating the performance “from a dis… Read more
"Seasonal Hire collects four original tunes and one traditional piece, with Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers’ Mike Gangloff and Sally Anne Morgan all taking turns with lead vocal and songwriting. Like all of the Twigs’ albums, it was recorded live, without overdubs or amplification. Gunn fell right in with this aesthetic and threw down guitar parts like he’d been sparring with banjos and fiddles for years. The majority of the album was recorded at Joseph Dejarnette’s Studio 808a in rural Topeco, Virgina, where Gunn and Gangloff recorded Melodies for a Savage Fix, an im… Read more