Monday, 13 May
Pev linx with yung Bristolian, Hodge, for the first outing on his Punch Drunk label in over three years. Their 'Bells' manifest in two versions: the 'System Mix' is rolled up heavy for the rig with dense, plummeting subs, slicing percussions and minimalist synth trickles carving out cool and heavy headspace for those who dance near the bassbins; the 'Dream Sequence' eases off with a more spacious flex pushed by thick house kicks and lean subbass pressure to carry richer, plangent harmonics for those who like to dance in their heads.
Dalhous deliver an engrossing debut for Blackest Ever Black. 'An Ambassador For Laing' is the Edinburgh-based duo, Marc Dall and Alex Ander's 2nd LP together - they've previously recorded one as Young Hunting - and continues to exchange their more melodramatic inclinations for richly filmic atmospheres and intricate, rhythm-driven and song-like arrangements hinting at a dreamy jazz noir and IDM-esque feel. Employing a rigorously refined palette of keys, harp, vibraphone, guitar, woodwind, strings and synthesizer, processed in layers of frictional harmony with heavily treated vocal… Read more
Excellent hook-up between two generations of influential and explorative post-punks. The meeting was originally catalysed by an email from Factory Floor's Nik Colk Void espousing her appreciation for Gordon's 1982 classic 'Condo' as Love Life Orchestra (who variously counted Arthur Russell, Rhys Chatham and Laurie Anderson in their number at one time or another) which soon enough lead to demo swaps and these two aces for Optimo Music. The A-side, 'Beachcombing' is a beauty, some 14 minutes of plush, globular bass pulses and flighty sax lines feathered with Nik Void'… Read more
Third in Bleep's handsomely presented Green series pairs rugged space house from Redshape and darkly elegant warehouse techno from Steffi. On A-side, 'Focus', Redshape follows the astral vibes of his 'Square' album for Running Back with a squirming, knotty piece of acidic techno-house scattered with bleeps and revolving a lone, misty-eyed string refrain. B-side, Steffi presents her most technoid issue to date with the bucking bass and stern claps of 'Attacke' driving through cold, empty drone space.
**Killer album of hypnotic mutant beats, EBM, proto-house psychedelia and basement pop. ** We bid a welcome return to Minimal Wave's cool-ass Cititrax sibling with Elon Katz and Beau Wanzer's Streetwalker debut. 'Future Fusion' was penned over the course of two years and laid down in the space of one sweaty weekend in Chicago's Minbal studio. Everything was played in live and by hand, bounced direct to 1 inch tape with no overdubs or MIDI, capturing the quicksilver handicraft of fingers on keys, knobs and faders in a way that digits and screens simply can't recreate. Stylistically the… Read more
Outstanding debut album from Kevain Wayne Space, aka Footwork's founding father, RP Boo. Originally known as Record Player Boo, RP cut his dancefloor teeth as member of Chicago's House-O-Matics dance crew in the '90s, where, under the tutelage of Ghetto House pioneers DJ Slugo and DJ Deeon, he hatched an accelerated form of Dance Mania's already frenetic styles in order to fuel the city's increasingly demanding competitive dance scene. Armed with a display copy of a Roland-70 drum machine loaded up with beats by the store's previous customers - unnamed producers from Chicago - he coined a hyperacti… Read more
Warp's quietest operator grows his sound with organic effortlessness on his seventh album in nearly as many years. From humble beginnings as purveyor of washed-out, BoC-style folk-tronics, Steven James Wilkinson has pruned and tended to the Bibio sound with increasing aptitude, arriving at a fully fledged sort of pastoral pop referencing Canterbury classics as much as the elusive Scots, and presenting the sweetest, semi-real analogue to others such as Four Tet or Gold Panda who've also circled around this sound. Taking concrète location recordings from his back garden and weaving them with… Read more
Panorama Bar's resident Dutch DJ lays down a sensuous and emotional deep house selection for their fifth annual mix CD. Installed as a regular fixture at the notorious Berlin hotspot since 2007, Steffi has honed her DJ skills in tandem with an increasingly smart production portfolio including Ostgut label classic 'Yours' whilst lending her refined balance to The Analogue Cops' as member of the all-hardware Third Side unit, and still finding a moment to run the esteemed Klakson and Dolly imprints. All that, coupled with over ten years of party-organising experience, informs her pristi… Read more
*10th Anniversary Edition now with bonus tracks featuring a full live performance from 2004*
*Upfront Exclusive* Notts stalwart Kamal Joory aka Geiom tweaks out the electroid funky flex of '2-4-6' for Brighton's Well Rounded Records, backed with a ruggedly sprung Desto remix. Voiced by Terrible Shock, the original plays out a sort of lean, uptempo UK bashment bubble seared with strobing synthlines for the MDMA crew. The Desto remix cooly resets the riddim to a sparse 808 step 'n roll with bumping subbass and spacious sound design...
*30 minute EP follow-up to Miles' recent 'Faint Hearted' album for Modern Love, mastered by Matt Colton* An addendum of sorts to his recent 'Faint Hearted' album, Miles' returns with a half-hour EP more squarely aimed at the floor with four darkened, robust variants. 'Blatant Statement' is up first, slowly emerging from a rough alignment of metallic percussion and abrasive stabs not a million miles removed from the kind of racket you'd most likely associate with Vatican Shadow, before the almost-clipped rub of those super-warm bass stabs shifts the perspective to a different kind of environment … Read more
Sophomore album of wracked, atmospheric, off-centre gloom-pop from Austin, TX trio Pure X. The origins of the album are pretty bleak: core member Nate Grace spent most of 2012 incapacitated by a serious leg injury, without the health insurance or cash needed for surgery, and further crippled by insomnia and anxiety; it was during this time that he percolated ideas for the record. Sounds like a hoot, right? But the result isn't a depressive or desolated work; rather it’s the sound of struggle, of striving to find hope amid hopelessness, beauty in ugliness. There’s a gravity, a profun… Read more
Some 15 years into his career, George Issakidis gets round to issuing his debut album, a set of druggy house tracks that feel right at home on Chloe and Ivan Smagghe’s Kill The DJ label. Not all of it sticks (see in particular ‘Next To You’) - but there are some strong cuts too, like ‘Santa Rosa De Lima’ (all roughshod drum programming, mournful string pads and spidery guitar improvisations) and the defiantly odd, industrial-flavoured ‘Summer Solstice’. Tacked onto the end is a remix of ‘In Love’ executed by Issakidis under his Dzir alias, a bizarre fusion of French Touch synths, schaffel rhythm and hairdresser pop, chopped up in jerky, angular, Akufen-ish style.
**Includes Dabrye, Deadbeat and Mad Professor remixes** Dr. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlman serve up their instrumentals to last year's Lee Scratch Perry-starring 'Orbserver In The House Of Dub'. Eleven tracks of heavy-troddin dub awash with the boffins signature studio trickery and backed with a wealth of remixes, highlights of which come from Villalobos and Max Loderbauer aka Villod, and Pole, both reshaping 'Soulman' in their own image, or Dabrye's organ-heated and super weighty take on 'Ball Of Fire'.
*Bumper 23-track set with Deadbeat, Pole, Villalobos and Dabrye remixes, plus loads more* Dr. Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlman serve up their instrumentals to last year's Lee Scratch Perry-starring 'Orbserver In The House Of Dub'. Eleven tracks of heavy-troddin dub awash with the boffins signature studio trickery and backed with a wealth of remixes, highlights of which come from Villalobos and Max Loderbauer aka Villod, and Pole, both reshaping 'Soulman' in their own image.
Two giants of extreme computer music go head to head, and if you’re brave enough to put your skull in the firing line, there’s considerable pleasure to be gleaned from the pain. Never content to accept music technology at face value, both Haswell and his Japanese sparring partner have spent years developing their own generative tools, and finding ways to deconstruct, pervert and reinvent existing software, hardware and media. Haswell has explored the limits of DAT, Xenakis’s UPIC system and analogue synthesis, while Tone is probably best known for his Wounded CD … Read more
Mr Beatnick's back in business with a third EP on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid label, his first since last year's ace Sun Goddess and arguably his best yet. The first half of the 12" comes over like Metro Area made over for London 2013: dubwise, richly melodic disco-boogie retro-futurism, and balm for tired ears. 'Savannah' in particular sounds breezy as anything, but - as with everything on this record - look under the hood and you'll find a surprisingly complex mechanism driving it. 'Symbiosis' is real class, wrought out of heartsore live string sounds, acutely funked-up synth lines and a c… Read more
UTTU buss out Ohm's killer 1992 UK house prototype, 'Tribal Tone', primed with new remixes by Capracara and Marquis Hawkes, plus Ohm's new outfit, Northern Souls. Most notably, the infectious Mo' Better Grooves mix is credited as the first tune to use that distinctive Korg M1 sound - the very same used on Robin S anthem, 'Show Me Love - whilst their Ruffneck Mix boosts the energy levels for the raving crew. Ohm's fellow Scots house player, Marquis Hawkes gives up a sub-soaked and kinkier reduction, and Capracara lends his dedicated dancefloor experience to a bassline-warping and raved up and horny speed Garage take.
The Boozoo Bajou duo are the latest ambient orbiters to be absorbed by R&S' revitalised Apollo series. Like their string of albums on Stereo Deluxe and Studio !K7, their 'Jan Mayen' EP knits worldly influences across a sparse and subtle soundscape on the boundaries of trip hop, ambient and electronica. A-side infers a languid, dusty Americana feel with the guitars of 'Jan Mayen' and steps into the sort of leftfield ambient jazz you'd expect from a Mixmaster Morris set in 'Kodiak'. B-side, their 'Stufen-Spitzbergen' unfurls shimmering bells and soundtracky downbeats, whilst 'Stronsay' deals in proper late '90s trip hop vibes for the faithful.
Detroit’s ADULT. have - just about - survived several cycles of fashion, their love of electro and kohl-eyed techno-pop pure, unwavering and indefatigable. Good on ‘em. That’s not to say we’re bowled over by The Way Things Fall, their fifth studio album to date; it’s mostly business as usual, spiky electroclash with little to distinguish it from what was being played in Nag Nag Nag circa 2001-2 but delivered with a confidence and authority appropriate to its makers' experience. Sparse disco-punk torch songs like ‘Love Lies’ and ‘Tonight, We Fall’ remind you how much the likes of Glass C… Read more
Epic visions of cosmic North Americana from cellist Rebecca Foon, founder of Esmerine and former member of A Silver Mt Zion and Set Fire To Flames. Constellation bill her debut as Saltland as existing at the intersection of drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism, and point out that it was cut at her home-studio in Montreal, but don't be fooled into thinking that this is a washed-out, lo-fidelity set; it's quite the opposite, a bold, widescreen work, engineered by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire), that feels like the work of a composer and musician at the heigh… Read more
Justifiably hyped debut album proper from New York scream-queen Margaret Chardier, RIYL Prurient, Wolf Eyes, TG, Swans, Gravetemple. At just 22 years old, Chardier is already a hugely respected presence on her native noise scene, bringing a confrontational yet deeply personal, diaristic intensity to her performances that’s as exhilarating as it is discomfiting. Abandon captures this volatile energy, but it’s not a live document, it’s a nuanced, atmospheric and ravishingly well-recorded showcase of Pharmakon’s infernal weaponry, traversing toxic power electronics, guttural doom chords, eldritch … Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Truth return to wreck your bassbins on Tempa. From waaaay south of the river, New Zealand to be precise, they give up two authentic halfstep heavers; the cinematic dread of 'Devil's Hands' and a more fragrant vocal piece featuring Yayne and reminding of Kryptic Minds work with Alys Be.
Further Fit and Omar-S mixes to one of the year's hottest deep house trax. A-side's OG mix stars both cats working out a glyding, rolling bit of Detroit house with mesmerising vocal and body-gripping rhythms for the club. Flipside, Omar-S goes dolo on the deeper DD mix, playing with star-twinkle synth keys and reserving L'Renee's vocal for more poignant moments. Sterling stuff.
Reel-skool Chicago/Detroit House from Marcus Mixx and Aaron "Fit" Siegel. Veteran jockey, producer and label head Mixx gives up his charmingly raw and skewed jacker 'Salute The Noize With A Laugh' on the A-side and Fit follows up that 'Tonite' anthem on FXHE with a minimal, hypnotic evolution called 'Kali' on the flip.
Prime Numbers 17 welcomes three like-minded new artists to the label. Ahead of an imminent solo 12", incognito producer, Adesse, follows up his blink-and-miss edits white label with the lush grooving deep tech house of 'Baayi' on the front; Truss gives up the acid techno thunk of 'Redbrook' beside Massimo Di Lena's gritty, funked-up acid workout 'You Better Hear'.
James Blake’s uncommissioned Harmonimix of ‘Changes’ finally gets an official release courtesy of Mala’s own Deep Medi, three years after it first started getting heard and turning heads at dances. It remains one of Blake’s most effective and affecting productions, sticking close to the trudging halfstep lean of the source material but placing most emphasis on the bombastic brass, strings and vocal samples that figure only as scene-setters in the original. What starts out as minimal, discombobulated dancehall, nudged along by eski drum clicks, swells to a rousing, quasi-sympho… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
**Crooked avant-funk-rock and electronics with weirdly possessed vocals** "Listening to Denseland evokes shades of bygone music's and not: Lou Reed's Berlin period, Joy Division, Einstürzende Neubauten, the extended vocal madness of Roy Hart and Laurie Anderson, the distortions of the early Contortions, reduced Grandmaster Flash and John Carpenter. But Denseland's sound also exists in its own sealed universe - one spanned by sinister timbres of seduction, grooves of foreboding imbued with a sardonic, almost wicked humor. The tracks lure the listener in through an incessant, underlying, … Read more