Monday, 09 December
*Fourth instalment in this ongoing series* Searing, tormented darkside f**kery from Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty’s Demdike Stare on their rinse and run Testpressing series. On the A-side ‘Fail’ is a slowly descending panic attack of pealing hi-end frequencies and impending bass doom reaching a pit of noisy no return. On the flip, ‘Null Results’ bruks loose with a scything jungle attack; frantic 16th note hi-hats and cone-crumpling subs laced with a rudeboy mentasm to incite warehouse capoeira. Come test.
The leftfield legend of the Hessle and Hemlock labels ramps up his oddball experimental credentials with perhaps his most eyebrow-raising release yet. The aptly named 'Punters Step Out' features a drop that will have you questioning your sanity. We won't spoil the surprise by describing it (just listen), but suffice to say that Joe turns it into the weirdest dancehall outing you've ever been lead to with promises that everything will be fine if you remain calm. The other side, 'Club Scared,' is a mad post-modern minimal house number that makes you wonder whether the track itself is talking to you (it is).
Numbers celebrate ten years of legendary parties in style with a 30+ minute Villalobos remix of their earliest anthem, Sparky's 'Portland' split into two parts. The handiwork of home-town legend Dave Clark- who notably supported Jeff Mills on his first ever Glasgow show - the track's infected ears far beyond Glasgow as part of an early Stuff Records (remember them?!) compilation, even infiltrating Ricardo V's record box. The big Chilean himself gives the emotional electro heart-punch of the original an "experimental" overhaul here, breaking down to an unspooling 30+ minutes of la… Read more
Killer, hypercoloured grime-instrumentals on Visionist's Lost Codes label, backed up with a remix from the boss himself. To date the LOLGurlz have released on Bastard Brigade and produced a track for Le1f's 'Fly Zone' mixtape, whilst Bok Bok picked up their bootleg of his own 'MJT' for his Fade To Mind mix. The orignals orbit the kinda holo-cored grime 'n electRo&B mutations of Nguzunzu, Total Freedom and the boss, Visionist, at best on their raving, ghostly garage of 'Love You' and the extra-tropical nexx level simulations of 'Red Pill & Blue Pill'. The Visionist mix is a … Read more
Steven Warwick aka Heatsick cocks a unique and compelling perspective on contemporary dance music with his bold follow-up to 'Intersex', a gorgeous, layered work that those of you into DJ Sprinkles should check out without delay. Now woven with leaner dancefloor muscle, the deeply funked views of 'Re-Engineering' are characterised by the artist as a "cybernetic poem". We can take this quite literally in his use of spoken word in pieces such as 'Re-Engineering' with its Chris Morris-esque wordplay, and the alliterative suppositions of 'Speculation', or in more abstract terms on his sound p… Read more
Conforce plumbs icy, electro-dubbed techno depths on his third album, 'Kinetic Image'. Cold fusing desolate, aquatic aesthetics comparable with Drexciya or Dopplereffekt and the spaciously rent sound design of say, Thomas Köner, the Dutch producer has conceived his most impressively realised long player to date, carving a path from sub-heavy and deeply blue stepper 'Excess Mortality' thru the Convextion-like techno romantic pads and hydraulic flow of 'Spatiotemporal' to find water on Martian landscapes in 'Temporary Reversals' and pinging delays in the ice palace structures of 'Scientific … Read more
Louis Johnstone has carved out a distinctive production style from noisy, often heavily compressed but surprisingly subtle recordings under a number of aliases, such as Dem Hunger for Leaving Records. His Wanda Group releases have made him one of the more reliably fascinating names in freeform noise and electronics, with a spate of standout releases in recent months for the likes of Notown, Opal Tapes and Where to Now. This new adventure on NNA is especially changeable, a long, thin thread of sound environments phasing in and out of being. When did this field recording… Read more
Ali Wells aka Perc's Submit label follows that ace batch of Einstürzende Neubauten reworks with a full frontal compilation of noise and techno hybrids. 'Feral Grind' corrals Prostitutes, Pete Swanson, John Olsen's Henry & Hazel Slaugher, Hive Mind, Burial Hex and Bleaching Agent along with lesser known but no less engaging artists such as Profligate, The David Russell Snake, Mincemeat or Tenspeed and Housefire, making for one of the most incisive overviews of the sound that's come to define underground bowel motions in 2013. It ranges from proper ear-flossers like Pete Swanson's… Read more
Laurel Halo and Carl Craig clock in acutely contrasting remixes of 'Turn It Up' from Factory Floor's debut album. Carl Craig does his svelte C2 thing, reducing the groove to hypnotic, pointillist patter threaded with strobing, cut-up vocals, patiently building until a kickdrum watershed and some delicious darkside synth pads in the final throes. In stark relief, Laurel Halo hears the same elements as a dubbed-out, gritty piece of panning flux and globular stabs reaching a sweeter denouement of breathy pads.
Bristol's Komon is back with another delectable pair of house cuts, further proof of his considerable craftsmanship. 'So Easy' brings together perfect little keys, polished bass weight and vocal-science soul, while 'Cosmic John' opens out beautifully into a syncopated paradise of pianos and warm bass sprinkled with stardust.
Blacksmif brings his UK-distilled funk flavour to Ramp's PTN sublabel. '23 Waist' deep fries a choop 'n screwed sample in a swinging garage groove, putting a very London-style pin on US flavours, whilst 'Swimming With Jack Lumber' brims with jazzy, futurist broken beat bounce a la Seiji, and 'Effectivmarkt' dices with badboy bass swoops and brukken garage groove in a lush, hypersoul swirl.
Dopest Dilla/Madlib style hip hop from J. Jae and raps from Tre, Isreal & E Snow. The third and final instalment of his 'Dirty Collections' bumps from the low-slung MPC sample bump of 'Bright Works' to the darker knocks of 'Nu Bad Man' and the spaced-out weirdness of 'Outer Onto Other'.
Solid single from the warm, noisy Manchester cosmonaut, blessed with a precision remix from Zed Bias and a re-run for a dancier feel. 'Sleeprunner' rolls along with a gravitational synth riff before giving way to gorgeous vibes and a smiling saw-wave solo. Zed Bias dresses this in smooth house attire, while the re-run takes a harder edge.
Conny Plank's notorious and highly sought-after collaboration with Can's Holger Czukay gets the deluxe reissue treatment by Grönland nearly thirty years since it was last available. In 1980 the über-producer and long-time spar Czukay indulged their darkest sonic fantasies on a self-released two track maxi that's since become the cherished preserve of heads in the know. This reissue features the incredible studio processing of Holger's voice set to plonging bass and insectoid percussions in 'Biomutanten' and the even sparser concrète dub sound design of 'Menetekel'. Together they a… Read more
Limber techno from 50 Weapons' French ambassador. His 2nd 12" of 2013 for Modeselektor's label rides with a light-footed, swinging flex and effervescenet hook in 'Ignition', whereas 'Take It Out On Me' cuts deeper into the night with pounding bass and tight, skittish metallic synth gremlin that comes off like a weird, sci-fi haunted Regis cut from the late '90s. Aces.
Industrial techno vitriol from Shifted's Avian label. A Vision Of Love follow down the mucky rut of their debut with the listing, tetchy charge of 'A Modern Romance' on one side and the heads-down stomp of 'An Education' on the flip.
Brian Pyle is becoming a big name in disquieting ambient and haunted audio, and two new releases (this and Light that Comes, Light that Goes) from him this week aptly explain why. Interval Signals is an enticingly evocative story, a single-take journey through a series of interiors and exteriors spaces layered with memories and geographies. Melancholy like an old crime scene, its mixture of ancient broadcasts, echoes trapped in the dusty twentieth-century telephone network, spiritualistic tuned percussion and stumbling Romantic piano with strongly emplacing sounds and field r… Read more
Having been active in the underground with smaller offerings and his North Carolina label Hot Releases for four years, multi-instrumentalist Ryan Martin finally has a longplayer to his name with this diverse and intriguing collection of lo-fi landscapes. Martin mixes delicate songcraft and acoustic strumming with a tabletop cosmos of synths, or follows raindrops of guitar and keys falling in free-rhythm by rocking out in the red. Inner contrasts are explored when folky chords are paired intriguingly with harsh drum-machine hits as if from early eighties minimal … Read more
**Oh man, it happened! Gentlemanly G, Dam-Funk, meets Snoop at his sleazy best on eight tracks of freshly starched West Coast slickness alongside Steve Arrington and Kurupt** Snoop says: “We're the babies of the Mothership… I’ve had funk influences in my music my whole career. Dam-Funk is cold. He’s keeping the funk alive and I knew I had to get down with him.” Dam says: "Snoop knew what I was thinking without me having to articulate it. That’s how you know when you gel artistically with someone… These beats were made for him and he laid down some of the smoothest harmonies and melo… Read more
Brock Van Wey dons his loved-up house hat as Earth House Hold. He aims for the 'floor with two low-slung ambient house moves - the 110bpm vocal house chug of 'Back Where I Belong' and the dreamy 100bpm swagger of 'A Little Bit Late For That Now'.
Stripped-down, sci-fi infected halfstep: check 'Architects' for some neat Vangelis-style synth brass breakdown and tight drum work, or 'War Cry' for the real rugged shit, all marital drums and streaking missile FX.
Top notch deep and throbbing House music from one of the most talked-about labels around. 'Tropical Cruize' is the debut of Xosar, and credited to one S. Rahman, with guest vocal from none other than Smackos aka Legowelt. A-side is the gorgeous title track, conjuring a delicious groove from floating pads and driving machine momentum with an fragrant, sub-continental vocal you won't forget in a hurry. B-side gets groovier with the the weighty, bass-driven 'Voodoo Castle' featuring backing vox from Smackos, plus the heavy-lidded hypnosis of 'Xephyr'. Tip!
Deepest House burners from the imagination of Willie Burns, who's p'raps best known for his Grackle and Speculator releases related to Legowelt's Strange Life organization. Like those projects, this one's informed by a lifetime of electronic osmosis and a genuine melodic intuition, which really suits the tracky Chicago flow of these tracks. From his darker take on Virgo, 'Fantasy MD', through the sensually satisfying moire of delayed keys and bass in 'Key Horizon' to the cool chords of 'You For Her', his take on the vintage sound is faithful yet fresh, but there's also some weirder, a… Read more
Nicolas Jaar's Other People label present the debut from Visuals, including a dose of his own Darkside production on the nimble electro-pop of 'No result (Solve for X)'.
L.I.E.S. doing it aciiid style with the grungy muck of Vereker. Originally based in the UK, now in San Francisco, Oliver Vereker purveys a particular brand of Chicago-inspired acid techno, playing out the tunnelling, tracky madness of 'Rosite' up top, and it's inbred relation 'Disconnect' on the flip, beside a warped sci-fi techno trekker named 'Falling'. RIYL Jamal Moss, Container, Legowelt!
Industrialised house rockers with balls from the L.I.E.S. coven. The A-side mauler 'Fear Eats The Soul' works up a sweat with pistoning hi-hats and big-handed claps lashed to a virulent EBM bass synth with deadly intent. Proper leather and grimace funk. B-side, 'Next' is druggier, submerged jack-off, like industrial acid house heard from a cubicle by the bassbins, and 'Untitled' doses up on darkside synths over taut 303 sequences.
Rekids round up five cuts by their UK posse. Check for highlights in the tweaky electro-dub disco of 'Raw Nerve' by The Rhythm Odyssey (aka Chicken Lips), the basement house rider, 'Get On Down', Toby Tobias' italo disco-styled 'Breakdown' and the darkside swing of Radioslave's Panorama Garage remix of Matt O'Brien.
Berlin-based Italian synth and minimal wave lot, Mannequin, review their first five year with twenty tracks spanning modern diamonds to smart reissues. Make sure to check for the stoic, haunted heartache of Tropic Of Cancer's 'It's All Come Undone', Tommy De Chirico's original, jangling wave pop piece, 'Close Your Eyes', the rare remixes of Mushy from Xander Harris and Soft Metals, and the Professor Genius 'Lost Girls' mix of 'Madi La Lune'.
Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. finally deliver the immense 'American Noise Volume One' compilation featuring 23 tracks ranging from Bookworms' amazing 'African Rhythms' shakedown to the surfer house of Bonquiqui and Jahiliyya Fields' sublime synth ragas - it more or less defines the intersection of raw, analog house and new age electronics which the label has worked towards since 2010. On disc 1 we're sequenced through the expansive drift of Steve Moore's epic 'Frigia' to Legowelt's 'Sark Island Acid' bubbler via Maxmillion Dunbar's tripping EBM jack 'Cassette Arabic' to Torn H… Read more