Thursday, 28 May
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Limited Edition 4 Track Vinyl reissue.
Workshop boss Jens Kuhn a.k.a. Lowtec has a charming, meandering away-day on L.A.'s Avenue 66. Arriving 2 years after the label's amazing Joey Anderson 12", 'Above The Cherry Moon', Lowtec stokes a curious balance of jazz-wise experimentation and laid-back, sun-baked grooves in three parts. A-side, 'Man on Wire' finds a line thru bit-crushed IDM drums and chiming jazz chords at sauntering pace, and bumped up a gear with wooden kickdrums and spidery strings in the haunting reconstruction. B-side, the 'Hidden Track' unfurls nine minutes of hypnotic, rolling house shaped by waves of skanking subs, s… Read more
"André Bratten grew up in Oslo on the border between a bustling city and a dense forest. That juxtaposition has informed his sound: Bratten skillfully imbues cosmic disco with intense cerebral techno. Bratten's cinematic tendency stems from his experience as a theater score composer, while his dancier side is influenced by the Norwegian disco scene that raised him. He released his debut album Be A Man You Ant (2013) on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label, and shares a studio with Thomas, Todd Terje, and Lindstrøm. However, rather than simply emulate these figureheads, Bratten blazed his own tra… Read more
"André Bratten grew up in Oslo on the border between a bustling city and a dense forest. That juxtaposition has informed his sound: Bratten skillfully imbues cosmic disco with intense cerebral techno. Bratten's cinematic tendency stems from his experience as a theater score composer, while his dancier side is influenced by the Norwegian disco scene that raised him. He released his debut album Be A Man You Ant (2013) on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label, and shares a studio with Thomas, Todd Terje, and Lindstrøm. However, rather than simply emulate these figureheads, Bratten blazed his own t… Read more
**Letter-pressed card jacket** "On Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains, Tokyo’s Chihei Hatakeyama evokes an instrumental poetic grace, that marks him out as one of the icons of his generation. Drawing broadly from aesthetic references, that traverse music of the past 30 years, he seamlessly melts glacial ambient drifts with richly harmonic guitar strata that echo the gliding motions of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Cocteau Twins. Never resolving to clear melody, his interest in unrestrained harmonics creates a depth to his compositions and moreover a profound se… Read more
Honey Owens makes a rare and welcome outing as Valet with 'Nature' for Kranky. Her first album in seven years finds the American indie-child making broad gestures to '90s dream-pop and shoegaze with eight songs aided and abetted by regular spars Rafael Fauria (guitar) and Mark Burden (drums/bass/keys). It's an enveloping sound, layering up swirling guitars and stoned drums around her glossolalic vocals at the centre of its slow-shifting harmonic pressure systems.
*The label Die Schachtel has already released the CDs Null l (2010) and Null ll & lll (2012). The project has been completed with four additional CDs. All seven CDs are here be compiled and presented in a special box* "Epic in scale, static, timbre and stillness, "Null" is a vast and profound music project that Luigi Archetti has been pursuing over a long period. His musical research is not about Null (the German word for zero) as a mathematical object, as a real number. Instead, the term Null (zero) is used here as a metaphor in order to describe a state of pausing and anticipat… Read more
*This version includes parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the series and does not include parts 1 & 2, but comes with the box so that those of you who own the first two parts can slot them in* "Epic in scale, static, timbre and stillness, "Null" is a vast and profound music project that Luigi Archetti has been pursuing over a long period. His musical research is not about Null (the German word for zero) as a mathematical object, as a real number. Instead, the term Null (zero) is used here as a metaphor in order to describe a state of pausing and anticipatory waiting. The music in project NU… Read more
Lars Hortveth's Jaga Jazzist launch the maiden cut from their 6th studio LP, backed with a skittish breakbeat disco re-work by Todd Terje. 'Oban' is the slickest iteration of the Norwegian troupe's new prog-disco sound, a fusion of playful Viking jazz dexterity and L.A.-styled cinematic disco excess, sprawling 12 minutes of Hans Zimmer-esque synth pads with Kraftwerkian electro and Axelrod-style drum breaks in fantastical, daft yet sophisticated formations. Todd Terje clearly relishes the opportunity to work with such rich material, turning in a modular-twanged remix that's nearly as long and every bit as juicy as some vintage Bernard Fevre bomb.
**Includes ace 12"x12" art insert by Martin Skauen** Wiggly disco bits from the brilliantly titled Sex Judas and Ricky on Optimo's main label. A-side, the greazy bass licks, shuffled drums and tobacconised vocals of 'Det syke vesen som kjeder seg i bunnen av mennesket' come off like Arthur Russell meets Laid Back at some cosy Chicago disco dive circa 1983; B-side they keep the vibe drugged and horny with 'Pope Naked The First' beside Rob & Nicky's Acid Rub pecked with barking dogs and chummed up with a writhing 303 bass.
*Limited edition marbled vinyl* ASC's Auxiliary imprint ventures into crackly, pastoral 'tronica with the debut output from Joe Synkro and Bering Strait's Kiyoko project. 'Sea Of Trees' is cleanly removed from Synkro's usual work, but does share an appreciation of space and atmospheric downbeats with his recent episode for Apollo. Working with Bering Straits' palette of acoustic instruments and analogue gear, plus dusty samples from old vinyl and an array of circuit bent toys, the result is a carefully, gauzily textured suite of autumnal electronica with tender similarities to the Lancashire man… Read more
The esteemed Norwegian troupe forge a tougher, dizzying sound galvanised by electronic experimentation in their 6th studio album. Since their last LP, 'Live With Britten Sinfonia' (2013), the band's principle song-writer Lars Hortveth took off to L.A. where, inspired by the scale of space and its flashing neon lights, he started composing the material which would become 'Starfire'. Recorded back in Oslo at his band's own studio, the album neatly transposes the rolling, glittering landscapes of California to Jaga Jazzist's rockier topographies and smart jazz chops, manifesting a wide-scop… Read more
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* "Buss it non-stop" - just one listen to the opening of Lloyd Robinson and Devon Russell's impressions' inflected 'Push push' and you should be as enthralled as we were by this cd of specials. The 'discomix' phenomenon was reggae music's reaction to the extended space and form made possible by the technological development of the twelve inch single, created to allow greater flexibility for club deejays to extend, splice or plain muck around with the music. Reggae seized the opportunity to showcase the vocal and the du… Read more
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* Second instalment with a tough act to to follow after the first volume rarely strayed more than a foot from the player - Coxsone wheels it back proper dry and heavy style - drawn predominantly from epic local pop productions this music provides a beautiful snapshot of jamaican bump. Marcia Griffiths Feel Like Jumping, The Willows Send another Moses, Otis Gayle's gorgeous Spinners cover I'll be around, accompanying other priceless rediscoveries such as Marcia Griffiths in dub, hey we all need to jump around sometimes - far too many highlights to detail here - expect total entertaiment always from Studio One.
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* The lavish Studio One series continues unabated with this fantastic new addition, here chronicling the transition period where the studio went through something of a rebirth attracting new and exciting artists such as Willie Williams, Lone Ranger, Michigan and Smiley and Horace Andy whilst holding on to the old guard of Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor etc. With many of the artists featured getting their break through Studio One's legendary Sunday auditions, the political mood of Jamaica began to influence the music mor… Read more
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classics* The latest release in Soul Jazz's bob-on Studio One series gets up close and personal with the Rude Boys - a cultural movement synonymous with Jamaican Dancehall and stretching right back to the Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd and Duke Reid soundclashes in the late 1950's/early 1960's. Culling certain values from the well established Rastafarian faith, rude boys embraced political issues and inhabited a fully rounded cultural movement that extends well beyond the lazy stereotypes often peddled as representative. Featuri… Read more
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* "Soul Jazz continue their journey into the vaults of the mighty Studio One with this next instalment, featuring everything from classic ska and rocksteady to the deepest roots, heaviest dub and dancehall. As ever, the album includes incredible reggae artists such as The Heptones, Ken Boothe, The Skatalites, Johnny Osbourne and Wailing Souls, all of whom launched their careers at Studio One, 13 Brentford Road, under the guidance of Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd. This album features some of the most in-demand and collectible… Read more
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* And so to the one we've been waiting for, Soul Jazz conclude their copiously well executed series of devotion to Clement Coxsone Dodd with a full overview. The limited vinyl edition carries a full colour large format book, with excellent photographs, usual level of scholarly annotations, while the tunes all stand up amongst the most enduring and popular ever on the label. With Abyssinians "Declaration Of Rights", Michigan & Smiley's huge stalag cut on "Nice up The Dance", Dub specialist's all time classic "Banana Walk", … Read more
Moscow's premier deep house player drops a swirling follow-up to his 'Water' album for R&S' ambient sibling, Apollo. The 'Subculture' EP is the most diverse record we've heard from Anton Zap, effortlessly and sensitively touching on strains of brukken dub tech with 'Pauspapier' next to the slow-motion pastoral BoC-styles of 'Freefall' on the A-side, and neatly switching tack between accomplished nods to early, jazz-fusing Squarepusher with 'Incident', or mid '90s Æ and NYC illbient with One Week'.
Tape Records Amsterdam's own Deniro jacks up a trio of lush Detroit techno tributes. A-side, 'The Penal Colony 1' takes off over the 130 bpm barrier with deft, colourful chords and flying hi-hats with a subtle progression recalling early Shed or Stephen Brown. B-side, he funks up the jazzier chords of 'Penal Colony 2' and clocks out with a sweeter highlight of flickering, kick-less groove in the Claude Young-esque 'Penal Colony 3'.
Smarter, deeper tech-house from the prolific Spanish producer for Boddika's Nonplus Records. Seeing a stack of releases for Hivern Discs, Cadenza and Mule Musiq behind him, 'The Sequoia Symposium' EP tests out a fine range of 'floor styles, teasing in with the slinky shuffle and sinuous synth weave of 'The King Pariksit' like a plusher 'Channel B', before 'Sudha Nityananada Parivara Vaisnava' sparks a supple minimal techno pulsation with flickering dub chords and over-the-shoulder vocals. Deeper yet, 'The Sudama Song' rolls out a skeletal Millsian bleep pattern with perfect timing, and 'Sri Sri Ragendra DAS' plays to lip-smacking big room moments.
**Adroit electronic reconstructions of "original 1930s field recordings" made in the Then Belgian Congo** "Peder Mannerfelt’s release for Archives Intérieures takes us back to Belgian Congo in the 1930's. This adventurous album finds its roots in a very obscure 78 rpm record, put together by Belgian filmmaker Armand Denis, who was one of the first Europeans to capture the incredible sounds of Central Congo. These recordings were published in 1950 as The Belgian Congo Records. Mannerfelt is an avid collector of African tribal music. When he came across this record he was immed… Read more
**One-sided 10"** One-sided, deeper house play from Joy Orbison and Boddika. In a blind test, we reckon that even well-trained ears would struggle to differentiate this from the work of Four Tet or Floating Points. That's a good thing or a bad thing depending your dancefloor stance...
Lovely shot of rude-but-sweet house and electro from Mosey, a new name to Future Times. Landing on the heels of FT's amazing Japa Habilidoso delivery, this one eazes in with the piped flutes and padded thud of 'Tuff Times', wriggling in its own timezone between late '80s EBM and Chicago house like some long-lost Goan trance touchstone. Flipside, he comes quite differently with 'TC Midi Labs' firing clustered rhythmelodies and cascading harmonies recalling everyone from Lifted to Laaraji or Gábor Lázár, and 'Live A Little' checks out with a chiming, sublime slice of snappy electro-soul.
“Different things are happening in my life now, so there is no doubt that it will be a very different album.” - Mark Kozelek ‘Universal Themes’ includes ‘The Possum’, a nine minute track featuring Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley about dead possums and hanging out with Godflesh. Guitars and vocals by Mark Kozelek. Percussion by Steve Shelley. Recorded in San Francisco, 2014 / 2015. Additional recording in Hoboken, 2015."
The D&B don gorgon returns with a 4-track vinyl accompaniment to his 3rd album, 'When The Night Comes'. Rolling in five years after 'Foundation' and nearly ten years since the scene classic, 'This Too Shall Pass', the sound here marks a considered reduction and optimisation of Breakage's patented style in four parts. The key phrase here is minimalism, presenting each track/idea with a knowing paucity of fine-tuned elements - rather than showing off with hyperactive edits and calamitous drops. On the first disc he trims back to a fiercely brooding hybrid of dancehall snare… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Cassegrain galvanise Tin Man to a tougher techno sound pursuing a near flawless run of releases from Mariano DC, Campbell Irvine, and Function/Inland on the latter's Infrastructure New York. It's quite apparent over four tracks that Vienna's Tin Man creams his signature acid lines whilst Berlin duo Cassegrain man the grooves, explored in four iterations ranging from the offset 5/4 moire of 'Faint Faint' to earworming and powerful big room jack in 'Seduct Seduct' and over to the plangent, underwater peal and fluid hydrodynamics of 'Ether Ether', or at a bleaker, washed-out angle with 'Window Window'.
Monday, 25 May
**PAN manage to coax out the first new Errorsmith release in 11 years - and in collab with Mark Fell no less - making for one of the deadliest and best twelves you'll hear this year** PAN plays home to the return of pioneering composer Erik Wiegand a.k.a. Errorsmith - in collaboration with anterior artist Mark Fell, no less - for his first release in eleven years! Technically, it's not the first time that these two have worked together - Fell put Wiegand's Razor software to stunning use in the 'Manitutshu' album (EMEGO 116, 2011) - but it is their first time recording toget… Read more
*First new solo album in six years from founding member of pioneering chamber-rock ensemble, Rachel’s. Features members of Loscil, Rachel’s, Shipping News, Amsterdam Sinfonietta* "Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky – most renowned for her work in Rachel's, the groundbreaking chamber-rock ensemble that introduced an entire generation of underground rock fans to the unexpected similarities and appeal of neoclassical music. Grimes has toured the world as a solo pianist, and as a collaborator with chamber ensembles such as Portland Cello Project, astrïd, … Read more
Frrresshhh outta Durban, South Africa, Rudeboyz deliver the first properly administered dose of Gqom heard outside their country. Sounding something like Kwaito made for baddies in a Neil Blomkamp flick, it's a darqer strain of SA house defined by hollow drums (Gqom is Zulu for "bang" or "hit") and weightless yet heavily-impending atmospheres comparable with current Logos and Mumdance designs. Our perception of the "weightless" bit may be attributable to the low bitrates the tunes are distributed in via sites such as Kasimp3 (there's a chuffload of 128kbps gear on there, run go check!), len… Read more