Monday, 25 August
Super stylish, wavy disco/house, Frankfurt style, from Lennard Poschmann aka Orson Wells on his 2nd 12" for Live at Robert Johnson. In possession of the sharpest rimshots we've heard in ages - we're big rimshot fans o'er here - the four tracks of 'Open Light' feel timelessly fresh and effective. 'Drifting' does just that with sparkling synth arpeggios and kinkiest rimshot patter set to a suave 112bpm swing, and the gorgeous 'Sky Traffic' tickles slinkier cowbells and floating chords with a poetic flourish recalling vintage analords and Italian techno moments. 'It Takes Two To Tango' hinge… Read more
Dark Entries' rampant reissue agenda continues apace with the eponymous debut by prolific French synth-poppers, Opera Multi Steel. Expect typically elegant gallic pop a la The Human League in 'Rien', thru a sort of pacy, baroque take on Talking Heads in 'Fêtês Komité', to the noirish emoting of 'Jardin Botanique' and the disco-prime 'Massabielle'.
Downwards' gloomiest duo summon the spirits of Coil and Cocteau Twins on this compelling sophomore 12". Like Teutonic cousins to Blackest Ever Black's Dalhous, Oake channel wide ranging influences from film, literature and esoteric musics to create texturally rich and evocative arrangements which don't necessarily sit well in any pre-ordained genre. Their 2nd outing is a bleak call to like-minded souls, using worm-charming subsonic pulses and banking wails on 'Sehtohree Diin Chromtas Vehns' to seduce both techno heads and goths, whilst 'Tuturden Giit Chreteen Dwe' displays an increasingly vis… Read more
Ric and Max do their bendy, extended remix thing with NoW's bona fide Warp classic, 'Aftermath'. The 24 year old bleep techno template is extruded thru their modular arsenal to resemble a strange older version of itself, the vocal pitched down to a pensioners ramble and all the energy of the breaks and bass diffused into snaking, whirring polyrhythms. Frankly, it's boring. However, their Electric Jazz Version is ace, dicing up sprung drums, darting bass motifs and feathered vocal flits to sound some menagerie of psychotropically-enhanced, flying chimeras performing an ancient ritual involving multi-dimensional time signature switches.
Nimble, fruity tech-house standards from UK legend Colin McBean aka Mr. G. 'P Bar Jam' pays dues to Berlin's most notorious nightspot with a skipping 909 groove and sultry chords; 'Tripped Out' eases off on a skanking deep techno/house flex midway between Radioslave and Chain Reaction styles; 'End Of Day Jam' slydes out to poised organ chords and laidback, effervescent groove.
LA's Mono/Poly makes good with his most high profile album to date landing on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder. "From the first orchestral trills of “Winds of Change” you know you’re in for something special. As the track builds the listener notices not only the content but also the production chops – this is a record which sounds exactly as big, glossy and up front as its creator wants it to. Rebekah Raff adds scintillating harp work to “Transit to the Gold Planet,” but it’s the way Dickerson integrates it and builds on it which is really special. “Ra Rise” sounds like sunbathing in space, Nik… Read more
IDIB capo, Mike Simonetti presents the 3rd volume of his ongoing mixtape series, 'At The Juncture Of Dark and Light', via Opal Tapes. Positively crammed with unknown - or at least unmarked - wonders ranging from kosmische disco assaults to drum machine-driven black hole ragas and sublime new age surfers over its 60 minute lifespan, it's a challenge to the spotters - there's no tracklist as yet - and a delight to those who really appreciate a knowingly selected and sequenced mixtape. Kudos.
Midland's Autonomous Africa gang regroup for a 3rd session, this time accompanied by General Ludd. Midland opens with the raspin' drums, chants and Carl Craig-style progressions of 'Safi' beside General Judd's scuffed 'n skippy Glasgow bassbin killer, 'Burning Mask'. B-side, Auntie Flo captains the soulful, hypnotic vocal and drum percolations of 'Daabi' somewhere between London and Tanzania, and we find JD Twitch at his loosest with the lilting riddmic cadence of 'Maya' making for a dizzy tribal trip. All of the label's profits from sale of this record go to the Mtandika Mission in Tanzania.
France’s electronic duo M83 return with their second album, their first to be given a more overtly international push. Good timing, for its an adequately analogue collection of electronic pop songs mounted on a bed of fuzzy guitars and computerised vocals – hitting the zeitgeist with considerable aplomb. The tracks often contain a warm, almost romantic undercurrent, something which isnt often associated with music of this kind, and the soundscapeish scope of the composition, rather than the execution, hints at a deep love for My Bloody Valentine and their pioneering execution of electronic pioneering via acoustic means. Surprisingly moving.
M83 have long been mentioned in the same breath as Ulrich Schnauss – listening to this excellent second album it becomes clear once again just why these comparisons have been made. “Before The Dawn Heals Us” is the sound one would imagine Mr Schnauss producing had he more or less got rid of his electronic demons, immersing himself fully in a mesh of guitars and weaves of feedback levelled out by that rarest of electronic conceits – vocals. M83 certainly bring to mind the euphoric, epic arrangements Schnauss is so fond of, while their admiration for the production values of My Bloody Valentine seeps through every pore of this fine record. Well worth a listen.
Anthony Naples' Proibito label introduces Toronto's Local Artist on a gritty, charmingly rudimentary techno/house session. The big tune is A-side banger, 'Mr. Kiwi's', a frisky combination of latinized shakers and pinging delays anchored by a proper, bootin' kick drum, while the rest of the EP hovers between disco-looped deep house on 'Zero Zero Four', and more skewed, dubbed out groove experiments on the flip with the Syncom Data-like dust shimmy of 'Sun Raw', and the Huerco S or Madteo-esque hypnotiser, 'Mansion Of Hours'.
"Renihilation’ is Liturgy’s 2009 debut album. Unavailable on vinyl for some time, ‘Renihilation’ is unrelenting and hyper-focused, an astonishing balance of pure chaos and meticulous composition, never wavering in its dedication to its own conceptual core. Even as it introduced the band to the metal community at large, ‘Renihilation’ established Liturgy as a group that refused to play by the same rules that had dictated black metal aesthetics up to that point, instead blazing their own white hot path that used black metal as a means to express something much grander and much more elusive. I… Read more
**Airless, ecstatic modular music from former member of Godspeed You Black Emperor** "Five years after founding Le Révélateur, Montreal-bred musician Roger Tellier-Craig returns to Root Strata with Extreme Events, a collection of dense sonic studies that betray a futuristic and timeless beauty. Alongside collaborator Sabrina Ratté, who creates the project’s videos and live visuals, Le Révélateur operates at the ideological intersection of audio and visual, analog and digital, nostalgic and anticipatory, human and machine. Extreme Events is characterized by complex rhythmic asymmetry… Read more
**Superb Thai psychedelia, strongly recommended to fans of Sublime Frequencies or Chris Menist's Paradise Bangkok label!** It all started over a year ago with the caption “MINDBLOWING PSYCHEDELIA FROM THAILAND” the Youtube video that accompanied this head line on the Dangerous Minds Blog was exactly that. Here was a group of Thai musicians being filmed parading through a remote village hundreds of miles away from Bangkok playing some of the heaviest Psych known to mankind out of a crazy homemade soundsystem. Who were these men and how on earth was this not some unearth… Read more
Burly EBM electro-techno by former Instra:mental-ist damon Kirkham aka Jon Convex. Both tracks make much more explicit reference to the '80s and '90s heyday of EBM and 'ard techno than most of his contemporaries, laying down strong kicks, cowbells and slinky rimshots boosted with mauling acid bassline on 'Force', and some proper Front 242/ Nitzer Ebb sexiness in the powerful throb of 'Snake'.
J Mascis’ ‘Tied To A Star’, the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut ‘Several Shades Of Why’, is led by the songs ‘Every Morning’ and ‘Wide Awake’, was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA. ‘Tied To A Star’ also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri, Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).
'Synthesist' was created on the cusp of a new decade, as the New Age of the '80s was dawning and the titans of Krautrock had largely left their best work behind them. Harald had worked with the very best of them, playing drums on seminal albums by Klaus Schulze, the notorious Cosmic Jokers, Ashra, and Tarot before he retreated to the West German countryside with a MiniMoog and Revox Reel-to-Reel in 1979 to create his personal opus. It's been said elsewhere, but it bears repeating that this album feels like a symbiosis of the two eras, the proggy excesses of the '70s reigned in by per… Read more
Reissue of 'Oceanheart', the 1986 follow-up to 'Synthesist' by Ashra drummer Harald Grosskopf. Whilst its better known predecessor dealt on the cusp of Krautrock's twilight period and new age spheres, 'Oceanheart' very much sounds of its mid '80s era with polished digital drums and synths balanced between the dancefloor and Miami yacht decks. The DJs really need to cop a listen to the taut, arpeggiated funk of 'Eve On The Hill', the MIDI-tethered tablas, slick bassline and sparkling pirouettes of 'Pondicherry Dream', and the airborne swing of 'Minimal Boogie', whilst suave home liste… Read more
Grubby, swangin' house and techno trax from Hank Jackson for Anthony Naples' Proibito label. Hot on the heels of his outstanding Mister Saturday Night Records single, Hank knuckles down to a ruddier, shiftier sound here, from the seasick jack of 'Palee Hit' to the insistent tribal cadence of 'Track 3' and the tape head-melting distortion and groggy welt of 'Sizzler'.
From Kansas via Brooklyn, Huerco S returns with four ferric-drenched psy-house shufflers for Anthony Naples' Proibito label. His first new material since that ace debut album 'Colonial Patterns' and the 'Aphelia's Theme' 12" for Future Times is distinguished by a subtle expansion and concentration of his sound - basslines feel chewier, knotted, and the atmospheres wider, lusher. A-side loads up one piece of decelerated groove and melting kosmiche dub tones, plus a slinky filter shimmy that comes off like a Soundhack inversion. B-side goes heavier with the kicks inna gritted, grun… Read more
As James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem said of “The Bus”, “I always wanted to make a song that sounded like that* "Executive Slacks was spawned in Philadelphia by three restless art students - Matt Marello, John Young and Albert Ganss in the early 1980s. Starting out with performance art in subways, they soon took their angst-ridden act to galleries and night clubs. They recorded four songs in the fall of 1982 that became their self-titled EP released by local independent label Red Records in 1983. On their debut EP Matt Marello roars and churns out white-hot shards of guitar while… Read more
Canada's fertile pop/electronica scene comes good again with Evelyn Mason and Jeremiah Klein's first single as Evy Jane for Ninja Tune. Lest we forget, the duo's debut for King Deluxe was a real burner, every bit as addictive as anything from fellow Canucks, Grimes, Weeknd or Junior Boys. That's in large part due to the smoky allure of Evelyn's vocals, and no doubt due to Klein's subtly exquisite production, which sound at best here in the heaving digital haze and melodic tristesse of 'Closer', in the sweeping sub-bass dynamics and filigree vocals of 'Sosoft', and the Rhythm & Sound meets Junior Boys dub-pop styles of 'Worry Heart'.
Dynooo deals his most striking body of work in 'These Flaws Are Mine To War With'. Paralleling the sheer contoured aesthetics of peers and like-minded artists such as James Ferraro, M.E.S.H. and TCF - whose remix was a highlight of Dynooo's 'Mesh N2 Air' LP - his 4th album since 2011 revels in hyper-lucid textures and finely layered, detailed dynamics rent in elegant, spacious arrangements to fall headlong for. It feels as though it's operating in multiple dimensions at once, strafing piquant pizzicato strings and choral synth voices across wide ambient scapes intersected… Read more
Building anticipation for his 'Joined Ends' album, Dorian Concept follows the tasty 'Draft Culture' 12" with the pop-wise lift of 'Ann River, Mn'.