Monday, 26 January
**Elaborate, jazz-wise electronic beat craft** "Having last appeared on Five Easy Pieces in 2012 with the Eclosure EP, Kuku is the long- awaited new release from London-based producer Dario Rojo Guerra also known as Flako. Following two collaborations with Fatima on her Eglo Records debut album Yellow Memories, Kuku is both Guerra’s first solo release in two years and the first single to be taken from his forthcoming debut album, Natureboy. Featuring two tracks from Natureboy and two productions exclusive to this release, Kuku sees him continue to build on the uncanny natural world created on Eclosur… Read more
'Klavírní' is the 2nd solo piano suite by Berlin-based composer, producer, singer, DJ Ema Jolly aka Emika. Her 'Dva' album included a download of Dilo Parts 1-3, and this LP presents parts 4-16, played on a Karl Müller piano in Milton Keynes with a Zoom H4n portable recorder positioned directly behind the artist "so the listener gets the most intimate sound possible."
"Irreal, the ﬁfth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. The album plays out as a dream sequence - hazed dub landscapes give way to the groupʼs most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era conﬁrmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip, then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity - it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. Itʼs a master class in texture, pace and control. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irr… Read more
Alternately melodic and dry jakbeat aces from Ann Arbor's D'Marc Cantu on Richard Fearless' Drone label. 'Rival' is the sweeter of the two, approximating Depeche Mode lost in the Muzic Box, with Dave Gahan presumably doing something naughty in the WC leaving the others to an instrumental jam conducted by Armando. B-side is better yet, parsing the twin helix of Chicago house and Detroit techno to reveal a visceral, snakelike warehouse killer with chattering Volca drum accents - apparently recorded the same day he bought the machine, no edits, one take.
To kick off their 20th year, Planet Mu present the widescreen visions of 'Sun Czar Temple', the 2nd EP by Berlin-based Scotsman, Claude Speeed. Steeped in all sorts of mannered loveliness, from classic American minimalism to cinematic post-rock and retro-futurist electronica, its intent is matched by its reach over five succinct pieces fanning out from the distorted dream sequence of 'Traumzeuge' to soaring synth scape 'R U Sorry?' via the curling chimes and zinging digital harmonics and binary cream of 'Dr. Liz Wilson', ascending to the crashing MIDI drums and longing vocal glossolalia of 'Fret'. RIYL Oneohtrix Point Never, Kuedo, Mogwai.
Ben Westbeech aka Breach meets Dutch lynchpin, Cinnaman for two trance-etched and deeper house groovers. Both tracks find a fine blend of warm, piquant synth clarity and dusted bass heft drawing on the producer's shared background in hip hop, soul and bass styles - Cinnaman was a pioneer of the Beat Dimensions sound and resident at Amsterdam's Trouw (RIP), Breach steeped in soulful D&B. Their A-side mixes tight, rugged bass drive with the kind of slow-burning synth arrangements you'd expect from Carl Craig, rising to a peak that earns the title 'Liberty', while B-side bumps a funked-up flex with phasing disco loops and garage-tucked swing and D-troit string pads.
One year on from the raw rump smack of 'Detroit Heat', Big Strick rounds up his boys - Omar-S, Generation Next, and Reckless Ron - for album #2, 'Resivoir Dogs'. Family ties run deep: Omar-S is Strick's cousin and 16 year old Generation Next is extended fam, lending these 13 tracks a sense of shared vision and grooving cohesion that works damn well. His yung cuz opens with the motor city astro fuel of 'Sequence 11' and also contributes the remarkably elegant minimalism of 'Windsor Nights' and 'Slow Ride', plus the gritty sci-fi jack of 'Metro' for balance. Big Strick is in large and in … Read more
New York's Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa make good with two strong cuts on Parasole's The Corner label. 'Pressure' is a simmering piece of 4/4 making the most out of modulated, filtered synthlines, slinky hi-hat patterns and rumbling but light-footed 4/4. Flipside, 'Pitched Black' is a proper builder, playing it down with percolating toms and sturdy kicks before stealthily rising to a mind-bending, discordant breakdown that pushes all the right buttons.
'Last Days of Montrose House' is an enveloping collage piece sweeping from diaphanous field recording textures to treacherous drones and semi-organic modular scree. It's a welcome return from Anduin, whose series of LPs for SMTG Limited between 2009-2012 have aged beautifully. Check also for the rumbling, Gas-like ambient techno of Tag Cloud's mix, and Radere's deeply abstracted version.
New label, Fino Y Gordo get off on the right foot with Aardvarck's olfactory funk play, 'Housenose'. Dusty drum loops, grumbling synth and vocal stabs feel out in the fuggy darkness before loosely coalescing a stoned Amsterdam disco house buzz.
Thursday, 22 January
**Utterly blinding, 100-minute tape housed in rare clamshell case with risographed artwork illustrated and designed by John Powell-Jones. Edition of 350** Reel Torque Volume 8: 'Loukanikos' Dance' is a labyrinthine lesson in the black art of DJing delivered by a pillar of Manchester dancefloors, Jon K. Arriving two years and two weeks after he dropped Fact Magazine's Best Mix of 2013 online, this is - quite remarkably - Jon's first ever physical mix release. It's the stuff mixtape dreams are made of; crammed with complete obscurities, all-time classics and dusty perci… Read more
*140g LP in spined sleeve with download code card* Ok, this is more like it - a crackshot slab from the crackpot producer putting his computer controlled acoustic orchestra thru its paces. As promised or alluded to in various interviews around last year's 'Syro' LP, he's done a proper Pierre (Bastien, Henry, Schaeffer) and manufactured a whole mechanical band of things that hit other things - mainly pianos, drums and gongs - to make a very pleasing sound indeed. It's the sound of an artist exerting optimal control over his instruments but allowing for, or … Read more
*Double 180g vinyl gatefold. Artwork by James Wilson** 'Ghetto Madness' is another invaluable collection of classic Dance Mania bangers. Picking up where Strut's 'Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995' left off, it focusses on the label's unrivalled early-mid '90s output, a sound defined by hyper BPMs and the rawest, butt-naked machine rhythms. This vinyl edition creams 13 of the filthiest Chicago bangers you ever heard, setting the levels with Jammin Gerald's bare-bones 'Pump That Shit Up'; cycling thru a coupla Deeon killers, 'The Freaks' and '1112'; taking it back to ro… Read more
Ok, this is more like it - a crackshot slab from the crackpot producer putting his computer controlled acoustic orchestra thru its paces. As promised or alluded to in various interviews around last year's 'Syro' LP, he's done a proper Pierre (Bastien, Henry, Schaeffer) and manufactured a whole mechanical band of things that hit other things - mainly pianos, drums and gongs - to make a very pleasing sound indeed. It's the sound of an artist exerting optimal control over his instruments but allowing for, or even cultivating the natural infidelities of syncopat… Read more
Raster-Noton present the brain-flossing results of Frank Bretschneider's calculated muck-about on the Buchla and Serge modular synths in Stockholm's hallowed EMS facility. 'Sinn + Form', translating to "meaning + form", is the Raster-Noton co-founder's attempt to simulate the "fundamentally chaotic world as we know it" via mathematical and physical theories - dynamical systems, probability theory, stochastic systems - in an extension of humankind's endless endeavour to "recognize this world and to describe, predict, control and change it." To our ears, the results flux wildly between al… Read more
'Ghetto Madness' is another invaluable collection of classic Dance Mania bangers. Picking up where Strut's 'Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1995' left off, it focusses on the label's unrivalled early-mid '90s output, a sound defined by hyper BPMs and the rawest, butt-naked machine rhythms. This CD/digital edition creams 15 of the filthiest Chicago bangers you ever heard, setting the levels with Jammin Gerald's bare-bones 'Pump That Shit Up'; cycling thru a coupla Deeon killers, 'The Freaks' and '1112'; taking it back to roots with Steve Poindexter's 'Computer Madness' or D… Read more
"Irreal, the ﬁfth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. The album plays out as a dream sequence - hazed dub landscapes give way to the groupʼs most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era conﬁrmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip, then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity - it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. Itʼs a master class in texture, pace and control. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irreal si… Read more
*Jim O’Rourke and Christoph Heemann return with a sublime new album as Plastic Palace People* "Latest album from Plastic Palace People, the duo of Jim O’Rourke and Christoph Heemann, who have been collaborating continuously (even though in a largely unnoticed fashion) since 1989. After two releases in quick succession, it has been a long wait for more and finally here is a recent piece of work from them, recorded at Super Deluxe in Tokyo, Japan, in August 2013. After all these years of contact, friendship and collaboration, the collec… Read more
The preternaturally-attuned trio present the 2nd section of their amazing concert at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo on 17th March, 2013, which already spawned the 'Only Wanting To Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen'. Where that set was focussed on new instrumental configurations, this one sees them return to a signature line-up of guitar, bass and drums, documented in unflinching intimacy and entirety. The first sect… Read more
**Must-have** Scalping techno and synth noise session from Vereker in Restraint mode for his Endangered Species label. This is the kinda rancid, roiling sh*t that gets us up in the morning: two glowering, Clive Barker-esque visions of synth music and throttled noise on the front; one of this decade's finest techno tracks so far on the flipside. The A-side's beat-less black holes absorb all light in compelling displays of muscular synth wrangling and vicious reckoning owing as much to the mastering engineer, Hospital Productions' Kris Lapke aka Alberich, as the dysphoric libera… Read more
*includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Ninos Du Brasil step up to DFA with a pair of virile, snaking batacuda techno riddims following on from their brilliant 'Novos Mistérios' LP for Hospital Productions. The duo, Nico Vascellari and Nicolo Fortuni have at once refined, loosened and expanded their sound here, tilting technoid pulses thru mazy time signatures to resemble the soundtrack for a Sepultura after-party set in "the bushes of Queimada Grande (Snake Island, Brazil.)" Named after a genus of stinky frog found in the Amazon, 'Aromobates NDB' is a viscous re… Read more
**Red paper sleeve and Eye of Horus artwork insert. Edition of 200 copies* Lazer-etched instrumental electro-grime-D&B missiles from London's one-n-only Darq E Freaker for the mighty Numbers crew. After cutting his teeth with Channel U faves Nu Brand Flexx, Darq E Freaker defined modern grime with blazing, bilious production on Tempa T's 'Next Hype' and his killer solo 12"s, the 'Horus' and 'Cherryade' EPs. More recently he's been busied with hits like 'Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)' for Danny Brown and 'Mardi Gras' for Gita, and arrives at the Numbers hyperplex with suitably colourful impact. … Read more
*Limited edition of 250 copies* "Second album from this pairing of two of America’s most audacious psychedelic drone proponents, following a stunning release on Graham Lambkin’s Kye label a couple of years back. The combination of Marcia Bassett’s pretty well processed guitar, squashing otherwise raging howls into densely packed tones of feedback wail, and Samara Lubelski’s long violin voyages into the drone zone is something wondrous to behold. One side-long trip and three shorter, but nevertheless expansive, explorations of black magic meditation. Don’t miss this one. Comes in an edition of just 250 on 140g vinyl with beautiful matt sleeve art."
**Arditti quartet: Irvine Arditti, Graeme Jennings, Garth Knox, Rohan de Saram perform the ambitious, time-stretching 'String Quartet No.4, opus 33' (1976-87) by Romanian spectral music composer, Horatiu Radelescu** ""infinite to be cannot be infinite, infinite anti-be could be infinite" for nine string quartets or one string quartet surrounded by an imaginary Viola da Gamba with 128 strings."
*Limited edition of 150* "Paul H Williams writes: “Aeroforms 1 and 2 were made around 1984/85 using a BBC Microcomputer with a Music 500 outboard synthesiser and Ample music software. This release has been mastered from that original cassette recording. I developed a generative music programme that created sound pieces within a set of boundaries. Tones were produced within a range of sound qualities, frequencies, periods and start times. Once the parameters were selected randomisation was used so that the programme “chose” which tones to play, how to play them, when and for how long. T… Read more
*Edition of 500 copies* "Apologia is the 'lost' first solo guitar album by James Blackshaw from 2003, which he self-released on CD-R in an edition of 30. As Blackshaw explains: "Apologia’ was written on a cheap Yamaha guitar with a ridiculously high action over the course a couple of months in 2002 and recorded in February 2003, a few months before I picked up a 12-string guitar for the first time and wrote and recorded my first release, ‘Celeste’. I’d just started fingerpicking and had gotten comfortable enough with some techniques to experiment with open tunings of my own devising and wri… Read more
*Volume One - Each 10” Contains Ten Previously Unreleased, Untitled J Dilla Beats* "The E-Mu Systems SP-1200 drum machine and sampler was the first electronic instrument Jay Dee worked with while crafting the incomparable styles and sounds which defined the early stages of his legendary production. The SP-1200 was his primary tool of choice at the inception of his career. During this period, he created classics for early Slum Village, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, among many others. Yancey Media Group now proudly presents the J Dilla Batches series. Each 10” features 10… Read more