Friday, 24 July
**SDJR turns out a whole party's worth of funk with an infectious debut album sporting guest spots by Julio Bashmore, fLako and Kutmah** "From time to time a DJ or producer comes along who transcends a particular scene, bridges the gap between disparate movements and unites tribal music fans. Seven has that talismanic quality. His productions have a rawness… a loose-knit, lolloping groove that seduces even the most steadfastly stubborn of hips. Recorded in LA, San Francisco, Amsterdam and London, Universes is a unique exploration of his musical landscape, traversing tempo… Read more
El Gheba' - actually, we jest; we're not sure what Peterson did, but it sounds bloody great - while Modeselektor fuse beefier, bouncing drums to Rizan Said's flowering keys in 'Leil El Bareh' and 'Ensaa El Aatab', and Four Tet infuses the title track with a fluid, heady sort of dancefloor psychedelia. Left to his own devices, however, Souleyman and band provide some of the album's most striking moments in the solemn sway of 'Mawal menzal' and the intricately woven strokes of 'Darb El Hawa', whilst Legowelt yokes 'Bahdeni Nami' to Euro 'floors with a killer New Beat acid styled remix. Pretty hard to deny this is one of Souleyman's best records to date.
Vsnares pursues the breakcore dragon into new spaces following the monstrous 'My Love Is A Bulldozer' (2014). Serving more than your recommended yearly allowance of mentallism, 'Your Face' flings us from black midi symphonies in 'Your Face When I Finally' to a gorgeous, beat-less and hyaline reflection in 'Your Face When I Finally (Glass Version)', spinning us thru the LP5-style knots of 'Former Eagle' to hyper hardcore party styles in 'Red Orange 2', and the flipping freakish breakbeat techno of 'Become Magic Dolphins', with a brilliant twist of forward electro pulses and harmonic convolutions recalling Gábor Lázár in 'Misericordial'.
Arc Light Editions make our year with an essential reissue of Pekka Airaksinen's hieroglyphic electro-jazz opus, 'Buddhas of Golden Light'. Since his earliest, ground-breaking transgressions with NWW-listed group The Sperm dating back to 1968, Pekka Airaksinen has feverishly dilated the boundaries of improvised music and jazz at oblique angles to reveal some of its farthest-flung musical treasures in a catalogue now well over 100 releases deep. As with his astonishing and revelatory 'Other Power' collection, written during the same era but only issued by Harmönia in 2012… Read more
Jessy Lanza finds mutual muses in Chicago lynchpins, DJ Spinn and Taso, for the romantic R&B and footwork of 'You Never Show Your Love'. A perfect match of styles, it finds Spinn & Taso working outside their usual tempo bracket with great results, creaming yacht-ready guitar licks on airborne trap triplets, all gilded with Lanza's longing lyrics placing the original up close to FKA Twigs' 'Water Me' whilst the Teklife remix comes off like 4Hero gone footwork with its ornate chords, jazzy arrangement and hi-tek funk pulsations.
Ipman triggers a devastating, hardcore UK sound with his Tectonic debut. Amidst bad company on the Bristol label, he sounds a junglist clarion call for 'Regicide' with ruffneck breaks and stare-down bass amping a sentiment we agree with, whereas 'Ghostrunner' tests out something new entirely with a ferocious cold-fusion of noise techno, EBM and pitching trap trills that frankly sounds like f**k-all out there. TIP!
Following on from that mighty Drum & Bass mixtape from Karl O’Connor, Sam and Hayley Kerridge's Berlin event series-turned-label return with a killer addendum to their first release - Kerridge's 'Always Offended Never Ashamed' album. These two new tracks are a clarion call to arms - both sides excerpted from a Kerridge live performance for the NTO, Berlin 2013. Convulsing chunks of distorted, heaving junglist venom on the A-side's brutal 'Sonic Instruments Of War #01', the flipside explores more abstract terrain thru vicious, atonal outbursts. Highly recommended if yr into the Downwards catalogue, HATE or recent material from Shapednoise.
Greeen Linez do their boogie-junglist-space-funk thang with finesse on Diskotopia. The duo's 3rd LP, 'The Calm' could be the soundtrack to an eccied-up weekend in Tokyo, rolling lushest vibes between the melting ambient panorama of 'Dreamwalker' and the silken downstroke of 'Blue Tomorrow', taking in saxy Good Looking jungle in 'Asa Mist', midnight sun-kissed shuffles in 'Clutch', and ambient new jack swing with 'Findings' for the debonaire set.
Under the cutting title, 'Conscious C*nt', Swiss-born, Nepalese-Tibetan artist Aïsha Devi explores notions of "womanhood, spirituality, materialism and societal pressure" for her Houndstooth debut. Arching up with escalating trance arpeggios and bruised bass palpitations before a spectral denouement introduces her pitched vox in 'Kim & the Wheel of Life', she continues to pursue stranger, processed vocal timbres in a beat-less recitation of an Urdu poem by Pakistani feminist Kishwar Naheed, 'Aurat (Tool)', and scales up haunting chant and hard-textured synth to a captivating accumulation of energy and emotion.
Summer's friend, Matthew Mondanile a.k.a. Ducktails presents a persistently sweet new studio album; his first since 2013's 'The Flower Lane' and arguably his lushest yet. Sporting guest spots from Julia Holter and James Ferraro, and tooled with production by Rob Schnapf, co-producer of Elliott Smith's 'XO' and 'Either/Or', it's a baroque-tight collection of classical pop, flush with cascading melodies, tender fretwork and sing-along vocals. It was recorded throughout 2014 and into 2015 at a variety of locations, from L.A. to NYC and Berlin, oftentimes while on tour with Real Estate, marki… Read more
Red-lining techno ripper and acid dub from Berlin's EMG for the Berceuse Heroique juggernaut. 'Reaction' holds its ground on the A-side with surging kicks and body-swilling 303s stabbed up with samples and soused in EMG's patented distortion. Pure panic mode techno. B-side, 'Exosphere' goes all zombied acid dub with bone-cold effect, beside the bestial house grind ov 'Animal'. A riot.
Silkie follows two volumes of 'City Limits' albums with the plush dubstep boogie dimensions of 'Fractals' for Distal's Anarchostar label. There's far more variation in this suite than we've previously heard from Silkie, proving equally adept at Miami-style electro in 'Escape Route', trim electro-tech in 'Moda' with J. Tijn, and swish Linn funk in 'Love Affair', alongside the trap-style lean of 'Majik' and electro-jazzy halfstep in 'Cascada'.
Diaphanous ambient-grime designs from down under. Sydney's Mokona elides styles with seamless precision, plumbing the lusher depth of '80s new age and '90s ambient where many of his scene peers prefer to keep everything upfront in the mix. A-side features the wistful weightless arrangement of synth voices, flaring lead and airborne flutes in 'Morning Vapour', and with a hazy, meditative patina of bird calls and gaseous pads punctured by swooping drums in 'Shrine Garden'. Turn it over and 'Inner City Test Run' unloads crunching dancehall snares and crushing subs streaked with polychromatic synt… Read more
Mr. Beatnick flexes a proper disco-tech sound with 'Formed In The Stance' for Semtek's DBA label. 'Stutter' opens with some weighty momentum balanced between slyding synth flares and bristling electro NRG bass, whilst the coruscating scales and slippery disco moves of 'Jellyfish' recall classic Patrick Cowley. The title track dims the lights to a noirish, jazzy West London bustle, and 'Obsidian Morning' synchs a lissom swing between wood-crack claps, dubble-dip bass and flighty arpeggios. Great stuff.
The Mods hock a vitriolic follow-up to their 'Divide And Exit' breakthrough with the 12-song 'Key Markets'. Their latest dispatch from the no-mans-land of Nottingham volleys shots at anyone and everything that comes within Jason Williams' line-of-sight, whilst Andrew Fearn's productions remain ascetic to say the least, but possibly with more bite and itch in the gruds than before, and even a few moments that could be described as abstract when compared with their sternly functional structures. Safe to say they've lost none of their spunky chuff with the advent of bigger stages and audiences at their feet.
Matrixxman and Mr. G rework Convex Industries 'Zero Point' product for the 'floor. Jon Convex's 'Day After Day' is reduced and curved to an aerodynamic bleep techno dub by Matrixxman, whilst Light Year and Louisahhh's 'Inside' is asphyxiated with white noise in a furtive house mix by Mr. G.
Yorkshire's Ashtray Navigations deglaze and infect your mind with their umpteenth album of borderless psychedelia. Just ahead of their 20th Anniversary Best Of 4CD set for Golden Lab, the Wire's latest cover stars arrive at this point after two decades of operations stranded in the hinterlands of UK underground psych and noise, where they've cultivated a peerless reputation for unblinkered expression of a rare and beguiling kind. In this 100 minute head-opener they, a.k.a. original member Phil Todd and Melanie O'Dubhshlaine (member since 2004), hunker down to four epic p… Read more
Berceuse Heroique bring Liverpool's Mark Forshaw into the fold with a brain-swilling acid beast backed by a bucking IBM remix from Hieroglyphic Being. The original A-side, 'The F**k' extrudes yer mind thru a barrage of polymetric oscillations to an intensely delirious breakdown and a ravenously discordant acid wig-out. On the flip, Jamal Moss a.k.a. IBM yokes 'The F**k' to a Rush-style Chicago buck riding cantering groove and hard-working, juddering synthlines.
Anthony "Shake" Shakir, Harmonious Thelonious and Alan Johnson uproot and shake down Blank Mind's first release in four exceptional remix excursions. As the label's debut release, 'Cover Me' set a wild precedent which followed thru into subsequent aces from DJ Clent, Dance, and Mirror. Now on their 7th release, the label have pulled in some heavy remix action exemplifying their open-ended yet focussed aesthetic. Anthony Shakir absolutely kills it with a Detroit No wave style take on Adrian Lenz's Grenadan dab dab ace, 'Cover Me', marrying air raid bass sweeps with sparking b… Read more
The first full instalment of psychotomimetic disco-not-disco recordings by The Zest, hatched at the Heavenshulme base of Ste Spandex and Cerberus Future Technologies. "Featuring South Lancashire's most adept Etheric Noblemen... All compositions have been radionically tapped in real-time from the infinite sonic wisdom of the cosmos and dimensions beyond. Magnetically captured by the divine technological wonders of VHS and its equally majestic audio equivalent - the C90 Cassette Tape. For the listeners' full enjoyment, safety and peace of mind - full assurance is given that during the proce… Read more
Austere techno from Sigha on Shifted's Avian imprint. A tense and bitter product of its times, 'Techno Derivatives' reduces the style to its most skeletal form with visionary, precision tooled engineering. The A-side cuts are sick, with the tantric '02' teasing the kick drum around shuddering mass of metallic synths and '04' economically rolling with reversed kicks and match-strike percussion sparking in the darkness. Likewise, B-side, '09' holds steadfast to a muted palette with eerie success, and '12' delivers venomous, pounding kicks.
"Crude electro-acoustic strategies are at work in the tape-on-tape monolith that is Richard Garet's 60' Cassette, with the Uruguayan born resident of New York declaring his intentions as such: "100% treated audio cassette material. some blank. some erased. some demagnetized. etc." The conceptualization of this work as a reframing of one particular medium through its applied / accelerated disintegration is only the album's beginning. There is an implied history in this form destruction, as Garet pricks the murky surfaces of his tapes that show the bruises of multiple generations of reco… Read more
"Newly romantic and melodic tropic terrains on the signature perma-zoned alien electronics of Montreal (now Vancouver) based-producer RAMZI’s latest release and 1080p debut. Phoebé Guillemot’s parallel autonomous sci-fi RAMZI world is at once utopian and dystopian in the most wondrous, wide and red-eyed way, and these digital vine cutting expeditions span a vast and varied section of her own CGI’ed imaginary world of disorientating, bouncy hybrid genre experiments, heavily filtered samples, inverted dancehall rhythms, shredded jungle, distroid-vibed atmospheres and super weird, melodic repetiti… Read more
*Reissue* Matt Edwards aka Radio Slave builds on the foundations of tracky Chicago house styles with his first Rekids release since the 'Live Edits' EP. By the artist's own admission, 'The Clone Wars' is meant to be taken as a "my 'Screaming Hands' for 2014… a war cry to people out there , music or otherwise, who think it's creative and cool to replicate the past." It appears as a wiggly original with nagging vocal stab and infectious, ear-weevlin' synth hook, backed with a stripped down instrumental, acapella and synthapella.
"Maya Postepski is a polymath. An active member of the Toronto music scene, she has been making music for over 10 years, currently as part of electronic group Austra (Domino). She is a prolific remix artist, DJ and she co-wrote and produced TRST with Robert Alfons as Trust (Arts & Crafts). Progress is her latest album, released under her solo moniker Princess Century."
Paul Woolford leaves his Special Request bomber jacket at home for a powerful return to techno-house styles on Hotflush. His first release under his own name since 2013, 'Orbit' hammers out finely engineered techno propulsion systems on the front, whilst the back-breaking EBM piano house reinforcements of 'MDMA' keep it hardcore on the turn.
Fierce throw-down from P.O.L. Style backed da fuq up with killer remixes from Mike Q and Neana. Pursuing last year's 'Angry Frogs' jack-off with Vin Sol & Matrixxman, your boy raids ballroom house and Dance Mania for ideas, pumps them up with hard-bodied production, and lets them walk the runway in P.O.L. Style. On the remix flex, Mike Q flounces all over 'Saw' with catty and concussive stabs next to a brutal, industrialised fix-up from Neana. Proper DJ and dancer specials.