Monday, 30 April 2012
Shadowy techno manoeuvres on Ruaridh TVO's Broken20 label from the mysterious Production Unit. It's an austere but compelling journey through Sahko-style bleepery and bouncier electro-tech menace, at one point even shot through with an autumnal melodic sensibility somewhere between Julien Neto and Autechre. Remixes come from Perc, who supplies an extra dose of ghosted minor-key chord action and one of his custom drop-forge 4/4 thumps, while Emptyset's Paul Purgas excels with a bleak, beatless version that sounds like a more dub-wise cousin of Nate Young's Regression material and is honestly worth the price of admission alone.
Smart business from Lesiure System, this time an EP showcasing the talents of Sam Barker. This material is a world away from the bruising techno he makes with Andreas Baumecker on Ostgut Ton: 'I Feel' is dreamy electronic soul anchored by a dubstep rhythm but more concerned with being away with the fairies than giving the subs a work-out - no bad thing when you've the melodic gift that Barker clearly has. 'I Feel' is similarly floaty, updating 90s ambient techno for contemporary laptop steppers, but by far the most satisfying track is the closer and title number, which features Anete Kir… Read more
Albert Van Abbe develops his No Comment series with two elegant deep Techno cuts, backed with an ace Conforce remix. A-side the memorably titled 'OS_3009181111' works to reserved scheme of hypnotic chords and sleekly aerodynamic rhythms, while on the B-side Conforce amps the energy with an infusion of swinging claps and nagging metallic hook. Van Abbe's ultra-minimal and darkly tinted 'OS_3007V224111' finishes a fine session.
Alex Cortex does the business for Berlin's KilleKill crew. A veteran of some 15 years production and releases for Kanzelramt, Ann Aimee, Source, and Pomelo among many others, he brings a time-honoured sensibility a relatively young label in the company of veterans such as Neil Landstrumm and Bill Youngman. Raw hardware aesthetics are enforced throughout, from the minimal percolations of 'Tackle' to the fruity but distorted swing of 'Beach Bass' and rugged Electro-Latin shuffle of 'Boing Boing'.
An incredibly stylish, creepy album of nocturnal, Lynchian jazz and dread-infused electronics from Richmond, VA's Jonathan Lee aka Anduin. Lee has worked with Svarte Greiner and Jasper TX in the past, and certainly this album would sound right at home on the Miasmah label, such is its exquisite moodiness and attention to ambient detail. It's beautifully composed and executed, with deep synth drones underscoring mournful sax lines right out of the Badalamenti/Bohren school of impending doom; there are excursions too into a kind of hollowed-out ambient techno on 'The Transformation Of Substance… Read more
Smallville's Jacques Bon & Christopher Rau link on a pair of warm House grooves. Swirling chords, modulating acid bass and smudged beats create a mesmerising dancefloor vibe on 'Morning Funk'; 'Iris' pays homage to classic Larry Heard moments.
It’s hard to believe that ‘The End of Music’ is only the second album from Swedish dream poppers De La Mancha. I guess it makes sense, given that part of the band’s core duo is none other than Dag Rosenqvist, who’s been quite busy under his Jasper TX guise for the last few years. Along with childhood friend Jerker Lund, however, he is responsible for some of the most gorgeous ambient pop music this side of Iceland, and ‘The End of Music’ is the band’s finest document to date. Emerging from the esteemed Karaoke Kalk imprint, this showcases the band’s ability to compose mini-symphoni… Read more
One of Subtle Audio's most revered operators returns with a hyper-structured three tracker. There's few others out there with dexterity to break beats like dgoHn, as he proves over the celestially graceful 'Hang Nail', through the drum stunt acrobatics of '4.37445 Yards' and the body-bullying funk of 'Be Gentle'.
WHEEL! Toddla T and Raf Daddy's Girls Music unleash DJ Q's all-style SoundSystem murderation 'Dibby Dibby Sound' and the frisky Garage burn of 'Swing'. The title cut's a peach, glueing chunks of digidub, classic jungle and dancehall with a sticky Bassline Garage flex to send the dance wild. 'Swing' on the other hand is bit slower, ruffing up a dainty 2-step skip with grimier acid and rudeboy bass for that proper Todd Edwards-style bump. Rinsed by Rodigan. Nuff said!
Frank Bretschneider continues to revive his Komet alias with a typically full bodied album for Shitkatapult following last years 'P.S.T' set on False Industries. In contrast to the precipitous rhythms of his Raster Noton releases under his own name, these grooves are defined by elastic 4/4 zaps and pulses shaped with a craftsman's appreciation of the wave. Entering to the psycho-acoustic trickery of 'Subharchorded Waves' he soon introduces a magically suspended 4/4 and the agenda is set for seven tracks of hybrid hi-brow techniques and everyman groove technology. Deeper in we find highl… Read more
Portishead's Geoff Barrow and soundtrack composer Ben Salisbury pay homage to Judge Dredd's fictional Mega-City One conurbation with 'Drokk'. Both avid, avowed fans of the comic book series, Barrow and Salisbury have realised a bleak fantasy soundtrack at once recalling classic John Carpenter themes, Tangerine Dream scores, the Black Rain cues to 'Jonny Mnemonic' and 'Neuromancer', and even their fellow Bristolian, Hyetal's 'Broadcast' album. As you might assume, with their credentials counting er, Portishead, and soundtracks to David Attenborough's 'Life Of Mammals' and 'Life In Cold Blood', the production is assuredly top notch, and brought to life in vivid detail.
Grievous Angel offers a wild and raw Bass workout for Forefront Recordings. 'Kleer' works a palette of 'Video Crash' style Chicago toms and stabs with proper UK swagger, spiking the whole lot with spaced-out neon synths to sound like one of Bok Bok's more delirious productions. Maintaining his ties with grimier UK sounds, he remixes a cut from Forefront's previous release, giving J Sweet's 'Subwoofer' a lick of steel-tipped drum hits and roguish bass pressure.
Pummelling Techno from Japan to open Aconito's ACDSeries. Hironori Takahashi follows up his 'Gaia's Archetype' single with 'Genesis of Creation'; four tracks which "reflect Hironori's positive hopes and feelings int eh aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck his homeland". Check for the concussive kicks and deft Dub chords of 'Kevrasc'; the waves of shuddering bass reverb on 'Reglaz'; and the experimental soundcraft of 'Vesdor'.
High quality Techno tools from LA's Jeff Derringer, complemented by remixes from Prologue and Phonica's Japanese attache, Iori. Derringer offer two very useful productions: 'Passenger', with its rolling, off-centre balance and trilling hi-hats reminding of recent Regis productions, and the heads-down, tunnelling trajectory of 'The Trail Of Your Blood In The Snow'. Iori's remix of 'Passenger' subtly reshuffles the rhythm whilst adding beautifully spacious, breathy pads, and 'The Trail Of Your Blood In The Snow' is punctuated with a rhythmic grammar reminding of recent Mike Parker productions.
Lars Leonhard follows up his '1549' album for Bine Music with a Trance-tempered Techno session featuring remixes from Scanner, Quantec and Thoams Touzimsky. The whole EP stems from his marching, late '90s style lazer-grabber 'No Comment (The Pure Trance Original)', which also features in a more reserved Edit form, plus Dubstep-leaning and Sunset-ready beatless mixes. Remixing, Quantec keeps an even Dub Techno keel; Thomas Touzimsky gives a detailed IDM perspective; Scanner's is lost to wide-eyed altered states.
Debonaire debut album of '80s disco-infused House from pivotal Running Back, Arto Mwambe and Tuff City Kids' dude, Phillip Lauer. Slipping comfortably alongside the label's long-player from Tiger & Woods, and comparable with Massimilano Pagliara's 'Focus For Infinity' on the closely-affiliated Live At Robert Johnson label, Lauer's 'Phillips' cycles through twelve crisply functional dancefloor workouts paced with a mature flow and borne from a sincere taste for the romance of mid-'80s wave music, Italo/Electro and early Chicago styles. If we're pushed to pick a few favourites we'd have to say the f… Read more
**Contains 1 bonus track ('Sounds Sane') not available on the vinyl edition** Bryant Rutledge and Antaeus Roy (aka Lando Kal) make their mark on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown imprint here on ‘Memory’, another flickering journey into 4am electro and tempered footwork. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that fellow Berlin scenesters Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum pop up for a couple of guest spots, given that Roy now is also a permanent fixture around those parts. It’s Edgar’s contribution that seems most fitting too, as he adds his sticky signatures to ‘Let’s Work’ – a razor-sharp re-imagining of… Read more
I always had the feeling that freak-folk survivor Jana Hunter had a bit more to her than a lazy genre classification, and this latest from her ‘full band’ Lower Dens, simply goes to prove that point perfectly. Expanding her sound from solo jangle to something altogether more widescreen sounds almost effortless, and Hunter sounds totally at ease with her quirky vocals sandwiched between walls of synthesizers, guitars and percussion. Take the lead single ‘Brains’ for instance, which opens to the familiar cycle of motoric post-Neu! percussion Electralane made their own, but mystifyingly decons… Read more
Run DMT finally delivers a headful of his exquisite indie-psych dream sounds on vinyl! With his bunch of tapes and digital releases for The Curatorial Club, Culture Dealer and Teenage Riot Records he's comfortably comparable with the washed out sounds of Rangers, Ducktails, or earlier James Ferraro records, only there's also something explicitly - yet peacefully - dosed-up about his music. We say explicit because the tracks are broken with a number of samples from some guy recounting his experiences on dimethyltryptamine (DMT, duh), but thankfully this isn't Ozric Tentacles and you're not bombarde… Read more
Fritenite X FoF label head Salva meets fellow west-coaster Grenier (DJG) on the first in a series of digi-only singles. 'Wake The Dead' weaves a tuff mesh of jackin' Chicago rhythms offset with Jersey Club breaks and fidgety Electro to wall-banging effect. On 'Forest Floor' DJG's Grime/Jungle/'Step influence comes to the fore, coolly balanced with percolating House elements and sutured with warm Electro synth pads.
The musical guise of one Cameron Webb, Seaworthy is his outlet for a certain type of blissful, shimmering guitar-based ambience. Imagine taking the base elements of dream pop and shoegaze and distilling them to a flavor rich syrup and you’ll have an idea of Webb has been taking his sound, and ‘Bellows & Breath’ might be his most successful deconstruction yet. The guitar is still the focus, but its sound has been stripped down to the bone, leaving only trace elements at times to hiss and thrum around trapped field recordings, melodica and broken tape machines.
Taking influence from his harmonica-toting grandfather, Sparkling Wide Pressure’s Frank Baugh has put together a charming, understated collection of electro-acoustic vignettes on ‘Grandfather Harmonic’. There is an undeniable homespun quality as the degraded instruments wheeze like broken trains and distant harmonica sounds crack and crumble with the stretched tape they’ve been recorded onto, and this only adds to the ambience and overall charm of the record. Baugh recorded the album in rural Tennessee and you can almost hear the setting; the distant wooded expanses, … Read more
*Extended 13-track digital edition* STL teases out 13 tracks of real raw beat down and Chicago house on this extended digital edition. 'And His Quest For Sound' is about the most fitting title for Laubner's heroically endless mission, giving him the remit to reshape his crooked sound and constantly experiment within self-imposed parameters. To some folks these might not be the most immediate dancefloor tracks, as he generally prefers a pretty abstract and intuitive style, but give them a chance and they soon appear to grow and perspire in front of your ears as their rhythms lay do… Read more
Thrid Ear do the right thing and press up two of Wbeeza's most in-demand productions. Both live jams, 'Peckham Fly' deploys an instantly recognisable horn riff over filtered disco bass like he's some kinda South London answer to Moodymann, whilst 'Billy Green Is Ded' rides a tracky mix of percy Chicago and skanking Berlin House vibes with instinctive flair.
Rush Hour keep the Voyage Direct series a Dutch-only affair with three Afro-cosmic House tracks by William Kouam Djoko. 'Enforce YS' is pick of the bunch, a deep and trippy late night burner with swaying rhythms synced to dark and mysterious synth harmonics reminding of the Aroy Dee's M>O>S sound. 'We Are Your Brothers & Sisters' sustains the spectral vibe with dubbed-out chords over sci-fi-like vocal snippets and TechnoHouse soul rhythms imbued with warm shades of early Carl Craig. DJ support from Tony Nwachukwu, Anthony Shakir, Simbad, Matthew Styles.
Thursday, 26 April 2012
*Includes a copy of the CD free inside* Everyone's favourite purveyor of bleary-eyed rave make-believe, back with a dizzyingly psychedelic new album, Galaxy Garden. 'New Colour' is proper LSD-fried Sega tropicalia, the sound of being trapped inside an enchanted 16-bit play zone with only Sonic The Hedgehog and a copy of James Ferraro's Farside Virtual to guide you, proper bonkers mate, but from there on in Matt Cutler shows real depth and nuance to his productions: 'The Animal Pattern'' sounds like Wax Stag (remember him?) rewired for the club, all polygon synths, squelchy bass and laser-zaps kept… Read more
Two years since he helped establish the Tri Angle sound with that arresting eponymous debut, oOoOO returns to the label with his second single proper. Still obsessed with R&B rhythms and wistful Pop, on 'Our Loving Is Hurting Us' he's also joined by Berlin-based vocalist Butterclock to accentuate his forlorn sound. Whether it's lovesick emotion or narcotic overload, we're not sure what's burdened his heart, but it makes for a wickedly nervy listen. Best comes first, with the blank-eyed, hollow swagger of 'TryTry' and its disquieting, strafing vocal cadences arranged into maudlin chorales… Read more
Kassem Mosse & Mix Mup, Downliners Sekt, and BNJMN twist the work of mysterious Barcelonan producer Mistakes Are OK for Hivern Disc. He's yet to release a record yet, so if anything these remixes reaffirm MAOK's enigmatic status at the least. A-side Kassem Mosse and Mix Mup trip out on a dub-stoned and hazy remix of 'Best Before'; a slack, hobbling groove haunted by sampled chorales and after-hours Balearic vibes. Downliners Sekt make a rare appearance on the flip, diffusing 'Crumbs' into banking clouds of static and… Read more
Solid three-tracker from Manchester-based Walton, building on the bashy grimeXhouse sound he laid down on his 2011 debut. 'All Night' is a seemingly chaotic but in fact coolly controlled floor-wrecker, all coin-op FX, life-affirming string pads and blissed-out vocal pressure, really nice indeed; 'Mallet' is as functional as its title suggests, a cheeky, bleepy Funky roller for the DJs, but it's closer 'Kush' that' lingers in the mind - Walton drops the tempo right down to explore trippy but thugged-out hip-hop atmospherics with shades of Lone's Ecstasy & Friends and even Boards of Canada.