Monday, 30 January 2012
Styling Funky, reinforced house and bruk techno excursions from Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage, new on Modeselektor's 50Weapons label. It's a moody affair, more so than you'd expect, and beautifully produced - opener 'No One' sets a high standard, a vapourish, Burial-esque intro giving way to a tough, foursquare house groove, coming over like Maurizio with a Croydon makeover. Abigail Wyles' impressive vocals feature on three tracks, notably the spectral breakbeat techno cut 'Battleships' and the ambient centrepiece 'Halo'. Still, the threads of melancholy and sophistication… Read more
Deft Electro/R&B swingers on Sheffield's ace Squelch & Clap label. Owing stylistic debts to James Blake and Mount Kimbie, the stick 'n move groove 'Untroubled' arranges off-key chords and clipped drums with a woozy dip, while 'Weird' weaves vocoder boogie and post-Garage memes and 'Thrill' is in caught in a kinetic soul flux. Remixing, Borussia resets 'Weird' to a Kuedo-esque 808 bounce, and Kastle gives it a crisp future boogie overhaul.
**Bruised shoegaze melodies and limber percussion with a darker, sometime harder edge** "Lambert, bassist/co-vocalist Titus Brown and everybody's soon-to-be fave new drummer Jim Crook moved to Atlanta in neighbouring Georgia in 2004, attracted by the bohemian state capital's liberal atmosphere (it's the New York of the South) and a fertile music scene that has spawned the likes of Deerhunter and Black Lips. All The Saints came into existence a year later, their moniker inspired partly by an old Verbena song and partly by an outsized fleur-de-lys saints symbol which a tramp had s… Read more
LuckyMe's latest recruit is Ango, contemporary of Jacques Greene and Lunice and maker of flash, heavy, feminine R&B heat. His solo debut 'Another City Now' is undoubtedly impressive, a very crafty balance of underground dancefloor Funk and pop-wise arrangements with universal potential. At the top you'll find the hefty R&Boogie chug of 'All That You Can Stand' and the sweetened flair of 'Follow Me', while 'Looking For Love' feels like a Dâm-Funk just found some new subbass toy. Meanwhile 'Love Me' bears no small resemblance to Ango's fellow Montréal resident Deon, and then there's the o… Read more
Debut EP of deeper rolling Electroid House backed with a fine Graphics remix. 'Archaic Line' rides plump subs synched with crisp cowbells and Soca-fied snares into the night, while 'Deserted' steps out between Dubbed-out Garage and Electronica, pivoting off rudely electrified subs. Flipside Graphics lends a svelte remix of 'Archaic Line', smoothed out for the deep-end crew.
Steven Hess makes a very welcome reappearance with Michael Vallera as Cleared, divining mystical, militarized, and ritualistic rhythms and noise Combining ultra-wide electro-acoustic sound design with guitars, samples and Hess' pointillist percussions, 'Breaking Day' is an uncompromising, evocative articulation of darkest intentions. Opening this perilous portal, 'Rogues' swims into an underground cave system of intensifying noise, gradually entering larger ante-chambers where the percussions ricochet against dank walls with an eerie, sepulchral quality. If The Haxan Cloak and Vatican Shado… Read more
Decimus #1 is the second in a series of 12 "synthetic meditations on the zodiac as envisioned by Decimus Magnus Ausonius (310-395)' undertaken by Pat Munro from No Neck Blues Band. This edition would appear to be dedicated to the Ram, judging from the attached quote "And Here in Aries, birthed in a union of Hei and Dalet, Behold! Brought forth with the taste survival on it's lips Where this taste emerges as the only absolute desire that remains immune to a war waged on the bondage of need!". The record takes form as two sides of compelling freeform electronic improv encompassing shrill ring mod… Read more
You never know where Pat Murano is going with the Decimus series, but we're quite happy to follow his psychedelic dérive wherever he wants to take us. This one starts out with what sounds like the looped and panned resonance of a low-bit rate internet stream over murky bass splodges, building and receding just out of focus to a mind-swilling kosmische swirl sounding like absolutely nobody else out there right now. And it does feel like right now; you get the sense that these sounds wouldn't have come out in this shape at any other time. They're hypnagogic but with an untethered freedom, space a… Read more
No Neck Blues Band guy Pat Murano heads deeper into the cosmos with the latest in his head-swallowing 'Decimus' series. There's an ostensible clarity to this installment distinguishing it from previous editions, with almost baroque synth work percolating through the first side before it cascades into billowing, blown-out distortion and physically wrenched drones, like being expanded and contracted by massive gravitational forces and elements far beyond your control. Monstrously heavy and far, far out. "Dedicated to Rabbi Hiya. Dark psychedelia formulated by Pat Murano (No Neck Blues Band, Malku… Read more
Third in a series of 12 LPs, or "synthetic mediations on the zodiac as envisioned by Decimus Magnus Ausonius (310-395)", executed by Pat Murano of New York's No Neck Blues Band. This episode is dedicated to Leo, hence 'Leo, under your watchful eye the holy temple was twice defiled. Let the crowning of Chaf irradiate all things left-handed! Let you're queen Tet provide ambiguity when the water seem clear!". Traversing deeply mystical synth/noise terrain, this episode is split into three sections. The first side seduces us with vocodered chanting and a slow, dissonant, and strangely middle-easter… Read more
Prime, deeper Detroit Electro-Funk from Odell Perry and Tameko J. Williams aka D.I.E. Both 'FM Sucks' and the '(Give It to 'Em') mix work a more sensuous rut of ruddy, downtown funk, whereas 'Nothing's Like Detroit' and stripped down '(The Recession)' are much deeper, classic-sounding 313 Electro.
Shouty, mouthy Grime ace from Tower Hamlets' MC Discarda produced by an on-fire Preditah. On the original he's "One Punch Mickey" over a jackin', Electro-linin' rhythm primed for destruction, while Preditah's remix is harder, Dubstep-influenced and the Johnny Skeng Radio fix designed for a leaner, skippin' flex.
Swirling, sensual synth-pop Balearica and electronics on a joint release between Loaf records and Shoes Off. The dreamy pop types will no doubt be impressed with the softened disco edges and Panda Bear vibes of 'Paws', while 'Waterfront' is an exquisite twelve minutes of dubstep-influenced rhythms and ecstatic psychedelic swirl with flashes of vintage R&S Techno. 'Pupsqueak' is an accomplished take on Kompakt style triplet Tech-pop with gauzy harmonics, and 'Swap' swerves into uptempo, energetic, yet smudged and dream Euro-dance. Make sure to check Ghosting Season's wonderfully spacious and aquatic Footwork-meets-Dub Tech remix of 'Paws'.
Justin Wright tends to the epic fields of kosmiche heaven with a majestic trip recorded during the same sessions as his modern classic from 2010, 'Where Does Your Mind Go?'. Again assisted by Matt Hill aka Umberto, these four tracks, recorded at Black Dirt Studios by Jason Meagher, survey aerial vistas and droning scapes as involving as anything we've heard from Expo 70. Quite remarkably, all four tracks are improvised on guitar, analog drum machine, the Hammond-esque Italian Crumar synth, Korg and Realistic Moog - no overdubs in sight - transposing a flawless, realtime … Read more
Surreal, dreamlike soundtrack to Alain Renais' classic French New Wave film. Includes five eerie pieces for organ made in 1961.
Pure main room Techno from Gez Varley and Rob Strobe on Adam X's long-running Sonic Groove label. There's just no messing with the deep and driving charge of 'Skotch' or the pumping 'Fit' if you've got a big crowd to rock.
After a two year hiatus, Faitiche presents four new recordings from Jan Jelinek's Gesellschaft zur Emanzipation des Samples (G.E.S.). On More Circulations G.E.S. remain stylistically and conceptually committed to the first release Circulations, instigating the following recording situations: audio playback devices are placed in public spaces in order to play the desired sample material. The resulting recordings document collages from public spaces: a hotel lobby in Lanzerote, a registry office in Berlin, Copenhagen's Tivoli garden, a beach on the Portug… Read more
A very welcome 2nd album of rough textured Afro-rhythms and minimalist harmonic layering from Stefan Schwander's Harmonious Thelonious. A clutch of these tracks recently appeared on 12" vinyl but this is the full set; eight in total, building on the strong foundations laid with 2010's well-received 'Talking' LP. Firstly, it's a clear departure from Stefan's pristine output as Antonelli Electr or Repeat Orchestra, among others; still hypnotic yet characterised by a more unruly sense of chaos and cracked texture, a delicious sort of friction which really rubs us up the right way. The m… Read more
Singular guitarist/singler Ilyas Ahmed offers his first full length album in nearly three years, enabled by the unerring high quality values of Immune Records. At once urgently compelling and lushly reflective, 'With Endless Fire' is yet another towering example of this fella's rich talents, combining trace elements of blown-out blues with shoegaze and folk to find a prickly, bruised and tender sort of isolated soul which so many others would nearly kill for. Like his contemporary, Liz Harris aka Grouper, he's mastered the art of clouded songcraft, singing distorted, glossolalic hym… Read more
Mesmerizing krautrock-disco turn from M=Minimal label manager and Conrad Schnitzler collaborator, Jens Strüver, and studionerd/multi-instrumentalist Robert Ohm. With a detailed, sharply defined approach to sound design, they conduct grinding motorik disco rhythms on 'Musique Electronique' and 'Sundance' and explore stranger, submerged cosmic worlds on 'Nakamura', and purified, widescreen Trance on the magnificent 'Regen'.
Jason Urick's excellent sophomore album for Thrill Jockey is a strangely affective mix of Techno-pop and synthdrone abstractions strongly recalling moments from Oneohtrix Point Never's now-classic 'Returnal', and also elements of Mark Carlson's 'Particle Language' LP or Harmonizer's 'World Complete'. 'I Love You' revolves around Urick's enchanting use of dissonant, cyber-surreal vocoder harmonies and layered synth hues, opening a inter-dimensional portal and luring us wide-eyed through extraterrestrial synth topologies. If one were to trust their instincts, you'd insta-cop this from the tr… Read more
Having founded Zhark Recordings in Berlin over 8 years ago, label head-honcho Kareem has deemed the time right to unleash his darkest material yet 'Noctocromas'. Puffed full of caliginous aural clouds, 'Noctocromas' can at first seem wilfully unpenetratable as the first two tracks ('Doom' and 'HaCks 1') blur past in a steely mask of electronic drone. Just when you're thinking it's a beatless headmash throughout, 'HaCks 3' introduces a heartbeat rhythm of soulless depth that drags you in to the aural tar ever deeper, with the violent pounding remorselessly drilling you against the wall. Bleedin… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
'In Tension' is the hugely anticipated debut EP from Light Asylum, aka Brooklynites Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello. A crucial combination of Bruno's tangibly visceral synth sound and Shannon's distinctively androgynous vocals make this one of the strongest entries to the currently surging electro-pop Wave we've heard all year, no less. With good reason they've been courted by a number of labels but landed on Mexican Summer in the company of acts such as Puro Instinct and Games, but they're actually far more muscular and aggressively dancefloor oriented than either of those acts. Kick… Read more
Mellifluous vocal meditations from New York's Bill Gillim aka Megafortress on Software, the label curated by Dan 'Oneohtrix' Lopatin and Joel Ford. Using only his own falsetto-leaning voice (layered and processed), sampled vocals and synthesiser, Gillim generates four new age-inflected examples of modern plainsong, reminding us a little of Julianna Barwick's The Magic Place, but probably coming over more like a hungover, heartbroken Autre Ne Veut - in a good way. An intriguing record, at times dazzlingly pretty, and definitely well recommended for fans of kosmische pop and the deeper, darker side of the chillwave fall-out.
Daniel Lopatin and Joel Ford's Software imprint is hard on the money with this debut release from 19-year old Napolian and his highly accomplished seam of hardware boogie. It's hard to believe this is his first release; there's a clear sense of experience well beyond his years, but equally an impressionistic freshness that's entirely here-and-now. 'False Memory' makes no small allegiance to Prince, but with a tinfoil dissonance sweetened to taste, while 'Banquet' synchs 'ardcore breaks and boogie romance with serious flair. 'My Refuge' is like a stripped down take on Hud Mo's hyperfunked dynamic… Read more
Warmly welcomed pop magic from the incredible Ramona Gonzales, presenting her first new music in over a year, featuring cameo vocal from Julia Holter and backed with remixes by DaM FunK and Samps, no less! Vibes are vintage-fresh like a newly-laundered pink blouson, from needle drop to run out - no more so than with 'It Goes Through Your Head', framing the hookiest of vocal refrains with freestyle-lite R&B rhythm and infectiously upbeat synths for immediate, but lasting gratification. Once bitten there's no forgetting this one! Next, she's accompanied by an ethereal chorus of… Read more
Houston, TX's Pink Playground have hatched one of this years finest shoegaze tributes with their debut album, 'Destination Ecstasy'. In the finest tradition of MBV or Jesus & Mary Chain it comprises eight cathartic noise pop stuns, hewn from amp-busting and jangling guitars, brittle drum machines and swooning, glossolalic vocals haunted by wraith-like synth dissonance, sometimes feeling so perfect they're about to implode in a shower of excoriating diamond dust. It's out-and-out pop music, of the almost-painfully beautiful kind, manicured distortion amping a sense of socio-cul… Read more
Sam Goldberg's Radio People project delivers its highest profile album to date, on Mexican Summer. 'Hazel' is heavily laden with the kind of heart-wrenching chord changes and imbued with the depth of field which made his Digitalis debut and successive chapters for Pizza Night such collectible items. To distinguish his Radio People from works under his own name, there's less of the pastoral foppishness here; it's all about cybertopian dreamscapes and gazing through the glass-bottomed hull of his space cruiser. A-side ascends an updraft of knee-cocked guitar riffage and swirling arpeggios to the… Read more
"Rhyton are an experimental / improve / psych trio based in Brooklyn that features Dave Shuford (D. Charles Speer And The Helix, No Neck Blues Band), Jimy SeiTang (Psychic Ills) and Spencer Herbst (Messages, Matta Llama). Dave Shuford aka D. Charles Speer released two albums on Thrill Jockey last year: ‘Arghiledes’ and ‘Leaving The Commonwealth’ and is a founding member of the long running No Neck Blues Band."