Sunday, 11 September 2011
Frijsfo catch Cardopusher on a roll, following some of his best work over the last 12 months. He finds a tidy roll, kinked - El-B style - with Latin syncopation and strong but floaty synth arrangements on 'Instant Glue' and 'Then What', whereas 'Loving U' is quite different, pulling some especially squashed swing-jack moves with craftily frayed drums and droning bass decorated with ace, icey '80s stabs and warm pads.
Slick, mid-tempo electro-boogie from the one and only DMX Krew on his boutique Fresh Up Records label. 'Funky Dancer' keeps the tidy machine groove tight in the pocket, but you've gotta chuckle at the estuary-affected "Darrrnce With Me" vocoder line. The other joint, 'That Wild & Freaky Robot Funk' works another hip rut with finger poppin' finesse and proper wet acid squelch. Do it, yeh?
Reissue of a classic Hip Hop sample treasure trove by Del Close and John Brent, originally released in 1959 by Mercury Records. The premise is thus; a "square" teacher attempting to "dig" hipster chat, with some pretty funny results including field trips in the street. There's a strong chance you'll recognise many of the samples, which has probably got the users balking that their secret source has been uncovered.
Dark, Technoid, Bristolian rollidge on Deca Rhythm. On 'Trippin' Dread MC adapts his flow from D&B to a tuff steppers beat with menacing consequences, while the Jakes remix accents the snares with metallic bite and rubs the synthline with some salty flavour to skinning effect. One for the shadow skankers.
'Echo Relics' is Chris Federson's 2nd album of laidback and hazy Dub electronics. With opener 'Classical Unity' we're instantly reminded of Tikiman's solo endeavours on his False Tuned label; you know that kind of beach-side, smoked-out and languorous sound. Meanwhile, 'Alpha' resides next to the likes of Echocord's exquisite, padded grooves, and 'Gamma' adds a more electroid infusion to the friendly chord sequences, and you'll find more dancefloor-ready grooves in the likes of 'Phytoplankton', albeit for a very stoned dancefloor.
Cocker kicks off a collectable series of bargain-priced Finders Keepers compilations made to support the label in light of the recent warehouse fire at PIAS' North London depot. A long time fan of the label and their doings, he was granted full access to rifle their catalogue and he's picked some absolute treats for ya, including, if we're not mistaken, some which have never appeared on CD before. To start there's the perspicacious poetics of Carol Batten's 'Beeing', besides the legendary pseudo J-Pop of Yamasuki (made by none other than Thomas… Read more
Rick 'The Godson' Wilhite and Moodymann remix archival Urban Tribe aces. Moodymann's is darkly funked-up, licking tense spy-theme guitar and strings with crafty samples to shifty, downtown effect. The Godson's 'D2000' remix is more smudged and beatdown, similar to his work in The Three Chair with like minded soul, Theo Parrish.
Nonprivate is Cylob's special project for his zaniest synth productions. 'Catastropic' documents Chris Jeffs at his most experimental, and would normally go with visuals, but the original was released on tape, and therefore you're probably going to have to make them up yourself. The funny thing is, he manages to completely avoid going actually noisy, per se, and it all sounds like a cartoon version of say Bob Ostertag, or something. All the sounds are really cute and bubbly and there's some beautifully glassy radiophonic moments on Side B. Bonus to this digital version is the more salty Side Z, which does actually go a bit more aggressive, but it's only 3 minutes long.
*Boomkat Upfront Exclusive* Melancholy downbeat electronica from Dundee's Samoyed. A contemporary of Loops Haunt and Architeq, both of whom he remixed last year, he's got a more introspective sound than either here, layering his own distant and forlorn vocals around brittle, pen-on-desk percussion and gently hypnotic keys with a wooly, ferric finish not far from the LA psych hop sound of Caural or a shyer Shlohmo. Recommended!
*White box welcome the return of Manchester's Stranger Son, who provided the label's first release back in 2009.* "Stranger Son's new 12" 'Inside Many Summers' is an EP of hazardously infectious disco-not-disco grooves and loose-ass, Pennines-jams. The title is taken from their forthcoming album 'Luna Marseille' whereas the other two tracks ('On Pterodactyl Sofa' and the monolithic twelve and a half minute instrumental sprawl that is 'Iceman Part II Extended'), are exclusive to the EP."
Sweetly emosh Garage from Submerse, backed with extensive remixes from Contakt, Famous Eno, Tofu Beats, Kingsin, and Kozee. It's hankies at the ready for 'Move On' with its fluttering synth motifs, warm pads and back-of-the-bus vocals giving way to a slick 2nd half roll-out. 'Need To Know' is ruder, run through with saw-tooth Bassline vibes, and 'Stay With Me' is a tender 2-stepper next to the Electro-Jackin 'Monster'. Make sure to check the dubbed-out Contakt remix of 'Move On' and the Grimy Breakstep lash of Famous Eno's 'Need To Know' version.
Reserved, mnml Tech-House-Pop roller from Swedish Kitsuné dude, Andreas Bygdell, backed with an ace Lunice remix. The Touch's originals are clean and fresh for the classier Indie/Tech-House 'floors, we're could even imagine Roska playing the bendy. subtly Tribalist rhythm of 'Bodies Waiting' on radio, but the real heat ironically comes from the iced Lunice remix, mixing coldwave synths and minimal 808 beat, while French Fries give a snappier Technoid overhaul.
Wiley's funniest, funkiest single this year, the snapping 808 romp 'Link Up', comes backed with a crispy, swaggering Alex D remix. Instrumental usefully included for the DJs.
'Lost In The Glare' is Barn Owl's 2nd album for Thrill Jockey, following a superb 12" earlier this year. Most notably they've added drummer Jacob Felix Heule to the line-up to anchor their majestic sound with a solemnly slow, purposeful pacing closer to the like-minded Om or Earth on a handful of tracks. Their compositions also feel more concise, still evocative of sprawling landscapes and ranging topographies, but with a more nuanced sense of narrative structure. They start with the molasses slow spread of oozing distortion and astral synth sighs on 'Pale Star', before Felix Heule's s… Read more
‘I Remember’ takes Brock Van Wey's beautiful blend of shoegaze and Berlin dub techno and pushes it into even further realms of dreamy bliss. The beats are all but gone, and Van Wey allows himself to experiment on this selection of long compositions. Each track is almost fifteen minutes in length, and Van Wey’s tried and tested ping-ponging samples breathlessly heave through oceans, stars and deep caves. Close your eyes and let yourself drift away – this is one for the dreamers.
This little gem might have surfaced on cassette back in ’06, but it doesn’t make it any less worthwhile now. Blue Control’s particular brew of nausea-inducing electronics and the kind of basement rock that went out of fashion in 1968 sounds just as vital (maybe more so?) than it did when I first heard it, and ‘Riverboat Styx’ is a great example of the band’s very particular style. Sure lo-fi might have eaten itself at this point, but the peeling wallpaper and faint smell of death on Blues Control’s productions is all part of the charm – it’s their fifth Beatle, if you like. As they c… Read more
Rinse's infamous all-style specialist has been noticeably absent on the production front in 2011, but makes up for it with two kinkily tucked rollers. 'Spider' as the names suggests, is all insectoid and skittery drum syncopation, but skillfully anchored by sparing bass stabs. 'Take Me Home' is more on a tropical tip, swaying to warmest synth swoons and mango-sweet female vocal while the rhythm is bustling but expertly held back for the rollers.
CANT is the new project from Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor in collaboration with Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr, and Dreams Come True is their first full-length offering. With their employment of R&B tropes and hard-snapping syn-drums coupled with classic pop songwriting, CANT are to Grizzly Bear what Discovery were to Vampire Weekend (kind of). But where Discovery's self-titled LP was a celebratory record, Dreams Come True feels more plaintive and wounded, and it also paints from a far wider and more sophisticated musical palette. You really don't know what you're going to get from one moment… Read more
Dixon closes the excellent Live At Robert Jonson mix series with a finely programmed mix spanning ambient kosmiche to sexy mid-tempo disco-tech. The first half is largely a sanguine selection taking in the likes of Ursula Bogner's frothy radiophonica next to Hauschka's lovely' Wonder' and his own edit of Barnt's kosmiche Cologne experiments, before setting the tempo with Agoria's For One Hour' and Hatikvah's 'Big Mind', and stealthily building up to close on Todd Terje's 'Snooze 4 Love' via cuts from Mark E, Roman Flugel and Osunlade, among others.
San Francisco indie types Girls might want to think their sound is indebted to the glory days of Neil Young, Randy Newman and The Beach Boys, but while those comparisons aren’t a million miles away, I hear a lot more of the 90s than the 60s in their pop nuggets. There’s a sense that these guys didn’t just grow up through that decade, but grabbed onto every bit of rock history they could; there’s a bit of latter day metal, a sprinkling of the kind of slacker indie that made Pavement shine, a wink to grunge and even a knowledge of Brit Pop that gets thrown into a blender and ground to p… Read more
"‘The Wanting’ is Glenn’s first album for Thrill Jockey (and fourth album overall) and follows the instantly sold out ‘Even To Win Is To Fail’ LP (a split with The Black Twig Pickers released for Record Store Day 2011). Glenn Jones is a leading talent in the so-called modern “American Primitive” school of acoustic steel string guitarists, a school that includes the late great John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Jack Rose – all of whom were friends and collaborators of Glenn’s. · ‘The Wanting’ is a collection of original compositions for solo acoustic steel string guitar, six-string, 10- string and bottleneck, and 5-string open-back banjo.
Gui Boratto's snappily titled 'III' is, unsurprisingly, his third album, and finds him balancing his sophisticated Trance-Techno formula with a sleek, but grittily EBM/Wave-informed tilt. He starts out purposefully slow and sensually synthy, like John Carpenter for 2011, before the tempo builds with the brooding Big-room tension of 'Stems From Hell'. 'Striker' is where the EBM influence really bleeds through, driving out darkly sexy Bass guitar licks under cold and mechanical drums like Gatekeeper gone Techno, and finding sombre moments on the lonely pop drift of 'Soledad', before arriving at the… Read more
"Debut release from Ben Greenberg of NYC no-wave psych clan Zs. "Hubble Linger" lays down a full hour of cyclical and overlapping electric guitar workouts that are almost synth-like, but maintain their thrashiness throughout. The sound of guitar being used as a tool by a professional hypnotist." Topping the latest batch of cassettes from Burlington, Vermont's NNA Tapes, an immersive session of mesmeric, dissonant guitar noise meshing. Strangely church-like.
Kinder Scout unites the esteemed talents of Danny Norbury (UK), Ian Hawgood (Japan), and Jason Corder (USA) in a trans-continental collaboration. The three artists find a common link in Moteer's micro-run magnate, Craig Tattersall and the multifarious Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare, who contributed artwork and mastering, respectively, to make 'The Writing Life' such a lovely album. It fuses a number of varied disciplines, Danny's rich strings, Ian's guitar, voice and expansive ambient processes, with Jason's fine electronics and organic sense of composition into a detailed tapestr… Read more
New solo effort from Keith Freund, one half of husband-wife duo Trouble Books and collaborator with Emeralds' Mark McGuire. Constant Comments is a collage of field recordings from Freund's immediate environment - "words said in passing, shards of birdsong, a glint of breeze, kids at play, the intake of breath" - interspersed with his thoughtful, McGuire-esque guitar responses to these sounds. It might look like a rather corny combo on paper, but the results are in fact quite moving, Freund's plaintive strums and drones coming over like intimations of mortality amid the sheer aliven… Read more
Dense noise and corrosive drone-rock from this Chicago trio, albeit tempered by a sophistication of structure, dynamics and melody that marks them out from the million other aspiring skull-crushers out there. The first four minutes of ‘Dort Ist Der Weg' are sheer black metal aggression, nowt but a wall of grotty overdriven guitar and some incomprehensible screaming buried deep in the mix, but thereafter a stately acoustic guitar riff enters from the wings and the drums take over, building quickly and intensely from standard post-rock andante to blistering blast-beat climax.… Read more
Marvellous and multi-tiered avant-pop from NYC's Mirror Mirror duo, following their debut album and FRKWAYS experiments with a daring ten track exploration of strange, psychedelic structures and cryptic lyrics. Notably, the album was recorded with two different sets of producers, yet for all it's diversity there's still a strong sense of cohesion thanks to David Riley's distinctive vocals together with Ryan Lucero's melodic imagination. One half was conducted with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Gang Gang Dance, Zola Jesus) who apparently helped "realize an expansive sound Mirror Mi… Read more
A bit of grandstanding romanticism from Scotland's finest, with sweeping chamber instrumentation favoured over guitar shredding. 'Get To France' is an unreconstructed bit of neo-classical music, though it has something of the sinister, occult cabaret vibe of Coil and Kreng about it too. 'Hound Of Winter' pursues a nice vision of country-soul, all downhome acoustic guitars, twinkling pianos and harmonica; when the strings enter from the wings, it's easy to see this as the Mogs' response to the time-honoured American orch-pop tradition, from Jimmy Webb on through to Jim O'Rourke. 'Drunk An… Read more
Another excellent outing from Move D on Workshop, quite possibly his best and most diverse yet. The A-side is one of those insinctively jazzy numbers he specialises in, working in a distinct Afro-rhythmic lilt with bobbling marimba-like patterns around sensually tingling strings and light-headed guitar licks. Lush! B-side finds a more muscular House groove powered by chunky Toms and seductive chords corralled with an unmistakable expertise, and tips out to a down-slow Boogie soul joint in his deeply charming style. Very sweet. Tipped!