Thursday, 25 August 2011
**Debut album from Captured Tracks' psyche-pop outfit. Includes the haunting 'Harsh Realm' from their debut single, and the atmospheric swoon of 'Gun Shy' ripe for fans of Mazzy Star or Cat Power.** "The album, recorded at Rear House with Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, documents Widowspeak's inaugural year. In a relaxed studio setting songs born from those first jittery practices could breathe. The trio expanded their modest instrumentation while retaining a sparse aesthetic. The resulting record offers an eerie ambience, at times channeling 1950's jukebox pop, at others, 1960's psychedelia. While … Read more
Infrasonics team up XXXY and Ike Release again following the slick moves of last years split. Man-of-the-moment XXXY jams on a jukin' House jack with 'Body Movin'', riding tight, punchy Toms and crisp claps to sweatin' effect, while 'Swing Those Hips' runs back to sexier mid-'90s Garage flavours for a reet slinky squirmer. Dropping the energy levels, but amping the atmospheric vibes, Ike Release settles into the more fluid, rolling groove contours of 'Don't Know' flushed with lovely, warm pads and elegantly swirling vocal samples, before slipping down a notch for the convective c… Read more
Sunday, 21 August 2011
**New album from discerning hip-hop collagist and library music digger extraordinaire, Paul White.** The London-based producer made a big splash with his 2009 debut 'The Strange Dreams of Paul White', which combined an authentic beat junkie sensibility with a more unorthodox and psychedelic agenda; and then pushed himself even further with last year's 'Paul White & The Purple Brain', which took a haul of recordings of cult Swedish guitarist S.T. Mikael as its starting point. This new LP, Rapping With Paul White, is, as its title suggests, a more collaborative work: here White's… Read more
Engrossing fictional sonics from Zach Phillips of Brattleboro, Vermont's new-wave art-freak crew Blanche Blanche Blanche. Bruce Hart, "a hard-edged lab rat renegade who's engaged in an ongoing socio-political mind-war with nefarious invisible chemical-industro corporations" is brought to life as an abstract half-hour narrative of cyber-warped synths and machine pulses arranged with a heroic agenda. You'll need to leave your belief suspended at the door when you enter 'Fascinating Heritage Stone' and the mission engages, but you'll forget about reality and all that crap when the adren… Read more
**Tough new EP of futureboogie and teched-out hip-hop on Modeselektor's Monkeytown label, with a superb remix from Cosmin TRG.** Having impressed last year with his FaltyDL split on 50 Weapons and more recently his Bleep Bloop Brrrrmmp EP, California's Elan Stouffer - a member of the WEDIDIT collective with Shlohmo et al - returns with four juicy beat tracks produced with the bass-maxed assurance and synthetic exuberance of early Rustie or Hud Mo. His music feels organic and carefully constructed: you barely notice the title track morphing from quaint electronic pop sketch into completely… Read more
After Vessel's superb opening gambit Left Blank dilate their vision to take in clipped 808 Funk and emosh electronica from the highly touted Visionist, Lorca and Clown & Sunset's Valentin Stip. Ahead of his release for Oneman's 502 label, Visionist jams on a smart 808 thing, springing off deftly tucked and diffused drums under warm and dubbed-out pads. Lorca's 'Hold Back' is a sweeter roller, running sparse rhythms between lush subs and floating IDM-soul chords, before the two link like Jam City meets Julio Bashmore on 'Slapstickk', featuring a floor-shuddering synth motif stab… Read more
Infrasonics team up XXXY and Ike Release again following the slick moves of last years split. Man-of-the-moment XXXY jams on a jukin' House jack with 'Body Movin'', riding tight, punchy Toms and crisp claps to sweatin' effect, while 'Swing Those Hips' runs back to sexier mid-'90s Garage flavours for a reet slinky squirmer. Dropping the energy levels, but amping the atmospheric vibes, Ike Release settles into the more fluid, rolling groove contours of 'Don't Know' flushed with lovely, warm pads and elegantly swirling vocal samples, before slipping down a notch for the convecti… Read more
Rude Hip-House stomper backed with an iced Karenn remix (aka Blawan and Pariah). WNCL's original zooms Todd Terry-brass stabs and wiggly block beats into 2011 with a spicy dash of electric bass and gruff finish for direct dancefloor action. Flipside, you'll find the Karenn remix, their first official release to date and a a great, if considerately low-key start, spacing the groove with hyperreal reverb settings while keeping the vibe sniffed-up and stush for the London rollers, ballin' kicks from the hip while industrial hi-hats drive pistoning limbs.
Boston's Red Horse duo make an insanely dynamic and visceral cacophony on their second eponymous LP (not to be confused with their first - which is also self-titled). From the strength of their 1st album, 2009's identically titled but more lo-fi effort on R.E.L, they've earned justifiable comparisons with Norwegian post-everything titans Supersilent and Jazkamer, and now thanks to detailed engineering assistance from Raul Rosa and mastering by Hospital Audio's Kris Lapke, their sound here is every bit as engaging as those frames of reference imply. It's part free-jazz and part backyard sound … Read more
The third part in the Kompakt patriarch’s Kafkatrax series, a lively body of experimental house crafted from samples of a Franz Kafka audiobook. He might be an incorrigible conceptualist, but Wolfy has always been seriously adept at working the dancefloor – Kafkatrax 3.2 is the most unashamedly funky track in the series to date, but its rolling mid-paced, bass-powered groove is nicely disjointed by the babble of sampled voices surrounding it; this is probably how techno sounds for a paranoid schizophrenic (in a good way). The A-side , 3.1, is a more gloomy, complex beast, all janglin… Read more
Lovely cycle of Dub Techno and Ambient craft from vancouver's Alteria Percepsyne. Bookended by two hollow, echoic beatless numbers, 'Intangible Flutter' contains three richly weighted and finely organised Dub Techno tracks redolent of Deepchord or Sven Weisemann.
Dutch Ambient Techno producer, Axs joins the Silent Season set with his fifth full LP 'Arctic Circle'. Styles alternate between blissful beatless ambience and rolling, dubbed-out 4/4 Techno.
Sweetly retro country/soul pop on Stones Throw. 'Legend In My Own Mind' could well have been a major studio production from the early seventies if we didn't know otherwise. From the harmonised vocals and slightly cracked inflections to the string orchestrations, it's a masterful production. 'Suburban Dream' is much more psychedelic, full of cascading synths and swirling studio FX around the gossamer vocals and languid guitar licks.
The leading Future Garage label collects cuts from Cardopusher, Desto, Geiom, and Submerse for a third 'Frijsfo Beats' volume. Cardopusher sets the mark the deft, latinized rhythm mechanics of 'Then What', while Desto remixes Kuoyàh's 'Convex Gravity' as a smooth/grimy Footstepping (for want of a better term) roller nodding to his Finnish brethren Teeth or the likes of Visionist. Flip it and Geiom drops the hyperkinetic 2-step of 'Chip Voices', a chromatically colourful jolt of electro synths and splintered rhythms, while Submerse seckles down to the tender, R&B infused 'Bubblin''.
Off the back of his Local Action roller, Contakt links with Mayser for two crisp and slick Funky-Tech joints backed by Doc Daneeka and Matt Shadetek remixes. 'Korak' layers sharp bleeps and lazer-guided squelch stabs on a shuffling Funky-tek rhythm, while 'Opar' is more classic, chords-driven House. Doc Daneeka embellishes this vibe with tidy congas and bubbling synth surfaces, but Matt Shadetek's is the one to check, turning 'Korak' with a Mexicano Tribal tuck.
Taut, limbre future junglism from D*Minds (Distorted Minds) on Critical's Modulations sublabel. 'Subcrate' steps up with wickedly brooding pads before going in ninja style with tightly chopped breaks and evil, predator style bass stabs and bass grumbles. Flipside 'Stone River' is more restrained, concentrated on deeply carved subs and spacious, limb-controlling breakbeat edits. Smart.
Crafty Dubstep from Dom on the freshly minted 877 label, backed with remixes by Grievous Angel and Donga & Blake. There's a definite hint of Timbaland to the original 'Blakelock', squashing a squirmy bass under fragrant vocals sample and sparse, shoulder-rolling rhythm to cool effect. On the flip Grievous Angel steps up for a meaner, meatier version with louder, ruffed-up percussion, and Donga & Blake run a slickly dubbed Garage House sound.
Emosh Double Garage slickness from London's Dark0. 'Hyli' as been doing the circuit for the best part of 2011 and finally sees a full release, bringing those ultra-crisp 2-step patterns and HD synths in time pure and melancholy end-of-summer vibes. A VIP places more emphasis on the halfstep and jagged arpeggios.
Rob Hood in Floorplan mode for three tracks of soulful, funked-up House & Techno. 'We Magnify His Name' is a big, belting Gospel House joint, while 'Baby, Baby' works a more classic Hood template, with the exception of some well placed James Brown stabs, and 'Basic Principle' tucks into moodier, organ-driven Techno style.
Hectic, hazardous HipHop from LA's Free The Robots, following a cool appearance on All City's ace 10" series. With a deft, free jazziness, 'The Free' juggles crooked breaks and zig-zagging, funky synth stabs, before 'The Mind's Eye' spirals into more breakbeat scientifics and 'Prototype B' jams on some dramatic sci-fi theme vibe. The fonky bob of 'Dance Of The Deadbeat' could be put to good use in the club, and 'Rattlesnake' is screws down a shifty palette of tribal drums and warped, almost dubstep-like bass.
Raw but buff acid Jack trax from Detroit's Jared Wilson on Dexter 'n Steffi's Dolly label. 'Detroit Tracks 75' squirms to virulent 303 sequences and slithering drum machines with moody chords taking us somewhere darker. 'Girl I'm Waiting' is more low-slung and gripping, rubbing-up a wickedly rubbery acid bass with percolating synths and cheeky vocals. Best of all, the title track features plangently raw and ringing cowbells, churning Toms and a proper attitude, while Conforce steps in to sex it up with added subbass weight and a cleaner finish.
Electro-organic Hip Hop instrumentals from LA's Kone. 'The Tractus' is a detailed set of largely downbeat productions, heavy on the drums and knitted together with wormy G-Funk samples in his style of "Psychedelic Gangster Funk", paying dues to the golden era of LA rap but with a more modern digger's twist and progressive sensibility. The title refers to an important philosophical work of language and logic by Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the music is an interpretation of this idea, subtly a celebration of life.
"Now-Again Records is proud to present Back From The Brink, the only legitimately licensed collection of the godfather of Iranian psychedelic rock, Kourosh Yaghmaei. Known within the Iranian diaspora simply by his first name, Kourosh's Pre-Revolution recordings were though lost after Islamic fundamentalists took control of Iran. They weren't: Kourosh had protected them - along with key ephemera from the 70's. Their collection here - spread over 2 CDs, 3LPs and a 4x7" box set - bolstered by Kourosh's first person recollections of Iran's 70s rock scene and its death after the Revolution… Read more
Welcome to STL's latest release from the Lunatik Sound System, another ethereal instalment of bleak somnambulent meanders through dark ambient zones. This is the place where he leaves the beats behind and falls into freefall drift, passing through various states of atmospheric unconsciousness, from Köner-esque isolationism, to dank, chilling drones and Badalamenti-hued moods. Lose yourself here.
Incredible raw, atmospheric house, proto-techno and synth experiments, a collaboration between Cologne's Barnt, Crato and Jens-Uwe Beyer in a very limited edition of 44 records, each housed in heavy card stock with a unique stamped and numbered print within. The trio have been collaborating on different projects together on and off since 1999, primarily in Germany, but with brief stints in London and Manchester. There's something rather timeless about Magazine 4 - for all its nods to cold wave, and Schnitzler-style krautrock pulsation, it has a presence … Read more
A memorable highlight of Steve Moore and Daniel O'Sullivan's 'Fluid Window' is retailored by Fennesz, Ikonika, The Field, Ulver and Adeptus. The earworming, emotive synth hooks of 'Visitor' appear in original and radio version backed with a sumptuous, stalking instrumental version by The Field on the first disc. Second disc comprises an industrial-tempered Ikonika version at House tempo, a good look for this lady, next to Fennesz's clouds of guitar distortion, a wicked slowfast remix from New York's Adeptus and O'Sullivan's own Ulver Via Halstengård remix. Fans of Depeche Mode, take note!
Diverse and heavy remix selection for M.C.D.E.'s Detroit-inspired 'L.O.V.E. (DJ-Kicks)' special from Wolfgang Voigt, Kyle Hall, and Smallpeople. Motor City whipper-snapper Kyle Hall commands the A-side with a chuggin' overhaul riding metronomic hi-hats and a swinging bassline groove smeared with that unmistakeably fresh soul. Flipside, Wolfgang Voigt offers his most overtly "funked-up" remix in memory, looping that 'Billie Jean'-alike bassline under dynamic, stereo swirling percussion to deadly effect, while Smallpeople offer a chunkier, straight-up House remix.
Superb jackers session from Murphy Jax, his second on Clone's Jack For Daze series, backed with warehouse/basement-primed remixes. The original 'Kevin Spacy' is powered by a sleek and powerful bassline arpeggio, proper Italo-cum-Chicago styles, while 'Smoodrama' is a more sensuous and atmospheric groover. Flip it for cracking Orgue Electronique remixes of 'Kevin Spacy', embedded to tape and riding gargantuan bassline and the smoothest Virgo-style synths with that all important warehouse reverb. TIP!
Alternate and instrumental versions of the opening cut 'Many Jewels Surround The Crown' from Prurient's magnificent 'Bermuda Drain' album. The 'District' version was originally issued on 7" and is longer and noisier than the album track. Dominik Fernow's Cold Cave bandmate, Wes Eisold and Hospital Audio mastering wizard, Kris Lapke aka Alberich duel on synthesizers over decimated machine rhythm under pressure of gale-force distortion, kinda like some apocalyptic John Carpenter theme. Do check.
Penalune makes his second appearance on STL's Something label with a suite of bleak ambient themes. 'Come Hell High Or High Water' revolves around a central concept of imprisonment and isolation, using field recordings made in Brooklyn and New York together with instrumentation and processed vocals to elicit a very eerie vibe. Its creator, Christopher Ernst intends it to reflect "…similar feeling of desperation of prisoners throughout various civilizations… Starting off long ago, the album wraps up with a Spanish civil war prisoner, Salem witch trial accused women, and finally th… Read more