Monday, 20 June 2011
Sturdy three track serving from Sigha on the mighty Blueprint. Man has obviously had his nose to the grindstone since his run of twelves on Hotflush, honing an intensely driven and shark-eyed sound for this strong new EP. Covering the A-side, the adamantium-laced kicks and nagging metallic hook of 'I Am Apathy, I Am Submission' feel more raved-up than his usual style, and sound all the better for it. Shifting further towards EBM territory, 'The Black House' rolls with a leather-clad, jackal-grinning bassline and mesmerising acidic tweaks, while 'Between Here And Yesterday' tips out on a tensely pure and monotone aesthetic. Potent.
Captivating kNew Age "Gnomic" no-fi psychedelia from a Finnish supergroup including Jonna Karanka (Kuupuu), Laura Naukkarinen (Lau Nau), and Merja Kokkonen (Islaja). It appears on the excellent De Stijl records, which should be triggering lights in your head already, while the music within is like the sound of a dream within a dream. The trio have been touring together as Hertta Lussu ÄssÄ since 2005 with a playfully improvised live show, releasing micro-runs of tour only albums with names such as 'The Butterfly Fart Album', and 'You Are Such An [sic] Pretty Sucker', but unless … Read more
'Hash Bar Remnants' is the first new Deepchord release in a year, and deals with a particularly smoky take on Rod Modell's immersive sound. The title is more explicit than we'd expect, but let's be honest, it's a fairly apt reference. In their time honoured style, 'Amsterdam Remnant 1' builds a ghostly groove from the barest, but most potent ingredients, and perhaps we can detect a hint of byzantine resonance at the back of the throat? 'Amsterdam Remnant 2' feels like the after effects of a few, moving with a heavy-limbed and muggy-headed yet meditative effect. Modell is just a class a part - really strong material.
"‘H-p1’ is the second White Hills album on Thrill Jockey following their self-titled album and many sold-out vinyl-only releases. Musically, ‘H-p1’ expands on the explorations of previous albums in ambience, noise, and space rock all led by guitarist Dave W.'s blistering solos. This is the most fully realized White Hills album to date and the one that takes them furthest from their pure space rock roots."
'Glacial Glow' finds Sarah Lipstate move away from the noisier recordings typified by her output for No Fun Productions and into a more controlled state of blissed and layered guitar pedal trickery. It's not a massive leap or anything, but more like she has peeled away some of the fuzz to reveal a plangently captivating sound which was always there, but just purposefully obscured. Her electric guitar is refracted through a cryptic matrix of pedals and delineated into an often astounding spectrum of tones, at times sounding like the contoured waveshapes of a vintage analogue synth and others… Read more
"Gedichterbe is a project by AGF (Antye Greie) that investigates German poetry and the heritage of german language within electronic music and society. Starting with the first known female German poet Frau Ava (11th century) till todays "wunderkind" poetess Ann Cotten (born 1982), poets are chosen from the romantic period of the 18th century via jewish poets during 20th century till poets from both Germanys after WW II." This extensive work features AGF's minimal and suggestively melodic style juxtaposed with glitched and treated vocals, including collaborations with the oi polloi of Berlin's fem… Read more
Soca-flavoured swing-Tech specials from Vibezin, making a rude debut on Keysound. 'Hot 4 U' gets involved with rugged Reggaeton-like drums worked into swinging Garage patterns, pure London 2011 vibes. Again, 'Mad Sick' comes off like some vintage Sticky groove faxed forward from 1999 into the cyber-tropic decade, while 'Vicious' dips with a different Dubstep lean, all billowing subbass and broken beat-style chord progressions.
Fresh from dropping her jaw-droppingly beautiful sophomore album The Magic Place, Julianna Barwick teams up with Ikue Mori of legendary New York no wavers DNA for a 12" of vocalisation and eldritch electronics. In the years since DNA tore apart the Gotham art scene, Mori has been busying herself as a distinguished developer of digital synth and drum machine and synth technology, and here she applies her considerable laptop chops to casting Barwick's plangent, patiently looped plainsong in a chattering, whirring, ever-shifting electronic setting that's too busy, mischievous… Read more
Though we've enjoyed some of his recent more club-oriented fare, for us Scott Monteith is at his most vital when exploring more broken and desolate dub-techno sounds - and that's exactly what his new album is about. Released on his own BLKRTZ label, Drawn & Quartered feels almost like the definitive Deadbeat statement, comprised of five 10 minute+ tracks designed for deep immersion. Expansive scene-setter 'First Quarter' is proper dub, a rolling lovers' riddim haunted by echoing chords, panning effects and strange audio involutions; 'Second Quarter' is propelled by a steady 4/4 rhyth… Read more
Fabric's musical director, Craig Richards, gives a broad taste of The Nothing Special nights he curates at the influential London club on Fabric 58. Richards has been at the helm of this dance music institution for 11 years now, catering his sets to reflect the diversity of his guests, who range from Dopplereffekt to Shackleton, to Moritz Von Oswald or The Emperor Machine. He's dug deep for this special presentation, covering unknown House gems from Chicago's Gemini through to the deepest strains of Techno by Convextion and Conforce. Over a seamless 74-m… Read more
**Sweet, slick retro-modern synth-pop from New York's premier cold wave stable Wierd Records.** This might just be the most direct, accessible and open-hearted record yet to come out of the minimal synth revival - from the opening track, 'Hazy Haze' a lo-fi yet epic girl-group anthem that sounds like summat Phil Spector might've produced if his only tools were a mic and a couple of kit-built synthesizers. A couple of cuts lapse into electroclash-by-numbers, but even these are lifted by the quality of songwriting, the infectious guitar-playing (which variously summons Johnny Marr, ea… Read more
Epic, highly recommended synth-scapes from Blanck Mass - aka F*ck Buttons' Benjamin John Power - on Mogwai's Rock Action records. Power shares with his label bosses a predilection for rousing, melodic crescendos, giving his ambient constructions a power and sense of purpose that a lot of contemporary synth music lacks. The hi-fidelity, ecclesiastical architecture of each whooshing and fizzing piece on this gripping LP puts us in mind of Emeralds and John Elliott's Mist, or, going further back, John Foxx's Cathedral Oceans and the classic beatless interventions of Aphex, Squarepusher, Glob… Read more
Milyoo grooves on a mid-tempo avant-boogie vibe backed with a swinging UK Garage remix from West Norwood Cassette Library. Further establishing his unique take on dancefloor electronics, Milyoo's 'Biogram V2' arrives via super quiet intro, setting spacious parameters for a slow jacking rhythm inserted with Akufen-style edits. Flip it and WNCL amp the 'floor potential with a lick of deep and swinging Garage rhythms.
Rephlex veteran Michael Cullen is back in his much-loved Kosmik Kommando guise for an EP of hard, bleepy, dystopian techno which harks back unashamedly to the early 90s but in the process somehow ends up sounding a damn sight more vital and insurrectionary than much of the over-groomed stuff that passes for techno today. There's really not much to say: this is brutish yet cerebal manna from heaven for the hardcore ravers, its thunderous kickdrums, cyber-punked synth melodies and acid splashes walking the tightrope 'tween heaven and hell like a ket-fuelled squat party in Wrexham. Go 'ard or go 'ome.
Luxurious album of dub-techno ambience from Sven Schienhammer, who's probably best known for his Quantec releases on Echocord and Meanwhile. As the title suggests, 'Altostratus Translucidus' is a meteorological metaphor for Sven's subtle convective diffusions, focussing on the processes of volume - concentration - discharge shared in Dub and weather systems. The first third of the album builds a misty mass of shimmering, effervescent dub chords, precipitating the gently padded 4/4 release of 'Sound Signals For Other Planets'. At the centre of the album we find … Read more
**Uniquely complex Catalan prog-rock fusions and nascent Ibizan psychedelia from early '70s - tipped for fans of Soft Machine or Egg or the preceding Absolute Belter compilation.** " Who can ignore a band with a name this blatant? An epic soundtrack when Spain was adjusting to a new political era, with it's own Catalan swagger." - Guillermo Scott Herren (Prefuse 73). "Imagine a merging of Soft Machine and Egg… A catalan Canterbury rather than many who reside in Can't-erbury". " From the foundations of the Catalan Rock Laietà movement. An uber-legendary exponent of Ibiza's 1970 psychedeli… Read more
Unmissable modern House groove from half of MyMy, aka Ostgut Ton's co-founder Nick Höppner. With credentials like those, and after probably spending more time in Panorama Bar and Berghain than the bar staff, this guy quite obviously knows what makes a body move. 'A Peck And A Pawn' is pure groove science, augmenting the crisp and spacious aesthetic of Berlin-style Tech-House with a subtly accentuated Funky swing to exceptional effect. Flipside, 'She Parked Herself' is Detroit-influenced, with classic-sounding and sweeping melody guided by shook square bass and drums nodding to S… Read more
SDUK steps up for his second EP for Slit Jockey, replete with remixes by Halp, Talk and Hellfire. 'YouNyt' is a burly rave squealer with swift halfstep/4/4 rollouts, and 'MyLdn' features a nice line in yearning, Fever Ray like vocal stabs in a Nu New Jack format. Best of all is the characteristically Uk rave drops and grimy synthline vibe of 'TeeHee'. On the remixes Talk gets wild wi' the 808s triplets and some freaky cyber-tribal runnings, while Halp drops a steady roller.
Sumptuous rework of the underrated New Order classic 'Subculture' from a new alliance in Scandinavian House music, Jori Hulkkonen and Alex Nieminen, with vocals from Pet Shop Boys' Chris Lowe! Pals for nigh on 20 years, these pair of acclaimed Finnish House heads have gone back to their roots, explicitly referencing dancefloor pop music, but more subtly nodding to the New York, Chicago and Detroit influences which in turn fed into the music of New Order and so much European club/pop music of the late '80s and '90s. Chris Lowe's appearance is beautifully measured to a numb melancholy ba… Read more
Japanese Film composer Teruyuki Nobuchika is something of a veteran at this point, at least on Japanese shores, and ‘Sonorite’ is his second ‘proper’ album of solo piano work. Similar to Goldmund, Nobochika explores the instrument with a melancholy, slow paced depth rarely heard. His cinematic experience shines through however and in every pause, every breath there is a sense that something is right around the corner. Fans of Johann Johannsson and Hauchka should check.