Thursday, 02 September 2010
This curious lot are a quartet who "play music they imagine may have happened some time in the 1950s, perhaps at a cocktail party for experimental scientists with a fascination for cartoons". Apparently their live performances involve contributions from magicians, tap dancers and chemistry professors, and that sort of willful eccentricity certainly carries over into this album. Although it's titled Audio Recording And Map, alas only the former is included with this digital edition (the physical release does indeed come with a map, cartography enthusiasts), but that s… Read more
The London duo follow-up the promise of early single 'Ghost Train' with this more extended release, packed to the rafters with hazily nostalgic references to an age that bandmates Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley are probably far too young remember. 'Round To The Moon' is due out as a single itself and kicks off the set in a joyous fashion, laying down lo-fi reverbs and wonkily tuned synths - the formula is familiar enough, but the execution impeccable: Sankey and Warmsley vividly evoke a tone of bittersweet, love-drunk hedonism that proves downright irresistable. After the Slow Club-goes-elect… Read more
This album corresponds to a new film of the same title from Parisian polymath Chilly Gonzales. The movie stars Gonzales himself alongside musical pals Tiga and Peaches, with the two male leads playing chess champions competing for the affections of everyone's favourite electro-punk provocateur. The album is produced in coalition with Boys Noize and finds Gonzales in the kind of danceable pop territory often occupied by Sebastien Tellier. Flirting with both loungey disco escapades and lavishly orchestrated easy listening jaunts, Ivory Tower is seldom less than striking, particularly when there's… Read more
Motorik slabs of instrumental psyche-rock from Yellow Moon Band. 'Barehed' is the fiercely charged A-side, abruptly dropping in from a folkrock intro to find a churning, heady rut of psych goodness. On the flip 'Reign' leans back a little for a more melodic involvement with lush middle eight and crafty lead flourishes.
Monday, 30 August 2010
DFA serve a straight killer from NDF aka Bruno Pronsato and Sergio Giogini, backed with an entrancing Ricardo Villalobos remix! 'Since We Last Met' is a departure of sorts for the label's retro house and disco fetish, both sides embracing modernist tech-house minimalism with great results. It's probably fair to say that NDF's original is actually heavily influenced by the man on the remix, from the shaven Latin drums to those plump subs, while the chords and breezy house freshness are at once classic and up-to-date. No doubt, it's the Herr Villalo… Read more
'The Traveller' is simply the most anticipated techno album of the year, and probably one of its best. It's yet another pristine example of René Pawlowitz's dilated dancefloor scope, sourcing influences from '90s UK techno and hardcore to explore new routes around the signature 4/4 pulse of Berlin dance music. As with his massively acclaimed predecessor 'Shedding The Past', Shed seems completely at ease with the album format, offering a range of deadly, yet often brief ideas which add up to a personal and nostalgic comment on techno in 2010. That spirit of pre-'94 jungle and hardcore is writte… Read more
Of all the big names in contemporary electronic music, few can make swells of noise sound so tuneful and emotionally engaging as Tim Hecker. The Canadian composer has long-since established his signature sound of gusty processed guitars, melodious static and soaring drones, and this new single-length release for Room40 finds him taking his craft to a new level of refinement. 'Apondalifa' begins with surging strands of guitar, clipped and layered over waves of stratospheric hiss, slowly taking a melodic shape as the piece develops; looped chord fragments become more apparent after a couple… Read more
Blackpool's VHS Head made quite an impression with his Skam debut 'Video Club' some months back. Now following an acclaimed set for the Mary Anne Hobbs Radio 1 show he presents a remarkable debut album, sounding like something approaching James Ferraro or Daniel "OPN" Lopatin's Games project, as edited by Gescom. Over the twenty tracks he deploys a palette of atypical Skam edits and icy spikes of digital glitch to a barrage of samples - mostly idents, incidental music, and f*ckknowswhat - presumably lifted from his collection of video tapes. It's a vividly idiosyncratic world h… Read more
Ramp drop 'The Summer Of Shortstuff EP' - including three digital bonus riddims - just in time for the Autumn raving season. From the two preceding 10"s we get the scrambled garage calculations of 'Tweaked', next to the augmented Afrobeat flex of 'Galaxy' and the febrile tropical twitch of 'Herb Face' plus a skittery 'See Ya' brukout. On a bonus tip, 'Swine Time' works out a flighty grime/garage riddim while 'Fig Rolls' crafts an angular IDM/Future garage style and 'Naughty Step' bubbles like a good 'un. Unique riddims for fans of Falty DL, Brackles and Bok Bok!
Martyn and Actress sign on to remix Kode9's exclusive track from the DJ Kicks mix. Both producers seem to explore relatively new or uncharacteristic sounds with their respective versions, from Martyn incorporating a Carl Craig-esque string filter for the big room groovers, to Actress offering his straightest Funky workout to date, twisting the Marimbas and whistles of the original into a strangely clipped yet universally effective workout. Badness - don't miss!
Olde English Spelling Bee is one of those labels you can implicitly trust to provide you with the most brilliantly weird music. Their latest missive is a self titled shocker from Autre Ne Veut, a moocher from the same circles as Oneohtrix Point Never and all those weirdo Brooklyn types with an uncanny line in subtly skewed pop queerness. Seriously, this is one of the strangest, most jarringly unique records of the year, and we love it. At heart it's an incredible pop album with traces of Prince, Prefab Sprout and Kenny Loggins at its core, but each melody and harmony is delivered with… Read more
Icicle may not be familiar to those outside the D'n'B scene, but this outstanding 12" for Shogun Audio should reverse that situation. With 'Xylophobia' and 'Minimal Dub' he makes the same sideways strafe into dubstep as Kryptic Minds or Breakage, serving ultra-crisp and heavy killers with a coke-numbed gangsta swagger. The tidal swing of 'Xylophobia' covers the A-side with minimal fuss and bother, just plainly doing his thing way better than the swathes of lesser producers. 'Minimal Dub' on the flip offers a wider percussive palette with clocking congas synched with scissoring hi-ha… Read more
Extraordinary and essential archival obscurity from kosmische generator Conrad Schnitzler, reissued for the first time on vinyl with reshapes from Pole, and Bornbräber & Strüver. Schnitzler's 20 minute composition 'Zug' was issued on a private tape back in 1974, capturing the innovator in his most alien and transcendental form. The track revolves around a hypnotic and infinitely linear rhythm which Schnitzler gradually develops into glorious astral plumes, increasing with creepy intensity towards some foreboding, unresolved conclusion. The two remixes offer possible solutions to this proble… Read more
This immense new album from Big Troubles follows on from a great four-song EP for the Olde English Spelling Bee singles club, featuring the New Jersey fuzz-pop project bejewelled with pop hooks and spurts of brain-scorching noise. There's an abundance of blistering C86-style pop nuggets on here, from the distortion-surfing 'Bite Yr Tongue' to the euphorically hooked-up 'Freudian Slips'. There's an overwhelmingly fizzy, treble-some recording style here which imbues the whole thing with a hazy, nostalgic quality that reminds us of everything from My Bloody Valentine to The Jesus and Mary Chain… Read more
Making sense of the multi-genre mesh that makes up modern beat music requires a dedicated head and focused set of digits. The DJ sets of Brackles have been instrumental in creating the current state of affairs with his meta-mixes trailing through Garage, to Funky and Dubstep, plus that unquantifiable boogie factor. For K7 he weaves an enviably acute overview of the scene, tying together tracks from Zomby, Floating Points, Cooly G, Rishi Romero, Dorian Concept, Fly Lo, Roska and many more. It features some of the most definitive tracks from the last 12-18 months … Read more
Deadly Dutch dude, Delta Funtionen drops dancefloor diamonds on the latest from Ann Aimee. There feels like a more urgent yet refiend agenda behind the tracks here compared to his previous work for the label, from the frisky flex of 'Abundance' to the pounding pressure of 'One's Space', both keeping matters heavy but with enough space and finesse to impress the most discerning techno conoisseurs. Meanwhile 'Please Identify' is the darkest and grooviest of the lot, revolving around a filtered acid bass and economical yet commanding percussion you just wouldn't argue with on the … Read more
Before Mordant Music released 'Lives & Privacy (94-89)' we'd never heard of Mr Maxted. Two years down the line and we keep returning to that scuzzy grey LP, it's just so damn good. 'Momentum' features material mostly produced at the same time, but with one new track 'I'm Having A Breakdown'. This is pure bedroom meddling music, recorded from cheap drum machines directly onto tape, leaving a blurry imprint of Benelux beats and soggy Yorkshire synth yearnings to perfume your room with the fragrance of stale nicotine, overheating Roland boxes and dry geek sweat. Apparently the label will continue… Read more
Bumpy electro-house/Funky fusions from DJ Naughty backed with remixes from Gemmy and Jamie George. The original has a loose and ragged feel fit for the floor, which Jamie George rearranges with heavier kicks for a 'Goosebumps At Night' mix. Gemmy goes straight to the dubstep rave with his mix, skweezin' out fluoro melody and brittle 808s.
Tiga enlists Martyn, Efdemin and Mathew Jonson to remix 'Gentle Giant' (featuring the vocals of Jake Shears and James Murphy) from his 'Ciao!' album. Firstly, the garage flexing euphoric burn of Martyn's mix has been causing quite a stir in the hands of able jocks like Jackmaster, while Efdemin jacks on an economically plush Chicago/Berlin mix and Mathew Jonson trances out over a tricksy triplet groove driven by a massive square bassline. That Martyn refix is the one!
The Blessings are DomSum and Martyn Flyn, two cats behind one of the best labels in the world right now, Glasgow's LuckyMe. While their label has given birth to some milestone rekkids like Hud Mo's 'Ooops' 12" and the American Men album, they've kept their own beats on the downlow, choosing to release these six sweet 'n crispy blends of New Jack Swing, electro and midnight funk on Nod Navigators. In 'Arisseee Henson' they ooze purple soundtrack synth juice from every pore, and on 'Faberge' take off from the same base as Hud Mo's lazer funk, before the centrepiece 'Moranis Riding Ants' m… Read more
Strong Bass styles for all fans of Joy Orbison and Doc Daneeka! On the front Chesus X Diverse Concepts whip up a slick killer in 'Baduka' with frisky Garage/Funky drums, yearning vocals and deep house motifs that already caght the attentions of Gilles Peterson, MAH, Martyn, Seiji and the rest! On the other, C.R.S.T really impresses with the light-footed flex of 'Bump' winking to classic El-B styles. Killer!
Wolfgang Voigt leaves his slightly more difficult (yet brilliant) releases aside to go deep and smooth on his new Profan sublabel Protest. 'Apathie' features a twinkling lead motif and melancholy counter-melody at play with his effortlessly rumptious bassline, making one of those tracks you could listen to on loop at the right floor, at the right time. 'Empathie' is a more urgent techno piece, creating a dramatic tension with insistent loops but still glides with the touch of a hi-end technician. Very smart dancing music.
Featuring guest appearances from Grouper's Liz Harris and Charalambides' Tom Carter, this new release from Common Eider, King Eider sees the project expand beyond its nucleus of Bob Fisk (Badgerlore, Free Porcupine Society) towards a more fully formed quartet line-up. The album begins poised in a state of fairly extreme quietness, exchanging wafts of bowed guitar, fragmentary piano phrases and ethereal vocals through the course of 'The Rabbits Will Come Again'. After a slow start, the piece's dark, avant-folk beauty becomes fully apparent. In its beginnings, 'When We Sewed Skins' … Read more
Georgian musician Natalie Beridze is one of the artists to emerge from Monika's Four Women No Cry compilations. This five-track EP gives a taster of a full-length album, titled ForgetFulness, due for release later in the year. The EP's title track is a slice of futuristic, minimal 4/4 electronic pop that sways to the more avant-garde, AGF-leaning end of the spectrum, whilst 'The Face We Choose To Miss' is a more melodically engaging affair that almost runs into Italians Do It Better levels of retro disco invocation. Also of note, Beridze boldly takes on a cov… Read more
Mr Mool drops 'Wax Rose Saturday' from his well received 'Skulltaste' album backed with the exclusive 'Valley Girls' and remixes from Paul White, Free The Robots, Daso, Shigeto, and Devonwho. The title track sounds like a Prefuse 73 track circa 'Vocal Studies', while 'Valley Girls' is a more laidback display of R'n'B/IDM fusions. Attacking tracks from the album, Paul White gives a psych-spiked head nodders mix of 'Wolf Tone Symphony', while Devonwho gives a BoC-ish mix of 'Lady Linda' and Daso turns 'Enceladus' into a discofied electrohouse romp.
The incomparable comic book great Alan Moore embarks upon this new musical/spoken word project with a host of formidable collaborators including photographer Mitch Jenkins and musicians such as Adam 'Doseone' Drucker, Andrew Broder (of Fog fame), Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai, Hella drummer Zach Hill, Justin Broadrick (of Jesu, Godflesh et al) and Mike Patton. Having previously penned landmark works such as Watchmen, From Hell and V For Vendetta, Moore now presents an epic new two-hour story, read by Moore himself and focussed not on superheroes or the like, but rather Steve Moore - a fel… Read more
This Styrax offshoot commemorates the 1st anniversary of the untimely death of influential journalist Ramin Raissi by plunging into the nether regions of deep and dubbed techno from Redshape, Morphosis, Rising Sun, Intrusion, Quantec and Bvdub. Ramin was a Lebanese native based in Berlin writing for the massively respected Groove magazine, which situated him close to the artists who have been selected to represent his memory. Redshape provides the two shining highlights of the set with the spectral synth shapes of 'Requiem Solo', featuring the masked one beautifu… Read more