Thursday, 15 March 2012
Pinch's Tectonic Plates comps are always quality documents not just of where his label's at, but also the current state, and possible future directions, of dubstep and its tributaries. Vol.3 is another corker, zoning in on class new productions from the Tectonic roster and extended label fam. Kryptic Minds, who've done as much as anyone to preserve the founding essence of dubstep come correct again with their cinematic opener, 'The Talisman', all filtered Middle Eastern melodies, frozen atmospherics, thwacking snares and serious sub ruffage. Pinch delivers one his finest ever … Read more
*Includes a download code redeemable from the label* Planet Mu introduce The Host with his eponymous debut album. It's no secret that The Host is a pseudonym for a well known µ cadet, as you'll be able to tell within seconds of hearing the samples, but for less aware listeners we'll leave that mystery to your google search bar. His first album in this mode is an impressionistic, nostalgic reflection on the internet and its otherworldly nature. It's apparent in track titles such as 'Neo Geocities', '3AM Surfing', 'Second Life' or 'Angel Fire' - some of which we suspect might only be relevant to user… Read more
Planet Mu introduce The Host with his eponymous debut album. It's no secret that The Host is a pseudonym for a well known µ cadet, as you'll be able to tell within seconds of hearing the samples, but for less aware listeners we'll leave that mystery to your google search bar. His first album in this mode is an impressionistic, nostalgic reflection on the internet and its otherworldly nature. It's apparent in track titles such as 'Neo Geocities', '3AM Surfing', 'Second Life' or 'Angel Fire' - some of which we suspect might only be relevant to users over a certain age - and while the music isn't quite … Read more
**Black label wax housed in hand-stamped paper sleeve** Left_Blank spread their wings to Russia with the 2nd vinyl release by 23 year old enigma, Myown. Much like his debut for Anton Zap's Ethereal Sound imprint, and in keeping with his new home's explorative aesthetic, the 'Vesna' EP exhibits a convoluted, hyper-structured fusion of dark 2-step, Electronica and House. He takes this to its logical limits with warped Garage contours infused with strange folk-jazz melodies and haunting, cyber-surreal resonance on opener 'Suromna', while 'Vesna' sounds like a genetically modified clone of an El-B riddim ima… Read more
*Repress* Stylish return for Airhead on R&S, one which finds him stepping out from under the shadows of James Blake, Mount Kimbie et al and making his own estimable contribution to the gauzy post-dubstep. If shoegaze and post-rock were always palpable influences on his sound, on 'Wait' they're pushed right to the fore - hell, there's guitars all over this thing, at moments sounding recalling the chiming minimalism of The xx, at others something more noisy and psychedelic. 'South Congress' has the same dreamy quality, this time with the addition plaintive cello and keys, but here there's more of a club-f… Read more
Monday, 12 March 2012
Lazer-blazing hyper-boogie excitement from the intergalactic man-of-the-moment. Fractious Footwork frills, intense trance drops and eighties mega-pop memes are collided in Rustie's patented atomic funk smasher while his better half Nightwave sails over it all like some eminent R&B princess, in top style.
With his stream of releases as Vatican Shadow, Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient) has isolated a sense of bruised technoid dystopia that's been largely missing in action in electronic music since the the early '90s releases of Aphex Twin. Since militarizing his sound on the 'Byzantine Private CIA' tape in 2010 (imminently due a 12" reissue thru Blackest Ever Black) with stark machine rhythms and cryptic FM synth camouflage, he's produced some of the most acutely evocative material in his decade-long recording history. By resorting to largely minimal, conservat… Read more
How do you follow a near-perfect album? By edging even closer to perfection. Julia Holter hasn't allowed herself to be cowed by the success of her acclaimed 2011 album Tragedy, instead producing another pellucid, beautifully composed and sequenced LP for head and heart. On Ekstasis, her first album for New York's RVNG Intl., Holter's vocals are given a central role throughout. The arrangements are more open and "pop" than those of Tragedy, but not at the expense of musical complexity or eccentricity. By now you'll probably have heard lead single, 'Marienbad', an astonishing amalg… Read more
Monstruous riddims from the two-headed beast of Photek and Pinch. To be honest, the new Photek productions haven't been doing much for us, but this is a different story entirely. Working with Bristol bassbin soldier, Pinch, he tunnels heads-down into rolling, tranced-out Acid House formations built for the big rooms on 'M25FM', while Pinch's dubplate version of 'Acid Reign' alloys virulent 303 sequence with hulking dreadnought bass waves to crushing effect.
Osaka/Berlin's Kouhei Matsunaga follows recent collaborations with Autechre's Sean Booth, MC Sensational, and Conrad Schnitzler, among others, to deliver the technoid intricacies of 'Dance Classics Vol.1', his debut for PAN. As NHK'Koyxen, he fluctuates between mercurial electronic slipperiness and concrete grooves learned from Hardcore Techno and Hip Hop disciplines. This work has found him a home on diverse labels such as Important Records, Skam and Raster Noton, who all share a yen for the kinetic potential of his tricksy, subtly unstable style. For PAN, he offers a collection … Read more
Two hours of immense, depraved noise narcosis from the Hospital Productions overseer. This is Dominick Fernow at his most uncompromising and meditative, inverting the putative values of the drugs in his track titles to his own definitions. The thirty minutes of skin-blistering distortion on 'Ecstasy Slave' will be sheer terror for some, but bliss for others, while the cacophonous industrial ambience of 'Ketamine Slave' is like the unshakable resonance of a rave you didn't leave unscathed and 'Vicodin Slave' is the sound of your brain dissolving in toxic tranquility. Best of all, 'Cocaine Slave… Read more
Body High expand their ace catalogue with a funked-up bag of booty crack from Todd Edwards. He's in killer form here, from the gospel-sampling, sub-heavy Ballroom styles of 'Shall Go' to the Soundhack-esque disco chops of 'The Stranger', mad, reggae-sampling carnival heat on 'This Generation' and more classic-sounding Jersey Garage on 'Hold The Faith' or 'Echo Of the Past'. TIP!
Perhaps best known for his Bird Show releases on Kranky, Ben Vida delivers a striking entry of psycho-acoustic trickery for PAN with 'esstends esstends esstends'. In case you're wondering, the "psycho-acoustic trickery" we mention is an earwax-loosening and hallucinatory experimental technique of expanded and localised spatialisation while resonating at frequencies which stimulate the microscopic bones inside your ear into hearing things which might not necessarily be there. If you've heard recent releases by Florian Hecker, Marcus Schmickler or KFW and found yourself feeling … Read more
The Burrell Brothers are two of House music's foundational architects. Recording under a plethora of monikers for the Nu Groove imprint, they were the backbone of New York's answer to Trax Records. Rush Hour have done the new generation of House heads a favour by collecting their best, most definitive output for the label circa 1988-1992 on digital format for the first time. Beside their spine-tingling all time classic 'I'll Say A Prayer 4 U', fresher ears will discover the debonaire soul smoothness of 'Disco-Tech (Studio 54 Mix)', the seductive 'Song Of the Sir… Read more
*Upfront Exclusive* London party and music crew Wavey Tones make a very promising entrance with the debut from Merseyside-born, Putney-based producer, Emma. The bass magpies out there might well recognise her name from Sully's highly regarded FACT mix in 2011, where the king of swing included her A-side 'Rainbow Dust' amongst a ruck of his own productions. We're reacquainted with that superb riddim here and it sounds even better than we remember, finding a freshest blend of dainty casio keyboard twirls synched with crisp, Ikonika-like drums and humming subbass pressure that only seem… Read more
Grimes seems destined for stardom, and deservedly so - her debut album for 4AD is that rare thing: an off-kilter pop album that actually delivers on its perky promise. Sticking closely to a louche but insistently funky electro-pop sound that variously recalls early Madonna and the New York new wave that she first surfed in on, Kate Bush at her most playful, and Nami Shimada's mega-selling Japanese proto-house anthem 'Sunshower', the Canadian scamp knows how to charm us senseless. The tunes, and the hooks that uphold them, are pure gold, and the production is lo-fi but clear of purpose: 'Genesis' i… Read more
"14 highly charged currents of latter-day electro-magnetic poly-pop, robotic rock and modern mechanical music featuring unreleased electronic music for Atari Videogames, Swiss Construction companies and low-budget Eastern film productions alongside unknown and undercover synth driven rarities by members of Can, Hawkwind, Niagara, Soft Machine, Dynastie Crisis, Gong and Nucleus. Compiled from a well travelled DJ bag of inhumane B-Music and international second-class sound by Saxonic wax magnet Andy Votel (Finder Keepers)including full length tracks from his acclaimed vintage voltage m… Read more
Original score by Anthony Pateras for Eron Sheean's Errors Of The Human Being, a curious sci-fi movie shot at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany (it's the new Hollywood apparently) and starring, among others, Rik Mayall of Bottom fame! Bottom and Editions Mego: two worlds we never thought would collide. Melbourne-based Pateras, a regular collaborator with Robin Fox, soundtracked Sheean's previous too films, and it's fair to say that composer and filmmaker are both on the same elevated wavelength, the former demonstrati… Read more
Exotic groove travellers Brutal Music pluck out four obscure Japanese New Wave movements from Kyoto's EP-4, a collaboration between Kaorus Sato and keyboardist/tape manipulator Banana Kawashima, and released circa 1983-84. A-side serves the slow, stoned downtown groove 'Robothood Process', and the layered, studio-crafty Talking Heads vibes of 'Tide Gauge', both taken from their 'Lingua Franca' LP. Flipside, from their sought after private press 7", 'Coco' sounds like some mad Zé Records tune you never knew about, all delirious voices and skeletal but infectious woodblock swing groove, while they play a slick Italo/Boogie-like ace with '5.21'.
Dominik Fernow and Chris Lapke hit the mark dead on with their Christian Cosmos collusion; a shocking fusion of the finest elements from their respective efforts as Prurient, Vatican Shadow, and Alberich. Essentially it's all noisier than the Vatican Shadow releases, but more synth-heavy than the Alberich sound, arriving at a beautifully imperfect junction of the two. Don't sleep on this; it's strongly recommended!!!
Conforce reveals a harder-edged side on the '24EP', which includes a stonking remix from Gesloten Cirkel! We're not sure what dancefloor he's been hanging out on, but it's certainly had a heavy impact on Conforce's style here, from the unrelenting snares and acidic dirve of 'Grain' to the athletic skip-and-parry of 'Vulcan' and the pistoning swing and cavernous rendering of '24'. However, the best of a great bunch has to be Gesloten Cirkel's remix of '24', dropping to the tempo to a thrusting 120bpm powered by welting kicks while adding hypnotic vocals and dark, twirling synth ribbons with the tou… Read more
Best yet from Contrepoison, who's previously shared an ace split with Vatican Shadow. The closest comparison we could make is early Cold Cave, but there's also something more dead-eyed and drugged to this sound. Make sure to check the sludgy bass thrust and distant, dingy vox of 'I Keep On Searching' and the bleak, tormented coldwave pop of 'Nectar Of Destiny'.
Tour De Garde's shadowy Sans Issue sub-label follows their ace Vatican Shadow release with Contrepoison's 2nd tape of obliterated cold wave. Cathartic pop vocals are buried by arching synth and guitar distortion on 'Braving Through The Storms', dragged through the darkness by a dead drum machine engine to the colder-than-Cold Cave cry of 'The Thunders Which Collide' and the relatively clean yet creepy toxic pastoralism 'Of Greenery And Quietness'.
Our suspicions are that this is Dominik Fernow release (sharing the Magic suffix with his River Magic project) but we could be wrong. It's two pieces of distant, dubbed out vox and swelling, tidal noise suffused with spacious spectral signals...
**Zoned-out and dreamlike drone-pop. More surreal and strange than sweet, veering between majestic peaks and lo-fi wipe-outs with a psychedelic fluidity. A hell of a lot going on here - too much for a quick listen! Fans of owt from Rangers to Atlas Sound to No Neck Blues Band or Atelecine should check it out** "What to make of Excavacations? Are they a pop band? Perhaps, except they spend as much time zoning out and embedding weird sounds into extended soundscapes as delivering infectious payloads loaded with hooks. Are they drone? If so, this is the catchiest drone you'll ever he… Read more
Bass-heavy wiggle-Tech House from Goldffinch on their 2nd Saigon 12". Much like their drops for Numbers, Airflex and 877, 'EP#2' is stripped to the bare essentials and built to bump a crowd. A-side 'Tip The Dog' comes with a ruder, swinging attitude thanks to punchy woodblock pivots and pendulous subs peppered with choppy vox. 'Outer Twigs' on the flip is a simmering, up-bulding roller, a cool DJ tool for anyone working the cracks between Julio Bashmore, Deadboy, Joy O.
Dank and bloody discomforting Industrial drone and concrete electronics from some dark bugger called Infrastructure Zero. Opener 'Mercury' allows a decpetive glimpse of light with its glinting metallic resonance before resorting to the cold ceramic surfaces and Genesis-like vocals in solitary confinement of 'Serbian Slaughterhouse'. 'Scaffolding Rusting In Stormwater' is like water-boarding in slow motion, while we're left to rot in fetid pools of muck on 'Mycobioata Mould Growth'. I need a wash after this...
Keith Kenniff - perhaps best known as Goldmund or Helios - ventures out under his own name for the 2nd time on 'Branches'. Since releasing his widely adored 'The Malady Of Elegance' and 'Caesura' albums on Type, Keith's music has been used on the soundtrack to Harmony Korine's 2007 comedy-drama 'Mister Lonely' and on the trailer for the 2009 Academy Award-nominated 'Revolutionary Road', directed by Sam Mendes; such is the cinematic potential of his grandly scaled compositions. 'Branches' combines the dulcet electronic/ambient themes of his Helios recordings with the ivory-tinkling post-cla… Read more
**New edition with nearly 25 minutes of bonus material** NNF present the hallucinatory first LP from Rangers associate Peter Berends aka KWJAZ after a blink-and-miss-it debut cassette for the Brunch Groupe in 2010. We enter a potently warped world of decomposing ambient electro-jazz with 'Once In Babylon', ferrying us along a ferric-murky exhalation of blurry mixtape-styled moments flopping from loungey, twinkling keys to blunted synths nd proggy rhythm switches to the deserted-harbour-cruising drones and soggy bossa-lite inflections of 'Righteous Wane'. His sound has been aptly… Read more