Monday, 06 December 2010
Diverse styles from Bristol's Arkist, changing tack to Tech-House and R&B-infused Dubstep for Immerse. 'I Couldn't Possibly' jacks on a strange and uniquely dissonant style of post-Dubstep Tech-House, all hard surfaces and a cold airy atmospheres. 'Only If You Mean It' flips into some Bristolian Dubstep formation with an R&B spiked flex.
Apparently for this brief set of four recordings Swiss experimentalist Ralph Steinbruchel started out with simply a handful of instrumental recordings. It’s almost possible to hear it, but the burned out fingerprints of each instrument is all that remains under elongated digital drones and familiar glitches. Occasionally a hiccupping rhythm will reveal itself as a xylophone, or a drone might just for a second let its guard down and sound like a guitar, but for the most part Steinbruchel has transformed these sounds into something absolutely his own. Fans of recent Raster Noton releases (espe… Read more
Despite reaching album number four and already having had Simon Reynolds sing his praises on Blissblog and in the Guardian, we've never really had any of Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club releases available other than a rather excellent split 7" release for Ghost Box. Following on from an impressive amount of media attention and praise flowing from all the right places, his new album "A Spare Tabby At The Cat's Wedding" finally arrives and is no doubt destined to grace many a year-end chart. Tapping into the same H**ntological conceit of making use… Read more
The second album from Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club, ‘Shoes Off And Chairs Away’ was released back in 2008, and if you’ve heard any of Hodgson’s other records under the moniker, you’ll no doubt know what to expect. Working tirelessly with his copy of Music for the Playstation 2 (seriously, what’s more hauntological than that?) Hodgson has again used the history of forgotten British television to source his banks of samples, and the results really speak for themselves. Most artists simply wouldn’t have the patience to do what Hodgson does, and the sheer attention to det… Read more
Originally released in 2007 ‘An Audience of Art Deco Eyes’ was the debut album from Ian Hodgson’s Ghost Box approved Moon Wiring Club project and perfectly sets the scene for his hauntological experimentations. Back in 2007 the word hauntology was hardly on anyone’s lips – sure Ghost Box were pumping out 3” CDs and Broadcast were experimenting with the lost sounds of library music, but Hodgson was hardly part of a movement in the way that he is in 2010. It is a testament to his musical singularity then that ‘An Audience of Art Deco Eyes’ sounds just as stunning as Ho… Read more
‘Stripped Off And Chairs Away’ is the third album from Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club. Taking more of a discernibly 80s bent than its predecessors, this record shows Hodgson getting far more in tune with his percussion and low-end pressure. On tracks such as ‘Shape Ritual’ or ‘Foxy Mind’ for example, synth-funk basslines hop around chunky disco-influenced beats, and while all the sounds are obviously sampled from old TV programs (still) there’s a sense that the music is sidling ever closer to something you could almost play at a club. This album is the point where… Read more
Produced over the course of two years, A Path Less Travelled unites Japanese improvising microsound quartet Minamo with Room40 boss, Lawrence English. Field recordings, processed sounds and, of course, Minamo's initial instrumental sketches all come together in a gentle harmonic fusion that's at once layered and detailed yet eminently peaceful. You'd assume that countless hours of post-production have gone into the making of this record, yet early standout 'Headlights' still retains a very live feel as it spools through minimal guitar musings and electric piano ton… Read more
A Setting Sun is the project of New York based electronic musician Jay Bodley, and ‘Flower Garden of Rejuvenation’ is an impeccably curated remix EP which reframes his work with help from some able additional minds. With Guiseppe Ielasi, Benoit Pioulard and Nadja on side it’s pretty clear we’ll be in for some shimmering, degraded gorgeousness, but the real surprises come from the lesser known Dial81, who provides an early Ulrich Schnauss style take on ‘Sun Hammer Pounding’ and Philadelphia’s Radere who dissolves that very same track in a bath of cassette-record… Read more
'Weekend' is quite simply the loveliest thing Tirk have released all year. It's the debut release from Edinburgh-based six-piece Molly Wagger, with some help from the Sunharbour string quartet and remarkable production from Sam Annand aka Architeq. That pop-primed lead cut revolves around a killer piano and vocal hook with shades of classic Fleetwood Mac, while 'Molly' is more of a pastoral indie charmer with subtle electronic embellishments. Richard Norris steps in with a Balearic remix of 'Weekend' giving it a 4/4 tap on the ass and DJ friendly playing time.
Sähkö's impeccable sublabel, Keys Of Life, presents an especially engaging release from Acid King's Tuomas Toivonen. With some shades of the awesome Tin Man releases, 'Urbanism In The House' tailors melancholy Electro-House productions to Tuomas' distinctively, steadily urgent delivery of intelligent lyrics covering modern urban utopias, artificial realities and quite possibly the only use of the line "the super smooth surface of a cartesian monolith is so unlike nature that early men understand it's alienness" that you'll ever come across. That line crops up in '2001', whic… Read more
Weighty rave assault from Boys Noize and an army of remixes including Rob Hood, Mixhell, Steve Strip and Phon.O. The stomping original cut of 'Trooper' is followed by a Rob Hood version, giving you a fierce DJ tool driven by bolshy but minimal kicks and stentorian stereo commands of "Left", Right!". Biggest of all is Phon.O's Funky-referencing remix, nicely synced with the sound of Roska or Doc Daneeka. Good stuff indeed.
Lunatik Sound System is Stephan Laubner (aka STL) operating within the realms of somnambulant drone electronics. He's cut at least fifteen albums in this guise, mostly on CDr for his Something label. It's deeply immersive stuff, composed with the same sort of musty atmospheres and wandering arrangements as his better known STL records, but with a far more reclined and mystical intention hinting at a water-stained version of Wolfgang Voigt's romantic odes to Bavarian forests left in the woods to decompose and become infected by fungi. Tracks such as the lushly evoca… Read more
Some months after DJ Oneman gave it the seal of approval on his Rinse: 11 mix CD, Jamie George's 'Flying Saucer' lands on wax backed up with Roska and J Kenzo remixes. His original goes in slick and streamlined, greasy enough to slide into the shirt and shoes crowd but still ravin' enough to work in the grimier ends. Jamie's partner in SoulTonic SoundSystem J Kenzo, gives a ruder remix, deftly melding dubstep rave sounds into a Breakbeat-infused tribal houser while Mr Kick & Snares himself gives it a lick of infectiously reworked melody and sculpted drums. Ace.
The irrepressible heads at NHNH haul up heavyweight production from Mumdance featuring Trim and Jammer! 'Tarahtid' is some dark and exotic fusion of crisp, sub-continental percussion with snake-charming folksy melody and piquant sitar refrain with typically abstract and near-impentrable patois chat from Trim and Jammer. Taking it back to the '90s 'What Ima Say' licks out corrosive acid-techno riffs over rugged and bashy kicks, with absolutely no Mark E.G in sight. Dangerous!
Second release on Venetian Snares' Timesig imprint is a much touted collaboration between himself and RHCP's guitarist John Frusciante. To date they've only played a handful of shows together, concentrating largely on what sounds they can carve out of a 303 and 808. To be totally fair, 'March_Three-3' just sounds like a typically spazzy V. Snares composition. Perhaps there is an underlying melodic structure which isn't always at the root of an Aaron Funk track, but basically Frusciante's input isn't immediately noticeable. Much the same can be said of 'March_Four', but agai… Read more
Chunky bundle from Starkey, combining his 'Space Traitor EP' 12" with remixes from Egyptrixx, Kaiser, Rudi Zygadlo, ARP101, and Ital Tek. These are some of his first new productions since the 'Ear Drums And Black Holes' LP dropped at the other end of the year, firing out the lurid rave ruffige of 'Robot Hands' and the mad grimey string slashes of 'Holodeck' plus a laidback moment with regular vocalist Anneka. The CD also includes his exclusive 'Lenses', next to the slippin' cyber Funky remix of 'Robot Hands' by Egyptrixx and a splendidly screwed and agitated Wonky revision of 'Para… Read more
Armchair Traveller is the collaborative moniker of musicians Hella von Ploetz (on glass harp), Silvia Ocougne (on a variety of prepared and traditional guitars), Werner Durand (on self-made wind instruments), and Sebastian Hiken (on percussion and cello). From this collection of instruments you have an inkling that the music will be somewhat ‘different’ and you’d be right – as the name suggests the band takes influence from ethnic music, and rather than reframe it as coffee-table drivel they attempt to let this music guide their compositions. The results are haunting and unusua… Read more
Perc Trax collect ten highly effective remixes from the likes of Peter Van Hoesen, Norman Nodge, Milton Bradley, Russ Gabriel and Sawf on one very healthy compilation. Highlights have to be PvH's dank and driving remix of Ed Rush & Nico's 'Defect', Norman Nodge's dynamic inversion of Go Hiyama's 'Mathematical Accuracy' and the tension raising Milton Bradley mix of Perc's 'BCG'. Smarter modern techno.
L. van Zaltbommel's brilliant Roswell Return project ventures to deep space techno zones with his debut full length album. 'Probe' includes 'IFTODEX C0001' AND 'Hara Sun' from his teaser single, amidst a constellation of deepest outer space communications, from breathtaking beatless compositions like 'Free Fall' and 'A Goldbach Vibe (Clean Cut Remix)' through pulsating Drexciyan moments like 'Translunar', the abyssal 'Same Hepox' and the recurring 'Probe' scapes. Vividly evocative stuff. Check!
I don’t know what they do to their youngsters up in Iceland but I’m sure it’s not the first time I’ve heard a record made by a troupe of kids with xylophones and nylon-strung guitars. Maybe I’m just getting confused, but the fact that this femme foursome recorded this debut album at fourteen is still pretty astonishing. Now sixteen years old, their record is finally out for all to hear, and rather than sounding juvenile ‘Pascal Pinon’ rather sounds like a deliriously lo-fidelity combination of Mum and Paavoharju. There is definitely the fingerprint of the Scandinavian underground to thi… Read more
Running Back reissue a classic piece of Chain Reaction history from Pelon aka Henner Dondorf. 'No Stunts' was one of the earliest CR releases and still sounds as lushly immersive as it did on release in 1996. Henner is now an acclaimed mastering engineer, credited with work on the likes of Stephan Mathieu's sublime 'Radioland' album.
Expanded digital edition of this dope debut from Light Club, now including remixes from V.C, Grimace, Miramichi and Boss Kite. Like we said before **He gets top marks just for the title of 'Scirroco Night Drive', but the woozy, Carpenter-esque synths and spindly crunk beats reall ain't too shabby either. Following this, 'Sweet' is fonky little Skweee-like HipHop number, but matters get much more muddied with the ghoulish construction of 'Ghost', which sounds like some crooked Benelux darkwave experiment beamed into a wonky 2010, and 'Nick Nolte' is left to dot he Mr. Soft strut in style… Read more
Much-hyped House business from South London's Wbeeza, delivering his 4th 12" for Third Ear Recordings. Keeping matters as stripped-to-the-bone as possible 'Jack Ur Car' kicks out a raw and sub-heavy Jackers riddim compatible with the most efficient Prosumer productions, while the pitching percussive effect of the equally minimal 'Boom!' nods to Cooly G's 'Phat Si'. Cover looks dope.
Gorgeously cinematic, beatless ambience from Dutch synth boffin and amateur astronomer Jos Lieferink. 'Glaciers' sounds like it could have taken from a vintage library record, which is kind of explained by the fact that he's been actively making this stuff since the mid 1970s. His contemporary analog, Legowelt, offers a mix of 'Interface Phrase A', adding a Chicago jack engine and his trademark vintage synth works for added drama. Ace.
Stephan Laubner goes under again as Lunatik Sound System with eight X ten minute electronic drone tracks playing through as one extended piece. This isn't drone music concerned with tonal fidelity or dynamics, it's more about painting abstract and sci-fi-influenced soundscapes with a distinctly impressionistic quality. As an atmospherist Laubner travels great distances into the heart of his machines, teasing out their strangest, quirkiest voices and seemingly letting them organise themselves in the primordial silicon soup you can hear in the samples. Strange and alien synthetic sounds.
Two cuts alternating between liquid and weighty halfstep D&B. 'Crackden' features a disgustingly visceral crack-tone (akin to Dubstep rave's Govt-identified meph-tone) filtered for acute potency and alloyed with restrained yet kinetic halfstep syncopations. If that track was all about tension then 'Fatsoul is the release, surging forward with an endorphin rush of sparkling melodic flourishes, sweeping strings and quickstepping beats.
Leading on from his 'Connect' single, Brendon Moeller breaks the track down into seven finely tooled mixes for pretty much every occasion (*as long as it's techno-related). All fairly self-explanatory, really.
In 2010 Brenmar has arrived at a style of melancholy and flighty R&B/Club tracks compatible with Dubbel Dutch and the Night Slugs sound. For Discobelle Recordings' 2nd release he comes loaded with remixes from Ikonika & Optimum, and the triple tag-team styles of DJs Rashad, Earl, and BMT. The electric blue vibes of 'You Make Me Say' owe as much to Chicago Juke as Kingdom's Ballroom-referencing sound, whereas 'Taking It Down' reminds of Chief Boima's NYC-Funky sound and quite brilliantly there's no category for 'Like It Like That' other than Party. On a… Read more