Monday, 21 March 2011
Legendary German imprint Raster Noton is well known for its often obtuse A&R policy, but this new album from French poet Anne-James Chaton fits in at the most esoteric end of their challenging spectrum. ‘Événements 09’ takes spoken word clips taken from abstract collection of texts and chops them together to create rhythmic patterns. The synthesized, noisy shuffle Pan Sonic might forge from a veritable collection of electronic boxes is re-imagined using the humble voice as the starting point, and although it’s not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination, as the mind gradu… Read more
Ellen Allien’s ‘Dust’ was another key step in her evolution from techno superstar to skewed pop starlet, and while it lacked the 4/4 crunch of her earlier work it still retained enough of the attitude to win over new fans. Now, however, she’s brought that pulsing beat back thanks to a whole gang of able remixers, from the tried and tested (Bodycode, Aux 88, Adultnapper) to the young bloods (Nicholas Jaar, Kassem Mosse) to the plain weird (Tim Hecker). It’s no surprise where the high points lie – Kassem Mosse’s nine-minute house burner alone makes the release worth buying with its temper… Read more
Clone's Royal Oak series introduces Sweden's Genius Of Time and their fresh take on classically deep House music. Like Space Dimension Controller before them, they've got a great grasp of the jazzier subtleties of the sound, from the spring-fesh keys and conga lather of 'Drifting Back' to the vocal-nutrified 'Houston We Have A Problem' and the dextrous Mood II Swing-style programming of 'Juxtapose'. Seriously classy stuff.
Bee Mask's mind-melting 'Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico' was released in 2010 on a c30 cassette through Gift Tapes. Editions Mego's John Elliott-helmed Spectrum Spools label has given it a vital vinyl reissue, faithfully remastered by Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering. To say we're excited by the potential of this label is a given, but let's deal with the incredible album in question first. Chris Madak aka Bee Mask's music exists in a continuum of musique concrète and tape experiments stretching back to the earliest emissions of Pi… Read more
This latest full-length from The Village Orchestra (aka Marcia Blaine School For Girls’ Ruaridh Law) is a sort of concept album built around London, specifically the Dalston area. Having never spent time in Dalston it’s hard for me to get many of the references, but this wide-ranging hour-long trip does plenty to convince me it might be worth stopping there next time I’m in town. Beginning with cracked metal guitars Law quickly takes us into a realm of smoky, melancholy ambience, punctuated by field recordings no doubt gleaned from the area In question. The electronic… Read more
Well Rounded send their hyped-up offshoot Individuals into the circle armed with four tracks of high-velocity Booty/Juke. Wheez-ie hails from Texas via Boston and makes furiously fast and varied Juke. Sometimes it's a bit Cutlass Supreme, without the idiosyncracies of the real southside side sound, but it'll work the 'floor, no doubt.
*First release on this hugely exciting new label from Emeralds' John Elliott and Editions Mego.* Chicago-based, Ohio-bred multi-instrumentalist, Matthew Mullane inaugurates the Spectrum Spools label with the spellbinding voyage of 'A Sort Of Radiance'. This is his debut album, and first release on vinyl but he's previously released cassettes in small runs on Fairchild Tapes and Stunned Records. The fact that he's skipped much of the ferric initiation/screening process should tell you that his music is of a more distinguished character than many trapped in the tape dream. He's capable of… Read more
Released to accompany their recent Japanese tour, this three-way split from the excellent White Box imprint features new and exclusive material from label-head Danny Saul alongside Greg Haines under the Liondialer moniker, Machinefabriek and Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra, each contributing a 20 minute piece. You do have to wonder when Machinefabriek will run out of steam and settle into the tried-and-tested one album a year routine, but his contribution here is very fine indeed, toying with glitches and drones with a deft hand, mixing his palette into a cloud of h… Read more
Ike returns to Philpot for a third session of raw and abstract House music. 'The Mojo' is a scuffed cowbell-driven groove akin to recent moves from the Cómeme crowd, maybe a little stranger. His title track nods to the cracked grooves of Theo Parrish with a disco-looping deep burner vibe, and 'Ribbons' is a grumbling mid-tempo joint with a killer chicken-scratch guitar lick.
Staccato Du Mal is one of the loneliest alter egos associated with of Ramiro Jeancarlo (Flesh Graey Display, Opus Finis, Xeno And Staccato). He arrives at the first SDM album 'Sin Destino' in the midst of a coldwave revival he helped instigate over the last 10 years. It's twelve bleak tracks are perfectly evocative of bleached concrete, dystopian early '80s cityscapes and synthesized sci-fi tensions, at least to us anyway. They're also much darker than many of his Wierd label mates, creating an entrancing, idiosyncratic sound of inner turmoil and anguish articulated through instinctiv… Read more
Cochlea-clawing electro-house banger on Switch's Dubsided label. The formula is simple but effective, apply one part original classic computer game melody to razor grinding synthlines and a fat kick and you've got one heavyweight club groove
A collaboration between Kompakt old-hand Markus Guentner and vocalist La Grande Illusion, ‘Learn How to Love Me’ seems to be a statement of intent from the duo. Definitely following in the footsteps of Guentner’s ‘Lovely Society’ (which featured La Grande Illusion on vocals) this debut EP is strangely free of beats. That’s not to say it is without rhythm, but the rhythms are built from the pulsing textures and repeated phrases, giving the record a distinctly Balearic sound. With links to fellow Kompakt alum The Field who tackles the sublime with s… Read more
Mind-boggling two-tracker from the uber-talented, multi-faceted, forever-surprising C S Yeh for the De Stijl label. If you were expecting another dose of his obliterated experiments as Burning Star Core, think again, for this EP Yeh is in full songwriting mode, as if to just show that really, he can do anything. "In The Blink Of An Eye" sounds like prime-period Bowie at a recording studio struck by lightening and slowly beginning to malfunction, offsetting choppy guitars and drums with inspired layered, multi-pitched vocals and a brief appearance of prismic synths.… Read more
L2S shift their focus for a hot minute with TRP's 'C's EP'. Ruffling Latinized Broken Beats, Boogie and Tech House memes, Trp has made the best L2S release in ages. Check for the hard/soft switches of 'Tear Gas', the Roof Light-esque 'Droaming' or rugged swagger of 'Outlaw'.
Submerse & Resketch indulge in some late tranced-out mid '90s nostalgia with the 'Distance EP'. The title track, featuring Rachel Anne Coulter is essentially a hands-in-the-air vocal House track with a beat oscillating between 4/4 and 2-step skip. Reminds very strongly of air hanger-sized discount sports shops. His further efforts touch on saxed-out dubstep with 'Rena' and yearning Garage with 'Never Again'. Resketch's contributions roll from the jazz-fusioneering House of 'Freefall' and 'Tides Of Change' to a bleepin', Zomby-esque remix of 'Distance'.
UK Techno veterans Ben Long and Jamie Bissmire fire off four tracks of pumping Techno for Perc Trax. The centripetal concentration of 'Gravitational Torque' will have you stomping a hole in the floor, while 'RDL' is more atmospheric, 'Statistical Mechanics' a dramatic, industrial-powered throbber an experimental beatless excursion.
"Electronic / avant-garde music pioneer and founder of the French musique concrète movement, Pierre Schaeffer, a radio engineer, believed that any sound could be music, and was one of the first to experiment with tape looping, splicing and sampling. He was also one of the first to record music on magnetic tape. Drawing inspiration from the Italian Futurists, he emphasized the double meaning of the word "play", meaning to play an instrument, but also to have fun and enjoy oneself .Pierre Henry, a classically trained musician, was o… Read more
"Electronic music pioneer, Pierre Henry, was a classically trained French pianist and percussionist, but gained notoriety as one of the driving forces behind the French avante-garde movement "musique concrète", which attempted make music by using "real" sounds, like trains on tracks, dogs barking, footsteps, etc., in place of actual instruments and then electronically manipulate them in ways that had never been seen before, effectively redefining the very idea of music itself, and forcing listeners to ask themselves the question, "what is music?". Many did, and the many ans… Read more
Being a close associate of Baltimore’s very own electro superhero Dan Deacon, it would be predictable to assume that Adventure’s Benny Boeldt is a purveyor of sparkly, unpredictable electro symphonies. And you’d be warm for sure, but Boeldt seems far less interested in the sticky dancefloor, and far more taken by the neon haze of the 1980s and early 1990s. ‘Lesser Known’ is an album that to these ears seems pointed directly at the collective unconsciousness of kids just about my age, people who grew up buying bootleg videogames on floppy disk and who have a certain place in their heart car… Read more
American ambassadors of the "mature" house sound, Brooklyn's Wolf + Lamb and Boston's Soul Clap pair up for a four-way DJ Kicks session. At 20 tracks long they keep the multi-tiered vibes moving at a refined pace, taking in tracks from Greg Paulus, Tanner Ross, Deniz Kurtel, Lee Curtiss, Nicolas Jaar, Slow Hands, Sect and No Regular Play, mixed with their own exclusive contributions as Eli Gold, Soul Clap, Zev and Gadi Mizrahi. Handsome.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Italian musician Emanuele Errante's debut album 'Migrations' was something of a revelation, taking the shadowy template thrown down by Deaf Center and Marsen Jules and giving it a blissful, almost-hopeful focus. It's been four years since that debut, and in the interim Errante has been busy collaborating with Dakota Suite and crafting this, his sophomore solo work 'Time Elapsing Handheld'. Those of you enamoured with his earlier work will likely be pleased that he hasn't switched things up much, but rather he has focused and honed his talents to create a work of pastoral, cinema… Read more
The first thing you have to note about this early Trunk classic is that it's not a re-issue, the Kes soundtrack was never put out without the film itself, so Jonny Trunk did something truly marvellous, a service to the world of music by spending the time, money and effort into releasing this material. From the first notes of the first track you'll know why we needed this record in the world - it's just got that special, nostalgic quality you can't put your finger on. The themes have sunk into the minds, hearts and souls of the British public (and no doubt farther afield) imbu… Read more
London-based Mau'lin zig-zags between futurist Broken Beat and crooked 2-Step concrète on his debut 12" for Alex Nut's Ho Tep label. Accompanied by Canadian vocalist, Amenta the 2-stepped 'Deeper Than The Sun' twitches with a deeply engrained LDN funk, all the energy and dynamism concentrated deep in the pocket to irresistible effect. Flipside, 'Good Arithmetic' busts an Afro-House-y Broken Beat flex built from dextrous rhythm edits and soaked in cosmic club juice, whereas 'Pelvin' slips down a few gears with beautifully calculated HipHop beat programming and captivating musique concrète textures sounding like few others out there. Tip!
'Forget'fulness' is another disarming slab of slithering electronic pop from Max Ernst alumnus Natalie Beridze (aka TBA), this time however she allows the pop to slightly outweigh the electronics. Her work has for a long time skated (and blurred) the line between experimental and pop, but 'Forget'fulness' is maybe her most successful to date. There are nods towards the classic disco of Georgio Moroder but the record never 'goes disco', there are allusions to the stuttering electronics of Autechre but the album never 'goes electronica'. Rather this album is a careful collection of son… Read more
From the exotic mind of Tandy Love the Turk Jerk comes a super limited followup to his Fat City LP, 13 de-pipped and delectable edits of obscure and unknown Anatolian psyche. From the Bosphorus to the Irwell, nobody does it quite like this fella, selecting only the ripest, most exotic fruits from his collection and serving only the juiciest bits. On the A-side psych heads will be in their element with the ruck of fuzzy guitar driven bombs like 'Indian Zone Drum Killer Inc' and its majestic folksy flourishes, or the hard head-nodders groove of 'Vachina-Vabham' while cuts like 'Mi… Read more
This prolific Canadian classically trained multi-instrumentalist has contributed much to the doom/drone/ambient genre. Nadja, Arc and Whisper Room are just a few of his manifestations. Known for his extensive ambient soundscapes, Baker chose a different approach on Lost in the Rat Maze by almost embracing a "postrockish" method of composing.
Duffstep makes the smart move of getting Falty DL in to remix 'Tired' from his 'Getting To Sirus' LP, backed with Young Montana? and Eliphino remixes. As evidenced on his 'Young Stand Certain' LP, Falty DL is in prime form, applying some of his magic to 'Tired' to energize it with bristle-stepping jazz drums and the kind of dextrous spatial engineering which elevates his productions way above the crowd. On the flip Young Montana? gives a busy, intricate electronic HipHop mix and Eliphino remixes 'Free' as a glitchy 2-step burner.
"Moss, is a live recording from a unique collaboration by sound artists/musicians Molly Berg, Olivia Block, Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello. This was a midnight concert at the beautiful Trinity Cathedral in San Jose, CA which was part of the 01SJ Biennial. Olivia and Steve had performed solo sets on the previous nights. The final night was meant to be a duo with Molly and Stephen but the opportunity to play with musicians/friends who we admire so much called out for an invitation to play together. As the set was entirely improvised, the billing really changed in our minds from being a duo with guests… Read more