Monday, 05 March 2012
Regis rounds up the third and final collection of his remorseless productions, this one spanning his output 1999-2001. Comprising material largely found on his eponymous 2000 album and 2001's 'Penetration' set, it finds his sound maturing texturally and in scope, with the addition of numerous shorter compositions investigating bleak, arcane electronics and mystic atmospherics. These are also some of his sexiest dancefloor cuts; from the hip-locking shuffle of 'Get On Your Knees' to the sweaty, slinky EBM force of 'Baptism' to the taut drive of 'It's A Man's World', while we also he… Read more
Rinse Recordings show love for Royal T with a double header of 'Inside The Ride' and 'Cool Down' for their world-renowned imprint. The raving A-side is a straight ace for the right 'floors, swinging between tuffened 4/4 and skippy 2-step with a crafty big-room bent. The B-side is more heads-down, jackin' to a forward Garage rhythm with up-to-the-minute Electro Bass and emotive '90s House vibes.
Warm and raw House music from A'dam's rising star, Sebastien San. 'Asylum' is a trance-y, rolling number with glints of classic Detroit smoothed out to European sensibilities. 'Does Compute' is sensuous, swinging groove with plush chords and crisp old-skool percussion. 'Alpha Centauri' drifts to close on floating synths and laidback, bass-heavy rhythms.
'The End Of All Things' is Tropic Of Cancer's tender farewell note to Downwards, collecting their two 10"s for the label together with a cover of Soft Cell's 'L.O.V.E. Feelings' and new, unreleased material - seven tracks in total. For some, Downwards' foray into this gloomy, gothic sideroom didn't sit well with their perception of the label's aesthetic, but for everyone else, their two 10"s and successive records by Pink Playground and Sandra Electronics - among others - on the DO series have marked out some of the most intriguing Downwards gear in years. The duo of Camell… Read more
Heralding an eagerly anticipated debut LP, Arts & Crafts unveil two brand new tracks from Canada's much-loved Trust. Both cuts are more NRG-etic than we were expecting but certainly no worse for it. 'Sulk' is a strident Electro-Pop ace with queasily unheimlich vocals and Euro-tinted synths sounding like Johan Agebjorn-meets-Psyche. Two thumbs up in our book! 'The Dazzle' is more reserved, moody, urged onto the floor by tentative bass pulse and left there lonely and shy until the arpeggio kicks in proper and you're lost to the dark campness of it all. We can't wait to hear the album now!
Henry Street supremo Jonny D serves a bountiful double disc(o) set comprising a deadly DJ mix and 13-track unmixed compilation. Jonny's got some serious credientials; DJing block parties barely in his teens and mingling with the hoi polloi at Studio 54 way before he was even legal, before going on to establish the hugely influential Henry Street label wit Tommy Musto an generally becoming an all-round legend to any and all New York DJs. The mix is proof enough of his pedigree; there's not a fluffed beatmatch in sight and the selection is smoother than silk, mixing … Read more
Thursday, 01 March 2012
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** What's this, Carlos Giffoni making acid-powered EBM ??? On Ford & Lopatin's label??? We'll have some of that. The No Fun head honcho and noise figurehead's ongoing exploration of analogue and digital synthesis has yielded some diverse results in recent years - from the punitive minimalism of his Severance set for Hospital Productions, to the deconstructed psych-techno of his No Fun Acid project. This new single for Software builds on the promise of the latter: 'Evidence' is a surprisingly affecting song, arranged out… Read more
Ramona Gonzalez, the enchantress we all know and love as Nite Jewel, serves an impeccably crafted sophomore album; 'One Second Of Love' for Secretly Canadian. You probably don't need to be reminded, but in case you've been in a coma for the last three years, this New Jersey lass has been making some of the most stylish, endearing pop music around, including collaborations with the don, Dam-Funk, Stellar Om Source, and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti buddy, Cole M.G.N. Since '08s 'What Did He Say For' I.DI.B. it's been possible to plot a graph of increasing aptitude in her field: each new dr… Read more
Dead smart dancefloor electronics from the UK underground. Glasgow's Dam Mantle command the frontside with a lush take on Chicago juke slowed to a UK-friendly 140bpm and with more emphasis on swirling, synthesized head-pressure systems. We'd struggle to name another cut from this scene which hits the vibe so squarely, fluidly, or instinctively. It's an A grade winner. Meanwhile downtown, London's Becoming Real slips into hypnotic Funky/Techno mode on a similar, lushed-out vibe, finding a sweet tension between piquant, hyperventilating R&B synths and samples and a motorised Techno drive that doesn't sound formulaic or hackneyed like so many in this scene.
Two of North America's finest go toe-to-toe on a pair of aqua-themed swingjackers. Their A-side ace 'Booyant' is the best thing on Tectonic since the Author album; a crooked, deftly creased and deadly dancefloor tool matching nEuropean Dub Tech modes with a Jukin' US club swerve to mighty effect. Flipside Distal goes dolo with 'Amphibian', applying his intricate swagger to a more minimal, holo-ed-out template reminding of recent aces from Fade To Mind crew's Nguzunguzu, Massacooraman, or Total Freedom. Tip dat!
'Ersatz II' is the 2nd LP collaboration between former Cluster and Harmonia component, Dieter Moebius and his sound artist/painter pal in the Forst/Weser Uplands collective, Karl Renziehausen. Originally released in 1992, two years post their first 'Ersatz' collaboration, it's defined by a surreal, pop-friendly charm, while still brimming with the creative quirks associated with Dieter's best work. There's a strong rhythmic backbone running through the album, almost dance-ably so, but the melodies and harmonies are, you might say, not so conventional, and laced with that queered, artsy… Read more
*Now available on CD for the first time - the killer first LP from Rangers associate Peter Berends aka KWJAZ* 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'.… Read more
**Special tour edition with bonus DVD with the filming of the recording session - only 250 of these have been made** It may well be the case that the whole modern classical scene suffered from a possibly fatal case of over-familiarity and over-exposure these last few years, but it would be a shame if a genuinely gifted musician and composer like Iceland's Ólafur Arnalds was lumped in with the vast majority of his contemporaries - the guy is just the real deal. And if there were any doubts about his talents, Arnalds created and released a new song a day for one whole w… Read more
"In 1995 Steve Peters and Steve Roden toured as a trio with singer Anna Homler; sometimes they would vocalize behind her, and they liked the way their voices blended together. They then spent about 15 years saying that “someday” they should record a voice-based project together. Aside from the physical distance between them, the problem was always: What would we sing? Neither wanted to write or sing lyrics. Inspiration came in the form of a book of Japanese jisei – poems allegedly written by monks on their death bed – printed in both English translation and Romaniz… Read more
"Quite A Way Away"is a singer/songwriter album, but the fact that it’s on Taylor Deupree’s 12k imprint should tell you it’s a great deal more than that as well. Glaswegian troubadour Dickson, who has played in Vashti Bunyan’s touring band and collaborated with Max Richter, writes and performs songs rooted in classic, cyclical folk-rock structures, with a finger-picking style openly indebted to Nick Drake and Bert Jansch. The similarities with the former extend further, to the deep blue timbre of his vocal phrasing and the melancholic ambience in which he sets his songs. His songs evince… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** The latest oddball to be welcome into Joel Ford and Dan Lopatin's Software stable is Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based Slava Balsanov. Slava actually established his credentials in Chicago, where he co-founded the Moment Sound label, and released on Jamal Moss's Mathematics, Future Times, !K7, among others. For Soft Control, he's attempted to synthesize techno with "interloping, chrome-dipped footwork themes" - and he's done a damned good job of it, resulting in the most compelling thing that Software have released this side of Oneohtrix's Re… Read more
Fourth full-length outing from West Thordson's A Whisper In The Noise, and what a lush affair it is. It's vocal-heavy for the most part, led by Thordson's gentle, Sufjan-style croon, but the monumental title track, which opens the album, is an instrumental (save for some ethereal choral layers), reminding us of the unbridled emotional swell of Morricone, This Mortal Coil and Max Richter. Similarly epic orchestral arrangements recur throughout the album, but are more subordinate to song structure - this tension results in some absolute beauties, 'Black Shroud' among them. There are al… Read more
Monday, 27 February 2012
As promised, Demdike Stare collect their 'Elemental' album to a double-disc edition, and as warned, it's a morphed beast, comprising alternate versions and additional material in bleakest post-industrial fashion. Arguably this is their finest work to date, the result of two heads realising their ambition without compromise and in a typically enigmatic, shadowy way. By sonic sleight of hand, the smoke and mirrors effect of the sound design is potently disorienting, suspending our disbelief with masterfully immersive results. Each new scene or "cue" is rendered with meticulous attention to … Read more
*Exclusive* Sterling debut release from the enigmatic Δkkord collective based in the peripheries of Manchester. For now, the provenance of their identity will be on a need-to-know basis: their music will yield more than names could inform. These three tracks are a distillation of their passions for "minimalism, art, design, mathematics and sacred geometry", and aesthetically occupy darker ground in the shade of the Autonomic sound. Checking in with the spectral robo-ragga of 'The Drums' - sounding something like Burial meets dBridge - they shapeshift into rolling Electro-Ruffige a la Boddika on … Read more
Ugandan Methods = Ugandan Speed Trials (Regis) + Ancient Methods. 'Sixth Method' is their second collusion of Industrial Techno mechanics, following a razing session on Downwards' DN label in 2009. A-side is the droning, 'floor ploughing behemoth 'Beneath The Black Arch', spiking AM's war funk rhythms with a seething tribalist madness to deadly impact. Flipside 'Between A Sleep And A Sleep' relies on a more subtle sense of swing and hypnotic layering to deliver the desired effect, before they gorge on bludgeoning kicks and skin-flailing noise with remorseless brutality on 'She Belongs To An Eternity'. Heavy!!!
Big new album from Robert Henke, putting aside the autumnal ambient shades of his recent work in favour of his darkest, most dancefloor-friendly release in ages. The title track, which also opens the album, sets the punchy tone, and finds the German reconnecting with his junglist roots, creating a sub-heavy roller that feels like a more supple, sophisticated update of late 90s techstep. Recorded and mixed entirely in - of course - Ableton live, the album's sound world is richly detailed, full of manipulated recordings of vintage cymbals and hi-hats, metal plates, singing bowls, bells and Henke's … Read more
Russia's Nina Kraviz comes correct with her debut album on Rekids, some two years after she first turned heads with her debut 12" on Jus-Ed's Underground Quality. It's an impressive outing, actually reminding us a lot of Jus-Ed in its remarkable synthesis of old-school Chicago house swagger with New York deepness and the occasional Detroit-influenced overture. Her own vocals feature prominently, and there are guests too - notably King Aus on, er, 'Aus' - but these performances never feel tokenistic or grafted on. Recent single 'Ghetto Kraviz' is included and still sounds fresh, viewing Da… Read more
Leaving Records welcome EMV to their fold with the fuzzy pressure systems of his debut album. Equal parts Dilla, La Monte Young and Jodorowski, 'Resolutions' sets his sound in a parched scape of salted beats and fuggy-headed atmospheres with that medicated LA lean. Over his 15 original tracks (and a cosmic Dem Hunger remix) gritty textures gleaned from field recordings and lo-fi equipment create coruscating surfaces which guard the almost psychoacoustic trickery occurring below, creating two distinctly swirling planes of reality in flux which intermingle yet somehow remain independent. It's a potently psychedelic affair, brilliantly unstable and warped as f**k.
Sumptuous soundtrack for Another Happy Day, Sam Levinson's 2011 feature about a privileged but severely dysfunctional family, which earned 'best screenplay' at the Sundance festival and rave reviews for Ellen Barkin's central performance. It's classic 21st century soundtrack fare, all tremulous strings and plangent piano themes, accented with discreet post-rock and percussion touches. There are obvious comparisons to be made with the cinematic romanticism of Max Richter, Michael Nyman et al, but Arnald's coaxes moments of heart-stopping beauty out of what appear, on first tak… Read more
Of Hippos In Tanks' carefully assembled roster, White Car are the label's darkest, sexiest operators. Hailing from the Pilsen neighbourhood in Chicago, their debut album 'Everyday Grace' channels that Eurotic undercurrent of Techno/Wave/drug music which has fuelled the city's subterranean scene since the earliest days of Ron Hardy and has been most recently been exposed by Jamal Moss. Like an hallucinatory audio version of the scramble suits in A Scanner Darkly, their chimeric, cyberdelic fantasia assimilates elements of 30 years + of debonaire, thrusting automatik funk, from DAF to NIN … Read more
Intense, cut-up electronics, technoid R&B and avant-wonky deconstructions on the 11th album from Mouse On Mars, which comes courtesy of Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label. Created using their own custom-built software, which they developed for their live Pandaemonium project (in which they manipulate the output of an orchestra in real-time), Parastrophics is a royal headf*ck – just when you think you’ve got a handle on one of its squelched-out grooves, you realise you’ve actually no idea; this is 3-dimensional music, coming at you from all sides, its funk persistent and undeniable but in… Read more
Skam's most hyperkinetic operator drops his first album in five years. Oldham's Mr 76ix is as virulent and uncontrollable as ever, mashing between 'floor-burning acid, hulking hardcore Techno and synapse-fried Jungle with a frenzied, ADD quality. Fans of older Squarepusher, Mu-ziq, AFX, beware.
Devastating new EP from a producer who just seems to get better with each successive release, Machinedrum. 'Nastyfuckk' continues the theme of footwork subversion essayed on his album last year, but takes thing deeper and darker, casting those jabbering drum patterns in a thick black smog of urban nightmare ambience, recalling early DMZ and the very blackest techno: imagine a collaboration between Shed and DJ Roc and you're not far off. 'What U Wanted 2 Feel' sounds like Burial producing cloud-rap, all sticky static, phantasmagoric vocal snips and clicked-out woodblock drums; Pixelord's… Read more
The Analogue Cops and Blawan rekindle their shared love of raw House and Techno with this ace 4-tracker, mixed up through machines and then recorded to tape. The project, a 6 hands affair, sees the duo teaming up for the second time in as many months, but this time the recording process provides a much more demented feel to proceedings, unleashing bare arrangements with a nice line in jazzy wooze that imbues the opening "Sickle" with an almost Sound Signature vibe, while closing track "Quarto" oddly reminds us of the raw machine funk of Prince at his LinnDrum prime. Solid wares.
Scorching new EP from shady UK collective LHF, preparing the ground for their hotly anticipated debut album. The group have built their reputation on a particularly cinematic, auteurist vision of dubstep, embroidered with memorable samples, and Cities Of Technology is no exception: the Double Helix-built 'Supreme Architecture' conveys a dread somewhere between The Bug's haunted dancehall and Wu Tang's 36 Chambers. 'LDN' is even more deadly, a minimal stepper driven by puckering synth stabs, dissonant strings and echo-plexed dub-chords, all set in the most noxious atmospherics imagina… Read more