Monday, 02 May 2011
Manhattan's Ezekiel Honig makes a welcome appearance on Type with the beautifully melancholy 'Folding In On Itself'. The frayed, spectral layers of ambient sound and dusty pulses within recall the works of jan Jelinek, The Remote Viewer or even elements of the first MvO Trio LP, but his serene, almost sorrowful palette of tones comes from somewhere more private and personal. While those artists are all defined by a sense of intimacy in wide open space, Ezekiel's location in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet perhaps gives it a more introverted insularity, as … Read more
Three highly polished, Detroit/Chicago-learnt Deep House trax from Berlin's debonaire Mojuba label. 'Contigo' is Solé's fourth outing for the label and sticks with what he does best. Crisp claps, rumpy kicks and shaking hi-hats entwine with sparingly used dub strikes and warmest rhodes on the title track, whereas the 'Welcome To The Airport' is more forward leaning, with a cheeky sample of a Scottish air stewardess embedded in it's breezy Detroit signatures. Final track 'Houston' is more drowsy and groovesome, defined by slow, pendulous subbass offset with lazy shaking Latin rhythm programming. Sweet.
2nd EP of floaty and flighty TechnoHouse music from Kuan for Hsüan Records. 'Arianna' is just a lovely piece of chord-driven and cooly balanced House with techy detailing, while 'So real' sounds like it just fell off the back of Cassy's lorry. Quite surprisingly there's also a lushed-out Juke edit of 'So Real', putting a very unique spin on the sound which we've not encountered like before. Make sure you check it out!!
2011 seems to be the year that electronic music found it’s voice (again), and with James Blake, Jamie Woon and lord knows who else crooning over sparse beats and haunted fluorescent synths, it seems like just the right time to dust off the vocal chords. John LaMonica is the latest lad to throw down, and he doesn’t half do a good job of it. LaMonica manages to infuse his whimsical tunes with an air of darkness and nostalgia thanks to a smattering of reverb and a deft hand on the production side of things. Crunchy, crumbling beats set the backdrop and sit alongside buzzing guitars and elect… Read more
Another archival work from the seemingly bottomless vault of Hans Joachim Roedelius, ‘Vive Le Roi’ sees the German electronic music pioneer team up with the mysterious Michelak, and the result is nothing short of electrifying. With a clear new-age bent (think “Heaven and Hel’ era Vangelis) Roedlius’s electronics are pitted against strings, percussion and all sorts of ‘ethnic’ sounds. Thankfully the album is a defiant, unusual journey which defies the trappings of the genre. In clouds of reverb and through a spatter of near-jazz, the most obvious comparison might actually be Angelo… Read more
Diegors made his 1st appearance on these pages with an ace remix of fellow Chilean, Fredi Michel. 'Sacándose Uno' is a fuller introduction to his rigid-yet-fruity-jacking sound, bumping between hypnotising EBM rustlers like 'El Underworld' to swaggering warehouse styles on 'Unga' or 'Champras' through the more frisky title track and the immersive grip of 'Latinoso Technoso'. What these guys are doing is seemingly so simple - crossing classic Chicago and Latin American memes - but soooo damn effective that they should be given a lot more attention. Check!
‘Roedeliusweg’ is a real oddity from Cluster/Harmonia veteran Hans Joachim Roedelius – despite being more modern than his usually referenced ‘classic’ work, it retains his distinctive sound, and pushes it defiantly through a bleached haze of more contemporary influences. Anemic modern synthesizers replace the usual analogue buzz and hum, but it’s the stark inclusion of dub flavours in many of the tracks that really sets this record apart from others in his catalogue. Razor-sharp FM blips and pads (think Oneohtrix Point Never and you’ll be in the same ballpark) squeal and drone… Read more
Anyone who heard the recent Riverside 10" EP from Danish-born Agnes Obel will know exactly what sort of spectral loveliness to expect from the singer-songwriter's full-length. Philharmonics is a delicately poised affair that certainly doesn't over-do it in terms of the arrangements; pieces such as 'Beast', 'Just So' and 'Close Watch' manage to sound haunting and intimate without having to build-up the instrumentation too much. In all these cases, light piano or harp backdrops provide the perfect context for Obel's multitracked vocals to really shine, although some well-p… Read more
Dead charming ska-pop from four 18-year old girls from Bergen, Norway! They've released one track to date on an Erland Øye-compiled disc for their local Opplett imprint a few years back, but this single heralds a soon-come debut album. There's only 500 copies of this, with artwork by Kim Hiorthoy, and it's warmly recommended to fans of irresistible pop music.
Chunky single from MDSLKTR's pal, Housemeister, backed with his crew of remixers including Boys Noize, Feadz, Cosmin TRG, and Bonaparte. The raw 808 and chirpy robot voice of the original kinda sounds like Boddika on happy pills. Boys Noize give a rocking Techno remix, while Feadz sounds like a more electronic, glitchy Altered Natives and Cosmin TRG gives it up to the big rooms with a gargantuan Techno version. Almost more fun than the Royal Wedding. Almost.
Big room-primed House music from the 'Reckless' fellas. 'Hungry For The Power' comes like it's 1991 all over again, fusing tail-end-of-boggie bass licks with sultry jack beats and layered American male vocals. Guy Gerber's Wild Orchid mix raises the tempo for a cooly restrained tribalist Deep House remix and Jamie Jones' Ridge Street Mix bumps it in a more tentatively groovy direction.
Berlin-based Will Sansom presents a fragile blend of acoustic pop and ambient electronics through Japan's Nature Bliss/PLOP records - home to music from Rod Modell and F.S. Blumm. 'Hello Friends, Goodbye Friends' is a very canny blend of falsetto vocals strongly reminding of Tom Krell's HTDW album, with tender acoustic guitar, the most tingling brand of lo-fi electronics and decayed piano ambience. We can imagine quite a lot of people falling deeply in love with this release. Check!
Two punchy, sparring bubblers from Future Garage scene lynchpin, Whistla. 'Darling Of The Tripstream' features some incredibly naughty midi brass parps alloyed with shifty 2-step drums, strings and diced vocals. 'Take Me On', is more energetic, burning up a barrage of pitched vocals over clipped garage drums and forceful bass.
Pure mellow vibes from the Danish production duo responsible for that cover of 'White Horse'. This is the stuff you sling on when you've just returned from a night on the white, that is if you still roll up your suit jacket sleeves and look to Pat Sharp for styling tips.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Julianna Barwick's 2009 record 'Florine' launched her into an unprecedented cacophony of applause. The Brooklyn-via-Louisiana artist's understated vocal drones may not seem like an obvious frontrunner for indie success, but with Pitchfork singing the record's praises the groundswell of support was unmistakably positive. 'The Magic Place' cements this legacy, and now signed to Asthmatic Kitty, she seems perfectly poised to take her sound even further into the wide world of leftfield pop. I say pop because the songs on here are indeed songs in the classic sense, but like Grouper before… Read more
It doesn't take long for you to realize that Belong's latest full-length 'Common Era' is a shocking new direction for the New Orleans duo. 'October Language' was an expertly realized slice of fuzzy ambience, but within seconds of album-opener 'Come See' we are treated to drums, guitars and vocals; all the trappings of 'real music'. A simple exercise in pop, however, this is not and Belong take the framework of classic shoegaze (pre '92) and put it to work deep inside clouds of white noise and cavernous reverb. Skeletal songs and wordless vocals appear from the dense depths of blurred sound like Gro… Read more
The opening track from Cut Copy's 'Zonoscope' LP comes with typically epic remix by Carl Craig, a languid Architecture In Helsinki version and an extended Gavin Russom remix. 'Need You Now' is already primed for stadiums and corporate festival moments, but Carl Craig tempers the pop factor with stealthier arrangements for the 'floor, while Architecture In Helsinki slow it down to Lambchop like Country with extra synths. Russom's remix is the most successful, stripping everything down, mostly erasing the kickdrums and foregrounding the synth for a luscious and learned widescreen pop dream.
Chicago outfit Disappears burst out of nowhere last year with debut LP 'Lux' and immediately attracted media attention with their smoggy, narcotic sound. A slew of shows followed, and as we all know with touring usually comes writing, so it's hardly surprising that the band's sophomore album has come so soon after their debut. Although now backed up by the star-presence of Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley on drums in a live setting, this sees the band in studio mode, and catches them yet again on a quest to recapture what was great about late 80s British rock music. Jesus and Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 … Read more
Blues was never a genre that sprung to mind when listening to Fleet Foxes debut EP 'Sun Giant' or their breakthrough self-titled debut full length. The sunny, shimmering near-choral folk was certainly referential to music past, but to something far more upbeat than blues, surely? Well this time around the darker, sadder side of the band has been exposed, and it's hardly surprising. The way their debut was received was just so conclusive - the album was instantly hailed as a classic and swept up enough sales to prove it, with mums and dads weighing in just as much (maybe even more?) as th… Read more
Somehow 'Future Songs' is the perfect title for this blown-out set from Canadian noisenik Pat Gregoire. Shrouded in the kind of roomy, wrong-but-right recording you'd expect to hear on a punk tape in 1978 there is absolutely nothing even remotely connected to the future over forty minutes, but at the same time it makes perfect sense. Gregoire is obsessed with jangly guitar pop of all kinds, and this obsession manifests itself in the genre bending jumps from track to track that seem to span pop music from the 1950s to the mid 1980s. It's almost like a more lucid Daniel Johnson playing Joy Divi… Read more
Touching down to a hail of hype, Big Dada's newest UK hiphop hope finally drops his debut album. 'Gob' is the work of one Kieran Dickens, a sharp-tongued, quick-witted and distinctive new voice in UK music. Unavoidably, there's a clear resemblance to Roots Manuva, who appears on 'Capsize' featuring Joe Goddard, but Dels is of a newer generation, rarely offering explicit references to any sense of heritage other than the melting pot of electronic music that is London in 2011. This is helpfully articulated by one of the UKs most celebrated pop producers, Joe Goddard on the aforementioned 'Capsize' and previous … Read more
I must admit when I plonked this one on the stereo for the first time, I was pretty sure that No Babies were a Japanese band. There was something, I don't know, distinctly Melt Banana about them; the jagged punk intensity and shrill femme shrieking paired with that 'f*ck it all' attitude. They're not Japanese though, the band are from the sizzling musical hotbed of Oakland, California and this self titled LP is their debut release. It's darned good too, providing you've got a nagging desire to hear frenetic, angular punk music that's almost so brief that it's barely there. The album clocks in at … Read more
Remastered compilation of 18 tracks by the former Gina X Performance and Birth Control producer and vocoder pioneer. The majority were originally featured on his three solo albums, 'Zeus' Amusement' (1978), 'Europium' (1979) and 'Attack Time' (1981), but also includes his new edit of The Rockets' Eurodisco cover 'On The Road', which originally featured his Vocoder and Harmonica contributions. Zeus has also produced for the likes of Dead Or Alive, John Foxx, Men Without Hats, Pete Wylie and Spear Of Destiny. The booklet includes archive photographs of a hirsute Zeus, together with a cool essay on the history of the vocoder and its secretive military uses.
**White wax. Full colour sleeve. Download code redeemable from the label** Very promising debut of industrial-edged synth-pop from one Gretta Gunn of Kildare, Ireland. A-side, 'Bop' has an acute pop-potential, featuring Gretta's supremely confident vocal welded to saw-toothed synths and blocky Italo-rock beats. Flip over and the speedin' 'Metal' exposes darker roots in vintage Industrial synth music from Front 242 to DAF but again, distinguished by Gretta's arresting vocal. Slowing down to the acidic squelch of 'Drum Real', those vox are a beacon of harmonised purity amidst sleazy synth squirms.… Read more
Heavyweight psyche/kraut jams from Brookyln's potent Religious Knives unit. With their previous releases on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace (co-produced by Moore, no less) besides Troubleman, No Fun Production and loads more, RK have earned comparisons with Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo, but perhaps find their closest analog in recent Sacred Bones label mates, Follakzoid or The Holydrug Couple. Theirs is an epic, sprawling sound, propelled to greater heights by the possessed rhythm section of Ryan Nadieau's drums and Todd Cavallo's bass, while the organ, synth, guitar and vox of central figur… Read more