Sunday, 16 October 2011
Mike Dehnert plays it raw, stripped-down and tracky on his eponymous series. Highlights have to be the rugged swing-jacker '3.3' and the more tripping, subtly screwed '3.4' but they're all pretty damn effective.
Dope Skweee entry from that dude Drums aka Mother North for this EP on Dødpop. In line with most Skwee of the last year, the production values are decidedly shinier and punchier, while still stripped and efficiently funky, making for some real killer dancefloor material. You must make sure to check the optimised R&B pleasures of 'Z' and the super-crisp autobahn cruiser 'Æ' for the best taste of this guys Skweee juice.
The venerable Yasunao Tone leaves the skipping CDs aside to work with disrupted MP3 files on this visceral new work for Editions Mego. As an original member of Japan's Fluxus movement and the legendary Group Ongaku, besides more recent collaborations with Florian Hecker and Christian Marclay, Tone has spent a lifetime operating at the vanguard of experimental art and music, and it's fitting that he has now moved on from manipulating prepared CDs to dissecting and using corrupted MP3 files in his latest composition. The results found on 'MP3 Deviation #6+7' are bracing and beautifu… Read more
Another absolutely crucial Vatican Shadow (aka prurient) cassette instalment transferred to digital. Dominik Fernow aka Prurient's releases in this guise are rapidly becoming some of our favourite work by this artist, sating a need for a sense of dystopian electronic despair which we just don't get from the more conventional operators in this realm. This one opens with the compressed steppers mechanics of 'Schwarzkopf Arc Of Triumph', sounding like some scuffed and f*cked AFX track circa the Joyrex series but with a subterranean New York torque, while 'Saddam Statue Conspiracy' cou… Read more
‘On The Water’ is Future Islands’ eagerly awaited new album, following last year’s critically acclaimed ‘In Evening Air’ and their instantly sold out 7” ‘Before The Bridge’. Future Islands’ romantic synth sound scales new heights, the Baltimore trio’s most ambitious and fully realized statement yet. Built around a song cycle exploring love, loss, and memory, the album finds the band continuing to deliver pounding rhythms, swelling melodies, and undeniable hooks - but finding new ways to probe inner space and tug at hearts. Recorded by Chester Endersby Gwazda (producer of ‘In Evening A… Read more
Innovative electronic conceptualist Matthew Herbert has focussed on the life cycle and death of a pig for his latest album. In accordance with his Personal Contract for the Composition of Music, all the sounds in the album are sampled from field recordings of a single, family-farm raised pig which he followed from its birth through to the butchery process (unfortunately, for the concept's sake, he wasn't allowed to record the slaughter). Notoriously, the project was condemned by PETA before he'd even started arranging the sounds, but we can confirm to any animal lovers that he's been enti… Read more
I’m going to come clean – High Places have never really done anything I’ve been that taken with. Sure they’ve had some interesting ideas, but it’s never come together particularly well, that is until right now. ‘Original Colors’ works because the duo have stripped things down to the absolute bare minimum. Where their previous effort ‘High Places vs. Mankind’ was blighted by too many ideas and a pandering to an ailing indie sound, ‘Original Colors’ is focused, dark and utterly cold. At times we are simply treated to Mary Pearson’s alluring voice, a drum machine beat and a single, simpl… Read more
Efdemin returns to Curle Recordings with two deep Techno excursions, including a collaboration with Kassian Troyer. Solo, his 'Farnsworth House' side was "Inspired by & contains samples from "Fahr Weg" by 1000 Robota" lending an atmospheric detail to his typically sleek Techno shuffles. Flipside with Troyer 'Blount' is slower, more glamourous and pushed by supple bass balnced with sparing, painterly strokes of warm chords and field recorded ambience.
Another shadowy project from Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions base, Force Publique Congo explores the more industrial facet of the US noise genre, digging into the deep recesses most never dare to reach. Through a dense wall of white noise and submerged vocals, we can almost make out fragments of rhythms, which over the record become more and more audible until it takes an about turn, settling on a sort of post-Pan Sonic noise/beats assault. Sawtooth waves and shuffling drum machine patterns cut through the ice-bath static and hoar… Read more
Pitting Ninja Tune’s Emika against German trio The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble seems like a strange thing to do, but somehow this version of her song ‘Pretend’ really comes out of its shell with this treatment. Darker and far more sultry than the original version, Brandt, Brauer and Frick have devoured the urban flavours and given it a grim, Lynchian, cabaret quality and the basement German club tingle it was crying out for (we just didn’t know it). Apparently ‘Pretend’ is a taster of their forthcoming album, and if it’s all this sleazy we should be in for a treat.
Whether you decide to engage with the context or not, Steve Roden’s music has an effortless beauty to it. This latest disc, again on the Line imprint, finds Roden working with a series of tones from a battery powered Paia Oz. Each tone (from A-G) was played as found in a text from sculptor Donald Judd, and the sequence was recorded several times during sunrise in amongst Judd’s stainless steel sculptures. This makes for a great context certainly, but even without knowledge of its creation ‘Proximities’ is a disarmingly beautiful piece of work, with wavering, degrading electronic tones siz… Read more
"Precisely four decades since the original release of the 1971 LP Histoire De Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg's most celebrated composer, arranger and composer Jean-Claude Vannier now returns to the same artistic territory that has since come to represent his most iconic period and continually inspire almost five generations of experimental rock luminaries. Respected throughout France as a long running singer-songwriter and experimental composer in his own right it has taken this inclusive forty year period for his music to travel beyond his central European fanbase thanks to… Read more
Continuing 12k’s journey into the world of subtle yet extremely beautiful instrumental music, ‘Shizuku’ comes from two musicians based in Tokyo; Corey Fuller and Tomoyashi Date. The album was recorded in a one hundred year old church, and while the sounds might be extremely low-key, their impact is amplified many times by the sheer reverberating grandeur of the space in which it was recorded. Haunted analog synthesizer tones sit like pillows beneath pipe organ, accordion, Rhodes piano, dulcimer and piano to create music that is so understated it is almost poetic. Indeed mid-way through the record … Read more
A typically elegant and challenging offering from Line, courtesy of veteran electronic music pioneer Asmus Tietchens. The 68-year-old German first took to the field in the mid-1960s, when he developed his own brand of concréte using tape recorders, sine wave generators and the like. Since the release of his first album in 1980, produced by Tangerine Dream's Peter Baumann, Tietchens has kept pace with technology and sought out new compositional strategies, clocking up releases on such respected labels as Mille Plateaux, Staalplat and Nurse With Wound's United Dairies along the way. Soiree i… Read more
Beats ‘n noise dude Samoyed wowed with his last couple of releases, and now he’s back with the sizzling ‘Spit’ EP, which further cements his status in the scene. The producer gets more than enough comparisons to the LA Brainfeeder scene, but I hear a lot more in his sound than that – his beats are so subtle and distant that it’s hard to just throw him into that genre. Add the fact that Samoyed has a knack for spreading a thick layer of white noise over his productions giving that Farben-via-Delia-Derbyshire Radiophonic twang we all love, and you have something very special indeed. T… Read more
In their tireless quest to release every live show they’ve ever played, Matt Valentine and Erika Elder provide us with three more sets here from London, Bradford and Campsea Ash. If you’re familiar with the band you should know what to expect; long form improvised jams are punctuated with more traditional songs, and typically every set is a totally different experience. One for the collectors, for sure.
Deft double Garage swingers recommended for fans of Jacques Greene, Jimmy Blake or Joy Orb.
Hsüan Records add to the ongoing outernational Footwork fusions with Arianna's slick rolling 'This Girl EP'. On the title track, flickering 808 rhythms are stripped down to the barest syncopated flux, while dancing Technoid dub chords swirl in the foreground, whereas 'If U Would Know' comes more soulful with sweetened and subtly pitch-bent synths set to an aerodynamic flex.
One of NHNH's earliest contributors, legendary Grime unit Ruff Sqwad, return in future style with a properly rude roller. Rapid's on the instrumental buttons, pushing heavyweight subs and gunmetal-glinting percussion with barking dogs and siren stabs. Full crew appear on the radio and original mixes, while Stamina, Mercston, J2K and Roachee ride the remix. Ace.
Originally dropping on a sickeningly difficult to obtain cassette a few short years ago, ‘Time Began in a Garden’ is one of the finest of Dominick Fernow’s ‘rare’ releases, and also one of his most peaceful. Inhabiting the same nauseating ambient space as Hospital co-conspirator Kevin Drumm, Fernow takes the ‘Imperial Distortion/Horizon’ template and garnishes it with heaving environmental recordings, half-heard guitar and barely-audible vocals. There are times when the wavering sound almost transforms into a lullaby, drawing you in with hinted-at fragments of melody and harmony b… Read more
Brooklyn's Madteo returns to Belgium's diverse Meakusma label with five tracks of hypnagogic House music, including a cut with legendary MC Sensational. There's a sweet smoked-out psychedelic quality to Madteo's work which has always endeared his music to us over the course of his Workshop 7" and that ace Morphine Records album, and this record is no different. Stray film samples and choice melodic hooks drift across languid grooves, the sort of rhythms you'd rarely hear on a 'floor but are perfect for steering the afterparty in the right direction, or complementing a hazy afternoon with a joint in your gob.
Slicked-out Disco-Boogie-Soul from the tireless Toby Tobias. 'Tomorrow's Bringing' is a potential anthem int he right joints, marrying Jacko-esque vocals with woozy synths and crafty rhythm programme with a pop-sharp appeal. The Dub and Club mixes extend the fun for later dancefloors, and the Narrow Road Mix for the next day. Lee Foss boosts the energy with a slick House remix, and Bicep drop a subtly sensuous and moody NY remix next to a drugged-out sunset variation by Zoo Look.
An untitled album featuring untitled songs from Francisco Lopez – this shouldn’t be a surprise to his fans however, as Francisco is an artist who likes the sound to speak for itself. And what sound; this disc represents the full range of Lopez’s sound art skills moving from dense field recordings of snoring and insect song, to noise-laden passages and deep, cavernous drones. While it’s not going to make any converts, fans of the outer reaches of environmental recording and sound art should check without delay.
Dominik Fernow (Prurient) presents three of his most recent Vatican Shadow cassettes in one digital collection. On 'Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader At Sea Deck 1-3' the music feels even more mournful, dubbed-out and somehow sleeker than it's predecessor 'Byzantine Private CIA', with more space and definition given to his sounds and rhythm programming, brilliantly sustaining the feeling of impending terror in a more subtle manner than he's most known for. And while they never quite fall into 'floor gratifying syncopation, there's also a dryly kee… Read more