Monday, 23 March
Carl Michael Von Hausswolff and Martin Rössel posture a heavy techno-rock sound on the penultimate edition of Raster-Noton's Unun series. Effectively bringing the project full circle to Mika Vainio's earlier 'Vandal' EP, the Swedish veterans of avant-garde and pop swagger balls-out with the crushing lurch of 'Leibniz' before tacking to more experimental arrangements with mutant Balearic chug of 'Ramon Llull' and the convulsive croaks and drones of 'Calculus' warranting comparisons with Nick Klein or Emptyset.
**Digital Edition includes a bonus 17 minute track** 'Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera' presents a radical mashup of works by two probing, multidisciplinary artists among the most vital of their generation. First realised as part of a two day performance at Tate Modern called 'Push and Pull', it offers a mutant configuration of Leckey's vocal track from 'GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction' (the eerie inner monologue of a Samsung fridge, as heard on the B-side of his 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' vinyl and viewable on youtube), scrambled, decomposed and modu… Read more
More old techno/house gold from the Parisian tape crypts of Iueke. 'Tape 5' yields a diverse trio of direct-to-tape recordings made in the early '90s, gently descending from padded kicks and cloudy kosmiche/new age vibes thru firm analogue house chug to the deliquescent ambient synth structures.
Houndstooth collect Akkord's sickest EP to date, together with brand new remixes by Regis and Fis alongside grade A reworks by Vatican Shadow and The Haxan Cloak. In the original 'HTH020' Akkord ease off on the trickier elements in favour of focussing on sculpted, visceral sound designs done to powerful effect. The kerb-crawling half-tempo house pace and drizzly, sleazy atmosphere of 'Gravure' gives a brilliant opening for the collapsed 'ardcore structures of 'Continuum', splicing classic breaks and quasi-speed bass into a black void peopled by acephalic mentasms and iciest drones. By turns, 'Type… Read more
Killer 2nd batch of amorphous techno organisms from Xth Réflexion on the very watchable Aught label. Without resorting to kick drum assault or vicious noise, Xth Réflexion bypass current techno trends to investigate more fluid, minimalist modes in six parts owing as much to Basic Channel's beatless moments as T++'s steppers' techno dynamics, also finding certain points of compatibility with Vereker's Restraint output or Felix K at his bleakest. It's a striking sound; we urge adventurous techno types to check it out.
The strangest and strongest album we've heard yet from avant-garde traveller, Felicia Atkinson. Arriving from Oregon, USA, via the French Alps base of Shelter Press - the publishing platform she runs with Bartolomé Sanson - it unfolds a highly visual sonic topography built upon collaged and randomly selected texts taken from her 2014 publication, 'Improvising Sculpture as Delayed Fictions', plus 'Rechereche de la Base et du Sommet' (René Char, 1955), and 'Madame Edwarda' (Georges Bataille, 1937). We're informed that the production is DIY, recorded with super basic software … Read more
Soichi Terada presents a perfect entry point for any budding J-House connoisseurs with this compilation of slick aces off his Far East Recording label. Sought-after over there and everywhere else, they amount to a prime seam of early '90s house, with levels of plushness and seductive groove up there with the best stuff coming out of New York, Chicago or Detroit at that time. Best known to collectors and heads willing to shell out for originals, his sound has been championed of late by Ben UFO and Hunee, who're both known to slip his treats into their sets. But now everyone… Read more
**Lighning Bolt take the skin off it with their 1st album since 2012 - recorded in a proper studio, too!** "Fantasy Empire, Lightning Bolt’s sixth album and first in five years, is a fresh take from a band intent on pushing themselves musically and sonically while maintaining the aesthetic that has defined not only them, but an entire generation of noisemakers. It marks many firsts, most notably their first recordings made using hi-fi recording equipment at the famed Machines With Magnets, and their first album for Thrill Jockey. More than any previous album, Fantasy Empire sounds … Read more
Can it really be almost 15 years since Hood released the brilliant ‘Cold House’? An album we were properly obsessed with for years, it marked the creative and commercial pinnacle for a band that perfectly brought together a love of brooding post-rock and bass-heavy electronic production, anchored by the exceptional songwriting and arranging skills of brothers Richard and Chris Adams. Hood haven’t released any new music for a decade, but both brothers have been musically active with a number of different projects, and Richard now returns with his latest work as The Declin… Read more
Dope, darkly tinted house trax hailing from Estonia, picked for release by Optimo's JD Twitch. It opens with the title track, a dreamy mix of druggy NYC swing and weirdly detached jazz licks which previously featured on a tape for Trash Can Dance. 'Falling' follows with an effervescent lather of keys and pendulous, booming groove but, it really gets going on the B-side with the bloody hard-to-resist swing and dip of 'The Addiction' there for dancers, and again on a deeper tip with the sparse but effective 'U Took My Love'.
Recollections GRM presents four "forgotten" and compelling electro-acoustic pieces from the institute's world famous archive. These are "early" works, created before 1976 by four composers who each went on to mark distinguished paths. Now, digitally transferred and cut to vinyl (at Berlin's D&M), these sounds are given a 2nd life, or even a first as some were previously unissued. Lovers of electronic music with a pioneering and uncompromising spirit will find much to engage with. "Dominique Guiot «L'oiseau de paradis» (1974) - The composition of this piece was inspired by the rules of cinemat… Read more
Spellbinding 3rd survey of the lesser-known and previously unheard sections of Paris's hallowed GRM archive. All four pieces were created before 1980 and feature the work of composers from disparate, far-flung geographical and musical backgrounds finding common ground in the electro-acoustic sphere. For us the most striking piece is 'Moulin Diabolique' (1979) by Egeniusz Rudnik, an unsettling and urgent work cutting up and mutating military orders dictated in a number of different languages against gloomy, dynamic backdrop to echo and question the chaos and seemingly infinite presence of wa… Read more
*Another indispensable glimpse into the GRM archive courtesy of the mighty Editions Mego* Editions Mego, in coordination with GRM's Christian Zanési & Francois Bonnet, present five relatively unknown pieces from the Parisian electro-acoustic music research institute's archives. At the risk of sounding lazy, we've always been afraid of the GRM catalogue; it's massive and frankly, we don't know much about it other than there's some really incredible, foundational sounds in there. So it's a blessing that these guys have undertaken the task to exhume the label's most unknown souls because let's f… Read more
**Exceptional, unhinged "no vinyl" mixtape by some of Manchester's strangest creatures of the night. Includes 1hr 25 min mix plus 18 individual tracks** Future Cerberus Technologies present a phantasia of corrupted memory extractions from the unheimlich mind of Ste Spandex. Heavily inspired by the raw Chicago aesthetics of Ron Hardy and Jamal Moss, but filtered thru a chemically altered psyche in the depths of Cottonopolis, Volume 2 yields 18 re-discovered productions by semi-fictional names such as Skanky Magic, Kindred Dicks, Licking Mirrors - all the brainchildren of Ste (… Read more
**Exceptional, unhinged "no vinyl" mixtape by some of Manchester's strangest creatures of the night. Includes 1hr 20 min mix plus 18 individual tracks** Future Cerberus Technologies present a phantasia of corrupted memory extractions from the unheimlich mind of Ste Spandex. Heavily inspired by the raw Chicago aesthetics of Ron Hardy and Jamal Moss, but filtered thru a chemically altered psyche in the depths of Cottonopolis, Volume 1 yields 18 re-discovered productions by semi-fictional names such as Montauk Boys, The Zest, and, our favourite, Licking Mirrors - all the brainch… Read more
"New York-based producer and texture collector Saffron (formerly Spirit Guide) paints vivid backgrounds and deep cafe situations via crisp, refined house on his debut under this name, a double release “Petra I” and “Petra II”. Saffron’s hybridized genre builds include trip-hop, moody downtempo, sturdy walking-paced house and crunchy IDM with low key cinematics drifting throughout. A multitude of textures protrude from a general coating of slick motion and moods that hover above meticulous bass grooves and piano lines, blending an undisguised sense of proficiency and surface-obsessed sensibiliti… Read more
"New York-based producer and texture collector Saffron (formerly Spirit Guide) paints vivid backgrounds and deep cafe situations via crisp, refined house on his debut under this name, a double release “Petra I” and “Petra II”. Saffron’s hybridized genre builds include trip-hop, moody downtempo, sturdy walking-paced house and crunchy IDM with low key cinematics drifting throughout. A multitude of textures protrude from a general coating of slick motion and moods that hover above meticulous bass grooves and piano lines, blending an undisguised sense of proficiency and surface-obsessed sensibilitie… Read more
Richard Chartier presents an expanded digital version of the elusive Pinkcourtesyphone release, 'Three Themes', made available after a micro-run of 10 x 7" copies for Superior Standards in 2012. Also sharing elements with his magical 'Foley Folly Folio' album, it unfurls long versions of the gorgeous ambient drifts, 'Afternoon' and 'Evening' themes, plus the doomier envelope mix of '62000 Valentines' to soundtrack your come-downs and come-ons.
Editions Mego inaugurate their hugely exciting Recollection GRM series with a radical piece by the inventor of musique concrete and Groupe de Recherches Musicales founder. Created in 1975-76, with electronic sounds prepared by Bernard Dürr, 'Le Trièdre fertile' is important not only as Pierre Schaeffer's only purely electronic music piece - his work up until this point dealt with "acousmatic" or "sound that one hears without seeing the causes behind it" - but also as the point where he confessed "of a late repentance" to the fertility of the three fundamental measurements of … Read more
"Belgian DJ and producer Mugwump presents his debut album on his Subfield imprint. A nine track LP, informed by two decades as a touring DJ, producing tracks that have been played by everyone from Andrew Weatherall to Mr. Scruff. A mainstay from the Belgian club scene, on the ground in Ibiza in the early 90‘s, behind the cult Food Club in the late 90’s, now running his own Leftorium clubnight in Brussels, with releases on the Kompakt label but also on R&S, Gigolo, Cocoon, Gigolo, Eskimo, Permanent Vacation or Throne of Blood. Produced with his partner Olivier Grégoire, it also gathers a solid li… Read more
Ricardo Villalobos and Tobias. take Max Loderbauer, Claudio Puntin and Samuel Rohrer's Ambiq trio to the dancefloor. Adapting tracks from their eponymous album for Arjuna Music, Villalobos does a hypnotic tango with 'Tund', dancing around sloshing subbass and lilting, almost Moondog-styled rhythmelodies in the trippiest soundsphere, whereas Tobias. augments and rends 'Toxic Underground' to a pointillist techno pulse tunnelling thru ghostly electro-acoustic vortices. Tipped!
Mark System returns to dBridge's Exit Recordings with a pair of lean D&B aces. The ruder rolige of 'Optix' clearly and concisely nods to Matt Quinn's classic Optical productions; 'Pursuit' steps with snappier snares and desolate, finely sculpted techno atmospheres.
The Black Country's kinkiest does it with style for ESP Institute. 'Laurentian Abyss' seduces us to a slinky 5/4 coda wrapped up with milky synthlines and daubs of colourful, breezy pads for heady and bodily effect. The Nodge-y acid base of 'Emergency' sounds unusually quick by Mark's normal standards, but the layered arrangement is still measured with the sort of poise and mesmerising patience we've come to expect from his productions.
Label boss Lucy leads the fifth 12" in Stroboscopic Artefacts' five year anniversary sessions. His 'Rema Rema Canoero' is an extended, subtly proggy techno play, whereas Donato Dozzy gets downt o business with proper EBM techno thrills in 'OZ Taped' and the PvH/YdM axis of Sendai twists out the precise hydraulic swing and shuffle of 'Inverse Array'. Smart.
'Presque Rien' or 'Almost Nothing' collects four magical electro-acoustic/field recording pieces by one of the GRM's famous founding fathers. Featuring four pieces recorded and released over a period of 31 years, these collected works offer a telescopic cross-section of Ferrari's far-reaching oeuvre, ranging from the subtly faithful, non-diegetic documentation of a Dalmation fishing village waking on 'Presque Rien nº1' (1967-70) to the altered reality of nocturnal field recordings meshed with ultra-fine electro-acoustic processing and his hushed commentary in the more dramatic compositi… Read more
New album of affected electro-pop homage to classic Factory Records, by Manchester-hailing Lonelady for Warp Records.
Kink caters to Running Back's sexier aesthetics with four stylish party aces. He does that brooding Carl Craig or Redshape-style synth sound with the hunky 'Cloud Generator', and brighter, MDMA-triggering chord in the sweeter rave sound of 'Diversion', while the elegant acid of 'Pocket Piano' comes in stripped-down, melodic 4/4 version reminding of Pye Corner Audio, and a spunky breakbeat mix harking back to early AFX and Warp styles.