Thursday, 11 December
Life-affirming mix of Philly disco and Trini steel drums from '77, remastered, re-sequenced and re-released with new artwork by Yoshihiro Tsuyama/2Yang for EM Records. Following the release of two exclusive 12" mixes, 'Trinidad (Disco Mix)' and 'J'Ouvert', this is a hugely satisfying long-player putting several years of experimentation into action via a 30-piece studio orchestra of brass, strings and distinctive steel rhythm section. Under the guidance of Trinidadian physicist and band-leader John Gibbs, the Unlimited Sound of Steel Orchestra's debut albu… Read more
Outstanding side of modular experiments by London's Deas for Luke Younger's Alter label. 'String Studies' is, quite remarkably, the first all-electronic record from Cameron Deas. Recorded at home in February/March 2014, he uses his usually favoured acoustic guitar as a source to trigger dizzying displays of modular noise twisting out virulent, kinetic sculptures that sound like guitar strings physically twisted into complex circuits. We guess there are clear precedents for this music in the work of Keith Fullerton Whitman or Jim O'Rourke's electronic works, but there's also something wonderfully… Read more
Bleaching Agent - outed as Al Matthews of Smear/FSG - gets down to mucky business on the 'Sun Spool' EP for Edinburgh's Tsar. Working a similarly soiled rut as Prostitutes or Container, but perhaps with a dash of UK techno swagger, a quartet of cuts bowl from the humping acid of 'Mack' to the knuckle'ead rave pound of 'Taktu' and over to the killer jakbeat torque of 'Mabli', closing with a coruscating, Afro-centric wiggler named, 'RGA'.
Infectious, refreshing deep house and broken beat soul concoctions from Atlanta's Stefan Ringer. There's five tracks smudging the lines between garage house and jazz-funk soul to perfection, whether matching the loose genius of Gifted & Blessed in the fluid, sexy funk of 'Meagangood' and the bright swing of 'MYM', touching on a stoned soul buzz with the dope 'n icy 'Transitions', or square on the boogie-funk release valve with the killer broken beat pivots of 'The Fix' for fans of Falty DL, Karizma or Floating Points. Tipped!
**Clear turquoise wax with download code** "“The Mist” recalls a hypnotic, eerie landscape, a fog which slowly materialises over a lake in the deepest part of the woods. “Conundrum” sets the mise-en-scène with spectral voices that hover over organic pads and drones. “Snake snake” is the closest thing to hip-hop on the album, without compromising on a free structure where the rhythms are fractured and reconstructed, like a living entity, before giving way to the crystal-clear melodies and throbbing bass frequencies, over which the ethereal voice of Nimio oscillates in “Ego hunter”. Cascades of not… Read more
*2LP Set compiling rare & previously unreleased soul tracks circa 1962-1968, includes a 24-page 12” x 12” booklet of liner notes and a free download code* "The first instalment of the One-derful! Collection focuses on the namesake imprint of this legendary Chicago label group and marks the first in-depth study of what was once one of Chicago’s most prominent African-American run labels. Between 1962 and 1971, the One-derful! family of labels released 180+ 45s of stunning soul, funk, and gospel. Over two years of painstaking research and work, including countless… Read more
*Sublime Frequencies presents two films capturing the essence of Central Java's Gamelan tradition, shot by filmmaker Matt Dunning on location in Solo Java, Indonesia. The films include rare footage of the Sekaten Gamelan performance held once yearly* "Gamelan is one of the ancient music traditions of the world. In Solo, on the island of Java Indonesia, it's still a part of everyday life and an important cultural custom. A complex wonder of human invention, it comes from a timeless world of aural tradition, contemplation, and relaxed living. These two films by M… Read more
Ben Sims brings his Theory imprint to rest after 50 releases, nearly three decades of pounding tunes. Luke Slater joins the farewell celebrations with a planet-rattling tribal PAS remix beside Sims pure techno tool, 'Rejection', and the turbulent 'Wreck Up, plus a slick DVS1 remix of 'Samurai'.
Ben Sims brings his Theory imprint to rest after 50 releases, nearly three decades of pounding tunes. For a special treat Surgeon contributes his droning remix of 'Neurosis' alongside a trio of Sims' signature hard techno tools.
Pure dread pressure from Quest for keepers of the dubstep torch, Innamind Recordings. Two sides of the dubstep coin: 'Vampires' brings the evil minimalist sound with super-wide subs and scattered halfstep lean hingeing on wooden crack; 'Overcome' jumps up for the rave with nasty synth stabs and jugglin' drums for a proper old skool 'ardcore-style twiss-up.
*Latest chapter in Sublime Frequencies' "folk cinema” series is this stunning new film from Hisham Mayet shot on location in Benin 2011. DVD digipak with 12-page booklet of photos from various Vodoun ceremonies throughout Benin; 48 minutes/color; all-region DVD, NTSC format* "Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast explores the ceremonial splendor of sacred dance and ritual in Benin, the birthplace and cradle of Vodoun. Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin was also called the Slave Coast due to its importance in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Today, the worship and supplicat… Read more
*42 Track/3CD collection of "the most unhinged, the most compelling survey of pre-war black gospel..."* "Among the most powerful music to be captured on 78 rpm in America during the 1920s & 1930s are those recordings of black sanctified and gospel singing. Ranging from plaintive mourning to unbridled ecstasy, the sacred music from this time period represents a flowering of diverse and idiosyncratic rural songs styles. At no time was their a wider panorama of religious songs in America. Selected exclusively from Christopher King’s private co… Read more
"This is the first recorded collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Rhys Chatham. And it's precious. After the musical meeting with Tony Conrad and with Z'ev, this new Sub Rosa session creates a trilogy. 166 minutes with Charlemagne Palestine: piano Bösendorfer, orgue Yamaha and voice and Rhys Chatham: trumpet, loop pedal, electric guitar. Rhys Chatham studied under electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick and minimalist icon La Monte Young and was a member of Young's group, The Theater of Eternal Music, during the early seventies. Chatham also played wit… Read more
Monday, 08 December
J&J’s last album 'Techno Primitivism’ totally floored us here, finding a sweet spot between elements of dub, jazz and psychedelia within a tactile house and techno framework. This new album - 'Clean-Cut’ - left us a bit cold on first listen, taking a much straighter approach feeding off classic Detroit and swung Chicago styles, but in the space of a couple of listens it has completely earwormed its way deep into our heads and refused to let go. From that off-ish pan-pipe hook on the killer title track to the red-lining drums on "Wheeze Please”, the production details and exotic flourishe… Read more
Solid longform 2-tracker from Floating Points to seal off the year. 'Nuits Sonores' is great - nice to hear Sam Shepherd edging away from the coffee table for a mooch round moodier environs, delivering a 12-minute number that sounds like a smudged Paperclip People tangling with a bit of jazzzz as it builds. 'Nectarines' is again kinda indebted to classic Carl Craig and Main Street productions, although that floaty vocal towards the end is p'rraps a little too smooth. Still, his best for a while.
James Blake channels Prince on the title cut, actually much better then we could have imagined - nice production touches n'all. '200 Pressure' delivers micro-boogie styles riding massive detuned synths, while 'Building It Still' feels like it might go a bit, you know, softy walter at any moment but just about keeps it together. The closing, minute long 'Words That We Both Know' sounds like Position Normal having a chinwag with London Grammer...??. All in all, a solid EP, nice to see JB with a bit more of a stiff upper lip.
**2x140g vinyl mastered + cut by Rashad at D&M. Artwork by Bill Kouligas & Louis Reith** Easily one of our most anticipated LPs of 2014, Afrikan Sciences' 'Circuitous' transcends jazz, techno and hip hop with pineal Afro-futurist vision. Hailing from Saturn via Oakland, CA, Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences has carved an elliptic orbit thru the sonic cosmos with three albums and a string of 12"s for Aybee's Deepblak label, an empathetic home for his abstract, groovesome suppositions improvised on turntables, upright bass, and a matrix of digital tablets. Now taking flight with… Read more
The Advisory Circle return with a new album and a much darker sound with 'From Out Here', the enchanted follow-up to the pastoral ambience of 'As The Crow Flies'. Masquerading under this guise, Jon Brooks reveals what is quite possibly his strongest work to date; an 18 track suite drifting from brassy cosmic warning signals to ancient-futurist miniatures reminding of the fragile motifs in Actress' 'R.I.P.' album. The common theme is undoubtedly Brooks' exquisite sound design, uniting a series of individual themes that add up to what Ghost Box describe as "a Wyndham-esque scienc… Read more
Triple-disc set spanning 20 years, 33 tracks of seminal and influential Detroit techno by the maestro, Robert Hood. Alongside Jeff Mills, Mad Mike and Carl Craig, Mr. Rob Hood is a noted pioneer of Detroit's 2nd wave, first setting up Underground Resistance with the Mills and Mad Mike, before establishing the M-Plant label in 1994 as arguably the birthplace and incubator of minimal techno. This 'M-Print' collection is a cherry-picked and comprehensive survey of pretty much all you need to know about the label, ranging out from his timeless blueprint, 'The Grey Area'… Read more
The beastly '11-14' collects all of Powell's incendiary solo 12" club trax on 2CD for the first time. It arrives as the man-machine rides a crest of adulation for his recent live show debut at Unsound '14 and a string of ruthless DJs sets that have seen him put his mutant mechanics firmly into action for Boiler Room and clubs/warehouses across the world. Spanning 3 years, 18 tracks, including the searing 'Maniac' collaboration with Russell Haswell, it frames a singular, ground-breaking body of work that consolidates, without compromise, the intentions and effects of D&B, techno and industria… Read more
Only 15 years since their seminal 'Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit' 12" (reissued in 2012), Unspecified Enemies launch a sick 2nd 12" of hi-tech funk. Two London-based producers with a serious thing for Detroit, Unspecified Enemies are separately known as Simon Walley and Louis Digital. Together they craft some of the sharpest techno tackle known to mankind, exemplified here in the turbulent cut-up of 'Ms. 45' and the Lauren Hill-slamming booty pressure of 'Chip Mode' up top, while the iced shake of 'Liquid Floor' and gritty funk friction of 'Lifestyles of the Minidisc Era' get nasty wid it on the back. Premo gear, this.
Golden Püdel's Helena Hauff and F#X charge a rampant 2nd session of gristly hardware roil as Black Sites for PAN. Relentlessly bloody-minded and primed for strobe-and-smoke-lit 'floors, both sides give up some of the most damaged no wave/acid that we've heard all year. A-side: 'Unit 2669' locks lampin' kicks and mind-swilling 303s to a rusted thumb piano/cowbell motif for 12 minutes of noxious, incessant club fuel in the mould of classic Bunker/Acid Planet bangers. B-side: 'Mockba' is a different kettle of radioactive, three-eyed fish, fxxking the beats off in favour of pulsing S.O.S. signals and waves of tarry black noise with a chaotic rhythmic agenda.
Regis, Evian Christ, HTRK, Kangding Ray and Dutch E Germ line up suitably epic, brooding remixes for Ben Frost's 'A U R O R A' album. In pole position, Evian Christ takes 'Venter' to his anti-G club space with sprung trap drums and iridescent trance chord blooms, whereas Dutch E Germ dismantles, guts and reassembles the same original stems in a battered, noisy dub, and HTRK retune those elements in their own sallow image with slow cooked machine rhythms and elusive, opiated synth tones. On the flipside Kangding Ray turns 'No Sorrowing' into a moody roller with a patented, muscular dynami… Read more
*Gorgeous collaboration between Jóhann Jóhannsson & BJ Nilsen featuring Hildur Guðnadóttir on cello* The enigmatic Ash International imprint yields the willowing beauty of Jóhann Jóhannsson & BJ Nilsen's original score for 'I Am Here' (2014), written and directed by Anders Morgenthaler. The score also features guest contributions from Hildur Guðnadóttir (cello), and the celestial voices of Elfa Margrét Ingvadóttir and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson, it's a deeply effective synthesis of BJNilsen's intangible electro-acoustic atmospheres and Jóhannsson's celebrated string arrangeme… Read more
Prosumer loads up Fabric's 79th mix CD with 24 golden house selections. Following his 'Panorama Bar 03' CD, the former resident of Berlin's vaunted danceteria steps to Fabric with a direct and bang-up-for-it selection cruising between classic cuts, percy obscurities and unreleased new gear. It's testament to Prosumer's uncanny knack for picking and flawlessly blending pure belters that he's now releasing his second official mix CD, edutaining the masses to raw-ass foundations like the Traxxmen's 'Emergency' as well as exposing new talent such as Wilma with the gorgeous 'Fabio', whils… Read more
"Lapalux drops the stone cold dancefloor killer "Make Money" as featured on Flying Lotus's "FlyLo FM" radio station for Grand Theft Auto V."
Before New Age hit terra firma at the dawn of the 1980s, the classically-trained Bay Area composer Jordan De La Sierra’s consciousness soared with cosmic concepts. With cues and lessons from the great minimalists La Monte Young,Terry Riley, Pandit Pran Nath, and help from the venerable public radio program Hearts of Space, De La Sierra embarked on a journey in alternate tunings and resounding reverberations, transporting entranced listeners from the Golden Gates to the intergalactic. Take an interstellar ride on the sensory engulfing space piano with this lovingl… Read more
We Can Elude Control gets the best out of Ralph Cumbers aka Bass Clef aka Some Truths in the tensile, technoid modular and broken drum-machine deviations of 'Bliss Abyss'. As opposed to his more self-consciously "quirky" gear, there's a taut sense of discipline informed by dancefloor structures in these eight tracks released by Paul Purgas ov Emptyset's label. We can hear ideas filched from Footwork, house, techno and dancehall and wedged into these tracks, along with Cumbers unique feel for melodic arrangement and evolutionary, dub-wise space. Matching the crisp, kinetic aesthetics of r… Read more
Already established as one of D&B's yung hopes, Clarity cements his status with debut album, 'Infinite'. Since 2012 he's been a noted presence via releases for Exit Recordings, Horizons Music, Nu-Directions, and most recently Samurai Music, whose fwd family provide focussed context for his precision-tooled blend of minimal D&B, techno, dubstep and ambient tropes. Stepping up to the album format, he elevates and expands his sound, exploring a wider range of BPMs and rhythm structures with clinical execution. His D&B peer Skeptical appears on the super tight, 'Warhead'-like tribal minimalism of '… Read more