Monday, 23 February
Hard-bodied electro-techno-breaks by the Convex one for BNR Trax. Includes a big highlight in the Nitzer Ebb-styled juggernaut, 'Anger Levels'.
Nico Jaar's unpredictable Other People label presents the overcast chamber atmospheres of John Bence's debut, 'Disquiet'. Part 1 opens with baroque vocal harmonies, giving way to discordant strings and guttural, bowed cello coming off like Ghedalia Tazartes meets Julianna Barwick. Part 2 opens up a more widescreen arrangement of precipitous strings and sweeping vocal harmony with some gorgeous phasing effects. Part 3 feels like a condensed Arvo Pärt piece.
Muscular modular techno workouts from the French wave survivors for Jealous God - the label operated by Regis, Silent Servant and James Ruskin. It's a wicked survey of In Aeternam Vale's recent studio output - as opposed to Minimal Wave's archival finds - presenting a powerful industrial hip hop rhythm galvanised with acrid noise on the A-side, whereas the B-side pumps up two serious techno grooves with the frictionless 4/4 ballistics of '62,54hz', and the uncompromising old skool Sähkö styles of '808TS' showing the yung 'uns how it's done. RIYL Pan Sonic, Kim Rapatti.
Extra-wide techno sound designs by Dylan Richards aka House of Black Lanterns, with a superb Mosca remix. Arriving two years since 'Kill The Lights', HoBL presents a sleazy, noirish jack-attack in three parts - the oily, slow-mo groove control of 'The Smack'; the drippin' darkroom techno momentum of 'Grey Leather Glass'; a writhing deep house mutant named '8 Million Stories'. For our money though, Mosca's Dread At Controls Version of 'The Smack' is better yet, finding him working deeper into that updated M-Series sound with extra traces of Metalheadz '95 atmospheres and killer spring reverb slaps.
'Hail Of Arrows' is an audacious new synth project from NYC's Gavin Russom - one of his best since 'The Days Of Mars' for DFA. Taking inspiration from the Falcons which resettled in his Uptown Manhattan locale, coupled with nods to J.G. Ballard and P.K. Dick, Russom spins out the imagined soundtrack to a four-part odyssey where the birds reclaim Upper Manhattan, creating a civilization in the leftover buildings and landscape. Perfect for the tape format, such a wide scope allows bags of time for him to explore every integer of his pulsing machines. We're talking obsessional levels … Read more
"Gunnar Haslam returns to LIES for his second album, Mirrors and Copulation. Following a slew of 12" releases this year, Gunnar delves deep into his darkest palettes for a return to his patient, haunted soundscapes that shrouded his debut LP, Mimesiak. Across eight tracks of ambient techno both brooding and tumultuous, Haslam unravels a narrative on overpopulation and its potential environmental ramifications inspired by the Borges quote the album title references. "Meter By Me, Sybil" cascades arpeggios through a thick fog that never leaves Mirrors. "Ajapajapam Version" cut… Read more
Ace free-styling house trips from L.I.E.S.' man in Germany. Opener 'This Society' invokes blackest atmospheres with a choral intro before launching into a jagged, booming jakk assault on the 'floor, while 'Resistors' deploys ruff-cut samples stabbed to a sleazy, slow buck. Best of all is 'Reach Another System', which juggles prodding electro and techno rhythms with darker Detroit signatures to sound like the mad diary of Carl Craig, replete with a discordant keyboard freakout in the closing minutes.
Sigha debuts as Faugust with a dramatically moody batch of trax referencing drone, synthwave and shoegaze for Shifted's Mira label. The motorik throbs of opener and closer 'Penitence' and 'Against The Sea' are the closest you'll find to Sigha's techno ouput, but disambiguated thru majestic synth arrangements nodding to MBV as much as late '90s Autechre, whilst 'A New You' convects wide, gloaming synth chords in vaulted sepulchral space and 'Persuasion' pelts agitated machine sputter in a swarming, soaring darkwave drill. It all feels much more personal than his stoically functional t… Read more
"Portland, Oregon’s sonic explorers Eternal Tapestry have always had a feeling of interplay between their impressionistic music and the dense forests that surround their hometown, but on their newest album, Wild Strawberries, they take that naturalistic inspiration to a new level. Wild Strawberries is a massive double album, which was recorded in a secluded cabin under the shadow of Mount Hood in Zigzag, OR. The Zigzag River flowed nearby, and the group spent time between takes learning about the area’s floral make up and relaxing under the stars. This idealistic lifestyle, ho… Read more
**Excellent debut of compellingly visceral new composition by Greek composer for ace new imprint, Holotype Editions. RIYL Reinhold Friedl or Iancu Dumitrescu** "[herewith] is Danae Stefanou’s first full-length solo piano release. The album centers around the tactile exploration of the piano interior as a sonorous surface, and as a resonant chamber. The resultant eight tracks, at times sharp and abrasive, at others densely immersive, aim to convey a physical sense of listening to the piano “from the inside”, rather than upkeeping the convention of appreciating the performance “from a dis… Read more
A touch of reel house class from Willie Burns as Daywalker and Entro Senestre aka C.F. on the mighty L.I.E.S. It's all about the deeply romantic A-side, 'Supersonic Transport', with its sweeping, tiered synth layers and effortless swing jack momentum, but the B-side is none-too-shabby either, with the introspective ambience, purring groove and sampled monologue of 'Bulldog Named Carl', and a slow-mo celestial arpeggios of the closing 'Untitled' cut.
"Gliss Riffer marks new territory for Deacon who, following up on the release of his large ensemble-based recordings - 2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America - decided to return to a simpler way of writing and recording, similar to that of 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, which has resulted in this self-produced album. Despite being predominately electronic, Gliss Riffer’s sonic palette is informed by his post-Spiderman of the Rings material. The Disklavier, a MIDI-fed player piano first heard on Bromst, is present here. Cross-rhythms suggestive of America’s orchestral songs and Deacon’s art mus… Read more
Avian Records' Mira sibling presents Shifted's new project, Covered In Sand. Originally featured on the 7" accompanying the Heaven's Gate Suicides 10 inch, these two tracks expose his taste for heart-rending ambient melancholy in a lineage stretching thru Autechre, Trent Reznor and Prurient.
Avian Records' Mira sibling presents Shifted's new project, Covered In Sand, with a stunning Vatican Shadow remix in tow. Detached from pure dancefloor functionality and conformity, Shifted allows himself a greater freedom of expression under this new moniker. His head cut 'Heaven's Gate Suicides' works at a very canny 100bpm slowfast tilt, harnessing rampant kick drums to needling hi-hats and screeching monotone noise with a blackened sleight of hand. Dominick Fernow's remix alloys the techno and ambient elements with blissfully bleak, alchemical results.
Shifted shapes three abrasive, roiling industrial rhythms under the Covered In Sand guise for Mira. The panicky tribalism and screechy, Cut Hands-like noise of 'Luarica' churns turf across the front, whereas 'Orapa (An Interview)' is a droning black hole with indecipherable vocals, and 'Venetia' turns back to that brand of murky tribalism he shares with the likes of Downwards acts Taler or Sam Kerridge.
Hot on the heels of that crackshot Imami EP, Tessier-Ashpool Recordings drop the tetchy sci-fi funk of Cloaka's 'Adapt'. Four tracks work between Electro-Breaks and Night Slugs style club constrcution, at best in the gloomy stepper, 'Adapt' and the breakstep tilt of 'Bandala'.
The KVB unveil their gloaming industro-goth alias, Burma Camp on Avian's Mira sublabel. Three tracks home in and expand on the more coruscating, abrasive side of The KVB's sound, isolating and tempering its most esoteric side. The noxious cloud of tortured vocals and jagged pulses in 'Repulsion' falls somewhere between the desolate black metal of Wold and Silent Servant's most blown-out post-punk techno, full of evil, pregnant suspense and 'marish intent. 'Isa' reminds more of Zhark Record's bleakest, thundering techno, but alloyed with stentorian, dystopian dungeon vocals, and 'Attraction'… Read more
Part two of the darker, spiked techno sessions from the Avian-affiliated Mira label. Some really nasty industrial clank on A-side '75ml' just got us doing the chair jack, while '48ml' is more spaced out, funked up. B-side delivers a dose of jagged, stabby techno jack on '33ml' and the proper warehouse thud of '9ml'. Both sides feature locked grooves.
Experimental, monotone techno from the Avian-affiliated Mira label. A-side doses us with the numb throb and chugging, railroaded rhythms of '22ml' and the purified throb of '48ml'. B-side features the craftier swing of '33ml', reminding of some Norman Nodge B-side with its swollen subs and kinked swing, while '9ml' sinks into molasses sleep techno mode. Also includes two locked grooves.
Reissue of a seminal 1987 acid template by Armando Gallop. In the 303 hall of fame, the A-side's 'Land Of Confusion (Confusion Mix)' is right up there, and keener eared listeners may just notice a snippet of that snakey lick in Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' soundtrack.
Houndstooth's hip pop property on a psyched-out cloud rap footing. 'Dry' is a very strange take on syrup trap peppered with alien vocal inflections and a lean vibe recalling that wicked Jack Dice 12". 'Body' twists the lines even further with oily, slipping synth discord and lethargic percussion emulating the most fugged-up state of mind.
Thursday, 19 February
**First vinyl issue in 2LP edition of 500 mastered and cut at D&M, first 180 copies include one of three 12" x 12" colour prints - if you’re into Lee Gamble, The Caretaker/Leyland Kirby or Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project - this is a must** The Automatics Group's dance-pop deconstruction, 'Summer Mix' is one of the uncanniest computer music releases of this decade - first issued as a limited CD edition by Entr'acte in 2011. In the time since then it’s quietly become a bit of an iconic reflection for a post-rave generation, presenting a non-trivial nostalgia trip that someho… Read more
**Gatefold jacket. Colour inners** Juan Atkins delivers his 1st Model 500 album since 1999 with 'Digital Solution'. Aided by a live band including UR's Mike Banks, Mark Taylor and Milton Baldwin, they swerve to a classic sort of Detroit techno funk, with the emphasis mostly on classic styles, but also tucked with some straight-up signature electro belters. The funky bits tread a fine line between dope ('Electric Night' or 'Standing In Tomorrow') and eye-watering ('Hi NRG', the dubstep-styled 'Encounter') while the club joints do wit like only Juan and the clan can, at best in the supple,… Read more
**Spotgloss-printed jacket with download code** Strong debut album from the multi-faceted Future Brown collective for Warp. Numbering Fatima Al Qadiri, plus Lit City Trax's J-Cush and Nguzunguzu's Daniel Pineda & Asma Maroof, they represent a worldwide perspective (LA, NYC, Kuwait) via myriad dancefloor strains shaken for their sweetest, futurist fruit and voiced by an international roll call including MCs from Chiraq, Jamaica-via-London and Latin NYC. Holding up a mirror to the world's increasingly mixed and itinerant population - and it's disproportionate representation in mainstream med… Read more
**Inc. individual trax by Hodge, Commodo, Rachael, Lurka, plus trax and a 40 minute mix by Kahn & Neek. Top TIP!** "Two years of cryptic voicemails, street promotion, phone-driven party line-ups and dancefloor wrecking traxxx – Following a series of vinyl-only 12″s, the label that championed some of the most timeless cuts from the likes of Kahn & Neek, Lurka, Rachael, Dj Sotofett, Commodo and Hodge, now presents us with this exxxclusive cassette compilation featuring their back catalog. Kicking off with the B-Side of their latest release, the tape-reel works it… Read more
One of the UK's most virulent producers steps to Hemlock with a sack of coiled and heavy riddims. To date he's done the business for Berceuse Heroique, Punch Drunk and Tempa, among others, establishing a ruffneck take on house and techno riven with bellicose drums and alien tribal elements. 'HEK025' catches him at his most diverse, crafty, rolling out proper Bristolian artillery with the panicked strings, palpitating bass and brute grine of 'Blood Moon' up next to the ghostly bass buzz and furtive marimba lines of 'I Don't Recognise You Lately'. On a more stripped flex, the salted night slug of 'Recall… Read more
It finally happened!! Rago and Farina's Italo holy grail, 'The Man From Colours' has been repressed!! Let's face it - this is the only way us proles are gonna be able to afford it. Instrumental on the flipside. 100% disco essential.
Twysted groove techniques from rising producers, Acre and Hodge, for Facta's promising Wisdom Teeth label. The Hodge face, 'X' strikes into robo-bogle zones reinforced with EBM-strength drums and some star-gaze pads in the latter quarters. Sounds sorta like Andy Stott meets Vessel. Flip it for a freakishly ace shake-down by Manchester's Acre, slicing up some serious swing drums and steppers bass patterns like a lost Zomby or Lukid joint. Wicked.
Hip-notic trance-house dancers from New Jersey's Joey Anderson. On return to Dekmantel after 2014's 'After Forever' album, he reveals a more insistent, psychedelic sound stacked with buzzing synth sounds: '1974' oscillates sparkling arpeggios and starburst dynamics yoked to roiling kicks in spiralling escalation across the A-side; on the other, 'Under Water' inverts the formula to droning, warped and brilliantly discordant effect, and 'Back Draft' puts the drums down properly for the dancers.