Thursday, 15 January
*Limited Quadruple LP Edition in a heavyweight box with exclusive artwork, poster and download coupon. Features two extended mixes and four bonus tracks* "Belle And Sebastian return with their ninth studio album, ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’. The album opens with ‘Nobody’s Empire’, which Stuart said “is absolutely the most personal [song] I’ve ever written.” About the beginnings of his lifelong struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which led to his first forays into songwriting, it is easily one of his most musically and emotionally epic songs. Produced and m… Read more
*CD with 24-page booklet* "Belle And Sebastian return with their ninth studio album, ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’. The album opens with ‘Nobody’s Empire’, which Stuart said “is absolutely the most personal [song] I’ve ever written.” About the beginnings of his lifelong struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which led to his first forays into songwriting, it is easily one of his most musically and emotionally epic songs. Produced and mixed at Maze Studios in Atlanta by Ben H. Allen III, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective and Raury, am… Read more
Huntleys + Palmers trek the discotheque with five deep and fruity grooves from Golden Teacher and Cómeme's Sano plus a haul of names new to us, at least. A-side yields the twanging Jew's harp and tropical disco shuffle of Wolf Müler's 'Rudeltanz' rubbing up next to muscular, minimal Italo wonk of 'City Gym' by Gothenburg's Oklo Gabon and the deadly infectious burn of Sano's 'Duraco'. Glasgow's Golden Teacher open the B-side with a rippling slow-mo groove that sounds like a zombied disko version of Graham Lewis's He Said classic, 'Pump', and Usio roll up the session with a smoky cosmic house move, 'Galaxy'.
**Edition of 500** Quietly issued on his 2014 tour of Japan, Taylor Deupree's 'Lost + Compiled' finally reaches these shores. It contains six alternate mixes and early versions of tracks released over the last seven years, plus two formerly unreleased sketches hashed out between 2012-2013. They're all typically hushed and lovely if you're familiar with Deupree's stuff, which is who this collection is probably intended for, giving ghostly impressions of what would be, and dusty glimpses of works-in-progress which never quite surfaced.
Jacques Bon makes his solo debut with 'Mona', his first release aside from the Bon & Rau 12"s on Smallville. Four tracks guide the dawning vibes glowing off his lovely 'Morning Funk' 12" into warm variations on swinging, chord-driven house in 'Ciel De Nuit', the plush square bassline and Chicagoan synth stabs of 'Braun Weiss', or the ascendent arpeggios of 'Easyarp'.
**Edition of 250** Heather Leigh strangles the fxxk out of a lucky pedal steel guitar in this shocking plate for Golden Lab Records. Recorded in mono direct to tape and mastered right at the biting point, 'Nightingale' is a viciously intense example of Heather's roving explorations of her guitar's most guttural voice and vocabulary. Sprawled, shriekin' and hair-pulling across both sides are the results of a locked-in performance sustaining petrifying levels of piercing high frequencies before tilting into neck-wrenching blues and subsequently bustin' a belly of blow-out drone entrails and … Read more
Trim, colourful boogie-electronica from Pixelord on Canada's Infinite Machine. Garage house, footwork, bassline and jungle are all filleted under Pixelord's scalpel and buffed-up with glossy electronica hooks and surfaces. In eight tracks he keeps his ideas succinct but not at the expense of emotional expression, coolly getting to the point with style and imagination.
*Includes a bonus DVD* The results of Spatial's opti-sonic installation, 'Primitives' reinterpreted by the man himself, Broken20's TVO, Bass Clef, and Sculpture. The light-controlled software at the core of the installation generates unique tones which are subsequently re-shaped into hulking UK techno patterns crawling with strange electronic figures in Spatial's own version; the TVO|SPL mix is more freakish, shot thru with piercing oscillations and slow slamming beats; Bass Clef twists it into a quirky robo-boogie; while Sculpture render a dynamic diorama of radiophonic blips and… Read more
**Edition of 200** Re-works and re-imagined versions of Hidden Place's trance-iced synth pop. Clearly influenced by the wave of '80s British synth-pop acts such as OMD, Depeche Mode or Clan of Xymox, but not beholden to them, 'Retrospettiva Vol. Two' follows a similar route to your electro-soul as Visonia via techno-sleek rhythms and radiant production finish that stands out from the crowd.
Doublepack of fluid house from Vancouver's, BC's Mood Hut player, Hashman Deejay. Practically clipping the heels of his lush 12" for Berceuse Heroique, 'Sandopolis' marks his return to Future Times with six tracks tipping the tempo scale between slackened ambient hip hop and strident, heavily swung house with patented patterns of filigree, spiralling arpeggios and bouncing square basslines cuddled with a lovely analogue production. It's lip-smackingly sweet sh*t, channelling that sought-after Mood Hut vibe shared by Pender Street Steppers, Aquarian Foundation or Jack J into the deftly dizz… Read more
**Debut solo album by Mac Demarco's former Makeout Videotape bandmate. Includes download code** "Alex Calder’s sophomore release with Captured Tracks is as familiar as it is foreign – brining together both infectious melodies and texture to create tidy, acid-induced pop sequences. Strange Dreams takes a confident step forward from Calder’s previous release and brings the focus and ambition of Alex’s songwriting to all aspects of his music. This record delivers, while still maintaining the youthful humour that has become his trademark."
**Silk-screen printed jacket** "Refreshing, rootedly odd, mostly unaccompanied four-part-harmony singing recorded in Govan Old Parish Church, Glasgow, by members of Trembling Bells and Muldoon’s Picnic. Elements of Sacred Harp, Gregorian chant, medieval madrigal and English folk, with poetic influences including Maya Deren, Saint John The Divine and Dennis Potter — a unique blend of the visionary and the earthly, the intimate and glorious."
*CD version features several candid snapshots from the group’s personal collections, meticulously mixed audio from the original multi-track sessions by Sean Marquand (Phenomenal Handclap Band)* "Between 1979 and 1982, The Universal Togetherness Band tracked unearthly portions of their sprawling songbook for bewildered students in Columbia College’s audio engineering program. Storming the gates of Chicago’s premier recording studios, the erudite party band explored permutations of soul, jazz-fusion, new wave, and disco with little regard for studio rates or the a… Read more
*Gatefold LP edition with reproductions of never-before-seen images from the archives of Chicago photographer Steven E. Gross* "Between 1979 and 1982, The Universal Togetherness Band tracked unearthly portions of their sprawling songbook for bewildered students in Columbia College’s audio engineering program. Storming the gates of Chicago’s premier recording studios, the erudite party band explored permutations of soul, jazz-fusion, new wave, and disco with little regard for studio rates or the availability of magnetic tape. Universal Togetherness Band captures the brightest, never-before-heard moments from this visionary group’s 5-semester recording bender."
Monday, 12 January
**Flac format for this release contains 24bit 44.1KHz audio** Deep house savant and pioneer Theo Parrish serves one of his's most eagerly awaited, not to mention controversial, albums with 'American Intelligence'. Featuring more tracks than the vinyl, 15 cuts as opposed to 9, you definitely get more Parrish to the pound here, but scandals about pricing aside, we really shouldn't be focussing on the bloody price tag. As expected, it's a sterling session, unfurling inimitable (no matter how much everyone tries) grooves tangling signature drum calculations and lissom keys with s… Read more
Completely essential official reissue of THE industrial/EBM classic by Liasons Dangereuses, mixed at Conny Plank's studio in 1981 by Liaisons Dangereuses and officially unavailable on any format for what seems like forever. Written and produced by Beate Bartel & Chrislo Haas (aka CH-BB) in 1981, their only album would define a blueprint for so much bare-bones, darkside electronic body music to come, invading and irrevocably influencing discotheques from Cologne and Berlin to Manchester, Chicago and New York with a potent, sexy distillation of disco, punk and latin music… Read more
Very necessary New Beat / Acid House / early Belgian techno survey highlighting the pivotal output of Rembert De Smet aka Ro Maron. Hailed as "one of the top 5 best users of a 303 of all time" by JD Twitch (Optimo), Maron defined The Sound of Belgium circa '87-'90 with a string of then-unprecedented productions spinning elements of Chicago House, EBM and Freestyle Electro with a glammed-up Belgalo swagger and fizzy, melodic mentalism that remedied the relative cheese of prolific New Beat production team, Morton Sherman Bellucci, for example. After pop success in the mid '80s with 2… Read more
Your dreamboy, Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear meets The Grim Reaper in a magical 5th solo album outside of his Animal Collective duties. Crafted in conjunction with psychedelic supremo Pete Kember (Spacemen 3 etc), it professes a mixture of loping drums influenced by the '90s hip hop of ATCQ and Pete Rock, coupled with a colourful instrumental/hardware palette of synths, guitars and vocals, rather than the sampling methods employed in his seminal, signature side, 'Person Pitch' (2007). The songs are patently written by Panda Bear - the lilting melodies and stacked, almost… Read more
Oake really find their gothic muse in debut album, 'Auferstehung' for Downwards. Firmly building on the foundations of two shadowy 12"s released in 2013, the duo distill and transcend their influences across eleven stations of unrepentant gothic histrionics and industrial techno prostration. The production is now right up there with the detailed, excoriating levels of The Haxan Cloak, and also matching the rhythmic heft of label-mate Samuel Kerridge (with whom they recently formed the UF collusion), but with a kohl-eyed romanticism all of their own creation. From the swooning black metal/shoeg… Read more
First white label roundup release from the East London Club Trax crew, feat 8 trax from the first 4 releases re-mastered for digital. Deamonds and Dean Lyon present the best of East London Club Trax, so far.
STL crosses paths with Echocord again in the low-slung house skanks of the 'Dubs Etched Into Relief' EP. As any dub house connoisseur knows, it's a fine line between bland imitation and watermarked subtlety in this field. We'd easily place his two original tracks in the latter category, from the slow but nimble nudge and silty background atmospheres of 'Dub's End' to the reflective, blue shade of his gauzy strings, keys and disembodied voices in 'The Dark Future'. B-side, Grad-U bolsters 'Dub's End' with a more driving momentum set out for late night floorplay.
Optimo pluck out a trio of overlooked and long forgotten rhythm trax for your dancing satisfaction. A-side features Illumination's freakish half-tempo house meets jungle dub wrecker 'The Way Out Is The Way'; B-side hauls up Mr Marvin's lean and hypnotic tribal shake-down 'I Want You' (1993), and Fuel's staccato techno jack attack, 'Rigid' (1995).
Cologne-based Dame, Lena Willikens, debuts on Cómeme with a cracking EP of darkside dancefloor mystique heavily influenced by '80s wave heritage. Her 'Phantom Delia' EP pits years of experience DJing on the radio and at her residency for free-spirited Düsseldorf nightspot, Salon Des Amateurs, together with a rarified knowledge of classic wave musics, outernational rhythms and weirdo techno. The result: a delicately patterned, phantasmic meld of styles; slipping gears between the furtive, droning EBM of 'Howlin Lupus' to the poised Dominatrix ambience of 'Nilpferd' (mistress, do that… Read more
M.E.S.H. and Renaissance Man's remixes for Berlin-based pop singer/songwriter, Dan Bodan. In M.E.S.H.'s version of DP' we can hear traces of the spacious, whirring rhythmic hybrids which would be refined and diffused to exquisite degrees in his 'Scythians' EP for PAN, only here alloyed with the soft pop croon of Bodan, whereas Renaissance Man yoke the same original elements to a swinging bass drum and flighty electronic figures for a more direct dancefloor effect.
Killer incision from one of 2014's most intriguing new labels, kicking off 2015 with a typically obfuscated, technoid enigma from another new name, Xth Réflexion. Coming off like a lo-fi Autechre meets Chain Reaction, '/\\05' deals in fractured steppers momentum and abstract dub structures, sucking us in with the flux of acousmatic source material, strobing dub rhythms and coruscating noise in '01' before winding up the tightly coiled, double-time flex of highlight, '02'. Deeper in, '03' fires a lip-bitingly ace round of skittish steppers drums reminding of that Skee Mask 12" trapped in a hall… Read more
Hour long tech-house session from Suokkas ov Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia. Originally issued on tape, 'Being' breaks down to four extended pieces fanning out from hypnotic house shimmies to rugged swingers softened with widescreen ambient pads, and string-heavy house rollers.
Istanbul's Iskeletor gives up a singed mutant dub session for Boomarm Nation building on the cracked styles of his 'Gallows' 7". Imagine El Mahdy Jr soused in Ekoplekz's patented dub noise and smashed by Filter Dread and you've nearly got the measure of Iskeletor's sound, running the voodoo down from the churning muck groove of 'Gossamer Web' thru the dancehall/trap lurch of 'Deprem' to the labyrinthine scramble of 'Yangin' via a series of porous, crumbling miniatures spelling a narrative of abstract arabesques.
Kareem's Zhark Recordings deliver the penultimate blow by Dave Foster aka dark techno legend, Huren, and a member of Teste. Sourced from his 'Zeckendorf Phase 1996 - 2000' and activities as recent as 2014, it mixes archival material with new for thee most bitter taste of Huren's hoofing kicks and rotted electronics. It's a beast: A-side sustains glowering techno pressure with a grinding darkstyle mission, 'MRTVI' and a carnivalous breakbeat techno shake-down named 'Nuklearni' primed for the most 'orrid bastards; B-side gets more intimate with the invasive tones and thrust of 'Sentinonaut' and the d… Read more