Monday, 23 February
London's Moiré drops the scuffed-up rug-cutter, 'Theme' an offcut from of his debut album, 'Shelter'. It feels like three tracks playing at once, in synch, with a finely-mixed tangle of gritty drums and swirling chords comparable with some imagined blend of Mark Ernestus, Actress and Kassem Mosse. Honestly, suck it and see…
Mattheis Verschuure takes a debut flight on Not Waving's Ecstatic label with a suite of shimmering kosmiche techno. 'Luminous Frames' expands on his work for the Nous'Klaer label with five sensitive arrangements of soaring arpeggios and pads powered by sleek analogue bass pulses. Pye Corner Audio fans will find much to love in the expansive, narcotic chugger, 'A State of Suspended Animation' and the effervescent likes of 'Four Dimensional Echoes' or 'Light Cones Reversed', and equally, fans of Carl Craig's 'Landcruising' need to take the strobing pulses and progressive arrangements of '… Read more
Jack Dixon shares the latest on White Asega label with Kodiak, backed by Bambounou and Troy Gunner reworks. The Kodiak track is dope, cutting loose with a wild and grimy techno funk number 'Taargus' detailed with Classical Curves-style production. Bambounou does a smart job with a slinkier, sub-heavy remix reduction, followed by Jack Dixon's bouncing Afro-techno-funk bomb 'New Curtains' and Troy Gunner's respective remix cut-up.
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
**Suitably deluxe gatefold reissue of Ndikho Xaba and the Natives' breathtaking jazz suite from South Africa circa 1971. Regarded among the most important records ever made by SA jazz players, copies have been selling for over £500 in recent years second hand and having heard this for the first time we can see why. Utterly unmissable!** This set of avant-garde jazz from South African political exile Ndikho Xaba has completely blown us away. As the label explains "Its rarity has until now served to obscure both its beauty and its histor… Read more