Monday, 14 July
From Vatican Shadow's super-limited 'Death Is Unity With God' 6-tape boxset… Four tracks of burned-out, blunted rhythms and atmospheres nodding to classic Muslimgauze but inspired by the parallels between religious fundamentalism at home in the USA and abroad. Includes the spirit-crushing drones and gunfire of 'Theology Is Life And Death (Pakistan)' and the bruising torrent of 'Arms Of Yahweh' plus the quasi-speed trudge and torment of 'Manufactured Silencers Under Direct Orders'.
'Enduring Mysteries' yields some of the most kinetic, driven gear from Vatican Shadow's recently-released 6-tape boxset, 'Death Is Unity With God'. With 'A.T.F. Sinful Messiah' he pounds a blistered techno steppers tattoo juggling grimy drums and cold drones, whereas 'F.B.I. God' reduces the drums to scorched blasts against some of his most delectable darkside chords, and 'Koresh Babylon' ratchets the urgency with a blitz of percussive thunder.
A quiet highlight of Vatican Shadow's recent 6 tape boxset, 'Death Is Unity With God', his first release since 'Remember Your Black Day'. Making reference to the Oklahoma City bombing, his 'Elohim City' session is one of the bleakest episodes, taking in the haunting chorales and chiming percussions of 'Living on and off at the Shadows Motel' and the scything techno roil of 'Small Explosives and Blasting Caps Inside the Pages of a Phonebook', plus a particularly affective chamber-like meditation, 'McVeigh Figure' drawing aesthetic lines between ambient black metal, Coil and early Autechre.
'Easing Of Our Task' is one of the most concise and thrilling from Vatican Shadow's 6 x tape boxset inspired by American cults and the war on terror, 'Death Is Unity With God'. Compared with rest of the set, these are short, sharp, uptempo attacks rattling off machine gun rhythms and blunted drones in four worm-holing pieces.
Another amazing piece from the 'Death Is Unity With God' 6 x tape boxset by Vatican Shadow. Marking his first new material since 'Remember Your Black Day', we find Dominick Fernow at his most vulnerable in the misty-eyed glaze and detached, distant synth washes of 'Shadows on the Courthouse Wall', whilst Waco (Postmortem)' also operates nearly out of earshot with elegant, sashaying synth motifs persisting with its struggle against the patina of hiss and exasperated rhythms.
"Fueled by the financial drippings of number runners and boosted by Hall-of-Fame running back Jim Brown, Cleveland, Ohio's Way Out Records offered asylum for a rising crop of rogue soul men, rust-belt vocal ensembles, and trial-by-fire producers. Helmed by a friendly consortium of hustlers, police officers, and gridiron giants, pet project beget obsession as Motown arrangers, gospel choirs, and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra were all beckoned to the wrong side of the tracks to mint masterpieces for the Sensations, Volcanic Eruption, the Exceptional Three, and Bobby Wad… Read more
Antipodean trio throw their weight behind three moody halfstep pieces featuring vocals by Bijou and Taso. 'How Strange' could be darker cousin of Morcheeba; 'Justify' rolls out with the bleeping dread junglist vibes; 'Yesterdays' works mournful blues sample into a hulking halfstep framework.
Clay Rendering, already responsible for one of our favourite releases of the year so far return with these strung-out gothic gems for Hospital productions. With the taste of 'Waters Above The Firmament' still on our lips, Mike and Tara Connelly reveal their most vulnerable vocal, guitar and accordion on 'Fire Is Fall's Rose' before hackled guitars and trudging drums arch up like a waking daemon to close. Flipside, we're slowly swept up in the waltzing keys, chamber techno thud and absolutely gutted vocal of 'Red Roots'. Have your heart and eat it...
Pure, stripped down box bangers from Ann Arbor, Detroit's Todd Osborn aka TNT, Soundmurderer etc. This is just what the doctor ordered - four non nonsense rhythmelodic workouts for the wall-bangers and buckers, just how they used to make 'em at Dance Mania, Trax, DJ International etc. Badboys.
Visceral, lysgeric psych-noise from Street Thunder on his return to Reckno following the 'Bonfire Gecko Hex' tape. In comparison to the sanguine kosmiche of their previous, 'Galaxies' is more expansive, ripping at the edges with incendiary, kaotic noise harmonics in four parts scoping out the cascading tone clusters of 'Meteor Shower' alongside the shoegaze wrench of 'Universe End' and the overheating circuitry of 'Cosmic Residue'. But most impressive is the two-part 20 minute epic, 'Star Collapse / Venusian Naturism' which builds and roils to a deliriously unhinged swarm of bittersweet discord that you could practically swim in.
"Debut release from London's Shallow Sanction. A refreshing but authentic take on the lineage referencing bands such as early Christian Death, Amebix, and Conflict. Shallow Sanction rejects the otherwise 'in the red' and overly distorted approach of recent years for a more honest, stripped down and raw gothic punk sorely missing from many of their contemporaries. An aggressive, 'only man left' feel runs through the ep. An isolated and anthemic voice echoes along cold rainy drums and bloody nose bass, accented by the unusual introduction of effects and smartly placed electron… Read more
Classier gear from Scuba on his 'Phenix' series. Four tracks drop in on abstracted dub sound design in 'Aphids', the dry rolling techno heave of 'Choke' and the acidic ambient techno of 'Solitary Confinement' to a Ruskin-like IDM techno piece 'Distance'.
Karl O'Connor aka Regis presents an effective "best of" his Sandra Electronics project on Minimal Wave, comprising re-edited and remastered versions of all yer favourites, replete with rare demos and live versions. Aided and abetted by current band member Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant, O'Connor presents slickly re-edited versions of the droning, buzzing bomb 'It Slipped Her Mind', the tripped-out lurker 'Protection Now!', an extended, searing version of the skeletal ghoul riddim 'New Purpose', plus its more melodic demo version, beside a live mix of the snake-hipped 'Want Need', and demo version of shoegazing swell-on, 'Publicity'. Class.
"River Slaughter debuted their mix of noise, tape hiss and synths with one of the first releases on Sacred Tapes. Infallible Godhead quickly became one of the fans favourite releases on the label with it even being featured in the Boomkat end of year lists as one of Gnods top ten releases of 2013. Obstructed Resentment brings two previously unheard tracks recorded in that very same session which have been stored in our vault for the past 10 months."
Shifted dons his Relay guise for Sigha's Our Circula Sound label. It's tuff stuff, coming to maul your bassbins with the blown-out undertow and struggling hi-hats of the A-side backed by a Downwards-style Industrial punishment and a Rrose-like wormhole to close.
"Kenneth Christiansen & Dennis Børg pare back with a new EP. This time Pattern Repeat delievers 2 Techno tools with heavy chords and dubby elements. Kenneth is also running the labels Echocord and Echocord Colour, and Dennis is known from his Baum Label, and his Resoe releases."
I hope it's not unkind to say so, but some of the earlier photographs of composer Noah Creshevsky make him look like he might be some sort of marionette. In fact, if you were to design an action figure of a musique concrète boffin, it might look a lot like the moustachioed, tank top-wearing Creshevsky, seen standing proudly in front of his banks of wires and circuitry on the sleeve of this rather stunning release. Collecting pieces from 1971 to 1992, this retrospective of the Juillard-educated composer draws on his collage-like approach to electronic mus… Read more
Crafty, swinging beat suite from My Dry Wet Mess, backed with four remixes from Auntie Flo, Dam Mantle, and Ikonika. The styles of 'Laptop Lapdance' reduce and build upon the taut funk of his Brainfeeder release, 'Stereo Typing' (2012) in four parts flexing from the jazz-funky dip and woozy chords of 'Twos Too' thru the glistening SND-like skip of 'Nailed Scale' and the baffling rhythmic calculations of 'Eyelids' Secret' and 'Infinito'. Remixing, Auntie Flo smooths 'Nailed Scale' to a lilting, Afro-centric groove, and Dam Mantle turns it into… Read more
"The lullaby ‘Dreaming Awake’ was originally performed as a duet with circular-breathing sax titan Colin Stetson. It opens this mini album in a tense, minimal Son Lux Mix but Lux’s raw electronic treatment only draws more attention to Worden’s achingly tender vocal performance. ‘Dreams Don’t Look Like’ originated as silent movie music, an extract from Worden’s score for ‘The Balloonatic’ by Buster Keaton. ‘That Point When’, a song Worden initially arranged to sing with The Orchestra For The Next Century, defies gravity too: musically and lyrically ambiguous, majestically lighter than air."
Hefty house tools from UK legend, Mr. G. In fine style four track roll between the dub-bassed and soul-fired drive of 'Let Down (Badly)' to the cavernous kicks and chords of 'Getting There… DETROIT' and the sub-heavy canter of 'Mangos in Season'.
Coherently diverse 2nd set of trax cut from Modeselektor's latest round-up. A-side features the emotive posh-trance charge of Alex Banks and Elizabeth Bernholz's 'Be The One' and the killer hyper-boogie 'Blast' by Onra. B-side holds Henrik Schwarz's jazzy tech-house pop number 'We Are Bankrupt', and the squirming funk of Brandt Brauer Frick's 'Jungle Love' starring Om'Mas Keith and Vic Mensa.
Gnod and Michael Holland's Ono Tesla corporation follows that gorgeous Negra Branca side with a snotty cyberpunk blast from Czech Republic's Lightning Glove. 'Radical Zoo' is their debut album of rudimentary electronics, spitting machine rhythms and urgent, whiny vocals lashing out under dissociative synth atmospheres across six tracks referencing punkish electro and dubstep alongside in-vogue darkwave. Together with lyrics about Ketamine and the social disintegration of Europe, it all comes off like the lo-fi soundtrack to some '90s cyberpunk flick about poor-but-sexy squatters in d… Read more
Kelis' homely soul number 'Friday Fish Fry' backed with an extensive remix suite. We'd Rrecommend running straight for the Visionist and Darq E Freaker version - the former dicing Kelis with his signature synthetic cadence and 'ardcore grime bounce, the latter drawing her out over what sounds like an old AGCG rave riddim played on 33 not 45.
London's most-hyped soul crew finally unveil their debut album after a studied viral marketing campaign. Includes all the tracks from their singles plus a ruck of new gear."Jungle are based around a core musical duo of lifelong friends known simply as ‘J’ and ‘T’, who expand to a thrilling seven piece live, and make mesmeric, kaleidoscopic modern soul that’s unmistakably born in the UK but has true global appeal. The album was recorded between the band’s own home studio in Shepherds Bush, London and the XL Recordings studio in nearby Ladbroke Grove."
Four neck-snapping, collapsing hip hop beats from UK's Jon Phonics. "Drawing as much from early 90’s hip-hop as it does early 00’s grime and 80’s funk, the predominantly instrumental EP is topped off with two stand- out vocal performances from South-London rapper Rup and soul vocalist Yasine. With early support from Alexander Nut, Moxie, Scratcha DVA and more, this is a must have for any fans of twisted hip hop-infused electronica."