Monday, 29 September
Morphine present a very welcome, if unexpected, return from Sote, an American-based Iranian artist who delivered one of Warp's most interesting releases of the '00s with 'Electric Deaf'. We've spoken previously about our fascination with hi-end Middle Eastern electronics and Sote would fall well in that category with these complex, super-dynamic projections gleaned from a range of synthesis techniques. We won't bore you with the finer details - google it if you're bothered - but can tell you there's some dazzling work here; a hyperkinetic rush of trance-inducing tones and completely unstable, cha… Read more
Pumping four-track session from L.I.E.S. cadet, Gunnar Haslam, for Delsin. Freeform house music in four parts, rolling from the spare, corrugated groove and icy, awning atmospheres of 'Corridor Metaphysics' to grittier techno-house roil in 'Ataxia No Logos', and over thru the dub-smudged jazzy breakbeat twist and aerial drones of 'Dunsinane Hill' to a pumping dub techno motor, 'Discrete Markov Dub'. Crucially, it's all got that right balance of fizzing grit and weight where it matters.
Nicolas Jaar's Other People celebrate a year in the game with a smart collection of unreleased music by Powell, Ancient Astronaut, Jelinek, Darkside, Visuals, and more. The obvious highlight is Powell's sly rework of Ancient Astronaut, launching from a fragment of 'SCSS' into a slicing, frothing industrial cut-up as only he does. It stands out like a sore thumb against the rest of the field, such as Visuals' dusty indie country in 'A Pixel', the lo-slung indie-disco of 'Gone Too Soon' from darkside, or Jan Jelinek's crafty deconstruction of Ancient Astronaut's 'B2'.
Kaleidoscopic styles from Paul White on his excellent album debut for R&S. With 'Shaker Notes' he swaps his hip hop garb for a psych dashiki - most literally on the album sleeve, and metaphorically speaking thru his worldly palette of jazz-wise, Afro-centric instrumentation and 4th world electronic tones. With many other producers that transition could be tragic, but White pulls it off with aplomb, much like his former One-Handed Music label-mate, Bullion's entirely successful switch from beats to luscious pop psychedelia. His production is totally prime, juggling live and programmed dru… Read more
Regis and Ancient Methods augment their deadly Ugandan Methods duo with vocals from Prurient on 'Dial B For Beauty' - and it's quite the tantalising prospect. Two years since 'A Cold Retreat' (2012) for Boomkat Editions, UM release the beast in four break-bone techno assaults furnished with Prurient's sharp, visceral holler. On 'Call1' he's in a proper firey mood over pitching war drums, whereas in 'Call 3' he's used as a looming presence akin to 'You Show Great Spirit' over a proper Berlin techno drill. He's further into the murk on ''Call 4' over CUB-style breakbeat … Read more
Boothroyd serves one of the most striking debuts on Tri Angle with 'Idle Hours'. Hailing from sunny North Manchester but now defected to London, Boothroyd's music is a slyly ambiguous, 'marishly-warped mesh of lo-fi samples strung together with a deceptively grand plan. Like the mutant, half-finished offspring of Coil and Lars Holdhus, it occupies a uniquely detached space in the peripheries of modern composition, vapour wave and ambient pop, scuttling between heart-racing peaks and petrified electronica like some fractal distillation of darkweb's babylonian data flux and the stark numbness… Read more
Silent Servant and Oliver Ho's Broken English Club pay tribute to coldwave, J.G. Ballard and Lady Di with four deep techno wounds for Minimal Wave's Cititrax sublabel. Prowling across the front, Silent Servant yields the pelvic funk and blank-eyed vocals of 'Speed and Violence', primed for 3am autobahn missions and bloody noses, beside the tangled EBM muscle and metal of 'Cut Unconscious' - both outstanding pieces of work. On the turn, Ho's Broken English Club straps up a sorta proto New Beat swagger with 'Divinity', and the numbed, nary-give-a-f**k roil ov 'Delays'. Recommended.
*Part One of Two* Stereolab's erstwhile mastermind Tim Gane has the honour of being first to dive into Sky Records' legendary krautrock catalogue to curate Kollektion 01. Inarguably the flagship model for 1970's krautrock, Sky Records was home to practically everyone in the scene, hence their vaults swell with classics for Tim to pick from, resulting a 17-track session spanning work from the Moebius/Roedelis/Eno/Cluster/Conny Plank axis alongside cherry-picked zingers by Asmus Tietchens, Riechmann, Günter Schickert.
The Hyperdub capo and his dread spar at their best on 'Killing Season' - their first joint release since 2011's 'Otherman'. Strikingly, it reveals The Space Ape at his most honest, both lyrically and aesthetically, with sparing use of effects and pitching sharpening his position over whipsmart drill snares and depth charge subs in 'Chasing A Beast', or eerily panned and centred around the coil groove and drones of 'Devil Is A Liar'. In 'Heart' he's heard lucid amidst recursive echoes and skittish hi-hat patter, whilst the beatless 'Pictures On The Wall' could almost be one o… Read more
Kim Hiorthøy returns with his first new album in almost 8 years with the excellent 'Dogs'. This time round Hiorthøy has stripped everything down to a minimum, and gone to the core of his characteristic sound. The album consists of mostly just piano and ambience with some beats, and on some tracks the occasional synth. Dogs is his purest and most beautiful album. Hiorthøy cites Jan Johansson as an inspiration, but says the music is still anchored in early hip-hop, sample-based music (though there are no samples on Dogs), and even the simple, cheesy melodies of some 90s rave tracks. That said, D… Read more
Mickey Pearce comes to freak the dance on Loefah's 81 label. The 'Instructions' EP picks up where his 'Up West' beat tape from early '14 left off, giving a vinyl life to the coiled machine groove and lurid, spattered melody of that session's 'Instructions' beside the moody tattoo of 'Jam 01' on the A-side. Flip it, you'll find an even weirder wriggler in the reversed loops and drily skewed thwack of 'Loop For D', whilst 'Jersey' shakes out a misshaped take on US and UK club styles with skeletal groove punctuated by detuned growls, steam-engine parps and wry electronics. Go figure. It's a mad 'un.
This is so ace - and another example of why everyone envies Scotland, and Glasgow in particula - Laps are a mysterious and achingly cool duo who sound like the mutant siblings of Saâda Bonaire. Their 'Ladies As Pimps' EP stalks well-trodden yet timeless styles with serious attitude and allure, bringing members of Golden Teacher and the Green Door Studios gang to abet their salacious grooves between the louche ESG dip of 'Dirty Guys Dirty Corners' thru the Peaking Lights-like dub-pop lope of 'All The Kids' and the Glas-cago swagger-jack of Mojo', to blown-out Thought Broadcast meets Ecto… Read more
Hud Mo brings a rambunctious, hyper-coloured sound to 'Chimes'. Currently soundtracking an Apple advert, the lead cut flips the switch between airborne arpeggios and chest-puffing brass vamps inna Drill style we could easily imagine Kanye romping over. He's equally impressive when leaving the beats behind too, as with the wobbly kosmische flash of 'Brainwave', whilst 'King Kong Beaver' brings back the funk showmanship with flamboyant chops and the nuttiest drums. For the insatiable, there's also a rushin' junglist trap remix by Gammer.
*Fully remastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy* One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby’s canon is finally given a much needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release 6 years ago. ‘Bleaklow’ is harrowing from the start, the opening "Something To Do With Death” reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. ’Solemn Dedication’ adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on 'Indefinite Rid… Read more
Nexx up on Beneath's excellent Mistry label: Hull-based producer, Webstarr with the technoid hydraulics of 'Aegrus' b/w a new Chevel remix. Last spotted in Beneath's RA. 407 mix, the title tune strikes a mid-ground between tribalised, bass-heavy rufige and insectoid minimal techno - all bashy kicks and depth charge subs crawling with itchy crack bugs. The dancefloor lizards will come out to play for this. B-side, Italian producer, Chevel (Enclav/Stroboscopic Artefacts) trims back the drums, leaving acres of icy space around ricocheting snares and hi-hats buoyed up by dread subs in the re… Read more
Randomer returns to Hemlock on a rampant acid breakbeat tip. The label's latest recruit and North London resident has honed his sound to punchily aggressive impact, swangin' out with masticated 303 lines, roiling breaks and ruddy samples on 'We Laugh, We Scream', before launching the reduced martial flex of 'Nar' with its grimy strings and wide-ass bass on the B-side, next to the Dillinja-style bass threshold distortion and Breaks-style flow of 'Freak Dub'.
Anstam veers into vaulted prog-pop territory on his 3rd album, 'Names', for Monkeytown. The knotted, fractured rhythms and hi-gloss techno surfaces are all still in place, but now augmented by his vocals placing him closer to the likes of Rudi Zygadlo or his label bosses, Modeselektor.
"Stewart Walker returns with his new album release Ivory Tower Broadcast. A quarter century of the same drum machines and basslines turned future music into golden oldies. Visionaries don't make techno based on particular instruments but a set of techniques which can dilate time, implode sound, and confound expectation. Stewart Walker returns after a six-year retreat to bring his own future sound with Ivory Tower Broadcast. The Ivory Tower refers to a cloistered and elitist mental space removed from practical considerations and criticism. It's a perfect metaphor for a music … Read more
"Like his mythological namesake, Daedelus – otherwise known as Alfred Darlington – is an inventor, a creator of sonic labyrinths combining sounds from an eclectic palette into an innovative genre all his own. With The Light Brigade, Daedelus returns to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, a fitting home for the Los Angeles electronic pioneer. A successor to his 2009 Righteous Fists of Harmony (an EP inspired by the Boxer Rebellion), The Light Brigade recalls the Crimean war of 1853-56. The music was written and recorded before the recent troubles broke out in that region, a turn of events which… Read more
"Jagjaguwar & Death Waltz Recording Company are proud and excited to release a true masterpiece into the world with the soundtrack to Panos Cosmatos' BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW. Posited as a "lost film" of the 1980s, the picture is inspired by classic dystopian fiction and the obscure SF movies one used to see lining the shelves of the local video store. As such, the brilliant soundtrack blends seamlessly amongst its influences; Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos, and of course John Carpenter, with the latter's mark heard on the oppressive synth percussion of t… Read more
Hot Haus Recs right on the money with Willie Burns' deep garage-pop massage, 'I Wanna Love You'. From the top, this is inarguably Burns' strongest 12" to date, bubbling up with the lip-bitingly effective garage minimalism of 'I Wanna Love You' - (1 x M1 hook) + (1 x killer vocal stab) + kinkiest kick/clap/hi-hat = 1 x proper anthem - and cooling down with the gauzy drift of 'Even If It Takes All Night', backed with the strobing disco chin-chewer 'Everybody Everybody', and a proper hot-bodied tribalism 'Picking Up Promises'. Bigga Tip!
Bolder new styles from Will Saul aka Close, and Second Storey fka Al Tourettes, backed up with remix by Seven Davis Jr. 'No Love Lost' is a surprise deviation into different tempos than usual for Aus Music, tackling a sort of dreamy post-punk pop and halfstep D&B hybrid in 'No Love Lost' featuring Morcheeba-like vox by Kid A, plus instrumental, slo-mo electronica in 'Lacuna Slide', and techier swing moves in 'WAL'. Seven Davis Jr provides some relief for spun-out house heads with a more conventional, uptempo house rework of 'No Love Lost'.
Ghetto don Marquis Hawkes continues to flirt with Dutch labels following his stack of classics for Glasgow's Dixon Avenue Basement Jams and Clone's Jack For Daze series. He's already won with the opening track's hybrid of jacking house and the spine-tingling bell synths from Origin Unknown's jungle classic, 'Valley Of The Shadows', and then gets freakier still with the purple house screw of 'Prince Among Men', plus a chewy acid jam called 'Acid Sofa', and some of dat knackered box business in 'October Blues'.
Strongback techno from a spearhead of the new French techno wave for Berlin's Tresor. 'Red Dance' runs ruffshod with clattering drums and guttural bass shift yoked to a tight, driving momentum; 'Worship The Bass' brings a grittier Chicago-style buck; 'Shine' dices with trippier, hypnotic dubbing, cutting the kick drum anchor before drifting into the celestial ambient space of 'Astral'.