Thursday, 06 March
*Mute Reissue* Swans may have only reformed in 2009, but according to Michael Gira ‘The Seer’ is the album that has truly been thirty tortured years in the making. Its predecessor ‘My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky’ (excluding the limited live album ‘We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head’) was a measured, low-key affair, more of a reminder of how the band had changed in the lost years between their death and rebirth than knocking their prior recordings out of the water entirely. ‘The Seer’ however is another beast altogether, simultaneously managing to cram in the measur… Read more
Jack Sparrow and Ruckspin's Author project arrives at a 2nd album of plush, blue dubstep variants following their 2011 debut on Tectonic. For this outing they're joined by a slew of guests, including Quark, June Miller, Jehst & Stig Of The Dump, Rider Shafique and Dan Man. Eight tracks spell out the more cinematic, home-listening side of dubstep with a mix of midnight atmospheres, moody vocal contributions and crisp, well-layered production.
"First introduced to the world via their self-titled 2011 debut, Author return with their follow-up, ‘Forward Forever’. A collaboration between friends and fellow Leeds-residents Ruckspin and J. Sparrow, Author is an outlet for the two producers to explore deeper, more soulful paths than the tougher approaches for which their solo careers are known. First finding a home on Pinch’s Tectonic imprint in 2011, Author have since spent time developing their sound to incorporate a more natural-feeling, organic vibe on ‘Forward Forever’. Featuring guest vocalists ranging from Jehst and Stig of the Dump … Read more
Rolling, radgy Uk techno from Pris' London-based Resin label. Bleaching Agent opens with a mind-bending acid techno bucker, 'Akplenc', beside Divided's droning, woody thumper 'Losses'. Label head Pris plays straight ahead with the monotone pound of 'Pencil Pusher', and Manse follows his Opal Tapes session with the funky up techno tool, 'Slacker'.
Smarter Tech-House party trax from UK scene stalwart Tom Demac. On his return to Aus, following the 'It Grow Again' EP with Will Samson, Demac displays his craftiest side with the canny transitions between bassbin-rocking house, mad folk string dischord and vintage samples (anyone care to let us know what it's from?), on the surefire 'Linda's Theme', whilst flipside deals the deft tech-house shunt and strafing vocoder wail of 'Vodocoder's Revenge', and the rugged yet supple swing of 'Days With Poly' for the dancers.
Four shades of neat minimal house and techno from a new label outta Newcastle via Manchester. Styles range from the sultry house shimmy of 'Cleerly Jazzy' to the hypnotic pulses and corkscrewing, druggy FX-laden tech-house of 'Volcano' thru warmer Detroit styles on 'The 3rd Letter' and the subs-heavy, chords-driven 'One Glove'.
Very collectable debut 7" from Denmark's Gäy on Sand Diego's Zoo Music. A-side 'Blue Blue Heart' is an instant lo-fi classic with earworming hook and sing-a-long lyrics written as a love letter to his girlfriend and recorded ad hoc in his living room. B-side 'Paradox Personified' is equally infectious, with the memorable line "Mom And Dad/You were The Worst Kids That I Never Had" delivered with endearingly snotty vocals and jagged acoustic guitar.
**Edition of 20** Debut cassette release from Manchester-based miscreant Voval on his home-brewed Bliqa label. 'Programme 1' features 13 minutes, 4 tracks of detached, ductile, freestyle drone sounding something like Though Broadcast communing with the duppies of Korean fan death. It's lo-fi yet visceral stuff carved like sonic alabaster on a 4th hand Amiga. Chekkit!
Debut release from The Girls Of The Internet on Bob Bhamra's WNCL imprint. Apparently "they come from the countryside and use hardware" and that's all we can tell you about their provenance. As for the record, there's four tracks ranging from skittish electro to jacking house and techno with google baiting names such as 'Prostate Exam' and 'Spam Folder', and the very bumpkin 'Four Pints' all covering ground between Matthew Herbert, The Analogue Cops and Nochexxx.
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Ruff 'n tuff Ragga hybrids from Cardiff's Darkhouse Fam. At their heaviest on the darkcore-zipped 'Brockwild' they intercept ground between Dabrye and Kaman Leung's baddest raggamatic hip hop/D&B replete with face-tearing mentasms, whereas 'Arphouse' features Eglo fam's Arp101 firing fruity purple synthlines and 'Elephant Large' gyrates on a big-bottomed hip hop sound nodding to Dipset, Timbaland and The Neptunes. DJ support from Kutmah, Gilles Peterson, Arp101, Alix Perez, Fracture, Rockwell…
Ardcore, rootical dubstep from Utrecht, Holland's TMSV. 'Haze VIP' rides a tumultuous skank accented with splashing cymbal, tribal percussion and billowing subs, and 'Gunman' comes stronger with darting, snake-like syncopation and dread subs on a vintage DMZ tip beside the airborne triplets and X-Files vibes of 'The Cosmonaut'.
Laidback but insistent UK deep house debut from Dokta Venom for Five Fold Records. Four tracks take in warm, rolling square bass and rhodes nodding to Mr. Fingers on 'Only U' beside the plush breakbeat orchestrations of 'Burnt Roses', skippy garage-inflected moves on 'Rum Vapour', and jazzy, soulful shuffle indebted to Azymuth in 'Space Dust'.
**Wrap-around sleeve. Edition of 500** Four track debut 7" from Copenhagen's Communions quartet - contemporaries of Ice Age, Lower and the Posh Isolation lot centred around the city's Mayhem studio/venue complex. In stark contrast to the aforementioned, 'Cobblestones' yields a well studied sorta post-punk pop sound played with precision and earnestness, full of throaty, rabble rousing vocals with infectious choruses and equally hook-laden guitars delivered with passion.
Deep and slinky Detroit-inspired techno from Scotland's Stephen Brown. 'Spray Shop' plays around with pinging, pizzicato synthlines and swinging hi-tek funk rhythms; 'Stand Down' is a minimal, serpentine dub chord-rider.
Deep, filtered house by Sweden's Mr Tophat & Art Alfie backed with an acidic Locked Groove remix on the first release from No Fit State. 'Vretis' works as a canny scene setter with patiently growing dub filters applied to a slinky disco loop, evolving into a sub-heavy, rolling house groove, whereas 'Takelant' works to a skippier New York garage coda. Locked Groove squares it off for the DJs on a condensed, sub-heavy remix laced devilish acid squirms.
Infectious disco/house cut-ups done good and proper by John Barera and Will Martin for the former's Supply Records. There's four shades of the same sound, taking in skippy, disco-looping NJ garage styles on the delightful 'Awake', beside the sultry, bass and chords-driven deep house of 'Say It Now', whilst 'Unknown factor' deals heavier dub chords and rolling bass balanced with an excellent, folksy string motif, and 'Yen' dips down to a more sensual 6am vibe.
**Housed in printed inner and colour jacket** Mondkopf returns to wreak slow, doomy havoc with his fourth, and most impressive album under this guise. Melding destructive metal chords with crushing, Emptyset-like electronics, and techno tumult, 'Hades' forces listeners into submission with its throttling dynamics and sustained atmospheric violence. If Raster Noton did metal it might sound something like this.
**Edition of 200** 'Dark Camber' is Lee Fraser's exceptional debut release of probing electro-acoustic composition. Comprising four works realised between 2009 and 2012, using materials derived from a range of digital synthesis techniques combined with treated concrète sonorities, it's a totally engrossing listen for any ears attuned to the further reaches of contemporary computer music composition. Three of the pieces were completed in Manchester, where Lee studied for his PhD in electro-acoustic composition under supervision of David Berezan, and one piece was composed in London prior to those… Read more
**Edition of 450** Andrea Belfi, BJ Nilsen, and Simon James Phillips' The Swifter trio follow their 2012 debut for The Tapeworm with this recording of a live performance at Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, 2nd February 2013, made by Pedro Alçada. Augmented by the floating organ shimmer of special guest David Maranha, they coax a slow-moving, gaseous atmosphere from piano, percussion and electronics, at once fluidly jazz-wise but also patiently precise. The results are quietly intoxicating, building steadily over 30 minutes duration to a lush and heady whorl of sound with each player neatly mixed to flesh out the frequency spectrum. RIYL Supersilent.
**54-page book and CD** "Inspired by and incorporating fragmentary notes written by Franz Kafka on his deathbed to communicate with friends and family, The Patient draws from the texts of these conversation slips for specific imagery, textures, mood, gestures, and instrumentation. The score — essentially an index of suggestions to guide structured improvisation — was initially performed at Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio in the fall of 2012 by Olivia Block (piano/walkie-talkies/objects), Noé Cuéllar (accordion/psalter/cassette player/objects), Steven Hess (percussion/cassette playe… Read more
**Debut physical release of cinematic atmospheres finding darker ground somewhere between early Oneohtrix Point Never, Lars Holdus and David Lynch soundtracks. C25. Two-colour risographed sleeves on recycled stock. Edition of 60** "'Permanent Liminality' leads the 25 minute journey with it's cinematic, Vangelis-esque opening, where end of life gasps of breath pierce through a dense choral hum, conjuring the ghosts of Brian Eno's 'Music for Airports' before morphing into a dry, desolate, Ballardian expanse of unease & dread... 'A fish hook in my finger' picks up where things have been left, ag… Read more
Entr'acte's January 2014 mix, delivered on 40 used C90 cassettes. A proper cut-up collage of field recordings, New Beat samples and myriad other aural detritus compiled, mixed and duplicated from tapes by Ultra Eczema boss and all round scene bod Dennis Tyfus in Antwerp, making for a real K-hole of a listen. Tracklist: A - Colunst / Pierre Elitair & Danny Kontjesmaat / Wim De Bie met Henry Vrienten & Joost Belinfante / John Carpenter / Maniacs / Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa / Etant Donnés /Nosepickers / Brew Abuse; B - Brew Abuse / DSR Lines / Jessica Rylan / OB Minimax / Dysuria / Vullran / Hiatus / WIM Fanfare / Speleocombo / Girls On Fire / RTVS.
**Two-colour risographed sleeves on recycled stock. Edition of 50** Brighton's ever-excellent Where To Now debut Devon Hansen's skillful concrète craftwork in the engrossing 'Speak In A Low Voice Which Is Difficult To Hear'. Taking a step away from the beat-oriented output of his Lotide guise - last heard on Astro:dynamics' 'Moonless' album, this piece of work is equally comparable with mid-century avant-garde and concrète by the Pierres as the contemporary works of Jar Moff, Helm and Bruce Gilbert. Field recordings are twisted, serrated and re-sculpted in… Read more
**Edition of 500. Clear vinyl** **Darkly atmospheric industrial grooves from Ike Yard's Stuart Argabright, Midnightopera's Julian Jöckel and Different Fountains Michael Langeder + Bernardo Risquez as JBLA, backed with blue, downbeat and noisy remixes from L.I.E.S.' Ron Morelli, Svengalisghost, and Vereker** "JBLA came into being after Julian Jöckel (midnightopera) and Stuart Argabright (Ike Yard, Black Rain, o13) performed at a party in Brussels on the 5th of Oct. 2012 on invitation from Bernardo Risquez & Michael Langeder (D… Read more
**Theatrical soundtrack written by Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten), Mick Harvey (co-founder, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Danielle Piccioto (co-founder of Love Parade), and Paul Wallfisch (musical director at the Theater Dortmund)** "The songs on this album were written for "Republik Der Wölfe", a multimedia theatrical spectacle commissioned by Kay Voges and premiering at the Theater Dortmund, Germany, on February 15th, 2014. Subtitled "A Fairytale Massacre with Live Music", "Republik Der Wölfe" presents an intertwining collage riffing on the pre-moral tal… Read more
**A gorgeous, delicate and diverse suite of idiosyncratic composition ranging from solo piano to acoustic folk and neo-classical by a previous collaborator with Radiohead and Matthew Herbert** "John Matthias is a musician, composer and physicist. In 2008, he won the PRS Foundation New Music Award (The Turner Prize for music) with Jane Grant and Nick Ryan for the development of a huge sonic installation across the UK entitled ‘The Fragmented Orchestra’. Also known for this collaborations with Radiohead, Matthew Herbert and Coldcut, Mattias combines ambient, post classical pieces with heart… Read more
This is just gorgeous - Simon Fisher Turner has scored the BFI National Archive’s restoration of 'The Epic of Everest', the official film record of Mallory and Irvine’s ill-fated 1924 Everest expedition as filmed by Captain John Noel. Turner is renowned for his film soundtrack work which began with Derek Jarman's Caravaggio (1986) and Blue (1993), plus scoring restorations of Un Chant D’Amour dir Jean Genet (1950) and The Great White Silence for the BFI. This new score was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Turner and features Andrew Blick (Gyratory System), James Brooks (… Read more
**Moody blue minimal wave pop outta Brisbane, Australia. RIYL Sapphire Slows, Group Rhoda, The Space Lady* "The music of Scraps is a unique cosmic universe of emotions, thoughts and bedroom sound. Utilising a minimalist set up of drum machine, keyboard and synth mixed with a life time obsession of the electronic pop music of yesteryear allow Laura Hill's ideas to come alive. These are not cute brainless love songs however. Although love is an inspiration in a lot of the songs, the lyrics and themes mostly deal with the darker painful side of that irrational emotion. Depth comes in the way Hill … Read more
**Moody blue minimal wave pop outta Brisbane, Australia. RIYL Sapphire Slows, Group Rhoda, The Space Lady* "The music of Scraps is a unique cosmic universe of emotions, thoughts and bedroom sound. Utilising a minimalist set up of drum machine, keyboard and synth mixed with a life time obsession of the electronic pop music of yesteryear allow Laura Hill's ideas to come alive. These are not cute brainless love songs however. Although love is an inspiration in a lot of the songs, the lyrics and themes mostly deal with the darker painful side of that irrational emotion. Depth comes in the way Hill ca… Read more