Monday, 11 April 2011
Taking a second out from his Asura project, LA's Ryan York delivers an album of serenely psyched pop-tronica for Leaving Records. While that other project is weighted with smudged HipHop beats, 'Zipperlegs' is inflated with an expanding head-full of pop melodies and dreamily drifting vocals, drones and ferric textures. The title track is like a more lo-fi and stranger Panda Bear, while the sprightly percussion of 'Please' comes off like something from Toro Y Moi's first album and 'All Our Favourite Colors' could almost have come from the Altar Eagle LP. Meanwhile, 'Land Ecstacy' enters lushl… Read more
As most of you probably know, Icelandic orchestral poppers Amiina used to be part of Sigur Ros in another life and despite not having worked with the band for a few years now, the influence of the epic post-rockers is still often evident. That's not to say that Amiina's latest full-length 'Puzzles' sounds exactly like Sigur Ros, but there is a distinct similarity to their attempts at the cinematic, the sublime and the quiet-loud dynamic. 'Puzzle' is a beautiful listening experience from beginning to end, and what it lacks in originality it just about makes up for in sheer resolve. There is never a … Read more
Sam Willis (Allez-Allez / Walls) recently introduced his Snoretex alias with a great remix on the 'Re-Synthesist' CD for Harald Grosskopf. Now backed with an hypnotic SJU Muzic remix by Glenn Underground and Boo Williams he seduces us with the 100bpm Disco-Drag pacing of 'Strange Aeons', a sumptuous seven minute span of drowsy atmospheric pressure propelled by a tightly rolled triplets and splashed with electroid chirrups. Chicago's Boo Williams and Glenn Underground faithfully maintain the vibe but at a more conventional House tempo, ripe for the deepest 'floors around.
Following his first international release, 'Love And Death', Strut offer a long overdue definitive compilation of Ebo's seminal 1970s recordings. 'Life Stories' revisits the heyday of Taylor's work, focusing on his solo albums and lesser known side projects such as the dynamite Apagya Show Band and short-lived Taylor-led combos Assase Ase, Super Sounds Namba and The Pelikans. It also touches on his writing and production work for C.K. Mann and a collaboration with fellow member of early '70s nightclub band Blue Monks, Pat Thomas. Make sure to check the rare 15-minute excursion 'Aba Yaa', … Read more
The latest blurt from the lovely Static Caravan label, this is definitely on the folk tip – but rather than the please-all folk these guys go for something more akin to The Wicker Man (pre Nic Cage, y’all). It’s doomy and gloomy, there’s still folk there but Dark Sky Singers show us that you don’t have to be twee when you approach the genre. Gorgeous, dark and well worth a listen.
Space-projecting prog-rock from San Diego-based multi-instrumentalist, Brian Ellis of Astra. Brian released a couple of albums through the now-defunct Benbecula imprint a few years back, but now indulges in a more organic, free-form setup, straying away from the programmed/sequenced elements to a more untethered zone of jams, man. The complex timing and fused elements of 'Birth' recall a fiery Mahavishnu Orchestra, while the synth-driven 'Canyon Star' could be from the annals of Steve Moore, 'Psaw' nods to 'Bitches Brew' era Miles Davis and the final 14 minute epic 'Walomendem' is an homage to the legendary French prog band, Magma.
'What A Fine Mess We Made' is Affine's first label compilation, lining up 14 brand new and exclusive tracks from Dorian Concept, Cosmin TRG, Ogris Debris, The Clonious and more. From their base in Vienna the label has shaped a sophisticated catalogue of contemporary electronics fulfilling dancefloor needs and more cerebral requirements. The best of this bunch comes from Dorian Concept on 'Harpoon Love' reminding of vintage Prefuse 73 but with a cuter popwise aesthetic, and the eccentric Baroque-tronica of 'Row Out'. Viennese oddballs Ogris Debris make a number of appearanc… Read more
Further to his wicked mix of cherry-picked '80s club grooves, Robert Jonson boss, ATA drops his extended mix of Grauzone's 'Raum', backed with the full version of Zwischenfall's 'Flucht'. Taking Grauzone's obscure 1980 Swiss synth-pop, he extends the groove with jabbing edits and dubbed out mixing desk trickery while Zwischenfall's moody Italo-pop jaunt 'Flucht' is left unsullied for your dancing pleasure. TIP!
Zombies are everywhere at the moment, and if the When Harry Met Sally 2 trailer didn’t whet yr appetite (Granbies?) then this club stomper from the Zombie Disco Squad is sure to get you shuffling to the nearest brains. Neatly named after one of the best cartoons of the last twenty five years, it’s sadly nowhere near as inventive and awesome as its namesake, but for those of you that fancy some Villalobos-style South American oomph in yer minimal then you’ll definitely find enough boom in this box of pink pieces.
Stylishly dark and churning Techno session featuring remix outings from Terence Fixmer, Party Baron, Milano, Circular Star and Sei A. Remixing 'Flicker' Fixmer goes for the spooky minimalist approach, sounding like a more melodic Function track, while Party Baron keeps the vibe tense, squashed and blank-eyed. Redoing 'Lazers', Milano gives a throbbing mnml jacker, while Circular Star remakes 'Audio Roots' as an eccentrically dynamic Dub techno roller, and Sei A affords a nautical acidic alternate mix of 'Who Dares Wins', sounding uncannily alike Shackleton's 'Death Becomes Final'. Ace!
I loves me some grubby, noise-laced hip hop, and this EP from Co.Fee does just the trick with its bruised MPC play and sci-fi synths. Clearly taking influence from the great Company Flow, Co.Fee does a good job of injecting his own personality into the mix, with strange dubwise experiments and a whole cache of rather bizarre world music cuts. For those of you with a keen ear, there’s even a nod to Finders Keepers in there…
Strong Latin-American Techno on the second release from Developer, including a Silent Servant track and Moctezuma remix. Developer's six original tracks are efficiently stripped and optimised for the 'floor, finding highlights on the sensually restrained 'Moving Forward In Reverse' and the firm but fluid deep Techno grip of 'Hypnotica Erotica'. Silent Servant complements the vibe perfectly with the mesmeric shimmy of 'El Salvaje' and Moctezuma spikes 'Talking With The Analogs' with a trippier melody to great effect. RIYL Raíz, Santiago Salazar, Roque Hernandez, Silent Servant…
Oscillating back into Maetrik mode after his Maceo Plex excursions on Crosstown Rebels, Erik Estornel goes dark and hypnotic for this Cocoon single. 'Crush On Me' is exactly the kind of big room mesmerising Tech-House we could imagine Sven Väth playing, applying his signature, sexed-up vocal, kinda like an ambiguously masculine version of Cassy, to mesmerising synths and fluidly driving bassline. 'Push Me' is more laid-back and dubby, content to revolve in it's groovin' jack juices.
After his recent and excellent 'Arghiledes' LP of Rembetika homages for Thrill Jockey, No Neck Blues Band's Dave Shuford aka D. Charles Speer rejoins The Helix for a session of Deep South songcraft on 'Leaving The Commonwealth'. For his third album with New York-based players, The Helix, they "generate a songcraft steeped in tradition but themed for the burned", drinking from a deep well of influences, from Memphis string band blasters and Georgia Soul merchants to Texas and California psych, to Cajun and country steel strings, anything with gusto to spare was f… Read more
Alexander Tucker makes a welcome return with this excellent new album for Thrill Jockey, and with a far more accessible sound to boot. Working with revered multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan (Æthenor/Guapo/Mothlite), free improv drummer Paul May and additional vocals from Duke Garwood and Jesse Bryant, 'Dorwytch' greatly expands his sound with the feel of an accomplished ensemble, featuring lushly layered strings and subtle use of synths to weave flesh onto the intricately wizened bones of his uncanny, eldritch folk. The suite revolves around themes of "human/plant matter transcen… Read more
Zomes is the most active current guise of Asa Osborne, guitarist with Dischord's hugely influential post-hardcore/drone group Lungfish (alongside Daniel Higgs). Preferring a more stripped down approach nowadays, the 15 tracks of 'Earth Grid' could be considered a distillation of his former sound, recording grainy keyboard melodies and tape-looped drum onto cassette to paint chiaroscuro, almost baroque soundscapes with a droning and meditative effect. There's definitely a kindred aesthetic spirit with some of Not Not Fun's recent output from Angel Eyes and Swanox, or even James Ferraro's 'Last Am… Read more
Following on from their excellent last album 'Choral', Mountains entered Brendon Anderegg's studio, making realtime recordings of new material, avoiding overdubs. Early on the material slowly and steadily oozes into a fluid, continuous stream of processed post-folk drones, and on this record it really starts to feel as though Mountains have evolved to the point where their music sounds very specifically like them and them alone. There are plenty of acts out there who merge digital sound collages with pastoral acoustic guitar passages, but Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp have really hit upon the for… Read more
Following on from last year's triumphant vinyl-only release Mountains, Mountains, Mountains on Catsup Plate, this latest opus from Koen Holtkamp and Brendon Anderegg finds the pair decamped to Thrill Jockey. Mountains have certainly risen to the challenge of releasing via a bigger label, and Choral could reasonably be considered the duo's most refined full-length to date, serving up six tracks of highly evolved drone-folk, all exquisitely produced and filled with dynamic variation. The thirteen-minute title track marries acoustic drones, spectrally sifted electronics and a host of voices embed… Read more
Cosmonauts are one of Orange County’s premier garage rock bands, and from the sounds of this self titled jammer they don’t need any persuading to do anything different. The garage doors are already wrenching themselves off the hinges within about thirty seconds of the ear-crushing opener ‘Neon Kids’, and within about ten minutes you’ll probably know you’re in for an aural assault worthy of comparison to Thee Oh Sees or even garage rawk royalty Royal Trux. Thick, pummeling rhythms and acid-laced guitar tangles set songs like ‘Electric Chemicals’ into a narcotic cross-channel all of their own… Read more
Heavyweight classic Afro-Funk from Ghana - in fact, one of the heaviest of all time! Recorded in 1976, 'This Is Marijata' is the standard by which all other Afro-Funk albums are measured - it's power, vitality and rawness have been emulated but never equalled. Lovingly remastered, fully licensed and reissued by Academy/Voodoo Funk, this is presented on digital format for the first time!
'Aesthetica' is the intense sophomore LP from New York's acclaimed Black Metal unit, following their highly regarded 2009 debut 'Renihilation'. In it, Liturgy further deconsecrate the land between Black Metal, Hardcore and experimentalism with supremely dextrous instrumental abilities and the natural force of the brilliantly named Hunter Hunt hollering from front and centre. Most of the tracks deceivingly originate from simple refrains before surging into feats of complex, furious and dissonant musical athleticism, yet their effect is ironically simple, direct and often curiously hypnotic.