Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Blackpool's VHS Head made quite an impression with his Skam debut 'Video Club' some months back. Now following an acclaimed set for the Mary Anne Hobbs Radio 1 show he presents a remarkable debut album, sounding like something approaching James Ferraro or Daniel "OPN" Lopatin's Games project, as edited by Gescom. Over the twenty tracks he deploys a palette of atypical Skam edits and icy spikes of digital glitch to a barrage of samples - mostly idents, incidental music, and f*ckknowswhat - presumably lifted from his collection of video tapes. It's a vividly idiosyncratic world he's cr… Read more
Onmutu Mechaniks is an alter ego of the prolific Arne Weinberg for Echocord. To date it's given us two 12"s of loners techno soul nodding towards Convextion and Drexciya, a vibe he expands and asserts with 'Nocturne'. Much like Sven Weisemann or the Echospace figures, Arne creates sounds worthy of, and ready for, an album. From the dub stasis of 'Catatonic' he guides us on an inward trajectory with the heavy breathing shuffle of 'Aspiring To Aspire' and continues an internal spiral with the soundtracky space of 'Lupos Moon', recalling the bleakness of Demdike Stare's spare grooves. Down the … Read more
Islaja (aka Merja Kokkonen) returns for a long-overdue new studio album for Fonal, following up on the groundwork laid down by Ulual Yyy and her Ecstatic Peace release, Blaze Mountain Recordings. Gone are the old lo-fi aesthetics and all those sounds that conjured up images of woodland frolicking and Moomins, and in their place are newfound electronic production/writing techniques and a far higher fidelity sheen. Among the highlights, expect dark, organic synth grooves, horn blasts and lurching beats on opener 'Joku Toi Radion', almost Bat For Lashes-like piano-led introspection during 'Pimeytt… Read more
Islaja (aka Merja Kokkonen) returns for a long-overdue new studio album for Fonal, following up on the groundwork laid down by Ulual Yyy and her Ecstatic Peace release, Blaze Mountain Recordings. Gone are the old lo-fi aesthetics and all those sounds that conjured up images of woodland frolicking and Moomins, and in their place are newfound electronic production/writing techniques and a far higher fidelity sheen. Among the highlights, expect dark, organic synth grooves, horn blasts and lurching beats on opener 'Joku Toi Radion', almost Bat For Lashes-like piano-led introspection during 'Pimey… Read more
Another compelling release from beat anomaly Nochexxx, following up his vinyl debut on Actress's Werk Discs label earlier this year. Much in the style of that 12", there's no easy category for these tracks, instead providing a plateful of masticated reference points circuit-bent into unique forms. On the A-side 'Ritalin Love' is a knutty collision of warped garage bass with '80s soul samples and abstracted lo-fi Chicago jack. On the flip, 'Timepiece' obviously nods to Chicago House, but the juxtaposition of odd samples and crooked arrangement mean it's gotta be reserved for the more a… Read more
Hailing from the home of Southern HipHop aka Atlanta, Bathcrones has hatched a stoned-but-sprightly style of electro-Drag with 'Psychorama' (that is if we're playing it at the right speed). Like Balam Acab and Salem, Bathcrones does that pitched-down thing wickedly well, keeping all his beats hazy and more sluggish than they ought to be, while cannily countering the effect with ultra-bright and dreamy melodies. It makes for a sublimly lucid tension, like being trapped in sleep paralysis with a warm sunrise bleeding through the curtains. There's 12 tracks in total and they're all really lovely, … Read more
A vital and richly varied debut album from one of Warp's most talked about new acts, The Hundred In The Hands. The Brooklyn duo must surely rank as one of synth-pop's more exciting prospects of the moment, arriving at this full-length with a trail of releases that includes the excellent six-track EP This Desert and the more recent Pigeons' single. This is a debut bestowed with strong, instantly memorable pop songs, and just when you wonder whether the band might have already played their best hands (for instance, former EP highlight 'Sleepwalkers' is bravely excluded… Read more
The irrepressible Vampisoul label presents a wonderful overview of Nigerian legend, Bola Johnson. With all the attention afforded to Fela Kuti, Victor Olaiya and King Sunny Ade, Bola seems to have slipped by all but the most ardent collectors and Nigerian natives, that is until Kayode Samuel painstakingly researched and dug deep in the crates to collect these twenty two track, spread over two discs. As you'll discover when dipping in, Bola was a charming personality who could adapt his charming vocals and trumpet playing to a range of styles, from Calypso to Funk, Highlife and Afrobeat. Disc 1 … Read more
This disc marks Vampisoul's first forage around in the vaults of Italian library company, Flipper Music, unearthing obscure psychedelic sounds and exotica dating between 1969 and 1975. Most of the music here is being reissued for the very first time, having originally appeared on labels such as Octopus and Canopo, and composers such as Alessandro Alessandroni (who famously whistled on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly's OST), Sandro Brugnolini and Roberto Conrado contribute tracks, ranging from complex psych-rock workouts to cinematic, atmosphere-setting experiments and saucy lounge fa… Read more
**Red Vinyl** This new split release from Upset The Rhythm features DIY pop duo Peepholes and Liverpudlian collective Apatt. The lo-fi ruckus created by Peepholes is instantly lovable. Katia Barrett and Nick Carlisle switch between synth and drums, sharing the vocal duties as they go. The six tracks collected here are tons of fun too, sailing through fourtrack-recorded, beaten-up tunes like 'Airforce Trainer' and the Animal Collective-worthy 'Alpine Song'. After all this Apatt sound truly insane. The label suggests "the missing link between The Locust, Danielson Famile a… Read more
Ace followup to Med School's 'New Blood' compilation, offering four hi-end, nu-skool D'n'B cuts from Stray, Synkro, Royalston, and Circa. Each producer is on sparkling form, from the laidback flex of Stray's 'Frost' and the filigree styes of Synkro's DBridge-alike 'In Transit', to the ultra-techy IDM-ish aesthetic of Royalston's 'Glitchbitch' and a cinematic moment from Circa's 'Kabal'.
These days it's increasingly difficult to get widespread attention simply by carving out a career as an trad singer-songwriter, but Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk has made a stealthily quite magnificent contribution to the genre with this eponymous album. Opener 'Demon Host' is as simple and unadorned as these things come, relying on a little lo-fi echo and largely unconditioned strumming right up until a lovely choral coda. From here the album begins to blossom into a more intricately arranged affair, mimicking the kind of warm, vintage feel of Fleet Foxes and - perhaps more … Read more
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Celebrating twenty years in the business, Ninja Tune are marking the occasion with a set of new releases, surveying the full breadth of the label's roster. On the first disc of this first 2CD compilation, you'll find new and exclusive tracks from the likes of Roots Manuva, Zomby, The Bug, Eskmo,Toddla T (feat. Ms Dynamite), Dorian Concept and Two Fingers, plus remixes from Flying Lotus and Benga, and further cuts from Emika and Daedelus. What defines this compilation is just how little looking backwards and resting on laurels there is, and the refreshing… Read more
Another double-disc helping of new and exclusive material from the Ninja Tune camp as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations. The first disc of this collection features exclusive new recordings by Coldcut (feat. King Jammy), Bonobo (with Mercury winner Speech Debelle), Jaga Jazzist, Amon Tobin, Cougar, Yppah, Lorn and Floating Points, plus brand new remixes by Gaslamp Killer, Mala, Tunng, The Cinematic Orchestra and Slugabed. The second disc proves to be especially impressive, yielding new and exclusive remixes from Autechre (taking on The Bug's 'S… Read more
Diverse and effective set of Disco-infected House music from Red Rack'em on his new Bergerac imprint. Leaving the usual edits aside for a minute, Rack'em proves some impressive chops on 'How I Program' working up a hungry square bassline under agile drum machine patterns, kinda like Claro Intellecto gone freaky. On the flip 'Bonn' heats up Rhodes chords and sly-slipping deep house rhythms like a more up-for-it cousin to Kerrier District before 'It Happens To Us All' glides off on a sumptuous Detroit vibe inna Recloose kinda manner. Big record for everyone from Move D to Jus Ed...
Slickly atmospheric, future garage-compatible cuts from Cessa. His previous installations for Missing Link Records have established a techy, deep-side style akin to the Hessle Audio or Formant operators and 'Recon' continues in style with efficiently skittering rhythms, pinned with warm subs and enriched with a blanket of swirling blue synth pads. On the flip, 'Down and Out' is a stranger number built from an ominous bass riff and laidback but rolling 4/4 garage rhythm with widescreen sci-fi atmospheres. fans of Hyetal, XXXY, and SBTRKT should peep this.
**Reissued for 2010** What a strange little album this is, and how appropriately titled. Mysterious Polish artist Jacaszek has created over the course of this album 14 peculiar vignettes, haunting soundtracks to lost silent films or possibly the films of the brothers Quay. Each track is seemingly composed using sounds discovered in rotting toyboxes or on broken tapes - like Colleen if she had been brought up in Eastern Europe on a diet of pickled eggs and with only a battered old music box for company. There's something magical about this record, something un-contrived that I reall… Read more
A new experimental project featuring This Heat drummer Charles Hayward, Monkey Puzzle Trio releases its debut album for the Slowfoot label. The other two members of this trio are double-bassist Nick Doyne-Ditmas (Pinski Zoo/Crackle) and vocalist Viv Corringham. Somewhere between avant-jazz and song-craft, the music on White World was all conceived from free improvisation committed to tape over four days. The recordings were then sifted through and edited into their final shape, coaxing out an abstract and rather original set of musical collages that seems to slip between recognisable … Read more
Nang Records revisit D-Pulse's 2008 disco hit 'Highway To Saturn' - retitled here as 'On A Highway To Saturn' - with a set of able bodied remixes from Sare Havlicek, Jan Ken Po and Proper Heat. The vocal driven original is omitted in favour of D-Pulse's own 'Australian Shore' dub with hazy cosmic guitars and a languid evening pace. Havlicek's dub goes the opposite way with a boost of dancefloor energy while Proper Heat bring up the rear with a chunky Baltic disco version.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Limited to 2000 copies and featuring a typically great remix from Four Tet, this new Eluvium EP covers three tracks over the course of twenty-four minutes of luscious electro-orchestral ambience and experimental songcraft. The title track arrives first, shifting through hypnotic looped recordings and reversed strings whilst Matthew Cooper once again takes to the mic with his quivering, endearingly hesitant vocal. As the piece builds up you're reminded of just how distinguished a producer Cooper is within the pop-ambient field, and the decidedly more epic 'A Life In Tide… Read more