Monday, 20 September 2010
The seeds for Rhys Chatham's Bern Project were planted when the guitar composer visited Bern, Switzerland in 2008. Here Chatham joined with a band of local musicians whose drummer (Julian Sartorius) and bassist (Mago Flueck) particularly impressed him, leading to the formation of a trio which six months later would extend to incorporate trombonist Beat Unternahrer and engineer Reto Mader. Recordings were made which reportedly underwent over 100 hours of heavy mixing and mastering treatments, but the hard work was clearly worth it: The Bern Project has turned out to be a compelling… Read more
Pieced together from the various sound elements within the three installations of Yann Novak's solo exhibition, Relocation.Reconstruction is an abstract exploration of "the multitude of emotional states experienced during and after the relocation of one's life." Long-term followers of the Line label may recall Richard Chartier's 2003 disc, Two Locations, an album similarly caught up in the turbulent process of relocating. While Chartier presented two different pieces based upon installations in two different locales, Novak's album is less focussed on departure and destinati… Read more
Following contributions from Conforce, Mohlao and Reggy Van Oers, Field grab three beautiful techno tracks from citizens of Northern Holland. Delta Funktionen opens with the pressurised groove of 'Matrimony', keeping it typically dark, rolling and efficient, next to a Detroit-inspired gem from veteran Duplex, with the atmospheric gide of 'AM Depth'. However, Ohrwert's 'Proprioception' is surely the highlight, offering 14 minutes of gracefully modulating synths and rich bass pulses designed to envelope deeper heads whole. Very nice.
Folk duo Ted Barnes & Emily Barker summon up some lovely bucolic sounds on their half of this new Explorer's Club installment, rattling ably through 'As The Time Goes By' with an ever-swelling arrangement based upon some magnificent banjo twanging and a supremely velvety vocal. Origamibiro seems to use a fairly similar line in instrumentation as a starting point but takes a digital scalpel to it, fashioning a quite superb, glitching piece of experimental folktronica.
Further proving himself to be Karaoke Kalk's most exuberant and flamboyant of signings, Roman presents a brand new album packed with gloriously gaudy pop. On the one hand, Roman's delivery is so brashly confident and upfront in the mix that you'd have a job thinking of him as anything other than a mainstream artist in the making, yet his songwriting and often bizarre approach to song structure/arrangement ensures that he's still something of an outsider. Half the time Roman sounds like Mika, and his (usually very busy) musical accompaniment can shoot off in various different directions. 'Bones & B… Read more
Robust instrumental hiphop 'tronics from Aussie producer, Monk Fly, for Frequency Labs. 'Bulleting' centres around a fat, arpeggiated bassline with layers of fizzing sci-fi IDM synths inna Lorn style, but we'd recommend heading to the Jonny Faith remix, where the track takes a more exotic turn into metallic, raga-esque swirls and boogie shuffling bleeps.
Breakstepping styles from Reso, Orien, and Search & Destroy's Lohan. Reso's 'Metal Slug' is a bit of a classic, making its first appearance on Storming Productions 'Built For Boundaries' mix CD, and a debut unmixed appearance here. Orien's 'Decaying Corpse' steps in with evil Terminator drones and aggressive halfstep bass licks while Lohan goes deeper with the overcast halfstep of 'Dawning'.
Dubstep rave from Reso, including a remix from Vent. Reso's original stomps and wobbles like a fat man who's just dropped his last pastie in a puddle. Vent's remix works with a crafty swing approaching neurofunk D'n'B.
One of the harder-rocking, rootsy numbers on Karen Elson's The Ghost Who Walks debut long-player, 'The Truth Is In The Dirt' makes for a solid and pleasingly gutsy new single. The B-side makes the release particularly worthwhile: Ms. Elson takes on a well-observed cover of Donovan's 1966 psych-pop anthem 'Season Of The Witch'.
Here's one for fans of the more obscure end of electronic composition and experimental synthesis. If the likes of Hecker or Mark Fell of .SND stir your blood be sure to give this release from Moscow-based artist Pavel Zhagun a listen. Broken up into twenty-four pieces, each around the two minute mark, Artification is a pristine and artfully crafted collection of sound design miniatures. High frequencies, glitches, minimalist drone and dramatic spatial dynamics all feed into this music, shaping an unconventional album narrative that nonetheless has a certain austere beauty to it.
Pumping tech-house from Decimal for Soma. 'Forgotten Requiem' rolls out shimmering Detroit chords and plush bassline, 'Death Song' serevs chunky House functions, and 'Return Of The Jam' spins out a big ol' piano house cut.
"Henry Grimes and Rashied Ali convene on this magical live recording that holds aloft Henry's bass and violin, highlighting his recent pointilisms, ringing with the shock-by-shock rebound of the spaces between, each dyad and sweep echoing with command and authority. Below, above, in perfect tune and time, Rashied lays foundations, constructs edifices of rock and crystal that ebb and flow with the malleability and gliding susurrations of melting snow. Moving the many-sided sculpture, bass drum thunder gently queries and booms answers. Sadly, this was the final collaboration of these two master musicians, as Rashied Ali passed soon after the recording of Spirits Aloft."
Lushed-out disco moves from former Balihu contributor, Ilya Santana. Lead track 'Erin' is a bit of an epic, all distant-gazing German synth washes set to an easy life mid-tempo pace with blushing strings, lovely stuff. 'Iron Horse' adds a little more drama and tension with arpeggiated bassline and flourishing strings while 'Winds Of Change' keeps it slow and sensuous to suit the Balearic heat of your living room/local bar.
Rolling mid-tempo house mixes of Ideal's 'Schöne Frau Mit Geld' courtesy of Losoul for Robert Johnson's recording wing. Losoul puts a sunny Afro-disco spin on the cut with crisp percussion, juicy bassline and sparingly used Likembe's to charm the 'floor. Also included as instrumental if you don't like the vocals.
Bubbling up from down under, two tracks of electrified wonky hiphop from 48/4, backed with a Monk Fly remix. With 'Cake$' he's got a great grasp of the dynamics displayed by Lorn or Eeprom, all robust synthline spurts set to fluid, just-off-the-grid rhythms for that woozy head nod effect. On the remix front, Monk Fly tightens up the loose flex with a laidback and mechanized R'n'B slant fo' da' club.
Prime tech-house from the Cocoon empire. Simon Wish and Cruz & Lati's 'Dawn's Highway' ignites a dark and moody continental Jack filled with cavernous, spooky sounds and disembodied Chicago-style voices. Maetrik's 'Snorkel' is a techier roller built with insistent bassline and subtly upbuilding vibes topped by a writhing femmebot vocal.
Terence Fixmer follows last years 'Machine EP' with an expanded album of strobing techno for Speedy J's Electric Deluxe label. Working with a pared-down palette of crunchy bleeps, darkside synth stabs and pulsing bass sounds, Fixmer rocks the balls off it with stern jack tracks like 'Impakt' and 'Last Heroes', whereas 'Breathless' and 'Phantom' cut a little deeper with ominous chords and glassy Sleeparchive-esque pulses. Those after his more typical EBM flavour should suckle on 'My Experimentation' or 'Dance Like Paranoid'. Do it.
Minimal tech-house roller from Michal Ho, backed with a Housed-up remix from Jay Haze. Ho's original is built neat and crisp with a swooping bassline sure to sound great on big systems, while Jay Haze gives a deep but funky House mix tailored to minimal specifications.
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 recogni… Read more
Originally released in 2008, Signal To Noise Vol. 6 was the final installment in the for4ears label's collaboration series. This edition boasts contributions from regulars on the scene like Gunter Muller, Tomas Korber, Norbert Moslang and Jason Kahn as well as less widely known artists on the Seoul improvising electronics scene. The results are stunning, and even two years on from its release this feels like state of the art electroacoustic music, the like of which seems to take the sounds of Erstwhile and the Improvised Music From Japan artists to the next evolutionary stage. Highly recommended.
Recorded at Radio Studio DRS in Bern, Switzerland during 1994, this collaboration between these two giants of improvised music features O'Rourke on guitar, while Muller supplies electronics and drums. Perhaps a mark of its vintage, Slow Motion has a more measured and cerebral feel to it than much of what you might hear on today's freely improv-ed noise circuit, and the more spacious, untethered timbral investigations of 'A Faster Silence' and 'An Atlantean Returned Knows The Value Of The Stars' seem to hint at a closer relationship with the extremities of twentieth century… Read more
"Sharon Van Etten came to Brooklyn via Jersey via Tennessee via Jersey. Along the way, she sang in choirs, rejected her school's music program, worked at an all-ages venue, trained as a sommelier and got a full time job at a record label. She music to grandiose luminosity. She supplements guitar and vocals with drums, piano, lap steel and a trio of backing vocalists--Meg Baird (Espers), Cat Martino and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees)--for a fully realized album that astounds as it elucidates, disturbs as it soothes. The final track, "Love More," has already been covered live in a col… Read more
Fresh from a remix of American Men with Ikonika, Optimum launches a debut solo attack with the screwy soca rush of 'Max Power'. Images of lairy Essex boys in fluoro-green Cosworths aside, that title track is fierce, like a more vicious LD cut made for warehouse deployment. Following this, the gangster carousel of 'Crash Riddim' is equally narsty, a proper sh*tter's riddim with an evil, demented glint in its eye while 'Lily' eases up on a melancholy, atmospheric roller built with cascading arpeggios and riding 20" subbass rims. Fans of Bok Bok, Girl Unit or Ikonika, don't miss this.
The 1992 studio album by the Factory Records-associated band, Blurt featuring Ted Milton (sax and vocals), Chris Vine (guitar) and Paul Widgens (drums). Recorded in Ulm, Germany. Mixed and produced by Chris Vine.
Charming selection of studio tracks recorded for radio sessions by cult Manchester post-punk quartet, Dislocation Dance. The group released their earliest work on Richard Boons legendary New Hormones label, situating the group among notables such as Buzzcocks and Biting Tongues, but Dislocation Dance were a far sweeter proposition, oozing with sophisticated '60s jazz swing and a breezy pop awareness. Releases on Rough Trade followed but the band split in 1986. We can only imagine how out of place they must have sounded in Manchester circa early '80s, but it was probably a very welcome … Read more