Monday, 02 March
Backed up by a monstrous Regis remix, Stave's taking no prisoners on this one for Repitch. Jonathan Krohn, the Chicagoan also behind Male and Talker (with Karl Meier), sets the tone with a gravelly slammer called 'Hardened Chord' which Regis promptly kicks the fxxk out of in his nastiest, noisiest remix for quite some time. B-side, Stave gets his rocks off on a thoroughly unpleasant, thundering 'Circle Pit' assault and the cloven hoofed swarm of 'Paid Jazz'. Have mercy on the children, we beseech thee…
Club music's pre-eminent mutant, Powell, launches a daring raid on the mainstream with this screaming double header for XL. Marking his highest profile release to date, following the '11-14' 2CD issue and remixes for Nico Jaar and Daniel Avery, he unswervingly sticks to his modern No Wave mission with the tumbling, ravenous rhythm and noise of 'Sylvester Stallone' and 'Smut'. Operating at the extremes of the XL's remit, the Diagonal Records captain takes a hot-wired joyride thru techno badlands, colliding a cornucopia of reference points with a Ballardian sense of visceral, descri… Read more
A crucial force at the core of experimental music, Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke present 'Behold', their follow-up to 'Indeed' (2011) for Editions Mego. Recorded at the same Steamroom, Tokyo spot as their amazing live trio sets with Keiji Haino, this one finds them exploring the intersections of 4th world electronics, krautrock and classic minimalism in two extended and captivating widescreen tracts. With Ambarchi at guitar, drums (etc.) and O'Rourke on synth, piano (etc.), they oscillate earthly and kosmiche dimensions with free-flowing electronics, using field recordings to le… Read more
Remastered digital edition of Dillinja's 1996 Razor's Edge remix for the legendary 'Deadly Deep Subs'. Augmenting the 1994 original with extra drums, reworked breakdowns and warehouse-shocking sub pressure, Dillinja provides a tuffened re-lick of what is possibly his most outstanding moment, and a peerless masterpiece of modern dance music.
It's like christmas in February with these Razor's Edge remasters! This one gives up Grooverider's dread '97 remix of Goldie's legendary 'Kemistry' - that 2nd half roll out, though, shhhhhh - plus J Majik's hyper-coiled remix of his '95 bullet, 'Your Sound'. 18 years old: key to the rave.
2015 remasters and alternative mixes of Source Direct's seminal '97 session for Metalheadz's Razor's Edge series. Both certified classics in the jungle hall of fame, the originals marked a pinnacle of breakbeat science which have rarely, if ever been bettered for technical dexterity and body-wrecking effect. Their mix of Goldie/Rufige Kru's 'Dark Metal' remains one of the darkest D&B tracks ever, now sounding even heavier thanks to the remaster. But the real gold for any heads will be Jim SD's brand new Hokusai render of 'Stonekiller', which, if we're honest, sounds practically identical to the pivotal original, which can't be a bad thing. Essential gear.
Janus resident Lotic fracks the future with five expansive club visions in 'Heterocetera', his first vinyl release and debut for Tri Angle. Finding and opening fissures of possibility in the facade and body of current club music, his unique approach to meter, space and tone results a genuinely affective impact: it challenges the way we dance; probes and teases our pleasure centre's tolerance for off-kilter, oily tones and soured timbre. It's quintessentially queered to the core, all deliquescent structures and plangent harmonics, perhaps finding close analogs in the music of Arca or certain E… Read more
Ata Kak's debut album of dibby Ghanaian hiplife, 'Obaa Sima' is the stuff diggers' dreams are made of. It's the cassette that sparked Awesome Tapes From Africa to life as a blog back in 2006, before it morphed into a record label of world-renown from 2011. Written and self-released by Ata in edition of 50 circa 1994 and subsequently re-discovered by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2004, it would take nearly a whole decade for the Fulbright University graduate to track down and request official reissue permission from Yaw Atta-Owusu a.k.a. Ata. It… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
Kassem Mosse gives Simone White's timid folk songs from 'Silver Silver' a subtle but weighty overhaul. Primed for slower, woozier times, the version of 'Flowers In May' finds a tender balance between sunken subs, wooden drum knocks and White's trip-hoppy vocal; B-side, he tends to 'In The Water Where The City Ends' with funereal chamber strings and clanqing drums reminding of the recent AFX or Cylob's 'Industrial Folk Songs', and fades to close with the chiming, off-centre rhythms of 'Long Moon'.
HD-ready trap vapours from Rinse FM's new signing, Celestial Trax. Fresh from his special guest appearance on Tri Angle's recent Rinse show with Björk, he reveals a pyrex-clear mix of cloud rap signatures and Atlantan futurism in 'Stargate', unequivocally adept at working with American MCs Shady Blaze and Tynethys in the title tune's stately bounce, as well as UK singer, BBHollogramz in the Clams Casino or Evian Christ-styled trance arpeggios of 'Verticals'. On an instrumental tip, there's also the squeaky clean ace, 'Tru Love' juicing optimal emotion from brittle trap tics and ghostly synth chorales a la Visionist.
Dasha Rush fully explores her latent ambient side with 'Sleepstep', her debut suite of tech-nocturnes for Raster Noton. It's quite a departure from her sleek, signature club sound, largely leaving the big kicks at home and heading towards dark, brooding scapes and skeletal rhythms perfused with her own vocals and icy-fingered melodies. The ambient/sound design aspect is a constant throughout Dasha's oeuvre, whether in the drone elements or expansive club track intros like LADA's 'Indust' or in her work for Fullpanda sub-label, Hunger To Create. But 'Sleepstep' is clearly her most expansive … Read more
Diagonal pull another coup with 12"s of brute bitterness from Philip Best, Sarah Froelich and Russell Haswell's Consumer Electronics. With the spray of their blinding 'Estuary English' still wet on our cheek, 'Repetition Reinforcement' is a bruising, visceral reminder of CE's position on the periphery of extreme electronic music. Holding steadfast to the transgressive subject matter which Best has explored since the early '80s as part of Whitehouse and Ramleh, in this excursion he trades explicit rage for a much more reserved and creepily effective style of delivery… Read more
Delinquent, deliquescent grime from Damu on return to Keysound. M.I.A. since 2013, his 'Holed In The Hovel' session reveals an even shinier chassis and curdled silicon aesthetic, in chromatic flux somewhere between SOPHIE and PC Music or the most lucent Her Records releases. 'iPolice' starts up like some Matrix sentinel, all laser scanning bleeps and wavey synths with a sci-fi agenda, while 'Whirlybird' rolls out like a mutant mix of Fis-t's 'Night Hunter'. At his maddest, 'Holed Up In The Hovel' wields wild claps and meter-melted Ballroom beats, and 'No Pain, No Gain' gives up frantic, frothing grime patterns infected with some mad computer virus.
Genre-defying, LA-based Eskmo presents the follow-up album to his eponymous 2010 LP for Ninja Tune. With heart firmly placed on sleeve, 'Sol' spills between strung-out folk motifs, Lidell-like pop twysts, and noisy, shoegazing techno-tronica exploits with a fine balance of melancholic moments and optimistic, chest-bursting power surges.
**2LP in gatefold sleeve** Parisian Afro-futurist Bambounou projects a mystic, dystopian premonition of things to come with 2nd album, 'Centrum' for Modeselektor's label. Inspired by the sci-fi predictions of Akira and Dune, and operating in aesthetic orbit of Jeff Mills, Jamal Moss and Untold, we find ten tracks unfolding a cracked narrative of night vision synths and scuffed, semi-organic rhythms that seem to have a micro-life of their own. It works very neatly as a play-through listen, twysting between frayed, Afro-centric shuffle and Detroit-style electronics in 'Composer' and the polychr… Read more
Zombi's Steve Moore takes a celestial spin on Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. The space cadet who never graduated presents two earthbound visions of the cosmos painted in analogue synth, Hammond organ and vintage string machine; cutting the most melancholic figure across the sky with 'The Moon Occults Saturn at Dawn' and with more inquisitive, optimistic effect in the slow burning lushness of 'Val Sans Retuor'.
Jon Brooks meets Friendly Fires as The Pattern Forms for Ghost Box's 'Other Voices' series. FF's Edward MacFarlane lends his finest indie dream-pop coos and harmonised gasps to a creamy pastoral scene of flighty synths and strummed strings in 'Fluchtwege' - it's very well accomplished but the Panda Bear impersonations are perhaps a little cloying. Thankfull his bandmate Ed Gibson replaces him with an instrumental contribution to the airborne waltz of 'The Sacrifice', alongside Brooks' signature vintage zesthetics and piano provided by Will Dutta.
Swinging modern rare groove by South London's Wbeeza. His first entry for 2015 errs to a stripped down, ascetic house style, dicing with Joe-style Afro-centric kick/clap syncopation with 'Can Of Worms', and minimal, gritty filter house in 'Circles' while 'If I Ever' gets on the boogie downstroke inna Moodymann style, and 'Upside Down' blushes a more romantic, uptempo house vibe for big people.
Hip-notic trance-house dancers from New Jersey's Joey Anderson. On return to Dekmantel after 2014's 'After Forever' album, he reveals a more insistent, psychedelic sound stacked with buzzing synth sounds: '1974' oscillates sparkling arpeggios and starburst dynamics yoked to roiling kicks in spiralling escalation across the A-side; on the other, 'Under Water' inverts the formula to droning, warped and brilliantly discordant effect, and 'Back Draft' puts the drums down properly for the dancers.
Livity Sound's Asusu launches his Impasse label with four killah shots of Bristol techno rolige. More stripped and streamlined than Livity Sound, these tracks owe more allegiance to the Berlin-style tech-dub flux and atmospheres of T++, Monolake or Felix K than most of his UK peers, bar Pev. A-side is given to slippery hydraulic motions with the glancing drums and heavy subbass swing of 'Serra' matching that killer Skee Mask 12" for funked-up insistence; B-side is given to a trio of ambient excursions touring vaporous 4th world zones between the crystalline sculpture of 'Anglo Skin' and the recursive chords of 'Low Art'. Recommended.
Amit throws down the bassbin gauntlet with four diverse D&B/techno mutations. A-side is loaded with the ravenous Bad Company-style synth attacks and molasses motion of 'The Hunted', plus the quaking 4/4 dub, 'Chalvey Town'; B-side he adopts a dubstep stance with the strongback step of 'Survivor' eased off by Rani's trip hop vocal, and 'Mind Over' dices with hard-ass techno traits, culminating in a neat locked groove.
**Sterling dark pop and stark ambient noise somewhere between Grouper and Vatican Shadow** There's some genuinely dark magick at work in Paper Dollhouse's debut LP for Finders Keepers. The London-based duo of Nina Bosnic and Astrud Steehouder are in possession/possessed by a gothic, oneiric spirit which has previously been revealed on Jane Weaver's Bird Records - who also present a cassette version of this LP - and alongside Magpahi for Devon Folklore Tapes Vol. IV. But this is arguably their most effective invocation to date. Guided by black light they offer 10 concentric circles cro… Read more
Coarse but canny house trax from Venetian producer, Steve Murphy aka DJ Octopus, Die Roh… Murphy clearly doesn't mind a bit of grit under the nails, running hard-working house rhythms thru a crackly filter for proper bite on the 'floor, from the kinky build of 'Climax' thru the burned-out piano house banger, 'Something Around The Sun', to the Analogue Cops-style slam of 'Venus' and the jagged jack of 'Movida'.
The man behind 'Bullet In A Gun' (don't hold it against him) dons his Rex The Dog costume for a new party two-tracker on Kompakt. Expect more of that hiccupping tech-house funk, with a canny vocal stab on the B-side's 'Korgasmotron'.
Low-key and dreamy deep house trax by new producer, Aleksander Grozdanovski aka Herzel, backed with Palms Trax remixes. The Herzel originals are charmingly spacious, subtly shifty pieces of deep house for the wee small hours, working with rolling kicks and plangent, almost shoegazy harmonics in 'Daydreamer', feat. Jordan Kolevski's processed trumpet, while 'Closure' does a more breezy sort of garage-house abstraction with haunting organ, and 'Shades' eases off with percolated, Afro-centric and ambient house vibes.
Akito twysts the lines of grime and ballroom in the 5th volume of Rushmore's 'World Series'. 'Dalston Dips' in two parts - a stripped, monotone version, and a duppied, darker alternative mix - beside the roadwise tribal swagger of 'Stratagem' and a screwed, radioactive grime mutation entitled 'Sordid Forfeit'.
Sawf London's Henry Wu makes his full debut proper with a crispy beat suite for Ho Tep. Giving equal room to show all strands of his style, the 'Negotiate' EP delivers sweetened soul ('Don't Want The Regular'), wheezing digi-dub jazz ('Expensive Ghetto') with Mo Kolours, and wavey rare groove ('Black Rigsby'), thru to blushed beatdown ('Just Negotiate' feat. Simeon Jones) and grubbing jazz-funk ('Joint Seventeen').
"The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes, offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivati… Read more