Thursday, 05 December
**CD, DVD and booklet** **CD + DVD housed in spotgloss and metallic ink-printed, book-bound and rope-tied jacket** Man Is A Rope are a grubby No Wave proposition from New York fronted by studio owner and former Synewave producer, Evan Kreeger (Gain), and counting Karl O'Connor (Regis) among their rank. The first release on their Variance label combines a five-track EP of taut No Wave rock/techno mutations, gothic dub and electronic noise with a DVD video to the package's centrepiece, 'Boys Weekend'. It's a f**k load of fun for dark heads, a sophisticated yet less-than-salubrious… Read more
Murky ambient flux from Ten Hyphen Twenty for Brighton's Where To Now? crew. Two extended pieces unravel with enigmatic logic; 'Portrait Of A House Plant' dissolving between darker ambient drones and composted ferric textures to pockets of trapped bass music, frictional rhythms against morphing swells of noise and detached melodies in between blurry ambient dimensions. 'Still Life With Indoor Water Feature' is lusher, traversing processed field recordings, crushing/crushed concrete textures and lost, ambient motifs deep into the sort of cracked, kaleidoscopic vortex you might expect from Wanda Group or DJ Purple Image. Recommended!
Eerie, oneiric electronic psychedelia from Lisbon's Ondness for Brighton's excellent Where To Now? label. 'Poor Man's Twilight Zone' exists in a headspace somewhere between Negra Branca's ethereal H-Pop scapes, Wanda Group's murky ambient and the kind of zonked post-techno purveyed by Opal Tapes, feeling out in the half light resonant, gamelan-like tones and lushest chord swirl in the 12 minute 'Trono', whilst 'Ongoing To Zona' combines celestial flute with a sort of lo-fi take on Porter Ricks' aquatic techno churn. 'Edit Sombre' is closer to techno proper with a buoyant 4/4 step… Read more
**One-sided edition of 250** Canny deep vocoder/disco/piano house bomb from Dublin's New Jackson, following his remix of The xx and and a cool 12" for Hivern Discs.
**10" in gatefold jacket** New six-tracker by Mark E. Smith and co. A-side: 'Thje Remainderer', ''Amorator!', 'Mister Rode'; B-side - 'Remeberance R', 'Say Mama / Race With The Devil', 'Touchy Pad'.
**Includes 4 art inserts** Young Turks proudly parade the fruits of their 2013 catalogue on this fairly priced CD. In among them you'll find an exclusive release of Sampha's Kuedo-esque cosmic soul bomb, 'IMO' alongside the likes of FKA Twigs' incredible, Arca-produced masterpiece, 'Water Me', The xx's 'Reconsider', and the strobing majesty of 'Sun' by Koreless plus the extended dub 12" version of Pional's 'Invisible/Amenaza' and Lost Scripts' bumping indie-boogie, 'I'll Be watching You'.
LA futurists take inspiration from Game Of Thrones on their first release since 2012's excellent 'Warm Pulse' for Hippos In Tanks. Back on their Fade To Mind imprint, the duo reduce Eski grime, RPG memes, trap and house in seven of the slickest Vaporwave/Bass mutations you'll hear this year. The crystalline trap geometry of 'Skycell' itself borrows a title from - we're reliably informed, having never watched Game Of Thrones - a jail called the 'Eyrie' that's got a thousand foot drop on one side. 'Foam Feathers' is an anti-G-rollin' R&B instrumental, and 'Harp Bell' gives Jersey Club bass a sophist… Read more
Surreal, complex and hyper-edited collages of field recordings, drones and electronics by Gonçalo F Cardoso aka Gonzo for Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong's Discrepant label. Gonçalo weaves edited field recordings made by Jeanneau with raw and digitally treated analogue modulations by Cédric Stevens (aka Acid Kirk) and drums by David Naan into fractally morphing, impossible and otherworldly scenes segueing between up-close recordings of flies, dissonant Chinese chorales, layered location recordings and dramatic drone panoramas. RIYL Rashad Becker, Russell Haswell's field recordings, Sublime Frequencies, Francisco Lopez.
"After successful collaborations with prestigious guests like Jim O´Rourke and Oren Ambarchi and the widely acclaimed Fire! Orchestra release earlier this year our Swedish friends are back as a trio, lighting up a sonic blaze of rock based riffs and hypnotic jazz-psychedelia. As far from noodling instrumentals as it’s possible to get, the tracks are spontaneously combusting rituals with a clear sense of purpose. Each of the three members is gifted with a formidable technique and arsenal of tricks and effects on their respective instruments, and the album also sees acclaimed saxophonist Mats Gust… Read more
Simon Baker and Geddes' Nofitstate party birth their label with two trax from Baker backed by a fine Skudge remix. The originals play tuff but deep with driving bass, slicing snares and virulent synthlines but the real class is on Skudge's flipside remix, riding with flying hi-hats, lithe bass tumble and hypnotic, building chords.
*Vinyl includes a copy of the CD free inside.* German disco king back with his first album in five years! Köhncke is dead good at albums - just check his modern classics 'Wast Ist Musik' or 'Safe And Sound' for evidence - and contains to prove his calibre with 'The Wonderful Frequency Band'. Taking what he needs from the essential elan of seminal late '70s disco, '80s electronic boogie and '90s house, and factoring it with a dry but friendly sort of Teutonic humour, he presents a warm, pulsing example of why Kompakt - the label he's long been associated with… Read more
The former Third Eye Foundation frontman delves into folksier waters to optimistic effect with a much lighter adjunct to previous releases.
"In the 1970s the American composer Henry Flynt started a series of pieces under the title "New American Ethnic Music". In so doing he worked together native styles of music such as blues, Country or Hillbilly with electronic production methods to make something altogether new. So far in Germany it has never been attempted to rework folklore electronically for a compilation. However, this picture changes if one redefines the idea of who the population is. Incomers have brought new "national anthems" to Germany, which … Read more
Boysnoize pay tribute to Chicago's legendary Dance Mania label with twelve bangers by Bok Bok & Tom Trago, Scntst/DJ Scholar, Pipes, Feadz, Strip Steve Housemeister and more. There's also a CD copy featuring an exclusive DJ Funk weapon, 'High Frequency' for erm.. the freaks. Bust a nut.
"Live orchestral album ‘Spiritoso’ in a brand new CD edition. The album was recorded in 2012 with two different orchestras in Vienna and Berlin, and features many Calexico hits and selected songs from the band’s latest studio album, ‘Algiers’. A must have for every fan and a great profile album for new fans. This Album was first released as a bonus CD of Algiers Limited Edition".
*Heavyweight vinyl with a free CD inside and a 12”x12” artwork print* "Adrian Crowley teams up with Fife balladeer James Yorkston to pay homage to the songs of Daniel Johnston. The album’s origins can be traced back to 2006 when James asked Adrian to play with him at The Barbican in London for the ‘Devil And Daniel Johnston’ tribute concert. In 2008 the decision was made to make an album of Daniel Johnston songs, forsaking a studio for home recordings sent back and forth between Dublin and Fife. Recording onto weather-beaten Portastudios, th… Read more
**Picture Disc. Reissued for first time in 15 years. Cool pickings for Kraut and Balearic disco jocks** "‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981. After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove. Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement."
**White vinyl. Reissued for first time in 15 years. Cool pickings for Kraut and Balearic disco jocks** "‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981. After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove. Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement."
Off-road Balearic gold right here: 16 tracks of lilting drum machine patter and lushest miniature synth and guitar odysseys. 'Cloud Nine' is Golf Channel's follow-up to a reissue of 'Magic Table', reaching right back to 1981-1984 to cherry-pick from Spike's now-legendary quartet of self-released albums blending stripped down post-punk with traces of Steely Dan, Manuel Göttsching and Franco Falsini. Recommended!
**Includes Hercules & Love Affair remix** "'New York, New York' by DeeKay Jones, is an electrifying piece of hypnotic electric-disco-wave, produced in the eponymous city's concrete jungle back in 1981. It's a track that had all the potential to propel dance music forward: Relentless drum computer beats that predate techno - and even Chicago house - by years. A minimalistic synth hook that sounds more futuristic than any cutting edge dance record available at the time. And brilliantly overdubbed chants (taken from a 1970 The Last Poets album), which anticipated sample culture and should … Read more
Lennie De Ice, Joe Goddard and Sister Bliss vs I said No weigh in remixes of award-winning poet, Tempest, for the Greco Roman clan. Original junglist, Lennie De Ice rolls 'Our Town' with old skool breakbeats and soaring synth pads; Goddard tweaks it to a nimble garage-house vibe; Sister Bliss vs I said No say it with a shifty, proggy garage flavour.
Bellicose industrial techno from Japan's Yuuka Sakai. In four parts he puts a unique spin on the sound ranging from the shifty top end patterns and rumbling, blown-out bass of 'Foase' to the rugged digital torque of 'Kij' and the powerful churn of 'Rois'. Tipped to fans of Ancient Methods, Regis, AnD.
"Recorded in one day, Silver Fox partnered up with their long-time friend and producer, Andrew Hodson (Warm Digits), to create an album that reflects the energy of their live performances. This is music with no rules or preconceptions; pooling ideas and observations into music that can be raucous, sad, reflective, powerful, wistful, or whatever it needs to be. With vibrating harmonies and primal beats at its heart, sounds and words form together in response to the lives we all live. Silver Fox is a place where anything can happen, where ideas are free to move and change. Pulling together lyrics… Read more
Tuesday, 03 December
The second of our 2013 round-ups intersects all manner of cosmic electronics, avant-pop and lustrous R&B. Rather than a definitive overview of this nebulous spectrum, we'd rather take this opportunity to highlight those pieces that might not end up on every end-of-year list, but rather quietly stood out as unique or affecting and stuck in the memory more than others. We've been smitten with Ensemble Economique's epic, defocussed soft rock number 'We Come Spinning Out Of Control' off his amazing 'Fever Logic' album, and can't help but return again and again to the breathtak… Read more
Monday, 02 December
Marcell Dettmann and Head High (Shed) take Modeselektor and Apparat's three-headed beast to the 'floor. In his raving Head High mode René Pawlowitz aka Shed retools 'Bad Kingdom' as a moody rave-pop anthem with a scuffed garage-techno chassis, making great use of the originals soaring chords and Sascha Ring's pleading vocal over gritty, swinging rhythm engine. Dettmann's remix is squared at peaktime use with a sort of industrial carnival techno momentum mauled with coruscating distortion for unrelenting effect.
Another tasty offering from 1080p, the label founded by the Rose Quartz and Altered Zones blogger Richard MacFarlane - a key player in the burgeoning hypnagogic pop and dance aesthetic of recent years. Mind Dynamics reflects this context, sluicing out a kaleidoscopic lo-fi flow for fans of the Skaters et al, but takes it further by applying a certain unique restlessness and energetic beats that range from caffeinated trills on the hi-hat to rivet-guns toted by angry robots. What you're hearing is the blissful, child-like warmth of hazy memories being eaten up and converted by … Read more
Outstanding darkside jungle rinse-out from Akkord's Liam Blackburn aka Indigo. The follow-up to his Apollo double pack and, of course, the Akkord LP, is arguably his finest solo mission to date. Three cuts exhibit a shocking display of junglist dexterity, from the taut halfsteppin' torque of 'Volta' to the wide-screen atmosphere and Amiga-mashed amen choppage of 'Spirit Of The Winds' with Versa, and the skittish, last-man-in-the-warehouse flex of 'Storm', whilst 'Condition' checks out on a weighty halfstep/slow-house tip.
*Extended Digital Edition* Mad techno / dubstep / jungle / electronica mutations from one of the current scene's brightest and most prolific. Killwatt's 'Bring Down The Walls' does just that, darting across a dancefloor no-mans-land into 4/4 techno, moody electronica and noisy bass experiments. It's a sound he's been hinting at on recent collaborations with Kryptic Minds and a remix of Paul Mac, but never explored quite so thoroughly as this. Up top he reels between sub-heavy slammer, 'Highway Hypnosis' to the industrial abstraction of 'Backed Into A F**ked Up Recess' via noise an… Read more
Atom ™, Kangding Ray and Ancient Methods revamp These Hidden Hands' album tracks for the 'floor. In Uwe Schmidt aka Atom ™'s hands, 'When Told' becomes a sprung, roiling techno weapon rent with dazzling spatial diffusions and streaking, Deathprod-like synthlines whilst saving that gloomy vocal for the most crucial moment. With 'Diesel' Kangding Ray flexes some brute, driving techno muscle, and Ancient Methods lock 'Isopod' down to a determined drone techno march...