Thursday, 24 July
Super smart 2nd album from Seattle's foremost hip hop accelerationists. Fronted by Ishmael Butler, formerly of the brilliant Digable Planets, Shabazz Palaces have cornered a unique take on contemporary hip hop melding traces of electronica, cyberactive dub and jazz inna cerebral but instantly gratifying style that swerves self-conscious oddness in favour of genuinely psychedelic lushness and off-the-dome freedom. Borrowing its title 'Lese Majesty' from a French term for offending about offending the dignity of a royal, the album is framed as a "…sort of sonic attack on the "me-mania" that… Read more
**Clear vinyl** Tactile, rugged industrial techno experiments from London's Details Sound. There's a range and sensitivity at play here which tends to escape many industrial practitioners, spreading out from stark drone modulations to hypnotic, banking techno pulsers, monotone fibrillations and raspin' rolige compatible with Shifted, Prostitutes or Ron Morelli.
Enveloping 38-minute piece from Eleh written for performance at the Cleveland Museum Of Contemporary Art. 'For Moussavi Atrium' marks the first new Eleh material since 2012, following an invaluable programme of reissues for their Important early releases during the 2013. It starts off in near silence before fleshing out a supple sinewave flux modulating at rapid intervals to a pulsing, brain-worming coda that'll hypnotise and control anyone susceptible to a good 'wave. This is one of those instances where the format plays some part - the clarity and duration afforded by the CD really holds us… Read more
Slicker sophomore EP of mutant bass and twisted electronics from Lorenzo Senni, Daniele Mana (Vaghe Stelle) and Francesco Fantini's One Circle. 'Transparency' follows their 2013 debut for label/incubator, Left Blank with a murkily ambiguous mixture of production fidelities, textures and styles delivered with a unique electronic accent. They and it are testament to a rooted yet accelerated Italian electronic music scene, presenting impressionistic, emotive visions referencing recent and hypermodern styles from a forward, somewhat detached perspective, as with the beautifully garish vision of… Read more
Killer, stark, psychotomimetic jaxxx from the L.I.E.S. stronghold. They're apparently teasers for an upcoming project, leaving us with the taste of sweat and poppers after ingesting the rapid acid flux, spiralling accordion and spiky jack of 'ZKY', and kicking us in the gut with the haughty shunt of 'Image'. You dancing?
Canny meld of folk, R&B and subtle electronics from Floella All and the Various Production duo. The angular, stop-start groove of A-side sorta reminds of FAY's brilliant beat works given a modern London folk-blues vocal; flipside is more of a distant, dubbed, forlorn ditty, at once cute and deeply blue.
Widescreen visions of modern classical and electronics on the debut album from American Men's Claude Speeed. Ostensibly the odd one out in LuckyMe's fluorescent roster, the Glaswegian artist actually shares a lot in common with his native label-mates, in terms of proggy compositional nuance and his taste for glittering, emotively synthetic backdrops. Distilling a mixture of ebullient grandiosity and majestic melancholy at its core, it percolates a spectrum of modern music from the stadium rousing epics of Mogwai and Rustie to the subtler tones and sweeping, folksy arrangements of BoC or Konx… Read more
Second label comp from ClekClekBoom, featuring exclusive tracks from French Fries, Bambounou, Coni, Aleqs Notal, NSDOS, Jean Nipon and Aethority.
Stump Valley puts a big, slompy donk on it for Rush Hour, backed with two side-winding slow disco percolators. Following up his ace debut for Off Minor Recordings, he runs the chugging mid-tempo bounce of 'The Visitors' with mad phasing breakdown, powerful bass and tweakin' disco arpeggios on the front, whilst flipside yields the dubbed sway and tricksy percussive patterns of 'Galaxy999' and a reshuffled Drum Rave Mix by Mtrpls on the flip. Stick this in your party and watch 'em smoke it.
Cryptic edit workouts for the discerning disco dancefloor. Uptown you'll discover the louche deckside slyde of Serpent Digit's 'Precious Metal Crown'; downtown dips a shoulder to the proggy vocal harmonies and dubbed-out disco-not-disco of Fantasy Mark-Ups' 'Transmitted Contagion' and Dune Sister's 'Kyoto Recital' - an edit of Bene Gesserit's obscure 'Japanese Song'. One for the freaks…
Wayward, tripping acid techno trax from Sweden's Daniel Andréasson - new on Skudge. All about the strange, skippy but sludgy groove of 'Ble3' on top, but there's also some canny moves in the slower, gear-grinding 'Ditehr24' and two Frak style jams on the flip.
"Performed and put to tape at Estuary Recording Facility, The Seeker and The Healer constitutes the first collaborative work by Texas-based sound artist Cory Allen and Louisiana minimalist composer Duane Pitre. The album’s two side-long pieces were developed out of multiple improvisational sessions governed by predetermined rules, sourced from piano, bowed guitar, harmonium and 49-stringed drone harp (a custom-made instrument of Allen’s own design featured here on record for the first time). In the context of both musicians’ discographies, these pieces occupy a unique and… Read more
Disco-ready remix session from The KDMS, Martin Brodin, Leaves & Iron Curtis, Acid Washed, and Nirosta Steel. Highlights include former Arthur Russell collaborator, Nirosta Steel's breezy Eastwood remix and a romantic Acid Washed version.
Snotty swansong from the hard-living punk, Sewn Leather, for Milan's excellent Hundebiss label. 'Freak On Hashish / Longboarding Is A Crime' commendably lives up to at least half its title (we're not what he's got against longboarding, but we're not arsed either way really) with nine blown out, sludgy misshapes that sound too wrecked to get up but still generate enough wretched energy to put off casual listeners and entice the hardcore. It starts up with the bombed-out hip hop bounce of 'Real Recognise Fake' and culminates in a 19 and half minute slayer packing proper punk techno and hip hop nastiness. See ya SewnLeather!
"Every year requires winter records. Those sounds that you reach for when cyclical freeze triggers a craving for icy synthesizers and sinister drums. This is where you’ll find Alias’ Pitch Black Prism, an alternately bleak and beautiful album built for headphones and hailstorms. “The image that stuck in my head for its tone was a figure illuminated just beyond the range of complete darkness,” says Alias. “I worked on it mostly it night, so it definitely has more of a nocturnal feel than any of my previous albums.” It’s a fitting metaphor for the Maine resident. Few places boast such a severe c… Read more
Magical make-over of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's 'Don't Make Me Over', as made famous by Dionne Warwick, now transported somewhere to avant-pop LA.
*Deluxe double vinyl reissue* Initially seen as something of a curate's egg on Sub Pop, Earth have gone on to be one of the most influential bands of recent years, spawning the entire dronecore / death metal scene (Sunn O))) etc.) as well as helping to mould the likes of Mogwai, Jim O'Rouke and (if their reverential appearance on the recent 'Legacy of Dissolution' LP is anything to go by) even Autechre. Back with their first proper album for 9 years ('Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method'), Earth seem eager to discard the overly distorted sound that has come t… Read more
Reissue of a highly sought-after ghetto house banger from Chicago '93. Same track on both sides.
Psilocybic house and techno funk from Matt Didemus of Juniors Boys' new label. The label's 2nd release is cleft between the mysterious Primitive World and Hamburg's Yør, the former veering between frothy acid and melting techno rhythms spiced with flashes of purple funk, the latter wandering off into Alice In Wonderland techno playzones. Gobble.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Brooklyn's finest minimal wave duo take flight to Ghostly International for 4th album, 'Par Avion'. With their shift to more visible climes of the musical landscape, Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride have tightened up and honed their already sharp sound to a pop potency, still dealing in romance for a colder age, but now with more variety and contrasts - from upbeat to downbeat, slow to fast, light to dark. "Par Avion's rich diversity of sounds comes at least in part from the fact that it's an album-long ode to synesthesia. As singer Liz … Read more
"Land Observations (aka musician and artist, James Brooks) presents ‘The Grand Tour’, the follow up to 2012’s debut album, ‘Roman Roads IV-XI’. Where the debut album was concerned with the roads of communication and conquest that stretched across the former Roman Empire and Republic, the new album creates an imaginary travelogue through Western, Central and Southern Europe with reference to the historic Grand Tour. The album was recorded on the edge of the Bavarian Alps on just one electric 6-string guitar - exploring the potential of the instrument in relation to layers, rhythm, melo… Read more
*Includes 12" Booklet & Download Code Redeemable From The Label* "Land Observations (aka musician and artist, James Brooks) presents ‘The Grand Tour’, the follow up to 2012’s debut album, ‘Roman Roads IV-XI’. Where the debut album was concerned with the roads of communication and conquest that stretched across the former Roman Empire and Republic, the new album creates an imaginary travelogue through Western, Central and Southern Europe with reference to the historic Grand Tour. The album was recorded on the edge of the Bavarian Alps on just one electric 6-string guitar - exploring … Read more
**Cinematic synth themes and sleazy disco from Athens** From the label: "Optimo Music is known as a 12” label, but occasionally something rare and dangerous comes our way that compels us to release a full length album… It’s not exactly a dance album, although there is music you can dance to on it. It’s more filmic in nature, with references to legendary directors like Kubrick and Carpenter that will enthrall a film buff, particularly if they’re interested in electronic and dance music (It compelled me to watch Barry Lyndon again for the umpteenth time after fir… Read more
"Invada dive once again into the world of video game soundtracks with the release of Brian Reitzell's musical score to the open-world adventure game Watch_Dogs. Full of infectious beats and atmospheric, retro-futuristic synths, the score is a further achievement from composer Reitzell, who has previously written music for U.S drama series as well as working on multiple scores with acclaimed director Sofia Coppola, the latter of which has featured collaborations with French band AIR and Kevin Shields. This latest work brings an eclectic feel to the score, with off-kil… Read more
*A Guide to 60 Independent Labels in a beautiful letterpress canvas sleeve, 128 pages with design and layout by Kim Hiorthøy* Over the last 20 or so years we have witnessed an explosition in music related books, this one being a most welcome addition that fills a hole in that ever growing library. Born out of necessity and a love of the music and the records, the aim of this book is to offer a guide to a selection of independent labels and their releases of free jazz and improvisation between 1965 and 1985, with 1965 being the year when ESP-Disk' started … Read more
Aïsha Devi's Danse Noire label really comes into its own with these wild gabber and throat music incursions backed by equally freaked Hieroglyphic Being and IVVVO remixes. Her 'Hakkan Dub' takes the form of dub-spattered drums and blitzkreig kicks haunted by harpy vocals, whereas 'Throat Dub' hollows-out and manipulates the ever-effective sound of Mongolian (?) throat singers for nine minutes of arresting drones. Flipside IVVVO ices 'Hakkan Dub' to a cavernous EBM thump sounding like some lost cut from the Caustic Window sessions, and Jamal Moss gives 'Throat Dub' a squashed, Afro-centric re-wriggle.
Huxley returns to Aus with a second EP, co-produced with S-Man (aka Roger Sanchez) for an anthemic, sub-heavy 4-tracker.
Jay Daniel, Seven davis Jr and Ph0t0machine put a new spin on Four Tet's 'Beautiful Rewind' album tracks. Detroit's yung wunderkind, Jay Daniel rides roughshod drum machine rhythms, dissolving keys and field recordings of birdsong over a sublime rework of 'Aerial'; Seven Davis Jr nimbly tweaks Buchla' into a skipping, floating garage-house groove, and Ph0t0machine gives 'Crush' a mercurial electro-techno momentum.
Slinky, deeper house from Dona backed with Patrice Scott and Vakula remixes. The originals are comparable with Cassy's stripped down electroid swing, Scott gives a ruggedly aquatic remix, and Vakula runs with a raw acid dub sound.
DJ Q and DJ Haus pipe up with a 2nd set of 'floor burnin' garage-house swingers. On top deck they whisk up the champagne bubble and pan pipes of 'Str8 Jugglin' and the ruder rudder of 'Eros Dance'. Below deck they shake out the kinky swing of 'All Nite' and a DJ Q remix fired up with 'ardcore breaks and a West Yorkshire rudeboy stance.