Thursday, 26 February
*Vinyl edition includes a foldout poster with photographs and liner notes* 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 … 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 turns… Read more
*Limited Edition 180gm pressing on Gold Wax - remastered from the original tapes, including a 12” by 12” insert of liner notes by Dave Segal. An essential Reissue of one of the most compelling and original albums to have emerged from the British post-rock scene of the early 90’s* A bit of a bolt out of the blue this one, Medical Records breath new life to what we consider to be one of the most interesting and overlooked albums of its era, Laika’s 1994 gem ‘Silver Apples of the Moon”. Simon Reynolds coined the term “Post Rock” writing about Laika and Kevin (The Bug) Martin’s God proje… Read more
*Finally available on vinyl - probably our favourite ever Ambarchi LP, produced by Thomas Brinkmann* Oren Ambarchi caps a vintage and truly prolific year of releases with the pulsing, searching, 5-part narrative of 'Quixotism'. Underpinned by the pulsing truth of Thomas Brinkmann's computable drums, the session unfolds with a preternaturally hypnotic logic, consolidating a wealth of contributions from the likes of regular collaborators Jim O'Rourke (synth), Crys Cole (contact mics, brushes), Eyvind Kang (bowed gender & violas) and John Tilbury (piano) with new input from U-zhaa… Read more
**Limited edition screen-printed jacket version. Dinky centre labels, screen-printed side F label. Resealable sleeve** 'Expressions' is the lush 2nd album from Edinburgh's Linkwood on Firecracker. It's the sort of album you can spend a whole evening, or equally a whole lifetime with, perfectly crafted and sequenced for immersed listening and also to be broken down into DJ components - of which there are some super strong moments in the hypnotic Detroit disco-tech of 'Object', the sophisticate house stride of 'Expressions', and a sublime dub chord lather in 'Love Lost' to close. From Firecracker… Read more
'Expressions' is the lush 2nd album from Edinburgh's Linkwood on Firecracker. It's the sort of album you can spend a whole evening, or equally a whole lifetime with, perfectly crafted and sequenced for immersed listening and also to be broken down into DJ components - of which there are some super strong moments in the hypnotic Detroit disco-tech of 'Object', the sophisticate house stride of 'Expressions', and a sublime dub chord lather in 'Love Lost' to close. From Firecracker's own malty sales notes: "Ah, yes! Finally some real flavours to sink our teeth into. The nose is truly a work of art. F… Read more
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+E/E… Read more
UK's baddest duo do it again with the '1 Sec' EP landing on XL after the blinding 'Take Time' 12" for Rinse. Mumdance makes the music, Novelist runs rings around it. This is the OG sound developed by BBE and Wiley accelerated with incredible vision, imagination and tenacity; bending your ear to the preternaturally observant, incisive lyrics of 17 year old MC, Novelist, while Mumdance's ballistic, collaged production slaps up from every angle. Both the title track and 'Shook' set the levels head-high for 2015, outmaneuvering all comers at every swerve, each near miss with a bus and in every rave-eyed bass stab. This is what music needs to sound like in 2015.
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, descriptiv… Read more
**Deutsche Grammophon vinyl reissue of Max Richter's classic album from 2004 - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Heres our original review from 2004: "After albums by Set Fire To Flames and Sylvain Chauveau, Max Richter's 'The Blue Notebooks' is the 4th release on FatCat's 130701 imprint, an outlet for more orchestrated, instrumental material. 'The Blue Notebooks' is Max Richter's second solo album, a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope. Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano mel… Read more
**Remastered reissue edition of 520 includes download code and liner notes by Matt Krefting plus 11" x 11" art print from Connors' Sea Storm series** At long last, Loren Connors' breathtaking suite of solo guitar 'Airs' availed on vinyl! Self-released on CDr in 1999, it's arguably one of the august American's finest releases: a series of "brief electronic guitar poems" condensing the tactile expression of his longer form explorations into heart-breakingly intimate vignettes. Humble, never showy, each stroke and lingering hesitation of the nineteen Airs - including 'The Lost Track' discovered duri… Read more
Squashed and killer psy-house flex from Bristol's Lily backed with a mega Madteo remix. As many clued-up heads know, Lily's 2013 debut for Idle Hands and follow-up cassette album with No Corner were some of the dopest, ruggedest slow house mutations of recent years. With 'Memory Jacket' he follows suit with a crushed, late night chugger primed with murky bass toil and head-spinning electronics for after-hours blues and red-lit basements. Madteo's remix is equally grimy, gradually finding its groove at a skanking 111bpm bounce skudged with acrid white noise and buckled bass buoyed by Berlin dub chords. Straight winner.
**10" mastered and cut from 1/4" tape by Lewis at Stardelta. Edition of 300** Some make-your-own-pizza business from Fxck Punk aka APE (Vessel) and Chester Giles paying dues to their local 24-hour Asda (Walmart for Americans) in Bedminster, Bristol. Obfuscated yet direct-to-the-dome, the session combines off-the-nut poetry from Giles with some of Vessel's most burned and turnt production. Bowling red-eyed and lo-fi from industrially reclaimed grime, 'Spud-U-Like' to mucky pockets of stress-testing noise and lyrics about sniffing glue on 'Trash And Reapy', the session takes an … Read more
Maddest double feature: vintage Canadian Italo on one side; "Spirit Rap" on the other! Jeancy's swaggering, flanging Italo boogie, 'U Turn Me On' dances from deepest night, 1983 into 2015 across the A-side, while the otherworldly glossolalia and healing powers of a harmonised Astarius Miraculii occupy the B-side. More crazy splits, please!
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 ambien… Read more
Girl Unit goes Hysterics on a 2nd set of ballroom-slaying workouts for Night Slugs. Built on the foundation of his Club Constructions, these are fully fledged dance trax, juicing the essence of ballroom, B-more, techno and deep house with nutricious efficiency. 'Club Life' is a pressurised alloy of B-more and Vasquez-like house with a hardcore UK edge; 'HTRX9' feels like a future-steeled update of Anthony Shair or Titonton style breakbeat house. 'Eye Mask' brings the 'floor up with extreme, strobing filter dynamics amping the imagined potential of The Field gone Roulé, and 'Empty' s… Read more
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Russell … Read more
Air Max '97 follows one of 2014's sickest singles with three fluoro aces on 'Fruit Crush', including an exceptional hook-up with Strict Face. This is the new skool in full effect, twysting the genes of grime, kuduro and freestyle electro with vaporous 'tronics in sheer hyperspace. 'Fruit Crush' steps out first with a grimier analog to SOPHIE and PC Music styles, streaking mad FX around sharp electro stabs, chattering melodies and wobbly bogle; 'Shape Cut' resets to a slower roll nodding to Lisbon's taraxho sound, but with xtra subs and off-kilter, lilting licks. Best of all, 'Armour Form' inc… 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 lend a… Read more
**Housed in heavy 2LP tip on gatefold. Includes striking phootgraphs by James Stephenson and detailed liner notes by Jeanneau** "Music of Tanzania is a spectacular collection of field recordings gathered by Laurent Jeanneau between December 1999 and March 2000. This debut volume of Sublime Frequencies’ exploration of indigenous Tanzanian music compiles sacred and profane songs and dances of the Hadza, Datoga and Makonde people. Highlights include stoned ecstatic dancing in a Hadza encampment; a drunken celebration of preteen sexual initiation from a Makonde fishing village; baboon imitatio… Read more
**A fascinating insight to Vietnamese radio - crammed with electroid jingles, news excerpts and haunting folk songs - recorded, compiled, sequenced and assembled by Mark Gergis on location between 2013-2014. Housed in gatefold sleeve with 8-page booklet** "This disc continues the Sublime Frequencies locale-specific radio collage series with Vietnamese radio recordings culled and assembled from signals received in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between December 2013 and November 2014. Inside the program are moments of outstanding folkloric, traditional and pop music – including performances on th… Read more
*4 panel digifile CD Edition* "Jarboe is a famed vocalist, musician and performer, who came to prominence as co-front and co-writer in Swans. In addition to her X solo albums, she has notably worked with Neurosis as well as many other legends such as Blixa Bargeld. Helen Money is the nomme de guerre of cellist Alison Chesley. In addition to working with Mono, Anthrax and Russian Circles, she has toured with Joe Lally and Shellac among others, and released her third album 'Arriving Angels' on respected metal label Profound Lore in 2013. While still a "heavy" record in many ways, C… Read more
**Marbled red/black wax with insert** Banging acid and deep techno standards from Skudge's Elias Landberg and fellow Swede, Nihad Tule, a.k.a. Taken. A-side launches a metallic techno assault called 'Terrorfish' powered by primal kicks and teeth-chattering 16th note acid oscillations; B-side plunges way deeper with an hypnotic big room momentum made from effortless bass pressure and gloaming, descending pads perhaps imagining a haunting at Berghain.
*Metallic ink sleeve, heavyweight vinyl with download code* "Jarboe is a famed vocalist, musician and performer, who came to prominence as co-front and co-writer in Swans. In addition to her X solo albums, she has notably worked with Neurosis as well as many other legends such as Blixa Bargeld. Helen Money is the nomme de guerre of cellist Alison Chesley. In addition to working with Mono, Anthrax and Russian Circles, she has toured with Joe Lally and Shellac among others, and released her third album 'Arriving Angels' on respected metal label Profound Lore in 2013. While still … Read more
Grimacing EBM charge from some nasty bod named Tzusing for L.I.E.S. Shorn of the label's noisier tendencies, but still ruff-to-taste, all four tunes bite where it matters - banging out the sickst darkroom EBM fantasies between the bruxist mission, '4 Floors of Whores', the cantering New Beat sauce of 'Frankincense and Myrrh', and proper industrial techno with 'O.D.D.'. TIP!
DJ Deep on a rumpy psychedelic house tip for L.I.E.S. Following the dictum, free your ass and thy mind shall follow, he lays down robust , driving jack tracks layered up with expressive sequencer licks for subtly mind-bending effect in the club, swirling up sweeping arpeggios over the pendulous toms and claps of 'Chantage', before getting gritty and psy-trancey with the wormy 'Brainiac' and the mesmerising weave of 'B Is Naggin'.
**Includes digital download redeemable from the label** Further Records co-boss Chloe Harris presents her excellent 2nd solo album of ambient synth drone. On 'Dose' she conducts herself with minimal, uncluttered elegance over eight neatly constructed tracks. Compared with the spooling tendencies of many in the neo-kosmische realm, Reica's pieces are more buttoned up, like bubbling oddities made in a micro-brewery for those with more esoteric tastes. There's still a definite new age tendency, but one reined-in by a DJ's sense of timing and a personal, tactile feel for ambient pop sweetness that displays … Read more
Debut shot of trunk rattling rhythms and hip hop chops from Druguse. Refracting Chicago footwork thru a prism of sun-dazed LA vibes results a crafty mix of frantic but rolling grooves; a smart balance of heavy pressure and woozy lean. Ouyr picks of the bunch are the squashed, sparkin' slow-fast ace 'ITS' and the turnt, brassy banger, 'Twenty Two'.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** *Sam Prekop returns with another album exploring the modular electronics he has been pursuing for the last few years* Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, buil… Read more
**Sterling dark pop and stark ambient noise somewhere between Grouper and Vatican Shadow. Edition of 500 with tracing paper insert and download code** There's some genuinely dark magick at work in Paper Dollhouse's debut LP for Glasgow's Night School Records. 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 invocat… Read more