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Friday, 29 May
**A super rare vinyl outing for one of the 20th century's most revered electro-acoustic composers, housed in debossed jacket designed by Stephen O'Malley and cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering** Editions Mego's unarchiving of the unparalleled INA GRM catalogue reaches a momentous double header by Bernard Parmegiani - one of the 20th century's most revered and important electro-acoustic composers. Born 1927, Parmegiani started as a sound engineer for French TV in the early '50s, establishing a connection between sound and vision which he would explore… Read more
**Vinyl Edition finally available, comes in a special die-cut sleeve including two photo inserts plus download code redeemable from the label with Bonus Track** Nils Frahm presents the truest representation of his feted piano performances with this gorgeous treatment of over two years worth of live recordings, captured and then carefully assembled in his Durton Studio and referred to by Frahm as "a collage of field recordings rather than a live album. "Berlin-based contemporary composer Nils Frahm has built a steady reputation for his intimate, poignant piano recordings, yet they so f… Read more
Pure icy grime burns from Iglew with a killer debut on Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper. As he admits, Iglew only recently experienced bass from a proper soundsystem, and, as such, approaches the genre from a relative outsider perspective. No matter though, as he's clearly developed an acute melodic instinct in the absence of physical pressure, and has clearly caught up with soundsystem dynamics since. Anyway, his 'Urban Myth' EP is straight up killer; a slick lesson in economy of production and emotion, with heart-in-mouth effect in the title track's weightless zone of flutes and slyding squares contrasting… Read more
Rabit makes a crucial contribution to the current discourse between US and UK club/grime styles with his stunning debut for Tri Angle. Arriving hot on the heels of 'Heterocetera' by another Houston-rooted producer, Lotic, the 'Baptizm' EP presents Rabit's smartest, most concise productions to date; 4 tracks, just over 10 minutes of crystalline, piquant electronics feeding off elements of classical composition, instrumental grime and computer music. Much like Arca, he's a master of reduction and efficiency for maximalist effect, whether cramming lucid, violent detail into every millisecond of music or … Read more
Thursday, 28 May
*Finally available on vinyl* Mika Vainio measures out one of his finest releases to date, bar none, in the staggering 'Kilo' for Blast First Petite. With a barely tamed sense of aggression, it more or less finds the perfect crux point between our office favourite, the beats-driven 'Oleva' (2008) under his Ø alias, and the granite hewn and bloodied metal excursion, 'Life (…It Eats You Up)' (2011), shaping ten tracks of a vivid and viscerally affective aesthetic whose themes of mass, dynamic and tone are succinctly reflected in context of his shipping-themed track titles, and surely impl… Read more
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label and vinyl exclusive ambient suite** 'Dumb Flesh' is the ecstatic new album from F**k Buttons' Benjamin Power in Blanck Mass mode. His 2nd album in this guise after 2011's eponymous debut, it retains much of the fizzy noise harmonics and thrills of his duo with Andrew Hung, but channels a more direct dancefloor and pop attitude, 'Dumb Flesh' isn't quite techno, noise or post-rock, but rather a distillation of all their affective memes boiled up, reduced and smeared across these eight tracks. The result: a viscous goo of legal-high po… Read more
**150g vinyl reissue. Audio restored by Taylor Deupree. Housed in new jacket with an untitled Rothko painting. Inner sleeve depicts former artwork, plus sleeve notes from Byron Coley. Includes download code. Edition of 800** 'Blues: The "Dark Paintings" of Mark Rothko' is one of Loren Connors most coveted records. Originally self-released in a tiny edition on his St. Joan label in 1990 under the Guitar Roberts moniker, it works on a liminal level between creepy backwoods ramble and a minimalist reconfiguration of the blues, expressing equal influence from Louisi… Read more
**Deluxe Triple gatefold, printed inners. Includes download code redeemable from the label** In case you hadn't noticed, the gurning genius is back in a big way with 'Syro', his first new LP since 'Drukqs' (2001). Culled from his legendary trove of recordings, it's apparently "about a fifth" of what he's done in the last 10 years, "…one album out of many possible ones", according to his interview with Rolling Stone. After a couple of whizzes thru, we'd say it lands somewhere between 'Drukqs' and the Analord series of 2005 - no real surprises there, then - leaning heavy on trademark breakbeat funk an… Read more
*Reissue* The 2nd of three 12"s from house and techno royalty, Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald's collaborative 'Borderland' project and album. On 'Footprints' a pensile garage-house drum pattern swings over super plush Berlin dub bassline and barely-there but nagging Detroit techno bleeps, both producer's input is evident, but respectfully mixed to keep the two like oil and water in a very fancy glass jar. Their strolling 'Mars Garden' occurs on the flipside, propelled by swollen bassline and strutting 909 pattern through sparse, dusty and red-hued chords with the kind of refined and effortless grace you'd expect from producers of such venerable calibre.
*Reissue* Tresor present the first vinyl of three from the 'Borderland' of techno's venerated elders. 'Electric Garden' appears in two refined versions crafted with all hands-on-desk. The original mix unfurls 12 minutes of languid groove techno-house groove, taking some three minutes to set a scene of humid, almost alien and swampy atmosphere before their motorik engine begins to purr and glides us through a sort of nocturnal everglades, picking off detailed rimshots and gradually coaxing the bass out with effortless elegance. Their 'Deep Jazz In The Garden Mix… Read more
Proper techno from Sleeparchive back on his sought-after imprint. 'And In His Eyes I Saw Death' feels just as heavy but slightly less austere than we're used to from the Berlin producer: the title track starts up like a concatenated workout for the human centipede before dispensing a piquant bleep pattern in the final chokes - plus three lethal loops - while B-side lashes out distorted claps and prickling blips on 'The Maid In The Kitchen', and the killer closer, 'Sondermarken Park In Winter' gives a stripped but shockingly melodic display recalling vintage Mills, Surgeon, Terrence Dixon. TIP!
Wednesday, 27 May
**Die cut jacket. Printed inner** Austere techno from Sigha on Shifted's Avian imprint. A tense and bitter product of its times, 'Techno Derivatives' reduces the style to its most skeletal form with visionary, precision tooled engineering. The A-side cuts are sick, with the tantric '02' teasing the kick drum around shuddering mass of metallic synths and '04' economically rolling with reversed kicks and match-strike percussion sparking in the darkness. Likewise, B-side, '09' holds steadfast to a muted palette with eerie success, and '12' delivers venomous, pounding kicks.
*Brand New (and 31st!) album From The Fall, produced by Mark E Smith* "The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in Manchester in 1976. The band has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. Initially associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years, characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, and is always underpinned by Smith's distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics. Featuring all the tr… Read more
Untold's Hemlock label present Brood Ma's haunting post-IDM album, 'Populous' on wax after a 2014 digital release via Quantum Natives. Perhaps best summed up as "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt", Broodma's debut feels like surfing the net with a cranky connection and too many tabs open, as fractious elements stutter and spurt on the brink of beach-balling your brain. We can hear likenesses with Evian Christ's forward hip hop tilt, the sweeping dynamics of TCF, and scramble of patten but, there's a more fried and abstract logic at play that threads i… Read more
Recollection GRM offer a rare entry point to the rarified electro-acoustic worlds of composer Beatriz Ferreyra (1937, Córdoba, Argentina) with this necessary collection spanning four works realised between 1968/9 and 2011. An original pioneer of early musique concrète alongside Pierre Schaeffer during the '50s and '60s, Beatriz would come to work with instrument creators, the Baschet Brothers, and begin to to move away from the institutions in order to develop and explore an idiosyncratic, intuitive method of free electro-acoustic composition. This collection's earliest piece, 'Demeures a… Read more
*Repress* Following a trio of acclaimed, genre-confounding 12" drops - for his own Diagonal imprint and most recently The Death of Rave - London's Powell reports for duty at Mute's dance R&D department, Liberation Technologies. 'Fizz' picks up where the mighty 'A Band' left off, being an anachronistic party-starter that splits the difference between rockabilly shuffle and gear-grinding industrial stomp, spiced with aromatic no wave samples and squirts of acrid electronic noise - techno for teddy boys. 'Wharton Tiers On Drums' revives the jerry-built, tunnelistic groove of early Powell ace 'The Ongoing Si… Read more
Clinical techno hypnosis conducted by Sweden's Peder Mannerfelt and Simon Haydo for Shifted's Avian label. This is some of the purest, most visceral Techno we've heard in a while, grappling with sheer frequencies and shifty patterns with a proper, bloody-minded focus. It more or less blends the best of both their worlds - Mannerfelt's uncanny studio skill and Haydo's sleek, purified dance tracks found on DEM. There's five cuts of finer wave functions oscillating between monotone jacks, rumbling rhythmic noise and EBM-tainted throbbers for the hardest-to-please experimental techno heads.
*2015 Repress* Berlin's high lord of the techno-breakbeat finally presents his hugely anticipated 2x12" pack for Honest Jons, allegedly his final release under the T++ moniker. For this remarkable project Mr ++ was given access to the label's vaults, selecting a handful of samples from two recordings of the singer and ndingidi-player Ssekinomu, made in East Africa at the end of the 1930s and in the mid-1940s. He deftly weaves snippets of these recordings into his mutating matrix of rhythms, adding a human (albeit acousmatically warped) element to his music that we've never heard before. In a … Read more
Red-eyed electro-dub wickedness from the one and only Actress. His 'Rainy Dub', "the implacable, alien Son Of Sleng Teng" is one of the most blunted tools in his box. Imagine Tapes and Zomby smoking themselves fluorescent green and forgetting to press the buttons, leaving a wormy, irregular bass loop to burrow inside itself and secrete a silvery contrail of fuzzy, evanescent delay, returning nearly nine minutes later to find a computer dub masterpiece. On the other hand you've got 'Faceless', taking a plunge into pressurised aquatic electro, like the spawn of Drexciya left to evolve in the sewers of Detroit. Aces, both of them.
**Remastered and for the first time available on 180g vinyl for this limited reissue - with a CD version included free inside** One of Kompakt's most precious ambient gems appears on vinyl at last! The lesser spotted Olaf Dettinger was instrumental in defining Kompakt's early aesthetic, furnishing the label with both its 2nd release - 'Blond' (KOM 2, 1998) - and this, a diaphanous dream sequence of floating pads and barely-there beats reducing breakbeat and house rhythms to a hushed and gauzily detached presence. It feels something like the legendary Gas releases inverted and… Read more
A gorgeous, forgotten classic of new age synth introspection from '81-'85 excavated and reissued by Belgium's Aguirre imprint - home to the similarly reclined Lieven Martens. 'Trance-Formations I: Ancient Minimal Meditations' revolves around a conceptual cycle following the course of the day. Inevitably it starts at 'Morning Worship', brewing slow rhythmic patterns which radiate shimmering melodies, before the strolling pulses of 'Midday Attunement' meander under woozy, modulating tones seductively swirling in stereo formation. If that sounds a bit similar to lots of other s… Read more
Like bloody buses, Warp roll out another nugget from Aphex Twin with alternate versions of 'MARCHROMT30A Edit 2b' and 'XMAS_EVET1 N' off the Japanese and worldwide versions of 'Syro'. The first edit starts up sounding like Haswell spatterblatz before melting breaks and willowing chords across the synapsez with signature AFXian lushness, whereas the fast mix does it all again at a spannered 45rpm, resulting queerer, creamier tunings. The alternate mix of 'XMAS_EVET1 N' is half the length of the original, nipped and licked like some gem from ICBYD.
*140g LP in spined sleeve with download code card* Ok, this is more like it - a crackshot slab from the crackpot producer putting his computer controlled acoustic orchestra thru its paces. As promised or alluded to in various interviews around last year's 'Syro' LP, he's done a proper Pierre (Bastien, Henry, Schaeffer) and manufactured a whole mechanical band of things that hit other things - mainly pianos, drums and gongs - to make a very pleasing sound indeed. It's the sound of an artist exerting optimal control over his instruments but allowing for, or … Read more
Nick Edwards a.k.a. Ekoplekz explicitly pays homage to his formative influences with 'Reflekzionz' - kosmisch electronics and '90s electronica - on his 3rd LP for Planet Mu. Radiophonics references are swapped for a reverie of early AFX, Autechre and Wolfgang Voigt, among others, filtered thru his grubby dub lense to slot grittily with his previous. And, rather than bleached out tones, 'Reflekzionz' is fringed with a faded colour scheme psychedelically reflected in Zeke Clough's dreamlike sleeve artwork, creating a sort of false-memory implant aesthetic that frames his sound like a polaroid recollection of the originals.
Tuesday, 26 May
**Housed in debossed jacket designed by Stephen O'Malley** Editions Mego inaugurate their hugely exciting Recollection GRM series with a radical piece by the inventor of musique concrete and Groupe de Recherches Musicales founder. Created in 1975-76, with electronic sounds prepared by Bernard Dürr, 'Le Trièdre fertile' is important not only as Pierre Schaeffer's only purely electronic music piece - his work up until this point dealt with "acousmatic" or "sound that one hears without seeing the causes behind it" - but also as the point where he confessed "of a late repentance" to t… Read more
*Repress of this incredible debut* Edition of 200, includes download code redeemable from the label. This is so good! 'Optimists' is the enchanting debut album of rustling drum machines and diaphanous, bittersweet synth lines by Joke Desmet and Milan Warmoeskerken, aka Mittland och Leo. Equal parts Broadcast-like twee exotica and Suicide-style motorik funk, it also holds up very neatly next to like-minded missions from Not Waving, Moon Wheel or early, ambient AFX, hitting the sweetspot of smart simplicity with every turn. There's little arguing that this is a very well-trodden area of ele… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Warp set off their 2nd showcase of killer new dance music from Lisbon's Príncipe crew. Up top, you'll find the mystic flutes and streaking synths of Alto Nivel Produções' low slung tarraxinha, 'Directamente', next to the slamming-but-slinky drums and jagged, SND-like chords of Nidia Minaj's 'Pra Fechar', and DJ Maboku's slow and super wide remix of 'Tarraxo Electrico' by DJ Lilocox ov CDM. Flipside, we're introduced to Puto Anderson & Deejay Ninoo with the kinky, woody drum syncopation of 'Camarate' at a mean slow flex, and… Read more
Friday, 22 May
The one we've all been waiting for! Anthony "Shake" Shakir and Oni Ayhun dissemble and rebuild highlights of the incredible Shangaan Electro comp with inimitable results. Face up, Anthony Shakir reworks BBC's 'Ngunyuta Dance' as an electrified and tribalist House rhythm, amping the kicks and shaking the percussion with a more Latin shuffle, Detroit-via-Shangaan styles. Flip it and you'll find Oni Ayhun shaping fragments of various compilation tracks into a skipping breakbeat House monster, twysted like some rude Shed riddim with a delirious case of sunstroke. Simply, they're sh*t hot dance trax and highly recommended!
One of the UK's canniest labels does it again with Happy Meals' debut album of sensual, spellbinding lo-fi pop. Sounding like the work of Saada Bonaire's long-lost slacker offspring, 'Apéro' is actually the produce of two Glasgow-based artists, Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook, who originally hail from the Scottish borders. Suzanne sings in a unique mix of French and Scottish, occasionally sharing the mic with Lewis over the course of six songs taking the 100% Silk/NNF pop aesthetic and psych-dub freedom of Peaking Lights to a more ambiguous, enchanted headspace. It's all top notch stuff, from the ni… Read more
Lethal acid tackle from Optimo Music's new club-dedicated sister label, Optimo Trax. It's the work of one R. Smith aka L/F/D/M, an art school pal of Dom from Factory Floor. His debut platter deals in a distinctly murky, stripped down and provocative sort of acid/techno landing somewhere between cosmic Berghain styles and late '90s Brum bangers, but with a modern freshness all of his own creation. A-side gives up the writhing, pumping acid helix of 'Tracer' and the Regis styled EBM acid pressure of 'Abacus'; B-side yields another proper techno killer driven by sprung bass kicks and jagged 16th not… Read more