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Tuesday, 22 July
One of new wave Grime's freakiest operators follows up digital releases for Visionist's Lost Codes label and a tape on No Corner with this cracking vinyl debut for Ramp. Hailing from Birmingham and with a healthy experience of UK rave styles ranging from DIY free parties thru grime and old skool 'ardcore, Filter Dread distills all those elements in strange, misshapen forms that can't be tagged easily. He revels in the restrictions of archaic production methods, relishing, as he says: "the quick and unapologetic techniques that were used to make tracks. Short sampling space, limited save func… Read more
*Limited Edition Re-Press Now Available* *Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g vinyl packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas* Kouhei Matsunaga returns to PAN with a second volume of his hugely respected 'Dance Classics'. Like much of his beat-driven work, these nine tracks fall into one of two broad categories, either lo-slung hip hop or roiling techno, making use of sheer hi-end tweaks and sour dissonance that push our buttons. Taken as base, primal functions, the t… Read more
Superb sci-fi soul moods & grooves from Philly's Fhloston Paradigm, aka deep house/jazz/hip hop legend King Britt. After escalating anticipation since his widely acclaimed 'Chasing Rainbows' EP, Britt allows space to fully immerse in his vision of a futurist sound-world on 'The Phoenix', drawing us into a gauzily impressionistic yet exquisitely detailed sphere of celestial soul sirens, frayed techno and hi-tech jazz motifs traversing orbital styles of UR, Sun Ra, Vangelis and Theo Parrish. Marrying masterful sound design with jazz-wise percussive dexterity and precisely affective sci-fi… Read more
Friday, 18 July
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.
"Following on from co-‐compiling one of 2012’s best received compilations ‘Into The Light: A Journey into Greek Electronic Music’, new Amsterdam based record label ‘Music From Memory’ sets sail with a compilation of lo-‐fi beach funk and lazy synth jams from the Rhode Island keyboardist and ocean loving Leon Lowman. As well as a devoted painter and surfer of the East Coast, the synthesizer loving Lowman privately released two albums “Syntheseas” (1980) and it’s follow up cassette only “Sound Horizon” (1982). Something of a homage to his love of the local seashore and the women he was tr… Read more
Thursday, 17 July
Stuart Argabright (Ike Yard) revives his legendary NYC hip hop unit, Death Comet Crew, for a landmark debut album release on the burgeoning Diagonal Records. Titled in tribute to the group's fallen member, Rammellzee (R.I.P), 'Ghost Among The Crew' rocks up a feral blend of hip hop, industrial and jazz fusion with a furtive cyberpunk swagger, marking their first output since 'This Is Riphop' for Mike Simonetti's Troubleman Unlimited label nearly a decade ago. Founded by Argabright in 1983, and featuring his Ike Yard bandmate, Michael Diekmann and bassist Shinichi Shimokawa from … Read more
James Donadio pricked up our ears a year or so ago with his excellent 'Psychedelic Black' debut for his own StabUdown label, followed by an album for Digitalis and a split tape with Basic House co-released by Opal Tapes and Blowing Up The Workshop. Of everything we've heard from him so far "Shaking Single Engined Planes" on his debut stands out as his finest - we likened it to one of Powell's productions at the time, and funnily enough Donadio now finds himself with a Diagonal catalogue number all his own. This strong 4-track EP once again showcases Donadio's knack for imbuing dry rhyth… Read more
*Translucent red vinyl, packaged in silkscreened PVC sleeves* Having established the label with a brace of his own killer 12”s, Oscar Powell opens up the Diagonal books to welcome in Blood Music, a band led by Londoner Simon Pomery. ‘Rare Earth Project’ is incantatory, industrial-tinged rock, plain and simple, driven by rolling hellhound toms and toxic clouds of feedback - think Factory Floor crossbred with Shellac, building to a hypnotic climax suggestive of Faust or Can at their most committedly deranged. ‘Speak Like Violence’’s grungey guitar squall and dead-eyed motorik momentum amount… Read more
Finally available again. The return of our favourite psyched out and scuzzed up dubstep imprint Skull Disco with two squashed steppers from headman Shackleton and the mysterious Gatekeeper. Shackleton chases the dragon into a dank cave of resonant bass and urgently percussive halfstep of the truest sense. A restless barebones breakbeat is given space and time to evolve into a lush polyrhythmic structure underpinned with dreadman bass as only this man can. A shocking and sometimes nightmarish journey into the singular mind of a producer on a personal… Read more
Finally available again. The return of Shackleton and Appleblim for another Skull Disco reunion. Appleblim wins the toss and kicks off the A-side with the monstrous 'Fear' riddim (versioned by Riko on Appleblim's myspace), decimating the step to a rigid pattern allowing room for nasty hoover manuevers and grumbling bass to carve out slo-mo actions kinda like Bizzy B on ketamine. Shackleton invades Muslimgauze territory on the flip (coincidentally both producers hail from deepest Lancashire, strange eh?), with deliciously tangible percussion, abyssal b… Read more
Shifted & Sigha converge their tastes for thrumming techno and noise on their excellent debut as A Model Authority. Six tracks veer oscillate between grungy wallop ('Pieces Of Me') to short sharp noise bursts ('Etched' & 'Depford Blues Excerpt') and stripped-down rollige ('Collapse'), through to macho big room pound ('Cycles Of Violence'). Good twelve - recommended!
**Pink wax - limited to 300 copies** Cloud Boat proffer 'Pink Grin I + II' from their debut album, 'Book Of Hours', backed with a powerful remix by The Haxan Cloak. Whilst the moody original melds wailing quiet/loud shoegaze dynamics with fractctious 2-step/dubstep like a hormone-injected El-B/Forest Swords collaboration, The Haxan Cloak tempers its emotional impact to a slower, scowling build and cliff edge drop with a D&B-compatible roll-out working somewhere between Amit-style halfstep and the elemental turmoil of his new Tri Angle label mate, FIS.
Neat three-tracker from Pariah, showing himself to be one of the more smart and evolved producers to have emerged in the wake of dubstep. 'Rift' is really nice, dynamic steppers techno that's designed to lock your dancing clogs down while still exploring the weirder reaches of your headspace - some really spooky, unsettling drones and synth pulses wafting between the pistoning drum hits. Wicked. 'Signal Loss' is beautifully produced, building in velocity and intensity with real style and assurance, but for our money suffers from its undeniably Burial-like deployment of amorphous sampled vocals; 'Among T… Read more
**Clear vinyl with A4 insert** Blue Hour improves on his debut with three tracks of raw, emotive techno. 'Axis Motive' rides chunky tom/kick patterns into through a fog of dark, mystic trance-techno chords; 'Front' dries out on a claps-driven bumpty Chicago techno groove; 'Reef II' wraps up with an hypnotic 6am techno tool.
**Die-cut jacket** Shifted & Ventress' Avian Records make space for a full solo debut from Sigha, following his anonymous drop as A Vision Of Love and a handful of previous remixes for the label. Six tracks capture Sigha at his most stripped down and crafty, working a palette of desiccated drums and fibrillating bass into driving, serpentine rhythms. As DJ tools they're tricky but highly useful little buggers...
Sigha debuts as Faugust with a dramatically moody batch of trax referencing drone, synthwave and shoegaze for Shifted's Mira label. The motorik throbs of opener and closer 'Penitence' and 'Against The Sea' are the closest you'll find to Sigha's techno ouput, but disambiguated thru majestic synth arrangements nodding to MBV as much as late '90s Autechre, whilst 'A New You' convects wide, gloaming synth chords in vaulted sepulchral space and 'Persuasion' pelts agitated machine sputter in a swarming, soaring darkwave drill. It all feels much more personal than his stoically functional techn… Read more
*New edition on Erased Tapes* Succeeding his 'Wintermusik' and 'The Bells' compositions for solo piano, Nils Frahms takes a wonderful detour into string heavy symphonies and glitch rhythms alongside the estimable talent of Wolf-Ferrari-Ensemble's Anne Müller. Frahms's instrument of choice is largely subservient to the strings on much of the album, instead it's his compositional talents which are in focus, writing for and with Müller, and her profound knowledge of string arrangements. They clearly relish the possibilities of this collaboration, fashioning dramatic,… Read more
*Now in on limited vinyl* There's a very literal reason for the title of Nils Frahm's new album, Felt. He wanted to play the piano during the dead of night, without disturbing his neighbours, so he layed thick felt in front of its strings to muffle the sound. Rather than being frustrated, he unexpectedly found himself enchanted by this dampened sound, and it opened up new compositional as well as playing possibilities for his inquisitive mind. The resulting work is varied in style but it all has a close, confessional, nocturnal quality that's beautifully wrought and expertly rec… Read more
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* The brothers Lippok and Stefan Schneider are joined by downtown NYC legend Arto Lindsay for their first new album in half a decade. Back on Berlin's City Slang, who recently reissued To Rococo Rot's classics, 'Veiculo', 'The Amateur View' and 'Music Is A Hungry Ghost' with I-Sound, we find the trio at their most colourful and playful, and for the first time, including vocals thanks to three contributions from minimalist and mutual admirer, Arto Lindsay. Neatly timed for festive climes, the dry title of 'Instrument' is at odds with the warm … Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** The most notable thing about this new album from Jon Hopkins is how dancefloor-friendly it strives to be, the fluffly ambient electronica we’ve come to expect from the sometime Eno collaborator bolstered for the first time by firmly foregrounded, repetitive drum patterns. They certainly give Hopkins’ dewy compositions some welcome momentum and forward-propulsion: ‘Disappear’’s Penguin Cafe-style pastoralism is powered by a genteel, Burial-aping 2-step sequence; the airy prog-trance of ‘Breathe This Air’ and ‘Open Eye Signal’ suggest Ho… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** James Holden finally drops the second album of his career, some seven years after his accomplished debut 'The Idiots Are Winning'. The Inheritors finds him showing off his newly developed mastery of MAX/MSP and modular synthesis, and across its whopping fifteen track duration there's space for him to indulge his love of far more than techno: witness the very British prog-jazz stomp of 'The Caterpillar's Intervention', the krautrock mannerisms of 'Rannoch Dawn' and 'Circle Of Fifths', the almost freeform noise of 'Sky Burial'. And whi… Read more
Tuesday, 15 July
**Vinyl cut by Rashad at D&M. Sleeve design and layout by Stephen O'Malley** Spellbinding 3rd survey of the lesser-known and previously unheard sections of Paris's hallowed GRM archive. All four pieces were created before 1980 and feature the work of composers from disparate, far-flung geographical and musical backgrounds finding common ground in the electro-acoustic sphere. For us the most striking piece is 'Moulin Diabolique' (1979) by Egeniusz Rudnik, an unsettling and urgent work cutting up and mutating military orders dictated in a number of different languages against gloomy, dynamic backd… Read more
Friday, 11 July
Berceuse Heroique' Kemaa sublabel swiftly follow that excellent side of Greek fire-walking music with this deluxe reissue of percussive tributes to Mark Rothko by This Heat's Charles Hayward, backed with JD Twitch and Maxmillion Dunbar remixes. 'Smell of Metal' gives a first vinyl issue of the title track and 'Lopside' from Hayward's 1990 CD for Sub Rosa, unleashing two tense, minimalist pieces of rolling drums and etheric drones that sound like the missing link between 1980s post punk and '90s electronic experimentation. 'Lopside' steps to a skinny, prickling groove rent with panned e… Read more
Wednesday, 09 July
'EX' is the first new Plastikman album in over ten years. It was recorded live at the Guggenheim Museum in New York at the behest of fashion designer, Raf Simons, a big Plastikman fan who booked Richie on behalf of Dior. And yet, whilst that setting may be a far cry from Plastikman's roots in warehouses and basements, the results distinctly hark back to the glacial modulations and optimised pulses of classics such as 'Sheet One' or 'Musik', but perhaps with smoother sort of tonal gradients and slippery arrangements that simply couldn't have been achieved two decades ago when Richie wrote the blueprint for minimal techno...
*Includes download code redeemable from the label* Outstanding debut album from Kevain Wayne Space, aka Footwork's founding father, RP Boo. Originally known as Record Player Boo, RP cut his dancefloor teeth as member of Chicago's House-O-Matics dance crew in the '90s, where, under the tutelage of Ghetto House pioneers DJ Slugo and DJ Deeon, he hatched an accelerated form of Dance Mania's already frenetic styles in order to fuel the city's increasingly demanding competitive dance scene. Armed with a display copy of a Roland-70 drum machine loaded up with beats by the store's previous custo… Read more
**180g vinyl. Includes download coupon** Four years on from the acclaimed 'Holkham Drones', Luke Abbott smudges deeper with this sublime sophomore LP. Titled in tribute to the Cambridge-based arts centre, 'Wysing Forest' feels more abstract than its predecessor, offering a bold but friendly challenge to those who simply wanted more of the same. To be fair it's not radically removed, but there are strong echoes of early radiophonic experimentation and a looser, noisier, ecstatically free-form approach to arrangement that unpredictably toys with our sense of anticipation and gratification. It… Read more
Untimely final transmission from the late, great progenitor of Chicago Juke & Footwork. Arriving only weeks after his tragic death 'We On 1' both opens a new chapter for Wheez-ie's new Southern Belle Recordings and unfortunately closes another for dance music history. But you can fxxking forget being maudlin whilst listening to this EP which is loaded with arguably some of the baddest trax in Rashad's arsenal, from the hyper syrup anthem 'We On 1' to the uncannily ethereal vocal chops and slowfast lean of 'Do It Again' with his Teklife pals DJ Spinn and DJ Manny, and a b-l-i-n-d-i-n-g Footwork overhaul of Chaka Khan. R.I.P. Rashad. Long live Footwork.
Tuesday, 08 July
Killah debut 12" of HD, "oblique club trax" from Melbourne, Australia's Air Max '97, backed with the sickest Neana remix. As with the new generation of producers such as the Her Records crew, M.E.S.H., and Gage, this is a prime example of a yung producer bred on the post-dubstep mutations of Night Slugs, Nguzunguzu and the like, who're twisting those lines further into forward, new shapes. His 'Progress and Memory' starts up with a sorta quasi step groove resolving at odd angles and alloyed with bright, piercing melodies, which Neana duly reinforces with a terse, taut GrimeXTechno remix. … Read more
**Hand-stamped jacket includes - Vinyl includes material not on digital release** 'Stoic' is the hyped debut from multi-instrumentalist James Kelly, issued by the heads at Left Blank. A background as the sole permanent member and writer behind Irish black metal moniker Altar Of Plagues is ostensibly at stark odds with the sounds inside, but peer beyond the skin or t-shirt logos and there's a clear emotional connection between his metal roots and his taste for emosh pop music, one which has played him straight into Tri Angle's schedule for a debut album in 2013. But, here and now, 'Stoic''s biggest tune… Read more