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Tuesday, 11 February
Even before it was revealed that Mark Fell was behind the sensuous, unspooled but strangely disciplined house productions on Editions Mego's Sensate Focus 12" series, one might've guessed that the Sheffield-based artist was responsible, given his prior form deconstructing garage and techno as one half of SND. That said, his approach here differs to the ascetic, rhythm-obsessed approach of SND: the rhythms here are, in fact, the most conventional element, generally pretty rudimentary if still strangely compelling. No, it's Fell's digital synthesis where the real magic lies. The d… Read more
UK broken beat architects and long-time collaborators, Dego (4Hero) and Kaidi Tatham (Bugz In The Attic) run slickest grooves for Eglo. We're guessing this is a bit of a dream come true for Alex Nut and Floating Points' label, and quite the treat for fans of that butter-smoove British sound steeped in classic Jazz fusion. Four tracks vibe out from the rolling, uptempo flex of 'Ankle Injury' for the dancers to lowlit, soul-wise styles on 'Acting Up On Shxt That Don't Count' and deeper yet with the nudged deep house of 'Don't Remain The Same' and the lush, layered harmonies of 'Carrots and Sesame'.
Ex-Harry Pussy guitarist Bill Orcutt's 2009 side 'A New Way To Pay Old Debts' was an instant classic for those attuned to his brand of stomach-scrapingly raw, hoary blues improvisation. Few could have expected the album to be subsequently issued on CD by Editions Mego, but the more you thought about it the more it made sense - though all-acoustic, Orcutt's music is every bit as extreme, violent and threshold-testing as that of, say, Florian Hecker, Russell Haswell or Mika Vainio. As if to prove it wasn't a token gesture towards eclecticism, Mego boss Peter Rehberg has signed a brand n… Read more
*Comes with a huge fold-out poster inside* Following last year's devasting UL8 set, Mark Fell returns to Editions Mego for a 2x12" excursion into advanced rhythm mechanics. Back in January 2011, the SND man was invited by Erik 'Errorsmith' Wiegand to create some presets for the Native Instruments soft-synth he was building. In the end, NI rejected Fell's sounds, but their loss is our gain: he's further developed the pattern-Generating systems he used for UL8 and connected them to sounds produced in Wiegand's synthesizer with a result so tantalising you're almost reminded of Wiegand's own classic… Read more
Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ presents this very necessary reissue of Romanian "spectralist music" pioneer Iancu Dumitrescu's staggering 'Pierres Sacrées' (1989-1990) backed with an engrossing new work, 'Hazards and Tectonics' (2009-2013), commissioned by Glasgow Tectonics Festival. Born in Romania in 1944 Iancu Dumitrescu has forged a fascinating oeuvre encompassing contemporary composition and philosophy. As the latest addition to Ideologic Organ's currently unparalleled reissue programme, the A-side 'Pierres Sacrées' "for prepared piano, metallic plates a… Read more
*Reissue of this amazing album, originally out on Miasmah* Marsen Jules, Arvo Part, Zbigniew Preisner's soundtrack work for Krzysztof Kieslowski, Deaf Center, Max Richter, Erik Satie, Alberto Iglesias - if you are familiar and into any or all of these names then this album on the exceptional Miasmah label will no doubt end up on your essential listening pile for the foreseeable future. With string arrangements provided courtesy of Stefan Wesolowski, the foundations of the album are set with Cello and Violin painting fragile outlines coloured by subtle electronic manipulations, harp, piano and… Read more
Monday, 10 February
Bristol buddies Komon (sans "azmuk") and Laurie Appleblim pair up on two slinky garage and boogie numbers. Up top, 'Gas Jam' has finds their mutual groove in a blend of UK garage skip and driving, deeper tech-house sensuality which has already found favour with the likes of Marcus Nasty & the Hypercolour crew on Rinse FM, and big rooms playas, Eats Everything and Carl Craig. B-side they dip the pace to a crafty, modern take on '80s soul jams with well-tucked bass bump and breathy chords angled with technoid chug and swagger.
**Remastered reissue edition of 500 housed in spot gloss jacket with 4-page 12" booklet of liner notes** 'Prata Bagnati Del Monte Analogo' is a sublime and truly rarified piece of occult esoterica produced by the famous Franco Battiato and originally published in 1979 on a series he curated for Gianni Sassi's Cramps Records. This edition has been remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi from original tapes. It was inspired by the unfinished pataphysical novel 'Le Mont Analogue' by French writer Renè Daumal, himself a student of engimatic Armenian mystic Georges Ivanovich Gurdjie… Read more
**First time on vinyl - spotgloss gatefold jacket with metallic-printed liner notes insert. Edition of 500** A label like Die Schachtel can easily overwhelm any listener with its vast catalogue, dividing its attentions between showcasing new experimental music (predominantly from Italy) and reissuing lost classics. In both cases you'll often find yourself confronted with works and artists you'll have had no prior knowledge of, and frankly, it can all seem a little bit disorientating, even overwhelming at times. This release is one that really shines out though - it's surely one … Read more
*Mastered by Vessel, white vinyl pressing packaged in clear PVC sleeves* Got this one a few days early, a new album from Vaghe Stelle for Astro:Dynamics following on from appearances on Modeselektor's Monkeytown label, Gang of Ducks and Aisha Devi's Danse Noire amongst others. Utilising vocal samples to craft bass and lead sounds, coupled with repeated use of Poly-800 and Juno 106 synthesizers, the label describes the album as "drifting from summoning the bleary-eyed glacial spasms of Wiley's devil mixes and an oddly Final Fantasy-esque emotiveness combining with the smudged electronic aes… Read more
**2LP Gatefold Vinyl - 140g pressing cut from original metalwork. Includes Skam braille sticker & transparent blue Boards of Canada sticker** Here it is then - the seminal BoC album from 1998 finally re-pressed on vinyl, released in collaboration with Skam and still sounding as good as it did 15 years ago when we first got our mitts on it sat in a small shop in Afflecks Palace, Manchester...
Friday, 07 February
Parisian, Aleqs Notal comes with the freshest, craftiest Bass/Tech sound on his killer debut for CleckCleckBoom. Borrowing ideas from Kowton's gritty Grime-House, 3D Night Slugs styles, and A Made Up Sound's deft jungle reductions, the 'A.E.T. E.P.' is 2014's first real dancefloor shocker for those that know. A-side he exhibits a very canny feel for spatial layering and tightly tucked groove with the spidery web of electroid polyrhythms, lush pads and reduced boogie vibes of 'Ancient Theory', and 'Informal Utility' finds a seductive blend of fluid, Substance-like dub chords and corroded, itchy d… Read more
*Vinyl re-press, available for the first time in months* Clams Casino might just be the hottest producer on the planet right now. For some time his electrifying beats have been lighting up mixtapes for Lil B, Soulja Boy and other unique personalities in the new rap underground, but recently he's stepped out of the shadows to become acclaimed in his own right, releasing his own instant-classic Instrumentals mixtape, and now proffering a timely EP on Tri Angle, his debut release proper. Those expecting more of the ruggedly romantic R&B infusions he's best known for will be initially surprised, … Read more
Thursday, 06 February
*Surprise release from the mighty PAN label, Heatsick re-worked by Mark Fell's Sensate Focus across two long tracks totalling 35 minutes* From behind your ear, PAN pluck a blink-and-miss exclusive: a 35 minute audio response by Mark Fell (Sensate Focus) to source material by Heatsick, somewhere between cover version, remix and deconstruction. Along the A-side 'X' plane, tones are exploded, harmonies refracted with HD dissonance; time is extruded, made ductile yet intangible. On the B-side 'Y' axis hydraulic undulations and roiling tones expand and contract between kinetic kink an… Read more
**Includes postcard insert** Industrial techno vitriol from Shifted's Avian label. A Vision Of Love follow down the mucky rut of their debut with the listing, tetchy charge of 'A Modern Romance' on one side and the heads-down stomp of 'An Education' on the flip.
**Smooth, shimmering, jazzy new age seductions with crisp, classy electronics and worldly infusions. Lovely stuff** "Mystiphonic is the third release from Roland P. Young on EM Records, following Isophonic Boogie Woogie (EM 1045CD/HJ-LP) which was originally released in 1980 and re-issued by EM in 2005, and the 2009 Istet Serenade (EM 1087CD/LP). Mystiphonic is the fruit of two years of recordings at Young's Isophonic Sound Laboratory in Brooklyn, "comprovisations" which are more electronic than the previous EM releases, and yet this new CD retains Young's emotional life-long horn playing,… Read more
Niche N Bump, the promising yung London label inherently affiliated with the Wifey club nights, turns out two eerily rugged Beneath riddims backed with a badbwoy Swing Ting remix. Man-of-the-moment, Beneath brings a Sheffield-meets-London warehouse sound with spooky organ chords and pensive atmosphere punctuated by woodblock ricochets and swaggering subs on 'Strike A Pose', and proper death knell dread vibes with the brute UK house torque of 'Bellz' on the flip. Wifey's Manchester-bassed cousins, street rave commanders Swing Ting, give the latter a lick of dapper Northern pressure with tight, i… Read more
**Official Warp repress. Heavyweight 180g vinyl. Includes download code redeemable from the label** We hardly need to tell you lot that the 'Richard D. James Album' is a bit of a classic. It was originally issued in 1996 back when Aphex Twin actually used to release music - not heard it for his greedy ears - and contains ten of the most distinct "songs" ever made on electronic instruments.//
Wednesday, 05 February
'Instrumental Tourist' is one of the year's most anticipated electronic music albums. The meeting of established artist Tim Hecker and studio magician Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never at his Software Studio yields an otherworldly and near symphonic suite apparently conducted "...to mimic the tropes and techniques of jazz-based improvisation, with little preparation prior", effecting a wide-eyed and fascinating sound as dramatic and enchanting as any we've heard this year. As you'd expect from a Tim Hecker record, the sense of diffuse, layered, analog-treated and… Read more
Tuesday, 04 February
**Edition of 500 with instant download** One of our favourite labels and new acts follow-up their 'Love' LP debut with another canny patchwork of cracked and fogged-up R&B psychedelia. Since the first LP, the duo have relocated from the Lisbon underground to Glasgow's sympathetic scene and northern climes (also home of Night School Records) to re-assess their sound, which slots neatly within the city's famed tastes for future funk and art-wized fuzz. Their 'Greatest It's' sounds like it was made on half-asleep machines plugged into an unreliable power source, but still manages to tap into an … Read more
Belgian/Italian duo Andrea Taeggi and Koenraad Ecker isolate a diffuse mixture of techno and concrète noise with 'Apophenia' for Opal Tapes. Building on the decayed structures of last year's 'Contrapasso' album, their latest blends the chaotic virtues of their improvisational approach with a more premeditated logic, manifesting five arcane constructions balancing abstract expression and rugged, grooving purpose. In that sense it works well alongside Opal Tapes' boss Basic House, but Lumisokea's rhythms are more tetchy, incendiary, liable to combust like the 3-step IDM of 'Eleven' or buckle and sp… Read more
*KILLER 909 driven dancehall banger from Dug Out, the label run by Honest Jons and Hard Wax.* Ruffest shot of 1988 ragga-techno from Tiger at his maddest. Nuthin' but a rattling 909 riddim topped by incendiary, unhinged vocal and that's all you need! Seriously, we've never heard anything quite like it, the groove sounds like some one-off bleep techno experiment from Sheffield gone AWOL and discovered by a manic Jamaican. Tippa top!
Friday, 31 January
*Vinyl re-press, now available* London-based Patten has been operating on the fringes of electronic music for a couple of years now, with some reputable CD-Rs and other low-key releases under his belt, but this debut album proper for No Pain In Pop is a revelation, presenting a prismatic vision of narcotic, wonked-out, grid-dissolving house aimed at the cerebellum rather than the dancefloor. It's reminiscent of all sorts of things - the slanted techno of Diamond Catalog and Container, the hyper-kosmische of Bee Mask, the most disturbed Omar-S productions, and particularly the rich, isolationist… Read more
Thursday, 30 January
*New Edition pressed on 180g Red Vinyl - Gatefold Sleeve, 500 copies* Here's what we said about the album when it was released on CD in 2011: "Beguiling, unsettling and deeply mysterious, The Haxan Cloak's eponymous debut album is a riveting experience. In case Demdike Stare hadn't inspired you to read up on the pre-1900 occult, the term "Häxan" is an old German word for witchcraft, a theme shared by the two artists. But for that, and the monotone artwork aside, The Haxan Cloak takes a very different approach to his craft, one rooted in his studies in sound art… Read more
Steel City grime maverick cuts loose on two instrumental weapons. With no MCs on this ride it's all the better to concentrate on Walter Ego's super crisp and powerful production. A-side he delivers the belly-tightening bass riddim and spiralling synths of his 'Wavey' rudeness - as rinsed by Plastician, among others - whilst the B-side goes aggy-tropical with the cut-up, angular carnival rhythms and nutty basslines of 'Military Mind'. Ace twelve.
Wednesday, 29 January
**Grey vinyl** Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra's modern space rock classic from 2006 reissued. "Surface to Air teems with the stirring, trance-inducing deluges of rhythm and sound the duo is renowned for. Swelling waves of melodic synth ride atop a broad bass and drum foundation. Sequences of repetition roll, build, and unfold with the measured patience of master artisans. Less an album than a moving, breathing mass of symphonic sound; Surface to Air creates boundless moving pictures that are nothing short of breathtaking."
Blackest Ever Black vent a cold slice of 1982 synth improvisations by former Skullflower and Whitehouse member Stefan Jaworzyn. The original tracks on 'Drained Of Connotation' were recently re-discovered by Jaworzyn when trawling his archives for the recent run of Skullflower reissues and rekindled the British noise legend's memories of poking about with his "beloved Dr Rhythm" and Korg MS10 or 20 and an old EMS. Pre-dating the music on his recently issued 'Eaten By Shadows '82-'83' CD, it comprises an extended side of crisp, piercing hi-end tones punctured by pulsing patterns … Read more
Tuesday, 28 January
*30 minute EP follow-up to Miles' recent 'Faint Hearted' album for Modern Love, mastered and cut by Matt Colton* An addendum of sorts to his recent 'Faint Hearted' album, Miles' returns with a half-hour EP more squarely aimed at the floor with four darkened, robust variants. 'Blatant Statement' is up first, slowly emerging from a rough alignment of metallic percussion and abrasive stabs not a million miles removed from the kind of racket you'd most likely associate with Vatican Shadow, before the almost-clipped rub of those super-warm bass stabs shifts the perspective to a different kind of environm… Read more
**New from The Boats' new label - Blue vinyl in wrap-around jacket and PVC sleeve, edition of 300 copies - RIYL Fever Ray, Hype WIlliams, The Boats** 'Redemption Forest' is the beguiling debut album of recombinant pop from Andrew Hargreaves (The Boats/Tape Loop Orchestra) and Beth Roberts' new duo, The Mistys. It's also the 2nd release on The Boats' new label, Other Ideas, following their relatively radical techno diversion, 'Nomenclature'. The project serves as a vehicle for Andrew and Beth to explore concepts of pop as a subversive medium; a way to communicate ideas other than the usua… Read more