Thursday, 17 April
*Incredible album of oblique Batucada/Techno Hybrids - new on Hospital Productions, initial copies on transparent green Wax* Nicolò Fortuni and Nico Vascellari's flamboyant Ninos Du Brasil battery make their Hospital Productions debut with an infectious blend of bespoke Batucada rhythms, techno and punk in 'Novos Mistérios'. It's a perfectly inappropriate release for Dominick Fernow aka Prurient's label, bound to baffle the purists and incite the dance in equal measures. Pairing carnivalesque percussive rituals with the slinky contours of stripped techno and a deeply engrained punk se… Read more
Highly impressive new developments from Ben Vida, featuring percussive virtuoso Tyondai Braxton, and vocals by Sara Magenheimer. The latest in a hot streak of intriguing Vida releases for PAN, Alku, and Future Audio Graphics, 'Slipping Control' derives from a text piece 'Tztztztzt Î Í Í….' which he wrote and was subsequently published as a book by Shelter Press. Using the text as a score or source material, much like Florian Hecker's recent works with Reza Negarastani, and Markus Schmickler & Julian Rohrhuber's 'Politiken Der Frequenz' LP, Vida processes the recitations in varying Control P… Read more
**White vinyl. Edition of 500** Matt Hill dons his Umberto costume for an extended revision of 'The Child', backed with a disco-readied Silvio remix. The extended version sustains the noirish Giallo / Carpenter vibes for 12 minutes with slow bass throbs and cold, chilling synth atmospheres and Silvio's mix steps up a gear for a more fluid, slinky dancefloor momentum embellished with spaciously layered synthlines for sexy midnight effect.
*Ships Friday* Vibe receptors at the ready: Drew Lustman aka Falty DL's Blueberry Records introduces Luke Vi..err, Luke Warm with a super charming debut of broken beats and deep house dopeness. Essentially it's a modern rare groove showcase, distilling the best from 30 years of urban dance research with X amounta soul swerve. 'Daydreamin'' starts up like 4Hero and Machiendrum doing breezy slow-fast bounce, and 'Brockley Spears' jumps to a classic hip-house coda with a Steinski-esque edit agenda and proper, up-to-date production chops. 'Instant Vibe' dips a bit deeper with infectious meld of… Read more
**Housed in beautiful letter-pressed jacket. Edition of 350** Belgium's idiosyncratic Vlek label ventures further out with their first release of 2014; a potent suite of hypnagogic drones and keening, bittersweet ambient dissonance by Brussels-based Aymeric de Tapol. It's a welcome introduction to a new artist, for us at least, who's been releasing music since 2005. Over six tracks he calmly unfolds a personalised sound world taking in ghostly minimalism on 'Future Flute', and wistful folk-drone maybe best compared with Natural Snow Buildings in 'Lumiere D'hotel', whilst 'Soleil Levant'… Read more
Under the Some Truths guise, Ralph Cumbers aka Bass Clef delivers the best of his vintage 2014 crop so far. Proceeding his glut of much-loved releases for PAN, Punch Drunk, and Public Information, these tracks, recorded in July 2012, are by far the most enigmatic, wayward of the bunch and quite befitting of Mordant Music's eldritch aesthetic. As with the other releases, Cumbers explores the potential of a Bugbrand modular system loaned from Bristolian synth builder Tom Bug, tweaking its sliding sinewaves through a matrix of Electro-Harmonix delay and… Read more
Kassel Jaeger's 3rd release for Editions Mego - his best yet - is an inquisitive suite of expansive soundscapes questioning creative processes of material and structural decay. On the extended, 25 minute piece of 'Toxic Cosmopolitanism', the current GRM member renders the processed timbres of instruments such as the balafon, tremolo, gnbri, gee, tibetan gong, and pan flutes, in an interzone of icy drones removed from their cultural contexts. The result of his experiment is a desolate, immersive space as abstract and mysterious as The Conet Project recordings and feeliung something… Read more
On this second album, husband-and-wife duo Mike Paradinas (μ-Ziq) and Lara Rix-Martin have honed their craft further and teamed up with French singer Vezelay for some supremely chill rides. The delicate synths and vocal harmonies, both positioned just so, can trace their origins to Paradinas's earlier milieu of 90s electronica, and even further back to 70s and 80s cosmicism, but they also resonate appealingly with contemporary moods in downtempo, such as those of Tory Y Moi or How To Dress Well. A work of calm and carefully engineered beauty.
Dead Fader returns with an ornate and moody blue suite of beat-driven electronica on his new home, Robot Elephant Records. Four years on from debut album 'Corrupt My Examiner' he's largely suppressed his noisier inclinations and crushing rhythms in favour of complex melodic arrangements and detailed drum programming nodding to early Machinedrum, mid-period Ae and the cute melodic touches of Brothomstates.
Squashed house and idiosyncratic electronica from Brit-in-Melbourne and RBMA graduate, Andy Donnelly aka Kloke for Brooklyn's Styles Upon Styles. 'Sea Levels' comes across like a hazy recollection of urban UK dancefloor styles and IDM recounted thru a skunk-addled mind, bumping between washed-out jazz-house on 'Deep City' to the BoC-like reverie 'Mayfield' and the blunted 2-step of 'Ritual' to the radar-evading, arpeggiated techno shunt of 'Room With A View' and an Actress/Zomby-like bag of writhing paranoia in 'Unlearning'. Canny moves.
**Edition of 500** Stereolab's Tim Gane and Joe Dilworth meet Holger Zapf to plot a winding pathway to the kosmos as Cavern Of Anti-Matter. Their 'Interlude Music' breaks down in two parts - each 22 minutes - yielding a stereo-processed version of their monophonic, three-way synth jam recorded on two-track half inch tape in Berlin 2014. RIYL the previous excursions from Colin Potter, JD Emmanuel and Expo 70 on The Great Pop Supplement's Deep Distance sublabel.
Thursday, 10 April
**140g white vinyl housed in silk-screened PVC sleeve designed by Bill Kouligas** Ralph Cumbers' Bass Clef debuts on PAN with four pieces of fluent modular acid. The most substantial dancefloor drop on a tour of duty which has seen him release on Public Information, Punch Drunk, Alter, and Mordant Music (as Some Truths) in the past 6 months or so, his 'Raven Yr Own Worl' EP carves a dead English dance sound from his favoured Bug Brand modular system, made by Tom Bug of Bristol. For want of a more concise phrase, it's a Radiophonic Dub Rave style, coming off like the eager offspring of Luk… Read more
**Purple vinyl housed in wraparound artwork with poly sleeve, edition of 300 copies** Hot on the heels of that ace John Lacey/COUM Transmissions release, Andrew Hargreaves returns to his Other Ideas label for a bleak, No(rthern)-Wave Industrial battery under his Beppu alias. Beppu releases in the past have been largely confined to limited CD runs that have mostly all sold out on the day of release - but this edition is the first in a proposed trilogy of albums, and the first material Hargreaves has released on vinyl under this alias. 'Coercion' was conceived whilst reading Stanley Milgram's 'Obedience… Read more
Blackest Ever Black continue a strong run of releases with with this cold-burning EP from Dalhous, bringing more of the same ramshackle yet profound electronica that made their debut album An Ambassador For Laing an interesting proposition. The title was a phrase coined by theorist of punishment Michel Foucault, and the dull horror of imprisonment and surveillance seeps slowly into the fabric of this release. But there's also a gothic triumph in its eroded and barnacled fragments, robust beats swept up in cinematic reverb and hymns to drowned sailors. The eerie, explorat… Read more
Exceptional, dazzling modular synth compositions from the boss of Chicago's underground incubator, Catholic Tapes for John Elliott's Spectrum Spools. A filigree mesh of field recordings and "ritual variations of a singular patch for Modular Synthesis", Naucke's 3rd solo LP since his 2010 debut for Arbor is a sophisticated and inquisitive thing of wonder, framing a macroscopic vision equally guided by academic, avant-garde intuition and painstaking studio process. Unlike so many modular pieces that feel as though we're simply being extruded thru a long wormhole, Brett's compositional strategy is far… Read more
Two years after the excellent 'DIN' LP, former Pit Er Pat player FAY Davis-Jeffers returns with a bolder, even more arresting sound on 'Deathwatch', again released by California's Time No Place label. Anchored by wilfully, cannily off-the-grid grooves, we hear a more sultry and warped FAY this time out, much to our satisfaction. Nine tracks twyst and wriggle between the clattering, itchy funk of 'C.a.y.a' to the lo-slung post-punk bass riffing and swaggered sensuality of 'Sex Hats' thru the collapsing industro-dub rhythms of 'Can't Fall' to tumbling, extra-tropical syncopation and synth discord in 'Co… Read more
Klara Lewis debuts on Editions Mego with the electronically animated sound organisms of 'Ett'. Sampling from a palette of modified and reconstituted field recordings, Klara's debut compositions yield ten terrarium-like sonic ecologies rich in organic texture and detail enlivened by bristling electronics and insectoid rhythms. They're strange, self-contained units amounting to a complex, beguiling lattice of unique timbres, atmospheric space and coarse yet fluidly woven texturhythms, all infused with a subtle sort of ambient (de)compositional sorcery. At its best in the wormy, humus dub 12 minute 'Alt… Read more
**Hand-stamped white label and white sleeve includes die-cut insert** Wo-Land Records debut with a kaleidoscopic cartography of contemporary Italian electronica from an intriguing collective including Herva, Mass Prod, Nicola Corti and Vaghe Stelle, among others. There's 12 tracks total, scoping out styles ranging from trad (and if we're honest a little dated) IDM, thru to hazier introspective texturhythms such as Herva's 'Hope' and the sparking funk of Mass Prod's 'Dna Low' thru to the bittersweet discord of Vaghe Stelle's 'Untitled 4 Part 2' composition, plus a dreamy cosmic … Read more
**180g, Edition of 300 copies** UAE-based Bedouin Records appear from nowhere with a hyperpop mirage from Allison Chanic backed by a flighty Lakker remix. The aching, alien vocal timbre and insectoid rhythms of 'Painlessly In Love' feels like a digitally-cured distillation of Ayshay, Autechre and Islaja, given an Enya-gone-techno overhaul by Lakker on the arresting remix version, and the instrumental 'Realm' swirls and keens with a weightless, polrhythmic hip hop shimmy at once reminding of Moon Wiring Club and the recent FAY album. Really class stuff. We look forward to hearing where the label goes next.
Phil Kay ov Manchester's Working For A Nuclear City indulges his love of BoC and classic electronica in this charming debut solo album as King Of The Mountains. Whilst his bandmate and co-songwriter from WFANC Gary McLure has drifted towards writing acoustic songs, Phil Kay fully embraces his computer, along with a dash of sax and other "real" instruments to paint ten grand, lucid landscapes evidently influenced by the pastoral melodies and rugged grooves of BoC. These interests manifest clearly in the album's precise, imaginative arrangement and sound design, contouring unyielding rhy… Read more
Thursday, 03 April
*LP comes with Bonus 7", all songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl is housed in a jacket featuring the photographic traces of a high-energy photon hitting a proton. Each LP includes a 2-sided insert with original album reviews, press clippings, liner notes by Atom™ and photos* "Lassigue Bendthaus is the electro-industrial project of Uwe Schmidt aka Atom™ Schmidt began making music in the early 1980s, first playing drums, then switching to programming a drum computer after he had heard a Linn Drum on the radio. In 1986 he co-foun… Read more
Quite easily the most interesting artists on InFiné's books, Downliners Sekt deliver their debut album proper following a string of excellent EP's for Disboot and a run of MP3 albums released some years back on their own dsekt[dot]com label. The label notes reference everything from Autechre to Rhythm & Sound and My Bloody Valentine, and there is indeed a dubbed-out, rhythmically complex aesthetic that runs throughout the album, but DS work best when they step outside of those parameters and forge stylistic hybrids which are much harder to place - such as on the excellent 'Balt Shakt II… Read more
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the album, … Read more
**Purple, single-sided vinyl with screen-printed B-side** "Infinite Greyscale presents a new long-form composition by Jan St. Werner, Split Animal Sculpture, a companion piece to the artist’s ongoing Fiepblatter series on Thrill Jockey, Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars, Lithops, Microstoria, Von Südenfed) has been at the forefront of forward thinking electronic music for over twenty years. As an artist concerned primarily with sound as a sculptural material, St. Werner has also exhibited his work in museums and his numerous collaborators include Rosa Barba, Markus Popp, Mark E. Smi… Read more
'Aika' captures revered Finnish techno/electronica producer Ukkonen at his most romantic, deft and involving with two extended narratives p'raps best suited for home listening. 'Luomus' sweeps in with Detroit strings gone trance over off-grid machine pulses with the aerobic agility and elegance of an olympic ice skater before a midway transition into almost Lynchian exotica and airborne electro-jazz/classical motifs. The sweetly charming 'Aikomus' is equally intricate, morphing minimal techno patter and bleeping elements with the deceptively effortless "how'd he do that?" melodic calculations and altern… Read more
*12" limited to 200 coopies, includes a download code giving access to 2 bonus tracks - redeemable from the label* Dead Fader prelude the imminent release of two new albums for Robot Elephant and Small but Hard Records with these 2 non-album tracks from the “Blood Forest” sessions on the B-side plus 2 additional download tracks from the “Scorched” Sessions.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* "Midnight Features is a new series of "fantasy records" imagined by Lilacs & Champagne's Emil Amos and Alex Hall. Inspired by the classic Marvel comic series What If?, the duo seek to place themselves into various musical eras, expanding and perverting each new stylistic context they land in. This first volume, Shower Scene, was inspired by the background music from 1970s TV shows - the frenetic solos, sleazy funk lines and jazz-influenced sounds that subtly lurk behind the tales of crime, drama and passion. The … Read more
Thursday, 27 March
**Orange wax in printed inner and outer sleeves** Timothy J Fairplay and Andrew Weatherall's Asphodells meet Friendly Fires in a krauty motorik chug-off. Both sides take nearly ten minutes each to revel in fizzing drum patterns, spiralling psych guitars and blunted, dreamy vocals...
'The Enlightenment Machine' is a welcome return from one of European House music and electronica's true originals. As with his whole catalogue since 1994, Khan finds an ambiguous sweetspot between soulful synth-pop, house, German cabaret and electronica with a uniquely refined production touch and elegant vocals. Released on the recently minted AlbumLabel division of Random Noize Musick (Apparat, Oval, Phon.O), it's a concerted effort to play within and around the LP format, structured with a novel-like song cycle wending thru a spectrum of both blurred and clear-cut emotions intricate… Read more
Thursday, 20 March
"Conrad Schnitzler (1937–2011), composer and concept artist, is one of the most important representatives of Germany's electronic music avant-garde. A student of Joseph Beuys, he founded Berlin's legendary Zodiak Free Arts Lab, a subculture club, in 1967/68, was a member of Tangerine Dream (together with Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese) and Kluster (with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and also released countless solo albums. On "Congratulacion" (originally released 1987 on the small spanish label Esplendor Geometrico) Schnitzler experimented with the Yamaha CX5 synthesizer… Read more