Wednesday, 17 December
Blue, downbeat soul from Ireland's answer to James Blake, Eoin French aka Talos, backed with 2-stepping and writhing remixes from Eomac and Wife. With 'Tethered Bones' Talos fashions his own style of Eirated R&B pushing his pleading vocal front and centre against plush yet minimal synths and candle-flickering beats beside the plangent keys and wide bass shapes supporting his fragile croon in 'Bloom'. Eomac tends some dainty 2-step spritz to a remix of 'Tethered Bones', and Wife tightens up 'Bloom' with a slow-mo R&B slickness that retains and teases the original's soul somewhere quieter, more private.
Nick Sigsworth heads much farther out under his 4th Klaus 12" - the 3rd on his Tanum label. If James Blake starting listening to lots of vintage Pole and Basinski, his work may sound like these three tracks; fanning out from the deliciously textured crackle and ghostly string apparitions in the elliptic, loping loops of 'Tele' on top, to the strung-out, breathy washes and lone bass reminding of Rainer Veil in 'Delta', and the middle-distance, aleatoric crunch of 'Luc'.
Tuesday, 16 December
Heads-down in the dance with four brooding breakbeat and ambient garage figures from Synkro for Apollo. 'Someone' tugs on the heart-strings with solemn arrangement of sweeping pads and Toasty-style breakbeats; the ghostly 'Transient' flits around Burial and dBridge-style late romance; 'Contact' slips into something more comfortable with silky dowsntrokes and a vocal reminding of Steve Spacek; 'Falling' nods to mid '00s electronica with a poised blend of Ulrich Schnauss and Arovane-esque motifs anchored by a minimalist UK groove.
Monday, 15 December
*10 Track Vinyl Edition featuring tracks from John Beltran, Kirk Degiorgio and more* One of Detroit techno's most sublime associates, John Beltran corrals 10 mellow, romantic ambient pieces by himself and others. It's very '90s chill-out album for the most (just the name Mick Chillage screams valerian tea), but with some nice contributions coming from Sons of Melancholia and Beltran himself with the sweeping, GAS-like strings of 'Music For Machines'.
1000 Names take flight from their hip hop and boogie-oriented style to more diverse zones of broken beat and house on 'Migration Pads'. It's not a wholesale switch, but more a natural progression to explore the roots and branches connected to the sound, resulting some deeper dancefloor potential in the Fantastic Mr Fox-alike 'The Caravan' or the knackered, synthi boogie of 'Streets' alongside dope slow/fast percolations in 'Radar Orgazm' and the ruder bounce of 'Another Beaten Sunday'.
**Ace stoner/road vibes for fans of Ensemble Economique. Includes fold-out newprint insert. Editiuon of 299** "A sequel of sorts to his 2010 cassette, Dawnrunner, Anthony Orion’s debut vinyl long-player is a vagrant classic of stringy-haired new age loner Americana, above and beyond anything in the Swanox public domain. Mixing personal Casio squatter meditations with crystal jukebox guitar and hitchhiker whistling over echo-smeared SK1 metronomes, Duskrunner feels hungover, spaced out, worn down, and at peace – sometimes all at once. The ex-projectionist and current touring drummer for Tony Molina… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label. Club gaze" styles from the Faroe Islands, recorded all over the world and presented on 180g vinyl in hand screen-printed jacket and PVC sleeve with art insert/liner notes. Hand-numbered edition of 400. Includes download code** "The bulk of the album was recorded at UT Connewitz; a spectacular and worn down pre-war cinema in the heart of Leipzig, Germany. Other recordings were done on tour in Paris, New York, a small church in Sibrandahûs, Netherlands, a boat in Hong Kong and at the CST train station in Bombay. The album was then finalized and … Read more
Romare returns with the 'floor-friendly follow-up to his much loved pair of EPs. 'Roots' carves out a blunted, bluesy house swagger from murky filter tricks and swinging, Afro-centric drums with a style reminding of La Funk Mob and all that dope '90s gear from Paris; 'Pusherman' cuts a moodier, slower figure with sluggish drums and blunted vocals in a noirish, jazzy hip hop style.
Thursday, 11 December
**Edition of 300 includes download code** Blackest Ever Black part the curtains to reveal Tarcar's compelling debut of "shut-in dub dysfunction" at the closing strokes of 2014. Sealing the label's most prolific year to date on a particularly evocative note, 'Mince Glace' dwells in the nether regions of the echoplex, dreaming of creaky psych dub from AC Marias to Leven Signs and peddling sozzled, spectral organs for reclined minds. Vascilating between bombed-out and spiked-up vibes, it's a superb showcase for Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek's wayward tastes, proving equally effective in the amor… Read more
Outstanding side of modular experiments by London's Deas for Luke Younger's Alter label. 'String Studies' is, quite remarkably, the first all-electronic record from Cameron Deas. Recorded at home in February/March 2014, he uses his usually favoured acoustic guitar as a source to trigger dizzying displays of modular noise twisting out virulent, kinetic sculptures that sound like guitar strings physically twisted into complex circuits. We guess there are clear precedents for this music in the work of Keith Fullerton Whitman or Jim O'Rourke's electronic works, but there's also something wonderfully… Read more
Alter return with this album of brilliantly unclassifiable doings by London-based enigma D. Shan, aided and abetted by Vindicatrix and D. Bolger (ov The Pheromoans / The Bomber Jackets). In our mental chart of madness from these shores in 2014, this one is right up there, expanding upon the audness of his 'Known Nonsense' 7" with a further delineation and deconstruction of eldritch avant-pop tropes. Comparisons could be made with Art Bears, the Cold Storage scene, The Residents and Ralph Records roster, but ultimately Acolytes are a unique quantity.
**Stellar collection of worldly new age and spiritual composition. RIYL Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Charlemagne Palestine** "An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979) compiles unreleased recordings from the archives of multiversal artist Ariel Kalma. Concerned as much with musicality as spiritual facility, Kalma’s work vibrates aside fellow travelers along the great rainbow in curved air of the 1970s avant-garde. Ariel Kalma’s boundary-blurring electronic music is heard here in radiant detail across a selection of work spanning his … Read more
*Includes 3 x LP Live Album with a download code, plus the full concert film on a DVD* The critically acclaimed documentary film which captures the multidimensional concert centred on Björk’s eighth studio album. The film documents the intimate ‘Biophilia’ performance at London’s Alexandra Palace where Björk was accompanied by unique musical instruments, collaborators and visuals. Shot by directors Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland and produced by Jacqueline Edenbrow / Gloria Films, the film also features science and nature archive and found footage inspired by the themes of the album, as well as animation which has been augmented with the music of ‘Biophilia’."
**Edition of 250** Murky, mystic ambient techno dub from the darkside on Glasgow's Clan Destine label. Imagine what Depchord's Nordic cousins might sound like; you're in the same forest as Varg and Hypnobirds, foraging for the strange, psychoactive nodules of 'Bandhagen', the depressive skank and cawing stabs of 'Hogdalen', and glaring black metal dubstep atmospheres of 'Ragsved' or the celestial scape, 'Hagsatra'.
**Hand-numbered edition of 300 housed in printed PVC sleeve** Gang of Ducks flash the winsome pop chops of DYD's Vaghe Stelle-produced 'GOD' EP from the frontline of the new Italian weird scene. In the Turin-based label's chronically cryptic style, the DYD trio and Vaghe Stelle bring the best out of each other, Stelle tempering his noisier proclivities in order to let the group's aching bleats and wiry funk out from the autotuned slink of 'Archistar' thru the stepping electro-pop-dub, '#Magic' to the whirring aerosoul bounce of 'Y Factor' and soaring, near beatless Vocal Tool Edit of 'Archistar'.
Includes remixes from Peaking Lights, Grumbling Fur, Carter Tutti, Invisible Conga People and The Other Two, aka Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert of New Order.
"Austrian avantgarde-electronics trio Radian team up with Giant Sand’s Desert Country Songwriter Howe Gelb. A special collaboration of Americana with jazz and electronics. The band founded their own label 2014 in order to release unique Radian projects special limited editions."
Thursday, 04 December
Regis, Evian Christ, HTRK, Kangding Ray and Dutch E Germ line up suitably epic, brooding remixes for Ben Frost's 'A U R O R A' album. In pole position, Evian Christ takes 'Venter' to his anti-G club space with sprung trap drums and iridescent trance chord blooms, whereas Dutch E Germ dismantles, guts and reassembles the same original stems in a battered, noisy dub, and HTRK retune those elements in their own sallow image with slow cooked machine rhythms and elusive, opiated synth tones. On the flipside Kangding Ray turns 'No Sorrowing' into a moody roller with a patented, muscular dynamic, a… Read more
The Black Dice miscreant follows his jaunt onto L.I.E.S. with a typically schizoid return to DFA in 'Ms Pretzel'. Working somewhere between $hit & $hine's lop-sided funk and the burred loops of Harmonious Thelonious, his four tracks investigate heatsick Afro-centric vibes in the slow and low chug of 'Ms Pretzel' as well as noisier, splintered grooves in 'SXIXO', while 'Scum of the Cream' prowls wayward dancefloor zones with a steadier, if still sozzled, momentum, and 'A1EZOK' pushes the tempo up for a manic flurry of stepping drums and queasy, melting loops.
Teengirl Fantasy returns from a short hiatus with four skewed mutations of R&B/Footwork/IDM hybrids found in their R&S records. Since 2012 they've twisted their sound in new directions between the refractive, sweetly discordant club enigma, 'Cavescape' to ghostly refinement of their R&B-pop tastes in 'Lung' feat. Lafawndah, and the '90s-into-2014 flex of 'U Touch Me' with Hoody, whilst '7:30 A.M.' deals in an airborne, alien techno funk recalling Lotic and Arca productions.
*Beautiful gold foil-blocked sleeve on reverse board* Subtly noirish and intimate electronic composition from Belgium's Brice Dreessen aka Lowcommittee for the consistently great Vlek Records. While the title, 'Race at Neon Club' may connote speed and bright lights, the results are actually almost gothically greyscale and lower case in aesthetic, coming across like the moody OST to a darker, drug-fuelled version of Drive set in Antwerp.
"The Bedroom Slant is the new album by Bruno Pronsato, under his new Archangel moniker The new project is a new chapter in the evolution of his sound. The human voice acts as one of it's major elements (with Pronsato himself stepping up to the mic to take on vocal duties), it incorporates traditional instrumentation to a larger degree than his previous work (bass guitar lines, played by his brother David Ford, act as the rhythmic foundation for many of the new songs). Acknowledging his love of pop, rock and post-punk in his music for the first time, (music he firs… Read more
**Orange wax. Dinky centre label. Hand-stamped sleeve** Darkest, abstract D&B dread from ASC on Samurai Horo. His 'Truth Be Told' album aside, 2014 has been a notably quiet year for new releases from the usually prolific producer - this is his first 12" of the year. By the sounds of it, he's really spent his time away from releasing to recalibrate and re-tune his sound, resulting in these four amorphous aces rolling from the worm-charming sub-bass charge and alien sonics of 'Loophole' to the caustic textures and super widescreen sound design of 'Diffusion Loop (Rumble Mix)', and over to the industri… Read more
"3rd album from Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt expands his one-man-band experiments into vast new territories. Taurus Rising is built from motoric synthesizer arpeggios and heavy duty live drumming. But rather than simply worshipping endless repetition, Skøtt reaches an impressive array of expressions on each of these five mini epics - each song is ALIVE - frequently whirling off track like the wind direction in a sand storm, leading to some mind-altering melodies and rhythms that’ll keep you on your toes. Washed currents of pulsating analogue synthesizer scores, pre-fusion jazz-sensibility… Read more
**Double Vinyl - includes download code redeemable from the label** "Chilean producer, Jimmy Pizarro (Insecto) delivers his first full length release for Home Assembly Music. In many ways a more musical re-imagining of the classic Clicks & Cuts sound most readily associated with Mille Plateaux, but adapted for a 2014 audience. Rather than sticking to the austere aesthetic of the likes of SND (a professed influence), Pizarro has expanded the sound palette of his lush, expansive arrangements. So now, as well as the intricate, skittering micro beats, we have jazzy chords, glistening… Read more
"Computer Club is a Sheffield-based electronic label born out of the club night that has featured DJ sets and live performances from NHK'Koyxen, The Black Dog and Mat Steel (snd). The first release is a limited edition 7" single from French musician Poborsk. If you are familiar with Icasea, the experimental electronica label run by Satoshi Aizawa, Tom Knapp and Alex Peverett (1/2 of Skam veterans Team Doyobi), you probably already know Poborsk's music. If not then think Autechre and Skam: deep, melodic and abstract electronica with an almost non-human level of detail..."
Thursday, 27 November
We Can Elude Control gets the best out of Ralph Cumbers aka Bass Clef aka Some Truths in the tensile, technoid modular and broken drum-machine deviations of 'Bliss Abyss'. As opposed to his more self-consciously "quirky" gear, there's a taut sense of discipline informed by dancefloor structures in these eight tracks released by Paul Purgas ov Emptyset's label. We can hear ideas filched from Footwork, house, techno and dancehall and wedged into these tracks, along with Cumbers unique feel for melodic arrangement and evolutionary, dub-wise space. Matching the crisp, kinetic aesthetics of recen… Read more
**Fracking the well-worn American psyche for vintage hypnagogic elements… Mastered by Brian Pyle. Edition of 265. RIYL older James Ferraro, Torn Hawk** "Trans-american Joe Knight recently caravanned his custom duffel bags of woozy jukebox esoterica from the Bay to the plains of central Texas but, before and during so, crafted and released the double-volume Scrap collection for multifaceted Midwestern organization, Bezoar Formations. Reconsider Lounge distills a portion of this material into different arrangements, intercut with an assortment of unreleased curiosities and classics, comprisi… Read more
Houndstooth bite off the lead cut from Throwing Snow's debut album, backed with a banging VIP and remix of 'Hypnotise' from Will Saul and Komon. The keening string discord and depressed Reese bass of the original is beefed up with bulky Chi-house patterns in a shifty VIP version for the 'floor, as is the swooning 'As You Fall' featuring Py, while 'Hypnotise' is treated to a more rugged, subtly epic remix from Will Saul & Komon.