Thursday, 05 December
*Fourth instalment in this ongoing series, initial copies on transparent coloured vinyl, includes an insert with artwork by Alex Solman and handstamped sleeves* Searing, tormented darkside f**kery from Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty’s Demdike Stare on their rinse and run Testpressing series. On the A-side ‘Fail’ is a slowly descending panic attack of pealing hi-end frequencies and impending bass doom reaching a pit of noisy no return. On the flip, ‘Null Results’ bruks loose with a scything jungle attack; frantic 16th note hi-hats and cone-crumpling subs laced with a rudeboy mentasm to incite warehouse capoeira. Come test.
After a pair of real killer EP's last year (both of them making it to our top 100 singles of 2012), Tri Angle present the label debut from FIS on his 'Preparations' EP. FIS has evolved a unique mutation of core D&B electronics with a shocking sense of rhythm structure and abstract texturing resulting in those mind-blowing records for Exit and close Kiwi pals, Samurai Horo, in the last few years. For Tri Angle, he offers up a necessary reissue of his aerobic-mystic modern classic, 'DMT Usher' - which now fetches mad money 2nd hand - backed with three exclusive new forms: the crushing/crushed geometri… Read more
Having been active in the underground with smaller offerings and his North Carolina label Hot Releases for four years, multi-instrumentalist Ryan Martin finally has a longplayer to his name with this diverse and intriguing collection of lo-fi landscapes. Martin mixes delicate songcraft and acoustic strumming with a tabletop cosmos of synths, or follows raindrops of guitar and keys falling in free-rhythm by rocking out in the red. Inner contrasts are explored when folky chords are paired intriguingly with harsh drum-machine hits as if from early eighties minimal wave… Read more
Team Doyobi return with more digitally damaged breaks and quivering, glitchy synth music. Volume 2 presents a continuous barrage of pixelated explosions and implosions, music alternately small and cute enough to stroke in the palms of your hand and fierce enough to give it the odd chomp. But even within the pocket-monster digital framework there are some spectacular vistas, such as 'Parallax Avenues' and 'Azure Systems,' where solo SNES melodies and sweeping harmonies combine into something modestly mighty. Another fun, detailed and well-made adventure with Team Doyobi.
One of our favourite labels, Hundebiss, serves the cinematic debut from Milanese duo, Jim C. Nedd and Matteo Pit. The label's description of 'Problems' hits their sound square between the eyes, "…4 long tracks which bring to mind Coil playing a form of ominous Balearic Terminator Music." Gloomy megatropolis synth vistas open out to majestic pre-cog visions of a dystopian future sound. There's certainly an element of James Ferraro's slyly surreal ambiguity to the Massive Attack-style raps in opener, 'Elevaciòn', whilst 'Problems' comes off like Fever Ray gone cyber-skank, and the Michael Mann-i… Read more
The UK's psych-rock ringleaders, Rocket Recordings, celebrate 15 years with an eclectic selection drawn from established roster heroes (Gnod, Goat, Teeth Of The Sea), relative unknowns (Uran), friends ($hit & $hine), and faves (The Lay Llamas). There's twelve tracks total, the best of which are Gnod's rave-rattling 'Holy Empire' droner, $hit & $hine's fuzzed-up one chord f**ckery, 'Please Don't Share', and a tripped-out earworm from Cherrystones called 'Cats Cradle'.
**Fascinating recordings of Italian Futurist, Luigi Russolo's legendary Intonarumori, or Noise Intoner, machines orchestrated by Blixa Bargeld, Mike Patton, Pauline Oliveros, among others** "The famous intonarumori (or 'noise intoners') of the Futurists could be considered the earliest 'techno music' instruments of the twentieth century. The 1st public performance of Luigi Russolo's intonarumori project took place in 1913 at Modena's Teatro Storchi, Italy. Luciano Chessa conducted this new orchestra of early Futurist pieces as well as specially commissioned works from… Read more
"In the 1970s the American composer Henry Flynt started a series of pieces under the title "New American Ethnic Music". In so doing he worked together native styles of music such as blues, Country or Hillbilly with electronic production methods to make something altogether new. So far in Germany it has never been attempted to rework folklore electronically for a compilation. However, this picture changes if one redefines the idea of who the population is. Incomers have brought new "national anthems" to Germany, which … Read more
Thursday, 28 November
Second of three vinyl editions from Morphosis' Morphine imprint, this one featuring two beautifully elegant, alien pieces for dance theatre, written by Philadelphia's Charles Cohen in 1989 on the extremely rare Buchla 700 synthesiser. It's hardly been heard beyond the ears of Group Motion founder Manfred Fischbeck and apparently features the only known recording of the Buchla 700 to be formally released. The A-side, 'Group Motion' is an improvised recording progressing from icy bleeps and isolated drones to pulsing, bubbling rhythms and a jazz-wise climax before flipping … Read more
Egyptrixx becomes the latest member of the Night Slugs crew to emerge from the maturation chamber dripping with futurist fluids and wielding terrifying cybernetic implants. The Canadian producer had always been one of the more alien elements of the NS team, a status borne out by his neglected 2011 LP Bible Eyes. While whatever memo almost all the label's producers got has often resulted in stylistic changes beyond recognition, Egyptrixx has retained his unique character in the chiming synths, dark chords and flair for the epic. While other ice-hot future releases of this ilk: Jam City's Cl… Read more
*Vinyl Edition* James Ferraro takes inspiration from "the things I see" in his 'NYC, Hell 3:AM' dystopia. The follow-up to 'Sushi' is a wry reflection of his locale, "a surreal psychological sculpture of American decay and confusion" evoking imagery of "rats, metal landscape, toxic water, junkie friends, HIV billboards, evil news, luxury and unbound wealth, exclusivity, facelifts, romance, insane police presence and lonely people... all against the sinister vastness of Manhattan's alienating skyline." Of course, this being James Ferraro, his perspective is uncannily incisive and riddled… Read more
**Hand-stamped. Vinyl-only** 2nd volume of spectral post-dubstep structures from Klaus on his Tanum label. With its cold, swooshing synth marks and dusting of sparse percussion A-side 'BT Gulf' inhabits spaces between the shadow carving-dynamics of Raime and the spectral crackle of Indignant Senility whereas B-side 'Strafe' comes off like James Blake gone dark amabient/neo-classical, all splintered drums and air-quivering bass roiling with lonely brass motifs in midnight atmosphere.
**Imagine Sugababes produced by Phork and Salem** "Manoeuvering the perilous depths of heartbreak and ecstasy, SKIN TOWN's bewitching R&B pop stunner The Room approaches the elusive mysteries of desire and longing with directness and urgency. Unabashedly romantic (and delightfully hedonistic), the LA-based outfit's modern R&B may sit alongside nicely with contemporary hitmakers like The-Dream or Mike Will Made It, but they align closer to the freakiness of Ginuwine and Silk juxtaposed against the feather-weight synth trails of new age. There is a narcotic pull in Nick Turco’s (synth/keys man for Z… Read more
**Herbert or Michachu-esque reworks of Conrad Lambert aka Merz's most recent album tracks** "It was three years ago in Bern, Switzerland, that acclaimed British pop musician Conrad Lambert, known as Merz, met Swiss drummer and sound artist, Julian Sartorius. Sartorius was drafted in as percussionist for Merz‘s album ‘No Compass Will Find Home’, “A rewardingly challenging folktronic affair that covers huge thematic and sonic territory” wrote The Sunday Times in their Album of The Week review. An album containing “consistently thoughtful songwriting… Read more
Thursday, 21 November
**Picture disc edition of 500** Kaleidoscope curator, Patten returns on this lushly disorienting and super handsome EP for Warp. Since dosing the waters with his unpronounceable 'GLAQJO XAACSSO' LP for No Pain In Pop in 2011, Patten's stepped back from releasing his own material and issued acclaimed and singular works by Sculpture and Karen Gwyer on his Kaleidoscope label in the meantime. On 'Eolian State' we're presented with some 22-minutes of mercurial electronica bending time, space and light in five uniquely elusive grooves fathoming the discordant merry-go-round of 'Aviary' a… Read more
**Sublime, somnambulant ambient-pop decelerations on the near-infallible NNA Tapes** "Migrations In Rust is Jesse Allen. As a member of the Red Light District collective in Queens, NY (which has included some of the best in modern experimental musicians such as Yellow Tears, Pharmakon, John Mannion, Diaphragm, DJ Dog Dick and a slurry of other side projects, solo projects and collaborations), former member of the Cathode Terror Secretion and current performer in Cowards, in addition to producing and performing under the guise of several other solo projects (Hollow Seed, Goldeater, etc)… Read more
*Vinyl finally in stock* Footwork's most prominent standard-bearer hurtles out a heavy debut album for Hyperdub. Perhaps better described as a collaborative effort - all bar two tracks feature Spinn, Addison Groove, Taso, Manny, or Earl - 'Double Cup' is the freshest missive from the rapidly ascendent and influential Chicago scene. Over 14 fibrillating tessellations of classic funk, soul, house and jungle Rashad stakes his ground with assured swagger. When he really cuts wild the effect is remarkable: previous single, 'I Don't Give A F**k', with its minimalist bleep coda and strobing bass pulses… Read more
Peaking Lights, JD Twitch and Bjørn Torske give brilliant disco-not-disco remixes of Norwegian model-turned-wave-riding rocker Carmen Villain. Peaking Lights turn her 'Dreamo' into some kinda psycho-Cumbia wildness, whilst JD Twitch is at his best with his doomy, EBM-infected revision of 'How Much' sounding like Group Rhoda meets Factory Floor, and fruitloop disco head Bjørn Torske takes 'Obedience' for a motorik dugga-dugga disco ride.
Singer/songwriter/producer Sohn follows his 4AD debut and production work for Banks and Angel Haze with the slowly gripping, spiralling arpeggios of 'Lessons'. It sounds something like Holy Other meets Dorian Concept, driving low-lying kicks under an intense and almost cathartic synthline alleviated with his soaring vocals. Instrumental and A Capella on the B-side, new album upcoming 2014.
**Edition of 100 housed in wraparound sleeve containing lyrics** Italian engima Fantamatres aka Canedicoda and "slangy poet" Sissy Biasin debut on this odd little 7" for Holidays. It's made all the odder for the fact we can't understand what Sissy's saying, and the fact they reckon it was recorded at Bates Motel (Perú, Piruw) and October 12th 1492. A-side, Sissy rambles around a sleazy organ funk groove called 'Nanni ha perso la battaglia' and appears heavily effected on the spurting electronic goop on 'L'infanzia di Picci', whilst it gets even more interesting with the space station bleep… Read more
Thursday, 14 November
**Edition of 500, initial copies on fluoro yello wax** Ricardo Donoso completes his latest trance mission for Digitalis with 'One Verse Sharpens Another'. Four tracks of serpentine arpeggios, rolling bass pulses and stealthy, soaring synth chords simulate cybersex in anti-G, from the X-Files atmospheres and alien seduction of 'The Redeemer', to the piloerect triggers and tense pizzicato strings of 'Open Drawer, Full Of Masks' on the A-side and over to the sublime, supple bass roll and gentle ambient caress of 'Child Primitive' or the mind-weaving Belgian trance bliss of… Read more
**140g Vinyl Pressed from original metalwork. Includes green and yellow tDR designed sticker** One of the most feted, mystical of all BoC releases, 'Twoism' receives a timely repress from Warp. Since release in 1995 it's been recognised as possibly the most crucial and sought-after release from Scottish brothers Eoin and Marcus Sanderson. It turned the heads of Autechre and Skam at the time, who would release BoC's follow-up 'Hi Scores' in 1996, and established a smudged, haunting aesthetic and template which has been co-opted yet never bettered in its time. From the tear-jerking keys… Read more
**140g vinyl recut by Noel Summerville from original DAT master. Includes sticker postcard with die cut windows** 'In A Beautiful Place In The Country' is arguably one of the most beautiful records in BoC's catalogue. As part of the holy hexagon with 'Hi Scores', the 'Aquarius' 7" and their 'Music Has The Right..." and 'Geogaddi' LP's, it's rightly gained something of a(n) (oc)cult status as a time portal to better, bucolic times... Essential pick.
**140g vinyl pressed from original metalwork. Includes Trans Canada sticker and download code** On their 2006 follow-up to 'Geogaddi', Boards Of Canada indulged their tastes for a folk-rock and shoegaze sound that had long lain latent, shimmering around their hip hop beats. We're not so keen on the opener 'Dayvan Cowboy', but there's some archetypal BoC gear to be heard on the lovely 'Left Side Drive' and the rolling blend of rolling breaks and library synth shivers in 'Sklyliner', besides the two gorgeous interludes, 'Heard From Telegraph Lines' and 'Under The Coke Sign'.
**Edition of 300** Craig Crouse's $&$ romp on from that Diagonal killer to this grip of snotty No Wave disco decimations for GangSigns. Under an augmented title borrowed from Hype Williams, 'Find Out What Happens When People Start Being Polite For A Fucking Change' yields five insistent grooves held tense between hypnotic dancefloor loops and lo-fi noise running in the opposite direction. A-side splays a disco classic with completely wasted noise and wailing vocoder on 'Panther Piss' and digs into sticky tunnel of dub muck on 'St… Read more
*Former Zs man Ben Greenberg with a mesmerising, sense scrambling slice of intricate electro-acoustic deconstructions** "On “Hubble Eagle” we hear Greenberg launching his guitar mantra even further into uncharted territory. Opening with the side-long “A Star Or Two Beside”, Hubble trades in his trusted electric and opts for acoustic guitar, which when subjected to Greenberg’s turbulent tapping chops, yields incredible and unexpected sonic results. Complex percussive patterns begin to emerge, creating a raw rhythmic backbone for a constantly shifting vortex of overtones and harmonic weavings. Thes… Read more
Luke Younger (Helm) picks out one of his favourite Posh Isolation cassettes for special attention on Alter Records. Mastered by Stephen Bishop aka Basic House from the original 2012 tape and cut to vinyl by Rashad at D&M, the two long pieces of 'Perceptions' are now rescued from potential obscurity down the back of the industrial settee, presenting a mutant, malign rhythmic noise symptomatic of the nihilistic Copenhagen scene centred around the likes of Damien Dubrovnik and Iceage. The first side sounds like we're lodged in a wind-tunnel, flayed by icy air as some massive foundry cranks into lif… Read more
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* FRKWYS 10th volume is a brilliant piece of percussive collaging and sound design by downtown legend David Van Tieghem. Working in the spirit of collaboration which has seen him perform on records by Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Steve Reich and many more, on 'Fits & Starts' he works with Future Shuttle, Sam Hillmer, Georgia, Roberto Carlos Lange, Daren Ho, Eli Keszler, and Megafortress, among others, to shape an amorphous sequence of hi-definition electro-acoustics using the younger artists' reinterpretations of his… Read more
'Spät-Europa' (1982) is a crucial part of Asmus Tietchens' early '80s catalogue, now mercifully reissued by Bureau B. His work can be roughly described as avant-garde synth-pop, or "pseudo pop" in much the same manner you could call Conrad Schnitzler's music of the same era "pop". 'Spät-Europa' was originally released by the legendary Sky Records and conveys a melancholic, alien mood across twenty succinct vignettes oscillating with wild vision between hi-velocity rhythms, charmingly daft, tongue-in-cheek NDW melodies and darkside coldwave aces all falling under the 3 minute barrier - hence the "pop" tag we guess. RIYL Conrad Schnitzler, Felix Kubin, MFH.
'Litia' is another remarkable treasure from Asmus Tietchens' innovative and prolific early period circa 1982 which also saw his music released on the UK's influential YHR Tapes. During this period the Hamburg-based legend isolated a particular, peculiar brand of abstract dance music driven by spiky, pointillist drum programming and rife with weirdo synth melodies as funky as they are outright odd - a unique highpoint of wave era meshing NDW, EBM and kosmic elektroniks. There are some total bullets inside, none more so than the dark, swaggering, psychedelic Hamburg funk of 'Zeebrügge' the stormi… Read more