Thursday, 28 August
"'Sorrow Tears And Blood' bookended the Nigerian army's deadly raid of the Kalakuta Republic, Fela Kuti's self-appointed state domicile, and Kuti's hostile feelings toward upper-class Nigeria are prominent on both sessions... 'Sorrow Tears And Blood', the first recording released after the Kalakuta's capture, is fiercer; the band's sound almost seeming to drip blood. Slower and more persistent, the ominous grooves here no longer bother with metaphor, crying out bluntly, "some people lost some bread, someone has just died... them leave sorrow, tears and blood." Alongside Woody Guthrie's "Struggle", this is as stirring as musical social protest gets."
The eighties weren't known as Fela's finest period. He was under much pressure from the Nigerian government and extensive touring of the US and Europe lead to a dearth of good material. 'Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense' from 1986 is considered the exception, featuring three extended tracks of more melancholy and deeply soulful Afro-Beat expressions.
**Clear Vinyl** Edit Select teams up with Teste to refresh their '92 techno classic 'The Wipe' for 2014, backed with an hypnotic new collaboration. A-side, Edit Select performs a subtle edit, nudging the tempo down for contemporary compatibility, whilst leaving the roiling acid bass and searing hi-end flange more or less intact. B-side, their 'Ascend' hook-up traces a gradual trajectory thru rolling bass modulation and floating, finely-layered synth stata in classic style. Tip!
**Includes download code** "During his eight-year stint with Hi Records, Johnson was in the shadows of both Al Green and Ann Peebles. By 1975, Johnson's partnership with Hi Records started to yield even more success. As this album's predecessors had Johnson vacillating between being a romantic and a wretch, Total Explosion explores his unrepentant side with good results. "I only Have Love For You" is a classic Memphis shuffle and finds Johnson all but boasting about his lack of financial savvy, as he sings, "All I got to give is me." With all of the ill will and venom spewed on Total Exp… Read more
Thursday, 21 August
Proper brainfloss from indefatigable English noise demon Russell Haswell for the excellent Bocian Records. Following on from his cracking split with Pain Jerk and the outstanding '37 Minute Workout' for Diagonal, the five blizzards of 'Conceptual n0!se' also help to distinguish 2014 as a relatively prolific and vintage year for the venerable artist. It's full bore Haswell; an atonal, arrhythmic relish of blistering analogue and digital sources - Analogue Systems, Apple, Audiofile Engineering, BugBrand, Doepfer, Fairfield Circuitry, f(h), Hinton Instruments, M.A.S.F., MOTU, Neutrik, … Read more
**Spotgloss printed jacket. Includes download code. Numbered edition of 300** Mike Paradinas sticks his butterfly net back in the murky space between Ekoplekz' ears for a diverse follow-up to 'Unfidelity'. Spawned from the same sessions at its predecessor, 'Four Track Mind' is not so much the offcuts, as the bits that were too dark, detached, for the psychedelic swirl of 'Unfidelity'. There's eleven of 'em, making for one of Nick Edwards' moodiest collections, all hingeing on silty rhythmic currents filter-clogged traces of melody fanning out from the Skaters meets Goblin on 'Ariel Grey' to… Read more
*Initial copies on White vinyl* Utterly enchanting, joyfully whimsical return from Portland, Oregon's acoustic/ambient-pop hypnotist, Sean Byrne aka Bugskull. Returning to Digitalis a half decade on from the much-loved 'Communication' album, his sound on 'Collapsed View' is mostly as charmingly concise and somnambulant as we remember, but also offers three slightly extended views where he really takes flight. The A-side yields five sun-dried ambient pickings, moseying from woozy harmonica, organ and acoustic guitar strums cuddled to tape in 'Heaven/California', thru the smudged dirge of 'Old… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** From hooded Wegie scamp to world-taking producer, Rustie continues to blaze a neon trail with his crackshot 2nd album, 'Green Language'. Packing all the stomach-churning, heart-bursting rush of a triple-barrelled mitsi, it's a dancefloor melding, accelerationist expression of emotions that can't be adequately summed up in the English lexicon, amped with guest vocals by D Double E, Redinho, Danny Brown and Gorgeous Children. It scales up the thizz attacks of 'Glass Swords' to impossibly ecstatic levels with his signature blend of … Read more
**First ever reissue of the pioneering ensemble's 1973 release, featuring a young Ennio Morricone** "Considered the first collective of experimental composers, Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza formed in 1964 in Rome to chase the expressive potential of live improvisation to its furthest reaches. Led by Franco Evangelisti, Gruppo also included Ennio Morricone before he found fame composing soundtracks. The ensemble advanced the innovations of 20th century avant-garde in laboratory-like studio settings where the intuitive i… Read more
Omar S at his very best on FXHE! Detroit's dopest house cat brings the funk like few others with three cuts of driving, airborne electro-soul and techno on 'Annoying Mumbling Alcoholic'. The lead cut is a real blinder, opening with a cheeky vocal snippet before a glyding electro-soul groove takes control, springing crisp, loud boogie drums and greazy bass below a soaring melodic arrangement bound to turn any dance to a loved-up lather. It's a certified anthem! B-side, the chiming cosmic chords and supple thump of 'Serving Cavi on 18 and Garfield' find him at his loosest, jazziest,… Read more
Ric and Max do their bendy, extended remix thing with NoW's bona fide Warp classic, 'Aftermath'. The 24 year old bleep techno template is extruded thru their modular arsenal to resemble a strange older version of itself, the vocal pitched down to a pensioners ramble and all the energy of the breaks and bass diffused into snaking, whirring polyrhythms. Frankly, it's boring. However, their Electric Jazz Version is ace, dicing up sprung drums, darting bass motifs and feathered vocal flits to sound some menagerie of psychotropically-enhanced, flying chimeras performing an ancient ritual involving multi-dimensional time signature switches.
**Full colour version - One sided vinyl with etching on the flip** In the egalitarian, sample-happy spirit of UK Rave, Jamie xx liberally filches from Mark Leckey's 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore' soundtrack for his festive anthem 'All Under One Roof Raving'. Flyknit with extra snatches of atmosphere from rave tapes and youtube videos, Jamie underpins it all with rolling subs, crafty 2-step percussion and those signature steel drums to beautiful effect. Long live the spirit!
"A rollicking vocalist and gifted harmonica player, Syl Johnson has forged a career in both blues and soul. He sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold and Junior Wells in the 1950s before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee- Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal Records. Johnson toured with Howlin’ Wolf from late 1959 until 1962, when Willie Mitchell signed him to Hi Records. Johnson recorded for both Twilight and Hi in the late 1960s and early 1970s, clicking with the dance / novelty cut ‘Come On Sock It To Me’ and crackling m… Read more
**Oh buoy, a right headful of eccentric computer music composition from the one and only Goodiepal. Double, heavyweight picture disc set housed in gatefold jacket and printed inners with insert. Mind your stylus on the run-in groove inscription!** "Fonal Records releases a live recording from 2000 in Roskilde. The package is a luxurious double picture vinyl that comes with a four page 30x30cm insert. Goodiepal or Gæoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen, whose real name is Parl Kristian Bjørn Vester, is a controversial Danish/Faroese musician and composer. The eccentric and… Read more
*Excellent issue via Superior Viaduct - First time on vinyl!* Never one to settle on a single musical style, Brigitte Fontaine followed up her debut, Est…Folle, and her astonishing collaboration with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Comme à la Radio, with the most eclectic release of her lengthy career, 1972’s Brigitte Fontaine. It is telling that Fontaine chose an eponymous title for her third album, the sole release from her venerable ’70s catalogue attributed to her alone. Here the actress-cum-singer has finally arrived. From the introspective opening track, simply named “Brigitte… Read more
‘Clever Devil’ is the first single to be taken from ‘Disturbing Wildlife’, the forthcoming debut full length from Invisible Familiars, aka Jared Samuel, a New York City-based songwriter and multi- instrumentalist who has long made his living playing music, supporting a variety of NYC artists and now stepping out on his own. ‘Clever Devil’ was recorded with producer / musician Michael Leonhart (Yoko Ono, David Byrne, Steely Dan) and is all at once snaky and vivid, with Samuel’s acoustic guitar and mysterious, breathy melodies complemented by ear-candy flourishes o… Read more
Canada's fertile pop/electronica scene comes good again with Evelyn Mason and Jeremiah Klein's first single as Evy Jane for Ninja Tune. Lest we forget, the duo's debut for King Deluxe was a real burner, every bit as addictive as anything from fellow Canucks, Grimes, Weeknd or Junior Boys. That's in large part due to the smoky allure of Evelyn's vocals, and no doubt due to Klein's subtly exquisite production, which sound at best here in the heaving digital haze and melodic tristesse of 'Closer', in the sweeping sub-bass dynamics and filigree vocals of 'Sosoft', and the Rhythm & Sound meets Junior Boys dub-pop styles of 'Worry Heart'.
**Brilliantly out-of-step free-jazz/improvised fusioneering on Bradford's Bomb Shop institute. After something different? You've definitely found it** "Death Shanties is a new mixed media balls-to-the-wall Free Jazz group featuring Alex Neilson (drums), Sybren Renema (alto/baritone sax) and Lucy Stein (painting/projections). The group combine references to Medieval music, Sea Shanties and Field Hollars with the ecstatic cry of classic 1960’s fire music. Stein uses primitive devotional images, food stuffs and even her own hair in visceral, highly textured painted projections making Death Shanties a unique and immersive live experience."
Deluxe triple gatefold 10" set collecting Can co-founder Holger Czukay's 'Der Osten Ist Rot' (1984) and 'Rome Remains Rome' (1987) together with new remixes. Out of print for three decades, these albums document Czukay's sampledelic prowess, working with an Emulator sampler at Conny Plank's studio to make eerie and enchanting new dimensions drawing upon his time with motorik krautrockers Can and his musique concrète schooling under the tutelage Karheinz Stockhausen. At worst they're dippy exercises in "world" fusion; at best they're psychedelic collages swirling radio signals, MIDI orchestration and even samples of Pope John Paul II.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* "Peter Jefferies (This Kind of Punishment) released his brilliant sophomore album Electricity in 1994. While his solo debut, 1990’s The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, has drawn comparisons to classic singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and Townes Van Zandt, Electricity is a far more sparse and nocturnal affair. Jefferies’ earthy baritone weaves between piano, guitar, cello and analog tape machine noise, pulling in listeners to the deep pastoral life of his music. With guest appearances from heavyweights in the New Zealand music sce… Read more
*Six improvisations between organ and percussion from Faust's Jochen Irmler and Can's Jaki Liebzeit* "Jochen Irmler and Jaki Liebzeit met in the town of Scheer last July to prepare for an upcoming concert at the slaughterhouse in Sigmaringen as well as for a subsequent appearance in the Kammerspiele in Munich. However, they quickly decided to stop rehearsing and instead record FLUT - an album that regroups six improvisations between organ and percussion. FLUT adds another chapter to Irmler’s collaborations, which aim to explore, whenever possible, the hidden potential that lies dormant in the … Read more
Two new songs and just the second solo release from Ned Oldham, who’s been recording music for more than two decades now, first with Palace, then as The Anomoanon, later as Old Calf. Simple songs rooted in folk and bluegrass and presented in a swirl of psychedelia. Music forged in history, created in the present and timeless in sound.
LA's Mono/Poly makes good with his most high profile album to date landing on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder. "From the first orchestral trills of “Winds of Change” you know you’re in for something special. As the track builds the listener notices not only the content but also the production chops – this is a record which sounds exactly as big, glossy and up front as its creator wants it to. Rebekah Raff adds scintillating harp work to “Transit to the Gold Planet,” but it’s the way Dickerson integrates it and builds on it which is really special. “Ra Rise” sounds like sunbathing in space, Niki Ra… Read more
Dubstep and ambient pop styles from Modifier on Glasgow's High Sheen label. The fusion of loping, bit-crushed rhythm and diced folk vocals of 'Haptic' and 'Under The Window' remind of Deep Medi's Clouds or Various Production; the icier ambient techno-pop of 'Lupica' nods to Robyn, The Field, Pantha Du Prince.
"Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, Ty Segall is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout ‘Twins’ and ‘Sleeper’. Now, more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image, picking up speed. The multi-coloured manias that make up ‘Manipulator’ are sour-sweet declarations featuring freaks and creeps alike: ‘The Singer’, ‘The Faker’, ‘Mister Main’, ‘Susie Thumb’, the ‘Connection Man’ and ‘The Crawler’, to name but a mutant fistful. To see these characters, to realize their dreams and visions, Ty … Read more
180g vinyl reissue of 'Oceanheart', the 1986 follow-up to 'Synthesist' by Ashra drummer Harald Grosskopf. Whilst its better known predecessor dealt on the cusp of Krautrock's twilight period and new age spheres, 'Oceanheart' very much sounds of its mid '80s era with polished digital drums and synths balanced between the dancefloor and Miami yacht decks. The DJs really need to cop a listen to the taut, arpeggiated funk of 'Eve On The Hill', the MIDI-tethered tablas, slick bassline and sparkling pirouettes of 'Pondicherry Dream', and the airborne swing of 'Minimal Boogie', whilst suave hom… Read more
*Vinyl Edition finally available* Blackpool's VHS Head returns to Skam with a new album of cut-up, ADD funk and horror atmospheres. Much like the first album, 'Trademark Ribbons Of Gold', VHS Head continues to fashion an archetype of hi-tech funk built on lo-fi samples liberally twocked from a seam of video nasty filth found in and around Blackpool. The results sound something like BoC and OPN beat up by Nicolas Collins after he lost on a phet-and-slush puppie-fuelled DDR session, spiralling a strobing stream of synaesthetically appealing sound/images with proper, Freestyle funk and disequilibrium.
Tensile techno, grime and electro-bass rhythms from the ever-luminous Ikonika for Hyperdub. In contrast to her previous records, there's the feeling she's taken a step back from full-on modernism to bring vintage styles forward in her unique way. A-side, 'Position' jacks up a wily fusion of Dance Mania/Chicago house with Socafied Grime and electroid synthlines, and 'Praxis' twirls a glistening helix of industrial halfstep drums and bittersweet, 3D synth motifs. Flipside is better yet, bringing the crisply punctuated latin freestyle flex of 'Strawberry Underlay' and the dextrous twine of jackin' old skool drums with hairy guitar riffs and Atari blips.
A master at work: Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles gives Hard Ton three prime deep house remixes, including two exclusive to this 12". Up top, the Dubberama mix is our pick of the bunch, doing away with the original's fairly cheesy vocal in favour of bringing forward the rippling congas and boosting that rumpy sub for 13 minutes of warmest house sensuality. Of course, the key to its success is Terre's naked mastering - there is none - which contrasts so sharply with so much beefed up and overly masculine mix-downs in modern house music, resulting in a far more… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** 21 years in the game, Mike Paradinas aka µ-Ziq sticks to his guns with the charming retro-futurism of 'Rediffusion'. It's a sweet exercise in melodic nostalgia filtered thru modern rhythm prisms, starting up with the utopian, footwork-infected junglism 'Taxi Sadness' before investigating slower tempos in the following five cuts thru the airborne waltzer 'Rimmy' and Kuedo-esque dry drum programming of 'Blem' to the collapsing sci-fi structures of 'Smeester' and the eerie, Library-style themes of 'Tambor'. As always, that blend of naif insouciance and eldritch oddness hits the spot like the few others.