Thursday, 09 April
Alex Smoke does ace disco-house and proggy tech-house for Optimo's Trax series. With the devil in the psychedelic detailing he cycles four distinctive grooves ranging from the buoyant skank and swarming tribal chants of 'Remembered II' thru grumbling, blue techno with 'Divination', to wiggly electro-disco futurism with 'Stauner', and triplet-lead psycho-acoustic f**kery in 'Pax'.
**Includes postcard insert** Ostgut Ton's little sibling, Unterton gives birth to a new artist with the crackshot techno session 'Summe'. Perfectly balanced between sullen and spacey 4:4 and roiling, brukken techno, four grooves touch on slow druggy thump ('Objectness'), adroit and gear-slipping hydraulix ('Schleife I'), old skool Regis ('Schleife IX') and Mills or PAS-style bleep ballistics ('Schleife III') with real class.
Radgy, distorted techno from scene survivor Paul Birken. Stubbornly sticking to his style, Briken goes ham on the machines for eight tracks of blown-out bass drums and clattering percussion reminding of Randomer ior Bintus with 'Surfin' Superior'.
Continental compilation of emotive nEuro-techno and electro proffered by Switzerland's Lux Rec. On the first disc you'll find Börft boss Jan Svensson twirling silvery arpeggios and muggy house as Villa Åbo beside CCO's cosmic house projection, 'Pale Distant Lights' and an extended deep acid/EBM rub from Juanpablo & Sneaker. Drvg Cvltvre opens the 2nd plate with the smacky flow of 'Endless Night', next to Swiss bro's, Echo106 with a galluping acid trip, and label boss Daniele Cosmo teams up with Luciano Lamanna on the album's wayward finale, churning up rotten kicks and splintered drums with sulky synth strafes at a knackered lurch.
**Reworked demos and new material by the original darkside Italo heroes. R.I.P. Vittorio Barozzi a.k.a. Victor Life. Hand-numbered gatefold edition of 500** "'The First And Second Side of the Mystic Synth' presents the last and long overdue work of the highly influential, enigmatic & near mythical Italo-Group Fockewulf 190. As Protagonists to the Dark Side of Italo Disco evolving and developing in the mid 80’s music-scene, they influenced countless newborn artists all over the globe. This newly recorded Studio-LP in combination with a re-work of the 1986-D… Read more
*Gatefold 2LP - includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Mike Simonetti (Italians Do It Better) inaugurates his 2MR (Two Mikes Records) label with this lush debut double slab as Pale Blue with vocalists Liz Wight (Silver Hands) and Jana Hunter (Lower Dens). The vibe gauge is set to heartfelt from the outset, strafing component elements of melodic techno, dream-pop and disco with a dancefloor-honed sense of motorik trance momentum and romance. Simonetti's previous credentials are as diverse as they are impressive, covering so much ground between his punk backgro… Read more
**5LP boxset - numbered edition of 500** 'The Syntapes Years 1981 - 1983' showcases the wonderful, home-built panoramas of sorely overlooked German synthesist, Rüdiger Lorenz. While he operated in the same kosmiche orbit as Conrad Schnitzler, Edgar Froese, Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius, unfortunately Lorenz hasn't been afforded the same hagiographic glow as his peers, despite producing a run of gorgeous releases for his Syntapes label in the early '80s which clearly still stand up to the test of time. Mercifully, Vinyl-On-Demand remedy the situation somewhat wit… Read more
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "Dinner is the alias for Danish singer and producer Anders Rhedin. Since 2012, Dinner has released 2 EPs and a guided meditation-tape. Dinner lives a somewhat nomadic existence, having alternated between LA, Berlin, and Copenhagen for years. This last year, Dinner’s itinerary has included falling in love with a baroness in Berlin, being taught Qi Gong from a renowned Sufi on a mountainside in the Algarve, working on commercial pop songs in Hollywood (“The essence of dark magic”, according to Dinner), and playing shows at festiv… Read more
DJ Hell and Jimmy Edgar remix a track "that has stood the test of time in defiance of every rule of commerciality...."
*Ltd deluxe LP in gatefold sleeve, on blue and white starburst vinyl with an exclusive poster and sticker designed by Chaz Bundick. Includes a digital download code redeemable from the label** "Opening to the scream of F1’s speeding around a racetrack, and maintaining that intensity with booming guitar riffs and psychedelic effects throughout, the forthcoming album from Toro Y Moi is definitely making a statement. Or maybe a few statements. But Chaz Bundick, the frontman and songwriter, is leaving it up to you to figure out what they are. While it is obvious that each song i… Read more
**Chaz Bundick a.k.a. Toro Y Moi spills pure pop juice all over your shredded tennis shoes with 'What For?'** "Opening to the scream of F1’s speeding around a racetrack, and maintaining that intensity with booming guitar riffs and psychedelic effects throughout, the forthcoming album from Toro Y Moi is definitely making a statement. Or maybe a few statements. But Chaz Bundick, the frontman and songwriter, is leaving it up to you to figure out what they are. While it is obvious that each song is crafted around a personally meaningful experience, Chaz seems to purposefully l… Read more
Thursday, 02 April
Warp charge a full battery of ruffneck, upfront dance music from Lisbon in the first of three killer 'Cargaa' volumes. It serves a crucial insight to the Príncipe label's roster and mix of Angolan rhythms with European techno memes, equally essential for newcomers and scene fiends alike. The term "Cargaa" itself is a local Gallician colloquialism for the buzz surrounding the scene, both at home and abroad, and neatly defines the sound's excited state. Scene founders DJ Marfox and DJ Nigga Fox both represent; the former with a bouncing bomb named 'Take Off', and the latter on … Read more
Like bloody buses, Warp roll out another nugget from Aphex Twin with alternate versions of 'MARCHROMT30A Edit 2b' and 'XMAS_EVET1 N' off the Japanese and worldwide versions of 'Syro'. The first edit starts up sounding like Haswell spatterblatz before melting breaks and willowing chords across the synapsez with signature AFXian lushness, whereas the fast mix does it all again at a spannered 45rpm, resulting queerer, creamier tunings. The alternate mix of 'XMAS_EVET1 N' is half the length of the original, nipped and licked like some gem from ICBYD.
**First release on a new label from Max Tundra featuring his first productions to surface publicly for over 7 years, fronted by manufactured millennial pop starlets Daphne & Celeste. Edition of 500 copies pressed on lacquer-cut yellow vinyl with optional pop-out centre* There’s little doubt among anyone familiar with Max Tundra’s oeuvre that his early 2000’s releases for Domino kinda pre-empted the whole PC Music thing by a decade or so, all hi-sheen bubblegum pop rendered through obsolete digital technology, hooky as hell and just a little bit unsettling to boot. Having laid low since th… Read more
Tensile techno tools from Mark Broom. From cantering acid techno funk with 'Attitude' to skippy pounder, 'Luxe', and the kicking pressure of 'Three Forms'.
Following the release of his seminal Hard Techno workout in 1997, Surgeon and Mick Harris revisited the material for this 'Remake' session. '(Intro) Version II' is reinforced with extra noise and viciously filtered strings while 'Krautrock (Version III)' loses the melody, ups the bass levels and reworks the rhtyhm according to a stricter agenda. Mick Harris meanwhile manipulates 'Waiting' as an uncomfortably sub-heavy halfstepper and 'Depart (Version II)' exercises Surgeon's more abstract dancefloor inclinations. Classic material.
Andrés stokes the house party, Detroit style, with his first new release since 2012. A-side simmers the super dope vibes of 'Believin'' with some class sample chops and inimitable drum programming throughout, especially in the final flourish of rolling rimshots. Pure groove control. B-side he eases off with the inquisitive bassline and swinging claps of 'Jungle Pain' freshened up with subtle traces of field recording, and 'Can't Shake It' gets down on a jazz-funk thing with effortless swagger. RIYL Theo Parrish, KDJ, Anthony Shakir.
Bonkers, Moog-heavy belly dance disco from Lebanon 1979! Both sides are belter, giving up the screaming Moog and mid-tempo wiggle of 'Jamileh' up top, and snake-hipped double-timed drops of 'The Joy of Lina (Farha)' on the flip.
*Clear Vinyl* It's 2015 and the guitar as an instrument is pretty f**king exhausted, right? Not in Tashi Dorji's hands. This album was first issued on cassette by Blue Tapes in 2014, just prior to the amazing compilation of his earlier gear on Ben Chasny ov Six Organs… Hermit Hut label and serves to illustrate our point above - where so many guitarists are happy to tread old ground and pay dues to heroes, Bhutanese maverick Dorji is spiralling away, expressing untapped thoughts and feelings on his very own plane, making his guitar sound something like a modular synth system playing ancient … Read more
Filthy bang-gang styles from Randomer vs J. Tijn, Shawn O'Sullivan vs NJ, and Bintus vs Hironori Takahashi on the 7th Brothers session. Four cuts of deviant machine funk from radge-packet techno to body-crumpling electro.
Full throttle party techno, Brighton style, from scene survivor Tobias Schmidt. A-side, 'Back To The Future (Again)' pulls no punches with a battery of galloping kicks and incendiary rave alarms; B-side, 'Antimatter' rips the head off it again with body-eating acidic synthline and friskier groove beside the wonky LFO abuse of 'Tuff Lou'.
Uncompromising dark techno from Bradford and Serbia backed with Paul Mac and Lakker remixes. From the valleys of West Yorkshire, Shadowstory label bosses Dronelock trigger the shuddering force and bleak atmospheres of 'Continuum', given a shifty shake-down by Paul Mac. From Belgrade, Boris Noiz and Dark Dekode a.k.a. Ontal deliver thew worm-charming subbass pulses and polluted atmospheres of 'Soil', beside a decayed, unquantised Lakker remix.
**Gatefold sleeve** Shlomo rolls emotional in his long-awaited 3rd LP of instrumental hip hop hybrids. 'Dark Red' distills a viscous mix of coldwave and shoegaze memes together with ghostly traces of jungle, grime and footwork to a more mature, vintage-sounding appeal. It feels as though the tracks were created out of time and place; cherry-picking and arranging the choicest morsels of bygone styles before burying them in a rusty reel-to-reel tin and allowing the whole thing to gently emulsify. The resulting, foisty candies are aged beautifully and marked up with titles that ring true with their dy… Read more
"The totality of Edwin Stevens’ vast appeal …as a musician isn’t usually something you can get to grips with by listening to one record alone. He likes to give it to you in bite sized, stylised chunks. As the alpha member of the Manchester underground music nerd set – a mirror world of the city’s explicit culture, where benevolence, good vibes, an active pursuit of self-doubt and a hazy absence of self-importance are paradoxically coupled with your usual countercultural aural fuck-you-ism – he’s played regularly in at least five completely stylistically unconne… Read more
Sallow, blue post-rock/electronica cross-over from the moody twosome of Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller a.k.a. Ghosting Season and here as Worriedaboutsatan. A few years since they were touted by Sasha's Last Night on Earth label, they plug-in a suite of faded synth atmospheres and slow-chugging grooves crossed with the melancholic appeal of 65daysofstatic.
Vintage horny Chicago house heat from Trax circa '88. Includes the moody, 'Donnie' riffing jack of 'I Can't Understand', and the muscular ride of 'Fantasy'.
Crstal Bandito debuts a slick and powerful electrro-techno sound on Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label. Stripped, supple grooves in four parts, setting it out nice and easy with the hushed swing and sexy gynoid vocals of 'Feel So Free'; ratcheting the ante with an 808 pumper, 'Let It All Out'; getting frisky with it in 'EEEWalk', and stepping to the runway with 'Work It'.
NYC's Kim Ann Foxman follows her ace 'Pleasure Principle' hookup with some proper local dance knowledge in 'Firehouse 002'. Go straight for the original mix of 'Open The House' for a fierce, deep and hypnotic '90s house sound rife with rumping toms and ghostly pads how u like it.
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* After a decade of 12" releases, Ostgut Ton boss Nick Höppner delivers his dope debut album for the world-renowned label outta Berlin. While he may not have the celebrity status conferred upon the rest of Berghain/Panorama Bar's residents, Höppner's productions have long stood out as prime examples of *that* Berlin house sound. 'Folk' collects nine of 'em, capturing him at his most focussed and diverse between wayward pieces such as the effluent bubbler 'Grind Show' and beautifully gauzy breakbeat trip, 'Airway Management', thru to his p… Read more
**180g vinyl in gatefold sleeve with digital download code redeemable from the label.Haunting and ancient-sounding Vietnamese folk songs sung by elkders and played on traditional instruments that sound so alien to modern ears. Makes so many modern folk imitations sound painfully affected** "An album of cautious healing and an unforgettable meditation on conflict, resistance, collective memory, and the longing for what has been lost. Brennan recalls the recording process for this remarkable document in the album's liner notes, excerpted here: "We had gone to Hanoi… Read more