Thursday, 06 February
Uwe Schmidt picks up where his acclaimed 'HD' album left us, presenting closing track 'Ich bin meine Maschine' backed with techno remixes by himself, Boys Noize and Function. Apparently inspired by cybernetician Heinz Von Foerster, the original track plays on the meaning of Kraftwerk's oft-cited "Ich bin eine Maschine" quote, tweaking and reconstructing its vocoder timbres to say "I am my machine" against a backdrop of fluid, abstract electro-boogie. The remixes amp the dancefloor potential with deft, powerful results. Alex Ridha aka Boys Noize condenses the groove to a boulder-rolling… Read more
Last heard by us on the nutty 'Quadrant EP', Splurt follows production duties for Merky Ace with this heavy trio of instrumentals. Suitably road-rugged and gut-punching production values make for a convincing solo debut proper, from the 808 bass, shredded samples and knuckled crack of 'J3' to the stone cold dancefloor murder, 'Lamped' and a synth'd-out, heat seeking 'Ethnic' madness.
Falty DL's Blueberry Records showcase the diverse talents of Michigan's Todd Osborn (Soundmurderer, TNT, Osborne). Crafted with typically meticulous detail and feel for the funk, four tracks range from disco-house ('5thep') to grinding acid-techno jack ('What Is Love') thru Dilla-esque instrumental hip-hop ('Michigan Dream') and deft braindance ('752am'). Support from Cosmin TRG, XXXY, Mike Paradinas, Eclair FiFi, Illum sphere, Altered Natives, Mike Q.
Bare-bones no wave techno from Melbourne, Australia's Slug Guts in their "anti-suicide" duo, Prolife. The premise is simple - two blokes with toy keyboards, mics and guitar pedals recording two-track techno - and it feels just right. A-side is a cracking piece of unfussy kicks and drones, marrying cold, Suicide-like vocals with persistent, cheap bass hit and industro-dubbed vibes to rock your favourite dingy basement. 'Gold Leaves' on the other hand is bit of a coldwave pop dirge, paring the elements down to fuzzed up synth hook and slurred vocals with cavernous reverb. RIYL Posh Isolation, Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide.
Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares exposes his fleshy pink underbelly in collaboration with fellow Canuck, Joanne Pollock as Poemss. The keyword here is dream-pop, but with at least half of the dream imagined by a certifiable mentalist it's not your typical chasing-lambs-in-meadow dream-pop. Not for the first time, Mr Funk proves a fine baritone singing voice, nicely complementing his spar's breathy voice against twinkling hyperprisms of music box melodies, synth-pop hooks and slow, contorted electro-pop rhythms. For the strongest tastes check out the beautifully soured discord of 'Think Of Somewhere Nice'… Read more
Blue Daisy exercises his darker side for 37 Adventures on four cuts of bleak, rock-burning beats. Opener and title track, 'Psychotic Love' sounds like a mid-breakdown Tricky battling with his demons, and 'Cries of the Beast' nails an even more paranoid, tortured vibe with knuckled 808s and mutated vocals ranting about survival tactics and the streets. Flipside, 'Devils Pie' comes off like a prime Portishead offcut twocked from the editing room, and 'Fallin' Circles' introduces a glimmer of hope with Barnaby's cool, controlled soul vocal flitting over corkscrewing bleeps, and dusted bass grynd.
NYC's Hound Scales cuts out three heavy, funked-up techno trax for White Asega, backed with pumping Forward Strategy Group remix. His 'Odile' sets the pace with slamming kicks countered by canny soul samples, and 'Howard Hughsian' gets down with a nastier, grittier torsion reminding of Blawan and Happa productions. Flipside, 'Thinner' laces a cantering techno swagger with cut-up R&B stabs and FSG intensify that groove with jagged, 16th note EBM patterns for a tougher techno appeal.
**Edition of 300** Snow Ghosts' 3rd single from 'A Small Murmuration' features remixes of its most enigmatic highlight, 'Secret Garden' by none other than Richard Skelton and Matthew Herbert. Skelton's re-working (is this his first ever remix?) is just fantastic - keeping the vocal intact but replacing the space previously occupied by the drums with a rolling soundscape of his trusted bowed strings and a synth drone that's completely outside his musical comfort zone. It's a striking juxtaposition that's opened our eyes to what might happen if this amazing producer would reach outside his u… Read more
Roving acid techno trips from the Speculator, William Thomas Burnett, aka Willie Burns, back on Will Bankhead's TTT. His follow-up to 'The Overlord EP 'Treks into sunset/sunrise 303 zones in four parts. A-side, 'A Tab Of Acid' and its 'Acidapella' comes to chew your mind with nasty envelope pinches and driving kicks, whereas 'Washed Hands' and 'She Left In Spring' are more melancholy, orange and crimson-hued pieces of acid tranquility pushing for the horizon.
San Fran's Dark Entries surpass themselves with this remastered reissue of a hugely sought after and amazing Italo classic. 'Tarzan Loves The Summer Nights' was originally issued on Gong Records in 1984 and nowadays goes for mega-bucks, so all credit to Dark Entries for pushing it back in reach of us poor fiends. The original's a swinging mid-tempo bomb with cracking Linn drums, fizzing MiniMoog synthlines and a vocal to die for - including a full-blooded Tarzan holler in the closing stages - and there's also a ruggedly naked yet debonaire instrumental to double the pleasure. Not to be missed!
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "The 78 Project: Volume 1 contains 13 one-of-a-kind one-take recordings by extraordinary artists not available anywhere else. The tracks were recorded in locations all around New York City, including hotel rooms, private residences, public spaces and even one alleyway. Because each track was recorded in its own unique location in one take onto a 78rpm lacquer disc using a very vintage 1930s recorder, they often contain sonic treasures and a magical, antique quality. The album is as much of an adventure to listen to as it was… Read more
**Red vinyl. Limited edition of 550** Axel Willner (The Field) debuts a beautifully soporific new sound as HANDS with 'The Soul Is Quick' for Walls' Ecstatic label. Its four extended pieces feature Willner trying out a more delicate, dreamy sound than The Field, practically abandoning his signature bass rhythms in favour of subtle rhythmic vapour trails while all the action happens in the droning loops of Gas-like chords and sampled movie dialogue in the higher registers. The whole thing was apparently made over the course of a month at the producer's Garmonbozia Studios in Berlin, … Read more
LuckyMe catch the debut 12" proper from crossover bass/pop producer and former DMC champion, Cashmere Cat. The follow-up to his 'Mirror Maru' anthem - as rinsed by Rustie, HudMo, Gilles Peterson, and on the GTA V soundtrack - is a cute four-track affair welding sparkling keys and tempered trap/house/bass rhythms inna distorted reflection of stadium-ready EDM. His sound's got the same sense of zig-zagging jazziness as Jameszoo, but with a taste exuberant harmonic progressions Rustie and HudMo borrowed from John Hughes film soundtracks and the partywise sensbility of a Diplo show.
Thursday, 30 January
**Gorgeous 4LP box set presented in two gatefold sleeves inside a heavy card slipcase, with a 12” square, 20 page, saddle stitched booklet on art paper. The set is a 34-song anthology of Early Recordings From Iran painstakingly restored from 78s at Abbey Road studio in London** "Ravishingly beautiful, achingly precious songs and instrumentals, ranging from two performances by the Royal Court Orchestra in 1906 — with futuristic, overlapping trumpets and exquisite clarinet improvisation — through to a hauntingly soulful Hafez setting by Moluk Zarrabi of… Read more
*Second Pressing with green ink stamp* Keysound set the levels for 2014 with Wen's rude refix of Dizzee Rascal's '04 rarity, 'Strings Hoe'. His follow-up to the wicked 'Commotion' EP of 2013 is a perfect example of the 130bpm sound he and Keysound have been cultivating for the last 18 months or so; pitching the original's pizzicato hook and Dizzee's yelp to a much darker, slunking electro swagger compatible with Funky, Techno, Garage and house, it's a sound that's probably not been so open and ripe for mixing since the early '90s when garage, house, hardcore and techno … Read more
**Hand-stamped jacket** Canny deep techno trips by a new player and label hailing from the Frozen Border camp. Three tracks hark back to classic early '90s Baby Ford and Probe Records styles with sleek, hypnotic grooves and proggy synthline atmospheres. Classy gear.
Hamburg's Smallville play host to this superb album of signature dub house styles from Stephen Laubner aka STL. All new material, spanning skanking, Chain Reaction style dub-house on 'Scuba's Motion Dub' and 'Amelie's Dub' or the seriously heavy 'Ghostly Ambit' thru to a mixture of Maurizio and Theo Parrish styles on 'Space Cats' and two beautifully glassy ambient vignettes in 'Good Wine' and closer, 'Over and Out'. We wouldn't want to over-egg your expectations, but this is close to being a perfect STL release.
Freddy's Best-selling album from '82, features Freddie's signature 'Big Ship' title track plus 'Roots Man Skanking', 'Stop Loving You', 'Peaceful Man' etc. produced by Linval Thompson, mixed by Scientist.
**Sophomore album from the international hip hop trio. Includes downlaod code redeemable from the label** "This is known: Young Fathers are three young men from Edinburgh and Liberia and Nigeria, all at the same time. Their journey has taken them through various incarnations and styles but they are still only in their mid 20s. And... and this is important: they’ve chosen to kill the past—their own past, even—to make their own future. The what-what, the feeling: Following on from the acclaimed EPs TAPE ONE and TAPE TWO, their debut album Dead comes as an intimate epic, thirty six minutes of…. what… Read more
Blackest Ever Black vent a cold slice of 1982 synth improvisations by former Skullflower and Whitehouse member Stefan Jaworzyn. The original tracks on 'Drained Of Connotation' were recently re-discovered by Jaworzyn when trawling his archives for the recent run of Skullflower reissues and rekindled the British noise legend's memories of poking about with his "beloved Dr Rhythm" and Korg MS10 or 20 and an old EMS. Pre-dating the music on his recently issued 'Eaten By Shadows '82-'83' CD, it comprises an extended side of crisp, piercing hi-end tones punctured by pulsing patterns … Read more
**180g vinyl. Screen-printed jacket by House Of Traps. Hand-numbered edition of 500** A lovely slab from Catalan folk/neo classical singer/songwriter Iñigo Ugarteburu showcasing his deft acoustic playing and spellbinding arrangement alongside a ten piece ensemble. Moving on from the subtle joys of his 'Back&Forth' LP for Talo in 2012, 'For The Unknown' hems close to Chicago's improvising avant garde with an expanded palette of field recordings, piano, modular synth, brass, bicycles, and 20-string Steel Bass by the local players woven against the weft of Inigo's hushed tone. There are… Read more
Ectomorph's Erika reworked by Donato Dozzy, Israel Vines, Outer Space and Patrick Russell on the 2nd remix spawned from her 'Hexagon Cloud' album. Dozzy projects 'Early Warning Starfield' into a wormhole of cascading bleeps and extruded synthlines powered by welting bass, and Israel Vines rattles 'Gardeners' into an EBM techno slammer. Former Emeralds lad, John Elliott and his pal Andrew Veres touch on deep, pounding techno territory with their ecstatic overhaul of 'Tow Ride', and Midwest veteran Patrick Russell gets our top marks for his sinuous, minimal reshape of 'North Hex'.
Italy's SNTS follow three 12"s for their DIY label with a purified dark techno session for Horizontal Ground. The opening ambient passage sets a cold, sepulchral tone which carries thru the record, from pneumatic 4/4 to an hydraulic roller and deep space mystery reminding of classic Surface Records.
A thrilling opening salvo from Alight, a new project from Ross Tones (aka Throwing Snow) with a pumping, expansive dance sound. It sits alongside the likes of Blondes, Physical Therapy, Cyan Kid - going beyond simple dance cuts and conjuring an idealised club experience with ever-changing maximalist palettes and mercurial structures. Moving from not-so-outsider house to reverby minimal etherealism and from rigid techno machinery to frenetic jungle, the album even launches into a chic cinematic instrumental with cellos ('Caligo'). A compact, diverse, luxurious debut.
Sweet cosmic disco house from Bristol's Komon & Appleblim team for Will Saul's Aus Music. A-side 'Jupiter' oscillates between strutting disco and sub-loaded house swagger with ace kosmiche dub intervals produced, by the sounds of it, on Roland's legendary Jupiter synth. Flipside they pick up the pace with a nifty techno-house number named 'Glimmer', and roll out into classic-sounding Broken beat and dub chord styles with the techy closer 'Beach Trek'.
"Staubgold presents the legendary first album from 1980 by UK underground heroes Family Fodder, for the first time reissued on CD and vinyl. Guest musicians include This Heat's Charles Bullen on drums, guitar, vocals, percussion and viola. The Wire magazine listed "Monkey Banana Kitchen" among their "100 Records That Set The World On Fire (While No One Was Listening)" and wrote: "A loose collection of friends and, more often than not, wanderers, Family Fodder reached their apex (or at least one of them) with Monkey Banana Kitchen. The music took the ferocity of contemporaneous Br… Read more
Stone cold classic digi-dancehall album from 1984 by sing-jay originator, Eek-A-Mouse, produced by Henry Junjo Lawes, recorded and mixed at Channel One. Reissued in original jacket and quality pressing. Tracklist: 1. Queen Elizabeth 2. Star, Daily News or Gleaner 3. Atlantis Lover 4. Palaving 5. Treason 6. Anarexol 7. Chip Out 8. Wild Like A Tiger 9. Don't Run And Cry 10. How I Got My Name
'82 roots reggae classic from Johnny Osbourne, produced by 'Junjo' mixed by Scientist, inc. 'Love Is Universal', 'Give A Little Love', 'In Your Eyes' etc.
Jóhann Jóhannsson returns with this limited vinyl soundtrack to U.S. thriller "Prisoners" directed by Denis Villeneuve. Filmmmusicmag: "Prisoners" is certainly one of the more interesting scores to appear since Johnny Greenwood's brilliantly bizarre "There Will Be Blood," while doing far less - if that's even possible - a score that communicates riveting ideas with the most deceptively minimal of efforts - It's "art" music that just happens to be a film score, and pretty much completely outside of the box in a cool Icelandic way."