Thursday, 19 January 2012
Guido boots up his State Of Joy imprint with two meditative, bleeping Bristol rollers. 'Micro X' is curious fusion of metallic sitar motifs, bubbling synth arpeggios and a mellow halfstep flow, nothing that'll stress the dance, but certainly give it somethign to ponder on for five minutes or so. Flipside 'Vessel Dogs' finds its groove between hulking halfstep and sweeter R&B; stripped kick/snare and tingling hi-hats patterns create a skeletal lattice for piquant harp and clipped guitar strings to mingle and grind.
Witness the evolution of Bullion's idiosyncratic oeuvre on his latest, and greatest release for R&S. From his earliest 'Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee' through to that sideways remix of Model 500, there was never any doubt that the guy was a hugely distinguished talent, but we really didn't see this one coming. These are his most pop-sharp, imaginative offerings to date, sounding like John Maus in a psychedelic tizzy with the smudged-out dreampop of 'Say Arr Ee', or concocting some kinda Balearic minimal-wave-funk hallucination with 'What Do You Know'. Hit the samples and prepare to be impressed. Recommended!
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Leila veers into spikier, punkishly technoid wave styles on her 4th album, ably assisted by vocals from Mt. Sims. Compared with it's predecessor 'Blood, Looms & Blooms', with 'U&I' the mood is more urgent, dysphoric, a fact emphasised by the prodding coldwave rhythms and abrasive synth arpeggios which flesh it out, while Mt. Sims' electronically detached vocals lend a steely sense of late night soul. From cold, clangourous opener 'Of One', the dry, frictional EBM rhythms of 'Activate I' perfectly manifest her darker intentions, before Mt. Sims m… Read more
Thursday, 12 January 2012
A very welcome return for Mark Van Hoen, the Seefeel founder member best known his ambient techno work as Locust and under his own name on Apollo and R&S in the mid-90s. The Revenant Diary, his first release on Peter Rehberg's Editions Mego, follows last year's fine City Centre Offices set Where Is The Truth, and explores similarly deep electronic sound-worlds, but it's less obviously song-based, and has different origin: while remastering some of his earliest recordings, Van Hoen was struck by the simplicity of a recording he made in 1982, a reel-to-reel experiment that, through ser… Read more
Instra:mental's Jon Convex initiates his Convex Industries enterprise with two Electroid rollers. A-side is the darkened, glitchy hip rollidge of 'Bump 'n Grind', offloading chunky Breaks and pitched vox tied up with sci-fi synth washes and interspersed with slightly dated glitch edits. B-side 'Closer' conducts a shunty, offset Techno groove layered with chiming vocals.
Wile-out Kuduro madness from DJ Marfox, kicking off the promising Príncipe label with a rambunctious 4-tracker. The 'Eu Seiquem Sou EP' is his debut release but he's already well known in his native Portugal for his legendary 'DJ's di Ghetto' mixes which have earned him notoriety from Europe to Africa. A-side features the polyrhythmic frenzy of the title track, all cascading fairground melodies and nutty drum pressure, plus the hooting Batida hoedown 'Bit Binary'. Flipside starts the ruckus with exhilarating drops and carnival momentum on 'Mitologia' next to the Garage-infected flex of 'Pensamentos'. If you loved Mental Groove's 'Bazzerk' compilation, this is a must!
Coruscating piano deconstructions from the revered Daniel Menche on Editions Mego. Mind you, don't expect to hear any discernible ivory tinkling: the Portland, Oregon native dismantles, violates and manipulates the instrument beyond on all recognition, creating an industrial churn across four bottom-heavy tracks that threatens to consume everything in its path. Seriously, there aren't many artists still capable of scaring us witless, but Menche's self-styled "beastial soundworks" here really are the stuff of nightmares - listening to 'Guts One' in particular sounds like a forest being felled by a … Read more
There's hardly a shortage of scuzzy lo-bias rock music around in 2011, but here's an addition to the scene that's worth taking notice of, courtesy of the very reliable Bathetic label. Bathetic have had a killer year what with an earth shatteringly good album from Lee Noble and it's clear their sights are just as well honed with Cough Cool. The project of one Dan Svizeny, Cough Cool is rock music, but played on the wrong speed, blown out at the wrong points and almost indistinguishable from an errant YouTube clip playing loudly in the front room. There are nods to shoegaze in Svizeny's blissful fuzz… Read more
Special Benny's Mat Baynton offers his debut solo EP. Four songs wide, 'So It Goes' features additional drums, piano, trumpet, sax and melodica plus some arrangements from his bandmate Ben Gates while Mat plays guitar, sings and writes at his home in Greenwich. He calls on inspiration from artists such as DM Stith, Jason Molina and Bowerbird for a down-home and tender style. Distinctive sleeve art was created by Rachael Edwards.
Thursday, 05 January 2012
*Initial copies come on limited edition coloured vinyl* Since 2009 Grant Evans has been peering ever deeper into the kosmische abyss with his records as Nova Scotian Arms for Aguirre, Preservation and Hooker Vision. He's also known for the lush Quiet Evenings releases with his wife, Rachel Evans (Motion Sickness Of Time Travel), but in solo flight his sound is more wide-eyed, exploratory, reaching heady new climes on 'Cult Spectrum', arguably his most vivid vision yet. Perhaps it's thanks to an exquisite mastering job by Lawrence English, but there's a tangible elevation and expansion… Read more
*Silkscreened edition of 250* Pat Murano casts another spellbinding instalment of his mystifying Decimus series for Alga Marghen sister imprint, Planam. In the best possible way, it's bloody hard to sum up what's happening on these records. Over two 20 minute sides Pat pushes way beyond conventional structuring and arrangement, acting as a conduit for stray and wilful FM synth waves which knot and tangle, layer and dissolve across the A-face, constantly in horizontal and vertical stereo flux, freely increasing and burning up in amplitude. We struggle to think of anyone else whose sound is so unteth… Read more
Killer archival avant-jungle cuts from Luke Vibert. Many of you will fondly member the twelves and album Vibert released as Plug on Blue Angel and Rising High in the early-mid 1990's, off-kilter drum 'n bass cuts that really stood out from the more po-faced stuff that dominated the genre back then. Well, earlier this year Vibert handed Ninja Tune a bunch of DATs containing never before heard Plug material recorded in '95-'98, and they've compiled them into an album that really feels like a missing piece in the "intelligent" D-n-B jigsaw. This stuff isn't for the dancefloor - it's head music in the … Read more
**Oren Ambarchi and Keith Rowe interpret and perform pieces from Cornelius Cardew's graphic score 'Treatise', namely pages 53 and 58, on guitar and tabletop guitar, respectively. Recorded live at Binhuis, Amsterdam, February 8th, 2009 by Ron Mullen. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Edition of 300 copies, reproducing on the sleeve and inner the 4 pages of score performed.** "Cornelius Cardew's opus magnus Treatise is a 193 page graphic score written between 1963 and 1967 while he was performing with the improvisation group AMM. The score's graphic notation, with its intr… Read more
*Incredible wrap-around sleeve and insert. Limited edition* 'The Last Record' is the earliest and most obscure LP by Samon Takahashi's French experimental avant-garde unit. This is an original copy, first released in 1993 before the group disbanded for the next ten years. The insert tells us "All tracks are based on scratched records with additional help of flute, shakuhachi bamboo flute, whistle, jew's harp, djembe darbuka, tambourine, violin, mandolin, guitar, bass guitar, voice, tapes, toys, etc." all of which are deployed in unique and fascinating ways. Essentially it's a musique concrète collage e… Read more
**180g triple vinyl. Includes bonus track not on the CD and download code redeemable from the label.** Soundway's latest is a cracking compilation of 28 deeply infectious Cumbia heaters taken from original 78rpm vinyl dug by Will "Quantic" Holland. The result of some five years research and immersion in Colombian musical culture, it spans some of the genre's earliest to greatest moments between 1948-79, charting the evolution of a sound from its birthplace on the Caribbean coast to the toast of the capital, Bogota courtesy of legendary figures such as Alberto Pach… Read more
Lovely stuff from longtime sparring partners Peter Broderick and Nils Peter Frahm, their first "50/50 collaboration" to date. Born largely out of improvisation, its a plaintive mingling of strings, pianos, acoustic guitar and intuitive vocalisation; the recording is exquisite, the use of reverb powerful, giving these intimate miniatures a broad, cinematic scope. It's undoubtedly one of the most exquisitely realised projects that either artist has been involved with, touching on American folk forms, pastoral ambient, neo-classical and, most of all, a precious, from-the-heart songcraft recalling, among other things, Lambchop's minimalist country masterpiece Is A Woman.
*Installation pieces composed by former Pan Sonic member Ilpo Väisänen and sound artist Radboud Mens* Composed Nature: "The installation Composed Nature, developed for the Centrum voor Beeldende Kunst Dordrecht, consists of a matrix of 64 trees. Controllable, mechanical vibrators are mounted on each individual tree and are operated by custom made software. The sound of each tree can vary from a barely audible noise to a heavy "Green noise", thereby offering different sound textures to be played. To play the trees, many spatial sonic patterns have been programmed, a… Read more
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Following that fine side for the UK's Public Information label, Konrad Jandavs No UFO's decamps to Spectrum Spools for a new vinyl edition of his debut cassette, 2010's Soft Coast. Though it has a clear and central debt to 1970s German electronic music, Jandavs pulls on various other influences - minimal synth, new age ambient, Detroit techno - to craft his hypnotic, pulsating synth-scapes. The weirdest tracks are the most rewarding: the beatless, almost Autechre-style techno of 'Cajmere Dreams' and the sly guitar drones of '00_00_2010', which makes us think of The Velvet Underground if they'd fo… Read more
Leila heralds her new album on Warp with a smart EP, featuring vocals from The Knife collaborator Mt Sims on lead and title track '(Disappointed Cloud) Anyway'. It's like like an Escher drawing: it works despite making no structural sense - testament to Leila's well-honed writing and production skills. The instrumental version allows us to pay closer attention to the pacy footwork-style rhythm mechanics. 'Not Havin' That' sounds like grime routed through jabbering 90s breakcore and 'Inci' closes the EP on a dreamy, ambient note.
*Re-Press* A companion to his acclaimed Ravedeath 1972 set, Dropped Pianos collects sketches for that album recorded by Tim Hecker last year. While on paper it might sound like something for completists only, trust us when we tell you that this LP is a beguiling listen in its own right: shorn of the disruptive electronic processing which defined Ravedeath, what you get instead is a series of exquisitely reverbed and layered piano instrumentals which showcase Hecker's gift for minimalist composition and mournful melody. Richly evocative of rainy, post-war cityscapes, of mortality and of thwa… Read more
**A right charm: Swiss Jazzman (and later electronic explorer featured on Finder Keepers), Bruno Spoerri featured with his Allstars alongside the Hans Kennel Quintet on nine unreleased pieces of hard bop and progressive, modern jazz** These unreleased recordings were made in the years 1963 to 1967 and have been transferred from original taps found in the archives of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (Radio DRS). At that time Radio Zurich produced some hard bop and modern jazz sessions for broadcasting purposes, with different formations around the two jazz musicians Hans Kennel… Read more
**Includes bonus 7inch plus digital download code redeemable from the label** What set Trinidiadian troupe Black Truth Rhythm Band apart from their funk-flecked contemporaries back in 1976 (when 'Ifetayo' was originally released) was simply that they were looking to a different continent for their influence. Rather than set their sights on America, the band looked to Africa (even taking African names) and this rare Afro-beat hybrid was born. That's not to say there's no funk present on 'Ifetayo', quite the opposite in fact - but the pervading sound is straight out of Africa and it's … Read more
*White label with printed insert* Deadly Techno platter featuring two live cuts/DJ tools from Regis and Ruskin's O/V/R project. A-side is James Ruskin's pummelling 'Live Rhythm Separate', using what sounds like elements of Kalon's 'Born Against' 12" reconfigured with harder kicks and icy, droning atmosphere. The flipside is more intriguing. Karl O'Connor (Regis) disengages from the beat and leaves the resonant rhythmic imprint rolling in a storage tank reverbs punctuated with field recordings and a breathtaking mid-section ascent. This is a something we've personally wanted to hear him doing sin… Read more
Mike Harding of Touch fame and UK ambassador for Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, makes a rare recorded appearance with these two field recordings. They were recorded in West Wittering and Balham using DPA 4060s onto a Nagra Ares P-II digital recorder. We're not made privy to what's actually being recorded on either side, but the topic of interest in 'Repaired' is a curious, whining tone which sounds like wind escaping a cracked window and playing out an eerie little tune. The other side 'Replaced' is much shorter (or longer depending how you view it) and would appear to capture the sound of pissy drizzle before (never) ending in a locked groove.
Rounding up the best of RKS' recent digital output on one platter with tracks and remixes by Terror Danjah, Tickles and J:Kenzo. A-side Terror Danjah absolutely decimates Roska's 'Without It' running the riddim inside out with body-twysting syncopation. B-side J:Kenzo leans on a whooping, brick-hard House joint 'Let It Move', and Tickles drop the barking ruffige of 'Da Growler'.
*White vinyl in debossed jacket* Razor-sharp Electro/House futurism outta Holland, backed with ace Jon Convex and Doc Daneeka remixes. 'Sweat' features the deadly pairing of Ramp's rapidly up-and-coming Presk with fellow Dutchman, Cinnaman - who's best known for his work on the Beat Dimensions series or as Yuro to Tom's Trago - working synthalicious Electro rhythms with a sexier '90s House vibe, all double-dipped 808 bass and scything synth contours tucked up for the swingers. We really hope they've got more gear like this! On the flip, Jon Convex takes charge, galva… Read more
*Seven track LP version cut at 45rpm, one track per side* Deep, dramatic, abstracted D&B from Exit's most esoteric operator, Consequence. 'Test Dream' is an advanced follow-up to the Burial-esque scapes of his 2009 debut, 'Live For Never', scanning Sci-fi inspired minimal D&B topographies with a filigree attention to detail. Ultimately, it's not the kind of D&B that'll have you firing shots in the ceiling; its strengths lie in the vivid evocation of dystopian futures and plugged-in, cyber-surreal dream states, conducted with the ability to suspend disbelief and submerge the willing particip… Read more
Lush, experimental and atmospheric rollers from Sam KDC, including a superb 140bpm collaboration with Eveson. On the uptempo tip you'll find the beautiful, awning pads and dextrous drum programming of 'Walk The Path' with his pal Mr. Smith, plus a murderous stepper named 'Betrayed' primed for a proper soundsystem manipulation. On the 140 flex his 'Chalice' collaboration with Eveson is a big recommendation, shifting tonnes of Reese bass weight with an effortless 2-step/Dub-Tech slink, and 'Sparks' offers a more introspective Garage groove produced with typically exquisite attention to detail.
*Stock is delayed and will ship in December* Arriving like some blockbuster sequel to 'Returnal', Oneohtrix Point Never's eagerly anticipated 'Replica' sucks us deep into a simulated 4.1 world fantasia. Most strikingly, his sonic palette is far broader than before, adding piano keys, Techno beats and somersaulting glitch edits with a fancier, hi-tech studio-honed sound design, articulating a more kinetic, progressive vision of timeless electronica. There's a palpable sense that he's excitedly exploring every option afforded him by the Mexican Summer studios, immersing himself and us in … Read more
Thursday, 08 December 2011
Tin Man tops a vintage year with his long awaited neo-classical/electronica suite 'Vienna Blue'. It's a beautiful consolidation of the Acid House, Electronica and Pop styles he's been honing since the masterful 'Wasteland' EP, now with a vital instrumental enrichment thanks to a string quartet and clarinetist recorded by Patrick Pulsinger. The title neatly sums up the album's exquisite atmosphere, evoking imagery of a mid-winter Viennese concert observed by cashmere-clad cognoscenti, but perhaps without the stuffiness that image might also induce. There's a melancholy to proceedings, but a warm, … Read more