Thursday, 13 June 2013
"Frank Fairfield curates another reissue of 78 rpm records - this time with the help of a few of his collector friends. The collection focuses on some of the most seldom acknowledged varieties of Anglo-American vernacular music. You'll hear unusual performers, uncommon intrumentation and great fiddlers from California to Ohio, New Mexico to West Virginia. Forget "Americana", this collection shows Anglo-American down-home music as it actually was and in many cases (although largely unrecognized) still is. With painstaking audio restoration by the great Michael Kieffer."
"Though boxing titan Joe Louis was throwing his last professional punches before they were born, teen group the Brown Bombers befit the Detroit ring legends ballistic nickname. Standouts among pubescent groups of their era, the Bombers naturally got lost in the fog of Motown's Jackson Family explosion. While their unflappable energy is a prime mover on the a-side, the real treat here is elegant work from backing band the Soul Partners. Bearing the Amazing banner, this disc marked the first recorded appearance of the band that evolved into Al Hudson's Soul Partners ('S… Read more
Thursday, 06 June 2013
*Translucent red vinyl, packaged in silkscreened PVC sleeves* Having established the label with a brace of his own killer 12”s, Oscar Powell opens up the Diagonal books to welcome in Blood Music, a band led by Londoner Simon Pomery. ‘Rare Earth Project’ is incantatory, industrial-tinged rock, plain and simple, driven by rolling hellhound toms and toxic clouds of feedback - think Factory Floor crossbred with Shellac, building to a hypnotic climax suggestive of Faust or Can at their most committedly deranged. ‘Speak Like Violence’’s grungey guitar squall and dead-eyed motorik momentum amount… Read more
Finders Keepers' newly minted Cacophonic sub-label triumphs with a remastered rarity by pioneering Belgian composer, Karel Goeyvaerts. 'Pour Que Les Fruits Mürissent Cet Été' is one of the earliest realisations by the former boss of the IPEM society (Belgium's Institute for Psychoacoustic and Electronic Music - make sure to check their recent compilation on Metaphon) and originally appeared in 1977 on the collectable Alpha Brussels imprint. It revolves around three extended pieces ranging from almost medieval, mittel European melody and electronic oscillations to sparse, minimalist … Read more
**Die-cut, tip on-style jacket** Enigmatic US imprint Gloriette Records - home to Nite Jewel's debut album - proffer a smashing new 12" by H Burkhart, J. Darrah and Cole MGN's potent pop trio, Samps. Both tracks massage and dice fragments of what could be MOR boogie classics within a framework of salty glitch and fractal electronics. We'd almost imagine this is what Daniel Lopatin and Joel Ford were aiming for with their pet project but never quite achieved. Proper psycho radio burners for the FM freeks!!!
"Brussels-based artist Bram Devens uses Ignatz as his alter-ego, and comes armed with his own pile of bricks; sparse, emotive songs born of the human condition, wrapped in effects, corroded by tape, driven forth by improvisation and spontaneity. Whilst ‘Can I Go Home Now?’ is Ignatz’s first Fonal release, it is in fact his fifth full-length album proper (his seventh if you count the Kraak 2011 Cassette Compilation and 2010’s ‘Mort aux Vaches’ live LP on Staalplaat). Recorded in Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium between 2011 and 2012 on four-track and computer, the album sees Devens shift his foc… Read more
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* **Emika works with Hank Shocklee on her 2nd album. Double LP in spot-varnish gatefold jacket. Nick Grimshaw is a fan** "Produced by Emika, with executive producer Hank Shocklee (of Public Enemy fame) by her side. ‘Dva’ starts with ‘Hush (Interlude)’, Emika’s journey to her musical roots which led her to Prague where she composed and recorded two classical songs for 28 string players and Czech soprano Michaela Šrůmová - members of The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. With Emika’s taste for heavy bass-minded writing not far behind, she made arrangement… Read more
**Green vinyl** Greg Foat's vintage-sounding bossa jazz groove 'Girl and Robot with Flowers', with revisions of further album cuts by Linkwood, Vakula, Francis Dososo, and Cherrystones. The original's a sweet piece of bossa songcraft done with timeless integrity, whilst the remixers head in all directions, from Vakula's sweetly faithful downbeat remix of 'Clear Skies Select Stick' to Linkwood's uptempo house version of 'Have Spacesuit Will Travel (Part II)' and Cherrystones' psychedelic, discordant breakdown and resculpturing of the title tune.
Omar-S welcomes Tom Bugs, the fella behind Bugbrand Modular synth company, onto FXHE. His two tracks comprise the trippiest piece of slowtechno/house in the label's history, exhibiting both his self-created synth's capabilities and his own talents in full effect. Part 1 unravels a dusty, knotted groover built from glimmering, sweetly off key motifs synched with simmering, slow and punchy percussions; Part 2 takes the groove somewhere moodier, craftier with 'floor morphing, elastic time-signature switches. One for the heads.
Anthem builder Bashmore meets grubby soundbwoy Kowton on a nice 'n rugged session for the former's Broadwalk label. It's a canny balance of their respective aesthetics; stubbly percussions dance against juicy bootied bass and soul burning vocal stabs bound to create some friction in the dance. 'Mirror Song' syncs scratchy hi-hats with ascending basslines and spiralling delays in hypnotic, driving form; 'And What' is much grimier, resetting rudimentary, '04-style sublow to a bashier, skeletal house swing. The techno mix of 'Mirror Song' is our pick, a stripped down and thrumming slow techno banger somehow coming off like Soundhack in a foul mood.
**Edition of 800 copies** The divine 'Nihil Obstat' finds baroque lute revivalist Jozef Van Wissem playing solo after a succession of collaborations with filmmaker and guitarist Jim Jarmusch. While still operating on the periphery of most known musics, Jozef's sound is a revelation waiting to happen for anyone who's not encountered him before, and this is as good a place as any to make yourself acquainted. His six pieces here express sensations you simply won't feel from any other instrument than a 14 course ebonized baroque lute. It's such an strange and gorgeous sound. You can easily … Read more
**Repress - Includes insert plus a remix from Isodyne (one half of Forward Strategy Group)** Federsen follows up his 'Voodoo Gourds' tape for No Corner with plush yet economical dub techno tracks for Fifth Interval. A-side, 'Point Reyes' nods to classic Echospace and Deepchord moments with woozy subbass pressure and smoky atmospheres in finest style; B-side '50Hx' hinges is a crafty study in halfstepping decay with deep lungfuls of heady dub hinging on a massive halfstep rhythm. Isodyne remixes '50Hz' with a more leaden sort of gravity.
*Vinyl Edition Now Available* Hard-nosed yet playful experiments with dancefloor rhythm from Japan's Aoki Takamasa, recommended if you like Mark Fell, NHK, etc. Despite its forbidding exterior and opaque, joyless track titles ('Rhythm Variarion 01', 'Rhythm Variation 02', etc), Takamasa's computer constructions are very lush indeed, with luminous, melodically advanced synth patterns and skippy, club-ready rhythms that variously invoke Skam's North-West b-boy roll, Sensate Focus's juddering Chi-house-derivations and, on the awesome 'Rhythm Variation 04', a space somewhere between hip-… Read more
**Vinyl only - new from the always intriguing Em imprint** Japan's outsider music specialists, EM Records, look to the lysergic Finnish psych scene and the home-spun analog ecologies of Jonna Karanka aka Kuupuu on 'Sisar'. Possibly best known for her issues on Dekorder and with Islaja and Lau Nau in Hertta Lussu Ässä for De Stijl, the soundworld of Kuupuu is a kaleidoscopically evolving headspace marrying folksy melodic whimsy and visionary sonic abstraction, increasingly incorporating electronic sounds alongside her glossolalic vocals and weirdly tuned acoustic instruments. In 'Sisar' ("sister" in Engl… Read more
"1978 classic DJ set finally gets a vinyl re-issue in the Greensleeves Reggae Classic series. One of the original album releases that launched the Greensleeves record label Stop Yu Loafin captures Jah Thomas flashing at the height of his powers over a set of 10 crucial revolutionaries rhythms. Full Up, Death In The Arena, Answer - this is the Rockers sound that revolutionized the sound of Jamaica. Produced by Joseph Hookim at the then ruling Channel One Studios and expertly engineered by Ernest Hookim and Barnabas, Stop Yu Loafin locks down ten classic microphone attacks including DJ cuts t… Read more
Diskotopia play a skewed ace with Serifu's terrifically discombobulated debut EP. We're faced with three tracks of proper riddimic f**kery stepping off from current styles into a boldly scrambled yet instinctively funked-up unknown. The first dose is 'Stucco Swim' where a quaking kick and tinny rimshot ricochet amidst mangled ragga voices and fractal electronics perhaps best imagined as Patten meets Actress with a handful of Dutch designer pharms. 'Said Situation' strikes is equally confident to breach the rules with itchy, impudent shuffles strafed by shards of bonky electro synth and frayed 'tro… Read more
*Deluxe gatefold double vinyl with one black disc and one white LP, includes a free CD inside, designed by Danis artists and long-time Efterklang collaborators Hvass&Hannibal* "With the release of their fourth album ‘Piramida’, Efterklang performed it for the first time - before the record itself was released - at the iconic Sydney Opera House in May 2012 with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. An unorthodox way of introducing a new body of work, perhaps, but the moment has become a milestone in Efterklang’s twelveyear history. Early on in the gestation process of ‘Pi… Read more
Manchester's Alex Coulton swaggers onto Bristol's Livity Sound with two rugged, tribalist rollers. With 'War Games' he rides martial snares, stentorian claps and gut-punch bass into dank dub chamber vibes. On 'Pointe Noire' he switches to a woodier palette of blocky rimshots and padded subs carved up with a ruder junglist feel reminding of Beneath riddims.
Brute analog techno/noise from the Zhark catalogue circa 2003. Four tracks range from sludgy pound ('Prox-yde') to decimated breakcore ('Kats Na*e'), thru distorto thwack ('Blok-yme') and grizzled industrial blast beats ('Apo-G'). If the current crop of noise techno isn't quite tough enough, get your kicks here.
Thursday, 30 May 2013
Strickly killer riddims from a London-Berlin collaboration - massively tipped!!! Synthesising the early energy of dubstep prototypes from Shackleton or Horsepower Productions with the itchy swagger of Grime, and then reducing the whole lot to a fizzing, potent residue, this is quite possibly one of the rudest 12"s we've heard all year. A-side 'Itinerant Magic' is masterful exercise in driving, gripping rhythmic minimalism - flying polyrhythms filtered to f**k and back again - while B-side gives the equally rugged swing of 'Jack The Dub' and a gutted, desolate duppy called 'Monkey'. If you know what's good, this is unmissable.
*Includes download code redeemable from the label* Outstanding debut album from Kevain Wayne Space, aka Footwork's founding father, RP Boo. Originally known as Record Player Boo, RP cut his dancefloor teeth as member of Chicago's House-O-Matics dance crew in the '90s, where, under the tutelage of Ghetto House pioneers DJ Slugo and DJ Deeon, he hatched an accelerated form of Dance Mania's already frenetic styles in order to fuel the city's increasingly demanding competitive dance scene. Armed with a display copy of a Roland-70 drum machine loaded up with beats by the store's previous custo… Read more
*Featuring two new productions, 'Uh' (as featured on Rinse:22) and new and exclusive - 'Ok', uncovering a thrilling point of contact between grime, broken UK house and the disorienting lurch of trap* Crucial wares from Kode with two fine, blistering, typically next-level productions, the first lifted off his recent mix for Rinse, the second new and exclusive. "Uh" on the A is a monster, a percolated garage hybrid complete with chiming House hooks and wrong-footing tempo changes completed by slowed-down arpeggiated snares that just work so well. "Ok" on the flip is even more exploratory and deadly, revolv… Read more
*Clear Vinyl - Includes Download Code redeemable from the label* *Wavey/Post-Punk pop from the excellent Wampire on their debut album "Curiosity"*
**Comes with a free copy of the album on CD included inside** Nancy Elizabeth returns with a graceful third album that isn't afraid of its own intelligence. Opener ‘The Last Battle’ is indicative of the Manchester-based talent's present ambition, her voice multi-tracked into a dramatic, Morricone-style chorus, the sighing strings and vibrato guitar underlining that spag-western vibe and also nodding to the mariachi-flavoured psych of Love’s ‘Alone Again Or’. ‘Heart’ sounds like a less fragile Julia Holter, precious vocal harmonies and subtle synth zaps orbiting an almost new jack swing-style … Read more
**Black vinyl edition in wraparound artwork by the artist** Manchester boogie charmer Ste Spandex finally gets his sh*t together in a big way. Uptown, 'Big Fat Tuck' is a steaming dollop of swinging boogie seared with the sleeeziest synth funk this side of Ron Jeremy's fluffer's '80s private press collection, plus a crooked dash of busted machine funk ('Beatin' My Time') à la Dâm-Funk after a three day bender. B-side it's hands-in-the-air for the blazing old-skool house noize ov 'Piano V.2'. Fans of drugs, Jamal Moss mixtapes or 3rd hand '80s sportswear need this in their life.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** "Recorded over 4 years in London and Venezuela, Cuban rumba, Venezuelan tambor and tonada, Ghanaian highlife, Ethiopian blues and calypso have been soaked and infused with psychedelia and spiritual jazz. At the heart of Family Atlantica are three people from three different continents: London born Jack Yglesias, producer, multi instrumentalist and a veteran of The Heliocentrics, his wife Luzmira Zerpa, traditional Venezuelan musician, poet and singer with a magical voice acclaimed by Manu Chao and half Nigerian-half Ghana… Read more
Oosh! Four sushi-raw house bangers from Battista for the connoisseurs. Taking time out from the Decas duo with his brother, Battista goes dolo on three insistently rugged and noisy house grooves, overloading the kicks and bass to incendiary degrees in 'From The Otherground' and shaking up a Dance Mania-styled storm with the decapitating claps and bas grunt of 'Natural Instinct' and the git-down dirtiness of 'Flowing Through Time', whilst John Swing gives a friskier, cut-up remix of 'From The Otherground' recalling Anthony Shakir at his best. It's all kinda unmissable if you're into the whole L.I.E.S/Delroy Edwards, Analogue Cops thing.
Tectonic’s compilation series is always a reliable gauge of where dubstep’s at, and Volume Four suggests it’s in an open-minded place indeed. Most of the participating artists are familiar names: Guido is in fine form with ‘State of Joy’, his extrapolation from the ol' purple wow sound now approaching a kind of fine-tuned, psychedelic future-soul, while Beneath’s house creeper ‘Flight’ rattles the bones like an old Skull Disco track. Kryptic Minds’ ease off the snares on ‘Convoluted’ to produce one of the most serpentine, compelling tracks in their oeuvre, more darkling mini… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Mike Paradinas, boss of the sprawling Planet Mu imprint, does what he does best with his first new µ-Ziq material in over half a decade. 'XTEP' is flush with the sort of nostalgic melody, rave romance and charm that endeared him to so many in the first place. It's an unashamed return to his roots, from the bubbling pastoral melody and proggy chimes of 'XT' to the happy-as-larry piano house of 'Ritm' and 'Pulsar''s nEuro-electro futurism, while the footwork-style drum flux and swooning, emotional melody of 'Monj2' and the bluer swing of 'New Bi… Read more