Thursday, 14 October 2010
This Oakland quartet specialise in incredibly energetic, mercilessly brief punk-pop songs, all recorded under typically abrasive lo-fi circumstances. While the recordings are rough and ramshackle, the instrumental onslaught is ferocious, jolting through these melodic noise forays like a more tuneful, slightly less choppy Melt Banana. Perhaps Deerhoof would make for a better comparison: there are tendencies towards all-out noise splurges, but equally, there's a pleasing intricacy to how the instruments all link up. Relentlessly fun and massively refreshing, Invocation rarely lets up, but there are s… Read more
This triumvirate of electronica virtuoso acts reunite after far too long a hiatus, returning with a witty and predictably technical excursion into the extremes of improvised electroacoustic music. The album started life as a number of improvised recordings made made for Hollow Earth Internet Radio back in 2008. Additional overdubs were made at Safety Scissors' home studio and at Snowghost Studios in Montana, with extra helpings of synth, organ, drums and bass (and this being Matmos-related, the occasional rat's cage and gas heater) being added to the final mix. The end … Read more
Remastered from the original tapes, Double Cut is the second album by electronic music legend Dieter Moebius and bassist Gerd Beerbohm, originally released in 1984. For this collection of recordings, the two musicians honed in on the most elemental aspects of their music - in particular its rhythmic constituents. From our current historical vantage point it's not too hard to think of Double Cut as a premonition of what was to yet come in the field of electronic music. As the album develops through 'Narkose' and especially the twenty-two minute epic, 'Doppelschnitt', you get the sense t… Read more
Both firmly ingrained in the fabric of Nashville life, Lambchop's Kurt Wagner and alt. country chanteuse Cortney Tidwell have reunited for an album that pays tribute to the noble art of the country duet, with a particular focus on the music released by the Chart Records catalogue. Cortney's grandfather, Slim Williamson, ran the Cart label, for which her father, Cliff Williamson, eventually became an A&R man. The family connection is completed by Tidwell's mother, Connie Eaton, who recorded for the same imprint. Kurt & Cortney (blimey) select eleven cla… Read more
Underwater Peoples is one of those labels you can really trust in - everything they've released to date has been quite magnificent, with the likes of Real Estate, Julian Lynch, Tennis, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks and Mountain Man all contributing to their catalogue. This latest long-player on the New Jersey imprint comes from former Titus Andronicus guitarist Andrew Cedermark, who presents an addictive collection of homemade singer-songwriter material and full-blooded, overdriven rock jams. Songs like the wonderful title track (vaguely bringing to mind Nebraska-era Springsteen), the chim… Read more
Justin Richardson aka Genotype/Just Jungle makes a welcome return to the fray with a 3x10" album of cold junglist futurism configured with old skool methods. Between the late '90s and early '00s he produced a string of underground heavy hitters for Renegade Hardware and Reinforced, but while much of the scene has moved into Techier Neurofunked territory, Justin has retained proper dub rooted principles. His aesthetic slots very neatly into Exit Reecords' sparse and dread filled vibe, between the noirish sci-fi strings and cyber-stepping flex of the title track and the gray warehouse reverbs … Read more
Thursday, 07 October 2010
Second release from M=Minimal Records is an unearthed gem previously only available in Brazil, following the label's issue of a privately pressed Conrad Schnitzler wonder. It's quite fair to say that in 1984 there weren't many albums that sounded like Chico Mello's 'Água' in the field of minimal music. It combines elements of Chico's Brazilian heritage with rooted minimalist principles gleaned from his time studying in Berlin under Dieter Schnebel and W. Szalonek, and is described by the label as an imaginary meeting between Caetano Veloso and Jim O'Rourke. The titular opener gives a dramatic, almos… Read more
Teebs' debut drops sweet and heavy on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label, following the excellent Lorn album with a more lushed-out and hazy experience. As his recent single and A-side for All City's LA series proved, this man's got his own distinct style of MPC chops, generally less frantic than Flylo's and cleaner than Ras G's, defined by smooth, cushioned surfaces and the warm glow of his synthesizer textures. However he does share their attention span, giving eighteen finely sculpted vignettes from the most liminal, dreamy headspace, mostly hovering around the three minute mark. The previous single fea… Read more
Nonplus shine their searchlight further beyond minimalistic D'n'B to pick out two nocturnal funk creations from Jimmy Edgar. With 'NXTLVLNXTLVL' Edgar is in super-sharp form, combining the craftiest electrofunk edits with neon black synth licks and an advanced spatial awareness. On 'My Balance (Last Priority)' he goes in slow and low, all shimmering washes of midnight bells and sensually exhaling pink noise kept locked in the groove with fruity fingers wandering the keys, hunting out synth riffage. He paints a vivid picture does Jimmy, one for the lovers and the true electrosexual freeks.
'Cool Water' is Maxmillion Dunbar's debut album, and one of the best records Ramp have released this year. It follows two teasing 12"s which established Dunbar's brand of screwed Boogie and slow disco dreams within the orbits of neon '80s revisionism and something slightly more psyched and avant, at once within the scene, and just outside out of it. The trippily smudged 'Girls Dream' is just one highlight among many here, embedded in a set of complementary drum machine workouts weaved with hazy samples and studied synth washes. 'Pretty Please' sets the agenda with heavyweight '80s R'n'B … Read more
"Another excellent broadcast from the left of the dial by Dublin's Alphabet Set team. Electronic lushness is the order of the day on this limited split AA . First up is 'Tumnal', a thing of melancholic beauty taken from Cignol's debut CD 'Switching For A Living' released earlier in the summer. 'Tumnal' marries fragile acoustic guitar lines to skittering machine rhythms, while a backdrop of minor chords rise and fall to replicate the sound of heartbreak's tears as they creep down your cheek. On the flip, the T-woc remix of Sephirot's 'Tzur Men' is a dreaming head-nodder slight touches of rhythmic wonkiness."
After an eight year hiatus, post-rockers Parlour return with a brand new album. Featuring members of Papa M, The For Carnation, Tortoise, Pelican and Do Make Say Think, Parlour is the brainchild of founding member, guitarist and synth player Tim Furnish. The band's instrumental setup expands on the genre's norm, making excellent use of wind instruments (in the form of Steve Good's clarinet and bass clarinet, and Craig McClurkin's tenor saxophone) within their complex arrangements, with highlights like 'Camus', 'Wedder' and opening cut 'Destruction Paper' really showing off the band's range … Read more
San Francisco band Royal Baths are the latest garage rock troupe out of the Woodsist camp, releasing a debut album coated in gloomy, cellar-dwelling fuzz and hollowed out 'verb. As with all the finer bands of this ilk, Royal Baths are substantially more than the sum of their fashionable production traits: 'After Death' has a clear Velvet Underground-indebted darkness about it which carries over into the equally addictive 'Nikki Don't' and the faintly swampy, 'Venus In Furs'-alike 'Sitting In My Room'. In other highlights, 'Sinister Sunrise' stirs up a druggy '60s stomp and 'I Detest' cuts loose with layered vocal riffing and droves of piercing lead guitar.
Komanazmuk links with fellow Bristol figure Arkist for two limber dancefloor cuts. Together, they offer 'Outbreak', a Zomby-ish bleepy roller with oodles of swagger and technoid chords. Arkist goes alone on the flip with 'Until Next Time', an agile Broken Beat rinse with tightly tucked syncopations for fans of Al Tourettes or Bugz In The Attic.
Desto and Tes La Rok give a taste of the Finnish ghetto sound with two heavyweight halfsteppers for Noppa. Desto's 'Ice Cold' is the one here, a bulky slab of frayed Rustie-style HipHop/Dubstep fusion with screwed vocals and super smart syncopations. Trust us, this is deadly! On the flip Tes La Rok does his leaden halfstep flex on 'Tricky Ting', built for the slow skankers. Comes housed in a dope picture sleeve.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Tri Angle Record's 2nd issue is the debut release proper from a very special artist, San Francisco's oOoOO. He's in very good company on this exquisitely curated label, nestled among the likes of Balam Acab, Stalker and Nowa Huta, who together form a collective shadow over the disciplines of big money R'n'B and shivering Cold Wave electro with a creepily succinct Pop aesthetic. And it's this acute articulation of mood and style that sets these productions apart from any other crowd out there. Tracks like 'Hearts' with its Fever Ray-meets-Cassie feel or the arcane hooks of 'Burnout Eyes' have the mark … Read more
Silkie on a mission here, dropping two anthemic rollers for the next round of 'City Limits Vol.1.2'. 'Bass Junkie' is unquestionably one of the heaviest dubstep/rare groove/jungle fusions we've heard this year, smashing out bassbin-wrecking subs and tightly tucked drum rolls with an acidic lick of boogie for acute balance. Guaranteed ruffige in the dance! '80s Baby' on the flip rolls with that flagrant purple gangsta lean, all extra-Funked up synth riffs, floating chords and busy-but-coool rhythms to find help find your step while not spilling your drink on those luminous Air Max's you just shelled out on. Badass 12".
Further proving himself to be Karaoke Kalk's most exuberant and flamboyant of signings, Roman presents a brand new album packed with gloriously gaudy pop. On the one hand, Roman's delivery is so brashly confident and upfront in the mix that you'd have a job thinking of him as anything other than a mainstream artist in the making, yet his songwriting and often bizarre approach to song structure/arrangement ensures that he's still something of an outsider. Half the time Roman sounds like Mika, and his (usually very busy) musical accompaniment can shoot off in various different directions. 'Bones & Bar… Read more
Planet Mu present the debut album of pastoral electronica from Solar Bears. Their 'Inner Sunshine' 12" gave us a sweet taste of what to expect, and the full deal is a very pleasant experience, crossing untangled lines between IDM, folktronica, pastoral kosmische and soundtracky synth music. Their music calls to mind everyone from Emeralds and OPN to Bibio or Morricone, but with an unpretentiousness, naive, and intuitive feel to their melodic arrangements. There's a seam of new age soul to 'Twin Stars', while the flourish of desert guitars over 'She Was Coloured In' justifies the Morri… Read more
Sumptuous neo-classical offering from Dakota Suite, joined by the Cello of David Darling and Quentin Sirjacq's Piano, recorded at Vallisa Auditorium, a small chapel in Bari, Italy. The trio conjure a wide range of moods and emotions with their intuitive arrangements, gracefully sweeping us between sombre, melancholic solo piano and graceful chamber pieces with an elegantly solemn atmosphere. This album will nourish the spirit of those in need of a secluded, intimate experience. Lovely.
After a slow drip of singles over the past couple of years, the full-length album from The Sexual Objects finally drops. The band is a project from Davy Henderson, best known for his work within such legendary Scottish indie combos as Fire Engines and Nectarine No. 9. First off, no doubt many of you will find your interest piqued by the information that opening track 'Here Come The Rubber Cops' was produced by two gentlemen named Mike Sandison & Marcus Eoin (better known as Boards Of Canada), though other notable Scottish studio bods show up for the tracks elsewhere too, including John … Read more
Spherix goes deep under with the inaugural release for Lower Case Recordings. 'In A Hole' is a choice pick for those into the darker, more esoteric side of Skull Disco or the recent Raime release, shaking out shadowy dub gremlins inside a scuttling rhythmic framework weighted with oppressively ominous bass. On the flip 'In The Dark' he elicits a more spacious sense of dread with murky subs laying the foundation for a maze of tricky post-garage syncopations and lurking dub strikes, concluding with a technoid locked groove for the DJs.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Big moves from DVA, dropping his own revision of Cooly G's 'Dis Boy', backed with an L-Vis 1990 & Bok Bok remix of 'Jelly Roll', and an odd little grime original. With his Hi Emotions mix of 'Dis Boy' DVA takes the opportunity to go a bit deeper, slightly augmenting the feminine pressure of the original with a smoothly sophisticated and European-influenced House sound. On the flip L-Vis & Bok Bok also keep it refined, retooling the mad ass melody of 'Jelly Roll' with Bok Bok's trademark drums and a laidback bassline roll. No need to break a sweat here. DVA's crypti… Read more
Intoxicating disco winners from Matias Aguayo, bumped with a prime Prins Thomas remix! 'Menta Latte' will be instantly recognisable to many as the opening track from the crackishly addictive 'Ay Ay Ay', lending Prins Thomas some excellent source material in the form of synthetic bird trills, tipsy congas and all kinds of vocal onomatopoeia which he rubs into nine minutes of sticky space disco. Meanwhile, Vincente Sanfuentes (aka Original Hamster) and Aguayo himself give a burlier version with sozzled berimba rhythms and the catchy-as-hell radio version is there in case you don't want to feel drunk before 9pm.
Fresh from a remix of American Men with Ikonika, Optimum launches a debut solo attack with the screwy soca rush of 'Max Power'. Images of lairy Essex boys in fluoro-green Cosworths aside, that title track is fierce, like a more vicious LD cut made for warehouse deployment. Following this, the gangster carousel of 'Crash Riddim' is equally narsty, a proper sh*tter's riddim with an evil, demented glint in its eye while 'Lily' eases up on a melancholy, atmospheric roller built with cascading arpeggios and riding 20" subbass rims. Fans of Bok Bok, Girl Unit or Ikonika, don't miss this.
Kulture rolls on from his Disfigured Dubs transmissions with two atmospheric movers for Reduction. With 'Spooky' he unloads a Mala-esque roller driven by bottomless subs and infectious congas, and tinted with ethereal, theremin-alike synths. 'Bittersweet' is more minimal still, but nods to early Shackleton-style drum and bass arrangements with his own brand of sinister melodic character.
Kip and Kelly Ulhorn's mystic, kosmische-inspired Cloudland Canyon project returns for a third long-player, this time taking emphasis away from the krautrock-isms explored on prior works and creating a kind of psych-drone friendly strain of dream-pop. This new approach takes Cloudland Canyon to a whole other level. From the get-go you can hear something special brewing: 'No One Else Around' serves up a wall-of-noise production that could be a collaboration between Kevin Shields and Jesu, while 'Gracious Hearts' strips away some of the distortion for a spell of zinging analogue synths, pe… Read more
Four lovely revisions of tracks from Dntel's 'Early Works For Me If It Works For You' album, featuring a stunning Robrt Lippok rework, plus more from Somatic Responses, Chessie, and the mysterious Thaddeus Volk. That version of 'Serious' by To Rococo Rot's Robert Lippok is simply worth the admission alone, offering a sumptuously glossy, widescreen account of broken post-dubstep drums 'n bass within a 3D soundworld of open-hearted synths arranged with sophisticated precision. Chessie's mix of 'New Name' is quite the dancefloor gem, a tranced-out propulsion of indie rock drums and la… Read more
Impressive debut drop from Tighten Up records, unleashing two collabs from A1 Bassline with Kavsrave and Tek-One. In conjunction with Numbers weapon, Kavsrave, 'Luckier Charm' piles out a bolshy stomper combining the 808-driven style of Swamp 81 and recent Ramadanman releases, with peaktime synthline surges to get 'em hitting the ceiling. 'Arakis 97' from A1 Bassline and Tek-One heads down the tunnel of tearout 'step with ruffed up results. Fans of Addison Groove or Bok Bok need to check that A-side!
Re-released for the first time since 1972, So Far / It's A Bit Of A Pain is the one and only 7" vinyl single from avant-rock legends Faust. This reissue arrives with the original artwork reproduced and remastering from the original recordings overseen by the band's own Hans-Joachim Irmler. Both these tracks are non-album recordings and the 7" is a downright essential acquisition for all you fans of the band.