Thursday, 26 April 2012
Solid three-tracker from Manchester-based Walton, building on the bashy grimeXhouse sound he laid down on his 2011 debut. 'All Night' is a seemingly chaotic but in fact coolly controlled floor-wrecker, all coin-op FX, life-affirming string pads and blissed-out vocal pressure, really nice indeed; 'Mallet' is as functional as its title suggests, a cheeky, bleepy Funky roller for the DJs, but it's closer 'Kush' that' lingers in the mind - Walton drops the tempo right down to explore trippy but thugged-out hip-hop atmospherics with shades of Lone's Ecstasy & Friends and even Boards of Canada.
Another advanced, bogler-friendly Funky manifestation from London's Ill Blu, making no secret of its debt to the martial drums and carnival parps of 90s-present day JA dancehall. Traxman is an inspired choice of remixer, his deep, sci-fi footwork version arguably more compelling - and certainly more complex - than the source material. Two sides of different strokes, both quality, arriving in good time for summer and peaktime party deployment.
**Translucent Purple Vinyl - 1000 copies only for the world** New Jersey's Dalek laid down their Latitudes session on 6th-7th July 2005 at Southern Studios, just miles away from the London bombing attacks. For many reasons, their sombre, affected recordings have been archived until now, but great music always has a habit of surfacing, whether it's six years down the line or 50. It plays through as a densely detailed yet spaciously arranged multicultural collage, where base elements of viscous drone almost worthy of Oren Ambarchi and radiant ambience create a vivid, widescreen backdrop filled with gra… Read more
Maelstrom is a new handle for 7even Records' Joaan and his brand of Miami Electro-meets-Old Skool Chicago on Sound Pellegrino. Rattling machine-gun claps, grubbing acid bass and stentorian divas rule on 'USSR', while 'House Music' is darker, and a little bit sexier. Kwaito star Aero Manyelo gives a ruder, rolling remix of 'USSR' while DJ Dodger Stadium jukes 'House Music'.
**Blue translucent vinyl** Wicked Dego and Karizma reworks of Mr Mageeka on Phuture Shock Musik. Whisking Latin percussion, softly touched keys and supple subs, Dego's 2000black remix is a tidy, smoky affair for the late night burners. But if you're after some proper dancefloor action, look no further than Karizma's percolating flipside full of offset dub chords, clipped drums and sweetened jazz notes almost guaranteed to seduce any decent movers within earshot.
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Two years since 'Splazsh' topped a stack of annual polls, Actress presents his 3rd, and most coherent album, 'R.I.P' - his 2nd for Honest Jon's. Despite being a vital cog in the machinery of underground UK dance and electronics since at least 2004 (when he released his 'No Tricks' debut), it's fair to say that it's only in the last few years he's made the shift from cult concern to acknowledged auteur of some repute. His work with Damon Albarn's DRC Music, beside a legendary DJ set at Sonar and killer remixes of Shangaan Electro, Panda Bear and Radiohead all certify the fact; so expectations are no dou… Read more
After his posh disco LP 'Neon Dreams' for PMR, L-Vis gets down and dirty again with 'Club Constructions Volume 1' for Night Slugs. Ruggedly stripped down and spiked with the purest dancefloor juice, these five tracks look to classic Chicago templates for inspiration, much in the same way Bok Bok did with Tom Trago on 'Night Voyage Too Kit'. Between the relentless spank of 'Workout', the Poindexter-esque banger 'Video Drone', 'Rubber Crash's metallic percolations and the fibrillating funk of 'Hard Drive' or 'Girl Clap', this is Class A dancefloor material through and through.
Reissue of seminal, definitive UK Roots plate starring the mellifluous Sister Rasheda on productions by Jah Shaka Music's The Disciples. Originally released in 1992 'Only Jah Worthy' balances Rasheda's poignant, spiritual vocal against rippling drums, real and synthesized, with flashing stabs and finely tuned bass excitement. Flipside's 'Give Jah Praise' is more driving, under pressure of ricocheting snares and stepping subs, but again with those celestial vocals and sweetened pipes. Both dubs are immense, too. Not to be missed!
Throwing Snow and Patrick Hanrahan's Left_Blank greenhouse bears another delicious fruit from Vessel, dropping his 2nd solo EP proper ahead of a keenly anticipated debut album for Tri Angle. Operating somewhere between the cloudy headspaces of Andy Stott, Hype Williams and Actress, the 'Standard' EP coolly zig-zags between blunted House haunted with Drexciyan echoes on the downslow butt-thumper 'Standard', to uptempo Detroit techniques with eyes-down appeal on 'Merge', before the dislocated, destabilized patterns of 'Zero' fray into Radiophonic ether with a raw hypnotic intuition. Next to Samoyed,… Read more
Emerging from a vacuum of background info, Caracal blesses Black Acre with four tracks of squashed, stoned and swampy downbeats. Lodging his sound in the creases between Andy Stott, DJ Screw and Downliners Sekt, 'Elements' shuffles in with a militant 808 bounce dripping dark purple juice all o'er the floor while 'De Niro' bolts slow post-industrial drums to gasping, knackered Hip Hop voices to soundtrack the darkest doings of a trap backroom. Turn her over and '1318' awakes with a lugubrious lurch to swing with a barely-arsed funk, flashing chords to find illuminate the space long enough to … Read more
DVA Music have the honour of releasing the deeply sophisticated debut from 19 year East Londoner Joss Ryan. Essentially Grime gone hyper-posh, on 'Melancholy Dreams' Ryan leavens the restless, swingeing energy of 'ardcore East sounds with a plush palette of strings, and curvacious electronics which fits so neatly with the DVA Music ethos. From the opening strings and spidery synths of the title track, you can feel this is kinda special, and when the beat rolls proper, assumptions are affirmed in finest fashion. Flipside 'Drop It' vents lip-sucking Grime energy with a wickedly inverted vib… Read more
**Heavyweight gatefold sleeve with 2 x 180g LPs, as well as a free CD version of the album and poster** Full-length debut for Mohn, the new collaborative project from long-time sparring partners Wolfgang Voigt and Jorg Burger, following their teaser appearance on Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2012 compilation It might not seem a radical departure for either producer, but it certainly counts among their most accomplished and convincing collaborative work to date - and as anyone even half-acquainted with their illustrious back catalogues knows, that ain't no faint phrase. The default setting is dawn-break ambient a… Read more
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Oh my, Digitalis strike pure gold with one of the finest debuts we've heard on the label since the magnificent pair of Motion Sickness of Time Travel albums last year, a killer amalgam of squashed beats, lo-fi pop and narcotic, slo-jams hugely recommended if you're into Hype Williams, Nite Jewel or Julee Cruise. Paco Sala is the work of producer Anthony Harrison (Konntinent), now working with celestially enigmatic vocalist, Leyli, who between them evoke a dreamstate of introspective ambience, solitary R&B and heavenly-crushed Pop. It's radically different to anything else you'll have heard on Digi… Read more
*Back In Stock - pressed on red vinyl housed in red inner bag and embossed sleeve* Hype Williams' Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland have released a lot of albums in the last couple of years - few of them better than their untitled 2010 effort for Carnivals - so you could be forgiven for not keeping count. But the truth is that this record, their first for Kode9's Hyperdub, is one of their most haunting and vividly realised to date. Copeland's sighing vocals are worth the price of admission alone, particularly when riding DIY footwork rhythms ('12') or or playing a… Read more
M=Minimal has the honour of posthumously releasing the final work completed by seminal synthesist, pupil of Joseph Beuys and founder of Kluster and Tangerine Dream; Conrad Schnitzler. Finished four days before his death in late summer 2011, 'Endtime' defines a seamless 36-track, 70-minute moire of pulses, blips, arcing tones and fluid synthlines characteristically devoid of simplistic melodic resolutions. Like the rest of his massive body of work, he imposes a stoically functional yet poetic form of grammar upon the cold abstraction of his machine's vocabulary to convey its most hone… Read more
As a member of Barn Owl with Evan Caminiti, and in his solo role of Elm, Jon Porras has consistently wowed us with his ambient, droning visions of desolate Americana. Recorded over 10 months at home and in his practice space, 'Black Mesa' is a worthy follow-up to his unforgettable 'Undercurrent' LP for Root Strata in 2011, realising seven beautifully barren soundscapes painted with plangent electric and acoustic guitars and washes of Fender Rhodes, harmonium and tapes. It's a genuinely rare sound, one which so , so many have attempted, but few ever render with this solemn sense of modesty and e… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Traxman, a Chicago House veteran with two decades of experience steps up to Planet Mu with a distinguished debut album of hyperkinetic Footwork soul. As a co-founder of Dance Mania's Geto DJz clique, a member of DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn's Ghetto Teknitianz, and arguably one of Footwork's foremost architect's thanks to his prototypical mixtapes, Traxman brings a learned soul-flow to the sound, at once deeply rooted in his home city's heritage, and pushing the boundaries wide open. His choice of samples - from the Mizzell Brothers t… Read more
Darkwave cyberpunk intrigue from synth-wrangler Dylan Ettinger. Moving on from his kosmiche issues, Dylan deploys his own vocals to authentically grubby, DIY effect on seven leathered-up and shark-eyed experimental Wave songs. Docking in with the Neuromancer-referencing 'Wintermute' he draws us deep into his narrative with the phet-affected dissonance and rusted machine beats of 'Disparager', through to the panoramic cue 'Maude', stalking the depths of the sprawl searching for the cheapest gynoid fun on '18' before crooning the narcotic misery of 'Blue and Blue', leaving the future open to great possibilities with this awesome augmentation of his sound. TIP!
Thursday, 05 April 2012
*Housed in die-cut jacket** Arriving to much hype and fanfare, Laurel Halo assumes the King Felix moniker to inaugurate Mute's Liberation Technologies sub-label. The 'Spring EP' clears her cache of the last few years work, rending a dreamily synthesized fusion of Motor City memes, mid-'90s UK IDM and modern hyper-swerve with a post Ambient-Techno aesthetic. Of course, that sounds pretty freaking convoluted, but this really isn't a simple sound; it is diffuse, kinetic and evocatively melodic, executed with a cool compositional skill which stands her aside from the crowd in a surreal, … Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "Hush Arbors and Arboretum have each been exploring for years now the intersection of progressive folk and psychedelic rock, albeit filtered through their own distinct sounds. It was only a matter of time before their paths would cross. Keith Wood and Dave Heumann met at a show in Baltimore and discovered their mutual appreciation for each other's music. The two bands planned a joint European tour, and recorded Aureola to further showcase and celebrate their complimentary sounds... "These new songs... are like a re-awaken… Read more
Totally inspired signing to Hyperdub, this. Having caned his tracks in his DJ sets for some time now, Kode9 has got round to putting out an EP from Fhloston Paradigm, the all-analogue beatdown project of Philly house vet King Britt. 'Chasing Rainbows' - shades of Shed 7 there, eh - is a commanding opener, it's stately strings and dystopian burnish summoning first-wave Detroit techno while somehow sounding totally next-level - Britt has talked about his Fhloston gear as being what he would have made if he'd been asked to score a Blade Runner or a Logan's Run,… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** New York's hugely influential Black Dice present their 6th full length album, and 1st for Domino sub-label Ribbon Music - who released that brilliant John Maus LP last year. Now together for 15 years, the sound of Eric Copeland, Bjorn Copeland and Aaron Warren is ever leaner and potently fractured with that signature prismatic vision. On 'Mr. Impossible' they churn through nine tracks of headstrong electronic punk, battering drum machines, noisily "free" leads and feral gremlin vocals on 'Pinball Wizard', to mucky slompy stomps on… Read more
**Edition of 500 remastered 2LP housed in double gatefold with official, individually numbered certificate of ownership** Vinyl-on-Demand stalk the peripheries of early '80s DIY scene with a compendium of Port Said's oriental, magical minimal synth meditations. Between 1981-84 Stefan Tischler and Keith "Keeler" Walsh produced a string of self-released cassettes and one 7", plus a handful of compilation appearances, heavily inspired by the efficiently kosmic music of Conrad Schnitzler and Cluster. This self-titled collection features half-hour extracts from each of their self-released tapes, makin… Read more
Despite the title, Slugabed returns with quite a melancholy, slightly introspective slice of post G-funk. The real stand out is a phenomenally spacious rework from West Coast eccentric Daedelus, who makes the track even woozier and more introspective, then drapes it in reverb and sickly female vocals. The end result could rightly be called Lynchian - when the doo-wop break drops in the middle you know you're being treated to something pretty darn special indeed.
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** The Books' mastermind Nick Zammuto returns to explore a more progressive, rhythmic style to his now disbanded group. Like those seminal The Books albums 'The Lemon Of Pink' or 'Lost And Safe', his new sound is still dripping with the sort of clever pop hooks you'd almost expect to hear on an advert for posh credit cards or twee dating agencies, but there's also now an emphasis on crisp jazz percussion - not the noodling type, just crafty - and a fresh sense of space allowing for clean electronics and experimental vocal treatme… Read more
Thursday, 29 March 2012
**Limited edition of 600 individually numbered copies with certificate of ownership** The hugely intriguing sound artist and sonic conceptualist John Duncan is subject of a 2nd, sprawling VoD chapter following a first volume back in 2006. Since 1978 Duncan has engaged with a plethora of avant-garde disciplines, amassing a distinguished and exploratory catalogue of sounds on his own AQM and Allquestions imprints, besides many more releases on Touch, Die Stadt, and Planam. He's collaborated with equally inquisitive minds such as The Hafler Trio's Andrew McKenzie, Chris & Cosey… Read more
**Edition of 500 individually numbered copies, remastered and housed in a double gatefold sleeve** VoD expose the nether regions of obscure French minimal/synth music with two LPs of ultra-rare recordings by Lucas Trouble. In his many guises - The Gitanes, Jerking Idols, The Mystic Riders From Spectral South, Temple Gates, Vietnam Veterans, to name a few - he's notched up over 300 releases in the past 30 years, oscillating wildly between unhinged avant-pop to spiky punk and spookily evocative synth instrumentals. 'In A Fit Of Delirium' sums up his nascent aesthetic nicely, … Read more
Awesome, super-calorific rave confections from Matt Cutler, heralding his mind-bending Galaxy Garden album, for R&S. The title of 'Crystal Caverns 1991' tells you exactly where your man's head is at - this is some of the most psychedelic, hectic and idea-heavy music he's ever produced, but its flights of fancy are kept firmly rooted to the dance thanks to wicked edits and percussion hits, the sway and shimmy of the latter giving the whole track a proper carnival swagger. The roller coaster drops are worthy of R&S in its infancy, rude Belgian stabs and whooshing synths working in dynamic tan… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Soundway make an unexpected and entirely welcome swerve into modern Angolan electronic dance music with Batida's eponymous debut album. The keener outernational observer might have noticed their inclusion on the fantastic Jesse & Crabbe album last year, but no mither if not, because this is as good an introduction you could want. Ten tracks deep, it's a sweltering yet vibrant hybrid of contemporary Kuduro with vintage samples lifted from 1970s Angolan tracks. It's a high energy, party-fired fusion, balancing Kuduro's tendencies towards E… Read more
Lush Balearic psyche trip from Portuguese quintet featuring Six Organs of Admittance/Comets On Fire guitarist Ben Chasny, and Detroit's master percussionist Jerry The Cat. 'Positano' sounds like a Talk Talk groove taken to warmer climes, Chasny drifting sanguine over lounging drums and sun-blushed synth pads with a wonderful half-way switch into late night psyche-rock bliss. 'Broda' features a leaner, driving mix of funked-up Suadade rhythms and fiery guitars. 'Brain' checks a spiralling fusion groove with Jerry's intricate congas to the fore. Production from Tiago Miranda (a member of the brilliant… Read more