Thursday, 08 August 2013
Opal Tapes firmly bolster their industrial credentials with this highly disciplined grip of hi-res sound designs by Yves De Mey. Proceeding releases on Line and Sandwell District, beside collaborations with fellow Belgian producer Peter Van Hoesen as Sendai, we'd argue that 'Metrics' is the finest representation of De Mey's clinical process and technical expertise yet. More concise than 'Counting Triggers' and less compromised than Sendai's 'Geotope' LP, there's an engrossingly dramatic and efficient, if somewhat abstract, narrative wending between their hyperreal shapes and vaporised textures, f… Read more
*Gatefold double LP - Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Self-confessed antecedent of Sun-Ra, Ras G, projects himself 'Back On The Planet' with his triumphant return to Brainfeeder. Since 2005 his battered, weed-fuelled shuttle has charted the outer limits of Ghetto Sonic Fiction, with each mission bringing back phantasmic visions of an omniverse where mutant strains of free and spiritual jazz, hip hop, African drumming and electronica fuse to create bold new expressions of the Afro-futurist psyche. In good company with the likes of Flying Lotus, Thundercat and The Gaslamp Kil… Read more
London's Jack Dixon follows drops for Hotflush, Apollo and ManMakeMusic with three robust tech-house drivers on the first Tender Hooks release. A-side, 'Edge Of The Universe' gives it up for the shufflers and shape cutters with spherical subbass, snares and hi-hats neatly synched for effortless motion; B-side 'No One Is Watching' rolls out with square bass and clipped drums for the jackers, and 'Filippo's Head Injury' laces a breezy tech-house swing with bittersweet, discordant breakdown and spectral voices to lush effect recalling vintage Autechre. Support from James Zabiela, Axel Boman, Nick Warren, Hxdb.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Four heavy bruisers from The Bug with Danny Brown, Kiki Hitomi, Flowdan and Daddy Freddy. Brown yelps in turn with Kiki's naif coos on the noisy hip hop ragga incursion, 'Freakshow', and Flowdan sounds cartoonishly menacing on the more rugged 'Louder' and 'Dirty' versions; Daddy Freddy hollers on a slower, crashing 'Kill Them' version. Class art from Zeke Clough on an ace double 10" pressing.
In their 20th anniversary year Kompakt take time to bring back some long-forgotten classics, with few more worthy than the successor series to Wolfgang Voigt's seminal Studio 1 templates. The Freie Sicht half dozen of his Freiland aces are strictly playful exercises in minimalism, employing only bass drum, metallic rimshots and synths to articulate a primally futuristic dancefloor sound. They're exceptionally funky, too, considering, best heard on the shark-eyed groove of 'Rot 2 (Z.O.M. Mix)' and in the gabber shuffle of 'Rot 3 (Gaffel Mix)'.
**Hand-numbered edition of 500 copies ** V-o-D return to the Experimental Products archive for a third collection of demos and live performances in their typical Hi-NRG and funked-up Minimal Synth style. The Philadelphian duo best known for their '80s dancefloor standard, 'Glowing In The Dark' evidently had a lot more up their leather sleeves, scoped here from the melancholic, Euro-sounding 'Feeling Left Out' or the cinematic instrumental 'Re-Entry', to the rippling, hi-impact EBM of 'Work The Beat' and synth-poppy electro of 'Burning Flames' thru to the electro-funky twang of 'Experiment' and the forlorn 'WXPN Jam'.
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Ernest Greene brings his Washed Out sound back into the spotlight two years since his 'Within and Without' for Sub Pop charmed the pants off the indie-pop scene. Consummating his new relationship with Domino's Weird World, 'Don't Give Up' feels measuredly mature, settled, as though he's left the gap year dream daze behind and got down to writing gently motivational ditties for recently graduated summertime commuters who'd rather be driving to the lake with their mates to reenact a Gap advert than slogging their 9-5.
New album from Chicago's Ken Camden, moonlighting from his day job in post-rock astronomers Implodes. This is in fact his third solo album to date, and his second for Kranky following 2010's 'Deft', diverting Lethargy & Repercussions; and it takes us further from Camden's shoegazing roots into the realm of pure cosmic electronics. The zero-gravity synth terraforming of curtain-raiser 'Spectacle' puts us in mind of Emeralds man Steve Hauschildt's solo sides, while the magnificent 'Eta Carinae' combines the sound palette of Dieter Moebius's Tonspuren with a haunting, almost medievalist folk app… Read more
**Clear vinyl with art insert/liner notes. Includes download code redeemable from the label** Andria Degens returns half a decade hence her 'Heart Of The Sun' collection for Durtro with nine divine new songs on 'The Butterfly Ate The Pearl'. Accompanied by musical enhancement from Will Oldham, James Blackshaw, Otto Hauser (Vetiver/Espers), Jay Darlington (Oasis) and Steve Finnerty (Alabama 3), among others, Andria's voice is a comforting, enchanting presence melding modes of Appalachian and British Isles folk with a rich grounding in psychedelic ambient musics. She conjures a … Read more
**180g wax** Houndstooth rompin' forward with the the 2nd single from House Of Black Lantern's epic debut album, tooled up with Breakage and _Unsubscribe_ (Dave Clarke) remixes. HOBL's 'You, Me Metropolis' is sci-fi footwork futurism par excellence - blazing vangelis-style synth brass entrance gives way to rapid-fire 808 patterns and surging, Bad Company-style D&B synth snarl - whilst 'Worthless' slips on a sinuous triplet ting mind-synching with Kuedo's finest. Remixing, Dave Clarke and studio whizkind, Mr. Jones'_Unsubscribe_ unit overhaul another album cut, 'Broken' as a … Read more
Thursday, 01 August 2013
*Pressed on 140g vinyl, packaged in a pro-press color jacket and a silkscreened pvc sleeve* At long last PAN present the radical, revelatory debut album of sonic fictions by peerless mastering engineer, sound artist and composer, Rashad Becker. Via his day job as a cutting engineer at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering and his post-production studio, Clunk, the Syrian-born German-raised autodidact has in some respects contributed more to the shape and timbre of contemporary electronic and avant-garde music than anyone else. He's blessed with a heightened sensiti… Read more
Eglo hail Fatima's debut album with two heavy soul joints produced by Computer Jay and Oh-No, plus a 10 minute live version of label classic, Redlight'. Computer Jay's at his greazy, futuristic best with the LFO-freaked bassline fonk and tiered drum machine pulses of 'Circle', whilst Fatima's velvet croon is complemented by the lower register of Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra/Erykah Badu) on the hooks. Another LA cat, Madlib's brother, Oh-No weighs in with the inquisitive double bassline and dusted rimshot cracks behind Fatima on 'Technology', and The Eglo Live Band helmed by Floating Points get super fruity on the flipside live cut.
**Hand-numbered edition of 250 copies in xilographic printed sleeve and poly jacket with free sticker** Traag follows an excellent Opal Tapes edition with two demented psych-techno doses backed by Vaghe Stelle and G.O.D. remixes. Lodged somewhere between the space-time contortions of Nate Young's Regressions and Astral Social Club's pineal pump, Traag drags us thru decelerated tape experiment 'White Wall' into the refractive wormhole of 'Bantam' on the A-side, whilst Vaghe Stelle factors cyber-punk drums and squirrelly synths into the elastic structure of 'White Wall' and the mysterious G.O.D. yanks it back down to a crumbled slo-fi slurry. Tipped!
Bastions of the nu yung techno scene, Church, offload two slick and driving cuts by Viers backed with Apes & Seb Wildblood and Squarehead remixes. His '0002' move is geared toward those smudged and lip-smacking ends of the night, priming a vocal sample intoning "I want you to close your eyes, come on a journey" against body-grappling subbass and tantalising, minimalist percussion, whilst 'Your Body' gives up the proper kickdrum pressure building to a sweeping breakdown and back-the-f**k into it. Church bosses Apes & Seb Wildblood realign the former to a deep but tuffened New York vibe, and Squar… Read more
The Knife enlist Cooly G and Pursuit Grooves to remix a highlight of 'Shaking The Habitual'. Vanese Smith aka Pursuit Grooves realigns 'A Tooth For An Eye' to a craftier, big-bottomed bass groove landing closer to the spaced-out dubbing of her Tectonic issues rather than her blunted ace for Aybee's Deepblak Recordings, peppering Karin Dreijer's vocal across bouncing horn delays and a frenzied Afro-beat-techno rhythm hinging on pneumatic bass and flying polyrhythms. By contrast Cooly G's version is far more tucked-in and proggy, rolling out something like classic bleep techno from the Yorkshire heartlands on a weekend in London.
Tempa pair two of dubstep's most promising producers on a dreadnaught double header. With the Garth Merenghi-referencing 'Darkplace' they lock down to techiest drums and swooping subs inna taut, minimalist framework nodding to the classic '05/'06 template. Underneath, their 'Sur Place' barrels forward on a stop/starting techno steppers' mission cut with duppied darkisde voices and echo-chamber FX.
*Rippin' hardcore punk with gothic tendencies (just don't call it black metal), fresh outta NYC on BEB. Includes 22" x 11" fold out liner notes* "Since debut LP Nature Tries Again (Hospital Productions, 2011) RB has grown from the solo project of M. del Rio (HWCT from Bone Awl) into a five-piece of extraordinary force and focus. The first studio version of Deformed Worship was scrapped, and its songs re-recorded by the band on cassette 8-track in November 2012, before being mixed and mastered by Kris Lapke. Raspberry Bulbs defies the constraints of classification but is often mistakenly labelled as a black metal band. It is not a black metal band."
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Further down the highway from last year's ace split with Roy Orb D.MT., Food Pyramid reach for lush neo Krautrock heights on 'Ecstasy & Refreshment'. They first break orbit with 'Dexedream''s stellar trajectory powered by twin-panned guitars and rocking rhythm machines to zones of swirling vocals, plateauing at the dreamy psych-house plains of 'Pacifier' and spinning dubwise with the corkscrewing, Ekoplekz-meets-Sun Araw-like scramble of Deep Fantasy'. Up there, the chiming African guitar chops and fuzzy organ of 'The High Life' feel… Read more
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label - Remarkable, sparkling minimalist composition by 11 year old Henry Plotnick. Falls somewhere between Terry Riley's 'In C' and James Ferraro's 'Far Side Virtual'** "Initial contact with Fields may lead one to believe it’s the work of an A+ grad student at one of America’s finest music colleges. On discovering the album’s creator won’t be able to legally drink for another decade, one might wince at the thought of one’s own paltry 11-year-old feats—even if those armpit farts were pretty inspired. Meanwhile, Henry Plotnick sounds like he’s ready fo… Read more
"If you thought the English-accented voice singing the hook on Ann Arbor/Detroit producer Todd Osborn's new single "Hold Up" sounded familiar, you'd be right — it's Joe Goddard of UK globeconquerors Hot Chip. The match might seem counter-intuitive — Hot Chip are best-known for reinventing rave sounds for a new generation, while "Hold Up" is all about the warmth of classic house — but it works a treat, with Goddard's surprisingly soulful delivery slotting seamlessly into the mix. "Hold Up" is the first that the world has heard from Osborn since 2009's Hovercrafting EP and 2008's self-… Read more
*Includes download code redeemable from the label* "RIYL : Birthday Party, Suicide, Jesus Lizard, Metz, Pissed Jeans. Imps of Perversion, Pop. 1280’s second full-length for Sacred Bones, finds the four-piece shaking off the hangover that was their critically acclaimed LP The Horror, and diving back down into the basement to enjoy the depravity. Recorded at BC Studio with legendary producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Cop Shoot Cop, Swans), Pop. 1280 have created their most cohesive and powerful statement to date. Woven together with stories of lust, sexual confusion, temptation, and debauc… Read more
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Black Dice bod returns to DFA with a playful solo LP of sample-splitting psychotomimetic grooves. Like an unhinged, PCP-huffing cousin of Smith 'N Hack, Copeland deranges plunderphonic globs into stomping, jerry-rigged and unstable structures, equal parts garage rock, wayward blues, disco, techno and avant-garde noise collage. Yet far from being a total mess, 'Joke In The Hole' is possibly his most "musical" effort to date, enriched with fragments of melodic hooks that give something to hold onto alongside the mental and physical attri… Read more
"For RocketNumberNine, capturing the spirit of the music is paramount and with their debut album, MeYouWeYou, the London-based Page brothers — Tom (drums) and Ben (synths) — invite you into their tribal Chingford roots, taking music forwards to reach where it came from. This is hard hitting, modern dance music played live without a single click track in sight. With a name taken from a song by space jazz crusader Sun Ra and musical influences from Detroit to London to Africa and beyond, RocketNumberNine, have spent the last eight years shaping, breaking and squeezing their sound into what … Read more
"Tsembla is the musical work of Marja Johansson, a Swedish-Finnish artist operating out of Turku, Finland. Utilizing a wide range of instruments, electronics, objects and manipulated samples, the music of Tsembla rides on waves of warped melodies, fluttering rhythms, abstract voices and mutating textures, crossbreeding the known and the imaginary. Nouskaa henget (Spirits, rise!) is her third release, after the 7” Tuplafiesta, released by Jan Anderzén’s Vauva label in 2009 and the LP Fauna on the Finnish Ikuisuus label in 2011. Loosely assembled, rough edged compositions, rich in details, come … Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Raffertie finds a niche between The xx's indie-pop, the avant-R&B of Autre Ne Veut, and his own, angular electronics on this impressive debut album. His previous single 'Build Me Up' signified a change of tack and ambition from writing party bangers to arranging mature, brooding electronic pop music. There are obvious precedents in the music of James Blake and, to an extent, AlunaGeorge, whom he first discovered and released on his Super label, yet 'Sleep Of Reason' is an assuredly idiosyncratic effort, laden with earworming hooks and cat… Read more
**Comes with mp3 download code for the album and bonus remix** The Blondes duo refract their house abstractions through a smudged psychedelic prism on 2nd album 'Swisher' for RVNG Intl. Picking up where their eponymous debut left off, Sam Haar and Zach Steinman start with the kosmic organ swell and atom-split rhythms of 'Aeon' before locking down to a driving, technoid momentum with 'Bora Bora' which carries through the album in the glyding dub-house gait of 'Andrew' to the ornate, future-baroque arpeggios of 'Poland' to the laser-grabbing, Belgian-styled trance-techno pump of 'Swisher' and the see-… Read more
Fantastic Mr. Fox cuts straight to the 'floor with two technoid rollers for Black Acre. Up top he dices with Colonel Abrams on 'The Trap', threading elements of the '80s boogie classic through swinging, percolating drums and gasping synths finished with that super-cushioned production bounce he's made his own. Turn it over and the sprung Funky house bob of 'The Jackal' cheekily hints at a former alias of his, both in name and groove.
"Eighteen years after they called it quits as a working band, 2013 finds the original members of Medicine reunited and proudly offering a newly recorded LP on Captured Tracks. “To The Happy Few” is the sound of a highly inspired group reclaiming its creative legacy, thoroughly immersed in the practice of mixing harsh noise with obsessive melodic detail and heavily groovy rocking. Returning is the core trio of lead singer/ chanteuse Beth Thompson, guitarist / vocalist Brad Laner, and drummer Jim Goodall, the same team which created the still vital, influential and controversial LPs “Shot For… Read more
Opal Tapes welcome Berlin-based Italian producer Shapednoise to the fold with six tracks of malefic, distorted techno. 'Until Human Voices Wake Us' is the label's first release brokered specifically for vinyl - following their LP reissues of MCMXCI's 'Skogen, Flickan Och Flaskan', and Wanda Group's 'P*ss Fell Out Like Sunlight' - and fits perfectly with their most extreme aesthetics. Consolidating his love of industrial noise, rave and hard techno, 'Until Human Voices Wake Us' could never really be called one or the other - it's a grotty, primal new form that feels like it just… Read more
**Psychedelic, worldly hip hop zingers strafing between abstracted grime with Trim to the muderous lurch of 'Street Lights' with Danny Brown and crazed polyrhythmic trips like 'Seagull Conscience** "Paul White is sure to further solidify his reputation as one of the most innovative producers in hip-hop and beyond with his new EP. The South Londoner is joined by the motley crew of Trim, Sean Price, Homeboy Sandman and rap superstar-in-waiting Danny Brown, who recruited Paul to produce nearly half his forthcoming album 'Old' and cited him as “my fav producer to work with”. First single 'Stree… Read more