Thursday, 01 December 2011
**White Vinyl** One of the silkiest tracks on Joker's The Vision album, remixed by Rustie and Goldie. Rustie has a ball, framing William Cartwright's imploring vocal in a 21st century schizoid electro-R&B framework - like the music on his own Glass Swords album, it's too bright and bold and busy to argue with, but also knows when to pull things back, ramping up the drama with some expertly judged builds and drops. In Rus's mischievous paws, 'On My Mind' becomes the pop anthem it had the potential to be, and brain-squeezingly psychedelic to boot. Goldie's mix is strong too, panning darkside… Read more
Karnak aka R1 Ryders drops his eagerly anticipated 4th 12", fuelled with four tracks of the ruffest East London Bass music. Over the last two years his fusion of Bassline, Funky, Grime and Dubstep energies have become a staple in the sets of Marcus Nasty, Ben UFO, Jackmaster and Ikonika, to name a few, always evading concrete classification, but practically defining the ruder sound of East. On this one there's a couple of straight aces: you'd have to suffer from a serious funk deficiency to avoid the ruffneck rollidge of 'Deep In The Jungle', while 'All Nite' goes IN with romping 4/4s and … Read more
*Heavyweight 3LP with extensive booklet including photos and memorabilia* The cats at Vampi Soul have put together a lush selection of forgotten jewels from pre-revolutionary Iran. 'Rangarang' collects 28 songs by the stars of Persian pop's golden era, including Googoosh, Aref, Leila Forouhar, Mehrpouya and Kourosh Yaghmaei, some of whom were the subject of excellent reissues this year for the likes of the Finders Keepers and Now Again labels. Their diverse and Westernized sounds reflects the politics of Iran during the '60s and '70s, prior to the induction o… Read more
It's funny how some bands just end up missing the audience they were seemingly destined to have. Happy Refugees popped up on the British DIY scene just after Brummie upstarts Swell Maps and just before the whole C86 craze, somehow arriving into limbo, destined to be never more than cult treasures to those lucky enough to have heard the (very few) songs they recorded. Thankfully the kind folks over at Acute have given their records the treatment they deserved bundling their mini LP and single together (with three unreleased tracks no less) and it couldn't have been any soon… Read more
"An epic two track 40 minute split from two of the Modern Psychedelic Underground's greats, the legendary Bardo Pond spoon out the molasses with the track Fallen on side A, that has an expansive droned psych thrum, helmed by some driving rhythms, the power, the loud..and then as you are almost pummelled into nothingness, Isobel's flute comes through.and then furthur on until she begins to sing..theres wash upon wash of righteous guitar sound, a sonic attack indeed. On the flip, Agitated's flagbearers Carlton Melton bring the magiick karpet ride much higher with "Slow Growth", still as… Read more
Hi-Tech D&B superstructures from ASC. 'Time Is Now' caps a prolific, golden year for the San Diego-based engineer/producer with three tensile feats of programming dexterity. Frontside comes with the mercurial syncopation of the title track, all whirring, hyperkinetic rhythms anchored by cone-splitting bass weight, next to the somersaulting acrobatics of 'Make Me Feel'. Flipside he's still keeping a steely eye on the 'floor with the harnessed rollidge of 'Dark Star' before sounding out two beatless electro-acoustic sculptures.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
A bit unexpected this - Night Slugs dude Egyptrixx and pals, Ohbijou, cover Dylan Carlson's Earth song 'Old Black'!? Backed with the equally experimental, yet more dancefloor-oriented 'Hiawatha' it comprises his most intriguing and esoteric release to date, succinctly melding a shiny electro aesthetic with more bruised drone/shoegaze textures in a strange, syncretic union. Floor Toms and rusted railway rhythms swirl with electronics, guitars and cooing vocals somewhere between A.C. Marias and Tropic Of Cancer on the cover version, transposing the windswept intent to a more artificial… Read more
**White vinyl - Includes digital download card redeemable from the label** Radio Dept's Marcus Joons and Daniel Tjäder make good on the promise of their much-loved singles with this unmistakably lush debut album. In finest Scandinavian style, 'An Album...' is Korallreven's beautifully realised attempt to escape the harsh Swedish winter by means of simulated pop bliss, referencing all manner of sun-soaked styles from Southern Rap to Balearic pop with wonderfully immersive production values. But the biggest single influence is a trip taken to Samoa by Marcus Joons where he found ins… Read more
Following that killer Teeth 12", Oneman's 502 imprint looks to Finland again with this collaboration between the new skool bass vanguard, Desto and Clouds, and Sahko's electro-jazz veteran, Jimi Tenor. Both tracks were recorded in Shanghai earlier this year, with A-side featuring Kode 9-collaborator Cha Cha gliding over the woozy trip-hop slumper 'Time Bird', while the flipside serves the fluid, sino-stepping electro of 'Eightfold Path' from Jimi Tenor and Desto, sounding like some '06 dub cut from a mythical Kode 9 radio set. Heavy.
**Includes digital download card for the full album plus bonus remixes - redeemable from the label** *Includes download coupon for full album and bonus remixes redeemable from the label* Debut album business from one of France's premier neck-snappers! 'To All Of You' arrives after an impeccable series of releases over the last four years, at once distilling and expanding on the ideas of his three aces for Musique Large and the idiosyncratic beatcraft of his All City and One-Handed Music 12"s. Kinda like a stoned Mr. Oizo or a dafter Dorian Concept, his debut album feels like a coherent body… Read more
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Fiery avant-noise business, new in on Mego. Picking up where he left off with this year's Akita and Jim O'Rourke hook-up One Bird Two Bird, Swedish sax dynamo Mats Gustafsson collaborates here with dieb13 (turntables, cigar box) and Martin Siewert (guitars, ring stinger, electronics). Stitched together from live and studio sessions, (Fake) The Facts is a glorious assault on the ears, and on everything else: a dense wall of noise and power electronics so full-on it that it becomes almost meditative; repeat listens reveal the trio to be exploring deeper, more complex internal … Read more
*Edition of 500* Ten years into their ever-evolving imprint, LA's big-eared Post Present Medium offer a sublime side of personalised ambient noise and shoegaze on the first vinyl by Matthew Sullivan (Privy Seals, Deep Jew) as Earn. To date most of the Earn output has appeared on his own Ekhein label, with a few on Agents Of Chaos and Young Tapes for measure, but this the first we've heard from him as Earn and it's making a heavy impression. 'A Following Shadow' is a great example of how fine the line is between drooling wallpaper ambience and genuinely evocative beatless spaces. Falling firml… Read more
**Includes mp3 download card redeemable from the label** Debonair synth-pop reductions from Brooklyn's mighty Silk Flowers, following their recent album for Post Present Medium with a fresh EP on Captured Tracks. The US is a crazy hotbed of neo minimal wave at the moment, but SF can claim to have been on this tip before most of their peers; and what continues to be great about their music is that for all its retro pretensions, it still sounds completely, authentically naive and exploratory. 'Brush Fires' is the band's opening gambit here, a pulsating number driving by elegantly chunky an… Read more
*10 Track vinyl edition feat Pariah, Lone, Untold, Blawan, Airhead and more - plus the full 2cd inside* R&S restart their legendary 'In Order To Dance' compilation series with a 22-track overview of their current roster; a UK Bass-centric selection including Pariah, Lone, James Blake, Space Dimension Controller, Vondelpark, Bullion, Blawan and more, with an exclusive Oneohtrix remix to boot! Since remerging with the scene in a big way around 2009, R&S tastes have clearly tended towards the UK underground, largely sidestepping more linear 4/4 House and Techno for music with pop, bump, grind and sou… Read more
Re-calibrated Broken Beat/Funky transporters from Rinse FM's much loved morning radio jock and Hyperdub's most eccentric producer. Like the very recent effort from ally Cooly G, Hyperdub's latest sees Scratcha at work with a more experienced hands, namely Gilles Peterson favourite and beat scene legend, Vikter Duplaix. Vikter contributes sweet, breathy soul vocals to a crookedly resolved triplet rhythm on 'Madness', a balance of ultra-sticky, synthetic acid melody and lushest vybz, but in case that's too sugary for you, 'Polyphonic Dreams' will push all your buttons at once with a heavily tripped-out and craftily funked-up tribal 4/4.
Funked-up ElectroTech from Belgian duo, Goldffinch, rolling right off their 'Dirtybird' drop for Airflex Labs. 'Red Mask' is an intensely taut and locked-on piece of dancefloor science, carving a fluid, frictionless groove from rolling, inter-locking synthlines and robust bass synced for bodily gratification. 'Ovale' is more reserved, working a jacked-up Electrobass sound powered by metronomic subbass throbs and stickier percussion. Test these on a big rig for optimal satisfaction.
Doubleheart is the tightly coiled sound of Neil Landstrumm and Optimo's J.D. Twitch going about some shifty Latin Tech business. It's a classy hybrid of conjoined sounds, mixing early rave flavour with a mechanized Latin tilt to arrive at something contemporary yet classically 'floor oriented. 'Salsa' is the pick, arranging intricate, 'floor-scuffing shuffles under ghostly rave signals and creepy bleeps with Landstrumm's signature hardware tweaks on show. Flipside 'Ache' is craftier, treading that murky 1990 area where House was a syncretic fusion of Hip Hop, Dub, Hardcore and nascent Techno. Aces.
ANTHEM TIMES! Champion finally unleashes one of summer 2011's biggest hits, 'Sensitivity', backed with the boisterous 'Tun Up Di Bass'. Fresh from distinguished appearance on Ben UFO's Rinse mix and innumerable rinses at raves across the country, this Ruby Lee-starring ace is almost the perfect collision of R&B pop, roadwise Funky and Soundsystem dynamics, a poised balance of sweetened soul and irresistible, futurist funk which surely ranks in the finest singles of the year. The flipside 'Tun Up Di Bass', by contrast, is an aggy fusion of jump-up Funky and Dubstep rave licks arranged to wreck a dance. ESSENTIAL.
Stripped down and optimised future Bass musics from Hemlock's newest signing. Here, Guy Andrews successfully follows the trajectory taken on his Discobelle release, acting like a more melancholy counterpart to the brittle syncopation of Joe or the Jazz/IDM-inflections of Four Tet and El Kid. A-side 'Shades' bears a structural influence clearly inherited from more post-rock-y headspaces, but with meticulously calculated beat programming and breakbeat funk dynamics akin to Anstam. B-side 'Textures' is more dubby, spaced-out and rolling, propelled by air-carving drum syncopation and supple, … Read more
Le Volume Courbe's petit but perfectly formed catalogue welcomes a sterling new edition, issued on hers and Kevin Shields' new imprint, Pickpocket Records. Kevin is credited with appearing on one track, but all the production and writing credits belong to the woman in charge Charlotte Marionneau, making for an entirely coherent and beautifully beguiling record. There's the odd, shape-shifting folk-pop of 'Born To Lie' and the more tender, naked 'I Love The Living You' on the A-side, while the flipside features naif music box melodies and splattered synth interjections of 'Lazy' and an elegant cover of Nico's 'Le Petit Chevalier'.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
White Vinyl re-press available now. Steven Warwick's Heatsick project began life back in 2006 as a series of noisy sound experiments which eventually found their way onto cassette. Living in Berlin at the time, Warwick soon got drawn in to the city's club vortex and began shifting into a realm which, despite the odds, somehow worked in that environment, culminating in a Panorama Bar live show which has since been talked about by more people than could possibly have been there to witness it for themselves. Remarkably - the Heatsick setup involves little more than a battered old Casio keyboard and an… Read more
*Long-awaited remastered reissue of this 'Holy Grail' of primitive and experimental concrete psychedelia from 1972 - originally pressed up in an edition of just 120 copies and known to fetch crazy sums on the second hand market* Faithful sleeve recreation includes insert with liner notes translated to English* Reissue of a Finnish holy grail of primitive and experimental concrete psychedelia from 1972. Pekka Airaksinen is perhaps best known for his 1970 LP 'Shh !' as Sperm which is regarded as a "priceless avant-garde artefact" by the likes of Keith Fullerton Whitman, but his solo fo… Read more
Is there no end to FaltyDL's productivity? We're not complaining, 'cos he doesn't seem to be running out of ideas. 'Atlantis' heads for the dawn-bating zone somewhere between broken beat, deep electro and Kompakt pop, while 'Can't Stop The Prophet' nods to the LA beat-heads with its tough, shuffling drums, smoky keys and strings, before an unexpected coda detours into Zed Bias or even Squarepusher-esque, jazz-flecked drum 'n bass. 'My Light, My Love' does the deep boogie thing before the EP draws to a close with the more minimal, dance-ready 'The Sale Ends', a glitchy, stepping house cut somewhere between Akufen, MJ Cole and Aardvarck.
**Double gatefold with full liner notes** 'Bossa Jazz' explores the Brazilian jazz groups and artists at the centre of the Bossa Nova explosion of the early 1960s. Vinyl Part 1 charts the sound of groups such as Sambalanco Trio, Zimbo Trio, Meirelles E Os Copa 5 and Quarteto Novo, and important instrumentalists such as Airto Moreira, Milton Banana, Sergio Mendes, Milton Banana and Anton Carlos Jobim. Extensive sleevenotes provide a socio-political context explaining the exodus of many Brazilian artists to USA at the end of the '60s and the development of fusions such as those instigated by Airto Moreira's work with Miles Davis.
**Double gatefold with full liner notes** 'Bossa Jazz' explores the Brazilian jazz groups and artists at the centre of the Bossa Nova explosion of the early 1960s. Vinyl Part 2 charts the sound of groups such as Quinteto Villa Lobos, Quarteto Novo, Balanco Trio, Tamba 4 and Salinas, and important instrumentalists such as Deodato, Paulo Moura, Baden Powell and João Donato. Extensive sleevenotes provide a socio-political context explaining the exodus of many Brazilian artists to USA at the end of the '60s and the development of fusions such as those instigated by Airto Moreira's work with Miles Davis.
One of Manchester's most promising production units come with contrasting flavours for all ravers on their 2nd plate for Fat City. A-side Samrai & Platt go gully on 'Creepin', a dextrous acidic swinger with 'floor-rinsing 303s synced to jostling snares and pushy subs primed for the ruddiest bashments. In sharp contrast 'Hold Your Corner' is all sinuous, staggered Streetsoul, squeezing off a clip of brass stabs over heavy-rolled HipHop rhythm and soundbwoy subs. Hype trax, tipped by everyone from Wifey crew to Gabriel Heatwave and xxxy. BIG!
Masterful deep Acid and slow House grooves backed with a sterling Vakula remix. If case you've not checked the internet for the last two years, Cottam is the guy behind a string of deadly semi-edits and slow house grooves on his eponymous imprint and the likes of Story or Use Of Weapons. But remixes aside he's been short on new, original material this year, though we'd imagine a lot of time went into these two exquisite grooves. A-side 'Deep Deep Down' is probably one of the finest acid grooves we've heard all year, a pendulous lather of dubbed-out Roland tweaks and hot, sticky sax p… Read more
*Now in on limited vinyl* There's a very literal reason for the title of Nils Frahm's new album, Felt. He wanted to play the piano during the dead of night, without disturbing his neighbours, so he layed thick felt in front of its strings to muffle the sound. Rather than being frustrated, he unexpectedly found himself enchanted by this dampened sound, and it opened up new compositional as well as playing possibilities for his inquisitive mind. The resulting work is varied in style but it all has a close, confessional, nocturnal quality that's beautifully wrought and expertly rec… Read more
Another weird and wonderful drop from De Stijl, this time from "post-modern abstract blues" duo The Stare Case. Nathan Young's slouchy Jonathan-Richman-on-opiates vocals are your guide through the madness, wreathed in no-fi synthesizer patterns, hypnotic two-line basslines and woodwinds (courtesy of one Inzane Johnny) in varying states of distress. The band's crudely captivating interweaving of acoustic and electronic elements reminds us a little bit of The Shadow Ring, and the sparseness of the arrangements and foregrounding of bass gives it all a nicely dubbed-out feel - think Jandek meets Al… Read more
The near-flawless One Eyed Jacks label offers a sterling collaboration between Photonz and Tiago Miranda. Both Portuguese natives, they've dedicated the tracks to remote, desolate beaches outside their capital city. 'Ponta do Mato' is a a sublime, supple Baleari-tinged groover with warm traces of classic Acid House done in deeply romantic style, while 'Cova do Vapor' is more disco-jacked and psychedelic with frothy cosmic synthlines. Both come with support from Tim Sweeney, Ewan Pearson, Jackmaster, Ghist On Tape and more.