Thursday, 13 June 2013
Two sides of mind-churn psych rock from Vibracathedral Orchstra and close associate, Infinite Light. The latter scrawls a caterwaul of looped psych-o-blues leeching into his eerie falsetto (and was that a burp?) and a coruscating solo blues expression. Michael Flower and his Vibracathedral Orchestra spill out a loop-y motorik acid jam called 'Get It?' on the flipside.
Alright then, Planam are pushing the boundaries of sanity again with this latest outbreak of lunacy by the French avant-garde quartet joined by freakishly talented vocalists Dave Nuss of NNCK and Mik Quantius from Köln. Gollaboration No.5, 'Bruxelles' was recorded at 2am by Yann Leguay and documents the sort of ritual strangeness that would get you locked up in less tolerant areas of the world. We're not quite sure who does what but Mik and Dave are definitely responsible for some of the most unnerving vocal sounds we've heard since the last Phil Minton album, while the band spill messy psych-o-rock guts and skull carving asylum blues.
**Full copy of the album on CD included inside** Sophomore album of wracked, atmospheric, off-centre gloom-pop from Austin, TX trio Pure X. The origins of the album are pretty bleak: core member Nate Grace spent most of 2012 incapacitated by a serious leg injury, without the health insurance or cash needed for surgery, and further crippled by insomnia and anxiety; it was during this time that he percolated ideas for the record. Sounds like a hoot, right? But the result isn't a depressive or desolated work; rather it’s the sound of struggle, of striving to find hope amid hopelessness, b… Read more
**Really weird soundtrack by the legends of NDW, veering from dark synth vignettes to unhinged and dippy blats** "With 36 tracks clocking in at 40 minutes, this 1983 album by these German loons did little to dispel already prevalent Residents comparisons. But who cares? Short songs, silly voices, ever-inventive pop-cultural references; if only The Residents always made records this good! With a far wider musical palette than the Post-Fab Four ever had at their disposal (including leader Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke's use of early Emulator 1 sampling technology), Der Plan pioneer the sounds and s… Read more
Bureau B reissue of Der Plan's 1984 Japan tour album, now presented with new artwork by the band's Moritz R. The original 17 tracks were commissioned by the Japanese department store chain who booked the NDW heroes for a bunch of gigs and span the group's inimitable brand of melodic mischief and dippy wave rhythms from the jabbing delirium of 'Fleissige Ameisen' to the nursery rhyme daftness of 'Insekt', the schlager-y 'Schwarzwald', eccentric tribalism in 'Buback' and industrial dance-pop on 'Gummitwist' alongside four new bonus cuts including an instrumental of the aforementioned 'Gummitwist' and the oriental oddness of 'Elektro Platinum Saturn Gott'.
Proper heavy 12” from Keysound showcasing new tackle from Etch, Walton, Visionist and Fresh Paul. Etch kicks off with ‘Scattah’, a slab of fleet-footed, revisionist breakstep driven by swaggering Maddslinky snares and wormholing RSD-ish subs, very tasty. Walton’s incendiary ‘Homage’ - presumably to the kind of rolling dark garage and 8bar instrumentals rinsed by Slimzee in the early days - is undoubtedly one of the best things he’s ever put his name to. Visionist channels a more eski flavour on the radgy, claustrophobic and bluntly lo-fi ‘From A Place’, definitely a keeper, and F… Read more
**Edition of 500** Honking free jazz/noise recorded live on July 21, 2008 at the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, OH. Lorenz bleats blunted saxophone caterwaul while Yeh lashes a lattice of hyperactive violin and Jewell rolls out mental with the drums.
"A few years before Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire established their Los Angeles outpost, James Dockery made that same Chicago-to-LA trek alone and deeply embedded himself in the soul music culture of the Left Coast. Alert soul aficionados will note the name Art Monday IV, better known as Arthur Monday for his 'What Goes Around Comes Around' 45 on Stage Music. Monday brought that record's same buoyant production to Dockery's solo turn on 'My Faith In You Is All Gone' penned by one-time Syl Johnson and future Al Green songwriter Earl Randle. Sporting Soul Craft's unador… Read more
**180g vinyl** "Top flight three man cosmic research team further investigations on galactic flux and refraction with two transmissions of synesthetic mind-fold. Lift off with skyward string stasis cutting through buffeted drum-clouds and synthesizer atmosphere, cosmic forever vision peaks at warp-speed rocket drone, anti-gravity percussion accents and star scraping rainbow universes. Saturating feedback zones spread webs of dimension amidst asteroid belt orbits, where two-way trips initiate zero g shimmer into the outer limit of the space ritual via ancient totems to the three moon cycles a… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** For fans of New Order, Demdike Stare, Andy Stott* On Perfect View, Swedish producer Hannes Norrvide returns with his third full length and it’s warmer and more inviting than any of his previous work. The album is composed of largely instrumental pieces, focusing more on beats, samples and general ambiance than its predecessor, last year’s Growing Seeds. Tracks like “Breaking Silence” and “Barcelona” highlight this shift in direction and overall mood, while tracks such as “Another Day” and “Vibrant Brother” stay true to Norrvide… Read more
Champion's Formula Records weighs out two deeper, electroid funky rollers from newcomer, Jamie Hustle. Up top his 'Pleasure Dome' works out a supple swing-jack rhythm and moody blue pitchbent synthlines for the shades-on-at-midnight crew. Down under, 'One Objective' gets looser with nagging rave hook underpinned by a powerful subbass and taut, crisp percussion.
Mind-bending split from Neil Campbell's Astral Social Club and Adrian Dollemore's Glockenspiel. The ASC side is a right zinger - gloopy techno rhythms mauled with dissonant, harpy-like noise and polychromatic swirls that burrow right in yer head. Glockenspiel's is more hypnagogic, decelerating to a sludgy mass of drone, wrenched metal screech and crippled drums. Worth it for the Astra Social Club side alone!
"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.