Thursday, 15 November 2012
Cracking four-track EP of Bangaltar-style filter-house and late night boogie burners. Last we heard from Wolverhampton duo Letherette was on a pair of brilliant 12"s for Alex Nut's Ho Tep label. They've slunk back into the shadows since then, only to hone their sound to a much plusher, romantically developed and 'floor-winning style on 'Featurette' for Ninja Tune, carving up the adroit disco-house edit of 'Warstones' and its robotic, Daft Punk-like guitar chops, plus the shoulder-controllin' pivots and mountain high, valley low filters of 'Ettewards' for the movers. But they're also dab hands a… Read more
Recently, Still Music flew their revered producer Mr Raoul K back to his country of birth, The Ivory Coast, to record an album with local musicians. The trip was filmed and accompanies the album as a special documentary in the 'Mande' double CD pack - his first long playing release for the label. Here, Raoul's music really suits the double LP format, and he takes the opportunity to really stretch out his grooves in a style reminiscent of Fela Kuti's normally 20min+ grooves: from the hypnotically unfolding 13 minute vision of opener 'Somassai' thru the lean, tantric mix layering and evolution of 'Bar… Read more
**Numbered edition of 500 pressed to 180g vinyl** 'Militant Dread' is a 1977 roots reggae rarity produced and arranged by Bunny "Striker" Lee. This faithful reissue features all the original cuts - classic Striker riddims voiced by Ras Murray - including the killer styles of 'Natty Dread Ital Rocker', the pendulous bass and lungful vibes of 'Love Jah Jah Children' and the devotional 'Glory To The Holy One Creation'.
With his debut album now safely behind him Joker can crack on making aces like he used to. 'Old Era' serves hi-grade purple dissonance with hyperboogie flair and vivid, widescreen HD drops while his buddy Gemmy gets a bit naughty with unnecessary axe riffs on the remix, but the double-timed drums and lush breakdowns are smart.
Rock solid electro followup to Power Vacuum's bonkers EDMX 12", courtesy of Milo Smee. Essentially this is B-Boy music on acid, turning out hard, metallic, psychedelic fonk on the crisp, clanging A-side 'Point Counter Point', and grubbier, body-churning 303 tweaks at 113bpm on the B-side journey 'Drink Ye From The Acid Chalice'. Check the video, too. It's wild.
**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** Austrialian scumbats UV Race turn up on LA's pillar of garage rock, In The Red Records with the malevolent pop stomp of 'Racism'. At times there's an almost NDW-like melodic straightness at play, but you just know there's something sly at play behind those zipped-up synthliens and soon enough there's a blast of feedback and they're shouting about acid and churning up some hard-assed heavy rock groove. "God is saying this to you: Racism is the third album by Australia’s most genius avant-tards The UV Race, dragging melodious pop songs through… Read more
**Heavyweight, tip-on style double gatefold with insert and download code redeemable from the label. 2012 Thrill Jockey anniversary edition** Baltimore's Daniel Higgs is best known for his work as the lyricist and frontman with Lungfish, although his solo work has found an outlet via labels such as Holy Mountain and Ideal Recordings in addition to Thrill Jockey. Say God is a double-disc collection of avant-folk styled gospel songs and poems, notably recorded with the assistance of TV On The Radio man David Sitek. At times, Higgs' delivery recalls Devendra B… Read more
Dawn Hunger is the anagrammatic alias for F*ck Button, Andrew Hung's new solo output, on his own label, Morning Joy. He's the writer and producer, crafting jagged electro songs specially for vocalist Claire Inglis and multi-instrumentalist Matthew de Pulford in a style quite removed from his previous output. A-side 'Stumbling Room' lurches like some lop-sided dubstep-skronk, kneading sparse but heavy drums and bass welt with a swarming synth modulation as bed for wailing vocals, reminding of something Michachu might do in the process. B-side 'Billowed Wind' is al… Read more
Four Tet, Merzbow, Jim O'Rourke, Kim Hiorthoy, Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, Nymph, Lasse Marhaug and more contribute remixes of Neneh Cherry & The Thing's (Mats Gustaffson, Paal Nilssen-Love and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten) acclaimed covers LP 'The Cherry Thing'. Pushed to pick highlights, we'd point out Four Tet's cool interpolation of their Suicide version 'Dream Baby Dream'; a mysterious revision of Madvillain's 'Accordion' by Jim O'Rourke; the hyperjazz tension of Merzbow's mix to their re-do of Mats Gustaffson's 'Sudden Moment'; a brooding, honking take of their cover of … Read more
You might think you know what to expect from a new Mouse on Mars record but trust us, you won't be expecting 'WOW'. A far cry from the muddled eccentricities of the Deutch weirdos early catalogue, 'WOW' is pitched as a club-poised counterpoint to its predecessor 'Parastrophics' and who are we to disagree. From the pained screams of opener 'SOS' we're launched into the mutant grime of 'DOG' that sounds something like a cross between the classic 'Ice Rink' riddim and a Ms. Pacman arcade machine. This is no bad thing either; Jan St Werner and Andi Toma prove quickly that they're right at home in this … Read more
Thursday, 08 November 2012
**Initial copies on turquoise wax** Digitalis root out yet another dazzling label debut, this one a beautiful second LP of romantic synth-boogie from Kansas City's Brandon Knocke aka Discoverer. Operating within the realm comfortably inhabited by Hype Williams, Laurel Halo, Morgan Geist or Glass Candy, 'Tunnels' is all about the enigma of electronic desire. Whether that's unrequited robot love, utopian yearnings or something more esoteric is for you to ascertain. These eight communiques are just dripping with electronic emotion, from the feminized technologies of 'Lesbian Software''s cooing vocode… Read more
*Third instalment from the excellent Signal Life imprint* London's baddest bass mutants face off on Signal Life's impeccably presented 3rd edition. Fresh from an ace remix of Sd Laika and appearances on Keysound and Diskotopia, we find Visionist at his most iced-out, frictionless on 'Control This', synching body-glyding, aerodynamic 808s and scooping subbass under dark blue atmospheres. B-side, Last Japan follows up his wicked 'Ambush EP' for LNUK Records with the rugged dip and swerve of 'Storm Trooper', pushing cone-jackin' bass hits and clustered claps through polished steel soundsphere readied for the DJs and HD-equipped systems.
**Sumptuous country soul album from 1968, previously unissued and now rescued from the archives by Seattle's Light In The Attic** "A hippie-fied, soul-rock, folk-rock, psych-rock gem lost in the vaults for four decades, A Fire Somewhere by Ray Stinnett (best known as a member of ‘60s outfit Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs) sounds as fresh as the day it was cut, and comes with extensive liner-notes detailing the fascinating life of a little-documented ‘60s rock voyager. Born in Memphis in 1944, Ray Stinnett got his first guitar, aged 12, from Nathan Novak’s pawn shop, where Elvis got his fir… Read more
Not a band who would ever want you to think they’re not hard working, Portland’s Eternal Tapestry drop their second album of the year in the shape of ‘A World Out Of Time’, a typically THC-laced, e-bow worshipping journey into the ether. Garnished with a cover the looks like a sci fi version of the ending of ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ there’s a sense that the band are aware of how they’re perceived and are running with it full throttle. The result is a non-stop acid-belching hayride through walls of thick electric guitar, pummeling percussion (courtesy as usual of Heavy Winged’s Jed Bi… Read more
**Clear Vinyl** Dark Dutch techno pounders backed with Xhin and Radial remixes. 'Desolaat' is brooding tool in the vein of recent Speedy J cuts, and 'Recoil' a grungier throbber with offset, rolling percussions. Xhin duly gives 'Desolaat' some sexier swerve with offset bass hits and shuddering metallic tones while Radial brightens up 'Recoil' with smart, dubbed-out electronica melodies and frictionless rhythm.
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** AnCo turn out the intricate album cut 'Applesauce' backed with a brand new recording of 'Crimson', which they've been testing recently on road (like on tour, not in the ends). That A-side's a spunky shot of pure joy in the ear, a whirligig of harmonsied vocals, angular prog-chops and rousing melody sure to get the kids beating the bleachers. 'Crimson' is a bluer affair; those nasally vocals seem even more pleading, with a slow tempo set to absorb listeners in its warm whorl of posh melancholy.
Roska returns to Tectonic for two tracky, stripped down Funky-and-dubstep cuts. 'Blurry' is a badass tribalist DJ tool, synching punchy congas and shifty hi-hats on a swollen sub in minimal fashion for the 'floor. 'Spearhead' takes that aesthetic one step further and slower/faster, arranging micro-fine drums and a rasping, overblown bass for a dutty 140bpm skank.
High class hook-up between Oren Ambarchi and Robin Fox, new on Kranky. Ambarchi in particular has been on fire this year, having already released two top-notch albums on Touch and eMego and a whole host of other underground sides, and his rich vein of form continues with this awesome co-composition. Connected was created for a production of the same name by the Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move. Artistic director Gideon Obarzanek is a huge fan of both Ambarchi and Fox's work, and invited them to develop their score - derived from both digital and analogue sources - i… Read more
**8 tracks selected from the digital/CD versions** Old-skool New York House session mixed up by bona fide experts, Hercules & Love Affair. The mix is something of a masterclass in haughty, downtown dance music, the style which has been appropriated and diluted for the masses ever since the early '90s. The 8 unmixed originals comprise a treasure trove of genuine gems, from the likes of DJ Duke's amazing 'Love Don't Come Easy (Power Dub)' to the commanding funk of Fierce Ruling Diva's 'Allemaal, Allemaal'. Recommended!
**Hand-numbered edition of 600 senf-coloured vinyls** "The next instalment in the Medical Records journey takes us to West Berlin. In 1979, armed with a Korg MS-10 synthesiser and a very simple rhythm box, Christof Glowalla began experimenting with a tape recorder and a few DIY sound generators. Influenced by outfits such as Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and Fad Gadget, Glowalla eventually put his creation to tape at the West Berlin "Musiclab" which was a small 8-track studio in the Kreuzberg district. What resulted in 1980 was the self-released now excruciatingly rare "Erde 80" 7 in… Read more
Meghan Remy has been gifting us with her outerzone pop songs for ages now, but 'GEM' is probably her biggest, most complete record to date, landing fittingly on the Fat Cat imprint. We had a tantalizing taster with jaunty lead single 'Jack' (itself a cover of a grimy glam rock track about Jack the Ripper) so it shouldn't be a shock that 'GEM' follows in its footsteps and fleshes out Remy's gruesome obsessions with glam, 50s pop music and saturated tape sounds. While there will be some out there who miss her truly out-there world music experiments, this new flirtation with glam rock works wonders for th… Read more
Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin Golden Donna is the solo soundworld of synth boss Joel Shanahan, and over the course of this debut self-titled LP he pits his tranced-out arpeggiated patterns against R&B ('Shifter'), cosmic house ('Paulding Light') and blissful ambience ('Infinite Earths'). Somehow the main reference we pick up is Prince (seriously...) as there's an inherent funk Shanahan's electronics that joins the dots between Tomita and Dam Funk, somehow. It sounds hard to imagine but just listen to 'Paulding Light' with its low-slung slap bass, dreamy chords, 'E2-E4' guitar and rolling drum machines and then tell us this kid doesn't have the funk. '
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** "Drummer extraordinaire" Tom Skinner (Mulatu Astatke, Matthew Herbert, The Owiny Sigoma Band) beats his Hello Skinny unit into shape on this eponymous debut album. Veering between avant-jazz skronk, psych-dub, electronica and creaking folk, it should come as little surprise that the project takes its name from a song by The Residents (included as a cover version) and "plays out as eclectic, cinematic and as retro-phuture funky as a library (music) of Soul Jazz compilations." Joined by the fiery sax of Shabaka Hutchings, and fine contribut… Read more
Previously unissued Mitchbal & Larry Williams-produced Chicago house cuts from 1987-88, backed with Frankie Knuckles remix. The original's perfectly posited on the cusp of '80s boogie soul and more industrial electronics - in other words, House music - and included in original vocal and instrumental mixes, while the big man, Frankie Knuckles amps the pressure with with steampressed, shoulder rocking snares and a darker, dubbed-up edit energy. Damn hot!
*Includes download code redeemable from the label* "The Babies’ second album Our House on the Hill is their Woodsist debut and the first with new bassist Brian Schleyer. While the band was originally conceived as a side-project outlet for Kevin Morby and Cassie Ramone—along with drummer Justin Sullivan—to trade song ideas and play house parties, the project grew into a full-time affair. In February 2012, the band swapped their usual environs of Brooklyn’s Rear House recording studio and spent two weeks in Los Angeles working with producer Rob Barbato (Darker My Love, The Fall, Cass M… Read more
*Deluxe 2Lp Of The Soundtrack/Film Which Has Taken The Uk By Storm This Year - 2x180GM pressings, plus a Movie Poster included inside* "The story remains one of the music world's most unusual tales of the 1970s: an obscure debut LP by a Detroit singer-songwriter becomes a source of hope and inspiration to the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Now, the story of Rodriguez and his cult album Cold Fact is the basis for Searching For Sugar Man, a riveting new documentary by filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul. Light In The Attic Records in partnership with Sony Leg… Read more
It seems inevitable that ex-Pocahaunted weirdo and co-founder of the Not Not Fun empire Amanda Brown (aka LA Vampires) would jump into bed with avant starlet Maria Minerva at some point. Their musical paths over the last few years have skated close to each other, and unsurprisingly 'The Integration' finds both artists eccentricities compliment eachother perfectly. The eroded dub that made Brown's electrifying collaboration with Zola Jesus so surprising is still just about there in the background somewhere, but it's slathered in the 2am neon charm that made an indie darl… Read more
*Limited vinyl edition - 500 copies only* *In February 2012, Tindersticks released their ninth studio album ‘The Something Rain’. On 23rd March 2012, shortly after the worldwide release of ‘The Something Rain’ and in the midst of a European tour, tindersticks took to a stage in San Sebastian and played the album live and in full in front of an audience. “It had been the perfect Friday afternoon. Well it had. We’d arrived in San Sebastian overnight by bus. The usual method for a touring band. The bus is very important. A happy bus is a happy band. A bad bus, … Read more
Not really certain what this album's all about but apparently it's an imagined channeling of top ten hits after the apocalypse. Which totally makes sense, right? Well Prince Rama are on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks imprint which I suppose starts to at least give a hint at the weirdness we should all expect, but 'Top Ten Hits of the End of the World' is really even more far gone than you're likely to expect. A weird mashup of ethno disco, cosmic pop and the kind of kooky world music you'd expect to come across on a Sublime Frequencies compilation, this ain't gonna be for everyone but the dedicated weirdos should find plenty of quirk to jerk to.
**Translucent green vinyl in gatefold jacket with sticker/download code redeemable from the label** Promising debut side from ruffneck New York punk-rap types, Ratking. In the vein of prime period Beastie Boys, and complementary to XL's recent forays into the nu hiphop field a la Tyler, The Creator, and to the left of Space Ghost Purrrp, 'Wiki 93' mixes hardcore raps with a psychedelic, neck-knocking production style, and almost sounding like Death Grips on the unhinged affray of 'Comic'. Ace.