Thursday, 05 February
**2 x 180g vinyl with a free copy of the album on CD inside** John Tejada adds a subtly effective layer of grit to his hypoallergenic tech-house sound in 'Signs Under Test'. Raising his tolerance for the infidelity and idiosyncracies of analog recording results heaps more space and atmosphere across all eleven tracks, lending his drums a sweet bite and loads of room for his modules to really spill and breathe. His melodic sensibilities and deftest drum programming/sequencing skills are in full effect, too. Whether rolling with AFXian lushness in opener 'Two 0 Two' or swinging with clipp… Read more
Deft rhythm trax from the Berghain resident behind MMM with Errorsmith. Simplicity is key: A-side, 'Step Aside' wraps supple synth muscle to bare-boned kick, clap and hi-hats with slippery effect, building to a mix of BC or Substance-styled techno and lean, cheeky EBM funk. B-side, 'Sloth Moth' rolls on the halfstep with spare snares and bass offset by double-time percolations and awning synth pads for the skilled DJs.
Much coveted Italian new wave from the darker side of 1981. Includes the ace proto-EBM/gothic charge of 'Lobotomy'.
Belgian slo-mo meester, Mugwump teams up with Mungolian Jetset and Ost & Kjex, backed with Andrew Weatherall and Mark E remixes.
Following a banner 2014, Seven Davis Jr. takes to Ninja Tune with 'Wild Hearts' - his first cut for 2015. The lead cut is possibly his most accomplished, yet not at the expense of his ruddy production grit and spark, juicing maximum soul from jazzy double-bass line, crunching drums and skanking guitar licks smushed with his own vocals, back and forth between deft verses and raw processed chorus. Likewise, 'Let Somebody Love You' starts out like sounding like some blown-out Arthur Russell cello riff, which turns out to be the main vocal refrain rubbed as a bassline below infectious garage-disco-house drums. Good times.
Thursday, 29 January
Sabla's debut set of buckled, technoid texturhythms are arguably the best yet from Turin, Italy's Gang Of Ducks label. Backed up by smart reworks from Ital and the G.O.D. bosses, the four original tracks feel out freeform, roiling rhythms and rusted timbres in transtion somewhere between Andy Stott's knackerd crack, the whirring mechanics of Lukid, and Phork's staggered drum patterns. In the best sense, each piece sounds like two tracks in a battle to resolve their rhythmic differences, from the ragged techno lurch of 'Di Lei' to the crushed, Bellows-style dub of 'Spirits' and the thrumming undertow o… Read more
Terrence Dixon's stellar series continues with a trio of deeply mystic Detroit techno reductions. Following similar coordinates to recent Mills missions, the A-side is a stunning piece of sound design swirling cosmic synth plumes around a 120bpm kick anchor preventing it from drifting into deep space. Flipside, the madness of outer space travel kicks in with a panicked, discordant pounder, before settling to an alternate, further version of 'Code Urgent' off the 'Theater Of A Confused Mind' album.
**180g vinyl edition with art print poster and digital download code - immersively collaged and enchanting sound journey across the American south** "Herein sits a sound panacea for what ails you, me, thee… a collection of sound meant to place tiume, place memory in that space beyond remembrance… This recording represents a 25 day sojourn (#southernsojourn2014) I took through parts of the/my american south by am, greydog, thumb, through pecan trees, farm fields, rivers running me, dark allies, cemeteries people no longer visit… curious places below the mason dix… Read more
Dutch turbo skank pressure from TMSV on Artikal Music UK. Three rotten riddims stepping out between the gabber bass pulses of 'Jackhammer' to dread halfstep and pinging congas with 'Guillotine', and the reek of dank dungeon spaces in 'Elegy'.
DJ Haus drops some dirty acid work on Clone's Jack For Daze sub-print. Raw-assed party funk in four versions, from stripped-down bangers to more freakish nuggets and bleepy bass styles.
Punchy, warehouse-eager banger from a cat named E. Myers on limited edition white label. Drums are tough as you like, tickled with raving whistles and eased off with lip-smacking, eye-fluttering chords for gurning air-synth action in the club. Dead strong stuff.
Lean, mean hybrids of UK rolige and European techno from Roska, Roska, Roska. Back for his 3rd outing on Tectonic, he reflects the label's current aesthetic with tightest, jabbing drums and dread bass for the darkside skank 'n shuffle. 'Hyperion' rolls with effortless momentum guided by zombied 4/4 bass pressure and frankly fxxking evil drones; 'Off' is distinctly UK-centric, synching the widest swing from fractured drums and offset sub swells for the dancers; 'Only Human' really gets our vote though, setting a pensile balance of crisp rimshots and slicing claps poised with noirish dub chamber vibes precipitating the nastiest bass shapes..
Strange mix of styles on this one, pairing The Soft's thrumming post rock-meets electronica piece, 'Icaria', with a gauzy, jagged dubstep-techno roller by Killawatt and some fudgy tech-house with sweetly soured melody blowing kisses at vintage AFX.
*Packaged in a gatefold sleeve with a digital download code* "Although little is known about H Hawkline at this stage, international record collector, occasional DJ partner and hirsute head Andy Votel divulges that he is “from a family lineage that comprises of 70s radio DJs and Welsh Horror movie stars.” He continues: “H Hawkline’s own place in the limelight often cascades and intertwines with the likes of his close friends Cate Le Bon [who produced this album], Sweet Baboo and Gruff Rhys. As an adept multi-intrumentalist main vein Huw Evans claws his influences from a broad out… Read more
*New, reworked version. Originally released 1997 on Captain Trip Records* "Cluster (Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius) are considered pioneers of electronic music and key Krautrock protagonists. In the late 1960s, together with Konrad Schnitzler as the trio Kluster, they changed the world of music for ever with their radical improvisations. Having split from Schnitzler, Moebius and Roedelius continued as Cluster, releasing eight further milestones of electronic and ambient music up until 1981, two of them with Brian Eno. In 1990 they returned to the fray with their "Apropos" album. The track… Read more
**Obscure country and western delights for the journey. Housed in tip on-style jacket** "Ten road-weary tales from the wrong side of outlaw country. Jeff Cowell may have huffed the same narcotic air as Townes Van Zandt and David Allan Coe, but hunkered far from the Nashville city limits, nary a Cash or Paycheck would drunkenly slur through his tunes. Recorded in 1975, Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold is an isolated, backwoods loner epic, top-loaded with odes to hitch-hiking and rambling the crumbling Michigan countryside of Cowell’s hard-drinking youth. Previously available only o… Read more
"When The Notwist returned with their 7th album 'Close To The Glass' (their debut for Sub Pop Records) in early 2014, many were enchanted by the epic instrumental 'Lineri'. It was the only instrumental track featured on the LP, but according to Notwist-singer Markus Acher, instrumental works have had an especially big impact on the album and its arrangements. Between 2008's ‘The Devil, You & Me’ and this year’s 'Close To The Glass', The Notwist not only concentrated on various solo projects, but also worked for several theatre productions and radioplays. 'The Messier Objects' is a compil… Read more
Houndstooth lop one off Second Storey's debut album, backed with new cut 'Layer Lock' and corresponding mixes by Cristian Vogel and Luke Vibert. With 'One Sound' Storey gives old skool wonky techno a boot to the behind with his flash production palette, whereas 'Layer Lock' dips to a more tetchy, skittish Breakbeat coda. Vibert splices 'One Sound' with stacks of junglist stabs, jazzy fake-outs and tussling drums; Vogel carves 'Layer Lock' into an advanced, polymetric techno sculpture.
Chicago comes rugged 'n raw with two mean acid jaxx by Midwestern techno veteran Oliver Dodd and yung buck, Grey People. Side A digs in hard with jabbing 303 and prickling hi-hats descending into proper jackers madness; B-side is slower, swaggering like some stray JTC jam.
**Marbled grey wax** R-A-G, Cliff Lothar, D'Marc Cantu and Paul Du Lac offer new perspectives on Aroy Dee's ''Sketches' album. Along with MarcoAntonio Spaventi and G-String as R-A-G, Mr Dee gives 'Pure' a sleek and subtly dramatic BASS mix beside Cantu's dreamy, psychedelic remix of 'Until The City Dies'. Better still, Paul Du Lac lifts the energy levels with a deep, slamming disco techno mix for 'City Of Others', contrasting with Cliff Lothar's smooth rolling take on the same stems.
Alex Coulton makes rude house moves on Tempa following his ace for Beneath's Mistry label and a contribution to Tempa's 'Allstars Vol.7'. The abyssal reverb and serpentine drums of 'Recall' pick up where his lean 'Bleep Sequence' for Beneath's label left us late last year, heading farther into the dread house murk with nasty, wide bass and strobing vocal spectres. if that groove is all about concentrated pressure, the scuffling brokebeats and natty bass dip of 'Wiretap' is all about spacious dynamics and airborne rolige.
Milan & New York-based Italians, Hunter/Game put a gritty, live hardware spin on Kompakt's usual, vacuum-sealed aesthetic with the smart Speicher 83. Submerged to tape, both sides spill rolling bass and well-timed percussive developments gilded with bleeps and subtle pads, with 'Hexagon' coaxing the elements to a canny triplet swing and 'Bermuda' sailing out to more ghostly late night/early morning zones. RIYL Border Community, Pye Corner Audio,
Reissue of a choice Italo from 1983, remastered and augmented with subtle 2015 updates by Expanded Music. 'Stranger in a Strange Land' is a bona fide Italo classic, riding some of the slinkiest rimshots and supple synths in disco land - a big favourite of DJ Benetti, among many others. Listen to your inner peacock…
Pulling up a long-lost, newly discovered slab of Scientist's hard dubs to Flick Wilson's 'Schooldays' album and a cut from Wayne Jarrett's 'What's Wrong' LP. Working under the wicked title, '…The Dub Album They Didn't Want You To Hear!', this is classic-era 1980 Scientist in full effect, tuff on the rhythm and ruthlessly sharp FX, especially with the quickstepping 'Schools Days Dub' and 'Don't Give Up Your Culture Dub'. Housed in great sleeve sporting a photograph of the man on the buttons. Big tip!
Truth coin the Deep, Dark & Dangerous label with four burly halfstep moves. A-side features the ruff fusion of Fis-like stagger and stoned bars by Ill Chill, plus the hard-stepping accent of 'Last Resort'. B-side, 'Love Someone' sprinkles a nasty halfstep template with piano keys and strings for the sweetboys and girls, and 'Istanbul' bites the horns from Tim Taylor's hardcore classic of the same name (the follow-up to 'The Horn Track'). Need to have a word about those facebook and twitter logos on the jacket, though.
Cracking techno-house jags from an Aussie producer and label - J. Albert on Cult Trip. 'Vertigo' is the one for us; a proper, haughty shunter holding percolated New York house flex and nasty PCP industrial vibes in a taut floorshow. The murked-out B-side, 'Contracto' is wicked too, blunting the edges of prurient Chi-house in line with the aesthetics of Delroy Edwards or Vancouver's vaunted Mood Hut gang.
**Die-cut jacket** Young Turks share five of their 2014 highlights on one plate. Includes the pop ohrwurms of SBTRKT's 'New Dorp. New York', and FKA Twigs' stounning 'Two Weeks', plus the concatenated shock of Quirke, a tender love note from Jamie xx, and Sampha's live lounge-ready 'Too Much'.
Thursday, 22 January
*140g LP in spined sleeve with download code card* Ok, this is more like it - a crackshot slab from the crackpot producer putting his computer controlled acoustic orchestra thru its paces. As promised or alluded to in various interviews around last year's 'Syro' LP, he's done a proper Pierre (Bastien, Henry, Schaeffer) and manufactured a whole mechanical band of things that hit other things - mainly pianos, drums and gongs - to make a very pleasing sound indeed. It's the sound of an artist exerting optimal control over his instruments but allowing for, or … Read more