Thursday, 08 March 2012
Scrolling back to 1975, Spectrum Spools present a reissue of Franco Falsini's debut solo outing; the soundtrack to an obscure and hardly seen film. Franco's probably best known for his innovative and ahead-of-its-time experimental guitar technique as leader of space/prog rock group Sensations' Fix. But according to Spectrum Spools' John Elliott and Peter Rehberg, 'Cold Nose' is his finest moment. Mirroring the intergalactic yen of Krautrock counterparts Cosmic Couriers or Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Göttsching, he melds synthesizers and guitar in beautiful, fluid synchronicity, painting widescree… Read more
Bass-heavy wiggle-Tech House from Goldffinch on their 2nd Saigon 12". Much like their drops for Numbers, Airflex and 877, 'EP#2' is stripped to the bare essentials and built to bump a crowd. A-side 'Tip The Dog' comes with a ruder, swinging attitude thanks to punchy woodblock pivots and pendulous subs peppered with choppy vox. 'Outer Twigs' on the flip is a simmering, up-bulding roller, a cool DJ tool for anyone working the cracks between Julio Bashmore, Deadboy, Joy O.
**Printed inner sleeve and 180g vinyl** Reissue of Pyrolator's earliest solo incision, made shortly after departing the early incarnation of D.A.F. 'Inland' was originally released in 1979 and updates the preceding decade's more overblown synth excursions with a more immediate, raw and scuzzy approach divining stranger and more surreal synth zones. The aesthetic is grey, urban and Industrial, shot through with a narcotic, machine-like psychedelia of ominous, paranoid quality with moments recalling say James Ferraro's 'Citrac' side or Demdike Stare's most recent diversions into decayed industrial atm… Read more
**Includes free copy of the album on CD** Copenhagen's premier pop trio present their eagerly anticipated follow-up to 'Knee Deep', their first album for Kompakt last year. 'Brighter' finds them refining their art to a knife-throwers intuition and accuracy, masking highly considered composition and arrangement with a slim-fitting and cocksure disco-punk cool. Ever since their 2005 debut on the widely revered Gomma imprint, Whomadewho have been picking up plaudits from diverse, and perhaps unexpected sources, counting QOTSA's Josh Homme as a big fan (he even covered 'Space For Rent' from their de… Read more
DFA's British attachés for spiky, stripped-down post-punk present a confidently stark second album. The followup to their eponymous 2007 LP apparently promises a slightly more optimistic outlook "In response to the warmth they'd experienced playing live to responsive crowds all across Europe, Robin Prinz (voice, guitar, drums) and Suzi Horn (voice, bass, drums) were determined "to bring some colour and some tenderness" to their second album. "If you're going to face up to really difficult underlying themes", says Prinz, "sometimes the best way to do that is to let a bit of optimism … Read more
**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** **Axe wielding heavy rock out featuring members of Supersilent and Elephant9** "Superb debut from "young veterans" of the Norwegian heavy and progressive scenes, fronted by singer, guitarist, writer and producer Ole Petter Andreassen. This is classic, heavy, guitar driven and melodic progressive rock in the region of Deep Purple, Rush, Opeth and Mastodon. The playing and production is top notch with a perfect mix of solid riffs, intricate instrumental passages and great hooks. The core of the band, apart … Read more
**Includes free download coupon redeemable from the label** "This is the companion to the Bonanza album, recorded during the same sessions in Athletic Sound. Here they cover some of their personal favourites, fully showing the diversity of artists that is so typical for the listening habits of young Norwegian musicians not subscribing to specific genres. Meaning you will find Black Sabbath and Pixies side by side with Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra. And with "Bushman Rock" they also cover themselves. This song was left off the "Jitterbug" album but they recorded a vastly improved v… Read more
First release from Beach Fossils in over a year! They're currently working on a full length follow-up to last year's 'What A Pleasure' EP, which should be a dreamy, jangly, uptempo affair if this one's owt to go by.
**Limited edition of 1000. Sold out at source** Ecstatic, motorik ace from Jesse Ruins, originally released (and sold out) on Double Denim last year, now reissued by Captured Tracks. If you ask us, both sides are winners. 'A Bookshelf Sinks Into The Sand' is an exhilarating piece of Indie-Techno-Grunge powered by the sort of jubilant synths F*ck Buttons do so well, coupled with the headstrong pop nous of, say, Cold Cave or Xiu Xiu. The flipside, 'In Icarus' is a sly take on '80s boogie pop, like a scuzzier, obfuscated version of Nite Jewel or Hype Williams.
Wednesday, 07 March 2012
Original score by Anthony Pateras for Eron Sheean's Errors Of The Human Being, a curious sci-fi movie shot at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany (it's the new Hollywood apparently) and starring, among others, Rik Mayall of Bottom fame! Bottom and Editions Mego: two worlds we never thought would collide. Melbourne-based Pateras, a regular collaborator with Robin Fox, soundtracked Sheean's previous too films, and it's fair to say that composer and filmmaker are both on the same elevated wavelength, the former demonstrating a… Read more
Monday, 05 March 2012
"Domino at long last reissue five crucial Palace albums, featuring new artwork and packaging, with text written by Will Oldham."
Full throttle Austrian Drum-Step overload. Frontside Body & Soul fire up a VIP Drumstep (essentially Dubstep at 180bpm) remix of their Virus classic 'Authority' with snares on the halfstep and bass to make your face ache. Flipside is a straight-up Dubstep rave remix of the formerly D&B speed 'Carnage' armed with precipitous drops and mauling sawtooth synthlines to make you feel like you spent the night with a sasquatch. Ugly as sin and kinda fun, in a depraved, toss-off-yer-dog sorta way.
Thursday, 01 March 2012
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** The latest oddball to be welcome into Joel Ford and Dan Lopatin's Software stable is Moscow-born, Brooklyn-based Slava Balsanov. Slava actually established his credentials in Chicago, where he co-founded the Moment Sound label, and released on Jamal Moss's Mathematics, Future Times, !K7, among others. For Soft Control, he's attempted to synthesize techno with "interloping, chrome-dipped footwork themes" - and he's done a damned good job of it, resulting in the most compelling thing that Software have released this side of Oneohtrix's Re… Read more
Dead smart dancefloor electronics from the UK underground. Glasgow's Dam Mantle command the frontside with a lush take on Chicago juke slowed to a UK-friendly 140bpm and with more emphasis on swirling, synthesized head-pressure systems. We'd struggle to name another cut from this scene which hits the vibe so squarely, fluidly, or instinctively. It's an A grade winner. Meanwhile downtown, London's Becoming Real slips into hypnotic Funky/Techno mode on a similar, lushed-out vibe, finding a sweet tension between piquant, hyperventilating R&B synths and samples and a motorised Techno drive that doesn't sound formulaic or hackneyed like so many in this scene.
Two of North America's finest go toe-to-toe on a pair of aqua-themed swingjackers. Their A-side ace 'Booyant' is the best thing on Tectonic since the Author album; a crooked, deftly creased and deadly dancefloor tool matching nEuropean Dub Tech modes with a Jukin' US club swerve to mighty effect. Flipside Distal goes dolo with 'Amphibian', applying his intricate swagger to a more minimal, holo-ed-out template reminding of recent aces from Fade To Mind crew's Nguzunguzu, Massacooraman, or Total Freedom. Tip dat!
DJ-Kicks have made a virtue of collecting at least one original track from each artist who contributes to their long-running and well-informed mix series. 'The Exclsuives' captures the best of these, taking in bespoke productions from Four Tet, Henrik Schwarz, Kode 9, MCDE, Holden, Hot Chip and more. Best among these are Four Tet's Krautrock-Techno number 'Pockets', Apparat's divine exaltation 'Sayulita', and Gold Panda's twinkling slow House groove 'An Iceberg Hurled Northward Through Clouds', but collected together they all make for a fine cross-section of pedigree con… Read more
**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** Diverse electronic Hip Hop instrumentals from Ghostly International's Mux Mool. His follow-up to 2010's 'Skulltaste' is more confident, crafty and funked-up, cycling between blunted, Dilla-esque head-nods on 'Brothers', to switch-flickin' Footwork soul on 'Live At 7-11', and Dabrye-like Electro-Hop bangs with 'Raw Gore'. Each cut is evidently constructed with an awareness and emphasis on nuance and subtlety, as with the loose-but-complex intricacies of 'The Butterfly Technique' and the tender arrangement of 'Ruin Everything', bu… Read more
Much-hyped Californian progressive HxC band lopp off a handy single from their fourth and debut LP 'Zoo'. The production is very polished for a band of this nature, but then again so are their songs. 'Hysteria' packs a real percussive punch and crunching guitars in ferocious fashion, while the B-side 'I'm A bug' is a short and neat cover of a song by The Urinals.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** What's this, Carlos Giffoni making acid-powered EBM ??? On Ford & Lopatin's label??? We'll have some of that. The No Fun head honcho and noise figurehead's ongoing exploration of analogue and digital synthesis has yielded some diverse results in recent years - from the punitive minimalism of his Severance set for Hospital Productions, to the deconstructed psych-techno of his No Fun Acid project. This new single for Software builds on the promise of the latter: 'Evidence' is a surprisingly affecting song, arranged out… Read more
'Ersatz II' is the 2nd LP collaboration between former Cluster and Harmonia component, Dieter Moebius and his sound artist/painter pal in the Forst/Weser Uplands collective, Karl Renziehausen. Originally released in 1992, two years post their first 'Ersatz' collaboration, it's defined by a surreal, pop-friendly charm, while still brimming with the creative quirks associated with Dieter's best work. There's a strong rhythmic backbone running through the album, almost dance-ably so, but the melodies and harmonies are, you might say, not so conventional, and laced with that queered, artsy… Read more
Fourth full-length outing from West Thordson's A Whisper In The Noise, and what a lush affair it is. It's vocal-heavy for the most part, led by Thordson's gentle, Sufjan-style croon, but the monumental title track, which opens the album, is an instrumental (save for some ethereal choral layers), reminding us of the unbridled emotional swell of Morricone, This Mortal Coil and Max Richter. Similarly epic orchestral arrangements recur throughout the album, but are more subordinate to song structure - this tension results in some absolute beauties, 'Black Shroud' among them. There are al… Read more
Hailing from Ronhert Park, California, just outside of San Francisco, Ceremony deliver a buff fourth album issued via Matador Records. Their first album for the label sees them working with producer John Goodmanson (Blood Brothers, Girls, Sleater-Kinney, Weezer) to optimise their ruffcut sound and accentuate their themes of suburban alienation and confinement with a rather posh, conservative sound. "The music of 'Zoo' explores punk and post-punk traditions: the rhythm section remains as tense and propulsive as ever, while guitarist Anthony Anzaldo moves with ease from ringing power chords to stealthy le… Read more
After numerous guest appearances singing for F*cked Up, The Constantines and Doug Paisley, amongst others, Toronto's Jennifer Castle takes centre stage on her solo debut 'Castlemagic'. "It's full of rambles, waltzes and ballads, wandering with equal parts feedback and quiet, through dark melodies; wistful, and straight out of a hzed dream or some offbeat 70s AM station. The songs have a kind of familiarity, as if they were always there. Castle is backed by an assortment of musicians - pedal steel, percussion, vibraphone. She handles guitar and piano herself, but it's her voice which is ultimately the guide."
*Includes a copy of the CD free inside* **Includes bonus CD copy** "Recorded over a six-week period at the farmhouse studio of Andrew Halford - guitarist with Trophy Wife's live band - it [Point Of Go] takes the band's summery, afro-beat flourishes and delicately intricate guitars and strips them back to a set of immediate, direct pop songs. From 'History of Headaches' - a low-slung slow-builder with a celebratory pay off for which Hugo's solo project Chad Valley - whose two EPs to date garnered widespread critical acclaim and radio support - provided the blueprint, to the guitar-led, nostalgic v… Read more
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "The Clearing is Bowerbirds' third album - a much bigger, bolder and broader record than its predecessors. Recorded with Brian Joseph (Bon Iver) in Wisconsin, from the first song onwards, this is a band willing to make a statement and develop all the finest moments heard on the previous two records."
"The band's tenth full length album is their first release of new material for Domino, who have previously reissued some of the band's classic period albums and Stephin Merritt's recent 'Obscurities' collection. After putting out three synthesizer-free albums, The Magnetic Fields are returning to their signature mix of synth and acoustic sounds they established in the 90s with releases such as 'The Charm Of The Highway Strip' and 'Get Lost'. Stephin Merritt has come back to synths with a fresh approach: "Most of the synthesizers on the record didn't exist when we wer… Read more
Toby Leeming aka The Third Man returns with his 3rd EP for ART, aiming for the dancefloor whilst retaining a melodic and harmonic sophistication.
Leeds-based duo Elkat & Moleskin make their debut bassbin incision with 'Hurt', backed by Optimum and Donga & Blake remixes. The first move 'Hurt' summons the sampled spirit of Aaliyah into a coolly reserved groove cut from crisp drums and rolling half-speed bass for the R&B steppers. Remixing on the flipside, Ikonika's pal Optimum isolates and runs with the more roadwise elements, resulting in what could be a smart UK Rap instrumental, while Donga & Blake's Ruff Dub takes it back to '96 for a fruitier House romp. Support from Hackman, WNCL, and LHF.
**Superb, subtly realised side of ghostly fifties/sixties hypno-pop with a real Lynchian charm. A must check for fans of Dirty Beaches or Tropic Of Cancer** "At Breath's End is the debut album from Die Jungen, a project that Klaus Von Barrel maintains alongside to The KVB. This is the soundtrack that David Lynch would have ordered from Phil Spector is Twin Peaks had been filmed by the beach and even the despondency could not be filmed without charm. It is therefore hypnotic retro pop, echoing the fifties and sixties, lo-fi vibrating mainly from the differences that we find between Dirty Be… Read more