Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Maga Bo sends for Dub and Latinized remix reinforcement from Frikstailers, Stereotyp, Poirier, Batida and more on 'Quilombo Do Futuro'. Highlights have to be Stereotyp's taut Dubstep-to-Soca remix of 'Piloto De Fuga', Sabo's sweltering Samba-House remix of 'É da Nossa Cor', a tense Dancehall rework of 'Maga Tranz A Lenha' from Digitaldubs, and definitely Poirier's hypnotically minimal, tucked-in and uptempo remix of 'Eu Vim De Longe'.
Monday, 18 June 2012
Van Dyke Parks' visionary 1968 debut, Song Cycle, rose phoenix-like from the ashes of his fabled Smile collaboration with Brian Wilson. Parks' breathtaking high-wire act fused the pop genius of Phil Spector, Stephen Sondheim's Broadway vertigo and the orchestral flare of American composer Charles Ives and made it wholly his own. By 1972, Discover America had turned its kaleidoscopic gaze to the 1940's martini-and-rhumba world of Hemingway's Caribbean sojourn, further validating Parks' idiosyncratic genius. Plus, I read somewhere that this is Jim O'Rourke's all time favourite album.
One thing about legendary eccentric Van Dyke Parks is that his catalogue has, for a long time, been so difficult to obtain. Well it looks like Bella Union are looking to change things up in that respect, and have managed to secure the rights to a couple of his finest albums. 'Discover America' was Parks' sophomore record and arrived in 1972, coming after the ill fated (but critically revered) 'Song Cycle'. Far from wishing to repeat himself, the psychedelic folk moves explored on his debut are totally wiped out on 'Discover America', replaced by (really) a new found love of calypso mu… Read more
The follow-up to legendary American eccentric Van Dyke Parks' 'Discover America', 'Clang of the Yankee Reaper' further delves into his obsession with Caribbean calypso music. Again, the selection of songs (save for a couple), are re-imaginings of public domain calypso classics, but here Parks panders slightly more to contemporary pop 'sounds' than he did on the record's predecessor. Occasionally the sound is closer to Steely Dan and the blue eyed soul of the day than it is anything Parks put his name to prior, but while this is odd it's definitely not jarring, and the enduri… Read more
Friday, 15 June 2012
Thursday, 14 June 2012
**Limited edition heavyweight coloured vinyl - Includes digital download voucher redeemable form the label** We hardly need to tell you how much we fell for Peaking Lights' debut album '936', so there's a fair bit of excitement buzzing around the band's follow-up, not least as it sees them move from indie dance petri dish Not Not Fun to the Domino-affiliated Weird World imprint. Thankfully the kooky duo's lo-fidelity charm is left intact, and while there's a polish to 'Lucifer' that certainly wasn't present on its predecessor; their signature CRT flicker still makes each song fizz an… Read more
*Limited Edition* The stringently all-analogue Metamono trio launch their Instrumentarium imprint with an abstracted, juking follow-up to their Ho Hum 10". A-side's 'Mattressphere' is a sort of hardware simulation of Can doing AquaTech with Stingray and Felix Kubin, fast as f*ck and bloopy with it, for over eleven minutes of tweaking, workin' quirks and urgent bass. B-side 'JabJab' adopts a more pendulous groove, carving loopy ring modulation and stray noises into some kinda Conrad Schnitzler-meets-Border Community groove, leaving 'Glue Shoes' to tickle their devices into a woozy, pastoral melody. Canny - and limited to boot.
'Produkte Der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft' is the milestone debut album from the complete early DAF lineup of Gabi Delgado-López, Robert Görl, Kurt Dahlke, Michael Kemner and Wolfgang Spelmens. 33 years since it was first released, former band member, Kurt 'Pyrolator' Dahlke presents this reissue on Bureau B, replete with all 22 spiky post-punk-tures. It's easy to hear the roots of their later - and better known - work in its jabbing rhythms and often noisy dissonance, but this is also a far stranger beast than anything else they're known for and should be taken as the primordial soup from which the industrial men-maschines, Görl and Delgado-López were born.
Samrai & Platt wade in with a deadly 2nd Swing Ting 12", blessed by the indomitable Manchester singjay, Fox and backed with a Chimpo murder. Like a perfect distillation of their eponymous monthly dance (Manchester's best, if you ask us), 'Head Gone' rules the 'floor with a poised blend of soundsystem mimetics; fusing Dhol-like percussion, stepping Bassline wamp and deep-fried bleeps with a basement dread atmosphere reeking of Guinness export and ganja (or is that just us?). Fox's characteristically swaggered, chant to fast-chat delivery is gravy on the dumpling. Pull up everytime! Another promi… Read more
UK funky mainstay Doc Daneeka is back with maybe his finest cut to date here as he hijacks some Bernard Herrmann style horror sounds on 'Murdah Strings'. With the kind of conga-led percussive flourishes Daneeka drops you'd think you were back in funky's glory days, but there's something more sinister under the hood. Maybe it's the almost oppressive bass, but my money's on those shrill strings - it makes what might have been a regular dancefloor shaker into something more long-lasting and far more destructive. Nice to see classic funky crew Funkystepz pop up for a remix too - by adding a… Read more
**Purple Marbled Vinyl** Keenly-focussed Autonomic D&B styles from the Russian duo, Alexander Dmetriev and Vershinin Alexander. Frontside 'Fourth Dimension' steps into wide-angle holo-space, skanking on burrowed subs and Monolake-like Technoid FX. Using the same palette and spatial setting, 'Apocalypse' tucks into a tighter, more progressive formation and 'Vortex Field' shaves away any excess for a stringent exercise in minimised tech-step torque.
After debuting on the talent crucible, Transparent Records, Purity Ring step to the indie masses with this peach on 4AD. Trapped-out 808 trills and gleaming synths lay the groundwork for a pop-cute vocal somewhere in between Yukimi Nagano and Au Revoir Simone. We can imagine this going down a treat with any clued-up indie discos. Handy instrumental and a capella on the flip. Tasty debossed jacket too.
**Includes CD version of the album inside** OK so discount the name for one second, we know how it sounds – but think about it, would you be as surprised if it appeared on Not Not Fun? Exactly, and Taragana Pyjarama comes as an eccentric and welcome addition to the Kompakt roster with his lo-fidelity blend of Maria Minerva’s Balkan pop and Emeralds’ fuzzy synthetics. That might not sound like the easiest mix in the world, and it probably wasn’t, but Dane Nick Eriksen has nailed it, bringing in the loose house tropes pioneered by Caribou in recent years to tie everything together. Chunky, unexpected and rather good.
It's hard to believe that 'The End of Music' is only the second album from Swedish dream poppers De La Mancha. I guess it makes sense, given that part of the band's core duo is none other than Dag Rosenqvist, who's been quite busy under his Jasper TX guise for the last few years. Along with childhood friend Jerker Lund, however, he is responsible for some of the most gorgeous ambient pop music this side of Iceland, and 'The End of Music' is the band's finest document to date. Emerging from the esteemed Karaoke Kalk imprint, this showcases the band's ability to compose mini-symphonies i… Read more
**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** Those of you expecting more bombast on the level of Lemonade's self titled debut might be surprised to hear that the band have managed a complete about turn in the four years that have passed in-between. 'Diver' is a reflective, self-effacing, horizontal collection of electronic ballads; soft rock songs re-worked with drum machines and DX series synthesizers. This is no bad thing either, the band have a woozy charm to their compositions and productions that give them an edge over their mustachioed contemporaries. 'Diver' is deep MTV pop, wi… Read more
Lawrence and Gluteus Maximus (President Bongo of Gus Gus and Jack Schidt) turn Superpitcher's 'Moon Fever' into elegant and darkly dramatic House versions. Dial Records boss and German House stalwart Lawrence rolls out a svelte and engrossing mix flush with symphonic builds and effortless rhythms, plus a glacial, piano and synth-lead ambient mix. The Gluteus Maximus mix is in it for the long haul - the sort of epic European dancefloor mood-changer you play from start to finish and lose yourself in between.
**Original, previously unreleased Bristol reggae with hints of jazz from 1980** "An influential figure on the Bristol reggae scene since the 1970s, Bunny Marrett has been shamefully neglected on record with just two tracks on the A side of a 1981 Shoc Wave 12" his sole output, although his compositions have fared somewhat better having been recorded and released by both Black Roots and Delroy Ogilvie. Bristol Archive Record's June 18th release of Bunny's 1986 recorded album "I'm Free," should go some way to making up for that oversight. As a bonus, Bunny is accompanied by legendary Bristol ban… Read more
"The early music of Silver Jews is back in print for the first time in a long while. 'Early Times' presents all the songs from the original 7" EP 'Dime Map Of The Reef' and the 12" EP 'The Arizona Record', newly remastered. Just a few guys in a room - baby versions of the David Berman, Stephen Malkmus and Bobby Nastanovich that we know today."
After a clutch of Industrial-House winners for Rush Hour, B.D.I. presents Compassion Crew for Offenbach's Running Back set. On 'Paper Tears' he rustles up a Boogie-spiked "Vatican House" groove layering hypnotic chants and lush chords on a simmering, Loft-ready bassline. B-side's 'Same Victory, Same Mistakes' rubs staggered kicks and crispy 707 percussion on a proper Ron Hardy-styled wavey track-jam, bam bam, and there's a 'Tribal Tears Dub' for kinky dark rooms.
"Eaux is the new project of former Sian Alice Group members Sian Ahern, Stephen Warrington and Ben Crook. Whilst still centering around the soaring vocals of Ahern, the group delves deeper into the darker electronic elements of their previous outfit with the inclusion of drum pads and samplers, pulsating percussive sequencers and layers of synths, intensifying the sound with hypnotic guitar arpeggios and bass loops. Structuring their songs to work with the constraints of a live sound, the trio switch between instruments, sounds and rhythmic patterns. From within this musical framework, Sian… Read more
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "For 'Altered Creature', Fostercare combines elements of techno, trance, rave and their many sub-genres. With heavy visual influences from the hyperrealist world of advertising, pornography, violence, virtual environments, post humanism and fetish societie, Fostercare has shaped a strange world behind his strain of electronic music. Driven by arpeggiated sequences, breakbeats and apocalyptic sentiments, Fostercare is music for the simulacrum - a peeling away of future underworlds, neon pulses, alternate screens, genetic maps… Read more
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Individual talent Bflecha aka Belén Vidal yields a colourful and intricate mix of Pop, R&B and Neo-Wavey Dance music for the intriguing Arkestra imprint. It's fair to say we've not heard much like the title track; a cute fusion of brittle 808 drums and calligraphic rave synths which promptly turns into a summer-ready Piano House ace replete with "ooooh yeah" diva vocals and back again, kinda like the fevered sonic vision of a holiday rep sozzled on spiked sangria. 'Rajas Salvajes' is more pop, like a Spanish take on Charlie XCX, and her 'Salacot' sweetener offers pixie-stepping melodies with half… Read more
"The new Guided By Voices album is the best thing the band has recorded since the last album by the legendary Dayton, Ohio rockers. That's not meant facetiously: the last thing Guided By Voices recorded was the rapturously received Let's Go Eat The Factory, and Class Clown Spots A UFO ups the ante raised by that stellar effort, both in terms of recording fidelity (boring!) and songcraft (not boring!) One could argue there's more depth and variety here than on Alien Lanes, that there are better songs here than on Bee Thousand, but that's an argument no one's ever going to win,… Read more
"With an intoxicating energy, Vancouver-based, Chains of Love's sun-soaked romantic pop is injected with the stomp of vintage 60s soul, the wild abandon of 70s garage, and the guitar grime of The Cramps and early JAMC. The group formed when guitarist, Felix Fung, the engineer and owner of Vancouver’s Little Red Sound, hatched a plan to start a girl group with Nathalia Pizzaro. Things took shape quickly and with the harmonic help of Rebecca Marie Law Gray, the band knew they had something very special at hand. Chains of Love's début record, Strange Grey Days is their first body of w… Read more
"Just when you thought Giant Sand couldn't get any bigger, Howe Gelb has done just that by regrouping, expanding and magnifying his vision with the newest version of past ensembles, calling it (appropriately enough) GIANT GIANT SAND. As a sort of homage, he's named the album Tucson after the town he's called home for forty years. This self-described country rock opera by one of music's leading risk-takers, is set to be released on June 11th on Fire Records. In GIANT GIANT SAND you will recognise six members, all hailing from Denmark, who have been a part of past incarnations of Giant Sand. … Read more
Monday, 11 June 2012
Bona fide legend of rock, pop and soul music presents his first album of original material since 1994. Produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, and starring guest appearances from Lana Del Rey, Gil Scott-Heron and Fatoumata Diwara, 'The Bravest Man In The Universe' does very much the same for Bobby as 'I'm New Here' did for Gil, placing an esteemed voice of experience against a refreshed and relatively unusual musical backdrop. Highlight are no doubt his 'Dayglo Refelction' duet with Lana Del Rey, the Gospel-inspired Garage-Soul ace 'Love Is Gonna Lift You Up' and the bold Industrial Techno (honestly!) movement 'Jubilee (Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around)'.
Saturday, 09 June 2012
Bureau B bring together two of the German avant-garde's most august figures, nearly 35 years since their Lilienthal group work with Conny Plank. In 2011 Cluster and Harmonia's Dieter Moebius - a man not shy of a collaboration or two having worked with Eno, Mani Neumaier and Mayo Thompson in his time - reprised his recording relationship with abstract explorer and musique concrète specialist Asmus Tietchens to produce the simply titled 'Moebius & Tietchens' session. Evidently both artists haven't lost their passion for venturing into the electronic unknown, veering deep into a world of alien sonorities and strange, awkward industrial rhythm sculptures.
Thursday, 07 June 2012
A brace of slippery house steppers from Eliphino, with an A-side, 'Vrybdy', that aspires to the immaculately swung, precision-engineered flex of the Hessle Audio crew. It's actually a worthy contender, building the tension nicely across its five minutes, only to drop into into an almost big-room techno attack in its closing section. DJs make sure you check this one. 'Don't Make Sense' is less minimal and more fun, with wild ragga vocal samples and choppy, ghetto-inflected drum patterns a la Night Slugs. Well-produced and well worth a look.
Warp's electronic pop hopefuls The Hundred In The Hands return with their second album, recorded in their own New York studio in and it's a spirited outing, confidently written and produced, and full of unlikely juxtapositions. Opener 'Empty Stations' is an especially bravura effort, a towering wall of sound built of Broadcast-like vocals, galloping drums, orchestral flourishes and grottily distorted bass. Other songs like 'Recognise' and title track 'Red Night' are more spaced-out, delicate and self-consciously experimental, often with excellent results, but the anthemic 'Keep It … Read more
*Includes a CD copy of the album free inside* Delightful new album from Jimmy Tamborello aka Dntel, starring cameo assists from no less than Nite Jewel, Popol Vuh, Baths and Geotic. A typically lovely affair ranging from Shangaan Electro-like/lite electronica to sumptuous dream-pop and emotional, instrumental IDM ballads. "An inexhaustible love affair. The magical, unforgettable melodies and strange outlandish sounds of his music generate an intimate, unique world. Pop & electronica eye each with mutual curiosity."