Monday, 12 May 2008
Back in stock! Two of the UK underground's central figures return under the guise of Astral Social Club for this new LP on Textile: Neil Campbell, a veteran of Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof! and other such projects hooks up with ex-Hood member John Clyde Evans (aka Tirath Singh Nirmala) for a glorious meeting of spiritual psychedelia and incisive electronic precision. There are times when you'll think you're listening to a turn of the century Mego recording - perhaps a General Magic album - especially when trawling through the uncompromising digital skipping of 'All T… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Thursday, 08 May 2008
Dark and dutty instrumental grime/dubstep joints from youthling producer Grimejah. 'Alarm' sets the tone with a dank skank through twisted halfstep, while 'black cat' on the flip repeats the formula with similar results.
Heavy meckling dubstep on Aphex recordings from bright spark Soi. 'Brokah' displays Soi's well honed production skills with a hard stepping wobblers cut taking place around bone hard snares and snarling mid rangey subs, while 'Umpuajir' comes from the Distance school of dubstep with a gnarly metal riff hacked over some killer beat patterns and a very strange breakdown warranting some closer attention. Check!
This Swedish duo get freaky with a hybrid of tribal folkisms, spiritually slanted pop music and manic drumming, following the kind of blueprint set out by all the various 'wacky' groups that came out following all the odd American folk fusions that did the rounds after Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom started making it big. Heartcore sounds like a joycore Mi & Lau, or a Scandinavian Paw Tracks tribute band most of the time, dipping into a miscellany of instruments and a slightly contrived, exaggerated singing style. Despite that sort of talk, this duo are actually a pretty likable pai… Read more
Thursday, 01 May 2008
Original 2-step souljah Qualifide returns to his ruff and tuff series for a selection of remixes from MJ Cole, El-B, and MQ. MJ Cole's effort is a typically sprightly affair, working some bubbling 2-step percussion and funky old school flavours with cool results. MQ drops a 4/4 tuff jam styled rerub on his dub mix, but the best is saved for the El-B joint with a swooping bass grinder that twists up the rhythm in fine style for a rude floor player. Qualifide's own dub version sits comfortably with the new skuul funky scene but sticks with the old school garage vibes with an authentic bubbling flavour. Rinse it!
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Formed by multi-instrumentalists Rupert Clervaux and Ben Crook with singer Sian Ahern, the Sian Alice Group have since gone on to incorporate musicians like John Coxon (of Spiritualized and Spring Heel Jack) and Gang Gang Dance's Brian DeGraw. Pinning down the band's sound is elusive to say the least: while on opener 'As The Morning Light' there's a airy, pastoral folk feel, 'Way Down To Heaven' takes on a gritty, stop-start blues riff as its central device, sounding like something from the darker recesses of Nick Cave or PJ Harvey's catalogues. Next there's an early interlude in the shape of..… Read more
Monday, 28 April 2008
Ace Irish house label D1 makes a welcome return with some wild discofied house variations from Educution. 'Screaming swans' sets the tone with a jaunty house chugger sculpted from mad pitched samples and some general good times vibes, while 'locked swans' pitches up to DJ Rush styled shuffle jack madness with a 140bpm killer that has just put a big smile on my face. The B-side doesn't let the party down with two more ting chuggers modelled on Shake style disco edits and woozy house blurs for late night escapades, and even another edit of 'Locked swans' to get your loop on to. Party whut!
Frothy euro-disco from Art Bleek for Dexter's Klakson label. 'Exposed' is cut for the A-side with a blue and slightly smut-soundtracky disco vibe, ideal for cutting some rug while keeping your cocktail steady while the B-side slows down a little with two more faux-opulent yet loving tributes to sexy Euro-disco with gliding synthlines, sax snippets and that all important upper class style.
Back in stock. During the mid-nineties, David Kempston (aka Clatterbox) secured himself a considerable following while recording releases for the seminal UK label Clear. In years to come his debut double 10" mini-LP would become a collectors piece - widely regarded as some of his best material. David went on to produce music in a diversity of styles, under various guises including the solid house sounds of Cartel Productions (Ideal/Reel Discs), the malignant breaks of Darkmode (En:vision Recordings) and a collaboration album project with Metamatics (Lee Norris) on Neo Ouija. Things have chang… Read more
Back in stock. With a track this big the obligatory remix package was totally unavoidable, but thankfully Tempa have managed to draw in some top guns to tackle the material with sick results. Zinc steps to the plate first, roughing it up badman styles, attatching a brutal undercarriage of rolling D'n'b breaks to a sped up riff to devastating effect, rewinds all the way. Really grabbing our goat on the flip is the awesome Digital Soundboy remix from the freshly minted collaboration between Breakage and Shy FX. With credentials like this it really couldn't fail, altho… Read more
Friday, 25 April 2008
Back in stock. B12 continue their return to the fray with the class '32 lineup' pressed with a extra special vinyl cut for all you fiends. The British techno legends pull no punches here, returning to the sublime post-acid techno electronics that made their name back on Warp well over a decade ago. Title track '32 lineup' is classic B12, serving the dual dancefloor functions of tough rhythms for the feet and sounds for the head, creating lush atmospheres for the more discerning raver to fall right into. 'Ashamed of me' on the flip harks right back to the Artificial intelligence days with a complex mesh … Read more
Thursday, 24 April 2008
"It was always going to be tough following up a record like "Remains." For me the Religious Knives trio of Double Leopards' Maya Miller and Mike Bernstein and Mouthus stick-man Nate Nelson were at the top of their game with that disc, bringing to mind the finest elements of early Popol Vuh and blending that with a roominess, a sense of outsider bliss which was impossible for me not to fall in love with. It was the sound I'd always wanted from Double Leopards welded seamlessly with the kind of percussion that wouldn't be out of place on a Sublime Frequencies collection, and in that the… Read more
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Another great instalment in Sonic Youth's SYR series, this one features two engrossing, lengthy pieces : 'J'Accuse Ted Hughes' and 'Agnes B Musique'. The former was recorded at All Tomorrow's Parties 2001, when the band were premiering material from their NYC Ghosts & Flowers album, and takes the form of a ragged twenty-two minute noise jam featuring free association lyrics by Kim Gordon ("I sent my poem to Good Housekeeping. They paid me ten dollars" she imparts). Meanwhile, the more composed, studio based experiments of 'Agnes B Musique' were originally intended as a … Read more
Monday, 21 April 2008
Review to follow shortly…
Jazkamer are still messing about with guitar noise then (and they still seem to be reluctant to replace the 'z' and 'm' that went missing from their name a couple of years ago). Covering up the gritty circuitry of their past, Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre call upon fellow Nordic string bender Anders Hana - a member of Moha! and Noxagt - who helps tangle up wave after wave of feedback, all recorded live last year. The flipside, by Mark Durgan of Putrefier is a very different kind of noise piece, taking more of an uncoloured approach to environmental recordings not too far away from Chris Watson's work, all rendered cleanly like some vivid forest-scape. Excellent.
**INCLUDES TWO BONUS TRACKS EXCLUSIVE TO THE VINYL** Now all dust from the recent explosion of solo guitar albums has settled somewhat, the Numero Group barge their way into this most saturated of markets with their customarily keen eye for unearthing largely unknown talents. The liner notes go through the motions of presenting a potted history of the form, inevitably paying tribute to John Fahey and the Takoma school, but this is only contextual information, provided to gently introduce newcomers to the format. According to Rob Sevier's introduction, that's the sort o… Read more
Thursday, 17 April 2008
A varied bag of dubsteppers tricks on Subtrakt records. Monsta, Janner and Defekta all contribute middleweight halfstep rollers with flashes of breaks and lashings of bass, while Rogue State save the best for last with a niche styled 4/4 stepper that has potential to drive dances wild.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Back in stock. *Doublepack edition featuring the Exclusives from the CD, with previously unreleased tracks from Boxcutter, Venetian Snares, Syntheme, Benga, Luke Vibert, Mu-Ziq, Shitmat and The Gasman* Proper heavyweight business from Planet Mu celebrating their 200th release, and while the cd edition brings together loads of the label's releases over the last year or so onto cd for the first time, this super-weighty doublepack features all the exclusives across four sides of hefty vinyl. Here's the tracklisting in full :
a1] Venetian Snares - Devil's Totem
[a2]-The Gasman - Equin… Read more
Back in stock. Luke Vibert takes his highly successful Kerrier District formula and delivers a rework of the ace Black Devil 'Timing, Forget The Timing' cut, killer pop music with a twist and a dash of acid in the groove, Luke sets the arpeggiators running, cuts the vocals up and re-edits the track superbly, keeping it analogue with ace synths and tight with class disco drums. Also included is the huge synth fest of 'Follow Me' (instrumental), a more 70's style track with cheesed up arpeggiator lines and large string synths, which is backed up by… Read more
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Wildstyle dubstep ravers from newbie Orien on Dub Police. This young'un has previously only appeared on a handful of releases, namely last years 'A distant place' for Art recordings and an inclusion on the Tempa Allstars vol. 4 pack, but has now been taken under Dub Police's wing for a heavyweight package of excellent dubstep rave bangers closely aligned to the DP sound and that of Caspa and Rusko. Album opener 'look at my eyes' previously appeared on their FabricLive mix CD, slotting in nicely with a sample laden and mid range heavy rave assault that's currently all the rage. 'Chasing a never e… Read more
Wednesday, 09 April 2008
Fresh electro techno goods outta the scarily on-it city of Glasgow. Loweck have only been making tracks together since the beginning of last year, but have struck upon a fruitful seam of electro influenced techno with their first 12" for the newly coined Bullet:Dodge imprint, favouring a electro synthline style fancied by Percy X or Marco Bernardi with fine results. Simon Muir's 'Electro Voodoo' remix on the flipside subdues the original into a dub chords driven tech house joint, while Gene Hunt beefs it up and pushes forward the electro element into a pumping techno standard.
Thursday, 03 April 2008
There seems to be a bit of a theme with this week's dubstep releases all thankfully abandoning the halfstep shackles that have suffocated the scene over the last 12-18 months, and Whistla has jumped on this shift adopting a rudeboy garage style on 'Heaven'. Drawing for the 2-step, Whistla crafts a very useful sub riding riddim with skittering hi-hat patterns and wild pitched diva snatches, adding a far sexier flow and motion to his sound than any of his previous outings. It's great to see the artist develop yet again on the flip with 'rollerball', a chopped and screwed breakstep killer with … Read more
Debut uk release from Woodpigeon with two tracks on this limited 7" single (500 copies only). This calgary collective create a wondrous folk sound that crackles with an organic electricity, real songs build up, and soar. Featuring the neighbourhood council helping them out on the b-side. For fans of akron family, sufjan stevens, and more....
Spring Tides is a band fronted by a Ghanian singer, offering up a brilliant representation of world music that takes in a myriad stylistic influences ranging from Tortoise doing funk through to a little Krautrock thrown in for good measure. There's no denying the oddness of these tracks, and the percussion really stands out above everything else, adding a confident backbone to the mix that's curiously addictive. Hot Chip turn in one of their typically jaunty remixes on the flipside, and in contrast to the rest of the EP it's something of a folky number that works a treat. Interesting stuff, and another curveball from the ever-inspiring Blank Tapes crew.
Wednesday, 02 April 2008
LA doom metal quintet Ancestors are a lot more prog than most of the sludge vendors who populate the genre. For a start this album is divided into two long pieces, each around the twenty minute mark, with its own discreet sub-sections (movements, if you will), at least one of which involves some operatic female vocals. That sounds like prog to me, anyway. The heaviness quotient remains high though, with plenty of low-end grit on 'Neptune With Fire' and a more vintage, blues rock influenced sound on 'Orcus Avarice', which based on my understanding of the title is about a greedy whale. There… Read more
Monday, 31 March 2008
**Red Speckled Vinyl** As pseudonyms go, Ass is probably not one of the best, although I'm sure a giggle or two will be raised in certain quarters. Quite contradictory to the schoolboy silliness exuded by that name, songwriter Andreas Soderstrom (get busy with the fizzy, etc) fashions some delightful acoustic soundscapes, crammed with winsome melodies and beautifully worked instrumentation. Fellow Scandinavian musician Blood Music is the perfect match, sounding less melancholy, and instead bringing vocals and brass-propelled melodicism to the table. You'd really never know this was a split 7"… Read more
Billed by Wrong Music as "Canadian funny men" Skeeter and Nwodtlem run Here's My Card Records, an imprint specialising in 3" business card-shaped CD releases. Upgrading to a format some four inches bigger, the duo drop a double shot of coffee-themed jungle jibber jabber, with Skeeter's 'Hey kids! Take Yr Meds!' rattling along at the sort of alarming pace that prompts the question: "is this really meant to be played at 45rpm?" On the flipside, Nwotdlem must have hit a post-caffeine crash, reducing the tempo to a distorted dubstep rumbler. In both cases these baristas of breakcore certainly put your ears through the (bean) grinder. Phew. Make mine an Ovaltine.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
**Finally available on vinyl** One of Detroit's lesser known imprints, Big Mack was set up in 1961 by Ed McCoy, who is billed by Numero as "the accidental Alan Lomax". The reason he's given that billing stems from Big Mack's unusual policy as a recording company. For a fee of $14.95 anyone could walk into the label's studio off the street and lay down a single-take, one-off track that they could pick up as a 45 acetate a few days later. Despite this rather haphazard, indiscriminate approach to A&R, there's no short supply of good stuff on offer on this disc. For exampl… Read more
"This slab of funky instrumental goodness from Lootpack's DJ Romes offers a healthy (if slow-cooked) follow-up menu to his first break record, 2001's 'Hamburger Hater Breaks'. It is also the second part in Stones Throw's new Rhythm Trax purely instrumental series, intended as a collection of versatile tools that go a step or two beyond the standard hip hop breaks wax. Romes delivers more of dat funk shizzle he's best known for, showing expanding horizons as a producer of definitive west coast street beeps."