Thursday, 03 November 2011
Hi-strength steppers from Matt-U for Kryptic Minds' Osiris camp. No mistaking, there's a strong trace of Shackleton-style dread vibes and syncopated drumwork on 'Empty Inside' which might qualify this as one of Matt-U's best joints to date. Flipside 'Unforgiven' is more on that knife-edge Icicle vibe, with crisply accented percussion, sweeping subs and acres of warehouse space.
**Dynamite Mambo/Blues hybrid from 1958, backed with a funked-up 1972 remake for the adult cartoon 'Fritz The Cat' featuring Bernard Purdie on the drummers' stool. Aces!** "The amalgamation of latin music into the domestic jazz scene in '40s and '50s USA has been well documented. For some jazzers a touch of latin was simply a tool to add some spice to yet another blues standard, while for others the excitement and energy they discovered in latin music became a deep-seated passion that was to last a lifetime. For Cal Tjader, a vibraphonist of Swedish-American heritage based in California, the latt… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** K-X-P make Finnish Kraut rock, and if you're thinking 'oh that sounds strange' then you're probably right. 'Easy' is the band's latest single and sounds something like Neu! if they were sent to Scandinavia. It's the fractured comic qualities that really set K-X-P apart from plenty of others attempting the Kraut sound. While Krautrock in the 70s tended to have an absurdity to it, these Finnish lads play up the absurd as a matter of course, and that makes the resulting clanging all the more effective.
Monday, 31 October 2011
If it’s coming from the Wierd Records camp then you pretty much know what to expect; cold, sparkling electro pop. And you wouldn’t be wrong in the case of Brooklyn duo Xeno & Oaklander, who give a shimmering update to John Foxx’s ‘Metamatic’ era productions on ‘Sets & Lights’, a single culled from their forthcoming album of the same name. Fans of the current Brooklyn crop of electroid variations should know what to expect, but Xeno & Oaklander offer a rare quality and an authenticity rarely heard in the genre. You can hear the hiss and whirr of the analogue technology coursing through the tracks, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Bristol's purple prince drops his long, long-awaited debut album on 4AD. From the off, his aim is to put his trademark orgiastic synths and low-slung G-funk drums in the service of pure pop, aided and abetted vocals from the likes of Jessie Ware, Jay Wilcox and Silas. There's a welcome outing for past single and party wobbler par excellence 'Tron', but for the most part this is all-new material. Swaggering instrumentals like 'Milky Way' and 'My Trance Girl' hark back to the road-crushing heyday of 'Gully Brook Lane', while 'Back In The Days' and 'Lost' plot an even path through grime and spangly US … Read more
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Serving as a taster for Peter Broderick's forthcoming 'Music for Confluence' LP, 'Old Time' acts as a delicate and gorgeous look at one of our favourite purveyors of home-spun pop music. Haunting and beautiful, it shows exactly why we fell in love with Peter's music in the first place, and should have fans of the fantastic 'Home' LP quivering with joy. While billed as a 'double A side', there's an exclusive track on here which actually is what the rest of the world would call a B side. 'Solace in Gala' is a gliding, elegiac instrumental that shows the flipside to Peter's sound and does so with grace and restraint. Lovely stuff as ever, bring on the LP!
*Limited edition, heavyweight vinyl* Right, this is a bit good - Autre Ne Veut singing for Seahawks - yes please! 'Don's Rainbow' is the first salted Boogie smack to be air-lifted from the new Seahawks album 'Invisible Sunrise' and pairs captain Jon Tye with a full band backing for the first time. The result sounds something like a long lost Arthur Russell dub, had he aimed for the billboard top 100 circa 1986, in an alternate underwater universe. I'll be honest, the older Seahawks stuff didn't do much for us, but the scuffed Linn drums, rusted synths and coruscating dub FX here … Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Here's a collaboration that should prick everyone's ears up; Cluster maestro Hans-Joachim Roedelius and To Rococo Rot's Stefan Schneider. 'Stunden' is billed as a meeting of Kraut rock old and new, and I can hardly dispute that. While I've never really thought of To Rococo Rot as Kraut rock (they rock very quietly, after all) it makes sense - and this meeting of old and new is at the heart of 'Stunden'. Unsurprisingly Roedelius is on piano here, and his signature absorbing twinkles are fleshed out and underpinned by Schneider, … Read more
Impressive eponymous debut from this East London duo, including the outstanding lead track 'We Never Sleep' - already a staple of the XFM playlist. Blue On Blue - or Dee Sada and Billy Steiger to their mums - have hatched a very neat fusion of Coldwave and Shoegaze memes with their first record, honing a pop-focused yet subtly esoteric sound. The highlight is undoubtedly 'We Never Sleep', eking a gap between James T Cotton's more munted jacks and the sexiest, darkest IDIB styles with an intricacy and style. Elsewhere they touch on opiated, bedsit-shimmer Shoegaze with 'I Feel Warm' and '… Read more
What is it with Swedes and folk rock eh? For some reason they've always done it so well, and The Amazing are the latest band to attempt the style and get it bob on. With the kind of alluring jangle Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young spent years perfecting, The Amazing have a lot going for them. Everything sounds so soft and well-rounded, and there's just enough endearing Swedish twang in the vocals to give them a lightness and sweetness we last heard from Belle and Sebastian in the mid 90s. 'Gentle Stream' is the perfect Autumnal jam - one for temperate days and dark nights as the temperature drops.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** The second in a proposed trilogy of albums from Qluster (original Cluster member Hans Joachim Roedelius and Onnen Bock), 'Rufen' is a selection of live recordings from the recently established duo. Interestingly the two musicians have shunned digital music here, and use an arsenal of analogue synthesizers and acoustic instruments to conjure up their delicious soupy drones. You should know what to expect from Roedelius at this point and he doesn't do us wrong - each track masterfully combines the aching, zipping analogue textures we know and … Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** On their third full-length, Hamburg-based Like A Stuntman follow the promise of 'Original Bedouin Culture' and have created a concise collection of modern, abstract electronic pop. A far cry from the cold-wave minimalism that has become the norm, 'Yoy' (or Why Oh Why) is produced with the kind of Germanic prowess you'd rather expect to hear from Pole or the Basic Channel camp, yet it's pop music. Not radio music, but pop - the kind of abstract songs that you find yourself humming as you wander down the road, or the kind of record you m… Read more
Sophomore release of melancholic, dynamic Dubstep and beat-driven electronics. Since the release of his debut, also on Black Acre earlier this year, Memotone has picked up big fans at Radio 1 (Gilles Peterson, Huw Stephens) and XFM (Mary-Anne Hobbs) of his highly intricate and idiosyncratic rhythms. On the 'Lost Hours' EP he links with Leafcutter John for the cutlery percussions of 'Four Minute Hallway', sounding uncannily like Jamie xx (in a bad mood) jamming with Thom Yorke, besides the expansive halfstep of the title track, and the deft Mount Kimbie-isms of 'Small Good Things' and 'Slowly They Creep'. Tip!
**Limited to 300 copies in hand painted jackets* No Neck Blues Band guy Pat Murano heads deeper into the cosmos with the latest in his head-swallowing 'Decimus' series. There's an ostensible clarity to this installment distinguishing it from previous editions, with almost baroque synth work percolating through the first side before it cascades into billowing, blown-out distortion and physically wrenched drones, like being expanded and contracted by massive gravitational forces and elements far beyond your control. Monstrously heavy and far, far out. "Dedicated to Rabbi Hiya. Dark psychedelia formul… Read more
**Limited to 300 copies in hand painted jackets** You never know where Pat Murano is going with the Decimus series, but we're quite happy to follow his psychedelic dérive wherever he wants to take us. This one starts out with what sounds like the looped and panned resonance of a low-bit rate internet stream over murky bass splodges, building and receding just out of focus to a mind-swilling kosmische swirl sounding like absolutely nobody else out there right now. And it does feel like right now; you get the sense that these sounds wouldn't have come out in this shape at any other time. They're hypn… Read more
*Edition of 300, with inserts of compositional diagrams and schedules* 'Kristallisation' is a fascinating collection of advanced minimalist concrete and collage experimentation by a former Kraftwerk member and guitar/electronics virtuoso. He's best known for his work on Kraftwerk's classic 'Autobahn' LP, but here Klaus showcases his intriguing solo endeavours, ranging from disciplined dynamic minimalist arrangements to plunderphonic cut-ups of children singing and German pop hits of the 1970s and 1980s nodding to the work of NWW or Anton Bruhin's brut masterpiece 'InOut'. Klaus is descr… Read more
*Edition of 300* Another captivating side of multi-disciplined musique concrète/cut-up electronics/synthesized psychedelia by the former Kraftwerk member. 'Kristallisationen 2' comprises a further four compositions using his "small sound particle" processes to construct fluidly moving, kaleidoscopic soundscapes, mixing and morphing realistic field recordings with electric guitar, computer and synthesizers in strange and dynamic formations. Opening the A-side is the palette cleanser 'Frozen Sounds' from 2002, carving a range of rich electro-acoustic sonorities from guitar and computer … Read more
Curious new offering from the reliably curious Ash International, affiliated to Touch. It's a collaboration between American artist Leslie Winer - who you may remember for her cult 90s album Witch, a smoked-out, jazz-inflected pop record that's now regarded as a precursor to the trip-hop sound that emerged in Bristol soon after; she's also written lyrics for Grace Jones and contributed vocals to the music of Jon Hassell, Holger Hiller and Bomb The Bass - and Frenchman Christophe Van Huffel. Neither artist's past form gives you much preparation for the sound of Purity Supreme, a kind of … Read more
Brittle 2-step swing from the Funk Ethics & Lucid Directions alliance, backed by Von D's warmer, rolling remix. The original's a neat piece of fractured, minimalist steppers' soul, kinda from that same vein as Koreless, James Blake or Joy O - all sparing rhythms and fluid vibe convections. The remix fleshes it out for the dance with expanding subbass shapes and more rugged rhythm programming to drive dem bones.
**Maurizio Bianchi with this double gatefold, red vinyl, edition of 300. First issued as a private press in 1980. Severely creepy, unheimlich noise violence with buried structures** "Mectypho/Blut consists of two targic sections imbued with synthetic chloroform: the 1st, "Maidenek Bakterium / Musique Belzec", exhales an icy atmosphere conveying a sense of mystery and annihilation. The 2nd, "Mutant Brain / Mord Banhof" assembled the most disparate electro-hypnotic levitations into a vertical rationality, bold, morbid and haunting. Psychic-cerebral works, they seem to spring from a ne… Read more
A welcome return from one of Detroit's finest, now working with fellow Tokyo resident Takasi Nakajima. Following their recent inclusion on Marcl Fengler's Berghain 05 mix and ahead of a long-touted ART release, the duo play it deep and melodic but driving and tribal with 'Rapture', while Ian O'Brien cools the rhythms into a more sensuous, bass-driven remix.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
**Now on vinyl** "'No Thyself', the first new material in 30 years from the connoisseur's choice, Magazine. Magazine front man, Howard Devoto, co-formed Buzzcocks with Pete Shelley after the pair travelled down to London to see the Sex Pistols in early 1976 and promoted the now legendary Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs. Devoto left in 1977, after releasing the seminal 'Spiral Scratch' EP and created Magazine. Magazine went on to release 4 groundbreaking LP's before parting company in 1981 and have been cited as influences on the likes of Radiohead. Leading the vanguard of post-punk new w… Read more
Monday, 24 October 2011
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Billed as Brooklyn's nouveau Madonna, Class Actress (or Elizabeth Harper to her mates) is the latest in the production line of sleazy electro-tinged ladies with a penchant for that 80s blue neon and dry ice we've all almost forgotten. Coming after Glass Candy, Desire and Nite Jewel there's a lot for Harper to prove in a well represented genre, but where her peers angle their sounds towards the flicker and grind of a long-forgotten disco, Harper appears to set her sights on a more mainstream sound. There are songs on show here t… Read more
Thursday, 20 October 2011
L-Vis heralds his 'Neon Dreams' LP with the sleek, modern boogie House of 'Lost In Love', backed with the Neon Dreams Club Mix and a Night Slugs Allstars mix. The original's got a very radio-friendly, mid-90's-meets-2011 House feel, while the club mix adds some well-tanned sax and fruitier bassline for that friday-night-at-MoS touch. For a ruder groove, peep Jam City's Night Slugs Allstars Mix on a sweet-but-dirty House flex.
dBridge finds his singing voice again for the cyber-soul stepper 'So Lonely', backed with remixes by Consequence and Morgan Zarate. The original is one of dBridge's more restrained offerings, but also one of his sharpest, allowing the vocals to hypnotise centre stage while the cold, paranoid instrumental sustains a subtle but deeply brooding tension. On remix detail, Morgan Zarate flips the script with with a bold production mirroring recent Hud Mo and Rustie shots, all twinkling synths and slow, crashing drums with an emosh '80s appeal, while Consequence drops an iced, D&B-tempo mix on the flip, f… Read more
*Includes a download code with access to remixes by Haxan Cloak, Burial Hex and more.* The Church of Synth is apparently an ex-techno producer from Germany, and has quite a colorful (read : fake) backstory, but let's ignore that for a second. The thing is, the record is actually pretty darned good, coming across like Salem after a bad afternoon with their dealer. It's molasses-slow stuff, but with the kind of gothy/EBM grind we last fell in love with back when Ministry were still great. Even better, the LP comes with a download code redeemable from the label that gives you acc… Read more
*180g white vinyl. Hand-numbered edition of 1000 includes additional 12" insert* Remastered reissue of a Canadian post-punk classic by one-man synth, guitar and syn-drum band, Lou Champagne System. 'No Visible Means' was privately pressed on Lou's Ontario-based Pterodactyl Records in 1983 and has never been issued since. Over nine tracks he serves an impressively diverse array of post-punk styles, from more jagged guitar-driven wave pop to slicker electronic disco with a slightly daft but endearing darkside lyrical rhetoric. It's the latter styles which make up the highlights, … Read more
**Orange Vinyl - Includes download code redeemable from the label* Arresting 1st single taken from Korallreven's debut album, backed up with impressive remixes by Panda Bear and Girl Unit! Last year the duo of Marcus Joons and Daniel Tjäder stepped out of their better known guise as The Radio Dept with a clutch of bold singles, and returned this year with a fantastic mix of their own remixes for Velvet Underground, Oni Ayhun and Britney Spears, among others (over on soundcloud), all building up the grandeur of these two new tracks. A-side 'As Young As Yes… Read more