Thursday, 02 February 2012
**Double gatefold LP with extensive sleevenotes and eight cherry-picked aces pressed loud** With the current groundswell and ubiquity of House music, it's important to redress the roots and reasons behind such a sprawling scene. This expertly compiled 18-track compilation, Junior Vasquez mix, twenty page booklet and postcard set does just that, documenting New York's flamboyant Voguing scene 1976-96 by tracing its history from Disco thru House via foundational tracks from Masters At Work, Loose… Read more
**includes a free copy of the album on CD** Kompakt's annual ambient round-up lands with lovely offerings from Wolfgang Voigt & Jörg Burger's new project, Mohn, plus Superpitcher, Magazine, Marsen Jules, Simon Scott and BVDub among others. The Mohn track 'Manifesto' opens proceedings with an exercise in sublimely opiated but grungy electronics; cloud formations of padded, Gas-like textures circulate the soundsphere with an unhurried and somnambulant grace, cleansing the palette for the tantalising melody of Superpitcher's 'Jackson'. Further in, Cologne's Magazine collective deliver … Read more
Increasingly dextrous producer Raffertie drops his 2nd EP for Ninja Tune, following the excellent 'Visual Acuity' session. In our books he's one of the label's brightest electronic talents, consistently forging his own identity with a keen sense of soul and broad scope. We can hear this from the off in the title track, a frayed and knotted piece of futurist electro-soul with crisp yet elastic contours and appreciation of spatial dynamics. However, the ten minute 'One Track Mind' takes a more epic route, tripping on transfixing kosmische vectors and technoid bass tipped for any fans of the Borde… Read more
No rest for the wickedest: UTTU come thru with two deeper bangers from the Windy City's Marcus Mixx. The 'Chicago Club Mixx' riffs on a piano hook and dirty grained ruffness not dissimilar to Alias G's 'Delite Tonite', but with a darker, sexier suffusion of mid-'90s dancefloor sweat. The 'Rub It Mixx' is leaner, slicker, toying with a juicy fretless bass lick and allowing more space for those hovering, deeply evocative strings and haunting vocal. It's still party music, but deep with it. Tip!
Intriguing first release of off-kilter R&B from French ex-pat-in-Berlin, o F F Love. 'Probably Love' is a fine and unique contribution to that game played by How To Dress Well, Autre Ne Veut, The Weeknd, and the likes, taking autotuned vocals and etheric balladeering into dreamier, surreal zones. But unlike the aforementioned artists, 'Probably Love' is more dislocated, unsure of itself, fracturing pop conventions into small, kaleidoscopic songs which feel almost off balance and instinctively, supernaturally strange. Check!
Their farewell 7” single, ‘John Taylor’s Month Away’ is joined by a brand new arrangement of the King Creosote classic ‘Missionary.’ Limited to 500 copies.
North London's Funkystepz drop an infectious 2nd single on Hyperdub. There's two scorching tracks to watch out for on this one. Firstly the minimalist carnival ruffige of 'Trouble', a snake-charming syncopation of marimbas, subbass hits and waist-winding orientalism, then you got the shrill Dutch House influence of 'Dirty Dutch' full of squiggling, Niche-gone-'Dam style synth melody and restless polyrhythms for the dancers. On a more reduced skank, 'John Wayne' packs a tidy swagger.
Bumpy House moves from Well Rounded's Gongon and his buddy Bad Autopsy. 'I Could Be There' pivots choice R&B vocal samples on some thickset subs and clipped drums while 'Cactus Banger' pipes up with minimal, tucked-in Funky rhythms and dubbed out atmospheres arranged to a snagging lead.
"‘Blues Funeral’ is the new Mark Lanegan Band record, the first since 2004’s ‘Bubblegum’, recorded in Hollywood, California by Alain Johannes at his 11ad studio. The music was played by Johannes and Jack Irons with appearances from Greg Dulli, Josh Homme et al. Mark Lanegan has sung with Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins, Soulsavers and Isobel Campbell. He resides in Los Angeles and has two dogs."
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** "Sharon Van Etten's new album (her third, but first for Jagjaguwar) is profoundly effortless and singular-minded. Borne from 14 months of scattered recording sessions whilst without a home, 'Tramp' is lush and triumphant, a fresh vision. Leagues ahead of her first two releases, the album was produced by Aaron Dessner of The National and features performances from Zach Condon (Beirut), Julianna Barwick, Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and Dessner himself. A beautiful album that moves from almost-early PJ Harvey dark guitar and drum defiant rock through to graceful, sublime, understated, declarative hymns."
*Gorgeously remastered from the original master tapes* "On the heels of last year's superb reissue by Light In The Attic of Michael Chapman's 1970 classic album 'Fully Qualified Survivor' comes his 1969 debut Rainmaker (originally released on the seminal Harvest label). Like the 'FQS' album, Rainmaker is a psychedelic-guitar-folk delight. The album kicks off with one of Chapman's best known songs "It Didn't Work Out" - which features a stellar cast of legendary English musicians of the era; Guitarist "Clem" Clempson was in the prog-band Bakerloo (soon after playing with Chapman he'd join ja… Read more
**Includes digital download of the entire album redeemable from the label. The second & final studio LP from Britain's seminal Swell Maps is an experimental pop masterpiece, and a virtual line of demarcation for underground rock to follow into the '80s, '90s and beyond.** "Noisy and experimental, Britain's Swell Maps experienced little commercial success during the course of their chaotic career, but in hindsight they stand as one of the pivotal acts of the new wave: not only was the group an acknowledged inspiration to the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, but their alumni - mo… Read more
**Includes bonus 4-track 7" that originally accompanied the album in 1979, plus a digital download version of the album redeemable from the label. All tracks remastered and sounding suitably seminal** "Noisy and experimental, Britain's Swell Maps experienced little commercial success during the course of their chaotic career, but in hindsight they stand as one of the pivotal acts of the new wave: not only was the group an acknowledged inspiration to the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, but their alumni - most notably brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks - continued on as key … Read more
Wednesday, 01 February 2012
**Transparent Vinyl** "Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Hunters’ music is charged with wild energy -- led by singers/guitarists Derek Watson and Isabel Ibsen. Mixing boy/girl harmonies with super catchy guitars, their songs tend to get stuck in your head before you even finish listening to them. Somewhere along the way they got with Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs who mixed this EP, and former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha on the production end. The result is exactly what you would expect. Well maybe not... think The Vaselines on a wonderfully chaotic acid binge. “Sexual energy drives many good songs, a… Read more
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Slow-strobing kosmic House abstraction from Vienna's Cruise Family on their debut vinyl release. Over the last five years this singular artist has issued a stack of cassettes, but it's in the last two that he's really locked onto the Cruise family trajectory, taking himself (and us) to the furthest echelons of intergalactic tranz-Haus. His finest document to date, 'We're In Heaven' breaks down to three variants on this theme, from the epic inward spiral of 'We're In Heaven (Dream Mix)' to the adrenaline-triggering arpeggios of 'Be Part Of It (Club Mix)' and the balmy solar flares of 'Go… Read more
*Includes free download code redeemable from the label* LuckyMe's latest recruit is Ango, contemporary of Jacques Greene and Lunice and maker of flash, heavy, feminine R&B heat. His solo debut 'Another City Now' is undoubtedly impressive, a very crafty balance of underground dancefloor Funk and pop-wise arrangements with universal potential. At the top you'll find the hefty R&Boogie chug of 'All That You Can Stand' and the sweetened flair of 'Follow Me', while 'Love Me' bears no small resemblance to Ango's fellow Montréal resident Deon, and then there's the outstanding synth-soul charmer 'Bette… Read more
Debut 12" of deeper rolling Electroid House backed with a fine Graphics remix. 'Archaic Line' rides plump subs synched with crisp cowbells and Soca-fied snares into the night, while 'Deserted' steps out between Dubbed-out Garage and Electronica, pivoting off rudely electrified subs. Flipside Graphics lends a svelte remix of 'Archaic Line', smoothed out for the deep-end crew.
Bureau B kick off their reissue scheme for Düsseldorf's legendary Ata Tak label with this lost classic of NDW pop. Thirty years since original release, Andreas Dorau's charming and infectious 'Blumen Und Narzissen' album as Die Doraus und Die Marinas reveals an incredibly pop-savvy touch full of prime melodies and bubbling electronic production with a really sly edge reminding of his peers Palais Schaumberg and Der Plan et al. It's made all the more fascinating by the fact that Andreas was 16 when he made it. Highlights include the brilliant 'Fred Vom Jupiter' (which sold 20,000 in… Read more
Errors veer further from post rock into motorik synth pop euphoria on their latest album. Possibly looking to the likes of Animal Collective or Washed Out for inspiration, they've beefed up the synths and have kept a keen eye on the dancefloor with stirring arrangements and blooming, shoegazing guitars.
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** **Bruised shoegaze melodies and limber percussion with a darker, sometime harder edge** "Lambert, bassist/co-vocalist Titus Brown and everybody's soon-to-be fave new drummer Jim Crook moved to Atlanta in neighbouring Georgia in 2004, attracted by the bohemian state capital's liberal atmosphere (it's the New York of the South) and a fertile music scene that has spawned the likes of Deerhunter and Black Lips. All The Saints came into existence a year later, their moniker inspired partly by an old Verbena song and partly … Read more
*180 gram deluxe vinyl version with Stoughton Jacket* "Recorded by Kurt Ballou for fiends of all things brutally heavy (High on Fire, Yob, Slayer,Melvins etc..) Formed by drummer Rafa Martinez (ex-16, ex-Acid King) and guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian (ex-Cavity), Black Cobra catapulted themselves onto the scene in 2001 with their ravenous, upbeat and ultimately unique style of punk/ hardcore-fueled sludge metal…"
Batty wonky techno/rave madness, including a Mike Forshaw remix. These trax aren't for the weak or feeble.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Reissue of a 1978 pop punk classic from Burnley's Notsensibles. Features the charmingly daft title track and the equally silly 'Gary Bushell's Band Of The Week' housed in reproduction of the original sleeve.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
**Transparent Vinyl** Charming, Electro-spirited Indie-Pop from Carrboro, NC, USA's Robes. With debut single 'Welcome Worn' they arrive at a fresh-faced and melancholy eighties sound influenced by the likes of New Order, Human League etc., and sounding not dissimilar to, say, Cut Copy. The title track is full of yearning smalltown ambition; a slight but tender voice a few shades shy of Bernard Sumner attracts the attention amid twinkling synths, twirling guitars and punchy drums. 'Haitian Miracle' is slightly more brooding and confident, pushed upfront by rippling drum machines and spry guitar work.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
*Limited edition of 500 copies only, initial stock available on transparent red vinyl while stock lasts* Perispirit is the collaborative project of Ricardo Donoso and Luke Moldof, here delivering their debut album proper after a number of cassette editions for Prurient's Hospital Productions and Ricardo's own Semata imprint. The sound they make is brilliantly impossible to categorise, bringing together analogue and digital electronic sound sources to create a freakish organism that reminds you of anything from Keith Fullerton Whitman to Prurient to Autechre to purist musique conc… Read more
Our favourite desert-dwelling mystic serves a short but potent third album for Warp. Under the creed "You can put a muzzle on me, cover my mouth, cut out my tongue but the truth will still come out" Sumach Valentine rasps ten songs meditating on the impact of his experiences on the road "It's the response to all the adrenaline, aggression and anger he felt traveling the world, it's a spectrum of creativity and a testimony of how one mans passion and determination is often misunderstood as anger." The downcast mood and bruised sense of soul is a much darker cry than his other mini-LP releases, star… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Leila veers into spikier, punkishly technoid wave styles on her 4th album, ably assisted by vocals from Mt. Sims. Compared with it's predecessor 'Blood, Looms & Blooms', with 'U&I' the mood is more urgent, dysphoric, a fact emphasised by the prodding coldwave rhythms and abrasive synth arpeggios which flesh it out, while Mt. Sims' electronically detached vocals lend a steely sense of late night soul. From cold, clangourous opener 'Of One', the dry, frictional EBM rhythms of 'Activate I' perfectly manifest her darker intentions, before Mt. Sims m… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Jason Urick's excellent sophomore album for Thrill Jockey is a strangely affective mix of Techno-pop and synthdrone abstractions strongly recalling moments from Oneohtrix Point Never's now-classic 'Returnal', and also elements of Mark Carlson's 'Particle Language' LP or Harmonizer's 'World Complete'. 'I Love You' revolves around Urick's enchanting use of dissonant, cyber-surreal vocoder harmonies and layered synth hues, opening a inter-dimensional portal and luring us wide-eyed through extraterrestrial synth topologies. If one were to trust … Read more
**Includes photocopied insert and download code redeemable from the label** Three extended synth improvisations performed by Asa Osborne (Lungfish) as Zomes. Recalling meditative works by the likes of J.D. Emmanuel or Laraaiji, Asa channels primordial cosmic transmissions into a thick, drone-filled ether, making the air tremble with an exalted beauty. Key changes are magical moments amidst an already blissful sea of luscious sound.