Thursday, 04 November 2010
With a bunch of singles for Hypercolour, Valiza Tools and Freak 'n Chic under his belt, Paris-born Berlin-based Sebastian Bouchet provides his latest on Kompakt. The title track is the proud centrepiece of this release, some thirteen minutes of simmering Balearic guitar and frothy electronics brushed into rolling tech-house. 'Tempestuous' follows with a slightly tougher, darker and more driving shunt while 'Imbalance' woozily wobbles across late night metallic tech-house formations.
Wednesday, 03 November 2010
**Now available on vinyl** Brilliant synthwave transmission from Mike Sniper's Blank Dogs. Besides running the prolific, wave-riding Captured Tracks label in Brooklyn, Mike has carefully curated an impressive arc of artistic development with his pet project, growing out of lo-fi beginnings to the brighter and relatively clean sound of 'Land And Fixed'. The album's twelve tracks are still shrouded in tape textures but the sounds behind the gauze are more pop-confident, laden with super tight synthpop hooks and arranged as efficiently as ever. Dipping in, we find that 'Blurred Tonight' has t… Read more
**TRANSLUCENT BLUE VINYL** Another brilliant single lifted from Dum Dum Girls' I Will Be - surely one of the year's best garage-pop records - Bhang, Bhang, I'm A Burnout is a great ambassador for the Girls' sound, conflating '60s bubblegum and post-punk rawness but without falling into the all-out lo-fi cliches that so often hinder similarly minded acts. The B-side is a typically echoed out recording of Misfits classic 'Last Caress', a song that's already been covered memorably by everyone from Metallica to Dave Pajo. It's never sounded quite so benevolent and infectiously breezy as it does here though.
Psych-folk combo Fern Knight return for a third release on the VHF label (their fourth album in all), and as with the key works of contemporaries like Espers and Feathers it harnesses a sound that's greatly indebted to the far-out, acid-inflected sounds of bands like Comus as well as fusionist acts like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Prog also plays a part here: 'Epitaph' is a cover of the King Crimson song, and it's handled quite brilliantly. Frontwoman Margaret Ayre leads a beautiful arrangement that boasts wonderful cello parts and typically lyrical harp lines courtesy of Jesse Sparhawk… Read more
Monday, 01 November 2010
The notorious Gary Wilson returns with another album of sickly lounge music. In case you missed out on his Stones Throw album and all the hype surrounding him at the other end of this decade - Gary was the quintessential outsider pop genius, creating a string of singles and an album in the late '70s which would be cited by the likes of Sub Pop records and Beck as a huge influence on their work. His strange confection of lounge music with experimental tendencies, even stranger voyeuristic lyrics and unique arrangements is still as oddball as ever on 'Electric Endicott', "equal parts Prin… Read more
Thursday, 28 October 2010
The first half of a two-part live album from Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg, documenting the trio's 2009 tour of Japan. This LP captures the Kyoto and Tokyo legs of the tour, with side-length tracks 'Kyoto 1' and 'Tokyo 1'). There had been an eight year gap between the last two Fenn O'Berg studio albums (2002's The Return Of Fenn O'Berg and this year's In Stereo), so to be on the receiving end of these two live albums so soon after the studio-based full-length is quite a treat. In reality, Fenn O'Berg's earliest albums, The Magic Of... and The R… Read more
The second half of a two-part live album from Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg, documenting the trio's 2009 tour of Japan. This LP captures the Kyoto and Nagoya legs of the tour (with side-length tracks 'Kyoto 2' and 'Nagoya 2'). There had been an eight year gap between the last two Fenn O'Berg studio albums (2002's The Return Of Fenn O'Berg and this year's In Stereo), so to be on the receiving end of these two live albums so soon after the studio-based full-length is quite a treat. In reality, Fenn O'Berg's earliest albums, The Magic Of... and Th… Read more
The first official solo full-length from Animal Collective's Avey Tare (aka Dave Portner) arrives in the midst of a singles series from bandmate Panda Bear. To be very general it would seem that on recent evidence Panda Bear is the confirmed pop architect of the group - entrenching his music in lavish whirlpools of Brian Wilson vocal tracking - while Avey Tare leans more heavily in the direction of experimentation. You can hear some of Merriweather Post Pavilion's more sonically adventurous elements being given a chance to play out in full here, with plenty of squished, watery rhythms and fiel… Read more
Contrary to what we stated on the last AGCG 12", THIS is the final of four 12"s cutting the tracks from 'Tronik Jazz The Berlin Sessions' to wax. On the A-side is the crispy tech-house jacker 'Dirty Trix' and its moody, filtered strings next to the more piquant jack 'n roll of 'Indi Vibe'. On the flipside you can tell he's spent some in Berlin from the schaeffel flow of 'Merfed' and the distinctly Teutonic flutter of synths.
**Translucent Orange Vinyl** London-based all-girl trio Trash Kit made an impression with their eponymous debut album earlier on in the year, putting a more rhythmic emphasis on garage-punk sounds by flirting with African-influenced beats. This single delivers two non-album tracks that might well constitute the group's most immediate work to date. 'Teenagers' is particularly strong, surrounding feisty guitar jags with lots of tumbling percussion, resulting in a rhythmically layered, scrappy romp.
In addition to having a great band name, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth might just have given us the week's most severe and sonically pulverised release. Peaced is probably as extreme as underground heavy rock music can get before it sounds like your ears are broken. Sweetening the death-blow impact of their sound, the band serve up bad-pun song titles for your (or more likely, their) amusement: the utterly overwhelming 'You've Got Male' (see also 'Selected For Jerry Duty') will leave more lasting damage than Meg Ryan ever could, clobbering you with wave after wave of collapsi… Read more
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Deeper Funky freshness from DJ Dom, Brackles & Shortstuff's uni mate. His four tracks fall very neatly in line with previous PTN drops from Hypno, Hackman and Doc Daneeka, treading that line between BLN-style Deep House and LDN Funky. Our favourite has to the sublime 'Plastic People' with it's Mr. De-alike electrosexual synthwork, or the filtered acid squirm of 'Untitled', while the flipside contains the more percussive, almost Broken Beat sound of 'Boss Mode' and the naked glow of 'Computer Love'. Keep an eye out for his forthcoming releases on Blunted Robots!
In his notes for this record, Swans frontman and Young God label boss Michael Gira says: "To me, it's obvious Toth is animated with the same spirit that's moved through Willie, Waylon, Merle, and Hank." High praise indeed, but perhaps not quite as outlandish as it might initially seem. Having spent the early part of his career vacillating between lo-fi singer-songwriter records and sprawling improv outings with The Vanishing Voice, Wooden Wand (aka James Toth) has built up an impressive if erratic catalogue over the past few years, and Death Seat might just represent the peak of his output t… Read more
New to Jack White's Third Man Recordings is Tennessee-dwelling songwriter, "shreditorialist, unlicensed metaphysician, and polymathmagician" Daniel Pujol, who eschews the more customary Nashville leanings of the label with two blasts of underground rock & roll that owe much of their sound to garage-punk and Sonic Youth. 'Black Rabbit' stirs up memories of Love As Laughter in their prime, while 'Too Safe' could pass for one of No Age's finer songs, were it not so nicely recorded (Jack White takes the reins as producer).
This is a collaborative project that brings together members of Comet Gain and Crystal Stilts with guest appearances from Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor and Hamish Kilgour of The Clean. Recorded last year in Brooklyn, this session breathed life into a host of originals penned by Comet Gain's David Feck as well as covers of songs by Vic Godard, The Chills, Dead Moon and Len Bright Combo. Teaming up with this bunch of hip Brooklynites was clearly a good move for Feck and his cohorts - the material sounds great and their presentation within the reverberating confines of Crystal Stilts' universe brings them right up to date.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Subeena further develops her technoid post-dubstep sound on 'Neurotic', backed with Egyptrixx and Ghosts On Tape remixes. There's something of a bowing reggaeton flex to 'Neurotic', which Subeena really makes her own with the addition of a distinctive vocal accent. 'Wishful Talk' follows, focused on deep droning subs and rolling techno rhythms, again with her own vox. Egyptrixx takes this cut closer to the centre of the floor with bulky swing-jackin' rhythms and swooping bassline and Ghosts On tape dance around the matter with a cracking Broken Beat refix. One for fans of Ikonika, Altered Natives, Aramac, or the Night Slugs sound - recommended!
Brooklyn band Small Black rank alongside Washed Out as the leading lights of the chillwave movement, having given the ludicrously billed genre one of its key anthems to date in 'Despicable Dogs'. New Chain is the band's debut album, and it marks a distinct increase in the fidelity stakes since the release of their eponymous EP: the productions are full and colourful, delivered with far more recording clarity than their earliest dispatches. In fact, while the slightly woozy, gauzy quality of old is present to some degree, there's an unveiled mid-'80s worshipping crispness to a track like 'Sear… Read more
A double LP retrospective of the pioneering acid house label WAU! Mr Modo, curated by its founders, The Orb's Alex Patterson and Youth, of Killing Joke fame. The first two discs compile a selection of the label's key early releases from artists such as STP Twentythree, Eternity, Delkom, Paradise X, Sun Electric, Mystic Knights and, perhaps most famously, Zoe, whose 'Sunshine On A Rainy Day' gave the label one of its biggest hits. Patterson features too of course, and the very first disc begins with a never-before heard demo version of The Orb's classic 'Little Fluffy Clouds'.
Rolling in off two collabs with fellow Bristolians Komanazmuk and Appleblim, Deca Rhythm present Arkist's solo debut proper. 'What Do I See' is a smart introduction, cruising out on 4/4 techno steppers patterns with super clean, trance-tinged chord progressions and buffed synthline contours. Flip over for the leaner, and in our opinion, deadlier, 'Out Of The Sun', arranging deft and punchy 2-step rhythms with a glacial sense of space and unhurried groove, primed for sharp and clean mixing with your Submerse, XXXY or Duffstep cuts.
Fourth release from Headhunter's Transistor label, rolling heavy with two tracks from DJG. 'Time Is The Fire' shackles curling tribal drum rolls into a loping halfstep pattern with rugged slashes of junglist bass and a darker electroid breakdown. On the flip, 'Escape Pod' is a dreamier roller built with dainty dub chords and warmest subbass pressure.
The third single from their Tuning Echoes album, 'Norman's Eyes' finds Mock & Toof dispensing another dose of angular dancefloor pop. In addition to the weird and infectious original mix, there are reworks from Massimiliano Pagliara and Prosumer; the former stretches the track out, incorporating a firm bleeping bassline and washes of synth strings and vocal dissolves, while the Prosumer version serves up a kind of primitive, cryptic house track that absorbs some nicely judged midi piano stabs towards the end.
Rugged Junglist inversion inna Dubstep style from Seven. It's really all about Seven's remix of the title track - itself an version of Tek 9's Reinforced classic - finding that sweet spot between old skool jungle yardcore and halfstep pressure by basically swiping away the breaks to leave bulbous bass and tuff, minimalist rhythms. 'Think About It' follows on the flip with a more standard dread halfstep skanker.
**Now available on vinyl** Electronica maverick Cursor Miner deploys his fourth album, a journey into the lawless frontiers of pop music where just about anything can happen. Oddball opener 'Reject' is what you'd imagine Depeche Mode jamming around a campfire might sound like, while the more circuit-centric 'The Golem Of Bognor Regis' lurches more conscientiously in the direction of an electro influence, whilst also sounding a little like one of Atom TM's many guises in its absorption of chintzy exotica. One of the album's highlights, 'The Man With The Transparent Face' marks a tur… Read more
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Big tracks from the Edit Select label - Mark Broom and Speedy J step in to remix Gary Beck's ultra-functional killer 'Consumed'. Mark's 'Bang Bang' remix keeps it dry and throbbing, focussed on hugely powerful bassline and arid atmospherics. Speedy J's remix works with a funkier shuffle and flying, filtered and flanged hi-hats with a squiffy subbass-driven breakdown. His 'Straight Faced Dub' is more kinetic, feeding us through disorienting reverb settings and propelled by a welting subbass pound. Serious stuff.
Cleanly refined, deep and minimal Tech-House from Pablo Tarno, following releases as Moforize for the Serialism/Mean/Essential Reload axis. 'On & Off at Buckingham Rd' gives a plush start with heavy rolling subs and involving loops, 'Cramberro' follows on a perky Tribal tip and 'Lift Me Up' goes a shade dubbier. Ekkohaus rounds out with the dub loosened and shuffly remix of 'Martini Bianco', probably the strongest track here.
Off-the-charts no-fi tape-haze drawl from Birds Of Maya man Mike Polizze on Woodsist, that finds the guitarist, songwriter and noise-monger penning some seemingly fearsome pop songs whilst under the influence of seriously malfunctioning cassette decks. 'Don't Try It', for example, is pretty much a perfect guitar-driven pop song, but it's warped and warbled beyond belief by some insanely screwy production values. In fact, Purling Hiss at times out-does Ariel Pink for this sort of schtick, carving up hair-metal loops for interlude 'Bedroom' before laying down flanged '80s fun… Read more
Monday, 18 October 2010
Courtesy of the same folks who reissued that crazy 'Killing Melody' LP comes an amazing outing from British bluesman Mike Cooper. Since the early 60s he's been active supporting American blues artists such as Jimmy Reed, and Howling Wolf on their UK tours besides earning a crust backing many homegrown R&B bands. He also mastered the steel blues and Hawaiian lap guitar before veering into more avant-garde territory during the 80s, consolidating his various styles into a unique sound. The tracks here were recorded in his kitchen in Rome onto minidisc and transferred to CD, displaying three var… Read more
Last heard on an Upset The Rhythm split release with Liverpudlian collective Apatt, lo-fi synth-rock du Peepholes get a new 12" all to themselves (albeit with two remixes on the B-side). 'Ladder' is an energetic and highly tuneful ninety-second blast of lurid keys & drums fronted by scorched and distorted lead vocals. All the more memorable is 'Lair', which sounds great on the original and perhaps even better in the hands of E*Rock, whose remix lends a more solid foundation to the reedy, arpeggiating organ riffs. Also included is the ace 'Chika', which reappears on the B-side, as performed by Eyes and remixed by E. Moline.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
'Blue Moon' was Moebius's (Cluster/Harmonia) last solo release for Sky Records. It is the soundtrack to a film of the same name, which neither I, nor Asmus Tietchens (who writes the sleevenotes) have seen, but it looks pretty cool from the stills on the sleeve - some kind of late '80s German crime thriller, possibly. Anyway, this is the only instance of Moebius writing a film score and as such it's defined by certain parameters which mark it from the rest of his work. The eleven tracks were created to fit the timing of the scenes, and are generally shorter, measur… Read more
**Marbled Purple Vinyl** Atmospheric slow disco and Balearic styles from Tal. M Klein, with remixes from Hardway Bros and DJ DRM. 'Without Her' errs close to the IDIB sound of tape-warm, early '80s analogue disco, also included in a more Latinized 'Cosmic Boogie' remix. Ont he flip Hardway Bros give a groovin' proto-House version and Brooklyn's DJ DRM spins out a neater, poppier mix.