Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Skream brings it in typically rude styles for the Southside Dubstars imprint. 'Just Being Me' stics to the guiding principles of dubstep with a simple-but-effective future skank and cheeky horn stabs, while 'Murdera' on the flip contrasts with a controlled display of tearout synthlines and rattling rukkus rhythms. Big tnes for fans of N-Type, Coki, Benga and proper dubstep.
Boka records return with two sick tracks from respected dubstep figure Marlow. He's got his sights set on the centre of the floor with both cuts here, from the turbulent grind bass and grimy strings of 'Bandwagon Junglist' to the up-skipping garage influences and dubstep bass of 'Back 4 More' sounding like MJ Cole on 'roidz. Heavy.
Monday, 21 September 2009
**BLUE MARBLED VINYL** Maniacs Dream (who knows whether that needs an apostrophe or not - is it singular-possessive, plural-possessive or just a statement of fact? What a grammatical minefield) are a Finnish band comprised of members from Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus and Fricara Pacchu. The band's dirge-like, free-roaming sound is characterised by playfully scattershot elements - most prominently a surreal, clattering percussive sensibility and some seriously frazzled guitar splurges. Like so many of the psychedelic Finnish side-projects that do the rounds this is massively weird and a right… Read more
Thursday, 17 September 2009
A collaboration between long-term associates Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) and his fellow Wisconsinites, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Volcano Choir is a relatively experimental project, which although still centrally preoccupied with trad songwriting is unafraid of dabblings with drone ('Dote'), Reich-ian minimalism ('And Gather') and cinematic post-rock. 'Still' checks the latter box with great verve, incorporating Bon Iver's Autotune opus 'Woods' (the closing cut from this year's Blood Bank EP) into an epic stretch of grand chord changes and tonal swells. The very natural production sound … Read more
Tags And Throw Ups turn out something worth checking for any Boxcutter fans with their latest plate featuring three tracks from C23. This is the young producer's debut outing on wax but shows some well honed software skills approaching the hi-tech sound of Reso, Boxcutter or Elemental with complex rhythmic twists and IDM debted synthlines. Techy.
Shuddering heavyweights from the other side of the North Sea courtesy of Danish dubstep crew Kraken. Jaybird's 'Work Dat Box' fires up a slow-riding 808 pattern with sour synthline oscillations for wonky effect on the A-side, while JSL aka Ruf constructs a nasty killer in 'Fight Dub' on the flip with techno stabs and dramatic atmospherics over a lurching halfstep riddim. One for the Skream, Benga or 2000F fans.
The fourth studio album from New Zealand's Black Boned Angel finds erstwhile Birchville Cat Motel proprietor Campbell Kneale retreating ever deeper into drone-metal abyss, on this occasion fashioning a concept album dedicated to the Battle Of Verdun, one of the key points of conflict between French and German armies in the First World War. Stretched across a single, fifty-two minute track, the album takes a compelling and considered narrative arc, beginning with gloomy passages of bomb-drop kick drum plunges before starting up a fearsome SunnO))) style harmonised guitar riff. Whining, sire… Read more
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
The Skwee style continues to show its worth with another LP from main player Rigas Den Andre. Housed in a retina rupturing neon green sleeve, the sounds within are equally synthesized and shocking but come packed with that cheeky character that makes the genre so endearing. Tracks like 'Guilty Feet, No Rhythm' make up for their purposeful lack of overweight elements with super-tight rhythmic clips and only the most neccessary elements to make you itch for a dance, while the tucked electro-funk of 'Taverna's Lament' samples Scandinavian popstar Jenny Wilson to make the style's lo… Read more
Legendary Japanese psyche pop outfit Yura Yura Teikoku are well known in their homland, but have been building steady support in the US with their tracks played by the likes of DJ Harvey and Rub 'n Tug. Now signed to DFA, they release the odd gam stomp of 'Dekinai' ahead of their 10th studio album. Both tracks are an indefinable mesh of glam, psyche, disco and no-wave, executed with a Japanese eccentricity that has won them fans all over the world. Check the samples and figure them out for yourself...
Following on from her Young God debut, In The Maybe World, Lisa Germano's latest album (some eighteen years on from her first full-length release, On The Way Down From The Moon Palace) finds her in great form. Magic Neighbour exudes warmth and character, recorded in a sweetly over-saturated fashion to accentuate the lively blend of chamber instrumentation and Germano's own deeply expressive vocal. With songs like 'To The Mighty One' and 'The Prince Of Plati' she taps into an astutely constructed, wistful emotional landscape that persists throughout the album, reaching a peak towards th… Read more
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Everything Goes Wrong took Vivian Girls twice as long to make as their debut album, meaning they clocked up a whopping six days of studio time recording these songs. The fact that the album was turned over so quickly (with many of the tracks being laid down in single takes) preserves the raw immediacy of that high-impact first LP. Thankfully, the girls don't seemed to have smoothed over those much-loved rough edges, preserving the punk potency of their earliest output and bathing the whole thing in a glow of '60s girl group reverb. Since they first hit the scene there have been cou… Read more
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Skream maintains his position at the front of the rave with his sickest jungle steppers track since 'Lightening', for Digital Soundboy. If you've been in attendance for a Skream knees-up recently, you've no doubt heard this junglist juggernaut rinsed alongside his La Roux refix, steaming in with turbo bass laced amens and a fiercely heads-down quality that smacks it up good and proper in any situation. Watch the elbows fly when this drops! 'Memories Of 3rd Base' on the flip pays tribute to the Brixton bassed home of DMZ's earliest dances. With a black rose tinted perspective, Skream fires off a bru… Read more
*KILLER 8 TRACK VINYL EDITION FEATURING EXCLUSIVES FROM FLOATING POINTS, APPLEBLIM, DARKSTAR, MONO/POLY, HYETAL, ARCHITEQ, GEMMY AND TEEBS!* The first lady of the scene follows up her impeccably selected installations for Planet Mu with a new set for 2009, scouring the most essential niches of dubstep and future gazing hiphop electronics to save us all the trouble. Her packed DJ schedule and ever-relevant Radio 1 show place her in a particularly enviable position, meaning that the good stuff is almost always guaranteed to grace her ears first. The tracklisting for 'Wild … Read more
This album has been described by Benni Hemm Hemm as containing "11 smashing ballads", and indeed it does. The Icelandic songwriter is on splendid form throughout Murta St. Calunga, which exhibits all the usual tendencies towards big band grandeur and buoyant, uptempo acoustics. Opener 'Beethoven í Kaupmannahöfn' sounds like it might be a James Last reinterpretation of something from Sufjan Stevens' catalogue, serving as an effective overture to the time signature trickery of English language ditty 'Whaling In The North Atlantic', which sounds like harpoonist's drinking song arranged … Read more
Latest label round-up from the long dormant Touchin' Bass imprint. Their electro alarm clock must have been synchornised to the wrong time because these guys have been quiet for a little while now, but they're back with more of the purist 'letcroid sound for '09. Wireblock and Underscan artist Bogger starts the comp with the metallic tweaks of 'Mineral', Ben Milstein offers a fluttering slice of electro-acoustic trickery and Wee DJ's 'No resolution' proves that he's still a dark bastard. Most notable, we reckon, are the final two tracks to be released by the Bitstream brothe… Read more
A highly promising single in the lead-up to the release of their album Climb Up later this month, Apse's '3.1' is a thing of dark icy brilliance in the verses, swerving through perfectly pitched surly garage rock during the verses before zinging into life with synth-laden, lugubriously anthemic choruses. 'The Whip' is a little more uptempo and reveals a krautrock connection in its air-tight rhythm section, colourfully making use of electronics in a fashion not entirely unlike something that might have been on the last Horrors record.
Chromeo cover The Eagles classic 'I Can't Tell You Why' to celebrate the release of their ace DJ Kicks mix. The Candian electro-pop superstars remain faithful to the cut with a radio-worthy version with the softest synthlines and feathered keys setting the ground for the Don Henley penned lyrics. Comes backed with a dub version for the sing-a-long moments.
Ian Simmonds is perhaps better known s a member of early 90's acid jazz outfit The Sandals, but more recently can be found producing jazz and dub rooted beats for Musik Krause, the same label that offered the world the oft eccentric music of Wighnomy Bros and Robag Wruhme. 'The Burgenland Dubs' is a contemplative set of downbeat and jazz informed rhythms complemented by Ian's vocals set within a dub heavy atmosphere. His is a self created world of classic styles augmented by up-to-date production methods, melding the natural with the digital, flowing from 4/4 minimalism to more atmos… Read more
Wednesday, 09 September 2009
It's a bold move, but dropping tunes on 1-sided 12"s shows a label's confidence in the material as being of the highest possible quality. We can't really argue with Brainmath on this point, as that Zomby 'Rumours and Revelations' was just f*cking amazing, and we're inclined to say something similar about this plate from the mysterious Spiders. The untitled track in question is a creepy web of scuttling Shackleton-style percussion mixed with a psychoactive attention to detail, meaning lots of subtle drops and half-heard glimpses of sounds showing their beady eyes before retreating into the darkness. … Read more
Tuesday, 08 September 2009
Tasty funk and soul classics from the archives re-pressed and presented by the Sticky imprint. Jewel Bass' super rare 'I Tried It And I Liked It' takes over the A-side, featuring a blazing lead vocal from "Mississippi's Most recorded Voice" set to a bassline driven soul cut that's a preserve of the world's top soul and funk DJs. On the flip the "Carribbean Soul King" Richard Stoute provides vocals to 'What Bag I'm In' on a swinging horn and keys-led track originally released on the Trex label in 1971 and cherished by anyone lucky enough to own a copy. Heavy.
Monday, 07 September 2009
Originally released when Star Wars was just hitting the cinemas first time round, this collaboration between Brian Eno and "German synth pastoralists" Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius (aka Cluster) shares a similarily imperialistic view of the opportunities afforded us by technology; couched throughout by a distinct human touch. With Cluster's signature sound of intricate yet broad analogue treatise, it's no real surprise Eno sought a collaboration and it's also no real surprise that it works a treat; fusing both parties strengths into a formidably singular entity. With more than a h… Read more
The first thing you'll likely be doing on hearing this reissue of 'After the Heat' is checking what year it was originally put out. 1978?! Pull the other one... The second harvest from Brian Eno's collaborative venture with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, 'After the Heat' sounds as fresh as a daisy and could probably lay claim to sowing the seeds for a whole cavalcade of genres that range from creamy-electronica and synth-fed hip-hop through to breakcore... Opening with the Vangelis draped environs of 'Foreign Affairs', Eno Moebius and Roedelius tickle a cyc… Read more
Thursday, 03 September 2009
While there's been a flurry of interest in the South African house scene in the last 12 months (mainly due to the success of DJ Mujava) fairly little has actually reached our shores that's worth mentioning, until Sweat.X came along. Interestingly, the group is helmed by Markus Smit, nee Markus Wormstorm, who turned out a terrific EP for Sound.Ink many moons ago, but now makes a glitchy club racket with Spoek Mathambo for Citinite. Their style on 'I'm That Alley' sounds like a deep fried fusion of Chromeo and Jamie Lidell, while 'The Knife' ramps up to electro-house st… Read more
After more than 20 years recording as a band, Yo La Tengo can still happily claim to be one of the most fascinating and inventive bands in alternative pop music. 'Popular Songs', their 14th album, opens with 'Here To Fall' an oddly sedate 6 minute journey utilising polished string sections and what sounds like some kind of subtle vocal modification imbuing Ira Kaplan's voice with a strangely robotic twang. By the time 'By Two's' comes in we're presented with a much more familiar sound, unfurling deeply spacious production with plenty of reverb that sounds as good as anything on the career-d… Read more
The US West Coast beefs up on the latest Terminal Dusk output, featuring 6Blocc and Roommate inna dread dubstep war. LA's 6Blocc remix San Fran's Roommate on 'Conquer' with ruff'n'tuff results, while 'Dubstp Killa' and 'Lick Shot' from Roommate on the flip carve up rasta chat samples over industrially tainted halfstep riddims to leave a nasty flavour in your ears. Ballistic weapons for fans of Noah D, Current Value or Tech Itch.
His first album since signing to Leaf, this latest Vladislav Delay long-player takes on a more organically-derived sound than previous efforts. Acoustic instruments play a big part in this album, and in addition to Sasu Ripatti's own drum work the album benefits from collaborations with Argentinean saxophonist and clarinetist Lucio Capece and renowned Scottish film composer Craig Armstrong, who co-writes on all but two tracks, adding Rhodes and piano to the soundscape. To some degree the live-band starting point for this record provides continuity with Ripatti's recent work as part of the Mo… Read more
True-to-the-core metal from Invasion, backed with a choice Optimo Espacio edit. Rocking out just ahead of their forthcoming debut album, 'Spells Of Deception' is the sound of the UK's premier drunk metal outfit at the their best, spilling galloping drums and 80's thrash guitars over two maniacally paced tracks from within their own pissed-up time-warp, with possessed vocals from Chan lending the essential theatrical touch. For some, this stuff is the fix they needed, for many others it's f**king hilarious. On the flip Optimo Espacio take the galloping drums of 'Spells...' and run for the… Read more
Wednesday, 02 September 2009
The NYC art-electro ensemble regroup for a third-wind dancefloor assault on 'We Are Electric', taken from their 'Entertainment' long player. Its clearly apparent that they've not lost their touch for camp, big-floor electro anthems, giving flight to crowd-unifying vocals and big shiny synthlines. In our opinion the remixes are far better, starting with Hot Chip's superbly tempered, late-80's disco roller, through Cursor Miner's powerful electro jacker, and onto the final - and best - mix from Classixx, turning the track into an Erasure-meets-Johan Agebjörn-at-the-sauna killer to really strut your stuff to.