Thursday, 08 December 2011
*Psyched-out pop idiosyncracies with a cool Rock'n'Roll swagger and some assistance from Marcus Schmickler. Fans of Planningtorock and PJ Harvey should check it out* "For the Cclose Calll, Yvonne Cornelius has once more performed magic, enveloping little stories in multi-faceted songs. As always the exotic atmosphere that is lost in reverie is maintained. A near escape from the "other" life. Twelve pieces about the question, how one's life might have possibly turned out. Yvonne Cornelius (Niobe), composer of colourful and complex arrangements, and extraordinary vocal virtuoso, narrates in rich… Read more
Graphics slides in with something more blue and melodic backed with a rogue Dem Mantle remix. 'There's A Way Back' is markedly different to his dancefloor-dedicated cuts like 'Wiping The Eye' and 'OK Rainbow', attempting a sober style of beatdown electronica akin to Mount Kimbie or James Blake on the naggingly emotive title track and the slippery rhythms of 'Fiddla'. Dam Mantle's remix picks apart the title tracks and re-patches it as a crooked kind of House track with stumbling square bass, real low-down subs and unique drum programming to brilliant effect - the highlight of the record.
The first new Howling Hex release since 2009's 'Rogue Moon' is a typically cerebral, weird affair from former Royal Trux and Pussy Galore dude, Neil Hagerty. It follows last years audio book version of 'Victory Chimp' with four new songs ranging from spiked ska to off-kilter country all with Neil's very unique take on music.
Drag City uncover another great bit of Manchester post punk experimentalism few knew existed. Originally released on the short-lived Groovy Records, Sally Smmit's 'Hangahar' is a soundtrack to the eponymous film and was recorded in 1979 at Whalley Range's Smile Studios with a cast including former Buzzcock Pete Shelley, Lindsey Lee, Francis Cookson and Gerard Cookson aka The Tiller Boys. Beguiling and esoteric, 'Hangahar' is defined by sparse, minimal percussion rituals and skewed, scrawled synth patterns with Sally and Lindsey's angelic vocals spiralling across the first half,… Read more
We've been wowed by Drag City's Groovy reissues this week and Free Agents' '£3.33' is easily the pick of the bunch. Manned by a post-Buzzcocks Pete Shelley, the label only released three records in its short existence, but all three illuminate a particularly dark and twisted side of the Manchester post-punk milieu which you kinda knew existed, but were never really privy to. This first release features Francis Cookson of The Tiller Boys alongside Barry Adamson, Pete Shelley and Eric Random creating a freely improvised midnight havoc with tape loops, feedback and wild percussion. It fair to say the … Read more
Another magnificent discovery from the annals of Manchester history reissued by Drag City. Pete Shelley, as you should know, was the indomitable lead singer of Buzzcocks and one of punk/post-punks most virulent catalysts. 'Sky Yen' is some of his very earliest work; two sides of freely improvised and alien synth oscillations performed in March 1974 and released in 1980 on his own Groovy Records imprint - home to his and his mate's most esoteric, experimental and noisy recordings. It's a trip in the most literal sense, blindly guided through primitive, dissonant squalls of electronic noise with a… Read more
*Limited 180g vinyl with printed inner sleeve* Dancefloor-primed jazz workouts starring Steve Reid and Sun Ra affiliate Ahmed Abdullah and backed with a strong edit by Four Tet. Emanative percussionist and lynchpin Nick Woodmansey incorporates trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah in his five piece unit for a sprightly fresh original, going out on a limb of woozy Farfisa organ blasts, rolling drums and bass, and sky-tracing trumpet lines held together with a genuinely tight funk instinct. Just in case your as can't get down with that, though, Four Tet is called in for a tighter edit, evening the kinks for the DJs and the dancers.
Drag City open a portal to the nocturnal activities of late '70s/early '80s Manchester with this issue of a previously unreleased LP by Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley and pals. Originally intended for release on Groovy Records - home to Shelley's 'Sky Yen' LP and more by Free Agents (Eric Random) and Sally Smmit And Her Musicians (Sally Timms) - 'Strange Men In Sheds With Spanners' is essentially Shelley and his circadian cycle including Barry Adamson and Eric Random fannying around with tape loops and feedback, f**king off any poppiness and impr… Read more
Seiji's sterling club-focussed series reaches its fifth, and possibly best, instalment. 'Frustratin' is just built to wreck UK dancefloors, cutting a dash between 'Show Me Love'-style house slink, skippy garage and thumping techno. Face Up' is structured like a jabbing, ducking and diving grime tune, but delivered with the silkiness and elegant simplicity of Chicago house. Bringing maximum bashiness with minimum fuss, these really are top-notch club tools - Seiji knows what's up.
Wednesday, 07 December 2011
Hot Coins aka Red Rack'Em supplies two smart Acid House Boogie remixes of Ron Basejam and Wave Machines cuts. A-side is a a supple, square bass driven revision of 'Voices' by Crazy Penis' Ron Basejam featuring the floating vocals of Holly Becker, while B-side is a craftier affair, lending loads of space and fluid groove contours to Wave Machine's 'The Greatest Escape We Ever Made'. For the mature raver...
*Reissued edition of 700. Includes download code redeemable from the label* Chris Forsyth's ultra rare 2009 solo album 'Dreams' finally available again. Both solo and as a member of Peeesseye and Phantom Limb, Chris has earned a reputation as one of America's finest masters of instrumental country/blues guitar, blending "minimalist rock balladry and anarcho-improv surrealism." On the four pieces of 'Dreams' he's accompanied by bandmates Jaime Fennelly and Fritz Welch - contributing synthesizer, vocals and percussions - and Nate Wooley's trumpet for a potently home-brewed blend of ideas ranging from pastoral meanders to epic blast offs and surreal, dissonant Americana.
"The black horse symbolized famine in the Book of Revelations. In the end-of-times scenario depicted there, luxuries continued to pour on to the rich while common people struggled to eat and stay alive. Apocalyptic metaphors seem more timely than ever these days, when the disenfranchised are occupying Wall Street and protesting unjust financial regimes worldwide - even as the distinction between presidential debates and reality TV grows ever more difficult to discern. That sense of urgency and hunger is audible on every track of GA'ANs new studio album Black Equus. This masterpiece summons the four… Read more
**Gatefold jacket. Includes download code redeemable from the label** Blunted lof-fi Indie teetering between eerily seance like and distant/basement in a peculiar manner. 'Smells Like Metal' is their fourth album in as many years and their first for Captcha Records, not so much rewriting their formula but giving it a considered nip and tickle here and there to explore new niches in their own sound. With armfuls of analog reverbs, tape delays, busted rhythm machines, pedals, guitars and drums their music swerves between scuzzy and spaced-out, lethargic and prodding, all with an authentic swagger and clammy, cracked ceramic glaze finish. Make sure to check the samples!!!
Monday, 05 December 2011
**White Vinyl** Salford's Ghost Outfit live up to the comparisons on their classic-sounding debut. 'Tuesday' is perfect jolt of melodic noise-pop; uptempo, impassioned and with the right balance of distortion, garage jangle and sing-a-long vocals. Flipside 'I Want Someone Else' is slower, grungier and bleaker, reminding of forlorn mid-winter mooches through the Other City.
Is there no end to FaltyDL's productivity? We're not complaining, 'cos he doesn't seem to be running out of ideas. 'Atlantis' heads for the dawn-bating zone somewhere between broken beat, deep electro and Kompakt pop, while 'Can't Stop The Prophet' nods to the LA beat-heads with its tough, shuffling drums, smoky keys and strings, before an unexpected coda detours into Zed Bias or even Squarepusher-esque, jazz-flecked drum 'n bass. 'My Light, My Love' does the deep boogie thing before the EP draws to a close with the more minimal, dance-ready 'The Sale Ends', a glitchy, stepping house cut somewhere between Akufen, MJ Cole and Aardvarck.
Thursday, 01 December 2011
*Edition of 500, initial copies on transparent orange vinyl. Cut at D&M, Berlin* KPLR have only gone and made the best release on Digitalis in 2011. This year we've been increasingly wowed by the stream of rogue, under-the-counter post-Techno coming out of the States and the UK. But one release in particular, KPLR's mind-bending 'Tek No Muzik' 12" for Crazy Iris stuck in the mind like a piece of dislodged solder. By taking a playfully abstract approach to hardware manipulation, unafraid of ceaseless repetition and finely attuned to the nuance of his machines, KPLR has cultivated a rare connection with elec… Read more
Advanced, savant-garde electronica from Black Acre's brightest talent. The 'Ark' EP has been a long time coming, over one year since his impressive 7" and the widely acclaimed 'Rubber Sun Grenade' EP, but these three tracks of lazer-guided, intensely detailed technicality are evidently worth the wait. 'Ark' is a monstrous feat of prog-funk programming acrobatics, like one of Hud Mo's fruitiest cut loose into 3D holo-space, while 'Chalk Knots' offers three minutes of dazzlingly dynamic spatial diffusions and cascading hyper-prog harmonies akin to moments from Konx-Om-Pax's 'Optimo Tracks'. However… Read more
**White Vinyl** One of the silkiest tracks on Joker's The Vision album, remixed by Rustie and Goldie. Rustie has a ball, framing William Cartwright's imploring vocal in a 21st century schizoid electro-R&B framework - like the music on his own Glass Swords album, it's too bright and bold and busy to argue with, but also knows when to pull things back, ramping up the drama with some expertly judged builds and drops. In Rus's mischievous paws, 'On My Mind' becomes the pop anthem it had the potential to be, and brain-squeezingly psychedelic to boot. Goldie's mix is strong too, panning darkside… Read more
It's funny how some bands just end up missing the audience they were seemingly destined to have. Happy Refugees popped up on the British DIY scene just after Brummie upstarts Swell Maps and just before the whole C86 craze, somehow arriving into limbo, destined to be never more than cult treasures to those lucky enough to have heard the (very few) songs they recorded. Thankfully the kind folks over at Acute have given their records the treatment they deserved bundling their mini LP and single together (with three unreleased tracks no less) and it couldn't have been any soon… Read more
*Silkscreened glow-in-the-dark jacket. Limited edition.* Killer LP of kosmische composition from the MIR guitarist toying with his collection of vintage analogue synthesizers. 'Avventure Lontane' meaning "adventures that happened far away" or "long gone adventures" has an endearingly naif and positive melodic quality played out on antique kit such as VCS3, MS-10, Jupiter 4, String Melody, YS-100, DSR-2000, Rhythm Ace and Electronic Organ. While his frothy, fleshy compositions remind of '70s pioneers such as Cluster or Asmus Tietchens and definitely finds a kindred spirit in Bruce Haack's ecc… Read more
"An epic two track 40 minute split from two of the Modern Psychedelic Underground's greats, the legendary Bardo Pond spoon out the molasses with the track Fallen on side A, that has an expansive droned psych thrum, helmed by some driving rhythms, the power, the loud..and then as you are almost pummelled into nothingness, Isobel's flute comes through.and then furthur on until she begins to sing..theres wash upon wash of righteous guitar sound, a sonic attack indeed. On the flip, Agitated's flagbearers Carlton Melton bring the magiick karpet ride much higher with "Slow Growth", still as… Read more
*Vinyl edition on aheavyweight 180gm vinyl in deluxe die cut gatefold sleeve - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label* Assembling fourteen musicians for one day in Tokyo, including Jim O'Rourke on guitar, and vocals from Takashi Ueno of Tenniscoats, the recording of 'Lemondale' was described as "a miracle" by Takuji Aoyagi (Kama Aina), one of the musicians on the record, for bringing together musicians and schools of music that would be thought to be incompatible even if appearing on a bill for a live event, let alone playing on the same record. It simultaneously captures the … Read more
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Andy Meecham, best known as The Emperor Machine or Chicken Lips, presents the first title under his own name. 'Monophonic Volume One' is essentially Andy showing off his enviable collection of vintage analog synths, in methodical, albeit charming, fashion. A-side is dedicated to British and American models with four tracks of bloopy, sexy disco individually displaying the abilities of the Oberheim Sem, the Moog Little Phatty, an EMS VCS3, and a Moog Prodigy. The flipside is dedicated to Japanese manufacturers, with five tracks respectively played out on a Yamaha CS15, the Roland SH7, Sy… Read more
A diverting, beautifully produced LP of arty electronic pop and minimal synth from Germany's Andreas Reihse, on a busman's holiday from his celebrated Kreidler project. On 'Johnny Hairo' and 'Bahia Knife' Reihse takes cyclical kosmische motifs and rides them to into playful, unpredictable territory - making for a seductive club music somewhere between krautrock, Balearic-edged techno and seedy late 70s cabaret. 'Der Lange Weg Dusseldorf' is an homage to the town where Reihse shared a rehearsal room with Pole in the late '80s, and where Reihse's hero Klaus Dinger lived and had his studi… Read more
**Double LP edition from Numero, beautifully presented as always in a heavyweight gatefold sleeve.** "Nickel and Penny are twin sides of the same eccentric coin, and that coin was Chicago's #1 Dusties DJ Richard Pegue. He was writer, arranger, and producer of some of the most beautiful Chicago soul records in the '60s and '70s; too bad they all went out of print weeks after being released. On Order here are rare sides by Jerry Townes, the Voices, the Norvells, Little Ben & The Cheers, South Shore Commission, Joyce Williams, The Hallelujah Chorus, Brothers … Read more
Monday, 28 November 2011
"An improvised music acid trip for instruments, voice and electronics by the GOL Orchestra and the now defunct Telinga Ensemble navigating on the darkest waters of psychedelia. Five long tracks recorded 14 years ago in an icy flat in Pigalle, Paris with Ravi Shardja (bass guitar), Olivier Maurel (cello, objects), Emmanuel Quentin (guitar, prepared guitar), Cathy Mai (drums, vocals), Frederic Rebotier (percussions, flutes, objects), Samon Takahashi (real-time mix, electronics). Listening to this record will fulfill the most adventurous and twisted ears engagi… Read more
*Edition of 350* Luc Ferrari conceived 'Exercises d'improvisation' in 1977 "as a sequence of seven individually or collectively improvised exercises for tape and any instrument or group of instruments." Nearly 35 years later the original tapes have been dusted down by Luc's widow, Brunhild Meyer-Ferrari and the original score interpreted for the first time ever by the GOL collective - Jean-Marcel Busson, Frédéric Rebotier, Ravi Sharda and Samon Takahashi - playing flutes, electric and bass guitars, ocarina, nagara, electric guembri, vocoder and messa… Read more
*Limited edition of 280 copies in gatefold sleeve* Primal, putrified rock abstractions from Oren Ambarchi and his tribal counterparts, Nick Kamvissis and Brendan Walls ov Marsfield, plus Lisa & Naomi Tocatly. Stranded miles away from convention, the Sisters conduct a pre-historic cacophony of savaged percussion, gristle-spitting vocals and utterly bloodshot madness. From the guttural strains of the opening track you know this is going somewhere you've likely not been before, and simply, they follow through with the promise (puns intended). Way out there. For fans of Chris Corsano a… Read more
*Art edition Issued in an edition of 80 signed and numbered copies* "Art edition including an LP with the recordings at the Istituto della Calcografia Nazionale in Rome of two world premiere compositions by Philip Corner and Daniele Lombardi. Issued in 80 signed and numbered copies and including excerpts form the original scores. Philip Corner Tenebres: Lesson&Light (Studies in Shadow and Light), learning from the dark the grand lesson of music. The darkest sound in music is the tone-cluster. Approximation of the even denser aggregates existent already in nature: ro… Read more