Monday, 28 March 2011
"Bearsuit return with a fierce new sound incorporating dirty synths, urgent guitars and infectious beats. Produced by Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Breeders, Foals), the band have swapped violins, flutes and horns for dirty synths, urgent guitars and infectious beats in the light of a dramatic line-up change. "The Phantom Forest" is laden with dance-floor fillers and brazen melodies, with a birdsong finale to serenade your dawn-walk home. But lurking beneath, a more sinister and melancholy thread weaves the 12 tracks together. With a new rhythm section on board they have reinvigorated the… Read more
The return of Rag and Bone with a proper jump-up raver from Gremino, tapping into an early 90's hardcore breakbeat blueprint with nice and heaving bass stabs added for 21st century pressure. "Its Working" in particular nails it - all spasmodic vocal samples and padded bass pulses, while "Problem" gives it some tropical modifications for the nu-skool party starters. Solid twelve!
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Massively impressive debut from multi-instrumentalist talent, Memotone, backed with a smudged House refit by Lukid! Lead track 'Multicolour' is a masterful frisson of crisp and sharp, technicoloured hi-end riffage cushioned by wide subs with a magical, BoC like wow & flutter breakdown, but 'Bellatrix' is more on the Zomby tip, calculated synth arpeggiations running over tumultuous hiphop/double-timed rhythms. In a stroke of A&R genius, Lukid appears on the flip with a cyber-dreamy refit infused with padded 4/4 House kicks while the sugary melody is caramelised into a sticky, shiny residue. Don't sleep on this one!
*Includes a download code redeemable directly from the label* New York's irrepresible anglophile Falty DL takes influence from the last 20 years of UK and US dance music on a brilliant 2nd album for Planet Mu. Since his debut 'Love Is A Liability' was released in 2009, Falty DL (real name: Drew Lustman) has risen to the forefront of the scene with a slew of deft remixes for The xx, Shake, Mount Kimbie and many others, to much critical acclaim. 'You Stand Uncertain' continues the sharp evolutionary curve we've witnessed in those remixes and his singles for Ramp and Rush Hour, among others,… Read more
Four tracks of properly advanced electronic funk. Since 2008 Dorian Concept has made an indelible imprint on electronic music, not least with his incredible 'When Stars Explode' album and the outrageous 'Trilingual Dance Sexperience'. For Ninja Tune he drops a suite of surprisingly DJ-friendly dancefloor idiosyncrasies, shimmying between the Funky-compatible, jazz-twirling dip 'n jak of the title track to the Bashment bouncing propulsion of 'My Face Needs Food', sounding uncannily like a Siriusmo production, and into the stereo-flitting drums of 'Toe Games Made Her Giggle', … Read more
Being a close associate of Baltimore's very own electro superhero Dan Deacon, it would be predictable to assume that Adventure's Benny Boeldt is a purveyor of sparkly, unpredictable electro symphonies. And you'd be warm for sure, but Boeldt seems far less interested in the sticky dancefloor, and far more taken by the neon haze of the 1980s and early 1990s. 'Lesser Known' is an album that to these ears seems pointed directly at the collective unconsciousness of kids just about my age, people who grew up buying bootleg videogames on floppy disk and who have a certain place in their heart carved … Read more
Monday, 21 March 2011
"5 years. A very long time in popular music. And yet 5 years is the time it took Daniel Christopher Smith, a.k.a. Brother Danielson, a.k.a. Danielson, to complete this his newest work. In a way, Danielson has, during these 5 years, let go (reluctantly, perhaps) of some family collaborators - namely his brothers Andrew and David, the percussionists, and childhood friends Chris and Ted, on keys and bass/guitar respectively. While sisters Megan and Rachel, and Daniels wife Elin, the essential chorus for many a Danielson Famile song, still appear, the bulk of 'Best of Gloucester Coun… Read more
Leading on from Jazzman Gerald's issue of The Natural Yoghurt Band's uncanny recreation of vintage library psychefunk sounds on 'Away With Meloncholy', Now Again present their sophomore effort, housed in hard paste-on gatefold sleeve coverd by die-cut OBI strip - it's luxurious to say the least! The first album sold out in a flash and judging from the endearing outernational eccentricities of 'Tuck In With...', this will be a favourite with those who who like their psyche expansive, unpredictable and irreverent.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Three years since Sin Fang Bous's debut 'Clangour' we find the Icelandic indie chap back once more, but this time it's different - I mean, he's dropped the 'Bous' from his name after all. With that snappier, more memorable artist moniker, it follows that the music should be a little more lean and palatable too and that's certainly true. The ghosts of New Zealand's famed Flying Nun label are alive and well on 'Summer Echoes', but any of the excesses present on 'Clangour' have disappeared from the production. In fact I'd be hard pressed to say this was even Icelandic if you served the record up … Read more
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Three way split from a trio of Belgian Dubstep producers. Janner's 'Proteus' swivels on some 'ardcore-infused garage tip, while BunZer0 drops the trance-tinged and melodic IDM-step of 'Second Meeting (VIP Remix)' and Manouvre cuts deeper with the F-style Dub-Tech of 'Mr Moody's Morning Madness'.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Trembling Bells are led by virtuoso drummer Alex Neilson, and the band is his chance to really embrace his love of classic British folk music. He manages to hit the nail on the head too, conjuring up a classic era of folk without every falling into modern tropes (weird forest folk, anyone?) or into the loathesome cider drinking festival vibe. These are well-composed and expertly played songs, polished off by fine vocal performances from fellow Directing Hand member Lavinia Blackwall (a better voice you'd be hard-pushed to find). But there's more in there than meets the ear, deep … Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Scuzzy goth darkness from down under on a six-track frightener from Sacred Bones. References to Bauhaus and legions of Post Punk groups aside, Sydney's Naked On The Vague make memorably eerie songs driven by the twin engines of Matthew Hopkins' ghoulish bass and Lucy Cliché's keys and vocals, now with some extra flesh from drummer Lachlan Vercoe and bassist Nic De Jong. It all sounds like the sort of stuff you'd imagine kids in a backwater Ozploitation B-movie to listen to at a local sinking hole before becoming embroiled in some nightmarish serial killer storyline.
Monday, 14 March 2011
American ambassadors of the "mature" house sound, Brooklyn's Wolf + Lamb and Boston's Soul Clap pair up for a four-way DJ Kicks session. Taking in 9 tracks from Tanner Ross, Deniz Kurtel, Nicolas Jaar, Slow Hands, SECT and No Regular Play, mixed with their own exclusive contributions as Soul Clap, Zev and Gadi Mizrahi. Handsome.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Thursday, 10 March 2011
'The African Twintower Suite' is Hanno Leichtmann's (Groupshow/Static) "lost" soundtrack to a film that never came to be. It was originally intended to accompany 90 minutes of footage recorded in Namibia/Lüderitz by the late, seminal German director Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010), but the concept evolved to an art installation with 18 monitors sequencing the footage and Leichtmann's exotic, abstract musical fusions were never used. Between 2009-2010 he compiled, edited, layered, collaged and shortened the most interesting bits of music for this release, resulting in … Read more
Super sleek Italo boogie from ED DMX's Fresh Up Record series. Frontside, 'White Chinos' is their tribute to the Chick Corea's duds on an ancient episode of the Old Grey Whistle Test, replete with deadpan vocals and a deadly Moroder-esque bassline arpeggio. Flip it for the romantic lather of 'Turn This Love Around', a library-esque groove of West Coast disco vibes with funky guitar and frickled Rhodes solos.
FK present the first ever issue of Zdenek Liska's original orchestral/electronic score to 'Malá Morská Víla' from 1976, a Czech film adaptation of Hans C. Anderson's 'The Little Mermaid'. The label's love affair with classic Czech film soundtracks in no secret, just check their acclaimed premiere reissues of 'Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders' and 'Daisies' for proof, but even they themselves regard 'Malá Morská Víla' as "one of the most idiosyncratic and haunting undiscovered scores in the annals of European cinematic history". Beautifully remastered from the original mastertapes with th… Read more
As its mouthful of a title might suggest, this latest bumper full-length from cosmic explorers Akron/Family is yet another genre bending off-world exploration into the outer realms. And trust me, that is nowhere near as horrible as my description might make it sound. It's always been hard to characterize Akron/Family, and with 'STII' they haven't made my life any easier with their near-symphonic collision of rampaging guitars, soaring synthesizers and pummeling post-Krautrock rhythms. I want to say their closest comparison would be Flaming Lips, but that… Read more
Like a good cup of tea or a Crunchie, you always know what you're in for when you're lucky enough to get your hands on a brand new Wagon Christ album. This is Luke Vibert's umpteenth record under the moniker, and since the classic 'Throbbing Pouch' all those years ago he's had a certain section of the listening public literally weeing themselves for fresh material. It's no slouch either, within seconds the avalanche-like tumble of samples sets 'Toomorrow' up to be everything you want from a Vibert record and more. Vocal snippets and familiar boom-bap references form the album's rusty anchor, b… Read more
Monday, 07 March 2011
Charming collection of versions from the vaults of Bunny Lee, presented by Jamaican Recordings. 'Creation Of Dub' collects 14 prime early dub productions featuring riddims selected by Bunny Lee and mixed at Dynamic Sounds by the master, King Tubby. Includes some genius pieces such as the 'Jamaican Roots Dub' of 'Jamaican Fruits Of African Dub', the beautifully cooled-out and Eastern-tingd 'This Boss Of Dub' versioning Jackie Edwards 'So Jah Say' and the strobing 'A Hard Hard Dub' version of Delroy Wilson's 'Get Ready' among others.
Thursday, 03 March 2011
Kreidler might be on their umpteenth album now, but by the sounds of 'Tank' they have hit upon a creative streak that belies their age. In fact 'Tank' is probably their most creatively successful album to date, and it manages this (oddly enough) by looking backwards, rather than forwards. It is telling that album has appeared on Bureau B, who release mostly reissues, and while 'Tank' is far from a reissue it still manages to take a hefty dollop of influence from the very best of electronic music past. The band's Krautrock worship is still evident throughout, but this is punctuated by nods towards Itali… Read more
*Vinyl edition contains a free copy of the CD inside.* Sterling new release from Cologne's Magazine label, presenting the first substantial recordings from Jaki Liebezeit's Drums Off Chaos percussion ensemble. For their debut album they're also joined by Köln lynchpin Jens-Uwe Beyer, who's best known for his Popnoname productions on Kompakt's Pop Ambient series and as a member of future kosmiche group, Cologne Tape. Despite being in operation for nearly 30 years, the group have only committed their sound to tape on a handful of rare instances including a … Read more
Preceding his killer new LP (trust us, it's ace!), Boxcutter drops album highlight 'Allele' backed with the exclusive 'Other People'. The title of the lead track is a reference to gene mutation and that's exactly what he's doing inside, splicing and morphing strands of bobbling Footwork toms with dubbed out techno stabs and jagged hardcore jungle breaks in classic Boxcutter style, only this time he's removed the polished veneer to reveal a rugged, sinuous mass of dancing muscle and bone. 'Other People' is also shy of any overworked post-production adornments, but it's a mellower affair, an archetypa… Read more
"For this limited edition single, the songs were performed by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang with Ben Boye, Van Campbell, Danny Kiely and Angel Olsen, who toured in the latter half of 2010 with Bonny & Cairo. Special guest Rob Mazurek (whose work brought air and light to Bonny’s Beware) solos delicate on “Island Brothers,” which features stacked harmonies from Bonny, Cairo and Angel. The careful arrangement of dynamics that marked all the songs on The Wonder Show Of The World is present on both songs, with “New Wonder,” more indicative of the ballad style that was explored throughout that album."
Homespun electronic pop music has proved far more popular in the last few years than most of us probably expected. Panda Bear, Atlas Sound, even the expanded Animal Collective have all had unexpected hits with records that sounded like they were the result of more than a few cups of tea and Digestive biscuits in the home studio and that’s no bad thing. Banjo or Freakout (aka Alessio Natalizia) is hardly a newcomer to the scene having released a slew of EPs and being part of both Kompakt’s Walls and Italian post-punkers Disco Drive, but this self titled missive is his debut solo al… Read more
The latest from indie darling Kurt Vile, ‘Smoke Ring for My Halo’ was recorded at various studios in New York City, Hoboken and Philadelphia. With the help of backing band The Violators, Vile has created maybe his most complete work to date – a daring collection of songs that represents him absolutely as a songwriter. This is still the same Vile we know and love, channelling the spirits of music past (Springsteen and Neil Young, most obviously) but he injects his distinct lo-fi sound into things with the kind of ease Sonic Youth had in the 80s. Vile’s ear for keen melody is evident t… Read more
Data steps off into esoteric D&B space with two special deliveries for Blackout Music. 'Burning Paradise' doesn't comfortably fit into D&B or dubstep parameters, although it's tempo would suggest the former. Like the dBridge/Instra:mental/Skream entry for Autonomic, data really sets to work with unpredictable snare placements and generally crafty-as-f*ck programming on this one, while 'Prognosis' is slightly easy to grasp (beatmatch) on a slick and techy minimal halfstep tip.
It's always dangerous picking a name like Standard Fare, as reviewers will have a hard time not dropping that into reviews. See, even I managed to slot it in? But that's the end of it I promise. 'Suitcase' is the duo's latest single and shows off their jangly interplay well; vocalist Emma does a good job of sounding just nonchalant enough while guitarist Danny parties like it's 1997. For some reason the music reminds me a bit of Sleeper, remember them? Good stuff.
Fat City reissue Hizatron's Berkane Sol cut, 'Von Glooperstein' backed with a fonky Mr Scruff mix. The original is a fairly obscure piece of mnml techno engineering from the Midlands, which Scruff reworks with a big bag of spanners and some exotic drums to get it up and dancing. Good twelve!
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Odder Dub-Tech from Bristol's Orphan101, following an acclaimed drop for Apple Pips. With relentless intentions 'Into You' jacks Electro-House elements into a charging 140bpm framework, whereas 'Barraca' is proggy-tinged Techno riding quasi-speed subs and we're not sure what the feck 'Typical' is, perhaps some kinda spliced creature formed from sped-up Rhythm & Sound records and woozy ambient? Grab this if you were into the last Illum Sphere 12" on Tectonic.