Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Party guaranteed winners from Savage Skulls with a debut EP on Dubsided. Title cut 'Bumps' is an immediate floor ingiter, laying the smack down with powerfully unruly ragga-house bass spliced with rave samples and plentiful sweaty vibes, while 'Flabanco' on the flip sounds like Major Lazer getting into a dance-off with DJ Mujava before calling an honorable draw. Very effective stuff for fans of Switch, Diplo, Jesse Rose or Sinden. TIP!
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
**Sky Blue Vinyl** The more freakishly perceptive, Countdown-viewing contingent amongst you may have noticed that Hematic Sunsets is an anagram of Asmus Tietchens, and sure enough this new Dekorder LP is the handiwork of the great Hamburg-based sound artist. Dekorder seems like a fairly distant relation to the sort of labels we'd normally find Tietchens gracing: with the likes of Die Stadt, 12k offshoot Line and Mille Plateaux sub-label Ritornell Tietchens has been best known for releasing music within more stringent and earnestly electronic circles, but this new album represent… Read more
Thursday, 16 July 2009
*COLOURED VINYL* Two legendary entities from the experimental hinterlands unite for this challenging collaborative outing. Krautrock icons Faust team up with ferocious British electronics experts Nurse With Wound resulting in a line-up featuring Zappi Diermaier, Steven Stapleton, Jean-Herve Peron, Colin Potter and Amaury Cambuzat. Although the initial psychedelic benevolence of 'Lass Mich' is redolent of the Faust crew, it's not long before the far-flung concrète machinations of NWW take a stranglehold on the album's sonic make-up. The album's title track is an unsettling drone p… Read more
Smart and heavy dubstep rave hits from Tony Thorpe's Studio Rockers imprint. Hackman makes a dance ready sound somewhere between Caspa and Moody Boyz on the Lady Sov sampling 'Loophole', before building a garage styled dubstepper on 'Illusionz' and the big bad rave piece 'Nocturne' on the flip co-produced with Surje.
Thursday, 09 July 2009
This is the first release on the Off The Uncertain Button label, a new label owned by director / designer Simon Owens, and Paul Mogg (Moon Unit, DFA / Supersoul). Dave I.D. is an emergent talent from South East London whose unusual, leftfield electronic pop is sure to make waves amongst fans of the darker, more industrial end of that spectrum. An intriguing debut to say the least, this seven-inch is the first in a series of double A-side singles that are destined to culminate in a compilation CD set for release in Autumn, but if you want the wax, be wary: it's limited to 450 copies for the world.
Duke Garwood really fits in with the wandering minstrel image. Having spent formative years learning his trade in the beach bars of My Lai in Thailand, Garwood later returned to Blighty playing squat parties, eventually releasing a first album in 2005. Two years later the songwriter pulled a Bon Iver, laying down an album in some "lonely hut" on the North Downs. Along the way, Garwood contributed brass to Archie Bronson Outfit live appearances, but once again he's on his own, recording this album in another deserted residence, applying a coarse, rugged blues sound to great tracks … Read more
Grrrrr. This guy needs to get a massage or something. Mode presents three tracks of purest angry dubstep on Z Audio, designed to connect with those of you whose parents just refused them pocket money or anyone who has to resit year 10 in the new term. That said it may also drive a dubstep rave wild if you're into Caspa or N-Type.
Wednesday, 08 July 2009
This 1990 Galaxie 500 album draws its title from the classic Ornette Coleman LP of the same name and transpired to be the group's final studio outing. There seems to be a slight expansion of the Galaxie 500 sound on this outing, expanding upon the dream-pop building blocks of prior outings with a heavier drum sound and more textural guitars. Songs like 'Hearing Voices' and 'Spook' soar magnificently, while elsewhere, the woodwind solos of 'Way Up High' and miniature fanfares in 'King Of Spain Part 2' take the group's aesthetic into fresh directions - there's really not a single momen… Read more
Tuesday, 07 July 2009
JOMF's tenth studio album, Ballads Of The Revolution is brilliantly poised in its capturing of the band's Americana otherness. So many of the veteran group's finest attributes are condensed here: their ethereal country tendencies, those prolonged Deadhead meanderings and in the sublime closing track 'A Mania' you get to hear them exercising their more traditional songwriting prowess. From the outset Ballads Of The Revolution shows signs of being a fairly special entry into the Jackie O MoFo discography, marking its beginnings with a shimmering, echo-lined arrangement… Read more
Would it be too bold a statement to suggest that Wilco might be the best American band of the past ten years? In Yankee Hotel Foxtrot they've definitely got a realistic contender for album of the noughties (don't you just hate that word? Sorry about that), and since 1999's Summerteeth the Chicago band have been on a creative roll that found sublime songwriting from Jeff Tweedy and sparring partner Jay Bennett (RIP) jostling with an increasingly experimental mindset. After Bennett's departure, A Ghost Is Born infused Neu! influences and even greater depths of electronic exploration (including… Read more
This EP finds a roster of artists tackling Build An Ark's Dawn LP, which originally surfaced around eighteen months or so back. Daedelus leads the pack, reworking 'In Her Smile' with some glorious cutting and splicing, teetering on a spaced-out lounge-jazz sound that's typical of his production style. Following on directly is an overhaul of 'You Yourself Are The Key To The Universe' from Daedelus' side project The Long Lost. In this instance there's a more pastoral, orchestral folk feel, converging on a Vashti Bunyan-like, haunting presence thanks to smoky female voc… Read more
Friday, 03 July 2009
Skam finally pick their moment to emerge from a dark warehouse somewhere in north Manchester with a new release from secret weapon Mr76ix. Firstly we can safely say they've not lost the faith and headed down the dubstep rave route (yet), and secondly this should certainly ease up any itchy fingered cravings you've been suffering for braille stamped darkside electronica. Mr76ix's previous albums seemed like an amalgam of pretty much every artist on the label mashed up and fed through an old atari, flickering from shades of hypercoloured Team Doyobi melodies to Gescom style rhythmic complexity and… Read more
Thursday, 02 July 2009
"Legion Of Two is a new project from Dubliners Alan O'Boyle and David Lacey. It pits electronics against live drums and percussion for a very dark, dense and noisy dirge. Huge basslines, slow pounding drums and feedback dominate. Industrial, dub and metal influences are shredded through old guitar pedals and cheap reverbs and re-assembled into a driving and melodic force. Alan O'Boyle is best known for his work in electronic music as Decal with a catalogue of EPs and albums on labels like Satamile, Planet Mu and Rotters Golf Club covering electro, techno and experimental music. He has also been i… Read more
Wednesday, 01 July 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
*MARBLE VINYL LIMITED TO 500 COPIES FOR THE WORLD* Featuring artists like Amps For Christ, Refrigerator Mothers, Sikara and the colourfully titled Hop-Frog's Drum Jester Devotional, this Urck LP is another excursion into the label's very own "Post-Asiatic" genre, in which Western artists confront non-Western and avant-garde Asian musics. It transpires to be pretty extraordinary stuff, with highlights including the hammered zither and marimba infusions of Auto Da Fe's 'Into The White Forest' and the inventive scrap metal kabuki of Nequaquam Vacuum's 'Orichi'. Recommended.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Dubstep hybrid gear outta France on the new Kiosk Electric imprint. Hupsydown is related to the Dest Pub crew of producers and brings a similarly unbridled party vibe to the plate with two variants mixing 4x4 niche Bassline with halfstep on 'Born To Be Bass', and Tekno styled Bassline on '4x4 Lovers' to unload all over your rave. In ya face!
It's become fully apparent now that Cotti only makes lethal Sound System weapons, unfortunately those looking for jazzy interludes and trancing breakdowns will have to look elsewhere. Following from his quaking Soul Jazz drops of late 'Warrior Charge' for Studio Rockers is no less deadly or effective, featuring vocals from 2Nice over waves of mammoth subbass pressure bound to bowl weak knees over. 'Lost & Found' on the flip is a much scarier beast, with an electro-shocked dub-rave riddim haunted by freaky synthline poltergeists wreaking havoc in the dance. Big tracks!
Few Nolder first made an impression with the crossmatched micro house, disco and electronica styles of his debut 12" on Mu last year. 'New Folder' is his debut album and explores these styles with a considered musical talent drawn from his past as a professional piano player in Lithuania and a range of local vocal talent. Few's sound is achingly clean and manicured but manages to evade the pitfalls of much minimal and micro house with an expanded imagination and simple but crafty melodic developments. It's a slight departure for Planet Mu, but once you're tucked into the set you'll realise ther… Read more
Sporting a name that's of the Dananananakyroyd ilk, Tim and Sam's Tim and The Sam Band with Tim and Sam arrive at Static Caravan with a new 7" filled with instrumental post-folk loveliness. After the building acoustic pseudo-epic 'Summer Solstice (replete with banjos and glockenspiels) the B-side opens with a waltzing, breezy affair titled 'Rolling Hills', but the final track on this three-song EP is a lo-fi instrumental cover of Elbow's 'One Day Like This', aptly rounding off an incredibly optimistic, sunshine dappled single.
Monday, 15 June 2009
This is the kind of album you could stow away in a time capsule only for the generations to come to be baffled that it ever existed. Neo Dada is an aptly titled piece of modern compositional fusion that chops and changes between heavy duty prog-jazz, chamber music for strings and Frank Zappa-esque mutant pop. Jono El Grande follows his nearly-as-deranged Fevergreens album of 2003 with this impressively scaled-up sequel. Jono takes the role of composer, band leader, arranger and producer on Neo Dada, leaving much of the playing to an orchestra of followers faced with the daunting prospect o… Read more
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Lest we forget, Mordant Music's 'The Tower' releases are some of the finest dark ambient records of the last decade. We've dropped off on many nights bricking ourselves to the maudlin tones and arcane drones of the first album, so we're equally intrigued and suspicious of how these tracks will work with beat driven refixes from Baron Mordant and Lord Klattr. Thankfully the beats do work, once you've readjusted yourself to their new dancefloor context, perhaps with the exception of the 'Compos Mentis' mix which errs too close to claggy breaks for us. Their 'ExhuMMed' mix summons a sick voodoo synco… Read more
Having crafted two enduring cult pop albums under comparatively humble circumstances, Masha Qrella has embarked upon a more ambitious project for her latest full-length. For one thing the songs were arranged for a full band line-up and then recorded live in a proper recording studio over a number of sessions, but perhaps more striking than that, all these compositions are reinterpretations of Broadway classics penned by Kurt Weill and Frederick Loewe. Qrella was approached by Berlin's Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, charged with the undertaking of assembling a themed evening… Read more
Dubstep electronix hero Milanese steps back into the fray with his second album for Planet Mu. His grimy-electro influenced take on Dubstep has been much imitated since the release of his '1Up' album for Warp and Mu's 'Extend' so he's found himself a crew of vocal collaborators and like minded producers to shape up the next evolution in the Milanese sound with 'Lockout'. Now working seperately to his previous collaborators Various Production, he still shares a healthy love of vocals, represented with contributions from Ben Sharpa, RQM & Oliver Grimball added to whatever urban dance style Milanese de… Read more
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Atmospheric dubstep rollers from Odessa on premier dubstep outlet LoDubs. 'Deeper' holds the A-side spot with a neatly spaced cut floating lush synthlines over sticky electro percussion and rolling subliminal subs, while 'Million Dollarz' adds pitched-up vocals and smart shots of junglist pressure to the formula. fans of 6Blocc should apply!
Thursday, 04 June 2009
Originally released in 1970, this album is lifted from Nigerian innovator (and so-called "evil genius of highlife") Victor Olaiya's funk fusion period. "Victor Olaiya is certainly one of the legendary foundation stones of modern Nigerian music, yet he has never received much acknowlegement or really had his albums released or promoted in any quantity outside of Nigeria. So this Vampisoul release is a step in the right direction and not before time, for a 77 years old who was probably Nigeria's leading star of 50's and early 60's, his golden years. Dr. Victo… Read more
Though it may sound like the work of a sizable ensemble cast, this eponymous debut from Years can all be traced back to one man: Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene. The guitarist and producer has made an outstanding instrumental album, mixing together orchestral expanses, electronically embellished recording techniques and some great six-string picking. The press release is keen to make comparisons to the likes of Jim O'Rourke or even Squarepusher, and sure enough Benechetrit could certainly argue the case for being lumped in with such esteemed company; as a musical polymath… Read more
Arcane baffle-beats from London's Rubik, releasing two tracks of style and fashion defying Black Metal and techno on his own Domestic imprint. 'Carrion' is the 140bpm+ techno meets atmospheric metal (con)fusion on the A-side, which we think sounds far better at 33rpm, while 'Substance/The Shadow' on the flip mutates from a Bach homage played on acoustic guitar to a double-kickdrum driven metal noise assault. Limited to 300 copies for this world only.
Wednesday, 03 June 2009
There are few labels that can offer compilations as thorough and consistent as those released by Honest Jons. From their EMI Archive-delving Sprigs Of Time set to the Living Is Hard selection, capturing West African music in Britain during the 1920s, the label never fails to deliver a convincing portrait of a particular movement or moment in musical history. This album once again see the label visiting the sound world of West Africa, depicting the calypso songs of the 1950s via some truly joyous, uplifting recordings, taking in jazzy ensemble pieces, highlife-inspired compositions and brass band stomps. Another insightful, enjoyable playlist from Honest Jons...
Monday, 01 June 2009
Black Bird's Echo was conceived with help from David Grubbs and Melvins bassist Trevor Dunn, but Niobe brings her own unique voice to the album, populating her songs with elaborate, often very noisy electronic production techniques that shatter conventional song structure. On 'Time Is Kindling' her voice and jazzy approach to writing and delivery slips into the avant-garde thanks to a clever integration of sound collage and unorthodox minimalist instrumentation. Far from sounding like a regular song that's merely been doused in effects or additional noise, the whole piece seems to be tilted … Read more
Friday, 29 May 2009
I was beginning to lose hope, I really was. 2009 wasn't shaping up to be a great year for pop music; sure there have been good albums but there weren't many really 'defining' records. Animal Collective had hit us square in the chops with 'Merriweather Post Pavillion' but nobody else had raised their game to meet it - the world was lacking the run of albums it needed to make 2009 'great' rather than simply 'good'. That brings us to 'Bitte Orca', an album which might lack the fanfare of its Black Flag-influenced predecessor 'Rise Above' but delivers sonically on every imaginable level. The … Read more