Monday, 06 December 2010
At this point in their long and busy career, it's hard to say anything absolutely new about Japanese prog-psych travellers Acid Mothers Temple. They have been there, and chances are they did that while they were there. You sort of know what to expect - unless, of course, you chance upon one of their collaborations, and this one especially adds something very different to their oevre. A collaboration with Italian experimental types Stearica, this full-length effort was recorded on the road in Europe and pits Acid Mothers' transc… Read more
Thursday, 02 December 2010
Billed as an EP but clocking in at sixty minutes (seriously), 'All Delighted People' is a sort of prologue to Sufjan Stevens' gorgeous 'The Age Of Adz' album, and explores elements of his sound we haven't heard in a while. Thankfully the haphazard sense of experimentation we witnessed on 'Enjoy Your Rabbit' and 'A Sun Came' is back on 'All Delighted People' as wonky electronic elements pop up between flutes, strings, guitars and of course Stevens' near-effortless vocal nuances. More traditional moments such as the piano led 'The Owl And The Tanager' sit alongside deliriously orche… Read more
Further fortifying Black Acre's global credentials the label present a line up spanning the globe. From mother Russia, Dza & Mujuice, on the re-rub there's Australia's Dizz1 and on vocal duties we fly all the way to the West Coast of the US for Shadowhuntaz mic man, Non Genetic.
Tricky 'tronica styles from London's Crewdson on Robert Logan's esteemed Slowfoot imprint, readied with remixes from Bass Clef and Grasscut. Unavoidable comparisons to Mount Kimbie or Matthew Herbert are well warranted on the complex, jazz-structured intricacies of 'Dust Crawlers' or the spindly glitch sound of 'Pet', while Grasscut turn 'Mime' into a fractal IDM pop moment, kinda like The Chap in a fonky K-Hole, and Bass Clef gives 'Goodbye Old Friend' a healthy dancefloor workout.
'Against The Wall' - IIija's debut release for Yam Who's Ism label - has been reworked by the disco supergroup Killer Whale. The original is rebuilt around the hypnotic vocal and horn line sounding like some of the recent remixes from Tensnake or Carl Craig.
Fresh Minute Music have a habit of pulling out optimised Funky House heavyweights, evidenced by previous killers from Altered Natives. 'Three Of A Kind EP 2' collects four debut rug cutters from previously unreleased producers, Actraiser, Rotty and Thought Cosmic, all keeping the quality levels typically high. Actraiser dominates proceedings with his Funky compatible A-side rides 'Step Up' and 'Lakitu', both built muscular yet agile for the dancers and the kind of gear we could easily imagine Marcus Nasty rinsing out. Flip it and Rotty's 'I'm Deep' hits a groove of De… Read more
Wednesday, 01 December 2010
Armchair Traveller is the collaborative moniker of musicians Hella von Ploetz (on glass harp), Silvia Ocougne (on a variety of prepared and traditional guitars), Werner Durand (on self-made wind instruments), and Sebastian Hiken (on percussion and cello). From this collection of instruments you have an inkling that the music will be somewhat 'different' and you'd be right - as the name suggests the band takes influence from ethnic music, and rather than reframe it as coffee-table drivel they attempt to let this music guide their compositions. The results are haunting and unusual, a… Read more
'Port Entropy' is the fourth album from Japanese folk-popper Shugo Tokumaru, and proves (if proof were needed) that he is as close as you can get to a Japanese Sufjan Stevens. The comparison may seem a bit odd, but Tokumaru's brand of well-orchestrated folk-pop is more than worthy of standing up to Stevens' earlier, simpler works. Sure there might not be choirs of two-hundred angels imported straight from heaven, but Tokumaru shows a real vigour in his production and his limitations are key to his success. The choppy electronic production of 'Lahaha' for instance (maybe the album's real '… Read more
This latest Dr Boogie Presents... compilation from the Sub Rosa camp focuses on the lesser known - and downright obscure - artists of the rhythm and blues boom between 1952 and 1968. "Rhythm'n'Blues defines a music style born out of the Blues and Gospel. Played by black musicians in the early '40, Rhythm'n'Blues was first called'Race Music'. In 1949, as the US magazine Billboard published an article by Jerry Wexler, the 'Race Music' hit list became the Rhythm and Blues hit list. The expression aligns the word 'Rhythm' for a fast tempo and the word 'Blues' for the 12-Bar… Read more
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Subtle Audio scan the most esoteric and experimental strains of modern D&B with five tracks taken from their 42 track, 3xCD compilation. On the first plate Requiem turns out frantic and florid sub-continental percussion with 'Ancient Dub', while Accidental Style keeps the funk tight in the pocket with an arrangement of complex, skittering jazz breaks. The second plate swings out further, from the epic sci-fi vibes of Macca's dynamic drumfunk attack 'Virtual Affair' to Dan Habarnam's minimal, halfstep-infused 'Virtual Affair' and a tender moment of hushed jazz subtleties from … Read more
Much-hyped House business from South London's Wbeeza, delivering his 4th 12" for Third Ear Recordings. Keeping matters as stripped-to-the-bone as possible 'Jack Ur Car' kicks out a raw and sub-heavy Jackers riddim compatible with the most efficient Prosumer productions, while the pitching percussive effect of the equally minimal 'Boom!' nods to Cooly G's 'Phat Si'. Cover looks dope.
Really Swing strike back with another 8 tracks on a bumper 10" from Quiroga. Vol.2 is an ideoplastic voyage into shifty beats, luscious jazz keys and fractured melodies...
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Immense 23-track 2LP compilation charting the birth of punk attitude through the music of Suicide, Gene Vincent, T Rex, Sun Ra, MC5, The Stooges, New York Dolls and many more. It was compiled by music scribe and authority on music, Kris Needs, who also provides an extensive 76-page perfect-bound book, and appears on the same label that assembled the ace 'Bustin' Out' compilation of New Wave to New Beat classics, so you're basically in very good hands for this pre-Punk 101. The key to the comp is in the word "Attitude" giving Kris license to pick some incredibl… Read more
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Fascinating 12" featuring "recordings of raw output from 49 configuration of an EMS VCS 3 synthesizer" released through Russell Haswell's Touch sublabel, Or. As many synth fiends will know, the VCS 3 was the first commercially available portable modular synthesizer, and renowned for it wide range of inherent electronic sound effects. But due to it being an early model, and with the accumulations of oxide which occur over time, the machine is also known for its melodic unpredictability and the microtonal fluctuations which this instability exaggerates. Theo Burt and Peter Worth of the Mus… Read more
Charming compilation of 13 tracks including rare bonus cuts by late 60s/early70s Texan Funk outfit The Soul Brothers. Like many of their time, they would only release a few 7"s, but with the Funk revival of the last ten years or so they've emerged from obscurity to become appreciated by a new generation. get on the badass heavy Funk cuts like 'Git It' or the energetic 'Soul Train' or the more soulful 'I Saw Forever My Love'.
Dublin's dark pop wonders, Cap Pas Cap, have come a long way from the more krautrock-influenced new wave sounds on their first "Not Not is Fine" 12" EP released at the end of 2006 to the hypnotic and spacey new-wave-no-wave-what-wave terrain of their 'We Are Men' 12" single in 2009. The band now re-appear with a sound they can unmistakable call their own. Haunted Light, their debut album, is a product of this paradox - darkness | light : being | not being : quiet | loud - with the tension of such oppositional forces finding resolution somehow through the music. Early tracks such as 'Mirror… Read more
When last we encountered this New Zealand band they were releasing an eponymous EP on Berlin label Morr Music in late 2008. Now the band release a full-length via Fire Records that delivers on the promise set out by that Morr debut. Kudos bears the influence of acts like Jesus And Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 whilst also slotting alongside the reverberant, garage-bound preoccupations of contemporaries like Crystal Stilts. Never short of a killer tune, Surf City have loaded the album up with big choruses and searingly bright guitar hooks - at every turn there's something special to latch onto, from th… Read more
Following up their ace 7" 'Peppermint', up-and-coming Yorkshire-based indie stars Spectrals deliver a seven-song mini album for Moshi Moshi, having previously cropped up on such fine imprints as Captured Tracks and Slumberland. Both tracks from that 7" are included on this set, which gives a pretty full account of mainman Louis Jones' classic pop know-how. The band takes its name from Phil Spector but is equally in the debt of vintage American soul productions and the DIY impulse of garage rock. 'Dip Your Toe In' patters along with a charmingly bluesy bubblegum feel, while '7th Date' drops… Read more
From the community at Glasgow's Green Door Studios, Optimo's JD Twitch has assembled this thoroughly endearing comp of classic punk, funk and rock cover versions. As part of a series of musical workshops at the studio, local kids on the Youth Music Summer School course worked with a bunch of older, more experienced musicians from groups such as Mothers & The Attics and Michael Dracula, and got involved with mixing, engineering and producing this release. You may have already heard the incredibly infectious version of ESG's 'Moody' by two 10 year old twins from Ghana, but you've prob… Read more
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Danuel Tate is best known for his work in Cobblestone Jazz and The Modern Deep Left Quartet, but provides his most substantial solo offering in 'Mexican Hotbox'. The funked and jazzy traits of his other projects are still clearly apparent, but kinked with a kookier sense of melody and a raw, restless feel for percussive arrangements. The titular opener smudges Akufen-esque glitches and talkbox vocals into a unique Deep House fusion while 'Big Spender' belies some jazzy HipHop influences, and 'Careful Mind' jacks on a big band House vibe. His jazziest moments are perhaps a little too tastef… Read more
Monday, 15 November 2010
Hailing from Columbia, Missouri, Heater are a three-piece DIY indie outfit comprising former member of Cave and Sneakers - Zach McLuckie (guitars and vocals), plus Jeremy Freeze of Jerusalem and Starbaskets (guitar), and Jon Wujick of California Raisins. Their debut release together 'God and Hair' is a melodic, lo-fi pop album with elements of '90s indie-punk a la Sebadoh, Sonic Youth or The Clean with a very concise are satisfyingly raw and viscerally noisy sound, enhanced in no small part by the analogue recording from Cave's Cooper Crain. Like the Black Math LP, also out this week from Chicago's Permanent Records, it's limited to 500 copies, never to be repressed.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Rolling off their widely acclaimed 'North' album, Darkstar drop an edited version of 'Gold', their cover of Human League's 'You Remind Me Of Gold', backed with a terrific John Roberts remix. There's a clear hint of more recent Junior Boys productions to their revision, from the effete, subtly effected vocals and slow pulsing tempo to their sumptuous rearrangement and emotive attraction. However, we much prefer John Roberts' Deep House rework, bulking the cut up with crisp Chicago rhythms and sparse layers of glassy, marimba-like percussion to lock down a standout dancefloor groove with proper underground anthem potential.
Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) limbers up for the dancefloor with two heavily treated disco diamonds as Les Sin, recorded in 2009 at his home studio in Columbia, South Carolina. No doubt, his celebrated 'Causers Of This' album was a happily danceable effort, but these two tracks have a more clearly defined purpose, and they fulfill it in style. The instantly infectious 'Lina' cuts straight to the chase with ebullient strings, filtered guitar licks and irresistible uptempo groove laying the way for an anonymous female vocal (perhaps from Lina?). 'Youth Gone' goes even harder on the filters and… Read more
This latest signing to Kompakt is a real breath of fresh air, obscuring divides between dancefloor music and Animal Collective style electronic psychedelia. Jatoma have chosen to shroud themselves in secrecy, although we do know that they're Danish and may or may not be a trio who are already involved with better known projects. Whoever they may be, they're onto a winner with this vibrant and enormously creative debut; while other recent Kompakt acquisitions - Walls, for example - have cross-pollinated club sounds with home-listening, Jatoma take this blurring of boundaries to the next level, soundin… Read more
*Special Edition - comes with a 9 track Bonus Disc* 'Feast Of Wire' is arguably the bands most accomplished album to date, the alt-country formula retaining its quasi melancholly fusion of accordion's, skittering drums, Mariachi/Bossa tempo's and horns, complete with their signature tenor vocal that is at the root of much of the bands reflective quality. 'Feast of Wire' also explores Calexico's more cinematic aspirations with the inclusion of 5 or so instrumental pieces which are, quite simply, posessed of the quality to transport you elsewhere. Recommended.