Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Gloomy industrial electro from Bulgaria's MANASYt with a 10-track, 2x12" LP for Dumb Terminal Records. There's no major change in style here, just a reconfirmation of the darkness from older releases spread between 140 bpm hard-hitters and slower EBM infused jackers. One for fans of Andrea Parker, Bunker Records and the rougher end of I-F.
Monday, 18 January 2010
Table are a Manchester based six-piece centred around songwriter David O'Dowda, whose first single appears jointly on Static Caravan and Humble Soul. The group have achieved a charming concoction of indie folk styles with 'Songs You Can Sing' using stately piano, minimal guitar and softly burred vocals for intimate effect. The track is steadily amassing a gang of avid fans, from Elbow's Guy Garvey to Radio 6's Mark Riley, so if you want one of the 500 hand stamped copies you'll need to move...
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Dubsided hit the pressure valve with four tracks of fidget funk and party house from Sticky K. The polyrhythmic shakk-out of 'San Soleil' is the obvious highlight, but there's more than enough saturated electro-synths, chunky house beats and limb-flinging party attitude on the other three cuts to start small riot in your chosen club/bedroom/headspace. For fans of Switch, Sinden and Buraka Som Sistema!
The fourth solo album from NYC's Tony Simon, The Music Scene comes nearly six years after his much-loved Ninja Tune debut Music By Cavelight. In addition to his solo instrumental work, Simon's made a name for himself producing tracks for the likes of Aesop Rock, DJ Signify and Murs among many others, but he undoubtedly has an ear for threading together standalone works from manipulated samples. Apparently, on The Music Scene, Simon found himself more able to elaborate on his compositional approach thanks to his use of Ableton, which saw him shunning the more traditional sampler-driven app… Read more
Monday, 11 January 2010
John Wiese - Sissy Spacek's creative core - has put together a trio for this new 7", roping in drummer Charlie Mumma and vocalist Corydon Ronnau to combine for a thorough ear-blitzing that spans a preposterous 26 songs. I couldn't even read 26 song titles in the length of time it takes these guys to get through all that material, but the durations are, of course, snappy to say the least, hovering around classic grindcore territory with their snarling brevity.
After dissolving the Cluster outfit he'd worked on with Hans Joachim Roedelius until 1981, Moebius continued to create fascinating electronic music for Sky Records right through the 80's. 'Tonspuren' was released in 1983, which with the benefit of hindsight, was to presage the emergence of techno with linear and streamlined machine rhythms, sparse synth experimentation and a freshly economical outlook for electronic music. It's almost possible to draw a parallel between the quivering neon synths and lolloping rhythm of 'Transport' and the nascent digi-dub movements of Jamaica at the time, and while… Read more
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Techno-fortified dubstep from Kalbata rolling in fine style off the back of two releases for Soul Jazz and the Toddla T-charted 'Ninja We Ninja' white label. The Israeli producer is in heavy form on 'OH Gosh', launching forwards on a rail of 2-step debted rhythms charged by a brutal techno-style bassline reminding of TRG. 'Karl Butter' on the B-side changes tack for a more broken flow with gut bruising subs and 8-bit breakdowns already rinsed out by RSD and N-Type.
Punchy dubstep ravers from ANS for the Studio Rockers crew. 'Everyday Bullshit' is the choice cut, rocking up loud and heavy drums with a melodic counterweight before sending a reversed synthline into the mix for maximum rave damage. 'Always Sharp' and 'Holki' on the flip makes nods to the likes of MRK1 or Kromestar with dub-rooted melodies and laminated percussion.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Formed for the purpose of playing 2008's Instal Fest, this trio comprises C Spencer Yeh (of Burning Star Core), Ben Hall (of Graveyards) and Don Dietrich (of Borbetomagus), coming together for the common cause of relentless, ear-blasting improv. Sax-toting noise legend Dietrich is no stranger to the more abrasive school of free improv, having been operating in the field since the early 1980s, but the comparatively fresh-faced Yeh and Hall hold their own here (manning violin and traps, respectively). This music sounds like only a very distant cousin of free jazz, instead position… Read more
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Mutant dubstep ruffage from Emile, delivering his second outing on wax with the extremely heavy 'Unnuh'. This is one of those cuts that immediately triggers the darkcore senses, sounding to our hardened ears like Bizzy B, had he been born 15 years later and skipped the whole amens and mentasm thing. The keenly honed palette of sounds shows this fella to be a very canny operator, syncing murky bass hits and a radioactive harpsichord riff to create a truly fucking scary experience. On the flip 'Blissfully Done' shows another direction for the wobble-step style with filth-encrusted gutter ba… Read more
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Arriving just around the time of year when everyone's putting together their end of year charts, Kompakt release this remixes package as a handy reminder of just how good The Field's Yesterday & Today album was. The mixes themselves are a fairly exceptional bunch, eschewing conventional Kompakt wisdom in favour of more leftfield strategies. Gold Panda's take on 'I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet' proves especially remarkable, taking samples from the vinyl edition of the record and conjuring a heavy, beautifully saturated wonky masterpiece. Meanwhile, LA act Rai… Read more
Aguayo's addictively kinky 'Rollerskate' anthem is handed over to some of his surehanded Cómeme peers for faithful revisions tucking deeper into the Latin-rhythmic aspects. Marcus Rossknecht's mix adds extra percussion for a straighter DJ friendly version remaining respectfully close to the structure of the original, but the excitement starts with Diegors & The Don's version, sounding like Roska if he came from Lima rather than London, shaking strong but sparse Latin-funky drums with trippily panned vocals for wicked effect. Vincent Sanfuentes aka Original Hamster and Alex Thunder p… Read more
Tuesday, 08 December 2009
**Now available on vinyl** Ovations comes as the tenth official album release from Glen Johnson's Piano Magic, and it finds the band considerably raising their game. Ovations feels like the fullest realisation yet of the sound Piano Magic have been persuing over recent albums, marrying classic underground indie sounds from the eighties with an orchestral level of pomp and bombast. After all these years you can finally hear something approaching genuine crossover potential in Piano Magic's music; you'd have to say it's more a case of the times having caught up with Johnson and co. rather than … Read more
Uton's Jani Hirvonen returns from an astral mission with his third vinyl-only release for the Dekorder label, sticking with tradition in a run of 500 full colour sleeves designed by his own hand. While his previous records for Dekorder (besides countless CDrs and Cassettes for Digitalis, Jeweled Antler, and his own Ikuisuus imprint etc) have been linked by a naturalistic and earthbound theme, 'Unexplained Objects' looks to the skies from the perspective of a medieval Finnish minstrel, or so we'd imagine anyway. His sound here merges arcane folk trimmings with astral FX and queasy atmospheres… Read more
This Berlin-based group have been active since 2007, combining the talents of artists Marcel Türkowsky, Hanayo, Christopher Kline, Domink Noé and Jan Pfeiffer, who each seem to spread themselves between a number of different projects. Interestingly, Noé is credited as a member of "krautrock legends Lustfaust", which is the fictional band created by conceptual artist Jamie Sholvin for the 2006 Beck's Futures exhibition, which might prompt you to think that Wooden Veil re made up too. There's definitely some sort of music on here though, and it takes the aesthetic of primitive, almost triba… Read more
Thursday, 03 December 2009
Starkey blows up a big one for Planet Mu with the hypercoloured anthem 'OK Luv' feat. Badness. Ever since his 'Gutter Music' 12" hit the streets hard this year, he's solidified his status as a grime producer of huge potential. It's certainly not standard Grime, but more a viscous variant on the idea, using his sound design expertise to embellish the style with an incandescent dynamic. To our ears 'OK Luv' sounds like the crafty hybrid of Joker and Jamie Vex'd, with chromium DMT synth patterns plated onto low-riding bass suspension to give Badness' awesome vocal the perfect ride. On the flip 'Multidial… Read more
The third and final installment of Boris' Japanese Heavy Rock Hits series arrives, and this one kicks off with the biggest surprise of the bunch: a ballad. '16:47:52' features the most gentle and timid of drums, spartan guitar parts and even a bit of piano towards the end. It's actually very good, but stretches the term 'heavy rock' somewhat. Flip over and you'll get an earful of 'And Hear Nothing' a titanic, cavernous epic of a thing, draped in creamy distortion and sludgy post-metal grandeur.
Bringing the run of brilliant Cluster reissues to a close, Bureau B present the duo's 1981 masterpiece 'Curiosum' with original artwork and new sleevenotes from Asmus Tietchens. At this time Cluster wouldn't produce another album until 1990, so this set can be considered as their "swansong to the past", and a symbiotic return to the freeform spontaneity of their earliest music, when they still spelt their name with a K. Also, the sounds within are perhaps stubbornly unaffected by the noise and ebullience of the 80's coming from both the UK punk and industrial scene, and Germany's Neue Deutsch Welle … Read more
Back in 1976, while Britain was giving birth to punk, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius were devising a brand new language of impressionistic pastoral electronic music for Sowiesoso. This album sees Cluster leaving behind their lengthy freeform improvisations in favour of concise, propulsive vignettes. The variety and depth of the music here is astonishing. The title track sees the band exploring the kind of pulsing krautrock synthesis they've become famed for, while on tracks like 'Halwa' you can hear a hippyish, New Age approach to stealing compositional motifs from Eastern musics. It's i… Read more
Man Like Me's pop-house ditty gets a remix overhaul from Doorly and George Lenton, squared firmly for the dubstep man dem. The Doorly remix caters for the jump-up kids with a fiercely ravey mid-range and compressed halfstep lurch beats while George Lenton adds an electro-housey twist to his more melodic dubstep version on the flip. For fans of 16Bit, Torqux and Borgore.
Rerouting to the Dark Circles imprint, MRK1 delivers the payload of 'Trouble Shoot' and the heavy 'Bussin It'. The A-side, 'Trouble Shoot' drops gutter mid-range synths and snapping halfstep riddim mechanics to keep the ravers off their faces while the much better 'Bussin It' boosts off on rolling 4/4s with hype stabs and cheeky vocals. One for the Kromestar heads!
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
Ace sci-fi/synth driven steppers from Matt-U for Boka. Both 'Can't Wake Up' and 'Whyle The F*ck Out' take cues from the neurofunk end of the D'n'B spectrum with surging mid-range (but not ravey wobble) synthlines and loping, halfsteppers beats. For fans of TRG, Headhunter and Noah D this is a must!
Monday, 30 November 2009
Ace debut from the Stretched imprint, showing off three cuts including fresh gear from Luke.Envoy, backed with the first 'steps from two new heads, Mistah Klevvah and Flames Dean. Luke.Envoy has been Missing In Action since his early drops for Hot Flush and Tempa but returns with a reinvigorated vibe on 'Feel Red', coming across like an intensely edited version of the house>garage>'step tracks coming from the Night Slugs or Hessle Audio camps and thoroughly compatible with Joy Orbison styles. On the flip Mistah Klevvah gets smart on a 16Bit alike dubstep r… Read more
Haunting dubstep progressions from Kuma and Abunaii for The Konspiracy Group. 'Of Silence And Secrecy' follows up his debut for Immerse in '08 with a spooked construction reminiscent of older Skull Disco or Tectonic releases, relying on brittle rhythm constructions and tangibly darkside chord sequences to create a maudlin mood. On the other side Flippo's 'Omega Point Remix' applies a brooding pressure system to squash the track into a quasi-speed slab of darkness, before Kuma steps out as Abunaii with co-producer E.Mori, revised by Motomasamix as an esoteric stepper reminiscent of something Baron Mordant might concoct on an overcast morning. Heavy.
Hektagon and Freaks Of Nature cut out four tracks from his 'London' album, primed and ready for the DJs. Album highlights 'The Old Days' and 'Nightlife' rave up the A-side with a bend of nu-skool Garage flex, housing keys and dubstep subs, while the flipside coold out with 'This Is London' featuring MC vox from Creamo and the melancholy 'Crying' to show his versatility. Cool stuff, should appeal to fans of SYNKRO, Hessle Audio and TRG.
The DFA schedule returns to perennial dancefloor fave 'Happy House' from Juan Maclean with Chateau Flight, Will Saul & Mike Monday, and VHS or Beta remixes. Ebulliant disco strings and acid house snares rushes are the order of the day for VHS or Beta's version, while Chateau Flight provide a sophisticated modern house version that you could easily imagine Dixon or Ame playing. Will Saul and Mike Monday are given the longer B-side to stretch out on a bass-grooved disco mix with flashes of balearic heat making use of the infectious pianos from the original.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Geiom and Shortstuff make their Planet Mu debut with two hyper-syncopated Funky mutations in the increasingly defined Notts style. Next to Brackles, Martin Kemp and Spam Chop, there's an itchy post-garage influenced and synth-heavy sound emerging from this quarter, aligning themselves alongside London's dominant sound by tempo and flex, but entirely on their own level of electronica styled synthlines. 'No Hand Signals' is the bouncier of the two, crossing lanes between UKF and frictional garage kink with cheeky computer game samples and restless melodies. 'Wardenclyffe' on the flip s… Read more
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
More out-there song sculptures from Oakland resident Eva Saelens, this time with a little added clarity and decipherability: tracks like 'Shine On' really underline the strong compositional instincts lurking beneath the cassette recorder fizz. 'Always Have You' opens the set in stripped down, phantasmagorical, lo-fi lullaby fashion, but the album soon accumulates grit with moments like 'Ruff Ridin' and the distorted, spiralling keys on 'Adventure Of Light', beckoning you down all manner of confusing pysch-fuzz avenues. After the economical, perfectly judged calm of the ghostly, Gr… Read more
Robedoor have acquired a "drummer/modular synth dealer" since last we heard from them, and with this new LP - their first since last year's Endlessly Blazing - they let fly with their newly enhanced line-up, stirring up smudged-out psych nightmares that sound like they're being performed from somewhere deep within a cave system. In fact, if the blind flesh-eating monsters from The Descent had a house band, 'Indo Shadow' might be the outcome. The album's second half is especially good, with the fuzzy doom shivers of 'People Of The Book' leading the way into the impossibly dark quarter-hour epic 'The Downcast Eye'.
In a stroke of A&R genius from the Domino label, Tricky's 'Knowle West Boy' is sent to Florida's South Rakkas Crew for a complete overhaul, resulting in a set that massively improves on the original. The crew have remained respectful to much of the material, but fired it up with a splash of special hot sauce, adding exotic and dance friendly rhythms ranging from Major Lazer style heaters on 'C'mon Baby', to electrified dubstep on 'Coalition' or steppin' bashment on 'Cross To Bear' and saturday-night slow-house with 'Numb'. Curiously addictive...