Thursday, 07 October 2010
A brand new EP from Michael Lerner's Telekinesis project, the first new batch of material since his well-received eponymous debut album released last year by Morr Music. Impressively, this entire five-piece release was self-recorded using only a microphone and a Macbook, yet with these expertly crafted pop songs Lerner proves that this whole lo-fi craze is far more of a stylistic choice than it is a necessity. The production here is every bit as neatly put together as the music itself. Opening with 'Dirty Thing' Telekinesis revels in ageless, indie-rock classicism - something only reinforc… Read more
San Francisco band Royal Baths are the latest garage rock troupe out of the Woodsist camp, releasing a debut album coated in gloomy, cellar-dwelling fuzz and hollowed out 'verb. As with all the finer bands of this ilk, Royal Baths are substantially more than the sum of their fashionable production traits: 'After Death' has a clear Velvet Underground-indebted darkness about it which carries over into the equally addictive 'Nikki Don't' and the faintly swampy, 'Venus In Furs'-alike 'Sitting In My Room'. In other highlights, 'Sinister Sunrise' stirs up a druggy '60s stomp and 'I Detest' cuts loose with layered vocal riffing and droves of piercing lead guitar.
Monday, 04 October 2010
**Now available on vinyl** Three years on from their previous album, Let's Stay Friends, Les Savy Fav return with a blistering and lean new record in Root For Ruin. Leading with 'Appetites' the band reassert their position as one of the most vital punk-influenced indie rock bands on the circuit. Since their earliest output in the late-nineties, this has been a band whose angular and wonderfully disjointed guitar assault has cast quite an influence on the artier end of the indie spectrum during the 2000s, with the likes of Bloc Party citing Les Savy Fav's lean, jolting guitars as a major… Read more
Cold War-era club sounds harking back to 1980s West Germany. "Berlin local DJ heroes Kalle Kuts and Daniel W. Best a.k.a. G.I.DISCO have compiled an excellent 80s Soul, Funk, R & B and Disco selection. It combines representative music of that time with informative liner notes about the German historical background (which also is an important part of 20th century´s world history), international artist quotes and worldwide renowned art by Berlin based photographer Frank Thiel to an unique history lesson and listening experience. Soul, Funk and R… Read more
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Sumptuous neo-classical offering from Dakota Suite, joined by the Cello of David Darling and Quentin Sirjacq's Piano, recorded at Vallisa Auditorium, a small chapel in Bari, Italy. The trio conjure a wide range of moods and emotions with their intuitive arrangements, gracefully sweeping us between sombre, melancholic solo piano and graceful chamber pieces with an elegantly solemn atmosphere. This album will nourish the spirit of those in need of a secluded, intimate experience. Lovely.
**Clear Purple Vinyl** This Wigan-based septet serve up a great two-tracker for Static Caravan, serving some slightly surreal folktronica on 'Black Biro, simultaneously bringing to mind early Tunng, Broadcast and perhaps even a touch of The Sugarcubes. Though perhaps not. B-side 'Longsocks' doesn't disappoint adding a snake-charming clarinet line, a little cello dissonance and sparkling glockenspiel to this busy, but ultimately very charming jazzy jumble.
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Three unruly dubstep mutations from Dublin's T-Woc. On the A-side 'Meccano' meshes skittering post-dubstep patterns with colourfully acidic melody inna Zomby style, while 'the Window' works out Shackleton-esque drum swerves and warped Mid-Eastern drones. 'Dirt Digger' closes out on a melancholy halfstep tip with moody swirling lead synth.
**RED VINYL** 'Deep Sh*t Show' is apparently the work of a well known producer acting incognito. It's a fine and deep House pumper etched with jazzy motifs and driven by crisp percussion. New York's Neurotic Drum Band step in on remix detail, taking the pace down and bringing out a laidback Latin shuffle element. The 'Niagara 'Boogaloo' edit jacks the tempo up again for another heads-down and heavy groove. Fans of DJ Qu or Jus-Ed, check!
Monday, 27 September 2010
Fops is a project started by Dee Kesler of Thee More Shallows and Chadwick Donald Bidwell of Ral Partha Vogelbacher. Together they adopt a propulsive and pleasingly accessible approach to remodelling krautrock, avoiding the trap of merely recreating the sounds of 1970s Germany and instead working the well-loved motorik aesthetic into a set of enthralling experimental pop songs featuring some hair-raisingly weird lyrics. The likes of 'Black Boar' and 'Scandinavian Preppy' gel together nicely, early on, combining some great instrumentation with warm, electronically reinforced production (the latt… Read more
We greet the release of this fabulous record with a big sigh of relief here at CCO, having been in the making for a good two years and worked on with a ruthless attention to detail and insistance on perfection, it is quite easily the longest in-the making project we have crossed paths with since our inception, and the label's most ambitious album release to date. Kamal Joory (aka Geiom) distracted himself momentarily from his work for Skam, Nature, Neo Ouija and friends way back in early 2000 and hooked up with multi-instrumentalist and all-round sound doctor Morgan Caney, an init… Read more
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Fresh from a remix of American Men with Ikonika, Optimum launches a debut solo attack with the screwy soca rush of 'Max Power'. Images of lairy Essex boys in fluoro-green Cosworths aside, that title track is fierce, like a more vicious LD cut made for warehouse deployment. Following this, the gangster carousel of 'Crash Riddim' is equally narsty, a proper sh*tter's riddim with an evil, demented glint in its eye while 'Lily' eases up on a melancholy, atmospheric roller built with cascading arpeggios and riding 20" subbass rims. Fans of Bok Bok, Girl Unit or Ikonika, don't miss this.
Kulture rolls on from his Disfigured Dubs transmissions with two atmospheric movers for Reduction. With 'Spooky' he unloads a Mala-esque roller driven by bottomless subs and infectious congas, and tinted with ethereal, theremin-alike synths. 'Bittersweet' is more minimal still, but nods to early Shackleton-style drum and bass arrangements with his own brand of sinister melodic character.
Glitched-up, hardcore dubstep rave from 1UP, one for the fiercest bassbin warriors. 'Kommando' is the brutally rugged A-side built from dynamic neurofunk bassline swipes, crisp 8-bit stabs and waves of lurching halfstep drums. On the flip, 'Game Over' rocks out another bellicose chunk of darkness, but it' no match for the might flip. Tipped for fans of Excision, Eddie K, or Jakes.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Kip and Kelly Ulhorn's mystic, kosmische-inspired Cloudland Canyon project returns for a third long-player, this time taking emphasis away from the krautrock-isms explored on prior works and creating a kind of psych-drone friendly strain of dream-pop. This new approach takes Cloudland Canyon to a whole other level. From the get-go you can hear something special brewing: 'No One Else Around' serves up a wall-of-noise production that could be a collaboration between Kevin Shields and Jesu, while 'Gracious Hearts' strips away some of the distortion for a spell of zinging analogue synths, pe… Read more
Four lovely revisions of tracks from Dntel's 'Early Works For Me If It Works For You' album, featuring a stunning Robrt Lippok rework, plus more from Somatic Responses, Chessie, and the mysterious Thaddeus Volk. That version of 'Serious' by To Rococo Rot's Robert Lippok is simply worth the admission alone, offering a sumptuously glossy, widescreen account of broken post-dubstep drums 'n bass within a 3D soundworld of open-hearted synths arranged with sophisticated precision. Chessie's mix of 'New Name' is quite the dancefloor gem, a tranced-out propulsion of indie rock drums and la… Read more
Strut and Fania recordings present a charming reissue of the 'New York Salsa Revolution 1968-1985' compilation. Fifteen prime picks from Tito Puente & Celia Cruz to Wilie Colon, Mongo Santamaria, ralfi Pagan, Eddie Palmieri, Louie Ramirez and the other architects of an infectious sound whose influence has irreversibly charged New York's dance music scene for the last 30 years.
Insane dismantled acoustic no-wave jams from Captured Tracks weirdos The Beets, featuring punky blues number 'God' and a slowed down, unplugged garage take on 'The Locomotion'. The great sleeve art (both front and back) makes the release all the more charming, playing out like a two-cell micro-comicbook featuring The Silver Surfer and Galactacus.
**Picture Disc** A new picture disc from the No Kids camp, produced by Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie. 'Cherry Trees' finds the Vancouver trio in good voice, padding through electronic beats and melodies that (as has been the case in the past) bring to mind Vampire Weekend's brand of eloquent indie-pop. On the other side, 'An Afternoon At The Pendleton's' is a gentler affair that locks into a quiet, simmering bass-heavy groove and embraces a touch of harmonised reed soloing. Lovely stuff.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Re-released for the first time since 1972, So Far / It's A Bit Of A Pain is the one and only 7" vinyl single from avant-rock legends Faust. This reissue arrives with the original artwork reproduced and remastering from the original recordings overseen by the band's own Hans-Joachim Irmler. Both these tracks are non-album recordings and the 7" is a downright essential acquisition for all you fans of the band.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Islaja (aka Merja Kokkonen) returns for a long-overdue new studio album for Fonal, following up on the groundwork laid down by Ulual Yyy and her Ecstatic Peace release, Blaze Mountain Recordings. Gone are the old lo-fi aesthetics and all those sounds that conjured up images of woodland frolicking and Moomins, and in their place are newfound electronic production/writing techniques and a far higher fidelity sheen. Among the highlights, expect dark, organic synth grooves, horn blasts and lurching beats on opener 'Joku Toi Radion', almost Bat For Lashes-like piano-led introspection during 'Pimey… Read more
Another compelling release from beat anomaly Nochexxx, following up his vinyl debut on Actress's Werk Discs label earlier this year. Much in the style of that 12", there's no easy category for these tracks, instead providing a plateful of masticated reference points circuit-bent into unique forms. On the A-side 'Ritalin Love' is a knutty collision of warped garage bass with '80s soul samples and abstracted lo-fi Chicago jack. On the flip, 'Timepiece' obviously nods to Chicago House, but the juxtaposition of odd samples and crooked arrangement mean it's gotta be reserved for the more a… Read more
Hailing from the home of Southern HipHop aka Atlanta, Bathcrones has hatched a stoned-but-sprightly style of electro-Drag with 'Psychorama' (that is if we're playing it at the right speed). Like Balam Acab and Salem, Bathcrones does that pitched-down thing wickedly well, keeping all his beats hazy and more sluggish than they ought to be, while cannily countering the effect with ultra-bright and dreamy melodies. It makes for a sublimly lucid tension, like being trapped in sleep paralysis with a warm sunrise bleeding through the curtains. There's 12 tracks in total and they're all really lovely, … Read more
**Red Vinyl** This new split release from Upset The Rhythm features DIY pop duo Peepholes and Liverpudlian collective Apatt. The lo-fi ruckus created by Peepholes is instantly lovable. Katia Barrett and Nick Carlisle switch between synth and drums, sharing the vocal duties as they go. The six tracks collected here are tons of fun too, sailing through fourtrack-recorded, beaten-up tunes like 'Airforce Trainer' and the Animal Collective-worthy 'Alpine Song'. After all this Apatt sound truly insane. The label suggests "the missing link between The Locust, Danielson Famile a… Read more
Ace followup to Med School's 'New Blood' compilation, offering four hi-end, nu-skool D'n'B cuts from Stray, Synkro, Royalston, and Circa. Each producer is on sparkling form, from the laidback flex of Stray's 'Frost' and the filigree styes of Synkro's DBridge-alike 'In Transit', to the ultra-techy IDM-ish aesthetic of Royalston's 'Glitchbitch' and a cinematic moment from Circa's 'Kabal'.
These days it's increasingly difficult to get widespread attention simply by carving out a career as an trad singer-songwriter, but Timber Timbre's Taylor Kirk has made a stealthily quite magnificent contribution to the genre with this eponymous album. Opener 'Demon Host' is as simple and unadorned as these things come, relying on a little lo-fi echo and largely unconditioned strumming right up until a lovely choral coda. From here the album begins to blossom into a more intricately arranged affair, mimicking the kind of warm, vintage feel of Fleet Foxes and - perhaps mor… Read more
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Diverse and effective set of Disco-infected House music from Red Rack'em on his new Bergerac imprint. Leaving the usual edits aside for a minute, Rack'em proves some impressive chops on 'How I Program' working up a hungry square bassline under agile drum machine patterns, kinda like Claro Intellecto gone freaky. On the flip 'Bonn' heats up Rhodes chords and sly-slipping deep house rhythms like a more up-for-it cousin to Kerrier District before 'It Happens To Us All' glides off on a sumptuous Detroit vibe inna Recloose kinda manner. Big record for everyone from Move D to Jus Ed...
Slickly atmospheric, future garage-compatible cuts from Cessa. His previous installations for Missing Link Records have established a techy, deep-side style akin to the Hessle Audio or Formant operators and 'Recon' continues in style with efficiently skittering rhythms, pinned with warm subs and enriched with a blanket of swirling blue synth pads. On the flip, 'Down and Out' is a stranger number built from an ominous bass riff and laidback but rolling 4/4 garage rhythm with widescreen sci-fi atmospheres. fans of Hyetal, XXXY, and SBTRKT should peep this.
Nang Records revisit D-Pulse's 2008 disco hit 'Highway To Saturn' - retitled here as 'On A Highway To Saturn' - with a set of able bodied remixes from Sare Havlicek, Jan Ken Po and Proper Heat. The vocal driven original is omitted in favour of D-Pulse's own 'Australian Shore' dub with hazy cosmic guitars and a languid evening pace. Havlicek's dub goes the opposite way with a boost of dancefloor energy while Proper Heat bring up the rear with a chunky Baltic disco version.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Anthemic Funky heaters from D'Explicit and DJ Naughty featuring vocals from Sweets. 'Follow Me' is the first Funky release from Grime pioneer, D'Explicit, turning his hand to a dutty, forceful variant of the style with nuclear-powered synth licks and robust bass thrusts. However, the two mixes from DJ Naughty are far more subtle, and by turns, successful, operating with a crafty sleight-of-hand and groovesome flex designed to incite far sexier moves on the 'floor. Tipped for all Funky pickers!
Joining forces with her partner, Spanish musician Voctor Herrero, alt. folk queen Josephine Foster presents a freshly arranged rendering of Federico Garcia Lorca's popular folk song collection Las Canciones Populares Espanolas. The songbook was outlawed during Franco's dictatorship but had previously been recorded in 1931 by Argentinean flamenco dancer La Argentinita. The renditions laid down here are all characterised by a live, simply mic-ed sound that calls upon a wide variety of Iberian instruments including castanets, rociero drum and Portuguese guitar. The… Read more