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.
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.
Kompakt's new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there's only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern beats and lead to their fusion of post punk tropes with authentic Middle Eastern vibes on debut, the 'Basta' EP in 2008. Since then they've been encouraged by L… Read more
An Icelandic super-group made up of BJ Nilsen, Johann Johannsson and members of Stilluppsteypa, Evil Madness might already be old hands in the Editions Mego stable, but those of you expecting another 'Space Finale' or 'Man From Deep River' will be sorely disappointed. Evil Madness are a dance act, and in every sense of the word, taking in large scoops of their sound from chillwave, industrial and EBM while leaving just a bit of room for trance and techno. I know what this sounds like, and little else can explain the music rather than saying LISTEN TO IT, but 'Super Great Love' is more t… Read more
Major league moves from Magnetic Man, dropping the John Legend-starring 'Getting Nowhere' backed with Skream and Breakage remixes. Legend's remote, blues-tinted vocals lend a certain Moby-esque feel to each version, from the lugubrious original to Skream's Garage-powered remix and a hyper-gliding D&B version by Breakage. All copies come with extra-special incorrect track titles on centre label. Pow!
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Musique Large draft fellow Parisians Baron Retif & Concepcion Perez in the fold for their debut EP. Unlike label-mates Débruit and Fulgeance, BR & CP have a more organic approach to music making, preferring live, off-the-grid drums played to sequenced subbass lines and adroit synthworks with a playful, bright and airy jazz feel so redolent of their home city. "Connecting the dots from Dr. Dre to Sun Ra, from Liquid Liquid to The Roots and back..." their sound is full of smoky grooves, best heard on the delicious 'Beijos Seus Labios' and hashish-infused headiness with 'Superman'. Ace.
Monday, 21 February 2011
Jeremy Duffy switches tack from his Duff Disco project into the path of Future Garage with two ready-made anthems for Saigon Recordings. His recent 'Getting To Sirius' 12" caused a commotion with everyone from Flying Lotus to Erol Alkan and 'Know You' is set to do the same. Put simply, it's a massive club tune, built with exothermic techno stabs, restless garage syncopations and a blustery bassline designed to put the wind up ya. Fans of Joy Orbison, F, or Doc Daneeka will be very impressed. Over on the flip he inverts that energy into a darker roller with 'More Lies', erring to the tears… Read more
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Electro-galvanized 'ardcore, dubstep and techno productions from Yellow Machines' most active contributor, Scanone. 'Breedle' is the one you need, licking old skool Belgian techno over twysting 'ardcore breaks and powerful Dubstep bass, whereas 'Feep' updates warehouse electro with some Dubstep swing and 'Session' screws a classic Dark Garage template to 120bpm with his crisp electroid finish.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Hugely respected music journalist, blogger and record collector turned sample-based musician Matthew Ingram follows up last years brilliant 'Moanad' album under his Woebot moniker with an exploration of "groove" concepts in the context of pre-rave rock music. If we ever needed any affirmation as to Ingram's credentials as an archivist and collector of supremely good taste we need only think back to that mind-expanding list of the 100 best records ever made that he put together on his blog back in 2005 - an impossible task and yet one which pushed us in the direction of several alb… Read more
KILLER Four-track swagger House round-up, compiling tracks from the first few Deep Teknologi digital releases and including bombs by J. Bevin, Don Morris and Zander Hardy on vinyl for the first time! For us it's all about J. Bevin's monstrous 'When It Comes' or Hardy's aggressive 'Signalling' while Don Morris takes a safer route with two streamlined 4/4 House players.
James Savage and JG Wilkes' Naum Gabo unit reproduce classic songs by two Scottish acts; Simple Minds 'Theme For Great Cities' from 1981 and Fingerprintz' 'Wet Job' from 1979. The former, in Optimo's words is "an electro-trance-funk-classic, pre-dating the rave scene by about 10 years", and is just one of those tunes that's become embedded in the psych of a nation through innumerable DJs and ubiquity on TV and radio. Their remake does away with the rockier bits and cuts an impressively epic dancefloor figure. The remake of the less well known 'Wet Job' works out as a skinny post-pun… Read more