Thursday, 23 May
**Extremely Limited Clear Vinyl Edition - 250 copies only for the world** Erased Tapes illuminate the sorely overlooked work of Continuous Piano Music pioneer, Lubomyr Melnyk, on five pieces in collaboration with the label's stars, Peter Broderick and Nils Frahm. As reputedly the fastest piano player in the world, Melnyk conceived and developed a signature style of rapid notes and note-series, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, and also holds the record for most number of notes played in one hour with 93,650 individual notes. Of course, that's imp… Read more
*LP format comes on heavyweight vinyl with download codes redeemable from the label and features gorgeous artwork from original Pastels member Annabel Wright* "The Pastels return after 16 years, their first album proper since 1997s ‘Illuminations’; their collaborative works, ‘The Last Great Wilderness’ soundtrack / theatre commissions and the ‘Two Sunsets’ album with Tenniscoats keeping the band busy since then. ‘Slow Summits’ gathers on all these works but moves off in newer and older ways too, with its flowing montage of autumn instrumentals, pop songs, slowmotion build ups and suddenly op… Read more
*First-time vinyl reissue, mastered from the original 1977 tapes with liner notes by Byron Coley. Includes digital download card redeemable from the label* "MX-80 Sound is one of the real oddities in American music. Their debut album, Hard Attack (released in the UK on Island Records), found little-to-no audience in the States upon its release in 1977, yet remains a key document of the mid-'70s proto-punk zeitgeist. Hailing from Bloomington, Indiana, MX-80 Sound was lead by guitarist Bruce Anderson and defies simple classification with relentless riffs, dual drummers and vocalist Rich Stim's… Read more
Sterling debut stirrings from the Memories On Wax imprint courtesy of Downbeat's Jose Rico and his Chicago bro, Andres Ordonez aka Specter. Keeping the tempo gauge ticking no higher than 110bpm, Rico and Ordonez play out four tracks of stoned, serpentine slow house pushed by viscous bass and tempered with psychedelic deep house detail. A-side features the woozy chug and wheezy modulations of an 'Empty Wallet' and the debonaire, Claro Intellecto-styled square bass romance of 'We Live This Life'; B-side enters stranger sci-fi headspace with the rugged bump, orbiting synthlines … Read more
*RIYL: Stumbleine, Burial, Synkro, El-B, Phaeleh, Scuba, Kahn, Swarms, Clubroot… * "Dreamstone’ is the debut long-player from UK producer Sorrow. True to his moniker, Sorrow’s music has an underlying current of melancholy, with mournful strings and piano and ghostly vocals, but he balances the mood with beats and a wonky sense of humour that emerges unexpectedly here and there. In ‘Dreamstone’, the strings and languid zig-zag beats of ‘Embrace’ flow into the Bossa Nova lounge of ‘Maelys’, which in turn yields to the darker, more experimental tones of ‘Supernova’…"
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** "Sean Nicholas Savage is a gifted narrator, driven by his own melodic and emotional odysseys. A fixture of the Montreal music scene, Savage expresses both the strength and fragility of the human experience. In his writing, Sean has the keen ability to articulate the intricate emotions of everyday life and romance with a measure of specificity and maturity uncommon to most singer-songwriters. This is a collection of deep and personal songs, which showcases a focused, darker side not seen on his previous titles. Welcome to Savage's Other Life."
Stimming, Sleepers, Netik and Torb give dramatic dancefloor remixes to 'Kyrie' by Francesco Tristano and co's Aufgang trio. Netik mixes Ed Banger-style electro and dubstep with a mannered swing; Stimming affords a classy triplet tech-house mix making use of the original's operatic elements; Sleepers Work hear it as a muggy downtempo chug with somnolent pads and sparse dubbing; Torb gives an energy boosting Italo-esque mix with hints of classic Goblin.
**2013 Deluxe Reissue - Expanded with demos unearthed from a box in Damien's basement. Comes with a download code redeemable from the label** Damien jurado is the sort of songwriter who straddles rock’s past and future, and with each record contributes a new chapter to an ever fruitful body of work This is his fifth ful length, his first for the burgeoning secretly canadian label, and is a beautiful collection of ten raymond carver-esque vignettes of terror and bliss in middle america. Mostly acoustic with sparse band arrangements, Jurado puts the darker, more complicated side of the heartland back on the map. Check.
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** "Majical Cloudz is the voice of Montreal songwriter Devon Welsh, exploring the negative space within electronic music, using his powerful vocals to say “no” to the infinite possibilities digital instruments provide and instead choosing to focus his attention inwardly. Joined by Matthew Otto to collaboratively produce and perform his songs, the 2012 debut album ‘II’ and the ‘Turns Turns Turns’ EP released on Arbutus / Merok in December gained praise for their simplicity and honestly. Now, ‘Impersonator’ brings Welsh’s songs int… Read more
Aggy halfstep by a relative newcomer with a stash of weapons issued on Distance's Chestplate label. A-side 'Narcissus' takes no prisoners with indiscriminate, scything synthlines and pendulous subs obviously out for blood; 'Burning Spears' is gloomier tribalist dread for the strongback steppers.
Review to follow shortly…
*Vinyl includes a copy of the CD free inside. This is the first ever retrospective of fabled band Rodion G.A., one of Romania’s best kept musical secrets of the last 30 years* "As a band, Rodion G.A. were a unique phenomenon in their homeland, operating in their own universe during a prolific period of recording from 1978 to 1984 at a time of significant political repression under the Ceausescu regime. Bandleader, Rodion Ladislau Rosca, was an enigma. As half-Hungarian, half-Romanian, he lived near the border in Cluj, a city with a healthy music culture which had spawned important prog rock… Read more
Lean and supple groovers from the top dog of American tech-house. The follow-up to his widely acclaimed 'The Predicting Machine' offers up the slinky, slightly sleazy swing and piquant modular synth tweaks of 'Somewhere' on the A-face and the ruggedly pendulous, claps-driven rhythm and smooth, bubbling chords of 'Elsewhere' for nice contrast on the flip.
**Clear vinyl edition of 250** South London's famed music scene yields sweeter, rooted pop by Barnaby Keen's Flying Ibex. Taking inspiration from African tapes, Brazilian Maracatu, and vintage analogue gear, this taster from their 2nd album incorporates bassist Nathaniel Keen and drummer Dave De Rose on the lilting Afro-beat snares and Caribbean bass bobbing beneath Barnaby's vocal on 'You Dared Me', and tucked tighter in-the-pocket with choppy guitars for the breezy B-side shuffler 'Something Was Cured'. RIYL King Krule, Bullion, Vampire Weekend.
Brendon Moeller, The Echologist, reshapes his sound moody and fluid to Prologue's individual aesthetic. A-side sheds the highlight of 'Head On' with its guttural, offset bass roll and white noise washes beside the bubbling acid house chug of 'The Mechanics Of Joy'. B-side 'More Instinct' gets muckier with driving kicks, frayed acid licks and clinical industrial dubbing, for 'Crossing Over' to contrast with an effervescent Berlin dub house appeal.
Scotland's finest reggae producer meets legendary vocalist Kenny Knots inna eight-track grip of rooted but future-looking dancehall. Each one a finely crafted mash of classic soundsystem memes and up-to-the-minute studio nous, rollin' and skankin' from the acidic digi-dub of 'Brand New Bangarang' to Smith & Mighty-like stepper 'Word Sound And Power' featuring Mikey Murka and the overproof sub-weight of 'One Life To Live' thru to the chiselled digickal styles of 'Rock Inna Dancehall' and the outright bassline murder and weed chat of 'Gimme Gimme'.
**Punk damaged blues rock 'n roll delivered with seething attitude. Edition of 250 copies** "Fat White Family, a band who've crawled out from the crevices of Peckham and Brixton to find gourmet burger bars, designer prams and soulless gastropubs taking over the town. Faced with the yuppie invasion their sole purpose is to cause havoc and deliver something real... Despite the inevitable incidents of chaos, blood, nudity and weirdness that seem to have plagued/fuelled this first year of their mission, they are still the band that everyone in London wants to see."
"The C.S. Crew's Funky Pack can be best described as Nigeria's own blend of Kool & the Gang, Mandrill and the Ohio Players - with a Moog synthesizer thrown in for good measure. Reissued for the first time this late 70s Nigerian raw funk masterpiece includes bonus tracks from the related group Youths of the Universe and liner notes written by Comb and Razor label owner (and Nigerian record collector extraordinaire) Uchenna Ikonne. Funky Pack features nine cuts of rare Nigerian funk including the sweaty and growling tracks Bread Power, Doin' the Good Thing and Freaky Funkyfied Fix, along with the p… Read more
UK garage-house laced with extra bass for the cool kids. A-side 'Late Reaction' is the one - meshing Funky house drum cadence with full sunk subs and a cheeky Mancunion bridge to 'floor-winnign effect. 'Help Yourself' is more stripped down, sensuous, shaking 2-step drums and smothered soul vox in a hollowed-out and glowing groove, whilst flipside gets Citizen on the action for a strutting, electro-flecked overhaul of 'Love Saves The Day' and 'Keep On Loving Me Dry' swings with whirring 2-step soul syncopations.
Hamburg's notorious Golden Püdel paws out Circuit Diagram's debut pair of motorik kraut-rock dance instrumentals. A-side is 'Amanar''s winning mix of "cellphone from sahara"-like chant with swinging, organic rhythms and sweeter modular synth curves progressing with the vision of a classic Villalobos, but sounding more like Can gone to modern day Africa. In much the same manner - minus the chants - 'Iklig' locks into another loose but driving rhythm relying on mean-hipped bassline and steppin' drums to give flight to flurries of jazz keys and sparing vocal stabs with a wonderfully limber psych-band feel.
Diverse debut album from the Danish producer. Over nine tracks Tobias Pedersen aka Beastie Respond builds on the crooked techno and smudged funk of his previous 12"s, yielding a wider spectrum of electronic emotions and rhythmic patterns. From the top 'Werk' pulls off a cool blend of Carpenter-esque synth intrigue and swinging electro, Autonomic styles, and 'VV10' leans on a fruity boogie tip. 'Please Stop Running' pairs Emilie Reimers with a dBridge-styled emo-electro rhythm and 'The Busdriver' sits on a muggy mission boogie vibe. Flipside the rugged Linn3 smack and colourful bu… Read more
Fabric resident Craig Richards swings out three cuts on his Nothing Special label. A-side is a side-stepping minimal tech-house play; B-side he flexes his experimental muscle with one shot of slow/fast dubstep delay trickery and another echo chamber exercise.
Dungeon-steppin' dubs from the OG Macabre Unit label. 'Music Mi Luv' is proper dread dub weight carved from a steely techno palatte inna Kryptic Minds style. 'Badman Culture Pt.2' is ice-cold rollige buttoned up with precise, 'ard-ass drums and bowel-worrying subs; label boss Demon gets in on the action with a slicing halfstepper called 'Cursed'. Big with Youngsta and Hatcha.
One for the London tech-house set: three tracks of stripped down swing from Sui Generis. A-side side is a tougher piece of shunting bass, clunky drums and incessant synthlines, the sort that make you wonder what you're still doing out at 5am. B-side features a bouncier little number driven by percolating chords and a hiccuping vocal for the swingers, plus a darker warehouse kink.
"Peter Jefferies’s extraordinary debut solo album, The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World, first saw life as a cassette via the Xpressway label of Port Chalmers, New Zealand, in 1990. As a result of some international underground acclaim in fanzines and mailorder catalogs – for both the album and a striking 7-inch, “The Fate of the Human Carbine,” released around the same time – it soon appeared on LP and CD as well, through the Ajax label of Chicago. Within a handful of years it slipped out of print and out of sight. Roughly 20 years later that situation is… Read more
""Groundbreaking doesn't even start to describe PiL's first album. Released in December 1978 after the Sex Pistols' break-up, "First Issue" is considered by many to be the first post-punk album. After the punk hangover, John Lydon set out to create a new sound that would stand apart from what other contemporary bands were doing, fully aware that it wouldn't be understood by many of his old followers. For this he counted on the help of ex-Clash guitarist Keith Levene, first-time bassist Jah Wobble and Canadian drummer Jim Walker."
Diverse trio of analogue techno trax by Ruff Cherry, backed with A Sagittariun remix. 'The Empath' starts off with Scanners-like sci-fi techno in classic AI style, while 'Wolf In The Fold' knuckles down to driving kicks and pensive, darker Detroit/UK techno. The clear highlight is a Mayday or Claude Young-like samba-techno dream called 'The Cloud Minders', which A Sagittariun duly flips as a Black Ark-inspired downbeat dub excursion.
UK electro stalwart turns out four technoid jams for Earwiggle. Up top is a fruity acid wriggler with elevated Detroit pads, 'Underground Persistent', plus the tunnelling acid techno freak, 'Untitledacid6'. Down below he pumps out effluent techno sludge rhythms reminding of Blawan or Happa styles, but with a flourish of pads belying his Detroit tastes, and 'Courtesy Call' gives strong nod to classic Heinrich Mueller electro functions.
"For outsider gospel visionary and Detroit native Otis G. Johnson, the Holy Ghost was in the machine: in this case a rhythm-equipped Hammond organ. Everything / God Is Love 78, a singular 1978 mid-fi document, features android percussion against chords of Otis's own invention, possessed by minor tonality and frequent bum notes. Lifting it further are extemporaneous vocal homilies to the rapture, love, and everything, plus occasional 'other' voicings that scratch at the periphery of the mix. Homespun gospel rarely entered this dirge-like, intuitive space, nor did it commonly achieve such a spectral and captivating hymn to its darkest conventions."
Big room house movements backed with uplifting Jerome Sydenham remix. 'Time To Dance' works out shoulder-dropping, hip-slippin' kinks and stuttered drums for the swingers across the A-side; 'One More Time' gives up percolating chords and tense, elegant strings underpinned by muscular swing motion. Jerome Sydenham gives the latter a lick of gospel-style vocal stabs and tighter tucked, kick and clap-synced rhythm.