Thursday, 09 April
We're really feeling this session of tenderised technodreams from Steve Summers and Maxmillion Dunbar a.k.a. Activated. In orbit of freeform styles associated with Jamal Moss, 154 or minimal Bunkers, they go way deep with a pair of entirely hardware-driven and elongated hip-notizers. 'Activation Code' encircles the A-side with deliciously tentative drum machine patter and hovering chord clusters to melt right into; the B-side's 'Activation Key' smears 16 minutes of more insistent pulses and darker tinted pads evolving with pineal logic. They're both quite pacey, around 140bpm, but also wo… Read more
**Reworked demos and new material by the original darkside Italo heroes. R.I.P. Vittorio Barozzi a.k.a. Victor Life. Hand-numbered gatefold edition of 500** "'The First And Second Side of the Mystic Synth' presents the last and long overdue work of the highly influential, enigmatic & near mythical Italo-Group Fockewulf 190. As Protagonists to the Dark Side of Italo Disco evolving and developing in the mid 80’s music-scene, they influenced countless newborn artists all over the globe. This newly recorded Studio-LP in combination with a re-work of the 1986-D… Read more
*Includes the zine 'I… Paraworm' and digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Oi Oi!!! Invaluable reissue of Part 1's death rock/anarcho punk holy grail, first issued on 7" in 1982 on Paraworm Records. The now-seminal 'Funeral Parade' was their one and only release, a seriously heady and grooving whorl of flanged guitars and anti-religious imagery that still incredibly intoxicating more than 30 years later. This remastered edition is packaged in a deluxe gatefold with the 7" artwork blown-up to 12" with accompanying horror zine I… Paraworm, including never-seen text and unpublished artwork from guitarist Mark Ferelli. Heavy tip!
Deep Parisian jack trax from a new cat on the scene: Caslau debuts in style with two variations on a warm, sensuous, and driven sound in equilibrium between woody kicks, smudged chords and flanging shakers borrowing traces of classic Chi house, Detroit beatdown and a bit of early UK acid canted with French suss.
Big room-ready, dramatic techno-house remixes of Barnt by Tale Of Us & Recondite, and Magazine's Jens-Uwe Beyer. Squared up for heaving throngs and big, clear soundsystems, the Recondite & Tale Of Us mix wends thru ten minutes of near-ecstatic kraut-techno builds driven by motorik thud, whereas Jens-Uwe Beyer takes a more teasing route to the same truth with expansive drone harmonics and layered, tribalist percussion.
**Great Blues collection packaged with download code. Practically worth the admission alone for the Sam Chatmon and Walter Brown recordings!** "Living Country Blues USA is a series of albums on L+R Records. The material was collected by German Blues experts Siegfried A. Christmann and Axel Küstner on an extended trip thru the south of the USA in the fall of 1980, in the form of so-called "Field-Recordings" ….. Blues On Highway 61 with James on' Thomas, Sam Chatmon, Walter Brown, Joe Cooper, Cleveland Broomman & Eddie Cusie Feeling lonesome, be… Read more
*180g vinyl includes 320 k/bit MP3 digital album download redeemable from the label* "For the better part of two decades, Calexico have crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With Edge of the Sun they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way. Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla … Read more
Jackin' Chicago anthem re-pressed for the repressed. Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles offer alternative, respective mixes of the Marshall Jefferson-produced 1986 banger, Hardy establishing a steady kick 'n keys intro before going really wonky and freaky, kinda like he's mixing two records very slightly off beat, before introducing a taps aff synthline to slay the room. So good! Flipside Frankie Knuckles' mix is dead straight by comparison, delivering 4 to the floor where you need it.
**Gold vinyl edition - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label - Follakzoid return with 'III', their third release for Sacred Bones** "Föllakzoid began seven years ago as a trance experience between childhood friends Diego, Juan Pablo, and Domingo from Santiago, Chile. Heavily informed by the heritage of the ancient music of the Andes, the band has learned to integrate this influence with contemporary sounds of their times, creating a rich yet minimal atmosphere. III is a four-part minimal sound voyage in which you can hear Föllakzoid’s musical language developing into something more upbeat, obscure, and sharp, yet even simpler in terms of elements."
*Gatefold 2LP - includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Mike Simonetti (Italians Do It Better) inaugurates his 2MR (Two Mikes Records) label with this lush debut double slab as Pale Blue with vocalists Liz Wight (Silver Hands) and Jana Hunter (Lower Dens). The vibe gauge is set to heartfelt from the outset, strafing component elements of melodic techno, dream-pop and disco with a dancefloor-honed sense of motorik trance momentum and romance. Simonetti's previous credentials are as diverse as they are impressive, covering so much ground between his punk backgro… Read more
Ever wondered what Smokey Robinson might sound like over electroid drum machines and synths? Press Charges did, and followed up on the idea beautifully with this collection matching Robinson to a warm and slick palette of boogie-electronica plays. The results are pretty uncanny, imagining a sort of uchronia where Smokey linked with Kraftwerk in the early '80s and found that they were perfect partners. Of the 12 songs, most also sound like they could have ended up on a MASK 12" in the late '90s, juggling tight drum machine patter with fluttering arpeggios and brooding pads under *that* ac… Read more
**Hand-stamped white label** Tuff, deep-playing techno from Berlin-based New Orleans native, Christopher Jospeh. From a panoramic intro the session dives into techno proper with the industrialised Detroit-style pound of 'Wide Awake' and the shifier, brukken swing of 'Sometimes I Don't Know' on the A-side. Flip it for a handy monotone techno tool in the vein of Edit Select with 'Mind At Sea', and a nastier acid finale, X-101 styles, with 'In The Cage'.
The most prolific player in dubstep comes with cutthroat rave styles on the Nebula Music Group's first vinyl release. On top, 'Monster' arches up with stormy intro subsiding to a barrage of mid-range honk and knee-quaking sub-bass with some tricksy calculations in the 2nd half. Down below, he sharpens his knives for the cattle-prod percussion and swarming, discordant synths of 'Despite' on a mad halfstep-electro flex.
Alex Smoke does ace disco-house and proggy tech-house for Optimo's Trax series. With the devil in the psychedelic detailing he cycles four distinctive grooves ranging from the buoyant skank and swarming tribal chants of 'Remembered II' thru grumbling, blue techno with 'Divination', to wiggly electro-disco futurism with 'Stauner', and triplet-lead psycho-acoustic f**kery in 'Pax'.
Radgy, distorted techno from scene survivor Paul Birken. Stubbornly sticking to his style, Briken goes ham on the machines for eight tracks of blown-out bass drums and clattering percussion reminding of Randomer ior Bintus with 'Surfin' Superior'.
**In which Michael Price, composer for the BBC's 'Sherlock' TV series, explores "the spontaneity of performance and the sound of musicians hearing, connecting and responding" ** "‘Entanglement’, the debut album by Michael Price fulfils his long-term desire to explore new musical territories, featuring Michael on the piano, with the addition of cello, soprano voice, string orchestra, modular synth, tape effects and electronics. Throughout the record you will hear street sounds from 'Budapest' captured and processed on Michael’s mobile phone, as well as chamber music recorded direct t… Read more
Italy's Herva drops a stack of crooked 'floor tricks on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid label following his aces for Delsin, Kontra, M>O>S and All City. As we've come to learn, Herva's a bit of a free spirit, always keen to buck the grid and feel out for uniquely sensual, visceral thrills. With 'Dreamers of Unknown Tales' he follows suit into a unstable world of electro-acoustic tones, shredded breaks and mutant acid, twisting the lines from beat-less concrète zones of the title track to a sort of desiccated, nervy funk attack with the spitting drums and fuzz-junky dip of 'From The Inside'… Read more
**White wax** Chiwax juice out another deep house session from Eric Lewis and Terry Ivy a.k.a. the legendary Virgo Four. This is the most impressive of all three plates released since their revival by Rush Hour circa 2011. A-side hits the mark with nods to Jamie Principle on 'I Will Rock You', and flipside keeps it butter smooth with the chiming drift of 'St. Tropez'.
**Includes digital download redeemable from the label** A unique proposition melding Middle Eastern-influenced kosmische synth drone (Jerusalem In My Heart) with shoegazing post rock tronics (Suuns). Arching up with the majestic Schulzeian chug of 'Metal', they morph into a sort of Arabic-influenced take on Moon Duo with the blistered garage momentum of 'Metal'. 'Self' makes for an emotive charge with Oud-like strings and Dabke-esque drum machine; 'In Touch' comes across like an opiated Steve Moore pop dream, bleeding into the luscious skin-prickling c… Read more
*3x12" in gatefold cover with printed inner sleeves and digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "Joris Voorn returns almost a decade since his first LP with a new album featuring guest appearances from Matthew Dear and Kid A. Through bright guitar, piano and synth combinations Voorn now has a wide range of instrumental talent at his disposal; creating music that’s by turn adventurous and accessible"
**Includes postcard insert** Ostgut Ton's little sibling, Unterton gives birth to a new artist with the crackshot techno session 'Summe'. Perfectly balanced between sullen and spacey 4:4 and roiling, brukken techno, four grooves touch on slow druggy thump ('Objectness'), adroit and gear-slipping hydraulix ('Schleife I'), old skool Regis ('Schleife IX') and Mills or PAS-style bleep ballistics ('Schleife III') with real class.
Continental compilation of emotive nEuro-techno and electro proffered by Switzerland's Lux Rec. On the first disc you'll find Börft boss Jan Svensson twirling silvery arpeggios and muggy house as Villa Åbo beside CCO's cosmic house projection, 'Pale Distant Lights' and an extended deep acid/EBM rub from Juanpablo & Sneaker. Drvg Cvltvre opens the 2nd plate with the smacky flow of 'Endless Night', next to Swiss bro's, Echo106 with a galluping acid trip, and label boss Daniele Cosmo teams up with Luciano Lamanna on the album's wayward finale, churning up rotten kicks and splintered drums with sulky synth strafes at a knackered lurch.
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "Immensely inspired by the beautiful simplicity embodied by the laws of nature, especially the number Pi and the notion of the golden ratio, Michał Lewicki has always been searching for new ways to implement mathematics into his music. But aiming for the perfect proportions while making the music feel natural and complex at the same time has been no easy feat. In the creation of “Ton” he applied a very technical approach, utilizing various random midi generators, midi delays, polyrhythms, pitch shifters, scales and more in order to cre… Read more
DJ Hell and Jimmy Edgar remix a track "that has stood the test of time in defiance of every rule of commerciality...."
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* "Dinner is the alias for Danish singer and producer Anders Rhedin. Since 2012, Dinner has released 2 EPs and a guided meditation-tape. Dinner lives a somewhat nomadic existence, having alternated between LA, Berlin, and Copenhagen for years. This last year, Dinner’s itinerary has included falling in love with a baroness in Berlin, being taught Qi Gong from a renowned Sufi on a mountainside in the Algarve, working on commercial pop songs in Hollywood (“The essence of dark magic”, according to Dinner), and playing shows at festiv… Read more
Thursday, 02 April
Warp charge a full battery of ruffneck, upfront dance music from Lisbon in the first of three killer 'Cargaa' volumes. It serves a crucial insight to the Príncipe label's roster and mix of Angolan rhythms with European techno memes, equally essential for newcomers and scene fiends alike. The term "Cargaa" itself is a local Gallician colloquialism for the buzz surrounding the scene, both at home and abroad, and neatly defines the sound's excited state. Scene founders DJ Marfox and DJ Nigga Fox both represent; the former with a bouncing bomb named 'Take Off', and the latter on … Read more
**First release on a new label from Max Tundra featuring his first productions to surface publicly for over 7 years, fronted by manufactured millennial pop starlets Daphne & Celeste. Edition of 500 copies pressed on lacquer-cut yellow vinyl with optional pop-out centre* There’s little doubt among anyone familiar with Max Tundra’s oeuvre that his early 2000’s releases for Domino kinda pre-empted the whole PC Music thing by a decade or so, all hi-sheen bubblegum pop rendered through obsolete digital technology, hooky as hell and just a little bit unsettling to boot. Having laid low since th… Read more
Dorian Concept ropes in some heavyweight remixers to flip his 'Joined Ends' EP. Kuedo renders 'Ann River, Mn' as an aerial, nocturnal vision of piquant arpeggios and streaking vapours somewhere between Burial and Z'ev, while Border Community's Nathan Fake opens up 'Draft Culture' to nine minutes of wobbly radiophonic acid and glancing techno-jazz motifs. In Tim Hecker's hands 'The Sky Opposite' is elevated and expanded to a heady flux of gaseous harmonics and lilting melody only just anchored by rippling, golden gamelan tones, and Bibio hears 'Ann River, Mn' as a peeling piece of… Read more
**Woozy trip hop waking dreams** "Lapalux knew where and how his sound should change with a second album. As a result, Lustmore feels like a record as compulsively inspired and meticulously crafted as you’re likely to hear in 2015. Lustmore is loosely based on the experience of hypnogogia, a transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Listeners familiar with his 2011 debut, Nostalgic, will know that Stuart Howard’s woozy, infectious rhythms, enveloping textures and unfamiliarly familiar melodies conjure that territory perfectly. Lapalux attracted the direct attention of Brain… Read more