Thursday, 21 November
DMK Krew has his tightest duds on again. 'Hot Punch' is a tidy dab of Moog-fruity boogie-disco romance, and 'My Metro' dims the lights to get greasier with hip-shotting laser synth hooks and tight-ass swing.
Surging big-room techno and house remix tools. Joey Beltram builds 'Atica' up to an eye-watering climax and electroid roll-out; Pierre's take is more lo-slung, riding malevolent Reese bass with patented WildPitch funk.
**Limited edition 180g vinyl** **Spellbinding new album produced by Susanna and Deathprod** "Barely one year after the Rune Grammofon-release of critically acclaimed “Wild Dog”, Susanna returns with a new album. Released on her own label SusannaSonata on CD, vinyl and download in September 2013. Susanna is known for both her own songwriting, with songs such as ‘Believer’ and her huge range of highly personal interpretations of other people’s songs. She is an intensely arresting performer; holding audiences captive with her hypnotizing vocal timbre and the powerful, all consuming so… Read more
**A darker neon-lit return from NNF's far-eastern dream-pop idol** "On her first proper full-length album, Tokyo netscape nightingale Sapphire Slows impressively expands on the spider web tone-bank nocturnes of 2011’s True Breath EP, with headier, haunted highs and eerier, elegant depths. Patiently pieced together across all of 2012 (plus change), and inspired by everything from St. Etienne’s plasticine Euro-house, obscured J-pop memories, Blue Bell Knoll and the saddest Section 25 remixes, Allegoria swirls and spirals through ten textural electronic melancholias composed in solitude. The re… Read more
*Includes download code redeemable from the label* **Stunning suite of far-out, psychedelic collaborations between three virtuosic players. Really sounds like little else out there. Intrepid listeners need to check this** "Wake Up Awesome, by C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), Okkyung Lee, and Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkamer), is the second chapter of SSTUDIOS (Software Studios Series). SSTUDIOS is a new venture in the Software Recording Co.'s expanding catalog that invites artists in the field of electronic music to create collaborative works of quality and vision. … Read more
Peaking Lights, JD Twitch and Bjørn Torske give brilliant disco-not-disco remixes of Norwegian model-turned-wave-riding rocker Carmen Villain. Peaking Lights turn her 'Dreamo' into some kinda psycho-Cumbia wildness, whilst JD Twitch is at his best with his doomy, EBM-infected revision of 'How Much' sounding like Group Rhoda meets Factory Floor, and fruitloop disco head Bjørn Torske takes 'Obedience' for a motorik dugga-dugga disco ride.
Stefan Jaworzyn (Skullflower/Whitehouse) unleashes two further sides of churning, noisy modular f**kery on his legendary and recently revived Shock label. Up top, 'Bilharzia' is a squashed and distressed tract of wobbly bass and surging squall, whilst B-side is loaded with the juggernaut momentum and blistering but lush harmonic noise of 'Make A Joyful Sound'. Check that B-side, it's a beaut!
V.I.V.E.K stokes the original dark spirit of Dubstep with four mighty halfstep productions for System Music, including V.I.P.s of his biggest tunes. First plate steps up with two new pieces - the atmospheric epic 'Mantra' and the stush, technoid badderman rufige of 'Show Me' with its soaring synth arpeggios - whilst the 2nd plate plummets way deeper with V.I.P.'s of his Deep Medi weapon, 'Soundman' and the body scanning subbass masterpiece, 'Asteroids', which sounds ass-quakingly heavy on a subpac, we tell thee.
DJ Haus' Hot Haus label revives two turn-of-the-millenium French filter funk bombs by Parisian DJ/producers, Jess & Crabbe. Frontside they get freeky with the disco-debased Roulé styles of 'Big Booya' and flipside again with the Daft Punk flair of 'Council'. Kodiak follow killer reworks of Capracara and drops for UTTU and Numbers with a mad fusion of B-More and jungle party music on their 'Big Booya' remix, and Matrixxman tempers 'Council' to a canny piano house bump.
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Reissued pair of dark, deeply arresting widescreen synth visions originally issued in 1984 on Harold's own label, Cantil. "Perhaps the darkest entry in his voluminous back catalogue with a quasi-industrial element to the sonic palette. Two 20-minute plus tracks that evoke a post-apocalyptic soundworld with heavy synth drone and suspended single piano notes." Recommended!
*Includes Download Code Redeemable From The Label* Reissue of a sweetly succinct side of "Cosmic Americana' vignettes originally issued by Harold Budd on his own label, Cantil, in 1981. "Short but incisive piano meditations with carefully layered electronic washes and bursts of pedal steel guitar, conjuring images of Harold's desert upbringing."
**Hand-stamped ruff card jacket and hand-stamped white label** The ever versatile Cosmin TRG caters to the Running Back sound with three slinky, lo-slung techno-house rollers. Check for the muggy, heavy house swing of 'Panoramic' and the rugged-yet-debonaire chunky house budge of 'Aurora'.
**Edition of 100 housed in wraparound sleeve containing lyrics** Italian engima Fantamatres aka Canedicoda and "slangy poet" Sissy Biasin debut on this odd little 7" for Holidays. It's made all the odder for the fact we can't understand what Sissy's saying, and the fact they reckon it was recorded at Bates Motel (Perú, Piruw) and October 12th 1492. A-side, Sissy rambles around a sleazy organ funk groove called 'Nanni ha perso la battaglia' and appears heavily effected on the spurting electronic goop on 'L'infanzia di Picci', whilst it gets even more interesting with the space station bleep… Read more
Neville Watson boots up Don't Be Afraid's Special Editions series with a trio of deep, rugged house trax. His A-side, 'Crossing The I's' is a killer DJ tool; stripped to the bone Chicago patterns and a virulent acid line loaded with the kind of bass pressure that'll shake the drink out of your cup before a soaring synthline takes it all to the nth dimension. Big tune! Flipside, 'Wired' take the vibe down a notch with we;;-tucked, London-style house wiggle powered by another mad bassline, whilst 'Hot & Heavy' swings with slinky percussion, warm chords and strings for the dancers.
**Limited edition of 300 & first 100 include print** Kit Grill succinctly melds slinky house rhythms and lush, harmonious minimalism on his debut album issued via GetMe! (Dam Mantle, Graphics, o F F Love). Over twelve tracks Grill gives knowing nods to the rippling, repetitive phrasing of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich as much as Neu!'s motorik simplicity and the pastoral dance music of CFCF or earlier James Holden. The fidelity is crystal clear and his tone is warm and friendly, oscillating between tenderly suspended melodies and gently insistent, motorik grooves almost oriental in their delicacy and folkwise in their simplicity.
Moody tech-house from Leeds-based Josh Butler. A-side sounds a bit like Maya Janes Coles but we like the naughty Niche/Hard House-style bassline warp on B-side 'Keep Movin''.
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Muscular electro-bass turn by former Instra:mentalist Jon Convex, backed with smart remixes by Ore and dBridge. 'Losing Time' rolls out a taut mix of glinting breakbeats, sci-fi electro-bass and darkside voices for a reet robo-boogie, whereas 'TX' works up a head of steam with slamming bass and Kraftwerk-esque electro signatures remodelled for the 2013 ro-bro-ts. Civil Music's new signing Ore makes a fine introduction to the scene with his pounding techno remix of 'TX', and dBridge turns it into a gyrating digital dancehall weapon.
Kinky disco fruit spiked with a liberal dose of loved-up sensuality from Scot-in-Paris, Graham Peel aka Paradise 100. Four tracks slink at a sinuous mid-tempo groove parsing a paucity of elements - his mantra is "more than three tracks on a song is just indulgence" - into a sleek homage to mid-late '80s boogie, deepest house and Balearic disco. The purposeful efficiency works just beautifully, each element selected for its ripeness and allowed all the space it needs to lather up and get acquainted with its grooving bedfellows. A-side, 'The Loin King' swaggers with exotic synthlines, sparkl… Read more
Slick disco from London's AD Bourke, following releases for Domu's Treble O label, Nature and Citinite. The vibe is deep and debonaire as you like on all four tracks, ranging from low-slung boogie house foreplay on 'Prelude' to deft Detroit-style chord riding and sweeping crimson pads in 'Astral' thru to the fruity synth funk of 'Equinox' and the beautiful solo piano and pads to close with A night in Almeria'.
*10-track unmixed vinyl version, Includes a copy of the CD free inside* Ben Westbeech, aka Breach, selects 16 house and electro trax for his DJ-Kicks instalment. Cherry-picked goodies run the gamut from Innercity's hypnagogic abstraction 'Prince of The Immortal Woods' to slinky house from Fred P and Breach's own exclusive inclusion, 'Beroving', to the glistening arpggios of Dopplereffekt's 'Z Boson' and Redinho's boogie funk futurism, 'Searching'.
**Glossy gatefold jacket** Killer slab from Jazz/Rock welding trio Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love, launched on their freshly coined record label. 'Boot!' documents what is arguably the strongest free jazz trio in Europe playing at the peak of their powers on five pieces covering interpretations of Coltrane and Duke Ellington alongside original compositions. A muscular, high-velocity take on John Coltrane's 'India' opens the set before the ferocious honk and hurtling percussion of Ingebrigt's 'Red River' takes hold and they slow things down for the doomier, metal-infused … Read more
*Includes download code redeemable from the label plus bonus track, tip on jacket, exclusive 8 1/2" x 11" Matrix handbill reproduction, 4 panel heavy insert containing rare images and essay by Peter Walker* "Peter Walker is an American original, as eclectic and enigmatic as the songs he writes. The legendary seventy-five year old raga/psychedelic/folk acoustic guitarist, who was schooled by masters such as Ravi Shankar, and Ali Akbar Khan, has been described by Larry Coryell as, “One of the most original practitioners of contemporary music” and proclaimed by the Beatles’ pr… Read more
**180 gram blue vinyl with gatefold sleeve** Rainy City Punk' is the first of two LPs documenting the roots of Manchester's punk scene via the output of Martin Hannett's Rabid Records and the Absurd and Razz labels which subsequently occupied their premises on Cotton Lane in Withington. Features classic recordings of John Cooper Clarke - notably using the AMS delay unit that would later be employed on Hannett's Joy Division recordings - alongside aces from a pre-Frank Sidebottom Chris Sievey, Jilted John, and The Mothmen.
More genre-straddling Ethiopian music from the Ethiopiques series, this time focussing on shoeshine boy turned singing star Mahmoud Ahmed, whose unique blend of afro-beat rhythms and Arabic blues makes for an unexpected treat. Ahmed started out as what Ethiopiques curator Franic Falceto describes as a "street urchin", only to work his way up to become one of his homeland's biggest celebrities. Ahmed's minor-key soul is characterised by a cross-pollination of Eastern and Western styles (as is the case with this week's other two Ethiopiques releases) and takes on some of the Latin-American influences imported by his countryman Mulatu Astatke back in the late '60s.
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** The first release of the hugely influential Kentucky based Slint, 'Tweez' (along with 'Spiderland') has been reissued at mid-price and, as the first exponent of post-rock, is both an important musical document and a bloody good listen. A rougher sound to their 1991 follow up, 'Tweez' is at turns angry and belligerent but always retains a graceful charm that no amount of shouting can mask. 'Tweez' is an irresistible blizzard of clever tempos and cochlea shredding guitars whose exquistite blend of blues dynamics, punk attitude and rock sensibilites led to a whole new genre.
Sunday, 17 November
Sublime sophomore album from Dev Hynes as Blood Orange, simply one of 2013's finest R&B/pop LPs. Since his early days as Lightspeed Champion and part of Test Icicles (neither of which we cared much for), Dev Hynes has blossomed into a song-writer du jour for everyone from Solange Knowles (Beyoncé's baby sis) and Britney Spears to Sky Ferreira, Mutya Keisha Siobhan and er… Diana Vickers, blessing each and every one with his patented turn-of-phrase and priceless penchant for killer hooks. 'Cupid Deluxe' is evidently his most mature and definitive statement, somehow combining near-sacred trace… Read more
Thursday, 14 November
*Initial copies on transparent double vinyl* Having just recently been unmasked as the producer behind Blackest Ever Black's excellent Alexander Lewis album, Shifted follows up last years 'Crossed Paths' LP for Mote-Evolver, as well as releases under the Covered in Sand and Pacific Blue aliases with this strong debut album for Hospital Productions offshoot Bed of Nails. 'Under A Single Banner' consolidates the ductile reference points of his nebulous aliases, from cranky, club-crunching gear to noisier experiments, making for the bleakest definition of his sound to date. … Read more
**Edition of 500, initial copies on fluoro yello wax** Ricardo Donoso completes his latest trance mission for Digitalis with 'One Verse Sharpens Another'. Four tracks of serpentine arpeggios, rolling bass pulses and stealthy, soaring synth chords simulate cybersex in anti-G, from the X-Files atmospheres and alien seduction of 'The Redeemer', to the piloerect triggers and tense pizzicato strings of 'Open Drawer, Full Of Masks' on the A-side and over to the sublime, supple bass roll and gentle ambient caress of 'Child Primitive' or the mind-weaving Belgian trance bliss of… Read more
**140g Vinyl Pressed from original metalwork. Includes green and yellow tDR designed sticker** One of the most feted, mystical of all BoC releases, 'Twoism' receives a timely repress from Warp. Since release in 1995 it's been recognised as possibly the most crucial and sought-after release from Scottish brothers Eoin and Marcus Sanderson. It turned the heads of Autechre and Skam at the time, who would release BoC's follow-up 'Hi Scores' in 1996, and established a smudged, haunting aesthetic and template which has been co-opted yet never bettered in its time. From the tear-jerking keys… Read more