Thursday, 04 June
**Includes download** "With a sound as quintessentially British as the picturesque Hertfordshire village that they call home, Maribou State present their debut album. Portraits sees Chris Davids and Liam Ivory exemplify the sort of rare but precious sonic harmony that has made their name so far: equal parts emotive instrumentation and sturdy rhythms, stark soundscapes and rich textures. Featuring longtime collaborator Pedestrian (2nd Drop / Born Electric) as well as vocalists Holly Walker and Jono McCleery, the album takes on a subtle dynamism and natural warmth redolent of G… Read more
Maurice Fulton rekindles his Boof alias with a schozoid session swerving between boogie, disco-techno, jazz-fusion and stranger ambient themes dreamt-up at his Sheffield stronghold.
"Bunny Lee's Flying Cymbals or flyers rhythms dominated the Dancehalls and the charts during 1974 and 1975. The style based around the Philadelphia disco or the Philly Bump, the sound of an open and closed hi-hat was not necessarily novel but Striker's innovations of bringing a number of different elements into play most certainly was. Johnny Clarke's interpretation of Earl Zero's 'None Shall Escape the Judgement' not only opens this se but also opened the floodgates for the flyers style. The story had begun the previous year with Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar. 'Sly played the flyi… Read more
*Original songs by Karen Dalton reworked by Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Marissa Nadler and more* Karen Dalton (1937-1993) recorded two studio albums during her lifetime, neither of which contain any songs she wrote. By the good graces of legendary guitarist Peter Walker, who oversees Karen's Estate, we are gifted with these lost lyrics, now given voice by other great women of song, including Sharon Van Etten, Patty Griffin, Diane Cluck, Julia Holter, Lucinda Williams, Marissa Nadler, Laurel Halo, Larkin Grimm, Isobel Campbell, Tara Jane O'neil and Josephine Foster.
Don't Be Afraid hit the 'floor with four cranky house and electro joints from the label faithful and new cats. Uptown, Radio Brovold jam out the Luke Eargoggle-sounding electro-acid ov 'Joel, I Got You Next Time', beside a frazzled 4am jackers' wormhole called 'String Theory' by Halvtrak. Down below, Max McFerren follows a fine shot for Aery Metals with the sullen EBM swagger of 'Immune Systems', and Ben Cohen introduces himself with a radgy bit of New Beat/Chicago-styled acid in 'Mental Therapy'.
**Limited to 300 copies** Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle presents two curious pieces of lower case, haptic sound exploration by Crys Cole, his partner and collaborator heard on last year's engrossing 'Sonja Henies Vei 31' LP for Planam. They're both long-form pieces, including nineteen minutes of intimate, loitering rustle and lurking drones in 'Sand', which was previously self-released in 2009, whilst 'Layna' features the discernable presence of Crys' own presence thru a range of heavy breathing and nimble extended vocal techniques at the quietest end of the register, blended with phono-lead c… Read more
**2LP gatefold includes CD copy free inside** On his 4th solo album, Café del Mar legend José Padilla swerves expectations of a chill out album for your dad by dialling in Telephones, Mark Barrott, Wolf Müller, and Tornado Wallace to bring him closer to the 'floor. "Barrott brings a deep oceanic mellowness; Tornado the electronic, synthesized, melodic beats and grooves; Wolf Müller the afro sound; and Telephones the beautiful dream-like house. Each producer was flown to Ibiza to work at Padilla's home in Santa Agnes, with their studios set up in the house overlooking one of the island'… Read more
"The fourth studio album by acclaimed Belgian cold wave group The Names, known for their early association with Factory Records and producer Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett. Recorded in 2014, Stranger Than You marks a conscious return to the sounds and styles explored on their debut album Swimming in 1982. “There’s a strong element of reconnection,” explains singer/songwriter (and bassist) Michel Sordinia. “Yet at the same time it’s also about developing your own legitimate strangeness, just as the great Surrealist poet Rene Char invited his readers to do. A new mystery singing in your bones.” Mi… Read more
**2LP includes CD version free inside** Hand-in-the-air tech-house trance from Denmark's Kölsch. Nine tracks of it on the vinyl, 13 on the CD, including a number featuring the folksy strings of Gregor Schwellenbach.
Killer old skool Miami bass rescue from Jerome Hill's Super Rhythm Trax. Topside spins out a previously unreleased UK edit of the 1990 woofer-wrecker, 'This Is Too Much Bass' by Jock D and Lon Alonzo's Cha-os, a.k.a. the notorious and hugely influential Dynamix II, whilst Bass Junkie and Dexorcist go hard with 'B-Boyonik' as Bassing Guild, who also serve up two session-ready edits of Cha-os' 'Party People' on the flip. Good to go.
**Includes download code** DFA's brooding, Brighton-based disco duo yield a lean but warm 3rd album with 'Home Economics'. "The starting point for the new record was the band’s “amazing” first US shows - two of their own and a triumphant showing at DFA’s 12th anniversary - in May 2013. Inspired by their American adventure, Prinzhorn Dance School brought the recording process into the heart of their everyday lives. Played and recorded on the move between different flats in Brighton and Hove, then wheeled around town on a hard-drive wrapped in a sleeping bag in a specially-adapte… Read more
Sub-aquatic deep house from Anthony Collins and Francis Harris' Frank & Tony duo. The whole thing feels as though it was recorded thru a pillow or from the room next door, turning out three cuts of persistent, buoyant hi-hats and smudged bass nudge perfused with warm chords and crackle...
Tez Fixmer's 2003 EBM kicker re-activated by Kobosil, Marcel Dettmann and Norman Nodge for Ostgut Ton. In pole position, Kobosil gives a strapping 44 version run thru a barrage of filters and electro-plated with vicious new synthlines. Flipside, Norman Nodge reduces the same elements to a potent, viscous jack, and Dettmann jettisons the beat for a threatening Leitmotiv version.
Reissue of a rare and sought-after French synth wave side from 1981. It's times like this that I wish iI paid more attention to French at school: all the background on this 12" is, err, French to me. But we can tell you it contains four tracks of skinny Gallic wave pop, including the disco-readied drum machine punch and fleshy synths of 'Ersatz', the moody swagger of 'Demain Berlin' and the excellent, dub-bassed post-punk pop of 'Mauve', all housed in a delectable monotone jacket and printed inner (sleevenotes in French).
Huntleys + Palmers get sweet and weird with four colourfully discordant grooves by Hi & Saberhägen, a new duo outta Glasgow. Their debut reveals a charming taste for stranger, semi-organic electronic textures and laidback, Afrobeat-inspired grooves perfect for their new label home. 'Lonely Friends' getsunder the 'floor's skin with the kind of salty, keening tones you'd expect from Mica Levi, but here attached to a steady 4/4, whereas 'Peanut Butter' glazes peppery drum patterns with lullaby chimes. 'Better Love' gets freaky again at a cracked slow-techno angle spun out with whirring snar… Read more
*180gm 2LP Reissue with a version of the CD included free inside* This album corresponds to a new film of the same title from Parisian polymath Chilly Gonzales. The movie stars Gonzales himself alongside musical pals Tiga and Peaches, with the two male leads playing chess champions competing for the affections of everyone's favourite electro-punk provocateur. The album is produced in coalition with Boys Noize and finds Gonzales in the kind of danceable pop territory often occupied by Sebastien Tellier. Flirting with both loungey disco escapades and lavishly orchestrated easy listening… Read more
*180gm LP reissue, includes a copy of the CD free inside* I must say that in the wake of Chilly Gonzales's successful solo piano releases I don't think I expected to see him return to the comic rap he cut his teeth on, at least in this lifetime. He's back though, and on fine form offering up the world's first orchestral rap album (allegedly) and it does indeed do exactly what it says on the tin. To me Gonzales has never really been a great rapper technically, but his rhymes are funny and smart, and now have the backing of an orchestra in full-on French film sco… Read more
**Reissue** Atkins and Von Oswald present the final three tracks from the collaborative 'Borderland' LP on vinyl. It kicks off with one of the album's strongest dancefloor grooves in 'Digital Forest'. After two minutes of finding their feet with lolling bassline and spectral synth washes the rhythm collects itself as a feline house swinger with purring, perpetual momentum guided by silvery hi-hats. On the other side, their buoyant 'Treehouse' groove unfurls with patient elegance into a proper Detroit house play arranging martian melody and shuffled drums with a… Read more
**Double 12 inch with laser etching on the D-side** Ricardo Villalobos takes Baris K and co.'s Turkish psych project, Insalar right out there across three sides, backed with an etched D-side by Katharina Immekus. The original 'Kime Ne' was recorded live at Mini Muzikhol, Istanbul, in 2010. It adapt verses by the seventeenth century poet Kul Nesîmî. 'Insalar' means 'humankind', 'kime ne', 'so what', 'what of it'. Villalobos rends the 23-minute original nearly three times the length in a slowly blooming 3D soundsphere.
Far Out Recordings mark 25 years in the game with these Theo Parrish and Daz-I-Kue (Bugz In The Attic) remixes of Marcos Valle classics. Theo's version of '1985' is a seductively laidback burner wiggling with warm organ plumage and stop/start shuffle drums underlined by a billowing B-line that only fully reveals itself after a few minutes. Vibes. Flipside, Daz-I-Kue bumps the tempo gauge up with a more insistent samba flush of cowbells, keys and squelchy bass funk for his take on 'Prefixio'.
"Algiers release their self-titled debut album on Matador Records. Steeped in radical politics and deeply indebted to postpunk’s sonic trailblazing and gospel’s spiritual bloodletting, the album imbues neo-modernist hymns with caustic social sentiment and explosive noise."
"Automat is: Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Haut), Achim Färber (Project Pitchfork, Prag, Philipp Boa), Georg Zeitblom (Sovetskoe Foto). The Berlin-based trio has recorded an exceptional album. Denser and yet even more unflinching than the debut they released one year ago, PLUSMINUS recalls the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s '2001'. There’s nothing here that one could hold onto, and yet so much of it that the listener is transported into a kind of trance. While its predecessor was still characterized by prominent guest vocalists like Lydia Lunch, Blixa Bargeld and Genesis P-O… Read more
"Sauna Youth return with their long-awaited second LP 'Distractions', on Upset The Rhythm. An evolving band of future humans making truly irregular punk not quite comparable to anything else. 'Weird' is a meaningless platitude, and 'art punk' is a classifier that shouldn't be required. Having started out in 2009 in Brighton, Sauna Youth ended up moving to London and changing line up to its current constellation in 2011. Attracted to the possibilities apparent within a DIY philosophy, the band self-recorded and self-released their own music until the release of their first LP Dreamlands on F… Read more
*Limited Clear vinyl* ""There's a certain, undeniable feeling associated with the songwriting of J. Fernandez. There are plenty of familiar touchstones and influences deep and intricately woven; Marquee Moon guitars, an affectless, Kraftwerk-ian singing style, psychedelic dissonance and melodic structures not entirely unlike The United States of America, and a modern warmth like Chris Cohen's work with The Curtains and Deerhoof. But, dropping these names doesn't adequately sum up what J. Fernandez has captured here. On Many Levels of Laughter, he has invited us into his own, very… Read more
**Gatefold Double LP, includes free download code** "Smashing onto the scene in 1989, the 90s saw Leftfield carve themselves a niche in progressive dance, their success snowballing alongside contemporaries like Orbital, Underworld and Chemical Brothers, breaking electronic music from the depths of the underground, onto the stage and blasting into the charts. 20 years after the Mercury nominated ‘Leftism’, 16 years after that album’s Number One charting follow-up and five after reviving the name for a series of live shows, Neil Barnes has brought Leftfield back to the very centre of modern electronic music."
**Includes download code** "Politically speaking, not much has changed about the way Austin’s Institute exists as a band since signing to Sacred Bones. Having members in Glue, Wiccans, and Back to Back, all fellow stalwarts of the Texas punk scene, helps streamline the approach for them, as all of their bands operate from the same basic ethos (i.e. operating outside of the normal cycle of PRs, agents, social networking and self-promotion). In fact, singer Moses Brown has said they’re only comfortable being on Sacred Bones because he considers the label “a punk label on steroids.” (A note from th… Read more
Thursday, 28 May
**Gatefold Double LP.** Jaw-dropping debut solo album from Nozinja, the brains behind South Africa's maddest export - Shangaan Electro. Arriving five years since he set floors alight from Limpopo to Salford with an acclaimed compilation for Honest Jon's, he presents the most diverse Shangaan expo to date with 'Nozinja Lodge' cycling between free-wheeling 180bpm signatures to highly idiosyncratic takes on militant Hi-NRG disco via string-heavy epics and pinging digi-dub pop mutations, all sprinkled with his patented, super-bright and melodic arrangements. For energy and soul he's practically … Read more
The D&B don gorgon returns with a 4-track vinyl accompaniment to his 3rd album, 'When The Night Comes'. Rolling in five years after 'Foundation' and nearly ten years since the scene classic, 'This Too Shall Pass', the sound here marks a considered reduction and optimisation of Breakage's patented style in four parts. The key phrase here is minimalism, presenting each track/idea with a knowing paucity of fine-tuned elements - rather than showing off with hyperactive edits and calamitous drops. On the first disc he trims back to a fiercely brooding hybrid of dancehall snare… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Cassegrain galvanise Tin Man to a tougher techno sound pursuing a near flawless run of releases from Mariano DC, Campbell Irvine, and Function/Inland on the latter's Infrastructure New York. It's quite apparent over four tracks that Vienna's Tin Man creams his signature acid lines whilst Berlin duo Cassegrain man the grooves, explored in four iterations ranging from the offset 5/4 moire of 'Faint Faint' to earworming and powerful big room jack in 'Seduct Seduct' and over to the plangent, underwater peal and fluid hydrodynamics of 'Ether Ether', or at a bleaker, washed-out angle with 'Window Window'.
*Re-press of this long-unavailable Soul Jazz classic* And so to the one we've been waiting for, Soul Jazz conclude their copiously well executed series of devotion to Clement Coxsone Dodd with a full overview. The limited vinyl edition carries a full colour large format book, with excellent photographs, usual level of scholarly annotations, while the tunes all stand up amongst the most enduring and popular ever on the label. With Abyssinians "Declaration Of Rights", Michigan & Smiley's huge stalag cut on "Nice up The Dance", Dub specialist's all time classic "Banana Walk", … Read more