(Unexplained Sounds Group)
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Body Consonance is the follow up to Precipice, Byron Westbrook’s critically acclaimed debut LP from 2015 (Root Strata).
"Taking a turn towards greater immediacy, this new album is far from “ambient” with ecstatic abstract rhythm as its anchor. An artist who also operates in visual contexts, Westbrook utilizes binaural qualities of the stereo listening format to sculpt three-dimensional sounds in perpetual motion, producing works that are both pointillistic and psychedelic.
Body Consonance is a meditation on physicality, a virtuosic choreography of sonic textures, colors and shapes woven together; Bodies in motion, conversing, orbiting, colliding."
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Stunning, exquisitely chiselled synth music from erstwhile Coil member, Drew McDowell, following up the starkly sensuous themes of his Collapse  album with another exceptional turn for Brooklyn’s Dais Records. Any and all fans of Coil’s more oblique electronic aspects or the vast synthetic dimensions conjured in music by The Haxan Cloak, FIS or The Sprawl need to check this one out!
“After the long overdue release of Drew McDowall’s debut solo album “Collapse” in 2015, the experimental music underground saw McDowall as an arrival of an artist that was always here, hiding in plain sight. He was quietly in the background, pulling the levers on some of the most influential recordings in electronic music and with shifting his focus from the role as band member of such legendary acts as Coil & Psychic TV along with his recent collaborative efforts alongside Tres Warren (of Psychic Ills) in Compound Eye, McDowall came to finally identity as a singular artist and figurehead to a movement that has vitally required his presence.
His second full length endeavor for Dais Records is aptly titled “Unnatural Channel,” allowing McDowall to allocate offerings to the ghosts of his past using methods not fully understood. Moving forward from the impact left with his first album, “Unnatural Channel” moves McDowall into more uncharted territory. From the opening mark, Drew’s distinct fingerprint is evident on the track “Tell Me the Name”, his signature ambient ebb and flow to pulsing electronics painted over reverberated percussions that have been pulled apart and spun around the spectrum.
Once the introduction has been made, the album moves forward into more rhythmic territory using classic industrial structures found on his previous work but fused with tumbling aural friction complimented by more techno-based cadence. Views into McDowall’s unconscious are ever-present in “This Is What It’s Like”, a reflective decent into madness brought on by the anxiety of sleep deprivation. Looping the title mantra, the listener gets caught into the author’s own delusion and lost within the auditory hallucination.
The two part suite of “Unnatural Channel” subjects us to a torrent of fluttering and panic-stricken electronics, subtle in its dispatch but powerful in its impact. Field recordings of the most personal, hypnogogic dream-state, lost within itself until McDowall unveils his unbalanced, sequential patterns of fibrous, metallic waveforms and subsonic bass kicks that hit the air with such strength and coercive force that it is impossible not to be converted.
Ending with the statement of “Unshielded”, the album ties off with the primal voice talents of artist Roxy Farman of the Brooklyn avant-techno duo Wetware. Roxy’s confused phrasing seemingly crashes head-on with McDowall’s cathartic finale, using every method of sonic hypnosis at his disposal to finish with a bold yet disconcerting assurance.”
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Home Age is the first proper Eleh full length since 2012's Homage To The Pointed Waveforms.
These new pieces seek to expose the inherent musicality of pure electrical currents via high resolution Serge STS synthesizers. Like early Eleh work, Home Age is inward looking, domestic and deliberate but also slowly emotional and revealing as if peering blurry eyed through a window. Melody, harmony and counterpoint are suggested but not revealed.
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Totally incredible collection of previously unreleased, visionary electronic scapes by a member of the pioneering Institute of Sonology in Utrecht. Unfathomably deep, wide and abstract sounds strongly recommended to fans of Roland Kayn or quieter Kevin Drumm works
The fantastic Recollection GRM series reveals a stunning suite of mostly unheard recordings by pioneering Dutch electronic composer, Jaap Vink; an important member of the Institute For Sonology, Utrecht, where he worked as a teacher and composer from 1967 until retiring in 1993. At the well-stocked and advanced institute (which made early, critical use of innovations from the Phillips laboratories), Vink’s work can be considered as following in the algorithmic and digital sound synthesis wormholes opened up by Gottfried Michael Koenig and Barry Truax et al, and also contributed to some of Roland Kayn’s incredible cybernetic recordings. This first ever retrospective of his work, however places Vink as a true visionary in his own right, unfurling some seven mid-to-longform works of a deeply absorbing sci-fi quality and unfathomably widescreen stereo scope.
Spanning selected Vink output 1968-1985, the collection reveals a composer in focussed pursuit of an electronic purity, on a quest to chart the microcosmos of micro-tonalities inherent within stochastic electronic tones and, through networks of recursive feedback processing, render them tangible as a body of almost orchestral textures. But we stress the almost, as Vink is patently in thrall to the abstract, transportive values of electronic music - rather than attempting to imitate instruments - and he remains a discreet but connective human presence who subtly coaxes the studio to reveal its secrets, constantly ‘rehearsing’ and extending his patches in an ongoing process. And in that sense he can be heard as a forerunner to reams of modern no-input mixer and modular synthesists on the hunt for the rarest electronic spice. Based on the evidence of this set, he’s something of a prescient Muad’Dib character when it comes to locating and controlling that spice.
Between the time-travel sickness-indicing keen of Screen  and the head-engulfing scale of Tide 85, which was completed just prior to the Institute’s incorporation with the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 1986, you’ll encounter a music for vast astral travel; a diaphanous sound suggestive of unimaginable ether dimensions and states of beings, sublimating pathos to a zen-like suspension of the senses and encouraging swirling mental geometries beyond the simple colouring book lines that tend to be prompted by works of lesser genius.
We thoroughly recommend getting supplies in, zipping up your stillsuit desert fashion and embarking with Vink on this genuinely immersive journey.
Lynette Sandholm Evvers
Lynette Sandholm Evvers
Rituals of Bön II
Rituals of Bön II
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As one of the standout projects unveiled by the excellent but sadly now defunct /\ \ Aught label (2014-2015), Xth Réflexion’s /\ \ 05 + /\ \ 06 tapes transmitted some of the most enigmatic dub techno mutations since Chain Reaction kicked the bucket in 2003. Now brought to vinyl by a mysterious new label, Chained Library, we’re given a firmly tangible, if decidedly elusive reminder of Xth Réflexion’s raving, abstract excellence here.
Collecting /\ \ 05 + /\ \ 06 in their entirety - 10 tracks to be precise - Xth Réflexion’s first vinyl plunges listeners into a world of kinetic dub ephemera, feeling out a grayscale palette of cracked rhythms, silty chords and atmospheric grit with a sublime appreciation of flux and drift that feels to emulate the sensation or dynamic of brownian motion with an intoxicating appeal akin to the systolic diffusion of opioids or air-con in a sparsely furnished, humid room.
They scale and skid between tempos with naturally fluid agility, sucking us in with the flux of acousmatic source material, strobing dub rhythms and coruscating noise in 01 before winding up the tightly coiled, double-time flex of highlight, 02 and jabbing out the panicked underwater coda of 04 on the first disc, before the 2nd wraps up wickedly restless square bass squirm and rhythmic noise in 05 and 06, along with the desiccated structures of 07, plus the Voices From The Lake-style roil of 08 and the Lee Gamble-like immersion 10.
Striking the finest balance between abstraction and just-about-buoyant dub function, they are, by some distance, the best examples we’ve heard crawl out of the whole grey area in the last few years. A really strong look for anyone looking for solutions to grid-locked rhythm and sound problems.
P.S. if you’re worried about the packaging affecting the fidelity of the vinyl, we’re pretty sure that’s supposed to be the point, especially considering that the originals were presented on tape.
O Terceiro Corno
(A Giant Fern)
O Terceiro Corno