Quirke’s ghostly take on IDM/electronica/ambient techno was always suited to long-formats and ‘Steal A Golden Hall’ proves it with nine diverse tracks spooling from rave-obliterated ambient noise to nervy electro, spring-loaded jungle, and haunted ambient headspace.
"Are you still there?" "Yeah so she said the body is the mind's measuring instrument or something - the mind renders information registered on its sensory surface, combines it with old info from the same source and keeps the whole accumulated stock poised to guide action" "Hence why it sounds like this?" "Yeah exactly"
Super strong Tri Repetae vibes on this third black label 12” from Peder Mannerfelt & Pär Grindvik aka Aasthma , this time featuring Penelope Trappes on the A-side’s swooning banger 'Army of Love'.
Proceeding the club-ready pressure of Aasthma’s ‘Only The Appraiser’ and ‘Los Angeles’ 12”s, Penelope Trappes (The Golden Filter) returns the favour of Aasthma’s remix for her ‘Connector’ cut with a dreamily detached vocal placed high in the mix over sweepingly dramatic strings and swaggering breakbeat techno momentum destined for the warehouse.
Rerouting early ‘90s hardcore breaks via tempered late ‘90s trance melancholy and ’00s breakstep ruggedness, title tune ‘Army Of Love’ hits a classic mark somewhere between Autechre, Andrea Parker And David Morley's incredible 'Angular Art' EP (c l a s s i c!!!!), J Saul Kane, early Vex’d and the tight Hard Drum rolige of DJ Plead, while the following, slower version ‘The Task’ sees the same elements devoid of vocals and dragged down to a creepy 110bpm crawl, revealing ghostly synth spectres haunting its hunched breaks. Yes mate.
Logos lets rip with the dancefloor hellfire of ‘Fifth Monarchy’ on the next part of Berceuse Heroique’s ‘Ode To The Soundsystem’ trilogy, leading on from his ace ‘Imperial Flood’ LP
Proudly showing off his UK bass cadet credentials, Logos pulls few punches over three shots of cutthroat grime, grey area pressure and one of the 2019’s sickest cuts in ‘Ghosting’, plus a powerful Ossia remix channelling proper yardcore vibes a la DJ Scud. Trust it’s enough to make a soundboy weep.
‘Essa’ sees him wield bolshy Korg Triton lines - old skool grime’s weapon of choice - in a rictus roll-cage of ricocheting rimshots and jawside claps while ‘Dust’ tests out a nervier skank into the grey area gassed on noxious dub chords and flinty 2-step drums like the UK’s answer to T++ or Felix K.
Better yet, ‘Ghosted’ brings a steppers’ shockout like Aba Shanti meets La Peste, going all the way in on that strangely UK-favoured offshoot of JA dub proper - island-to-island style - and Ossia cements that link via Bristol and late ‘90s Brixton with the heads down steppers juggernaut remix of ‘Eska.’
Celestial Trax leaves the club in pursuit of more meaningful ideas and broader textural range on their debut album for NYC's PTP.
“PTP present the debut album by Celestial Trax (real name Joni Judén) entitled 'Nothing Is Real,' which he describes as a departure not only in sound but also geographically and spiritually from his previous output, having found an increased interest in mysticism and the esoteric.
Taking inspiration from a quote by Anton Chekov, "if you want to work on your art, work on your life," Judén aimed for the album to be a true representation of his voice at this time. He felt a need to distance himself from the distractions a creative hub like NYC can often provide, not wanting to become too influenced by the city's current trends, and instead shifted his focus inward to cultivate a more meaningful self-connection: this journey and struggle thus serving as the main inspiration to the writing.
In beginning 'Nothing Is Real,' Judén had reached the point of creative purge, deleting almost all samples, sample packs, and software synths. Fueled by ideas of rebirth and true self-projection, he amassed a library of field recordings from New York City, plus samples from his own cassettes, vinyl, and Youtube search history - utilizing every sound source he could come across in his studio whilst trying to spend as little time as possible on the computer screen. The result being an album less concerned with achieving a masterful polish and sonic bombast, instead aiming for more organic textures where noise and imperfection reflects the human experience, with recurring themes of existentialism, surrealism and nature permeating throughout.”
After a 5 year pause for breath, Rainer Veil return with their debut full length for Modern Love; an immersive, kinematic tumble through electronic forms from hyper trance to tape dub experiments and loose polyrhythms - a summoning of ‘ardcore spirits in flux. Big RIYL: Photek, Caterina Barbieri, SND, Lee Gamble, Gábor Lázár...
A hypnotic soundworld tempered by weighty bass and angular construction, ‘Vanity’ marks a breaking away from the binds of overthinking, an embrace of imperfection. It’s a brighter set of tracks then anything we’ve heard from them before, discarding the fog of filters and guitar pedals in pursuit of a more loose-limbed and swung ideal.
Opening on the skeletal Trance vapour-trail ‘Sim Screen’ and the agitated ‘Repatterning’, we head into a ferociously asymmetric warehouse swerve ‘In Gold Mills’ conjuring an uncanny, nighttime vision of suburban bass riddled with tension and bliss. ‘Shallows’ retreats through isolation dub, echoing ‘Change Is Never Easy’, a re-worked House template fractured to its bare percussive core, while ‘FM2’ entwines a double helix of DX7 patches with a heart wrench, and ‘Gauze’ dismantles a mosaic of Kwaito patterns, buried under a haze of smoke.
Tracing rapidly mutating electronic forms, from ringtone hooks to latinate rhythms and Razor synth edits, ‘Vanity’ explores an instinctive swell of ideas and influences in perpetual and unstoppable forward motion, a sequence of flash frames captured and distilled for posterity.
Caterina Barbieri somehow recalls both Laurie Spiegel and Lorenzo Senni on her staggering debut album for Editions Mego, with ‘Ecstatic Computation’ yielding her most striking and accessible experiments in pointedly explorative synthesis
Working at the point where deep, learned R&D meets sophisticated expression of soul, ‘Ecstatic Computation’ is one of those rare LP's that comes close to divining the ghost in the machine. In further pursuit of the themes underlining Caterina’s ‘Patterns of Consciousness’  and ‘Born Again In The Voltage’  records, here she uses more complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations to generate the kind of vivid, hallucinatory trance states that many electronic music followers arguably spend their lives seeking.
With ‘Ecstatic Computation’ Caterina’s basically mastered the art of extracting a contemplative wonder from her machines, creatively using formal process to manipulate the listener’s temporal and proprioceptive senses, subtly distorting our perception of time and space with spellbinding and psychedelic effect. Most crucially, just like her fellow Italian composer, Lorenzo Senni, Barbieri achieves this effect through minimalist means, with a certain magick lying in the way she allows her machines’ full voice to speak as fluidly as the languages of classical music, but with the immediacy of Trance.
From the vertiginous scale and epic breadth of ‘Fantas’, thru the intensely expressive miniature ‘Spine of Desire’, to the balletic agility of ‘Closest Approach to Your Orbit’, Barbieri veritably dances on our nerve endings, before swiftly inverting that headlong futurism with the chamber-like design of ‘Arrows of Time’, featuring vocals by Annie Gårlid (UCC Harlo) and Evelyn Sailor, and wrapping up with the visceral ecstasy of ‘Pinnacles of You’ and a spine-freezing finale ‘Bow of Perception’.
It’s glorious, life-affirming stuff, sure to send her audience stratospheric.
"Acclaimed in the Krautrock scene, Gunter Schickert is the most closely associated with the repetitive echoes of his distinctive guitar sound. Following "Samtvogel" (1974) and "Uberfallig" (1979), he released "Kinder in der Wildnes", a collection of songs from the 1981 to 1983 period. The fact that the album appeared at all in 1983 owes less to Schickert and more to Steven and Alan Freeman, who sought him out for their Krautrock encyclopaedia The Crack in the Cosmic Egg. On learning that Schickert had heaps recordings in his archive, the Freeman brothers proposed compiling an album. Schickert agreed and handed over material which the English YHC label had released in cassette form. Kinder in der Wildnis is a more heterogeneous album than either of its predecessors, understandably so, since the pieces it contains are not immediately related to one another. Occasionally (above all on the two bonus tracks—available here for the first time), the influence of Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave), virtually omnipresent in that era, may be detected. For the most part, however, Schickert stays true to form and creates layers of hypnotic, filigree echo patterns, frequently accompanied by a dragging beat."