Aye this one's a goodun. Japanese grindcore icon Eri Fuzz-Kristiansen, aka Viviankrist, keeps the curveballs coming on Diagonal with her bloodied mastication of charred noise and rhythmic electronics, following up the label’s acclaimed recent sides by Sote and Not Waving/Jim O’Rourke. It's an intense howl of a record that comes highly recommended if yr into anything from Alberich/Prurient to Aphex Twin’s Ventolin, Pan Sonic to Kali Malone.
‘Cross-Modulation’ is a brutal testament to the acridly personalised sound that Viviankrist has explored solo since 1995 in Tokyo, when she performed vocals, sax and SP-202 sampler in her first industrial/noise unit. 23 years later her music is still sorely raw, yet riddled with a new found poignance and atmospheric unease that places her music sometimes as close to Kali Malone’s see-sawing dissonance as the power electronics of Pan Sonic or the possessed pulses of Conrad Schnitzler and Merzbow.
Since the demise of Eri’s main project Gallhammer at the start of this decade, when she moved from Tokyo to Oslo (home of her husband and bandmate in Sehnsucht, Maniac - also former vocalist for BM legends Mayhem), she returned to her early Viviankrist alias from 2017 as a place to express her primitivist-futurist urges, resulting a trio of CDs including the vicious solo strike of ‘Morgenrøde’ for Cold Spring. Now on ‘Cross-Modulation’ she intuitively tempers that album’s phosphorous burn with a deadly, incisive application of what Black Metal/Techno pioneer Black Mecha terms “mentation electronics.”
Alloying avant-metal with rhythmic noise, ambient techno and mind-bending drone to a metallurgic tang, ‘Cross-Modulation’ serves a dense flux of energies in seven parts, piercing a path thru maelstrom electronics in ‘Eleventh’ to churn up grizzled Vainio-esque rhythms in ‘Blue Iron’, while the tenderly bruised ambience of ‘Midnight Sun’ provides a bittersweet palette cleanser for the tart technoid prang of ‘Insects’, a bout of slow gripping psychedelia in ‘Out of Body’, and the rugged North European pastoralism of ‘Behind Mirror.’
As the pig flies out of London and Jai Paul’s legendary album officially drops, the pop enigma gives wings to a pair of new beauties and the world is (kinda) ok again
Arriving in the slipstream of ‘Jai Paul’ come two slices of his signature soul-pop delicacy, bedding down the juicy FM bass synth and slow sizzling drums for his heart-warming falsetto harmonies, shared with Fabiana Palladino (who appeared on a Paul Institute 7” in 2018), before ‘He’ turns up the funk with roving, holo-‘d out bass and Linn drums, saving some of the best moments in the reprise’s killer chrome-rip synths and studio gremlins.
Totally absorbing new album flush with ambient-jazz-electronic touches from Vegyn, following their production chops for Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and JPEGMAFIA with an ear-snagging new showcase on London’s PLZ Make It Ruins.
Affiliated with James Blake and Frank Ocean and known for work on some of the most prominent, boundary-probing rap releases of recent years, Vegyn brings a refreshingly optimistic, laid-back, dreamy aesthetic to the table in ‘Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds’. If this album had reached ears this summer it would have bene among the season’s most played, but as it stands it’s going to keep us warm all winter with its collaged mosaic of fleeting field recordings, Satie-esque melodic wist and sparingly used but super crispy R&B/hip hop snap.
A big, big look for fans of Klein, Gila, BoC, Oli XL.
Award-winning Iranian percussionist Mohammad Reza Mortazavi describes the rhythm of eternity or ‘Ritme Jaavdanegi’ in eight transfixing ways on his first vinyl album, following 12”s with Padre Himalaya and Burnt Friedman’s Nonplace in recent years.
A prodigious child student turned absolute master of the tombak - a traditional Iranian drum famed for its wide range of tonalities and striking techniques - Mohammad Reza Mortazavi brings an unparalleled instinct and knowledge to his instrument with each new release, and in recent years has found fine foils in Europe’s experimental garde with collaborators such as Mark Fell, Fis and Burnt Friedman, while also performing at prestigious venues including Berlin Philharmonie and the Sydney Opera House.
On this, his 6th solo LP, Latency give Mortazavi room to let his heart run free thru his fingertips. Reflecting on his childhood in Iran - where he first learned the tombak and famously surpassed his teacher’s knowledge by the age of 9 - the artist found an 11/8 time signature in the Farsi phrasing for “Rit - me - Jaav - da - ne - gi”, which gave naturally gave birth to this album.
Playing within the tricksy, off-kilter meter, Mortazavi beautifully resolves its lop-sided equation in a fractal not fractious style, with rhythms endlessly rolling from others in a seemingly effortless chain reaction of ballistic physics that barrels straight from his head and heart from fingerskin to drumskin.
96 Back stokes the spirit of braindance in a colourful and kinetic debut album of techno-ambient-electronica, featuring guest input from Happa, for Sheffield’s CPU stronghold
Smartly expanding on the styles showcased in his 2018 debut EP, the ‘Excitable, Girl’ album opens out 96 Back’s sound across multiple axes of inquiry rooted in the prism-pushing efforts of mid ‘90s Warp and Rephlex releases.
That means everything from OG SoYo bleep and Cornish acid to Detroit electro and Italian electronics get referenced in-the-mix, generating slippery mutant highlights across the board from the nippy clip and strobing arps of ‘Matryoshka’ and the joyous Italo-electro chuff-on ‘Excited, Boy’, thru the darkside electro burn of ‘Ghzel Tea’ and the glorious astral IDM projections of ‘Lezi’ with Happa, thru to the curved air of ‘Vennsate’, the curdled, mercurial flow of ‘Seize’, and the acrobatic complexities of the album’s lush title tune.
Anyone into the Analord series, DMX Krew, or µ-Ziq at his most melodic need to give this one a whirl.
The spiritual successor to The Gospel According To Budgie mixtapes and The Good Book albums with Alchemist.
"Holy Ghost Zone picks up right where they left blending 90's Gospel with a 2018 bounce.”