Peder Mannerfelt & Pär Grindvik’s Aasthma invite Jonnine and Gavsborg, among others, for a sick debut album of skewed, stadium-size EDM-pop and club smashes woven with intricate sound design.
After an introductory trio of mutant rave 12”s in 2019, Aasthma return, galvanised with hi-EDM-pop sheen and stacked melodies for a more ambitious sound that draws as much from Peder Mannerfelt’s work on Fever Ray records as his and Pär Grindvik’s shapeshifting electronic tekkerz. In a strong sense ‘Arrival’ is effectively a new iteration of hi-tech Swedish dance-pop for the 2020s, summoning the spirits of UK hardcore rave and its trip hop offshoots thru a glossy production prism that winks at Eric Prydz, Avicii and Max Martin, while seamlessly kneading in aspects of footwork, industrial dancehall and hypeR&B-pop. Quite understandably it arrives on Modeselektor’s label, and shares much of the German duo’s thrust toward bigger sound staging, only less fruity and crisply rudely puckered.
One would be forgiven for mistaking the opening arp spiral of ‘Fall Beyond the Sun’ for MDSLKTR’s own work, such is its big room scale of grandeur, but the duo neatly temper their enthusiasm with HTRK’s Jonnine found low in the mix over the Reese-bass hangglyder ‘It’s Just Your Style’, plus the remarkable appearance of Equiknoxx’s Gavsborg in goth mode on the mutant industrial dancehall strut of ’Nod’, and something like a darkside Ace of Base in ‘Hold Back Love’, while Peder’s patented brand of ‘Power Ambient Piano Ballad’ brings it to an epic, exhausted close. But those bits wouldn’t be as effective without the UP moments which give the album its range, from the chart-gunning hypeR&B of ‘3AM’ feat. Casey MQ to the breakbeat trance drama of ‘Arrival (Fast Forward Into Love)’, the EDM sugar-rush of ‘Lights Out’ with Adam Olenius, and their footwork/D&B-informed ‘We Will Never Change’.
Wickedly offbeat techno pressure from Alex Tsiridis on Blawan & Pariah’s label
So ye, after just finding out that we’ve been playing Rhyw’s last EP for his and Mor Elian’s Fever AM at the wrong speed in clubs for months now (sounds fucking class at 100bpm, though!), the ‘Honey Badger’ EP hauls ass at a pacier clip with four cuts of skudgy techno pressure that we imagine will also swill a good crowd on the wrong or right speeds, too.
‘Honey Badger’ whips it on a scudding techno title with razor-cut edit stutters to unknot your knobbly knees, and ’Sharknado’ in particular sounds like sped up futurist dembow-dancehall, adjacent current NAAFI cuts. ‘Kirkhusa’ comes on a tangier, broken acid swivel with squirrelly synth details, and ‘Foamcore’ works out like his Voam labelmate Peder Mannerfelt on a sort of busy soca/UKF-techno flex.
Swedish techno blacksmith Peder Mannerfelt (Aasthma, Fever Ray) hammers out two big floor drills on his own label
The first new Peder Mannerfelt Production release since 2020, ‘All In Your Hands’ serves subtly alternate version of the same, snare-heavy martial techno ace. His ‘FT’ version hinges around a regular kick drum march harnessing trilling snares and twisted tae fuck with shearing chromatic synth pressure and some canny quiet/loud envelope fuckery. His ‘HD’ version opens out the groove with looser, bashier percussion set to lather the crowd to satisfaction. Big, and fucking clever!
Zoë Mc Pherson & Ciarra Black alloy piledriving techno and spatlalized sound design as Carbon 96 in a pair of pounders for Peder Mannerfelt’s label
While banging techno is Ciarra Black’s meat and spuds, ‘Carbonated’ marks an intriguing break with more experimental forms toward club pressure for Mc Pherson, with results that live up to PMP’s exacting standards.
‘Hyper Hunter’ does the hardest work with its recoiling monotone kicks and bilgy bass pump rent in acres of industrial reverb and bound to sound banging on a big rig. ‘Club Soda’ however is our pick of the pair, working it offbeat on a sort of militant kuduro flex detailed with tungsten tipped snares, nagging insectoid percussion and bullying stabs sprayed from the hip.
Logos and Zuli pull Pelican Company’s synth soundscapes into puckered dub techno and jagged rhythmic noise mutations for Peder Mannerfelt’s label
Chasing the wayward leads of the label boss and his roster of techno panel-beaters such as Carbon 96 and Sissel Wincent, the duo of Johan Antoni & Henrik Johansson (aka Vertical Form’s massively f underrated Smyglyssna) yield their synth scapes to radical treatments from two of experimental dance music’s most distinctive figures.
In the mould of his ‘North Vol.1’ tape and turns with DB1 as Rvshes, Logos reduces and pinches ‘Alvaret’ into a flickering pulse rent with dub chord detonations and spectral interference, before revealing the source material in its final minute. For stark contrast, UIQ MVP Zuli goes raggo with ‘Lowlife Hi-Tech Occult’, schizzily soscillating bouts of barbed rhythmic noise with shards of bright white light synths that surely flashback to Logos’ solo work and in The Sprawl.
Wiry electro muscle from Manc lynchpin Henzo - head of the Heathens events and alum of DJ Python’s Worldwide - coiling two dynamos for Peder Mannerfelt’s label
Tessellating sharply with the label’s exacting produktion standards, Henzo balances classic function with up-to-the-minute form on both counts. ‘Are You With Me This Time’ gears up with stinging, pugilist, shadowboxing step; all swooping whipsmart subs under cattle prod drum jabs and a tweaky nose-drip synth tang to make you clam for it. Dropping down a gear to sleazier mode recalling Autonomic era Boddika, ‘Is Find Never Mind’ swivels torsos on a clipped swang detailed with insectoid noise and gloopier synth texture that slosh and writhe inside the ride.
Swedish techno oracle Peder Mannerfelt grips Edinburgh’s LWS for a pair of finely detailed x working club animators.
‘Pendulum’ arrives with swanging techno drums and what sounds like a skewed sample of the Looney Tunes ident before launching into a ruggedly floating sort of prog electro-techno full of scurrying tweaks that nod to Mannerfelt’s work. However ‘Now That’s Focus!’ contrasts with a stuttering sort of tracky hard drum workout creating a gnashing tension from restless workshop percussion panel beaten into a stop/start jack. Fire?!
An incredible sounding reissue of T.L. Barrett's much sought-after, self-released 1971 gospel/soul album, Like A Ship (Without A Sail) features a stunning production that remains searingly fresh forty years on, all leant great depth by its memorable choral arrangements.
"Chicago pastor and activist T.L. Barrett's rare gospel soul classic Like A Ship... (Without A Sail) is finally receiving a much-needed reissue. Long revered by record collectors, this album remains one of the holy grails of gospel soul. Self-released in 1971, Like A Ship was the result of Barrett channeling his passion for music, a determination to keep children off the streets, and his charismatic preaching (which attracted the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire and Donny Hathaway to his sermons at Mount Zion Baptist Church) into the production of the album, a project bolstered by the saxophonist and arranger Gene Barge of the famed Chess Records, and backed by a cast of players that included Richard Evans, Phil Upchurch and the rapturous vocals of the Youth For Christ Choir. Like A Ship is filled with sanctified grooves and spiritual praise delivered with a righteous, infectious chorus."