Wandering mystic Jackson Bailey aka Tapes returns to Good Morning Tapes on a vinyl edition of his ’Silence Please’ suite, as found on a rare cassette edition in 2018.
After ticking off musical trips to Japan, the Caribbean, and Nebraska, we return to Tapes’ Indian sojourn for a hypnotic reminder of his omnivorous tastes, rolling out four cuts of balmy tabla and new age arp ragas that take on a new life on vinyl. It’s kinda mad how he applies a Midas touch to everything in earshot, always getting down to the quintessence of whatever style he picks, but always with a sort of necessary, raw vivacity that knits all his work together.
DJs, early morning dancers and Yoga enthusiasts will be in their element; the awning drones and rippling tabla of ‘Part 1’aligns the chakras for a supple session taking in something like Charanjit Singh-meets-Steve Reich in the phasing loll and harmonious choral motifs of its Part 2, before he brings the crunchy drums forward in Part 3 primed to get Goan sand tramplers going, and really pushes out to the stars in the supremely heady 7 minutes of Raagini Ni, with its lushly coruscating, just intonation tuned arps allowed to bleed into the red.
'Mas Amable', our record of the year 2020.
Call it deep reggaeton, avant-dembow, whatever; Mas Amable was easily our most rinsed record of the year, a sidewinding trip through slippery, mutable 90/180bpm metrics for lovers of rhythm and sound of all shapes and colours.
Following the reticulated deep house-paced hybrids of his acclaimed 2017 debut, 'Mas Amable' displays a serpentine guile that surely lives up to Brian Piñeyro’s moniker. Through 50 minutes, he dangles the dance by a fine conceptual thread that ties a constant rhythmic skeleton to subtly shifting tonal and textural variables. We start from shoreside ambience and lush field recordings, into hip-gripping dembow permutations and tripped-out vocals, elegantly and rudely shifting the pressure gauge from a gentle propulsive sway to darker steppers and wavey, whistling melodies, before neuro D&B stabs light up the dance and it all fades out on a deep blue reggaeton tip.
Like a mutable organism imperceptibly transforming before our eyes, ‘Mas Amable’ is both effortless and unfathomable, a heady trip through liquid, morphing tressilo drums and junglist markers that, at their peak, provide ample space for LA Warman’s vocal narration, imbuing proceedings with an eerie prescience and an existentially weary message. It all makes for a unique and richly immersive experience that we said back in April would rank among the definitive records of 2020. And at the end of this brutal, relentless year... here we are.
‘Hudson’s Heeters Vol. 1’ was the debut release by Hudson Mohawke.
"This release caught the eye of Warp and led to his eventual signing to the label. This marks the first time ‘Hudson’s Heeters Vol. 1’ has ever been released on vinyl."
Mark Fell and Will Guthrie join forces for the second time this year with ‘Diffractions’, the 2nd in a two part series released via the new NAKID label set up by Koshiro Hino of Goat / YPY fame. On 'Diffractions' the pair push ever deeper into percussive R&D informed/inspired by Gamelan and Carnatic musics - massively tipped if you’re into anything from Autechre’s Confield-era abstractions to Milford Graves’ fluid drumming or even the insular soundworld of The Necks.
Rhythm has always been central to Fell’s work, from his icy, repetitive minimalist excursions with SND to his legendary run of unashamedly funked abstract house experiments as Sensate Focus. Here, he continues to excavate that rich seam with an ongoing collaboration with Aussie percussionist Will Guthrie; “Diffractions” pushing both artists’ interests into sharper detail, toying with polyrhythms and unusual tuning to uncover a suite of transformative fidget spins and sonic storm clouds.
“Diffractions” features another two lengthy pieces of future-facing percussive abstractions that blur the line between synthetic and organic. Taking the influence of gamelan and fusing it with the heaving computer music that Fell has obsessively picked-at over the last four decades, the duo here zoom into a sound that’s almost effortlessly engaging; each piece is almost twenty minutes in length but they shift and mutate into polyrhythmic outer-realms and eerie universes of microtonality that are hard to fathom in one sitting.
There are trace echoes of free jazz hanging from the rafters, the post-everything clatter of Humcrush and Food drummer Thomas Strønen’s mind-expanding solo material or even Autechre at their most confounding. The genius here is that just when you convince yourself that this music could only possibly have been generated by a computer, Guthrie’s unmistakably human flex edges into focus - playing with your perception - your expectations - in the most bold, innovative way imaginable. Basically, this record fucking rules.
Elodie’s Andrew Chalk & Timo Van Luijk present their soundtrack for Peter Hutton’s ’Skagafjörður’, responding to the film’s desolate imagery of Iceland with half an hour of exquisite, weather-beaten, smoke-curl atmospheres, highly recommended if yr into the cold tonalities of Kevin Drumm's 'Imperial Distortion' or Aphex Twin's 'SAW II'...
Recorded as part of ‘Night of Experimental Film’ event in Ghent, Belgium, 2018 that also saw screenings of Derek Jarman’s ‘The Angelic Conversation’ and performance by Tom James Scott, the recording captures the quintessence of Chalk and Van Luijk’s richly evocative music and the natural mystery of Hutton’s film, which is handily available on YouTube for you to synch with its suggested soundtrack for optimal zoner times.
Following a cassette edition in 2020, this vinyl edition gives the performance more room to breathe, with Chalk and Van Lujik’s patented atmospheric magick seeping out from the peripheries to best envelope the listener in their tantalising descriptions of the Icelandic landscape. Chalk & Van Luijk are masters of this kind of layer-within-layer rendering, where you no longer know if you’re listening to vast winds or analogue interference, where harmonic washes are often punctuated with frequency fuckries; feedback, jolts of electricity. The effect is quietly stunning and effortlessly transfixing; like so much of their peerless catalogue.
Jim O’Rourke pushes Apartment House to test their limits via an open-ended score for string trio requiring the players to whistle and sing wordlessly, with absorbing, minimalist results.
Commissioned by Anton Lukoszevieze of Apartment House, who also perform the work with exacting patience and nuance, ‘Best that you do this for me’ is a 50 minute work for string trio (featuring Lukoszevieze alongside Mira Benjamin and Bridget Carey) that also requires the performers to work out of their comfort zones, with additional instructions for them to whistle and sing, as well as play their instruments (violin, viola, cello.) The piece was originally performed in a 15 minute iteration for the BBC, but in this new expanded version its wider scope leads the players to unpredictable harmonic junctures as they work their way around its cyclical indications, overlapping into achingly mournful and sighing cadences with a glacially time-slipping quality.
O’Rourke was inspired to incorporate whistling and singing into the piece after re-listening to a few choral works by Martin Smolka, and was struck by how this relatively simple and always “on hand” instrument is rarely used. In the context of highly skilled instrumentalists such as Apartment House, the simple gesture of whistling and singing becomes a radical one, encouraging the trio to offset and balance their skills and intuition in a sometimes unnerving way that lends the work a beautifully uncertain character, unfurling like an archipelago of islands illuminated by moonlight and punctuated with gulfs of dark, pregnant silence.
Classic South African psychedelic afro-rock albums marking the watershed of Harari’s evolution from Soweto soul (as The Beaters) to the afro-centric rock and funk that brought them fame and changed South Africa’s musical landscape forever. Reissued with printed inner sleeves containing notes by “Soweto Blues” author Gwen Ansell and archival photography. Audio remastered and cut for vinyl by Frank Merritt at The Carvery with heavyweight 180g vinyl pressed at Pallas in Germany.
"The Beaters – Harari was released in 1975. After changing their name, Harari went into the studio late in 1976 to record their follow-up, Rufaro / Happiness. In 1976 they were voted South Africa’s top instrumental group and were in high demand at concert venues across the country. Comprising former schoolmates guitarist and singer Selby Ntuli, bassist Alec Khaoli, lead guitarist Monty Ndimande and drummer Sipho Mabuse, the group had come a long way from playing American-styled instrumental soul in the late sixties to delivering two Afro-rock masterpieces.
Before these two albums the Beaters had been disciples of ‘Soweto Soul’ – an explosion of township bands drawing on American soul and inspired by the assertive image of Stax and Motown’s Black artists. The Beaters supported Percy Sledge on his 1970 South African tour (and later Timmy Thomas, Brook Benton and Wilson Pickett). But their watershed moment was their three month tour of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) where they were inspired by the strengthening independence struggle and musicians such as Thomas Mapfumo who were turning to African influences. On their return, the neat Nehru jackets that had been the band’s earliest stage wear were replaced by dashikis and Afros.
“In Harari we rediscovered our African-ness, the infectious rhythms and music of the continent. We came back home inspired! We were overhauling ourselves into dashiki-clad musicians who were Black Power saluting and so on.” Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, talking of the band’s time spent on tour in the (then) Rhodesian township from where they took their name. As well as expressing confident African politics, Alec Khaoli recalled, they pioneered by demonstrating that such messages could also be carried by “...happy music. During apartheid times we made people laugh and dance when things weren’t looking good.”
The two albums capture the band on the cusp of this transition. One the first album Harari, Inhlupeko Iphelile, Push It On and Thiba Kamoo immediately signal the new Afro-centric fusion of rock, funk and indigenous influences. American soul pop is not forgotten with Love, Love, Love and, helped along by Kippie Moeketsi and Pat Matshikiza a bump-jive workout What’s Happening concludes the album. The second album Rufaro pushes the African identity and fusion further, with key tracks Oya Kai (Where are you going?), Musikana and Uzulu whilst the more pop-styled Rufaro and Afro-Gas point to where Harari were headed to in years to come. The popularity and sales generated by these two classic albums saw them signed by Gallo and release just two more albums with the original line-up before the untimely death of Selby Ntuli in 1978. Whilst they went on to greater success, even landing a song in the US Billboard Disco Hot 100 in 1982, it was never the same again.
“Harari’s music still speaks directly to one of my goals as a younger artist: to express myself as an African without pretending that I don’t have all these other musical elements – classical, jazz, house – inside me.” Thandi Ntuli, niece of Selby Ntuli.
Kush Jones makes strong, deft moves at 160bpm on a six-track self-release
‘Strictly 4 My CDJZ 13’ sees him absorb some of the ambient tones and feels from his 2020 house/electro turn for Future Times into his more typical footwork styles with lush, hybrid results. The junglist crew will be all over his choppy, fleet-footed madness ‘Keeps Playing With The Breaks’ and the shudder of ‘Dissolving’ on a sorta ’93 Bukem tip, while making it super floaty nice with the plush, buoyant pads and weightless kick propulsion of ‘F Zero’, and bringing it down to 4Hero-esque breakbeat swerve with the whirring mechanics and gossamer jazz chords in ‘What The Dream Was Made Of’ and more quizzical electro jazz-funk of ‘Donations.’
Tri Angle have done us all a favour and pressed up Evian Christ's sublime 'Duga - 3' mix on a one-sided plate. Originally released as a mix for Dummy Magazine in summer 2012, it is technically an original, 20-minute composition in four seamlessly arranged parts and was inspired by the artist's research into the eponymous Soviet signal transmitter - the 'Duga - 3'.
The transmitter was characterised by the repetitive tapping sound it broadcast which was sufficiently powerful enough to intercept transmissions across the world. And, in truly Conet Project style, the array was abandoned as mysteriously and unexpectedly as it had appeared, leaving behind a legacy of intrigue and enigma that sparked the dilated curiosity of yung Joshua Leary aka Evian Christ. Part way between 1991's somnolent hypnogogia, the silty harmonic washes of Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker's most divine output, it's perfectly suited to the vinyl format and thoroughly recommended - if you're quick enough.
Ooooof, it's been a while since we last heard from Pole but the German reductionist dub innovator has found his mojo again and this is his finest slab in ages. Proper frazzled low-end treatments for blunted exotica darlings.
It's been five years since Stefan Betke dropped a full-length, but to be honest we haven't been too interested since 2000's "3", the third and final part of Betke's trilogy of albums that still sound like little else. Those records helped light the touchpaper for a generation of young producers to experiment with dub sounds in a freeform electronic context, and while it burned out quickly the traces can still be heard fizzing through. Betke reissued the trilogy earlier this year and has now followed it up with "Fading", recapturing the unsurpassed essence of those early jams without repeating himself.
Inspired by the idea of memory loss as he watched his mother suffer from dementia, Betke wanted to connect ideas of the early Pole albums to his contemporary practice. And that's exactly how "Fading" sounds: the skeletal, decomposing dub sound that was so idosyncratic in 1998 is still present, but Betke fleshes it out with a mature worldliness that brings in elements of exotica and the subtle whisper of distant, half-remembered pop. That's not to say there are riffs (there really aren't, it's pure vibes from beginning to end) but yr transported to a world where oddly familiar elements are wrapped up tightly in tape hiss and white noise.
Like on those first few albums, Betke's rhythms feel elastic and in constant flux. Drum machine sounds and sonic detritus become pretty much interchangeable, melting into each other to create a highly distinctive sound universe. There's an element of nostalgia for sure - the glassy, polished (im)perfection of the early 2000s Mille Plateaux set is very well represented here - but Betke brings it into contemporary dimensions, updating the frame without losing its soul. It's the sound of a dying supercomputer on a distant world, if that supercomputer had learned about Earth's pop culture solely by listening to Jamaican soundsystem music of the 1970s and 80s.
Unmissable stuff here, collecting Japanese avant pop and ferric beats from the scene's darkest, most thrilling corners.
Compiled by Yosuke Kitazawa and Dublab's Mark “Frosty” McNeill, this latest collection of Japanese obscurities from Light in the Attic sweeps up bizarre loose threads that fall through the cracks between the label's already released collections of city pop and ambient and new age music. Those two compilations spoke to the YouTube-driven resurgence of interest in albums like Hiroshi Yoshimura's "Green" and artists like Happy End's Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, and "Somewhere Between" investigates the fringes, dark crevices and unpicked crates.
Here, the sounds are exceptionally varied, falling from Mammy's twinkling odd-world electronix on 'Mizu No Naka No Himitsu' and D-Day's shimmering, dry ice-laced 'Sweet Sultan', to the gloomy avant synth pop of Neo Museum's unforgettable 'Area' and R.N.A-ORGANISM's gurgling, hiss-soaked 'WEIMAR 22'. The theme that unifies all of the selections is an unshakable sense of exploration and joy from the artists. The era's optimism is palpable, and it's a rare pleasure to hear musicians driven so wholeheartedly by exploration, experimentation, innovative song forms and bold artistic strokes.
Diggers will clearly get a kick from these rarities, but Kitazawa and McNeill have done such a great job with the selection that it's far more than just a curiosity. "Somewhere Between" is an invigorating listen, like a particularly wild and wonderful mixtape handed over by a trusted friend. It's a musical time capsule to get lost in.
After releasing their 17th album 'Abolition of The Royal Familia' earlier this year, The Orb are back with further guest appearances on their remix album 'Abolition Of The Royal Familia - Guillotine Mixes'.
Including mixes from David Harrow, Moody Boyz, Youth, Violeta Vicci, Andy Falconer and more.
Proper, truckin’ psych techno bangers from Joachim Nordwall (The iDEAList) and Henrik Rylander’s cosmic incarnation, sent via Moscow’s Stellage portal
After seeing us off with last year’s ‘Your Skulls Are To Us What The Sun Is To You’ for Industrial Coast, the duo’s instinct for ace titles is in effect again on ‘The New Age Is Shit’, which pretty much sums up the record’s antithetical stance and the band’s scything iconoclastic approach to rhythm and noise-induced madness within.
‘Determination’ sets out with 11mins of meat motoring bass pound and thick layers of distortion that build up to a full 18-wheeler traction and keep it there. ‘Seen It All Been It All’ trudges thru thickest of razor wire noise and worksite klangs, and they really hit between the like eyes like a Nate Young Regression doozy with ’Stuck In A Dead End Man’, before yoking some kind of Pan Sonic-esque dub noise sludge in their lurching, drunken title cut. Some of their best gear, is it not?!
Fizzing with nostalgic goodness, Ssiege’s follow-up to the cherished ‘Fading Summer’ album is kissed with a similar sort of brittly blissed serenity and melancholic appeal
Marking his debut with Knekelhuis, the five tracks on ‘Meteora’ join the dots between romantic ‘80s synth soundtracks, the kind of emotive post-industrial explored by Caroline K, and the eternally effective wooze of BoC or Bochum Welt, but articulated with a personalised melodic voice that really speaks to us, and maybe you, on this one.
Equally sharply poised between its precision tooled machine drum patterns and lissom arps, Siege injects a beautifully warm spirit to the album with a grasp of extended melody that wraps the record up in ribbons. On ‘Il Re Delle Mandorie’ he slips us into daydreamy reveries with searching arp leads and lilting guitar that sounds like Vini Reilly reworking BoC’s take on ‘Poppy Seed’ by Slag Boom Van Loom, and ‘Nebbia Spugnia’ shares a gorgeous sort of shoegaze-meets-sad rap air with the recent Sharp Veins album. ‘Il Peso’ follows to the EP’s slowest, brooding point recalling a desiccated adjunct to Pye Corner Audio, while the title tune shores up in witch house interzones like some Salem cut that could have feasibly appeared in 0PN’s soundtrack for ‘Uncut Gems’, or even one of the most aching moments on Made’s ‘Untitled’ album (which was crafted with vintage Æ synths.)
Timelessy effective, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Japan’s Calax Records debut with reissue of a rare batch of breezy and brilliant cuts by Industrial and new beat originals, Siegmar Fricke, and Dirk Desaever aka A Thunder Orchestra, White House White, Danton’s Voice +++
Both artists were heavily active in the late ‘80s tape and industrial electronic scenes, with Dirk Desaever recording some of Belgian new beat/EBM’s finest moments, and Fricke developing a catalogue of 100s of release up to the modern day, including 2019’s turn as Pharmakustik for V I S. This set captures a snapshot of the pair sharing a tape and vibe in 1990, charting an early phase of their respective creative oeuvres when they both worked between a flux of inspirations from ambient to synth-pop and proto-techno, thru to experimental integers of EBM and new beat.
We’re particularly drawn to the ATO cuts, which hark to the archival Dirk Desaever material that surfaced on Musique Pour La Danse’s two compilations in 2019. They feel as though mailed in from a greyscale parallel dimension of the very late ‘80s, possessed by a brooding gothic Belgian spirit that filters thru from the eerie dance tension of ‘Birch’ to the cinematic strings of ‘Coming Closer’, and impish works like ‘Reaching out for that brandnew little nothing’ that split that difference between Coil and John T. Gast, and the face-numbing coke psychosis of ‘Columbarium’, plus the unmissable goth ballad ’She lives in a dream Movie Theme II.’ Factor in Fricke’s side of eight more playful electro-dub and heady acid house freaks such as ‘This Is John’, and its exclusive ’91 remix, or the scudding, proto-ambient-techno of ‘In Good Shape’, and you’re onto a proper winner.
Dubplates and Mastering admirable assistance in reissuing this series of beautiful Wackies music can really be seen in all its glory on this 6 tracker.
Killer Pallas pressing of some understated but still sublime three part vocal harmonies. The mood is well dread with four cuts resembling prime period Black Ark Perry productions and the heartical pull of two Marley inflected numbers, making this another fine addition to the swelling back catalogue of joy emanating from Lloyd Barnes New York based Bullwackie vaults.
Richard Skelton's latest transmission finds the reclusive artist ditching the mournful string drones of his last run of releases and embracing chilly, distorted electronics that should appeal to anyone into Yellow Swans, Alessandro Cortini, Johann Johannsson or Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Async".
It's hard to believe it's been almost a decade since Skelton's last vinyl release. "These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound" follows a slew of regular drops on Skelton's own Aeolian imprint and moves in a decidedly fresh direction, ditching the acoustic instrumentation that has grounded the majority of his catalog. His last few releases (notably "LASTGLACIALMAXIMUM" and "The Oracle Bone") have explored darker sonic spaces, but have continued his obsession with bowed string drones, muddying them with eerie distortion and field recordings. Here though, Skelton has both feet fully in the electronic realm, layering overdriven synth tones to offer a sensitive, evocative foil to Lawrence English or Ben Frost's grandstanding "power ambient".
The ambience is powerful, certainly, but that strength emerges from the emotional content and the mere suggestion of gravitas. Without acoustic instrumentation, his familiar signature is a ghost that materializes in amongst analog sizzles and thick, oscillating bass tones. Waves of white noise and the occasional doomed hit of a kick drum echoes Yellow Swans' towering masterpiece "Going Places", but Skelton's vision is sparser and more anxious, distant and heavy.
Based in the valleys of the Scottish borders, Skelton translates his relative isolation from contemporary society into soundscapes that are almost futuristic, but lack the clutter of deconstructed club or awkward posturing of concept-heavy festival drone. His idea of the future sounds closer to Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky's visionary "Stalker" - seemingly out of time and out of place, with an eerie sense that the rapidly-shifting realty of the present is even more precarious than we care to realize.
"These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound" feels like a potent reflection on a time of global isolation, societal collapse and the confusion of many potential futures, but chooses not to weigh us down with any kind of assertion. Rather, we are invited to project our own anxieties onto the album's groaning dreamworld.
Reissue of 4AD’s post-punk classic by Tones On Tail, a craftily innovative side project of Bauhaus guitarist Daniel Ash and roadie Glenn Campling, and playful antithesis to the band’s goth posturing
It’s ‘Pop’ but with a touch of goth around the eyes, and apparently some Big Macs and hash on the lips, revolving classic material in the synth-pop centrepiece ‘Performance’ and sleazy goth backroom business in ‘Happiness’ and ‘Movement Of Fear’, while ‘Real Life’ jangles with Neo-folksy strings in a way that was just in the air around the ‘80s Midlands, and bleeds out into the beautifully bleak scenes described in ‘Rain’, and wrapped up with streaks of innovative production genius that set Tones On Tail’s sole album out as cult classic.
The UK’s “leading musique concrète ensemble” eke out inventive new lifeforms from obsolete machinery in a manner surely appealing to fans of Luc Ferrari or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire
Where the quartet’s previous album of ‘Tape Works’ took JG Ballard and Nikola Tesla as the jump off, their second volume looks to Luc Ferrari and Brutalist architecture for inspiration. A coterie of reel to reel tape recorders, short wave radios and other antiquated equipment are deployed along with samples of Luc Ferrari’s own work, namely from ‘Les Anecdotiques’ (2002), for a significantly more in-depth survey of LRC’s sound, including a number of durational pieces where their world building style and tekkers can really sprawl and take shape.
A standout is ‘Dinotique’, originally commissioned for Stereo Spasms, a celebration of Luc Ferrari’s 90th birthday held at Cafe Oto, augmenting elements of his autobiographical travelogue with location recordings of London’s Barbican Centre into 11’ of poetically shapeshifting, summery haze. Likewise ‘A Return to Spatial Futures’ longs over the 11’ mark, but is more atonal, angular, with a structural tension inspired by the Parisian architecture of Le Corbusier, Jean Renaudie and Renée Gailhoustet. More sensitively, ‘Accarezzo’ samples from the shingle of Orford Ness in Suffolk in its deliciously tip-of-tongue atmosphere, and one may be able to hear the entrance ramp to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall echoing in the cavernous abstraction of ‘Terminal Voltage Traces.’
Prolific Berlin synthesist Hainbach presents a suite of bespoke library music on SA Recordings’ collaboration with the Spitfire Audio sample library company
“Hainbach’s latest album distils many elements of his work into an immaculate project; an irrepressible childlike fascination and obsession for experimenting, a mischievous sense of humour and a completely unique and charismatic approach to electronic production and composition. The release started as an installation and a one-off performance in Berlin, before expanding exponentially into a full album and an accompanying sound library which will also be available.
Hainbach erected three huge sculptures from obsolete, once high-end research equipment, taken from nuclear research labs, particle accelerators and grandfather’s sheds. These forgotten relics of scientific progression and milestones of human evolution were repurposed by the artist and given a new lease of life in a completely unforeseen capacity as musical instruments dubbed the ‘Landfill Totems’.
The juxtaposition of totemic imagery and electronic landfill is, in part, meant to act as a commentary on the environmental cost of progress; what was once the pinnacle of technology quickly becomes unviable and destined for the scrapheap except for the intervention of Hainbach, upcycling and redesigning them as pillars to the idea that progress doesn’t always have to cause destruction.
As the human brain searches for faces and patterns in everything, the repurposed totems began to take on a humanoid form, with faces appearing from rusty knobs and broken switches. Each figure has its own connection to a musical abstract, based on its function and look. When observing the absurd anthropomorphic figures, a deep appreciation and affection for the engineering technology of the past is apparent; totally unique instruments too good to let just fade away quietly, assembled for one final swan song.
The music Hainbach coaxes out of the ‘Landfill Totems’ is stark, minimalistic and full of impending doom - it is about a world in crisis, driven by indecision, division and losing its function; a reflection of the global circumstances in which it was created.”
Follow-up to Vegyn’s widely acclaimed debut album (‘Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds’), supplying a warm, fuzzy hug of low-slung grooves and off-kilter jazz/electronica by the Frank Ocean and Haim collaborator
Now based in LA, Vegyn turns inspiration from tarot cards, depressive existentialism, and his circle of pals, into a positive experience on ‘Like A Godo Old Friend.’ After taking time out since his resoundingly well received debut LP, and following a chance encounter with a mate’s old piano, Vegyn finds his groove again in six nuggets that effectively split the difference between BoC, Mica and Arca, drawing on a naturally learnt (gwed check his dad’s discography!), but wonky pop sensibility and talents as a graphic designer, to articulate a gentle, playfully animated sort of daydreamy wooze that owes as much to deep house and beatdown as indie-pop and R&B. We’re most feeling the likes of his hazy blooz in ‘So Much Time - So Little Time’ and the fructose-boosted house at the EP’s fondant core, but the air-stepping, pill-belly energy of closer ‘Sometimes I feel Like I’m Ruining Songs’ makes for a close runner-up.
Infectious Baile Funk hybrids from Rabu Mazda built for party pressure and better times
Pulling from Brazilian styles via Lisbon, Mazda patently knows how to ignite the rave on ‘Tá Sempre Pegando Fogo’, which translates to ‘It’s Always on Fire.’ Alongside his designated remix driver Silvestre ov Padre Himalaya and Media Fury esteem, who gives the syncopated bounce of ‘Fumo No Olho’ a Dance Mania-style spanking, Mazda brings the heat with recoiling 808 funk and gunshots on ‘Mago Mazda’, plus a deeply rude percolator ‘Bom Feito’, and, best of all, the Miami-via-São Paolo banger ’Sonho Weird’ with its scooping subs that we’ll be dropping in the dance at the nearest opportunity.
Capturing sounds from the environment has become an essential part of KMRU’s creative process resulting in emotive ambient, geographic soundscape experiments.
"For Erased Ep, he combines everything from gritty, indigenous field recordings to piano to 303. Each track evolves at a deliberate pace, starting off with Erased that builds up as the tones overlap and the rhythms build, leading to the ‘Solus’ where KMRU layers sounds recorded from his living room to his ‘shamba walks’ adding synthesized drums. The track slows until the moment feels all but frozen in suspended animation. Finishing with Unkind which is his favorite, he uses field recordings and foley sounds to evoke more than emotion on this unkind track. Creating neutral sounds from a subtle piano and synth improvisation from his Korg minilogue.
Nairobi-based producer Joseph Kamaru, better known under the name KMRU, is notable for making intelligent atmospheric and emotionally evocative electronic music. His sonic identity has evolved alongside his journey from classical guitar to production. Using everything from gritty, indigenous sound to recorded ‘atmospheric noise’ or intricate sonic landscapes. Capturing sounds from the environment has become an essential part of his creative process resulting in emotive ambient, geographic soundscapes, electronica, and even techno."
Japanese jazz pianist Fumio Itabashi meets german house producer Henrik Schwarz” and Kuniyuki for a re-recording of japanese jazz classic “Watarase”.
"They have played together at montreux jazz festival in tokyo and everyone thought we should make the record together.now finally we’re going to release this excellent record. henrik schwarz and kuniyuki made the own version. the musics are simply gorgeous!"
Sons of Simeon consist of 3 members Abba-Gana I, Balthazar Abba Gana and Herb Powers.
"Raised in London, The Solomon’s and Kemet the sound is deeply embedded in Roots, Herbs & culture with a prime focus on providing King David music and contributing to the legacy of the elders and the mysteries of Dub science. Goliath brothers is the debut release and first chapter by SOS featuring 3 cuts out of 36 versions made. Expect plenty more hard hitting dread releases in 2021 and beyond..."
Remarkable collaboration between inventor, synth pioneer and EMS co-founder Peter Zinovieff and preeminent cellist Lucy Railton, capturing a life-altering dialogue between two figures with a more than 50-year age gap between them, and with very little shared musical vocabulary. Pursuing common ground through an open-ended series of conversations and experiments, the pair somehow produce what we can only describe as creative alchemy; transforming banal conceptual triggers into a work seeping into almost mystical dimensions, with immense personal resonance.
Initially conceived as a live project between the pair and performed at various festivals internationally between 2016-2017, this 35 minute recording feels like just one possible manifestation of an ever-evolving process, a one-off reproduction of an impossible image. The pair started working instinctively, playing to each of their strengths - Railton’s radical ideas, energy and technique, and Peter's inventive, impulsive thinking. Fuelled by their surroundings and through an exchange of ideas, the process they eventually embarked on saw Zinovieff model a computer-synthesised composition made from a series of Railton’s cello improvisations, creating a complex cluster of intricate parts that couldn’t ever be performed by human hands. Over the resulting web, Railton added solo cello to create a kind of double-helix where you’re never quite sure where one sound begins, or ends.
In essence, Railton’s cello provides a radical variable - a sort of spirit in the machine - which is diffused, inverted and scattered by Zinovieff. At the atomic level: chaos reigns. Zoom out a bit, though, and you start to see filigree detail and shapes emerge. It’s this intangible aspect that makes the piece so much more than just a document of process, or experimentation.
It’s worth noting that Railton is here the catalyst for what can be considered Zinovieff’s definitive work in an illustrious career spanning 60 years; RFG is, remarkably, his first ever album. And despite its unwavering, un-sentimental spirit - it’s an album that ultimately speaks to a very modern human condition; the search for common understanding when there is so much that separates us. Inter-generational differences. Our interaction with, and perception of, the world around us. Our relationship with technology. And despite that very academic-sounding title; our individual need to find and nurture the things and ideas that bind.
Trust Montreal's anti-capitalist post-rawk heroes to rustle up the ideal soundtrack to global collapse. It's their most charged material in years: raw, deliriously cinematic and rich with serrated urgency.
New albums from Mogwai and Godspeed in a matter of weeks? Is it 1998 again? We're not complaining - this flickering, silvery opus from GY!BE is among their most satisfying sets to date. "G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!" finds the band in an awkward comfort zone, inspired by 2020's pandemic and subsequent global collapse to dust off their shortwave radio and compose a fuzzed-out response to the failure of the state system. It makes a lot of sense; since they debuted with "F♯ A♯ ∞" they've never been quiet about their anti-fascist, anti-corporate, anti-state views. With this in mind, "G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!" is almost a "told ya" moment, or a euphoric apology for decades of prophetic post-rock doom-saying.
Weaved together with crackly snippets of shortwave hum, the album almost begins like John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" with spine-chillingly indistinct chatter that signals isolation, desperation and media distortion. From there, the band allow their glacial compositions to hiss and crack through each distinct movement. At this stage in their career they have nurtured a rapport that sings as loud as any instrument, and twinned with their timely creative surge this has led to tracks that feel like a distillation of GY!BE's best qualities. The thrumming crescendos, Kraut-fed percussion, thick walls of layered feedback, near-classical compositional care and an unashamedly widescreen grasp of narrative. Godspeed sound heavier, tighter and more vital here than they have in ages. Who else could craft such elegiac, melancholy doom for the end of the world?
A previously unheard recording from Phew, John Duncan and Kondo Tatsuo, documenting a concert at Tokyo’s Hosei University in 1982.
"Though the fertile exchange of ‘zines, tapes and records between the Japanese underground and the Los Angeles Free Music Society meant the artists were familiar with each other’s work, this performance (occurring on Duncan’s first visit to Japan) was their first meeting and only performance as a trio.
Duncan is heard on his signature shortwave radio set-up, while Kondo performs on synth, tape loops and echo-drenched piano, providing a spacious backdrop for Phew’s astonishing performance of spontaneous, free-associative song moving between Japanese and English. A testament to the unhinged exploration of the 1980s experimental underground, the trio careen wildly between crashing percussive tape loops, deluges of shortwave noise, insistent piano figures and playful synth melodies. On the B side, we are treated to a remarkable ten minute sequence moving organically from spaced-out synth and radio textures to a stunning finale of improvised balladry centred on piano and voice, unexpectedly broken up by electronic interjections. Beautifully recorded in crunchy vintage fidelity, Backfire of Joy arrives accompanied by archival photographs and newly authored liner notes from all three participants.”