Great ambient dub techno abstraction from uon, the newest moniker of Ryan Fall aka Caveman LSD and DJ Paradise, following superb pair of releases in the same vein for Barcelona’s Anòmia with this, his debut vinyl release - massively tipped if yr into Rhythm & Sound.
Stalking terrain familiar to Wanda Group, Pole, Xth Réflexion, DeepChord, the zlo EP captures a wickedly paradoxical sense of movement within static sound in four parts: meshing cooling pads with mercurial kinetics in the title cut, and pushing off into opiated, subaquatic zones with kosm, and hypnotically stumbling up/down an endless Escher staircase with the gravity defying dynamics of suB1, and diffusing your bone into deep space on kissing.
Prime material, all 35 minutes of it. Don’t sleep on this beauty!
Necessary reissue of Yasuaki Shimizu’s highly regarded ambient-jazz-pop oddity Kakashi from NYC’s Palto Flats and Geneva’s WRWTFWWR, who were jointly behind that prized reissue of Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass. Off the wall and enchanting in equal measure, Kakashi is a riddling and enchanted recording from the fertile hotbed of early ‘80s Japan, compatible with the fecund, widely scoped genius of Arthur Russell and Roland P Young from that same era. In other words, a real gem.
“A wonderful, rare record wrapped in a mysterious yet playful ambiance. Or maybe it’s just the impression that the Japanese language often gives me. ‘Suiren’ is an odd jazz-fusion-wave tune that sounds like its boiling, waiting to burst but somehow manages to stay in control. Like the nervous tick of a leg fidgeting under the table of a restaurant on a first date.
Yasuaki Shimizu is a Japanese composer, producer and saxophone player. He worked with Ryuchi Sakimoto on certain arrangements, with the South Korean artist Nam June Paik on art+sound installation pieces and even DJ Towa Tei (of Deee-Lite fame). “Suiren” was released in 1981 and is the opening title on the sought-after “Kakashi” album and is my personal favorite on this overall brilliant record. It weaves behind new wave, jazz, fusion, ambient and experimental music.
Repetitive and hypnotizing, punctuated by exclamation marks on most first mesures, the muted triangle percussion hits me straight in the heart. About 90 seconds into the song, the saxophone makes its appearance and the song goes from “this is cute” to “oh, this is some serious shit!”. Shimizu’s saxophone frees the song from the rest of the elements which are more calculated and repetitive.
A joyful, mysterious slow-moving train ride led by the artist’s mellow voice that rocks us with this calming but funky lullaby. Every phrase is punctuated by the xylophone there to energize the piece, albeit very subtely.”
The master of enigma and virtuoso of vinyl ephemera, Philip Jeck presents Arcade, a follow-up recording to last year’s Iklectik, which was also recorded at the central London arts space of the same name. If you’re ever looking for a precedent to The Caretaker’s sound, check this out.
As ever, words generally fail us in properly capturing the fleeting beauty of Jeck’s work here, but fuck it we’ll have a stab, eh? For 32 minutes the multidisciplinary Liverpudlian artist coaxes an intoxicating, elusive cadence of crackle and harmonic swell from his modified turntable and treated vinyl loops. At a number of points within its windswept flux, we hear the BoC-like guitar streams rise to the surface, only to decay and deliquesce into the aether with a quality best described as mirage-like. Along with wizened traces of folk fiddles that blur distinctions between Celtic, Indian or Avant traditions, all infiltrated by the most gorgeous sylvan pads, this one is certain to leave a real lump in the throat and send shivers down the spine.
We’ve said it before about Jeck’s work, and it bears reiterating; we can’t help but feel his music is naturally informed by the play of light between the Irish Sea, the River Mersey and the roiling skies and topolography Merseyside. If you’ve ever visited, you’ll likely know what we mean, but if not then this sound is about the most acute, if impressionistic, allegory we can find. If you really want to understand it, we’d warmly suggest taking a folder of Jeck gear to the ‘pool for a headphone dérive.
Finally! A second part of the legendary African Scream Contest compilation which really put Analog Africa on the collector’s map back in 2008. Samy Ben Redjeb has done another sterling job in reviving these cuts from Benin & Togo for posterity and parties everywhere, not to mention officially licensing all the material on board; including heavy funk ’n soul fire in Les Sympathics de Porto Novo’s A Min We Vo Nou We, on the driving disco-funk bubble of Moulon Devia from Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, some nerve-jangling funk from a clearly James Brown infatuated Super Borgou de Parakou, and the melting synths on Gnonnas Pedro and His Dadjes Band’s How Much Love Naturally Costs. Class is in session!
“A great compilation can open the gate to another world. Who knew that some of the most exciting Afro-funk records of all time were actually made in the small West African country of Benin? Once Analog Africa released the first African Scream Contest in 2008, the proof was there for all to hear; gut-busting yelps, lethally well- drilled horn sections and irresistibly insistent rhythms added up to a record that took you into its own space with the same electrifying sureness as any favourite blues or soul or funk or punk sampler you might care to mention.
Ten years on, intrepid crate-digger Samy Ben Redjeb unveils a new treasure- trove of Vodoun-inspired Afrobeat heavy funk crossover greatness. Right from the laceratingly raw guitar fanfare which kicks off Les Sympathics’ pile-driving opener, it’s clear that African Scream Contest II is going to be every bit as joyous a voyage of discovery as its predecessor. And just as you’re trying to get off the canvas after this one-punch knock out, an irresistible Afro-ska romp with a more than subliminal echo of the Batman theme puts you right back there. Ignace De Souza and the Melody Aces’ “Asaw Fofor" would’ve been a killer instrumental but once you’ve factored in the improbably-rich-to-the-point-of-being-Nat-King-Cole-influenced lead vocal, it’s a total revelation.
The screaming does not stop there, in fact it’s only just beginning. But the strange thing about African Scream Contest II’s celebration of unfettered Beninese creativity is that it would not have been possible without the assistance of a musician who had been trained by the Russian secret services to "search and destroy" enemies of the country’s (then) Marxist-Leninist president Mathieu Kerekou.
Already familiar to fans of the first African Scream Contest as a mainstay of ruthlessly disciplined military band Les Volcans de la Capitale, Lokonon André vanished in a cloud of dust at Ben Redjeb’s behest with a list of names and some petrol money, only to return a few days later having miraculously tracked down every single name he’d been given. The source of this Afrobeat bounty-hunter’s impressive people-finding skills - his training with the KGB - highlights the tension between encroaching authoritarian politics and fearless expressions of personal creative freedom which is the back-story of so much great African music of the 60s and 70s. Happily, in this instance, Lokonon was tracking the artists down to offer them licensing deals, rather than to arrest them.
Where some purveyors of vintage African sounds seem to be strip-mining the continent’s musical heritage with no less rapacious intent than the mining companies and colonial authorities who previously extracted its mineral wealth, Samy Ben Redjeb’s determination to track this amazing music to its human sources pays huge karmic dividends.”
The great Robert Lippok (To Rococo Rot) returns with his first solo album in seven years, Applied Autonomy for Olaf Bender's Raster. A survey of what he’s been up to, as much as a statement of intent for here and now, Applied Autonomy reprises the fine balance of tuff-edged minimalism, spatial illusion and melodic delicacy that emerged with Redsuperstructure , but ratcheting its effect with a renewed vigour for a frankly epic impact.
As the title makes explicit, Robert’s 3rd solo album is concerned with autonomy, which feels like an apt subject for the age of automation, when humans are increasingly negotiating their role in context of the machine and AI, and vice-versa. The systems Robert set up for Redsuperstructure now come into deeper relief, as he applies a greater understanding of their workings in order to eke out, sculpt their possibilities in his own image.
Much of the material came from improvisation and sketches made in preparation for his live shows. This quickfire process amassed a range of material which was then more considerately cut to shapes and layerd not applied Autonomy, which ranges from almost Rian Treanor-esque stutter drums mixed with dense yet wide atmospheres in his title track, and twisted across the album, from frenetic acid dancehall mutations in Varieties of Impact, to the meter-messing trance of Scene 3 which sounds like something Vladimir Ivkovic might play, and thru to the necessary, hoped for dose of emotive lushness with brimming optimism of All Objects Are Moving.
But he really saves some of the best for last in Samtal, a 14 minute piece recorded in duo - but not together - with Klara Lewis at EMS Stockholm, where we effectively hear two autonomous minds at work, making for a smart contrast with the singularity of the preceding tracks.
Japanese ambient dispatched from Osaka via Toronto. RIYL Visible Cloaks, Kagami, Haruomi H!
“Following on from his exceptional recent releases for RVNG International & Bokeh Versions, Osaka based producer 7FO helps launch Métron Records with his first full length LP release.
The mysterious figure recorded the tracks at home, processing guitar sounds, using a sampler, synthesizer and junk equipment. Following in the footsteps of the ambient giants of his native lands, 7FO’s music continues this illustrious heritage whilst offering something fresh, modern and beautifully rendered. He describes his own sound as ‘gorgeous sustained tones and dreamlike oscillations that drift through the inorganic/electronic world reverberating through our subconscious creating sonic fables in our minds’.”
Steeply abstract, mesmerising regressions of future-primitivist electronics inspired by archaeological sites in Indonesia and produced by Matt Shoemaker. Posthumously issued on the persistently searching Helen Scarsdale Agency. RIYL Zoviet*France, NWW, Jim Haynes
“fosil sangiran is the pseudonym for seattle polymath matt shoemaker (1974-2017). the two recordings that have been uncovered from his archives under this moniker were recorded during a lengthy sabbatical in java, indonesia between 2012 and 2013. though these works both operate very clearly within shoemaker's aesthetic, he choose to operate under this moniker to provide a clarifying distance from what he believed to be his commonplace birth name. sangiran refers to the unesco world heritage site in indonesia where numerous archeological discoveries have been made providing insight into the understanding of early human development. it's an apt metaphor to his churning arrays of psychotropic sound design, which give the allusion of being distressed from aeons of jungle rot.
khayal kuno represents one of several detours that shoemaker undertook over his career. instead of the long-now drone mutations, shoemaker turns his attention to an interplay between warbling cassettes and primitive rhythm-box sequencing. the minimal, proto-techno explorations suitably evolve slowly out an initial dispersion bloom from swarms of cassette splutter and insect mimesis. cast within his slinkies-as-spring-reverb contraptions that provided a signature kirlian glow to his work, shoemaker's foray into the realm of the rhythmic are masterful declarations of his under-recognized talents. through his brilliant aptitude for cross-hatched filtering, spatialized modulation, and electro-magnetic tricknologies, his stark pulsations take on organic qualities through a surging fluidity and a varispeed vortex of blank hypnosis. his motorik pulsations recall a rich if elusive vein of taut, industrially minded electronica sculpted by monoton, nord, omit, and conrad schnitzler at his most laser focused. published with the approval of the shoemaker family. all profits will be donated to the jack straw cultural center.”
Steeply abstract, mesmerising regressions of future-primitivist electronics inspired by archaeological sites in Indonesia and produced by Matt Shoemaker. Posthumously issued on the persistently searching Helen Scarsdale Agency. RIYL Zoviet*France, NWW, Jim Haynes
“fosil sangiran is the pseudonym for seattle polymath matt shoemaker (1974-2017). the two recordings that have been uncovered from his archives under this moniker were recorded during a lengthy sabbatical in java, indonesia between 2012 and 2013. though these works both operate very clearly within shoemaker’s aesthetic, he choose to operate under this moniker to provide a clarifying distance from what he believed to be his commonplace birth name. sangiran refers to the unesco world heritage site in indonesia where numerous archeological discoveries have been made providing insight into the understanding of early human development. it’s an apt metaphor to his churning arrays of psychotropic sound design, which give the allusion of being distressed from aeons of jungle rot.
pasar fosil is classic shoemaker. at the core to this album is an ur-drone sculpted from electro-acoustics, analog synthesis, and most probably a radically altered field recording here or there. all of these accretions of sustained tone organize themselves with a rhizomatic logic of recombinant twists, folds, and mutations. elegant harmonics with golden, clarion hues set the stage to this album, but shoemaker would never allow for any his compositions to merely stand as polite ambient music. no. he deftly introduces sheared metallic timbres and rasping dissonance that tug with a gravitational heft. by the second half of the album, shoemaker plunges into aural thickets that are openly hostile to the listener, articulated through allusions to a humid claustrophobia and radioactive toxicity. even compared to the muscular minimalism of organum, pasar fosil is unsettling as it is exquisite. published with the approval of the shoemaker family. all profits will be donated to the jack straw cultural center.”
Cascading steppers from dubstep’s Turkish souljah, Emir Ogun a.k.a. Gantz
Running the trippy, Zomby-esque calculations of Elmo Rehab and the ruder, red-eyed lean of Spooky Action at a Distance for his 2nd outing with Innamind’s Blacklist.
Addendum makes 12 never-before-released Maus cuts available for the first time.
We’re sure you’re as excited as us, and the material doesn’t disappoint. Knowing he’s such a perfectionist, it’s maybe easy to understand why the material wasn’t just squeezed in or tacked on to previous works, but, like A Collection Of Rarities And Previously Unreleased Material , they add up to a smart album in their own right, sprouting big highlights in the hot-stepping dream boogie of Figured It All Out, on the exquisite Kraftwerk-meets-Suicide flex Middle Ages, and his driving death disco zinger 1987.
oOoOO ventures back from the mists of Witch House on this trip hop revival programme with Islamiq Grrrls, tapping right into the zeitgeists blue vein of ‘90s nostalgia with a mix of authentic coffee table ennui and up-to-the-moment emo rap tropes.
"The LP is a collaboration between oOoOO & Islamiq Grrrls. The album's title - "Faminine Mystique" - is an allusion to the Betty Friedan book 'Feminine Mystique' that inspired the 2nd wave feminist movement in the US. Freidan said that while society was providing (middle class) women with historically unparalleled material abundance, it failed to allow space for personal growth. A rigid apparatus was keeping women in a narrowly defined social role that all but excluded self-exploration.
Pronounced 'Famine in Mystique,' the LP's name reflects our feeling that, in a similar way, an increasingly powerful set of contemporary social forces are aligning to, on the one hand, provide people with more music & art than we've ever had access to before, yet rigidly limiting the types of music offered to people to sounds that favor a rigid economics first model of clicks & easy consumption over exploration & experimentation.
Faminine Mystique's 13 songs are framed by fragments of lost, forgotten, or discredited 20th century artists & genres: the well crafted guitar solos of 80s metal; jazz guitarist Barney Kessel; the Ashley's Roachclip drum break; Milli Vanilli; a Kool DJ Red Alert radio show barely audible on some bedside clock radio in some blue collar town on the outskirts of Manhattan; A freeform saxophone solo vocals of a France Gall or Astrud Gilberto. All blended into the compressed sounds of modern pop & RnB.over a 2 minute, feminist juke-punk anthem. The elusively simple but dreamy vocals of a France Gall or Astrud Gilberto. All blended into the compressed sounds of modern pop & RnB."
Guitarless Guitar Music. This is the self-imposed one-line description chosen by Auckland, New Zealand’s Wax Chattels.
"The keyboard, bass and drums trio don’t have a guitar player, but their overwhelming sound and energy create an atmosphere akin to a traditional power trio though their music is anything but traditional. They create darkly hypnotic and frenetic music that’s rhythmically complex and sinister; there’s heavily treated keyboards, unrestrained basslines and punishingly simple drums. And, it’s loud.
Peter (keyboards/vocals), Amanda (bass/vocals) and Tom (drums) met while studying Jazz Performance at the University of Auckland. After living abroad, completing Law School and/or performing in a myriad of other music-related projects, they started Wax Chattels, working up their material for a year prior to recording. “We tracked the songs as a live band to capture the energy of the live show, restricting ourselves to instruments which we play live and keeping all production to a minimum to focus on the band’s sound itself.”
Live, they are not to be missed. While they do come across as a “rock” band, it’s coming from so many places so quickly that you’re kind of left wondering where you’re going. The opening of the one-chord tour de force “Concrete” begins in a downright frightening and jarring place and ends up in a Krautrock-via-Suicide crescendo. It was after a particularly insane live performance that they were signed by both Captured Tracks and Flying Nun Records on the spot.
Wax Chattels recall the other side of Kiwi underground rock history that’s a bit less sunny and a bit less jangly. The small, yet constantly groundbreaking nation has put forth a new act and album that demands your attention."
Marking 50 years since Mai ’68, Soundwalk Collective present a rare insight into the archives of filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard with this collaged suite of recordings using samples from Godard’s personal archive. It’s enchanting at the very least, luring listeners into an other world of Gallic whimsy, smoky jazzz, and sound poetry with a dreamily nostalgic effect that may even be described as hauntological. Keep an ear out for upcoming Ricardo Villalobos reworks of this gear…
“Audio-visual artists Soundwalk Collective were granted exclusive access to the personal archive of the groundbreaking filmmaker and present their ambitious New Album and Remix EP: What We Leave Behind released on 18th & 25th May 2018.
The NYC and Berlin based group were invited to aurally explore the archive of the seminal French director Jean-Luc Godard and release their interpretations in an innovative new album What We Leave Behind. Drawing on Godard’s personal collection of shot film, reel- to-reels and historical ephemera, the recordings reveal the moments before and after the camera rolls, from stage directions and on-set asides to rehearsals, false stars and outtakes.
“There are boxes filled with sounds, words, chaos, and also silence. For Godard sound is a musical composition and when I began listening to the tapes and heard his voice between takes, it was like little bits of life...each sound has its own value. It has always been part of our working practice to venture into untapped sonic territories, discover the poetics behind them, and explore how we (as humans) relate to it, it is part of a larger discourse.” - Stephan Crasneancki, Soundwalk Collective Revealing much insight to the director’s process and personality, the 6-track album will be followed by a remix EP, featuring unique reworks from Ricardo Villalobos, Jan Jelinek and Petre Inspirescu. What We Leave Behind, and the subsequent remix EP, arrive 50 years to the day that the the Cannes Film Festival, 1968, was closed after Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Claude Lelouche, publicly announced their closing of the festival in solidarity with workers and students protesting across the country.
The LP features a conversation between Stephan Crasneanscki, of Soundwalk Collective, and François Musy, Jean-Luc Godard’s sound engineer, printed on a translucent paper insert. The LP and Remix EP both contain imagery taken by Stephan Crasneanscki of the archives, which he has also filmed to create a series of mesmeric short music videos of original and remix tracks. An international genre-bending group of artist-musicians with studios in New York City and Berlin, the three members of Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi) formed in Manhattan to produce concept albums, sound installations, and live performances, and have worked with a diverse range of collaborators, from Nan Goldin and Patti Smith to Berghain and Zaha Hadid.”
180g release “Souvenir”, an album by a promising music maker from Japan's underground scene.
"Videotapemusic is a young music and video producer from Tokyo who uses old Japanese and Asian VHS tapes collected in dusty recycle shops and closed rental video stores as raw material for his sampling work and video production, creating a singular and highly unique musical world that has created waves on the Japanese scene since 2009. Starting out strong with three self-released albums, followed by two albums on Japanese label Kakubarhythm and a collaboration 12” on EM Records, “Souvenir” is now the first Videotapemusic album released outside of Japan.
The eight tracks in “Souvenir” also feature the cream of the crop from the current Japanese scene: Beipana on steel guitar, MC.sirafu on steel pan, saxophonists Satomi Endo, Satoru Takeshima and Kaoru Masuda, trumpetists Taichiro Kawasaki and Makoto Takahashi, DJ Eskimo, guitarist Yuichi Ushioda, percussionist and hand sonic player Hajime Matsushita, keyboardist Yu Arauchi, Videotapemusic on pianica and vocalists Sansuke Yamada, Toshihiko Ikeda and Ryu Tsuruoka. Dive into a world of musical delight and discover today’s best music from Japan!”
The prodigal return of Venezuelan artist Carlos Giffoni to the avant-electronic music scene he was instrumental in shaping with the seminal, hybridising No Fun Fest and No Fun Productions label, which was home to debut releases by Oneohtrix Point Never, and classics from Haswell and Prurient during the late ‘00s to early part of this decade. If yr into 0PN or Keith Fullerton Whitman, this album f u c k i n g r u l e s
Carlos’ first new release in 6 years, Vain was drawn from hundreds of hours of improvisations made at his Malibu studio, offering a tumultuous narrative in affective abstract swells and pulsating rhythms that trigger curious sensations and emotions ever familiar to his variegated, extreme, yet essentially organic output.
Despite not releasing anything for the past 6 years, Carlos still sounds like he lives and breathes electronic music. Where those ‘noise’ artists who originally played at No Fun Fest and released on his label have arguably carved out major career paths from myriad mutated genres, Carlos’ music still feels captivatingly ancient yet advanced and uncannily hypnotic.
In a cascade of minimalist arps and cloud dynamic harmonies, the album’s story starts in the vortex of Vain’s Face and sweeps thru the granular flux of The Desert to a staggering piece of noise techno dissonance in Erase The World, which calves away into the curled plunge of Hands and the anxious needling of We Pay The Price. At the mid-way point it turns lusher with the pulsing and coruscating kosmische tang of Stop Breathing, leading to the metric complexities woven into Faith and Pain and the heightened high-register sensitivities of I Can Change, whose shatterproof hyaline steeples ultimately deliquesce into the shimmering beauty of Sun Rain.
With hazy resolution and ambiguity of effect, the record works its magick in memorable style. Like the best abstract sonics of Peter Rehberg or Keith Fullerton Whitman, an intuitively applied formula of geometry, rhythm, tone and timbre add up to inexorable effect, rendering the closest possible connection between the machines and the artist’s pathos.
For syntesthetes and attuned listeners, the effect is likely to conceive new colours on the mind’s eye, and move them to finer states of emotive response. In others words: it’s a seriously good listen.
"Whether congregating in dimly lit halls or in forests, and whether mediated by e-mailed audiofiles or infiltrating darker realms of
consciousness, mysterious forces are being channelled by a shifting collective intent on psychic communion by any means necessary.
Bonnacons of Doom’s identities may be shrouded and hidden in the live arena, yet the force of their vibrations - as captured on the
unearthly vibrations and unholy revelations of their self-titled Rocket Recordings debut - is gloriously manifest.
“From the beginning, we’ve been really interested in the transformative possibilities of music” explains Rob, one such Bonnacon. “How it has the power to make us and the audience at that particular moment into something else. In particular, we’ve tried to work with repetition, volume and texture rather than traditional song structures. Anything that produces a stasis that people can get lost in rather than following something in a linear or obvious way” Whilst the line-up of Bonnacons of Doom has been known to morph with each undertaking, the prime movers in the principally Liverpoolbased collective endeavour have included members of Mugstar, Jarvis Cocker’s band and Youthmovies, donning robes and masks to sculpt altered states and subsume themselves to the ritual. Recording mostly in single-takes and in the band’s trademark improvisational method at Suburban Home studios by its owner and Hookworms frontman MJ, this recorded incarnation of Bonnacons’ arcane conjury operates stubbornly free of genre, sashaying alongside psych-rock, repetitive drone and electronic experimentation whilst consumed by a devotional intensity that’s multiplied by the transcendental echoing of vocalist Kate. “I guess our environment is another key influence” reckons Rob.
“We’re almost all from Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the landscape and mythology of the north is part of who we are. It’s darkness and beauty, the weirdness of its folk traditions, the independence of mind of its culture and the melancholy of its post-industrial grain. I think ultimately what we’re trying to achieve is a kind of Trans-Pennine hypnotic music.”
Deep house maverick Alan Abrahams follows his self-titled Portable album for Studio !K7 with these elegant cuts for Dial
Taking in the slinky hustle and sylvan keys of I Open My Eyes, along with the jazzier fuss of Wear Your Life Like A Loose Negligee on a very STL or Afrikan Sciences-compatible flex, while Sheltered Light finds him most beautifully crooning like Antony Hegarty.
Distant Animals is the artistic output of Daniel Alexander Hignell, a researcher and sound, video and performance artist from South East England.
"Hignell has developed a practice indebted to political and participatory resonance of creative acts, interrogating notions of autonomy, collaboration, and the tension between sense (what is perceived by the senses) and sense (what is made sensible by the community). He has recorded, written, performed and researched numerous socially-oriented sound works across Europe, often choosing to work with a diverse range of collaborators, including visual artists, choreographers, theologians, lawyers, and political activists.
Drawing upon the works of La Monte Young, Morton Feldman, Eleh, and Mauricio Kagel, the album employs a highly conceptual approach to its genre, incorporating the notion of the drone as both a compositional method, a spiritual approach, and a participatory tool for engaging its audience. The album contains a pack of 4 postcards, documenting a land-art intervention undertaken during the creation of the score. Included in each pack is an individually hand-stamped and numbered print, created by inclusive artist Layla Tully, and responding to the albums central theme - materiality, substance, emergence, and the process of 'line-making'"
Magisterial, glacial, attention-demanding and powerful exposition of Buchla 200 synth tones mapped to acoustic woodwind and brass by a promising young composer; Stockholm’s Kali Malone. A strong tip to fans of work by Caterina Barbieri, Emptyset, Sarah Davachi.
Arriving in the resonating wake of her self-released solo début Velocity of Sleep , and flanked by the recently issued Organ Dirges 2016-2017 tape for Ascetic House, the Cast Of Mind LP gently but grandly expands the constellation of Kali Malone's solo releases, next to her Upper Glossa collaborations with Caterina Barbieri, a tape with Ellen Akrbro, and acclaimed live performances.
Joined by Yoann Durant (Alto Sax), Isak Hedtjärn (Bass Clarinet), Gabriella Varga Kalsson (Bassoon), and Mats Äleklint (Trombone), Kali’s Buchla 200 Synthesiser forms the basis for a quartet of diaphanous and slowly unfolding electro-acoustic landscapes that externalise a highly personalised form of emotive topography.
In the titular opener, wood and brass trace the swooning ellipses of Kali’s Buchla contours in stately procession suggesting a sort of resigned march to battle, before the Buchla appears to dominate in the warped streaks of Bondage To Formula, but listen closer and it’s harder to tell whether it’s electronic or organic sources so fully lending flesh to her rich sound field.
The answer to that question is much clearer in Arched To Hysteria, whose keening, hunched electronic forces hold powerful potential to conversely induce paranoia and heavily hypnagogic effects, whilst Empty The Belief yields a lustrous, Raga-like drone capturing a marriage of Buchla and bassoon at their most transcendent and steeply attractive.
This one should be filed for reference and safekeeping beside recent transmissions from Sarah Davachi, Anna Von Hausswolff, and Catarina Barbieri = properly good.
8Ball’s rolling amen smasher Total Kontrolz goes thru the motions the front, but the one you need to check is Mr. G’s G10 Dub on the B-side
...where he yanks down the tempo to a rolling 125bpm for a rudely sub-fuelled breakbeat house killer, saving a synthy sting in the tail that keeps it burning up to the core.
In the golden, shimmering wake of his Ripple Effect album, Fluxion rolls out these effortlessly elegant dub house winners for Solar Phenomena.
Commencing with the gritty bottom end shift and fluid chords of Juxtaposed, the Greek producer tactfully tends to the ‘floor with hushed, jazzy swagger leading to velvet coated rooms in Versal, where Poise unfolds a sublime scene of bird calls and flute spritzed with hi-hats in the most seductive style, while Bound staggers along, dazed and wound up with woozy accordion.
A perfect complement to the sublime album, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Swaggering, jacking computer grooves and nothing but, from tuuun on Stockholm’s prism-tweaking Fluf label.
On 0014A it sounds like he’s splaying an 808, resulting a wickedly offset volley of spark-spitting hi-hats and bullwhip snare cracks that stagger and teeter in an agitated funk. Think Russell Haswell’s latin freestyle nods or Mark Fell’s Sensate Focus or a drier Rian Treanor.
However, 0014AA is straighter, jacked to the bone with booming, warped kicks and a lone vocaloid intoning ‘acid’ in stealthily evolving permutations for the duration. EVOL fiends, this one you!
Luke Slater gets back to his best as L.B. Dub Corp with a strong batch of spheric jackers and spaced out swingers for his Mote Evolver label
Where prevailing trends have tilted towards classic house, garage and trance, Slater is following his nose for a leaner sort of mix of classic early ‘90s house and the kinda minimal techno less heard since its early ‘00s heyday. To be fair that era’s due a 20 year revival, so maybe Slater’s just ahead of the curve?
Check for highlights in the hypnotic slow swagger of LBEES Jam, the rolling sound design of Reel One, the chunky pull of Edge 7, and the early/mid ‘00s minimal tekkers of Float When You Can and the ruggeder bleeper Forever In A Day.
Restless shapeshifter Deadboy pivots on a scuzzy, mongrel garage-house-&-techno tip for Local Action following dispatch of his début album Earth Body in 2017.
Deemz checks in a a breaksy garage sound revovling natty vocal ident and ringing bells in style recallign vintage Warlock warehouse gear. R-Less also keeps it warehouse, but with a looser, whirring swing that gets right in yer bones. Sheener yokes the groove to a simmering, bucking garage-meets-Dance Mania style, and Come Back to the World resolved that pent energy with lush Detroit / UK techno pads on a gnashing house rhythm.
Sublime, spiralling Harp and FX works from Mary Lattimore, collecting her first solo LP proper with Ghostly International, following a string of tapes, collaborations, and collections of older material issued since 2012. Ranging from the Enya-esque to West Coast new age flights of fancy and cinematic gestures flooded in unfalteringly positive light, ‘Hundreds of Day’ is one that some listeners will fall head over heels for
“"It was the most beautiful summer of my life." Memories — places, vacancies, allusions — are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft. Inside her music, wordless narratives, indefinite travelogues, and braided events skew into something enchantingly new. The Los Angeles-based harpist recorded her breakout 2016 album, At The Dam, during stops along a road trip across America, letting the serene landscapes of Joshua Tree and Marfa, Texas color her compositions. In 2017, she presented Collected Pieces, a tape compiling sounds from her past life in Philadelphia: odes to the east coast, burning motels, and beach town convenience stores. In 2018, from a restorative station — a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge — emanates Hundreds of Days, her second full-length LP with Ghostly International. The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.
Lattimore's voice sweeps beneath the plucks and washes of opener “It Feels Like Floating,” enraptured by the winding current, and reappearing in the second minute of the immense "Never Saw Him Again." The track elevates towards a shimmering apex of static and percussion before organ drone yields to signature halcyon flutters. As with much of Lattimore's work, the track titles are telling; "Baltic Birch" is a somber windswept march that sways gracefully out of step, a remembrance of a recent trip to Latvia where she was struck by the abandoned resort towns along the Baltic Sea. “Hello From The Edge of The Earth” is an earnest reflection of Lattimore’s love of the natural world, recognizing the thresholds of varying terrains.
The album's fifth track borrows its name from Lattimore’s favorite line in Denis Johnson’s short story “Emergency” from Jesus’ Son. A character, lost in a blizzard, reassesses a disjointed universe, a clash between curtains of snow and angels descending out of a brilliant blue summer: it isn’t an apocalypse, it is a drive-in movie, with stars hovering above the lot, off the screen, in the throes of the Midwestern storm. This mix-up is disorienting and existentially tragic; Lattimore's darkly strummed piece is a melancholic parallel, mimicking Johnson’s elegant suture attaching two remarkably discontinuous spaces.
Micro-revelations, not quite as bright as torn skies but nonetheless enlightening, were everyday occurrences during Lattimore's residency. Living small days with small tasks — feeling little dramas within the arcadian universe of a national park — rendered her the sense that disjointed spaces can be interconnected no matter the enormity that divides them. It's in this elastic scale of perception that something as simultaneously simple and intricate as Hundreds of Days can flourish.”
Complimenting Song for Alpha, Daniel Avery presents the Projector EP.
"Taking its title from one of the album’s spectral highlights this additional trio of original productions expands on Avery’s regenerated sonic vision. Leaning further towards the rhythmic and propulsive intent behind his recent, marathon DJ sets, the record serves to delve further still into his unfolding, ever-deepening sound.
Following the lead of ‘Projector’ itself, the record transitions into the first exclusive cut, ‘Shadow Mountain’. Soft in texture and bathed in ethereal feedback, a glitching, transfixing synth line gradually reveals itself as the spine of the piece.
Throughout ‘Glass’, an intimate, breathy vocal sample contrasts with a more industrially tinged base of heavily processed drums. Influenced by Song for Alpha’s embrace of the small hours, “the light emerging from the darkness”, both tracks conjure an almost overwhelmingly tender atmosphere, rich in the hazy strains of rave history.
On the more experimental REHBGBV4367, the seams of Avery’s influences lap against one another in a steady crescendo of beautiful yet beatless noise, dissipating into ambience. Expanding on the delicate core ideas at the centre of his creative ethos, the EP invites listeners on a further excursion of transient, psychedelic bliss."
Wolfgang Voigt commits one of GAS's most darkly sublime albums with 'Rausch', which arrives nearly one year on from Narkopop to remind us his position as the prince of ambient techno.
Meant to be listened to from end to end without interruption, but also included as seven discrete parts for those who need them, Rausch unfurls in diaphanous form along a depressed heartbeat march of padded kicks swept with distant horns and string swells in the faithful, time-honoured style of Wolfgang Voigt's finest recordings.
The difference lies in the feeling conjured by these swollen crests of abstracted instrumental textures and timbre. Rather than dreaminess or tranquilised melancholy, this one feels portent, impendingly stygian, as though summing up humankind’s incessant trudge toward a bleak unknown horizon, resulting in the emergence of sounds more akin to Sunn 0))), with his entrenched kicks struggling to break the gloom, and poetically losing out in the end.
313 fixture Stacey Pullen presents an 8-track accompaniment to his Detroit Love Vol.1 mix for a new sublabel of Carl Craig’s seminal Planet E and !K7.
Arriving 20 years since his classic DJ Kicks mix, Stacey draws for choice deep tribal gear from Gary Martin with We Get Down, plus the pendulous swagger of Craig Sherrad’s The Fader, along with a powerful techno roller from DJ 3000 on the first plate.
His 2nd plate brings a super infectious Marcellus Pittmann remix of MCDE’s Raw Cuts into play, along with the funked up tech-house of Remote Viewing Party and a brilliant kinda Electrifying Mojo vibe on Soulphiction’s Ann Arbor.
Versatile scroll right back to Paris, 1996 with two boogie cuts by core player I:Cube.
Just as a whole wave of dancers are coming onto late ‘90s filtered disco house right now - a sound which Versatile were instrumental in bringing about - I:Cube reasserts his foundational boogie influences in the suave, low key glyde of XXX (Abel’s Edit)[Live], and then in a style that strongly recalls NWAQ or Actress album tracks and his Thriller 12”s in the smudged swang of Etire en avant (Live).
CPU keep it close to home with Steel City son Evan Majumdar-Swift’s first release as 96 Back.
As the offspring of Matt Swift, promoter of Sheffield’s legendary Live Turkey events, Evan takes the city’s bleep and bass bloodline into 2018 with slickly updated but classic sounding production, while Warp co-founder Rob Gordon seals the SoYo deal with a dynamic mastering job.
A-side he hearkens back to Xon Network classic Dissonance in the stripped back, sub-heavy boom and recoil of 000 and a niggling, scaly concatenation called 050 on a more militant, shadowy dancefloor mission, repleted with coded voices.
B-side, he allows for some romance with the coy, slippery swing of 085, and brings back the boom with an acidic, Atkins-esque tang and crisply nagging snares in 100.
Cult industrial concerns, Bernd Kastner & Siegfried Michail Syniuga a.k.a. Strafe Für Rebellion, unveil their first new material since 2013 with The Bird Is Stolen, written and recorded at STRAFE Studio, Düsseldorf, Germany for their longterm supporters at Touch.
Joined by vocals from Caterina De Re, Strafe F.R. sustain their pursuit of the unheimlich and phantasmagoric into their 4th decade of operations, and still with the timelessly primordial, experimental vitality of their early work; which is maybe best described as if Chris Watson made music with Laszlo Hortobagyi and Xao Seffcheque while he was in flux between field recordings and playing in Cabaret Voltaire.
In classic but completely up-to-date fashion, the soundd of The Bird Was Stolen is remarkably striking, full of unique resonances, acousmata and complex timbres that keep ear highly entertained and trained across their sound field of Ddisembodied, centre-less, and uneasy dynamics. Thus its fair to hear Strafe F.R.’s sound as in essence a form of industrial dub music that shares as much in common with contemporaneous avatars NWW and Dome as aspects of Jay Glass Dubs or even Raime in the modern sphere.
References aside, though, The Bird Was Stolen firmly holds it own, working on such a level of tough-edged psychedelic abstraction and crisp clangour that shows their experience in spades and proves they were never some half-arsed dilettantes, but the real, cranky thing who can’t help but best express themselves this way. Basically this is one industrial revival that’s worth checking out. Shame we couldn’t say that more often.
OG grime architect Terror Danjah gets loose and lush on the Super Set EP
Linking with Trends for the swingeing calypso grime of Control Alt Delete, and with longtime spar D.O.K. for the bright and choppy Shock After, but left to his own devices he goes weirder, wonkier on the swollen dub freak Nosedive and then with a flash lick of boogie chords and R&G vibes in Patron X.O Cafe.
Cómeme ring-master Matias Aguayo spearheads this playful session with the offset tribal EBM churn of Selvagem
Katerina melds filigree, woozy Euro synths with dusty jack track in Trouble Boy, Daniel Maloso x Red Axes cut loose and psychy with En La Oscuridad, and Gladkazuka takes the jack where the sun don’t shine with the darkroom canter of Futuro Caos.