Moscow’s OL and Flaty work up a generative funk for the 1st dispatch on OL’s Asynchro label
Touching down some 3 years after OL’s dusty house hustle for Fit Sound, he pulls away from his housey sound and in line with Flaty’s experimental tendencies, as recently heard on a sizzling 10” for Gost Zkuk.
As Serwed they combine to explore free form generated sounds, working with shaky, desiccated rhythms in acres of negative space coloured only with the slightest streaks of melodic filament in a way that recalls styles on the Aught label, nervously shapeshifting from fractured funk in ‘Angular’ to jagged swing rhythms and vaporous guitar motifs on ‘Radiant’, and over to styles reminding of SND in the warm forth of ‘Ground’, and the nipped shifter ‘Rrand’.
Uncredited edits of Jamal’s briny bangers on the low key R=A label
Following zingers from Tribe of Colin, Black Deer and Juzer, the A-side’s ‘Pickled Edit’ throws down a fizzing jack attack nipped and tucked for optimal bounce, while the B-side nods to Ron Hardy with effected disco loops dragged backwards thru the echoplex.
Tremulous, dusky, genteel adult pop and soul vibes from Spanish band Oso Leone, making up for a five year hiatus with their debut LP on Apollo. Immaculate strums, daubs of electronics and those gossamer vocals recall everything from Talk Talk to The Durutti Column and Zelionople
“Following their meditative self-titled debut and its captivatingly sparse follow-up ‘Mokragora,’ ‘Gallery Love’ achieves what it sets out to do and more, taking the listener on an auditory journey with lucid song structures that ebb and flow like the waves. A sublime musical experience, its hypnotic repetition is an ode to refinement, and the gentle forays into ambient electronica and jazz show impeccable restraint and sensitivity.
‘Gallery Love’s’ opening track and first single ‘Virtual U’ was born from very few elements. A beat on the MPC, a few chords on the Korg Trident and some gently lilting vocal jams create the structure, like a digital collage of feelings as vocalist Xavier Marin describes it. "I see this song as a hyperobject, an external entity moulding modern relationships, shadowing us. An anti-form creating distance in the closeness. A vast empty space between two islands.”
Recorded at his Mother’s house, ‘Best In You’ was the last song written on the record, whilst the mystically poetic ‘Agró Blanc’ is named after a type of heron that dwells in Mallorca. The band describe ‘River of Jasmines’ as the most mysterious track on the record, the lyrics coming to Xavier during a nap in the studio. “I recorded the vocals in one take with no set lyrics, just the lines that came to my mind. I tried a second go but it felt meaningless” he explains. ‘Vernal Pools’ is a funky existentialist piece, a reflection of a landscape in a pond, a contemplative loop, an iconic natural spot.
A dubby & aqueous bassline conducts the title album’s title track, it’s ambient sounds featuring traces of kalimba and a field recording of an owl who frequented the house during the night. ‘A Pale Blue Dot’ is a floaty, dream-like jam and ‘Samuel Sings’ is a “calling to a lost soulmate.” The dainty trance of ‘Fountain At the Entrance’ rounds things off in mesmerising fashion.”
From the top shelf of UK soundsystem culture, Soul Jazz pull up a cracking selection from the Fashion Records archive, running classic Dancehall, Jungle and Lovers Rock from Cutty Ranks to General Levy, Carlton Lewis, Top Cat and Janice Walker
Between the early ‘80s and late ‘90s Fashion Records were crucial players in the dialogue between Jamaican, Caribbean music and the sound of UK’s urban centres, and their influence would spill over to become a cornerstone of British dance music culture.
“While nearly all other UK reggae labels focused on releasing Jamaican music, from the early days of Island and Trojan in the 1960s, through Island and Virgin in the 1970s and Greensleeves that came up in the 1980s, Fashion’s focus was firmly on music produced in the UK. This unique British perspective shaped both lyrical content and musical fashion. And like all the great music labels, from Studio One to Blue Note, Fashion was able to create a significant roster of its own artists.
Amazingly for a small independent label, a number of Fashion artists achieved mainstream UK chart and crossover success, including Laurel & Hardy, Smiley Culture and General Levy. But although this success was welcomed, crossing over into the mainstream was never the main focus for label owners Chris Lane and John McGillivray (who also runs the successful Dub Vendor record shop), whose starting point was always primarily focused on producing quality music first.
In the early 1980s, Fashion Records captured the rise of the emerging British dancehall scene in its ascendency. The large roster of first generation British-born artists and MCs on the label, including General Levy, Papa Face, Smiley Culture, Bionic Rhona, Asher Senator, Laurel & Hardy, Top Cat and many more, often gave a unique and sometimes humorous British lyrical perspective to Fashion releases, discussing everyday subjects, from police harassment to road safety.
Throughout much of the 1980s and into the 1990s Fashion continued to release an almost relentless array of UK dancehall releases as well as continuing with lovers rock and the occasional dub releases. Then, in the mid-90s, with the dancehall and reggae releases still coming on strong, Fashion released a superb series of early jungle tracks linking Jamaican and British MCs and dancehall artists with young jungle mixers, remixers and producers. By this time dancehall artists General Levy and Cutty Ranks had become the staple vocal samples of literally hundreds of white label jungle records and Fashion took advantage of this, often getting young producers to work in exchange for sample clearances.
This album is a subjective and scatter-gun ride through some of the many unique and heavyweight tracks to come out of the Fashion stable - some classics, some lesser-known, all 100% killer.”
New music ensemble Eye Music interpret ‘Sapporo’, a seminal, minimalist, graphic score by Toshi Ichiyanagi - the elder statesman of Japanese avant-garde composition, who was famously married to Yoko Ono during the late ‘50s
‘Sapporo’ is considered a classic of the ‘60s trend towards graphic notation, which emerged in the wake of Webernian serialism, and from the intersection of west and eastern musical philosophies catalysed by John Cage, as a way of freeing up music in key with the social, sexual, economic and political revolutions of that important post-WWII era.
The piece requires each performer - in this case Eye Music’s 11-piece ensemble employing everything from analog synths to psaltery bow and umeboshi pit, and kitchen faucets - to play from one page of graphic notation, with each performer aleatorically synching at some point in the piece, but hardly ever at the same points in any two performances.
In effect it’s totally open-ended, with no fixed start or finish point, with this 2006 recording going to just over 50 minutes, whereas previous iterations have lasted only 15 minutes. According to the score’s long, straight lines denoting sustained tones, angular lines describing glissando, and dashes calling for short sounds, the piece if played at slower paces, naturally opens out to reveal long pauses amid its naturally gentle topography, where plateaus intersect sliding descents and elide with inclines and a range of punctuating ephemera, recalling the graceful logic of a Japanese garden turning from dusk to night.
Minimalist german vocalist Marianne Schuppe breaks down the definition of a “song” on ‘Nosongs’, her super sparse follow-up to 2015’s ‘Slow Songs’, further distilling/reducing that album’s themes for the estimable Edition Wandelweiser Records
Accompanying herself with lute and uber-bows in 11 ‘Nosongs’, Marianne vacillates english and german language in phrases that linger on the air, leaving lots of tenebrous silence and space to the imagination in a way that becomes just as crucial as the tangible sounds to the album’s hypnotic yet barely there pull.
Like probably at least a few others, we’re left wondering wtf are Uber Bows (Google’s providing no help), but that’s also the most trivial mystery about ‘Nosongs’, whose enigmatic appeal is genuinely timeless, bringing the age old craft of a bard or singer of myriad stripes, right down to their essence. Like any folky worth their Arran sweater collection, she has the transfixing quality of a singer who can silence a barn or room and draw the audience deep into her own world. But this really isn’t folk music, and what she’s doing appears to defuse more lofty avant-garde vocal music and bring it down to a plaintiveness that also implies some calm, religious, and devotional connotations, although they aren’t really there either.
What we’re left with feels like a cycle of songs seemingly shorn of sentimentality, yet remaining beautiful in a relatively popular sense, with only precisely chosen words and the subtlest of instrumental gestures that, through her precise enunciation and slow, careful cadence, maybe speak volumes more than artists who simply let it all out, which is nonetheless a valid approach. In other words, she’s doing for vocal music what Morton Feldman and Giacinto Scelsi have for instrumental piano music.
Fine-grained, acidic and cosmic dub electronics from Finland’s Vesa-Matti Kivioja aka Mineral Waves and the Ljudverket label - RIYL Andreas Tilliander, Vladislav Delay or Automatisme
“Ljudverket’s 11th release is a four-tracker from a man of many sounds and personas, Vesa-Matti Kivioja. Here, operating under his given name, he delivers four tracks of experimental dub and electronica, taking the listener from his/her living room all the way to a dimly lit dance floor in an alien planet, with a sound system capable of producing frequencies way below human hearing and a smoke machine filled with unknown substances.
”These are recycled patterns forming sounds which describe minerals and stones. The use of stone has had a huge impact on the cultural and technological development of the human race. Often composed of grains of minerals, in nature, more than one substitution may be found in the same mineral. It can be made of one element or more elements combined together. A hard, solid, non-metallic, naturally occurring inorganic substance. It is found in a wide variety of geological locations. It’s not made by humans.”
World of dub, universe of electronica, globe of experimentation. Written and produced by Vesa-Matti Kivioja at Seafront Mixing Room, Vaasa, Finland 2018. Mastered and cut at Scape Mastering, Berlin.”
In the era of a lying Potus, Flying Lotus warms up in advance of his ‘Flamagra’ album with two dashes of psyche soul...
...the stacked harmonies and lysergic deliquescence of ‘Spontaneous’, and the sweet switch-up from sticky ‘60s psych soul to frazzled funk and UR-like ghetto-tech in ‘Takashi’.
From behind your ear, PAN pluck a blink-and-miss exclusive: a 35 minute audio response by Mark Fell (Sensate Focus) to source material by Heatsick, somewhere between cover version, remix and deconstruction.
Along the A-side 'X' plane, tones are exploded, harmonies refracted with HD dissonance; time is extruded, made ductile yet intangible. On the B-side 'Y' axis hydraulic undulations and roiling tones expand and contract between kinetic kink and gyroscopic funk with the pointillist, freeform choreography of a Merce Cunningham piece. One for the dancers and the DJs that know!
The magicians at Düsseldorf’s Offen Music pluck a madly beguiling pearl of late night songcraft by Ukraine’s Ihor Tsymbrovsky to follow their vital releases by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii.
Come Angel was first recorded in Lviv, Ukraine, 1995, and issued on cassette by Poland’s Koka Records in 1996. There appears to be no prior mention of the release or artist on the internet and quite how it came into of Offen Music possession is not disclosed, and that only ratchets the record’s enigma to astonishing degrees once you’ve heard the music.
In a quivering, high register, androgynous trill, Ihor Tsymbrovsky beckons heavenly beings in the remarkable A-side Come, Angel against a swirling backdrop of phasing, subtly delayed organ. It was recorded in one take (this is the 2nd version), and, if we’re not mistaken, you can hear the keys being pressed rhythmically in the background, which seems to be the song’s only tangible connection to this mortal world as Ihor vaults octaves high and close-in-the-mix with the sort of alien, dreamlike vocal that require pinching oneself to make sure you’re awake. Spellbinding is definitely the word.
On the other side he (we’re assured it is a ‘he’ in the promo text) sets two poems by Mykola Vorobyov and Mykhal Semenko, respectively, to emphatic piano keys, this time more shy of FX save for some delay, placing that willowing, avian vocal at a dreamy arms reach in Roses for the Poet, and with a sort of liturgical dark jazz feel, sorta like Lewis repenting his sins as a castrato monk, in the spare atmosphere in By the Sea.
This is gold-seal business, we tell ya. Clock the clips and clear some swooning room.
Milan and Haunter Records’ Heith pushes into the abstract with mulchy brownian motion on the first dispatch from Saucers, a new label minted specifically for his gear.
The first saucer sees Heith shed further signifiers of his sound, ego, aesthetic, in pursuit of an illusive/elusive and vaporous muse that leaves much more to the imagination. Over its five tracks ‘Mud’ explores a multiplicity of possibility in each moment, masking more layers and intriguing sensation with each careful stroke, from the pensively pregnant ‘Eva2’ thru the arrhythmic and dissonant keen of ‘Extra Melma’, to the power ambient drag dynamics factored in ‘Yoga Of Stealth’, to the greased pig wriggle and calligraphic slashes of ‘?’, and the blossoming fractals of ‘Mud Queen’.
Charmingly knackered, gas-huffin’ lower case rock ’n roll songs by Bobby Would for scruffy young folk with a lot on their mind, out now on Low Company.
“"IT’S HAPPENING TO YOU, AGAIN…" Lovelorn, tranq’d-out, majestically understated rok y roll lullabies and dub-pocked, acid-damaged, pain’-it-dark drone-punk from Robert P. of Heavy Metal and Muscle Barbie++, coming over like some celestial 4AM face-off between George Harrassment, The Great Unwashed and Can. Gulp. Yeah this is a record so patently, self-evidently brilliant that we have to stop ourselves from calling it an instant classic (oops). There are some affinities with the homesick jangle of Itchy Bugger’s Done One, an album which R. played on (and painted the cover for), and the songs sure are pretty (find me a more romantic refrain in 2019 than ‘Luna''s "You and me / shivering in the street"), but Baby feels like more of a TRIP, as if some 23rd century Martian moptop-pop combo crash-landed at a dosed up Kensington houseparty circa ’66, plugged in their gear and got stuck right in: hypnotic space-guitar ultra-reverberant and in a permanent state of comedown/dissolve, choppy death-surf riffs and gently weeping leads ringing into infinity, squeezed and smeared for every last trace of scorch and sting…wooiii!
There are some echoes too of banner UK DIY/squat-wave and the mildewed NZ psych of the Spies and the Renderers, but all shot through with a kinda Teutonic sensibility/rigour, loopy and ultra-repetitive - equal debts to the full-throttle drainpiped psycho-beat of 39 Clocks’ ‘Dom’ and the glacial ambient-glam sampledelia of Love Inc.’s ‘Life’s A Gas’ (!). Rare to encounter a record as simultaneously heart-rending, sonically intrepid and effortlessly SWINGING as this. Couldn't be more in love.”
Fresh from 1981... this is Leroy Burgess' grand boogie masterpiece and one of the greatest albums of the post-disco era...
Re mastered for 2015 and released in conjunction with Salsoul. 8 classic tracks including the Larry Levan remix of " I Know You Will”.”
Ambient pop brilliance from London’s scuzzy underbelly and the duo of Guy Gormley with Sam Bardsley, with sensitive co-production by Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion.
After appearing on Bullion’s Deek Recordings in 2015 with ‘Don’t Touch Me Now’, the Never duo remain coy to a T in their eponymous mini-album, luring us in with the heavy-lidded Bullion co-production ’Submission’, before sashaying a twilight world between the Robert Wyatt-like pop sweetness of ‘Up’ and the meditative MIDI pop of ‘The Park’, before keening sidelong into the creamy whorl of ‘Everybody Knows’, and then working out something like Gas meets HTRK at Burial’s gaff in the standout slow thrum of ‘The Street’, and rounding up with the strung-out, balmy CS + Kreme-like balearics of ‘Agnes’ in very satisfying style.
SHXCXCHCXSH go hammer and tongs on an outstanding 3rd volley for their Rösten label
In a masterful example of saying it without saying it, the Swedish pair skillfully swarm around techno’s 4/4 framework without ever landing on a rote kick/hi-hat pattern in all eight tracks.
Moving uncannily close to the rufige of Demdike Stare or the restless disruptions of Rian Treanor, the plough a singular path thru angular, stop-start loops and harsh textures with a cool tolerance for the kind of psychotomimetic repetitions that may drive some minds to despair, and others to utter wildstyle ecstasy.
If you’re game, these tracks have the potential to turn dancers and clubs inside out. Chow down and find your own madness in there somewhere. Best we’ve heard from SHXCXCHCXSH in their 6 years of ruffneck productions.
Efdemin discovers his folk-techno voice on ‘New Atlantis’, with results not dissimilar to a Richard Youngs experiment, or indeed, Efdemins’s recent collaboration with Oren Ambarchi and Konrad Sprenger, who also appears inside.
“Over eight tracks, New Atlantis oscillates between fast, kaleidoscopic techno, multilayered drones and acoustic instrumentation, fusing for the first time Sollmann’s deep dancefloor productions as Efdemin with his sound art and experimental music projects. The latter include 2017’s Harry Partch- inspired Monophonie performance and 2018’s Panama / Suez EP with Oren Ambarchi and Konrad Sprenger.
Long drawn to utopian musical traditions, Sollmann took inspiration for New Atlantis from Francis Bacon’s unfinished 17th century novel of the same name, which describes a fictional island devoted to social progress through the synthesis of art, science, technology and fashion. In the story, Bacon imagines futuristic ‘sound houses’, which contain musical instruments capable of recreating the entirety of the sounds of the universe; a 400-year-old prophesy of today’s digital sonic reality.
Through Sollmann’s lens, Bacon’s vision ebbs and flows over 50 minutes in varying speeds and colors, emerging as a tapestry of different utopian musical traditions – through billowing synth lines, early Detroit techno, resonant wooden percussion, trance, droning organs, dulcimer, electric guitars, hurdy-gurdy, just intonation, poetry, hymns and murmuring voices.”
One of the most influential, insular and multi-layered albums of the last three decades, created through endless hours of improvisation - involving almost fifty musicians and recorded in complete darkness, 'Spirit Of Eden' was a radical departure for Talk Talk, ' an album that has attained almost mythical status since its release in 1988.
Following the commercial success of their singles "It's My Life", "Life's What You Make It” and album "The Colour of Spring”, Talk Talk retreated back into the shadows and produced an album that defied categorisation. Mark Hollis is said to have demanded they record in almost complete darkness, improvising for hours to produce individual parts without hearing any backing tracks or surrounding material.
"Spirit Of Eden" is surely one of the most daring departures for a commercially successful bands ever, and continues to be one of the most singular and influential albums of our era.
New age ambient cooperative Temple - aka Ramzi, Priori, Ex-terrestrial, and Emmanuel Thibau perceptively probe the space between electro and acoustic, improvised and produced sounds in their lush debut proper following an appearance on New Atlantis Volume 1.
Working at beautifully empathic levels of intuition in four extended movements clocking in at a total of 40 minutes, their multi-stream compositions are steeped in myriad modes of practice, ranging from nods to the ‘60s minimalism of Alvin Curran and the late ‘70s shimmers of Eno and Hassell in ‘Movement 1’, to lush emulations of off-planet tribal music in ‘Movement 2’, before incurring glassy ‘80s FM synth dreamspace perfused by adult contemporary sax bleats in ‘Movement 3’, and melting out into dusky lounge styles in ‘Movement 4.’
Analogue synth wizard Martin Jenkins returns to Ghost Box with a glorious vision of retro-futurist electronics in ‘Hollow Earth’, the sequel to ‘Stasis’ 
At just under 1 hour long, ‘Hollow Earth’ weighs in as one of PCA’s most significant, broadest artist albums (as opposed to compilations). It finds the widely beloved project reeling inwards after the extrospective exploits of his ‘Stasis’ LP to reflect on themes of “subterranean exploration and submerged psychologies.”
Gassed on the spirits of Berlin skool synth improvisation and the new age chuff-on that informed early ‘90s house music, the album unfurls as a nightflight over undulating internal topography, roaming from signature slow techno wonders to weightless, vocodered waltz in ‘Descent’ and furtive, ghostly shapes in ‘Claustrophobe’, before raising the energy level with strident dance tracks such as ‘Mindshaft’ and ‘Core sample’. But it’s int he later quarters that we find some of the most precious material, such as the deliciously moody atmosphere and sylvan slink of ‘Dancing Shadows’, the mind-bending noise sculpture of ‘Quad Tape Substrate’, and his Carpenter-on-quaaludes emulation, ‘Buried Memories’.
Oake really find their gothic muse in debut album, 'Auferstehung' for Downwards.
Firmly building on the foundations of two shadowy 12"s released in 2013, the duo distill and transcend their influences across eleven stations of unrepentant gothic histrionics and industrial techno prostration. The production is now right up there with the detailed, excoriating levels of The Haxan Cloak, and also matching the rhythmic heft of label-mate Samuel Kerridge (with whom they recently formed the UF collusion), but with a kohl-eyed romanticism all of their own creation.
From the swooning black metal/shoegaze signatures and blast beats of entrance, 'Vorwort: Umiha Sien' we're manipulated with the near-religiose levels of mysticism, vacillating between shorter, doomy 'Kapital' invocations and the blasted sound of bellicose/ecstatic congregation in 'Erstes Buch: Desterieh l'Remm' to the eulogistic sludge metal drones of 'Fuenftes buch: Dreloi Wechd' and the stygian trudge of 'Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht', departing with the widescreen epic, 'Siebstes Buch: Drestan Sened'. RIYL Scott Walker & Sunn 0))), Sam Kerridge, Swans.
Recital at their very best here with an unmissably gorgeous 1st vinyl issue of music by Rip Hayman; - a pioneering forerunner of ambient music, and pivotal member of NYC’s downtown music community since the ‘70s, beloved for his holistic embrace of sound in its myriad forms
Working at the point where avant ambient imagination meets the raw beauty of nature, ‘Dreams of India and China’ is a collage of Rip Hayman’s archival field recordings and hard-to-find tape releases dreamily layered and sequenced by Recital boss Sean McCann. Overseen in production by Hayman and his longtime foil Charlie Morrow (himself a subject of previous Recitals), the results speak to a sublime, un/consciously utopian conception of sound as environmental, borderless and timeless, and most of all a rich source of happiness and pleasure.
From an itinerant family background in the military which took him to all corners of the globe, it was the music and philosophy of India and far East Asia which really prompted Hayman to make music. He joined Columbia University in the late ‘60s but was soon put off by the restrictions of Serialism, favouring to solder electronics and make music at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre. Then the Fluxus movement hit, radically expanding the notion of what is art, leading him to the downtown lofts and galleries alongside John Cage, Phil Corner, Petr Kotik, Yoshi Wada, and in 1975 he set up both EAR magazine, and the EAR bar, which would host early performances by Arthur Russell, Peter Zummo and even Queen Latifah.
Immersed in the truly avant culture of the NYC in the ‘70s, Hayman’s own music understandably formed its own, wide-reaching logic, incorporating performance, events, and deep listening with a “tangible spirit based on the awareness of sound, mingling meditation, mystery, humor, and human response.” In Sean McCann’s sensitive layered collage of Hayman’s recordings, we hear his intentions clearly manifest in dreamlike form, drifting from recording of Indian nose flute and Tibetan monk thigh bone trumpet, to snatches Bach’s Goldberg Variations played at half speed during his Dreamsound events for sleeping audiences, and his Bell Roll performance - rolling down a hill wearing a suit of bells - together with intoxicating field recordings of the Ganges and temple drums in Rajasthan.
Quite simply ‘Dreams of India and China’ is one of the most enchanting records we’ve heard in some time, a slab that bears many repeat listens, where listeners will discover new layers and life with each return. It’s hugely recommended.
Basses Terres make incursions on rugged psychedelic dance terrain for Brothers From Different Mothers, with results landing somewhere between the 3rd eyes of Black Zone Myth Chant, Ramzi and Low Jack
The 6-track ‘Naked Light’ EP is a salty appetiser for Basses Terres’ follow-up to the well received ‘Counting Pulsations’  album. In low-key, slunky style it snakes from the grotty but jazzy sweat lodge bends of ‘Wilfred Doricent’ at the front, thru the windswept electronics of ‘665 Moths’, and the pensive, pendulous electro of ‘Hewbi No Tori’, into a sort of sludgy dancehall crouch with ‘Deliæ’, before the wind meditation ‘Yoru No Satori’ featuring Mika Oki cleanses the palette for the spirit-refreshing splash and head-kissing pads of ‘Sentiment Océanique’.
First ever reissue of a zinger-packed disco album from 1980. Check ‘Disco Thing’. If you’re aren’t dancing by the end of the clip, go see a doctor.
“Killer private modern soul / disco funk LP from San Diego released in 1980 on Aidqueen Records.
No fillers on this one! It contains dancefloor winner “Disco Thing”, the crazed ode to debauchery “Get Down Party “, mellow soul ballad “Oooh, Your Love”, the wicked instrumental with magic flute “Seaquence” and the brilliant jazz-funk flavored modern soul tracks “Loving” and “Life”.
The rest of the record is made up of high-level soulful funk movers.
Amazing LP from the beginning to end, no wonder it became hard to find and so highly sought after.
Finally available again, fully licensed and remastered, with original artwork.”
Luke Younger's Alter label limns the underground zeitgeist in ‘Alert!’, a compilation starring gems from Teresa Winter, Anna Peaker, Moin (Raime), Mumdance, Space Afrika, The Modern Institute and many more beside.
Entirely sourced from the UK, ‘Alert!’ could be heard as a reading of pre-Brexit or Brexit-limbo mindsets, if you’re that way inclined, or more simply as a cross-section of the UK corpus at the end of a strange decade. Either way, you’re going to get a lot of canny, unexpected gear, ranging from cold bedsit blooz thru to freeform techno, twitchy post-punk and modular n0!ze gristle.
We’re naturally drawn to highlights in Teresa Winter’s unpredicted techno pounder ‘A free woman in an unfree society would be a monster’, and also to a sterling example of Teresa’s sometime collaborator and Leeeds peer Anna Peaker on the elegiac organ etude ‘Helicidae’, while Space Afrika nest the tactile ambient fragility of ‘Yuly’, and Mumdance impresses with nerve-chewing modular freakout ‘Path of the Seer’ - big tip for fans of The Sprawl.
Elsewhere the quality doesn’t let up: Raime’s Moin and their drummer, Valentina Magaletti’s Tomaga, both turn out tuff, jagged post-punk steppers; Acolytes catch a properly febrile vibe in the blown-out gabber kicks and writhing electronics of ‘Feelings’; Helena Celle drops a playful stripe of computerised EBM; and Glasgow represents with a barrage of saltiness ranging from The Modern Institute’s scally techno banger to an apoplectic Apostille in ‘It’s Not Right’, and an absorbing oddity by sound artist and radio producer Mark Vernon.
Egyptian electro chaabi powerhouse Islam Chipsy and Eek hit 6 deadly ways with Cairo’s 100 Copies, following on from the ravenous reception to their incendiary live LP and ‘Kahraba’ side for Nashazphone
One of the fiercest live acts on the circuit right now, Eek and their flamboyant, synth-wielding frontman Chipsy Islam place the experience of years of rowdy shows at the service of their strongest studio recordings in ‘Kahraman’. The six songs firmly spell out the range of dual drummers Mahmoud Refat and Khaled Mando and their electronic component, touching on techno-folk psychedelia in the anticipatory ‘Day1’, before cutting loose like the wildest house band in Arabia with ‘El Daynasour’, and bringing it down to their slowest hustle ’n grind in ‘Fast Track’.
They’re on peak form in the rattling stepper ‘El Zantor’, and at best in the swingeing groove and veering microtonal flux of ‘Saba Zamzam’ and the sparring closer, ‘Zardana’ with Chipsy twirling some of his hottest vamps.
Tuff and moody dance trax from Mexcio City’s Wasted Fates, drawing on his experience volunteering during the 2017 Earthquake, as well as his country’s ongoing Narco War, with tense yet diffuse drum programming and shifty atmospheres in his debut LP for the NAAFI powerhouse
Joining the likes of Debit, Paul Marmota and Lechuga Zafiro on the keenly watched label, Wasted Fates follows the more playful styles of his football-themed ‘Mundialero’ EP with a increased sense of purpose and barely-restrained aggression in ‘Turbio’, gradually escalating the seething tension from the slow start of ‘Clinica’.
The glaring darkside bass of ‘La Excavación’ follows, before really cutting loose and uptempo with the fierce drums of ‘Voltaic’ and toggling the tension between noisy jabs in ‘Odalisca’, a proper grimy scudder named ‘Implosión’, and a fusion of balletic rhythms and dramatic synth arrangement in ‘Mortifero’ feat. NAAFI label boss Lao, then burning darkly until the end with cinematic synth strokes in ‘Trastorno’, and the bolshy energy of ‘Bestia’.
‘Fog Horns’ is a much rawer, almost aggressive, panic-raising answer to Marshall Ingram’s seminal ‘Fog Horn Requiem’. The artist really uses the sound as dense blocks to be intersected, conjuring an anxious state that makes us feel as though on a collision course between massive objects in low visibility...
“French sound artist Félix Blume keeps pushing the boundaries of field recordings for our enjoyment. “Fog Horns” captures the sounds of boat horns in Piraeus, Athens, Greece, the port city that serves some of the most important ferry routes in Greece nowadays. Yes, boat horns are annoying, sometimes disturbing and even absurdly disrupting if you live in a port city or one that is blessed with the arrival of cruises. We all know that. But we also knew that recordings of funerals could be tricky, and Félix Blume pulled a gem out of last year’s “Death In Haiti - Funeral Brass Band & Sounds Of Port Au Prince (CREP51)”.
And he has done it again. The A side reveals a long track recorded during a fog horn concert whilst side B features three 'remixes' of the same recordings, paying respect to what Ingram Marshall did in “Fog Tropes” in three different 'movements'. In a way, B side sounds like the perfect soundtrack for the recent remake of “Suspiria”. But Thom Yorke got in the way.
Jokes aside, there’s something magical about these horns. In the eighteen minutes of the first side, Félix Blume explores the concept of a concert played by those horns. The horns dominate but sounds of the surroundings create a perfect balance to the drone hysteria. The surrounding sounds are the heartbeat of this track. The horns are the metal section of an orchestra, while the rest works like the strings. Hidden melodies are revealed when you listen to this with your full attention, and the more you do it, the horns become less present, vivid. It’s one of the many crafts of Félix Blume, the more you live with his music, the more you focus outside the plot.
If those eighteen minutes sound tremendously real, the three tracks on the other side feel like a horror film. The warmth disappears to become cold ambiance, beautifully textured and enigmatic sounds take over. Horns are still heard, but they’re a different kind of horns. It seems that Félix Blume is playing with our perception, from bliss to horror. A honk will never be the same again.”
Sleazy, night-stalking house trax from Romania’s Khidja for NYC’s DFA
Opener ‘Don’t Feed the Animals (Hiding In Your Room)’ channels John Carpenter into the club; ‘Devil Dance’ massages muscular modular tones into a clipped and trippy swing; ‘I Can Never Relax’ weaves EBM inspirations into a throbbing electro-house chassis; and ‘I’m So Bored’ works splashy, fluid percussion into a sizzling darkroom frolic.
“Having established themselves with previous releases on labels like Hivern Discs and Malka Tuti, Khidja get darker, dubbier, and more twisted on In The Middle Of The Night. We find the record in the witching hour, and the tracks represent the cycle of nighttime mentalities, revealing the various directions the mind can wander in the place between consciousness and unconsciousness – mania, paranoia, even boredom. It all makes for a raucous dancefloor experience, with the duo bringing something new and heavy to the DFA roster.”
Mondkopf yields the lushest, cinematic iteration of his current style with ‘How Deep Is Our Love?’
“For more than a decade now the prolific Parisian producer hasn’t ceased to surprise us with his compositions, constantly treading new ground with artistic bravery and curiosity. At times extreme, at other times méditative and always complex, his music is never easy-access. In recent years his work has taken a clear turn towards a more ambient, intimate, less abrasive style.
Based on minimalist instrumental improvisations, ’How Deep Is Our Love?’ will become the soundtrack for the new film adaptation by Diana Vidrascu of the Kafkan play, 'The Silence of the Sirens'. Composed of four long, bright, poetic, contemplative pieces, which grab you by the heart strings and keep a tight grip until the very last note.
It’s an epic, grandiose album, which rings out with an unfathomable but extremely touching language.”
20 years since his Planet Mu debut, Leafcutter John brings his ecstatic prog-electronica virtues to Border Community for a bright and spacious album of driving krautrock rhythms and intricate melodic fancy wrought around field recordings of the Norfolk coastline and the North Sea
“During the summer of 2017 exiled Yorkshireman Leafcutter John returned to his one-time home of Norfolk (having graduated in Painting from Norwich’s School of Art and Design back in 1998) and set out on foot along the sixty mile section of Norfolk Coast Path which runs from Hunstanton to Overstrand, trusty audio recording device in his pocket. “And very soon the physical act of walking began to make me think about music,” he explains. “My footsteps dictated the tempo and imagined melodies accompanied me as I slowly moved along the increasingly wild and magical stretch of coastline. Stresses of the city were replaced by the fall and rise of the North Sea and endless salt flats. Sounds from the environment filtered in and I would stop often to record what I was hearing around me.”
Back home in London, the hours of amassed field recordings would form the backbone and inspiration for a whole album worth of outpourings from John’s six-years-in-the-making modular synth. From the evocative sound of sea birds on Pillar and Stepper Motor to the colourful conversation from a country pub in This Way Out, the apposite selection of samples which made the final edit provide the perfect jumping-off point for John’s synths to soar with abandon, at times uplifting, frenetic, haunting, hypnotic or meditative, but always atmospheric and with unstoppable propulsion.
“Above all else, I wanted the album to exude a sense of constant forward motion but at a very human scale,” says John. Thus drummer friends Tom Skinner (Hello Skinny) and Sebastian Rochford (long-time collaborator in the twice Mercury Prize-nominated band Polar Bear) were roped in to lend their suitably clattering human momentum, on Doing The Beeston Bump and Dunes respectively. Working in tempos to match his walking speed throughout - “whether trudging along a rainy shingle beach or running up wildflowering clifftop paths” - Yes! Come Parade With Us is perfect traveling music, and once unleashed upon the world is sure to provide the soundtrack to plenty more journeys to come.”
Japan’s Takashi Wada & Cologne’s Roland Kaiser Wilhelm yield an ace, minimalist electro live set recorded in Kraftwerk’s Kling Klang studio
We’re not made privy to how or why the pair got access to one of the most famous electronic music studios of all time, but they did, and the results are class, rolling out 54 minutes of pendulous rhythm machine permutation that start out spare, frayed and decimated with white noise, but eventually resolving in a ruggedly deep electro-techno coda.
Proper Bristolian dub mutations from Kinlaw on Heith’s Haunter Records, mulching at pushing the style’s envelope into crushed, stressed-out trip hop noise (‘Agglestone’), Rabit-like Screw (‘MG 1666 DD)’, salinated 4th world styles (‘Rake’), and grimacing industrial swagger (’Trtipt’)
“Hamish Trevis AKA Kinlaw hails from the Bristolian underground. The same scene that, in recent years, has given the most vital contribution to the freshness and vitality of a fringe sound suspended between the many clashes, deconstructions and reconstructions of dub and UK club music, radicalized through a diffuse interest in noise-tinged punkish grit. It should come as no surprise, then, that Kinlaw’s own music sounds both menacing and playful, weighing in with relentless slow beats and cranky lo-fi textures. on “Drax”,—his first Haunter Records release and second part of the label’s limited 10” dubplate series—the always cavernous, hyper-saturated bass seem to engulf everything, sticking to every other sound like some nasty form of sonic mud. The hypnotic percussions and sparse, hazy bits of melody make for an overall atmosphere of industrialized narcosis. Franco Franco’s vocal intervention in the first track only adds to the dankness of it all, with its confused deadpan delivering a dose of true lowbrow nihilism in Italian.”
Detroit and Berlin souls enmesh as Terri McQueen aka Whodat meets Berlin’s Viola Klein on a deeply playful Workshop session
Coming from Detroit’s YDR313 2.0 record shop and with an Uzuri 12” in her back pocket, Whodat brings a rooted Motor City soul to Klein’s rugged flavours op-enly indebted to the likes of Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman.
On ‘Funeral Song’ they catch a melancholy breeze with blue but celebratory chords on a wickedly swung groove offset with hiccuping vocal to get the ‘floor in a lather. With ‘Reprise’ they cut a few shades deeper, wriggling right inside the groove with crafty bassline dancing all around and off the beat, underlining and charging choice vocal samples about strength in unity. One for the allday sunday crew!
The artist fka Ovuca works around jacking and raving techno patterns within the Colundi Sequence tuning framework for one of the series’ strongest additions
Recalling everything from Mika Vainio’s early Ø classics to vintage AFX and Mike Dred’s Kosmik Kommandos, this is a super strong batch of psychedelic dance music for the aerobic mystics. Proper tangy flavours for all trippy ravers.
Industrial techno from Aussie boscher Tymon Balakirev for the Perc Trax stronghold
Pulling no punches, Tymon delivers for the headstrong between the distorted kicks and noxious tension of ‘Eternal Return’ and the bread-necking dose of mighty white delirium in ‘Rioted’, while ‘Haunted Shipyard’ just about allows some swing into the mix for the funky cunts.
Plaid shows flashes of their timeless appeal in a pair of rude but sweet, offbeat dancefloor aces for Warp
On ’Maru’ they follow a fine transition from dry but rhythmelodic drums thru glacially layered pads into piquant, melodic sequences and keening harmonies with hypnotic style shy of anything too tricksy or show-off. But matters gets more interrupting and ragged on the B-side’s ‘Recall’, where they cough up a mad tangle of ripping textures and convulsive drums comparable to a viscous version of Ueno Masaki’s ‘Vortices’ run roughshod by Shapednoise.
Leading on from bullets by Low Jack, Clara!, Iueke and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Le Disques De La Bretagne return with a killer EP of mutant reggaeton/drill zingers by french producer King Doudou featuring MC Buseta and Kaydy Cain - big tip if yr into Low Jack, Clara! Riobamba, Florentino…
Premo French producer and beat maker for Bad Gyal’s Spanish reggaeton hit ‘Fiebre’, King Doudou answers his call up to the crack squad at Low Jack’s Les Disques De La Bretagne in heavy style, doing gully drill with Baile Funk innovator MC Buseta and yung gun Kaydy Cain on ‘Novinha’, alongside the darker dembow knuck of ‘Tremendo Bumbum’, both replete with grade A instrumentals.
Over the past 10 years Doudou has been a central node of globalised bass music in France and Catalonia, delivering heat for everyone from Mad Decent and Mixpak to ZZK and Sound Pellegrino. For Editions Gravats’ unruly sister label, Doudou bowls a proper sidewinder with the whipsmart drill vamps and steel-fanged snares of ‘Novinha’ capped by the icy delivery of Kaydy Cain and MC Buseta’s mumbling inflection, while the B-side’s ‘Tremendo Bumbum’ comes looser, wild-eyed with restless reggaeton torque tempered by Buseta’s monotone, paso-doble chat.
A dead strong look for followers of new rhythms and voices from the Latinx dancehall.
After closing out Smalltown Superjazzz’ run in 2015, Mats Gustafson fires up its new iteration - Actions For Free Jazz - in the lacquer crackling, spittle-riddled investigations of ‘Link’ with avant-turntablist Christian Marclay
Both known for charting paths less travelled, here they point to strange, liminal zones of perception on their first collaboration, with Gustafsson’s electronically processed tenor and baritone sax channelling an ecology of wee beastie insect sounds against the the signature unpredictability of Marclay’s palette of turntables and noise.
The first cut is a proper ripper featuring both in a dual to unpick the maddest variety of fractured sounds in rapid flux, before they gel in grittier, viscous roil on ‘Nacre’ only to erupt with destructive noise force,and resolve with the melodic whirligig of ‘Superbad’.
Trust the other side is equally cracked up, running from playful scree recalling some alarm of Smegma and Sun Ra in ‘Old Rose’, while the rudimentary drones and hacked clatter of ‘Long Distance’ and the could almost be compared with Wolf Eyes’ sludgy trip metal smudges, and their title track attempts to invade your ears like a troupe of determined ants as Gustafsson’s sax acts like anteater slurping them up thru your other ear.
Alex Zhang Hungtai takes his instrumental work to ever more personal and moving levels on his soundtrack to a semi-autobiographical film meditating on the meaning of home in which Hungtai himself plays the main protagonist, returning to Hawaii to trace his roots. It arrives in the wake of some of his most significant artistic achievements; the stunning ‘Divine Weight’ album which knocked us off our feet in 2018, that incredible Love Theme album for Alter, and his appearance under the spotlights of The Roadhouse stage in Twin Peaks Season 3 as one half of house band Trouble alongside David Lynch’s son Riley.
Hungtai has captivated us since he emerged from Montreal’s burgeoning music scene at the early 2010’s as Dirty Beaches, and his movements since have taken turns that have been both unexpected and entirely in keeping with his unique aesthetic approach, pushing ever further into the rawly expressive style that has earned him cult-like status over the course of the past decade.
August At Akiko’s is in some respects his most unvarnished and personal work to date - infused with location recordings made in Hawaii, the music reflects the serene, introspective ambience of the film itself. Opening with the short, naked field recording of ‘Temple Bell’, and resolving with the harmonious glow and dissonant shards of keys in ‘Ocean Boy’, the soundtrack is dominated by two contrasting tracts featuring Hungtai on his favoured sax.
The first, ‘Sky Burial’ is a starkly brooding piece opening with a menacing rumble and clatter of ceremonial Buddhist music where he joins in, tentatively at first, but growing into a ripping display of wounded beast bleats and whirling shreds as febrile and roving as the background drums. In sharp contrast, the flipside is free of drums, leaving Hungtai blowing beautifully blue whims to himself. Unadorned and as vulnerable as could be, the side ends with a meditative solo piano piece which acts as a perfect distillation of the stillness and inner peace the film manages to capture so well, living in the seams between dreams, reality, and memory, with a temporality all of its own.
Itinerant Dubs return after 4 years MIA with a wood-burning acid banger backed with a wicked electro one-two
Up top they shackle a virulent, acidic/Italo arp with big, booming kicks and cracking snares, allowing loads of air in the mix in a way that will properly ricochet around the warehouse. Think Actress meets I-F.
Down under, they catch the zeitgeist in two sizzling electro numbers, working up one piece of biting point breakbeat electro tackle replete with Drexciyan hydro-licks, then with a darker echo old skool Bonesbreaks style.
From the underside of ‘90s ambient music, O Yuki Conjugate’s eerie meditation ‘Insect-Talk’ reappears, backed with slunky remix from Tolouse Low Trax, a Howes reduction, and the band’s own 2018 update
Hailing from Nottingham during the first waves of post-punk in the early ‘80s, Roger Horberry and Andrew Hulme’s O Yuki Conjugate issued a healthy handful of 4th world, or what they call “dirty ambient” releases and compilation cuts alongside the likes of Pump, Muslimgauze and other members of the UK post-punk/industrial/experimental firmament, with the best of their early phase appearing on Vinyl-on-Demand’s ‘Ambiguism 1983-1987’ compilation.
Fast forward a few year into the ‘90s, and ’Insect-Talk’ was a highlight of OYC’s ‘Equator’ LP in 1994. The track also appeared in a lesser known ‘Dry’ form on the ‘Twilight Earth’ compilation, and now 25 years later on this 12”, serving a slow mesh of brittle drums, wide bass and mantric gasps that Tolouse Low Trax makes even slower, smeared into all corners of the mix with woozy style, before Howes drives it out further for something like a knackered Dynamo groove, and, best of all, OYC revise with slippery reverse loops to sound like a lost Coil gem.
Australian selector Lauren Hansom wafts a slow soul and funk mixtape from the tropical lagoons of Amsterdam for Berlin’s Altered Soul Experiment
Richly playing into an idea of the ‘Dam as a tropical archipelago hosting myriad, worldly voices both organic, classic, and synthetic, modern, Lauren’s mix comes on in warm waves of skronky, downtempo soul-jazz, dubbed-out hustle, Japanese synth-pop and balmy Afro-Caribbean seduction, just the sort of gear you’d expect to hear on her Red Light Radio shows.
“Flowing through the multiple aesthetic veins she keeps delving in with equal poise and panache, life itself speaks out - and the many changes that accompanied her change of landscape, from Sydney to Amsterdam - "moving home, people leaving, new people, adventures, uncertainty, surprise", et al. Imagine staring at the slo-scudding clouds and the abstract drawings of long-haul planes' vapour trails listening to this, trying to map the distance that cuts trajectories apart and joins seemingly splitting lanes together again. "It is the journey of life and my life as it seems; it is through music and through this tape that I can share with you some of those moments that have gone by. I hope with this, you can step into my mind, my world and take the journey with me."
Vibrant Malawian “Banjo Music” from Madalitso Band, making their international debut with Switzerland’s Bongo Joe. Stripped down and direct songs about orphans, patriotism, and the woman you can’t live without
“Madalitso Band have walked the streets of Lilongwe (Malawi) their whole lives, playing songs about life, love, hardship and beauty, which they compose together in a kind of trance, with words never being written on paper. But here they are, eight songs on record for a first international release. Songs like the title track Wasalala, about the orphan girl who glows, Nambe, the woman you just can't live without, and Vina Vina Malawi, the celebration of a country. Some call it traditional, some call it trance, in Malawi it's called Banjo Music, but no matter what, it'll make you dance, and more than that, though you don't know the language, you'll be singing along like you did. The home-made one-string slide bass, known locally as Babatone, four string guitar, cow-skin foot drum and two lush voices in harmony are what we want to present, undiluted and in their natural state.”
Orchestra Of Constant Distress are Joachim Nordwall (The Skull Defekts, iDEAL Recordings), Anders Bryngelsson (Brainbombs, No Balls), Henrik Rylander (The Skull Defekts, Union Carbide Productions) and Henrik Andersson.
"One core dynamism within the field of music is the relationship between performer and spectator. The audience listen and watch the musicians enjoying themselves and through that they get an experience of joy. This requires a system of believing where organized sound can be recognized, and is therefore music as such. Upon listening to Orchestra of Constant Distress´ third album you might want to question this meaning of tonality.
Through catatonic riffs and uncanny sounds we are as listeners left with a situation where we do not know how to distinguish bad and good, pleasure from displeasure. OoCD seems to be moving beyond their decent from such bands as Brainbombs, The Skull Defekts and Union Carbide Productions towards a tension of disbelief."
An impossible-to-find, ’95 Memphis rap tape surfaces on vinyl for 1st time via Gyptology, a new "Egyptian Archaology" styled re-issue label
Leading on from Shawty Pimp’s ‘Comin’ Real Wit It’  - which was dished up by Delroy Edwards’ L.A. Club Resource and sold out within days back in 2014 - its sequel, ‘Still Comin Real’ reprises that woozy slow drawl on 11 slurps of syrupy goodness.
As to be expected, noise artefacts carry over from the original, short-run tape edition, but it wouldn’t be a proper, OG Memphis rap session without that haze of tape grit. Safe to say that Gyptology know this, too, and see vinyl as the most faithful, sympathetic form of preservation.
Thus, you can trust the sound is raw as; a distinct adjunct to the prevailing NYC and LA hip hop styles of 1995’s golden era, working with rude, stripped down production values and vibes that have significantly withstood the test of time, and since laid the roots for a lot of contemporary southern rap, hip hop and R&B.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, controversial occultist and iconic founding member of COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, brings to a close a series of collaborations with Carl Abrahamsson which now spans three decades and which finds P-Orridge narrating over immaculate ambient tapestries, delivered at time-dilating pace.
Electing to use their own names, ’Loyalty Does Not End With Death’ is the final part of a spoken word trilogy initiated in 1990 with the Psychick TV & White Stains side ’At Stockholm’, and proceeded by their ‘Wordship’  album as Thee Majesty & Cotton Ferox, and is the first appearance the pair have had together on vinyl. It’s the sound of two cosmically-travelled minds crossing paths again after a long absence in which they’ve been able to chew over the bare essentials - love and magick - via vibrant poetry and beautifully charged forms of ambient music.
In nine parts they conjure a warmly meditative space, where Abrahamsson’s characteristic tones, cut-up electronics and gentle rhythms comfortably lay the bed for Genesis, who inhabits and enlivens the pristine scenes like an observant dark interpreter, translating the incomprehensible and revealing the divine through their psychedelic prism.
The spellbinding results were recorded in New York and Stockholm 2017/18 and could feasibly have occurred at any point between 1990 and now. They are blessed with a pacing, intuition and timelessness that pays testament to an enduring creative friendship, taking the form of writing, interviews, photographs and film for nearly 35 years, bringing to resolution an almost life-long arc.
Levon Vincent keeps up the stride of his ‘Dance Music’ series with signature suss on Pt. 3
The mighty A-side hearkens back to his 10 year old classics with swingeing interplay of massive, heavy subs, jagged chords and spitting hi-hats all tweaked with hands on the desk for club-enveloping effect.
B-side he turns the lights lower for a stripe of sleek, velvet-cloaked kicks and tense midnight pads recalling Carl Craig’s ‘Darkness’, before stepping up with a super minimal deep house swinger hingeing around phasing, Reichian marimba motif.
Ukranian/Japanese duo Tamayugé hex the trippy headz at Paris’ Akuphone with a ‘marishly cute but f**ked up invocation of ‘Baba Yaga’, the witch-like Slavic folklore figure. Check for strangest feels in the murky Finnish psych styles of ‘Chornei, what sounds like Phew duelling Elvin Brandhi on ’Tamago’, or a Breadwoman baked from infected rye in ‘Herbert Song’
“After Ko Shin Moon, The Dwarfs of East Agouza and Praed, Akuphone continues its sonic exploration of freaky electronic music with Tamayugé!
Blend of experimental music, creepiness melancholia and kitschy tones, this surprising collaboration release his first album Baba Yaga.
At the head of: Maya Kuroki and Tamara Filyavich, a Japanese and a Ukrainian now based in Montreal. Maya Kuroki's phantasmagoric vocals and dreamy guitar added to Tamara Filyavich's team of electronic ghosts fresh out of her nightmares and invite is to a strange ritual, between tormented performance and feminist ceremony. Like Baba Yaga, an ambivalent character of the Slav Mythology, both part of Japanese and Ukrainian cultures, Tamayugé’s music brings scary and exciting shivers and open to an enigmatic imaginary.
The mysterious and unsettling Tamayugé’s universe is somewhere between Phew, Laurie Anderson and The Residents!”
Anna Homler presents a new album of quietly inquisitive collaborations following that acclaimed RVNG Intl reissue of her eponymous 1982 debut, which famously depicts her Breadwoman character (imagine John Merrick channelling an ancient babushka) providing a combination of inimitable gauzy electronics and vocal abstractions. On this new album she hands co-production over to PAN-affiliate Steven Warwick aka Heatsick, Gang of Ducks’ Alessio Capovilla, Mark Davies alias The Pylon King and the late Steve Moshier, who produced the original Breadwoman tape.
In opener ‘O’sa Va’ya’, Capovilla buoys Anna’s starkly impassioned cry with floating organ passages to utterly transportive effect, a kind of detached mirror image of This Mortal Coil / Liz Fraser’s take on 'Song To The Siren’, while Steven Warwick lends a more retro-futuristic melody to ‘Nepenthe’, named after the ancient Greek drug of forgetfulness, but ironically working as the most memorable piece on the album, framing Homler against a divine choir of herself and undulating, iridescent arps.
Steve Moshier appears posthumously on the album’s standout title track, underlining Homler's prelinguistic vocal with 15 minutes of whirling ambient passages that do much to highlight her instinct for inescapably formless shapes; a genuinely alien, multi-faceted and uncompromising exercise in sound art that we still can’t fully get the measure of several listens later.