Romantic ambient tech-nous from 1992, dished up on vinyl and available to DL for the first time from Young Marco’s Safe Trip
Originally a CD issued by Belgium’s Buzz (now sought-after 2nd hand), ’Sublunar Oracles’ was the first of two albums released by siblings Dimitri and Stefan van Elsen as Trans-4M.
Comparable in scope and feel to early work by B12, Mappa Mundi and early projects associated to The Connection Machine, the vibe is pure, fluffy early ‘90s, marrying classic sci-fi dialogue with spaced-out synths, obligatory whale calls and ethnographic sampledelia in eight finely feathered grooves intended to cushion your come-down.
Brooding tech-house swag from Tom Trago, treading a fine line between heads-down melancholy and posh trance feels
returning to the fray after trimming down his output in recent years, Trago teams up with Jean Pierre Enfant, Darling and Christiaan Macdonald for a stripe of Four Tet-styled posh trance house backed with a starry-eyed beatless version.
Playfully witted, dancefloor-curious styles from River Yarra, back on Antinote a year on from the resoundingly well received ‘Lucky Boy’ 12”
Shifting his weight elegantly from 88-140bpm across four tunes, ‘Frog Mania’ has something to do with amphibians but it’s all french to us, to be honest. We can however deduce that trax are primed for dancing in altered states, hopping from the Acid-Arab creep of ‘Toad Charmer’ with its microtonal vamps and synthetic croaks, to what sounds like late ‘90s-era Chris & Cosey on a frivolous flex with ‘Amfybyonzz’ on the front, before picking up the pace with a pendulous electro-stepper ‘Frogz ov Gondwana’ and the rolling breakbeat raver ‘Prog Frog.’
Reissue of rare UK ambient techno from ’93-‘94 - unearthing some of the finest ambient techno from the Artificial Intelligence era with essential cuts from the back catalog of J. M. Adkins’ and including 2 tracks available on vinyl for the first time.
"Aside from Descent, a previously unreleased track, the material was previously released on the short-lived Metatone Recordings which was founded by Adkins himself together with Damon D’Cruz known from his preceding Jack Trax label. Today the original releases are sought after rarities which demand high prices on the 2nd hand market.
Compiled from the original DAT tapes and remastered by Andreas “Lupo” Lubich at Calyx Mastering, “Electro Music Union, Sinoesin & Xonox Works 1993 - 1994” reintroduces Adkin’s work as some of the era-defining classics from the early years of techno. A must-have reissue for the fans of early B12, AFX, The Black Dog, Kirk Degiorgio, et al."
Pete Rock has teamed up once again with a phenomenal list of contemporary artists to produce ‘Soul Survivor II’…..Pete and C.L. Smooth have crafted the summertime anthem ‘Love Thing’, which features Justin Timberlake’s backup singer Denosh. Pete teams up with Dead Prez on ‘Warzone’, while Pharoahe Monch guests on ‘Just Do It’, the soulful North Carolina group Little Brother on ‘Give It 2 Ya’ and Slum Village’s certified head banger ‘Da Villa’. ·Further collaborations feature Talib Kweli, Kardinal Offishall, RZA, GZA, Postaboy, J-Dilla, Black Ice, Leela James, Skillz and Krumbsnatcha.
Paul Woodford’s Special Request diversifies his bonds into moody IDM/electronica after spending his rave energies on the ‘Vortex’ album
The ‘Bedroom Tapes’ is the sound of Yorkshireman blues; the type of ‘tronica they reach for when there’s no tea bags left and shop is too far uphill, or when chippy’s ran out of scraps. In eight parts he speak to the sundays after, the tuesday mornings when grey matter seeps out of lug’oles onto yer desk as you kling to a kernel of residual happiness from the weekend.
Between the spooling electro bleeps and satin pads of ‘Panaflex Sunrise’, his floating electro scapes in ‘Pineal Gland’, and the muddled harmonic reverie of ‘Entropy’ on the first disc, and thru the sidelong keen of ‘Xenopsin’ to the frazzled, Actress-esque tic of ‘Double Rainbow’ and the shine-eyed twinkle of ‘Phosphorescence’ on the 2nd plate, the ‘Bedroom Tapes’ crucially acknowledge a tender flipside to SR’s usual exuberance.
Full spectrum flex from Peggy Gou, offering a guided trip around her record collection for the long-running DJ-Kicks mix series
Running from 90 to 150bpm and down again across 19 tracks in 73 minutes, the mix fans out from an ambient classic by Jonah Sharp’s Spacetime Continuum to cranky drum trax by Kyle Hall and ends up at I:Cube’s ‘Cassette Jam 1993’, taking in ultra classics such as Aphex Twin’s masterful ‘Vordhosbn’ and Carl Craig’s Psyche/BFC zinger ‘Crackdown’ along with total fluff by Dorisburg, Hiver, and Deniro which hardly deserves to be in the same list as the rest.
UK rave architects Fabio & Grooverider dish up a final haul of nuggets that formed the template for contemporary club culture, spanning the spectrum of early ‘90s Dutch house, US garage & techno, UK hardcore and jungle zingers. Cherry picked by legendary rave figureheads Fabio & Grooverider, Parts 3+4 spend their last barrels of badness in a patented mix of Hi-Tek Detroit soul, foundation-shaking bleep ’n bass and unmissable rushes of hardcore junglist brilliance that still works the pants off any ‘floor worth its bassbins. For anyone over the age of 30 in the UK, whether absorbed osmotically or ingested religiously, it’s a deeply familiar sound that has reverberated from cars, radios, clubs, fields and warehouses for a lifetime, and still supplies a bounty of inspiration to new generations of ravers searching for *that* sensation.
We start with Landlord’s foundational anthem ’I Like It (Blow Out Dub)’ - responsible for the heavily-sampled “Landlord” riff - is locked and loaded next to the eccie-triggering Detroit classic ‘Straight Outta Hell (Hellhound Mix)’ by Tronikhouse, and the ruddy swagger of 33 1/3 Queen’s bugged-out killer ‘Searchin’’, which Fabio & Grooverider call “One of the best tunes of the ‘90s. Superb”
We head to a deeper flex with the tucked hustle of Richie Rich’s spooked ‘Salsa House’ and the crispy, breaks-driven rave soul of Debbie Malone’s ‘Rescue Me (Club Mix)’, before rounding off with Neon’s Belgian rave staple ‘Don’t Mess With This Beat (Instrumental Mix)’, which would come to serve ‘core elements to 2 Bad Mice, while FSOL’s ‘Papua New Guinea’ surely brings a tear to the eye.
There’s some outright all-time classics on the knockout one-two of Brainkillers’ deeeep jungle bullet ‘Screwface’ and an early appearance from Basement Jaxx’s Simon Ratcliffe as Tic Tac Toe with ‘Ephemerol’, while the final side leaves us a mess with Ability II’s seminal ‘Pressure Dub’ into the pie-eyed innocence of ‘Don’t Go’ by Awesome 3. Factor in the Detroit galvanic of the Mayday mix for De-Lite’s ‘Wild Times’, and the bolshy brass of ‘Living In Darkness’ by Top Buzz and you have a definitive taste of an unprecedented time and place in UK culture. To use an old Manc term, it’s the fucking lick.
Salute Fabio & Grooverider each and every.
Hypnotic, pulsating rhythms and arps from inventive composer and instrumentalist Max De Wardener
Tying together his work on records by Roisin Murphy, Matthew Herbert and Plaid, with his background in playing for Zimbabwean Mbira ensemble, and composing for film and TV, ‘Palindrome’ unfurls two symmetric but contrasting pieces - an extended mix of the titular, plugged-in Mbira workout pairing his self-made bass Mbira with drums by Moses Boyd, and a spiralling kosmiche synth vortex called ‘Sun Dogs’ - both heralding his first album for Village Green, ‘Kolmar’, on the horizon.
like the image of a gazing globe [aka a yard globe, garden globe, gazing ball, etc.] under a full moon at night, where you can see a reflection, but it’s not clear what it is,” says Cara Beth Satalino, songwriter and leader of Outer Spaces, when describing the symbolic theme of her new album.
"Gazing Globe, the Baltimore-based artist's sophomore LP, is comprised of songs written during a lonely period of Satalino’s life, spent in introspective solitude. Her search to understand who she was outside of relationships with others left her feeling like she was trying to connect with her distorted reflection in a gazing globe lit by the moon; an image that mirrored her basic movements, but was devoid of the emotional weight she bore at the time.
Born in Pittstown, NY, a rural upstate town with a population of about 500 people, Satalino learned to play guitar by ear after her dad (a bluegrass musician himself) showed her a few chords. A rock & roll misfit throughout her teens, she eventually left Pittstown for Purchase College, where she immersed herself in the DIY culture and new worlds of music as she studied studio composition.
While attending Purchase she met producer/engineer Chester Gwazda (producer of the first three Future Islands albums and Dan Deacon’s Bromst and America, among others), who became her bandmate and partner. Though Satalino has been in many bands, she's a self-described “poor collaborator,” and Outer Spaces was born out of her desire to write solo. “I demoed all the songs on Gazing Globe by myself, and had a very clear vision of what I wanted the album to sound like.” Most of the songs on Gazing Globe are written from the perspective of another version of Satalino herself. “It was a way of encouraging myself. I wrote from the perspective of who I wanted to be, rather than how I felt at the time.” While writing the album, Satalino found herself lost and listless after she and Gwazda decided to take a break from their long-term relationship.
In an effort to grapple with her sense of anxiety and self-doubt, and ultimately evolve emotionally and spiritually, she began trying to find meaning through daily meditation practice and writing songs. “I think I was trying to get back to myself and my identity, separate from my relationship,” says Satalino. “For this record I was trying to articulate a feeling of disassociation, or something sort of intangible, surreal, and ethereal. I wanted it to be less literal and more of an illustration of a feeling.” The result of her efforts is a collection of Murmur-era REM-esque power-pop songs, full of catchy guitar riffs, sonically juxtaposing her despondent perspective.
On album standout “Album for Ghosts,” Satalino reflects on a “period where I was obsessed with finding music from the past that has a cult following now, but never really 'caught on' at the time it was released, either because it was ahead of its time or simply because no one had really heard it. I was thinking of the music industry today and how it's basically flooded with musical content. And how with a changing world (climate change, etc.), we might not be in a position to be searching the archives of Bandcamp for musical relics in 50+ years. In the end it was like ‘You're going to do this anyway, despite the outcome.’” On “Truck Song,” Satalino cleverly sings about her own journey through the story of her beloved tour vehicle breaking down. As she explains, it's “a song about all the horrible cars we've had and toured in. I've loved every single one, and they've all been total pieces of shit.” The song’s last lines, “Get on your feet, you’re on your own” are followed by an infectious guitar hook that exudes the excitement and mystery of starting over, and bouncing back anew. Fittingly, for an album born out of a desire to find herself, Satalino concludes the album with “Teapot #2,” a song “about finding love for yourself, and committing to that love the way that you would with another person.” Throughout the album she injects mundane everyday objects and experiences with glints of thoughtful wit, shining through a keyhole in her subconscious.
Ultimately, these songs document Cara Beth Satalino finding herself through the creation of her own esoteric world of pop songs. Like looking into a gazing globe, there’s never a perfectly clear mirror image, but if you gaze into the murky reflection long enough, you might catch a glimpse of your indelible core."
Some late period Moondog here - Elpmas was recorded in 1991 while the composer was in his late seventies. The disc assembles a number of compositions protesting America's "treatment of Aboriginese [sic] people, against our treatment of nature, plants and animals, also against the idea that we discovered the 'New World'". Consequently, these compositions have a sense distinctly East-meets-West flavour to them, featuring migratorially-themed field recordings of convoys in motion, plus 'exotic' instrumentation, particularly with regards to the percussion, which features heavy use of the marimba. There's something very literal about the way Moondog arranges his pieces too: when he calls something 'Seascape Of The Whales' you can expect to hear some sort of reproduction of whale song in there. Similarly, 'Bird Of Paradise' features mellifluous repeating woodwinds replicating birdcalls. The final two pieces on the disc enter into more esoteric climes, with 'Introduction And Overtone Continuum' taking on a kind of ambient, droning quality before the twenty-four minute 'Cosmic Meditation' fully embraces the tranquil, ambiguous intervals we associate with modern ambient music.
Ace new collection featuring music influential to Keith Haring inc Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yoko Ono, Larry Levan, John Sex and George Condo (The Girls), as well as healthy dose of rare disco, early electro and New York art punk/dance tracks.
"The art of Keith Haring is today one of the most recognisable of any visual artists of his generation, defining 1980s New York during an intense period when downtown artists and musicians collaborated like never before. Haring’s musical inspiration took in the punk/dance downtown sounds of clubs like The Mudd
Club, underground disco at Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage, as well the early days of hip hop and electro.
The album is released to coincide with the opening of the first major exhibition in the UK of Keith Haring’s work at Tate Liverpool, which runs for the next six months. Haring’s many friends included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Fab Five Freddy, William Burroughs, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono, Grace Jones, Larry Levan, Futura 2000."
The Last Wave (also known as Black Rain in the US) was the final chapter in a trilogy of films scripted and directed by the leading auteur of the Australian New Wave, Peter Weir. With no LP issued after the films premiere in 1977, and together with the mystery surrounding the true identity of its enigmatic composer ‘Charles Wain’, the score is a largely unheard recording of pioneering experimental film electronics, easily compared to the music that contemporaries Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream were composing for Australian films during the same period or the electronic soundtracks of John Carpenter.
"Beginning in 1974 with the absurdist black comedy-horror The Cars That Ate Paris, and followed a year later by the lush gothic mystery Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Last Wave was a landmark in existential horror. Sitting alongside other Australian eco-terror films (e.g. Long Weekend) the film featured a haunting electronic soundtrack that is as mysterious and beguiling as the spiritual themes of the film itself.
Tense atonal electronics, synthesizer drones and manipulated Didjeridu all perfectly capture the film’s ominous atmosphere, punctuating the slow hypnotic pace of this brooding supernatural thriller. The Last Wave soundtrack is released in conjunction with the lost film music to Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 New Wave masterpiece Walkabout composed by John Barry. "
‘Pyrrhic’ is the first ambient album by BNJMN following his string of rhythm-driven techno albums and 12”s over the past decade
Issued on his Tiercel label, ‘Pyrrhic’ sees BNJMN accentuate a side of his music that’s looping been there, in-the-mix, but usually sidelined in favour of dancefloor needs. Across 8 tracks created during the years 2016-2019 in Friedrichsfelde, Berlin, he expresses a mix of formative UK ambient/electronica influences mixed with a detectably Berlin-style melancholy and sexy gloom.
Berlin’s lesser-spotted Acido label makes a rare outing with ‘3 Trax’ by core duo: Dynamo Dresen & Sven Riger = Dresvn
Pairing up for the first time since 2017’s ‘Acido 25’, they turn out the jams with effortless style, from the fluid, silky acid drive of ‘Shelly Beach’, to the biting-point distortion of ‘Cole’s Farm’, with percolated live drums by Tom Page, and over to a sizzling house trek titled ‘Brunswick’ set to wrap up dancers like a birthday present with its thizzing filter chicanery and subtle bassline oscillations.
Paris-based Toma Kami turns up on Livity Sound for a 2nd round of nervously rolling rhythms wrapped up in deftly precise club arrangements
Produced with Livity Sound-standard minimal efficiency, ‘Negative Ecstasy’ plays out a timelessly fresh style with the tentative introduction of ‘E-Ache’ and the sozzled swang of ‘Aces’, before grabbing the waist with the sloshing rhythmic resolution of ‘negative Ecstasy’ in a style recalling Beatrice Dillon sparring with Batu, then stretching out with iridescent chords on a treacly shuffle reminding of Don’t DJ’s enchanted rhythms.
Next in Coil’s archival excavations is their soundtrack to a pre-internet, VHS-only sex ed documentary released in 1992. Released from masters with the blessing of Danny Hyde (Jhon and Sleazy’s right hand man and go-to engineer), this first proper edition of the soundtrack features a newly reworked “sexy” edit of the main theme along with bonus reworks of ‘Nasa-Arab’ and ‘Omlagus Garfungiloops’ which appeared in the soundtrack to ‘Gay Man’s…’ as well as on 1992’s CD-only ‘Stolen And Contaminated Songs.’
In a way that Coil would shed with later recordings, ‘Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex’ sounds very much of its time, melding downtempo rhythms with smoky atmospheres in a way comparable to fellow ambient travellers such as The Orb and FSOL as contemporaneous material by Lynch & Badalamenti or even The Wildbunch, essentially nailing a sort of Balearic backroom or afterhours style.
The big highlights are the EP’s balmiest and jazziest bits, namely the dusky blue strut of ‘Alternative Theme From Gay Men’s Guide To Safer Sex’ that opens the EP, along with the iridescent shimmies of ‘Exploding Frogs’ and its rework ‘Omlagus Garfungiloops’, which could almost be a fantasy collaboration between Japanese Electronics-era Heinrich Mueller and Angelo Badalamenti at his most snake-hipped and winking.
While we’re not certain of the soundtrack’s efficacy in its purpose - it remains a unique piece of the impossible jigsaw puzzle that is Coil’s catalogue, and a fine throwback to early ‘90s ambient/downtempo styles.
Kyoka and Eomac (Lakker) forge a restlessly rugged style under the fictional moniker Lena Andersson in a striking debut for the Raster stronghold.
Merging their respective styles Kyoka and Eomac patently make a strong studio pairing under their imagined avatar. Stemming from a back and forth session on the Buchla modular synth system at EMS Stockholm, the project has really come into its own with Eomac exacting razor sharp edits on Kyoka’s blend of spiky, freeform textures, sugared vocals and broad palette of field recordings.
There was previously a degree of familiarity between them as Kyoka remixed Lakker’s ‘Tundra’ for R&S in 2015, but here transcend their respective solo work to realise a wickedly sinuous, amorphous body of experimental electronica and crunchy dance trax which, if we weren’t told otherwise, we may never have guessed was made by these two artists.
Taking strong cues from prevailing dembow rhythm trends, the duo work out a range of spiky, crimped dancehall-techno mutations, getting into it alongside Seiki & Mike Watt with the brittle but squirming shape of ‘Middle of Everywhere’, and running thru big highlights in what sounds like Batu and Low Jack getting gritty on ‘Bazu’ and ’37 Years Later’, tucking it where the sun don’t shine in the dark grind of ‘Con Un Cuchillo’ and the cyber-bogle of ‘Anarchy - Joy’, or like some hyper-clipped Amazondotcom or Paul Marmota piece in ‘I Want Her (You) To Call Me Baby.’
Eccentric french instrument builder Pierre Bastien fondles his melodic machines in a jazzy way on ‘Tinkle Twang ’n Tootle’ for exploratory label, Marionette
With a trail of LPs behind him for esteemed label such as AFX’s Rephlex, Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records, and Discrepant, the endless inventive Bastien joins the likeminds of Soundwalk Collective and Burnt Friedman on Marionette with six inimitable compositions that sound like jazz seemingly played by creations from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ or a parallel world without war where humans haven’t quite discovered electricity, but love making machines that chat music.
“Equal parts composer, inventor, mechanic, and performer - Bastien translates his imagination into instruments and compositions that defy any musical categories. Whether it’s preparing instruments like playing a trumpet underwater or through a kazoo, using belt-driven motors and mechanical components to perform cumbersome yet surprisingly musical operations on traditional instruments and household items, or using a fan to hit the strings of a kundi harp with flowing paper - Bastien’s love for tone, rhythm, noise and harmony is poetically reflected across his quite extensive oeuvre.
Playful and melancholic, the sound sculptures that Bastien invents and plays with are partly inspired by the work of Raymond Roussel, a visionary French author who at the turn of the 20th century wrote a unique form of literature which inspired and guided artists from the surrealist and pataphysical movement and was declared by Michel Foucault as one of structuralism's founding fathers. On that note, the influence of literature and syntax on Bastien’s work cuts all the way through to the palindromes he uses for his track titles - which, much like his machines, infinitely loop.
True to it’s adorable title, Tinkle Twang ‘n Tootle is a music box of unfolding whimsical structures, half broken rhythms, detuned harmonies, and fantastical sound collages that evoke a childlike sense of wonder and an urge to explore the spaces in between the sounds.”
Hezziane carves out a pair of rolling, darkside breakbeat techno ravers for Pinch’s Cold label
Up top, after a sweetly wrong-footing intro, he shakes out the big boned knocks, wiggly acid and nasty D&B rave motifs of ‘KV-08’, while the flipside rolls out wider with flared acid lines and stone cut drums inna Beneath style.
The endless wellspring of electronic Afro-funk and boogie spurts Nkono Teles’ cutting edge ‘80s Nigerian ‘Party Beats’ from the legendary Tabansi label. OG copies are known to trade for $700 on the 2nd hand market and it ain’t hard to hear why - this is street funk gold!
“Few creative geniuses epitomize the Tabansi label’s broad-stroke approach to music than the late Nkono Teles. Cameroun-born and Nigeria-bred, this innovative multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and engineer was one of a select handful of backroom boffins that West African artists and producers would habitually call upon when they wanted a ‘modernist’ Afro-pop sound that would appeal across borders.
A pioneer of electronics in African music, Nkono Teles was equally at home with synthesisers, drum machines, guitar effects and computer programming as traditional instruments. One of West Africa’s most prolific producers during the 1980s, Teles is credited with more than 150 productions, spanning the work of more than 100 artists and groups.
Of Nkono Teles’ three solo-artist LPs, ‘Party Beats’ is, by far, the most innovative and characteristic. He plays all instruments, and was apparently always the first to admit that singing wasn’t his forte; hence the utilization of an eleven-piece choral section! The raw electronic effects used here have always been sought-after by breaks and hip hop producers as well as DJs, with original copies of Party Beats regularly changing hands for anything up to $700.”