Príncipe’s experimental sibling, Holuzam, introduce Portuguese maestro Luís Fernandes with a suite of pulsating, raw but sophisticated electronic improvisations nodding to Keith Fullerton Whitman, Steve Hauschildt, 0PN
Leading on from Fernandes’ ‘Demora’ album for Room40 (and a 2018 collaboration with Joana Gama for the same label), he strikes out with a looser, more immediate and thrilling sound in ‘Seis Peças Sintetizadas’ that embraces electronic music for its dissonant, chaotic, and romantic qualities.
While we’re not entirely sure what equipment Fernandes is using, it’s discernibly and unapologetically all electronic. The first part transitions from sheer drones into a wide-eyed display of rapid, ribboning arps and belching low end with stunning agility, and track 3 swoops from pulsing avian flights to vertiginous, Vangelis-style brass flares for the ages, while track 5 dematerialises into lush, prickly ambient realm, and track 6 veers to the edges of an abyssal post-techno sound realign the might and biting-point electronic textures of Emptyset.
A collection of brand-new analogue recreations of songs from throughout Yann Tiersen’s career - 25 tracks including 3 new songs. Recorded in Yann’s home studio in Ushant with an array of collaborators: John Grant, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Blonde Redhead and Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O)))
"All vinyl editions are packaged with an exclusive 7” single including alternative versions of ‘Comptine d’Un Autre Été (L’ Après-Midi)’ from the Amelie From Montmartre soundtrack and the title track from his debut album, Waltz of the Monsters. These versions are exclusive to the vinyl and not available anywhere else."
One of Venetian Snares’ most prized early releases is finally available again, remastered and repacked with 3 rare bonus cuts from the same era of breakcore madness
Originally Snares first vinyl release back in 1999, ‘Greg Hates Car Culture’ captured the eminent genius at his rawest during a more playful phase before his better known run of albums for Planet Mu.
Snares now takes charge of this gear on his Timesig sublabel of Mu, adding bonus cuts in the hard-stepping ramraid ‘Milk’, the speedcore force of ‘Eating America With Pointed Dentures’, and the snotty blatz of ‘Punk Kids’ to a collection of breaker classics including The Big Lebowski-sampling ‘Fuck A Stranger In The Ass’ and ‘Personal Discourse’, which features samples of himself phoning in to a dominatrix live on cable TV, as you do.
Fabric presents the past and future with 20 artists across 20 original tracks made especially for this release, for the 20th Anniversary celebration of the club.
"Fabric is widely acknowledged to have long supported the underground London house and techno scene. The breadth of talent here displays the far-reaching arms of the night that includes the the melodic techno of Nina Kraviz, the shuddering electro of Steffi and evolving experimental house of Margaret Dygas. New resident IMOGEN drives darko techno whilst Marcel Dettmann’s is a classic late-night sound. Houndstooth’s Call Super takes things down a deep melodic notch and Maya Jane Coles steps up with a playful slice of house. British dance music pioneer Sasha closes out on a euphoric high with layers of building vocal and melody.
FABRICLIVE represents the finest in dubstep, drum n bass, jungle, breaks and experimental beats. Houndstooth’s Special Request opens in trademark jungle style leading on to drum & bass luminaries Source Direct and J Majik. Shackleton and Pinch & Trim started playing the club during the birth of the UK dubstep scene and give a taste of the evolution of bass music. Daniel Avery and B.Traits show off their dancefloor versatility, while Rupture founder Mantra plants a flag for London’s vibrant musical future. Closing are two of the club’s longest associates Groove Armada and original resident James Lavelle as UNKLE."
Shelter Press cap 2019 with a steeply hypnotic, four hour long immersion into the liminal boundaries of Ben Vida’s digital and analog synthesis - one of the most immersive and moving releases we’ve heard this year and an unmissable trip for followers of Eliane Radigue, Dennis Johnson, La Monte Young, Morton Feldman or anyone who fell deep into Jim O’Rourke’s recent, similarly epic 'To Magnetize Money And Catch A Roving Eye’ set.
Ben Vida’s first solo release in three years finds him fully consumed by ideas on perceptions of time, grain and tone. In four glacial movements he commits a vast array of dematerialised drones which, while ostensibly minimalist, are rich with sonic phenomena and granular details that become apparent with focussed listening. The work is the result of Vida’s own daily practice involving deep, sustained listening processes, as he strives to achieve the rarified effects evoked by seminal minimalist works from the ‘60s to the ‘90s which, like this one, combine ideas from maths and non-Western tunings with the tireless capacities of electronics to highlight the most intimate and elemental sonic phenomena and manifest their transcendental nature with meditative effect.
Perhaps the best metaphor for this sound is the idea that still waters run deep. The oceanic scale of the album mirrors a rich sense of inner life to Ben Vida’s music, highlighting through its glacial developments the paradoxical relationships between perceptions of macroscopic density and granular, nanoscopic detail that draws the ear between the concrete, discrete and ephemeral nature of his sounds. While rich in detail, the piece gets really interesting in its transitions between the tidal swells of its many parts, when the diffracted flow results in strange, ear-probing junctures of sonic phenomena and arcing harmonic formations begin to reveal themselves in monumental events.
A challenging amount of endurance is required to follow the full shape of ‘Reducing The Tempo To Zero’, but once caught in its temporality the effect is remarkable, recalling to our minds the character in Ballard’s ‘Myths of The Near Future’ who suffers from delusions that he’s an astronaut, and who begins to perceive a loosening of the boundaries between past, present and future amid the shimmering golden light of Florida. Swap space for the ocean, and the ocean for inner space, and Vida’s sonorous 4 hours of swimming sound have the capacity to supply a overwhelming subjective experience for those with an open imagination and precious spare time on their hands to get better acquainted with their own grasp of time. One or the holidays then.
In classic style Lee Scratch Perry chases his ‘Rainford’ album with its wigged-out, dubwise sibling ‘Heavy Rain’, again produced by Adrian Sherwood, but now starring guest turns from Brian Eno and Vin Gordon
Posited by On-U Sound as the ‘Super Ape’ to ‘Rainford’’s ‘Roast Fish, Collie Weed & Corn Bread’, the Upsetter & Sherwood take the opportunity to fillet and re-version the original in radical, psychedelic fashion with strong results strewn between the flying steppers’ dub of ‘Here Come The Warm Dreads’, the scoops-testing skank of ‘Enlightened’, and the bong-bubble bogle of ‘Heavy Rainford’.
Odyssey: The Sound Of Ivor Raymonde Vol II’ is Bella Union’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Paradise: The Sound Of Ivor Raymonde’.
"This new compilation is a further celebration of the great British arranger, musical director, producer and songwriter Ivor Raymonde, who died at age 63 in 1990. Bella Union, the label behind both releases, is run by Ivor’s son Simon Raymonde. Like ‘Paradise’, ‘Odyssey’ has been compiled by Simon with author, journalist and music historian Kieron Tyler. Simon explains that: “The research Kieron and I did for Paradise showed us that there was still an extremely rich seam of his music to be uncovered. A follow-up volume was increasingly inevitable.” ‘Paradise’ told the story of a British musical great for the first time. Classic Sixties hits like Billy Fury’s ‘Halfway To Paradise’, Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ (co-written by Ivor) and The Walker Brothers’ ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ were collected. All were arranged or produced by Ivor and heard alongside just as fantastic tracks by David Bowie, Sonny Childe, Cindy Cole, Tom Jones, Los Bravos and Helen Shapiro. ‘Odyssey’ is additional confirmation of the scope of Ivor’s talents. More hits are featured: the Alan Price Set’s irresistible Top Five interpretation of Randy Newman’s ‘Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear’, Dusty Springfield’s kinetic ‘Little By Little’, Frankie Vaughan’s epic chart topper ‘Tower Of Strength’ and the aural drama of Marty Wilde And His Wildcats’ ‘Endless Sleep’.
There are also lesser-known tracks by best-sellers: Los Bravos’ Raymonde-composed soul stomper ‘Brand New Baby’, Cat Stevens’ moody ‘Blackness Of The Night’ and the extraordinary 1966 Walker Brothers’ album track ‘Where’s The Girl’, which pointed to where the solo Scott Walker would soon be heading.
Although Ivor Raymonde was a back-room figure, he made the Top 30 in early 1963 as the clandestine vocalist with The Chucks – a studio demo had been made with no intention of it ending up in record shops. Then, it was issued and a band name needed. Ivor plumped for The Chucks and ‘Loo-Be-Loo’ began rising up the charts. On Odyssey, it is at last given its context. Going into the reasons for a follow-up to ‘Paradise’, Simon adds “I knew there was more but even a serial curator, late-night trawler like me, at some point thinks ‘the best stuff must now surely be all discovered.’ But finding tracks like Christopher Colt’s ‘Girl In The Mirror’ is like unearthing a rare Donovan track produced by Ray Davies. Probably my favourite discovery was The Martells’ ‘Time To Say Goodnight’ which Ivor produced when he worked at Decca Records. They only released one seven-inch single which sells for over £200, so it’s quite a rarity and more importantly a banger of a track.”
Percussionist Michael Ranta turns biblical ideas into steeply enigmatic cues for non-verbal communication in a captivating, atavistic way upon his return to Timos van Lujik and co’s Metaphon label. Composed, performed and recorded in Cologne between 1988-89, ’Die Mauer’ primarily serves its function as soundtrack for a ballet choreographed by Philippe Talard. Applying his keenly-studied technique to a rare knowledge of Asian instruments and modern production techniques, the suite renders 11 parts of subtly wide-ranging percussive tones coupled with rustically dissonant string and wind instrumentation, plus barely perceptible electronics, in a way that evokes deeply meditative, ritualistic states of mind and, in turn, opens vast spaces of inquiry for that mind to wander and become enchanted.
In addition to its ostensible purpose, Ranta’s music also works as an extension of his wider practice in exploring the potential of sound to transcend limits of language and evoke a deep-rooted sense of human nature. Since the ’60s he has worked intently at the crossroads between Eastern and Western traditions. firstly as a notable student of Harry Partch, and later with everyone from Josef Anton Riedel to Karlheinz Stockhausen and Conny Plank, all of which imparted a rich knowledge of what was, by then, possible within the framework of modern composition, and perhaps best underlines how his music so naturally resonates with everything from Japanese ambient/4th world/environmental musics to gamelan proper and avant-garde improvisation.
Given his deeply planted roots on both sides of tarditinbak and avant-garde, and taken in context of 1989, when the fall of the Berlin Wall (or Berlin Mauer) triggered a whole new era of cultural relations between East/West, ‘Die Mauer’ comes into its own as a strong example of what happens when you build personal walls, but also make them porous to influence, allowing light to stream thru his singular compositions in a sort of transubstantiation of vibe into affect with an uncanny effect that possibly picks up on or highlights an innate, ancient human abilities for telepathy, or non-verbal communication, for those listeners open-minded enough to see it as such.
Tuxedomoon’s Blaine L. Reininger collates his commissions for theatre and dance productions of Angels, Caligula, Picnic With the Devil, Reigen, The Kindly Ones and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf c. 2015-2019, leading directly from the first volume scanning 2008-2012
“”Since 2015," explains Blaine, "I have played a ukulele-weilding Satan in The Master and Margarita, been a one-man band to accompany Caligula's evil antics six times a week, and - most recently - played and sung at sunset with a ten-piece choir before the very wall of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.””
Mick Harris returns with his crushing first Scorn album since 2010; ‘Café Mor’ for his longtime gang at Ohm Resistance, featuring guest vocal by Jason Williamson (Sleaford Mods)
While he’s spent the past few years hoping for tight lines and reigniting his Fret alias, many of Harris’ diehard followers have been eagerly awaiting the return of Scorn, possibly his best known project outside of his groundbreaking early work as drummer for grindcore originals, Napalm Death. Now is the time, dear lambs, for the beast to be unleashed across 8 tracks of his signature, gut-churning subs, death knell clangs and hard-bitten drums.
While the project initially foreshadowed aspects of dubstep, it ultimately faded away around the time that style took over, but appears to have skirted its event horizon and now manifests on the other side (was dubstep a manifestation of the singularity?) in 2019 with keeling level of pressure between the drop forge trample of ‘Elephant’, the slow rocking lurch of ‘The Lower The Middle Our Bit’, the lazed-guided electro-dub stinger ‘Dulse’, and even makes Jason Williamson sound dubbed-up and spat out on the swaggering halfstep Midlander bravado of ‘Talk Whiff’.