One of the last, genuinely great, unsung artists of 20th century composition, Roland Kayn (1933 - 2011) - a sometime member of Gruppo Di Improvvazione Nuova Consonanza and the pioneer of what he termed Cybernetic Music - made some of the most breathtaking, intrepidly advanced electronic music ever recorded. The 14 hour expanse of A Little Electronic Milky Way is Kayn’s late major opus and forms a stargate-like introduction to his modular macrocosm, a place where many ideas of C.20th composition, from serialism to jazz and artificial intelligence, collapse into bewildering harmonic, metric and timbral structures practically unprecedented within his field. And mark our words, that’s not hyperbole: this is proper Enter The Void music.
A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound is Kayn’s first, posthumous release since Multiplex Sound-Art  and forms a staggering summation of his concept and aesthetic, which was first hatched when a series of 1950s broadcasts from WDR in Cologne named The Sound of Electronic Music prompted the then 20 year old artist to think that “a composer, like a painter, could realise his work without the help of other people. That he can handle the material directly and creatively edit it”.
He subsequently completed his studies as an organist (later applied to his work beside Egisto Macchi and Ennio Morricone in Gruppo Di Improvvazione Nuova Consonanza) and farther developed his concept of electronic music under the tutelage of Boris Blacher, Josef Rufer, Fritz Winkel and Oskar Sala (seminal composer of FX for classic Hitchcock flicks) in Berlin, grounding a sound which would come to pre-echo mankind’s push toward a form of AI, and serve to touch the very limits of human-machine imagination and perception.
A few years ago we were left reeling from a chance encounter with Kayn’s work, ironically enough offered up by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which pretty much turned our listening lives upside-down and inside-out. A keen investigation of Kayn’s composition ensued, which only confirmed our initial thoughts: this guy is light years out on his path; and how on earth is his music not better known?! We clearly weren’t the only ones to think so, and, now following their re-mantling of downtown legend, Julius Eastman, Frozen Reeds have grasped that task with both hands on this mind-expanding new release.
A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound effectively charts all aspects of Kayn’s unfathomable, algorithmically weft sound c. the era of his early boxsets Simultan, Makro, Infra and Tektra - from pineal-smudges and clouds of harmonic colour to fractured staccato pulses and keening, outer space dynamics usually only witnessed by Gods or astronauts. Mercurial by definition, elusive in nature, but gargantuan in scope and scale, it sounds as much like the inexplicable abstraction of a half-recalled, formative fever dream as your first K-Hole experience or some transmission from another galaxy, most effectively representing or emulating a sound which exists in our shared cultural imagination, but which has never before been generated, realised quite so vividly, and yet intangibly.
The implications of this sound are multitudinous. On the most fundamental level, he comes as close or closer, and earlier than any other composer to letting his machines speak their own language - and effectively years before Autechre, Keith Fullerton Whitman, the CCRU or Eno probed this same area. On another, connected level, his realisation of atemporal, atonal depth of field and mutably dissolved metrics can be said to consolidate myriad musical forms in a way that’s hardly been bettered (perhaps because so few knew of his examples), hinting at an atomic universality of all things that perhaps even transcends consciousness and gives a fascinating shape and formlessness to some of the C.20th’s most important ideas about AI and that old chestnut; where to next?
The fact that Roland Kayn did all this before most of us were even born, and he and his work still remains sorely unsung, is as humbling as it is frustrating. Kayn’s recordings described the future in prophetic terms and pretty much reset the last quarter of the C.20th in our books, making much extreme electronic music recorded during the interim seem pedestrian by comparison, and likewise makes a lot of deep space ambient seem like a kid’s picture book compared to his Hubble-scoped deep field projections.
Even more so now, in the age of everything at a touch and reams of modular explorers, Kayn’s music formidably generates a genuine, synaesthetically enhanced feeling of the unknown that’s sadly all too rare in modern electronic music, despite being the thing that probably attracted many of us to its putative charms in the first place.
We recommend serious time away from the laptop/desktop and getting right inside Kayn’s matrix, if only at the risk of coming out looking like Niander Wallace days later.
A killer selection of nine cherry-picked new wave, disco and rhythmic electronic experiments hailing from early ‘80s in The Netherlands, documenting a time when formulas weren’t set quite as rigidly they would become and artists weren’t afraid to mess around, see what happens.
Accompanied by sleeve notes from Knekelhuis’ Mark van de Maat and with input from esteemed diggers/lynchpins such as Frans De Waard, Kale Plankieren - Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981-1985 Volume I throws up some real gems primed for the ‘floor.
We’re talking Necronomicon’s fretless bass funk, cowbell tickles and louche vocals on The Top, catching the duo in dubby transition from earlier, noisier styles to disco proper - think Arthur Russell meets Ian Dury - and likewise the irresistible bounce of Don’t Forget Me by Plus Instruments, fronted by Truus de Groot around the same time she was playing shows at CBGB’s. Expect track ID requests if you’re DJing this out!
On the other hand, the more wayward bits are superb, too. Rotterdans’ Interference is a haunting piece of communal electronics full of scrapes, spectral vox and airborne pulses extracted from day-long psychedelic sessions; Boris Dzanek’s Dance is well tipped to the cold wave steppers; and Roy G. Biv really get to your back teef with the bittersweet dissonance of Ulloa’s Ring.
If you’ve been following Knekelhuis’ new and reissued releases from Smersh, Parrish Smith, De Ambassade and more, you need to check this out.
Proper, deep, R&B garage bimmer from 1990, dug out and dusted down by Dublin’s Compassion Crew, reissued with new, uptempo remix and bonus dubs by the original artist and The Man In Bed.
A-side gives up the immense treat of Don’t Tell Me (How Love Should Feel), a sterling slice of slow-mo, Kwaito-sounding garage house and R&B that melts on the mind. Even if you never heard it before (hardly anyone has), you’ll be singing along by the end of your first listen. The dubbed-out, house tempo re-rub from Compassion Crew is also worthy of its place, and Larry’s Luxury Dub, so titled after the original label, should be reserved for nights in with your bae. B-side, The Man In Bed (who dat?) dubs out the original in three dreamy, wickedly tweaked versions, also very much worth your time.
With original copies pretty much a myth, consider this your only way to grab this slice of deeeep dancefloor magic.
Dean Blunt stumps his self-released Stone Island  album on vinyl, yielding one of his more introspective collections of songs, purportedly written and recorded in a Moscow hotel room.
For recent historical context, Stone Island first landed in between The Redeemer and Black Metal, a few years after the dissolution of Hype Williams, and also features Joanne Robertson - with whom he’s just collaborated on Walhalla  - playing the female yang to his yin, just as he was establishing a solo streak as the UK’s preeminent avant bard.
Blunt’s husky croon is front and centre of his drily crafted but lush arrangements, starting out with an elegiac lament, One and cycling thru scenarios ranging from the tongue-in-cheek dad-hop beats and harps of Two, tending to his psych side with Three, then taking in something like a London 2013 Serge Gainsbourg piece in Six, and an ickily sweet angelic chorus in Eight, before Joanne Robertson chimes in on acoustic guitar for Heat.
A crucial piece of the Dean Blunt puzzle, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Blawan mounts what is arguably his master opus with Nutrition; a nuanced but proper banging six track session holding one of his strongest cuts to date in 993.
The 4th release on his Ternesc label finds him deep in the modular matrix getting firmly to grips with thistly noise textures and the rolling drag coefficient physics of techno at an atomic level.
For us, and we’ll wager many others, 933 is the big juicy steak at the middle of the pack. A massive kick drum piles thru the centre, mad sawtooth synth voices seem to drip off like the biggest slug of acetone-stinking ching, and then the moment of lush enlightenment, which hovers around long enough to appreciate the buzz, before it slips off as quickly as the gear and you’re looking for the next high.
The other tracks are dead solid, too; with some proper doom depth to Calcium Red and skull-scraping tones in the empty belly boot of Mayhem. However you really need it for that 933 ace!
Music From Memory blindside again with an unprecedented survey of Geoffrey Landers’ home-baked avant-pop-funk and more experimental dabs of ambient jazz, abstract electronics
“Music From Memory's final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album “1 by 1”, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer and engineer, conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, “The Ever Decimal Pulse” and “Habitual Features” along with the single “Breedlove” were ever released on vinyl.
.Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up “The Packing House Studio” in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists most notably Allen Ginsberg.
It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named “Cauhaus” label. Indicative of the underground/DIYculture, “Cauhaus” was a subsiduary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander's music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art and multi media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art.
Throughout the twenty tracks of "1 by 1", of which six previously appeared on CD only, we are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarhythms” and the heart breaking New-Wave Boogie/Funk of “Say You’ll Say So” to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental insprired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack” Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.”
A bit of a stunner, this, from mystic Hungarian composer László Hortobágyi, recorded in 1986 for Hungaropop, and just now resurfacing in its revised 2006 form thanks to the Australia-via-Amsterdam label, Lullabies For Melodies. Worldwide credentials in check, the record also follows a worldly path, consolidating far flung ideas from Hindusthani music, bioastronomy, polynesia polyrhythmia, ancient Bali gamelan, Shruti systems and cathedral design (we could go on, and on) in a manner that defies belief and practically does so in its own sonic language.
Looking on the back cover like a monk who can shoot lasers from his eyes if you disagree with him, Hortobágyi is clearly in possession of some other, supernatural knowledge or power, or at the least he’s definitely done some heavy reading and listening. But, speculation aside, his travels and musical skooling in India since the ‘60s are a concrete source of inspiration for this sound and aesthetic, which, in a classic double refraction of ideas between East-West, is filtered thru and played by the traditional music preservationists, Gáyan Uttejak Orchestra (named after the school of musicologist, V.N. Bhátkhánde) and comes out beautifully altered in translation on Transreplica Meccano.
Noted as a masterpiece of his extensive catalogue, Transreplica Meccano is Hortobágyi’s solo debut. As far as we know, this remastered 2006 revision - previously unissued on any format - is faithful to the 31 years old original; a flying carpet woven from incredibly intricate threads of archaic musical possibility, meshing processed samples with flute, bass, trombone, modular synth, voice and strings and Indian instrumentation such as been, tabla, sitar according to classical Indian instrumental techniques and advanced synthesis.
We can hear certain parallels between this sound and 4th world musics by Hassell, YMO and co, but it’s maybe better compared with the output of Rex Ilusivii, if anyone, who also shared a fascination with Indian music which came out sounding quite futuristic gothic from his Serbian base c. the late ‘80s. We don’t want to say any more for fear of dissolving Transreplica Meccano’s enigma, or cos there’s simply too much going on to properly grasp, but we hope you’ve checked the samples and are also spellbound by now.
Canada’s Project Pablo debuts on Technicolour with a subtly shifty augmentation of his deep house style in Hope You’re Well, bringing forward the drums and opening out his dubby space with jazzy flair.
The pulsating italo-techno of Is It Dry? is the first indication of this slight but smart modification, while No Sweat rides out with a percolated, heavily swung sort of broken beat fluidity, and You Know sees him plunge that sound into deep dub dimensions, with Oh Fer Sure coming to rest at his signature, heart-warming chord patterns with a slinkier set of drums.
Music From Memory follow up the enchanting Suso Sáiz retrospective Odisea with a far more recent survey of the Spanish ambient and new age pioneer’s contemporary output, Rainworks; spanning wistful ambient vignettes to mind-engulfing drone, brittle concrète and drifting solo piano studies commissioned and written in 2016.
Highly regarded for his work with Orquesta De Las Nubes and Música Esporádica for Grabaciones Accidentales (home to Finis Africae, Luids Delgado, Randomize) in the early-mid ‘80s, Sáiz has followed that path ever since, resulting collaborations with Steve Roach and dozens more releases over the interim.
Rainworks finds him still feeling out a sublime, etheric otherness, bringing to life a series of atmospheric pressure systems with a deft, elemental touch in key with the original commission from Hidraulica, Tenerife (Canary Islands), gradually expanding and contracting in ambition from the opening arabesque to the abstract yet richly evocative tract of A Rainy Afternoon at the album’s perimeter.
For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers.
"As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders.
.The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.
Compiled by John Gómez and featuring extensive liner notes, Outro Tempo showcases this overlooked corner in Brazil’s rich music history for the first time."
Swaaangin’ electro-boogaloo from 1986, produced by Lo Joe and Electro Wayne (whaddaname!) for Circuit Shock Productions.
Features the Kraftwerkian gasps, old skool hip hop/soul vocals and twanging bass juice of She’s Just That Type Of Girl in original and instrumental mixes, backed with the in-the-pocket funk of Under Pressure on the other one, with a lead hook that uncannily recalls *that* Edwyn Colllins song from a decade later. Go figure.
Whacked-out techno fresh from Seoul, South Korea - perhaps the first techno 12” we’ve ever stocked from that region?!
I.M.J.U.S. or IchMariaJesusUnsereSchuld to give them their full title, venturesa flighty mix of techno sub-styles on their debut 12”, ranging from a glassy beatless etude thru the pulsing, spectral abstraction of Welcome To Scientology and the hardcore techno tristesse of After Orgie, and seeking out more abstract vectors in a grungy piece of electro, and one strip of escalating bleep techno.
Morphine extend farther into S.E. Asian music traditions with a lachrymose suite of minimalist, cosmic Javanese styles, incorporating performance by label head Rabih Beaini...
“Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, performing mainly a modern and contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java, ultimately joined by their teacher and maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on Sekalipon. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful contemporary interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia.
Composed and performed by Tarawangsawelas, except Sekalipun (Traditional) featuring Tarawangsa Sunda Lugina. Produced, Mixed and Arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel, Rome.”
The one like Detroit’s Waajeed (Slum Village, Mahogany Music) dispenses infectious deep house vibes
Includes the spry balance of floating rhodes, velvet bass and rippling congas in Get Down, then puts a jazzy donk on it with Through It All, and pulls back to heavily soulful, gospel-inflected styles with Kingdom featuring Dodi Alexander.
Two rare tracks by Coil, commissioned by Sub Rosa. Never released on vinyl LP before.
Seeing as it’s now open season for Coil reissues, Sub Rosa understandably throw their hat in the ring with Another Brown World and Baby Food, taken from their two respective compilations, Myths 4 • Single Twilight In Çatal Hüyük , and Chaos In Expansion  - both released on vinyl for the first time.
Another Brown World catches Jhonn, Sleazy and Danny Hyde layering tape loops into slyding hyaline glissandi under-pinned by a gorgeous, percolated synth voice and organ refrain and perfused by vocals recorded by Sleazy at the Animist Monastery situated at the Summit of Mount Popa in Pagan, Burma. In Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson’s own words, “This is a live recording: hums, clicks from equipment etc. are an integral and intentional part of the music.” Save for that hoary electric guitar solo in the middle, it’s a sublime piece of Coil.
Baby Food makes its first ever vinyl appearance on the B-side. Recorded in a storm, the 12 minute piece is the first track to use Coil’s Sidereal Sound recording process, “a continuation and advancement of the deep listening theories as demonstrated on the album ‘Love’s Secret Domain’”. It’s a seductive display of plasmic chords and impish organ figures, tilting towards a whirligig mix of eldritch and outernational scales with psychedelic effectt
Crooked, absorbing rhythm ’n noise deviation from Koshiro Hino (YPY) and Stefan Schneider’s Hinosch, dispatched via the latter’s TAL label; home to LPs by Kenya’s Ogoya Nengo And The Dodo Women’s Band, and Japan’s Non Band.
TAL05 locates a smart consolidation of their respectively esoteric, idiosyncratic and minimalist approaches to sound, coughing up something like Ike Yard crawling thru the darkrooms in Talent, and recalling the cartoonish oddness of Hino’s Zurhyethm ace for EM Records, whilst San settles on a sort of dusty hip hop inflection punctuated with woodblock snare, and First Monday veers at a sharp left into textured, kosmiche-guided rhythmic noise.
Smartly incisive, psychopolitical sound art/poetry study on the relationship between Black America, sonic fiction and social media
“'Absent Personae' is a collaboration between Liverpool-based sound artist, Jon Davies aka Kepla, and New York-based media theorist and music writer, DeForrest Brown Jr. Following in the style of verbatim theater, Brown – through private recordings in various urban public environments – recalls a palpable though unseen trauma while wading amidst Davies’ digital processing of found social media audio. The result is a psychopolitical meditation on Black America as a (de)territorialized subject.
“'Absent Personae' was commissioned by Electronic Voice Phenomena as an interstitial spectre in transition, resonating with the sinister politics of pseudo-science histories, while speculating on identity as evasion and persona without orientation.
The piece is a post-industrial Dérive considering the psychological liminal zones between old and new industry and urbanity, the changing landscapes of labor: a fractured genealogical memory trace obscured by intercepted signals and the liquidating flux of late capitalism."
Jlin breaks thru the Chicago footwork ranks with one of the scene's most fascinating, essential mutations in 'Dark Energy', co-presented by Planet µ and Jamie Kuedo's very promising new Knives label.
It's quite possibly the most distinctive contribution to footwork since the RP Boo album and Rashad's jungle splices, and, in such a fast-moving (quite literally) and active scene, that's gotta be saying something. Keener Chi watchers may have previously checked Jlin's standout 'Erotic Heat' and 'Asylum' joints on the Bangs & Works Vol.2 compilation but, since then, the Gary, Indiana-based producer has honed an incredibly tight new style and pattern, exhibited here with shocking impact. Rather than breathlessly frantic chops and hyper momentum, she favours offbeats and more spacious arrangements, but isn't afraid to lace them with visceral, forward tones; as with the zig-zags of 'Infrared (Bagua)' which sounds like an alien instrumental version of Usher and Luda's already mental 'Dat Girl Right There', full of quarter, half and triplet rhythm switches, or in the razor-edged synth strobes that scan Holly Herndon's vocal in 'Expand'.
Factor in the frankly unhinged hyper-tech flux of 'Abnormal Restriction' and the richly expressive percussive motifs of 'Unknown Tongues' or the adroit brutality of 'Guantanamo' and you've got something really, really special. Incredible stuff - Massive recommendation!
Mick Harris (Scorn, Quoit, Napalm Death) returns to his Fret alias for the first time in over 20 years with a beastly payload of broken rhythms and bass turbulence for Karl Records (Zeitkratzer, etc).
Picking up where the sole Fret 12” for Downwards sublabel, Resonance, left us in 1995, Over Depth wrests 10 tracks of face and body twisting techno from the coal face of The Lads Old Room studio in Birmingham.
As Harris was strangely ‘gone fishing’ during a whole decade of dubstep/breakstep basin antics, it’s good to hear him broaching the realm of 125-140bpm bass and techno mutation, working the crushing impact of his Quoit and Scorn gear into lurching industrial onslaughts such as the hellish Meadow Taken Back and the cavernous half steppers Murderous Weight and L030, whilst Stuck In The Track at Salford Priors sounds like Quoit or Current Value on 33 not 45, and No Rain yields some of the album’s most minimal, sinewy torque with infectious swerve and bite.
“All of a sudden, Jamaica awoke one morning and U-Roy was everywhere…” So read the original liner notes to this classic reggae LP, which originally hit in 1971 and washed over the island like a grooving tropical storm.
"U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called “toasting,” which in addition to bringing Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American vocal style also in its infancy: rapping. This full-length, his first after a string of singles (mostly on the Treasure Isle and other Duke Reid labels, run by the famed producer and studio owner), rolls like a crazy party where a wobbly, but talented, “master of ceremonies” grabs the mic and won’t let go. Speaking over and around songs that already have straight-ahead vocals on them, U-Roy shows the world why he is considered an iconoclast and trailblazer. In all honesty, there are few standouts on the album since they all run a similar course, and all are captivating in their own way.
Modern listeners will especially note “Tide Is High,” originally by the Paragons (featuring dulcet-toned vocalist John Holt) and recorded later as a 1980 smash hit by Blondie. Each track here is a new adventure, and while U-Roy’s approach might take some getting used to, it will eventually capture your ears as it did the entire island of Jamaica in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Sit back, drop the needle, and enjoy."
Carl Michael von Hauswolff sonifies the invisible, the unheard in Still Life - Requiem, presenting the sounds emitted by physical matter, as extracted and revealed through emission spectroscopy executed at Linköping University, Sweden. Its a direct continuation of CMvH’s role as chief ghost hunter or Egon Spengler of the contemporary avant garde, and an eerily fascinating listen.
In the true sense of a psychopomp, CMvH acts as a bridge between dimensions and perceptions of life and inanimate matter, analysing its frequencies or entropic aura, then pitching up, amplifying the results until comprehensible by the human ear (between 15 and 14000Hz).
So far, so scientific, but the art creeps in where CMvH farther manipulates that material by stretching, looping and equalising it into something else. When heard in context of his intentions, those sounds form a requiem - a sort of comforting dedication to lost souls, which are usually human or animal, but in this case not necessarily so.
If you like listening at the threshold of perception and drawing your own conclusions from freaky sonics, your lugs deserve this one.
Áine O’Dwyer returns to MIE with Gallarais, an immersive, ghostly channelling of harp, keening vocals and acousmatic sound from the Brunel Tunnel, 50ft below The Thames in the heart of London. Gallarais acts as the follow-up to Aine’s acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 And II , also issued by MIE (and Fort Evil), and locates her first sighting since the amazing Locusts and Gegenschein dyad which totally grabbed our attention in 2016.
Sensitive as ever to her surroundings, these performances, recorded between 2013-2016, continue the themes of Áine’s Anything Bright and Startling  LP, returning her to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s tunnel to farther explore its unique sonic soul or sound architexture, employing its 3-4 second acoustic decay and the environmental sounds of water pumps, overhead planes, and subterranean trains as a subtly morphing, resonant space or ‘mystic cave’ for ritual sonic investigation.
Down there, Áine communes with the outside, modern world as well as the site’s deep topography, which was carved out - most probably by Irish hands and imbued with their spirit - over 150 years ago, while also making reference to ancient Greek notions of a passage to the underworld, or dimensions not usually known by the living. In this context, Áine’s harp and vocals become timeless tools of transcendence, elegantly carrying the weight of ages into the present with an expressively freeform, improvised spirit that that links thousands of years of music as a means of connection with the unseen.
Tradition filtered thru a timeless vessel, we hear Áine’s harp flurries beautifully mingle with distant planes and trains in the opening piece, Underlight, while Cordophone captures a hauntingly jibber-jawed vocal lament, seemingly shivering in dark cold of the tunnel, and the piercing recorders or penny whistles of Mouthtoum feel to echo buskers as much as ship’s whistles.
However, the LP’s most captivating pieces are its two longest and most central to her concept of exploring a “personalised abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish keener”. This, quite literally in Beansidhe - translating from Celtic as Banshee - where she keens thru the air between near infrasonic basses and pealing hi-registers with solemn, glossolalic vocals and stark woodblock percussions, and then joined by six other performers for Hounds of Hades, where their massed moans are joined by the guttural rumble of engines and the dank drip of the tunnel’s unheimlich and emotively charged, psychoacoustic space.
Of course, that’s all just a guide or description of the record and its roots, and to fully connect with it, you need to occupy its acres of elusive negative space or dark matter to fully appreciate the effect of its contrasts and elegiac air.
Written and performed by Yasunao Tone. Recorded at ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, June 9th, 2016 by Bob Bellerue Mix and mastered by Russell Haswell. Photo by Cameron Kelley. Layout by Stephen O’Malley.
"I have had an idea if I apply the neural network to create my sound work for long time. When I had a performance at Centre Pompidou with Peter Rehberg and other friends I tried to talk about the idea with a French guy from IRCAM. But, he couldn’t understand my idea, which by using neural network the sound I create would never have any repetitions. That was 2002 and I had to wait until 2015 when I had a grant from New York State Council on the Arts through Issue Project Room, then its director Lawrence Kumpf applied for my new work. The grant finally made possible for making my cherished idea, the neural network piece, reality. I had talked about the idea with Prof. Tony Myatt at Surrey University, UK and he developed the software for the piece with a team included Dr. Paul Modler. At the lab in the University a series of my performances of my MP3 Deviation were captured and used to train Kohonen Neural Networks to develop artificial intelligences that simulate my performances. Hence a birth of new piece AI Deviations. I had a premiere at Issue Project Room on June 9th 2016 and the venue was more than packed and here is the performance of the piece." (Yasunao Tone)
Veronica Vasicka’s Cititrax serve a previously unheard document of Karl O’Connor aka Regis in his late ‘90s prime - only months after the release of his classic LP, Gymnastics - with five excepts from a live performance at The New York Film Academy on Union Square, Manhattan, January 4th 1997.
That info should be getting a few techno nuts hot under the collar, as will the five trax inside, documenting the shark-eyed and toothed bite of Regis at his most stripped down and deadly between the tangy klang and drive of Untitled I, the funked up acid chew of We Said No (Alt. Version) and a needling take of Translation, backed with the basic tonal language and infectious shuffle of Untitled II and, best of all, the bruxist pitbull clench and singing 909 of Careless Pedestrian.
Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen's Kiamos duo follow their 2012 debut 12" with a fully fledged LP of posh dance music.
Both artists approach the project from similar angles, marrying mutual taste for mnml tech-house rhythms with more mannered neo-classical sensibilities. It includes the previous single track, 'Thrown' plus seven new compositions, at best in the elegant swing of 'Swayed' and the melancholic electro-house shuffle of 'Bent'. "“We decided to start almost completely over with this record, so most of the material is written this year with the idea of making a record that can stand as one piece rather than a collection of songs. I am very excited to get a proper record out exploring a different territory than I am used to. I touch a lot on electronic genres in my own music but never have the opportunity to go full out electronic like we do here.” – Ólafur Arnalds. “
The Kiasmos project has been around since 2009, but because of all our other projects we never really got the time to sit down and write all the tracks we always wanted to. So when we early this year finally found the time to sit down and make a full length album there was so much we wanted to try out. The result surprised us a bit, it's deeper and more emotional than we imagined it to be, but that's the beauty of being able to make an album.” – Janus Rasmussen"