180g release “Souvenir”, an album by a promising music maker from Japan's underground scene.
"Videotapemusic is a young music and video producer from Tokyo who uses old Japanese and Asian VHS tapes collected in dusty recycle shops and closed rental video stores as raw material for his sampling work and video production, creating a singular and highly unique musical world that has created waves on the Japanese scene since 2009. Starting out strong with three self-released albums, followed by two albums on Japanese label Kakubarhythm and a collaboration 12” on EM Records, “Souvenir” is now the first Videotapemusic album released outside of Japan.
The eight tracks in “Souvenir” also feature the cream of the crop from the current Japanese scene: Beipana on steel guitar, MC.sirafu on steel pan, saxophonists Satomi Endo, Satoru Takeshima and Kaoru Masuda, trumpetists Taichiro Kawasaki and Makoto Takahashi, DJ Eskimo, guitarist Yuichi Ushioda, percussionist and hand sonic player Hajime Matsushita, keyboardist Yu Arauchi, Videotapemusic on pianica and vocalists Sansuke Yamada, Toshihiko Ikeda and Ryu Tsuruoka. Dive into a world of musical delight and discover today’s best music from Japan!”
The prodigal return of Venezuelan artist Carlos Giffoni to the avant-electronic music scene he was instrumental in shaping with the seminal, hybridising No Fun Fest and No Fun Productions label, which was home to debut releases by Oneohtrix Point Never, and classics from Haswell and Prurient during the late ‘00s to early part of this decade. If yr into 0PN or Keith Fullerton Whitman, this album f u c k i n g r u l e s
Carlos’ first new release in 6 years, Vain was drawn from hundreds of hours of improvisations made at his Malibu studio, offering a tumultuous narrative in affective abstract swells and pulsating rhythms that trigger curious sensations and emotions ever familiar to his variegated, extreme, yet essentially organic output.
Despite not releasing anything for the past 6 years, Carlos still sounds like he lives and breathes electronic music. Where those ‘noise’ artists who originally played at No Fun Fest and released on his label have arguably carved out major career paths from myriad mutated genres, Carlos’ music still feels captivatingly ancient yet advanced and uncannily hypnotic.
In a cascade of minimalist arps and cloud dynamic harmonies, the album’s story starts in the vortex of Vain’s Face and sweeps thru the granular flux of The Desert to a staggering piece of noise techno dissonance in Erase The World, which calves away into the curled plunge of Hands and the anxious needling of We Pay The Price. At the mid-way point it turns lusher with the pulsing and coruscating kosmische tang of Stop Breathing, leading to the metric complexities woven into Faith and Pain and the heightened high-register sensitivities of I Can Change, whose shatterproof hyaline steeples ultimately deliquesce into the shimmering beauty of Sun Rain.
With hazy resolution and ambiguity of effect, the record works its magick in memorable style. Like the best abstract sonics of Peter Rehberg or Keith Fullerton Whitman, an intuitively applied formula of geometry, rhythm, tone and timbre add up to inexorable effect, rendering the closest possible connection between the machines and the artist’s pathos.
For syntesthetes and attuned listeners, the effect is likely to conceive new colours on the mind’s eye, and move them to finer states of emotive response. In others words: it’s a seriously good listen.
"Whether congregating in dimly lit halls or in forests, and whether mediated by e-mailed audiofiles or infiltrating darker realms of
consciousness, mysterious forces are being channelled by a shifting collective intent on psychic communion by any means necessary.
Bonnacons of Doom’s identities may be shrouded and hidden in the live arena, yet the force of their vibrations - as captured on the
unearthly vibrations and unholy revelations of their self-titled Rocket Recordings debut - is gloriously manifest.
“From the beginning, we’ve been really interested in the transformative possibilities of music” explains Rob, one such Bonnacon. “How it has the power to make us and the audience at that particular moment into something else. In particular, we’ve tried to work with repetition, volume and texture rather than traditional song structures. Anything that produces a stasis that people can get lost in rather than following something in a linear or obvious way” Whilst the line-up of Bonnacons of Doom has been known to morph with each undertaking, the prime movers in the principally Liverpoolbased collective endeavour have included members of Mugstar, Jarvis Cocker’s band and Youthmovies, donning robes and masks to sculpt altered states and subsume themselves to the ritual. Recording mostly in single-takes and in the band’s trademark improvisational method at Suburban Home studios by its owner and Hookworms frontman MJ, this recorded incarnation of Bonnacons’ arcane conjury operates stubbornly free of genre, sashaying alongside psych-rock, repetitive drone and electronic experimentation whilst consumed by a devotional intensity that’s multiplied by the transcendental echoing of vocalist Kate. “I guess our environment is another key influence” reckons Rob.
“We’re almost all from Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the landscape and mythology of the north is part of who we are. It’s darkness and beauty, the weirdness of its folk traditions, the independence of mind of its culture and the melancholy of its post-industrial grain. I think ultimately what we’re trying to achieve is a kind of Trans-Pennine hypnotic music.”
Deep house maverick Alan Abrahams follows his self-titled Portable album for Studio !K7 with these elegant cuts for Dial
Taking in the slinky hustle and sylvan keys of I Open My Eyes, along with the jazzier fuss of Wear Your Life Like A Loose Negligee on a very STL or Afrikan Sciences-compatible flex, while Sheltered Light finds him most beautifully crooning like Antony Hegarty.
Distant Animals is the artistic output of Daniel Alexander Hignell, a researcher and sound, video and performance artist from South East England.
"Hignell has developed a practice indebted to political and participatory resonance of creative acts, interrogating notions of autonomy, collaboration, and the tension between sense (what is perceived by the senses) and sense (what is made sensible by the community). He has recorded, written, performed and researched numerous socially-oriented sound works across Europe, often choosing to work with a diverse range of collaborators, including visual artists, choreographers, theologians, lawyers, and political activists.
Drawing upon the works of La Monte Young, Morton Feldman, Eleh, and Mauricio Kagel, the album employs a highly conceptual approach to its genre, incorporating the notion of the drone as both a compositional method, a spiritual approach, and a participatory tool for engaging its audience. The album contains a pack of 4 postcards, documenting a land-art intervention undertaken during the creation of the score. Included in each pack is an individually hand-stamped and numbered print, created by inclusive artist Layla Tully, and responding to the albums central theme - materiality, substance, emergence, and the process of 'line-making'"
Magisterial, glacial, attention-demanding and powerful exposition of Buchla 200 synth tones mapped to acoustic woodwind and brass by a promising young composer; Stockholm’s Kali Malone. A strong tip to fans of work by Caterina Barbieri, Emptyset, Sarah Davachi.
Arriving in the resonating wake of her self-released solo début Velocity of Sleep , and flanked by the recently issued Organ Dirges 2016-2017 tape for Ascetic House, the Cast Of Mind LP gently but grandly expands the constellation of Kali Malone's solo releases, next to her Upper Glossa collaborations with Caterina Barbieri, a tape with Ellen Akrbro, and acclaimed live performances.
Joined by Yoann Durant (Alto Sax), Isak Hedtjärn (Bass Clarinet), Gabriella Varga Kalsson (Bassoon), and Mats Äleklint (Trombone), Kali’s Buchla 200 Synthesiser forms the basis for a quartet of diaphanous and slowly unfolding electro-acoustic landscapes that externalise a highly personalised form of emotive topography.
In the titular opener, wood and brass trace the swooning ellipses of Kali’s Buchla contours in stately procession suggesting a sort of resigned march to battle, before the Buchla appears to dominate in the warped streaks of Bondage To Formula, but listen closer and it’s harder to tell whether it’s electronic or organic sources so fully lending flesh to her rich sound field.
The answer to that question is much clearer in Arched To Hysteria, whose keening, hunched electronic forces hold powerful potential to conversely induce paranoia and heavily hypnagogic effects, whilst Empty The Belief yields a lustrous, Raga-like drone capturing a marriage of Buchla and bassoon at their most transcendent and steeply attractive.
This one should be filed for reference and safekeeping beside recent transmissions from Sarah Davachi, Anna Von Hausswolff, and Catarina Barbieri = properly good.
8Ball’s rolling amen smasher Total Kontrolz goes thru the motions the front, but the one you need to check is Mr. G’s G10 Dub on the B-side
...where he yanks down the tempo to a rolling 125bpm for a rudely sub-fuelled breakbeat house killer, saving a synthy sting in the tail that keeps it burning up to the core.
In the golden, shimmering wake of his Ripple Effect album, Fluxion rolls out these effortlessly elegant dub house winners for Solar Phenomena.
Commencing with the gritty bottom end shift and fluid chords of Juxtaposed, the Greek producer tactfully tends to the ‘floor with hushed, jazzy swagger leading to velvet coated rooms in Versal, where Poise unfolds a sublime scene of bird calls and flute spritzed with hi-hats in the most seductive style, while Bound staggers along, dazed and wound up with woozy accordion.
A perfect complement to the sublime album, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Swaggering, jacking computer grooves and nothing but, from tuuun on Stockholm’s prism-tweaking Fluf label.
On 0014A it sounds like he’s splaying an 808, resulting a wickedly offset volley of spark-spitting hi-hats and bullwhip snare cracks that stagger and teeter in an agitated funk. Think Russell Haswell’s latin freestyle nods or Mark Fell’s Sensate Focus or a drier Rian Treanor.
However, 0014AA is straighter, jacked to the bone with booming, warped kicks and a lone vocaloid intoning ‘acid’ in stealthily evolving permutations for the duration. EVOL fiends, this one you!
Luke Slater gets back to his best as L.B. Dub Corp with a strong batch of spheric jackers and spaced out swingers for his Mote Evolver label
Where prevailing trends have tilted towards classic house, garage and trance, Slater is following his nose for a leaner sort of mix of classic early ‘90s house and the kinda minimal techno less heard since its early ‘00s heyday. To be fair that era’s due a 20 year revival, so maybe Slater’s just ahead of the curve?
Check for highlights in the hypnotic slow swagger of LBEES Jam, the rolling sound design of Reel One, the chunky pull of Edge 7, and the early/mid ‘00s minimal tekkers of Float When You Can and the ruggeder bleeper Forever In A Day.
Restless shapeshifter Deadboy pivots on a scuzzy, mongrel garage-house-&-techno tip for Local Action following dispatch of his début album Earth Body in 2017.
Deemz checks in a a breaksy garage sound revovling natty vocal ident and ringing bells in style recallign vintage Warlock warehouse gear. R-Less also keeps it warehouse, but with a looser, whirring swing that gets right in yer bones. Sheener yokes the groove to a simmering, bucking garage-meets-Dance Mania style, and Come Back to the World resolved that pent energy with lush Detroit / UK techno pads on a gnashing house rhythm.
Sublime, spiralling Harp and FX works from Mary Lattimore, collecting her first solo LP proper with Ghostly International, following a string of tapes, collaborations, and collections of older material issued since 2012. Ranging from the Enya-esque to West Coast new age flights of fancy and cinematic gestures flooded in unfalteringly positive light, ‘Hundreds of Day’ is one that some listeners will fall head over heels for
“"It was the most beautiful summer of my life." Memories — places, vacancies, allusions — are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft. Inside her music, wordless narratives, indefinite travelogues, and braided events skew into something enchantingly new. The Los Angeles-based harpist recorded her breakout 2016 album, At The Dam, during stops along a road trip across America, letting the serene landscapes of Joshua Tree and Marfa, Texas color her compositions. In 2017, she presented Collected Pieces, a tape compiling sounds from her past life in Philadelphia: odes to the east coast, burning motels, and beach town convenience stores. In 2018, from a restorative station — a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge — emanates Hundreds of Days, her second full-length LP with Ghostly International. The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.
Lattimore's voice sweeps beneath the plucks and washes of opener “It Feels Like Floating,” enraptured by the winding current, and reappearing in the second minute of the immense "Never Saw Him Again." The track elevates towards a shimmering apex of static and percussion before organ drone yields to signature halcyon flutters. As with much of Lattimore's work, the track titles are telling; "Baltic Birch" is a somber windswept march that sways gracefully out of step, a remembrance of a recent trip to Latvia where she was struck by the abandoned resort towns along the Baltic Sea. “Hello From The Edge of The Earth” is an earnest reflection of Lattimore’s love of the natural world, recognizing the thresholds of varying terrains.
The album's fifth track borrows its name from Lattimore’s favorite line in Denis Johnson’s short story “Emergency” from Jesus’ Son. A character, lost in a blizzard, reassesses a disjointed universe, a clash between curtains of snow and angels descending out of a brilliant blue summer: it isn’t an apocalypse, it is a drive-in movie, with stars hovering above the lot, off the screen, in the throes of the Midwestern storm. This mix-up is disorienting and existentially tragic; Lattimore's darkly strummed piece is a melancholic parallel, mimicking Johnson’s elegant suture attaching two remarkably discontinuous spaces.
Micro-revelations, not quite as bright as torn skies but nonetheless enlightening, were everyday occurrences during Lattimore's residency. Living small days with small tasks — feeling little dramas within the arcadian universe of a national park — rendered her the sense that disjointed spaces can be interconnected no matter the enormity that divides them. It's in this elastic scale of perception that something as simultaneously simple and intricate as Hundreds of Days can flourish.”
Complimenting Song for Alpha, Daniel Avery presents the Projector EP.
"Taking its title from one of the album’s spectral highlights this additional trio of original productions expands on Avery’s regenerated sonic vision. Leaning further towards the rhythmic and propulsive intent behind his recent, marathon DJ sets, the record serves to delve further still into his unfolding, ever-deepening sound.
Following the lead of ‘Projector’ itself, the record transitions into the first exclusive cut, ‘Shadow Mountain’. Soft in texture and bathed in ethereal feedback, a glitching, transfixing synth line gradually reveals itself as the spine of the piece.
Throughout ‘Glass’, an intimate, breathy vocal sample contrasts with a more industrially tinged base of heavily processed drums. Influenced by Song for Alpha’s embrace of the small hours, “the light emerging from the darkness”, both tracks conjure an almost overwhelmingly tender atmosphere, rich in the hazy strains of rave history.
On the more experimental REHBGBV4367, the seams of Avery’s influences lap against one another in a steady crescendo of beautiful yet beatless noise, dissipating into ambience. Expanding on the delicate core ideas at the centre of his creative ethos, the EP invites listeners on a further excursion of transient, psychedelic bliss."
Wolfgang Voigt commits one of GAS's most darkly sublime albums with 'Rausch', which arrives nearly one year on from Narkopop to remind us his position as the prince of ambient techno.
Meant to be listened to from end to end without interruption, but also included as seven discrete parts for those who need them, Rausch unfurls in diaphanous form along a depressed heartbeat march of padded kicks swept with distant horns and string swells in the faithful, time-honoured style of Wolfgang Voigt's finest recordings.
The difference lies in the feeling conjured by these swollen crests of abstracted instrumental textures and timbre. Rather than dreaminess or tranquilised melancholy, this one feels portent, impendingly stygian, as though summing up humankind’s incessant trudge toward a bleak unknown horizon, resulting in the emergence of sounds more akin to Sunn 0))), with his entrenched kicks struggling to break the gloom, and poetically losing out in the end.
313 fixture Stacey Pullen presents an 8-track accompaniment to his Detroit Love Vol.1 mix for a new sublabel of Carl Craig’s seminal Planet E and !K7.
Arriving 20 years since his classic DJ Kicks mix, Stacey draws for choice deep tribal gear from Gary Martin with We Get Down, plus the pendulous swagger of Craig Sherrad’s The Fader, along with a powerful techno roller from DJ 3000 on the first plate.
His 2nd plate brings a super infectious Marcellus Pittmann remix of MCDE’s Raw Cuts into play, along with the funked up tech-house of Remote Viewing Party and a brilliant kinda Electrifying Mojo vibe on Soulphiction’s Ann Arbor.
Versatile scroll right back to Paris, 1996 with two boogie cuts by core player I:Cube.
Just as a whole wave of dancers are coming onto late ‘90s filtered disco house right now - a sound which Versatile were instrumental in bringing about - I:Cube reasserts his foundational boogie influences in the suave, low key glyde of XXX (Abel’s Edit)[Live], and then in a style that strongly recalls NWAQ or Actress album tracks and his Thriller 12”s in the smudged swang of Etire en avant (Live).
CPU keep it close to home with Steel City son Evan Majumdar-Swift’s first release as 96 Back.
As the offspring of Matt Swift, promoter of Sheffield’s legendary Live Turkey events, Evan takes the city’s bleep and bass bloodline into 2018 with slickly updated but classic sounding production, while Warp co-founder Rob Gordon seals the SoYo deal with a dynamic mastering job.
A-side he hearkens back to Xon Network classic Dissonance in the stripped back, sub-heavy boom and recoil of 000 and a niggling, scaly concatenation called 050 on a more militant, shadowy dancefloor mission, repleted with coded voices.
B-side, he allows for some romance with the coy, slippery swing of 085, and brings back the boom with an acidic, Atkins-esque tang and crisply nagging snares in 100.
Cult industrial concerns, Bernd Kastner & Siegfried Michail Syniuga a.k.a. Strafe Für Rebellion, unveil their first new material since 2013 with The Bird Is Stolen, written and recorded at STRAFE Studio, Düsseldorf, Germany for their longterm supporters at Touch.
Joined by vocals from Caterina De Re, Strafe F.R. sustain their pursuit of the unheimlich and phantasmagoric into their 4th decade of operations, and still with the timelessly primordial, experimental vitality of their early work; which is maybe best described as if Chris Watson made music with Laszlo Hortobagyi and Xao Seffcheque while he was in flux between field recordings and playing in Cabaret Voltaire.
In classic but completely up-to-date fashion, the soundd of The Bird Was Stolen is remarkably striking, full of unique resonances, acousmata and complex timbres that keep ear highly entertained and trained across their sound field of Ddisembodied, centre-less, and uneasy dynamics. Thus its fair to hear Strafe F.R.’s sound as in essence a form of industrial dub music that shares as much in common with contemporaneous avatars NWW and Dome as aspects of Jay Glass Dubs or even Raime in the modern sphere.
References aside, though, The Bird Was Stolen firmly holds it own, working on such a level of tough-edged psychedelic abstraction and crisp clangour that shows their experience in spades and proves they were never some half-arsed dilettantes, but the real, cranky thing who can’t help but best express themselves this way. Basically this is one industrial revival that’s worth checking out. Shame we couldn’t say that more often.
OG grime architect Terror Danjah gets loose and lush on the Super Set EP
Linking with Trends for the swingeing calypso grime of Control Alt Delete, and with longtime spar D.O.K. for the bright and choppy Shock After, but left to his own devices he goes weirder, wonkier on the swollen dub freak Nosedive and then with a flash lick of boogie chords and R&G vibes in Patron X.O Cafe.
Cómeme ring-master Matias Aguayo spearheads this playful session with the offset tribal EBM churn of Selvagem
Katerina melds filigree, woozy Euro synths with dusty jack track in Trouble Boy, Daniel Maloso x Red Axes cut loose and psychy with En La Oscuridad, and Gladkazuka takes the jack where the sun don’t shine with the darkroom canter of Futuro Caos.
Playful, daft, sleazy boogie house and funk styles from Oslo via Glasgow
“It’s the return of the sexual vigilante Sex Judas and his trusted sidekick Ricky. This time in full album mode. Norwegian producer Tore Gjedrem of Ost & Kjex fame, channels his love of comix, bohemia and fascination with human vice, the unspoken, the Red Light districts, the alleys of the mind into his alter ego.
Sex Judas is no bad character but certainly says what it’s author cannot. “I wanted to create a world where any musical idea is possible, wound together by the world and word of Judas, the ultimate sinner, reborn as a child of Venus.”
Inspiration ranges from Africa to 80’s NYC, from Bohannon to Quasimoto, from Norwegian New Wave to Acid House. With contributions by friends in the Oslo scene as hometown legend Dj Pål Strangefruit Nyhus, composer Ole-Henrik Moe, jazzpianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidiki Camara from Mali playing that beautiful Ngoni, and multi instrumentalist Ivar Snuten Winther, the album touches anything from blues, funk, disco and post-punk to IDM, acid house and electronic explorer music.”
Wobbly acid funk misfits from Kelpe, making his first outing since The Curved Line  album
Fathoming sub-tropical acid lushness in Polymard, a mid-tempo electro-disco-acid strut recalling Luke Vibert in Polymare, along with some muttley funk in Polymarf, and a canny subaquatic acid abstraction named Polymang.
Super pitcher, Samo DJ, L.B. Dub Corp and Powder provide the obligatory remixes to Axel Boman and John Talabot’s debut Talaboman album. The Powder mix is the one...
Aksel Shaufler does a low-key and stealthy job on Dins El Lit, taking 11 minutes to bring it up from greyscale groove to cascading stellar outro; Samo DJ gets much ruder with an electro sidespin of The Ghosts Hood; Luke Slater takes Brutal Chugga Chugga to the warehouse for a nagging jackers drill; and hotly tipped Japanese artist Powder swangs some wildly sloshing subs under Loser’s Hymn with delirious and deliciously physical effect.
On in High Dive for the excellent UNO NYC label, Blue Angels switches tack to a slower, gauzier sound driven by dembow drums and rendered with widescreen reverb.
Far Out is primed for dancefloor aches with killer R&B vocal loop underpinned by brooding bass in a very Holy Other style, while Why crawls along at megadon pace like BoC meets DJ Screw.
Term Three then comes saltier on a distorted dembow bogle, and Floss fades out like a smudged take on DJ Python.
The starkest gear we’ve heard from Stuart Chalmers
Dropping the cut-up schtick for stare-down drones and the kind of gloom that comes early in the evening in steep valleys. Alternatively, it’s “A Journey in 6 stages through the dark regions of the mind and hidden realms of unconsiousness.”
Marcus Marr’s muggy chuggers remixed in new ways
From the radiant glow of Ara Koufax’s take on Love Release, thru to Prosumer’s ruddy, sub-heavy disco house mix of Rocketship, and Justin Van Der Volgen’s French-vocalled version of the pick-up piece, Familiar Five.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ new album ‘Sparkle Hard’ is released via Domino Records.
"It’s light ’n’ breezy, head-down heavy, audacious, melancholic and reflective, goodtime and bodacious and it pulls off the smartest trick: it’s both unmistakeably The Jicks and - due to the streamlining of their trademark tics and turns, plus the introduction of some unexpected flourishes (Auto-Tune, a fiddle, guest vocalist Kim Gordon, one seven-minute song with an acoustic folk intro) - The Jicks refashioned."
Superb selections and sequencing from Forest Swords on his DJ-Kicks instalment
Cutting across the board from The London Bulgarian Choir’s Pilentsee Pee (as referenced in the Ghost In The Shell OST), thru Rhythm & Sound’s Best Friend evergreen; rude post punk from Anna Domino and Neneh Cherry; skulking D&B by FIS & Tokyo Prose; goth steppers from Dead Can Dance; a elusive beauty by Kara-Lis Coverdale; spidery jazz techno rhythms from Laurel Halo, Rupert Clervaux & Beatrice Dillon; and esoteric charms by Demdike Stare, Orbital, David Toop and Baka Forest People of Southeast Cameroon.