French Fried by Accou on Lexi Disques.
"Born a french, fried in Belgium, Accou recently delivered on stage ecstatic dancefloor sets for the techno enthusiast. Back to he intimacy of his studio, Antoine lets himself go to layered dreamy electronics with a warm loving feeling covered under six feet of snow. On the other side of the record, that noisy guitar sound coming straight out of the early nineties instantly catches the ear to an intense and joyful travel in time.
Lexi Disques is a maverick label based in Brussels since 2008 that explores the rich possibilities of the 7-inch record single. A welcoming home for experimental and adventurous musicians of diverse backgrounds, from fresh and vibrant faces to underground heroes, dwelling between the misty fields of psych-pop to the straight (and not so straight) roads of electronics."
Pot Valiant's Never Return, remastered from the original tapes.
"Loitering on the same Berkeley streets that birthed Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Crimpshrine, Pot Valiant (AKA Vagrants) developed their own style of Gilmangaze in the early-’90s. Compiled here are the band’s Lookout and Sunny Sindicut 7”s, Transaudio LP, comp tracks, and three previously unissued songs."
For this 1961 release, Mingus chose music composed before he heard the revolutionary playing of Charlie Parker.
The album features large ensembles and includes two swing-era contrapuntal mash-ups, with one song playing out of the left channel and another from the right.
Tight electro split from Detroit-Inspired Texan, ERP (aka Convextion), and Rotterdam’s Duplex
Gerard Hanson’s ERP works signature bassline flair under shuddering metallic arps and chiselled machine percussion in ‘ZRX’, while the Frustrated Funk figurehead Klen aka Ovatow makes one of his relatively rare but ever precious outings on the pendulous, tenderly dubbed and expansive Ovatow Reclock of Duplex’ s ’Molecular’, the standout of this session.
Brooding post-industrial tribalism and junglist prang-outs by London’s Kyyberwall featuring Susu Laroche and new for Milan’s Haunter Records.
Leading on from their 2022 debut with Xquisite Releases, Kyyberwall takes their menacing bristle to Haunter with a sort of soundtrack to imaginary places populated with the ghosts of Muslimgauze, Christoph de Babalon and Moin, resonating with like-minded aesthetics and spirits of Downwards’ Nonexistant or percussive warehouse/back alley/industrial zone disciplines of Vivid Oblivion and even Cut Hands.
There’s little melody or vocals to latch on to, but the info is all in the drums and the reverberating space between, with tracks ranging from the worm-charming bass and serpentine slither of ‘Not Far From The Tree’ on a Cut Hands tip, to bone-clak brukouts in ‘Gil Boy Son’ and the rictus twitch of ‘Underscore_’, with a standout in the silo-drumming thrum of ’55FF’ suffused with Susu Laroche’s wraithlike goth vox and suggestions of Arabic enigma, and swaggering post punk goth in ‘Drone Drum Function’.
The none-more-keenly awaited vinyl debut of Japan’s inimitable goat is a 10 year anniversary reissue of their acclaimed first album, featuring YPY aka Koshiro Hino (half of KAKUHAN) in nanometric syncopation with the exemplary no wave/experimental quartet - Huge RIYL Moin, Klaus Dinger, Wharton Tiers, Mark Fell.
Arguably the tightest band we’ve ever seen play live, Osaka’s goat are the definition of a cult property, beloved by the likes of Mark Fell and Rian Treanor, yet unfathomably little known beyond the heads. As their maiden international release, the decade anniversary vinyl edition of ‘New Games’ should go some way toward rectifying that matter with its utterly captivating display of needlepoint-precise drums and flinty guitar prioritising pure percussive sound and propulsion over melody. In a sense, they operate in a tradition that reaches back to experimental rock forms pursued by Klaus Dinger with Neu!, Wharton Tiers’ catalytic work in the NYC no wave underground, or indeed the uncompromising, pointillist percussive bias of Mark Fell, but all with an in-the-moment agility and airtight precision that’s pretty much breathtaking if you ask us.
With the scene now prepped in recent years by band-member Koshiro Hino’s stream of rhythmically compelling sides as YPY and Hinosch on his birdFriend & NAKID labels, the rest of the world is set to catch up with the might of goat’s ‘New Games’. Typically taking up to and over 10 minutes to cycle thru their permutations per track, Hino, Ando, Tatami and Nishikawa pucker up the sharpest rimshot and neck-top interplay in the LP’s title piece, rupturing the sheer latticed patterns with stop/start punctuation that lets you know they’re doing it live, and subtly but exactingly shifting patterns between the panic-attack of ’STD’, to more lissom evocations of Asian and African rhythmelody in ‘Solid Eye’ or the sinuous muscularity of ‘On Fire’, while unravelling a wickedly knotted miniature ‘Ghosts (Part 1)’ primed for DJ and radio use.
Playing right on the sweetspot where experimentalism yields to propulsive purpose, goat are uniquely worthy of their moniker in its acronymic sense, practically showing up everything either side of them as lazy and uninspired in relief of their meticulous drills.
YOUTH’s Italian ambassador reprises a pulpy sense of nostalgia, indulging in sentimental melody and wistful ambient texturing for romantics into anything from 0PN to Fennesz, Hajj, Malibu, Incunabula.
‘Beautiful Age’ is SSIEGE’s reflection on adolescence and the gauzy fidelity of memory, using an electro-acoustic array of piano, samples, tape loops, synths and field recordings to evoke feelings of longing for the eternal spring of youth. The 10 tracks return to the palette of saturated colours found in his well received 2019 debut LP, ‘Fading Summer’ and subtly calibrate the contrasts to evoke the entropic siltiness of memory recall. Largely shy of fixed rhythms and elegantly pulsing in mid-air, the drifting music suggests a throwback to therapeutic new age ambient as much as the cues and signposts of melodramatic TV soaps and film soundtracks.
As implied in the title and decay of ‘Dub Sottomarino’ or most explicitly in the air-trodding ‘Bianca’, dub process is also a lowkey guiding light for the album, lending a spectral opacity and space that helps encourage the mind to regress, drift, and depart the prosaic. It blesses the lead track with an underwater quality that also leaches into the waterlogged synth lead vamps and skeletal steppers rhythms of ‘Veyl’ and through to the vapourware adjacent title credits of ‘Close Friends’. In the gauzy tender bits between he probes a fine spectra of feels from the drizzly reverie ‘Fata Foresta’ to forlorn solo piano figures of ‘Cg104’ and a pearlescent highlight of disembodied dance music structures and dolphin calls akin to Hajj in ‘Terza Acqua’, while ‘Drama Lover’ metaphorically seals the soft focus pulpiness with a coy glance of choral pads and a deglazed, low-lit mood.
Evoking the American primitive ambience of Bruce Langhorne's influential 'The Hired Hand', Jim O'Rourke's latest is a gorgeous, quietly resonant and slow-moving snapshot of the wide North American landscape, or “prairie gothic”. Rendered thru simmering jazz keys, microtonal drone, double bass, piano and skittering percussion, it’s just completely unmissable gear that comes highly recommended to anyone with a Jim obsession, or for those of you who love those Tindersticks scores for Claire Denis as much as we do.
Jim O'Rourke's flirtation with cinema has been one of the reliable constants in his lengthy, prolific career. His best-known trilogy of albums 'Bad Timing', 'Eureka' and 'Insignificance' were named after Nicolas Roeg films, and even 'The Visitor' was a reference to Roeg's Bowie vehicle 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'. He's made his own short films, got involved with Werner Herzog's 'Grizzly Man' and scored a handful of independent features, most notably Todd Louiso's odd, underrated 'Love Liza’, as well as contributing to Eiko Ishibashi acclaimed ‘Drive My Car' soundtrack.
Set in the prairies of Western Canada, 'Hands That Bind' is a surrealist fusion of science fiction and Western tropes from maverick director Kyle Armstrong. O'Rourke has worked with Armstrong before on 2018's 'Until First Light’, and is here given license to render Armstrong’s skewed vision of Alberta with plenty of room for creative movement. Its eerie, foreboding landscape is mirrored via intricately engineered environmental recordings and pitch-warped instrumentation. At times it shimmers with the darkness of François Tétaz's influential score for Aussie horror classic 'Wolf Creek', recalling the film's spacious landscape via electric pulses and fudged radio static, suddenly diverting to a more gothic re-imagining of pastoral folk, dissolving its homespun instrumentation into oily pools of electro-acoustic abstraction.
On opener 'Go Spend Some Time With Your Kids', O'Rourke reels us in with glacial bowed strings and luxurious double bass, almost imperceptibly fucking with the pitch to prepare us for the rest of the album's peculiar intonation. Everything gradually starts to quietly curdle through grotesque hisses and unusually tuned string knocks, piping pastoral Americana into rougher, off-world spaces. Subtle even at its most vivid, the suite of tracks bubbles beneath Armstrong's wide expanse, bringing in manipulated field recordings to enhance the feeling of connected disconnectedness. But O'Rourke’s score never feels detached; when the sound starts to drift into abstraction, he pulls it back with a vibraphone, or a stifled orchestral swoop.
'A Man's Mind Will Play Tricks On Him' paints the album's sonic palette into what might hew closest to O'Rourke's 'Bad Timing'-style material. Using alternative tunings on the instrumentation, it feels a bit like watching a performance through a cracked, frosted lens. It's familiar but also not, perfectly capturing the film's disquieting visuals. Elsewhere, on 'Here Is Where I Seem To Be...', he dilates billowing drones into poetic reflections to draw us into the uncanny landscape in much the same way we feel listening to Eliane Radigue.
O'Rourke has crafted an album that's both driven by the film’s visual language and able to stand tall on its own. It's a remarkable achievement, even for him.
The quietly devastating ’Picture of Bunny Rabbit’ forms a long fabled studio sequel of sorts to Arthur Russell’s divine debut and sole album, ‘World of Echo’, offering up nine previously unreleased recordings from the same, enchanted 1985/86 sessions.
Quite simply ‘World of Echo’ is among the most important, groundbreaking avant-pop records of the late c.20th, so the release of ‘Picture of Bunny Rabbit’ after 38 years in the archive is nothing short of momentous. Sourced from a fiercely guarded archive and one of two test-pressings - dated 9/15/85 by Arthur, as supplied by his mother and sister - this posthumous release nestles a radical iteration of Russell's classic ‘In The Light of the Miracle’ and a gobsmacking title song amid its treasures, which are bound to send the late, great auteur’s acolytes reeling upon contact. Honestly it’s once in a lifetime gear; be wowed now or later - up to you - but wowed you will be.
A pivotal node of NYC’s legendary ’70s downtown experimental scene, who uniquely joined the dots between country-folk, contemporary classical, disco, and the avant-garde, Arthur Russell was tragically diagnosed with HIV in 1985, the same year he released ‘World of Echo’. Beyond an inner circle and those in the know, its dreamlike, disembodied chamber-pop was sorely under appreciated at the time, yet has only grown in stature with the benefit of hindsight, becoming name-checked by almost any modern singer-songwriter worth your time. ‘Picture of Bunny Rabbit’, so named for a standout dedication to a pet of Arthur’s pal, now returns us to the waking dream of ‘World of Echo’ decades advanced and maybe a little wiser, more cynical, yet it still hits harder than we could ever have expected.
The nine parts are lovingly sequenced into an album that ideally showcases the humbling halcyon of Russell's genius. Vacillating achingly beautiful, nuanced ‘Fuzzblaster’ instrumentals for amplified cello and keys with songs, proper, such as the whispered folk-blues of ‘Not Checking Up’ and the nerve-knitting strokes of ‘Telling No One’, it all wraps us up in the most human, cathartic embrace. His phasing, skeletal gem ‘Very Reason’ and synaestehtic sensuality of ‘The Boy With a Smile’ are clearly cut of the same cloth as ‘WoE’, and have a similarly beatific effect, but if we’re playing faves the final couplet are just utterly beyond.
With the title song ‘Picture of Bunny Rabbit’ we’re privy to a stunning, tragically unexplored trajectory for his songcraft into glitching dissonance that betrays his roots in the avant-garde and, likewise, offering us hints as to where it could have gone, while the wobbling, plucky raptures of his new version to ‘In The Light of the Miracle’ characterises the open-ended spirit and mutability of his compositions, sounding distinctive as ever thanks to his eternally fragile yet striking falsetto. Alongside 2022’s ’Sketches for World of Echo: June 25 1984 Live at Ei’, this stunning new suite helps build a true picture of Russell’s gift, we're lucky to be able to bear witness.
Croatian Amor's A Part of You in Everything - a companion piece to 2022's Remember Rainbow Bridge.
“"My younger brother died at birth and I never had a chance to meet him. Growing up he was my ghost friend, someone told me he lived in the stars which I accepted. I had not paid attention to him for many years but when I was making "Remember Rainbow Bridge” and waiting for my son to come into the world he suddenly appeared again. I partly dedicated Remember Rainbow Bridge to him, but I knew that it wasn’t his record, so I thought I should make one just for him and here it is; “A Part of You in Everything”, 8 songs about being human on Earth. I think it’s music which is best listened to at night out under the stars. Thank you to all my friends who helped making it!” - Croatian Amor."
Divine, smouldering DIY pop by Éire’s Elaine Howley ov Crevice, Howlbux and The Altered Hours esteem, on the excellent Touch Sensitive label.
Pushing all the tender buttons for fans of Tirzah, Broadcast, Carla Dal Forno, or even Elaine’s hero and Irish legend Mary Black; the Cork-based musician beautifully measures ‘The Distance Between Heart And Mouth’ with nine low key songs wrought with richly enchanting melodic substance and an etheric, subtly dubwise spirit that, once heard, won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Keener ears/eyes may have caught Elaine’s standout dedication ‘Song For Mary Black’ on the ace ‘Wacker That’ comp, way back in pre-Covid days (2019), but never mind if you slept on it, ‘cos its aetheric invocation is nestled here among many more bewts, spanning the gorgeous Keenan-esque dirge-pop of ’Silent Talk’, burbling edge-of-the-‘floor shuffle on ’Autumn Speaks’, and the smoke curl mystery of ‘Archaeological Longing’, plus the quietly frayed, looping genius of ‘To The Test’ or psychedelic dream sequence ‘Buried Way Out’.
No need to overegg it, this is just sheer, timeless class that we wager will be on a lot of end of year lists.
Pharoah Sanders' painfully misunderstood 1976 spiritual jazz left turn has finally been officially reissued and remastered, with the vinyl and CD versions including two additional, tracks "Harvest Time Live", recorded in 1977. Crucial, cosmic material that opened the floodgates for a wave of ambient and new age jazz experimentation in the decades the followed.
They weren't ready for 'Pharoah' when it was originally released - the album's meditative sway of double bass, expressive low and slow sax, harmonium and gentle percussion fell on sharply critical ears, who preferred the bandleader's more virtuosic turns. Listening now, the 20-minute 'Harvest Time' sounds almost prophetic; taking inspiration from Alice Coltrane (the two had already collaborated extensively by the time this was recorded), Sanders crafts a levitational prayer that's informed by free jazz but not trapped by its aesthetic. His usual angular skronk is nowhere to be found on this opening side, lulled into a peaceful warble by Steve Neil's pointed bass plucks and Bedria Sanders' harmonium drones. And while in the mid '70s the track was considered unusual, its mostly beatless flex sounds completely in line with countless reductionist jazz exercises that have followed - most recently from artists like Nala Sinephro and Sam Gendel.
From the label:
"With Pharoah Sanders’ blessing, we present the definitive, remastered version of PHAROAH, his seminal record from 1977, in an embossed 2 LP box set. Alongside the original record, we’re including two previously unreleased live performances of his masterpiece, “Harvest Time," and a 24-page booklet with rarely seen photographs and ephemera, which tell the story of this album and this moment in Pharoah’s life in a way that has never been done before—including through interviews with many of the participants and a conversation with Pharoah himself.
For those of you who already know this record, then you know that its origin story is as elusive as Pharoah was about everything Pharoah. It was born out of a misunderstanding between him and the India Navigation producer Bob Cummins, and was recorded when he was at a crossroads in his career with an unlikely crew. Among them was a guitarist who was also a spiritual guru, an organist who would go on to co-write and produce “The Message,” and a classically trained pianist—his wife at the time, Bedria Sanders—who played the harmonium despite never having seen one. At times ambient and serene, at others funky and modal, PHAROAH radically departed from his earlier work. And it became beloved.
Last fall, we were working with Pharoah on this project when he unexpectedly passed away. At first, it was hard to know what to do. We loved him, and the reason you do all of this is not solely for the music, but also for the person who made it. It’s their personality, their humor, and their wishes that drive you forward. So, we decided to go deep into the research. We set out to create something that showed Pharoah and his music in a new light. For seasoned listeners and new acolytes both, Pharoah will never sound the same."
All-time classic, life-changing biz.
Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and its legendary offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a "Versions" release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon").
A History of Musical Pitch contains three works by Seamus Cater.
"This album includes Cater's creative response to the work of Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890), who presented a paper 'The History of Musical Pitch' to the Royal Society in 1880. Ellis was a mathematician, collector, philologist and musical enthusiast, who spent a lot of time measuring the exact frequencies of contemporary and ancient musical instruments, and so is remembered as one of the founders of comparative musicology.
Two of the pieces on the disc are 're-soundings' of Ellis's research, and a tribute to his enthusiasm for alternative tuning systems (he performed at the Royal Society with his own concertinas that used experimental tuning systems)."
Unnamed operators stress-test their machines on a properly bilgy dispatch by London’s anonymous SM-LL collective
The session churns out four gobs of uncompromising synth gunk permutations with a particularly bad-minded appeal. ‘SDT’ pitches into darkside electronics and ‘DTE’ feels like they’re waterboarding a computer. ‘DSD’ harnesses the grottiest synth juice and squeal, and ‘DT’ leaves in no doubt this is one of SM-LL’s grimmest.
parallaxis forma presents three compositions by Catherine Lamb.
"The compositions are: 'parallaxis forma' (2016) played by Lotte Betts-Dean (voice) and Explore Ensemble; 'pulse/shade' (2014) performed by Lotte Betts-Dean; and 'color residua' (2016/2020) played by Explore Ensemble and Exaudi Music Ensemble."
An album from andPlay - Maya Bennardo on violin, and Hannah Levinson on viola.
"Brilliant performances of two pieces: Catherine Lamb's 'Prisma Interius VIII' (Melodic Duo) and Kristofer Svensson's 'Vid stenmuren blir tanken blomma'."