Iceland’s Bjarki hits a vein of icy trance techno and braindance on his 6th release with Nina Kraviz’s трип label.
On the A-side he reins in the braindance tics of recent releases to get back on the boom boom with moody, deriving effect in Thodn Med Skit a Master and then at an old skull AFX angle with the brooding, off-coloured harmonics of This 5321.
Turn over and you’ll find him mashing those styles with breaks and grumbling acid a la Astrobotnia on Galopinn Muninn, before erecting the steepled braintrance dimensions of Fimmtudgur 16-2 to sound like a a night lost in the smoke at Havoc or in some Hackney warehouse.
Featuring exclusive tracks and collabs feat Jlin & Zora Jones, DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, Murlo, L-Vis 1990, v1984, Swing Ting, Famous ENo, Sinin Hawke and many more...
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones weigh in a wide and heavy 20-track volley of collaborations with everyone from Jlin to Swing Ting and v1984 on Visceral Minds 2; a hypercoloured showcase of the audio components to their ongoing A/V explorations - run go to their Fractal Fantasy site to see them in context!
Coming quick on the heels of Sinjin Hawke’s solo expo, First Opus, this suite exemplifies the bountiful bonds both he and Zora have developed with a worldwide network of artists who share a mutual vision of optimistic and forward-leaning dancefloor pressure in the contemporary field.
Adept at every style they turn their four hands to, from Zora’s warped footwork bender Dark Matter with Jlin to Sinjin’s footwork hypersoul turn with DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad which bookend the set, thru to the knee-bending bashment of Killa Season with Swing ting and Trigga, or the weightless turbulence of Zora’s Don’t head-spinner with Martyn Bootyspan, they’ve clearly got the sport of chops that should make many other producers very jealous.
That Swing Ting joint is a really big highlight, but we’re also most partial to the highly strung orchestrations of All Black featuring Sinjin with Rihcelle and Xzavier Stone, which starts out sounding like Maxwell Sterling then switches up the hardest drums we’ve heard in a minute, whilst one of the strongest moments comes from their own steam in the Zora & Sinjin zinger, No Shame.
No mistake, this set is a shiny peak of club music in 2017.
Finders Keepers and Demdike Stare’s Dead-Cert label unearth a record that has evaded collectors and online discographies for over 40 years - perhaps the rarest artefact they have reissued thus far. It's an impossible-to-find Italian library music oddity from semi-mythical producer and Fabio Frizzi collaborator Giuliano Sorgini, aka Raskovich, with a spellbinding collection of obscure and mind-bending oddities, Minimalist tape experiments, mechanical noise and musique concrète.
Best regarded for his groundbreaking electro-acoustic and concrète sound design input to The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue and Zoo Folle, Raskovich is also linked to a wealth of impossible-to-find cult LPs with Alessandro Alessandroni’s Braen, Giulia Alessandrini’s Kema, and their mysterious supergroup The Pawnshop, all amounting to a catalogue which assures his place in the pantheon of library music greats.
Going deep into their under-the-counter channels, Dead-Cert have again outdone themselves with this outing, salvaging Science & Technology from total obscurity to reveal an innovator working at the full extent of his avant imagination in a sort of cybernetic symbiosis with his studio-as-instrument. Keening between sounds as much suited to a blood-lusting horror as a psychedelic, drug-fuelled thriller or some esoteric sci-fi, he penetrates and opens up vividly magnetising realms of abstraction that just beg to be explored by listeners who think they’ve heard it all before.
Erring closer to the kind of minimalist negative space and fractured dynamic favoured by Belgium’s IPEM, or even pre-echoing the atonality of Maurizio Bianchi, for example, as opposed the fluffier lounge tendencies found on many recent reissues from his field, Science & Technology lives up to its title with impressionistic depictions of industry and plugged-in life evocatively animated under titles such as Fissione Nucleare and Biochemica, or accurately modelling processes in the mutant, polymetric patterning of Germinzione.
It really takes albums like this one to remind us of the prescient collective and individual genius of the Italian library music scene, especially at a time when the quality levels, in terms of musical intrigue and uniqueness, not just presentation, is being called into question by a swell of inferior, or just plain unnecessary library music relics. As Andy Votel explains; "this release is quite unlike the many projects that have recently flooded the reissue market and stands up as one of the truly unobtainable and wholly original records to come from this important era of European studio music by a composer whose reputation is slowly approaching monarchial status."
Simply, it’s an engrossing example of the innovative technique and inventive imagination which made Italy a most legendary crucible of experimental music.
Grassroots selection of 17 covers played, recorded and mixed by Glasgow youth at Green Door studios. Includes satisfyingly raw, freaky and swaggering takes on Bowie, Joy Division, Gloria Jones, Devo, The Normal…
“One glance at this brazen cassette's track list offers a litany of seminal funk works, garage rock standards, R&B classics, loose disco, and new wave dirges, as well as several artifacts that seem to derive from no extant source. Unsurprisingly, this is not the cover compilation of a music-by-numbers, keyboards in the classroom, kumbaya-strumming enterprise. This is the real deal: music made by Glasgow youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Created, inexhaustibly managed, and exhaustively taught by Emily McLaren, Stuart Evans, and a host of Glasgow's musical players, the Green Door Studio's NEET course allows young people to record & mix their own efforts– for free– by drawing on production techniques of modern history's wildest studios: those of Phil Spector at Gold Star, Lee Perry's Black Ark, Visconti's Good Earth Studios, Sly & Robbie at Compass Point, and Conny Plank in his farm at Wolperath. Banded together in session groups, the young people run through old instructional staples, take these to heart, take them apart, bring new things to bear, and record the results.
Spiraling teenage riffs; loping, mopey bass lines; vocals both sanguine and sangfroid; haunted percussion; rude sequences; and baggy drums are whirled together through really reel-to-reel analogue production that leaves David Bowie's mix of Raw Power in the dust. With a kick drum mic taped to a brick, this is a sweet, kaleidoscopic slice of life in the Green Door Studio, and many seasons' worth of work that might make other musical efforts sound like cynical after-school specials.
Witness the next: extreme Martin Hamnett-baiting drum gating on Digital; why-not strings for synths on Jocko Homo; the essentialist sweat of Me and My Baby Brother; an office-party photocopy of Hurdy Gurdy Man; one of the best versions of Tainted Love ever recorded; plus two more large handfuls of precious stones and rough gems– rooftop bootlegs, hair-raising rip-offs, dead-thing-prodding freakouts, and lengthy excursions across the highways out of here– that openly defy your rules and question your technical comprehension.”
Classy new takes on classic rare grooves. RIYL Dego, Kaidi Tatham, Herbie Hancock
“22a017 has arrived and it sees two of London’s most celebrated underground producers enter into album territory.
Comprised of ten cuts ‘Brick City’ takes the listener on a journey through Afro-House, Funk, Rare Groove, Boogie and Broken Beat to name a few. Tunes like ‘Brick City (4am)’ and ‘Butterfly’ groove effortlessly whilst synth leads interject over tasty chords, all the while being supported by solid bass lines – these two will undoubtedly set a strong pace on the dancefloor. ‘Funky Booda’ does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a straight Funk classic! Its infectious groove and soaring leads are sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet. ‘Be Ur Friend’ is a fiery Afro-House number - reminiscent of one of Tenderlonious's early releases ‘Bob’s Riddim.’ With a slow build, the listener is teased until finally the drums drop and all hell breaks loose – another dancefloor winner! There’s also more hip-hop inspired selections like ‘Brick City (4pm)’ or ‘Pepe’s Walk,’ which bump hard and have strong traces of Sa-Ra and J Dilla influence.
The record comes complete with quirky skits like ‘Bootsy’ and ‘Ferndale Gateaux,’ which blend in and out between the other tunes allowing the record to flow effortlessly from beginning to end. There is something for everyone on this album. It’s the kind of record you can play at home from start to finish or take out to the club as an essential dancefloor filler. It pays homage to the 22a ethos, it has mass appeal and yet still maintains a high level of quality! In short this album solidifies the duos ability to make great music with their own signature sound, unique to their world and lifestyle.
2017 is all about 8R1CK C17Y!”
Strong house soul transfusion from Byron The Aquarius to Eglo Records
Dancing from the pendulous pace setter Song For a Friend thru the ruder, jazzed-up jack of Mind Body & Soul to hit the downstroke with class on Blow Your Mind and S.S.D.P.
First ever presentation of The Lower Depths , Charlemagne Palestine’s epic, systematic 3-part investigation of his trusted Bösendorfer grand’s capacity to produce notes lower than any other piano. Keener observers may have noticed a track called The Lower Depths on his Godbear LP, which was reissued last year by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle, but this set was recorded at his famous red and gold loft on North Moore Street in Tribeca, and predates that recording by some ten years.
Totalling nearly 3 hours of works made over 3 consecutive performances at his loft space, the recordings effectively describe a transition in cadence from the centre of piano’s keyboard in CD1, to a register two octaves below in CD2, finally arriving at its thrumming Lower Depths before dramatically rising back up again in CD3, all offering a raucous, transfixing testament to the man’s genius in stunning full flow.
As Palestine himself refers to the trilogy of pieces as being “like a soap opera… you get your share of tears and laughter… i watch the afternoon ones that aren’t as visionary, keep it real, the yicky ones” you should have some idea of the typical levels of melodrama and emotion that he puts into these works, which while definitely avant and experimental, also work on an immediate and transcendent level meant to be understood and felt by anyone with ears and an empathetic heart.
With pedals pressed for maximum sustain throughout all parts, Palestine wreaks increasingly intense havoc right on the line between ecstasy and violence across the trilogy, coursing from jagged, jabbing flurries and their lushly discordant harmonics in the first, to panic-raising levels by the time he really hits the lower ends in track 2 of Part 2, and then really gunning for the Bösendorfer’s bowels in a jaw-dropping, thunderous descent, then spiralling back up for breath in a manner that may leave listeners with the bends.
Of course, that’s a simple description of the work’s general dynamic, but the nuance lies in the way Palestine can simultaneously bathe us in fire and still give us the chills, baffling the senses with its majestically chaotic yet sublime clangour. If you’re susceptible to the power of his glissandi as much as us, we rate you’ll fall hard into this one.
Nachthexen are a band - possibly a coven - from Sheffield making fresh, fiery and eminently danceable synth punk.
"This record follows on and includes re-released songs from their excellent sold out cassette The Other (2015) and self-titled 7" (2016). Touching on themes of social anxiety and isolation, feminist protest, and sanctuary in sisterhood, the witch is a fitting figure for this sound. Striking, minimalist artwork based on lunar cycle imagery in the band's signature yellow and black adds to an aesthetic of outsider occultism that complements the lyric sheet perfectly.
Filter that eeriness through the ferocity of classic punk, and the catchiness of 80s post-punk and new wave - and you start to arrive at somewhere near their sound. Tight and taut drums and bass anchor the songs with sustained rhythms, while the synth soars above and the great, in-your-face vocals push at the forefront. At times the interplay between rumbling bass and gothic synth takes things to a dark magical place where Goblin's Suspiria, Gary Numan, and post-punks Siekiera might also converge, which I think is pretty remarkable.
On the other hand, something of the punchy attitude and ear-worm hooks recalls the spirit of women pushing punk forward in the late 70s and 80s - Kleenex springs to mind, or the rowdy vocals of Suicide Squad. However, I have the feeling that no attempt to settle on an accurate historical comparison for this band could be successful."
Specially cut to 7” for all the DJs with fat fingers, Kyle Hall follows up Speed of Life with the psychedelic beatdown swang of Teacher Plant and a scuffed soul nudge called D.S.P. (Dear Sweet Potato).
An educated guess would assume that Teacher Plant is Hall’s ode to the putative lushness of ayahuasca, giving up four minutes of earthy breakbeats and sweeping synthwork with a sweetly psychoactive effect.
D.S.P. (Dear Sweet Potato) on the other hand, slumps into a more laid-back state with crumpled drums and pitch-bent chromatic key strokes projecting a sort of arabesque, geometric lightshow for the back of your eyelids.
At long f**king last, DJ Bone’s stone cold Metroplex classic sees reissue on Anotherday for its 18th birthday, putting one of the deadliest Detroit electro-techno 12”s back into circulation for a new generation and those who’ve worn theirs to the bone (pun intended).
Riding The Thin Line notably features two cuts that were integral to DJ Bone’s seminal and incredible Subject: Detroit Volume 2 mix, namely Shut The Lights Off, a slamming tribal tool with stentorian vocals and utterly spine-freezing pads that get us every time, and the body messing acid-electro hydraulics of The Funk, which is pretty much a definitive answer to the question, what is Detroit electro?
Factor in the floating peak time pressure of The Haunting, pitch it all to about +4, and you’ve basically got an unmissable 12” for any self-respecting Detroit fiend.