Devilish jungle-dub-techno and 2-step ballistics from René Pawlowitz (Shed, Wax) in Hoover mode. Ordarrrrrrrr!
Following in the slipstream of his wicked outing as The Higher for XL, the Hoover tracks are a more aerodynamically tucked and efficient, synching razor-cut breaks, reverberant dub chords, guttural sub and sparing diva stabs on the A-side, whereas the B-side steps off like a freshly trimmed and faded El-B, Menta or Steve Gurley pushing the tempo to 160bpm, or even Errorsmith and I-Sound’s Disco Consultant alias when the piano chords come clambering in, before delivering a scything roundhouse of mentasms, Photek-style drums and even samples of John bloody Bercow seckling the rabble over more pianos. Who says Germans don’t have a sense of humour?
Unmissable for that one at the least!
Issued just as Bala say goodbye to their cult club night, Rulez’ ‘Hyper.Puteria’ epitomises the label’s current, grimy indie-pop/R&B/reggaeton aesthetic
Leading on from highly enigmatic EPs by 2 Mothers and label co-founder Katie Vick, Rulez follows his ‘Intentions’ production with a tightly wound sound landing somewhere between early Timbaland’s late ‘90s/early ‘00s R&B eccentricities, fashion party fetish pop and dead cold dembow rhythms, turning out choice moments in the ohrwurming vocal and dragged down dembow of ‘Loba’, the heavyweight traction of ‘Beg’, and the razor-sharp arrangement of ‘Diva’.
M.GG unfolds an epic, multi-dimensional tapestry of terra-forming electronics ranking among his most vividly abundant and ecologically sound with ‘I Am the Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World’
“I Am The Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World came into existence after M. Geddes Gengras’s father appeared to him in a dream and suggested that he read Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. The vivid, post-apocalyptic locales visited in the book, which range from mountain ranges to atomic water pumping stations to interdimensional portals, directly inform the auditory spaces that Gengras draws into life with this album. While ambient music often reaches the listener with a host of external signifiers meant to ground the music in some semblance of the physical world (see: oceanic album art, song titles that evoke specific images), Gengras’s music achieves a rare degree of topographical intricacy by virtue of his wide, dense mixes and the contrasting textures presented by his interlocking tiers of synthesis.
Over the course of five extended sessions that range from 11 to 22 minutes each, the album sinks into passages of near-complete stasis and crests into segments animated by intermittent bursts of melody and muted, techno-adjacent drum tones, settling into discrete atmospheres that percolate at different degrees of rhythmic complexity. All the while, M. Geddes Gengras allows individual elements to generatively interact and twist around each other to the point that no two moments present the same exact sounds. A far cry from willfully repetitive, loop-based ambient music, I Am The Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World extends before the listener as a fluctuating, self-contained biome, with the components of each composition carefully stacked together and charged with their own trajectory through time and imagined physical space.”
Aseethe’s ‘Throes’ is a work of corrosive beauty and colossal weight. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Brian Barr, drummer Eric Diercks and bassist/vocalist Noah Koester craft tectonic slabs of doom through minimalist approaches to composition.
"Minutely selected textures built on simplistic, repetitive motifs become mountainous. With each cycle of repetition, their towering riffs, bludgeoning drums, and inhuman howls become increasingly hypnotic and reveal subtle intricacies. The recursive nature of their songs coupled with their glacial pacing make masterful use of restraint to create moments of genuine surprise.
‘Throes’ was recorded at Steve Albini’s Chicago studio Electrical Audio by Shane Hochstetler (Jon Mueller, Northless). Aseethe drew from their expertise in utilizing noise and drones to develop a sonic world uniquely their own, dually aesthetic and foreboding. Barr, who composed and arranged the bulk of the music, drew inspiration from his recent solo work live-scoring films, relying on instinct as a compositional tool to interplay with the rigid structures throughout.
Aseethe remain one of the most distinctive and relentless forces in heavy music operating today. Through their ability to constantly evolve and incorporate new sounds and disparate influences into their music, they stand at the vanguard of forward-thinking bands like labelmates The Body and SUMAC. ‘Throes’ is Aseethe at their most daring and focused, building monuments of anguish while thrusting into the void."
Working a strange transition from G-funk to spy theme intrigue and brassy swagger, Jameszoo & Metropole Orkest’s ‘(rolrolrol)’ heralds their full length ‘Melkweg’ album imminent on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder
Nottingham-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Thomas William Hill returns to Village Green with ‘Grains Of Space’, his second album for the label following 2017’s multi-textured ‘Asylum For Eve’.
"‘Grains Of Space’ started life as a series of minimal loops, recorded using a viola da gamba - a stringed instrument most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque eras - and aloop pedal. Using the negative space within each loop as the primary drive for composing, Thomas began a process of ‘joining the dots’, allowing the silence to dictate the next layer, informing the length, pitch and timbre of notes.
Using those recordings as the foundation, Thomas began incorporating a wide variety of other instruments into his palette, including bowed metallophones, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, African kalimbas and metal tongue drums, as well as drum machines and analogue synthesisers. From the tense, opening drones of ‘Carriages’ to sparser, more lyrical works such as ‘Curvature’ and ‘Refract’, Thomas again demonstrates profound compositional insight, crafting highly poignant moments rich with harmony and texture. Complementing this, a more developed sense of pulse and rhythm characterises much of the album, such as the propulsive undertow of ‘Willow’ and the tactile, modernist polyrhythms of ‘Furnace’ and ‘Tongue’.
‘Grains Of Space’ also sees Tom collaborating and cowriting with a number of other musicians, bringing trumpet, violin, double bass and harp together to provide a broad and varied form to each piece."
Benjy Keating brings his Palmistry sound into sharper focus with more confident songwriting and full-bodied production in ‘Afterlife’, but at no expense to the careful, puckered minimalism that defines his style.
Notably featuring production from SOPHIE on single track ‘Water’, and Mechatok on ‘Rovin’, plus beats from Equiknoxx, Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat, ‘Afterlife’ also finds Palmistry delegating vocal duties to Miami’s Toian and Ghanaian artist Klu, who all fall neatly into his gossamer fine and precise reggaeton/dancehall/R&B sound without messing up the balance.
The SOPHIE-produced, Afrobeats-like pressure of ‘Water’ is an obvious highlight, but the biggest surprise is saved for the titular closing shot, a skeletal but sweetly rugged 2-step garage style that we’d love to hear him explore more, while his minimalist aesthetics are pushed to their most tender and effective in the fluttering marimba and blushing pads of ‘Sway’ and the gorgeous use of choral synth harmonics and Burial-esque atmospheres in ‘Vexed’.
Quite simply, ‘Afterlife’ is a subtle but huge step on from ‘Pagan’, primed to play over and again.
Killer, ’93-94-spirited hardcore jungle from Luke Blair (Lukid) in Refreshers mode
Dewy-red-eyed for the original rush of the early ‘90s, at that point when ragga clashed tekno and breakbeat hardcore and everyone was f**king happy, the 2nd Refreshers volley catches the vibe in its frenetic flux, running from the ragga chat and clattering breaks of ‘Pork Pie’ to the thizzing peaks of ‘Got Me Weak’ on the front, then with a summery gangsta roll recalling early AGCG in ‘Double Dip’, before wickedly playing out the cheap kids sweets/party drugs nostalgianalogy in the unyielding, jaw-trembling come-up of ‘Whizz’.
Robert Hood’s minimal techno masterpiece enters orbit again for first time since 2001
Originally found on the ‘Internal Empire’ album and also released as a 12” in 1995, the lead cut is an all-too-short piece of whirring Detroit mechanics flecked with icy trills and slinky gear shifts as only he can do. Handily, the 12” offers a slightly extended version with ‘Master Builder (Sandman Option)’ giving it a highly effective nip ’n tuck that gets right under the skin of the dance, while ‘Quartz’ strides out with filtered organ motifs on a whipsmart groove.
Toulouse Low Trax, Benoit B, K100 Signal and Bartosz Kruczynski remix the new age ambient dance charms found on Into The Light’s 2017 Akis compilation
With 1990’s ‘Into The Light’, which lent its name to Akis’ debut LP and this label, Tolouse Low Trax isolates its rhythmic spine and subtly teases out a reticulated groove in his super minimal but gripping style. The Aegean breeze of ‘Ecological Awareness’ is given a glowing, silky remix by Berlin’s Benoit B, and spun muggier by Greek project K100 Signal, while Bartosz Kruczynski gently handles the nostalgic analog bubblebath of ‘Christmas’.
Co-habitant treads on most sensitive melodic nerves in their exquisite debut and sole release for Chained Library
The eponymous Co-habitant release trades in a distinct style of filigree, pealing, high-register electronic minimalism that uses sparse ingredients to absorbingly meditative effect.
The A-side’s swaying figure in ‘a.003’ is a particular highlight that we could easily listen to on loop for hours, while the B-side has us utterly rapt with the transition from mechanical rhythmelody and fascinating reverberant overtones in ‘b.002’ thru the isolationist SAW II tingles of ‘b.003’ and the sallow ripples of ‘b.004’.
A real gem, this one. Don’t sleep!
Anonymous members of UVB-76 weigh in a 2nd 12” of dark ambient/noise/D&B as 4 6 2 5
On ‘Sedition’ they dance with the ghosts of late ‘90s warehouses, where shuddering dancehall bass hits and swarming grey noise set the scene for rolling breakss to fade in, flex out, and drop back into the murk. ‘Crown Of Nails’ follows with a more bolshy attitude, arriving from sheets of ambient noise with a barrelling, turgid bass recalling styles from Pessimist’s Blackest Ever Black album, but heard from the engine room of a hulking great freight liner awaiting demolition.
Carl Craig follows Stacey Pullen’s lead to mix the 2nd volume of ‘Detroit Love’, starring a slick and funky selection of cuts Kevin Sanderson, DJ Minx, Mr. G, Derrick May, Ectomorph, The Dirtbombs, and many more
The 1hr 37 min mix appears alongside its components, turning up highlights in Gay Marvine’s kinky bathhouse remix of ‘Credit Card’ by Interdimensional Transmissions’ BMG & Sal P; the twisted jazz-techno of ‘Boss’ by Brain; Floorpan’s gospel techno rework of Sophie Lloyd’s ‘Calling Out’; Derrick May’s all-time classic ‘ is It What It Is’; and the rude electro swivel of ‘Satori’ from Ectomorph.
‘Morphic Dreams’ is the sophomore LP by Alessandro Adriani, including guest input from Simon Crab (Bourbonese Qualk) and Shawn O’Sullivan (Led Er Est, Civil Duty)
A crucial cog in the wave machine with his Mannequin Records, and a gatekeeper to one of Berlin’s most feted clubs in his role as programmer of Säule in the guts of Berghain, Alessandro Adriani is by many measures a key player at the intersection of retro-futurist Industrial, EBM, post-punk and techno. Leading on from the cinematic vision of his debut LP, 2016’s ‘Montagne Trasparenti’, his follow-up is defined by its dancefloor-ready stance and is full of dead-on jak beats extracting what he needs from Italo, Industrial and EBM, to galvanise 11 tracky trax of bare bones rhythms and fanged, fleshly arps in his dry style.
Falty DL leans on a proper brukbeat flex, channelling varying degrees of 4Hero/Dego and jazz/hardcore/Footwork-related rhythmic madness for UTTU
Straight out of the gates he runs needlepoint drum programming and helter skelter jazz keys at 150bpm with dizzying flair in ‘Untitled 111vgr’, before ‘Beast’ trims back to a 125bpm electro ride with vacuum sealed production for freshness.
On the other side his hardcore darkside electro urges come into play on ‘One For UTTU’ in a way recalling classic Octagon Man/J Saul Kane, before turning on a 2-step pivot, just like they did in the late ‘90s, and ‘Piano 4_9_18 feux master Erie 25%’ session off on a downstroke recalling Roza Terenzi/D. Tiffany’s ambient electro gems for Euphorique.
FatCat’s up-for-it sibling, FCR serve another warped acid dose, this time from Brighton’s Matthew Hodson aka Matths
Rolled out in the chromatic wake of Ali Berger’s 303 session, Matths builds up a head of cosmic techno steam akin to a harder edged Border Community cut with the astral trajectory of ‘Loop’, then brings it down to a low flying night-flight with ‘Velocet’.