Spellbinding mix of cherry-picked Japanese gems, vintage and modern, from Dommune selector Yousuke Yukimatsu. From exquisite synth-pop to skronky no wave, traditional music to ecstatic noise and techno, this one’s packing some obscure heat and makes a great right run from the previous MBE tapes by Beatrice Dillon and Conor Thomas
“Founder of Zone Uknown, Dommune selector and recent affiliate of Asian Dope Boys, Yousuke Yukimatsu (Osaka, 1979) is a key figure in the Japanese electronic culture.
If you see him playing it’s impossible to not get caught by his unique and somehow visceral style of DJing.
For MBE series he recorded 90 minutes of music made strictly by Japanese artists offering us an extraordinary wide-eyed perspective on the far east electronic culture.
Imagine to be in Osaka or in Tokyo in an overcrowded obscure underground small cave listening to some sweating freaks playing distorted noise, or sitting on a bamboo mat in a machiya while Shigeo Tanaka is playing the yumi, or being in the Hozen Ji temple reaching the ascension with the chants of the priests, or getting lost into a cyberpunk scenario with DJs spinning dark techno into a foggy warehouse with just s low strobe light on.. well you can just get a glimpse of what this tape is.”
Jodie Lowther is a musician, illustrator & video artist from the UK who mostly records minimal and ethereal songs. In all of her art, she says she is mostly inspired by dreams, surrealism, psychedelia and horror.
"A.R.C. Soundtracks is the audio/visual project of K Craig and David Armes1 based in the north of England. Marrying bleak drones, echoed-out percussion and FX-heavy spoken-word to disorientating, ritualistic visuals, they make for an unsettling encounter."
Lock two men in a room with some shrooms and ‘No Beggin’’ is the kinda madness you might expect to go down, especially if those guys are Brassfoot and his m8...
Brassfoot kills ‘em with kindness in a mix of ragga chat and London Posse-like aggy hip hop swagger, interspersed with canny samples of gnostic pop prophets chatting about psilocybin’s use throughout myriad cultures, and arranged with some of the most frazzled, wicked beats on NCA thus far.
The two sides are entitled Tuesday and Wednesday - presumably the bandwidth of the trip embarked at their Black Void Studio in London - charting the results as a progressively munted, fractal transition from legible soberness to legit psychotomimetics, but smartly just about keeping their head together thru it all, as opposed to breaking down in a puddle of tears from laughter, or climbing the walls in fright when the mushy imps come out to rave with you.
A strong breeze of Cajun twang from 1920’s Louisiana, delivered by the excellent Death Is Not The End
Taking its title from the first in a series of Cajun recordings made in New Orleans and released by Columbia Records, namely the Segura Brothers’ Bury Me In The Corner Of The Yard, the rest of the set follows suit with infectious stompers, rattlers and wheezers about whiskey-running, unrequited love and turtle stew, by excellent names such as Artelus Mistric and Blind Uncle Gaspard, all with equally charming tunes to boot.
Hospital Productions yield a tape recording of Regis DJing the label’s 20 Anniversary session at Warsaw, Brooklyn, on November 5th, 2017
Covering the gamut of North African guitars thru the sludge funk of World Domination Enterprises and Sun Ra’s Nuclear War, this tape catches Karl O’Connor perfectly not playing to presumptions of blistering techno, and instead exploring the post-punk tributaries and lesser trotted outsider ginnels of his sprawling record collection in a way we haven’t heard him do before.
Suffice it to say listeners should expect the unexpected in a class meeting of Hospital Productions and Downwards styles.
Princess Nokia - aka New York rapper Destiny Frasqueri - has been releasing music via YouTube and Soundcloud since she was in High School and catapulted herself to the next level with last year’s critically acclaimed rap opus 1992 ‘Deluxe’ - selling out venues across the globe and steadily gaining tens of millions of streams.
"Now, this shapeshifting emcee returns with a brand new collection of songs titled ‘A Girl Cried Red’, a self-described “emo mixtape” which will undoubtedly cement her place in the alternative underground as well as the hip hop world. “Black people created punk - the band Death was way before The Ramones,” she stated in a recent interview, “If you think about it, the wool has been pulled over our eyes. This is our shit. Very naturally, that’s why we return to it.” Drawing on influences as varied as the introverted acoustic sounds of Elliott Smith to the bombastic pop-punk energy of Paramore, ‘A Girl Cried Red’ showcases another fully formed side of Destiny that still taps into the uncompromising feminist ideology of Princess Nokia."
Seekersinternational deliver 26 tracks of VIP soundsystem psychedelia on Amsterdam’s Liquorish Records
Spliced and blended in the manner of their Gunman Cult Clasixx, LoversDedicationStation and Inna Dancehall Showdown selections, the Black Mazda Soundclash runs amok in the dance with mutant tessellations of classic ragga mixed with lilting Afro percussions and red hot soundsystem shrapnel for the maddest sound of summer 2018.
Astringent to the bashment, Seekersintenational keep the levels simmering on the cusp of absolute madness with MC chat chopped into machine gun chatter and swept up in a wild flow of sawn-off riddims and puffchest bravado that wickedly becomes scrambled and practically nonsensical thru the process.
Plonk this on in the middle of cattle-packed public transport for optimal madness. Actually try a BBQ with this on public transport for best laughs.
Playfully enigmatic, encrypted electronics from Celular Feel, making their recorded début (under this alias, at least) with seven tracks of ‘Soft Grunge’ for Ascetic House
Possibly generative, perhaps apocryphal, probably one of the weirdest things you’ll hear this week, the sounds herein are pretty mad in a similar vein to Dave Burraston’s NYZ output or the para-dimensional computer music of Justin Meyers. We’re most feeling the curdled chromatic tanggg of Canon Key 2 and the rugged jabs of 95.
West Coast synthesist M. Geddes Gengras yields a lushly meditative suite of ambient music inspired by his time on Hawaiki, the big island of Hawaii, paying particular attention to glistening high register tones and a sense of wide open Pacific space
“Recorded during a vacation on the big island, Hawaiki Tapes is somewhat of an anomaly in the M. Geddes Gengras music —A series of short, improvised sequences voiced by a small plastic digital synthesizer, minimally processed in real time & jacked straight into a handheld recorder. It was made at night, on a little hotel room desk. The internal sequencer of the volca greatly influenced the pieces, since it only goes so slow and is limited in it’s voicing.
It was windy and cold for most of the trip, and the sky was gigantic and filled with massive rippling clouds that flew between the horizons in minutes. The landscape was made of endless, black rock fields with little grassy spots where the lava hadn’t hit yet. In the process, Gengras had in mind some of the formative ambient music he had listened to in his early years: Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Aphex Twin, and his focus is in the interaction between the synth, the delay and reverb effects. A perfect album for sleepless nights —A new sound statement from M. Geddes Gengras.”
Destruction Unit drummer Andrew Flores presents his electronic music on Ascetic House
A mixture of live improvisation drawing on his talents as a percussionist, along with phasing ambient minimalism and spats of distorted noise.
Invada present the soundtrack to Stranger Things 2, produced by S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.
Expect plenty shlocky ‘80s FM synth cues and themes bound to yank your nostalgia nozzle.
KILLER 3rd volume of DJ Clara's 100% female MC-focussed Reggaeton mixtape series for Low Jack's Editions Gravatz label. Hyperactive megamix with loads of Clara!’s blends and re-edits, pure fire...
Hailing from Northern Spain but based in Brussels, Clara!’s previous tapes for Editions Gravats’ affiliates at PRR! PRR! are guaranteed party starters, serving to highlight stacks of female reggaeton MC from the ‘90s thru to the modern day.
Clara!’s 3rd mixtape is also her baddest by many measures, masterfully sweeping thru dozens of tracks in just under 30 minutes, and including a healthy handful of her own blends and edits (the dembow versions of Darude and the Outhere Brothers stand out) along with reams of Kalimotxo-soaked, beach-ready anthems from Demphra, Ivy Queen, La Sexy Rose, La Bori, La Goony Chonga, Sexy Vaguita, Las Culisueltas and many more.
Two years in the making, Ahwar (Arabic for marshlands) is an otherworldly record, not unlike an abstract mythological story-tale.
"Opening with the mangled and filtered vocals of the album's lead track Afqid Adh-Dhakira (I Lose Memory) like an alien dream, the drones of a bowed double bass lead us into a drum groove that lays the groundwork for El Shazly's sultry and captivating presence, singing: "(I am) coming, from a time far away. Going, escaping. Alone in the wilderness".The Arabic prose lingers over interjections of slap-back delayed guitar twangs and an avant-garde arrangement of dissonant winds, horns and seemingly random drum fills, ending with an eerie soundscape that wouldn't feel out of place in a Giallo classic.
A daring and potent statement that sets the foundations over which the rest of the album can unravel. Composed, written and produced by El Shazly herself in collaboration with The Dwarfs of East Agouza's Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi on co-composition and arrangement duties, the album was crafted across two continents, between Canada and Egypt, and features the crème of Montreal's contemporary-classical and improvised music scene, most of whom aremembers of Shalabi's own Land of Kush ensemble. In between El Shazly's five original tracks, we are treated to an abstract coverversion of Sayyid Darwish's classic Ana 'Ishiqt (I Once Loved). El Shazly's haunting vocal floats over broken Kalimba and Harp arpeggios which slowly intertwine with a free, bowed double bass improv to nestle within the breaks between Younes Al-Qadhi's early 20th century verses of love and betrayal.
More than that, it is difficult to really describe, but imagine the worlds of Nico, Björk and Annette Peacock with the Arabic language as their mother tongue, re-approached through acoustic avant-jazz harmony and re-constructed with a dash of Kamilya Jubran's modern styling of Arabic maqam and you may be somewhere close. Recorded and delicately mixed through miles of analogue cabling by Thierry Amar at Hotel2Tango and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering in Montreal, the album is adorned with the surrealist artwork of Egyptian artist Marwan El-Gamal and designed with custom typography by Egyptian designer Valerie Arif . All editions come with dual-language booklets featuring the lyrics in Arabic with English translation by Nariman Youssef."
Dominick Fernow meets Patrick O’Neal (Skin Crime) in Hanged Mans Orgasm mode for a vocal companion to the epic 7LP Prurient opus, Rainbow Mirror. Fernow shares vocal narration with DC Comics story-writer Scott Bryan Wilson (who’s also credited with writing on Frozen Niagara Falls) set to bleak backdrops of atomic radiation textures and field recordings of Hanged Man’s Orgasm, the début ‘90s project of Patrick O’Neal from cult death electronics unit Skin Crime.
The label compare Unknowns with “the american counterpart to Nurse With Wound set in the decaying rural fields of new england” and, for us, the combination of low key vocals and textural attrition could also be compared with John Duncan’s efforts in that arena, as the density of atmospheric pressure inside better recalls Duncan’s esoteric experiments with shortwave radio on Riot, but, in the case of this A-side, mixed with the kind of vocal delivery heard on Duncan’s surreal Bitter Earth songbook.
The notorious Kris Lapke a.k.a. Alberich lends his haggard touch in production to bring both sides to life with unflinchingly stoic and visceral force, most powerfully in the B-side’s burial by rubble in a shallow grave.
Noisy bugger Jesse Sanes helms the first release from Free The Land; a collaborative multimedia project focussed on the binds between nature and technology, which also involves contributions by Puce Mary, his partner in the JH1.FS3 duo, as well as Nial Morgan of the Presh label.
Previously manifest in print, as installations, and via “guerrilla internet performance”, Free The Land’s first physical musical release is the soundtrack to their immersive installation at Fylkingen New Music and Intermedia Art in Stockholm. Originally a 4-channel situation, it has been translated to stereo for this immersive release, conjuring a headspace that recalls the ambient environmental sensitivities of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement as much as the variegated mutations of Portuguese project, Transflora.
Weaving location recordings from the project’s colleagues in Israel, Vietnam, France and Mexico, along with original “ecophonic-electronic” pieces by Puce Mary and Nial Morgan, the results documented and described as Ecophony frame and bring to life a delicate yet rugged sonic ecology that’s arguably much greater than the sum of its parts.
While ultimately everything comes thru Jesse for the final mix, the variety of voices and inputting hands becomes apparent as the session scrolls thru its persistently moprphing scenes of dense undergrowth, shoreside breezes, sunlit canopies and industrial farming sounds.
The NY-based producer returns to Umor Rex with a new album, in which the musical discourse and the physical form of the release have an equal, crucial importance.
"Sirimiri is made of four long and mid-length pieces, each composed of different perspectives, processes and identities. However, Rafael seeks to blend subjective time with the listening experience. A sort of loop and repetition, sub-sequence-based sound. Following Eno, nothing happens in the same way twice, perception is constantly shifting, nothing stays in one place for long. The sum of the four pieces is 36 minutes; the cassette edition lasts 72 minutes in total, since both sides have the same four songs joined together.
Physically, the format allows us at least two automatic repetitions. In the digital version the songs are independent, but we also include a bonus track made of the 36-minute loop. The desolation and despair (in a sort of positive way) that we got to hear in The Shameless Years (Umor Rex 2017) is present in Sirimiri, but the impression is concrete, with cruder, less rhetorical landscapes. If The Shameless Years was located between beauty and active tragedy, Sirimiri travels inside the beauty and melancholy of an observing eye, a quiet rebel insurrection. Another substantial difference is the distance from general and globalized concepts; in these unfortunate times, Sirimiri looks for personal sorrows, and places its focus on the particular.
Even the names of the songs evoke this in small ways, like in "Sonder", the feeling of realizing that everyone, even a complete stranger, has a life as complex as one's own. Rafael has two guests in this album; Taylor Jordan in "Mountain Strem", and Rafael's hero Carl Hultgren (from Windy & Carl) in "Sonder". Sirimiri means 'drizzle' in Basque, and we cannot find a better word to describe its content."
Demdike Stare’s DDS label render a f*cking KILLER 2nd mix of original material and unidentified objects from Iueke, the Antinote’s label co-founder and longtime producer regarded for his psychedelic singularity and fiercely unconventional selection skills. It sounds like Autechre filtered through a severely fuggy state of mind, unnerving and wildly inspiring.
Following Iueke’s Mix 1 tape (released a couple of years ago), Mix 2 is another exclusive commission for DDS. It’s crammed with a treasure trove of oddness overlayed with original material by the veteran Parisian DJ, digger and producer, some which may never see the light of day.
Heavy on the FX and pure abstraction, Mix 2 gets right under the skin with uncanny effect from the off, starting out with fizzing industrial prangs, then flooding the senses with something like an underwater dub clash at the GRM until the end of side A.
Side B is just as salty, wild and immersive, strafing from ferric atonalities in the initial stage, to take in what could arguably be a gamelan session over gaelic folk pipes, and morphing into febrile acidic noise recursion that’s simultaneously playful, gurning, and properly menacing.
Mad as f*ck, this one.
Discrepant bossman Gonçalo F. Cardoso meets Alex Jones (Angela Valid) for a 5th tape of esoteric collage cryptography, their 2nd for the ace Sucata Tapes series
Forked Piss Blues is an unsettlign 70 minute session of textured synthetic ambience and field recordings mulched to a potently intoxicating brew and foreign a sort of abstract, hypnagogic dramaturgy primed for barely conscious listening.
“Larry and Luisa return to England. While his mother is reunited with her cousins, Larry return to London, where he falls in with a group of Bohemian artists - including writer Henry Miller. Back in Corfu, Leslie gets offered a job as a policeman, Gerry saves a donkey from an abusive farmer, and Spiro forbids Margo from seeing Zoltan.”
The itinerant boss of Discrepant, Gonçalo F. Cardoso evacuates his mind/hard drive onto C40 tape with a richly enigmatic mosaic of location recordings and original ambient music where it’s hard it tell where one ends and the other starts. With a little defocussing of the ear and some fragrant herbs, the effect is uniquely transportive and riddled with psychedelic potential.
“A new Gonzo collage, of sounds, of scraps, of things he might use (never) again. Picking up where Ark Eulogy left us, a journey through places and times you think you know but only HE knows about. Unfinished, unmastered, unadorned, unconcluded and unperfected.”
A more extreme companion to Kink Gong’s Dian Long LP, the haphazard, frenetic glitches of Music is Not a Copy sounds like Chinese radio transmitted via a rack array of faulty DAB radios, each tuned to a different station and algorithmically attempting to consolidate their fragmented data into each track.
It may require a firm disposition and attention span, but there’s some really wonderful material inside, especially the eroticised techno pulse of Baosha, the tonal subtleties of Shanghai Rain, and the fractured 2-step of his School Beat.
A mixtape of turkish new age, experimental music, film and theatre scores from cassette tapes released between 1983-1994. Mixed and compiled by Grup Ses. Comes in two different covers by Rob Baanks.
Grup Ses crafts a spellbinding story of a mixtape from Turkish new age, experimental music, film and theatre scores, all originally issued on tape between 1983-1994. A year in the works, it’s a superb opener for Discrepant’s Sucata Tapes, certain to light up the ears of anyone also into Ennio Morricone’s vintage Italian library music, Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s Electronic Music, Tar And Sehtar, Vangelis’ Midnight Express OST, or those who can’t afford a holiday this year. Some reel treasure inside.
Joachim Nordwall and Henrik Rylander created Saturn and the Sun to further their mutual passion in mindchanging sound experiments.
"Since 2005, they have created music together in ritual rock band The Skull Defekts, but since the death of the Skulls in April 2018 their common focus now is Saturn and the Sun. Deep, often monotonous and harsh electronic music inspired by 60s minimalism, early techno and tribal music. This is what you get when the two comes together.
Rylander is working as a forensic photographer and makes extreme sound art. Nordwall runs the iDEAL Recordings label and records experimental music on his own and with artists like Mats Gustafsson, Mika Vainio (RIP), Ryan Martin and Leif Elggren. They both share the legendary studio space Gothenburg Sound Experiment.
"Be careful with frequent listening."
Written, performed and produced by Kumo in SE23.
"Kumo aka Jono Podmore – Professor of the Practice of Popular music at the prestigious Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany – is best known latterly for his tireless work curating and managing the archives of Krautrock pioneers Can. In this respect, his masterstroke to date has been assembling the essential "The Lost Tapes" boxset.
Work under his Kumo alias across multiple releases, performances, DJ sets and installations has included collaborations with the likes of Irmin Schmidt, B.J. Cole, Jaki Liebezeit, Mr. C and Jose Padilla. His ongoing Horrorshow multimedia venture brings together live soundtracks and short films, and his established group Metamono finds new life in vintage analogue and hand made electronics, releasing two albums, and Secrets of Nature - Sounds Unseen: live electronic music for silent British film.
His label Psychomat was brought back to life in 2017 with two new single releases and more are planned. Jono is currently working on the score for feature film The Giaour, a book about Jaki Liebezeit's life and theories, and teaches Tai Chi in London.
"From a starting point of two field recordings taken from the balcony of my flat in South East London, one was taken during the day the other at night, the rest of the music was built up in response: synths and theremin played as karaoke to the sounds of the estate. Accompanying, mimicking, occupying the spaces between the deliveries, planes, dogs, birds and the kids next door writing grime tunes. 'Day' was written, performed, recorded and mixed in the flat during daytime with only natural light, 'Night' under cover of darkness."
Jono Podmore, London, 16.xii.2017
Cult Swedish producer 1991 proves he wasn’t just a figment of our feverish imaginations with this expanded edition of his self-titled debut suite for Astro:Dynamics.
Now including three original bonus tracks plus IVVVO’s remix of Inside You, we can safely consider this the definitive, director’s cut edition of a modern classic.
The likes of his Cure edit, Open To The Dark and the smudged knew age psychedelia of Distortion of Time have lost none of their ferric attraction, and now its aching appeal is extended into complementary cuts such as the very KGB Man-esque soft boogie screw of Inside You, the snowy cladding of Calm Onyx, and a sublime isolation chamber soundtrack in 95 and Beyond, with IVVVO’s Inside You remix bringing it closer to the ‘floor, in case that suits ya.
Ascetic House spotlight Barcelona’s Titan Arch and their brooding ambient ‘soundtrack to a soundless memory’ in their latest batch
In a succinct 20 minutes Sergi Alejandre a.k.a. Titan Arch conjures a darkly meditative mood that at times turns properly threatening as the EP transitions from the gaseous sci-fi loom of New Century Transformation to an immense, head-engulfing work worthy of comparison with Alessandro Cortini or Ensemble Economique at his cinematic best in Look At Me Now. The airy syn-flutes and sibilant ambience of Delusion Tour brings the darkness to light, and Sigil For Shedding almost broaches new age terrain, but at a gauzy arms length.
Oooh, this is a blast! Sun Ra’s 1986 soujourn to a pre-unification East Berlin comes back around on the release’s original format via Moscow’s Post-Materialization Music label.
Documenting a killer, wild and free session from Le Sun Ra And His Cosmo Discipline Arkestra, the 40 minute recording features Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and Pat Patrick among the Arkestra’s mass, all converging and diverging the definition of jazz as only they can.
From entrancing squall to skronky electric organ riffs to a charming take on Duke Ellington’s Prelude To A Kiss, and on thru bubbling versions of their evergreens We Travel The Spaceways and Rocket #9, it lands on a freaking amazing Second Stop Is Jupiter, ready for your to do it all again.
Geoff Barrow's Invada imprint presents the stunning soundtrack to Nicolas Refn Windings' heist-movie 'Drive' - Rolling Stone magazine's #1 film of 2011.
The sublime Cliff Martinez score is accompanied by five songs featured in the film - Kavinsky & Lovefoxx's 'Nightcall'; Desire's 'Under Your Spell'; College feat. Electric Youth 'A Real Hero'; Riz Ortolani feat. Katyna Ranieri 'Oh My Love'; The Chromatics 'Tick Of The Clock'. With his original score, Martinez - a former collaborator with Lydia Lunch, Jim Thirlwell, Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band and RHCP - perfectly matches the mood of Winding Refn's '80s-referencing electro-pop selections with an impeccable array of brooding synth themes.
Ascetic House whip out another smart début...
This time from UBK, whose Victoria pursues a murky post-club spirit thru 10 tracks of fanged, fleet-footed industrial ructions, environmental sounds, and buckled traces of grime, techno and dancehall painting scene of urban chaos pie for cruising city streets in your car at night.
One for fans of Rabit, German Army, Croww.
Gloryland is Plyxy’s steeply enigmatic and intoxicating début tape of ambient darkness for Ascetic House. Following introductions made on the digital only release Eat Your Gods [Anti/Anti, 2017], the NYC-based Russian artist stealthily unfolds his sound as one of the strongest, most focussed suites of atmospheric mood music this side of Tarkovsky scores or Drew McDowell’s modular gremlins
“Gloryland is the seminal EP from PLYXY, the ambient/noise project of NYC-based polymath Ros Knopov. A refugee from the Soviet Union, he hails from Dnepropetrovsk, the rocket-making capital of the former Communist state. Driven by a desire for improvisation, and obsessed with process, PLYXY weaves manipulated field recordings and Soviet-era film samples through an array of analog Eurorack modules and samplers, creating cinematic environments of despair and nostalgia.”
Extra murky hip hop mixtape from NYC underground royalty, Geng a.k.a. King Ultra Vision, literally sampling from the streets around him and folding snatches of dialogue into proper sludgy beats and fluoro-glowing atmospheres. Distilling the mental state of NYC
“Pain Of Mind is an audio book about mental illness and a broken system.
Written/recorded/mastered Oct. 1 - Nov. 9, 2017 in Queens - 1 block away from a "RIP Prodigy" tag. Mastered the same day Wu's Enter The 36 dropped, 24 years ago.
All dialogue was captured directly onto cassette. All samples collected via SP 202, SP 303, SP 404 and/or MPC1000. All mixing/mastering via cassette.
"This is how I heard the music that shaped my sensibilities - drenched in analog imperfection and waves of hiss."
“King Vision Ultra is a fresh sonic narrative from Geng. An elemental alphabet constructed from personal histories, reflections and trauma, its block letters are etched into New York City's glass and daubed on its brickwork, impounded in the minds of a transient population.”
Dirgey, gothic post-punk winners from the apocalypse-baiting Jon Edifice.
The label describe it as “Methodical yet disfigured outlaw compositions straight from the bowels of Jon's world.”, and we’d add some lashings of scuzz and a peculiarly brittle Britishness to that equation, as Jon could almost just as well come from early ‘80s Manchester as his actual home, Grand Rivers, Kentucky in 2018.
Arriving in the shadow of Ori Ofir’s killer Sterile Hand duo with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), this is Lower Tar’s self-titled 2017 volley of dark blue EBM bruisers, reissued by Ascetic House.
Make sure to check for the grotty churn of Lacquer and Dust and irresistibly wriggly EBM ruckus funk of Existence Preceeds Essence for something to really bite down on
“In his self titled release, Lower Tar explores the intense hive mind that revolves around being an Israeli American and what it means to be critical of a society while still maintaining his identity. Using techno as a cathartic backbone enables him to cope and understand the multiplicitous relationship he has with Israel as an idea and a real place.”
Heading up an excellent new Ascetic House batch, Roper Rider’s Motion Profile is a focussed study in unique production process with results that trip lines between superdense and skeletally spacious, absorbing sound designs in a way that recalls the work of Second Woman, Adam Asnan, AGF and Vladislav Delay.
Motion Profile is an uncommonly ductile and bendy set of mutant permutations, feeling like a frozen jungle of footwork cut spliced with an eavesdropped phonecall in Halve, whereas Variation finds them investigating deep space coordinates with mind-bending form, and the mentalists will surely be slathering for the ultra dynamic futurist recursions of CN III and the hyperspace tilt of Scent Detection.
More unexpected brilliance from Ascetic House.
This one's a head-engulfing meditation on the way that “dreams and memories distort as time stretches onward…”, rendered as abyssal drone trip comparable to the starkest passages of The Caretaker/The Stranger or the hallucinatory studio apparitions of NWW.
The link between Demdike Stare and Italy’s legendary Il Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza should be obvious to anyone familiar with their output over the years, especially the ‘Tryptych' and ‘Elemental' sets. Having been asked to perform in front of (and by) its surviving members (including Ennio Morricone no less), Demdike mined the Il Grupo archive for pieces to disassemble for this incredible hour-long collage, which takes the source material somewhere new.
Over the years Il Grupo has included the likes of Egisto Macchi, Roland Kayn, Walter Branchi, Franco Evangelisti, John Heineman, Giovanni Piazza, Frederic Rzewski and Jesus Villa Rojo alongside Morricone, its most famous member. All exceptionally skilled players and composers, Gruppo were formed in 1964 at the initiative of Franco Evangelisti with an aesthetic agenda looking beyond the boundaries of previous improvisational musics. They focussed on production and the qualities of sound itself, employing innovative recording and playing techniques at the limits of their capabilities as performers and composers in order to discover the "new consonance" inferred in their nomenclature.
Their influence on film soundtrack work is, of course, already well documented and acknowledged, but you can also hear traces of their work reflected in so much exploratory, non-academic contemporary music, with Demdike being an obvious example. Referencing one of Gruppo’s most well known and sought-after recordings, The Feed-back (1970), the Feed-Back Loop captures Demdike making perhaps the most interesting use of this source material yet, a restrained and delicate weaving of textural and percussive elements that manage to both revere the source material, as well as re-contextualise it for new ears.
As Demdike explain
"Tasked by the Festival Nuova Consonanza for a live performance at their 53rd Edition, with the remaining gruppo members in attendance, (Ennio Morricone, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Giovanni Piazza, Alessandro Sbordoni) we apprehensively dived into our collections for pieces by Gruppo and it's members in order to create this homage. Using samplers, synths and effects we looped and layered chosen sections to create new pieces which we had to then play in front of the mighty Il Gruppo, captured here for posterity."
Released in very scarce quantity, this is Madalyn Merkey’s absorbingly ferric POP one-two for the now-defunct Chantal; a subprint of Chicago’s Lynn label, whose ace digital releases are now available on our site.
We’ve had an ear on Mills College alumni Madelyn’s work since we got snagged on her sublime Scent LP in 2012 (run, go check it!), and bar the lush archipelago of her Valley Girl  LP in the meantime, these tapes give a rare, obfuscated glimpse into her current working practice.
Just like Scent, there’s a magnetic synaesthetic attraction to these tapes. Madalyn’s dreamily riffing vocals hold the centre, intersecting warped varispeed tape loops at strange angles, sometimes gelling, but more often skewhiffed in a fragrant fuss of dust and spritzed avant-Pop ephemera.
We can hear a sort of analogue for this sound in Teresa Winter’s odder nooks and folds, but Madalyn is perhaps best compared with Louis Johnstone’s collapsing the electronics of Wanda Group into his improv folk jazz pop thing, Henry Caravan, and then fermenting the lot with a bag of Haribo and iron filings.
Kali Malone makes a second outing on these pages in weeks with the slow, stately procession of her Organ Dirges 2016-2017 for Ascetic House.
Arriving shortly after her sublime Cast Of Mind album, this suite finds Kali stripped back to a single instrument, filling the soundfield with sustained, quivering tones enriched with a ferric, gaseous swirl.
“Kali Malone’s “Organ Dirges 2016 - 2017" is a collection of isorhythmic canons following the tradition of pipe organ requiems found in early modern music. Malone’s purified organ dirges echo embodied recollections of the piercing numbness of those battled encounters when the armours were stripped down, left with nothing other than will power, yet still standing upright as the columns of Sounion. The soothing and perceptive harmonies resonate to a presence that leans elegantly towards a courageous aftermath and a gleaming salutation. While the dirges themselves have minimal melodic and rhythmic variation, they appear in constant cyclical motion, revealing their refracted selves in a coherent yet unpredictable manner; like a rotating wheel where all spokes are perceptible but at any given moment in a different place.
Kali Malone (b. 1994, Colorado) is an American artist living and working in Stockholm, Sweden since 2012. Her solo works implement unique tuning systems in minimalist form for analog and digital synthesis often combined with acoustic instrumentation - such as pipe organ, string and wind instruments, lute and gong. Malone’s 2017 debut LP “Velocity of Sleep” was released on her own label XKatedral following tape releases put out by Ascetic House, Bleak Environment and Total Black. She is active in the groups Sorrowing Christ, Swap Babies, Upper Glossa with Caterina Barbieri.”
They’re steeply hypnotic and recommended to fans of Aine O’Dwyer or Sarah Davachi’s recent organ salvo’s
Yeah You’s Mykl Jaxn & Elvin Brandhi wreak fresh havoc on Slip and Opal Tapes with KHOT<, where the improvising father/daughter duo steer their battered unit down the grimmest ginnels between Black Metal, freestyle rap and surrealist performance art. Making up their 3rd release of the year already, KHOT< follows the KRUTCH LP and VHOD tape with a typically obstinate and expressive new blast of avant guts sure to keep the dilettantes at bay and keep the pair’s cult following beguiled by their every move.
Refusing to lapse into anything that may be deemed conventional or commercial, Elvin sprays improvised verbal pebbledash against her dad’s cranky backdrops of piercing electronics and crippled beats in a way meant to keep everyone at arms length. And that’s where the “fun” lies, as any attempt to latch onto or follow Elvin’s exasperated yowls and pronged phrasing becomes even more difficult as her dad’s cheap infrastructure of inside-out Casio keyboard coupled with dictaphone both shields and distorts her wretched truths, fireproofing them against easy or half-arsed reception.
By their own admission; “This is the worst album Yeah You has ever made”, which conversely translates to a pleasingly foul experience for those already attuned to Yeah You’s dare-to-differ style, especially in the traverse from shrieking electronics to sourest BM gestures between Krutches and “Yeah You”, and again with the headlong plunge into rotted bleeps and techno squabble in Reap Your Defects and the burned out resistance of The Apologetic Extra Accidentally Invades Emblem?
Make no mistake, Yeah You are among the most vital, prickly and unmissable units in contemporary UK music, and KHOT< is yet another fiercely in/direct and cuttingly impulsive showcase .
Dave Burraston a.k.a. NYZ shares the unique generative output of his chattering synths and machines on Graham Dunning’s Fractal Meat Cuts label following his NYZ appearance on the NTS show of the same name in 2017.
Following on from Burraston’s previous NYZ release, PPLZ SYNF  for Psøma Psi Phi, here he sticks to shorter time frames packed with typically unpredictable movements, as opposed to durational, glacial transitions.
The results, generated by his custom modular systems and algorithms and recorded between 2012-2018, are like a window into the mind of a machine, but perhaps slowed down enough for human perception. Their queasy logic and inexplicable organisation are the result of decades of study into complexity and chaos systems, and its not hard to hear how that applies to the music, which is in effect incomparable to any combination of sounds imaginable.
We recommend huffing it up and marvelling at the absolute audness of it all.
Gwilly Edmondez is the dad from Yeah You; one of the maddest, most vital duos in underground UK music right now. Slip’s Trouble Number retrospective extends a hard-to-resist invitation to peruse four decades of Gwilly’s work at the outer limits of pop music, pairing the Gnarlage of Self C30 tape with a C60 mixtape …Made Questionably and Unquestioningly by Himself, to present a cherry-picked and unflinching 90 minute portrait of a properly prophetic, pop-wizened soul in his element.
Prone to magpie whatever snags his ear and turn it to his own ends, Gwilly ransacks hip-hop, black metal, folk, power balladry and much more, adapting inventive extended vocal techniques to consolidate a syncretic blatz of bewildering musical logic and unrhymed reasoning. To the casual observer it could appear to be a study in mental health or a Dadaist play, but pay some respect to listen and Gwilly will reward closer attention with flashes of genuine pop genius mixed with baffling non-sequiturs and hallucinatory levels of captivating oddness.
The Gnarlage Of Self tape was made on Newcastle’s hottest day of 2017, in an upstairs room in Heaton, and documents finely graded states of mind between the skittish tangle of 10 Banks of Nein and the reeling soul cadence of Make Your Own World, which could arguably be considered a definitive Edmondez anthem. On the C60 tape Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself, the handrails are further erased, resulting in a tumbling sequence of slapstick songcraft and spare, improvised electronics mulched into mixtape form. It’s here where the in/sanity and truth really comes out, oozing and ranting in a disarray of bluesy declamations, gender-bent torch songs and psychotomimetic scramble drawn from auld tapes dating to the mid ‘80s, the dankest niches of UBUWEB archives, and up-to-the-minute snatches of recent live shows.
For anyone who is intrigued by or appreciates the work of Richard Youngs, Jandek, Cosmic Dennis Greenidge, Mark Wynn, Sensational or Fenriz, consider this crucial listening.
Duppy Gun Produtions and Bokeh Versions light up summer ’18 with 50 minutes of dancehall crossfire, with vocals by Sikka Rymes, I Jahbar, Early One, Lyrical Wiz, Sniper, Buddy Don and Lopo.
With X-amounta mutant ammo between their barrels, both sides keep it bent, hazy and alien AF with mad bashment grime hybrids, slowed down specials and unnamed styles. We’d wager it’s best received after a few zoots and maybe a Guiness Export or three for optimal smudge...
Explorative ambient spirit Phil Struck makes an absorbing new album of ambient gestures, ersatz ethnomusicology and pastoral, lower case electronica in NNO, making for a fine follow-up to his lush Quiet Time tape.
Joining the likes of Limpe Fuchs and Sculpture on Hamburg’s Ana Ott label, Struck tentatively plays up to their far-reaching aesthetics with a humbly un-showy and subtly captivating collection of frayed sounds and arrangements that recall the smudged rhythmelodic improvisations of Bellows as much as the padded spheres of Space Africa and Bernard Baum.
In the most classic sense of ambient music, NNO is meant to melt into your personal ether with a barely-there presence, the kind of sound that triggers the olfactory and feels like there’s an abstract window open in the room bringing warm breezes and smells from f*ck knows where, but wherever it is, it’s a lovely place that we should all visit every now and then.
Jungle specialist DJ Persuasion drops pure knowledge on Dedicated To The Dedicated 94-95 for Bristol’s Tape-Echo posse following cult instalments of 93-94 hardcore for Berceuse Heroique podcast and the Seraphics 92-93 selection for Blackest Ever Black’s ID Mud series.
Basically this is peerless, untouchable stuff, packed with obscure nuggets and tunes that will have you clawing for IDs that you’ll maybe find, one day, if you’re fuckin’ lucky.
Buy on sight!
Chloe Freida’s Alien Jams compile 7 cuts from rkss, Rescund, Ondness and more cuts, each reflecting on the nature and effect of unease and anxiety, all mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
The most interesting responses to the theme come in the spiralling waves of distorted data from rkss on FX 128 F / CLAP 128 F / LEAD 2 F 128 / CLAP 128 F / FX 128 F, which seems to emulate the onset and onslaught of a panic attack, and also from multidisciplinary artist Clifford Sage a.k.a. Recsund, who follows the Intellectual Reject sets for Quantum Natives with an incisive, needling ambient techno work Sinetic that emulates the effect of feeling simultaneously lush but highly strung.
90 minutes mixed on cassette tape for performing through a variation of Ambient Techno to Ambient Experimental dub using materials from the EP Rundown Rainforest and unreleased tracks and field recordings.
Acre presents a new digestion of technologically advanced cyber-grime on the ‘Hollow Body’ album, a ten track answer to the age old question “when will the robot kill me?”.
"Earlier music on Tectonic, Codes and Brainmath has solidified Acre’s music as a station of future ready bass music. This issue through Opal Tapes, takes the trans-humanist art of Stelarc, the rattling of kinetic sculptures and reductions of the grime sound palette into new direction entirely. Collectively ‘Hollow Body’ is both a warmer and more fleshed out face to Acre’s work while also taking the statuesque sound design and bone shaking bass of his productions into new spaces.
Opening track ‘Trial 6’ degenerates into error and computer pollution before huge sheets of brightly resonating plastic synth sail off like Steve Roach playing the most ambient of Eski-beat in some unknown void. Signatures of error and failed translation continue in ‘Android’, a signal sent to re-awaken an earlier version of your metal self. ‘Suicide Drone’ plays with sample-rate in a kaleidoscope of broken glass and blast a part-gabber, part-industrial jack hammer into your head. ‘Glow’ and ‘Direct Registering’ close out the first side with a Chain Reaction-esque procession of flickering zero points, stubbed out chords and fluttering visions recalling the plastic bins behind the call centre.
Something beings to unspool as b-side opens with ‘Hollow Body’, sub-wobbles under lay a stumbling loop of disembodied voice. Guns are out for ‘DNT’ as the metal body which was earlier awoken, dresses and arms itself. All the forward momentum of bass music is inverted into a lumbering swagger replete with cyborg horn. ‘Taking Over’ offers a soft relief of aliasing tones clashing into each other like fucking modems before ‘Second Escape’ stokes the fire once again in an obliterating crush of noise percussions and jewel like synths. Closing track ‘External’ is the desert, the dust of the universe. After the earlier crush everything has to settle and fall back down.”
Zurich/Milan’s -ous label follow that smart NHK yx Koyxen EP with a more lushly emotive lash of cascading melodies, shoegazing harmonic chaos and bass saturated beats by Tomasso Pandolfi a.k.a. Furtherset.
Ecstatic, swarming, brimming with bleeding heart feels in a way that resonates with other members of the new Italian weird, NPLGNN & Dave Saved
Sim Hutchins crosses paths with Local Action for a record about “the shit side of rave” which is all too often unacknowledged in favour of its putative utopian aspects. It’s a smartly up-the-second take on hauntological themes, inverting the sonic ambient ephemera of electronic presets to locate a warped, inverted soul in the serotonin-depleted, heart thudding loneliness of Baths Salts in the Saccharin and the dazed, eviscerated hulk of Dumped By Pirate Radio that should resonate broadly and strongly with listeners of the same, dazed generation.
"Described by Sim as “a nostalgic record devoid of nostalgia”, Clubeighteen2thirty draws from every aspect of Sim’s clubbed out youth - positive and negative. Although the record at points “remembers things fondly and unrealistically”, it’s also a realistic reflection on the shit side of rave: mediating on the mistakes of youth, losing friends to car accidents and drug abuse, existential crises and clubbing alone miles from home.
In Sim’s words, this album - which utilises badly-aged sound fonts and plastic digital keyboard sounds, often drowned in interference, digital fx, harmonic distortion and samples in remembrance of lost people - “alludes to the fabrication of truths to create a sense of hope and optimism when there is little to be found at present ... there's an industry built on glorifying the past and it is a multimillion pound cliché making people richer every day. This is my enthusiasm for certain styles collapsing in on themselves with me conducting and orchestrating their demise.”
Label heads Low Jack & Jean Carval see the summer in with a killer second volume of psychedelic experiments, free jazz and acoustic folk records sourced from their back yards in Brittany, north west France. Expect a sh1t tonne of records you’ve never heard before from artists such as Catherine Le Forestier, Daniel Deshays, Hydravion, Gilles Elbaz, Siegfried Kessler, Anne Vanderlove, Georges Rodi, Melina Mercouri and many more a proper eye and ear opener for collectors and heaz.
A waking dream of a mixtape, Nique La Musique De France (Volume 2) translated to the charming "F*ck The Music Of France" works its magick in waves, firstly seducing with a breezy vocal and synth piece from Catherine Le Forestier, to drift thru acoustic folk strums, wistful psych and jazz skronk, then turning to woozy accordions and a blazing prog nugget on the A-side, before really taking it out there on the B-side, touring cinematic collage, ambient new age ideas, and some synthy chanson that’s worth the admission alone, before taking it back to some impish Celtic folk inspirations in the final strokes.
It's the kind of deeep-digging selection we'd have expected the likes of Andy Votel or Doug Shipton of Finders Keepers to have put toghether, except a bit more f*cked up and a bit more Gallic - two big pluses as far as we're concerned. If you wanna expose your ears to a whole new corner of the musical landscape while zoning out to one of the most balmy and brilliant mixtapes of the summer - this one's for you.