If Arthur Russell was into industrial not disco, then his World Of Echo might well have sounded something like John Roberts’ Body Four, a follow-up to the excellent Plum album on Roberts’ Brunette Editions.
Wrought with the innovative, plangent minimalism and simplicity of Russell’s cello, pedal and amp studies, Roberts’ efforts are perhaps more rugged and off kilter - also recalling certain aspects of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark in its lo-fi grain - but likewise manages to wrench a captivating sense of expressive pathos from his similar set-up of cello and sequencer in each of these relatively short, smeared windows onto his personalised practice.
The Kid gives his wrist a rest to unfurl a suite of cinematic strings underlined by heavy bass and voiced by the elven-voiced Icelandic signer, Emiliana Torrini.
“Kid Koala’s Music To Draw To: Satellite is an uncharted musical journey: an expansive work of ambient electronic soundscapes and chilling ballads in collaboration with Icelandic artist Emilíana Torrini. This inaugural volume in the Music To Draw To series is Kid Koala's first non-sample-based record, instead using an array of synthesizers, keys, guitars, strings, turntables, and inventive recording techniques to portray this heartrending musical story about a couple separated by a mission to Mars.
The output is over 72 atmospheric minutes of stardust settling like fresh snow over Kid Koala’s trove of turntables and sentiment.”
Deep but up-for-it disco house bangers from Florence, Italy’s Marco D’Aquino a.k.a. Dukwa for the purposes of this 12” with the Glaswegian Italophiles at Numbers.
Well versed in Anthony Shakir style chops, the four cuts on Shattered In A Thousand Places cook up solid US styles with an extra hint of Italian gourmet, resulting the strobing chord delicacy of Thoughts feat. Mar G on all-night-long vox, plus the pumping sasturday night pressure of Fries Friends, a skipper slice of John Swing styles in Illusory Dreams, and a rugged Frictional downstroke on Lazy.
Throughout their time together, the Baltimore-based Arbouretum have been praised for their ability to weave elaborate vocal lines and guitar solos that often unravel into extended improvisation but never with as much finesse as on the masterfully crafted ‘Song Of The Rose’.
"In less practiced hands, these ideas could easily fall into contrivance but on ‘Song of the Rose’ Arbouretum use these elements to perfect their craft of storytelling in song, both lyrically and sonically.
Arbouretum recorded ‘Song Of The Rose’ with Steve Wright at Wrightway Studios. While previous records were recorded in a matter of days, ‘Song Of The Rose’ took weeks. Attention to production details augment their time-tested emphasis on capturing the energy of performance. ‘Song Of The Rose’ is the first time the band has mixed with Kyle Spence (Kurt Vile, Luke Roberts, Harvey Milk) at his studios in Athens, GA."
Ricardo Donoso dons his Scuba Death gear for a second exploration of mortality on the ever-excellent Further Records.
Scuba Death remains Ricardo Donoso’s creative self-therapy for dealing with the inevitable feelings of fear and anxiety after a brush with his maker whilst diving in the South Atlantic some time ago.
This second album finds the Kathexis man seeking out 19th Century American philosopher William James for further inspiration, whose 1902 book, ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature’ is responsible not only for the album title but also Donoso’s continued belief to channel his fears for creative means. We move from the sea to the earth on ‘The Worm At The Core,’ Donoso’s trademark field recordings culled from a series of thunderstorms rather than the scene of his brush with death.
These are expertly interspersed with chilling cello work by Rafa Selway into Donoso’s pulsing, tranced out arpeggios and low-bpm ripples for another reflective, intense collection of Scuba Death material.
Daniel Brandt, co-founder of Germany’s electroacoustic ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, joins Erased Tapes with his solo debut album.
"What started off as a more simplistic idea soon evolved into something a lot more complex as the London and Berlin based music producer travelled across the world, experimenting with various other artists and different instruments. From his father’s cabin based in the German countryside with access to nothing but cymbals, to being surrounded by guitars in Joshua Tree, his unexpected journey soon progressed into what became his first solo album.
Daniel played nearly all instruments himself with the only exception being fellow musicians Florian Juncker on trombone, Manu Delago on hang drum and Andreas Voss on cello. Using his Berlin studio as his main base for recording, Brandt created an album that encapsulates the idea that despite setting out with a particular creative vision, external influences and environments will always shift the process, and create an Eternal Something."
The tireless Death Is Not The End returns with the first of two primers of Caucasus folk in conjunction with the Ored Recordings label.
Established in 2014, Ored Recordings is a free ethnographic net-label that has drawn together a truly enlightening collection of field recordings based on documenting the folk and experimental musicians living in villages and towns throughout the North Caucasus region.
Working together, the two labels draw together a 13-track collection that offers an illuminating introduction to some of the song-based folk music Ored Recordings has worked to profile across its 14 releases to date.
Lustrous, ambiguously sensual synth expressions from Denmark’s Internazionale.
“The Pale And The Colourful is Internazionale's first album on vinyl, released by Posh Isolation. It comes after a near flood of limited tape releases both through his remarkable Janus Hoved label and through Posh Isolation. It's a logical summary of Internazionale's work up to this point and is the prime example of the sensual synthetic meditations he has come to be known for.
The clear pop sensibility of his compositions are clouded with noises and ambiguous field recordings, and it is somehow hard to really figure out if the music intends to lift us up or hold us down. What is certain is that no Internazionale release up to this point reaches the level of The Pale And The Colourful.”
Arresting debut of melancholy vocals and deconstructed hard-dance tropes from Melbourne’s Australia’s Felix Idle, a.k.a WA?STE for his debut on Shanghai’s Genome 6.66Mbp label.
Operating somewhere between the Bala Club sound and Posh Isolation’s handsome misery, Hollow Vessel deals with the travails of long hours spent online in a series of succinct compositions fanning out needy vocals in aeriel formations over deconstructed backdrops - working at full wingspan in the weightless glyde of Last Forever and Done, whereas Thorns and My Illuminated Console factor in clipped, rugged drums that almost make his fragile vocals flinch and bruise.
Bristol's Wisdom Teeth rustle up a low key but hypnotic triple header traversing from the super spacious and sub-heavy minimalism of Simo Cell’s Symmetry to a lean, driving piece of recursive gamelan techno shuffle from Don’t DJ, and the lilting, rhythmelodic and AfrReichian harmonic cadence of K-Lone’s Woniso.
Move D and his partner in crime, Jonah Sharp, a.k.a. Reaganz stealthily expand Berlin’s Away Music after entries from Joe Claussell and Christian Vance.
In solo mode Move D plays down the effortlessly hypnotic swing and gently uplifting chords of Roll Split in timeless style before joining Jonah Sharp on the more wistful, expansive jazz dub house vibes of 460 Melrose Ave as Reaganz.
Louche retro-vintage Balearic wings from Farbror Resande Mac, following the course of previous 12”s with Aficionado, Is It Balearic? Recordings, and Back To The Balearics with a balearic balearic of balearics for the balearic types at Horisontal Mambo.
Famed Labradfordians Mark Nelson and Robert Donne exhibit an even stronger desire for freeform synthetic experimentation on this second Anjou album for Kranky.
Picking up belatedly where their celebrated eponymous debut LP left off, Mark Nelson and Robert Donne’s Anjou project sounds as sublimated and spacious as ever on Epithymía. No longer in need of Kranky percussionist Steve Hess, Donne and Nelson distil the Anjou approach of framing their synthesis into a state of constant fluctuation down to a suite of six tracks. Largely favouring the long-form approach, this allows Donne and Nelson the freedom to truly express their creative intentions with Anjou
14-minute opener Culicinae is a fine example of this. Framed of five distinct movements, the track shifts between them with a subtle mastery that reveals itself with close attention. There are still whispers of Donne and Nelson’s post-rock inclinations from their Labradford days, evident in the percussive rainstorm that briefly filters through Culicinae, the abstracted bass that cuts through the gauzy, shapeless ambience of Greater Grand Crossing and the smartly deployed guitar drones towards the solemn closing moments of An Empty Bank.
The duo does find a semblance of rhythm on the swelling Soucouyant, choosing to toy with just a few refrains rather than let their fingers wander, whilst Glamr and Georgia combine for an eerie, intangible finale.
Marcel Dettmann grips the Museum duo for a deep and slippery slice of trippy Dutch techno.
Respectively known as Anton Pieete (District One) and Jeroen Liebregts (Audio Assault), Museum execute a sterling balance of mesmerising top lines and subtly kinky, rolling grooves throughout MDR21, with fine highlights in the dreamy throb of Pole whilst Septem F distinctly recalls early Psychic Warriors Of Gaia and CCC and DDD go deep on the tribal vibes.
Whereas Pontiak’s 2014 album ‘Innocence’ tore through rowdy riffs and melancholic balladry in a neat half hour, it’s immediately clear from the reverb-heavy trip of opener ‘Easy Does It’ that new album ‘Dialectic Of Ignorance’ is altogether a different beast.
Euphorically defying spatial constraint, brothers Jennings, Van and Lain Carney instead opt to guide each song along its own cosmic trajectory: confident in the outcome but even more excited to enjoy the ride.
Deep thumpin’ house, Detroit and Chicago style, from the new pick-up on Cos_Mos; a division of M>O>S Recordings.
Salomon Duncan is a new moniker to us, and may well be a pseudonym, we just do not know, but he’s clearly got a thing for classic acid, as displayed in the hefty slo-mo charge of Android (AdamantiumMix) whereas Tacci a Spill follows Legowelt-style lines of deep space house inquiry.
Reinhard Voigt and Terranova draw out the tuffer side of each other in classy remixes.
Voigt turns their Labrador into a heads-down techno buzz underlined with four square kicks and searing leads; Terranova go colder, tighter with an electro-tipped techno remix of Husky riding on distended bass and nagging monotone riffs bound to oscillate jaws and fists in the club.
One of the most pained, exquisite highs from Arca - the 4th album by Alejandro Ghersi a.k.a. Arca - feels like an opera of Bats recorded in a steeple then slowed down to human threshold of hearing.
Deep, soulful and broken house burners by the man, Matthew Chicoine a.k.a. Recloose: Spirit Knows gets loose with dreamy jazz chord cadence and slinky hustle; No I Don’t swings out on the dusty, heads-down pivot; and Geomancer brings some Amp Fiddler-style Detroit flavour to the table.