Swingeing, daring, deep Afro-Latin jazz finesse from Irreversible Entanglement’s Aquiles Navarro & Tscheser Holmes on Chicago’s amazing International Anthem label - another gem that may well refresh and reaffirm views on modern jazz, and its place in contemporary music
"Heritage of the Invisible II" follows Navarro and Holmes’s rise to prominence as members of free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements. In March of 2020 in "The Nation" writer Marcus J. Moore said "Irreversible Entanglements’ fearless music takes to task the police, American politics, capitalism, and racism." The revolutionary ethos that drives Irreversible Entanglements is no less present in Navarro and Holmes’s duo work, though their duo finds them much more wholeheartedly and jubilantly embracing their Latin and Afro-Caribbean foundations.
The tracks flash by in a rapturous onslaught, crystalizing in incantations by Spanish poet Marcos de la Fuente (an apocalyptic fever dream on “Initial Meditation”), vocalist Brigitte Zozula (the bliss of bustling nightlife on “A Night in NY”), Navarro’s mentor and collaborator Carlos Garnett (the banality of economics on “$$$ /// billete”) and their own musings on friendship and community (the stoned soul picnic of “Plantains”). Of the album’s de facto anthem “Pueblo,” Navarro says “it’s a celebration of life, the coming together of the people, el pueblo, a celebration of who we are, where we come from, it’s our pueblo, our people, a feeling of openness, hope, and a future of unity from el pueblo, the people.” Identifying as active listeners and audience members as well, Navarro and Holmes step back on “M.O.N.K (Most Only Never Knew)” to shine a light on the solo improvisation of pianist/composer Nick Sanders. On the 8-minute duet “NAVARROHOLMES,” the two players reach a summit as they face off in spirited alliance, conjuring visions of legendary free jazz telepathics – Braxton and Roach, Coltrane and Ali, Cherry and Blackwell.
Navarro and Holmes never idle on "Heritage of the Invisible II," choosing instead to ponder their origins in a devout charge of ecstatic cooperation. Meditating on the unseen constructive forces of culture and rhythm as a cadence encoded in one’s heritage, with "Heritage of the Invisible II" they share a volume of their story in rich color – a brilliantly imagined testament to generations of memory, creation and existential joy.”
John Frusciante releases the first instrumental electronic album under his own name on Aaron Funk's Timesig label. The record is dedicated to his cat Maya who recently passed away, a fellow traveller in his otherwise solitary music making sessions.
"He says "Maya was with me as I made music for 15 years, so I wanted to name it after her. She loved music, and with such a personal title, it didn't seem right to call myself Trickfinger, somehow, so it's by John Frusciante."
'Maya' is inspired by his favourite music: '91 to'96 UK breakbeat hardcore and jungle. It’s a varied and personal take with sophisticated, authentic production balanced against John’s acute sense of melody, an inspired blending of machines and samples infused with a joyful energy.
After discovering early UK rave music, John started dancing at drum & bass club nights in Los Angeles. He then got into Venetian Snares' music at the Autechre curated ATP in 2003, eventually becoming friends with Aaron resulting in the Speed Dealer Moms collaboration which boosted his confidence in making electronic music.
The process of making his tracks changed over time as John explains; “For a full year before I started this record, I worked within self-imposed limitations and rules that made the music-making process as difficult as possible, programming for programming's sake. After a full year of that, I decided to make things easier, to the degree that I could regularly finish tracks I enjoyed listening to, while continuing many of the practices I‘d developed. Throughout the recording of Maya, I would prepare to make each track very slowly, but would finish tracks very quickly. I'd spend weeks making breakbeats, souping up a drum machine, making DX7 patches, and so on. By the time an idea came up that seemed like the beginning of a tune, I had a lot of fresh elements ready to go."
John says his solo music has changed; "I don't have that interest in singing or writing lyrics like I used to. The natural thing when I'm by myself now, is to just make music like the stuff being released this year. I really love the back and forth with machines and the computer." The fun he’s having on 'Maya' is infectious."
An unmissable introduction to the waking dream-like music of Charlie Morrow, drawn from 50 years of archival material from all angles - classical, folk, jazz, tape music - with an abundance of colour and extended melodic thought of the rarest kind, following cameos and work on ace reissues/retrospectives of R.I.P. Hayman, New Audio Wilderness Audiographics, and Company in recent times.
“America Lament is a panoramic musical survey of legendary experimental composer/event-maker Charlie Morrow’s eclectic works. At just over 40-minutes, America Lament is mysterious, beguiling, and jubilant, comprised of pieces employing everything from hand-made electronics to Irish lap pipes, ecstatic jazz to Schubert recompositions, ambient flutes, and a string quartet. Charlie Morrow and Recital’s Sean McCann excavated 50 years of Morrow’s bottomless archive, from 1970 to 2020, to present this follow-up to 2018’s Recital release Toot! Too.
Charlie Morrow (b. 1942 in Newark, NJ) is a composer, sound artist, performer, and innovator. With concert performances and ad jingles (including Hefty trash bags – “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty! Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!”), city-wide events and film soundtracks, museum sound installations and hospital sound environments, Morrow’s work has been experienced by a wider audience than most creative artists can claim.
Charlie’s music has a melody and depth to it that I feel is absent from a lot of avant-garde music. His keen interest in all musical styles seem to inform this harmony. Charlie’s drive to interconnect people and ideas is contagious and affirming, and working with him has been one of the pleasures of my life. We have forthcoming releases in 2021 by Alison Knowles, Jerome Rothenberg, and a box set of the 1980 International Sound Poetry Festival.
-Sean McCann, Sept. 2020”
Seasonal synth-pop and shoegaze from Penelope Trappes on a new EP with Houndstooth.
The London-based Australian songwriter’s icy vox are wrapped in high tog new age synth arps in the wintry panorama, ‘Eel Drip’, whereas they turn into cottony clouds of reverb against the backdrop of slow, plangent shoegaze strums in ‘Break’ with sanguine effect that seeps into her Julia Holter-esque torch song ‘Afraid’, and the washed out choral vox and strings of ‘Berceuse’ surely recalls Tape Loop Orchestra’s paranormal ambient investigations.
Minimal house producer Mathias Kaden steers to deep, strolling dub house in a plush full length for Echocord
Across an immersive hour long album Kaden firms up the styles of his 12”s in this mode for Raum…music, Mule Musiq, and Ornaments in a sprawling album format, elegantly weaving between Tomomi Ukumori’s hushed Japanese vocals and perfectly poised dub house motion in the likes of ‘Kioku’, thru to offbeat underwater steppers recalling T++ on Shao’, a splashy roller from the Substance playbook in ‘Asaka’, and the solemn dub chord reflection of ’Soso’. Very nicely done.
Gqom OG, Griffit Vigo knocks out a killer definitive solo album including remastered version of his foundational ‘Rees Vibe’ banger - a big DJ Lag tune - and eight more darkside, technoid zingers naturally inspired by Zulu culture and modern South Africa
Straight-up, the new remaster of ‘Rees Vibe’ knocks colder and harder than the 2018 master, and is unmissable for the DJs, but skipping to the new gear there’s serious dancers’ tackle tucked into the cosmic-militant syncopated snares and bleeps of ‘Ups and Downs’, a super-tight percussive nugget in ‘Drumm Hand (Griffit Vigo’s Ancestral Mix)’ strongly recalling Pinch’s runs into UKF styles, and again with the lip-bitingly deft, pensile percs and chants of ’Shanga Dedi’. And If you aren’t going heads-down and dancing a hole in your rug after ‘Yasizwa Les’gubhu (Vigo Music Original Mix)’, then maybe lockdown’s got too bad for you. Swear down the best dancers we’ve ever seen were the South African crew at Nyege Festival, and we can only practice and pretend with these bangers that we’re even half as good at cutting shapes. Make sure to check the bangers on Housupa just in this week if you like this lark!
What a no brainer?
Actress returns with singers in tow for an ambitious but very real 7th album of greyscale and chromatic electronics - his first since the Ai project with Young Paint and 2017’s ‘AZD’.
On his definitive new opus Actress ushers in vocalists for the first time, allowing Sampha, Zsela, Aura T-09, and Rebekah Cristel to voice his music alongside additional keys from Italian pianist/composer Vanessa Benelli Mosell. The result is layered and spaced out to accommodate other souls in a hazy matrix of tenderised melodies and amorphous rhythms. If you’ve followed Actress' work thus far - since his cult beginnings in the mid ‘00s, or since the acclaim for his subtly game-changing run of LPs from ’Hazyville’ to ‘Ghettoville’ circa 2008-2014 - the crystalline intricacies of ‘Karma & Desire’ feel like a natural progression of his music into a form of dematerialised dancefloor/bedroom metaphysics that many others have tried to imitate, yet never quite executed with this sort of deeply enigmatic, dreamlike appeal.
Recent years have seen Actress incorporate classical and Ai inspirations thru his work on ‘Lageos’ with the LCO, and his Ai Jade Soulform on ‘AZD’ and the ‘Young Paint’ album. Now ‘Karma & Desire’ feels like the consolidation of all his work in this direction, achieving a unique sense of timeless, soul-burning immanence and detached, OOBE-like qualities that can safely be called Actress music. Sampha proves an ideal foil for his ideas on three of the albums’s quietest highlights; inhabiting ‘Many Seas, Many Rivers’ with the tenderest warbles, and almost channelling a tremulous Linda Sharrock in ‘VVY’, while found at his most vulnerable in the drizzly swing of ‘Walking Flames’, featuring Kara-Lis Coverdale on fliute. And likewise he finds the perfect sort of club music muses from Zsela in the deep blue house of ‘Angels Pharmacy’, Aura T-09 on the slackened garage of ’Loveless’, and Rebekah Christel on the LP’s jitty highlight ‘Loose’.
The instrumental arrangements here still ooze amorphous expression in every hiss, lop-sided drum and smudged chord, from the the scuzzy electro-soul swerve of ‘Diamond X’ to the air-stepping keys and bass wamp of ‘Leaves Against The Sky’, to what sounds like Coil’s studio ELpH’s emerging in the great matter probe ‘Reverend’, and a jaw-dropping masterstroke in the panoramic strings and funereal thuds of ‘Save’.
More than 15 years after we first heard his music, Actress still works our hearts, feet and minds like no other, we can’t wait to spend time entangled in this one.
After 44 years, a rare piece of South American electronic music history resurfaces for first time, remastered at Berlin D&M after recently being highlighted by KFW’s Creel Pone CDr series
“MESÍAS MAIGUASHCA (b. December 24th, 1938 in Quito / Ecuador) is a composer of Neue Musik, especially electroacoustic music, who studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Quito, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY (1958–65), with ALBERTO GINASTERA at the Instituto di Tella in Buenos Aires, at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and, after a short return to Ecuador, attended the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt and the Fourth Cologne Courses for New Music in 1966–67 where he studied with KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN. From 1968 to 1972, MAIGUASHCA worked closely with STOCKHAUSEN in the Electronic Music Studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne and joined STOCKHAUSEN's ensemble for performances at the German Pavilion at the Expo '70 in Osaka. In 1971 he became a founding member of the OELDORF GROUP of composers and performers, and began work at the Centre Européen pour la Recherche Musicale in Metz, at IRCAM in Paris, and at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. From 1990 – 2004 MAIGUASHCA was Professor of Electronic Music at the Musikhochschule of Freiburg im Breisgau where he still lives today.
„Maiguashca … is part of the first generation of South American maverick sound explorers that in the 1960s paved the way for a tradition of innovation that persists in the present noise and psychedelic scenes of the continent. Along with Edgar Valcárcel, César Bolaños, Beatriz Ferreyra, Mauricio Kagel or José Vicente Asuar, he contributed to expand the possibilities of musical language beyond the dominant Western canon …“ David Jarrin / Kraak Festival”
After putting his yung sons to work, Mr. Mitch puts a strong dancehall shift in on his Gobstopper Records with four warped and grimy mutations of dembow and industrial strength ragga-tek
‘I’ll Be 20 when I’m 40’ is a proper bit of weirdo dancehall artillery, and likewise he can’t help but do the OG Jamaican sound with a warped UK spin in ’Stinky Leg’, shaking it out a way also reminding off STILL’s offbeat bangers. The tumbling toms and cold steel pan drum hook of ‘Raggatron’ sounds like a buckled take on DJ Python’s notion of dembow deep house, and ‘Flacon Paradise’ traces that idea one step further, like Ben Cenac doing cumbia, with its mystic flutes and bellytightening bass torque.
Shed scrapes your serotonin receptors for residual rave energies with rounds of bolshy breakstep, clipped wing IDM, and more thunderous tekkers for Tectonic
The Berlin producer’s first release proper for the Bristol bastion follows a tight rework of Peverelist’s ‘Junction’ 10 years ago with a see-sawing session taking in the proggy build of ‘Try’, beside a shoulder-rolling industrial breakstep killer ‘Box’, and a wooden techno slammer ‘Sweep’ landing somewhere between Blawan and some giddy DJ Rush tonker.
Neana back on the trak, dolo, with six shiny club trax following the ‘Steam Room’ EP with Leonce
Doing hard drum and grimy club in his vacuum-sealed, wipe-clean and spunky style, Manchester’s Neana teases out a weirder line of sloshing fluoro synth juice in ‘Trace’ that may well ruin your creps, but you’ll have fun doing it.
A big one is ‘Indigo’, presumably a tribute to the Withington rave basement, packing wonky gurn synth leads and jump-up hard drum pressure in the EP’s waviest highlight, up there with the grimy-meets-gqom style barks and parry of ‘Take A Step Back’, the drunkenly bullish ballroom antics of ’Stormy Maywether’, and a freakish, crunching dembow-trance sidewinder, ‘Dead Technik’.
Outstanding introduction to Amapiano, the hypnotic house sound of Guateng, SA with feet in Kwaito and deep house styles. Proper dancers’ gear, dead compatible the deeper ends of Gqom, and new London sounds on Housupa. Tipped by Tom Booigzm, Black Mecha, and us, at the least.
“The past five years have seen amapiano, South Africa’s electronic music movement born in the townships of the country’s Gauteng province, evolve from an underground sound to a nationwide mainstream staple. Even with its commercial success though, amapiano’s DIY ethos has continued to disrupt music creation and distribution in the country. Most amapiano commercial successes today began their careers on cracked versions of production software like FL Studio, distributed their work through file sharing platforms like datafilehost and marketed it using social media pages they controlled and influenced.
Amapiano is partly a tasting menu of South Africa’s musical history, a lineage that has been as much a backdrop to the times as it has been a catalyst for change in the country. South African jazz has thrived pre and post-democracy, contributing international stalwarts of the genre, notably Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela. Kwaito music—which itself borrowed from other genres like marabi, kwela, mbaqanga, maskandi, bubblegum and others—was created and proliferated in the 90s partly because of the newly accessible House music imported into the country. In the early 2000s, Deep and Afro House dominated, to be followed by the rise of diBacardi, a percussion—heavy electronic music genre most popular in the city of Pretoria and its surrounding townships.
Amapiano Selections, the debut album by DJ and producer Teno Afrika, gives listeners outside the movement’s online release economy an insight into the high-burn nature of amapiano that has spawned a distinct typology under its larger umbrella. Nineteen-year-old Lutendo Raduvha has spent the bulk of his life moving between different townships on the outskirts of Johannesburg and Pretoria in the Gauteng province. The palette of amapiano styles on the album reflect these influences.
But at first, South Africa’s youngest electronic music movement lived underground with a small, loyal following. “Amapiano is a genre that I chose because I have a passion for it,” says Teno “I started following amapiano in 2016 because I wanted to explore how it’s produced. It was not taken seriously in our country. By: Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi”
The first new Magik Markers album in six years is a great reminder why we always loved the psychedelic blues-sludge trio: this is mind-altering clatter-rock of the highest order that hangs out bumming rolling papers at the intersection of Neil Young, Popol Vuh and early Sabbath.
Elisa Ambrogio, John Shaw and Pete Nolan have always been a formidable trio, with a startling slew of material emerging in the mid-00s on labels like Ecstatic Peace!, Textile and even Dominic Fernow's Hospital Productions. But since 2009, they slowed down considerably; the trio's last full-length "Surrender To the Fantasy" appeared in 2013. "2020" is a blistering return to the spotlight, following July's short "Isolated From Exterior Time" EP, and finds the band stepping right back into their alluring, endless psychedelic groove.
Ambrogio's characteristic vocals and fuzzy riffs yet again anchor the tracks, fleshed out with Spectre Folk's Pete Nolan's assured drumming and additional elements (memorably Mellotron on chirpy album highpoint 'Born Dead') from John Shaw. There's something unshakeably American about this music - rooted in blues and then shaped by riot grrl punk, 70s psychedelia and basement noise. The title is almost a joke - the music never feels rooted in the present, and that might make it more 2020 than anything else.
Æthenor's Daniel O'Sullivan reclaims the library music genre with a deliciously spooky set of soundtrack-esque drones and tones that will stick in yer head far longer than you'd expect. One for Radiophonic Workshop fans and Death Waltz devotees.
The first in a series of three albums of "library music miniatures", "Electric Maya: Dream Flotsam And Astral Hinterlands" finds multi-instrumentalist Daniel O'Sullivan grappling with the concept of library music. For a while now, the genre has come to mean a certain type of breaks record - one for the crate diggers to obsess over before sticking on discogs for ridiculous sums. So legendary library imprint KPM Music is working with an assembly of modern composers to breathe some life - and more importantly some variety - into the genre.
Daniel O'Sullivan's first entry does exactly what you'd expect, but does it so damn well it's hard to complain at all. There are dusty, giallo-esque sounds aplenty, but O'Sullivan's distant drones and evocative, exquisite near-orchestral compositions are so inviting we've been going back again and again for more. Tracks like 'Eagle Ears' will have u wondering exactly which Criterion-approved indie masterpiece it was snipped from, while 'Feathered Earth' sounds as if it was swept up from the cutting room floor after Brian Eno's 'On Land' sessions.
Hearing any artist rise to the challenge of working in short-form is a pleasure, and Daniel O'Sullivan appears to relish the limitations of the form. Each vignette is perfectly formed, whether it's plaintive solo piano, bizarre outerzone electronics, pastoral ambience, high-minded prog or spiritual drone. It's an odd mix but utterly enjoyable from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
Other than being one half of Alter Ego, Sensorama and Acid Jesus, and running the awesome Klang Electronik label, you wouldn't think he had time to do any solo work! Fresh from remixing the last Human League 12" (All I Ever Wanted, on Klang Electronik) with his long term partner Jorn 'Elling' Wuttke, Roman drops 4 'patterns' of his own on the Ongaku imprint. 'Pattern 9' is a wicked club track, watery percussive elements mingle with the 4/4, overlaid with bleeps and cut up noises, and a huge bass noise that modulates throughout - only becoming full flowing two thirds through. 'Pattern 10' is a little bolder and squelchier. Creative use of analogue squeaks and rumbles creates a wicked pattern, there are little fills in the drums and synth's that give the track an almost breaky feel, without losing the 4/4 element. 'Pattern 11' is the driving force on this 12". In the first 8 bars before the percussion drops you know it's a winner. Killer 303 blips groove like a monster, arpeggiated drops combine with these to give a real busy feel and the percussion adds to the rolling effect created by the synths. Lastly, 'Pattern 12' is the funk bomb! There are 2 melodic elements, a bass line and some chord washes, backed by Roman's classic techno percussion. The bassline is too good, funk driven, watery, and perfect for a 4/4 beat, the breaks and the chord stabs add to the stepping motion of the track, a very fine example of techno in the higher realms, buy!
Jan Jelinek takes on six great pop "standards" by the likes of Kraftwerk and Marcel Duchamp, dissected by sampler, stretched, compressed, and re-collaged with a rarely paralleled craftsmanship and playfulness.
‘Anthology of American Pop Music’ is the technically the 2nd full length statement from the semi-fictitious project’s HQ, the Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe, Germany. It is an arch example of Jan Jelinek’s fakelore approach to composition, demonstrating his deeply enigmatic style of sample dissection and reassembly in six collaged vignettes threaded with elusive ohwurms and “flashes of déjà vu and remote echoes that evoke the original”, all blessed with the cool curiosity of his most intoxicating, dreamiest work.
With a beguiling sleight-of-hand on the sampler perhaps matched only by the likes of Carl Stone, but much more delicate with it, Jelinek’s latest GES sees him tease uncredited, unrecognisable pop hits into spidery webs of thought that loop and fray in totally absorbing ambient geometries and rustling, jazzy fabrications. We advise shutting off all comms, closing the curtains, and allowing only a hypnic jerk or two get in between you and GES mesmerising, lissom suspension systems and blissed smirk state of mind.
Flaming Tunes was recorded by Gareth Williams (ex of This Heat) and his childhood friend Mary Currie and released on cassette in 1985.
If you spend any time at all on the Flaming Tunes website (in particular, it has some scans of letters Williams wrote to Currie in the early 80's), or read a series of interviews Tony Herrington made for The Wire magazine in 2009 with Currie and Andrew Jacques of These Records, you get a real feel for the personal nature of the recordings. As Currie herself describes it: "Flaming Tunes was a collaboration that came out of a friendship. Gareth and I would meet at 'Danger de Mort' Gareth's house in Balham usually during the daytime when my son was at nursery. Sometimes we'd be joined by others. A room full of instruments and things that could make noise. We made some of our own too and used available objects for percussion. Later on we had more sophisticated equipment - full size keyboard and 12 track recording facility. Sometimes things happened and sometimes we just indulged ourselves in making a bit of a racket. I can't begin to describe how Gareth put things together and this was often done well into the early hours of the morning. I'd go away and come back and what had started out as a fragment had become another flaming tune."
After a bootlegged version came out in the late 90's, Life & Living Records - an independent label operated by Williams' close circle of friends (Williams himself passed away in 2001 at the age of 48) - went back to the original master tapes and painstakingly restored and remastered the audio. As for the music itself - oh gosh, where to start? On one level - it's a hodgepodge of lo-fi pop songs, experiments and location recordings that sound like they were never intended for public consumption. And yet - these tunes just don't let go of you once you've spent any amount of time with them. Take "Breast Stroke" for instance - for many people the highlight of the album - it's just the most unforgettable, perfectly formed, eccentric, life-affirming three and a half minutes you'll ever spend with a piece of music. The fact that the percussion was made on a casio keyboard and what sounds like a peculiarly British variant of a human beatbox, well, it's just the icing on the cake. Really, words just do no justice.
“My Echo is my 11th solo album. It’s my ‘my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did’ album. My conscious mind was trying as hard as I could to keep my family together but my subconscious mind was working on the difficult struggles in my marital life. I was part of a “Secret Poetry Group” that met and wrote poems monthly for a year during the writing of this record. Many of my poems turned into songs for this album. By the time the album was being mixed last fall, my ex-husband/producer Tucker Martine and I had decided to go our separate ways. We were a great musical team for many years but we struggled to be compatible in our marriage and family life and that struggle is reflected in this album.
In this new batch of songs I imagine escaping from some sort of prison or cage. Advancing age, the confines of domesticity, our oppressive government and the threat of the apocalypse permeate these songs. In these songs my heart craves certainty and permanence but none is to be found. It’s an album about disintegration. It reveals my artist’s intuition at work.
Although these songs were written before quarantine they are strangely relevant to times in which we find ourselves currently. You will find me staring at the walls (Turquoise Walls). You will find me feeling grateful to be alive (Memaloose Island). You will find me accepting the ephemeral nature of life (Vapor Trails and All the Things). You will find me searching for personal freedom while feeling trapped (Freedom Feeling). You will find me trying to accept that sometimes the best thing to do is to sit still and do nothing at all (Another Space and Time)." - Laura Veirs
Lake Turner was introduced to Kompakt by his sometime collaborator Yannis Philippakis of Foals. He’d previously made music in post-punk and indie groups Great Eskimo Hoax and Trophy Wife, but Videosphere is the first time he’s fully articulated his own vision of electronic music, aside from one limited lathe-cut 12”, 2018’s Prime Mover EP, on Algebra.
"The lush ambient-disco-techno dreams of Videosphere were constructed and completed in his London studio and at his parents’ arable and sheep farm in Worcestershire, which might help explain the hazy, unhurried pastoralism of the album.
Across its brief 109 seconds, it manages to traverse evocative terrain – something mythopoetic, something both humble and grandiose, a glimpse of the other behind the sky’s curtain. “I wanted to conjure up something resembling an ancient ceremony or death procession,” Turner nods. “Like a hymn to the surroundings of a faraway hill.” It’s both sky-bound and earthen, a ritual incantation to call in the music of the spheres.
Turner was introduced to the Kompakt family by his sometime collaborator Yannis Philippakis of Foals. He’d previously made music in post-punk and indie groups Great Eskimo Hoax and Trophy Wife, but Videosphere is the first time he’s fully articulated his own vision of electronic music, aside from one limited lathe-cut 12”, 2018’s Prime Mover EP, on Algebra. The lush ambient-disco-techno dreams of Videosphere were constructed and completed in his London studio and at his parents’ arable and sheep farm in Worcestershire, which might help explain the hazy, unhurried pastoralism of the album.
“There was a slight bittersweetness in finishing the record (in Worcestershire) as my parents were in the middle of selling my childhood home,” he sighs, before quipping, “on the plus, I ended up shearing a lot of sheep over the summer.” A student of archaeology and ancient history, Turner is no doubt carefully attuned to the twisting cogs of history and memory, and it’s no surprise that Videosphere has a nostalgic, melancholic cast; much of its beauty rests in the way it tugs, gently, at the heart strings – see the tear-stained cheeks of the lush, dappled “Honeycomb”, or the sweetly sad electro-roundelay of “No Way Back Forever.”
It’s not all drift-dream hypnosis, though – Videosphere is very much grounded in the now. ““No Way Back Forever” is a nod to the linear nature of time,” Turner explains by way of example, “and the tipping point of the world climate crisis that scientists have now declared.” Jayne Powell’s vocals are sent spinning through the song, wound like candyfloss; she takes centre stage on the techno hymnal title track, too. Throughout, there’s a sense of forward movement, despite the life stasis we find ourselves collectively bound by in mid-2020; there’s also a yearning for the communal, for community, that’s captured in the album title, a nod to an object Turner encountered at London’s Geoffrey Museum, “a television set in the shape of a spaceman’s helmet from the 1970s.”
“The vision I loosely had was to make an electronic record that had a communal warmth and almost ceremonial or ritual feel. I wanted to examine the relationship of our archaic minds in the trappings of the modern world,” Turner concludes. “What the Videosphere also symbolizes for me is the oneness of humanity and community, prevailing.”
Plush first signs of new material from the legendary Detroit-Berlin axis; Carl Craig taking off on a cosmic hi-tek jazz mission, and Moritz von Oswald cutting fathoms deeper with a dubbier, swinging take letting the sax sing bittersweet
“Collaborators and close friends since the foundational years of Berlin and Detroit's spiritual and musical partnership, two undisputed pioneers of electronic music, Carl Craig and Moritz von Oswald, continue to expand on a shared musical vision. "Attenuator" is the first production to emerge from a series of studio sessions in Berlin and Detroit over the past two years, with more material to come in the near future. Although originally produced in unison, this two-sided single sees both Craig and von Oswald deliver their own distinct take on the material, each fluidly expanding on their uniquely intertwined heritage.
For his take on "Attenuator", Carl Craig leans further into the fluid blend of track-led techno and warm musicianship that remain central to his work, building stifling tension as a prelude to a fervent brew of warm pads and celestial sax. Headstrong and deep, Craig embraces his dancefloor nous without sacrificing a moment of beatitude In response, Moritz Von Oswald bathes the brass and the bliss of "Attenuator" in the accomplished dub texture he's long been known for, unspooling layers of musicianship to roll forward a loose, fresh and equally fulfilling atmosphere, one that still maintains the arresting pulse established at the heart of the duo's sophisticated, futurist philosophy.”
Originalitos’ is the follow-up to the 2016 album ‘Boleros Valses y Mas’, which featured a minimal and emotional take on Latin American standards. ‘Originalitos’ uses the same technological limitations as ‘Boleros Valses y Mas’ but features all original compositions.
"Throughout eight nostalgic original compositions created on the analogue Oberheim synthesizer, Frankie Reyes draws on his Puerto Rican heritage and the sounds of everyday life. Influenced by the traditional music of Puerto Rico and the music of Latin American and synth-based composers, Reyes’ compositions bring together traditional and modern styles, combining ancestral sounds with contemporary technologies. Reyes is best known for his work as Gifted & Blessed. He also releases music as The Abstract Eye and one half of duo The Steoples, who will release their second album ‘Wide Through The Eyes Of No One’ on Stones Throw soon. For fans of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Dorothy Ashby, Mort Garson, Raymond Scott, Hailu Mergia, Sylvia Rexach."
Colombia-born and raised musician Ela Minus wrote, performed and produced the collection entirely alone. Self-made and punk in spirit - Ela puts her own spin on traditional electronic music.
"She designs and builds hardware synthesizers and, as a self- imposed rule, no sound in her work is generated inside a computer. Creating complex, technical electronic music that exudes a vibrant warmth and a stark, celebratory affirmation that our breaths aren’t infinite. A collection of songs about the personal as political and an embracing of the beauty of tiny acts of revolution in our everyday lives. Throughout, a sense of urgency and a call to arms is mixed with this love and appreciation for reality - because even revolutionaries need to leave space for simple human interaction."
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker announces two new albums, songs and instrumentals, out October 23rd on 4AD. songs and instrumentals are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to coronavirus. After returning to the states from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
"Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker announces two new albums, ‘songs and instrumentals’, out on 4AD. ‘songs and instrumentals’ are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to the pandemic. After returning to the States from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts."
Warehouse D&B ruination from Karim Maas, tagging in Outer Heaven on the massive lead tune, plus some Scorn or DJ Scud-style levels of hard pressure.
Shotting us right back to the dankest Manc warehouses and free parties circa early ’00s, Karim Maas generates serious darkside biz calling in reinforcements from Outer Heaven on the demonic strongback tech-step rollige of ‘The Force’, before letting the leash off on a gnashing beast ‘Mosquito’ for a cold rush of clattering breakbeat pressure and tormented distortion recalling Scorn, and Charlene lends possessed vocals to the reverberating noise of ‘The People United Will Never Be Defeated’ like a female echo across the empty warehouse from Karim’s ‘Cassette A’ classic. What we would give for a night of this gear in a warehouse this weekend isn’t right.
For the second round in the series, the idea remains the same - Nina Kraviz announces the stream date and sends out a call to artists for their unreleased music to firstname.lastname@example.org, all genres are welcome.
"After the stream takes place, the favourite tracks are signed and a few weeks later a digital only 'hot steel' compilation is released. The second hot steel stream took place in Mykonos' Cavo Paradiso and results into another multitalented, high octane and unique 21 track compilation."
Beggars Arkive reissue of The Fall’s 10th studio album, 1988’s THE FRENZ EXPERIMENT.
"The reissue contains the original album, plus singles and B-Sides. The CD version also includes a previously unreleased 4-track BBC session and “A Day In The Life”, a Beatles cover recorded exclusively for the NME charity compilation Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father in 1988, plus a 24-page booklet with new interviews. The LP version contains extensive sleeve notes with new interviews. The notes included with both formats contain brand new interviews conducted by Daryl Easley in May 2020."
Berlin is the second single taken from the new A Certain Ratio album ACR Loco
"A companion piece to the new sold #loverecordstores 7” for Friends Around Us. Includes the original version of Dirty Boy."
First time reissue of a super-rare private press tape by peerless sound artist and instrument builder Akio Suzuki, recorded behind-the-wall in 1984 at Berlin’s Technical University.
An absolute master of haptic abstraction, Suzuki’s delicate touch on self-built glass harmonica and the Analapos echo unit - metal cans joined by coil spring, like a kid’s tin-can telephone - generates the most ear-teasing spectrum of tones in ‘Zeitstudie’, which was only available in scant quantities via Galerie Giannozo, who organised his 1984 visit and performance which produced these recordings.
If you’ve had the pleasure of immersing in Akio’s work before, you will know the sort of tingling pleasures to be had from his music, and, as the artist states, this is one of the most “joyful” examples of his early work. The four pieces use one of his earliest, transportable set-ups, with a refined version of his glass harmonica - glass tubes suspended horizontally and played with wet fingers or wooden stick - and its sweetly avian harmonics displayed in the two mesmerising ‘De Koolmees’ pieces, while the others generate utterly intoxicating worlds of echo from his Analapos unit, reverberating in two 17 minutes parts like lingering traces of ecstatic melody from Michael O’Shea’s Mo Cara, or some ancient ceremonial cave music.