Following 16 months after Scottish artist Claire M Singer's debut album comes the release of the beautiful and intriguing 'Fairge', meaning 'the ocean' or 'the sea' in Scottish Gaelic. 'Fairge' is a single 21-minute piece for organ, cello and electronics, composed, performed and produced by Claire, it's very much a companion work to the title track on her debut album 'Solas' (Touch, 2016).
"Commissioned by Amsterdam's oldest building and parish church Oude Kerk, 'Fairge' premiered at the church in February 2017. Claire M Singer's performance on the Ahrend and Bunzema organ, cello and electronics is truly captivating. The work very much encapsulates her signature style of expansive soundscapes full of intricate textures, rich overtones and powerful swells, emotionally resonating from beginning to end.
'Fairge' was written specifically for the Ahered and Bunzema organ and explores the precise control of wind through the pipes using mechanical stop action. This creates a lush harmonic backdrop against the harmonics and melody of the haunting cello.
"Oude Kerk were very generous in letting me have time to explore and really get to know the instrument. The work was developed over many visits sitting in the church until the very wee hours over the winter months, which was incredibly magical and inspiring. When working with mechanical stops and precisely controlling the amount of air that passes through the pipes it requires a lot of practice and exploration to learn each incremental sound the organ can make and what the quirks of the instrument can be. As every organ is unique, the piece will differ on other organs but that's what makes writing and working with the organ so fascinating. The tuning is mean-tone temperament, which I have not worked with previously. With 'Fairge' I really wanted to show how special this relatively small organ is and the beautiful pallet of sound it can produce." [Claire M Singer, September 2017]
Claire is Music Director of the organ at Union Chapel and Artistic Director of the Organ Reframed festival."
Nice ’n deep remixes of Linkwood’s Expressions album from Chicago’s Ghosts of the Sky and French duo, Nummer.
Befitting of the album’s debonaire vibe, Ghosts of the Sky give Object a stylish warehouse workout soused in big reverbs and writhing with silvery hi-hat patter and sensual pads.
Nummer keep that vibe on course on the flip with a slippery overhaul of Love Lost given to cascading psychedelic FX and loved-up, lip-smacking chord progressions.
Material is the debut album by CID RIM.
"CID RIM is Clemens Bacher: writer, producer & drummer from Vienna. Old friends with Dorian Concept and The Clonious, and co-head of Affine Records. Clemens has championed a hybrid stream of new electronic music from Austria which blends influences of hard bop, krautrock, the beat scene & electronica. A post-post-modern form that still denies simple category.”
Abul Mogard keeps himself busy with this remix of O.M.A. taken from Aïsha Devi’s Of Matter And Spirit album for Houndstooth
Turning the plangent, Bjørk-meets-Jon Hassel vibes of the original into a cinematic swell of synth brass and diaphanous vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Bladerunner 2049 soundtrack.
Bing & Ruth beautifully expand on their No Home Of The Mind LP with the swoon-worthy Dorsal
Featuring three tracks that guide secrete their crepuscular sound somewhere intimately private, from the ghostly keen of Dorsal to the sallow solo piano of Torche, and the genuinely spine-chilling sustained decay and fluttering harmonics of Weighout.
Following the Turkish collaboration of Dalmak and the more rock-inflected Lost Voices, Esmerine embarked on a soundtrack commission for the National Film Board documentary "Freelancer on the Front Line" (about independent journalism in the Middle East), which also led to a deep dive into archival and previously unreleased recordings.
Sessions for the film soundtrack provided various seeds for a new album concept and composing/recording continued rolling into early 2017, informed by anxiety over the reactionary, regressive, seemingly irresolvable disharmony of human oppression/domination and the ever-accelerating degradation / denial of nature and social justice. Stylistically, Mechanics Of Dominion took shape with mallet instruments brought more to the fore (relative to Esmerine’s previous two outings): marimba, piano and amplified music box provide a more prominent through-line on this new album's otherwise quite diverse material. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson's contributions also continue to shape Esmerine's songwriting to an ever greater extent – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are bracing, compelling elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this new song cycle. And the album revisits and further develops two previously recorded and heretofore unreleased pieces (the origins of the modernist piano, string and horn piece "Northeast Kingdom" date back to some of Esmerine’s earliest recordings in the mid-2000s; the sizzling free-improv of "¡Que Se Vayan Todos!" was captured during the Dalmak sessions.)
Mechanics Of Dominion is perhaps Esmerine's most dynamic and narratively-driven work, tracing an arc through Neo/Post--Classical, Minimalism, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Jazz, Baroque and Rock idioms to paint a soundtrack of lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is Esmerine’s humble requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world. Mechanics Of Dominion is also another superlative example of Esmerine's acclaimed and award-winning dedication to album artwork and packaging, this time featuring the work of Montreal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis in beautiful resonance with the album's balance of stylistic tensions and emotional colourations."
Ratio; an epic track bordering on 19-minutes that harks back to his earlier dance floor focussed releases.
"Over the course of the summer Floating Points has developed Ratio as part of his solo live electronic show at festivals around the world. The track has fast become a fan favourite, a true highlight of the set."
John Duncan and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio) explore the greyest areas of psychoacoustic and psychosexual drone noise back in 1991, newly remastered for this reissue on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle.
“Black Truffle is thrilled to announce the first reissue of legendary performance and sound artist John Duncan's forgotten gem Klaar, originally released by Extreme in 1991 and partly created in collaboration with Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). Duncan is perhaps most well known for his notorious early performances pieces, which explored violence, self-denial, and the establishment of extreme psychological and physical states in both artist and audience. Alongside these transgressive experiments, Duncan began to create audio works primarily using short wave radio. Where some of Duncan's earlier recordings are composed of magnificently sculpted but abrasive walls of noise, Klaar, recorded while Duncan was living in Amsterdam, occupies a more meditative territory.
Opening with 'Delta', which layers long tones seemingly sourced from slowed down voices over a distant, watery field recording, the remainder of the first side is occupied with the epic title piece, which arranges shortwave radio abstraction, vocal experiments, and field recordings (street sounds, fireworks, monastic chants) into an episodic cinema for the ear. The second side is dominated by the long, brooding 'The Immense Room', where layers of shortwave interference and field recordings are gradually built up into a pulsing, wavering bed of sound infused with a subtly disturbing sense of psychological unrest. This rises to the surface near the end of the piece as sexual moans and ominous rumbles crisscross the stereo image before being abruptly brought to a halt.
A singular work of electroacoustic composition, Klaar is both compositionally sophisticated and infused with a sense of mystery and a vital reality often lacking in more academic experimental music; it sits proudly alongside contemporaneous recordings by Duncan's friends and collaborators Jim O'Rourke and Christoph Heemann and is a must for anyone interested in their work.
- Francis Plagne”
Tidy Line-up including Randomer, Gilb’R, Voiski and Tolouse Low Trax...TIP!
"With a sound that is rarely classifiable, Randomer’s Dekmantel contribution is a staggered, minimally-twisted, dark, kind-of-two step, awesome thing. Versatile Records’ Gilb’R has found himself an integral part of the Dutch scene since moving to Amsterdam, and brings forth his organic, percussive grooves that have helped define his music, and label to date.
Salon Des Amateurs’ Tolouse Low Trax provides a seasoned session of amniotic, grizzled, hypnotic post-everything music, that is eerily discomforting and wonderfully pleasurable at the same time. And on the EP’s fourth track, Parisian techno wizard, Voiski adds layered organic, futuristic loops that work to stale the progress of time, and space."
A dervish bewt from Stefan Schwander’s Harmonious Thelonious for TTT, Apakapa catches the Düsseldorf-based explorer meeting the moroccan flute of Ghazi Barakat for one of the project’s jazziest, moodily hypnotic episodes.
Apakapa initiates the session with a bright, pointillist geometry of thumb piano and grubbing, pendulous bass where Schwander gets freely harmonious with Barakat’s buzzing, expressive flute jabs in Sufi-esque style.
That all cools down to a bluer sound with Low Beat, where Schwander’s swingeing bass pulse underlines and buoys the low key smoke plumes from Barakat’s flute, subtly processed into vaporous tendrils and smeared on the mix.
And the DJs are left spoiled for choice with the B-side’s Whirling, which works equally brilliantly at 33 or 45rpm, with the kinda Photek style drum cadence also used by Don’t DJ, this time working beautifully as an opiated hip-charmer, or as an infectious sort of dancehall-techno bubbler.
Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s.
"Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman’s 20,000 word essay is Jackie’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane’s story in her own words.
This deluxe two album set is copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and a life unlike any other."
Príncipe’s Parisian ambassador sweeps the dance proper with the synth flush of Solteiro, taken from his upcoming debut album, Sonhos & Pesadelos.
It’s one highlight among many from the LP, and also its sweetest number, floating 3 feet high on dry iced pads, spun out with tuff but slinky congas and kissed with wistful melodica.
A sterling survey of the time when Peruvian music began absorbing influence from psychedelia and rock. Includes Andean classics and rarities from Lucho Neves, Los Demonios del Mantra, Los Compadres del Ande...
“A window into the full-blooded, captivating spirit of music from the Andes, ANDINA shines a fresh perspective on Peru’s multifaceted heritage. A co-release with Strut Records, the album is selected from records originally released between '68 and ‘78, upending clichéd ideas of Andean music and bringing to light the divergent, exciting traditions to have emerged from Peru’s strip of the iconic mountain range. Encompassing steady-grooving, Peruvian cumbia rhythms, transcendent folkloric harp recordings and Lima big band groups taking influence from their highland neighbours, it boasts a diversity that will appeal to fans of jazz and Latin as well as tropical-minded DJs and deep-digging collectors.
ANDINA was never intended to be a definitive overview of Andean music.The selection sees the debut release of many tracks (since their original vinyl release on Peruvian labels like Iempsa, Sono Radio and El Virrey) and reflects what we think are the most exciting insights into Andean musical culture. Not restricted to bands based in the Andes, there are entries from outsiders, in particular from the coastal city of Lima, artists who took cues from their compatriots in the mountains. The sound most represented is that of Peruvian cumbia where groups imbued a tropical, Colombian style with Andean huayno rhythms and rock-influenced electric guitars. The album also reflects the huge numbers of traditional folk records released during this era that left a bounty of atmospheric, harp-plucked huayno and carnaval to be discovered.
An avid DJ and record collector, Martin Morales (Ceviche/Andina) has once again teamed up with Tiger’s Milk co-founder Duncan Ballantyne (former Soundway label manager) and Peruvian crate digger Andres Tapia del Rio to create a series which starts with ANDINA but will later include discoveries from the Amazon and the coast of Peru.”
Resident of Manchester’s ace Chow Down and London’s NTS, Grizzle steps up on Liminal Sounds with a winning flash of R&G heat in Consort, blessed with guest bars by Tottenham’s ShaqyDread.
Leading on from the Fallow & Grizzle EP with his fellow Chow Down ressie, Consort shows off four varied aspects of his sound, from heat-seeking, icy squares, trap trills and R&B vox in Consort, thru the road-ready drill rufige of Sermon starring ShaqyDread, on to precise, tooled R&G rolige on Eleusis, prepped with Mssingno-like helium vox, and a precious downbeat gem crafted with massive subs and patient guile and poignant effect in Unmoor for the weightless dancers.
Circa 2000 aka William Wiffen presents his debut album 'Thought In Vias' on Computer Club, a journey for the ears and hearts of electronic connoisseurs.
"These are the sounds of an electrical engineering graduate and accomplished musician, from Bridlington to Brighton, via a unique autobahn of analogue synth sounds. Haunting modulation with finely detuned oscillators sweep through the tracks, glued together with relaxed improvisation.
Provoking feelings of Depeche Mode, Air, Neu!, Tangerine Dream and including the killer track 'Fall All Over The Place', 'Thoughts In Vias' is 40 minutes of genuine kosmische Musik.”
Low-key, decayed and moody ambient electronica from Switzerland via Mexico City and Chicago.
“Recorded with a modest hardware setup in Geneva - one drum machine, a few synths, a sampler, plus effects - the ten miniatures on LEVELS’ debut S/T are nonetheless dense in atmosphere and mood, often immensely beautiful beyond their means. As suggested by the project’s name, each track has the feel of a new level on a video game; a new environment to explore, to feel around for new clues, and ultimately to conquer.
Referencing classic anime, movie, and videogame scores, LEVELS’ willfully minimal sound palette is designed to give the listener a cinematic sensation. The sparser and more lo-fi sounds on side A have the listener tentatively exploring futuristic new spaces, wandering hallways of ambient beds and kick drum heartbeats. However, the busier rhythms and crisper melodies of the second side tell of the action that happens next, picking up the pace for keyboard-heavy chases, drum machine action sequences, and some gorgeously redemptive emotional peaks.”
Anthony Shakir and Kyle Hall collaborator Tyler Dancer debuts a tuff new spin on classic Midwestern techno for Don’t Be Afraid. Bangers, the lot of ‘em!
“Fresh from collaborating with Anthony 'Shake' Shakir on their remix of Funkadelic for the 'Reworked By Detroiters' LP, Tyler Dancer makes his full solo debut for Don't Be Afraid. The 'Resisting In The Darkness' EP sees the arrival of a major new talent from America's Midwest and the first outing for a unique new voice in techno. Counting Shake, Legowelt, Marty Bonds and Jay Denham amongst those who have inspired and encouraged him, Tyler Dancer brings a deep feeling for the history and technique inherent in the music of Detroit and Chicago to his productions.
Tyler Dancer is a DJ, producer, and musician hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a student at the University of Michigan (2005-2009) he became a DJ and Training Director at WCBN FM in Ann Arbor. Known amongst the listenership & colleagues for pushing the boundaries of rock based freeform sets, Dancer gained a positive reputation for his unique historical approach to sets at house parties, dance battles, and local clubs with a focus on Detroit Techno & Chicago House alongside the music that inspired those movements. In 2014 he made the acquaintance of Manuel Gonzales aka MGUN (DBA/Wild Oats) who inspired Dancer to begin sharing his love for electronic music live and publicly under the duo's collaborative guise, 'Club Creeps'. They made their debut during the 2016 Movement Festival and continue to play live sets to this day.”
Turin’s freakiest kick off the G.O.D. CUTS series with Traag’s Money Orientated; five pieces of post Detroit techno and EBM with a noirish sci-fi atmosphere accentuated by snippets of whispered and suggestive dialogue looped and placed with psychotomimetic effect recalling output from Phork, Dale Cornish or Moon Pool and Dead Band...
“The first Ep of this series couldn't be by any other but Travis Galloway and Chris Durham aka TRAAG. The Detroit based guys have inaugurated the Gang of Ducks imprint with the magnificent White Wall ep and after that, in 2014 they released a mini-lp named UPN 50, one of the most appreciated outputs of the label.
Money Orientated ep explores the most narcotic side of their sound, which takes influence from the Michigan noise scene spitting out some bad washed EBM beats. The 5 tracks follow one another perfectly, proving that the Traag sound has become a solid thing.”
Firecracker’s UNTHANK series indulge a bout of well-crafted, Detroit and golden-era bleep technostalgia from Melbourne’s Rory McPike in his Rings Around Saturn guise - one of many including Pickleman, 2200, and Turner Street Sound.
Up top he teases out the whistling Drexciyan licks and clipped electro strut of Synchrotron, beside some Cylob-like plong in Peripheral Visionary and a fine nod to Autechre, paired with the early Move D styles of Jupiter C and clipped astro-breakbeat hustle to round off the 10”.
The 7” contains another coupla pearls in the Balearic boogie slope of F 124cc and the come-to-bed eyes of Silver Ghost.
Nice ’n breezy debut solo album tessellating techno, jungle, house and all those vintage feels with a classic feel for genteel, pastoral psychedelia. RIYL Lord Of The Isles, Carl Craig, SW
“Whacked out from the whisky soaked bristles of Firecracker HQ, the Danish DonDaDa DJ Sports (he of Regelbau and Help Recordings fame) offers up a maiden LP of vast and varied sonic states. Get set for solid rave aesthetics aplenty - the double pack’s journey trudges over a musical milieu of broke-beaten, ambient driven house and techno, melancholy junglist and dubwise downtempo. One foot in the past, one foot in the future and killing the present - a perfect and timely addition to the Firecracker canon.”
Dusky, balearic-tinged acid house depth from Marlon Hoffstadt
Percolating the ’89-faced 808 State sweetness of Floating the fluttering fluff of ARP+ on the A-side, and the ruddier, US-styled p[ressure of Batavus on the B-side, next to Scott Fraser’s nimbly whisked Sunrise Mix of ARP+ on a metallic MayDay tip.
Following a decade playing bass for Disappears, Damon Carruesco aka TüTH forwards a more expressive solo sound with the meterless greyscale prangs and looming drone shadows of Transgression
“Aiming to search out his own limits, potential, and abilities as an artist, the atmospheric sounds on Transgression are Carruesco’s attempt to make atmospheric electronic music that exists outside of "the grid". Transgression draws from field recordings and hand-made sounds, taking key inspiration from brutalist architecture, the acousmatic music of Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu, and the passing of somebody very close to the artist. Throughout Transgression throbbing tones play out into cavernous otherworldly atmospheres, while bass demons collide with far icier synthesizers issuing moody melodic patterns.
The references for this deeply abstract music are few and far between - the most fractured and sparse dub, Tangerine Dream’s earliest primordial trips, György Ligeti’s creaking galactic symphonies - so with Transgression, TüTH has appeared as his very own, unique, and fully fledged new voice.”
Introducing Icelandic composer and singer Högni, better known as the front man of indie rock band Hjaltalín and previous member of electronic group GusGus, as the newest addition to Erased Tapes with his solo debut album Two Trains.
"Amidst destruction on the mainland, the two locomotives Minør and Pionér transported wagons full of rock and gravel to the Icelandic seaside during the construction of the Reykjavík harbour in 1913-1917. The two metallic giants ushered in a new age in Iceland. However, soon after construction ceased the two trains were parked and have never driven since. Now they only serve to remind us of the grandeur of a bygone future. They are the only trains ever to have graced the Icelandic landscape.
The music in Two Trains embraces the spirit of the original European avant-garde and invokes these concepts in its chugging rhythms, metallic clangs and brooding choral arrangements (men's choruses are a distinctly Icelandic phenomena related to the national/romantic politics of the 19th and 20th century) while the lyrics speak of ominous clouds on the war-ridden eastern horizon and freight cars filled with gravel and dreams."
The sweetlads at Gobstopper give raHHH his debut run-out with Ones; a fragrant, breezy suite of downbeats hingeing around clipped dembow patter and licked up with serene, tropical instrumentation.
It’s all coconut water for the soul, moving twinkle toed but stoned from the jazzy bustle of Dog Days thru the nimble charms of Ones, which neatly recalls the pastoral vibes of early Prefuse 73, onto the bright, lazy days shuffle of Ends, and what sounds like Jameszoo riffing on the Diwali riddim with Lexus Riddim.
One for all the family.
As Metalhead’ remastered digital reissue series moves farther down the timeline, we come to the “jazzy” and “tasteful” crap that blighted the scene and replaced innovation with “sophistication”.
Case in point is Sci Clone’s Melt / O.D. . By this point, many of the folk doing anything interesting with the UK ‘nuum had jumped ship to garage and Breakbeat where there was more champagne and good dancers.
Kerri Chandler conducts a deeply soulful psychogeographic tour of NYC and the lesser-heard folds of his mind for his DJ-Kicks instalment
Weaving debonaire between personal picks of soul, jazz, hip hop, boogie and disco, including, as standard, one of his own productions in the laid-back dub reggae of Stop Wasting My Time.
Killer, Gritty, warped dance-pop from Norway’s Smerz duo
Meshing heat buckled synth lines with plasmic vocal processing and off-beat kicks to recall some fusion of, say, Coucou Chloe, Fever Ray and Naked.
Lovely session of warm acid bubblebaths and floating techno structures from the fella behind some of Opal Tapes’ earliest, sweetest pieces, and more recently for his Indole Records.
Jimmy Billingham a.k.a. Holovr pursues a tactile, tender spirit across Trace Realm, eking out a glowing and gauzily distanced view on early ‘90s UK dance music’s liminal filaments across five tracks, taking in highlights with the proggy pastoral sway of Transient Field and a pair of AFXian dreamspaces with Into The Outer and the fizzing, fudge acid breakbeats of Drift Portal.
For the lovers.
Dusty, sun-baked ‘90s hip hop and R&B vibes
“The first record in the NBN series comes from Fitz Ambro$e - a Tokyo-based producer originally from Cape Breton, a remote island in Eastern Canada. With a slew of self-released cult classic albums and mix-CD's, he steps up to make his vinyl debut with Doe Quarterz, a 14 track mini LP rooted in Fitz's love of 80's Soul and Funk mixed with 90s Hip-Hop and R'n'B. Stripped down intricate Hip-Hop beats, heavily layered with vocals, obscure samples and unpredictable drum progressions. Doe Quarterz sees Fitz come with a uniquely modern sound respectful to its roots - melodic head-nodding grooves, busting with his original flavour.”
Vakula follows up Linkwood's sterling 'Secret Value' 12" with the 5th session on Shevchenko.
The centre-piece has to be his dextrous and abstract B-side trip 'This Is Not Music', heading deep into densely forested analog headspace powered by frayed machine rhythms and and overgrown, organic effects. A-side's 'Asuwant' is jazzier, smoother, and backed with a hypnotic dub version. Tip!
Astral electronic jazz and breezy electro-dub-house reworks of Linkwood’s Expressions album from Area and Italy’s Healing Force Project.
Rather predictably, the Healing Force Project mix of Ignorance is Bliss makes for a big highlight, refracting the original in scattered vectors of splashing drums, midnight jazz fusion chords until it all comes together in spiralling breakbeat denouement. Sheer class, this.
Area’s mix is more mellow, drifty and effortless by comparison, turning Love Lost into a squashed core of radiant electro dub bass and arcing pads.
Ukranian-based House producer, Vakula presents th third in his boutique series, Shevchenko.
A-side is a chunky Dub-House roller and the flipside contains 13-minutes of raw, spitting-circuit Techno done tracky, pure and analogue for the Jack.