Mor Elian cooks up four lean, subaquatic electro tools for Delta Funktionen’s Radio Matrix label.
Check it for the crisply punctuated hydraulic momentum of Gamma Gulch and the darkside scio-fi flow of Starlight Mesa.
The bastard offspring of Matthew Herbert’s label, Accidental Jnr comes with Master H’s debut
Lodging a bumpy, off-centre mix of tribalist drums, chants and acidic electronics somewhere between the label’s Bambooman release and Herbert hisself.
Forgemasters - Shards ov Light is the 21 minute soundtrack to late photographer Shaun Bloodworth’s (R.I.P.) documentary Forgemasters celebrating Sheffield’s history, “from small-scale handmade tools to large-scale forging.”
Hardass Detroit electro-techno from the captain of his industry, DJ Stingray 313, who’s still pushing it like few others with his debut for Athens-based Lower Parts.
On the front you’ll find one of a rare excursion in 130bpm tempo with the slamming-but-spaced out 4:4 torque of Acetylcholine whereas Dendrite pumps up to his signature 140bpm+ scale with a coruscating flux of underwater FX and pronging percussion swept in trippy mixing trickery.
Backside, eRbB4 again catches him at a rarer 134bpm roll with lush harmonic developments as close as you’ll get to Stingray’s Drexciyan roots, a matter further explored in Kon001’s booming 808 rerub.
Stingray is the best.
Detroit’s captain of industry, Terrence Dixon yields exceptionally trim and driving techno cuts on the Athens-based Lower Parts label.
Currently working in 5th gear, despite announcing his retirement a few years ago, Dixon serves up his signature sound between the subaquatic dynamics of the first part, thru a killer piece of Afro-tribal techno patterning int he 2nd, to an infectious wriggler on the B-side recalling recent Jeff Mills trajectories, and one pounding, uptempo deep techno workout in the 5th part.
Den Haag’s Mark Du Mosch does his gritty, stealthy, tracky house thing for Clone Royal Oak.
Built for all-night play, UM-ing builds it from the toes to yer nose over the course of four tracks, patiently raising the temperature with his raw, woozily dubbed jacker Heat It Up, then with firmer kicks and spaced-out disco synths in the upward tilt of Adrift, before squaring off theGherkin Jerks-styles of UM-ing, and following into the cosmic buck of Firefly. Either someone put some mud in my lunch or this shit works.
Low-key, charmingly eccentric solo piano works on the ever curious Reckno label
“Reckno is extremely proud to present PIANO MUSIC, two side long live recordings featuring the piano as the primary sound source.
On Side A: the composer and inventor Leafcutter John joins forces with the sound artist Devon Loch for an improvised duet, utilising John's self-made light interface and a piano that had sat unused for decades in the Margate Arts Club.
By connecting ultra sensitive contact microphones to the antique piano's frame, the pair were able to sample notes and other timbres from the instrument's strings and body, which were manipulated live using a photo-sensitive grid stimulated with an array of bike lights, torches and sparklers.
The result is an investigative, transportive piece of electro-acoustic music. Between sparse dissonance and flurries of alien texture, the performance keeps at its heart a sensitive understanding - like two unfamiliar creatures attempting communication for the first time.
Performance/sound artist Claire Orme takes us on an elegant trip across the dark sea using the piano as a boat. Vibraphone, violin and live sampling merge to conjure images of a ritual happening on the shore; only partially visible through the fog. Orme uses the space and the objects around her to create a fragile dreamlike sound world, the initial beauty giving way to mechanical clanking and violin contortions. Everything ends with the piano back on dry land and a romantic encounter with a Ghost.”
Wonderfully eccentric instrument builder Pierre Bastien meets electro-acoustic whiz Eddie Ladoire on Versatile with first fruits of their new duo, backed by ‘floor-ready remixes from Suzanne Kraft and Oceanic.
Phantom Dance features Bastien playing a trumpet underwater against see-sawing organ and drum machine patter with an effect recalling the horror disco vibes of Goblin meets DJ Bert & Eagle. Suzanne Kraft reworks it with a more viscous, acidic hustle for the darkroom, and Rotterdam’s Oceanic tilts between tucked minimal tech house swing and twanging Afro flavour in two respective mixes on the B-side.
Golden, evergreen Chi house from 1987
Serving the resolutely classic jacks of Robert Owens’ belting vocal in acapella, and on the tumbling House Mix, beside Mr. Fingers or Fingers Inc’s delirious, tracky instrumental and the Bonus Beats for crafty DJs.
Tipped for ever!
UTTU catch Frak dicing with more funked up US house and disco styles
Dancing up the spicy organ vamps and ruddy acid bass lixx of Lane Escape, then like a rawer, Landcruising Carl Craig in Protes, before stomping out the early UR-like techno tattoo, Long Fork and some gritty ghetto-fonk in Large Function.
Inventive electronic explorer AGF seriously impresses with the playfully loose-limbed and devious calculations of her Solid EP, a killer, “messy” adjunct to her self-released Solidicity LP released in 2017.
The Solid EP firms up as four deliciously sloppy spurts of unquantised rhythm and abstract electronics almost certain to catch the dancefloor off guard, offering myriad permutations for the adventurous rug-cutter in the fractious funk of Solids, with the mind and body-bending proprioception of Unlimited Migration, and to noisier, brittler degrees with GReeD, and gleefully ripping the spine out of footwork and replacing with concrète electronics on i-tikka.
Edit Select parse some five years of Selected Remixes from themselves and label associates.
Of Edit Select’s reworks for other artists, we direct you to the ice-skating elan of their take on Antonio Ruscito’s Seconda Immagine, a cavernous version of Teste’s techno classic The Wipe, and the Basic Channel-esque 2012 remix of Fused.
Also check for the pounding Blue Hour rework of ES19.3, and the psychedelic tunnel of Rrose’s version of The Wipe.
Boris Bunnik (Conforce) slips into proper sci-fi soundtrack mode with the furtive atmospheres and slow, intricately sculpted rhythms of Encrypted Mind under his Versalife alias.
Consider this a must-check release if you’re into Heinrich Mueller’s more abstract designs.
Next in the Aqualung reissue series periscope, Drexciya’s Lab Rat XL - the last of his seven storms LP cycle - comes up for air, ready to stun future generations.
Mice or Cyborg was first dispatched posthumously thru Clone in 2003, in the year following James Stinson’s final dive into the next dimension. It has since become one of his most elusive recordings, with original vinyl copies and even the repress fetching high prices, in parts due to the dead artist factor, and linked to that, the album’s unshakeable feeling of soulful melancholy that’s almost difficult to listen to, knowing that he knew what was on the horizon while making the record.
These ears clearly remember first hearing the record at SV3N’s legendary iLEKTRO event at The Park in Manchester, quite possibly NYE 2003/4, and just being floored by the moody swagger of Lab Rat 3. It was one of those moments when Drexciyan music really hits home, and never leaves you.
Along with the spine-freezing vocals and synth flares on Lab Rat 1, the mad subs on Lab Rat 2, and its eventual turns to more atonal, salinated flow in Lab Rat 5, or the way Lab Rat 6 feels like he’s being absorbed into the wires and re-routed back to the L.A.M. days, Lab Rat XL is undoubtedly one of Detroit’s high water marks, and surely ranks among techno and electronic music’s most legendary.
An essential listen. R.I.P. James Stinson.
Swedish boschmaster Pär Grindvik gives Peder Mannerfetl and Malcolm Pardon’s Roll The Dice cut a surprisingly subtle edit, refraining from simply putting a dork on it, and turning in something like Colin Stetson recording on mogadon for Profan.
After issuing a string of records heavily indebted to Rephlex Records, Nina Kraviz gets her hands on the real thing with Aleksi Perälä’s Paradox album for her трип label.
Playing to the colundi scale, Perälä pounds, pinches and plasmogrifies techno and electro with Braindance virtuosity across all ten tracks of Paradox. Like his recent Simulation LP for Clone Basement Series, the tracks here are curved for the ‘floor, and maybe more specifically, Nina’s ‘floor - ready for dispatch in sweaty clubs and mammoth festival stages alike.
We recommend checking it for the whirring calculations of GBLFT1740072 (Original Mix), the percolated instrumental synth-pop brilliance of GBLFT1740067 (Original Mix), and the trancey élan of GBLFT1740068 (Original Mix).
The fruitful relationship between Rod Modell (DeepChord), Hanyo Van Oosterom (Chi) and Astral Industries continues to yield new beauties with Red Lantern At The Kallikatsou, as Van Oosterom rework Modell's first release for Astral Industries with lovely, low-key ambient results making for a great package clad in the label’s signature, absorbing artwork.
Over two seamlessly sequenced sides the founding member of Dutch new age experimenters Chi reenvisions Rod Modell's 'Lanterns' thru the prism of modern software, sieving their spectral airs for etheric loops and vibes which he layers into a cats cradle of soothing, tranquil atmospheres, but reserving some surprise twists to points when soothed heads may least expect it.
"I’ve never met Rod Modell (Deepchord) in person, but we have met through music. He found an obscure cassette of Chi music (from ’86), sent it to Astral Industries and paved the way for the release (30 years later) of ‘The Original Recordings’ in 2016. Since then, we’ve exchanged ideas and good music. I sent Rod a preview of ‘The Kallikatsou Recordings’ - he really liked it - and here came the idea for a remix of ‘Lanterns’. I started working on some random, lo-fi samples from Youtube, using Audacity, perhaps the simplest way of producing loops and samples. It’s the only computer based system that feels like the tape recorders I used to work with.
I sent the first sketches to Rod on Facebook, but they ended up in the wrong inbox. I forgot about them, but months later he came back saying he loved them. I decided to go back to working on them, maintaining the lo-fi approach. I began manipulating the samples: time-stretching, tempo and pitch-shifting, mixing different layers and adding old-school monophonic “old speaker” effects, delays and loops. I used a few field recordings, voices and samples from my early ambient cassettes, and they matched. Ario from Astral Industries got involved and the experiment turned into a plan - a vinyl release - ‘Red Lantern at the Kallkatsou’”.
Hanyo van Oosterom”
Pye Corner Audio brings his wood-fired analogue sound to Lapsus Records after touring the houses of Mondo Tees, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and More Than Human already in a productive 2017 cycle.
In a smart play of contrasts, we hear much-loved and lesser-heard sides of PCA’s sound in Where Things Are Hollow. The supple, rolling arpeggios and acid tweaks of Resist, and his wobbly, chromatic cosmic chugger Northern Safety Route both bear the hallmarks of Martin Jenkins’ signature dancefloor romance.
However, fans should be very intrigued to hear him go beat-less and weightless in the other two parts. With Mainframe he conducts a stellar display of piquant bleep motifs and arcing choral pads converging into a gently distorted and dissonant harmonic smudge at the track’s peak, and Continental Drift seemingly operates on the opposite side of that wave with a sullen stir of low end swells and light pollution aurora reflecting the scale of the track title.
Ruff garage-techno bangers by some cat called Antonio, delivered raw and uncut on Manchester’s Natural Sciences label.
This one grips and cuts deeper than most, ragging your bones with devilishly infectious swing and bleary chords on Untitled TT and getting under the skin with itchy, nerve-tweaking finesse in Raw Love.
The recoiling kicks and chopped loops in $$$ hit right where it matters on the B-side, again balanced with some really nice pads and gritty mixing, for the clattering jungle uppercut of Untitled D to properly send us reeling.
The Motor City maestro in effect on Barcelona’s 30drop Records, following his 12”s on Lower Parts and Tresor with a pair of harmonically sound and psychedelically dissonant aces, plus remixes by Dasha Rush and 30drop.
Digital Ladder is a spheric beauty drizzling pure chromatic bleeps on a purring 313 groove, just ripe for going eyes-shut in the dance or driving around your local post-industrial landscape. On the other hand, the wickedly abstract clangour of This Is A Test falls in line with his Different Frequencies wonder off his Like A Thief In The Night EP - embracing psychedelic tunings in daring way which many could learn from.
On remix duties, Dasha Rush reworks Digital Ladder as a darker, more jagged and acidic techno roller, while 30drop speeds up and add hi-hats to This Is A test for more driving effect.
Unique, killer tribal techno rhythms from Harmonious Thelonious for DISK, following that superb Paradon’t 12” with a broader, layered and textured batch of knobbly grooves and hypnotic patterns.
Marking a subtle line in the sand from their previous output on DISK’s defunct sibling label, Diskant, the tracks here carry more weight for modern ‘floors, feeling as though he’s unlocked some secret drum kink which allows his rhythm to flow more effortlessly and deadly.
Uptown, he shakes out the unsteady intricacies of Sketches to sound like some inversion of techno, D&B and ancient, psychedelic drum rituals, before yoking his drums to a strobing 16th note synth in Manta Mantra, which is about the most perfect balance of tribal music and mesmerising, electrified Düsseldorf styles that you could hope for.
Downtown, he brings a sort of Konono No.1-alike tang to Shackleton-esque drum cadence in Ayranman, whose title punningly plays on the Turkish name for Ironman (what did you think?), and then trips out with another old skool Shack-style roller named I Found A New Way of Loving You.
For the 1st time since inception, Loefah’s 81 embraces new blood with Milan’s Luca Mucci aka Piezo dropping four cuts of rugged house/bass mutations after a 12” on Idle Hands.
It’s worth checking for the echo chamber oddity El Sangre and the squashed electronics in Rash, especially if you’re into 81’s Mickey Pearce or Hessle Audio’s Joe.
Kaizen stumps up a 2nd EP from dubstep/bass mutant Biome (LVLZ) - his most significant statement on vinyl in years
Testing his hand at steely, tech-out rolige (Stealth), menatasm-streaked dark garage torque (Fargo), trademark half step pressure (Yoof), 81-style swagger (Weekend), and a dank back alley bass lurker (Ancoats).
Swiss disco chopper Radovan Scasascia (remember him?!) returns from 5 year hiatus with a very safe bet for fans of Anthony Shakir or Soundhack dispatched thru his What About Never label.
Flooding back memories of cutting rug to his early ‘00s releases on Dreck, he operates a coolly controlled disco trigger finger on the hypnotic pulse and lush, filtered chord washes of Shakin, whilst Nine Toms follows with a sterling example of hiccup funked vocal chops punctuated with cracking Linn drums on a twanging elastic bassline.
Aye, he’s still got it, like.
Special xmas edition of offcuts from Claude Speeed’s Infinity Ultra album
“Speeed says "I see this mainly as an alternative take on how the album could've turned out, one of the many paths it might’ve gone down. But it also serves as a neat ending, closing off that period by releasing the other material that's been kicking about my mind and harddrives for the last 5 years."
The material on ‘Other Infinities’ reaches into the darker corners of the world portrayed in ‘Infinity Ultra’, the uncanny valleys of the near future. Obliterated rave sits alongside twisted computer-generated prog rock; cathartic noise is pitted against submersed piano and dreamy, night-time synthscapes. New age meditation and lonely autumnal sadness compete with the intense drumming of a neo-tokyo cult.”
Nick Edwards fudges out a crusty new batch of Ekoplekz misshapes for Planet Mu with Cassettera, standing firm against the grain of trend to keep curiously picking away at a micro-modular mesh of lo-fi boxes and machines in his own style, shaped as a special xmas addendum to his Bioprodukt album.
“The beats are still to the fore, even incorporating elements of techno and house, but the mood is darker, with a heavier emphasis on noise and drone textures resulting in a more uneasy listen. This greyscale outlook is reflected in the monochrome variation on Bioprodukt's sleeve art. 'Bass 2 Dank' and 'Jacktrak' apply solid kicks and grooves for moody dancefloors, whilst 'Formative' and 'The Imperitive' combine convoluted percussion and cloying sub-bass with eerie atmospherics. 'Tactile' and 'Nitrate Abuse' offer minimal user-unfriendly experimental textures and the set ends with the extended grinding dread of 'The Outlook Is Bleak’.”
Perc’s 3rd LP, Bitter Music receives remix fire from Dale Cornish, Head Front Panel, Pessimist and Hodge int he 1st of two obligatory sessions.
John Heckle aka Head Front Panel handles the barbed roil of The Thought That Counts with chainmail loves, turning in a spiky, writhing techno bomb. Hodge runs his signature bass clout all over the face of Chatter with trampling force. Pessimist m,meanwhile turns Exit into something like The Caretaker hosting a grey area supper rave, and I Just Can’t Win is sliced into firm but sloppy jack bu Dale Cornish.
Osiris Music UK strafe deeper into the no man’s land between bass, techno and concrète musicks with Adam Winchester’s grey area investigation, Interferenza.
Previously known as Wedge and Bleecker for the likes of Apple Pips and If Symptoms Persist, and currently working in the Dot Product duo with Chris Jarman (Kamikaze Space Programme), Winchester reveals a lust for darker, abstract sounds here, descending from the noise textures of Surface thru weightless, plasmic space in Terminal Transition to the full sunken structures of Resurrection Effects and the bombed out Figure Ground, before allowing more spectral high register tones into his electro-acoustic sphere with Blue Ghost Tunnel, and The HJaxan Cloak-esque designs of Extant.
One of UKF, broken beat and bass music’s OG producers Altered Natives returns to the fray with a 20 track payload of dank, heavy and experimental-edged rufige on his Eye4Eye Recordings.
Making no concessions to trend, the London-bassed artist sticks to his guns with great results working deep into the darker fissures of house, techno and bass styles found scattered across the set.
If we’re playing favourites, it’s hard to ignore the likes of his super moody, even radgy rasa-out Get Real, or the off-kilter trust of Acid Black, which sounds something like we’d imagine Terrence Dixon to, if he came from London not Detroit. For proper, sub-heavy ghetto bangs, check out the pressure on Gravity, whilst darkside nuttahs need to cop the PCP-strength knock of Lucifer, and The Terror sees him ball forward with searing synthlines on a mad bruk beat, while he saves his crookedest dancefloor tests for the brutish acid of Weißer Junge Schwarzer Musikclub and the bucking acid burial Kung Fu Trans Anaconda.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
Brainwaltzera’s nostalgic braindance album Poly-Ana, remixed by a haul of veteran and new artists.
Luke Vibert gives the EP’s highlight with a ruddy sort of percolated acid take on Muddy Puddle Trot, and Gauvid also charms with a bittersweet acid rub of the same cut, whilst Philipp Otterbach takes Triangulate Dither deep into kosmiche ether.
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!
After his Gone Mad shot with JME in summer ’17, Tottenham’s Blay Vision serves a massive 2nd batch of instrumental grime/trap/house hybrids on J-Cush’s Lit City Trax.
From initial listens a handful of highlights stand out. We’re talking about the icy shimmy of BadGal Ri-Ri with it’s iciclephone hooks and elegant strings; his sharp fusion of classical key vamps and tool-sharped drill crack in Swammy; the neckle tropical house bump of Inside; and the the killer Ikeda-meets-Danjah styles of Amnesia.
Dax J, Lucy and Matrixxman take Perc’s 3rd LP Bitter Music on a brisk mission to the ‘floor.
Gaffe-prone DJ/producer Dax J goes for the jugular with a pounding take on Unelected; Lucy turns Wax Apple into a tentative but trippy dose of swinging techno-house-electronica, and Matrixxman harnesses Rat Run into his signature, hardworking jackers’ framework.
South London soundman Parris stacks up four signature cuts of low key, crackly, sub-heavy vibes on his subtly probing debut with The Trilogy Tapes after really coming into his own over the past few years via 12”s for Ancient Monarchy, Idle Hands, and Hemlock, plus the ace TX280916 / TX111116 mix for Keysound.
The 2 Vultures EP catches Parris at his idiosyncratic best, hustling an early hours-of-the-dance feel that works beautifully well at setting mutable, plasmic pressure for heavier things to come, or just as well for eazing off in the comfort of your own space.
EP opener Lionel’s Dub is one the most orthodox, classically-rooted dubs we’ve heard from the guy, something like a dusty echo of Adrian Sherwood at his most red-eyed, whereas Hot-Blooded gets down to some Farben-esque micro-house with added steppers bass pressure. 2 Vultures then follows a masseur path into melting, brittle dub architecture, leavened by genteel jazz touches, and Hanging With The Birds can’t fail to leave you beaming its feathered confection of bird calls, bobbling bass and Mario power ups.
Slimzee’s OG grime label boomerangs back with badness from pivotal new wave player Boylan.
They’re both fucking lethal, riding big and bashy with search ’n destroy mentasms, hulking great subs and unflinchingly upfront sound design of Overlook, then trimming back to a molasses half step with the radioactive mid-range waves and Hermann-Esgque strings terror on They Mostly Come At Night.
Gully gang. It’s yours.
Lakker’s Eomac gives it some swagger on the 1st 10” from Bedouin Records’ Bastikaya Tapes.
With One Spirit he trades in a sort of itchy, abraded 2-step techno alloyed with whirligig folk melody.
On Observe The Vessel Beneath You he reshapes that template to a scratchier swang embedded in etheric atmospheres, perhaps imagining Burial lost a souk after-hours.
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean (Spiritland) generate gusty electronic folk drones resonating somewhere between La Monte Young and Coil...
“The title of the debut lp from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favour of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation.
Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky and Roland RE 101 Space Echo among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm and melody subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown.
Written and recorded at Cats Abbey in November 2016 by Anthony Child and Daniel Bean.
Anthony and Daniel played the Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, symphonie, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.”
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Trevor Jackson flexes his wiry EBM muscle as PinkLunch, reviving his old moniker for a full LP of darkroom sleaze from the top drawer of his cabinet.
Douglas J McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb joins in on definitive album highlight, On The Floor, and Chloé Raunet ov C.A.R. lends gynoid vocals to the slow, ruddy jacker Inamorata, but Jckon is left to his diverse for the rest of the album, working out finely calculated variants of EBM and darker, electroid house music with highlights in the blank-eyed swagger of Other Side, in the haughty acidic thrust of Load Warrior, and with a doom core thirst recalling The Horrorist in A.N.T.I.
However you might try to find the words for it, Total Control's caustic charm is stunning and oblique. A sensible account of the band typically focuses on its parts—the associated groups, the touring configurations, etc.—as if finding ways by which Total Control is divisible gleans critical information for breaking through their cryptic sheen.
"With tonic, wry twists, and forever employing aphoristic brevity for the comic/cosmic dynamite that it is best reserved for, the band seems to indulge this with each new release, or tour, or whatever's put on the counter. The bands European tour tape from 2015 was a sure reminder of this. Their new 12", 'Laughing At The System,' is a succinct statement, but it feels like the sharpest thing they've ever assembled. Written and recorded over the past couple of years in various lounge rooms, bedrooms, and rehearsal studios, across Melbourne, regional Victoria, and Western Australia, Al Montfort, Daniel Stewart, James Vinciguerra, Mikey Young, and Zephyr Pavey are—for the record—all accounted for in the process. 'Laughing At The System' is bookended by a title track in two parts. The scattered mania of the opener is an unsettling beginning, with cascading madhouse-riffs somehow finding a ricocheting unison.
The closing part has the familiar head-charge of Total Control's most gnashing moments, with the guitars balancing the equation between running-too-fast and drinking-too-fast in one queasy commitment. With a brilliantly acerbic wit, we're implored to gather that there's some equivalences here. And it's this kind of impulse that's kept up throughout the 12". Drizzled with Vinciguerra's fraught fills, which have the rare quality of being unmistakably his in both electronic and acoustic form, this punctuation comes in and out of focus between elegiac moments and breezy experimentation, the latter including the elated instrumental 'Cathie and Marg.' Throughout, Stewart scripts a tumultuous wake for a flatlining reality, forever nudging the listener to second-guess themselves about the sincerity and intent. Far from cynical, but earnestly neurotic, the potency of the atmosphere that Total Control has mustered across 'Laughing At The System' registers as a deeply commanding, though bleak, psychedelicism for the future."
With the 2nd single from Utopia, Björk begins to bloom her and Arca’s songs in beautiful new ways
Bringing Tri Angle’s Serpentwithfeet on board for a late ’90s style R&B duet, while the original album version appears retitled as Blissing Me (Harp Version). We look forward to hearing where the singles series wants to take us.
The legendary #2 on Fact mag’s “20 Best Minimal Wave records ever made” list sees 1st ever legit vinyl reissue thanks to the heavy souls at Dark Entries. Since the original tape release in 1982, Solid Space’s only studio album Space Museum has become a definitive, widely sought-after example of early ’80s minimal synth music, coveted for its cold but exquisitely endearing mix of sci-fi themes with synth-pop, electronic disco, funk and even jangly folk chops. A massive recommendation to anyone into Current 93, Depeche Mode, Officer!
“Dark Entries is honored to finally present the first ever official vinyl reissue of Space Museum by Solid Space. Solid Space was the British duo of Dan Goldstein (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew ‘Maf’ Vosburgh (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals) formed in 1980. Dan and Matthew met at the age of 11 while attending school in north London. In late 1978 at at the age of 14, they formed Exhibit ‘A’ with Paul “Platypus” and Andrew “Lunchbox” Bynghall. They recorded two EPs in 1979 and 1980, self-released on Irrelevant Wombat Records and appeared on ‘The Thing From The Crypt’ compilation. After the dissolution of the group, Mathew started taking his guitar over to Dan’s house where he’d play his Casio MT-30 and they would record songs. Eventually a second hand drum machine and Wasp synthesizer were acquired from classified ads in Melody Maker and the Solid Space sound was born. By this time they were just turning 18 and finally found the freedom to make the music they’d had in their heads.
Over the course of the next two years the band assembled eleven bedroom recordings that would become one of the most cherished DIY obscurities of its kind. Their debut album ‘Space Museum’ was released in 1982 on cassette by In Phaze Records. All of the songs were mixed by label boss Pat Bermingham on 8-track tape at The Shed, in Ilford, which was literally a garden shed. The band’s music and lyrics were heavily indebted to science fiction, in particular the 1960s television series Doctor Who. ‘Space Museum’ is an unveiling of atmospheric, minimalist post punk supported by bright melodies. The music combines drum machines and synths with acoustic guitar and toy drums whilst also experimenting with samples between tracks. Lyrics deal with space travel and a general sense of dejection. Representing a bubbling spirit within the underground, they foreshadowed an entire world of independent music which would emerge across the 80’s and well into the 90’s. For this reissue we’ve included two bonus tracks from the band’s archive, “Platform 6” originally released on the B-side of the second single by Exhibit ‘A’, this song features only Dan and Matthew and is the first Solid Space track ever recorded. “Tutti Lo Sanno” is a cover of In Phaze label mates Marine Girls, though the lyrics have been changed to suit the gender of the new singer.
For the impeccable MAT label, Denamrk’s Central tends hitherto little known ambient aspects of his sound as Palta with a fine selection of feathered rhythms and gauzy, painterly sounds.
Nesting amid good company for this kind of thing, Universel quietly unfolds scuttling, jazz-wise geometries and keening subaquatic chords in the title track, then drifts with scratchy tribal drums and tropical greenhouse sounds in Tabt Optagelse into frayed, frothy new age feels in På Gensyn.
It would appear he indulges those experimental urges in order to prepare listeners for full immersion in the B-side, where At Ville takes hold with subliminal effect, buoying ears on a bed of viscous bleeps and synth fronds with the lushest, entrancing intent, before Optagelse 16A smudges aut into purest balearic atmospheres.
Memory In Vivo Exposure presents maverick percussionist Valentina Magaletti (Raime, UUUU) and her bandmate Tom Relleen at their most dextrous in four pieces ranging from a superb meld of Afro-Reichian phrasing and location recordings in the 2-part title cut, thru to busted post-punk knocks on The Inexorable Sadness of Pencils, and back to rhythmelodic hypnotism with Il Fiume Di Ferro.
“London band Tomaga are back with their fourth release under the Hands in the Dark banner: Memory in Vivo Exposure.
The EP consists of four original tracks and yet another new musical evolution for the duo. Whilst they still use complex layering and harmonic polyrhythms in developing their original approach, this time the sonic tales they have shared are much more cinematic and dreamlike. These visions are locked up into emotionally charged loops to convey the sensation of a dream in which half remembered things become new zones of feeling.”
Killer album of glowering drone and clanking percussion from Martin Maischen aka Goner.
Flanked by noise-cellist Unter Lala and Mark Godwin (a musician/sound engineer whose discography includes work with Coil), Yogascum feels like a ghosted, atrophied and entropic versioning of hard-edged dancefloor sounds chanelled through the darkest recesses of your mind.
Over the first extended side he explores peripheral deep and complex drone works, plumbing a space somewhere between Mohammad’s deathly invocations and the dense dankness of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement with a combination of greazy, slyding pitches, peripheral tones and dense electronic oscillations roiled in vast electro-acoustic space.
The other side, however, is given to beat driven structures, with YS 2 involving Mark Godwin on a clanking, ritualistic rhythm that sounds like it managed to escape from Coil’s latter-day archive, whilst also recalling his work as ZK for Skam, whereas Endtitle catches Goner solo on a dense rhythmic tip.
Lucerne, Switzerland’s Hallow Ground follow that COH plays Everall zinger with Martina Lussi’s claggy mix of queasy ambient, field recordings and lop-sided minimal techno
“On the LP Selected Ambient, Martina Lussi brings together a collection of sound material from her practice to date. The material oscillates between electroacoustic composition, sound art, and live performance. The pieces are named after precious gemstones, all of which are traditionally ascribed with special powers. In using these names, the artist seems to refer to the esoteric roots of the genre invoked by the LP’s title. The compositions, however, resist the genre’s characteristically naïve re-enchantment of the world and distrust holistic esotericism’s promise of healing and restoration. Instead, they are defined much more by an interest in affective uncertainties. The gemstones don’t speak, and they don’t convey the mythical forces ascribed to them—rather, they rest in their own materiality. They don’t want to affect or influence—they simply want to exist as witnesses of/to the ultimately incommensurable reality that lives beyond our own horizon.
“Sodalith” is characterized by a melancholy sensibility; the piece is carried by a boundless synthetic surface over which a guitar melody swirls. At first, “Citrin” seems to want to unravel into orbiting, meditative qualities, but in the second part, the mood collects in the peculiarity somewhere between sustained calm and frequently disrupted rave euphoria. “Achat,” which borrows most clearly from the electroacoustic tradition, develops relatively late and unexpectedly into a subtle techno track that then repeatedly interrupts the very momentum it has engendered. Lastly, “Opal,” which was originally written for Lussi’s installation “Composition for a Circle,” writhes in seemingly stochastic contortions that lightly shake the centripetal dynamic of the piece.
In these four compositions as in other works, Lussi creates a sound world in which circling correlations raise more questions than they answer—in contrast to esotericism, which insists on imbuing its material with meaning. Lussi therefore facilitates a listening experience that refers to ambient at its best and most radical: her music represents neither a dissolution of the self in complete uncertainty nor a contemplative internal landscape, but rather a tremulous hovering over the border between the two.
Martina Lussi lives and works in Lucerne. She holds a Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice. In 2014, Lussi’s debut EP, “Komposition O08”, was released on Präsens Editionen. Lussi has performed work between the disciplines of sound art and music performance at places like LUFF (Lausanne Underground Filmfestival) or the festival Oto Nove Swiss at London’s Cafe Oto.”
Terry Riley’s Sri Moonshine label gives an unmissable opportunity to fall under the spell of Pandit Pran Nath. Truly life-affirming music.
““The raga cycle given by Pandit Pran Nath at the Palace Theater in Paris 1972 was the first time a Master Indian Classical Vocalist had presented three consecutive days of ragas sung at the appropriate times of day, giving the Western audience insight into the characteristics that inform the moods and atmospheres of evening, afternoon, and morning ragas.
“The recording here is from the Saturday, May 27, 1972 afternoon concert and features Raagini Bheempalasi and Raag Puriya Dhanaashree. This is the Maestro at the very summit of his creative and vocal powers. His inspiration merged with his excitement of being in Paris and added to the uniqueness of these performances. As he guided his ragas at an unhurried pace with a surety and command of the musical language, details emerge in the music so profound that new delights continue to surface.
“Pandit Pran Nath was born in 1918 in Lahore, India which was to become Pakistan. He was one of the foremost disciples of the legendary singer, Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan, Sahib of Kirana. Khan Sahib was known for his long extended renditions of ragas in the melodic Kirana style, often lasting hours. His knowledge of raga science was unparalleled, allowing him to unveil endless permutations and combinations of phrases. Pandit Pran Nath absorbed this knowledge of raga from his Guru, building on these majestic forms in a unique and inimitable way. Pran Nath’s rich vocal quality and imaginative renditions of well-known ragas singled him out as one of the greatest masters in the history of Indian Classical Music.
“Pan Nath’s music is ancient and modern, full of fresh flights of imagination. It is no wonder that his numerous performances in the West attracted devotees and students. Besides La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, he instructed musicians of the American avant garde, including Jon Hassell, Lee Konitz, Allaudin Mathieu, Charlemagne Palsestine, Sufi Pir, Shabda Kahn and many others. His impact on contemporary music continues to grow.” —Terry Riley”
CoH Plays Everall is a remarkable turn by singular synthesist Ivan Pavlov, who pays tribute to the late UK electronica/industrial pioneer John Everall (Tactile/Sentrax) with six transmutations of analog material originally meant for a collaboration between the two artists, plus CoH’s Hunger collab with Jhonn Balance ov Coil.
Working somewhere between Powell’s recent New Beta jaunts, Lorenzo Senni’s circumvented trance arpeggios, and the rapid ear movements of Gábor Lázár, it’s by far some of the most colourful, kinkily swung gear we’ve ever heard from Pavlov aka CoH, but trustingly articulated with a cold northern melancholy.
Proceeding from Hallow Ground’s reissue of CoH’s Soisong and their recent issues of Dedekind Cut and Siavash Amini records, CoH Plays Everall is a real credit to their catalogue, not least as a great tribute to Everall, but also as one of the rarest glimpses of CoH in kinetic action, gambolling between electric blue nEuro-trance pulses in 2016 to the TCF black MIDI styles of Wavetrap and the hyper, head-pinching strobes of Overbeat with an energy bordering on gleeful that we’ve hardly heard from CoH before.
Seriously, any lovers of razor-sharp, forward electronics from Errorsmith to Lorenzo Senni need to check this, pronto!