East Man is a new project from Anthoney Hart and its material predates his previous work as Basic Rhythm.
"His unique take on grime reduces the sound to its steely fundamentals, bringing in influences from dancehall, drum and bass and techno to gird the voices of the MCs he works with. His own name for this hardcore continuum mongrel is 'Hi Tek'."
The Alchemist and Lunice cement an unexpected but predictably solid collaboration with Moving Parts
A batch of mid-tempo instrumental bangers crafted for Red Bull’s BC One breaking convention. Clock the styles on Clockwork and the drunken master flex of Revolutions Per Second for the strongest beats.
The mighty Black Zone Myth Chant returns with a new LP of Chopped and Screwed electronics via deep space New Age for Low Jack and Jean Carval’s Gravats label...
Max P, aka Black Zone Myth Chant, presents the project’s most adventurous and urgent despatch yet, dosing with the unfathomably layered and immersive Feng Shen. What was initially intended as a one-away project has now morphed into something powerfully undefinable and strangely affective over the course of two albums, Straight Cassette and Mane Thecel Phares, an EP and a mixtape, realising something of a butterfly effect feedback between the gestures of his strangely formed objects and their dilated reception by listeners around the world.
Over the course of eight tracks he renders a phenomenal space where he can best describe the paradoxical, impossible physics of a psychedelic soul, by toying with the listener’s gauge of anticipation, perspective and temporality with a poetic clash of ideas lent from chopped & screwed hip hop and liminal club musics.
It’s music which exists in two states at once, driving yet floating, as with the pull and push of pitched down voices and rolling rhythms in Their Love For You, or with impenetrable density of clarity in the layered dimensions of Kubara, following a line that binds kosmische and dancehall in Under Protest/Telos, to the polymetric harmonic swirl of War Paint (DAPL Resistance), and connects the heat-seeking techno impulses of Ideas In Action, to the centre-less ambient panorama of Feng Jing.
Equiknoxx’s debut album proper, following the hugely acclaimed 'Bird Sound Power' (Number 2 in both RA and FACT albums of the year 2016), featuring 13 brand new nuggets recorded over the last 12 months and featuring darker, more psychedelic, starkly dubbed perspectives on up-to-the-second dancehall. Well worth checking out if you’re into anything from Lenky to Haruomi Hosono, RZA to Errorsmith...!
Colón Man is the exceptional debut album proper by visionary Jamaican dancehall artists Gavin Blair (Gavsborg) and Jordan Chung (Time Cow) plus their extended crew, aka Equiknoxx - once again for Demdike Stare’s DDS label. Where their widely acclaimed Bird Sound Power primer compilation, issued on DDS in 2016, brought the rest of the world up to speed with the music produced between late ‘00s and 2015, their first album now brings a 2020 sound into sharp, technoid focus thru a baker’s dozen steely, heat-seeking riddims galvanised with clinical electronics and a Midas Touch approach to sampling.
The record’s title, Cólon Man refers to a Jamaican tale (and song) about a mysterious character, whom, like Marcus Garvey, was one of over 100,000 Jamaicans who returned from working in Cólon on completion of the Panama Canal - regarded among the greatest feats of engineering known to humankind, physically connecting the greatest bodies of water on the planet. In context of the album, Gavsborg and Timecow take the story as a metaphorical foundational for a roots and future sound, acknowledging the vital groundwork of previous generations of producers, whilst soundly contextualising their mutant new advancements of Jamaican Dancehall.
Recorded between December 2016 and June 2017, Colón Man forms a stark, stripped down and conceptually blinding record. In tone and texture, the duo favour far colder, more abstract sounds, crucially lit up with sparingly used samples that lend the record its dissonant, harmonic colour and bittersweet hooks, stylishly feeding forward their playfully weird sense of humour into a rugged, nutty and even noisily imagineered set.
Bookended by the gauzy, Detroit-compatible synth looks and acid hall grind of Kareece Put Some Some Thread In A Zip Lock, and the mesh of Motor City sleekness with Far Eastern strings on Waterfalls In Ocho Rios, they distill and diversify their bonds in myriad ways across the album. There’s a killer dancehall/trap hybrid in the percolate chorales and man trills of Plantain Porridge, along with the secretive dub-into-dancehall transfusion of Addis Pablo’s melodica in the belly rolling Melodica Badness, while Ceremonial Eating Dog and the hyaline designs of We Miss You Little Joe - a tribute to their pal Alty Nunes - are arguably the most fwd Jamaican riddims you’ll hear in 2017, and Enter A Raffle… Win A Falafel uncannily recalls the clockwork mechanics of Haruomi Hosono’s Alternative 3, from his S-F-X  LP.
No matter what electronic box or boxes you subscribe to, Colón Man is a hugely inventive, compelling album for the ages, a remarkable iteration of Black Secret Technology for 2017 and far beyond.
One of the boldest new producers to broach the dub sphere in recent times, Jay Glass Dubs is subject of 'Dubs', a prime “early years” survey of his work, with a range of nods to shoegaze, darkwave synth styles and weightless dynamics. All the material compiled here is available on vinyl for the first time plus one track never released before on any format. Think of it is a set of productions sitting somewhere between Basic Channel, Equiknoxx and HTRK - a proper doozy this one.
Written during what Dimitris Papadatos, aka Jay Glass Dubs, describes as “an adventurous and bold period”, and holding material issued on tape by various labels between 2015-2016, the Dubs compilation frames a singular, stripped down take on classic dub forms, wherein Jay Glass Dubs perceptibly retains the sound’s heavy function and mystic qualities, but subtly updates its palette with a range of nods to a myriad of unexpected, angular styles.
The results form a sort of ghostly, filleted subtraction of classic dub architecture, all plasmic tones and diaphanous, boneless structures buoyed by an often overwhelming, yet somehow intangible bass presence. Beyond the obvious, thematic ligature that connects the material, which was all recorded within a very short period of time, the artist also suggests there is an underlying, encrypted similarity to the material which is “merely apparent to me”, and awaits much closer investigation from keen ears.
From Jay’s eponymous 2015 debut for Hylé tapes, listeners will encounter the heaving smudge of Definition Dub, the serpentine, Coil-like digital delays of Grumpy Dub, and a grime drone drill Depression Dub. Off the II tape for THRHNDRDSVNTNN comes the darkwave synths and militant step of Magazine Dub recalling a gauzier Equiknoxx production, next to the bass-less scudder, Detrimental Dub and the shoegazing bloom of Daria Dub, while his III tape tees up some abyssal highlights in the vertiginous Hilton Dub, the melancholy, Basic Channel-scoped scale of Sieben Dub, and the HTRK-esque starkness of Everlasting Dub.
Exclusive to the set is Perfumed Dub, recorded in 2017 and pointing to vast, layered, atmospheric directions for a timeless project which is only just hitting its stride.
D.K. keeps his workrate and quality ticking high with Distant Images, the latest addition to his radially expanding catalogue of releases with Melody As Truth, Antinote, L.I.E.S., PRR! PRR! in recent years.
Compared with D.K.’s earliest work, Distant Images bears a pellucid clarity shared with his recent D.K. / S.K. collaboration with Suzanne Kraft for Melody As Truth, bringing his melodic ideas into sharper relief, as with the Reichian/Gamelan rhythmelodies which perfuse the whole set, while also allowing greater room for subtle background sounds, such as the seagulls on Distant Images.
MFM whip out this natty cod-reggae synth-funk blast from Cali ’83. Imagine K. Leimer and co getting loose yet droll, and you’ve got the measure of Skin ’n’ Bones, while Millions Of Sensations is a superb piece of sino-facing post punk funk recalling Sakamoto & Sylvian, but with an off kilter urgency of its own, with drums like some early, staccato grime prototype.
“Pioneers in the Post Punk Industrial and New Wave scene in 1980’s San Francisco, Gary Miles (Voice Farm) and Blaise Smith (Minimal Man), met at San Francisco’s notorious 181 Club in December of 1982. This straight/same sex/swing-both-ways late night dive bar was tucked away in one of the city's most risky, drug riddled neighbourhoods. Stationed near the SF Museum of modern Art it attracted a wild audience of local patrons, aspiring young artists and music heads. In the thick of all this the duo felt impartial to a lot what was going on musically and set out to produce electronic music that could break through the "somewhat exhausted post disco sound that was then competing in the local San Francisco clubs". Enlisting soul vocalist Celeste Miller, the duo were also inspired by Lee 'Scratch' Perry / Upsetters dub tracks being produced in Jamaica and created a unique breed of avant guard hybrid New Wave/Electronic Funk.
With it's influences seemingly as much rooted in the past and the present as it was focused on the future; Dub Oven formed a distinct, mystical approach to music intended for the dance floor. All three tracks on this 12" embody a signature groove and an inventive synthesized abstraction to express a languishing urban unsettledness and spiritual awareness. Recorded at L7 Studios in San Francisco with the assistance of the the studio’s in house producer Marco Perry (who currently now works with Bjork) the record was unfortunately overlooked by A&R at several major and even local labels and was finally self-released in very limited quantities. Utilising analog electronics and instrumentation, the record draws on elements of dub, new wave, soul and funk to create a sound that is uncategorizable and one that was perhaps simply too forward thinking for it’s time.”
Taken from the same sessions as the recent Vida Eterna for Hospital Productions
Ninos Du Brasil present the churning, clambering, bestial momentum of Animals Soar O Alarme backed with a swinging, subaquatic techno rework by Patrick Russell for The Bunker New York.
A sublime addition to Sean McCann’s Recital Program, This Floating World is Roger Eno’s first solo LP in a decade, following on from Anatomy  and a split LP with Plumbline in 2013. Mostly solo piano expressions, but with a few intriguing embellishments of electronics in Garden, vocals on Empty Room, and sonorous chimes in Riddle, saving the detuned pearl of Out of Tune, Out of Time, Out of Here for dessert.
“This Floating World holds rustic and melancholic piano works, as grey and mossy as a country cottage. I hear the LP chiming from the dark corners of a pub, soaking in the damp wood like spilled ale.
I first fell in love with Roger’s music through his 1985 debut album Voices, which cradled many rainy and caffeinated mornings when I was living in San Francisco years back. He played on the infamous Apollo, Music for Films vol. 3, and recorded a theme for the Dune soundtrack. String pads and veils of reverb pour through those processed tracks.
I later rediscovered Roger Eno in a different light with his 1997 album The Music of Neglected English Composers. A playful and beautiful album of chamber pieces guised as the works of forgotten (and fabricated) composers from the past century. His compositional sensibilities remind me of my favorite recent English composers… Hobbs, White, Bryars, Skempton, etc.
This Floating World feels like a hybrid of these two styles, a melding of both his ambient and ‘prelude’-esque compositions. Warm and feathered furniture music.
In our communication Roger has been a real charmer, ending every email with “Roger and out.” A curious fellow, with a knack for tracing the understated beauties of this world.
Loft takes their mutant party to Wisdom Teeth with Three Settlements Four Ways. Landing in the wake of a vinyl pressing for his RA-praised Turbulent Dynamics EP, the vibes and production are, by turns, much lusher, layered and knotty than previous outings, bringing Loft’s sound closer to say, Arca or Lanark Artefax.
Up top, they emerge from tremulous beginnings to open out an optimistic, airborne club blessing with the percolated drums, hyaline chorales and virulent acid lines of Filton Recall, then squashing the pressure down low with bubbling subs generating effervescent ambient chords and a spire of giddy hardstyle trance motifs in Funemployed.
Flipside he commits to more chaotic themes with the ambiguous, pranging dynamics of Oh Well We’re All Fucked, chewing up and spitting out a rainbow coloured gob of sawn-off breaks and convulsive club deconstructions, then settles into a nervy swing with the lush but agitated bump of Pottlin.
A light-footed disco-house gem from London's Al Zander, making his debut with Blind Jack's Journey after a coupla 12"s for Karakul and Stamp Records.
The big attraction is the A-side's trim hack 'n splice job flipping twinkling keys, raw soul vox and greazy bass loops for friday night good times.
Turn her over and 'Endcliffe Park' resets the vibe to a hushed, heads-down shimmy nudged with rosy-hued chords, nimble beat switches and a plonging B-line in orbit of vintage, lowdown Pepe Bradock or Morgan Geist.
Dawn People’s ‘The Star Is Your Future’ is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte.
"The pair’s mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track album, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity and purpose.
Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70s jazz fusion, Krautrock and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.
Dawn People’s dense, funky and psychedelic music is the result of the wide range of musical influences of the collaborators. Nick Forte’s resume spans influential hardcore punk band Rorschach, post-punk outfit Beautiful Skin and recent underground sensation Raspberry Bulbs. With Dawn People, Forte digs deep into his own childhood nostalgia: making mixtapes from the early NYC hip hop show ‘Rap Attack’, watching Christian Marclay experiment with vinyl on the TV show ‘Night Flight’ and his first musical instrument, the Casio SK1 sampler keyboard.
Peter Negroponte is a virtuosic drummer and guitarist whose influences are rooted in rock & roll, jazz, funk, fusion and free improvisation. In reaction to his brief stint at the New England Conservatory, Negroponte sought to transcend what he felt to be an esoteric approach to making ‘experimental’ music by forming the psychedelic art-rock-noise-funk band Guerilla Toss. He has worked with an array of contemporary DIY labels such as Feeding Tube, NNA Tapes, Digitalis and John Zorn’s Tzadik.
The sound of this album harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early to mid 90s, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock and David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork’s Eric Harvey recently described as “recombinant pop,” which is applied to “adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music.”
‘The Star Is Your Future’ shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing.
For fans of Cornelius, Air ‘Virgin Suicides’ OST, Beastie Boys ‘Check Your Head’, Stereolab."
Local Action chuck a real curveball with TAM’s turn as Erskine Lynas, a new alias for the Aberdonian artist who’s previously applied his hand to freaky mutations of grime and fluoro electronics.
Lynas’ debut album, Lease Of Youth ‘fesses up to a proper passion for ‘80s synth pop - Tears for Fears, The Blue Nile, OMD and Magnetic Fields - in ten shockingly sharp and bittersweet arrangements that arguably sound like the work of a much older, experienced listener and artist.
But it’s not pastiche, nor a prosaic genre exercise. To the contrary, he’s putting a keenly off-kilter spin on sounds he clearly loves, with results that lie the better side of Hot Chip, and the less melodramatic aspects of Autre Ne Veut, with the adroit, melodic retro-futurist touch of Martial Cantarel, and a gaelic, folksy, electronic appeal comparable to Cocteau Twins or Samoyed.
We advise checking for highlights in the lucent lead single, Craigier Caught Sleeping, in the lilting, low-key funk of Run.Away / There’s No Face In Strings, and the icy minimal wave élan of Madrigal Morning.
An accomplished album, full of strange surprises.
Finders Keepers unveil a real pearl from their stewardship of Ciani Musica Inc.: presenting Suzanne’s ‘Silver Apples Of The Moon’-like electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s satirical opera for children; ‘Help, Help, The Globolinks!’
“As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault, Finders Keepers twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in multi-disciplinary electronic music, Suzanne Ciani. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theater production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne's vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer, but also highlights her European heritage -- working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department).
Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the '80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects -- all of which would make their world premiere in New York high school theaters in April of 1980. Suzanne on the original: "The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production." For Help, Help The Globolinks!, Ciani would give Menotti's well-traveled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality. Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema; within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel -- scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as "the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie" with The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981).
Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl's Aniara or Remi Gassman's Electronics (CACK 004B-LP), this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Ciani's combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician are in equal measures here, a rare duplicity which is essential to The Globolinks!.”
ASC baffles your internal metronome with the railing rhythms of Point Of Origin his latest dispatch from he great area twixt D&B, techno and concrete electronics.
Last Known Coordinates locates him travelling at high velocity driven by clod-hopping drums and fine-tuned bass propulsion; Point Of Original clocks him keening into halfstep gravity; Ground Tracer identifies a thrumming techno sound compatible with Regis or Mønic rollers; Collider works out rollicking mechanics recalling the new Sam Kerridge sound.
RVNG Intl parse Pauline Anna Strom’s incredible new age recordings on this collection of boundary-smudging synth journeys, containing material originally released between 1982 and 1988. They've spent almost a decade trying to bring this collection to life, kudos to them once again for compiling and conceiving it with so much care and attention to detail.
Drawn from seven obscure tape and vinyl releases made between 1982 and 1988, Trans-Millenia Music lives up to its mantle with a sense of ancient knowledge transposed into the contemporary future of the 1980s, realising a latent, transcendent sound that was perhaps just waiting for technology to catch up so it could speak freely.
Through the circuitry of pioneering synth tools, the blind composer and keyboardist from San Francisco feels out a spectrum of unfathomably celestial and synaesthetically-heightened sound colour along myriad, psychedelic vectors, haptically connecting diffuse spatial coordinates with a gossamer web of FX and morphing filter envelopes.
It’s music for oceanic introspection, beckoning listeners to fall deep inside themselves and diffract profound visions through their own lens, where you can interpret her descriptions of sonic flight in Crusing Altitude 36,000 Feet and In Flight Suspension, or decode the entheogenic synth voices of Mushroom Trip according to your own understanding of the cosmos and its play of energies, and draw your own meanings.
Gorgeous music, highly recommended if you're into Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Speigel or indeed Midori Takada.
What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer.
"Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star.
The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.”
L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind."
Definitive compilation drawing together the original Digital Soundbwoys of Jamaican Dancehall culture, compiled with the help of Steve Barrow.
Reggae music is made to be played in the Dancehall, it is a functionalist music of the highest order and in the early 1980's when producers started switching onto digital instrumentation, and found they could produce far more powerful and effective sounds to play on their friends rigs, the whole culture of Jamaican music changed irreversibly.
This first volume of the two part vinyl set collects a wicked selection of out-and-out classics from Yellowman's 'Bam Bam', Tenor Saw 'Pumpkin Belly', Chaka Demus & Pliers' international 1992 hit 'Murder She Wrote', Junior Murvin's nut crackin' 'Cool Out Son', Ini Kamoze's Taxi sound special 'World A Music', Cutty Ranks' 'Chop Chop' and tonnes more nice-up sounds. Of course there's the obligatory and massively interesting liner notes too from Steve Barrow and the glorious full colour picture sleeves in classic Soul Jazz style. If you're into any form of dance music today, you really have to pay your dues and invest in this wicked set of pure dance history.
The seven brothers embrace a spiritual jazz sound, sans percussion, on their first album since the group’s father, Philip Cohran, passed away in February 2017
“With its cathedral-like, richly resonant acoustics, the new Hypnotic Brass Ensemble album Book Of Sound is a brilliant expression of interplanetary principle. The album is by turns urgent and contemplative, funky and reflective, varied in its textures; but entirely of one piece. Underpinned by concepts of earth's place in the cosmos, held in place by meditation, swirling with notions of history, science, theology, ancestry, there is a rich conceptual brew here.
The album rings with what back in the 1950s the jazz critic Whitney Balliet called "the sound of surprise". Book Of Sound makes you believe again in the validity of "spiritual jazz". Talking to Cid, one of the Ensemble's two trombonists, one phrase recurs: "back to the beginning". "We wanted to go back to the beginning, when we were kids, real young, and our father would wake us up at 5AM to practice for two hours before breakfast."
One outcome -- initially unplanned but subsequently embraced -- is that unlike their two previous albums on Honest Jon's, this is an album without a drummer. "When we started, as Wolf Pack, just brothers on the street with our horns, there wasn't a kit in sight." Book Of Sound retains plenty of rhythmic heft, but the absence of a drummer opens up space for a notably varied instrumental palette. Acoustic guitar, piccolo, synthesizer, alto sax -- all have their place on the album.
Most striking perhaps are the vocal lines that thread through the album and give it a palpable warmth. Sessions were recorded in Brooklyn and Chicago, and brilliantly mixed at Abel Garibaldi's studio in the Loop, and it's the Hypnotic's hometown that permeates. For Cid this is a deeply Chicago record: "It's got the vibe of the lake, the vibe of the prairies opening up to the west." It also has the vibe of those Sun Ra Arkestra albums recorded in Chicago in the 1950s, and -- of course -- the Phil Cohran albums from the 1960s.
It's Phil Cohran (the father of all seven members of the Ensemble and their first teacher, and not just in music) who is the album's guiding spirit. For Cid it's a major regret that, in the months before their father's death early in 2017, Phil was not well enough to play on the album. But Book Of Sound is a magnificent testament to their Cohran legacy”.
A collection of recent solo work presented for the first time.
"Wally Badarou is a visionary musician who over the years has forged a history that is immensely storied, diverse and creatively rich. He has not only released timeless solo material such as the incredible Echoes LP in 1984 (part of which reached a new generation of music fans when the track Mambo was sampled for Massive Attack's Daydreaming), but has also recorded on classic albums with luminaries such as Grace Jones, Sly & Robbie, Mick Jagger, Fela Kuti, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru and Talking Heads to name just a few. Both co-founders of Diskotopia have been huge fans of Mr. Badarou's work since before the label's inception and are elated to present The Unnamed Trilogy Vol.1 to the world at large.
Opening track Fisherman (I - Theme) rolls out with an assured strut that pulls you straight into a surging overflow of digi-funk bubble and laser-precise glide tactics. Infectious as it is fluid in its arrangements, Fisherman (I - Theme) is an excellent example of Wally Badarou's ubiquitous sound; highlighted here through the multi-timbral interlocking grooves that balance both the natural and synthetic elements seamlessly like the flow of ocean tides.
Daiquiri Diaries (Vintage Extended) enters with a striking metallic riff before a poetic electric piano takes the lead over insistent drums, soaring strings and warm pad swells. Only a synthesizer specialist such as Badarou would be able to create comparable transcendental magic from such simplicity, transfixing the listener whilst giving a masterclass in restraint. Make no mistake however, this is late night celestial soul music for Balearic excursions into the outer mind's eye.
The nautical beginnings of Awa develop effortlessly into convivial carnival vibes which could easily soundtrack any number of global gatherings. Combining field recordings of lapping waves, a fluid digital kalimba lead, expertly layered polyrhythmic percussion and sun-soaked flourishes throughout, Awa becomes near meditative in its effortless ebbs and flows.
As The Unnamed Trilogy Vol. 1 comes to its close Higher Still … takes an introspective step to the side giving us a cinematically beautiful allegory for the modern age. Equal moments of reflection coincide with transformative key changes as we can equate our own journeys in life to the arrangement here: At once entered into existence in such a distinct manner to have then gone through irrevocable changes and thusly transformed into a new state of consciousness altogether, we remain Higher Still …”
London’s First Terrace Records bring together two generations of electronic sound explorers on one disc; pairing Portland, Oregon’s Holland Andrews, aka Like A Villain, with Seattle’s K. Leimer, veteran of Savant and Palace Of Lights, for a stark contrast of incendiary extended vocal technique and free-floating ambient structures.
On her side, Holland follows up her role in Peter Broderick’s The Beacon Sound Choir with an escalating transition from glacial, elemental vocal layering to flammable, airborne harmonics and a primal/futuristic climax that sounds like Björk in duet with Diamond Galas while sharing a massive bottle of whiskey and battered microphone. By the end of the 20 minute piece you’ll understand its alternative title; I’d Rather Not Talk About It.
The B-side catches K. Leimer in wistfully elegant form with the hazy recording of what sounds like a Japanese lady speaking in German, embedded in swelling strings and arcing electronics on Chance Favours Pattern, before shapeshifting between selector-acoustic ambient in the Eno vein with The Melancholy of Departure (1916), the flustered percussion of Noise Coiled Sleep, and autumnal tones of Small Coloured Enclosures.
Prime Jamal Moss bangerrrrrz, penned in tribute to the tracky, direct drive of Chicago’s legendary Gherkin Records label and Larry Heard’s Gherkin Jerks alias - now finally appearing on wax after 3 volumes of sold out and sought-after CDrs.
For anyone familiar with Jamal’s work, the first thing to strike you is the relative clarity and punch of these eight killer cuts, revealing full bodied bass drums and glancing metallic synths/FX where there’s more than often a face full of radgey distortion.
Of course, there’s still a bite to these buggers, but they’ll cut thru a big rig with much more force, and work so damn well in the hulking momentum and noisy EBM styles of Gherkin 1, with the roiling bass and mystic pipes of Gherkin 3, and the coiled, minimalist rattlesnake of Gherkin 6.
Music From Memory blindside again with an unprecedented survey of Geoffrey Landers’ home-baked avant-pop-funk and more experimental dabs of ambient jazz, abstract electronics
“Music From Memory's final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album “1 by 1”, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer and engineer, conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, “The Ever Decimal Pulse” and “Habitual Features” along with the single “Breedlove” were ever released on vinyl.
.Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up “The Packing House Studio” in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists most notably Allen Ginsberg.
It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named “Cauhaus” label. Indicative of the underground/DIYculture, “Cauhaus” was a subsiduary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander's music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art and multi media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art.
Throughout the twenty tracks of "1 by 1", of which six previously appeared on CD only, we are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarhythms” and the heart breaking New-Wave Boogie/Funk of “Say You’ll Say So” to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental insprired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack” Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.”
UTTU rabble in effect, returning to the label’s 1st love - bassline and UKG - for a 2nd volume of Tales From The Dark Side, pulling together various ends of the label’s brimming catalogue for a crafty definition of that sound.
We’re talking big highlights in the likes of Mumdance’s garage-meets-Dutch bubbling ace, It’s Peak; a rampant slice of SoYo niche junglism with DJ Q’s All Junglist; Bleaker’s spin on Steve Gurley’s Hyperfunk mix; DJ Flava’s nifty remix of Spooky’s Baby; more mean AF SoYo gear from Mista Men in Forget You; and Clasified on a proper Todd Edwards tip with Say To You.
Idle Hands put a dork on it with stripped, bouncing techno tax by Berlin’s Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg
“Following a run of local transmissions from A Sagittariun, Crump, Rob Smith and Atki2, Idle Hands turns its attention to Berlin and the straight-up, no-nonsense techno thrust of Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg. Both respected artists and DJs in their own right, the pair have been turning out 12s together for The Free Spirit Society, Klasse and Crime City Disco over the past few years, but most importantly they've been steering the excellent UFO Station Recordings as a vessel for their punchy, primal techno tracks.
The sound on this EP taps into the pure form of stern, dark dancefloor tackle favoured at Idle Hands – no extraneous filler, plenty of space in the mix, but equally built with warmth and personality rather than monochrome functionality. If you need further proof, just look to the fact the EP is named after a Swedish soap opera from the 90s.
The bleeps and bass tones that pulse through Taggen are so finely crafted they need not skip and dance around the arrangement. The melodic interplay on Klimax is subtle but ultimately uplifting and optimistic where so much techno concerns itself with oppressive gloom. Bimbo finds the pair embracing a more psychedelic approach, but even here the modulating effects processes are kept within certain boundaries so as to not dilute the impact on the floor. After all, this is music to dance to, to be felt over a large system (where possible).
Moving from leftfield bass excursions to minimalist 2-step, UK techno and now onto this much more continental sound, theMälarviken EP continues to widen the range of Idle Hands' musical tastes without losing sight of the complete picture.”
Dâm Funk does it with serious finesse in his debut Garrett outing for Music For Memory, who’ve managed to coax out a sublime insight to his Private Life from LA’s most fêted funkateer. Best believe this is the slickest thing you’ll encounter all year - like glyding on rainbow in silk underwear.
For Damon G Riddick’s legion fans it doesn’t come much better, especially seeing as he’s been shy on the release front since 2016’s DJ-Kicks and the odd short format serving in recent years. Anyway this makes up for that gap in spades, swooping in with the gilded dawn of Apocalyptic Sunrise and taking it there with track, from the pointillist drum patter and arcing chords of Right Now thru the loose and sprawling vibes of Slow Motion, to chrome-squirting G-funk on It’s Time, with 12 minutes to cool out in the serene waters of Angel Reflections, before taking it Home on the downstroke to the sun-warped bliss of The End Theme.
Summer 2017 is officially heya.
Stark, club and runway-ready updates of a sylvan, glamorous disco sound practiced by everyone from Lena Platonos to Goldfrapp, fresh from NYC in 2017
“Optimo Music is delighted to continue its fruitful relationship with The Golden Filter with the release of this fantastic 4-track 12' EP. We always prefer our artists to speak for themselves and avoid bullshit PR hype so here is what they have to say about this EP -
We're quite agnostic, and unreligious, but if there is any vibes associated with the EP (and maybe all of our music) it is very Buddhist in its ideas. Mindful. Aware of impermanence. The whole EP is about being with the one(s) you love when everything else around you breaks down. Looking inward, with pure love, in the hope to radiate outward, rather than pushing for a fight, or running away. Recorded, written, and produced in isolation by Stephen and Penelope on our own in East London Studio space.
The EP starts with the song 'End Of Times' which is a dramatic, Shangri-Las influenced take on feeling powerless in a chaotic world, but still high on love. Happiness can be found in analog reverb. This is followed by 'Serenity', a hard and tranquil meditation of past + future. Side 2 leads with 'Heart Control', with a slight nod to Pink Floyd. A nine minute plea to ourselves to keep it all focused and under control... The EP closes with 'Darkness Falls'. The lyrics for this came from an apocalyptic dream that Penelope had, and wrote down in the morning. the music is 100% purely modular, er, except for the tiny bits of guitar at the end.”
M.E.S.H. projects the rave to new possible planets with Hesaitix. Combining the cinematic gestures of his Piteous Gate  LP and the dynamic drum work of Damaged Merc  in probing new forms, the pivotal PAN artist’s hugely imaginative 2nd album renders a vivid vision of where next for modern, rhythm-driven electronic music.
Hesaitix offers a dreamlike template for off-world raving, turning the back of M.E.S.H.’s eyelids inside-out to reveal a geometric playground of amorphous tessellations diffused and gelled according to a physics that may seem impossible on terra firma, yet entirely plausible in the Berlin-based artist’s noumenal dimensions.
Ossifying fluidly skeletal patterns from a rich pool of far flung rhythmic DNA, he supposes a sort of cyborgian body and AI that could survive under altered conditions, using the club as a laboratory or exercise ground for these fantastic creatures, which just happen to closely resemble you and I. Maybe, even, we are those vessels, and the music is subconsciously programming us as test subjects while he gauges and quantifies our reactions and the efficacy of his code under chaotic conditions?
Whatever, Hesaitix renders a supremely absorbing, alternate world view between the lush, hypernatural ecologies of Nemorum Incola and the extra terrestrial chamber music of Ihnaemiauimx, a world where dancers generate architecture thru telekinetic gesture, as with Mimic and the weightless construction site arrangement of Loop Trip, where intrepid recce’s uncover radioactive dembow mutations such as Search Reveal, and ancient-futurist Antikythera mechanics dictate distinct new measures of meter in the astonishly detailed ballistics of Signal Drum Ride and Diana Triplex.
Unknown Path investigates areas of the grey area akin to Aught’s Xth Réflexion in Pathfinder, Vol.1
Yielding a static yet kinetic sound built from charred bass, textured drums and billowing noise artefacts.
Jamal Moss lives that loosey goosey Gherkin Life in three psycho-activating Chicago jackers.
Over the last few years, whilst he’s hit starry heights with The Truth Theory Trio and J.I.T.U Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, Jamal’s Gherkin drops have been the go-to place for his rawest, juiciest club tools.
The Ginger Snaps EP is no different, serving three briny bangers taking in some gorgeous keys, floating voices and bustling swerve with Part 1, whereas Part 2 is firmly moored in pounding kicks, but yearning to fly at astral trajectories.
The other side is different, though; on Black Herman he decelerates to a squashed and loose limbed strut, riffing on salty 303s and chewy grooves for a more laid-back, hypnotic momentum.
Call Super cocks a 2nd album of increasingly squirrelly electronics for Houndstooth, secreting the glittering nuts and bolts of his sound in a more fluid and dynamic brand of ambient techno mechanics.
Arriving three years on from his Suzi Ecto album, and a string of well-received DJ sets, solo 12”s and a collaboration with Beatrice Dillon over the interim, Arpo gathers Call Super’s recent studio thoughts in one place, coursing from mercurial IDM to jazzy flights of fancy and oneiric electro with a meticulous production style that’s become his trademark.
The ghosts of the 4th World, Red Planet martians, Irdiallian enigmas and golden era Warp haunt Arpo’s diffuse dimensions from the first chimes and clarinet plumes of Arpo thru the smoky electro-jazz of Out To Rust, following a silvery thread of logic that weaves between early hours dancefloor mindsets and late hours home listening from the glitchy hunch of OK Werkmeister to the sloshing brownian glitter of Music Stand, embracing Ethiopiques jazz in Arpo Sunk, and gently insistent future electro-funk with No Wonder We Go Under, and the hyaline electro-soul rubs of I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Hat.
Djrum presents another magic carpet ride for the dance with his 1st outing of 2017
Getting busy af with the proggy disarrangement of African chants, polyrhythms and rustic strings in Broken Glass, then showing off his skills in a sort of soundtrack-y context with the absorbing blend of instrumental and incidental narratives of Showreel Pt.1 and its hefty, rolling 2nd part.
Plush, deeper jungle from Alex Eveson’s Dead Man’s Chest project
Brukking out for fans of Sully or Lee Gamble’s ‘ardcore revisionism in three tracks veering from patchworked cut-up styles such as High Noon In Cotham to the dextrously woven dipper Darkness At Dawn, and on a rub-a-dub tip with Hangman Posse.
Echanting, fascinating collection of Chilean folk songs, mostly vocals and guitars, with introductions by Violeta Parra, but also some ace runs into accordion and music box melodies and martial percussive pieces. Interesting for anyone looking to the Bolivian folk roots of Elysia Crampton
“Death Is Not The End reissue a rare early LP from Chilean songwriter, folklorist and visual artist Violeta Parra.
In this collection, Volume III of Parra's Folk Music of Chile series, Parra introduces us to the Cueca, a traditional folk music style and Chile's national dance, which is sung and danced at parties and festivities. Although Cuecas were played on the radio, Parra introduces listeners to popular forms of Cueca she recovered in her field work collecting traditional songs. Navigating Chile's thin land mass from Santiago to Concepción, Parra heard people in the countryside performing these songs. In her introduction, Parra identifies four types of Cueca: the short Corta, the waltz Valceada, the long Larga voluntaria, and the Balance/obligatoria where the singer individually calls on a man and then a women to dance. Casting herself in the role of ethnomusicologist, this intense musical investigation of Chile's popular folk song traditions went on to greatly influence Parra's own songwriting. The connection with her country's traditions earned her the reputation as Chile's foremost poet and folk singer.”
For those about to jack, Shed reprises his Power House moniker WK7 in four mesmerising styles
Swigning out with the bumpy pressure of Rhythm 1, simmering down the soulful, burning chords of The Healer, then building up the energy with boisterous breakbeat house in Rhythm 2 (Power Snap Mix) and the ruffer Tripple H mix.
Tokyo-based D&B MC and producer, Maiko Okimoto aka Lemna, throws her hat into the grey area with Urge Theory, a stony-faced follow-up to her sci-fi steppers project, Ourea, with Sam KDC.
It’s a rugged exercise in monotone, numbed D&B pressure, moving with a silty brownian dynamic from the viscous momentum of Dice thru what sounds like a frozen T++ piece in DLPFC, to the pounding hypo-techno pressure of Metamorphosis, harnessing tearout synthline in the wild-eyed raver, Blot.
Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground.
"Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.
This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set."
Diverse batch of polished but wayward sound designs, fathoming deconstructed club noise in Ark; rolling darkish ‘ardcore pressure in Dolci; post-dubstep mutation in Ilah; white hot noise on Blessing; and tranquil solo keys in Fraewnuil.
Modern minimal wave star, Marie Davidson tends to her Essaie Pas duo with Pierre Guerineau on a follow-up to their Demain Est Une Autre Nuit, which was also released by DFA.
The vibe is darker, noirishly cinematic than Marie’s solo material, but also more dance-oriented than her recent collaboration with Invisible Church, hitting a sweetspot of strident, suave disco suspense aching for the darkroom.
Morphine extend farther into S.E. Asian music traditions with a lachrymose suite of minimalist, cosmic Javanese styles, incorporating performance by label head Rabih Beaini...
“Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, performing mainly a modern and contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java, ultimately joined by their teacher and maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on Sekalipon. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful contemporary interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia.
Composed and performed by Tarawangsawelas, except Sekalipun (Traditional) featuring Tarawangsa Sunda Lugina. Produced, Mixed and Arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel, Rome.”
Earthy, funked house hustle burnished with nuff percussion and keyboard flair, fresh from the desk of Romare following his Love Songs: Part Two album.
Four louche, rug-cutting numbers take the dance by the hand and booty between dubbed-out funk hustle in All Night (Session I) to bluesy grind in Come Close To Me (Live Session I), thru stripped-down disco tricks on Je T’Aime (Live Session I), and the druggy slow burn of Come Close To Me (Live Session 2), all executed live and direct for loose and subtly wavy effect.
Synkro diversifies his bonds into blue half step and downtempo modes on Hand In Hand
Sweetly exercising his signature melancholic touch between the pastoral flutes and half step sway of Vanishing Point, the slow-motion Chuck Person/0PN vibes of Hand In Hand for chromatic sunset washes, and Burial-esque senhsucht in red Sky.
On-U Sound prime their Dub Syndicate reissue series with Displaced Masters
It offers a peek inside their previously unreleased archive at nine stripped down, natty dubs with particular highlights in the viscous downstroke of Money Dealers, their mellifluous but gritty digi-stepper, Haunted Ground, and the judicious use of FX and vocoders on the smokers madness, All Other Roads Are Shut Off.
The Digital Afterlife catches Jamal Moss in a great mood, recorded in Amsterdam early 2016, and backed with two “prime gherkins from the Hieroglyphic pickle jar”!
That title cut is a richly harmonised house hymn vaulted with heavenly, stacked chords and haywire bleeps that open out on a clattering groove like AFX channelling Sun Ra during a sunday outdoor rave.
His flipside gives up the swanging body jerk and fruity funky house keys of Arras (Instrumental Version) and the astral glyde of Akashic Energies in classic, expressive Jamal style.
Ivan Smagghe and Rupert Cross indulge another retro-futurist fantasy. File next to your Ghost Box collection...
“When experiencing zero gravity in a space station, or bouncing weightless across the moon’s surface, looking back at Earth-as-one, most astronauts feel dizzy at the immensity of the journey they have just undertaken. A near revelation , this sudden awareness is named the Overview Effect.
Once back on Earth, these astronauts are changed. The cognitive shift of the Overview Effect plunges them into a state of melancholy: for hours at a time, they remain lost in thought. When they eventually come out of these periods of aphasia, the astronauts are unable to express what they have experienced, but often recall having heard "strange music", similar to the music they claim to have heard close to Venus or on the hidden side of the Moon.
Smagghe & Cross's second collaboration (recorded chronologically before the MA album, released last year on Often) is the first attempt to recreate this celestial music, which up until now, had only existed in the minds of enlightened spacemen. It is reminiscent of the sound of meteors entering the Earth's atmosphere, of probes sent to infinity and beyond, their echo slowly fading from the control screens. Smagghe & Cross have boldly taken the step from the strobe lights to the Milky Way
For the past two decades, Ivan Smagghe has perfected the art of making spaced-out clubbers dance, has ridden a Fine Line and run his label Les Disques de La Mort. Rupert Cross is a London-based composer who has worked with Michael Finissy and Julian Anderson as well as writing music for television and theatre.
Before/after MA, an album which sat on the fringes of experimental music passed through a industrial particle accelerator., S&C give you the tracks codenamed Timothy Dalton (according to Ivan, "The laser sound in the track reminded us of Flash Gordon"). Neither pop, nor psychedelic, nor ambient, nor house, nor techno, nor post punk nor even new wave are spared, but none are singled out.
To nurture this proto-album, which targets paradise by plunging us into the abyss, the duo also called upon the talents of Tim Felton, the outstanding guitarist from the cult band Broadcast.
When listening to Timothy Dalton, the temporal and stylistic boundaries disintegrate to give way to all sorts of speculation: imagine the beardies from Tangerine Dream being kidnapped by Soft Cell, C86 and 1988, the Silver Apples composing a space opera with the help of an electro cardiogram monitor. Or the Wizard of OZ reviewed and reworked by Psychic TV.
Eight tracks take us from the New Orderey beaches of Ostend to the rings of Saturn, and gradually unfold before our eyes like a machine to travel through time and space. So what if Timothy Dalton was a one-way ticket to the Twilight Zone?”
Comparisons between musicians and painters don’t usually work. But biographical parallels are not unusual. And just as some paintings place their creators in a particular period in their creative lives, there are also musicians who can look back on distinct creative phases. F.S.Blumm is one such musician.
"At the end of the 90s there were alot of murmurs about the living room scene in Berlin; magical concerts on improvised stages in temporary event spaces. Back then it was about music without fat beats and bass. It was a counter-reaction against rockstars with all their posing and egos. You made music with acoustic instruments and kitchen appliances. Concerts were listened to attentively and with deep concentration. One of the protagonists of this scene was F.S.Blumm. Among other things, his love for untempered, often self-made instruments predestined him for this.
At the turn of the century virtually any kind of music which used acoustic instruments was branded „Free Folk“ or „Alternative Folk“. But other than a few ironic comments in interviews Blumm didnt try to monopolize on this supposed movement, rather he kept a poised distance from it. It was during this time that his album „Mondkuchen“ (trans. Moon Cake) was released on Morr Music. The bristly detailedness of the living room scene met serious and powerful reductionism.
F.S.Blumm has many faces. Working your way through his vast discography would be a research project all in its own right. He has collaborated with the likes of David Grubbs, Andi Otto, Harald Sack Ziegler or Nils Frahm. He realised his love for Dub Reggae with the Quasi Dub Development. In the band KINN he played dynamic Postrock. Blumm has a faible for odd beats and could write an a-z on minimal musics pattern matching. Quite where his personal musical signature lies remains something of a mystery. Nevertheless only a few bars are enough to recognize it. This may by down to his preference for open harmonies or his poingnent arrangements.
Now F.S.Blumm is entering a new phase of his creativity which one could call his nonchalant phase. Although the first few bars of his new album do sound like an echo of the deep seriousness in his studio albums with Nils Frahm. Besides a few guitar chords and the suggestion of a xylophone in the background there is nothing but the wide spaces between them. Fine almost random sounding noises are remotely reminiscent of the era of his experimental instrumental concerts with classical guitar. Then the voice comes into play and everything changes. Laid back F.S.Blumm sings with a combination of urgency and relaxation. His voice sounds like he’s standing right beside the listener, singing straight into your ear. At the same time its unobtrusive. The piece sounds touching and intimate. This is the way how „Handle Bar“ the opening track on his new album „Welcome“ is delivered.
If an artist as experienced and multifaceted as this calls his new album „Welcome“ that really says something. Many years ago the composer and instrumental musician F.S.Blumm was already active as a songwriter. He wrote songs for three duos in which he played with various singers: Bobby And Blumm with Bobby Baby, Old Splendifolia with Jana Plewa and finally Jonsson Gille & Blumm. Now for the first time since he started making music, he is singing his own songs himself. Which is like a journey back to his roots – back to his childhood bedroom with a songbook and his first guitar. With „Sounds of Silence“ and „Sister Ray“ day in day out.
With every song on „Welcome“ new doors of association are opened. The second track „New Day“ uses reverb laden drums and hymical harmonies to great effect. But F.S.Blumm always manages to make the grandiose still sound grounded. Rather than spreading himself too thin, he prefers to explore the depths.
There we find the relaxed and erotically crackling „Going Away“, the optimistic „Initial Spark“ and the casual „Overweight“. Blumm is ever traversing the field between greatness and modesty, sophisticated melodies and recordings which are like the extremely condensed sound of a cassette recorder. This aesthetic permeates the entire album.
With „Welcome“ F.S.Blumm has perfected the imperfect. Where other producers filter out the noise, pops and crackles, Blumm does the exact opposite. He reverses the roles of desired and undesirable sound. What remains are songs like sculptures left in the wake of acoustic tracks.
The 8th full-length release from the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi.
"Over the course of four LP sides, the October 2014 concert documented here ranges from rock power trio dynamics to maelstroms of analogue electronics. Once again, the three demonstrate their commitment to pushing into new areas of instrumental exploration and group interaction. Where previous releases from the trio have often featured extended vocal workouts from Haino, at times suggesting abstracted folk song, Haino’s vocalizations here are restricted to the occasional impassioned cry, putting the focus squarely on instrumental interplay. More than ever before, this feels like the work of three equals, with O’Rourke or Ambarchi taking the lead role as often as Haino does.
The four pieces presented here each focus on extended development. The first side is propelled by Ambarchi’s busy, Jack DeJohnette-esque cymbal and tom work, which provides a skittering yet insistent pulse over which Haino and O’Rourke’s FX-saturated strings rise and fall, momentarily converging for passages of near stasis before again pulling apart to continue wandering through areas of gently sour discord; O’Rourke’s use of a six-string bass here boosts the harmonic density of the music and often makes his contribution difficult to distinguish from Haino’s guitar. On the second side, O’Rourke uses his pedals to make his bass near unrecognizable, generating a squelching, harmonically unstable riff that Ambarchi accompanies with a semi-martial snare pattern, the two driving home the idea for the duration of the side while Haino moves between frenetic octave-doubled fuzz riffing and streams of feedback.
The third side presents some of the most abstract music heard from the trio since their first release (Tima Formosa, BT04). Continuing Haino’s explorations of new instruments, the side opens with a long passage of toy piano, an instrument that in his hands is at once childlike and imbued with a mysterious gravity. Alongside occasional vocal interjections from Haino (singing in English), Ambarchi creates delicate textures on cymbals and metallic percussion while O’Rourke, for the first time in this group, performs on the EMS Synthi. In a long passage in the middle of the side, he provides ample evidence of his mastery of the instrument, crafting a complex texture from pointillist stabs and rapid sweeps that possesses the same unpredictable yet controlled feeling of classic live-electronics documents like Pierre Henry’s ‘Corticalart’ series. With Haino joining in with his own electronics, the side eventually builds to a chaotic climax.
Beginning with a sequence of ‘fourth world’ drums and flute, the final side unfolds an epic build-up over a hypnotic foundation of pounding toms. Moving from flute to vocals to electronics, Haino eventually picks up the guitar in the second half of the piece, igniting a spectral blur over driving rhythms from bass and drums that eventually builds to a frenzied climax."