Tim Jones, also known as Preacherman and recorded under Midi Man, Ironing Board Band and T.J. Hustler made one very rare lp, and two even rarer CD’s. These tracks are from the CD’s.
"He was a salesman for IBM in Las Vegas, where he sold Selectric Typewriters and then word processors during the day and at night he would perform in the Las Vegas lounges. He was somewhat of an engineer and adapted a Hammond B3 organ to play a moog synth with some of the organ keys, (some still played the organ), and he adapted the organ’s foot controlled bass levers to play two Moog synth bass pedals (a failed item Moog made for a few years.) Thinking he wasn’t much of a live performer he had a wooden puppet made that he named T.J Hustler, and together with the puppet, he would engage in long philosophical soliloquies, (some of which are featured on this album).
If you meet Tim, he is not someone who stops talking. In fact he even created a little book called Universal Philosophy. He has a lot to say about everything. Currently he lives with his 103 year old mother in Oakland. There he infrequently plays shows on his Casio where he fashions himself a live Karaoke performer, who comes complete with 5 wireless mics and P.A. and a list of about a 100 songs he can play. His invented organ contraption and puppet are in storage in Las Vegas, and he seems intensely uninterested in getting them out, as “The kids these days want to hear the sounds the Casio makes.”
Mute bundle 17 highlights, including two bonus tracks, from Manc punk-funk troop A Certain Ratio
Throwing back to the heyday of Manchester multi-cultural groove explosion, there some proper evergreens inside, including the sleazy twist of ‘Wild Party (12” Version)’, the utopian dance-pop of ‘Won’t Stop Loving You (Bernard Sumner Mix)’, the 7” mix of their jazz-funk turn ’Shack Up’, and the gauzy groove of ‘Knife Slits Water (7” Version)’.
The KVB put another gallon in the tank with ‘Only Now Forever’, their 6th LP of motorik, melodic wave pop. RIYL Death In Vegas, Beak>, Spacemen 3
“After intense touring their 2016 release ‘Of Desire’, The KVB returned to their home to further immerse themselves in sonic experimentation. The resulting Only Now Forever heralds the next chapter in the adopted-Berliners dark, electronic pop development.
“On our new album we wanted to take everything we had learned in the studio recording our last album and apply it to self-producing this album,” explains the band. Recorded entirely in their Berlin apartment throughout 2017 the band decided they wanted to take a freer approach to writing and recording. “In the past, we had always tried to restrict ourselves productions wise, to what was possible to play live as a duo, but this time we wanted to expand our compositions and instrumentation, and let the atmosphere dictate the layers of sound.”
Whilst holding evident inspiration from previous times, the sound this London-founded duo present is progressive and distinctly new in every sense. Idyllic at times; gritty in others, each bar is as enchanting as the last, leaving you in a melancholic trance.
Offering poignant lyricism that explores modern anxieties that plague many, the duo manage to imbue feelings of empowerment, fighting such struggles with a deceivingly sanguine sound. This seamless juxtaposition is perhaps their best trait.”
Auntie Flo mosaic worldly rhythms and balmy synths with fragrant field recordings on their 3rd LP and debut with Brownwood Recordings. Listen up for highlights in the moody blue and string out ‘Cape Town Jam’, and the 808-heavy, Afrobeats-compatibility of ‘Western Princes’
“Auntie Flo joins the Brownswood roster to deliver his third and most ambitious album to date. The Glasgow-raised producer, of Goan-Kenyan heritage, has often featured collaborators from different spots he’s visited, and this new record takes that approach to another level. Contributions come from a globetrotting cast of friends, including Laurie Pitt, of Glasgow’s Golden Teacher, Senegalese multi-instrumentalist Mame ndiack, UK producer and singer Andrew Ashong and Cuban percussionist Yissy Garcia.
It arrives as the natural companion piece to his Radio Highlife show on Worldwide FM, the online station run by Brownswood boss, Gilles Peterson. Regularly touring to DJ in various cities around the world, it’s a pursuit that’s gone hand-in-hand with the global slant of his music – with the local radio often being his first introduction to new cities. It follows in the path of Glasgow’s Highlife club night which he co-founded, playing music from West Africa and Latin America which broke out of the city’s house and techno mould. Likewise, his own music has always been laced with percussion, ideas and inspirations that reflect a far-reaching perspective.”
A revelatory study of Philip Corner’s experimental compositions circa 1958 and 2016. Performed by Rhodri Davies, among others
“Extremes are extreme, extremely. For Philip Corner, a lifelong commitment to extremes - extreme expression, extreme beauty, extreme noise, extreme silence - developed a mastery of expression, any one extreme may result in all of the others. In gripping new recordings by the duo of Silvia Tarozzi, violin, and Deborah Walker, cello - with assistance from Rhodri Davies, harp, and Philip Corner, piano - Corner's early ensemble works from 1958 are paired with newer, late works from 2015-2016.
The works from 1958, "Two-part monologue" and "FINALE,” were composed while Corner was teaching at City College and still finishing his Masters at Columbia University under Henry Cowell and Otto Luening. Extremes being extreme, they were too extreme for Columbia. Yet, Corner completed his degree and continued to stretch on, creating works somewhere between the supercomputer-refined micro-tunings of James Tenney and the ecstatic enactments of Malcolm Goldstein, his Tone Roads bandmates. Now, with the world (somewhat) caught up, we can appreciate Philip Corner’s EXTREEMIZMS, early and late, together.”
‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ serves Foodman at his playful, innovative best, fusing Footwork with jazz and ambient notions for Cameron Stallones a.k.a. Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label
The latest in a mazy line of characteristically cartoonish creations by Takahide Higuchi’s Foodman avatar, ‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ is his first release since a prolific 2016 period, and first vinyl issue since ‘Ez Minoku’ for Orange Milk that same year.
It feels like Foodman used the time between these releases to step outside and review his sound, returning some of his most minimal yet detailed arrangements of footwork tics, 4th world exotica, and balmy jazz references, and in a way that beautifully reflects Sun Ark’s gently psychedelic remit as much as the loose, colourful markings of his pencil, felt tip and crayon drawings, included in an accompanying booklet.
This one’s a keeper.
Koichi Matsukaze's incredibly rare and much sought-after album Earth Mother sees a deluxe repress on BBE Music. This is the third highly anticipated release in the series.
"Regarded as one of the most sought-after yet elusive albums from a pivotal era in Japanese jazz, Earth Mother was originally issued in 1978 on ALM, a private label home to some of the most innovative jazz, contemporary classical and free improvisational music released in Japan during the late 70s and early 80s. It was here that Earth Mother found a natural home among the experimental and transgressive, destined to remain in obscurity for decades until the album’s muscular, bass-driven title track was included as the opening cut on BBE’s acclaimed compilation J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984. It was a fitting way to start such a landmark collection and the track quickly became a favourite among DJs and jazz fans.
Earth Mother sees saxophonist Matsukaze team up once again with legendary drummer and band leader Furusawa Ryojiro; joined by Tamio Kawabata on bass to form the core trio which is augmented by Daitoku Toshiyuki on acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes.
This is a mythic album, seen and heard by very few; often among the top wants for even the most hardcore jazz collectors. The album ranges from heavyweight spiritual jazz and post-bop burners, to Dolphy-esque experimentation (Don't Worry About Tenor Saxophone) and a singular take on the classic, Round Midnight."
With Shadow Aesthetics, Marc Barreca accomplishes something rare in electronic and ambient musics. The fluid, dynamic changes and movement within pieces; the complexities in time and pitch variation and evolution—typically absent from the mostly homogenous constructs of drone and ambient—all bring previously unavailable depth, shading and emotional charges to a form usually admired for its neutrality.
"Shadow Aesthetics results from a virtual arsenal of digital and analog sources operating in a complex system of origination, structuring, processing and editing. The result is a moving, articulate and complex work: music that is a profoundly emotive, original, and experimental electronic work that is in many ways the culmination of decades of listening, performing and composing in a form known best for continuous change.The album includes an eight-page booklet and a digital download code for the complete album plus two bonus tracks.
Marc Barreca has been creating and performing electronic music since the mid-1970s. His 1980 album, Twilight, reissued on vinyl last year, was one of the earliest releases on PoL. Shadow Aesthetics is his eighth solo album for the label. Recent releases include Aberrant Lens (2017) and three collaborations with K. Leimer. Reissues include work on the acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture, an upcoming Cherry Red compilation of seminal U.S. electronic music and the 1983 cassette, Music Works for Industry, now on vinyl. His work is also included in the collection of The British Library."
Cinematic transition from country inflected widescreen styles to kosmiche synths, executed by the David Holmes-affiliated Documenta for Touch Sensitive...
“Following on from their sold-out LP for Touch Sensitive and a digital reissue of it’s predecessor, Documenta take a break from their Drone Pop trilogy to introduce the Lady With The Ring - Margorie McCall - “lived once, buried twice”.
McCall lived in rural Ireland in the early 18th century. She succumbed to a fever and was hastily buried in Lurgan’s Shankill cemetery. Her grave was visited by “a tramp of disreputable character with a reckless and thieving disposition” who drew blood as he tried to prise the ring from her finger, awakening the dead woman who subsequently lived for many years after.
The Lady With The Ring EP sees Documenta’s regular seven-piece lineup temporarily swell with narration from author and musician Will Carruthers (Playing The Bass With Three Left-Hands, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized) providing counterpoint to Roisin Stewart’s hazed vocals as she tells the story from the dead woman’s lips.
Self recorded in one weekend a stones-throw from McCall’s grave and subsequently re-worked and shaped by the group, Lady With The Ring introduces sparkling synthesized passages and an organic ‘cosmic-blues’ to Documenta’s already lush sonic expanse.”
Austin, TX’s Samantha Glass collapses hardcore techno, Carpenter-esque sci-fi themes and darkwave EBM dirge into a strong 2nd album for local label, HOLODECK
“Enigmatic Austin based producer/starlet Samantha Glass untangles their serpentine mind on the ambitious new full length Nine Memories Between Impression and Imprint. Since 2010, Beau Devereaux has chronicled their romantic and turbulent process of self-identification as Samantha Glass through the use of electronics, field recordings and a seductive, baritone voice. Abstract soundscapes rise and fall around addictively brooding ballads and introspective monologues as Glass deconstructs themself beneath the weight of their poetry and lyrics. Nine Memories Between Impression and Imprint unveils an allure through vulnerability, elegantly depicting the endless audition of becoming Samantha Glass.
Devereaux came from rural beginnings in the countryside of Wisconsin before spending most of their adult life engrossed in Madison’s noise, power violence and punk DIY scenes. They sought to create a balanced form of art representative of their ever fluid sexuality and gender identity while incorporating elements of dark wave, musique concrète and New Age music. Samantha Glass evolved into an outlet for drag-based performance art coupled with drum machines, cassette loops and down-tempo crooning. Through years of touring and a prolific discography, Glass came to be known beyond the Midwest as one of the most dense and multi-layered projects amongst experimental music spheres. This exploratory essence gives Glass a broad crossover appeal as they dive into new territory with each successive release. Narrating a uniquely nuanced perspective on life and art, Glass richly crafts each composition around deeply rooted biographical and contemporary themes, encapsulating a haunting and captivating portrayal of an elaborately creative mind.”
‘Light Pipe’ is a typically expansive missive by modular maestro M. Geddes Gengras, clocking in at 2.5 hours of abstract deep space ambience with traces of ‘70s synth epics and ‘90s chill-out functions smudged and teased into diaphanous new abstractions.
“To summarise the work of M.Geddes Gengras is no easy feat. A tireless artist, whose output sprawls across experimental dub, ambient and low key techno, his wide ranging discography reveals a curiosity that serves as a primary driver for creation.
Light Pipe is arguably Gengras’ most ambitious recording project to date. His 10th solo recording is an epic undertaking, spanning over two and a half hours. Across the two CD set, Gengras charts out evocative landscapes of texture and harmony. Working with very simple elements, he creates a tidal like sound space, where sound layers flow seamlessly, rising and falling with an ever-changing sense of motion.
These pieces were written across several years responding the site specific performance situations. These include a durational performance in Los Angeles at The Getty Center’s Irwin Garden, a special performance alongside the banks of the LA river and performances at the El Rey & Regent Theatres, Each disc in this edition focuses specifically on either interior and exterior spaces; the indoor and the outdoor, reflecting the specific conditions of how sound operates in these types of situations.
Light Pipe is a long-form work within which multiple states of listening are possible and moreover encouraged. It’s music that is ideal for deep immersion; for sleep, for flying and for any creative states within which a sense of expansion is needed.”
‘Bunny’ is Matthew Dear’s first new album since 2012, and lands nearly 20 years since his debut on Ghostly International
Trust he knows how to grow older gracefully, as ‘Bunny’ works to a steady mid-tempo with lots of processed croon, really focussing his work into a pop-wise framework, with dancing resulting as a possible side-effect.
Man like Brassfoot on a cranky skank for Don’t Be Afraid, turning out his first 12” since a banner year in 2016
Under the pronged title ‘Indentured Servitude’, the NTS radio regular and London type firmly plays into the DBA dancefloor aesthetic on six skewed grooves leaning towards the most wrecked and boisterous ends of the day/night.
As ever, Brassfoot articulates his rhythms with curt diction and X-amounta noise to properly rugged effect, resulting heavyweight tackle in the jacking EBM recursions of ‘Followers Fate’ and the filthy bleep techno grind of ‘Psycho-Spiritual Parasites’ on the A-side, and likewise with the rolling jungle-tekno mutation of ‘Surfing On Haemoglobin’ and a messed up jacker named ‘Blame it on the Tame’ on the B-side.
UKF originator Hardhouse Banton on a slinky hustle ’n bustle for Roska Kicks & Snares.
‘Colonel’ catches him riding the cowbell on a well-tucked and minimalist wriggler underlined with acidic bass. ‘Export’ is ruder, still hingeing off a spare cowbell, but this time building the energy with teasing chords and offset parries to sound cannily close to classic Martyn joints.
Puristic works for Oscillators, performed by some 10 players on each of 4 tracks
““Listening” is the key word for the Ensemble oscillator. An absolute control of the musical material is not the primary goal. Performers are indeed guided by notation but due to its nature of purity and simplicity, an active listening is required. Just like in musique concrète, it is the matter that makes the music; the accumulation of this matter is the music. Forcing a deep listening—a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, significant to Pauline Oliveros’ work and theory—the listener will necessarily perceive micro-changes, subtleties, and fine details. Even if the music of the ensemble is more gestural than drone music, a strong link does exist in the way of absorbing this music made of non-extravagant musical matter.”
Lucy & Rrose merge as The Lotus Eaters for a dense and murky trip to the nether fields of abstract techno.
“Lucy and Rrose, now coming together as The Lotus Eaters, have established themselves separately as techno artists who are just as comfortable operating in the uncharted area of experimental music. Running their own labels (Stroboscopic Artefacts and Eaux, respectively), they have gained a cult following, both influencing and challenging the direction of techno.
Their first collaboration took the form of mutual remixes. Lucy remixed Rrose, taking on his modern classic “Waterfall” while Rrose remixed Dadub for Stroboscopic Artefacts, and shortly thereafter contributed an extended EP as part of SA’s Monad series.
Eventually, the idea of working together became inevitable. Several intense sessions in Lucy’s Berlin studio followed, using mainly analog hardware. These sessions gave birth to a new project, starting with two EPs signed Lucy and Rrose, called “The Lotus Eaters” (SA) and “The Lotus Eaters II” (Eaux). With the “Desatura” album, the first release signed under the project name The Lotus Eaters, their common work is refined further, also becoming a live act which will debut at ADE (Amsterdam) 2018.
With “Desatura,” Lucy and Rrose explore themes of physical density, emptiness, and space, creating sonic objects which can be rotated and viewed from multiple perspectives. Eschewing the typical instrumentation of techno, the duo use synthesized sound and feedback as fundamental sources to generate both textural and percussive elements. A sense of tension and weight emerge from sources that cannot be easily pinpointed. The resulting album forms a complex narrative from a paradoxically simple and restrained set of sound sources. A mysterious and profound accomplishment.”
Factory Floor unfold their full length live score to Fritz Lang’s seminal, silent 1920s sci-fi ‘Metropolis’, which they previously performed live at the Science Museum’s IMAX in April 2017, coinciding with the film’s 90th anniversary of release
With over 150 minutes of the film to soundtrack, Gabe Gurnsey and Nik Colk Void a.k.a. Factory Floor cover a lot of bases, from tense greyscale ambient to needling electro and pulsating techno and industrial minimalism, often in the same track, which scale from tense, 3 minutes themes, and up to a 20 minute-long tract of woozy slow electro.
Chugging’ cold disco from Strapontin, a Belgian producer who has the honour of kicking off Optimo’s new, lean and mean Digital Danceforce wing
The title cut bridges classic chug with dynamically up-to-date electronics, and ‘Intraveinuse’ follows suit with a warped, recoiling groove echoing classic Conny Plank production and quaalude-fuelled NYC excess.
Best of all is ‘Sweet Sweet Sweet’, where he really comes into his own at a higher tempo with some glorious, layered synth and vocal processing, and ‘No reply’ slides back down a greasy pole to proper darkroom disco styles.
Riko Dan lights up Scratcha DVA’s heavyweight 3rd ‘DRMTRK EP’ on his DVA Music label
Firing some of DVA’s most up-for-it tunes in a minute, Riko Dan stamps his size 12s all over the high energy soca-grime missile ‘Shot Walk Inna Dem’, before DVA bruks wild on three instrumentals; the bashy tribal swang of ‘Kong’; the dubbed out Gqom clatter of ‘Drm Walk’; and the brassy UKF/grime bullet ‘King’.
Scratcha DVA cuts wickedly loose on Gqom-meets-UKF styles for his refreshed DVA Music label
‘Drmtrk (Tribute 2 DBN)’ hits square between the eyes of current UK and SA dance musics with a barrage of clenched, bashy percussion and warped garage/grime bass in two mean versions.
‘Make & Cheeze’ follows with a ruggeder stick ’n move groove lacing dancehall chat into technoid rhythmelodies, and before he injects Gqom styles with a proper, nutty UK rave flavour and cold drill snares on ‘Square Off’.
Scratcha DVA’s killer ‘DRMTRK’ series continues with guest vocals by Jessy Lanza and Lady Lykez lending a potent feminine pressure
‘DRMTRK 3’ finds Jessy Lanza eazing off DVA’s tuff percussive battery with feathered R&B delicacy, and ‘DRMTRK 4 (Who Want Smoke?)’ collapses into a plangent plead for green.
Lady Lykez jumps on the militant bashment of ‘Muhammad Ali’ with ferocious, focussed style, and ‘Fatherboard’ sidewinds off into Bassline-style antics with typically mental voracity.
On ‘Salvaged Space’ UK-based sound designer Fermata layers and filters field recordings into emotive electronic narratives riddled with myriad voices and details
“Written and recorded between 2014-2018 in many different places, the sound collage // field recordings and noise improvisations on this tape were constructed entirely out of phone and handheld recordings of quiet moments, street performers, instrumental improvisations, and noise pollution; Salvaged Space is a document of the last few years that I've spent experimenting with different methods of arrangement and composition.
I aimed to prevent myself from overthinking the musical material, instead focusing on shaping and warping sound so that it shared the same alive/imperfect nature of the recorded soundscapes each piece is inspired by.
The captured moments that drive this record hold great value to me when remembering significant days and nights over my time at university (DMU). Including many social occasions, trips abroad, projects, performances, and mental states. I hope it can bring you some kind of respite during these interesting times.”
UUUU features Edvard Graham Lewis, Thighpaulsandra, Matthew Simms and Valentina Magaletti.
"Individually these humans have implanted feathers in caps such as Coil, Dome, Wire, Tomaga, etc. Collectively they form UUUU, a powerhouse construction of fierce and free sonic exploration, as liberating as it is frightening, resulting in, the richly rewarding. The artists united present a project of exquisite curiosity and confident chaos where the individual thumbprints mesh into a gloriously muscular frenetic free sonic soup. It's Going All Over The Floor presents itself as a terse meeting between dance, ambient, abstraction and improvisation. The Latent Black Path Of Summons Served proceeds in a tense energy field where random elements bounce around until locking into a fourth world pattern designed to fall into a dense mass of ecstatic noise. Boots with Wings is classic Lewis - a pop tune from the other side of the mind.
UUUU is a schizophrenic seething/soothing masterpiece of a past/present hybrid equally at home in the club, the home and the mind.”
G.B. Beckers’ languid, etheric minimalist guitar and drum machine suite ‘Walkman’  resurfaces in its entirety on the inestimable Music From Memory. Big tip to fans of The Durutti Column, Gigi Masin...
“Music FroM Memory’s latest release sees the reissue of G.B. Becker’ ‘Walkman’ album from 1982. A painter and musician from Achen, Germany, Günther Beckers created his third album ‘Walkman’ to coincide with an exhibition of his latest body of artwork in 1982. Released on his very own ‘Milky Music’ label with a run of just 500 copies and original pieces of artwork included with some copies, most copies of the album however remained amongst art collectors and with the painter himself. Rediscovered a few years ago through a friend of Music From Memory in the archives of a local radio station where all but one of the stations copies has beed destroyed, it has been an album the label have been in love with since the first listen.
Touring as a guitarist with ECM affiliated musicians such as Alex De Grassi, William Ackerman, Ralph Towner & Larry Coryell to name but a few, Günther Beckers also would record on a number of releases of Klaus Schulze’s cult electronic music label ‘Innovative Communication’.
Always exploring new ideas and the possibilities of technology within his music, Günther would record the ‘Walkman’ album utilising the ‘Kunstkopf’ technique of sound recording. Kunstkopf of ‘Dummy Head’ recording is a 3D audio recording technology that enables listeners to define each source of sound as if they were in the original recording situation itself. using two microphones which are usually mounted in the ears of a mannequin (giving it the ‘Dummy Head’ name in English) the technique exploits certain basic principles of human spatial hearing.
Listeners to ‘Kunstkopf’ recordings are in fact encouraged to listen to such recordings on headphones, as the 3D perception is often greatly diminished on speakers. With the title ‘walkman G.B. Becker was very much hoping the album would be enjoyed on headphones, even portably through a Walkman. Minimalist variations around acoustic guitar, guitar synth, rhythm box and with wordless female vocals, G.B. Becker’ ‘Walkman’ drifts in and out of moods; it is a unique and at times hauntingly beautiful album, which the Kunstkopf recording technique further adds to the albums at times often otherworldly feeling.”
The 5th solo album by Holger Czukay, ‘Rome Remains Rome’ bubbles up for its 30th anniversary reissue on Gronland - bastion of all things good and Krautrock
Arriving after a string of total classics such as ‘Movies’ and ‘Full Circle’’, and before his ambient outings with David Sylvian, 1987’s ‘Rome Remains Rome’ is a typically, lysegically playful and odd collection of songs tripping lines between pop, jazz and the avant-garde.
Make sure to check it for Holger’s possessed vocals on the psychedelic whirligig of ‘Sudetenland’, an appearance of then pope Karol Wojtyła on ‘Blessed Easter’, and the intoxicating drift of ‘Music in the Air’.
‘Disappearer’ is Ron Morelli’s 4th album of grot for Hospital Productions.
The L.I.E.S. boss (and fellow Parisian resident Krikor Kouchian as co-pilot on a handful of cuts) produces his tightest, most hard-hitting material to date, from the gothic slime of ‘Narco Frq’ to the slurried ’Squeeze’, vacillating between heavy techno, kerb-crawling electro and passages of tonal terror with a persistent stare-down mentality, giving up highlights in primitivist knocks and coenobite chatter of ‘Laugh Taker’, the Prurient-esque squall of ‘Golden Oldies’, a recursive missile named ‘Hole In The Head’, and the gloomy creeper, ’Snow On The Headstone’.
Low-key, ambient updates of Washington Go-Go and boogie from D.C. area’s Davon Bryant a.k.a. Dreamcast
‘Outer Space’ bumps with a high-grade THC potency, distilling Go-Go into vaporous electronics, while ‘Up 2 You’ follows an old skool line of jazzy R&B boom bap, Future Times style.
The long-awaited return of Regis’ killer, slower CUB alias, featuring guest input by Simon Shreeve aka Mønic / Kryptic Minds. Tough, elastic hybrids of industrial techno and D&B rolige...
Where O’Connor’s original pair of CUB 12”s worked at an unusual 113bpm flow, and included killer remixes with Ancient Methods under their Ugandan Speed Trials (UST) alias, the project’s 3rd outing feature a reshuffled personnel and a broader range of tempos while remaining true to the original, grungy CUB aesthetic.
A-side, with D&B-turned-techno producer Simon Shreeve on board, the pair push the gauge to 125bpm on Seeing From Above for a proper, roguish shoulder barger activating reinforced drums and syncopated bass into a nightmarish space ripe for the dancers.
B-side, they return to the project’s slower tempos with the grumbling subsidence of Informal Beauty exploring a sagging rut of prolapsed bass below aching blue drones, and Primitive Sleep finds them all hands on deck for a dry, scaly, and stony-faced drill that sounds like the Regis remix of Ike Yard’s Loss that just found itself in a Berlin or NYC darkroom and doesn’t quite know how it got there.
Brian Eno and Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) conjured the cosmic torch song of ‘The Weight of History’ and the epic bluster of ‘Only Once Away My Son’, available to download for the first time since that RSD 12".
Now all non-turntable owners get a piece of the action on digital formats, spying Shields channelling David Sylvian in the rich baritone vocals that float over folksy string whines and spirit-engulfing drones carrying ‘The Weight of History’, before he shuts up and lets the instruments and electronics do the talking in a widescreen scene of solar flare distortion and signature inharmonic bliss called ‘Only Once Away My Son’.
Four pieces for flute and voice composed between 1985-2018 by Mary Jane Leach, a pivotal part of NYC’s pioneering avant-garde community since the 1970s and an active member of the legendary DownTown Ensemble, working alongside peers including Arthur Russell, Ellen Fullman, Peter Zummo, Philip Corner and Arnold Dreyblatt, as well as devoting years to the preservation of Julius Eastman’s legacy since his death in 1990. Mary Jane's vinyl debut 'Pipe Dreams' arrived last year via the Blume imprint and completely blew us away, and '(f)lute songs’ is only her second vinyl release in over five decades, feeding and expanding our obsession with her work.
In the late 1970’s Mary Jane Leach was triggered by an interview she heard with Steve Reich in which he implored artists to figure out ways of becoming more self sufficient when it came to performance rather than relying on traditional group structures. At the time Leach had already began to experiment with recordings she had made of herself performing long sustained tones made on instruments she could play; mostly voice and bass clarinet, and gradually became fascinated by the sound phenomena resulting from layering tones on her multi-track tape machine. Reich’s thoughts, however, made Leach realise that she didn't have to restrict herself to instruments she could play and, in an indirect way, were the foundation for this album.
Trio for Duo (1985), was Mary Jane's first attempt at creating work for instruments she couldn't play; revolving around alto flute and voice. She explains "I had noticed that my voice matched the sound of the bottom fifth of the alto flute, and so the voice in this piece is sung to sound as much like an alto flute as possible. There are four parts, but only three play at the same time, one part passing off its last note to the next entering part, weaving a tapestry of matching and contrasting timbres. By using glissandos, more “extra-notated” sounds are created than appear on the page. I originally conceived of it with each part coming from four separate speakers placed in the four corners of a hall, but I realised that it sounds best on tape with a stereo mix.” The result is an incredible, highly engrossing study in phasing, the voice sung to sound as much like an alto flute as possible to the the extent that it becomes almost impossible to discern which parts are which.
Bruckstück (1989) was originally written for eight sopranos, but is played on flutes on this recording - using the same pitches, but sounding very different. It was commissioned by the Kulturamt in Köln to coincide with the opening of an exhibition of paintings by Jack Ox that were organised using an analysis of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. Mary Jane explains "The lowest parts (relatively speaking) represent the string section, using the same basic rhythm as Bruckner’s to set up the tonality throughout the piece. The rest of the voices represent the wind instruments. The piece is polyphonic, with a lot of closely resolving intervals - primarily major and minor seconds. Rather than writing linear melodies for one voice, I wrote melodies that are passed from one voice to another.” Dowland’s Tears (2011) was written for for nine flutes, thinking of it as a recording project and not a concert piece (it now has a “solo” tenth part added), while Semper Dolens (2018) is for solo and six taped flutes, with sustained harmony and dissonance in mind.
These recordings feature noted Roman flutist Manuel Zurria, who has worked with some of the most important composers around the world. In 1990 he founded Alter Ego, a leading group for contemporary music in Italy. Numerous composers have written pieces for him, and he has expanded the repertoire even further by re-orchestrating compositions into pieces for multiple flutes, as heard on almost forty albums.
If you're interested in sound phenomena or just looking for some of the most beautiful, avant garde music you'll hear this year; we reckon (f)lute songs is a bit of a masterpiece.
Another sterling collection of Parmegiani’s “lost tapes” spanning 1966-1990, ‘Mémoire Magnétique Vol.1’ circles 17 poetic and versatile works from the legendary GRM and ORTF artist/technician’s sidelines into work for TV, film and theatre choreography, expanding the themes of his recent ‘Rock (Bande Original Du Film)’ and ‘La Soleils’ reissues
Whilst deeply appreciated for his pioneering efforts in shaping electro-acoustic music at the GRM (with best results found in his priceless ‘L'Œuvre Musicale En 12 CD’ set), Parmegiani first cut his teeth at ORTF, France’s national broadcaster, and also wrote a lot of sound for theatre and contemporary dance choreography.
‘Mémoire Magnétique Vol.1’ offers a vital bridge between Parmegiani’s more academic, concert-based works for the Acousmonium system at GRM, and his artistic/commercial endeavours, documenting a body of work where his razor sharp skill in editing and illusive spatialization meet more melodic gestures and brilliantly proto-technoid rhythms.
There were clear hints of this style in the ‘Bande…’ OST, but they most captivatingly come to the fore in this follow-up, most notably on the pulsating brilliance of ‘Versailles… Peut-Être II’ , one of the sharpest pre-echoes of the ‘80s we’ve ever heard, along with the inimitable clarity of his pranging percussion and highly visual editing on ‘Image De Marque I+II’, and the Black MIDI-esque spirals of La Guerre Des Insectes I’ , for example.
‘Electrucs’ is a previously unpublished LP of works by former INA-GRM chief François Bayle, recorded 1974-1995, and now finally issued on the 60th anniversary of the world-renowned facility he managed between 1966-1997.
Comprising four distinct sections of acousmatic study ranging from playful AKS Synthi “hand games” to the blooming ‘Rosaces’, a test-piece for the Acousmonium, and a dedication to his peer, Bernard Parmegiani; ‘Electrucs’ follows Recollection GRM’s series of Bayle reissues to offer a diverse and spellbinding survey of his pioneering work spanning the past half century.
The A-side is taken by 10 oozing, viscously shapeshifting ‘Electrucs’ that give the LP its title, rendering a series of highly dynamic pieces made on the Synthi AKS between 1974-2018, and veering from chaotic polymetrics to pulsating, almost melodic vignettes, and many moments of tense, atonal abstraction that wouldn’t sound out of place on a good hour or thriller soundtrack.
The other side breaks down to three distinct sections. ‘Cinq dessins en rosace’  is a five part study of increasingly complex geometries, transiting from sharp, simple oscillations to filigree, spatialized arrangements of electronics and keys. ‘Foliphonie’ [1974-2011] follows with a beautifully alien scene of chirruping voices and whirled woodwind originally hatched for use on the GRM’s Acousmonium speaker/diffusion system, and ’Marpège’ [1995-2007] finds him dissolving a trace of Bernard Parmegiani’s ‘Sonare’ into sonic delirium.
Raw yet sophisticated deep house, acid and electro clearly schooled in the classics, from Glasgow’s Stephen Lopkin
Continuing a run of Gaelic-located or themed titles for M>O>S, Clyde Built is perhaps the definitive batch of Lopkin's emotive and puristic style following ‘The Haggis Trap’  and ‘Meall a’ Bhùiridh’ .
Nodding to Glasgow’s heritage as the entry point for so much imported American dance music as well as its industrial past, Lopkin forges 10 aces over two plates, with divine results inspired by Detroit classics in ‘Fragments of Yesteryear’ and ’Stupid Humans’, along with the lush house traction of ‘White Corries’, some B12-esque electro in ‘Decades’, and a heavily seductive stripe of Reese-bassed techno in ‘Fridays at Pure’, at Carl Craig-goes-Italo flavour in ‘Welcome To Nowhere’.
Stunning exploration of traditional Arabic music and electronic processing by pivotal Montrealer Radwan Moumneh (boss of the legendary Hotel2Tango studio), including unmissable meshes of rolling rhythms with spectral ‘tronics in ‘Bein Ithnein’, and Coil-like digital vocal manipulation on ‘Thaha, Mish Roujou’, Thahab’, along with entrancing theatric orchestrations of trad vocals, buzuk and zurna with synths and tape FX. TIP!
“Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) is a project of contemporary Arabic and electronic music interwoven with 16mm film projections and light-based (de)constructions of space, exploring a relationship between music, visuals, projections and audience. With performances thus far occurring once or twice a year, no two JIMH events have ever been the same: configurations have ranged from solo to 35 participants, with varying degrees of stage theatrics alongside a film & visual component, using multiple projections to construct a space in constant flux. JIMH's vocals and purposefully blown-out sonic sensibility have been the consistent thread, but neither its music nor visual propositions have ever repeated themselves – one of the reasons why JIMH has resisted for eight years any official documentation or definitive recording of the project.
JIMH was formed in 2005 by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, a Lebanese national who has spent a large part of his adult life in Quebec and has been a fixture of the Montreal independent music community, from his early days in various notable 90s punk bands to his tireless activities over the last decade as a sound engineer, producer and co-owner of Montreal’s Hotel2Tango recording studio. Moumneh is also active in the Beirut experimental music scene, where he spends a few months every year. JIMH now consists of a core trio with French musician & producer Jérémie Regnier and Chilean visual artist & filmmaker Malena Szlam Salazar, whose two-year collaboration with Moumneh has resulted in the co-creation of JIMH’s debut album Mo7it Al-Mo7it.
JIMH forges a modern experimental Arabic music by wedding melismatic singing in classic Arabic styles and electronic compositions with contemporary electronic production. The album equally emphasizes the intimacy and narrative pace that focused, intentional studio recording allows. The result is a unique and profoundly emotive album of contemporary Arabic music, a stunningly subtle first record for a project that resisted documentation or any sort of fixity for so many years. Moumneh's voice has become a powerfully authentic instrument, and his production techniques applying distortion, tape echos and delays to varying degrees transmit a timeless intensity to the recording. Saturated synths and the overdriven signals of Moumneh's acoustic buzuk and zurna reinforce the reigning sensibility, providing a bracing counterpoint to the vocals and lovely, searching instrumental narratives in their own right. Szlam’s work was the source material for the album’s visual aesthetic. Szlam’s visual creation for the album derives from sequences that echo lunar notions and photographic intervals that reverberate and resonate, evoking the oscillation of time. Using frames from various hand-processed 16mm filmstrips, Szlam created a lunar sequence that consitutes the album cover artwork.
Inspired by the Lebanese educator Boutros Al-Bustani’s book Circumference of the Ocean, Mo7it Al-Mo7it signifies, in JIMH’s open and poetic interpretation, “Ocean of the Ocean.” The numeral 7 is pronounced like an h; all titles on the album are rendered in contemporary colloquial “mobile” Arabic (the transliterative characters used in Arabic phone texting). Thanks for listening.”
Dean Blunt & Delroy Edwards knuckle down 19 raw-to-the-bone instrumentals from their time spent together in LA.
If played this gear in a blind test, 9 out of 10 neeks would no doubt recognise ‘Desert Sessions’ as the work of Edwards & Blunt. Simply titled in sequence, Audio Tracks 01 - 19, it all feels totally off-the-cuff and cloaked in red-eyed vibes in a very familiar way, with each artist’s input smartly masked by clouds of ferric hiss as dense as the tree smoke in their studio.
Working the heck out of their keyboards’ presets, they hustle a barrage of sawn-off boogie, hip hop and stanky outhouse styles, with a chorus of synthetic fallen angels playing a narrative role around their oblique, often atonal jabs of electronics and half-cut guitar riffs.
It’s maybe best regarded as a mutual, Hypnagogic regression and ode to Blunt and Edwards shared roots in late ‘80s and ‘90s transatlantic culture - from hip hop and R&B to slacker indie-pop and ambient music - allowing for all the fog and fallibility of memory recollection, but bittersweetly evoking their subject in fine style.
Addendum to Chris Carter’s first Chemistry Lesson, the ‘Coursework’ bonus offers a new original, ‘Bongo Glow’, along with remixes of album tracks by Radiophonic Workshop, Chris Liebing, and Daniel Avery
Carter’s unsettling synthetic vocaloid makes another appearance in the retro-futurist charms of ‘Bongo Glow’, crooning like a forlorn AI, before the highly active Radiophonic Workshop rework ‘Blissters’ to sound even closer to one of Akira Rabelais’ rewired renaissance pieces or a Jóhann Jóhannsson epic. Teutonic techno boschmaster Chris Liebing offers a stern, ‘Slow Burn’ techno overhaul of ‘Tones Map’, and Daniel Avery rework ‘Uysring’ as a rolling big room heater.
Prayers are answered with this damn fine pressing of two late ‘80s, Belgian-produced beauties, including a prime new cut of Teknokrat’s’ rare AF New Beat heater ‘What Did She Say’ - suffice to say we've been waiting for this one for years.
Pairing the original Congolese soukous version of ‘Nakombe Nga’ by Ben Nyambo’s Les Choc Stars Du Zaire, with its remixed instrumental, Teknokrat’s’ ‘What Did She Say’, Rush Hour have just blown our minds by revealing a whole other side to a song that’s utterly dear to our hearts and feet.
As it turns out, both songs share the same producer, Tony Baron, who uncannily shares a name and look with a Reeves & Mortimer character from The Club sketches, and who was behind some of New Beat’s high water marks and its hardest to find records. For years we’ve been obsessed with his ‘Tekno’ LP as The Teknokrat’s (mind that apostrophe), and in particular its last track, an addictive spin on Inner City’s Detroit house sound, titled ‘What Did She Say’.
One can possibly imagine our astonishment, then, to find out that track is actually a remix of a Congolese Soukous song by Ben Nyambo’s Les Choc Stars Du Zaire, swapping out the Anglophone vocals for harmonised Swahili lyrics and extra spicy guitar licks. Even better yet, as the original Teknokrat’s LP is pressed 5 tracks per side, this is the first time either song has seen a proper 12” cut, and we’re happy to report they both sound bright and punchy as one could hope for.
In our books this is a 100% essential plate, guaranteed to light up ‘floors anywhere. Here’s to hoping for a full reissue of the ’Tekno’ LP!
The Mutant Beat Dance supergroup of Melvin Oliphant (Traxx), Jason Letkiewicz (Steve Summers) and Beau Wanzer meet LCD Soundsystem’s Tyler Pope and Pat Mahoney
Combined, all five run an oil-spattered punk-disco style on ‘Feed The Enemy’, the EP’s weakest cut, before the OG trio get down to business in the murky grind of ‘Revival 80s’, a filthy detahrock groove called ‘Crete’, the slompy P-Funk of ‘Funk Groove’, and the demented bassline cubism of ‘Touy Story’.
Geographic North present an expertly curated, horror-themed compilation of exclusive aces from Félicia Atkinson, Pinkcourtesyphone, Ka Baird, Suzanne Kraft, CV & JAB, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Eluvium, Clarice Jensen, Arp, Ilyas Ahmed, Algiers and many more, all right in time for Samhain 2018
Mantled in reference to the seminal Nicolas Roeg flick, ‘Don’t Look Now’ , Geographic North’s 2nd collection of Halloween music shares much in common with the titular film’s classical scenery and unsettling psychology, with each contributor preferring inference and shadowplay over anything explicitly gory or sh*t-the-bed scary.
Bookended by prologue and epilogue from Sweden’s Arp, the set runs to 21 pieces in total, amounting to induce a nervously furtive state of mind fleeting between clammy anxiety, pensive midnight romance, and unshakeable uncanniness. It’s testament to Geographic North’s fine-tuned ears that the whole thing works so well, holding our attention by a silk thread for its feature-length 90 minute duration.
Like a movie, it’s best consumed in one go, but it’s worth pointing to key scenes such as Ka Baird’s nest of shivering keys in ‘Clearing’, and the cool tension between spiralling rhythms and tranquil chords in Felicia Atkinson’s ‘Little Things’ as crucial to the sequence, especially when contrasted with the more dread-filled nooks such as Robert Donne’s crushing dedication to Mika Vainio in ‘Rakkauslaulu’, the carmine seep of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s viscous organ wooze in ‘O Virtus Sapiente’, and the starkly sepulchral dynamic of ’Stabbing’ by Suzanne Kraft.
For our money comps rarely work, but much like PAN's Mono No Aware, Geographic North prove that with the right curation you can sometimes end up with something much more weighty then the sum of its parts, in this case an engrossing narrative full of darkness and light.
Marie Davidson is a synth-pop star for our times. Her belting 4th solo LP, ‘Working Class Woman’ is a definitive reflection of her character and current sound, including road-tested zingers from her powerful live show along with genuine surprises, while introducing a whole new wave of listeners to her charms.
In hot pursuit of the more ‘floor-friendly styles on her ‘Adieux Au Dancefloor’, and marking distance travelled since her cinematically sculpted ‘Un Autre Voyage’ for Holodeck, Marie’s 4th album inseparably binds the sound designer and dancefloor aspects of her sound in a sleek, witty, and totally captivating album which, for all it’s vintage touchstones, feels very symptomatic of 2018.
Her grooves are firmed up to direct functionality while the arrangements are as varied as anything from her intricate earlier works, resulting in big highlights on her live show favourite, the playfully raunchy EBM of ‘Work It’, and the rabid drum machine razz-out ‘Workaholic Paranoid Bitch’. But the amazing late ‘80s synth-pop-house of ‘So Right’ and the album’s two bookends of sardonic and sensual vocals, set to respectively pensive and sublime backdrops, really set this album apart from the crowd.
At 76 years old, you’d think virtuoso guitarist Mike Cooper would rest on his laurels a little, having continuously mined a seemingly bottomless well of inspiration for almost seven decades, spanning a countless number of recordings feeding his insatiable appetite for experimentation. For his latest album ‘Tropical Gothic’, however, he takes another sharp turn into more abstract terrain with a dark, brooding take on Exotika and Pacific music, sounding something like Jan Jelinek’s much loved Loop-Finding Jazz Records as rendered by Badalamenti and Lynch, before suddenly veering off into a tropical breeze...
Making use of his usual lap steel guitar, sampler and FX, Cooper provides a radical inversion of his style, switching from Pacific to Atlantic ocean to scouting out a looming deep south darkness lurking behind his usually balmy lap steel slide guitar blues. The title itself, “Tropical Gothic” references Cooper’s beloved areas of ‘the South’ with a Gothic, dark, remote interplay.
On each side Cooper studies different approaches to his method of weaving guitar and field recordings into a constant stream of sound, where he delivers chaos and melody - not necessarily in that order. Side A is composed of shorter pieces. Each of them offers a myriad of images and sensations, between the enigmatic and terror (“The Pit”), joy, happiness and freedom (“Running Naked”) or pure contemplation (“Onibaba”).
“Onibaba” runs as a fitting introduction to Side B and its 18 minute magical piece “Lelong & Gods Of Bali”. A mix of ambient exotica, silent film soundtrack and distorted rhythms that dance around Mike’s guitar. It keeps reinventing and transforming itself throughout those eighteen minutes, summing up the dexterity and muscle of Mike Cooper’s music of the last two decades.
Incredible music from a genuine unsung hero; yungers out there resting on yr laurels - take note.
Deep house craftsman Lawrence coaxes out trademark slinky bass warmth and playful drums on his 8th album since emerging at the turn of the century.
A perennial favourite of house heads in the know, the Dial Records co-founder continues to find iridescent variation within his style on ‘Illusion’, inducing the lushest hypnotic states with beautifully woven square bass and cirrus pads in ‘Treasure Box’ and the feathered flight of ‘Yu Yu’, while ‘Flaunting High’ seduces with some of the strongest bass work his side of Terre Thaemlitz, and ‘Transitions’ makes a lovely foray into midnight jazz-toned electro-house.
The overdue and overproof sophomore Young Echo album is finally upon us, dispensing an epic 24 tracks of subby, red-eyed and distinctively Bristolian vibes set to dank-out smoky dwellings everywhere. Arriving five years after Nexus, their eponymous second album features cuts from each of the 11-strong mob, framing a fractious mosaic of style and pattern rooted in dub and the dancehall, but unafraid to fxck with noise, techno, ambient pop and grime in their own way.
It’s a proper group effort, playing to their strengths in diversity and unity in the best way by keeping individual track credits close to their chest, only allowing the album to be taken as a whole. Yeh, of course everyone’s going to have personal favourites, but they’re only facets of a much bigger body, and it’s to their credit that the whole thing feels coherent, a shared experience, and doesn’t simply sound like a compilation of music by like minds.
Young Echo have always been a bit of sore-thumb in the scene - are they a band? A label? A soundsystem in the mould of The Wild Bunch? The one takeaway from all their material is a sense of shared purpose and democracy - not in the usual, arrogant indie band style, or in-your-face political militancy - pivoting around mutual ideas of economy of expression and a sensitivity to space, rhythm and tone that effectively all pulls back to dub, no matter their individual heritage.
Young Echo is an organic complex where light hardly penetrates its papyrus-like walls, and much of the most crucial communication is made via infrasonics and atonality, relaying messages and emotions both as metaphorical/physical vibes and quite literally thru a morphing voice, which might be gruff poetic realism of Rider Shafioque one minute, the crisply enunciated diction of Jabu or Chester Giles the next, while a number of ghostly, sampled characters also haunt its corridor, perfusing half-heard messages thru their smoky matrix.
It adds up to an album symptomatic of the times in which it was made, yet does so timelessly, bridging the original, super plush studio trip hop creation of their geographic forebears, Massive Attack or Portishead, with a more road-level appreciation of economy and soul which might be best recognised by members of their generation, but should also be felt by any open-minded and empathetic souls the world over.
It’s definitely not another fxcking coffee table record, we’ll give you that for free.
Evol dance on your tongue, down your throat and up yer synapses in ‘rabbit Trax’ for Diagonal
Following from the immense ‘Ideal 303’ blast and Evol’s overwhelming ‘Hardcore Vol.3’ package, ‘Wabbit Trax’ keeps the nutters on the ‘floor with three bendy acid techno bullets running thru seriously psychotomimetic permutations of 303 and pitching kick drums.
The wonky triplets of ‘Wabbit Trax 3’ will be out a stonking great grin on gurning mugs.
Includes fold-out A3 liner notes of an interview among Celli, Niblock, and Susan Stenger, plus original recording notes. Housed in tip-on style jacket
Phill Niblock’s riveting and rare work for Joseph Celli sees necessary and long-awaited reissue on the amazing Superior Viaduct, who continue to carefully and studiously unfold the history of avant-garde and experimental music before your ears. ‘Niblick For Celli’ is nothing short of stunning and life-affirming music, extremely transfixing and powerfully meditative. Play loud - it really comes alive with amplification!
“Composer, filmmaker and photographer Phill Niblock is a true pillar of the New York avant-garde. In the past 50 years, he has curated over 1,000 performances at his Centre Street loft and steadfastly built a massive, multidisciplinary body of work. While his earliest musical compositions date back to 1968, Niblock waited until the early '80s to release any recordings. Notion To Look At Just A Record, a powerful debut with densely layered trombones, would be the first to unfurl his unique approach to sound.
The second album and perhaps the most rare in Niblock's vast catalogue, 1984's Niblock For Celli / Celli Plays Niblock is a meeting of two great minds. Working with reed player Joseph Celli (a composer in his own right, who has collaborated with John Cage, Pauline Oliveros and Ornette Coleman), Niblock nimbly removes the breathing pauses from Celli's oboe and English horn to create seamless, enchanting drones.
Niblock insists that his music be played loud: only in this way can one experience the visceral ringing of these long instrumental tones through the speakers and their natural overtones generated by the room. Niblock For Celli remains deeply absorbing.
This first-time reissue is recommended for fans of Alvin Lucier, Yoshi Wada and Dome.”
‘Documento’ is a beautifully nostalgic minimal wave salvo from Valladolid, Northern Spain and Catalonia’s Slovenska Televiza duo
An astute study into the strange, unshakeable feelings associated with ‘80s cartoon soundtracks and the way childhood and formative nostalgia lingers over and permeates adult life, ‘Documento’ is a highly intriguing debut from the Wladyslaw Trejo and Lunademayo’s Slovenska Televiza, who are so named after the lasting impression of Czech cartoons’ vivid colours and soundtracks mixing classical and experimental electronic melodies.
It’s fair to say we totally subscribe to Slovenska Televiza’s hauntological notion, and also fair to say the five tracks flawlessly connote their subject across the A-side, flooding the senses with a range of emotions from the furtively mystic yet adrenalising opener ‘Invierno En Agosto’ thru the stark doom of ‘La Horrenda Noche’ and the pop-gilded romance of ‘Es El Ordenador’, to the chase sequence of ‘Muskiz’ and closing theme of ‘Slovenska Televiza.’
Here’s to waking up before everyone else on late ‘80s and early ‘90s mornings, getting your fix of sugary cereal, and being glued to syndicated foreign animations and the phosphorescing glow of their synthetic soundtracks.
Sterling first volley from Bristol’s Young Echo Records, featuring Sam Kidel (Killing Sound) and Amos Childs (Jabu) backing Rider Shafique’s incisive, intimate reflections on I-Dentity in modern Britain.
Perhaps best received as a clear response to the divisive, race-baiting politics our times, in both parts Shafique presents an ice-cool yet impassioned dissection of the state of playlucidly channelling his thoughts in a rooted, low-key style that resonates with the delivery and impetus of classic dub poetry from Linton Kwesi Johnson and Mutubaruka.
However, this being the first release from one of the UK’s most conscientious, variegated and distinctive outfits, don’t expect them to play to convention. This is most apparent in I-Dentity, where Shafique’s ennui and haunted ontological observations intersects Sam Kidel’s miasma of coruscating strings and insectoid inflection, creating a weightless, pensile and abstract space where Shafique ruminations on the stubborn hangovers of the colonial mindset and the semantics of its redundant taxonomies resonate in a wholly unique manner, similar to the way Kidel’s juxtaposed materials in his amazing Disruptive Muzak LP for The Death of Rave.
For a smart contrast, in the flip side’s Freedom Cry, Shafique spells out a more positive, stately message, hailing the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement against Jabu’s unfathomable, melting backdrop of slow, celestial jazz swoon, with the lyricist holding tight to his message at the centre of it all. If we’re totally honest, on previous records Shafique’s delivery has seemed slightly over earnest or, conversely, even too droll to us. But here it makes complete, affective sense.
Rob Hood’s seminal set of banging and experimental techno resurfaces for the CDJs on Peacefrog
Originally despatched in 2002 - pretty much equidistant from his earliest outings with UR and the modern day - ‘Point Blank’ breaks down squarely between his signature bangers and a couple of amazing, expressive, experimental pieces that pushed the Detroit techno paradigm into then-unexplored territory.
In the rapid flux of organ stabs and skittish electro 3-step of ‘The Art Of War’ and the utterly alien mesh of plunging bass and pizzicato arps in ‘Method B’, we find Hood at the extent of his Hi-Techjazz powers, while the rest of the set deftly delivers proper floor rockers, particularly in the intricate calculations of ‘Who Taught You Math’, the shivering strings of ‘The Body Human’, and his high-velocity killer, ‘The Pipes’.
Haunter’s chief spirit Daniele Guerrini a.k.a Heith turns Indonesian gamelan into spectral, plasmic ambient designs on ’Laguna’, his 2nd vinyl following ‘Silence Will Expire’ 
Coming from the same skool of unsettling ambient thought as Coil and their myriad side projects, ‘Laguna’ is a richly and purposefully meditative session patently in thrall to the complex, chaotic, yet subtly iridescent harmonic qualities of tempered metal alloys and South East Asian scales.
The A-side’s title cut finds him accreting and parsing layers of field recordings into a steeply opiated and viscous slosh resonating somewhere between Kink Gong and Sleazy’s The Threshold HouseBoys Choir, whereas the B-side’s ‘Tree Stand’ appears to invert that radiant effect with unsettling, endothermic dynamics and ‘Maria’ folds in Matthias Girardi a.k.a. Weightausend for a more mystic, tonal variant recalling the atmospheres of John T. Gast and M.C. Boli’s Gossiwor duo.
There are few voices more deeply embedded in the iconography and mythology of American indie rock than that of Chan Marshall.
"On her 10th studio album, ‘Wanderer’, Marshall resets her dials, offering a collection of winding, wondering narratives all perfectly imbued with the kind of yearning and warmth that have made her one of the most distinctive and beloved artists of her generation. Held aloft primarily by Marshall’s own guitar and piano and featuring appearances by longtime friends and compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of friend and recent tourmate Lana Del Rey, the new album ‘Wanderer’ is a remarkable return from an iconic American voice."