Via Maris turns out a lovely lightshow of sparkling arps, vaporous synth chorales and sprung subbass for Peverelist’s Livity Sound
Making a fine contrast with the density of his preceding Shelley’s EP for Beneath’s Mistry, this session is all about space and lightness. The A-side renders an elusive scene of percolated subs and flyaway synthetic flutes seemingly designed for impish midsummer folk dancing as they do in the deep South West, before it finally locks into a ruggeder bass coda.
B-side the barometric pressure switched to even lighter sensations with bubbling bass and skittish synth voices swirled in a lush vortex recalling Skee Mask or indeed Peverelist at their respective best.
Début turn from Yris Den for Köln’s Magazine
Who make their way from scudding synth chorales in Venial Elevate, to brittle, swung mid-tempo rhythms recalling Tolouse Low Trax grooves in Strafen, onto tight, prodding electro on Amen Auro Atha, and a sort of cyber dancehall-electro in Veniale Excavate.
John T. Gast in total snake charmer mode, owning and aligning your chakras with two tracks “from the ark circa 2013”
Further to his exquisite wygdn 10” and Young Druid album in 2017, and the recent Docile hook-up with Tribe of Colin for TTT in ’18, John T. Gast scrolls back into the mists of his hard drive on BTEC Version #1 to roughly around the time we were first beguiled by his work as Henny Moan and just cottoning onto his now better known alias.
We’d wager these are some of the earliest tracks he made in John T. Gast mode, and it’s not hard it draw a line between the durational meditation of his nine minute Terminator trudge ANGELA, with the slow pressure of wygdn_bashmenttk9, for example. However, DRITH is just out on its own, coming up with a briny electronic whine and clod-stepping drums that frankly sound like fcuk all else, beyond a barnyard of mechanical animals.
Young Echo’s Ossia ruffs up and danks out the dance for Blackest Ever Black inna gothic Bristolian style
Crossing paths with BEB for the 2nd time following his crushing Red X session, Ossia grimly socks it to London’s finest with the recoiling stepper, Dub Hell; a sludgy hot slug of distorted, buzzing subs harnessed to trampling kick and dragged backward thru an echoplex to frazzled effect.
Following that leyline to a logical conclusion, Devil’s Dance distills and renders that negative energy as an arcane air for Beelzebub, marshalling brittle drum patterns on marching manoeuvres into an inky blacknuss of no return, with blood-curdling screams beckoning from the perimeters.
Not nice in the best way.
Addendum to the smashing ‘Intra Musique’ LP, Alga Marghen serve ‘more Intra Musique’ from the radical fringes of Paris, France in 1969. Practically worth it for the A-side’s will cut-up, but chuck in an eight minute drum solo on the B-side and you’ve got a winner
“More Intra Musique, the second in Alga Marghen’s series dedicated to previously unreleased recording by the drummer and experimentalist Jacques Thollot, draws on the same body of recordings from which the first release, Intra Musique, was built. With none of the spirit and fire lost, this time we hear from a duo of Eddie Gaumont on prepared piano, and Thollot on drums, piano, prepared piano, synth, and tapes.
These efforts, despite the sharing of personal, couldn’t be more different than those which appeared on Intra Musique, venturing far into purely experimental realms. It’s hard to express how stunning and resistant to definition they are, at times flirting with the simple elegance of the furniture music of Erik Satie, before shifting toward the wild, frantic piano music of figures like Conlon Nancarrow, the pulsing, chaotic synths of Groupe De Recherches Musicales, Moondog, and the inspiration of field recordings from Africa and beyond. It’s all in there, and it’s stunning to beyond - shifting between worlds wild and cooly intelligent constructions in should. An absolute revelation, which rethinks everything we know about French free- improvisation. Like it predecessor, this long lost recording from the visionary mind of Jacques Thollot is overwhelmingly important and not to be missed on any count!”
Available officially for the 1st time this decade, Geinoh Yamashirogumi’s dramatic Symphonic Suite Akira arrives just ahead of the seminal sci-fi animation’s 30th anniversary. This is a facsimile reissue of the original Symphonic Suite Akira album, featuring original unremixed and complete versions mastered from same files as the 1988 release. This is not the version with dialogue and all the madness!
The ten track Symphonic Suite Akira essentially documents the film’s sonic architecture - a magisterial blend of musics from around the world, meshing the disparate systems of Bulgarian choral music, Buddhist Temple chants and Balinese gamelan in a lushly complex alliteration of sounds which framed the film’s post-apocalyptic Tokyo backdrops and cyberpunk themes.
It took Shouji Yamashiro and the 200 musicians, engineers, scientists who comprise Geinoh Yamashirogumi over six months to make Symphonic Suite Akira, apparently recording with an effectively limitless budget, and it shows. At the time of release this was an ambitiously proggy effort in consolidating various harmonic systems, building on the technologically enhanced examples of YMO and early ‘80s 4th World styles in the grandest style.
It may not contain anything quite so immediate as, say, Kenji Kawai’s OST for Ghost In The Shell, but it’s a different thing really, with a different story to tell, and it does so beautifully.
In Pessimist, Blackest Ever Black’s furtive D&B agent submits a killer debut LP recce from the no man’s land between jungle, tekno and greyscale electronics - a definitively Bristolian sound. Forming a logical expansion of the themes explored in his work with the Ruffhouse trio and in solo shots for A14 and Osiris Music UK over recent years, his first album finds him working in acres of negative space to fully indulge his worries for the dance, arguably resulting in a new high-water mark for the D&B album format.
Thanks to a natural predilection for minimalism and a fine tuned sensitivity towards textured, atmospheric detail, Pessimist succeeds where the vast majority of D&B long-players fail; fundamentally keeping our interest without resorting to beating us around the head with the latest plugin acrobatics. Rather, Pessimist uses techniques of stealth and guile to draw in and toy with his prey, resulting a far more intriguing and satisfying dispatch from the dark side of the echo chamber.
Like we say, it’s sculpted as a proper album, as opposed to a clutch of middling bangers, replete with intro, outro and a tempered transfer of energy between the tracks that necessarily curves the listener’s enthusiasm between pockets of dank ambience, dread dub dimensions and rolling, ghostly tech-steppers.
Aside from the bolshy techno of Peter Hitchens and clinical badboy rolige of Through The Fog, it’s all exclusive new material, churning up some robust highlights with Grit’s hunched and grubbing torque, and the stark, crispy Spirals, but we’d have to point to his No Matter What collaboration with Overlook for the LP’s most impressive mutation of pure UK bassbin pressure. If we’ve any gripes, though, it’s from the splashback of his breakbeats that come in half way thru Grit and dominating his Glued link-up with Loop Faction, but apart from those, it’s a proper dark fantasy.
Mark Fell and Mat Steel’s second EP as SND was released in 1999, a year after their debut ‘Tplay’. It continued to explore their distinct, highly individual take on electronic minimalism, House and UK Garage stripped to its bare bones.
This extended reissue features the original 6 tracks of ’newtables’, plus 6 previously unheard recordings from the same sessions - all fully remastered by Rashad Becker from the original DAT tapes. The tracks more or less split themselves into three distinct categories: the first detailing the brilliant swing and shuffle of their reduced UKG mutations, with ’22’ in particular perfecting the balance between academic reduction and kinetic, feminine motion.
The second outlines a more linear approach utilising reduced House and Techno templates, while the last includes more experimental works such as the proper fwd bass-pulse arrangements on the previously unheard B2 and the frequency fxxckery of closing track D3. This excellent reissue and the series as a whole really is a massive eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with this incredible, important early material.
The Balkan Vinyl Allstars tweak out a special platter in hour of acid heroes Mark Bell and Andreas Gehm
Packing Bell’s raw AF I Love Acid banger along with a raving breakbeat madness from Luke Vibert called Jungle Hitler, plus a wobbly wan from Plaid, and Andreas Gehm’s warehouse shaking Heaven & Hell, and an excellent acid stepper by B12, Proximity.
Seminal Detroit/Berlin techno business, originally issued in 1993, repressed for 2017.
Ranking among the finest efforts of the transatlantic techno axis, Jazz Is The Teacher signalled new paths for the sound upon release, pairing Juan’s hi-tech jazz with the expansive sound design of Moritz Von Oswald and his Palais Schaumburg bandmate, Thomas Fehlmann, who were both instrumental in bringing techno to Berlin in late ‘80s. The result is a soaring, swooping masterpiece with a breathtaking two minute intro giving way to irresistible techno funk with tidy fake-outs and needlepoint drum programming.
Beautifully resdesigned and remastered reissue of this Sakamoto classic.
"In 1983, David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto shared the bill in the unforgettable “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” by Nagisa Ōshima. Its soundtrack, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto in an original style, combines classical occidental symphonic composition, traditional Japanese sounds, and experimental electronic music."
Strategy goes deep into the echo chamber on ‘Dub Mind Paradigm’, drawn fresh from ZamZam Sounds mystic well
This is Paul Dickow a.k.a. Strategy in his element, alchemically turning a paucity of ingredients into dub gold via masterful sleight of hand and with a tactility that your speakers will surely approve of.
Dubbers, your time!
An excellent Arvo Pärt primer...
"Arvo Pärt creates music of deceptive simplicity, and listening to his work can be a transformative experience. Imagine taking your ears on a retreat, and you’re some way to understanding why his work is so popular.
The Estonian composer underwent his own transformation in the 1970s, having explored dense avant-garde music in the early part of his career. He put himself through an eight-year creative exile, and emerged with a new, purer voice. The Arvo Pärt that many people are devoted to today (including R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Björk) creates music that cleanses. A sonic detox."
This post-revolution Iranian album from 1985 is so ahead of its time, so completely off on its own sonically and stylistically - that you'd be forgiven for thinking it were a hoax.
In reality it's one of the most sought-after and exceptional records from the Smithsonian Folkways catalogue, here brought back to life in this facsimile edition put together by the Dead Cert imprint. Until now, it's been the preserve of a small handful of collectors who rightly hold it in huge regard and close to their chests. A syncretic traversal of Iranian folk music and modular synth strafing radio-phonic, musique concrète, neo-tanktrik and sound design disciplines, it simply sounds quite unlike anything out there (if you know better, please, please share!) and has had us, and everyone who's heard it, utterly enraptured.
OK, there may be some precedents in the work of electronic music pioneer Ilhan Mimaroglu, and it has undoubtedly directly or indirectly inspired music that has come since (Keith Fullerton Whitman's 'Variations For Oud & Synthesizer', for instance), but we're sure you'll agree that the elements have rarely gelled so fluidly, phantastically psychedelic as this, before or since. It's possible to trace that combination of traditional and contemporary styles, mixed with a liberating sense of freedom and abstract expression, to the composer's history; from early enrolment in Shah-sponsored music schools and conservatories he was awarded scholarship for further studies in Holland, and when the revolution arrived in Iran he would permanently leave for the world famous Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in the late '70s, all priming Dariush's tastes and skills for these recordings made during the mid '80s, late at night in the university studios with the permission of Professor Ussachevsky.
It's testament to its enduring magic that listening back now for the umpteenth time we're still bewildered and vividly transported as we were the first time, lost to its roil of tangled timbres and etheric dynamism, keeling to the metallic lushness of the strings and rendered mindblown at the synchronised sweeps of modular synth and simulated environs. It's a genuine wonder of the electronic music world, and an utterly essential listen, by anyones standards.
Alga Marghen present these astonishing archival works by Eliane Radigue, originally released along with Feedback Works as a double pack, and now available as standalone LP.
Listening to Radigue's music is a transformative, humbling experience. Her singular sound is best described by Michel Chion as "infinitely discreet... next to which all other music seems to be tugging at one's sleeve for attention." Working since the late '50s under the tutelage of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry at RTF's Studio d'essai - the birthplace of musique concrète - she created a body of work whose profound simplicity has only begun to be widely appreciated over the last decade or so. Vice - Versa. Etc., originally conceived as a sound installation, was created using multiple tape machines, creating feedback loops and altering their pitch and duration to coax out quavering microtonal harmonics and ultrasound frequencies not usually perceived at their normal setting.
As practically anyone who knows (and probably adores) her music will testify, there's really very little else out there that compares to the elemental tranquility and hallucinatory effect of her works. Add the fact this composition was recently stereo synthesised by Emmanuel Holterbach, and you have a breathtaking document of some of the most intense and involving early electronic works you'll likely ever hear.
An absolute masterpiece.
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto’s soundtrack to Alejandro G Iñárrritu’s The Revenant is one of the most haunting we’ve heard in years. It should be filed in that rarest category - OSTs which are both inseparable from the imagery they drive, and which also stand tall on their own...
Following Iñárrritu’s use of Sakamoto’s music in Babel (2006), the Japanese composer was commissioned to write this full score but, owing to the fact that he was was in recovery from throat cancer, he opted to bring regular collaborator Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto)on board alongside The National’s Bryce Dessner to realise the vast scale of the project.
They’ve doubtless done a sterling job, exemplifying a minimalist mantra of saying-it-without-saying-it where so many other composers tend to erect huge emotive signposts reading “FEEL SAD…. NOW” or “ROOOOMANCE!!!!!”.
Whether frosting Emmanuel Lubezki’s widescreen cinematography with a nail-biting timbre, or looming behind the close-ups on a ravaged Di Caprio, the effect of Sakamoto’s sweeping string gestures and Alva Noto’s electronic auroras is beautifully, subtly intangible yet breathtaking.
Astonishing archival works by Eliane Radigue, originally released along with Vice-Versa as a double pack, and now available as standalone LP. Listening to Radigue's music is a transformative, humbling experience. Her singular sound is best described by Michel Chion as "infinitely discreet... next to which all other music seems to be tugging at one's sleeve for attention."
Working since the late '50s under the tutelage of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry at RTF's Studio d'essai - the birthplace of musique concrète - Radigue created a body of work whose profound simplicity has only begun to be widely appreciated over the last decade or so. Preferring to work at night - once her children were asleep - her compositions were created using tones derived from an ARP 2500 synthesizer and manipulated on multiple tape machines, creating feedback loops and altering their pitch and duration to coax out quavering microtonal harmonics and ultrasound frequencies not usually perceived at their normal setting.
As practically anyone who knows her music will testify, there's really very little else out there that compares to the elemental tranquility and hallucinatory effect of her works. This album rescues three pieces from original tapes which have lined the walls of her flat in Paris for over 40 years: proposed for the 1970 Osaka Fair, 'Stress-Osaka' (1969) is beautiful and terrifying at once, sounding either like a 1000 strong squadron of B-52's heard from miles away, or a mouth-bound choir humming in unison, somehow subliminally joined by shrill gull-like hi-end repetition; the spectral beauty 'Usral' (1969) was employed for a kinetic sculpture by Marc Halpern, it's title "...a phonetic compression of ultrasounds slowed-down (ultra-sons ralentis in French)" reflecting the use of slowed-down Larsen effects from overlapping tapes to obtain her signature "progressive a-synchronized shifting"; the systolic suspension of 'Omnht' (1970) (one more night) is twenty minutes of slowly encroaching black bass mass and isolated, glassy highs, originally played from behind false dividing walls at a gallery instal and now leaving us for six.
An absolute masterpiece.
DJ Richard follows the ‘Path of Ruin’ to his discopocalytic sophomore LP, ‘Dies Irae Xerox’; a super robust collection of darkwave ambient, EBM and Memphis rap-style instrumentals inspired by “depictions and philosophies of the antichrist and end-times”
Picking up where he left us with the darker themes of Grind , the NYC/Berlin-stationed producer pretty much leaves the slinkier house and techno themes for dust in order to better explore mutant, classic hardcore strains of electronic music in his own way.
Opener Dies Irae Xerox could easily be mistaken for the work of Hospital Productions orderly, while the scowling 808 slap downs of Pitfall and Gate Of Roses explore rugged hip hop/electro somewhere between Pametex, SALEM and Tommy Wright III. They’re some of our favourites, along with the curdling sewer juice of Tunnel Stalker and the Cortini-esque Old Winter’s Way, but the rest of the album is strong, too; especially on its fanged dancefloor aces such as the needle-toothed EBM of Vanguard, and the doomcore slug of In Broad Daylight.
The unfathomable quantity of Pan Daijing meets Werner Dafeldecker’s mercurial sound art on this surprise, limited edition 7" pressing.
Leading on from her heavily arresting Lack album for the PAN label, A Page To A Corner is Daijing's first collaborative release. The title track is a lethargically hypnagogic thing, with Daijing lamenting an unseen force, bound into a mesh of monotone drones and keening strings to ultimately quease-inducing effect.
On the B-side, Daughters of The Botanist, Daijing's death croak vocals are placed front and centre of the mix against a more dynamic backdrop of gong-like tones that gradually recede to leave the slithering sound of extended instrumental techniques and brownian electronics.
Two classic nyabinghi albums Rastafari and Kibir-Am-Lak onto one record
Squaring off the best Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus recorded with producer Tommy Cowan in the ‘70s, featuring heavyweight line-up of Peter Tosh, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Robbie Shakespeare, Robbie Lyn, Tommy McCook, Carlton “Santa” Davis.
Superb selections and sequencing from Forest Swords on his DJ-Kicks instalment
Cutting across the board from The London Bulgarian Choir’s Pilentsee Pee (as referenced in the Ghost In The Shell OST), thru Rhythm & Sound’s Best Friend evergreen; rude post punk from Anna Domino and Neneh Cherry; skulking D&B by FIS & Tokyo Prose; goth steppers from Dead Can Dance; a elusive beauty by Kara-Lis Coverdale; spidery jazz techno rhythms from Laurel Halo, Rupert Clervaux & Beatrice Dillon; and esoteric charms by Demdike Stare, Orbital, David Toop and Baka Forest People of Southeast Cameroon.
Black Truffle present breathtaking, mind-bending works from Alvin Lucier; premiering a pair of pieces written for and performed by Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley (Sunn 0))), Æthenor), and released thru the former’s indomitable Black Truffle label. Lovers of life-affirming avant-garde music of all stripes need to stop what they’re doing and check this one, pronto!
Both works offer an extension of Lucier’s “elegant explorations of the behaviour of sound in physical space” which have been ongoing since the ’60s, and includes his best known work, I Am Sitting In A Room , a piece that has practically become required listening for anyone with an interest in 20th century avant-garde music thought and practice.
Specifically, Lucier’s work places great focus on the infidelities of instrumental phenomena and closely tuned pitches, often using pure, electronically generated oscillations in combination with single instruments in order to both highlight and blur their tonal and timbral distinctions. This LP documents two works in this vein, firstly on Criss Cross, his debut work for electric guitars, written especially for Ambarchi and O’Malley playing one semitone each in duo, and secondly on Hanover, a much grander tribute to Lucier’s father, Alvin A Lucier, who is pictured on the sleeve in 1918 with the Dartmouth Jazz band.
The A-side’s Criss Cross is truly one of the heaviest things we’ve heard in years. With Ambarchi on the left channel and O’Malley to the right, the duo improvise on a single semitone, generating thick, viscous waves of wobbling oscillations that merge in transfixing formation at the middle . So far, so simple, but the effect - which alters brilliantly on headphones or with proper amplification - is just staggering, baffling the senses with a richly saturated, undulating sonic pressure to visceral, psychotomimetic ends.
The first time we heard this piece on headphones it just floored us, but then we tried on speakers and tried to conduct a conversation at the same time. The effect was something like an anechoic chamber - the conversation couldn’t happen because our voices sounded louder in our head than in the room. WTF?! Just to push it one step farther, I also tried listening on headphones while on a plane, and can only imagine what the EasyJet staff thought of my eyes rolling in back of my skull. Quite honestly, I haven’t heard anything quite like it since Zbigniew Karkowsi & Topher Davidson’s Processor, and that’s a proper percy.
The B-side’s Hanover is just as precise, but the intensity and tonal variation is multiplied by he number of players, including O’Malley and Ambarchi on electric guitars joined by alto and tenor sax, violin, piano and bowed vibraphone. Here the tones are far more pinched and slippery, streaking the stereo field in iridescent timbral dynamics and almost lilting cadence, and with a far more delicate, intricate appeal when compared to the other piece.
It almost goes without saying that a new Alvin Lucier work is worth your time, but in case you’re under any doubts - this LP is just astonishing, ingenious, preternaturally brilliant stuff.
Tint is an intently focussed showcase of the sound sensitivities which have made Joe Talia a cult figure in contemporary electro-acoustic and avant garde circles. If you’ve ever been caught by the work of Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke, Andrew Chalk, John Duncan or Jean-Claude Éloy, you need to clasp ears on this album!
“Tint is the first new solo recording from Joe Talia in over a decade. Australian-born but now based in Tokyo, Talia is known to many listeners as a drummer (frequently collaborating both live and in the studio with artists such as Oren Ambarchi and Jim O’Rourke) and as a recording and mixing engineer responsible for dozens of releases across the fields of contemporary experimental music, wayward pop, and jazz. Alongside James Rushford, he is also responsible for one of the most legendary releases in the Kye records catalogue, the creaking electronic morass of Manhunter (2013). Lovingly crafted over many months in his tiny Tokyo studio, Tint is an album-length electroacoustic suite that brings together Talia’s expertise as percussionist, studio engineer, and performer on analogue electronic instruments (primarily modular synth and Revox tape machine).
Ranging from minimalist austerity to kosmische lushness, Tint refreshingly refuses the dark and moody sonic palette of much contemporary electroacoustic music in favour of an airy, at times almost weightless sound-world of gliding tones, skittering percussion, and burbling field recordings. Drawing inspiration from Jean-Claude Eloy’s epic concrète love letter to Tokyo, Gaku-No-Michi, Talia makes extensive use of his own recordings of his new home, but removes any sense of audio verite, abstracting them into transparent glosses of outdoor ambience or unidentifiable chimes and creaks. Flowing seamlessly between distinct episodes, Tint is compositionally controlled while retaining a sense of played spontaneity, eventually building to a maelstrom of analogue synth zaps and tape manipulated percussion that reflects Talia’s deep engagement with the relentless yet constantly shifting dynamics of free jazz.”
Leading on from a highly memorable debut collaboration, Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi invite us farther into their shared world with Hotel Record, a poetic four-part suite of touchingly intimate and romantic themes framed in a surreally unique, aleatoric sound world, just as you’d be warranted to expect from this pair of esteemed sonic alchemists.
Recorded between Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand; Oakland, USA; Melbourne, Australia, and at EMS, Stockholm, Sweden, the sense of heavy-lidded intimacy is similar to Sonja Henies Vei 31, but found in a multiplicity of recording spaces and situations, each with their own subtle identity and appeal, and all generated from a broader palette of instrumentation and electronic production techniques.
The chorus of cicadas, scooter engines and croaking frogs in Pad Phet Gob is clearly located to nighttime in Thailand, but the rest are anyone’s guess. It’s better to just let yourself melt into their exquisite designs, such as the silky web of vocoder whispers and languorous subbass contained in Burrata, or likewise become absorbed in the gentle harmonic cadence of breathing organs tones and mottled, glossolalic murmurs in Call Myself, which ambiguously could be a sort of ASMR exercise, an encrypted document of phone sex or pillow talk, or something entirely else, all depending your disposition.
It all adds up to a patently more accessible, dreamy follow-up to their first LP together, and quite easily one of the most quietly seductive records you’ll hear from the abstract, ambient, electro-acoustic sphere this year - strongly tipped to fans of Félicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand, Kassel Jaeger & Jim O’Rourke’s Wakes On Cerulean, or the new Teresa Winter side.
Jon Hassell’s entrancing Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two) - the follow-up to his seminal Fourth World Vol.1 Possible Musics featuring Brian Eno - sees a much needed reissue, now expanded with a bonus track and available on any format for the first time since the early ‘90s.
Recorded at Bob and Daniel Lanois’s Toronto studio in 1981, Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two) was titled after and inspired by a paper from visionary anthropologist Kilton Stewart, whose visits to a remote tribe, the Senoi of the Malay highlands, revealed a connection between their happiness and well-being and the tribe’s morning ritual practice of family dream-telling; sharing with each other and discussing the events of their previous night’s dreams, which they would also relay to other tribes in a process of mutual education and enlightenment.
Using this knowledge, plus samples of water-drumming by a tribe from the same region, the Semelai, and his patented, processed trumpet and electronics, Hassell created a definitively solo follow-up to his work with Eno, although as he points out in the liner notes, other personnel such as the Velvet Underground’s 1st drummer, Walter DeMaria also feature.
It all revolves around the central, 10 minute Malay, where a choir of his signature, warbling harmonics scat and flit over the sound of sloshing water drumming, cut-up and processed with soft gong hits in the kind of rhythms which Autechre would reprise algorithmically many years later. Either side of Malay is a series of lush postcards which come alive in your hands, ears, from the agitated fanfare of Chor Moiré to the lissom, plasmic regaling of Dream Theory’s bowl gongs and diffused hoots, thru mind-melting display of hypercoloured harmonic plumage in Datu Bintung At Jelong.
The only, beautiful, difference between the original pressing and this is the ending. Instead of passing out with the deftly genteel romance of Gift Of Fire, it’s now extended by inclusion of bonus track Ordinary Mind, relaying 3 minutes of windswept chants and glinting, liquid drumming that perfectly animates and articulates Hassell’s dream.
Ex Nihilo is the crushing new album from arch experimentalist Bruce Gilbert (Wire), forming his first album in six years and demonstrating a super rare example of an artist who only gets more vital and far-out with age. If the idea of slipping into an irretrievable K-Hole lights up your mind, prepare to take a swan dive into this one.
Following from Ab Ovo  and the head-swallowing Oblivio Agitatum , the nomenclature of Gilbert’s latest signifies another uncommonly strong batch from one of the UK’s most persistent electronic boundary pushers. With the last five years or more spent upkeeping his legacy via various reissues of foundational work with Wire and Dome, this album drills right down to Gilbert in the here and now, portraying a brilliantly uncompromising, belligerent artist of a kind that appears unfortunately absent in so many other echelons of contemporary electronic music.
Like an instrumental, electronic music-embracing Scott Walker, Bruce Gilbert’s experience feeds into the peerless visions of Ex Nihilio, lending the innate confidence to express himself in such brilliantly discordant terms as the opener Undertow, and realise the magick and attraction of such bittersweet tones in Negative Mass, and it’s surely only from such experience of the late 20th century avant garde that majestic structures like the breathtaking hyaline spires of Hymn can arise.
But for all those head-turning moments, the inverse, quieter parts are just as important to Gilbert’s sound, as pieces such as HA8, or the smeared timbral resonance of his Alien-like Change And Not, and the spatially-searching pulse of In Memory Of MV all hold the balance in check, making this set another ideal Gilbert gesamtkunstwerk for the ages.
In the 15+ years that have elapsed since 'Loop Finding Jazz Records' first shuffled out of his ambrosially dusty speakers, Jan Jelinek's most famous album has acquired an almost mythical status. Originally released via Pole's defunct Scape imprint, it now finds new life via Jelinek's own Faitiche label, for a new generation to marvel at one of the finest examples of loop-based electronic music typical of the early noughties.
Taking what reads like a pretty austere set of ingredients, Jelinek's technique revolves around a trio of elements which consist of second long cuts of 1960's-70's jazz recordings, the loop-finding modulation wheel (do your homework!) and the Moiré effect; albeit rendered in the acoustic as opposed to the image and spectral domains.
If all this sounds a bit academic, be assured that on record it is anything but; as crumbling edifices of mealy rhythms slowly pulse into life and swirl around your head like snow storms clashing with a dust devil. Taking sediments of fathom deep static then skimming the best stuff from the top, Jelinek opens through the dampened echoes of 'Moiré (piano & organ)' wherein a slow-motion thrum of spiraling clicks, rustles and analogue tones conspire to give the impression of recondite perspectives that extend well beyond the constituent elements.
Elsewhere, 'Rocky in the Video Age' instills a gratuitously optimistic blush to the aquatic micro-sound ebb, 'Moiré (Strings)' is a perfect companion to Basinski's disintegrating tape archive, whilst 'Them, Their' represents an aural crease so sleight you can only catch its distinctive gleam from the corner of your eye.
Lock up your pets; Blackest Ever Black let Regis off the leash in two seek and destroy missions - his first new 12” in three years - coming quick on the heels of the unarchived Live In N.Y.C. 12” for Veronica Vasicka’s Cititrax.
A-side’s Version 1 is the greedier of the two, roving with that look in its eye from the first mauling bar of grumbling bass and incendiary distortion, thru a serpentine groove dissolving EBM, industrial noise techno with slow-burning, venomous effect until the final passage of paralysing strings by Asylum Ensemble.
B-side’s Version 2 appears to start on the dissecting table with the SAW-like sound of knives sharpening and talons clicking in the background, before untangling one of his fiercest lemon endeavours; a bitterly gleeful tussle of strapping EBM bassline and whipcrack snares with an over-the-shoulder vocal in the breakdown, before calving off into the abyss.
We can think of few artists who can come out of hiding so occasionally, yet remain at the front of their game, as Karl O’Connor does with The Master Side in both versions.
Take note, the master is in session.
Invaluable first ever vinyl reissue for AMM’s groundbreaking and inspirational Ammmusic (1966) - a pivotal moment in the history of free-jazz/improvised music featuring the combined talents of Keith Rowe, Eddie Prévost, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury and others, now presented by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label on its golden jubilee, complete with a brand new re-master from Rashad Becker.
Revolving founder members Keith Rowe (guitar) and Lou Gare (saxophone) - both formerly of Mike Westbrook’s jazz band - together with Eddie Prévost (percussion), Cornelius Cardew (piano, cello) and Lawrence Sheaff (accordion, clarinet), the enigmatically acronymed AMM more or less scrawled the very simple rulebook for free-improvisation’s infinite complexity with the recordings and sleeve notes of Ammmusic.
It was recorded by Jac Holzman and released on his Elektra label, marking a precedent juncture of experimental avant-garde and the countercultural underground (by this point Elektra were issuing classic albums by The Doors, Tim Buckley, Judy Collins) and was produced by DNA, a group that included Pink Floyd’s first manager Peter Jenner, which perhaps lead to its influence on the improvisational context of PF’s debut album, particularly Flaming which took its title from this record’s A-side, Later During A Flaming Riviera Sunset.
Quite importantly, Ammmusic still sounds timelessly fresh and dynamic, with all the urgent energy and unpredictability you would hope from an improvised recording of such historical importance.
Typically lush ambient, neo-classical, chamber pop and film-score music from Berlin's Sonic Pieces label, this time from Spain's Rauelsson, highy recoomended if you're into Max Richter, Badalamenti, Harold Budd etc.
The album was recorded by the sea and it really comes across in the music's self-consciously grand scale, oscillating between the calm and the tempestuous.
Piano is Rauelsson's main weapon of expression, and like so many artists in this sphere, he looks to Harold Budd and Philip Glass for inspiration, his playing ranging from the digressive and heavy-reverbed to the driving and cyclical. It's hard not to feel like you've heard it all before - 'Fluvial' barely even bothers to disguise the fact that it has the same instrumental palette, harmonic progression and mood as half of Max Richter's Blue Notebooks.
But when he loosens up, there are some highly enjoyable moments: the string-laden 'Hourglass I' is a particular highlight, channeling the high sentimentality of Badalamenti's love themes with aplomb.
A veritable clash of the titans: Merzbow and Oren Ambarchi kick up a blistering freeform noise storm for the latter's Black Truffle imprint.
Recorded live May 13, 2012 at the Aurora Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Australia, it features the pair duelling it out in bleakest, unrepentant, yet somehow controlled form. Across two sides they wash up waves of coruscating white noise over roiling, looming black bass shapes with attuned logic, culminating brobdingnagian banks of outright filth and noise with a cathartic and sometimes transcendent impact. Not for the faint of heart...
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label rustles up a reissue of this absolute classic, Annea Lockwood’s 1970 tape piece Tiger Balm - unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years. The LP also includes a pair of unreleased pieces; the vocal and percussion study Amazonia Dreaming, and the beautifully suspenseful microtonal electro-acoustic levitation, Immersion. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of musique concrète, Lockwood used a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics to open a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern.
“"Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long 'Tiger Balm' is a singular work within the cannon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. These unusual and evocative field recordings (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman's breath, a plane passing overhead), presented as no more than two sounds at once, allowed one to flow organically into the next, their shared characteristics highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations.
The B side presents two pieces for percussion available here for the first time. 'Amazonia Dreaming' (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. 'Immersion' (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood's belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds." --Francis Plagne
Oren Ambarchi sniffs out another rare cult classic for Black Truffle: presenting Max Eastley / Steve Beresford / Paul Burwell / David Toop’s assortment of Whirled Music improvisations on bull roarers, bird whistles, spinning gongs, and much more, on vinyl for 1st time in nearly 40 years.
Whirled Music was recorded live in performance at the IKON gallery, Birmingham, at the London Musician Collective, and at various outdoors spots during 1979. It pretty much marks the ground between the early work of instrument builder/musicians Structures Sonores Lasry-Bachet, the modern materials research experiments on Alku by EVOL and Edwin van Der Heide, and myriad, far-flung ethnic rituals ranging from Australian natives to football fans. The A-side is a single performance making use of all instruments at their disposal, whereas the B-side breaks down to a series of shorter recordings of specific instruments.
"It's one of the key documents of the inventive and energetic scene around the London Musicians Collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Originally released on Toop's own Quartz label in 1980, the LP features a remarkable series of performances made entirely with whirled and swung instruments and objects. Part of the second generations of British free improvising musicians, the prolific scene centered around the performers heard here chafed at the limitations present within the music and ideology of improvising legends such as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Tony Oxley, and John Stevens. Where the first generations of British free improvisers often demonstrated a rigorous commitment to non-idiomatic free improvisation and instrumental virtuosity, musicians like Beresford reconnected with the dada antics of figures like Han Bennink and surrendered to joyful musical promiscuity, gleefully disrupting expectations around 'serious' improvised music through quotations (of anything from Beethoven to reggae) and deliberate amateurism. . . .
Beginning in 1979, Whirled Music was the title given to a series of performances in which a variety of instruments and objects, both home-made and store bought, traditional and invented, would be whirled to produce sound. In addition to variations on traditional instruments such as the bullroarer, Whirled Music also made use of whirled whistles, hand drums, radios, and microphones. Due to the danger this represented for both performers and audiences, the performers wore protective masks and were separated from the audience by a net. . . . Presented in glorious cassette-recorded room fidelity, the LP's first side features a single extended live performance in which percussive chattering, resonant gong-like tones, mysterious wind tones, and swells of delirious noise join together to create a sonic landscape as reminiscent of an environmental recording (wind in the trees, the squawking of birds) as of an ethnographic recording of the music of an unknown civilization. Although purely acoustic, the music has an unstable, dispersed quality reminiscent of the pioneering live electronics of the Sonic Art Union or even early Voice Crack. The LP's second side presents a series of shorter excerpts, including some beautifully sparse outdoor recordings where the sounds of the whirled instruments blend indistinguishably into the backdrop of environmental sounds." --Francis Plagne”
Intoxicating, nyabinghi-driven roots reggae showcasing the hypnotic and mystically attuned styles of Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus at Black Ark in 1980.
A spiritual successor of sorts to that Dadawah LP, which was also reissued by Dug Out and which left such an indelible mark on our listening lives, Promised Land Sounds - Rockin Live Ruff N Tuff is distinguished by a more upward, bubbling battery of drummers and drenched in widely reverberant, echoic FX perfectly captured by Lance on the Black Ark desk.
The vocals are floating five feet high and deeply devotional, lead by Ras Michael chanting, squawking and holding his own amidst a wavy haze of drums and vibes whose cloud like dimensions sounds as though the recording was exhaled onto wax rather than inscribed.
It’s proper communal music, rolling with the kind of timeless, rounded pressure that comes from lots of time spent playing together, somewhere between The Upsetters and Sun Ra for levels of cosmic intuition and elevation, especially so in the otherworldly 15 minutes of I Ya I.
Not to be missed!!!
If ever a phonographic accomplishment could encapsulate the precise modus operandi of Finders Keepers' Cacophonic label, then the ‘Expériences Musicales’ sessions made by French born painter, sculptor, music maker, wine merchant and founder of the Art Brut movement Jean Dubuffet would be a prime candidate.
"Originally released as an impossibly rare six record box set containing Dubuffet’s first long anticipated forays into sound sculpture and spontaneous artistic noise, these intimate early 1960’s recordings show a lesserknown side of this important artist’s personality. From an original promoted artefact (which can now command fees of up to 5000 Euros complete with its original art-prints intact) this highlighted version of ‘Expériences Musicales’ is now available again on authentic vinyl to the wider public.
Finally released to a wider audience and presented complete with Dubuffet’s signature style artwork, this abridged vinyl edition includes specific selections curated by the artist himself, in conjunction with experimental music pioneer Ilhan Mimaroglu."
John Duncan and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio) explore the greyest areas of psychoacoustic and psychosexual drone noise back in 1991, newly remastered for this reissue on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle.
“Black Truffle is thrilled to announce the first reissue of legendary performance and sound artist John Duncan's forgotten gem Klaar, originally released by Extreme in 1991 and partly created in collaboration with Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). Duncan is perhaps most well known for his notorious early performances pieces, which explored violence, self-denial, and the establishment of extreme psychological and physical states in both artist and audience. Alongside these transgressive experiments, Duncan began to create audio works primarily using short wave radio. Where some of Duncan's earlier recordings are composed of magnificently sculpted but abrasive walls of noise, Klaar, recorded while Duncan was living in Amsterdam, occupies a more meditative territory.
Opening with 'Delta', which layers long tones seemingly sourced from slowed down voices over a distant, watery field recording, the remainder of the first side is occupied with the epic title piece, which arranges shortwave radio abstraction, vocal experiments, and field recordings (street sounds, fireworks, monastic chants) into an episodic cinema for the ear. The second side is dominated by the long, brooding 'The Immense Room', where layers of shortwave interference and field recordings are gradually built up into a pulsing, wavering bed of sound infused with a subtly disturbing sense of psychological unrest. This rises to the surface near the end of the piece as sexual moans and ominous rumbles crisscross the stereo image before being abruptly brought to a halt.
A singular work of electroacoustic composition, Klaar is both compositionally sophisticated and infused with a sense of mystery and a vital reality often lacking in more academic experimental music; it sits proudly alongside contemporaneous recordings by Duncan's friends and collaborators Jim O'Rourke and Christoph Heemann and is a must for anyone interested in their work.
- Francis Plagne”
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label coughs up the eighth live document of his nonpareil trio with the legendary Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke. All considered, these guys are pretty much the tightest/loosest avant instrumental group out there right now, blessed with a time-and-space bending dexterity that allows them to fuse some half century of research in free jazz, out rock and kosmiche electronics into blinding new forms.
On the A-side they prowl like a pack of predatory animals hunting down a noble but tired old prey, methodically and precisely attacking and breaking down the lumbering body of rock music in an increasingly ferocious whirlwind of fanged guitar slash and tearout percussion until they’re bathing a strangely tranquil bloodbath. With the B-side they lock into a martial distortion drill around Ambarchi’s steady, Wold-like snares rolls and sky-collapsing harmonics with stoically unrelenting force.
Side C brings the trio at their most abstract, moving from near silence, perforated only by the shivering chimes of toy piano, spookily signing into he ether where Haino exclaims in English from somewhere deep in the unfathomable mix, and O’Rourke petrifies the air with ungodly, alien EMS synth voices that speak to us in the uncanniest way. All change again on Side D, as they broach the 4th wold thru some back door entrance, scanning its undergrowth with Haino’s flute, vox and guitar urged on by pouring tribal toms until hey lay waste to the scene with pure guitar napalm.
Katja Lindgren’s début presents a soothing, immersive and poetic study in underwater sonics for Berlin’s Hyperdelia.
It all feels less academic, more impressionistic and alien than other hydrophone recordings we’ve heard - basically not as stark as Thomas Köner or Jana Winderen, for example, but still focussed on similar dynamics, with addition of creepily processed, Cthulhu-like vocal groan and dreamlike monologues which perfuse the suite at opportune moments. One to swim in, especially fans of Felicia Atkinson, Chris Watson, AUDINT.
Trippy, rugged and mutant electro-dub slugs from Belp on Munich’s Jahmoni Music...
Fair to say that help have coined their own sound here, melding the kind of brute but agile drum machine rhythm found on a Prostitutues release, with a madcap palette of vibes that jumps from kosmiche synths to dub and jazz in a silty mix of ambient and noise textures.
A total collector’s fancy from 1990, the hypnotic percussions of ‘Elephant’s Easy Moonwalk Through The Night’ finds an ideal new home on Bernd Friedmann’s nonplace.
Drum nuts, dancers and ersatz ethnomusicologists will have a field day with this one.
Mute's Liberation Technologies make it funky with Mark Fell's infectious 'n-Dimensional Analysis 1-14', following editions from Powell, British Murder Boys and Bandshell.
As with nearly all Fell's work, there's an instinctive hyper-funkiness to all 14 sections split over both sides, working a flex somewhere between his dancefloor-compromised Sensate Focus features and the more visceral experiments under his own name.
It's music for a 'floor where we can all dance like Storyboard P (or at least in our own heads), unravelling the knottiest syncopation between slicing claps, sprays of hi-hat and jabbing digital bass around mercurial chords which open out, contort and tesselate in mid-air. Their effect is deliciously gratifying for anyone with an ounce of bounce in their bones; a lushly prickly set of body coordinates ready to work your brain and booty to a precisely digitised lather.
Prolific experimenter Graham Dunning brings his improvised mechanical “techno” schtick to Adaadat with the Way Too Much Time EP.
"'Way too Much Time' is a 12" album from Lancashire born London-based sound artist and experimenter Graham Dunning. The tracks contained on this record are live recordings all generated via his Mechanical Techno Machine. A highly modified and elaborate turntable setup, that he has been refining now for a number of years. A video demonstrating his Mechanical Techno setup on You Tube went viral, attracting over 2 million views.
His music has been released on numerous record labels including; Seagrave Records, Entr'acte, Arell, Black Plume Editions, Bum Tapes, Raw Tonk, Earshots, Sound Holes, Raw Tonk in addition to his own imprint Fractal Meat Cuts. Dunning is also a prolific improviser collaborating with the likes of Colin Webster, Sam Underwood, (The three of them comprising DunningWebsterUnderwood), Tom Wallace, Bobby Barry and Stuart Chalmers. Dunning also performs as a member of the drone-improv collective AAS. He has also played drums in Manchester-based noise duo Blood Moon and experimental pop/kraut group Now. "Building up his teetering mechanical techno machines; or Sarah Kenchington trying not to fall off her chair while playing a hat-mounted horn, auto-violin, pedal-powered hurdy-gurdy and washing-machine-drum sequencer."
Sam Underwood (The Wire)
Very necessary reissue of Derek Bailey’s astonishing Guitar - Lot 74 Solo Improvisations, a completely captivating slab of improvisations recorded by Martin Davidson in 1976 for a single-sided pressing on Bailey and Evan Parker’s Incus Records. Now, more than 50 years later, Honest Jon’s have done a sterling reissue job, sending the tapes to Abbey Road for transfer and roping in Rashad Becker at D&M to get Bailey’s dynamic range, including those amazing tremulous highs and the biting point distortion of ’Together’, sitting just right on the record. This is the sh*t, this is!
"In 1974, when Derek Bailey was planning his second solo LP on Incus, he decided to include a side-long solo using his stereo electro-acoustic set-up. Unfortunately, he never seemed to have a 20-minute stretch of time free of interruptions in his home, so he asked if he could record it at my place. After a fairly lengthy drive across London on the arranged date, he discovered that he had brought all his gear except the actual guitar. So he had a cup of tea and a chat, then drove home again. He came again about a week later, on May 13th, this time with everything. I set the level too high for the first two takes, not quite allowing for his enormous dynamic range (which really was not suitable for analogue recording and reproduction equipment). The result was too much distortion for his liking. The level was corrected for the third take which was the one used as the title track on the LP, even though he preferred the music on the earlier takes.
All but one of the short pieces on the second side of the LP were recorded by Bob Woolford around the same time, probably at Derek's home. (The exception, 'Improvisation 104(b),' was recorded the previous year and originally released on one of the Incus TAPs -- mini reel-to-reel tapes that were an attempt to bypass the technical problems of going from tape to vinyl. They were reissued by Organ of Corti.) 'Pain In The Chest' and 'In Joke (Take 2)' feature the unamplified 19-string (approx) guitar, which was probably the only instrument that Derek modified -- he otherwise used standard guitars.
There was a shortage of good vinyl at the time, making it difficult to get decent pressings. (The original pressing of the solo Steve Lacy Emanem LP sounded as though it had been recorded in a hail-storm.) We were recommended to go to a pressing plant that specialized in 'classical' music. (At the same time that Derek was trying to get Lot 74 pressed, I was also working on his duo album with Anthony Braxton.) The first test pressing of Lot 74 was very muffled, and we discovered that the cutting engineer had played the tape up-side-down, so that the music had been filtered through the tape backing (used on professional tapes to reduce print-through). The cutting was subsequently redone correctly, resulting in an acceptable test pressing. However, the plant manager was completely incredulous and perplexed, as he was used to checking pressings using his library of scores of Beethoven sonatas and the like. How could he tell if the vocal and feedback howls at the start of side two ('Together') were correct?
Over thirty years later, advances in technology have eliminated most of the technical problems we had then, so that this magnificent music can be heard sounding better than ever. Every so often, I get someone asking me to issue things on vinyl -- my response is usually not very polite." Martin Davidson
After a blazing succession of Sound System heaters, Dug Out offers a spiritual session of seminal nyabinghi grounation from Dadawah circa 1974, perhaps the most mind-expanding, important spiritual dub reissue we've heard this last decade.
It's most likely a large influence upon the work of label head Mark Ernestus in his Rhythm & Sound guise, recalling the magical spirituality of classics like 'Making History' among others in the hypntoic, shuffling pace and intangibly smoky aura that seems to evaporate from the grooves with each listen. The group is led by Ras Michael, guiding a traditional set up of nyabinghi (ceremonial Rasta drums), bass, guitar, brass and Piano organ in four extended excursions over sublime, psychedelic terrain without a worry in the world.
As with much of the best reggae, much of the magic was elicited and embellished in post production, with Lloyd Charmers and Federal engineer George Raymond apparently staying up all night after the session to mix the recording, imbuing the tracks with a dazed, wide-open and echoing personal space. Keeping the standards impeccably high, the album was lovingly restored at Abbey Road and looks every bit the classic that it is. Big up Dug Out, this going to be on rotation round here for years to come.
Laurel Halo stakes an eagerly and widely awaited return with the beguiling 4.1 world techno dimensions of 'In Situ' for Honest Jon's after cutting her teeth with highly acclaimed albums and EPs for Hippos In Tanks (R.I.P.) and Hyperdub.
Arriving two years since the Ann Arbor-quartered musician began testing a new hardware set-up on 'Chance of Rain', Laurel has refined those slightly clunky experiments here with a fluidly dextrous approach to Afro-inspired, rhythmelodic drum programming taught by psychedelic jazz and cosmic electronica.
It's a mental playground of fantastic dancefloor geometries, blooming at every angle with refreshed ideas of alien scales and hieroglyphic drum patterns designed to be deciphered by bodies in motion and heads in flight.
With nods to Afrikan Sciences, Kerry Leimer and Actress, she commands her machines with a deceptively loose sense of control, encouraging them to chatter freely, coolly, resulting in the ingneous, midnight groove formations of 'Focus I' and the future primitive techno funk of 'Drift', beside the discombobulated topographies of 'Nah' and the footworking centrifuge, 'Leaves'.
Time will tell, but this may well be one of the 2015's most impressive, nuanced collections of new electronica. A massive recommendation!
Bubbling up from the archive, a brilliantly warped, acidic and intoxicating décollage of soundsystem shrapnel rinsed thru the echo chamber. RIYL Tapes, Raymond Scott, Ennio Morricone, Horsepower Productions
“Shimmering hologram oases belie the bone-dry heat inna this ya ghost-bloodcl@$t-town; When tumbleweed beliefs pose as the only sign of life, it's time to step into Death's saloon; Bust down the dusty double-swinging doors even the Preacher-man dares not enter!
The Bartender has run out of liquor and listening; Sullied Doves have danced their last number; Lawmen, levelled and long-gone, litter the dance floor; Bodied outlaws doubled and draped over the bar. When the only exit is a horse-drawn hearse; Face to face with Death, who will shoot first!?!
Step into this rattlesnake-ridden realm! Dancehall Showdown is a crazy non-place world where 60’s Spaghetti Westerns, 70’s Library Synth Records and 90’s Golden Era Dancehall come together for a death-defying communion inna Yard! The old posse of SKRS and MX7 ride once again under the banner of their co-run label, ICS Library Records, off into the fringes of sound-based reality.
SKRS' OG Papa Coolbreeze reinforces their select palette, "This album is our reiteration of influences ranging from Spaghetti Western era Upsetters to Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research Inc. to early Horsepower Productions. Now the soundtrack we paint, however, is something entirely unique on its own". Simply put: there's NOTHING like it out there!
Full disclosure: this LP has been shelved for well over 3 years now with the sudden disappearance of Oklahoma's now-mythical Digitalis Recordings, who were set to release it hot on the heels of their 2012 SKRS debut LP, TheCallFromBelow. Since then, we've laboured to break more ground and lay several more keystones in the growing SKRS/ICS groundation-foundation in order to withstand its intensifying expanse and weight. Now that the ground has been prepared, we've decided to take Dancehall Showdown back into our own hands and give it the proper love and nurturing we had always intended for it.”