Jealous God’s Issue No. Nineteen is an unexpected industrial brawler by Esteban Adame, who’s best known for knocking out slick, latinate Detroit house and techno as part of UR’s Galaxy 2 Galaxy, I can, and Los Hermanos.
As Frequencia, however, he wrestles with a bruising industrial style, ranging from what sounds like a manic Jamal Moss edit in the cut-up hollers and churning rhythm of Adultery and Guilt, then with clenched EBm funk in Golden Hands, and like a Regis wrong ‘un from ’98 with the monotone jag of Live For Lust.
Deep and banging techno is the mode for Dekmantel 10Years08
Taking in the slippery chassis and plunging wormhole dynamic of Storta by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen; a gliding Dutch/Detroit ace in Serval by Deniro; the banging but deferred acid gratification of Talismann’s Aciano; and a straight-up acid house rub by Matrixxman.
For the discerning digger, a previously unreleased haul of rare library cuts c. 1971-1979, picked out and dusted down from London’s Cavendish Music vaults by Mr Thing and Chris Read
“Join two of BBE’s most prolific artists and compilers, Mr Thing & Chris Read on a voyage into the mysterious, strange and wonderful world of Library Music, courtesy of Cavendish Music. Founded in 1937 and originally known as Boosey & Hawkes Recorded Music Library, Cavendish Music is the largest independent Library Music publisher in the UK and also represents a host of music catalogues across the globe.
During the Library Music heyday of the 60s and 70s, thousands of original instrumental tracks were produced across a broad range of genres for companies like Cavendish, who then created vinyl and tape collections, often arranged by theme or mood, for their customers in radio, television and film. Cult British TV shows such as The Sweeney and The Professionals as well as documentaries and feature films relied heavily on these catalogues, and companies like KPM, De Wolfe and Boosey & Hawkes went a long way toward defining the sound of British popular culture at the time.
Never commercially available, music created for these libraries that never made it to the promised land of TV or Radio was destined to languish in Cavendish Music’s vast London vault; only recently unearthed by a new generation of DJs and producers searching for rare gems or a perfect sample.
Mr Thing & Chris Read were first invited to examine the contents of the Cavendish Music archive in 2014 as part of WhoSampled’s ‘Samplethon’ event in which producers created new tracks against the clock using sample material mined from the catalogue. Whilst digging through box upon box of records and tapes looking for interesting sounds, the pair also discovered a host of 70s library music which has not only stood the test of time, but deserves to be heard in its original form.
From dramatic big band numbers reminiscent of Lalo Schifrin’s film scores to atmospheric proto-hip hop instrumentals produced before the genre’s existence, right through to fairly straightforward jazz and funk cuts; this amazing collection of music is sure to inspire and delight DJs and beat-makers the world over.”
Sub Rosa extend an invitation to peruse the dreamlike parallel dimensions of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film soundtracks - a quietly transportive and transfixing blend of field recordings made on location in Thailand, interspersed with pop and folk songs, ambient electronics and incidental sound.
“Apichatpong Weerasethakul is recognised as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema today. His seven feature films, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Cannes Palme d'Or in 2010 with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Compilation album 'Metaphors' contains 14 soundworks carefully selected from his past cinema and other visual works since 2003, which includes Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Syndromes and a Century, Fever Room and more.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has regularly worked with the same sound designers since 2003 and has always given importance to the personality of on-location sounds giving his films a sense of continuity. In post-production, he's fascinated by the manipulation of these 'live' sounds in order to express 'reality'. This reality doesn't necessary represent the actual sound of the places, but more a representation of the world in layered memories. Similar to the way he treats images, Apichatpong sometimes calls attention to the physicality and the fragility of the audio (and its apparatus) and to the process of audio manipulation itself.
In his cinema, Apichatpong prefers natural sound sources over music. Nevertheless, he often boldly incorporates popular songs that were persistent during the shooting. He doesn't shy away from using tunes that relate to his own personal memories. In this sense, Apichatpong values the spirit of authenticity much more than rigid manipulation of audio and weaves a complex and dreamlike soundscape in his cinematic repertoire.
Born in Bangkok, Apichatpong grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998 and is now recognised as a major international visual artist. His art prizes include the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2013) and the prestigious Prince Claus Award (2016), the Netherlands. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his film works are non-linear, dealing with memory and in subtle ways invoking personal politics and social issues.”
Mumdance, Logos and Shapednoise reconvene as The Sprawl with a 60 minute mixtape recontextualising William Gibson’s Neuromancer with fragments of the audiobook narration mixed with exclusive, original new solo and group material by all members, plus implanted flashbacks of hardcore techno and mutant musique concrète. The mix simultaneously elucidates and obfuscates The Sprawl’s sci-fi rave hauntology in advance of the imminent arrival of the second in their 12” trilogy.
Triangulating the three conspirators’ vision between Mumdance’s hardcore bruxism, the cinematic imagineering of Logos, and Shapednoise’s clinically atonal/arrhythmic noesis, Reel Torque Volume 17 induces a synaesthetically-enhanced spectrum of cyberpunk sensation and intrigue. In effect they emulate the psychological, neurological, and physiological effects of a consciousness uploaded to the weightlessness in hyperspace and how that relates to the narco-auditory complex of rave and electronic music which is so unavoidably influenced by Gibson’s prophetic tome.
Adapting the visual language and syntax of film and computer games, rave tapes and radio plays with an acutely, synaesthetically heightened impact, the mix flows from future primitive vocal rituals to new age tropes shaped as seductive commercial idents, while shocks of shuddering noise black out the senses with picnoleptic overloads of data and muscle memory-triggering jolts of jungle virtually render and reprogram the body cyborgian.
Reel Torque Volume 17 is a visceral and delirious experience, vividly expanding the The Sprawl’s abstract world and perfectly setting the scene for imminent new chapters in their ongoing saga.
Klara Lewis and Biosphere rework highlights of Carmen Villain’s Helge Sten-mixed album, Infinite Avenue, beside the original version of Borders featuring Jenny Hval.
One of the record’s rhythm driven points of interest, Borders stars Hval switching between gaseous and plangent vocal styles, perfused into the ether over loping, wooden drums and keening bass pressure.
In Klara Lewis’s hands, however, Borders becomes a sighing swell of melancholic harmonies and sloshing, almost seasick rhythms with Hval reserved to a more enigmatic presence. Meanwhile Biosphere hints that he’s been listening o a lot of the new weird rap instrumentals outta ATL on his mix of Red Desert, convecting his best Lynchian atmospheres over skewed, skinny trap tics with Villain crooning blue in the upper registers.
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.
Fully freaked electro from mid ‘80s-early ‘90s Japan, drawn from dead hard-to-find LP and 7” and reissued on vinyl for the first time! Loads of vocoders, wobbly funk lixx, and gangsta-leaning flamboyance for those who like it greazy and freeky as hell. Think Arabian Prince meets Haruomi Hosono at Funkadelic’s hut!!!
“Japanese Electro original, Minoru Hoodoo Fushimi, self-released four albums. Two vinyl LPs and two CDs between 1985 and 1992. Melbourne`s Left Ear Records have selected twelve tracks, for a double vinyl retrospective. 10 tracks from Minoru`s four albums and a further two unreleased tracks from the archives.
Minoru set out to combine his love of all things Funk with traditional instruments and song from his homeland. He uses shamisen on Thanatopsis. Where Parliament`s Flashlight, George Clinton`s Atomic Dog, ride with Osamu Kitajima`s Masterless Samurai. Shakuhachi on Mizuko No Tamashii Hyakumademo. Nohdashi puts koto with a Jimmy Castor riff. All set to popping and locking beats.
Minoru`s vocals switch between raps about cellular metabolism and haemoglobin, Soul croon and vocoder. On Shinz-San he adds Metal guitar to vintage Sugarhill. And he goes crazy with his sampler. Scratching in cats, frogs, babies, laughter, giggles, traffic jams, failing ignitions, opera singers, and amorous sighs. Furarete mixes elephant roars and Go-Go. Creating unique avant grooves that share something with Tackhead`s ON-U Sound System, Savant`s tape experiments, and fellow countrymen EP-4.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
One of the strongest we’ve heard from Beau Wanzer or Jealous God, Issue No. Twenty beats out six meaty EBM treats for those who like it hard and salty.
There’s a lot of fun to be had toggling between 33/45rpm with two cuts, namely the grungy/jacking signal jammer Speaker Sisters, and the churning/fast/slow bounce of Kipper Hunk, while the rest deliver proper darkroom thrills between the distorted torrent of abuisvie nose in Shitty Ear Cough 17, the rictus DAF-style tang of Cave Mace, and the starkly echoic funk up, He Pushes Meals.
Justin K Broadrick puts his club foot forward for Downwards on four trampling techno bombs gathered under the Exit Stance EP. With no prizes for guessing what the title is about, he further girds us against broken Britain’s grim future following his Suicide Estate 2LP for Hospital Productions.
This is some of Broadrick’s most direct, primitive, and ruggedly impactful gear, forged in the belly of the black country with charred traces of late ‘90s Brummie techno edged by sparingly used daubs of patented, pollutant synths and plasmic dubbing.
A-side; he offloads the rollicking hydraulics of Exit Stance, a rallying charge of tribal bass drums and cranky percussion from the Female/Regis skool, whilst the droning, beat-less squabble of Motivated By Jealousy takes an acute measure of blighty’s radgy pulse.
B-side; his Bullied By Love comes off as a grimacing answer to Ancient Methods’ industrial steppers, then Caveman goes on like a chips ’n curry sauce-fed analog to Muslimgauze-via-Vatican Shadow vibes.
Aye, we’re all fxcked. But at least we can dance about it with JK Flesh.
Freshest ear-floss from Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow on Bedouin Records, following that brilliant hybrid CD/vinyl Hyakki Echo for Dirter with two typically longer form pieces of squabble and scree.
Like the intensely variegated new styles revealed on Hyakki Echo, his Tomarigi session is neither harsh wall-of-noise nor avian ambience. Instead, he locates a sort of unstable mid-ground flux, veering from fractious shrapnel and pronged lashes to passages of lacquer-bubbling rhythms and a thicket of trance inducing pressure recalling Black Mecha onslaughts in the middle of side A, while the B-side starts with a brace of shockingly spacious and clear sine waves hat soon enough erupt into a spirit-dousing inferno and freewheeling pitches practically describing avian flight.
This is the first collection of all the Fall singles recorded across a multitude of labels: Step Forward, Rough Trade, Kamera, Beggars Banquet, Cog Sinister, Permanent, Artful, Action… oh, and Cherry Red.
Edited 3-CD set which features all of the A-Sides.
Clod-hopping techno ructions by the Berlin-based British producer
Getting down like a bull in a tar pit with lumbering, viscous mass of The Trace, and swaggering like the bull that got out on I-4, whereas Hornet picks up some steam with rolling barrage of drums and dive-bombing noise formations, and the brilliant S77 gets off on a mean sort of dancehall-noise-techno hybrid that’s definitely going to see some play up our way.
The first book of photography by Rod Modell, a collection of over 100 personal photographs made during an 8 week stay in Barcelona during April-June 2016. A CD of Barcelona field-recordings and emotional atmospheric sounds by Rod Modell (that were influenced by the images) is also be included.
These unique images and musical textures emphasize the darker, nocturnal side of Barcelona, and capture fleeting seconds that occurred between the moments that others noticed.
Nigeria’s Kingsley Bucknor’s ‘Just U and Me’ LP gets the long-awaited reissue treatment from Left Ear Records.
"After cutting his teeth playing with Fela in the 70’s and releasing two afrobeat LP’s Kingsley travelled the globe before finding himself in London, it’s here that he laid down 6 distinctive electro-funk tunes inspired by African rhythms and music he’d heard through his travels in the States and in Europe.
Originally issued on Kinglsley’s own KAB records in ’85 and according to Kingsley the release was well received at the time, but due to constraints of international marketing the record remained mostly unknown outside of his homeland. Fast-forward to 2017 and the stage is set for a new global audience to appreciate the distinct sound of KB."
Toulouse Low Trax, Tuff City Kids, Dreems and Junto Club remix Sascha Funke’s bendy tech-house trax from the Lotos Land LP.
Detlef Weinrich aka member of Toresch and Tolouse Low Trax reduces Twirl to a blunted swagger with his patented, effortless swing and nice touches of bittersweet, sion-facing synths. Australian newcomer Dreems steps on Im Feirern Und Feuer with a flanging, psyched out version making heavy use of guitars. Tuff City Kids give Purple Hill a slow, acidic 4/4 poke, and Glasgow’s Junto Club sound out a very Optimo-ready version of Comala.
Jealous God introduce American avant-rocker Alex Barnett (Oaketare, Barnett + Coloccia) into their fold as Champagne Mirrors with Extended Communication Techniques
Pushing a virulent take on industrial EBM that leans between unearthly steppers’ palpitations recalling Marc Verhaeren and Sabien Voss’ Para project in Earless, thru to the Powell-esque nudges of Mud, and a dank bedroom floor crawler with Luggage.
L.I.E.S. document Svengalisghost’s performance on French TV in 2015 with this set recorded direct to the studio board.
Expect six track of deathly trudge and queasy industrial synth streaks laced with Marquis Cooper aka Svengalisghost’s processed vocals. Think John Carpenter meets Atrax Morgue in gotham city at midnight.
The translucent blue LP release includes ‘Blue Bucket Of Gold’ on one side, a cover of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ featuring Gallant on the second side and a digital download code for the full 16-track set from his ‘Carrie & Lowell’ live show.
This is the first collection of all the Fall singles recorded across a multitude of labels: Step Forward, Rough Trade, Kamera, Beggars Banquet, Cog Sinister, Permanent, Artful, Action… oh, and Cherry Red.
Compiled here in a 7-CD box set with a full illustrated discography by renowned Fall expert Conway Paton. The discs have been re-mastered by Fall engineer Andy Pearce and come with a newly designed book in a box.
White Material co-conspirator DJ Richard yields his 1st new EP in three years with the brooding electro swerver, Path of Ruin sure to garner moody screwfaces on the ‘floor.
It’s really all about the 10 minute title tune, reprising the darkside, Reese-like strokes of his Leech2 classic from way back in 2012, but with a slinky malinky electro swing that’s very much of the ’97/’07/’17 zeitgeist. The first five minutes of floating pads and stark dub chords could almost be mistaken for an early Claro Intellect or Andy Stott piece, before the lustrous bass sets it on its own trajectory into the night.
Gargoyle is a solid six minutes of slow industrial/EBM at 105bpm, coated with noxious harmonics in a way recalling Para or Dirk Desaever, and Stygian Freeze lives up to its mantle with a stately but doomed descent into beat-less synth zones redolent of Dopplereffekt.
First making waves with the almost cult level ‘Hype Williams’ project, and then more recently solo and as part of the group Babyfather, the new 8 track LP sees Dean Blunt step back into the shadowy role of producer for a new band called Blue Iverson.
It’s a vibesey one, this; digging a vein of smoke-hazed living/bedroom feels in eight parts that could almost be passed off as a Dam-Funk jam. Well, almost, but there’s still something off kilter and economical about the fidelity and mixing of the recording that hints it’s from the UK, or is even made to sound like the private pressed soul obscurities picked out by PPU.
Hotep strongly reminds of those lush soul bits from Yves Tumor’s Serpent Music or even selected Letherette cuts released on Alex Nut’s namesake label. The image of Lauryn Hill on the sleeve is a cherry on the cake.
Kiran Sande (Blackest Ever Black) and Chris Farrell (Idle Hands) trigger their Silent Street cooperative with a surefire survey of Maximum Joy’s dub-fuelled punkfunk and pop singles 1981-1982, collected as I Can’t Stand It Here On Quiet Nights. Digging a pivotal point in Bristol’s dub-informed lineage, it reveals the sound of Bristol parties and after-hours blues in the early ‘80s, which would also find success among the punk-funk crowds and hip hop stations of NYC. Fans of Vazz, The Slits, Glaxo Babies, The Pop Group need to check this one!
“I Can’t Stand It Here On Quiet Nights is centred around the trio of singles the band released on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records between 1981-1982. Their first, ‘Stretch’, was licensed to seminal American label 99 Records and soon after became an anthem on the New York club underground, a cult staple at Danceteria and on late-night radio. Closer to home and a shared personal favourite is their first B-side, ‘Silent Street / Silent Dub’: a languid, haunting tribute to long summer nights in St Pauls (where the Idle Hands shop presently resides), and specifically the Black & White Cafe, “where dub-reggae reigned supreme, 24/7”. Llewellin’s mesmerising one-drop kit and Catsis’s outrageously heavy bassline anchor the track, allowing Rainforth’s exquisite vocal and Wrafter’s trumpet to soar within the intense, expressionistic dub mix. In both subject matter and execution it is the definitive Bristol tune.
‘White And Green Place (Extraterrestrial Mix)’, ‘In The Air’, and wistful instrumental ‘Simmer Til Done’ also feature; the non-Y bonus is the 12” version of ‘Do It Today’, Maximum Joy’s contribution to the Fontana compilation Touchdown, which originally came out in ’82 as a white label split with The Higsons.
I Can’t Stand It Here On Quiet Nights is the first official UK vinyl reissue of Maximum Joy material, with sleevenotes by Janine Rainforth, Tony Wrafter and Kevin Pearce. We invite you to acquaint, or reacquaint, yourself with the eclectic, exhilarating work of Bristol’s finest, brightest pop idealists.”
San Fran’s Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem double down to release a final set of Patrick Cowley’s gay porn soundtracks in Afternooners. Not so much Hi-NRG as happily knackered and in need of a ‘bine, the vibe is mostly dreamy, mid-tempo and strutting but with a few early hours disco struts in Jungle Orchids, the kinky throb of take A Little Trip, and a charming romance theme on Love Come Set Me Free with its signature, flared synth that sounds like a prototype of Drexciya and so much electro-disco to come.
“In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick’s songs in-sync with the film scenes. The result was the VHS collections “Muscle Up” and “School Daze” released in 1979 and 1980. “Afternooners” is the third collection of Cowley’s instrumental songs, recorded in between 1979 and 1982. Some of these recordings are demos from the album “Mind Warp”. All songs were originally untitled, so we’ve used the titles from Fox Studio’s 8mm film loops.
This compilation also includes three bonus tracks found in the archives of fellow Megatone Records recording artist Paul Parker and the attic of teenage friend Lily Bartels. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick crafted a singular sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars, and hand-built equipment. The listener enters a world of forbidden vices, evocative of Patrick’s time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on “Afternooners” reflect the advances of the equipment available at the onset of the 1980s. Cowley’s unadulterated electronic forms are stripped down and dubbed up. Lush electronic percussion, soaring synthesizer riffs and low slung funk grooves comingle on these magnificent soundscapes.
For Patrick’s 67th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shed a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.”
Robert Haigh, who is perhaps better known as D&B legend Omni Trio, reprises the solemn, autumnal contemporary classical styles heard on his V-O-D retrospective and early releases for NWW’s United Dairies, this time in the esteemed comapny of Laurie Spiegel, Carl Stone, Lubomyr Melnyk on Unseen Worlds
“A new album of piano driven ambient music from British composer Robert Haigh. Following in the path of his albums for the Japanese Siren label, Creatures of the Deep is an underground vantage of a meeting between the musical worlds of Harold Budd and Erik Satie. With a storied musical career that has ranged widely in style — from his industrial-avant-garde works on Nurse With Wound’s United Diaries label as SEMA to his legendary ambient drum and bass records as Omni Trio on Moving Shadow — Robert Haigh's work occupies a space between music and mystery.
With Creatures of the Deep, Haigh is at the peak of his powers. Among noir, minimal, neo-classical landscapes are robust scatterings of bright reflection and a musical expression that is subtle and elusive yet uniquely Haigh’s in its voice and masterful execution. The closer we examine, the more is revealed, and the less is defined.”
Japan's EM Records serve the 2nd of 2 thistly bouquets by Alexandra Atnif, committing her self-released, 2CD compendium of early tape releases to the Romanian artist’s debut vinyl release.
Rounding up cuts from her self-released tapes, harder-eared listeners will be in their element with Atnif’s brace of unforgivingly noisy and clenched monotone grooves, all inspired by the brutalist architecture of her home country, and each laced with a sliver of pathos that rescues them from the abyss.
Japan's EM Records serve the first of two thistly bouquets by Alexandra Atnif, committing her self-released, 2CD compendium of early tape releases to the Romanian artist’s debut vinyl release.
Rounding up cuts from her self-released tapes, harder-eared listeners will be in their element with Atnif’s brace of unforgivingly noisy and clenched monotone grooves, all inspired by the brutalist architecture of her home country, and each laced with a sliver of pathos that rescues them from the abyss.
Surveying the Japanese ‘80s ambient zeitgeist, V-O-D go deeper than everyone with reissue of multimedia artist Osamu Sato’s obscure ambient work Objectless, appearing in a newly remixed form based on the original 1983 tape release for Skating Pears.
Sato is best known as creator of the LSD Dream Emulator and Eastern Mind classic computer games and their soundtracks, which are held in cult regard by nerds the world over. This new version of Objectless hears Sato sensitively return to and remix his debut release, resulting a sound that clearly resonates with decades worth of immersive computer games which have arrived in the original tape’s wake.
It’s all remarkably free of the more cloying aspects of this era, when many artists were prone to show off more jazzy, proggy flights of fancy, as Sato tends to keep his arrangements efficiently trim, resulting some really ace drops of minimalist electro, and two really choice pieces of purring, rhythmelodic chimes and flutters that pre-echo the delicacies of Japanese house music in the glittery electro-techno of Eight Beat Infinity, and the lissom acid flutter of Helicoid Guardian, which patently sounds like The Orb.
Sophisticated, jazzy rare groove vibesing from Dego (4Hero) & Kaidi (Tatham) on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature bastion.
As broad as it is deep and plush, A So We Gwarn catches 14 prime examples of the long-running duo in irresistible effect, turning their hand to myriad variations on a soulful broken beat hustle, flanked by loads of their mates and regular collaborators; Mr. Mensah, Nadine Charles, Sarina Leah, Yelfris Valdes, Ray Carless, Wayne Francis.
We spy highlights in the swinging, Afro-cubed shuffle of Decide What You Choose, and the Mala-in-Cuba-esque roll of Nyabinghi Warriors, with the chrome squirt boogie of 18.1096 N 77.2975 W showing all the new boogie cats how it’s done, and Don’t Put Your Hat Where Your Hand Can’t Reach finishing up on a live-o jazz-fusion flex with double deadly percussion.
Finally cradled in our trembling mitts, this is the feverishly awaited vinyl edition of Coil’s A Cold Cell In Bangkok - a V.V.V. spesh version of a classic Russian prison song, as originally heard on The Ape Of Naples album, then re-worked for, and previously only available, on the mix CD Sleepwalk: A Selection By Optimo (Espacio) in 2008.
As one of Coil fanatic J.D. Twitch’s favourite tracks by the late, tragic electronic gods, the exclusively commissioned Peter Christopherson mix was given pride of place in the sequence of Sleepwalk: A Selection By Optimo (Espacio), which sweetly sent us and many others to slumber for years after release. However, frustratingly the track was only available as part of the mix, until now.
We hardly need to stress its haunting, elegiac beauty to any Coil fan. But to everyone else it’s among the most heartbreaking, strangely life-affirming songs you’ll ever hear.
Miss at your peril.
After 25 years in the game, Detroit’s original Norm Talley commits a stonking debut album to F.X.H.E., giving the label boss a run for his money with some of the rawest, deepest, soulful 313 gear we’ve heard since the last Omar-S LP. No messing, this is one of the strongest house albums you’ll hear all year!
Since emerging from the mentorship of Ken Collier as a member of Detroit’s West 6 Mile Crew, Norm Talley has remained true to the artform of Detroit house, factoring its disco touchstones into the modern day in much the same way as Anthony Shakir, Omar-S or KDJ, but perhaps never really receiving so much recognition outside the city.
Bringing a timelessly direct, burning sound to the fore in all 14 tracks, we’d like to wager that Norm-A-Lize is set to garner Talley the wider love he deserves from newer, younger generations and veteran heads alike. Seriously, this is the kind of gear you don’t hear every day - from the on-point sampling to the rugged knock and swang of his drums and bass, this is totally prime, irresistible dancing gear that works miles away from precious tech-house bodgers and delivers more ecstasy in your pants than any ‘90s trance anphem.
Just watching the EQ on our mixer, we can see the acres of space and dynamic in each groove, from the peak-time disco-house peaches of Get It Right and the Shake/Soundhack-esque chord chops of Dub Station, thru the Roulé burn of Alright with L’Renee, to the way those toms and rimshot just bang thru the mix on The Dream, then you’ve got the pendulous, sub-swung aerobics of Earth Vabrations, the mean-ass Afro-cubist techno swerve of Cause I Believe, those jazz funk riffs on Paradise Garage, Stingray-ready techno in The Body, and some proper, grumbling dub techno in The Rise.
Seeeeriously, all dancers, DJs, this is just 100% essential!
Carl Michael von Hauswolff sonifies the invisible, the unheard in Still Life - Requiem, presenting the sounds emitted by physical matter, as extracted and revealed through emission spectroscopy executed at Linköping University, Sweden. Its a direct continuation of CMvH’s role as chief ghost hunter or Egon Spengler of the contemporary avant garde, and an eerily fascinating listen.
In the true sense of a psychopomp, CMvH acts as a bridge between dimensions and perceptions of life and inanimate matter, analysing its frequencies or entropic aura, then pitching up, amplifying the results until comprehensible by the human ear (between 15 and 14000Hz).
So far, so scientific, but the art creeps in where CMvH farther manipulates that material by stretching, looping and equalising it into something else. When heard in context of his intentions, those sounds form a requiem - a sort of comforting dedication to lost souls, which are usually human or animal, but in this case not necessarily so.
If you like listening at the threshold of perception and drawing your own conclusions from freaky sonics, your lugs deserve this one.
The outstanding maiden release on Pete Swanson’s Freedom To Spend label is a reissue of Michele Mercure’s sublime obscurity Eye Chant (1986), which was originally issued under her then married name, Michele Musser, and has since become a proper collectors item regarded for its patently otherworldly blend of minimal wave, new age ambient and creamy, krauty electro boogie.
In the early ‘80s, with a background working as a cell animator, and hailing from a mid-sized industrial town, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, Michele was embedded in the the town’s visual arts community but suffered for lack of decent music - a familiar whinge from anyone who grew up outside of the big cities - so she made her own wickedly inventive and expressive sound using synths, effects, tape loops, vocals.
Her visual and musical worlds first gelled in a 1983 soundtrack for Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, followed by three self-released cassettes which built on that aesthetic, creating a richly synaesthetic style of highly visual yet mostly minimalist music.
Released a few years later, Eye Chant was the pinnacle of her output, and is now revealed to the world at large, thirty years later. From the rim we’re sent skyward into the waltzing orbit of Tour De France (Day 2) and kissed with the budget Jean Michel-Jarre vibes of In The Air, handing over to the wistfully primitivist incantation, The Intruder and hitting lightspeed with her soaring soundtrack for a performance art piece, 100% Bridal Illusion, where she calves from ecstatic highs into a scene of tumbling 606 drum machine, seagulls and nods to squabbly free jazz.
The others also live up to her name, almost imperceptibly shifting from glowing microtones to alien noise and slippery, lounging electro fusion with Dream Clock, and then like some salty-curdled ambient stroke in Proteus and the Marlin that uncannily reminds us of mid ‘90s Rephlex charms - think super melodic AFX or Cylob - before melting all over the ‘floor with a wigged-out waltz called Too Much primed for the back room at One Eyed Jack’s.
It’s easy to hear, this is strongly tipped to fans of Julia Holter, Suzanne Ciani, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, AFX, Irdial Discs.
Lakker’s restless explorer, Ian McDonnell a.k.a. Eomac, presents a mesmerising study of Islamic and Arabic drum breaks and string arrangements augmented with spacious electronic treatments in his 4th solo album, Bedouin Trax for Bedouin Records.
Taking samples from a bouquet of Moroccan street sounds, Sufi ritual music and Baghdadi dabke, Eomac diffuses and enmeshes their integral, individual atmospheres and sacred geometries in an often haunting, curiously distanced consolidation of acoustic and electronic, east and west sensibilities that’s respectful to the material yet faithful to his electro-techno roots.
From a relative outsider’s perspective, he’s really nailed a vibe for us; offering ten tracks whittled down from 30, with particular highlights in the percussive suss of pieces such as the tumultuous, angular Entrance and the dabke-derived patterns of Same Heart, Same Breath, Same Life, Same Death and the Shackleton-esque Ritual whilst his tone-based works make the source material sound uncannily close to Akira Rabelais’ convolutions of medieval choral music, especially in Prayer Pt.1 and it all comes together perfectly in the ecstatic, guttural Incantation.
An expanded dition of the classic album from Tuxedomoon member Blaine L. Reininger, originally issued by Crepuscule in 1984 and now newly remastered from the original analog tapes.
"Night Air was recorded in Brussels in 1983, shortly after Reininger left Tuxedomoon, in collaboration with former Sleepers guitarist Michael Belfer. Other guests include Steven Brown and Winston Tong of Tuxedomoon, and Marc Hollander of Aksak Maboul. The final mix was supervised by Gareth Jones, famed for his work with Depeche Mode, Einsturzende Neubauten and Wire.
The part-instrumental album offers a sequence of bittersweet expatriate vignettes. "I suppose I should be grateful to the capital of Europe for providing the seed around which so much of my spleen could crystallize for so many years," explains Reininger, who hailed from Colorado via San Francisco. "Brussels provided me with such a rich source of melancholic poetry."
The 10 core tracks on Night Air include popular single Mystery and Confusion, as well as Birthday Song (originally performed by Tuxedomoon), the elegiac Ash and Bone, and the exquisite baroque pop of A Café au Lait for Mr XYZPTLK. The 6 bonus tracks on Disc 1 include Windy Outside (a collaboration with Mikel Rouse), The Sea Wall (performed with Durutti Column) and two versions of Crash, written by Reininger and Belfer in 1980 for Tuxedomoon, and subsequently remixed by The Residents.
Disc 2 preserves a previously unreleased live recording from Bologna, Italy, on 19 March 1984. Billed as the Spiny Doughboys Review, the 14 song set includes songs from Night Air and Broken Fingers."
Christophe Guiraud uses old instruments such as the Hotteterre flute, the viola da gamba or the viola bass, combining them with electronics.
"Born in Toulouse (south of France) mid-seventies, he lives between Brussels and Paris. His early works come from alternative rock, free jazz and harsh noise (Tellemake, 2 records on Angström Records). His more recent pieces mixed the beauty of the polyphonies of Ars Nova (XIVè century) and noise. This nonesuch hybridation creates a music easily recognizable, at the same time harmonious and deeply intense.
Christophe Guiraud composes for a few important ensembles and performers like Ictus, Ensemble 21, Sturm und Klang, Kwartludium, Musiques Nouvelles, Fractales, Stephane Ginsburgh, Tom Pauwels. Regularly invited at festivals Sonar, Le printemps de Septembre, Loop, Nuits du Beau Tas and Ars musica."
Plush, deeper jungle from Alex Eveson’s Dead Man’s Chest project
Brukking out for fans of Sully or Lee Gamble’s ‘ardcore revisionism in three tracks veering from patchworked cut-up styles such as High Noon In Cotham to the dextrously woven dipper Darkness At Dawn, and on a rub-a-dub tip with Hangman Posse.
Gqom Oh! showcase another new Durban artist to the northern hemisphere with Emo Kid’s Gqomtera EP, featuring strong highlights in the mean af charge of Futuristic Gqom, on the cold, electroid Zulu knocks of Digital Response.
“Durban's 23 year-old producer Emo Kid presents Gqomtera on Gqom Oh!. The record actually explores sgubhu, a strain of South African dance music that shares many stylistic parallels with gqom, though it is always written with a 4x4 beat. Like DJ Lag before him, an artist widely considered the king of gqom, Emo Kid is also considered a pioneer in Durban. At eight tracks long, Gqomtera provides a comprehensive overview of the sgubhu sound, with the aim of taking the listener on their own "Durban Journey". "I wanted to show the uniqueness of my own style which I would describe as more musical," Emo Kid explains, "you can feel the music when you listen but it still hits hard with that gqom flavor."
That gqom flavor, powered by hard, fast, uncompromising drums, provides a solid core from which everything else functions. Bright, shimmering trance synths are featured on "Futuristic Gqom". There's also space for harder, deeper cuts, the charging pace and power of "Insimbi Yase Dubane", and the anthemic "Asbambeki" featuring local crew TLC Fam. Capturing the raw, street sounds of his city, Emo Kid is the latest Durban artist to take the music global and with Gqomtera, he puts sgubhu firmly on the map. Includes a download card with four bonus tracks: "Enkwarini" featuring vocalist Fawell, "Ground Shaker", "Digital Response", and "Isukile" featuring Mapopo.”
Burial’s sophomore LP, originally issued in 2007 only a year after his pivotal debut, is another masterpiece of urban UK composition and innovative imagineering whose sense of melancholic space, pop-wise dexterity and dancefloor yearn has rarely been explored or surpassed since its release.
Where its predecessor was starkly paranoid, mostly instrumental, Untrue was gilded with gorgeous, cut-up R&B and UKG vox, and interspersed with segments of nocturnal reverie that played out like the OST for a yung UK romance that replaced posh, gurning actors with real life road characters and focussed on the spaces between - between the club and home; between night and day; masculine and feminine; waking life and dream life; Maccy D’s and alley doorways; being high AF and coming down.
It was and still is Burial’s love note to UKG and R&G, and by turns gave context and validated those genres for a lot of listeners who arguably wouldn’t have touched that sound, or at least dismissed it as pop pap or with some snide, racist undertone before Burial’s revivalist instincts hybridised it with trip hop and snarling D&B memes.
More positively, however, depending on which way you look at it, this album also opened the endorphin floodgates for a whole raft of f****e garage producers to get in touch with their feminine side, especially in contrast to prevailing, laddish dubstep rave trends, and, since that sound has faded away, it’s not hard to hear this album’s influence in the vocal processing of Mssingno, in the uneven, off-kilter swing and parry of Zomby, the patch-worked constructions of Jamie xx or Evian Christ, or in Deadboy and Murlo’s more boundary-pushing creations.
As with any album that gets a lot of attention beyond its putative scene, Untrue was an unintended red rag to the cynics and rockists - and even garage purists - but for almost anyone who recognises and appreciates that more modest, aching sort of electronic, UK street rave soul, it remains a really transcendent album that still grips like few others.
Music From Memory return with this eye-opening collection of recordings spanning 1980-1984 from Belgian/Congolese duo Denis Mpunga and Paul K, combining elements of traditional African music with experimental electronics. Having released only a handful of tracks scattered across a few LP and cassette compilations that were put out in the mid eighties by obscure european labels, this release also includes a few previously unreleased tracks that were found on the original master tapes.
"Relocating with his family from the Congo to Belgium in 1973 at the young age of 13, Denis Mpunga grew up in the industrial city of Liege and quickly became deeply embedded in it's musical scene, forming the group Gomma Percussions in 1979; a percussive group driven by West African influences that would also experiment with found objects and improvised musical instruments.
The group released only one 7' but toured and performed frequently up until as late as 2000. A side project Eko-Kuango formed by the Gomma Percussion members also saw the release in 1985 of the now much sought after 12'' ''Fura'' which also includes Denis Mpunga on vocals.
As well as a later career as a comedian and actor with roles in television and cinema, Dennis has continued to produce and compose music, perhaps most notably writing the soundtrack for ''La Promesse'' (1996) a highly regarded film by the Dardenne brothers; currently probably Belgiums most celebrated contemporary filmmakers.
Patrick Stas who would release with Denis under the Paul K. moniker was a well-known local musician in Liege and considered something of a luminary figure in the electronic and experimental music scene in Belgium. Patrick would set up the independent cassette and vinyl label ''Home Produkt'' releasing amongst others, the work of Tara Cross, who has herself been the subject of a killer V-O-D compilation in recent years.
The two of them would join forces in 1980 to work together on a soundtrack for a children's animation company called ''CAMERA etc'', recording the ''Intermezzo'' tracks which are included here. Keen to experiment further as a duo, Denis proposed the idea of combining some more traditional songs or percussive African elements with Patrick's experiments with drum computers and synthesisers.
Working around more conventional instruments such as guitar and bass, Denis would also bring Balafons, Senzas and a Zither to their recordings whilst Patrick would work with an array of synthesizers and drum machines such as a 202, TB 303 & TR 808 and Korg's MS20 & Monopoly amongst many others.
At a time when world-music was becoming hugely popular across Europe (and especially so in Belgium and France), the pair were keen to try and explore African music in a new contemporary way. Much like the intentionally provocative archival image, which Denis selected for the sleeve of Criola, the recordings set out to play with and challenge preconceptions and expectations of African music and African culture. Together, Denis Mpunga and Paul K's, if somewhat brief, musical adventure would create a fascinating new musical language, African music born out of an industrial European landscape; music which the compilation ''Criola'' reveals as both wholly unique and visionary."
Comparisons between musicians and painters don’t usually work. But biographical parallels are not unusual. And just as some paintings place their creators in a particular period in their creative lives, there are also musicians who can look back on distinct creative phases. F.S.Blumm is one such musician.
"At the end of the 90s there were alot of murmurs about the living room scene in Berlin; magical concerts on improvised stages in temporary event spaces. Back then it was about music without fat beats and bass. It was a counter-reaction against rockstars with all their posing and egos. You made music with acoustic instruments and kitchen appliances. Concerts were listened to attentively and with deep concentration. One of the protagonists of this scene was F.S.Blumm. Among other things, his love for untempered, often self-made instruments predestined him for this.
At the turn of the century virtually any kind of music which used acoustic instruments was branded „Free Folk“ or „Alternative Folk“. But other than a few ironic comments in interviews Blumm didnt try to monopolize on this supposed movement, rather he kept a poised distance from it. It was during this time that his album „Mondkuchen“ (trans. Moon Cake) was released on Morr Music. The bristly detailedness of the living room scene met serious and powerful reductionism.
F.S.Blumm has many faces. Working your way through his vast discography would be a research project all in its own right. He has collaborated with the likes of David Grubbs, Andi Otto, Harald Sack Ziegler or Nils Frahm. He realised his love for Dub Reggae with the Quasi Dub Development. In the band KINN he played dynamic Postrock. Blumm has a faible for odd beats and could write an a-z on minimal musics pattern matching. Quite where his personal musical signature lies remains something of a mystery. Nevertheless only a few bars are enough to recognize it. This may by down to his preference for open harmonies or his poingnent arrangements.
Now F.S.Blumm is entering a new phase of his creativity which one could call his nonchalant phase. Although the first few bars of his new album do sound like an echo of the deep seriousness in his studio albums with Nils Frahm. Besides a few guitar chords and the suggestion of a xylophone in the background there is nothing but the wide spaces between them. Fine almost random sounding noises are remotely reminiscent of the era of his experimental instrumental concerts with classical guitar. Then the voice comes into play and everything changes. Laid back F.S.Blumm sings with a combination of urgency and relaxation. His voice sounds like he’s standing right beside the listener, singing straight into your ear. At the same time its unobtrusive. The piece sounds touching and intimate. This is the way how „Handle Bar“ the opening track on his new album „Welcome“ is delivered.
If an artist as experienced and multifaceted as this calls his new album „Welcome“ that really says something. Many years ago the composer and instrumental musician F.S.Blumm was already active as a songwriter. He wrote songs for three duos in which he played with various singers: Bobby And Blumm with Bobby Baby, Old Splendifolia with Jana Plewa and finally Jonsson Gille & Blumm. Now for the first time since he started making music, he is singing his own songs himself. Which is like a journey back to his roots – back to his childhood bedroom with a songbook and his first guitar. With „Sounds of Silence“ and „Sister Ray“ day in day out.
With every song on „Welcome“ new doors of association are opened. The second track „New Day“ uses reverb laden drums and hymical harmonies to great effect. But F.S.Blumm always manages to make the grandiose still sound grounded. Rather than spreading himself too thin, he prefers to explore the depths.
There we find the relaxed and erotically crackling „Going Away“, the optimistic „Initial Spark“ and the casual „Overweight“. Blumm is ever traversing the field between greatness and modesty, sophisticated melodies and recordings which are like the extremely condensed sound of a cassette recorder. This aesthetic permeates the entire album.
With „Welcome“ F.S.Blumm has perfected the imperfect. Where other producers filter out the noise, pops and crackles, Blumm does the exact opposite. He reverses the roles of desired and undesirable sound. What remains are songs like sculptures left in the wake of acoustic tracks.
Brian Shimkovitz returns to SA with pure house heat from Professor Rhythm. Check for infectiously slower parallels to the NYC garage/house and New Beat phenomenon of the late ‘80s in the strident, acidic ‘Leave Me Alone’, the piano house lixx of ‘Kancane Kancane’ and the tuffer push of ‘Zama Zama’
“Professor Rhythm is the production moniker of South African music man Thami Mdluli. Throughout the 1980’s, Mdluli was member of chart-topping groups Taboo and CJB, playing bubblegum pop to stadiums. Mdluli became an in-demand producer for influential artists (like Sox and Sensations, among many others) and in-house producer for important record companies like Eric Frisch and Tusk. During the early '80s, Mdluli projects usually featured an instrumental dance track. These hot instrumentals became rather popular. Fans demanded to hear more of these backing tracks without vocals, he says, so Mdluli began to make solo instrumental albums in 1985 as Professor Rhythm. He got the name before the recordings began, from fans, and positive momentum from audiences and other musicians drove him to invest himself in a full-on solo project. It was the era just before the end of apartheid and house music hadn’t taken over yet. There wasn’t instrumental electronic music yet in South Africa. As the '80s came to a close, that was about to change.
Professor Rhythm productions mirror the evolution of dance music in South Africa. They grew out of the bubblegum mold—which itself stems from band’s channeling influences like Kool & the Gang and the Commodores—into something based on music for the club. His early instrumental recordings First Time Around and Professor 3 mostly distilled R&B, mbaqanga and bubblegum grooves into vocal-less pieces for the dance floor. Musically, these were a success and commercially the albums all went gold. There were countless bubblegum albums flooding the marketplace, with nearly disposable vocalists backed by mostly similar-sounding rhythm tracks. Most of the lyrical content was light and apolitical. But the keyboards used formed the musical basis for what would come next.”
Into The Light slot another cryptic piece of their cosmic puzzle with a lush haul of previously unreleased ambient and synth works by Akis Daoutis, who previously appeared on the label’s breakthrough compilation A Journey Into Greek Electronic Music, Classics & Rarities (1978-1991), and whose 1990 debut LP provided direct inspiration behind the label’s enigmatic moniker.
On Space, Time, And Beyond (Selected Works 1986-2016) Daoutis offers a serene mooch around his sprawling gardens of electronic delight, pulling together tracks written at home in Athens and abroad in USA where he was studying during the mid ‘80s - spanning material from as far back as 1986 in the cascading beauty of Christmas, which could almost be cut from a cords and woolly jumper John Hughes flick, thru to the breezy rhythmelodic patterning of Into The Light off his aforementioned debut LP, and right up to the introspective electro-acoustic probe of My Haunting Sins, written as recently as 2016.
It’s clearly music that comes from a sunny place, blessed with a sense of optimism between the radiant synth shimmer and swallow diving clarinet of Biofields and the fluttering up-lift music parts of New Age Rising - taken from a sought-after 40 minute composition - and with a phosphorescing duskiness that keeps the sand warm between your toes in Beach Ambience, diffracting that energy into myriad variations such as the jazz-funk butterfly, Violet and the slow boogie shuffles of Ecological Awareness and Erotica.
Romantic souls and those in need of a holiday to somewhere unaffordably lush should book their seat of this one as soon as possible.
Seekersinternational serve intoxicating tropical ambient dancehall chutney with the Gunman Cult Classics Mix for the the’ ICS Library Records label. If you put this one side to side with their cultishly loved output from the last few years, the SKRS effectively have your whole summer seleks sorted out for 2017.
The new age badmen twist and dub convention inside-out here, meshing a slew of dancehall and R&B acapellas with lush ambient strokes, rudest boogie and sidesteps into subcontinental and far eastern sounds to coolly put a fresh - yet, crucially, faithful - spin on the dancehall/dub prisms which they’re clearly infatuated with.
Absorbing heat by everyone from Gappy Ranks and 1991 to Tom & Jerry and O$VMV$M, and rubbing in special oils from Gwen Guthrie to Jody Watley and Luciano, the results are stewed in fuzzy dub FX and practically melt before your ears, ready to spread on balconies from Hulme to Barbados.
Trust this is no dilettantish half-stepping or stylistic dabbling; their picks are pure gold and the way they put them together is just A++, primed for a long, hot summer...
Paul Purgas and James Ginzburg’s Emptyset incorporate vocals into the broader structures of Skin, methodically teasing out the conceptual threads of Borders, their debut for Thrill Jockey issued earlier in 2017.
Where the taut, agitated bursts of Borders were clipped tight in structure and duration, these four new pieces adapt the same electro-acoustic techniques and custom built instrumentations to more immersive ends, allowing us to clearer hear the clash and buzz of far-flung reference points - ritual music and non-Western composition - resolving into new forms before your ears.
The two Skin parts are pent and urgent, flowing in angular geometries of spiky prangs and buzzing resonance that sound something like a West African balafon attached to a 12-string guitar played by John Fahey, and then remixed for Korean court functions, whereas Eye I catches them playing to a massed, Tony Conrad-esque monochord joined by alien overtone singers, which turns into a call for their shuttle to return them back to the mothership in the 2nd part.
Julianna Barwick teams up with Texan post rock group This Will Destroy You for an airy instrumental remix of The Puritan, some three years adrift from their Another Language  LP.
Most remarkably, Julianna’s signature vocals are barely present on her remix, only detectable as a very distant peal flit ng around the edges of a vast sound sphere, almost as if she’s using her own chest as a resonant cavity for the plangent keys and their soft, underlying pulse. It’s deliciously simple yet stately and faithful to the original, but captures something intangible that will keep us returning to it.
A new album from Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius
It comes as quite some relief to hear that after all these years away from the studio Cluster still sound like Cluster. Divided into seventeen miniatures, this latest collection explores synthesis and electronically treated sound from much the same perspective as the band's classic material. Of course, the overall sound has a rather different finish to it - much of the equipment sounds different and the production is crisp and modern - but in the soundscaping of 'Putoil' and 'Ymstrob', the low-end surges of 'Xanesra' or the stuttering glitch-dub of 'Na Ernel' you can still hear that Roedelius/Moebius magic at work. Inevitably, Qua could never sound as innovative as some of its estimable predecessors, but it's certainly worthy of the Cluster name, and that's surely a high enough accolade in itself.
Jeff Mills’ tribute to the Planets finally takes shape as a 2CD set housed in one of those clunky dual CD cases that used to house Now! compilations.
Suffice it to say that we’re not huge fans of this classical-meets-techno trajectory Mills is has been taking for the past decade - although, mind you there have been some highlights such as the Free Fall Galaxy album - but don’t let that put you off from checking this out, especially if you’re a sucker for Carl Sagan videos or retro-futuristic fetishism.