Fresh from grime legend Scratcha’s newly revived DVA Music, ‘Interludes’ revolves around 17 succinct shots landing somewhere between a modern day library LP and a computer game soundtrack...
Like his mazy, heady ‘NOTU_URONLINEU’  album for Hyperdub before it, ‘Interludes’ is testament to Scratcha’s sense of humour and the diversity of his artistic interests across a spectrum of grime, ambient, R&B and film music styles, and the way they all interrelate and make him feel.
His regular vocal spar Clara La San turns up in the all too ephemeral weightless R&B of ‘Addiction’, and we’d daresay that’s a long suffering girlfriend he’s cackling at in ’Skype’, but the most sonically arresting moments lie in the vaporous wormhole of ‘Charlie Brooker Knows Sumfin We Dnt’ and the charmingly loose dip of ‘Air Bubble’, which is also the album’s longest and only real rhythm driven tune.
Prob sounds best with a zoot.
Super crackly but captivating recordings of a school group made in Niger, near the same region as the ‘Guitars From Agadez’ albums
“I first came upon this cassette at Djadje’s market stall at the Grand Marché in Niamey in 2014. The tapes were not for sale (Djadje sells dubbed copies) so I spent the good part of a day sitting on a wooden bench in the crowded market, digitizing with a cheap walkman and ZOOM. The results weren’t pretty. Someone’s cellphone, probably my own, was sending radio interference, and the tape was distorted with staccato noise. When I heard it, I was already thousands of miles away. A few months ago, while back in Niamey, I did like any good video store patron in 1993 and left a friend’s driving license and a hefy non-refundable deposit. We brought the tape to France, digitized it, and returned it to Djadje in a months’ time.
Djadje was surprised to see the tape again. And for good reason. The tape is rare, the only copy I’ve ever seen. The recording comes from a school group from the village of Tudu, in the region of Agadez, led by a guitarist and professor Barmo. The style that would become a popular in Niger throughout the 1980s and 90s, with many similar schoolgirl groups, like the one in Tchirou (and what would go on to form the basis and genre of Sogha Niger). The guitar playing is minimal, recalling early Ali Farka Touré, answering and mimicking the lilt of the song.
The cassette also stands out with the mysterious logo and catalog number – “HASADA” – maybe something only I would obsess over. But the only other cassette from the label I’ve found was Mamman Sani’s first and signature recording that went on to become the re-release La Musique Electronique du Niger. Rumour has it that Hasada was from Nigeria, and made a few of these tapes to distribute around Niamey. He had a good ear, whoever he was.”
Inimitable percussionist Eli Keszler takes time out from 0PN’s ensemble to unfurl the incredible, dextrous rhythms and electro-acoustic jazz keen of his masterpiece, ‘Stadium’ - a spellbinding follow-up to his cherished ‘Last Signs of Speed’ LP and recent duties working on 0PN’s ‘Age Of’ and Laurel Halo’s ‘Raw Silk Uncut Wood’ sides. For us this is one of the defining albums of the year - an isolationist avant-jazz masterpiece that is a total must-hear for late-night listeners and, we reckon, anyone with a pulse and especially recommended if yr into Milford Graves, Max Roach, Han Bennink, Conjoint, Jan Jelinek, Miles Davis...
With both his close collaborators Daniel ‘0PN’ Lopatin and Laurel Halo smoking in the back seat of ’Stadium’, Keszler is the dynamic battery behind a shadow-strafing suite of spidery rhythms and inquisitive jazz gestures, effortlessly binding avant instrumental dexterity with cool blue harmolodic sentiment in a timeless style that could feasibly be dated to any point between the mid ‘70s heyday of jazz-fusion and right now, except for those spectacuarly subtle production flourishes that render this album pretty much indefinable. It’s both highly complex and entirely accessible - in the most thought provoking, evocative way.
Painted in diffuse strokes, darting flurries, and intoxicatingly rich tones, ’Stadium’ shows off Keszler’s expressive grasp of meter, texture and proprioception from myriad angles. Combined with floating Rhodes chords, sighing woodwind and field recordings, the results also demonstrate his uncanny capacity to transmute sound to limn landscapes, architecture and the sensation of being lost in a crowd. In the case of ’Stadium’ he uses this ability to specifically reflect his recent house move from the semi-industrial scape of South Brooklyn to the high rise vistas and street level bustle of Manhattan, beautifully connoting multi-storeyed perspectives and a sense of scale that zooms from the atomic to the panoramic via a gauzy, morphing middle-distance.
Within this space, Keszler navigates webs of sound as structurally fascinating as a spider’s web or a deep space image of a distant constellation, seemingly moving on eight legs along steep vertical and fast-flowing horizontal axes with a shocking grasp of precision and pointillism that will leave new listeners to his work scratching their heads, wondering how to programme such chicanery electronically. But as longer term followers of Keszler’s work know, the magick is all acoustic and haptic; physically converting impressions of images and emotions into overlapping geometries of geography and psychology - and in this case effectively projecting a singular, inverted form of sonic deep topography, if you will.
Perhaps the most wondrous thing about ‘Stadium’ is the way it describes the paradoxical quality of keeping your head amid the chaos - a notion that will surely resonate with inner city dwellers as much as fans of the finest noise, jazz, avant-garde music of all stripes, and is firmly at the heart of ’Stadium’ and its amorphous milieu of sound.
Simply an incredible album.
PAN tout a real beauty with Stine Janvin’s scintillating vocal suite ‘Fake Synthetic Music’ - a transfixing and distinguished demonstration of the voice as a hugely flexible instrument, presented in a range of minimalist yet extreme, probing scenarios providing a radical new perspective on familiar sounds.
Conceived as a full-body physical and ambient live performance for theatres, clubs and galleries, ‘Fake Synthetic Space’ is an intently focussed and singular follow-up to Stine’s previous solo LP ‘In Labour’ [Pica Disk, 2014] and her input to last year’s Native Instrument release ‘Camo’ for Shelter Press. Where both of those releases found her vocals combined with field recordings in myriad ways, the Norwegian artist’s latest side is stripped right back to vocals and FX, offering a visceral investigation of her full frequency range with results that explore the deeply uncanny auditory phenomena of otoacoustic emissions in melodic, minimal sequences referencing pop, techno, and trance.
Placed in a broad history of extended vocal investigation ranging from Dadaist poetry to the resonant acoustics of Alvin Lucier, the minimalist abstraction of Steve Reich, and the unearthly sonic spectrum covered by Maja Ratkje, ‘Fake Synthetic Music’ is anchored in the modern day by its use of clinically technoid pulses and repetition, and not least by its ambiguous title, especially in the age of fake news. Through the prism of the voice, Stine both literally and metaphorically reflects contemporary obsessions with authenticity and artifice, using trickery and illusion to strangely reinforce her own sense of self and likewise provide listeners with a life affirming experience.
Between the alien cadence of ‘Mood’, the playfully invasive sounds elicited from Glitch’, and most strikingly in the mesmerising stereo swing of ‘Like Right Now’, Stine presents genuinely shocking rearrangements of her voice quite unlike anything out there right now, and by the time the escalating pitches of ‘Tripple A’ and the whooping avant-jazz-techno of ‘Zen Garden’ have exerted their effect, it’s becomes patently, piercingly clear that Stine’s sound art operates on a remarkably incisive plane of synaesthetic perception.
Preeminent sound artists William Basinski and Lawrence English roll out the quietly breathtaking ’Selva Oscura’ as the first fruit of their collaborations spanning the past half decade and more.
Mantled in reference to Dante’s Inferno, ‘Selva Oscura’ literally translates to ‘Twilight Forest’, a title which serves as metaphorical device for the way Basinski and English’s lives in transit have serendipitously crossed paths over the years between Zagreb, L.A., and Hobart, in a variety of situations. On another level it also speaks to the nature of losing one’s way in place and time, which is beautifully reflected in the music’s disorienting, otherworldly ebb and flow flux.
Using a palette of sounds broken down, magnified and inverted from macro to micro scales and vice-versa, and mailed to each other between L.A. and Brisbane, the results map out vast tracts of psychic terrain that shift like the sands of time, with sounds perpetually rearranging themselves on the granular level to render a broader, slow moving tapestry of sublime, anaesthetic quality.
The A-side’s ‘Mono No Aware’ (Japanese for “the pathos things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”) is a captivatingly transient and hypnagogic work of sferic tones and sprawling wide bass, lulling listeners into a state of lushest melancholy with the allure of a time-lapse video of autumnal weather patterns. ‘Selva Oscura’ follows with a discernibly darker and submersed appeal, as though the clouds have come down to us (or us to them?) and we’re left wandering the firmament, initially swaddled in a creamy grey-pink expanse marbled with pealing partials, before crossing oceanic basses and gently touching down to pinch ourselves.
‘Apparitions’ is the superlative debut album by Forest Drive West, steadily scaling from fast, mutant footwork/D&B to beatless ambient via rolling techno variations, and back up to sidewinding 150bpm styles. Dead solid, full spectrum bass business.
“This is the debut long player from Forest Drive West. 'Apparitions' is a fascinating further development of the producer's intricate fusions of techno, dub and jungle. The acclaimed UK artist has released two EPs on the label before now, as well as on its sister label dnuoS ytiviL and the likes of Hidden Hawaii, Appian Sound, and London drum & bass outlet Rupture. Little is known about the London based producer but in just a couple of years he has established his own unique blend of complex rhythms and tactile sound design, distilling a rich history of UK musical influences into fresh new forms.
This record continues in that tradition with a mix of sparse rhythm tracks that contrast heavy weight drum programming with rich and deft sound design. From menacing and mysterious, to cinematic and hypnotic, it makes for a compelling and immersive experience. 'Apparitions' is a landmark release for one of the UK's most exciting new producers.”
Lone returns to the ‘floor on the 4th ‘Ambivert Tools’ session...
On ‘Pulsar’ he operates at full wingspan with sexy, latinate electro and breakbeat trills cushioned in widescreen pads to soundtrack your festival instagram stories. ‘Oedo’ then tightens up on a Vibert-esque electro-acid pivot, and ‘Blue Moon Tree’ swings out into jazzier, deeper ambient house vibes.
Carla Dal Forno yields her self-released cover versions tape, ‘Top Of The Pops’, which was previously only available on her 2018 US tour
Recorded on the cusp of winter/spring, it features Dal Forno placing a gently haunted spin on personal pop & wave favourites by The B-52’s, Rénee, The Kiwi Animal, Liliput, Lana Del Rey, and The Fates.
Stripped down to their essence, the songs provide a fine showcase for Carla’s strong yet plaintive vocals and skill in painting and framing her subtle instrumental backdrops. The results are most alluring in her skeletal reduction of the B-52’s ‘Give Me Back My Man’, with its seaside town-in-winter ambience, and in the dark blue stripe of her take on Lana Del Rey’s ’Summertime Sadness’, but we’re sure you’ll all have your own favourites.
Sold out at source. Think quick if you’d like one.
‘Chindia Tower Impalements’ is Âmes Sanglantes’ foul and torrid 3 hour dedication to Vlad The Impaler, the infamous Voivode of Wallachia during the 15th century. Three years after the original tape release, and in parallel with a new 3CD reissue, Hospital Productions see fit to dispense this downloadable version, remastered for purpose by Paul Corley.
“Âmes Sanglantes means "bloody souls". Nowhere else in Âmes Sanglantes' sprawling and massive wild/punk/junk discography has this idea been more focused than on the epic and original Chindia Tower Impalements, as well as on cult tapes like Anti-Anti (1999), Mega Star Barbies, Violation, and the immense and impossible 12-hour-long Crackdown cassette box from Hospital Productions last year. This newly remastered version is the definitive document revealing the cruelty of the Wallachian landscape myths and realities. Dracula vs. Vlad Tepes... Caustic, brittle, and eerie, the six long-duration tracks secure Âmes Sanglantes as one of the most original and overlooked extreme electronic monikers of the '90s North American cassette underground.
Distorted but textural where the voices of young androgynous screams mingle together with chirping birds and wolf breath. It's the subtle layering and tape splicing structure beneath the crust that elevates this above the average "noise" recording. You will have to dig and claw past the walls built out of clay bricks, but beyond that is a rich and subtle world of loops equal parts Georges Braque and William Basinski, like collapsing scaffolding melting and crumbling on top of each other. This is rotting electro-acoustic studies where one can see a portrait float to the surface in the rippling and muddy puddles. Shockingly, after nearly 100+ cassette-only release since 1996, this comes forward as the first Âmes Sanglantes compact disc. A true student of the '90s, you'll find a stunning presentation that is equal parts in reference to Cold Meat Industry as well as Japan's Alchemy Records. So open up the old CD changer, light a few candles, and a pour the red wine for an epic that revives the imagination of times lost and losses yet to come. RIYL: William Basinski, Incapacitants, Brighter Death Now, and the early works of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement. Remastered by Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Ben Frost, Prurient).”
Cult noise alchemists Skin Crime leave a fresh mark on Hospital Productions with 'Ghosts I Have Been,' following the label’s 20CD boxset release Case Studies In Early Taxidermy . Emerging at a fecund juncture in the Hospital Productions’ catalogue, Skin Crime’s latest miasmic pall serves a disciplined and elemental definition of ‘noise’ dynamics at their abstract, affective and invasively visceral best.
“Ghosts I Have Been is the first album from the supreme atmospheric noise band Skin Crime since their colossal 20-CD box set collection on Hospital Productions in 2015. Anyone who attended the Hospital Productions 20 Years Festival in New York City and saw Skin Crime perform their first live show in nearly 15 years will understand the deep masterful balance of tension, texture, and dynamism that has been the signature since the early '90s of this cult and collectible project. A defining characteristic is the fact that Skin Crime is a band with multiple members which brings live space and intricacy to a genre otherwise isolated to the confines of stagnation.
Ghosts I Have Been exhibits the usual mix of concrete sounds with raw electric noise slowly and seamlessly building into crescendo. Unlike the early obsession with various forms of butchery, Ghosts I Have Been shows the darker more austere side of the subject matter of decay, small rural towns, an antique shop with an uncanny selection of dusty old books of stories you might rather not know about, or an old library which seems eager to open its doors to readers but reluctant to open them.”
Legendary DIY synthesist Colin Potter finishes off a project started in ’82 with ‘Blacksound’, a tarry streak of dissociative drones originally conceived as an expansion of the track ‘Forest Of Galtres’ which lay unfinished for decades until he recently returned to it with the idea of slowing down and manipulating the material the old skool way. Recording on 4-track and only using the analogue instruments available to him back then - Korg synth and sequencer, a fuzz box, an E-bow guitar and primitive tape echo - Potter has now made the results available on this limited tape.
Perfectly self-described as “…like looking through the wrong end of a telescope’, the results form a kind of immersive regression to the Forest of Galtres’ medieval history, or to our mind they do at least. Actually, we’re probably thinking of regression in terms usually depicted on TV or in film - all swirly mists, verdant oaks and peasants in brown rags digging for turnips - and their accompanying soundtracks, which this session strongly recalls.
If you’re at all familiar with the area surrounding Potter’s IC studio, nestled in the Ridings south of the barren North Yorkshire Moors in the Forest of Galtres, it’s not difficult to place this album in context, where it really takes on a life its own.
Highly recommended for halloween, this.
Sene greases up and gets down with the decelerated EBM industrial patterns of Berlin’s Unknown Precept
Working in tight space between the styles of, say, Tolouse Low Trax and his new label mate, Cienfuegos, Sene’s ‘I Heard You Laughing’ approaches the ‘floor with deep swagger in ’Trade Union’, before heading down darker avenues with the fizzing rhythm and glum atmosphere of ‘Et Cætera’, and holding down a brooding, cold sort of exotica in ‘La case Moment’, and wrapping up very nicely with the shadow-strafing shift of ‘Nocturne’.
Tim Jones, also known as Preacherman and recorded under Midi Man, Ironing Board Band and T.J. Hustler made one very rare lp, and two even rarer CD’s. These tracks are from the CD’s.
"He was a salesman for IBM in Las Vegas, where he sold Selectric Typewriters and then word processors during the day and at night he would perform in the Las Vegas lounges. He was somewhat of an engineer and adapted a Hammond B3 organ to play a moog synth with some of the organ keys, (some still played the organ), and he adapted the organ’s foot controlled bass levers to play two Moog synth bass pedals (a failed item Moog made for a few years.) Thinking he wasn’t much of a live performer he had a wooden puppet made that he named T.J Hustler, and together with the puppet, he would engage in long philosophical soliloquies, (some of which are featured on this album).
If you meet Tim, he is not someone who stops talking. In fact he even created a little book called Universal Philosophy. He has a lot to say about everything. Currently he lives with his 103 year old mother in Oakland. There he infrequently plays shows on his Casio where he fashions himself a live Karaoke performer, who comes complete with 5 wireless mics and P.A. and a list of about a 100 songs he can play. His invented organ contraption and puppet are in storage in Las Vegas, and he seems intensely uninterested in getting them out, as “The kids these days want to hear the sounds the Casio makes.”
Mute bundle 17 highlights, including two bonus tracks, from Manc punk-funk troop A Certain Ratio
Throwing back to the heyday of Manchester multi-cultural groove explosion, there some proper evergreens inside, including the sleazy twist of ‘Wild Party (12” Version)’, the utopian dance-pop of ‘Won’t Stop Loving You (Bernard Sumner Mix)’, the 7” mix of their jazz-funk turn ’Shack Up’, and the gauzy groove of ‘Knife Slits Water (7” Version)’.
The KVB put another gallon in the tank with ‘Only Now Forever’, their 6th LP of motorik, melodic wave pop. RIYL Death In Vegas, Beak>, Spacemen 3
“After intense touring their 2016 release ‘Of Desire’, The KVB returned to their home to further immerse themselves in sonic experimentation. The resulting Only Now Forever heralds the next chapter in the adopted-Berliners dark, electronic pop development.
“On our new album we wanted to take everything we had learned in the studio recording our last album and apply it to self-producing this album,” explains the band. Recorded entirely in their Berlin apartment throughout 2017 the band decided they wanted to take a freer approach to writing and recording. “In the past, we had always tried to restrict ourselves productions wise, to what was possible to play live as a duo, but this time we wanted to expand our compositions and instrumentation, and let the atmosphere dictate the layers of sound.”
Whilst holding evident inspiration from previous times, the sound this London-founded duo present is progressive and distinctly new in every sense. Idyllic at times; gritty in others, each bar is as enchanting as the last, leaving you in a melancholic trance.
Offering poignant lyricism that explores modern anxieties that plague many, the duo manage to imbue feelings of empowerment, fighting such struggles with a deceivingly sanguine sound. This seamless juxtaposition is perhaps their best trait.”
Auntie Flo mosaic worldly rhythms and balmy synths with fragrant field recordings on their 3rd LP and debut with Brownwood Recordings. Listen up for highlights in the moody blue and string out ‘Cape Town Jam’, and the 808-heavy, Afrobeats-compatibility of ‘Western Princes’
“Auntie Flo joins the Brownswood roster to deliver his third and most ambitious album to date. The Glasgow-raised producer, of Goan-Kenyan heritage, has often featured collaborators from different spots he’s visited, and this new record takes that approach to another level. Contributions come from a globetrotting cast of friends, including Laurie Pitt, of Glasgow’s Golden Teacher, Senegalese multi-instrumentalist Mame ndiack, UK producer and singer Andrew Ashong and Cuban percussionist Yissy Garcia.
It arrives as the natural companion piece to his Radio Highlife show on Worldwide FM, the online station run by Brownswood boss, Gilles Peterson. Regularly touring to DJ in various cities around the world, it’s a pursuit that’s gone hand-in-hand with the global slant of his music – with the local radio often being his first introduction to new cities. It follows in the path of Glasgow’s Highlife club night which he co-founded, playing music from West Africa and Latin America which broke out of the city’s house and techno mould. Likewise, his own music has always been laced with percussion, ideas and inspirations that reflect a far-reaching perspective.”
A revelatory study of Philip Corner’s experimental compositions circa 1958 and 2016. Performed by Rhodri Davies, among others
“Extremes are extreme, extremely. For Philip Corner, a lifelong commitment to extremes - extreme expression, extreme beauty, extreme noise, extreme silence - developed a mastery of expression, any one extreme may result in all of the others. In gripping new recordings by the duo of Silvia Tarozzi, violin, and Deborah Walker, cello - with assistance from Rhodri Davies, harp, and Philip Corner, piano - Corner's early ensemble works from 1958 are paired with newer, late works from 2015-2016.
The works from 1958, "Two-part monologue" and "FINALE,” were composed while Corner was teaching at City College and still finishing his Masters at Columbia University under Henry Cowell and Otto Luening. Extremes being extreme, they were too extreme for Columbia. Yet, Corner completed his degree and continued to stretch on, creating works somewhere between the supercomputer-refined micro-tunings of James Tenney and the ecstatic enactments of Malcolm Goldstein, his Tone Roads bandmates. Now, with the world (somewhat) caught up, we can appreciate Philip Corner’s EXTREEMIZMS, early and late, together.”
‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ serves Foodman at his playful, innovative best, fusing Footwork with jazz and ambient notions for Cameron Stallones a.k.a. Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label
The latest in a mazy line of characteristically cartoonish creations by Takahide Higuchi’s Foodman avatar, ‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ is his first release since a prolific 2016 period, and first vinyl issue since ‘Ez Minoku’ for Orange Milk that same year.
It feels like Foodman used the time between these releases to step outside and review his sound, returning some of his most minimal yet detailed arrangements of footwork tics, 4th world exotica, and balmy jazz references, and in a way that beautifully reflects Sun Ark’s gently psychedelic remit as much as the loose, colourful markings of his pencil, felt tip and crayon drawings, included in an accompanying booklet.
This one’s a keeper.
Koichi Matsukaze's incredibly rare and much sought-after album Earth Mother sees a deluxe repress on BBE Music. This is the third highly anticipated release in the series.
"Regarded as one of the most sought-after yet elusive albums from a pivotal era in Japanese jazz, Earth Mother was originally issued in 1978 on ALM, a private label home to some of the most innovative jazz, contemporary classical and free improvisational music released in Japan during the late 70s and early 80s. It was here that Earth Mother found a natural home among the experimental and transgressive, destined to remain in obscurity for decades until the album’s muscular, bass-driven title track was included as the opening cut on BBE’s acclaimed compilation J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984. It was a fitting way to start such a landmark collection and the track quickly became a favourite among DJs and jazz fans.
Earth Mother sees saxophonist Matsukaze team up once again with legendary drummer and band leader Furusawa Ryojiro; joined by Tamio Kawabata on bass to form the core trio which is augmented by Daitoku Toshiyuki on acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes.
This is a mythic album, seen and heard by very few; often among the top wants for even the most hardcore jazz collectors. The album ranges from heavyweight spiritual jazz and post-bop burners, to Dolphy-esque experimentation (Don't Worry About Tenor Saxophone) and a singular take on the classic, Round Midnight."
With Shadow Aesthetics, Marc Barreca accomplishes something rare in electronic and ambient musics. The fluid, dynamic changes and movement within pieces; the complexities in time and pitch variation and evolution—typically absent from the mostly homogenous constructs of drone and ambient—all bring previously unavailable depth, shading and emotional charges to a form usually admired for its neutrality.
"Shadow Aesthetics results from a virtual arsenal of digital and analog sources operating in a complex system of origination, structuring, processing and editing. The result is a moving, articulate and complex work: music that is a profoundly emotive, original, and experimental electronic work that is in many ways the culmination of decades of listening, performing and composing in a form known best for continuous change.The album includes an eight-page booklet and a digital download code for the complete album plus two bonus tracks.
Marc Barreca has been creating and performing electronic music since the mid-1970s. His 1980 album, Twilight, reissued on vinyl last year, was one of the earliest releases on PoL. Shadow Aesthetics is his eighth solo album for the label. Recent releases include Aberrant Lens (2017) and three collaborations with K. Leimer. Reissues include work on the acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture, an upcoming Cherry Red compilation of seminal U.S. electronic music and the 1983 cassette, Music Works for Industry, now on vinyl. His work is also included in the collection of The British Library."
Cinematic transition from country inflected widescreen styles to kosmiche synths, executed by the David Holmes-affiliated Documenta for Touch Sensitive...
“Following on from their sold-out LP for Touch Sensitive and a digital reissue of it’s predecessor, Documenta take a break from their Drone Pop trilogy to introduce the Lady With The Ring - Margorie McCall - “lived once, buried twice”.
McCall lived in rural Ireland in the early 18th century. She succumbed to a fever and was hastily buried in Lurgan’s Shankill cemetery. Her grave was visited by “a tramp of disreputable character with a reckless and thieving disposition” who drew blood as he tried to prise the ring from her finger, awakening the dead woman who subsequently lived for many years after.
The Lady With The Ring EP sees Documenta’s regular seven-piece lineup temporarily swell with narration from author and musician Will Carruthers (Playing The Bass With Three Left-Hands, Spacemen 3, Spiritualized) providing counterpoint to Roisin Stewart’s hazed vocals as she tells the story from the dead woman’s lips.
Self recorded in one weekend a stones-throw from McCall’s grave and subsequently re-worked and shaped by the group, Lady With The Ring introduces sparkling synthesized passages and an organic ‘cosmic-blues’ to Documenta’s already lush sonic expanse.”
Austin, TX’s Samantha Glass collapses hardcore techno, Carpenter-esque sci-fi themes and darkwave EBM dirge into a strong 2nd album for local label, HOLODECK
“Enigmatic Austin based producer/starlet Samantha Glass untangles their serpentine mind on the ambitious new full length Nine Memories Between Impression and Imprint. Since 2010, Beau Devereaux has chronicled their romantic and turbulent process of self-identification as Samantha Glass through the use of electronics, field recordings and a seductive, baritone voice. Abstract soundscapes rise and fall around addictively brooding ballads and introspective monologues as Glass deconstructs themself beneath the weight of their poetry and lyrics. Nine Memories Between Impression and Imprint unveils an allure through vulnerability, elegantly depicting the endless audition of becoming Samantha Glass.
Devereaux came from rural beginnings in the countryside of Wisconsin before spending most of their adult life engrossed in Madison’s noise, power violence and punk DIY scenes. They sought to create a balanced form of art representative of their ever fluid sexuality and gender identity while incorporating elements of dark wave, musique concrète and New Age music. Samantha Glass evolved into an outlet for drag-based performance art coupled with drum machines, cassette loops and down-tempo crooning. Through years of touring and a prolific discography, Glass came to be known beyond the Midwest as one of the most dense and multi-layered projects amongst experimental music spheres. This exploratory essence gives Glass a broad crossover appeal as they dive into new territory with each successive release. Narrating a uniquely nuanced perspective on life and art, Glass richly crafts each composition around deeply rooted biographical and contemporary themes, encapsulating a haunting and captivating portrayal of an elaborately creative mind.”
‘Light Pipe’ is a typically expansive missive by modular maestro M. Geddes Gengras, clocking in at 2.5 hours of abstract deep space ambience with traces of ‘70s synth epics and ‘90s chill-out functions smudged and teased into diaphanous new abstractions.
“To summarise the work of M.Geddes Gengras is no easy feat. A tireless artist, whose output sprawls across experimental dub, ambient and low key techno, his wide ranging discography reveals a curiosity that serves as a primary driver for creation.
Light Pipe is arguably Gengras’ most ambitious recording project to date. His 10th solo recording is an epic undertaking, spanning over two and a half hours. Across the two CD set, Gengras charts out evocative landscapes of texture and harmony. Working with very simple elements, he creates a tidal like sound space, where sound layers flow seamlessly, rising and falling with an ever-changing sense of motion.
These pieces were written across several years responding the site specific performance situations. These include a durational performance in Los Angeles at The Getty Center’s Irwin Garden, a special performance alongside the banks of the LA river and performances at the El Rey & Regent Theatres, Each disc in this edition focuses specifically on either interior and exterior spaces; the indoor and the outdoor, reflecting the specific conditions of how sound operates in these types of situations.
Light Pipe is a long-form work within which multiple states of listening are possible and moreover encouraged. It’s music that is ideal for deep immersion; for sleep, for flying and for any creative states within which a sense of expansion is needed.”
‘Bunny’ is Matthew Dear’s first new album since 2012, and lands nearly 20 years since his debut on Ghostly International
Trust he knows how to grow older gracefully, as ‘Bunny’ works to a steady mid-tempo with lots of processed croon, really focussing his work into a pop-wise framework, with dancing resulting as a possible side-effect.
Man like Brassfoot on a cranky skank for Don’t Be Afraid, turning out his first 12” since a banner year in 2016
Under the pronged title ‘Indentured Servitude’, the NTS radio regular and London type firmly plays into the DBA dancefloor aesthetic on six skewed grooves leaning towards the most wrecked and boisterous ends of the day/night.
As ever, Brassfoot articulates his rhythms with curt diction and X-amounta noise to properly rugged effect, resulting heavyweight tackle in the jacking EBM recursions of ‘Followers Fate’ and the filthy bleep techno grind of ‘Psycho-Spiritual Parasites’ on the A-side, and likewise with the rolling jungle-tekno mutation of ‘Surfing On Haemoglobin’ and a messed up jacker named ‘Blame it on the Tame’ on the B-side.
G.B. Beckers’ languid, etheric minimalist guitar and drum machine suite ‘Walkman’  resurfaces in its entirety on the inestimable Music From Memory. Big tip to fans of The Durutti Column, Gigi Masin...
“Music FroM Memory’s latest release sees the reissue of G.B. Becker’ ‘Walkman’ album from 1982. A painter and musician from Achen, Germany, Günther Beckers created his third album ‘Walkman’ to coincide with an exhibition of his latest body of artwork in 1982. Released on his very own ‘Milky Music’ label with a run of just 500 copies and original pieces of artwork included with some copies, most copies of the album however remained amongst art collectors and with the painter himself. Rediscovered a few years ago through a friend of Music From Memory in the archives of a local radio station where all but one of the stations copies has beed destroyed, it has been an album the label have been in love with since the first listen.
Touring as a guitarist with ECM affiliated musicians such as Alex De Grassi, William Ackerman, Ralph Towner & Larry Coryell to name but a few, Günther Beckers also would record on a number of releases of Klaus Schulze’s cult electronic music label ‘Innovative Communication’.
Always exploring new ideas and the possibilities of technology within his music, Günther would record the ‘Walkman’ album utilising the ‘Kunstkopf’ technique of sound recording. Kunstkopf of ‘Dummy Head’ recording is a 3D audio recording technology that enables listeners to define each source of sound as if they were in the original recording situation itself. using two microphones which are usually mounted in the ears of a mannequin (giving it the ‘Dummy Head’ name in English) the technique exploits certain basic principles of human spatial hearing.
Listeners to ‘Kunstkopf’ recordings are in fact encouraged to listen to such recordings on headphones, as the 3D perception is often greatly diminished on speakers. With the title ‘walkman G.B. Becker was very much hoping the album would be enjoyed on headphones, even portably through a Walkman. Minimalist variations around acoustic guitar, guitar synth, rhythm box and with wordless female vocals, G.B. Becker’ ‘Walkman’ drifts in and out of moods; it is a unique and at times hauntingly beautiful album, which the Kunstkopf recording technique further adds to the albums at times often otherworldly feeling.”
UKF originator Hardhouse Banton on a slinky hustle ’n bustle for Roska Kicks & Snares.
‘Colonel’ catches him riding the cowbell on a well-tucked and minimalist wriggler underlined with acidic bass. ‘Export’ is ruder, still hingeing off a spare cowbell, but this time building the energy with teasing chords and offset parries to sound cannily close to classic Martyn joints.
Puristic works for Oscillators, performed by some 10 players on each of 4 tracks
““Listening” is the key word for the Ensemble oscillator. An absolute control of the musical material is not the primary goal. Performers are indeed guided by notation but due to its nature of purity and simplicity, an active listening is required. Just like in musique concrète, it is the matter that makes the music; the accumulation of this matter is the music. Forcing a deep listening—a heightened awareness of the sonic environment, significant to Pauline Oliveros’ work and theory—the listener will necessarily perceive micro-changes, subtleties, and fine details. Even if the music of the ensemble is more gestural than drone music, a strong link does exist in the way of absorbing this music made of non-extravagant musical matter.”
Lucy & Rrose merge as The Lotus Eaters for a dense and murky trip to the nether fields of abstract techno.
“Lucy and Rrose, now coming together as The Lotus Eaters, have established themselves separately as techno artists who are just as comfortable operating in the uncharted area of experimental music. Running their own labels (Stroboscopic Artefacts and Eaux, respectively), they have gained a cult following, both influencing and challenging the direction of techno.
Their first collaboration took the form of mutual remixes. Lucy remixed Rrose, taking on his modern classic “Waterfall” while Rrose remixed Dadub for Stroboscopic Artefacts, and shortly thereafter contributed an extended EP as part of SA’s Monad series.
Eventually, the idea of working together became inevitable. Several intense sessions in Lucy’s Berlin studio followed, using mainly analog hardware. These sessions gave birth to a new project, starting with two EPs signed Lucy and Rrose, called “The Lotus Eaters” (SA) and “The Lotus Eaters II” (Eaux). With the “Desatura” album, the first release signed under the project name The Lotus Eaters, their common work is refined further, also becoming a live act which will debut at ADE (Amsterdam) 2018.
With “Desatura,” Lucy and Rrose explore themes of physical density, emptiness, and space, creating sonic objects which can be rotated and viewed from multiple perspectives. Eschewing the typical instrumentation of techno, the duo use synthesized sound and feedback as fundamental sources to generate both textural and percussive elements. A sense of tension and weight emerge from sources that cannot be easily pinpointed. The resulting album forms a complex narrative from a paradoxically simple and restrained set of sound sources. A mysterious and profound accomplishment.”
Factory Floor unfold their full length live score to Fritz Lang’s seminal, silent 1920s sci-fi ‘Metropolis’, which they previously performed live at the Science Museum’s IMAX in April 2017, coinciding with the film’s 90th anniversary of release
With over 150 minutes of the film to soundtrack, Gabe Gurnsey and Nik Colk Void a.k.a. Factory Floor cover a lot of bases, from tense greyscale ambient to needling electro and pulsating techno and industrial minimalism, often in the same track, which scale from tense, 3 minutes themes, and up to a 20 minute-long tract of woozy slow electro.
The 5th solo album by Holger Czukay, ‘Rome Remains Rome’ bubbles up for its 30th anniversary reissue on Gronland - bastion of all things good and Krautrock
Arriving after a string of total classics such as ‘Movies’ and ‘Full Circle’’, and before his ambient outings with David Sylvian, 1987’s ‘Rome Remains Rome’ is a typically, lysegically playful and odd collection of songs tripping lines between pop, jazz and the avant-garde.
Make sure to check it for Holger’s possessed vocals on the psychedelic whirligig of ‘Sudetenland’, an appearance of then pope Karol Wojtyła on ‘Blessed Easter’, and the intoxicating drift of ‘Music in the Air’.
Chugging’ cold disco from Strapontin, a Belgian producer who has the honour of kicking off Optimo’s new, lean and mean Digital Danceforce wing
The title cut bridges classic chug with dynamically up-to-date electronics, and ‘Intraveinuse’ follows suit with a warped, recoiling groove echoing classic Conny Plank production and quaalude-fuelled NYC excess.
Best of all is ‘Sweet Sweet Sweet’, where he really comes into his own at a higher tempo with some glorious, layered synth and vocal processing, and ‘No reply’ slides back down a greasy pole to proper darkroom disco styles.
Riko Dan lights up Scratcha DVA’s heavyweight 3rd ‘DRMTRK EP’ on his DVA Music label
Firing some of DVA’s most up-for-it tunes in a minute, Riko Dan stamps his size 12s all over the high energy soca-grime missile ‘Shot Walk Inna Dem’, before DVA bruks wild on three instrumentals; the bashy tribal swang of ‘Kong’; the dubbed out Gqom clatter of ‘Drm Walk’; and the brassy UKF/grime bullet ‘King’.
Scratcha DVA cuts wickedly loose on Gqom-meets-UKF styles for his refreshed DVA Music label
‘Drmtrk (Tribute 2 DBN)’ hits square between the eyes of current UK and SA dance musics with a barrage of clenched, bashy percussion and warped garage/grime bass in two mean versions.
‘Make & Cheeze’ follows with a ruggeder stick ’n move groove lacing dancehall chat into technoid rhythmelodies, and before he injects Gqom styles with a proper, nutty UK rave flavour and cold drill snares on ‘Square Off’.
Scratcha DVA’s killer ‘DRMTRK’ series continues with guest vocals by Jessy Lanza and Lady Lykez lending a potent feminine pressure
‘DRMTRK 3’ finds Jessy Lanza eazing off DVA’s tuff percussive battery with feathered R&B delicacy, and ‘DRMTRK 4 (Who Want Smoke?)’ collapses into a plangent plead for green.
Lady Lykez jumps on the militant bashment of ‘Muhammad Ali’ with ferocious, focussed style, and ‘Fatherboard’ sidewinds off into Bassline-style antics with typically mental voracity.
‘Disappearer’ is Ron Morelli’s 4th album of grot for Hospital Productions.
The L.I.E.S. boss (and fellow Parisian resident Krikor Kouchian as co-pilot on a handful of cuts) produces his tightest, most hard-hitting material to date, from the gothic slime of ‘Narco Frq’ to the slurried ’Squeeze’, vacillating between heavy techno, kerb-crawling electro and passages of tonal terror with a persistent stare-down mentality, giving up highlights in primitivist knocks and coenobite chatter of ‘Laugh Taker’, the Prurient-esque squall of ‘Golden Oldies’, a recursive missile named ‘Hole In The Head’, and the gloomy creeper, ’Snow On The Headstone’.
‘Der Osten Ist Rot’ is a wigged-out 1984 treat helmed by Can’s Holger Czukay, with drums by his legendary bandmate Jaki Liebzeit and vital synth input from Conny Plank.
Now making its first official digital release, the 1984 album was Czukay’s 3rd solo side, proper, following from ‘Movies’ , and ‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’  in pursuit of an elusive, avant and pop-wise spirit that would also be explored on its follow-up ‘Rome Remains Rome’, before Czukay set off on two seminal ambient trips with David Sylvian in 1988-’89 (recently reissued and very much worth a look-see!).
‘Der Osten Ist Rot’ is perhaps most notorious for both its balmy, mis-leading opener, the strolling new wave pop bop of ‘The Photo Song’, and its title track, an exotica-tinged cover of the 1960’s Chinese national anthem, ‘The East Is Red’, which is likely a nod to his former tutor Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‘Hymnal’ suite of mutated anthems.
However, the fun doesn’t stop with those two - the rest of the album is a madcap ride, coolly swerving from grooving, brassy avant-disco in ‘Bänkel Rap’, to a haunting organ and vocal piece by Michy (who also turns up on Czukay’s ‘Flux & Mutability’ LP with David Sylvian), and taking in the wild studio cut-up of ‘Collage’, along with the supremely crafty, weightless gait of ‘Das Massenmedium’ which, like album closer ‘Traum Mal Wieder’ strongly recalls his work on the cult ‘Las Vampyrettes’ outing with Conny Plank, while the uncannily prescient rhythmic concrète of ‘Schaue Vertrauensvoll In Die Zukunft’ also deserves a mention.
Four pieces for flute and voice composed between 1985-2018 by Mary Jane Leach, a pivotal part of NYC’s pioneering avant-garde community since the 1970s and an active member of the legendary DownTown Ensemble, working alongside peers including Arthur Russell, Ellen Fullman, Peter Zummo, Philip Corner and Arnold Dreyblatt, as well as devoting years to the preservation of Julius Eastman’s legacy since his death in 1990. Mary Jane's vinyl debut 'Pipe Dreams' arrived last year via the Blume imprint and completely blew us away, and '(f)lute songs’ is only her second vinyl release in over five decades, feeding and expanding our obsession with her work.
In the late 1970’s Mary Jane Leach was triggered by an interview she heard with Steve Reich in which he implored artists to figure out ways of becoming more self sufficient when it came to performance rather than relying on traditional group structures. At the time Leach had already began to experiment with recordings she had made of herself performing long sustained tones made on instruments she could play; mostly voice and bass clarinet, and gradually became fascinated by the sound phenomena resulting from layering tones on her multi-track tape machine. Reich’s thoughts, however, made Leach realise that she didn't have to restrict herself to instruments she could play and, in an indirect way, were the foundation for this album.
Trio for Duo (1985), was Mary Jane's first attempt at creating work for instruments she couldn't play; revolving around alto flute and voice. She explains "I had noticed that my voice matched the sound of the bottom fifth of the alto flute, and so the voice in this piece is sung to sound as much like an alto flute as possible. There are four parts, but only three play at the same time, one part passing off its last note to the next entering part, weaving a tapestry of matching and contrasting timbres. By using glissandos, more “extra-notated” sounds are created than appear on the page. I originally conceived of it with each part coming from four separate speakers placed in the four corners of a hall, but I realised that it sounds best on tape with a stereo mix.” The result is an incredible, highly engrossing study in phasing, the voice sung to sound as much like an alto flute as possible to the the extent that it becomes almost impossible to discern which parts are which.
Bruckstück (1989) was originally written for eight sopranos, but is played on flutes on this recording - using the same pitches, but sounding very different. It was commissioned by the Kulturamt in Köln to coincide with the opening of an exhibition of paintings by Jack Ox that were organised using an analysis of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. Mary Jane explains "The lowest parts (relatively speaking) represent the string section, using the same basic rhythm as Bruckner’s to set up the tonality throughout the piece. The rest of the voices represent the wind instruments. The piece is polyphonic, with a lot of closely resolving intervals - primarily major and minor seconds. Rather than writing linear melodies for one voice, I wrote melodies that are passed from one voice to another.” Dowland’s Tears (2011) was written for for nine flutes, thinking of it as a recording project and not a concert piece (it now has a “solo” tenth part added), while Semper Dolens (2018) is for solo and six taped flutes, with sustained harmony and dissonance in mind.
These recordings feature noted Roman flutist Manuel Zurria, who has worked with some of the most important composers around the world. In 1990 he founded Alter Ego, a leading group for contemporary music in Italy. Numerous composers have written pieces for him, and he has expanded the repertoire even further by re-orchestrating compositions into pieces for multiple flutes, as heard on almost forty albums.
If you're interested in sound phenomena or just looking for some of the most beautiful, avant garde music you'll hear this year; we reckon (f)lute songs is a bit of a masterpiece.
Stunning exploration of traditional Arabic music and electronic processing by pivotal Montrealer Radwan Moumneh (boss of the legendary Hotel2Tango studio), including unmissable meshes of rolling rhythms with spectral ‘tronics in ‘Bein Ithnein’, and Coil-like digital vocal manipulation on ‘Thaha, Mish Roujou’, Thahab’, along with entrancing theatric orchestrations of trad vocals, buzuk and zurna with synths and tape FX. TIP!
“Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) is a project of contemporary Arabic and electronic music interwoven with 16mm film projections and light-based (de)constructions of space, exploring a relationship between music, visuals, projections and audience. With performances thus far occurring once or twice a year, no two JIMH events have ever been the same: configurations have ranged from solo to 35 participants, with varying degrees of stage theatrics alongside a film & visual component, using multiple projections to construct a space in constant flux. JIMH's vocals and purposefully blown-out sonic sensibility have been the consistent thread, but neither its music nor visual propositions have ever repeated themselves – one of the reasons why JIMH has resisted for eight years any official documentation or definitive recording of the project.
JIMH was formed in 2005 by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, a Lebanese national who has spent a large part of his adult life in Quebec and has been a fixture of the Montreal independent music community, from his early days in various notable 90s punk bands to his tireless activities over the last decade as a sound engineer, producer and co-owner of Montreal’s Hotel2Tango recording studio. Moumneh is also active in the Beirut experimental music scene, where he spends a few months every year. JIMH now consists of a core trio with French musician & producer Jérémie Regnier and Chilean visual artist & filmmaker Malena Szlam Salazar, whose two-year collaboration with Moumneh has resulted in the co-creation of JIMH’s debut album Mo7it Al-Mo7it.
JIMH forges a modern experimental Arabic music by wedding melismatic singing in classic Arabic styles and electronic compositions with contemporary electronic production. The album equally emphasizes the intimacy and narrative pace that focused, intentional studio recording allows. The result is a unique and profoundly emotive album of contemporary Arabic music, a stunningly subtle first record for a project that resisted documentation or any sort of fixity for so many years. Moumneh's voice has become a powerfully authentic instrument, and his production techniques applying distortion, tape echos and delays to varying degrees transmit a timeless intensity to the recording. Saturated synths and the overdriven signals of Moumneh's acoustic buzuk and zurna reinforce the reigning sensibility, providing a bracing counterpoint to the vocals and lovely, searching instrumental narratives in their own right. Szlam’s work was the source material for the album’s visual aesthetic. Szlam’s visual creation for the album derives from sequences that echo lunar notions and photographic intervals that reverberate and resonate, evoking the oscillation of time. Using frames from various hand-processed 16mm filmstrips, Szlam created a lunar sequence that consitutes the album cover artwork.
Inspired by the Lebanese educator Boutros Al-Bustani’s book Circumference of the Ocean, Mo7it Al-Mo7it signifies, in JIMH’s open and poetic interpretation, “Ocean of the Ocean.” The numeral 7 is pronounced like an h; all titles on the album are rendered in contemporary colloquial “mobile” Arabic (the transliterative characters used in Arabic phone texting). Thanks for listening.”
Melbourne’s Left Ear keep up a stellar run with ‘Antipodean Anomalies’, digging out 9 exceptional bits of mutant dub, plugged-in Estonian folk and Maori reggae from Australia and New Zealand c. 1979-1989
The A-side is focussed on vocals and rhythms, with outstanding moments in Olev Muska’s mad fusion of percolated drum machines and Estonian folk song in ‘Karjapoisi Lugu (A Shepherd’s Tale)’ and the gobsmacking blend of bullroarers (?), whistles and vox with stark drums in Ngahiwi Apanul’s remarkable Maori reggae mutation, ‘He Whakapapa’. The B-side is more synthed-out, with impressive pieces including the lilting ‘Green Chaos’ of Helen Ripley-Marshall and the rustic psychedelia of Rainbow Generator’s ‘City Of The Sun’.
“For musicians inhabiting the Antipodean countries of Australia and New Zealand during the 70’s and 80’s, it was a geographically and culturally isolating environment. Boutique shops, community radio and mail order exchanges championed independent and contemporary music from across the globe. It was, however, this isolation that caused a number of small community-focused scenes to evolve, creating their own unique interpretation and reappropriation of outside influences. Through both these scenes and government initiatives, a vast amount of music emerged on self-released and independent labels.
Yet, even among small scenes that were creating unique sounds, a number of artists seemed to be making music that was neither here nor there, often meshing together numerous genres and influences to create anomalous sounds. Artists like Olev Muska along with Ingrid Slamer meshed traditional folk songs of their Estonian heritage with cutting edge computer technology. Ngahiwi Apanui used his native language of Te Reo and a “cheap drum machine” to create a pulsating tale that highlights the creation of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand); while the Free Radicals would sing through PVC pipes to construct their vision of post-apocalyptic tribal music. Sydney’s Nic Lyon used his classical training to craft a distinctive gem which matched eastern and African influenced instruments with syncopated drum machines, while artists like Delaney Venn and Toy Division managed to challenge their post-punk sensibilities by blending both dub and atmospheric sounds respectively.”
Yves Tumor lands on Warp with his debut album for the label; more popwise and polished than before, still pitched perfectly between the avant garde and the mass market...
Laced with guest vox and production from Croatian Amor, James Ferraro, Oxhy, Puce Mary and James K, on ‘Safe In The Hands of Love’ Sean Bowie a.k.a. Yves Tumor is the liminal, connecting spirit between a unique push ’n pull of samples and original instrumentation, acting like a porous transducer of style, tone and pattern that absorbs and amplifies lost (but not dead) light and energy and turns it into something wholly his own.
Where previous singles such as ‘Noid’, ‘Lifetime’ and ‘Licking An Orchid’ - the album’s core trio - distinctly nodded to Brit-pop and ‘90s ambient-pop pastoralism, the rest of the album curiously unfolds along those axes to take in nods to Warp’s earliest signings, N.O.W. on the introductory fanfare of ‘Faith In Nothing Except Salvation’, while ‘Economy Of Freedom’ opens out into futurist sci-fi soul, and ‘Honesty’ masterfully melds indie-pop and rugged electro-soul.
And it’s that polysemous definition of soul that continues to be the uniting ligature or filament to the rest of the album, from the raging black metal mutation of ‘Hope In Suffering (Escaping Oblivion & Overcoming Powerlessness)’, to big beat-y psychedelia of ‘All The Love We Have Now’, and the white hot, foaming shoegaze distortion of ‘Let The Lioness In You Flow Freely’, all cannily highlighting a sense of emotive mutualism that transcends style, credo, and vibe.
First ever vinyl reissue for landmark 1984 private press folk-psych album by Connecticut duo. Kath has been covered by Bill Callahan, Mark Kozelek, Devendra Banhart and others. Loren Connors has played with Sonic Youth and others. Includes digital bonus track.
"The extraordinary creative partnership of Kath Bloom and Loren Connors has haunted psych-folk fans ever since the early 80s. Kath taught herself guitar during shifts as a janitor at a New Haven cemetery, while Loren's free-form idiosyncratic style had been developing since the late 60s. Between 1981 and 1984, the duo recorded two live and four studio albums, mostly self-released in tiny quantities.
Early on, their music mixed folk and blues traditionals with a handful of Kath's vulnerable, moving originals. By the later albums the songs were all Kath's - her fragile voice and subdued finger-picking set against Loren's abstract but always supportive playing. Together the duo created a sound almost impossibly emotional and haunting.
Restless Faithful Desperate emerged in 1984, in an edition of 200-300 copies. As her creativity accelerated, Kath's songs became looser and more intuitive, but Restless contains one of her most gorgeously realised composition s Look at Me. Loren's long-term collaborator Robert Crotty contributes extra guitar on a couple of tracks. After reissuing four of Kath & Loren's albums on CD in the late 2000s, Chapter now embarks on the first ever vinyl reissues for these remarkable records."
The unceasingly ace Light Sounds Dark label looks to the dark side of the trip with an expert selection of drone and avant, vocal-based obscurities
By now as much an exercise in winding up scoggers as a genuine treasure trove of lysergic brilliance, whatever your standpoint, these guys are digging beyond the core into furthest deep space with every new release.
Aside from from the identification of Lidija Bajuk’s ‘Paun I Kolo’ on side D (at which point you’ll realise the rest of the LP also plays at 45rpm), all other material on ‘Configuration / Deployment’ remains to be named by you or your mates. We’d bloody love to know what that black hole on side C is called. Answers on a blotter sheet addressed to us, please.
30th Anniversary of The Fall’s 11th album ‘I Am Kurious Oranj’ Released by Beggars Banquet in 1988, it contains some of The Fall's most loved songs including ‘Cab It Up!’, ‘New Big Prinz’ and ‘Jerusalem’, which takes its lyrics from a poem by William Blake.
"The album was written as the soundtrack to an avant garde ballet titled ‘I Am Curious, Orange’, produced by the experimental Michael Clark Company and performed in London with The Fall playing live. As stated in the original ballet program, replicated inside this reissue, “Mark E. Smith is a history buff and admirer of Michael Clark, and ‘I Am Curious, Orange’ spawned the idea of a thematic delving into the foibles and little-known psyche of William of Orange.”
According to Mark E. Smith in his book ‘Renegade’, “We adapted the title from a Swedish porno film - ‘I Am Curious, Yellow’. I was trying to make the point that we all share some kind of common knowledge that’s within ourselves; that comes out in all sorts of things. Some
people call it a gene pool. It’s as if you already know subconsciously about historical incidents. You don’t have to have been taught it. It’s in-built. At the time I wanted to put this across, basically as a loose explanation of what was happening in Belfast: it’s in the head and bones and there’s nothing you can do about it. I was on a roll at the time. I’m rarely short of ideas, and I’m not into preserving them much, either. If it’s in your head and you’ve got the right people around you them there’s no better time to tell the story.”
After 23 years out of print, FSOL’s definitive early ‘90s ambient-epic Lifeforms now returns to its natural habitat. Serving near-dangerous levels of nostalgia for almost anyone who came thru in the ‘90s, Lifeforms is set to soundtrack myriad afterparties and claim its place on a whole new generation of record shelves.
Originally released in 1994, a few years after FSOL had become a household name thanks to their debut LP Accelerator and its standout rave anthem, Papua New Guinea (and not forgetting Humanoid’s Stakker before it), Brian Dougans and Garry Cobain’s project really blossomed into something else with Lifeforms, where they consolidated a wealth of esoteric ideas and philosophies into what was effectively a new manifesto for psychedelic electronic music.
Whether unconsciously and osmotically absorbed, or dutifully studied and cherished by those cognisant of its brilliance, Lifeforms was almost unavoidably ubiquitous at the time, and inarguably worked its way into the popular consciousness in a way that electronic records rarely do nowadays. It was definitely a product of its time, and now, 23 years later, we can safely say it’s kept its charms intact.
Riffing on then-emergent themes of cybernetics, amorphous androgyny and artificial intelligence, together with nods to classic ‘70s psychedelia and kosmische - it features guest spots from Ozric Tentacles and Robert Fripp, and sampled Klaus Schulze - the results tapped into the era’s undercurrent of aerobic mysticism and eldritch new age spirituality to locate an unprecedented confluence of those styles which has influenced swathes of electronic dreamers ever since.
It’s techno-romantic and tech-gnostic in the lushest sense, a utopian beauty flush with the thrill of unknown futures, yet fringed with an MDMA come-down melancholy that’s totally crucial to understanding that era’s play and juxtaposition of energies. Quite simply, though: Lifeforms is an incredibly enigmatic and life-affirming album awaiting your (re)discovery.
Classic horror soundtrack fresh from the depths of hell - Clive Barker's HELLRAISER with music by genre composer Christopher Young.
"You know how the story goes; you pick up a strange puzzle box, try and solve it, and get pulled into hell where you're subjected to infinite torture by a guy with pins in his head. Bad day, bad day. But HELLRAISER is a gothic horror masterpiece celebrating the transcendence of pleasure into pain and the question of what can come after death. One thing's for sure: there will be blood. And rats nailed to the wall.
Young's main theme mirrors the Lament Configuration, the Rubik's cube of the damned that is the centre of all this bloody mayhem, underlining the seductive nature with violins before opening up with the full orchestra to foretell the true nightmare contained within. The score features industrial elements reminiscent of the band Coil (who were originally due to score the film) intertwined with the sensual gothic overtones illustrating the next level of gratification the box offers, and it explodes in the final act as Pinhead and Co. come for their student of deviancy. Composer Christopher Young wen’t back to the original reels for this anniversary remaster celebrating 30 years of the coenobites and the twisted mind of Clive barker."
‘Another Life’ is Amnesia Scanner’s hyperreal début album for PAN. The Finnish production/design duo’s most significant release locates their EDM/pop voice proper after a string of prism-pushing singles, EPs and mixtapes issued since 2015 by Young Turks and Gum Artefacts
Bending EDM pop with warped sound designer sensibilities and a sci-fi visionary’s lust for post-human possibility, Amnesia Scanner’s music has come to define its era with unflinching form. They embrace the most compelling, even grotesque aspects of hyper-commercial dance-pop with an accelerationist alacrity that’s also shared by the boundary-realigning styles of fellow artists such as Arca and Sophie, who, like AS, started out in the sound designer’s playground of mid-’00s electro and tech-house minimalism, but have evolved into something mutant, transcending and redefining conceptions of humanity in their music.
Informed by a singular perspective on technology and the way it mediates contemporary experience, ’Another Life’ is ostensibly binary in the extreme - you’ll probably either love or hate the upfront garishness and unapologetically cybernetic nature of their music. But on another level, the character of AS’ synthesised voice, known as Oracle, and their warped pop conventions, both inherently play with ultra contemporary ideas of ambiguity in a way that’s symptomatic of a socio-political climate dominated by notions of gender fluidity and fake news. In effect ‘Another Life’ can be heard as an attempt to locate the analog nature of human sensation within computerised systems.
The results are effectively an exaggerated, syncretic synthesis of current Caribbean dance-pop, nu-metal, and trashy electro-punk with all elements turned up to 11 on their virtual amp, presenting a shockingly surface level reflection of contemporary culture that’s revealed a line in the sands of time between listeners of differing generations, and how they read meaning into their music. In other words, AS are the ‘ugly’ sneakers of modern music.
Remastered reissue of the haunting score for a Belgian theatre production of the Greek myth, ‘Daedelus’. The operatic, choral vocals are excellent, and the music somehow has that playful yet melancholy Belgian what-do-you-call-it familiar to classics by Benjamin Lew and Steven Brown, or John Avery’s ‘Jessica In the Room of Lights’. Practically worth it for the drum machine driven closing cut alone!
“Like the wings Daedalus crafted for his son Icarus, John Gilbert Colman’s score for sampler, voice and chamber orchestra almost melted away completely, disappearing into the tides of time. The album originally served as the score to an avant-garde production of the Greek myth that toured the Belgian theatre circuit in 1986. Director Guy Cassiers cast the play with 45 developmentally disabled actors enrolled at the Krauwelenhof school in Antwerp, working for six months with the young actors (aged 12-17) to discover and develop their talents, creating (by all accounts) a deeply moving piece of visual theatre. Rather than using dialogue, Cassier used movement, costumes and music tell the fable, words were only present as text fragments within the score, spoken by members of the chorus or sung by Rolande van Der Paal.
Colman’s compositions elevate the experimental narrative with broad shifts in mood, utilizing a pop-concrète style by incorporating sampled squeaking balloons, environmental recordings, tuned percussion, drum computer, and voice to accompany the traditional small chamber instrumentation. The music is reminiscent of other avant-theatrical pieces from that era by Nuno Canavarro, Milesi & Bacalov, Todd Barton, Vito Ricci and Roberto Musci, while standing on its own as a unique and moving piece of minimal music.”
The king of Gqom and Wiley’s favourite DJ, Lwazi Asanda Gwala a.k.a. DJ Lag turns out another four bangers for Goon Club Allstars
Hypnotically minimal and built to demand, the ’Stampit’ EP follows from Lag’s eponymous 2016 debut and a recent, killer remix of Kelela to reassert his claim to the crown of Durban’s virulent rave sound.
It’s perhaps most useful for the super stripped down ‘Drumming’, a ruggedly sturdy drum trak that can be taken as an answer to Griffit Vigo’s ‘Ree’s Vibe’ - a big tune in Lag sets - but the rest of the set is prime, too, just in case you’re wondering.
From the lead-drop drums and skyward flute of ‘3step Culo’ to the plastic UKF-like horns of ‘Let’s Do This’ and the crisp conga rolls on ‘Switz’ this platter is rated 100% deadly.
Ryuichi Sakamoto expands on ‘Async’ album track ‘FF’ , along with a brand new piece ‘School in Paris’ on this audiophile quality 12”, cut at 45rpm for optimal sound representation (and time-slowing 33rpm options)
Picking up where the tremulous hyaline harmonics of ‘FF’ left off, ‘FF2’ coaxes trembling timbres from woodwind and synths into an intoxicating high register drift recalling shadowy moments of ‘SAW II’ or even the ghostly melancholy of David Lynch’s Eraserhead score.
‘School in Paris’, is, as you may infer from the title, a field recording of kids at play, albeit processed to lend a starkly detached quality, as though the kids are off out of sight somewhere while Sakamoto performs alchemical experiments or bumps into things in his kitchen and a synth piece plays from another room.