MoM hit the ‘floor with Jesy Lanza, Sepulchre and Modeselektor in tow.
Expect bolshy broken techno/electrobass pressure in Jack Is Out (Arson Only Edit); a bendy volley of footwork rhythms and Errorsmith-alike screwball electronics on Blue Screen, featuring Jessy Lanza and chopped by MDSLKTR; while Machinedrum and Praveen Sharma pulls out their shiniest hyper chords as Sepalcure alongside Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner’s gilded inputs.
On a roll right now, UNO NYC dispatch Blue Angels’ dreamy fusions of techno and ghetto bass rhythms with gauzy ambient tones in Vaces, which is, as far as we can tell, their debut release.
At the front, they mesh flyaway harp lines with claggy techno in a way recalling Actress productions on View From, while Coils pushes a sort of AFXian techno merry-go-round swaddled in noise, and, best of all, the jitting pulse and flanging pressure system of Sam’s Club springs to mind a mix of Burial Hex and Palmbomen II.
San Fran’s HNYTRX give a shady house taste of what to expect from Octo Octa’s Where Are We Going? album with the brooding minor key figures and darkroom canter of Adrift
Backed with a more adroit, square-bassed remix dripping with late night feels from Sweden’s Dorisburg, and a heavy-lidded, keening house rework from Avalon Emerson.
The lesser-spotted Joe jumps back on Hessle Audio with Tail Lift and MPH, his first new productions heard since Thinking About for Four Tet’s label in 2015. Trust that he’s got the party in mind, as ever, with slinky samba and jungle power drums playfully dubbed out and tweaked up for loose-limbed times.
They’re both a little better fed than his previous, skeletal rhythms, with the loping samba hustle of Tail Lift operating in a lush sound field of hooting macaques, cicadas and creamy DX7 synth pads in a way that recalls Pekka Airaksinen on his jollies in Rio with Kaidi Tatham.
MPH meanwhile finds him dicing with jungle breaks and almost Prince-style Linn drum crack, feathered in swooping design with strobing chords to recall the pitching cadence of Klein’s recent Tommy EP reworked by Jameszoo, or something.
Frankfurt’s minimal house and electronica statesman steers Fabric 95 on slinky trip
Starting with a blend of Psychic TV with his and Ricardo Villalobos’ RiRom track, RoRic, thru the Metalheadz-esque breaks and synths of Koehler’s Oblivious Pool (Invisible Dub), to the Italo-house dream of Come Home by Pale Blue, foundational Chicago house from two of a Kind, the aerial breaks of Lanark Artefax, and even Sam Kidel’s Kachinja under his El Kid alias for Left Blank.
Addendum to Ruinism, Lapalux expresses intense emotions thru vaulted electronica complexities in The End of Industry for FlyLo’s Brainfeeder
Coming off like a soundtrack to one of Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi shorts with a compositional efficiency that means each track twists and flips in a series of acrobatic emotive gestures.
Sadar Bahar & Ben 'Cosmic Force' team up and come correct with these two direct disco jams ... Artwork by Cosmo Knex.. TIPP!
"The two tracker arose after Sadar Bahar discovered Ben's Utrecht based studio (housing 60 synths!). Electro fiend Ben was charmed by the electronic elements in Sadar's funk and Sadar loved Ben's ideas. Nuff said, a new NL based project was born. Nothing sampled for these tracks... only stabbing guitar, bass, sax and pounding drum programming for dance floor heat!"
Metalheadz buff up those state-of-the-art 1996 feels for 2017 with remasters of Ed Rush’s Skylab single.
Skylab is a proper darkside tech-step bombswanging off scratchy breaks and edge of chair atmospheres with a proper amen payload, all tension and no relief. Density catches him on a stressed breakbeat swagger, and The Raven locks into rictus 2-step with growling reese before an almighty roll out. That bells sound still sends shivers down the spine.
Cantering late night house music by Berlin’s Fort Romeau
Building up nagging acid lines to a frothy sorta Detroit peak in Untitled II, then following that proggy structure with more energy in the driving hi-hats and subtle light/dark shading of A Familiar Place.
Lamont follows Chunky’s smoked-out and killer Threats EP with a gully clash of Slowie’s grimy bars and Lamont’s gloopy house in Ar Kid
Then coming off like one of James Blake and Trim’s collabs with Ships featuring Kwam on the back.
Tzusing follows THAT ACE cinematic LP on L.I.E.S. with this trampling collision of throat music, EBM, and industrialised trap for Bedouin Records.
There’s five tracks for the ‘floor or the BDSM dungeon, booting off with the stomping bass and throaty overtones of Flow State featuring Illsee and sinking lowing the bullet-riddled industrial trap wreckage of Shame.
The B-side signals a blank eyed sort of gabber trample with the horn wielding 風雲再起 and then a spot of late ‘80s/early ‘90s EBM swagger with 地心引力抓不住你 and 得意先生.
An unmissable introduction to unsung American composer Mary Jane Leach with Pipe Dreams, astonishingly her first ever solo vinyl release. Despite playing an instrumental role in NYC’s pioneering Downtown avant-garde community since the ’70s, Mary Jane is, unbelievably, little known beyond the US avant-garde. Now, following her production input to the issue of Julius Eastman’s Feminine for Frozen Reeds (and her liner notes for Unjust Malaise in 2005 for that matter), the two powerful longform pieces contained in the cannily titled Pipe Dreams are set to attract a raft of new ears to her absorbing psychoacoustic explorations.
Recorded between 1984 and 1989, Pipe Dreams is only Mary Jane’s 3rd full solo release, arriving nearly 20 years since Ariadne’s Lament [New World Records, 1998] and 24 after Celestial Fires [Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 1993]. With a paucity of precedents to compare it to, it effectively forms the first time many will clasp ears on her music, and simultaneously illustrates the range of her sound - one side of spellbinding church organ interplay; one of gripping tonal discord - while also placing it within historical context amid the searching Downtown milieu of Julius Eastman, Arthur Russell, Arnold Dreyblatt, Ellen Fullman, Philip Corner, Daniel Goode, and Peter Zummo - most of whom she’s collaborated with at one point or another, either in Downtown Ensemble or guesting on their records.
That communal spirit, a sort of antidote to the capitalist realism of individualism, feeds deeply into these two solo works. On the A-side, Pipe Dreams (1989) finds her communing with psychoacoustic spectres in a way that strongly predates Áine O'Dwyer's more recent investigations into acoustic phenomena for Penultimate Press, as well as resonating with the drone work of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Amid her precise, baroque figures, pulsing air and pealing microtonal partials, listeners are witness to the presence of plasmic atmosphere and sub-harmonic frequencies that flux and disperse in sublime antiphony, likely to turn your chosen zone of reception into a discrete, floating antechamber.
In stark contrast, Mary Jane’s B-side, 4BC (1984) is a more visceral, biting piece for four clarinets, employing long drones within a constrained tonal palette, combining their raspy dissonance in a thick body of resonant sound that speaks to the idea of discord as its own sort of harmony - a way of appreciating the friction and difference between sounds as much as people, and recalling to some extent the pitching grip of Harley Gaber’s The Winds Rise In The North, or the grind of Tony Conrad.
Hard to believe it’s taken until now for Mary Jane to receive at least some of her dues, but a real pleasure to finally immerse ourselves in her heavily meditative, distinctly singular world.
Important Congolese field recordings made in 1952 & 1957 by legendary ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey are fed through the IRCAM prism by Mike Kitcher, with results that speak to a heady place out of time and space in the creation of what might be termed ‘new exotica’ - a music created from a very specific location that becomes placeless through abstraction. It's an incredible addition to this excellent, bijou imprint.
We’ve previously heard Peder Mannerfelt do something similar with The Swedish Congo Record, as well as Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux with Studies I-XVII For Samplers and Percussion, and likewise heard Rashad Becker take that concept to the next level by imagining a whole new sonic language, syntax and culture of notional species. But Kitcher’s efforts stand somewhere in between those approaches, taking those pioneering field recordings and techniques as the basis for a set of subtle yet radical inversions of that material, and in the process focussing in and releasing their uniquely inflected spirits and expressions through sleight of hand and ear.
In an attempt to reflect Hugh Tracey’s technique of live mixing multi-instrumental tracks with a hand-held microphone, Kitcher limits himself to brief samples, effectively plucking sounds from the ‘air’ of Tracey’s view, and, with almost sci-fi levels of forensic detective work (think Deckard as Denny with an Esper machine), zooms in onto their hidden moments of breath, pensive silences and the tactile haptics of performers and their instruments.
Those peculiarities are “scrubbed” of air and return sounding remarkably different, with flutes appearing like voices or vice-versa, and luma pipes sounding more like middle-eastern microtonal traditions than sounds we’d usually associate with the Congo. Each piece offers captivating new perspectives on what you thought you knew, or think you’re listening to, with incredibly rich results for keener ears to marvel at and pore over.
Avant-indie/post-rock hero and writer David Grubbs (Gastr Del Sol, Red Krayola, Codeine) gets to the core of his sound with the lyrically instrumental insight and poetic enigma of Creep Mission.
Issued just over a year and a summer since his Prismrose  LP, Creep Mission locates cult guitarist reprising a fruitful working relationship with in-demand drummer Eli Keszler, who provides percussion alongside electronic input from Jan St. Werner (Mouse On Mars) and Nate Woolley’s trumpet, all helping to unfurl a most compelling, elusive addition to Grubbs’ great American saga.
Grubbs’ nylon six string is front and centre, driving the narrative with a fluidity and plurality of voices worth three guitarists of similar talent, and with a cool virtuosity matched by Keszler’s deft drum fills, whereas the contributions of St. Werner and Wooley are reserved to subtle atmospheric presence for the most, but capably step in to set the whole thing at new angles when required.
Grubbs and Keszler make the perfect pairing in Skylight, opening the album like a mountain stream which, after snaking its way downhill opens out into roiling rapids buffeted by electronic squall and trumpet blare, before Mission Creep sets in with a jazz-wise curiosity that soon enough erupts into ragged raga-blues, and The Bonapartes of Baltimore - one of two solo pieces along with Jack Dracula In A Bar - finds him stripped back to succinct, emotive, nerve-braiding nylon string meditations, which he expands on with additional, woozy narration from Nate Wooley’s trumpet.
However the two biggest attractions for us come with the grubbing electro-acoustics of Jeremiadaic and the pitching abstraction of Return of the Creep, both cropping up at oblique angles in the tracklist to perhaps rouse listeners from getting too comfortable in the easy chair, as with the pranging, clangorous pointillism of the former, and the dissonant sludge/doom subduction zones that open up in the latter.
Pivotal A’dam players, Juju & Jordash move beyond the themes of Techno Primitivism  and Clean-Cut  to arrive in serene, Far Eastern and African-facing house-not-house zones with Sis-Boom-Bah!
The vibe is assuredly home-listening, leaving the club in pursuit of coolly introspective dimensions, guided by gently rolling deep house impulses and populated with myriad synth voices in a most sublime version of the devilishly detailed, hardware-driven style they’ve honed since 2004.
Ok there are tracks you could dance to, if the mood takes you with the deep (inner) space techno of Attack The Crwod, and the buoyant, chromatic twirl of Back Tuck Basket Toss, but the biggest attraction iOS the way they weave those tracks into he album’s warp and weft, in equilibrium with more etheric, esoteric gestures such as the rippling gamelans of Herkie at the front, or the 4th world rhythmelodic cadence of Paper Doll, and the quietly deliquescent charms of hanging Pyramid.
Mellifluous, dubby 2-step, Djrum style, from new label; Jupiter’s Melody.
Taking original material by The Drop, Djrum works his signature atmospheric layers of synth and keys around a sharp 2-step swing and reggae soul vox in Looking To The Sky, recalling Geiom meets Zed Bias in the process, while Takeover rolls that formula with thicker subs and more rustic neo classical string dabs.
Young Marco’s Safe Trip does the business again with CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences, a heart warming flush of archive material by identical Japanese twins, Satoshi & Makoto, recorded at home on the titular Casio synth c. early ‘90s. Follows very much in suit with the nostalgic appeal of Darling’s JPS and the volumes of Italian Dream House before that, another perfect addition to the label.
As the story goes, Satoshi & Makoto were big fans of anime and cartoon soundtrack as kids, and used to mess around on their ma’s Yamaha Electone keyboard. Fast fwd a few years, and a promise to work hard at school if their parents bought them a synth came to fruition, with the two sharing the same model of Casio CZ-5000 ever since.
Their nascent recordings with the CZ-5000 lay untouched for decades until the twins uploaded them as synth demos to YouTube, where Young Marco saw them and was so enamoured with the sound that he released this LP.
We could sit here all day referencing obvious analogs for this record, but its better heard as a genuine document of private, fraternal connections and non-verbal dialogue, almost like listening to a family photo album or the fantasy soundtrack to a computer game or anime that was never made.
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.”
Tel-Aviv’s Fortuna Records open a new section in your collection with The Haunting Sounds of Yemenite-Israeli Funk 1973-1984, scanning eight obscurities ranging from the ethereal slow disco of Reuma Abas on Wa’ana Fad Leumi, thru kinetic jazz-funk by David Dor, taking in an organ and bongo-brimming soul bomb by Tsvia Abarbanel in Im Nin’Alu, and hairy psych-rock ’n soul swagger from The Amranim.
All super rare stuff that you’ll probably never find elsewhere.
This the first CD released by drøne, after two vinyl albums on Anna von Hausswolff's label, Pomperipossa.
"Workers toil in smithies, call signs and chants-at-prayer reveal attempts to order the chaos, which always remains one step ahead. Post-lapsarian for sure, but smoke signals and drums have morphed into the 'bing bong' of the attention-grabbing, mind-polluting PA system. The coded simplicity of the whistle ("Start!") has evolved into a more deliberate attempt to control rather than inform by explicit, structured language. Announcements have become commands; signs bark orders. Thus 'no' becomes a powerful rejection, rather than merely an inclination; and no-ers are more easily to spot… "You're going the wrong way"! (To which the only sensitive and mature response is: "Indeed!")
Organic and man-made call signs, IDs, audio sigils and signatures all combine to describe a polluted, confusing atmosphere which threatens to leave us powerless and bewildered. "Decipher the sounds and you win the game! First prize is, guess what? You get to take the audio poison! Congratulations! You've lost!". A dynamic and involving result ensures a challenging but no less enjoyable listen.
The first album, 'reversing into the future' drew this response from Lend Me Your Ears: "This thrilling piece – surely the most kinetic non-dancefloor record in an age". Anna herself wrote of the follow up record, 'a perfect blind': "I love everything about this release. Such a great presentation and exciting project! And most important: the music is sublime."
The Quietus wrote: "Last year's distinctive debut from drøne was likened to a hurtling journey. It's combination of field recordings, shortwave radio and modular synths possessed an excited, driving energy whose route was hitherto unexplored and destination unknowable. But with an expanded sound pool boasting instruments across the ages - from guitar, through pipe organ and strings to dulcimer and psaltery – its follow-up takes a sideways step into more cognizant, reflective pastures."
The Epic is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington.
"Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly ten-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet – including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble. The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members – who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” – have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two.
The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands."
22 years since Pygmalion and the band’s dissolution, Slowdive swoon back into earshot with Slowdive. With hearts bleeding all over their sleeves, Slowdive captures the sound of the band at their sunny best, with a renewed optimism and timeless dreaminess to fall right into.
““It felt like we were in a movie that had a totally implausible ending...”
Slowdive’s second act as a live blockbuster has already been rapturously received around the world. Highlights thus far include a festival-conquering, sea-of-devotees Primavera Sound performance, of which Pitchfork noted: “The beauty of their crystalline sound is almost hard to believe, every note in its perfect place.” “It was just nice to realise that there was a decent amount of interest in it,” says principal songwriter Neil Halstead. The UK shoegaze pioneers have now channelled such seemingly impossible belief into a fourth studio opus which belies his characteristic modesty. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.
Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane”, these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Birthed at the band’s talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard – “It felt like home,” enthuses guitarist Christian Savill – their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady (perhaps best known for his work with Beach House, one of countless contemporary acts to have followed in Slowdive’s wake). “It’s poppier than I thought it was going to be,” notes Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995‘s previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. “When you’re in a band and you do three records, there’s a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record.”
Drummer and loop conductor Simon Scott enhanced the likes of ‘Slomo’ and ‘Falling Ashes’ with abstract textures conjured via his laptop’s signal processing software. A fecund period of experimentation with “40-minute iPhone jams” allowed the unit to then amplify the core of their chemistry. “Neil is such a gifted songwriter, so the songs won. He has these sparks of melodies, like ‘Sugar For The Pill’ and ‘Star Roving’, which are really special. But the new record still has a toe in that Pygmalion sound. In the future, things could get very interesting indeed.” This open-channel approach to creativity is reflected by Slowdive’s impressively wide field of influence, from indie-rock avatars to ambient voyagers – see the tribute album of cover versions released by Berlin electronic label Morr Music. As befits such evocative visionaries, you can also hear Slowdive through the silver screen: New Queer Cinema trailblazer Gregg Araki has featured them on the soundtracks to no less than four of his films.
“When I moved to America in 2008 I was working in an organic grocery store,” recalls Christian. “Kids started coming in and asking if it was true I had played in Slowdive. That’s when I started thinking, ‘OK, this is weird!’” Neil Halstead: “We were always ambitious. Not in terms of trying to sell records, but in terms of making interesting records. Maybe, if you try and make interesting records, they’re still interesting in a few years time. I don’t know where we’d have gone if we had carried straight on. Now we’ve picked up a different momentum. It’s intriguing to see where it goes next.” The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. This movie could run and run…”
Co-founder of Berlin’s Fith, Enir Da saddles up a brooding “imaginary soundtrack” featuring his bandmate Dice Miller’s vocals on one track, but mainly exploring a forlorn instrumental solo sound strung out somewhere between the intros of GY!BE, the Western filmic influences of Monte Cazzazza, or the dustbowl atmospheres of Jon Porras.
Definitely one for those who like to sketch full scenes on the back of their eyelids while in darkened rooms, Accalmie conjures an impending tension across its 38 minute span, animation the sort of sound that comes from a lifetime absorbed by the subtleties and enigmatic emotive signposts of underground and classic cinema and its soundtracks.
Reverberating guitars, electronic contours and stripped percussion frame its seven parts, arching up with a blood red dawning vibe with the horizon-scanning guitar jangle and cantering drums of Desert, teasing tape loops into slow swirling dust devils around Dice Miller’s gently plangent vocals in How I See You, and seemingly diffusing her into dynamics gasps around the electronically swept L écume, whilst the honky swagger of Present suggest some kind of quizzical saloon scene, and Sky and Colours smartly ties it all together with an uncertain, dreamlike resolution of scrabbly electronics and minor key molasses bass shift.
The collective methodology of the Workshop de Lyon led to the creation in 1977 of the ARFI (Association Researching An Imaginary Folklore). Inspired by the AACM, its mission was to ‘encourage improvisation, spread diverse musical styles and provide means of expression to others with similar ideas, nurture folklore…’
"This third Workshop LP was released in 1978 on the ARFI label. Pianist Patrick Vollat had left, so this is a quartet: Louis Sclavis, Maurice Merle, Jean Bolcato and Christian Rollet.
Sclavis fruitily to the fore, it’s the most rhythmic, low-down, silly-voiced and best fun of these three LP reissues — amongst the crown jewels of French free jazz — expertly produced as per by Souffle Continu.
Nuts, howling-at-the-moon version of Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out has a touch of the Clangers."
Memnon Sa grab our attention with the cover photo of RAF Fylingdales on Lemurian Dawn, and proceed to hold it firmly with a doozy mixture martial drums, mandrax synths and throat singing inside.
The fact that Lemurian Dawn is released by Aurora Borealis - home to albums by Haxan Cloak, Grumbling Fur, øjeRum - should be a signal of quality to those who know, but for everyone else, this is a class example of the eldritch infecting doom metal dimensions, swapping out glaring darkness for a gauzier, psychedelic appeal and sensitivity that takes hold with the subtlety of a psychoactive you didn’t realise you’d ingested. Fans of Steve Moore or Ghost Box should add this to their mushy playlist.
“Memnon Sa return with ‘Lemurian Dawn’, a cosmic journey through space, time and myth. Black ops missions witness the binary sunrise on a forgotten world. Pan dimensional spacecraft hover over ancient pyramids on worlds undreamed of.
The guitar driven doom metal sound of the acclaimed debut ‘Citadel’ has been replaced here by a myriad of analog synthesisers, ancient world instruments, throat singing and strings. ‘Lemurian Dawn’ channels New Age meditational works, film soundtracks and cosmic jazz from the 70s and 80s. The result could be the soundtrack to a lost 1970’s European animation sci-fi film, warm analogue sounds that hint at cosmic forboding and sinister forces unseen.
The album was recorded over a month and a half at Misha Hering’s Holy Mountain Studios in Hackney, London, and mixed using almost exclusively analog equipment to 1/2 inch tape.
It was mastered by legendary mastering engineer Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in LA.”
Tasty reworks of Robyn & Kindness, with Wolfgang Voigt diffusing the rich pop sentiment of Who Do You Love into a slow tumpin’, diaphanous Gas style with Robyn’s vocals beautifully shielded by sheets of mist, then evaporated altogether and letting the strings take over in his New Romantic Mix.
Mad Professor meanwhile makes it sound like the early ‘90s with a rolling, High Voltage steppers’ dub of Electric.
Reissue of Mika Vainio's final album under the Ø moniker...
Following on from the crushing technoid scapes of 'Kilo' under his own name and the blackened alloys of his ÄÄNIPÄÄ album with Stephen O'Malley, 'Konstellaatio' reveals the revered producer at his most sensitive, teetering on the brink of the abyss and projecting to the stars. Between the goosebump-inducing panoramic pads of opener 'Otava' and the twinkling electro-dub of closer 'Takaisin' we're made privy to some of the strongest material in his whole oeuvre, and we really don't say that lightly.
His tactile manipulation of bass and sub-bass dynamics and spacious application of pure, isolated frequencies is just mindblowing, evoking imagery on sub-atomic scales. Far from being an academic exercise in production, there's an awe-inspiring and compelling sense of pathos and wonder at its core owing as much to the grandeur of Beethoven as it does the diffuse sound sculptures of Parmegiani.
It's pointless listening to this material on shit speakers because you're gonna miss half of it's extreme subtleties, but for those who know and care about this music, prepare to bunker down with one of Vainio's finest.
Rod Modell rides the Deepchord again, tilling the ground for release of his Auratones album, forthcoming on Soma this autumn 2017.
As with the title, Campfire evokes a sense of intimacy and tranquility through Modell’s divinely sensitive touch, yielding the fathoms-deep layers of synaesthetically heightened tones in Perfumes of a Spring Mist, and plunging head first into the murky depths of Xpan, with the title piece, Campfire offering one of the very lovliest tracks in his whole catalogue by addition of a starlit canopy of chimes that we’ve not really detected in his productions prior to this one.
Bodes very well for the album.
Recorded in 1982 - first ever issue on any format! This is a missing piece of GRM legend Bernard Parmegiani’s geometric puzzle, a long-lost, little known soundtrack to a french sci fi movie of the same title, directed by Michel Treguer, and now available for the first time.
It locates Parmegiani working at his home studio concocting a richly atmospheric sound that places his fastidious appreciation of spatial dynamic and tonal detail at the service of cinematic styles perhaps closer to the output of John Carpenter or François Roubaix, rather than his GRM works, as recently heard on a pair of Recollection GRM reissues of L'Œil Écoute / Dedans-Dehors [1970/1977] and his breathtaking De Natura Sonorum .
As one of a number of film and TV soundtracks Parmegiani produced since 1962’s La poupée, his work here reveals a much lesser appreciated aspect of his important canon, which itself was formatively influenced by his roots as a sound engineer for RTF, the french national TV station. In a flux of 19 pieces we hear the grand master of technoid abstraction skilfully fitting sound to image in a wholly original, evocative and innovative manner.
In many ways, Paremgiani’s sounds here place him as a sort of gallic answer to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, conjuring myriad inventive sounds from a TR-808 drum machine, Synthi AKS, Farfisa organ and D6 clavinet which are properly alien and ostensibly challenging in character, yet make perfect sense in context. They form a strange microcosm unto themselves, taking in the nerve-jangling prangs and keening tone cluster of Générique alongside the deep space arpeggio vector of Depart, and killer, pulsating electro in Recontre Brisson, whilst the skeletal step of Pursuit has rhythmic passages that recall Drexciyan electro, and the likes of Serge Assommé, the album’s longest piece, takes Carpenter at his own game.
Rock is necessary listening for anyone who knows the classic Parmegiani releases, and a potent gateway drug for anyone new to his work.
The erstwhile wild man of Can captured in full flight, backed by the best Berlin had to offer that night.
“Damo Suzuki in performance with Château Laut, recorded at Ausland, Berlin, 30.iv.2010 by Stephan Laackman.
Château Laut's Stefan Fähler writes: I contacted Damo in 2009. He didn't reply immediately and at one point I just forgot about it… So, it was a huge surprise when he replied, exactly a year to the day later, explaining his email's calendar was weird and he had only just now received my mail. Quickly, we arranged all details for our concert-to-be.
We first met a couple of months later, at the airport. We picked him up in the morning and were stoned just an hour later in our kitchen. The energy for the whole day was so peaceful and warm. On the way to soundcheck we saw barricades and police vans on the streets in readiness for 1 May – a date famous in Berlin for rioting and protest. We joked about this predictable riot, marked in calendars for all to see.
The gig at Ausland proceeded organically. We shared many beautiful moments, both on and off stage. Damo was so much into the atmosphere and the crowd that, after our main set, we went on-stage a second time. Afterwards, we crashed at our place, downing a couple of whiskeys before going to sleep, happy.
We kept in touch. He became something close to a spiritual mentor for me. He gave us contacts around the globe for travels and put me in touch with many nice people. He once said to me, one of the most important things in life is to travel. We were glad he stopped by our place on his journey. – Stefan Fähler, Berlin, 23.viii.2017”
New Energy is Four Tet’s first album in two years
Leading on from the Morning / Evening set to a new age-inflected sound encompassing hang drum pieces with Tom Baker thru to modular synth input from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, all produced on a laptop computer using Ableton Live software to control and mix VST plugins as well as manipulations of audio recordings.
Tessela revisits his finest moment on a chopped up, techno-steeled Hackney Parrot (10_Ton_Mix) backed with the filter-house/‘ardcore hybrid of Headland.
With the Hackney Parrot mix he comes off like an old skool producer returning to one of his ’92 productions in ’93, re-armed with whatever new software was then made available for a more rolling, teched-out revision, simultaneously demonstrating the rush of innovative progression back then, and how much it’s slowed down in the last 20 years.
Headland is more a smart exercise in anachronism, retrofitting filter house with rolling jungle tekno like a Roulé track trapped in a timewarp.
For the lovers, an expanded reissue of Philippe Sarde’s symphonic soundtrack masterpiece, featuring previously unreleased material.
“Including the previously unreleased versions of « La Chanson d’Hélène » performed by Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli in Italian and German.
First ever LP reissue of this timeless masterpiece by Philippe Sarde, the most versatile and talented french film composer. Les choses de la vie, an outstanding score which offers both the wonderful « Chanson d'Hélène » and most of the musical features which appeared later in Philippe Sarde's musical career : Nostalgia, melancholy, experiment and sound discord.
Les choses de la vie is the film which confirms Sautet as a genuine author and Philippe Sarde as a rising composer.
This is also the start of a long partnership that spanned twenty-five years and eleven films.
Also Includes Stéphane Belmondo’s version of « la Chanson d’Hélène »”
Their first LP, released in 1973 after six years together, with the first drummer Pierre Guyon having been replaced by Christian Rollet in 1970.
Brilliant, roiling and free, with a celebratory lyricism to its grapplings with Cecil Taylor, Gary Peacock, Milford Graves and co, and a wheeling melancholia straight from Ornette.
Another delectable pick from France’s Akuphone label, reissuing a remastered cut of Lily Chao’s enchanting, melancholy folk-pop and rock confections, originally released in 1968. Make sure to check beautifully broaden Shepherdress, and the combo of tuff groove and super sweet vocal on Picking Tea Leaves and Catching Butterflies.
“As the first entry in its catalog, Akuphone presents a reissue of Lily Chao’s Chinese Folk Songs, originally released by Four Seas Records in 1968. This edition includes four previously unheard titles and exclusive liner notes containing Lily Chao’s biography and lyric translations. Chao Xiao-Jun aka Lily Chao was born in Taiwan in 1948, while mainland China was rapidly undergoing major changes immediately following the end of the Chinese Civil War.
After experiencing hard times in her girlhood, she ventured out into singing quite unwillingly. Indeed, at age19, Lily Chao was compelled to give up her studies to support her family and start a career as a singer, after passing an audition at the Taipei Cabaret in Taiwan. The cabaret industry was in full swing at the time, offering destinations for popular entertainment, and Lily Chao’s efforts to launch her singing career immediately attracted producers’ attention. Her appearances at the Taipei Cabaret as part of its shows, which combined music in Mandarin, poetry, drama, magic, and other fine arts, soon earned her a reputation.
Despite the immediate success that her numerous stage performances and appearances on the national television channel won her, Lily Chao led a chaotic and painful private life. As she smiled very little and tended to appear distant, the audience dubbed her the «Ice Queen,» a nickname that she would keep for the rest of her career.
This barely-concealed melancholy can be felt throughout Chinese Folk Songs, as well as in her very particular way of singing, which is both jerky and perfectly fluid. The album stands halfway between Mandarin folk songs and rock singing inspired by The Shadows, all surf guitar and garage sounds recorded with pinpoint precision and enhanced by saxophone and organ touches, while Lily Chao’s intoxicating vibratos bring a pinch of soul to the music.
An outstanding achievement of timeless pop music from the 1960s.”
Lucrecia Dalt brilliantly aligns abstract pop sediments with ambiguous sentiment...
One of the leading lights of quiet, boundary-probing song-writing, Lucrecia is at her most mercurial in Ou, joined by Clarinet and Saxophone for one piece among a suite of specially grained small sound composition and glossolalic inference that perhaps best betrays her academic background as a geologist as much as her interests in exploratory New Wave German cinema.
Ou unfolds in multi-sectioned segments with an absorbingly slow, natural complexity that connotes the passing of geologic or film time, as opposed to real time, or maybe that is real time? Either way, she’s conjures something like hot rocks singing the blues before forming into a cumbia-style bob with Over Unity, while Iot uncanily vacillates between bodies, states, or scenes, in a surreal cadence of electronics and voice recalling Maja S.K. Ratkje.
The LP really comes into its own on Floto, where those strange segues between states lead us into ever more unpredictable niches via nourish signposts, right up to the impressively windswept, weathered dynamics of Eleanore, recalling something like Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas shaken in a snow globe.
Lord Of The Isles mount another stellar scots techno jig for his DFSANT label
Coming off like Carl Craig land cruising the NC500 with the arpeggiated aurora and gritty Detroit groove of Synth Plus, pulling toward a Wickerman beach rave sound with the conga hustle and stormy vibes of To Here, and tumbling into a labyrinthine acid wormhole of techno triplets and bifurcating latin jazz breaks with Heyta Hota.
Following the Turkish collaboration of Dalmak and the more rock-inflected Lost Voices, Esmerine embarked on a soundtrack commission for the National Film Board documentary "Freelancer on the Front Line" (about independent journalism in the Middle East), which also led to a deep dive into archival and previously unreleased recordings.
Sessions for the film soundtrack provided various seeds for a new album concept and composing/recording continued rolling into early 2017, informed by anxiety over the reactionary, regressive, seemingly irresolvable disharmony of human oppression/domination and the ever-accelerating degradation / denial of nature and social justice. Stylistically, Mechanics Of Dominion took shape with mallet instruments brought more to the fore (relative to Esmerine’s previous two outings): marimba, piano and amplified music box provide a more prominent through-line on this new album's otherwise quite diverse material. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson's contributions also continue to shape Esmerine's songwriting to an ever greater extent – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are bracing, compelling elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this new song cycle. And the album revisits and further develops two previously recorded and heretofore unreleased pieces (the origins of the modernist piano, string and horn piece "Northeast Kingdom" date back to some of Esmerine’s earliest recordings in the mid-2000s; the sizzling free-improv of "¡Que Se Vayan Todos!" was captured during the Dalmak sessions.)
Mechanics Of Dominion is perhaps Esmerine's most dynamic and narratively-driven work, tracing an arc through Neo/Post--Classical, Minimalism, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Jazz, Baroque and Rock idioms to paint a soundtrack of lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is Esmerine’s humble requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world. Mechanics Of Dominion is also another superlative example of Esmerine's acclaimed and award-winning dedication to album artwork and packaging, this time featuring the work of Montreal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis in beautiful resonance with the album's balance of stylistic tensions and emotional colourations."
Compiling the first 3 albums in the 'Everywhere At The End Of Time' series - two and a half hours long, each album reveals new points of progression, loss and disintegration, progressively falling further and further towards the abyss of complete memory loss and nothingness...
Embarking on the Caretaker’s final journey with the familiar vernacular of abraded shellac 78s and their ghostly waltzes to emulate the entropic effect of a mind becoming detached from everyone else’s sense of reality and coming to terms with their own, altered, and ever more elusive sense of ontology.
The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.
In other words, Everywhere At The End of Time probes some of the most important questions about modern music’s place in a world that’s increasingly haunted or even choked by the tightening noose of feedback loops of influence; perceptibly questioning the value of old memories as opposed to the creation of new ones, and, likewise the fidelity of those musical memories which remain, and whether we can properly recollect them from the mire of our faulty memory banks without the luxury of choice
Canadian improv guitarist and vocalist Eric Chenaux graces the cover and is subject of key feature in this month’s edition.
Also main features on Call Super, new age rebel Pauline Anna Strom, and the ‘90s Midwest IDM scene, along with with articles on Chi boss Mike Dunn, NNF/100% Silk’s Amanda Kramer, a global ear cocked to Bogotá, and Mark Wastell vs The Invisible Jukebox. Also includes The Wire Tapper 45, starring 18 tracks by Off World, Andrea Belfi, Tomorrow’s Children, Goner, among others.
A cabal of legendary experimentalists coalesce and dissolve around the devilishly freeform percussive tics of Valentina Magaletti - drummer for Tomaga and Raime - in an expansive and ambitious session of punkish psych projections.
“UUUU is a new outfit featuring Edvard Graham Lewis, Thighpaulsandra, Matthew Simms and Valentina Magaletti. Individually these humans have implanted feathers in caps such as Coil, Dome, Wire, Tomaga, etc. Collectively they form UUUU, a powerhouse construction of fierce and free sonic exploration, as liberating as it is frightening, resulting in, the richly rewarding. The artists united present a project of exquisite curiosity and confident chaos where the individual thumbprints mesh into a gloriously muscular frenetic free sonic soup.
It's Going All Over The Floor presents itself as a terse meeting between dance, ambient, abstraction and improvisation. The Latent Black Path Of Summons Served proceeds in a tense energy field where random elements bounce around until locking into a fourth world pattern designed to fall into a dense mass of ecstatic noise. Boots with Wings is classic Lewis - a pop tune from the other side of the mind.
UUUU is a schizophrenic seething/soothing masterpiece of a past/present hybrid equally at home in the club, the home and the mind.”
With the arrival of clarinettist-saxophonist Louis Sclavis in 1973 (and the departure of trumpeter Jean Mereu in 1975), the Workshop De Lyon was born of the Free Jazz Workshop.
"A warmly accessible, beautifully performed, joyous mixture of wailing improv and propulsive, rootical preparations, this second album derives its upful, digressive theatricality from the Arts Ensemble Of Chicago, and its urgent sublimification of vernacular rhythms and melodies from Albert Ayler. Wild and free, but grounded in stuff like Bechet, Monk and George Russell. Terrific."
A dervish bewt from Stefan Schwander’s Harmonious Thelonious for TTT, Apakapa catches the Düsseldorf-based explorer meeting the moroccan flute of Ghazi Barakat for one of the project’s jazziest, moodily hypnotic episodes.
Apakapa initiates the session with a bright, pointillist geometry of thumb piano and grubbing, pendulous bass where Schwander gets freely harmonious with Barakat’s buzzing, expressive flute jabs in Sufi-esque style.
That all cools down to a bluer sound with Low Beat, where Schwander’s swingeing bass pulse underlines and buoys the low key smoke plumes from Barakat’s flute, subtly processed into vaporous tendrils and smeared on the mix.
And the DJs are left spoiled for choice with the B-side’s Whirling, which works equally brilliantly at 33 or 45rpm, with the kinda Photek style drum cadence also used by Don’t DJ, this time working beautifully as an opiated hip-charmer, or as an infectious sort of dancehall-techno bubbler.
Bushwick, NYC’s Made In Green label herald Rooteo & Mahura’s Mett album with their diaphanous dub roller, Sincro Tune
Recalling the deeper styles of Badawi, which Deadbeat overhauls as a throbbing Gaseous Form Dub clearly indebted to Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas templates.
Nice ’n breezy debut solo album tessellating techno, jungle, house and all those vintage feels with a classic feel for genteel, pastoral psychedelia. RIYL Lord Of The Isles, Carl Craig, SW
“Whacked out from the whisky soaked bristles of Firecracker HQ, the Danish DonDaDa DJ Sports (he of Regelbau and Help Recordings fame) offers up a maiden LP of vast and varied sonic states. Get set for solid rave aesthetics aplenty - the double pack’s journey trudges over a musical milieu of broke-beaten, ambient driven house and techno, melancholy junglist and dubwise downtempo. One foot in the past, one foot in the future and killing the present - a perfect and timely addition to the Firecracker canon.”
With form for 100% Silk and Church, James Booth sidles onto Hamburg’s Growing Bin Records with the deep house romance of Personal Growth
Coaxing out the tenderest Japanese/Detroit synth vibes and strutting square bass groove with Mood, before blushing the debonaire jazz-house flutter of Dream Precipitation and subtly kerning the groove between Shinchi Atobe lightness in Dhoop Stick, and something like a melting Prince instrumental on The Chorus.
Jim Jarmusch’s Sqürl trio follow up their Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack with this one for Jarmusch’s Paterson, including the opiated allure of Pouran samples in Persian Dream.
“With their most recent project in 2016, composing and recording the score for the film PATERSON, SQÜRL dove deeper into the ocean of ambient electronic music. Drums and guitars have been (though only temporarily) left behind in favor of analog synths on a quest for new ecstatic sounds to enrich the poetry of the film.”
Leo Anibaldi’s legendary 1991 debut comes reheated and reissued for 2017 thanks to Flash Forward.
It’s really all about the luscious B-side, Elements, taking cues from deepest NYC house and adding a a soupçon of Italian piano house flair to divine effect. The other two are more raved up and rudimentary, tapping up Belgian, NYC and UK techno styles in Modulazione, and going hard on the kicks, Robert Armani style, with the acid burn of House.