After attending college and getting deeper into computer music, Sam Obey began releasing music as Obey City. The project quickly took off with EPs for LuckyMe, forming the Astro Nautico label with his best friends, multiple tours and collaborating with Kelela and Flatbush Zombies. Now, as Sam O.B., he returns to what his oldest confidants know he’s always had up his sleeve: his voice and his bass guitar.
"‘Positive Noise’, the debut album by Sam O.B., is not a ‘journey of a record’ but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance; cloud patterns; like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water’ you’ll understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female ‘oohs’ fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way. The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
‘Positive Noise’ also has a strong anchoring in the thick pulsing rhythmic stylings of 70s and 80s disco and funk grooves. Sam is a dedicated vinyl collector, having curated DJ residencies around NYC (Hot Sounds Island, Astro Nautico, The Lot) that practically worshipped smooth jams."
Think Ilpo Vaisanen meets $hit & $hine or Zuli clashing Pat Maherr…
“All spectrums explored. The off kilter dub waltz of '16-16' stutters into view with a heavy and heady rolling dread, whilst inaudible vocal snippets and flatlining synth lines echo and enforce a melee of repetition and danger. 'Fitness Talk' perhaps best showcases Assel's interest in Dubwise production techniques, and his ability to soak up a palette of sound and turn it into something truly his own. Soft familiar bass pads provide the backbone here for all out sample mayhem, a space where recognisable dub effects and sonars vibe alongside absolutely unsettling outer samples of jarring vocals and inaudible upset, purposefully mixed to jolt ears into unfamiliar territories. 'This will not stand' opens and closes in similar fashions through 'Don Leo 2' and 'Don Leo 1', with Assel crystallising the themes of grit, surrealism, absurdism, dub, and experimentalism explored over the EPs 22 minutes into two short sharp bursts.”
'Music always should be surprising and make you alert. You must be on your toes and you should feel that anything could happen, the weirder the better. I love darkness and grit in music, it's great when it doesn't quite fit - that's far more interesting to me then any kind of smoothness.' - Robin Asselman / Assel”
The follow up to last year's 'Caramel', which explored and disassembled the afterglow of warm rave memory.
"The EP kicks off with the joyous actual rave of Cascada, a piece of sunny techno with a modulating, catchy stab riff over strong kicks. Next up, 'Species with Amnesia' starts of with hazy bells and synthetic, warped bird-like sounds, before dropping into a chugging Italo disco bassline and a relaxed synthline which snakes around the chords in unexpected ways as the track progresses.
The first of two remixes, the µ-Ziq mix of 'Caramel', is recast to maximise it's airiness, its soft chords building into epic slabs of choral sound over loose breaks. The EP finishes on the slowly evolving dawn ambience of Huerco S.'s 'Extended Stay - The Morning Version' of 'Beatrice's Visit', eleven pure minutes of gentle bliss to get lost in."
Finally available again! In advance of their debut album comes this collection of The Superimposers' limited edition 45's released over the past 18 months, bolstered by two new tracks. Dealing in the aural equivalent of Ketamine-laced Rainbowdrops, The Superimposers plunder the sunshine pop of the 1960's and, like Brian Wilson, find that however good the weather, there'll always be shadows. 'Over the Bridge' is a string-fed, home reared crossbreed of David Axelrod orchestration, Jimi Goodwin vocals and Devendra Banhart alt-country which all comes together in a star burst of melancholy. Not wanting to limit themselves The Superimposers also look to Phil Spector production on the psychedelia tinged 'Seeing is Believing' and with 'Chasing the Tide' introduce the notion of Badly Drawn Boy soundtracking a Ziegfeld folly choreographed film opening. The Superimposers, along with Manchester based Jim Noir, prove that an understanding of the past can inform a keen sense of the now which doesn't rely on misty eyed reminiscing to evoke the spirit of days gone by.
Revered west coast DJ/producer Kutmah takes a massive mind-dump with his long-overdue debut LP, Trobbb!, forming a 26 track mosaic of sawn-off beats and ragged atmospheres that works just like a mixtape of exclusive, original material.
“The record features an incredible cast of guests - Gonjasufi, Jonwayne, Natureboy Flako, Ta’Raach, Jeremiah Jae, Zeroh, Zackey Force Funk, N8NOFACE, Sach, Akello G Light and DJ Chris P Cuts - spanning experimental meditative, Zennist loops; crackly oddball beats and abstract raps; as far as outright punk/noise and even folk/blues. At its heart it’s an incredibly sentimental record, heavily referential to his past but also future-facing, and not just in its sonics. “I wanted to make a record for loners. You know some records have that ‘Hey! I'm at a festival!’ sound? Well I wanted to do the opposite of that”.
The album was recorded in Berlin in Winter. Being in a foreign country around the holidays when one is supposed to be with family… that emotion of isolation weighed heavy on Justin: “For three weeks during this time I didn't speak to a single person… I had no internet and no phone.” Accordingly, half of the record fits this season and these emotions. In Spring the sun came out and the flowers were blooming: “I started to cheer up a bit and so did the beats,” says Justin. “I like that there are polar opposite vibes on the record. Hopefully I'll hear from some punk kid that they only like Part One, or from some hip-hop head that they only like Part Two… or some beat head saying they only like the instrumentals.”
Close friend Dario Rojo Guerra (aka Natureboy Flako) played a key role in piecing the album together with Justin, acting as engineer and occasionally producer, in addition to providing a set of trusted ears.
There’s a definite sense of contemplation and memory with “TROBBB!”. The title is a reference to Justin’s school days in Brighton. He would go to Egypt to visit family in the summer holidays and come back to school suitably tanned. One bully took to calling him Black Belly Button until one day Justin took retribution with his fists. The cover photo, taken by Justin himself is in itself highly symbolic: “It’s my homegirl Angela at lunch break at Hoover High in Glendale around 1992. We would always try to go where no dickheads were hanging out, so we would go chill by the bleachers and take photos of each other.”
LA’s Gifted & Blessed (GB/The Reflektor) returns as The Abstract Eye with a hot flush of loose and supremely adroit electro-funk zaps on Rush Hour.
Check for funkiest highlights in the chromatic keen and wobbly but snappy groove of Cool warm Divine and the bubbling low key beauty, Twinkerbelly.
Theo Parrish grips two yung Detroit producers, Julion De’Angelo and Thomas Xu, for a superbly refreshing blend of traditions, old and new, with Roots That Talk for Sound Signature.
Track for track they give up some of the baddest gear on SS in a minute, with De’Angelo’s Chase The Summer pivoting around a killer, angular Afro-drum cadence, electro-stab punctuation and virulent synthlines, and then playing out the perfectly hazy, dusky ghetto ride of Pocketfull’s Omar-S style steez.
Thomas Xu keeps up his end of the bargain, too; getting down with balafon-like percussions and thumb piano chimes in Alottochewon before a rudely fulminating synth wickedly upsets the rhythm - this will sound mental in the club! - whereas his Acceptance groove meditates on more charming vibes redolent of Africans With Mainframes at their more laid-back angles.
Red Axes have come a long way since the 2014's Ballad Of The Ice.
"Tel-Aviv, now a scene and sound that the duo were instrumental in putting on the map, has burst onto the world stage armed with limitless electronic bravado and the city's strong guitar music heritage. Now, the much loved duo return, sophomore album in tow on their own label Garzen Records.
Unique moments and significant experiences gleaned over the course of an exceptionally intense year left Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi with depths of inspiration for their new record. Throughout December 2016, the Axes worked in their Tel-Aviv studio, surrounded by their extended Garzen family - Abrão, Eylonzo Crotch, Gabriel Broid, Adi Bronicki, Thomass Jacksonn & Iñigo Vontier all feature - giving life to a new psychedelic cosmic adventure. The outcome, a 12 track album which invites listeners to The Beach Goths world.
Red Axes snake their way through genres and periods, clearing an unorthodox highway through conventions, nodding to the past, eyes on the future. Live drums, jangling guitars, fuzzed out synths and an all pervasive psychedelia emerge as the backbone of The Beach Goths. Opener Ride The Sus leads in with a nonchalant blues indebted bluster; Tarzan Blues and Relaxation (For Your Mind And Body) call halftime with a bow down to Dead Kennedys and Cramps era proto punk and rockabilly.
While the Axes are quick to jam out exotic post-punk numbers, the land of The Beach Goths is a land of contrasts. The clubs are never far and the drum machines come out on prime time club ready chuggers Piper Work, Shir 1 and the album's first choice excerpt Tantram Power.Dori and Niv's vocal chops feature heavily, standing out on the youthful, kaleidoscopic ballad Loosen and hippy trippy song What Is In Your Head.
Closing the album with a warm embrace, helped by Deaf Chonky’s lead singer Adi Bronicki, on psychedelic ballad Into Your Arms."
Wolf Eyes fix a possessed gaze on a sort of squashed slow techno abstraction in two excursions for their Lower Floor label
With roiling globular pulses and colourfully plumed flutes and oscillator tweaks coming off like Rashad Becker jamming with The Sperm for the first half of 11817, before committing to something like Black Mecha doing native american music for the 2nd half, before 11317 takes off on a slightly shorter but more wigged out trip churning up woozy clarinet with free-handed guitar noise and absolutely messed up, barely harnessed bass muck.
“Wolf Eyes return to the audio world with two bangers of free abstraction and stretched out otherworldly electronics with ‘Strange Days II’. After the ‘Undertow’ (previous Wolf Eyes album) washes you up on the shores of an unmarked empty island, you find yourself stuck dead centre tangled inside a world where the air is filled with buzzing electronics beamed in from a arcane planet and the ‘things’ that are living are hungry for marrow of anything that was considered ‘music’ from the year 2391 AD. You are left alone with how to recreate sound from scratch, using nothing but the wind and mystery. The only words left from the human race are carved slowly on the trunk of a twisted tree, carefully saying “Wolf Eyes were here and these were truly strange days.””
0PN’s Cannes Award ’17-winning OST for Good Time - a soon come crime thriller by NYC’s Sadie brothers - unfurls in all its future-classic glory on Warp to coincide with the film’s release date.
Adding to Daniel Lopatin aka 0PN's increasingly impressive soundtrack portfolio - now counting four major films since work on 2013’s Bling Ring (although IMDB has some prior credits) - this one is arguably his most refined and memorable from first impressions. It appears that before the film was even started he’d established a symbiotic relationship with the directors, sharing their vision of how the music would inspire, score and relate to their visual aspect.
We can safely say it sounds like the soundtrack to a gritty American thriller and all that it entails, but 0PN also brings a level of idiosyncrasy to the plate that makes it highly enjoyable in its own right, especially in the luscious, belly-flipping rush of The Acid Hits and the widescreen tracking of Hospital Escape / Access-A-Ride or the creamy float of Leaving The Park, which is instantly identifiable as an 0PN piece, whilst Connie finds him heading off on TCF or Lorenzo Senni-esque vectors, and you’ve probably heard The Pure And The Damned featuring Iggy Pop, which sounds uncannily like its about to drop into Lou Reed doing Perfect Day at any moment.
On his fractious 4th album as Egyptrixx, David Psutka sounds like a lost astronaut who’s been ripped from his dancefloor-moorings and sent infinitely spinning in space with steadily decreasing oxygen supply and an infected CPU. The sleek contours of his Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] (2015) are replaced with a palette of atonal foley and elusive rhythms and threaded with a sort of atmospheric pathos that beautifully pulls the whole album together.
It sounds as though the influence of his Ceramic TI project - a digital-only release in 2016 on his Halocline Trance label - has seeped out in his work as Egyptrixx, in effect continuing a steady line of elevation and expansion from his Bible (2011) album for Night Slugs via engineering work for fellow Canucks, Jessy Lanza (What You Won’t Do For Love, No) and Junior Boys (Big Black Coat LP) right up to his current, mutant flux of ideas reworked from classic synth-pop, cinematic sound design and up-to-the-second, deconstructed club music.
With a sonic palette perfectly analogised in the dripping but brittle chromatic globule on the jacket and its corresponding ultraviolet colour scheme, Pure, Beyond Reproach feels to pursue a human spirit thru post-human soundscapes both viscerally real and emulated, virtual and hyperreal. All the elements - lush pads, tranquil field recordings, and sparse, cranky drums - are put in place within the weightless first minutes of Lake Of Contemplation, Pool of Fundamental Bond and thoroughly mutated across the record, from the Akira OST nods of We Can Be Concrete and the revved-up vapornoise of Show Me How To Live, to sickly, detached slices of synth-pop recalling John Foxx or YMO’s visions of the future in his cranky title track and the shinier hybrid styles of Anodyne Wants To Ammo, whilst those gasping for a beat proper will get it in the curt drill of Plastic Pebble (Beat), and almost with the weightless inference of Anything U Say, Everything U Do.
RIYL Jesse Osborne Lanthier, Amnesia Scanner, The Sprawl (Mumdance, Logos, Shapednoise)
"The Kramford Look are back with a new album that wouldn’t seem out of place on Jonny Trunk’s label or Andy Votel’s crate diggin’ specialists, Finders Keepers. Think Francois De Roubaix, Ennio Morricone or even Sven Libaek, classic film soundtrack and vintage TV library music… but with that unique Kramford twist."
The Kramford Look are a contemporary duo plus guests who specialise in spacey, groovy '70s library theme music. Multi instrumentalists and engineers Dan Wood and Pierre Duplan man a small orchestra's worth of gear including exotic bits such as pianet, Logan String Melody, kazoo, harpsichord, and 4 handed cello (wait a sec, are they having us on?), and sound very much like the real thing. All the tracks comes ready with their own description, which makes our lives so much easier. There's 'Ivory Road' a "Wandering flute theme over walking bass line. Echoplex.", and 'Magic Plastic Home', an "Apprehensive theme with childlike overtones. Glockenspiel. Fuzz bass harpsichord." and 'The Stalk' described as "Nocturnal city mood with melancholic flute section. Intermezzo. 5/4 rhythm. Fender Rhodes piano.", but we'd dare say the best thing about it is Jonny Trunk's plain-speaking liner notes.
Raw, wonky and off-the-cuff house as electronic folk music from Bergsonist, pursuing their tapes and 12”s for Clan Destine and Börft with a trio of direct to tape emissions, at best in the NYC garage-esque swanger, Mutation, and with something to bite down on in Murray CY’s rusty remix knock of Ressentiment.
Well-studied hip hop-style beat tape, playing thru like a dusty Ras-G smoke-out recorded between 1988-1991
Neatly incorporating chopped ’n screwed takes of acid house and early rave tracks in-the-blend.
Huerco S and Overmono (Truss and Tessela) rework the Prurient-starring highlight of Nathan Fake’s Providence album in techno and ambient versions.
The Overmono bro’s get rid of the vocal and focus on a proggy build of creamy cosmic arpeggios and slamming techno, calving off into a fizzing baroque tizzy at the half way point like something from AFX’s Analord series.
The natty grub of Bosky serves as a tart techno palette cleanser from Fake, before Huerco S steals the show and completely dissolves the same elements of Degreelessness in a serene ambient bubblebath accompanied by new age tabla...
R&S present ‘Warmth’ the new album from New York based duo Blondes AKA Sam Haar and Zach Steinman whose ten tracks of mesmerising, ever shifting rhythmic workouts percolate alongside contemporaries such as Levon Vincent, Joey Anderson and Donato Dozzy.
"A decade into their musical relationship, the duo continue to find inspiration through hardware instrumentation and improvisation. Haar and Steinmsan’s intense live performances on sound systems throughout Europe and US for 2013’s ‘Swisher’ LP and beyond traversed nightclubs, festivals, art museums and DIY spaces serving to generate a wealth of material album to be distilled into this album.
‘Warmth’ finds them further stripping away extraneous elements, pushing their percussive framework to the forefront. The result is lysergic techno fused with Blondes’ characteristic synth-work and atmospherics.
After parting company with their previous label, the highly respected RVNG Intl. label, the duo find a natural home as part of R&S’s storied alumni as they explain: “Having released on RVNG for years, we had wanted to move in the direction of releasing on a more dance music focused label. RVNG has established itself in the world of experimental music and reissuing overlooked records from the past, and we both (RVNG and Blondes) thought it would be immensely exciting for us to release this new record with R&S”
It’s fair to say that Blondes’ characteristic hypnotic synth figures, pulsing club ready rhythms and gritty off-kilter sensibility have never felt as fully realised and timely as on ‘Warmth’- their most significant and weighty record to date.”
Written and performed by Yasunao Tone. Recorded at ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, June 9th, 2016 by Bob Bellerue Mix and mastered by Russell Haswell. Photo by Cameron Kelley. Layout by Stephen O’Malley.
"I have had an idea if I apply the neural network to create my sound work for long time. When I had a performance at Centre Pompidou with Peter Rehberg and other friends I tried to talk about the idea with a French guy from IRCAM. But, he couldn’t understand my idea, which by using neural network the sound I create would never have any repetitions. That was 2002 and I had to wait until 2015 when I had a grant from New York State Council on the Arts through Issue Project Room, then its director Lawrence Kumpf applied for my new work. The grant finally made possible for making my cherished idea, the neural network piece, reality. I had talked about the idea with Prof. Tony Myatt at Surrey University, UK and he developed the software for the piece with a team included Dr. Paul Modler. At the lab in the University a series of my performances of my MP3 Deviation were captured and used to train Kohonen Neural Networks to develop artificial intelligences that simulate my performances. Hence a birth of new piece AI Deviations. I had a premiere at Issue Project Room on June 9th 2016 and the venue was more than packed and here is the performance of the piece." (Yasunao Tone)
Microtonal music for violas and viola da gamba performed by Nadia Sirota & Liam Byrne. Includes download codes for 38-minute film by Steven Mertens and all digital audio
“Tessellatum is an album and a film, with music composed by Donnacha Dennehy and animation by Steven Mertens, performed by violist Nadia Sirota and viola da gamba player Liam Byrne. The film and the music both work with the idea of man vs. nature. Steven Mertens’ electric animation toggles back and forth between man-made geometric perfection and the natural oddness of the deep ocean. Donnacha Dennehy’s addictive timbres move between tuning systems created by humans and the ones found in natural resonance. As a result, the two works of art support and enhance each other, using the same form and structure to create an incredibly moving work of art.
All fifteen string parts were performed by Nadia Sirota and Liam Byrne on viola and viola da gamba. The album was recorded in Iceland’s famed Greenhouse Studios by Paul Evans and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson. Produced by Nadia Sirota. “