Posh Isolation’s core duo - Loke Rahbek (Croatian Amor) and Christian Stadsgaard aka Damian Dubrovnik - arch up a volley of bittered power noise outbursts with Great Many Arrows, marking 200 releases for the label they started with Songs For Loviatar in 2009. Myriad solo and collaborative projects have followed over the interim, plotting out a sprawling constellation of ideas and gestures, and perhaps all preparing us for this, their most riveting vision of bloodied noise romance.
Taking its title from a historic archery competition in Kyoto, Japan, in which archers would shoot as many arrows as possible for a 24 hour period, Great Many Arrows hits its target with frightening accuracy, packing the spectacle and ferocious intensity of their ritualistic live performances into a studio context where they can utilise and manipulate a greater array of acoustic instrumentation - organs, cellos, wind and others - against more typical electronic backdrops and processing.
If their previous releases often took cues from Prurient releases, Great Many Arrows is again pretty much a conceptual re-working of Frozen Niagara Falls, where, like Dominick Fernow, they embrace an expanded palette of tonal colours to better realise their personal vision. The results are most bracing in the opening Arrow 1, which also recalls the blistered strings of Deathprod, but shot thru with fire-breathing exhortations, while making sterling use of lacunæ and piercing distortion in Arrow 2, and beautifully summing it all up in the cinematic elegance of Arrow 6 with its steepled pads and wistful accordion cadence.
One of Lobster Theremin’s earliest signings sidles onto berlin’s Workshop with a collection of deft, mostly beatdown house tracks interspersed with nicely meandering ambient bits.
Check for sweeter treats in the gauzy shimmy of Positronic Dreams and the wobbling groove, cracked textures of Whuffie, and the dank wormhole of Interlude.
Perfectly faded ambient nostalgia hailing from modern day Russia. A lush dream sequence of airy atmospheres and simmering krautrock pulses evoking hair in a gentle breeze, dry ice swirling over standard soviet issue trainers, and drifting along the River Neva in mid-winter. One of the best NNF instalments in ages...
"St. Petersburg seeker Vladimir Karpov coaxes hushed auras of keys, metronomes, fog, and feeling to evoke hazed and isolated realms, traced in altered states. His latest collection – and vinyl debut – maps the maze at “the bottom of self,” subterranean consciousness manifested from decaying synthesizer and shadowed pulse: music for fading torchlight. Labyrinth leads through six misty, mystic chambers of dreams, drones, delirium, and phasered percussion, spiraling in slow, sacred arcs, in quest of “the inner world.” Tosya Chaikina’s ghost vocals on “False Angel Lullaby” and “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors” bring a whispered hymnal mood but otherwise the LP is ambient and abandoned, obscure meditations along corridors of candlelit runes, “to find the right path, to find the true answer.”
Bristol’s Hodge chases up that ace Peder Mannerfelt collab with three loose-limbed tribal tricks playing deep into the Livity Sound aesthetic on No Single Thing. For our 2p, like the aforementioned 12”, it’s some of the best work in his arsenal, exchanging stodginess for something more agile and making us itch for the dance in the process.
The swingeing polyrhythms and screaming harpies of No Single Thing suggest a parallel dimensional link-up between Psychick Warriors Of Gaia and Shackleton c. 1990/2785 (do they even have linear time in this dimension?), whilst Light waves pinches between he eyes with pealing bleep patterns and fully pendulous drums accentuated with proper, bulbous bass (allow that Casualty-theme coda) and Joe Likes to Dance adds some salt to the dish with tart groove and dissonant nasal drip synth tang destined for smoke filled warehouses ‘round are (our) way.
Arttu Snellman lends his taut, funked up energies to Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jr label with the strident, deep techno-house pressure of Walking On A Fine Line, backed with rawer, tracky reinforcements.
A regular character on Philpot, Clone’s Royal Oak and 4 Lux, and his own Cyblo label this decade, with work on stacks of mnml labels as Lump before that, Arttu nails a heavy infectious sound here, alloying Roberto Q Ingram’s lyrics with a steely, funked up Chicago undertow in Walking On A Fine Line and the scuffed, stripped down Bass Trakk banger, before heading into the strobes and smoke with a mesmerising dub techno momentum of Debris.
No messing. Party pressure guaranteed.
Classic ’90’ Dutch electro available to download officially for the first time!
No messing with this stuff, just straight up body work in four parts, especially raw in Een Drumcomputer & Een Synthesiser, with subtler flavours of Cybotron funk in Untitled (1), and a dank cinematic trip to be found in Untitled (3).
CPU slice off two slo-mo highlights from Nadia Struiwigh’s debut album, Lenticular onto 12”, including the brooding mass of the title cut and her swampy midnight trek, Trip In Fiction.
The Rotterdam-based artist’s follow-up to 12”s with Rosedale Records and ADRO Records pursues an atmospheric line of enquiry on Lenticular, with grumbling bass and spidery trills elegantly carrying a top heavy payload of keening, bittersweet pads and gauzy choral work into a smudged, impressionistic space between early B12 and Æ.
Flipped she rolls on a purring slo-mo engine into awning ambient realms recalling the vibes of Joey Beltram’s Aonox album or ambient early-mid ‘90s Plastikman, but with a smudged, gauzier resolution that time-stamps it to 2017.
Lenticular is the full length debut of Nadia Struiwigh, an electronics music producer from Rotterdam who work recalls the fluffy but melancholy styles of Warp’s AI series or the likes of BoC and Biosphere.
Two of the album’s highlights, Lenticular and Trip In Fiction are given a side per piece on the accompanying 12”, but there’s also seven more on this full version, gliding between the smooth harmonic developments of Intrope to alien pastoral tribal feels on Space Tribe, Extra Terrestrial, and 4Es, or The Orb in Genetically, while the 2nd half of the album takes turn towards moodier intervenes, culminating in the moon-booted PLCS and the album’s most insistent push with 010101.
Drily funked-up, low-key but lush minimal house swingers from Area, getting into a Matthew Herbert like moody groove with rlgl and heading somewhere more introspective in the gauzy atmospheres and hiccuping bump of Notice.
“Idle Hands strides towards the summer with a transmission from a kindred spirit across the pond. Area, sometimes known as m50, has been flying the flag for forward thinking electronic music in Chicago for a long time. His radio shows on WNUR have a distinctive quality one step to the side of the music his hometown is best known for, while his label Kimochi Sound has released incredible music from the likes of Benjamin Brunn, Strategy and many more besides.
As a producer Area has been equally prolific since first emerging in 2007. From Ethereal Sound and Steadfast to UntilMyHeartStops and Sequencias, his various approaches to rhythm and texture are all bound together by a meditative quality that feels like a perfect fit for Idle.
On this single, both sides of the 12 continue the theme of dusty, dusky 4/4 Area is most widely known for, locking on to a house groove while sporting the abstract atmosphere of techno. Rlgl is an understated, emotional heater that uses looped up fragments as a counterpoint to the more lilting strings and static that bed the track. Notice takes a more overtly melancholic approach with its lingering, heavily processed keys that drift in between a tough set of drums. There's a punch to the track that will translate beautifully to a big system, even as the melodics spell out a more intimate listening experience.”
Uniquely twysted ‘floor torque from Kush Arora aka Only Now, leaning in deft and heavy on Canada’s Infinite Machines.
We last heard the San Fran-based producer on his eponymous tape in 2015, and it’s fair to remark on both the contraction and expansion of his sound in since then in the Timeslave EP.
Basically the beats are tighter and the acres of noisy, negative space feel super wide, perfused by swarms of synthetic duppies and hallucinatory visions, turning up really solid highlights in the infectious blank and step of Liquid Eyes, with the hyper-tribalised pressure of Timeslave, and the fractious, bullying kuduro drums and intensely detailed sound designs projected by Remote Viewing.
Twwth & Desto’s Signal Life introduce Inner’s bolshy fusion of R&G and industrial-strength trap with his debut four-track black label.
From the front, it sounds like they’re trying to tune to a ghost pirate radio station with the fractious, noisy swerve and piquant vocal sampled in Pain, whilst Crystal Ember veers into high-strung trap-trance. Close ratchets the intensity with strobing edits applied to rusty ballroom stabs in cone-crumpling style, and Roll Out clocks off on a see-sawing grime tip with extra punchy drums.
Grandiose fusions of classical and future garage sensibilities
“An artist dedicated to pushing the boundaries between the classical and electronic worlds, Prayer is a producer and composer who has impressed both ends of the spectrum. After dropping Lost (2017), aimed at giving classical music a more accessible angle, Prayer's Seeing is a darker, club-orientated four-tracker.
In his words: "Seeing again explores relationships between two different areas of music; pushing for the diversification of classical music. Although more aggressive and instant than my previous work, it still fully compositional in its nature. The aim was to contrast harmony with brash rhythm, balancing perceived elegance and the abrasive."
Chamber Music is an ongoing series of site-specific sound works made entirely from a single recording of the empty space in which they are presented.
"An hour of “silent” roomtone is recorded when no people are in the building; this is heavily filtered to extract drones derived from the room’s resonant frequencies. This is the only sonic material used, and there is minimal electronic processing involved. Airforms was made in 2013 as a birthday gift for Steve Roden, who provided two hours of empty room tone recorded in his bubble-shaped “Airform” house designed and built by architect Wallace Neff in 1946. The first hour was used to make the drones, and the second hour to makethe bell-like tones, and the two are here superimposed. Certain Roden-inspired compositional strategies weredevised to generate indeterminate structures.
“This is literally chamber music – sound artist Steve Peters records the ambient resonances of empty rooms, which he then turns into site-specific installations exhibited in the same locations. The latent acoustic potential of the space is brought out into a more tangible form. For the most part,
stony sonorities are all that can be heard: long, looming tones that unfold incredibly slowly...these are broken by moments of vivid detail: sounds like dropping water, or the soft report of a sonar, gather and disperse, apparently randomly – though after a while they almost recall Morse code.” - The Wire