Delroy Edwards extends his now-yearly invite to dance with Rio Grande, following the format of his Hangin’ At The Beach album with a mazy run thru funked-up, lo-fi cuts. Please note that the download version is 22 tracks long, while the vinyl sampler contains 5 tracks.
Short-circuiting questions of quantity over quantity by presenting everything at the lowest possible grain grade and with lots of it to choose from, he lets his mind, and by turns ours, wander freely from hazy cable access TV funk in El Bandito Pt.1, to the vintage porno soundtrack vibes of Rio Grande and the swaggering charms of The Hawaii Guys with ineffably louche and idealised style; kinda like the sonic equivalent of a freestyling skateboarder who can’t help but knock out natty trick after trick with sloppy but deadly style.
If you’re after club jams, run check the sorts of his budget Larry Heard vibes on Rumba or Knock Em Out, and the bristling jack attacks of his Raw Beats, but to be honest it’s best consumed in one hazy sitting, preferably with a henny in one hand and zoot in the other.
Paul Allen, who appeared on the very first Rocket 7" of 1998 with The Heads, fronts Anthroprophh, an outfit who take both garage-bound filth and wayward, abstract artistry to zones beyond comprehension.
"The third release on Rocket for this power lives up to its name in driving just such demented predilections into head-spinning chaos. Structured by Allen's admission akin to Can's "Tago Mago", this is a cliff-edge into sanity-risking overload which has much in common with the glory days of 1971- the Nurse-With-Wound list realm of record-collector gold where heavy rock, nascent prog and wilfully art-damaged netherscapes thrived.
Equal space for everything-on-11 riffage of a distinctly Stoogian/stygian stripe, bracing musique concrete, Butthole Surfers-esque bedlam, Chrome-style sci-fi noise-pop, surreal British humour, and what sounds essentially like a 0s NASA HQ going up in flames.
Who's to say exactly where Anthroprophh move on from this guileless aural endtime mission.
Yet "OMEGAVILLE" - in the tradition of most great out-rock and psych-noise - feels very much like a foot placed firmly on the accelerator in search of dimensions unknown - a liminal zone where fuzz and wah transcend space and time."
No Joy / Sonic Boom is Jasamine White-Gluz and Pete Kember. You know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze/noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R. While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015.
"No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. "No Joy functioned as a four-piece `rock band' for so long," she says. "I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle.
Pete is a legend and someone I've admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible." What started as a sonic exploration between two friends_passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal - soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise.
"I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them.
I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas.
There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds." The No Joy / Sonic Boom EP begins with the 11+ minute epic "Obsession," a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before "Slorb" slinks in, casting its seductive spell.
"Triangle Probably" rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine's silvery vocals.
"Teenage Panic" begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then - a full stop - before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.
No Joy / Sonic Boom is an experiment in testing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones gone cosmically right."
NON display strength in numbers with the second of 3 instalments of NON Worldwide Compilation, Vol. 2, pulling together a broad range of brilliant new and established artists from the African and Black Atlantic diaspora.
We’re naturally drawn to Nkisi’s banging Congolese rhythm and coruscating vocal in AFRO PRIMITIV, while Yayoyanoh & Organ Tapes also grab attention with a Nu-Metal dembow drop replica Riddim, Italian PAN act STILL get rude with the elastic dancehall lean of Shikorina, and Manchester’ Afrodeutsche rolls out on the fine-tuned Detroit electro hydraulics of I Know Not What I Do.
But we’re familiar with the above artists already, and there’s a stack of new names to get acquainted with, ranging from Petit Singe with a sepulchral beauty called Insomnia that recalls Cy An or Zomby works, or Yung Liberaci with the haughty shove of Ballroom Life, and the see-sawing, UKF or Gqom-comptiable bounce of My Angel from LeoKarlo.
With every record, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed, and Freedom is the project’s boldest leap yet.
"The first LP, D.I.A., was a gnarled underground classic, recorded and played completely by McMahon in a trailer in upstate New York over the course of a month and left as is. The fourth and most recent LP Love, a record that enlisted Godspeed! You Black Emperor as both producers and backing band (along with an additional motley crew including Elias Bender Rønnenfelt of Iceage and Colin Stetson), featured songs confidently far removed from the damaged drug pop of Amen Dunes’ trailer-park origins.
Love took two years to make. Freedom took three. The first iteration of the album was recorded in 2016 following a year of writing in Lisbon and NYC, but it was scrapped completely. Uncertain how to move forward, McMahon brought in a powerful set of collaborators and old friends, and began anew. Along with his core band members, including Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, came Chris Coady (Beach House) as producer and Delicate Steve on guitars. This is the first Amen Dunes record that looks back to the electronic influences of McMahon’s youth with the aid of revered underground musician Panoram from Rome. McMahon discovered Panoram’s music in a shop in London and became enamored. Following this the two became friends and here Panoram finds his place as a significant, if subtle, contributor to the record.
The bulk of the songs were recorded at the famed Electric Lady Studios in NYC (home of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, D’Angelo), and finished at the similarly legendary Sunset Sound in L.A., where McMahon, Nick Zinner, and session bass player extraordinaire Gus Seyffert (Beck, Bedouine) fleshed out the recordings.
On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording.
The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colourful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.
Yet, if anything, these 11 songs are a relinquishing of all of them through exposition; a gradual reorientation of being away from the acquired definitions of self we all cling to and towards something closer to what's stated in the Agnes Martin quote that opens the record, “I don’t have any ideas myself; I have a vacant mind” and in the swirling, pitched down utterances of “That's all not me” that close it.
The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it’s a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable. The combination of a powerhouse rhythm section, Delicate Steve’s guitar prowess filtered through Amen Dunes heft, and Panoram’s electronic production background, makes for a special and unique NYC street record.
It’s a sound never heard before on an Amen Dunes record, but one that was always asking to emerge. Eleven songs span a range of emotions, from contraction to release and back again. ‘Blue Rose’ and ‘Calling Paul the Suffering’ are pure, ecstatic dance songs. ‘Skipping School’ and ‘Miki Dora’ are incantations of a mythical heroic maleness and its illusions. ‘Freedom’ and ‘Believe’ offer a street tough’s future-gospel exhalation, and the funk-grime grit of ‘L.A.’ closes the album, projecting a musical hint of things to come.”
Blocks & Escher polish up proper late ‘90s style D&B on Something Blue
Old skool rollers and yungers who know their onions will find lots to step with in the jazzy hardstep ace Vigil, on the double deep Doc Scott pressure of Breaking The Waves, the classic-sampling shoppe of Your Ghost, and most cannily in the sublime, Burial-esque tension of Gulls.
Soul Jazz Records deliver a new edition of their long out of print classic first “Deutsche Elektronische Musik – Experimental German Rock and Electronic Music 1972-83” is ‘a near-definitive guide to some of the world’s most extraordinary music’ (The Guardian).
"The album comes as two separate double-vinyl releasses, featuring a stunning line-up of groups including Cluster, Can, Faust, Popol Vuh, Neu!, Amon Düül, Harmonia, La Düsseldorf and Tangerine Dream as well as a host of lesser known groups such as Kollectiv, Ibliss, Between and many more. This new edition is fully re-mastered and features all the original artwork and tracks.
The first seeds of German rock and experimental electronic music were planted in 1968, as students and workers in Paris, Prague, Mexico and throughout the world demonstrated against mainstream society, the war in Vietnam, imperialism and bourgeois values. The birth of a counter-culture, drug experimentation and social change expanded musical worlds. Germany experienced its own cultural revolution fuelled by these worldwide student and worker revolts and by a generation’s desire to rid itself of the guilt of war.
German rock and experimental electronic music grew out of this worldwide counter-cultural revolution of 1968. The objectives were to create new music, ‘free’ from the past, many German youth turning their back on mainstream society. From the opening of the first collective/cooperative, Kommune 1, in Berlin, to the formation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group and the bombings, kidnappings and killings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF), young Germans sought out new values and a lifestyle outside of ‘the system’.
These cooperative and communal experiences led to a number of new collective German bands forming such as Amon Düül, Faust, Can (all featured here) and others and these ideals drove this new movement. A music that gave seed out of the cultural ‘nothingness’ that young Germans felt as a consequence of Germany’s role in the Second World War. A generation who grew up stifled by the recent history of Nazi atrocities, the guilt of their parents’ generation and their disillusionment at the reintegration of old Nazis into mainstream society.
Influenced equally by the electronic experimentalism of Stockhausen, the progressive rock of Pink Floyd and the black American jazz and soul music played at the occupying armed forces bases, young German artists seamlessly created out of this a new unique music with its own unique identity.
Moon Gangs return with a starry-eyed suite of synth themes intersection Indian raga, pulsating kosmiche and Carpenter-esque sci-fi cinematic themes
“'Earth Loop' is inspired by both classical music and the film scores of 80s sci-fi and horror classics such as Terminator, Videodrome and Phantasm, as well as those of electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh. Young's childhood was spent playing CS4 and Amiga games, and discovering their soundtracks. An ode to these formative years, 'Earth Loop' casts ambient, analogue synth arpeggios against cinematic drones resulting in an evocative, nostalgic soundworld that's as invigorating as it is foreboding.
“Earth Loop mainly came out of jamming with synths. The mixer I use is an old Tascam 144 so if things are sounding good I just hit record and get it to tape. Everything started as big long rambles recorded live that are then trimmed down into something more concise. Inspiration-wise I’d been listening to more classical stuff, a lot of chamber music for strings, and I think that shows in the string section-y bits. Although they’re all synths, not actual strings.
It was recorded all over the place over quite a long time which I guess is why there are a lot of different ‘moods’ on it, rather than it being a document of a specific period of time/place. I also started building a field recording library over the last couple of years so there’s quite a bit of that in there, but they’re generally processed and run through synths so they’re not too recognisable”. - William Young, Moon Gangs
In case you don’t know, the Atari ST-wielding AB2088 is one of Manchester’s best kept electro secrets. Following a spate of long-awaited releases for Natural Sciences and CPU/Computer Club in 2017, he’s now coined the Liquidators label to release his own gear, starting with this, the wicked Union tape.
A result of stubborn production process requiring lots of roll-up cig’s and 12 hour concentration spans, Union is built from the atom up on a cranky AF Atari ST that’s done the rounds from North East England to Manchester over the last 30 years. Basically, working with this machine is very unlike working with modern DAWs, requiring a lot of patience and tenacity to get anything worthwhile from its antiquated chips and buttons.
But, that approach has properly paid off here, as AB2088 seems to increasingly pack ever more detail into his work, and with a distinctly un-Ableton-sounding quality that’s always a pleasure to hear. Best of all, it sounds like AB2088, as he really comes into his own on the super tight electro budge of Neurom, and with a deadly funk intricacy on Union, while Filtrad sounds like Cylob doing UK broken beat, and it’s hard not to buss a daft grin at the cartoonish funk of Mkvchains. Oh yeh, check those percolated Linn cracks on Union (Remix), too. It’s all mint.
Part of a killer one-two from AB2088 this week, Replicate flanks the Union tape with another prime example of what Manchester’s best kept electro secret gets up to in a smoky hole with his Atari ST.
With perhaps only Novo Line springing to mind as a fair comparison for AB2088, in terms of their shared approach to outmoded equipment, at least, the sounds and swerve of Replicate piss on so much modern electro from a proper great height.
Where recent years have seen an upsurge in dilettantes writing the most basic My First Electro Track and getting worldwide bookings off the back of their fancy turds, this guy is going all the way in, building his stuff from the ground up (no Ableton or Logic presets) and with devilish funk and style to boot.
On Replicate he precisely doesn’t copy and paste, instead throwing down some of the most original electro-funk prongs you’ll hear this year, with hard-to-resist highlights in the mercurial electro-acid of Brg141, on the slompy swagger of Ccom, again with those class Linn cracks in Replicate, and some serious badboy funk in DWaves.
Innovate don’t imitate, innit. This sh*t bangs for days.
Running Back rescue from oblivion a tape of home-baked synth traum made in West Germany, 1981 and originally issued by David Elliott’s then-pivotal YHR Tapes
“Running Back welcomes Andreas Grosser for the start of it’s non-dancefloor series “Running Back Incantations". Think Tornado Wallace’s “Lonely Planet” or Suzanne Kraft’s “Missum” who both would have been good and early contenders for a series like that, and you are half way there. Andreas Grosser though, was “there” and that way before. Probably best-known for his 1987 collaboration “Babel” with Klaus Schulze, Grosser is a bit of a dark horse in the universe whose big bang was krautrock and that went on to be called cosmic, space music or simply new age.
A native East-Berliner, Grosser crossed the Wall in 1981 and next to studying piano, his day job was to advise, sell, maintain and invent electronic music instruments. Naturally, Grosser had a good connection to and support from local Berlin musicians and groups, while working at night in his own studio and in those of others. Fast forward 37 years and Andreas is now one the worlds leading microphone technicians specialising in German and Austrian vintage types. “Venite Visum” is an anthology of recordings made between 1976 and1980. Released in 1981 on UK’s York House Recordings as a cassette tape only, it features some of the most out there, hypnotic and still state-of-the art space music ever to be known to man. For the first time transferred onto vinyl, compact disc and available as a digital download.”
Scorching digital soundsystem pressures from TNT Roots, pulled up by Bristol’s excellent Bokeh Versions.
Previously only available on Ebay or reggae forums, if you knew where to look, BV have done us all a favour by giving these cuts a wider release, coming with five shots of thee heaviest sound clash styles that we’ve heard in years, at the least.
There’s pure weight on the 10 tonne subs of Mighty In Battle, and stripped to the bone and strap with drums on Mighty In Battle 3, whereas Tears of The Righteous tramples on a slow steppers groove with unstoppable momentum.
Cooly G at her devilish best on Digitally Higher
Layering her own vocals in a way recalling Teresa Winter, but over a signature flux of stereo-strobing chords and needlepoint drum work that can’t help but make you dance better.
Seven years ago, Max Tundra sent Daphne and Celeste a tweet, asking if he could write and produce their comeback single. Four years later their song You & I Alone ripped through the internet. Today they announce the forthcoming release of the most unlikely comeback album of 2018.
"Three years after their comeback song, ‘BB’ arrives online as their new album’s appetiser, an uncompromising takedown of the anodyne and anonymous. “BB stands for Basic Busker,” explains Max, “any one of countless identikit instigators of mundane melodies that have brought the mood down in recent years. Pop music should lift the spirits - so why are the airwaves full of these mundane strummers?”
The world has changed a hell of a lot since Daphne & Celeste stormed up the charts with their effervescent earworms U.G.L.Y. and Ooh Stick You, back near the birth of the 21st century. So you’d be forgiven for failing to predict the fruitful union of D&C with a maverick electronic producer known for his records on Warp and Domino Records. But Max Tundra has long held an ambition to become a pop producer, and this new album is an addictive combination of the eccentric, creative and melodic.
After an initial sharing of tracks and ideas around the release of that first single in 2015, Max Tundra set about writing an album’s worth of material, inspired by the unique kinship, born of shared experience, between Daphne and Celeste, and his own unexpected part in their story. Last year, Tundra brought his suitcase full of songs to a desert retreat near Joshua Tree, where he joined D&C for the ‘working holiday’ that produced Daphne & Celeste Save The World.
A full-length album of giddy, ridiculous, genre-bursting pop, ‘Daphne & Celeste Save The World’ finds our friends in fine, soaring, melodic voice, with Tundra's restlessly inventive production a toothsome, chordy, maximalist feast. These 13 songs touch on subjects as varied as time travel, succulents, pipelines under the ocean, cabins in the wood, unadventurous guitarists and different regions of the brain, but above all the sweet, enduring friendship of those two people who, long ago, told us all to Ooh Stick You."
For only the 2nd time, German ambient techno pioneer Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric, MVO Trio, Vilod, Ambiq) presents his solo work on Greyland - an absorbing, six track follow-up to the Transparenz  LP for Loderbauer and Tobias Freund’s Non Standard Productions label.
Marking a bit of a departure for the Marionette label, who’ve previously issued a string of percussion driven records by Kilchhofer, Burnt Friedman and the like since 2014, Greyland keens their aesthetic into more esoteric realms of pulsating kosmiche electronics, while still keeping the dancefloor in view on a trio of bumpier B-side cuts.
In the first instance, though, Loderbauer works on generating a swell of wobbly, organically raw and diffused electronics, alternately laced with trickling modular knocks against banks of distortion in Corner, or tilling a stereo-swirled, monotone kraut groove in Undercurrent, whereas the elegantly shifting figures of Heliopolis show off his firm yet genteel grasp of modular electronics.
B-side, Loderbauer stealthily ups the ante. With Artus he carves a sequence of insistent, glassy plongs and lush, floating pads disturbed by shards of dissonant glitch, before eking out a scratchy sort of dubtronica somewhere between Bellows and Isan with Who’s That Born, and then slyding off the page with the creamed hyaline tones and languorous subbass waves of Golden Crescent.
Gila switches track with rude effect on a fiercely ‘floor-ready follow-up to his EPs for XL and Benji B’s Deviation.
Where he previously worked uniquely punctuated mutations of southern US hip hop, these two are given to rolling percussive structures rooted in tribal and techno dimensions; going in hard and blunted with the half-time acid techno burn of 106 Slipper going like Cut Hands doing a backroom for the Liberators, whereas Trench Cadence clocks up rarer Middle Eastern drum hits and nasty bass torque like an update of Muslimgauze’s mid ’90s pressures.
Distant Early Warning is the debut solo album by Australian drummer, percussionist and composer Laurence Pike.
"For the best part of two decades Pike has operated at the cutting edge of the electronic and jazz music worlds, releasing albums to critical acclaim and touring the world with his bands PVT (formerly Pivot), Triosk and Szun waves, and featuring on numerous albums, tours and soundtracks as a collaborator. On Distant Early Warning he carves himself a moment of reflection. The calm in the eye of the storm. An ominous portent as the rocks appear on the horizon.
Originally conceived as a technological and spiritual jazz suite for drums, Distant Early Warning is a series of solo performances for kit and sampler recorded live in a single day. “For a long time I’ve been feeling there’s a central part of my musical voice that didn’t have an outlet,” Pike says. “So this album is definitely a product of inner necessity.”
The album studiously avoids any rationalisation afforded by post-production hindsight. Pike uses technology in what he describes as an “intuitive way”, building sound worlds to improvise within. “I create a patch of sounds that provide some sort of alternative dimension to the kit. Many of them are samples of the kit themselves. I just play with different ways to frame them and interact. I feel like my job is to get into a space where the music makes itself.”
Maverick, veteran Japanese electronic musician presents his umpteenth album, but shows absolutely no signs of slowing down or holding back. Taking Jon Hassell's concept of a "Fourth World Music" as a starting point, 'Dreamer' imagines a lush alternate world where musics from myriad sources criss-cross the ether like electromagnetic signals, creating a miscegenation of harmonic dissonance, outernational rhythm patterns and cyberreal sonics with a slight Eastern accent. This couldn't be any more apparent than the opening 'Human Memory', tapping into a collective rave unconsciousness with '91 style 'ardcore breakbeats alloyed to non-native horns and layered drones, before 'Flitting Ray' swerves into subcontinental raga and 'Subconscious Globe' makes telepathic connections with windswept northern moorland. He continues to trek between deepest Berlin Techno on 'Inception', via religious vocal music on 'Double Spot Image' and wilder, futher flung strains of hybrid Techno on 'Animiam Of The Airy', taking us to Demdike-ish sound design on Brainwashing And Senses' cryptic Middle eastern mimetics on 'A Day At The Planet'.
Based out of Vancouver, Canadian bowed guitar player and trumpeter C. Diab creates music that conjures the beauty of the landscapes and awe-inspiring wilderness of his childhood home in the Vancouver Island town of Port Hardy.
"Having gained critical acclaim with the release of his debut album 'No Perfect Wave' (2016) and his collaborative works with Ian William Craig (FatCat / 130701 Records), C. Diab presents his sophomore album 'Exit Rumination', on Injazero Records.
'Exit Rumination' is a deeply personal record, and was composed during a particularly challenging time for its creator. Diab says of the process; "it became a deep sonic exorcism which took on its own face during the recording process. The final product can be understood as various stages of a path towards acceptance, and the struggle to maintain sanity in the face of life's most unforgiving themes, love and death."
'Exit Rumination' is packed with the skilful guitar and trumpet playing and tape manipulation that made 'No Perfect Wave' so special but comes from a darker, more devastating place. It is a hypnotic, meditative, mesmerising affair which immerses the listener even deeper in his universe.
Opening with the haunting harmonic guitar pinches of 'The Green Plain Pt.1', 'Exit Rumination' immediately transposes the setting and mood of the record over the listener; before the sombre bowed melody takes hold and swallows the track whole. On 'Postdrome' there are also forays into more contemporary ambience with C. Diab's virtuosic guitar loops mimicking the sort of synth work that brings to mind Tim Hecker or Richard Skelton alongside mournful troubadour tinged passages of glacial, slow-motion textures; here is the soul-bearing and intimate tenderness portrayed through C. Diab's instrumentation, that temporarily touches on Arthur Russell or Robbie Basho's deep American folk stylings.”
Andrea hits the mark with lip-smacking techno effect on Remade, his first session with Ilian Tape since 2016.
Smartly crafted to oscillate hips and jaws in the wee small hours, the Turin-based producer soars from eyes-shut acidic techno rolige in 20th November to ruggedly sensual Detro-Italian techno in Layer, then again with the widescreen pads in Radiant arcing over a possible Art Of Noise (??) lick and wickedly tucked ‘ardcore torque, and finally puts away some proper old skool Shed vibes in Remade.
Aces, the lot of ‘em.
Who knew Colin Stetson played on a Planet E release in the late ’90s?
It’s news to us, and sounds ace on two tracks from Recloose’s So This Is The Dining Room , firstly flying around the miniature Noodles, then lighting up the dextrous Detroit/D&B styles of Disclocate, which were both found on the CD edition of So This Is The Dining Room, which is pretty much Recloose’s take on Bug In The Bassbin, and neatly enough Carl Craig turns up at the mixing desk for the screwed jazz-junglism Density, and the DJ Miles-fancied deep house ace, MYM230 (R.I.P.).
Architect of the present future, Chris Carter goes retro hauntological on CCCL Volume One, his first solo album in 17 years.
Since his previous album, released in the last century, he’s been busy taking his influential duo with partner Cosey Fanni Tutti to a natural close, and likewise seeing thru their trio with Nik Colk Void, while at the same time diversifying his bonds with remixes of the contemporary field, from Factory Floor to Nisennenmondai and Perc. Here, however, the enormously pivotal artist paints a sonic self portrait indulging an unswerving thing for the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop and the malleability of modular synths, all with a mixture of wide-eyed, youthful innocence and high end studio nous executed to nostalgic degrees.
In the classic framework of hauntology, Carter’s nostalgia is for a lost, assuaged or thwarted synthetic future he experienced explicitly and cosmotically growing up during the ‘space age’, when synthesisers were vehicles for interstellar and interdimensional travel and acted as the connective ligament of counter-cultural likeminds across the world, so its easy to understand why he can’t shake that feeling here.
Like a grown up kid with all the kit he could ever dream of, Carter brings his ideas to life in uniquely tactile style, working like a sculptor with broad palette of amorphous materials that continue to react and mutate after he’s fixed them in place, at his legendary studio in Norfolk. Each of the 25 tracks feels to offer a window onto worlds of encrypted kinetic energy, fulminating figments of the imagination which come to life in shapeshifting, plasmic forms made all the more “real” and hyperstitious thanks to his application of AI like vocaloids which populate the album, cropping up as alien sirens, glossolalic darkroom murmurs, and fully-fledged “singers” in their own strange right.
The result is a uniquely absorbing album tied together by Carter’s smart internal logic, a mazy manifestation of bio-electronic feedback systems that gives voice to the machine as much as the man operating it in a way that will really speak to followers of classic electronic music.
Sully triggers Rua Sound’s Foxy Jangle label with the Ackjie-sampling jump-up wickedness of Soundboy Don’t Push Your Luck and the loved-up stepper 368ft High and Rising.
On both cuts he takes strong cues from classic Remarc, Bizzy B, Steve Gurley and countless other heavy ‘90s producers, subtly augmenting their classic artform with unique use of frozen snare edits tossed in the mix with obscure dancehall, 8-bit stabs and chest kicking subs not the first case, then with light-footed pressure in the second for sweeter dancefloor behaviour.
Mokona advances from his early singles featuring Rapid and Youngster to broaden his sonic plate and scope with Love In Restricted Areas, which Templar sound describe as “being set in a private laboratory complex deep inside a forest, recorded during the summer after long nights of medical research.”
Drawing from grime, club music and anime soundtracks, he conjures an emotive sound oscillating the gamut between hard-edged club deconstructions, romantic synth themes and Ghost In The Shell-like 4th World/Sci Fi memes in a way that’s firmly compatible with recent Gang Fatale adventures.
London’s dankest relay palpably paranoid pressures from the capital on The Bug's newly minted Pressure label, hopefully the start of an ongoing collaboration between the pair.
Spying those hours of the dance when the smoke machines are puffing but there’s nobody there yet, Fog finds them melding charred bass hustle with billowing greyscale atmospheres in a time-honoured style shared by both artists.
On the flip, Shrine distills their meditative intensity to more suspenseful degrees with exceedingly brittle drums bearing the huge, brooding weight of a slowed down dread bass and glowering pads = minimal fuss for deadly, concentrated impact.
Mysterious new project Red Hook Grain Terminal débuts on the suitably enigmatic Panatype with 8 tracks of dream-weft fuzzy clag, sooty bleeps and misty-eyed ambient memes inside Inorganic, the follow-up to endearingly modest releases by Bernard Baum and Schuttle.
Taking inspiration from the same Red Hook Grain terminal in Brooklyn which inspired a great track on Dialect’s Gowanus Drifts, sound-artist Jordan Edge uses that place as a key-sight for a weather beaten and hypnagogic sound here, resulting a series of murky vignettes of BoC-style melodic wow and flutter, squashed drag rhythms and scuffed electronic textures, popping up some reel highlights in the oxidising ambient gestures of track 4, and a segue from fruity synth noodling to hefty slow chug on track 7, before melting out into the smudged bliss of track 8.
“Inorganic is a collection of organic sounds that have been degraded by inorganic spaces and working methods. The listener is situated in a three-dimensional world where the deterioration of sound is equal to the creation of the content itself. A world of dampened acoustics, half destroyed spaces, dead room tones and manipulated environmental surroundings.”
Stellar picks from the MFM camp; 21 obscure, outward-looking and disco-leaning peaches plucked from Europe 1980-91, including big highlights such as Nightfall In Camp’s sultry smudge of computer tones and Lena Platonos-like vocals in ‘Cada Día’, a heavily seductive swooner ‘Listen Over The Ocean’ by Violet Eyes, and the brassy electro swang of Sound on Sound’s ‘Depression’
“Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991 is the second multiple artist compilation on Music From Memory and is compiled by record connoisseur Raphael Top-Secret and label man Jamie Tiller. The compilation brings together twenty one tracks from across the continent; exploring the more unusual and unexpected sides of Pop music during that period.
Drawing material from cult experimental artists such as Steve Beresford, Brenda Ray and Bill Nelson alongside one-off independent musical projects rescued from he fringes, ‘Unusual Paths’ focuses on a selection of tracks that go beyond the confines of mainstream pop music but which also transcend expectations of much of the ‘experimental’ music of the time. This is music with one foot in the avant-garde and another foot firmly rooted within the sensibilities of Pop; where jazz musicians detour into Synth-Pop, Punk bands break into Boogie jams, and student doctors jam out on off melodies with synthesisers and drum machines during their night shifts.”