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.).
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.”