DJ Koze fully stretches out Knock Knock, a 16-song set of soul-fuelled hip hop downbeats, disco chops and swinging tech-house workouts featuring guest spots from Speech ov Arrested Development, José Gonzalez, Mano Le Tough, Sophia Kennedy, and more.
Working to a smart, sun-kissed, optimistic agenda that’s been at the heart of Koze’s charms since the end of the ‘90s, Knock Knock will likely work a treat for anyone with their head still in that era.
From the guest spots by golden era hip hop MC, Speech from Arrested Development, to the turn by José Gonzales, and two numbers featuring Róisín Murphy, it’s almost inarguably a sound for those that miss the heyday of cheap credit, semi-guilt free smoking, and bootcut jeans. In that sense, it’s a nice escape from reality...
Tape-head-to-tape-head, Marta De Pascalis and Howlround share this split side of coruscating recordings made in a former Buddhist Monastery for The Tapeworm’s vinyl (and other formats) sister label; The Wormhole.
The results are, as they describe them, “dramatically un-Zen”. Up top on Her Core, Italian artist Marta De Pascalis coaxes her tape loops into a swelling tempest of white hot harmonic anguish and guttural bass waves, sustaining and stressing the intensity ’til the thing burns itself out like the condemned final eon of a celestial object.
After that lushly exfoliating experience, Howlround’s side offers an excellent contrast, using four slightly battered Uher tape recorders and two loops to pinch the soundfield and get right up yer nasal cavity for a properly hypnotic blowhole buzz which soon enough expectorates a flood of spectral ectoplasm and wretched pulsating noise.
Standout début album of dream-like, avant garde pop and electronic variants that properly introduces Napoli-based Montreal artist Mélissa Gagné aka CECILIA after guesting on Rabit’s Les Fleurs Du Mal album last year and releasing an EP for Yves Tumor's Grooming label. Devastatingly restrained yet ravishing songs with haunting English, French and Italian vocals, huge recommendation if you're into Yves Tumor, Félicia Atkinson, Rabit, Teresa Winter, Portishead, Leila...
Cecilia wrote and produced Adoration, with accompaniment by mutual spirits such as her friend Jasmine Pisapia and the poet activist Griséldis Réal, who help to render a stark yet subtly gilded cross-section of her psyche, which places the listener as dark interpreter to a series of tumultuous inner dialogues - “One is summoned to whisper truth, beauty, tragedy to demon ears.”
Incubated for one and half years between Montreal, Toronto and New York, Adoration reads like intimately diaristic pages recalling an amorphous lucid dream. In that phantasmagoric headspace she meditates on loss and romanticism, using a shifting backdrop of highly visual stimuli to frame her thoughts and bring them to life with an uncannily immersive effect perhaps not felt so strongly since Félicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand LP.
Electronic bass and percussion are shadowed with traces of synth and guitar improvisations, but the one consistent element is the female voice. Sometime detached, glossolalic, and at others uncannily familiar, plaintive, the voice’s presence is integral to the album's quietly absorbing atmosphere, and even if the listener can’t understand their direct meaning, they connote so much more through abstracted inference and ambiguity.
Following her early forays made with the Charity Whore EP for Yves Tumor’s Grooming label, and previous work as DJ/producer Babi Audi, along with her hybrid stage works, Cecilia ties all those strands into an illusive yet highly distinguished work set to resonate with listeners from myriad backgrounds and disciplines. It's no doubt one of 2018’s most haunting, beguiling LPs.
Bittersweet, crystalline hybrids of IDM + R&B with ambient AI ideas...
“Welsh producer Odeko first appeared on Mr. Mitch’s forward-looking Gobstopper imprint with the A.I. influenced EP “A History With Samus” in 2016 immediately snagging a “producer to watch” tag from Fact magazine and a premiere at SPIN. In early 2017, his second EP “Digital Botanics / Construct Conduct” arrived confirming his sound and setting the stage for him to start working on this – his debut album “Rose Tinted Vision Implant” that is set in a post-Ballard, post-Gibson, post-Miéville, alternate reality. “Rose Tinted Vision Implant” sees the Bath-based producer creating a cutting edge sonic world inspired by “speculative fiction, time/reality shifting stories and dystopian shit.” The entire record is structured around, and expands upon his passion for the “future,” underpinning the music via a underlining narrative.
“Rose Tinted Vision Implant” starts with “The User” (aka the listener/ protagonist depending on your perspective) of the ‘Optic.Rose’ going through the process of getting an implant is made by a mega corporation, (think “whatever Elon Musk’s legacy will be 200 years from now” says Odeko “not necessarily evil or good, just a world owning superpower.”). And then we follow “The User” who has unfortunately received a bad egg through stages of that devices degradation. Sonically we’re there to observe. We open (“Anomaly Detection”) with a precursory scan and move onto installation (“OpticRose_0_1_Installation”)
through to a battery change and a recalibration. From this point, the ‘presence’ begins to take over the implant and the tracks verge into a more cerebral range.
Odeko notes “its a bit of a satire on corporate brands pushing these great products that everyone is obsessed but that are detrimental to both the world, and how we perceive reality. Our relationship with social media and tech could go down a dangerous path if we loose sight of things. I’m going quite far here for the sake of the concept, but things like VR, AR, the want for body tech, mixed with our desire to be connected, emotionally, digitally, physically, wirelessly could lead us to a world where everyone has implants, or some kind of tech built into them.”
Sonically its a record that explores a post-IDM, post-Grime, post-Ambient, post-Glitch, post-Retro-House, post-Instrumental Grime, take on electronic music, like Gobstopper’s Mr. Mitch himself and his label mates Orlando, Lloyd SB, Tarquin, Clu, rAHHH and Loom, Odeko is making a kind of post-genre music. Yes its a cerebral concept under the music but as popular shows like Black Mirror have shown – critiquing our new future can be fun, unusual and highly rewarding. Welcome to the world of Odeko”.
Optimo highlight the burned-out blues growls and chops of their favourite singer-songwriter Jacob Yates
“Optimo Music is thrilled to release the new album from Jacob Yates. Not only is he one of our all-time favourite artists from Glasgow, but he is one of our favourite artists from anywhere. Criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.
“The Hare, The Moon, The Drone” is the third album from Jacob Yates. This recording finds the band exploring dark hawthorn hedged lanes, moors and suburban, new build estates. There's something more earthy about the songs but the menace and darkness remains. Musically there is a big shift on this album, a field recording of a folk band from a dark, pine filled glen. The opener, The Car sets the scene for the rural side of the album, dank and stone cold. The tracks then shift through the woods, people turn into animals, we pass a sunlit glade, do you hear a love song? Cassie Ezeji closes the side sweetly lamenting in Gaelic as the snow falls.
Side two is a more urban affair opening with despair in a bedroom in Belgium, we visit a faith healer and drop in on your lonely mother. Lovatt recounts the story of a karaoke addicted murderer before we finally go home to our new build just outside of town where the pylons tower over Michael and his sister Rachel. It's a journey you can go on, looking out of the window of the bus, glimpses of lives glide by, cards on seats promise to help you. Ding! It's time to get off.”
Quick on the heels of his last 12” with Young Marco’s Safe Trip, Darling blesses the label with two nimble electro beauties here
Loosely working around the groove with latinate suss in the lush swerve of Sim and locking off some superb, whirring electro syncopations and chirruping alien voices in Moon Fleet.
First ever official reissue of the very rare Butterfly LP, recorded in Tokyo in 1979 by Japanese songstress Kimiko Kasai and jazz legend Herbie Hancock.
"Due to its super-rare status as a Japan-only release, this exquisite collection of covers never got the recognition it deserved at the time, despite incredibly inspired performances from Kimiko, Herbie and the supremely talented musicians assembled for the project. From heavenly drummer Alphonse Mouzon and renowned organist Webster Lewis to bassist Paul Jackson, reedman Bennie Maupin and the master percussionist Bill Summers, the legendary performers crafted amazingly good vocal versions of Herbie / Headhunters jazz-funk. Unsurprisingly, it has been heavily in demand for many years.
The LP opens with Kimiko's highly desirable version of "I Thought It Was You", an elegant take on Herbie's own anthem. Other superb re-workings include the delicately soulful "Butterfly", jazzy groover "Sunlight", the smooth and sexy "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" and the beautiful ballads "Maiden Voyage" and "Harvest Time". A wonderful example of perfectly understated and masterful jazz-funk soul fusion that shouldn't be missed, the set closes with a jaw-dropping version of Stevie Wonder's "As"."
David Moufang's catalogue must be one of the deepest and most sprawling in electronic music - he has been involved with so many projects, for so many labels, with so many different sounds over the last 2 decades that it's impossible to know where to begin - taking in elements of Techno, Jazz, Drone, House and ambient music along the way.
His collaborative venture with Benjamin Brunn started out life on the Raster Noton related Bine imprint, but it's this amazing set for Smallville that's really got pulses racing with anticipation. "Songs from the Beehive" features 7 extended tracks that take in disparate elements from across Moufang's career, merging them into an immersive wash of sounds that drive around padded beats designed for the floor, yet surrounded by sound fragments and tapestries rarely associated with Techno music.
The opening "Love the one you're with" is a case in point, over 12 minutes the track evolves from a hazy stew of audio shrapnel and loose samples to a deep and bouncy shuffle full of scattered keys and funked changes. The fact that it takes the kickdrum almost 5 minutes to make an appearance tells you a lot about the pace and compositional attitude of these tracks - slowly taking time to unfold and unravel, revealing new dimensions with every repeated listen.
"Honey" makes a welcome appearance, while the immense "Come In" exudes a breathless elegance that's all midnight keys and angular motion - it's just impossibly lovely. With really quite sublime artwork from Stefan Marx, this really is a treat for followers of Move D and great electronic music generally - we urge you to check it out.
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.
Jamal Moss turns to his brightest moniker for the astral trajectories of The Anticipatory Organization on Pedro Vian’s Modern Obscure Music
These are some of the more intense, freaky Jamal Moss workouts in recent memory, gettign into orbit with the acidic glissandi and head-warping phasing of The Things We Don’t Know, then staying out there with the oddly bass-less and heady pressure of The Disbelief Habit, until you’re suitably prepped for the blinding white light jackers intensity of The Achievement Factory, one of those real golden moments in the Jamal Moss canon.
Soul Jazz’ latest album ‘Yoruba! Songs & Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In Nigeria’ is newly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria. The album is co-produced by label head Stuart Baker and Laolu Akins (founding member of the legendary 1970s Nigerian Afro-Funk/Rock group Blo).
"Yoruba!’ features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honour and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa. The enormous impact of Yoruba and West African music and culture is worldwide - from the first Afro-centric explorations of African- American jazz musicians in the 1950s such as Art Blakey, Randy Weston and Dizzy the explosion of Nu Yorican Latin music in New York City starting in the 1960s - Mambo, Boogaloo, Latin funk and soul - through to the sacred and powerful Afro-derived music of the religions of Santería in Cuba, Candomblé in Brazil and Voodoo in Haiti, which all came into existence on account of the Atlantic slave trade which began over 400 years ago.
On a wider scale West African music remains the primary root of all African-American musical forms - from New Orleans jazz to Bronx rap, gospel, soul and more. This album features songs honouring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion - Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others - as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focusing on the Bata and Dundun drums."
Deadbeat does dub poetry alongside Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann and Mike Shannon, with results ripe for fans of the Jay Glass Dubs & Leslie Winer LP, or downbeat moments from Strategy, Andreas Tilliander or The Bug
“On his latest studio album, Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, ruminates with hard-earned wisdom and confidence upon the notion of carrying on in the face of worldwide nonsense. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve began with the simple idea of asking friends from across the globe for messages of hope. No musical input was provided beforehand, and each participant was free to interpret the request as they saw fit. Though some of the names involved will be familiar to electronic music listeners (Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann, Mike Shannon), the common thread linking all of them is their friendship with Monteith and the many hours he has spent enjoying their company over the years. As so often happens when good conversation is shared among good friends, the results are as surprising as they are inspiring, spanning original prose, dialectic word games, and timeless quotations in six languages. Each song on the album was then composed around the content received, and named after the people who did the speaking.
Ranging from the overtly political to the tenderly inspirational and many points in between, Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve provides verbal expressions of hope as diverse and rich as the experiences of the people who so generously delivered them. Musically the album sees Monteith taking his well-honed sound design abilities and widescreen arrangements to new heights, and exploring a deep interest in traditional analog recording methods to mesmerizing effect. Every sound on the record, whether generated from his tried-and-tested array of software-based tools, or from the enormous collection of guitars, organs, pianos, and percussion instruments found in the Berlin-based studio he now calls home, was recorded via microphone. Even as the very first track slowly fades into existence, it's clear that the smoke filled atmosphere of the place has penetrated the recordings to their very core. Indeed, it is no understatement to suggest that without the physical confines of the magical studio Chez Cherie, and the countless late night conversations and musical contributions of all the other beautiful souls who occupy it (T. Raumschmiere, Ben Laubner, Tilman Hopf, PC Christensen, and of course Cherie herself), this latest Deadbeat album would have been an impossibility. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve is a document of collective action, and the power of community.”
With his own label and last year's feature on Alix Perez's newly conceived 1985 Music, Compa still found time to delver his 3rd MEDi release.
"With no signs of slowing down his mission to produce and share music...."
Though her instrumentation is sparse - usually just guitar, saxophone, and drums - and her voice is mellow, Yanya’s hooks are always rife with dizzying romantic insight […] NilüferYanya cements her status as one of the most promising new artists of the year.” - Pitchfork
'Turquoise Tortoise‘ infuses Future Soul experiments into Detroit influenced House, Broken Beat and Techno rounded up with classic boom bap sounds.
"Conceived as a loose limbed creative experiment,'Turquoise Tortoise' was not written and recorded in the classical sense of a collaboration as Astro explains: "We had the idea of doing an album together for quite a while, but with one of us living in Cologne and the other one in Berlin we never really had the chance to spend enough time together in one place and go to the studio together properly."
Unsatisfied with simply sending files back and forth via the net, they struck upon the idea to produce tracks individually, bringing them together finally on one album.
"Although we didn't make the music together it still was really important to us to have a motif and to keep keep it cohesive." Astro adds.
This was achieved by exchanging key elements/ FX taken from each of the 'completed' song and weaving them in to each of the productions as little call backs or references to each other, the smudged and trippy vibe perfectly complimenting such an approach.
Hodini's experience working with vocalists proved invaluable, as Turquoise Tortoise is the first time that Glenn has worked on a record with such a portfolio of talented featured artists - Ajnascent contributes his dulcet tones to 'Found!' and 'Viktor And The Quasar' to mesmerising effect. Longtime Astro pal Max Graef shows up to play bass on the vibey b-boy workout 'Malaysian Moped' alongside a carefree vocal contribution by knowsum. A Uk flavour come courtesy via the rap/toasting talents of Peckham's MC Pinty on the beatific 'Beautiful Music'.
The album title 'Turquoise Tortoise' can be seen as a metaphor," Astro smiles "The turtle or tortoise is often used to describe processes that move forward at a slow pace. This was often the case for the album, to bring everything together the way we wanted, so we thought it symbolizes this really well."
Back in the day, French pianist, composer and all-round jazz superstar Jean-François Quiévreux, aka Jef Gilson, was up there alongside the likes of peers John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, and Sun Ra.
"In a fitting homage to the decades-worth of sublime music, and his sad passing away in 2012, French quarter Palm Unit present a lively, honest tribute, upbeat, and contemporary re-interpretative vision of his legacy.
Gilson has been noted for changing the face of bebop with free-jazz and Afro. Along the way, his big band featured the likes of Lloyd Miler, Bill Coleman, Michel Portal, and others. With his own recording studio and label Palm Records, Gilson released music from greats including Byard Lancaster, David S. Ware, François Jeanneau, and more. He also helped embed a more ethno style to the world of jazz, inspired by his visits to Madagascar, which resulted in the famous Malagasy jazz albums. Palm Unit, a wildly eclectic super-group of jazz greats, includes uKanDanZ's saxophonist Lionel Martin, keyboardist Fred Escoffier from Le Sacre du Tympan, drummer Philippe 'Pipon' Garcia whose mostly known from his worth with the Erik Truffaz Quartet, and special guest Del Rabenja -- who played alongside Gilson in Malagasy -- on the Madagascar valiha harp.
Palm Unit plays Gilson's repertoire without any a priori, in a totally complex-free manner, reinventing it whilst preserving its original essence. The keyboards sound almost psychedelic (and often not that far from the style of Eddy Louiss on Jef Gilson's '60s albums), the sax scratches, mews, and wails, whilst the drums make the whole thing swing. Even Del Rabenja was surprised to rediscover the songs still sounding so modern, decades after they were created."
Deep, monotone, wormholing techno trips from Japan’s Igarashi, back on The Bunker NYC.
Check for the sensuous tone and effortless momentum of Train Of Thought and the crafty triplets of Broken Telephone.
James Heather presents his debut album on vinyl via Ahead Of Our Time, Coldcut’s (Ninja Tune founders) first label.
"A collection of nine conceptual solo piano pieces inspired by real world news events. The album art by Suki features layers of Indian ink bled into newspaper print. It also plots the nine latitude and longitude locations of each story’s origin. For fans of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Poppy Ackroyd, Max Richter, NilsFrahm."
Cranky, dubbed-out electro fizz from Robert Bergman and TBZ, freshly percolated for the R=A 7” series.
Their A-side is a loose churn of raw drum machines and sticky synth scree punctuated by a persistent if scatty gasp, ri[e for fans of Trevor Jackson or Not Waving at his wildest.
On the B-side Mad Sick is more desiccated, pinched and hypnotic, driving forth with effect recalling Beau Wanzer or Tuning Circuits bits.
Detroit OG’s Omar S & Brian Kage (Reference) reheat a class ‘90s vocal sample in two ways for the ‘floor
Rolling out with clipped congas and bouncing chords riddled with ‘80s Italo-disco vamps and Linn drum cracks in Thru The Madness, then bring some B-More or Jersey sounding breaks on the deeper, wider, 5am face-rolling Honk & Nik mix on the B-side.
The Trilogy Tapes get the best out of J. Albert in the Envy Turned Curiosity EP with four deadly cuts of coiled, Afro-cubed breaks and gloomy synth pads.
Picks of the bunch are the beautifully brooding hybrids of B-More, Dark Garage and UK Broken Beats with cinematic strings on Money Between Friends and the haunted swang of Envy Turned Curiosity, while Deepstate Riddim goes rude and rugged on a dubbed out breakbeat flex and Designer Life recalls the meditative blue pressure of Parris.
Italian duo t.e.s.o. convulse 9 fearsome, crunching electronic sound designs for Andrea Parker’s Aperture, landing squarely between the most oblique D’Arcangelo output, the harsh terrain of Somatic Responses, and the algorithmic asymmetries of Dalglish
“After a period of hibernation, aperture records awakens with a bang and a compelling program in the pipeline. Following their first album released on aperture at the tail end of 2015 'no.3.obliate', the Italian duo t.e.s.o. bring us their second full-length album 'costruzione 04'.
As the title suggests, the album centres around an underlying theme of construction, inspired by radical architecture, brutalism and collages from Superstudio. The concept and title evolved from the nature of the album and the process of building up tracks from a number of separate samples, much like the singular elemental materials used to assemble a structure.
Alongside their music production, the duo have previously created a multimedia installation that investigated the geometric studies of Le Corbusier in parallel to the musical production of Erik Saite and Matteo Castiglioni continues to create impressive audiovisual installations such as the recent 'Freddo Flusso' and 'neon(i)', as well as a collaboration with Danilo Randazzo. t.e.s.o. also continue to perform absorbing live sets of their own inimitable range of musical perspective and vision.
Intense, visual and structured, 'costruzione 04' again showcases t.e.s.o.'s complex, obscure and dominant beats and their oblique and sometimes challenging style.”
Much needed reissue of the second and final Stasis album following his Inspiration  LP and the Redcell : Stasis  hook-up with B12.
On this first vinyl reissue of Fromtheoldtothenew we’re reminded of the importance Steve Pickton a.k.a. Stasis played in bridging between the Artificial Intelligence scene in the UK and second wave Detroit Techno.
It's a sound that oscillates between nimbly loose salsa and breezy new age pads in Utopia Planetia and deep but rugged pressure on Behind The Smile, thru to tribal business on Beating Skins and the kind of downbeat, hip hop-leaning instrumentals that also saw him signed to Mo Wax.
Followers of classic Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Dan Curtin, early The Black Dog, Plaid, the Likemind label, B12 etc should dip in.
Krust gets on a wavy good-foot for Doc Scott's 31 with a stripped-down blend of hot-stepping ‘80s synth-pop groove and minimalist D&B in The Portal, and some prime, natty hi-tech rolige in Concealing Treachery.
Dekmantel crack the deeply rugged garage-house of Leo/Mirjam off Betonkust & Palmbomen II’s Centre Parcs EP, and repackage it with a high-velocity Legowelt remix riddled with virulent acid lines and snappy electro drums at 140bpm.
UK techno legend Steve Bicknell pulls the interstellar overdrive lever on Mind Patterns
Firstly hitting serious G-force with the face mangling dis-torque of Vein Injection, then on cruise control in the acidic quadrants of Patterns Of Suppression, and with planet-colliding force on the Preset Minds face melter.
90 minutes mixed on cassette tape for performing through a variation of Ambient Techno to Ambient Experimental dub using materials from the EP Rundown Rainforest and unreleased tracks and field recordings.
Uncertainty Principle kicks off with five tracks of needling bleeps and bass jitters from FFT.
A smart first move, the fifth 12” keeps establishes loose but specific coordinates between the scratchy SoYo bleep ’n bass of sensory_hyperlinkfft_3abstract1, the Aleksi Perälä style tekkers of 8.7, and the pinched hyaline structures of sensory_unlinked up top, before twisting off into Alva Noto-esque glitch angularity with abstract5, and the skittish bleep flux of collective_disconnected.
Suspiciously reminds of that Distorto 12” on SCSI-AV.