From NYC’s Andy Butler (Hercules & Love Affair) and TMO (Lipelis), some of that L.I.E.S. black label special relish for jackin’ romps on the tiles.
Coca-Cola Jam is a fizzy bugger with a certain ’88-’89 look about it, squashing brittle drum machine on a ruddy bassline in a way mutual to both Chicago and Belgium houses of that era, breaking down to a rousing call-and-response chant and sirens that spark off a hi-wire 2nd half for the warehouse.
Pepsi Cola Jam is a breezier, bleeping breakbeat jack on the same vibes, perhaps better located between NYC and Sheffield this time with hints of early Warp and Nu Groove.
Peaktime party pressure from Chicago!
One of the standouts from Members Only’s Historical Archives, Sylvester’s UR A Star is reduced to a potent, loopy disco banger with crazed strings and brain-bugging vox on one side, backed the fuuuuck up with a clenched, uptempo take on Two Of China aka Talla 2XLC’s take on the EBM evergreen, Los Niños Del Parque served up buttraw and lethal.
Ethereal house track on white label from uncredited but possibly well-known sources, out via Floating Points' Pluto imprint.
From a golden haze of harmonised chords emerge teasing bleeps, floating organ cradling a purring bassline, unfurling and reading with palindromic structure right back where it came from.
Our guess is as good as yours.
The stature of this album has risen to an almost unprecedented level since its first release in September 1975.
At the time Another Green World was generally regarded very positively, but contemporary re-evaluations of the record have exhausted the world's supply of superlatives.
On this album Eno shifted the emphasis of his music from recognisable rock styles to yet more experimental and instrumentally focused productions (only five of this album's fourteen tracks have lyrics). You can hear the foundations for his ambient output being laid down; suddenly texture and the processes of recording and mixing become paramount, resulting in the deeply evocative 'In Dark Trees' and 'Spirits Drifitng'. Classic stuff.
After a series of classic yet quickly recorded albums, Brian Eno took two years to complete Before And After Science, releasing it in December 1977.
This record marked a return to ambitious rock music, with 'King's Lead Hat' seeing a release as a single. The line-up of contributing musicians here is particularly impressive, with Fred Frith, Jaki Liebezeit, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Fripp, Conny Plank, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius all helping shape the album's far-reaching experimental pop sounds.
Brian Eno's debut solo album, Here Comes The Warm Jets was first released in January 1974, and although it retained some of Roxy Music's glam tendencies there's a pioneering driving force that grounds the record in art-rock principles.
Fourty years on it still feels like a genuine classic, skipping playfully and expertly through pop genres with a host of artists from very different backgrounds: members of King Crimson, Hawkwind, Matching Mole, Pink Fairies and Roxy Music itself all help make this a unique and musically dense experience, but it's the experimental production and intense mixing of the album that proves to be most enduringly impressive.
'Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)' is surely one of Eno's most distinct albums, assisted by a stellar prog-rock cast of Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt plus Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay of his former group Roxy Music.
It was on this album that Eno developed his system of pre-determined options for the creative process which he still uses today.
Intrusion’s A Gentle Embrace spawns a 3rd set of nebulous dub/house/ambient versions from Steve Hitchell as CV313, Variant, and Intrusion, including the original 33 minute tape session, spread over two discs. Plug in, push-off, zone-out.
“This marks the third single from Intrusion's forthcoming album "A Gentle Embrace" (also with alternate versions coming out on a forthcoming 12"). What has not been heard before comes into glimpse via analog circuitry, obsolete synthesis & sonic exploration beyond dreams. This double CD set features the original mix as well as 3 beautifully hypnotic dub reductions from cv313, an epic 60 minute beautifully composed hypnotic and entrancing ambient rework from variant, which might be one of our personal favorites to date. Those who loved the past "A Gentle Embrace" project will have much to love here. A passionate, galactic, deep voyage on the other side of the galaxy. See you in the stars..."
Four years down the line from his debut on All City, Anstam’s Lars Stöwe aka Anno Stam boomerangs back to the Dublin label with three dusty techno curiosities
Plumbing the echo chamber with the square-bassed stepper La Viande; bringing the boom in a twisted Berlin style in Do Yoused To Go; and filtering the funk thru a maze of scratchy filters and FX on Pyramid Peach.
Back in 2006, Richard Linklater’s film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s sci-fi novel A Scanner Darkly was greeted with suspicion. No one had done justice to the “master” (Bladerunner, Minority Report, Total Recall, The Adjustment Bureau had or have all met with mixed reviews). And, movies attempting to conjure up the effects of drugs were met with derision from the stoned cognoscenti.
"How could a story of dependence on Substance D (“Death” for short) be created with multi-million dollar stars in the frame anyway? Linklater had a plan; He’d use rotoscoping (an effect that falls somewhere between Kiki Picasso’s sketches brought to life and Disney on ‘ludes). The celebrities would be shrouded in mystery, in fact Keanu Reeves’ skin suit would make him almost invisible at times, a mumbling wreck swaying centre stage. A waste of talent? A waste of money?
To complete the experience, a left field musical score was needed to ensure that everything wasn’t as it seemed. The phone books are full of creative composers but Graham Reynolds And His Golden Arm Trio jumped off the page. The band name is from a Frank Sinatra film where he plays a drug-addled muso. Perfect. Graham Reynolds works in extremes, he’s collaborated with DJ Spooky, the Austin Symphony Orchestra and with live film collage creator Luke Savisky.
More importantly his Golden Arm Trio are never three and never the same people twice. For the movie he created short sound bytes – a surf-like instrumental, a country-tinged breather, the sound of stuttering insects crawling through your hair. The resultant soundscape is itchy and scratchy, full of mood swings and musical metaphors, an ever changing and unpredictable set of highs littered with reflective undertones and occasional soft, almost super numb realities.
Graham Reynolds works in extremes; Short take moments of sound – whether it be a surf-like instrumental, a country-tinged breather or the sound of stuttering insects crawling through your hair – are all in his tick box. The resultant soundscape is itchy and scratchy, full of mood swings and musical metaphors, an ever changing and unpredictable set of highs littered with reflective undertones and occasional soft, almost super numb realities."
At long last legendary producer Martin Hannett’s wild dedications to Delia Derbyshire and her work at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop is revealed to the world at large thanks to Dandelion Records, who’ve previously issued Hannett’s unreleased studio outtakes with Joy Division. If you were into Hannett and Steve Hopkins’ The Invisible Girls album or, indeed, anything by Delia Derbyshire; you need to check this one!
The 18 tracks of Hannett’s Electronic Recordings - Homage To Delia Derbyshire were sourced from sessions at the hallowed Strawberry Studios in Stockport filed under that title by Hannett and range from kooky electronic bachelor lounge miniatures to some really cranky space rock and one absolutely unhinged 10 minute part of alien madness that’s worth price of admission alone. And it’s total speculation on our behalf, but some of the languid guitar pieces bear a striking resemblance to Vini Reilly’s Durutti Column sound. Just saying.
Both masters of bending time and space, it’s no wonder that Hannett was influenced by Delia’s work as a young lad watching the tellybox in ‘60s Manchester, and thus it’s not hard to draw a line between that appreciation of wigged out tone, echo and space that Delia provided Hannett, and the judicious application of FX he would come to apply on classic records by Magazine, Joy Division, Early New Order, The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays in coming years.
Aside from the first track which we’re pretty sure appeared on The Invisible Girls set, it’s all effectively a missing piece of the puzzle of British electronic music, forming a discernible bridge between progressive eras in a way that’s much harder to trace between modern music.
Stunning, often ecstatic and frenzied album of 12-string fingerstyles - hugely recommended.
The lesser-spotted Poon Village pick Boston-based Rob Noyes’ captivating debut LP of Basho-esque 12-string fluidity, The Feudal Village for release some two years after their excellent excavation of William Winant’s virtuoso percussion on Five American Percussion Pieces. We’ll be damned if this isn’t some of the most amazing guitar work we’ve heard since those Tashi Dorji records.
With the Demo 2014 tape already to his credit, The Feudal Village necessarily presents Noyes to a wider audience, well, at least those who are lucky to snaffle a copy of this record, which is already - perhaps understandably - trading for twice the shelf price 2nd hand. And we say that as admitted dilettantes to this deeply-rooted genre, although it’s really not hard to hear that Noyes style is deeply impressive.
In eleven parts he’s the best kind of show-off, weaving his elaborate melodies and complex harmonies so quickly and with such rhythmic intricacy that it’s a joy just to try and keep up with him. But once you’re settled into his elemental cadence you’re in for a gripping 35 minutes which only feels half as long by the run-out groove.
“Rob’s playing carries the weight of many possibly imaginary forebears, but the way he smears them all together shows a holistic mastery of touch and imagination that defies a lot of today’s players” -
Andrew Hargreaves and Craig Tattersall aka The Boats have assembled a special limited edition archival reissue available in two different formats (one super expensive deluxe edition with loads of special extras, and one regular box set at a more affordable price), both contain their first four albums available on vinyl for the first time ever, plus a whole ruck of goodies. Anyone who knows them or their insane attention to detail (take, for example, their Cotton Goods label) will have an inkling of what to expect. As they explain…”We wanted to put this set together for years but It had to include all the things that we love (beautiful, handcrafted design, limited copies, screen-prints and personal touches).
These four albums, dating back to 2004’s “Songs By The Sea” have a special place in our hearts and we’re so pleased they are finally available on the format they were undoubtedly best suited to.
Here’s some thoughts on each album:
Songs By The Sea
Scrolling thru the mists of time to 2004, a very different world indeed, and The Boats formed as an outlet for Kraftwerk-addicted composer Andrew Hargreaves and his pal, Craig Tattersall, fresh from a decade spent with cult post-rock group Hood and as half of The Remote Viewer, to pursue the ideas of modern classical and lo-fi electronica along more intimate, personalised ginnels of folk and ambient music, with the cherry on their home-baked treats provided by vocals from another close friend, Elaine Reynolds.Songs By The Sea was their wistful and charmingly humble introduction to the world; ten tracks balancing exquisitely pop-wise songwriting with gently pulsing, elusive electronics and a patina of crackle that became a real signature of their sound long before everyone else. At the time, it received heavy rotation in our record shop, Pelicanneck, and was something of a shared secret between fans from Manchester to Japan via their home-town of Burnley, and still owns a certain section of our memory banks to this day that’s often triggered by the smell of coffee, waffles and toasted rye bread in the morning just as much as smudged Hulme sunsets in summertime. We don’t want to gush about it too much but, listening to it now, and on a format the album always quietly yearned for, it’s just chokingly nostalgic in its own, low-key and endearing style and leaves little doubt in our minds that Songs By The Sea is one of the finest ambient-pop records to emerge from this region.
We Made It For You
On their 2nd album Andrew and Craig coaxed out a purely instrumental suite, leaving Elaine to her own devices (she would return on Tomorrow Time) while they drifted off into the sweetest reveries knitting passages of frayed, breezy solo piano and electronics nodding to Harold Budd, William Basinski or The Caretaker with the kind of burbling, gently glitching rhythmic tributaries that you’d expect from Isan, SND or Jan Jelinek. All the tracks inside are named after their mates (hope they still are!), and effectively forms a sort of sketchbook of meditations on each character or group, like the rugged, melancholy Miles, Sean and Bodie is definitely nodding to them Demdikes and their soundbwoy, and you’ll just have to imagine the rest. Compared with other releases of that era, it’s dated remarkably well as a record and a sound, which is most likely due to their future-proofing patina of distressed crackle and the electro-acoustic sound sensitivity of their approach to the material, managing to convey a quiet, intimate beauty without ever overstating it.
Tomorrow Time  finds Andrew Hargreaves and Craig Tattersall embracing a host of collaborators on a fuzzy, downbeat blend of ambient and indie-pop themes, wrapping tactfully processed and fragile vocals from Elaine Reynolds and Chris Stewart (Need More Sources) to a patented framework of prepared piano, strings and elusive electronics in the wake of their instrumental duo session, We Made It For You . With the benefit of hindsight when considering the era of its release, Tomorrow Time takes on a curiously prescient nature; arriving a year prior to the biggest financial collapse for generations, at a time when the “authenticity” of folk music was fetishised by posh people as Wyrd Folk (or smth?) and the other main cultural points of reference were either retro-indie guitar bands, IDM or boisterous grime and dubstep. However, The Boats’ combination of lower case pop with rustling electro and acoustic textures quietly stuck out like a sore toe, and when combined the aggressive title tracks points towards a quiet but growing dissatisfaction with perceived excess in music, culture, or at least the same old same old. In that sense, the group’s roots in avant garde minimalism and myriad other non-commercial and pop styles really come thru on Tomorrow Time, but carefully distilled into an absorbing, subtly detailed sounds they can claim as their own, and quite unlike anything before or since - although many have tried to imitate it!
OK this one’s really special: technically Static Clings is the last ever record by The Boats; presenting material from their tour-only Typewriter  CD and the Sleepy Insect Music  compilation on vinyl for the first time, along with a great haul of unreleased outtakes and even a megamix of The Boats by Modern Love’s Miles Whittaker (Demdike Stare) and Gaz Howell (G.H.) in their lesser spotted Pendle Coven guise. It’s essentially all outtakes c. 2004-2006 from their early releases for Moteer plus the aforementioned rarities, clutching 13 cuts which have been left to mature over the last decade or so, and now provide a slightly more scattered but ever-enduring overview of Andrew Hargreaves (Tape Loop Orchestra, The Mistys) and Craig Tattersall’s (The Remote Viewer, Hood) cherished time together in this vessel. We absolutely have to highlight the sublime History Of Tape Hisses for what sounds like Instrumentals-era Arthur Russell jamming with Jan Jelinek, and likewise Why You Wanna Do This, and Shlom, Sonia and Conor, cos, well, awwwwwww, but also the ghostly vignette Danny Norbury, dedicated to the cellist and another key member of their fold, and also for the salty kiss of their distorted hymn May Our Enemies Never Find Happiness (Version), the wobbly oddity of You Didn’t Expect Me To Care, and lastly the perfectly opaque pop of Pendle Coven’s remix, which uncannily recalls Uwe Schmidt’s Pop Artificielle output as LB. Sad to say they might now have to decommission Craig’s crackle-box (actually an old B&H packet full of trapped woodlice, the evil b*stard) but it’s dead lovely to have this new slab of (old) material in our mitts and finally complete our full fleet of The Boats’ catalogue.
Ta ta! X
Hallelujah Anyhow is the new studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Evan Ringel. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.
From the desk of M.C. Taylor, July 18, 2017: "I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own device. Hallelujah anyhow. Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it.
We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow. I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow."
Oustanding V-O-D set shining a light on Galen Herod’s revelatory catalogue of drily witty and hook riddled synth-pops from Phoenix, Arizona circa 1983-1988, pulling material from some four cassette releases onto vinyl for the first time. Together with the Recordings 1979-80 and Recordings 1980-82 collections it completes a comprehensive overview for one of the most brilliant - if under-regarded - synth pop song-writers and producers of his era.
As heard on his prior V-O-D salvos - both solo and in Tone Set with his KAET radio colleague Greg Horn - Galen Herod was a dead funny chap who laced his charmingly lean but bright machine animations with wickedly off-the-cuff observations about life in mid-west America in a droll way that should resonate with and raise a chuckle from anyone who’s experienced life beyond the big cultural centres. It’s a music that defies frustration and boredom with silly wisdom and instinct, and still sounds uncannily fresh today because of it.
Across the course of four tape albums included - plus a pre-Tone Set bonus The Compact Man which opens the set - we follow his development “from home-brew synth pop to a sort of Dinosaur Jr sound” as the wigged out and deadly funky strains of Looking for the Perfect Love and The Pig Story from his Glad To Be A Human  tape give way to subtly more layered and rounded sound in the electro-country twanger of Maybe I’m A Martian and the creamy boogie contours of Dumb Questions from the Food For The Mood  album, to some excellent Arthur Russell/Dinosaur Jr vibes in Everything Is Happy and Nice from the Bite The Wax Tadpole  tape, although the flowery jangles of Where the Heck is Mr. Fun  are passable.
Essentially it’s crammed with some of the nattiest ohrwurms you’ve (probably) never heard, and if lyrics likes “i hate the mid-west / there’s no culture / it’s like stale yogurt / there’s nothing but pickup trucks that don’t work / i hate corn / we didn’t get to see ET till the last week” tickle you like they do us, it’s really a no-brainer!
Tim Hecker exchanges bombast for intimacy on his follow-up to 'Ravedeath, 1972' and his 'Instrumental Tourist' with Daniel "OPN" Lopatin.
Using the gristly, naked grain and off-key, out-of-phase accents of woodwinds, piano and synthesizer played by an ensemble including Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurdsson, and heightened by his studio alchemy, Hecker highlights tense, almost fraught relationships between all involved with visceral, keening dissonance approaching a narcotic potency when experienced over the full duration of the album.
He makes allusions to the ascetic, theological aspiration of early minimalism yet pulls back from full blown prostration, instead preferring a more impressionistic approach focussed on capturing atmosphere, sensation and synaesthetic qualities and connotations. For us, the results are more richly satisfying and intimately romantic than being punched in the face with blooming harmonics that scream "bow down, hear how f**king beautful I am!". ..
Crafty, shadowy deep house from four new producers, landing on hand-stamped yellow vinyl. A-side presents Jimini and the hovering, A.G.C.G-like chords and padded groove of 'Dream 1.1', beside the haunting, lo-fi Luomo-esque 'Savors Dream' by St. Savor. B-side Plas Vegas gradually uncoils the curled, minimalist Chicago-meets-Berlin groove 'Dream Planet', and Flyypost's 'Under The Bed' strikes lovely vein of glassy harmonics and trickling, midnight blue house reminding of early Maetrik issues.
Erstwhile Bitstream member, Steve Conner gears up a fine 2nd 12” for Frustrated Funk, following his early trio on Brutalist Sunset and last year’s MKS-50 Tracks with three inimitably squeaky, funked-up electro squeezes.
The blend of chewy, resonant acid lines, deep blue choral synth voices and pulsating 808s in Vohx Continues hearkens back to Bitstream’s classic Double Density, whereas the clenched electro-funk of Kord Port (v2) isn’t so nice, and Drapse Harmonic finds him blending that nasty edge with beautifully offkey pads for bittersweet relief.
Low sunk and brooding post-techno explorations from Berlin-based Turkish artist, Nene Hatun, joining the ranks of Bedouin Records with four grim and grumbling sluggers.
A-side, she slunks out on the slow-motion wallop and drily caustic textures of Asceticism to sound like Adam X experimenting with knackered dabke, before scaling up crumbling walls of dub echo and decay in the trudging Double Bind.
B-side, Dementia emulates that effect with a swirl of chants and palpitating bass arranged into a thumping acidic EBM, then calving off into the uncanny autotune timbres and miscreant darkwave wobble of Altruism.
Legit reissue of a proper Belgian new beat nugget!
With thanks and gratitude to Adelaide’s Isle Of Jura label, Twilight Ritual and A Split Second founder, Charisma Chayell’s sexy new beat ace, Beach is reissued at a reasonable price, considering that original copies rocketed in value after DJ Harvey played it on Boiler Room.
Although not our favourite Chayell joint - that’s definitely Don’t Even Think About It (1989) - this 12” is a prime example of new beat at its earliest, refined and syncretic; filtering 4th world electronic voices, electro-boogie grooves and industrial-pop arrangements with that ice-cool ‘80s Belgian sensuality that we’re deeply attracted to.
Both tracks are essentially ‘floor-readied versions of Drinking Sand off A Split Second’s seminal Ballistic Statues album, the same LP that generated Flesh - which was most often played at 33rpm instead of 45rpm, a pivotal moment in the birth of new beat - and like Flesh was a staple on influential Goan, Balearic and Belgian dancefloors at the time.
Speedos in the briefcase times. Big tip!!
Coinciding with the label’s 10th anniversary, Erased Tapes Collection VIII is a highly limited transparent 2-LP set
"On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. The label will be celebrating with many festival showcases including End Of The Road and Sea Change Festival in the UK, Germany’s Haldern Pop, as well as curating 10th anniversary takeovers of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Colston Hall in Bristol, plus more to be announced.
Commencing these celebrations with a new compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro."
Crow Castle Cuts present a surreal suite of Deep House from San Soda, Glyn Ceriog, Luv Jam and Schmitt Trigger accompanied by a backstory about Welsh minstrels and folk dances. Best of the bunch is San Soda's 'Do It Like This', a spaced out and subs-driven modern Deep House groove in the vein of Kassem Mosse or Lowtec, while Farm Hand provides the augmented rustic reality of 'Glyn Ceriog Chant', and Luv Jam gives an odd, Mordant Music-like creation with the grumbling, slightly psilocybic groove of 'Fairytale Melody'. Limited edition of 300 copies on hand-stamped grey vinyl with a4 insert.