Gerry Read jacks the funk for Finn’s 2B Real label, pursuing the lead of his New Junk City album with four tracks worthy of following up Finn’s Late At Night zinger.
Stripped to the bone and jerked up for the DJs with itchy digits on the mixer, he tweaks out the jiggling skellington groove Mass Media beside the mutated Dance Mania-style trackiness of Big Boobs, then catches a more thizzy filter house breeze with Dreama That Girl, and gets right inside the jab-jacking mechanics of Pinky with frankly fucking weird effect.
One fo’ da freaks.
Kalahari Oyster Cult bring Brain Pilot’s mid ’90s IDM/ambient-techno back to earth with a necessary anthology compilation of hard-to-find and previously unreleased bits from their sought-after releases for Nova Zembla.
“Brain Pilot was made up of two brothers out of Belgium named Dimitri and Stefan Van Elsen, also known as Trans-4M (their iconic album Sublunar Oracles was recently reissued on Safe Trip). In late 1993 they started to make tracks for a local label called Nova Zembla. Inspired by the IDM movement, UK, Detroit and European techno sounds having roots deep into the Belgian scene, they forged thru three full-length releases as well as an EP from 1994- 1997.
It starts out with four songs from the debut self-titled album. ‘C.N.S’ immediately shows off the balance of Brain Pilot. Futuristic techno, timeless melodies and beat patterns influenced in IDM. ‘Feel Real Good’ continues this signature in referencing classic post-Detroit style with current UK intelligence while keeping that Belgian post-rave attitude. Embracing new styles like in ‘E.E.G.’ , it’s like listening to a Tri Repetae track from Autechre. This mechanical jitter is a great segue into their second album’s featured tracks such as ‘Serotonine Flow’ , the otherworldly ‘Brainsine’ and the addictive robotic funk in ‘Nutrient’. The anthology completes with Brain Pilot exploring an even deeper scientific sound with examples like ‘Wet-Wired (First Wiring)’ and ‘Substantia Electronica’. The track ‘Disconnect’ and the previously unreleased ‘Shifting’ bring listeners to the realm of 150bpm rollers. When you dig for music you always want to recognize unknown gems and give them a new life. The allure and celebration of finding and rediscovering electronic music that slipped thru the cracks are one of the most rewarding feelings a music lover can have. Kalahari Oyster Cult has presented that for us on a silver plate. Brain Pilot – a most fitting name.”
The UK heatwaves of summer 2019 supply humid, sticky inspiration for this absorbing sort of docudrama by field recordist/collagist Kate Carr for Indonesia’s Hasana Editions.
On ‘Heatwave’ Carr gleans a slow and heavy sort of narrative from a wealth of recordings made on location during a long, hot weekend at a busy London intersection. Convecting the sound of police sirens, honking cars, distant dancehall, and flustered street chatter with the tinkle of ice in a glass and other attempts to keep cool, the album smartly and subtly epitomises Kate’s practice, centred on “articulating the relationship between people and place through sound.”
Pointing her microphones at the sky - or the source of all the bother (and literally everything) - Kate captures all the fuss of a sweltering London and its soupy soundsphere in a way that makes us feel like a mozzie on the wall, witnessing the daily struggle of people trying not to turn into Michael Douglas in ‘Falling Down’. The atmosphere is so thick you can practically smell doughnuts, weed and diesel fumes wafting off the tape. But festive nostalgia aside, there’s a more unsettling aspect to ‘Heatwave’ which, in key with the zeitgeist, points to the worrying frequency of these heatwaves and the underlying dread associated with them, thanks to her subtle use of low end tones and the elusive, heatsick feel of her mixing trickery.
Reissue of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s seminal debut album, written in 1978 just as he embarked on a long and fruitful career, both solo and with YMO aka Japan’s answer to Kraftwerk.
In 1978 Sakamoto was a well versed session musician who had completed art school at the start of the decade. He would go on to become quite possibly Japan’s best known and most loved composer, penning all time classics with YMO and alongside the likes of David Sylvian, including his soundtrack for ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’, while his solo work on razor sharp grooves such as ‘Riot In Lagos’ have been hailed as foundational to hip hop and electro.
As far as debut releases go, ‘Thousand Knives Of’ could hardly be more classic. Taking cues from his interest in Chinese history, as well as his abundant collection of synths, and a will to create music that reflected his Japanese modernity, he forged this singular album of hugely diverse textures, rhythms and imaginary spaces.
From the opening vocoder recital of a poem by Mao Zedong, and its subsequent nods to Herbie Hancock’s worldly grooves, thru his use of synths to describe natural panoramas in ‘Island Of Woods’, to the exceedingly cute, Kraftwerkian proto-electro of ‘Das Neue Japanische Elektronische Volkleid’ and the funky finale of ‘End of Asia’ with its use of fanfare from ‘The East Is Red’, you can rest assured there’s no other album quite like it. 100% influential and all-time classic gear.
Bokeh Versions bring freshest, weirdest dancehall to market with Sikka Rymes’ ‘Love Di People’ - a big BIG look for fans of Equiknoxx, Slikback, Vybz Kartel!!!
““Incarcerated deejay touts Sikka Rymes as next big thing in dancehall” say the Jamaica Star headlines; referencing Vybz Kartel and Sikka’s cousin Shawn Storm, all of Portmore’s Gaza Nation dancehall royalty………..
So then we have Love Di People EP: Sikka’s first solid gold release after strings of strictly Vevo hits (‘Life of the Party’, ‘Nuh Change’) lie between his previous hook up with producer Genesis Hull (on Duppy’s 2016 Fresh Clipp’d). Genesis’ prods are pure widescreeen sub-tension and speed - now of Mexico City, he carries Sikka’s flow into gleaming new future chrome jobs of the dancehall chassie, the madness of 00s dancehall returns for global review. In This Time Of Many Dancehall Think-pieces: Live Long And Grow Strong.
The weight of two year’s of Drive demos caused Miro Tape to spontaneously burst into the world on Bokeh last year, we told you it was just a mixtape - Love Di People is the first wax seal on the Bokeh x Duppy Gun relationship, and not the last one of 2019. Founded by Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras, Duppy Gun pairs under-cover West Coast producers with Jamaican vocalists like G Sudden, Early One & others from their island HQs in Portmore & Spanish Town.”
Untouchable DJ, Tom Boogizm shells 4 hours of seamless, wayward dancefloor suss in this crucial recording of his all-night set @ La Cheetah, Glasgow in 2019. it is tune-for-tune one of the baddest selections we’ve heard in eons, and surely serves its purpose as a showcase for one of the UK’s most vital - if unsung - record collectors and CDJ alchemists.
Becoming the first lick on Tom’s hugely promising new label, Shotta Tapes, the 4-hour selection testifies to a DJ of serious wingspan with skills to match. Hustling countless cuts ranging from drill instros to dub to rap, South African house, garage, grime, techno and jungle, all helmed in devilish dancehall anthems and obscurities.
Flawless in execution and pace the mix packs more blends than Kenco, and in a rudely dextrous style that’s seen Tom hailed among the UK’s most prized DJs with them that know. As ever he gives the club what it needs, not what it wants; toggling the vibe between classics and rarities - and always with a mind for the dancers - but never one to patronise them, and ever up for chucking a curveball. And it’s there where Tom’s talents and knowledge come into their own - properly distinguishing him from a groundswell of keen-but-green, social media-friendly DJs who, according to Tom’s swivel-fingering blurb, have attempted to “turn the underground into one big episode of Hollyoaks…”
Basically it’s 100% fire and thee very best advert for Tom’s Boogizm event this Friday 17th January, 2020 at The White Hotel with the All Hands On Deck firm, as well as a tease for his imminent new club night with crack DJ squad; Finn, Anz and Jungle Joe.
French electro dynamo De Sang Froid does his grizzled thing for Mannequin.
It’s a bare bones, no nonsense affair that says its piece in 10 austere declarations and declamations, slugging a rugged percussive palette, drily unembellished synths and enervated but committed vocals that lend themselves to a marching sing-along.
From the barking loudhailer styles of ‘Vox Dei’ to the squeaky skull rub of ‘Nous Y Retournons’ the very non-bougie vibe is sparingly measured between sleazy electro grinders such as ‘De Sang Froid’, the needling cold wave pulse of ‘Die Kraft Der Zurückkebrung’, and the swaggering street styles of ‘Mort à l’Immonde’.
Ambient healing music from Japan. The first in a series tending to the archive of prolific Japanese ambient music pioneer Fumio Miyashita, formerly of psych/prog-rock band Far Out/Far East Family Band.
"In 1969, he was an original member of the rock musical, ‘Hair’, in Tokyo. He formed the progressive rock groups Far Out and Far East Family Band, releasing ground-breaking albums and touring internationally. Always interested in oriental philosophy since studying karate at a young age (he became a black belt in high school), he became interested in oriental medicine after an injury on stage that only healed after undergoing acupuncture. In 1977, he immigrated to the United States, where he continued to study oriental medicine, philosophy, the Chinese Five Elements and also began, in earnest, to research music therapy.
In 1981, he decided to return to Japan, moved to Shinshu Iizuna Highlands and established Biwa Studio. One reason for choosing Iizuna Highlands was because it’s altitude is 1,250 meters and during his studies he learned that this is a very positive and healthy altitude for the human body to reside in. There he created numerous works, including music CD’s and image videos. His passion was for creating music that was helpful to people and his recurring theme in his works was relaxation and healing for the mind and body. He named his music ‘Healing Music’ and he established his own unique style of music therapy."
Sonic Pieces saddle up a necessary reissue of the two-part Americana trip by Erik A Skodvin (Deaf Center/Svarte Greiner) first issued during the early 2010’s. Strung out in webs of keys, strings, clarinet and dust crusted drums, the collected album’s tone and feel patently recalls a rich field of Americana references as much as the bleak and inhospitable wilds of Skodvin’s native Norway, while also resonating with the noirish appeal of Berlin at night, where the album was recorded after Skodvin made the move at start of the decade. Combined they make for a captivating set of nocturnes warmly recommended to fans of Loren Connors, Jozef Van Wissem, Matt Christensen Swans or Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai’s soundtrack to ‘The Revenant’.
Lassoing the first fruits of Erik K Skodvin’s labour under his own name following a decade casting shadows as Deaf Center, 2010’s ‘Flare’ and 2014’s ‘Flame’ explore a crepuscular wanderlust in the meticulously shaded and creeping way that has seen Skodvin become one of dark ambient's prized operators.
Recorded in 2010, ‘Flare’ was the first record presented under Skodvin’s birth name and found him making subtle adjustments to his dark ambient sound, swapping out rarified chamber air for a sort of arcane America gothic style parallel to the likes of Earth or Jonny Greenwood’s score for ‘There Will Be Blood’. Think “Limping cats. Dry trees. Sinking street holes. Park bridge. Diving. washing dark hair. Empty bathrooms. Scattered dusk plants.”
The subsequent 2013-2014 recordings on ‘Flame’ sound like he’s reached a one-horse frontier town after the arcing trek of ‘Flare’. Whiskey-soaked dark jazz tones redolent of Bohren und der Club of Gore open a side of raw, saddle-sore grumbles and gripes that take in last-orders piano phrasing in ‘Reflecting’, and reverberant drums a la early Raime in ‘Red Box Curves’, along with Jandek-esque discord on ‘Corrin Den’ while the final side’s highlight ‘Cypress Reverb’ is up there with Swans or Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai’s soundtrack to ‘The Revenant’.
Inimitable “mentation electronics” visionary Black Mecha breaks down psychosonic defence systems in a potent new release snuck out via their Internal Masonry Publications. A must check for followers of Merzbow, Haswell, Viviankrist.
Following the inexorable momentum of his LPs, CDrs and tape for The Death of Rave, Profound Lore and Independent Woman Records in the only the past 12 months, the singular project is now hitting a critical velocity in various zones of the music media and chthonic scenes, including Esquire Italia who recently deemed Black Mecha’s ‘Counterforce’ LP a “disc of the decade”. Surely a Kayne call-up is only around the corner. But jesting aside, it’s very pleasing to witness such an uncompromising and non-commercial artist gaining traction in the wider world.
We can surely say that Black Mecha’s staunch values are firmly in effect on ‘Mechanised’, the project’s Xth or 10th release since their ‘AA’ side landed like white hot space junk from an alien destroyer in 2015. The inclusion of panic-setting vocal samples from film and TV lends a key difference to this EP, cropping up at opportune junctures to light off the title track’s brain-drilling squabble and clawing rhythms, and suitably sparking up and sustaining the febrile churn of ‘Operations’, which comes on to grip like the rapid onset of influenza or some unidentified space sickness, before the roiling mass of ‘With Gunships’ burns out like a planet destroyer expending every last bit of laser energy on its way down.
Nyege Nyege Tapes deliver an unmissable volley of hyper-fast, breathless Singeli from Tanzania, this time the vinyl debut of Duke showcasing the sound of Pamoja Records, following multiple zingers from the scene’s core Sisso Studios.
Yet again making practically all other dance music seem pedestrian and tepid by contrast, Duke’s take on Dar Es Salaam’s Singeli style is ruthlessly fast and rugged, crammed with colourful samples and, quite crucially, loaded with a pair of blistering vocal tracks starring MCZO & Don Tach, and Dogo Lizzi, respectively.
In ‘Uingizaji Hewa’ the tempos thrillingly tilt over the 200bpm mark, but they’re held in check with a clutch of slower instrumentals written in Duke’s newer Hip Hop Singeli style. When he goes fast, dancers will know about it in the likes of ’Naona Laaah’ featuring machine gun rapid rhythms somehow matched for pace by MCZO & Don Tach, and again in the pedal-to-the-meckle recklessness of ‘M Lap’ starring Dogo Lizzi switching up from dancehall bark to fasssst-chat styles that put Daddy Freddy to bed.
But those hi-NRG bombs are only half the story. The rest of the LP shows off Duke’s wicked way with a hook and the diversity of his drum programming in highlights ranging from the PC Music-compatible bounce of ‘Sing4444444’, to the cascading chromatic licks and slow/fast suss of ‘Duke 4’, the joyful dervish of ‘Duke Bit Puyo’, and two dizzying pieces with spiralling, Bollywood-style vocal samples that close the record with a blinding flourish.
One of Pan’s earliest and most memorable LPs, this collage by Joseph Hammer is the most beautiful headfuck of a record, inviting listeners to tune in and drop out into multiple dimensions at once.
An American artist born in Hollywood, CA, 1959, Joseph Hammer turned his fascinations with sci-fi and AM radio into psychedelic gold with the frayed loops and station strafing dynamics of ‘I Love You, Please Love Me Too.’ Following on from Pan’s wildly flung selections of pachinko parlour recordings by Ilios, early Schimpluch Gruppe works, and musique concrète by Sewer Election, Hammer’s offering kept the label’s remit blindingly wide open with a roiling flux of snagged voices, riffs and spectral electronic interference that perhaps most uncannily reflected the dense flux of pop cultural data and musical history that was being uploaded to the internet and ingested by algorithms in 2010.
In its para-dimensional effect, the two long pieces of collage will surely remind anyone old enough of dicing around with an old analogue radio dial during formative years, picking up the usual pop detritus along with voices from overseas (and maybe even phone calls from down the road - this used to happen!). That innocent charm is key to the appeal of ‘I Love You, Please Love Me Too’, but there’s a also a crafty logic that underpins the whole thing, steering it away from, say, the daftness of People Like Us, and placing it in that special category of WTF?! classics by Robert Ashley, Carl Stone and The Automatics Group.
Prurient dispatches a bouquet of short, sharp noise shocks in a return to base forms following a series of increasingly ambitious long players.
In 20 snagging noise shards of high-register intensity Dominick Fernow bombards a form of “Airborne Electronics for the 75th Anniversary of Screaming Eagles Radio and 82nd Neptune Death Row”. What you need to know is ‘Garden of The Mutilated Paratroopers’ is proper, raw Prurient tackle, attacking in waves of powdered glass distortion, throttled CB comms, white-hot belligerance and chainsaw toothed power electronics rippers
There’s no fancy attention to detail in the mixing or any of that bourgeois stuff, just a terrifying episode of adrenalising energy and sensory mutilation that should leave lovers of this stuff satisfied and picking bits out of their teef and ears. Basically, just what we needed.
Pan Sonic + Charlemagne Palestine’s 20 year old drone album finally takes a new life on LP with this first pressing via Matière Mémoire following Staalplaat’s long sold-out CD.
Forming the 2nd meeting on record between Palestine, Vainio and Väisänen after their 1997 hook-up with Pita (Peter Rehberg) on ‘Three Compositions for Machines’, their follow-up is slimmed down to the legendary pianist and Finnish wave shapers for an exceedingly tense, minimal, excursion marrying glacial microtonal chords licked with underlying, rhythmic subbass disturbance and occasional, off-key, distorted moraine that buckles the microtones from below.
Both sides of the equation maintain a tense equilibrium throughout the album, which, while originally divided in five parts, played thru seamlessly, whereas this new vinyl cut dedicates nearly a side per piece. Across its taut body Palestine and Pan Sonic sustain gossamer fine chords and swollen, sometimes unruly bass, appearing to under-do each other and never making any moves, but the tension just gives at point, sinking into subbass mire and slipping trains of thought out of line. It’s perhaps not entirely typical of either of them, and achieves a modest mix of their respective sensibilities.
Peder Mannerfelt commits 70 minutes of locked-in hardware experimentation to the mixtape label department of Tokyo’s Cav Empt following killer action in the Asthma duo and on Fever Ray’s recent album cycle.
Treading in the footsteps of Jon K, Low Jack, The Gerogerigegege, X-Altera and many more before him on the tape series, Peder picks up the baton and runs deep into abstract modular techno matrices full of squirrelly and viscous rhythms swarmed with eerie but playful synth phantasms.
It’s not necessarily a dancefloor set. Rather, it finds Peder fully exercising his kit in a more cosmic-minded style that harks to his production in Roll The Dice with Malcolm Pardon or even his pivotal work for Fever Ray, essentially expressing a puristic take on electronic music that transcends techno, ambient, and contemporary electronic music.
On the A-side expect to be swept from bubbling modular bleeps, thru an immerisve passage of writhing kosmiche, and spat out in shredded flashcore and head-swallowing ambient vortices. With side B, he follows a hunch for chattering vocaloids into mutant ghetto-bass, cyber-tribalism and alien jazz noise, strafing abstract dub and convulsive, deconstructed sci-fi techno.
The long awaited debut LP by Nottingham’s finest purveyors of psychedelic noise, The Cult Of Dom Keller.
Partially compiled from re-mastered and reworked versions of tracks previously included in the band’s self-released series of EPs, this new incarnation of The Cult Of Dom Keller’s sounds also features three unreleased recordings. This is the absolute first time that these recordings become available on vinyl, a format that perfectly complements the band’s meticulously textured and carnal sound. A collection of fuzzily enrapturing and lysergically tinged compositions with an electronically infused backbone, the band’s debut might appear as a slight deviation from Mannequin’s traditional aesthetics.
We have no doubt though that our connoisseur audience will appreciate the novelty and will instantly fall for these stupefying songs. Strongly recommended to fans of Spectrum, Spacemen 3, Faust, Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo, Psychic Ills, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and 13th Floor Elevators."