Fatima Al Qadiri follows her Brute album with fine bind of queer, Arabic culture and Durban taxi techno in Shaneera, whose title refers to the english mispronunciation of the Arabic word, shanee’a (شنيعة), literally meaning "outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul."
Referencing South African Gqom in a similar way to Zomby of his Gasp! single or Kode 9 in the Ø album, Fatima veils that sound’s signature cold drum patterns with filigree laters of microtonal synths across the EP in a style which has developed since her astonishing Ayshay 12” and the Genre-Specific Xperience EP in 2011.
As with those releases and everything in between, Shaneera pokes the underbelly of convention in Arabic cultures, using putatively, mutually exclusive styles to heighten and warp the effect: hybridising sounds and their meanings in a way that’s both pleasingly direct for the ‘floor, but also cutting sharp in concept; folding in lyrics about Grindr chats, online drag and femme comedy skits in a context not usually heard beyond those areas. Although unless you speak Kuwaiti or Egyptian Arabic, or know your Iraqi proverbs, the joke is slightly squandered on non-Arabic speakers.
But the one language we all understand is bass-heavy dance music, which she excels in here. From the militant swagger of Shaneera to the panic-trance of Is2aleeha, thru the shades-on, laser-shotting Aljkahaf and searing synth heat of Galby, this one will be lighting ‘floors for time to come.
After a searing run of releases and remixes, Ancient Methods makes the natural move to working with vocalists in The Asking Breath Comes To Each, teaming up with Tropic Of Cancer, Huren, Zanias, and Azar Swan for a distinctive new addition to AM’s carefully expanding catalogue.
The sole preserve of Michael Wollenhaupt for some years now, in the last few years Ancient Methods has carved towards working vocals to deadly effect on a number of remixes for everyone from The Soft Moon to Wolfsheim, beside his own edits as Room 506.
All this has clearly fed into the stonking original material found on The Asking Breath Comes To Each, which royally boots off with the harpy screech of Azar Swan over the scorched earth gallop of Swallow The Screw, before trimming back to the acidic darkroom canter of The Standards Will Come And Go feat. a possessed Dave Foster aka Huron - arguably summat of a wet dream for anyone who needs talc to help get their duds on.
Tropic Of cancer executes a perfect, pensive and floating counterpoint to the razor sharpened 16th note serrations of It Won’t Take Me on the B-side, and we’re feeling pangs of guilty glee towards the borderline cheesy/lush epicness of Zoe Zanias’ vocal on the restrained pulse of Andromeda.
Consummate collaborator Fred Walmsley aka Dedekind Cut tags in Mica Levi, Prurient, Elysia Crampton, Jesse Osborne-Lanthier, Dirch Heather, and Zack Hill for a multi-tiered, heavily abstracted session following from the $uccessor album for NON, his American Zen album with Hospital Productions, and collabs with Chino Amobi and Rabit.
Yeh, he’s been a busy cat of late, and his latest self-released trip, recorded between fall 2016 and summer 2017 shows no sign of that creative energy abating. In almost palindromic form, The Expanding Domain rises and falls with absorbingly dramatic cadence, entering with the decompression chamber ambience of Cold Bloom and the escalating terror of Lil Puffy Coat in solo mode, to bring in Dirch Heather’s soured synths and Osborne-Lanthier’s deconstructed EDM palette on the unrelenting anti-banger Fear In Reverse II, then calving off into an electrical storm with Prurient on the title cut, and bringing us back to a numbed null point with Mica Levi’s silvery piano refrain and Elysia Crampton’s angelic touch in Das Expanded, Untitled Riff.
If you were in any doubt as to this guy’s breadth of vision, this EP will see you right.
Gegen die Zeit documents Phillip Sollmann (Efdemin) and John Gürtler in polite but piercing and discordant aural conversation, playing live beneath a highway bridge in Offenbach, Germany. It forms their 2nd appearance in duo for the Hamburg-rooted, Berlin-based Sky Walking label - an offshoot of Dial Recs - following release of an extract of these recordings on the 41’36”  compilation.
The set breaks down to a pair of durational extractions 20 minutes and 12 minutes in length, respectively, rendering a sort of hall-of-mirrors electro-acoustic dialectrics in the first, and a passage of floating tones and noise disturbance in the second, saving the highlight for last with the more succinct section of Zeitgeist, which is almost a sort of ambient-electro-jazz-pop by comparison, where they neatly and coolly trade in a language of pastoral kosmiche murmurs that flare up in quizzical gestures and pool in reflective pauses.
Kablam, Meat Beat Manifesto and Yilan take apart and reassemble tracks from Spatial’s debut album, along with his own exclusive contribution
Spatial’s stripped and nervy electro-garage swanger 111020 is the canniest on offer, zapping lazered chords on raw, bouncing toms in a sort of anachronistic style recalling Mark Fell’s Sensate Focus twists on deep house.
Janus Berlin’s Swede, Kablam plays out a sort of noisy techno recalling Michael Forshaw’s Blackpool bangers, and Yilan tends to the deeper end with wide dub chords and fractured 2-step.
Jay Glass Dubs melts Guerrilla Toss’ hyperactive post punk styles into air on this killer overhaul of tracks from the Boston band’s GT Ultra LP with DFA, resulting a spellbinding sound holding etheric space between Maximum Joy and Golden Teacher, for example.
If you know anything of either act, you’ll be aware of the gulf between their respective styles. And while it’s maybe fair to say that Guerrilla Toss have refined their sound slightly for the new DFA release, when compared with the zaniness of their Tzadik, NNA Tapes and Feeding Tube Records releases, Jay Glass Dubs has radically diffused their mad energy into something practically unrecognisable, far more elusive here.
Like Mad Professor with Massive Attack or Dennis Bovell with Golden Teacher, the selected song structures of GT Ultra are progressively dissolved and and sublimated in the echo chamber in a woozy declension from the D&B-style intro and thunderous pressure of Skull Dub to the nagging, almost Forest Swords-like plangency and steppers roil of String Dub, then coming to pool in the horizontal scan of TV Do Dub, and letting it all ride out for ten minutes of reclined trip-hop in Can I Get The Real Dub.
The master of Italo house, Marco Passarani, meets NYC yung gun, Evan Michael, for a party-ready jackers’ duel on Cin Cin.
Passarani absolutely bosses the A-side with his percolated Linn drums, wiggly bass and virulent acid lines on I C U, then with pill-belly rave burn in the escalating rave chords and mean 303s of Bravocuore.
Brooklyn’s Evan Michael keeps his side up with some canny, feathered drum programming and intricate harmonic arrangement in the warehouse-primed Granite Cradle, and also at a slightly slower tempo with the nagging bleep coda and precision tooled sound design of Auxilio.
Archie Marshall aka King Krule oscillates between channeling strung out jazz crooners and mucky denim wearing rockabillies on a long-come follow-up to his 2013 debut.
“One of the most celebrated figureheads on the independent British scene, Archy Marshall returns with the dense, sprawling “The OOZ”, the much anticipated follow up to his debut “Six Feet Beneath the Moon”. Drifting and seeping through the cracks of South London like the album title, King Krule casts an unflinching eye over his kingdom, transforming his observations of all the disorientation and heartbreak of his youth into piercing narratives and poetry that are both startlingly honest and brutally beautiful. With “The OOZ”, Marshall finally takes the crown as poet laureate for the dazed and confused generation, painting a bleak and sometimes harrowing picture of a rapidly splintering city.
“The OOZ” is released October 13th on XL Recordings, preceded by the raucous new single “Dum Surfer” as well as a brilliant Brother Willis directed video. This autumn also sees Marshall hitting the road for a worldwide tour this autumn
Where “Six Feet Beneath the Moon”, released in 2013, was a rigorous, rambling excavation of Marshall’s expansive body of work to date, “The OOZ” snaps into focus quickly and sharply, his modus operandi coming into view almost immediately. Over jazzy curlicues and guitars, the opener “Biscuit Town” sets out its stall irresistibly as Marshall sings about rapidly disintegrating romance and personal dissolution with acute, almost painful detail. These wrenching themes of self-annihilation and fraying relationships seem inextricably linked in Marshall’s eyes – once you lose yourself to someone else, you inevitably wind up losing yourself completely when they leave – and recur in other tracks. “Why’d you leave me? Because of my depression? You used to complete me but I guess I learnt a lesson” he spits on the roiling “Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)”, and, even layered with the warm vocals of Okay Kaya, “Slush Puppy” is an unsparing dissection of a couple with nothing left to give, like a Gainsbourg and Birkin ballad gone toxic. Elsewhere, things only get darker, as Marshall desperately tries to find safe harbor in the city he knows and loves, only to be thwarted constantly, as on “The Cadet Leaps” and first single “Czech One”. Not even the synthetic high of chemicals, as shown in “Emergency Blimp” and “A Slide In (New Drugs)”, can stanch the suffering.
Although seeming at first abstract, “The OOZ” as a title proves oddly fitting. There are references littered throughout about its physical manifestation, or as Marshall himself says, “about earwax and snot and bodily fluids and skin and stuff that just comes out of you on a day to day basis”. But it works on a more figurative level too, with the OOZ also representing the unknown depths or horizons the solitary mind can travel to, whether it’s sinking into the deep sea or soaring through the night sky. It may be messy, unwieldy, even unsightly, Marshall seems to say - but we need The OOZ in order to exist.”
Idle Hands get the best out of local Bristol figure, A Sagittariun with the cosmic techno percolations of Pseudo Science and a proggy trance bloom, Heavy Manners...
“We've been closely watching the rise of A Sagittariun ever since he first popped up with his consistently excellent Elastic Dreams label back in 2011. What started out as an anonymous project has since been revealed as the handiwork of Nick Harris, a long time champion of the Bristol house and techno scene since before most of us were even hitting the dance. His music has been flying out with a no nonsense approach – self-released, minimal promo, just cracking club-ready 12s that tap into the fierce-but-fun spirit of Detroit techno and albums loaded with smokers delights to appease his West Country roots.
Pseudo Science wastes no time in imparting a message of bristling kinetic energy for peak time situations. This is maximal techno of the highest order, firing off a body-popping beat, a dazzlingly bright set of chords and a delirious lead that cuts through like the house lights being thrown on in a darkened basement four hours before closing time. There's a confidence that bursts out of this track that could only come from someone who has earned his stripes in the cut and thrust of what can at times be a fickle dance music scene.
Heavy Manners plays a foil to this boisterous A-side without dipping the energy levels. Sagi still has his pedal to the metal, but this time he winds through mystical, filter sweeping pads that hark back to synth rich early 90s trance séances of the highest caliber. The bubbling 303 only further fuels this sense of psychoactive flashback, and the hypnotic film sample provides the perfect icing on the cake. Leave your functional subtleties at the door, this is loud and proud body and mind music transmitting from the part of a soul still stomping in a field somewhere near the M25 orbital.”
Redeemer is the brutally seductive debut album by Phase Fatale, a key player in the recent charge of EBM and post punk-informed industrial techno infecting ‘floors from his home city, NYC to his DJ residency at Berghain, Berlin.
In Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions, Phase Fatale finds a fitting home for his personalised brand of clinical, rictus rhythm programming and searing synth and guitar lines, adding a vital streak of black and blue electric energy to the legendary label in its 20th year of cultish operation.
In seven parts (and a trio of extended Silent Servant mixes due to come), Redeemer follows the direct, jagged lines of his 12”s for Jealous God and Unterton to a deeply personal realisation of weaponised sonics, upholding a strong tradition of techno as a prophetic exercise or ritual to gird dancers and listeners for the onset of future war. It presents Phase Fatale as an ultimate emissary of electronic violence and domination in the process, steeling the limbic system and muscle memory thru a fine-tuned disciplinarian approach to pharmacokinetics and biomechanics.
Picking from the leather-bound cadaver of industrial dance music past, he reanimates his influences with pointillist precision and unapologetic force. Alloying muscular bass and metallic percussion with wire-combed 16th note synthlines and a barbed perimeter of guitar distortion, his sound can be heard as a metaphorical representation of holding your line against the attrition of a degenerated present.
Each track dances concisely around the 5 minute mark, unfolding a series of densely packed and subtly rendered minimalist/maximalist structures. The shuddering tension of Spoken Ashes opens with banks of rotted chorales against a coalface of hacking stabs, establishing a pent vibe that vacillates precariously thru the adrenalised battery of Operate Within, to the clenched funk of Human Shield and the bombed-out, Alberich-alike Interference, seeming to resolve slightly with the supple roll of Order of Severity, before Beast bottoms out into immolating synth distortion, and Redeemer brings up the rear with a coolly-tempered, stoic form of industrial ecstasy.
By the 1970s Studio One and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd had already proved himself to be the defining force in Reggae for almost two decades. From running the Downbeat sound system on the lawns and yards of Kingston in the late 1950s to opening Studio One at 13 Brentford Road at the start of the 1960s, ushering in ska and rocksteady and establishing the careers of most of Jamaica’s artists - everyone from Bob Marley and The Wailers, Ken Boothe, Toots and The Maytals, The Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo and more - Clement Dodd had until this point dominated the Jamaican musical world.
"And yet, incredibly, Clement Dodd was barely halfway through his musical path, maintaining Studio One’s number one position in the Jamaican music scene throughout the 1970s with a combination of musical and creative innovation and an endless capacity to adapt and create new musical fashions. By the end of the 1970s dancehall had become the defining sound on the island. Dancehall was essentially a tribute by other Jamaican producers and artists to the classic music of Studio One created in the 1960s as young artists across the island created new songs, while musicians recreated these original classic foundation Studio One rhythms. As on other occasions, Clement Dodd rose to this new musical challenge by producing a whole new era of classics for Studio One.
The roots of dancehall begin with the DJs of the early 1970s, who were the first to sing new material over earlier classic rhythms. Early DJ pioneers such as Dillinger and Prince Jazzbo both feature here toasting over classic songs - The Mad Lad’s ‘Ten To One’ and The Eternals’ ‘Queen Of The Minstrel’ - but it is the new wave of artists who arrived at Studio One at the onset of dancehall which enabled Studio One to maintain its number one status as the whole of Kingston’s rival music producers - Channel One, Joe Gibbs and many others - attempted to challenge this position.
Sugar Minott, Michigan and Smiley, Willie Williams and Lone Ranger had all grown up listening to the classic Studio One music of the 1960s and were able to pay the greatest compliment to the label by creating the defining new music of this new era with songs that combined all the musical and technological developments of the 1970s - dub, deejaying, discomixes, syndrums, synthesizers and more - into the sound of the future: dancehall.
Throughout this era Clement Dodd also continued to work with a number of original and returning artists, such as Alton Ellis, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor and Johnny Osbourne, updating old rhythms and creating new ones while employing the in-house band variously known as The Brentford All-Stars / Rockers / Disco Set to update these sounds in order to maintain Studio One’s number one position as the defining force in reggae."
Remastered from the original tapes, Double Cut is the second album by electronic music legend Dieter Moebius and bassist Gerd Beerbohm, originally released in 1984. For this collection of recordings, the two musicians honed in on the most elemental aspects of their music - in particular its rhythmic constituents. From our current historical vantage point it's not too hard to think of Double Cut as a premonition of what was to yet come in the field of electronic music. As the album develops through 'Narkose' and especially the twenty-two minute epic, 'Doppelschnitt', you get the sense that this is a form of proto-techno, exploring the minimalist rhythmic concerns that have defined the genre's most essential ingredients in all its incarnations, from Detroit to Finland to Berlin. Beginning with the dark, motorik autobahn sounds of 'Mnimotion', the album seems to become increasingly radical, and certainly, by the time 'Doppelschnitt' fires up it'll feel like you've been transported from 1984 right up into the 21st century. The vintage analogue synth edits that lend this 4/4 monolith detail are perhaps the only real indication that this isn't a contemporary work - it's quite a revelation.
Lakker venture a steeply brooding, stripped and future-primitive sound on their Eotrax label following the conceptual suite of Struggle & Emerge.
Effectively, for Eris Harmonia they went blindfolded in the studio, intuitively feeling out shapes and tones that would form the five tracks of Eris Harmonia, which takes its title from two Greek Goddesses - Eris, Goddess of disorder and strife, and Harmonia, Goddess of harmony and concord.
Between these poles of reference they built a rugged to and fro, floating the ghostly stepper Song for Ratlin beside the evil animist skeleton dance of Extinct Peoples, with the lump-in-throat euphoria of Empress at the EP’s apex, none of which will prime you for the ten minute onslaught of atonal nastiness in Eris Pt.1 and its bittersweet resolution in Eris Pt.2, which finds their sound design skills pushing much farther into the void, fathoms away from safer ‘floors.
John Daly blesses Dublin’s All City Records with a seductive full album of West 2 West material after making an incognito appearance as West 2 West on their 1st Jheri Tracks Compilation sampler, and exploring similar vibes on last year’s well received album, The Smoke Clears.
The boogie slouch is in fuzzy effect on 12 gauzy, offbeat grooves married with wavey synths and new age atmospheres, hardly troubling the ‘floor but still with enough momentum to get you swaying at least, with results best filed somewhere between Actress’ Thriller bits, Leatherette at the most stoned, or the kind of 313-based beats built by DJ Dez, Detroit Escalator Company or Urban Tribe.
John Maus yields the first taste of Screen Memories - his first new album in six years - with the teasingly brief Teenage Witch
Revealing the subtle new synth timbre he’s been working on all this time, factored into one of his signature, intricate avant-pop beauties. Yes, it does sound a lot like early Ariel Pink, but that’s probably because he worked with Pink a lot back then. Great, as always.
Fade 2 Mind boss Kingdom expands the 11/12 tracks of Tears In The Club with 8 bonus VIPs, instrumentals, and remixes by Sami Baha and DJ J Heat.
We’ll skip to the new bits: Into The Fold (Remix) features a moire upfront yet still ghostly R&B vocal; the percolated club pressure of Down 4 Whatever gets a lot of attention, first in Kingdom’s VIP Chop, then on the downstroke by Sami Baha, and ramped up for the Jersey crowd by DJ J Heat.
Timex (Remix) places a new vocal on the stripped down instrumental, while Nothin, originally vocalled by The Internet’s Syd, also appears as a useful Club Mix Instrumental.
Key Posh Isolation player Christian Stadsgaard (Damian Dubrovnik, The Empire Line) gives a vinyl life to his Vanity Productions alias with debut album Only The Grains Of Love Remain.
“This latest work from Vanity Productions is a turbulence steadied to rest with care, and marks a critical high point in the project's evolution.
As the nom de plume of Posh Isolation's co-founder Christian Stadsgaard, there is a deeply private yet fiercely empathic quality to 'Only the Grains of Love Remain.' Pirouetting between his collaborative work with Loke Rahbek as Damien Dubrovnik, as well as The Empire Line with Varg and Iron Sight, to name just Stadsgaard's most recent activity, the inwardness reserved for Vanity Productions is perhaps a necessary step. That the emotive experimentation should generate such a touching soliloquy is an arresting watermark, presenting 'Only the Grains of Love Remain' as the most eloquent work of the project to date.
Following on from 'Mardini' last year, 'Only the Grains of Love Remain' takes a delicate and determined route through the terrain of Vanity Productions. Mapped with musique concrète's metrics, there is an uneasy sensation between guilty revulsion and cosmic longing captured in the moments of harmony. Dissolving these small bursts of clarity-through-agony is however not a matter of exploring intensity with volume, or other such devices and motifs. With an almost bitter precision, Stadsgaard continually spikes the grounding compositional elements with unnervingly distant patterns of crisp synthetic alloys. Where weighted, gothic passages are undone into peaceful plateaus, and there is a sense of coveted respite from the body's adrenal chemistry. Temporality is suspended, enough to solicit reflection.
As the work coasts the mesh of decision/indecision, witness/actor, falling/flying, however it strikes, one gets the sense that the after-image of noise being articulated is in the end giving way to a greater cathartic broadcast that 'Only the Grains of Love Remain' documents: life, love, and thought.”
London-based French composer Angèle David-Guillou makes audacious music that explores the interaction between rhythm and melody, structure and emotion, permanence and change.
"Her work is one of incessant dialogue between these elements, creating hypnotic compositions whose mutable internal architecture and shifting melodic accentuations immediately draw the listener in, while constantly, almost imperceptibly, disorienting auditory perception. It’s a compositional process that is central to the eight compelling essays on the aptly titled ‘En Mouvement’, David-Guillou’s new album, the second under her given name.
Informed by a rich and eclectic tapestry of cultural stimuli, including Philip Glass’s ‘Glassworks’, the music for movement of Thomas De Hartmann and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Alvin Curran's compositions for the piano, French and Spanish Baroque music, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky and Jean Cocteau, Sufi writings, Sumerian art and contemporary dance, the pieces on ‘En Mouvement’ are the work of a reflective, intellectually engaged yet delightfully instinctive modern composer who has made the limitless mutability implied by the concept of ‘movement’ a thing of personal transformation and mesmeric musicality.
“Very early on in the process of working on the compositions for this album, the idea of ‘movement’ became my central point of focus,” David-Guillou confirms. “The word seemed to encapsulate all my obsessions. En mouvement literally means ‘in motion’, but the word in French, as in English, is extremely rich and suggests an array of ideas such as motion, gesture, dance, musical parts, clockwork, repetition, displacement, emotional confusion or excitement. In fact, I realise now that this concept has been present ever since I started listening to and making music; I just hadn’t quite understood how important it was to me.”
With her second album of modern composition, Angèle David-Guillou’s career is palpably en movement and, excitingly, it feels like the beginning of a long and thrillingly creative musical journey."
Paul Woolford presents the definitive Special Request opus with Belief System, a brobdingnagian reflection upon his early years raving in Leeds, using samples from tapes dating back to 1993, diffracted thru the prism of up-to-date production aesthetics to visceral effect.
It’s pretty much the last word in Special Request’s coming-to-terms with nostalgia for the golden days of hardcore, jungle, rave, looking back to a time of rapid stylistic mutation and innovation from the relative safety of rose-tinted 2017 filters.
Rather than reviving the rabid energy and naive invention of rave proper, however, Woolford spends the first half of the album turning his sample pack into a UK Breaks and wonky techno set full of line-dancing grooves and electronica, before sparking off some breaks on pretty much the same base rhythm with the big room styles of Make It Real and the Amen Andrews-esque Brainstorm.
To be fair, the ruffneck Leviathan fares better with its boisterous tech-step barrage, and Replicant (Nexus 7 VIP) nearly grasps the nuttiness of hardcore proper, but the finale of Light In The Darkest Hour is a hybrid of Chicane and DJ Trace that never needed to happen, and people probably would have laughed off in the late ‘90s.
The wonderful Bokeh Versions present outernational, radiophonic dub excursions from Osaka’s 7FO. Imagine Delia Derbyshire on a scuba-diving holiday in the Caribbean with Joe Meek; this is what they might make during nights ashore. Francesco Cavaliere features on Water Vapour!
“BKV013 is infectious, Osaka-matured, aquatic dub from 7FO. 7FO-san has been in touch with Bokeh for over a year and kindly showed them round Kyoto on the BKV Japan world tour (we ate a baby squid that had a boiled egg where the brain used to be - crazy).
This is 7FO's first proper wax outing after homegrown albums made local waves with his fusion of Japanese new age and dub miniatures. Previous albums also had mastering credits by Bokeh alumni and Osaka mixing desk alchemist Kabamix.
2016 saw 7FO reach wider audiences with Water Falls Into A Blank, a cassette and multi-media project via RVNG Intl's Commend See series. Bandcamp user Standard Greysummed it up best:
If Joe Meek lived on to collaborate with Harry Hosono and Inoyama Land and make idiosyncratic dubbed out Japanese Minyo and off-world colony exotica...
'Water Vapour' features the enigmatic Sea Urchin - the duo of Francesco Cavaliere (on FX) and Leila Hasan (on otherworldly vocals). They've released an LP for Belgian imprint Kraak and Francesco notched a 2016 highlight with his solo LPs on Hundebiss.
These is the 4th Bokeh release to come out of Japan…..”
Brighton’s K-Lone helms the next chapter on Parris’ Soundman Chronicles label, backed with an oxidised dub remix by Bristol’s O$VMV$M.
Apparently a year in the works, Old Fashioned convects 10 minutes of silty chords, subtle beachside atmosphere and exhaling dynamics, leading up to a levitating dub bass in classic, or should we say Old Fashioned Berlin style. Schmoke a bowl a drift off styles. In The Dust Of This Planet brings that vibe closer to the UK lean of Parris or Batu, but more low key, furtive, and O$VMV$M seemingly leave Old Fashioned to the elements, returning a wizened, saltier version.
Foom presents the new Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra EP, Condo.
"Condo" (the title song) is a little-known gem from Peter Gordon's catalog, pairing David Van Tieghem's motorik drum programming and found percussion with the transparent and vibrato-free vocals of Rebecca Armstrong (Armstrong was also a member of Steve Reich's ensemble, and contributed vocals to the definitive ECM recordings of Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians, and Tehillim). Prior to them working together, Nik Colk Void (of Factory Floor) wrote to Gordon that: "(Condo) completely catches my personality and when I feel disillusioned or need comfort, I always put it on, and it makes me feel good and strong." Their correspondence culminated in the Peter Gordon & Factory Floor collaboration, Beachcombing.
The EP is comprised of a remastered version of the title track, "Condo" (which originally appeared on 1981's Casino EP), along with 3 previously unreleased tracks from the same 1981 sessions. "Neighbors" uses “Condo” as its foundation, with Peter Gordon's solo on top; “Candy Store” sees the full band iteration of the Love of Life Of Orchestra, including Rebecca Armstrong on vocals, Fred Maher on guitar and Bill Laswell on bass; "East Village" relies only on synthesizers and electronic percussion, with a chorale layered upon a deep groove. The EP closer, "Condominium," is a nod to those DJs who would play the title track at a slower tempo. The EP’s titles are a comment on the gentrification of NYC’s East Village, which began in the early 1980’s and continues to this day, driving out low-income residents, including artists, writers and musicians, such as Gordon, Van Tieghem and Armstrong.
[Background: In 1981, Peter Gordon joined up with video artists Kit Fitzgerald and John Sanborn to form Antarctica, a label devoted to releasing new video music work. The Bologna-based Expanded Records label released the CASINO EP (on which Condo originally appeared) with the Antarctica imprimatur, in 1982. Gordon and Van Tieghem returned to Aquarius Studios in Geneva in (where they had recorded Peter Gordon & Love Of Life Orchestra's Genevaalbum the year before). Some of the tracks from the Geneva II sessions appear on the Antarctica videos, NEW MUSIC FROM ANTARCTICA LP and CASINO. The Antarctica label was unable to sustain itself, however, which left a few tracks from the Geneva II sessions unreleased until now.]"
Narcotised synth scapes by a duo with previous form for Hippos In Tanks and Pendu Sound, now on Richard Fearless’ (DIV) Drone label
“Drone pursues new resonant frequencies with its twelfth release, a tonal, penetrating, and experimental album from long time Fearless collaborators, Von Haze.
VII is a nod to the tradition of ragas. Each song written for a specific power centre in the body and to engage both active and passive effects of sustained and concentrated sound.”
Swiss jazz drummer Samuel Rohrer ropes in fellow sticksman Burnt Friedman and tech house maestro Ricardo Villalobos for remixes of his most recent album.
Burnt Friedman takes the brief of Microcosmoism and runs its microtonal electronics and squirming groove to the nonplace, feeds it special gasses and returns a loose, slompy groove in patented style.
On the other hand, Villalobos strips the same elements right down to bare essentials for nearly ten minutes of swivelling drum hits wrapped up in sticky syncopation with glutinous subs and ricocheting electro-dub-steppers dynamics.
Body Consonance is the follow up to Precipice, Byron Westbrook’s critically acclaimed debut LP from 2015 (Root Strata).
"Taking a turn towards greater immediacy, this new album is far from “ambient” with ecstatic abstract rhythm as its anchor. An artist who also operates in visual contexts, Westbrook utilizes binaural qualities of the stereo listening format to sculpt three-dimensional sounds in perpetual motion, producing works that are both pointillistic and psychedelic.
Body Consonance is a meditation on physicality, a virtuosic choreography of sonic textures, colors and shapes woven together; Bodies in motion, conversing, orbiting, colliding."
E-Unity rides oblique, fresh electro/bass vectors on a smart debut for London/Bristol’s Oscilla Sound.
Perihelion works on a weightless electro flex with bubbling 808s anchoring a glittering lightshow of diffracted, hyaline tones and laser beam lixx. Morty is more emo, thanks to its creamy swirl of harmonised pads, but still with kinda dancehall/dembow grit in the pants, and A Wormhole In The 4th Wall percolates those vibes with more delirious pressure recalling cuts from the killer DJ Python album.
The Desdemonas are a 4-piece band, fronted by Aguayo (who sings and plays a variety of instruments).
"It’s also a fictional story about a group of teenagers in a dystopian world (the story will be told in the lyrics, and in cartoons and videos based on Aguayo’s drawings). And it’s of course an album, in which Matias digs deep into some dark forms of rock music which inspired him as a teenager, and brilliantly revisits them in a moody, compelling, post-electronic 2017 style.”
JD Twitch ov Optimo’s Autonomous Africa serve a mellow, buoyant session of dubbed-out grooves recorded by Tafi Allstars and Mr TC between Ghana and Glasgow.
Too often these cross-continental projects can sound like spiced up tech-house, but not this time, as they find a fine, loose balance of vibes hingeing on the international language of dub, turning up heady vibes in the sloshing rhythms and echoic space of Gormedzedze, strutting punk-funk-disco with gorgeous vox on Deka Wor Wor, and a superb mesh of live drums and minimal electronics in Cantata.
Turn to the B-side and the EP really comes into its own with more psychedelic expressions in Outside Rhythm and the Sordid Sound System dub of Cantata, as dusk passes in richly evocative fashion with the star-gazing electronics and Regina Egbeako’s fragile lullaby are carried off into dreamscape on Agbe Me Nya Wo.
Ron Trent tests out a rawer, dub-wise tribal house sound under his new moniker; Blak Punk Soundsystem.
Vibes are laid down thick and humid in the A-side’s Red Cloud, which strongly reminds of an overgrown take on those recent DJ Sprinkles dubs of Will Long, mainly due to its huge, grubbing baseline and exquisitely spacious mixing treatment.
The B-side’s BPS Dub however feels out balmy space somewhere to the mediterranean south of Rhythm & Sound, melding lilting guitar with growling vox and spumes of dub FX for the first half, before the breeze takes it on a more stepping 4/4 trajectory. Save this for the late hours…
Move D, Benoit Bouquet, Marco Wallenberg are L’Amour Fou.
Following a pair of excursions on Smallville, they give up a full EP of melancholic deep house with Dujuan, so named after the typhoon in Taipei which forced the three into a studio with a cask of wine and resulted these sweet treats, taking in the deep Detroit pressure systems of Sunday Haze, a drizzly, impending beauty called Dujuan, and sublime downstroke of The Last Call, making nicely spaced out use of location recordings.
Mesmerising instrumental blues duets from Toronto’s Kevin and Patrick Cahill, whose symbiotic, fraternal connection is beautifully self-evident on this, their 2nd tape for the UK’s blues obsessives at the Death Is Not The End label.
On Fayet the brothers regale a quietly captivating narrative or dialogue in two extended parts, gently stereo panned - or just recorded that way - in a hushed but urgent back and forth that leads us upriver, across mountain trails and inside the log cabin of their shared mind.
One for autumn days with the rambleman.
Preach features some canny processing of Josh Caffe’s vocal on a limber, square-bassed house swing
The vocals really come into play with their Paranoid London-styled burner Temptation, whispered and cood over up proper Chi-town toms and 303 ballast with a soaring 2nd half. Exit Drums (Extended Mix) cuts one step darker with chopped hip-house vox and bass drone.
Arthur Artwork masticates some fiercely funked up 303s on Let Go Of This Acid in a kinda Lory D style, while Acid Lines finds him striding out on a more minimal house swing coupled with classic vocal.
MoM hit the ‘floor with Jesy Lanza, Sepulchre and Modeselektor in tow.
Expect bolshy broken techno/electrobass pressure in Jack Is Out (Arson Only Edit); a bendy volley of footwork rhythms and Errorsmith-alike screwball electronics on Blue Screen, featuring Jessy Lanza and chopped by MDSLKTR; while Machinedrum and Praveen Sharma pulls out their shiniest hyper chords as Sepalcure alongside Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner’s gilded inputs.
On a roll right now, UNO NYC dispatch Blue Angels’ dreamy fusions of techno and ghetto bass rhythms with gauzy ambient tones in Vaces, which is, as far as we can tell, their debut release.
At the front, they mesh flyaway harp lines with claggy techno in a way recalling Actress productions on View From, while Coils pushes a sort of AFXian techno merry-go-round swaddled in noise, and, best of all, the jitting pulse and flanging pressure system of Sam’s Club springs to mind a mix of Burial Hex and Palmbomen II.
San Fran’s HNYTRX give a shady house taste of what to expect from Octo Octa’s Where Are We Going? album with the brooding minor key figures and darkroom canter of Adrift
Backed with a more adroit, square-bassed remix dripping with late night feels from Sweden’s Dorisburg, and a heavy-lidded, keening house rework from Avalon Emerson.
Ego Records mainstay Fatima brings the label right up to date with Somebody Else, where she plays it classically cool and soulful on a crackshot trap beat from JD Reid layered up with lush strings and lowered subs.
The lesser-spotted Joe jumps back on Hessle Audio with Tail Lift and MPH, his first new productions heard since Thinking About for Four Tet’s label in 2015. Trust that he’s got the party in mind, as ever, with slinky samba and jungle power drums playfully dubbed out and tweaked up for loose-limbed times.
They’re both a little better fed than his previous, skeletal rhythms, with the loping samba hustle of Tail Lift operating in a lush sound field of hooting macaques, cicadas and creamy DX7 synth pads in a way that recalls Pekka Airaksinen on his jollies in Rio with Kaidi Tatham.
MPH meanwhile finds him dicing with jungle breaks and almost Prince-style Linn drum crack, feathered in swooping design with strobing chords to recall the pitching cadence of Klein’s recent Tommy EP reworked by Jameszoo, or something.
Frankfurt’s minimal house and electronica statesman steers Fabric 95 on slinky trip
Starting with a blend of Psychic TV with his and Ricardo Villalobos’ RiRom track, RoRic, thru the Metalheadz-esque breaks and synths of Koehler’s Oblivious Pool (Invisible Dub), to the Italo-house dream of Come Home by Pale Blue, foundational Chicago house from two of a Kind, the aerial breaks of Lanark Artefax, and even Sam Kidel’s Kachinja under his El Kid alias for Left Blank.
Addendum to Ruinism, Lapalux expresses intense emotions thru vaulted electronica complexities in The End of Industry for FlyLo’s Brainfeeder
Coming off like a soundtrack to one of Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi shorts with a compositional efficiency that means each track twists and flips in a series of acrobatic emotive gestures.
Sadar Bahar & Ben 'Cosmic Force' team up and come correct with these two direct disco jams ... Artwork by Cosmo Knex.. TIPP!
"The two tracker arose after Sadar Bahar discovered Ben's Utrecht based studio (housing 60 synths!). Electro fiend Ben was charmed by the electronic elements in Sadar's funk and Sadar loved Ben's ideas. Nuff said, a new NL based project was born. Nothing sampled for these tracks... only stabbing guitar, bass, sax and pounding drum programming for dance floor heat!"
Metalheadz buff up those state-of-the-art 1996 feels for 2017 with remasters of Ed Rush’s Skylab single.
Skylab is a proper darkside tech-step bombswanging off scratchy breaks and edge of chair atmospheres with a proper amen payload, all tension and no relief. Density catches him on a stressed breakbeat swagger, and The Raven locks into rictus 2-step with growling reese before an almighty roll out. That bells sound still sends shivers down the spine.
Cantering late night house music by Berlin’s Fort Romeau
Building up nagging acid lines to a frothy sorta Detroit peak in Untitled II, then following that proggy structure with more energy in the driving hi-hats and subtle light/dark shading of A Familiar Place.
Lamont follows Chunky’s smoked-out and killer Threats EP with a gully clash of Slowie’s grimy bars and Lamont’s gloopy house in Ar Kid
Then coming off like one of James Blake and Trim’s collabs with Ships featuring Kwam on the back.