Sonic Pieces give life to one of the most unusual releases in their catalogue thus far; a collection of percussive pieces from Tatu Rönkkö - a long-time friend and collaborator with Efterklang with whom he also formed the band Liima. Rönkkö is regarded by some as one of the most diverse and inventive percussionists working on the contemporary field and ‘Spheres' offers a comprehensive introduction to his expansive style, having been compared to everyone from Konono No.1 to Photek and Can’s Jaki Liebezeit.
Spheres is Tatu's debut album and it arrives after close to a decade of notorious improvised performances in kitchens around Berlin and abroad, "using the room and everything in it as his instrument”. It includes self-made instruments from everyday objects, taking his performance style to the next level. As the label explain "The kitchen and the improvisations around it have been concentrated down to 6 standalone pieces of music, produced in incredible detail. The sound hovers in the darklands between tribal experimentations, 90’s jungle ambient textures and electro-acoustic endeavours. Pieces like Then remind of a more focused Aphex Twin performing with Konono No1 in the Finnish woods. While the title track Spheres even links the sound all the way back to early Photek with it's reduced cinematic textures and explosive repetitive beats.”
The opening 5 pieces are all instrumentals before the closing piece Tekoäly features much overlooked vocal pioneer and Fonal mainstay Islaja on vocals, taking the material into much more interesting terrain. Largely accessible but also making the most of those still-alien vocals, Rönkkö weaves in and around her voice with a slowly collapsing, stop-start feel that elevates proceedings into the realm of avant-pop, bringing to a close a fine, intriguing debut.
Coyote Records launch a class début from VIO_L3T into orbit of UK drill, grime and weightless styles, backed with a signature, playfully moody remix by E.M.M.A.
Hailing from not-so-grimy Somerset, VIO_L3T fidns a balance of inner city tension and more spacious, widescreen synth feels to his first release, scanning the expansive synth intro and cold drill drums of Cloud-Tech next to the teetering dembow break structures and spiralling arps of Sentinel and the clipped, airy bump of Fragment.
E.M.M.A. gives Cloud-Tech a more immediate appeal, curtailing the intro so she can get busy with slugging bass and a more psychedelic, less glum synth arrangement in signature style.
Loopy techno pressure from Gothenburg’s DJ Lily, whipping out the dry pound and murmuring vocals of Kärlek, the bucking hustle and deep pads of ///////// (Forward) and the Varg-like metallic tang of \\\\\\\\\ (Backward).
Icy electro pick ’n mix from Sähkö, rifling the archives for tracks made between 2007 and 2017
Turning out the piquant sidewinder Travel Naskh by Matti Turunen a.k.a. Morphology; a very tasty bit of bitter but creamy electro dancehall harmony by 20.05.1996; some Tomutonttu-esque ambient audnuss from Nasty Boy, Ni Ko; and the slow plunge of Waterfront by Jarno Valli ov Radiopuhelimet.
Severely warped computer music from Parsa on tuuun’s Copenhagen-based FLUF label...
No handrails here, just an expression of pure abstract dynamic rendered in a perpetually struggling flux of sharp and distorted textures and fidelities, discombobulated arrhythmia and atonality. But lets not get it twisted, there’s an impish playfulness in these hyper chromatic convolutions that definitely shouldn’t be blithely titled ”noise”, but rather exist according to their own logic of synaesthetic sensations and baffling calculations that makes everything else seem a bit prissy and stupidly uptight by comparison.
RIYL Florian Hecker, EVOL, NYZ, Justin C Meyers
Sasha Grey features on the well oiled glam disco of ‘Honey’ by Richard Fearless and Chris Blakey as DIV
Backed with a slippier backdrop to the dark room lit up with neon synth tweaks in ‘Witchdance Dub’.
Trippy, rugged and mutant electro-dub slugs from Belp on Munich’s Jahmoni Music...
Fair to say that help have coined their own sound here, melding the kind of brute but agile drum machine rhythm found on a Prostitutues release, with a madcap palette of vibes that jumps from kosmiche synths to dub and jazz in a silty mix of ambient and noise textures.