Persistently at the edge of wave cycles for the past decade, Matthew Weiner brings his TWINS project to Mike Simonetti’s 2MR label with a ‘floor-ready and generally easier to grasp sound in That Which Is Not Said, which is to say the acronym of his name spelt out for those who don’t know.
Eight songs variously touch on yelpy, snappy EBM recalling DAF/Suicide (Glass Breaks Glass), the cold synth-pop smarts of Depeche Mode (Taset of Peppermint), The Cure (Stuck), along with side-spins into mutant disco (Before This Runs Out) and John Bender-esque styles (The Sky Remains The Same).
Blinding technoid fusions of flashcore and Techno at 130bpm on the surprise 7th release on Mumdance & Logos’ Different Circles label, RIYL Sleeparchive, La Peste, Shed, Chevel...
Different Circles round off two techno killers nearly 10 years since Szare’s coded conception as 22.214.171.124.5 for Horizontal Ground to reaffirm their unique position within experimental bass/techno dimensions.
Bringing a mongrel sense of Manchester dance music to the plate on both sides, Szare morph rolling big techno with deft traces of flashcore to scintillating impact on Kodiak with its searing paso doble breakdown and bleep coda best compared to Sleeparchive going in double hard with La Peste.
On the other side, Translocated figures a rugged calculation of staccato jacking UK warehouse dynamics rudely compatible with Mumdance & Logos’ FFS/BMT bangers and the wider Different Circles catalogue, but with a hypnotic, industrialized dance energy that is Szare to the core.
Sleazy psyche grind escaped from Green Door Studios’ exit/entrance to hell. RIYL DIV, Goldfrapp, Optimo Music
“Another fierce and unique act from the depths of the Glasgow underground appear on Optimo Music with their debut Green Door studios recorded four track EP.
Keyboard player Jim McKinven was previously in Altered Images, worked for many years in Martin Rushent's Genetic Studios, was in One Dove and previously appeared on Optimo Music as one half of Organs Of Love. He is however but one component of this transgenerational band.
They describe their music far better than we could - "Seedy Electronica, consisting of 2 Basses, Electronic Drums, Synths and Dark Vocals. Inspired by the avant-garde that influenced the electronic music scene of the late '70's and early '80's.”
V-Sor, X’s outstanding post-punk/cold-wave bullet Authors 2 bubbles back up on Peripheral Minimal.
Hailing from Lichfield in the English midlands, Morgan Bryan formed V-Sor, X in 1979. The classically skinny and drily emotive Authors 2  was his first single, and despite being admonished as lacking emotion and musicianship at the time, it clearly held its own with enough folks to be trading for over £100 on the 2nd hand market nowadays.
Thankfully that “something” isn’t just its rarity (there were only 300 copies of the original), as the A-side delivers a virulent blend of spiky arps and almost operatic, horror-film inspired gothic vox in Authors 2, whilst the B-side makes haunting turns towards what would become known as neo-folk with Station, and an unmissable mix of fluttering synths and cathartic vocals in Back Room Commentator that clearly reunite with fellow Midlanders Eyeless In Gaza.
NYC’s Dasychira unmistakably apes Arca and Lotic in the best way on Haptics, the follow-up to his Immolation EP.
Featuring guest turns from Haleek Maul, Malibu, and Embaci, it’s one the most upfront and definitively contemporary releases on FaltyDL’s Blueberry Records, vacillating expressively detailed instrumental highlights such as the dembow-bumping weightless concerns of Swing with impressively theatrical vocal works such as Umbreon, feat. Malibu.
Chloe Freida’s Alien Jams compile 7 cuts from rkss, Rescund, Ondness and more cuts, each reflecting on the nature and effect of unease and anxiety, all mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
The most interesting responses to the theme come in the spiralling waves of distorted data from rkss on FX 128 F / CLAP 128 F / LEAD 2 F 128 / CLAP 128 F / FX 128 F, which seems to emulate the onset and onslaught of a panic attack, and also from multidisciplinary artist Clifford Sage a.k.a. Recsund, who follows the Intellectual Reject sets for Quantum Natives with an incisive, needling ambient techno work Sinetic that emulates the effect of feeling simultaneously lush but highly strung.
Hot on the heels of Joker’s return, Bristol’s purple sound OG, Guido steps up with his first release since 2013
Dispatching the sharply contoured and colourful grime instrumental Onward and the wonky but regulated triplets of Blazing Trails via his State Of Joy label.
DJ Qu induces fancy footwork with a percolated, infectiously percussive rework of Willie Graff & Tuccillo’s To The Music, which eventually turns into a Moodymann-like party freak, and comes backed with Qu’s original, grinding bleep techno ace Figure 6 for the red-lit basement jackers.
Theo and pals stretch out at jazzy angles on Gentrified Love, Pt.4
Bubbling uptempo with the burning hustle of Leave The Funk To Us feat. Amp Fiddler & Ideeyah on a P-Funk house flex, whereas Be Like Me hits the downstroke on a well-tucked boogie jazz turn starring Paul Randolph and Kathy Kosins.
Mumdance furnishes Dawn Richard with an exclusive production on Guardian Angel
Sending her diva sing-a-long soaring with martial grime snares gnashing at Not Waving’s guitar lines and weightless orchestral sweeps supplied by Demon Strings. It’s quite the head-turner.
Darker-toned slow/fast rufige from Om Unit’s Cosmic Bridge
Landing two canny cuts with the cinematic melancholy and mid-way switch of his dBridge-alike Ryoan-Ji, and the Instra:mental styles of Totem.
Robustly functional techno trax from the master Robert Hood
Toying with drag coefficients in the tense, swarming dynamics of Clocks, then rolling out on a signature organ mission with Low Life, and shaking it up some with the latinate bleep minimalism of Go. A mean lot for the DJs and dancers!
Fluxion seamlessly meshes dub techno and film score styles in a sublime 7th studio album, Ripple Effect, dispatched via his Vibrant Music label in the wake of two sublime Transformations excursions with Deepchord. Unfurling a glacial sequence of noirish vibes and barely-there electronic inference evoking classic cinematography and out of body experience, it’s a sound that could be effectively summed up as Mamangakis meets Moritz Von Oswald in Athens at midnight.
While usually considered mutually exclusive paradigms, in Fluxion’s hands film music and dub techno make perfect bedfellows, with the evocative cues and gestures of the former beautifully melded into the latter with no disservice to either. The end results form an ambiguously malleable narrative that we’d imagine is perfect for headphone-dwelling flaneurs and wandering old cities on balmy evenings, as the album drifts from filigree detailed dub bass and sylvan keys in Train Incident, to moments of Bohren-like jazz noir in Momentum, to what sounds like a clarinet line from the Heimat soundtrack mixed with contemporary MvO grooves in Another Side, before stretching out over 11 minutes of gloriously subtle scenes in Tipping Point, the album’s denouement, into the windswept slow motion rendering of Fortitude and the sorrowful closing title of Moving On.
Following the reissue of his timeless Loop Finding Jazz Records last year, Jan Jelinek returns with a transitional new album ‘Zwischen’, which is made up of versions of pieces recorded for German public broadcaster SWR2. It includes twelve sound collages which make use of fragmented interviews provided by public figures including John Cage, Lady Gaga, Stockhausen, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp and others. Jelinek uses fragments of each voice to create highly evocative soundscapes, a conceit not unlike the use of Jazz loops on his much loved classic.
Jelinek focuses on intonation, umming and ahhing, silences, pauses for breath and hesitations which dictate the pace and mood, the resonance and tone of each interviewee providing the textural core of each piece. These same vocal fragments also control synthesized sound, creating overlays that merge with the voices to make twelve synthetic/acoustic structures.
As Jelinek explains "We all know the speaker’s fate: you falter, you mispronounce, there are breaks, silences and false starts. This results in delays, a language noise compared by Roland Barthes to the knocks made by a malfunctioning motor. Such gaps can be disconcerting, standing as they do for a failure of the speaker’s rhetorical skills. But what happens when they become a constitutive, poetic factor? Zwischen consists of twelve answers to twelve questions. The answers were all recorded in interview situations. From the speech of the interviewees – all eloquent public figures – the pauses are extracted and edited together. The result is a series of sound collages of silence.
But this silence is deceptive, as it is only meaning that falls silent. What remains audible is an archaic body language: modes of breathing, planning phases, seething word particles in search of sense that can break out into onomatopoeic tumult or drift off into sonorous noise. In a further step, each of the twelve collages controls a modular synthesizer via its amplitude and frequency. Supposedly defective speech acts conduct synthetic sounds and the speakers regain their composure – not via the spoken word, but through sound. The opening questions in the various interviews are answered by: Alice Schwarzer, John Cage, Hubert Fichte, Slavoj Žižek, Joseph Beuys, Lady Gaga, Ernst Jandl, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Marcel Duchamp, Friederike Mayröcker, Yoko Ono and Max Ernst.
Gábor Lázár mutates 2-step, grime and electro prisms with economic yet ravishing effect on Unfold, his solo début LP proper for The Death of Rave. Following an acclaimed split LP with Mark Fell ( which was deployed to stunning effect in Aphex Twin’s live/DJ sets of 2017), the Hungarian artist has harnessed the scything contours and mentasmic vamps of his earlier releases into 8 inexorably funked up frameworks set to brilliantly mess with modern ‘floors. Big recommendation if yr into Errorsmith, SOPHIE, Jlin, AFX, Lorenzo Senni...
Kerning classic styles with devious ballistics according to a mutant syntax reflected in the LP’s bespoke sleeve art, Gábor galvanises his signature flux of zinging mentasms and hyper rhythms with a cyber-mongrel gnash in Unfold. Drawing from the deeply affective and rude ends of South Yorkshire, Detroit and South London technous for inspiration, Gábor consolidates their mutual aspects by trimming the excess and stressing the funkiest points of syncopation with razor sharp, inventive edits. Whilst instantly recognisable as Gábor’s work, his grooves are more pronounced, and this time unusually riddled with melodic gestures that lead to moments of unexpected emotive relief.
In the contemporary field, Unfold firmly lives up to comparison with the sexy retro-futurism of Mark Fell’s Sensate Focus, the advanced playfulness of Errorsmith’s Superlative Fatigue, or the fluidly knotted syncopation of Jlin, but does so with a singular mesh of style and pattern that Gábor can patently declare his own. Heard in context of the album cover’s bespoke GL sigil designed by Dániel Kozma, Unfold becomes an ultimate gesamtkustwerk whose audio-visual play of sensual/cutting contours and elegant brutalism resonate as much with the work of his idol, Mark Fell (SND), as the ultramodernist vectors of SOPHIE, the lush technicality of Second Woman, or the ballistic proprioceptions of Jlin.
In other words, it’s one of the most forward dance music records you’ll hear in 2018.
Standout début album of dream-like, avant garde pop and electronic variants that properly introduces Rome-based Montreal artist Mélissa Gagné aka CECILIA after guesting on Rabit’s Les Fleurs Du Mal album last year and releasing an EP for Yves Tumor's Grooming label. Devastatingly restrained yet ravishing songs with haunting English, French and Italian vocals, huge recommendation if you're into Yves Tumor, Félicia Atkinson, Rabit, Teresa Winter, Portishead, Leila...
Cecilia wrote and produced Adoration, with accompaniment by mutual spirits such as her friend Jasmine Pisapia and the poet activist Griséldis Réal, who help to render a stark yet subtly gilded cross-section of her psyche, which places the listener as dark interpreter to a series of tumultuous inner dialogues - “One is summoned to whisper truth, beauty, tragedy to demon ears.”
Incubated for one and half years between Montreal, Toronto and New York, Adoration reads like intimately diaristic pages recalling an amorphous lucid dream. In that phantasmagoric headspace she meditates on loss and romanticism, using a shifting backdrop of highly visual stimuli to frame her thoughts and bring them to life with an uncannily immersive effect perhaps not felt so strongly since Félicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand LP.
Electronic bass and percussion are shadowed with traces of synth and guitar improvisations, but the one consistent element is the female voice. Sometime detached, glossolalic, and at others uncannily familiar, plaintive, the voice’s presence is integral to the album's quietly absorbing atmosphere, and even if the listener can’t understand their direct meaning, they connote so much more through abstracted inference and ambiguity.
Following her early forays made with the Charity Whore EP for Yves Tumor’s Grooming label, and previous work as DJ/producer Babi Audi, along with her hybrid stage works, Cecilia ties all those strands into an illusive yet highly distinguished work set to resonate with listeners from myriad backgrounds and disciplines. It's no doubt one of 2018’s most haunting, beguiling LPs.
Jan Jelinek’s iconic album 'Improvisations And Edits, Tokyo 26.09.2001’ is finally given a vinyl issue for the first time. It’s another deep blue mood piece full of fragmented Jazz loops which will be essential listening for those of you enamoured not only with 'Loop Finding Jazz Records’ but also his quiet masterpiece 'Personal Rock’, released under ther Gramm alias. If you’re as obsessed with that album as we are, this reissue is a must.
"For the original 2002 CD on Soup-Disk and Sub Rosa (Audiosphere), Jan Jelinek and the Japanese trio Computer Soup (Satoru Hori – trumpet, Osamu Okubo - toys & electronics, Kei Ikeda - toys & electronics) presented eight tracks all recorded one afternoon in the trio’s living room in Tokyo. They are excerpts from a joint group improvisation that subsequently underwent rudimentary editing, on which Jelinek and Computer Soup worked separately.
Jelinek met the three musicians at his first concert in Japan in 2001, at Tokyo’s Yellow club, where Computer Soup performed as the support act. Delighted by their free improvisation on pocket-sized electronic toys, trumpet and oscillators, he arranged to meet Hori, Okubo and Ikeda a few days later for a session at their apartment. The resulting three-hour recording, made on their living room floor, formed the basis for Improvisations and Edits. A few days later, Jelinek returned to Berlin. Over the following months, they separately chose passages from the recording that were then edited and assembled into an album.
Formed in Tokyo in 1996 as a quintet (including Shusaku Hariya and Daisuke Oishi), Computer Soup began by performing with acoustic instruments on the streets of Shibuya. Ikeda und Okubo soon switched instruments, and from then on the group’s minimalistic but densely woven sound was defined by electronic toys, oscillators and Satoru Hori’s trumpet. Their first album was released in 1997 on the Japanese label Soup Disk. Eight further releases followed."
Music From Memory mine more gold from Michal Turtle’s archive of idiosyncratic home recordings made in Croydon between 1983-85. Combining vocals like a pre-echo of Dale Cornish, together with the dreamiest electro-jazz, balmy ambient dub and languid 4th world grooves, this one has breezy summer days and long warms nights written all over its blissed out face.
“Delving further into the archives of British musician Michal Turtle, MFM 029 ‘Return To Jeka’ brings together eight previously unreleased works recorded between 1983 and 1985. Drawn from a larger archive of works the compilation highlights a fascinating period of material Michal recorded after the release of his only album.
Working as an accompanist musician at the Laban Centre in New Cross at the time, Michal there met Jonathan Smart who was currently studying Dance. After being invited to add spoken word vocals to a few of Michal’s tracks, Michal discovered Jonathan was also an accomplished guitarist; and Jonathan would add guitar to a number of recordings from this period. Vocalist Lucianne Lassalle who Michal was working with in locals bands ‘The Duplicates’ and ‘The Wicked Kitchen Staff’ and who had worked with Michal on recordings for his album, would also collaborate with Michal during this period.
While some tracks were produced with he idea in mind of a follow up to his album ‘Music From The Living Room which UK label Shout proposed but which would sadly not materialise, others were in fact demos written for student dance choreographies. Produced in the living room of his parents home in Croydon, South London and later in his apartment in Camden Town, Michal Turtle’s home recordings featured on’Return To Jeka’ continue his unique musical explorations; drawing extensively on the use of percussion and electronics they bring together elements which were not only in many aspects visionary but also sound like little else.”
Optimo highlight the burned-out blues growls and chops of their favourite singer-songwriter Jacob Yates
“Optimo Music is thrilled to release the new album from Jacob Yates. Not only is he one of our all-time favourite artists from Glasgow, but he is one of our favourite artists from anywhere. Criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.
“The Hare, The Moon, The Drone” is the third album from Jacob Yates. This recording finds the band exploring dark hawthorn hedged lanes, moors and suburban, new build estates. There's something more earthy about the songs but the menace and darkness remains. Musically there is a big shift on this album, a field recording of a folk band from a dark, pine filled glen. The opener, The Car sets the scene for the rural side of the album, dank and stone cold. The tracks then shift through the woods, people turn into animals, we pass a sunlit glade, do you hear a love song? Cassie Ezeji closes the side sweetly lamenting in Gaelic as the snow falls.
Side two is a more urban affair opening with despair in a bedroom in Belgium, we visit a faith healer and drop in on your lonely mother. Lovatt recounts the story of a karaoke addicted murderer before we finally go home to our new build just outside of town where the pylons tower over Michael and his sister Rachel. It's a journey you can go on, looking out of the window of the bus, glimpses of lives glide by, cards on seats promise to help you. Ding! It's time to get off.”
On Bloodline, Steven Julien a.k.a. Funkineven explore a charmingly personalized sonic ontology under his own name for the 2nd time following 2016’s self-titled album, coming into his own with a wickedly expressive meld of jazz-fusion and machine music.
Bloodline is concerned with paying dues to Steven’s ancestral roots, but it’s also an acknowledgment of influence of new age synth styles, Japanese electronics and the history of East London raving, adding up to a sound that’s brilliantly timeless and distinctly his own.
It’s a sort of hauntological soundtrack, if you will, traversing in a range of jump-cuts and fades from the filmic synth atmosphere of Hunt to a killer 303 + Linn drum combo in Roll Of The Dice, and ruggedly debonaire electro-bass on Bloodline, before swerving hard into mutant jazz-funk with Apache. The vibe then takes a super sweet turn with the percolated electro-funk of Queen of Ungilsan, and wraps up with the classicist ‘80s boogie-meets-new age strokes of Temple Rd.
Deadbeat does dub poetry alongside Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann and Mike Shannon, with results ripe for fans of the Jay Glass Dubs & Leslie Winer LP, or downbeat moments from Strategy, Andreas Tilliander or The Bug
“On his latest studio album, Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, ruminates with hard-earned wisdom and confidence upon the notion of carrying on in the face of worldwide nonsense. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve began with the simple idea of asking friends from across the globe for messages of hope. No musical input was provided beforehand, and each participant was free to interpret the request as they saw fit. Though some of the names involved will be familiar to electronic music listeners (Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann, Mike Shannon), the common thread linking all of them is their friendship with Monteith and the many hours he has spent enjoying their company over the years. As so often happens when good conversation is shared among good friends, the results are as surprising as they are inspiring, spanning original prose, dialectic word games, and timeless quotations in six languages. Each song on the album was then composed around the content received, and named after the people who did the speaking.
Ranging from the overtly political to the tenderly inspirational and many points in between, Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve provides verbal expressions of hope as diverse and rich as the experiences of the people who so generously delivered them. Musically the album sees Monteith taking his well-honed sound design abilities and widescreen arrangements to new heights, and exploring a deep interest in traditional analog recording methods to mesmerizing effect. Every sound on the record, whether generated from his tried-and-tested array of software-based tools, or from the enormous collection of guitars, organs, pianos, and percussion instruments found in the Berlin-based studio he now calls home, was recorded via microphone. Even as the very first track slowly fades into existence, it's clear that the smoke filled atmosphere of the place has penetrated the recordings to their very core. Indeed, it is no understatement to suggest that without the physical confines of the magical studio Chez Cherie, and the countless late night conversations and musical contributions of all the other beautiful souls who occupy it (T. Raumschmiere, Ben Laubner, Tilman Hopf, PC Christensen, and of course Cherie herself), this latest Deadbeat album would have been an impossibility. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve is a document of collective action, and the power of community.”
With his own label and last year's feature on Alix Perez's newly conceived 1985 Music, Compa still found time to delver his 3rd MEDi release.
"With no signs of slowing down his mission to produce and share music...."
Giuseppe Ielasi (Inventing Masks, Bellows) & Giovanni Marco Civitenga’s Rain Text yield this lovely suite of willowing keys and hushed house rustles on Bedouin’s Bastikaya Tapes following the duo’s warmly received 2016 début with Skyapnea Records.
2 teases out Rain Text’s charmingly woolly and drizzly sound in four new tracks, quietly getting into gear with the icy piano notes and dust-mite dance of 2.1, before twisting off the bone into bendier, viscous electro-dub in a style only shades away from Ielasi’s Bellows gear, but with ruggeder appeal for the ‘floor,
Flipside, the vibe gets more inclement with the minor key chords and brittle wooden drum hits of 2.3 resembling an imagined groggy collab between Pole and Burial c. 2002, and 2.4 drifts off on a more wistful bent with sliding loops bringing a sense of sun coming after the rain.
A result of the flowering links between Ugandan music and the UK, the début record by Kampala’s Mubashira Mataali Group showcases an hypnotic style of mataali drum music on Blip Discs.
Four tracks of rolling rhythmelody feature the captivating vocals of musician/filmstar Sulaiman Sulait against backing vocal harmonies, sung and almost rapped in devotion to Islam.
Emaali Ya Bamulekwa (Orphan’s Property) opens their account with a bounce that carries into the percolated patter of Kulika Hijja (Welcome Back From The Holy Pilgrimage), whereas Mutume Nabbi (Prophet Muhammad) holds to a slower, swanging groove with more urgent call-and-response vocals, and, best of all the swingeing Obufumbo Bwa Kati (Today’s Marriage) Pt.1 works out its syncopation hingeing around a tuff bass and entrancing vox.
Listen to it with your body: we’re sure you’ll agree Mubashira Mataali Group’s traction is inexorable.
Tony Allen and Ricardo Villalobos hold down the penultimate instalment of Dekmantel’s 10 Year Anniversary celebrations with two extended reworks of Asiko (In A Silent Way) nipped and tucked for the tech house wigglers and funky minimalists.
The chronic futurhythmelody of Allen’s Afrobeat is faithfully handled by Villalobos, turning in 29 minutes of elastic roil and parry split over two sides and designed to fluidly untangle your limbs in timeless, forwardly intuitive style.
Zurich/Milan’s -ous label follow that smart NHK yx Koyxen EP with a more lushly emotive lash of cascading melodies, shoegazing harmonic chaos and bass saturated beats by Tomasso Pandolfi a.k.a. Furtherset.
Ecstatic, swarming, brimming with bleeding heart feels in a way that resonates with other members of the new Italian weird, NPLGNN & Dave Saved
The heeds of Glasgow’s 12th Isle keep their vibe gloriously off-map with Cru Servers’ debut LP batch, Blubber Totem. After touching down on a Bomb Shop 7” and self-issuing a tape in the last 5 years, this is the CS brothers’ most substantial and definitive recording to date, relaying an experience akin to a waking dream situated in a different star system to our own.
Plotting coordinates in a zone familiar to Dices and AEM Rhythm Cascade’s Thoughtstream or Belgium’s Innercity, the Cru Servers duo disembark with hieroglyphic electronics of Incubation on Ram Skins, then tilt into 100bpm muggy chug with Shot To Life, before getting buck wild with the severely warped garage torque of Dorito Rook and a slice of fluoro industrial trance in Ark Bile Top Ups recalling Black Zone Myth Chant’s egyptian fantasies.
The recursive wormhole, Deith 2 Hansy prangs out like Rob Hood on a psychedelic secret mission, slopping yer mind into something like Lorenzo Senni in gravity-less space, but they bring us back to disco firma with Accursed Share, only to let it all go with the floppy body of Yellow Domes & the Dawn.
Tresor’s experimental commission from trans-atlantic techno pioneers Thomas Fehlmann and Terrence Dixon proves to be greater than the sum of its parts in the strongest way on We Take It From Here.
Both artists bring the very best out of each other on all six cuts, resulting a chimeric sound that neither could really claim as their own. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they are doing some really crafty things with the inter-dimensional shifts between tribal patterns, zig-zagging acid and jazz chords in Dreaming Of Packard, while Experiment 3 comes off like a proper Jamal Moss trip, The Corner works out a belting sort of Detroit techno-meets-Italo disco groove, and Landline sees them cut the anchor and drift out into deepest synth space.
Master of minimalist ambient house subtlety, Matt Karmil pivots his 4th album on Smalltown Supersound, which feels like an appropriate stable for the ambient-pop-wise turns of phrase and frayed feels in Will. Where Karmil’s preceding album and 12” with Idle Hands found him at the edge of the ‘floor, this album’s drowsy zig-zag between rustling ambient textures and purring minimal house is for the walk home from the club, or the morning after...
“Karmil’s fourth album, Will, is released on the Norwegian Smalltown Supersound label – the home of Lindstrøm among others. Even more than before Matt has managed to combine his love of the graceful forward motion of minimal techno beats with the deeply granular textures and meditative chambers of reverb and delay. Mastered by the careful hand of Rashad Becker at the legendary Dubplates & Mastering plant, this driverless vehicle takes bumps and curves with ease, but passes through enough scuzzy neighbourhoods to make the journey more memorable.
Before you get to the long ambient closing track, ‘Maffé’, Will contains its share of muted bangers like ‘Morals’ and ‘Can’t Find It (The House Sound)’. While these would vibrate well on the dancefloor, the experience for Matt is primarily a private domestic one. ‘I like to try to create a room to visit, and while it's nice to have details and look out the window occasionally, the fundamental is the room/environment itself – my personal enjoyment of music away from the club is often centred around long form and ambient works.’”
Discrepant delve into the rich history of Crète with Tasos Stamou’s hypnagogically impressionistic mesh of field recordings with processed samples of old records and tapes he picked up over three years of research and visits to the Greek island. The results feel ancient yet somehow modern, accreting (pardon the pun) a texturally fascinating deep topographical reading of local history and tradition
“About the artist: Tasos Stamou is an electroacoustic music composer, performer, alternative music technologist and tutor. During a decade of sound performances and recordings Tasos Stamou developed a unique style of live electroacoustic composition. Long and continuous pieces are created live using a “portable electroacoustic music studio”. His gear consists of acoustic (prepared strings, reeds, objects) and electronic instruments (handmade electronics, modular synthesizer systems soft synths). Based on sustained tonal textures and free improvised instrumental solos, his live compositions create a particular and unique atmosphere of ritual noise. He has collaborated in recording and performing projects with a wide range of free improvisers and sound experimentalists (Adam Bohman, Steve Beresford, Sharon Gal, Alan Wilkinson, London Improvisers Orchestra, Mike Cooper, Andrea Parkins, Kuupuu & Lau Nau, Terry Day, Adachi Tomomi, Ignaz Schick, Magda Mayas, Arma Agharta, Thodoris Ziarkas, etc.).”
Contort Yourself’s Murray dishes up eight damn effective edits from his special folder for Knekelhuis, building on an EBM bromance started when CY issued a Volition Imminent cut in 2016.
Stripped to the bone in tracky style, each cut is kept straight and deadly for the DJs, turning up some fierce highlights in Murray’s edit of Die Form’s booming girder Uns Kill, on the grimacing blows onf Caustic Cunts from AGeM, and the kinky skronk of Fetish Abuse from Beats Per Minute.
Fantastically scrambled electronic coordinations from Spanish artist Agnès Pe on FLUF, exemplifying her playful and densely chaotic style of MIDI metamorphosis.
0013A renders 3 minutes of rapid moving scree that drops its tangle of bassy guts about halfway thru. Feels a bit like an army of termites are invading your nasal cavity and gnawing your pineal gland.
With 0013AA Agnès allows the bass to play out straighter, stumbling in and out of tumbling techno passages with the kind of K-Hole dynamic that may induce sickness in those unprepared for it, but steelier nerves will love the ride.
Recloose’s 2nd EP for Planet E, Spelunking comes neatly in the wake of a digital reissue for his début, So This Is The Dining Room to remind everyone the deft brilliance of Matthew Chicoine’s late ‘90s take on deep house, broken beats and even jazzed-up jungle.
Now expanded and delivered by Ghostly International, this editions revolves the breezy house funk of Soul Clap 2000, the latinate party breaks of Get There Tonight, his superb spiritual jazz-meets-jungle workout Landscaping - 4Hero fans eat your heart out - and the coffee table vibes of Insomnia in Dub, newly supplemented by the dreamy hustle of Four Ways Of Saying Good Bye.
Young Echo cog Ishan Sound meets Hodge and Muttley on a dread drill and grime session.
Alongside Hodge on C5 they put combined weight behind an icy, slow and mean AF sort of drill mutation compatible with gully dubstep.
With Muttley on Still Smoking, he cooks up a hulking sort of dread grime/dubstep sound leaning heavy on the half step and cloaked in dark blue Bristolian atmospheres.
Hot vibes from Young Grime Gods a.k.a. YGG
Finally dispatching an official release of their Strikers anthem which has been doing the rounds with the likes of Mumdance and Grandmixxer for a few years now. Astral Black boss Jon Phonic and Impey on the beat.
Sugai Ken keeps us rapt to his genuinely idiosyncratic sound with Tele-N-Tech-Da; a playfully psychedelic computer music suite inspired by ancient Japanese culture and customs.
Like his trifecta of aces released by EM Records, Lullabies For Insomniacs and Rvng Intl since 2016, this album is perceptibly trippy no matter which way you approach it.
Tele-N-Tech-Da appears to be Ken’s attempt at broadening and inhabiting the schism between history/tradition and a form of pure artistic expression unhindered by the weight of historicity. To give some grasp of the results, the artist likes to think of them as “…like an imaginary radio play”, and we’d expand that to an imaginary radio play from another dimension, heard on a cranky DAB with a life of its own, thanks to the album’s brilliantly freeform, abstract logic.
Finding a perfect home on Discrepant, lodged amid Pierre Bastien and Kink Gong records, Ken really takes the opportunity to cut loose, at times sounding like esoteric Coil experiments, and at others like a Sublime Frequencies transmission from parallel planes, ultimately leaving us baffled but ready to try and navigate a way back thru it all.
Island Time is Losoul’s first album this decade.
It follows on from Care [Playhouse, 2009] and a consistent string of 12”s to locate the German artist at his loosest, cannily dividing his attention between the breezy dub of Echo Walk, including an excellent, truncated use of that “do you like scratching?” sample, along with neat breakbeat swingers in Gold Tooth and There We Were, a swollen dub downbeat Mean Time, and the sublime deep house workout, Lava In You.
Eomac goes in like a possessed Cut Hands on Reconnect
Committing a rush of frenetic percussion, percussion, and more percussion in patterns intersecting footwork, traditional tribal rituals and hardcore techno.
We’ll keep it simple: if you’re into Nkisi, Cut Hands, Xth Réflexion - you need to check this one out.
Overlook tramples on distinctions between D&B, techno and noise in a way recalling Pessimist productions, for Osiris Music UK.
Down The Rabbit Hole catches a powerfully rolling wave of tribal percussion and militant hardstep drums that does the business in killer style. Never Understand yokes back to a grumbling techno pressure and harshly textured tribal noise. Residual returns to D&B rolige with deadly focus on the subs, and Crisis plays out a proper sci-fi synth theme.
Groenland unearth and reissue DAF's 2nd album 'Die Kleinen und die Bösen'.
It predates 'Der Mussolini' by over a year and is actually much more diverse and fruity than much of their later work, yet still adheres to the stringently minimal aesthetics which have always been a prime component in the DAF machine. It was recorded at Conny Plank's legendary studio and hence still sounds amazing...
Renowned visual artist Jesse Kanda wears his Doon Kanda hat for Luna, an expression of icy blue ambient soul, marking his 2nd release with Hyperdub.
Like Doon Kanda’s début, Heart , its follow-up unmistakably resembles Arca in the same way that Jesse’s morphed images of the artist portray Alejandro Ghersi. In that sense, the seven tracks of Luna can be taken as a sort of related project to Arca, like airborne sketches or imprints like those left by birds who smashed into windows.
But rather than frozen reflections, these tracks are like morphing gifs repeating the sadness of the image until we almost become numbed to it, as Kanda shapeshifts from the prismatic chamber figure of Bloodlet to dembow mechanics in Molting, and cyber-shoreside R&B sashays in Luna, while Crinoline impresses with its Autechreian baroque elegance, until the final strokes of his somehow fragile yet fierce closer Lamina.
Plush strutters and jazz-taught boogie budge, fresh outta Glasgow. High fructose levels on this one - well good.
“Rhythm Section INTL continues its quest to unearth the rawest new talent with this stellar debut from Glaswegian duo ‘String Theory’. Opening up with the majestic ‘Dirty High’ we’re treated to a symphony of modular synthesis, swelling strings and the bounciest drums we’ve heard in a long time. Rarely has house music been so fun yet so musical. Live bass-tip toes over an ocean of synth stabs and piano chords to create an anthemic track that’s sure to be the soundtrack to long summer nights and early mornings…. “
In the year of his 50th birthday, Earth’s Dylan Carlson mounts his 4th solo album Conquistador, spelling out a signature, disenchanted sound ideal for brooding in the desert while waiting for the eschaton.
Accompanied by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou on 2nd guitar and production, as well as Emma Ruth Rundle (Red Sparrowes, Marriages), and his wife Holly Carlson (that’s her on the cover), Dylan saddles up another search for the unnamed and unnamable, continuing a journey which has seen various bandmates including Kurt Cobain fall off, leaving Dylan at the lead of his 1 wagon caravan, still fixed on horizons psychedelic and possibly unreachable.
Parrish Smith’s ravishing début of EBM and hard electronics bubbles up on digital for those who missed it first time around.
A mutant antecedent to the likes of Tuning Circuits, Klinik, Hypnobeat, the Indonesian/Dutch artist really made his mark on the neo-EBM scene with Virgin Of The World, spelling out a uniquely grizzled take on classic mal-forms between the soggy acid and iron-cast drums of Stillness And Secrecy, the cranky no wave yank of Supra, and a trampling beast called Saviour As The False, with Seven checking out on a slithering downtempo flex strongly compatible with Jasss workouts.
Russia’s Lyubocha kicks out four grainy technohouse grooves on Black Opal after appearing on Opal Tapes’ Contemporary Dance and The Harvest of a Quiet Eye compilations.
We advise heading straight for the slidy rimshots and virulent acid of Noblask and the tricksy kalimba workout Nikogda.
DJ Spun and Jonah Sharp (Reaganz) romp on a psyched-out no wave house sound as The Loose Control Band
Pairing their Trevor Jackson-esque grinding title cut I Don’t Understand with a more rolling but still grizzly Radio Slave remix on the front, backed with a driving psychedelic trance workout in Ryan James Ford’s Akihabara remix, and a wickedly offbeat and roguish Hope remix.
As the title suggests, Rejuvenate marks a rebirth for South London musician Paul White. Abandoning sampling altogether, White wrote, played and produced all of Rejuvenate's music himself, and the result is an album of playful, psychedelic pop.
"It would have been far easier for White - previously described as a 21st century DJ Shadow, often compared to Madlib and best known as Danny Brown’s go-to producer - to construct an album of loop-based, hip-hop-orientated beats. Instead, taking an ambitious left turn, he worked on honing his songwriting and instrument playing abilities and embarked on creating a totally original record worthy of sitting alongside those he’d usually sample.
Rejuvenate’s broad sonic palette includes cosmic rock, ambient, electronic, jazz, folk and more. Retaining a groove-heavy, psychedelic aesthetic throughout, White successfully melds these various influences in to his most cohesive, fully-realised offering yet.
Paul White is joined on this sonic trip by a trio of likeminded souls; British-Jamaican singer Denai Moore adds heartwarming, crystalline vocals to the aptly named Set The Tone and See Through, Zimbabwean musician and poet Shungudzo (aka Shun) shares nuggets of wisdom on Spare Gold and dreamy, melting vocals for Ice Cream Man. White reunites with his sister, Sarah Williams White, and the pair draw on childhood memories for Laugh With Me and All Around.
Paul White’s previous output includes a treasure trove of mostly instrumental solo records, plus collaborations with Charli XCX, Jehst, Homeboy Sandman, Guilty Simpson, Jamie Woon, Obongjayar, Eric Biddines (as Golden Rules) and Open Mike Eagle. More recently, White reconnected with frequent collaborator Danny Brown, producing most of the Detroit rap maverick’s mind-blowing Atrocity Exhibition album."
Elysia Crampton’s eponymous opus - their 4th official album - is a peerless study in sonic ontology, exerting a psychedelic spin on notions of roots & future in a studiously conscious and intricately woven yet immediate manner that’s core to Elysia’s oeuvre. We’re really feeling this one; reckon you might, too
“Dedicated to Ofelia aka Carlos Espinosa, china* travesti revolutionary (*femme in Aymara). Elysia Crampton’s self-titled album marks her 4th official release.
The Amerindian musician draws on various Andean styles such as kullawada, huayño, tarqueada, quirqui / tundique, khantus, & morenada, together with genres like metal, psychedelic, & jazz fusion, to tell a story of her movement in the world— performing her history, both sonically & corporeally, as a means to gain economic access & agency.
With this album, Crampton further situates her work within a long Aymaran musical legacy* that implicates cultures & sites beyond the Andes (following trajectories of dispersion through the literal migration & interaction of bodies & in the circulation of Aymaran concepts, images, music & goods via the world market after the conquest).
Building upon the ancient notion that Aymara culture is something sustained through movement & contact with others (recall the 'S' meander sign in Andean art) rather than soley being defined in stasis, segregation & linear time, Crampton's work retains the sensation of a belonging in spite of its so-called promiscuity, continually carrying a sense of origin amidst constant motion, which from a Aymara relation to space-time (nayrapacha or 'past' related to the ocular & resides in front) is an origin that also lies ahead, not only behind.
*This legacy extends well before 900 B.C., but one should note that it was particularly during the mid twentieth century (60s & 70s) that Aymara musicians began building the agency to travel the world themselves (their culture or "cosmovision" had already reached Europe through the expansion of the Spanish market as early as the mid-sixteenth century, informing the European imaginary before the French Revolution), performing their identities through music & dress for audiences in countries like Japan, France, & The United States. It was this movement that would shape not only the national identities of countries like Peru & Bolivia, but would also become the definitive sound of so-called world music today (while shaping other globalized genres like "new age”)”
The Brothers Burden gear up a typically powerful new batch of Detroit techno trax under their Random Noise Generator alias for the first time in 13 years.
Nearly all material was written in hotel rooms while the brothers were on the road playing their notoriously heavy live hardware show. On disc 1 that results the EBM-esque sawtooth synths on (Age Of) Industry, plus the square bass roller Refraction, and a jacking sound hearkening back to early Detroit styles in Soul Tchang. Disc 2 brings with it the slinkier tribal styles of Thee Arrival, some bendier electro-techno tackle in Alkalyze, and the heads-down drive of Crank.