Idle Hands put a dork on it with stripped, bouncing techno tax by Berlin’s Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg
“Following a run of local transmissions from A Sagittariun, Crump, Rob Smith and Atki2, Idle Hands turns its attention to Berlin and the straight-up, no-nonsense techno thrust of Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg. Both respected artists and DJs in their own right, the pair have been turning out 12s together for The Free Spirit Society, Klasse and Crime City Disco over the past few years, but most importantly they've been steering the excellent UFO Station Recordings as a vessel for their punchy, primal techno tracks.
The sound on this EP taps into the pure form of stern, dark dancefloor tackle favoured at Idle Hands – no extraneous filler, plenty of space in the mix, but equally built with warmth and personality rather than monochrome functionality. If you need further proof, just look to the fact the EP is named after a Swedish soap opera from the 90s.
The bleeps and bass tones that pulse through Taggen are so finely crafted they need not skip and dance around the arrangement. The melodic interplay on Klimax is subtle but ultimately uplifting and optimistic where so much techno concerns itself with oppressive gloom. Bimbo finds the pair embracing a more psychedelic approach, but even here the modulating effects processes are kept within certain boundaries so as to not dilute the impact on the floor. After all, this is music to dance to, to be felt over a large system (where possible).
Moving from leftfield bass excursions to minimalist 2-step, UK techno and now onto this much more continental sound, theMälarviken EP continues to widen the range of Idle Hands' musical tastes without losing sight of the complete picture.”
Dâm Funk does it with serious finesse in his debut Garrett outing for Music For Memory, who’ve managed to coax out a sublime insight to his Private Life from LA’s most fêted funkateer. Best believe this is the slickest thing you’ll encounter all year - like glyding on rainbow in silk underwear.
For Damon G Riddick’s legion fans it doesn’t come much better, especially seeing as he’s been shy on the release front since 2016’s DJ-Kicks and the odd short format serving in recent years. Anyway this makes up for that gap in spades, swooping in with the gilded dawn of Apocalyptic Sunrise and taking it there with track, from the pointillist drum patter and arcing chords of Right Now thru the loose and sprawling vibes of Slow Motion, to chrome-squirting G-funk on It’s Time, with 12 minutes to cool out in the serene waters of Angel Reflections, before taking it Home on the downstroke to the sun-warped bliss of The End Theme.
Summer 2017 is officially heya.
Stark, club and runway-ready updates of a sylvan, glamorous disco sound practiced by everyone from Lena Platonos to Goldfrapp, fresh from NYC in 2017
“Optimo Music is delighted to continue its fruitful relationship with The Golden Filter with the release of this fantastic 4-track 12' EP. We always prefer our artists to speak for themselves and avoid bullshit PR hype so here is what they have to say about this EP -
We're quite agnostic, and unreligious, but if there is any vibes associated with the EP (and maybe all of our music) it is very Buddhist in its ideas. Mindful. Aware of impermanence. The whole EP is about being with the one(s) you love when everything else around you breaks down. Looking inward, with pure love, in the hope to radiate outward, rather than pushing for a fight, or running away. Recorded, written, and produced in isolation by Stephen and Penelope on our own in East London Studio space.
The EP starts with the song 'End Of Times' which is a dramatic, Shangri-Las influenced take on feeling powerless in a chaotic world, but still high on love. Happiness can be found in analog reverb. This is followed by 'Serenity', a hard and tranquil meditation of past + future. Side 2 leads with 'Heart Control', with a slight nod to Pink Floyd. A nine minute plea to ourselves to keep it all focused and under control... The EP closes with 'Darkness Falls'. The lyrics for this came from an apocalyptic dream that Penelope had, and wrote down in the morning. the music is 100% purely modular, er, except for the tiny bits of guitar at the end.”
M.E.S.H. projects the rave to new possible planets with Hesaitix. Combining the cinematic gestures of his Piteous Gate  LP and the dynamic drum work of Damaged Merc  in probing new forms, the pivotal PAN artist’s hugely imaginative 2nd album renders a vivid vision of where next for modern, rhythm-driven electronic music.
Hesaitix offers a dreamlike template for off-world raving, turning the back of M.E.S.H.’s eyelids inside-out to reveal a geometric playground of amorphous tessellations diffused and gelled according to a physics that may seem impossible on terra firma, yet entirely plausible in the Berlin-based artist’s noumenal dimensions.
Ossifying fluidly skeletal patterns from a rich pool of far flung rhythmic DNA, he supposes a sort of cyborgian body and AI that could survive under altered conditions, using the club as a laboratory or exercise ground for these fantastic creatures, which just happen to closely resemble you and I. Maybe, even, we are those vessels, and the music is subconsciously programming us as test subjects while he gauges and quantifies our reactions and the efficacy of his code under chaotic conditions?
Whatever, Hesaitix renders a supremely absorbing, alternate world view between the lush, hypernatural ecologies of Nemorum Incola and the extra terrestrial chamber music of Ihnaemiauimx, a world where dancers generate architecture thru telekinetic gesture, as with Mimic and the weightless construction site arrangement of Loop Trip, where intrepid recce’s uncover radioactive dembow mutations such as Search Reveal, and ancient-futurist Antikythera mechanics dictate distinct new measures of meter in the astonishly detailed ballistics of Signal Drum Ride and Diana Triplex.
Unknown Path investigates areas of the grey area akin to Aught’s Xth Réflexion in Pathfinder, Vol.1
Yielding a static yet kinetic sound built from charred bass, textured drums and billowing noise artefacts.
Jamal Moss lives that loosey goosey Gherkin Life in three psycho-activating Chicago jackers.
Over the last few years, whilst he’s hit starry heights with The Truth Theory Trio and J.I.T.U Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, Jamal’s Gherkin drops have been the go-to place for his rawest, juiciest club tools.
The Ginger Snaps EP is no different, serving three briny bangers taking in some gorgeous keys, floating voices and bustling swerve with Part 1, whereas Part 2 is firmly moored in pounding kicks, but yearning to fly at astral trajectories.
The other side is different, though; on Black Herman he decelerates to a squashed and loose limbed strut, riffing on salty 303s and chewy grooves for a more laid-back, hypnotic momentum.
Djrum presents another magic carpet ride for the dance with his 1st outing of 2017
Getting busy af with the proggy disarrangement of African chants, polyrhythms and rustic strings in Broken Glass, then showing off his skills in a sort of soundtrack-y context with the absorbing blend of instrumental and incidental narratives of Showreel Pt.1 and its hefty, rolling 2nd part.
Echanting, fascinating collection of Chilean folk songs, mostly vocals and guitars, with introductions by Violeta Parra, but also some ace runs into accordion and music box melodies and martial percussive pieces. Interesting for anyone looking to the Bolivian folk roots of Elysia Crampton
“Death Is Not The End reissue a rare early LP from Chilean songwriter, folklorist and visual artist Violeta Parra.
In this collection, Volume III of Parra's Folk Music of Chile series, Parra introduces us to the Cueca, a traditional folk music style and Chile's national dance, which is sung and danced at parties and festivities. Although Cuecas were played on the radio, Parra introduces listeners to popular forms of Cueca she recovered in her field work collecting traditional songs. Navigating Chile's thin land mass from Santiago to Concepción, Parra heard people in the countryside performing these songs. In her introduction, Parra identifies four types of Cueca: the short Corta, the waltz Valceada, the long Larga voluntaria, and the Balance/obligatoria where the singer individually calls on a man and then a women to dance. Casting herself in the role of ethnomusicologist, this intense musical investigation of Chile's popular folk song traditions went on to greatly influence Parra's own songwriting. The connection with her country's traditions earned her the reputation as Chile's foremost poet and folk singer.”
For those about to jack, Shed reprises his Power House moniker WK7 in four mesmerising styles
Swigning out with the bumpy pressure of Rhythm 1, simmering down the soulful, burning chords of The Healer, then building up the energy with boisterous breakbeat house in Rhythm 2 (Power Snap Mix) and the ruffer Tripple H mix.
Tokyo-based D&B MC and producer, Maiko Okimoto aka Lemna, throws her hat into the grey area with Urge Theory, a stony-faced follow-up to her sci-fi steppers project, Ourea, with Sam KDC.
It’s a rugged exercise in monotone, numbed D&B pressure, moving with a silty brownian dynamic from the viscous momentum of Dice thru what sounds like a frozen T++ piece in DLPFC, to the pounding hypo-techno pressure of Metamorphosis, harnessing tearout synthline in the wild-eyed raver, Blot.
Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground.
"Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.
This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set."
Diverse batch of polished but wayward sound designs, fathoming deconstructed club noise in Ark; rolling darkish ‘ardcore pressure in Dolci; post-dubstep mutation in Ilah; white hot noise on Blessing; and tranquil solo keys in Fraewnuil.
Modern minimal wave star, Marie Davidson tends to her Essaie Pas duo with Pierre Guerineau on a follow-up to their Demain Est Une Autre Nuit, which was also released by DFA.
The vibe is darker, noirishly cinematic than Marie’s solo material, but also more dance-oriented than her recent collaboration with Invisible Church, hitting a sweetspot of strident, suave disco suspense aching for the darkroom.
Morphine extend farther into S.E. Asian music traditions with a lachrymose suite of minimalist, cosmic Javanese styles, incorporating performance by label head Rabih Beaini...
“Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, performing mainly a modern and contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java, ultimately joined by their teacher and maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on Sekalipon. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful contemporary interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia.
Composed and performed by Tarawangsawelas, except Sekalipun (Traditional) featuring Tarawangsa Sunda Lugina. Produced, Mixed and Arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel, Rome.”
Earthy, funked house hustle burnished with nuff percussion and keyboard flair, fresh from the desk of Romare following his Love Songs: Part Two album.
Four louche, rug-cutting numbers take the dance by the hand and booty between dubbed-out funk hustle in All Night (Session I) to bluesy grind in Come Close To Me (Live Session I), thru stripped-down disco tricks on Je T’Aime (Live Session I), and the druggy slow burn of Come Close To Me (Live Session 2), all executed live and direct for loose and subtly wavy effect.
Synkro diversifies his bonds into blue half step and downtempo modes on Hand In Hand
Sweetly exercising his signature melancholic touch between the pastoral flutes and half step sway of Vanishing Point, the slow-motion Chuck Person/0PN vibes of Hand In Hand for chromatic sunset washes, and Burial-esque senhsucht in red Sky.
On-U Sound prime their Dub Syndicate reissue series with Displaced Masters
It offers a peek inside their previously unreleased archive at nine stripped down, natty dubs with particular highlights in the viscous downstroke of Money Dealers, their mellifluous but gritty digi-stepper, Haunted Ground, and the judicious use of FX and vocoders on the smokers madness, All Other Roads Are Shut Off.
The Digital Afterlife catches Jamal Moss in a great mood, recorded in Amsterdam early 2016, and backed with two “prime gherkins from the Hieroglyphic pickle jar”!
That title cut is a richly harmonised house hymn vaulted with heavenly, stacked chords and haywire bleeps that open out on a clattering groove like AFX channelling Sun Ra during a sunday outdoor rave.
His flipside gives up the swanging body jerk and fruity funky house keys of Arras (Instrumental Version) and the astral glyde of Akashic Energies in classic, expressive Jamal style.
Send for the velvet britches, E.M.M.A.’s on a mad baroque-out with Mindmaze and Pumpkin Emoji for Coyote Records following her return from hiatus on The Astral Plane.
Entirely in key with modern movements, E.M.M.A. drapes rococo MIDI flute anachronisms over a killer, sub-heavy sort of drill/speed garage/grime mutation in Mindmaze, then dances around the offbeat with technoid chords and Anime soundtrack-styled 8-bit glitter in Pumpkin Emoji.
At long last, here it is, a gorgeous new edition collecting a treasure trove of previously unreleased music from The Remote Viewer - a band that's very close to our hearts - a decade since their last release. These dustry hybrids of ambient and pop electronics come to you with our highest possible recommendation, especially if you're into Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, To Rococo Rot, SND or Hood...
Once encountered, the exquisite, low key charms of Craig Tattersall, Andrew Johnson and Nicola Hodgkinson’s The Remote Viewer leave an impression that lingers long after their records stop playing. A decade since departing with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better , Other ideas recalls their lower case sound as you’ve never heard it, presenting ten previously unreleased songs drawn from minidiscs “before the last functioning MD player in Prestwich gave up the ghost”.
Perhaps the greatest champions of drizzly, Lancastrian mood music ever known, The Remote Viewer formed as a splinter group from Leeds-based Hood with their eponymous 1999 debut, taking the opportunity to pursue a fragile, downbeat strain of electronic songcraft and experimentation that quietly held steady against the grain of much electronica during that era. Over the course of four albums and four EPs, they addressed ambient pop music’s barest essentials with a succinct blend of miserablism and refined, adroit technicality that they could safely call their own, and more or less sprang a whole scene of copycats in their wake.
Us. In happier Times is The Remote Viewer’s typically ambiguous title for this collection; ten grainy and richly evocative pieces of haptic scrabble and jaded gestures as inviting as a warm brew and a 2-bar heater on a p*ss wet night. It’s the sound of glacial english valleys after-hours, finding them animating ambient embers and wilting pop hooks with clipped, Teutonic glitches and subby pulses. The results form a curious and emotionally intelligent adjunct to then-contemporary dance or pop musics, a sound best received on punctured sofas in small coffee shops and living rooms, one which will forever remind us of wet mornings back at the turn of the century.
With the flickering fizz of Tonight it feels like Spain we hear all three members in intimate dialogue, opening a session that variously takes in SND-like garage minimalism and what sounds like Muslimgauze fever-dreaming in 2-step on Complaining of feeling unwell, or a pre-echo of autonomic D&B in the Arovane-esque nerve pinch of The Sound of old Helmshore, whereas This old face dates me is like a prickly Arran to the suave, cashmere gentility of To Rococo Rot, and the crackling group harmonies of lullaby closer When it was over forms possibly the loveliest finale to any record you’ll find this year.
<3 <3 <3
Taken from the same sessions as the recent Vida Eterna for Hospital Productions
Ninos Du Brasil present the churning, clambering, bestial momentum of Animals Soar O Alarme backed with a swinging, subaquatic techno rework by Patrick Russell for The Bunker New York.
A sublime addition to Sean McCann’s Recital Program, This Floating World is Roger Eno’s first solo LP in a decade, following on from Anatomy  and a split LP with Plumbline in 2013. Mostly solo piano expressions, but with a few intriguing embellishments of electronics in Garden, vocals on Empty Room, and sonorous chimes in Riddle, saving the detuned pearl of Out of Tune, Out of Time, Out of Here for dessert.
“This Floating World holds rustic and melancholic piano works, as grey and mossy as a country cottage. I hear the LP chiming from the dark corners of a pub, soaking in the damp wood like spilled ale.
I first fell in love with Roger’s music through his 1985 debut album Voices, which cradled many rainy and caffeinated mornings when I was living in San Francisco years back. He played on the infamous Apollo, Music for Films vol. 3, and recorded a theme for the Dune soundtrack. String pads and veils of reverb pour through those processed tracks.
I later rediscovered Roger Eno in a different light with his 1997 album The Music of Neglected English Composers. A playful and beautiful album of chamber pieces guised as the works of forgotten (and fabricated) composers from the past century. His compositional sensibilities remind me of my favorite recent English composers… Hobbs, White, Bryars, Skempton, etc.
This Floating World feels like a hybrid of these two styles, a melding of both his ambient and ‘prelude’-esque compositions. Warm and feathered furniture music.
In our communication Roger has been a real charmer, ending every email with “Roger and out.” A curious fellow, with a knack for tracing the understated beauties of this world.
Russia’s Paval Milyakov, aka Buttechno, tends to his screwier, inquisitive side for TTT with a gauzy batch of ambient, folk and house experiments, swerving between the lines of his records for Japan’s City-2 St. Giga, Collapsing Market and his Gosha Rubchinskiy AW16 soundtrack, to the dankest parts of his bedroom-baked club sound.
This is music for hanging out on cold, concrete corners in your most flammable trackies, taking in pastoral electro-folk meditation Gosha Medvedeva, his Pole-esque Slow Dub, and the skinny, bone-pinching swing of K4 on the one hand, before decorating those skeletal structures with more fleshly samples of Russia pop in the low key seduction of Poleva, and something like a roadside house rave played on empty vodka bottles, oil drums and cardboard boxes in the Brinkmann-like Metallo, and a nervily grubbing, spooked-out house ace named Super Siziy King.
Growling, mongrel techno from the crooked NYC-Berlin axis of DJ Spider & Franklin De Costa, teamed with a battering ram remix by Shifted to properly haul ass for yer maw’s favourite label; Berceuse Heroique.
Following two doses for KilleKill in 2014-15, the duo’s 3rd meeting on vinyl coughs up the viscous black chunk of F Planet on the front, squaring lop-sided bassline with scratchy synths and wormy acid in a plasmic, subaquatic sound sphere to hold the dance under, whereas Astral Pilot operates in more rolling sort of sci-fi industrial style with oozing, effluent bass and the kind of calving guitars sounds more usually spotted on a psyche rock record.
The remix is a gritty bewt from Shifted, piling his weight into an hypnotic whorl of reversed-edited loops and pea soup fog dynamics with choking intent.
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label coughs up the eighth live document of his nonpareil trio with the legendary Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke. All considered, these guys are pretty much the tightest/loosest avant instrumental group out there right now, blessed with a time-and-space bending dexterity that allows them to fuse some half century of research in free jazz, out rock and kosmiche electronics into blinding new forms.
On the A-side they prowl like a pack of predatory animals hunting down a noble but tired old prey, methodically and precisely attacking and breaking down the lumbering body of rock music in an increasingly ferocious whirlwind of fanged guitar slash and tearout percussion until they’re bathing a strangely tranquil bloodbath. With the B-side they lock into a martial distortion drill around Ambarchi’s steady, Wold-like snares rolls and sky-collapsing harmonics with stoically unrelenting force.
Side C brings the trio at their most abstract, moving from near silence, perforated only by the shivering chimes of toy piano, spookily signing into he ether where Haino exclaims in English from somewhere deep in the unfathomable mix, and O’Rourke petrifies the air with ungodly, alien EMS synth voices that speak to us in the uncanniest way. All change again on Side D, as they broach the 4th wold thru some back door entrance, scanning its undergrowth with Haino’s flute, vox and guitar urged on by pouring tribal toms until hey lay waste to the scene with pure guitar napalm.
Clod-hopping techno ructions by the Berlin-based British producer
Getting down like a bull in a tar pit with lumbering, viscous mass of The Trace, and swaggering like the bull that got out on I-4, whereas Hornet picks up some steam with rolling barrage of drums and dive-bombing noise formations, and the brilliant S77 gets off on a mean sort of dancehall-noise-techno hybrid that’s definitely going to see some play up our way.
Call Super cocks a 2nd album of increasingly squirrelly electronics for Houndstooth, secreting the glittering nuts and bolts of his sound in a more fluid and dynamic brand of ambient techno mechanics.
Arriving three years on from his Suzi Ecto album, and a string of well-received DJ sets, solo 12”s and a collaboration with Beatrice Dillon over the interim, Arpo gathers Call Super’s recent studio thoughts in one place, coursing from mercurial IDM to jazzy flights of fancy and oneiric electro with a meticulous production style that’s become his trademark.
The ghosts of the 4th World, Red Planet martians, Irdiallian enigmas and golden era Warp haunt Arpo’s diffuse dimensions from the first chimes and clarinet plumes of Arpo thru the smoky electro-jazz of Out To Rust, following a silvery thread of logic that weaves between early hours dancefloor mindsets and late hours home listening from the glitchy hunch of OK Werkmeister to the sloshing brownian glitter of Music Stand, embracing Ethiopiques jazz in Arpo Sunk, and gently insistent future electro-funk with No Wonder We Go Under, and the hyaline electro-soul rubs of I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Hat.
Plush, deeper jungle from Alex Eveson’s Dead Man’s Chest project
Brukking out for fans of Sully or Lee Gamble’s ‘ardcore revisionism in three tracks veering from patchworked cut-up styles such as High Noon In Cotham to the dextrously woven dipper Darkness At Dawn, and on a rub-a-dub tip with Hangman Posse.
Loft takes their mutant party to Wisdom Teeth with Three Settlements Four Ways. Landing in the wake of a vinyl pressing for his RA-praised Turbulent Dynamics EP, the vibes and production are, by turns, much lusher, layered and knotty than previous outings, bringing Loft’s sound closer to say, Arca or Lanark Artefax.
Up top, they emerge from tremulous beginnings to open out an optimistic, airborne club blessing with the percolated drums, hyaline chorales and virulent acid lines of Filton Recall, then squashing the pressure down low with bubbling subs generating effervescent ambient chords and a spire of giddy hardstyle trance motifs in Funemployed.
Flipside he commits to more chaotic themes with the ambiguous, pranging dynamics of Oh Well We’re All Fucked, chewing up and spitting out a rainbow coloured gob of sawn-off breaks and convulsive club deconstructions, then settles into a nervy swing with the lush but agitated bump of Pottlin.
Mica Levi’s original soundtrack to an animé by acclaimed artist and Turner prize nominee Phil Collins - the film was illustrated and designed by the revered Marisuke Eguchi and is a follow-up to Levi’s award winning work on 'Under The Skin' and ‘Jackie'. Trust, this one’s a bit special.
This is Mica’s first musical accompaniment for animation, once again using her signature palette of dissonant strings and combustible electronics that just completely get to us every time. She paints a series of sweeping backdrops to the film's blend of classically-schooled anime and up-to-the-second CGI designs in a way that we find it hard to imagine any other contemporary soundtrack producer could have managed - somewhere between Arthur Russell, John Carpenter and Johann Johannsson.
The film is set in a near future where carbon-based energy is outlawed and supposes a paradoxical scenario, one where fossil fuels - the ostensible accelerator of humanity’s progress and decline - become energy for the toil against state oppression and enforced inequality. In doing so, it resonates with anime’s strong tradition of exploring eco-feminist themes and power dynamics, both socio-political and technological.
The central Delete Beach theme, a diaphanous section of airborne synth-string contours and charred guitar distortion carved in pirouetting turns-of-phrase, appears in Japanese and English-narrated versions as well as an Instrumental mix. They are divided by the beat-driven Interlude 1 and interlude 2 - which is perhaps the standout piece on the whole score and possibly in Levi’s impeccable oeuvre generally - a mix of string slashes mixed with opiated chopped ’n screwed rhythms comparable to her breathtaking deconstructions with the London Sinfonietta.
After her work underlying and exploring complex characters in Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the alien-woman metaphors of Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, Delete Beach follows suit with an impendingly tense, viscerally affective sound that reflects and conveys a sense of independence in the face of uncertainty, of a struggle against imposed forces or control systems.
It’s another beguiling testament to Levi’s role as one of the most original and eminent composers of her generation and, once again, leaves us convinced that she's more or less peerless in this field...
Dark Entries and Emotional Rescue team up to tap Psychic TV’s legendary vein of ersatz acid house, resting the virulent acid swagger of Dave Ball’s Blue Pyramid production
Featuring middle eastern-style violin by Virginia, alongside a whirring EBM acid re-lick by Bucharest’s Khidja, plus Bezier’s breakbeat electro-acid version, and the chunky funk of MBM’s Mark Pistel.
35 song set which is also being released via three single LPs. We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"If you really want to know more about the music, search for the LP version descriptions online (I'm sure they were copy/pasted across many websites) where you'll discover a treasure of valuable assessments contained within. This two-CD edition is primarily being made available to facilitate 41 of my 133 'fans' who will be thrilled that it comes out on Compact Disc -- and at an affordable price in comparison to what buying all three LPs would cost. I think I pressed at least 172 copies of this two-CD so there is room for another 39 'fans' to climb aboard my champion ship. I keep hearing that many of the CDs you've acquired in the past don't work anymore. CDs are supposed to rot, scratch and die after a few years and have therefore become a flawed medium. Sounds more like a pragmatic description of humanity to me. But I have thousands of CDs. Some are commercially manufactured discs and the rest are CDRs and every single one of them works.
Yep, I hired a bearded guy from New Hampshire to check them all and many are 10, 15, or 20 years old. But my mother always told me I was blessed. Or perhaps I have a magic CD player? But people used to say the same about cassettes and now tapes are the cat's fuckin meow. In fact, I know a record store owner who recently sold an entire car full of cassettes. So don't bring your CDs when you jump aboard Julijonas Urbonas' suicide roller coaster (which hopefully gets built soon in order to facilitate plenty of you imbeciles) -- leave them behind for others to enjoy. Getting back to my new album, go find my sampler on YouTube if you want to know what it sounds like. It's better than your new album, that's for sure. Maybe I'll have to do a cassette version of this record in the future so that I can write another one of these fuckin' promotional sheets."
KLO straight up kills it on a cover of Aaliyah’s More Than A Woman, nailing the classic vocal on a rebuilt, nearly identikit version of Timbaland’s acid-fuelled R&B instrumental. Listen, tell us we’re wrong?!
On the remix, KLO opts for a breezier, chamber-like reduction, distilled to pointillist syllables, 303 jabs and a sparing swing beat begging to go in-the-mix.
Delia and DFA appoint a broad selection of dancefloor and avant-garde artists to rework the Horse Follow Darkness album
Turning in highlights such as an unexpectedly lush and rolling take on Hidden Song by Jay Glass Dubs and Raul DeNieves, a typically kinky, playful remix of In Through The Light by Steven Warwick aka Heatsick on an itchy Afro tip, and a rolling progressive house/soft trance version of In Through The Light by Bryce Hackford.
Woiii!!! Dark Entries on their best game with this pre-Yello collection by Carlos Peron and Boris Blank, presenting the first ever collection of their near-mythical Tranceonic recordings. Includes a prototype of ‘Bostich’. Need we say anymore?!
“Tranceonic is the duo of Carlos Perón and Boris Blank of Yello who met in 1971 in their hometown of Zürich, Switzerland. At this time Carlos studied Free Jazz while Boris listened to bands like Pink Floyd and Queen. The two bonded over a conversation about The Mahavishnu Orchestra album ‘The Inner Mounting Flame’ and became musical friends. From 1973 to 1976 they played in the New Wave group Urland. After the split of the group Perón founded the Tranceonic studio with his equipment in his private flat. Carlos invited Boris over to his studio and a concentrated work began. The idea was to make experimental new music with the hopes of having a hit in the United States. Everybody at this time was into punk, but Tranceonic loved industrial and electronic sounds. Their foresight and innovation created new ideas. Perón and Blank made electronic avant-garde music informed by the Berlin and Cologne schools. By 1978 the two had enough material to record an album and made a trip to San Francisco to visit Ralph Records. The Residents promised to release the music if the duo removed all the tape hiss, which never materialized.
‘New Crime’ is the first ever vinyl compilation of material produced, recorded, performed and mixed at Tranceonic Studio between 1976-1979. The equipment set up at the studio included a Farfisa Synth Orchestra, WERSI string ensemble, ARP Odyssey with Sequencer, ARP Quadra, Roland SH 3A, CR-78, Space Echo and Korg Minipops 120P and many effect boxes normally used for guitars. Samples were self-recorded using a Revox cassette deck and turntables. Blank and Perón experimented with manipulated tape loops, echo effects and snippets of found sounds. Blank also explored foreign near-equator exotics playing Arabesque percussion and a homemade bamboo flute. Perón experimented with CV triggering and dubbing super 8 film effects from vinyl. Both members took turns singing Carlos’ lyrics. Stylistically the songs anticipate the feeling of Yello’s ‘Solid Pleasure’ album and included here is the first instrumental mix of “Bostich”.”
Remastered reissue of a freakish bag of tape experiments and punkish drum machine innovation from a lesser known nook of ‘80s France
“Alésia Cosmos was a collective of musicians led by Bruno de Chénerilles formed in the early 1980s in Strasbourg, France. The group consisted of Pascal Holtzer (guitar, synthesizer, tapes, drum machine, vocals), Pierre Clavreux (vocals, gong), Marie-Berthe Servier (vocals), Bruno (guitar, tapes, synthesizer, drum machine, vocals) and Tunisian percussionist Lotfi Ben Ayed (darbukas, bendir). In 1981 Bruno composed and wrote some sci-fi radio plays for French state radio channel France Culture. Under the influences of William Burroughs, John Cage, Pierre Henry and others, he developed tape music studio work. By 1982 he appeared for the first time under the name Alésia Cosmos Furi Show. It was a solo performance on guitar, voice, analog synth and tapes. This experimental show lead to a music project based on Bruno and Pascal’s compositions to be performed and recorded with other musicians in the beginning of 1983.
Exclusivo! was the group’s debut album recorded and self-released in 1983 on Planetarium. Pascal and Bruno would compose tunes in their personal home studios. Then they would bring the tapes, electronics, guitar lines and lyrics to experiment and rehearse with the other members of the group. Improvisations and adaptations brought more ideas and the album was recorded in a few days. The result was a musical mixing of electronic music, field recordings, North African and Asian percussion, electric guitars and voices, compositions and free improvisations. All four musicians take turns singing onomatopoeic phrases and backing vocals, even sometimes in an unknown language, a sort of mixed bag between Breton and Japanese.”
Tom Ware is a Grammy nominated engineer, producer and musician from Omaha Nebraska.
"Throughout the 70s and 80s Tom was the drummer for many bands, including Norman & The Rockwells, Toy boat Toy boat Toy boat, and Hit N Run. Because of his love for electronics, mechanics, and machines of any kind, he was always the only one who truly knew how pa systems worked. Tom got an entry level job at a Rainbow Studios and would work at the recording studio during the day, play evening gigs till 2 in the morning, then go back to the studio and work on new ideas all night. During these teeth cutting sessions, Tom worked by himself, following his instincts and creating sounds he loved to listen to.
His reckless abandon approach and thrill to learn was a high octane fuel that resulted in his first solo self-titled album. The album’s 10 songs were recorded and mixed between August & December of 1983 and self-released in early 1984. The album would be re-released in 1985 by independent Krautrock/Kosmische Musik label Sky Records in Germany and re-titled ‘The Fourth Circle’. Some of the instruments used on the LP were a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, & Pro One, Simmons SDSV electronic drums, Roland TR-606 drum machine, & Hammond B3 organ. While recording this album Tom was influenced by new wave sounds of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools of pulsing synth music and the celestial realms of Jean Michel Jarre.”
Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss is the mixtape which established Mykki Blanco as a pre-eminent queer hip hop MC upon its release thru UNO NYC in 2012.
Framed by production from Gobby, Brenmar, Matrixxman, Le1f, Gatekeeper and Flostradamus, ao., Mykki owns his sound with fierce style, giving voice to non-binary concerns and his sexuality in a way that doesn’t just prize subject over style, but rather makes a bold new style out of subjects that he’s lived and needs to represent. It’s still an authentically unique and outstanding dispatch five years later.
SHXCXCHCXSH slop out another bucket of stranger techno creations on Rösten 2
Ranging from what sound like Stanislav Tolkachev filtered thru a wet sock in Stämma 5; or Phurpa at Tresor in Stämma 6; then with a lush but salty sort of psychedelic delirium in Stämma 7; and the elegant attrition of Stämma 8 letting it decay gracefully.
Subtle, class grooves from Joseph Deenmamode
Daring the dubbed-out, bifurcating syncopation of High Spirits, next to arabesque vignette Purim, a heat hazy bazaar scene called Axum, and the elasticated kick drum slips of Kick Pattern.
Exciting new label Lost Futures tap “into the inherent idealism of rave” with this killer 1992 techno session by Arno Peeters, Sander Friedeman and Richard van der Giessen aka CultureClash, who were originally conceived at the behest of Irdial Discs’ Akin Fernandez for an hour long live performance on his Kiss FM show.
For the first time, that show has been edited to individual tracks and made available on vinyl, some twenty five years after various failed attempts to properly release its seminal slice of dancefloor history. Fans of Psychick Warriors Of Gaia, Underground Resistance, Muslimgauze or Utrecht’s U-Trax need to check this one, pronto!
Originally converging under the moniker, The Awax Foundation, the trio from Utrecht recombined their vast, personal reserves of ethnic and traditional music samples from across the world with an Atari 1040ST, a cheap mixing desk, synths and FX to effectively assuage techno’s increasingly masculine stomp. The results essentially picked up where their fellow countrymen, Psychick Warriors Of Gaia left with 1989’s tribalist EBM templates, pushing farther along those lines to a loose, driving, hypnotic sound which swerved accusations of “ethno-techno” appropriation thanks to their sincerity and results which have evidently stood the test of time.
CultreClash thus stands a temporal crossroads which perhaps resonates more with our modern times than any other. In 1992, a decade after the swell of new age, and years after the future-primitive thrust of Chicago house, or even Detroit guys fetishising Japanese electronics and synth-pop, the techno movement was in full flow, cosign to the grasp of white europeans who, on the one hand, wanted to make it more commercial, for bigger raves and the charts, while on the other hand, others wanted to explore its esoteric, aerobic mystic potential, such as these Dutch dudes.
The results of their endeavour form a killer set of DJ tracks and a necessary time capsule from that era, hingeing all kinds of mad polyrhythms, chants and sampled instrumental tones around rolling kicks and natty electronics. In the wrong hands that could have come out terribly, but these guys got it bang right with tracks like the febrile, heatsick ace Bad Dream, or like a tuffer NAD with the brooding NYC-Nonplace vibes of Mystic (House Dub) or the mesmerising acid fuss of U.U Inlands (Halal Edit) and the rolling breakbeat bustle of Zitarz, while making room for more spacious, wistful rave kisses in the sloshing, Muslimgauze-like Mama Africa and Asian Approach, or the sufi-esque dervish, Yatiyaña.
CultureClash weren’t the first and won’t be the last to try this sound, but they did it with timeless style and effect that totally deserves this reissue, which we can’t say about many other similar attempts.
One for the dreamers of the dream.
James Holden and pals converge on a raucous psych-folk-tronica sound presumably meant for cider-soaked harvest festivals and grazing thru fields of magic mushies. Ecstatically giddy and eldritch-tinted stuff.
“Let yourself be transported to a magical other world of instinct and intuition with this bold new set of synth-led folk-trance standards from electronics guru James Holden and his newly-expanded band of fellow travellers The Animal Spirits. A wild ride that unites the characteristic propulsive melodic vigour of his custom-made modular synthesizer system with an unlikely supporting cast of brass, wind and live percussion, the expansive and transformative psychedelic journey of The Animal Spirits is certainly eternal outsider Holden’s most ambitious work to date – but surely also his most direct and accessible.
Since the release of 2013’s epic pagan saga The Inheritors, the kraut-tinged synth-and-drum core of the live touring outfit assembled by Holden to spread his alternative electronic message around the world has picked up several additional members along the way. Legendary jazz band leaders Don Cherry and Pharoah Sanders provided the blueprint for this quest to assemble “something like a spiritual jazz band playing folk / trance music”, but here cornet (Marcus Hamblett) and saxophone (Etienne Jaumet) function as the complement to the star soloist of Holden’s ever-strident synth. Meanwhile drummer Tom Page’s is inextricably bound to Holden's synth care of self-coded interactive drummer-following software, keeping pace with the almost imperceptible – yet unmistakably human – micro-errors in timing which lend live drums their natural magical groove. Thus Holden’s drummer is liberated from the brutal tyranny of the click track and a new organic symbiotic relationship between human and machine is unlocked. Producer Holden’s creative control over the project is absolute, from building his own synth and software, writing the musical backbone and steering his players, to self-recording, self-mixing and eventually also self-releasing the finished collection on his own imprint.
This heady blend of the electronic and the acoustic came into being during the hot and sticky summer of 2016 under the direction of fledgling band leader Holden at his Sacred Walls studio in London. In a bid to capture what he calls the unfakeable “psychic communication” of a group performance, The Animal Spirits was recorded live in one room together in single takes, no overdubs, no edits, in accordance with his own self-imposed dogma.
What has emerged out of these sessions is a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive. Just one example of the record's wide-ranging influences, the relentless, elastic and hypnotic polyrhythms of 'Pass Through The Fire' grew out of Holden’s 2014 trip to Morocco to work with legend of Gnawa music Maalem Mahmoud Guinia. The first song he wrote for the band, 'Pass Through The Fire' took shape over months of pre-show dressing room practice, as Holden set about transmitting the distinctive Gnawa rhythm to drummer Page. It soon made its way into the pair's live shows, adding Jaumet's on-the-hop improvised sax contributions further down the line. Holden says, "This was where I got the idea that songs are just backbones or seeds and the strong ones teach/reveal themselves to the players rather than the other way round."
As promised, Throbbing Gristle cough up what is essentially their Best Of… on vinyl for the first time, repackaging and expanding their 2004 CD, The Taste of TG (A Beginner’s Guide to the Music of Throbbing Gristle), with Almost A Kiss, taken from the Part Two - The Endless Not album, which serves to now bookend the collection between 1975-2007 and offer a broader, truer picture of the nonpareil, infinitely influential group’s jagged timeline.
There’s nowt we can add to the mountain of writing already on Throbbing Gristle. But, in context of the release, for the uninitiated, afeared, or just plain ignorant listeners out there who haven’t a clue what TG are about, we advise cupping this album with both hands and drinking deeply, then deciding which of their bloods tastes the strongest, and pitching yourself down the rabbit hole of their corresponding catalogue. Then read Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Art Sex Music to put it all in historic context.
You’ll thank yourself for it soon enough, even if the neighbours don’t.
Surely the UK’s most prized punk-funk group, Golden Teacher tighten the screws to loosen your hips with No Luscious Life, an instant-classic debut album of seven incredibly infectious tracks getting to grips with all of GT’s worldly influences, and then some.
Since emerging on Optimo Music to a round of acclaim in 2013, the band have revealed their Green Door Studios home to be an unparalleled hotbed of creativity for themselves and Glasgow’s finest freeks, but arguably keeping a neck ahead of everyone else thru their untamed diversity and skill at refreshing vintage aesthetics.
No Luscious Lie is the strongest, well-rounded testament yet to their sound, kicking off with the ESG space bounce of Sauchiehall Withdrawal to cycle thru influences ranging from Senegalese talking drums - think Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force on bucky - with Diop, before cooling out with the preppy Detroit funk of Spiritron and the heat-warped Afro-disco soul strut of The Kazimier, reprising the dubby depth of their Dennis Bovell hook-up with Shatter (Version), and playfully bending time ’n space like some Bruce Haack-meets-Craig Leon screwball on What Fresh hell Is This?
Beautiful new album from longtime Room 40 friend and collaborator Ueno Takashi
"I confess to being in a state of ceaseless awe when it comes to Tokyo guitarist, Ueno Takashi. I have had the pleasure to know Ueno now for well over 10 years. In that time he has remained a source of constant curiosity and surprise. Just when I think I have the man pegged, he throws out some unex-pected musical gesture that completely catches me off guard. Whether it be his work with Saya in Tennis-coats, or his almost endless stream of solo releases, many of which exist in very short run editions, his mu-sic typifies a tireless desire to explore. Recently Ueno’s curve ball has been his project Off Strings with Vice Japan, where he talks to leading Ja-panese guitarists. It’s an incredible series of interviews, which I heartily recommend checking out.
The re-sults have been quite extraordinary and his session with Haino Keiji a personal favourite of mine. Yet an-other pleasant surprise from this maestro. Over the course of his previous solo recordings for Room40, Ueno has tested very reductive compositional approaches. Each of the records has created a precise and unique approaches to guitar. Sui-Gin, his first solo for us, almost 10 years old, remains one of Room40’s most individual sounding recordings. It’s a col-lection of alien tones, uneasy yet beautiful. To this day I still can’t quite imagine how he drew so much harmonic richness from such a limited palette; one instrument and one pedal. Smoke Under The Water, a title I can only assume maintains at least a little humour about it, is easily the most beautiful record Ueno has made in recent years. Here, the lushness of his playing meets head on this is minimalist compositional heart. This record bares a close attention to detail. That is not to say it is fussed over or seeking some kind of state of perfection. On the contrary this is a record about perfor-mance, about taking a beautiful compositional idea and seeking to document it with the life and breath that is so critical to solo instrumental works. I implore you to listen to one of Japan’s true master’s of his craft."
Lawrence English, October 2017
Bibio makes his most affective move in a while with the wistful, nostalgic reflections of Phantom Brickworks; an elegant ambient meditation on the intangible aura or spirit that people imbue places with, and vice-versa.
Over the years since Fi, Bibio’s BoC-like (or lite) debut for, we’ve variously heard Bibio as ambient dreamer, soft-boogie whiz, and folktronica bard. However, by swiping away the beats entirely and following his improvisational instincts, Phantom Brickworks seems to dwell at the square root of all those styles, divining and calling forth a ghostly, melancholic spirit which lingered in the background and between the cracks of all his previous releases.
In terms of its autumnal, decayed pallor and silty sense of depth perception, not to mention to obvious themes of nostalgia and memory stimulus, Phantom Brickworks operates in very similar realms of the imagination to The Caretaker, conveying a very particular, elusively eldritch brand of sehnsucht or hiraeth; a feeling that defies concrete description, but you know when you feel it.
No hyperbole; Phantom Brickworks is the loveliest album Warp have released in a while.
Severely killer gothic darkwave volley from Norn Iron’s Autumns, proceeding the examples of Terrible Tuesday for Downwards and a clutch of tapes and LPs for Clan Destine with their fiercest material yet
A jagged ramp called Self Consumed that sounds like Silent Servant on meth; the jabbing 16th note synths and EBM shunt of Headache Tablet; bitterest wave sentiments in You’re A Right Useless Cunt Aren’t You; and supremely messed up drum machine fizz in City Secrets and Distorted Thinking.
RIYL Factory Floor, Powell, Not Waving, Marie Davidson.