The king of Gqom and Wiley’s favourite DJ, Lwazi Asanda Gwala a.k.a. DJ Lag turns out another four bangers for Goon Club Allstars
Hypnotically minimal and built to demand, the ’Stampit’ EP follows from Lag’s eponymous 2016 debut and a recent, killer remix of Kelela to reassert his claim to the crown of Durban’s virulent rave sound.
It’s perhaps most useful for the super stripped down ‘Drumming’, a ruggedly sturdy drum trak that can be taken as an answer to Griffit Vigo’s ‘Ree’s Vibe’ - a big tune in Lag sets - but the rest of the set is prime, too, just in case you’re wondering.
From the lead-drop drums and skyward flute of ‘3step Culo’ to the plastic UKF-like horns of ‘Let’s Do This’ and the crisp conga rolls on ‘Switz’ this platter is rated 100% deadly.
‘Solipsism’ writes a line under Mike Simonetti’s tenure at IDIB, the label he co-founded with Johnny Jewel in 2006 and brought to worldwide acclaim, before leaving in 2013 to pursue solo work and the Pale Blue project at his 2MR label (Two Mikes Records) with Mike Sniper of Captured Tracks
As one of those characters who naturally shapes the wider world, before humbly moving on the next project, Simonetti has lead an illustrious career arc from his days at punk label Troubleman Unlimited to his crucial role in establishing the resurgence of disco/synth/soundtrack styles which strongly prevail in 2018.
The 12-track ’Solipsism’ clears Simonetti’s archive of unreleased goodies conceived for TV commercials, runway soundtracks and film scores during his tenure of IDIB, where he released his debut album ‘Capricorn Rising’ in 2011. The set spans entirely unreleased business, including a stack of tracks made for a thwarted Hollywood movie project and one outtake from ‘The Magician’ sessions.
DJs and dancers should listen up for the sublime slow disco pulse of his ‘Through The Clouds’ ace and the ambient techno suspension of ‘Los Angeles’, while lovers of the cinematic IDIB aesthetic will get their kicks everywhere from the slowed-down Gqom-like sci-fi pressure of ‘A Prayer For War’, and the drizzly introspection of ‘Requiem’ and the soaring Tangerine Dream-esque ‘Acceptance 2’.
Oosh! Academy LPs present this reissue of a scorching Ghanaian Afro-funk/Highlife classic from 1975 packed with infectious percussion, horns, hammond organ hooks and grunts from the main man, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley!
Original copies on the legendary Essiebons label go for hundreds of £££, once you've checked the intro to 'Kwaakwaa' you'll likely be smitten.
‘FRKWYS Vol. 14 - Nue’ is a brilliant and uniquely beguiling study in non-standard tunings by Tashi Wada and his father, Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada, including input from Julia Holter, Simone Forti, Cole MGN, and Corey Fogel
Collaborating properly for the first time, Tashi and his father effectively serve an extension of the ideas in Yoshi’s classic side, ‘Earth Horns With Electronic Drones’. While we haven’t got an instrument list to hand, we can detect them using electronic synthesis, along with bagpipes, percussion, and vocals arranged at varying angles, smartly blurring their electro-acoustic distinctions at times, and at others using them quite explicitly in what may be perceived as richly dissonant tonal clashes.
In a very special way, the album is coolly tempered but riddled with wild unpredictability from song to song, starting out with the wilting electronic oscillations of ‘Aubade’, to scale the swelling bank of electronics and plangent bagpipes in the preceding single ‘Ground’, before massing in keening vocal harmony against a bed of electronics in ‘Ondine’.
The bagpipes return in a different way on ‘Double Body’, curled in almost jazzy ellipses around Corey Fogel’s slow, reverberating percussionin wonderfully unexpected ways, whereas the chiming percussive tingles of ‘Bottom Of The Sky’ recall stately Japanese Gagaku, and the pipes make another welcome return in close duet with the electronics on their self-explanatory and frankly fucking beautiful ‘Fanfare’.
For our money this is the strongest, spellbinding FRKWYS volume in its 10 year run - one of those records that restores faith, where needed, in the mysterious, inexplicable power of far out experimental music.
Chromatic conjurer Tim Hecker meets traditional Japanese Gagaku musicians from the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble on ‘Konoyo’, a dreamlike dramaturgy of noise, dissonance and aching melody recorded during several trips to Japan
The Canadian’s 9th solo release ‘Konoyo’, like its predecessor, ‘Love Streams’  also finds Hecker drawn to acoustic instruments and collaboration with a larger ensemble or collective, this time working with the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble after commanding an Icelandic choir on his previous album. However, the results here have a different purpose, swapping out ecstatic density for an intently refined and spacious approach, allowing his processed sources to ring out beautifully un/true in a sort of parallel dimensional harmonic spectrum.
In ‘Konoyo’ Tim Hecker effectively establishes a whole new set and lighting design to stage his patented play of paradoxes - lone/collective; organic/synthesised; consonant/dissonant - with the synaesthetically heightened skill of director, set designer and conductor rolled into one. The results are thus among his most subtly yet richly theatrical or cinematic, riddled with romantic, if abstract, narrative and a yearning pathos, and effectively collapsing myriad traditions - electronic, acoustic, Western, Eastern, classical and new age - into a spellbindingly sonorous, mercurial triumph.
Jamal Moss serves his 2nd Jai/Mahl 12” with ‘#DontjusttalkaboutitBeAboutit’ for Midnight Shift
Arriving in a most fecund phase for the Chicago badboy, this one doesn’t shirk on quality. The A-side comes with a spiky dose of Afro-cubist acid woven with his own vocals - a leitmotif of his work right now - on #Daretomatter, while #ICU locks into a rolling and sumptuously heady slice of deep house psychedelia that gets right under the skin, up yer nose, drawing eyes into back-of-skull.
B-side, he’s back to jack with something like a wild spin on early ‘90s KMS hardcore styles in the raving whirligig #Uwillnot, before coolly resolving with the title cut’s elegant, mid-tempo sashay.
Produced by Helge Sten (Deathprod), ’14’ is the latest blinder from his avant-jazz-supergroup with Arve Henriksen and Ståle Storløkken, a.k.a. Norway’s Supersilent...
Arriving more than 20 years since the trio’s debut, ’14’ finds their improvisational formula of trumpet, voice, keys and electronics generating some of the most phantasmic sound images imaginable.
At only 33 minutes wide, ’14’ is also one the shortest Supersilent albums in memory, revolving around 12 succinct pieces ranging in length from 1 minute to nearly 6, and tiled like an abstract, tessellating mosaic of ideas, rent in 3D by Sten’s bespoke Audiovirus system of analog oscillators and vintage tape machines.
Incredible,evocative and fuucked up music for late nights and isolation - a huge recommendation.
Continuing the Samurai Music 10 year anniversary celebrations, Decade (Phase 2) is a further collection of tracks mapping out the label's approach to 170 / Drum and Bass in 2018.
"Commencing with a searing slow burn from Ancestral Voices, Phase 2 features a rare 170 track from ASC, a dubbed out contribution from Calibre, refreshing beat pattern sorcery from Sam KDC and Lemna and a crucial collection of half step floor freshness from label staples - Homemade Weapons, The Untouchables, Torn, Last Life, and Artilect.
Shiken Hanzo and Antagonist make their first Samurai Music appearances in memorable fashion, while Es.tereo makes a return on the cusp of launching his own label."
Emergent sound artist Klara Lewis and inspirational English polymath Simon Fisher Turner fathom glorious, unpredictable and immersive compositions on ‘Care’, their collaborative debut for Editions Mego.
Embracing dualities and paradoxes of nature and technology, gender and age, aggression and fragility, the pair bring the best out of each in four expansive parts, where Fisher Turner brings over 40 years experience between pop, post-punk and the avant-garde to Klara Lewis’ fine-tuned ear for field recordings and her diaphanous production palette.
In the opening ‘8’ they establish wonderfully open parameters to their joint sound with radiant atmospheres and roiling drones ruptured by convulsive glitch, as if literally ripping between their two imaginations, before they gel around a mutual point in the mid-distance with Terre Thaemlitz-like keys and see-sawing rustic strings implying medieval melodies amid the multi timbral spatial dimensions and low end threats of ‘Drone’.
‘Tank’ then ventures into into the Middle East with the buzz of kids singing soon enough cut short by politically timed ballistics, leaving listens reeling in a fizzing mid-air streaked by stressed strings and a plangent Arabic vocal that leads into Muslimgauze-like dub rhythm and a gorgeous electronica coda, leaving us engulfed in the patient, anaesthetising and dissociative swell of ‘Mend’.
Post punk originator Robert Rental’s 1980 demo tapes, created circa his legendary ‘Double Heart’ single, surface for the first time on Optimo, thanks to the efforts of JD Twitch and Simon Dell. Unmissable for the wobbly dub groove and glossolalic croon of ‘Open Air’ and the extraordinary, incendiary synths of ‘Radio Silence’ at the very least, but the rest is gold, too!
“On an unassuming cassette, just labelled ‘Robert Rental’ in green Dymo tape, these demos have lain unheard for years amongst his family’s treasured possessions, cared-for artefacts of a life cut short far too soon.
These songs, which Robert recorded in his council flat in Battersea in 1980, provide an enticing glimpse into his all-too-infrequent solo work. On most occasions, Robert worked with Thomas Leer, Daniel Miller or other collaborators. These are rough recordings, tape hiss still in evidence, but his creativity shines through the murk, like uncut diamonds.
With these recordings Robert appears to be moving towards more recognisable song structures than most of his earlier work, which could be wildly experimental and would often involve found recordings taped directly off television.
We know 2 of these tracks from their later re-recording for the Mute Records single ‘Double Heart’ late in 1980. Robert spoke to friends of his frustration at being unable to replicate his sound in a commercial studio – it was these demos’ sound that he wanted to recreate. Sometimes having only access to the most rudimentary of equipment can hone the creative talent into something sharper and more focused – necessity is the mother of invention, indeed.
Simon Dell, 2018
I am humbled and ecstatic to be entrusted with this music and able to aid getting these songs out into the world. I have now listened to them countless times and feel they are so, so much more than just an interesting archival release, but rather a small, fully formed body of wondrous songs that deserve to be heard and enjoyed by as many people as possible. In this current era where so much music is so completely focussed on the production, with the result that often the soul is sucked out of it, it’s a pleasant shock to discover that a forgotten tape from nearly 40 years ago can be the freshest and most refreshing sounding thing ever.
JD Twitch, 2018”
Under the Canaxis 5 name, In 1969 Can’s Holger Czukay and Rolf Dammers - his classmate from lessons under Stockhausen - made the cult detournement of ‘Folkways - Music Of Viet Nam’
Originally issued in the same year that Can came into being, Canaxis 5’s sought-after experiments on ‘Technical Space Composer’s Crew’ would also be issued by Munich’s Music Factory, who were also behind the debut release of The Can’s ‘Monster Movie’. Fair to say they’re both cult records, but the Canaxis 5 side is definitely the more experimental of the two.
On the A-side’s legendary ‘Boat Woman Song’ they hijack the aforementioned Folkways, taking its Vietnamese voices to a parallel, synthesised dimension of swirling dynamics and hypnotic widescreen drones owing much to the influential abstraction of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s electronic works. With the B-side’s ‘Canaxis’ they combine the Vietnamese vox with samples of Capella Antiqua München, imaginatively crossing vast time and space via synth wormholes to pave the way for so much 4th world and new age exploration to follow.
'Autobiography' is Jlin's soundtrack to the staged life story of eminent dancer and choreographer Wayne McGregor, which opened in October 2017 and is still running at Sadler’s Wells, London.
For an artist whose début album opened with a track called ‘Black Ballet’ - in reference to the art of Chicago footwork - the synchronicity between Jlin’s music and McGregor’s choreography is patently obvious, and this album is perhaps one of the smartest unions between those disciplines that we could hope for.
Jlin’s music has always driven us nuts in the best way - calling to mind a statement by Steve Goodman some years back, in which he effectively stated that the most exciting music to him is one that physically demands the body to move in unfamiliar ways, as he first experienced with the radical, muscle-memory reprogramming rhythms of hardcore and jungle in the early ‘90s, and especially in relative context to what preceded it.
In that sense, Jlin’s releases have persistently provided some of the most sensational music we’ve heard this decade, sparking our minds and bodies into action in the rarest, maddest, most inexorable ways by essentially, physically breaking and disrupting the mould of the same old, same old line-dancing music that too often passes for club music.
For Wayne’s ‘Autobiography’, Jlin renders his life story in a compellingly intricate musical language of syncopated pointillism, percolating her drums and symphonic orchestrations in weightless formations that mirror bodies in flight, touching the ‘floor as little as possible. But that’s only 2/3rd’s of the story, as Jlin vacillates these elegantly hardcore rhythms with gorgeous, beat-less moments of pastoral lushness, classical keys and glyding ambient pauses which, by contrast, better highlight the cyclonic torsion of her expressive rhythm programming, while simultaneously demonstrating the distance travelled between Footwork’s roots in the streets of Chicago, and its unique similarity with the so called “high art” of western culture.
Don’t get it twisted tho, we’re highlighting an obvious distinction, it’s not about prizing one over the other, but celebrating and acknowledging the brilliant results of this unusual but evidently, completely natural-fitting union of styles and patterns.
Bruisingly powerful scream rap noise from Prison Religion on Rabit’s amazing Halcyon Veil.
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Prison Religion are one of the most hardcore, rap-related acts we’ve heard in years. No cock out business, just Philip Best levels of mic-burning bile and vitriol shrieked and expectorated over bludgeoning beats, field recordings and charred electronics.
No song outstays it welcome. They all say their piece and get the fuuck on with the next one, from the electroid slosh and harsh holler of ‘Messenger’ to the stark EP highlight of ‘Aliciakeys’ and the speaker-worrying shudders of ‘Ansss1’, to the gabber gallop of ‘Yabbadabbdont’, and a final, cataclysmic descent into hellish strings on ‘Nibiru’.
The American singer-songwriter’s 8th studio album in pursuit of classic folk and country spirits...
“The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography.
Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s relationships were put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career.”
Inland’s debut LP is an epic electro-techno-acid set stemming from his soundtrack to a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière
“Based on his soundtrack for a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière, Davenport has recast the material and field recordings into eight tracks of rhythmically intricate electronics and spectral, ambient techno, inspired by Charrière’s visually striking, 76-minute tracking shot through a palm plantation toward a totemic soundsystem on full blast.
Both the album and original soundtrack were created in response to the 200th anniversary of the eruption of Indonesia’s Tambora volcano in 1815, which plunged the world into darkness and caused a series of extreme weather conditions. At the time, the natural climate change crisis resulted in numerous global famines and is known throughout the northern hemisphere as “The Year Without Summer”, with global communities forced to adapt to sudden radical changes in temperature and weather.
An Invitation To Disappear offers a contemporary parallel, leading viewers – and listeners – down a seemingly endless direct path of gridded palms from dawn to dusk; a bio-commercial monoculture where ancient jungle once flourished. Light flickers between rows of fruit-laden trees and a distant fire burns in the undergrowth where the border between natural image and computer simulation breaks down. At the same time, formerly incoherent rumblings of sub-frequencies begin to transform into the contours of rhythm. This is reflected sonically in eight perspectives on the lush, synthetic jungle, made of myriad buzzing fauna, morphing melody and colossal bassweight. All paths lead toward an apocalyptic dancefloor, though speeds vary widely; rhythms dissolve from straight to broken, synth tempos operate by their own internal clocks (and logic). Juxtaposing industrial agriculture with rave culture, the album explores the industrialization and refinement of nature, and the new strange forms emerging from the synthetic grids of both.
As Inland, Davenport has previously contributed soundtracks to other installations by the Swiss-born Charrière, whose artistic practice focuses on bridging environmental science and cultural history, often taking place in remote geophysical locations, including ice fields, volcanos and radioactive sites.”
The 2nd compilation of Stereolab rarities and singles, remastered and available to download for the first time
Make sure to check their two wig-outs with Nurse With Wound, especially for the driving krautrock psychedelia of their ‘“Animal Or Vegetable [A Wonderful Wooden Reason…]” and ‘Exploding Head Movie’ charges.
Trevor Jackson picks up nuggets from the editing room of his ‘Format’ series, ranging from melodic IDM to Motor City techno and trippy house trax - really strong set this.
Listen out for highlights in the effortless techno suspension system of ‘Qix’, in the smart balance of EBM industrial drums and dreamy melodies on ‘Machine Worshippers’, and the double deep electro serve of ‘Beamrider’.
Feathered, glassy, brilliant rhythmelodies from Japan, following H. Tahashi’s ‘Raum’ delicacy for Where To Now? RIYL Anthony Manning, Plaid, Visible Cloaks...
“Tokyo architect Hiroki Takahashi is a world-builder both in matter and sound. His latest collection of serene micro-miniatures was inspired by “the dissatisfaction with reality that I feel on a daily basis.” Escapism offers exactly that: percolating patterns of fiberglass synthetics and fluorescent melody, assembled into minimalist bio-domes of refracted light and hanging gardens. Recorded during metropolitan commutes, afterhours office meditations, and various windows of urban stasis, the album’s six songs actualize the ambient muse of their maker, willing space from density, tranquility from tedium. As with his work in exotic atmosphere unit UNKNOWN ME, Takahashi’s touch is hushed, precise, and prismatic, coaxing spectrums of illusion and bliss in its tinted glass spirals: “Extreme tension produces extreme relaxation.”
After a standout 2015 debut, Montreal’s Ouri is picked up by Ghostly International for a dreamily rugged showcase of R&B-spiked deep house, rolling Italo laced with vaporous modern blues.
“Ouri is a DJ, electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist. Hailing from South America by way of France, she produces electronic music in Montreal. Her background experience with the piano, harp and cello heavily influence her shape-shifting approach to melody and bass. Her 2015 EP Maze is a provocative experience of vivid, entrancing dance music. Aggressive, refreshing and playful, her sound is bold and self-assured.
In 2017, Ouri released her debut album Superficial, a kind of laboratory where she mixes her truth with chaos. Her obsession with strong sensations, femininity and this same truth makes up the heart of this project. In late 2017, she joined force with Montreal-based singer-songwriter Mind Bath and dropped a surprise self-titled EP. The Ouri / Mind Bath EP features both tenderness and aggressiveness, and balances the femininity and masculinity of the two artists.
Ouri's first offering in 2018 is a new EP entitled We Share Our Blood and her first release on Ghostly International. Despite crusades or potential AI domination, we keep sharing our blood: for creation or destruction. Either motivated by rivalry, fusion or strangeness, we blend. Ouri uses a direct path to convey this primitive condition. A sovereign state, this project allows no collaboration. Using her own voice for the first time, she suspends with deep sincerity the moral turpitude that seeks to be caressed. The drum breaks are crisp and raw, the bass lines are overpowering. The voice and appealing harmonies bring out a soothing side, balancing this whole adventure. Contrary to her previous work, this EP is shaped out of mantras and hymns, ushering through the portal an offering of space for listeners to investigate their own fantasies.”
A spirited suite surveying string-based works by three women, Polish cellist Resina; french pianist Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch; and Swedish-Iranian pianist Shida Shahabi. 130701 label founder Dave Howell provides our personal highlight with a field recording of fly-tipped pianos on Severn Beach
“‘The Sea at The End of Her String’ is a seven-track EP that highlights three adventurous, hugely talented female artists from the current roster of FatCat’s pioneering 130701 imprint. Featuring seven exclusive new tracks, the EP is available both digitally and in a limited edition, one-time-only vinyl pressing of 300 copies to be sold alongside a short, triple-bill UK tour. Both tour and EP feature the same three artists – French pianist / composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Polish cellist Resina and Swedish-Iranian pianist Shida Shahabi.
The EP’s title is taken from a line in Sylvia Plath’s poem, ‘Three Women’ and, whilst taken somewhat out of context, is used here to indicate both the instrumental rooting of the three artists’ music (bound to the resonating strings of the piano or cello) and to offer some suggestion of the fluidity and vastness it either draws from or expresses. Each of the three artists contributes two new tracks, and all tracks are exclusive to this EP. The track-list is completed with a field recording collage from 130701’s founder / label head, Dave Howell. Captured on wasteland at Severn Beach on the estuary of the River Severn, onto which a number of pianos were fly-tipped amongst other junk, it reveals a very different end of the string.”
Murcof renders a panoramic suite pairing dramatic choral vocals from the ‘Goldberg Variations’ with symphonic electronics to soundtrack Patrick Bernatchez film, ‘Lost In Time’
“In Lost in Time, two parallel narratives intertwine: e first follows a helmet-clad, faceless horse and rider adrift in an indeterminate landscape of ice and snow, quite literally lost in time and space, while the second seems to allude to a strange scientific experiment. Lost in Time plunges us into perpetual renewal, each ending leading to a new beginning.
The protagonists – two beings bound by a certain mutual dependence – are forever trapped in a time loop where life and death ceaselessly rotate.The use of what are almost exclusively black figures against white landscapes produces a menacing, otherworldly atmosphere that is also stunningly beautiful. The original soundtrack of the film, blends the aria of the Goldberg Variations sung by Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal with a composition by Murcof.
The soundtrack also exists as an autonomous work entitled Lost in Time (Goldberg Experienced.05). Coproduction Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and Casino Luxembourg. With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Composed by Murcof, the soundtrack of the film Lost in Time was the subject of a previous double album co-produced by Patrick Bernatchez and the Casino Luxembourg in 2014.”
The fearsome Spiritflesh enter the physical domain again with a chasmic, steeply absorbing debut album of spectral, tribal dub noise for No Corner
Also known as studio mediums Julian Smith (October) and Boris English (Borai), Spiritflesh is kind of their answer to Coil’s ElpH - a presence that inhabits the wires and circuitry of their well-stocked recording space, and which may be summoned by the most arcane, unconscious and secretive productive techniques. Of course, then again it may just be their imaginations, but who knows what’s real or not these days.
Working at a metaphysical crossroads between Radiophonic exploration and the pharmaceutical experimentation of ‘80s and ‘90s dark ambient on one level, while also nodding to the output of Lee ‘Scratch Perry’s Black Ark as much as Conny’s Studio in the Bavarian forest and the legendary Dome facilities on another, the results speak to a time out of joint and out of place, resonating with a timeless psychoacoustic dread that only comes from endless hours of spell casting at the desk.
The sounds inside really come alive with amplification, projecting a phantasmic play of electro-acoustic apparitions that lurch from and recede into its murky layers. Taking a hold with the gnashing drums and banking noise of ‘Crib’, the LP rolls into unfathomably abyssal electro-dub space in ‘Ever Impeding Doom’, tripping down the labyrinthine arps of ‘Sentient’ before plumbing dankest levels of post-punk dread a la Bourbons Qualk with ‘Beneath The Clouded Veil’, and shoring us up in a hyperreal, heatsick simulacra of tropical no-mans-land with a Ballardian descriptive relish in ‘Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again’.
Remastered and available to download for the first time, Stereolab’s wittily titled 2nd single, ‘Stunning Debut Album’
Revolves the songs ‘Doubt’, a frothy Gallic psych-pop bubbler, and the grungier indie jangle of ‘Changer’.
De Grandi, Mani Festo, and Denham Audio have a fine stab at suturing Filter Dread’s ruptured grime instrumentals
De Grandi turns ‘Corrupt Floppy’ into a wicked whirr of trilling claps and percolated subs gelled with smooth, stick and squeaky synth lines. Mani Festo ramps ‘M25’ to a sort of hyper grime-meets-ghetto tech and jungle style compatible with Proc Fiskal and jungle-footwork styles. Denham Audio resets ‘Beyond Saturn’ with his own, glutinous, dark garage swagger.
Footwork dons DJ Spinn and DJ Phil exert ace remixes on Scratcha DVA’s hook-ups with R&B starlet Clara Le San
‘Take It All’ is ramped up and rent with flared chords and flying groove by DJ Spinn, and, fresh from inclusion on Kode 9 and Burial’s amazing Fabric mix, DJ Phil sends ‘Pink22’ reeling into the circle with rapid subbass pulses and delicious vocal chops to icy cool but delirious effect.
The legendary first Stereolab EP, remastered and available to download for the first time
‘Super 45’  was initially issued on 10” in edition of 800 and then only available via mail-order and Rough Trade shops.
E.M.M.A. delivers the first pearl on her Pastel Prism label
Following on from her massive ‘Mindmaze/Pumpkin Emoji’  12” - a massive anthem around these parts - ‘Liberty’ finds her on a low key dembow bump, coaxing synthetic harpsichord and bubbling arps into a deep blue, ancient-futurist meditation.
A total peach comes back into circulation with Holger Czukay’s beguiling, heavily grooving ‘Full Circle’, starring crucial input from his Can bandmate Jaki Liebzeit on drums and Jah Wobble weilding the bass
Instantly loveable for the grooving punk-disco ear worm of album opener ‘How Much Are They? - a big anthem in mid ‘80s Belgium and elsewhere - listeners will also encounter the muggy dub of ‘Where’s The Money?’ and the playfully exotic concrète-jazz-funk of ‘Full Circle R.P.S. (No. 7)’, along with a ghostly blues piece ‘Mystery R.P.S. (No. 8)’ on a classic Can tip, and the psychedelic come-down of ‘Twilight World’.
Stone cold classic!
Amazing jazz slab from Japan, 1983, feat drummer Takeo Moriyama and a crack squad of players. First time vinyl reissue (also available on CD) of a highly sought-after 2nd hand release
“BBE Music is proud to present the next instalment in the J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘East Plants’ by Takeo Moriyama, one of Japan’s finest jazz drummers.
A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated. ‘East Plants’ is also available as CD and digital formats. This reissue is fully endorsed by Takeo Moriyama himself.
Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.
‘East Plants’ features no piano, just percussion, bass and reeds. From the luxurious raga-like build of the album’s hypnotic title track and the fierce post-bop workout of ‘Fields’, to the stately modal track ‘Kaze’ ( as featured on the sell-out BBE compilation, ‘J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1968-1984’), the album was, until now, a rarely acknowledged masterpiece. ‘East Plants’ shows Moriyama’s quintet at their most transcendent: delicate layers of percussion by Yoji Sadanari, a warm and pliant bass from Hideki Mochizuki, with colour and texture provided by the eloquent reed work of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshiko Inoue. And, overseeing it all, Moriyama’s discreet yet commanding drumming.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series will feature rare, long-lost and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.”
Scratchy, agitated mutations of breakcore jungle from AAR, Milan’s latest lamb to the rave slaughter. Think Somatic Responses, La Peste, Noize Creator
“AAR is a project by Milan-based producer, DJ and designer Giorgio di Salvo. The First Grade LP is his first record under this name, self-released in collaboration with Haunter Records, the first chapter in a new series dedicated to tonal and rhythmic experimentation. ADVANCED AUDIO RESEARCH is the ironic definition of this new music course of his, a nod to the large amount of esoteric studio gear accumulated and (ab)used during the years.
The project itself is the result of years of study and experimentation with generative music matrices, based on the application of a three dimensional array of variables and unknowns to algorithmic pattern creation. The result is punishing, close to the most radical exploits in ear-wrenching breakcore, footwork and jungle, albeit with a sonic and structural finesse that reveals the producer’s manic dedication. Track A-4 is produced in collaboration with Somec and B-01 in collaboration with Heith, channeling abstract and melancholic vibes into the project.”
Austrian composer Dino Spiluttini stares down the void on No Horizon. While tape loops have featured heavily on previous Spiluttini releases, they form the core of No Horizon’s claustrophobic sound world, representing Spiluttini’s own internal battles with the limbo that surrounds somebody switching medication. “No Horizon is basically the feeling that no antidepressants will ever work, and that I'm forever stuck in this hopeless mood,” says Spiluttini. “Don't worry I feel much better now,” he adds.
"Heavily distorted and processed, tape-loops of tumbling notes are at times indistinguishable, squashed into beautiful melting slabs of amorphous melodies. On ‘Healer’, Spiluttini moulds a meditative piano line into soaring ambience, constantly mutating throughout. Both ‘Permadeath’ and the title track have luminescent piano notes fighting their way out of a foggy noise bed. Closer ‘Endurance’ ushers the album out on an (almost) hopeful note, with criss-crossing piano loops cascading around the analogue warmth of Spiluttini’s sonic space. Structured like the emotionally fragile prison of a mind mired in hopelessness and depression, No Horizon is one of Spiluttini’s most delicate recordings to date. His keen sense for moody melody and dramatic sound design are working in total unison here, leaving behind a poignant musical experience that’s as cinematic as it is internal.
Produced by Dino Spiluttini in late 2017 and early 2018. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón, Photos by Diego Berruecos."
Best known for playing guitar for Britain’s post-punk trailblazers Wire since 2010, Matthew Simms assumes his nom de plume Slows to craft slow and serene instrumentals. Recorded throughout winter in his small studio space in the Kent countryside, Enormous Pause comprises passages of electric organ and modular synth, variously droning and rumbling across two gorgeous sidelength pieces. In addition to Slows and Wire, Simms is also a core member of dream poppers It Hugs Back and improv supergroup UUUU, while increasingly in demand as a producer and session musician, recently working with Chastity Belt and Bill Fay.
“This is the first time I’ve recorded music knowing it was going to released on cassette,” says Simms. “I was reminded of how I first started recording music when I was 12 on a four-track; of the fantastic effect it has on capturing overdriven sounds.” Improvisation is at the core of Slows’ music, Simms attempting to come up with at least one entirely original piece for every live show he plays under the name. Much of the music on Enormous Pause originated while preparing to play opening slots for two of his favourite bands: Chicago’s Tortoise and London’s Tomaga. The result is two ethereal sides of gossamer keyboard melodies, buoyed by analogue warmth as they slowly move through space echo chambers. This is easily some of Simms most impulsive and varied solo to date, flowing freely between cosmic synth ambience and the all manner of tape-distorted emotion without ever ceasing to engage deeply with the listener.
Matthew Simms: electric organ, modular synthesizer & effect pedals. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón, Photos by Diego Berruecos."
DIY home recordings of ambient synth and modern classical solo piano, meandering with a lovely, day-dreaming quality that feels like a lower-fi, subtly crazed adjunct to Dominique Lawalrée’s genteel ambient flocking
“Le Raccourci is a welcome introduction to the world of modern classical identity Sebastian Gandera. The impressionist landscapes of a sensitive soul self-reflecting, these miniature compositions alternate across a rudimentary set up of piano, field recorder, sampler and four track. Melancholic utterings hastily captured some 100km east of Paris.
Classically trained by the same teacher as his parents, Gandera first began recording in the confines of his university dorm room, inspired by a C60 from friend and future collaborator Bernard Odot (A Gethsémani). Humbly existing without sparing a thought to music industry or career, Gandera’s personal effects surfaced via the European and US cassette networks from 1988 to 1994. Impressively accomplished for the DIY scene they orbited, these tapes were issued in scant quantities, rendering his pieces as private secrets shared and duplicated in small concentric circles. Aside from a sole, avowedly traumatic performance, the material was never shared in a live context.
Selected by Sky Girl co-conspirer Julien Dechery, Le Raccourci culls 15 tracks from Gandera’s extensive cassette discography, discarded DAT recordings, and split CD with Lyon toy music project Klimperei. These sentiently charged compositions only hint at his larger catalogue, but act as a compelling cross section of the artist’s oeuvre. The identity is further detailed by archival images, Glen Goetze penned liner notes and original artwork from Perks and Mini’s Misha Hollenbach.
While Gandera’s nostalgic melodies incidentally parallel with the piano key manoeuvres of Pascal Comelade, Robert Haigh and Dominique Lawalrée, Le Raccourci could only stem from the escapist desires of one Eric Morin.”
Slow techno guy Positive Centre and D&B producer Overlook merge styles as Carrier for the darkside inception of ‘47017’ on Tommy Four Seven’s label
In one of the few instances we can recall where these parallel style have crossed over, Carrier nail a mutant sound that can’t be accused of techno or D&B, but rather sits heavy in a noisily textured and highly pressurised no-person’s-land of the rave.
Up top they work out the crushing torque and divebombing dynamics of ‘Blue Nine’ beside the galloping grey area rolige of ‘Counter Illumination’. On the flipside they open out into more spacious, fluidly rhythmic terrain with the cold knocks and streaking underwater scenes of ’Suggestion’, and eaze off on the halfstep with the serious steppers techno rufige of ‘Foreshadow’.
Peverelist feels housey on the 50th release from Bristol’s Idle Hands label, shop and bass community centre
Marking his first outing since the ‘Tessellations’ album in 2017, the Avon don plays deep into Idle Hands’ forward soulboy briefin both parts, cooking up a lean and clean sweep of percolated dub chords and slinky latinate hustle on the swingeing ‘Left Hand’, before tucking the groove tighter in-the-pocket with the plasmic apparition of ‘Right Hand’, a daring, barely-there stroke of swing music for the late night/early morning dancers and smokers.
Sounds from the Delia Derbyshire archive appear in the eldritch creep of ‘Verse 1 and Main Title’
Taken from the newly regrouped The Radiophonic Workshop’s first ever score for a feature film or theatrical release, namely ‘Possum’ directed by Matthew Holness of Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace fame.
Breathtaking bad dream of a second album by Teresa Winter for The Death of Rave; a uniquely allegorical study in female sexuality and occult, transgressive fascinations that comes highly recommended if youre into Cosey Fanni Tutti, Coil, Jani Christou or Jean Rollin.
Unfolding around recollections of a bad dream about being murdered by her boyfriend and hidden under a hotel bed, Teresa’s new side expands upon the morbid, psycho-sexual and occult fascinations of her cultishly acclaimed ‘Untitled Death’ LP in a singular and unpredictable style of composition where avant-classical, acid-house and ambient dream-pop collapse in a confounding and traumatic account of her hauntological reality.
Recorded in Northern England amid the socio-political tumult of 2018, ‘What The Night Is For’ is concerned with notions of liberation and repression, both sexual, psychic and political, which feel ever more impending in the nocturnal, criminal state of mind conjured by capitalism’s end times. Teresa’s music reflects this sensation of heightened alertness and near-psychedelic intensity with an abstract dramatic narrative implicitly referencing on the one hand, the convention-challenging feminism of Jean Rollin’s cinema fantastique and its soundtracks, and the charged atmospheres of Coil, as well as the sexually liberated writings of Amanda Carter and the Marquis De Sade.
In its unfairly weighted formation, the LP vertiginously drops into freefall with 7 minute of ‘marishly captivating dissonance in ‘Canticles of Ecstasy’, landing in 9 minutes of disquietingly lush ambient electronics and Teresa intoning “bestial, brutal” on ‘Heathen’s Gate’, which marking her descent into night, proper.
The other side is an entirely different affair. From the wigged-out pipes and cinematic intrigue of ‘Vulgaire’, Teresa plays out stark contrasts between the stellar acid-pop detournement of ‘For Murder’, the palpably eerie electro-acoustic aura of ‘Apostrophising the C*nt’, and a gut-wrenching one-two of Proustian fantasy in ‘Mother of Death’, and the piloerect tristesse of ‘From so High that I Might Die’.
Like Cosey Fanni Tutti’s seminal early artwork, created in the ‘70s against a backdrop of Yorkshire-based serial killers and the adult industry, Teresa’s music can be taken as a form of psychic self-surgery, as a way of parsing her own ideas from the inherent violence of heteronormativity and the lingering, insipid pall of Roman Catholicism and all its connotations of sexual repression. And like Cosey, Teresa obliquely acknowledges the female perspective defined in the Tarot card, “Eight of Swords” - she’s damned if she does, but also damned if she doesn’t.
So f*ck it, here it is. Deal with it.
Uganda’s immense Nyege Nyege Tapes return with an Incredible collection of percussive ritual music from Mbale; a unique document of ancient tradition meets modern electronics from the pearl of Africa and another precious eye-opener from this important label.
After almost 15 years of peddling his own cd’s and tapes on the streets of Mbale, Robert Mugamba’s Kadodi finally get a proper introduction to the outside world thanks to the increasingly vital Nyege Nyege Tapes crew, pairing a transfixing percussive soundtrack with modern electronic contributions from Bamba Pana and Sun C.
Extending privileged insight to the way ancient practices meet modernism near the Equator in East Africa, Kadodi renders a set of mesmerising, rhythmelodic percussion and crowd hollers, along with electrifying reinterpretations by local, East Ugandan producer Sun C and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s Bamba Pana. Placing ageless ritual music alongside its club antecedents, the results find tradition frictionlessly reconciled with modernism, drawing bridges between tribal identities and ancient belief systems, and clubs as contemporary sites of ritual enactment.
The musical aspect of the ceremony is intended to induce initiates to a trance state, readying them to transcend from boyhood (basinde) into men (basani). The twice yearly rites of passage are such an occasion that their soundtrack has now transcended from original ritual use to find its ways into nightclubs, thanks to producers such as DMX, Papas and Sun C - the pioneer of Kadodi music’s shift into electronic spheres.
On this set the ceremony starts on side A and continues into side B, documenting the Domadana Kadodi Performers brewing a bristling frenzy of polymetric percussion with hypnotic intensity coming as a result of their natural complexity. Following this utterly unique situation, Mbale native Sun C offers a near 10 minute electronic reinterpretation of Kadodi music on ‘Kaad 4’, mirroring the breathless cadence and intensity of the original in its sustained pitches and intricate syncopation of pipes and pointillist percussions. And you can trust Bamba Pana to take that one step farther on ‘Wateranga’, where he ramps the original drums with Singeli-style pattern and pace to irresistibly energetic effect.
Incredible, unique music.
Nina Kraviz clocks up some proper overtime with a pelting remix of Marie Davidson’s ‘Workaholic’
A massive highlight of Marie’s ‘Working Class Woman’ album, ‘Workaholic Paranoid Bitch’ is here ramped to a breakneck, unyielding 150bpm with mutated vocals primed to cause utter havoc in the best raves.
Forming a sharp contrast with her ‘Emblem’ single and ratcheting levels of expectation for her debut album, ‘Stay With The Trouble (For Donna) reveals a far more rugged, driven side of Colin Self
The relatively simple inclusion of a hiccupping vocal cut-up wildly differentiates these tunes, with the vocal lending a playful EDM pop appeal to the original ‘Stay With The Trouble (For Donna)’, whereas the stripped instrumental feels for darker and steely without it, and totally primed for sweaty wall banging in the darkroom
Mad album of mutant EBM-in-dub from Vanligt Folk, pursuing the absurdities of their Palle Bondo’ 12” right down the rabbit hole - reminding us of that killer first Closer Musik album from the turn of the century.
Vanligt Folk, translating to ‘Common People’ in Swedish, here pay tribute to the ‘Hambo’ - a folk dance popular with your average, working class Jo(nas) in Sweden at the turn of the last century. But rather than recreate late 19th C. music, they explore a definition of rave and body music as folk music that’s very close to our own hearts, making fine use of primitive electronics, drum machines and nonsensical vocals in a unique form of social commentary that strives to subvert notions of nationalism, race and tradition.
The vibe therein is blunt yet phantasmic, with ruddy grooves screwing EBM to dancehall tempo and loaded up with an absurd range of voices, resulting in strong highlights in their percolated stepper ‘(O)Hambo’, or to darker degrees int he serpentine shimmy of ‘Dina Drömmar lever’, while ’TKO’ recalls Powell on mogadon, and ‘Grisebassen’ feels like ÉLG attempting to stoke a rave that doesn’t want to get going.
Remastered reissue of overproof and classic American R&B and Afro-jazz-funk LP from 1975, crammed with killer breaks and vibes for days. Includes previously unheard nuggets such as ‘Afrobeat’ discovered on the original master tapes
“Strut present a brand new edition of Oneness of Juju’s Afro-jazz classic ‘African Rhythms’, originally released on Black Fire in 1975 and first reissued on Strut in 2002.
For bandleader James “Plunky” Branch, ‘African Rhythms’ marked a significant return to his home town of Richmond, Virginia after a politically charged five years based on the East and West coasts. His personal journey had taken him from activism at Columbia University to San Francisco where Zulu musician Ndikho Xaba used theatre to “resurrect” Afro-Americans with a new African identity. The first incarnation of Plunky’s band, Juju, drew attention to the struggle in South Africa under apartheid, layering heavy Afro rhythms under uncompromising avant garde jazz.
Back in Richmond, Plunky tapped into the mid-Atlantic preference for Southern R&B and gospel: “Juju had always been blues-based and it was a natural progression to add R&B and dance rhythms. It didn’t change our message.”
Produced by Jimmy Gray of Black Fire Records, the new sessions included the title track (“We wanted a song to dance to with a message – ‘you are dancing to African rhythms’”), the positive message of ‘Don’t Give Up’ and political commentary on ‘Liberation Dues’.
Originally just a regional hit on the East coast and in Washington DC specifically, the album gradually spread, influencing the nascent DC go-go scene. The UK revived the album during the rare groove era of the late ‘80s and the title track has since become a soul-jazz favourite worldwide.
Remastered from the original sessions and featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes, this new repress also features Part 1 and Part 2 of the original 45 version of ‘African Rhythms’ and the previously unheard ‘Afrobeat’, recently unearthed from the original tapes.”
Sparky techno spunk from the computer of Plom, leaving his debut mark on tuuun’s uncompromising Fluf label
We can tell you precisely zilch about the artist, but we can describe ‘0017A’ as a mental ride veering from dry-humping techno to more brukken and scrambled patterns and convulsive prangs in its 10 minute duration - think Matthew Herbert meets Florian Hecker - whereas ‘0017AA’ is an obliquely arrhythmic and bitterly atonal freak out.
Frank Bretschneider leads the latest concept release from Raster-Noton: ‘Sichten’, a compilation of 18 pieces by 6 artists; namely Benjamin Brunn, Mads Emil Nielsen, MiniCof, Pierce Warnecke, Retina,It, Zavoloka
The results are shuffled up and sequenced across 2 plates to demonstrate their diverse binds and differences, running the gamut of Mads Emil Nielsen’s sound designs for theatre thru to benjamin Brunn’s nervy dance music and the sheer abstraction of Pierce Warnecke’s computer music.
“»sichten« refers both to »opinions« as well as the »examination of material«. in lose sequence, we will invite friends and colleagues, but especially music lovers to share their opinions on music with us or to look through their collected materials in order to present music that tends to be out of the focus of current media channels.
as a label for electronic music our focus is on examining exactly this genre. but in the context of the series, we are rather looking for more hidden, unknown, perhaps forgotten music. we want to present the yet undiscovered, and also offer a platform for other cultural environments with different musical approaches.
each issue will be supervised and compiled by a curator. an introductory text shall explain the artistic approach of the respective curator. in this sense, the format of a double lp can only provide a first insight and wants to invite to a more in-depth research.
for the first issue of the series, »sichten 1«, we asked frank bretschneider to compile his own, very personal selection of current electronic music. his choice fell on six artists, whose different styles meander between accessible music on the one hand and very abstract compositions on the other hand.”
Gerald Mitchell and Jeff Mills’ jazz-techno group with Kenji Hino and Yumiko Ohno, a.k.a. Spiral Deluxe, cut loose in debonaire ways, backed with a Terrence Parker mix
‘E=MC” unfurls 12 minutes of jazz-technohouse for a lounge in sector 7 of a gargantuan shuttle to Mars, while ‘Voodoo Magic’ shows off the quartet’s unfeasibly nimble mastery of drum machine and live instrumentation, with buff slap bass for measure. ‘The Paris Roulette’ is more low-key, p[riemd for suave run-cutting, and the satin deep house groove of ‘Let It Go’ featuring Tanya Michelle appears in plush original and edit forms, plus a coolly up-for-it house remix by Terrence Parker.