The groundbreaking 1971 debut album by Meredith Monk reisuued on vinyl.
"Composer, singer, director/choreographer, creator of new opera, musical theater works, films and installations, Meredith Monk is one of the most unique and influential artists of our time. Awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2015, Monk has blazed her own influential trail through music and movement over the past 50 years. Pitchfork noted in a recent review of her latest ECM release, ‘On Behalf of Nature’: “Meredith Monk’s influence as a singer and composer extends through Björk, Joanna Newsom and beyond.”
‘Key’ contains Monk’s earliest compositions for voice, composed and performed from 1967-1970. In her words: “In ‘Key’ I wanted to create a constantly shifting ambience. Each song dealt with a different vocal character, landscape, technical concern or emotional quality. I was trying for a visceral, kinetic song form that had the abstract qualities of a painting or a dance. I knew that I didn’t want to set music to a text; for me, the voice itself was a language which seemed to speak more eloquently than words. I chose certain phonemes for their particular sound qualities. In a sense, each song became a world in itself with its own timbre, texture and impulse.”
Killer compilation from Honest Jon's focussing on the dancehall vocal and dubs that the Unity Sounds label and sound system dropped to mad effect in the mid eighties. Recorded by a cast of talented amateurs on a Casio keyboard and four-track recorder before being tested on the Unity soundsystem...
The album was recorded by the Unity Sound label workers after the introduction of the early digital sound system, later supplemented by vocals and overdubs in the studio.
Genius throughout with spot-on mastering from Moritz von Oswald at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Informative liner notes, lush high quality sleeve makes this as essential a comp as 'Darker Than Blue'.
Legendary material, reissued with love.
Very necessary re-build of Experimental Products all-time synth-pop belter ‘Glowing In The Dark’ from EchoDroides on Traxx’s Kode, a sublabel of Nation
With the original pressing simply dead expensive, and the V-O-D reissue lacking in punch on big rigs, EchoDroide have helpfully stepped in to rebuild the synth-pop classic from scratch.
A-side is the all-new, shiny remake of the original - vocal and all! - delivering everything where it matters, while the B-side is a straight played instrumental, primed for the flounce.
Vital collection of vocal versions from three 12”s, plus three new and exclusive pieces, outlining the current, heavyweight Senegalese mbalax of Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force, who’re now five years into their unique streak of stripped down drum, vocal and guitar syncopation. The production on this one is just ridiculous...
Forming a totally logical next step in Mark Ernestus’ pursuit of outernational rhythm & dub sound dimensions, in Yermande he basically channels, edits and diffracts highly complex drum patterns by cracks hot Sabar drummers with floating, earthen vocals in six arrangements that bristle with a discipline and energy which has been deeply preserved and learnt thru the ages; in effect helping to knot the loop of influence between West African drum traditions, Caribbean synthesis and diffusion, and digitised Detroit futurism.
If you’ve kept up with the series so far, then you’ve probably worked out set moves to the remarkable, ricocheting depth charges of Walo Walo and tussling B-line and poised vox of Mbene Diatta Seck on wrestling anthem Lamb Ji, which are both included in their original mixes here along with the sprung tri-step hustle of Yermande (Kick and Bass Mix) whose bouncing dub chords perhaps betray Ernestus’ earliest work strongest.
But, whether you’re new to the project or not, the three new parts are previously unheard; convening a duskier respite in the beautifully breezy prowling space of Simb (which was paradoxically ‘the most difficult one to mix’ according to Mark Ernestus), before Jigeen (meaning ‘Woman’) unfurls the most limber, stepping’ and rollin’ groove that swinges into the filigree hi-hats and grubbing traditional guitar chops of Niguel, last spotted in its deadly Groove mix, now with the calligraphic vocal signature of Mbene Diatta Seck.
Beyond redundant dichotomies of world music as happy/dark or raw/polished, Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force are making music that matters from myriad emotive and physical aspects, relatable to your own rituals and feelings.
Rave-guaranteed belters from Roza Terenzi & DJ Zozi on the eagerly anticipated 1st 12” from Vancouver, CA’s Planet Euphorique
Launched the same week Canada legalised the weeeeed, Planet Euphorique plays up to the vibe in four parts of crystal cut, shine-eyed rave goodness produced by PE’s proprietor, D. Tiffany a.k.a. Xophie Xweetland a.k.a. DJ Zozi together with her pal, Roza Terenzi.
A-side warms up on a slow garage tip, like some melted Bigshot Records obscurity, before Half Moon Bay steps up the emotional and physical energy with lush pads and mercurial freestyle electro inflections also carrying that ’89 into 2019 swagger.
B-side, the 12” really comes into its own with the triple deep Detroit and early UK AI styles of Strobe Fountain and the feminine jungle pressure of G Step.
Lip-smackingly good stuff. Don’t sleep!
Back in 2010 we said....
Ask us about Shangaan Electro a week ago and we'd ask you to speak slower. Ask us this week and we'll rave about one of the most astounding records we've heard this year.
The erstwhile and intrepid ears of Honest Jon's Mark Ainley and Hardwax/Basic Channel legend Mark Ernestus have been following this niche style from Soweto, SA, for a hot minute, long enough anyway to pick out twelve extraordinary examples of 180bpm, marimba-laden, afro-dance diamonds hewn from rickety drum machines and keyboards shaped into dazzling fillips of pure dance energy. We almost couldn't believe our ears on first listen, or the tenth. It was perhaps only when we witnessed the accompanying videos on youtube that it started to settle into place, watching liquid hipped Shangaan dancers scuttle and stomp like folk possessed by something untold but completely comprehendible.
It's not a large punt to draw distinctions between this and Chicago footwurk or Caribbean Soca styles, from the high tempo velocity to use of basic equipment all deployed with the intention of eliciting faster and more furious dance moves from the participants. Essentially this is a continuation of traditional styles, only plugged in at the studio of Nozinja Music Productions to become utterly electrified and electrifying. But these aren't simply instrumental rhythms, they're also songs with passionate, soul wrenching vocals and head-rushingly sweet synth melodies. Four exemplary contributions from the scene's lynchpin Zinja Hlungwani are worth the entry price alone; from the gripping hypertension of 'Ntombi Ya Mugaza' to the warbling duet of synthesized and human soul in 'Nwa Gezani My Love', or the alien harmonics of 'Nwa Gezani', you're paying to experience a mesmerizing sound that you simply can't hear anywhere outside of Limpopo or low-res youtube clips.
Nozinja is responsible for the breakneck speed of Shangaan Electro, responding to public demand for faster rhythms since opening his studio in 2005, even creating "boy bands" like the boiler-suited and clown mask-wearing Tshetsha Boys and producing for the rest of the artists included here. To be fair, this music is still a totally niche prospect, but initial reactions from friends we would never expect to like it have been as immediate as the music itself and there's no denying this will be one of the years most lauded albums among adventurous listeners.
This is genuinely some of the most exciting music you'll hear this year, and alongside the Footwork/Juke craze currently taking hold, you'll have heard little like it before.
Unsung West Coast maverick Carl Stone is subject of a necessary 2nd retrospective on Unseen Worlds following their Laurie Spiegel/Don Christensen and Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom releases.
As revelatory as the first volume Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties, the temporal shift into the ’80s/‘90s in this 2nd collection opens four hallucinatory new planes of ambient enquiry yielding some of the most interesting electronic music we’ve never heard before.
Progressing farther along Stone’s timeline we find him refining the flow of his practice in four prime examples of his work within the parameters of real-time electronic music performance and process. With computerised sleight of hand, all four works reveal a magick of metamorphosis, demonstrating how fixed elements can become im/perceptibly changed over time.
In Bantreay Srey we hear a lone vocal slowed down into evaporating helixes of floating tones, while the percolated glassy chain of Sonali appears to predate the playful brilliance of his glitching pop cut-ups in its keening, frothy drive leading to a secreted Mozart chorus.
Woo Lae Oak follows with a sublime play on tension between levitating flute lines and a backdrop of strobing, hyper electronics keeping us rapt for its 23 minute lifespan, before another extended number Mae Yao aligns the senses in a sort of digitally windswept segue from hyperventilating female vocals to shimmering shoegaze radiance hinting at gamelan music, but never quite resolving at either.
To be honest, we’re still nowhere near getting our heads around Carl Stone’s body of work, but this and the last volume are a great place to start probing, and likewise his Al-Noor CD if his more popwise aspects take your fancy.
DJ Sotofett plays out a pack of deepest house aces on his debut album, accompanied by Gilb'r and Phillip Lauer, plus some jazzy Finns and an angleic voice from The Ivory Coast.
As you might expect, there's no fuss and no fight to 'Drippin' For A Trip (Tripp-a-Dubb-mix)'; it's a laidback, party-friendly showcase of Sotofett's seductive charms and easy way with a collaboration, whether keeping the sun up with the tribalised drums and colourful bird calls of his 'Drippin' For '97' side with Gilb'r (a.k.a. Chateau Flight), getting his deepest New York smush on with the weightless beauty of the 'Space Dub' and Nimbus Mix' with Phillip Lauer (a.k.a. Tuff City Kids), or linking with Jaakko Eino Kalevi for the New Age-meets-Afrobeat sweetnuss of the 'Ibiza Dub' and 'Main Bar Mix' side.
Shocking 909 driven dancehall banger from Dug Out, the label run by Honest Jons and Hard Wax
Ruffest shot of 1988 ragga-techno from Tiger at his maddest. Nuthin' but a rattling 909 riddim topped by incendiary, unhinged vocal and that's all you need! Seriously, we've never heard anything quite like it, the groove sounds like some one-off bleep techno experiment from Sheffield gone AWOL and discovered by a manic Jamaican.
In addition to being one of America's most persistently interesting avant-garde percussionists, Jon Mueller has in recent years carved a niche for himself among more mainstream company, working with Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, and perhaps most notably of all, Volcano Choir, the acclaimed Bon Iver-related side-project that features Justin Vernon.
One way or another, Type seems to have made a habit of capturing established experimental artists at a career-defining moment or a point of creative breakthrough (something that could be argued for the label's releases of Grouper, Yellow Swans and Clams Casino albums) and once again, they seem to have snapped up Mueller just as he's poised on the cusp of taking his music to a new peak.
Having released Metals and Physical Changes for the Table Of The Elements label, The Whole finds Mueller looking outward; delving into the culture of quilt making and the Shaker crafts in his pursuit of forming his work around a fresh sense of earthy simplicity. Mueller's palette is comprised of a relatively sparse set-up: a snare, low toms, hammered dulcimer and voice, yet with these constituent parts he forms a unique vision that's equally enriched by folk traditions as it is the contemporary experimental music scene.
'Hearts' is an epic of intricate, clockwork drumming that combines with tranced-out vocal mantras and interjections of harmonised dulcimer to great effect, culminating in a thrilling final sequence that finds Mueller putting his own uniquely skewed slant on the double-time kick sounds of thrash metal. 'Hands' is another captivatingly complex and powerful drumming exercise, punctuated by deep cymbal splashes and some beautiful tom work through which you can really hear the full, booming curve of the drum's vibration.
The album is bookended by 'Remembered As' and 'Remembered' two pieces that place emphasis on the melodic potential of percussion, coaxing haunting passages from the dulcimer that really spring into life - particularly during the latter piece which embraces gong-like chimes and swelling metallic resonances.
Overdue but well on-point, Kassem Mosse’s 2nd solo album proper - his debut with Honest Jon’s - is a time-and-space bending set of ancient yet modern-sounding techno deviations that makes the rest of his field seem like frustrated, gridlocked passengers.
Blending the drum machine of Jeff Mills with the hi-tech jazz chops of Mad Mike and a wondrous feel for plasmic radiophonics and dustily organic textures, Disclosure is patently KM’s definitive artistic statement, largely steering shy of any easy anthems in favour of pursuing a mystic, abstract muse deep into the wires.
No doubt at all it will piss off the bro’s fishing for big tuna, but for anyone else who can dance outside of the lines there’s stacks of crafty time-signatures, alien electronics and loose-limbed patterns to get with, from the bitter dissonance of Stepping on Salt to the frayed bustle of Drift Model and the sun-melted techno of Galaxy Series 7, whilst Monomer trades in Tevo Howard-style Chicago class and it’s hard to deny the Memphis-style percolations of Aluminosilicate Mirrors or the Molecular Memories’ Africans With Mainframes-esque projections.
Brooding mix of post-rock and electro-pop by Ricardo Donoso + childhood friend Thiago Kochenborgor, betraying mutual influence from Depeche Mode to NIN in eight parts
“"The sailor cannot see the north, but knows the needle can".
‘Human Resources’ marks the first official album by two friends playing together since the age of twelve, separated by oceans and time, attempting to reconnect with the same collaborative, exploratory and enthusiastic spirit that they felt fifteen years prior.
Under the alias RDTK, the roots of the collaboration were planted fifteen years ago in a small one-bedroom apartment in Rio de Janeiro as an outlet for two seventeen year olds to learn and abuse the intricacies of electronic production, composition and home recording. Its initial roots remain intact: combining a hybrid of traditional rock instrumentation and arrangements with electronic programming, sound design and an intricate and sophisticated production style.
Ricardo's musical vocabulary draws as much from contemporary composition, drone, to techno and noise. Songs like album opener ‘Affective Forecasting’ contain a mind blowing intensity which is often felt throughout ‘Human Resources’. Cinematic textures and progressive rhythms are the very essence of the record as we are invited in to the immersive sound world of RDTK.
‘There Is Still Time’ conjures up images of barren landscapes and dreamlike imagery, with a spine chilling tension that is a far-cry from the sounds of Samba and Bossa Nova, while the piercing strength of ‘Surface and Together’ set against a back-drop of melancholy keys and krautrock electro beats offers a depth and urgency that is strikingly emotive.”
Two of Constellation's acclaimed solo instrumental artists join forces on this tremendous album of original compositions for horn and violin.
"Stetson and Neufeld first began playing in duo formation while on tour together as soloists in 2012, joining each other on stage for one or two of their respective pieces. Duo compositions for their debut album emerged throughout 2014, and were road-tested that spring with performances at the Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (Canada) and Moers Festival (Germany). The album was recorded without overdubbing, looping, sampling, cutting or pasting at their farmhouse attic studio in rural Vermont by Hans Bernhard and mixed in Montreal by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire).
Never were the way she was is guided by the metaphorical narrative of the life of a girl who ages slow as mountains; excited, exalted, and ultimately exiled in her search for a world that resembles her experience. The album's expansive sonic trajectory and multiplicity of structures and voicings belies the fundamental economy of two acoustic instruments combining in real time. The result is a musical chronicle that powerfully establishes its own spatial and temporal horizon, a soundtrack that requires no images but profoundly compels the imaginative. From the filigreed ostinato polyrhythms of “The sun roars into view” and “In the vespers” to the stately long tones of “And they still move”, the dark drone-inflected sea-saw waltz of “With the dark hug of time” to the growling, pulsing thrust of the album’s epic centerpiece “The rest of us”, Stetson and Neufeld offer up an incredible (and impressively diverse) integration of composition, performance, timbre and texture while holding their respective instruments in sparkling juxtaposition.
Never were the way she was is a sum quite definitively and thrillingly greater than its parts."
Lårry debuts with a slick brace of sci-fi electro on Uncertainty Principle, following their ace first release by FFT in 2017
Reportedly the first in a series of 12”s from Lårry, ‘sys_001’ starts out furtive with shortwave transmissions infiltrating the icy bleep matrix of ‘Systems_Hyperthread’, before sicking the turgid robo-beast of ‘Systems_Obfuscate’, while ’Systems_Online’ shows off his sound designer skills in vast negative space, and he goes Monolake style with the pinsharp percussion and subbass surges of ’Systems_Encoder’.
DJ Apres Ski returns from jollies on the slopes with four low slung electro tunes as Melly for Dublin’s Major Problems
Uptown, he arrives with the fluttering arps and airborne glitter of ’Shrubbery’ for the weightless movers, then leans in heavier with pendulous syncopation in the electro groove and delayed dub chords of ‘Health Is Wealth’.
Downtown he tucks it in-the-pocket on ‘The Beds’ for a natty, angular sort of electro-dub strapped with iridescent arps, and the tight latinate shuffle of ‘Mineral Water’ sees to the runout and a very canny locked groove for the DJ hypnotists.
Smiling C gone done it again with this super sweet Euro-house peach from Karya, outta Czechoslovakia, 1991
A true cult collectors number, the original 7” is highly sought-after on the 2nd hand market, making this brand new, remastered 12” cut hugely desirable to people with ears and turntables.
Up top, the original ‘Muž Ze Skla’ works a slow and sexy sort of Euro-house with swanging groove, angelic synth chorales and breathy vocals inflected with a patina of classic early ‘90s spirituality.
On the B-side’s remix they drop the breathy vocal, letting the synths do all the work with mesmerising effect.
Rezzett own that fuzzy mid-fi electronic sound on a cracking eponymous début album, landing nearly 5 years on from their self-titled EP, also issued on Will Bankhead’s TTT label.
In possession of a sound that feels like exotic birds nesting a vintage studio inside your ear, Rezzett, along with the likes of Jamal Moss, Actress, Terekke and Huerco S., have been responsible for redressing the fidelity of dance music with fairly radical yet subtle incision and insight over the best part of this decade.
Thru various process of attrition, they've made a virtue of purposefully muddy and unclear resolution, embracing and fetishising the infidelities of analog hardware noise for a sort of shabby chic appeal that lends itself to closer attention in headphones as well as a sort of psychedelic friction on the ‘floor.
It’s perhaps fair to say that Rezzett have really come to define that sound at its murkiest, most romantic, and diverse, pulling from house, jungle, garage and ambient noise paradigms to forge something viscerally affective and memorably their own, as experienced between the mottled VHS memory-bank shakes of Hala, in the squirming, sore but lush Sexzzy Creep, and the salty angels tears of Yunus in Ekstasi, with the rusty grime and jungle shanks of Gremlinz and Worst Ever Contender lending a cranky, rinsed out finale.
Droopy techno abstraction from Yard, making the maiden voyage on the meandyou.-affiliated Youth label.
In four parts the Portland-based producer coaxes out a greyscale spectrum of machine mumbles and squirmy 303 graffiti; testing your patience with the wobbly nothings of Void, then descending into the claggy dub-house and silty acid piece, White Fog, before giving you something to dance with in the effluent flow of Canopy, and finally ripping out a stripe of caustic 303 modulations in Marshall Acid.
The third volume of electronics-savvy saxophonist Colin Stetson's New History Warfare album series, and if you ask us, the most pungent and poignant of the lot - thanks in no small part to the dab hand of Ben Frost, who recorded its 11 tracks in single takes and has done a splendid job of capturing the molten intensity of a Stetson live performance.
Pre-release chatter has focussed on the presence of Justin Vernon, who handles lead vocals on four of the tracks: particularly noteworthy are the pulsating, cyclical opener ‘And In Truth’, which sounds like Philip Glass's 'Floe' sung by the Beach Boys, and a cover of Washington Phillip’s gospel song ‘What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?’, in which the Bon Iver mainman comes over like a spiritually wracked Randy Newman (i.e. you have to be in the right mood, to say the least). Vocals appear elsewhere throughout the record, but as more of a spectral, gaseous presence supplying texture above all else; but of course it’s Stetson’s extraordinary sax-playing that’s the star of the show, providing as it does rhythm, tonal colour and flights of aching, jazzy lyricism, often in the space of a single piece. It’s impossible to separate the instrument from the musician: Stetson’s sax feels like an extension of his soul,if you'll forgive the cliche, possessed of a fluency and fire that demands your full attention.
We’re particularly blown away by the aptly named ‘Brute’, a grinding, propulsive industrial blues that conveys more violence and viscerality than a hundred blown-out noise sides, but are getting just as much succour from the gothic melodrama of ‘To See More Light' and the more plaintive chamber-style pieces like ‘Among The Sef’, which summons 70s John Surman and even the Michael Nyman Band - though the tremulous calm of the harmonies contrasts with the sound of Stetson’s fingers furiously gunning the keys. It’s incidental details like this, not just Stetson’s profound virtuosity, that make this record such a worthy proposition.
Dry your eyes, mate; if you missed out on the aRSeD vinyl edition, Metalheadz have you covered with this digital delivery of Goldie’s Inner City 2017 and its hauntological redress from Burial.
The 2017 rebuild from Goldie and Ulterior Motive is a nice idea but unnecessary if you’ve got the original already, but at the very least it pays respect to Diane Charlemagne’s soaring vocal - which surely remains a definitive, enduring highlight of ‘90s UK pop culture, up there with Shara Nelson on Unfinished Sympathy.
However, the Burial version is a massive bonus. Pretty much evacuating all original elements bar the vocal, which itself is pitched and processed to get right on the nerves of the Dilberts anyway, the prodigious one perfectly captures that ‘90s music video aesthetic of running-thru-tunnels and dark warehouses quite literally with a rush of running man breaks and sharp-cornered scene cuts held with a near-breathless tension, kinda like those few minutes before the garys kick in and you’re about to be sick/fly around the club, which basically kicks in with the final minute’s head-spinning pivot on the cusp of happy/dark ‘ardcore.
“But you can’t play it in a club?!” oh fuck off and do your hot-nobbing clown step where we can’t see you.
A hauntingly spirited minimal/progressive/new age classic from 1978 with liner notes by the author and Kieran Hebden.
"Lino Capra Vaccina's immense 'Antico Adagio' was originally intended to be a double album, but was eventually scaled back to a single disc, self-released by the author in 1978; and thanks to the breadth and scope of Die Schachtel's excavations, the second unreleased album from the 1978 session is now available.
"Before an aberrant idea of progress and workaholic ethic ludicrously sped up our daily lives, even in the hectic city of Milan it was possible to "play slowly" – with no pressure, simply following the path your art was showing you. After a classic artistic journey and an experimental stint with Aktuala and other brilliant fellow musicians (like Franco Battiato, above all), Lino Capra Vaccina, near the end of the 70s, recorded Antico Adagio. It was an amazing album, anticipating countless future experiments in the field of new age and world music but also in avantgarde and electronic music.
Apart from a few violin parts and the extraordinary vocal lines (sung by Vaccina himself and Juri Camisasca), Antico Adagio is an album fully built on percussions. But, at the same time, it's the farthest thing from the typical idea of percussions. You won't find a single trace of African or primitive beats: instead, this is a collection of rather long, subtle and thoughtful compositions, crafted with vibraphones, marimbas and gong. Together they create a work which will remain unique – both in Capra Vaccina's discography as well as in a more general sense."
A new label from the Sofrito family; classy new wave rumba hybrid from mid ‘80s Paris, compatible with early ‘80s Detroit styles. A very promising start for the Ambiance label
“4 tracks spanning rumba, disco, new wave and reggae experiments from Congolese singer Albert Siassia and his group Tokobina, including two previously unreleased tracks taken from original demo tapes.
Originally from Pointe Noire in Congo, Albert Siassia came to Paris in the early 80s as part of the Ballet Nationale du Congo and joined forces with a young French reggae group called Dread Lion – a band he re-christened “Tokobina” (Lingala for “let’s dance”). Keen to broaden their audience the group played a mixture of reggae, rumba, disco and new wave styles, often using drum machines and synths.
They released one 12” EP, further altering the spelling of the name – “Tokobina” was phonetically anglicised to “Talk-Hoby-Night” in an unsuccessful effort to increase international sales. The record failed to make much of an impact and soon after Albert Siassia moved back to Pointe Noire to become an evangelical preacher. He passed away in 1999.
Dancefloor sureshots Mama Africa and Pointe Noire are taken from the group’s only 12” release. In the world and Sangui are taken from demo cassettes from the archive of drummer Franck Benhamou. Sangui was originally scheduled for release on a 7” but the release was withdrawn due to a pressing fault.”
Holy mother of noise, what the devil have we here? Superior Viaduct cough up the 1st ever vinyl reissue of Basil Kirchin’s mind-blowing experimental masterpiece Worlds Within Worlds, which has bafflingly somehow escaped wider attention until now. While Trunk Records have done a fantastic job of returning Kirchin’s work to critical acclaim since their issue of Quantum in 2003, this very necessary reissue inarguably and surely reasserts the British jazz drummer and composer-cum-studio experimentalist among electronic music’s greatest pioneers. Trust, this is a record you’ve been looking for forever, but just didn’t know it existed!
Conceived as the follow-up to Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds parts 1 & 2, which were discernibly scored for a jazz sextet (including Evan Parker) and various bird, animal, and amplified insect sounds, and released on LP by Columbia in 1971, Kirchin’s 1974 follow-up of the same name contains parts 3 & 4 and finds him combining similar instrumentation with the sounds of a Gorilla, Hornbills, and Flamingoes in a heavily abstract, tape-processed style that’s just completely messing us up right now.
If any LP deserves the mantle “lost classic”, it’s this one. From the first seconds of distended, hellish moans and flanging analog artefacts in Emergence (Part 3) you know this is going to be a serious trip and it never once sells the listener short. For the next 20 minutes he unspools a fantasy tableaux of warped, grainy harmonics and warbling sonic oddity, smudging samples of autistic children in a Swiss community with the sounds of the docks in Hull, where he lived, to forge a practically unprecedented alternate dimension of atonal, arrhythmic immersion that genuinely feel like a transmission from the other side, much in the best way of music from Aphex Twin thru to Broadcast or NWW.
On the B-side Evolution (Part 4) follows suit into the void without the handrails of convention, effectively landing somewhere between the combustible, metallurgic experiments of Gottfried Michael König, Annea Lockwood’s Tiger Balm, and the vast, cosmic spectral music of Iancu Dumitrescu in terms of space and texture, with 18 minutes of dense, layered concrète chicanery that pulls the ear’s eye almost out of its socket in a seamless, keening traversal of metastable, decelerated sonics from Gorilla growls to submerged clangour and astral flange that uncannily parallels COUM Transmissions from the same era and city, although we’re pretty sure there was no crossover between the two.
Suffice it to say, this record is one of the best things to ever come out of Yorkshire or the British electronic music underbelly. Just fucking incredible, psychedelic music. Highly recommended!
Broken English Club flashes his industrial gnashers on the 1st part of a new LP trilogy for L.I.E.S.
Otherwise known as Oliver Ho, Broken English Club has become the bloodied ground for his most unrepentant, grotesque and personalised productions, a place where the bones of EBM/acid/techno rest in pieces beside the desiccated batteries of power electronics and the ghosts of late ‘70s/early ‘80s post-industrial styles.
Leading on from last year’s ‘The English Beach’ LP, Ho focuses his energies into 9 bitter cuts in ‘White Rats’, ranging from the coruscating noise guitar wizardry of the title cut and the clenched industrial strength force of ’Funny Games’ on the front, to thoughts about modern day Brexit Britain in ‘Animal Town’ - “barking nazi’s in plastic tracksuits” - along with the skudgy acid EBM burn of ‘Let’s Play’ and blown-out power electronics of ’Stab Boy’ on the other side.
RIYL Throbbing Gristle, Parrish Smith, Sandra Electronics...
Reissue of Charly Kingson’s hot disco platter, produced by Klaus Weiss in Germany, 1982, and shifting for triple figures on the 2nd hand market...
A-side is the horny Afrobeat funk fuss of ‘Born In Africa’ with its slithering bassline and call ’n response vocals, while B-side is juicy ace named ‘Nimele Bolo’, working a squirmign synth bass with chicken scratch guitar and horns for pure late night heat.
Ace 3rd group outing from John Howes’ Cong Burn clan, including deeper gems by Lack and Duckett...
Tending to intimate/introspective hours of the club and afters, Leeds-based Lack impresses with the grubbing undulation and dark blue pads of ‘Unttiled’ - imagine E.R.P. meets Batu - and Duckett also gets it right with the frayed groove and hyaline lead of ‘Lost In Israel’ recalling Actress and Morphosis gear.
Chekov plays it dead subtle and breezy with the dusty shuffle of ‘Spring’, and Haddon pushes the edges into out limits dub abstraction in ‘Anabiosis’.
The Bug finally steps it up proper with his first full length player since his 'Pressure' set laid down the industro-dub gauntlet with a fair clanging smack some 5 years back.
In that time we've seen The Bug become a linchpin of the South London Bass scene with unruly rave smashers released on Hyperdub, Soul Jazz etc directing us to the future sound of bashment and proper heavy bass musics. 'London Zoo' corrals a guest vocalist lineup featuring some of the finest ragga soundsystem toasters London and JA has to offer, with everyone from longtime collaborator Warrior Queen, to the legendary Tippa Irie and Spaceape, helping Martin to define his abstract heavyweight riddims in fine style.
The big 'n bashy wreckers from the 12"s are all here from 'Poison Dart', 'Jah War' and the punishing 'Skeng' but the set doesn't rely on these tried and tested cuts for support, ramming in a ruck of fresh material from the robo-ragga of 'Fuck*z' to the shockout drum styles on 'warning' or the apocalyptic finisher 'Judgement' with Rinky Ranking truly saving the best til last.
The production levels really couldn't be any higher and needless to say the bass is unbelievably heavy, thoroughly primed for home hifi and dancehall soundsystem testing. Proper heavy!!!
Andy Lyster’s Youth label wrest four stripes of punky blooze from Shamos, who steers away from the rugged house knocks of his Apron 12”s to nervier, faded headpieces in YO2TH.
Acquainted thru London’s NTS studio, Lyster and Shamos have conspired to reveal alternate aspects of the latter’s aesthetic, sidewinding from what sounds like one of Delroy Edwards’ Teenage Tapes cuts in the grungy wave stepper Found Grace to Lukid-esque alien tribalism in 13213132, then with a gristly, blank-eyed slug of EBM in TMF, and desiccated Detroit boogie in Nuws.
Lush, reticulated reggaeton, deep house and breakbeat fusions from man o’ many monikers, Brian Piñeyro (Deejay Xanax, DJ Wey, Luis) as DJ Python, following the sterling example of his ¡Estéreo Bomba! Vol. 1 for Antony Naples’ Proibito with an immersive expansion of that sound in Dulce Compañia.
Taking reggaeton along new, instrumental routes intersecting NYC’s rave history, DJ Python has pretty much cooked up his own style of deep reggaeton, a title which should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, but serves well to identify his angle amidst an upswell of LatinX producers who are spinning dembow beats and tropes into all kinds of new spaces - from DJ/Rupture and co, to Florentino and Kelman Duran, for example.
Almost as close to the sound of Ben Cenac’s Dream II Science, new age experiments from Laraaji, or even Andy Stott as any of the above, Dulce Compaña finds Python alloying reggaeton’s nagging, signature bump with chiming electronic meditations in Las Palmas, and with squashed jungle breaks in the style of his Deejay Xanax alias on Cuál, both setting the innovative, deviant agenda for the rest of the set, recoiling from eyes-shut ambient rave infusions on Todo Era Azul (Version Afuera) and its cosmic Siempre Dub, to something like B12 on holiday in Caracas with q.e.p.d, but also making room for more rugged swerve in Acostados and the acidic tang of Yo Ran(Do).
But if any one track is going to melt your pants off, it’s the plasmic, aerial ambient shuffle of Esteban, which provides the sweetest window on Piñeyro’s unique Python sound, and everyone will know what to do next.
The impeccable 12th Isle return with 'Palta Og Ti På Den Tolvte Ø’, a balmy suite of downtempo bliss-outs gently coaxed along by burbling rhythms by Palta & Ti...
“Seemingly drawing from a slightly different well of influence from that seen across their prolific back catalogue, the Aarhus duo – going by the less common shroud of Palta & Ti – have hereby woven together a stylistically varied yet tonally concentric 3 track EP. Having produced a wealth of some of the most lovingly referential and consistent music of recent times, the tracks making up “Palta og Ti på den Tolvte Ø” are slightly harder to pin down to exact genre markers. Each song is busy yet never overcrowded with elements; building concise and playful grooves which if forced we would say positions them somewhere in the ambient space between jazzy-improv-house and dubby, hypnotic electronics. That’s as absolute in adjectives as we would ever care to be...
Expertly crafted both technically and musically, we are more than excited to be able to present this to you as our fifth instalment.”
Autechre's classic third album from 1995, reissued for the first time in 15 years...
Completing the triumvirate of early Autechre essentials, Tri Repetae was the duo’s cranky contribution to mid ‘90s electronic music, and, like its predecessors - Incunabula and Amber - a record that completely defines certain aspects of that era for many electronica nerds, us included.
It’s possibly best known for including the peerless electro-trance swerve of Eutow - which could literally kill someone prone to AMSR in the right situations (not a bad way to gan) - whilst the rest of the LP cements some of Autechre’s sharpest, neck-snapping hip hop beats.
If you’ve only heard this album via download or streaming, or are only aware of their later gear, you’re in for total treat.
London’s dankest relay palpably paranoid pressures from the capital on The Bug's newly minted Pressure label, hopefully the start of an ongoing collaboration between the pair.
Spying those hours of the dance when the smoke machines are puffing but there’s nobody there yet, Fog finds them melding charred bass hustle with billowing greyscale atmospheres in a time-honoured style shared by both artists.
On the flip, Shrine distills their meditative intensity to more suspenseful degrees with exceedingly brittle drums bearing the huge, brooding weight of a slowed down dread bass and glowering pads = minimal fuss for deadly, concentrated impact.
Age Of is OPN’s eighth studio album and the latest chapter of a definitive American hauntological saga for this transitory, phase-shifting decade. It features Anohni, James Blake, Prurient, Kelsey Lu, Eli Keszler and others in various capacities...
Strewn across the prog-R&B vape chamber fantasias in Age Of, vocals often take precedence in a mix of auto-tuned Future-style soul, sadboy elegies, black metal croaks and warped stadium pop choruses, all in duet with 0PN’s signature synthetic chorales. The nature of film editing and writing music to imagery - as with last year’s Good Time OST - also seems to exert an increasing hold over his music, as the variation from scene-to-scene and range of voices in Age Of feels like an ensemble cast rallying around a patently visionary composer/director/artist.
In key with his (not hard to pronounce) moniker - it’s One Oh Trix Point Never, a play on the radio station Magic 106.7 - Lopatin’s music feels ever more like dialling into a chimeric, algorithmic radio station where anachronistic MOR and adult contemporary modulates with modern R&B, trap soul and Afrobeats in a very contemporary sort of hyperjazz-fusion that absorbs and transmutes emotional signals from electromagnetic ether - perhaps imagining Paddy McAloon alchemising with Future, James Ferraro mutually dreaming with Laurie Anderson, or Thomas Dolby jamming the airwaves with The Game.
After now spending some quality time with the album, we can safely hail it as one of 0PN’s smartest. Its lead single Black Snow, remains a total standout, and Prurient’s appearances, whether erupting from the choral froth of Warning, harmonising with Lopatin’s auto-tune on the David Gray-puckered Babylon, or the pop epic Same are all peak points. But we can’t ignore the excoriating excellence of We’ll Take It, which uncannily sounds a bit like Croww’s Slipknot deconstructions, and Last Known Image of a Song beautifully sounds like 4Hero gone ambient.
Concision and variation are key here. There really aren’t a lot of records that manage to collide pop and avant-garde worlds quite like this one.
Holuzam is a new label from Prícncipe Discos co-founders José Moura and Márcio Matos. The second release on the label is a sublime disco missive from Macau, China, recorded between 1989 and 1993, bubbling up from a blindspot to offer a stunning package of sounds lesser, or even never, heard beyond private archives or Portugal’s borders...
Dwart has been the vessel for journalist and musician António Duarte and his sometime musical partner, Manuela Duarte, since 1985. They played gigs at home in Portugal with Telectu in support, before moving to Macau - then a Portuguese territory in China - in search of new sources of inspiration. They would find it everywhere from Macau’s karaoke bars to the discos of Ghangzhou, over the border in the hot, humid megatropolis of South East China. The three tracks on ‘Taipei Disco’ are their best recordings made during this era, rendering a mouth-watering bounty of exotic late ‘80s dance music heavily inspired by Canton pop, and patently compatible with everything from kosmische disco and proto-Goa trance to the current swell of suave, retro-futurist styles from Pye Corner Audio and Legowelt to L.I.E.S.’ KWC releases.
The original ‘Taipei Disco’ is a 12 minute disco dream named after the only Guangzhou club which would play Anglo-Saxon pop and rock alongside the Canton pop standards.The club’s DJ would end up playing Dwart’s tune, and eventually invited him to play live keys over its backing track at the club. In 1993 Dwart recorded the exquisite ‘Taipei Disco (Live)’ track at the China Pop venue in Macau, replete with solos and extra strings, to a frontline of can-can dancers on the ‘floor.
Completing the story and this superb record is ‘Red Mambo (Impromptu)’, a balmier jam with members of legendary Cape Verdean group Os Tubarões, recorded in a packed studio on the 19th storey of a Macau tower block overlooking the water. A perfect ending to an exotic, coolly entrancing record spritzed with character and charm.
Zora Jones & Sinjin Hawke make their first significant foray outside Fractal Fantasy with the glass-cut brilliance of ‘Vicious Circles’ for Planet Mu
After building a serious rep over the last few years with guest-crammed compilations, killer remixes and acclaimed solo opuses, Hawke & Jones mount a concerted attack on boring dance music and head-in-sand-types with seven tracks of agile accelerations bending dancehall, Jersey, footwork, grime and vaporous sonics to their will.
Vicious Circles is perhaps the most varied yet concise showcase of their sound to date, demonstrating stellar sound design chops in the TCF-like escalation of the titular opener, which tilts over into the rest of the set, from the Manga-referencing mix of folk song and bolshy, Equiknoxx-meets-Timbaland styles of God, to fast fwd dancefloro mutations in Lurk 101, and hauntingly sheer dynamics on BabyboySosa, and a lump-in-throat finale sure to polish off the rave in And You Were The One.
High impact, trancing EBM techno from French act I Hate Models, backed with a deeper pounding by DJ Varsovie
The A-side’s arcing drama, ‘It Will Last Forever’ emerges from lush intro to deliver a severe 4/4 beating with a twist of sexy Gallic masochism. ‘Walpurgis Night’ weaves an etheric vocal from Zoé Zanias into a driving sort of cybergoth trance sound, and DJ Varsovie seals the vibe with a more streamlined remix of the latter.
Elephant Micah offer an alternative definition of ‘Americana’, which ultimately sounds the same, but with some detours into noodly electronics on their homemade “mutant” synth, alongside the usual laments and hoary guitars...
““What?” Indeed, “what” is the mantra of our moment. And Genericana aspires to be that moment’s soundtrack.
“WHAT is happening to our culture?” Americans ask themselves, in the era that sees entertainment, politics, and community life consolidated in a digital communications ecosystem. Responding, Elephant Micah has tuned its music to an appropriately disorienting pitch. For songwriter and recordist Joe O’Connell, that means remixing his own cultural experience, and questioning how “where we live” affects “what we sound like”:
“To me, ‘country’ music could mean any of the music we listened to growing up. When my sister and I were teenagers, in the 1990s, we put a lot of effort into trying to access alternative music. You had to steal Rolling Stone issues from the public library to find out about artists. Or stay up late when you could get in some different radio stations than you could during the day. I think of that whole experience as a ‘country’ music experience.”
In the place of “Americana,” the band offers Genericana. Evoking genealogy, genre, generic brands (and perhaps a bottled genie), the album title points the way to a different theory of what binds our culture together.
“I think Genericana just means ‘the stuff from which stuff generates,’” O’Connell explains. “It's a short hand way of shouting out to the stock elements that I'm mashing up in this music. I wanted this project to be sort of like a lucky mutation, that could lead to a heartier version of Elephant Micah for the digital world.”
Mining the aesthetics of the average compact disc collection, Elephant Micah makes room on Genericana to play with sounds for their own sake. O’Connell and company follow in the footsteps of songwriter-producers like Arthur Russell and John Martyn—artists whose descent into effects made their voices all the more poignant and personal. Frequently, Genericana also pays tribute to laid back club sounds, from dub to ambient techno--and to the resourcefulness of the producers who invented these genres.
“To make this record, we assembled a bunch of gear that was devalued or discarded,” O’Connell explains. “A cheap FM synth, some Hindustani electronics, and an old three-head tape deck to use as a ‘poor man’s Space echo.’”
At the top of this heap of equipment was something new. And in fact, there had never been anything quite like it before. Working from a series of manic band meetings and napkin drawings, percussionist and keyboardist Matt O’Connell brought to fruition a one-of-a-kind digital synthesizer. Its inspiration comes from the possibility of alternative playing interfaces—ways of interacting with digital instruments that aren’t based on techniques for existing instruments. Matt and Joe named this synth The Mutant, a title that’s right in key with the themes of Genericana.”
Filth-smith Helena Hauff fires up a raw-to-the-bone barrage of bleached drum machines and needle-fanged arps on ‘Qualm’ - the Hamburg assassin’s 2nd album for Ninja Tune.
Arriving at a point where Helena is a hugely sought-after DJ - a time when other artists have often played up to a more commercial style - she pulls no punches with a severely thistly album of extreme pH levels placing her love of Bunker bombs and noisy industrial dance music front and centre, in a way perhaps designed to keep the dilettantes at arm’s length, while offering a sweaty embrace to all madder ravers, cyberpunks and misfits.
Under the title Qualm - one of those words you can chew like gristle - Helena deftly and brutally gets what she needs from her machines, slaving a battered analogue array to the front of the rave and rarely sparing the whip for any of them. However, when more romantic or melancholy emotions come thru, they’re direct and never self indulgent, lending a fine contrast to the album’s harshest aspects.
In transitional flux of alkali and acidic extremes, Helena charts a heavy trip between the salty ghetto lash of Barrow Boot Boys and the bittersweet synth-pop of It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was A Kid which both bookend the set. In the frazzled space between, she laces up some absolute welters with raging acid of Lifestyle Guru, the screwface charge of Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg, and the switch from ‘floor-swilling 303s to night-vision pads in The Smell Of Suds and Steel, while her electro instincts bubble up in warped ways on Fag Butts In The Fire Bucket and the furtive, slimy creep of Panegyric.
But none of those would be so effective in an album context without the contrasts provided by her more fanciful missives, such as the salty lullaby of Entropy Created You And Me, the blood-curdled horror themes of Primordial Sludge, or the struggling nEuro pomp of the titular Qualm itself, which can possibly be taken as a sort of requiem for a rotting Eurozone at the vinegar strokes of late capitalism.
Gabe Gurnsey, the drumming dynamo behind Factory Floor, explores proper song-writing and dancefloor sensuality on his solo début LP ‘Physical’, including additional production by Phantasy guy Erol Alkan
Effectively offering a more fleshly take on the skinny asceticism of Factory Floor, ‘Physical’ revolves 14 disco and pop-toned pieces that vacillate between home listening and club purposes depending the user.
For the ‘floor, there’s some strong highlights in the darkroom acid sleaze of ‘Harder Rhythm’, the moodier Chicago/New Beat burn of ‘I Get’, and the darkwave EBM-pop pressure of ‘Night Track’, which all works as dance songs in their own right, but if you want to hear a cleaner break with FF forms, check for the creamy synth-pop shuffle of the lead single, ‘Ultra Clear Sound’, the druggy, grinding gynoid-pop of ’Temazzy’, and the muggy bass oscillations and Muslimgauze-like vibes of ’Sweet Heat’.
First time vinyl pressing of Swans’ 1996 nod to krautrock, featuring Michael Gira singing in German and previously only available in Germany
’Die Tar Ist Zu’ finds Gira and gang at a crossroads in their oeuvre, with 15 years of blistering rock behind them, they start to feel out new horizons on this album which would be explored in much greater depth on ‘Soundtracks For The Blind’.
“Swans' Die Tür Ist Zu (German for The Door Is Closed) was initially released in 1996 as a prelude to the (then) final Swans album Soundtracks for the Blind. It was only available in Germany and was only released on CD. It has been long out of print. It shares some material w the much longer Soundtracks, but on this record I sing in German. It has never before appeared on vinyl. This release now is a 2xVinyl release, with one of the 4 sides being an etching I designed. I am pleased to throw it out into the hungry, chomping mouth of Record Store Day - Michael Gira / Swans”
No rest for the wickedest Analog Africa, bustling retro-futurist with Gyedu-Blay Ambolley’s volley of electrified Ghainain highlife, from the disco beeps of ‘The Message’ to the dubbed-out ‘Simigwa Soca’ and the unmissable synthy disco heat of ‘Burkina Faso’. Impossible to find in any original form, this is just unmissable for the Afro-disco fiends!
“Prepare yourself for new directions in Afro-funk. During the 1980s, ghanaian bandleader Gyedu-Blay Ambolley began to experiment with electronic instruments, and the result was a potent cocktail of highlife, funk, exploratory synths and righteous vocals, the sound of a restless genius intent on pushing the traditional sounds of highlife into a brave new future. On July 20 Analog Africa will release a 12” containing four of Ambolley’s hardest-driving excursions to the outer limits of eighties funk.
By the end of the 1970s, Ambolley was already a legendary figure on the ghanaian music scene. A drummer, turned guitarist, turned bassist, turned lead vocalist, he rose to prominence during the late 1960s, serving with countryman Ebo Taylor in the Stargazers and the Uhuru Dance Band before launching his own career with ‘Simigwa-do’, the 1972 hit that propelled him to West African stardom. As a founding member of the Apagya Show Band and the Complex Soundz, he stretched the boundaries of highlife with electric instruments, funky rhythms and socially charged lyrics in Fante and English.
If he had retired in 1978, Ambolley’s place in the history of ghanaian music would have been secure. Instead, he dissolved the Complex Soundz and embraced the synthesizer. With a new band, Zantoda Mak III, he recorded ‘The Message’, a seven minute funk workout built on a highlife foundation, and decorated with shimmering synths. Recorded in 1980, the song became a hit that would change the direction of Ambolley’s music: over the next decade, electronic instruments played a much larger role in his sonic experiments.
‘The Message’ receives a long overdue re-release on this 12" along with three other peaks from Ambolley’s eighties output. The futuristic funk of ‘Akoko Ba’ strips down the rhythm, raises the intensity of the vocals, and adds a dose of serpentine saxophone. On the B-side, ‘Simigwa Soca’ sets classic highlife horns against an unshakable bass groove, while the incredible ‘Burkina Faso’ is Ghana’s great lost electro-funk gem, a sleek construction of robotic bass, call-and-response vocals, and fat stabs of slippery synth.
Difficult, if not impossible to find for decades, Analog Africa is proud to make Gyedu-Blay Ambolley’s extraordinary eighties recordings available to a wider audience.”
Seekersinternational and Bad Tracking rework The Bush Chemists’ digidub gem, ‘I Came I Saw’, teetering on the edge of dread and psychedelic lushness...
The OG version of ‘I Came I Saw’ from TBC’s Light Up Your Spliff’  LP is cut at 45rpm on the A-side, bringing the massive subbass and moody strings to life in acres of haunting negative space that will impress on a big rig.
Elusive dubbers Seekersinternational get certifiably MWI on the B-side, rinsing out ‘I Came I Saw’ with hazardous FX and wickedly unstable meter, with Bad Tracking - the noisy new addition to Bristol’s RWDFWD family - trampling the same elements into a blown out soundsystem tribulation.
Finally, Roland Kayn’s breathtaking cybernetic salvo, ’Simultan’; one of the most important works by one of the 20th century's greatest (if unsung) composers; all newly remastered from original tapes and reissued for the first time since the original 1977 release by classical music label, Colosseum. Huge Recommendation for followers of work by Jaap Vink, Leo Küpper, Jim O’Rourke, Keith Fullerton-Whitman, Autechre, The Hafler Trio...
Italy’s Die Schachtel, following the lead of Frozen Reeds’ and their 16CD edition of ‘A Little Milky Way of Sound’ in 2017, have the honour of reintroducing ’Simultan’ into the wild. Presented to the highest possible standards on the format it was intended for, the unfeasibly complex dynamics and revelatory perceptive spaces opened up inside ’Simultan’ are bound to generate jaw-dropping reactions with Kayn's growing ranks of followers and even the most hard-to-please fans of outer-limit composition.
Collapsing ideas from electro-acoustic, concrète, electronic, and computer music disciplines into what he termed “cybernetic music”, Kayn methodically and effectively worked off-the-radar towards a form of Artificial Intelligence in music from 1962 until his death in 2011. Building on his earlier studies with seminal figures such as Boris Blacher and Oskar Sala (whose FX appeared on classic Hitchcock’s), as well as time spent playing organ and piano with Ennio Morricone and Egisto Macchi’s exploratory Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Kayn devoted his life’s work toward realising what would become recognised among the most incredible, genuinely prism-pushing arrangements of sound ever recorded.
’Simultan’ is the first in a series of seminal Roland Kayn boxsets released between 1977 and his blinding masterpiece ’Tektra’ in 1984. While he had previously contributed ‘Cybernetics III’ to a Deutsche Grammofon split with Luigi Nono, ’Simultan’ was where Kayn’s ideas really came to fruition, and with results that practically document the birth of a new music, or a computer manifesting its first signs of sentience in sound.
Weighing in at six pieces clocking in at over two hours, it’s arguably a difficult, spasmodic birth when compared with the smoother contours and expansive arrangements of his subsequent releases, but that amorphous atonality and noisy unpredictability accounts for much of the attraction to ’Simultan’, which sounds like very little before it, or even since.
If you’re the insatiably curious, technically pedantic type, then many of your queries about Kayn’s music will be answered in the lucubrate liner notes included on the insert, which provide all the technical context one would need to know. But it’s better to just dive head-first into ’Simultan’ and let your head be consumed, dissolved into those micro-organismic diffusions and unfathomable chaos.
Mercifully this 2nd wind will prevail on further reissues of Kayn’s aforementioned run of boxsets up to and including ‘Tektra’. We advise making some space on your shelves and your calendar to spend some time with this incredible music.
Soundtracks For The Blind was intended to be the final studio album by Swans, released as a double disc epic in 1996.
The album finds the band's sound taking various disparate forms, from the droning ambient tones of opener 'Red Velvet Corridor', to the odd pulsing techno of 'Volcano' via more conventional (if that's even a word that can be associated with Swans) song-based recordings.
This is an album that's all over the place in stylistic terms, but given the volume of material, it takes on something of an epic feel, somehow making sense as a single drawn out narrative. The spooky dulcimers of 'Secret Friends' match up with the atmospheric dissonances of 'I Was A Prisoner In Your Skull' and the nerve jangling, haunted house songwriting of 'Her Mouth Is Filed With Honey'.
Stones Throw serve two highlights from the reissued Prophet album on a very tasty 7”
‘Right On Time’ is a total diamond, emerging from serious spacetime synth warpage into a blazing ’84 funk swerve that doesn’t let go until it’s done. Prince and Dâm-Funk fans eat your purple hearts out.
Flipside he gets even funkier with the mad, pendulous, syncopated claps and chord chops of ‘Tonight’ doing strange things to our bodies if we go with his swing.
Wicked and wild.
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s incredible recordings with Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures are here documented on a beautiful new edition for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, coinciding with his appearance on the cover of this months issue of The Wire magazine.
Lowe is something of a polymath; having started out as part of Math Rock outfit 90 Day Men and doom metal trio Om, he progressed to forge his own solo work (often under the Lichens moniker), as well as a slew of collaborations including work with Johann Johannsson on scoring both Arrival and Sicario, an acclaimed album with Ariel Kalma for RVNG Intl’s FRKWYS series, plus involvement in site specific video art and sound installations. His most recent work has seen him release diverse music for Type, Latency, More Than Human and, of course DDS - who have here presented what might just be the most beautiful Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe artefact thus far.
in 2016 Lowe was commissioned by New York’s museum of Arts to contribute to a Harry Bertoia exhibition, which he undertook alongside video director Johann Rashid. He was asked to create sound recordings with Sonambient sculptures; metal rods and gongs that produce highly distinct, resonant sounds when struck, brushed or touched. Beginning in 1968, Bertoia set up an eighteenth-century stone barn on his property in Barto, Pennsylvania, to house these sculptures and from which he would go on to record works for his highly collectable Sonambient label, recently documented on Important Records' breathtaking box set and reissue series. Lowe was given full access to the barn, beautifully filmed footage of which can be found online.
Lowe’s work with these sculptures is unlike anything you might have heard from the original Bertoia recordings. Instead of serendipitous improvisation, Lowe weaves his way through the sculptures on a path that was mapped out in advance, imbuing them with a more “composed” and arranged feel.
As he explains to The Wire “The technique I developed in engaging with those sculptures was different than the ways i’d seen other people do it. It was sublime to be in that space with the air touching the sculptures and moving them, you had these sort of apparitions that were moving around with you”. As well as the familiar Sonambient sound palette, he subtly manipulates and feeds in vocal layers that take proceedings into ever more ethereal and haunting dimensions.
It’s a beautiful, inspirational recording from an artist that’s impossible to pin down. "i don't give a fuck. i do what i do, and that’s the end of it”.
An impossible-to-find, ’95 Memphis rap tape surfaces on vinyl for 1st time via Gyptology, a new "Egyptian Archaology" styled re-issue label
Leading on from Shawty Pimp’s ‘Comin’ Real Wit It’  - which was dished up by Delroy Edwards’ L.A. Club Resource and sold out within days back in 2014 - its sequel, ‘Still Comin Real’ reprises that woozy slow drawl on 11 slurps of syrupy goodness.
As to be expected, noise artefacts carry over from the original, short-run tape edition, but it wouldn’t be a proper, OG Memphis rap session without that haze of tape grit. Safe to say that Gyptology know this, too, and see vinyl as the most faithful, sympathetic form of preservation.
Thus, you can trust the sound is raw as; a distinct adjunct to the prevailing NYC and LA hip hop styles of 1995’s golden era, working with rude, stripped down production values and vibes that have significantly withstood the test of time, and since laid the roots for a lot of contemporary southern rap, hip hop and R&B.