Florian Kupfer tends to contrasting shades of his sound with rugged, deeply gratifying style on L.I.E.S. 99.
Up top he unfurls the gorgeous sail of Contact, with billowing keys and martian synth harmonies dashed against bumpy kicks in a way that will turn 5am heads inside-up. On the other hand, Random Chaos finds him biting down on a tuffer, trackier groove laced with virulent arpeggio and glancing metallic percussion, before the cascading power drums of Z find their feet in a kind of keening, turbulent roil, made even more tense by its clenched drones.
Ok so this is without doubt the most frenetic and exciting new music we've heard in 2017 - a double LP selection of pure Singeli fiyah originally issued on a limited edition tape back in June, now fully remastered and available on download and vinyl formats for the first time, inaugurating Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes' hugely exciting upcoming vinyl series. Hailing from Tanzania’s febrile Dar Es Salaam underground, Sounds of Sisso showcases the punkish sounds of the Sisso studio with a volley of hi-velocity missiles sounding like nothing else but in our minds comparable with full on Soca or Shangaan Electro styles as much as Northern British takes on happy hardcore and Makina, trust there’s no messing about with this one...!!!
For us, like many others, this is a bracing first introduction to the Singeli sound, whose collision of souped up rhythmic energy and breathless bars should immediately translate far beyond its East African base. Across the 14 tracks of Sounds Of Sisso we’re familiarised with the sound’s core producers - Bwax, Sisso, Tampa Pana and Yung Keyz Morento - and its amazing fast chat MCs - Dogo Niga and Makavelli - with a totally uncompromising style that can’t help but make most other dance musics sound a bit pale and limp by comparison.
No matter where you’re from, this is patently music for raving to, combining punkish, satirical lyrics about the challenges of Tanzania’s youth - from police corruption to dating when you’re broke - with productions that scream get mad get mad in a way that’s maybe best associated with hedonistic noise or gabber. However, this is from Dar Es Slaam, and they’ve got some heavy style down there.
From the near cheek-pulling G-force of Bwax and S Kide’s Baba Aminata Natafuta Kiki to the mental, cut-up intro and rapido attack of TMK by Suma, nobody lets the pressure gauge tick below f**king off it, pal, taking in the chipmunked Bollywood chorus and speecore pace of Dogo Niga’s Polisi and the Shangaan/Soca-like hybrid Mshamba wa Kideo from Mzee + Bwax or the Nu Monkey-on-tour styles of Kimbau Mbau along with the Nkisi-esque jag of Maseke, Pasopa and Mako_Roho’s Inauma. But, there are also some sweeter and hip hop styled freaks, too; check for the warped hip hop knock of Nammiliki from Makavelli, or the sugar-rush of Csso’s Shobo and the hyper colourful soundsystem FX of Ndugulawama.
Jonny L’s seminal, debut D&B LP, Sawtooth boomerangs back from ’97 on a 1st ever 2LP pressing, loaded with the all-time anthem Piper amid some of the sickest, teched-out steppers from the UK scene.
Perhaps symptomatic of ’17 rather than ’97 economics, this pressing is reduced from the original 5-plate set - which were very typical of ‘90s D&B albums and compilations - to a more efficient 2LP with negligible sacrifice to fidelity.
For anyone who grew up in the ‘90s with access to cable TV, Jonny L’s Piper, with its definitively late ‘90s promo video, was an unavoidable mainstay of MTV2’s advert-less hours of programming, beaming images of cyborgian ravers into the living room of impressionable minds around the UK and elsewhere. Fair to say those images and sounds left an indelible impression on listeners including us, and the likes of Powell, who cites Jonny L’s work on this record as a big influence.
While the deliciously slippy sound design of Piper makes for a clear standout, it’s not the only one, with the warehouse-ready weightless tech-step of Treading coming close behind, along with the nerve-riding, Reese-fuelled 2-step rolige of 2 of Us and the sidewinding swerver Obedience, and even a class spin on acid-electro with Detroit.
Ultimately, Sawtooth was one of those mad, hi-tech and deep forward ‘90s records that penetrated the mainstream conscience, irrevocably lodged in malleable young minds as a pivotal cultural artefact in a much cooler way than, say, Jonny L’s later work producing Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers’ UKGuilty pleasure, Out Of Your Mind. A flashback to times when the link between underground and mainstream dance music was more fluid, right before NME and reams of other tosh stymied the momentum of rave music and apocryphally deemed white guys playing guitars and drums to be more relevant to the yoof. Fuck those guys for ever. Long live D&B, garage, UK dance music.
Vintage boogie-disco chops from 1980s Germany. Remastered and reissued for the first time
“When the Growing Bin first bloomed from blog and record store to label it was originally intended to be a reissue imprint. If you’ve kept your ear to the ground and head in the Bin, you’ll know that isn’t exactly how it went down. But for this release we are going back to the scheme a young Basso dreamed up in his adolescent years: bring back the rare, unknown and unfindable.
So here is Mainpoint‘s ‘Alaska Wartet’ - a stunning private pressed 7” entirely unknown to the wider world. Its original 1980 press was less than extensive, and the few copies which did appear were sold exclusively at concerts and local record shops – kudos to all twenty ve people who got a copy! Mainpoint started out as a Jazz-Rock out t in 1978 but as the years rolled on, these guys fell for the funk. Finding a 4/4 in a world of syncopation, Mainpoint fell foul of their elbow-patched pals, being labelled Tanz-Jazz since their audiences actually danced (in contrast to the serious silence of their contemporaries’ concerts).
‘Alaska Wartet’ made it from Side 2 on the 1980 press to Side 1. This incredibly tight Boogie jam bounds out the speakers with a synth line from heaven and fusion moves galore – it’s sure to put a smile on dancer‘s faces worldwide.
‘Frisbee’ ies o the ipside, inviting dancers to forget about gravity and go for broke. Soaring skywards from this o , this uplifting masterpiece is perfectly topped by that screwdriver hook sung by Ika Hussmann! Time for some Tanz-Jazz, folks!"
Wiki's debut solo album is a love letter to New York
It features beats and rhymes from Ghostface Killah, Kaytranada, Lakutis, Your Old Droog, Evy Jane and many others. Includes production by DJ Earl Teklife, Sporting Life, Tony Seltzer.
After taking off on Rhythm Section Intl in 2016, Earth Trax & Newborn Jr. double down on Echovolt with two supple, swanging new age garage-house burners.
Bailando is a sterling take on elem,mental ’89 NYC sounds, with perfectly measured bassline and mind-drift flutes, whilst Aquamarine brings it from the toes to the tip of your schnozz with a beautifully tempered piece of piano house ecstasy.
Skills on this fer sure.
Captains of the Bristol bass industry, Andy Mac & Ossia (FuckPunk, Young Echo) go toe-to-toe on a heavy-lidded slow house tip for the latter’s No Corner bastion.
It sounds like the pair challenged each other to drink as much red wine and neck as many valdos as possible before writing each cut, resulting the wickedly sozzled hustle of Soup Riddim’s dreamy chants and drunken master lurch, then buoying your freefall with the NWAQ-alike gauze of Cado, and, just before it’s lights out, threading your head thru the decaying dub wormhole of Linguine Loop.
Sound artist Tomoko Sauvage adds the gorgeous, elemental waterbowl recordings of Musique Hydromantique to a wonderful run of 2017 releases on Félicia Atkinson & Bartolomé Sanson's Shelter Press. Quite possibly the most soothing hour of music you'll experience all year
It will become hard to believe once you’ve heard it, but all sounds on the LP were improvised with acoustic technique and recording - meaning no electronics, edits or overdubs - whilst they effectively sound like the microtonal output of some unique, natural synthesiser affected by subtle variables such as temperature, architecture, humidity and human presence. If Philip Corner and Eliane Radigue ever made a record together, it may well sound like Musique Hydromantique.
Using a set-up of hydrophones (underwater mics) and porcelain bowls filled with varying amounts of water, developed by the artist over the better part of this decade, Musique Hydromantique forms a meditative, experimental study in rhythm and pitch which resonates with gamelan and ancient divination techniques as much as it does with minimalist modern electronics. The results are utterly captivating in their fluid timbres and plaintively plangent structure, rendering the elusive, ever-changing and hypnotic phenomena of moving water in three diverse states or sonic sculptures that patently demonstrate a deep, underlying and innate connection between the performer, her medium, and the listener.
Clepsydra - meaning ‘water clock’ - most closely resembles a form of gamelan practice, or, even some form of minimal electronic music. For ten minutes she renders a series of exquisitely variegated sonic glyphs gestured from her struck bowls and hands changing the quantities of water, and by extension, the pitch of each bowl. Tomoko makes a real virtue of everyday sounds, resulting in a time-dilating passage of smooth glissandi, elegantly unshackling our internal clocks from the anticipation of quantised convention.
Fortune Biscuit follows in a very different style. Here, the brownian flow yields a remarkable micro-ecology of sounds that almost mimic animals, cyborganic mechanisms and insect choruses, yet they were entirely generated by a piece of porous terra cotta (biscuit) dipped into water. The scuttling patterns are perhaps understandable in that context, but we’re utterly baffled how they also make those pealing, arcing harmonic partials. In the final, 20 minute piece, Calligraphy those techniques serve to gel and diffuse her water-based sounds in even more bewildering fashion, as she employs the 10 second reverbs of an old textile factory to render her delicate, subaquatic sounds in a play of fractious drips, haptic rubs and their resonant feedback, feeling to melt time entirely and open a tranquil space for divination of your own senses in between those perceptions of time and tone.
This is a record that seems to have been designed to promote ultimate well being, it will completely engulf and subsume your senses and keep your attention rapt from start to finish. And we'd echo Tomoko's request that you listen to it at the start or end of the day for optimal results - far healthier than a spliff or night cap and will set your mood like some kind of ancient tuning fork.
Mannequin head Alessandro Adriani yields some of his fiercest EBM jackers on this white label for Mannequin.
All three are proper hoofers, rolling out stacked synthlines and rasping drum machines in a Tuning Circuits style with A Man who would come here of his own free will, then on a slightly deeper EBM trance trajectory with he is everything and nothing, and finally in the deathly jack of You never sleep.
You always more or less know what to expect from this great band - and there are no radical departures on "The Moonlight Butterfly".
The relatively short running time clocks in at just over 30 minutes split over 6 breezy and evocative tracks, seemingly inspired by and honed for summer. Only "Inn Keeping" strays from the brief, extending itself into a 10+ minute jam that features the band at its tightest. In all - another lush and bittersweet escapade from one of the more distinctive bands to have emerged from the post rock scene, and another recommendation for seasoned followers and newcomers alike.
Greg Beato cocks a dastardly debut album of deep and raw-ass bangers with El Tipo Mas Bonito En La Generacion De Los Feos - or The Most Beautiful Type in the Generation of the Ugly according to Google translate - for his new label, Ni Un Pero.
A favourite of everyone from Actress to Nina Kraviz and Midland, who’ve all deployed Beato trax in compilation and mixes, the Miami based miscreant has been messing with harsh textured, biting point house and breakbeat grooves exclusively for L.I.E.S. and Apron Records since his head-turning PMA and Who’s The Licho In Charge Ovaa Here 12”s in 2013.
With style and credentials firmly in place, he’s saved his sole attack on 2017 for this blistering 12 track set, facing off his signature, thistly crackers with a handful of mutant, slower, slow-fast, and synth’d-out pieces.
For highlights, look out for the thuggish bangs of 2K17, the warped and noisy Chicago jak blatz of Pushing You Til It’s Over and KLK, and when he’s gets really screwy in the splayed southern hip hop beat of Food For Profit, Not Health.
B12’s Steve Rutter makes a memorable maiden solo appearance under his own name with From Me To You on his highly active FireScope label, which is responsible for a string of new and archival B12 releases since 2016.
Where pretty much all B12 releases have been credited to Rutter and his production partner Michael Golding, this 12” is a rare opportunity to hear what Steve was inputting the project.
Fair to say, then after listening, that Rutter is behind some of our favourite B12 moments, as we can gauge from the nimbly weightless drum programming and pads of Down And Down and the deliciously darkside strokes of Decliner Box on the A-side, while the B-side catches gauzier, wistful aspects of his personal style in the UR-like techno raga of The Life Giver, and on the enchanted downstroke of The Battle Continues.
If only the title didn’t leave us thinking Oh Dear Oh Dear.
Long out-of-print reissue of Califone’s third, critically acclaimed full length.Includes unreleased bonus tracks.
“‘Heron King Blues’ is about the letting go. Each song its own ceremony. The earth, sun and moon. Wingbones. Shadow maps and dream logic. Stoplights. Meat Trucks. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Cocaine. Wild eyed robbers. Hunchbacked derelicts. Broken down angels, Lepers. Gay Lithuanians. Cheaters. Sex. Beggars. Rabid dogs. Sirens. Undertows. Reverse magnetism. Cock fighting. Electric shock therapy. Trick birds. Floods. Ancient Hebrew texts. The Illuminati. Haboobs. Bleach. Expired medicine. Severed tongues. Dragons, Spirit telephones. Bees. Modern Architecture. Electric fences. Dianetics. ESP. Snakes. Poltergeist. Haunted spaces. Crop circles. Demons. Feedback loops.
“How does one capture lightning in a bottle? You could call me a witness, or better yet an interloper, briefly given the wheel to the mythological ship called Califone. Where others might have attempted to exercise the demons, I chose to let the spirits run wild. We bored under the earth’s surface into its core until we reached the belly of the beast. These aren’t Songs of Love and Hate. This is no Street Hassle. No Main Street here. This is music that was pulled from the abattoir of Chicago rock, tattered and bruised and barely breathing. This is not music for pussies.” - Michael Krassner (Califone, Boxhead Ensemble, The Lofty Pillars), August, 2017
Husband/wife duo Shawn O’Sullivan and Katie Rose bang it right on the nose with Disparate Elements for the steadily expanding Knekelhuis label, chasing the style of their LPs for Cititrax and Robert & Leopold into dank electro, EBM and fugged-up technopop realms.
The pairing appear to bring the best out of each other in all parts. Rose’s vocals and synths vitally offset O’Sullivan’s cranky grooves, most delectably in the slippery gynoid sex tune It’s Later Than You Think, then pitched and diffracted into the mazy jacker Disparate Elements, and haunting the upper echelons of their grim brummie acid banger Aural Equivalent, whilst Central System is a pure, ‘floor knacking instrumental electro weapon.
Chicago OG’s Ron Trent and Harry Dennis (The It, Jungle Wonz) reprise their duo last heard on Ron Hardy (Dedication To You) with the deepest house treat of Breeze, backed by jazzier functions on the B-side.
Breeze is the big danefloor tune, featuring Dennis laying it down and dubbed out over one of Trent’s signature, wide basslines and rooted percussive hustle. Monterey (Album Version) catches them both strolling on a jazzier vibe, which Trent strips down to the bare essentials, leaving room for more instrumental expression on synth and keys in Aquatic Movement 1.
HRH Prins Thomas caps a busy year in the disco with the 5 album, following on from his Square One collaboration with Bjorn Torske, the Principe Del Norte album before that, and a healthy handful of 12”s and remix work int he meantime.
It’s chugalug central right here, serving 12 tracks of sidestepping dad disco basslines, real ‘live’ drums (some electronic, too) shackled to wobbly Moog and Arp lines, a dash of guitar here, and a spot of acid there, all readied for the discerning scando disco fiend in you.
M.E.S.H. projects the rave to new possible planets with Hesaitix. Combining the cinematic gestures of his Piteous Gate  LP and the dynamic drum work of Damaged Merc  in probing new forms, the pivotal PAN artist’s hugely imaginative 2nd album renders a vivid vision of where next for modern, rhythm-driven electronic music.
Hesaitix offers a dreamlike template for off-world raving, turning the back of M.E.S.H.’s eyelids inside-out to reveal a geometric playground of amorphous tessellations diffused and gelled according to a physics that may seem impossible on terra firma, yet entirely plausible in the Berlin-based artist’s noumenal dimensions.
Ossifying fluidly skeletal patterns from a rich pool of far flung rhythmic DNA, he supposes a sort of cyborgian body and AI that could survive under altered conditions, using the club as a laboratory or exercise ground for these fantastic creatures, which just happen to closely resemble you and I. Maybe, even, we are those vessels, and the music is subconsciously programming us as test subjects while he gauges and quantifies our reactions and the efficacy of his code under chaotic conditions?
Whatever, Hesaitix renders a supremely absorbing, alternate world view between the lush, hypernatural ecologies of Nemorum Incola and the extra terrestrial chamber music of Ihnaemiauimx, a world where dancers generate architecture thru telekinetic gesture, as with Mimic and the weightless construction site arrangement of Loop Trip, where intrepid recce’s uncover radioactive dembow mutations such as Search Reveal, and ancient-futurist Antikythera mechanics dictate distinct new measures of meter in the astonishly detailed ballistics of Signal Drum Ride and Diana Triplex.
Copenhagen’s Echocord Colour returns with Brendom Moeller’s ‘Magic City’ EP, featuring four originals from the New York based artist.
"Caravan’ takes the lead on the release and in typical Brendon Moeller fashion we’re treated to densely layered dub chords, throbbing subs and expansive atmospherics whilst robust drums drive the composition along. Magic City’ follows and ups the energy levels even further with pounding industrial drums layered underneath billowing dub stabs and eerie drones.
‘Magic City In Dub’ follows and as the name suggests offers up a reduced take on the composition, dropping the tempo and shining light on the billowing echoes of the original whilst stirring in some off-kilter rhythsm and additional processing for good measure. Lastly, ‘Departure’ closes the package, with haunting synth drones, bumpy rhythms and murky vocals wandering throughout the seven-minute composition."
On a relatively rare excursion for his Ominira label, Kassem Mosse lovingly messes with house and techno formats in Chilazon Gaiden, divining a sort of kabbalistic techno sound that expands on the off centre flex of his Chilazon released by Honest Jon’s.
Counting nine tracks of meter-tweaking rhythms and entrancing electronics, Chilazon Gaiden yields Mosse in aerobic mystic mode with a loosely constructed yet firm acknowledgement of the link between dancing and spirituality that many others like to dance around, yet few producers render in such involving, intuitively attuned form.
Working on, off, and around the beat in delicious, brownian motion and slippery geometries, Mosse deftly realises a long-pursued aesthetic in these tracks, giving the club, DJs and dancers something to really work with and effortlessly interpret, rather than commanding them like a martial drill - pulling toward a sound that consolidates the offbeat swerve of Theo Parrish and Actress with the drily sculpted purism of Sleeparchive thru a devilish sleight of hand .
Dancefloor music for body ’n soul.
Detroit’s captain of industry, Terrence Dixon yields exceptionally trim and driving techno cuts on the Athens-based Lower Parts label.
Currently working in 5th gear, despite announcing his retirement a few years ago, Dixon serves up his signature sound between the subaquatic dynamics of the first part, thru a killer piece of Afro-tribal techno patterning int he 2nd, to an infectious wriggler on the B-side recalling recent Jeff Mills trajectories, and one pounding, uptempo deep techno workout in the 5th part.
Night Blind is Richard Fearless’ second release on Drone’s white label series.
"The title track coalesced in the early hours of the morning as diffuse, Turneresque lights glimmered across the Thames and the container was pounded by a storm. Unnerving and melancholic yet with a glimmer of light, this is Fearless at his best.
On the B side is Cancan. With Xavier’s spiritual acid head, Kenichi Iwasa, on percussion duties, this is one for peak time body shaking. Both tracks were recorded and mixed at the Metal Box by Chris Blakey and produced by Richard Fearless."
Career-spanning retrospective of Matthew Puffett’s Detroit-inspired Future Beat Alliance output, drawn from 20 years of releases on Tresor, Delsin, Void Records and Eevonext, plus a few unreleased archival joints.
Featuring Flowdan and Killa P / Irah, The Bug releases a new big hittin’ double header. Following last years D Double E / Riko Dan face-off, ‘Box’ / ‘Iceman’ - The Bug has invited Flowdan, and Killa P & Irah to get grimey on their respective Riddims.
"'Bad’ sees both Flowdan and The Bug stretching their parameters and turning up the heat, with Flowdan summoning a fresh singjay style, the most glaring indication of his fam's Jamaican roots as he echoes Cham's classic 'Ghetto Story' with his intimate tale of growing up in "East London". The Bug also unusually constructed the whole Riddim from the manipulated layering of a single Soviet drum machine, tweaked and drenched in FX til' it rumbled heavily.
'Get Out The Way' is the first collab The Bug has conducted with Killa P since the mighty ‘Skeng’, with Killa additionally inviting Irah, from his Killaz Army crew, along for the ride. Built on The Bug's love of the Junglist / Dillinja inspired Reese bassline, it's a saw tooth exercise in dancefloor destruction, as the two MCs get lethal with the threats and intimidation.
Both tracks are already receiving some heavy dubplate slayin', with the likes of Mala, Kahn, Spooky, Pinch and Mumdance all smashing them in their sets. ‘Bad’ has already been chosen by Elijah (of Elijah & Skilliam / Butterz) as one of his Grime tunes of the year."
Mechanical Reproductions give vinyl life to Bad Tracking - one of Bristol’s best kept underground secrets - with two cranky industro-dub girders backed by a serious remixing from Ossia.
Thunking out somewhere between Giant Swan, Kowton and Mick Harris’ Fret, Bad Trcking are set to gain the baddest rep with both efforts, first vacillating bone crunching drums and stress-test bassline with lush pads in the livewire lurch of XP+1, then trampling the line between on-the-fly performance and brute studio force in the grubby techno tilt of XP+3.
Ossia’s remix of XP+2 is our pick of the bunch. From introductory bell tolls, he builds a mongrel beat from snatches of grime, industrial techno and dank Bristol dub styles, riveting the sound into a blindspot between late ‘90s Virus, TG and The Bug.
Marcel Dettmann and fellow darkside Berlin dwellers present an absorbingly abrasive, 42 minute work in response to photographs of post-WWII European monasteries.
“RAUCH is a sonic interpretation of the work of photographer Friederike von Rauch, composed collaboratively by Berlin-based producers Felix K, Marcel Dettmann, Sa Pa and Simon Hoffmann. Arranged and mixed by Marcel Dettmann, the recording stands in dialogue with von Rauch’s architectural images of post-World War II European monasteries, including La Tourette by Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis near Lyon, Roosenberg Abbey near Ghent and Maria Regina Martyrum in Berlin.
On the 42-minute-long LP, drones, modulating harmonic soundscapes and implied rhythms maintain an abstract emotional core while occasionally taking on vaporous, amorphous qualities. Similarly, von Rauch’s images – often borderline abstract in composition – resist being identified by location or spatial context. Nevertheless, they also hint at their spiritual origin.”
Never before pressed on vinyl, IBM 1401, A User's Manual, is one of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most loved works. Released in 2006, the decade since its release has seen Jóhann establish himself as one of the most important composers in the World today, most notably scoring movies such as Arrival, Sicario and The Theory of Everything.
:Inspired by the work his father did in the sixties when chief maintenance engineer of one of Iceland’s first computers, Jóhann originally wrote IBM 1401, A User's Manual to accompany a dance piece by long-standing collaborator and friend, Erna Ómarsdóttir. For this album release, he rewrote it for a sixty-piece string orchestra, with a new final movement (built around a poem by Dorothy Parker) and incorporating both electronics, and reel-to-reel recordings made by his father and friends in 1971 of an enormous IBM 1401 mainframe computer singing the hymn Ísland Ögrum Skoriðby Sigvaldi Kaldalóns as it was being decommissioned.
The first ever pressing of IBM 1401, A User's Manual comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, having been reworked by Chris Bigg (v23) from his original design. Pressed on clear vinyl, two album tracks recorded in 2010 with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at the Rudolfinum, Dvorák Hall in Prague have also been added and are exclusive to this release:
KLO straight up kills it on a cover of Aaliyah’s More Than A Woman, nailing the classic vocal on a rebuilt, nearly identikit version of Timbaland’s acid-fuelled R&B instrumental. Listen, tell us we’re wrong?!
On the remix, KLO opts for a breezier, chamber-like reduction, distilled to pointillist syllables, 303 jabs and a sparing swing beat begging to go in-the-mix.
First ever vinyl reissue of Current ’93’s classic Thunder Perfect Mind , finding David Tibet approaching the height of his powers, flanked by a legendary coterie of co-conspirators; Shirley Collins, Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), Douglas P (Death In June), Micheal Cashmore, Jhonn Balance (Coil), Rose McDowell (Strawberry Switchblade) and James Mannox.
Thunder Perfect Mind takes its title from a Gnostic poem written in the ancient Coptic text, and was among the first records to feature David Tibet fully exploring an aspect of what became a key influence on his recordings. The album also acts as a sister record to Nurse With Wound’s 1992 LP of the same name, and is perhaps best known for its divine title track, as well as songs such as the epic Hitler as Kalkhi (SDM), which Tibet dedicates to “my father, who fought Hitler”, and the All The Stars Are Dead Now, which is based on a prophetic revelation given to Tibet from a reading of the Planh of William Blake.
Still, peerless in its field - the known universe.
Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow join forces for a second time since their creation of Drokk, their unused score for 2012 motion picture Dredd, to create the dark, synth heavy score for Ex Machina.
"Speaking to Gigwise Geoff Barrow said, "It's been great for Ben and I to be working with Alex again, and hopefully we have written the kind of score an intense sci-fi thriller like this needs" with Salisbury adding "we wanted to slightly get away from the type of soundtrack album that has a huge track-list with lots of short cues. Instead, we've tried to put together an album of fuller length tracks, by segueing some of our cues and creating a structure and shape that mirrors the film in some way.”
Brenda Ray meets Balearic bod Basso for a pair of dream-woven grooves pressed on natty 7”.
On A-side Crest Of a Wave they come off all seasonal, like, with a soft focus dream sequence of lilting chimes and nifty harp melded with Brenda’s nutmeg-scented coos and wistful blasts of her melodica to spellbinding effect.
B-side, they take that vibe upstairs with Basso growling Barry White, and Brenda all coy, glyding on a walking soul bassline and velveteen Fender Rhodes with a gentle smack of Italian library music.
Heads will melt for this one.
Ideal throw a total curveball with Vanligt Folk’s doomdub body music mutations on Palle Bondo, where the Oslo/Gothenburg trio drop their punk leanings in favour of a stark sound lodged somewhere between Mika Vainio, CS + Kreme, Fever Ray, Toresch, and even Autechre - TIPPED!!!
The origins of the record are a bit cryptic and personal, which perhaps prompted the abrupt switch from their earlier styles to this, a more grown-up and pointed set of songs that vent their worries in a coolly gripping and cryptic style - not least because we can’t translate their Swedish lyrics.
However, it’s not difficult to comprehend their music - a starkly spacious but invitingly introspective sound whose icy exterior is belied by a quietly seething rage against socio-political and medical convention. In the first song, that comes out as a subtly warped take on Scando ambient dub in Kostymfest/Sken Av Palmpsalmighet, whose combo of looming darkside pads, torchlit croon and pendulous snare cracks uncannily recalls a munted Toresch, before Är Du Min Dotters Ängel plumbs a cyberpunk dancehall style somewhere to the shadier side of Fever Ray and Simone Trabucchi’s STILL.
Curiosity is only heightened on the flipside with Nipt/Gensangerin, where the vocals unavoidably conjure direct comparison with Karin Dreijer, but against a mystic synth backdrop redolent of that recent, amazing Laszlo Hortobagyi reissue, then calving off into a sumptuous mid-section of swooping subbass contours, dembow drums and pointillist hooks like something from Equiknoxx, only to finish with a wicked sample of Autechre’s Piezo strapped to gremlin vocals and spectral horror flick sounds on Mer Än Normal.
Don't miss this one.
Mr Robot’s Emmy winning (and three times nominee) composer Mac Quayle improves on perfection with this latest instalment of music from the critically acclaimed hit TV series ‘Mr Robot: Season 2’.
Mac Quayle’s previous credits include ‘Drive’, ‘Only God Forgives’ and ‘Spring Breakers’ with Cliff Martinez.
Juan Atkins’ archetypal Detroit electro staple No UFO’s, reissued in its original forms, and now backed with new, exclusive Moodymann and Luciano remixes.
The OG No UFO’s was first issued on Metroplex in 1985 and appears here in original vocal and instrumental mixes on the single-sided 1st disc - both seminal entires in the 313 hall of fame.
On the 2nd disc Moodymann puts an inimitably jazzy, dreamy spin on No UFO’s, seemingly taking it from the D on vacation to the Bermuda triangle, replete with seaside sounds and lush alien jazz chord interceptions, while Luciano turns it into a springy, rolling, minimal tech house track.
‘The Greatest Gift’ is a mixtape of outtakes, remixes and demos from Sufjan’s 2015 album ‘Carrie & Lowell’. This collection serves as a companion piece to the ‘Carrie & Lowell Live’ album (and as an expansion to the original album).
"In the same way the live show featured re-interpretations of the songs from ‘Carrie & Lowell’, the mixtape unveils new remixes by several longstanding collaborators including Roberto C. Lange (aka Helado Negro), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and James McAlister (aka 900X). The album also features Sufjan’s own remix of ‘Drawn To The Blood’.
‘The Greatest Gift’ features four previously unreleased new songs, ‘official’ outtakes from ‘Carrie & Lowell’ (they were recorded at the same time as the album). These include ‘Wallowa Lake Monster’, ‘The Hidden River Of My Life’, ‘City Of Roses’ and ‘The Greatest Gift’. This new material, in its investigation of love, life, death, God and the beautiful state of Oregon, serves as a contemplative companion to the original album."
Mosca barrels out on a proper, acidic UK steppers flex with the sprung dubs of Prento Version and Fever Version for Lavalava Records, a new facet of Bristol’s Rewind-Forward squadron.
A-side gives up the the bone dry drums, singeing melodica leads and acid-etched bassline of Prento Version inna Jah Shaka’s style, tucked with sparing but well placed horror-movie synth vamps and spaced out to the max with corkscrewing, range-finding FX.
B-side is Fever Version, a slow burner from backa the echo chamber, run ruddy and mutant like a long lost Jammy’s digi nugget produced on a prototypical, bio-organic Casio keyboard that runs off mashed hard food and marijuana.
Future Times pull US house and techno mainstay John Selway into their fold with two subtly contrasting dance trax.
A-side’s Shimmerdown is a fine lesson in deferred gratification, taking the first few minutes to establish a lissom tension with vaporous jazz chords and low lying Reese bass that eventually precipitate a pendulous, weightless garage house groove with subliminal subtlety.
B-side, as Seltav, the same producer gets down to a deep, driving house sound rolling off straighter kicks and frisky disco bassline into swirling dub chord ethers.
First in an EP trilogy that will culminate with a compilation CD and a limited edition vinyl box set containing all three EPs
"Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane, and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian will release three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human Problems, with the first EP coming out on December 8th, the second on January 19th, and the third on February 16th
To celebrate this announcement, Belle and Sebastian has revealed a new song titled ‘I’ll Be Your Pilot’, which can be found on EP2 and heard HERE. The single encapsulates the essence of the groups gentle attention to melody, and takes as its subject Stuart Murdoch’s young son: “Having your first kid is a huge event, so I wrapped a lot of things I felt about Denny into the song. Being a dad made me feel a little like the pilot in The Little Prince, hence all the references to the Sahara!”
Just as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux."
Scorching Afro-psych-funk fuzz ’n grub from outta Cameroon, c. mid ‘70s, picked and dusted down by Samy Ben Redjeb’s ever-dependable Analog Africa label. Those drums, that vocal - liable to take yer eyebrows off, or at least set your ass on fire.
“I remember the day clearly. I was searching for treasures in a record shop in Yaoundé, the Capital city of Cameroon, when suddenly I came across a 7-inch record with a picture of a young man wearing a traditional hat and bearing the marks of several imposing vertical scars on the side of his face, carved when he was just a boy as a reminder of his heritage in the Musgum tribe of the northern part of the country.
The record contained two songs – ‘Gandjal Kessoum’ and ‘Touflé’ – by an artist I had never heard of before named Hamad Kalkaba. Both cuts were raw classics of fuzzed-out bass, pin-sharp horns, built upon the unshakable foundation of Northern Cameroon’s mightiest rhythm: the Gandjal. The shop owner - who noticed that I was listening to the same record over and over again - mentioned that ‘There is another single with a green cover of the same artist’.
Over the next six years I searched for that ‘green cover’ and finally found it in a record collection belonging to an old bar in Parakou in northern Benin. While most of the records had been beaten and worn by a life spent in the jukebox, this one had been sitting in its paper sleeve for forty years, untouched and unplayed, seemingly waiting for us to pick it up and rip the two soulful Gandjal tunes from it, the masterpieces ‘Fouh Sei Allah’ and ‘Tchakoulaté’.
These two records, plus a third simply named ‘Nord Cameroon Rythms’ constitute the entire discography of Hamad Kalkaba. Neglected for decades by all but the most devoted collectors of Afro music, Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds at long last gathers together the body of work of one of Cameroon’s forgotten geniuses.
But unlike many musicians who emerged from nowhere, recorded a few singles and vanished again, Kalkaba hadn’t disappeared. Far from it. He was a distinguished public figure, a retired Colonel in the army of Cameroon, and a former member of Cameroon’s Olympic Selection Committee. When we tracked him down he was serving as president of the Confederation of African Athletics. And Although Kalkaba’s job kept him busy, and he seemed initially dismissive of the music he’d made as a young man, he turned out to be an enthusiastic ally in this project. He arranged interviews, helped fill in the blanks and, when we finally met him in Yaoundé in 2016, provided us with photographs, lyric sheets and notes.
During the interview Kalkaba explained how the songs recorded in the mid 1970s were part of a movement, a movement initiated by musicians from all around Cameroon who, with the help of keyboards, drum kits and electric guitars, had started to modernise the traditional rhythms of their regions. For Kalkaba it was no different and backed by his band the Golden Sounds, devoted himself to the promotion of the sounds of northern Cameroon.
One of the aims of Analog Africa is to showcase the colourful diversity of styles that exist in Africa and its diaspora and today we are very proud to be able to give these Gandjal tunes their first worldwide release.”
Shenzhou is next up in Biosphere’s album reissue schedule.
Original issued in 2000, it finds the Norwegian artist following the wistful loops of Cirque farther down the rabbit hole, leaving behind the purely electronic contours and beat-driven elements of his early work for a subtler, textured electro-acoustic style comparable with The Caretaker and Leyland Kirby or William Basinski’s faded tape loops. Your attention is required to the mesmerising string swells of Houses On The Hill, the cinematic midnight jazz gesture of Path Leading to the High Grass, and the Deathprod-alike gloam of Lorry Shuttle Shaft.
Killer, massive collection of Redman’s ’80s + ‘90s digidub productions, sourced from rare 7”s. This one’s a lot! Check for Tony Tuff’s ‘Careless People’, Admiral Tibet on the ruddy ride of ‘New Tactics’, and particularly the handful of dub versions!
“Two years after the release of Sleng Teng, a young vigorous producer, who was originally a sound system operator, was maturing his tactics to rule over Jammy’s position. His name was Hugh ‘Redman’ James. Soon the producer was in the limelight during the late 80’s to the early 90’s for releasing a number of hits from his own Redman International label.
The sound system operator turned producer employed Steely & Clevie for his rhythm section like other major producers including King Jammy, King Tubby and Winston Riley. But the rhythms he created were literally new when compared to the works of other 80’s labels. Many would still say that Redman’s style is very similar to King Jammys. But at the same time, he identified his music by dripping the essence of Jamaican roots music, which inevitably distinguished his sound and originality.
Themes that Redman accompanied were very obvious in titles, which he produced. Titles such as ‘Weh Dem Fah’ and ‘Danger’ by Carl Meeks, ‘Dangerous’ by Conroy Smith, ‘New Tactics’ by Admiral Tibett, ‘Careless People’ by Tony Tuff and ‘Concrete Jungle’ and ‘Runnings’ by Dave Bailey are considerably some of his best productions that featured those clear themes and conscious messages from those artists.
A major breakthrough came to Redman when he versioned a Studio One classic ‘Run Run’ by Delroy Wilson to create a massive hit ‘Koloko’ by Clement Irie. On the same rhythm, Johnny P, Daddy Lilly, Rappa Robert & Tippa Lee have also recorded other striving songs. In addition, he produced many talented artists like Red Dragon, Frankie Paul, Courtney Melody and released other quality productions.
Throughout the Redman’s catalogue, all of the songs and rhythms were basically created to target patrons at various dancehall venues as he was originally a sound system man. Also dub versions to his rhythms were very remarkable productions. For these reasons, his music is still highly demanded and respected from the day that Redman founded his label over twenty years ago.”
With the Reassemblage album still glistening in the background, Visible Cloaks unpackage the filigree designs of their Lex mini-album for RVNG Intl., framing six lucid peeks into their hyperprism of ‘80s Japanese electronic music and noumenal new age inspirations.
Offering a sublime, absorbing survey of the uncanny perceptive valley between nature and electronic emulation, speech - both human and synthesised - is the central focus of VC’s 4th release. Used as legible chunks and also diffracted in myriad harmonic shimmers and psychoacoustic tones, human and synth voices lend melody, structure and weightless soul to Lex, blended with flurries of keys and punctuated in a way that feels we’re eavesdropping on a sweetly effortless dialogue between two or more AI, describing their feelings and opinions to each other in a language of gaseous harmonics, abstract acidic gestures and almost avian digital chatter.
The first five parts are all neatly succinct, arranged with an adroit, natural dynamism that recalls moments from Sugai Ken’s Japanese nightscapes in Transient, for example, as much as The Dirty Projectors’ wistful R&B chamber music on Frame, or James Ferraro’s Human Story or Burning Prius pieces in Keys or Lex. However, the most impressive part is World, where Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile push the ambient envelope to 14 minutes of floating hyaline structures and anaesthetising pads so effective that you’ll forget what you were listening to and just drift away within the first few minutes for the duration, we promise.
Excellent second solo album from Thom Yorke, reissued.
He's joined by regular production foil Nigel Godrich, credited with production and editing, and his Radiohead bandmate Colin Greenwood chimes in with beat programming on 2nd song, 'Guess Again!'. It's a melancholy thing built from tenderly bruised bass and a filigree palette of "silver darkness" shot thru with fluoro tones reflected in the sleeve art's colour scheme.
Highlights include the feathered 2-step and phasing chords of 'The Mother Lode', the buoyant techno pulse of 'There Is No Ice (For My Drink)' and a future-fave closer, 'Nose Grows Some' are Thom Yorke at his most bruising, and, when coupled with the charms of Basinski-esque, decaying keys in 'Pink Section', or the lushly skewed harmonies of 'Interference' make for his most engrossing record yet.
Playful neo-classical works for piano and electronics, recorded by Brian Eno.
“Finding Shore is the sound of Tom distilling the essence of what he does after a protracted musical journey from childhood until now. He took the traditional route of music lessons and learning notation before starting composing “properly”. As a 17-year-old he had the odd contrast of being taught by the composer Harrison Birtwistle but also working as lounge pianist in a dilapidated hotel in Peterborough. He spent some time in New York playing jazz, recording with Reid Anderson of The Bad Plus, and had a successful career with post-rock group Three Trapped Tigers, yet however enjoyable that experience was, he admits it was “definitely a diversionary tactic”. Everything seemed to be an escape from the classical world or, as Rogerson himself puts it, “falling out of my ivory tower very slowly”.
Masquerading under aliases for the last few years, Luke Blair coughs up gritty techno mutations on the Twisted Blood EP for his Glum label.
Each cut sounds like it was captured mid-mutation or formed from reactive substance that burn on contact, convecting the oxidising garage-techno torque of Twisted Blood and the submerged techno stress-test of Another Victory for Furniture for more adventurous dancefloors, along with more knackered, impish alien folk dance with crooked budge of The Yips, and something like a corrupted pastoral ambient scene with Doom.
Over the last twenty five years Robin Rimbaud – Scanner has traversed the experimental terrain between sound, space and image, connecting a bewilderingly diverse array of genres – a partial list would include sound design, film scores, computer music, avant garde, contemporary composition, large-scale multimedia performances, product design, architecture, fashion design, rock music and jazz.
"Fibolae is his first studio album since 2009, released via the independent label run by Anna von Hausswolff, Pomperipossa Records. With a catalogue busy with commissions, soundtracks and strange projects this is the first studio album since 2009’s Rockets, ‘Unto the Edge of Rockets’ (Bine Music). In this time much has changed – he lost his entire family and left the comfort of a familiar city, London, to live in a former textile factory in the UK to re-invent his life.
‘Fibolae’ offers up a world that splinters between melancholia and penetrating energy. Combining digital technologies, software and live instrumentation it is both a rhetoric of mourning and a celebration of music to empower. Warm, organic, sensual, passionate and frequently angry, it’s an album that radiates with possibilities.
As to the meaning of the title, ‘Fibolae’? There is none. It was a word that appeared to Scanner in a dream, at a time of great challenges in his life. The fact that his unconscious mind could conjure up such inventions that offer no history and context was appealing and yet it was suggestive, playful and open."
The Speicher series hits release number 100 with its latest instalment, a doublepack that includes new tracks by Michael Mayer, Jorg Burger, jurgen Paape and Voigt & Voigt.
"The Speicher series actually has two birth dates: a first one in 1999, when a “Kompakt For Cisco” 12” special edition inadvertently created a new sub label with the rather pragmatically titled Kompakt Extra 001. Two years later, a Kompakt 12” sampler called “Speicher 1” introduced the name of the series that we know today – and a blueprint for idiosyncratic, powerful techno with clear dance floor ambitions.
MICHAEL MAYER was featured on both of these parent releases and also co-helmed the iconic Speicher 2 vinyl from 2002 (which brought us two essential Kompakt cuts with his own “Pride Is Weaker Than Love” and Reinhard Voigt’s “Supertiel”) – more than enough reasons to have him start off the celebratory 100th Speicher with a bang: LOUT sees Kompakt’s label head engage in bold, synth-laden prime time techno and the kind of epic noise break that informed his earliest output as a producer and DJ. Kompakt stalwart JÖRG BURGER is another usual suspect when it comes to label classics, and his Speicher releases as The Modernist (KOM EX 28) or Burger Industries (KOM EX 16) mark early milestones in the series. His BEATMESSE PT.1 & 2 focusses on the atmospheric side of Speicher and presents a deep, mutable groover.
Meanwhile, JÜRGEN PAAPE’s WHISPER ECHO and RODEO unearth the series’ not-so-secret pop sensibilities – just as he did on Speicher 47 and Speicher 45 (featuring the notorious “Take That”). VOIGT & VOIGT complete this 2x12” vinyl series profile in style, thanks to moody shuffle bouncer LEISE and the raucous, spiky banger BUM BUM BAR (feat. Chris Trance) – it’s a fitting conclusion to Speicher’s 100th release, coming from the duo that made a habit out of dropping legendary techno jams, from founding bangers “Korn/Roxy” (KOM EX 3) and “Vision 03” (KOM EX 5) to the most recent Speicher 99."
Adroit sound designer/producer J.G. Biberkopf makes a fine addition to Aïsha Devi and co’s Danse Noire label with Fountain Of Meaning, offering a far more mannered and dreamlike follow-up to the deadly fwd cyber-punk-techno of his two LPs for Kuedo’s Knives. Make sure to check ‘Dance of Relating’!
“Fountain of Meaning is a new sonic fiction from sound artist J.G. Biberkopf following last year’s Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess released on Knives. Emerging out of a situation of overflow, the record burrows deeper into his practice of palpable audio theater with a study of object and relations across space-time specific sounds.
The Fountain as a theme reflects a spouting and spilling of information, an erotic gushing of imagined aural history. “The Fountain was the source of water in the public space in cities,” J.G. Biberkopf explains. “Now it’s pretty much a sexualised architectural gesture of both beautification and the spectacle of dominant ideologies.”
The western classical musical canon, much like the perpetual coming of the fountain, flush the headphone space with stimuli. Reflex and memory guides the listener through a semiotic architecture of processed recordings of masses in Catholic churches and contemporary performances of pre-medieval music. A liquidity of structure has an anxious influence and is a closed system approach to form and imagination. When water flows, it fills every space, then spills over to claim more. History is equally abundant and alive. We have never had as much history as we have now. We have never been able to see ourselves as we can now.
A knowledge of a grander architecture of knowing and recalling oppress the ecologies of human decision-making.The nature of the archive has transformed into a total and panoptic intelligence. A life is a gamble as the inventory of the world overflows into the production of a spectral third, an other, a confrontation. Fountain of Meaning offers a dynamic tension and release. A molecular tragedy, our abject recovery into a collaborative reimagining of a trauma long forgotten. “
NYC techno survivor and Synewave bossman Damon Wild delivers his 3rd album, only 13 years since his last
Expect 15 tracks of well skooled techno depth - gritty, pulsing 909 sequences, misty-eyed synths, salty bleeps - for the hard working DJ and demanding headphone listener.
CPU boss and electro-obsessive Chris Smith has meticulously notated and recreated classic electro-bass drum tracks on the Roland TR-808 for DJ Tools, Vol. 1: 808 Tracks
Ranging from the bare bones of Hashim in The Soul, thru Mantronix’s Needle To the Groove, Herbie Hancock’s Don’t Stop, and, best of all, Juan Atkins’ Clear. It’s pretty mad to hear them all shorn of synth flesh and muscle, but they’re evidently all primed for DJs who wanna extend or cut-up any of the originals. Good work.
For their first solo outing since 2015, Rrose plumbs the depths of the technosphere in three parts for the Eaux label.
We can think of few other artist so persistently, intently pushing the prism of modern techno as Rrose does right here, firstly exploring the body boneless with the jellyfish form of The Smallest Footprints and then with the chokingly immersive brownian dynamics of The Ends of Weather, before slicing into the ‘floor proper with the martial whirrs and plasmic propulsion system of Nest Of Queens across the B-side.
This one’s strong. No messing.