Full of cold, steely industrial techno riddled with machine spirits, the Protest EP from Berlin’s Kaltès & Nene H. is not for the casual techno observer, but rather offers a payload of stern girders for the club, reinforced by Christina Sealey (Orphx) and LAIR remixes.
In a push and pull of forces, Kaltès & Nene H.’s spine-stiffening bucker Resist contrasts with the more rolling, plangent and bittersweet appeal of Persist, but both share a blank-eyed and stomping purpose.
On the remixes, Christine Sealey ov Orphx pulverises Persist like a techno panel beater working on a dented tank, and LAIR guts and inverts the impact of Resist into numb drones and submerged rhythms.
Killer tag team grime styles from Boylan & Slimzee
Weighing in the dense, dark halfstep matter of No Cure for the dungeon dwellers, neck-chopping mentasms in the roll cage of Replicants, and a choice bit of variation with the lush intro and rave-eyed breakbeat dipper, Reinforced.
Boddika picks up a brace of hypnotic techno slugs from Ribé for their solo début on Nonplus.
Rolling into place somewhere between Nonplus’s Eduardo De Calle releases, PAS-liek cosmic dynamics or Mike Parker-style hydraulics, the Harmonic Rain EP is most effective in the spuming cosmic glitter and wallop of the title cut, and definitely in the boiling electrical soup of Trying To Unpatch.
France’s Hard Beach Entertainment come off like a shabby chic take on Viewlexx/Murder Capital’s ‘90s electro aesthetics with the sound and look of Corporation Mindfuck’s Winds Of Corruption.
Expect five cuts of anaesthetised electro pressures working somewhere between Low Jack, Black Zone Myth Chant and BFDM, and a dead blunted I-F or Legowelt.
London/Milan’s Big Hands breaks thru with a deft collection of rave deconstructions backed by a grimy remix from Walton, all destined for the hands of canny DJs.
Big Hands takes cues from abstracted dancefloor emotions to generate six icy components ranging from Lorenzo Senni or TCF-liek flights in Prequel, to bumpy bass rolige in More Than Love, and Zomby-esque rave tesselations on the B-side’s Tensegrity, Kick Ballad and Blood, with Walton bringing up the rear on a tense, string slashed transfusion of Blood.
CV & JAB is Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett, two artists that might already be familiar to many of you from their individual work over the years for the Kranky and Spectrum Spools labels. Together they have made this slowly engrossing album for Shelter Press - who else - perhaps one of the most elusive, uncanny and multi-layered “Ambient” albums we’ve heard in what feels like a long time, a worthy follow-up to a frankly astonishing sequence of releases on the label that started with Felicia Atkinson’s modern classic 'Hand In Hand'. If you’re into anything from Chris Watson’s field recordings to Vangelis and Badalamenti at their most romantic and evocative, or even Boards of Canada’s early forays into wildlife documentary pastiche, this one will sooth your mind like nothing else.
The album is a musical interpretation of Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface, a 90m panoramic wall drawing by Zin Taylor (a reproduction of which is included as a fold-out poster that comes with the vinyl edition). Through 10 tracks they render beautiful electro-acoustic meditations on the passage of time, which follows-on from their co-work on Vantzou's No. 3 album.
Vantzou brings a wealth of experience working between auditory and visual mediums to John Also Bennett’s synthesized and acoustic sound sensitivities, which have recently applied to his action in the Forma trio and a compilation of Pauline Anna Strom’s amazing Trans-Millenia Music for RVNG Intl, with a purposefully slow and immersive flow of acoustic piano and flute wrapped up in remarkably plasmic, spatially detailed synth contours.
In 10 parts, through a combination of literal track titles and abstracted allegorical inference, they describe the movement and feelings evinced by Zin Taylor’s massive tableaux, variously transposing his imagery of Cactus with Vent into webs of crystalline harmonics that acquiesce to brownian motion, or, as with the transition of Alfred Hitchcock Haze to Rock House With Door, a vividly synaesthetic transcription of figurative drawing to brooding, doomily Lynchian sound that brings to mind a wealth of captivatingly dank and alien imagery.
The vinyl package includes a miniaturised print of Zin Taylor’s Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface to peruse while you listen, so that you, like Christina and Bennett, can also make your own interpretation, and see how far their sonic translation differs with your own. Or then again, you could ignore it entirely and let yourself drift inside their free-formed dimensions without the cues. Either way, you’re in for a beautiful, open-ended and unpredictable trip.
An all time killer classic from Wackies.
This 12" features 3 cuts of Lee Perry's immortal Tight Spot Rhythm featuring searing vocals by Leroy Sibbles and the great Stranger Cole, together with an instrumental version by the Bullwackies Allstars. Yum.
Russian-Israeli singer/songwriter Mary Ocher saddles up a brooding and driving new collection including a stunning cover of Robbie Basho’s Blue Crystal Fire featuring Julia Kent (Antony and The Johnsons), and a live cut with instrument builder Hans Unsworn and band. RIYL Circuits Des Yeux, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey
“Mary Ocher closes 2017 with the release of a further trove of songs. The "Faust Studio Sessions and Other Recordings" is a collection of pieces whose vast majority was recorded during the sessions that gave birth to "The West Against The People", Ocher's full-length release that came out on Klangbad earlier this year to much praise, released alongside a sociopolitical essay and further collaborations (Felix Kubin, Die Toedliche Doris).
These two weeks of recordings were made with Hans Joachim Irmler at the Faust Studio, which is located in a small village by the Swiss border, in a big industrial space overlooking the Danube. Mary's two drummers, Your Government joined the sessions for a short while, the rest was recorded solo. The 10" also features a collaboration with cello player Julia Kent (Antony and The Johnsons) - in a rendition of Robbie Basho's phenomeal "Blue Crystal Fire", the second collaboration is a live recording with German experimental artist Hans Unstern and his band, known for their use of self built instruments.”
Charles Mingus' sharp and precise compositions rank among the greatest in jazz. While the composer / basisst / pianist's music lay rooted in the dominant-of-his-time genre of hard bop, it frequently ventured into realms of gospel, blues, free jazz, and classical music, all featuring innovative and pioneering double-bass techniques.
"He frequently encouraged collective improvisation, and unorthodox ensembles to compose his songs, which frequently included session legends like Pepper Adams, Jimmy Knepper, Booker Ervin, and other jazz musicians of note. Though infamous for having a firey temper on and off-stage, (Which led to the later nickname of "The Angry Man Of Jazz") Mingus is frequently paired with the likes of Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis as one of the greatest bandleaders and jazz composers of all time.
Among his many full-length releases, 1959's Mingus Ah Um is considered one of best, and the peak moment of his works with the collective of musicians dubbed the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop. Clocking in at over an hour in length, Mingus Ah Um is 9 tracks of his finest, running the gamut from aggressive post-bop, to joyous gospel fusion, to progressive shuffling ballads, many of which would go on to become standards of the genre. It even took moments to praise his contemporaries in tracks like "Goodbye Porkpie Hat", written for saxophonist Lester Young, and the closer "Jelly Roll", an affectionate tribute to one of the first great composers of jazz. Regarded as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, and one of fifty recordings added to the National Recording Registry in 2003."
Rough Trade reissue this out of print classic from Sun Kil Moon.
'Glenn tipton' as opener is suffused with the plucked intricacies of prime nick drake, yolked to a vocal nuanced up there with the very best stuff from the great richard buckner recorded over the last 10 years. 'Salvador sanchez' wields convincing overdrive, a reverb-drenched shadow of neil young in flight, at his very peak, live with crazy horse on 'cortez the killer'.
If you're feeling a little spooked by these old man's music references then don't be - here there's a freshness, a lightness of touch which is all too lacking in the streams of plain old revivalism, masquerading as new music. Here, mark may well have been inspired by all the old geezers, but knows how to kick out fully on his own, rocking out on 'Lily and parrots' inna classic Big Star fashion, tempering it with the muted folksiness of 'Gentle Moon'. The entire third side is taken up with 'Duk koo kim', a piece which must surely take off in performance, one of those great holding-pattern riffs, building up to an ensemble jam which should definitely be experienced in one sitting. There's lightness too, in the shape of the mexican strings of 'Si, paloma' - subtle, shifting coda to a emotionally complex, genuinely wonderful album.
New album from Dominick Fernow’s most intriguing alias with "Sound on Sound” processing by Silent Servant and a remix from Substance (Chain Reaction). A huge recommendation if you're into Vainqueur, Huerco S, Talk Talk, Carl Craig, Rhythm & Sound...
Following a still-ongoing series of reissues of the earliest, previously tape-only releases from Dominick Fernow’s Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, this long-in-the-making new album proper is an epic 80 minute set featuring additional production from Silent Servant, a remix from Substance and some of the deadliest subs we've heard in an age.
It’s by far the most ambitious and far-reaching Rainforest dispatch, taking that artificial, tropical humidity as a starting point before heading deep into a kind of textured ambience, moving away from the extreme saturation of those early cassettes and the industrial environmentalism of his previous album Green Graves and instead creaiting a kind of 'Fear Dub’ - as the label call it - which is essentially the perfect encapsulation of the deep sense of paranoia contained within.
The opening Jungle Is A Shapeshifter is a gargantuan 35 minute head-melter that’s split across the first two sides of the vinyl pressing. Co-Produced with Silent Servant, it’s the most absorbing piece of "Ambient" music we’ve heard in a long while - slowly unfurling via chorus pedal guitars that gradually degrade, while a fathoms-deep bass pulse and tape-delay gives the piece its shape. It’s like an updated, tranquillised, fever-dream variant of the kind of ambient dub Vainqueur made his own back in the mid-90’s - we could listen to it on a loop for hours.
Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo, another Silent Servant co-production, clocks in at a relatively modest 17 minutes and heads off into more open terrain, this time with submerged percussion providing some propulsion, while shards of coloured synth pull you back into the swamp. It’s another humid, breathtaking session - bringing out the best in both Fernow and Silent Servant via perhaps the most important and satisfying work either artist has been involved with.
Praying Mantis Black Arts is another masterclass in sub-bass construction, while Chile’s Crimson Tide is the shortest track on the album, a kind of broken coda before Substance ends the set with a remix of Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo, deploying a tribal reduction that references classic Chain Reaction from a producer who was part of it first hand.
It’s a relatively upbeat conclusion to one of the most immersive listening experiences you’ll have in 2017; those of you looking for escape should dive in - you won’t want to re-engage with the world around you for a while.
For anyone who knows these records already - you won't need much of a sermon from us about their stature and greatness. If you don't know them - you're in for a treat.
Rhythm & Sound was the project that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald turned to after their seminal series of recordings as Basic Channel came to an end. From 1997 until 2002 the label released seven 12" EP's which pretty much defined the direction so much electronic music would turn to in its wake - and it still continues to exert a colossal influence, for better or worse. It's perhaps hard to remember over a decade later just how little these productions sounded like anything that preceded them - taking the essence of dub and breaking it down until all that was left was a vapour trail of melody and a colossal bass echo. We could spend an hour listing all the music that basically came along and copied this template in the intervening years but, the thing is, none of what followed comes anywhere near these productions in terms of substance, none of it has aged in the same way.
"Mango Walk / Mango Drive" was the second release on the label and, for many, remains its finest moment. The a-side features an original production from the Wackies vaults by Azul & Bullwackie recorded in 1979, with an incredible 9 minute revision from Mark and Moritz on the flip. The version that appeared on the Rhythm & Sound 'Compilation' is over two minutes shorter.
Kiel/K1’s classic Manny grime instrumental Who You Hang With finally finds its audience on vinyl, now backed with the wavey swagger of his new one Range Road, and marking up the crucial 1st shot on his Prism label.
Back in the hazy days of 2004-2007, Kiel was a clockwork regular at our brick n mortar shop, Pelicanneck, which was the only place to pick up new grime and dubstep white labels in Manchester back then (another shop at the time called this stuff “gay rage”, as in garage, geddit? Nah, us neither), and he’d pretty much hoover up all the best plates week in, week out.
A few years after the shop shut, Kiel knocked out the instrumental Who You Hang With, which has since become a vital part of the Manc grime canon, most famously used as the riddim to a freestyle on Westwood by his Mayhem Crew MC, Shifty. Now with nearly a decade of hindsight, it’s safe to call Who You Hang With a patently and uncannily prescient fusion of trap and grime which has clearly withstood the test of time.
For bittersweet contrast with his current sound, the B-side’s Range Road - named after the UK road with greatest range of languages spoken, fact fans! - locates a hoods-up, low-rolling mix of see-sawing synths and sub-fuelled trap bite that’s only shades away from Who You Hang With, but equally fresh and up-to-the-second.
100% Manchester modern. Tip!
DJ Nobu meets Kouhei Matsunaga (NHK) on their début batch of techno trax as MTv for The Trilogy Tapes.
Their Hollywood #1 EP broadly falls in two categories: firstly working with hyaline timbres and slow, dull thuds in Snow Ball, and then with a viscous EBM momentum powered by tangy synth liens in Smooth Motion.
On the other hand you have two uptempo workouts; the tentative 127bpm stepper Smart Ball, and a squeaky bum jacker called Look Back Motion, where they jointly put some proper, jacked-up techno back into it.
Keith Hudson's key achievement in a career launched when as a fourteen-year-old he recorded members of The Skatalites on his Shades Of Hudson rhythm.
Originally released in 1974, after a series of solid-gold productions for Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson, John Holt, U-Roy and the rest, it projects Hudson's removal from JA to London and New York studios and transatlantic audiences, and inaugurates a sequence of albums - classics like Pick A Dub, Brand, Playing It Cool - which show his troubled experimentalism better suited to the LP than the cardinal 7" reggae format.
Anchored here by Santa Davis and George Fullwood from the Soul Syndicate - alongside musicians like Augustus Pablo, Count Ossie and Leroy Sibbles - Hudson's mood is tormented and dazed, as on titles like Darkest Night, My Nocturne and Testing My Faith he struggles for Black senses of commitment - political, existential, religious - at its breaking point. Magnificently and deadly serious, hauntingly unique, unmissable and unforgettable.
LFI yield the aural equivalent of a queasy mushy trip with Garland’s maiden voyage, Preludes #1
An intoxicating journey, guided by sloshing percussion and probing bass plongs thru lysergically dubbed-out electro-acoustic dimensions and keening microtonal ‘tronics.
Robert Haigh, who is perhaps better known as D&B legend Omni Trio, reprises the solemn, autumnal contemporary classical styles heard on his V-O-D retrospective and early releases for NWW’s United Dairies, this time in the esteemed comapny of Laurie Spiegel, Carl Stone, Lubomyr Melnyk on Unseen Worlds
“A new album of piano driven ambient music from British composer Robert Haigh. Following in the path of his albums for the Japanese Siren label, Creatures of the Deep is an underground vantage of a meeting between the musical worlds of Harold Budd and Erik Satie. With a storied musical career that has ranged widely in style — from his industrial-avant-garde works on Nurse With Wound’s United Diaries label as SEMA to his legendary ambient drum and bass records as Omni Trio on Moving Shadow — Robert Haigh's work occupies a space between music and mystery.
With Creatures of the Deep, Haigh is at the peak of his powers. Among noir, minimal, neo-classical landscapes are robust scatterings of bright reflection and a musical expression that is subtle and elusive yet uniquely Haigh’s in its voice and masterful execution. The closer we examine, the more is revealed, and the less is defined.”
The legendary #2 on Fact mag’s “20 Best Minimal Wave records ever made” list sees 1st ever legit vinyl reissue thanks to the heavy souls at Dark Entries. Since the original tape release in 1982, Solid Space’s only studio album Space Museum has become a definitive, widely sought-after example of early ’80s minimal synth music, coveted for its cold but exquisitely endearing mix of sci-fi themes with synth-pop, electronic disco, funk and even jangly folk chops. A massive recommendation to anyone into Current 93, Depeche Mode, Officer!
“Dark Entries is honored to finally present the first ever official vinyl reissue of Space Museum by Solid Space. Solid Space was the British duo of Dan Goldstein (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew ‘Maf’ Vosburgh (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals) formed in 1980. Dan and Matthew met at the age of 11 while attending school in north London. In late 1978 at at the age of 14, they formed Exhibit ‘A’ with Paul “Platypus” and Andrew “Lunchbox” Bynghall. They recorded two EPs in 1979 and 1980, self-released on Irrelevant Wombat Records and appeared on ‘The Thing From The Crypt’ compilation. After the dissolution of the group, Mathew started taking his guitar over to Dan’s house where he’d play his Casio MT-30 and they would record songs. Eventually a second hand drum machine and Wasp synthesizer were acquired from classified ads in Melody Maker and the Solid Space sound was born. By this time they were just turning 18 and finally found the freedom to make the music they’d had in their heads.
Over the course of the next two years the band assembled eleven bedroom recordings that would become one of the most cherished DIY obscurities of its kind. Their debut album ‘Space Museum’ was released in 1982 on cassette by In Phaze Records. All of the songs were mixed by label boss Pat Bermingham on 8-track tape at The Shed, in Ilford, which was literally a garden shed. The band’s music and lyrics were heavily indebted to science fiction, in particular the 1960s television series Doctor Who. ‘Space Museum’ is an unveiling of atmospheric, minimalist post punk supported by bright melodies. The music combines drum machines and synths with acoustic guitar and toy drums whilst also experimenting with samples between tracks. Lyrics deal with space travel and a general sense of dejection. Representing a bubbling spirit within the underground, they foreshadowed an entire world of independent music which would emerge across the 80’s and well into the 90’s. For this reissue we’ve included two bonus tracks from the band’s archive, “Platform 6” originally released on the B-side of the second single by Exhibit ‘A’, this song features only Dan and Matthew and is the first Solid Space track ever recorded. “Tutti Lo Sanno” is a cover of In Phaze label mates Marine Girls, though the lyrics have been changed to suit the gender of the new singer.
Made in celebration of the 90th birthday of Musique concrète pioneer, Pierre Henry, this epic collection was personally selected and remastered by the composer himself just prior to his death last year; including nine works released for the first time ever on any format - all remastered by the man himself.
The 12 CD boxset Polyphonies is a mind-blowing summation of more than 50 years work by restlessly pioneering composer, Pierre Henry (9th December 1927 - 5 July 2017) - the undisputed godfather of musique concrète, who laid the groundwork for much of electronic music as we now know it. Counting 29 works, including no fewer than 9 premieres, Polyphonies serves both an historic education and an engrossing reminder of Henry’s influence over developments in 20th and 21st century music.
There’s nothing that we can add to the reams of writing on Pierre Henry. We can only reassert what’s been said in numerous articles, essays and academic texts, that, technically, Pierre Henry was among the most important and ardent manipulators of ‘concrète’ sound - that is, physical sounds extracted from their environment and abstracted through various process of effects, to re-sound or resonate in new, different ways and meanings.
He’s French, so philosophy was always integral to his practice, but the proof is in Henry’s pudding, as his persistent pursuit of sonic spectres and metaphysics brought a world of new sounds into tangible physicality. Whether through animation of inanimate objects, or a re-spatialization of whole scenes of reality, Henry heard a possibility for alteration in almost everything, and acted on his urges with remarkable insightful results.
Many of Henry’s compositions are broadly known to followers of early electronic music, while even casual observers will likely know his Psyche Rock piece as the influence behind Matt Groening’s Futurama theme tune. However, even the most hardcore Henry heads won’t have heard the 9 premieres in this boxset, including the hyperreal dynamics of Chronicles terriennes, the deconstructed piano clatter of Études transcend antes pour un piano imaginaire, his rhythmically seductive Pleins jeux and the atonal fuss of Kyldex, or the deep space radiation of Astrologie, and likewise the entire 12th disc of 2016 "Remixes" (re-masteres, really), completed by the artist before losing he lost his sight. Ears were definitely still working, though!
It’s fair to say that our perception of sound and electronic music may not be the same if it were not for Henry’s way of listening, dissembling and re-sequencing the sound sphere, parsing and re-parsing it for an ever elusive meaning. In the process he’s thrown up more questions than answers which will puzzle and trigger more ideas, most likely for the rest of time.
Basic Channel heads Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald keep the burial mix series going with its most ambitious release to date - a collection of one-rhythm tracks featuring vocal contributions from Basic Channel collaborators old and new.
"See Mi Yah" is a classic collection of one-rhythm tracks, typical format and production approach in Reggae, featuring ten vocal versions and one instrumental of the See Mi Yah rhythm (an additional 3 are only available on the 7" collection), strictly roots!
After Paul St. Hilaire (formerly known as Tikiman) had lent his voice to quite a few Rhythm & Sound releases over the years, the starting point for this project was to work with him once again and also with his brother Ras Perez, their fellow Berlin based Dominicans Koki and Ras Donovan (also known from his collaboration with Mapstation), the Berlin based Jamaicans Freddy Mellow, Walda Gabriel, Bobbo Shanti, Lance Clarke as Rod Of Iron and Joseph Cotton aka Jah Walton.
With a toasting style heavily influenced by the legendary U-Roy, Cotton was a central figure in the jamaican DJ scene of the 70s and 80s. To cap it all off, on a visit to Berlin, the great Sugar Minott and Willi Williams (famous for Studio 1 classic Armagideon Time) did their versions in the Rhythm & Sound studio!
For each tune the rhythm is arranged and mixed differently. The legacy and genius of Basic Channel and all its myriad offshoots seems more relevant and important now than ever before, they have a knack of creating music that lives on in the listener's head long after voices, rhythm and sound have long gone. Highly recommended!!
'Versions' leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescence...
This second breathtaking CD leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the terryfingly deep Basic Channel production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescance. The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been to us over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
Following convention, each of these labels has offered a catalogue up on record (in this case 10" releases) before compiling the music. This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the Vocal tracks are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
After 10 years in the game, Alessandro Adriani’s Mannequin marks 100 releases with an 8-way gangbang starring Silent Servant, Ron Morelli, Beau Wanzer, S. O’Sullivan, Not Waving, An-i & Adriani, Willie Burns, and Illum Sphere.
As main catalysts behind the current wave of waves, Mannequin have been crucial in reappraising a wealth of overlooked and classic material from late ‘70s and ’80s underground scenes, to the extent that they now hold the reins on a new wave of artists making mutant fusions of EBM, industrial and proto-house musics.
This set spells out their sound in no uncertain terms, kicking off with a signature Silent Servant wriggler, then taking in some proper rhythmic noise by Morelli, some sick porterhouse run-off from Beau Wanzer, a klonqy glam trampler by Not Waving, some dirty sauna tackle from An-i & Adriani, and what sounds like Liquid G and Dirk Ivens sharing a straight jacket in the Willie Burns effort.
A rare grail of Ghanaian cosmic high life bubbles back to vinyl for 1st time in over 30 years
“One of Ghana’s most sought-after LPs emerges from obscurity as a high quality reissue on the new Vintage Voudou label from the Netherlands. First released in Nigeria in 1979, this LP (also known as Basa Basa Experience - Together We Win) is a unique collaboration with Themba ‘T-fire’ Matebese, who propelled Basa Basa’s sound, inspired by Ghanaian traditional music, soul and afrobeat, into another dimension, adding disco elements, synthesizers and the production aesthetics of the next decade. Contains extensive liner notes and fold-out poster.
The new Amsterdam based label Vintage Voudou focuses on re-releasing a carefully picked selection of rare tropical music on vinyl, paying special attention to sound quality and print work. Vintage Voudou was founded by Alex Figueira (Fumaça Preta / Conjunto Papa Upa), originally as a club night in Amsterdam dedicated to vintage tropical dance tunes. In 2013 he joined forces with Edo Bouman (Bombay Connection), opening the Vintage Voudou record shop in the heart of the Red Light district in Amsterdam. Basa Basa is Vintage Voudou’s first release, and is a collaboration of Edo Bouman and Thomas Gesthuizen aka DJ Gioumanne.”
An all-time classic, production masterclass - it doesn't get any better.
The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
Vangelis' 1982 masterpiece, back in on wax.
We probably don't need to spell out the influence of this soundtrack and Ridley Scott's correspinding take on the Philip K Dick short, 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep'. It's simply one of the finest scores and one of, if not THE most influential pieces of electronic music ever written.
Slang is a new project from DJ Deep and Traumer giving both artists room to explore blends of Afro-percussion and dub thru the prism of House music.
On their début for German label Possible Futures they work out three tracks together - the reticulated, Villalobos-like wriggler Streets At Night Part 1, the grubbing, gritty groove and over-the-shoulder vocals of Streets At Night Part 3, and the Hieroglyphic Being-esque sign and chord clusters of Knocked Out - while Traumer has another go with Streets At Night, turning it into a more propulsive, pendulous workout erring to the smart side of tech house.
Basement Phil digs deep for this set of exclusive jungle dubs and in-demand classics from Peshay, The Truper (Photek), Roger Johnson, and some souls who’ll only ever be known as Unknown.
Despite the extra hiss, the A-side’s previously unreleased and highly sought-after Peshay & Roger Johnson joint Crazy Daydreams • Original Dubplate Mix is one big reason to snaffle this set, but the fiends should also like to know there’s handy pressings (from DAT) of Street Beats’ Unknown Untitled Volume 6A + 6AA & 2A + 2AA 10”s, as well as some really choice cuts from Peshay and The Truper.
One way to look at it is, any one of the releases inside would cost roughly the same price as this lot, and may well be infinitely more knackered!
Fresh pressing of Digital’s sought-after 1995 ace, Space Funk
Backed with remixes by Rufige Kru, Futurebound, Nasty Habits and Special Forces (Photek), although the choppy Om Unit mix is decent. Worth it for that new cut of Spacefunk alone.
Fit Siegel and Sotofett galvanise their S & M Trading Co duo with Metal Surface Repair, a labyrinthine acid beauty, backed with a trackier version and a very handy beat-less version.
The A-side’s title cut is a real midnight bloom, flowering from an intro of mystic Eski flutes and layered subs into a 303-gilded masterpiece meant for deployment at the most crucial times of the dance. B-side, DJ Sotofett takes the lead on a chunkier Acid Mix emphasising the 303 and percussion, saving the floating pads for the final strokes, whereas the Synthetic Mix lets the synth and acid lines move in lush avian formation, leaving the drums aside to be dropped as a proper palette cleanser where needed.
Truly excellent work.
Top lip-sniffin’ trance techno nourishment from Aoud on Persephonic Siresn, the label behind Ancient Methods’ The First Siren  missile.
No denying it, when the bassline begins to gallop and the synths ascend around 2 minutes into SE MKII we’re right there with it, suppressing a gurn and pill belly at 5pm - and it even works similar effect at 33rpm - while the B-side’s I (One) stirs up techno-trance passions with a more distorted, burning edge, and Surd plays it down but stealthily bubbling under for proper lockjaw effect.
The Kelly twins’ Happy Skull play host to Roman siblings and IDM producers Fabrizio and Marco D’Arcangelo for only their 2nd outing since Rephlex did a houdini.
Hailing from the same Roman skool of ‘90s electronic music as Leo Anibaldi and Marco Passarani, the D’Arcangelo brothers were always Italy’s closest answer to AFX, blessed with an urge for melodic and rhythmic intricacy that set their work apart.
On Saba Tree they pick up where they left off, dispensing the near-baroque acid-electro elegancy of the title cut, then the curdling Braindance harmonics of Pull Seven, before whipping out the EP’s big highlight in AC - SF13 - 2 Cid - 13th Cider, which reads like a Cornishman’s weekend drugs shopping list, and sounds like a stray Analord production, leaving them to clock out on the downtempo tilt of Korty.
The untouchable AOS keeps the pressure gauge ticking with an acid boogie monster backed by a lithe, reticulated instrumental house groove.
Games That We Play finds Alex Omar Smith at his very best, joined by vox from Diviniti and live acid and CP-1 piano played by Ian Finkelstein, for a pendulous piece of garage-house pressure in the mould of late ’80s Juan Atkins, but with that inimitable Omar-S ruggedness. On the other side, he lets the soul flow on Potawatomi with rolling rattlesnake trills and stepping B-line driving a deep, tracky bomb in classic FXHE fashion.
This Gottfried Michel Koenig collection is a definitive document of his pioneering innovations in electro-acoustic composition: spanning his Zwei Klavierstücke  and other works created at the WDR, Cologne; thru his years at the Utrecht Institute For Sonology, and right up to his 60 Blätter for Streichtrio . If you’re into anything from Roland Kayn to Dave NYZ, Ligeti, Haswell or Æ, Koenig’s oeuvre is essential listening!
A key mind in the realisation and theoretical underpinnings of electro-acoustic music, Koenig came thru the Darmstadt summer schools as a student, and later a lecturer, where he met Stockhausen, Kagel, Evangelisti, and Ligeti, whom he would later assist at the famous WDR (Westdeutschen Rundfunk) studio in Cologne - where he also worked in the radio drama department, before moving to Utrecht as director and chair of the Institute of Sonology during its most fecund period until 1986.
The work he assisted on or created himself during this period was crucial to the development of electro-acoustic and computer music paradigms, and since the ‘60s he’s placed ever greater focus on realising a form of computer composition - both writing programs that generate unique scores for instrumentalists to play, and recordings of pure computer music.
For us, and we’ll safely assume many others, it’s the latter part of Koenig’s catalogue - the purely electronic works - that demand attention. Utterly raw, complex and alien, Koenig’s pieces such as Terminus X , and the colour-coded Funktion series from the same era, are some of the most captivating, visceral recordings of electronic music that we’ve ever heard, presenting sounds at their very most abstract, and with no concession to replicating instrumental timbres and dynamics.
We highly recommend getting to grips with the works in this collection, which is pretty much the only place you’ll find a reliable high quality versions of each piece.
Martyn Bootyspoon flounces into the dance with a crackshot début EP cubing the roots of Chi-house, Ballroom and grimy, FWD electronics for the leading lights at Fractal Fantasy. Following his 'Don’t' hook-up with Zora Jones on the Visceral Minds 2 comp, Bootyspoon’s fully fledged solo flight is a lusting future funk session steeped in club hedonism and destined for widespread dancefloor damage.
Perfectly tessellating with the Fractal fam’s sound, Bootyspoon toggles a killer blend of properly upfront styles and techniques with a feel for more classic styles that adds something retro yet fresh and soulful to the label.
Silk Eternity is riddled crafty rhythm programming and virulent vocaloids that set the EP apart from his field at every turn. Whether retrofitting c*nty ballroom with classic Chicago drum machines and wickedly bitchy vox on Spread That Kat; going hard for instrumental Jersey and B-More pressure in Steam and The Grid; or perfectly serving the rave what it needs thru the spaced out dimensions of Helicoptah Dance - “sh*t is tantric, maximum lust!” - or flipping classic ‘90s dancepop samples into a head-spinning blend of Viennese keys, Senni-esque Arps and slathering trills on Ease U - Bootyspoon’s music is set to make a big impression everywhere.
Jóhann Jóhannsson presents his OST for another Denis Villeneuve flick, following from his work on Sicario and essentially, perhaps unavoidably, turning up as a sort of preface to thee most anticipated score of the 21st century; his work on the forthcoming Bladerunner 2049 sequel.
Whilst the recent, extraordinary Orphée gave room for Jóhannsson’s solo spirits to roam, back at the day job he provides the perfect backdrop of unearthly terror and fear-of-the-unknown atmospheres for Arrival’s first contact themes, employing a palette of symphonic strings and perilous electronic abstraction in thick, impending strokes of minor key portent and chasmic electro-acoustic wormholes interspersed by zones of weightless chamber music and blood-curdling alien chorales.
It’s all you want from the soundtrack to a big budget sci-fi and leaves us quite literally salivating for what comes next…
Two years in the making, Ahwar (Arabic for marshlands) is an otherworldly record, not unlike an abstract mythological story-tale.
"Opening with the mangled and filtered vocals of the album's lead track Afqid Adh-Dhakira (I Lose Memory) like an alien dream, the drones of a bowed double bass lead us into a drum groove that lays the groundwork for El Shazly's sultry and captivating presence, singing: "(I am) coming, from a time far away. Going, escaping. Alone in the wilderness".The Arabic prose lingers over interjections of slap-back delayed guitar twangs and an avant-garde arrangement of dissonant winds, horns and seemingly random drum fills, ending with an eerie soundscape that wouldn't feel out of place in a Giallo classic.
A daring and potent statement that sets the foundations over which the rest of the album can unravel. Composed, written and produced by El Shazly herself in collaboration with The Dwarfs of East Agouza's Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi on co-composition and arrangement duties, the album was crafted across two continents, between Canada and Egypt, and features the crème of Montreal's contemporary-classical and improvised music scene, most of whom aremembers of Shalabi's own Land of Kush ensemble. In between El Shazly's five original tracks, we are treated to an abstract coverversion of Sayyid Darwish's classic Ana 'Ishiqt (I Once Loved). El Shazly's haunting vocal floats over broken Kalimba and Harp arpeggios which slowly intertwine with a free, bowed double bass improv to nestle within the breaks between Younes Al-Qadhi's early 20th century verses of love and betrayal.
More than that, it is difficult to really describe, but imagine the worlds of Nico, Björk and Annette Peacock with the Arabic language as their mother tongue, re-approached through acoustic avant-jazz harmony and re-constructed with a dash of Kamilya Jubran's modern styling of Arabic maqam and you may be somewhere close. Recorded and delicately mixed through miles of analogue cabling by Thierry Amar at Hotel2Tango and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering in Montreal, the album is adorned with the surrealist artwork of Egyptian artist Marwan El-Gamal and designed with custom typography by Egyptian designer Valerie Arif . All editions come with dual-language booklets featuring the lyrics in Arabic with English translation by Nariman Youssef."
Spread over a massive six discs and further bolstered by a pretty darn exhaustive book that interviews the surviving members (Williams passed away in 2001), 'Out Of Cold Storage' is testament to the unbridled virility of This Heat - with all the music very much rooted in its era, yet also utterly timeless. Comprised of their five studio albums ('This Heat', 'Deceit', 'Health and Efficiency', 'Made Available' and 'Repeat') plus an incendiary set of live action culled from their 1980/81 heyday, 'Out Of Cold Storage' allows everyone to get hold of these classic recordings in pristine form - a real treat given the eroded bootlegs and mp3s that have been doing the rounds for years.
Born out of the UK crucible that existed in the period immediately post punk (before it earned capitals and morphed into genre all of its own...), This Heat formed through the restless response of three twenty-somethings who felt impelled to document their corner of 1970's London. Already faces at the more severe end of the prog-rock scene, Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward were joined by non-musician Gareth Williams - a catalyst that would see them recording vast quantities of work then editing the results down into consumable chunks of aural fortitude.
Ranging in style from the avant-rock of their eponymous debut, through to the political polemic of 'Deceit', This Heat are spiky without the need to resort to high-kicking comparisons with the likes of Orange Juice et al., with their output always a couple of steps removed from their retrospective peers. Unafraid to disrupt their reputation through creative right-angles, the likes of 'Repeat' and it's central 20 minutes of looped drones and rhythms (think Can in a chiller cabinet) are seemingly at odds with 'Health And Efficiencies' melody etched high - yet rather than cause tension, these juxtapositions merely heighten the band's appeal and allow you a glimpse into moments of creative perfection.
Vast, comprehensive and thoroughly indispensable, 'Out Of Cold Storage' proves that the endless vault combing perpetrated by labels can sometimes come good. Six shades of fantastic.
Jóhann Jóhannsson returns with his first new solo album in 6 years, his first album for Deutsche Grammophon.
Multi award-winning composer Jóhann Jóhannsson - who was recently announced composer for the Bladerunner sequel score - presents his first solo work proper in six years with Orphée; a completely bewitching orchestral “meditation on beauty and the process of creation”, which takes its inspiration from various perspectives on the ancient greek myth of Orpheus and uncannily incorporates traces of the near-mythical Conet Project recordings.
Now firmly established as a preeminent composer of major film soundtracks thanks to his preternatural feel for atmosphere and sensitively emotive arrangements, Jóhannsson here takes the opportunity to transcribe his feelings on moving from Copenhagen to Berlin, and the process of saying goodbye, making new relationships, by caring to a deeply personal muse.
Tending to the seeds of ideas begun in 2009, he used an interpretation of the Orpheus myth - particularly Ovid’s version from Metamorphoses - to metaphorically unpackage themes of death and rebirth, the ephemerality of memory and the mutability of love and art with suitably magisterial, timeless appeal.
It’s worth reiterating that this is Jóhannsson working to his own, philosophical ends, and not at the service of visual elements or narrative requirement. And, in that respect, the personalised results are rendered for closest inspection, channelling the butterfly effect of Orpheus’ tales on the underworld, on love and music, on divine inspiration, with a sombre elegance and subtly intoxicating enthusiasm.
The addition of distant, elusive recordings from Irdial’s enigmatic Conet Project recordings - a nod to the title character of Jean Cocteau’s Orphée who listens to shortwave radio noise bursts of avant-garde poetry - forms the spectral spirit that binds it all together, perfusing the composition’s creaking strings, electronic timbres and airy dimensions like voices from another dimension, which for all intents and purposes, just like this record, might as well be.
Neo-classical maestro Keith Kenniff (Helios, Sono) rings in his first new album in three years with Cricle, a warbling streak of solo piano keys swaddled in iridescent strings, sounding out a hazily submerged and nostalgic feeling.
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:
End Ground forms the third and final installment in a series of records documenting the solo prowess of Sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley released on Sweden’s iDEAL Recordings. It was performed on electric guitar thru Sunn model T amps, and captured on a zoom H4 at Centre Cultural Suisse, Bad Bonn Carte Blanche, Paris, France, on 18th October 2013.
In solo mode, stripped of his usual accomplices and collaborators, O’Malley is no less than an elemental force. His durational meditations absorb and consume with steady-handed wave after wave of charred, sustained, and sub-harmonised chords casting the mesmerising minimalist practice of La Monte Young into the physicality of Black Sabbath’s original, heavy metal die.
The A-side/first half of this 45 minute performance features O’Malley tentatively coaxing out languorous riffs which turn the air around him to a pensive, vibrating mush. As the 2nd half dawns he begins to deliver more crushing blows, drawing out and subsiding the chords with a patented, gut-wrenching and vivifying power that transcends rock, avant-garde, minimalism - all of that - to awaken dormant senses not usually experienced with other musics or concise temporality.
As with many of the most affective heavy drone recordings by Sunn 0))), among others, a modicum of patience is required in order to attain the right state for reception, but once your mind and body are malleable, the impact is deliciously visceral, primal and whelming.
Colour us blown away, once again.
Meditative, durational works for a 17th century organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba written by Ellen Arkbro, who has previously composed for early music ensembles and studied Just Intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi - Huge Recommendation.
“For organ and brass is comprised of two works by the Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro. Both works focus on tuning, intonation and harmonic modulation. In previous projects, Arkbro composed for early music ensembles, wrote a series of durational pieces utilising synthetic tones and processed guitars, and, most recently, presented a work lasting 26 days at the Stockholm Concert Hall. for organ and brass looks back to Arkbro’s studies in Just Intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and their disciple Jung Hee Choi in New York, as well as with kindred spirit Marc Sabat in Berlin.
The title composition was written for an organ with a specific kind of historical tuning known as meantone temperament. It was only after locating an appropriate instrument—-the Sherer-Orgel dating back to 1624 in St. Stephen’s Church in Tangermünde, Northeastern Germany—-that Arkbro set about recording both for organ and brass and its counterpart, three. “Hidden within the harmonic framework of the Renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music,” explains Arkbro. “The work can be thought of as a very slow and reduced blues music.”
The work moves gradually through a series of long, sustained tones played by the organ and in parallel by a brass trio comprised of horn, tuba, and trombone. Arkbro’s treatment of pitch resembles the tuning strategies of La Monte Young. The brass parts were performed by microtonal brass trio Zinc & Copper, a group whose repertoire has included works by C.C. Hennix and Christian Wolff.
In Arkbro’s words, “the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges.” three, which follows the 20-minute title work, deploys the same principles of harmonic relativity. In removing the organ from the instrumentation and switching to a different meter, three acts as an intimate counterpoint to the ritual drone cycles of the title piece.
Ellen Arkbro is currently studying for her Master’s degree in music composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Her work has been performed in Brooklyn, Stockholm, Norberg, Bologna, Gothenburg, Berlin, Birmingham, and Malmö, and on Swedish National Radio.”
Stephen O’Malley deploys the 2nd in a trio of documents of his improvisational prowess following his crushing Fuck Fundamentalist Pigs, which was brought forward in tribute to the Paris attacks and released in late 2015.
The minimalist electric guitar mantra Dread Live was performed at Studio Helmbreker in Haarlem, Netherlands, September 2013, and recorded by Mathijs Ton on a hypercardiod ribbon mic with immaculate 70’s valve amp back line and technical support by the great Tos Nieuwenhuisen. The set was programmed as part of the opening of the Dread - Fear in the age of technological Acceleration exhibition at De Hallen Haarlem, curated by Juha Van’t Zelfde.
It renders 40 minutes of Sunn 0)))’s O’Malley at his most depressive and heavy and is something akin to a slow-motion baptism by waves of tarry, blackened harmonic distortion, holding us under ’til we nearly pass-out from its sinking pressure. Needless to say - it’s insanely good.
How low can you go? O’Malley knows.
London’s ADA drop your RDA ov tweetronic pop with Traffic Island Sound’s All Aboard, starring the naif vocals of P.P. Rebel, backed with one radiophonic vignette and a proper psyche-pop charm.
The lysergic melt of All Aboard comes on like a long-lost ‘60s pop song dreamt by Stereolab’s children after a weekend training trip with a batch of hoffmans. The B-side songs both come from TIS’ debut album Maximal Electronics, where First Steps feels like the woozy aftermath as the same kids stumble upon a synth and attempt to riff on Mike Ratledge’s Riddles Of The Sphinx LP, then arrive at the spiked robotic sing-a-long of Not Coming.
Sweet like that metallic tangggg.
Quite literally the definitive and perhaps most complex of all post-rock albums is given a remastered reissue 23 years since its original release back in 1994. If you’re into Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock / Spirit of Eden and you don’t know this album - welcome to your new obsession.
Back in 1994 Hex sounded like a new kind of music - albeit one guided by foundations laid by Talk Talk on that pair of albums half a decade earlier, as well as by so much of what was going on in the electronic scene at the time - and especially electronic music’s fascination with dub (the Kevin Martin compiled Macro Dub Infection that came out the following year provides a good measure of this intersection, featuring everyone from Coil to Tortoise and 4 Hero). In hindsight it’s easy to join the dots from what was happening in Chicago around the nebulous web of artists revolving around Thrill Jockey and the more esoteric end of UK’s electronic scene, but at the time it really did sound like something completely alien.
Bark Psychosis suffered from the derision with which Post Rock was ultimately treated by the British music media at the time, but Hex has grown in stature over the years, and it has aged beautifully - a perfect marriage of stoned ambition, innovative recording techniques and a refusal to settle on one stylistic trajectory.
It laid foundations for so much of what was to follow over the following decade to the extent that it’s bewildering that it hasn't been given the accolades it so obviously deserves. Perhaps this new, gorgeously remastered edition will put that right.
Ben Frost convulses a new EP of original solo material recorded with Steve Albini. Vast systems - unstable, overloaded, and on the verge of collapse were fed into an array of amplifiers inside a cavernous studio. Behind the glass, Albini committed this to tape, slashing at it intermittently with a razorblade and more than two hours of music was recorded. The Threshold Of Faith EP is the first release of music from those sessions.
Frost fully bares his teeth on five tracks inside, entering with the electrical storm and depth charge detonations of the title track, and hunting down an apocalyptic muse throughout the rest of the EP, from the nerve-gnawing string convolutions of Eurydice’s Heel (Hades) to the chromatic chamber vision of Threshold Of Faith (Your Own Blood), and with shuddering, tempestuous torque in The Beat That Don’t Die In Bingo Town. The finale climax, Mere Anarchy errs a bit to heavy into his cheesy side for us, though.
Integral to the ruptured flow of the album, All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated (Albini Swing Version) catches a quietly dynamic moment from the master engineer, rendering a hyaline cloud of intensely bright and sparse tones that could shatter at any moment, whilst Janus member and Björk remixer Lotic sends the same elements flying in corkscrewing militant drum rolls that sound like Chino Amobi’s wildest dreams.
Keith Hudson, the dub dentist, was a one-off innovator with impeccable, classical lineage: his first studio recording involved former Skatalites; his earliest releases provided solid-gold hits for Ken Boothe's "Old Fashioned Way" as far back as John Holt, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy and the rest.
Like "Lloyd" Bullwackies Barnes, his collaborator here - his split from this tradition is dynamic and all his own: Hudson's mature music finds its optimum conditions away from Jamaica, in London and New York studios and for less didactic transatlantic audiences, while his dark experimentalism becomes increasingly better suited to the the LP and extended 12" than the cardinal 7" reggae format.
Original dark disco mixes from the middle>> latter seventies, drenched in the essences of deepest afro-american-jamaican funk jams. "Playing It Cool & Playing It Right" was released in 1981 on Hudson's own, american based Joint International label. It was originally intended that one of Hudson's teenage sons would voice the dubs: in the event the Love Joys, Wayne Jarrett, and inimitably Hudson himself featured at the microphone.
Like Wackies, Hudson was a Studio One devotee "I used to hold Don Drummond's trombone for him so I can be in the studio", he once recalled ˆ and the album follows Coxsone's recent strategy of overdubbing signature rhythms. While the Studio One sides were aimed at the dancefloor; Hudson's reworks of alltime classic tracks like "Melody Maker", all darkside funkadelic guitars and brooding feeling, are more psychological. Deep Barrett Brothers rhythms are remixed like you've never heard, deeper still with reverb, filters and other distortion, pitched down, everything; and overlaid with new recordings, often heavily treated, of wahwahed guitars, percussion, keyboard, voice. "Playing It Cool.." is legendary, strange, utterly compelling music.
Richard Bishop performing with his rough charm and maximum elegance, along with one of the best avant- guitar players around, the now Brooklyn-based Ava Mendoza.
"Besides her work in Unnatural Ways, she improvises constantly on NY's avant-stages along with Elliott Sharp, Jim Black, William Winant, Paul Flaherty, Tim Dahl amongst others. Rumor has it that she was even in Caroliner. Recorded in full at Ivory Tower (Unrock Headquarters), the Sir opens up stepping deep into music history (as we know it), messing carefully around with the mysterious track the NY-Times was focused on with their recent review.
An electric version of "Safe House", a bone-dry 2015 update on "Abydos", an eruptive outbreak from "Multiple Hallucinations" into "Black Eyed Blue" and a mild & mellow reflection (Ivory Tower). Miss Mendoza is wild at heart and gives you the boot with what she's best at: thunderous eruptive, twisted improvisations and perfect songs. Shadowtrapping."