Call Super spins out a pair of rolling, ethereal house winners for TTT, leading on from his Blue Dot charm as Ondo Fudd earlier in the year.
On I Man A Canary Bird he strikes the finest balance of supple, rolling momentum and humid, tripped-out atmospheric detail, sorta like a plusher update of Villalobos’ sound circa late ‘00s.
On the other hand, I’m Still Dizzy curves to a deep blue techno-house vibe with brooding chord arrangement and swirling subaquatic dub FX swept along in dreamiest 3am currents.
The bastard love child of Elvis and Lux Interior, Israeli guitarist Charlie Megira brewed a heady amalgam of ’50s trash rock, surf-y tremolo, and reverb-drenched goth during his all-too-brief 44 trips around the sun.
"He recorded seven albums worth of material in 15 years, primarily issued on CD-R, most of which is now unreadable or in a landfill. Tomorrow’s Gone is the first collection of Megira’s work; a 24-track double album accompanied by a lavish booklet that documents his tragic existence. Armed with only an Eko guitar, a black tuxedo, and his signature wrap-around shades, Charlie Megira was a mold-breaking artist who disintegrated while we were all staring at our phones."
London based producer and DJ O’Flynn follows a series of productions which explored his wide-ranging style: from squelchy acid on Ninja Tune to loose and luscious jazz on Blip Discs, as well as the high-octane 12” released on his own Hundred Flowers imprint earlier this year.
"With standout 12” debuts ‘Tyrion’ and ‘Desmond’s Empire’ in 2015, O’Flynn quickly established his reputation as “one of dance music’s most prosperous newcomers”, as put by Boiler Room.
Having gained support from Four Tet, Gilles Peterson, Bonobo, Denis Sulta, James Blake and Hessle Audio and his debut album forthcoming, he continues his musical evolution to become a resonant force within dance music. "
Some time around 20 years ago, Dub Surgeon made an absorbing album of beautiful dub infused with ambience, found sounds and horizontal rhythms. 'The Lost Future' was recorded at the former Amsterdam Film Academy, engineered and mastered by Ricardo Villalobos who put it through several vintage mixers and recorded it to 2 inch tape. Then, tragedy struck: a storm surged and ignited a fire that ravaged the studio. The master copy was thought to have been lost forever.
Dub Surgeon stopped making music and disappeared into the shadows after just two EPs on Future Dub in 2002/3. But one day, 15 years later, and totally out of the blue, he received a demo of The Lost Future. "Pay attention to this," it said.
Attached was a demo version of the long lost album which now, finally, has found a home on Dubai's Ark to Ashes imprint, so named in homage to the story of Lee "Scratch" Perry burning down his Black Ark studio to rid it of demons.
Newly mastered by Rashad Becker, the album adopts its full form as a killer dub excursion which, with hindsight, can be marked up next to other electronic dub classics of its era, arguably right up there with the first two Pole albums, but also wickedly prescient of wilder, out-of-the-lines styles to come from Jay Glass Dubs to Seekersinternational, and even flashes of Hyperdub and Burial’s more abstract, introspective moments.
A dervish bewt from Stefan Schwander’s Harmonious Thelonious for TTT, Apakapa catches the Düsseldorf-based explorer meeting the moroccan flute of Ghazi Barakat for one of the project’s jazziest, moodily hypnotic episodes.
Apakapa initiates the session with a bright, pointillist geometry of thumb piano and grubbing, pendulous bass where Schwander gets freely harmonious with Barakat’s buzzing, expressive flute jabs in Sufi-esque style.
That all cools down to a bluer sound with Low Beat, where Schwander’s swingeing bass pulse underlines and buoys the low key smoke plumes from Barakat’s flute, subtly processed into vaporous tendrils and smeared on the mix.
And the DJs are left spoiled for choice with the B-side’s Whirling, which works equally brilliantly at 33 or 45rpm, with the kinda Photek style drum cadence also used by Don’t DJ, this time working beautifully as an opiated hip-charmer, or as an infectious sort of dancehall-techno bubbler.
A pinnacle of Derek Bailey’s Company Week gatherings, featuring a hive-mind of mavericks swarming from pastoral bliss to razor-edge gymnastics and air-bending whistles in the massed ‘Epiphany’, alongside a series of smaller rabbles. The only way this LP could be any freer is if you robbed it...
“Epiphany \ i-ˈpi-fə-nē \ (1) a manifestation of the essential nature of something (usually sudden) (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (usually simple and striking) (3) an illuminating discovery or disclosure.
All three definitions apply perfectly to this span of music recorded at London’s ICA in July 1982. It’s a miracle of group interaction, wonderfully paced, moving steadily between moments of mounting intensity and tension. The passage about halfway through — when Derek Bailey’s harmonics ring out above a sheen of inside piano tremolos and shimmering electronics, topped off by Julie Tippetts’ soaring vocalese — is simply sublime. After which it’s fun to try and tell the two pianists apart. Are those runs Ursula Oppens, with her formidable technique honed from years performing some of the twentieth century’s most difficult notated new music, or are those Keith Tippett’s crunchy jazz zigzags? Are those intriguing twangs from one of Akio Suzuki’s invented instruments or could they be Fred Frith’s or Phil Wachsmann’s electronics? Bah, who cares?
There’s plenty of room for the more delicate instruments too, like Anne LeBaron’s harp picking its way gingerly through a pin-cushion of pings and scratches from Bailey and bassist Motoharu Yoshizawa. Of course, some performers are instantly recognisable: Tippetts, as lyrical and flighty on flute as when she sings, Phil Wachsmann, sinuous and sensitive on violin, and trombonist George Lewis, who, as John Zorn once put it, swings his motherfucking ass off.
So many magical moments abound, from the opening dawn chorus of Tippetts’ voice and Frith’s guitar swooping through a rainforest of exquisite piano cascades, to the Zen calm of the closing moments. Epiphany, indeed.”
Proper, druggy acid house bombs from San Fran’s tab-gobbling rodents
Solar sets it off at 113bpm tilt like one of Vladimir Ivkovic’s slo-mo psy-trance zingers with ‘Unless, Of Course, You Have Wings Like A Bat’, and Chris Mitchell brings booming kicks and heat-seeking acid lines to the cavernous dimensions of ‘TRKS’.
Super swings out on the B-side with the pinging 303s and electro engine of ‘Servants Taunt’, and Bayview Acid Squirrels pull the tempo down into a muggy, smudged romp called ‘Love Is The Slug’ destined to leave silver slime trails all over the dance and your pants.
Part of BBE Music’s ‘Tabansi Gold’ African reissue series, Eric Kol’s rare boogie / disco album ‘Today’ epitomises Nigeria on the musical move in the early 80s. This is the first fully authorised vinyl reissue of a boogie classic that almost never appears for sale, even on eBay, but takes pride of place on every seasoned Nigerian vinyl junkie’s ‘want’ lists.
"With the slow but relentless shrinkage of old-school musical talent and withdrawal of international record company financing following the Biafran war as well as changing tastes, both in Yoruba as well as Igbo and other communities, consumers wanted a home-grown version of what they could hear on American and European airwaves.
Enter seasoned soulful vocalist Eric Kol, multi-instrumentalist and all-round arranging talent Jake Sollo (ex Funkees, Osibisa, etc.) and Lagos studio pioneer Chief Tabansi, plus crew. Jake Sollo’s synth-boogie magic can be heard to best effect on ‘Rain In My Heart’ and ‘You’re My Solution’ (a big local radio hit back then). Meanwhile, the ‘strings’n’things’ disco vibe is resplendent in ‘the opener ‘Let Your love Rule My World’, whilst ‘I’ll Sing A Song’ deepens the tempo with a soulful ballad arrangement. "
Cut ’n paste japesters Negativland cock another snook at contemporary culture, speaking thru myriad, sampled-voices questioning the state of play over a selection of skronky, organically technoid grooves and semi-pop songs. Fans of Herbert, People Like Us, Porest or advanced daftness need apply
“What is True False? It's more than two things, and as of 2019 it's also a new album by the semi-legendary multimedia collective known as Negativland. True False is a full length return to all original music that you could almost mistake for actual songs -- albeit ones sung by dozens of sampled vocalists who have never met -- and is a prime example of what we used to call experimental music, but now just call social media. It's your own inescapable subjectivity made catchy as we witness the entrenched political beliefs of left and right cleanly switching sides in under one generation. It’s the first Negativland album to come with a lyric sheet, and a reminder that we need more than just one memory before we can safely tell anyone else that this is not normal.
Is this a concept album? The first of two interconnected double albums, True False musically tackles concerns that will be familiar to any surviving fans of the band: our nervous systems, our realities, and the evolving forms of media that inevitably insert themselves between the two. A series of seemingly random topics are slowly woven together: shootings, bees, the right's rules for radicals, climate control, dogs pretending to be children, the oil we eat, and the right of every American to believe whatever they want to believe -- your brain's ear lets nothing remain entirely random. It’s not the content, it's the edit that shows us what we all know to be true, and it's the things that one is most tempted to enjoy as harmless entertainment that often turn out to be living animals. Splicing together Occupy mic checks with US militia rallies, FOX news hosts with ecoterrorists, and your own sanity with the home viewing habits of Negativland's lead vocalist, the Weatherman, when you put the word True next to the word False, a broader reality reveals itself.”
Stones Throw tease out the good stuff from Lee Scratch Perry with a selection of sturdy and psychedelic work by the legendary nutter, including lush dubs! Working with Peaking Lights’ Aaron Coyes and Argentinian dubber Ivan Diaz Mathe seems to have brought the best out of living legend Lee “Scratch” Perry on one of his strongest 12”s in years, or at least since he last worked with Adrian Sherwood.
Two originals land on the A-side, stretching out in a stepping disco 12” dub style with the deliquescent chrome tones and lilting flutes of ‘Life Of The Plants’ placed next to the mystic momentum and heady, eastern-facing melodies of ‘No Age’, which both take up to 10 minutes to cast their spell.
The balmier sway of ‘Magik’ goes on like a lost meeting with Naffi Sandwich on the flip, beside a killer ‘No Age Dub’ replacing most of the vocal with spongiform layers of lysergic FX.
Greek-in-London, Tasos Stamou forges a beguiling and charmingly playful crossroads of traditional tunes and electronic abstraction in his 2nd side (in 2 years) for the wonderful Discrepant label. A massive tip to fans of Dariush Dolat-Shahi and Sote!
Riffing on ideas of provenance, ontology, and the nature of ancient and modern languages, Stamou’s ‘D-A-D’ is a fascinating exploration of roots and futurism written between 2015-2018 in homage to his father. As such, it’s wittily titled ‘D-A-D’ as a nod to both the commonly-used tuning of Greek Bouzoukis and his pops, and incorporates the instrument in a range of ways, from mesmerising acoustic recordings to electronically aided abstractions that recall Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s masterful mix of Sehtar and modular synth for Folkways in 1985 (as reissued by Dead-Cert Home Ents in 2015).
Unfolding in two seamless, side-long parts, Stamou is literally and figuratively stripped to the bare essense of what he considers important. Aye, that’s him starkers, clutching a Bouzouki on the back cover and also standing proudly in the buff on the inner sleeve. And they’re canny visual metaphors for the music, which Stamou playfully gathers from a mix of field recordings made at his Uncles’ house parties, in a Thessaloniki thrift shop, and at a “Gipsy clearance service” (whatever that is), and a Greek Orthodox mass, before adding disorienting layers of synthesis and electronic process in order to access and inhabit the recordings with his mischievous/savant spirit.
In his hands, the everyday and prosaic become illuminated as supernatural, and ancient tunings and tunes are subtly reanimated with extra, irisdescent, inter-dimensional layers. The mix of realism and hyperrealism is just deeply intoxicating to our ears, and perhaps most subtly and vitally revealing his musical sense of self as a product of environment and generative nurture.
A classic of 20th century Egyptian music and the Arabic world, Om Kalsoum’s deliciously dramatic milestone ‘Enta Omri’ resurfaces on its first vinyl reissue. Drenched in lush string arrangements and ravishing rhythms composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Om’s vocals deliver shivers at 20 paces!
““Enta Omri” is Om Kalsoum’s most famous song, composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who is still rightly regarded as a prominent musician and composer in Egypt. The creation of this song was the first long expected collaboration of two musical giants, which came at the repeated urging of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser. There was talk in Egypt on the streets and in the media about what was believed to be a cold relationship between the two legends. Finally, after years of estrangement, Mohamed Abdel Wahab took the initiative and offered Om Kalsoum a song by poet Ahmed Shafiq Kamel, for which he had just composed a musical score. To his surprise, she responded positively and started to like the theme upon hearing it a few times. After a month of rehearsals, “Enta Omri” was released in February 1964 to critical acclaim and packed performances. The event was so grand it was labeled “The Cloud Meeting”.
With “Enta Omri”, Abdel Wahab opened up the traditional repertoire of the diva to a more innovative style, for which the composer was known for. The use of the electric guitar and a long instrumental intro, fusing oriental themes with Western musical elements, made the song particularly special, securing its place in Egyptian musical history. Despite some criticism from other Egyptian composers from that era, the song was soon recognised as a milestone and opened a path to modernise Arabic music for many other musicians and singers. “Enta Omri” is loved by Arab and non-Arab audiences alike. Paying respect to the great diva, dozens of artists around the world have reinterpreted the song, adopting the intro's catchy guitar melody in their compositions.
Souma Records thought it was time to re-release this monumental piece of music on a high quality vinyl format, together with a repress of “Laylet Hob”, another classic song by Om Kalsoum.”
Rolling breakstep garage, feathered ghetto-tech and woozy rug-cutters from the mysterious Itinerant Dubs unit
Back in the dance after this year’s ‘Human Emulation’ 12” and a five year hiatus before that, Itinerant Dubs still kill the old skool way with a coiled stripe of brukstep garage riddled by virulent acid and vintage hip hop nods in ‘It’s Magic’, whereas ‘Oh She Dance’ steps up the tempo to 150bpm with wood-chopped kicks and flinty breaks synched to jazz chords in a rolling, spaced-out Detroit style, and ‘Salsa On Mars’ slinks up the back with scissoring hi-hats and restless bass in a frayed but tightly tucked style.
Stroom illuminate the trippier side of Belgian legend Benjamin Lew with highlights of his 1982 album with Tuxedomoon’s Steven Brown, plus a rare compilation cut.
‘Bamako Ou Ailleurs’ essentially focuses on three gems from Lew’s 1982 album for Crammed Discs ‘Douzième Journée: La Verbe, la Parure, L’Amour’, which is co-credited with production and input not only from Steven Brown (Tuxedomoon) but also Crammed Disc co-founder Marc Hollander aka Aksak Maboul.
All three tracks are given more vinyl wriggle room than ever before, priming the likes of his brilliant, snake charming title cut (coincidentally a highlight of Jon K’s ‘Loukanikos Dance’ mixtape) for the DJs, along with bass-heavy, spectral sashay of ‘Il, les quitta a l’aube’ and the unmissable, swingeing West African drum pressure of ‘Dans Le Jardin’, while the chiffon drift of ‘A la recherché de B.’ is isolated from 1984’s ‘Made To Measure Vol.1’ compilation and used to elegantly even the EP out.
For any Belg-o-philes, both budding or long-in-the-tooth, this stuff is golden.
Low Jack lives up to his moniker with the decelerated slomp of 'Imaginary Boogie' for Trilogy Tapes.
Six tracks chase a more spaced out vibe than his earthy 'Garifuna Variations' for L.I.E.S. or the knackered lurch of his Gravats 7" in 2014. From the barely-standing bump of the title track he pursues a near-radiophonic and cosmic jazz geist thru the buckling tape tones of 'Scratch Variation' and the scrambled quarks of 'TTT Beat' to the murky cosmic visions of EP highlight 'FM Field (Swing Mix)' and the chapped chimes of 'Mallet Theme' to get lost in the miniature wormhole of 'TTT Beat II'.
Jeff Mills isolates and highlights three further gems from the Axis archive
‘The Director’s Cut Chapter 5’ notably features two cuts on vinyl for the first time, namely the slinky, time-slipping lag of ’Solar Cycles’ from the ‘Proxima Centauri’ (2015) USB, and the lofty strings and angelic chorales of ‘Above Waiting Worlds’ from the ‘One Man Spaceship’ (2006) CD, along with a kinky Afro-latin sizzler ‘L8’ from his ‘Skin Deep’ (1999) 12”, which also featured in Richie Hawtin’s ‘Decks, EFX & 909’ mix.
Jamal Moss kicks it wild and freaky for London’s On The Corner Records in a loosey goosey psycho-jazz-jack style
Actually Jamal’s sound is best referred to by his title of ‘Synth Expressionism/Rhythmic Cubism’, which provides a rich and broad framework for grasping the infinite intricacies and slippery psychedelic hold of his sound.
The percolated slosh of ’Rhythmic Cubism’ kicks off with what sounds like a manic fusion of the Sun Ra and DJ Rush recording at the Radiophonic Workshop, while The Spiritual or Electromagnetic Worlds’ is charged on a proper sort of tribal voodoo. The fractious breaks and pirouetting bleeps of ‘Apocrypha’ meanwhile make for one of his wildest shots of hi-tek psy-funk, and ‘The Redemption Project’ comes off like Pekka Airaksinen doing Singeli with Rian Treanor, alongside the astro-jack of ’Timbuk 2.’
Anthony Naples & Jenny Slattery’s Incienso embrace Melbourne’s Sleep D for a debut album scaling between cosmic chug, electro, ambient jazz noise, and a snappy uptempo workout.
"Across ten songs, Sleep D take us from the deep desert chug of “Red Rocks”, through the center of the best rave in town with “Danza Mart”, and “Central”, past a head-trip of styles in the deep core, and ease us back down to some kind of new earth in the final songs, including “Morning Sequence”, a beaut’ of a track featuring Kuniyuki. When it’s all said and done its big smiles and fuzzy heads all around— we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again - rated “E” for Everyone."
First new trax from Bok Bok since 2017. A decade on from his debut, the London grime mutant returns deeper and a little bit more serious on his Night Slugs label
Since 2009, and alongside L-Vis 1990, Bok Bok’s slicing sidespin on the dancefloor has inarguably set the template for a ruck of mutations between UK and US club styles. With ‘Pure Shores’ he still comes rugged and rude but with a more elegant sense of reserve that’s less cork-popping and more slinky, introspective (but not chin stroking!).
‘Pure Shores (HXC Mix)’ sees him dice with simmering Jersey breaks, sashaying strings and shimmering synths/vocoders in a way that comes off like a more frayed Chris & Cosey jamming with Dolo Percussion. Going a touch deeper, the track’s ‘OG Mix’ seems to drop the tempo a little and loosen up with woozy limbed swang and shuffle.
The Trilogy Tapes and Harmonious Thelonious orbits align again for a magnetically mesmerising exploration of international rhythms and microtonal scales after 2017’s ‘Apakapa’ 12”
Under the cannily vague title ‘Unidentified Ensemble Plays…’ Stefran Schwander’s strongest project speaks to a conception of non-place, a TAZ where meters and vibes from multiple continents converse and tesselate.
‘Women’s Chorus from the Region Of…’ leads out with a grippingly effortless, heavy-lidded sway, and ‘Halb Ding’ finds a tight balance of raucously buzzing strings and horns reminding of Sote but synched with swingeing clockwork percussion. ‘Delusion (Version II)’ then cuts the lights for a locked-in play of voodoo drums and Djinn-like harmonic spectres, and ‘Unidentified Soundtrack’ digs a swirling psychedelic style nodding to Raï and Dabke styles.
Reissue of two deep garage house gems by Rotating Assembly’s Warren Harris on Floating Points’ Melodies International
Rolling on from MI’s recut of a divine Mood II Swing remix session, the label pluck out a pair of cuts from Hanna’s 2004 CD ‘Exquisite Style’, laying out the jazz-funky garage bass, soft keys and balmy vocal of ‘I Needed’ across the front, with the ruder swang of ‘Intercession, On Behalf’ reserved to the B-side, which makes us feel like we’re in a chufty clothes shop on a weekend, overlooked by shop assistants who can’t decide if they’re keen or aloof.
Lowjack and D.K. double down as Slack DJs with a cranky quartet of Afro-noise-techno joints for Trilogy Tapes.
On top, they knead out the rubbled drums and squally swagger of 'Hoops' beside the canny electro-acoustic noise texturtes and tribal roil of '75011'. Flipside, 'Glasshouse Mountains' tills the 'floor in two mixes; a rotted, kicking industrial version and more spacious, blown-out Afro-noise take.