Shockout debut from Dembow dream team DJ Python, Kelman Duran & Florentino aka Sangre Nueva, with a killer EP released between DJ Python’s Worldwide Unlimited and Florentino’s Club Romantico imprints, funneling hybrids of reggaeton into deep house x R&G with cinematic influences = unmissable heat for dancers/DJs on the 90-100bpm flex, built for the party.
Assembling an ad hoc trio under the Sangre Nueva banner (translating to “New Blood”), the project is a concerted effort in developing the bloodline of reggaeton, and its dembow beat, which has become a prevailing unit of global rhythmic currency across the board from street raves to pop charts in the past decade. On this fundamental cornerstone of Latin music derived from tresillo - or triplet - drum patterns, the trio present remarkably direct yet dreamy arrangements of their shared style, with Carribean musician Kelman Duran bringing a widescreen sensibility to the ohrwurming top lines of Florentino, and the sensuality of DJ Python, in a lushly compelling tessellation and consolidation of their respective flexes.
Part of an evolving, hybridising tradition rooted in Panamanian dancefloors over a 100 years ago, and since found across the Latin diaspora, Sangre Nueva’s music recalibrates the hip-gripping swerve of dembow with headier content for a totally striking new addition to the style, one porous to US house and UK grime, as much as more impressionistic aspects of ambient and soundtrack paradigms. The results patently echo the producers’ respective background, but also place them in a league of their own, naturally elevating and expanding the dembow sound via crafty electronic processing without patronising the ‘floor, firmly taking artistic license to build on their passions for the mutable genre.
The dusky air of ‘Hurt’ is resoundingly hashed with a mix of soundsystem cries and whispered voices that really set the scene, carrying an effortless traction that’s tightly harnessed into the perreo-styled sexiness of ’Sola’ with its sleek Reese bass and R&G vocal motifs, before ‘Goteo’ dials in heavy inspiration from Miami bass electro in its trunk rattling subs, and ‘Sincero’ is the perfectly romantic kiss off that lives up to its title with gorgeous, twinkling melody and sultier pacing lent an edge of brooding UK pressure akin to Burial.
From Florentino’s actions with Bad Gyal & La Zowi & Kaydy Cain to Kelman’s recent Kanye West studio forays, and thru DJ Python’s cult deep dembow productions, their individual cultivation of the dembow sound is surely already noted. But, together their party powers are amplified, more holistic, and bound to ring home with dancers, DJs, and headphone strollers across the world.
A somnambulant modern masterwork, Kali Malone’s 2017 debut full length album is made available again on vinyl some four years since its limited private press of just 100 copies co-released by XKatedral and Bleak Environment.
Composed, recorded and produced in Stockholm 2015-2016, ‘Velocity of Sleep’ sees Kali Malone’s work rendered in a septet of strings, gongs, lute, electronics and tape in the vast R1 Reaktorhallen (Sweden’s first nuclear reactor), the electroacoustic studio EMS, and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Her presence is crucial, and liminal, making precise use of tuned sine waves and Studer B67 tape manipulation, while instrumental performance is handled by Peter Söderberg performing on the long-necked Theorbo (a large baroque lute, pictured on the sleeve), Samuel Löfdahl and Oskar Mattsson on Gongs, Vilhelm Bromander on Double Bass, Marta Forsberg on Viola and Adam Grauman on Viola de Gamba - all uniting to produce what feels like a geological time lapse and distillation of European and Indian classical drone musicks.
As far as opening solo statements go, ‘Velocity of Sleep’ is among the most memorable to have emerged this past decade from slow music and experimental classical paradigms. Its languorous yet rigorous consolidation of ideas from across the aeons crosses paths with others before her - the musics of Pauline Oliveros, Phill Niblock, Harley Gaber, Oren Ambarchi all spring to mind - but more importantly helped reset the limits of contemporary music in Malone’s own image. The 3-part, 43 minute work is an ideal example of how staid notions of early and classical music have been jettisoned to instead focus on fundamentals of tone, timbre, tuning, space and temporality with a radical and transfixing effect coolly detached from any directly traditional/sacred meanings.
Peter Söderberg’s justly tuned Theorbo plucks a slowly evolving additive pattern expanded by frippertronic tape delays on the 20 minute title piece, setting a stark tone for a quietly breathtaking resonance of gongs and floating sine waves in ‘1113’ that rest right on the biting point of sublime dissonance, while ‘In Light of Marwa’ pitches into a sort of raga-folk-drone tuned with the fine, durational intensity recalling Harley Gaber’s ‘The Winds Rise In The North’ and earthy cadence of Pauline Oliveros’ vision, yet somehow concentrated, refreshed in a way that’s best felt, and quite impossible to describe.
Beijing duo Gong Gong Gong's genre-melted debut album gets remixed by their fave China-connected producers, including SVBKVLT's Zaliva-D, Yu Su, Howie Lee, Scattered Purgatory, P.E., Angel Wei and more. All over the place, in the best possible way.
On the original album, Gong Gong Gong power through musical genres like Mr. Ben outfits. This remix collection is no different, with each contributor attempting a completely different style. There's Zaliva-D's torched, dystopian club, Howie Lee's electronix-infected Sonic Youth-style noise rock, Yu Su's dubbed-out city pop, Scattered Purgatory's reverberating doom and P.E.'s quirky electro pop and that's only scratching the surface. Beijing is on a tear right now, and some of the world's most exciting sounds are emerging from that fertile meeting-point between global cultures. "Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 Remixed" is an ideal tasting plate.
Pale Saints' Ian Masters and His Name Is Alive's Warren Defever join forces to deconstruct The 13th Floor Elevators' psych classic 'Kingdom of Heaven' and project themselves into a wild, creative musical netherworld split across four tracks. Seriously damaged.
"Kingdom of Heaven" was originally released as a limited lathe cut in Japan, but has thankfully now been opened up to the rest of us. The concept is simple, Master and Defever use the 1966-released 'Kingdom of Heaven' as the springboard for a project that, basically, disintegrates the psychedelic classic into sprawling, hydra-like entities.
Opening track 'Tengoku no ōkoku' is the most expected take and burns with the pulsing dream-pop energy you'd expect from two former 4AD heads, but from there things get a little more murky. 'Kumamushi' veers away completely from the original, layering guitar licks and loops over elegiac vocals before melting into analogue drones and ghostly vocal traces. If the original track was an expression of the band's interest in LSD, this track makes that link painfully obvious.
'Taishōgoto o ōkoku' strips things back to the raw materials, with just guitar and vocals, but it's 15-minute closer 'Uchu' that's the real draw. Glued together with flute sounds, canned vocals and early electronic burbles, before evolving into pastoral synth ambience, it almost sounds like Flying Saucer Attack jamming with Sunburned Hand of the Man. Torched.
Recoiling, snarling percussive aggression and swarming industrial noise by human battery, Sorcery, including a Kangding Ray remix
Where 2019’s debut ‘Manufactured Conflicts’ established Sorcery as a devilish producer in possession of fierce drum palette, aligned to industrial zones by its Samuel Kerridge remix, his follow-up EP ‘Mirrors Of Perception’ builds on those foundations with its billowing widescreen sound design and broader canvas for anxious, pummelling drums.
The first four tracks showcase the Montreal-via-Berlin drummer Merlin Ettore, aka Sorcery purely solo, birthing a gnashing maul of sinew, bones and hair in ‘On The Bias’, and slugging restless industrial syncopations in ’Synovial Membrane’, with the beatless palate cleaner ‘Rainfall Runoff Modelling’ viewing acid rain scorched terrain, and ‘Mirrors of Peception’ plunging back into roiling drum drama.
In the EP’s final throes, Montreal’s Elsiane lends screwed and combed out vocals recalling Aïsha Devi works to cinematic drone scenes, and Kangding Ray reworks ‘Mirrors Of Perception’ with a more regular, club-readied ballast of garage techno mechanics.
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine release a collaborative album, A Beginner’s Mind.
"A Beginner’s Mind began when the two musicians and Asthmatic Kitty labelmates decamped to a friend’s cabin in upstate New York for a monthlong songwriting sabbatical. Watching a movie to unwind after each day’s work, they soon found their songs reflecting the films and began investigating this connection in earnest.
The resulting album is 14 songs (loosely) based on (mostly) popular films—highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between. They wrote in tandem—one person writing a verse, the other a chorus, churning out chord progressions and lyrics willy-nilly, often finishing each other’s sentences in the process. Rigorous editing and rewriting ensued. The results are less a “cinematic exegesis” and more a “rambling philosophical inquiry” that allows the songs to free-associate at will. Plot-points, scene summaries, and leading characters are often displaced by esoteric interpolations that ask the bigger question: what does it mean to be human in a broken world?
Stevens and De Augustine wrote everything with a deliberate sense of shoshin—the Zen Buddhist concept for which the record is named and an idea that empowered the pair to look for and write about unlikely inspiration without preconceived notions of what a film had to say (The I-Ching and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies also served as incentives along the way). The movies became rhetorical prompts, with the songwriters letting their distinct reactions and creative instincts govern their process. The underlying objective was empathy and openness, absent of judgment: to observe with the eyes of a child."
An A-Z compendium featuring over 100 composers active with tape and electronics in the analogue era.
"Containing information never previously uncovered, it shines a fresh light on many sound experimenters unacknowledged in the history of British electronic music. First published by Sound On Sound Magazine in 2016, this is the first time it’s been available outside their shop.
Tape Leaders: A Compendium Of Early British Electronic Music Composers is a richly illustrated A-Z compendium featuring over 100 composers active with tape and electronics in the analogue era. Containing information never previously uncovered, it shines a fresh light on many sound experimenters unacknowledged in the history of British electronic music.
With an individual entry for each composer, it covers everyone from famous names like William Burroughs, Brian Eno and Joe Meek to the ultra-obscure such as Roy Cooper, Donald Henshilwood and Edgar Vetter. There are sections for EMS and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and amateurs, groups and ensembles that experimented with electronics, including The Beatles, Hawkwind and White Noise."
Foodman spells out his adroit take on Chicago footwork mixed with Japanese environmental music in a curiously bass-less wonder for Hyperdub after establishing a nonpareil reputation over the past decade
Despite the lack of bass, ‘Yasuragi Land’ sweetly resonates with Hyperdub’s rhythm-driven fixations in each part, dispensing 17 bite-sized morsels that add up to a very satisfied belly. As one might be able to tell from the cover, if not his name, Foodman likes his grub and his music is deftly flavoured like a multi-course taster menu, keeping everything lightly fried and rhythmelodically harmonised for a sort of spirited musical nourishment.
While the rhythmic focus of his music can be attributed to the inspiration of late ‘00s, early ‘10s juke and footwork from Chicago, the atmospheres of his music specifically, metaphorically references eating at “Michinoeki”, the Japanese motorway service stations, and the ambience of local “Sento”, or Japanese bathhouses, places he goes to “enjoy the atmosphere” and which imbue the album a sense of peace and certainty in unsteady times.
Under lockdown like everyone else, Foodman also revived the spirit of his teenage days as a busker in ‘Yasuragi Land’ by effectively multi-tracking his guitar and drums to resemble the ping pong playfulness of band action. The results are charmingly breezy and light-footed, like a sort of midi jazz-fusion that echoes original footwork, but doesn’t demand your energy, rather it appears to dance off the walls and lend itself to be devoured in one sitting; it’s gently engaging, not engorging, stuff.
South Korean-born, LA-based producer, rapper and singer Park Hye Jin impressed with her "How Can I" EP and Clams Casino, Blood Orange and Nosaj Thing collaborations. "Before I Die" is a mixtape-like effort that combines disparate flavors of hip-hop and dance with sunny K-pop vocals and riffs.
'Before I Die' attempts a lot, but struggles to escape its cascade of influences. Park Hye Jin sounds most comfortable when she works in a house mode. Opening track 'Let's Sing Let's Dance' is the album's most successful track, her voice is assured whether singing or offering deadpan phrases and the production is propulsive and effective. But when she veers into overworked rap subgenres ('Before I Die', 'Where Did I Go') it gets a bit murkier.
It's not all bad news: 'Good Morning Good Night' is a blissful downtempo cut, and 'Can I Get Your Number' interpolates LA's short-lived jerkin' sound in a respectful way. But "Before I Die" is just too disjointed to fully lean into.
Æthenor's Daniel O'Sullivan impresses again with a second set of off-kilter library music. There's no breakbeats here - O'Sullivan tracks across vast musical territory skirting Indian raga, dense electronic ambient, early synth music, psychedelic folk, choral music and plenty more.
Following last year's silky smooth "Electric Māyā", O'Sullivan's latest library excursion is a deep dive into his meditative realm. It's hard to imagine a lot of this music being used for TV, but that's what makes it better than you'd hope.
O'Sullivan is at his best when he sounds most angelic, like on opening track 'Perpetual Ascension', the choral 'Palo Sagrado' and the striking, church-bell led 'Head in the Bellfry'. Paper Dollhouse's Astrud Steeholder assists on the latter, and on the poppy 'Orgone Attenuation' that sounds almost like The Knife.
Legendary Moss Side/Hulme roots reggae band X-O-Dus are finally given a first vinyl edition of ‘English Black Boys’, their long thwarted debut album for Factory, including the titular, Dennis Bovell-produced 1980 single.
This first vinyl edition of the full ‘English Black Boys’ arrives 40 years after the band were forced to change their name due to similarities with a London band, and Factory effectively sidelined them in the wake of all the attention around Joy Division. The album did eventually come out on CD in 2012, but only now finds its intended vinyl existence, pairing the Dennis Bovell-produced single with contemporaneous songs plus tracks written during the ‘90s and into the ‘00s.
You can imagine that if ‘English Black Boys’ had come out in 1980, it would have become a real touchstone of the Manchester canon by now. As noted by Steve Barker “They were a community-rooted band taking a strong political stance in their lyrics, as opposed to any faux Rasta leanings, and their first single on Factory was well supported by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus.”
In an alternate timeline, they would be hailed up there on a wider level with UK reggae greats such as Matumbi and Steel Pulse, but as it is, the album remains a ghostly, richly soulful oddity from the most vital corner and era of Manchester; a place and time where working class African diaspora and Irish communities gelled, and the likes of the Nile and Reno club, Barry Adamson and A Guy Called Gerald would later come to represent to the world at large. X-O-Dus come from the foundation of all that good stuff.
Finally available again, Mika Vainio's Oleva was released in 2008 and ranks alongside his most contemplative work. It alternates between shades of the OG Panasonic blueprint and the explorative ambience perfected on 'Kantamoinen'. It also includes a rare Vainio cover version; an interpretation of Roger Waters’ 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun’.
Under the Ø moniker Vainio proffered some of the most singular and shining electronic music of the last three decades, starting in 1993 with a template-setting series of 12"s for his native Sahko imprint, and ending with 2013’s Konstellaatio. Situated somewhere outside Vainio’s best known ice cold minimalist vs hardware gnarrrr modes, ‘Oleva’ finds Vainio at his deepest, opening with the subs & shimmer of 'Unien Holvit’ and ending with the vapourised lament 'Muistetun Palaava Taajuus’. In between, there are more familiar bleep reductions (if u squint 'U-Bahn’ could almost sit perfectly on top of an Eski blueprint), ‘Mojave’ is pure windswept introspection, and the remarkable ‘Tasanko’ sounds like whatever you'd call the Finnish equivalent of porch-side blues, all slide guitar and a deep sense of unease.
Since his untimely passing, Vainio's extensive catalogue has been weighing heavily on the minds of an electronic music community that was in one way or another completely indebted to his singular sound. Re-evaluating ‘Oleva' with that in mind imbues it with a kind of poignancy that’s hard to describe - this is, after all, minimal music. And yet, it feels deeply moving. Somewhere behind the isolated vista on the cover was a man of few words who quietly set about imposing his own precise aesthetic onto the world. In his own time, and without compromise.
'Single' isn't just a reissue of Pub's similarly-titled 2002 set, it properly rounds up the Glaswegian dub techno reductionist's first three 12"s and adds a couple of vinyl exclusives. Long-form blunted dancefloor haziness never sounded so lovely: imagine Various Artists/T++, The Black Dog, BoC and Manuel Göttsching locked in a room wth some synths, drum machines and echo boxes.
Hot on the heels of last year's much needed 'Do You Ever Regret Pantomime?' reissue comes this equally levitational set of Caledonian miasma, remastered at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering. It's the best way to widen yer appreciation of the Ampoule boss's early work, especially if you've only come across his debut album and the 'Summer' EP. 'Single' is basically a photo album of Pub's earliest experiments, and kicks off fittingly with 'Lunch', from his 1999-released 12" "Lick/Lunch". When that record originally dropped, Pub was only 18 years old and was penning his extended dub-phoric jams on a single synthesizer/workstation.
The rudimentary DIY methodology adds to the raw emotionality of the material. It sounds as if Pub is very slowly conducting the loose, trance-influenced arpeggios and dusty rhythms and shifting them carefully in-and-out of frame on the fly almost like Manuel Göttsching on the Biblical "E2-E4". There's a physicality to the music that sounds alien in an era where DAWs are practically unavoidable, and it's sobering to recall. 'Springing Daisy's' is a truncated version of the "Springing Daisy's Mix" of 'Film' (from 2002's "Derail" 12"), turning up on "Single" again to close the collection, shortened from almost 15 minutes to 10 and aptly renamed 'Short Film'.
Both versions center around Pub's innate ability to take basic ingredients - in this case a single melodic loop and a distorted T++ style rhythm - and sublime them into gaseous traces of their constituent parts. 'Springing Daisy's' is the "pop" version - short, sharp, beat heavy - and 'Short Film' (a vinyl exclusive) is the abstracted, Basic Channel-influenced inversion, detuning the melody and torching the rhythm into an acidic fizz. 'Derail' is included too, and has never sounded better, showcasing Pub at his most dissociated and melancholy with a distant BoC hum couched in a thick fog of reverberating resonance.
2003's 'Surgery' rounds up the early run, and displays Pub's artistic progression, moving a few steps out of the murk and allowing the drums to push into near-dancefloor territory on the title track. And the new edition is finished off with the trancey 'Kamikazi', a track from the original "> Single" that's never made it to vinyl before.
Originally released in 2007, 'Cendre' was the second collaboration between Austrian sound artist Christian Fennesz and Japanese legend Ryuichi Sakamoto. Fourteen years later, it still sounds icy, delicate and striking in its cool, calm elegance.
The album was recorded between 2004 and 2006; Fennesz on guitar and laptop in Vienna, Sakamoto on piano and laptop in New York City. The duo sent recordings back and forth, with one artist drafting a starting point and the other working over the top, developing themes as songs emerged from the aether. When the album became a reality, the duo met in person to work on the final mix. This process is more common now (especially after 2020), but at the time felt faintly novel - their relative detachment imbues the record with a sculpted feeling that focuses the delicacy of Sakamoto's playing into Fennesz's restraint.
While Fennesz usually tends to focus on the interplay between dynamics (loud and quiet, clean and distorted), there's a subtlety to 'Cendre' that feels respectful to Sakamoto's light touch; the washing ambience of 'Haru' and 'Amorph' and the gaseous noise of 'Trace' and 'Kuni' afford Sakamoto's playing pride of place. The result is a collection of ambient lullabies that have been heavily imitated over the last 14 years, but rarely matched.
Scrappy dance trax by the mystifying DJ Marcelle, including guest Michael Vincent Waller, a NYC modern classical pianist. Mad and brilliant.
“DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess is that rare combination of things: fearless, innovative, playful, independent, unpredictable and with a great sense of humour. The singular producer and dj from Amsterdam lives in that rare league of artists who are out there, doing their own thing, continually pushing the boundaries of electronic music and having a great time in doing so as well.
Her third album in just over two years is as versatile as ever. Steelpan (!) dancehall goes hand in hand with off the wall techno and weird avant garde. The album contains a surprising collaboration with Michael Vincent Waller, a modern classical composer/pianist from New York: 'The Orphan Serenade' is Marcelle's most personal, sensitive track to date.
As always, her track titles are a joy in themselves ('The Vegans Are Backstage', 'Hum Hum Hum', Technicians Leaving The Club'). The album is covid-19 proof: Marcelle wears a face mask on the sleeve. Join Marcelle in her unique musical universe. And try to explain her the food, please.”
Pure Parisian bassbin pressure from Simo Cell, shotting his first EP on his own label, TEMƎT
Scaling from mutant dancehall and paso doble dembow to sprung ghettotech and jiggling Jersey moves, Simo plays to all corners of his omnivorous, upfront club style on ‘Yes DJ.’ The five tracks form TEMƎT’s 3rd solo artist EP after turns by E-Unity and Elise Massoni plus a coupla killer mixtapes by Low Jack, Peverelist and Skee Mask with tight raids across the borders of club music.
On a dancehall flex, ’Short Leg’ shakks out flinty drums on a dangerously swole bassline, and the dank ‘Farts’ picks up on a sort of Loefah-Like halfstep, with ‘Yes.DJ’ toggling the pressure between footwork and dembow, galvanised with signature metallic synths. ‘Whispers’ picks up the pace to bouncing B-More/Jersey styles riven with darkside buzzsaw drones, and ‘not all it’s cracked up to be’ brings the ‘floor back to a screwed simmer with scowling, squashed bass and a fine turn to moody electronics recalling Push Button Objects. Tight + deadly 🔥
After his debut LP ‘Temmuz’, released at the beginning of last year, Houschyar is back on Macadam Mambo with a new album, "Mavi".
"Being locked up on the rooftops of Istanbul, Houschyar repurposed a satellite dish, making use of its perfectly round and concave shape to create strange metallic-sounding percussive loops which he painted with sonic atmospheres that contained diverse shades of blue. ‘Mavi’ is an introspective pallet of emotions condensed into 7 hybrid compositions highly improvised which divagate into a very jazzy modern state of mind, jamming with pianos, electronic organs and rhythm boxes to produce another type of spiritual music that sounds absolutely timeless. In a very prolific year - with his release with DJ Sofa and Okay Temiz on Music from Memory and the initial EP of Raphael Kosmos’ newborn label Späti Records -, Marius Houschyar leaves no doubt about the level of his talent and him being part of a new generation of artists to keep a close eye on."
Moor Mother, Rabih Beaini, Tim Hecker, Lucretia Dalt, Greg Fox and many more guest on a haunting tribute to the tragedies that have beset Beirut, Lebanon and are ongoing across Palestine and the Levant.
‘Qalaq’ translates roughly from Arabic to “deep worry” in english and signifies Jerusalem In My Heart’s motives on their first album since 2018. Flocking around sole member Radwan Moumneh, a stellar roll call aid in expressing his sound on a lamenting elegy to the geopolitics and tragedies of the middle east, with each artist’s style seamlessly absorbed into his “dismantled orchestra” of collaborations with coherent results guided by a narrative hand.
The album started as skeletal sketches through-composed by Moumneh, and subsequently divided into sections that were sent to his spars, whose decomposed, fractured iterations were rewoven back into the final body of work by the artist. Its first half is sparked off with the rupturous battery of Liturgy drummer Greg Fox, and tempered by JIMH’s haunting chorales and fine wrought buzuk that percolate across the side, meeting Beirut’s shimmering strings in ‘Istashraktak’, and harmonising with Lucretia Dalt on the dirge-like ‘Tanto’.
Side two’s tracks are all named ‘Qalaq’ and numbered to “represent the degrees of layered and complex violence that Lebanon and the Levant have reached in the last couple of years” as Moumneh states. They forge links with other displaced people via indigenous American signer Alanis Obomsawin on the folk lament ‘Qalaq 1’, and Afro-American jazz-punk poet Moor Mother in ‘Qalaq 3’, with Morphine’s Lebanon-born Rabih Beaini lending a cosmic resonance and gravitas to the buzuk study ‘Qalaq 4’, and Tim Hecker’s aetheric swirl found on ‘Qalaq 7’, before Beirut natives Raed Yassin, Sharif Sehnaoui and Mayss’s glitching voices and angular strings connote a clear sense of confusion and disruption.
Bruno Bavota returns with a new album of electronic explorations and solo acoustic piano works.
"In the early months of 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak ravaged his home country of Italy, prolific composer Bruno Bavota did what we all would eventually do: isolated and waited. What followed was a year of fear, anxiety, and dread. Eventually, fear gave way to fatigue, and the anxiety metamorphosized into nervous energy. The compulsion to create became more powerful than the compression and weight.
And so were born Apartment Songs and Apartment Loops. Representing two separate but intersecting paths of Bavota’s creative journey, Apartment Songs is a suite of sparse solo acoustic piano works, while Apartment Loops are expansive explorations for synthesizers and outboard effects processors. Though in theory the two sets should sound disconnected and unrelated – given their disparate creative approaches and instrumentation – it’s Bavota’s uncanny sense of melody and space that easily unites them as two halves of a singular vision."
Big room tekkers from siblings Ed (Tessela) and Tom (Truss) Russell aka Overmono for the neverending Fabric mix series
The 22 track mix slickly spans their big room remit and tastes rooted in the last 25 years of UK raving, racking up a mix of classic garage, techno, and electronica to D&B with milimeter tight transitions and a few surprises strewn across the path. It’s very much built with pedantically neat southern bro’s cutting loose in mind, and primed to soundtrack weekend trade deals.
Expect some beaky Reese-driven garage-techno from them, plus Artwork, dubstep electronica from Milanese and Vex’d, ‘90s anthems by Antonio and Holy Ghost, with contemporary nods to Actress, Anz and Sockethead, plus a run of D&B.
Lambchop & Silver Jews’ guitarist William Tyler scans haunting, deserted drone and post-country panoramas, with strong hints of The Caretaker, Barn Owl and William Fowler Collins, on a fine addition to the Longform Editions series
‘Frozen Shelter’ marks possibly the furthest extent of William Tyler’s solo explorations since going solo around a decade ago. Faintest traces of his background in alt.country and indie bands Lambchop and Silver Jews (and a family dynasty of country song-writers) inform proceedings from a distance, as the 40’ work opens out endlessly reverberating strings and electronics and their decaying afterimages that describe wide, open, nocturnal spaces with rich impressionistic appeal, like hearing an organ recital from a wooden church a mile away over a dusty prairie.
"Work on 'Fragile' began last August at the height of lockdown. Grill locked himself in the recording studio where he found himself experimenting with new sounds and technologies and was able to learn more about the techniques involved in mixing, production and arrangement. "The aim was to write a physical album maintaining an energy throughout and utilising sounds and structures I'm interested in. Using limitation was a big part of the process to push what I used as far as possible. Reading about Robin Guthrie's breakdown of Cocteau Twins minimal setups across different albums and how Prince distorted the Linn Drum Machine were also inspirations."
Musically, 'Fragile' is a more dance-centric record than 2020's 'Ride', with eleven blistering tracks aimed straight for the dancefloor. From the lush, pulsing synths and blistering beats of 'Another Time', to the hazy, sun-soaked 'Wildflower', Grill seeks to create dance music that is endlessly catchy and hugely uplifting. He draws heavily on a Euro-dance influence in his search for pop perfection with melody instrinsic to each track. The Italo disco sound of Giorgio Moroder is never too far away, climaxing with the pumping 'Crash' while the emotive dance of New Order is echoed in 'Wandering Sky' and 'Romance'.
From a visual perspective, 'Fragile' is inspired by gothic, renaissance art and architecture. The album artwork is a photograph Grill took on Château d'If, a fortress and former prison located on the Île d'If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago, a short distance from Marseille in southeastern France."
The 2nd part of Leyland Kirby’s uniquely prescient dark ambient masterstroke, Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was  finds us returning to Kirby’s draughty corridors midnight keyboard meditations >> a sublime, haunting experience.
Almost a decade on from its original release we can read Kirby's morose diagnosis of capitalist malaise, deferred futurism and thwarted social utopianism as a genuinely uncanny foresight of what has played out in contemporary society, in an age when social feeds have become an all-encompassing filter for daily life and effectively assuaged the rich analog ambiguity of collectivism in favour of cold, hard, binary politics and reflexive, unthinking emotional responses.
Especially in the wake of Mark Fisher’s passing, Kirby’s sentiments - embedded in titles such as When Did Our Dreams And Futures Drift So Far Apart, and figuratively perfused thru its stark negative space - use shared echoes of the hive mind thru classic film scores from Vangelis and Lynch/ Badalmenti - both quite literally omnipresent - as cues for sorrowful elegies and meditations which aesthetically resonate as much with Deathprod’s liminal scapes, as a sort of mildewed flocking to Satie’s tasteful ambient wallpaper.
It’s not all doom and gloom; there’s an underlying sense of resilience, of resistance, ribboning expressions which flow with pathos and an open-ended emotional curiosity which belies the narcissistic reaffirmations of social media’s echo chambers and dialectic cul-de-sacs, quietly striving to wrench something beautiful and affective from the clutches of a hollow mainstream.
Punishingly heavy, groove-fwd drumtrax that lift the spirit of UK funky, gqom and dembow, shaping familiar sounds into a hybrid Latin club shuffle that defies categorization. Basically, it f*cking bangs.
Mexico City's Omar Suárez has long been N.A.A.F.I's secret weapon, and his debut full-length only proves this further. On "Drum Temple" he wears his influences on his sleeve, sculpting them expertly into a vibrant, cohesive sound that spotlights the sparkling ore mined from a seam where house and hardcore co-exist peacefully.
Uk funky never really went anywhere, but here those beloved percussive patterns sound energized, injected with new flavor. Opener 'Jungla' proves this immediately, with hand drum grooves circling a pounding 4/4 and gqom's unmissable sequence of rushes and slams. 'Drum Dance' is even better, sliding closer to Scratcha's next level hybridized UK gqom but still retaining a slippery, singular sense of style.
As if a full set of drum workouts wasn't enough, "Drum Temple" comes packaged with three exclusive remixes from N.A.A.F.I's Lao, Nick León and WRACK. Lao turns in a rework of the title track, deconstructing it without losing the groove and signaling a haunted, decaying dystopia; León meanwhile turns down the tempo on 'Traib', accentuating the swing and highlighting the original's asymmetry.
Rome’s keenly observed Superpang label hand over to Martina Lussi & Tim Shaw for a super quiet report from the field
Swiss sound artist Martina Lussi, admired for her Selected Ambient’ side with Hallow Ground, meets Newcastle-based multimedia artist Tim Shaw at the threshold of perception on ‘FieldRecorder01’.
For over 20 minutes, they immerse listeners in a liminal world of aleatoric location recordings that never give away their source. We’re not sure if those are trees in the wind, someone scraping ice off a windscreen in the distance, or ants doing calligraphy, but either way it’s a mystery for the ears that’s bound to entice closer listening.