One of the most prolific artists in the RareNoise roster, Jamie Saft has appeared on recordings by such groups as Metallic Taste of Blood, Slobber Pup, Plymouth, Red Hill, The Spanish Donkey and Berserk! as well as on collaborations with Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte (New Standard/ Loneliness Road, which also featured Iggy Pop, Bill Brovold (Serenity Knolls), Roswell Rudd (Strength & Power) and his own New Zion album Sunshine Seas).
"And yet, over all those sessions he has never recorded a solo piano album Solo A Genova is Saft’s highly emotive take on jazz standards and other uniquely American compositions.Recorded at the beautiful Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Italy in an acoustically marvellous space, Solo A Genova showcases Saft on a 9 - foot Steinway Model D piano in the service of a number beguiling piano arrangements of tunes by Curtis Mayfield, Jimmy Tam/Terry Lewis, John Coltrane, ZZ Top, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Charles Ives, Miles Davis and Bill Evans"
Terekke takes L.I.E.S. over the line with his sublime debut LP, Plant Age - the label 100th release. If you’ve been wowed by his handful of Terekke 12”s to date, take it on trust that this one’s his best so far. For everyone else, this is some of the loveliest, fugged-out deep house you’ll hear all year.
In the mould of his much loved singles, Plant Age finds the Amsterdam-based producer lushing out in eight ways, all linked by the classic spirits of deep, ambient and dub-house styles. It’s surely an analogue bubblebath for the soul - the kind of careful, caressing music to put on at any time of the day to ease your worries.
With xanax-like efficacy, he conducts a deeply anaesthetising drift from the watercoloured chords and elusive, Sprinkles-like bass on Tack thru cotton-built deep house in BB2 and delicicious, barely-there ambient structures in Swim, then sending gentle shockwaves thru the smoke with his doubles stepper Mix91, before pushing off into purely opiated 4th world zones in JQM, and kissing off with the aqueous smudge of Closer.
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.
Marrying modern composition with alternative attitudes and sounds.
"The first official s t a r g a z e release was a pioneering re-interpretation of the music of the alternative experimentalists Deerhoof, ‘Deerhoof Chamber Variations’, which led to the fulsome and controversial takeover of the BBC Proms for the David Bowie night, which saw s t a r g a z e collaborate with artists as diverse as John Cale, Elf Kid, Marc Almond and Anna Calvi amongst others, to celebrate the astounding, at times contradictory, music of this soulful, inspirational polymath.
POLIÇA have themselves blazed a trail across the modern musical landscape - throughout their three albums of dark, personally political pop they have distorted the conventions of production and form to create deeply affecting songs that claw into your consciousness.
s t a r g a z e’s approach reflects the true collaborative nature of the project and album. He listened closely to POLIÇA’s music, admiring what he describes as the band’s “extreme sense of harmony” and began to see how their two worlds might entwine.
This album, showing a very different access point to the album, demonstrates further the powerful production skills of POLIÇA’s Ryan Olson, who documented and augmented these sounds at Justin Vernon’s studio in Wisconsin."
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.
Daft Skweee trax from Joe Howe (Gay Against You) on the persistent Adaadat label. Features Kiki Hitomi (King Midas Sound) and nice artwork by Hardeep Pandhal
“Joe Howe released his debut album 'Youth Pixxel' under the alter ego Germlin on Adaadat back in 2006. He has gone on to release music on numerous other imprints including, Sound Pellegrino, Darla, Upset the Rhythm, Lo Recordings, Musique Large, Dødpop and #Feelings. In addition to his solo work, Joe's discography is filled with numerous collaborative projects including the notorious New Rave parody act Gay Against You.
The instrumental drums and synthesiser duo Ben Butler and Mousepad, Frearson Howe a collaboration with visual artist Annabel Frearson. The albums Sunbutler and Joemus both produced inconjunction with Edinburgh's anti-Morrissey Momus. Joe currently plays saxophone in a new band called Banana Oil, that sound something like 'The Mothers of Invention without all the toxic masculinity', they have a cassette recently released on Winning Sperm Party.”
Ought's third album and first for Merge
"Growing up doesn't mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band-identity, connection, survival in a precarious world-but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette.
Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought's first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths. Ought approached this record with newfound patience, constructing a (digital) moodboard to set their intentions: Brian Eno and Stereolab synths, the Mekons' 1985 album Fear and Whiskey, and Gerhard Richter and Kenneth Anger's sexy, fluorescent hyperreal all made it into the melting pot. "The process of everybody wading into each other's subconscious was really excellent," says frontman, guitarist, and lyricist Tim Darcy.
Holed up in their rehearsal building, an industrial rock block (and sock factory) overlooking the Trans-Canada Highway, the band strove for greater detail and specificity than before while remaining true to the collaborative, intuitive writing process that yielded their earlier work. On Room Inside the World, Ought gnaw at questions that have hovered around their music since they first began playing: How do you live in this world without destroying yourself? What is it that we can do for each other to make the lives we've been given easier?
Room Inside the World steps away from the nervousness and irony that characterizes Ought's previous records. Instead of winkingly asking you to open your textbooks, as on More Than Any Other Day, here they're imploring you to look inside yourself and then around you, to tease out and melt away the barriers that keep people separated from one another. It makes for a different kind of catharsis: the quiet satisfaction of a job well done, the glow of seeing someone as they are, the soft simmer of real love. It's like finding a space inside the world where you can sit down for a bit, a room where there's room enough for everyone. The record ends on a comma, a quick fade, a sharp intake of breath, and you find yourself right back where you began.
An evergreen ambient classic and FACT's #10 album of the ‘80s, also in Pitchfork’s Top 40 Best Ambient Albums of All Time, Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence returns to its spiritual home on vinyl more than 30 years since it first came into this dimension.
On his 3rd album, self-taught synthesist Steve Roach made a break from his previous two sides of Berlin-skool kosmiche and ambient to foster a far more delicate, focussed yet heavy-lidded style of new age ambient music that was mercifully shy of the style’s more cloying cliches, favouring subtly phasing repetition and suspense over space soap opera dramatics or hippyish fantasy.
The result is a seductively minimalist suite of space music in three parts, gently flowing upwards and outwards to beautifully introspective ends on Reflections In Suspension, before Quiet Friend cradles your heart in diaphanous sheets of satin synth, and Structures From Silence imperceptibly returns to 0 in a creamy wash of aqueous pads that feel like a Vangelis romance theme slowed to alien temporality.
Ambient gold, this. Don’t miss!
The overdue and overproof sophomore Young Echo album is finally upon us, dispensing an epic 24 tracks of subby, red-eyed and distinctively Bristolian vibes set to dank-out smoky dwellings everywhere. Arriving five years after Nexus, their eponymous second album features cuts from each of the 11-strong mob, framing a fractious mosaic of style and pattern rooted in dub and the dancehall, but unafraid to fxck with noise, techno, ambient pop and grime in their own way.
It’s a proper group effort, playing to their strengths in diversity and unity in the best way by keeping individual track credits close to their chest, only allowing the album to be taken as a whole. Yeh, of course everyone’s going to have personal favourites, but they’re only facets of a much bigger body, and it’s to their credit that the whole thing feels coherent, a shared experience, and doesn’t simply sound like a compilation of music by like minds.
Young Echo have always been a bit of sore-thumb in the scene - are they a band? A label? A soundsystem in the mould of The Wild Bunch? The one takeaway from all their material is a sense of shared purpose and democracy - not in the usual, arrogant indie band style, or in-your-face political militancy - pivoting around mutual ideas of economy of expression and a sensitivity to space, rhythm and tone that effectively all pulls back to dub, no matter their individual heritage.
Young Echo is an organic complex where light hardly penetrates its papyrus-like walls, and much of the most crucial communication is made via infrasonics and atonality, relaying messages and emotions both as metaphorical/physical vibes and quite literally thru a morphing voice, which might be gruff poetic realism of Rider Shafioque one minute, the crisply enunciated diction of Jabu or Chester Giles the next, while a number of ghostly, sampled characters also haunt its corridor, perfusing half-heard messages thru their smoky matrix.
It adds up to an album symptomatic of the times in which it was made, yet does so timelessly, bridging the original, super plush studio trip hop creation of their geographic forebears, Massive Attack or Portishead, with a more road-level appreciation of economy and soul which might be best recognised by members of their generation, but should also be felt by any open-minded and empathetic souls the world over.
It’s definitely not another fxcking coffee table record, we’ll give you that for free.
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.”
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.
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."
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.
Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (‘Dog On Wheels’, ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’ and ‘3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light’), Belle and Sebastian release three new EPs under the umbrella title ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’.
"Just as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap but as definitive releases in their own right. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is both an era of its own and part of a long, rich history. ‘How To Solve Our Human Problems’ is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux"
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.