Geoff Barrow's Invada imprint presents the stunning soundtrack to Nicolas Refn Windings' heist-movie 'Drive' - Rolling Stone magazine's #1 film of 2011.
The sublime Cliff Martinez score is accompanied by five songs featured in the film - Kavinsky & Lovefoxx's 'Nightcall'; Desire's 'Under Your Spell'; College feat. Electric Youth 'A Real Hero'; Riz Ortolani feat. Katyna Ranieri 'Oh My Love'; The Chromatics 'Tick Of The Clock'. With his original score, Martinez - a former collaborator with Lydia Lunch, Jim Thirlwell, Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band and RHCP - perfectly matches the mood of Winding Refn's '80s-referencing electro-pop selections with an impeccable array of brooding synth themes.
Ascetic House whip out another smart début...
This time from UBK, whose Victoria pursues a murky post-club spirit thru 10 tracks of fanged, fleet-footed industrial ructions, environmental sounds, and buckled traces of grime, techno and dancehall painting scene of urban chaos pie for cruising city streets in your car at night.
One for fans of Rabit, German Army, Croww.
Extra murky hip hop mixtape from NYC underground royalty, Geng a.k.a. King Ultra Vision, literally sampling from the streets around him and folding snatches of dialogue into proper sludgy beats and fluoro-glowing atmospheres. Distilling the mental state of NYC
“Pain Of Mind is an audio book about mental illness and a broken system.
Written/recorded/mastered Oct. 1 - Nov. 9, 2017 in Queens - 1 block away from a "RIP Prodigy" tag. Mastered the same day Wu's Enter The 36 dropped, 24 years ago.
All dialogue was captured directly onto cassette. All samples collected via SP 202, SP 303, SP 404 and/or MPC1000. All mixing/mastering via cassette.
"This is how I heard the music that shaped my sensibilities - drenched in analog imperfection and waves of hiss."
“King Vision Ultra is a fresh sonic narrative from Geng. An elemental alphabet constructed from personal histories, reflections and trauma, its block letters are etched into New York City's glass and daubed on its brickwork, impounded in the minds of a transient population.”
Dirgey, gothic post-punk winners from the apocalypse-baiting Jon Edifice.
The label describe it as “Methodical yet disfigured outlaw compositions straight from the bowels of Jon's world.”, and we’d add some lashings of scuzz and a peculiarly brittle Britishness to that equation, as Jon could almost just as well come from early ‘80s Manchester as his actual home, Grand Rivers, Kentucky in 2018.
Arriving in the shadow of Ori Ofir’s killer Sterile Hand duo with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant), this is Lower Tar’s self-titled 2017 volley of dark blue EBM bruisers, reissued by Ascetic House.
Make sure to check for the grotty churn of Lacquer and Dust and irresistibly wriggly EBM ruckus funk of Existence Preceeds Essence for something to really bite down on
“In his self titled release, Lower Tar explores the intense hive mind that revolves around being an Israeli American and what it means to be critical of a society while still maintaining his identity. Using techno as a cathartic backbone enables him to cope and understand the multiplicitous relationship he has with Israel as an idea and a real place.”
Heading up an excellent new Ascetic House batch, Roper Rider’s Motion Profile is a focussed study in unique production process with results that trip lines between superdense and skeletally spacious, absorbing sound designs in a way that recalls the work of Second Woman, Adam Asnan, AGF and Vladislav Delay.
Motion Profile is an uncommonly ductile and bendy set of mutant permutations, feeling like a frozen jungle of footwork cut spliced with an eavesdropped phonecall in Halve, whereas Variation finds them investigating deep space coordinates with mind-bending form, and the mentalists will surely be slathering for the ultra dynamic futurist recursions of CN III and the hyperspace tilt of Scent Detection.
More unexpected brilliance from Ascetic House.
This one's a head-engulfing meditation on the way that “dreams and memories distort as time stretches onward…”, rendered as abyssal drone trip comparable to the starkest passages of The Caretaker/The Stranger or the hallucinatory studio apparitions of NWW.
Gloryland is Plyxy’s steeply enigmatic and intoxicating début tape of ambient darkness for Ascetic House. Following introductions made on the digital only release Eat Your Gods [Anti/Anti, 2017], the NYC-based Russian artist stealthily unfolds his sound as one of the strongest, most focussed suites of atmospheric mood music this side of Tarkovsky scores or Drew McDowell’s modular gremlins
“Gloryland is the seminal EP from PLYXY, the ambient/noise project of NYC-based polymath Ros Knopov. A refugee from the Soviet Union, he hails from Dnepropetrovsk, the rocket-making capital of the former Communist state. Driven by a desire for improvisation, and obsessed with process, PLYXY weaves manipulated field recordings and Soviet-era film samples through an array of analog Eurorack modules and samplers, creating cinematic environments of despair and nostalgia.”
The link between Demdike Stare and Italy’s legendary Il Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza should be obvious to anyone familiar with their output over the years, especially the ‘Tryptych' and ‘Elemental' sets. Having been asked to perform in front of (and by) its surviving members (including Ennio Morricone no less), Demdike mined the Il Grupo archive for pieces to disassemble for this incredible hour-long collage, which takes the source material somewhere new.
Over the years Il Grupo has included the likes of Egisto Macchi, Roland Kayn, Walter Branchi, Franco Evangelisti, John Heineman, Giovanni Piazza, Frederic Rzewski and Jesus Villa Rojo alongside Morricone, its most famous member. All exceptionally skilled players and composers, Gruppo were formed in 1964 at the initiative of Franco Evangelisti with an aesthetic agenda looking beyond the boundaries of previous improvisational musics. They focussed on production and the qualities of sound itself, employing innovative recording and playing techniques at the limits of their capabilities as performers and composers in order to discover the "new consonance" inferred in their nomenclature.
Their influence on film soundtrack work is, of course, already well documented and acknowledged, but you can also hear traces of their work reflected in so much exploratory, non-academic contemporary music, with Demdike being an obvious example. Referencing one of Gruppo’s most well known and sought-after recordings, The Feed-back (1970), the Feed-Back Loop captures Demdike making perhaps the most interesting use of this source material yet, a restrained and delicate weaving of textural and percussive elements that manage to both revere the source material, as well as re-contextualise it for new ears.
As Demdike explain
"Tasked by the Festival Nuova Consonanza for a live performance at their 53rd Edition, with the remaining gruppo members in attendance, (Ennio Morricone, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Giovanni Piazza, Alessandro Sbordoni) we apprehensively dived into our collections for pieces by Gruppo and it's members in order to create this homage. Using samplers, synths and effects we looped and layered chosen sections to create new pieces which we had to then play in front of the mighty Il Gruppo, captured here for posterity."
Released in very scarce quantity, this is Madalyn Merkey’s absorbingly ferric POP one-two for the now-defunct Chantal; a subprint of Chicago’s Lynn label, whose ace digital releases are now available on our site.
We’ve had an ear on Mills College alumni Madelyn’s work since we got snagged on her sublime Scent LP in 2012 (run, go check it!), and bar the lush archipelago of her Valley Girl  LP in the meantime, these tapes give a rare, obfuscated glimpse into her current working practice.
Just like Scent, there’s a magnetic synaesthetic attraction to these tapes. Madalyn’s dreamily riffing vocals hold the centre, intersecting warped varispeed tape loops at strange angles, sometimes gelling, but more often skewhiffed in a fragrant fuss of dust and spritzed avant-Pop ephemera.
We can hear a sort of analogue for this sound in Teresa Winter’s odder nooks and folds, but Madalyn is perhaps best compared with Louis Johnstone’s collapsing the electronics of Wanda Group into his improv folk jazz pop thing, Henry Caravan, and then fermenting the lot with a bag of Haribo and iron filings.
Gwilly Edmondez is the dad from Yeah You; one of the maddest, most vital duos in underground UK music right now. Slip’s Trouble Number retrospective extends a hard-to-resist invitation to peruse four decades of Gwilly’s work at the outer limits of pop music, pairing the Gnarlage of Self C30 tape with a C60 mixtape …Made Questionably and Unquestioningly by Himself, to present a cherry-picked and unflinching 90 minute portrait of a properly prophetic, pop-wizened soul in his element.
Prone to magpie whatever snags his ear and turn it to his own ends, Gwilly ransacks hip-hop, black metal, folk, power balladry and much more, adapting inventive extended vocal techniques to consolidate a syncretic blatz of bewildering musical logic and unrhymed reasoning. To the casual observer it could appear to be a study in mental health or a Dadaist play, but pay some respect to listen and Gwilly will reward closer attention with flashes of genuine pop genius mixed with baffling non-sequiturs and hallucinatory levels of captivating oddness.
The Gnarlage Of Self tape was made on Newcastle’s hottest day of 2017, in an upstairs room in Heaton, and documents finely graded states of mind between the skittish tangle of 10 Banks of Nein and the reeling soul cadence of Make Your Own World, which could arguably be considered a definitive Edmondez anthem. On the C60 tape Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself, the handrails are further erased, resulting in a tumbling sequence of slapstick songcraft and spare, improvised electronics mulched into mixtape form. It’s here where the in/sanity and truth really comes out, oozing and ranting in a disarray of bluesy declamations, gender-bent torch songs and psychotomimetic scramble drawn from auld tapes dating to the mid ‘80s, the dankest niches of UBUWEB archives, and up-to-the-minute snatches of recent live shows.
For anyone who is intrigued by or appreciates the work of Richard Youngs, Jandek, Cosmic Dennis Greenidge, Mark Wynn, Sensational or Fenriz, consider this crucial listening.
Dave Burraston a.k.a. NYZ shares the unique generative output of his chattering synths and machines on Graham Dunning’s Fractal Meat Cuts label following his NYZ appearance on the NTS show of the same name in 2017.
Following on from Burraston’s previous NYZ release, PPLZ SYNF  for Psøma Psi Phi, here he sticks to shorter time frames packed with typically unpredictable movements, as opposed to durational, glacial transitions.
The results, generated by his custom modular systems and algorithms and recorded between 2012-2018, are like a window into the mind of a machine, but perhaps slowed down enough for human perception. Their queasy logic and inexplicable organisation are the result of decades of study into complexity and chaos systems, and its not hard to hear how that applies to the music, which is in effect incomparable to any combination of sounds imaginable.
We recommend huffing it up and marvelling at the absolute audness of it all.
Duppy Gun Produtions and Bokeh Versions light up summer ’18 with 50 minutes of dancehall crossfire, with vocals by Sikka Rymes, I Jahbar, Early One, Lyrical Wiz, Sniper, Buddy Don and Lopo.
With X-amounta mutant ammo between their barrels, both sides keep it bent, hazy and alien AF with mad bashment grime hybrids, slowed down specials and unnamed styles. We’d wager it’s best received after a few zoots and maybe a Guiness Export or three for optimal smudge...
Explorative ambient spirit Phil Struck makes an absorbing new album of ambient gestures, ersatz ethnomusicology and pastoral, lower case electronica in NNO, making for a fine follow-up to his lush Quiet Time tape.
Joining the likes of Limpe Fuchs and Sculpture on Hamburg’s Ana Ott label, Struck tentatively plays up to their far-reaching aesthetics with a humbly un-showy and subtly captivating collection of frayed sounds and arrangements that recall the smudged rhythmelodic improvisations of Bellows as much as the padded spheres of Space Africa and Bernard Baum.
In the most classic sense of ambient music, NNO is meant to melt into your personal ether with a barely-there presence, the kind of sound that triggers the olfactory and feels like there’s an abstract window open in the room bringing warm breezes and smells from f*ck knows where, but wherever it is, it’s a lovely place that we should all visit every now and then.
Jungle specialist DJ Persuasion drops pure knowledge on Dedicated To The Dedicated 94-95 for Bristol’s Tape-Echo posse following cult instalments of 93-94 hardcore for Berceuse Heroique podcast and the Seraphics 92-93 selection for Blackest Ever Black’s ID Mud series.
Basically this is peerless, untouchable stuff, packed with obscure nuggets and tunes that will have you clawing for IDs that you’ll maybe find, one day, if you’re fuckin’ lucky.
Buy on sight!
Chloe Freida’s Alien Jams compile 7 cuts from rkss, Rescund, Ondness and more cuts, each reflecting on the nature and effect of unease and anxiety, all mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
The most interesting responses to the theme come in the spiralling waves of distorted data from rkss on FX 128 F / CLAP 128 F / LEAD 2 F 128 / CLAP 128 F / FX 128 F, which seems to emulate the onset and onslaught of a panic attack, and also from multidisciplinary artist Clifford Sage a.k.a. Recsund, who follows the Intellectual Reject sets for Quantum Natives with an incisive, needling ambient techno work Sinetic that emulates the effect of feeling simultaneously lush but highly strung.
90 minutes mixed on cassette tape for performing through a variation of Ambient Techno to Ambient Experimental dub using materials from the EP Rundown Rainforest and unreleased tracks and field recordings.
Acre presents a new digestion of technologically advanced cyber-grime on the ‘Hollow Body’ album, a ten track answer to the age old question “when will the robot kill me?”.
"Earlier music on Tectonic, Codes and Brainmath has solidified Acre’s music as a station of future ready bass music. This issue through Opal Tapes, takes the trans-humanist art of Stelarc, the rattling of kinetic sculptures and reductions of the grime sound palette into new direction entirely. Collectively ‘Hollow Body’ is both a warmer and more fleshed out face to Acre’s work while also taking the statuesque sound design and bone shaking bass of his productions into new spaces.
Opening track ‘Trial 6’ degenerates into error and computer pollution before huge sheets of brightly resonating plastic synth sail off like Steve Roach playing the most ambient of Eski-beat in some unknown void. Signatures of error and failed translation continue in ‘Android’, a signal sent to re-awaken an earlier version of your metal self. ‘Suicide Drone’ plays with sample-rate in a kaleidoscope of broken glass and blast a part-gabber, part-industrial jack hammer into your head. ‘Glow’ and ‘Direct Registering’ close out the first side with a Chain Reaction-esque procession of flickering zero points, stubbed out chords and fluttering visions recalling the plastic bins behind the call centre.
Something beings to unspool as b-side opens with ‘Hollow Body’, sub-wobbles under lay a stumbling loop of disembodied voice. Guns are out for ‘DNT’ as the metal body which was earlier awoken, dresses and arms itself. All the forward momentum of bass music is inverted into a lumbering swagger replete with cyborg horn. ‘Taking Over’ offers a soft relief of aliasing tones clashing into each other like fucking modems before ‘Second Escape’ stokes the fire once again in an obliterating crush of noise percussions and jewel like synths. Closing track ‘External’ is the desert, the dust of the universe. After the earlier crush everything has to settle and fall back down.”
Zurich/Milan’s -ous label follow that smart NHK yx Koyxen EP with a more lushly emotive lash of cascading melodies, shoegazing harmonic chaos and bass saturated beats by Tomasso Pandolfi a.k.a. Furtherset.
Ecstatic, swarming, brimming with bleeding heart feels in a way that resonates with other members of the new Italian weird, NPLGNN & Dave Saved
Sim Hutchins crosses paths with Local Action for a record about “the shit side of rave” which is all too often unacknowledged in favour of its putative utopian aspects. It’s a smartly up-the-second take on hauntological themes, inverting the sonic ambient ephemera of electronic presets to locate a warped, inverted soul in the serotonin-depleted, heart thudding loneliness of Baths Salts in the Saccharin and the dazed, eviscerated hulk of Dumped By Pirate Radio that should resonate broadly and strongly with listeners of the same, dazed generation.
"Described by Sim as “a nostalgic record devoid of nostalgia”, Clubeighteen2thirty draws from every aspect of Sim’s clubbed out youth - positive and negative. Although the record at points “remembers things fondly and unrealistically”, it’s also a realistic reflection on the shit side of rave: mediating on the mistakes of youth, losing friends to car accidents and drug abuse, existential crises and clubbing alone miles from home.
In Sim’s words, this album - which utilises badly-aged sound fonts and plastic digital keyboard sounds, often drowned in interference, digital fx, harmonic distortion and samples in remembrance of lost people - “alludes to the fabrication of truths to create a sense of hope and optimism when there is little to be found at present ... there's an industry built on glorifying the past and it is a multimillion pound cliché making people richer every day. This is my enthusiasm for certain styles collapsing in on themselves with me conducting and orchestrating their demise.”
Label heads Low Jack & Jean Carval see the summer in with a killer second volume of psychedelic experiments, free jazz and acoustic folk records sourced from their back yards in Brittany, north west France. Expect a sh1t tonne of records you’ve never heard before from artists such as Catherine Le Forestier, Daniel Deshays, Hydravion, Gilles Elbaz, Siegfried Kessler, Anne Vanderlove, Georges Rodi, Melina Mercouri and many more a proper eye and ear opener for collectors and heaz.
A waking dream of a mixtape, Nique La Musique De France (Volume 2) translated to the charming "F*ck The Music Of France" works its magick in waves, firstly seducing with a breezy vocal and synth piece from Catherine Le Forestier, to drift thru acoustic folk strums, wistful psych and jazz skronk, then turning to woozy accordions and a blazing prog nugget on the A-side, before really taking it out there on the B-side, touring cinematic collage, ambient new age ideas, and some synthy chanson that’s worth the admission alone, before taking it back to some impish Celtic folk inspirations in the final strokes.
It's the kind of deeep-digging selection we'd have expected the likes of Andy Votel or Doug Shipton of Finders Keepers to have put toghether, except a bit more f*cked up and a bit more Gallic - two big pluses as far as we're concerned. If you wanna expose your ears to a whole new corner of the musical landscape while zoning out to one of the most balmy and brilliant mixtapes of the summer - this one's for you.