Nocturnal Emissions’ dark ambient archetype and master opus sees light of day on its 30th anniversary reissue with Alessandro Adriani’s Mannequin.
Starting a very welcome programme of Nocturnal Emissions reissues, ‘Spiritflesh’ offers a steeply absorbing blend of field recordings, concrète and analogue electronics recorded in London Zoological Gardens, the Derbyshire Dales and various sites in Great Britain between January and May 1988. With sleight of hand and near magic realist intent, the eldritch, future-primitivist results beautifully and brutally evoke a strong sense of time and place, and confirm Nocturnal Emissions position at the vanguard of post-industrial exploration.
Written in the first half of 1988 and self-released by Nigel Ayers’ Nocturnal Emissions in 1989, after a decade of veering between noise, synth-pop and multi-disciplinary A/V performance, ‘Spiritflesh’ found the group perversely avoiding the acid house phenomenon and heading to the outer limits of sonic perception. Combining the indigenous, British sounds from the bleak Derbyshire Dales with Church harmonium, Car Wipers, and the relatively exotic sounds of Chimpanzees and African Wildfowl, the ten tracks speak to an idea of GB as a node, criss-crossed by eons of people, cultures, and their beliefs and occult ephemera. In effect, the music feels like a detached, psychic reading of the country at that time, when contemporary folk were engaged in technologically and pharmaceutically enhanced reveries that related as much to ancient African and pagan Indo-European traditions as up-to-the-second advancements in science and technology - effectively reading the aura of a country and culture tilting from analogue into the digital dimension.
Schizoid jungle/juke tuffness from Germany’s Dispondant, exerting clinical/soulful Teutonic torque on OG Chicago and UK styles
Smartly dividing his energies between dancefloor dichotomies, one side shows off his whipsmart technoid chops in the palpitating subs and frozen drums of ‘Death’ and the zig-zagging 303 epic ‘Warehouse Acid’, while the flipside plays it cooler with the fluidly jazzy metrics of ‘Acid Jazz’ and the smoky late night Tokyo atmospheres of ‘Sanctum’.
Mac DeMarco sweetly covers Harry Hosono in lilting japanese, backed with the YMO-guy’s original, inaugurating a promising new series of covers/originals.
“The series launches with Mac DeMarco covering one of his biggest musical idols, Haruomi Hosono. Having referenced him in numerous interviews and on his album covers, DeMarco now pays direct homage to the Japanese legend with his sincere take on “Honey Moon,” originally released on Tropical Dandy in 1975. DeMarco effortlessly sings the original lyrics in Japanese, while maintaining his own unmistakable cool.
Haruomi “Harry” Hosono is a towering figure in the history of modern Japanese music. From the groundbreaking folk rock of Happy End and the pioneering techno pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra, to the countless influential solo works that have touched on exotica, funk, country, electronic, ambient, and everything in between. Fresh from his celebrated solo London debut at the Barbican Center for Light In The Attic’s ‘Sweet 16’ celebration, Hosono will see his key works reissued by Light In The Attic starting this August – the first time these highly influential and sought-after albums will be available outside Japan.
This batch of covers follows our popular Light in the Attic 10 Year Anniversary series from 2012, which included Ariel Pink and Dam Funk covering Donnie & Joe Emerson’s eternal anthem “Baby,” Mark Lanegan covering the melancholy folk of Karen Dalton, and Iggy Pop with Zig Zags transforming Betty Davis’ dirty funk into a heavy Sabbath grind.
Upcoming highlights from the covers series include acclaimed singer-songwriter Julie Byrne covering Nico, and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker making his own unique selection from the Light In The Attic archives.”
Nyege Nyege usher in the new year with the hyper blaze of Jay Mitta’s debut LP ‘Tatizo Pesa’, kicking off a trio of searing Singeli albums from the sound’s ground zero - the Sisso Studios of the Mburahati ghetto, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Proper 180bpm+ headmelters taking traditional music into orbit of contemporary, accelerated styles ranging from Grenedan Jab Jab/Soca to Chicago footwork, hardcore UK rave and French flashcore...
A breathtaking boost of frenetic rhythms, syncopated loops and nagging hooks, ‘Tatizo Pesa’ notably introduces 14 year old MC sensation Dogo Janja alongside nine knockout instrumentals that make much western dance musics seem prissy and pedestrian.
Despatched by the acclaimed Nyege Nyege Tapes outta Kampala, Uganda; it presents the raw, untrammelled energy of Tanzanian Singeli with immediate effect. Like his peers, Bamba Pana, DJ Balotelli, and DJ Longo, Jay Mitta combines traces of older, local folk melodies with elements of ‘Bongo Flava’, or up-to-the-minute Swahili rap music, but at breakneck tempos that give the sound its inexorable energy and verve.
Jay Mitta’s debut offering renders the lushest, variegated spectrum of Singeli since the style emerged in its current form only a few years ago. On the one hand he plays up to pure rave needs with outright steamers such as ‘Don Bet’, and the ratchet tension of ‘Mwakidimba’, but they’re balanced with hip hop swagger in the standout title tune featuring 14 year old Dogo Janja, and the deep south bounce-esque of ‘Masera’, while the mercurial quickstep of ‘Dura’ and ‘Mchuma Bet’ are bound to snag wider-eared ravers with their so-fast-they’re-weightless string and key arrangements.
It’s very hard to ignore that with ‘Tatizo Pesa’ Jay Mitta has produced a new and unmissable high-water mark of the ancient yet up-to-the-second East African music bound to translate directly to all willing bodies.
On his sixth album in as many years, Lone refines his synaesthetically enhanced palette of coloursound and rhythmelody.
'Reality Testing' is simply soul drunk and and beaming with good vibes, wending a mazy path between house, boogie and hip hop rhythms gilded with the lushest synthlines and diffused into gaseous pink, orange and turquoise hues. There's a sincerity and sweetness to almost every moment of the album that's testament to his way with a musical phrase - it really takes a romantic soul to see past the jakeys, fixies and wannabes of Manchester's NQ and call a track 'Aurora Northern Quarter', and seemingly without a shred of irony - whilst the likes of 'Meeker Warm Energy' with its fuzzy chords and twirling lead imparts the rarest BoC vibes, and even a cut with a title like 'Jaded' still sounds as though it was made after he found a tenner in last summer's shorts.
Coupled with the def jazz dance of 'Restless City', and the now familiar vibes of previous single tracks, 'Airglow Fires' and 'Begin To Begin', it'll leave you grinning.
Proper Memphis rap pressure from the OG Shawty Pimp, on Egyptology Records outta Luxor, Egypt
As far as we can tell, this is a modern Memphis production (not ‘90s gear) by Tennessee’s Paragon Assassin, running at a very Footwork compatible slow/fast 75/150bpm with Shawty Pimp a.k.a M-19’s asphalt rap on the front and a banging instrumental waiting for the jugglers on the back - yeah, you need two copies!
The unique and little known sound art of Jean Dupuy highlighted by Sean McCann’s Recital, mixing never before heard archival work plus a new recording of his hand-painted clocks. A pioneer in combining art and technology, Dupuy worked with everyone from George Maciunas to Laurie Anderson and Ilhan Mimaroglu in the ‘70s and beyond. This is the first retrospective of his work, following an LP of new recordings in 2016
“The first comprehensive album of Jean Dupuy’s sound works, collecting recordings from 1969-2017.
Dupuy started his artistic career as a painter but shifted his practice when he moved from France to New York in 1967. Dupuy experimented with new technologies, and soon became a prominent figure in the Art and Technology movement. In 1968 he participated with an inventive sound, light and color installation, Heart Beats Dust, in the landmark exhibition The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the early 1970s Dupuy started performing collectively with other New York artists, and his loft at 405 East 13th Street turned into a center for these performances. Dupuy also arranged similar events at the Whitney Museum, the Kitchen and the Judson Church. During his time in New York, which lasted until the early 1980s, Dupuy collaborated with over 200 artists, as an organizer of events and as an artist.
Charlie Morrow poses the question: “But what about his sound art? … Jean has a particular affinity for sound and vocalizing. The songs of his childhood, the French church tradition and the charming puzzlement of letter games and graphics. He has created an amplified heartbeat machine with blood red puffs of pigment, and short jingles, such as ‘I like bananas – ain’t no bone inside.'”
In aligning this definitive collection, a new piece came to be recorded specially for this LP, “Concert of Seconds.” A recording of a symphony of painted clocks that live in Jean’s gallery in Nice, France.
This LP was organized with the assistance of Christian Xatrec and Charlie Morrow.”
François Dufrêne’s impossible-to-find piece of sound poetry history surfaces on vinyl for the first time, via Sean McCann’s Recital label - home to beautiful works by Sarah Davachi and Ian William Craig
As one of, if not the first poet to use a tape recorder, François Dufrêne’s place in the history books is assured, if little known. ‘Cri-Rythmes’ is Dufrêne’s term for his particular form of sound poetry, a extreme style of extended vocal technique generating wild arrays of wretches, splutters, and primitive gargles that set the benchmark for loads of artistic mentalists to come.
The four pieces on ‘Cri-Rythmes’ are a-verbal, a-semantic, and utterly unhinged in the most fascinating way, as daft as they are alien and yet, completely natural, with very little or no extra FX (even the “effects” we hear may be acoustics inherent to the room recording).
‘Cutheart’ is a mystic milestone from the experimental underbelly of 1970’s Australia, composed in real time on stage by restauranteur/musician Dure Dara and synth player David Tolley.
Perhaps the only record we’ve come across that was conceived while cooking a chicken (which was fed to the audience at end of a performance!), ‘Cutheart’ extends a suite of probing new age gestures spontaneously composed over the course of three nights at the Universal Theatre in Melbourne. In key with a groundswell of Antipodean obscurities dished up over the last few years, the music is blessed with an alternately wide-eyed and heavy lidded appeal, and unfolds with a naturalistic, non-academic, endearing experimental naivety that we’ve come to appreciate in music from his region and era of the world, located well away from the usual hotspots of electronic music.
“Welcome to the strange musical world of Tolley & Dara, an experimental duo whose incredible music held a marginal yet vital position on the fringe of the Australian music industry during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Consisting of jazz bassist and synthesist David Tolley and percussionist Dure Dara, their union was a relationship of romance and intense creativity, a deep spiritual bond consecrated amidst banks of modular synthesizers and racks of exotic percussion instruments. Recorded over a series of live performances in the spring of 1979, the music featured on Cutheart was edited and assembled from eight improvised pieces recorded at the Universal Theatre Melbourne. Comprised of analogue synthesizers and a vast array of tuned and non-tuned percussion, Tolley and Dara sculpted a cluster of electronic abstractions and organic splashes of Gamelan-influenced percussion; a dense otherworldly soundscape coloured with trance-like vocal scatting and deranged muttering. Known for his bass playing on the classic Australian jazz-rock album Carlton Streets by The Brian Brown Quintet and also as a member of EX- (the collaborative project with Daevid Allen from Soft Machine/Gong), Cutheart sees Tolley explore the outer realms of heady improvised electronic music. While the music of Tolley & Dara exists in a sonic universe all of its own, similarities could easily be drawn to another likeminded musical partnership, the American husband and wife duo Annette Peacock and Paul Bley. Cutheart is a pioneering recording of extended synthesiser and percussion technique from the Australian experimental underground.”
Expanded reissue with 3 new piano tracks recorded in 2018.
New edition of Steven Brown’s classic solo piano suite, including the bonus tracks from ’The Ghost Sonata’  featuring his Tuxedomoon bandmate Blaine L. Reininger, and now three tracks from ‘Belly Of The Whale’ .
First issued in 1983, ‘Music For Solo Piano’ found Steven Brown stripping back from Tuxedomoon’s no wave cabaret style to a more intimate, personalised expression of solo piano and clarinet melancholia in refined, chamber-like settings with hauntingly unique results that have lost none of their timeless charm.
The additional six parts from ‘The Ghost Sonata’ follow suit, accompanied by Blaine L. Reininger for a majestic and melodramatic “opera without words”, before ‘Belly Of The Whale’ brings us up to date with Steven Brown’s contemporary practice, some 30 odd years later, focussed on him and the keys in a jazzier modern classical fashion.
Rob Smith’s B-lines fi blow on two classic for Pev’s Punch Drunk, reissued on their 10th anniversary
Casting us back to the red-eyed daze of 2008, RSD’s two outings for Punch Drunk marked the development of the hardcore ‘nuum by one of its originators.
Stepping 20 years on from his earliest Bristol bassbin classics in Smith ’N Mighty and into the 140bpm arena, Rob Smith shook the foundations with billowing subbass pressure and dub-forged drums in ‘Jah Way’, and brought UK steppers up to speed with the rolling juggernaut ‘Speeka Box’.
Best believe she’s back! Polish songbird Aldona takes flight again on Dunno Recordings, accompanied by her jazz trumpeter husband and arranger Eugeniusz Polok and remixed, reggaeton style, by Lento
Following from one of the most memorable 12”s of the last few years, Aldona Orłowska & Eugeniusz Polok present the slinky cuboid Euro-pop ballad ‘Nie Wiem’ and the electro-jazz parp of ‘Nature Boy’ up top, while Lento makes ‘Nie Wiem’ tropical with the hunched dembow drums of his remix.
Serene suite by the Ultramarine dreamers and their vocalist of choice, ‘80s indie-pop starlet Anna Domino, and sax player Iain Bellamy (ECM), all mixed by Stereolab’s Andy Ramsey
“Signals Into Space is a brand new studio album by acclaimed electronic duo Ultramarine. SIS is their seventh album, having made their debut on Crepuscule with Folk (TWI 894) back in 1990.
The new long player was conceived by Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond over a three year period and features four songs co-written with North American musician Anna Domino, a firm favourite of the group since her leftfield pop releases on Crepuscule and Factory in the 1980s. "For this project we wanted to do something more ambitious and perhaps more accessible than our last album in 2013," explains Paul. "We were keen to start collaborating with other musicians again, as well as develop our method of performance-based writing and recording, which is partly improvised."
Signals Into Space also features contributions from saxophonist Iain Ballamy (ECM, Food, Loose Tubes) and percussionist & vibraphone player Ric Elsworth. It was recorded and mixed in London with Andy Ramsay (Stereolab) and mastered by Noel Summerville.
"To some extent Signals Into Space is an escapist record," reveals Ian. "Our rehearsal space is a small windowless room on an industrial estate in Essex. Possibly as a result we ended up with a collection of visually suggestive tracks, conjuring mental images of cities, deserts and tropical islands, which gradually came into focus as Anna's lyrical ideas developed. So while the music might have been conceived in a closed space it's imbued with a positive spirit - looking outwards, seeking contact."
Phillip Sollmann does his effortlessly rolling tech-house thing as Efdemin for Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts
‘Wrong Movements (Circles)’ rolls on a fine line between hypnotic melancholy and something darker lurking below, while ‘Wrong Movements (Left)’ is more forcefully, melodically techno, and ‘Wrong Movement (Right)’ cuts the anchor and heads off on cosmic vectors along spiralling arps into acres of dusty, negative space.
The Boats finally relinquish a standalone CD of the ‘Lost Ideas (Expanded)’ piece of their super ltd and sought-after boxset, ‘The Boats Archive’
Touted as “a collection of forgotten fragments, abandoned building blocks, loops, live recordings, rehearsal tapes and orphaned songs 2003-2014”, it’s effectively a treasure trove of impossible-to-find material by the Lancastrian small sound specialists, spanning ephemera from their inception and up until they turned industrial circa ‘Abstraction’ .
The piece plays through as a single, hour long collage of half-thought melodies, heavy-lidded murmurs, and burbling electronic pops where each part blurs or bleeds into the next, forming a tremulous cats cradle of sentimental gesture and quiet whims to get utterly wrapped up in.
Addendum to Chris Carter’s first Chemistry Lesson, the ‘Coursework’ bonus offers a new original, ‘Bongo Glow’, along with remixes of album tracks by Radiophonic Workshop, Chris Liebing, and Daniel Avery
Carter’s unsettling synthetic vocaloid makes another appearance in the retro-futurist charms of ‘Bongo Glow’, crooning like a forlorn AI, before the highly active Radiophonic Workshop rework ‘Blissters’ to sound even closer to one of Akira Rabelais’ rewired renaissance pieces or a Jóhann Jóhannsson epic. Teutonic techno boschmaster Chris Liebing offers a stern, ‘Slow Burn’ techno overhaul of ‘Tones Map’, and Daniel Avery reworks ‘Uysring’ as a rolling big room heater.
A killer blast of Linekraft’s Japanese junk metal cut-ups and cyclonic noise, new on Hospital Productions.
Japan’s foremost exponent of ‘metal junk’ cut-ups transposes the nihilist energy of his notorious live shows into this devastating debut LP for Hospital Productions. Hailed by Prurient’s label as “the premier industrial performance unit arising from today’s contemporary Japanese underworld”, Masahiko Okubo a.k.a. Linekraft lives up to this mantle with a severely brutal suite of hacked and charred concrète noise.
Like his predecessor Kimihide Kusafuka’s K2 ventures in the same arena (we imagine a cage, a bit like Robot Wars or MMA), Linekraft rudely manhandles his recordings of percussion and vocals, pitching them into a morphing torrent of abusive clangour and analogue chicanery with Kafkaesque results.
Aggressively charged mutations of IDM, EBM, and EDM
“‘Calibrate’ proffers the highest of fidelity, with blockbuster sci fi levels of production value and bombast. Donoso channels sonic spirits across fluro pointillism, futuristic industrial tribalism and more serene moments of synthetic reflection.
Having never courted accessibility, Donoso remains as unbending as ever in his approach and unwavering in commitment to his craft. Calibrate takes Donoso’s polymetric abuse and sound design to all new extremes. Conflicting rhythms and swathes of electronic debris move in tandem, to create pieces that expand and contract in on themselves.
A journey through Calibrate is an exercise in instability and failure; its aggressiveness serves as a warning against the urge to seek safety on common ground, and its entire approach seems to display a hostility towards the increasingly homogenized nature of new electronic music.”
London’s Specimens convey a plangent sort of existential anguish with the sorrowed ambience and soundtracky feels of his debut album. File next to The Sight Below, Alex Zhang Hungtai, or indeed Lawrence English, who’s part responsible for the record’s subtly billowing scope
“‘In The Dust Of Idols’ is an album exploring mortality, Existentialism & the dread one can feel in the face of an apparently meaningless world. The journey you embark on when trying to create meaning where there is perhaps none. These initial senses of dread can be brought about by the insignificance you feel in the face of greatness (or perceived greatness), where others have seemingly found meaning and purpose in the face of your own wavering path. Often these can be expressed in grandness and can become historically significant human feats, the fact that they have stood the test of time can become in itself overwhelming when reflecting on your own journey. Whilst these moments in time may hold no specific meaning to you - despite their impressive nature - you are driven into senseless awe.
Accompanying the release of the record is a short film set to music from the album, produced and shot by photographer & director Lucie Rox. The film is a visual expression and representation of identity and the many ways this is challenged, perceived and adopted. Whilst taking forward the concepts explored throughout the album, the film looks to reduce the great vastness of confusion and self doubt put forward on the record & focus instead on a more intimate and personal perspective laid bare and shared by both director Lucie Rox & Specimens.
With a heavy focus on race & heritage of which both Specimens & Lucie are mixed - Caribbean & British / African & French respectively - the objective of the film is to show one of the many angles where an individual's search for meaning & identity can be expressed.”
Spread over a massive six discs and further bolstered by a pretty darn exhaustive book that interviews the surviving members (Williams passed away in 2001), 'Out Of Cold Storage' is testament to the unbridled virility of This Heat - with all the music very much rooted in its era, yet also utterly timeless. Comprised of their five studio albums ('This Heat', 'Deceit', 'Health and Efficiency', 'Made Available' and 'Repeat') plus an incendiary set of live action culled from their 1980/81 heyday, 'Out Of Cold Storage' allows everyone to get hold of these classic recordings in pristine form - a real treat given the eroded bootlegs and mp3s that have been doing the rounds for years.
Born out of the UK crucible that existed in the period immediately post punk (before it earned capitals and morphed into genre all of its own...), This Heat formed through the restless response of three twenty-somethings who felt impelled to document their corner of 1970's London. Already faces at the more severe end of the prog-rock scene, Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward were joined by non-musician Gareth Williams - a catalyst that would see them recording vast quantities of work then editing the results down into consumable chunks of aural fortitude.
Ranging in style from the avant-rock of their eponymous debut, through to the political polemic of 'Deceit', This Heat are spiky without the need to resort to high-kicking comparisons with the likes of Orange Juice et al., with their output always a couple of steps removed from their retrospective peers. Unafraid to disrupt their reputation through creative right-angles, the likes of 'Repeat' and it's central 20 minutes of looped drones and rhythms (think Can in a chiller cabinet) are seemingly at odds with 'Health And Efficiencies' melody etched high - yet rather than cause tension, these juxtapositions merely heighten the band's appeal and allow you a glimpse into moments of creative perfection.
Vast, comprehensive and thoroughly indispensable, 'Out Of Cold Storage' proves that the endless vault combing perpetrated by labels can sometimes come good. Six shades of fantastic.
Leaders of England’s hidden reverse, Stapleton and Tibet, compile four visionary highlights of their collaborations between 1991-1998, including a previously unreleased outtake of their ‘Musical Pumpkin Cottage’ album
First available at their NWW and Current 93 concert in London, late 2018, ‘The Threats of Memories’ unfolds across the minds-eye with all the lysergic quality that one may hope for. Ancient acolytes and wide-eyed ambient lambs alike will be enchanted by the unfathomable spatial dimensions and lurking intimacy on offer, all newly remastered and rendered on vinyl to thee most exacting standards, bringing anyone in earshot within touching distance of the duo’s original vision.
In the A-side ‘The Sadness of Things’ (1991) we can feel the spectral touch of Colin Potter applied to slow, curling strings, shivering hi-hat and stereo-strafing apparitions, bookended by haunting vox from Joolie Wood and Ruby Wallis at the front and David Tibet in the rear. ‘The Dead Side of The Moon’ features many more hands on deck to explore a proper sort of mountainside kosmiche revelation alongside ‘Bubblehead’, which maintains a motorik trajectory into more possessed, end-of-trip tremors that also leads down the Craig Leon-esque wormhole of ‘DreamBreath’, a previously unreleased ace of heavy breathing loops and chromatic chronics laced with Stapleton recalling a lysergic daytrip.
Objekt returns with Cocoon Crush, his first LP since 2014’s Flatland. Over the past four years he has continued to challenge conventions with his club output, while maintaining his reputation as a DJ who deploys impeccable technical finesse in crafting elaborate narratives from a diverse and challenging palette of electronic music.
"Written between 2014 and 2018 in Berlin and on the road, Cocoon Crush once again sees the producer jettisoning the functional requirements of the dancefloor. Marking a further evolution from the youthful exuberance of Flatland, Cocoon Crush explores a more introspective side, with themes of human interaction resonating throughout the record as it ruminates on a spectrum of complex moods rooted in 4 years of sometimes turbulent personal experience.
Cocoon Crush represents an aesthetic departure from Flatland’s largely synthetic tonality, drawing from organic source material and natural textures to illustrate perplexing and unfamiliar sceneries in photorealistic detail. In Cocoon Crush, Objekt diverges further still from his musical influences to craft the purest manifestation of his own musical personality to date: an intriguing and enigmatic album whose reference points are hard to pin down, in which ghostly synth passages weave through mind-bending, weighty drums, and ASMR-triggering foley collages scrape and sparkle.
Through meticulous sculpting, Objekt traces a rich and impressionistic journey through claustrophobia, hope, guilt, anxiety and joy, nested in layers of sonic detail which reward with every listen."