Karin Dreijer’s Fever Ray returns with the first release in 8 years since the celebrated self titled debut in 2009. She now tweaks the formula while retaining the enigmatic air of ‘80s synth-pop at the project’s core, redressed with rhythms better related to the modern Afro-Latin diaspora and underground fetish clubs, thanks to co-production by Príncipe’s NÍDIA, Peder Mannerfelt, Paula Temple, and Deena Abdelwahed.
Where Fever Ray was blue and black, achingly gothic, Plunge is ultraviolet and lusting, with Karin Dreijer aka Fever Ray poised like some gynoid harpy, enunciating her uniquely seductive, stressed and clipped syllables in a spectrum of screeches, naif sing-song, autotuned turns-of-phrase and etheric flights, all matched by equally piquant, urgent synthetic backdrops.
Highlights are myriad, striking from the front with evil, EVOL-esque synths wrapped to a industrialised dembow swang on Wanna Sip, and floating a superb blend of Errorsmith-like squeaks with railing reggaeton snares and a deliciously bittersweet duet with Tami T in A Part Of Us, whilst the NÍDIA-produced zinger IDK About You is surely primed for widespread dancefloor aktion, and the syncopation of giddy arpeggios and dancehall-meets-EBM drum programming in To The Moon And Back underline a piece of modern pop perfection.
There’s maybe one dud, when the folk strings spoil Red Trails, but ultimately this is a hugely satisfying listen, and a dead welcome return form one of this century’s most innovative pop stars.
The long awaited Remix album, featuring reworks from Andy Stott, Oneohtrix Point Never, Electric Youth, Alva Noto, Arca, Motion Graphics, Fennesz, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Yves Tumor, S U R V I V E and Cornelius...
We shouldn’t have to be writing this, but naturally the Jóhann Jóhannsson remix of Solari takes on a much darker shade of blue in light of his recent, untimely passing, yet it equally stands out as the LP’s most uncannily suggestive highlight. R.I.P..
Elsewhere, Yves Tumor can be trusted to handle Zure with a sensitively suspenseful sort of R&B/quasi-ambient breakbeat flip, while Andy Stott feathers Life, Life into an elegiac airborne waltz, Alva Noto catches Disintegration in a sublime, quiescent state, and Arca lends his own, original, tortured torch song vocal and windswept beat to a rework of Async with utterly heart-breaking impact. Yelp, this one really gets us.
Terekke herds his wooliest flock of ambient Improvisational Loops for Music From Memory following the cultishly-acclaimed Plant Age album for L.I.E.S.. This time he evaporates any trace of percussion to leave listeners wrapped up in billowing harmonic structures with a deeply meditative, almost anaesthetising effect set to resonate with a raft of new ears.
It’s perhaps not surprising that Matt Gardner a.k.a. Terekke conceived his second LP as an aid for yoga in the esoteric-functional style of those late ‘70s/early ’80s new age pioneers whose work is having such a strong effect on contemporary styles. As the original new age gear was crafted in response to emerging thoughts of AI consciousness, secular spirituality and as a means detach oneself from the capitalist reality of Reaganomics, in 2017, at the dog-end of capitalism, perhaps the need for this stuff is as great or greater than ever?
Unless you exclusively fxck with harsh noise or are a bit of a bastard, Improvisational Loops is almost guaranteed to melt your worries and soothe your mind, running the equivalent of a hot bath while simultaneously massaging your temples and holding a zoot to your lips so you don’t get the roach wet. Just bliss. It’s that good!
Growing Bin burst into 2018 with a bang, crash and symbol splash, uniting a premier pair of percussion obsessives for a supernatural mission into the heart of the rhythm.
Dressed in the pitch black of Dusseldorf stands Wolf Mueller, master of the tropical drums and seven time Salon Des Amateur breakdance champion. Repping Cologne and Berlin is Niklas Wandt, Germany’s funkiest drummer and a mixed musical artist as adept in experimental jazz as demented Eurodance. Standing toe to toe in a no holds barred, no drum unstruck groove contest, these two titans will make you swing your pants like a Crash Bandicoot victory dance... so stretch out and step into ‚Instrumentalmusik von der Mitte der World‘.
Taking to their task with the joyful abandon of two big kids getting creative with the Kindergarten music tray, Müller & Wandt marry dripping electronics, Froesean pads and rubber-limbed basslines with tribal polyrhythms, C2 claps and Indonesian shakers - and that‘s only on the A1. Comprising of three trance-inducing epics, a handful of medium-sized movers and a couple of freeform interludes, this dynamic double pack could almost pass as a lost Library masterpiece; but our mind guides go Furthur, fusing esoteric funk and free-jazz freak-out a truly transportive experience. Prepare to enter a world of techno totems and neon skulls, shades of Yello and excellent birds. Within these grooves lies a transdimensional pathway between the Temple of Doom, the Twilight Zone and De Palma‘s Paradise, brought to life in a shamanic rite.
Forget the healing frequencies of Growing Bin‘s ambient outings, this time we‘re dancing for mental health.”
Zola Jesus joins the Adult Swim Singles Series with Blind
Following last year’s well received Okavi LP and the lead of Chino Amobi, The Body, Jenny Hval and many other before her to bless the series with one of her trademark gothic dance pop aces.
From their beginnings in 1992, Cologne native Jan St Werner and Dusseldorfer Andi Toma have consistently challenged electronic music's paradigm in often surprising and always intriguing ways. Idiology is the duo's seventh album and is no exception to this rule, as MoM surround themselves with strings, woodwinds, brass and the band's own heavily modified fleet of machines in the St. Martin's Tonstudio.
Fans should once again brace themselves for the inevitable shock of the new as Germany's most irreverent audio renegades have created the perfect soundtrack for a highly sinister dance party. Kicking off with 'Actionist Respoke', the album's first single, MoM officially declare their independence from glitchtronica's shoegazing legions. Longtime collaborator Dodo Nkishi lends a uniquely warped vocal sensibility to the track which already features MoM's darkest grooves to date. The rest of the album continues to thicken the group's sonic stew.
Tracks such as 'Presence' and 'Catching Butterflies With Hands' have their populist intentions undermined by Werner and Toma's meddling hands, while the duo reprise their flirtation with the orchestral as heard on the opening tracks from 2000's Niun Niggung. At the other end of the spectrum, 'Introduce' is a truly evil slice of twisted lympho-zoid hip-hop. Idiology takes no prisoners in its dual-pronged assault on the conventions of modern music. Only with the loungy closing number, 'Fantastic Analysis' (a term Werner and Toma invented to describe their working process), do Mouse on Mars let the arrangements breathe a long sigh of relief, the calm after the storm.
To enable these stylistic achievements MoM enlist the help of partners in crime such as: Nkishi, the multi-talented Harald 'Sack' Ziegler, house icon Matthew Herbert on piano, violinist Matty Arouse, in addition to fellow programming wizards Adam 'Vert' Butler and F.X. Randomiz.
Ben Chasny’s (Six Organs Of Admittance) Hexadic system for composition is put to great, if beguiling use by the likes of Stephen O’Malley, Tashi Dorji, Richard Youngs, and Meg Baird a.o. on Hexadic III for the first time outside of Chasny’s Hexadic solo releases.
Based around a system of relating shuffled cards from a standard deck of playing cards to notes on a guitar, the system encourages the user to work within unusual tonal combinations, most often with uniquely “off-key” results that feel pretty damn strange for the listener.
The LP is inarguably dominated by one cut, Stephen O’Malley, Tim Wyskida and Marc Urselli’s Solastalgia, which eats up most of the B-side. Slowly churning up drums , electric guitar and abyssal bass, it features Sunn 0)))’s O’Malley working about as close to the OG Earth template as we’ve ever heard him, but also with a sleight, off-kilter spin that distinguishes it as something different.
Predictably, Richard Youngs also renders great results from the Hexadic system with his nerve-jangling eruption of keening distortion, while Phil Legard also impresses with a stark yet beautifully lilting work for organ entitled Zoa Pastorale.
Even by Príncipe’s ridiculously high standards, this is jaw-droppingly good, fierce but soulful hybrids of kuduro with R&B, trance-techno, drill and jump-up jungle, in our view some of the most thrilling music made by anyone in the world right now...
Príncipe kick off 2018 in a big way with the remarkable début by P. (as in ‘Producer’) Adrix; a 22 year old artist originally from Lisbon, now based in Manchester, who is equally adept at crafting full tilt, teched-out bangers as effervescent electronic soul music. His first release, Álbum Desconhecido is a supreme example of the innovative scenius in Angolan-Portuguese music, ratcheting the thrilling dynamics of Lisbon’s ghetto bass sound with deadly edits and pressure highly compatible with the UK’s jump-up jungle, drill or soca grime vibes.
Building on ground-breaking work forwarded by producer/DJs Marfox, Nervoso, Nídia and Lycox in recent years, Álbum Desconhecido is jaw-droppingly fresh, delivered in 9 short sharp stings between the seasick drill of Zelda Shyt and the laser-guided trance lixx of Viva La Raça, trading in a mix of virulent, adrenalised energy and soulful rollige that sets fire to any ‘floor.
It’s clear and present in the turbulent, rug-pulling subs and febrile polyrhythms of Bola De Cristal, and to blinding degrees in the high-wire tension and bone-freezing edits of 6.6.6, whereas the zipping flutes of Ovni bind roots and future with breathtaking, needlepoint incision, leaving Sonhos to provide a dead sweet, even romantic contrast with the melancholic meditation of Tejo for fine measure.
It's a boldly expressive and immediately effective sound that drives listeners to a rare but timeless sort of rave ecstasy - thrillingly synthetic and infused with an unmistakeable lust for the dance. In the right hands, it’s dangerous stuff.
You’ve been warned!
Nurse With Wound’s Colin Potter hooks up with Alessio Natalizia (aka Not Waving) and Guido Zen for this new album for Ecstatic; a sublime trip by three highly skilled synthesists that comes highly recommended if yr into Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, John Carpenter or Eduard Artemiev.
After stranding listeners in deep space with Schleißen 4 in 2015, Potter, Natalizia and Zen regroup along the percussive vectors of Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out - three years in the making and taking cues from Kosmische, abstract EBM and obscure library sounds for seductive new horizons of pulsing rhythms and floating ambient dub tones.
The trio control the mission with masterful skill and sleight of hand, prompting routes for the user rather than signposting the way with cliché. Of course, it’s hard to escape some sense of homage or reverence for the original forms, but they do so with such sensitivity to the material and “the journey” that the results simply transcends that heritage, to arrive somewhere, timelessly, out there.
They chart a steady course, slowly melting from cryogenic stasis to map out free floating space in Articulated, then holding their course despite the gravitational pull from massive objects in Rhythm Did Not Change, and under pressure of slow disco G-forces in the pulsing beauty of Linda, leading to the interception of panicked bleeps in Chaosmosis.
Over on the B-Side When Time Stops Moving the mission becomes very Tarkovsky-esque and surreal, with those lysergic drones really coming into their own, before the upside down tonal sculpting of Unsystematic Waves re-aligns the user’s brain functions in preparation for the stunning dynamic proprioception of Che Osmosi, where the route ahead becomes scrambled in a delirious tangle of nagging arpeggio melodies and pill-belly pulses, emulating pretty much how you’d feel, lost but happy to be zillions of light years from terra firma.
Wickedly damaged acid jack traxx from Novo Mundo, the first act not called Niagara to release on Lisbon’s Ascender label.
In the sun-baked mode of previous Niagara 12”s, this soundalike session turns out two hypnotic blocks of natty acid, stepping up with the flying hi-hats, zig-zagging 303 lines and dubbed-out chords of Dezembro and then locking into a more bucking formation with the monotone jack tackle of Leviathan, and cooling off to the glassy chiefs of Arsenale.
Addictively raw hip house styles from a then-incarcerated Mix-O-Rap, performed and recorded in the big house’s music room every week while he was inside. If you fell hard for his DMR tape back in 2014, or the For Thugz 12" in 2015, money says you’re susceptible to thee baddest, homebrewed strains and this one will knock you sideways. It’s giving us chuckles that they’ve actually listed a mastering engineer cos it sounds like this gear was dug out of dumpster - and we say that with high praise! Love to hear a dialled in cipher between this guy and Cosmic Dennis Greenidge…
Mix-O-Rap says: “I wrote this album in prison. I went to the music room every week to play on their keyboards. I studied different styles of beat patterns and sound recording to be a recording engineer. I wanted to create this new sound, so I took go-go, hip-hop, house, and drum and bass to blend up a new pattern of beats with a DJ sway. So I rapped on it. I need a perfect mix sound so I used a reverb gate, small room because I was in a small room. I used my moms blankets to trap the sound waves in the room. I use a digital mic from radio shack and was rapping with a blanket over my head to trap the sound waves. I played my keys in F flat to deepen the tone. I put tom toms on it to fill the spaces with handclaps to have that snap. Then I put a reverb gate on every instrument to get the lo-fi audio sound. I mastered it with all knobs on zero. Equalizer on zero. I mastered my own sound by tweeking and listening with cheap headphones. So that’s why I call myself Mix-0-Rap because I master my mix and DJ rap style with a touch go-go rapping.”
Karen Gwyer returns with 'Rembo', her first full LP for Don't Be Afraid - a propulsive, functional affair dotted with colour and narrative, a record that calls firmly to the night...
"Live performance is where Gwyer's ideas come into gradual but vivid fruition, with tracks often evolving over "five or six shows" before reaching the studio. Throughout 'Rembo', dozens of shows and endless stolen studio hours have informed 38 minutes of uncompromising body music.
"What I'm doing is trying to challenge a certain way of thinking", she explains. "I feel like, without it being said, I get treated as a warm up act for DJs. And I also feel like when I go and play, I want to disprove that notion. I'm standing there for an hour, and I don't necessarily know what's going to happen. I have a loose idea, but I'm definitely working the crowd. I'd like people to shift their thinking in regards to what producers are doing, and to acknowledge the fact that there's a lot of decision making happening on a second-by-second basis, and a lot of it is improvisational."
Throughout her youth in Michigan, with Detroit on the nearby horizon, the city's time-honoured musical heritage slowly sank under Gwyer's skin. First through public radio, late night transmissions and endless cassette recordings, then on the life-changing local rave scene.
"Before the internet came along, you were listening to the radio, and you knew who the DJ was, but you had no earthly idea who the records were by", recalls Gwyer. "You just listened to the music, and you didn't listen to the people. And because you didn't ponder their personalities, you weren't engaged in the process. And I loved it, it was pivotal to me. I still have records on tape, and I have no idea who made them. I lie awake at night thinking about how am I ever going to find out what that track is? I have a snippet of it in my mind, but how will I ever know?"
'Rembo' then, is in some way a tribute to those transformative moments caught on tape. And while the pressures of raising a young family means that Gwyer has fresh pairs of young ears to potentially inspire, instead, this is a record that calls firmly to the night; an album to transport both artist and listener to dark, sweaty rooms, to shared escapism and unexpected moments of electronic transcendence..."
Pye Corner Audio brings his wood-fired analogue sound to Lapsus Records after touring the houses of Mondo Tees, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and More Than Human already in a productive 2017 cycle.
In a smart play of contrasts, we hear much-loved and lesser-heard sides of PCA’s sound in Where Things Are Hollow. The supple, rolling arpeggios and acid tweaks of Resist, and his wobbly, chromatic cosmic chugger Northern Safety Route both bear the hallmarks of Martin Jenkins’ signature dancefloor romance.
However, fans should be very intrigued to hear him go beat-less and weightless in the other two parts. With Mainframe he conducts a stellar display of piquant bleep motifs and arcing choral pads converging into a gently distorted and dissonant harmonic smudge at the track’s peak, and Continental Drift seemingly operates on the opposite side of that wave with a sullen stir of low end swells and light pollution aurora reflecting the scale of the track title.
Firecracker’s elusive Gavin Sutherland (Fudge Fingas) relays a mystic house doozy with Pattern Transform under his Other Lands alias, as last heard on the Mac-Talla Nan Creag  compilation.
Framed as “occupying the space between alien-revisited exotica, classic jacking house workouts and a BoC 'Chromakey Dreamcoat' kinda vibe” by the Edinburgh label, its a trustworthily deep end trip finding its maker taking his beloved house music to new limits of the style.
A-side; he comes off like Carl Craig taking a trip around Orkney island stone circles with Julian Cope on Descent Into Nasqueron, which is worth it for the outta-nowhere drop alone, whilst Chapel Perilous Closed practically usurps Actress at his own game with a mid-fi swirl of synth-brass and strings in smoky electro-acoustic air driven by a well-cladded kick drum. B-side is just as strong, catching a breezier spring in his step with the gaelic plies and Detroit jazz pivots of Late Feeling Yourself, then giving it those come-tae-beed bucky eyes on A Paddle Around The World, which riffs in the same warm, alien waters as Sun-Ra, Jamal Moss, or Les Gracies.
Enchanting fusions of Indian music, indigenous Maloya and acid folk with cheesy French vocals, hailing from Réunion Island; the region of France located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
This one can go either way depending your tolerance for flutes and French singing.
Poppin’ electro-boogie produced by Melbourne’s Benny Badge, with a Astral electro-soul rerub by his alter ego, Freekwency featuring your RDA of sax harassment by Jack Doepel.
Backed by the wobbly strut of Midnight Run and the chromatic grease slick of Korea Town.
November 2017 August 1988, Spacemen 3 embark on one of the strangest events in the band's already strange history. Billed as "An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music" (although consciously omitting the sitar), the group would play in the foyer of Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, Middlesex to a largely unsuspecting and unsympathetic audience waiting to take their seats for Wim Wenders' film 'Wings of Desire'.
"Spacemen 3's proceeding set, forty-five minutes of repetitive drone-like guitar riffs, could be seen as the "Sweet Sister Ray" of '80s Britain. Their signature sound is at once recognizable and disorienting - pointing as much to the hypnotic minimalism of La Monte Young as to a future shoegaze constituency. On this double LP reissue, Dreamweapon is augmented by studio sessions and rehearsal tapes from 1987 that would lead up to the recording of Spacemen 3's classic 'Playing With Fire' album. 'Spacemen Jam,' featuring Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce on dual guitar, is a side-long mediation on delicate textures and psychedelic effects."
Certain to claim its place in pop-loving hearts everywhere, ‘Few Traces’ is a glorious introduction to the admirable optimism and romance of Mark Renner’s American songcraft. Few Traces surveys a near decade of Mark Renner’s scarcely released and unreleased material from 1982 to 1990, embracing and evoking the timelessness of his artistic statement: a wordless translation of the individual’s musical experience, met with the poetic expression of being here.
"Mark Renner first encountered punk while a teenager in Upperco, a country town in rural Maryland. Growing up on his family farm, he became a young acolyte of the British exports hitting not-so-distant Baltimore record store shelves in 1979 / 1980 and was baited by an area musician-wanted ad declaring Ultravox a primary touchstone.
This nascent band and a pair of other group experiments flamed out under the typical totem of despotism. In their ashes Renner began recording independently around 1983 with a portable four-track, electric guitar, and classic Casio CZ101 synthesizer. Aside from John Foxx-era Ultravox, Renner’s process was inspired by the period’s electronic pioneers venturing into deeper, romantic pop pastures: Yellow Magic Orchestra, Bill Nelson, The Associates.
With his tools and teachers in place, the blueprints for Renner’s sound were laid out – metronomic, skeletal rhythms built on sturdy yet singular drum machines supporting luminescent guitar and synth lines, Renner’s reverent voice guiding the fables and construction.
Most directly influential, Renner’s enthusiasm for Days in Europa, the third album by Scottish new wave band Skids, would lead to a correspondence and long-distance tutorship with Stuart Adamson. Before Adamson would achieve worldwide success co-founding the group Big Country, a chance friendship with Renner would impart great confidence in the young musician from Maryland, who, after a visit in Edinburgh, would then travel to London to demo an early version of “Half A Heart” featured in its final form on Few Traces.
The sum of Renner’s music is one-part literary, one-part painterly. The artist cites the individualism of Herman Hesse as a guiding force, and there are overt references to W. B. Yeats and John Greanleaf Whittier among other authors. Lyrical themes evoke the presence of the ancient past, much like early Felt songs or the spiritual visions of Van Morrison. (Tellingly, Renner cites Morrison’s 1980s albums made between Inarticulate Speech of the Heart and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher as musical influences.)
Apart from his writing, Renner explored music as a complement to visual language: many of the dream-like instrumental passages presented across Few Traces were originally implemented as sound elements for exhibitions of his paintings. Renner pursued wordless music as a pure aesthetic in its own right, pristinely balanced segues and open-ended compositions that lead to pasture but not without shepherd.
Compiled three decades after the music was originally put to tape, Few Traces collects Mark Renner’s early music but strives not to simplify or reframe it. (Mark is still active making music and painting) The instrumental explorations remain on par with the great ambient adventurers of the period (Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Roedelius), while the vocal and guitar-centric songs crystalize across similar terrains being transversed by Cocteau Twins and The Chills.
Few Traces highlights in intuitive sequence gems from Renner’s scarce discography and archive: the self-released debut All Walks of This Life (1986), the aptly titled follow-up Painter’s Joy (1988), plus early singles, compilation tracks, and exemplary songs that saw no original release. The collection allows an intimate look at an artist growing into their sound and surroundings, finding the in between echoes and spirituality of the individual.”
Last seen on UK label Upset The Rhythm, Baltimore's Future Islands moved over to Thrill Jockey with this EP four all-exclusive songs.
"In addition to their own output, the band have been known to fraternise with electro-rock auteur Dan Deacon, both as tour support and as part of his live ensemble. In The Fall begins in energetic style, springing into life with the supremely hooky steel drum sounds of 'Tin Man (Extended Version)', which is darn near irresistible right up until vocalist Samuel T Herring shows up.
At first, his Stewie-from-Family-Guy-goes-punk antics prove a distraction, but once you're acclimatised to his peculiar, yet ultimately highly charismatic style, you'll find much to love about this band. 'Virgo Distracts' continues to hammer out the memorable synth melodies and 'Awake & Dreaming' proves a successful downtempo exercise on the B-side, but it's the EP's title track that stands out most. Featuring Katrina Ford of the band Celebration, 'In The Fall' slows Future Islands' widescreen electronic pop to a magisterial pace with an ocean of blurry synths and a shuddering kick-snare combo that's compressed to the hilt, sounding like TV On The Radio remixed by Toro Y Moi."
Fauna Mapping is the lush result of Jonny Nash and Lindsay Todd’s jollies in Bali, 2017, where they immersed themselves in the island’s gamelan music, indigenous culture and abundantly diverse natural environments.
It’s essentially the Firecracker boss and Melody As Truth storyteller’s interpretation of the term Exotica, using a blend of strategies gleaned from ambient synth music and field recording to convey a sense of space and place, and in a way saying it without saying it.
The results call to mind the synaesthetic binds of David Ventura aka Suga’s Transflora A/V project, but sans the visual part (you can fill in the gaps though), as much as K. Leimer’s c. ’81/82 output and quite obviously the Hassel, Eno and Byrne classics. However the distinction lies in Nash’s grasp of up-to-date, gaseous electronic dynamic and the unique guidance of Lindsay Todd, a renowned set of ears who takes his first ever co-production and writing credits here, lending the set a psychedelic unpredictability that you don’t usually find in Nash’s work, and which sets this slab apart from the field.
Sub Rosa’s vital Early Electronic Series yields a fascinating and unprecedented collection of Indonesian Electronic Music 1979-1992 with the 1st survey of work by Otto Sidharta; a graduate of music composition at Jakarta Institute of Arts, electronic music composition at Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, and recently a doctorate from Institute Seni Indonesia Surakarta.
A pioneering figure within Indonesian Electronic Music since his début composition Ngendau , Sidharta has operated amid a small network of prism pushers in relative seclusion from the power centres of electronic music for nigh on 40 years. Since the start of his oeuvre, Sidharta’s work has been concerned with environmental sounds, integrating natural and electronic sources in a way that could be said to reflect the sound ecology of his home land as much as his personal imagination.
As the first collection to reveal Sidharta’s work beyond his home country, this set serves an increasingly rare encounter by revealing a hitherto un or little-known, yet fully formed and genuinely new, perspective on electronic music ranging from deliquescent gong works to dense blocks of gamelan abstraction, computerised chimes and totally unearthly oddities.
Make no mistake though, this isn’t some sort of Hassell-esque 4th world simulation or recreation of traditional music with plugged-in means. Rather, it’s better regarded as a fine mix of academic rigour and methodical electronic music techniques realised at the service of romantic, esoteric notions of space and place; vividly conveying sensations of heat, psychedelia, violence - both natural and political - with an immersively dreamlike effect from both within and post Soeharto’s brutal dictatorship.
Simply, if 4th world music is too fluffy for ya, but you like its Eastern-oriented ideas of new tunings, rhythms, imaginary spaces, this one is strongly recommended, especially to fans of Coil, Rashad Becker, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Pauline Oliveros.
In light of his hugely acclaimed and recently reissued classic 'If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It', CDB’s monstrous 'Scylla & Charybdis'  plate creeps back out of whatever hole it slid down for a 10 year anniversary reissue on his Hamburg-based CFET label.
Scylla & Charybdis is a first rate example of breakcore at its mutant and gothic best, executed by one of the sound’s definitive operators. In two 12 minute parts - De Babalon unfurls scenarios traversing from darkly cinematic, atonal strings and looming bass to lurching hybrids of Alexandra von Bolz’n’s doom metal vocals with distended speedcore rhythms and harpy chorales in Scylla, while the B-side’s Charybdis tests out a more mercurial, fluid blend of rolling 180bpm jungle breaks and uncannily naif vocal from Panacea-collaborator, Hanayo.