Eighteen months since their first issue, Woe To The Septic Heart!'s long delayed 2nd release finally dawns upon us.
Comprising entirely new and previously unreleased Shackleton material - including collaborations with vocalist Vengeance Tenfold and musical spars Andreas Gerth (Tied & Tickled Trio) and Kingsuk Biswas (Bedouin Ascent) - it's also his most shocking and invigorating body of work. What strikes us first and foremost is the newfound vitality and visceral impact of his sound here. Any signature murk is replaced with a lysergic lucidity and rendered in widescreen 3D that consumes the senses with ultra-vivid potential.
The CD entitled 'Music For The Quiet Hour' features your venerated protagonist and his mystical interpreter, Vengeance Tenfold in the extended format we've long wished to hear them, astral projecting cut-up passages of Tenfold's apocalypse-baiting text over five meticulously crafted sonic topographies which stretch to the periphery of the mind's eye and ever further into inky blackness. This combination of poetry/spoken word and dark ambience clearly calls to mind Deathprod's 'Reference Frequencies', but the choking bass pressure and timbral cadence are innately Shackleton, just presented in a vital new form. But, perhaps the most subtle yet striking new element is the wheezing, scaling tonal spectrum siphoned through the Italian drawbar organ module which inspired the title of 'The Drawbar Organ EPs'.
Effectively forming an album in their own right, it's here that we find more condensed, rhythmically structured episodes reminding of his recent live shows - which are, in our humble opinion, the finest in the world right now. Meditating on late '60s/early '70s Reich-ian rhythm phasing, stained with carmine Italian horror vibes, driven by wanton Junglist and post-punk torque and enveloped by a universal consciousness alluding to Alice Coltrane, it will take longer than we have right now for these tracks to settle in fully, but we can assure you that they're of the rarest, most precious substance. Unmissable.
Calling time on one of the most important electronic acts in existence, Pan Sonic bow out with their immense final album, 'Gravitoni'.
It's a typical feat of overwhelming sonic physicality from a duo who've owned the rights to the 'Power Electronics' tag ever since 1994 and the release of the 'Panasonic EP'. Working together, Ilpo Väisänen and Mika Vainio opened the blackest vortex to a world of unadulterated electronics wrested from homemade and circuit bent hardware, creating an uncompromising vision of techno concrete that built monolithic structures in the shadow of their predecessors Einstürzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle and Pierre Henry.
'Gravitoni' feels like they've abandoned all hope, taunting an oncoming apocalypse with two fingers clutching an exposed 1/2" jack lead and a granite glazed look that tundra wolves wouldn't f*ck with. Whereas previous album 'Katodivaihe' offered some respite with Hildur Gudnadottir's arcing bows, here it's just two Finnish blokes with an arsenal of brutal beats and lucid tones. From the outset of 'Voltos Bolt' introductions are dispensed with in order to get down to business, a landslide of skull crushing bass hits and molten silicon slurry to encase your cochlea. Next 'Wanyugo' perhaps suggests they've spent time in Northern England, picking up the lingo and developing a bellicose attitude to match, swaggering with the darkest synthlines around and bristling with kinetic potential. Meanwhile, a false start in 'Corona' trips into a murderous noise and 200bpm gabber assault executed with such intent that you could even imagine them having a wry smirk to each other in the studio. With 'Radio Qurghonteppa' fear not, your speakers aren't about to cave in, they've simply managed to create a bass frequency that makes it sound like your cabs are coming apart from the cone. That's all.
In 'Trepanation' they bust out the rusty iron, sucking up elemental black metal power and stripping away all the camp sh*t, leaving a bloodied pile of still fizzing Euronymous at their feet, scalp (skull tip attached) in hand, still not smiling. The final section of the album presents three sublime visions of tonal darkness, from the pitch black electro-acoustic spaces of 'Väinämöinen Dreams' to the deliberate passage of 'Hades' where we mix our myths and Thor drops Atomic subbass bombs outside the gates while a choir of droning Gregorian sirens lure us inside. Then, we're treated to an extreme panning recital on 'Twinaskew' before finally being delivered at the death disco with the most astonishing moment on the album - 'Pan Finale', stretching a classic 1980 Cure tape loop to Zombiefied Paisley-concrete drum patterns and shuddering in the presence of an almighty buzzsawn synewave.
The music on the ‘Rebajas’ box represents the dawn and early period of Bitchin Bajas. In the time of their conception, none of these releases were issued on anything other than vinyl. Maybe a cassette too, for some of them.
"It made sense: analogue synth music recorded on analogue tape - why wander from the warmth of the original signal path? It sounded great. So why now? Well, there’s finally enough material to make a really deep listening experience. The limitless vast that Bitchin Bajas’ music implies even in its smallest sampling is well-served by a multi-disc set: put all of it in your CD changer and let it rotate endlessly. Go with the music, away from the world for an interminable amount of time. It will still be here when you get back and your mind will be quieter when you return.
From the beginning, Bitchin Bajas have made music to enhance the moment they and you are sharing and details above and beyond that have been relatively unimportant. In the time since then, they’ve gone from a one person band to a duo, then a trio. That information, plus the recording and original release details, the additional personnel and the original jacket, label and insert artwork for all the releases is included here, along with a few schematic details, to provide a true overview into the parameters of their world. What’s more, additional information can be heard in the material in its transferred-for-CD form, which has corrected inadequacies in several of the original pressings.
Plus, all the Bitchin Bajas material can now be heard without any surface noise. If you ever worried that scuffs and scratches would take you out of your sensory deprivation bliss-out (in or out of the tank), that ends here. So too ends the first Bajaian epoch - when the band return with new music, it will be moving away from even the most recent material on ‘Rebajas’, released earlier this year. Moving, always flowing - but with ‘Rebajas’, the whole Bitchin Bajas thing to date is captured in the unending amber of digital sound."
Brilliant, prickly meeting between The Raincoats’ Ana Da Silva and enigmatic Japanese vocalist Phew, who pursue a tempestuous mix of avant-garde vocals and variegated electronic backdrops, from post-punk rhythmic noise to lysergic, outernational ambience.
“A bracing odyssey in industrial noise, Island is full of absorbing textures, tactile beats, and a masterfully dynamic compositional style. Each cavernous track feels like a conversation, and out of the ominous dark comes a generative hope. Ana and Phew contribute pointillist bits of spoken word in each other’s native tongues of Portuguese and Japanese, reflecting on isolation, friendship, and nature. The quotidian is made profound.
A gripping mood is set by the shared stoicism and subtle playfulness of these two cult punk icons. Each song was collectively composed by both Ana and Phew, who exchanged files via email. At times, Island evokes the sinister throb of Phew’s recent Light Sleep album (which in turn recalls Suicide). Island’s logic is one of wise minimalism. There is a feeling of discovery that will be familiar to Raincoats fans—a sense of poetry and inquisitiveness, of intuition and invention, of new languages taking shape // Ana da Silva is a founding member and songwriter of the pioneering post-punk band The Raincoats.
Across four daring full-length records, The Raincoats helped shape the timeless notion that punk is what you make it to be an act of raw expression, not any one sound. The Raincoats have offered creative and spiritual inspiration for several generations of artists, cited as a formative influence by Kurt Cobain, Carrie Brownstein, Bikini Kill, and Sex Pistols’ John Lydon. They set a crucial precedent for feminist work within a DIY punk context, marked all the while by Ana’s poetic lyrical style and innovative noise guitar playing.”
‘Katodivaihe’ (‘Cathode’) is one of the last, and arguably among the greatest, of Pan Sonic’s classic run of albums between the mid ‘90s and their final outing, proper; ‘Gravitoni’ 
Replete with three staggering collaborations with cellist Hildur Gudnadottir amid some of their slinkiest, deftest yet most crushing workouts such as the trilling driller ‘Hyönteisistä’ with Ilpo’s influence written all over it; in the icy electro tang of ‘Laptevinmeri’; the powerful spatial sculpture of ‘Haiti’; and the chainsaw revving dancehall wrecker ‘Tykitys’.
Anthology box set of Stereolab’s 'Switched On' compilations of singles and rarities, originally issued between 1992 and 1998.
Contains Switched On, Refried Ectoplasm [Switched On Volume 2], and Aluminum Tunes [Switched On Volume 3].
Reverse board clam shell box with disks in individual card wallets and insert.
Over the course of the last two decades, Detroit-based duo ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) have released six albums and nineteen EPs and singles across some of our favorite labels: Mute, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Clone Records, Third Man Records, and their own label, the revered Ersatz Audio. November 1998 marked their first release: the five-song 12" “Dispassionate Furniture”. This September, twenty years later, Dais Records is proud to announce ADULT.’s seventh full length album: THIS BEHAVIOR.
"The album began as 23 demos written and recorded in a remote cabin in the woods of Northern Michigan during the dead of winter. In total isolation, and with a reduced amount of gear (a modified version of their live setup) on the cabin’s kitchen table, the duo were completely immersed in an incessant inescapable studio of their own making – looping, repetitive analogue sequences grinding away day and night. At the end of the intense demo session, a handful of peers were enlisted by the band for the difficult task of paring down the demos into the final album.
The result is 10 tracks of uncompromising dark electronics, showcasing ADULT.’s return to aggressive and energetic dancefloor mastery. Album opener, This Behavior, alongside the follow-up, Violent Shakes, (which ascends into synths wailing like warning sirens over Kuperus’s commanding vocals) set the stage for an on-edge listen, while the heartbreaking “Silent Exchange” unfolds as a beautiful sad synth dirge. Perversions of Humankind breaks the mood – driving the listener into a slow and low groove before the frantic album midpoint of Irregular Pleasure. Does The Body Know? is the album’s post-punk anthem, with irresistible singalong “we’re out of order – we’re undefined!” The latter half of the album drives forward with “On The Edge (You Put Me…)” and “Lick Out The Content”, refusing rest and demanding movement and response. Everything & Nothing emerges slowly from sparkling synth textures, snowballing with nervous energy into an acid techno stomper before the album comes to a close on the icy landscape of In All The Debris, a goose-bump inducing slow electronic mantra that closes the curtain on a massive album."
Wolf Eyes prototype, Universal Indians, remerge with their hairier offspring for the wild and free trip metal scuzz of ‘Four Variations on ‘Artificial Society’’ under the Universal Eyes guise.
To make it clear - Wolf Eyes are now John Olson and Nate Young, while Olson has also been part of Universal Indian with Gretchen Gonzales and the (now) former Wolf Eyes member Aaron Dilloway since 1995. To make it simpler, Universal Eyes are basically Wolf Eyes with Gretchen Gonzales.
The addition of Gretchen seems to have triggered an acute regression to their most primitive shared states, prompting an hour long cold bath of no wave rock, animalistic electronics and improvised noise that recalls a dream we once had about an orgy of hippos and seagulls on quaaludes at a busy worksite in midwinter Michigan.
“You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?” - Thelonious Monk
"Hot on the heels of Impulse’s recent unearthed Coltrane Number One hit album comes another beauty from jazz’s ‘holy trinity’. This is a previously unreleased, precious lost treasure from Monk’s most critically acclaimed line-up; Charlie Rouse on saxophone, John Ore on double bass and Frankie Dunlop on drums.
Known as the ‘High Priest of Bebop’. Without a widely agreed must-have Monk release, could this fill the void as
the Monk everyone should own? Recorded live in Copenhagen in 1963 at the peak of Monk’s career. A year later he was to feature on the cover of TIME Magazine, one of only for four jazz artists ever to do so."
Western Vinyl present Brocker Wey’s original score to Netflix documentary series ‘Wild Wild Country’ - the story, which you simply couldn’t make up, about a controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his assistants, and their followers in Wasco County, Oregon in the 1980s
While there’s nothing particularly outstanding about the soundtrack, it simply did its job accompanying the images without distracting from them, there are some stronger moments to be found inside on the electronic work Be Grateful for This Beautiful Home, and the grandiose symphonic swells of The Burning Ghats, with its epic piano flourishes.
RIYL Osho, brainwashing, Sainsbury's vinyl section, vinyl frames.
Who better to inter Fabric’s long-running series than the demon DJ Kode 9 and his accomplice, Burial? Yeh, nobody’s shouting Craig Richards, so this will have to do.
So it’s basically NOT a new Burial album, or even a Kode 9 & Burial album, but it is one of the strongest mixes in Fabric’s near 20 year history, cataloguing and webbing 37 tracks from the ‘ardcore ‘nuum, following its breakbeat and techno roots thru to its branches into US footwork, the distant echoes of South African Gqom, the avant R&B of Klein and Dean Blunt, and latinate and sino futurisms, with precisely no dubstep in-between.
The result is a mix as fragmented yet fluid as the London roadmap or those aerial shots used on the ‘Burial’ album cover, forming a mosaic of interrelated ‘ardcore styles grouted with the trademark fuzz and patter of drizzle heard on Kode 9 & Burial’s two preceding mixes for Mary-Anne Hobbs. In the first third, they probe a line from Klein and Cooly G thru outright Gqom killers by Julz Da Deejay, Roman Rodney and TLC Fam, and introduce Hyperdub newcomer Nazar along the way.
In the 2nd third, the breakbeat hardcore badness of Jungle Buddha’s ‘Drug Me’  and Intense’s classic ‘The Quickening’ bookend a rush of raving footwork aces such as DJ Spinn’s ‘Make Me Hot’ and DJ Tre’s lethal ‘House Hybrid’, before the final third slips from trancing ‘90s techno and acid thru to freakier footwork, an overlooked Sino-Detroit breakbeat ace by Claude Young, and the breeziness chops of Proc Fiskal.
Ultimately it’s a lesson in keeping your ears wide open to all styles in the present, while also keeping an eye in back of your head for vintage freshness, and pulling up records from well trodden areas - keeping the polystylistic and hyperstylized spirit of hardcore burning into 2018.
Upon examining the eventful life of Can bassist Holger Czukay, one might conclude that this intrepid musician was a loner. His turbulent career exuded an enduring eccentricity governed by a boundless free spirit.
Holger Czukay’s debut solo LP ‘Movies’  is, quite frankly as mad as a bag of squirrels, but super playful and cool as fuck with it. It’s his first record after striking out from Can, and he clearly had a lot of ideas brewing and ready to get out
From the Afro-inflected lilt of the guitars on his sardonic disco workout ‘Cool in the Pool’, thru the expansive future jazz and krautrock hybrid ‘Oh Lord Give Us More Money’, to the curiously fragrant balm of ‘Persian Love’, and the lysergic, grooving WTF?ness of ‘Hollywood Symphony’, this one is bona fide seminal, unique and utterly worth your time.
Sublime charms from Hood co-founder Richard Adams...
“The Declining Winter return after a three year lay off with what is perhaps their strongest statement to date. Pushing on from the pastoral blueprint of the long sold out ‘Home For Lost Souls’ (2015),‘Belmont Slope’ is a bold and varied album, extending the boundaries of their earlier sound, introducing pop sensibilities and daring electronic flourishes.
Truly a Northern English album, Belmont Slope is a haphazard car ride across the M62, a love letter to the hills of Yorkshire and Lancashire, a paean to desolate beauty, unattainable love and lost friends. The Declining Winter is the brainchild of Hood co-founder Richard Adams, an ever changing collective who emerge blinking into the daylight from their Yorkshire enclave with a unique blend of pastoral and lo-fi pop, shimmering electronics and rural post-rock."
The unbelievably prolific Haruomi Hosono is one of the major architects of modern Japanese pop music. With his encyclopedic knowledge of music and boundless curiosity for new sounds, Hosono is the auteur of his own idiosyncratic musical world, putting his unmistakable stamp on hundreds of recordings as an artist, session player, songwriter and producer.
"Born and raised in central Tokyo, his adolescent obsession with American pop culture informed his early forays into country music, which he would revisit later in his career. Hosono made his professional debut in 1969 as a member of Apryl Fool, whose heavy psychedelia was somewhat at odds with his influences, which leaned towards the rootsy sounds of Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield.
The latter was one of the main inspirations for his next group, Happy End, whose unique blend of West Coast sounds with Japanese lyrics proved to be highly influential over the course of three albums. After the band’s amicable break up in 1973, Hosono began his solo career with Hosono House, an intimate slice of Japanese Americana recorded inside a rented house with recording gear squeezed into its tiny bedroom. Hosono’s solo career would take many twists and turns from this point forward, with forays into exotica, electronic, ambient, and techno, culminating in the massive success of techno pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO).
Released in September 1978, a mere two months before YMO’s debut, Cochin Moon is a clear precursor to the groundbreaking synth and sequencer-dominated sounds that would come to define the iconic trio. Credited to Hosono and Pop Art legend Tadanori Yokoo (who created the cover art), Cochin Moon is a fictional soundtrack to a journey into unknown worlds, inspired by Hosono and Yokoo’s trip to India. Initially the album was to be a kind of ethnographic musical document, using found sounds and field recordings made by Hosono himself. Instead, after Yokoo introduced Hosono to the sounds of Kraftwerk and krautrock during the trip, Cochin Moon became something much stranger.
Created almost entirely on synthesizers and sequencers with the help of future YMO collaborators Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hideki Matsutake, the music on the album is the perfect encapsulation of Hosono’s concept of “sightseeing music,” transporting the listener to an exotic place that may or may not exist. This highly sought-after album sees its first-ever official release outside of Japan. Admired by artists ranging from Van Dyke Parks to Mac DeMarco, Hosono continues to forge ahead as he heads into his fifth decade as a musician. With the re-release of his key albums for the first time outside of Japan, his genius will be discovered by a whole new generation of fans around the world."
The unbelievably prolific Haruomi Hosono is one of the major architects of modern Japanese pop music. With his encyclopedic knowledge of music and boundless curiosity for new sounds, Hosono has put his unmistakable stamp on hundreds of recordings as a session player, producer, and auteur of his own idiosyncratic musical world.
"Born and raised in central Tokyo, his adolescent obsession with American pop culture informed his early forays into country music, which he would revisit later in his career. Hosono made his professional debut in 1969 as a member of Apryl Fool, whose heavy psychedelia was somewhat at odds with his influences, which leaned towards the rootsy sounds of Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield. The latter was one of the main inspirations for his next group, Happy End, whose unique blend of West Coast sounds with Japanese lyrics proved to be highly influential over the course of three albums.
After Happy End’s amicable break up in 1973, Hosono released Hosono House, an intimate slice of Japanese Americana recorded at home with a back-to-basics approach akin to Music from Big Pink or McCartney. While his former band helped pave the way for the rise of “city pop” that reflected upon urban themes and city life, Hosono took a 180 degree turn towards the countryside for his highly-regarded first solo album. Located an hour from Tokyo in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, the actual Hosono House was one of several American-style houses originally built for the families of troops stationed at the nearby Johnson Air Base, active during the post-war occupation years. By the early ‘70s this small community had become a hub for creative types looking for a break from Tokyo’s hustle and bustle – and cheaper rent.
For Hosono, this was as close as he could get to living in America without leaving his home country. With rooms filled to the edges with recording gear, the house became a live-in studio for Hosono and his crack band – soon to become known as the in-demand session group Tin Pan Alley. The songs on Hosono House display the breadth of Hosono’s talents, from the hushed acoustic folk of “Rock-A-Bye My Baby” and the country twang of “Boku Wa Chotto” to the New Orleans funk of “Fuyu Koe” and the unexpected breakbeats in “Bara To Yajuu.” Lauded by artists such as Jim O’Rourke and Devendra Banhart, Hosono House remains a touchstone of the early phase of Hosono’s career.
Hosono’s solo career would take many twists and turns from this point forward, with forays into exotica, electronic, ambient, and techno, culminating in the massive success of techno pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), who made their debut in 1978. Admired by artists ranging from Van Dyke Parks to Mac DeMarco, Hosono continues to forge ahead as he heads into his fifth decade as a musician. With the re-release of his key albums for the first time outside of Japan, his genius will be discovered by a whole new generation of fans around the world."
Amazing jazz slab from Japan, 1983, feat drummer Takeo Moriyama and a crack squad of players. First time vinyl reissue (also available on CD) of a highly sought-after 2nd hand release
“BBE Music is proud to present the next instalment in the J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘East Plants’ by Takeo Moriyama, one of Japan’s finest jazz drummers.
A genuine ‘under the radar’ album known only to a handful of Japanese jazz collectors, ‘East Plants’ is now available once more, reissued for the first time as a double 180g LP, with exact reproductions of the original artwork, obi strip and insert. It also comes with the original notes fully translated. ‘East Plants’ is also available as CD and digital formats. This reissue is fully endorsed by Takeo Moriyama himself.
Originally released in 1983 on the Japanese VAP label, ‘East Plants’ is an essential album in the J Jazz canon. It’s an album that distils several key characteristics of Moriyama’s music: clearly articulated and inventive rhythms, open yet orderly arrangements, and an accessible groove balanced with a graceful control.
‘East Plants’ features no piano, just percussion, bass and reeds. From the luxurious raga-like build of the album’s hypnotic title track and the fierce post-bop workout of ‘Fields’, to the stately modal track ‘Kaze’ ( as featured on the sell-out BBE compilation, ‘J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1968-1984’), the album was, until now, a rarely acknowledged masterpiece. ‘East Plants’ shows Moriyama’s quintet at their most transcendent: delicate layers of percussion by Yoji Sadanari, a warm and pliant bass from Hideki Mochizuki, with colour and texture provided by the eloquent reed work of Shuichi Enomoto and Toshiko Inoue. And, overseeing it all, Moriyama’s discreet yet commanding drumming.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese jazz. The series will feature rare, long-lost and unreleased material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.”
Chromatic conjurer Tim Hecker meets traditional Japanese Gagaku musicians from the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble on ‘Konoyo’, a dreamlike dramaturgy of noise, dissonance and aching melody recorded during several trips to Japan
The Canadian’s 9th solo release ‘Konoyo’, like its predecessor, ‘Love Streams’  also finds Hecker drawn to acoustic instruments and collaboration with a larger ensemble or collective, this time working with the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble after commanding an Icelandic choir on his previous album. However, the results here have a different purpose, swapping out ecstatic density for an intently refined and spacious approach, allowing his processed sources to ring out beautifully un/true in a sort of parallel dimensional harmonic spectrum.
In ‘Konoyo’ Tim Hecker effectively establishes a whole new set and lighting design to stage his patented play of paradoxes - lone/collective; organic/synthesised; consonant/dissonant - with the synaesthetically heightened skill of director, set designer and conductor rolled into one. The results are thus among his most subtly yet richly theatrical or cinematic, riddled with romantic, if abstract, narrative and a yearning pathos, and effectively collapsing myriad traditions - electronic, acoustic, Western, Eastern, classical and new age - into a spellbindingly sonorous, mercurial triumph.
Produced by Helge Sten (Deathprod), ’14’ is the latest blinder from his avant-jazz-supergroup with Arve Henriksen and Ståle Storløkken, a.k.a. Norway’s Supersilent...
Arriving more than 20 years since the trio’s debut, ’14’ finds their improvisational formula of trumpet, voice, keys and electronics generating some of the most phantasmic sound images imaginable.
At only 33 minutes wide, ’14’ is also one the shortest Supersilent albums in memory, revolving around 12 succinct pieces ranging in length from 1 minute to nearly 6, and tiled like an abstract, tessellating mosaic of ideas, rent in 3D by Sten’s bespoke Audiovirus system of analog oscillators and vintage tape machines.
Incredible,evocative and fuucked up music for late nights and isolation - a huge recommendation.
'Autobiography' is Jlin's soundtrack to the staged life story of eminent dancer and choreographer Wayne McGregor, which opened in October 2017 and is still running at Sadler’s Wells, London.
For an artist whose début album opened with a track called ‘Black Ballet’ - in reference to the art of Chicago footwork - the synchronicity between Jlin’s music and McGregor’s choreography is patently obvious, and this album is perhaps one of the smartest unions between those disciplines that we could hope for.
Jlin’s music has always driven us nuts in the best way - calling to mind a statement by Steve Goodman some years back, in which he effectively stated that the most exciting music to him is one that physically demands the body to move in unfamiliar ways, as he first experienced with the radical, muscle-memory reprogramming rhythms of hardcore and jungle in the early ‘90s, and especially in relative context to what preceded it.
In that sense, Jlin’s releases have persistently provided some of the most sensational music we’ve heard this decade, sparking our minds and bodies into action in the rarest, maddest, most inexorable ways by essentially, physically breaking and disrupting the mould of the same old, same old line-dancing music that too often passes for club music.
For Wayne’s ‘Autobiography’, Jlin renders his life story in a compellingly intricate musical language of syncopated pointillism, percolating her drums and symphonic orchestrations in weightless formations that mirror bodies in flight, touching the ‘floor as little as possible. But that’s only 2/3rd’s of the story, as Jlin vacillates these elegantly hardcore rhythms with gorgeous, beat-less moments of pastoral lushness, classical keys and glyding ambient pauses which, by contrast, better highlight the cyclonic torsion of her expressive rhythm programming, while simultaneously demonstrating the distance travelled between Footwork’s roots in the streets of Chicago, and its unique similarity with the so called “high art” of western culture.
Don’t get it twisted tho, we’re highlighting an obvious distinction, it’s not about prizing one over the other, but celebrating and acknowledging the brilliant results of this unusual but evidently, completely natural-fitting union of styles and patterns.
Under the Canaxis 5 name, In 1969 Can’s Holger Czukay and Rolf Dammers - his classmate from lessons under Stockhausen - made the cult detournement of ‘Folkways - Music Of Viet Nam’
Originally issued in the same year that Can came into being, Canaxis 5’s sought-after experiments on ‘Technical Space Composer’s Crew’ would also be issued by Munich’s Music Factory, who were also behind the debut release of The Can’s ‘Monster Movie’. Fair to say they’re both cult records, but the Canaxis 5 side is definitely the more experimental of the two.
On the A-side’s legendary ‘Boat Woman Song’ they hijack the aforementioned Folkways, taking its Vietnamese voices to a parallel, synthesised dimension of swirling dynamics and hypnotic widescreen drones owing much to the influential abstraction of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s electronic works. With the B-side’s ‘Canaxis’ they combine the Vietnamese vox with samples of Capella Antiqua München, imaginatively crossing vast time and space via synth wormholes to pave the way for so much 4th world and new age exploration to follow.
Inland’s debut LP is an epic electro-techno-acid set stemming from his soundtrack to a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière
“Based on his soundtrack for a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière, Davenport has recast the material and field recordings into eight tracks of rhythmically intricate electronics and spectral, ambient techno, inspired by Charrière’s visually striking, 76-minute tracking shot through a palm plantation toward a totemic soundsystem on full blast.
Both the album and original soundtrack were created in response to the 200th anniversary of the eruption of Indonesia’s Tambora volcano in 1815, which plunged the world into darkness and caused a series of extreme weather conditions. At the time, the natural climate change crisis resulted in numerous global famines and is known throughout the northern hemisphere as “The Year Without Summer”, with global communities forced to adapt to sudden radical changes in temperature and weather.
An Invitation To Disappear offers a contemporary parallel, leading viewers – and listeners – down a seemingly endless direct path of gridded palms from dawn to dusk; a bio-commercial monoculture where ancient jungle once flourished. Light flickers between rows of fruit-laden trees and a distant fire burns in the undergrowth where the border between natural image and computer simulation breaks down. At the same time, formerly incoherent rumblings of sub-frequencies begin to transform into the contours of rhythm. This is reflected sonically in eight perspectives on the lush, synthetic jungle, made of myriad buzzing fauna, morphing melody and colossal bassweight. All paths lead toward an apocalyptic dancefloor, though speeds vary widely; rhythms dissolve from straight to broken, synth tempos operate by their own internal clocks (and logic). Juxtaposing industrial agriculture with rave culture, the album explores the industrialization and refinement of nature, and the new strange forms emerging from the synthetic grids of both.
As Inland, Davenport has previously contributed soundtracks to other installations by the Swiss-born Charrière, whose artistic practice focuses on bridging environmental science and cultural history, often taking place in remote geophysical locations, including ice fields, volcanos and radioactive sites.”
The American singer-songwriter’s 8th studio album in pursuit of classic folk and country spirits...
“The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography.
Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s relationships were put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career.”
A total peach comes back into circulation with Holger Czukay’s beguiling, heavily grooving ‘Full Circle’, starring crucial input from his Can bandmate Jaki Liebzeit on drums and Jah Wobble weilding the bass
Instantly loveable for the grooving punk-disco ear worm of album opener ‘How Much Are They? - a big anthem in mid ‘80s Belgium and elsewhere - listeners will also encounter the muggy dub of ‘Where’s The Money?’ and the playfully exotic concrète-jazz-funk of ‘Full Circle R.P.S. (No. 7)’, along with a ghostly blues piece ‘Mystery R.P.S. (No. 8)’ on a classic Can tip, and the psychedelic come-down of ‘Twilight World’.
Stone cold classic!
Murcof renders a panoramic suite pairing dramatic choral vocals from the ‘Goldberg Variations’ with symphonic electronics to soundtrack Patrick Bernatchez film, ‘Lost In Time’
“In Lost in Time, two parallel narratives intertwine: e first follows a helmet-clad, faceless horse and rider adrift in an indeterminate landscape of ice and snow, quite literally lost in time and space, while the second seems to allude to a strange scientific experiment. Lost in Time plunges us into perpetual renewal, each ending leading to a new beginning.
The protagonists – two beings bound by a certain mutual dependence – are forever trapped in a time loop where life and death ceaselessly rotate.The use of what are almost exclusively black figures against white landscapes produces a menacing, otherworldly atmosphere that is also stunningly beautiful. The original soundtrack of the film, blends the aria of the Goldberg Variations sung by Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal with a composition by Murcof.
The soundtrack also exists as an autonomous work entitled Lost in Time (Goldberg Experienced.05). Coproduction Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and Casino Luxembourg. With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Composed by Murcof, the soundtrack of the film Lost in Time was the subject of a previous double album co-produced by Patrick Bernatchez and the Casino Luxembourg in 2014.”
‘FRKWYS Vol. 14 - Nue’ is a brilliant and uniquely beguiling study in non-standard tunings by Tashi Wada and his father, Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada, including input from Julia Holter, Simone Forti, Cole MGN, and Corey Fogel
Collaborating properly for the first time, Tashi and his father effectively serve an extension of the ideas in Yoshi’s classic side, ‘Earth Horns With Electronic Drones’. While we haven’t got an instrument list to hand, we can detect them using electronic synthesis, along with bagpipes, percussion, and vocals arranged at varying angles, smartly blurring their electro-acoustic distinctions at times, and at others using them quite explicitly in what may be perceived as richly dissonant tonal clashes.
In a very special way, the album is coolly tempered but riddled with wild unpredictability from song to song, starting out with the wilting electronic oscillations of ‘Aubade’, to scale the swelling bank of electronics and plangent bagpipes in the preceding single ‘Ground’, before massing in keening vocal harmony against a bed of electronics in ‘Ondine’.
The bagpipes return in a different way on ‘Double Body’, curled in almost jazzy ellipses around Corey Fogel’s slow, reverberating percussionin wonderfully unexpected ways, whereas the chiming percussive tingles of ‘Bottom Of The Sky’ recall stately Japanese Gagaku, and the pipes make another welcome return in close duet with the electronics on their self-explanatory and frankly fucking beautiful ‘Fanfare’.
For our money this is the strongest, spellbinding FRKWYS volume in its 10 year run - one of those records that restores faith, where needed, in the mysterious, inexplicable power of far out experimental music.
The Sufi Letters is a vast project of 28 compositions (for the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet) undertaken in 2000 and still ongoing, drawing inspiration from the symbolic charts found in Sufi mysticism.
"Each Letter is a sonic meditation on the frontiers of conscience and the paradoxes of time.Today's word, Du seuil [From the threshold], is the third word to be released by Sub Rosa. It is a journey of sort through grief: stages of conscience, journey through hell, nocturnal anxieties, meditation, resilience. Do not worry too much though, for isn't it from the distance of death that one can shine the best light on life? Isn't all grief also a threshold?" (JLF)
Jean-Luc Fafchamps is a pianist and composer. He studied at the Conservatoire in Mons and at Louvain University. A member of the Ictus Ensemble, he has taken part in many concert performances in large ensembles or chamber groups (performances of works by Lindberg, Reich, Aperghis, Mernier, Leroux, Harada, Francesconi, etc.) and in mixed performances, particularly accompanying dance (multiple performances with Rosas (Anne-Teresa de Keersmaeker)) and theatre (several creations with Aperghis). He has made recordings for Sub Rosa - with the Bureau des Pianistes and as a soloist - of works by Bowles, Liszt, Feldman, Dallapiccola, Duchamp, Scelsi and Berio and has contributed to numerous recordings with the Ictus Ensemble (Francesconi, Aperghis, Lindberg, Harada, De Mey, Mernier, Harvey, etc.) and has accompanied many singers."
After 25 years out of print, Julee Cruise’s 2nd album, produced by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, is finally pressed to vinyl by Sacred Bones. In case you’ve never heard it before, the vibe is as languid and dreamy as you could hope for, with highlights in the carmine noir of ‘Up In Flames’ and the subtle industrial underpinnings of ‘Until The End of The World’. Just unmissable late night music…
“25 years after its initial release, Julee Cruise’s sophomore album The Voice of Love is being issued for the first time on vinyl as a deluxe 2xLP, and returning to print on CD. In 1992, after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise returned to the studio with new compositions as well as the intent to craft previously instrumental score-based material from Fire Walk With Me and Wild at Heart into Julee Cruise songs. The result was 1993’s final studio album The Voice of Love. “In the studio, David would always say ‘[sing] like an angel, like an angel…” Cruise remembers.”
A collection of valuable passages recorded by The Durutti Column between 1979 and 2011 for various iterations of Factory Records, including poignant tributes to manager/mentor Anthony H. Wilson.
“The Durutti Column was Tony’s baby,” says Durutti mainman Vini Reilly. “We were the first act signed up to his Factory club night, and the first band signed to Factory Records. Tony became my mentor, somebody to look up to. He was a very tough character, yet he was very gentle. He had many sides. The biggest arguments with Tony were that he wanted to stop me singing with my schoolboy lyrics and my dreadful voice.”
Reilly’s music remains resolutely unclassifiable, and sounds better and better with each passing year. “Don’t listen to the form,” he insists, “listen to the content. Don't listen to the style, the tradition, the technique, just the content of the music. Then judge. People say The Durutti Column is this or that. I don’t care so long as we make good music. There's so much good music around. Don't bother with form. Just enjoy.”
Cult slab of hybrid Japanese new wave, disco, avant synth-pop and electronic funk from 1981 Japan, dished up for a first vinyl reissue by Switzerland’s WRWTFWW Records. Strange, lingering echoes of ‘70s prog spill into the ‘80s, landing somewhere between David Bowie and Haruomi Hosono...
“WRWTFWW Records is deliriously happy to announce the reissue of the 1981 self-titled album from cult Japanese duo Colored Music, available on vinyl (housed in a Stoughton tip-on sleeve) and digipack CD, with liner notes by digger, curator, connoisseur, writer and legend Chee Shimizu.
An incredible mix of cosmic new wave, unconventional disco, avant-garde synth pop, and hybrid electronic funk, Colored Music is enchantingly unique, a sort of experimental and magnetizing take on David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy with a psychedelic Haruomi Hosono touch. From the groovy post-punk glam title track to the proto-house dance floor killer "Heartbeat", Ichiko Hashimoto and Atsuo Fujimoto hit all the right (and sometimes not-exactly-right-but-truly-genius) notes to create the odd and beautiful, an unparalleled audio escape to the best elsewhere you can think of.
Also playing on the album are celebrated musicians Mansaku Kimura, Shuichi “Ponta” Murakami (Pacific, KI-Motion by MKWAJU ensemble, collaborations with Jun Fukamachi, Yasuaki Shimizu, Haruomi Hosono…) Kiyohiko Semba, Tamio "Doyo" Kawabata, Pecker (Pecker Power recently reissued by Rush Hour) and Tatsuhiko Hizawa.”
Prepare to be floored again by the great Lonnie Holley, back with his 3rd album - his 1st in five years - serving a unique perspective on contemporary America as the result of some 68 years living at its fringes; from a whisky house, to numerous foster homes, and later as an eminent outsider artist.
It’s hard to forget a first encounter with Holley’s singular style - ‘Just Before Music’ back in 2012 stuck out like one of his massive “thumbs up for Mother Earth” from everything around it, and to be fair it still does. While we weren’t so immediately enamoured with its follow-up, ‘Keeping A Record of It’, there’s no denying that his 3rd LP ‘MITH’ is a stunning and welcome return, delivering a necessary dose of emotional punishment that’s bound to resonate just as strongly, if not more than his debut.
More layered and diaphanous than either of Holley’s first two records, ‘MITH’ is an astonishing development of Holley’s soul-hocking sound, effectively blossoming from his bluesy seeds into staggering psychedelic blooms almost comparable to the difference between original blues and the freedoms of spiritual jazz, with Holley’s utterly inimitable voice bridging the difference, along with extra musical contributions from fellow travellers such as new age maestro Laraaji, jazz duo Nelson Patton, and production by Pakistani/American artist Shahzad Ismaily.
We’ll keep it simple: this record hurts in the most powerful, extraordinary way. Unmissable.
The master of slow-motion ambient/trance owns his style on ‘Infinite Moment’, his 6th album for Kompakt since the seminal ‘From Here We Go Sublime’ side won everyone’s hearts in 2007
Axel Wilner a.k.a. The Field has made his name with a smudged, looser take on Wolfgang Voigt’s grand billows as Gas, or the rolling Teutonic trance of Reinhardt Voigt.
On ‘Infinite Moment’ he once again hits the pleasure centres dead on with his blend of gauzily rugged grooves and hypnotic loops, but allows for some unexpected moments such as the junglist rush that crops up mid-way thru the slow, towering beauty of ‘Made of Steel. Made of Stone’, while the hazy drums of ‘Divide Now’ feel rawer, more affective than usual, and the slow, bobbing linearity of ‘Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong’ feels as though it’s unravelling in myriad directions at once, while the title track simply plays deep into his classic formula of mesmerising, phasing slow trance.
Bossman Aphex Twin coughs up a full gob of brainsmarts after teasing with some ace promo over the past few weeks
Fronted by the preceding ’T69 collapse’ sidewinder, the rest of the EP is actually stronger than that cut hinted at. ‘1st 44’ is the kind of darkside, slow/fast electro-dub workout we’ve craved to hear him make for time, while ‘MT1 t29r2’ also explores a sort of mutant electro-dub momentum, but spliced with a breakbeat hardcore fluidity riddled with proper gremlin synth voices.
Like we said, it only gets better, though, especially in the way he juggles complexity with a sort of rarified dance-pop elegance in the frenetic poise of ‘abundance10edit[2 R8’s, FZ20m & a 909]’, and the fine tuned tangggggggg and mouth-watering pads of his jelly-limbed drill ’n bass exercise, ‘pthex’.
Following hard on the heels of BBE delving into the archives of Detroit’s Strata Records and delivering their widely acclaimed and hugely in-demand exploration of J-Jazz, comes another crate digger’s delight- Ralph Thomas’ ‘Eastern Standard Time’, which dropped the USA back in in 1980, on the obscure Zebra Jazz imprint.
"This is the is the kind of “spiritual’ jazz gem that appears on You Tube and upon checking it out on Discogs reveals a price well in excess of £150.00. To have it widely available in its original vinyl format, as well as digitally and on CD, is a real treat. So, who is Ralph Thomas?
The self-produced ‘Eastern Standard Time’ features Thomas on baritone, alto and tenor saxophones as well as flute and percussion. He describes himself as a practicing ethnomusicologist whose musical vision evolved during the Sixties and it’s Thomas’ multifaceted, global approach that gives the music on Eastern Standard Time’ an engaging and distinct flavour.
"My music has always been open to different cultures and sounds Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican, Peruvian, American, Hebrew, Turkish, African, Indian and Japanese,” declares the Chicago born musician. While attending the Chicago conservatory of music in 1969 he became a member of the Chicago A.A.C.M, studying with master musicians Phil Cohran and Richard Muhal Abrams. He also recorded with well-known blues legends, Howlin' Wolf and Mighty Joe Young for the Cadet imprint of Chess records.
In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles and was employed as a session player with both 20th Century Fox and Motown – where he recorded with Marvin Gaye, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Rick James. In the early Eighties he was working for Quincy Jones Productions appearing on the soundtrack of Roots and The Color Purple but a passion for reggae music led him to Jamaica where he recorded with producer Jack Ruby and artists like Augustus Pablo and Gregory Isaacs.
In ’86 he moved to NYC where he collaborated with Boogaloo legend Johnny Colon and played with like-minded musical explorers Sun Ra, Don Cherry and Olatunji. However, by 1993 his restless spirit carried him to Paris where studied Ethnomusicology and performed with trumpeter Mra Oma and film-maker Ranaivo-Rajaona Hery. There were also gigs with percussionist Trilok Gurtu as well as drummer Sunny Murray and saxophone legend Archie Shepp. Upon moving to the South of France Thomas ran an art gallery and initiated his MusArt project – which has since toured in the US, Canada and Japan
After a productive stint in Chiang Mai, Thailand – where he immersed himself in Issan culture – Ralph Thomas recently relocated back to the US to live and work. Though creating a huge amount of music over the years ‘Eastern Standard Time’ remains Ralph Thomas' only album."
The final performance of Throbbing Gristle before their initial breakup, at the Kezar Pavillion, San Francisco on 29 May 1981.
‘Mission of Dead Souls’ documents the notorious final performance of Throbbing Gristle in their original incarnation (1975-1981). Recorded at Kezar Pavillion, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco on 29th May, 1981 and unavailable on vinyl since the early ‘90s, it’s now back on wax with a new inner sleeve including photos and a passage of text by Jon Savage
Recorded by Monte Cazzaza, long a satellite member of the band, ‘Mission of Souls’ captures the band in a period of broken relationships and internecine collapse, which definitely only adds to its historical weight as a document of the late 20th C’s most important band in its death throes.
Counting Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Peter "Sleazy” Christopherson on stage, the infamous four generate a dense black energy in ten parts, culminating in killer and now classic takes on ‘Spirits Flying’, a possessed version of ‘Persuasion U.S.A.’, and a trampling curtain call with ‘Discipline (Reprise)’.
A 2018 funk odyssey by keyboard maestro, vocalist, composer and astral traveller Brandon Coleman.
"A regular fixture in the Kamasi Washington band, Brandon Coleman is introduced onstage at gigs as ‘Professor Boogie’ by his longtime friend and collaborator. ‘Resistance’ represents a new chapter in the funk dynasty that spans Parliament, Funkadelic and Zapp through to Dr. Dre and Dâm-Funk as Coleman salutes his musical heroes - Herbie Hancock, Peter Frampton, Roger Troutman - and honours their ethos of freedom and experimentation in his search for funk’s future. For fans of Kamasi Washington, Dâm-Funk, BadBadNotGood, Yussef Kamaal..."
Feeding strings through an array of modular synthesisers, Ben Chatwin remoulds his recent ‘Staccato Signals’ album into new microscopic electronic textures. ‘Drone Signals’, a companion piece to the original album.
"With all of the ‘Staccato’ material on hand, the task became dismantling the tracks - stripping them apart to see what was left, letting certain sounds or instruments become the focus and then rebuilding the arrangements around them. This allowed elements to breathe yet also to become more static. The less chaotic and more ambient nature of these pieces suggested a related album of versions, a conceptual sibling.
‘Drone Signals’ might best be understood as the aftermath of ‘Staccato Signals’, retaining much that made the latter such a rewarding album - its mournful beauty, the tense,ambiguous relationship between electronic and acoustic elements and a delicate if not volatile balance between elegance and intensity. ‘Drone Signals’ will no doubt appeal to fans of the experimental world-building of recording artists and soundtrack composers such as Ben Frost, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and Ryuichi Sakamoto."
Recorded as a piece of art for Italian National Radio RAI in Rome March 1981. On the recommendation of Robert Wyatt, RAI originally commissioned Cosey Fanni Tutti to create a sound work based on the theme of ‘A Journey Through The Body’. It became a Throbbing Gristle project which was later broadcast by RAI.
‘Journey Through A Body’  was the final Throbbing Gristle recording made at RAI Studios, Rome during their pivotal first phase of action, prior to reforming (and eventually disbanding again) in 2004. It’s long been a bugger or simply expensive to get hold of, and now reissued in the wake of a 40th anniversary edition of ‘The Second Annual Report’ and new editions of ’20 Jazz Funk Greats’ and ‘The Taste of TG: A Beginner’s Guide to Throbbing Gristle’.
Originally a Cosey Fanni Tutti commission from RAI Rome at the recommendation of Robert Wyatt, ‘Journey Through A Body’ became a full-blown TG project with all four members recording for five days at the legendary Roman studio in March 1981. Improvised recording sessions focussed around sections of the body were mixed down to tape immediately afterwards, with no re-recording allowed. In effect, the results land somewhere between “live” and ”studio” sessions, coughing up an uncannily acoustic-sounding portrait of the group at the end of their hugely influential early run.
The group’s response to the theme ‘A Journey Through The Body’ is typically variegated, forming a fascinating push and pull between industrial noise, Denny-esque exotica and a marvel of prepared piano abstraction in a way that doesn’t easily fit with any other period of their recordings. Making fine use of the esteemed facilities at RAI, Italy’s National Broadcaster, TG come off like a gnarled echo of Gruppo Di Improvvisazzione Di Nuova Consonanza or a prototype of Wolf Eyes’ trip metal in the 15 minute dosage of ‘Medicine’, before Cosey pulls out her wonky cornet on the gristlized electro slop of ‘Catholic Sex’, starring a blunted poem recited by Genesis P-Orridge.
Their core inspiration from Martin Denny meanwhile comes through patently in the unsettling exotica simulacra of ‘Exotic Functions’, before the prepared piano prangs into play along with rancid guitars and concrète cut-ups in ‘Violencia (The Bullet)’, and a wickedly refined sting in the tail with the warped, chamber-like piano abstraction of ‘Oltre Morte, Birth and Death’.
A new collection from Soul Jazz / Studio One focussing on the intense period in the second half of the 1960s when Studio One’s vast and unbeatable output of ska, soul, rock steady and reggae made it literally one of the hottest musical empires in the world.
"During this highly successful period, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd released hundreds and hundreds of superlative singles seemingly on an almost daily basis, in the process making huge stars out of Jamaican singers such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, The Wailers, Slim Smith, Jackie Opel and many more. Powered by the finest in-house musicians working in Jamaica, whether it was The Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo’s Soul Brothers, The Sounds Dimension or The Soul Vendors, Studio One functioned as hit factory on the scale of Motown in the USA, shaping and defining reggae music for decades to come. Singlehandedly Studio One’s founder Clement Dodd was able to create the most successful vertically-integrated record company that Jamaica had ever known with pressing plant, printers, studio, shops and sound systems all running at once, with over 50 employees and hundreds of artists working with Studio One during this time. "
Sublime, string-laden soundscaping, the full-length debut for Kranky by Julie Carpenter’s Less Bells, a must for fans of Stars of The Lid, A Winged Victory for the Sullen...
"She cites certain compositions as being “specifically inspired by August monsoons rolling in over the mountains, others by clear, starry nights.” Utilizing an array of electronic and acoustic instruments, including cello, Optigan, violin, voice, and modular synth, Solifuge conflates not only the solitude and refuge of its title but also intimacy and grandeur, fragility and force, “building from austerity to wild overgrowth.”
She speaks of a creative process involving cut-ups and rearranging, mapping a melody for strings only to transpose it to synth, or refashioning a rigid classical piece as stream of consciousness soundscape. Carpenter’s versatility and embrace of flux fills these songs with a living, breathing quality, restrained but responsive, adapting to shifting conditions and emotions beneath the surface."
Who do we become when we live our dreams? It’s all here—the high hairdos, the dreams and schemes, the tender camp, the wedding bell fantasias and chaste tragedies.
"Sister acts, studio receptionists, classmates, angelic voices of the 1960s; some legendary, many hidden in the basement of expired rainbows. Gathered on this deluxe double LP (or CD) are 28 (56 on the compact disc!) foiled escape attempts, now free to soar in girl group heaven."
This triple LP reissue of the band’s first two albums - the first installment in a three-part series dedicated to Dur-Dur Band - represents the first fruit of Analog Africa’s long labours to bring this extraordinary music to the wider world...
"Some thirty years after they first made such a splash in the Mogadishu scene, they have been freed from the wobble and tape-hiss of second and third generation cassette dubs, to reveal a glorious mix of polychromatic organs, nightclub-ready rhythms and hauntingly soulful vocals. In addition to two previously unreleased tracks, the music is accompanied by extensive liner notes, featuring interviews with original band members, documenting a forgotten chapter of Somalia’s cultural history.
Before the upheaval in the 1990s that turned Somalia into a war-zone, Mogadishu, the white pearl of the Indian Ocean, had been one of the jewels of eastern Africa, a modern paradise of culture and commerce. In the music of the Dur-Dur band - now widely navailable outside of Somalia - we can still catch a fleeting glimpse of that golden age. When Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb arrived in Mogadishu in November of 2016, he was informed by his host that he would have to be accompanied at all times by an armed escort while in the country.
The next morning, a neighbour and former security guard put on a military uniform, borrowed an AK-47 from somewhere and escorted him to Via Roma, an historical street in the heart of Hamar-Weyne, the city’s oldest district. Although previous Analog Africa releases have demonstrated a willingness to go more than the extra air-mile to track down the stories behind the music, the trip to Mogadishu was a musical journey of a different kind. It was the culmination of an odyssey that had started many years earlier. In 2007 John Beadle, a Milwaukee-based musicologist and owner of the much loved Likembe blog, uploaded a cassette he had been handed twenty years earlier by a Somalian student.
The post was titled ‘Mystery Somali Funk’ and it was, in Samy’s own words, “some of the deepest funk ever recorded.” The cassette seemed to credit these dense, sonorous tunes to the legendary Iftin Band. But initial contact with Iftin’s lead singer suggested that the ‘mystery funk’ may have actually been the work of their chief rival, Dur-Dur, a young band from the 80s. Back then, Mogadishu had been a very different place. On the bustling Via Roma, people from all corners of society would gather at the Bar Novecento and Cafe Cappucino, watch movies at the famous Supercinema, and eat at the numerous pasta hang-outs or the traditional restaurants that served Bariis Maraq, a somali Beef Stew mixed with delicious spiced rice. The same street was also home to Iftinphone and Shankarphone, two of the city’s best known music shop. Located opposite each other, they were the centre of Somalia’s burgeoning cassette distribution network. Both shops, run by members of the legendary Iftin Band, would become first-hand witnesses to the meteoric rise of Dur- Dur, a rise that climaxed in April of 1987 with the release of Volume 2, their second album."
A live document of a performance by TG to a small and invited audience on 16 February 1980. Neither an insight into TG’s recording process nor private live show, Heathen Earth is it’s own entity and exists as a document and testament to a group of people at the height of their creative powers, recorded just over a year before they disbanded and terminated the mission.
Live performance brought out Throbbing Gristle's talents for improvisation and provocation, and it's no coincidence that most of their classic albums contain sizeable extracts and edits of their shows; the live arena - be it grotty club, gallery space, concert hall or even the band's own rehearsal space - is where the action and the innovation really happened.
The bulk of Heathen Earth documents one particular performance which took place in 1980 on "Saturday the 16th February between 8:10pm and 9.00pm"; the tracklist is filled out with two recordings from two separate performances in '78. It's a hugely enjoyable listen, arguably capturing better than any of the "studio" albums the tension between free-wheeling abstraction and structural discipline which defines the group. It's also probably the most obviously electronic TG album of its time, Gen's guitar and Cosey's cornet duelling with Carter and Sleazy's clipped, clammy minimal synth constructions: 'The Old Man Smiled', 'Something Came Over Me', 'Don't Do As Your Told, Do As You Think' and 'The World Is A War Film' are all breathtakingly, pulsatingly ahead of their time.
'Still Walking', first heard on 20 Jazz Funk Greats, sounds even more surreal and seductive in its live incarnation, Cosey's dour East Yorkshire vowels echoed to infinity, before P.Orridge presents a vision of paranoia and self-loathing purified in 'Sub Human' and 'Adrenalin' brings things to an oddly ecstatic, hi-NRG close, Carter fully indulging his arpeggiated Euro-disco inclinations.
Infinite, illusive, illuminating, What?? [1967/1977] is a focussed masterpiece of microtonal composition rendered with macroscopic vision by Swedish composer Folke Rabe. Intently grounded in studies of sonic phenomena and an urge to undo the strictures of Western composition in the late ‘60s, it exists in the same liminal, hypnotic category of sound craft as the work of contemporaneous artists such as Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock or Tony Conrad.
First written and released as one side of a split LP, this edition features the 25 minute original and its half-speed 50’ version - working one octave lower - which were issued together on CD by David Grubbs and Jim O’Rourke’s Drag City subsidiary, Dexter’s Cigar in 1997, and then by Important in 2012 - both highly respected sets of ears who clearly acknowledge the enduring relevance and fundamental timelessness of What?? with subsequent generations of discerning listeners.
Incredibly complex yet soothingly sensitive, What??, (or Was?? as it’s also known), is an immersive attempt at isolating, controlling and smoothly consolidating the pitch intervals and tone colours of varying tuning systems foreign to the classical European canon. Embracing both the physicality and metaphysics of sound in a way that has been integral to ancient Indian musical systems for eons, yet pointedly backgrounded by the “ethnocentric idolization” of the west, whose notated systems restrict the potential for this sort of synaesthetically heightened expression.
Ultimately the results of Rabe’s explorations have a deep richness of intricacy and intangibility that reveals sound at its purest, unconditionally transcendent.
The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most unusual bands of their generation.
This is double CD Best-Of compiling all their best hits and a live show recorded at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) in 2004.
Uncompromising and intensely high-register 26 minute computer music piece
“Second Editions presents Conduit by Kaori Suzuki. Originally conceived for live context employing high volume playback and extended duration, Conduit pushes the parameters of musical composition and perception. Minimal in construction, applying high frequency staccatissimo that gradually turns in on itself, Suzuki's latest output delivers a striking twenty-six minutes of intoxicating computer music. A remarkable statement.”
Midori Takada’s highly sought-after early recordings come to light in WRWTFWW’s reissue of her sublime début of chiming, minimalist percussion with Mkwaju Ensemble, ‘Ki-Motion’
Readily availed outside of the Japanese domestic market for the first time, Ki-Motion captures the essence of Takada’s music coming into being alongside Yoji Sadanari’s vibraphone and marimba, drums by Shuichi “Ponta” Murakami, and synthesiser gilding by Shuichi Chino.
Inspired by the myriad applications of the tamarind, or Mkwaju as it’s known in Swahili, which ranges from use a staple food, to craft the earliest marimbas and mallets, and a symbol of life in the dry Central African grasslands, Midori and co explore a synthesis of African and Far Eastern percussive traditions coupled with influences from American minimalism and emergent ambient styles in a way that creates timeless connections between far-flung cultures.
The result is a uniquely immersive environment meshed from swaying, moire patterns that evoke both Japanese and Central African traditions. However, they are often more rugged than you may have come to expect after being snagged on Takada’s Through The Looking Glass classic. In Wood Dance they catch a turbulent roil of proto-techno pulses prime for adventurous ‘floors, while Angora Steps is almost No Wave punkish in its dissonant drive, and Zindo Zindo trades in proper, raw, scratchy and buzzing rhythms in a way you won’t find her latest work. Of course, there are sweeter bits, too; Maximum could be an early pre-echo of the Ghost In The Shell soundtrack, and Ki-Motion and Hot Air are just melt-on-the-mind- beautiful.
Don’t sleep on this. A must have for all Japan-o-philes and ambient lovers!
Rarely has an album owed so much to production... Low return with their most daring, experimental release in years, co-produced by James Blake's man at the controls B.J. Burton, at times verging on a layered, pulsing electronic sound you'd associate with the likes of Andy Stott. Doused in distortion, throbbing electronics, submerged vocals, side-chain effects - this could easily have been a nauseating exercise in modernisation; but instead the strength of the songwriting shines through for one of Low's best = a standout full-length for 2018.
"In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.
To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.
This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative cowriters, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.
Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fightsfor the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?"
Sarah Davachi serves her 2nd album of 2018 with ‘Gave In Rest’, offering a studio developed follow-up to her mesmerising album ‘Let Night Come On Bells End The Day’, which has quietly dominated our listening lives for months already...
As her beatific blends of early church, medieval and Renaissance musics have patiently and patently revealed over the past five years, Sarah’s works for piano, organ, synth, and woodwind demonstrate a unique gift for extracting and reworking the most affective spirits of church music to a secular appeal, effectively voicing a sort of metaphysical minimalism that could be explained as a result of deeply focused technique, but is perhaps better regarded as a timeless form of sonic alchemy.
Where her previous records were documents of a shorter time spent with her instruments, Sarah dedicated herself on ‘Gave In Rest’, spending a summer giving deeper consideration to how Renaissance musicians experimented with new instruments, forms and texture, and “how the quietude… and the openness of physical space, the stillness of altars“ in churches would have affected how they wrote. Subsequently recording with Howard Bilerman at Montreal’s hotel2tango (home of myriad, seminal Constellation recordings), Sarah brought those instrumental ideas to life with the modern addition of tape delays and chorusing effects to infuse and render shimmering new layers of timbral depth to her plaintive melodic gestures, and with a subtle yet unmistakably visceral impact.
In album opener ‘Auster’ she uses tape to slow down a recorder and open up its vibrating innards, revealing a tremulous, transfixing soul in the most humble of instruments, while the LP’s closer ‘Waking’ finds her locating elusive echoes of Baroque harmonies in that most soulful machine, beautifully realigning its putative purpose. In between, her tracks’ moods and titles chart a slow passing of day and night, from he ghostly elegance of ‘Third Hour’ to her sylvan ‘Evensong’, thru to the stately yet lip-wobbling beauty of ‘Matins’ at the album’s core, and perhaps best of all in the achingly evocative coruscation of ‘Gloaming’, a song we already know we’ll be returning to for many, many years to come.
The loaded, polysemous word ‘soul’ springs to mind, on the one hand connoting lofty notions of transcendence, contemplation and reverence, while on the other also helping to define a gentle, slow-burning modesty and broad appeal to practically anybody with ears and a functioning sense of empathy. But most of all, ‘Gave In Rest’ will strike a chord with anyone who listens properly and attentively. To use another loaded phrase, the devil is beautifully apparent in its gilded detail.
Hinosch is a probing, minimalist collaboration between Koshiro Hino ov the amazing Goat group and YPY project, with Düsseldorf’s Stefan Schneider. Mazy rhythms and electronic chicanery in very curious and nimble effect...
“They first met and began their collaborative work of musical interaction and exploring contrasting possibilities in 2017. After a number of concerts in the EU and in Japan, they released their self-titled debut EP (TAL 005EP, 2017). Fully instrumental, their first full-length album Hands offers a more steeply focused approach than its largely improvised predecessor. Encouraged by the momentum generated during a number of on-the-spot recordings in Osaka, where Schneider had held a residency in April 2017, the overall sound of the album has been honed down through meticulous studio engineering.
One of the outstanding qualities of Hands certainly is an unprejudiced approach of sound and song structures. The instrumentation is confidently reduced to a small range of analog and digital machines. Snatches of tape-loops deliver lower-pitched vocal and drum machine samples. This characteristic technical set up soon proved ideal in order to define a tactile vocabulary of fully unsynchronized rhythm patterns. The word tactile perfectly conjures that quality which is the very essence of Hands. It is the result of the manner in which interdependent threads of rhythm units are deliberately disconnected to form a cohesive, soulful and flexible whole.
Most tracks on Hands are devoid of a central motif and examine an unpredictable dialogue. A fantasy of constant change and a search for musical suggestions is the most vital ingredient in this abstract environment. The album title Hands refers to physical aspects of electronic music production. Every live concert of Hinosch usually starts out with a hand shake between Hino and Schneider. The general process of collective music making, programming, button pushing, playing, recording, decision making, all-demand utmost concentration.
The image on the front of the album sleeve -- designed by Takashi Makabe -- reflects the general approach of Hands: layers of tucked fabrics confronting one another to articulate a form for themselves to no other end than their own orchestration. Koshiro Hino's solo activities as YPY and his involvement with the band Goat have already garnered him a favorable international reception. Stefan Schneider has over the years produced and collaborated with, amongst others, Joachim Roedelius, Arto Lindsay, Klaus Dinger, Dieter Moebius, Alexander Balanescu, John McEntire, Katharina Grosse, Bill Wells, and St.Etienne.
132 Ranks for Pipe Organ was composed by Olivia Block in 2016-2017, as a commission for LAMPO and The Renaissance Society. Block composed the piece specifically for the enormous Skinner Organ at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago. The world premiere was performed by Block on April 21, 2017. The concert, free and open to all ages, and attracted a large crowd.
"132 Ranks was conceived as a hybrid of concert and sound installation. Six speakers were placed throughout the chapel. These speakers played white noise, sine tones, and prerecorded organ sounds, designed to interact acoustically with the live performance, and bring out the acoustics of the chapel in unconventional ways. White noise and low bass tones pulsed and sliced through the air, while sine tones and organ clusters created complex beating patterns and inner ear sound phenomena.
Audience members were participants, quietly walking through the majestic, dimly lit chapel. Listeners noticed how the acoustics, materials and shape of the space altered the live and recorded organ sounds as Block performed. Some audience members relaxed on the floor of the chapel, listening, while others explored the upper balconies and hallways.
132 Ranks was designed to emphasise the architectural qualities and unique sonic and spatial capacities of the Skinner Organ. The piece included both the lowest pedal notes, felt in the body, as well as the highest bell tones, played at extreme dynamic levels. At times, sounds were isolated in discrete locations to emphasise the chapel’s shape."