Hushed, sylvan songwriting from Mexican-Norwegian artist Carmen Villain, including subtly captivating production from Helge Sten (Deathprod) on Quietly, and a ghostly highlight in collaboration with Jenny Hval on Borders.
“We’re all on our own unique emotional road trips. Infinite Avenue happens to be Carmen’s. Here she is, holed up in the Motel Nowheresville, unpacking a suitcase full of stories of guilt, desire, rage, apathy, love and friendship, loneliness, nature, inner demons and other tales of twenty-first century womanhood. Carmen Villain is half-Norwegian and half-Mexican, born in the USA and now living in Oslo, Norway, having moved back after living in London for a few years. She has a lot of stories to tell.
Writing, recording and producing alone, Carmen’s intensely personal songs are entirely self-created in her makeshift studio, made up of tapestries of guitar, piano, programmed drums and synths, making the most she could out of her limited gear. Once she had arrived at more than enough tracks for a follow-up album to 2013’s 'Sleeper,' some of them were mixed with experimental house producer Matt Karmil and ‘Quietly’ was treated by noise improviser Helge Sten (aka Deathprod).
Taboo-busting Norwegian artist Jenny Hval contributes lyrics and vocals on ‘Borders’, a song especially relevant among today’s tightening frontiers in America and elsewhere. ‘Red Desert’ is titled after the legendary Antonioni movie about a woman’s survival tactics in a surreal industrial landscape full of existential crisis. ‘To me the movie feels like a perfect visual representation of what it can be like to be anxious and uncomfortable in your head sometimes,’ says Carmen. Musically, 'Infinite Avenue' has a similar effect.
With 'Infinite Avenue,' Carmen Villain’s songwriting and production skills have taken a major leap forward, and on the final, ethereal ‘Planetarium’ her voice shoots into the stratosphere, riding the comet tail of a Korg bass drone. It’s about acknowledging the immensity of the universe, while remembering that we’ve each got our own private constellation of issues to deal with down here. It’s a typically Villainous contrast of rapture and irony, with a murmured coda recorded as she was falling asleep one night. ‘Everything I write has to be true,’ she says, ‘even if I sometimes find it’s too confessional. Whatever was my truth at that moment.’
The hollow-eyed woman on the cover, that’s Hollywood actress Gena Rowlands, partner of the late director John Cassavetes – a heroine of Carmen’s because of the way her face and body can so brilliantly express psychological states, nervousness, being stressed out, desperation, anxiety, joy without necessarily using words. A freakish dream sequence in 'Love Streams,' where she gambles with the love of her estranged husband and child and desperately tries to make them laugh with a bunch of practical-joke toys, is manic genius – and one of Carmen’s favourite film scenes. Ms Rowlands, by the way, personally approved the use of her image for this project.
A famous movie maker once called film ‘truth at 24 frames per second’. With 'Infinite Avenue,' you get an earful of truth at 33 1/3 revs per minute.”
The National return with their seventh studio album, ‘Sleep Well Beast’.
It was produced by member Aaron Dessner with co-production by Bryce Dessner and Matt Berninger. The album was mixed by Peter Katis and recorded at Aaron Dessner’s Hudson Valley, New York studio, Long Pond, with additional sessions having taken place in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles.
The arch avant cuties rope in Juana Molina, Matana Roberts, and Lætitia Sadier a.o. for their most accessible album pretty much ever. The disco friendly ‘Come Down Here & Say That’ feat. Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier is particularly choice and a great way in!
“Though Deerhoof have often made albums from start to finish with virtually no input from the outside world, now is not the time for artists to operate in isolation. Mountain Moves throws the doors wide open. Working quickly, the band invited myriad guests to participate, some of them dear friends, others practically strangers. They are of different ages, different nationalities, different disciplines. The only common thread was that each and every artist on Mountain Moves doesn't fit into a single, neatly-defined category – and doesn't wish to.
The results, as expected, were unexpected. Guide vocals and simple melodies were dispatched via email, only to be answered with an outpouring of alternate harmonies, suggestions for arrangements, additional instrumentation. Every file received triggered a new rush of jumbled emotions. Some guests crafted their contributions in the small hours of the dawn, toiling in hotel rooms before driving eight hours to the next tour date; others hopped on the subway and recorded with the band in-person.
Collisions and collusions abound on Mountain Moves. In addition to its bounty of originals, the program includes three covers that epitomize the album's assemblage of disparate ideas and personalities. Reducing Bob Marley's "Small Axe" to a beat-less fragment of hymn-like simplicity magnifies the song's rebellious spirit and undercurrent of violence. Deerhoof vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki, a Japanese immigrant, lifts the Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway" out of its original place and time, imbuing it with a new sense of alienation from one's own country. Snippets of the bass recitative "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth" from Handel's Messiah provide the foundation for a fresh take on Chilean folk hero Violeta Parra's bittersweet masterpiece "Gracias a la Vida."
Adventures outside the United States also informed the making of Mountain Moves. During a recent visit to Brazil, the band was astonished to see how enthusiastically audiences at concerts sang, danced, and reveled – a cultural response, they learned, to the scarcity of resources for all but the nation's wealthiest elites. Elsewhere, the experience of confronting unfamiliar audiences of fired-up Red Hot Chili Peppers fans taught them that one of their greatest skills – the ability to recalibrate their sound nightly to suit a particular venue – wasn't limited to basements or small clubs. The broader strokes of Mountain Moves sprang forth from lessons learned while trying to engage audiences of 20,000+ across the vast distances of Northern European sporting arenas.
If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof's traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation. We're all in this together.”
In Pessimist, Blackest Ever Black’s furtive D&B agent submits a killer debut LP recce from the no man’s land between jungle, tekno and greyscale electronics - a definitively Bristolian sound. Forming a logical expansion of the themes explored in his work with the Ruffhouse trio and in solo shots for A14 and Osiris Music UK over recent years, his first album finds him working in acres of negative space to fully indulge his worries for the dance, arguably resulting in a new high-water mark for the D&B album format.
Thanks to a natural predilection for minimalism and a fine tuned sensitivity towards textured, atmospheric detail, Pessimist succeeds where the vast majority of D&B long-players fail; fundamentally keeping our interest without resorting to beating us around the head with the latest plugin acrobatics. Rather, Pessimist uses techniques of stealth and guile to draw in and toy with his prey, resulting a far more intriguing and satisfying dispatch from the dark side of the echo chamber.
Like we say, it’s sculpted as a proper album, as opposed to a clutch of middling bangers, replete with intro, outro and a tempered transfer of energy between the tracks that necessarily curves the listener’s enthusiasm between pockets of dank ambience, dread dub dimensions and rolling, ghostly tech-steppers.
Aside from the bolshy techno of Peter Hitchens and clinical badboy rolige of Through The Fog, it’s all exclusive new material, churning up some robust highlights with Grit’s hunched and grubbing torque, and the stark, crispy Spirals, but we’d have to point to his No Matter What collaboration with Overlook for the LP’s most impressive mutation of pure UK bassbin pressure. If we’ve any gripes, though, it’s from the splashback of his breakbeats that come in half way thru Grit and dominating his Glued link-up with Loop Faction, but apart from those, it’s a proper dark fantasy.
Pretty mirriboard jacket housing some ‘avant’, psychy art rock. RIYL lentils, beards
“The idea that rock music ever pretended to promise ‘transcendence’ is ridiculous, or at least it seems so under present conditions. Leaving aside the obvious question even (‘transcendence’ of what?), the idea seems archaic, optimistic in a way that’s hard to access in the Trump/Brexit era. Chris Forsyth’s music is too kinetically aware, too intelligent, and frankly too goddamn punk to make any such outsized promises, but also nearly impossible to hear without considering the idea. Because as sure as Dreaming In The Non-Dream is subject to all the dread pressures that have contorted us all of late —it would be a drab mistake to call this a “political record,” but also straight-up lazy to miss its subtle cues— it offers . . .one won’t say a “way out,” exactly (hardly), but something along the lines of a way through. It’s a record that conveys ecstasy as surely as Pharoah Sanders does, or the Velvet Underground did.
In this respect, it’s hard to imagine who Forsyth’s contemporaries might be. But then it’s always been this way: the greats tend to feel a little out-of-plumb with their moment (only hindsight lets us see it otherwise), and Forsyth’s music has been sparring with some large forces from the beginning. He’s always united the homely with the astral, the abstract with the visceral in his Solar Motels and Intensity Ghosts. There’s something different about Dreaming In The Non-Dream, though. There’s a fresh economy involved here, a sense, strange as this is to say about a record with two songs longer than eleven minutes, of not a note wasted. Despite psychedelic leanings, Forsyth’s records have always trained toward concision — plenty of space, yet never slack— but these tunes erupt with startling swiftness, then spend the rest of their quick-burning lives teasing multiple moods and patterns out of relatively simple materials. “History & Science Fiction” pads in on the back of a slinky, almost shy, bass line, then —after a little blast of glassy percussion— hurls us about a mile into the air before arriving, startlingly, at a saxophone arrangement (!) that evokes early Roxy Music. The title track seems to gene-splice two of the great minimalist themes, Pere Ubu’s “Heart of Darkness” and Neu’s “Hallogallo,” into one surging, winding, pulsing ride: Music For Speeding Tickets. Even the pensive, aqueous “Two Minutes Love,” which sounds a bit like something Ry Cooder could’ve written for the Paris, Texas soundtrack troubled by ghosts both placid and deranged, does a lot —really, a lot— with barely more than a whisper.
Those titles, though. It’s hard not to notice that “History & Science Fiction” might refer to the intersection we’re all standing at now, pinned by the consequences of the former and living, abruptly, within the latter; “Two Minutes Love” inverts Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” from 1984; as for the title track, well, that utilitarian “non-dream” could just as well be a euphemism for nightmare. But it’s “Have We Mistaken The Bottle For The Whiskey Inside?” that’s most explicit. Over a prowling, stabbing, Stones-ish backdrop —one that, naturally, will accelerate itself into something different— Forsyth sings about, well, transcendence: about “los(ing) my senses” and the suspension of self-judgment, about the gaps between ideation and execution, and, of course, between container and content. Perhaps the most canny thing about Forsyth’s music is how little explanation he’s willing to attach to it. Not out of coyness, or any need to gin up a little mystery: there just isn’t any need for it. When the whiskey’s this strong, who needs a bottle at all? - Matthew Specktor”
Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music.
"Born in Oslo on 23rd August, Rypdal was already a star at home in his teens with pop-rock group The Vanguards. This was followed by the timely and inevitable passage through psychedelia with quartet The Dream, releasing their only album, Get Dreamy, in 1967. In 1968, still only 21 years old, Rypdal released Bleak House, the first, quite extraordinary album under his own name, fully showing what direction he was moving into. Min Bul, his trio with Bjørnar Andresen and Espen Rud, followed with their only album two years later. Rypdal and fellow Norwegians Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen were quickly picked up by Manfred Eicher, starting his ECM label.
The quartet released Afric Pepperbird in 1970, only the seventh album on ECM, and Rypdal would follow with Terje Rypdal the year after. The four of them would soon establish themselves as pillars of a progressive jazz movement in Norway and indeed Europe. Rypdal was at an early age also drawn towards contemporary composers like Ligeti and Penderecki, and would later write a number of symphonies and genre-crossing orchestral works. He would also revisit his rock roots on several occasions. Terje Rypdal has received a number of awards, including three Norwegian Grammies (Spellemannpris), the last being the honorary award in 2005. Sky Music is a humble and heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist that hasn´t fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making.
Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, we put together a Rune Grammofon all star band including keyboardist and long time Rypdal side-kick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman´s Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio) and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced while Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho) added bits and pieces and Jim O´Rourke beamed in his exquisite contributions to "Sunrise" from Tokyo. Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and David Torn delivered their solo interpretations, Cline with the aid of cellist Erik Friedlander. Sky Music is their birthday present to Terje Rypdal at 70."
Microtonal music for violas and viola da gamba performed by Nadia Sirota & Liam Byrne. Includes download codes for 38-minute film by Steven Mertens and all digital audio
“Tessellatum is an album and a film, with music composed by Donnacha Dennehy and animation by Steven Mertens, performed by violist Nadia Sirota and viola da gamba player Liam Byrne. The film and the music both work with the idea of man vs. nature. Steven Mertens’ electric animation toggles back and forth between man-made geometric perfection and the natural oddness of the deep ocean. Donnacha Dennehy’s addictive timbres move between tuning systems created by humans and the ones found in natural resonance. As a result, the two works of art support and enhance each other, using the same form and structure to create an incredibly moving work of art.
All fifteen string parts were performed by Nadia Sirota and Liam Byrne on viola and viola da gamba. The album was recorded in Iceland’s famed Greenhouse Studios by Paul Evans and mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson. Produced by Nadia Sirota. “
Dälek return to Ipecac for their new album, ‘Endangered Philosophies’.
"Pioneers of alt hip-hop, Dälek features rapper / producer MC Dälek, producer / live electronics Mike Manteca and turntablist DJ rEk. With roots in the mid-90s DIY scene, Dälek have consistently released groundbreaking albums, starting with their 1998 debut EP, ‘Negro Necro Nekros’, to 2016’s ‘Asphalt For Eden’, hailed by Pitchfork for its subtlety and restraint, saying “on ‘Asphalt For Eden’, hip hop ascends into the noosphere.”
Mogwai return with their 9th studio album which was recorded with producer Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Road Studios in New York State.
"Every Country’s Sun, named after a friend’s lack of knowledge in how the universe works, takes two decades of Mogwai’s signature contrasting sounds and distils it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock and transcendental euphoria. It will definitely appeal to fans of the band and will gain many new ones along the way."
Collaboration between French ensemble Astrïd and American pianist and composer Rachel Grimes.
"Rachel Grimes is best known for her chamber music project Rachel’s, a hugely influential group formed in 1991 in Louisville, Kentucky, releasing six studio albums between 1995 and 2005. She has also released a string of contemporary classical works in recent years on labels such as Temporary Residence. Astrïd is a collective of four musicians based in Nantes, releasing records on Rune Grammofon and Home Normal.
After years of mail and email back and forth over the ocean, from Nantes to Kentucky, astrïd invited Rachel to come for a residency to make music together and play shows in France. They gathered for a few days, here and there, in 2012 and 2013 to write songs in Cyril and Vanina’s home studio in the countryside.
The compositions found on Through the Sparkle glow with a unique, connected energy and a pure, instinctive musical understanding. Considered contributions from all sides allow the pieces to unfurl naturally. Each note and phrase feels like it simply couldn’t be placed anywhere else in the album.
Charming, gentle and cinematic sounds are found here in abundance. Melodies circle and reveal themselves without force, allowing the listener to focus and explore the depths of what is on offer. Musically, Through the Sparkle is an expansive and evocative album. There is a presence to be felt throughout, from Cyril Secq’s emotive tremelo’d guitars of M5 to the darker, more haunting mood of The Theme, to the tension in Mossgrove & Seaweed. Strings and woodwind coalesce around intricate piano and guitar movements creating a wealth of harmony and melancholy.
Through the Sparkle is a record of miniature symphonies, of elegant restraint. A gracious and generous offering from a group of musicians at one with each other and at the top of their game."
Kompakt’s Total series gracefully approaches adulthood with its 17th annual showcase of family and friends, rounding up material issued over the last annum alongside a grip of eight exclusive new bits.
For highlights, we advise checking out Danny Daze / Shokh’s rave-ready charge Aire; the lean tribal swerve of Dawn by Locked Groove; some lush early ‘90s house pressure in Voigt & Voigt’s Tribute To A Greek God; or the wistful breakbeat budge of Weval’s Metazoa for something a bit more off kilter.
20 years since they peaked out with a seminal, eponymous techno album, Thomas Köner and Andy Mellwig’s Porter Ricks return with a super robust, dynamic new LP of hydro-tech mutations for Tresor, following up the gritty example set on last year's Shadow Boat 12”.
Tough but deep whatever way you view it, Anguilla Electrica revolves around a signature Tresor sound in effect, toiling well into the trench between aerobic proprioception and psychoacoustic sound design with an immersive, sensational impact that’s just as bracing on headphones as when felt over a big rig - although we’d definitely recommend the latter!
Its six cuts are optimised to a pair of LP's, giving nuff room for the likes of their scowling, skudgy title track and the distended, subaquatic stepper Scuba Rondo to fully flex their thrilling dynamics over a side-a-piece, while elsewhere they perfectly reprise the elemental psychedelia of their early releases with the pendulous swang of Shoal Boat and the sloshing skanker, Port of Tangency.
But if we’re talking about techno psychedelia in terms of amorphous dexterity and elusiveness, then the most impressive examples are reserved to the breathtakingly intricate flux of Sandy Ground, and no doubt the near-weightless, water-treading abstraction and unquantised polymetrics of Prismatic Error.
Take it as a firm yet mutable reminder of what’s possible within the dub-tech-noise paradigm; a deeply smart way of consolidating keening experimental impetus with proper dancefloor pressure.
This double CD is the follow up to 1999’s The Swinging Reflective album. It features an array of Steven Stapleton’s favourite releases that are either his remixes of other artists, collaborations or have been co-written with individuals who have worked extensively with NWW. All tracks are remastered and some have been slightly or comprehensively remixed.
Artists here include: Sunn O))), Faust, Sand, Band Of Pain, Aranos and a host of others. This set is packaged in a heavy board, gloss laminated 6 panel digipac. Disc One 1/Rock n’ Roll Station - Colin Potter 2/Disconnected - Faust 3/Electric Smudge - Freida Abtan 4/The Squarewarp Paradox - Graham Bowers 5/Easy Listening Nightmares - David Kenny 6/Gloakid With Phendrabites - Band of Pain 7/Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ - Andrew Liles 8/Painting with Priests - Christoph Heemann
Disc Two 1/Tidal Whirlpool – Aranos 2/Ash on the Trees (Slices of midnight) - Sunn O))) 3/Livin’ with the Night - Lynn Jackson
4/May Rain (Chromanatron) – Sand 5/Rock Baby Rock - Larson/Fritz Müller 6/Cabbalism III - Blind Cave Salamander
For the first time, Warp make B12’s seminal Electro-Soma - one of thee blueprints for ‘90s electronic and UK techno - available to download; packing the original LP - itself drawn from their earlier EPs - together with a stellar haul of rarities and early cuts.
A staple of ‘back to ours’ sessions and psychonaut’s playlists since the turn of the ‘90s, Electro-Soma I, as it’s now titled, was compiled by Warp’s Rob Mitchell from Michael Golding and Steve Rutter’s early EPs as Musicology, Redcell and 2001, all self-released by the duo between 1991-1992 on their B12 label.
It’s some of the lushest, visionary electronic music of its era, unfortunately titled IDM - as opposed to what?! - when it actually, faithfully, and patently ripped from the early styles of Detroit’s 2nd wave. But absolutely nobody is holding that against them, as the music they recorded offered a uniquely lush, even sentimental, and technically adroit spin on the 313 sounds they had clearly fallen in love with.
To this day, the emo electro of Hall Of Mirrors, the kaotic harmonix of Metropolis, and the AI bleep ’n bass of Telephone 529 still sound beautifully misty-eyed and have the capacity to freeze a spine on contact. And unless you were a bit of an super fan, the tracks forming Electro-Soma II are likely to generate a few surprises for those familiar with the original LP or EPs, especially in the mystic electro-stepper, Transient Pathways and the head-first ambient immersion Go With The Hiss.
Hype Williams get a pretty headstone with the Rainbow Edition, hustling ’20 joints strictly for the whip …& ppl 2 fat for fedoras’. Trust it’s a suitably smoked out final missive from the duo behind some of the most beguiling records, downloads and mixtapes of the last decade.
According to the duo, Hype Williams officially gave up the ghost in 2011 with their One Nation LP for the sadly defunct Hippos In Tanks (R.I.P. Barron Machat), with any subsequent live shows as HW done to fulfil contractual obligations. The pair went their own ways with solo projects from 2012 onwards, again resulting some of this decade’s most celebrated releases in the likes of Babyfather’s BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow and Lolina’s Live In Paris.
Now seemingly scraped from some lonely iTunes folder and reduced to the lowest bitrates, the 20 tracks of Rainbow Edition hold tight to the hard-bitten, tarmac level, shit camera-phone grain and fidelity which has framed their work since the self-issued High Beams download and their Han Dynasty I 7” for De Stijl back in 2009, all effectively, metaphorically finding virtue in the tension between soulful resilience and worn down daily grind in a way that hyper glossy, bloated studio productions can never grasp.
Whether the rough diamonds of Rainbow Edition form an archival release, a false restart, or even the work of others, is a moot point. What is easy to grasp, though, is the fact it physically exists, and features some real nuggs inside such as the airborne drill blowouts, Ask Yee and Cocksucker Blues or the very John T. Gast-like 6 minute meditation, Spinderella’s Dream.
So for (possibly) one last time, HW’s simulacra presents a severely compressed and bittersweet perspective on waking life that’s as sur/real as it gets right now.
Fiercely dynamic, meter-mashing and speaker-buckling electronics by the Mouse On Mars man. Mastered for digital by Rashad Becker, who said the intense nature of the album meant that to master for LP would “mutilate the spectrum and phase of the material”.
“Jan St. Werner summons flux and fragmentation on Spectric Acid, building up the record's blistering, locomotive beat structures around the correlation of musical spectra. Their movements triggered in part by peaks in frequency envelopes, rhythms buckle and fracture according to a complex logic that slides past aural perception and harmonic resolution; a “phenomenological alchemy” (Rădulescu) takes shape among unsteady synthesizer whirls and stammering percussive phrases. The effect is deadly, paralytic; but listeners willing to surrender to Spectric Acid’s movement might find themselves taken to wider horizons of trance. Crucially, Werner turned also to the ceremonial rhythms of West Africa in his shaping of Spectric Acid’s bending timescales, and one can hear a clear impress of Vodoo drumming in the way rhythmic patterns cross converse, teeter off-beat, and rapidly redouble.
Though it shares with 2016’s Felder (Fiepblatter Catalogue #4) a desire to spill beyond metric linearity and notated time, Spectric Acid strays from that record’s breathy spatiality towards more pointed concerns with motion and the liberation of rhythm. In pursuit of this new direction, Werner borrows, on the one hand, from the structural techniques championed by the Spectralist school of the 1970s; breaking free of the tempered system through a focus on frequency and timbre, spectral composers like Gérard Grisey and Horațiu Rădulescu introduced sweeping, tectonic temporalities untroubled by notes and intervals, refining what Edgard Varèse before them had evangelized as a fragmentary, atomistic approach to form given to a “[constant] changing in shape, directions, and speed.”
A record both brute in force and exacting in its sensitivity to perception’s effective limits, Spectric Acid offers fresh glimpses of the deft compositional grasp Werner has developed across over two decades of practice, whether in Mouse on Mars and Microstoria or on his growing log of solo records. Treat it less as a document than a potent sonic distillate, to be taken on an empty stomach for full effect. - Walker Peterson Downey”
In annual sequence, Fred P deposits the 3rd and final batch of FP-Oner works spanning esoteric jazz, field recordings and driving NYC/Berlin club music
“Children are laughing and playing in the back, a baby screams happily: handsome field recordings welcome the listener to the final chapter of Fred P's Fp-Oner trilogy for Mule Musiq. The New York City native's 7 features tunes for deep meditative club use and beyond. 7 brings the listener house music full of cosmic realities, odd jazzing moments, Japanese spoken word pop, synth spheres for ambient use, and an overall outer-national atmosphere that handsomely dances between roughness and subtle, tuned-in deepness.
Fred P explains: "I chose to base this project on numbers in order to impart a bit of depth and substance. '5', '6' and '7' have a meaning in both the literal and esoteric sense. We as a species are a combination of matter and energy, so it is a matter of relating the two in harmony. . . . It's like a testimony to the human condition and how we relate to treat and mistreat one another. . . . So rather than doing a project that highlights ego posture, my intent is more about what can I give to the listener." At large, the trilogy is a journey inward -- compelling, mesmerizing, and enchanting.
Fred P produced the final chapter mostly in his studio in Berlin on various synths and with a bunch of mysterious samples, all later organized and programmed in Ableton. Fred P explains further: "This project has a beginning, middle, and end. The record 5 (MUSIQ 048CD/187LP, 2015) was intended to introduce a meditative energy within a rhythmic construct, as the number '5' represents the dynamic and unpredictable. . . . The album 6 (MUSIQ 055CD/200LP, 2016) is of an earthly and more harmonious discord. I attempt to bring the inner conflict in the form of natural unnaturalness. The raw energy of the search in this project I think is self-explanatory, which is the point I believe to show how flawed one can be but express very specific themes honestly. Finally, with 7 my goal is to merge the two into balance, as one focused state of mind, as '7' is the thinker beyond understanding or beyond the illusion."
Listen deeply, open your doors of perception, dance the atomic mess around, stay small, be true, and don't forget, Fp-Oner's music is a traveling zone with a universal meaning. It can mean many things to different people. "Light Years" features Minako.”
Dirter offer a strong taste of the rekindled Avant Garde Festival in Schiphorst, Germany with this exclusive compilation of cuts by Qluster, Asmus Tietchens, faUSt, Nurse With Wound and many more artists who are affiliated with or performed at the three day festival in Northern Germany.
On yet another stunning number from Unseen Worlds, Carsten Schulz aka C-Schulz arrives in the wake of their incredible reissues of Carl Stone and Laurie Spiegel records with a mind-bending batch from the fecund experimental nexus of ‘90s Cologne.
With C-Schulz releases scattered between Frank Dommert’s Entenpfuhl label - where he debuted in the same year as Jim O’Rourke - and the likes of Schimpfluch, Extreme and MoM’s Sonig - including many alongside probing input from Markus Schmickler - it’s maybe fair to say that C-Schulz’s distinctive oeuvre and artists genius has been sorely overlooked, until now, that is.
Frühe Jahre contains 20 wildly diverse examples of C-Schulz’s genre-agnostic agenda drawn from the early phase of his small, but arguably perfectly formed, catalogue between 1989 and 1991-ish, documenting an artist who patently dared to go beyond his classical training and explore new frontiers between early techno and acousmatic music, industrial and avant-pop, with something approaching a savant appreciation of juxtaposition and stylistic innovation.
He would later study A/V arts and work for a number of German broadcasters, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Schulz had barely turned 20 by the time Frank Dommert released his debut, Jahre Später, which provides one of this set’s highlights in the psychedelic horror collage of Wir beide sind verwandt, and sets the tone for a wildly, widely inventive overview of his variegated work.
There’s slow-mo New Beat-type sleaze in Barbapapa, along with hi-NRG disco scrabble in Kurze Flitze and industrial swagger on Meister, but just the tip of a large, oddly shaped iceberg, which reaches right down to the warped drone feedback works of Borkup and some messed-up vocoder psychoacoustics in Tri-Top, plus a few canny twists on space age lounge music in Klang and Reis recalling some kinda NWW cut-ups, and head-curdling drone of Himaal.
You could hardly ask for a madder wormhole to fall into. Check without delay!
Loren Connors’ Family Vineyard reissue Hisato Higuchi’s compelling 2003 debut, She; newly expanded with two bonus tracks from the original sessions and remastered by Taylor Deupree. Family Vineyard were the first label to release Higuchi’s music outside Japan with Dialogue , so their reissue of his debut EP of “Tokyo’s laborer’s blues”, replete with new artwork by the quiet man himself, is pretty apt.
Our memorable first encounter of Higuchi’s barely-there sound came with his part of the Tsuki No Seika Volume Four 7” split with Zelionople in 2011, and after being reminded of that song’s frail beauty with his most recent side for Root Strata, Kietsuzukeru Echo = 消え続けるエコー this reissue offers an often shocking demonstration of his formative phase, a sound riddled with noise and blistering distortion in a way we would never have predicted.
Those gender-uncertain vocals, precise acoustic strums and the hiss of background noise are all in place from his later releases, but the seemingly haphazard bursts of neon fizz and electrical disturbances that light up and sharply contrast his acoustic parts lend She a whole other, thrilling dimension that boldly messes with expectations or presumptions.
As Family Vineyard put it, “the delicate song textures of She capture the utter feeling of loneliness and a sleep-deprived mind staring off into a blurry sky”. And it’s not hard to see that imagery hauntingly reflected in the new cover artwork - a distant red cross (pharmacy or church?) in acres of negative space - as much as the music, with sublime scene-setters such as the ghostly peal of Sirens sharing late night headspace with the sallow strums of Ghosts Ghosts and its pranging shards of noise, which also feature in a new Ghost Ghosts (Alternative take) and the solitary intimacy of Speed.
One of our favourite artists in the world right now, David Burraston aka NYZ presents the second of two CDs for Entr’acte, each revealing particular aspects of a sprawling practice knitting algorithms, sound installation and self-built synthesisers in some of the strangest recordings imaginable.
As you might have guessed from the title, MCRNTL - a contraction of micro- and macrotonal - catches Burraston divining new ways between the waves, stepping away from systems of 12-tone equal temperament into curdled smears of harmonic mulch and convolution that hold genuinely new and compelling sensations for the listener.
Without, as the promo says, “getting bogged down in any deep, confusing theories about anything whatsoever”, Burraston/NYZ presents nine pieces, some forty minutes of music, all selected for the pure and frankly fucking weird, pleasure of it. Of course, if you need to look at it that way, there is a wealth of complex chain reactions and semi-organic systems at play in MCRTNL, but the glacial pace and somnolent atmospheres serve to reveal those processes in a manageably intuitive, enjoyable manner with broad appeal to listeners who’ve grown bored of so much harmonic convention in electronic and avant-garde music.
Forming a spellbinding exploration of NYZ’s infamous banks of FM synthesisers, each controlled thru his patented Cellular Automata hardware system for generating note and control data, the results range from succinct, rhythmic arabesques to gaseous drones and chattering machine voices that feel at once familiar yet deeply unheimlich at the same time, mostly thanks to the level of detail with which Dave Noyze can control the tuning of individual notes or “generate complete tuning tables in some cases”.
In the cases of MTNAM_2::FM60PP3 and MCRTEO, it sounds like he’s zoomed in and expanded on mercurial moments of AFX or Autechre tracks, focussing in on their nasal drip tang and melted string zing with a delightfully perverse quality, whilst LM_8101MT sounds like a band of brass-touting mice conducted by David Lynch, and MTNAM_7_SRi::station=>MONO feels as though it’s performing otoacoustic origami on yer inner ear, whereas MTNAM_3:: XNOTNL and GRAYMATTA feel as though he’s alternately emulating a lonely ship at sea in your ear canal, and then slowly sealing it in with concrete.
Ultimately, this process allows NYZ to explore a finer range of sounds, and with it a finer spectrum of emotional analogues and the less distinct, more ambiguous spaces between the notes. It can be taken like a kinda counterintuitive form of jazz played by machines, or oblique abstract sketches rendered in colours imperceptible to the eye, but either way they’re some of the oddest, unsettling works in circulation.
If you’ve ever wondered what Google streetcar’s dreams sound like, we implore you to check David Burraston’s beguiling FLD RCRD, the first of two remarkable new NYZ albums for Entr’acte.
As Dave Noyze, Noyzelab or just NYZ, the award-winning sound artist/scientist is regarded among the most inquisitive minds working with algorithmic music and electronics right now. He’s perhaps best known for the remarkably in-depth Syrobonkers! interview with Aphex Twin, whilst in recent years a brilliant glut of his material has turned up on tapes and download for Computer Club, Meds and Gamma Mine that rank among the strangest releases we’ve heard this decade. To put it plainly, if you’ve ever been wowed by music from Roland Kayn to Autechre, AFX or Lee Gamble, you really need to hear FLD RCRD!
Collated over five years, the research documented on FLD RCRD is typically varied, combining many strands of Burraston’s praxis - sound installations, self-built synthesisers, and interests in chaos/complexity theory - in four varying degrees of flux. Blending real location recordings with studio recordings of his Cellular Automata - an algorithmic system used to trigger and modulate FX - Burraston subconsciously breaks down distinctions between artificial and actual, hypothetical and hyperstitional with a genuine sort of electro-acoustic alchemy in three algorithmic parts, plus a fourth cut of hyperreal, yet untreated, field recordings making for comparably stark contrast.
On two parts, FLD RCRDST::On Walden Snow and the 20 minute FLD RCRDST::FM80PcellorgNSW he mixes location recordings with studio recordings of Cellular Automata playing and sequencing his synths and FX, whereas CPM DRNL is a completely artificial simulation of imaginary space brought to life by his Cellular Automata, and for a strong, if subtle contrast, Lindisfarne Refuge Hut presents real, untreated recordings containing no additives - just the uncannily hyperreal sound of birds, vehicles and the North Sea.
In concept, the recordings live somewhere between Burraston’s unprocessed telephone wire recordings, made with Alan Lamb in his native NSW region for Taiga Records, and the sort of playfully curdled algorithmic results found on his ALG 118B tape; effectively activating his panoramic screen grabs with a sort of rudimentary artificial intelligence so they end up crawling with strange, plasmic figures and fractals in a way that recalls a synaesthetic allegory to Google’s deep dream images. Especially when held up against the vividly textured audness of the untreated third track, it all makes for some of the most compelling, beguiling music we’ve heard this decade.
These are sounds much lesser heard or seen, vividly describing and bringing to life a series of spaces and places with the sense of wonder that we’d imagine was experienced by, and drove, important tonal explorers such as Stockhausen, Gottfried Michael Koenig or Roland Kayn in their respective days, right thru to their modern antecedents in Chris Watson, Autechre or Russell Haswell.
The Vinyl version is just the original album, remastered in 2015, overseen by Prince Himself. The 2CD and 3CD editions is where it's at basically, both include a second disc of previously unreleased tracks from the vault which quite frankly is something many of us thought we'd never get to hear outside of dodgy bootleg versions. The 3CD version also includes an extra disc of b-sides and edits, plus a previously unreleased concert filmed in 1985.
2015 Paisley Park Remaster of the original tapes from the soundtrack, presenting an unheard vision of the album overseen by Prince himself before his untimely 2016 passing. The 2nd disc: From The Vault & Unreleased boasts eleven gems unearthed from the heart of Prince’s storied vault. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album.
Includes a 2nd sic - From The Vault & Unreleased boasts eleven gems unearthed from the heart of Prince’s storied vault. Six tracks that have never been released or distributed in the collector or bootleg community include: “Possessed” - the ’83 Prince solo version, never heard before; “Electric Intercourse”- the studio version not known to exist before it was discovered at Paisley; “Father’s Song” - a full, five plus minute version that prior to this fans could only find a minute and half snippet of in the movie; “We Can Fuck” - a track that has never circulated as the full, 10 minute version with these lyrics; and “Katrina’s Paper Dolls” - a finished master of the song, which has previously only circulated as a demo. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album.
In addition to the Original Album (2015 Paisley Park Remaster) and From The Vault & Unreleased, the Purple Rain Deluxe - Expanded Edition presents a third disc of Single Edits & B-Sides, as well as the concert DVD Prince And The Revolution Live at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY, March 30, 1985. With audio and video restored from the original production master tape, it offers an exclusive vignette into the passion and power of his legendary live performances during one of the artist’s most celebrated eras
First ever presentation of The Lower Depths , Charlemagne Palestine’s epic, systematic 3-part investigation of his trusted Bösendorfer grand’s capacity to produce notes lower than any other piano. Keener observers may have noticed a track called The Lower Depths on his Godbear LP, which was reissued last year by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle, but this set was recorded at his famous red and gold loft on North Moore Street in Tribeca, and predates that recording by some ten years.
Totalling nearly 3 hours of works made over 3 consecutive performances at his loft space, the recordings effectively describe a transition in cadence from the centre of piano’s keyboard in CD1, to a register two octaves below in CD2, finally arriving at its thrumming Lower Depths before dramatically rising back up again in CD3, all offering a raucous, transfixing testament to the man’s genius in stunning full flow.
As Palestine himself refers to the trilogy of pieces as being “like a soap opera… you get your share of tears and laughter… i watch the afternoon ones that aren’t as visionary, keep it real, the yicky ones” you should have some idea of the typical levels of melodrama and emotion that he puts into these works, which while definitely avant and experimental, also work on an immediate and transcendent level meant to be understood and felt by anyone with ears and an empathetic heart.
With pedals pressed for maximum sustain throughout all parts, Palestine wreaks increasingly intense havoc right on the line between ecstasy and violence across the trilogy, coursing from jagged, jabbing flurries and their lushly discordant harmonics in the first, to panic-raising levels by the time he really hits the lower ends in track 2 of Part 2, and then really gunning for the Bösendorfer’s bowels in a jaw-dropping, thunderous descent, then spiralling back up for breath in a manner that may leave listeners with the bends.
Of course, that’s a simple description of the work’s general dynamic, but the nuance lies in the way Palestine can simultaneously bathe us in fire and still give us the chills, baffling the senses with its majestically chaotic yet sublime clangour. If you’re susceptible to the power of his glissandi as much as us, we rate you’ll fall hard into this one.
Sombre solo piano introspection fleshed by strings and subtly gilded with field recordings of a stormy Yorkshire
“Following his celebrated moogmemory project, Matthew Bourne returns to the piano for Isotach. Once again, spontaneity is the keyword where Bourne is concerned, catching on tape that pregnant moment when a piece begins to form.
Skeletal piano motifs, an aching use of space and sparing cello arrangements are deployed to devastating effect. Recorded in his rural Yorkshire home, Bourne’s piano placed to overlook the moors while he works, the album title is a nod to the weather, which played a part in its creation. The recordings took place during what Bourne describes as “extreme weather”. If you listen carefully you can hear the wind and rain picked up on the microphones, the sparse instrumentation providing the calm in the eye of the storm.”
After attending college and getting deeper into computer music, Sam Obey began releasing music as Obey City. The project quickly took off with EPs for LuckyMe, forming the Astro Nautico label with his best friends, multiple tours and collaborating with Kelela and Flatbush Zombies. Now, as Sam O.B., he returns to what his oldest confidants know he’s always had up his sleeve: his voice and his bass guitar.
"‘Positive Noise’, the debut album by Sam O.B., is not a ‘journey of a record’ but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance; cloud patterns; like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water’ you’ll understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female ‘oohs’ fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way. The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
‘Positive Noise’ also has a strong anchoring in the thick pulsing rhythmic stylings of 70s and 80s disco and funk grooves. Sam is a dedicated vinyl collector, having curated DJ residencies around NYC (Hot Sounds Island, Astro Nautico, The Lot) that practically worshipped smooth jams."
Following on from a pair of Extended Players released in 2011 ("Passed Me By" / "We Stay Together") Andy Stott returns to Modern Love with 'Luxury Problems', an 8 track album of new material recorded over the last 12 months.
Five of the tracks on the album feature the voice of Alison Skidmore, Andy's onetime Piano teacher whom he hadnt seen since he was a teenager back in 1996. There was no grand gesture in mind, it just sort of happened - but after almost a year of studio work the result is really quite unlike anything you'll have heard from him before. 'Numb' opens the album with Alison's voice; layered and looped but essentially left bare and exposed, tumbling into a dense shuffle, sort of somewhere between Theo Parrish and Sade, but more f*cked.
'Lost and Found' follows and deploys a growling rave bassline and a disturbed vocal, the beat assembling itself around a squashed Linndrum like a submerged Prince/Cameo production, haunted and impenetrable, but full of funk. 'Sleepless' started life as an African drum edit that sooner or later succumbed to Stott's intense rhythmic shifts. It's a sound that's been imitated countless times since the release of 'Passed Me By', here re-tooled and re-built for its next evolutionary phase. 'Hatch The Plan' ends the first half of the album with some heavily treated location recordings and a low end grind that probably doesnt quite prepare you for the vocal arrangements that follow - it's just a beautifuly inverted pop song.
The second half opens with 'Expecting', the most recognisably 'Stott' moment on the album: a wrecked, deliriously knocked-out 4/4 shuffle deployed at halfspeed; those heavy kickdrums sucking in everything around them. 'Luxury Problems' is next and offers up the album's most quietly euphoric and open 5 minutes; conventional arrangements and drumloops disrupted by sharp disco bursts that mess with what you know: it's straight and beautiful and unbalanced and damaged, somehow all at once.
"Up the box" switches up the narrative and goes somewhere else entirely, an extended intro that seems to build continuously for 3 minutes before breaking off into a slowed-down Amen edit, creating a kind of narcotic Jungle variant that fragments everything and ends just at the point you think it's going to go off, before "Leaving" finishes the album with an almost unbareably beautiful arrangement of voice and synth and a final key-change that takes you from joyful to forlorn in an instant.
An amazing selection of works by American composer Robert Ashley, Alga Marghen's release The Wolfman compiles tape music from 1957 to 1964.
The earliest composition is 'The Fox' a stuttering, half-broken recording of a story being read out with a creepy delivery by Ashley. The broken tape sequences are somehow tinted by darkness - a fragmented, discordant flow of sound that can barely prepare the listener for 1964's 'The Wolfman', a scouringly ferocious noise piece that rivals anything you'd hear in modern times from Wolf Eyes, Prurient or even Merzbow.
It's just incredible, and almost impossible to place within the wider context of music being made in sixties America - you really have to hear it. As an accompaniment, 'The Wolfman Tape' takes away the vocal elements of the recording, resulting in a more subdued collage excursion. Finally comes the three-quarter-hour piece 'The Bottleman', conceived as a soundtrack to a George Manupelli film. This hollowed out drone work is a deeply subtle exploration of tonality, quietly plotting out a tundra-like sonic plain with an eerie sense of harmonic fluctuation.
It's a breathtakingly good conclusion to an album that reveals a visionary figure in electronic music - one you may never have encountered previously, but whose output should be regarded as being of immense historical value. Very highly recommended.
Immersive, transporting and deeply arresting music from the revered autodidact and audio oddity. If you've never encountered Ghedalia before, this is an excellent place to start, welcoming you to a whole other world of exotic, electro and acoustic sounds, composed between 1979 and 1987 according to a genuinely far reaching and individual agenda.
"More than 5 years after the CD edition of Eclipse totale de soleil and Transportes, Alga Marghen finally decided to also reissue the first and forth LP by Ghedalia Tazartes including both on one CD. Ghedalia Tazartes is a nomad.
He wanders through music from chant to rhythm, from one voice to another. He paves the way for the electric and the vocal paths, between the muezzin psalmody and the screaming of a rocker. He traces vague landscapes where the mitre of the white clown the plumes of the sorcerer, the helmet of a cop and Parisian anhydride collide into polyphonic ceremonies… The greatest trips were made in the deep end of the throat: the extra-European music open the ear to Ghedalia's intra-European exotism. Where was music before music halls? Where was the voice before it learned how to speak? Ghedalia is the orchestra and a pop group all in one person: the self is multitude and others.
The author and his doubles work without a net, freely connecting the sounds, the rhythms, his voice, his voices. The permanent metamorphosis is a principle of composition, it escapes control, refuses classification. To hell with the technocrates of noise and the purists of synthetic culture. All art like all true mythology use a double clavier, playing nature and culture, feeling and the distance of the flesh, death. Off limits!"
Polymath James Leyland Kirby must surely have one of the most confounding CV’s in the business...
He spent years taking the piss out of the music industry with anthems rallying against the (VV)MCPS, he notoriously fell out with various well known record labels for reasons you’ll just have to google, goaded Aphex Twin with a series of ‘tributes’ and channelled his love of everything from Falco (Rock Me Amadeus), Chris De Burgh, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Stockport karaoke nights into a stream of increasingly bizzare 7”s back in the early noughties. But at the same time he was responsible for releasing some of the very earliest material from Boards of Canada (Hell Interface: 1997), made a ruck of frankly groundbreaking industrial electronic records, brought New Beat to the world’s attention and, in 1999, made his first album as The Caretaker, a project that would go on to release some of the most loved Ambient/ Lynchian albums of recent times.
Since then he’s also produced an incredible suite of releases under his own name, scored various film projects and released three EP’s under the ‘Intrigue & Stuff’ banner which are, for our money, so ahead of their time they might just start sinking in properly by the end of the decade. All of which brings us to ‘Watching Dead Empires in Decay’, a new album recorded under another of Kirby’s pseudonyms ‘The Stranger’ and released on Modern Love, a label that has been close to Kirby through these last eventful 15 years. It’s a dream album for the label: perhaps the most ambitious of Kirby’s career so far. It’s complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just can’t work out how it was constructed.
Gone are the sampled 78’s of The Caretaker, but it also doesnt exactly sound electronic - you just can’t quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field Recordings? Found Sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? It’s stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling - but often just beautiful. It starts with the sharp clang of opener ‘We Are Enemies But Not Here’ before the woozy percussive crawl ‘So Pale It Shone In The Night’ sucks you into a bare landscape: somewhere between Eraserhead and Fumio Hayasaka’s music for Akira Kurosawa.
And then there are moments that break through the tension with clarity and familiarity, nostalgia even: ‘Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?’ could have been made by Boards of Canada if they had taken a turn into more noxious terrain back in 1998, while ‘Spiral Of Decline’ offsets the drum programming you’d most likely associate with a Powell record with an oblique sense of timing and space. It all ends with ‘About To Enter A Strange New Period’, an unusual, vaporous coda that offers no resolution - it just shuts proceedings down with nothing settled.
Bewildering and brilliant freeform rock, jazz, and cut-up tape music from 1979 by a would-be collaborator with NWW - included on their legendary list! RIYL Ghedalia Tazartes!
"Released in 1979 in a limited edition on his own d'Avantage label, Catalogue, with its overt theatricality is every bit as wild as the previous Paralleles. Not really jazz, not rock, having nothing to do with contemporary music either, Catalogue is a kind of sonic postcard which features not the group of the same name but instead numerous Berrocal associates including Potage (co-founder of the d'Avantage label in 1976), Parle, Ferlet, Pauvros and recording engineer Daniel Deshays, plus many musicians from the French underground collective scene of the 1970s.
Not content with manhandling a toy piano on 'Tango' (which features mind-blowing accordion from Parle), abusing an arsenal of instruments including saw blades, pistols, shower attachment and even gingerbread, Berrocal pushes his own voice way over the edge on 'Incontrolablslaooo' and 'Faits Divers,' moving from a 60-a-day smoker's cough to a terrifying sequence of gargles and vomits. The grungy free rock of 'No More Dirty Bla Blaps,' the Portsmouth Sinfonia-like spoof Dixieland of 'Rideau,' the distressing punk of 'Signe Particulier' and all manner of fields recordings and cut-ups in Berrocal's Artaudian theatre style, combining the excesses of glam and punk cold-wave to post-1968 Situationist perspective. With the same creative attitude documented through the mythic d'Avantage label (1976-1979)
Berrocal later accumulated an extensive archive of unreleased recordings, some of which finally surface now on this new edition. Catalogue represents the most experimental and complex of Berrocal's records, as historical as contemporary modern, classic and at the same time as fresh and strange as if it had been recorded last week. During the same year Steven Stapleton frequently travelled to Paris to meet Jaques Berrocal and discuss a possible collaboration. In 1980, Berrocal travelled to London with his pocket trumpet and Tibetan oboe and recorded with Stapleton, Heman Patak and John Fothergill on NWW's second album, but that's another story."
Éphémère I & II' (for tape, or to be played with various instruments) are two previously unpublished masterpieces which represent a very specific moment in the creative life and catalogue of Luc Ferrari.
"Luc Ferrari was tempted in the mid-1970s by the idea of leaving the final realization of these pieces open to the performer's intervention (a perspective he decided not to develop in future researches). 'Exercises d'Improvisation', a score conceived in 1977 and unreleased for almost 35 years (first recorded this year by the GOL collective with Brunhild Meyer-Ferrari for an LP to be issued on PLANAM), directly comes from the two works presented here. Éphémère I' (or 'L'ordinateur ça sert à quoin?' i.e. 'What's the use of computers') is a 27 minute piece for tape only, created in 1974, conceived as a kind of electronic drone superimposed by fragments of multi-language whispered voices that creates the thrilling effect of a 'sea-like' continuum.
Éphémère II' (or 'Lyon 75' after the only recorded realization) is a 51 minute tape piece with guitar improvisation. The electronic repetitive structure reminds some of the most radical works of American composer Terry Riley, while the guitar sounds, first resulting as live manipulated pointillistic impulses, develop into a blues sonority superimposing the tape drone and creating a heavy psychedelic atmosphere of the most sublime kind.
The end of this long suite lead us back into more abstract and live-electronic sonorities. This very intense work can be placed in a context between scored music and totally improvised music. First press limited to 500 copies in tri-folded digipack sleeve. Please note: these 2 previously unpublished pieces revealing a hidden part of Luc Ferrari poetics are not included in the INA 10CD boxset. Only available on this CD edition."
One of Charlemagne Palestine's best-known works, "Four Manifestations On Six Elements". "Two Perfect Fifths, A Major Third Apart, Reinforced Twice" (1973) is an electronic piece that deals with the search for the essence of timbre, sound color, through exploration of the inert chemical activity in the overtone series of tone fundamentals.
"In this genre of his work Palestine feels akin to a kind of sound alchemist - blending elements over and over again through the years searching for the Golden Sound - the essence of the chord or harmonic structure itself. In "One + Two + Three Perfect Fifths, In The Rhythm 3 Against 2, for Piano" (1973) the elements introduced are now elaborated upon on the piano.
The resonant Bösendorfer allows Palestine to create a more lively and complex variation of tones, intervals, overtones and rhythms. "One Fifth" evolves by reinforcing the fundamentals of a fifth with their higher octave. Each performance of this work is different as Palestine reinterprets these simple elements listening within them for variations of amplitude, mixture and inertia at the moment of the performance. "One + Two Fifths" deals with the way a rhythmic sonority sounds when the sustain pedal of the piano in not used, thus focusing on its rhythmic aspect. Gradually by adding the sustain pedal the external rhythmic pattern begins to internalize becoming an inert part of the whole tymbral fabric - a piece expressing the battle of rhythm versus timbre for dominance.
In "One + Two + Three" a third fifth is added - variations of melody and sonority reinforcements culminating in a rhythmic deceleration process ending the work."
Captivating avant-garde pieces layering a recording of a solo piano recital with field recording of a storm
"Utopia Andata e Ritorno is the title of the new composition by Walter Marchetti, recorded in Milano in 2005. It has two parts, each one CD long. The first part, 'L'Andata,' puts together two former recordings of Marchetti. The recording of a real storm and a recital for solo piano. This is not the first time that Marchetti mixes a piano solo recital with the recording of a natural live event, thus creating a 'piano concert'.
The second CD, 'Il Ritorno', reverses the direction of the first record and literally destroys itself. In the first part of this work, Marchetti puts music successfully in the place it has to have today: on the road to renewal in contact with reality, a reality that is a synonym for vacuity, that is the interdependence of phenomena, music, reality, technology. There is nothing mimetic or anecdotal in this work. The storm is a real storm and the solo piano recital is a modern work of pure music, without the excesses that the society expects of a piano recital from composer and virtuoso player. Pure music, in the best sense of the word. 'L'Andata' is one of the great works of music of our time, or, as José Luis Castillejo remarked, 'it may be the best modern piano concert since Brahms.' In the second part, 'Il Ritorno,' sound waves are deformed when one tries a reverse hearing and the turn around trip becomes an aural nightmare.
Of course, avant-gardism has made us accustomed to noises and silences and to the arbitrary idea that anything is music. 'Il Ritorno' announces the end of musical avant-gardism and its technocratic aspirations. It points to the end of music avant-gardism because it exposes the technological manipulation not only of technology beyond its powers, but also the manipulation of both music and sound. 'Il Ritorno' is such a problematic work also because its subject is failure and impossibility."
Lavish 4CD box set includes the complete Ghedalia Tazartes recordings previously issued on cd by Alga Marghen, plus a new mini-cd titled "les danseurs de la pluie".
"Diasporas-Tazartes" is the cd edition of tazartes' first and fourth albums, "Transports" is the cd edition of Tazartes' second album complete with four bonus tracks. "Une Eclipse Totale De Soleil" is the CD edition of tazartes' third album with a long bonus track. "Les danseurs de la pluie" gives title to the complete anthology and is a 12 minutes mini-cd, presented on creative disc, including four previously unavailable tracks: two 1977 recordings from the Eclipse Totale sessions of a very wild and residential nature; and two colossal new pieces recorded in 2005."
Tresor back up Detroit boss DJ Stingray’s Kern Vol.4 selection with a powerful collection of electro-techno missiles, as deployed in his mix. Exclusive, new gear barges shoulders with not-so-recent and vintage weaponry ranging from his own NRSB-11 duo with Gerald Donald to AFX, Professor X, Herva, Gesloten Cirkel and more.
The oldest cut is probably the classic, Kraftwerk-sampling Professor X (Saga) - a big 313 tune since 1989 - by erstwhile N.W.A. affiliate Mik Lezan aka Professor X, The Arabian Prince, whilst rarest cut is probably Syncom Data’s squeaky Musik Politik, which previously appeared on an obscure Cunker Records tape in 1998, making its first vinyl appearance here, as does his slamming Detroit girder Nationalised.
Of course they all sound strong, but when you hear them in the mix at Stingray’s hand, they truly come alive. Now’s your turn…
Wildly unpredictable, strangely exotic and magically eccentric art music recorded 1979-83 spanning jerky post-punk, drones, cut-up collage, noisy blues-rock skronk and improvised electro-acoustic dubbing. An important and outstanding release. Fans of Wire/Dome through The Residents and Ghédalia Tazartès should invest, we don't think you'll be disappointed.
"First in a series of alga marghen editions documenting the activities of the It's War Boys underground label, founded by Amos (of The Homosexuals fame) in the late 1970s. The original LP was issued in an edition limited to 300 copies (most are on blue vinyl but there are some on pink vinyl and a few on black). The material was recorded from 1979 to 1981 but wasn't released until 1983 due to problems with the silkscreened sleeve. The band only put out this record, a real hidden gem. Lepke said that he wanted it to sound like a Beach Boys LP by using lots of different studios but it was mostly done on a cassette machine with a primitive 'surround' function.
If The Homosexuals were a strange prospect and their music should fit into a similar spot as that of angry young men like Wire and Magazine who carried their penchants for art-school angst in the midst of proto-thug posturing, Milk from Cheltenham were even a more extreme band. Not only progressive with a certain artistic notion (a reference could be found in This Heat, Family Fodder and Chris Cutler's bands Henry Cow and the Art Bears) but also closer to more primitive sound experimentations of a cryptic and sinister Residential perspective. This release finally documents one of the most important projects developed in the scene explored by The Homosexuals.
First compact disc edition including a previously unreleased track titled The Geek. Graphics reproducing the original graphic material from the early 1980s. Digipak first edition limited to 500 copies."
Revered west coast DJ/producer Kutmah takes a massive mind-dump with his long-overdue debut LP, Trobbb!, forming a 26 track mosaic of sawn-off beats and ragged atmospheres that works just like a mixtape of exclusive, original material.
“The record features an incredible cast of guests - Gonjasufi, Jonwayne, Natureboy Flako, Ta’Raach, Jeremiah Jae, Zeroh, Zackey Force Funk, N8NOFACE, Sach, Akello G Light and DJ Chris P Cuts - spanning experimental meditative, Zennist loops; crackly oddball beats and abstract raps; as far as outright punk/noise and even folk/blues. At its heart it’s an incredibly sentimental record, heavily referential to his past but also future-facing, and not just in its sonics. “I wanted to make a record for loners. You know some records have that ‘Hey! I'm at a festival!’ sound? Well I wanted to do the opposite of that”.
The album was recorded in Berlin in Winter. Being in a foreign country around the holidays when one is supposed to be with family… that emotion of isolation weighed heavy on Justin: “For three weeks during this time I didn't speak to a single person… I had no internet and no phone.” Accordingly, half of the record fits this season and these emotions. In Spring the sun came out and the flowers were blooming: “I started to cheer up a bit and so did the beats,” says Justin. “I like that there are polar opposite vibes on the record. Hopefully I'll hear from some punk kid that they only like Part One, or from some hip-hop head that they only like Part Two… or some beat head saying they only like the instrumentals.”
Close friend Dario Rojo Guerra (aka Natureboy Flako) played a key role in piecing the album together with Justin, acting as engineer and occasionally producer, in addition to providing a set of trusted ears.
There’s a definite sense of contemplation and memory with “TROBBB!”. The title is a reference to Justin’s school days in Brighton. He would go to Egypt to visit family in the summer holidays and come back to school suitably tanned. One bully took to calling him Black Belly Button until one day Justin took retribution with his fists. The cover photo, taken by Justin himself is in itself highly symbolic: “It’s my homegirl Angela at lunch break at Hoover High in Glendale around 1992. We would always try to go where no dickheads were hanging out, so we would go chill by the bleachers and take photos of each other.”
0PN’s Cannes Award ’17-winning OST for Good Time - a soon come crime thriller by NYC’s Sadie brothers - unfurls in all its future-classic glory on Warp to coincide with the film’s release date.
Adding to Daniel Lopatin aka 0PN's increasingly impressive soundtrack portfolio - now counting four major films since work on 2013’s Bling Ring (although IMDB has some prior credits) - this one is arguably his most refined and memorable from first impressions. It appears that before the film was even started he’d established a symbiotic relationship with the directors, sharing their vision of how the music would inspire, score and relate to their visual aspect.
We can safely say it sounds like the soundtrack to a gritty American thriller and all that it entails, but 0PN also brings a level of idiosyncrasy to the plate that makes it highly enjoyable in its own right, especially in the luscious, belly-flipping rush of The Acid Hits and the widescreen tracking of Hospital Escape / Access-A-Ride or the creamy float of Leaving The Park, which is instantly identifiable as an 0PN piece, whilst Connie finds him heading off on TCF or Lorenzo Senni-esque vectors, and you’ve probably heard The Pure And The Damned featuring Iggy Pop, which sounds uncannily like its about to drop into Lou Reed doing Perfect Day at any moment.
At long last legendary producer Martin Hannett’s wild dedications to Delia Derbyshire and her work at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop is revealed to the world at large thanks to Dandelion Records, who’ve previously issued Hannett’s unreleased studio outtakes with Joy Division. If you were into Hannett and Steve Hopkins’ The Invisible Girls album or, indeed, anything by Delia Derbyshire; you need to check this one!
The 18 tracks of Hannett’s Electronic Recordings - Homage To Delia Derbyshire were sourced from sessions at the hallowed Strawberry Studios in Stockport filed under that title by Hannett and range from kooky electronic bachelor lounge miniatures to some really cranky space rock and one absolutely unhinged 10 minute part of alien madness that’s worth price of admission alone. And it’s total speculation on our behalf, but some of the languid guitar pieces bear a striking resemblance to Vini Reilly’s Durutti Column sound. Just saying.
Both masters of bending time and space, it’s no wonder that Hannett was influenced by Delia’s work as a young lad watching the tellybox in ‘60s Manchester, and thus it’s not hard to draw a line between that appreciation of wigged out tone, echo and space that Delia provided Hannett, and the judicious application of FX he would come to apply on classic records by Magazine, Joy Division, Early New Order, The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays in coming years.
Aside from the first track which we’re pretty sure appeared on The Invisible Girls set, it’s all effectively a missing piece of the puzzle of British electronic music, forming a discernible bridge between progressive eras in a way that’s much harder to trace between modern music.
Erased Taper Sofia Ilyas turns to the prolific electro-acoustic experimenter to launch her new Float platform.
The latest in an extensive schedule of Andrea Belfi album releases comes courtesy of Float, a new platform founded by Erased Tapes label manager Sofia Ilyas. The Berlin-based Italian is no stranger to conceptual whims – see his clutch of Room40 LPs for evidence of that – but ‘Ore’ is less concerned with such matters.
Instead it finds Belfi honing in on a detailed study of percussion and rhythm, recorded at the Saal 3 chamber music room of Berlin’s Funkhaus. As soon as the drum roll kicks in on Anticline, Belfi embarks on a devious session where rhythms fluctuate with intensity but remain central to composition, underpinned by queasy strains of electronic manipulation. If you can imagine Nils Frahm conducting Cologne Tape, you’re halfway to getting a grip on this Belfi album.
Military snares set a sharp cadence beneath the score’s eerie synths and strings, instantly reminiscent of ‘Skeleton Tree’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the beautiful ‘Hell Or High Water’ score.
“Together we made a score that was both light and dark, propulsive and meditative at the same time. We developed a kind of ‘spiritual electronics’ that captured both the melancholy and the terrible absurdity of the Afghan war,” Cave and Ellis said in a press release. “It was a great pleasure to work with David Michôd, who is not only an extraordinary filmmaker but a musician too. Our favorite score!”
Soul Jazz Records’ new release ‘Soul Of A Nation: Afro-Centric Visions In The Age Of Black Power - Underground Jazz, Street Funk & The Roots Of Rap 1968-79’ is released in conjunction with a major worldwide art exhibition, ‘Soul Of A Nation: Art In The The Age Of Black Power’, which takes place at the Tate Modern, London, UK (July-Oct 2017) and The Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA.
"The album shows how the ideals of the civil rights movement, black power and black nationalism influenced the evolvement of radical African-American music in the United States of America in the intensely political and revolutionary period at the end of the 1960s following the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and the rise of the Black Panther party.
Featuring ground-breaking artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Ayers, Don Cherry, Oneness Of Juju, Sarah Webster Fabio, Horace Tapscott, Phil Ranelin and many others, ‘Soul Of A Nation’ shows how political themes led to the rise of ‘conscious’ black music as new afro-centric styles combined the musical radicalism and spirituality of John Coltrane and radical avant-garde jazz music alongside the intense funk and soul of James Brown and Aretha Franklin and the urban poetry and proto-rap of the streets.
The ‘Soul Of A Nation’ exhibition draws on the links between Black art forms - art, music, poetry - and how they came together during the civil rights and black power era as part of the wider black arts movement across the United States. Iconic African-Amercian revolutionary figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, John Coltrane and Muhammad Ali all appear in the radical artworks of Barkley L. Hendricks, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar. Stuart Baker (founder of Soul Jazz Records) will appear on the panel for a ‘Soul Of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power’ discussion at the gallery as part of the show.
‘Soul Of A Nation’ comes with extensive sleevenotes and exclusive photography in a large 36-page outsize booklet and slipcase. Double gatefold vinyl album format comes with full colour inners and bonus download code and full sleevenotes / photography."
Lal and Mike Waterson’s 1972 folk-noir masterpiece ‘Bright Phoebus’ has long been recognised as one of British music’s legendary lost records.
"Following the parting of ways of The Watersons and freed from the strictures of folk orthodoxy, Lal and Mike Waterson’s love of words allowed them to serve the needs of their songs in ways that weren’t possible when singing already written songs.
Featuring performances from Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, amongst others, the album is now recognised as a forward-thinking benchmark for the genre.
Fans include Arcade Fire, Stephen Malkmus, Billy Bragg, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley - the latter two performed the record themselves in 2013 on the ‘Bright Phoebus Revisited’ tour. This will be the first time since its release that the album will be widely available. Under the supervision of David Suff (Topic/Fledg’ling) and Marry Waterson (daughter of Lal), the album has been remastered from the original tapes."
Theo Parrish in full flow, DJing at Sound Signature’s legendary annual Music Gallery sessions in Detroit.
We can spot Theo and Specter's own joints and a couple from Soundstream and KDJ inside, perfectly segued with Chicago classics by Virgo Four and a damn healthy haul of soul, funk and fuck-knows-what in between. Properly ‘up’ stuff. All killer, no filler!
What would Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s Electronic Music, Tar And Sehtar classic sound like if he had access to a Serge modular and digital applications in 2016? That notion is beautifully answered in Sote’s remarkable Sacred Horror In Design, which was produced in Tehran, Iran as the sonic quota of an A/V collaboration with Tarik Barri, commissioned for a performance at the 2017 edition of Berlin’s CTM festival, and now picked up for this special release by the excellent Opal Tapes label.
To more pertinently expand the question at the top; what if Dolat-Shahi had also come up listening to hardcore, techno and modern electronic music? Across six tracks that idea unfolds in gloriously beguiling fashion, rendering 45 minutes of the classic instruments - ancient forerunners of the ubiquitous guitar - sublimated into flourishing vamps and diaphanous clouds of complex harmonics which reprise the beauty of Dolat-Shahi’s music, but with a more dynamic keen and microtonal glisten that’s no doubt been inspired by the cultural restrictions of his home country, and also resonates with the fraught ambiguity of our times.
It’s the latest and arguably most impressive example of Sote’s creative renaissance, presenting his definitive opus after a winding 15 years of work which has variously turned up on Warp in the early ‘00s, followed by a 7 years hiatus which saw him return with the Xenakis-at-the-rave styles of Architectonic and Arrhythmia for Morphine Records and Record Label Records, and a pair of staggering techno releases for Ge-stell and Opal Tapes in Hardcore Sounds From Tehran .
Opening with the wide-eyed, vaulted dimensions of Flux of Sorrow, incorporating material from NOVA Ensemble’s Seyle Ashk, to vacillate serene pastoral motifs with panicked modular busts in Boghze Esfahan and the demented prangs of Plural, before lashing out with the intense rave brainfloss of Plebians and sweeping us up in the folk music advancement of Segaah, the meter-tearing Serge rushes of Holy Error’ provides a fitting, climactic closure to the album’s mind bending equations.
It’s hard to think of another artist who has so uniquely pursued a synthesis of traditional and modern, sacred and arcane, with such vigour and vision in recent years, and for it all to remain so compellingly coherent is strong testament to Sote’s sorely under-regarded brilliance.
In the taut, starkly pointillist derangements of Aqal - a word of Somali origin, referring to a temporary domed structure - South London’s Dale Cornish continues to wriggle in the perceptive void between “a/rhythm, space, silence and pulse”. In farther pursuit of the conceptual themes previously explored on Glacial , Xeric  and Ulex , he's arguably realised his most robust and compelling album to be published by the excellent Entr’acte label.
A sort of lucidly clinical, critical study on impulse control and minimalism within contemporary electronic music, Aqal finds Cornish getting right inside the physical mechanics of his sound to provide a meta-level insight on themes of tension-release, or anticipation and proprioception. Using a combination of singular, sculpted drum hits, bleeps and plasmic tones, each kerned with cannily placed lacunæ and diffused throughout the stereo field with a heightened spatial sensitivity, Cornish effectively focusses on the fissures and spaces between dub, electro-acoustic and computer musics, honing in on the interplay of subtext and negative space and encouraging listeners to inhabit that peculiar noumenal gooch.
In this severed space, Cornish plays with preconceptions of music as sound art or sound for its own sake by smartly short circuiting academic practice with an avant pop-wise playfulness, and likewise curbing his dancefloor instincts with a starkly counterintuitive approach. Sometimes he can come across like a novice endearingly testing out his software for the first time, while at others he clearly possesses a methodical riguor and deliberateness that imbues the relative simplicity of his chosen sounds with a succinctly cryptic, enigmatic meaning. It can all be heard as a way of recognising or acknowledging cultural conditioning in order to by-pass or free himself, and by turns his listeners, from its subliminal restraints; possibly suggesting our own consciousness as a construct of environmental factors and elemental metaphysics.
Realistically/unfortunately the album was “too dynamic” to be cut to vinyl, but your (deferred) gratification will still be delivered via this CD edition.
This is DJ Hell’s fifth studio album, his first in eight years.
"The techno revolution 30 years ago, where boundaries, walls and our own guarded natures came crumbling down? The archaic establishment-challenging attitude and forthright energy of the punks? The long-awaited eruption of gay culture that had burned and yearned since the dawn of mankind? Dare you travel even further back? Rewind two hundred years to the romantic revolution where men like the blitzed Berloiz helped us transcend our physical limitations for suspended moments of fantastique disbelief… All of these moments have shaped us, our music and our culture. Each movement comprising artists who – like us right now – are trying to make sense of the uncertain world, the chaotic present and the fearful future. Artists like Hell.
Welcome to the future…Reflecting over his participation and contribution to myriad cultural movements since the late 70s, his passion of ever-evolving musical form and our current socialpolitical landscape, Hell taps into our collective rich histories, our combined fears and our mutual desires to create his most personal, ambitious and thought provoking body of work to date: Zukunftsmusik.
His fifth studio album Zukunftsmusik fuses some of Hell’s strong signature motifs (his passion for subversion, his great kosmiche canvases, sudden throbbing bursts of dancefloor dynamism, subtle songcraft) yet it sounds unlike anything Hell has ever created before. There are very few big club singles. A delicate balance of classical dramatic orchestral tension and evocative futuristic synthesis runs throughout. Dark and light, hope and fear, fast and slow, day and night… Over the course of one hour Helmut Josef Geier invites you on a musical trip of a lifetime; his lifetime, your lifetime, music’s lifetime."
Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann transmit cosmic sonic visions of today, tomorrow and beyond in one of the most exciting collaborations in recent years.
"Krautwerk — German efficiency, original, sensational and mind-melting man-machine transcending art, the philosophy of unbounded sonic colours and resistance thinking. For the first time ever, Harald Grosskopf (Synthesist, Ashra, Klaus Schulze) and Eberhard Kranemann (ex- Kraftwerk, Neu!, Fritz Müller) transmit their cosmic sonic visions of today, tomorrow and beyond. The Germans are great inventors. They gave us the automobile in 1886, Adidas in the 1920s and then Krautrock in 1970s.
The golden children of the genre, Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann, have united to celebrate the genre's reign as Krautwerk. Originating from the German cities Berlin and Düsseldorf, Krautrock dominated the musical field from 1969 – 1975. Its influential force impacted rock and techno. Lose yourself in the trippiness of Krautwerk's psychedelic soundscapes and celebrate a movement that changed music as we know it. Kranemann and Grosskopf did not know each other until they met for the first time in 2016 on a festival where they both performed their solo projects.
They decided to merge the different sounds of Düsseldorf and Berlin school of electronic music together, resulting in energetic, contemporary new sounds. For today. And for a better tomorrow.”
A score by Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano.
"Game creator David OReilly has built an interactive world for you to explore at your choosing. Whether you decide to take the role of a microbe inside a plant in the desert, or a star in the furthermost galaxy, each layer of the game is coated with ambience which takes the simulation even further into the limitless boundaries of each world. Composers Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano have shaped this experience with their intricate 4-hour soundscape, alongside the continuous narration by philosopher Alan Watts."