Unbuttoned, primordial, communal compositions: deceptively gibberish, underlined by a unique if cryptic set of group rules. Imagine a gurning Spike Milligan and Trevor Wishart getting up to mischief. Definitely check it if you liked Laurie Tompkins’ Heat, War, Sweat, Law
“’Cows In Large Pastures' is British, Berlin-based saxophonist and composer Sam Andreae’s Slip debut: a hoard of absurdist community music delivered by a swivel-eyed squad of co-conspirators.
Andreae’s pieces employ puckish graphic and text notation, each a collection of single pages which should be reordered and fucked with during performance. They juxtapose and coalesce sour, pinched vocal tableaux with fidgety, gestural music for ephemera and sometimes instruments.
Crucially, the pieces collected here - 'v3K(araoke)', 'Curiously Tea She Said', 'Everyone, Always, Honestly' - are propulsive and primal; feverish in their repetition and weirdly melodic. Think Wolff’s 'Burdocks' running downhill, the quicksilver logic of The Goon Show, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble with nothing but junk.
Sam has performed and run workshops in the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Japan with Christian Wolff, THF Drenching, Rodrigo Constanzo, Kelly Jayne Jones, Richard Scott, Cath Roberts, Richard Craig, Otto Willberg, David Birchall, Daysuke Takaoka, Michael Duch and Mette Rasmussen. He released 'Solo', a saxophone and electronics tape for Tombed Visions, in 2015.”
Cascading, pointillist, and bittersweet 12 string finger picking. Served warm, intimate and lowlit thru Slip
'Dawning On' is Australian, Berlin-based guitarist Julia Reidy’s Slip debut: a razor-sharp précis of pent-up, blazing melancholy on a lone 12-string guitar.
Reidy’s playing is lucid and poised, teasing out elegant inflections from half-melodies, rugged strums, and curious tunings. Her compositions are lingering streams: barely-shackled attacks give way to introspective arpeggiations before resurging again, all spurred on by a yearning, nervous energy.
With the album’s single-track A-side clocking in at just under half-an-hour, this is by some measure Julia’s most comprehensive solo statement to date, and a luxurious listen which revels in the 12-string’s generous resonance. For our money, it’s up there with the finest work of her fellow Aussies The Necks, Anthony Pateras, and Jon Rose.
Spencer Doran presents an exquisite mixtape of Translations in the tradition of his and Ryan Carlile’s much-loved Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo and Interiors selections as Visible Cloaks; coolly prepping the scene for their keenly awaited Reassemblage album with a filigree, seamless run of Japanese ambient, Italian spiritual minimalism and early software-based generative music experiments.
This is aural gold, no less. As with their aforementioned mixes, the duo plumb the depths of that early ‘80s intersection between 4th world ambient, Japanese pop and digital synth sounds to reveal a lush chromatic spectrum of intricate harmonic arrangement and tantalising, oneiric melodies that tease the head into a beautifully pellucid, introspective state.
Divided into Day and Night sections, the former weaves Japanese music thru deconstructed human voices and contributions from peers and contributors to Reassemblage, ribboning out with a lustrous and deeply psychedelic allure which is an absolute pleasure to experience - something akin to a head-cleaning dose of Wabi-Sabi for your cluttered life. The Night section pursues that muse thru an expanded context of haunting Eastern Bloc choral music and the kind of Italian spiritual minimalism you might find on Die Schachtel or Alga Marghen, all free-floating tones threaded with sylvan solo piano keys and daubs of gorgeousness from their close collaborator, Motion Graphics.
It’s one of the sweetest tapes you’ll hear all year. Warmest recommendations!
A wonderful document of Greek experimental music spanning from 1930 - 1988 across myriad styles; a total eye-opener and treasure trove of amazing, hitherto unknown music. Compiled by Stratos Bichakis and brought to you by the always-excellent V I S label. Includes an instant download of 2 hours of brilliant archival madness.
Well this is a bit special. Any fans of that Honest Jon’s comp ‘Let No One Judge You’ or the ‘Music Of The Fire Walkers’ album on Berceuse Heroique’s dormant offshoot KEMAA will find plenty of satisfaction in this latest V I S tape trip. To give some context, ‘Greek Ethno Music Location Recordings’ originates from a trip V I S pair Nina and Good News took to Greek island Donoussa for a small festival last year. Stratos Bichakis opened the festival with a special set of Greek music the Athens artist had been collating for years and the pair where blown away.
Clearly moved by the emotional potency of his performance, Bichakis was invited to channel his knowledge for this V I S tape. Consisting of recordings spanning back several generations, he crafted a rare aural journey through the annals of poignant Hellenic folk and stunningly experimental ritual music. As the label explain "Experimental music existed long before electronics, after some months we were still talking about the effects Stratos' selection had on us and decided to share his sonic language with you through this tape..."
The result is one of those releases that acts as a portal to another musical dimension; although the rather cryptic liner notes (including a playlist in English and Greek) probably wont offer you much by way of illumination, you'll most likely enjoy this set even more without really much of an awareness of when or where any of it was made.
The new self-titled record - the next record after ‘Emotional Mugger’, ‘Manipulator’, ‘Sleeper’, ‘Twins’, ‘Goodbye Bread’, ‘Melted’, ‘Lemons’ and the first self-titled album that started it up in the now-distant year of 2008 - is a clean flow, a wash of transparency falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly, to their logical end.
"Ty Segall has made whole records that wrestle with realities - fighting against some, pulling mightily to bring others into being. Of late, he’s thrown up his hands and donned clown shoes, dancing merrily in the dual role of oppressed / oppressor. His hands aren’t any more or less dirty than anyone else’s but amidst the thunder and the chaos of theongoing storm, he’s looking for the eye within.
It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s ‘Slaughterhouse’ (from way back in the long, hot summer of 2012) but it also features a steep flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty’s new songs range around in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colours high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation. The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping overdubs together to form the sound. For this new album he entered a studio backed by a full band - Emmett Kelly, Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart and Ben Boye - to get a read on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal passages yet heard from Ty Segall.
‘Freedom’ / ‘Warm Hands’ puts the ‘sweet’ back into suite; ‘Orange Color Queen’ is a supreme moment of tenderness; ‘Talkin’’ a rootsinfused truth-attack; ‘Papers’ looks behind the doors of Ty’s process; ‘Break A Guitar’ is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the back of the house. Ty Segall keeps you guessing, bracing your skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies and lots of songs to sing."
Raime deliver one of thee baddest dancehall mixtapes you’ll hear for time. Already well known for their selection skills, this one's a proper, heavyweight education...
Give man a mixtape brief, they’ll inevitably take ages. Ply ‘em with vanilla kush and it’s yours - as happened with Raime’s knockout dancehall mix Our Versions of Their Versions: relinquishing an all killer/no filler, seamlessly-licked selek that’s been slow cooking for the last ten years in their warehouse laboratory.
Bubbling up after the duo’s achingly tight 2nd LP, Tooth (2016), the selection cannily asserts the key, if overlooked, influence of late ‘80s and ‘90s dancehall over Raime’s stripped down templates, rugged torque and rooted sense of futurism just as strongly as their now-classic jungle mix for Fact or their garage/grime rinse-out for RA.
Running 28 riddims - all listed alphabetically on the insert, just to frustrate the spotters - with vox by Papa San, Sister P, Supercat, Supervisor, and Terror Fabulous popping off across the mix, the play-it-again factor is ratchet high on this one.
We can detect Rambo’s chopper blades at the intro, and a bit of Slam Productions and Lenky in there, too, but what the fuck is that one with the rave stabs toward the start? Or the one with screeching car tyres, or that Timba-sounding belter at the end? We hardly need to stress it, but this tape is a lot.
Endless bless-ups to Raime. Summer just came very early.
Stellar mix of French-only psychedelic experiments collected and sequenced by Editions Gravats proprietors Jean Carval and Philippe Hallais (Low Jack), the latest in a sought-after series which has already seen reggaeton picks from DJ Clara! and a bonkers gabber comedy by DJ David Coquelin.
It’s a right melter in that breezy, louche way that you might hope from a mix of pure Gallic suss, traversing a colourful, yet low-lit spectrum from ‘70s psyche experiments thru to free jazz, obscure ‘80s synth-pop and acoustic folk music from Brittany, where Editions Gravats share roots.
If anything it shows up our knowledge of this area as the only names we recognise are Anne Gillis Jacques Berrocal and Pascal Comelade, while the rest - including Francois Koekelare, George Rodi, Brume, Guy Skronik, Francesco Semprun and Alesia Cosmos - effectively form a whole new sphere of sounds, to our ears at least.
A bit like visiting and drifting around an unfamiliar city without a map at dusk, the mix forms a sort of rambling dérive for the open-minded listener, inviting us down strange alleys, thru the old quarters, to side street psych jams, cafés playing eerie chanson and to haunted bars where the player piano cranks itself up.
Another thuggish-sluggish session from J M S Khosah & Brassfoot’s NCA, this time presenting Black Void Smith or BVS working out 60 minutes of slompy grot threaded with excellent samples from celluloid, TV, animations and heck knows where else.
Alloying neck snap beats with raw string slashes and mottled acid bass in a rugged flow of decaying, rasping, rotten-round-the edge productions, it’s absorbing and disorienting in equal measures, maybe best considered as occupying ground between Black Zone Myth Chant, NYC’s Spectre and blunted UK trip hop from Moon Wiring Club.
Your guess is as good as ours as to who’s behind Holograms & Hypnosis - one head, or two? And from what ill quadrant? - but that’s also part of the tape’s allure; a series of unidentified offbeats that leave you sunk low and with unresolved questions that are bound to evaporate by the next track or toke. And yes, we’d definitely recommend doing this one with something sticky, smelly and green between your lips.
Snake-charming recording of Hamburg/Berlin’s F#x and Çaykh, a.k.a. Circuit Diagram, vibing out on a hybrid of hypnotic Ethiopiques jazz, etheric dub and avant-electro at Golden Püdel.
If you’ve heard Çaykh’s remarkable mixes of outernational sounds for Nina’s V I S or Amateur Exorcist, or ever stepped into a particularly wigged-out Püdel wormhole, you’ll have some grasp of what to expect here; but, if not: it’s a plasmic melange of rolling drum hustle, duppied voices and fondled synth fronds seamslessly threaded with far flung folk and psych tropes.
Treat it as a bargain nano-break to a parallel dimension imagined by Can and Oren Ambarchi after an all night shebeen session. Wickedly zonked, heady stuff.
Arid, greyscale electronics laced with subs and processed instrumentation from Melbourne’s Lost Few; taking the example of last year’s split tape with Necking - also for Resistance/Restraint - into more abstract, uninhabited corners with the slow motion vacuum of Beneath The Sky
It uncannily recalls Matthew P. Hopkins Fog Study, whilst the scraped strings and worm-charming subbass Of Sculptured Ivy and Stone feel like a particularly nerve-jangling FiS cut, all prepping you for a B-side-long immersion called Of The Dear Names That Lie Within.
Absolutely killer all-over-the place mixtape from Çaykh, the same dude who made that incredible 'Au Revoir, Mogadishu' mixtape of Somalian obscurities, as well as a much sought-after tape for Nina’s V I S label, now providing a new bounty of unidentified sounds for Basster Jazzster & Dima Rabik’s Russian radio show turned mixtape label, Amateur Exorcist.
As you’d hope from a selector of such renown, Çaykh’s latest mixtape is full of sounds from far beyond the putative mainstream, so far in fact that we could hardly even point to their countries of origin, nevermind the genre, artist or track titles.
However it’s dead easy to pinpoint the vibe; coursing myriad stripes of soul-nourishing folk and psychedelia, swinging back and forth from dusky, lysergic songcraft to flowing African rhythmelodic traditions and even what sounds like Steve Reich doing Cumbia, right thru to slow-motion, shoegazing house and meditative ambient pops.
It’s certifiably one of those mixes where the handrails or signposts are non existent, each juncture logically leading to another dimension of gentle atmospheres and surreal surprises, maybe best imagined as sort of shamanic narrative or trip. We can almost guarantee that you’ll be clamming for a tracklist by the end of the tape!
The Tapeworm present four recordings of Mark Fell’s Focal Music, wherein Mark plays a pattern generating system thru headphones to Laura Cannell (Violin), Sandro Mussida (Piano) and Aby Vulliamy (Viola), respectively, who play along in real time, with results documenting their attempts to negotiate the pattern’s subtle and unusual changes.
Focal Music stems from a workshop in which Mark participated, led by British sound artist, composer and performer Jan Hendrickse, where Mark played the pattern generating system to drummer Patrik Jarlestam, who followed the pattern on a single snare drum.
We won’t go into the detail of the values set for those patterns, but they basically get quite tricky to play along with, especially when the timing intervals change, pushing the player to draw on their own musical training and sonic vocabulary to fill those quantum shifts, not in the pursuit of a “perfect recital”, but, rather to illustrate the difference between rigid systems, received knowledge and human nature.
Ostensibly, aesthetically, the pieces may bear no resemblance to Fell’s signature electronic palette or the rhythmic resolution of his dancefloor-oriented releases. However, thru the players’ attempts to keep in sync with Fell’s favoured, unconventional meters, and the array of strange timbral quirks that their efforts throw up, it’s possible to detect Fell’s conceptual input in each performance’s stringency and minimalist tension, and in the way in which they unflinchingly highlight what lies between illusion and reality, and the way we mis/interpret that space between.
Excellent curiosity, this: a minimalist study on the sonic themes of repetition, call/response and decay embedded in the Samuel Beckett play, Footfalls; from Glasgow-based sound artist Aleks Jurczyk, who also runs Hell’s Teeth Recordings.
Jurczyk synthesised a footfall, broadcast it on FM and then routed that sound back thru a modular synth, processing the resultant controlled feedback live as part of a broadcast at the Radiophrenia festival, 2015.
What remains gradually pronates from loud, clear “footfalls” into an increasingly dense and bent structure, as if those feet are stepping over the edge and into a psychoacoustic black hole of slow booting techno and melting noise before resolving, almost like a palindrome, back to those thudding clomps.
Micky Von Dutch’s ONO and Generic Greeting Collective present selections by Howes and Gnod’s Paddy Shine a.k.a. Tesla Coil on the Autumn edition of their seasonal mixtape series.
John Howes of Melodic and the NQ’s Soup Kitchen corrals a fine mix of music sourced from YouTube, running the gamut from African tribal and field recordings thru nature documentaries and chiming ambient tones.
On the other side, Gnod and Islington Mill’s Tesla Coil contrast with a dank and psychedelic wormhole of gloaming ambient, concrète mechanics and distended percussion, perhaps emulating the thoughts and tortuous trip of a ket gremlin trapped in the Mill’s ancient piping.
An hour-long mixtape/sketchbook of ideas and influences for Demdike Stare’s recent Wonderland album, contrasting its heavily rhythmic stylings with this largely ambient-affair comprising archival tracks, bespoke edits and re-contextualised classics.
Assembled with painstaking attention to detail, Circulation makes use of countless distilled parts for what is essentially a reflective companion to Wonderland. Pieced together from breakdowns, transitions, pitched-down intros and transposed versions of music the pair have been influenced by over the years, Demdike re-contextualise fragments of sound into a transformed new whole that is thematically close to Lee Gamble’s by-now classic Diversions album, and stylistically perhaps most reminiscent of Mark Leckey’s hugely influential Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.
The effect of weaving together so many elements is disorientating; hooks appear, subside and re-emerge transformed, sort of like an old mixtape that’s been chewed up and spliced back together, the ghosting effect of old recorded layers ebbing and flowing in and out of the mix like apparitions.
The diversity of the source material; from disfigured hits to dancefloor classics, early electronic, noise and drone pieces covering half a century+ of recorded music, jazz to r&b and so many spots in between, is hard to fathom refracted through this prism of Ambience, and for our money makes for the most engrossing instalment yet in this standardly brilliant, un-shazamable series of occasional mixtapes.
Grab one while you can.
L. Pearson follows his contribution to AMXD’s Realizables with a debut solo showreel of sleep house and fluffy electronica vibes comprising 2 x 30 minute mixes of original material produced in Penshaw and Leeds between 201X and 2016.
RIYL Lee Gamble, Pole, Space Afrika.
The label behind Lanark Artefax’s debut release present super limited copies of this immersive session by L. Pearson and Haddon, processing hours of improvisation, field recordings and found sound in a gauzily seamless mix of experimental dub techno strategies.
Wichelroede juice choice 90 minute productions from Cloudface and Powder on the series’ 3rd instalment after acclaimed split sessions from Ben UFO / Beatrice Dillon + Jayda G / LNS over the last 12 months.
Representing Vancouver’s Mood Hut clan during a hardware-shopping trip to Japan, Cloudface presents material recorded in March this year at INS Studio, Shibuya, in the Dogen-zaka neighbourhood. He is joined by Moko Shibata, a.k.a. Powder, for 45 minutes of lithe deep house full of deft, supple basslines, patented chord progressions and proper, debonaire vibes.
Local Tokyo producer Powder takes the B-side for a more nuanced showreel of her previously unreleased productions, tactfully playing out an lush array of avian melodies and rolling house momentum that’s hard not to get sucked up in.
Brilliant series this.
Cold, cavernous electro-acoustic scapes.
“Kamil Kowalczyk is an accomplished electronic musician/audio artist who has been experimenting with electronic music and sounds since about 2002.
Originally from Poland, Kamil is currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland, from where he produces his cutting edge music and performs live to spellbound audiences across Scotland and beyond.
Kamil has always been interested in sounds, particularly “electronic sounds”, ie those created through using artificial devices like synths or through of the synthesis of different kinds of sounds, or “anything in-between”.
Since childhood he has had a fascination for listening to the sounds that surround us, the sounds created by nature, by machines, by everyday devices and everything which seems “unusual”.
His first experiments with sounds came in 1996, when he began to use a simple old Casio keyboard and a tape deck, playing around and producing random-sounding “noise” and “drone”, without knowing the terms for such things existed.
Around 2002 he started working with computers and software to compose his music and experiment with sounds. Since 2006 he has released nine albums in mp3 format on the renowned US net label Zenapolae.
In 2010 Kamil made his live debut, playing atmospheric and boundary-breaking gigs to audiences at various venues in Scotland, Ireland, England and Poland. In the same year he also established his very first label, ‘Prototyp Produktions Ltd’, as a platform to release and promote his music and other audio visual works which will appear in the future.
He is also running a concert series in Edinburgh called Soundscapism, a series of performances which are focused on ambient, drone, soundscape and space electronic music.”
Blue-hued ambient electronica including a sweet Quiltland remix.
“Following releases on Where To Now?, Reckno, Indole Records, Slumdiscs, and BAROC, Morkebla's latest record is a 5-track EP titled A Field Of Secondary Craters. The record opens with The Ground Under My Feet Became Water, an obscure and incantatory looped segment made entirely with found sounds and field recordings (a plaintive horn, metallic sounds, water). The next tracks from A Field Of Secondary Craters pull away from the vaporous introductory loop-based process (that sits not so far from Lee Gamble's Diversions 1994-1996) and reveal a more luminous facet of his work. Utilizing some analog drum machines (Alesis SR-16 and MFB-522), tape echoes, delay effects and a Roland Juno-106, Morkebla's new EP is a twenty minute long journey throughout synth-laden textures with moments of pure reverie. While Snow Canvas is an ode to minimal composition, a celestial held chord accompanied with chugging beats, third track Infrared Ice Image is a one-minute synth bass loop in slow-motion, reminiscent of an early Boards of Canada interlude. Disrupting the peacefulness that the ambience suggests, Astro:Dynamics' signee and Posh Isolation's remix contributor Quiltland delivers a remix for Snow Canvas emphasizing on the ambient chord intro with a progression that stirs the listener up from quietude through an incursion of more assertive snares and hi-hats, finishing up with gradually built Autechre-esque synth harmonies.
To conclude Morkebla's A Field Of Secondary Craters, elegant eleven-minute long synth arpeggios entwine on Submerged Dunes with a simple hi-hat and strangled bell as rhythmic elements, leaving an unsettling feeling as the synth slides across cut-off and filtered sounds. We are now literally sunk and submerged into another world. As we let go of the fear of uncertainty, A Field Of Secondary Craters plays a second time, starting all over again from the shamanistic introduction. The dunes, the ground, the water…;”
Conor Thomas finally delivers his debut release for his own Reel Torque label with a two and a half hour New Beat odyssey that's been in planning for a good couple of years, always holding off for that one missing link to complete the picture. Here it finally is, as explained by the man himself...
At long fucking last I got my shit together and recorded a mix for Reel Torque; buckling up a 2.5 hour mix that traverses the timeline of Benelux New Beat, post-industrial and Euro-house thru to proto-gabber from Frankfurt, also incorporating the double-refractive influence of records from UK, Chicago and Detroit, all made circa 1986-1991. It’s an area of dancefloor history that i’m utterly fascinated by (OK, obsessed/borderline OCD about), despite the fact that I personally went from wearing nappies to primary school uniform over that original period. Although, for disambiguation; i’m not a 60 year old cosplayer.
The mix is intended to unpackage and sequence the composite elements of New Beat and its related Benelux styles, whilst also tracing its dialogue with other, international strains of house, synth-pop and EBM, effectively scanning the mosaic of what would become codified as techno, hardcore, trance in the process. In particular I selected the harder, kinkier, darker, cheesy and spaced out stripes of that sound, attempting to prove that it was a syncretic rather than homogenous genre when at its best.
Without giving the full tracklist away, the mix starts off with DM-producer Alan Wilder’s Excerpt From Stone - a certified New Beat cornerstone - and ends up in a timely manner at Mescalinum United’s Reflections of 2017, which was the B-side to Marc Arcardipane’s original gabber cornerstone, We Have Arrived (1991). What happens in between is a (mostly) chronological blend of styles taking in addictive euro-house by a former Belgian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, plus a prototype of Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam feat. Eddie Murphy, along with some of New Beat’s most sought-after holy grails (and previously unreleased blinders!), before twisting back and forth between proto-goa trance, loony Belgian techno, and even giving some context to AFX’s SAW 85-92 sound.
It was mixed and recorded off a blend of original vinyl and reissues of old tape releases which have bubbled up in recent years, with CDJs for bits that aren’t on wax, and all mixed in one take (although this is the 2nd take to be totally fair). At this point, credit is due to the obscure archiving genius of YouTube hero Ambobeat as well as the legendary Acid Alan and V/Vm, whose non pareil New Beat record collection and near-canonical SABAM series, respectively, first planted the seeds of intrigue in my mental darkroom over ten years ago. Special thanks to Mark Borgions and Dirk Desaever.
Oh, and that briefcase you see in the images here isn't included with the release - but we are giving it away, complete with the two gold tapes and a 4-colour, riso-printed A3 poster by John Powell-Jones (limited edition of 1!!), as well as a hand-engraved plaque - with space left for YOUR NAME to be engraved on it. To be in the running to get the personalised briefcase, all you've got to do is buy this release and then send an email with your order number to email@example.com and write down the best fake New Beat artist name you can think of. The one we like the best will win the engraved suitcase (although you'll have to give us a few days to get the plaque engraved) - we'll let the lucky winner know by email on or before Monday December 19th!
Absorbing session of cold, dark and amorphous electronic sound design riven with pointillist hi-tech rhythms, fresh on Melbourne’s Resistance / Restraint label.
There’s scant background info to this artist or release, yet we can tell you some parts sound like Thomas Köner 10m under the arctic, whilst others recall Donato Dozzy’s hydraulic techno dynamics or Mountlake’s sci-fi steppers…
Head-wrapping loops of wistful, wilting melodic gesture dissolved in ferromagnetic fuzz and decay. Entrancingly free and psychedelic; hits right between the eyes… RIYL Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Pauline Oliveros, John T. Gast
““Anzar” and “Emerso” are two works composed using improvisation on a tape-loop system, in which patterns of repetition create a sense of a dense, dynamic and cathartic distance. Anzar’s cover art is from a series of black ink paintings made by Marta’s father in the 1970s.
Marta De Pascalis writes: “I see these pieces as tied in a cyclical motion with their sounds moving in different directions. In Anzar, sounds are constantly “falling” from the source, landing gently and staying on the tape’s surface until they fade out to be replaced by other sounds, finally reaching an austere resolution. In Emerso, there’s a different scenario: a persistent theme in the background with sounds that slowly emerge, interact and then dissolve, ending with an abrupt change of tone. Where is the centre of this cycle? Where is the centre of this tape? The centre is moving constantly; the centre is missing. Switch sides. Repeat.” – Marta De Pascalis, Berlin, 19th August 2016.”
Glasgow’s Clan Destine grip a thistly set of mutant bangers by Canada’s Da GobliNN, reinforced with remixes from D’Marc Cantu, Sexilack (Innyster), Orphan Swords, Drum Machine, Jax and more.
Da GobliNN’s originals are mean, grubby things, with scuzzy highlights to be found in the slompy jack of Acid In Blue Major and the haywire electronics of Cold City Black Steel, and we’re also partial to the cleaner pump of D’Marc Cantu’s Prescription take on Fou a L’extereur as much as the rotten core of Fernando Seixlack a.k.a. Innyster’s lip-bitingly strong rework of the same elements.
Soft Metals’ Ian Hicks (not Mordant Music or Hixxy!) hits Glasgow’s Clan Destine with his first post-Soft Metals project; a glut of writhing, new beat, EBM and industrial compatible beat-offs built for the darkroom.
Drawing on the “capricious winter of the Pacific North West” as his bountiful muse, the Portland OR-based producer bunkers down to six cuts that are far more blunted, atonal and grubby than his much-loved synth-pop output.
Cede To A Rival rains down an intense, slow-motion EBM beating; Repression And Rectitude works in the cracks between Killing Joke dubs, Chris & Cosey and The Klinik; Extracted whips up recoiling kicks and gnawing acid to leave you with internal bleeding.
Find Inside foregrounds his more melodic sensibilities in a discordant hall-of-mirrors arrangement; Valentine canters like a trancing midnight stallion; False Awakening riffs on a killer cyber-techno theme with potential for a massive hit in parallel EBM dimensions.
Fetishistic EBM pressure from modern day Houston, TX; retching six cuts of knife-throated vocals and blistering, dead-on grooves influenced by Laether Strip, Sleeo Chamber, Ministry, and Women of Sodom.
The KVB’s unheimlich techno alter ego creeps out on Clan Destine with an eponymous session of shuddering drones, howling distortion and barely harnessed industrial pulses.
It’s nearly as nasty as that video of inmates at Forest Bank with their “dogs”. Spicy.
Dope sounds from the island - Japan not Jamaica - courtesy of producer Aquadab and the animated chatter of MC A, cut loose and surreal for South London’s burgeoning Bokeh Versions (Jay Glass Dubs, Seekersinternational, Abu AMA).
It’s perhaps lucky that in our limited knowledge of Japanese hip hop, All Over There strongly recalls the styles of DJ Krush’s RYU album, 我 (1999), only it’s seemingly been voiced by Danny Brown’s brother from a different mother in the hot gobbed MC A, throwing down in double, triple and quadruple-tracked vocals over Aquadab’s self-described “Jan jelinek meets Timbaland productions”.
On their return to Slip, the creaky shudders of Black Shuck finds Tom Challenger and Kit Downes expanding upon the dusty, spectral structures of their Vyamanikal session - a haunting session of organ and saxophone improvisations recorded at a ranges of churches in Snape Maltings, Suffolk - in two broadly spacious, keening ten minute tracts.
On the A-side a septet revolving Tom Challenger (saxophone), Kit Downes (piano), Alex Bonney (electronics), Lucy Railton (cello), Liam Byrne (viol), Emma Smith (violin), Daniel Bradley (percussion) expand and tangle the original recordings with transfixing attention to atmospheric nuance and detail - we’re on the edge of our seats, waiting for some daemon to pop out under the pew - whilst the B-side is a duo piece, far quieter and almost static, imprinted with wistful, almost jazz-like phrases that recall the minutes after Bohren Und Der Club of Gore’s Sunset Mission has ended, or like hearing a heartbroken, lonely busker who can hardly muster a parp to a crowd of no-one.
Kode9 and Toby Heys' AUDiNT project returns to Reel Torque for the second of 3 limited edition despatches.
In part 2 of AUDiNT’s cultish cassette boxset trilogy issued by Reel Torque, the secretive sonic research cell disclose two tranches of beguiling experiments by Vietnamese bioacoustics expert, computer programmer and financial strategist Nguyễn Văn Phong; one side of funeral rites and gong loops recorded c. 1955-1960 on his modified yin yang turntable, as well as one side of his early, algorithmic attempts c. 1972-1979 to forecast stock market data for his financial consultancy, IREX.
Serving to expand the project’s chronology both prior to, and post-, Magdalena Parker’s Reel Torque Vol.16: Recordings 1964-1972 (which sold out in less than 24 hours upon release in 2015) and after the Martial Hauntology (2014) LP, the 2nd instalment in the series focuses on Văn Phong’s elaborate history of research into the methodological overlaps between occidental religion and innovative technology, and, likewise, their synaesthetic, cybernetic and mystic applications in the field of phantom sonics.
Side A consists of two Inverse Rites and six Yin Yang Turntable pieces recorded between 1955-1960, both drawing on Văn Phong's studies at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in the ‘50s, where he specialised in practical heterodyning techniques - processes in which simultaneous ultrasonic tones were harnessed to produce interference patterns.
The two Inverse Rites manifest that research in palindromic loops of back-masked funeral chants intended to be played in conjunction with the sacrificial act of burning ghost money (as included in the boxset), which, according to Eastern theology, is a sort of Western Union for the departed. The six moebius strip-like Yin Yang Turntable tracks follow, using bespoke records cleft and reassembled along an S-shaped line, further demonstrating his conception of gong music and the 3rd Ear’s potential for blurring distinctions between sound and unsound - the audible and non-audible - and the way they shadow each other like yin and yang. For Văn Phong, it is these two opposing, yet complementary forces - whose tension and collision generates everything - that hold the key to his research.
Side B is where it gets properly asymmetric. In eight Channelling The Market tracks, realised between 1972-1979, Văn Phong supplements his earliest experiments into the physiological effects of interference patterns on the 3rd Ear with knowledge of Korean brainwashing techniques deviously acquired at an academic conference in Shanghai, 1959.
Utilising those techniques years later, the results of Văn Phong’s experiments are patently psychotomimetic on one level, but, when decrypted according to his technique, in the final analysis Văn Phong has effectively produced a mathematical algorithm for transcoding the voices of the undead into implementable market data, rendering the phantom economy of Ghost money into tangible assets. And it should be considered that Văn Phong undertook these experiments knowing the potential that his body could be hijacked by these phantoms voices, which could effectively turn him into a zombie, or transductive cadaver.
Biting Tongues were formed in 1978 to improvise a soundtrack to the screening of a 16mm experimental film of the same name at Tony Wilson's original Factory Club in Manchester. A core membership was soon established that was to last until 1984: Howard Walmsley (sax) Ken Hollings (texts), Eddie Sherwood (drums,) Colin Seddon (bass) and 808' State's Graham Massey (guitar & noise).
"Their performances, an unpredictable 'post-punk avant-funk' mix of spoken word, percussion, random tapes, films and freeform soloing, were mostly confined at this time to clubs in Manchester and London. The release of their first three albums 'Don't Heal', 'Live It' and 'Libreville' between 1981 and 1983 widened their audience, and Biting Tongues found themselves performing more and more in theatres, arts venues and galleries.
'Still On Hawaiian Time' captures two Biting Tongues performances from this later period. The Library Theatre in the centre of Manchester was a large seated venue with an even larger stage, meaning that the group members could spread out more and incorporate additional percussion, tapes and electronic devices. It also shows Biting Tongues cutting up and rearranging themes from different recordings, allowing for the free play of existing material - the performance also anticipates their work on 'Feverhouse': their full-length experimental feature film released in 1984 by Factory Records' video offshoot IKON, together with a soundtrack album as FAC 105.
'Feverhouse' had its first London screening at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith as part of Factory's residency there in the summer of 1984. Biting Tongues had played the same venue three years previously at a time when they were beginning to expand and broaden their sound. The improved facilities available in a theatre venue, including greater space, better acoustics and more time for a sound check, meant that Biting Tongues could concentrate on the performance, producing some of their most aggressive and demanding work.
During the early 1980s Biting Tongues excelled as a live band, always seeking to challenge both themselves and their audiences. These two recordings are fascinating documents that conveysome of the immediacy and commitment of their performances - something that can still be felt in these old tapes some thirty years after they were first recorded."
Part of a really killer batch, Quiet Time With Aquarian renders a deeply faded mixtape of illbient, soul, flashcore and jungle from Toronto-via-NYC’s Aquarian to accompany ace Quiet Time instalments from Huerco S, BABY and MONEY.
We’ve had an ear on this producer ever since his technoid mutations began creeping out on UNO circa their pivotal Arca releases in 2012. He’s been relatively quiet since then, with a digital single release Bad Feeling / Insulin to his name in 2016, and this 19 minute mix ’n blend of original material making up his broadest, dankest trench of material to date.
It’s one of those mixes that transcends the sum of its parts, reorganising his original components into a sort of writhing, lurching organism or nocturnal cyber golem that morphs from sludgy crack to palpitating techno and vicious jungle in convulsive, shapeshifting spasms with grippingly haptic twists.
Leaving Records presents its second archival installment with legendary New Age composer Laraaji, all material previously self-released and distributed in ltd. quantities during the 1980s.
“LR101 Sun Zither 1&2 1984; “A refreshing new sound journey through ecstatic hammered open-tuned zither string board, through jazz-funk rhythms with improvised rubber-tipped mallets, through rattled, stopped Zither. Chaos with wooden chopsticks, through ethereal steel slide string sound exploration to take the classic zither sound way out of the box. An exploratory adventure in sustained open modal tuning, elegant electronics and virtuoso performance mastery”
LR102 Tonings 1&2 1980s; “Tonings 1: Shimmering celestial Zither and OM chant continual deep induction listening for expanded inner-stillness.” “Tonings 2: OM chimes ladder, Kalimba (African thumb piano), hand chimes, spontaneous laughter release, chant, & chimes distortion (heavy at times towards end.)”
LR103 Celestrana / Deep Chimes Meditation 1980s; “Celestrana: Calming, gentle, continual, patient, relaxed-pace solo electric zither feeling. Home cassette recorded 1980’s. Mood of contemplative stillness. Peaceful, introspective listening.” “Deep Chimes Meditation: Classic, Space, Peace, Zen, Timelessness” -Laraaji
Ecstatic present a companion piece to their retrospective of Paper Eyes material from Gavin Russom with this limited tape featuring two live shows from 96/97 and a fake radio show also from '97 with a live studio appearance in which he interviews himself...
Previously restricted to a series of self-released tapes, Gavin Russom’s early Paper Eyes project was given a much-needed reappraisal by Ecstatic who dropped the warped delights of Source Cognitive Drive – Transmissions 1996-1998 back in May. Providing an intriguing snapshot of Russom’s state of mind in the months following his arrival in NYC from Providence, the 16-track Source Cognitive Drive channelled a harsh and abrasive spirit that was comparable to Container, Wolf Eyes and Carlos Giffoni.
In contrast to the previous Paper Eyes record on Ecstatic, this cassette presents the project in a different light. Two uncredited performances recorded sometime between 1996 and 1997 sit on the B side, the gritty quality of the recording only enhancing the shredding nature of Russom’s sets! Complementing these, Ecstatic have scored a fake radio show from ’97 in which Russom spoofs it up as Jonny Stardust, interviewing himself before delivering another scorching Paper Eyes meltdown.
Brilliant, mad and noisy shit just in time for crimbo...
12 tracks from the 20s/30s/40s with an eerily pertinent subject matter for the present day, feat. recordings from the likes of Blind Willie Johnson, Elder Beck, Two Gospel Keys, Sister Mary Nelson & Rev. Gary Davis + more.
"The perfect cassette-shaped Christmas gift for a friend/relative/person who is unfathomably depressed with the state of humanity. Happy New Year!
Profits from this release will be split equally amongst Refugee Action & The Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Hi, hello, and how do? This is the 2nd part in a trio of mixtapes released in 2016 by moi, Conor Thomas, following At The Expense of Others for the Krokodilo series and arriving ahead of a long overdue Reel Torque instalment.
It’s a tribute to a series of "free parties"/raves held in Manchester over ten years ago, including a lot of records which were either played there or that i used to cane in that era. Using the benefit of hindsight, it’s a sort of a snapshot or perspective of the era after the '90s "Madchester" and “sulphuric soul” (gip) thing. Of course there were other things happening, lots of techno/electro/breakcore/electronica and early dubstep, but for me, this was the sound of cracked warehouses and abandoned mental hospitals when I moved here in 2002, and it remained like that until dubstep really took a grip after 2007.
The mix was recorded on a suitably drizzly day in Moss Side, summer ’16, and all tracks are from original records released between ’93 and ’04 (apart from the Leckey snippet), with a healthy amount of vinyl crackle and particular focus on the darkside late ‘90s flex which bled from that era into a lot of what came after it.
I only found out years after that time that other people had nicknamed me The Smoking Man, probs cos i look a bit grey and tended to hang in the shadows with a big spliff when i wasn’t brukking and gurning. Not because i wore a flasher mac and had links to secret government agencies.
Those days are long gone but I fucking loved them and all the people, raves of that time. Out to them.