The tireless Death Is Not The End returns with the second of two primers of Caucasus folk in conjunction with the Ored Recordings label.
We’ve been blown away by this joint endeavour from Death Is Not The End and Ored Recordings, a Nalchik, Russia-based net-label that is a treasure trove of ethnographic folk and experimental music spanning the North Caucasus region.
This second volume profiles an intrinsic social function of the Circassian people; the urge to dance. Some ten tracks deep, it really is an enlightening listen that touches on some of the music you might hear at a dance including Gunda Ensemble, a long-running group based at the Abkhazian State Philharmonic cultural centre, the ancient folkloric sounds of cousins Nikolas and Konstantinos Singerov and so much more.
After checking this you should really delve deep into the Ored Recordings bandcamp with detailed sleeve notes accompanying all their releases.
The tireless Death Is Not The End returns with the first of two primers of Caucasus folk in conjunction with the Ored Recordings label.
Established in 2014, Ored Recordings is a free ethnographic net-label that has drawn together a truly enlightening collection of field recordings based on documenting the folk and experimental musicians living in villages and towns throughout the North Caucasus region.
Working together, the two labels draw together a 13-track collection that offers an illuminating introduction to some of the song-based folk music Ored Recordings has worked to profile across its 14 releases to date.
Best believe he’s back; almost 2 years to the date since Hieroglyphic Being’s Worst DJ Ever mixtape (Reel Torque Volume 5), Chicago’s finest returned to the borderlands of Manchester/Salford for a truly blinding, freestyling session at the shabby palace of dreams, a.k.a. The White Hotel, instructing us to make sure this one was definitely recorded as he’d spent some heavy time prepping for it. And thank f*ck we did, ‘cos it’s easily one of the best, longest, most intuitively gratifying sets we’ve heard him play. Fair to say we’ve heard him DJ more than a few times, too.
Perched in the DJ booth/crow’s nest, incense burning and smoke machine on constant, Jamal Moss delivered us to the disco gods with an unrivalled selection cycling thru wavy obscurities, EBM knockers, symphonic disco strings and acid house rippers with a totally savant rudeness. If the smoke wasn’t so dense you could have seen him, head tilted to the sky and utterly commanding the vibe like a starship admiral channelling astral coordinates on a mission to different dimensions.
Track ID’s were attempted in reel time, but Disco Dave Adams and The Trippin’ Pigeon soon gave up pecking and got down to shredding imaginary rug, harmonising to Dan Hartman’s Relight My Fire and bouncing off the walls to the likes of Front 242, Sleazy D and myriad others with a fervour rarely experienced before - aside from other Jamal Moss/Hieroglyphic Being sets - and all right until the dawn was piercing the skylight and turning the smoke-filled room an uncanny shade of blue very similar to the colour of this tape’s artwork.
It was one of those nights that participants should not be able to fully recollect, but the vibe stays with you long after the moment. Such a buzz to be right back there in the thick midst of it with this tape. All hail the Hieroglyphic Being, massively recommended to all dancers!!!
Mesmerising Sélection des musiques traditonnelles d’Afrique from Turin, Italy’s Details Sound label, tracing the roots of their signature experimental techno sound to the ritual percussive practice of players researched and documented by France’s CNRS and Ocora labels.
There’s no track-list to go from but, you don’t need eyes for this one; they’re rhythms, patterns and vibings meant to be comprehended thru ears and reciprocal movement; in oscillating hips, half-steps, stamps and air-carving arms.
There’s drums for days inside, but also some amazing tonal-based gear thrown in the mix for measure, perfectly judged with a pacing and neatness that makes for repeated, immersed listening.
Dense, ecstatic, stream-of-conscious new age synth, ambient pop and Autechrian impulses from Chicago via Mexico City’s excellent Umor Rex label
“Mukqs is the solo moniker of Max Allison from Chicago trio Good Willsmith. ダメ人間 ("dame ningen," which translates into "useless person" from Japanese) comes off the heels of Good Willsmith’s well received Things Our Bodies Used to Have (their third release with Umor Rex). For ダメ人間, Allison assembled his analog rig (four-track tape player, two EHX2880 loop pedals), and recorded the full 40 minute suite in one live take with no overdubs. The goal was to make a piece of music just as dense / intense / complex as something that was recorded using a computer DAW like Ableton, or using a modular synthesizer. Aesthetically, Mukqs expands upon his preoccupation with bit soundart into new outer reaches, loading his four-track with a vast array of Korg and Yamaha synth sounds alongside anime vocal snippets culled from YouTube.
The sounds are manipulated, looped, layered, and mashed live on the spot, summoning a vast mess of glitches and schizophrenic rhythms. ダメ人間 is divided into two distinct moods of lilting cyber beauty and concrète chaos, and the album shifts between these moods at increasingly fast speeds. Though often chaotic and disorienting, ダメ人間 is nonetheless the most miraculous session yet from Mukqs, synthesizing potent emotions from musical entropy.”
Cooper Bowman’s debut release for Berlin’s Portals Editions: a viscous smear of mottled drone and melted pastoral melody flowing with a cryptic logic and prone to buckle, warp into chromatic whorls and eldritch eddies.
File in between your oddest Dead-Certs, The Moomins soundtrack, and Moon Wheel records.
Marijn Degenaar’s Circular Ruins remerge into the half-light between woke and dream life with The Thorned Maze, his 2nd and best yet transmission for Berlin’s Portals Editions. Imagine somewhere in Berlin, somebody kept a gremlin from Coil’s studio and they’ve only just worked out how to make it talk. It may well sound like this album.
London’s avant prism-pusher Dale Cornish debuts for Rabit’s Halcyon Veil imprint with an acute distillation of pointillist rhythms, stark noise and contemporary politics in the barbed bouquet of Cut Sleeve, following a multi-pronged attack on 2016 which saw him issue singles with Where To Now? and The Wormhole, plus a remix of Billie Ray Martin and a guest vocal on Powell’s Sport album.
Stripped to the barest truth of biting drums and his own vocals rent within acres of negative space, when compared with his run of solo aces for Entr’acte and The Wormhole, the six tracks of Cut Sleeve conversely amount to some of the most corporeal works in Cornish’s solo catalogue whilst serving to neatly intersect the Halcyon Veil aesthetic from both mutual and personally developed perspectives.
Dale wears his politics explicitly and suggestively on Cut Sleeve. Starting with the nagging reminder that “in 2016 it is illegal to be gay in approximately 75 nations and regions around the world” delivered in acrid noise and a slurred tone that makes sure the message rings out slowly and uncomfortably, the session presents in reductionist take on UK and US club music in brittle, certain, and uniquely, drily f*nked-up terms, taking on skeletal steppers templates in Cut and chasmic darkness on LW or Vauxhall, before feeding his own, bestial vocals back into the mix with a blend of glossolalic deviance, cryptic poetry and stoic funk in Emperor Ai.
First part of a trilogy of tapes, Improvised and recorded live at Studio Potsdam, mixed and mastered by Helen Heß in Berlin. Artwork by Benjamin Augustin.
"Epiphany Now is an ongoing project of improvised audiovisual experimentation based in Berlin. Three musicians and one visual artist form a symbiotic circle and create a chameleon of sound and light. Eclectic live improvised music floats dreamily between genres and atmospheres, visually supported by projections that blend with the music and create a living sound sculpture.”
Swelling, bittersweet synth noise hymns to nature.
“Thé Déluge is the new moniker of French musician Vincent Caylet. While Caylet’s previous outings as Cankun (released on Not Not Fun and Hands in the Dark) were blissful psychedelic sundrenched jam sessions, Forest Structures sees Caylet largely jettison cosmic tropical islands and guitar twang. Thé Déluge deals in moonlit electronics and nocturnal transmission that consistently bleep into each other and overlap.
Recorded mostly on analog gear and inspired by both nature and urbanism, Thé Déluge gathers an array of synth pulsations and loops behind a murky veil of analog fuzz for a set of haunted instrumental cycles. While the sunlight of Caylet’s previous work has sharply eroded, Forest Structures retains the warm fog and psychedelic visions of the artist’s unique dreamworld for a set of glistening melodies, trippy loops, and distant rhythms.”
Canada’s Local Artist, Ian Wyatt a.k.a. Slow Riffs solidifies his gaseous SLOWRIFFS  debut transmission in a necessary 2nd repress of his MHC000  for Mood Hut.
Hovering in the ether between early 0PN’s wistful vaporwave; The Sight Below’s dub-sublimated shoegaze; The Conet Project’s abstracted number station recordings and even - with the benefit of hindsight - Áine O’Dwyer’s haunting church recordings; the music on MHC000 occupies a gauzy mid-ground in flux between fidelities, using the ephemeral timbre of washed out YouTube compression resonance and FM signals, combined with the tape’s ferric fuss, as subtle yet key components to his compositions.
It’s a reel beauty, no doubt.
Ninja Tune with the low key newness; coughing up one natty ace entitled Uber Spliff To Gatwick by an artist named Dial 666 8100 - purportedly an alias of James Corden, but we really couldn’t confirm either way at this point.
The vibe is pretty much binaural garage-disco, cleaving your hemispheres between ohrwurming hooks, wheezing strings and smudged chords on a gif-like garage groove that loops in on itself with a hair-kissing, MC Escher-‘stepping swing and dip which quite brilliantly resolves at the most curious, lop-sided angles, as though one leg’s shorter than the other.
We get the impression that there’s some genius at work here, it's a total Thriller....!
Berlin club night, Mother’s Finest, snaffle two sublime mixes from UK’s Hodge and Germany’s Don’t DJ, each taking 45 minutes to spell out their respective definitions of ambient music.
As you’d hope for from this kind of mix, the track-lists are obscure and elusive; full of healing new age tones, divine Detroit flights and unidentifiable chants which, when sequenced, amount to a vibrating mass greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s possible to detect trace elements of both producer’s recorded output woven into the mixes, but where those records for the likes of Berceuse Heroique, Livity Sound and Diskant hem to the ‘floor, their mixes are faithfully contoured for the comedown, the smoky afterlife.
Beyond the samples, your guess is good as ours? Don’t consume on an empty stomach...
““Porest's fourth long-player, Modern Journal of Popular Savagery is a damning collection of parallel realities told in song and sound. Following 2006's masterful Tourrorists, MJoPS pits post-globalized hate pop, cabalistic text-to-speech drama and violent tape music against soapbox anthems and swirling barbed-wire psychedelia -- sometimes within the same track. The result: a terrifying and ridiculous audio shakedown that both avoids and completely indulges the inherent trappings of art and politics. Fuzzed out guitars and keyboards, epic modulated grooves, "samples" and far-out fucking field recordings index the colonization of our consciousness. You're already dead -- and none of your intellectual friends can save you. Guests include Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Peter Conheim (Negativland), and Jake Rodriguez (Bran?Pos). Recorded between California, Syria, Vietnam and points in between.
Across decades, Porest (aka Mark Gergis) has issued a trail of confounding agitprop sound art, tilted pop, diabolical radio dramas and carefully rearranged realities on the Abduction, Seeland and Resipiscent labels. Porest's blatant embezzlement of human syntax and cultural misunderstanding broadcasts vital mixed messages. Collaborations have included: Aavikko (Finland), Sun City Girls (USA), and Negativland (USA) among others. Gergis was a co-founder of the long-running experimental Bay Area music and performance collective Mono Pause -- as well as its offshoot Neung Phak, performing inspired renditions of southeast Asian musics. Since 2003, with the Sublime Frequencies label, an ethnographic music and film collective out of Seattle, Washington -- and more recently, with his own record label -- Sham Palace, Gergis has shared decades of research and scores of archived international music, film footage and sound recordings acquired during extensive travels in the Middle East, South East Asia and elsewhere.”
Sublime, inverted dub trips from Jay Glass Dubs, an artist who stealthily infiltrated our playlists over the last 12 months with a series of class tape and vinyl excursions for Bokeh Versions, Seagrave and THRHDRRDSVNTNN.
His debut for The Tapeworm, Dislocated Folklore is one of Dubs’ dustiest and diffuse transmission; like John T. Gast and Muslimgauze smoked-up and exhaled by Mad Professor in effect, but perfused with an intangible soul of it’s own imagination that’s key to its allure.
Dislocated Folklore, as the title suggests, is a play on the simultaneously detached yet sincerely faithful nature of music made by “metropolitan musicologists” with no tangible connection to its roots or religious background, and likewise the tendency for things to become misinterpreted or lost-in-translation in that process of sampling and appropriation.
Using 3 second samples of the intros to ‘90s ragga records, combined with recordings of a recitation off Turkish TV and dissolved within the prism of Glass’ hybrid software/hardware array, the results are some of the most extreme and curious additions to the modern dub sphere in recent memory. For a start we can hardly detect any bass, which is possibly by design or due to the tape recording, but either way it lends itself to the very upper registers of perception, seemingly in perpetual escape to the borderlands between and above the eyes where his evaporating rhythms and hyaline thizz meet the ferric hiss of the recording format.
It’s an enveloping listen to say the least, and one both best suited to, and only available on tape...
Immersive live room recording of Slowdive's Simon Scott, melding acoustic guitar with subtly processed field recordings in Leuven, Belgium on 13th November, 2015 shortly after learning about the Paris attacks. Mournfully heavy but with that sense of melodic resolution that keeps us from sinking under the sadness of it all.
“STUK is dedicated to the victims of 13.11.15. As the devastating and abhorrent news of the Paris attacks was breaking I took to the stage to perform with a sinking and heavy heart.” – Simon Scott, 21.01.16.
Recorded live at STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven, Belgium on 13th November 2015. Room recording made on an Edirol R-09HR. Written and performed live by Simon Scott.
Simon Scott is a sound ecologist and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge, England. His work explores the creative process of actively listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition. He plays the drums in Slowdive and has recently collaborated with artists James Blackshaw, Spire (with Fennesz and Philip Jeck), Taylor Deupree (Between), Isan and many more.”