Manny dance dynamo Anz shells 20 of her in-demand grime/garage/jungle/juke dubs in a special tape edition for Finn’s 2 B Real
Cooked up circa the release of Anz’ wicked ‘Invitation 2 Dance’ EP in spring 2019, the session is testament to the pivotal DJ/producer’s rudegyal style snd energy, constantly switching up/down from bumping broken beats thru sparking 2-step electro, mutant ‘ardcore, bullish Bassline and nitro-injected Ghettotech. Properly primed for party season, the mix also serves as a warning shot for Anz’ upcoming manoeuvres with a Shaolin-level order of DJs set to dominate Manchester’s club life in 2020. More on that in due course.
End to end the mix is pure fire and pieced together with the skills that have earned Anz a deadly reputation over the past few years, as heard in her B2B sets with everyone from Finn and Tom Boogizm to DJ Q. The first side sees her limber up with a relatively slower slew of garage, broken beat and grime mutations with one foot in the ‘90s and the other in 2019, before she keeps toeing the gas to take in her special brand of R&G blends alongside Reese-powered proto-grime and a hot-footing Vince Staples edit, and eventually cutting the fuck loose with nutty mentasms, coiled jungle and an unmissable juke flip of Ella Mai.
Of course you trust us, but if not - 10K listens and 100 commenters on Anz’ soundcloud for ‘Spring/Summer Dubs 2019’ surely proves that this mix has got legs. It’s only her 2nd physical release, too, and thus a perfect stocking filler for your favourite raver (along with a few cinnamon-flavour Garys and a reusable Evian bottle).
Nyege Nyege Tapes kick off a crucial mix series with The Modern Institute’s blinding, 20-track razz; pelting thru unreleased collabs and remixes with Jay Mitta, Sisso and Errorsmith, along with 9 cuts to download individually.
In the two weeks after the 2018 edition of Nyege Nyege Festival, Tanzanian Singeli stars Jay Mitta and Sisso spent a lot of time hanging out and recording with The Modern Institute, Errorsmith and the extended Nyege Nyege family at their Villa HQ in Kampala, Uganda. The Modern Institute’s mixtape celebrates this period of unbounded creative energy, selecting and weaving together 20 highlights from some 50+ hybrids of Singeli with Soca, Makina and hardcore electronic dance music.
Across their frenetic 56 minute mix The Modern Institute offer an experience as close as you’ll get to the festival’s energy without actually touching down on the Equator. Documenting a totally unprecedented period of creative fusion, they rattle thru 20 tracks with an appropriately sense of unsigned joy, careening thru myriad strains of quicksilver drums and and hotfooting rhythms in a way that will light up any party of open-minded and up for it dancers, especially those with a thing for new electronic dance music from Africa.
The nine individual tracks form additional tools for the DJs. Errorsmith and Jay Mitta supply a huge highlight with the barrelling momentum of ‘Jam For Sisso’, while The Modern Institute also turn out the radical helter skelter pelt of ‘200 edit’ alongside seven groundbreaking collaborations with Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s Jay Mita and Sisso, including stellar zingers in TMI & Mitta’s mental ‘Rave Remix Final’ and the lightspeed syncopation of ‘Drill Remix’, plus the percolated step and tight, funky vamps of their jam with Sisso, ‘Biti 5 Sisso buildup’.
‘Early Works Pt. II’ lays out a hypnotic session of perceptive drone insights from our pal and erstwhile colleague Jo Montgomerie
Arriving not long after we watched her at The White Hotel in support of Sarah Davachi, Jo’s 2nd tape for nor’easterly english label Industrial Coast feels akin to being slowly immured in sand, gravel, and cement.
In five movements Jo patiently comes to dominate internal and external senses with finely graded layers of concrète viscera that settle and build with a natural, elemental logic only occasionally belied by evidence of human touch. It’s best to see Jo’s role in the music’s silty arrangement or de/composition as a liminal dark interpreter between the “real” world of field recordings and skin on plastic haptics, and the un- or lesser-known dimensions of negative energy and entropy.
Fans of Kevin Drumm need apply.
‘Behold Killers’ sees Pakistan-born Portlander Ilyas Ahmed return with an engrossing new full-length for the Geographic North label after a series of standout releases for Root Strata, Digitalis, MIE and Immune, as well as his work as a member of Grails and collaborations with Liz Harris (Grouper), Matt Carlson & Jonathan Sielaff of Golden Retriever, among others. Described by the label as "an aural yarn explicitly woven for the trodden…”, this beautiful new work extends from a somnolent flow of fingerpicking into more abstracted terrain, now and again offset by Ahmed’s quiet falsetto - highly recommended to followers of John Fahey, Sonic Youth’s extended b-sides, Talk Talk, Loren Connors and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma...
"Since embarking on an enchantingly forlorn run of musical activity, Ilyas Ahmed has remained incredibly active both as a visual artist and an incredibly versatile musician. 'Behold Killers’ is perhaps his most alluring and distantly seething work to date.
"Pass No Jazz" unfurls its tattered but tranquil tapestry over the entire A-side, tracing each step with unhurried care and curious composure. "Metal Freedom" leads the B-side in a synth-laden cloud of shimmering tragedy and seething hope. "Mad Love" dials things down for a modest symphony of gritted minimalism and soot-covered, negative space. Closing piece "Wild Violet" shimmers in a desolate dance of eerie weightlessness and wretched resolve. Best consumed in the dead of night or frosted isolation…”
Like an update of Lovely Music Ltd.’s avant-pop, NYC/Baltimore’s Sunatirene scratches a restless ambient dance pop itch with ‘Queen Sound’, her sweetly trippy debut for Berlin’s She Rocks! label
Gently bugged-out electronics and glistening melodies meet charmingly straight-played, naturally folksy vocals in 12 songs written and produced by Sydney Spann aka Sunatirene. Breezy with the sort of prevailing, psychedelic shimmer of early Julia Holter or Ka Baird, but also as elegantly loose as Maria Minerva’s slinky dance-pop or Laurel Halo’s imaginary hyperprisms, ‘Queen Sound’ yields a highly visual collection of arrangements and surreal scenarios linked by the “whetted femininity” of Sunatirene’s vocals and her absorbing, theatrically-set palette of samples and original, synthetic touches.
Opening with the Coil-like baroque whimsy of ‘Welcome To The Amber Inside Me’, her touch for textured, colourful synthesis really becomes apparent with the poetic sashay of ‘Knock Knock’, while ’Stay Safer Sister’ casts a mystic spell that appears to update Lovely Music-style avant-pop for her generation. ‘Tucked away at its core, big highlight ‘Cecily’ supplies a clear indication of her dancefloor suss with clipped, swinging Latin rhythms rendered with chirruping, pointillist avian melody, while ‘A rare Sound’ shuffles that formula to slower tempo with highly lysergic results, and the unsettlingly bittersweet balm of ‘Muttering, Fairly Dare’ follows in that vein with a mix of bleepy froth offset by whinnies and gurgling babies that half bucolic, half trippy, and ‘What Do I Know’ wraps up with twanging, discordant strings recalling Teresa Winter’s febrile, psilocybic dreams.
Drawing parallels between present day Britain and that of the turn of the 80s, Ekoplekz looks back to that era's industrial and post-punk soundtrack for inspiration.
"In a land increasingly brutalized by austerity and divided by nationalism, the tensions that informed some of the post-punk era's most important works (Red Mecca, Unknown Pleasures, Metal Box) haunt this collection of bleak postcards from the present. Recorded quickly on cassette tape recorders, combining live instrumentation (guitar, bass, keyboards) with programmed drum machine and sequencer, the album has a raw, spontaneous edge, drawing on elements of dub, funk and primitive electronics for musical direction. The album is dedicated to the late Mark Fisher, who's brilliantly insightful writing is sorely missed while trying to make sense of these insane times."
Nahawa Doumbia is one of Mali's defining vocalists of the last four decades. Her work journeys through progressive stages of musical evolution and sonic vogues, making it hard to summarize or even comprehend. She's played a part in popular music since the late '70s, as her version of Wassoulou music developed from vocals-and-guitar duo into full-scale touring bands packing a bombastic, electrified punch.
"As Doumbia puts it, "My music has changed multiple times to this day…The more I progressed in my musical career, the more instruments I have had accompany my songs." Awesome Tapes From Africa will release Doumbia's debut recording La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 1 this August, building on the success of the label's first-ever reissue back in 2011, Doumbia's La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3. This seminal classic, which is still sought-after in Mali today, will finally be available for the first time internationally with remastered audio on LP, CD, Tape and Digital formats. The recording looks back to the beginning of Doumbia's long career, when she was performing in a simple voice and acoustic guitar format. This was before she added bass and drums, and finally the electric guitar and synths for which she became known more recently. Released in 1981 by the excellent Côte d’Ivoire-based AS Records, the singer was barely 20 years old when it was recorded.
She was accompanied by her future husband N'Gou Bagayoko on acoustic guitar, whose style echoes the nimble runs of traditional kamele n'goni players. The stark simplicity of this highly intimate recording-the audible room acoustics, the occasionally in-the-red vocals-do not obscure the mature strength of her voice. On Vol 1 Doumbia performs her songs with the tenacity and hunger of a young artist on the cusp."When I think about it, first, I am reminded of how long ago it was. It’s one of the albums that I love most because it reminds me of my youth. I was so young and my voice was light and joyful. I still listen to some of those songs today. I am really proud of that first album because that’s where it all began.
It shows me how far I’ve come in my personal and artistic life; it gives me the courage I need to keep going forward, and makes me appreciate all the years of dedication and hard work I put into my musical career."These early songs are rhythmically built around Bagayoko's sensitive guitar, as his fingers brush the fretboard and gently outline the melodies. Although this record predates the singer’s use of percussion, the driving skeletal didadi rhythm is apparent in the songs. Later albums like Vol 3 further prioritize her hometown didadi beat and the result made her famous."
Gauzy, low-key, organically textured dub and wizened folk explorations from Thomas Shrubsole, reviving his Sub Loam alias with two ‘Excavated Relics’ from the archive circa 2009-2010.
The A-side’s Soil Surface’ speaks to Shrubsole’s signature grasp of slow-moving sonic murk with nearly 10 minutes of endearingly weary dub chords perfused with acidic percolations that appear to mimic a sped-up (but still very slow) time-lapse image of soil dynamics, while the other side’s 11 minute piece ’Stone Fragment’ catches him picking out coruscating guitar strings and against peripheral percussion and distant vocal droens in a style murkily resonating with the mystic appeal of Zoviet France. Both are assuredly swaddled in layers of ferric tape hiss. Both humbly worth your time.
Mosca unbuckles the dancehall thru a wicked modular prism on his shockout debut for Fluf
One of the UK’s unique dancefloor experimenters since his tempo shifting debut for Nightslugs in 2010, Mosca really pushes the envelope of his sound in mad ways with ‘Touchie Riddim’, seemingly spinning the dance in a haywire gyroscope to the nuttiest ends.
If The Sprawl and Tapes hotbed the studio, the result may sound a bit like the decimated Pt.1, while Pt. 2 sound like Russell Haswell going in with Joachim Nordwall as The iDEALIST, Pt. 3 resonates like a Chernobyl bashment, and Pt. 4 attempts to scrape out both your bassbins and your skull.
‘Count Zero’ is a fine album of Burial worship from Greek producer Spyridon Katagas aka SKRU
Not just another piece of apocryphal “future garage”, the 13 tracks of ‘Count Zero’ are clearly tattooed with the Burial’s influence, but classily so, finding the right balance of unquantised 2-step swing and parry with dramatic arrangements drawing from cinematic atmospheres as much as vintage ‘90s UK dance tropes.
Best Available Technology's beloved style of degraded hardware craft inhabits the latest tape from Bristol’s Plaque label
Filtered from the past decade of hands-on hardware action, ‘Old Haunts’ speaks to the amorphous diversity of Portland, OR’s Kevin Palmer aka Best Available Technology’s style, finding his range between spats of murky dub diffraction, disembodied abstraction, and gutted brukbeats on this follow-up to his ‘Enginetics & Plasmalterations’ LP for Glasgow 12th Isle and previous outings with No Corner, Astro:Dynamics and Opal Tapes.
For those who like it loose and scrappy in the most charming way, BAT delivers with bubbling, low key dancefloor moments such as ‘Pstimulation’ and the claggy swang of ‘Heavy Velvet’ woven into a ruggedly textured body of vibes that flops and staggers like a handbuilt cyborg, variously taking in moments of perplexed contemplation in the ambient balm of ‘Zen Resonator’, and the burned-out ‘Crimson Dew’, plus his signature grasp of knackered, collapsing rhythms in ‘Exoskeleta’ and the sleepwalking ambient techno of ‘Bone 2 Brick.’
‘No Sleep ’Til Avon’ surveys Bristol’s rabid underbelly in 2019 with 21 tracks of puckishly expressive noise and harsh rhythms from veterans and new lambs alike.
Roughly rooted in strains of dub as much as industrial musick, the set is a bloodied representation of the wild energy contained between pub back-rooms, semi-legit venues and sweaty clubs in the capital of Avon.
Displaying strength in numbers and shared vision, the music is most often spoiling for a brawl, or at least gnashing with an abrasive quality that says comes test at your own risk. Trust there’s little time for trip hop wallowing or dubwise dogma as each unit delivers with a mutant, anarchistic aversion to rote style or trend.
If we’re playing favourites, the bombed-out EBM crank of Narcissist Holocaust is right up there with the churning swell of ‘Cult Leader’ by Fever 103º, a howling hardcore battering ram by Missterspoon, plus the razing gabber weaponry of Neurosyphilis Spasmodic Duo, or the Moor Mother-esque intensity of Harrga, in terms of properly upfront gear. But that would be to neglect it’s broader purpose, serving a wide-angled look at the scene that also take in oblique, harder-to-categorise aces in the likes of label commander Kinlaw’s industrial mutant ‘Marine Squad Deploy’, the dry convulsions of Ekoplekz, and incendiary blatz such as Salac’s ‘The Poison’, while Dead Space Chamber Music nod to heavy industrial psych, and Child touches on burned-out shoegaze.
‘Meme Booth’ is a 100% must-check volley of algorithmic dance trax from Kindohm, returning as Conditional’s secret weapon with a tape follow-up to his 2016 vinyl LP - both big looks for fans of Rian Treanor, Gábor Lázár, Mark Fell, Beatrice Dillon, Rennick Bell!
Bossing our reflexes right now, ‘Meme Booth’ is a keenly playful taste of the future from internet recluse and Minnesota, USA resident Mike Hodnick aka Kindohm. Bending up-to-the-second dembow and footwork patterns with live-coding techniques and the TidalCycles environment (Haskell) in ten short, sharp, shocks, he’s arrived at some of the most thrillingly angular electronic music we’ve heard in years.
Despite the fact that he’s got some dozen releases to his name since 2013, ‘Meme Booth’ will be a memorable first introduction to Kindohm for many. As with his tapes and digi drops such as ’16s ‘RISC Chip’ for Conditional and last year’s ‘Decera’ C40 with Always Human Tapes, his new volley proves at every angle a real knack for distilling and advancing dance music dynamics into urgent and absorbing arrangements.
Animating your body like a fleshy puppet, he shoots from the hip with taser-like prods that aim to keep you on the ‘floor, not send you fleeing. His balance of sheer drive in the pointillist electro stings of ‘Disconnecting is an Act of Rebellion’, the laser-whipsmart lash of ‘Articulator’, and the full frontal footwork missiles such as ‘Meme Booth’ are thrillingly upfront, but also held in check with more romantic sci-fi strands of futurism in the lushly user-friendly trance pads on ‘Flexbox’ and ‘This Can’t Be It’, or The Sprawl-esque tonal morph of ‘Unfollowed Silence’ which even the balance and make this such a brilliant little album.
For The Tapeworm’s 10th anniversary batch Jay Glass Dubs commits a lush suite of dubbed-out sampledelia in a totally enchanted style nodding to his heroes Spacemen 3 and others.
Across 40 minutes of tape Jay filters samples of himself (lol), plus everyone from Costis Drygiannakis to Steely Dan, Laurie Anderson, Suicide, Duran Duran, ELO, Arlo Guthrie and Robert Wyatt into a free floating flux of voices percolated in elegant polka dub rhythms.
It’s intoxicating stuff, with Laurie Anderson providing a hiccuping motif that carries the A-side’s Wolfgang Voigt and Spacemen 3-styled cosmic saunter, while the B-side steps on the gas slightly to ride a dusty, cantering drum machine rhythm with scuffed, psychoactive electronics and swaying choral vocals that unfold with a deeply druggy, raga-like quality. It’s heavily gratifying to hear Jay Glass Dubs really grasp the potential of the long format with both hands here.
The amniotic grit of ‘Tough Cunt’ is one of Louis Johnstone aka The Hers’ (aka Wanda Group) most curious early releases, originally transmitted back in 2012 on a small-run tape release and now given new life on the excellent Death Is Not The End label for the first time on vinyl. Committed during his golden early phase that also generated ‘Piss Fell Out Like Sunlight’ and ‘My Grandad Never Died On A Boat In Russia And His Brother Not On Land In North Africa’, the 13 tracks of ‘Tough Cunt’ convey an uneasy, solitary state of mind held in atmospheric suspense between layers of peeling, lo-fi field recordings, tape loops and live, playthru performance mulched in a hypnagogic flux.
Like a slippery cyborgian cousin to Graham Lambkin and The Caretaker, or even Gas and Jan Jelinek, Louis operates on the liminal edge of familiarity with a rough grasp of (de)composition applied to arrangements that appear to drift in and out of consciousness, connoting the effect of a memory blipping from daily sensory overload and struggling to fill in the cracks with warm flushes of skull-scraped endorphins.
It’s pretty hard to argue with Louis’ techniques of seduction. From the Gas-like swell and the crepuscular creep of the first parts, he gets right under the skin and stays there, pulling into the golden glow of ‘Super 32’, keening to the stately drift of ’92 Inside an Escort’ and getting it right on the nose with his transition from the olfactory synaesthesic timbre of ‘Everyone Gets Everything he Wants’ into heavy Lynchian clag on ‘You Will Not Remove Shit’ in a way that beggars the question; why the fuck has he not been commissioned for a film soundtrack by now?
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.
‘Art of Magic’ is Paper Dollhouse’s commission for the Folklore Tapes and The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic present… Art Of Magic Exhibition at The Horse Hospital London, Saturday 28 July, 2018
Droning, washed-out H-pop tropes suffuse the A-side’s ‘Folklore Tapes Live in London’ with a hazy state of mind emphasised by detached, fuzzy vocals and the distant screams of applause or protest (we’re not sure which) that give way to Astrid Steehouder aka Paper Dollhouse’s more typical, ghostly urges and eventually a bout of choral pads layered into eerie harmonic cadence. The B-side is a studio-based version of the first piece. Really good stuff...
Y is the highly influential and innovative debut album by The Pop Group, released in 1979. In the same year The Pop Group released their single She is Beyond Good & Evil / 3:38.
"The band went on to release 2 further singles, We Are All Prostitutes and Where There Is A Will (Split single with the Slits) and 1 further studio album For How Much Do We Tolerate Mass Murder, before splitting up in 1981.
Frontman, Mark Stewart embarked on a solo career releasing his pioneering album Learning To Live With Cowardice in 1983. Gareth Sager and Bruce Smith went on to form Rip Rig & Panic alongside Neneh Cherry."