Riveting compendium of stark, raw blues by an erstwhile sparring partner of Loren Connors, recently salvaged from an old shoebox of tapes, restored by Taylor Deupree and mastered by Carl Saff.
"I would go as far as to say that the few recordings that exist of these Robert Crotty sessions are among the finest and most beautiful blues documents of all time." -- Loren Connors
In the years 1978 to 1981, Robert Crotty would show up on Loren Connors’ doorstep in New Haven, Connecticut with his tiny, almost toy guitar. The two would then spend hours playing acoustic blues, the likes of which was absolutely staggering in its truthfulness.
Robert Crotty with Me: Loren’s Collection (1979-1987) is the first anthology of the late bluesman’s work, as selected by his former playing partner. These are the unheard tapes of Crotty and Connors communing with the spirits of Delta and County Blues through their own revisions of standards and tingle-inducing improvisations. These also some of the legendary Connors' earliest available recordings showing the development of iconoclast guitar style and vocal moan.
Crotty was a New Haven lifer and linchpin of the region’s blues scene yet, he never achieved much recognition outside local bars and house parties — until now. The album features never before heard recordings, unseen photos, liner notes by Connors and Crotty’s brother plus a bonus CD: the first-time reissue of Crotty’s ultra rare sole LP Robert Crotty Blues and Prove It! 7-inch -- both released on Connors’ private St. Joan imprint in the late 1980s.”
2017 Deluxe Edition with three bonus tracks.
Five years on from Space Is Only Noise, the once precocious composer Nico Jaar pursues that album’s blend of dancefloor mechanics, hip hop and ambient electronic pop into the more refined, layered designs of Sirens; its follow-up proper after dallying with Dave Harrington in Darkside and scoring/re-scoring films by Jacques Audiard and Sergei Parajanov, and even racking up BBC Radio 1’s mix of the year for his 2012 Essential Mix.
Whether weaving nods to Alice Coltrane with funereal torch song in Killing Time, or sounding like gothic Trentemøller doing clattery, jazzed-up D&B on The Governor, and even smoky ’50s doo-wop mixed with desiccated rocksteady groove in History Lesson, whose title is perhaps the earnest key to Sirens, Jaar’s 2nd album is slightly trickier to date than its predecessor, yet detectable nostalgic for another time and place.
We’re most attracted to its quieter moments, as with the ether drift of Leaves and its gauzy smudge of brass, strings and pads infiltrated with what we’ll assume is a sample of Nico as a child babbling to his famous father, making for a nice, innocent contrast with the rest of his earnest, pleading croons.
C Spencer Yeh presents an album of electro-acoustic music made on the legendary but defunct RCA Mark II modular synth - nicknamed ‘Victor’ - at Columbia Uni. An ingenious concept, captivatingly executed.
“The RCA Mark II is a follow-up to Yeh’s recent vocal work and is focused solely on the non-musical operation of the famed RCA Mark II synthesizer. Built and installed in 1959 at Columbia University, it was the first programmable synthesizer and became the bedrock upon which the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was founded. The machine has not worked since 1997.
While visiting a friend at the university, Yeh discovered the synthesizer and began to make regular trips to work with it acoustically: flipping switches, rubbing surfaces, turning knobs, and plugging/unplugging cables. Using contact and room microphones, Yeh recorded these operations over the course of several sessions, and the recordings became the basis from which he composed this 12-track LP. The artist then further manipulated and processed the material through a series of live performances, which were recorded and edited to complete the album.
The finished tracks are jagged, sparse, and hypnotically rhythmic. In listening to the record, one does not so much hear the original synthesizer, but rather an artist dismantling the historical weight of the source through a composition of its transformation from a legendary machine to a one-ton hunk of scrap metal no longer operational. It is here perhaps that Yeh finds virtuosity and spectacle in the most basic acts of instrumentation, the movement and clank of mechanical parts.”
The Speicher series hits release number 100 with its latest instalment, a doublepack that includes new tracks by Michael Mayer, Jorg Burger, jurgen Paape and Voigt & Voigt.
"The Speicher series actually has two birth dates: a first one in 1999, when a “Kompakt For Cisco” 12” special edition inadvertently created a new sub label with the rather pragmatically titled Kompakt Extra 001. Two years later, a Kompakt 12” sampler called “Speicher 1” introduced the name of the series that we know today – and a blueprint for idiosyncratic, powerful techno with clear dance floor ambitions.
MICHAEL MAYER was featured on both of these parent releases and also co-helmed the iconic Speicher 2 vinyl from 2002 (which brought us two essential Kompakt cuts with his own “Pride Is Weaker Than Love” and Reinhard Voigt’s “Supertiel”) – more than enough reasons to have him start off the celebratory 100th Speicher with a bang: LOUT sees Kompakt’s label head engage in bold, synth-laden prime time techno and the kind of epic noise break that informed his earliest output as a producer and DJ. Kompakt stalwart JÖRG BURGER is another usual suspect when it comes to label classics, and his Speicher releases as The Modernist (KOM EX 28) or Burger Industries (KOM EX 16) mark early milestones in the series. His BEATMESSE PT.1 & 2 focusses on the atmospheric side of Speicher and presents a deep, mutable groover.
Meanwhile, JÜRGEN PAAPE’s WHISPER ECHO and RODEO unearth the series’ not-so-secret pop sensibilities – just as he did on Speicher 47 and Speicher 45 (featuring the notorious “Take That”). VOIGT & VOIGT complete this 2x12” vinyl series profile in style, thanks to moody shuffle bouncer LEISE and the raucous, spiky banger BUM BUM BAR (feat. Chris Trance) – it’s a fitting conclusion to Speicher’s 100th release, coming from the duo that made a habit out of dropping legendary techno jams, from founding bangers “Korn/Roxy” (KOM EX 3) and “Vision 03” (KOM EX 5) to the most recent Speicher 99."
Khotin crosses Heart To Heart with with four analog house bubblebaths, Canadian style.
One year on from 1080p's debut LP introduction, 'Hello World', he coolly operates in orbit of that label's gauzy aesthetic and just in reach of Mood Hut's romantic ambience.
'For U To Feel' opens with a fluffy measure of marshmallow bass and creamy acid squiggles beside the dub-spilt deep house contours of 'XP Waste'.
Flipside takes flight with a feathered lick of the same Morricone track sampled in Pita's 'Get Out', but here applied to a simmering, mystic Chicago jack pattern in 'AT03', whilst 'AT04' meditates on modulated acid and serene deep house drones.
Adroit sound designer/producer J.G. Biberkopf makes a fine addition to Aïsha Devi and co’s Danse Noire label with Fountain Of Meaning, offering a far more mannered and dreamlike follow-up to the deadly fwd cyber-punk-techno of his two LPs for Kuedo’s Knives. Make sure to check ‘Dance of Relating’!
“Fountain of Meaning is a new sonic fiction from sound artist J.G. Biberkopf following last year’s Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess released on Knives. Emerging out of a situation of overflow, the record burrows deeper into his practice of palpable audio theater with a study of object and relations across space-time specific sounds.
The Fountain as a theme reflects a spouting and spilling of information, an erotic gushing of imagined aural history. “The Fountain was the source of water in the public space in cities,” J.G. Biberkopf explains. “Now it’s pretty much a sexualised architectural gesture of both beautification and the spectacle of dominant ideologies.”
The western classical musical canon, much like the perpetual coming of the fountain, flush the headphone space with stimuli. Reflex and memory guides the listener through a semiotic architecture of processed recordings of masses in Catholic churches and contemporary performances of pre-medieval music. A liquidity of structure has an anxious influence and is a closed system approach to form and imagination. When water flows, it fills every space, then spills over to claim more. History is equally abundant and alive. We have never had as much history as we have now. We have never been able to see ourselves as we can now.
A knowledge of a grander architecture of knowing and recalling oppress the ecologies of human decision-making.The nature of the archive has transformed into a total and panoptic intelligence. A life is a gamble as the inventory of the world overflows into the production of a spectral third, an other, a confrontation. Fountain of Meaning offers a dynamic tension and release. A molecular tragedy, our abject recovery into a collaborative reimagining of a trauma long forgotten. “
NYC techno survivor and Synewave bossman Damon Wild delivers his 3rd album, only 13 years since his last
Expect 15 tracks of well skooled techno depth - gritty, pulsing 909 sequences, misty-eyed synths, salty bleeps - for the hard working DJ and demanding headphone listener.
This compilation spanning a period of 37 years features Burnt Friedman's releases and edits thereof from vinyl-only labels (Latency (FR), Marionette (CA), Dekmantel (NL) amongst others) plus 4 hitherto unreleased tracks, making them available on digital formats.
"Friedman's music from 1980 to 2017 covers a broad spectrum of played and programmed rhythmic styles that traverse not only club music from techno, electro and dub, but, above all, trace Friedman's own artistic development. A trajectory that owes a lot to his long-standing collaboration with Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, who died at the age of 79 in 2017. Like Liebezeit, Friedman already explored even and uneven rhythms back in the late 1980s. This selection of 17 tracks documents this pursuit while bringing rough or discarded tracks to light, which did not fit onto any album or were intended for the Nonplace label.
The compilation runs the entire gamut of his work on percussion, keyboard, samplers and toys of all kinds using various production methods (tape, Atari, Midi, sampler, hard disk recording, digital audio tape). Studio work (instant-composition, programming and recording) underwent major technological changes and revolutions in the 1980s and 1990s, but Friedman's distinctive signature style prevails throughout. Surprisingly danceable tracks, interrupted by alien atmospheric periods, defy any genre.”
Following last year's ‘Previously Unreleased’ album and its run of nine weekly 12” vinyl EPs, Trevor Jackson has compiled a second volume of 20 tracks (11 unheard and 9 previously vinyl only).
"The music featured is a collection of reworked demos and unreleased recordings. A hedonistic mix of raw Disco, Dub, Funk, Dancehall. Electro, New Wave & Post Punk that all still sound as relevant today as they did when initially recorded for the debut PLAYGROUP album during 1997 - 2001."
IVVVO conveys intense emotions in Prince of Grunge, leading on from Good, Bad, Baby, Horny with Rabit’s Halcyon Veil with a visceral suite that “explores conflicting truths and accounts of depression, social anxiety and fear in the name of progress” for NYX Unchained, a new label and event series based in London.
The Portuguese producer has picked a thorny and ubiquitously topical subject for examination, effectively tending to the psychological flipside of his favourite subject; Rave culture, its unfulfilled dreams, and the possible after-effects of toxic excess.
Where grunge emerged as dissatisfaction with the cheesiness and mainstream role of ‘80s stadium rock, we can take his Prince of Grunge mantle as metaphor for a unhappiness with modern rave culture and its rote rituals, and the perceived distance between the original object and subjective, contemporary iterations.
in six succinct pieces he trawls subcultural ephemera from black metal to hardstyle and mutant electronica, framing a blistering reverie or elegy for unity and self-expression in a crowd that takes in the unheimlich entry of Born, with its wailing baby and acid rain tones, alongside the screeching chorales and hardstyle peaks of Until I Die. With Prince of Grunge he inverts trance breakdowns somewhere closer to a black metal intro, and V convulses classical piano arpeggios in a techno panic, before the thought broadcasting intimations of I Don’t Know, and finishing on something like a Xyn Cabal track, or Lorenzo Senni reworked by Naked in the bittersweet trance blooz ov Fantasy.
Torn Hawk hitches his wagon to UTTU for a tightly packed EBM session called Worm Quest, taking the examples of his Men With No Memory 2x7” down wilder back alleys of industrial dance music.
The four tracks fall somewhere between Gatekeeper’s EBM maulings on their Giza 12”, and the hi-energy Swedish EBM of Cats Rapes Dog, packing as much hi-tech funk torque into every second between the robocop dancer Wormquest and the new beat-nodding promo sample stabbed into Drain The Club on the A-side, then strangely recalling early ‘90s AFX in the taut clatter and martian melodies of Homeschooled Weirdo, saving something like a VHS Head sound with angular DX7 twang and tense techno ructions in The Paramus Achievement.
Hodge puts some much needed air and swing in Randomer’s drums on their smart, driving rave techno collaboration If I Could Stop, while Slipping catches them working on the offbeat with a nimble rhythmelodic hustle.
Alden Tyrell & Clone boss Serge give If I Could Stop a killer remix punctuated with achingly tight electro suss and riddled by virulent acid lines. Kowton sees to Slipping with his ghostly, gritty dub style, re-licking its envelopes to make the drums slide around a slippier sound sphere against keening, forward leaning electronics, right on the cusp of groove control and psychedelic looseness..
CPU boss and electro-obsessive Chris Smith has meticulously notated and recreated classic electro-bass drum tracks on the Roland TR-808 for DJ Tools, Vol. 1: 808 Tracks
Ranging from the bare bones of Hashim in The Soul, thru Mantronix’s Needle To the Groove, Herbie Hancock’s Don’t Stop, and, best of all, Juan Atkins’ Clear. It’s pretty mad to hear them all shorn of synth flesh and muscle, but they’re evidently all primed for DJs who wanna extend or cut-up any of the originals. Good work.
Jon Hassell’s downbeat, jazzy slice from 2005, now available to download
“BEGINNING with three live concerts, each recorded in four instrumental layers, some performances (notably, trumpet) were kept intact, other layers were either re-performed or invented anew while some layers migrated from one performance to another. Some completely new tracks were made by cannibalizing parts from previous works and reshaping them. My hope is that, by weaving together the spontaneity and "imperfections" of a live concert with the "detailing" of a studio recording, something distinctive results.
I almost subtitled this record "Improved Concerts", after Mati Klarwein's "Improved Paintings" series in which ordinary flea market paintings were miraculously transformed by painting into and out of the original. But one track—which exists only as a stereo recording—has been left untouched: the "encore" at the end, 'Open Secret (Milano)'. - Jon Hassell”
AtomTM returns to raster to complete his series that has begun with Liedgut and continued with Winterreise.
"The 7 tracks, created in collaboration with russian singer lisokot, are subdivided into 3 pieces of 2 minutes each and 4 pieces of 3 minutes each, intentionally reflecting the 3/4 time of a classic waltz. throughout the release, lisokot’s delicate vocals are put into different relations to atomTM’s rather cool machine music, either complementing or contrasting each other. in the same line, the 3 shorter “leitmotifs” provide the main theme that is taken up repeatedly in the course of the release."
The Trilogy Tapes grip Bass Clef rolling out on a rave tip with his first 12” shot in over 12 months.
With Entendrillar Mr. Cumbers whisks clipped rave chords into an aerated frenzy on a sloshing, whipsmart electro-swing groove (not that kind, but we could almost imagine the same crowd getting bandy-legged to this wan), whereas his Transprism dips to a lilting, Afrrhythmelodic cadence compatible with Elgato’s slippery, breezy styles.
For their first solo outing since 2015, Rrose plumbs the depths of the technosphere in three parts for the Eaux label.
We can think of few other artist so persistently, intently pushing the prism of modern techno as Rrose does right here, firstly exploring the body boneless with the jellyfish form of The Smallest Footprints and then with the chokingly immersive brownian dynamics of The Ends of Weather, before slicing into the ‘floor proper with the martial whirrs and plasmic propulsion system of Nest Of Queens across the B-side.
This one’s strong. No messing.
Fabric 96 is a mesmerising, needle-point techno mix by DVS1
Flowing thru 29 tracks in 78 minutes with an unfeasibly tight appreciation of tonal modulation and pressure control. We’ve not heard this style so stringently applied since Hawtin’s DE9 | Closer To The Edit, but DVS1 does it with a finer, uptempo flow of his own that firmly represents what he does in the club. Sheer class.
Bass Clef’s back on Trilogy Tapes for his 2nd shot of 2017.
A-side he locks deep into JA/UK dub traditions with the barrelling subs and messed-up, spooling steppers’ drums of Interform, then maintains that sense of undulating turbulence into the off-centre lope and skank of Untunnel like N.M.O. on a sun-dazed mission to West Africa, climaxing by driving over the edge into a febrile descent of dubbed-out and cold-sweating darkness.
TGF’s End Of Times in Dub style, rendering their single’s title cut in a trio of alternate versions:
A radiant Golden Dub with eccie-triggering harmonic swells; the uptempo Silver Dub for peak dark room times; and a stark Drone-Apella featuring a cold but sensuous Penelope Trappes vocal for the cannier DJ and mindful dancer.
Fiercely direct grime instrumentals from J Beatz
Going in heavy with the maaad acid bass graffiti on Stinjan, giving it up for Gyal from Brum with proper feminine pressure, then getting nasty with the snares and crud bass in Hop Scotch, and delivering the knock out blow with those combustible, distorted bass and brass sounds on Sket, saving the dark blue R&G of Nutshell for dessert.