Visionist isolates and reframes the tensile string arrangements and choral vocal of Ben Chatwin’s ‘Fossils’ with added trance synths in epic, weightless space, heralding the full ‘Altered Signals’ package of remixes by Steve Hauschildt, Ital Tek, Paul Corley and Pye Corner Audio
Lakker find their voice on ‘Época’, remerging after a two year hiatus in which they explored solo projects, Arad and Eomac, to bend cues from John Cage, traditional Irish instruments, and the raw immediacy of Nyege Nyege Tapes to their noisy will
“Following a restorative creative break to pursue their own solo projects (as Arad and Eomac respectively) the duo finally returned to the studio, finding themselves working more closely than ever before. "We wrote this record together, in the studio as a duo." Ian explains "Previous records involved a lot of time working on tracks individually, but Época was written almost entirely together in the studio - it felt much more fun, more organic and democratic." We allowed it to happen rather than push or pressure it" Dara adds.
The natural evolution of the tracks and their rougher, looser production sound parallels the duo's interest in two separate ideas: ambient and natural sound, especially the background noise - a sense of time and place - that is inherent in old recordings of folk and classical music; and an interest in herd dynamics and flock patterns / murmurations, both in the natural world and in human society. The movements which affect the world at large through cultural and political shifts. "Like the first starling that causes a wave in a murmuration," Ian explains "We are really interested in how this is also reflected in human society - a new idea appears and then reaches critical mass and resonates through society as a whole, and change happens (positive or negative)."
The rich and deep work of Época finds the duo reinvigorated from their hiatus, using their own voices extensively for the first time, alongsides regular vocal collaborator Eileen Carpio. As Dara explains "We had been experimenting with our own voices in our solo music, so it felt like this was the moment to step out from behind the curtain and put our own vocals front and centre in a more natural way". This leads to an at times more melodic and poppier feeling, balanced out by the off kilter rhythms and blasts of feedback and weathered reverbs that intertwine throughout the record.
Once again the duo look to the outside world for sonic inspiration. Alongside the use of physical modelling synths the album contains recordings and samples of violin, guitar and bodhrán, the stringboard of a piano at EMS Stockholm, phone recordings of family gatherings in Dublin and 1970’s dance music from Jaipur.”
Reverberating deep techno from Gunnar Haslam (half of Romans with Tin Man), for the deep Dutch port of Delsin
Rolling on from his 2018 12” with Kavalanic Languages, and 2017’s ‘Kalaatsakia’ album, Haslam plays out a minimalist, meditative sound in three parts stretching out from 13 minutes of sonorous bass thrum and plangent chords in ‘Cacique de Poyais’ to the more funked-up baseline mechanics of ‘Port Sommeil’ like a wilder Porter Ricks, then catching a rip-current of quick, colourful techno in ‘Azote du Guano’.
Debonaire disco-house funk from Modern Sun Records’ Marc Friedli a.k.a. Skymark
‘Facing the Funk’ comes in two mixes; the main mix with deeeep, earthy ‘80s boogie-soul vox, and an instrumental highlighting his fructified keyboard chops and percolated percussion.
Manicured, retro psych-pop sure to charm fans of Stereolab, John Maus, and coffee table books on Brutalism
“Four years after their critically acclaimed debut on Static Caravan Records, Manchester / Dundee based duo Art Of The Memory Palace release their highly anticipated new EP, Dusk at Trellick Tower. In the years since, Art Of The Memory Palace have released a split 7” with esteemed Welsh psych label Fruits de Mer Records, a long sold-out spoken-word collaboration with acclaimed Scottish author James Robertson, and a limited-edition cassette-only French Noir soundtrack album on Horror Pop Records.
Dusk at Trellick Tower is inspired by Hungarian Brutalist architect Erno Goldfinger; a towering presence in Modernism who courted controversy throughout his life. Known for being a humourless man prone to vicious rages, as well as the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s most notorious Bond villain, Goldfinger.
Across the six tracks, Ullah and Mitchell channel the darkness and dystopia which grew from much of Erno’s work, building synth-heavy sonic edifices evoking lonely night time walks along empty echoing corridors, urban decay and towering, impassive concrete monoliths. Using analogue synthesizers, drums, bass and tape loops processed through long chains of effects pedals, Art Of The Memory Palace strive for greater depths with this release, weaving menacing hooks and icy vocals together with droning chords and ambient soundscapes and creating their own shade of dark, beautiful melodies in the process.”
Slinky, humid, sexy electro-techno and far-eastern dub tang by Dang Khoa Chau a.k.a. D.K. (L.I.E.S./Melody As Truth/Antinote)
Digging a strong sort of ’89-into-’19 sound, D.K. deals four aces in ‘Mystic Warrior’, swaggering out with the early AGCG or J. Saul Kane vibes in ‘Mystic Warrior’ and the Akira-OST feel of ‘Elements’, then leaning on a style compatible with Muslimgauze or recent Szare riddims with ‘Worries In The Dance’, and hustling that Akira-cinematic feel back into Earth People’.
Dark Entries beckon a grip of dark, sexy EBM and slow-mo electro remixes of Greek avant-pop priestess Lena Platonos
In all four cases Lena is smartly reconnected with a new generation of Greek artists. Anatolian Weapons hears ‘Cyaniris’ as a snaky, half-lidded ‘6 A.M. Eternal’ electro workout; Pasiphae resets ‘Araschnia Levana’ as a killer late ‘80s EBM nightstalker; June turns ‘Cyaniris’ into a mercurial slow/fast zinger recalling classic John Foxx and John Carpenter; and Morah flips ‘Τα Γενέθλια Ή’ into a deadly pent-up and nagging dancefloor drill driven by clenched bass arps.
‘And We Are Passing Through Silently’ is the sublime first survey of reworks/remixes by cult synthesist Abul Mogard, including extended reworks of Brian Eno and Gordon Sharp (Cindytalk), Aïsha Devi, Fovea Hex, Penelope Trappes and more.
Arguably one the bigger enigmas in modern synth music, Abul Mogard has established a reputation for his singular synth works, mostly issued by Steve Moore’s VCO and Alessio Natalizia’s Ecstatic label since 2012. Prized for his slow-building, etheric and beatific style of composition, Mogard has also been in demand as a remixer over the years, and it’s in this role that Houndstooth focus upon, rounding up and presenting a handful of his strongest remixes for other artists, including many on vinyl for the first time. In each case Mogard extracts the artist or band’s essence and diffuses it into his own, billowing soundscapes with a time-dilating, meditative and romantic appeal that’s long been at the core of his synthy magick.
Where Abul’s solo work is purely instrumental, his reworks are the only place you’ll find him handling with vocals, and the best of those are found in ‘And We Are Passing Through Silently’. Perhaps understandably, he’s most impressive when working with other veteran souls. This is most clearly apparent on the 2nd disc, offering a stunning expansion of Gordon Sharp’s plaintive vocal in Massimo Pupillo/Becoming Animal’s ‘The Sky Is Ever Falling’ that surely reminds of his earliest work with This Mortal Coil, while he also deeply enchants with a glacial rendering of Fovea Hex and Brian Eno’s ‘We Dream All The Dark Away’ that sounds like it escapes a Clannad Seance in ’89.
Factor in a vertiginous spin of Aïsha Devi’s ‘O.M.A.’, the gently psychedelic rework of Nick Nicely’s ‘London South’, and a sweetly refined mix of Penelope Trappes, and it’s not hard to hear what all the fuss about, especially if you like Alessandro Cortini or Steve Moore!
"Rounding up divine renderings of songs by Aïsha Devi, Penelope Trappes (The Golden Filter) and nick nicely (heralded by luminaries of the US underground Ariel Pink and John Maus), the album culminates with Brian Eno’s collaboration with Irish avant-folk band Fovea Hex.
Also included is Abul’s brand new rework of Becoming Animal’s ‘The Sky Is Ever Falling’ featuring vocals from Cinder (This Mortal Coil/Cindytalk) and Massimo Pupillo on bass (Zu/Thurston Moore/Stephen O’Malley), exclusive to this release.
A must for fans of Alessandro Cortini, Pye Corner Audio, Fennesz, Gas.
Chicago’s Oozing Wound are a mass of contradictions: weed lovers whose music hits you with its breakneck head banging force. The band deal with nihilism yet remain addictively fun. Their music is equal parts sludge and thrash, noise and riff-loaded rock.
"‘High Anxiety’ is an unabashed mocking of the madness of modern living, its chemical induced adventures and establishment absurdity, deriding the industrial complex behind established institutions such as NASA while savaging those who deny science. Oozing Wound on ‘High Anxiety’ are nihilistic pied pipers making us laugh our way to the apocalypse.
The album finds guitarist and vocalist Zack Weil, drummer Kyle Reynolds and bassist Kevin Cribbin blending their ferocious energy, sonic experiments and blunt lyricism for a pummelling enjoyable headbanger with an irresistible sneer. On ‘High Anxiety’, Oozing Wound’s songs have become more complex, their attacks more ferocious, and bass and guitar lines more captivating.
The album was recorded in four days at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio. The trio ripped through live-tracking and overdubs, leaving space to experiment with new sounds and effects. The band, having an affinity for the complexities of prog music, managed to bring prog elements to ‘High Anxiety’ without sacrificing any of their songs’ punch. Subtle layers of saxophone, flutes and synths were blended into guitar tones, adding depth and texture without cluttering arrangements. Fist-pumping blasts of whitehot riffing become a Trojan horse for sonic weirdness. The resulting recordings are at once some of their most sonically rich, immediate, and impactful."
The whole “five band years = a lifetime” biz trope is justified by the second album from Sydney’s Low Life. Arriving with an aura of anticipation, 'Downer Edn' (read: Edition) feels like a collective document of the band's timeline since their unforgettable debut ‘Dogging’; an album which made enough of a mark on the punk landscape in 2014 to justify a reissue on London's Alter in 2017.
"Recorded over two years and mixed in 2018 by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring), ‘Downer Edn’ sees the core trio of Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro expand their ranks to a five piece. Dizzy Daldal of Oily Boys & Orion was brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, whilst fifth member Yuta Matsumura, also of Oily Boys & Orion, re-joined the group later to free Tolman up as a dedicated front man for live duties. The hours of studio work have resulted in making the band sound more confident and fully realised, reaching for and finding a sound that was perhaps unattainable 5 years prior. However, lurking behind the bigger vision and polished production, ‘Downer Edn’ is a complex proposition and remains a dark blast of an album. Expansive and cohesive, yet shimmering and rough; something they can be proud to call a definitive statement.
As far as Australian punk is concerned, Downer Edition not only shatters the boundaries applied by that descriptor, it does so with the lushest attack conceivable. Like their (admitted) influence, the enigmatic Ohio legends of obscurity, V3, seldom has the f*** word been sung (repeatedly) in such a believable and poetic manner. The visceral pounding of melodies throughout the album transforms their inspirations; desperation, neuroses, trauma, survival, hooliganism, violence, hope, rejuvenation, and their hometown of Sydney’s full architectural and social scope - from a realm of intangibility to the very, very tangible. In the words of Mitch, "We’re influenced by Sydney as a whole, whether it be the hot and muggy concrete streets of the West and South West, the "glorious beaches" of South Sydney, the racial tensions left over from the putrid Cronulla riots of 2006, the pompous and superficial fake tan/ bleached teeth combo suburbs of Bondi, as well as Sydney's iconography: The Harbour, the Bridge, the Opera House, Kings Cross. All the desperation embedded in and around these areas, including the eternal influx of troubled people looking to get into trouble, is our experience and main influence."
Unified on ‘RBB,’ ruminating on ‘92’, chasing the escape on ‘Rave Slave,’ and unwillingly defiant on ‘Warrior,’ Downer Edition reaches past the wild ride of Dogging - this truly is the album that Low Life have been threatening to make for nearly a decade."
Released in conjunction with Goner Records in the USA and Cool Death in Australia.
Bay Area’s Ana Roxanne exerts a gently intimate and singular spin on new age ambient tropes, surely set to be hailed among this year’s finest quiet listening missives
“Ana Roxanne is an intersex Southeast Asian musician based in Los Angeles. Born & raised in the Bay Area to immigrant parents, Ana's love for music and singing began through her mother's cd collection of 80's/90's R&B divas. Raised in the catholic church, she became a devout choir nerd and found any opportunity to sing, whether for religious mass, the jazz ensemble of her catholic high school, or karaoke at family gatherings. Her commitment to singing led her to a brief stint at a vocational jazz program in the cornfields of the midwest; in a remote town of 7,000 people, she began a formal study of jazz and classical music. During these years she would tour with various ensembles to beautiful old cathedrals in nearby cities and became enamored with the sacredness of choral music, as well as the enveloping sound of harmony. A near death experience, too, served as a connection between music and spirituality, and music as a healing art after facing tragedy.
In 2013, Ana was also fortunate enough to spend a few months in Uttarkhand, India where she met an incredible voice teacher who introduced her to classical Hindustani singing. Living and studying with this teacher deeply impacted her outlook on the voice as art. It was there that she began to see the singer - the Diva - as a symbol of divinity; that the unique power of one's voice comes from the vulnerability of using the body as an instrument. Be it romance, love, or worship of a deity - in order to access such depths of emotional expression, one must be willing to be intensely vulnerable, lay one's heart in the open air, expose what is kept hidden. This brief study was the catalyst that led her to finish her music study at the experimental Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she began to combine all of these influences into her current self-titled project. This album ~~~ was created during her last years residing in the Bay Area, a tribute to the great musicians who inspired her and the landscape where she spent her formative years.
In addition to the worship of R&B and pop divas, Ana's current practice explores themes of gender & identity. In October of 2018, she decided to come out publicly as intersex, and is dedicated to being a voice for her community and speaking out about social justice for intersex youth.”
New from Sucata Tapes (Discrepant), comes a mini album by Gonçalo F Cardoso's most experimental and retro avant-garde moniker, Papillon.
"After an LP back in 2013 (S/T) and a 2-part tape (Aqueducts) for Dinzu Artefacts in 2016, the Henri Charrière inspired alter ego hasn't been the most prolific of late. He now returns with 7 mini-vignettes full of mood swings, silly 'ambiances' and made up stories to make you dream and wonder (why?). Featuring contributions from Mike Cooper (Guitar) and Yannick Dauby (Field Recs and Modulators).
This mini-album will be the precursor to Papillon's swan song aka final album (Le Banco) to be released on main label Discrepant early 2020. For now recline on your burnt up sofa chair and enter the schizophrenic trip wonderland of Papillon's Cercueill Flottant.
Artwork by the ever talented Evan Crankshaw."
The debut album by Dis Fig.
"While the New Jersey born, Berlin-based artist is best known for her relentless and downright brutal DJ sets, this work comes in at a much different trajectory – an exploration of her own vulnerability through varying degrees of noise, vocal migrations, and orchestral composition.
“'PURGE' is about confronting the feelings which you have been avoiding. Consciously or subconsciously. Feelings you want to be feeling or “should” be feeling but you can’t because your body won’t let you. Because maybe it knows it’s not safe for you.
It’s when you reach that moment which makes your brow furrow because your chest is getting hot and something is about to erupt. When the feeling starts crawling up your neck, choking you, and you could try to make it stop but maybe it’s better for you if you don’t. When what comes out is painful - it’s tragic, it’s crippling. But with it comes a sliver of beauty. It’s burning and it’s stunning. When it’s over, you may learn by staring at the embers.”
Exquisite pickings from Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft, highlighting gems from the first three years of Melody As Truth on the label’s first CD release. Tipped for the romantics and those who still own a functioning CD player
“The music presented on this compilation, “Framed Space” consists of a selection of works from the first three years of Melody As Truth.
Disc One features the work of Jonny Nash, comprising of tracks from “Phantom Actors” [MAT1], “Exit Strategies” [MAT2] and “Eden” [MAT6]. Two unreleased tracks feature on the disc, “Treasure” and “Sayan”. “Treasure” was recorded with Gigi Masin in 2014. “Sayan” was recorded in Bali, during the same recording sessions as those that resulted in “Eden” [MAT6].
Disc Two features Herrera’s work as Suzanne Kraft, comprising of tracks from “Talk From Home” [MAT3] and “What You Get For Being Young” [MAT5]. Two unreleased tracks also feature on the disc, “Meetings” and “Seven Day Turnaround”. “Meetings” was recorded in Amsterdam shortly after Herrera relocated to the city in 2015. “Seven Day Turnaround” was made during the “What You Get For Being Young” sessions, also in 2015.
The music on “Framed Space” is intended to give the listener an insight into the first chapter of an ongoing story.”
If Jodorwsky made an Adult Swim show, the soundtrack may well come out like Meridian Brothers and Pedro Ojeda’s lysergic cumbias as Chupame El Dedo. Frazzled, unhinged, and frankly odd sh*t, this!
“Souk’s fourth release is a daring adventure in global beats. Frequently it comes to mind the universe of Quasimoto, Madlib’s abstract hip hop that sounded delicious in the early 2000s. Chupame El Dedo lives in the same kind of power trip, fuelled by intense salsa rhythms dressed with heavy metal images.That’s where Satan comes into place. The Devil wears many clothes, but none are as multi-coloured and trendy as the ones we see in “No Te Metas Con Satan”. We are advised of that during the first side of the LP. Each song dares the listener, with a multitude of ideas, sometimes dissonant ones, that find their way to make sense. An example? The first song “No Te Metas Con Satan” sounds like a perverted version of “Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?” and when you think it’s over, it starts again, repeating ideas and leaving you extremely confused. What the fuck just happened? Chupame El Dedo happened.
And it goes on. Flip to the other side and “Alexandra Candelaria” says hi. A 7:43 minute long sinful & hilarious soup opera. No-one is ready for this. Laughter mixes with intense head banging, while we listen to what would happen if Jodorowsky made a Cartoon Network show. A damn good one. Maybe it’s a good idea to not mess around with Satan, but you’ll be in serious trouble if you don’t listen to this. Seriously.”
New from Sucata Tapes (Discrepant), comes a new project by Berlin-based artists Pedro Silva (turntable percussion) and Stefan Brunner (guitar and field recordings).
"The Hour of the Wolf is an improvisational piece based on an associative storyline, written by Stefan Brunner and divided into 8 chapters. We invite you to look at the score http://hourofthewolf.org while you play this tape."
Rotherham rave imp Rian Treanor kicks up to Planet Mu for ‘Ataxia’, his debut album following introductory EPs with The Death of Rave and Warp’s resuscitated Arcola sublabel.
Under the title ‘ATAXIA’, chosen literally for its meaning - “the loss of control of bodily movements” - as well as its figurative, asymmetric quality, Rian sequences ramped versions of his tracks for The Death of Rave along with shockingly forward new gear that plays into his love of Dadaist vocal cut-ups. The result is an immensely playful and beguiling album, cannily messing with listeners’ sense of rhythmic anticipation in a dare-to-be-different style that’s tripped up and put a big daft grin on dancefloors everywhere from Boiler Room in Helsinki to Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes festival.
Where his earlier EPs were mostly improvised, Rian spent more time shaping the tracks for ‘ATAXIA’. Taking cues from his mentor and father, eminent sound artist Mark Fell, as well a rich SoYo rave heritage, he sticks to an economical palette, making each stab, drum and pad count in the democracy of the mix. From these relatively simple, if now more refined elements, Rian’s suss comes into play in the structuring, using his background as a visual artist to create disruptive patterns of angular yet fluid syncopation and irregular symmetries that both allow for and connote a sort of hyper-natural order of chaos.
While resembling the styles of speed garage, synth-pop, bleep techno and extreme computer music that he grew up with, Rian’s pointedly mischievous approach jumbles those styles, using the tactility of Max/MSP to rejig them with more unpredictable and playfully wrong-footing effect, embracing the dancefloor’s radical potential to reprogram minds and bodies.
Concepts aside, though, ‘ATAXIA’ is a lot of fun. Rian’s dry Yorkshire humour is in full effect in the cut-up vocals of the openings and closing numbers, while the recursive ballistics of ‘B1’ are bound to tie bodies in knots, ‘C2’ advances his absorbingly intricate melodic sequencing, and the rhymelodic chicanery of ‘D2’ ranks among the most stunning, inexorably funky cuts in his catalogue.
Early 1930s ryukoka recordings from Japanese geisha Kouta Katsutaro.
"Emerging during the early stages of the recording industry in Japan, the ryukoka style adopted some western classical, blues & jazz elements into traditional Min'yo folk music. Kouta Katsutaro would become one of it's most popular proponents, and along with another popular geisha singer, Ichimaru, forms the basis of a period dubbed the "Katsu-Ichi Era”.”
The endlessly inventive Matmos keep abreast of the game in ‘Plastic Anniversary’, their hugely playful and charming follow-up to ‘The Marriage Of True Minds’ 
One of modern dance music’s original deconstructionists, Matmos bring a long and mazy history of conceptualised sonic rearrangement to the table in ‘Plastic Anniversary’. As precedents for the current wave of dance music astringents, they maybe have a lot to answer for, but likewise they also lead the way with their fundamentally rhythm-based style inside, using the most ubiquitous of materials - plastic - to shape a ruck of highly personalised and unconventional songs.
“Taking the concept of “broken beat” literally, “Breaking Bread” is a bouncy digital dancehall number built entirely out of the plucked and twanged fragments of broken vinyl records by the Seventies soft rock group Bread. A mini-suite for plastic container, exercise ball and an amplified DNA kit that recalls both 80s pop and the hectic minimalism of Michael Nyman, “The Crying Pill” stacks frantic patterns of saxophone-like sobs onto deep sub bass stabs that are almost trap. Amplifying squishy synthetic human tissue created by the SynDaver corporation as a substitute for human corpses in medical schools, “Interior with Billiard Balls & Synthetic Fat” pairs squelchy electro made out of gross-out substances with tangy melodic riffs. This odd combination of Cronenbergian body-horror and sunny grooves continues on “Silicone Gel Implant”, a skanking number that works rubbery basslines out of, yes, a breast implant, but by the time the plastic flutes snake into the mix, the source becomes secondary to the trance-like form. Side one closes in a more reflective and somber key, with the title track “Plastic Anniversary”, whose cod-medieval martial drums and horn fanfares recall Matmos’ penchant for anachronism circa “The Civil War” before giving way to a close-mic-ed cascade of plastic poker chips.
If side one is playful and poppy, side two is sharper and darker in its implications, and features more live drumming than any other Matmos album. Things kick off with “Thermoplastic Riot Shield” a single-object study built entirely out of the sound of a police riot shield being stroked, rubbed and struck. The resulting sounds are processed into a tense assemblage of harsh noise, deep dub basslines and jarring cuts of silence. On a squeaky loop straight out of a Jacques Tati film, “The Singing Tube” draws out the pinging resonance of a ten foot long PVC pipe played entirely with plastic toilet brushes, and hits a flanged overtone effect not unlike the string compositions of Arnold Dreyblatt. Bristling with whistles and noisemakers and plastic-gloved handclaps, “Collapse of the Fourth Kingdom” bolts a percussive showcase for the high school marching band playing the signature patterns of drumline and Baltimore club onto jarring edits of LEGO bricks clicking into place and weird smears of processed plastic horns. Since plastic was described by its first developers as a “fourth kingdom” beyond animal, vegetable, and mineral, this track heralds the eventual collapse of the political economy that birthed the oceans of garbage that now choke our world. Thinking the dystopian consequences of plastic through to their post-human conclusion, the final track, “Plastisphere” sounds like a field recording of insects and birds and pattering rain and ocean waves, but is in fact a work of digital sleight of hand: every single sound on this track has been artificially constructed out of samples of bubble wrap, Velcro, plastic bags and straws and, tellingly, an emergency stretcher. After a volatile and vibrant suite of poppy plastic electronics, Plastic Anniversary ends in an acknowledgement of the planetary price yet to be paid.”
Killer dancehall from Brooklyn’s FDM (Flex Dance Music) don Epic B, dropping the follow-up to his ‘Going Modd’ anthem with DJ Lag for Swing Ting
“The original riddim file for Mask On was lost last year in a robbery when Epic had his laptops and hard drives taken at gunpoint. However, a WAV file of this riddim had been bounced prior to this unfortunate event. A year on and the riddim has been reconfigured, chopped and voiced by four amazing artists with it set to blaze up the airwaves this spring and summer!
"Meno" features Eddie Hill a Brooklyn-based artist who collaborated on "Be With Me" from Epic B's acclaimed Late Night FlexN EP. This version was recorded prior to the robbery - thankfully due to Nick Sinna's mastering skills it's been possible to restore this cut for dancefloor devastation. Swing Ting's Samrai travelled to Equiknoxx studios in Vineyard Town, Jamaica in 2018, resulting in two cuts on the riddim. He played Kemikal Epic B's Mask On riddim, who laid down "Walkie Talkie" almost immediately. Alozade, veteran on the Dancehall circuit recorded his version "More Gal" a few days later with help from Gavsborg co-writing the lyric. Hotly-tipped Mancunian MC Lady Ice recorded her vocals at Swing Ting studios, after which Epic chopped the vocals in his inimitable FDM style, turning them into the final version of "I'm the One”.”
The last person we expected to mess about with electronics, Pavement’s overlord Stephen Malkmus has done just that with ‘Groove Denied’; the third album credited to Malkmus, and the first to not feature his backing band, The Jicks
‘Groove Denied’ was entirely performed, produced and engineered by Malkmus. It finds him dabbling with synths and drum machines to intriguing effect on a few numbers that pay homage to “Pete Shelley’s ‘Homospaien,’ the Human League, and DIY synth music circa 1982… but he soon enough sinks back into the indie-pop mire and with it my attention ends there. Remarkably, Malkmus worked on this album for 12-13 years, only for for the label to tell him in 2017 that it was’t the right time to release it. We would have trusted their first instinct.
Arch techno goth Vatican Shadow delivers Berghain’s annual mix, vacillating new and vintage selections with cherry-picked cuts from his unrivalled collection of industrial cassette rarities.
Vatican Shadow is a relatively late stage alias for Dominick Fernow, who unmistakably made his name as noise beast Prurient and boss of Hospital Productions since 1997. As the noise scene ran out of conceptual energy around 10 years ago, Dominick found his calling on the ‘floor, forming Vatican Shadow as a vent for his rhythm-focussed industrial music concerns. The project would coalesce around militant drum patterns that found their way into various DJ sets, and Vatican Shadow became a key part of the whole industrial/EBM/darkwave resurgence witnessed over the best part of this decade.
With ‘Berghain 09’ Fernow makes his influences and affiliations explicit across the mix and in two accompanying EPs of exclusive gear, collected here. Opening and closing with Genesis P-Orridge mantras ‘Ritual Music’ and ‘One Being, One Orientation, One Power’, he trawls rolling EBM/techno from Juan Mendez (Silent Servant) as Los Angeles Death Cult, the blitzkreig of ‘Venom Timetables’ with Ancient Methods and Regis’ Ugandan Methods, and the agitated pound of ‘Decontrol’ from JK Flesh, while Hospital Productions' Alberich slams out the thistly banger ‘Werkstatt’ along with ‘Colt Neck’ from Ron Morelli, and a handful of distended noise loops by Merzbow.
Reissue of The Fall’s ninth studio album, Bend Sinister, originally released in 1986. This edition is titled Bend Sinister/The 'Domesday' Pay-Off Triad-Plus!
"It was the last of three albums in a row produced by John Leckie and was named after a dystopian novel by Vladimir Nabokov.
After the universal acclaim for the previous year’s This Nation’s Saving Grace, Bend Sinister often stands in its predecessor’s shadow. It is a dark, brooding album made at the height of the group’s Beggars Banquet years and many people include this at the top of the list of favourite Fall albums."
3rd eye-poking psych treks from members of Sunburned Hand of the Man and Pharaoh Chromium; Paul Lebrecque and Ghazi Barakat. Killer Arabic drum breaks underpin extended, cosmic-minded synth and guitar explorations. RIYL Sun City Girls, Muslimgauze, Morphosis
“After excessive years in rock bands like THE GOLDEN SHOWERS or his solo project BOY FROM BRAZIL, time had come for the German-Palestinian artist GHAZI BARAKAT to develop a new aesthetic – the birth of his alias PHAROAH CHROMIUM where BARAKAT creates "meta-music for meta-people in a meta-world", or in other words:a mutoid blend of post-krautrock, psychedelism, free jazz, ancient rituals, science fiction and electronics. So far the Berlin based sonic performer released a couple of solo albums on labels like GRAUTAG or TAPEWORM and a triple LP with krautrock legend GÜNTER SCHICKERT. For his latest output he decided to simply use his civilian name BARAKAT, as does PAUL LaBRECQUE (SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN) who contributesguitar and synthesizer to the two side-long tracks. "Jajouka Pipe Dream" is a clear reference to the MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA, with lots of flutes and percussion, a very rhythmical, ritualistic track, while "Planet R-101" turns out a spacey trip with elements of krautrock and Kosmische Musik / Berliner Schule.
What may sound contradictionary on paper functions perfectly on LP - freeform / free-floating music, absorbing and integrating a wide range of influences and inspirations, sounds and styles – and highly psychedelic!”
Debut solo album by Australian-born, Liverpool-based composer, saxophonist and founder of Immix Ensemble, Daniel Thorne.
"In Daniel’s own words, “Thematically, this music was inspired by birds-eye aerial images and the idea of perspective - how something incredibly complex like a river or the surface of the ocean is reduced to a simple line or shape when viewed from the heavens. The line between natural and man-made becomes increasingly blurred.”
Every strand is fresh, vital and purposeful. The description ‘seamless’ might suggest a smooth, bland fusion, but here elements overlap in intermittent, undulating layers of mesh. Avant-garde, noise, electronics, ecclesiastical, classical, a touch of jazz and traces of Wyatt-style contemporary folk come together, each occupying their own space while acquiescing with the whole.
“Several compositions are derived from ratios and processes, and are highly calculated, while others evolved in a much more organic way. I wanted to create music that blurred lines between acoustic and electronic, organic and synthetic, composition and improvisation.
I’ve long been a fan of studio-based composition, but have always found the infinite possibilities on offer daunting and, often, a stumbling block. To get around this I set myself a challenge of limiting myself to the physical instruments in my possession – a few different saxophones and a bass synth, with no more than four tracks to record them,” he adds.
Lines of Sight follows Thorne’s work as artistic director of the acclaimed, collaboration-focussed group Immix Ensemble. Together with experimental electronic artist Vessel, he co-wrote Transition released on Erased Tapes in 2016, described by BBC Radio 6’s Mary Anne Hobbs as “a remarkable new piece of music”. More recently, he worked with acclaimed modular synth wizard Luke Abbott, to create a four-part suite, which was premiered live in June 2017. Immix Ensemble have also performed special live commissions with Kelly Lee Owens, Dialect, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones, among others.
Prior to leaving Australia, Daniel was fortunate to work with some of the country’s leading new music ensembles as both a composer and performer, receiving commissions from the TURA New Music Festival and the Australia Council, as well as being appointed as Composer in Residence at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In the UK he was the recipient of the prestigious Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition, and also undertook a residency at Metal Liverpool, which provided him with the time and space to create Immix."
Peder Mannerfelt joins Modeselektor’s resurrected label, Seilscheibenpfeiler, for the cyberpunk techno joyride of ‘Life Without Friction’
On the title cut he nails redlit techno style right between the eyes of Levon Vincent, Roska and Kowton, whereas the scrambled meter and epic pads of ‘Lucid In The Sky’ reels off into space between late ‘90s Somatic Responses and Autechre with heavily arresting impact. ’Un-Air’ follows like something from the first Errorsmith album before flexing some fancy chords, and ‘Hold The Line’ melts out into a lushly dissociative power ambient state.
Man can seemingly do no wrong right now. This is ace!