Last spotted showing their chops on Porridge Bullet, the Dima Disk duo jump on Rub-A-Dub’s white label series with four thistly bangers and sawn-off breakbeat knockers.
Their sweaty, hypnotic house Rolla appears to work out in the same grubby gym as the L.I.E.S. lot, while the bittersweet lead hook of Gelberderte is comparable with Lone style. Your rug will be properly cut with the rasping, slicing breakbeat roil of Loosie, and Fetty leans much farther left with a keening, salty take on weightless bleep techno dynamics riding big swolled subs.
Memnon Sa grab our attention with the cover photo of RAF Fylingdales on Lemurian Dawn, and proceed to hold it firmly with a doozy mixture martial drums, mandrax synths and throat singing inside.
The fact that Lemurian Dawn is released by Aurora Borealis - home to albums by Haxan Cloak, Grumbling Fur, øjeRum - should be a signal of quality to those who know, but for everyone else, this is a class example of the eldritch infecting doom metal dimensions, swapping out glaring darkness for a gauzier, psychedelic appeal and sensitivity that takes hold with the subtlety of a psychoactive you didn’t realise you’d ingested. Fans of Steve Moore or Ghost Box should add this to their mushy playlist.
“Memnon Sa return with ‘Lemurian Dawn’, a cosmic journey through space, time and myth. Black ops missions witness the binary sunrise on a forgotten world. Pan dimensional spacecraft hover over ancient pyramids on worlds undreamed of.
The guitar driven doom metal sound of the acclaimed debut ‘Citadel’ has been replaced here by a myriad of analog synthesisers, ancient world instruments, throat singing and strings. ‘Lemurian Dawn’ channels New Age meditational works, film soundtracks and cosmic jazz from the 70s and 80s. The result could be the soundtrack to a lost 1970’s European animation sci-fi film, warm analogue sounds that hint at cosmic forboding and sinister forces unseen.
The album was recorded over a month and a half at Misha Hering’s Holy Mountain Studios in Hackney, London, and mixed using almost exclusively analog equipment to 1/2 inch tape.
It was mastered by legendary mastering engineer Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in LA.”
Chicago Ghetto House staple Jana Rush delivers a properly rugged debut album of footwork on Lara-Rix Martin’s Objects Limited.
Notably entering the world of DJing at age 10, and making her first productions only 3 years later - some of which ended up on Dance Mania alongside DJ Deeon - Jana’s recent tilt into footwork, documented on the warped, febrile designs of her MPC 7635 EP as JARu in 2016, places her not only as one of the scene’s few female operators, but also one of its rudest and most idiosyncratic.
Pariah is Jana’s first longform statement and it bangs from every angle. percolating stammering vocals on lip-bitingly tight typewriter beats, Midline Shift gets it going with a style comparable to the headier oddness of Jlin and the stripped fundamentals of RP Boo in a mutable aesthetic which informs each part of the album, variously flipping from hardass pressure in the slicing tessellations of Beat Maze to floating, chords-driven lushness in Divine and the levitating structure of Chill Mode, but also tending to Chicago’s jazz and spiritual music roots with the hyperventilating flute chops of ??? ??? and the soul-infused belter Old Skool.
However, the big highlights for us appear in the super tuff clench of Break It and Rapid Fire, where she’s not afraid to strip it right to the bone, and likewise the two freaky af 303 turns, namely No Fuks Given and Acid Tek 2, before it all comes together in staggering, lush form with the jungle/juke throw down Frenetic Snare at the LP’s close.
Remastered selection of post punk peaches, packaged with an 11x11” double-sided insert featuring liner notes, lyrics and photos
“Lives of Angels was the brainchild of Gerald O’Connell from London, England. At the end of the 1970s, O’Connell had been working on material for Mystery Plane, a band that included his wife Catherine on keyboards and backing vocals. In 1980 the pair of them left to form Lives Of Angels and focus on O’Connell’s own songs, which he felt were more “oblique, atmospheric and evocative” than the narrative style and social commentary of Mystery Plane. The result sounds both of its time, comfortably nestling under the gloomy clouds of British post-punk and goth, and oddly out of time; its homemade quality placing it outside of obvious chronological signifiers as the motorik riffs and spartan drum patterns loop over and over to infinity.
O’Connell was unimpressed by the musical offerings of the early ’80s (with the exception of New Order, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, he notes), instead drawing from San Francisco psychedelia, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, Congolese guitarist Dr. Nico and the full pantheon of krautrock (especially Amon Düül II, whose song ‘Archangels Thunderbird’ contains the line, “There is no elevator to Eden but a hole in the sky”). Keyboards and some vocals were provided by Catherine, who also acted as editor, making changes to the arrangements or pointing out inappropriate drum patterns (hence her credit in the sleeve notes as “percussion censor”). “Elevator to Eden” was originally released in 1983 on cassette by Color Disc and reissued on vinyl in 2012 on Dark Entries, in slightly condensed form. ‘Hole In The Sky’ is an 11-track compilation of material from the Lives of Angels archives. Including two tracks from the original Elevator To Eden’ cassette omitted from our vinyl reissue, two tracks from Color Disc compilations and 7 previously unreleased tracks. This compilation features the very earliest Lives of Angels recordings “Call Moscow” and “Somebody Else” as well as the final composition from 1986 “The Infinite Corridor” plus original mixes of “After Dark” and “Look Out Kid” different than the versions on the ‘Color Supplement’ compilation. ‘Hole In The Sky’ is an impressive example of early ’80s home recording; a DIY interpretation of the elegance and ambition of the previous decade’s krautrock.”
Loft takes their mutant party to Wisdom Teeth with Three Settlements Four Ways. Landing in the wake of a vinyl pressing for his RA-praised Turbulent Dynamics EP, the vibes and production are, by turns, much lusher, layered and knotty than previous outings, bringing Loft’s sound closer to say, Arca or Lanark Artefax.
Up top, they emerge from tremulous beginnings to open out an optimistic, airborne club blessing with the percolated drums, hyaline chorales and virulent acid lines of Filton Recall, then squashing the pressure down low with bubbling subs generating effervescent ambient chords and a spire of giddy hardstyle trance motifs in Funemployed.
Flipside he commits to more chaotic themes with the ambiguous, pranging dynamics of Oh Well We’re All Fucked, chewing up and spitting out a rainbow coloured gob of sawn-off breaks and convulsive club deconstructions, then settles into a nervy swing with the lush but agitated bump of Pottlin.
Hard-to-resist Afrobeat jazz burners right here from Nigeria’s Ayetoro.
The drums are just incredible, but also the swingeing basslines, cool vocals, and warm-ass brass. Classic sounding, but smartly contemporary with it, not simply rehashing the vibe.
Woiii!!! Dark Entries on their best game with this pre-Yello collection by Carlos Peron and Boris Blank, presenting the first ever collection of their near-mythical Tranceonic recordings. Includes a prototype of ‘Bostich’. Need we say anymore?!
“Tranceonic is the duo of Carlos Perón and Boris Blank of Yello who met in 1971 in their hometown of Zürich, Switzerland. At this time Carlos studied Free Jazz while Boris listened to bands like Pink Floyd and Queen. The two bonded over a conversation about The Mahavishnu Orchestra album ‘The Inner Mounting Flame’ and became musical friends. From 1973 to 1976 they played in the New Wave group Urland. After the split of the group Perón founded the Tranceonic studio with his equipment in his private flat. Carlos invited Boris over to his studio and a concentrated work began. The idea was to make experimental new music with the hopes of having a hit in the United States. Everybody at this time was into punk, but Tranceonic loved industrial and electronic sounds. Their foresight and innovation created new ideas. Perón and Blank made electronic avant-garde music informed by the Berlin and Cologne schools. By 1978 the two had enough material to record an album and made a trip to San Francisco to visit Ralph Records. The Residents promised to release the music if the duo removed all the tape hiss, which never materialized.
‘New Crime’ is the first ever vinyl compilation of material produced, recorded, performed and mixed at Tranceonic Studio between 1976-1979. The equipment set up at the studio included a Farfisa Synth Orchestra, WERSI string ensemble, ARP Odyssey with Sequencer, ARP Quadra, Roland SH 3A, CR-78, Space Echo and Korg Minipops 120P and many effect boxes normally used for guitars. Samples were self-recorded using a Revox cassette deck and turntables. Blank and Perón experimented with manipulated tape loops, echo effects and snippets of found sounds. Blank also explored foreign near-equator exotics playing Arabesque percussion and a homemade bamboo flute. Perón experimented with CV triggering and dubbing super 8 film effects from vinyl. Both members took turns singing Carlos’ lyrics. Stylistically the songs anticipate the feeling of Yello’s ‘Solid Pleasure’ album and included here is the first instrumental mix of “Bostich”.”
Savage pulsating drone-rock from France
"France is the trio of Jeremie Sauvage on electric bass, Mathieu Tilly on drums and Yann Gourdon on amplified hurdy-gurdy. They play one note / one rhythm producing energetic performances reminiscent of the early collaborations between Faust and Tony Conrad. Creativly recycled influences result in intense shows with pounding overtones and repetitive pulsing rhythms. Loud straight and trance-inducing.
The pertinency of the recordings only slowly appear On “Occitanie" in the mass of sound, the rhythmic repetition and the elongated drones. The hurdy-gurdy forces you deeper, highlighting points of microtonal flux, cracking open the single note, the nodding rhythm, to imply the presence of every note, every sound, inside it. The insensible evolution, lurks in a corner of noise and finally imposes itself slowly on careful listening.
The band members of France perform in various other projects: Tanz Mein Herz, Toad and Jérico, all are member of the collective La Novià, an organisation based in Haute-Loire which brings together professional musicians and is a place for reflection and experimentation around traditional and / or experimental music.
In 2009, France was invited to play in Pau, a city far south-west of France, next to spain, by the people running Pagans Musica, a like-minded traditionnal-oriented group of people, also bent on educational issues concerning the local music and dialect: Occitan and on fusioning traditional musics and rock related sounds and instruments. They had set up a show for France and their band Artus and originaly wanted to have Acid Mother's Temple join the bill. The japanese band had done versions of songs coming from their village (eg. "La Nòvia") but weren't touring near France so instead they invited Duo Ancelin Rouzier as the third act, a band both Artus and France were also very fond of.
Pagans had everything set-up for the concert to be recorded and as France had plenty of time for sound-check, they went on to record the “Pau" album in the afternoon, taking a thirty seconds pause in the middle of the session so as to mark both sides of the vinyl. The Occitanie Lp is the recording of the live set later that night, with no cut and a longer, more savage performance."
In the endless ocean of Sun Ra recordings, Space Is The Place ranks among the very best but more importantly stands as the most immediately understandable of his records.
This masterpiece touches flawlessly on elements of many of Ra’s multiple phases and provides both a mission statement for and a gateway to his immaculate body of work.
Back in 1972 Sun Ra organised his Arkestra for a compellingly ambitious score, which has since been referenced by practically anyone with an interest in Afro Futurism. The accompanying film was just as groundbreaking, chronicling the time-travelling astral adventures of Sun Ra , which would turn out to be an allegory for racial power struggles in the US at the time.
The music was all recorded in San Francisco, arranging a truly mind-blowing programme of heavy synthesizer and organ blasts, hypnotic vocal chants, free jazz chaos and deeply funky Afro-Latin percussion influences that's still seen as a well of inspiration today. We're holding back on the hyperbolics but this is just one of those records that every self-respecting music lover should own, so you know what to do... Highly recommended!
For only the 2nd time, German ambient techno pioneer Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric, MVO Trio, Vilod, Ambiq) presents his solo work on Greyland - an absorbing, six track follow-up to the Transparenz  LP for Loderbauer and Tobias Freund’s Non Standard Productions label.
Marking a bit of a departure for the Marionette label, who’ve previously issued a string of percussion driven records by Kilchhofer, Burnt Friedman and the like since 2014, Greyland keens their aesthetic into more esoteric realms of pulsating kosmiche electronics, while still keeping the dancefloor in view on a trio of bumpier B-side cuts.
In the first instance, though, Loderbauer works on generating a swell of wobbly, organically raw and diffused electronics, alternately laced with trickling modular knocks against banks of distortion in Corner, or tilling a stereo-swirled, monotone kraut groove in Undercurrent, whereas the elegantly shifting figures of Heliopolis show off his firm yet genteel grasp of modular electronics.
B-side, Loderbauer stealthily ups the ante. With Artus he carves a sequence of insistent, glassy plongs and lush, floating pads disturbed by shards of dissonant glitch, before eking out a scratchy sort of dubtronica somewhere between Bellows and Isan with Who’s That Born, and then slyding off the page with the creamed hyaline tones and languorous subbass waves of Golden Crescent.
Another peach from the STROOM〰 label, this selection of avant-garde pop by NSRD catches the ace Belgian label looking beyond The Lowlands to one of Latvia’s most important, multi-disciplinary groups of the 1980s, sounding out a style somewhere between the slyvan, drizzly post punk of Vazz and the poetic art-pop of Lena Platonos, but with a chilly Baltic air all of its own.
Circling core members Juris Boiko (1954-2002) and Hardijs Lediņš (1955-2004), NSRD or The Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feeling were a self-professed group of non-musicians who happened to make music as part of their practice, which also encompassed performance and action art, visual arts, poetry, samizdat (clandestine or bootleg literature) and video art, all in a fine attempt to explain, import and transpose postmodern art ideas into their home country.
NSRD called their movement ‘Approximate Art’, and by the end of the ‘80s were working with West German artists such as Indulis Bilzēns and Maximilian Lenz aka Westbam. This set surveys the years leading up to and including the late ‘80s, mostly collected from from reel-to-reels, tapes and obscure releases via Seque and their own Approximate Art label.
It’s all a bit like watching or listening in on someone else’s strange dreams, or tuning in to an unidentified radio station, where the lo-fi quality and synthetic inputs give a weirdly detached yet captivating quality that we can’t quite place a finger on. It lends an heavy-lidded lullaby-like effect to Karstvīna recepte / Uz pirti / Garām aiziet vīrs ar cigareti, whilst the icy slow synth-pop élan of Pļava provides a massively seductive highlight to lovers of Northern electronics, and Kastanis beautifully catches that Vazz sound, but replacing their supple dub suss with a strange mix of plasmic tones and brittle groove.
Kurmja aptuvenie ceļi finds them porous to mystic eastern influence and the possibilities of computer music in a way that recalls László Hortobágyi’s imaginative fusions from the same era, and the industrial klang of Ievadmūzika Maskavas TV programmai “LAIKS” - or Intro Music for the Moscow TV programme “TIME” has got to be one of the sickest, dissonant ‘80s TV themes we’ve ever heard.
Total revelation this one.
Acid Jesus was the first of many collaborations between Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke.
Situated in Frankfurt's thriving techno scene (and it´s holy label trinity of Playhouse, Klang and Ongaku), Flügel and Wuttke succeeded with their own and unique take on a sound that owed as much to Underground Resistance and the Belleville Three as it did to Sven Väth and Andrew Weatherall.
This epic set includes their best material circa 1992-1998, including a host of previously unrleeased pieces.
Remastered reissue of a freakish bag of tape experiments and punkish drum machine innovation from a lesser known nook of ‘80s France
“Alésia Cosmos was a collective of musicians led by Bruno de Chénerilles formed in the early 1980s in Strasbourg, France. The group consisted of Pascal Holtzer (guitar, synthesizer, tapes, drum machine, vocals), Pierre Clavreux (vocals, gong), Marie-Berthe Servier (vocals), Bruno (guitar, tapes, synthesizer, drum machine, vocals) and Tunisian percussionist Lotfi Ben Ayed (darbukas, bendir). In 1981 Bruno composed and wrote some sci-fi radio plays for French state radio channel France Culture. Under the influences of William Burroughs, John Cage, Pierre Henry and others, he developed tape music studio work. By 1982 he appeared for the first time under the name Alésia Cosmos Furi Show. It was a solo performance on guitar, voice, analog synth and tapes. This experimental show lead to a music project based on Bruno and Pascal’s compositions to be performed and recorded with other musicians in the beginning of 1983.
Exclusivo! was the group’s debut album recorded and self-released in 1983 on Planetarium. Pascal and Bruno would compose tunes in their personal home studios. Then they would bring the tapes, electronics, guitar lines and lyrics to experiment and rehearse with the other members of the group. Improvisations and adaptations brought more ideas and the album was recorded in a few days. The result was a musical mixing of electronic music, field recordings, North African and Asian percussion, electric guitars and voices, compositions and free improvisations. All four musicians take turns singing onomatopoeic phrases and backing vocals, even sometimes in an unknown language, a sort of mixed bag between Breton and Japanese.”
Mad grab of styles from “Athens’ Best Kept Secret”, 2 Katara - including a handful of wicked, mutant disco bits, and an epic, 17 minute piece of prog funk ‘Greek Lady’ that’s practically worth the admission alone for any cosmic nuts..
“‘Break at Home’ is the collected recordings of the mysterious group ‘2 Katara’ which was formed in Athens, Greece in 1978 by George Theodorakis (keyboards, percussion, vocals) with his close friend Dimitris Papangelidis (bass, guitars, percussion, vocals). TIP!
This musical-duo recorded quietly over a decade between Theodorakis’ family idyllic home studio in the Philopappou hill of Athens and the nearby studios Theta and SR. For some part, the tracks seem like adventurous experiments or even unfinished samplers or riffs the band starts to develop, but at the same time there are productions that are clearly meant to be the backbone of an album that never came out.
Into the light proudly presents 14 sun-soaked productions from the above-mentioned sterling material from 1981 until 1991 where the band split. This sixth installment is meant to be enjoyed as a journey from proggy pop to TR-909 drum driving compositions to Mediterranean disco-not-disco and further futuristic synth-scapes.
The many elements from the Greek traditional folk music - especially in ‘I Can Not’ which is an ambient take on a folk lament song from Epirus area and the reverse play recording of a Greek orthodox priest chant on their last ever recorded epic 17min track ‘Greek lady’ -, the unusual but clever combinations of colourful styles and the intense improvisation put the group in the first line of Athens’ best kept secrets!”
Ratio; an epic track bordering on 19-minutes that harks back to his earlier dance floor focussed releases.
"Over the course of the summer Floating Points has developed Ratio as part of his solo live electronic show at festivals around the world. The track has fast become a fan favourite, a true highlight of the set."
This, dark, analogue electronic soundtrack by John Foxx And The Maths is described as 'eerie', 'evocative' and 'a triumphant score of chest-crushing anxiety' by The Independent and The Guardian.
"John Foxx and Benge's set of dystopian science-fiction themes were first heard in the critically acclaimed stage play of E.M. Forster's 'The Machine Stops' in 2016. This album also features new mixes created especially for The Machine. Abstract, atmospheric vocals by John Foxx and Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin). New 'metallic' artwork is by Jonathan Barnbrook."
The follow up of the acclaimed first volume of this compilation, a real discovery for many DJs and music lovers worldwide who didn’t know that much about Zouk or DIY electronic music of the french west indies. The selectors Julien Achard and Nicolas Skliris continue the excavation of French Antillas vinyl from the 80’s and the 90’s and for this second volume, they found some really exciting new references which should be soon « classics » on the dancefloors.
The selectors Julien Achard and Nicolas Skliris continue the excavation of French Antillas vinyl from the 80’s and the 90’s and for this second volume, they found some really exciting new references which should be soon « classics » on the dancefloors.”
Sublime dream-pop beauty from Colleen, a gorgeous and crucial push and pull of experimental urges and pop immediacy. Make sure to check the brain-dancing percolations of ‘Another World’ and her exquisitely off-kilter title track. RIYL Arthur Russell, Teresa Winter, Delia Derbyshire...
Recorded in the wake of the 2015 Paris attack, which occurred just as she was visiting, A Flame My Love, A Frequency, finds Colleen setting aside her trusted viola de gamba to incorporate a Critter & Guitari pocket piano synthesiser and newly acquired Moog filter pedal into her feathered dub propulsion system, buoying her reflections on life and death, and bird-watching, with a creamy, bubbling backdrop that’s perhaps at odds, or even in defiance of personal strife in the preceding year.
Described in avian swoops, zig-zagging arpeggios and aerial shimmers, she flies the fine line between sorrow and beauty in a way that reflects that brutality and grace of the natural world as much as the scenes of Parisian cafes under blue skies which would turn into a bloodbath only hours later. This dichotomy lies at the heart of A Flame My Love, A Frequency, as Colleen navigates a flux of strong feelings between the exquisite instrumental melancholy of November thru to the title track’s plaintive cubist folk keen, emulating the sensation of flapping your wings hard against the headwind with Separating, and offering a sublime, necessary space for introspection with Summer Night (Bat Song), whilst the gently frothing, pizzicato piquancy of The Stars vs Creatures and One Warm Spark lend a more optimistic spin in their wistful shimmers, crucially not forgetting to dream in the face of so much shite.
Another Japanese ambient holy grail is ticked off the wants-list with a first ever vinyl pressing of Midori Takada & Masahiko Satoh’s Lunar Cruise following the widely celebrated reissue of Takada’s Through The Looking Glass earlier in 2017.
Flanked by YMO’s Haruomi Hosono and jazz player Kazutoki Umezu, Takada & Satoh’s original recordings of Lunar Cruise richly resonate with the preceding ten years of digitized 4th world innovation as well as traces of Badalamenti and Lynch’s synth parts from Twin Peaks of the same year, all while clearly pre-echoing the reverberant synthetic spaces of Kenji Kawai’s Ghost In The Shell OST. Even 2nd hand CD copies of Lunar Cruise are trading for a pretty penny, so this vinyl edition could hardly be more welcome right now.
Working deep into the modern ambient zeitgeist, Lunar Cruise’s charms sound as appealing now as ever, catching up with Takada’s sound seven years after her debut percussive masterpiece, Through The Looking Glass to find her working with a broader, worldly instrumental palette inspired by her 1989 tour with Satoh thru Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The pieces alternate super sparse and enchantingly cybersensuous states of mind with more urgent, pealing jazz and free experimentation that breaks far out of the ambient mould into sufi-esque dervishes and rippling dance studies recalling Steve Reich in full flight.
The effect is overall more crisply urbane, angular than the pastoral tranquility perceived in Takada’s better known precedent. From the names of its bookending pieces of Iron Paradise, also reflected in their tensile nature and construction, thru to the ten minutes of stoic tonal experimentation in Chang-Dra, and driving dervish of A Vanished Illusion, a sense of urgency and control is paramount to Lunar Cruise in a way that wasn’t there in its forerunner, pointing to a tightening and vivification of Takada’s ideas that perhaps reflected the increasingly cybersensual world around her and Satoh, as opposed her earlier new age influences.
Highlights belong to In D’s precise, vivid percolations of woodblock percussion and the wistful temperament of Madorone, underlined by Hosono’s quizzical fretless bass probes, but if there’s any one definitive moment, it comes in the gently pealing gamelan and breathy synth voices of Ancient Palace, which really freezes that cusp-of-the-’90s ambient shiver somewhere between new age optimism and the numbness of cybernetic sensuality.
In the 15+ years that have elapsed since 'Loop Finding Jazz Records' first shuffled out of his ambrosially dusty speakers, Jan Jelinek's most famous album has acquired an almost mythical status. Originally released via Pole's defunct Scape imprint, it now finds new life via Jelinek's own Faitiche label, for a new generation to marvel at one of the finest examples of loop-based electronic music typical of the early noughties.
Taking what reads like a pretty austere set of ingredients, Jelinek's technique revolves around a trio of elements which consist of second long cuts of 1960's-70's jazz recordings, the loop-finding modulation wheel (do your homework!) and the Moiré effect; albeit rendered in the acoustic as opposed to the image and spectral domains.
If all this sounds a bit academic, be assured that on record it is anything but; as crumbling edifices of mealy rhythms slowly pulse into life and swirl around your head like snow storms clashing with a dust devil. Taking sediments of fathom deep static then skimming the best stuff from the top, Jelinek opens through the dampened echoes of 'Moiré (piano & organ)' wherein a slow-motion thrum of spiraling clicks, rustles and analogue tones conspire to give the impression of recondite perspectives that extend well beyond the constituent elements.
Elsewhere, 'Rocky in the Video Age' instills a gratuitously optimistic blush to the aquatic micro-sound ebb, 'Moiré (Strings)' is a perfect companion to Basinski's disintegrating tape archive, whilst 'Them, Their' represents an aural crease so sleight you can only catch its distinctive gleam from the corner of your eye.
Klein debuts on Hyperdub with an intuitively avant blinder, the Tommy EP, dropping a pin at the label’s farthest flung coordinates, somewhere between concrète R&B and soul-wrenching jazz noise. Very safe to say, if you were into Klein’s Only LP, this one’s a peach..
We pick up in Prologue with a candid glimpse of Klein in the studio riffing on Mariah Carey along with her pals - Atiena, Jacob Samuel, ThisisDA, Eric Sings and Pure Water - we’re dropped off 25 minutes later at the glitching jazz chord chops of Farewell Sorry feeling dazed and seriously wondering, wtf just happened?!
To offer some kind of description, the London/LA-based artist takes the cut-up, collaged themes and techniques of Only to beguiling new degrees, flinging the listener thru a maze of idiosyncratic gestures from clouds of diaphanous, operatic vocals in Act One to the tenebrous R&B of Cry Theme and the rainy parade of Tommy, then crushing ‘90s soul and jungle like you’ve never heard in the all-too-short Runs, and even some sorta grungy jungle trample in Everlong, while B2k is possibly best described as kitchen sink hypersoul.
It’s anarchic, unsettling and steeply unique stuff, largely thanks to her distinctive concrète palette - no recognisable plugins or owt here - but also thanks to a balance of daring, knowing, and playful boldness that makes it clear she couldn’t give a f*ck about trends or convention, which is evidently all too rare nowadays.
The trio of Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi,aka the Soundwalk Collective, are based between New York City and Berlin, their efforts span fine art and music, digesting anthropological, ethnographic, and psychogeographic study, through the lens of electronic sound - recording, processing, and synthesis. Marking the debut of the new imprint Dischi Fantom, Transmissions - a four LP anthology, gathers four previously unreleased studio compositions into a single sprawling set.
"Transmissions is a distillation of sonic worlds - its source material and recordings linked to specific locations, natural or artificial, collected by the trio over long periods of investigation, travel, and field work in the Mediterranean basin, the Black Sea, the Rub’ al Khali Desert, and the region around Odessa. Cacophonous and often chaotic, images drift in and out of view - the sounds of nature, captured frequencies, ambience, radio intercepts, voices, music, archival recordings - the list goes on. A careful ordering of chance encounter, captured in the search for beauty the chaos of the world. Across Transmissions' works - Ulysses Syndrome, Medea, Empty Quarter, and Bessarabia, emerges a startling post-modern realm. A sonic bubble of non-linear narrative, where concrete meaning eludes the ear - continuously changed by the listeners themselves. Published in an edition of 300 copies, and accompanied by a booklet (amazingly designed by Fabrizio Radaelli) which includes Black-Winged Night, an essay by David Toop, as well as a conversation between the Soundwalk Collective and Dischi Fantom founder, Massimo Torrigiani. A stunning start for the label, and a brilliant effort by one of the most interesting projects in the contemporary scene, this is one not to miss.
“I hear this displacement of refrains. I am not fixed within signs but adrift within signals. Like a bat or a dolphin, I hear scanned frequencies otherwise inaudible to my human limitations and these voices and tones captured from the aether seem to me to be our equivalent of those voices of gods who spoke ‘words that flew’; music asserts its regional and cultural affiliations and yet at the same time it drifts unmoored in the ocean of sound.” David Toop
Berlin's enigmatic Errorsmith has at long last delivered a debut album worthy of all the angst and hyperbole associated with his cannon of work to date.
Errorsmith first came to attention with the release of two legendary 12"s under the alias 'MMM' - future disco electroid monsters penned in collaboration with his mate Fiedel, fast becoming club anthems in Berlin and regular fixtures in Gescom DJ sets for years on end.
Finally followed up with the Debut Errorsmith 12" a couple of years later, the sound developed into a more academic, fractured, sculpted stretch of loops and cut-ups, alienating the dancefloor brigade somewhat, but leaving in its wake a slew of admireres. In the years since Errorsmith 1, collaborations have followed with I-Sound and DJ Scud, and a fruitful tribute album for Hamilton Bohannon recorded with fellow Berlin cut-up House pioneers Soundhack under the memorable 'Smith 'n' Hack' alter ego.
And so onto this bizarre and totally crazy debut album, a brilliantly original and sometimes grating display of visionary sound-sculpting skill, made with a bare minimum of hardware, looped, spliced and re-edited into a body of work that at times unleahes adrenalised dancefloor edits, while at others constructs pieces best used as soundtools for playing in or out.
As a display of visionary sound sculpting and untouchable editing technique, 'Errorsmith 2' ranks as one of our favourite albums of 2002!
Lindstrøm launches his most concerted pop effort with 4th solo album, It’s Alright Between Us As It Is, neatly incorporating vocals by Jenny Hval, Frida Sundemo, and Grace Hall in a seamless segue of seven sleek and disco-ready songs adapting 40 years of dancefloor history to a timeless but fresh style.
Spire lifts off with lagging ‘70s drums and Vangelis-style synth streaks, tailing off into the lattice of latinate ‘80s arpeggios in Tensions, and a purring beauty named But Isn’t It starring Sweden’s Frida Sundemo, and something resembling ‘90s trance breaks for disco mums and dads with Shinin feat. Grace Hall.
Drift gives room for some twanging instrumental expression, and Jenny Hval voices the album’s most impressive piece with a hushed, cryptic performance on the bittersweet acidic twyst of Bungl (Like a Ghost), fading out into a neo-classical keys and tempered symphonic lift of Under Trees.
Ryan Carlile and Spencer Doran traverse the outer reaches on this killer Visible Cloaks document for RVNG.
We just knew last year's debut Visible Cloaks offering for RVNG, the Miyako Koda-featuring Visible Cloaks single Valve, would be the prelude to something greater from Ryan Carlile and Spencer Doran. Reassemblage marks the Portland pair's second album and further expands upon the Visible Cloaks 'verse, calling on Motion Graphics and Root Strata alum Matt Carlson for assistance.
Inspiration for the album stems from a video essay of the same name by Trin T Minha-ha, which explored the impossibility of ascribing meaning to ethnographic images. With this in mind, Visible Cloaks set about transposing the inherent futurism of acts discovered on their inspirational Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo mixes well into the 21st Century through modern sound design.
This results in an album whose eleven tracks possess a startlingly lucid and vibrant vision, forming new structures and ideas in the process. The aforementioned Valve features early in Reassemblage, Miyako Koda's presence gaining even more meaning within the context of Carlile and Doran's intentions for the album.
Elsewhere, vocals are deployed with a more abstract bent, VC playfully skewering Matt Carlson's voice through digital manipulation on Neume for one of the album's forays through musique plastique. Circles offers a genuinely spine-tingling moment of modern classical, whilst Motion Graphics follows his avant-jazz Future Times gripper with some illuminating assistance on the digital tranquility of Bloodstream.
Wonderful stuff all round.
John Duncan and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio) explore the greyest areas of psychoacoustic and psychosexual drone noise back in 1991, newly remastered for this reissue on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle.
“Black Truffle is thrilled to announce the first reissue of legendary performance and sound artist John Duncan's forgotten gem Klaar, originally released by Extreme in 1991 and partly created in collaboration with Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). Duncan is perhaps most well known for his notorious early performances pieces, which explored violence, self-denial, and the establishment of extreme psychological and physical states in both artist and audience. Alongside these transgressive experiments, Duncan began to create audio works primarily using short wave radio. Where some of Duncan's earlier recordings are composed of magnificently sculpted but abrasive walls of noise, Klaar, recorded while Duncan was living in Amsterdam, occupies a more meditative territory.
Opening with 'Delta', which layers long tones seemingly sourced from slowed down voices over a distant, watery field recording, the remainder of the first side is occupied with the epic title piece, which arranges shortwave radio abstraction, vocal experiments, and field recordings (street sounds, fireworks, monastic chants) into an episodic cinema for the ear. The second side is dominated by the long, brooding 'The Immense Room', where layers of shortwave interference and field recordings are gradually built up into a pulsing, wavering bed of sound infused with a subtly disturbing sense of psychological unrest. This rises to the surface near the end of the piece as sexual moans and ominous rumbles crisscross the stereo image before being abruptly brought to a halt.
A singular work of electroacoustic composition, Klaar is both compositionally sophisticated and infused with a sense of mystery and a vital reality often lacking in more academic experimental music; it sits proudly alongside contemporaneous recordings by Duncan's friends and collaborators Jim O'Rourke and Christoph Heemann and is a must for anyone interested in their work.
- Francis Plagne”
Lone spells out his influences for the DJ-Kicks series
A winding session taking in shoegazey electronica, wonky hip hop, jazzy Detroit house and blue indie rock along with two exclusive numbers, the dusty NYC deep house of Arc and Saturday Night.
NYC/Berlin’s Hayden Payne aka Phase Fatale extends his Redeemer album tracks for proper ‘floor pressure on Hospital Productions.
Order Of Severity lives up to its mantle across the entire A-side, expanded and cut deeper for bass frequency response and allowing the growling mid-range guitars to really cut the the mix, whilst Silent Servant’s input really shows int he 2nd half.
Operate Within hunts down a more typical EBM sound accentuated with clenched snares and raging bass torque on the B-side, next to a cold, killer, blank-eyed augmentation of Spoken Ashes.
First ever reissue of a seminal, ambitious fusion of Congolese vocals, likembe and rhythms with analog electronics and free jazz leanings, 'Noir Et Blanc' is justifiably hailed as one of the first and most influential records of its kind, or “in the same class s Byrne & Eno’s Bush of Ghosts… an imaginary collaboration between DAF and Fela Kuti” as the UK’s Melody Maker astutely put it in 1983.
Ever since its original release in 1983, Noir Et Blanc’s nine songs have informed countless DJs and dancers from the NYC new wave to Italy’s cosmic selectors and, pivotally, the swell of Belgian music that fed into New Beat and early techno. It’s no less than a stone cold classic and requires your attention pronto, if isn’t prized enough already.
In unprecedented form, Noir Et Blanc distills and renders the electric buzz of artists breaking new ground. It features Bony Bikaye, a Congolese musician obsessed with the possibilities of progressive German and American musics as much as his indigenous traditions, working with french synth nerds Claude Micheli and Guillaume Loizillon as CY1, and Algerian-born Pierre Job aka Hector Zazou, who all converge a radical attempt to mesh the mutual themes of disparate styles at the service of the ‘floor. Zazou himself has something of an eye-watering CV, having been involved with a huge number of influential projects, from ZNR to La Perversita and beyond; one of those producers with a crazy sprawling body of work you would do well to sink into.
Inarguably, the results have withstood the test of time thanks to the combination of Bikaye’s warm vocals with the minimalist tang and nudge of CY1’s metallic rhythms and Zazou’s wide scoped vision, songs such as the infectious modular dancehall prototype M’Pasi Ya M’Pampa and the roiling, alien plongs of Woa or the grubbing acid of Keba still sound utterly outlandish, out of space and time more than 30 years later, and notably feature some of the funkiest performance ever by Fred Frith.
Now ripened for rediscovery by a new generation of clued up selectors, the timeless qualities of Noir Et Blanc clearly resonate as strong as ever with the modern scene, sounding at times uncannily close to TV on the Radio clashing Congotronics, and just as likely to be played by Vladimir Ivkovic as Jon K or ATFA’s Brian Shimkovitz.
Basically one of those records that forms the square root of everything right now, and loved by those in the know.
Jlin breaks thru the Chicago footwork ranks with one of the scene's most fascinating, essential mutations in 'Dark Energy', co-presented by Planet µ and Jamie Kuedo's very promising new Knives label.
It's quite possibly the most distinctive contribution to footwork since the RP Boo album and Rashad's jungle splices, and, in such a fast-moving (quite literally) and active scene, that's gotta be saying something. Keener Chi watchers may have previously checked Jlin's standout 'Erotic Heat' and 'Asylum' joints on the Bangs & Works Vol.2 compilation but, since then, the Gary, Indiana-based producer has honed an incredibly tight new style and pattern, exhibited here with shocking impact. Rather than breathlessly frantic chops and hyper momentum, she favours offbeats and more spacious arrangements, but isn't afraid to lace them with visceral, forward tones; as with the zig-zags of 'Infrared (Bagua)' which sounds like an alien instrumental version of Usher and Luda's already mental 'Dat Girl Right There', full of quarter, half and triplet rhythm switches, or in the razor-edged synth strobes that scan Holly Herndon's vocal in 'Expand'.
Factor in the frankly unhinged hyper-tech flux of 'Abnormal Restriction' and the richly expressive percussive motifs of 'Unknown Tongues' or the adroit brutality of 'Guantanamo' and you've got something really, really special. Incredible stuff - Massive recommendation!
Burial’s eponymous debut LP is a defining beacon of post-millenium dance and electronic music. Written between 2001-2006, the follow-up to his debut 12” South London Boroughs, further consolidated what were previously mutually exclusive strains of music with unprecedented guile, vision and emotive impact, done to mind-blowing and award-winning effect.
In 2016 it’s easy for folk to forget that prior to this album, aside from a select handful of producers such as Horsepower Productions, El-B or Kode 9, effectively nobody was writing tracks circa 138bpm and using this kind of palette of samples, textures and spaces to the same ends as Will Bevan, a.k.a. Burial. And still, even fewer of them were writing without the dancefloor or radio squarely in mind.
Enter Burial, whose impressionistic, unquantized soundscapes reset the neuroses of Teebee and Bad Company’s neo-D&B with a romance and swing better associated with Steve Gurley and El-B, whilst also listening to and channelling the atmosphere of his environment in a way better likened to the spaces explored by Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound, but animated like a Massive Attack album produced and collaged by Chris Watson; albeit a Watson raised in suburban British sprawl and smoky bedrooms playing tense computer games and watching classic anime and thrillers on VHS, or whatever obscure foreign flicks Channel 4 had on late at night.
Honestly, nowadays that period seems eons away - especially in light of streaming services where you can find thee most obscure art at the touch of keyboard - but back on original release, this record nailed an atmosphere, even a lifestyle, that was lived by many souls on the peripheries who couldn’t be arsed with the menu offered by provincial high street clubs or cable TV, or a culture artificially inflated by major labels and the media.
It almost feels daft and futile trying to explain this to anyone under the age of 30 - or those cold hearted cynics who roll their eyes at the mere mention of his name - but, quite honestly Burial’s music nailed the vibe so heavily that it felt like déjà vu, uncannily weaving together the disparate strands of culture that meant so much to the artist, and by turns, us the listeners.
There are still tonnes of naysayers, but fuck ‘em - Burial’s music is hugely danceable and mixable by the right DJs, but there’s no denying that it probably sounds best in bedrooms or headphones where you can give it your full attention, or vice versa.
Despite the temporal dislocation, the 2007 smoking ban, and the sign-posted, rictus rigidity of too much modern dance music, we’d still love to think there’s a whole new generation out there who will get and love this record as hard as we did, and do.
Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) metamorphosize into The Belbury Circle, incorporating their pal John Foxx on two tracks of Outward Journey.
Pulsing with proggy soft trance riffs and draped in nocturnal atmospheres, it’s one for driving your car late at night thru the conurbations, commuter villages and gentrified docklands of a pensive Brexit Britain, turning up two standout moments in the John Foxx-led highlights of Forgotten Town and the beautifully wistful Trees, with plenty of time of reflection over your milky tea on Café Kaput and the twinkly gaze of Departures Inc, with a wistful guitar solo worthy of an Alan Partridge-style despairing breakdown in a lay-by.
Perfectly elusive pop, ths second eponymous 12” from CS + Kreme for Canada’s Total Stasis proves that their 1st EP - one of our favourite releases of 2016 - was no fluke, but rather the foundation of a genuinely sublime sound.
This one knits in contributions from Nigel Lee-Yang ov close associates HTRK, plus flute by local peer Ela Stiles (Bushwalking, The Rangoons) and sax from Jack Doepel, to reveal subtle new shades and aspects of a heart-rendingly classic style.
Dispatching a necessary dose of dusky, southern hemisphere feels to our chilly northern swedes, Conrad Standish and Sam ‘Kreme’ Karmel (F Ingers) have us utterly rapt again with four mirage-like songs that place Standish among the underrated songwriters of recent times, while finding Karmel fluidly firming up the more abstract inclinations of his work alongside Carla Dal Forno in F Ingers for Blackest Ever Black.
Recorded as intimate “jams” with their pals, the four cuts testify to a knowing, close relationship between the duo and their associates, the sort of mutual familiarity that makes listening to their recordings feel somehow voyeuristic or as though we’re privy to a deeply private sound.
Their sound is anything but unapproachable. In the EP opener, Whip, featuring Nigel Yang’s seductive guitar glances laced to feathered 808 and gorgeous, willowing string arrangement, we hear a sort of follow-up to the coolly insistent resolve of Devotion from the 1st CS + Kreme record, while Sisters is darkly alluring thanks to the unaffected modesty of Standish’s vocals and the mutable sensuality of Karmel’s deliquescent synthlines and filigree dub-trap tics.
And they aren’t even the strongest songs. For us, they come on the B-side, in the form of instant classic Roast Ghost (Swimming Thru The Pillars Mix) with its fathomless and incredibly evocative sound field coloured by plaintive keys, a super hushed Standish and that 808 patter, before Portal polishes us off with plunging bassline, noirish piano plumes and one of the most gripping sax lines you’ll shiver to in 2017 - imagine Vazz and Wim Mertens jamming after a quarter of opium-laced hash.
A massive recommendation!
Reissue of Mika Vainio's final album under the Ø moniker...
Following on from the crushing technoid scapes of 'Kilo' under his own name and the blackened alloys of his ÄÄNIPÄÄ album with Stephen O'Malley, 'Konstellaatio' reveals the revered producer at his most sensitive, teetering on the brink of the abyss and projecting to the stars. Between the goosebump-inducing panoramic pads of opener 'Otava' and the twinkling electro-dub of closer 'Takaisin' we're made privy to some of the strongest material in his whole oeuvre, and we really don't say that lightly.
His tactile manipulation of bass and sub-bass dynamics and spacious application of pure, isolated frequencies is just mindblowing, evoking imagery on sub-atomic scales. Far from being an academic exercise in production, there's an awe-inspiring and compelling sense of pathos and wonder at its core owing as much to the grandeur of Beethoven as it does the diffuse sound sculptures of Parmegiani.
It's pointless listening to this material on shit speakers because you're gonna miss half of it's extreme subtleties, but for those who know and care about this music, prepare to bunker down with one of Vainio's finest.
Hyperdub reveal a spine tingling ambient episode in the Burial saga, finding the enigmatic protagonist pursuing the atmospheric themes of Nightmarket - the B-side to his previous 12” - into a liminal grey area of esoteric, sino-futurist techgnosis in Subtemple / Beachfires.
Implanted in the subterranean consciousness in the wake of Burial’s distinguished remix for Goldie’s Inner City Life, the reclusive artist’s latest episode frames some of the most enigmatic material in his era-defining catalogue, effectively removing the beats entirely and leaving us wandering acres of negative space lit up by cryptic sonic signposts and paranormal disturbances.
On both sides he uncannily echoes aspects of the Ghost In The Shell soundtrack as much as Nguyen Van Phong’s spectral Yin Yang gong loops and experimental funerary rites, as divined by the 3rd Ear/IREX project and archived on Reel Torque in 2016; dialling in encrypted patterns of crackle, cinematic dark ambient strokes and snatches of dialogue seemingly intercepted from the ether.
With Subtemple he appears like a safecracker or furtive agent tapping clandestine discussions from Shanghai; in headphones it feels like listening into important but impenetrable messages left by a time jumper in an evacuated mollusc. Beachfires follows with the equally illusive/elusive shimmer of wind chimes and fallen angel cries calcifying around the pineal gland, again with totally beguiling electro-acoustic depth of field and prompting all kinds of fevered speculation.
A pattern or narrative seems to be forming, or perhaps revealing itself in an inverted entropic schematic. Either way we’ve just got that Burial feeling again, and there’s scant few artists who can keep us rapt so consistently.
Oliver Ho aka Broken English Club is the latest consort to Jealous God, the beautifully curated label administered by James Ruskin, Juan Mendez and Karl O'Connor.
Miles away from Ho's best known output as Raudive and under his own name, his 'Jealous God 04' dices with depressive and awkward post-punk, new wave and industrial memes over five icy cuts laced with speed-tweak noise and his own, blunted vocals. From the primordial no wave dub beginnings of 'A Square Shaped Room' the session takes shape with the drugged, sluggish electro-wave ace 'Boxes' and the dry, rasping delivery of knowing vocals and dissonant drones in 'Birth Control'. B-side, 'Casual Sex' is the record's most obvious dancefloor tune, mustering a muggy but lucid chug hypnotised with adder-charming whistle and Genesis-aping vocal beside the suffocating, skin-crawling atmosphere and malformed wriggle of 'Plastic Bag'. Best Jealous God yet? It's a toss up with the Powell remix…
Burial skulks back to the ‘floor with the deep, bumping swang of Rodent, backed by a footwork flexing Kode 9 remix.
Switching tack from the sublime, beat-less Subtemple 12”, Rodent follows in the vein of Burial’s remix for Mønic’s Deep Summer with a tender grip on deep garage house styles, cruising out on a 120bpm chassis flecked with looped R&B vox, ambient synth voices and flinty percussion, with a certain crackle of anxiety that’s more minutes-before-come-up than anything darkside. Eyes down in the darnce.
Kobe 9 ain’t having any of that on his remix, tho. His take on Rodent is razor sharp, alert and hungry, pinning scuttling footwork hi-hats and palpitating subs around that vocal motif at a quickened pace akin to tracks off his excellent Nothing album, drawing a jagged line from his ‘90s junglist roots right up to the modern nanosec.
"Say what you wanna say, but you have to give Strahil Velchev this: the man's a powerhouse. Recording and playing live under the KiNK alias, he went on to become one of finest purveyor's of funk in techno and house. What it is, by definition, ain't exactly clear. And that is the beauty of it.
KiNK's music is unifying in the best possible way. Channeling the spirit and feeling of a time where it didn't really matter who the faces behind the music were, KiNK plays with the elements of genres and sub-genres as if the future of it all is still wide-open. At the same time it could be accused of retro-fetishism, as much as the Pope himself is infallible.
The pure need to recreate moments, feelings and experience - rather than carbon copies of existing designs - was what started KiNK's production work. Hailing from Bulgaria, it was nearly impossible to get your hands on all the records and music that fed into a system of raves, clubs and record shops that seemed far away from Sofia, and financially it might as well have meant another galaxy. Wanting to DJ without having access to the tracks that spun the carousel meant that you had to create them yourselves. So, here we go with a private bootlegger gone public mastermind and one of the loudest voices in house, techno and beyond.
From KiNK's early productions with Neville Watson to his smash-hit for Ovum, a cerebral album for Macro, tons of remixes & tracks and his mind-bending live act, Playground seems to take all that into a blender. Simultaneously a sound-summary, the harvest of a field of ideas, and the exhibition of an artist in his prime, it also works as a sort of KiNK dictionary: avant-garde soundscapes stand next to boisterous bangers, classic club tracks and peak time emotions find their idiosyncratic and contemplative counterparts – all of it coming down like a torrent in a drought."
Ivan Smagghe and Rupert Cross indulge another retro-futurist fantasy. File next to your Ghost Box collection...
“When experiencing zero gravity in a space station, or bouncing weightless across the moon’s surface, looking back at Earth-as-one, most astronauts feel dizzy at the immensity of the journey they have just undertaken. A near revelation , this sudden awareness is named the Overview Effect.
Once back on Earth, these astronauts are changed. The cognitive shift of the Overview Effect plunges them into a state of melancholy: for hours at a time, they remain lost in thought. When they eventually come out of these periods of aphasia, the astronauts are unable to express what they have experienced, but often recall having heard "strange music", similar to the music they claim to have heard close to Venus or on the hidden side of the Moon.
Smagghe & Cross's second collaboration (recorded chronologically before the MA album, released last year on Often) is the first attempt to recreate this celestial music, which up until now, had only existed in the minds of enlightened spacemen. It is reminiscent of the sound of meteors entering the Earth's atmosphere, of probes sent to infinity and beyond, their echo slowly fading from the control screens. Smagghe & Cross have boldly taken the step from the strobe lights to the Milky Way
For the past two decades, Ivan Smagghe has perfected the art of making spaced-out clubbers dance, has ridden a Fine Line and run his label Les Disques de La Mort. Rupert Cross is a London-based composer who has worked with Michael Finissy and Julian Anderson as well as writing music for television and theatre.
Before/after MA, an album which sat on the fringes of experimental music passed through a industrial particle accelerator., S&C give you the tracks codenamed Timothy Dalton (according to Ivan, "The laser sound in the track reminded us of Flash Gordon"). Neither pop, nor psychedelic, nor ambient, nor house, nor techno, nor post punk nor even new wave are spared, but none are singled out.
To nurture this proto-album, which targets paradise by plunging us into the abyss, the duo also called upon the talents of Tim Felton, the outstanding guitarist from the cult band Broadcast.
When listening to Timothy Dalton, the temporal and stylistic boundaries disintegrate to give way to all sorts of speculation: imagine the beardies from Tangerine Dream being kidnapped by Soft Cell, C86 and 1988, the Silver Apples composing a space opera with the help of an electro cardiogram monitor. Or the Wizard of OZ reviewed and reworked by Psychic TV.
Eight tracks take us from the New Orderey beaches of Ostend to the rings of Saturn, and gradually unfold before our eyes like a machine to travel through time and space. So what if Timothy Dalton was a one-way ticket to the Twilight Zone?”
At long last, here it is, a gorgeous new edition collecting a treasure trove of previously unreleased music from The Remote Viewer - a band that's very close to our hearts - a decade since their last release. These dustry hybrids of ambient and pop electronics come to you with our highest possible recommendation, especially if you're into Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, To Rococo Rot, SND or Hood...
Once encountered, the exquisite, low key charms of Craig Tattersall, Andrew Johnson and Nicola Hodgkinson’s The Remote Viewer leave an impression that lingers long after their records stop playing. A decade since departing with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better , Other ideas recalls their lower case sound as you’ve never heard it, presenting ten previously unreleased songs drawn from minidiscs “before the last functioning MD player in Prestwich gave up the ghost”.
Perhaps the greatest champions of drizzly, Lancastrian mood music ever known, The Remote Viewer formed as a splinter group from Leeds-based Hood with their eponymous 1999 debut, taking the opportunity to pursue a fragile, downbeat strain of electronic songcraft and experimentation that quietly held steady against the grain of much electronica during that era. Over the course of four albums and four EPs, they addressed ambient pop music’s barest essentials with a succinct blend of miserablism and refined, adroit technicality that they could safely call their own, and more or less sprang a whole scene of copycats in their wake.
Us. In happier Times is The Remote Viewer’s typically ambiguous title for this collection; ten grainy and richly evocative pieces of haptic scrabble and jaded gestures as inviting as a warm brew and a 2-bar heater on a p*ss wet night. It’s the sound of glacial english valleys after-hours, finding them animating ambient embers and wilting pop hooks with clipped, Teutonic glitches and subby pulses. The results form a curious and emotionally intelligent adjunct to then-contemporary dance or pop musics, a sound best received on punctured sofas in small coffee shops and living rooms, one which will forever remind us of wet mornings back at the turn of the century.
With the flickering fizz of Tonight it feels like Spain we hear all three members in intimate dialogue, opening a session that variously takes in SND-like garage minimalism and what sounds like Muslimgauze fever-dreaming in 2-step on Complaining of feeling unwell, or a pre-echo of autonomic D&B in the Arovane-esque nerve pinch of The Sound of old Helmshore, whereas This old face dates me is like a prickly Arran to the suave, cashmere gentility of To Rococo Rot, and the crackling group harmonies of lullaby closer When it was over forms possibly the loveliest finale to any record you’ll find this year.
<3 <3 <3
Earlier this year Daphni (aka Caribou, aka Dan Snaith) released a FABRICLIVE mix made up of 23 original, unreleased Daphni tracks and four new Daphni edits.
"He follows that up with a new full-length album, Joli Mai, comprised of extended versions of the tracks from the mix as well as new, unreleased track 'Vulture'."
Dawn People’s ‘The Star Is Your Future’ is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte.
"The pair’s mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track album, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity and purpose.
Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70s jazz fusion, Krautrock and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.
Dawn People’s dense, funky and psychedelic music is the result of the wide range of musical influences of the collaborators. Nick Forte’s resume spans influential hardcore punk band Rorschach, post-punk outfit Beautiful Skin and recent underground sensation Raspberry Bulbs. With Dawn People, Forte digs deep into his own childhood nostalgia: making mixtapes from the early NYC hip hop show ‘Rap Attack’, watching Christian Marclay experiment with vinyl on the TV show ‘Night Flight’ and his first musical instrument, the Casio SK1 sampler keyboard.
Peter Negroponte is a virtuosic drummer and guitarist whose influences are rooted in rock & roll, jazz, funk, fusion and free improvisation. In reaction to his brief stint at the New England Conservatory, Negroponte sought to transcend what he felt to be an esoteric approach to making ‘experimental’ music by forming the psychedelic art-rock-noise-funk band Guerilla Toss. He has worked with an array of contemporary DIY labels such as Feeding Tube, NNA Tapes, Digitalis and John Zorn’s Tzadik.
The sound of this album harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early to mid 90s, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock and David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork’s Eric Harvey recently described as “recombinant pop,” which is applied to “adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music.”
‘The Star Is Your Future’ shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing.
For fans of Cornelius, Air ‘Virgin Suicides’ OST, Beastie Boys ‘Check Your Head’, Stereolab."
Indiana-born, everywhere-based singer-songwriter Peter Oren possesses a remarkable singing voice, low and deep and richly textured: as solid as a glacier, as big as a mountain.
"Similar in its baritone gravel to Bill Callahan, a hero of his, it rumbles in your conscience, a righteous sound that marks him as an artist for our tumultuous times, when sanity seems absent from popular discussions. His voice is ideally suited to confront a topic as large and as ominous as the Anthropocene Age. That term is relatively new, reportedly coined in the 1960s but popularized only in the new century to designate a new epoch in the earth’s history, when man has exerted a permanent—and, many would argue, an incredibly deleterious—change in the environment. Sea levels are rising, plants and animals facing mass extinctions; it may be humanity’s final epoch, which makes it a massive and daunting subject for a lone singer-songwriter to address, let alone a young musician making his second full-length record.
But Oren has both the singing voice and the songwriting voice to put it all into perspective. The songs on Anthropocene, his first album for Western Vinyl, are direct and poetic, outraged and measured, taking in the entire fucked-up world from his fixed point of view. Oren attracted the attention of Ken Coomer, the former drummer for Wilco and a producer in Nashville. Together, the duo assembled a backing band featuring some of the city's finest session musicians, including keyboard player Michael Webb (John Fogerty), singer Maureen Murphy (Zac Brown Band), and guitarists Sam Wilson (Sons of Bill) and Laur Jaomets (Sturgill Simpson). On Anthropocene they provide stately backing for Oren's songs, with drips of pedal steel and quivers of strings subtly reinforcing his observations about the state of the world. "Throw Down" bristles with energy and resolve, penned for "the people on the far, far left," Oren says, "the anarchists and the rioters.
There's not often a voice that's trying to understand those people or defend those positions."
Helplessly infectious, slo-mo house from early ‘90s Durban, SA, dug up and reheated by ICE for your dancing needs. There’s been a lot of killer kwaito reissues in recent years, and this is the cream of a rediscovered crop.
Originally issued on tape and a white label 12”, Amajovi Jovi was a rallying ccall to the dance, which, in light of the post-apartheid era, could be considered a subversively rebellious gesture of zulu solidarity.
At the intersection of Chi/NYC house, West coast hip hop and zulu traditions, the six tracks work a bedevilling effect at circa 100bpm, pairing louche zulu raps with nagging garage-house hook in Amajovi Jovi, then like some squashed screw of Livin’ Joy’s Dreamer in the killlller Student Night, whilst the swing of dedication comms off like a strange dancehall tune.
The most curious charms, however, belong to Sandy B’s nods to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, in the unique hip-house mutation Lafaki (Doggy Style) with its smooth G-funk chords, or most definitively with the crunchy breaks of Party Time.
Born Free boss Samo DJ clears his archive of three ruff cut house gems for Born Free 31
Scaling from field recordings and woozy flutes to heavy-lidded house swing and more abstract, cut-up textures in Zsou, then rolling out a super smart electro-house thing in Janet, pecked with cowbells and dusty dub chords, and cutting zig-zags across the rug with Mannen från Mallorca.
We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"Serial killing was one of history's greatest art forms. Now it's becoming almost impossible to get a skull-drilling startup off the ground unless you murder for the corporations or governments where you have highly organized protection from any enforceable law but at the expense of sacrificing all the glory for the anonymity required to maintain employment. So, unfortunately, the days of any zit topography random commoner being able to string together a few killings to hit the big time before being caught has almost come to an end. Sad. This record, the third and final volume of my new three-LP set called Heathen Folklore, could serve as somewhat of a manual of inspiration on how one could start such a career, as risky and unpopular as it is. It gets much more fucked-up than the previous two LPs, and sometimes I think it's the best one due to that aspect.
I'd have to give it one more listen but I also think this is the LP with coded messages that could trigger an unsuspecting listener to start his/her career in extreme behavior. But killing isn't everything you know. There are many more ways to express yourself and reach the top of the charts these days. In fact, I saw Burt Bacharach three weeks ago gripping a huge fucking machete while chasing modern dance music architects off his champion ship and into deep water where they hopefully became shark bait. And to set the record straight, Jimi Hendrix did not fake his death and become Morgan Freeman nor was Hunter S. Thompson directing snuff films. But most of that other weird shit you hear about these days is probably true. And I'm working on a film called 'Being Alvarius B.' where all of you loser fucks crawl into my brain and see yourselves from my perspective and then commit collective suicide because you finally realize I was right all along. And I am. Can't wait to make more albums so I can write these album descriptions. Cocksuckers."
A masterpiece of Italian ’70s free-jazz, N.A.D.M.A.’s Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is, by any measure, a super rare and sought-after record (2nd hand copies trade for over £170) which makes this first ever vinyl repress fairly invaluable to free-jazz nuts and investigators of this prime period of Italian music.
In five parts, Franco Pardi (Alto saxophone, Bugle), Otto Davis Corrado (Baritone and Soprano Sax), Mino Ceretti (Contrabass), Ines Klok (Harp, Tmbura, Violin), Davide Mosconi (Piano), Gustavo Bonora (Viola, Violin), and Marino Vismara (Violoncello) democratically hinge around percussionist and band-leader Marco Cristofolini, falling well off-centre of jazz convention in head-melting variations of Afro-American and Indian lines of thought that sprang from the well of ‘60s jazz.
“Within the history of the Italian avant-garde, N.A.D.M.A is as obscure as they come. Mosconi later came to note as a solo artist and photographer, and Pardi and Vismara within the worlds of visual arts, but beyond a scattering of releases, Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is the lone document to have surfaced from most of its contributors. Details surrounding the band and the record are incredible scarce.
Despite the mystery, with hindsight, they rise as a definitive gesture of the movement to which they belonged. The Italian avant-garde is among the most rigorously democratic of any of the movements within 20th century sound. Like their more well know peers in Aktuala, N.A.D.M.A grew from this spirit, but realized it in far more radical forms. They are among the wildest of those connected to the movements of free-improvisation and jazz. The group's lone 1973 release is unlike anything else of its day. Soulful as hell, it blends a remarkable range of instrumentation and cross-cultural reference -- a wild imagining of the potentialities of modal folk traditions, gathered in the writhing aggressive form of free-jazz. It is an album so remarkable and striking -- among the greatest and most accomplished European efforts within the form -- that there is no explanation for why it has remained so unacknowledged through the years. It is a towering, bubbling, brilliant achievement in sound.
Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is among the greatest documents of Italian music, and among the most important within the canon of European free-jazz. As seminal as they come. Not to be missed on any count.”
Die Schachtel reboot their Zeit Composers Series with Untitled Noise’s eponymous and self-explanatory session of arrhythmic, atonal sound pressure. Untitled Noise is the duo of Michelle Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli’s debut release, articulating noise as noun and verb in voices ranging from raging tirade to slow, crushing techno and dark, blue jazz tones. A strong look for followers of Prurient, Kevin Drumm, Masami Akita.
“For the last hundred years, the line dividing music from visual art has grown increasingly obscure. Music has provided inspiration for countless artists, while art has offered the conceptual terms for music to break its own rules. Particularly within the contexts of punk, and experimental music, art schools have fed the ranks -- gifting countless rebellious and visionary minds. These are open worlds, between which positions and ideas freely meet and speak. Within it all, there lies an often unmentioned realm, far less easily defined, skirting beyond tangible grasp -- sound and music made by visual artists, which might not be music at all. Joining Die Schachtel's already singular catalog of ambitious sonic adventures from Italy, this is the strange, incongruous territory of Untitled Noise, Michele Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli's debut release. Michele Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli are two respected visual artists who have been active in the Italian contemporary art scene for many years. While joint their project, Untitled Noise, is positioned outside of sonic manifestations of visual, artistic, conceptual terms, it cannot be entirely dislocated from this spectrum of thought. While it is not art in the visual sense, it equally makes no claims toward music, something which only the intellectual frameworks of the art-world tend to allow. Untitled Noise is a gathering a phenomena -- challenges, organizations, and interventions through sound -- an occupancy of those territories which exists just beyond our ability to define.
Evolving over four sides of this double LP -- each dedicated to a single work, one sliding seamlessly into the next, the album is an aggressive, textural gesture in noise. Built from electronic sources and tradition instrumentation, shifting between pure abstraction, sublime drone, rhythmic pulse, and broken flirtations with jazz, it rises as a melting pillar in sound. Drawn from recordings in both studio and live contexts, Untitled Noise marks the return of the Die Schachtel's sub-imprint Zeit, dedicated to ambitious contemporary gestures in sound. Where music meets the realms of art, and what is known falls away; A joining of worlds, which not to be missed.”
Superorganism are a sprawling, multi-limbed collection of international musicians and pop culture junkies.
"They number eight in total - recruited from London, Japan, Australia and New Zealand - seven of whom now live together in a house in east London. It was in this house, in January 2017, that the collective had their Big Bang moment, the track ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’.
The track caused a huge stir online and across airwaves, played on air by Frank Ocean, Annie Mac and Zane Lowe before being taken down for a copyright claim. Now, with the sample cleared (and the song featured on the new ‘FIFA’ soundtrack), live performances lining up and debut album almost done, Superorganism are now ready to take on the world."
Sophomore album from thr trio of Zak Riles (Grails), Tyler Trotter (Strike City), and Britt Walford (Slint). Features guest members of Rachel’s, Tortoise, Torres, Shipping News, and more RIYL: John Carpenter, Slint, Grails, John Fahey, Goblin.
"When Watter first appeared fully formed in 2014 as a trio featuring founding members of Grails and Slint, most assumed the mercurial group would vanish into the ether just like the foggy echoes of sound they crafted on their debut album, This World. Instead, they toured the US with their longtime friends in Om, and returned home to begin work on an ambitious new recording studio, from which their new album, History of the Future was born. Located on the same tiny rural Kentucky road as the old Rove Studio, where many Will Oldham records were made, multi-instrumentalist Zak Riles’ new studio – dubbed Earthwave – was literally built from the ground up on the rolling hills of his picturesque farm. It has quickly become a place of great inspiration and tireless creation.
Loaded with vintage analog gear and stunning views of deep sunsets reflecting across a serene lake, the studio has drawn many of Kentucky’s most talented musicians in the spirit of collaboration, the fruits of which are on stunning display across the ten songs that make up History of the Future. As with their first album, the songs on History of the Future evolved from many long days and nights of improvisation, experimentation, and collaboration. In many ways, the guests – which include, among others, Britt Walford (Slint), Dominic Cipolla (Phantom Family Halo, Torres), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), Bundy K. Brown (Tortoise), and Todd Cook (Shipping News, The For Carnation) – and the gear were as vital to the creative process as the core duo of Riles and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Trotter. It is this exploratory nature that breathes life into Watter, and turns ephemeral into eternal."