Pittsburg’s deep techno maestro Shawn Rudiman sets his sights on night skies with ‘Autonomic Pilot’ for Tresor
Bending cues from classic Detroit to Berlin with signature finesse, Rudiman covers all bases between the club ‘floor and your bedroom floor inside, sweeping from fine-grained but grand ambient electro structures in KNSR’ and the wide-open, pendulous motion of ‘Too Far Gone’ to a sleek but tuff acid-electro piece ‘Erotique Feedback’ on the front, before taking in the Schulzian synth licks of ‘Past The Edge’ along with the glistening, harmonised techno pressure of ‘Eyes Forward’ and a sublime nod to Derrick May & Carl Craig’s ‘Relics’ interludes in the synth pads of ‘Backwards Tomarrows.’
New Age conduit Ariel Kalma’s mid-late ‘70s GRM recordings are set to blow a lot of minds with this deep dive compiled by current GRM audio restoration engineer and Transversales proprietor, Jonathan Fitoussi. Properly unnerving, beautiful proto-Lynchian vibes on this one.
Sourced from a recently excavated box of tapes recorded during late night recording sessions in the GRM’s Studio 116 - the same concrète laboratory used in Bernard Parmegiani and Luc Ferrari masterpieces - this LP delves into some of Kalma’s earliest recordings to provide an enchanting listen and reveal the groundwork that came long before his relatively recent collaborations with mutual, explorative souls Sarah Davachi and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.
The set owes a great debt of gratitude to Kalma’s pal, Jacques Darnis, who was coincidentally the GRM’s recording engineer during the ‘70s. Jacques employed his mate as assistant recording engineer, and would give Kalma a heads-up if the likes of Parmegiani has cancelled their evening booking at the studio, giving him the opportunity to record afterhours in what was one of the greatest facilities in the world at the time. Armed with food, drink and his sax, Kalma would hop in his car, bez over to the studio, and evidently make sterling use of these night time sessions.
Opening with sustained sax looped into etheric infinity on ‘Paris Flight’, the album supplies five distinct but interrelated lines of Kalma’s subconscious thought transmuted into sound. ‘Le soleil au couchant’ finds him layering vocals recorded in the crypt of the Senanque monastery into a shimmering raga-like hymnal, while the LP’s central highlight ‘Voyage au centre de la tête sees Kalma’s companion Paule Salomon whispering, heavy-lidded, over burbling drum machine pulse that turns into a psychedelic wormhole, and the B-side’s couplet of ‘Ballade sure le lac’ and ‘Japanese Dream’ find him gently spiral into the low ends of a Bosendorfer grand piano, then layer the keys with sax in most sublime, effortless style, again making thorough use of the studio’s high end microphones and tape machines.
Hospital Productions pay testament to the prowess of JK Flesh/Orphx with recordings of their 2016-2017 shows at Katharsis (Amsterdam) and Atonal (Berlin) newly remastered for vinyl by Josh Eustis.
By all accounts the shows were heavy af, but in case you weren’t there, the evidence is now captured on vinyl for posterity. With each disc corresponding to a particular show, the results collectively speak to the calloused touch and nerve-pushing tactility which Justin Broadrick aka JK Flesh, and Christine Sealey & Rich Oddie aka Orphx, bring to their machines. Whether meting out industrial muck, or drilling the crowd with stentorian rhythms, there’s a phosphorous burn to everything they touch that manifests their intent in a rare and unique way as the result of decades of experience between them.
The first disc renders the experience of Berlin Atonal 2016 direct to your living room or kink dungeon. Rising up with 12 minutes of demonic sludge and budge in ‘Demagogue’, it sinks into head-smudging drown torpor with ‘Light Bringer’, and ends up in the body-swilling technoid churn of ‘Liberator’. Their show at Katharsis (Amsterdam) in 2017 follows aggressively, getting into gear like a possessed, blunted BMB with ‘Shapeshifter’, then building up a ripping acidic lead in ‘Mutagen’ and yoking the high-velocity trample of ‘Chaos Trigger’ and the seething ‘Leviathan’ on the flip.
Endearingly naif Aussie art-school/post-punk pop from Melbournian J. Macfarlane’s Reality Guest, finding an ideal home on Glasgow’s Night School
““Ta Da” is the debut full length from J. McFarlane's Reality Guest - aka the solo music of Australian artist Julia McFarlane. As a member of the group Twerps, McFarlane has traversed guitar-centric, melodic pop music for some years while honing a highly unique, personal musical language. Ta Da is the first recorded unveiling of McFarlane’s affecting, oblique songwriting panache. Originally released in her native Australia on Hobbies Galore, Ta Da will be released worldwide by Night School in June 2019.
Wheezing into view with a troubled reed instrument set against a s of whoozy synth lines, Human Tissue Act is a foggy curtain the listener is invited to peel back. The dissonant notes are left to dance entwined, with clarinet heralding a Harry Partch-esque mallet percussion interlude. It’s a mood. With no resolution in sight, an audience dragged closer into uncertainty is suddenly drenched with the light of inter-weaving wah wah synth and saxophone. I Am A Toy introduces us to McFarlane’s vocal, an effortless and matter-of-fact, accented statement that quietly takes the reins. While McFarlane’s previous work in Twerps might reference 80s UK and antipodean guitar pop, Ta Da showcases a different influences immersed in psychedelic music and synths. It’s a brilliant, deft concoction swimming in Young Marble Giants-type minimalism washed with bare pop and harmony similar to Kevin Ayers making sense of a Melbourne suburb full of faces half-recognised in the blanching sun.”
Composed by director Slava Tsukerman himself using an array of early analog synthesisers and samplers, he mixes original compositions with electronic versions of symphonic classics to striking effect.
"The score is dizzying, hallucinatory and off kilter. Completely wild and free from the trappings of both traditional film and score Tsukerman lets loose with a score that is at times terrifying, at others soothing but always interesting and like nothing you have ever heard before. The score peaks with “Me & My Rhythm Box” featuring a performance by Paula E. Sheppard that has become a staple DJ’s the world over. Far ahead of its time, both the film and the score have had lasting influence on todays culture. Everyone from Larry Tee, Fischerspooner, Lady Gaga & SIA have borrowed something from it."
An advanced masterclass in Berlin beat science, ‘Wireless’ is the final and arguably strongest solo release by T++; aka Torsten Pröfrock, an artist with a long lineage of important releases under numrous aliases - Dynamo, Erosion,Log, Resilent, Traktor, Various Artists and more - a true pillar of Berlin's Techno legacy.
First issued by Honest Jon’s in 2010, the 2x12” features samples of singer and ndingidi-player Ssekinomu (originally found on the EMI archival dive ‘Bellyachers, Listen - Songs From East Africa, 1938-46’) reworked by Pröfrock into a volley of rambunctious but rudely disciplined club workouts some 75 years later. In many other hands, this could have been just another passable cut ’n splice edit, but T++ treats the material with a balance of reverence and raving license, highlighting an instinctive understanding of the original music's intent and purpose, and their deep rooted connection to modern fast rap and hardcore dance musics.
The four tracks amount to a contemporary classic in their field and also exist in a strong tradition of German artists ranging from Stockhausen to Can and Basic Channel whose music has crucially incorporated the fluid, rolling nature and spectra of African drumming patterns. However, it’s vital to point out that T++’s take on African drumming is also filtered thru a love of UK music - Jungle, D&B, garage, dubstep - meaning that his rhythms are properly underlined with syncopated, technoid basslines owing as much to Kingston, Jamaica as Brixton and Sheffield in the UK.
For anyone who had been intently listening to Pröfrock's output since his Traktor gems, thru his Dynamo aces, to early work with Monolake and his string of seminal T++ 12”s in the 2000’s, on its release in 2010 ‘Wireless’ quickly came to epitomise his approach to broken techno production at its most open-ended and inexorable. Between the itchy, sprung step of ‘Cropped’, the puckish darkside torque of ‘Anyi’, a voodoo communal in ‘Voice No Bodies’, and the reanimated spirits of ‘Dig’ you have some of the finest mutant techno ever cut to vinyl.
An absolute must-have for dancers and DJs.
Tim Hecker returns with a companion piece to his recent Konoyo album.
"Anoyo (“the world over there”) draws from the same sessions with members of Tokyo Gakuso which led to the 2018 work Konoyo, but rendered starker, solemn, and stripped back, with more of a naturalist tint. Hecker’s processing here moves in veiled ways, soft refractions and whispered shrouds woven within improvisational sessions of traditional gagaku interplay, evoking a sense of vaulted space, temples at dawn, shredded silk fluttering in the rafters.
This is boldly barren music, skeletal and sculptural, shaped from wood, wind, strings, and mist. Modern yet ancient, delicate and desolate, Anoyo inverts its predecessor to compellingly conjure a parallel world of illusion, solitude, and eternal return."
Eccentric french instrument builder Pierre Bastien fondles his melodic machines in a jazzy way on ‘Tinkle Twang ’n Tootle’ for exploratory label, Marionette
With a trail of LPs behind him for esteemed label such as AFX’s Rephlex, Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records, and Discrepant, the endless inventive Bastien joins the likeminds of Soundwalk Collective and Burnt Friedman on Marionette with six inimitable compositions that sound like jazz seemingly played by creations from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ or a parallel world without war where humans haven’t quite discovered electricity, but love making machines that chat music.
“Equal parts composer, inventor, mechanic, and performer - Bastien translates his imagination into instruments and compositions that defy any musical categories. Whether it’s preparing instruments like playing a trumpet underwater or through a kazoo, using belt-driven motors and mechanical components to perform cumbersome yet surprisingly musical operations on traditional instruments and household items, or using a fan to hit the strings of a kundi harp with flowing paper - Bastien’s love for tone, rhythm, noise and harmony is poetically reflected across his quite extensive oeuvre.
Playful and melancholic, the sound sculptures that Bastien invents and plays with are partly inspired by the work of Raymond Roussel, a visionary French author who at the turn of the 20th century wrote a unique form of literature which inspired and guided artists from the surrealist and pataphysical movement and was declared by Michel Foucault as one of structuralism's founding fathers. On that note, the influence of literature and syntax on Bastien’s work cuts all the way through to the palindromes he uses for his track titles - which, much like his machines, infinitely loop.
True to it’s adorable title, Tinkle Twang ‘n Tootle is a music box of unfolding whimsical structures, half broken rhythms, detuned harmonies, and fantastical sound collages that evoke a childlike sense of wonder and an urge to explore the spaces in between the sounds.”
Edward Vesala and Jimi Tenor’s free jazz duo City of Women return to Sähkö nearly 20 years after their first and only appearance, and 20 years since Vesala sadly passed away before the first LP was issued
‘City of Women II’ was recorded in the same session as their debut and explores similarly free set of coordinates, even reiterating on one of the original tracks, ‘Tablakone’ in the flanging drive of ‘Tabulatuuri’ , which sounds a lot like Moritz Von Oswald and Tony Allen’s MvO Trio.
The rest is wider, abstract and off-road, or even in the middle of a busy intersection with the honking madness of ‘Dangerous Crossing’, while the quiet flute and tempered oscillators of ‘Autoharp’ point at more esoteric psychedelic inspiration, and ‘Heat Birth’ heads out along kosmiche vectors.
Debut volley of skudgy, raw Chi-house styles by Sanso for London’s prolific Wilson Records
Running cues from classic Cajual, Dance Mania, Djax-Up-Beats and Peacefrog into the red, Sanso makes a rude first impression between the likes of his Faces Drums-style corkscrew jacker ‘Cricketz’, the whooping wallbanger frolics of ‘Xxxpress’, and the butt-pinching, percolated tweaks of ‘Korg-Jam’.
One for those what jak to the hilt.
Hezziane carves out a pair of rolling, darkside breakbeat techno ravers for Pinch’s Cold label
Up top, after a sweetly wrong-footing intro, he shakes out the big boned knocks, wiggly acid and nasty D&B rave motifs of ‘KV-08’, while the flipside rolls out wider with flared acid lines and stone cut drums inna Beneath style.
The great avant-bluesman Mike Cooper covers Van Dyke Parks, Woody Guthrie, Jim Reeves and Fred Neil, alongside a number of standards deconstructed and restitched in his exceptional mix of vocals, lap steel guitar and loop pedals.
Like an astringent to folk proper, Cooper wickedly dissolves a mix of standards, blues songs and original material with well worn digits across ‘Distant Songs of Madmen.’ Recorded in Palermo, Sicily in June 2011, after a set by his trio, Truth In The Abstract Blues, the LP characterises Cooper in a field of his own, veering from original works of wrenched, spontaneously combusting blues to a mix of relatively straight-played and properly f*cked-up takes on the likes of ‘He’ll Have To Go’, made famous by Gentleman Jim Reeves in the ‘60s, or Woody Guthrie’s country folk jangler ‘Plane Wreck at Los Gatos’, with a real standout in the segue from his ruinous noise in ‘Tinnitus’ to a pealing and shredded flip of Fred Neil’s ‘Dolphins’, which he best remembered played by Tim Buckley (whom he coincidentally met in London ’68).
Russia’s Lyubocha kicks out four grainy technohouse grooves on Black Opal after appearing on Opal Tapes’ Contemporary Dance and The Harvest of a Quiet Eye compilations.
We advise heading straight for the slidy rimshots and virulent acid of Noblask and the tricksy kalimba workout Nikogda.
Knekelhuis excavate a cornerstone of ‘90s Minneapolis dance music with reissue of Cold Front’s sole EP
‘Beyond The Beat’ is the work of 4-piece Cold Front, comprising spouses Ayanna and Cam Muata, plus Jon Jon Scott and Ron Clark, who released the original on his Audiocon label in 1990. The A-side tends to a sort of deep house that could arguably have come from anywhere between Minneapolis and Antwerp in 1990, rolling out in a hip-house style radio edit, a stripped and grooving ‘Infinite Mix’, and the concentrated ’Subterranean Bass Mix’.
However it gets better on the B-side with ‘Stars and Stripes’, lodged somewhere between MBM, NIN, and Jeff Mills’ bits with Final Cut, alongside ‘Minus 22 Degrees Fahrenheit (Ambient East)’, which sounds like Peter Hook’s imaginary proto-Goa trance side project, and the Prince-meets-White House White alike banger ‘Side By Side (Rough Mix)’.
‘Arc 1’ is the first posthumous release of Mika Vainio’s solo material, taken from a large collection of his unreleased music. The archive series will present pieces which can be considered as completed works rather than unfinished fragments, and ‘ARC 1’ is a fittingly contemplative artefact - preserving Mika’s patient, sensuous minimalism released under his solo moniker, Ø.
Made up of two selections from an untitled recording Vainio did as Ø for the radio project Ambient City at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1994, the 34 minute work can be considered a complete, singular work, and one of the purest in Vainio's catalogue.
Working at the threshold of perception in a way comparable with fellow minimalist masters such as Eliane Radigue or Kevin Drumm, ‘ARC 1’ follows a glacial transition from elemental subbass pulses through sustained, hovering drone before almost imperceptibly changing state half way, when a field of static disruption re-organises the piece’s atoms, only for the noise to recede and reveal a more complex timbral aurora, and a final tract of isolationist ambience flickering like northern lights.
Witch’s tit D&B pressure from London’s Outer Heaven, firing his 2nd EP for the UVB-76 stronghold
Last spotted in collab with Sully for the ace Rupture London label, here Outer Heaven goes head-down and solo in an austere dreadnaught mode, getting dancers on their toes with the cage-rattling hardstep and Amen shrapnel of ‘The Last Men’ and the lip-bitingly tight torque of ‘Trapline’, whereas ‘Blemish’ steps into trip hop quicksand recalling Scud & I-Sound’s wasteland as much as the recent Pessimist & Karim Maas side, and ’Still Waters’ wickedly epitomises and finishes the phrase with the threat of plummeting subs.
Adrian Corker gets curiously transfixing results from purpose-made acetate locked grooves, arranged in various states of natural decay to pensive, off-kilter effect recalling the rustle of Bellows or Pole processed by William Basinski. Quietly brilliant stuff.
“SN Variations fifth release features two tracks in three parts each composed for lock grooves recorded onto acetate, percussion by Sam Wilson(Riot Ensemble/Actress) and violin performed by Aisha Orazbayeva.The tracks also feature the piano of Mark Knoop and the voice of Josephine Stephenson.
A lock groove is one cycle of one groove on a record.This is 1.8 sec cut at 33RPM and 1.33 cut at 45RPM. Corker used the cutting lathe currently residing in the living room of The Exchange mastering legend Graeme Durham to experiment with different sounds cut onto acetate and then recorded over different durations back into a computer. Because of the softness of the acetate the lock grooves break down as they are re-recorded causing unexpected effects as the needle carves away the surface of the vinyl. This generative process adds layers of unpredictable noise culminating finally in white noise. These are combined and edited forming frames for performances of violin, percussion and piano. The pieces reflect on the tension between the mechanical and the human gesture/expression and place where they merge.”
Filter Dread kills it with a more direct, rolling style of junglist breaks and grime tics on the 3rd 12” from Seattle, WA’s Tech Startup
Cut loud and heavy for optimum rave reactions, the four tracks catch Filter Dread sharpening up his mutant definition of UK dance music. Uptown that results in the staccato, Amiga-punctuated breaks and surging chord pads of ‘Rainforest’, and a killer take on West London broken beat, grime and that fucking mental sound in his head on ‘Blizzard’. Downtown, he steps out with the wildly pitching, ricocheting drums of ‘Tripping Up’, and the cold, vacuum-sealed shards of brukken drums in ‘RX 4 Real.’
Militant grime/techno hybrids from London’s East Man (Anthoney J Hart, Basic Rhythm, Imaginary Forces) and Manchester-based Walton
Cut a side per piece for optimal punch and crack, both tunes find Walton and East Man as natural collaborators with a shared, ascetic aesthetic and taste for the most stripped down, bony drum trax.
‘Horse Mouth’ hits first and hardest with rail gunning percussion and classic Jamaican chat paying tribute to the eponymous drummer and star of ‘Rockers’ in tuff deco dance style comparable to Logos & Mumdance or Szare productions. ‘Gunshot’ steps out into more spacious, noirish halfstep vibes on the back, casually spraying claps and grime radio spit over red-lining and wickedly distorted subs.
Dons in their field, Ruffhouse affiliates Pessimist & Karim Maas mete out a paranoid debut collaboration of dusty downstrokes and dread electronics.
The duo’s eponymous debut album is perhaps the strongest of its ilk in recent memory. Dwelling in the shadows somewhere between techno overlord Kareem’s sorely overlooked hip hop instrumentals on the Ramadan label, the smoky silhouettes of classic Portishead, and the dub-possessed spirits of Kevin “The Bug” Martin at its most scowling, the album is unyielding in its depressive outlook, but, like the aforementioned references, Pessimist & Karim Maas’s patient and texturally-detailed arrangements speak to an almost comforting virtue of darkside, isolationist UK pressures that will resonate strongly with those who like their coffee as black/brown as their hash.
Trust they’re not fucking about. It’s purely dank.
Bone-rattling D&B pressure, delivered cold and noisy by St. Petersburg, Russia’s Torn on Homemade Weapons’ label
Picking up the Russian mantle of hard-ass D&B producer Limewax, Torn runs for the hills with a more ragged but no less fierce take on the tuff stuff in all four sectors.
Up top the ruthless rufige of ‘Anaxos’ sounds like a free party held on a runaway pacer, firing overdriven amens thru a teeth-chattering maze of rattly rhythms, while the clenched funk of ‘Nothing’ goes on a murderous halfstep/hardstep trample. Turn over to find him strafing deeper into the darkside with the crushed groove and pranging breaks of ‘Escape’, and the bolshy epic ‘Collapse.’
It’s practically guaranteed this lot will set fire to the ‘floor.
The ambient lords of 12th Isle encourage open minds to listen deeply with Pataphysical’s first full length release, rendering a close approximation of their acclaimed live shows
While shy of an apostrophe, Pataphysical live up to their enigmatic moniker with a sound that hypnotises and invites listeners to drift into other dimensions of perception and explore those liminal, meridian headspaces beyond everyday, waking frames of thought.
Employing singularly expressive forms of synthesis and the natural grain of field recordings, the group follow gently spiralling planes of enquiry in eight parts, glyding from the blissed out pastoralism of ‘Dream Reveal’ to velvet-clad subbass depth charges in ‘Aun Cyc’ and ‘Montoon’, and on thru the milky spumes of ‘Protae’ to an unmissable highlight that hits right between the pineals of BoC and Huerco S in in ‘Purlo.’
Psychoactive acid techno from Gunnar Haslam, aka partner to Tin Man in Romans
Following up 2017’s ‘Kalaatsakia’ album, also for The Bunker NYC, the ‘Seasick Acid EP’ does what it says on the lid between the sloshing but direct drive of ‘Leeward Tripping’ and the queasy churn of ‘Coastal Geography’ up top, with the pacy acid pelt of the title cut and scudding jack of ‘Seasick Version’ on the back.
Foul and grungy industrial sound designs by Angelos Liaros’ Blakk Harbor, backed with a sub-heavy and rolling remix by Positive Centre
On the follow-up to his 2018 debut album ‘Madares’, Native Instruments sound designer Blakk Harbor puts his weight into a slew of cavernous drones and club-footed rhythms, at best in the bone dry swill of ‘Necropolitics’ and the razor-cut, noizy swivel of ‘Vitriol’, with Positive Centre lending a tool-sharpened swing and guttural subbass pressure to his remix of ‘Vitriol.’
Heartsick boogie aces from Anthony Naples, poking out his first release of 2016 as a sort of autumnal toddy for chapped dancers and reveries of warmer times.
Leaker swivels out on a slow, shifty electro boogie glyde with a steady core of phasing bass and ticking rimshot smudged by psychoacoustically shifty pads; sounds sorta like a sharpened NWAQ joint.
The sluggish jack of Moments Magicos feels more sore, blue, like one of V/Vm’s saltiest new beat tributes, early trance on 33-not-45, or Pye Corner Audio at their gauziest.
A cornerstone of UK rave resurfaces, reshuffled, remastered and remixed on Luna-C’s seminal Kniteforce
Originally recorded and promoted in 1992 and ultimately issued in 1993 by Moving Shadow, the ‘Keep It In The Family’ EP is the 2nd Hyper On Experience release.
On this new pressing the A-side is given to the classic original, a nutty mix of Radiophonic sci-fi SFX, sampledelia and lip-smacking breakbeat science, beside a lumpy Luna-C remix of ‘A Certain Emotion.’
The B-side is given to a remaster of the choppy, hands-in-air pianos and helium diva-lead ‘Imajika’, and the edge of happy/darkcore pressure in ‘The Threshold of Sanity.’
This year celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Ágætis Byrjun, the band expand their breakthrough album with demo and archive versions of songs from the album, plus never-before-heard newly unearthed material from the time, rare b-sides and the full 95 minute concert played in Reykjavík on the day the record was released.
Class debut from Philly’s DJ Haram - fusing Arabic percussion and instrumentation with bass pressure for Hyperdub.
Like a spartan echo of Mutamassik’s early ‘00s meeting of Egyptian breaks and rugged hip hop, DJ Haram finds a wickedly gritty friction and traction from a mixtures of sharp electronics and a dead canny sample palette that distinguishes her music from the crowd.
The EP kicks off with ‘No Idol’, which comes off like an imagined Timbaland and Equiknoxx hook-up, while the brooding ‘Interlude’ gives way to a killer bouts of martial drums swept into a rugged Jersey bounce on ‘Gemini Rising’ and again with grimier, bittersweet impetus in ‘Body Count’, that also comes out in more psychedelic, low-lit geometries on ‘Candle Light’, which receives an impending vocal-lead remix by Haram’s regular Philly spar and Moor Mother collaborator, 700 Bliss. Factor in the virulent puppy dance of ‘Grace’ and the club-tightened remix of ‘No Idols’ and you have yet another stellar debut on the untouchable Hyperdub.
Caspar Brötzmann is one of the most unique and innovative guitarists of the last 40 years. With his Berlin-based trio Massaker, he evolved a whole new autonomous approach to writing rock songs, starting from sounds that were widely considered ornamental if not detrimental ‘sonic waste’, such as shrieking feedback and droning overtones. This plethora of sounds were arranged into tracks to sound like breaking concrete, grinding metal, or bursting glass, at once monumental and threatening, impenetrable and hermetic, yet also archaically tender and loving.
"Even today, as the art of noise has reached a level of sophistication that no one could have imagined 30 years ago, Caspar Brötzmann Massaker’s music is resoundingly singular. Ultra heavy riffs and beats, ominous tribal chants and a raw physical force is conjured up by these three sinister and proud minds of their era. Their unhinged, unified stream of energy is captured on these remastered reissues and the results are thrilling.
Originally released in 1992, Der Abend der schwarzen Folklore is the third Massaker album, released by Rough Trade Germany. According to Caspar Brötzmann, the title track and “Bass Totem“ are the band’s most accomplished songs. It’s certainly the most sonicly refined of their albums, recorded during a residency over several weeks at the pastoral site of Conny Plank’s studio near Cologne, and produced by Ingo Krauss and Bruno Gebhard, who had worked with the famed Krautrock producer until his death in 1987.
Not least, ...Schwarzen Folklore also features their new drummer Danny Lommen, whom Caspar and bassist Eduardo Delgado had headhunted at a concert with Lommen’s Dutch prog-core band Gore. Lommen shared their tastes in sheer volume and presence, and “has a completely unique sound to his drumming“, as Caspar marvels, “he plays ultrahard and clear, with authority and no compromise, nothing, not even the most turbulent and speedy beats, sound fuzzy - a statement.“ This, he adds with a smile, would sometimes lead to intense moods during rehearsals, when he overpowered - no small feat - competing with the sounds of Caspar’s guitar.
The Tribe and Black Axis were still if very loosely rooted in some kind of heavy rock. Der Abend der Schwarzen Folklore erases these residues from their genetic make-up - evolving into a free-form noise, strangely motionless like an earthquake rumble, that sounded like nothing else at the time. The opening title song gives the best example with its densely shifting chunk of howling and screaming guitar shreds and grimly determined rumbles from the bass, accented by heavy single beats or massively rattling, yet transparent outbursts from the drums. An impenetrable sense of threat fills the sound, interrupted only by breaks of skinny brooding, giving way to Caspar’s throaty growl evoking a lonely march through hostile wastelands under flaming sunsets. Culminating in an archaic choir chanting about black walls rising - a monstrous cloud of thick high-voltage tension.
Caspar speaks of the heavy nature of the lyrics, inspired by 19th century artist Caspar David Friedrich’s painting “Das Eismeer“ (“The Sea of Ice“) which depicts a shipwreck the icy shores of Antarctica. It deals, of course, with ideas of the sublime in nature - but also “the end of hope“, as the painting was known until the sixties. And indeed, Caspar credits his dark and brooding sounds to the uneasy times. With the wall down, the Eastern block broken, East and West Germany were politically united but emotionally didn’t share much more than a certain angst and uneasiness with respect to the future - which erupted in ugly right-wing riots and violence. Caspar felt the rise of a black folklore that he wanted to address, though he never admitted to it at the time because, he said, he didn’t want to sound like “some naive romantic“. Not underestimating the music‘s gothic values - a weird idea, once you’ve listened to “Schwarze Folklore“.
Southern Lord announce the next Caspar Brötzmann Massaker reissues in the ongoing series, continuing with Der Abend Der Schwarzen Folklore and Koksofen this July. Read on for more insight into these albums, and for information about incoming live dates supporting Sunn O))).
"Caspar Brötzmann is one of the most unique and innovative guitarists of the last 40 years. With his Berlin-based trio Massaker, he evolved a whole new autonomous approach to writing rock songs, starting from sounds that were widely considered ornamental if not detrimental ‘sonic waste’, such as shrieking feedback and droning overtones. This plethora of sounds were arranged into tracks to sound like breaking concrete, grinding metal, or bursting glass, at once monumental and threatening, impenetrable and hermetic, yet also archaically tender and loving.
Even today, as the art of noise has reached a level of sophistication that no one could have imagined 30 years ago, Caspar Brötzmann Massaker’s music is resoundingly singular. Ultra heavy riffs and beats, ominous tribal chants and a raw physical force is conjured up by these three sinister and proud minds of their era. Their unhinged, unified stream of energy is captured on these remastered reissues and the results are thrilling.
Koksofen (which translates as blast furnace), originally released in 1993, has become one of Massaker’s most popular albums. Like it’s predecessor, ...Schwarzen Folklore, the album took shape in Massaker’s rehearsal room below the Berlin subway station Schlesisches Tor, and was recorded at Conny Plank’s studio near Cologne, with Plank’s former associates Ingo Krauss and Bruno Gephard producing. There’s a different kind of intensity to Koksofen. The features of Massaker’s sound are in full bloom. Mountainous noises tower up and crash down, and tormented sounds rise from ominously seething grounds, haunting the entire song-scape. The feel of doom and dread hangs heavily over the five songs, and the title song rumbles, shrieks and wails, plagued by Caspar’s guttural growls of war, suffering and death.
Caspar recalls one anecdote from shortly after the original release whereby Bassist Edu Delgado called him asking to turn on the TV, thus discovering that “Hymne“ was being used as background music to a report about the death penalty in the US. A different kind of intensity indeed. Reflecting on the album to this day Caspar remarks “Koksofen is still a mystery to me,'' he continues “I can still feel the troubled times in these songs.” - the effects are certainly potent for the listener too. And the album undoubtedly affirms Massaker as the fiercely original and compellingly raw musicians that they are.
’S.L.F.' sees exogenous pop alchemist Aïsha Devi expand on the experiments into metaphysics and rave music found in her acclaimed 2018 album ‘DNA Feelings.’ V strong EP this.
Defining a contemporary ritual practice through binaural, healing frequencies and club impact, she coalesces the sacred and the virtual, the subliminal and the cognitive in a syncretic vision. Aïsha Devi crystalizes her approach in a mesh of trap, trance and computer music woven with sonic references in flux between metal subterrain and ambient dimensions.
Dreampop drift and drill rhythms signify an existence in omni-realities in new single ‘I’m Not Always Where My Body Is’, while ‘Two Serpents’ and ‘The Uupar-Theory’ entwine trance and doom to antigravitational effect. Media theorist and Rhythmanalyst DeForrest Brown Jr. voices a foreboding counter to Aïsha’s operatics in ’Teta 7hz (Tool)’, and ‘The Favour of Fire’ embodies the EP’s core concept in shapeshifting aesthetic and aetherave-ready sensuality. ’S.L.F.’ is an illuminated hijacking of collective hypnosis, an encoded rallying signal.
INCLUDES A F**KING FOOTWORK REMIX OF STEVE POINDEXTER’S ‘WORK DAT MUTHA FUCKA’!!!
Traxman hits it out of the park here with a very necessary and killer ramp of Poindexter’s all-time Chicago house template, before pledging “allegiance to the Hozzzz’ in a rude jam with DJ Deeon, then going sick with Jana Rush on the panic-footing of ‘Wildcard’, and chopping hard on strobing solo joint ‘It’s Lasting Bass’, with the darkside Footwork styles of ‘4 Da Lyfe’ set to push dancers to their best.
Slunky electro sleaze and melodic pirouettes from Carl Finlow’s Silicon Scally
Returning to Sheffield’s CPU after 2018’s ‘Projections’ 12”, Finlow plays it classically in all parts, getting into kerb-crawling gear with the lo-slung ‘Cobalt Blue’ before stroking his synths to spume polychromatic arps, hingeing around spare Linn snares in ‘Scintillation.’ Flip it over for a ruder push with the red-lining bass distortion IN ‘Asynchronous’ and the shifty Drexciyan acid electro of ‘Protocol 2.’
The label behind that mint Maria Rita reissue, Optimo's Selva Discos fasten their dancing clogs again with a tight original burner by Edson Gomes da Conceição, back with Mike Burns’ straighter disco edit
Skam’s rogue siblings at North Manc Beds deliver their first new session in 9 nine years, and it’s a good one.
Hailing from an area oilrich in seminal artists - Autechre, Muslimgauze, Shackleton, Demdike Stare - and where you’re also likely to see blokes tossing off to train commuters in the morning (happened to us a few weeks ago outside Rochdale, no lie), the anonymous NMB collective also draw from this Pennine spirit to create dark, crunching, rhythm-driven electronics.
Like previous volumes which variously referenced local bus routes (including used tickets), industry, and utilities, this one follows suit with the ’NWH2O’ EP to go nostalgic for British Gas North West in five tracks of lunky rhythm and sore electronics that patently resonate with the rest of the Skam cabal’s output. In that sense, ‘Moko’ sounds like a bit like a lost offcut from ‘Confield’, and the thrumming slow slam of ‘FRBounces’ could almost be from recent Æ batches, but also fringes on grey area-compatible styles, while the ruggedly barren scape of ‘Safebliss 53Cond P455’ recalls early Pendle Coven, however we’ve never heard any of them do pendulous dancehall rhythms quite like on the zinging ‘Jussbassoneandone’ and the churning bruxist chew of ‘Stelcore 2 (Nabz_& Cluff Version)’, which is strong examples of those crafty aspects to NMB that distinguishes them from the main Skam corpus.
Titans of UK rave culture, Fabio & Grooverider look back on ’30 Years of Rage’, their seminal London club night, with the first of four volumes charting the ultra-classic and hard-to-find foundations of hardcore, jungle and D&B - the UK’s greatest gift to the world of the past generation.
It’s impossible to overstate the influence of Fabio & Grooverider on UK music and rave culture since they began DJing in the late ‘80s acid house phase. For a generation of UK yoof they are practically household names, and we very fondly remember tuning in to their (now defunct) BBC Radio 1 show to catch D&B before we could legally get into clubs. It’s also probably fair to say they’ve done more for race and cultural relations in the UK than any politician ever has, with their earliest, unprecedented fusions of Belgian techno with UK fast rap, Yorkshire bleep, US house, Caribbean soundsystem culture and London rare groove hustle laying a template that frankly revolutionised dancefloors across the country, bringing people together in the same space who were, to a much greater extent than today, largely, mutually exclusive. We could bang on about their importance all day, but suffice it to say they are the OG’s of UK rave.
As the label explain, their RAGE night was arguably the ground zero for Jungle. "The party was started at London's cavernous Heaven club by Fabio & Grooverider in 1988, at the height of Acid House fever that was making it's way up and down the motorways, slip-roads, fields and warehouses of the M25 and further beyond every weekend, troubling the nation, the police, your parents and the press as it went. RAGE was a different beast, it certainly channelled some of that Acid energy but pitted it against the new and exciting sounds emanating from Belgium, Amsterdam, Detroit, Sheffield, Essex and Hackney and in turn created a new style, a new sonic attitude and energy in the process. Rumbling bass-lines, narcotic synth rushes and roughly chopped and sped-up breakbeats all merged into a style that we now know as Jungle."
This first volume is a tour de force of early rave pressure, charting a course from Leftfield’s deep 1990 bass massage ‘Not Forgotten’ thru Lennie De Ice’s all-time jungle cornerstone ‘We Are IE’, the London mash-up styles of ‘Dubplate’ by Wots My Code, Foul Play’s artful jungle masterpiece ‘Being With You’, and the bawl fwd hardcore of ‘The Future’ by Noise Factory, saving Fallout’s lip-smacking classic ‘The Morning After (Sunrise Mix)’ for dessert.
Foundational bangers the lot of them.
Skinny Pelembe meditates on grief, heartache, stunted aspirations and fresh possibilities in post-recession Britain. For his debut album, the Johannesburg-born, Doncaster-raised artist weaves together a patchwork of personal and musical touchstones; memories and observations are dreamily laced together, sun-dazzled California folk diced with the murkier corners of the UK dance lineage.
"Tipping a hat to West London broken beat as much as My Bloody Valentine, the album was co-produced by Malcolm Catto (of The Heliocentrics, who’s previously worked with Yussef Kamaal, DJ Shadow, and Madlib), who helped to distil down its bounty of ingredients into the record’s distinctive flavour. Tough, tight-programmed rhythms are washed over with fuzzy overtures, and the title track is the product of a studio session with a foundational drum & bass duo (credited under the covert alias of The Bleeding Edge). It’s the rare kind of record where the messy, in-between musical spaces are given a light to shine.
First discovered through the Gilles Peterson- and Brownswoodfounded Future Bubblers programme, Skinny has since made it onto Peterson’s iconic Brownswood Bubblers compilation series, performed and collaborated with fellow Future Bubbler Yazmin Lacey, and been tipped by the likes of Ghostpoet and James Lavelle. Praise has also come from The Observer, The Quietus and Huck, with previous singles “Spit / Swallow” and “I Just Wanna Be Your Prisoner” bumped up onto heavy rotation on BBC 6 Music’s A-List. He’s also been in demand for live sessions with The Vinyl Factory and Worldwide FM, and supported Nightmares on Wax and Maribou State."
Trilogy Tapes catch yung New Yorker Anthony Naples on the ascendent with his most substantial and deepest grip of tracks to date.
After some bangers for Mister Saturday Night and Opal Tapes and that ace remix of Four Tet, his TTT 12" exhibits a more spacious, romantic side to his oeuvre. With 'El Portal' he bumps dusted house beats under lush, breathy pads beside the digidub slump and mellow, riffing keys of 'Pueblo' on the A-side, while 'Busy Signal' sustains the smoky vibe at rugged tilt on the B-side next to the sparkling dub chord vortex of 'La Cuarta'. Great sleeve art and design by Will Bankhead as per usual as well.
Following the primal, no-frills rock majesty of Rather Ripped, the great American juggernaut that is Sonic Youth expands on the formula with a more opened up, liberated album - their first for Matador.
The Eternal kicks off in a violent storm; an "out-of-the gate hardcore matinee track" as Thurston Moore would have it, fronted by an on-form, ageless Kim Gordon. The sublime proto-grunge riffology carries over into 'Anti-Orgasm'; a barrage of arch feminist-punk sloganeering that divides itself into two halves, the first presenting a snarling line-up of guitars while the second ebbs into a carefully poised kraut-surf rock soundscape.
Sounding every bit like a modern SY classic, 'Antenna' maintains sufficient abrasion via some nerve-jangling guitar manipulations, while surly Mark Ibold basslines prop up the Lee Ranaldo-fronted 'What We Know', and the excellent 'Malibu Gas Station' mires itself in a sinister sleaziness - "an ode to the flash moment of the camera as you knowingly step from your SUV sans panties" appropriately delivered with all the nervous confusion of a Britney breakdown.
Perhaps a testament to Sonic Youth's own longevity, and all-round status as elder statespeople of subterranean music, large chunks of The Eternal reference and eulogise alternative culture's departed: the sleeve is a painting by guitar great John Fahey, while NYC beat poet Greg Corso is commemorated on 'Leaky Lifeboat', and 'Thunderclap (For Bobby Pyn)' pays tribute to The Germs' frontman Darby Crash - though it could equally be taken as a broader eulogy for LA's post-punk scene of the late '70s and early '80s. Sonic Youth fulfill a great many roles, and in addition to persistently being one of the great bands of our time, The Eternal shows that they're also historians of the underground; a living, working museum to all the obscure bands, sub-scenes and musical tributaries they've come into contact with and drawn influence from (or for that matter, themselves influenced) over a lifespan. God knows where we'd be without them.
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ravishing and rare solo piano suite ‘BTTB’ is finally issued on vinyl - expanded, reshuffled, and newly replete with liner notes by none other than Haruki Murakami. Trust it’s swoon-worthy stuff.
Originally released in 1998 and hard to get hold of outside of Japan, ‘BTTB’, or ‘Back To The Basics’ is now reissued on 2LP to mark its 20th anniversary. It’s effectively a definitive edition of ‘BTTB’, reshuffled from the original 2LP pressing to also include ‘Energy Flow’ from the BTTB’ maxi-single, (which peaked at No.4 in the Japanese singles charts), as well as the slippery elegance of ‘Reversing’, both on the vinyl album for the first time.
Tech specs aside, this new edition is a sumptuous testament to Sakamoto’s effortlessly natural, poetic evocations of emotion, by then channelling some 30 years work as an arranger of classic synthpop (YMO, collabs with David Sylvian), and seminal soundtracks (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence; The Last Emperor) into some of his most stripped down yet affective music, hovering on the line between precise, mindful composition and intuitively fluid improvisation.
While the majority of the material here features Sakamoto playing conventionally beautiful solo piano with magnificent highlights on the likes of ‘Opus’, he also extends into experimental, prepared piano on a handful of pieces, both serene and frantic, such as ‘Prelude’, ‘Sonata’ and ‘Uetax’, cannily resonating with Aphex Twin’s prepared piano pieces on ‘Drukqs’, which were released just two years later.
’Danger in Paradise’ is David Toop & Steve Beresford’s DIY masterpiece of dub-soul experimentation. Originally issued in 1984, and starring doyens of the experimental/improv scene, Lol Coxhill and David Cunningham, General Strike’s sole album remains a massive highlight of its era, epitomising a rich seam of dub, jazz, and post-punk experimentation executed with garden shed means and genteel English eccentricity.
David Toop has described Danger In Paradise, an album of material he recorded with Steve Beresford and David Cunningham as General Strike between 1979 and '81, as "hauntology before its time". In some sense he's right: some of the queer-pitched electronics and impishly sinister samples on the record wouldn't sound out of place on a Focus Group transmission. But first and foremost, General Strike is a potting shed avant-dub masterpiece, covering enormously wide ground.
'My Other Body' is a beautifully bass-heavy, almost Antena-esque pop original voiced by Dawn Roberts (singing lyrics culled from Foucault's Mental Illness And Psychology), 'Guided Missiles' is nuclear-paranoid doo-wop, and Sun Ra's 'Interplanetary Music' and 'We Travel The Spaceways' are reinterpreted in a way that somehow reconciles their afro-futurist origins with a bimbling, bumbling sensibility unique to Blighty's suburbs.
Cunningham's extraordinary tape treatments and the ensemble's anything-could-happen, patchwork approach to composition place the album at a heart of a British DIY tradition that has brought us The Shadow Ring, Flaming Tunes, Cleaners From Venus and This Heat among others (it's no surprise to learn that portions of it were recorded at This Heat's Cold Storage studio space).
All in all a terrific, gloriously unusual record - originally issued on cassette by Touch in '84, and later on CD by Piano, this new edition from Staubgold represents its first time on download formats and a first vinyl edition in years.
First reissue of David Rosenboom’s groundbreaking 1975 experiments in using brain biofeedback to control live electronics, newly expanded with an additional LP containing an unreleased 1977 live recording of Rosenboom’s “On Being Invisible”, in which the composer himself performs on an array of electronics that are fed information from his brainwaves. Another diamond from Black Truffle.
David Rosenboom was a key member of that 1970s fraternity of electronic music explorers who prized early forms of live electronic music performance, often seeing it as superior to the laborious process of electronic composition on clunky computers, and much closer to the ultimately expressive forms of classical instrumental virtuosity.
With ‘Brainwave Music’ Rosenboom pushed that idea into new dimensions, using electrodes and monitoring devices attached to players in order to receive and gather information about their brainwaves, body temperature, and galvanic skin response, which was then analysed and in turn used to modulate the parameters of his oscillators and filters. In theory, the system allowed for a greater level of connection between the player’s sub/conscious intuition and psychophysiological response, or in-the-moment action.
On the A-side’s ‘Portable Gold And Philosophers’ Stone’ this notion manifests as a warbling smudge of phasing, keening microtones as the brainwaves of Pat and Alan Strange and Marilyn and Frank McCarty feed into Rosemboom’s electronic systems in a wholly absorbing and inimitable flurry of ostinatos, eddies and whorls that make our eyes go funny. However, with the B-side’s ‘Chilean Drought’ and ‘Piano Etude I (Alpha)’ he works with Jacqueline Humbert to specifically focus on the three states of brain waves, Alpha, Beta, and Theta at once, with uncanny results that will sound different to each listener depending on their listening environment and mental state, leading their brain to subconsciously pick up on the voices speaking to their mind’s appropriate frequencies.
Recorded contemporaneously, Rosenboom’s 1977 previously unreleased live recording of ‘On Being Invisible’ is initially, aesthetically closest to the A-side of ‘Brainwave Music’, but find Rosenboom better getting to grips with his system, with immeasurably intricate, complex results that sound like a pre-echo of Florian Hecker’s acid trax one minute, and like Dolphin chatter the next, then like intercepted alien transmissions.
Suffice it to say this was the first record of it kind, and a truly historic piece of electronic composition.
Russia’s Paval Milyakov, aka Buttechno, tends to his screwier, inquisitive side for TTT with a gauzy batch of ambient, folk and house experiments, swerving between the lines of his records for Japan’s City-2 St. Giga, Collapsing Market and his Gosha Rubchinskiy AW16 soundtrack, to the dankest parts of his bedroom-baked club sound.
This is music for hanging out on cold, concrete corners in your most flammable trackies, taking in pastoral electro-folk meditation Gosha Medvedeva, his Pole-esque Slow Dub, and the skinny, bone-pinching swing of K4 on the one hand, before decorating those skeletal structures with more fleshly samples of Russia pop in the low key seduction of Poleva, and something like a roadside house rave played on empty vodka bottles, oil drums and cardboard boxes in the Brinkmann-like Metallo, and a nervily grubbing, spooked-out house ace named Super Siziy King.
Agent of disruption, Sam Kidel simulates a free party in a Google data centre and baffles Amazon’s Alexa on ’Silicon Ear’, his superb follow-up LP to our AOTY 2016 ‘Disruptive Muzak’
The Bristol-based composer and music teacher now turns his subversive “analytical artistry” towards global corporations. Where his ‘Disruptive Muzak’ piece adapted the early hacking technique of “phreaking” - manipulating telephone exchanges - his two new works logically follow with a signature mixture of mischief and uncanny insight, suggesting super crafty ways to subvert AI voice recognition and simulate a rave in a server centre.
“First exhibited at EBM(T) in Tokyo, Live @ Google Data Center trespasses in Google’s data centre in Council Bluffs, Iowa to perform electronic music amongst the humming banks of servers and endless cable runs, without actually breaking in. In a process he describes as “mimetic hacking,” Kidel used architectural plans based on photos of the data centre to acoustically model the sonic qualities of the space. The resulting acoustics on Live @ Google Data Center simulate the sound of Kidel’s algorithmically-generated notes, rhythms and melodies reverberating through the space, as though a bold illegal party was being held in the maximum security location.
The generative audio patch Kidel used to make the B-side, Voice Recognition DoS Attack seeks to disable the functionality of voice recognition software by triggering phonemes (the smallest units of language). The project, first developed for the Eavesdropping series of events in Melbourne, exploits a weakness in voice recognition that cannot distinguish between individual voices. When you speak while the patch is playing, the cascading shards of human expression mask your speech and thus protect you from automated surveillance, questioning our vulnerability in the face of global data giants. In amongst these displaced sounds, Kidel fed additional musical elements into his patch to create the version of the project heard on this release.”
As light as a warm breeze on skin, Earthen Sea’s latest album for Kranky ‘Grass and Trees’ showcases Jacob Long’s natural sensitivity for low-key, enchanting electronic sound craft.
Bobbing gently in the wake of 2017’s ‘An Act of love’ and ‘A Restless Gaze’ outings, Earthen Sea’s ‘Grass and Trees’ channels a liminal mix of spatialized, organically warm-sounding tones that run into each with the quality of watercolours, as characterised in the sleeve art. But where previous Earthen Sea outings were yoked to a regular pulses, there’s a finer push and pull of syncopated, latinate rhythms that works under the surface of ‘Grass and Trees’, lending the whole album a delicious slink that pulls listeners right into its wavey motion. Fans of Gas, Strategy, Beatrice Dillon, or even those breezy Werkbund bits, need apply!
“Jacob Long's reductionist rhythmic ambient vessel, Earthen Sea, ebbs towards a more purely elemental state on his second excursion for Kranky, Grass and Trees. He describes the creative process as one of "simplifying things as much as possible," designing uncluttered spaces traced in nothing but breath, field recordings, and "sounds that could be played by hand but weren't." The results feel decentralized but dynamic, low-lit evocations of ambiguous nocturnal environments - dub techno disassembled into stray pulses and spare parts. It's a music both interior and infinite, languorous yet transformative, made in the outer boroughs of a metropolis but attuned to its own liminal wilderness.
Long's vision is a grounding one, rooted in the physical body but attuned to larger currents: "In response to living in a fairly hectic city, and at a very hectic time for the world at large, creating something more drawn back and restrained felt appropriate."
Studiously retro psychedelic soul from Sa-Ra’s Shafiq Husayn, alongside a dazzling supporting cast including; Erykah Badu, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Hiatus Kaiyote, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Coultrain, Chris 'Daddy' Dave, I-Ced, Anderson Park, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Jimetta Rose, Fatima, Computer Jay, Medlodious Fly, Kamasi Washington,
“The Loop' is the new LP by Los Angeles based polymath Shafiq Husayn, an epic project which saw its inception in 2012 through a series of studio sessions at Shafiq’s home, including collaborations with the likes of Thundercat, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Bilal and Anderson Paak. Amongst a close knit circle of friends and family the golden tones of The Loop were created, deeply rooted in ideas of song, story, history, guidance and spirituality. The album bumps, jumps and jangles through progressions in jazz, hip hop, soul and funk, following on from his debut album ‘Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka’ and adding further to his rich history of timeless, unique music. On The Loop past, present and future are brought together through a psychedelic concoction of time traveling drum machines, celestial string sections and trails of synthesizer vapour. Inflections of Sly Stone, Pharaoh Sanders and Earth Wind And Fire traverse with Marley Marl and Dilla-esqe drums making for an organic yet LA-trifying experience.
Shafiq has brought together an impressive array of LA's musical royalty, enlisting the likes of Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Kamasi Washington, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, Eric Rico, Coultrain, Computer Jay, Jimetta Rose, Om'Mas Keith, Kelsey Gonzalez, I-Ced and more to provide the backbone to his recording sessions. Drawing in features from an international cast of performers and artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatima and Karen Be amongst others. Now complete and finally ready for release in 2019 The Loop is truly something to behold. The records is accompanied by a series of paintings by acclaimed Japanese visual artist Tokio Aoyama, who worked in tandem with Shafiq to create a painting for each song on the record.”
Following that killer Huerco S, Exael and uon hookup for the first release on uon and D. Tiffany’s XPQ? label, Exael returns solo with a followup to the Collex LP on West Mineral with deep, reverberating recordings from the echo chamber.
Recorded in Chicago, 2014-2016 by Naemi, Exael ventures into the more abstracted end of the electronic dub spehere with a set that starts with a kind of corrosive noise malfunction before heading into a deep and shadowy house vibe and mechanised electro, somewhere between Huerco S. and vintage Claro Intelecto. As the label put it, “degraded and corrupted club tools for the adventurous DJ…”
Mix Mup and Kassem Mosse deuce down a trio of slompy, dish-rinsing house deviations on the 3rd TTT X Palace 12”, following there examples of Theo Parrish and Omar Souleyman X Rezzett.
We’re all over the A-side like last night’s dinner on unwashed plates, loving those sloshing, pitch-bent drums that sound like someone washing a Roland machine in a saucepan under a cold, running water whilst Laraaiji doodles in the background, or something.
Chorus Beach is it’s drier counterpart on the B-side: a squeaky fresh slow house swinger elevated with mystic, discordant pads; and Watching Gischt hustles a deeply rude and loose house style somewhere to the left of Theo P and STL.
Norway’s Pact Infernal follows his Horo LP and Stroboscopic Artefacts 12” with a typically gloomy outing on his Altar label, site of his previous works as Nastika
The ‘Gehanna Odyssey’ sees him trek out into BM-styled atmosphere overrun with roughshod drums and acephalic screeches on ‘Itzel Itzel Azarel’, then sidestep into the very Shackleton-esque percolated drums and tense drones of ‘Path to Topeth.’ Flipside he maintains the stare down intensity with in a minimal framework of distant percussion and pensive atmospheres titled ‘Kothar-Wa-Kasis’, and again with the hellish descent of ‘Render Unto Moloch.’
Ambien Baby’s Sophie Sweetland (D. Tiffany) and Dan Rincon (Nap) take it easy on their debut miniLP
Sweetland & Rincon tend to a woozy drift between dusty country/shoegaze themes (‘Amor Propio’), breaks (‘Light & High’), Bomb The Bass-style drum trippy dance music (‘Mari Posa’) and washed out mid ‘90s trip hop (‘Sequential’).