Young Marco welcomes us to paradise again for the concluding 3rd volume of Italian Dream House 90-94, delivering 11 cuts of beckoning, eyes-shut-in-the-dance deep house goodness
Remarkably, he’s pulled out two contemporaneous, previously unreleased treats in the Balearic breeze of Resounding Seashell by Jacy, and the beaming garage swang of Neurostate’s Dance To The House, while the rest is all cherry picked with exquisite taste and feels in place.
From the high tog depth of Optik’s drifting Illusion, thru a necessary cut of Leo Anibaldi’s 808 State nod on Universal, thru to Deep Blue’s lush downstroke, Deep Blue (The Inner Part Of Me), the hair-kissing sweetness of Cosmic Galaxy’s Walkin’ On The Moon, and the champion dream steed of Don carlos Overture, this is 100% gary-worthy gear, hotly tipped as a history lesson to anyone following current retro house sounds from Vancouver to Manchester and Berlin.
Spellbinding 1980 ambient masterwork by UK’s Morgan Fisher and Lol Coxhill, resurfacing on a timely 40th anniversary reissue via Belgium’s ever searching Aguirre label
‘Slow Music’ is an ingenious experimental synthesis of instrumental intuition and meticulous tape edits realised by soprano sax legend Lol Coxhill and synths/keys maestro Morgan Fisher. Slow by nature and title, the music is of a peculiarly English branch of pastoral kosmiche, spanning a mutated take of Handel’s Largo alongside slow burning wonders recalling Two Daughters doing Ethiopian tribal music, thru to stunning cinematic vistas, and a hallucinatory 26’ work of micro-edited genius ‘Slow Music / Pretty Little Girl’ that sounds like the missing link between Harmonia & Eno and AFX’s SAW II.
That last track really is a gem among many on this album and has been cited as a big influence by “several top Japanese artists such as Haruomi Hosono of YMO”, which is really easy to hear as the track blossoms . It was crafted from samples of Coxhill’s singing and some church bells (although you’d never tell) which Fisher meticulously trimmed and spliced to tape, and mixed in real time to create a layered, phasing, gently iridescent wonder prickling with spectral notes and quiescent to bouts of lushest microtonal harmony that culminate in something not too distant from Michael O’Shea’s shimmering beauties, then saving a moment of musical hall flashback worthy of The Caretaker for those in it for the journey.
A real nugget.
A year prior to Duster’s landmark debut album Stratosphere, Clay Parton, Dove Amber, and Jason Albertini quietly issued a prequel LP into the great expanse.
"An ode to ’70s Kosmische, Hier Kommt Der Schwartze Mond is a skeletal space nap for the prozac generation. Remixed and remastered from the original 16 track analog tapes, the 1998 album has been adjoined by 15 period-appropriate bonus tracks. A fuzzy masterpiece, hidden in plain sight, by the most important slowcore band of all time."
Following four long years of sonic hibernation, the shadowy sneaker fiends behind the Shoebox series have decided to deliver a fourth EP of intoxicating musical fusions rich in dusty deepness, hazy grooves, kaleidoscopic electronics and glassy-eyed musical mysticism.
"Some tracks feed the dancefloor while others reward horizontal listening; all are suitably wide-eyed and tantalizingly tactile."
Proper, mutant UK killers from Bristol's Lurka. 'Partials' follows a steady line of dancefloor inquiry from his early ones for Black Box, thru a killer Hotline drop and last year's unique 'Holding' 12" to twyst farther still from convention with these weird gems.
The title track rides a slackened, bashy dancehall bump with calving chromatic synth motifs, sounding something like Pekka Airaksinen and Florian Hecker on a very freaky weekend at Sandals, whilst 'Mach' holds steadfast to that tempo but with kinkier fills and metallic licks. Tip!
This was Actress' first release for Honest Jon's, arriving in the aftermath of his landmark 'Hazyville' album dropped in 2008.
The move signified a subtle but essential development in his sound, preparing the ground for a hugely promising album with two aces. 'Paint, Straw And Bubbles' untethers his Detroit dream from terra firma, percolating his ethereal sound through a system of camouflaging filters until the joins dissolve and we're left with a feat of intangible spatial dynamics viewed with unique depth perception. It's electro-acoustic dance music for Afro-futurist stoners. The near absence of any bass only enhances the weightlessness, creating a heady sensation of an overcast day between pressure systems when everything doesn't feel quite as it should.
On 'Maze (Long Version)' Actress looks to early 80's synth wave and the cold industrial pulse of groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, pinpointing the influences of Detroit music from Model 500 and Shake which in turn so heavily informed his sonic outlook.
Electronic music's most mysterious act briefly come in from the cold with their first new release since 2007.
Leisure System have the honour of presenting the latest lab results from Heinrich Mueller and Michaela To-Nhan Bertel aka Dopplereffekt: three tracks of selective electro engineering executed to exacting degrees. Their first new work since the incredible 'Calabi Yau Space' for Rephlex is typically iced-out and dazzling, scoping steppers' electro model, 'Tetrahymena' with its free-floating sci-fi pads and body-prod rhythms alongside the elegant arpeggiated helixes of 'Gene Splicing' and the wormholing pulses of 'Zygote'. It's as good as you'll get from the electro realm this year...
Pure, uncomplicated loveliness on this latest LP from bijou imprint Sonic Pieces and their pal F.S. Blumm. There was a time we’d find the easygoing breeziness of this one a little bit hard to bare, but right now it’s ticking a lot of boxes. Basically, if you wanna see the world in pastels and stop the clock on your anxieties for a minute, this one should do the trick.
Blumm is one of those characters that’s been around for what must be a good several decades by this point. Always on the peripheries, as part of Sack & Blumm with Harald Ziegler and as Bobby & Blumm with Ella Blixt, he’s had albums solo and as part of other groups on numerous labels like Staubgold, Tomblab, Morr, Plop - u get the picture, that school of homespun electronic-acoustic miniatures that was for a while kind of a big deal and which ultimately spawned loads of Japanophile labels like Erased Tapes in their early days.
Anyway, all of that is dated as fuck by this point, as would this album be - if it weren’t for a few twists that elevate proceedings into something more nuanced and believable. The windswept Paris-Texan vistas of aufgrund, for instance, or the sad lullaby strums on haltegriff - you’d have to have a heart of stone not to swoon a little bit.
The rest - it all sounds like the sort of music you get on CNN weather slides - and normally we’d leave it at that. Except that at this moment in time, 'In Sight' provides a purity of feeling we just can’t bring ourselves to argue with or resist. Add to that the typically gorgeous hand-sticthced textile packaging from Sonic Pieces and we’re back in Berlin in the early 2000’s, full of hope and open hearts.
Yeah, pure af this one.
This stunning first outing on Yves Tumor’s Grooming label was released in a 2018, vinyl-only run of just 100 copies and is now given a handy reissue by Thrill Jockey. Essential cop for those of you yet to experience its wildly original mix of choral aggression and cavernous percussion.
Sepulchral, majestic, Kill is John Bence’s sophomore release following a début for Nico Jaar’s Other People in 2015. Since then Bence has also appeared as part of Ashley Paul’s new ensemble on her striking LP, Lost In Shadows for Slip, as well as playing in support of Grouper earlier this year.
Where Bence’s first record, Disquiet was a sort of palimpsest of re-scored composition, Kill finds him unfurl a shocking three part movement for vocals, cello and bellicose drums that should leave no one uncertain of his talents. And in that sense it’s really not hard to hear why his music has been snapped up for release by Yves Tumor’s label, as the pair patently share a feel for music both fuelled by and navigating overwhelming emotion.
In the first part, he shapeshifts from something like prime, latter day Coil in a section of reverberant cello and ghostly keening, to erupt in Prurient like howls and psychotomimetic scat like a possessed, Welsh mining choir.
By contrast, the 2nd part is pure entropy, vocals layered and decaying into extremes of the soundfield, leading to a passage recalling Aíne O’Dwyer’s haunted situations, before a real denouement comes with the sublime closing coda of vaulted vocals into noirish strings and recursive industrial percussion.
Keep a very close eye on this one...
Azu Tiwaline explores "the intersections of Berber music, dub culture and techno hypnosis” on this strong new EP for Livity Sound. Bare-boned and moody, this one slowly pulls you in with gradually coalescing layers that are detailed and atmospheric, highly recommended if yr into Burnt Friedman, Portable, Move D.
"Fresh from the acclaimed Draw Me a Silence LP on IOT Records and collaborating with musician and sound artist Cinna Peyghamy, this new record further explores the hypnotic percussion and mystique of the Tunisian Sahara, a hybrid sound playing on contrasts and nuances, light and dark with echoes of techno minimalism and modern dub."
"Released as part of a Back To Black reissue series for Sonic Youth's back catalogue, Goo is the sixth studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth. It was originally released on June 26, 1990 and was Sonic Youth's debut release on a major record label, after the band signed to Geffen Records"
Delroy Edwards’ darkwave synth-pop band Earth To Mickey cold kick a blend of freestyle, Chicago house and lustrous gothic pop on a brilliant LA Club Resource joint.
Playing up to a sound that’s long lurked in his productions and mixes, Delroy’s duo with Mickey Van Seenus (and Xander Whistler on keys) tend to a classically effective and we dare say “grown-up” style that’s less about banging the walls and moire about sharpening up your elbows and hips into a sexy ‘80s motion.
‘Brace & Bit’ holds tight to a mix of melancholy freestyle vocals and spunky, sprung bass torque with shades-on synth vamps punctuate with killer snares and rimshots. We’d absolutely love to hear someone go in heavier on the edits with this one, but there’s always a the bonus minute of choppy ’Factory Beats’ for the DJs to get crafty with. ‘Pleasure Comes And Pleasure Goes’ balances the equation with a velvety stroke of gothic suss, where Mickey beautifully channels operatic Kate Bush-isms over puckered pizzicato arps and minimalist drum programming in the dreamiest 1984-into-2020 style.
One of the most unusual, destitute albums in James Leyland Kirby’s (aka The Caretaker's) extensive catalogue, ‘Bleaklow’ inhabits the distinctly grey, northern climate that has shaped Kirby's sound for over two decades. For our money it’s one of the most unique jewels in Kirby’s catalogue, finally given a much needed vinyl re-press following on from its initial release over a decade ago.
It’s a singular, harrowing trip from the start, the opening "Something To Do With Death” transmitting waves of dread via unstable, fizzing drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. ’Solemn Dedication’ adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on 'Indefinite Ridge’ that things really take a turn towards that eerie, destabilising sound Kirby can do so well, like a standout BoC vignette pounded by the rattle of industrial machinery in the background.
"A Melody Drags Me Back” recalls the spirit of Kirby’s best known productions as The Caretaker, except in place of those old 78’s you get the vaguest hint of life and colour beneath the endless layers of sonic unease. The album ends with 'Ominous Sunset’, an incredible 6 minute coda that’s perhaps best compared to Kirby’s 'Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was’ set, like Vangelis’ score for Bladerunner aged and degraded, still somehow conveying all it’s retro-futuristic romance.
It’s an astonishing ending to one of Kirby’s finest albums.
Haunting, soporific solo debut from cellist and electro-acoustic dream weaver Judith Hamann, whose playing has previously appeared alongside Eliane Radigue, Jürg Frey, Graham Lambkin, Áine O'Dwyer, The Necks, Alvin Lucier, Tashi Wada, and La Monte Young in recent years.
Stepping from the metaphoric shadow of her peers, ‘Peaks’ presents Hamann as a skilled sorceress of quietly rustic, funereal music It’s sorta dewy with pastoral melancholy in a vein recalling everyone from Laura Cannell to Anne Guthrie and Kassel Jaeger in her dreamlike transitions between real instruments and their processed apparitions.
Deftly repatterning her daily life into a woozier dream state, Hamann combines fragments of recordings made on tour into a pair of durational dreamscape collages that, to our ears’-eye, sounds like a music for steep sided valleys to the ‘Peaks’ of the title, hugging wooded clefts where the sun doesn’t always get through and life deciduously goes on in the shade.
Her decayed, organic decompositions connote a sense of melancholy whoch can be taken as intended - reflecting a state of homesickness on tour - or perhaps a sense of sehnsucht for something more indescribable, existential, most like Elodie or Akira Rabelais, that’s always going to haunt and soothe us at the same time, especially when it’s done well; just like this very fine introduction to Judith Hamann’s dream world newly uncovered by Oren Ambarchi’s ever on-it Black Truffle.
Sauce81 with two previously unreleased tracks for Beyond Space And Time.
"Beyond Space And Time was launched end of last year with DJ Nobu's 2LP compilation as festival's another musical imprint. The 7 inch record, "I Wanna Show You EP" is the latest release from the label. "Love Is The Harmony ft. Ben Hadwen" is on the B side. The track was played at the end of his set at RDC streaming event "somewhere under the rainbow!", energetic house/disco track made us all dancing through the screen."
Utterly sublime ambient jazz from consummate, lower case collaborators, Timo Van Lujik and Andrew Chalk, joined here on piano by Tom James Scott (Charcoal Owls, Liberez) in a subtly breathtaking LP of melting romantic gestures and spectral electronics. Big recommendation if you're into David Lynch, Bohren Und Der Club of Gore, Af Ursin, Oren Ambarchi...
Their 8th album - alternately released like all previous Elodie LPs since 2011 on the duo's respective labels, La Scie Dorée and Faraway Press - they navigate thee finest line of anticipatory tension and vaporous release, resulting in some of the most tender, unshowy yet arresting musical expressions that we’ve heard in years.
In eight parts they expand, contract and drift off on shafts of moonlight, oscillating shorter vignettes which appear like magnetically suspended bonsai trees - as with the hyaline delicacy of Matin de Marbre or the latinate acoustic guitar that slides between the silken ambient tones and Feldman-meets-Sakamoto keys of Par La Main - with longer sections such as the midnight stroller Le Jardin Onirique and the B-side’s sail-away suite of three pieces, including the unmissable title track, afford teasingly intangible visions of a sound which we’re sure everyone can agree, is some of the most beautiful music imaginable.
We were lucky enough to catch the duo in this record’s line-up with Tom James Scott at Salford’s Islington Mill in 2016, where we witnessed them totally silence the room with an almighty, barely-there demonstration of how to enchant a crowd. As with everyone else in the room, we were duly pinned to our seat for the duration, with incidental creaking chairs and refrigerator hum only heightening the sublime tension whilst waiting for the trio’s next, curious jazz chord in sequence, or when attempting to follow their chromatic gasses off into the ether.
Like the weeks after seeing their show last year, you just kinda want to make sure everyone in earshot knows about or can at least get a glimpse of this music. It just seems to reset everything...
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.
This lot have released 5 x 12”s anonymously over the last 3 years via Hardwax and there’s no info about them anywhere, pretty sneaky.
They now land on Mana, a label so esoteric it has a flowchart on its website showing you how to get from Luc Ferrari to Nico Jaar in one short leap.
There are 4 long tracks, one per side, each clocking in at 15 mins and each taking time to expand into being. There is persistent water drumming, the a side is all exotic melodica, nature sounds and bells with Flanger-esque bass humps plus some water drumming, side 2 has a very burial mix sounding bassline sat low in the mix to give the water drumming more presence, side C is more reflective and serene tropical vibes, with side D giving it some classic dub pressure and location recordings which we think we once heard Bill Kouligas play on the radio a few years back and which is dope as fuck.
So yeah, it sounds a bit like a k-hole version of Burnt Friedman & Atom Heart’s early Flanger gear crossed with Burial Mix and that incredible water drumming vid dust to digital posted a while back on there tweeter.
7 years after the release of "Laughing Stock" and the end of Talk Talk, Mark Hollis recorded what has since gone on to be described as "quite possibly the most quiet and intimate record ever made".
In many respects it's an album no-less influential than "Laughing Stock", once again extending the parameters and smudging the boundaries between many disparate musical styles and influences, taking elements of jazz, classical and devotional music without ever really sounding like anyone or anything else you'll have heard before.
Much like "Spirit of Eden" and "Laughing Stock", it's an album that's really attained an almost mythical status - leaving so many desperately waiting to see if Hollis would ever return to making music again. Either way - his influence appears to be stronger today than ever before, and this gorgeous vinyl pressing has sent us off once again into a place we'd almost forgotten about but which has accompanied and enriched our lives for many years...
Enchanting introduction to the exquisite, smoky melancholy of a Japanese jazz and blues singer/songwriter/composer who collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto and penned some 30 solo albums, yet is scarcely known in the West.
Born in 1942 in a small, northern Japanese fishing village, Maki grew up during the era of American occupation and cultural imperialism, eventually moving to Tokyo and nurturing a passion for the records of Billie Holliday and Mahalia Jackson, which would lead her to perform on US military bases and cabarets and subsequently cover many US traditional folk and blues for the Japanese market.
With her distinctive voice she's seemingly possessed by the spirit of her heroes - Billie, Nina, Mahlia among them - and apparently had the mysterious countenance to match her unusual aesthetic.
We'll have to take that for granted from Hitoshi Jin Tamura's photos and Alan Cummings' enlightening liner notes, but Maki's music remains the best gauge of her character, taking in big band experiments along with an amazing, sitar-lead psych-out, plus runs into modal, spiritual jazz and the kind of lounge styles that prompt imagery of Bill Murray or some lonely salaryman clutching a single malt in the shadows of a Tokyo bar.
London via NYC Chupacabras has been making a name for himself through the years as a pillar of the underground.
"The story starts in Barcelona during the early-2000s DJing and becoming a resident at the famed Nitza Club, it's here Chupacabras came into contact with the likes of I-F, Legowelt, and Marco Passarani among others thus immersing himself in the sounds of Hague electro, Chicago House, Italo, and Detroit Techno. An integral part of the early L.I.E.S. Records crew we are pleased to release his latest ep, a four track Hague influenced affair. Slammin drums, raw acid lines and razor sharp synths and electro beats prevail through the ep, a must for the floor. Check!"
Dopplereffekt explore themes of mortality/immortality on ‘Athanatos’, their follow-up to last year’s excellent ‘Cellular Automata’ album, also released by Berlin’s Leisure System.
Furthering their previous LP’s conceptual fascination with genetics, ‘Athanatos’ explores the conditions and chromosomal factors defining mortality in the funky, allegorical fashion that we all adore about Rudolf Klozeiger and To-Nhan’s music.
With input from Carsten Nicolai (who also did the artwork) and his raster-noton co-foudner Olaf bender, Dopplereffekt reflect their research in five parts ranging from the towering title track (meaning ‘Immortality’ in Greek) to a stunning piece of synth-pop ‘Hayflick Limit’ with cold vox (can'’t tell if it’s To-Nanh or one of their previous collaborators), plus the direct dancefloor hydrolicks of ‘Eukaryotic Chromosomes’, and the nexx level sci-fi electro of ‘Mitosis’.
Genius at work.
Cutthroat acid techno welters from NYC boss Adam X, prepping the dance for a full length reflux from his ‘Acid Archives’
Containing 4 tracks exclusive to this 12” and not found on the LP, ‘Acid Archives Promo’ gives a very strong taste of early ‘90s acid madness in each corner.
Under the X-crash alias he pelts out the face-melting chew ‘Executioner’ with some of the most wigged out acid and synthlines of his class, also found in the screaming 155bpm brain eater ‘Sick Trick’. As good ol’ fashioned Adam X he he attacks with the calamitous drive of ’51 Days in Waco’ and the military grade 303s and breakbeat-spanked techno pressure of ‘Swamp Thing (Unreleased)’.
100% rave guaranteed.
‘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.
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt.
Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
On a first new solo side in five years Chicago post-rock supremo and experimentalist Sam Prekop (The Sea And Cake) yields his sleekest, most entrancing modular kosmiche music in a melodic model shared with everyone from BV Dub to Ulrich Schnauss and Nathan Fake
Best known in the ‘90s for his jazz-leaning post-rock with Sea And Cake, a key part of the Chicago scene with likes of Tortoise and Jim O’Rourke, for the past decade Sam Prekop has been preoccupied with the quirks and quarks of modular synths and kosmiche music, inevitably leading to ‘Comma’, the most lustrous Lufthansa business class refinement of the sound he’s been developing since 2010’s ‘Pavilion’.
Etching arcing lines from original mountain-dwelling communal German rock, to its pastoral shades, and thru Chicago’s spirited junctures of jazz and experimental indie-pop (found nowadays on the amazing International Anthem Recording Company), and thru to bubbling Acidic house and heart-cupping choral ambient gems, Prekop’s timelessly natural feel for melody brings the soul out of his modular machines in a manner that allows for all the odd, buzzing artefacts and electrical hum that comes with it (is it?), generating thee cutest ambient-pop in ‘September Remember’, while his indie-pop clinamen really comes to the disco on ‘Wax Wing’ and ‘Park Line’, and you’ll find melancholy IDM levels worth of Ulrich Schnauss on ‘The New Last’.
A lovely bunch; timeless in simplicity, execution and effect.
A masterclass in Deep House, Sasu Ripatti aka Vladislav Delay’s uber-classic debut as Luomo returns for a 20th anniversary edition newly remastered at D&M and packing the deepest bounce per ounce. If you’ve not heard this one before - yr in for a f$$$$cking treat.
Upon its original release in 2000, ‘Vocalcity’ was a totally unexpected turn from the artist best known as Vladislav Delay, who’d by then established his reputation as a producer of abstract dub techno for Chain Reaction that was ostensibly far removed from deep, vocal-led house music. But prejudices were swiftly assuaged as the Finnish artist’s keen knack for shifty rhythm programming was brought in line with Johanna Livanainen perfectly poised vocals, revealing the core influence of sensuous, soulful deep house and garage on his sound in a similar way to the links between Maurizio’s M-Series and the vocal-led Main Street volumes. Twenty years later it’s fair to say the 6 tracks of ‘Vocalcity’ have withstood the test of time and are bound to weave their slinky magick on ‘floors everywhere.
With mint copies now near-impossible to find on the 2nd hand market, this new pressing of ‘Vocalcity’ is perfectly timed for a zeitgeist looking to the late ‘90s and early ’00s for inspiration. Cut a side-per-track, just like the original edition, each of the songs - ranging between 10 and 16 minutes each - have plentiful headroom and leg space for dancers, DJs and audiophiles, keeping the album’s crucial balance of luxuriant minimalism, and the space between its coiled grooves and burning vocals, perfectly taut and intact.
Getting under the skin with the sculpted swing and hair-kissing vox of ‘Market’, and shuffling up close to Moodymann’s Detroit house depth in ‘Class’, the album is perhaps best loved for its timeless highlight ‘Tessio’, a rich, warm and writhing beauty that would set the template for myriad House records to come in the following two decades. Along with the mid-tempo lather of R&B vocal inflections on ’She-Centre’, and the lip-smacking sensuality of ’Synkro’, this whole lot is an absolute must-have for fans of late night/all day dancing sessions as much as those who like do it quieter.
100% classic material.
Very necessary and long-overdue survey of Vivien Goldman’s pioneering blends of Afro-Caribbean and West African music with post-punk and beyond. Massive RIYL The Flying Lizards, The Slits, PiL, The Raincoats, Adrian Sherwood, David Toop
“There’s a myth about music critics that says we are frustrated, wannabe performers. Evidence to the contrary: Vivien Goldman. Ever since she migrated from pitching editors on the little-known music of Robert Nesta Marley to becoming one of the foremost chroniclers of the perfect storm of reggae, punk, hiphop and Afro-Beat, the London-born, New York-based Goldman has made documenting music her primary life work. But between 1979-82, Goldman was also a working musician, creating songs that, years later, would be sampled by The Roots and Madlib. These rare girl grooves are now collected for the first time on Resolutionary, courtesy of Staubgold Records.
Resolutionary takes us through Vivien’s first three musical formations: first as a member of experimental British New Wavers The Flying Lizards; next as a solo artist, with her single “Launderette,” featuring postpunk luminaries; and then as half of the Parisian duo Chantage, with Afro-Parisian chanteuse Eve Blouin. Goldman’s synthesis of post-colonial rhythms and experimental sounds are threaded together by her canary vocal tones and womanist themes. Her eclectic musical crew included PiL’s John Lydon, Keith Levene and Bruce Smith; avant- gardists Steve Beresford and David Toop; The Raincoats’ Vicky Aspinall; the mighty Robert Wyatt; Zaire’s Jerry Malekani; Manu Dibango’s guitarist; and Viv Albertine, then of her good friends, the Slits. The majority of the tracks were produced by dubmaster Adrian Sherwood, and Resolutionary channels the history of a time when the bon-vivant voice of music was in the air, and Vivien Goldman was its eyes, ears, and mouth.
(by Evelyn McDonell)”
Matmos’ Drew Daniel wraps up a sensitive anti-fascist statement with ‘Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?’ in his 4th album proper as The Soft Pink Truth, starring guest vocals by Colin Self, Angel Deradoorian, and Jana Hunter. It's quite a trip...
Daniel returns to dancefloor-wise fundamentals and more sensuous styles here that link back to the project’s emergence as the result of a bet by Matthew Herbert that Daniel couldn’t produce a decent house record. Twenty years later he’s still proving Herbert wrong, showing off a fine grasp of deep house dynamics in parts, but typically offset by his tastes for stranger, more esoteric modes of ambient and modern classical elements which come to define this record.
While the album is presented as a response to the torrid reign of Trump in America, Daniel offers a suite that errs toward hypnagogic meditation with a few key bits of dancefloor communion holding it together. If you’re just after his prized deep house styles, go straight to the padded swang of ‘We’, the buoyant and breezy flex of ’Sinning’, and the shimmering ambient jazz house of ‘Grace’, but if you’re in it for the ride, expect to be carried away on warm currents of new age bliss and Reichian minimalism in between those moments, and let yourself go with the album’s flow, celebrating creation and communion over nihilism.
Ghost Box pursue that Paul Weller pearl with the return of tweetronic ticklers Plone, some 20 years after their sole album for Warp.
For anyone grey enough to remember Plone’s ‘For Beginner Piano’, the retro-vintage winks and nods of ‘Puzzlewood’ will be a big dose of nostalgia. Still going on like it’s the ’60’s/‘90s and everyone lives in a soft focus dreamworld where all the kids TV stars haven’t yet publicly revealed their reptilian forms, the Birmingham trio spin out streams of giddy melody and Butlins’ beat fluff that surely recaptures the innocence of their early records.
If you’re looking for an escape pod from the modern state of existential dread, this album is it. Dippy Radiophonic themes for educational programmes bubbles up in ‘Years and Elements’, and the likes of ‘Build a Small Fire’ and ‘Day Trip’ are absolute nuggets of rose-tinted ‘80s disco that reek of musty charity shops. Together with wistful gestures like ‘Circler’ and ‘Red Kite’, and the shiny red bow of ‘Sweet Shop’ with its Speak & Spell vocals, it’s almost too much to take. But if you like your vintage sugar rushes, it's like tooth-rottingly sweet stuff.
None-more-vital East African label Nyege Nyege Tapes present Otim Alpha’s melodic electro Acholi bangers on vinyl for the 1st time, following that blazing, acclaimed Sounds of Sisso compilation!
Alpha’s debut international release Gulu City Anthems features 11 songs written and recorded between 2004 and 2015 in Northern Uganda and ranges from hi-velocity bangers to more romantic mid-tempo swagger, all serving a totally infectious showcase of his plugged-in take on traditional Larakaraka wedding music that’s bound to get a lot of listeners itching for a +1 invite to one of his ceremonial sessions (crashing is always an option, too!).
Working with producer Leo Palayeng, Otim essentially computerises Acholi wedding music, weaving its traditional, see-sawing folk fiddles and call-and-response vocals with stripped, pounding drum machine polyrhythms in a sort of hypnotic, minimalist delirium. For the most part, it’s properly uptempo, with some searing highlights in the likes of his wickedly off-kilter jig Kodi Pa Barikiya (Kwan), the jabbing clash of almost cajun-style rapidfire riffs and turbo-charged toms in Toni G, or the Detroit/Chicago ghetto-compatible bang of Too Wiye Ming-Alphazo. But there’s also one super-charming piece called Agiki Ne Tye which works at a relatively leisurely 120bpm with strolling bass and bright, joyful chord cadence, presumably intended to allow the party a sweet breather.
Following Alpha’s recent, stellar introductory live show at Unsound ’17, this collection is set to impress his sound to eager ears beyond Uganda and the East African scene, and is surely destined to be lodged in record collections somewhere between your Shangaan, Konono No.1 and Caribbean soca faves - in other words; your party-starting section...
This is f×cking amazing - a second volume of desolate, ambient themes from David Lynch’s sound designer and mixer of choice Dean Hurley, one of those behind-the-scenes guys whose work most subtly colours the popular imagination. If you’re into anything from Deathprod to Badalamenti to Mica Levi’s 'Under the Skin’, the more ascetic end of work from Leyland Kirby / The Caretaker, or Aphex Twin’s ’Selected Ambient Works Vol II” - this will rule your world.
Having operated and managed David Lynch’s Asymmetrical sound Studio for 13 years, Dean Hurley only appeared on our radar a couple of years ago with his sound design for the third season of Twin Peaks, and the first volume of his Anthology Resource which collected some of that work. During those 13 years - a period that began just before ‘Inland Empire’ - Hurley was basically there to create, mix and edit any sound artefacts Lynch required - a process that evidently allowed him the freedom to innovate through pretty much limitless experimentation. As a result, Hurley is now without question one of the most striking sound designers and supervisors working in film & television right now, steering well clear of overly emotive/manipulative cliche and instead focusing on the minutiae of sound in a way thay recalls the classic, pre-digital era.
His Anthology Resource is an ongoing series curated from his work for film and television in the library / production music tradition, as well as a series of albums in their own right, with this second volume 'Philosophy of Beyond’ collecting 12 pieces made in residency for Art Gallery of New South Wales’ event Masters of Modern Sound, and contributions to Eddie Alcazar's feature film ‘Perfect’ - mostly assembled from tape loops and field recordings.
While it’s fair enough to wheel out a usual list of ambient/atmospheric comparisons with ‘SAW II’, Brian Eno, Leyland Kirby, and indeed David Lynch’s own early work with Badalamenti, that’s really just to show what class Hurley is operating in - his music clearly possessing its own, menacing magick that stays with you long after the music has stopped, just like the imagery he is so highly adept at scoring.
Gorgeous sophomore LP of gothic folk from Hilary Woods, aka erstwhile bassist with JJ72. Really strong Lynchian vibes on this one - aided by exceptionally dank and creaking production by Lasse Marhaug.
That mention of JJ72 may well jog the memory of anyone who frequented indie clubs in the late ‘90s/early ’00s, but we assure you that Hilary’s solo sound is far removed from JJ27’s spunky indie-pop and more in line with a tradition of etheric Irish songcraft that also resonates with the work of Susanna. Fittingly for that reference at least, Hilary worked with Norwegian producer Lasse Marhaug to achieve the album’s beautifully pensive tone and feeling of stark vulnerability.
“Hilary Woods’ Birthmarks has been a labor of intensity and intuition, written over the course of two years. Recorded whilst heavily pregnant between Galway and Oslo in the winter of 2019, Woods explores the oscillating and volatile processes of selfhood and becoming, hidden gestational growth, and the birthing of the Self, amidst continuous social and personal change.
Birthmarks is a record that hunts for ways in which to revisit and caress wounds left by the memory of their scars. In its mystery and attentiveness to the art of alchemy and the world of the unseen, it is a journey through textural fog and feral density that gives way to passages of voracious sonic exorcism and poetic healing. Its eight songs traverse planes of visceral physicality, stark tender space, and breathtaking introspective beauty.
Spurred on and crafted by the impulse to create a more corporeal sonic tendon for her songs to inhabit, Woods took her vision and home recordings to Norwegian experimental noise producer and filmmaker Lasse Marhaug. The collaboration proved rare and fruitful and lies at the heart of this record. Field recordings, analogue bass synthesizers, hushed vocals, and the breath are underpinned with heavy noise processing, fierce and wide cello, rich percussion, sable saxophone, and electronics.
Birthmarks is inspired and informed by ideas of inner transmutation in the face of anxiety, post-war Japanese and wet-plate photography, early music, the secret life of trees, wolves, drone, the drawings of Francis Bacon, the images of Francesca Woodman, the films of Chris Marker, the experiential collapse of community, and the power of the lone human voice. It is a deeply powerful and enigmatic record that ultimately transcends its disquiet roots.”
Henning Christiansen’s Fluxus spirit is unleashed in remarkable ways by his son and the likes of Mark Harwood in excerpts of a 6 hour performance recorded in 2019 in an LA car park
Part of the Henning Christiansen / Ursula Reuter Christiansen exhibition THEY WON’T SURVIVE WITHOUT THE BIRD SONGS and now part of Penultimate Press’ ongoing archival dives; ‘Save The Nature - Use Fluxus’ is opened by Henning and Ursula’s son Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen using his dad’s instruments to shake up insectoid rhythms and wickedly crude, bombed out electronics that aim to reunite them again in performance, while Mark Harwood closes a great piece reflecting Henning’s dedication to political activism in his 20 minute collage of field recordings of civil unrest in Chile meshed with chaotic, organic and technoid rhythms and ominous electronics.
"In November 17, 2019 a six hour performance was undertaken in the car park of The Box gallery in Los Angeles as a part of the Henning Christiansen / Ursula Reuter Christiansen exhibition THEY WON’T SURVIVE WITHOUT THE BIRD SONGS . Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, son of Ursula and Henning, developed a timeline for the performance which was essentially designed to encompass a contemporary community of likeminded artists that spans generations and continents harnessing and continuing the work instigated by Henning during his lifetime.
"The resulting performance included archival recordings taken from the H.C. Archive, which houses a vast collection of compositions, scores and correspondence of the late Christiansen. This limited edition 2LP collects edited highlights from the day capturing the unique and somewhat unsettling atmosphere provoked by a diverse range of performances. Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen developed a new action where he performed a sound piece on iconic instruments of Henning’s alongside recorded sounds of his father. Father and son re-united again in performance. The New Sound of the Living Dead. Bjørn Nørgaard presented two new iterations of some of his historical actions; Homage to Henning and Joseph, Manresa, a piece he first collaborated on with Henning Christiansen and Joseph Beuys at Galerieleri Schmela in Düsseldorf in 1966, and The Cake, a live construction of a monolithic yet impermanent sculpture meant to decay over time. Mai Dengsøe Hansen performed EURASIENSTAB fluxorum organum op. 39, a piece for organ that Henning scored and used as the soundtrack for the film Eurasienstab, with Beuys. The BOX gallery founder Mara McCarthy, along with her father Paul McCarthy and Chiara Giovando performed Knock Harder, a 20 min. improvisation that loosely recalls Knocking, a soundscape Henning used repeatedly throughout many of his own compositions. Chiara and Mara can be heard singing and playing a selection of small instruments, while Paul methodically slammed the back door of the gallery with a piece of scrap 2×4 pinewood – a kind of dedication to the monotony of Fluxus.
Mark Harwood, the founder of the expansive experimental independent label Penultimate Press performed an improvised musical protest incorporating fire, rhythm and chaos alongside field recordings of the civil unrest in Chile that he collected occurred just prior to the opening of this exhibition. Harwood’s contribution speaks to Hennings political activism and dedication. Throughout SAVE THE NATURE —- USE FLUXUS all came together to celebrate these great artists and to embody the same spirit of communal collaboration that has so thoroughly been a part of both Ursula and Henning’s lifelong endeavours."
This gorgeous collaboration finds renowned electronic producer Jan Jelinek hosting Japanese percussionist and vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita on his own Faitiche label.
The resultant recordings find the two musicians working their way through six different pieces that call upon both Fujita's jazz-influenced yet non-traditional vibraphone style and Jelinek's mastery of layered sound. All but one of these tracks features the presence of ambient location recordings, obtained via a single designated mic setup to record whatever background noise was present while the performances themselves were taking place. The often imperceptible flow of distant street noises and footfall lends an air of subliminal depth to the recordings, framing the warm glow of Fujita's instrumentation. On 'Undercurrent' the vibraphone's muffled, bell-like timbres are ruptured by skittering electronics and a rising sense of overdriven chaos, but however rowdy and distorted it gets in the latter half, the piece remains hypnotically beautiful - especially in its undulating final stages during which the vibraphone flows in harp-like waves.
One of the more open and lively tracks here is 'Waltz (A Lonely Crowd)' which perhaps owes the clearest debt to a jazz background, but the way the looped phrases slot together and evolve is just classic Jelinek. The only track here not to integrate incidental sounds from the recording space is 'Stripped To RM', whose Oval-like granular skips and high frequency sub-currents provide one of the albums highlights. By contrast, closing composition 'Ia_Ai' drifts off into a lonesome, painfully beautiful atmosphere before a rising tide of digital noise and low end hum closes the record with a Ben Frost-like heaviness. Sublime.
Following closely on the heels of Function's mammoth 3LP/17 track album "Existenz" for Tresor Records, this new one for RRose's Eaux label takes similar themes as a departure point, but moves into more mysteriousa and heavily dancefloor-focused terrain.
"Seven years after its inception, Eaux is proud to announce the first solo release by an artist other than Rrose. As a member of the Sandwell District collective, David Sumner aka Function was instrumental in cultivating the Rrose project. After releasing the first three EPs and album by Rrose between 2012 and 2013, Sandwell District terminated their mission abruptly, prompting Rrose to start a new label (Eaux) for solo projects and collaborations. This EP brings history full circle.
"Binaural" encapsulates the timeless essence of the Function sound with menacing bleeps, cavernous stabs, and a sense that it could go on forever without losing its grip on the listener. "Desire and Memory" is a broken beat track drenched in modulated drones that feels like an infinite spiral, moving simultaneously forward and backward in time. Function's early Sandwell District records defined the "hypnotic" techno sound that has influenced countless artists (including Rrose), and this release plants those roots in new, fertile ground."
Another beautiful edition from 12th Isle, this one from Denis Morin aka Vague Imaginaires on a washed out / sunset vibe that sounds to us like Maurizio if he was feeling Balearic.
"The Underwater Island is a collection of four tracks from Grenoble based producer Denis Morin. Philosopher, gardener, father and sonic explorer. Our friendship dates back over a decade, with some of this music first shared during a visit to Glasgow almost 5 years to the day - when 12th Isle the label was but an idea. For ISLE009, Vague Imaginaires gifts us with autobiographical field recordings, FM synthesis and skilled sound design inspired by the ocean and the Drac river which flows through the mountains of his city.
Harmonising natural sound sources with digital realms, he navigates through minimalism, ambient techno and flashes of dub inspiration. Morin combines these musical ideas with Roland TR-8, 303 emulations, hydrophone recordings and vocal fragments from Tunisia, Morocco and Vercors Massif."
Debut album of balmy, subtropical UK house and dreamy ambient electronica from K-Lone, following from a string of charms for Wisdom Teeth and Idle Hands over the past five years
Where K-Lone’s string of solo and split 12”s tenderly hugged the floor, his ‘Cape Cira’ album is detectably slanted toward domestic listening and springtime headphone mooches. It never really gets above a strolling mid-tempo pace, and sweetly keeps in its dreamy lane of sloshing dembow rhythms and slow UKBass tropes embedded in subtly rich atmospheric sound designs. It’s perhaps hard not to be seduced by its slinky charms as it gently furls into pure, womb-like ambience with the final track ‘Happened’. Who said dance music producers can’t make smart albums, and not just “trax”? Cos this album would prove them wrong.
Discrepant’s adventurous boss Gonçalo F. Cardoso sees off his Papillon project with a febrile flux of dream/nightmare logic weaving in material from label cohorts including Mike Cooper.
Presented as “one last hurrah into the depths of tropical disquiet”, and taking cues from Henri Charriere’s book sequel of the same name ‘Banco’, Cardoso sounds out in simiularly poetic terrain to the new David Toop ace, but perhaps more ravaged and infected with an illness from which he doesn’t return.
Roughly stitching in contributions ranging from Mike Cooper’s signature lap steel guitar to samples from fellow intrepid explorers Cédric Stevens, David Daan, and Yannick Dauby, the results leave us feeling upended and shored up beyond view, and that’s kind of where we want to be right now. Perhaps it’s fair to say that Covid-19 has made far-out, imaginative sound trips such as these all the more valuable as escape hatches from locked-in torpor and mundanity, and Papillon’s inventive levels of detail and plain freaking audness, from Annea Lockwood-like sensualities to South Seas breeze guitar and Coil-y K-hole ambient glitching make this one totally worth the return ticket.
Mysterious “married outlaws” Low Budget Aliens firm up a killer sort of (I)DeMaterialised spin on drill, jungle, footwork and ruff bass sound for D. Tiffany and uon’s XPQ? label
‘Junk DNA’ spells out a dead crafty sound in orbit somewhere between early Actress, the ambient dance mutations of Ghostride The Drift and Skee Mask’s nervy rufige. It’s smudged regurgitations are pretty much bang on the pulse for contemporary music’s up-in-the-air flux of styles in a way that feels like it could go in any of ten directions at once.
‘CRASh LANDING’ kicks it off with a sort of radioactive rendering of drill, and ‘Hazardous Waste Pump’ turns up the gas on a slowfast jungle tip, teeing up a weightless flex shared wrth the centrifugal footworking dynamics of ’FE Ignot’ and what sounds like a vaporised 33EMYBW in ‘HOME SICK!’, while ‘BOWSERS HIGHT COURT’ leans into X-files breakcore, and the deadly one-two of ‘Service Mode 2’ and ‘LEVEL 1 2 3 4’ whip D&B and 150bpm beat science into wilder, experimental dancefloor thrills.
Deep and heavy extended workouts from ‘The Dark Prince of Reggae’.
"Both sides made big impressions on the sound system scene on raw dub-plate, continued heavy Jah Shaka rotation means they remain in-demand to this day. Produced by Keith Hudson"
11 track collection of demos of all songs from the debut studio album Dry by PJ Harvey, available for the first time since 1992, and previously unreleased as a standalone album. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz.
Oh My Lover (Demo)
O Stella (Demo)
Happy And Bleeding (Demo)
Plants And Rags (Demo)
Finely cultivated ambient ecosystems from Austria’s Abby Tee Lee, making a strong debut on Herbert’s Accidental with a co-release of their ‘Cohabiting Species’ delicacy - think Automatisme meets Wanda Group.
‘Cohabiting Species’ marks Abby Tee Lee out as one to watch for a filigree blend of field recordings with ambient pads and fractalized offbeats, as previously heard on sides for Austrian label Shash.
This one picks up in similar, liminal terrain with extra subtle transitions between textured location sounds, patches of sloshing rhythms and phosphorescent pads that seem to time stamp it around dusk, as the sounds of nature pick up with dying light and nimbly creep into Lee’s subtle detailed artificial backdrops, eventually shoring up in distant keys and causing one to ponder how the chuff they got there. It’s not an unwelcome sensation.
10 track collection of previously unreleased demos of all songs from the third studio album by PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love – from 1995.
"Includes demo versions of the singles ‘Down By The Water’, ‘C’mon Billy’ and ‘Send His Love To Me’. Audio has been mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish. Features brand new artwork with previously unseen photos by Maria Mochnacz."
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon’s sixth studio record, featuring the singles ’The Underdog’ and ‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’. Originally released in 2007.
"Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is released as part of the Slay On Cue series, which will see the reissue of the band’s first eight records in original editions - Telephono (1996), Soft Effects EP (1996), A Series Of Sneaks (1998), Girls Can Tell (2001), Kill The Moonlight (2002), Gimme Fiction (2005), Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007) and Transference (2010)."
“Some of these albums haven’t been available on vinyl or CD in years, and in some places they never actually came out,” says frontman Britt Daniel.
Dead bonny Scots and Gaelic folk traditionals played faithful to form by Scottish folkie Alasdair Roberts. Done in a style inspired by a life of living haunted houses and traversing the Gaelic world researching its oral and musical history and sustaining folk traditions in a proper old skool role. Crack out your Arrans, stoke the hearth, and pour a dram for this one
“I am indebted to my piping friend Donald Lindsay for The Blythsome Bridal, The Braes of Tulliemet and The Smith’s a Gallant Fireman, while Chief O’Neill’s Favourite and The Flowers of Edinburgh were learnt from my fiddling friend Neil McDermott. The Blythsome Bridal is used as the melody to a comic lyric called ‘Fy Let Us A’ To The Bridal’ first published in 1706. The Braes of Tulliemet lie near the Perthshire town of Pitlochry. The Smith’s a Gallant Fireman is also known as ‘Carrick’s Rant’. Chief O’Neill was Francis O’Neill (1848-1936), who was born in County Cork, emigrated to the USA as a young man and eventually became chief of the Chicago Police from 1901 to 1905. The Flowers of Edinburgh was first published in James Oswald’s Caledonian Pocket Companion around 1760. The guitars are fretted in the following positions as the tunes appear on the record: II, II, V, VII and V.
My family stayed in a haunted house in the village of Balquhidder for a very short while in the early 1980s after moving from Germany to Scotland. However, I only took to singing The Braes of Balquhidder very recently after hearing a recording of it sung by the late Tim Lyons. The Seasons was learnt from the singing of the late Aberdeen singer Lizzie Higgins, daughter of Jeannie Robertson. Edinburgh-based Ulsterman Cathal McConnell knows many fine songs, most of which are collected in his book/CD set I Have Travelled This Country. I learnt this version of The Curragh of Kildare from that source. The late Sheila Stewart of Rattray, near Blairgowrie, is the source of my version of False, False. I would be unable to attribute my singing of Roberts Burns’ The Silver Tassie to a single source, owing to its general popularity in Scotland. I am forever indebted to all the fine singers and musicians mentioned above, and to many others unmentioned, for passing on songs and tunes to me over the years.”
Japanese pianist Yumiko Morioka initially released Resonance, her first and only solo recording, on Akira Ito's ‘Green & Water’ imprint in 1987. Resonance has been lovingly remastered by Séance Centre's Brandon Hocura and given new artwork by Métron Records’ label head Jack Hardwicke.
"Recorded on a Bösendorfer grand piano, much of Resonance was made in an attempt to soothe her creative soul. Constructed from unwritten improvisations with additional instrumentation added later, Resonance explores the space between notes. As such, it's a record that feels open and inviting, permeated throughout with a sense of confident serenity.
The sparse, delicately played notes are allowed to reverberate and echo through the spaces between themselves, giving each track a feeling of both grandeur and intimacy. Like the great pioneers of classical and ambient music, there's a timelessness to Resonance - a comforting, familiar feeling, as if these melodies have always existed.
Resonance drew influence from the popular environmental music culture prevalent in Japan during the late 80s, but it was also heavily inspired by Western musicians such as the avant-garde Parisian composer Erik Satie. Listening today, it still feels fresh and pertinent; a warm, contemplative reflection of a travelled woman."
Reissue on vinyl of the third PJ Harvey studio album To Bring You My Love.
"Produced by PJ Harvey with Flood and John Parish, and originally released in February 1995, To Bring You My Love features the singles ‘Down By The Water’, ‘C’mon Billy’ and ‘Send His Love To Me’. The album – which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year – received wide critical acclaim on release, with nominations for Grammy Awards and the Mercury Music Prize. Reissue is faithful to the original recording and package, cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering under the guidance of longtime PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish."
Legendary UK graff writer and beatmaker REQ returns to vinyl for the first time in almost 20 years since his Warp and Skint releases.
"Classic b-boy break manipulation and scuffed electronics are infused here with all the mischief of Smudge's influence on his work in their ongoing creative collaboration. Sure fire remixes from The Fear Ratio (aka Mark Broom & James Ruskin) and rising star and Sneaker Social Club / Moving Shadow signee ETCH, who some many know is the nephew of JAS who REQ painted with in Brighton's TDK crew in the 90s… as JB said: "Bring on the juice"."