Praise be to 4AD, who unveil a Jesus arms-worthy new suite of soaring avant and neo-classical reveries by Tim Hecker, on return from unusually long hiatus well spent fine tuning the sound of Love Streams.
“Hecker’s newest opus, Love Streams, takes as its cue from the avant-classical orchestration and extreme electronic processing of his previous full-length, 2013’s Virgins, but shaped into more melancholic, ultraviolet hues. Its power accrues as it unfolds. Inspired by notions of 15th century choral scores transposed to an artificial intelligence-era language of digital resonance and bright synths, the album was assembled gradually, with layers of studio-tracked keyboards, choir and woodwinds being woven into the mix, then molded and disfigured through complex programming. The effect is similar to hearing some ancient strain of sacred music corrupted by encryption. Hecker admits to thinking about ideas like “liturgical aesthetics after Yeezus” and the“transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune” during its creation.”
Among the most stunning and musical electronic works ever produced, these five compositions represent the complete electronic works of Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim (1931-2010).
"Beautifully presented reissue of classic archival electroacoustic works, first released on now very obscure vinyl in 1974. It contains some of the most exciting, shimmering and crystalline electronic sounds to be unearthed in quite a while.
Born in 1931 and highly active, Arne Nordheim is considered by most as the greatest living Norwegian composer, his chamber music, orchestral and various other work spanning a 40 year period. He started to get international recognition in 1960 with his orchestral work ‘Canzona per Orchestra’ and soon after began to explore the use of pre-recorded tape as part of the compositions. His electronic works were recorded in Warszaw between 1967 and 1971, and have strangely enough not been available on record since the 70s.
This releases brings together the collected electronic works of Arne Nordheim, pieces that were furiously dismissed in academic circles in Norway when they first appeared almost 30 years ago, and in a way that have put an effective stop to weaker souls. Compared to some of the more ‘famous’ electronic composers, Nordheim distinguish’s himself by his sheer musicality and sense of structure...Electronic boxes, electric instruments and recorded tape glide in and out as a natural part of the orchestra, in constant pursuit of magical and spellbinding timbres. The orchestral parts reveal how working with mixers and tape splicing have influenced the development of musical ideas in more traditional arrangements.”
Heres our original review from 2004:
"After albums by Set Fire To Flames and Sylvain Chauveau, Max Richter's 'The Blue Notebooks' is the 4th release on FatCat's 130701 imprint, an outlet for more orchestrated, instrumental material. 'The Blue Notebooks' is Max Richter's second solo album, a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope. Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano melody, the album moves through gorgeous, heart-wrenching string swells of 'On The Nature Of Daylight' through to sparse but lyrical piano pieces; hazy, swirling atmospherics, avalanche pulse-beats and partially occluded melodies that recall Aphex Twin's 'Ambient Works' albums; and to reverberant organ / choir recordings.
Utilising piano, cello, violin and viola, alongside electronic beats (made using a variety of antique electronics and Reaktor), spoken word passages and the occasional field recording, other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders. Its lovely to see the Piano making a bit of a comeback, with last week's sublime album from "Hauschka" on Karaoke Kalk, Richter's "Blue Notebooks" and the forthcoming album from Helios on the Type imprint being three of the loveliest exapmples of just how moving this timeless instrument can be. Life affirming music."
The Basic Channel don meets the folk musicians of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for a beguiling exchange and fusion of traditions crossing paths between haunting acapella vocals, virtuosic instrumentation and sublime, dub-wise 4th world panoramas.
Locating MVO diversifying his bonds along outernational vectors, just like his BC bandmate Mark Ernestus with Ndagga Rhythm Force or Obadiah, the results form a series of studio portraits and wistful, impressionistic abstractions. They transport us to a place well off the usual map, to rugged lands once crossed by The Silk Road, where preserved, ancient traditions still reveal ghostly traces of the voices and sonic cultures which passed thru them.
The original arrangements of Ordo Sakhna range from complex, airborne string flights to nerve-jangling mouth harp pieces and a few stunning acapella pieces, which to our untrained ears resemble both Middle eastern, Indian classical and Chinese traditions, whilst the Drums track would appear to catch MVO in lissom fusion with live percussionists.
The multiple MVO dubs are a huge attraction, too. None more than the jaw-dropping Facets, where drums are swept in mountainous dynamic across the stereo field, joined by Hassell-esque dream tones and twanging mouth harp in one of the master’s most abstract, mercurial works in memory, whilst Bishkek, May 2016 catches them in live form at the Kyrgyzstan edition of Unsound festival, and the rolling Draught, and its version frame the spirits of Ordo Sakhna in his signature dub techno style, with results comparable to Shackleton when he removes the straight kicks.
One for the kinky French soundtrack fiends: 1st of two volumes presenting the 2011 CD compilation on vinyl for the first time.
“Rising out of the smoky Parisian Mai 68 shrapnel and claiming his stake as the first French vampire movie director, the inimitable father of European Horrortica, Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has smudged the painted face of surrealist cinema for over five decades. Dragging his roots from beneath the Letterist/Situationist movements, avant-garde theatre, Belgian fine art groups and entwining them around the minds of sexual revolutionaries, the European comic book cognoscenti, the Parisian free jazz and rock scene, Rollin stopped at nothing to bring his macabre phantasies of zygotic vampirism and back- ward blood cults to Gallic cinemateques and beyond. Celebrating the immortal legacy of the late director Finders Keepers Records have compiled a detailed and comprehensive music cabinet of some of the finest musical moments from his initial directorial decade (1968-1979) that provided a much needed platform for the freak rock and free jazz that mirrored the distorted erotic visions in his own mind’s eye. Imagine Gong-Gone-Wrong meeting the Art Ensembles Of Châteauroux… Fantasy pop groups mutate and thrive within.
Featuring early recordings from mod rockers Unity, free jazz legends Barney Wilen, François Tusque and Jean-François Jenny-Clark and musical co-conspirators to Walerian Borowczyk and Fernando Arrabal, this collection unites a wide range of previously unreleased material with some of Finders Keepers’ most collectable Rollinade vinyl moments for the first collection of this kind featuring music over forty years old.”
One of Japan’s most revered ambient/deep house/jazz heads shares his sublimely elegant early material with Music From Memory on Early Tape Works 1986-1993 Vol.1. In good company amid the groundswell of reissued Japanese classics and obscurities currently in circulation, this collection gives a smart overview of an artist who is still active and pivotal to modern scenes, as opposed to long over the hill, and demonstrates that the classy integrity of Takahashi’s approach to sound has been there since the start of his oeuvre.
Check it for sweetest ambient treats in his languorous ace Day Dreams, as well as the pulsing kosmiche lift of You Should Believe, featuring a brilliant but as yet uncredited female vocal, and the ruder industrial/EBM styles of Signifie and Zero To One, which relate to his streak of EBM releases as DRP for Dirk Ivens’ Body Records.
"The Japanese producer and DJ Kuniyuki Takahashi is the subject of Music From Memory’s latest retrospective compilation with ‘Early Tape Works - 1986-1993’. Composed of two volumes, the compilations gather together a selection of tracks from a tiny run of privately released tape only albums, highlighting a fascinating early period in Kuniyuki’s musical output, one of which little is known.
After discovering the world of nightclubs in Japan around 1986, and the seemingly boundless freedom expressed there through music as well as art, Kuniyuki became inspired to experiment with electronic music. Excited by the possibilities of new music technology, he would begin to gather together a number of, at that time, reasonably accessible and inexpensive local keyboards, drum computers and recording equipment. This became for Kuniyuki a way in which to explore music not as such made for nightclubs, but certainly inspired by them. Setting up a home studio in his hometown of Saporro, Kuniyuki would record extensively during this period with the equipment he had gathered together, equipment such as Roland’s Juno60, TR-606, TB-303, Casio FZ-1, Korg 770, Boss DE-200, Foster A8 and a Yamaha MT44 track cassette recorder.
Driven to develop a musical language derived as much by an exploration of music technology and a desire to create new sounds, Kuniyuki was also looking to evolve the possibilities of what he refers to as a ‘new Oriental sound’. Early Tape Works - 1986-1993’ then brings together two albums of material which not only highlights the evolution of Kuniyuki’s own work but also of Japanese electronic music as a whole."
Avanti is Alessandro Cortini’s sixth album and his hauntological magnum opus; a masterful embodiment of his nostalgia for analog synth recordings wrapped up in a pall of decaying futurism. After numerous Forse volumes, a pair of LPs for Hospital Productions, a live recording tape and a collaboration with Merzbow, we’d wager that Avanti is the most substantial Cortini album to date.
In a Leyland Kirby/The Caretaker-esque gesture, Avanti investigates notions of memory surrounding music. Taking a time-capsule of old home movies made by his grandfather as a “perfect fossil of his childhood”, the NIN synthesist turns those cues into signature, billowing structures generated from the EMS Synthi AKS, resulting a record that is sore with a certain ‘hiraeth’, ‘saudade’ or ‘sehnsucht’ for a past which he comes to terms with in viscerally romantic style.
Across all seven parts, Cortini reflects the porous fragility of memory and its decaying glow quite literally in the piece’s fuzzy gaze and the inclusion of almost imperceptible “errors and mistakes”, and also metaphorically in their nostalgia-triggering strokes and wavering harmonic swells, which speak to and stimulate the limbic system with the same sort of magick defined by BoC or indeed Leyland Kirby.
They’re optimistic pieces riddled with and anchored by a sense of sadness, not necessarily cry-your eyes or rip-your-heart-out, but more a sanguine, bittersweet meditation laced with reverence to elegiac effect. For the most they come on as weather-beaten sonic postcards or hand-written missives, each introduced by ghostly voices and saying its piece as though whispering graveside or in private, keeping their messages neatly concise but impassioned in their delivery, save one final section when the feeling almost becomes too much to bear.
His canniness lies in worming out an personalising those combinations of chords, hooks which trigger feelings of nostalgia mutual to most folk who’ve grown up with the same culture and cultural connotations, and then wringing them out to the point of heartache/numbness, and practically making those gestures fulminate on contact with air, skin, nerves and infect your own corrupted memory banks.
Gorgeous 2nd album from Glasgow’s Happy Meals, dispatched via the ever-tantalising Night School a few years on from the duo’s equally endearing debut, Apéro (2014). If you're into Young Marble Giants, Vazz, Antenna, Pram etc, you'll love this.
Fruit Juice can be broadly but cleanly divided in two parts; on the hand they effortlessly charm with slower, creamily kosmiche pop pieces such as Run Round, which sounds a little like Quarantine-era Laurel Halo gone minimal wave, and the woozy psychedelic spell-casting of Fruit Float, which could be imagined as Julia Holter meets Iasos; whilst on the other hand they excel at a smartly pop-wise late ‘80s house and synth-pop style, marking up delicious gallic acid pop in If You Want Me Now and the Deux-styled Suivez Moi, and a real standout portion of mind-bending metallic techno-dub-pop in Now That You Have Me.
Coil’s unearthly garden continues to bloom posthumously with the Astral Disaster Sessions - including a whole bunch of previously unreleased and rare cuts from the Un/finished Musics recordings finally seeing the light of day, transferred from analogue tapes onto Gary Ramon’s Prescription label a year after the remastered original sessions crept out on vinyl reissue.
Notoriously recorded in the former debtors prison-turned-Iron Maiden studio beneath the River Thames, on Samhain, 1998, the Astral Disaster Sessions - Un/finished musics serves a haul of previously unreleased or hard-to-find versions of tracks from the original Astral Disaster [1999/2016] LPs, which are widely regarded a seminal highlight of Peter Christopherson, Johnn Balance, Drew McDowell, Thighpaulsandra and Gary Ramon’s time together as Coil.
On the A-side you’ll now find swirling raga-noise meditation The Sea Priestess (Early Mix) next to a sublime, previously omitted Part 2 tract of The Mothership and the Fatherland, and a skinnier, plasmic Alternative mix of The Avatars, but we imagine the big attractions for Coil fiends will be the Instrumental mix of I Don’t Want To be the One, which was previously only found on a rare 1999 promo-only Prescription sampler, and most particularly the ghostly and invasively psychedelic 14 minutes of Cosmic Disaster, which was the original working title for Astral Disaster, and has never been released on any format.
Autechre's classic third album from 1995, reissued for the first time in 15 years...
Completing the triumvirate of early Autechre essentials, Tri Repetae was the duo’s cranky contribution to mid ‘90s electronic music, and, like its predecessors - Incunabula and Amber - a record that completely defines certain aspects of that era for many electronica nerds, us included.
It’s possibly best known for including the peerless electro-trance swerve of Eutow - which could literally kill someone prone to AMSR in the right situations (not a bad way to gan) - whilst the rest of the LP cements some of Autechre’s sharpest, neck-snapping hip hop beats.
If you’ve only heard this album via download or streaming, or are only aware of their later gear, you’re in for total treat.
A late ‘90s neo-noir ambient and D&B masterpiece - imagine if The Caretaker made fierce, unrelenting Jungle - fully remastered by Rashad Becker and reissued 21 years since its original release back in 1997.
Christoph De Babalon was a key member of Germany’s mutant splinter cells who fused UK rave music with more experimental, Teutonic techno, Ambient and hardedge politics to brutal effect during the mid-late ‘90s. 21 years later, this music has patently withstood the test of time, distinguished by a haunting atmospheric pallor and ruffneck way with Jungle that still makes us feel just as clammy and psychotic as when we first heard it (most likely on a trip to Berlin or via Christoph Fringeli’s invaluable C8 database).
For us, If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It really distills a feeling of that era, as the utopian outlook of rave’s early years had evidently given way to something much darker, more maudlin, perhaps symptomatic of ennui with dance music’s hyper-commercial land grab, or even a pre-echo of pre millennial tension. Either way it provided the perfect soundtrack to ravers who were spending more time developing virtual lives online, or (speaking from experience) who weren’t yet old enough to go raving, but were shelled with media images and 2nd impressions of the culture, which had by then morphed into the prevailing trends of garage, trance, and prog house, and was but a ghost of its original, loony self.
If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It therefore feels torn between extreme states. On the one hand it goes harder than the rest in killer rave moves such as the hardcore rattler Dead (Too), the epic amen + drone blow-out My Confession, or the cutthroat beast Water. But on the other, he goes darker, more haunting than the rest of his field with remarkable cuts such as the 15 minutes of billowing dark ambience that open the LP in Opium, or with the sublime, Gas-like suspension system of Brilliance, and the funereal, bombed-out bliss of High Life (Theme).
De Babalon effectively plotted out terrain that bridged DJ Scud’s rugged jungle breakcore with soundscaping more commonly associated to Thomas Köner or Deathprod, and in the process set the ground for myriad contemporary producers and sounds ranging from Raime and Blackest Ever Black to Demdike Stare, Pessimisst and beyond. If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It was, and still is, a deadly statement of intent, whose rhetoric and aesthetic still strongly resonate with subcultural concerns in 2018.
C L A S S I C
Finders Keepers come up roses again with dazzling, never-before-heard live documentation of two Buchla 200 concerts recorded in 1975 by Suzanne Ciani. Rightly heralded as “a distinctive feminine alternative to The Silver Apples of the Moon”. The words “Holy Grail” and “revolutionary” spring to mind! Remarkable stuff for any synth fetishists or historians of the future.
“This spring Finders Keepers Records are proud to release an archival project that not only redefines musical history but boasts genuine claim to the overused buzzwords such as pioneering, maverick, experimental, groundbreaking and esoteric, while questioning social politics and the evolution of music technology as we’ve come to understand it. To describe this records as a game-changer is an understatement. This record represents a musical revolution, a scientific benchmark and a trophy in the cabinet of counter culture creativity.
This record is a triumphant yardstick in the synthesiser space race and the untold story of the first woman on the proverbial moon. While pondering the early accolades of this record it’s daunting to learn that this record was in fact not a record at all… It was a manifesto and a gateway to a new world, that somehow never quite opened. If the unfamiliar, modernistic, melodic, pulses, tones and harmonics found on this 1975 live presentation/grant application/educational demonstration had been placed in a phonographic context alongside the promoted work of Morton Subotnick, Walter Carlos or Tomita then the name Suzanne Ciani and her influence would have already radically changed the shape, sound and gender of our record collections. Hopefully there is still chance.”
Carsten Nicolai’s Noton present a masterclass in minimalist electronic discipline with Mika Vainio, Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto’s powerfully future-proofed Live 2002 performance, recorded at Newcastle’s Baltic arts centre.
The only known recording of the trio, as far as we’re aware, Live 2002 documents three visionary artists in seamless, indivisible collaboration segueing from sublime drone darkness (Movements 1) thru what sounds like a massive computer server centre playing dancehall (Movements 2 + 4), to fiercely dense electro dynamics (Movements 6) and passages of purest, rolling techno pressure (Movements 8), intercut with bodiless, beatless electronic frequency massages.
Being familiar with each artist’s respective, individual catalogues, we’re pretty astonished at the level of democratic control between the three singular producers. While it’s maybe possible (or pedantic) to pick out who’s doing what, and where and when, ultimately the 45 minute performance is a lesson in subtlety and restraint at the service of generating powerful, coolly organised pressure systems, without recourse to convention/cliché (delete as applicable), offering electronic sounds at the purest and perhaps even egoless. Definitely no grandstanding doofus in front of a massive IPhone screen filtering dull as fuck doofs here.
One of many peaches on Wackies, few are sweeter than Love Joys’ Lovers Rock Reggae Style .
Produced and originally issued by the JA/NYC bossman Bullwackie, and subsequently reissued via their Hardwax hook-up outta Germany, who’ve rightly kept it in print (this edition), Lovers Rock is all killer no filler, starring Claudette Brown and Sonia Abel riding high over killer disco-dub-edged lovers rock riddims such as the bubbling beauty One Draw and the synth-buoyed float of Let Me Rock You Now, all replete with dubs.
Paper Dollhouse unveil the radioactive ambient pop of new album The Sky Looks Different Here via the group's independently run MoonDome imprint. Produced by Planet Mu's Asher Levitas and featuring artwork by Finders Keepers' Andy Votel. The Sky Looks Different Here is an incredibly vivid journey through a nuclear nightside dreamworld.
"Having previously recorded two albums for Jane Weaver's Finders Keepers sub-label Bird and the Glasgow based imprint Night School, The Sky Looks Different Here features twelve tracks that draw parallels between the project's past roots in spidery post-punk electronica and a neon-lit, radioactive ambient pop sensibility. This has lead to the creation of what is sure to be the most concise and realised Paper Dollhouse record yet.
Recorded between North London's New River Studios with Asher Levitas and Nina's studio in Suffolk, together they have crafted twelve tracks of ambient electronica blended with field recordings of the surrounding studios environments, shot through a spectral technicolour narrative. One that mixes the group's signature brand of darkwave influenced left-field pop, urban field recordings and electronic composition.
The Sky Looks Different Here is a journey through a city drowning within the endless downpour of metallic rain and a radiant haze of dawn, a map through a vivid and bucolic utopia.”
Susanna Wallumrød commits her fourth full suite of cover versions with Go Dig My Grave for her home-baked label.
Working again with Giovanna Pessi, who assisted on her first set If Grief Could Wait, as well as invaluable input from longtime partner/production spar Helge Sten (Deathprod), Susanna demonstrates a rare versatility with singular takes on songs by everyone from Henry Purcell to Joy Division and Lou Reed (including a bonus on CD not found on the vinyl), and with particularly spellbinding results in the latter two of those names.
If we try to pick out why we’re more attracted to the ‘pop’ songs, as opposed to the traditionals such as The Three Ravens or The Willow Song, that may come down to the fact their simplicity seems almost overbearing when rendered in such high-fidelity - almost like receiving a folk performance in a white cube gallery or sterile space, as opposed a barn or pub backroom - yet, conversely, the recordings of Joy Division’s Wilderness and Lou Reed’s Perfect Day become devastating thru their clarity of their conveyance, aided in no small part by feral fiddles and accordion in the former, and embroidered with kalimba and fiddle on the latter.
So yeh, some work, some don’t. But when they do, christ, she’s good.
Avant techno archetypes Rrose & Lucy chow down on a 2nd batch of abstracted, side-winding aces, this time for Rrose’s Eaux label, as opposed to the 1st EP, which came out on Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts.
Bridging experimental urges and dancefloor function, their three tracks explore the club’s nether regions and lesser probed parts, firstly taking as lon as they need to bring the writhing, trilling techno organism of Inner Membrane to life, then reaching deeper inside with the visceral, sharply resonant acid dynamics of Inverted Limb, and dissolving their imagined techno body into a puddle of plasmic goop and granular electronics in Seeds of Discontent.
Who knows the work of Sonia Pottinger, owner of High Note and the affiliated labels, Gay Feet and Sky Note?
If not, consider this, her masterfully deft and dreamy production for Errol Brown & The Revolutionaries, a damn fine introduction to Jamaica’s greatest female label owner and producer. make sure to check for that Nyabinghi and organ groove on Bond Street Rock or the wicked simmer of The Gun Court Dub.
Factory Floor are the latest to do that electronic musician’s rite of passage; re-scoring Fritz Lang’s silent cinematic landmark Metropolis, with results shared on the 1st release thru their H/O/D Records.
After shedding a member and regathering thoughts, FF’s Nik Colk Void and Gabriel Gurnsey reveal a sleeker new sound here, easing off the brittleness of their earlier releases with more smoothly contoured, malleable designs for dancefloor fluidity.
Heart Of Data (Soundtrack Edit) is the more ‘floor focussed cut, working skittish, latinate drum trills in and around arcing synths in a way that smartly conveys the futuristic architectural designs and themes of their subject, especially when their vision really comes together in the final third. s
On the other hand, Babel (Soundtrack Edit) finds them working with almost Cumbia or Dembow shuffle on an elastic meter, sounding like techno on 33 not 45, and embedded in tactile, sticky bed of phasing synth washes for the 12 minute duration.
Finders Keepers pluck out a super disco freak from Italy’s late ‘70s cosmic disco scene, as played by members of Goblin and completely overlooked at the time - but hugely sought-after by disco diggers ever since. Original copies now trade loads of money…
“From the pumping heart of The Magnetic System comes the “dirtiest” Da-Da-dancefloor anti-jams with this lost 1979 blueprint of Italian conceptual cosmic disco played by the cream of the Goblin studio band. Ultra rare and unscrubbed, Finders Keepers finally snip the trip from the cash machine to the trash machine. Pay dirt just got dirtier.
Carving its own grubby niche as an early prototype of cosmic disco cum Italo space funk whilst simultaneously harbouring Dada hat stand satire with a junkshop glam aesthetic this ecological illogical poplitical crab cabaret clearly broke the mould before way before the jelly had set.
Fans of “other” obtuse outernational agit-camp might find a fantasy fusion between France’s J. P. Massiera and Sweden’s enviroMENTAL marvel Kaptain Zoom while trying to unravel the Madfilth tangle - but rest assured there were method men behind this madness and a portal to Italian funk royalty still festers at the bottom of the psych rap scrapheap.
Originally drip fed out of Cesare Andrea Bixio’s Cinevox stable as one of a tight grip of non-soundtrack LPs, made to test the label’s commercial potential, Madfilth would follow the band Goblin (and their non-cinematic Roller) as well as the hens’ teeth eponymous long player by the group The Motowns in what was perhaps the last-ditch attempt at custom built popsploitation - combining the skills of overqualified composers with undercooked conceptual mind farts! Naturally, after almost 40 years in the barrel, this micro-brewed oddity finally quenches the acquired taste of a new breed of shambolic psychotropic guzzlers proving that 1979 was obviously good year for fool’s gold. The Madfilth medicine has finally come to cure your psychic ills so open wide and don’t bite the spoon.
As both doctors and diggers will agree, always read the label. It is beneath the flamboyant rhythm rants and vari-speed osric slop of alt-comedic sarcy-satirist Alberto Macaro (a genetic beneficiary of a vaudevillian comic bloodline) that we find The Magnetic System maestros Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera as the sonic driving force behind this unmarked treasure trove of B-musical diamanté discoids. It will also come as little surprise that Cinevox/Dario Argento favourites Goblin were not too distant from the whiff of this curates egg with the men who many consider to be the group’s greatest assets in bass player Fabio Pignatelli alongside sports rock drummer Agostino Marangolo. It was this unison that remained consistent throughout Goblin’s career, weathering the temporary departure of Claudio Simonetti and maintaining the stylistic heartbeat of the group. Madfilth’s inclusion of Goblin synth Maverick Maurizio Guarini and the band’s mid-period guitarist Carlo Penessi (founder of the band Etna) pinpoints the jobbing Goblin session group during the time they recorded the soundtracks for the films Buio Amiga and Squadra Antigagsters. This lesser celebrated late 70’s era also witnessed the mutating Goblin rhythm section providing discoid backbeats for records such as Giorgio Farinas Discocross LP, Simonetti’s own Capricorn alter-ego and the homoerotic nightclub spin-off Easy Going - all of which, alongside Madfilth, provide a strong mutual stylistic support system for their claim to cosmic discos deep red bloodline.”
Mats Gustafsson: Tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, live electronics. Johan Berthling: Electric and double bass. Andreas Werliin: Drums, percussion and feedback.
"For 20 years Rune Grammofon have made a habit of releasing music that is beyond easy classification, in later years typified by Swedish trio Fire!, consisting of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin. All three are highly accomplished musicians, but Fire! music is not "difficult" in the sense that jazz and especially free jazz is often perceived.
Very much a tight knit unit with three equal players, Fire! has been likened to powerful guitar led trios such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with Berthling´s heavy, doom laden basslines being such a typical identifier, we can´t help but thinking of Black Sabbath´s debut album when it comes to hypnotic impact. The Hands is the trio´s sixth album and once again displays a totally uncompromising and intriguing mix of (mostly) heavy, dark and intensely burning music whether one decide on calling it jazz or rock.
The album closes on a quiet and reflective note with the appropriately titled "I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence". And we say it´s easily their best so far. Gustafsson, Berthling and Werliin came together in 2008 with the idea of a fresh approach to improvised music, with a number of influences from free jazz, psychedelic rock and noise.
Their debut album, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was released the following year to wide international acclaim. The trio is also their vehicle for rekindling their instrumental skills and playing outside their comfort zones, or collaborating with prestigious guests such as Jim O´Rourke (Unreleased? 2011) and Oren Ambarchi (In The Mouth A Hand 2012). A parallel but no less powerful project is their gargantuan Fire! Orchestra, previously a 30 piece behemoth. Now scaled down to a "mere" 13 piece, and for the first time including a string section, a new album is expected in autumn 2018."
Jealous God call for EBM reinforcements with three new tracks from Pye Corner Audio, and a collab between Marcel Dettmann & Silent Servant.
Pye Corner Audio does it slow, grubby and inquisitive on Delay Gratification, teasing in a sort of industrial zombie cumbia, while Meet Me In The Void follows a muggier hunch into Carpenter-esque synth alleys, and The Future is a bleak as f^ck black knot of acid rolling with stygian function.
Dettmann subtly indulges his longheld passion and fascination for EBM in collaboration with Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant on The Bond, where they marry a strapping lead arp with floating, over-the-shoulder voices and booming kicks, all pinned into place by a reverberating snare that’s sure to ricochet around Berghain’s main hall like stay shrapnel.
Sniffing at the heels of a smart début 12" for Interstellar Funk's Artificial Dance, Worries, Job Sifre slips into a grimier EBM mode for Amsterdam’s excellent Knekelhuis label.
Charged with a pharmaceutically-enhanced restlessness, the Bestaan 12” goes on darker, tuffer, kinkier than Sifre’s previous 12”, gradually bringing the energies to simmering point with the smudged EBM roil and blunted Dutch vox of Bestaan, then working a wicked ruts of White House White-styled jakbeat in Zodiak and the sourer, metallic recoil of Mars Express, and properly making your body wurk with the pendulous tattoo, Zeno Dicho before sloping off into the darkroom with the slower disco admission, At Least We Try.
The cuties at STROOM 〰 dish it up with extra mayo on their highly sought-after AA-side Valentine’s feature, pairing Keysha’s kinky ‘80s R&B beauty Stop It! with the starlit yacht-disco downstroke of What Is Love Today? by FG’s Romance.
Ziggy Devriendt’s selector chops are in full effect here, plucking out an absolute blinder with the onanistic coos and satin chords of Stop It!, originally the B-side to Keysha’s I’m a Thumbsucker! 12”, which is now impossible or dead expensive to buy 2nd hand, while FG’s Romance gives it some ‘80s FM swang on the B-side with What Is Love Today?
That A-side is 100% unmissable.
Project 223 marks the maiden union of two veteran UK techno producers, Lee Grainge and Steve Bicknell, who’ve clearly still got some gurns to burn with the chunky acid moves of On A Mountain.
Arriving in the wake of Steve Bicknell’s return to the fray with the 6Dimension label, whose Jing release sports vocals which uncannily resemble those attributed to Horizontal Charlie inside this 12”, the cryptically titled Project 223 (anything to do with Soul 223, a.k.a. Stasis?) get down to proper, rugged fundamentals with the search and destroy acid jaxx of Be Free, replete with that vocal, zig-zagging in classic style across the A-side, whereas Tell Me opts for a more stripped back and pent-up drive detailed with the intricacy Grainge has come to learn from his years since 1999 spent as a sound FX editor for TV and film.
They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they are making it spin better.
A much needed dose of tropical dancefloor heat!
Tropical Discotheque' is compiled by the gents behind Sofrito's clubnight of the same name, made up of nearly impossible to find vintage 'floor fillers, brand new edits from Frankie Francis and Simbad and even an exclusive cumbia from Quantic. Opening to the chugging, tugging cumbia of Banda Los Hijos de la Niña Luz 'Quiero Amançer' they wind through he infectious Afrobeat killers 'Les Ya Toupas du Zaire' and 'Maye Obi Den', via Simbad and Frankie Francis' deadly edit of Victor Uwaifo's 'Ohue', to swaying soca from Mighty Shadow, Quantic y su Conjunto los Míticos del Ritmo's authentically modern 'Cumbia de Mochilla' and a sweet calypso in Roaring Lion's 'Carnival Long Ago'. Pure party fuel!
Stone cold classic BEB material from the Aussie trio, Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (Tarcar, LST).
A frighteningly affective meditation on childhood memories, 'Hide Before Dinner' dredges similar, cobwebby partitions of the mind as Leyland Kirby's classics as The Caretaker, realising a drug fug sequence of enervated electronics, croaking death-folk and pause-button collage with an indelibly psychedelic impact.
We've all been there, we've all been kids, and we've all had a sh*t time doing it, but we're grown-up now, and can gaze back on that time with fuzzy fondness, right? F Ingers do so, and do it with thee most unheimlich attraction, coupling the kind of curdled electronics that made Tarquin's LST release 'Th Duo' so strangely fascinating, with the pastoral otherworldiness of their Tarcar output, and the much more elusive spectre of their own tortured and tortuous psyche, which is threaded thru the release like a silvery slug trail connecting them now to their snotted youth.
Perfectly summed by the label as "a relatable suburban gothic", we urge you to check the discordant sensations of 'Tantrum Time', or the murky wallow of 'Useless Treasure' and indulge the infidelities of your own, half-cut childhood recollections. Highly recommended.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike.
"From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother."
The beast from Brooklyn dry humps your ears to a pulp for Alter, first prepping with the bittersweet, crystalline tang of Burning Mattresses, then with the piercing highs and trampling force of Peña Adobe, the basic bastard bang of Smelling The Sheets, and finally swilling your lugs out with 14 minutes of coruscating metallic ‘tronics on The God In Vodka.
“Nick Klein's new record, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin,' was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, on an economic set-up. With a spartan modular synth and Korg MS-20, Klein describes the process of recording as "focused around the relentless role of filtering out and managing the anxiety of existing in a metropolitan area in the current political climate."
Though 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' starts on an almost uplifting note with the glistening melodic cycles of 'Burning Mattresses,' the asphyxia soon takes over, and the vertigo of the metropolis comes into lurching clarity for the remainder of the record. The height of the following track, 'Peña Adobe,' has the panicked terror of an archaic ringtone hitting the volume of an air raid siren, 'Smelling The Sheets' skulks rather than bangs, its momentum stifled and edgy, as if not enough was on Klein's side when making his way to the studio that day. The anguish doesn't taper, but rather culminates in the despairingly titled 'The God In Vodka.' At nearly 14 minutes, its disfigured rave stabs and blunted military tattoo-snare furiously pace into a clammy, toxic rush.
Despite the wry funerary image of its title, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' is far from a lament for better times, nor a report on descending into contemporary hell. Like a frenzied metronome, the record syncs itself with the dynamics of unrest in order to grasp the brazen tactics that perpetuate the seemingly boundless inequalities in the world today. Klein forges this link with his own minutiae in stride, tethering the conceptual motivations to a fidgeting, personalized atmosphere of rhythmic dysphoria.
Pitching agitation in this way, the record unapologetically presents itself as a soundtrack for participatory intervention, forcefully side-stepping the queues.”
Positive Centre’s ISS label yields a strong group techno showing from him, Sigha, SNTS and Dadub.
Sigha steps off the edge with a cavernous scene setter Mother that dances around the event horizon of a massive black hole subbass with wiry FX and radioactive synths, then SNTS puts his back behind a sweltering hydraulic tumper liable to undo your shoelaces.
Dadub do their exquisitely layered techno thing with a vicious, snarling electro edge on From Function to Form, and Positive Centre leaves the EP with a wide open atmospheric conclusion, In Extracts.
Without doubt one of the most idiosyncratic artists working between Black Metal and electronic music, Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw dials in a blinding new Black Mecha album from the very limits of intergalactic techgnostic perception with Counterforce.
After initiating the project via AA for The Death of Rave, successive Black Mecha releases for Profound Lore and their own Internal Masonry Publications have plotted inimitably technoid new routes for hypnotic electronic music, expressing a densely raw, vivid hyperstition thru a disciplined rendering of arcane geometry, conceptual ballistic proprioception, and brutalist sci-fi themes.
Essentially, Black Mecha is making some of the most far out techno in the world right now, and he’s not even a techno artist. Where this past decade has seen a gaggle of roughshod interlopers offer shabby chic, defanged takes on techno, Black Mecha has sharpened his alien incisors with deadly intent and effect, producing a highly personalised music which applies just as well to proper, extreme, eyes-in-back-of-head transcendence as times of stone cold sober focus.
In that sense, Counterforce reaches where even the hardest nEuro techno bosch fests fail to deliver, as Black Mecha circumvents hard techno’s rote formula of 4-to-the-floor kicks and predictable filtering in favour of harnessing brain-eating hooks in a durational torrent of mainlining, shark-eyed rhythms and pineal-pinch noise which deliver an untrammelled, breathlessly anaerobic experience where the only predictable aspect is that the engines will keep combusting until this part of the mission is complete and the receiver is transformed.
Of course it’s not for everybody. But then again, what the f^ck is? You can take it on trust that if you’re prone to the heaviest, elemental rhythm and noise, Counterforce offers an unmissable space to immolate the senses.
RIYL Astral Social Club, Merzbow, Hypnobeat, Conrad Schnitzler.
Spellbinding aural alchemy from the maestro, William Basinski, presenting the vinyl version of his latest composition, 'The Deluge' (companion to the 'Cascade' CD edition).
Conceived at his current base in L.A., Basinski's first solo release since 2013's 'Nocturnes' renders his patented loop process in two longer form pieces plus a gorgeous orchestral denouement which at once reveals the underlying magick and heightens it with uncanny effect. In the 20 minute 'Deluge' a single, lilting piano loop unfolds in a display of deliquescent decay and delay, peeling away in frayed petals and fronds like a christmas wreath left on the front door of an abandoned house.
On the flipside's 'The Deluge (Denouement)' the loop starts to open up, initially sounding like one of AFX's prepared piano pieces off 'Drukqs' before a ghostly sleight-of-hand introduces the full string sample to breathtaking impact. This is followed by the closing 11 minutes of 'Cascade', where we view the same piano loop drift out of sight froma more pellucid, elevated angle. We hardly need to tell you that it's beautiful, life affirming stuff, but, like this record, it does bear repeating.
Áine O’Dwyer returns to MIE with Gallarais, an immersive, ghostly channelling of harp, keening vocals and acousmatic sound from the Brunel Tunnel, 50ft below The Thames in the heart of London. Gallarais acts as the follow-up to Aine’s acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 And II , also issued by MIE (and Fort Evil), and locates her first sighting since the amazing Locusts and Gegenschein dyad which totally grabbed our attention in 2016.
Sensitive as ever to her surroundings, these performances, recorded between 2013-2016, continue the themes of Áine’s Anything Bright and Startling  LP, returning her to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s tunnel to farther explore its unique sonic soul or sound architexture, employing its 3-4 second acoustic decay and the environmental sounds of water pumps, overhead planes, and subterranean trains as a subtly morphing, resonant space or ‘mystic cave’ for ritual sonic investigation.
Down there, Áine communes with the outside, modern world as well as the site’s deep topography, which was carved out - most probably by Irish hands and imbued with their spirit - over 150 years ago, while also making reference to ancient Greek notions of a passage to the underworld, or dimensions not usually known by the living. In this context, Áine’s harp and vocals become timeless tools of transcendence, elegantly carrying the weight of ages into the present with an expressively freeform, improvised spirit that that links thousands of years of music as a means of connection with the unseen.
Tradition filtered thru a timeless vessel, we hear Áine’s harp flurries beautifully mingle with distant planes and trains in the opening piece, Underlight, while Cordophone captures a hauntingly jibber-jawed vocal lament, seemingly shivering in dark cold of the tunnel, and the piercing recorders or penny whistles of Mouthtoum feel to echo buskers as much as ship’s whistles.
However, the LP’s most captivating pieces are its two longest and most central to her concept of exploring a “personalised abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish keener”. This, quite literally in Beansidhe - translating from Celtic as Banshee - where she keens thru the air between near infrasonic basses and pealing hi-registers with solemn, glossolalic vocals and stark woodblock percussions, and then joined by six other performers for Hounds of Hades, where their massed moans are joined by the guttural rumble of engines and the dank drip of the tunnel’s unheimlich and emotively charged, psychoacoustic space.
Of course, that’s all just a guide or description of the record and its roots, and to fully connect with it, you need to occupy its acres of elusive negative space or dark matter to fully appreciate the effect of its contrasts and elegiac air.
Vladimir Ivkovic’s excellent Offen Music present a superb, long-lost album by Mitar Subotić a.k.a Suba, a Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and whom sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. If you’ve been following Offen Music’s amazing records by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii, fell hard for that CultureClash LP on Lost Futures, love Muslimgauze, or hanker for lush ’90s vibes that you’ve never heard before, this one’s a total must-check!
Originally realised in 1995 at Suba’s Wah Wah Studio in São Paolo, Brazil, only shortly after the release of Subotić’s album as part of the Angel’s Breath duo with Milan Mladenović, Wayang discretely echoed that album’s esoteric pop themes and, at the time, was intended as Suba’s début release. For reasons undisclosed, the album was shelved in the archive, and he eventually released São Paolo Confessions in 1999 as the first Suba album, proper.
It may have taken over 20 years, but Wayang now finally finds its audience, and at a time when the scene has been perfectly massaged by waves of interim reissues and especially the DJs sets of Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens, whose shared rhythmic senses find a lot of common roots in this record. From the almost-junglist temporality of its opening cut, thru flashes of tribal rhythmic psychedelia, to passages of arcane incantation and some blindingly avant arrangement strategy, Suba proves he is a visionary artist and storyteller with tales for days.
After swirling our swedes for the last few months, we can assure you that Wayang is a distinctly psychotropic episode from a richly imaginative producer, with a proper play it again and again factor that hasn’t diminished since we first heard it.
Once again unveiling hidden treasures from his archive of tape loops, William Basinski releases three pieces made at his Brooklyn apartment during one night in 1982, adding a fourth composition (based on the same source material) made earlier this year.
You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we're certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer's stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years.
Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski's oeuvre there's a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. '92982.1' is outstanding, featuring lilting, gritty strings through the left of the stereo field while crumbling piano sonorities rule to the right. Far from exhibiting any signs of automation or impersonal repetition you can always hear a human hand shaping the music.
The faded, rattling chord movements of '92982.2' take on an altogether more ghostly, dissolved quality, with echo-flecked machine jolts peppering the mixdown, underlining how fragile this whole process is. The third track, meanwhile, is an extended version of a piano-based piece that appeared in its original incarnation on the Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive album (surely one of the standout albums in Basinski's entire catalogue), here stretched and developed over the course of twenty minutes. It's a beautiful study in the interplay between an instrumental performance and the medium onto which it's recorded, full of ruptures and low frequency rumble as the tape itself interferes with the flow and consistency of the music.
Finally, Basinski takes a fresh angle on his source loops with a composition recorded in February of this year. There's a markedly different character to this final entry; an unexpected cleanliness that somehow feels just right as a coda to the archival dust and dereliction of all that's come before. Its tacit stateliness serves as confirmation that all these years on, Basinski has lost none of his form, and that despite the richness of his work in the early eighties he's still a very active, utterly compelling creative force.
Following a major retrospective at The Tate St Ives, forgotten art maverick Marlow Moss (1889-1958) - a radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art - is the inspiration and the focus of this new LP from Primitive World for the Ecstatic label. Crafted from various synth improvisations, including the rare and tricky PPG Wave synth/sampler, it comes highly recommended if you’re into Peder Mannerfelt’s brut ambient, Raster Noton’s grid-based rhythmic fascinations, or Pan Sonic at their most glacial.
White On White forms a follow-up of sorts to Willis’ Ascention tape, and perhaps more aptly, leads on from his and Not Waving's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked, British female pioneer of her field - which are collected on their Walls album, Sound Houses. There’s little doubt that this new album contains some of Willis’ strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss’s work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Titled after the Moss piece which adorns the LP’s front cover, White On White forms a welcome first introduction for many to Moss’s “work, life and theories” thru a combination of visual representations - photographs of the artist and her work - with text by Lucy Howarth, curator of Moss’s recent exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv exhibition (2017), the touring Tate display (2013-15), and of course the music itself, which seeks to describe Moss’s mathematically sound geometries and evocative aesthetics thru its lattice of unique, free-floating timbres and spatialized rhythm patterns.
White On White is thus a direct result of the artist immersing himself in Moss’s oeuvre, or what is left of it (most of her pre-WWII output was destroyed in the war), with results strongly reflective of the austere clarity and modernist structure of her works, from her syncopated line drawings modelled in the helixes of Double Lines, to the rotating perspectives of her 2D-into-3D metal sculpture manifest in the illusive, Peder Mannerfelt-like designs of Matrix of the Visible, whereas the closing 9 minutes of perilous abstraction recalling Wendy Carlos’ Clockwork Orange OST in Man Guessed at a Spiritual Meaning and Imposed a Moral System both literally and metaphorically serves a sort of unsentimentally elegiac, enigmatic lament for the artist’s neglected status, which even now prompts a scratch of the head by people who should be aware of her work.
A proper ear n' eye-opener.
Berlin’s hardcore minimalist Frank Bretschneider tweaks the freqs for Shitkatapult, rolling out pronged stabs and inhuman vocals on the physical electro flow of Plastik, and with head-slapping tones swept up in a sort of drily swanging house vortex with Mechanik.
“Frank Bretschneider on the tracks: "It moves, it sings... but does it swing? Anyway, it represents the soundtrack of my life, my musical influences: some San Francisco psychedelia, some London underground, some Berlin school (old and new). Krautrock from Cologne and New York minimalism. A shot of Detroit grit, a bit of Moscow dust, a splash of Paris charm?" Bretschneider was raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in the German Democratic Republic. He is the founder of the East German underground band AG Geige and co-founder of the Raster-Noton label. He lives as a musician, video artist, and producer in Berlin.”
More goodness from the Basic Channel affiliated Wackies Crew Re-Pressed. Further adventures with Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes - the man who worked formatively in Lee Perry's Black Ark, then relocated to New York, with a crucial take on classic period Scratch production techniques and part of his equipment.
So it is no coincidence that the drifting analogue detail in the rhythm tracks owes much to Mr. Perry's classic period. Providing a bridge from the well documented seventies heyday of roots reggae into the less well covered mid eighties - all Barnes work is worth checking and this is no exception.
Delahaye has a wonderful high register falsetto styled vocal, even on the couple of lovers' cuts here sounding rootsy and deep. Featuring a great recut of The Chantell's classic Sitting in the park, and five other top quality cuts, find out why this label is held in such high regard.
Throughout the illustrious thirty-year recording career of Horace Andy, with its innumerable highs, his unmistakable falsetto has lit up just three albums of indisputable greatness - "Skylarking", for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One; "In the light", for Everton Dasilva's Hungry Town label, in queens, new york; and - with the biggest original impact, by far the most contemporary of the trio - "Dance Hall Style", for Bullwackies in the bronx.
Recorded at the tail end of the seventies, dance hall style reworks songs like "Money Money", first recorded by Bunny Lee and Derek Harriott's "Lonely woman" - alongside a version of Lloyd Robinson's "Cuss cuss" - and births bona fide classics like "Spying glass" (later covered by Massive Attack).
The musicians include Wackies regulars, men like Owen Stewart and Oral Cooke from Itopia, Ras Menilik and Jah T.; also Horace's multi-instrumentalist spar Myrie dread from the hungry town sessions. At the desk, Lloyd Barnes, Junior Delahaye and Douglas Levy coax unequalled vocal performances from Horace Andy, in correct showcase fashion, all worthwhile extended mixes. Iconic album, essential purchase.
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world.
Vertigo follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’.
In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.”
Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures.
One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo."
Another blinder from Basic Channel's Wackies re-issue programme finally gets its long awaited release.
Between stints in Jamaica for legends like Glen Brown and Junjo Lawes, Wayne Jarrett travelled from his Connecticut base to record this album during the same weeks as the sessions for everyone's favourite - Horace Andy's Dance Hall Style.
These are two of the great vocal reggae LPs of all time - no questions asked. With Clive Hunt in full effect, Showcase Volume One follows the six-track dub-showcase format and Wayne never sounded more like Horace with his yearning throaty gargle! Blues afficionados might even want to discuss the influence of the late, lamented Bobby 'Blue' Bland on reggae vocals, but that's by the by.
Including four unmissable Studio One versions - Azul's deadly Rockfort Rock, Sleepy's Every Tongue Shall Tell (with outrageous Isley fuzz), yet another Heptones cut via Leroy Sibbles, and a killer Drum Song.
With typically subversive swerve, Die Tödlich Doris return to their earliest work with a dissection of their debut album's final track, homing in on the rhythmic noise/radio cut-up collage ‘In Der Pause’ and emphasising its fluctuating infidelities and their inherent, druggily hypnotic qualities
“In der Pause” (During the Pause) was the title of the last track on the b-side of “ “, the first album by Die Tödliche Doris. “In der Pause” was pause music, as well as the announcement of the interval between their debut album, released in 1982, and the box format project ”Chöre und Soli” that followed in 1983. The original sounds of “In der Pause” survived on a single audio tape dating from 1981.
Now, about 35 years later, Chris Dreier and Wolfgang Müller have used the material recorded on the audio tape as the source for five new tracks of pause music. The material on the original audio tape has was reworked using Moog analogue effect modules and Ableton Live. It has been supplemented with archived announcement interludes from radio and television stations, including German stations WDR, NDR and HR, Radio Italy IBF and Radio Kamerun.
“Sprechpause” was recorded in 1981 — 1982 by Chris Dreier, Nikolaus Utermöhlen and Wolfgang Müller and reworked by Wolfgang Müller and Chris Dreier in 2017.”
IDIB present a well warranted, analogue remastered Deluxe Edition of Chromatics' now-classic 'Night Drive', now including five bonus tracks.
The original tracks sound as poignantly cinematic as ever, their cover of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' still striking a tender nerve. The new tracks neatly expand the soundtrack-y feel, from the synth and Piano copulation of 'Shining Violence' to sleeve-rolling yacht disco in 'Circled Sun', through a memorably haunting duet for subtly effected bass guitar and vocals in 'Bell', to the Badalamenti-esque scoring of 'The Gemini' and a Drag Italo master stroke in 'Accelerator'. A must.
Senegalese master Lamine Cissokho has played kora all his life. This has led him all over the world, to many musical collaborations and praise from the likes of Toumani Diabaté.
"Lamine is currently living in Sweden where he is constantly touring in different line-ups. Up 'til now he has released two previous solo albums. Full of great singing and rhythms- this is something else."
Laurel Halo returns to album format after two critically acclaimed EPs with the driving, meditative 'Chance Of Rain'. Evolving from earlier works, it's a cerebral exploration of the intersection between rhythmic and ambient music, drawing together moments of movement and stillness, psychedelia and presence of mind.
On 'Chance Of Rain', rhythms melt with unpredictable structures, ambient drift and deep harmonic passages, while keyboard-based interludes reinforce both the far-out and contemplative aspects of the record as a whole. Halo's evolution as a live performer has directed her music's development in part, as the tracks on ‘Chance Of Rain’ are fleshed out versions of live hardware improvisations. This LP is far off from the definition of a traditional dance long player; where tracks like ‘Serendip’, ‘Chance Of Rain’ and ‘Ainnome’ invite with infectious grooves, others like ‘Oneiroi’, ‘Still/Dromos’ and ‘Thrax’ invert these energies, revealing sinister potential in the process. Again Halo's knack for illusory detail and sound design shines, and another duality feeling emerges, this time one of unearthly joy. Drawing inspiration from the music of her home state's music capital Detroit, in both harmonic and rhythmic palettes, the music showcases freedom within metric constructs, and skyward optimism in the face of decay. The album comes packaged with artwork created by her father, an NYC-born, Michigan-based visual artist whose work focuses on industrial landscapes of Michigan and the Rust Belt at large. The artwork here is an early work of his from the 1970s, reflecting the album's twisted, hopeful tone."
The Sound Wizard behind the name The Small Crowd is Martin H. His influences are all over the map and he's been remixing, producing, arranging for other artists in Sweden for some time now.
"This is his solo project where he blends his heavenly, mostly instrumental, mix of electronic music with a classical string quartet (Rosa Kvartetten).
Adventurous and beautiful."
Séance Centre, the new label manned by Invisible City Editions’ Brandon Hocura, dust down Eblen Macari’s obscure Mexican space synth suite Música Para Planetarios for its first (remastered) vinyl reissue. Any cadets into László Hortobágyi, Steve Hauschildt, K. Leimer or Rex Ilusivii/Suba need to give this a whirl!
“Mexican guitarist and ambient artist Eblen Macari’s Música Para Planetarios (Music for Planetariums) was originally composed for weekly performances in the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City to accompany a voyage through the galaxy. The album, released in 1987 was based around Macari’s solo performances using Ensoniq ESQ-1, a Korg Poly 800, two guitars and pre-hispanic Ocarinas. The expanded arrangements recorded for the album include a full stable of pre-hispanic percussion and beautiful baroque harpsichord played by Macari’s wife. This expansive interplanetary soliloquy is undoubtedly Macari’s masterpiece.
Those not familiar with Jones’ style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. The five lengthy tracks are based on hypnotic and somewhat menacing loops: a repetitive dub bass beat, waves of Middle Eastern strings and voices, layers of building hand percussion.
Muslimgauze’s Mullah Said masterpiece reenters orbit on its 1st ever (reshuffled) vinyl pressing, following the original CD issue in 1998, and its 2008 reissue. Recorded at Abraham Mosque - site of many Muslimgauze classics - and released as Muslimgauze 18, Mullah Said falls squarely in the category of crisp, richly layered and dubbed-out Bryn Jones productions which have cast such a strong influence on the likes of Vatican Shadow, and likewise opiated the imaginations of everyone else who crosses their path.
From the plangent call to prayer of Mullah Said to the viscerally hypnotic dissonance of Every Grain of Palestinian Sand, thru the depth-charge electro stepper Muslims Die India - now resequcned to the middle of the LP - and the strange scene of avian electronics and heart-breaking folk song in An End, this is an essential Muslimgauze album, no less.
Originally released in 1991 as a limited run of 100 self distributed cassette tapes.
The 5 tracks touch upon Ambient, Dub, House and Balearic styles and show an ambition to create timeless music in the vein of Ultramarine and The Orb. 25 years later these songs finally reach a wider audience....on cassette, again....
Full of cold, steely industrial techno riddled with machine spirits, the Protest EP from Berlin’s Kaltès & Nene H. is not for the casual techno observer, but rather offers a payload of stern girders for the club, reinforced by Christina Sealey (Orphx) and LAIR remixes.
In a push and pull of forces, Kaltès & Nene H.’s spine-stiffening bucker Resist contrasts with the more rolling, plangent and bittersweet appeal of Persist, but both share a blank-eyed and stomping purpose.
On the remixes, Christine Sealey ov Orphx pulverises Persist like a techno panel beater working on a dented tank, and LAIR guts and inverts the impact of Resist into numb drones and submerged rhythms.