Roughshod techno from Belgium’s Peter Adriaenssens aka 6SISS, tipped to fans of Peter Van Hoesen, Shxcxchcxsh or Ben Frost
Apparently coming from a new beat heritage, 6SISS’ style of techno is entirely modern, delivered in a drily abrasive vernacular of noise-sculpted hits and tarmac textured swipes between the galloping force of ‘Prisma’, a cantering juggernaut that sounds like Frank Tovey’s Mkultra gone techno in ‘No Isms’, and the turbulent roll cage shudder of ‘Delta’.
The label behind that mint Maria Rita reissue, Optimo's Selva Discos fasten their dancing clogs again with a tight original burner by Edson Gomes da Conceição, back with Mike Burns’ straighter disco edit
Slunky electro sleaze and melodic pirouettes from Carl Finlow’s Silicon Scally
Returning to Sheffield’s CPU after 2018’s ‘Projections’ 12”, Finlow plays it classically in all parts, getting into kerb-crawling gear with the lo-slung ‘Cobalt Blue’ before stroking his synths to spume polychromatic arps, hingeing around spare Linn snares in ‘Scintillation.’ Flip it over for a ruder push with the red-lining bass distortion IN ‘Asynchronous’ and the shifty Drexciyan acid electro of ‘Protocol 2.’
Eminent avant-garde/experimental explorer Oren Ambarchi opens a rewarding new avenue to embrace the warmth and mystic psychedelia of Brazilian music with assistance from celebrated percussionist and Downtown luminary Cyro Baptista. Arriving just after Ambarchi’s 50th birthday, and Black Truffle's 10th, ‘Simian Angel’ sees him yoke back from the forward tilt of his rhythm-driven outings over the past decade in order to focus on his electric guitar playing, with utterly sublime results.
Keening sideways from the unyielding percussion of his last outing ‘Hubris’ , he divines a floating space that recalls the beautifully pensile cats cradle of his early classic ‘Grapes From The Estate’ , only this time with fleshlier, more inviting arrangements. The first half’s ’Palm Sugar Candy’ is pure star-gazing material, with Baptista’s hand-played, self-built percussion drawing us into a horizontal headspace while Ambarchi’s glowing notes gently colour the sky above. Ambarchi gradually opens up a glorious space between that dissonant murmuring and an awning, harmonic meridian, where a voice whispers into the space to gently recalibrate our depth perception, before seemingly turning his guitar into a MIDI-triggering aeolian harp in the piece’s spellbinding, levitating 2nd half.
’Simian Angel’ follows with a more gripping rhythmic pull from the twanging Berimbau, just one of myriad percussion mastered by Baptista (who has previously played with everyone from John Zorn to Derek Bailey, Herbie Hancock and Robert Palmer), before Ambarchi glydes into view like a chorus of the sighing Simian Angels, drawing the piece upwards into thin air, where his guitar melts into piano and columns of warm air carry distant vocals from below. The drums rejoin to mark the work’s final avian swoops in strokes and dashes, triggering MIDI keys in a beautifully colourful sort of jazz fusion call and response, located amid and above a subtropical canopy.
Arriving at the apparent apex of a long and sprawling career in which he's had countless collaborations and gone down a seemingly endless series of creative rabbit holes, 'Simian Angel’ is quite possibly Oren Ambarchi’s most open and generous album to date - a perfect entry point into, as well as highlight of, a recorded catalogue that over the course of more than twenty years has been one of the most unpredictable and rewarding in the game. Bravo.
Call Super aka Ondo Fudd does crystalline ambient house, disko-tek, slinky house and underwater electro on his 2nd 12” for The Trilogy Tapes
Picking up in the same shine-eyed zones as his ace ‘Blue Dot’ 12”, ‘Eyes Glide Through The Oxide’ seduces with a signature mixture of melodic allure and drift-away rhythm, puckering up with what sounds like spittle sucked thru a reed, set against gently sloshing, glassy rhythms and awning new age pads in the title cut, then laying out the lip-smacking late ‘80s disko of ‘Joyride to My Inside’, and playing out two driving but soft-geed house workouts, and finishing on the money with the iridescent electro flourish of ‘Fluenka’s Song.’
An amazing slab from Glasgow’s fecund subterrain, ‘The Funnel’ is Wojciech Rusin’s debut razz of field recordings and choral composition riddled with rug-pulling edits and keeling turns of phrases - arguably a spiritual parallel to László Hortobágyi, Black Zone Myth Chant, Jani Christou, Él-G
A big clue to the cryptic chicanery of ‘The Funnel’ is the fact that Wojciech Rusin builds his own instruments, which accounts for some degree of the odd tonalities at work. But when you factor in the field recordings of Port Talbot Steelworks, and his patent knowledge of renaissance polyphony, it all just becomes more brilliantly complicated and unfathomably idiosyncratic.
Across seamlessly segued sides, they weave strategies and logic from the GRM to soil dynamics and avant-classical skools in a remarkable diffusion and collection of energies, swaying in viscous grit one second, then waltzing with Richard Youngs-like folk vocals that bifurcate into dramatic polyphony the next minute, before stranding you in a lift with beelzebub chatting shite in tongues about the weather the next, only to expectorate your head and anticipations in scenes of gunky pastoralism and Noz-like feedback loops of choral vocals and windswept bleeps.
We could run ourselves circles trying o describe it any further, but save for your amusement, we’d rather just get back to listening to this one, and leave the freaks to grapple with it all in their own time.
Don’t sleep on this one, it looks stunning, too.
Captivating, new, improvised takes on old Greek Rebetika, returning the style to it looser open ended form, rather than redoing the standards. Really, intoxicating, heady stuff when it hits...
“The duo of Tasos Stamou and Thodoris Ziarkas bring back the improvisational element to the old Greek rebetiko style and expand it towards other avant-garde musical genres.
AMAN!!! #2 Picking it up from their previous cassette album at Sucata Tapes, “AMAN!!!” duo delivers another series of live tracks, this time recorded in Athens and London. The duo of Tasos Stamou and Thodoris Ziarkas bring back the improvisational element to the old Greek rebetiko style and expand it towards other avant-garde musical genres.”
Marie e le Rose is a sound artist, music/art therapist, sound researcher and multi-instrumentalist based in Florence, Italy. She has releases on labels such as Forrest Hill Records, No Problema Tapes, Time Released Sound, Laverna, Zamzam Records, Further Records, Chemical Tapes, Phinery, Hylé Tapes and more, with many monikers for her varying concepts (Marie e le Rose, Moon RA, MonoLogue).
"She has performed at festivals and venues such as Festival Sons Libérés (Bruxelles), Festival La Centrale (Bordeaux), FreeQ (Genova), MamBO museum (Bologna), Galerie Hus (Paris) and Ableton LOOP (Berlin). Her installations have taken place at Pecci museum (Prato), Palazzo Reale (Milano) and more…
"I am a musician and in this moment of my life I am dealing with pain and all that follows… This is an album based on the concept of physical pain, its title taken from the name of a famous theory about it.
I have attempted to communicate – through the sound synesthesia and its movements — the same sensations and disorientation that we can try in times of difficulty and suffering. However, in every track there is a strong dose of energy and struggle, obtained from the timbre and dynamics of many analog instruments (not least the Buchla at EMS in Stockholm). I also used sounds from acoustic instruments, effects, tapes, Walkmans, reel-to-reel recorders, a modular synth and more…
My aim is to work on the perceptions of the listener, making them participate with the emotions – main actors in the relationship between suffering and struggle." – Marie e le Rose, Florence, 30 May 2018.
Sound poet and multidisciplinary artist Félicia Atkinson follows 2017’s cherished ‘Hand In Hand’ album with this spellbinding study on loneliness and intimacy, crafted while pregnant and on tour. Félicia notably draws Sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley into her meso plane on the collaborative 19 minute closing cut ‘Des Pierres’, a quietly startling end to another captivating album from one of the most interesting minds working on the contemporary scene, perfectly encapsulating a sense of uneasy calm in the midst of so much global uncertainty.
To enter any Felicia Atkinson album is to give yourself up to another world where perceptions of time and space subliminally become short-circuited and synaesthetic. Combining illusive electro-acoustic process and meticulously tactile vocals reciting poetry, Felicia’s music rarely fails to provide anything other than an intoxicating experience, and her powers of perception appear to be uniquely attuned on ‘The Flower And The Vessel’. As she states; “this is not a record about being pregnant, it’s a record made with pregnancy”, and as such the results are more ambiguous, riddled with a cosmic web of references to musical memory and onotology, as much as nature and the strange subtleties of the everyday.
The album’s theme of loneliness while touring has historically provided much grist to the artistic mill over the years, but rather than tales of excess and depression, Félicia handles her subject matter more meditatively, using small gestures such as “recording my voice, recording birds, a simple melody” to locate her place in the foreign worlds around her, and in the process answer the questions “What am I doing here? How can I connect to the world?”.
The first 10 tracks are barely watermarked with her presence, with opener ‘L’Après-Midi’ acting as a poetic diary entry, where she fills in subsequent pages with a mix of notes both metaphorical and musical, from the unsettling intimations of ’Shirley to Shirley’ inward-spiralling vocals of ‘You Have to Have Eyes’, to the micro-to-macro contemplation ‘Linguistics of the Atom’, while album highlights ‘Lush’ and ‘L’Enfant Et Le Poulpe’ speak to a elusive sense of the pastoral, perhaps as viewed form a distance.
When she finally does meet another tangible soul, Stephen O’Malley, in the 18 minute finale ‘Des Pierres’, it’s testament to both her own vision and O’Malley’s tactile range that his harmoniously strung-out contribution is so seamlessly woven into her parallel dimension, that you may need to be reminded he’s there, sublimated in-the-mix.
Hospital Productions pay testament to the prowess of JK Flesh/Orphx with recordings of their 2016-2017 shows at Katharsis (Amsterdam) and Atonal (Berlin) newly remastered for vinyl by Josh Eustis.
By all accounts the shows were heavy af, but in case you weren’t there, the evidence is now captured on vinyl for posterity. With each disc corresponding to a particular show, the results collectively speak to the calloused touch and nerve-pushing tactility which Justin Broadrick aka JK Flesh, and Christine Sealey & Rich Oddie aka Orphx, bring to their machines. Whether meting out industrial muck, or drilling the crowd with stentorian rhythms, there’s a phosphorous burn to everything they touch that manifests their intent in a rare and unique way as the result of decades of experience between them.
The first disc renders the experience of Berlin Atonal 2016 direct to your living room or kink dungeon. Rising up with 12 minutes of demonic sludge and budge in ‘Demagogue’, it sinks into head-smudging drown torpor with ‘Light Bringer’, and ends up in the body-swilling technoid churn of ‘Liberator’. Their show at Katharsis (Amsterdam) in 2017 follows aggressively, getting into gear like a possessed, blunted BMB with ‘Shapeshifter’, then building up a ripping acidic lead in ‘Mutagen’ and yoking the high-velocity trample of ‘Chaos Trigger’ and the seething ‘Leviathan’ on the flip.
Endearingly naif Aussie art-school/post-punk pop from Melbournian J. Macfarlane’s Reality Guest, finding an ideal home on Glasgow’s Night School
““Ta Da” is the debut full length from J. McFarlane's Reality Guest - aka the solo music of Australian artist Julia McFarlane. As a member of the group Twerps, McFarlane has traversed guitar-centric, melodic pop music for some years while honing a highly unique, personal musical language. Ta Da is the first recorded unveiling of McFarlane’s affecting, oblique songwriting panache. Originally released in her native Australia on Hobbies Galore, Ta Da will be released worldwide by Night School in June 2019.
Wheezing into view with a troubled reed instrument set against a s of whoozy synth lines, Human Tissue Act is a foggy curtain the listener is invited to peel back. The dissonant notes are left to dance entwined, with clarinet heralding a Harry Partch-esque mallet percussion interlude. It’s a mood. With no resolution in sight, an audience dragged closer into uncertainty is suddenly drenched with the light of inter-weaving wah wah synth and saxophone. I Am A Toy introduces us to McFarlane’s vocal, an effortless and matter-of-fact, accented statement that quietly takes the reins. While McFarlane’s previous work in Twerps might reference 80s UK and antipodean guitar pop, Ta Da showcases a different influences immersed in psychedelic music and synths. It’s a brilliant, deft concoction swimming in Young Marble Giants-type minimalism washed with bare pop and harmony similar to Kevin Ayers making sense of a Melbourne suburb full of faces half-recognised in the blanching sun.”
Kyoka and Eomac (Lakker) forge a restlessly rugged style under the fictional moniker Lena Andersson in a striking debut for the Raster stronghold.
Merging their respective styles Kyoka and Eomac patently make a strong studio pairing under their imagined avatar. Stemming from a back and forth session on the Buchla modular synth system at EMS Stockholm, the project has really come into its own with Eomac exacting razor sharp edits on Kyoka’s blend of spiky, freeform textures, sugared vocals and broad palette of field recordings.
There was previously a degree of familiarity between them as Kyoka remixed Lakker’s ‘Tundra’ for R&S in 2015, but here transcend their respective solo work to realise a wickedly sinuous, amorphous body of experimental electronica and crunchy dance trax which, if we weren’t told otherwise, we may never have guessed was made by these two artists.
Taking strong cues from prevailing dembow rhythm trends, the duo work out a range of spiky, crimped dancehall-techno mutations, getting into it alongside Seiki & Mike Watt with the brittle but squirming shape of ‘Middle of Everywhere’, and running thru big highlights in what sounds like Batu and Low Jack getting gritty on ‘Bazu’ and ’37 Years Later’, tucking it where the sun don’t shine in the dark grind of ‘Con Un Cuchillo’ and the cyber-bogle of ‘Anarchy - Joy’, or like some hyper-clipped Amazondotcom or Paul Marmota piece in ‘I Want Her (You) To Call Me Baby.’
Seminal 1998 showcase from Rhythm & Sound feat Tikiman, aka Paul St Hilaire...
Amazing just how good the material on this compilation still sounds, featuring the first five Burial Mix 10"s plus a 'Version' for each and including the mighty "Why?", "Ruff Way", "Never Tell You", "Spend Some TIme" and "What A Mistry" - all featuring the vocals of Paul St Hilaire, better known as Tikiman. So damn good...
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.
Left Behind" is a collection of studio-based works, improvisations and sound studies from 2006-2013. They were all intended for release but for one reason or another never made it out into the world.
"Church the Light of the World" (2013) – recorded and sound material found in London, Rotterdam, New York City, Orlando, Derry and Turin between 2009-2013. Indoor and outdoor fielding recordings, found tapes, found objects, found metal and broken cymbals, modular synthesizer and homemade electronic circuits and electronic test equipment.
"Sixty-four Sine Waves Studies: D Aeolian, C Major and G Minor" (2010) – recorded in Kentish Town, London, 2010. Max/MSP.
"Sound for Animation That Never Happened" (2007) – recorded in Archway, London, 2007. Doepfer modular synthesizer.
"No Input Mixer Improvisation" (2006) – recorded in Cricklewood, London, 2006. Mixer, effects pedals and contact mic.
"Warm Room" (2012) – recorded in New Cross, London, 2012. Voice: Frances Morgan. Doepfer modular synthesizer and SuperCollider.
"Modified Portable CD Player" (2011) – recorded in Kentish Town, London, 2011. Modified portable CD player.
"WORM" (2013) – recorded and mixed at WORM Studio in Rotterdam, Netherlands and New Cross, London, 2013. Analogue synthesizers: ARP 2500, ARP 2600, EMS VCS3, Serge Modular, Synton Syrinx, Roland SH-09 and Korg MS20."
Tim Hecker returns with a companion piece to his recent Konoyo album.
"Anoyo (“the world over there”) draws from the same sessions with members of Tokyo Gakuso which led to the 2018 work Konoyo, but rendered starker, solemn, and stripped back, with more of a naturalist tint. Hecker’s processing here moves in veiled ways, soft refractions and whispered shrouds woven within improvisational sessions of traditional gagaku interplay, evoking a sense of vaulted space, temples at dawn, shredded silk fluttering in the rafters.
This is boldly barren music, skeletal and sculptural, shaped from wood, wind, strings, and mist. Modern yet ancient, delicate and desolate, Anoyo inverts its predecessor to compellingly conjure a parallel world of illusion, solitude, and eternal return."
Eccentric french instrument builder Pierre Bastien fondles his melodic machines in a jazzy way on ‘Tinkle Twang ’n Tootle’ for exploratory label, Marionette
With a trail of LPs behind him for esteemed label such as AFX’s Rephlex, Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records, and Discrepant, the endless inventive Bastien joins the likeminds of Soundwalk Collective and Burnt Friedman on Marionette with six inimitable compositions that sound like jazz seemingly played by creations from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ or a parallel world without war where humans haven’t quite discovered electricity, but love making machines that chat music.
“Equal parts composer, inventor, mechanic, and performer - Bastien translates his imagination into instruments and compositions that defy any musical categories. Whether it’s preparing instruments like playing a trumpet underwater or through a kazoo, using belt-driven motors and mechanical components to perform cumbersome yet surprisingly musical operations on traditional instruments and household items, or using a fan to hit the strings of a kundi harp with flowing paper - Bastien’s love for tone, rhythm, noise and harmony is poetically reflected across his quite extensive oeuvre.
Playful and melancholic, the sound sculptures that Bastien invents and plays with are partly inspired by the work of Raymond Roussel, a visionary French author who at the turn of the 20th century wrote a unique form of literature which inspired and guided artists from the surrealist and pataphysical movement and was declared by Michel Foucault as one of structuralism's founding fathers. On that note, the influence of literature and syntax on Bastien’s work cuts all the way through to the palindromes he uses for his track titles - which, much like his machines, infinitely loop.
True to it’s adorable title, Tinkle Twang ‘n Tootle is a music box of unfolding whimsical structures, half broken rhythms, detuned harmonies, and fantastical sound collages that evoke a childlike sense of wonder and an urge to explore the spaces in between the sounds.”
This year celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Ágætis Byrjun, the band expand their breakthrough album with demo and archive versions of songs from the album, plus never-before-heard newly unearthed material from the time, rare b-sides and the full 95 minute concert played in Reykjavík on the day the record was released.
Edward Vesala and Jimi Tenor’s free jazz duo City of Women return to Sähkö nearly 20 years after their first and only appearance, and 20 years since Vesala sadly passed away before the first LP was issued
‘City of Women II’ was recorded in the same session as their debut and explores similarly free set of coordinates, even reiterating on one of the original tracks, ‘Tablakone’ in the flanging drive of ‘Tabulatuuri’ , which sounds a lot like Moritz Von Oswald and Tony Allen’s MvO Trio.
The rest is wider, abstract and off-road, or even in the middle of a busy intersection with the honking madness of ‘Dangerous Crossing’, while the quiet flute and tempered oscillators of ‘Autoharp’ point at more esoteric psychedelic inspiration, and ‘Heat Birth’ heads out along kosmiche vectors.
Debut volley of skudgy, raw Chi-house styles by Sanso for London’s prolific Wilson Records
Running cues from classic Cajual, Dance Mania, Djax-Up-Beats and Peacefrog into the red, Sanso makes a rude first impression between the likes of his Faces Drums-style corkscrew jacker ‘Cricketz’, the whooping wallbanger frolics of ‘Xxxpress’, and the butt-pinching, percolated tweaks of ‘Korg-Jam’.
One for those what jak to the hilt.
The great avant-bluesman Mike Cooper covers Van Dyke Parks, Woody Guthrie, Jim Reeves and Fred Neil, alongside a number of standards deconstructed and restitched in his exceptional mix of vocals, lap steel guitar and loop pedals.
Like an astringent to folk proper, Cooper wickedly dissolves a mix of standards, blues songs and original material with well worn digits across ‘Distant Songs of Madmen.’ Recorded in Palermo, Sicily in June 2011, after a set by his trio, Truth In The Abstract Blues, the LP characterises Cooper in a field of his own, veering from original works of wrenched, spontaneously combusting blues to a mix of relatively straight-played and properly f*cked-up takes on the likes of ‘He’ll Have To Go’, made famous by Gentleman Jim Reeves in the ‘60s, or Woody Guthrie’s country folk jangler ‘Plane Wreck at Los Gatos’, with a real standout in the segue from his ruinous noise in ‘Tinnitus’ to a pealing and shredded flip of Fred Neil’s ‘Dolphins’, which he best remembered played by Tim Buckley (whom he coincidentally met in London ’68).
An all-time classic, production masterclass - it doesn't get any better.
The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks.
Lifechanging, foundational bizz.
Russia’s Lyubocha kicks out four grainy technohouse grooves on Black Opal after appearing on Opal Tapes’ Contemporary Dance and The Harvest of a Quiet Eye compilations.
We advise heading straight for the slidy rimshots and virulent acid of Noblask and the tricksy kalimba workout Nikogda.
Demdike Stare plunge into an ocean of dense, analogue sound disruption on this new work commissioned by Hanno Leichtmann for the Letra-Tone festival, in which they were asked to interpret a score created by graphic designer Scott Massey out of salvaged Letrasets. The result is on a moody and futuristic Concrète tip, full of seething drones, industrial clangs and flute choruses coming in and out of view.
Featuring an hour of new and previously unreleased work, the material here extends as one continuous piece split into two sides, building from meticulously layered field recordings into sheets of drone that coalesce from barely audible murmurations into colossal, reverberant walls of sound. Through a wide and spacious stereo field, we’re led though highly disorientating, sometimes terrifying passages, with long atmospheric sections suddenly disrupted by clanging percussion and found sound panning across the spectrum, before falling back into a kind of deadly, tense fizz.
Almost entirely beatless - except for the odd percussive shudder - it’s a relentlessly moody hour of music that only lets in some light at the very end, where buried strings slowly emerge into a gloriously moving final sequence, where shapes and colour gradually thaw back into being.
Pure future-primitive brilliance.
Knekelhuis excavate a cornerstone of ‘90s Minneapolis dance music with reissue of Cold Front’s sole EP
‘Beyond The Beat’ is the work of 4-piece Cold Front, comprising spouses Ayanna and Cam Muata, plus Jon Jon Scott and Ron Clark, who released the original on his Audiocon label in 1990. The A-side tends to a sort of deep house that could arguably have come from anywhere between Minneapolis and Antwerp in 1990, rolling out in a hip-house style radio edit, a stripped and grooving ‘Infinite Mix’, and the concentrated ’Subterranean Bass Mix’.
However it gets better on the B-side with ‘Stars and Stripes’, lodged somewhere between MBM, NIN, and Jeff Mills’ bits with Final Cut, alongside ‘Minus 22 Degrees Fahrenheit (Ambient East)’, which sounds like Peter Hook’s imaginary proto-Goa trance side project, and the Prince-meets-White House White alike banger ‘Side By Side (Rough Mix)’.
‘Arc 1’ is the first posthumous release of Mika Vainio’s solo material, taken from a large collection of his unreleased music. The archive series will present pieces which can be considered as completed works rather than unfinished fragments, and ‘ARC 1’ is a fittingly contemplative artefact - preserving Mika’s patient, sensuous minimalism released under his solo moniker, Ø.
Made up of two selections from an untitled recording Vainio did as Ø for the radio project Ambient City at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1994, the 34 minute work can be considered a complete, singular work, and one of the purest in Vainio's catalogue.
Working at the threshold of perception in a way comparable with fellow minimalist masters such as Eliane Radigue or Kevin Drumm, ‘ARC 1’ follows a glacial transition from elemental subbass pulses through sustained, hovering drone before almost imperceptibly changing state half way, when a field of static disruption re-organises the piece’s atoms, only for the noise to recede and reveal a more complex timbral aurora, and a final tract of isolationist ambience flickering like northern lights.
Witch’s tit D&B pressure from London’s Outer Heaven, firing his 2nd EP for the UVB-76 stronghold
Last spotted in collab with Sully for the ace Rupture London label, here Outer Heaven goes head-down and solo in an austere dreadnaught mode, getting dancers on their toes with the cage-rattling hardstep and Amen shrapnel of ‘The Last Men’ and the lip-bitingly tight torque of ‘Trapline’, whereas ‘Blemish’ steps into trip hop quicksand recalling Scud & I-Sound’s wasteland as much as the recent Pessimist & Karim Maas side, and ’Still Waters’ wickedly epitomises and finishes the phrase with the threat of plummeting subs.
Includes The Wire Tapper 50 with music by Félicia Atkinson, Carl Stone, S S S S, Rimarimba, Jim Haynes ++
The August 2019 edition of the Wire has Oren Ambarchi on the front cover and also in interview with Bruce Russell, providing extensive overview of the polymath’s broad talents. Also includes features on Shanghai’s Goooose & 33EMYBW, a global ear cocked to Budapest, Pierre Bastien tested by The Invisible Jukebox, and all the usual news, reviews, and listings sections.
Adrian Corker gets curiously transfixing results from purpose-made acetate locked grooves, arranged in various states of natural decay to pensive, off-kilter effect recalling the rustle of Bellows or Pole processed by William Basinski. Quietly brilliant stuff.
“SN Variations fifth release features two tracks in three parts each composed for lock grooves recorded onto acetate, percussion by Sam Wilson(Riot Ensemble/Actress) and violin performed by Aisha Orazbayeva.The tracks also feature the piano of Mark Knoop and the voice of Josephine Stephenson.
A lock groove is one cycle of one groove on a record.This is 1.8 sec cut at 33RPM and 1.33 cut at 45RPM. Corker used the cutting lathe currently residing in the living room of The Exchange mastering legend Graeme Durham to experiment with different sounds cut onto acetate and then recorded over different durations back into a computer. Because of the softness of the acetate the lock grooves break down as they are re-recorded causing unexpected effects as the needle carves away the surface of the vinyl. This generative process adds layers of unpredictable noise culminating finally in white noise. These are combined and edited forming frames for performances of violin, percussion and piano. The pieces reflect on the tension between the mechanical and the human gesture/expression and place where they merge.”
Filter Dread kills it with a more direct, rolling style of junglist breaks and grime tics on the 3rd 12” from Seattle, WA’s Tech Startup
Cut loud and heavy for optimum rave reactions, the four tracks catch Filter Dread sharpening up his mutant definition of UK dance music. Uptown that results in the staccato, Amiga-punctuated breaks and surging chord pads of ‘Rainforest’, and a killer take on West London broken beat, grime and that fucking mental sound in his head on ‘Blizzard’. Downtown, he steps out with the wildly pitching, ricocheting drums of ‘Tripping Up’, and the cold, vacuum-sealed shards of brukken drums in ‘RX 4 Real.’
Militant grime/techno hybrids from London’s East Man (Anthoney J Hart, Basic Rhythm, Imaginary Forces) and Manchester-based Walton
Cut a side per piece for optimal punch and crack, both tunes find Walton and East Man as natural collaborators with a shared, ascetic aesthetic and taste for the most stripped down, bony drum trax.
‘Horse Mouth’ hits first and hardest with rail gunning percussion and classic Jamaican chat paying tribute to the eponymous drummer and star of ‘Rockers’ in tuff deco dance style comparable to Logos & Mumdance or Szare productions. ‘Gunshot’ steps out into more spacious, noirish halfstep vibes on the back, casually spraying claps and grime radio spit over red-lining and wickedly distorted subs.
Dons in their field, Ruffhouse affiliates Pessimist & Karim Maas mete out a paranoid debut collaboration of dusty downstrokes and dread electronics.
The duo’s eponymous debut album is perhaps the strongest of its ilk in recent memory. Dwelling in the shadows somewhere between techno overlord Kareem’s sorely overlooked hip hop instrumentals on the Ramadan label, the smoky silhouettes of classic Portishead, and the dub-possessed spirits of Kevin “The Bug” Martin at its most scowling, the album is unyielding in its depressive outlook, but, like the aforementioned references, Pessimist & Karim Maas’s patient and texturally-detailed arrangements speak to an almost comforting virtue of darkside, isolationist UK pressures that will resonate strongly with those who like their coffee as black/brown as their hash.
Trust they’re not fucking about. It’s purely dank.
Bone-rattling D&B pressure, delivered cold and noisy by St. Petersburg, Russia’s Torn on Homemade Weapons’ label
Picking up the Russian mantle of hard-ass D&B producer Limewax, Torn runs for the hills with a more ragged but no less fierce take on the tuff stuff in all four sectors.
Up top the ruthless rufige of ‘Anaxos’ sounds like a free party held on a runaway pacer, firing overdriven amens thru a teeth-chattering maze of rattly rhythms, while the clenched funk of ‘Nothing’ goes on a murderous halfstep/hardstep trample. Turn over to find him strafing deeper into the darkside with the crushed groove and pranging breaks of ‘Escape’, and the bolshy epic ‘Collapse.’
It’s practically guaranteed this lot will set fire to the ‘floor.
The ambient lords of 12th Isle encourage open minds to listen deeply with Pataphysical’s first full length release, rendering a close approximation of their acclaimed live shows
While shy of an apostrophe, Pataphysical live up to their enigmatic moniker with a sound that hypnotises and invites listeners to drift into other dimensions of perception and explore those liminal, meridian headspaces beyond everyday, waking frames of thought.
Employing singularly expressive forms of synthesis and the natural grain of field recordings, the group follow gently spiralling planes of enquiry in eight parts, glyding from the blissed out pastoralism of ‘Dream Reveal’ to velvet-clad subbass depth charges in ‘Aun Cyc’ and ‘Montoon’, and on thru the milky spumes of ‘Protae’ to an unmissable highlight that hits right between the pineals of BoC and Huerco S in in ‘Purlo.’
Psychoactive acid techno from Gunnar Haslam, aka partner to Tin Man in Romans
Following up 2017’s ‘Kalaatsakia’ album, also for The Bunker NYC, the ‘Seasick Acid EP’ does what it says on the lid between the sloshing but direct drive of ‘Leeward Tripping’ and the queasy churn of ‘Coastal Geography’ up top, with the pacy acid pelt of the title cut and scudding jack of ‘Seasick Version’ on the back.
Foul and grungy industrial sound designs by Angelos Liaros’ Blakk Harbor, backed with a sub-heavy and rolling remix by Positive Centre
On the follow-up to his 2018 debut album ‘Madares’, Native Instruments sound designer Blakk Harbor puts his weight into a slew of cavernous drones and club-footed rhythms, at best in the bone dry swill of ‘Necropolitics’ and the razor-cut, noizy swivel of ‘Vitriol’, with Positive Centre lending a tool-sharpened swing and guttural subbass pressure to his remix of ‘Vitriol.’
Heartsick boogie aces from Anthony Naples, poking out his first release of 2016 as a sort of autumnal toddy for chapped dancers and reveries of warmer times.
Leaker swivels out on a slow, shifty electro boogie glyde with a steady core of phasing bass and ticking rimshot smudged by psychoacoustically shifty pads; sounds sorta like a sharpened NWAQ joint.
The sluggish jack of Moments Magicos feels more sore, blue, like one of V/Vm’s saltiest new beat tributes, early trance on 33-not-45, or Pye Corner Audio at their gauziest.
A cornerstone of UK rave resurfaces, reshuffled, remastered and remixed on Luna-C’s seminal Kniteforce
Originally recorded and promoted in 1992 and ultimately issued in 1993 by Moving Shadow, the ‘Keep It In The Family’ EP is the 2nd Hyper On Experience release.
On this new pressing the A-side is given to the classic original, a nutty mix of Radiophonic sci-fi SFX, sampledelia and lip-smacking breakbeat science, beside a lumpy Luna-C remix of ‘A Certain Emotion.’
The B-side is given to a remaster of the choppy, hands-in-air pianos and helium diva-lead ‘Imajika’, and the edge of happy/darkcore pressure in ‘The Threshold of Sanity.’
Skam’s rogue siblings at North Manc Beds deliver their first new session in 9 nine years, and it’s a good one.
Hailing from an area oilrich in seminal artists - Autechre, Muslimgauze, Shackleton, Demdike Stare - and where you’re also likely to see blokes tossing off to train commuters in the morning (happened to us a few weeks ago outside Rochdale, no lie), the anonymous NMB collective also draw from this Pennine spirit to create dark, crunching, rhythm-driven electronics.
Like previous volumes which variously referenced local bus routes (including used tickets), industry, and utilities, this one follows suit with the ’NWH2O’ EP to go nostalgic for British Gas North West in five tracks of lunky rhythm and sore electronics that patently resonate with the rest of the Skam cabal’s output. In that sense, ‘Moko’ sounds like a bit like a lost offcut from ‘Confield’, and the thrumming slow slam of ‘FRBounces’ could almost be from recent Æ batches, but also fringes on grey area-compatible styles, while the ruggedly barren scape of ‘Safebliss 53Cond P455’ recalls early Pendle Coven, however we’ve never heard any of them do pendulous dancehall rhythms quite like on the zinging ‘Jussbassoneandone’ and the churning bruxist chew of ‘Stelcore 2 (Nabz_& Cluff Version)’, which is strong examples of those crafty aspects to NMB that distinguishes them from the main Skam corpus.
Titans of UK rave culture, Fabio & Grooverider look back on ’30 Years of Rage’, their seminal London club night, with the first of four volumes charting the ultra-classic and hard-to-find foundations of hardcore, jungle and D&B - the UK’s greatest gift to the world of the past generation.
It’s impossible to overstate the influence of Fabio & Grooverider on UK music and rave culture since they began DJing in the late ‘80s acid house phase. For a generation of UK yoof they are practically household names, and we very fondly remember tuning in to their (now defunct) BBC Radio 1 show to catch D&B before we could legally get into clubs. It’s also probably fair to say they’ve done more for race and cultural relations in the UK than any politician ever has, with their earliest, unprecedented fusions of Belgian techno with UK fast rap, Yorkshire bleep, US house, Caribbean soundsystem culture and London rare groove hustle laying a template that frankly revolutionised dancefloors across the country, bringing people together in the same space who were, to a much greater extent than today, largely, mutually exclusive. We could bang on about their importance all day, but suffice it to say they are the OG’s of UK rave.
As the label explain, their RAGE night was arguably the ground zero for Jungle. "The party was started at London's cavernous Heaven club by Fabio & Grooverider in 1988, at the height of Acid House fever that was making it's way up and down the motorways, slip-roads, fields and warehouses of the M25 and further beyond every weekend, troubling the nation, the police, your parents and the press as it went. RAGE was a different beast, it certainly channelled some of that Acid energy but pitted it against the new and exciting sounds emanating from Belgium, Amsterdam, Detroit, Sheffield, Essex and Hackney and in turn created a new style, a new sonic attitude and energy in the process. Rumbling bass-lines, narcotic synth rushes and roughly chopped and sped-up breakbeats all merged into a style that we now know as Jungle."
This first volume is a tour de force of early rave pressure, charting a course from Leftfield’s deep 1990 bass massage ‘Not Forgotten’ thru Lennie De Ice’s all-time jungle cornerstone ‘We Are IE’, the London mash-up styles of ‘Dubplate’ by Wots My Code, Foul Play’s artful jungle masterpiece ‘Being With You’, and the bawl fwd hardcore of ‘The Future’ by Noise Factory, saving Fallout’s lip-smacking classic ‘The Morning After (Sunrise Mix)’ for dessert.
Foundational bangers the lot of them.
Following the primal, no-frills rock majesty of Rather Ripped, the great American juggernaut that is Sonic Youth expands on the formula with a more opened up, liberated album - their first for Matador.
The Eternal kicks off in a violent storm; an "out-of-the gate hardcore matinee track" as Thurston Moore would have it, fronted by an on-form, ageless Kim Gordon. The sublime proto-grunge riffology carries over into 'Anti-Orgasm'; a barrage of arch feminist-punk sloganeering that divides itself into two halves, the first presenting a snarling line-up of guitars while the second ebbs into a carefully poised kraut-surf rock soundscape.
Sounding every bit like a modern SY classic, 'Antenna' maintains sufficient abrasion via some nerve-jangling guitar manipulations, while surly Mark Ibold basslines prop up the Lee Ranaldo-fronted 'What We Know', and the excellent 'Malibu Gas Station' mires itself in a sinister sleaziness - "an ode to the flash moment of the camera as you knowingly step from your SUV sans panties" appropriately delivered with all the nervous confusion of a Britney breakdown.
Perhaps a testament to Sonic Youth's own longevity, and all-round status as elder statespeople of subterranean music, large chunks of The Eternal reference and eulogise alternative culture's departed: the sleeve is a painting by guitar great John Fahey, while NYC beat poet Greg Corso is commemorated on 'Leaky Lifeboat', and 'Thunderclap (For Bobby Pyn)' pays tribute to The Germs' frontman Darby Crash - though it could equally be taken as a broader eulogy for LA's post-punk scene of the late '70s and early '80s. Sonic Youth fulfill a great many roles, and in addition to persistently being one of the great bands of our time, The Eternal shows that they're also historians of the underground; a living, working museum to all the obscure bands, sub-scenes and musical tributaries they've come into contact with and drawn influence from (or for that matter, themselves influenced) over a lifespan. God knows where we'd be without them.
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ravishing and rare solo piano suite ‘BTTB’ is finally issued on vinyl - expanded, reshuffled, and newly replete with liner notes by none other than Haruki Murakami. Trust it’s swoon-worthy stuff.
Originally released in 1998 and hard to get hold of outside of Japan, ‘BTTB’, or ‘Back To The Basics’ is now reissued on 2LP to mark its 20th anniversary. It’s effectively a definitive edition of ‘BTTB’, reshuffled from the original 2LP pressing to also include ‘Energy Flow’ from the BTTB’ maxi-single, (which peaked at No.4 in the Japanese singles charts), as well as the slippery elegance of ‘Reversing’, both on the vinyl album for the first time.
Tech specs aside, this new edition is a sumptuous testament to Sakamoto’s effortlessly natural, poetic evocations of emotion, by then channelling some 30 years work as an arranger of classic synthpop (YMO, collabs with David Sylvian), and seminal soundtracks (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence; The Last Emperor) into some of his most stripped down yet affective music, hovering on the line between precise, mindful composition and intuitively fluid improvisation.
While the majority of the material here features Sakamoto playing conventionally beautiful solo piano with magnificent highlights on the likes of ‘Opus’, he also extends into experimental, prepared piano on a handful of pieces, both serene and frantic, such as ‘Prelude’, ‘Sonata’ and ‘Uetax’, cannily resonating with Aphex Twin’s prepared piano pieces on ‘Drukqs’, which were released just two years later.
’Danger in Paradise’ is David Toop & Steve Beresford’s DIY masterpiece of dub-soul experimentation. Originally issued in 1984, and starring doyens of the experimental/improv scene, Lol Coxhill and David Cunningham, General Strike’s sole album remains a massive highlight of its era, epitomising a rich seam of dub, jazz, and post-punk experimentation executed with garden shed means and genteel English eccentricity.
David Toop has described Danger In Paradise, an album of material he recorded with Steve Beresford and David Cunningham as General Strike between 1979 and '81, as "hauntology before its time". In some sense he's right: some of the queer-pitched electronics and impishly sinister samples on the record wouldn't sound out of place on a Focus Group transmission. But first and foremost, General Strike is a potting shed avant-dub masterpiece, covering enormously wide ground.
'My Other Body' is a beautifully bass-heavy, almost Antena-esque pop original voiced by Dawn Roberts (singing lyrics culled from Foucault's Mental Illness And Psychology), 'Guided Missiles' is nuclear-paranoid doo-wop, and Sun Ra's 'Interplanetary Music' and 'We Travel The Spaceways' are reinterpreted in a way that somehow reconciles their afro-futurist origins with a bimbling, bumbling sensibility unique to Blighty's suburbs.
Cunningham's extraordinary tape treatments and the ensemble's anything-could-happen, patchwork approach to composition place the album at a heart of a British DIY tradition that has brought us The Shadow Ring, Flaming Tunes, Cleaners From Venus and This Heat among others (it's no surprise to learn that portions of it were recorded at This Heat's Cold Storage studio space).
All in all a terrific, gloriously unusual record - originally issued on cassette by Touch in '84, and later on CD by Piano, this new edition from Staubgold represents its first time on download formats and a first vinyl edition in years.
First reissue of David Rosenboom’s groundbreaking 1975 experiments in using brain biofeedback to control live electronics, newly expanded with an additional LP containing an unreleased 1977 live recording of Rosenboom’s “On Being Invisible”, in which the composer himself performs on an array of electronics that are fed information from his brainwaves. Another diamond from Black Truffle.
David Rosenboom was a key member of that 1970s fraternity of electronic music explorers who prized early forms of live electronic music performance, often seeing it as superior to the laborious process of electronic composition on clunky computers, and much closer to the ultimately expressive forms of classical instrumental virtuosity.
With ‘Brainwave Music’ Rosenboom pushed that idea into new dimensions, using electrodes and monitoring devices attached to players in order to receive and gather information about their brainwaves, body temperature, and galvanic skin response, which was then analysed and in turn used to modulate the parameters of his oscillators and filters. In theory, the system allowed for a greater level of connection between the player’s sub/conscious intuition and psychophysiological response, or in-the-moment action.
On the A-side’s ‘Portable Gold And Philosophers’ Stone’ this notion manifests as a warbling smudge of phasing, keening microtones as the brainwaves of Pat and Alan Strange and Marilyn and Frank McCarty feed into Rosemboom’s electronic systems in a wholly absorbing and inimitable flurry of ostinatos, eddies and whorls that make our eyes go funny. However, with the B-side’s ‘Chilean Drought’ and ‘Piano Etude I (Alpha)’ he works with Jacqueline Humbert to specifically focus on the three states of brain waves, Alpha, Beta, and Theta at once, with uncanny results that will sound different to each listener depending on their listening environment and mental state, leading their brain to subconsciously pick up on the voices speaking to their mind’s appropriate frequencies.
Recorded contemporaneously, Rosenboom’s 1977 previously unreleased live recording of ‘On Being Invisible’ is initially, aesthetically closest to the A-side of ‘Brainwave Music’, but find Rosenboom better getting to grips with his system, with immeasurably intricate, complex results that sound like a pre-echo of Florian Hecker’s acid trax one minute, and like Dolphin chatter the next, then like intercepted alien transmissions.
Suffice it to say this was the first record of it kind, and a truly historic piece of electronic composition.
Russia’s Paval Milyakov, aka Buttechno, tends to his screwier, inquisitive side for TTT with a gauzy batch of ambient, folk and house experiments, swerving between the lines of his records for Japan’s City-2 St. Giga, Collapsing Market and his Gosha Rubchinskiy AW16 soundtrack, to the dankest parts of his bedroom-baked club sound.
This is music for hanging out on cold, concrete corners in your most flammable trackies, taking in pastoral electro-folk meditation Gosha Medvedeva, his Pole-esque Slow Dub, and the skinny, bone-pinching swing of K4 on the one hand, before decorating those skeletal structures with more fleshly samples of Russia pop in the low key seduction of Poleva, and something like a roadside house rave played on empty vodka bottles, oil drums and cardboard boxes in the Brinkmann-like Metallo, and a nervily grubbing, spooked-out house ace named Super Siziy King.
Agent of disruption, Sam Kidel simulates a free party in a Google data centre and baffles Amazon’s Alexa on ’Silicon Ear’, his superb follow-up LP to our AOTY 2016 ‘Disruptive Muzak’
The Bristol-based composer and music teacher now turns his subversive “analytical artistry” towards global corporations. Where his ‘Disruptive Muzak’ piece adapted the early hacking technique of “phreaking” - manipulating telephone exchanges - his two new works logically follow with a signature mixture of mischief and uncanny insight, suggesting super crafty ways to subvert AI voice recognition and simulate a rave in a server centre.
“First exhibited at EBM(T) in Tokyo, Live @ Google Data Center trespasses in Google’s data centre in Council Bluffs, Iowa to perform electronic music amongst the humming banks of servers and endless cable runs, without actually breaking in. In a process he describes as “mimetic hacking,” Kidel used architectural plans based on photos of the data centre to acoustically model the sonic qualities of the space. The resulting acoustics on Live @ Google Data Center simulate the sound of Kidel’s algorithmically-generated notes, rhythms and melodies reverberating through the space, as though a bold illegal party was being held in the maximum security location.
The generative audio patch Kidel used to make the B-side, Voice Recognition DoS Attack seeks to disable the functionality of voice recognition software by triggering phonemes (the smallest units of language). The project, first developed for the Eavesdropping series of events in Melbourne, exploits a weakness in voice recognition that cannot distinguish between individual voices. When you speak while the patch is playing, the cascading shards of human expression mask your speech and thus protect you from automated surveillance, questioning our vulnerability in the face of global data giants. In amongst these displaced sounds, Kidel fed additional musical elements into his patch to create the version of the project heard on this release.”
As light as a warm breeze on skin, Earthen Sea’s latest album for Kranky ‘Grass and Trees’ showcases Jacob Long’s natural sensitivity for low-key, enchanting electronic sound craft.
Bobbing gently in the wake of 2017’s ‘An Act of love’ and ‘A Restless Gaze’ outings, Earthen Sea’s ‘Grass and Trees’ channels a liminal mix of spatialized, organically warm-sounding tones that run into each with the quality of watercolours, as characterised in the sleeve art. But where previous Earthen Sea outings were yoked to a regular pulses, there’s a finer push and pull of syncopated, latinate rhythms that works under the surface of ‘Grass and Trees’, lending the whole album a delicious slink that pulls listeners right into its wavey motion. Fans of Gas, Strategy, Beatrice Dillon, or even those breezy Werkbund bits, need apply!
“Jacob Long's reductionist rhythmic ambient vessel, Earthen Sea, ebbs towards a more purely elemental state on his second excursion for Kranky, Grass and Trees. He describes the creative process as one of "simplifying things as much as possible," designing uncluttered spaces traced in nothing but breath, field recordings, and "sounds that could be played by hand but weren't." The results feel decentralized but dynamic, low-lit evocations of ambiguous nocturnal environments - dub techno disassembled into stray pulses and spare parts. It's a music both interior and infinite, languorous yet transformative, made in the outer boroughs of a metropolis but attuned to its own liminal wilderness.
Long's vision is a grounding one, rooted in the physical body but attuned to larger currents: "In response to living in a fairly hectic city, and at a very hectic time for the world at large, creating something more drawn back and restrained felt appropriate."
Studiously retro psychedelic soul from Sa-Ra’s Shafiq Husayn, alongside a dazzling supporting cast including; Erykah Badu, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Hiatus Kaiyote, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Coultrain, Chris 'Daddy' Dave, I-Ced, Anderson Park, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Jimetta Rose, Fatima, Computer Jay, Medlodious Fly, Kamasi Washington,
“The Loop' is the new LP by Los Angeles based polymath Shafiq Husayn, an epic project which saw its inception in 2012 through a series of studio sessions at Shafiq’s home, including collaborations with the likes of Thundercat, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Bilal and Anderson Paak. Amongst a close knit circle of friends and family the golden tones of The Loop were created, deeply rooted in ideas of song, story, history, guidance and spirituality. The album bumps, jumps and jangles through progressions in jazz, hip hop, soul and funk, following on from his debut album ‘Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka’ and adding further to his rich history of timeless, unique music. On The Loop past, present and future are brought together through a psychedelic concoction of time traveling drum machines, celestial string sections and trails of synthesizer vapour. Inflections of Sly Stone, Pharaoh Sanders and Earth Wind And Fire traverse with Marley Marl and Dilla-esqe drums making for an organic yet LA-trifying experience.
Shafiq has brought together an impressive array of LA's musical royalty, enlisting the likes of Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Kamasi Washington, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, Eric Rico, Coultrain, Computer Jay, Jimetta Rose, Om'Mas Keith, Kelsey Gonzalez, I-Ced and more to provide the backbone to his recording sessions. Drawing in features from an international cast of performers and artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatima and Karen Be amongst others. Now complete and finally ready for release in 2019 The Loop is truly something to behold. The records is accompanied by a series of paintings by acclaimed Japanese visual artist Tokio Aoyama, who worked in tandem with Shafiq to create a painting for each song on the record.”
Following that killer Huerco S, Exael and uon hookup for the first release on uon and D. Tiffany’s XPQ? label, Exael returns solo with a followup to the Collex LP on West Mineral with deep, reverberating recordings from the echo chamber.
Recorded in Chicago, 2014-2016 by Naemi, Exael ventures into the more abstracted end of the electronic dub spehere with a set that starts with a kind of corrosive noise malfunction before heading into a deep and shadowy house vibe and mechanised electro, somewhere between Huerco S. and vintage Claro Intelecto. As the label put it, “degraded and corrupted club tools for the adventurous DJ…”
Mix Mup and Kassem Mosse deuce down a trio of slompy, dish-rinsing house deviations on the 3rd TTT X Palace 12”, following there examples of Theo Parrish and Omar Souleyman X Rezzett.
We’re all over the A-side like last night’s dinner on unwashed plates, loving those sloshing, pitch-bent drums that sound like someone washing a Roland machine in a saucepan under a cold, running water whilst Laraaiji doodles in the background, or something.
Chorus Beach is it’s drier counterpart on the B-side: a squeaky fresh slow house swinger elevated with mystic, discordant pads; and Watching Gischt hustles a deeply rude and loose house style somewhere to the left of Theo P and STL.