NYC/Berlin’s Hayden Payne aka Phase Fatale extends his Redeemer album tracks for proper ‘floor pressure on Hospital Productions.
Order Of Severity lives up to its mantle across the entire A-side, expanded and cut deeper for bass frequency response and allowing the growling mid-range guitars to really cut the the mix, whilst Silent Servant’s input really shows int he 2nd half.
Operate Within hunts down a more typical EBM sound accentuated with clenched snares and raging bass torque on the B-side, next to a cold, killer, blank-eyed augmentation of Spoken Ashes.
First ever reissue of a seminal, ambitious fusion of Congolese vocals, likembe and rhythms with analog electronics and free jazz leanings, 'Noir Et Blanc' is justifiably hailed as one of the first and most influential records of its kind, or “in the same class s Byrne & Eno’s Bush of Ghosts… an imaginary collaboration between DAF and Fela Kuti” as the UK’s Melody Maker astutely put it in 1983.
Ever since its original release in 1983, Noir Et Blanc’s nine songs have informed countless DJs and dancers from the NYC new wave to Italy’s cosmic selectors and, pivotally, the swell of Belgian music that fed into New Beat and early techno. It’s no less than a stone cold classic and requires your attention pronto, if isn’t prized enough already.
In unprecedented form, Noir Et Blanc distills and renders the electric buzz of artists breaking new ground. It features Bony Bikaye, a Congolese musician obsessed with the possibilities of progressive German and American musics as much as his indigenous traditions, working with french synth nerds Claude Micheli and Guillaume Loizillon as CY1, and Algerian-born Pierre Job aka Hector Zazou, who all converge a radical attempt to mesh the mutual themes of disparate styles at the service of the ‘floor. Zazou himself has something of an eye-watering CV, having been involved with a huge number of influential projects, from ZNR to La Perversita and beyond; one of those producers with a crazy sprawling body of work you would do well to sink into.
Inarguably, the results have withstood the test of time thanks to the combination of Bikaye’s warm vocals with the minimalist tang and nudge of CY1’s metallic rhythms and Zazou’s wide scoped vision, songs such as the infectious modular dancehall prototype M’Pasi Ya M’Pampa and the roiling, alien plongs of Woa or the grubbing acid of Keba still sound utterly outlandish, out of space and time more than 30 years later, and notably feature some of the funkiest performance ever by Fred Frith.
Now ripened for rediscovery by a new generation of clued up selectors, the timeless qualities of Noir Et Blanc clearly resonate as strong as ever with the modern scene, sounding at times uncannily close to TV on the Radio clashing Congotronics, and just as likely to be played by Vladimir Ivkovic as Jon K or ATFA’s Brian Shimkovitz.
Basically one of those records that forms the square root of everything right now, and loved by those in the know.
Jlin breaks thru the Chicago footwork ranks with one of the scene's most fascinating, essential mutations in 'Dark Energy', co-presented by Planet µ and Jamie Kuedo's very promising new Knives label.
It's quite possibly the most distinctive contribution to footwork since the RP Boo album and Rashad's jungle splices, and, in such a fast-moving (quite literally) and active scene, that's gotta be saying something. Keener Chi watchers may have previously checked Jlin's standout 'Erotic Heat' and 'Asylum' joints on the Bangs & Works Vol.2 compilation but, since then, the Gary, Indiana-based producer has honed an incredibly tight new style and pattern, exhibited here with shocking impact. Rather than breathlessly frantic chops and hyper momentum, she favours offbeats and more spacious arrangements, but isn't afraid to lace them with visceral, forward tones; as with the zig-zags of 'Infrared (Bagua)' which sounds like an alien instrumental version of Usher and Luda's already mental 'Dat Girl Right There', full of quarter, half and triplet rhythm switches, or in the razor-edged synth strobes that scan Holly Herndon's vocal in 'Expand'.
Factor in the frankly unhinged hyper-tech flux of 'Abnormal Restriction' and the richly expressive percussive motifs of 'Unknown Tongues' or the adroit brutality of 'Guantanamo' and you've got something really, really special. Incredible stuff - Massive recommendation!
Burial’s eponymous debut LP is a defining beacon of post-millenium dance and electronic music. Written between 2001-2006, the follow-up to his debut 12” South London Boroughs, further consolidated what were previously mutually exclusive strains of music with unprecedented guile, vision and emotive impact, done to mind-blowing and award-winning effect.
In 2016 it’s easy for folk to forget that prior to this album, aside from a select handful of producers such as Horsepower Productions, El-B or Kode 9, effectively nobody was writing tracks circa 138bpm and using this kind of palette of samples, textures and spaces to the same ends as Will Bevan, a.k.a. Burial. And still, even fewer of them were writing without the dancefloor or radio squarely in mind.
Enter Burial, whose impressionistic, unquantized soundscapes reset the neuroses of Teebee and Bad Company’s neo-D&B with a romance and swing better associated with Steve Gurley and El-B, whilst also listening to and channelling the atmosphere of his environment in a way better likened to the spaces explored by Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound, but animated like a Massive Attack album produced and collaged by Chris Watson; albeit a Watson raised in suburban British sprawl and smoky bedrooms playing tense computer games and watching classic anime and thrillers on VHS, or whatever obscure foreign flicks Channel 4 had on late at night.
Honestly, nowadays that period seems eons away - especially in light of streaming services where you can find thee most obscure art at the touch of keyboard - but back on original release, this record nailed an atmosphere, even a lifestyle, that was lived by many souls on the peripheries who couldn’t be arsed with the menu offered by provincial high street clubs or cable TV, or a culture artificially inflated by major labels and the media.
It almost feels daft and futile trying to explain this to anyone under the age of 30 - or those cold hearted cynics who roll their eyes at the mere mention of his name - but, quite honestly Burial’s music nailed the vibe so heavily that it felt like déjà vu, uncannily weaving together the disparate strands of culture that meant so much to the artist, and by turns, us the listeners.
There are still tonnes of naysayers, but fuck ‘em - Burial’s music is hugely danceable and mixable by the right DJs, but there’s no denying that it probably sounds best in bedrooms or headphones where you can give it your full attention, or vice versa.
Despite the temporal dislocation, the 2007 smoking ban, and the sign-posted, rictus rigidity of too much modern dance music, we’d still love to think there’s a whole new generation out there who will get and love this record as hard as we did, and do.
Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) metamorphosize into The Belbury Circle, incorporating their pal John Foxx on two tracks of Outward Journey.
Pulsing with proggy soft trance riffs and draped in nocturnal atmospheres, it’s one for driving your car late at night thru the conurbations, commuter villages and gentrified docklands of a pensive Brexit Britain, turning up two standout moments in the John Foxx-led highlights of Forgotten Town and the beautifully wistful Trees, with plenty of time of reflection over your milky tea on Café Kaput and the twinkly gaze of Departures Inc, with a wistful guitar solo worthy of an Alan Partridge-style despairing breakdown in a lay-by.
Perfectly elusive pop, ths second eponymous 12” from CS + Kreme for Canada’s Total Stasis proves that their 1st EP - one of our favourite releases of 2016 - was no fluke, but rather the foundation of a genuinely sublime sound.
This one knits in contributions from Nigel Lee-Yang ov close associates HTRK, plus flute by local peer Ela Stiles (Bushwalking, The Rangoons) and sax from Jack Doepel, to reveal subtle new shades and aspects of a heart-rendingly classic style.
Dispatching a necessary dose of dusky, southern hemisphere feels to our chilly northern swedes, Conrad Standish and Sam ‘Kreme’ Karmel (F Ingers) have us utterly rapt again with four mirage-like songs that place Standish among the underrated songwriters of recent times, while finding Karmel fluidly firming up the more abstract inclinations of his work alongside Carla Dal Forno in F Ingers for Blackest Ever Black.
Recorded as intimate “jams” with their pals, the four cuts testify to a knowing, close relationship between the duo and their associates, the sort of mutual familiarity that makes listening to their recordings feel somehow voyeuristic or as though we’re privy to a deeply private sound.
Their sound is anything but unapproachable. In the EP opener, Whip, featuring Nigel Yang’s seductive guitar glances laced to feathered 808 and gorgeous, willowing string arrangement, we hear a sort of follow-up to the coolly insistent resolve of Devotion from the 1st CS + Kreme record, while Sisters is darkly alluring thanks to the unaffected modesty of Standish’s vocals and the mutable sensuality of Karmel’s deliquescent synthlines and filigree dub-trap tics.
And they aren’t even the strongest songs. For us, they come on the B-side, in the form of instant classic Roast Ghost (Swimming Thru The Pillars Mix) with its fathomless and incredibly evocative sound field coloured by plaintive keys, a super hushed Standish and that 808 patter, before Portal polishes us off with plunging bassline, noirish piano plumes and one of the most gripping sax lines you’ll shiver to in 2017 - imagine Vazz and Wim Mertens jamming after a quarter of opium-laced hash.
A massive recommendation!
Reissue of Mika Vainio's final album under the Ø moniker...
Following on from the crushing technoid scapes of 'Kilo' under his own name and the blackened alloys of his ÄÄNIPÄÄ album with Stephen O'Malley, 'Konstellaatio' reveals the revered producer at his most sensitive, teetering on the brink of the abyss and projecting to the stars. Between the goosebump-inducing panoramic pads of opener 'Otava' and the twinkling electro-dub of closer 'Takaisin' we're made privy to some of the strongest material in his whole oeuvre, and we really don't say that lightly.
His tactile manipulation of bass and sub-bass dynamics and spacious application of pure, isolated frequencies is just mindblowing, evoking imagery on sub-atomic scales. Far from being an academic exercise in production, there's an awe-inspiring and compelling sense of pathos and wonder at its core owing as much to the grandeur of Beethoven as it does the diffuse sound sculptures of Parmegiani.
It's pointless listening to this material on shit speakers because you're gonna miss half of it's extreme subtleties, but for those who know and care about this music, prepare to bunker down with one of Vainio's finest.
Hyperdub reveal a spine tingling ambient episode in the Burial saga, finding the enigmatic protagonist pursuing the atmospheric themes of Nightmarket - the B-side to his previous 12” - into a liminal grey area of esoteric, sino-futurist techgnosis in Subtemple / Beachfires.
Implanted in the subterranean consciousness in the wake of Burial’s distinguished remix for Goldie’s Inner City Life, the reclusive artist’s latest episode frames some of the most enigmatic material in his era-defining catalogue, effectively removing the beats entirely and leaving us wandering acres of negative space lit up by cryptic sonic signposts and paranormal disturbances.
On both sides he uncannily echoes aspects of the Ghost In The Shell soundtrack as much as Nguyen Van Phong’s spectral Yin Yang gong loops and experimental funerary rites, as divined by the 3rd Ear/IREX project and archived on Reel Torque in 2016; dialling in encrypted patterns of crackle, cinematic dark ambient strokes and snatches of dialogue seemingly intercepted from the ether.
With Subtemple he appears like a safecracker or furtive agent tapping clandestine discussions from Shanghai; in headphones it feels like listening into important but impenetrable messages left by a time jumper in an evacuated mollusc. Beachfires follows with the equally illusive/elusive shimmer of wind chimes and fallen angel cries calcifying around the pineal gland, again with totally beguiling electro-acoustic depth of field and prompting all kinds of fevered speculation.
A pattern or narrative seems to be forming, or perhaps revealing itself in an inverted entropic schematic. Either way we’ve just got that Burial feeling again, and there’s scant few artists who can keep us rapt so consistently.
Burial skulks back to the ‘floor with the deep, bumping swang of Rodent, backed by a footwork flexing Kode 9 remix.
Switching tack from the sublime, beat-less Subtemple 12”, Rodent follows in the vein of Burial’s remix for Mønic’s Deep Summer with a tender grip on deep garage house styles, cruising out on a 120bpm chassis flecked with looped R&B vox, ambient synth voices and flinty percussion, with a certain crackle of anxiety that’s more minutes-before-come-up than anything darkside. Eyes down in the darnce.
Kobe 9 ain’t having any of that on his remix, tho. His take on Rodent is razor sharp, alert and hungry, pinning scuttling footwork hi-hats and palpitating subs around that vocal motif at a quickened pace akin to tracks off his excellent Nothing album, drawing a jagged line from his ‘90s junglist roots right up to the modern nanosec.
Ivan Smagghe and Rupert Cross indulge another retro-futurist fantasy. File next to your Ghost Box collection...
“When experiencing zero gravity in a space station, or bouncing weightless across the moon’s surface, looking back at Earth-as-one, most astronauts feel dizzy at the immensity of the journey they have just undertaken. A near revelation , this sudden awareness is named the Overview Effect.
Once back on Earth, these astronauts are changed. The cognitive shift of the Overview Effect plunges them into a state of melancholy: for hours at a time, they remain lost in thought. When they eventually come out of these periods of aphasia, the astronauts are unable to express what they have experienced, but often recall having heard "strange music", similar to the music they claim to have heard close to Venus or on the hidden side of the Moon.
Smagghe & Cross's second collaboration (recorded chronologically before the MA album, released last year on Often) is the first attempt to recreate this celestial music, which up until now, had only existed in the minds of enlightened spacemen. It is reminiscent of the sound of meteors entering the Earth's atmosphere, of probes sent to infinity and beyond, their echo slowly fading from the control screens. Smagghe & Cross have boldly taken the step from the strobe lights to the Milky Way
For the past two decades, Ivan Smagghe has perfected the art of making spaced-out clubbers dance, has ridden a Fine Line and run his label Les Disques de La Mort. Rupert Cross is a London-based composer who has worked with Michael Finissy and Julian Anderson as well as writing music for television and theatre.
Before/after MA, an album which sat on the fringes of experimental music passed through a industrial particle accelerator., S&C give you the tracks codenamed Timothy Dalton (according to Ivan, "The laser sound in the track reminded us of Flash Gordon"). Neither pop, nor psychedelic, nor ambient, nor house, nor techno, nor post punk nor even new wave are spared, but none are singled out.
To nurture this proto-album, which targets paradise by plunging us into the abyss, the duo also called upon the talents of Tim Felton, the outstanding guitarist from the cult band Broadcast.
When listening to Timothy Dalton, the temporal and stylistic boundaries disintegrate to give way to all sorts of speculation: imagine the beardies from Tangerine Dream being kidnapped by Soft Cell, C86 and 1988, the Silver Apples composing a space opera with the help of an electro cardiogram monitor. Or the Wizard of OZ reviewed and reworked by Psychic TV.
Eight tracks take us from the New Orderey beaches of Ostend to the rings of Saturn, and gradually unfold before our eyes like a machine to travel through time and space. So what if Timothy Dalton was a one-way ticket to the Twilight Zone?”
Dawn People’s ‘The Star Is Your Future’ is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte.
"The pair’s mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track album, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity and purpose.
Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70s jazz fusion, Krautrock and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.
Dawn People’s dense, funky and psychedelic music is the result of the wide range of musical influences of the collaborators. Nick Forte’s resume spans influential hardcore punk band Rorschach, post-punk outfit Beautiful Skin and recent underground sensation Raspberry Bulbs. With Dawn People, Forte digs deep into his own childhood nostalgia: making mixtapes from the early NYC hip hop show ‘Rap Attack’, watching Christian Marclay experiment with vinyl on the TV show ‘Night Flight’ and his first musical instrument, the Casio SK1 sampler keyboard.
Peter Negroponte is a virtuosic drummer and guitarist whose influences are rooted in rock & roll, jazz, funk, fusion and free improvisation. In reaction to his brief stint at the New England Conservatory, Negroponte sought to transcend what he felt to be an esoteric approach to making ‘experimental’ music by forming the psychedelic art-rock-noise-funk band Guerilla Toss. He has worked with an array of contemporary DIY labels such as Feeding Tube, NNA Tapes, Digitalis and John Zorn’s Tzadik.
The sound of this album harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early to mid 90s, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock and David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork’s Eric Harvey recently described as “recombinant pop,” which is applied to “adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music.”
‘The Star Is Your Future’ shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing.
For fans of Cornelius, Air ‘Virgin Suicides’ OST, Beastie Boys ‘Check Your Head’, Stereolab."
Local Action chuck a real curveball with TAM’s turn as Erskine Lynas, a new alias for the Aberdonian artist who’s previously applied his hand to freaky mutations of grime and fluoro electronics.
Lynas’ debut album, Lease Of Youth ‘fesses up to a proper passion for ‘80s synth pop - Tears for Fears, The Blue Nile, OMD and Magnetic Fields - in ten shockingly sharp and bittersweet arrangements that arguably sound like the work of a much older, experienced listener and artist.
But it’s not pastiche, nor a prosaic genre exercise. To the contrary, he’s putting a keenly off-kilter spin on sounds he clearly loves, with results that lie the better side of Hot Chip, and the less melodramatic aspects of Autre Ne Veut, with the adroit, melodic retro-futurist touch of Martial Cantarel, and a gaelic, folksy, electronic appeal comparable to Cocteau Twins or Samoyed.
We advise checking for highlights in the lucent lead single, Craigier Caught Sleeping, in the lilting, low-key funk of Run.Away / There’s No Face In Strings, and the icy minimal wave élan of Madrigal Morning.
An accomplished album, full of strange surprises.
Finders Keepers unveil a real pearl from their stewardship of Ciani Musica Inc.: presenting Suzanne’s ‘Silver Apples Of The Moon’-like electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s satirical opera for children; ‘Help, Help, The Globolinks!’
“As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault, Finders Keepers twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in multi-disciplinary electronic music, Suzanne Ciani. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theater production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne's vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer, but also highlights her European heritage -- working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department).
Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the '80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects -- all of which would make their world premiere in New York high school theaters in April of 1980. Suzanne on the original: "The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production." For Help, Help The Globolinks!, Ciani would give Menotti's well-traveled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality. Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema; within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel -- scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as "the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie" with The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981).
Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl's Aniara or Remi Gassman's Electronics (CACK 004B-LP), this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Ciani's combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician are in equal measures here, a rare duplicity which is essential to The Globolinks!.”
ASC baffles your internal metronome with the railing rhythms of Point Of Origin his latest dispatch from he great area twixt D&B, techno and concrete electronics.
Last Known Coordinates locates him travelling at high velocity driven by clod-hopping drums and fine-tuned bass propulsion; Point Of Original clocks him keening into halfstep gravity; Ground Tracer identifies a thrumming techno sound compatible with Regis or Mønic rollers; Collider works out rollicking mechanics recalling the new Sam Kerridge sound.
RVNG Intl parse Pauline Anna Strom’s incredible new age recordings on this collection of boundary-smudging synth journeys, containing material originally released between 1982 and 1988. They've spent almost a decade trying to bring this collection to life, kudos to them once again for compiling and conceiving it with so much care and attention to detail.
Drawn from seven obscure tape and vinyl releases made between 1982 and 1988, Trans-Millenia Music lives up to its mantle with a sense of ancient knowledge transposed into the contemporary future of the 1980s, realising a latent, transcendent sound that was perhaps just waiting for technology to catch up so it could speak freely.
Through the circuitry of pioneering synth tools, the blind composer and keyboardist from San Francisco feels out a spectrum of unfathomably celestial and synaesthetically-heightened sound colour along myriad, psychedelic vectors, haptically connecting diffuse spatial coordinates with a gossamer web of FX and morphing filter envelopes.
It’s music for oceanic introspection, beckoning listeners to fall deep inside themselves and diffract profound visions through their own lens, where you can interpret her descriptions of sonic flight in Crusing Altitude 36,000 Feet and In Flight Suspension, or decode the entheogenic synth voices of Mushroom Trip according to your own understanding of the cosmos and its play of energies, and draw your own meanings.
Gorgeous music, highly recommended if you're into Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Speigel or indeed Midori Takada.
What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer.
"Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star.
The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.”
L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind."
Definitive compilation drawing together the original Digital Soundbwoys of Jamaican Dancehall culture, compiled with the help of Steve Barrow.
Reggae music is made to be played in the Dancehall, it is a functionalist music of the highest order and in the early 1980's when producers started switching onto digital instrumentation, and found they could produce far more powerful and effective sounds to play on their friends rigs, the whole culture of Jamaican music changed irreversibly.
This first volume of the two part vinyl set collects a wicked selection of out-and-out classics from Yellowman's 'Bam Bam', Tenor Saw 'Pumpkin Belly', Chaka Demus & Pliers' international 1992 hit 'Murder She Wrote', Junior Murvin's nut crackin' 'Cool Out Son', Ini Kamoze's Taxi sound special 'World A Music', Cutty Ranks' 'Chop Chop' and tonnes more nice-up sounds. Of course there's the obligatory and massively interesting liner notes too from Steve Barrow and the glorious full colour picture sleeves in classic Soul Jazz style. If you're into any form of dance music today, you really have to pay your dues and invest in this wicked set of pure dance history.
The seven brothers embrace a spiritual jazz sound, sans percussion, on their first album since the group’s father, Philip Cohran, passed away in February 2017
“With its cathedral-like, richly resonant acoustics, the new Hypnotic Brass Ensemble album Book Of Sound is a brilliant expression of interplanetary principle. The album is by turns urgent and contemplative, funky and reflective, varied in its textures; but entirely of one piece. Underpinned by concepts of earth's place in the cosmos, held in place by meditation, swirling with notions of history, science, theology, ancestry, there is a rich conceptual brew here.
The album rings with what back in the 1950s the jazz critic Whitney Balliet called "the sound of surprise". Book Of Sound makes you believe again in the validity of "spiritual jazz". Talking to Cid, one of the Ensemble's two trombonists, one phrase recurs: "back to the beginning". "We wanted to go back to the beginning, when we were kids, real young, and our father would wake us up at 5AM to practice for two hours before breakfast."
One outcome -- initially unplanned but subsequently embraced -- is that unlike their two previous albums on Honest Jon's, this is an album without a drummer. "When we started, as Wolf Pack, just brothers on the street with our horns, there wasn't a kit in sight." Book Of Sound retains plenty of rhythmic heft, but the absence of a drummer opens up space for a notably varied instrumental palette. Acoustic guitar, piccolo, synthesizer, alto sax -- all have their place on the album.
Most striking perhaps are the vocal lines that thread through the album and give it a palpable warmth. Sessions were recorded in Brooklyn and Chicago, and brilliantly mixed at Abel Garibaldi's studio in the Loop, and it's the Hypnotic's hometown that permeates. For Cid this is a deeply Chicago record: "It's got the vibe of the lake, the vibe of the prairies opening up to the west." It also has the vibe of those Sun Ra Arkestra albums recorded in Chicago in the 1950s, and -- of course -- the Phil Cohran albums from the 1960s.
It's Phil Cohran (the father of all seven members of the Ensemble and their first teacher, and not just in music) who is the album's guiding spirit. For Cid it's a major regret that, in the months before their father's death early in 2017, Phil was not well enough to play on the album. But Book Of Sound is a magnificent testament to their Cohran legacy”.
A collection of recent solo work presented for the first time.
"Wally Badarou is a visionary musician who over the years has forged a history that is immensely storied, diverse and creatively rich. He has not only released timeless solo material such as the incredible Echoes LP in 1984 (part of which reached a new generation of music fans when the track Mambo was sampled for Massive Attack's Daydreaming), but has also recorded on classic albums with luminaries such as Grace Jones, Sly & Robbie, Mick Jagger, Fela Kuti, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru and Talking Heads to name just a few. Both co-founders of Diskotopia have been huge fans of Mr. Badarou's work since before the label's inception and are elated to present The Unnamed Trilogy Vol.1 to the world at large.
Opening track Fisherman (I - Theme) rolls out with an assured strut that pulls you straight into a surging overflow of digi-funk bubble and laser-precise glide tactics. Infectious as it is fluid in its arrangements, Fisherman (I - Theme) is an excellent example of Wally Badarou's ubiquitous sound; highlighted here through the multi-timbral interlocking grooves that balance both the natural and synthetic elements seamlessly like the flow of ocean tides.
Daiquiri Diaries (Vintage Extended) enters with a striking metallic riff before a poetic electric piano takes the lead over insistent drums, soaring strings and warm pad swells. Only a synthesizer specialist such as Badarou would be able to create comparable transcendental magic from such simplicity, transfixing the listener whilst giving a masterclass in restraint. Make no mistake however, this is late night celestial soul music for Balearic excursions into the outer mind's eye.
The nautical beginnings of Awa develop effortlessly into convivial carnival vibes which could easily soundtrack any number of global gatherings. Combining field recordings of lapping waves, a fluid digital kalimba lead, expertly layered polyrhythmic percussion and sun-soaked flourishes throughout, Awa becomes near meditative in its effortless ebbs and flows.
As The Unnamed Trilogy Vol. 1 comes to its close Higher Still … takes an introspective step to the side giving us a cinematically beautiful allegory for the modern age. Equal moments of reflection coincide with transformative key changes as we can equate our own journeys in life to the arrangement here: At once entered into existence in such a distinct manner to have then gone through irrevocable changes and thusly transformed into a new state of consciousness altogether, we remain Higher Still …”
London’s First Terrace Records bring together two generations of electronic sound explorers on one disc; pairing Portland, Oregon’s Holland Andrews, aka Like A Villain, with Seattle’s K. Leimer, veteran of Savant and Palace Of Lights, for a stark contrast of incendiary extended vocal technique and free-floating ambient structures.
On her side, Holland follows up her role in Peter Broderick’s The Beacon Sound Choir with an escalating transition from glacial, elemental vocal layering to flammable, airborne harmonics and a primal/futuristic climax that sounds like Björk in duet with Diamond Galas while sharing a massive bottle of whiskey and battered microphone. By the end of the 20 minute piece you’ll understand its alternative title; I’d Rather Not Talk About It.
The B-side catches K. Leimer in wistfully elegant form with the hazy recording of what sounds like a Japanese lady speaking in German, embedded in swelling strings and arcing electronics on Chance Favours Pattern, before shapeshifting between selector-acoustic ambient in the Eno vein with The Melancholy of Departure (1916), the flustered percussion of Noise Coiled Sleep, and autumnal tones of Small Coloured Enclosures.
At long last, here it is, a gorgeous new edition collecting a treasure trove of previously unreleased music from The Remote Viewer - a band that's very close to our hearts - a decade since their last release. These dustry hybrids of ambient and pop electronics come to you with our highest possible recommendation, especially if you're into Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, To Rococo Rot, SND or Hood...
Once encountered, the exquisite, low key charms of Craig Tattersall, Andrew Johnson and Nicola Hodgkinson’s The Remote Viewer leave an impression that lingers long after their records stop playing. A decade since departing with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better , Other ideas recalls their lower case sound as you’ve never heard it, presenting ten previously unreleased songs drawn from minidiscs “before the last functioning MD player in Prestwich gave up the ghost”.
Perhaps the greatest champions of drizzly, Lancastrian mood music ever known, The Remote Viewer formed as a splinter group from Leeds-based Hood with their eponymous 1999 debut, taking the opportunity to pursue a fragile, downbeat strain of electronic songcraft and experimentation that quietly held steady against the grain of much electronica during that era. Over the course of four albums and four EPs, they addressed ambient pop music’s barest essentials with a succinct blend of miserablism and refined, adroit technicality that they could safely call their own, and more or less sprang a whole scene of copycats in their wake.
Us. In happier Times is The Remote Viewer’s typically ambiguous title for this collection; ten grainy and richly evocative pieces of haptic scrabble and jaded gestures as inviting as a warm brew and a 2-bar heater on a p*ss wet night. It’s the sound of glacial english valleys after-hours, finding them animating ambient embers and wilting pop hooks with clipped, Teutonic glitches and subby pulses. The results form a curious and emotionally intelligent adjunct to then-contemporary dance or pop musics, a sound best received on punctured sofas in small coffee shops and living rooms, one which will forever remind us of wet mornings back at the turn of the century.
With the flickering fizz of Tonight it feels like Spain we hear all three members in intimate dialogue, opening a session that variously takes in SND-like garage minimalism and what sounds like Muslimgauze fever-dreaming in 2-step on Complaining of feeling unwell, or a pre-echo of autonomic D&B in the Arovane-esque nerve pinch of The Sound of old Helmshore, whereas This old face dates me is like a prickly Arran to the suave, cashmere gentility of To Rococo Rot, and the crackling group harmonies of lullaby closer When it was over forms possibly the loveliest finale to any record you’ll find this year.
<3 <3 <3
Prime Jamal Moss bangerrrrrz, penned in tribute to the tracky, direct drive of Chicago’s legendary Gherkin Records label and Larry Heard’s Gherkin Jerks alias - now finally appearing on wax after 3 volumes of sold out and sought-after CDrs.
For anyone familiar with Jamal’s work, the first thing to strike you is the relative clarity and punch of these eight killer cuts, revealing full bodied bass drums and glancing metallic synths/FX where there’s more than often a face full of radgey distortion.
Of course, there’s still a bite to these buggers, but they’ll cut thru a big rig with much more force, and work so damn well in the hulking momentum and noisy EBM styles of Gherkin 1, with the roiling bass and mystic pipes of Gherkin 3, and the coiled, minimalist rattlesnake of Gherkin 6.
Music From Memory blindside again with an unprecedented survey of Geoffrey Landers’ home-baked avant-pop-funk and more experimental dabs of ambient jazz, abstract electronics
“Music From Memory's final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album “1 by 1”, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer and engineer, conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, “The Ever Decimal Pulse” and “Habitual Features” along with the single “Breedlove” were ever released on vinyl.
.Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up “The Packing House Studio” in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists most notably Allen Ginsberg.
It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named “Cauhaus” label. Indicative of the underground/DIYculture, “Cauhaus” was a subsiduary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander's music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art and multi media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art.
Throughout the twenty tracks of "1 by 1", of which six previously appeared on CD only, we are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarhythms” and the heart breaking New-Wave Boogie/Funk of “Say You’ll Say So” to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental insprired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack” Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.”
UTTU rabble in effect, returning to the label’s 1st love - bassline and UKG - for a 2nd volume of Tales From The Dark Side, pulling together various ends of the label’s brimming catalogue for a crafty definition of that sound.
We’re talking big highlights in the likes of Mumdance’s garage-meets-Dutch bubbling ace, It’s Peak; a rampant slice of SoYo niche junglism with DJ Q’s All Junglist; Bleaker’s spin on Steve Gurley’s Hyperfunk mix; DJ Flava’s nifty remix of Spooky’s Baby; more mean AF SoYo gear from Mista Men in Forget You; and Clasified on a proper Todd Edwards tip with Say To You.
Idle Hands put a dork on it with stripped, bouncing techno tax by Berlin’s Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg
“Following a run of local transmissions from A Sagittariun, Crump, Rob Smith and Atki2, Idle Hands turns its attention to Berlin and the straight-up, no-nonsense techno thrust of Johanna Knutsson and Hans Berg. Both respected artists and DJs in their own right, the pair have been turning out 12s together for The Free Spirit Society, Klasse and Crime City Disco over the past few years, but most importantly they've been steering the excellent UFO Station Recordings as a vessel for their punchy, primal techno tracks.
The sound on this EP taps into the pure form of stern, dark dancefloor tackle favoured at Idle Hands – no extraneous filler, plenty of space in the mix, but equally built with warmth and personality rather than monochrome functionality. If you need further proof, just look to the fact the EP is named after a Swedish soap opera from the 90s.
The bleeps and bass tones that pulse through Taggen are so finely crafted they need not skip and dance around the arrangement. The melodic interplay on Klimax is subtle but ultimately uplifting and optimistic where so much techno concerns itself with oppressive gloom. Bimbo finds the pair embracing a more psychedelic approach, but even here the modulating effects processes are kept within certain boundaries so as to not dilute the impact on the floor. After all, this is music to dance to, to be felt over a large system (where possible).
Moving from leftfield bass excursions to minimalist 2-step, UK techno and now onto this much more continental sound, theMälarviken EP continues to widen the range of Idle Hands' musical tastes without losing sight of the complete picture.”
Dâm Funk does it with serious finesse in his debut Garrett outing for Music For Memory, who’ve managed to coax out a sublime insight to his Private Life from LA’s most fêted funkateer. Best believe this is the slickest thing you’ll encounter all year - like glyding on rainbow in silk underwear.
For Damon G Riddick’s legion fans it doesn’t come much better, especially seeing as he’s been shy on the release front since 2016’s DJ-Kicks and the odd short format serving in recent years. Anyway this makes up for that gap in spades, swooping in with the gilded dawn of Apocalyptic Sunrise and taking it there with track, from the pointillist drum patter and arcing chords of Right Now thru the loose and sprawling vibes of Slow Motion, to chrome-squirting G-funk on It’s Time, with 12 minutes to cool out in the serene waters of Angel Reflections, before taking it Home on the downstroke to the sun-warped bliss of The End Theme.
Summer 2017 is officially heya.
Stark, club and runway-ready updates of a sylvan, glamorous disco sound practiced by everyone from Lena Platonos to Goldfrapp, fresh from NYC in 2017
“Optimo Music is delighted to continue its fruitful relationship with The Golden Filter with the release of this fantastic 4-track 12' EP. We always prefer our artists to speak for themselves and avoid bullshit PR hype so here is what they have to say about this EP -
We're quite agnostic, and unreligious, but if there is any vibes associated with the EP (and maybe all of our music) it is very Buddhist in its ideas. Mindful. Aware of impermanence. The whole EP is about being with the one(s) you love when everything else around you breaks down. Looking inward, with pure love, in the hope to radiate outward, rather than pushing for a fight, or running away. Recorded, written, and produced in isolation by Stephen and Penelope on our own in East London Studio space.
The EP starts with the song 'End Of Times' which is a dramatic, Shangri-Las influenced take on feeling powerless in a chaotic world, but still high on love. Happiness can be found in analog reverb. This is followed by 'Serenity', a hard and tranquil meditation of past + future. Side 2 leads with 'Heart Control', with a slight nod to Pink Floyd. A nine minute plea to ourselves to keep it all focused and under control... The EP closes with 'Darkness Falls'. The lyrics for this came from an apocalyptic dream that Penelope had, and wrote down in the morning. the music is 100% purely modular, er, except for the tiny bits of guitar at the end.”
M.E.S.H. projects the rave to new possible planets with Hesaitix. Combining the cinematic gestures of his Piteous Gate  LP and the dynamic drum work of Damaged Merc  in probing new forms, the pivotal PAN artist’s hugely imaginative 2nd album renders a vivid vision of where next for modern, rhythm-driven electronic music.
Hesaitix offers a dreamlike template for off-world raving, turning the back of M.E.S.H.’s eyelids inside-out to reveal a geometric playground of amorphous tessellations diffused and gelled according to a physics that may seem impossible on terra firma, yet entirely plausible in the Berlin-based artist’s noumenal dimensions.
Ossifying fluidly skeletal patterns from a rich pool of far flung rhythmic DNA, he supposes a sort of cyborgian body and AI that could survive under altered conditions, using the club as a laboratory or exercise ground for these fantastic creatures, which just happen to closely resemble you and I. Maybe, even, we are those vessels, and the music is subconsciously programming us as test subjects while he gauges and quantifies our reactions and the efficacy of his code under chaotic conditions?
Whatever, Hesaitix renders a supremely absorbing, alternate world view between the lush, hypernatural ecologies of Nemorum Incola and the extra terrestrial chamber music of Ihnaemiauimx, a world where dancers generate architecture thru telekinetic gesture, as with Mimic and the weightless construction site arrangement of Loop Trip, where intrepid recce’s uncover radioactive dembow mutations such as Search Reveal, and ancient-futurist Antikythera mechanics dictate distinct new measures of meter in the astonishly detailed ballistics of Signal Drum Ride and Diana Triplex.
Unknown Path investigates areas of the grey area akin to Aught’s Xth Réflexion in Pathfinder, Vol.1
Yielding a static yet kinetic sound built from charred bass, textured drums and billowing noise artefacts.
Jamal Moss lives that loosey goosey Gherkin Life in three psycho-activating Chicago jackers.
Over the last few years, whilst he’s hit starry heights with The Truth Theory Trio and J.I.T.U Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, Jamal’s Gherkin drops have been the go-to place for his rawest, juiciest club tools.
The Ginger Snaps EP is no different, serving three briny bangers taking in some gorgeous keys, floating voices and bustling swerve with Part 1, whereas Part 2 is firmly moored in pounding kicks, but yearning to fly at astral trajectories.
The other side is different, though; on Black Herman he decelerates to a squashed and loose limbed strut, riffing on salty 303s and chewy grooves for a more laid-back, hypnotic momentum.
Call Super cocks a 2nd album of increasingly squirrelly electronics for Houndstooth, secreting the glittering nuts and bolts of his sound in a more fluid and dynamic brand of ambient techno mechanics.
Arriving three years on from his Suzi Ecto album, and a string of well-received DJ sets, solo 12”s and a collaboration with Beatrice Dillon over the interim, Arpo gathers Call Super’s recent studio thoughts in one place, coursing from mercurial IDM to jazzy flights of fancy and oneiric electro with a meticulous production style that’s become his trademark.
The ghosts of the 4th World, Red Planet martians, Irdiallian enigmas and golden era Warp haunt Arpo’s diffuse dimensions from the first chimes and clarinet plumes of Arpo thru the smoky electro-jazz of Out To Rust, following a silvery thread of logic that weaves between early hours dancefloor mindsets and late hours home listening from the glitchy hunch of OK Werkmeister to the sloshing brownian glitter of Music Stand, embracing Ethiopiques jazz in Arpo Sunk, and gently insistent future electro-funk with No Wonder We Go Under, and the hyaline electro-soul rubs of I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Hat.
Djrum presents another magic carpet ride for the dance with his 1st outing of 2017
Getting busy af with the proggy disarrangement of African chants, polyrhythms and rustic strings in Broken Glass, then showing off his skills in a sort of soundtrack-y context with the absorbing blend of instrumental and incidental narratives of Showreel Pt.1 and its hefty, rolling 2nd part.
Plush, deeper jungle from Alex Eveson’s Dead Man’s Chest project
Brukking out for fans of Sully or Lee Gamble’s ‘ardcore revisionism in three tracks veering from patchworked cut-up styles such as High Noon In Cotham to the dextrously woven dipper Darkness At Dawn, and on a rub-a-dub tip with Hangman Posse.
Echanting, fascinating collection of Chilean folk songs, mostly vocals and guitars, with introductions by Violeta Parra, but also some ace runs into accordion and music box melodies and martial percussive pieces. Interesting for anyone looking to the Bolivian folk roots of Elysia Crampton
“Death Is Not The End reissue a rare early LP from Chilean songwriter, folklorist and visual artist Violeta Parra.
In this collection, Volume III of Parra's Folk Music of Chile series, Parra introduces us to the Cueca, a traditional folk music style and Chile's national dance, which is sung and danced at parties and festivities. Although Cuecas were played on the radio, Parra introduces listeners to popular forms of Cueca she recovered in her field work collecting traditional songs. Navigating Chile's thin land mass from Santiago to Concepción, Parra heard people in the countryside performing these songs. In her introduction, Parra identifies four types of Cueca: the short Corta, the waltz Valceada, the long Larga voluntaria, and the Balance/obligatoria where the singer individually calls on a man and then a women to dance. Casting herself in the role of ethnomusicologist, this intense musical investigation of Chile's popular folk song traditions went on to greatly influence Parra's own songwriting. The connection with her country's traditions earned her the reputation as Chile's foremost poet and folk singer.”
For those about to jack, Shed reprises his Power House moniker WK7 in four mesmerising styles
Swigning out with the bumpy pressure of Rhythm 1, simmering down the soulful, burning chords of The Healer, then building up the energy with boisterous breakbeat house in Rhythm 2 (Power Snap Mix) and the ruffer Tripple H mix.
Tokyo-based D&B MC and producer, Maiko Okimoto aka Lemna, throws her hat into the grey area with Urge Theory, a stony-faced follow-up to her sci-fi steppers project, Ourea, with Sam KDC.
It’s a rugged exercise in monotone, numbed D&B pressure, moving with a silty brownian dynamic from the viscous momentum of Dice thru what sounds like a frozen T++ piece in DLPFC, to the pounding hypo-techno pressure of Metamorphosis, harnessing tearout synthline in the wild-eyed raver, Blot.
Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground.
"Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.
This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set."
Diverse batch of polished but wayward sound designs, fathoming deconstructed club noise in Ark; rolling darkish ‘ardcore pressure in Dolci; post-dubstep mutation in Ilah; white hot noise on Blessing; and tranquil solo keys in Fraewnuil.
Modern minimal wave star, Marie Davidson tends to her Essaie Pas duo with Pierre Guerineau on a follow-up to their Demain Est Une Autre Nuit, which was also released by DFA.
The vibe is darker, noirishly cinematic than Marie’s solo material, but also more dance-oriented than her recent collaboration with Invisible Church, hitting a sweetspot of strident, suave disco suspense aching for the darkroom.
Morphine extend farther into S.E. Asian music traditions with a lachrymose suite of minimalist, cosmic Javanese styles, incorporating performance by label head Rabih Beaini...
“Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, performing mainly a modern and contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java, ultimately joined by their teacher and maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on Sekalipon. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful contemporary interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia.
Composed and performed by Tarawangsawelas, except Sekalipun (Traditional) featuring Tarawangsa Sunda Lugina. Produced, Mixed and Arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel, Rome.”
Earthy, funked house hustle burnished with nuff percussion and keyboard flair, fresh from the desk of Romare following his Love Songs: Part Two album.
Four louche, rug-cutting numbers take the dance by the hand and booty between dubbed-out funk hustle in All Night (Session I) to bluesy grind in Come Close To Me (Live Session I), thru stripped-down disco tricks on Je T’Aime (Live Session I), and the druggy slow burn of Come Close To Me (Live Session 2), all executed live and direct for loose and subtly wavy effect.
Synkro diversifies his bonds into blue half step and downtempo modes on Hand In Hand
Sweetly exercising his signature melancholic touch between the pastoral flutes and half step sway of Vanishing Point, the slow-motion Chuck Person/0PN vibes of Hand In Hand for chromatic sunset washes, and Burial-esque senhsucht in red Sky.
On-U Sound prime their Dub Syndicate reissue series with Displaced Masters
It offers a peek inside their previously unreleased archive at nine stripped down, natty dubs with particular highlights in the viscous downstroke of Money Dealers, their mellifluous but gritty digi-stepper, Haunted Ground, and the judicious use of FX and vocoders on the smokers madness, All Other Roads Are Shut Off.
The Digital Afterlife catches Jamal Moss in a great mood, recorded in Amsterdam early 2016, and backed with two “prime gherkins from the Hieroglyphic pickle jar”!
That title cut is a richly harmonised house hymn vaulted with heavenly, stacked chords and haywire bleeps that open out on a clattering groove like AFX channelling Sun Ra during a sunday outdoor rave.
His flipside gives up the swanging body jerk and fruity funky house keys of Arras (Instrumental Version) and the astral glyde of Akashic Energies in classic, expressive Jamal style.
Send for the velvet britches, E.M.M.A.’s on a mad baroque-out with Mindmaze and Pumpkin Emoji for Coyote Records following her return from hiatus on The Astral Plane.
Entirely in key with modern movements, E.M.M.A. drapes rococo MIDI flute anachronisms over a killer, sub-heavy sort of drill/speed garage/grime mutation in Mindmaze, then dances around the offbeat with technoid chords and Anime soundtrack-styled 8-bit glitter in Pumpkin Emoji.
Gqom Oh! showcase another new Durban artist to the northern hemisphere with Emo Kid’s Gqomtera EP, featuring strong highlights in the mean af charge of Futuristic Gqom, on the cold, electroid Zulu knocks of Digital Response.
“Durban's 23 year-old producer Emo Kid presents Gqomtera on Gqom Oh!. The record actually explores sgubhu, a strain of South African dance music that shares many stylistic parallels with gqom, though it is always written with a 4x4 beat. Like DJ Lag before him, an artist widely considered the king of gqom, Emo Kid is also considered a pioneer in Durban. At eight tracks long, Gqomtera provides a comprehensive overview of the sgubhu sound, with the aim of taking the listener on their own "Durban Journey". "I wanted to show the uniqueness of my own style which I would describe as more musical," Emo Kid explains, "you can feel the music when you listen but it still hits hard with that gqom flavor."
That gqom flavor, powered by hard, fast, uncompromising drums, provides a solid core from which everything else functions. Bright, shimmering trance synths are featured on "Futuristic Gqom". There's also space for harder, deeper cuts, the charging pace and power of "Insimbi Yase Dubane", and the anthemic "Asbambeki" featuring local crew TLC Fam. Capturing the raw, street sounds of his city, Emo Kid is the latest Durban artist to take the music global and with Gqomtera, he puts sgubhu firmly on the map. Includes a download card with four bonus tracks: "Enkwarini" featuring vocalist Fawell, "Ground Shaker", "Digital Response", and "Isukile" featuring Mapopo.”
Helplessly infectious, slo-mo house from early ‘90s Durban, SA, dug up and reheated by ICE for your dancing needs. There’s been a lot of killer kwaito reissues in recent years, and this is the cream of a rediscovered crop.
Originally issued on tape and a white label 12”, Amajovi Jovi was a rallying ccall to the dance, which, in light of the post-apartheid era, could be considered a subversively rebellious gesture of zulu solidarity.
At the intersection of Chi/NYC house, West coast hip hop and zulu traditions, the six tracks work a bedevilling effect at circa 100bpm, pairing louche zulu raps with nagging garage-house hook in Amajovi Jovi, then like some squashed screw of Livin’ Joy’s Dreamer in the killlller Student Night, whilst the swing of dedication comms off like a strange dancehall tune.
The most curious charms, however, belong to Sandy B’s nods to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, in the unique hip-house mutation Lafaki (Doggy Style) with its smooth G-funk chords, or most definitively with the crunchy breaks of Party Time.
Born Free boss Samo DJ clears his archive of three ruff cut house gems for Born Free 31
Scaling from field recordings and woozy flutes to heavy-lidded house swing and more abstract, cut-up textures in Zsou, then rolling out a super smart electro-house thing in Janet, pecked with cowbells and dusty dub chords, and cutting zig-zags across the rug with Mannen från Mallorca.