The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most unusual bands of their generation.
This is double CD Best-Of compiling all their best hits and a live show recorded at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) in 2004.
From South London via Osaka, Horsepower Productions reel out worm charming subs and mystic steppers vibes for Ishio Dai’s Effective 96 label
Classically schooled vibes on both sides, inducing an hypnotic steppers flex with the room-quaking subs and rolling Smith ’N Mighty style jungle dub motion of ‘Reefer Max’ on top, then pulling vintage ’93 feels into 2018 on the electro-acidic rolige of ‘Phantasy Rush’ on the flip.
Absolutely spirit-crushing, mournful avant-metal from Wolves In The Throne Room, back on Southern Lord.
The band have always been superior operators in the post-black metal universe, creating moody sound-worlds that are rich in detail without shirking from the intensity that's the rightful bedrock of metal; navigating the earth-bound and the ethereal with real class. Crucially, though, they also have a shamelessly proggy sense of grandeur; witness the funereal theatrical chord progressions (not to mention the titles) of 'Thuja Magus Imperium' and 'Prayer Of Transformation'. 'Permanent Changes In Consciousness' is perhaps the most conventional thing here, a hail of punishing blast-beats, orc-ish screams and lumpen riffage, but it's still delivered with a heightened sense of composition and sound design.
There are some wicked ambient interludes: 'Subterranean Initiation', with its blend of ritualistic chanting, field recordings and bowels-of-the-earth drone, recalls master practitioners like Lustmord and Inade, while 'Woodland Cathedral' is driven hellward by an almost techno pulsation. Otherworldly vocalist Jessika Kenney, whose album of early music derivations was recently issued on Stephen O'Malley's Editions Mego sub-label Ideologic Organ, reprises her collaboration with the band which began on Two Hunters, lending her dulcet tones to 'Astral Blood'. Modern metal albums are rarely as visceral, complex and engaging as Celestial Lineage.
Deftest, pendulous house winners from POI ‘pon return to L.I.E.S. for a 3rd round of deep and rugged dance music
In Vitro gets it right from the off with bubbling drums hingeing around wide bass and scudding, darker electronics for those who like to dance right into it, before In Vivo takes that swang to subaquatic extremes almost recalling a grittier T++ or Monolake workout.
However, it’s left to Neurogenesis on the B-side to bring the rave up properly with a whipsmart, cantering Chicago groove rider that works a charm.
Big one for he dancers!
While their name night suggest a bad post-dubstep experiment, Marshstepper is actually one of the U.S. underground’s most revered live acts, here revolving core members JS Aurelius and Nick Nappa playing at Berlin Atonal 2016, flanked by Coil’s Drew McDowell, Juan Mendez a.k.a. Silent Servant, and Jonas Rönnberg a.k.a. Varg
Following records for Downwards USA and a fistful of original and live recordings via JS Aurelius’ Ascetic House label, their massed performance at Atonal is an ill-minded exorcism of guttural vox, roiling techno effluence and sheets of abstract electronics that tumbles down rabbitholes and crops up at sublime junctures, only to continue misstepping on the most acrid, foul and fucked-up ground between ritualistic, primordial electronics and white noise rage. In other words; good stuff.
Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis draw from a seemingly endless well of Lowlands tape music for ‘Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981-1987 - Volume 2’, spanning all manner of rhythm-driven and wonky-wired post-punk, post-industrial expression
They’ve really gone in on this one, pulling out loads of names and songs from well off the beaten path, with many making their first official appearance on vinyl and digital. The quality is dead high throughout, but here are some big standouts: namely The Hi-Tones’ eerie mix of steely drum machine and microtonal Turkish synth vamps in ‘Ibrahim’; the slithering electronic slurry of ‘Scum Grief’ by Toornend; and the clenched, ‘phet-fuelled EBM shockout of ‘Warschau Pact’ by Storung.
The third full album by rising force Wolves In The Throne Room arrives in the wake of their limited vinyl release, Malevolent Grain, which demonstrated the breadth of the band's interest: from full on powerhouse riffing to more esoteric, textured songwriting.
Black Cascade returns to the format of their acclaimed Two Hunters album, taking the shape of four lengthy tracks, each following its own exhaustive journey. 'Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog' has much to offer as an opener, featuring tightly harmonised riffing that draws as much influence from NWOBHM bands as from the dark, Nordic forces that preside over modern underground metal.
Piling on colourful distortion 'Ahrimanic Trance' sounds even more adventurous and by the time we get to the drum-destroying 'Ex Cathedra' the sort of noise this band makes has ascended to truly operatic levels, with chord changes that play out like an epically gothic Minor Threat record merged into something from Fennesz's Black Sea. The distorted, ambient breakdown comes as a particular high point, showing that for all their nefarious wailing and double-time aggression Wolves In The Throne Room know what they're doing when they switch into soundscaping mode.
The album's overall sound is to be applauded too: there's none of the wispiness that can so often undermine the trebly assault of black metal, and instead these recordings are met with a fullness and analogue warmth - production duties were placed in the very capable hands of Randall Dunn of Earth, and the whole album was committed to two-inch tape via a vintage Neve console. Indispensable listening for all metal fans...
Blank Mind boss Sam Purcell mints a diverse SMX debut in collaboration with Max O’Brien
Leading on from the SMX split with Koehler for Whities, the duo bunker down to a mixture of gauzy textured tonal ambience with ‘Hinterland’, along with a thick stripe of free-floating acid dub in ‘Mono’, before ramping the pressure levels on the slow acid trance pounder ’Study One’, and cooling off to near Kelvin with the icy, bleeping folk dance pirouettes of ‘Uakari’.
First of two unbelievably rare 1982 West Coast Electro Rap 12” singles. Originally released on Raina Records out of Phoenix, Arizona.
"Vocal and killer dubbed out instrumental arranged and conducted by the legendary Rich Cason. An original copy recently sold for over £1000 on Discogs."
San Francisco scene survivors C.L.A.W.S. gear up their Squirrels On Film label with mutant disco tricks from Solar and in collaboration with D.O.S.; turning out Solar’s ruddy chugger, Five Seconds and the ricocheting spring reverb crush of Depth Charge, then passing over to C.L.A.W.S. for the tangled waltz of Sugar Bridge and a kinky, electroid stripe of Afro-Latin swerve in Black Magik Carpet Ride.
Uncompromising and intensely high-register 26 minute computer music piece
“Second Editions presents Conduit by Kaori Suzuki. Originally conceived for live context employing high volume playback and extended duration, Conduit pushes the parameters of musical composition and perception. Minimal in construction, applying high frequency staccatissimo that gradually turns in on itself, Suzuki's latest output delivers a striking twenty-six minutes of intoxicating computer music. A remarkable statement.”
After breaking radio silence with the ace ‘Night Theatre Volume One’, Linkwood pushes a super plush Detroit electrofunk on Firecracker
With classic Cybotron/Juan Atkins and Mr. De in mind, the Edinburgh don sparks up the vocoder to introduce a full fat electrofunk swing flared with G-Funk chords and riffs on the A-side’s ‘Fresh Gildans’, giving the new skool electronauts a classic history lesson in the process.
On the B-side he switches to a sort of Juan-styled dub techno abstraction with the crispy, deep-fried flow of ‘Solar Panel’, before slipping into the silky but piquant, Afro-cubed hustle of ‘Another Late Night’ for a more intimate twist of modular tweaks and scissoring syncopation.
Heavy-sluggin’ techno from berlin’s Alex.Do for Cologne’s Magazine crew
With a handful of turns for Dystopian, Plangent Records, and Fuse Music behind him, Alex.Do shakes up the blocky banger ‘Hecto’ along with the below-the-belt knocks of ‘Basecap’, and the stepping EBM / NDW vibes of ‘Questions’.
London Modular Alliance bod Gavin Pykerman a.k.a. Koova does cranky sci-fi electro for brokntoys, backed with aswivelling re-rumble by Patricia, following the label’s killah Morah 12”
Koova’s cuts are all rugged, melodic examples of his style, with highlights in the brooding lurch of ‘Frustration’ and the Heinrich Mueller-esque ‘Sometimes There’s Nothing’, but the non-existent prize for strongest tune goes to Patricia and his combined remix of opener ‘Conduit’ and closer ‘Sometimes…’, rubbed together like flinty boulders to exert a sparking, crushing sort of electro-trance torsion.
Midori Takada’s highly sought-after early recordings come to light in WRWTFWW’s reissue of her sublime début of chiming, minimalist percussion with Mkwaju Ensemble, ‘Ki-Motion’
Readily availed outside of the Japanese domestic market for the first time, Ki-Motion captures the essence of Takada’s music coming into being alongside Yoji Sadanari’s vibraphone and marimba, drums by Shuichi “Ponta” Murakami, and synthesiser gilding by Shuichi Chino.
Inspired by the myriad applications of the tamarind, or Mkwaju as it’s known in Swahili, which ranges from use a staple food, to craft the earliest marimbas and mallets, and a symbol of life in the dry Central African grasslands, Midori and co explore a synthesis of African and Far Eastern percussive traditions coupled with influences from American minimalism and emergent ambient styles in a way that creates timeless connections between far-flung cultures.
The result is a uniquely immersive environment meshed from swaying, moire patterns that evoke both Japanese and Central African traditions. However, they are often more rugged than you may have come to expect after being snagged on Takada’s Through The Looking Glass classic. In Wood Dance they catch a turbulent roil of proto-techno pulses prime for adventurous ‘floors, while Angora Steps is almost No Wave punkish in its dissonant drive, and Zindo Zindo trades in proper, raw, scratchy and buzzing rhythms in a way you won’t find her latest work. Of course, there are sweeter bits, too; Maximum could be an early pre-echo of the Ghost In The Shell soundtrack, and Ki-Motion and Hot Air are just melt-on-the-mind- beautiful.
Don’t sleep on this. A must have for all Japan-o-philes and ambient lovers!
For the good of your health, Warp have re-pressed one of electronic music's golden moments. Like many we've lived with this album for a long time now and it safely ranks in our personal best ever list...
Eleh shares this masterfully entrancing split with Caterina Barbieri, following in the shimmering wake of her extraordinary new album, ‘Born Again In The Voltage’.
Both artists entice a remarkably naturalistic yet patently synthetic sound on their respective sides, with striking harmonic similarities and timbral differences emerging thru their patiently minimalist, austere practice.
Caterina Barbieri’s ‘Bestie Infinite’ is initially Vainio-esque in its doomy asceticism, but her synthlines tend to keenly overgrow, overlap and curdle where Vainio’s were clipped, sustaining a stately stasis that gradually induces a levitating and expansive effect, if you close your eyes and let her music execute its magick.
Eleh’s side, ‘Wear Patterns’ works in subtle contrast with a poetic exploration of low-lying timbral topography. Again, it’s stately slow, but with a much more genteel appeal than Barbieri’s stealthy majesty, as Eleh keeps everything lurking between the sub and middle registers before only tremulously ascending into glowing upper frequencies in later stages.
The gobsmacking ‘Selected Early Keyboard Works’ forms the first full length vinyl release by Catherine Christer Hennix, a peerless Swedish polymath whose uniquely diverse yet holistic contributions to early American minimalism and experimental music are cultishly appreciated by those in the know, yet remain sorely overlooked in the broader history of 20th century music.
As anyone who has heard Catherine’s classic ‘The Electric Harpsichord’, her hypnotic ‘Dharma warriors’ with Henry Flynt, or the stunning Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage and The Deontic Miracle CDs will surely attest, her compositions exist on a whole other plane of musical perception. They naturally embrace a complexity of expression that places science and maths at the service of art, resulting some of the most beguiling, enigmatic and unprecedented combinations of styles - Indian raga, jazz, drone, early electronics - that we’ve ever heard, at the least.
In keeping with that enigma, the label’s notes for ‘Selected Early Keyboard Works’, ambiguously imply they were recorded in 1976 circa The Deontic Miracle’s 1976 performance at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, which was issued on CD in 2016 as ‘Central Palace Music (From 100 Model Subjects For Hegikan Roku)’. If we use our ears, and take an educated guess, though, we’d date these previously unheard pieces to the same period, which makes them even more remarkable in context of that fertile period of musical thought.
We’ll forever fail to fully place a finger on the magick of Catherine’s music, but there’s a play of paradoxes at work in her music - mischievous yet meditative; light yet somehow driving, and even psychoactively aggressive - which makes it stand way out from her field. It’s definitely not just another new age whimsy or academic exercise. It’s much better described as intuitively daring and hallucinatory, setting out noumenal space for logic-defying feats of imagination and musical virtuosity.
In the two parts of ‘Mode Nouvelle des modalitiés’ for well-tuned Fender Rhodes and sine wave drone, listeners will discover a masterfully alien mix of early electronic music’s mercurial freedom and razor sharp jazz chops, inseparably blending her formative, teenaged experience of listening to jazz luminaries such as Coltrane and Cecil Taylor play in Sweden, with later studies at EMS and playing alongside La Monte Young and Henry Flynt in NYC. In revealing contrast, ‘Equal Temperament Fender Mix’ follows on the same Rhodes but in twelve-tone equal temperament, also using a tape delay system akin to Terry Riley’s, yet with a more reflective, blue and psychedelic appeal that’s far more interesting to us than Riley’s hirsute ecstasies. And ‘The Well Tuned Marimba’ for well-tuned Yamaha, shoeing, sine wave and live electronics completes the set in suitably, subtly breathtaking style with 18 minute of trickling, iridescent rhythmelody and curdling timbre limning a lush lysergic episode.
While we can point to her influences - from Cecil Taylor to Pandit Pran Nath and the EMS facility - what Catherine does with them is little short of alchemy, and provides some of the most curious music you’ll ever hear. We can barely wait to see what this long overdue series brings to the table...
Back in the 80s Jesse Rae, along with Roger Troutman and Bernie Worrell, was part of the P-Funk movement that was hugely influential to Detroit’s early electronic experiments. Lesser known is that the enigmatic Scot-funk warrior later produced underground electronic tracks in the 90s.
"The inaugural release on Glasgow label Southside Shufflers presents two of Jesse’s Shufflers on vinyl for the first time on the Global 95 EP- a sampler from his pioneering 1995 album ‘Compression’. Ever the innovator, Jesse recorded the album collaboratively using live ISDN technology spanning three continents, with the resultant tracks fusing African, US electro-funk and old Scots influences. 23 years later, Jesse’s under the radar Shufflers sound more relevant than ever.
Southside Shufflers are a record label and sports collective based in Glasgow with outposts in London and Amsterdam. SSS- ain’t no half steppin’!"
Minimalist hypnotists Ambarchi, Sprenger and Sollmann manipulate the dance with deeply trippy results for Ostgut's A-Ton sublabel
In two extended, kraut-y flights the trio place a wealth of multi-disciplinary, avant-garde experience at the service of dancefloor enlightenment, conjuring a lysergically timeless sound that richly exceeds the sum of its inputs.
With the 15 minute ‘Panama’ they hinge a lone clave around chipping guitar and synthlines in a sublimely tempered ascent thru microtonal increments and eye-fluttering arps, working out something like Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe channelling ancient spirits.
On ’Suez (Version)’ they loosen up the groove with a rolling swing that accumulates strange, pitch-bent synth twang and grubbing electronics until we’re lost in a lush chromatic maelstrom by the half way mark, from which point they really take off, leaving the dancefloor hundreds of miles below, showered in electronic perseids.
Really feeling this!
Swaggering electro-acid-in-dub experiments from Glasgow’s Mr TC and up-and-comer Lo Kindre - who was behind a freaky dub mesh for Optimo Music and is also a member of Luxos with Cucina Povera. Includes a warped ‘Ambient Trance’ remix by Heap
In collaboration, Mr TC and Lo Kindre land on a wonky meld of puttering drum machine and wigged out echo chamber FX in the acidic wriggle of ‘The Storm’ and with a ruggedly slow heft recalling Tolouse Low Trax on ‘The Waving Bridge’.
Following his neat 12” for Berceuse Heroique’s ‘The Brasserie Heroique Edits’, Neubau co-founder Florian Stoffelbauer does his viscous Heap thing on a druggily smudged ‘Ambient Trance’ rework of ‘The Storm’.
Jam City and kwes. on the buttons for ‘LMK (What’s Really Good Remix)’
Marking the anniversary of her debut album release along with an all-female MC line-up counting Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, Cupcakke, and Ms. Boogie.
132 Ranks for Pipe Organ was composed by Olivia Block in 2016-2017, as a commission for LAMPO and The Renaissance Society. Block composed the piece specifically for the enormous Skinner Organ at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Chicago. The world premiere was performed by Block on April 21, 2017. The concert, free and open to all ages, and attracted a large crowd.
"132 Ranks was conceived as a hybrid of concert and sound installation. Six speakers were placed throughout the chapel. These speakers played white noise, sine tones, and prerecorded organ sounds, designed to interact acoustically with the live performance, and bring out the acoustics of the chapel in unconventional ways. White noise and low bass tones pulsed and sliced through the air, while sine tones and organ clusters created complex beating patterns and inner ear sound phenomena.
Audience members were participants, quietly walking through the majestic, dimly lit chapel. Listeners noticed how the acoustics, materials and shape of the space altered the live and recorded organ sounds as Block performed. Some audience members relaxed on the floor of the chapel, listening, while others explored the upper balconies and hallways.
132 Ranks was designed to emphasise the architectural qualities and unique sonic and spatial capacities of the Skinner Organ. The piece included both the lowest pedal notes, felt in the body, as well as the highest bell tones, played at extreme dynamic levels. At times, sounds were isolated in discrete locations to emphasise the chapel’s shape."
Æ weigh in volume 3 of the labyrinthine, 8 hour ‘NTS Sessions’, parsing the guts of their hard drives for gold and other precious materials dating back to 2011
The duo were initially commissioned to do a DJ residency on NTS, following their show from early 2016, but what transpired is closer in approach and results to a super extended Peel Session, featuring stacks of reworked material along with exclusive new notions generated by their infamous ‘System’ of software patches.
On ‘NTS Session 3’ they entice us farther down the rabbit hole in 10 parts divided across 3 plates. The longest of these take up a side per piece, namely the amazing 22 minutes of slash ’n burn computer funk in ‘TT1PD’ and the 20 minutes of amorphous techknots in ‘Icari’, while other highlights are found in the bewildering texturhythmic chicanery of ‘Glos Ceramic’, the multi-linear dynamic of ‘nineFly’, and the unfathomably layered mixing trickery that creates the illusive depth of field in ’Shimripl Air’.
Æ weigh in the 4th and final volume of the labyrinthine, 8 hour ‘NTS Sessions’, parsing the guts of their hard drives for gold and other precious materials dating back to 2011
The duo were initially commissioned to do a DJ residency on NTS, following their show from early 2016, but what transpired is closer in approach and results to a super extended Peel Session, featuring stacks of reworked material along with exclusive new notions generated by their infamous ‘System’ of software patches.
Quite simply, this one is essential for the vinyl pressing of NTS Session closer, ‘All End’, an hour long piece of ambient inception cut over two sides for optimal fidelity and immersion. But that’s not to discount the deeply uncanny, floating megafortress structure of ’Shimripl Casual’ or the ancient sounding futurism of ‘Mirage’, which sounds like an echo of previous or parallel civilisations attempting to dial into our sphere of reality.
"There are no Peel sessions anymore - that tradition was buried in the pyramids with John Peel himself upon the great man's passing. Of the thousands left in the wake, six are ascribed to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - and of those six, three have been combined to form the deeply congruous experience of Pond Scum.
A span of eight years is covered, in reverse, and many chestnuts are rolled out, freed of former contexts with sparse arrangements. "(I Was Drunk at the) Pulpit" feels, ten years from inception, more vividly worn; "Death to Everyone" is loosed from its frame, the bones decoupled and spread out, giving the song a reﬂective air (as opposed the biting declamation of the original); "Arise, Therefore" adapts its metronomic base, the evangelic twist of its roots made palpable. With the centre of the performance in stark relief, the gnomic qualities of two "Get On Jolly" pieces are intensiﬁed. Further accenting the devoted spirit of this collection is the inclusion of Bonnie's take on Prince's "The Cross", as well as the previously-unreleased original "Beezle."
Bonnie's lone shadow casts over this lot, accompanied on the ﬁrst four tracks by David Heumann, but otherwise playing solo through a set of original songs (and two covers) representing a decade of progress in the almost unbearably intimate-yet-unknowable manner that was so often the vibe of those strange and wondrous days.
Layers peel to reveal the subtle artistry and refinement contained within these sessions, so begin to dig deep into the vault on January 22nd, 2016! But wait, there's more! You can download a new arrangement of "Rich Wife Full of Happiness", (which is similar in tone, but not found on Pond Scum!)!"
John T. Gast completes his BTEC alchemy course with a 2nd platter of of high-grade, low-bit-rate bleeps and vibes from the archive c. 2013
On the ‘Club Version’ module he fuses zig-zagging, Zomby-esque grime arps and classic electronic soul pads on a rugged aerobic mystic exercise, while the flipped is given to a weightless night flight guided by electromagnetic pulses in ‘Jettison II’, and ‘NUN-001’ enacts a stereo warfare between militant grime artillery and robotic synth spirits, ultimately with no clear winner.
Big RIYL Zomby, Actress, Hype Williams!
David Behrman’s pioneering electronic experiments explored on this astonishing collection of recordings marrying microprocessors with violin, sax and electrified Mbira between 1986-1989, all previously unpublished on any format. While Behrman’s name is synonymous with 20th century avant garde sonics - often checked in the same breath as John Cage, or alongside peers Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier - it may be difficult for curious neeks to grasp his wide-reaching, exploratory practice, which is where you can consider this LP a seductive and ear-dilating portal to his freely improvised, beautifully mercurial world.
Music With Memory was realised at the behest of John Driscoll and Mathias Osterwold, who conceived the phrase to describe the mixture of then newly available, portable “microprocessors”, or computers equipped with memory, with “real” musicians, namely Takehisa Kosugi (Violin) and Werner Durand (Soprano Saxophone) respectively, at their concerts held at Eiszeit-Kino in Kreuzberg, Berlin, 1986. Along with a later recording of Behrman and Fast Forward making electrified zithers sound like dizzy harpsichords, the collection renders some of the most immediately gratifying yet playfully challenging work that we’ve encountered in Berhman’s catalogue.
The A-side’s 23” piece Interspecies Talk was commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham as music for the 1984 Cunningham Company dance, Pictures. It features Kosugi in flighty duet with Behrman’s electronics, which consisted of pitch sensors, or “ears” as he calls them, triggered by the violin phrases to create indeterminate “situations”, rather than “set pieces”. Whilst on one level comparable with New Age and 4th world precedents, Behrman and Kosugi’s work extends beyond those conventions to plot out gloriously absorbing new realms of gambolling chromatics and slooping phrases informed by, yet unbound from, tradition.
On the B-side, Behrman’s Circling Six finds Werner Durand’s Soprano Sax in the same role as Kosugi’s strings, used to trigger the computer in a duet of piquant yet smoothly contoured cadence and harmonised loops that sound like chorales of Welsh aliens in jazzy conversation. By comparison, the final 5 minute piece All Thumbs makes for a sweetly anomalous contrast, and maybe even the highlight for some listeners, us included. Here, Behrman and Fast Forward, transform traditional African thumb pianos - known as kalimbas or zanzas - in delicious, rhythmic flurries and twanging recursive clusters, simultabneously acting as a brilliant piece for dance, if the mood takes you, or perhaps even imagining Bach jamming with ancient Egyptians using their alien overlords’ leccy supply.
If you’re into any modern electro-acoustic works by Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi or Keith Fullerton Whitman, you owe it yourself to dive headlong into this one.
The enigmatic Tribe Of Colin rewires techno into UK steppers dub on a wicked 2nd solo LP, following his recent Docile hook-up with John T. Gast with whom he/they is/are often connected.
Like his cultishly loved Wide Berth 12” and the Fruits Of Zion tape before it, Colin draws from esoteric symbology and well-trodden UK dance tropes to forge his own sort of aerobic mysticism on the unfathomably titled LIONSPRINTCOMPLETE INTENTHOUSAND PRACTICESTHUS COMEONE .
A-side, he rolls from gnostic vox and a slug of lunky techno in LSCITTPTCO, thru ritual Nyabinghi of Babylon Kingdom Shall Fall, to the splayed skank of Guidance, before the B-side deposits a druggy slow acid churn in Ascent To Terra Firma, along with the cubist techno wonk of Opium.
Knockout collection of Pauline Oliveros' early electronic Works cataloguing her contribution to the tape and electronic music of the late 1950s and 1960s through a systematic exploration of sounds and techniques, including electronics (oscillators, tape recorders, buchla box series 100), but also found objects (soup ladles, table knife) and voice. Properly visceral, exploratory, vital recordings available on vinyl for the first time.
The music oliveros produced in the latter part of her life, for which she is best known, primarily focused on pieces for accordion (particularly those which she herself performed) and her contributions to contemporary composition through the creation of the Deep Listening Center, her approach to improvisation, and her numerous and varied collaborations including those with John Cage, Morton Subotnick, Terry Riley, Sonic Youth, Erold, and Andrew Deutsch.
These early pieces, however, provide invaluable exposition; highlighting material Oliveros composed at the university of Toronto and Mills college, but also at home using consumer grade tape recorders, cardboard tubes to filter sounds, walls for resonance and a bathtub for reverberation. They demonstrate her power of invention and ability to make something out of little more than objects around her, making an important contribution to the emerging electronic and tape scene of the late 1950’s. As she explains:
"My work with electronic music began in 1959. My first tape piece was an ambitious four channel work called Time Perspectives (1959). The piece was made by recording small sounds from objects resonated on a wooden wall and changing the tape speed. I used cardboard tubes as filters by inserting the microphone into the tube and recording sources through the tubes. I used my bath tub as a reverberation chamber.”
Anyone interested in the history of electronic music, Oliveros, or indeed the evolution of sound technique will find a huge amount to immerse themselves in here; a huge recommendation.
Carsten Nicolai concludes Alva Noto’s UNI-prefixed release cycle with UNIEQAV, the 3rd and most dancefloor-focussed instalment of the series. The follow-up to Unitxt  and Univrs  pairs pendulous minimal techno and electro rhythms with wide, sheer electronic drones in a way that strongly recalls recent Monolake output as well as Ilpo Väisänen in full swang. Comparisons aside, though, it’s unmistakably Alva Noto.
Pursuing the project’s roots in the dancefloor of Tokyo’s UNIT club to a satisfyingly logical endpoint, Nicolai rolls out 12 typically mercurial yet gripping sound designs defined by their fluid dynamics and seemingly fathomless dimensions intended to render the club or your head underwater, thanks to a still remarkable grasp of purified tonal minimalism/maximalism and studied sensitivity to proprioception.
The results are filigree yet robust, firmed up for deployment on the sickest sound system you can lay your hands on, but also highly pleasurable in a headphone or sofa-inclined context, keeping us rapt and twitching from the dubwise plong and looming pads of Uni Sub and the Robert Henke-esque pressure systems of Uni Mia.
The nervous skeleton of Uni Version flows into singular Alva Noto sounds in the jabbing pointillism of Uni Clip and the staggering scale of Uni Normal, with major highlights in the widescreen drama of Uni Blue, and footwork-like rapid movement join Uni Edit, while Anne-James Chaton’s vocal lend a sharp contrast in Uni Dna.
Next in The Boats’ vital vinyl reissue series, their 3rd album Tomorrow Time  finds Andrew Hargreaves and Craig Tattersall embracing a host of collaborators on a fuzzy, downbeat blend of ambient and indie-pop themes, wrapping fragile vocals from Elaine Reynolds and Chris Stewart (Need More Sources) to a patented framework of prepared piano, strings and elusive electronics in the wake of their instrumental duo session, We Made It For You . It's the first time it's ever been on vinyl...!
With the benefit of hindsight,Tomorrow Time takes on a curiously prescient nature; arriving a year prior to the biggest financial collapse for generations, at a time when the “authenticity” of folk music was fetishised by posh people as Wyrd Folk (or smth?) and the other main cultural points of reference were either retro-indie guitar bands, IDM or boisterous grime and dubstep.
However, The Boats’ combination of lower case pop with rustling electro and acoustic textures quietly stuck out like a sore toe, and when combined the aggressive title tracks points towards a quiet but growing dissatisfaction with perceived excess in music, culture, or at least the same old same old.
In that sense, the group’s roots in avant garde minimalism and myriad other non-commercial and pop styles really come thru on Tomorrow Time, but carefully distilled into an absorbing, subtly detailed sounds they can claim as their own, and quite unlike anything before or since - although many have tried to imitate it!
OK this one’s really special: technically Static Clings is the last record by The Boats; presenting material from their tour-only Typewriter  CD and the Sleepy Insect Music  compilation on vinyl for the first time, along with a great haul of unreleased outtakes and even a megamix of The Boats by Modern Love’s Miles Whittaker (Demdike Stare) and Gaz Howell (G.H.) in their lesser spotted Pendle Coven guise.
It’s essentially all outtakes c. 2004-2006 from their early releases for Moteer plus the aforementioned rarities, clutching 13 cuts which have been left to mature over the last decade or so, and now provide a slightly more scattered but ever-enduring overview of Andrew Hargreaves (Tape Loop Orchestra, The Mistys) and Craig Tattersall’s (The Remote Viewer, Hood) cherished time together in this vessel.
We absolutely have to highlight the sublime History Of Tape Hisses for what sounds like Instrumentals-era Arthur Russell jamming with Jan Jelinek, and likewise Why You Wanna Do This, and Shlom, Sonia and Conor, cos, well, awwwwwww, but also the ghostly vignette Danny Norbury, dedicated to the cellist and another key member of their fold, and also for the salty kiss of their distorted hymn May Our Enemies Never Find Happiness (Version), the wobbly oddity of You Didn’t Expect Me To Care, and lastly the perfectly opaque pop of Pendle Coven’s remix, which uncannily recalls Uwe Schmidt’s Pop Artificielle output as LB.
Sad to say they might now have to decommission Craig’s crackle-box (actually an old B&H packet full of trapped woodlice, the evil b*stard) but it’s dead lovely to have this new slab of (old) material in our mitts and finally complete our full fleet of The Boats’ catalogue.
Ta ta! X
So, so happy to see this first ever vinyl edition of The Boats’ second album, We Made It For You, released in 2005 and vailable here as a super limited standalone release - or collected in a boxset with Songs By The Sea , Tomorrow Time  and Static Clings  - this necessary vinyl edition forms a typically tender and heart-warming follow-up to their much loved and influential debut.
On their second album Andrew and Craig coaxed out a purely instrumental suite, leaving Elaine to her own devices (she would return on Tomorrow Time) while they drifted off into the sweetest reveries knitting passages of frayed, breezy solo piano and electronics nodding to Harold Budd, William Basinski or The Caretaker with the kind of burbling, gently glitching rhythmic tributaries that you’d expect from Isan, SND or Jan Jelinek.
All the tracks inside are named after their mates (hope they still are!), and effectively forms a sort of sketchbook of meditations on each character or group, like the rugged, melancholy Miles, Sean and Bodie is definitely nodding to them Demdikes and their soundbwoy, and you’ll just have to imagine the rest.
Compared with other releases of that era, it’s dated remarkably well as a record and a sound, which is most likely due to their future-proofing patina of distressed crackle and the electro-acoustic sound sensitivity of their approach to the material, managing to convey a quiet, intimate beauty without ever overstating it.
Blume is fast becoming one of the most crucial contemprary imprints for new and archival electronic and electro-acoustic works - and this one has once again completely destroyed us. If you’ve been snagged on the ideas and effects of sides from Áine O’Dwyer, Jim O’Rourke’s Steamroom archive, Julius Eastman or indeed Blume’s Mary Jane Leach edition, we wager this one will floor you.
The exceptional Blume series have us rapt on the edge of our listening seats with Sarah Hennies’ striking works for percussion; 'Foragers' and 'Embedded Environments', a pair of sui generis modern compositions for four players which make staggering, contrasting use of the acoustics at “Silo City” in Buffalo, NY.
In admirable, riveting pursuit of a singular sound that best represents Hennies’ identity, Embedded Environments documents her strive to achieve a sort of 3rd track or space severed from the cultural baggage of cis-gendered tradition. In order to do so, Sarah stripped hers and the players instrumental gestures down to the barest minimum of repetitive patterns which didn’t imply or appropriate this or that culture, then used the human-made acoustics of the silos to allow those sounds to mix freely, embracing the aleatoric complexity of those results, once created and released into the huge resonant chamber.
Documented in long form on each side, the results of her incisive approach vary broadly. The rolling waves of pressure from Foragers are notably intense but barely there, while Embedded Environments is raucous by comparison, yet in their own way, they both share a futuristic primitivism that’s entirely rooted in the moment of here and now.
In the first, a chronically low rumble sustains a meditative pressure that’s neither new age nor connoting religious or even erotic themes. Rather its a reinforcement of presence redolent of some aspects of work by Alvin Lucier, and sharing a canny trick in common with Áine O’Dwyer’s Gallarais when the hypnotic effect is broken by the sound of a plane passing overhead, ripping us out of one sphere and into another and then back in a way that’s subtly crude and completely shocking to experience.
On the other hand, Sarah’s B-side takes the kind of drums you may associate with Native American ritual practise, and sends them spiralling skyward, outward to find their own paths beyond pastiche, pressed by a timeless sense of urgency and near seething aggression directed at the foundations of restrictive institutions.
As a record of our times, Embedded Environments acknowledges the stale accretion of psychogeographic and socio-political sonics, the binds of self-censorship, and the “norms” of contemporary composition, and seeks to plough for the now with a raging sort of stasis that’s perhaps an apt metaphor for the current status quo. As the liner notes by Bradford Bailey put it, "What She Has to Say, Has Never Been Said".
At bleedin’ last, The Boats’ gorgeous debut album Songs By The Sea  turns up on vinyl! Along with first-ever vinyl issues of We Made It For You  and Tomorrow Time , plus a very special side of unreleased, unheard outtakes, Static Clings  - which are all collected in the The Boats Archive boxset, you should snap these limited runs while you can as they're unlikely to appear on wax again.
Scrolling thru the mists of time to 2004, a very different world indeed, and The Boats formed as an outlet for Kraftwerk-addicted composer Andrew Hargreaves and his pal, Craig Tattersall, fresh from a decade spent with cult post-rock group Hood and as half of The Remote Viewer, to pursue the ideas of post-rock, modern classical and lo-fi electronica along more intimate, personalised ginnels of folk and ambient music, with the cherry on their home-baked treats provided by vocals from another close friend, Elaine Reynolds.
Songs By The Sea was their wistful and charmingly humble introduction to the world; ten tracks balancing exquisitely pop-wise songwriting with gently pulsing, elusive electronics and a patina of crackle that became a real signature of their sound long before everyone else cottoned on and starting putting out pale imitations.
At the time, it received heavy rotation in our record shop, Pelicanneck, and was something of a shared secret between fans from Manchester to Japan via their home-town of Burnley, and still owns a certain section of our memory banks to this day that’s often triggered by the smell of coffee, waffles and toasted rye bread in the morning just as much as smudged Hulme sunsets in summertime.
We don’t want to gush about it too much but, listening to it now, and on a format the album always quietly yearned for, it’s just chokingly nostalgic in its own, low-key and endearing style and leaves little doubt in our minds that Songs By The Sea is one of the finest ambient-pop records to emerge from this region.
Widely championed techno/electronica producer Objekt deposits his detailed and complex debut album on PAN.
Since 2011 at least, the Berlin resident known as TJ Hertz has been a vital cog in the European techno machine, self-releasing some of this decade's most vaunted white labels, plus 12"s with Hessle Audio and Leisure System - including this year's great split with Dopplereffekt - beside his role as software engineer for Native Instruments. With 'Flatland' he takes the opportunity to scud farther between electro and techno conventions with some proper production acrobatics, modelling a vivid 3D framework viewable from multiple perspectives, imagining "…a world in which any scene can be seen from any angle at once".
Entering via the ambient airlock chamber of 'Agnes Revenge', we're given access to a subtly evolving soundsphere of sheer, incremental gradients and whirring mechanisms interspersed with nods to radiophonic experimentation and the melodic charm of '90s Warp styles. The scuttling funk of 'One Fell Swoop' or 'Ratchet' and the keening harmonics of 'Agnes Apparatus' recall classic Plaid, whilst elsewhere the album ranges from knackered techno ('Dogma') to Powell-esque hardwave ('Strays') and Rrose-alike techno churn ('One Stitch Follows Another', 'First Witness') via augmented hip hop ('Second Witness'). It's all certain to spark the interests of the techiest bass heads and IDM fiends around.
Holuzam is a new label from Prícncipe Discos co-founders José Moura and Márcio Matos. The second release on the label is a sublime disco missive from Macau, China, recorded between 1989 and 1993, bubbling up from a blindspot to offer a stunning package of sounds lesser, or even never, heard beyond private archives or Portugal’s borders...
Dwart has been the vessel for journalist and musician António Duarte and his sometime musical partner, Manuela Duarte, since 1985. They played gigs at home in Portugal with Telectu in support, before moving to Macau - then a Portuguese territory in China - in search of new sources of inspiration. They would find it everywhere from Macau’s karaoke bars to the discos of Ghangzhou, over the border in the hot, humid megatropolis of South East China. The three tracks on ‘Taipei Disco’ are their best recordings made during this era, rendering a mouth-watering bounty of exotic late ‘80s dance music heavily inspired by Canton pop, and patently compatible with everything from kosmische disco and proto-Goa trance to the current swell of suave, retro-futurist styles from Pye Corner Audio and Legowelt to L.I.E.S.’ KWC releases.
The original ‘Taipei Disco’ is a 12 minute disco dream named after the only Guangzhou club which would play Anglo-Saxon pop and rock alongside the Canton pop standards.The club’s DJ would end up playing Dwart’s tune, and eventually invited him to play live keys over its backing track at the club. In 1993 Dwart recorded the exquisite ‘Taipei Disco (Live)’ track at the China Pop venue in Macau, replete with solos and extra strings, to a frontline of can-can dancers on the ‘floor.
Completing the story and this superb record is ‘Red Mambo (Impromptu)’, a balmier jam with members of legendary Cape Verdean group Os Tubarões, recorded in a packed studio on the 19th storey of a Macau tower block overlooking the water. A perfect ending to an exotic, coolly entrancing record spritzed with character and charm.
Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy collaborate, flowing ideas through the air between them.
"The air’s meant to be shared and that’s how ‘Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties’ came to pass - a morning, afternoon and evening of frisson in blissed acceptance of the eternal recurrence. These guys understand each other. They share a passion for arresting the moment in the process of now. Bitchin Bajas have a fan in Bonnie; their ability to stretch time and get in between the grains scratches his itch to live in those instances, making him a worthy co-jammer, a fourth plane to the Bitchin Bajas triangle that quantifies and dimensionalizes the sound.
Their first blend was for a Shirley Collins tribute compilation, a rendition of ‘Pretty Saro’ that built from the starkness and tonal monophony of the auld ballads and opened the hatch to timeless stasis.
‘Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties’ contains moments of tranquillity and trance, with the players integrating their separate ways, vibing off each other, making songs together. Bonnie is at his spiritmelting celestial best, wandering through a lifetime of fortunes that amount, when incanted, to a prayer to the god of many names. The Bajas’ access to the universal aural paintbox is unparalleled; their reach is deep. ‘Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties’ is simple and stark and empyrean and inspirational… and pretty modal, too, as Bonnie and the Bajas pursue the life of the spirit down everfading vapour trails, in a bottomless space.”
Facsimile reissue of the original Virgin pressing, replete with Bridget Riley’s mind-bending back cover artwork. Includes download code and riso-print insert with notes by Dave Segal
A definitive dose of wry, wigged-out krautrock. Back in vinyl circulation for 1st time since 2010. A massive influence over everyone from Julian Cope to Gnod and far beyond
“Faust stand among the most influential creative forces to have emerged from Germany in the late '60s and early '70s. Along with Can, Agitation Free, Neu! and others, they rejected the Anglo-American norms of rock 'n' roll to start a back-to-basics and uniquely Teutonic revolution in sound – later dubbed by the UK press with the semi-derogatory term "krautrock." They would reach near-mythical status through a series of classic albums recorded between 1970 and 1973 at their secluded Wümme studio.
As Dave Segal writes in the liner notes, "There's no consensus about which Faust album represents their zenith. But a survey of the group's fans would likely find the collage-heavy messterpiece The Faust Tapes triumphing. Its freewheeling, jump-cut nature and unlikely earworm moments conspire for more what-the-fuck epiphanies per minute than just about any other record about which Krautrocksampler author Julian Cope has raved."
Comprised of twenty odd tape-manipulation experiments and freak-out jams, The Faust Tapes stashes away some of the band's best-known songs. "Flashback Caruso," with its delicate acoustic guitar and Rudolf Sosna's airy vocals, could easily have appeared on So Far or Faust IV, while on "J'ai Mal Aux Dents," Jean-Hervé Peron's playful lyrics and this ecstatic, era-defining riff perfectly represent Faust's magical mischievousness.
This first-time domestic release of The Faust Tapes on vinyl reproduces the original sleeve design, featuring artwork by Bridget Riley.”
Another sterling pick from Sacred Summits, Morgan Fisher’s charmingly playful 'Inside Satie'  sees its first ever vinyl reissue on Lindsay Todd and Stuart Leith’s cult label.
Morgan Fisher has had a storied career as part of ’60s one-hit wonders Love Affair, thru to playing keys for Mott The Hoople in the ‘70s, and working on ambient, improv and soundtracks in the ‘80s alongside Yoko Ono, Haruomi Hosono and Dip In The Pool.
Inside Satie was recorded in Japan following Fisher’s move from the UK in the mid ’80s. Perhaps a perfect fit for the sophisticates of Tokyo at the time, the album adapts Satie’s timeless minimalism to a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, highlighting and feeding into the similarities between Gnossiene and Gymnopedie and the new age ambient zeitgeist of Japan in 1985.
As a meditation aid, a coffee table staple, and a historic artefact, Inside Satie is a beautiful and warmly satisfying document totally worthy of reappraisal in 2018.
What were the clouds like when Huerco S was young? The Kansas-raised, New York-based producer’s absorbing ambient album For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) goes some way to answering The Orb’s fluffy little proposition…
Brian Leeds a.k.a. Huerco S’s 2nd album, following Colonial Patterns (2013) finds him working between the cracks and fissures of what we’ve previously heard from him, drawing out nine pieces of mineral ambient textures and non-percussive rhythms marking his best work since the 20 minute Untitled track off his debut for Opal Tapes in 2012.
Defined throughout by a low lit, low-lying sense of intimacy, rather than oceanic or celestial tropes, Leeds’ appreciation of lower case nuance is in warm, crackling effect with a hazy hummus like grain and bonfire glow that recalls Wanda Group’s earlier outing as The Hers, or the sweeter touches of Bellows.
Like a well timed gary, once it really begins to sink in, the warbly electronic pitches and subtly chaotic ferric details really get to work in hypnotising and making you forget where you started, suspending disbelief for a 50 minute window of time just long enough to let your mind wander over the horizon.
Time will tell, but this is surely a future ambient classic.
'Prata Bagnati Del Monte Analogo' is a sublime and truly rarified piece of occult esoterica produced by the famous Franco Battiato and originally published in 1979 on a series he curated for Gianni Sassi's Cramps Records.
This edition has been remastered from original tapes and mercifully made available again by California’s Superior Viaduct. It was inspired by the unfinished pataphysical novel 'Le Mont Analogue' by French writer Renè Daumal, himself a student of engimatic Armenian mystic Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff, whose teachings providing rich reference and spiritual guidance to the record's producer, Battiato, and its performers, Francesco Messina and Juri Camisasca.
A-side is a breathtaking 23 minute mediation played on Moog and Roland Vocoder synths, and EMS Synthi, stroking runs of gentle arpeggios over angelic pads with the sort of intimate pattern repetitions that could happily go on for infinity. Imagine a more sanguine, unhurried Iasos or Laraaji, or as Stephan Mathieu aptly puts it, "Vainqueur, Substance and Resilent as children chanting their vocodered chants" and you're there with us, floating lotus position one foot from the floor.
Raoul Lovisoni's B-side is more colourful and equally beautiful in its own right. His 'Hula Om' features Patti Tassini's purposefully wandering harp and intimate ambient sounds of the room it was recorded in, whereas the glassy resonance of 'Amon Ra' features a Lovisoni rubbing glasses to Juri Camisasca's chant.
Remastered and expanded reissue of a beautiful early K. Leimer album demonstrating his DIY Closed System Potentials method for painting lush electro-acoustic ambient scapes. It follows excellent retrospective compilations issued by RVNG Intl (a Period of Review) and V-O-D (Recordings 1977-90) to get farther below the surface, in the mind of his pioneering, homespun magic.
“Closed System Potentials is honest and intimate music, with the elements of DIY work ‘by hand’ that lends a realness and tangibility to the proceedings. Its juxtapositions are, to me, distinctly Northwestern: it is both alive and synthetic; homespun in execution, yet cinematic in aspiration; acknowledges global experimentalism of the time, yet reveals some isolation in its curious re-wiring of genre standards; grayscale in mood, but with an underpinning of hopefulness that, for me, recalls the futurism of the time.”
Tirzah pursues the slowest-burning soul feels on Devotion, the London-based singer-songwriter’s humbly singular début album, produced by Mica Levi and providing us with total life affirming summer listening - most probably the record we've listened to most this year so far, and one that lingers on and on...
Since her first solo 12”s and thru frequent collaborations with Mica Levi - including the Taz And May Vids  for DDS - Tirzah has quietly blossomed into one of the UK’s most precious and peculiar artists working at the fringes of experimental pop, post-grime and R&B, and Devotion is set to bring her love to a wider audience.
Plaintive and low key, Devotion presents Tirzah’s vocal in the most evocative light, framed by backdrops of bleary-eyed and bent vibes and the kind of half-finished, permanently work-in-progress production style that's become a calling card of her music and her tight knit crew including Coby Sey, Mica Levi and Brother May.
Album of the year? Aye, quite possibly.
A sublime compilation of cherry-picked, lysergic ambient experiments. Commemorating the ancient Roman festival of ‘Neptunalia’ with 10 tracks by H. Takahashi, David Edren, and a strong handful of Finnish artists such as Kuupuu, Marja Ahti, Ilpo Numminen, and Nuslux (who also compiled the set)
“Neptunalia, a festival of Neptune, celebrated at Rome, of which very little is known. The day on which it was held, was probably the 23rd of July. The festival was celebrated with games. Respecting the ceremonies of this festival nothing is known, except that the people used to build huts of branches and foliage, in which they probably feasted, drank, and amused themselves. From a "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities" by John Murray, London, 1875.”
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt.
Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
Chilly Gonzales kinda puts everything else into perspective with this time-stopping solo piano delicacy. Delivered on his personal imprint, Gentle Threat, this third volume in his much loved Solo pIano series teases out fleeting emotions with each flurry of keys, sure to seduce anyone who’s still smote by the now classic album first volume.
"The album comes six years after Solo Piano II and, according to Gonzales, at “a more problematic inﬂection point”. "Like its predecessors, it’s a mostly happy ending in C major, but there is more dissonance, tension and ambiguity along the way… The musical purity of Solo Piano III is not an antidote for our times, it is a reﬂection of all the beauty and ugliness around us.”
Known as much for the intimate piano touch of best-selling albums Solo Piano I and Solo Piano II as for his showmanship and composition for award-winning stars, "Gonzo", as he is known to close collaborators, aims to be a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper. He holds the Guinness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake, among others, with recent collaborators including the likes of Ibeyi and Toddla T. With Never Stop, Chilly Gonzales composed a global hit for the inaugural Apple iPad 2 campaign. In 2014 he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s ‘Best Album of the Year’ and composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re- Introduction Etudes. With his last album Chambers, Chilly Gonzales devoted himself to ﬁnding a modern take on chamber music.
Most recently, Chilly Gonzales ventured into a new form of entrepreneurship. A culmination of recent years’ explorations in teaching, Gonzo inaugurated his very own music school: The Gonzervatory.
During this all-expenses-paid residential music performance workshop held in Paris, 7 selected students explored Musical Humanism, audience psychology and what it means to be a performing musician in 2018. After a week of intensive coaching, masterclasses and rehearsals, these young musicians performed a concert for an audience of 1500 fans with Chilly Gonzales himself as Master of Ceremony."
Ace, minimalist, rhythmelodic workouts from Andrea Taeggi, presenting the first ever recordings made at Willem-Twee synthesis studio in Holland, employing an Analog Computer previously used for flight simulations and as a measurement tool by civil engineers and the army...
Cleverly repurposing military grade gear to his civvie fancy, the Berlin-based artist generates a beguiling set of six parts strongly comparable with the squashed, pendulous productions of Ilpo Väisänen as Liima or Piiri, and the explorative approach of Raster-Noton’s Frank Bretschneider, especially on his recordings of the Subharchord found in ‘Kippschwingungen.’
However, the difference between those releases and this one lies in the unique fidelity of the computer at Willem-Twee studio (itself modelled on the blueprint for Studio di Fonologia RAI in Milan) which generated all the percussive sounds in ‘Zimní Král’. Now, we’ve probably all heard enough minimal bloops and beeps to last us a lifetime, but this demonstration still feels uniquely fresh, crisp and spacious, sloshing in myriad syncopated permutations with a focussed, entrancing intricacy that one doesn’t hear every day.
The dark lord of Berlin techno unleashes four pieces of brut elegance as the 30th release on his cultish Zhark Recordings
Uncompromising in the extreme and deadly functional, the Heinrich EP gets into gear with the trampling rolige and cavernous warehouse atmospheres of the title cut with its elusive finale, before stripping it all right down to the barest bones with Rattledisco.
On the dead murky swaggernaut Let Me Fly Away From You he hinges on the offbeat with aching effect that resolves with increasing intensity, and Beyond The 4th Alignment finds him tending to his most gothic sensibilities with a rare lick of melody enmeshed into its steely industrial design.