Mills’ seminal techno arsenal returns in a 2018 repress
A blast from a much faster past, ‘Waveform Transmissions’ is definitive of mid ‘90s Detroit techno, when it was all balls to the wall beats and virulent synths built to be collided in the mix by jocks such as Jeffrey Mills, whose spin on that style holds an eternal influence over practically all techno artists in his wake.
"As barriers fall around the world, the need to understand others and the way they live, think and dream is a task that is nearly impossible to imagine without theory and explanation. And as we approach the next century with hope and prosperity, this need soon becomes a necessity rather than a recreational urge. Theories and subjects of substance is the elementary element that fuels the minds of our Axis."
Ultra Eczema unearth a mad set of demos by obscure Belgian new wave duo Plexigladz, revolving around an early version of their cult hit ‘Vervellng’ along with gobs of snotty no wavey, spiky cut-up tape works and hypnotic electro-folk drone jams. So good this one...
Drawn from the archives of Paul Bogaert (no relation to Jo!) and Joost Balis a.k.a. Plexigladz spanning 1978-1982, all material makes it first appearance on any format, which is surprising considering the strength and diversity of the gear on offer - a sound arguably comparable with everyone from MARS to TG and John Bender, but apparently made without any knowledge of those influential units or the wider, contemporary industrial/experimental scene.
In effect then, ‘The 4th Demention’ is one of those rare bodies of expression that seemingly came from nowhere, ex nihilo, and almost went unnoticed, save for the beady ear of Dennis Tyfus at UE. Thanks to his efforts, we have the pleasure of hearing these bona fide DIY boredom killers, taking in the gothic creep of ‘Verveling Demo’ beside the Robotic No wave battery of ‘I Hate’, and the bonkers honky tonk cut-up brilliance of ‘Pretty Depressive’, smudged into the concrete clangour of ‘Lech Ma’ and the dirge rock of ‘Tonight’ on the A-side, before switching styles to check off the Craig Leon-esque electro-drone whirligig of ‘Intro’, a strung-out psych jam named ‘Déjeuner sur l’herbs’, and the curdling electro-folk of ‘Sooner or Later’ on the B-side.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, folklorist William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. This DVD features seven films made by William Ferris between 1968 and 1975.
"In addition to being a groundbreaking documentarian of the American South, William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris co-edited the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and is the author of multiple books. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine named him among the top ten professors in the United States.
Films Included: Black Delta, Part I (1968) (b/w) Black Delta, Part II (1968) (b/w) Parchman Penitentiary (1968) (b/w) Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen (1975) (color) I Ain't Lyin': Folktales from Mississippi (1975) (color) Made in Mississippi: Black Folk Art and Crafts (1975) (color) Two Black Churches (1975) (color)."
Scudding acidic swingers and wild-eyed techno from San Francisco’s Taraval, razzing out on Four Tet’s Text label
Check ‘Aardvark’ for a galloping, swanging slice of peak rave pressure, or ‘Pumpkin’ for a more buckwild, percolated Chicago mutation, and ‘Basketball Cookie’ for a hyperkinetic techno trip.
NYC’s Falty DL emulates that tangggg with ‘A Taste of Acid’ for the ravers at Hypercolour
Meshing virulent EBM arps, dextrous Braindance chicanery, and keening electro-funk, Falty DL has just cooked up his strongest session in recent memory. His ‘Hype Funk’ is a razor-sharp nod to classic AFX and Luke Vibert riddled with mad, scurrying details, while ‘A Taste Of Acid’ follows on a slightly slower bent with wicked Cylobian licks (very ‘Lobster Tracks’!), before ‘Blush Acid’ tees up Heinrich Mueller-esque levels of arpeggiated intricacy, and ‘A C I D’ emulates the clammiest point of the trip with uncanny accuracy.
Dam-Funk swings back to his Garrett alias for a smoking 2nd ‘Private Life’ session on Music From Memory after the project debuted in 2017.
Vibes for eons on this one, hustling pure dusky hues from his synths and coaxing some of his smoothest drum machine patterns across seven tracks of gilded deep soul bliss.
Listen up for highlights in the luxuriant, creamy wash of ‘Awaiting The Light’, the grown-up romance of ‘Sitting at the Bar Waiting’, and the sizzling downstroke of ‘Stay’.
Blessed one, Jamal Moss vibes out under his own name for Seth Troxler’s Tuskegee label
Fair to say that Troxler has gotten the best out of Jamal here with four cuts primed for deployment on any ‘floor with feet and soul, twisting out from the funky acid jump of ‘Salvation is The Cure’, to the twirling arps and powdered pulses of ‘The Bad Blood 622 Project’, and especially in the raving jig of ‘R-Spirits Will Not Be Broken’ and the body-tangling, sub-harmonic groove calculations of ‘The Low End Theories’.
Hoof it all up.
‘Radikale Akzeptanz’ is the ruggedly sculpted debut of synth-pop deviation from Belia Winnewisser for Präsens Editionen, the label wing of Lucerne’s zweikommaseiben magazine
Widescreen in scope and caustic in texture, ‘Radikale Akzeptanz’ offers a definitive dose of Belia’s style following her 2017 split tape with L. Zylberberg, also for Präsens Editionen. Over its eight tracks, Belia scales form iridescent steepled drone and depth charge synth shocks to a transfixing piece of Skull Disco-esque dance music, covering everything from blistering dream-pop and shoegazing EBM between.
Heat-hazy funk and soul zingers riddled with killer drum breaks, all fresh outta 1980s Sudan via Kuwait. Holy grail business…
“I heard about Seif Abu Bakr and The Scorpions maybe 3-4 years ago. Their album Jazz, Jazz Jazz ended up on my radar because of an eBay auction with the bids eventually rising daily up to a staggering 1000$. The music is a unique combination of incredible horn arrangements powerfully performed, a vigorous drummer contributing a funky backbone and Seif's vocals uniting those elements. The results range from instrumental tracks awaking memories of 1970s crime thriller soundtracks to more Sudanese-rooted tracks, a lot of them modernized versions traditional rhythms of the diverse regions of Sudan and even an excursion into Congolese Soukouss.
I went for my second trip to Sudan in December 2018 and after doing some research on the first trip my local colleagues Larissa and Yassir had managed to reach Amir, The Scorpions band leader and he was happy to meet. We got together with him in a Cafe right at the Nile in Omdurman. It was a happy occasion for everyone. He told us stories about him meeting Jimmy Cliff and Lewis Armstrong when they visited Sudan and how he and his band mates from The Scorpions played extensively in Kuwait, both in club residencies as well as for television. Amir brought tons of incredible photos illustrating not only the bands history but the vivid cultural live in the many music clubs in Khartoum of the 1970s. During this decade up until 1983 the capital was home to a huge number of clubs, bards and concert halls. This scene started to perish after president Nimeiry's turn away from his socialist policies, that he was widely associated with in the first decade of his rule, towards the implementation of Sharia law in 1983. During the first decade of his rule he had actively supported various artists of the Jazz scene, taking some of them on trips throughout Africa. The 1989 coup of Bashir and his generals then caused the final blow to a once thriving scene. Both of these political events within 6 years lead to significant drawbacks for the Sudanese jazz scene resulting into hardly no gig opportunities left and parties and concerts being critically observed. A number of musicians faced prosecution, most of the time for their political views; some left Sudan for good. Music never completely vanished from public life and even the regime kept selected artists close, but for a majority of those bands affiliated to the jazz scene life and making ends became a lot harder. The Scorpions dissolved as a group around the same time.
The re-release was produced with a clean copy of the vinyl version as a source. The original reel tape of the album stayed with Saif Abu Bakr along with another reel with other recordings that were never released. Unfortunately it was lost when Saif Abu Bakr had to flee to Kuwait temporarily during the second gulf war when Iraq raided Kuwait.
(Jannis Stuerz / Habibi Funk Records, 2018)”
Rampaging techno, industrial breaks and noise beasts from the dark underbelly of Athens
Following from his latest Vofa hook-up with Sawf, ANFS lets the chain off four evil cunters, swarmign in from all directions with the loose wrecking ball drums of ‘Dervisis’, then like Demdike Stare on a mission with the sawn-off breakbeat-techno of ‘Kounoupi’, before piling in with the blitzed drones and beats of ‘Salepsa’, and slowly extracting your spine thru the ear canal in ‘Komena’.
Spectacular new single from Dawn, glyding in on lush cosmic synth contours before droppign a major payload of rugged R&B referencing her roots in New Orleans.
Whatever preconceptions you may have about Dawn’s music, forget them and give this a go. We rate you’ll be surprised. Bodes very well for her new album of the same name.
Smudged ambient/house blissness from the widely-adored NYC producer and boss of the Incienso and Probito labels, shaping up his 2nd album three years after ‘Body Pill’ for Kieran Hebden’s Text
Across the 12 tracks of ‘Take Me With You’, Anthony Naples rudely works out of the lines, with tracks bleeding into one another, likely to the chagrin of any neat-ass DJs, but making for a deliciously keening, psychedelic effect that emulates the good hours of a mushy trip, or the effect of having multiple browser windows in the afterparty serendipitously fading into one another. Well, it does to our ears, at least.
‘Ke I Te Ki’ documents the prepared intuitions of Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda, performing live in 2015 at The Emily Harvey Foundation - former studio of Fluxus founder George Maciunas. The pair make particular use of the room’s acoustics by moving around a lot while they “play” electric fans, radios, stone flute, and other assorted ephemera, resulting a fluid dispersal of sound from all corners of the stereo spectrum. An immersive recording, prone to surprise...
“This album "ke i te ki" was recorded in New York City in Fall 2015 at The Emily Harvey Foundation - a SoHo loft-style art space that was once the studio of Fluxus founder George Maciunas. Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota, whom Akio met around the early ‘80s, used to live in the same building; another former resident and friend of Akio, Yoshi Wada, was said to have done some of the carpentry and plumbing. It is a historic building of New York avant-garde culture, and the last of the artist co-ops that Maciunas created in New York City. How could this not have an effect on the recording?
We had one day of preparation for the multi-track recording, performing for two nights surrounded by a limited but packed audience. The Emily Harvey loft is itself quite constrained, and Akio and I needed a significant portion of the floor to place our gear and roam around. Microphones were everywhere, since our sounds diffused across the space.
My role was to set an assortment of “scenes” with field recordings, sustained drones generated by an industrial electric fan, and electronic tones and pulses from radios, et cetera. Akio then built upon these with layers of melodies and rhythmic patterns, while we both engaged in fabricating distinctive texture and timbre. Akio kept changing his instruments—such as the Analapos, the stone flute, discarded objects, et cetera—bringing surprises and sudden changes, creating contrast and powerful tension.
“ke i te ki” in Japanese means the sound of an alarm, or a whistle to call attention to a hazardous event. We hoped to further develop our unconventional style by adopting a set of self-imposed rules related to the multi-directional soundscape, acoustical response to the space, implementation of visual elements, and so on. Akio suggested the name “ke i te ki” as a reminder to push ourselves further. It was a lesson for us in questioning ‘norms’ and exploring other possibilities. It’s having no determined limit or boundary.”
Erik Griswold coaxes charmingly off-kilter, rhythmelodic ribbons of sound from his prepared piano on return to Room40 with ‘Yokohama Flowers’, his 6th release for fellow Antipodean, Lawrence English’s label. RIYL AFX’s prepared piano works, Indonesian gamelan, African thumb piano music
“For over two decades, Griswold has been crafting a particular and utterly personal language around his instrument of choice. His preparations, which are in a state of perpetual refinement, are like a kind of lens; it is through them that a certain audio reading of his instrument is made possible.
It’s understandable then that Griswold would be inspired by the work of Australian experimental film maker Louise Curham. Like Griswold, she too reveals a very personal reading of her surroundings through a range of preparations and expanded techniques. Discovering her work through a series of collaborations hosted by Room40, Other Film and other groups, the pair slowly developed a strong approach to joint performance.
In many ways, these recorded works reflect upon those performances. Similar to her filmic works, which maintain an unfamiliar, yet tangible beauty; Griswold’s compositions remind us that the piano is never truly knowable, or known. Each composition collected here reveals another detail or way of knowing the piano. The preparations release something in excess of the instrument itself.
It’s in these extensions, these ruptures of familiarity, that the language of the piano is born and reborn. It is a state of perpetual discovery and resolution, framed in composition.”
‘The Last Days of Reality’ is a broodingly enigmatic Lionel Marchetti composition performed on acoustic and electronic instruments by Decibel, a new music ensemble from Perth, Western Australia. Concrète poetry in effect...
“From Cat Hope (Decibel):
I first met Lionel Marchetti in Australia during the Liquid Architecture Festival in 2010. Decibel were touring our Alvin Lucier program, and Lionel was on the same bill performing a live performance set manipulating electro-acoustic materials with dancer Yoko Higashi. I was so taken with Lionel’s performances and the resulting music, that I asked him if he would write a piece for Decibel.
I didn’t realise that he hadn’t done something like this before. The first work was “Première étude (les ombres)”, communicated as a text score, and premiered in 2012. I was asked by Lionel to make some recordings of ocarinas, harmonicas, and folk instruments – and I sent these to him for the creation of a ‘partition concrète d'accompagnement’– a fixed media part that is featured in the live performance. For this piece, the part comes from speakers beside each performer, and a bass amplifier beneath the piano. Like his own performances I had seen the year before, the work was naturally performative – with unique speaker and performer configurations, interesting and odd additional instruments. It was such a rich work, a remarkable combination of electronic, spatial, acoustic and textural music. The performers use the partition concrete as a score.
I visited Lionel in Lyon, France in 2014, recording flute improvisations in his studio. He used these as a basis for “Une série de reflets”, again communicating via text instructions and each performer having their own dedicated speaker to interact with. “Pour un enfant qui dort”, which again requested flute sounds that were this time part of the live performance as well as the partition concrète, was also written around that time. The next work saw a more ‘compositional’ collaboration - “The Earth defeats me" began as a graphically scored work written by me and recorded by Decibel in the studio. That recording was used to make the partition concrète which is now an embedded as part of the animated score file, thanks to the software we had developed to do so.
These works exist as live performances, but also as singular concrète works, when heard without the instruments. Working with Lionel has been remarkable: he has a singular way of thinking about sound and its relationship to works and images. Music concrete is a lifestyle for him, it is a way of thinking, communicating and being. These pieces enable the acoustic instruments to be part of that – extending the ideas in the partition concrete, using them structurally and texturally, as well as being part of them.
When I first met Lionel, I didn’t realise he was in Australia because it was originally planned he would be travelling with French composer Éliane Radigue, performing some of her electroacoustic works, as her preferred diffuser. I would commission a work for Decibel from Élaine (“Occam Hexa II”) in 2014 and it was during that process I realised the link between them. Decibel performed Lionel and Eliane’s music together – it is music that concerns itself with the incredible power of sound, but from the most delicate and dream like perspective.”
Rollicking industro-dub depth charges from Tribe Of Colin, leading on from a handful of deadly 12”s and a collab with John T. Gast
Up top he whips the galloping, cloven-hoofed acid steppers beats of ‘Was Gwan Tell Dem II’ through stumbling sequencer permutations to deadly effect.
Downtown on ‘W.A.N.S.O.T.S.P.’ he trims back to a blend of late ‘80s digi-dub with airy string pads and new age inflections for a woozy ambient style compatible with JTG or Lolina instrumentals.
Diagonal cough up another madness from Handy, jumping off from his bendy-ass ‘Smacker EP’ to test out slower, faster, and wilder styles on the ‘Mature Single Despots EP’
Effectively the Stretch Armstrong-like offspring of Cylob and EVOL, Handy is a pretty mad prospect, as proved across these four cuts, from the squirming electro-funk scrawl of ‘Pull Daddy’s Finger’, to the hyper kuduro-esque styles of ‘Crossword Bitch’, the jump-up daftness of ‘Toothless Sucker’, and the pinched rave pulse of the title cut.
Yeah You’s Mykl Jaxn & Elvin Brandhi wreak fresh havoc on Slip and Opal Tapes with KHOT<, where the improvising father/daughter duo steer their battered unit down the grimmest ginnels between Black Metal, freestyle rap and surrealist performance art. Making up their 3rd release of the year already, KHOT< follows the KRUTCH LP and VHOD tape with a typically obstinate and expressive new blast of avant guts sure to keep the dilettantes at bay and keep the pair’s cult following beguiled by their every move.
Refusing to lapse into anything that may be deemed conventional or commercial, Elvin sprays improvised verbal pebbledash against her dad’s cranky backdrops of piercing electronics and crippled beats in a way meant to keep everyone at arms length. And that’s where the “fun” lies, as any attempt to latch onto or follow Elvin’s exasperated yowls and pronged phrasing becomes even more difficult as her dad’s cheap infrastructure of inside-out Casio keyboard coupled with dictaphone both shields and distorts her wretched truths, fireproofing them against easy or half-arsed reception.
By their own admission; “This is the worst album Yeah You has ever made”, which conversely translates to a pleasingly foul experience for those already attuned to Yeah You’s dare-to-differ style, especially in the traverse from shrieking electronics to sourest BM gestures between Krutches and “Yeah You”, and again with the headlong plunge into rotted bleeps and techno squabble in Reap Your Defects and the burned out resistance of The Apologetic Extra Accidentally Invades Emblem?
Make no mistake, Yeah You are among the most vital, prickly and unmissable units in contemporary UK music, and KHOT< is yet another fiercely in/direct and cuttingly impulsive showcase .
Desire is an electronic music band from Montreal and Portland, Oregon. Their debut album, II, was originally released in June 2009 on the Italians Do It Better label. The band is made up of vocalist Megan Louise, producer Johnny Jewel (also a member of the IDIB bands Chromatics and Glass Candy) and Nat Walker (also a member of Chromatics) on synthesizer and drums.
'Montre Moi Ton Visage' rips us back to some concert venue in the early 80's with disingenuous crowd noises and heavy reverbs setting an epic scene before 'Mirroir Mirroir' turns on dark charms with lo-fi and deadpan vox from Megan Louise. It's all to his credit that you'll be beating yourself up thinking "where the f**k have I heard this before" when of course it's all original material. Following this, the simple but beautifully executed developments of 'Dans Mes Reves' will leave few heads blind to his talents, but it's the darker American allure of 'Colorless Sky' that you should be playing to your friends that need convincing.
You may well think we need another Ray Winstone gangster-flick like we need a another hole in the ozone layer, but for once we'll let it pass. Why? Because the soundtrack is an absolute corker.
Transposing the normal East End locale for 19th Century Australia, 'The Proposition' is a violent and dusty treatise on outback loyalties, written by the master of murder-macabre - Mr Nick Cave. As well as turning his hand to screenplays, Cave has also taken the soundtrack helm, drafting in long time Bad Seeds collaborator and Dirty Three front man Warren Ellis for aural backup; the result being a sonorous and deserted collection of sun bleached music.
Possessing an atmosphere that borrows heavily from classic chamber music, Cave and Ellis endeavour to invoke the isolation and bleak-beauty felt by the characters, with reoccurring motifs and splinters of left-field influences keeping things interesting. Whilst this translates to fractured church hymns one minute and avant-drone the next, it is when the ballads kick in that 'The Proposition' really hits home - carving real emotion from the heat-haze instrumentation and bourbon lyricism. A proposition well worth investigating...
Johnny Jewel and the Chromatics gang give up their previously subscriber-only peach, Shadow, for the rest of us mere mortals, slipping down very easily with five mixes of the bluish, somnambulant night-glyder feeling out a tender space between Joy Division and Julee Cruise.
Shadow is subtly carved to fit a fine spectrum of uses, from xmas disco-ready original, to a more spacious Michel’s Runway Edit and over to an expansive nine minute Last Dance of the Night Club Edit for when the original’s just too short, plus the beat-less End Credits and Michel’s dreamy Runway Instrumental.
Third album (1981) by the Belgian band Univers Zero. The title alludes to the short story of the same name by H. P. Lovecraft; the players read the story in studio, then proceeded to record the piece. A key release for the band. Ceux du Dehors sometimes suggests a darker and more complex version of the motorik minimalism of classical music contemporaries Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
"This album finds the group continuing to evolve and return to the more general and varied chamber music sound of their first release, except with more precision and skill. The tricky charts of percussionist Daniel Denis and new keyboardist Andy Kirk are executed with great panache. The labyrinthine compositions are typically filled with unexpected twists and turns, and angular repetitions of jagged riffs that accelerate, decelerate and mutate in passages of acute tension or quiet but ominous dread."
Brilliant electro jazz and post-punk clash from Lol Coxhill and some of Manchester’s most crucial innovators, recorded in 1979. Worth it for the psychotomimetic sequencer scrawl and deadpan vocals of ‘Relentless’ alone!
Documenting the unlikely coupling of British free jazz bastion Lol Coxhill and the sarcy synth pop don’t-wannabes known as Gerry And The Holograms this rare incognito full-length album bridges the micro-niches of electronic jazz and punk jazz from a band formed in 1979 at an axis where DIY and new wave hadn’t quite collided! With sprinklings of post-punk female vocals worthy of PragVEC and Suburban Lawns, featuring angular art rock paeans to voodoo dolls and closed-circuit TV, this privately pressed LP comes directly from the man who gave Martin Hannett some of his best ideas and wrote the “Blue”print for Manchester’s new musical order.
Imagine if Talking Heads became Mark E Smith’s backing band for a week before being sacked for wearing a Frank Zappa t-shirt while Eric Dolphy forgot to take his headphones off… If that sounds up your street, then you should be paying double. A genuine lost moment from the post-punk era with progressive pop credentials from the university of Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias before everyone got a job at the local Factory. Why are you the only person who doesn’t know about this?
Preeminent sound artists William Basinski and Lawrence English roll out the quietly breathtaking ’Selva Oscura’ as the first fruit of their collaborations spanning the past half decade and more.
Mantled in reference to Dante’s Inferno, ‘Selva Oscura’ literally translates to ‘Twilight Forest’, a title which serves as metaphorical device for the way Basinski and English’s lives in transit have serendipitously crossed paths over the years between Zagreb, L.A., and Hobart, in a variety of situations. On another level it also speaks to the nature of losing one’s way in place and time, which is beautifully reflected in the music’s disorienting, otherworldly ebb and flow flux.
Using a palette of sounds broken down, magnified and inverted from macro to micro scales and vice-versa, and mailed to each other between L.A. and Brisbane, the results map out vast tracts of psychic terrain that shift like the sands of time, with sounds perpetually rearranging themselves on the granular level to render a broader, slow moving tapestry of sublime, anaesthetic quality.
The A-side’s ‘Mono No Aware’ (Japanese for “the pathos things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”) is a captivatingly transient and hypnagogic work of sferic tones and sprawling wide bass, lulling listeners into a state of lushest melancholy with the allure of a time-lapse video of autumnal weather patterns. ‘Selva Oscura’ follows with a discernibly darker and submersed appeal, as though the clouds have come down to us (or us to them?) and we’re left wandering the firmament, initially swaddled in a creamy grey-pink expanse marbled with pealing partials, before crossing oceanic basses and gently touching down to pinch ourselves.
Reissue of a wicked, rugged punk-funk/no-wave/jazz-fusion blast from Japan, 1983. Sounds like Les Vampyrettes meets 23 Skidoo at Haruomi Hosono’s studio for a proper lark. Not hard to hear why 2nd hand copies are highly coveted...
“Straight from the delirious minds of beautiful provocateur Kaoru Sato (who had previously released an album as R.N.A. Organism on legendary Osaka label Vanity Records) and unconventional genius Yuji "Banana" Kawashima, Lingua Franca-1 is a seamless voyage of spellbinding mutant funk grooves, joyful post-punk explorations, synth fantasies, sexy distortions, and fluid cool-no-sweat vocals. Constantly mutating in an almost biological way (similarly to Colored Music’s self-titled album), always mysterious and seductive, sometimes reminiscing of a freaky cross between PiL, Liquid Liquid, Bowie and Yello, EP-4’s debut is hard to label, although "Debonair Wave" could be a legitimate way to describe this Japan’s best-kept-secret of an album.
Defying the rules wasn’t limited to sonic experimentations for band leader Kaoru Sato. To promote Lingua Franca-1, he and his crew plastered gigantic (illegal) billboards all over Shibuya and Harajuku, announcing performances in four different cities on odd hours of the same day (May 21st 1983) - and yes the shows did happen. Other of his notable antics included originally sub-titling the album Death to the Emperor Showa causing a controversy (which led to censorship and a title-change), trying to release two albums on the same day without the concerned labels being aware of the plan or, in the R.N.A. Organism days, fooling Vanity Records into believing the demo he sent them came from a foreign band (it worked). Unique personality, unique music!”
Areissue of Infinite Sound's Contemporary African-Amerikan Music. This is conscious free jazz featuring Roland P. Young, originally released in 1975 on the eclectic 1750 Arch records.
"'1750 Arch was a beautiful Spanish-style hacienda,'recalls Young. 'It had a recording studio in the basement and the salon was a performance.' Young played solo gigs there and also in duo with cellist Chris Chaffe. He remembers it as a particularly 'transcendent' setting for concerts by this trio, with singer Aisha Kahlil and bassist Glenn Howell. 'What appeared to be 'experimental' was reaching for sounds and emotions that were unfamiliar. We performed at rallies in support of various causes; our ultimate goal was a blending of cultures.'
In 1968, Young was working as a DJ at KSAN, an underground rock station in San Francisco. 'Glenn used to call me when I was on air to comment about the music I was playing; he was a musician and I invited him to come talk about music, then decided to play. The pair met Kahlil at one of their concerts. 'A mutual friend introduced her and told us she was a good vocalist, loved our music and wanted to sing with us. We invited her to a rehearsal and soon after invited her to join the group. Infinite Sound came together easily; we had a shared intuition, and created a lot of music. Each of us would bring ideas to rehearsals and we would work on them. We talked about how to present our material and how compositions would flow; we were also conscious of how we dressed for performances, how we moved on stage, how we interacted with each other and the audience. On occasion we would invite dancers to perform with us, friends of Aisha.'
Contemporary African-Amerikan Music preserves a fascinating glimpse of the trio in action. Their compositions embrace mobile forms, with Howell's buoyant bass taking a role around which Young's horns and Kahlil's voice move. Rhythms dissolve into textures, and melodic shapes soften or flare into exuberant bursts of tonal color. The music's mood swings unpredictably from flamboyance to introspection. Moments of musical allusiveness mutate into passages of wild inventiveness. Tantalizingly, this was this trio's only release. Times have changed, yet increasingly in recent years creative artists have come to accept the need to erase musical boundaries and erode the constraints of aesthetic categorization." --Julian Cowley.”
K2’s ‘The Rust’ is an utterly crushing masterpiece of metal junk cut-ups from the ‘90s Japanese underground. Torrid torrents of elemental sonics in perpetual flux. Nothing to hang on to, just pure tonal punishment and decimated rhythms, now thankfully restored and repackaged by Hospital Productions.
‘The Rust’ was originally released by Kinky Music Institute in 1995 and history has proven it to be a classic of its sub-genre of metal Junk Cut-ups, which is distinguished from the more psych-based obsession of ‘90s J-noise in respect of its hacking, non-linear arrangements and rejection of any convention beyond pure concrete cacophony. Or as Hospital Productions puts it: “Kinky bass synth fills the holes in the body with pathological precision. The glory and decay of effects is applied without disinfectant. High energy distorted junk fetish.”
It will probably be snatched up in a second by Jap-noise freaks, but for anyone intrigued by Kimihide Kusafuke’s approach and effect on ‘The Rust’, you may be as surprised as us to learn he was also a member of Techno Menses, who made some amazing new wave electro in the ‘80s that sounds like a night in 1960s Blackpool on a handful of uppers. Go figure.
For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers.
"As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders.
.The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.
Compiled by John Gómez and featuring extensive liner notes, Outro Tempo showcases this overlooked corner in Brazil’s rich music history for the first time."
Bound to beguile and even shock their legion followers, Animal Collective genuinely push into experimental psychedelia with their ear-testing soundtrack to a visual study on coral reefs...
“Tangerine Reef is a full-length audiovisual album by Animal Collective (Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist), in collaboration with Coral Morphologic, to commemorate the 2018 International Year of the Reef. Tangerine Reef is a visual tone poem consisting of time-lapse and slow pans across surreal aquascapes of naturally fluorescent coral and cameos by alien-like reef creatures (note: no CGI or artificial enhancement was used in this film). Tangerine Reef is the sight and sound of a literal underwater collective of animals.
In 2017, the Borscht Film Festival commissioned Coral Orgy, a collaborative site-specific performance by Animal Collective and Coral Morphologic ‘celebrating the cosmic synchronicity of sex on the reef’ in the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center on Miami Beach. The success of this performance ultimately led to this studio recording of Tangerine Reef and a subsequent performance at David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption earlier this spring at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, NY.”
Deft, swingeing techno mutations from two up ’n coming producers on Whities.
Dutch artist and De School resident upsammy rolls out the taut, tussling electro rhythms of ‘Vacate or Annihilate’, and a gentler sort of ambient house current in ‘Warm Puddles’.
Stoke-via-Leeds producer BFTT follows tracks released by Cong Burn with the fluidly forward hydraulic propulsion of ‘Kueen’ and the subtle, sylvan suspension system of ‘Enin’.
Bonus to those divine ‘Welcome To Paradise (Italian Dream House)’ volumes, Safe Trip turn out two more peaches from the golden daze of late ‘80s/early ‘90s Italo-House.
Franco F.’s ‘Ray Tracing Sauna’ glydes in on lush, cascading and jazzy synth strokes to go deep and a little quicker than usual with heart-rushing effect.
Marika Lenny’s ‘Beat Summer (Ambient)’ is pure chuftyness, brimming with positive piano chords and urged by a nagging bassline that goes all night long.
Clenched EBM from northern English artist Black Merlin on Berlin/Naples co-op, She’s Lost Kontrol
Serving the best yet on the label, Black Merlin exerts exemplary groove control in all four ‘Noi’ parts, firstly yoking a gnashing arp to dry, sizzling drum machine at 110bpm in ‘Noi 1’, and then toning down to the bruising percussive battery of ‘Noi 2’ in collaboration with Gordon Pohl (Toresch, 3rd Wave), before flipping over to a zig-zagging sidewinder in ‘Noi 3’, and finally razing the room with his militant ‘Noi 4’.
Just shy of their 40th anniversary, NYC post-punks Ike Yard emerge into another dark age with ‘Rejoy’, their 3rd album of shadowy vox, eerie inner city atmospheres and serpentine rhythms following classic material despatched on Factory, Les Disques Du Crépuscule and Blackest Ever Black since 1979.
Despite the cumulative years amassed by Stuart Argabright, Kenneth Compton and Michael Diekmann since their foundational works, they’ve lost none of their early records’ stare-down power in ‘Rejoy’. Across nine tracks they exquisitely limn sci-fi cinematic scenes of midnight bleakness adding up to a pulpy, traumatic account of lives spent dwelling in the shadows of skyscrapers and whilst immersed in films, comics, news, and the crankiest underground movements.
After their LPs “Ike Yard” (also known as “A Fact A Second” Factory America, 1982) and Nord (Phisteria and Desire, 2010) Ike Yard delivers their last album “Rejoy” on Noiztank, 2018 as the culmination of their recent years reinvented sound. As the perpetual flag bearers of the cutting-edge post-punk spirit, the NYC-based band shows muscle in a LP fully loaded with abrasive synth pads, scrap metal percussions, and whispered vocals. Following the previous criteria of “Sacred Machine” 2017, it is worth to remark the inclusion of external vocals in the pieces “Sister M” and “Beyondersay”, which feature Yuki Osaki and MAYa. The nine tracks move through different atmospheres, tensions and moods that would perfectly represent a new contemporary soundtrack of the S. Kubrick film “A Clockwork Orange”, a major influence and source of inspiration for the group this time around.”
Jan Jelinek offers a classic, remastered and extended selection of material by Ursula Bogner, presenting a possibly apocryphal, definitely charming batch of early electronics purportedly made at home by Ursula between 1969-1988. It's either Jelinek himself offering up an enticing slice of sonic fiction, or a genuine archival oddity - either way, great to have it back again.
Back in 2008, Ursula’s ‘Recordings 1969-1988’ formed the maiden release on Jelinek’s Faitiche label. Chins were stroked, heads-scratched at where it all came from - the promo notes suggested a chance encounter with Ursula’s son led to the discovery of her home-made recordings on reel-to-reel and HiFi cassettes - however, more sceptical listeners, us included, weren’t entirely convinced. Short of taking a time machine back to the classes Ursula supposedly attended at the Studio for elektronische Musik in Kiln at the WDR with Herbert Eimert, we’ll never really know, but the music loses none of its appeal either way. Quite simply if you’ve ever found yourself wrapped up in works by Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire, F.C. Judd or Malcolm Pointon, you’re almost sure to love this playful collection.
“Jelinek on the music's initial discovery: "It seems incredible that Bogner's musical talents should have remained undiscovered, but in view of her biography, this might have been inevitable. I met Sebastian Bogner, Ursula's son, on a flight, and the usual small talk led to the topic of his mother, who 'liked to play around with synthesizers', albeit purely on an amateur level. Among her acquaintances, it was considered an eccentric hobby and not paid a great deal of interest. Bogner's life seemed simple and bourgeois to the core: she was a pharmacist, wife and mother. This situation made her obsession with electronic music all the more bizarre - an obsession that saw her build her own home studio. Throughout her early twenties, she followed the activities of Studio für elektronische Musik, attended seminars by Studio founder Herbert Eimert, exhibited enthusiasm for Musique Concrète and later shared her children's enthusiasm for new wave. Nevertheless, Bogner never involved herself in any scene, never made her music public. Her compositions, betray few signs of esotericism; they are closer to studies and sketches, humorous and almost silly, rather than tied to any particular school. Nevertheless, it is remarkably hard to grasp or classify her work as a whole.
Over the course of 20 years, she dabbled in many different styles, leading to a bewildering variety of titles. In the late 1960s, Bogner started to record her own music on reel-to-reel tapes. Covering a fairly short period of her creative career, this music conveys a peculiar coherence in both form and content, a coherence that reflects her accessible, rhythmic and sometimes even poppy side. My own preference played a part in the selection process, but a further compilation is already in the works. I hope that listeners will enjoy the same exhilaration I experienced on discovery of Ursula Bogner's music"
Amazing record! Avant-pop enigma Leslie Winer slinks the plasmic, recursive matrices of Jay Glass Dubs in a brilliant but unexpected marriage of husky trip hop and psyched-out dub styles on Your Mom’s Favourite Eazy-E Song for Bristol’s excellent Bokeh Versions.
Finding common, scorched ground between Jay’s gutted structures and Leslie’s abyssal, esoteric insight, YMFEES serves to perfectly highlight the similarities and mutabilities common to both artist’s oeuvres, which have previously shared label space on The Tapeworm, and both share a keen lust for the dankest ends of the dub pool.
With Winer’s lyrics reprinted in swirling ellipses and contoured kerning on the inner sleeve, and presumably (and smartly) designed to mirror the elusive structure of Jay Glass Dub’s arrangements, the listener is offered some kind of star chart thru their no-man’s-land mental dub scapes of ricocheting riddims and droll reportage from the brink of consciousness.
In a dancefloor situation, we’d imagine these tracks to trigger some healthy bewilderment, as bodies get snagged on Jay’s cranky churn and heads spun by Leslie’s stream-of-non sequiturs in Woodshedded, or likewise bullied by the blown-out bass and genuinely spooked, over-the-shoulder vocal of About The Author. However, it’s most likely to be consumed in solitude, which is probably the most appropriate for really getting into the album’s strangest nooks, such as the deliciously OOBE-like detachment of No Famous Actors featuring Winer as HAL-like ghost in the machine, or the masterfully heavy-lidded drowse of Cogged featuring a barely-there Winer suspended above Dubs’ murkiest, hypnotic strokes.
What a beauty?! Don’t sleep!
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.
Jesus this album in incredible. Heather Leigh channels Kate Bush and Coil via lapsteel guitar and staggering vocals on a her new album for Editions Mego. Following her previous solo LP ‘I Abused Animal’ for Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ with a record that few beyond her inner circle could have predicted. Epic in scope, devastating on impact. Do not miss this one!
“Heather Leigh takes her Throne as queen of pedal steel with a suite of heartbleed ballads cauterised with burning riffs. After the rawness of its precursor I Abused Animal, Throne is a record of late night Americana and heavy femininity; intimate love songs smoked in sensuality. The songs on Throne are woozy, gorgeous and uncomfortable, smothered in thick layers of bass but lifted by multitracked vocals. These are rich song forms that stand in contrast to the stripped down steel in her duo with Peter Brotzmann.
Prelude To Goddess sashays in wearing leopard print jeans under the twinkling fluorescent illuminations of the British seaside, like Brighton Rock with extra bass. It is followed in by Lena – arguably Leigh's Jolene – a perverse love song soaked in a subversive sexuality, weighed down with a heavy pulse. Soft Seasons is anchored with sunken beats shrouded in wailing, growling steel and an earwormy melody. Gold Teeth, the longest track on the record, crests and breaks in waves; ecstatic peaks balanced and echoed by melancholic troughs. It soars on an updraft, and from cosmic heights dives seaward into a gnarly and riotous pedal steel breakdown, before catching the breeze again.
Days Without You and Scorpio & Androzani are shorter, intimate songs, in the latter the synths seethe and the steel bows and bends as Leigh's voice falters above a Greek chorus of shadows and reflections. But this isn't autobiography, and Throne departs on Days Without You, a confrontationally unfinished romantic song, anxious with half-thoughts and missed connections. It glides into the night on stilettos leaving unanswered questions, in a fug of psychic disturbance and lovesick sensuality.
Leigh's artwork (which she photographed and designed) is a visual mirror of the songs on Throne. It is an album of cosmic echoes, abstractions and introspection, of characters and stories that make up Leigh's first best pop record, its melodies and hooks set alight with the fiery core of her unique and distinctive pedal steel. - Jennifer Lucy Allen, 2018”
‘Mandy’ is the exceptional final soundtrack realised by dearly departed composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for the film directed by Panos Cosmatos. A supporting cast of Stephen O’Malley, Kreng and Yair Elazar Glotman, plus production from Randall Dunn ensure a majestic final missive and one of the most rich and varied releases in Jóhannsson's canon, taking in elements of metal, drone and doom ambient, even retro-futuristic synth work...
With a crack squad including O’Malley on guitar and additional production from gifted sound designers Randall Dunn, Pepijn Caudron (Kreng) and Berlin’s Yair Elazar Glotman (Ketev), the results lurk like blinking red eyes in a dense nocturnal forest, swarming in formation from widescreen romance to petrifying, plangent cues and pockets of heart-sinking gloom, saving the gnashing guitars for when their bite is felt strongest, but equally knowing how to send shivers shooting down the spine in moments of sublime, contrasting relief on the ‘Memories’ theme.
Jóhannsson's deft approach to sonic extremities is the real eye opener here; far removed from the emotionally driven demands of his more mainstream work for hollywood, here we're taken through grinding, industrial metal scrapes one minute and insanely rich ambient textures the next - with no concession to soaring emotional cues. Not that Jóhannsson ever really succumbed to much of that; but nonetheless - it’s a total pleasure to hear him reach into those darker recesses on Mandy - a soundtrack that’s likely to be remembered as one of his best.
R.I.P to a true master.
Oake really find their gothic muse in debut album, 'Auferstehung' for Downwards.
Firmly building on the foundations of two shadowy 12"s released in 2013, the duo distill and transcend their influences across eleven stations of unrepentant gothic histrionics and industrial techno prostration. The production is now right up there with the detailed, excoriating levels of The Haxan Cloak, and also matching the rhythmic heft of label-mate Samuel Kerridge (with whom they recently formed the UF collusion), but with a kohl-eyed romanticism all of their own creation.
From the swooning black metal/shoegaze signatures and blast beats of entrance, 'Vorwort: Umiha Sien' we're manipulated with the near-religiose levels of mysticism, vacillating between shorter, doomy 'Kapital' invocations and the blasted sound of bellicose/ecstatic congregation in 'Erstes Buch: Desterieh l'Remm' to the eulogistic sludge metal drones of 'Fuenftes buch: Dreloi Wechd' and the stygian trudge of 'Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht', departing with the widescreen epic, 'Siebstes Buch: Drestan Sened'. RIYL Scott Walker & Sunn 0))), Sam Kerridge, Swans.
Party-time at DBA with General Ludd, Herva, Nene H and Altered Natives
Glasgow’s Ludd goes in with crooked, sputtering electro on ‘Owl; Italy’s Herva percolates ruff drum machines and blunted vox in ‘Constructive Pessimism’; Berlin/Istanbul’s Nene H works put he strident techno of ‘гетто’; and UKF hero Altered Natives cuts loose with gnashing breaks, hyperkinetic synth leads and turbulent bass in ‘Dancing Girl’.
‘Thresholder’ is another magisterial offering from Ian William Craig on FatCat’s 130701 sub-label, leading on from the ‘Centres’  album and a pair of 2017 singles with the Canadian artist’s signature sense of tempered ecstasy.
Now established as a significant figure in the cross-over fields between modern classical, ambient, and the avant-garde, Craig’s music speaks to the spaces between matter, and the gulf between waking and dreaming life, so we could hardly imagine a more apt title than ‘Thresholder’ for this, his most captivating and perhaps definitive album since he emerged as an elemental force in 2012 with ‘Cloudmarks’.
Most strikingly, ‘Thresholder’ shares an uncanny amount in common with the processed classical arrangements, rough grained textures and disjointed timelines of Akira Rabelais’ ‘eisoptrophobia’. But, where Rabelais’ music is fascinated with finding the new in old music, Craig makes new music sound timelessly old and out of place through his own, patented application of FX and field recordings onto original instrumentation.
With ‘Thresholder’ he pushes this aesthetic to a logical new extent to realise some of his most extreme, beautiful recordings to date. Operating right on the liminal biting point, he brings our hairs stand on end across 10 poignant pieces that make central use of wandering, operatic vocals that flicker like marbled beacons diffused into the dense, rolling haar of his arrangements. One will struggle more than ever to pick out individual tones from his smudged masses, but that’s maybe the point, to induce the listener to perceive his music from the middle distance, rather than focussed in or zoomed out.
In effect he subliminally encourages the listener to totally inhabit his ecologies of mulched flora and inclement conditions, allowing his uniquely stressed, warbling, surreal world to gloriously paint itself in mud, leaves, branches and drizzle on the back of your eyelids.
Colin Self’s joyously diverse and fiercely singular debut LP ‘Siblings’ takes its place among the year’s most thrilling introductions for fans of Arca, SOPHIE, Autre Ne Veut, Björk, Amnesia Scanner, or Panda Bear...
Both advance cuts, ‘Emblem’ and ‘Stay With The Trouble (For Donna)’ appear on ‘Siblings’ lodged amid a remarkable sequence that simultaneously unravel and entangle Self’s decadent, queered and singular definition of dance-pop and operatic soul. Totally in key with the times, it’s everything at once and then some, but somehow manages to keep its head in spite of its density of information.
“Colin Self’s Siblings is a proposal for interdependence, critical joy, and an expansive sense of being. As the lyrics beam, “I used to live as an anomaly... no explanation biologically,” so siblings share hidden language, lore, and identity. On Siblings, ecstatic voices and sound knot to form new ideals of kinship, emerging as horizontal relations for multi-species flourishing.
Colin Self challenges boundaries of perception with his art, music, and performances. Inspired by the work of Donna Haraway (Cyborg Manifesto, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene), Siblings is the final segment of the six-part opera series entitled Elation. Informed by Self’s exploration of the ways of knowing, Siblings places a non-biological family at its center. The characters, bonded by curiosity and caring, generate ways of collectively coming together on a damaged planet. Self uses Siblings to define this familial experience through sound and its soundmakers.
On “Story,” Siblings’ opening moment, breath and beats emerge as echoes within a vast, heaving chamber, sound conjured and cajoled into a new, blistered terrain. “Foresight” urges us toward a worlding - a break from the planet we’ve disregarded: “I see on my screen all the doubt, where it comes from, why you trust in no one. I see a new light.” While the unhinged form of “Ante-Strategy” lays the sonic compost for a Belurusian political poem, written with Tanya Zamirouskaya and Anastasia Kolas, Self tends toward elaboration and excesses in a “joyous rendering of survival.”
Siblings splits sides with “Transitions,” a pluri-vocal burst called forth from interstellar margins to put uncounted bodies in motion. Repetitions of “I commit to you” end with “We commit to you.” Self utilizes theoretical vocabulary to encourage germination of a new language. “Research Sisters” will make their own myths and forge their own families, the work’s fire sparking frenetic, ecstatic voices flashing back and forth in stereo. The gathering of choral voices lift up the melancholic words of “The Great Refusal” over pillowy layers of strings and stumbling, sputtering showers of keyboards.”
30 year anniversary reissue of this mad battery of percussion, including guess player Z’ev (R.I.P.). Fans of everything from early electronics and concrète to real deal Indonesian gamelan and 23 Skidoo should lend their ears…
“Since 1983, Bow Gamelan Ensemble have inspired generations of artists with their radical practices and explosive performances. Charged with their individual virtuosity in performance art, avant-garde music and kinetic sculpture, their sound installations and performances are immersed in an orchestra of instruments made from scrap metal, electric motors, river barges and domestic objects including glass sheets, light bulbs and fireworks. A dissonance between 'noise' and 'meaningful utterance’ that will astonish the ears and ravish the imagination with unearthly magic.
Guests: Z'EV, Nicola Kate Heys, Thames Steam Launch Co., Eel Pie Marine.”
Shady UK bass/techno aces from Gramrcy and Gaunt, dividing duties equally for the yung Glass Talk Records.
Following heavy rotation with the likes of Ben UFO, Shanti Celeste, and Object Blue, the EP finally comes to us proles on the ‘floor, with Gaunt providing a big highlight in the skittish swerve and unexpectedly buckling dynamics of ’Neeueee’, and Gramrcy doing the same with the bolshy tribal swagger of ‘Off Beam’. The others are good, too: Gramrcy’s teasingly paced ‘Settlement’ is a strong look for opening sets; and Gaunt’s ‘Burnt Toast’ is funked up like one of Artworks tribalist Grain aces.
Romantical reggaeton strokes with aching vox and strong traces of R&B, dancehall, trap and perreo. Make sure to check ‘Alibi’ featuring Catnapp for some prime vibes compatible with Arca or Lotic
““Vs” is Defensa’s first album alongside acclaimed cult label NAAFI. Throughout the album elements of dancehall, R&B, Trap, Perreo and reggaeton combine with the tight-knit production and vocal harmony that is the argentinian duo’s recognizable staple. The lyrics switch fluidly between Castellano and English, and touch themes of coming of age, breakups, comradery, and the new-found anxiety that comes with leaving everything behind to follow a dream. The duo teamed up with long time friend Catnapp who lent her cool flow on Alibi and tapped producers Ynfynyt Scroll and blastah for the instrumentals for the tracks Rookie and Mañana. To round the record off the final mix was handled by NEUEN, the engineers behind the sound of argentina's most acclaimed new trap artistis Duki and YSY A.”
Saharan guitar fire from Northern Mali, tending to a near extinct style of trance-inducing riffs and pounding, offbeat drums. 10 burning variations on a theme.
“Tallawit Timbouctou are champions of takamba, a hypnotic traditional music from Northern Mali. Built around the tehardent, the four-stringed lute and pre-cursor to the American banjo, takamba’s droning distortion comes from signature handmade mics and blown out amplifiers. Accompanied by percussion pounded out onto an overturned calabash with mind boggling time signatures, the combined effect is trance inducing.
This is the music that long ruled the North of Mali, performed at festivities, blasting out of dusty boomboxes, and beaming out from village radio stations. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, and though purportedly dating back to the Songhai Empire of the 15th century, takamba’s heyday was in the 1980s, with the introduction of amplification. Musicians found a lucrative circuit, performing in elegant weddings, creating cassettes on demand, and writing songs for their wealthy patrons. Today takamba has fallen out of popular fashion with the youth but continues to thrive in a small network of die-hard traditionalists.
Band leader Aghaly Ag Amoumine is one of the remaining renowned takamba musicians. Descended from a long line of praise singers, he spent decades traveling across the Sahel, performing in remote nomad camps and crowded West African capitals. His compositions continue to circulate today and have become part of the folk repertoire. His group Tallawit Timbouctou, based in the city of the same name, continues in the family tradition and has featured both his brother and nephew as accompanying members.
Recorded at home in Timbouctou, “Hali Diallo” is a relentless and non-stop recording, true to the form of takamba. Tracks blend seamlessly into one another, instruments are tuned mid-song, and Aghaly only pauses singing long enough for the occasional shout-out or dedication. Unfiltered and direct, as it's meant to be heard, Tallawit Timbouctou is a shining example of one of the last great takamba bands.”
Atlantan electro contortionist Richard Devine presents his first significant body of work since ‘Risp’  with the complex designs and computerized soul of ‘Sort\Lave’ for Venetian Snares’ Timesig .
Recorded between 2016 and 2017 on Devine’s custom Eurorack modular rig and a couple of Nord G2 units, ’Sort\Lave’ is a hi-tech rinse-out best compared with the work of Autechre or indeed, Timesig boss, Venetian Snares’ recent modular output. And we don’t use either comparison lightly.
Where Devine has been releasing music on a computer for more than 20 years now, this is the first time he’s made tracks nose-to-tail on a modular set-up and the results are just staggering, and certainly worthy of those five years - pretty much since the completion of ‘Risp’ - spent just establishing the systems that would be used on the album.
Within this complex modular playground/framework he goes thru his exercises like a double-jointed gymnast with a mind & body-bending disarray of polymetrics thru insectoid swarms of percussion and diffracted chromatic madness.
If we’re playing favourites, the most dancefloor-ready pieces are in that list, including the tense, pendulous electro of ‘Opaque Ke’, the outstanding tech-step rolige of ‘Sentik Pin’, and the slow-fast teeter of ‘Revsic’, if you’ve got the legs for it, but if you’re in it for the next level sound design, the dizzying designs of ‘Microscopic Recurse’, the plonging torque of ‘k-0’ and the viscous roil of ‘Brux’ are waiting your dropped jaw.
Sterling 8th album by contemporary cold wave queen Molly Nilsson, baiting an apocalyptic near-future with some of the sweetest hooks and nagging lyrics you’ll hear before the world implodes. Lovers of John Maus, Courtney Love, and pop songs that won’t leave your head, need to give it a whirl
‘"After a cancelled flight I found myself stranded at the Tokyo airport overnight. Between my interrupted bench naps the surroundings found their way into my dreams, particularly the big banners in the departure hall stating: 2020. Not aware that they were announcing upcoming Olympic games, my imagination wandered. 2020, a leap year. The year of the rat, the election. Perfect vision. The year of hindsight. The repetition, the ritual of the superstitious. A spell cast on the approaching future; not yet there, but close enough to be seen with full clarity. The year itself seems to draw a circle around its followers, as to protect anyone who dares enter. And it all begins on a late-Capitalist night…"
Twenty-Twenty is Molly Nilsson’s 8th album; the latest opus of an artist in a constant state of development and strength. Twenty-Twenty is about emerging from the husk of your old self, about binning the chrysalis and daring to stand up both to power, and also to your own limits. In 2018, we see the climate changing, democracy crumbling, inequality and injustice erupting. 2020 examines the near future, seeking out clarity, reflection, renewal and opportunity. It contains anthems so tall as to induce vertigo, leaving the taste of Euro Dance in your mouth, albeit without a four on the floor beat. Here, the pop auteur is haunted by the late Prince, channelling Courtney Love and Lou Reed, anger and love.”