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.”
Nurse With Wound rework The New Blocakders rare AF 1982 début, ‘Changez Les Blockeurs’ in a mechanically reclaimed reflux of the OG, as gruesome as McNuggets, and just as tasty.
For the uninitiated (or sensible-minded) listeners who are unfamiliar with The New Blockaders: they’re one of the cheeriest acts to ever emerge from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; a pair of siblings responsible for some of post-industrial/noise and avant-garde music’s greatest oddities, ranging from a severe collab with an early iteration of Coil, to pioneering cut-up recordings with Mixed Band Philanthropist, and even later recording for Prurient’s Hospital Productions. They’re basically certified noise music heroes (anti-heroes?).
As ever, NWW’as Steven Stapelton was way ahead of the curve in 1982, and the first person to pick up TNB’s début LP, which he subsequently distributed via United Dairies. 36 years later, he’s returned to that slab, seemingly with a hatchet and some steam-powered Victorian loom, to extract its guts and weave them into a sound which physically lives up the record’s title; Changez Les Blockeurs.
Across two sides, he hacks, splices and hacks up the OG in a tirade of frayed rhythmic complexity and decimated racket, at times sounding like a Saturday afternoon’s worth of striped geordies fed into a massive sausage grinder.
As grim as your life.
Weapons grade remixes of The Soft Moon from a likely bunch of EBM, noise and industrial techno figures
Fresh from running amok with Ewa Justka and Manni Dee’s ‘London Isn’t England’, Ansome goes bare knuckle on ‘Burn’ with hospitalising results. Lokier follows work with Krikor Kouchian in a peaktime EBM rework of ‘Young’; SHXCXCHCXSH turn ‘Criminal’ into a bouncing techno bomb; Sarin does his kinky, militant thing with ‘ILL’; Berlin’s Imperial Black Unit trample over ‘Like A Father;’ with well worn size 11 army boots.
Craow turns ‘Choke’ to rubble with unrepentant glee; ‘90s EBM producers Clément Perez and Daniel Myer a.k.a. Rendered remodel ‘It Kills’ as a whooping, galloping warhorse for taps aff in the dark room times; and The Horrorist does his grim NYC techno thing with ‘The Pain’.
‘Brixtonstrasse ‘ delivers the most exciting workouts in Cosmin TRG’s catalogue since his debut ‘Put You Down’ [Hesle Audio, 2007]
Ramping the tempo to 150bpm+ and cutting loose away from 4/4 grids, he gets all het up with ‘Brixtonstrasse’, and then comes down with a donk in the galloping tribal techno of ‘Gloria’.
Radical discovery by Amir Abdullah of 5 two-track master tapes of the Charles Mingus Quintet recorded live in Detroit at Strata Concert Gallery. These electrifying recordings took place during Mingus’ week-long residency in February 1973. They were broadcast live by drummer/producer and broadcaster Robert “Bud” Spangler for WDET FM – a public radio station dedicated to jazz – from Kenny and Barbara Cox’s multi-purpose home for Strata Records at 46 Selden. Entrance to the gig was $5 dollars in advance and $6 on the door.
"By the early Seventies Mingus’ militant musings, volatile character and hugely innovative musical offerings had already earned him global notoriety. He’d played with the Bird, Dizzy, Max Roach, Duke Ellington and had released universally acclaimed albums as a leader like ‘Blues & Roots’, Oh Yeah’ and ‘Black Saint & The Sinner Lady’. This gig – one of a Jazz In Detroit series that also included Keith Jarrett, Tribe and Herbie Hancock – took place a few months after the release of Mingus’ “third stream” masterpiece ‘Let My Children Hear Music’.
The music on these tapes is blazing. According to the late Roy Brooks, the band – which included himself and fellow Detroit trumpeter Joe Gardner - had not long returned from playing two tours in Europe. Fresh to the quintet was stellar pianist Don Pullen and listening to these recordings Pullen’s church-driven power, blues sensibility and harmonic sophistication perfectly complements the bassist’s own vision. On tenor saxophone we have the soulful and innovative John Stubblefield. Like Pullen he was a recent recruit. Unfortunately, the saxophonist’s time with Mingus lasted a mere 5 months: “I got in a fight with Mingus and I shouldn't have done that. After that, I couldn't get arrested in New York." Ironically, when Sue Mingus formed the Mingus Big Band in 1992, to perpetuate her husband's legacy, Stubblefield emerged as a talismanic presence in the ensemble until he passed in 2005.
Thanks to BBE, 180 Proof Records and Strata Records we can now tune in to WDET-FM and transport ourselves back to Detroit ’73, and get a taste of the furious energy and compositional sophistication of a unique and modern master at work in the most intimate of settings."
0PN live ensemble member, NYC’s Kelly Moran joins Warp to issue her new album of sync-ready electro-acoustic composition.
“The composer, producer, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist made an early name for herself in New York collaborating with dance performance and composing for long-term John Cage collaborator Margaret Leng Tan, and, most recently, performing around the world as part of Oneohtrix Point Never’s live ‘MYRIAD’ tour ensemble.
‘Ultraviolet’ plays to a wide, arresting array of stylistic influences, from jazz and dream pop, to classical composition and black metal.”
Senyawa stir primordial spirits in the cosmically heavy doom and psych explorations of ‘Sujud’, the Indonesian duo’s stellar debut with Sublime Frequencies.
Since arriving to global underground acclaim in 2015 with the ‘Menjadi’ LP on Rabih Beaini’s Morphine Records, Senyawa have established themselves among the most beguiling acts in circulation right now by meshing traditional Indonesian music with elements of doom metal and free improvisation to realise a sound truly without precedent.
Judging by what we’ve previously heard from Rully Shabara Herman and Wukir Suryadi’s duo, ‘Sujud’ is unmistakably their definitive and most powerful album yet. Across seven tracks they explore phantasmagoric scenes of throat singing and abyss-staring doom guitars on the incredible ‘Tanggalkan Di Dunia’, alogn with paralysingly haunting psych-folk on the title track, before jamming gibber-jawed vocals and churning metal riffs on ‘Perjuru Menyatu’, and rounding out with the possessed vocals and grunting guitars of ‘Kembali Ke Dunia’.
“Sujud, their premier release on the Sublime Frequencies label, is the latest chapter of this very special and singular sound of the past, present, and future. The basic theme of the record can be summed up with one extremely powerful Bahasa Indonesian word, Tanah, which translates to "soil-ground-land-earth". Shabara's vocals are an expressive force, conjuring spirits from the soil with a deep humility and respect for the land and their existence in the universe. Suryadi has built a new guitar for these tracks and pushes the Senyawa sound into new territory, utilizing delay, loops, and other effects creating grounded backdrops of folk metal, punk attitudinal, and droning earthscapes - providing Shabara the perfect context to explore his whispering poetry and jagged, sharp-as-a-kris animistic powers. There is simply no other sound like it and Sublime Frequencies is thrilled to present this new direction in their discography.”
Transfixing field recordings of folk ballads and buzzing, polyrhythmic dances from central and southern Madagascar, a unique place in the Indian ocean (the 4th largest island in the world) where myriad cultures from Arabic to East African and Indian have historically combined into an inimitable musical language and spirit...
“This is Sublime Frequencies’ second volume of transcendent musical field recordings from central and southern Madagascar, produced by Charles Brooks. Like the grand beauty and wonder of its flora and fauna, Madagascar’s music is completely unique. Whether the tempos are fast with polyrhythmic precision or slow in the form of a Kabosy ballad, once one gets familiar with its sound, it can never be mistaken again. Charles Brooks has been traveling to Madagascar and living with these spectacular artists for many years and has managed to document countless examples of their work, and regardless of how formal or informal a recording is made, the results always turn out magical. The following is an excerpt from Brooks’ liner notes:
The musicians on this album are storytellers and much of their craft is improvised and has a strong foundation of expertise in their respective cultural traditions. These field recordings have been collaborative from beginning to end and here, I’ve attempted to represent the finest of these talented artists. Their music journeys across endless landscapes with some movements having the qualities of a start and finish and yet no apparent end… Seeking, recording, and sharing the intangible experience, the best of all of this, is to catch a ghost.
Charles G Brooks (2018)”
Tuff, melodic, vibrant and psychy Afro-beat fire from modern day Burkina Faso on the ever brilliant Sublime Frequencies
“Baba Commandant And The Mandingo Band return with their second album, Siri Ba Kele. After the Afro-beat fury of their first album Juguya (2015), the band has now distilled a potent mix of traditional and modern Burkinabe funk with a reverent take on the iconic Mandingue guitar music of the 1970's. Mamadou Sanou (Baba Commandant) leads the band with a confidence earned from years of toiling in the DIY underground of the West African music scene. His riveting growl and main instrument, the doso n'goni, still strike with a profound delivery.
The band's guitarist, Issouf Diabate, is on board again and his breathtaking guitar work is one of the greatest examples of the instrument displayed in modern times. Massibo Taragna (bass) and Mohamed Sana (drums) are simply one of the finest rhythm sections working today, each a master on his instrument and the chops displayed here are truly something to behold. The band has become an interlocking five-headed hydra of complex funk and cosmic guitar explosions. Recorded in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in February 2018 by Camille Louvel and mixed with SF's Hisham Mayet, the Mandingo Band's sophomore LP is a modern statement of searing Sahelian compositions. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with such classics as Super Biton De Segou (1977), Kanaga De Mopti (1977), Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux (1981) and the mighty Rail Band.”
Party-guaranteed bangers from the golden daze of German new wave dance-pop. Includesproepr bullets in the likes of Berlin Express’ daft klaxon ‘Die Russen Kommen’, the full pelt attack of ‘Spiegelbild’ by Gorilla Aktiv, and New Dimension’s swaggering ace ’Stuttgart schwarz’. DJs and dancers take note!
“Sowas von egal” is a collaboration between the Hamburg record label Bureau B and the Hamburg party series Damaged Goods. The divergent trajectories of a record company on the one hand and DJs on the other are happily aligned through a love and passion for seeking out, collecting, releasing and playing rare, remarkable music which simply needs to be heard.
The Damaged Goods DJs created the party as a danceable party where they could play music beyond the regular and repetitious repertoire of (dark) electro clichés. The focus is on seldom heard post punk and synth wave from the 1980s. Many of the old records had only been pressed in small quantities, often sold exclusively at the respective bands’ gigs. More than 30 years later, it is almost impossible to get hold of these tracks… until now.
Gnashing, slathering wild-out rock from the Corsano / Orcutt duo. Their first ever studio recordings. Mind for splinters and flayed cuticles spitting from the speakers. ‘Poundland Frenzy’ is a contender for track title of the year...
“Brace Up! is the first ever studio release from the duo of Chris Corsano (drums) and Bill Orcutt (guitar). Recorded in Brussels at Les Ateliers Claus by Christophe Albertijn on March 19th and 20th, 2018. Stage dive photograph by Jason Penner.
"Over the past six years or so, drummer Chris Corsano has proven to be one of Bill Orcutt's most reliably flexible collusionists. Regardless of whether Bill is cluster-busting electric guitar strings, weaseling around with cracked electronics, or playing relatively spacious free-rock, Corsano is able to provide the proper base for his aural sculpting. A lot of Orcutt's instrumental work has traditionally felt hermetic even though he's exploring caverns of explosive ecstasy. One often got the impression Bill was operating in the way John Travolta did in the classic 1976 ABC television drama, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Orcutt's actual interaction with collaborators emerged not from communication so much as pure observation. While he was fully cognizant of his musical surroundings, his reactions to it were walled off. This approach did not encourage sonic dialogue so much as parallel streams of discourse. These streams could interact with each other, but not in particularly standard ways.
On Brace Up! , their first ever studio release, this precept has changed considerably. Whether it's a function of emotional familiarity or an intellectual choice I dunno, but there's a whole new kind of duo exchange going down on this record. Bill and Chris are clearly playing off each other's moves throughout the album. And it really raises the level of the music to an all-time high. From the cop car see-saw of 'Poundland Frenzy' to the mutual pummeling of 'Paranoid Time' (possibly a Minutemen tribute?) to the lazychicken- gets-stung-prog of 'She Punched a Hole in the Moon for Me,' the sounds on Brace Up! display a constant flow of ideas and instantaneous conjugation of newly forged verbs. As great as Bill and Chris's previous duo records have been, this one's greater." -- Byron Coley”
Killer Gqom from Durban’s Sleeping Buddha for Hakuna Kulala, the sister label of Uganda’s amazing Nyege Nyege Tapes.
Keeping the levels high after aces from Slikback, MC Yallah, Rey Sapienz and Disco Vumbi, the label looks due south to the virulent sound of South African taxi techno, or Gqom, with Sleepign Buddha’s debut volley.
Frozen, nut-crack drums and cold sweat-inducing bass drones pave the way for stinging strings, sirens and tart trance stabs in ‘Goro’, before ‘Onimusha’ keens off on an even darker path with some of the finest, trippiest soundscaping that we’ve heard on a Gqom cut, and ‘Tengu’ balances the mood between lighter, breathy vox and chords, but it’s ultimately still dread AF and irresistibly rugged.
An unmissable glimpse into the archives of world renowned field recordist and ethnomusicologist Deben Bhattacharya, whose work is a huge influence on Sublime Frequencies. Respect is due...
“Deben Bhattacharya (1921–2001) was a field recordist, poet, filmmaker, musicologist and amateur ethnomusicologist, based in Calcutta and Paris. Highly influential, it would not be too bold a stretch to say that his work shaped how we listen to the world: he produced a vast number of LPs, CDs, videos and radio shows of traditional music from India, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from 1953 until his death in 2001.
Never before published, Paris to Calcutta: Men and Music on the Desert Road features over 4 hours of music and is Deben’s impressionistic account of a 1955 journey overland, in a converted milk delivery van, from France to India collecting and exploring music along the Desert Road from Europe into India.
An amazing glimpse into a time long gone and essential listening for anyone interested in folk and world music traditions. Produced and edited by Robert Millis (Indian Talking Machine and Victrola Favorites).”
Fresh, weird new grime from Bristol’s Lemzly Dale on his home-brewed Sector 7 Sounds
Merky Ace jumps on the lead cut and highlight ‘What Were Do’ for a borderline mental piece of skewed chords, hard drums and swaggering bars, while ‘High Noon’ draws for guitars samples and pitching synths in a sloshing instro, and ‘Go Away’ checks out on a class R&G downstroke.
Pev touches up an old classic along with a vintage archive find for his pivotal label, Punch Drunk
Sliced from the front of his debut album ‘Jarvik Mindstate’ , the lead cut ‘Bluez’ has been remastered for optimal infection with grunting subs and razor-sharp 2-step hi-hats swirled in ruffneck UK dub styles.
‘Und_92’ hearkens from the same era but has never been dished up until now. It’s a killer piece of stick ’n move 2-step science built around the sparest elements, and saving a heart-rending Detroit-style synth coda for when it matters.
Jim O’Rourke goes to town on rework of Langham Research Centre’s radiophonic audities, alongside a spectral deconstruction by berlin-based Japanese band, Group A
“Langham Research Centre’s radiophonic experiments are twisted into new shapes on Tape Reworks Vol. 1, a split EP featuring remixes by renowned experimental musician Jim O’Rourke and Berlin-based industrial band group A.
On Side A, Jim O’Rourke uses ‘Quasar Melodics’ as his source material, transforming fizzing grains of sound into an oceanic swirl of noise. On the flip, group A find metallic rhythms and eerie melancholy in ‘Perpetual Motion’.”
UK techno legend Steve Bicknell knocks em out as The Evader for a 2nd session of ‘Awakening The Past’
Leaving his hats at home, the Lost institute founder pounds out four stripped down bass drum + synth tools on the front under the title ‘No Hats Required’, before spending his energies in two powerful truckers on the back, namely the grungy, achromatic tones and roiling momentum of ‘Power of Balance’ and the slinkier bleep techno scudder ’Shifting Illusion’ on an Ø or Colundi style tip.
Oh my days this is amazing! David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti’s psycho-jazz duo Thought Gang commit a full album of music in this mode after previously racking up credits on the Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me, and Limited Event Series Soundtracks.
Recorded in the early ‘90s , Thought Gang’s “long-lost” LP revolves around 12 tracks that were made years apart yet add up to a most ominous dish of huffin’ blues, psycho-jazz and tumbles into breakbeat horror themes, including pieces which have previously turned up everywhere from an Adidas commercial to Mulholland Drive and deleted scenes from Fire Walk With Me.
I mean, we were under no illusions as to Lynch and Badalamenti’s inimitable skills, but this set only ratchets our admiration to new levels, with pieces such as the lounge lizard freakout ‘Jack Paints It Red’, the enigmatic mash of vocals and splayed jazz beat on ‘Woodcutters From Fiery Ships’, thru to the Gray and Bill Laswell-like ‘Frank 2000 Prelude’ and the 16 minute ‘Frank 2000’, or the doomy slink of ‘Multi-Tempo Wind Boogie’, all revealing that these guys operate on a parallel plane.
Welcome to your new favourite Lynch & Badalamenti record.
Electronic prism-pusher Zuli explores themes of identity, both hyperlocal and global, in ‘Terminal’; his singular and definitive artistic statement for Lee Gamble’s UIQ.
Expanding his sound to encompass melancholic ambient composition and grimy rap from prominent MC, Abyusif, as well as newcomers Abanoub, Mado $am and R-Rhyme, and mysterious Mecca-based vocalist MSYLMA, ‘Terminal’ finds Zuli drawing upon a multiplicity of personal experiences in a concerted effort to upend preconceptions of what an Egyptian artist “should” sound like.
In Zuli’s own words: “In a world that feels like it’s regressing into tribalism, many of us who don’t fit into any one specific group identity feel sidelined at best. When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences to and tastes to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multi-faceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us.”
Across the 14 tracks of ‘Terminal’, he smartly unpackages and dissolves those lazy pre- or misconceptions by forming his own, syncretic musical language. Meshing the rhythmic grammar of hip hop and club styles with the Arabic dialects of his MCs and vocalist and the free syntax of ambient music, he dissolves and undermines outmoded ideas of exotification, presenting an image of himself that’s more akin to the reality of Cairo and the sci-fi idea of P.K.D’s scramble suits than any cliche conjured by music media.
With controlled aggression and a grasp of chaos, Zuli serves big highlights in vocal pieces such as the opener ‘Nari’, featuring all the MCs entangled in a noxious noise rap clash, which smartly contrasts the haunting plangency of MSYLMA’s lament on ‘Kollu I-Joloud’. But the vocal only account for half of the album, and Zuli really comes into his own on cuts such as the sparring grime instrumental ‘Bump’ and the sawn-off junglism ‘Wreck’, as well as the album’s more delirious moments, like the poly-chromatic designs of ‘He’s Hearing Voices’ and the heat-warped geolocators diffused into the ambient keen and astral jazz flourishes of ‘Follow Your Breath’.
Soul queen Georgia Anne Muldrow blesses her new home, Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, with a deeply rooted but properly fresh album ‘Overload’ after taking a minute out since ‘A Thoughtiverse Unmarred’ . Watch out for the dripping late night vibes of ‘Canadian Hillbilly’ and the ruggeder knocks of ‘Play It Up’ and you’ll know which side your bread’s buttered...
““Music is my discipline. It’s my way of meditating, it’s my way of thanking God, it’s my way of communicating… It’s my way of life,” Georgia explains. Typically working alone, her new album flips that dynamic and takes Georgia out of her comfort zone for the first time since “Seeds” (2003) which was entirely produced by Madlib. “Overload” bears the fruits of numerous collaborations, most notably with duo Mike & Keys (50 Cent, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, G-Eazy) who contribute production to four tracks including the sleek, anthemic title track - Pitchfork ‘Best New Track’ on 25 June 2018 - alongside Khalil (Dr Dre).
“Overload [the album] is an experiment in restraint,” she explains. I pack myself into something as clear as possible with the help of gifted artists from all over the world. The live show is an experiment in interpretation. That's when [my band] The Righteous and I unpack into a joyful noise. Both of these dynamics have been striving to balance themselves within me since birth… since wanting to record anything. And by the grace of Patience, Discipline and Devotion, a sweet spot has started to appear.”
Elsewhere Dutchman Moods and Manila’s Lustbass bring the slo-mo funk heat on ‘Aerosol’ and ‘Vital Transformation’ respectively, and Shana Jenson (Muldrow) and Georgia’s partner Dudley Perkins crop up on ‘You Can Always Count On Me’ (a cover of the Gap Band classic) and ‘These Are The Things I Like About You’. Flying Lotus, Aloe Blacc and Dudley Perkins share Executive Production credits on the album.
Themes of Love, Spirituality, Self-Actualisation are woven into Georgia’s music, but she also does not shy away from politics and has been loudly and vigorously critical of the persistent state of inequality between Black and White in the US. Nowhere more directly than on ‘Blam’ - a song about self-defence. “I believe that it has the bones of spiritual song,” says Georgia. “It’s an updated negro spiritual in aesthetic”.”
Outstanding free jazz session recorded in 1973 in Paris by Chicago outfit BAG.
"It was Lester Bowie, trumpeter with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, who suggested that the Black Artists’ Group (BAG) should head for Paris. In 1972 several members of BAG took his advice and flew to France for an extended stay. The following year a concert featuring saxophonist Oliver Lake, trumpeters Baikida Carroll and Floyd LeFlore, drummer Charles Bobo Shaw and trombonist Joseph Bowie (Lester’s younger brother) was recorded and subsequently issued as In Paris, Aries 1973, a strictly limited edition LP on the group’s own label.
The adventure of collective improvisation resonated with the Parisian zeitgeist. Enthusiastic audiences attended their concerts and coverage in the media. In Paris, Aries 1973 offers an isolated and fascinating glimpse into that phase of the group’s existence. The album is dedicated to the memory of Kada Kayan, a bassist who had hoped to make the trip from St Louis to France but, tragically, had grown ill and died. His absence adds special poignancy to the sound of the bass when it appears on this recording, played by Baikida Carroll. Listeners keen to hear Kayan himself in the company of Lake, Bowie, Shaw, LeFlore and Carroll should seek out Red, Black and Green by the 10-piece Solidarity Unit, Inc. That album, recorded on 18th September 1970 and dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, who died on that day, features an earlier version of Shaw’s composition “Something to Play On.”
In Paris, Aries 1973 reveals BAG’s musical affinities with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Both groups preserved an independently minded approach to the notion of free jazz and a carefully filtered awareness of pan-African musical practices, while their creative interest in space, mobile structure, chance occurrences and simultaneity also suggests parallels with the concerns of leading experimental composers working at that time. These performances in Paris of Shaw’s “Something to Play On” and Lake’s “Re-Cre-A-Tion,” plus two collective compositions/improvisations, display the dedication to structural fluency and sensitivity to coloration that accompanied BAG’s unorthodox group dynamics and their unconventional instrumental combinations. In this case the musicians embrace congas, log drums, marimbas, woodblocks, cowbells and gongs. This is not a showcase for solos, but a shape-shifting and multi-centred statement of togetherness, quest and discovery. Removed from BAG’s original multidisciplinary context the music still exudes an exhilarating spirit of collaborative exploration and shared excitement."
- Julian Cowley”
Midday Moon is a survey of ambient and experimental music that emerged from Australia and New Zealand between 1980 and 1995. These recordings are sourced from a rich variety of micro-labels, private pressings, theatre soundtracks and artists’ personal archives.
Arriving in the wake of Left Ear’s ‘Antipodean Anomalies’, the Efficient Space reissue of Waak Waak Djungi’s ambient Aboriginal fusions, and even the reissue of Steve Roach’s ‘Dreamtime Return’, ‘Midday Moon’ beautifully expands non-native conceptions of music from this region with 19 works that emerged from Oz and NZ between 1980 and 1995 on myriad micro-labels, private pressings, and theatre soundtracks, along with a number drawn from artist’s personal archives.
Crafted with synths, field recordings, and traditional - if obscure - instruments, the results gently plunge us into a warm and woozy world of impressionistic sound riddled with synaesthetic triggers. Blair Greenberg’s three pieces are prime examples of this effect, especially on his mixture of breezy synth pads and location recordings in ‘Beach’, the dense, shady, green rhythms of ’Rainforest’, and the chiming cadence of ‘Gleaming’.
The rest of the set comes from 14 other artists, nearly one track each, with expansive beauties such as the 13 minute ‘Starzones’ by Ros Bandt and Mark Pollard’s ‘Quinque II’ sharing space with a constellation of cherry-picked vignettes like the new age peal of John Elder’s synflute on ‘Wayayisma Petra’, Robert Bleeker’s milky pads and soft brass flares in ‘Glowing Trombones’, and the low-key, jazzy lather of Helen Ripley-Marshall’s keys and undulating percussion in ‘Under The Sun’.
So as the Soho based crew gradually make their way around all the singers and players in Coxsone's stable, its about time we requested they begin sticking out the original output by The African Brothers.
For this is where Lincoln Sugar Minott started in 1969, alongside Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard, and anyone who ever heard their 'Righteous Kingdom' will know what I'm talking about. From the beginning then it seemed Lincoln was destined to run with Studio One, and after just one single there with the Brothers, Minott remained as in-house guitarist, backing vocalist and percussionist, all the while carrying his experience growing up next to a dancehall where Sir Coxsone a played, and then as teenage selector for Gathering of Youth and Sound of Silence Keystone systems.
Deep ingrained love of the classics, Ken Booth, Alton Ellis and The Heptones 'On Top' not only deeply influences Sugar's sound, many of his best songs ride the orginal rhythms to these tunes. Minott's effortless revoicing of all time tunes like 'I'm just a guy', 'Pretty looks' and so much more. 'Live loving' the original Studio One long player pretty well inaugurates the dancehall era, yet remains rooted in the very foundations of everything that's been great about Studio One all along. Spanning work from 1978 to 1982, this is lovely music by anyone's standards, and Sugar remains our favourite Son of Studio One. How appropriate that his legacy should now transmit its positivity, roots and culture to the frankly unmissable 'See Mi Yah' one rhythm set from Burial Mix heading up this week.
Who better to inter Fabric’s long-running series than the demon DJ Kode 9 and his accomplice, Burial? Yeh, nobody’s shouting Craig Richards, so this will have to do.
So it’s basically NOT a new Burial album, or even a Kode 9 & Burial album, but it is one of the strongest mixes in Fabric’s near 20 year history, cataloguing and webbing 37 tracks from the ‘ardcore ‘nuum, following its breakbeat and techno roots thru to its branches into US footwork, the distant echoes of South African Gqom, the avant R&B of Klein and Dean Blunt, and latinate and sino futurisms, with precisely no dubstep in-between.
The result is a mix as fragmented yet fluid as the London roadmap or those aerial shots used on the ‘Burial’ album cover, forming a mosaic of interrelated ‘ardcore styles grouted with the trademark fuzz and patter of drizzle heard on Kode 9 & Burial’s two preceding mixes for Mary-Anne Hobbs. In the first third, they probe a line from Klein and Cooly G thru outright Gqom killers by Julz Da Deejay, Roman Rodney and TLC Fam, and introduce Hyperdub newcomer Nazar along the way.
In the 2nd third, the breakbeat hardcore badness of Jungle Buddha’s ‘Drug Me’  and Intense’s classic ‘The Quickening’ bookend a rush of raving footwork aces such as DJ Spinn’s ‘Make Me Hot’ and DJ Tre’s lethal ‘House Hybrid’, before the final third slips from trancing ‘90s techno and acid thru to freakier footwork, an overlooked Sino-Detroit breakbeat ace by Claude Young, and the breeziness chops of Proc Fiskal.
Ultimately it’s a lesson in keeping your ears wide open to all styles in the present, while also keeping an eye in back of your head for vintage freshness, and pulling up records from well trodden areas - keeping the polystylistic and hyperstylized spirit of hardcore burning into 2018.
Nick Klein puts his back into five densely-packed and stressed EBM/industrial mutations for the cats at BANK Records NYC, following their recent aces by E-Saggila and Drew McDowell X Hiro Kone.
“Nick Klein is an artist making electronic music born in southern Florida and based in Brooklyn, New York since 2012. Upon moving to New York the concentration of his works output has been to mine and investigate the troped qualities in various forms of electronic music, and then to realize singular directions in how to communicate these ideas himself. Alongside Miguel Alvariño he runs the music imprint Primitive Languages.
His latest offering since the January 2018 EP "Lowered Flaming Coffin" (Alter) is a continuation of his burnt dance music explorations with "The Bathroom Wall" on Bank Records. As a totem to reflect onto with text, to rest ones eyes in blur, or to physically hold ones self up in the throes of intoxication, the bathroom wall takes and gives numerous gestures of use. Klein uses the symbology of the bathroom wall to construct five disparate wall scrawlings and hazed meditations into the compositional grounds for four meaner mid-tempo, rhythmic purges. Tracks "The Worst Band In The World" and "American Gut" take on the pulsing build of an intoxicated night out. The record divides in on and itself in tone with "Rather Be Your Enemy", an homage in title to the legendary Lee Hazelwood song, wherein the synthesizer convulses slowly conjuring the bleaker qualities of tinnitus taking the lead over your senses. Side B of the record throbs quickly with the blown bass drums and hissing rhythms of "Pushing Your Luck" and comes to a drawn conclusion with the ten minute come-down at sun rise burner of "Poor Me Another".
The record was recorded using a modular synthesizer to tape by Nick Klein and mastered by Josh Bonati.”
Akira Rabelais’ supremely moving eisoptrophobia album issued on vinyl for the first time, 17 years after it was first released on CD. Harnessing Akira’s own smudged recollections of childhood brought to life via treated solo piano pieces by Erik Satie and Bartok, it’s a haunting mutation of sound that comes hugely recommended if you grabbed his peerless Spellewauerynsherde reissue last year, or indeed any of his releases for David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label. Followers of The Caretaker’s work or Stephan Mathieu’s classic 'Radioland' album should also dive deep into these exquisite, bittersweet memories of secret histories lost in time.
First released in 2001 on CD by Ritornell, a sub-label of Mille Plateaux, ‘eisoptrophobia’ was an early iteration of Akira applying his Argeïphontes Lyre software to classical music, opening a fascinating schism between the original object and his modern, subjective perspective in the process. Made up of spellbinding, uniquely decayed renderings of solo piano pieces, it forms a poetic farewell to the 20th century and a reluctant embrace of new technological possibilities.
The original piano recordings of Satie and Bartók pieces were made at Wave Equation Studios in Hollywood, California, and subsequently transformed by Argeïphontes Lyre with beautifully elusive results. The recognisable melodies here ring out in myriad new ways, sometimes fractured and indented by patinas of crackle that echo the original contours, while, at othere, smudged into mind-bending obfuscation or spectral, timbral thizz. They have the uncanny capacity to resemble exhumed artefacts, dug up after decades of decay, and riddled with potently psychedelic mycelium ready to spore on the listener’s mind. But they also capture that elusive yearning for early life; the distant crackle of AM radio playing in another room, scratched records, a piano playing, somehere.
The title eisoptrophobia itself means ”fear of mirrors“, in an interview with L.A. weekly back in 2002, Rabelais explained that he picked it as a way of articulating his dread of limitation. ”I exist in a much larger space than what I am physically. But if I were to look into the mirror, I would suddenly pull back into my body.” A feeling not unlike the experience of sitting through this remarkable album before suddenly being snapped back to your surroundings.
Rolling down from the heavens with a total shockout intro, Basic Replay dig deep into the vaults for another selection guaranteed entry into the front of your dancehall pile.
Legendary keyboard whizz Jackie Mittoo is on fine tinkling form, riding the Ayatollah riddim with some hazy synthetic electronical embellishments atop a heavy heavy digital subbass rhythm. Mittoo version's the alltime classic 'Mash down Babylon' on the flip, installing a lush lick of African guitars and working the rhythm up with some driving organ chords in his inimitable style.
2 hours worth of prime Johnny Jewel music inspired by European cinema noir and avant-classical composition and concepts by Cage, Ligeti, Satie, Feldman.
Its' *not* his rumoured unused soundtrack to Nicolas Refn's 'Drive', but could well be used for your next intercounty mission or autobahn cruise** "Three years in the making, Symmetry - the project that began as a conceptual tangent between Glass Candy, Chromatics, Mirage, & Desire's more abstract sides - finally sees its release... Themes For An Imaginary Film is two hours of claustrophobic cinematic bliss compiled for Painters, Writers, Photographers, Designers, Cruisers, Night walkers, & Dreamers.
Adrenaline drips thick liek syrup across a horizon where memories become blurred scenes behind the windshield & yersterday's faces fade as the road strobes to aggressive rhythms. Romantic melodies linger in the rearview mirror as chimera bells saturate the electric fog that's slowly rolling in...
IDIB serve a belated, expanded 10th anniversary reissue of Chromatics’ Nite, including the title cut and instrumental backed with three new cinematic themes and cues.
Yet another pearl in Johnny Jewel’s velvet lined cabinet, Nite is a buttoned-up, shine-eyed disco ace pairing Lena Okazaki’s droll vocal over stealthy disco bass, eventually turning into a proper piece of post-punk disco delirium, ditto the instrumental but sans vocal, while Glass Slipper catches a slick fusion of Arabian Prince-style vocoder and Moroder-like bass arp.
The new cuts are ace, too. Birds Of Prey is a darkly evoctive instrumental vignette, whereas the heavy-lidded vox and spindly synths ’n strings of Sleepwalker wouldn’t sound out of place in a classic ‘80s horror, and the melancholy dream-pop of City Beds comes off like the accompaniment to some tear jerking break-up scene or loveless bed-hopping montage - take your pick.
Blawan mounts what is arguably his master opus with Nutrition; a nuanced but proper banging six track session holding one of his strongest cuts to date in 993.
The 4th release on his Ternesc label finds him deep in the modular matrix getting firmly to grips with thistly noise textures and the rolling drag coefficient physics of techno at an atomic level.
For us, and we’ll wager many others, 933 is the big juicy steak at the middle of the pack. A massive kick drum piles thru the centre, mad sawtooth synth voices seem to drip off like the biggest slug of acetone-stinking ching, and then the moment of lush enlightenment, which hovers around long enough to appreciate the buzz, before it slips off as quickly as the gear and you’re looking for the next high.
The other tracks are dead solid, too; with some proper doom depth to Calcium Red and skull-scraping tones in the empty belly boot of Mayhem. However you really need it for that 933 ace!
Akira Rabelais' small but perfectly formed catalogue of releases has created one of the most complete and consummate identities in electronic music. On this album for David Sylvian's Samadhisound imprint, the Texan-born artist returns to the guitar - an instrument he wielded during his early years on the Austin live scene, playing in industrial bands during the 1980s.
Although processed guitar music became something of a staple on the experimental electronic scene of the earlu 00's, 'Caduceus' sounds very different from other records in the field, taking on a far more radically abstract tone. 'Seduced By The Silence' introduces the record with an almost percussive, grinding sound that resembles an annihilated tabla than a stringed instrument. More subtle, implicitly melodic episodes follow, with the crumbling timbres of 'Then The Substanceless Blue' and the blissful cacophony of 'Where To Let Our Scars Fall In Love' representing early highlights.
Considering this album is derived from a single instrumental source, the dynamics are remarkably broad, ranging from the quiet AM radio-style lullabies of 'Comme Un Ange Enivré D'un Soleil Radieux' to the howling distortion surges of 'Night Dances Through Heaven's Black Amnesia'. In both cases there's a magical otherness at work that goes beyond the realms of electronic music's conventional cold logic, and holds the kind of mysterious appeal you'd associate with artists like Steven Stapleton and Andrew Liles. 'Surface Of Soft Steps, Violets Whisper' and 'On The Little In-Betweens' momentarily unshroud the guitar to reveal more conventional harmonic structures, while 'In A Cadence Of Vanishing' spies untreated acoustic guitar as it shifts through an ominously stationary chord sequence and a backdrop of static jetisons tarces of melody.
A remarkable, deeply absorbing album from a modern great.
A Late 80’s slow digital dancehall killer; malevolent, sick and paranoid - prob the most essential and sought-after selection of dubs you'll ever have the pleasure of copping.
Replay Version is basically like a JA variant of Ramelzee & K Rob's Beat Bop, Once Bitten is a deadly variant featuring more detuned-synths on top of a pure skank, while "Senci Pipe" on the flip is just out and out minimal digital sorcery.
"Sides like these announced a new era in reggae... Replay Version sets the mood - malevolent, sick and paranoid, but haunting, and funky like a train, with cruelly brilliant effects..."
The Unwound album that ended all Unwound Albums.
"Recorded in a moudering farmhouose basement at the crest of the new century, Leaves Turn Inside You is the no-wave response to Spector’s wall of noise call. Infinite layers of choppy guitar stabs and bridge scrapes, guttural bass thronk, thrift store synths, and monotone chanting wash over suffocating rhythms to deliver the wrld’s only choral grung LP. Remastered from the original analogye tapes and pressed on heavy weight vinyl for the discerning noise-nik."
Redshape presents his 3rd and most-rounded dedication to ‘90s dance music with ‘A Sole Game’ for Modeselektor’s Monkeytown Records. In a finely honed style he worked towards since 2006, Berlin’s Sebastian Kramer a.k.a. Redshape draws from classic Detroit house, UK rave and AI, Frankfurt techno, and the endless party spirit of his home city, to render a definitive, darkly-toned self-portrait sounding every bit as synthetic, romantic and classic as the CD’s cover art looks.
“In typical Redshape style, the eight tracks of A Sole Game take you on a journey through nighttime worlds and dusky industrial landscapes haunted by howls and other strange voices. It’s obvious that one of the most important goals was to craft a perfectly seamless whole of an electronic album that works without interludes or what others would consider “album material”. Each track is a universe of its own and ready to be played in a club. A limited amount of instruments made it possible for the songs to sound quite homogenous despite being constructed very diversely. Most of the melodic structures stem from a Prophet 12 synth, most of the drums from the duo of 808 and 909, providing a warm and analogue sound.
This kind of traditionalist techno setup allowed for a fast and immediate workflow while recording the foundations of each track. Later on, Kramer took these recordings and elaborately arranged and processed them, trying to maintain the sometimes naive and pure emotions of the initial recordings and establish an organic feel. By fusing this proper songwriter approach with the codes of techno, Redshape takes a big step forward in his musical evolution.”
Perhaps the most significant new work from The Radiophonic Workshop in its 50 years of scoring radio and TV, the ‘Possum’ soundtrack is, remarkably, their first feature length score for film, and includes material from Delia Derbyshire's archive, heard here for the first time.
From the studio boffins and composers behind the influential, original Doctor Who and Quatermass soundtracks, the ‘Possum (OST)’ includes all cues from the film plus 9 bonus tracks, adding up to a bloodcurdling bevy of dread synth tones, pastoral flutes and bowed percussion notably laced with sound elements and drones from the archive of Delia Derbyshire, the legendary creator of the original Doctor Who theme tune.
It’s a seriously generous set, running to 38 cues that say their piece with haunting effect, along with a number of more meaty parts, and all primed to make you double check that the doors are locked on long, cold Autumn nights. In particular the eerie, evaporating flutes of ‘Possum Sting and Undercurrent’, and the likes of ‘The Barracks’ with its cold, empty tones, or the palpitating dread of ‘Pursuit’ really put the willies up us, and will likely do the same or worse when synched with the film.
While the personnel of The Radiophonic Workshop (as opposed to The BBC Radiophonic Workshop) is not disclosed, the sounds are unmistakably from that particular school of the eldritch uncanny and should be strongly recommended to fans of their classic BBC works or their Italian library/horror counterparts as much as Coil, Deathprod or Demdike Stare’s atmospheric moments.
Akira Rabelais has long been in our list of the most interesting, overlooked producers in electronic music. His early material for Mille Plateaux offshoot Ritornell was nothing short of revelatory, a mysterious, complex maze of elaborate layering that genuinely sounded unlike any of his contemporaries, or anything we've heard since. He was then picked up by David Sylvian's Samadhisound imprint and released an incredible, career-defining head-scratcher of an album in 2004 called "Spellewauerynsherde' - one of the most spectacularly odd and brilliant electronic records of any description you'll likely hear - seriously - seek it out.
Anyhow, that preamble is just to set out the extent to which we're all Rabelais fanboys here - so this new double album, the first disc in collaboration with Harold Budd no less, has arrived here with much excitement, offering his first new recordings in over five years.
The Little Glass breaks down clearly over two discs; the first containing four plaintive solo piano parts by Budd and Rabelais, followed by a 2nd disc presenting Rabelais’ hour long, inharmonic, electronic transformation of the preceding material.
Rabelais has collaborated with Budd before, he provided his own incredible side-long second CD to Budd's majestic Avalon Sutra album, and while the piano pieces that make up the first CD here are bloody lovely and all, pardon us if we do hurry on to the second disc, because, well, you know this is going to be special.
With a deliquescence touch perhaps best compared to William Basinski, the L.A.-based artist renders the original improvisations as a breathtaking hour of glistening tone clusters and mid-air melting partials growing in complexly yet naturally as fractals experienced under the lens of DMT, or a time-lapse image of ice crystals forming at the edge of moving water.
To be quite honest, we haven’t the foggiest as to what process that he’s using to achieve these results - it may well be his trusted Argeïphontes Lyre software but, we can’t confirm this - however that matter only ratchets the sensation’s enigmatic appeal - if ever there was a more acute application of the word.
It’s the sort of music that gives us involuntary rapid eye movements, as though we’re in sleep mode while awake, making time feel plasmic and space almost tangible in a sense that you could almost huff up his starlight and recline in his hyaline webs.
The Little Glass is evidently, achingly, beautiful but, don’t take our word for it; drink deeply and ye shall see, pal.
Christoph de Babalon places his revered sound design skills at the service of dread-filled dramaturgy in ‘Teyas’, an abstract opera written in collaboration with Warsaw sisters Antonina Nowacka and Bogumila Piotrowska, a.k.a. WIDT.
Reframing De Babalon’s patented palette of diaphanous atmospheres and blood-dripping jungle breaks with a more theatrical purpose, ‘Teyas’ is a logical extension of his interests in macabre and gothic themes. Working in the shadows of rave, dark ambient and classical theatrical scores, the possessed presence of WIDT really sets this side apart, out there with de Bablon’s most memorable releases such as his recently reissued ‘If You're Into It, I’m Out of It’ classic.
Both WIDT and De Babalon bring a strong visual sensibility to ‘Teyas’ that vividly speaks to sound-to-image synaesthesia, with vocals detached and processed into an ungodly array of shapes and set against some of de Babalon’s most precise stage mise-en-scene, adding up ot the kind of sound that doesn’t struggle to suspend the listeners disbelief.
The result is 5 stunning parts of fathomless electro-acoustic space and sparingly-used percussive rushes shaded and kerned into a captivating narrative that's highly recommended to fans of everything from Jani Christou to Maja Ratkje, Sophia Loizou to Kreng.
Deep, driving techno-jazz and spaced-out lounge funk from the inimitable Pépé Bradock on his spiritual home, Atavisme
Taking his 2nd flight of 2018 following ‘Exodus 8’, Monsieur Bradock is clearly bang up for it on ‘ATA 019’. With the exception of some spaced out respite in ‘Furious Yogi’, the energy and psychedelia levels are sky high on the other three, as he gears up with the burning dub-techno chords, padded bass and arcing, sampledelic textures of ‘Panique Manucure’ on the front, before really striding out with the hypnotically infectious pound and warbling notes of ‘Romantic DNA’,and cutting loose on a Chicago-style tribal pound in his own, special way with ‘Ave Psychic’.
Swedish producer Toxe's sharp ascent through club-cursed climes has elicited the highest praise from the start. In just a few years she has linked up with Staycore and Halcyon Veil, presented an A/V project with The Vinyl Factory, and scored KENZO's FW 2016 prints presentation with close collaborator Mechatok. Her new EP 'Blinks' is a fractal bloom of candied melodies and minor laments set in a sweep of frenetic rhythmic scenes.
On Blinks she puts that experience to good use in a bright and playful collection of phthalocyanine hooks and frenetic rhythms, sashaying from what sounds like an airborne Plaid in Honey Island thru to the slippery lead and big beats of Big Age, and over into what sounds like a late ‘90s AFX on Perfect 2, or some LP5-era Æ inspiration on Blue Warm Up.