The cuties at STROOM 〰 dish it up with extra mayo on their highly sought-after AA-side Valentine’s feature, pairing Keysha’s kinky ‘80s R&B beauty Stop It! with the starlit yacht-disco downstroke of What Is Love Today? by FG’s Romance.
Ziggy Devriendt’s selector chops are in full effect here, plucking out an absolute blinder with the onanistic coos and satin chords of Stop It!, originally the B-side to Keysha’s I’m a Thumbsucker! 12”, which is now impossible or dead expensive to buy 2nd hand, while FG’s Romance gives it some ‘80s FM swang on the B-side with What Is Love Today?
That A-side is 100% unmissable.
Project 223 marks the maiden union of two veteran UK techno producers, Lee Grainge and Steve Bicknell, who’ve clearly still got some gurns to burn with the chunky acid moves of On A Mountain.
Arriving in the wake of Steve Bicknell’s return to the fray with the 6Dimension label, whose Jing release sports vocals which uncannily resemble those attributed to Horizontal Charlie inside this 12”, the cryptically titled Project 223 (anything to do with Soul 223, a.k.a. Stasis?) get down to proper, rugged fundamentals with the search and destroy acid jaxx of Be Free, replete with that vocal, zig-zagging in classic style across the A-side, whereas Tell Me opts for a more stripped back and pent-up drive detailed with the intricacy Grainge has come to learn from his years since 1999 spent as a sound FX editor for TV and film.
They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they are making it spin better.
Jonny Greenwood presents an elegantly poised OST for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’, performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and an ensemble including himself and Oliver Coates, among others
“With Phantom Thread, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey and the women who keep his world running. Phantom Thread is Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis. The film’s soundtrack includes eighteen compositions by Greenwood. It was recorded in London with a sixty-member string orchestra conducted by Robert Ziegler and is featured more prominently in the film than any of Greenwood’s scores have been before. In addition to the Academy Award nomination, the Phantom Thread soundtrack is up for a BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Its many other accolades to date include Best Score prizes from film critics’ associations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.;
The composer spoke to Variety about the process of creating a score that reflected the film’s romance and glamour: “We talked a lot about ’50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded. Nelson Riddle and Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections; Ben Webster made some good ones.” Greenwood continues, “The smaller groups, and solo players, work like close-ups [and] not necessarily to accompany [a] visual, but rather, to focus your attention on and make you feel directly engaged with the characters. The bigger orchestral things often worked best for drawing you back to see the bigger situation.”
Anderson and Greenwood’s previous collaborations include the soundtrack for Academy Award–winning There Will Be Blood (2007), The Master (2012), and Inherent Vice (2014), all released by Nonesuch. Indiewire says of their collaboration: “Paul Thomas Anderson fans are well accustomed to how instrumental Jonny Greenwood’s music is to the auteur’s body of work. Whether it’s the foreboding strings in There Will Be Blood or the discordant percussion in The Master, Greenwood’s original scores expertly capture Anderson’s tones. This fact is especially true in Phantom Thread, which marks the fourth collaboration between Anderson and Greenwood.”
A much needed dose of tropical dancefloor heat!
Tropical Discotheque' is compiled by the gents behind Sofrito's clubnight of the same name, made up of nearly impossible to find vintage 'floor fillers, brand new edits from Frankie Francis and Simbad and even an exclusive cumbia from Quantic. Opening to the chugging, tugging cumbia of Banda Los Hijos de la Niña Luz 'Quiero Amançer' they wind through he infectious Afrobeat killers 'Les Ya Toupas du Zaire' and 'Maye Obi Den', via Simbad and Frankie Francis' deadly edit of Victor Uwaifo's 'Ohue', to swaying soca from Mighty Shadow, Quantic y su Conjunto los Míticos del Ritmo's authentically modern 'Cumbia de Mochilla' and a sweet calypso in Roaring Lion's 'Carnival Long Ago'. Pure party fuel!
Stone cold classic BEB material from the Aussie trio, Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (Tarcar, LST).
A frighteningly affective meditation on childhood memories, 'Hide Before Dinner' dredges similar, cobwebby partitions of the mind as Leyland Kirby's classics as The Caretaker, realising a drug fug sequence of enervated electronics, croaking death-folk and pause-button collage with an indelibly psychedelic impact.
We've all been there, we've all been kids, and we've all had a sh*t time doing it, but we're grown-up now, and can gaze back on that time with fuzzy fondness, right? F Ingers do so, and do it with thee most unheimlich attraction, coupling the kind of curdled electronics that made Tarquin's LST release 'Th Duo' so strangely fascinating, with the pastoral otherworldiness of their Tarcar output, and the much more elusive spectre of their own tortured and tortuous psyche, which is threaded thru the release like a silvery slug trail connecting them now to their snotted youth.
Perfectly summed by the label as "a relatable suburban gothic", we urge you to check the discordant sensations of 'Tantrum Time', or the murky wallow of 'Useless Treasure' and indulge the infidelities of your own, half-cut childhood recollections. Highly recommended.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike.
"From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother."
The beast from Brooklyn dry humps your ears to a pulp for Alter, first prepping with the bittersweet, crystalline tang of Burning Mattresses, then with the piercing highs and trampling force of Peña Adobe, the basic bastard bang of Smelling The Sheets, and finally swilling your lugs out with 14 minutes of coruscating metallic ‘tronics on The God In Vodka.
“Nick Klein's new record, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin,' was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, on an economic set-up. With a spartan modular synth and Korg MS-20, Klein describes the process of recording as "focused around the relentless role of filtering out and managing the anxiety of existing in a metropolitan area in the current political climate."
Though 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' starts on an almost uplifting note with the glistening melodic cycles of 'Burning Mattresses,' the asphyxia soon takes over, and the vertigo of the metropolis comes into lurching clarity for the remainder of the record. The height of the following track, 'Peña Adobe,' has the panicked terror of an archaic ringtone hitting the volume of an air raid siren, 'Smelling The Sheets' skulks rather than bangs, its momentum stifled and edgy, as if not enough was on Klein's side when making his way to the studio that day. The anguish doesn't taper, but rather culminates in the despairingly titled 'The God In Vodka.' At nearly 14 minutes, its disfigured rave stabs and blunted military tattoo-snare furiously pace into a clammy, toxic rush.
Despite the wry funerary image of its title, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' is far from a lament for better times, nor a report on descending into contemporary hell. Like a frenzied metronome, the record syncs itself with the dynamics of unrest in order to grasp the brazen tactics that perpetuate the seemingly boundless inequalities in the world today. Klein forges this link with his own minutiae in stride, tethering the conceptual motivations to a fidgeting, personalized atmosphere of rhythmic dysphoria.
Pitching agitation in this way, the record unapologetically presents itself as a soundtrack for participatory intervention, forcefully side-stepping the queues.”
Positive Centre’s ISS label yields a strong group techno showing from him, Sigha, SNTS and Dadub.
Sigha steps off the edge with a cavernous scene setter Mother that dances around the event horizon of a massive black hole subbass with wiry FX and radioactive synths, then SNTS puts his back behind a sweltering hydraulic tumper liable to undo your shoelaces.
Dadub do their exquisitely layered techno thing with a vicious, snarling electro edge on From Function to Form, and Positive Centre leaves the EP with a wide open atmospheric conclusion, In Extracts.
Killer new tape from Idiosyncratic Estonian artist Mihkel Kleis (Edasi), exploring his funky self as Ratkiller for Jon Rust’s equally wayward Levels label following a dedicated programme on Jon’s much-loved NTS show of the same name.
Keener eared listeners who recognise Kleis’s anomalous black metal output as Edasi from the start of the decade (remember that acetone-stained tape case?!) may have trouble consolidating their memory of that artist with the same guy who released the wigged out side, Meltdown of the Highest Order on Estonia’s Porridge Bullet in 2017, but strangely, and brilliantly enough, it’s one and the same guy - equally adept at conjuring medieval metal fantasy as the severely buckled and hypnotic boogie and exotica on Filtered Relics.
If Fortress Crookedjaw did Star In Their Eyes as Delroy Edwards, it may well sound a bit like this tape, as your man gets properly salty and rugged with a six track cycle of natty, knackered drum machines and synths, sifting an array of pads and choral voices that keen between 2 minute knots of murky library synth nostalgia in Pigfunk, to the alien vignette Filtered Relics via 8-bit EBM in Colourful Guts and Tropical Palms’ lounge music in Gimmick and Clowntown.
This is the kinda gear tapes were made for.
One of Belgium’s premier sound artist/designers shapes up the remarkable Bleak Comfort as his 3rd solo album, and first with discerning Parisian label Latency, who’ve previously proffered aces by Bellows, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Nuel, Madteo a.o.
In Bleak Comfort, as the title suggests, De Mey takes solace from aesthetic. It locates the arch sound explorer pushing his interdimensional electro-acoustic praxis in probing new ways, finer entangling their putative dichotomy of dynamics to an indistinguishable, light and space-bending blend of immersive viscosity and visceral, psychedelic effect that leaves the listener heavily disoriented and quite possibly motion-sick.
In badder hands and to sicker minds that could mean some proper deviant dancefloor business, while to others it’s serious brainfood for your ears to masticate, or vice versa. Either way, it’s just highly impressive electronic music, spelling out an uncommon complexity of spatialized rhythm and geometric proprioception that makes each part of the set indivisible from the whole, yet strongly applicable as dancefloor melters, as with the post-techno spine curvature of Stale, the sloshing Autechrian steps of Wearing Off, or the morphing electrollcages of Vecto and Bleak Comfort.
RIYL Autechre, Cam Deas, Dalglish.
Helm’s away-day for The Trilogy Tapes comes under killer remix fire from Laurel Halo, Sky H1, Parris, Low Jack and Beneath on Luke Younger’s Alter label.
Thanks to smart A&R and sequencing, this is one of those rare remix packs that exceeds the sum of its parts, cannily opening up the material to new perspectives ranging from the oblique jungle chicanery of Parris, who redresses Blue Scene as a sort of blown-out DJ Scud workout, to Sky H1’s anxious ambient trance cradling of After Dark.
Low Jack likewise renders a bittersweet tang from Candy that remains faithful to Helm’s gritty aesthetic, and Laurel Halo puts a mean, side-winding spin on Blue Scene, working up a fierce friction shared in Beneath’s re-rolled, recoiling take on World In Action, holding the rudest line between abstraction and face-twysting nuttiness which, like everyone else, draws mutable common links between dance music and noise.
Master drummer Milford Graves gives this month’s lead interview to maverick guitarist Alan Licht.
Young Echo do the Invisible Jukebox in advance of their long-awaited debut album; Simon Reynolds writes on prog explorer-turned-arch junglist Robert Haigh; and there's a feature on Freedom To Spend’s remarkable Ursula K Le Guin reissue, plus all the usual news, reviews, listings.
Matthew Herbert shapes his unique instrumental palette to a brooding, autumnal play of orchestral and electronic tones matching the mood of ‘A Fantastic Woman’
“A Fantastic Woman is a 2017 Chilean drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio (Gloria). It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and It has been selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist.
The acclaimed drama tells the story of Marina (Daniela Vega), a young transgender waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, falls in love with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), a divorced man who is a few decades older. As they plan for their future together, Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies.
Marina is forced to confront his ex-wife, who doesn’t want anything to do with Marina and asks her not to come to the funeral. Over the next few days, as Marina tries to get things in order, she has to endure insults and slurs from the police and Orlando’s family members.
Electronic music legend, Matthew Herbert (Herbert, Matthew Herbert Big Band, Dr Rockit…) brings his unique talent and has crafted a wonderful score which mixes classical orchestral elements with more electronic compositions.”
Charlemagne Palestine pays tribute to his late, great peer Tony Conrad, recorded at St. Thomas church, the site of their first meeting, on what would have been Conrad’s 77th birthday. It's also the inaugural release from the great Blank Forms curatorial platform, long supporting the preservation of experimental music and now finally starting their own label.
Between 1963 and 1970 Palestine earned the moniker “the Quasimodo of New York” for his daily sessions operating the 26 bell carillon at St. Thomas’ church at 53rd Street and 5th Avenue in NYC. After playing traditional hymns, Palestine would move on to improvised “klanggdedangggebannggg” sessions, turning the whole building in the middle of Manhattan into a resonating beacon which soon enough attracted the attention of Tony Conrad, who introduced himself inside the church after one of the clangarous sessions which had, by then, become a regular feature of NYC’s soundfield in the ‘70s.
Their friendship resulted in Palestine’s contributions to Conrad’s film Coming Attraction, and both artists would go on to become regarded as key figures in the emergent “minimalism” scene also including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, La Monte Young. Yet, both figures could also be regarded as relative outliers, with Conrad’s pivotal work sorely overlooked for decades, and Palestine preferring to call his ecstatic style of overtone exploration “maximalism” in contrast to the other artists he was lumped in with.
On this tape, Palestine opens with a cry to his friend on the “other side”, which he hopes to visit “…but not too soon”, before the Carillon performance, recored March 7th, 2017 at St. Thomas Church as part of Blank Form’s public programming, intoxicatingly fills the air with a lushly chaotic, plangent elegy to one of the most important, pioneering, visionary artists of the 20th century.
This 6-part overview of work by legendary Greek composer Jani Christou (1926-1970) is one of the greatest highlights of the practically peerless Edition RZ catalogue. Documenting distinct periods in the fascinating composer’s oeuvre, before he died in a car crash on, or just before his 44th birthday, the set provides a totally compelling introduction to Christou’s inseparable mix of music and philosophy, and his exploration of their metaphysical binds, and has become a real favourite of ours in the process.
The collected six works feel like discrete wormholes or windows onto parallel, proto- or post- dimensions in a way that we’ve rarely heard before. Taking cues from myriad sources such as his studies of logic and philosophy under Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, through to his private musical tuition with H.F. Redlich, and orchestration with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, and, perhaps most unavoidably, his obsessions with death and the afterlife inspired by his upbringing in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was surrounded relics of ancient civilisation, Christou’s music feels to genuinely touch on other worlds, and bring them into our own reality.
We don’t want to delve too far into the philosophy for fear of misinterpretation - we’ll leave that for you to wrestle with in the excellent liner notes - but sonically we can assure of the music’s nonpareil grip, especially in the chaotic flux and cataclysmic orchestral resolution of Enantiodromia, as well as the remarkably open-ended Epicycle, whose score calls for high levels of improvisation in a fixed situation, resulting a proper proto-techno abstraction, or in the spellbinding recording of Mysterion, with its whispered Danish vocal and stygian pulse, which was somewhat uncannily the last of his works to be recorded before his tragic death.
It all begs the question as to what Christou may have made had he lived longer, with access to new technologies - judging by the trajectory of these works, our guess is some of the most incredible music imaginable - but also leaves us with some beautiful, hugely distinguished music which acknowledges “an awareness of how remorseless, varied, infinitely complex, fleeting, but sometimes also infinitely simple is the world-wide phenomenon of pattern recognition” in a way which most beautifully highlights it’s magical logic via its purposed application.
Without doubt one of the most idiosyncratic artists working between Black Metal and electronic music, Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw dials in a blinding new Black Mecha album from the very limits of intergalactic techgnostic perception with Counterforce.
After initiating the project via AA for The Death of Rave, successive Black Mecha releases for Profound Lore and their own Internal Masonry Publications have plotted inimitably technoid new routes for hypnotic electronic music, expressing a densely raw, vivid hyperstition thru a disciplined rendering of arcane geometry, conceptual ballistic proprioception, and brutalist sci-fi themes.
Essentially, Black Mecha is making some of the most far out techno in the world right now, and he’s not even a techno artist. Where this past decade has seen a gaggle of roughshod interlopers offer shabby chic, defanged takes on techno, Black Mecha has sharpened his alien incisors with deadly intent and effect, producing a highly personalised music which applies just as well to proper, extreme, eyes-in-back-of-head transcendence as times of stone cold sober focus.
In that sense, Counterforce reaches where even the hardest nEuro techno bosch fests fail to deliver, as Black Mecha circumvents hard techno’s rote formula of 4-to-the-floor kicks and predictable filtering in favour of harnessing brain-eating hooks in a durational torrent of mainlining, shark-eyed rhythms and pineal-pinch noise which deliver an untrammelled, breathlessly anaerobic experience where the only predictable aspect is that the engines will keep combusting until this part of the mission is complete and the receiver is transformed.
Of course it’s not for everybody. But then again, what the f^ck is? You can take it on trust that if you’re prone to the heaviest, elemental rhythm and noise, Counterforce offers an unmissable space to immolate the senses.
RIYL Astral Social Club, Merzbow, Hypnobeat, Conrad Schnitzler.
Spellbinding aural alchemy from the maestro, William Basinski, presenting the vinyl version of his latest composition, 'The Deluge' (companion to the 'Cascade' CD edition).
Conceived at his current base in L.A., Basinski's first solo release since 2013's 'Nocturnes' renders his patented loop process in two longer form pieces plus a gorgeous orchestral denouement which at once reveals the underlying magick and heightens it with uncanny effect. In the 20 minute 'Deluge' a single, lilting piano loop unfolds in a display of deliquescent decay and delay, peeling away in frayed petals and fronds like a christmas wreath left on the front door of an abandoned house.
On the flipside's 'The Deluge (Denouement)' the loop starts to open up, initially sounding like one of AFX's prepared piano pieces off 'Drukqs' before a ghostly sleight-of-hand introduces the full string sample to breathtaking impact. This is followed by the closing 11 minutes of 'Cascade', where we view the same piano loop drift out of sight froma more pellucid, elevated angle. We hardly need to tell you that it's beautiful, life affirming stuff, but, like this record, it does bear repeating.
Áine O’Dwyer returns to MIE with Gallarais, an immersive, ghostly channelling of harp, keening vocals and acousmatic sound from the Brunel Tunnel, 50ft below The Thames in the heart of London. Gallarais acts as the follow-up to Aine’s acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 And II , also issued by MIE (and Fort Evil), and locates her first sighting since the amazing Locusts and Gegenschein dyad which totally grabbed our attention in 2016.
Sensitive as ever to her surroundings, these performances, recorded between 2013-2016, continue the themes of Áine’s Anything Bright and Startling  LP, returning her to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s tunnel to farther explore its unique sonic soul or sound architexture, employing its 3-4 second acoustic decay and the environmental sounds of water pumps, overhead planes, and subterranean trains as a subtly morphing, resonant space or ‘mystic cave’ for ritual sonic investigation.
Down there, Áine communes with the outside, modern world as well as the site’s deep topography, which was carved out - most probably by Irish hands and imbued with their spirit - over 150 years ago, while also making reference to ancient Greek notions of a passage to the underworld, or dimensions not usually known by the living. In this context, Áine’s harp and vocals become timeless tools of transcendence, elegantly carrying the weight of ages into the present with an expressively freeform, improvised spirit that that links thousands of years of music as a means of connection with the unseen.
Tradition filtered thru a timeless vessel, we hear Áine’s harp flurries beautifully mingle with distant planes and trains in the opening piece, Underlight, while Cordophone captures a hauntingly jibber-jawed vocal lament, seemingly shivering in dark cold of the tunnel, and the piercing recorders or penny whistles of Mouthtoum feel to echo buskers as much as ship’s whistles.
However, the LP’s most captivating pieces are its two longest and most central to her concept of exploring a “personalised abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish keener”. This, quite literally in Beansidhe - translating from Celtic as Banshee - where she keens thru the air between near infrasonic basses and pealing hi-registers with solemn, glossolalic vocals and stark woodblock percussions, and then joined by six other performers for Hounds of Hades, where their massed moans are joined by the guttural rumble of engines and the dank drip of the tunnel’s unheimlich and emotively charged, psychoacoustic space.
Of course, that’s all just a guide or description of the record and its roots, and to fully connect with it, you need to occupy its acres of elusive negative space or dark matter to fully appreciate the effect of its contrasts and elegiac air.
Vladimir Ivkovic’s excellent Offen Music present a superb, long-lost album by Mitar Subotić a.k.a Suba, a Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and whom sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. If you’ve been following Offen Music’s amazing records by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii, fell hard for that CultureClash LP on Lost Futures, love Muslimgauze, or hanker for lush ’90s vibes that you’ve never heard before, this one’s a total must-check!
Originally realised in 1995 at Suba’s Wah Wah Studio in São Paolo, Brazil, only shortly after the release of Subotić’s album as part of the Angel’s Breath duo with Milan Mladenović, Wayang discretely echoed that album’s esoteric pop themes and, at the time, was intended as Suba’s début release. For reasons undisclosed, the album was shelved in the archive, and he eventually released São Paolo Confessions in 1999 as the first Suba album, proper.
It may have taken over 20 years, but Wayang now finally finds its audience, and at a time when the scene has been perfectly massaged by waves of interim reissues and especially the DJs sets of Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens, whose shared rhythmic senses find a lot of common roots in this record. From the almost-junglist temporality of its opening cut, thru flashes of tribal rhythmic psychedelia, to passages of arcane incantation and some blindingly avant arrangement strategy, Suba proves he is a visionary artist and storyteller with tales for days.
After swirling our swedes for the last few months, we can assure you that Wayang is a distinctly psychotropic episode from a richly imaginative producer, with a proper play it again and again factor that hasn’t diminished since we first heard it.
Once again unveiling hidden treasures from his archive of tape loops, William Basinski releases three pieces made at his Brooklyn apartment during one night in 1982, adding a fourth composition (based on the same source material) made earlier this year.
You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we're certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer's stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years.
Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski's oeuvre there's a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. '92982.1' is outstanding, featuring lilting, gritty strings through the left of the stereo field while crumbling piano sonorities rule to the right. Far from exhibiting any signs of automation or impersonal repetition you can always hear a human hand shaping the music.
The faded, rattling chord movements of '92982.2' take on an altogether more ghostly, dissolved quality, with echo-flecked machine jolts peppering the mixdown, underlining how fragile this whole process is. The third track, meanwhile, is an extended version of a piano-based piece that appeared in its original incarnation on the Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive album (surely one of the standout albums in Basinski's entire catalogue), here stretched and developed over the course of twenty minutes. It's a beautiful study in the interplay between an instrumental performance and the medium onto which it's recorded, full of ruptures and low frequency rumble as the tape itself interferes with the flow and consistency of the music.
Finally, Basinski takes a fresh angle on his source loops with a composition recorded in February of this year. There's a markedly different character to this final entry; an unexpected cleanliness that somehow feels just right as a coda to the archival dust and dereliction of all that's come before. Its tacit stateliness serves as confirmation that all these years on, Basinski has lost none of his form, and that despite the richness of his work in the early eighties he's still a very active, utterly compelling creative force.
A late ‘90s neo-noir ambient and D&B masterpiece - imagine if The Caretaker made fierce, unrelenting Jungle - fully remastered by Rashad Becker and reissued 21 years since its original release back in 1997.
Christoph De Babalon was a key member of Germany’s mutant splinter cells who fused UK rave music with more experimental, Teutonic techno, Ambient and hardedge politics to brutal effect during the mid-late ‘90s. 21 years later, this music has patently withstood the test of time, distinguished by a haunting atmospheric pallor and ruffneck way with Jungle that still makes us feel just as clammy and psychotic as when we first heard it (most likely on a trip to Berlin or via Christoph Fringeli’s invaluable C8 database).
For us, If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It really distills a feeling of that era, as the utopian outlook of rave’s early years had evidently given way to something much darker, more maudlin, perhaps symptomatic of ennui with dance music’s hyper-commercial land grab, or even a pre-echo of pre millennial tension. Either way it provided the perfect soundtrack to ravers who were spending more time developing virtual lives online, or (speaking from experience) who weren’t yet old enough to go raving, but were shelled with media images and 2nd impressions of the culture, which had by then morphed into the prevailing trends of garage, trance, and prog house, and was but a ghost of its original, loony self.
If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It therefore feels torn between extreme states. On the one hand it goes harder than the rest in killer rave moves such as the hardcore rattler Dead (Too), the epic amen + drone blow-out My Confession, or the cutthroat beast Water. But on the other, he goes darker, more haunting than the rest of his field with remarkable cuts such as the 15 minutes of billowing dark ambience that open the LP in Opium, or with the sublime, Gas-like suspension system of Brilliance, and the funereal, bombed-out bliss of High Life (Theme).
De Babalon effectively plotted out terrain that bridged DJ Scud’s rugged jungle breakcore with soundscaping more commonly associated to Thomas Köner or Deathprod, and in the process set the ground for myriad contemporary producers and sounds ranging from Raime and Blackest Ever Black to Demdike Stare, Pessimisst and beyond. If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It was, and still is, a deadly statement of intent, whose rhetoric and aesthetic still strongly resonate with subcultural concerns in 2018.
C L A S S I C
Following a major retrospective at The Tate St Ives, forgotten art maverick Marlow Moss (1889-1958) - a radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art - is the inspiration and the focus of this new LP from Primitive World for the Ecstatic label. Crafted from various synth improvisations, including the rare and tricky PPG Wave synth/sampler, it comes highly recommended if you’re into Peder Mannerfelt’s brut ambient, Raster Noton’s grid-based rhythmic fascinations, or Pan Sonic at their most glacial.
White On White forms a follow-up of sorts to Willis’ Ascention tape, and perhaps more aptly, leads on from his and Not Waving's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked, British female pioneer of her field - which are collected on their Walls album, Sound Houses. There’s little doubt that this new album contains some of Willis’ strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss’s work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Titled after the Moss piece which adorns the LP’s front cover, White On White forms a welcome first introduction for many to Moss’s “work, life and theories” thru a combination of visual representations - photographs of the artist and her work - with text by Lucy Howarth, curator of Moss’s recent exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv exhibition (2017), the touring Tate display (2013-15), and of course the music itself, which seeks to describe Moss’s mathematically sound geometries and evocative aesthetics thru its lattice of unique, free-floating timbres and spatialized rhythm patterns.
White On White is thus a direct result of the artist immersing himself in Moss’s oeuvre, or what is left of it (most of her pre-WWII output was destroyed in the war), with results strongly reflective of the austere clarity and modernist structure of her works, from her syncopated line drawings modelled in the helixes of Double Lines, to the rotating perspectives of her 2D-into-3D metal sculpture manifest in the illusive, Peder Mannerfelt-like designs of Matrix of the Visible, whereas the closing 9 minutes of perilous abstraction recalling Wendy Carlos’ Clockwork Orange OST in Man Guessed at a Spiritual Meaning and Imposed a Moral System both literally and metaphorically serves a sort of unsentimentally elegiac, enigmatic lament for the artist’s neglected status, which even now prompts a scratch of the head by people who should be aware of her work.
A proper ear n' eye-opener.
Berlin’s hardcore minimalist Frank Bretschneider tweaks the freqs for Shitkatapult, rolling out pronged stabs and inhuman vocals on the physical electro flow of Plastik, and with head-slapping tones swept up in a sort of drily swanging house vortex with Mechanik.
“Frank Bretschneider on the tracks: "It moves, it sings... but does it swing? Anyway, it represents the soundtrack of my life, my musical influences: some San Francisco psychedelia, some London underground, some Berlin school (old and new). Krautrock from Cologne and New York minimalism. A shot of Detroit grit, a bit of Moscow dust, a splash of Paris charm?" Bretschneider was raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in the German Democratic Republic. He is the founder of the East German underground band AG Geige and co-founder of the Raster-Noton label. He lives as a musician, video artist, and producer in Berlin.”
More goodness from the Basic Channel affiliated Wackies Crew Re-Pressed. Further adventures with Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes - the man who worked formatively in Lee Perry's Black Ark, then relocated to New York, with a crucial take on classic period Scratch production techniques and part of his equipment.
So it is no coincidence that the drifting analogue detail in the rhythm tracks owes much to Mr. Perry's classic period. Providing a bridge from the well documented seventies heyday of roots reggae into the less well covered mid eighties - all Barnes work is worth checking and this is no exception.
Delahaye has a wonderful high register falsetto styled vocal, even on the couple of lovers' cuts here sounding rootsy and deep. Featuring a great recut of The Chantell's classic Sitting in the park, and five other top quality cuts, find out why this label is held in such high regard.
Throughout the illustrious thirty-year recording career of Horace Andy, with its innumerable highs, his unmistakable falsetto has lit up just three albums of indisputable greatness - "Skylarking", for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One; "In the light", for Everton Dasilva's Hungry Town label, in queens, new york; and - with the biggest original impact, by far the most contemporary of the trio - "Dance Hall Style", for Bullwackies in the bronx.
Recorded at the tail end of the seventies, dance hall style reworks songs like "Money Money", first recorded by Bunny Lee and Derek Harriott's "Lonely woman" - alongside a version of Lloyd Robinson's "Cuss cuss" - and births bona fide classics like "Spying glass" (later covered by Massive Attack).
The musicians include Wackies regulars, men like Owen Stewart and Oral Cooke from Itopia, Ras Menilik and Jah T.; also Horace's multi-instrumentalist spar Myrie dread from the hungry town sessions. At the desk, Lloyd Barnes, Junior Delahaye and Douglas Levy coax unequalled vocal performances from Horace Andy, in correct showcase fashion, all worthwhile extended mixes. Iconic album, essential purchase.
Another totally obscure diamond that we might never have found without Edition RZ’s prompting, and should be strongly recommended to fans of durational, minimal works by Stephen O’Malley, Eliane Radigue, or Jakob Ullmann.
Trauermusiken, or Music for Grief, offers two gravely intense compositions for strings written by contemporary Austrian composer and organist Klaus Lang.First released in 1995 by Lambeart, and reissued by Edition RZ in 2002 (this edition), it ranks among Lang’s earliest works and consists of one relatively short prelude followed by a quietly crushing 69 minute piece.
The five minutes of Der Wind und das Meer, Trauermusik für Bratsche solo (The Wind and the Sea, Music for Grief for Viola solo), performed by Barbara Konrad, foreshadow a glacially unfolding and technically demanding piece performed by the Amras Streichquartett.
In its slow, sustained and keening intensity we’re instantly reminded of Harley Gaber’s The Winds Rise In The North, which was also reissued via Edition RZ. However, Lang’s piece feels like the inverse of that record, trading teeth-chattering high-end for a solemn exploration of lower registers, operating at near-liminal levels of concentration and focus.
It’s yet another totally obscure diamond that we might never have found without Edition RZ’s prompt, and should be strongly recommended to fans of durational, minimal works by Stephen O’Malley, Eliane Radigue, or Jakob Ullmann.
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world.
Vertigo follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’.
In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.”
Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures.
One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo."
Another blinder from Basic Channel's Wackies re-issue programme finally gets its long awaited release.
Between stints in Jamaica for legends like Glen Brown and Junjo Lawes, Wayne Jarrett travelled from his Connecticut base to record this album during the same weeks as the sessions for everyone's favourite - Horace Andy's Dance Hall Style.
These are two of the great vocal reggae LPs of all time - no questions asked. With Clive Hunt in full effect, Showcase Volume One follows the six-track dub-showcase format and Wayne never sounded more like Horace with his yearning throaty gargle! Blues afficionados might even want to discuss the influence of the late, lamented Bobby 'Blue' Bland on reggae vocals, but that's by the by.
Including four unmissable Studio One versions - Azul's deadly Rockfort Rock, Sleepy's Every Tongue Shall Tell (with outrageous Isley fuzz), yet another Heptones cut via Leroy Sibbles, and a killer Drum Song.
With typically subversive swerve, Die Tödlich Doris return to their earliest work with a dissection of their debut album's final track, homing in on the rhythmic noise/radio cut-up collage ‘In Der Pause’ and emphasising its fluctuating infidelities and their inherent, druggily hypnotic qualities
“In der Pause” (During the Pause) was the title of the last track on the b-side of “ “, the first album by Die Tödliche Doris. “In der Pause” was pause music, as well as the announcement of the interval between their debut album, released in 1982, and the box format project ”Chöre und Soli” that followed in 1983. The original sounds of “In der Pause” survived on a single audio tape dating from 1981.
Now, about 35 years later, Chris Dreier and Wolfgang Müller have used the material recorded on the audio tape as the source for five new tracks of pause music. The material on the original audio tape has was reworked using Moog analogue effect modules and Ableton Live. It has been supplemented with archived announcement interludes from radio and television stations, including German stations WDR, NDR and HR, Radio Italy IBF and Radio Kamerun.
“Sprechpause” was recorded in 1981 — 1982 by Chris Dreier, Nikolaus Utermöhlen and Wolfgang Müller and reworked by Wolfgang Müller and Chris Dreier in 2017.”
Seven Notes in Red is The first book on Goblin in English..
"The book is about and dedicated to Goblin, the cult rock band that revolutionized the concept of music in film, creating an influence that is felt worldwide 40 years later.
The book analyzes, year by year, song by song, the story of this seminal band in all the incarnations, in a fantastic voyage through Dario Argento’s most celebrated films and the Italian film and music industry. At 600 pages, Seven Notes in Red provides a truly impressive iconography and a massive amount of facts and anecdotes never revealed before."
Originally released in 1991 as a limited run of 100 self distributed cassette tapes.
The 5 tracks touch upon Ambient, Dub, House and Balearic styles and show an ambition to create timeless music in the vein of Ultramarine and The Orb. 25 years later these songs finally reach a wider audience....on cassette, again....
IDIB present a well warranted, analogue remastered Deluxe Edition of Chromatics' now-classic 'Night Drive', now including five bonus tracks.
The original tracks sound as poignantly cinematic as ever, their cover of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' still striking a tender nerve. The new tracks neatly expand the soundtrack-y feel, from the synth and Piano copulation of 'Shining Violence' to sleeve-rolling yacht disco in 'Circled Sun', through a memorably haunting duet for subtly effected bass guitar and vocals in 'Bell', to the Badalamenti-esque scoring of 'The Gemini' and a Drag Italo master stroke in 'Accelerator'. A must.
Rhythm and Sound freaks, take note - this album contains the original Chosen Brothers / Prince Douglas version of “March Down Babylon” - one of the heaveiest dubs ever made...
Engineer Douglas Levy was part of the original Wackies set up from 1974-75, alongside Lloyd Barnes and Jah Upton. For a while he would have his own label - Hamma - within the Bullwackies group; but besides Sugar’s International Herb, this 1980 dub album is his finest work. Wackies’ fans have been clamouring for its reissue ever since Rhythm & Sound began making the catalogue available again. Many of the rhythms are derived from a tape given to the studio by Sly and Robbie, containing their versions of recent Joe Gibbs hits. And there are brilliant treatments of Tribesman Dub - the rhythm for Tyrone Evans’ Black Like Me - and Wayne Jarrett’s definitive interpretation of Every Tongue Shall Tell.
Elsewhere Jah Batta takes deejay duties - likewise Prince Douglas himself. But the deadliest cut of all reworks another gift, Steel Pulse’s “Handsworth Revolution”, which arrived in a parcel of records from England the same weekend as the session: March Down Babylon Dub, with Bullwackie himself at the microphone in his Chosen Brothers guise, as steely and apocalyptic as Douglas Levy’s fabulous production.
Senegalese master Lamine Cissokho has played kora all his life. This has led him all over the world, to many musical collaborations and praise from the likes of Toumani Diabaté.
"Lamine is currently living in Sweden where he is constantly touring in different line-ups. Up 'til now he has released two previous solo albums. Full of great singing and rhythms- this is something else."
Laurel Halo returns to album format after two critically acclaimed EPs with the driving, meditative 'Chance Of Rain'. Evolving from earlier works, it's a cerebral exploration of the intersection between rhythmic and ambient music, drawing together moments of movement and stillness, psychedelia and presence of mind.
On 'Chance Of Rain', rhythms melt with unpredictable structures, ambient drift and deep harmonic passages, while keyboard-based interludes reinforce both the far-out and contemplative aspects of the record as a whole. Halo's evolution as a live performer has directed her music's development in part, as the tracks on ‘Chance Of Rain’ are fleshed out versions of live hardware improvisations. This LP is far off from the definition of a traditional dance long player; where tracks like ‘Serendip’, ‘Chance Of Rain’ and ‘Ainnome’ invite with infectious grooves, others like ‘Oneiroi’, ‘Still/Dromos’ and ‘Thrax’ invert these energies, revealing sinister potential in the process. Again Halo's knack for illusory detail and sound design shines, and another duality feeling emerges, this time one of unearthly joy. Drawing inspiration from the music of her home state's music capital Detroit, in both harmonic and rhythmic palettes, the music showcases freedom within metric constructs, and skyward optimism in the face of decay. The album comes packaged with artwork created by her father, an NYC-born, Michigan-based visual artist whose work focuses on industrial landscapes of Michigan and the Rust Belt at large. The artwork here is an early work of his from the 1970s, reflecting the album's twisted, hopeful tone."
The Sound Wizard behind the name The Small Crowd is Martin H. His influences are all over the map and he's been remixing, producing, arranging for other artists in Sweden for some time now.
"This is his solo project where he blends his heavenly, mostly instrumental, mix of electronic music with a classical string quartet (Rosa Kvartetten).
Adventurous and beautiful."
Séance Centre, the new label manned by Invisible City Editions’ Brandon Hocura, dust down Eblen Macari’s obscure Mexican space synth suite Música Para Planetarios for its first (remastered) vinyl reissue. Any cadets into László Hortobágyi, Steve Hauschildt, K. Leimer or Rex Ilusivii/Suba need to give this a whirl!
“Mexican guitarist and ambient artist Eblen Macari’s Música Para Planetarios (Music for Planetariums) was originally composed for weekly performances in the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City to accompany a voyage through the galaxy. The album, released in 1987 was based around Macari’s solo performances using Ensoniq ESQ-1, a Korg Poly 800, two guitars and pre-hispanic Ocarinas. The expanded arrangements recorded for the album include a full stable of pre-hispanic percussion and beautiful baroque harpsichord played by Macari’s wife. This expansive interplanetary soliloquy is undoubtedly Macari’s masterpiece.
Those not familiar with Jones’ style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. The five lengthy tracks are based on hypnotic and somewhat menacing loops: a repetitive dub bass beat, waves of Middle Eastern strings and voices, layers of building hand percussion.
Muslimgauze’s Mullah Said masterpiece reenters orbit on its 1st ever (reshuffled) vinyl pressing, following the original CD issue in 1998, and its 2008 reissue. Recorded at Abraham Mosque - site of many Muslimgauze classics - and released as Muslimgauze 18, Mullah Said falls squarely in the category of crisp, richly layered and dubbed-out Bryn Jones productions which have cast such a strong influence on the likes of Vatican Shadow, and likewise opiated the imaginations of everyone else who crosses their path.
From the plangent call to prayer of Mullah Said to the viscerally hypnotic dissonance of Every Grain of Palestinian Sand, thru the depth-charge electro stepper Muslims Die India - now resequcned to the middle of the LP - and the strange scene of avian electronics and heart-breaking folk song in An End, this is an essential Muslimgauze album, no less.
Terrence Dixon in deadly Population One mode with remixes of his early classic Hippnotic Culture, a deeply avant techno session released by Utensil Records in 1995, retweaked for Rush Hour in 2017 - including the Rush Hour cut which inspired the Dutch titan’s moniker.
That cut sparks the set off with a mind-bending cascade of polychromatic harmonic chaos harnessed to powerful kicks, while Warped is tweaked with more 3D geometrics, and Cosmic Drill is given a slippery, iridescent new chassis. Lovechild slips down the nervous system like sonic GHB oils, and the frozen, isolated tones of Lost In Space nails that feeling with unmistakable effect.
Nobody does it quite like this guy. A must check for any followers of forward electronic music.
Some of Glasgow’s finest rework album songs from Moon Diagrams a.k.a. Moses Archuleta ov Deerhoof’s new proiect for Sonic Cathedral Recordings.
Happy Meals pinch and tuck End of Heartache into an iridescent sort of sino-synth-pop groove; Komodo Kollektif take The Ghost and the Host on a more somnolent, heavy-lidded trip.
Debut album from Ron Morelli, founder of the influential L.I.E.S. label featuring 8 electronic variants; from House and industrial tape experiments to saturated metallic beat tracks...
There’s so much that could be said about Ron Morelli, his L.I.E.S. label, or the fact that his debut album comes to you via Hospital Productions, but instead, here are some words from the man himself.
“I’m a regular guy, enjoy a good steak, drinking beer, and occasionally a game of pro basketball, Republican talk radio... you know...all the good stuff.....” “The music on this record is about immediacy, pressure, monotony and stress. A great deal of the feelings conveyed within come from the fear and repulsion of basic human interaction....like if someone sitting behind you on the plane sneezes on you or being forced to shake the clamy hand of a stranger and the intimate paranoias of the mind and dealing with it or not. Not to make some deep intellectual fuck show of this, as it is not...it’s just stress music...jammed out quick and recorded.”
“Last year, I was staying in an area where all the hookers did their work...all they would do is smoke cigarettes, read the paper, talk on their cell phones, and spit. They would spit...A LOT. I would step in that hooker spit on the way home, often tracking it into the apartment building as I entered. This is where the title of the record comes from.”
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!
Cooked up and cooled out in time for summer, the 2nd part of Theo Parrish’s pivotal and deeply influential debut album, First Floor  lands back on the format it was conceived for. Best believe this is one of the most addictive, raw and soulful collections of music from the Det-Chi connection that you’ll ever hear.
Now on its 3rd vinyl edition, First Floor Part 2 still sounds achingly strong and inimitable as ever, working right on that soulspot with the haunting swagger of Electric AlleyCat and the air-treading pressure of Sky Walking beside swingeing drum cut ups in JB’s Edit and Dark Patterns, and proper, sun-dazed funk in Electric AlleyCat.
If you don’t know; here’s your chance! Essentials.
Imagine Arve Henriksen jamming with Jon Hassell and Vangelis on a dusky evening by the savannah / prairie / dockside - you’re in sniffing distance of the properly lush vibes in Joseph Shabason’s Aytche. 4th world, yacht-drift ambient and new age, he does them all beautifully well inside. And if you don’t believe us, then trust pivotal Montreal players Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo) who says “highly recommended”.
“Saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason's debut Aytche builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting.
Aytche is a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, "I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it's not usually known for." Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones.
Album highlight "Westmeath" approaches Aytche's subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album's only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father's trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust, this selection is anything but frivolous.”
Sterling Dug Out drop: a delectable slab of talking drums and late night rasta soul by a former Jamaican drumming champion, recorded at Harry J. Studio and mixed at King Tubby’s, 1976.
Fronted by Leroy ‘Mabrak’ Mattis, and originally issued on his Lightening & Thunder label (Issat Mabrak in Amharic), Drum Talk was conceived as an extension of his Liquid Talk version for Harry J’s personal mix of the legendary Liquidator Riddim - essentially a live version loaded up with his own drumming - which impressed Tubby so much that he asked Mabrak to do a full album of Harry J riddims.
Drum Talk is that album, and it’s a beauty. In terms of smoked-out midnight vibes, it’s about as close as you’ll come to the deeply cherished reissue of the Dadawah album in Dug Out’s catalogue but, it’s also more danceable, if you’re partial to a woozy skank.
For percussion nuts and Jamaican music lovers, Drum Talk comes with the warmest recommendations.
Incredible collection of mid-late 80’s experimental works from the hugely influential Italian avant-garde composer Luigi Nono, including works for contrabass flute, clarinet, treated voices, strings and electronics.
Editions RZ present a necessary reissue of their 1990 LP release, now backed with three legendary recordings, 'La Terra E La Compagna', 'Caminantes', 'No Hay Caminos, Hay Que Caminar'. Collected, they form a great access point to Luigi Nono's unique, carefully realised, yet unfathomably vast world, one equally informed by avant-garde musical studies and his commitment to socialism.
In the best possible sense, it's very difficult to accurately sum up the sounds inside, other than in terms of a visceral, haptic approach and stunning spatial awareness. Highly recommended.
Editions RZ collects historical recordings of Italy's forward looking and influential Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza 1967-75, a collective featuring Egisto Macchi (percussion + celesta), Ennio Morricone (trumpet), Walter Branchi (bass), Franco Evangelisti (piano), John Heineman (trombone + cello), Roland Kayn (hammond organ + vibes + marimbaphon), Giovanni Piazza (horn), Frederic Rzewski (piano), and Jesus Villa Rojo (clarinet).
All skilled players and composers, the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza were formed in 1964 at the initiative of Franco Evangelisti with an aesthetic agenda looking beyond the boundaries of previous improvisational musics. They focussed on production and the qualities of sound itself, employing innovative recording and playing techniques at the limits of their capabilities as performers and composers in order to discover the "new consonance" inferred in their nomenclature.
These ten pieces spanning eight years are highly considered works of art, aware of the Neo-Dadaists attempts to disassemble the concept of a work of art, and instead attempting to expand its parameters as a transitory body of work in flux. We can hear traces of this work reflected in the more forward thinking Italian film soundtracks of the era and to a further extent, in Ennio Morricone's work for Hollywood, in turn casting an influence over much exploratory, non-academic contemporary music.
12th Isle pick up and press X.Y.R.’s sublime trip El Dorado on its 1st vinyl version following a sold out micro edition of 25 tapes released thru Illuminated Paths in 2015.
A perfect fit for the label’s emerging aesthetic, equally porous to influence from 4th world and ambient dimensions, X.Y.R. uses archaic Soviet synths such as the Formanta mini keytar and Alisa 1377 to divine a pulpy blend of “experimental cinema sonics, electroacoustic research practice and shadowy wind instruments” in a way that’s comparable to Popol Vuh or Eduard Artemiev’s widescreen synth visions, but grounded with a more lo-fi sweat lodge mysticism.
Like some intergalactic bard, Vladimir Karpov a.k.a. X.Y.R. has also toured the likes of Singapore Sling Tapes, Not Not Fun Records and Constellation Tatsu with this sound over the best part of last decade, with El Dorado remaining an elusive highlight of his journey. In six parts it unfolds a tenderly personalised, shimmering sound world, a place for mental retreat thru atmospheric anaesthetisation, keeping all the tones weightless and free floating for a lushly immersive sense of suspense that should be clearly recognised as precious by any souls sensitive to rarified electronic psychedelia.
Editions RZ collect ten early works by the late Morton Feldman (1926 - 87).
They're largely his shorter pieces, spanning compositions made between 1952 and 1959 alongside esteemed peers including David Tudor, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury, and János Négyesy. ""In his compositions for piano, which make up a central part of his oeuvre and in which all of his experience is accumulated, it is the play of Feldman's hand whose touch is intended precisely for the 'untouchableness' of sound. The clear character of the 'attack' thus displays the paradox of such playing: it is just as much about concealing the idiosyncrasy of the piano sound, the precise point of attack while, at the same time, the structure and tension of those sounds are formed by the hand." --Stefan Schadler.
Typically nice RZ packaging. Includes the following works: "Piano Three Hands" (1957, performed by Feldman & Tilbury); "Intermission 5" (1952, performed by Feldman); "Vertical Thoughts 2" (1963, performed by Janos Negyesy: violin & Cardew: piano), "Extensions 3" (1952, performed by Feldman); "Four Instruments, 1975" (1979); "Intermission 5" (1952, performed by Tudor), "Piano Piece 1956 A" (1956, performed by Tudor); "Piano Piece 1956 B" (1959, performed by Tudor); "Intersection 3" (1953, performed by Tudor); "Instruments 1, 1974" (1975, 24 minute piece performed by Eberhard Blum: flute, Nora Post: oboe, Garrett List: Posaune, Joseph Kubera: celesta, Jan Williams: drums)."