Julia Holter, Elusive, Cole M.G.N. and Hardland line-up the first remixes spawned from Nite Jewel’s 3rd album, Liquid Cool.
LA’s Alpha Pup proprietor, Elusive resets album highlight Was That A Sign amid a scene of shimmering sleignbells and heady, up drafting synths - warm and over-easy; sorta what we imagine xmas in LA to be like - whilst Nite Jewel band-member Cole M.G.N. reworks the dance-pop bullet Boo Hoo with helium vox and tautly realigned halfstep electro momentum.
Reworking Kiss The Screen, The Samps’ Hardland heads in the other direction with a maximalist, emotive version swelling with a prog-pop chuff on, making the contrast with Julia Holter’s gorgeous, Julee Cruise-like take on Running Out of Time seem even starker by comparison.
Riveting label debut from Berlin’s Gil for Aïsha Devi and co’s Danse Noire, seeing off 2016 with a fierce session of reggateon riddims and deconstructed club shrapnel backed by remixes from fellow prism smashers, J.G. Biberkopf and Imaabs.
Grounded in “emerging post-human theories and the surreal collage culture of underground circles”, Gil’s Orchids & Wasps EP is one of the most compelling examples of current phase shifts from classically conventional structures to increasingly simulacra-like playgrounds where previously mutually exclusive styles collide, invert, and create new, syncretic forms.
On Bruxism he emerges from an unfathomable void to pitch between pelting flashcore and chest-quaking, 100bpm reggaeton kicks alloyed by way of screechy noise flux, whereas Many takes a more warped route via a kiddy’s choir into a sloshing, rabid bout of dembow drums and salty noise that sounds like Russell Haswell mud-wrestling with Florentino, and his Onset comes hardest of all with a brutal display of possessed black metal howl and wretches pinned into place by railgunning snares and claps, eventually resolving to another dutty wine and obliterating outro that sounds unnervingly close to an actual murder on the ‘floor.
The remixers were clearly picked wisely, handing over Onset to J.G. Biberkopf for an hallucinatory, psychoacoustic rush of defibrillating bass pulse and mind-warping chromatic keen, before NAAFI’s Imaabs jettisons the beat almost entirely, leaving the same elements to scare the shit out of each other in a freezing cold anti-gravity chamber.
Strong stuff. Future sickness.
The first ever compilation of Cluster recordings compiled by John McEntire ov Tortoise.
"Cluster's influence on the development of electronic music cannot be overstated. The original trio of Conrad Schnitzler, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius released two seminal albums as Kluster before Roedelius and Moebius replaced the K with a C and continued as a duo. They produced eight albums in their most innovative period between 1971 and 1981, two of them together with another pioneer of electronic music, Brian Eno.
Cluster anticipated much of what would later emerge in such varied styles as industrial, ambient, electro and even synthpop."
Archival seeks from African Head Charge, originally dug out for release on a special RSD 10”, now available digitally.
Beri Version bumps a woozy, jazzy version of BeriBeri off Environmental Studies (1982); Realigned Dub deposits a heavy troddin’ display of grounation drumming; The Race (Part 2) is a hum-a-long skanker cantering out with massive bass and heady melodica.
Heavyweight rollers from the Rinse FM and Tempa regular, shotting his 2nd session for Doc Scott’s 31 Records.
Sykura steps out on a proper sort of Doc Scott drum pattern with Virus-style bassline tear-outs and rattling breakbeat switch-ups; Assemble hinges off crisp woodblocks on a quick-stepping, gangsta rolling piece of minimal D&B pressure.
A leading light of contemporary, deep Detroit house, Jay Daniel drops the drum machines for more personalised breakbeats and vibes in his sterling debut album.
Broken Knows is testament to Daniel’s restlessly searching spirit, resulting from his search for unique grooves which ran into a conceptual dead end with drum programming and pushed him to pick up the sticks and keys and start recording himself thru a proper mixing desk in his mother’s basement.
Whilst his grooves for Sound Signature, Wild Oats, Apron, and, most recently, his own Watusi High label, have always demonstrated a killer feel for off-centre rhythms, the drum machine clearly wasn’t ductile enough for his wants. Therefore Broken Knowz presents a sound much closer to his personal ideals.
As heard in the lead single, Knowledge of Selfie the results come as close as any to the original West London broken beat sound of Dego/Cousin Cockroach, with deep highlights for the ‘floor in the percolated shuffle of Squeaky Maya and the tucked bustle of Niiko, but overall this is an album for vibing out pre- or post-party, thanks to its unhurried but insistent flow and predilection for lots of space in the mix.
Check for the Audio/Mathew Jonson-esque electro-house tweaks of Dystopian Daddy and the growling techno ride of Groundwater
“Avalon Emerson’s latest EP, Narcissus In Retrograde, explores four different styles that shape her distinct voice as a producer and songwriter, from symphonic showstoppers to broken acid. Opener "Natural Impasse" ferries massive melodic themes through a network of emotive capillaries that’s underpinned by charging drums, while "Dystopian Daddy" dons a theatrical flare with costume-changing arpeggiators and digital brass beef that command attention like a stage-hogging space alien diva lip-syncing for new wig money.
The B-side takes a more menacing turn with "Why Does It Hurt", the outright techno achievement of the record, and the snarling closer "Groundwater." Ethereal vocals on the former punctuate kicks and growls that sound like they were pulled from a pedal monster’s electric guitar, and on "Groundwater," a crucible of fucked breaks and acid cut a ravine through a bed of off-staccato hats and a sample swamp.”
Heartsick boogie aces from Anthony Naples, poking out his first release of 2016 as a sort of autumnal toddy for chapped dancers and reveries of warmer times.
Leaker swivels out on a slow, shifty electro boogie glyde with a steady core of phasing bass and ticking rimshot smudged by psychoacoustically shifty pads; sounds sorta like a sharpened NWAQ joint.
The sluggish jack of Moments Magicos feels more sore, blue, like one of V/Vm’s saltiest new beat tributes, early trance on 33-not-45, or Pye Corner Audio at their gauziest.
The 5th album from Silver Apples was originally released in 1998 on CD only. A one track album clocking in at over 40 minutes, it features
a sound collage of oscillator noises and sounds with percussion.
At the time it was billed as 'A Voyage of pure exploration beyond the broad established horizons of electronic music.It is an adventure into perceptions of an unparallel universe all it's own'.
Another reminder of African Head Charge’s innovative, dub-wise brilliance, collecting eight previously unreleased versions of original, early classics created circa 1981-1986 at Adrian Sherwood’s studio.
In a congregation of styles perhaps very particular to that era, dub and tribal drumming are refracted thru freeform post-punk attitudes, psychedelic African roots and Adrian Sherwood’s massive mixing desk to forge a sound they could, and still can, happily call their own.
Make sure to check for the palpitating percussion and wigged out concrète sampledelia of Conspired and the truly messed up wickedness of Slippery Heel for the wildest tastes, or the Thai folk-dub styling of Further for a smart precedent to the sound of Maft Sai & Chris Menist’s Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, and some downright trippy jazz-dub skronk in Low protein Snack.
Think Count Ossie meets Can at Muslimgauze’s gaff…
'Radiant Intervals' was the first Eleh LP on Important since '08s 'Floating Frequencies/Intuitive Synthesis Vol.3', and follows one of the Wire magazine's (and our) top records of 2010, the incredible 'Location Momentum' for Touch.
Continuing with investigations into physically tactile tones and drones, this LP offers four further modular synth expeditions eternally moving towards the distant point depicted on the gorgeous, letterpress printed sleeve. After a stoically inert start 'Night Of Pure Energy' is unusually rhythmic (for an Eleh composition at least), propelled by waves of cone-caressing subbass and even spitting out shards of white noise as the pressure mounts.
From that relative excitement 'Death Is Eternal Bliss' returns to particle-quiverring drones, succumbing to a innate longing for what lies beyond by attempting dissolve the listener through sheer vibrational force, while the slowly repetitive 'Bright & Central As The Sun Itself' emits sustained pulse waves with an intrinsic meditative value. 'Measuring The Immeasurable' is the most affecting, gradually enveloping the field of audition with asphyxiating microtonal hum closing in on the senses like we're in a huge, sealed glass bowl filling with a hyper-conductive anaesthetic gas.
A very pleasurable experience, to our minds at least.
Deepspace disco trips from Breakplus and Mr Beatnick a.k.a. two halves of erstwhile production duo, Thieves of Time, strutting up on the latter’s Mythstery label.
Breakplus goes heads down on a dubbed-out, raga-esque chuggernaut called Le Train Enflamé, receiving vocoder distress calls and hitting a peak of symphonic ‘70s disco strings en route.
On the other side of the wave, Mr. Beatnick conserves the tempo to a determined 100bpm, wading thru viscous acid and heatsick electronics to some freaky-ass electro riffin’ and thundering drums redolent of Burundi Black.
Mika Vainio’s incredible Ambient/Brutalist soundtrack album for a film by Finnish film maker Mika Taanila.
The music for Mannerlaatta was written very early on in the film’s two and a half year development, and subsequently held a strong sway over the rhythm of the film's editing and visual narration. As Vainio tends to use a set-up of homebuilt kit (strictly no laptops) unchanged from his very earliest productions, each new release is effectively a subtle alteration/refinement of his brutalist but tactile process of creation. And, going by that timeline of events, we’d speculate that Mannerlaatta was conceived somewhere in the wake of his staggering Kilo LP and the amazing Konstellaatio side as Ø, which is roughly where its aesthetics also lie.
The hour-long score breaks down to 6 sections, each exploring the full frequency spectrum of his patented, greyscale tonal palette, largely swerving a fixed rhythmic meter to occupy a weightless, outta reach mid-ground that seduces us headlong into his chasmic designs and, we’d imagine, best suits the black and white film imagery.
Key to the recording’s appeal - as with the best Vainio gear - is that peripheral sense of spatial dynamic and his unpredictable manipulation of amplitude; whether dangling us over abyssal subbass dimensions, needling with icy prongs, or occasionally alleviating the tension with teasing pads which evaporate back into the æther as though they were never there, ultimately leaving us rapt and at his mercy for the duration.
Ruddiest acid house buggers from James Booth, channelling the stickiest, most effective darkroom house elements of his 12”s and LP for 100% Silk, Farbwechsel and Church into the first release on his Share XL label (google it..).
For the most part, Share XL finds Booth decluttering the more sickly sweet synth arrangements in favour of lean, experimental grooves and abstracted electronic contours, resulting a smart piece of pendulous, distended acid in KRUELL, and some super deep and rugged modular torque in LAX.
O.I.L. holds the centreground with a warm flush of chords more familiar to his previous releases, but it’s back to the abstract fizzing structures with the nervy electro of M.X.M., and a brittle boned jacker named STUDD.