Classic roots reggae album written by Hugh Mundell when he was only 16, with signature floating falsetto set to production by the legendary Augustus Pablo.
Africa Must Be Free by 1983 spawned a reggae classic with its title track Africa Must Be Free, but in a tragic turn of events Mundell was murdered at the age of 21 in 1983 whilst travelling in a car with Junior Reid.
Mulatu Astatke is widely regarded as the father of Ethiopia's jazz scene, so it's only fitting that he should get an instalment of the renowned Ethiopiques series all to himself.
The recognisably African influences on this music are surprisingly understated, with Astatke's schooling at Berklee College Of Music shining through, revealing an accomplished musician and arranger. There are some very modern elements to this music (first released between 1969 and 1974) with Big Muff-saturated electric guitar leads and wailing horns all very in keeping with the spirit of the time.
Astatke's certainly enjoyed a rich and varied career, collaborating with Duke Ellington in the '70s and more recently enjoying some crossover exposure thanks to Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, which featured some of Astatke's music on its soundtrack. He's certainly one of those artists who merits a wider audience than the awkward 'world music' bracket could afford him.
TCO shine a little light on a bonus track from their Every Day  album with the hushed, wistful woodwind and smudged bass tones landing somewhere between Steve Reich and one of Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals.
James Holden and his band, The Spirit Animals, turn in a noisy whirlwind of drawbar organs, sax and barrelling drums like some kinda Can meets Shackleton at Goats place tribute on Pass Through The Fire, the first track from their upcoming album together.
Floating Points’ Melodies International tees off its next 12” with Maurice Moore and Family Affair Band’s funky twanger Everything That Shines Ain’t Gold - Parts 1 & 2 cut to the A-side, backed with FP’s filter-freaking edit.
With his wonderful debut album still glowing brightly, Motion Graphics commits these two new gems of Peter Zummo or Steve Reich-esque minimalist studies for Future Times, the label run by his Lifted collaborator, Max D.
There’s no mistaking his reference points, but it’s the way in which he transposes their techniques onto the glassy idents of scrolling digital menu sounds that sets the pieces apart from their precedents.
With Brass Mechanics he summons a spiralling, vertical vortex of pizzicato wind instrumentation and pointillist clicks sounding like one of the lush, swooning phrases from his album or the Lifted project has been expanded and flipped upwards to the sun.
Tarahumara licks zippy woodwind in deliquescent loops and swallow diving figures on the flipside, folding the phrases into a bittersweet frenzy of rapid fluctuations and harmonic clusters that leave us light headed.
R&S present ‘Warmth’ the new album from New York based duo Blondes AKA Sam Haar and Zach Steinman whose ten tracks of mesmerising, ever shifting rhythmic workouts percolate alongside contemporaries such as Levon Vincent, Joey Anderson and Donato Dozzy.
"A decade into their musical relationship, the duo continue to find inspiration through hardware instrumentation and improvisation. Haar and Steinmsan’s intense live performances on sound systems throughout Europe and US for 2013’s ‘Swisher’ LP and beyond traversed nightclubs, festivals, art museums and DIY spaces serving to generate a wealth of material album to be distilled into this album.
‘Warmth’ finds them further stripping away extraneous elements, pushing their percussive framework to the forefront. The result is lysergic techno fused with Blondes’ characteristic synth-work and atmospherics.
After parting company with their previous label, the highly respected RVNG Intl. label, the duo find a natural home as part of R&S’s storied alumni as they explain: “Having released on RVNG for years, we had wanted to move in the direction of releasing on a more dance music focused label. RVNG has established itself in the world of experimental music and reissuing overlooked records from the past, and we both (RVNG and Blondes) thought it would be immensely exciting for us to release this new record with R&S”
It’s fair to say that Blondes’ characteristic hypnotic synth figures, pulsing club ready rhythms and gritty off-kilter sensibility have never felt as fully realised and timely as on ‘Warmth’- their most significant and weighty record to date.”
Equiknoxx, Tarquin, Dre Skull, Ludwig Goransson and DJ dad spin Dirty Projectors and Dawn Richards’ Cool Your Heart towards the ‘floor in diverse fashion.
It’s a tropical weather system of styles, running from a loved-up, sitar and steel drum-inflected Equiknoxx remix to a giddy, almost proggy reanimation from Tarquin, also taking in a mellow dub dip from Mixpak’s Dre Skull and Childish Gambino producer Ludwig Goransson’s ruggedly stripped down swerve between trap and footwork.
Stunning, often ecstatic and frenzied album of 12-string fingerstyles - hugely recommended.
The lesser-spotted Poon Village pick Boston-based Rob Noyes’ captivating debut LP of Basho-esque 12-string fluidity, The Feudal Village for release some two years after their excellent excavation of William Winant’s virtuoso percussion on Five American Percussion Pieces. We’ll be damned if this isn’t some of the most amazing guitar work we’ve heard since those Tashi Dorji records.
With the Demo 2014 tape already to his credit, The Feudal Village necessarily presents Noyes to a wider audience, well, at least those who are lucky to snaffle a copy of this record, which is already - perhaps understandably - trading for twice the shelf price 2nd hand. And we say that as admitted dilettantes to this deeply-rooted genre, although it’s really not hard to hear that Noyes style is deeply impressive.
In eleven parts he’s the best kind of show-off, weaving his elaborate melodies and complex harmonies so quickly and with such rhythmic intricacy that it’s a joy just to try and keep up with him. But once you’re settled into his elemental cadence you’re in for a gripping 35 minutes which only feels half as long by the run-out groove.
“Rob’s playing carries the weight of many possibly imaginary forebears, but the way he smears them all together shows a holistic mastery of touch and imagination that defies a lot of today’s players” -
Bare-bones, proto-technoid primitivism from Shane English, following his previous LP, Conscious Walk for Unknown Precept, and a split LP with Beau Wanzer as Corporate Park. RIYL Thought Broadcast, Conrad Schnitzler, Nocturnal Emissions
“American experimental musican Shane English continues in a long tradition of outsider electronics as he's been humbly prolific in his output though the years involving himself in numerous recording projects. Collaborating with Jonah Lange in their group Corporate Park as well as an ongoing collab with Beau Wanzer (seeing a release last year under the CP/BW name), English now commits his second full length solo offering to vinyl in the form of the General Dimensions lp.
Sparse machine driven electronics dominate the recording providing a back drop for the occasional pulsating rhythm, metallic clank or floating obscured vocal. While it is a dark and sparse affair there is a quiet downtrodden beauty throughout giving the recording a sense of uncertain serenity in an almost shoegazey way. Highly recommended for those into early electronics.”
Timeless roots reggae volley
Sister Rasheda decries the oppressors in World Crisis teamed with Dougie Wardrop and Jerry Lyons’ rollicking dub on the A-side, then steps out on a more mellow, effortlessly driving UK steppers sound in Earthquake and the scooped out Dub produced by Tenastellin.
Four Tet switches to midnight mode on a pair of bittersweet house and garage turn
Taking the long, winding scenic route from deep house to windswept electronics via cascading post rock breakdowns in SW9 9SL, then swivelling on the spot with the fusion of posh garage-techno and traditional African string tones in Pianist.
Instinctive, primordial regressions to pre-history Japan
“Japanese saxophone transgressor Akira Sakata meets with his long-time collaborator and Fender Rhodes virtuoso Giovanni Di Domenico, Portuguese guitarist Manuel Mota, and drummer Mathieu Calleja for a session recorded at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels.
Named after the Jomon period of the Japanese prehistory - when Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture rich in tools, clay pottery, and jewelry made from bone and stone - the record features three tracks: Jomon (縄文), Kaen (火焔), and Dogu (土偶). The Dogu (literally: "clay figures") were small humanoid and animal figurines made during the Jomon period for religious purpose: it may have been believed that illnesses could be transferred into the Dogu, then destroyed, clearing the illness, or any other misfortune.
The record itself is a musical healing ritual invoking and unleashing a powerful demon with Sakata's throat singing, then slowly hypnotizing it in the second half of the album, putting it back into its vault before it's too late. Beautiful artwork made with Sakata's hand-painted Kanji characters.”
Innovations in ‘free’ middle eastern experimental music
“Featuring some of the most innovative players from Beirut, Cairo and Istanbul, Karkhana met for the first time in Beirut in 2014, bringing together influences from the three major experimental music scenes of the region and beyond. Through their live shows, the band's seven multi-instrumentalists build a transcendental atmosphere developing what could possibly be called free Middle Eastern music. Shades and traces of shaabi, tarab, sufi and much more are heard in the distinct blend of free jazz and psychedelic krautrock they've created.
Recorded and mixed by Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studio - in only two days - and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering Studio in Chicago, For Seun Matta is the first studio album by the band, following Nafas (Omlott, 2016) and Live At Metro Al-Madina (Sagittarius A-Star, 2015). Featuring Sharif Sehnaoui on electric guitar, Sam Shalabi (The Dwarfs of East Agouza) on oud and electric guitar, Maurice Louca (The Dwarfs of East Agouza) on organ and synth, Umut Çağlar (Konstrukt) on zurna, gralla, bamboo flutes, and percussion, Mazen Kerbaj on trumpet, Tony Elieh on electric bass, and with the recent addition of Michael Zerang on drums.
"I wish I could track down more of this tantalising outfit's music to share...This Middle Eastern supergroup first got together to celebrate the music of Egyptian surf guitarist Omar Khorshid – who was also a key figure in Oum Kalthoum's orchestra – but their remit has expanded somewhat and now they're fully committed to outer-perimeter explorations in Krautrock-leaning, cosmic free jazz" (John Doran, The Guardian)”
Stunning 30 minute session of brain-searing noise techno deconstructions from the virulent Pete Swanson.
'Pro Style' continues the former Yellow Swan's work on 'Man With Potential' and that mighty 7" for BEB's Confessions series, rerouting disparate strains of modular synth squall and bludgeoned rhythms into a decaying techno multiverse on the brink of collapse. The title track rams grotty, toiling bass hits under a face-mauling blast of dissonant, sticky noise calamity, like a dose of sonic bath salts straight to the ear.
A VIP mix follows, placing more emphasis on hulking, viscous dub lurch and really allowing the noise to shred through the pain threshold into a zone of cathartic, psychedelic pleasure. He saves his best effort for the flip, as 'Do You Like Students?' occupies a breathtaking interzone of transcendent Goan bliss and industrially-reinforced, 6am-eternal rhythms, a collective dark fantasy brought to life by a man who's probably spent very little time on the dancefloor, yet knows exactly what he needs it to sound like.
After attending college and getting deeper into computer music, Sam Obey began releasing music as Obey City. The project quickly took off with EPs for LuckyMe, forming the Astro Nautico label with his best friends, multiple tours and collaborating with Kelela and Flatbush Zombies. Now, as Sam O.B., he returns to what his oldest confidants know he’s always had up his sleeve: his voice and his bass guitar.
"‘Positive Noise’, the debut album by Sam O.B., is not a ‘journey of a record’ but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance; cloud patterns; like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water’ you’ll understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female ‘oohs’ fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way. The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
‘Positive Noise’ also has a strong anchoring in the thick pulsing rhythmic stylings of 70s and 80s disco and funk grooves. Sam is a dedicated vinyl collector, having curated DJ residencies around NYC (Hot Sounds Island, Astro Nautico, The Lot) that practically worshipped smooth jams."
Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre's Jazkamer troupe are among the most respected and prolific members of the infamous Norwegian noise/metal scene.
They love making a f**king good racket. During 2010 they undertook an ambitious project to release an album of new material every month for 12 months via a subscription service. 'Chestnut Thornback Tar' was originally the May edition but the fiends at Type just had to own it on vinyl, hence this wax-only pressing including a bonus mix CD reducing the series to 75 minutes of absolutely deadly and mind-bending visceral noise collisions.
The album is dominated by the 20-minute molten suffusion of 'Sentimental Journey', a wading-through-mollasses sprawl of sustained tones and howling-into-the-wind white noise bearing no small debt to Dylan Carlson's Earth (it's a bit of a giveaway that Lasse wears an 'Earth 2' t-shirt on the rear sleeve image!) and conducted with an almost Zen-like attention to detail.
However, the rest of the LP takes a very different shape, joined by collaborators Nils Are Drønen and Jean-Phillipe Gross to crush out another side of overdriven avant-metal dementia with splattercore drums seething under banks of petrifying noise worthy of Whitehouse at their most fearsome. Yet, the most impressive thing here is probably the CD, forcing 12 months of multi-disciplinary noises to co-exist in dissonant harmony - making for one of the most visceral and exciting mixtapes you'll hear this year.
Marc Richter is a bit of a musical chameleon, operating at the cusp of experimental music for many years at the helm of the Dekorder label and via his excellent Black To Comm project.
His last album for the Type label, 2009’s excellent 'Alphabet 1968’ perhaps didn't quite get the attention it undoubtedly deserved, but it still stands out as one of the most oddly memorable drone-ambient albums we’ve heard this last decade, vaguely tapping into the Hauntological zeitgeist of the day but extending the remit to create something far more unsettling and ambitious. That it was subsequently sampled on Evian Christ's standout EP ‘Kings and Them’ perhaps best illustrates the gap between Richter’s creative scope and his relative anonymity.
News that there was a new double album recorded for Type filled us with curiosity, and the result is another sprawling, ambitious re-modelling of ideas that perhaps started life in the ambient realm but soon became infected by a signature surrealism that genuinely sounds unlike much you’ll have heard before. The album extends from the pulsing, chattering opener ‘Human Gidrah’ to the delirious fractured pop of ‘Hands’, while the 20 minute long ‘Is Nowhere’, builds slowly via rumbling organ sounds and buzzing filters to a noisy, sparkling climax.
There are real songs hidden in there somewhere, but Richter’s restless production style never quite lets them fully surface, throwing numerous stylistic distractions that take in everything from skittering jazz-atmospheres to bombastic spoken word narratives and quasi-operatic chanting - gliding from one track to the next without anything like a coherent progression in mind. That the sum total of these tracks isn’t a sprawling mess is an achievement in itself, but that repeated listens (and it doesn't take many) reveal a kind of addictive, earworm quality is genuinely surprising for an album whose sole remit seems to be to wrong-foot and frustrate. So yeah, 'Black To Comm' is undoubtedly a more challenging record than its predecessor, but one which repays the patient listener in dividends.
Type follow up Mike Shiflet's 'Sufferers' side with a further exposition of his individual and far-reaching sound palette.
A member of C Spencer Yeh's revolving Burning Star Core unit, and a prolific collaborator with the likes of Daniel Menche, Chris Corsano, Pete Swanson and many more, Shiflet has honed an intensely visceral feel for tone and texture which makes his records so intriguing to lovers of experimental composition and music making. With some production/audio mastering assists from fellow Columbus, Ohio-based musician Joe Panzner, on 'Merciless' Shiflet engages with corrosive textures from the off, enticing us in with fractured small sounds on 'Feeble Breaths' before weaving a lattice of quick-drying fibreglass strands over your cochlea which become infested with scuttling, insipid rhythms and abstract noise abrasions designed by Panzner on the lloopp software for max/msp.
This induction, by contrast, makes the second half piece of evolving horror drones in 'Exodus And Exile' that much more affective, while the 2nd side plays through as one longer, queasy composition veering from cacophonous noise to wheezing drone and chilly isolation with added cassette manipulation by Jason Zeh, Cello by Marina Peterson and Violin from C. Spencer Yeh.
Well, somebody had to do it, and we could think of few better than Italy's Alga Marghen label. Punning on the title of Simon & Garfunkel's classic LP (even reproducing the front cover), Patrice Caillet, Adam David and Matthew Salladin have collected those infamous "silent" tracks from releases by Ciccone Youth, Crass, Andy Warhol, Whitehouse, Sly & The Family Stone, John Denver, John Lennon, Robert Wyatt, Orbital, and many more.
It's equal parts a provocative statement, as many of the pieces were intended, and also an aesthetic exercise if we take their instruction to "play loud" literally. All silences are presented as they were originally recorded, from the four minutes of Orbital's 4 minutes of silence for the death of rave, 'Are We Here? (Criminal Justice Bill?)' to John and Yoko's 'Two Minutes Of Silence' , right thru to the void of Yves Klein and Charels Wilp's interpretations of silence on 'Prince Of Space', with each keeping intact the infidelities of their recorded medium - Orbital's digital recording near silent apart from this disc's inherent crackle, to the rich patina of surface disturbance in Yves Klein and Charles Wilp's. The in-depth track descriptions and liner notes are a good read, but really, ultimately it's just all a bit of a p*sstake right?
For reasons that will become lysergically clear once you’ve heard the samples, Midori Takada's sublime debut album Through The Looking Glass  is widely regarded the holy grail of ‘80s Japanese ambient & minimalist music. Perhaps it’s no wonder that 2nd hand copies are known to trade for over £600, and, therefore this deluxe reissue is welcomed by a whole new generation of listeners tracing this enchanted sound back to source.
Rooted in Midori Takada's fascination with Asian and African percussion traditions, Through The Looking Glass documents the Japanese musician navigating syncretic channels of practice between floating fantasy kingdoms and parallel ambient dimensions whilst guided by a deeply ethereal, oneiric spirit that’s utterly key to the album’s appeal. While it broadly falls under the ambient banner, the results are far too grand and ambitious to be considered sonic wallpaper - they’re more like widescreen tableaus that open out exponentially the deeper in you dive.
The image of a Lady Godiva-like character riding a hare-sheep-horse chimera on the cover symbolises the surreal confluence of ideas and gestures within; a Japanese musician translating Victorian psychedelic fantasies into a language of rippling rhythmelodies and softly pealing harmonics that nod to Pygmy music as much as gamelan traditions, the soundtracks of Cocteau films and precise marimba patter.
The rest, we’ll leave for your dilated discovery. Take it on trust that this is especially spellbinding and sui generis stuff without complete comparison. A dream.
Tresor back up Detroit boss DJ Stingray’s Kern Vol.4 selection with a powerful collection of electro-techno missiles, as deployed in his mix. Exclusive, new gear barges shoulders with not-so-recent and vintage weaponry ranging from his own NRSB-11 duo with Gerald Donald to AFX, Professor X, Herva, Gesloten Cirkel and more.
The oldest cut is probably the classic, Kraftwerk-sampling Professor X (Saga) - a big 313 tune since 1989 - by erstwhile N.W.A. affiliate Mik Lezan aka Professor X, The Arabian Prince, whilst rarest cut is probably Syncom Data’s squeaky Musik Politik, which previously appeared on an obscure Cunker Records tape in 1998, making its first vinyl appearance here, as does his slamming Detroit girder Nationalised.
Of course they all sound strong, but when you hear them in the mix at Stingray’s hand, they truly come alive. Now’s your turn…
AR is the collaborative project of Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson
Originally published in a limited CD edition of just 200 copies, 'Wolf Notes' is the debut album from *AR, the collaborative project of Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton. While both are already accomplished solo musicians, 'Wolf Notes' marks a stunning new chapter in their canon, and like all great collaborations takes the finest elements of each, moulding it into a pitch-perfect whole.
Those of you familiar with Skelton's previous works, most notably 'Landings', might be surprised to hear that the central instrument on 'Wolf Notes' is the human voice. Autumn Richardson's glassy, lilting echoes haunt the record like distant spirits, with her melodies kneaded and obscured by Skelton's patented treatments and signature strings. The central theme is established with relative ease, but is allowed to shift like the tides, pushing and pulling throughout the record's duration. 'Wolf Notes' might be split into five distinct parts, but they are all simply sections of a clearly defined whole, and are not intended to be heard in isolation from one another. Quite possibly the most sublime project from Skelton yet - adding to an already precious catalogue of releases.
Following on from a pair of Extended Players released in 2011 ("Passed Me By" / "We Stay Together") Andy Stott returns to Modern Love with 'Luxury Problems', an 8 track album of new material recorded over the last 12 months.
Five of the tracks on the album feature the voice of Alison Skidmore, Andy's onetime Piano teacher whom he hadnt seen since he was a teenager back in 1996. There was no grand gesture in mind, it just sort of happened - but after almost a year of studio work the result is really quite unlike anything you'll have heard from him before. 'Numb' opens the album with Alison's voice; layered and looped but essentially left bare and exposed, tumbling into a dense shuffle, sort of somewhere between Theo Parrish and Sade, but more f*cked.
'Lost and Found' follows and deploys a growling rave bassline and a disturbed vocal, the beat assembling itself around a squashed Linndrum like a submerged Prince/Cameo production, haunted and impenetrable, but full of funk. 'Sleepless' started life as an African drum edit that sooner or later succumbed to Stott's intense rhythmic shifts. It's a sound that's been imitated countless times since the release of 'Passed Me By', here re-tooled and re-built for its next evolutionary phase. 'Hatch The Plan' ends the first half of the album with some heavily treated location recordings and a low end grind that probably doesnt quite prepare you for the vocal arrangements that follow - it's just a beautifuly inverted pop song.
The second half opens with 'Expecting', the most recognisably 'Stott' moment on the album: a wrecked, deliriously knocked-out 4/4 shuffle deployed at halfspeed; those heavy kickdrums sucking in everything around them. 'Luxury Problems' is next and offers up the album's most quietly euphoric and open 5 minutes; conventional arrangements and drumloops disrupted by sharp disco bursts that mess with what you know: it's straight and beautiful and unbalanced and damaged, somehow all at once.
"Up the box" switches up the narrative and goes somewhere else entirely, an extended intro that seems to build continuously for 3 minutes before breaking off into a slowed-down Amen edit, creating a kind of narcotic Jungle variant that fragments everything and ends just at the point you think it's going to go off, before "Leaving" finishes the album with an almost unbareably beautiful arrangement of voice and synth and a final key-change that takes you from joyful to forlorn in an instant.
Pat Maher has left an indelible mark on our listening habits over the last few years - from the ketamine techno fractals of his Diamond Catalog alias to the cough syrup-laced chopped and screwed productions as DJ Yo Yo Dieting, the guy just seems to have furrowed his own unique path situating him somewhere between the films of David Lynch, the aesthetic of the Tri Angle label and the mindset of the most experimental end of the U.S. underground movement.
But by far the deepest impression Maher has made has been left by the unforgettable degenerations of his Indignant Senility project. 18 months have passed since the release of 'Plays Wagner' (his debut proper), in which time he's become scarily familiar with his technique of decaying and manipulating found sound and sampled detritus. Like some arcane alchemist perfecting his magick, or a Victor Frankenstein of thrift shop wax, on 'Consecration Of The Whipstain' he's resuscitated acousmatic fragments of f*ck-knows-what into a supernatural collage of symphonic ambient space and cold, metal-on-shellac texture.
But most importantly it's the channels between the gauzy layers, in the cracks of the dulled ceramic glaze, where the ghoulish drafts circulate more freely and chill to the bone with an intravenous sense of movement which wasn't quite there previously, despite always being hinted at. Like the best of his work, there's an unpredictability to the (de)composition of his occult sonics which, like the most memorable horror films (or their soundtracks), sustains the suspension of disbelief without you ever noticing, always holding back more than it gives away.
And to further the celluloid analogy, it's handled with a masterful attention to the lighting of each scene, allowing certain looming objects and apparitions just enough light to elicit deeply instinctive responses from the listener/viewer. There's a list ranging from Xennakis to The Caretaker, Bellows to Lustmord and Kevin Drumm who could be more or less compared to this sound, but ultimately there's something genuinely, quietly demented about it which should be approached with caution by anyone of a nervous disposition. It's just hugely recommended to everyone else.
20 years since they peaked out with a seminal, eponymous techno album, Thomas Köner and Andy Mellwig’s Porter Ricks return with a super robust, dynamic new LP of hydro-tech mutations for Tresor, following up the gritty example set on last year's Shadow Boat 12”.
Tough but deep whatever way you view it, Anguilla Electrica revolves around a signature Tresor sound in effect, toiling well into the trench between aerobic proprioception and psychoacoustic sound design with an immersive, sensational impact that’s just as bracing on headphones as when felt over a big rig - although we’d definitely recommend the latter!
Its six cuts are optimised to a pair of LP's, giving nuff room for the likes of their scowling, skudgy title track and the distended, subaquatic stepper Scuba Rondo to fully flex their thrilling dynamics over a side-a-piece, while elsewhere they perfectly reprise the elemental psychedelia of their early releases with the pendulous swang of Shoal Boat and the sloshing skanker, Port of Tangency.
But if we’re talking about techno psychedelia in terms of amorphous dexterity and elusiveness, then the most impressive examples are reserved to the breathtakingly intricate flux of Sandy Ground, and no doubt the near-weightless, water-treading abstraction and unquantised polymetrics of Prismatic Error.
Take it as a firm yet mutable reminder of what’s possible within the dub-tech-noise paradigm; a deeply smart way of consolidating keening experimental impetus with proper dancefloor pressure.
An amazing selection of works by American composer Robert Ashley, Alga Marghen's release The Wolfman compiles tape music from 1957 to 1964.
The earliest composition is 'The Fox' a stuttering, half-broken recording of a story being read out with a creepy delivery by Ashley. The broken tape sequences are somehow tinted by darkness - a fragmented, discordant flow of sound that can barely prepare the listener for 1964's 'The Wolfman', a scouringly ferocious noise piece that rivals anything you'd hear in modern times from Wolf Eyes, Prurient or even Merzbow.
It's just incredible, and almost impossible to place within the wider context of music being made in sixties America - you really have to hear it. As an accompaniment, 'The Wolfman Tape' takes away the vocal elements of the recording, resulting in a more subdued collage excursion. Finally comes the three-quarter-hour piece 'The Bottleman', conceived as a soundtrack to a George Manupelli film. This hollowed out drone work is a deeply subtle exploration of tonality, quietly plotting out a tundra-like sonic plain with an eerie sense of harmonic fluctuation.
It's a breathtakingly good conclusion to an album that reveals a visionary figure in electronic music - one you may never have encountered previously, but whose output should be regarded as being of immense historical value. Very highly recommended.
Immersive, transporting and deeply arresting music from the revered autodidact and audio oddity. If you've never encountered Ghedalia before, this is an excellent place to start, welcoming you to a whole other world of exotic, electro and acoustic sounds, composed between 1979 and 1987 according to a genuinely far reaching and individual agenda.
"More than 5 years after the CD edition of Eclipse totale de soleil and Transportes, Alga Marghen finally decided to also reissue the first and forth LP by Ghedalia Tazartes including both on one CD. Ghedalia Tazartes is a nomad.
He wanders through music from chant to rhythm, from one voice to another. He paves the way for the electric and the vocal paths, between the muezzin psalmody and the screaming of a rocker. He traces vague landscapes where the mitre of the white clown the plumes of the sorcerer, the helmet of a cop and Parisian anhydride collide into polyphonic ceremonies… The greatest trips were made in the deep end of the throat: the extra-European music open the ear to Ghedalia's intra-European exotism. Where was music before music halls? Where was the voice before it learned how to speak? Ghedalia is the orchestra and a pop group all in one person: the self is multitude and others.
The author and his doubles work without a net, freely connecting the sounds, the rhythms, his voice, his voices. The permanent metamorphosis is a principle of composition, it escapes control, refuses classification. To hell with the technocrates of noise and the purists of synthetic culture. All art like all true mythology use a double clavier, playing nature and culture, feeling and the distance of the flesh, death. Off limits!"