Giorgio Luceri aka 6D22 strikes three soaring electro-trance missions for Singapore’s Midnight Shift Records, coupled with an excellent remix by co-pilot Heinrich Mueller aka Gerald Donald (Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus).
Mueller’s dissection of 龍王 - Longwang is star of the show, featuring elements of the original frozen and zoomed in to microscopic degrees, revealing a crystalline electro structure formed from tightly packed but slippery lattice of pads and brittle pulses. Th other three originals by Luceri are strong, densely woven pieces of electro-trance, but none comes close to the pristine angularity and timbral tang of Mueller’s remix.
Goon Club Allstars follow Gqom king DJ Lag’s eponymous EP with a taut 2nd volley by Rudeboyz, the label’s 1st and only release of 2017.
We advise checking out the recoiling torque of Bounce Back, where they strip back the percussion in favour of a massive, shifty subbass, and then checking As’Jableni for a proper piece of stepping Zulu pressure, replete with panting vocals by T_D Snaxx.
The follow up of the acclaimed first volume of this compilation, a real discovery for many DJs and music lovers worldwide who didn’t know that much about Zouk or DIY electronic music of the french west indies. The selectors Julien Achard and Nicolas Skliris continue the excavation of French Antillas vinyl from the 80’s and the 90’s and for this second volume, they found some really exciting new references which should be soon « classics » on the dancefloors.
The selectors Julien Achard and Nicolas Skliris continue the excavation of French Antillas vinyl from the 80’s and the 90’s and for this second volume, they found some really exciting new references which should be soon « classics » on the dancefloors.”
Shelter Press’ remarkable run of 2017 releases ends in deep contemplation with this beautiful exploration of traditional Northern Indian classical music recorded with an experimental emphasis, carrying out the aural equivalent of zooms and close-ups, weaving between the minute details of sound and the more expansive effect on the listener. Recorded by artist Darren Almond, each of the pieces here corresponds to imagery from his eponymous video installation, shot in Rajasthan, 2012.
Revolving around recordings of Fateh Ali (Santoor, Manjira), Ghulam Gouse (Tabla), Roop Singh (Manjira), and Zakir Hussain (Bansari), All Things Pass seeks to connect the ancient Indian artform of the raga, whose time-based structures link the movement of the stars to earthly events, with the individual player’s emotions.
In this complex feedback loop of cosmic information and terrestrial expression, Almond operates as a sensory relay or transducer, using a shotgun microphone to document the instruments and synaesthetically offering a sort of sensory lens that regulates the liminal link between the macrocosmic, or universal, and the molecular, more human level of existence.
From its meter-melting Tabla drum pulses, to the refractive metallic shimmer of dulcimer-like Santoor and the Maniira hand cymbals, threaded with airborne stripes of flute-like Bansuri, the naturally fluid but closely disciplined results can be heard as a prism for realigning our Western-based and shaped perceptions of time. It’s really only when you fully comprehend how closely these things are linked in Indian classical culture that you may realise how restrictive and naive so much Western instrumental music, with its minor and major modes, and reliance on fixed time signatures, can be.
By that token, it’s not difficult to hear why the plasmic, meter and scale-dissolving possibilities of electronic music - when applied inventively - appeal to listeners who’ve become bored with the arrogance of Western convention. Effectively, All Things Pass ties all these ideas in a way that is self-evident, requiring the listener to simply allow themselves to interpret its expressive mathematics in their own way, and real unto themselves maths as the universal language.
It offers a soothing, thought provoking end to a tumultuous year, and marks Shelter Press as one of the most rewarding and diverse labels on the contemporary scene.
Sometimes you need to step away from everything that’s familiar to really grow and challenge yourself as an artist. Or in Anja Schneider’s case, hit the reset button entirely. A new album. A new label.
"The Berlin-based artist has never felt more out of her comfort zone. Or inspired. The musical manifestation of this bold new era is ‘SoMe’, a nine-track calling card that not only represents Schneider’s own creative apex and the freedom that accompanies it, but the freewheeling nature of new imprint Sous on which it finds its home.As is the case with all Schneider’s productions, this is a deeply personal work. But what makes it shine above everything else that has come before it, is how expressive and free it is, while remaining entirely authentic to her own musical history, passions and personal story. The project begun in November 2016, in Anja’s basement to be precise.
Getting back to her music digging roots she whiled away the hours among the dusty boxes of her vinyl collection – re-immersing herself in old jungle and D&B records, classic house and the Berlin-bred techno of the ‘90s that she fell in love with when she first moved to the German capital in 1993. If she was to look forward to her new musical vision, it had to pay due respect to her past. Alongside her co-producer and partner Jan-Eric Scholz, set studio dates turned into lost afternoons, then weekends. If Anja wasn’t touring or spending time with her son, she was engrossed in free-flowing cemented a love for ragga and crafting outstanding vocal works that rate among the finest of her career.
The album begins with the dusty panoramic tones of ‘The Sun’: “I wanted this track to turn out like a big electronic band with attitude – but I failed,” she laughs. “Instead it’s more Chicago and Detroit, but I love it anyway!”. Other highlights include the catchy ragga tones of ‘All I See’, inspired by her trip to Cape Town for CTEMF in 2015 and exemplifies Schneider’s knack for creating music that feels at once fresh yet familiar. “Overall I’m really interested in these ragga vibes coming into house and techno – I love how these kids are combining their roots with electronic music.”. Elsewhere she flexes her song-crafting muscle linking up with the Stereo MCs after a chance meeting with vocalist Rob Birch in the apartment of Terranova’s Fetish, in a situation that could have only happened in Berlin.
A big fan of the group’s ‘Connected’ LP, the normally shy Schneider floated the idea of a vocal contribution to her fledgling album project and the irresistible earworm ‘Sanctuary’ was born. A raver first and foremost, long nights at influential Berlin clubbing institution WMF characterized the late 90s for Schneider, of particular impression the Friday night D&B residency at the club. With a deep love for this sound till this day, she eponymous track pays dues to this heady period. An artist with tried and true roots in techno, ‘SoMe’ of course reflects an Anja Schneider DJ experience, with cuts such as ‘Got Me With A Bang’ and even ‘Night Out’, that mines the spirit of her own debut album ‘Beyond The Valley’: “I’m still getting requests for tracks from that album almost 10 years later, so wanted to put something on there that pays homage to this period as I still love this Berlin techno sound and I wanted something on the album that connects with it."
The divine 2nd LP from PJ Dorsey’s Tarotplane, 358 Oblique follows in the mindful cosmic vein of his First [2015, Aguirre records] album with a seamlessly absorbing session of shimmering guitars and richly layered electronics. Fans of Coil, Richard Pinhas, Biosphere or Steve Hauschildt need to give this one some attention.
Following on from Lullabies For Insomniacs’ László Hortobágyi’s vintage Transreplica Meccano ace, Tarotplane keeps the label’s mystic qualities stratospheric with two sides of steeply hypnotic vibes that draw on a lifetime spent exploring psychoactive music, and clearly fascinated by the way it can affect one’s consciousness.
With that in mind, 358 Oblique treads the finest line between lysergic caress and distress, cradling the listener on a sublime trip fringed with perilous darkness, as harmonised loops uncoil across the five part A-side, Tab in The Ozone leading us thru familiar yet alien zones of deep blue, phosphorescing timbres scattered with the distant calls of strange animalculæ and swept with emulated environmental sounds into ever more curious wormholes. By the B-side, like the mid-way of a heavy psychedelic journey where the entrance and exit are equal distances apart (yet you can actually escape this one if you want), he really gets under the skin, revealing vast inner worlds of keening harmonics that take us right to the shoreline of the soul.
Of course, as with any psychoactive substance, the results will differ for every user, but it’s perhaps fair to say that this one is fine tuned for the broadest appeal and effect with all who encounter its otherworldly dimensions.
First ever reissue of a zinger-packed disco album from 1980. Check ‘Disco Thing’. If you’re aren’t dancing by the end of the clip, go see a doctor.
“Killer private modern soul / disco funk LP from San Diego released in 1980 on Aidqueen Records.
No fillers on this one! It contains dancefloor winner “Disco Thing”, the crazed ode to debauchery “Get Down Party “, mellow soul ballad “Oooh, Your Love”, the wicked instrumental with magic flute “Seaquence” and the brilliant jazz-funk flavored modern soul tracks “Loving” and “Life”.
The rest of the record is made up of high-level soulful funk movers.
Amazing LP from the beginning to end, no wonder it became hard to find and so highly sought after.
Finally available again, fully licensed and remastered, with original artwork.”
Funkineven opens a window on London’s Molinaro with his sterling 1st release, revolving around five tracks of soul-jazz-infused electro, acid and house for the more discerning DJ and dancer.
As a DJ and producer, Molinaro has cut his teeth in the capital for ten years now, most recently landing a slot on NTS which acts as a playground for new ideas and classic vibes.
He distills that sound into five subtly shaded parts here, zig-zagging from raw yet debonaire Detroit-meets-West Coast vibes on Gio, thru the rare grooving boogie bustle of JTL ion the A-side, to more low-key but sweetly messed up jazz-house dancing on Ty, and the deep, ricocheting funk of Molow, before the poignant vignette Sofar closes out side B.
Florian Kupfer tends to contrasting shades of his sound with rugged, deeply gratifying style on L.I.E.S. 99.
Up top he unfurls the gorgeous sail of Contact, with billowing keys and martian synth harmonies dashed against bumpy kicks in a way that will turn 5am heads inside-up. On the other hand, Random Chaos finds him biting down on a tuffer, trackier groove laced with virulent arpeggio and glancing metallic percussion, before the cascading power drums of Z find their feet in a kind of keening, turbulent roil, made even more tense by its clenched drones.
Ok so this is without doubt the most frenetic and exciting new music we've heard in 2017 - a double LP selection of pure Singeli fiyah originally issued on a limited edition tape back in June, now fully remastered and available on download and vinyl formats for the first time, inaugurating Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes' hugely exciting upcoming vinyl series. Hailing from Tanzania’s febrile Dar Es Salaam underground, Sounds of Sisso showcases the punkish sounds of the Sisso studio with a volley of hi-velocity missiles sounding like nothing else but in our minds comparable with full on Soca or Shangaan Electro styles as much as Northern British takes on happy hardcore and Makina, trust there’s no messing about with this one...!!!
For us, like many others, this is a bracing first introduction to the Singeli sound, whose collision of souped up rhythmic energy and breathless bars should immediately translate far beyond its East African base. Across the 14 tracks of Sounds Of Sisso we’re familiarised with the sound’s core producers - Bwax, Sisso, Tampa Pana and Yung Keyz Morento - and its amazing fast chat MCs - Dogo Niga and Makavelli - with a totally uncompromising style that can’t help but make most other dance musics sound a bit pale and limp by comparison.
No matter where you’re from, this is patently music for raving to, combining punkish, satirical lyrics about the challenges of Tanzania’s youth - from police corruption to dating when you’re broke - with productions that scream get mad get mad in a way that’s maybe best associated with hedonistic noise or gabber. However, this is from Dar Es Slaam, and they’ve got some heavy style down there.
From the near cheek-pulling G-force of Bwax and S Kide’s Baba Aminata Natafuta Kiki to the mental, cut-up intro and rapido attack of TMK by Suma, nobody lets the pressure gauge tick below f**king off it, pal, taking in the chipmunked Bollywood chorus and speecore pace of Dogo Niga’s Polisi and the Shangaan/Soca-like hybrid Mshamba wa Kideo from Mzee + Bwax or the Nu Monkey-on-tour styles of Kimbau Mbau along with the Nkisi-esque jag of Maseke, Pasopa and Mako_Roho’s Inauma. But, there are also some sweeter and hip hop styled freaks, too; check for the warped hip hop knock of Nammiliki from Makavelli, or the sugar-rush of Csso’s Shobo and the hyper colourful soundsystem FX of Ndugulawama.
Vintage boogie-disco chops from 1980s Germany. Remastered and reissued for the first time
“When the Growing Bin first bloomed from blog and record store to label it was originally intended to be a reissue imprint. If you’ve kept your ear to the ground and head in the Bin, you’ll know that isn’t exactly how it went down. But for this release we are going back to the scheme a young Basso dreamed up in his adolescent years: bring back the rare, unknown and unfindable.
So here is Mainpoint‘s ‘Alaska Wartet’ - a stunning private pressed 7” entirely unknown to the wider world. Its original 1980 press was less than extensive, and the few copies which did appear were sold exclusively at concerts and local record shops – kudos to all twenty ve people who got a copy! Mainpoint started out as a Jazz-Rock out t in 1978 but as the years rolled on, these guys fell for the funk. Finding a 4/4 in a world of syncopation, Mainpoint fell foul of their elbow-patched pals, being labelled Tanz-Jazz since their audiences actually danced (in contrast to the serious silence of their contemporaries’ concerts).
‘Alaska Wartet’ made it from Side 2 on the 1980 press to Side 1. This incredibly tight Boogie jam bounds out the speakers with a synth line from heaven and fusion moves galore – it’s sure to put a smile on dancer‘s faces worldwide.
‘Frisbee’ ies o the ipside, inviting dancers to forget about gravity and go for broke. Soaring skywards from this o , this uplifting masterpiece is perfectly topped by that screwdriver hook sung by Ika Hussmann! Time for some Tanz-Jazz, folks!"
Jonny L’s seminal, debut D&B LP, Sawtooth boomerangs back from ’97 on a 1st ever 2LP pressing, loaded with the all-time anthem Piper amid some of the sickest, teched-out steppers from the UK scene.
Perhaps symptomatic of ’17 rather than ’97 economics, this pressing is reduced from the original 5-plate set - which were very typical of ‘90s D&B albums and compilations - to a more efficient 2LP with negligible sacrifice to fidelity.
For anyone who grew up in the ‘90s with access to cable TV, Jonny L’s Piper, with its definitively late ‘90s promo video, was an unavoidable mainstay of MTV2’s advert-less hours of programming, beaming images of cyborgian ravers into the living room of impressionable minds around the UK and elsewhere. Fair to say those images and sounds left an indelible impression on listeners including us, and the likes of Powell, who cites Jonny L’s work on this record as a big influence.
While the deliciously slippy sound design of Piper makes for a clear standout, it’s not the only one, with the warehouse-ready weightless tech-step of Treading coming close behind, along with the nerve-riding, Reese-fuelled 2-step rolige of 2 of Us and the sidewinding swerver Obedience, and even a class spin on acid-electro with Detroit.
Ultimately, Sawtooth was one of those mad, hi-tech and deep forward ‘90s records that penetrated the mainstream conscience, irrevocably lodged in malleable young minds as a pivotal cultural artefact in a much cooler way than, say, Jonny L’s later work producing Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers’ UKGuilty pleasure, Out Of Your Mind. A flashback to times when the link between underground and mainstream dance music was more fluid, right before NME and reams of other tosh stymied the momentum of rave music and apocryphally deemed white guys playing guitars and drums to be more relevant to the yoof. Fuck those guys for ever. Long live D&B, garage, UK dance music.
Wiki's debut solo album is a love letter to New York
It features beats and rhymes from Ghostface Killah, Kaytranada, Lakutis, Your Old Droog, Evy Jane and many others. Includes production by DJ Earl Teklife, Sporting Life, Tony Seltzer.
After taking off on Rhythm Section Intl in 2016, Earth Trax & Newborn Jr. double down on Echovolt with two supple, swanging new age garage-house burners.
Bailando is a sterling take on elem,mental ’89 NYC sounds, with perfectly measured bassline and mind-drift flutes, whilst Aquamarine brings it from the toes to the tip of your schnozz with a beautifully tempered piece of piano house ecstasy.
Skills on this fer sure.
Captains of the Bristol bass industry, Andy Mac & Ossia (FuckPunk, Young Echo) go toe-to-toe on a heavy-lidded slow house tip for the latter’s No Corner bastion.
It sounds like the pair challenged each other to drink as much red wine and neck as many valdos as possible before writing each cut, resulting the wickedly sozzled hustle of Soup Riddim’s dreamy chants and drunken master lurch, then buoying your freefall with the NWAQ-alike gauze of Cado, and, just before it’s lights out, threading your head thru the decaying dub wormhole of Linguine Loop.
Sound artist Tomoko Sauvage adds the gorgeous, elemental waterbowl recordings of Musique Hydromantique to a wonderful run of 2017 releases on Félicia Atkinson & Bartolomé Sanson's Shelter Press. Quite possibly the most soothing hour of music you'll experience all year
It will become hard to believe once you’ve heard it, but all sounds on the LP were improvised with acoustic technique and recording - meaning no electronics, edits or overdubs - whilst they effectively sound like the microtonal output of some unique, natural synthesiser affected by subtle variables such as temperature, architecture, humidity and human presence. If Philip Corner and Eliane Radigue ever made a record together, it may well sound like Musique Hydromantique.
Using a set-up of hydrophones (underwater mics) and porcelain bowls filled with varying amounts of water, developed by the artist over the better part of this decade, Musique Hydromantique forms a meditative, experimental study in rhythm and pitch which resonates with gamelan and ancient divination techniques as much as it does with minimalist modern electronics. The results are utterly captivating in their fluid timbres and plaintively plangent structure, rendering the elusive, ever-changing and hypnotic phenomena of moving water in three diverse states or sonic sculptures that patently demonstrate a deep, underlying and innate connection between the performer, her medium, and the listener.
Clepsydra - meaning ‘water clock’ - most closely resembles a form of gamelan practice, or, even some form of minimal electronic music. For ten minutes she renders a series of exquisitely variegated sonic glyphs gestured from her struck bowls and hands changing the quantities of water, and by extension, the pitch of each bowl. Tomoko makes a real virtue of everyday sounds, resulting in a time-dilating passage of smooth glissandi, elegantly unshackling our internal clocks from the anticipation of quantised convention.
Fortune Biscuit follows in a very different style. Here, the brownian flow yields a remarkable micro-ecology of sounds that almost mimic animals, cyborganic mechanisms and insect choruses, yet they were entirely generated by a piece of porous terra cotta (biscuit) dipped into water. The scuttling patterns are perhaps understandable in that context, but we’re utterly baffled how they also make those pealing, arcing harmonic partials. In the final, 20 minute piece, Calligraphy those techniques serve to gel and diffuse her water-based sounds in even more bewildering fashion, as she employs the 10 second reverbs of an old textile factory to render her delicate, subaquatic sounds in a play of fractious drips, haptic rubs and their resonant feedback, feeling to melt time entirely and open a tranquil space for divination of your own senses in between those perceptions of time and tone.
This is a record that seems to have been designed to promote ultimate well being, it will completely engulf and subsume your senses and keep your attention rapt from start to finish. And we'd echo Tomoko's request that you listen to it at the start or end of the day for optimal results - far healthier than a spliff or night cap and will set your mood like some kind of ancient tuning fork.
Mannequin head Alessandro Adriani yields some of his fiercest EBM jackers on this white label for Mannequin.
All three are proper hoofers, rolling out stacked synthlines and rasping drum machines in a Tuning Circuits style with A Man who would come here of his own free will, then on a slightly deeper EBM trance trajectory with he is everything and nothing, and finally in the deathly jack of You never sleep.
Greg Beato cocks a dastardly debut album of deep and raw-ass bangers with El Tipo Mas Bonito En La Generacion De Los Feos - or The Most Beautiful Type in the Generation of the Ugly according to Google translate - for his new label, Ni Un Pero.
A favourite of everyone from Actress to Nina Kraviz and Midland, who’ve all deployed Beato trax in compilation and mixes, the Miami based miscreant has been messing with harsh textured, biting point house and breakbeat grooves exclusively for L.I.E.S. and Apron Records since his head-turning PMA and Who’s The Licho In Charge Ovaa Here 12”s in 2013.
With style and credentials firmly in place, he’s saved his sole attack on 2017 for this blistering 12 track set, facing off his signature, thistly crackers with a handful of mutant, slower, slow-fast, and synth’d-out pieces.
For highlights, look out for the thuggish bangs of 2K17, the warped and noisy Chicago jak blatz of Pushing You Til It’s Over and KLK, and when he’s gets really screwy in the splayed southern hip hop beat of Food For Profit, Not Health.
You always more or less know what to expect from this great band - and there are no radical departures on "The Moonlight Butterfly".
The relatively short running time clocks in at just over 30 minutes split over 6 breezy and evocative tracks, seemingly inspired by and honed for summer. Only "Inn Keeping" strays from the brief, extending itself into a 10+ minute jam that features the band at its tightest. In all - another lush and bittersweet escapade from one of the more distinctive bands to have emerged from the post rock scene, and another recommendation for seasoned followers and newcomers alike.
Husband/wife duo Shawn O’Sullivan and Katie Rose bang it right on the nose with Disparate Elements for the steadily expanding Knekelhuis label, chasing the style of their LPs for Cititrax and Robert & Leopold into dank electro, EBM and fugged-up technopop realms.
The pairing appear to bring the best out of each other in all parts. Rose’s vocals and synths vitally offset O’Sullivan’s cranky grooves, most delectably in the slippery gynoid sex tune It’s Later Than You Think, then pitched and diffracted into the mazy jacker Disparate Elements, and haunting the upper echelons of their grim brummie acid banger Aural Equivalent, whilst Central System is a pure, ‘floor knacking instrumental electro weapon.
B12’s Steve Rutter makes a memorable maiden solo appearance under his own name with From Me To You on his highly active FireScope label, which is responsible for a string of new and archival B12 releases since 2016.
Where pretty much all B12 releases have been credited to Rutter and his production partner Michael Golding, this 12” is a rare opportunity to hear what Steve was inputting the project.
Fair to say, then after listening, that Rutter is behind some of our favourite B12 moments, as we can gauge from the nimbly weightless drum programming and pads of Down And Down and the deliciously darkside strokes of Decliner Box on the A-side, while the B-side catches gauzier, wistful aspects of his personal style in the UR-like techno raga of The Life Giver, and on the enchanted downstroke of The Battle Continues.
If only the title didn’t leave us thinking Oh Dear Oh Dear.
Chicago OG’s Ron Trent and Harry Dennis (The It, Jungle Wonz) reprise their duo last heard on Ron Hardy (Dedication To You) with the deepest house treat of Breeze, backed by jazzier functions on the B-side.
Breeze is the big danefloor tune, featuring Dennis laying it down and dubbed out over one of Trent’s signature, wide basslines and rooted percussive hustle. Monterey (Album Version) catches them both strolling on a jazzier vibe, which Trent strips down to the bare essentials, leaving room for more instrumental expression on synth and keys in Aquatic Movement 1.
HRH Prins Thomas caps a busy year in the disco with the 5 album, following on from his Square One collaboration with Bjorn Torske, the Principe Del Norte album before that, and a healthy handful of 12”s and remix work int he meantime.
It’s chugalug central right here, serving 12 tracks of sidestepping dad disco basslines, real ‘live’ drums (some electronic, too) shackled to wobbly Moog and Arp lines, a dash of guitar here, and a spot of acid there, all readied for the discerning scando disco fiend in you.
M.E.S.H. projects the rave to new possible planets with Hesaitix. Combining the cinematic gestures of his Piteous Gate  LP and the dynamic drum work of Damaged Merc  in probing new forms, the pivotal PAN artist’s hugely imaginative 2nd album renders a vivid vision of where next for modern, rhythm-driven electronic music.
Hesaitix offers a dreamlike template for off-world raving, turning the back of M.E.S.H.’s eyelids inside-out to reveal a geometric playground of amorphous tessellations diffused and gelled according to a physics that may seem impossible on terra firma, yet entirely plausible in the Berlin-based artist’s noumenal dimensions.
Ossifying fluidly skeletal patterns from a rich pool of far flung rhythmic DNA, he supposes a sort of cyborgian body and AI that could survive under altered conditions, using the club as a laboratory or exercise ground for these fantastic creatures, which just happen to closely resemble you and I. Maybe, even, we are those vessels, and the music is subconsciously programming us as test subjects while he gauges and quantifies our reactions and the efficacy of his code under chaotic conditions?
Whatever, Hesaitix renders a supremely absorbing, alternate world view between the lush, hypernatural ecologies of Nemorum Incola and the extra terrestrial chamber music of Ihnaemiauimx, a world where dancers generate architecture thru telekinetic gesture, as with Mimic and the weightless construction site arrangement of Loop Trip, where intrepid recce’s uncover radioactive dembow mutations such as Search Reveal, and ancient-futurist Antikythera mechanics dictate distinct new measures of meter in the astonishly detailed ballistics of Signal Drum Ride and Diana Triplex.
Copenhagen’s Echocord Colour returns with Brendom Moeller’s ‘Magic City’ EP, featuring four originals from the New York based artist.
"Caravan’ takes the lead on the release and in typical Brendon Moeller fashion we’re treated to densely layered dub chords, throbbing subs and expansive atmospherics whilst robust drums drive the composition along. Magic City’ follows and ups the energy levels even further with pounding industrial drums layered underneath billowing dub stabs and eerie drones.
‘Magic City In Dub’ follows and as the name suggests offers up a reduced take on the composition, dropping the tempo and shining light on the billowing echoes of the original whilst stirring in some off-kilter rhythsm and additional processing for good measure. Lastly, ‘Departure’ closes the package, with haunting synth drones, bumpy rhythms and murky vocals wandering throughout the seven-minute composition."
On a relatively rare excursion for his Ominira label, Kassem Mosse lovingly messes with house and techno formats in Chilazon Gaiden, divining a sort of kabbalistic techno sound that expands on the off centre flex of his Chilazon released by Honest Jon’s.
Counting nine tracks of meter-tweaking rhythms and entrancing electronics, Chilazon Gaiden yields Mosse in aerobic mystic mode with a loosely constructed yet firm acknowledgement of the link between dancing and spirituality that many others like to dance around, yet few producers render in such involving, intuitively attuned form.
Working on, off, and around the beat in delicious, brownian motion and slippery geometries, Mosse deftly realises a long-pursued aesthetic in these tracks, giving the club, DJs and dancers something to really work with and effortlessly interpret, rather than commanding them like a martial drill - pulling toward a sound that consolidates the offbeat swerve of Theo Parrish and Actress with the drily sculpted purism of Sleeparchive thru a devilish sleight of hand .
Dancefloor music for body ’n soul.
Detroit’s captain of industry, Terrence Dixon yields exceptionally trim and driving techno cuts on the Athens-based Lower Parts label.
Currently working in 5th gear, despite announcing his retirement a few years ago, Dixon serves up his signature sound between the subaquatic dynamics of the first part, thru a killer piece of Afro-tribal techno patterning int he 2nd, to an infectious wriggler on the B-side recalling recent Jeff Mills trajectories, and one pounding, uptempo deep techno workout in the 5th part.
Arch isolationist Richard Skelton presents the riveting sonic results of a five year project in Iceland on Towards a Frontier, unfolding a 66 minute aural impression that masterfully renders the putative atmospheres conjured by Iceland’s famous volcanic panoramas and subarctic glaciers. It's a deeply absorbing return from Skelton, who has exclusively released his work under The Inward Circles moniker for the past three years.
Skelton is at his soul-ravishing best here, layering and abstracting his signature bowed strings to diaphanous and gloriously elusive effect in a keening, swoon-worthy play of light and dark, dissonance and harmony.
Over the course of the piece Skelton subtly refocusses the ear’s eye between vast, widescreen vistas, windswept veils of shimmering grey-blue harmonies, and close strokes of his favoured cello. In the process, the sonic quota of a broader project taking in photography, texts and videos - serves to metaphorically mirror Iceland’s ever changing weather patterns and cruel switch between interminably long hours of daylight and darkness, doing so with a geologically-timed patience and cosmic narrative arc that perhaps reveals its nature in a more visceral, affective way than any literal or visual representation ever could.
For fans of feeling like they’re thousands of miles from any other human being, or as an impassioned - yet never prescriptive - missive from an endangered ecology, Towards a Frontier is a significant work of timeless appeal.
Night Blind is Richard Fearless’ second release on Drone’s white label series.
"The title track coalesced in the early hours of the morning as diffuse, Turneresque lights glimmered across the Thames and the container was pounded by a storm. Unnerving and melancholic yet with a glimmer of light, this is Fearless at his best.
On the B side is Cancan. With Xavier’s spiritual acid head, Kenichi Iwasa, on percussion duties, this is one for peak time body shaking. Both tracks were recorded and mixed at the Metal Box by Chris Blakey and produced by Richard Fearless."
Erased Tapes reissue the original Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s last ever studio album Union Cafe to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of founder Simon Jeffes’ passing in 1997.
It was 1972 in the South of France when Simon had an unfortunate experience with food poisoning which lead to a much more fortunate circumstance when a vivid dream, induced from his illness and depicting a dystopian future, conceived the Penguin Cafe; a charming place where solace, harmony, and the orchestra’s unique music could be found amidst brutal concrete structures and darkness. For the following 25 years, Simon carried out this vision bringing brightness into a world full of noise. Sadly, after his passing, the original orchestra disbanded, but the doors to this happy place reopened when his son Arthur decided to continue his father’s legacy under the name Penguin Cafe.
The continuation of the PCO began at London’s Union Chapel in 2007 when Arthur and the original musicians commemorated Simon 10 years after his death. Another 10 years forward, 2017 will see Penguin Cafe pay tribute to him once again at the Union Chapel on December 11th where they will perform Union Cafe in full – a union from all corners of this magical world.
Union Cafe was the fifth, and the last studio album by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It was initially released in 1993 merely on cassette and CD, and will now be given a new breath of life, and another chance to reach old and new fans alike.”
Career-spanning retrospective of Matthew Puffett’s Detroit-inspired Future Beat Alliance output, drawn from 20 years of releases on Tresor, Delsin, Void Records and Eevonext, plus a few unreleased archival joints.
Featuring Flowdan and Killa P / Irah, The Bug releases a new big hittin’ double header. Following last years D Double E / Riko Dan face-off, ‘Box’ / ‘Iceman’ - The Bug has invited Flowdan, and Killa P & Irah to get grimey on their respective Riddims.
"'Bad’ sees both Flowdan and The Bug stretching their parameters and turning up the heat, with Flowdan summoning a fresh singjay style, the most glaring indication of his fam's Jamaican roots as he echoes Cham's classic 'Ghetto Story' with his intimate tale of growing up in "East London". The Bug also unusually constructed the whole Riddim from the manipulated layering of a single Soviet drum machine, tweaked and drenched in FX til' it rumbled heavily.
'Get Out The Way' is the first collab The Bug has conducted with Killa P since the mighty ‘Skeng’, with Killa additionally inviting Irah, from his Killaz Army crew, along for the ride. Built on The Bug's love of the Junglist / Dillinja inspired Reese bassline, it's a saw tooth exercise in dancefloor destruction, as the two MCs get lethal with the threats and intimidation.
Both tracks are already receiving some heavy dubplate slayin', with the likes of Mala, Kahn, Spooky, Pinch and Mumdance all smashing them in their sets. ‘Bad’ has already been chosen by Elijah (of Elijah & Skilliam / Butterz) as one of his Grime tunes of the year."
Mechanical Reproductions give vinyl life to Bad Tracking - one of Bristol’s best kept underground secrets - with two cranky industro-dub girders backed by a serious remixing from Ossia.
Thunking out somewhere between Giant Swan, Kowton and Mick Harris’ Fret, Bad Trcking are set to gain the baddest rep with both efforts, first vacillating bone crunching drums and stress-test bassline with lush pads in the livewire lurch of XP+1, then trampling the line between on-the-fly performance and brute studio force in the grubby techno tilt of XP+3.
Ossia’s remix of XP+2 is our pick of the bunch. From introductory bell tolls, he builds a mongrel beat from snatches of grime, industrial techno and dank Bristol dub styles, riveting the sound into a blindspot between late ‘90s Virus, TG and The Bug.
Marcel Dettmann and fellow darkside Berlin dwellers present an absorbingly abrasive, 42 minute work in response to photographs of post-WWII European monasteries.
“RAUCH is a sonic interpretation of the work of photographer Friederike von Rauch, composed collaboratively by Berlin-based producers Felix K, Marcel Dettmann, Sa Pa and Simon Hoffmann. Arranged and mixed by Marcel Dettmann, the recording stands in dialogue with von Rauch’s architectural images of post-World War II European monasteries, including La Tourette by Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis near Lyon, Roosenberg Abbey near Ghent and Maria Regina Martyrum in Berlin.
On the 42-minute-long LP, drones, modulating harmonic soundscapes and implied rhythms maintain an abstract emotional core while occasionally taking on vaporous, amorphous qualities. Similarly, von Rauch’s images – often borderline abstract in composition – resist being identified by location or spatial context. Nevertheless, they also hint at their spiritual origin.”
Never before pressed on vinyl, IBM 1401, A User's Manual, is one of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most loved works. Released in 2006, the decade since its release has seen Jóhann establish himself as one of the most important composers in the World today, most notably scoring movies such as Arrival, Sicario and The Theory of Everything.
:Inspired by the work his father did in the sixties when chief maintenance engineer of one of Iceland’s first computers, Jóhann originally wrote IBM 1401, A User's Manual to accompany a dance piece by long-standing collaborator and friend, Erna Ómarsdóttir. For this album release, he rewrote it for a sixty-piece string orchestra, with a new final movement (built around a poem by Dorothy Parker) and incorporating both electronics, and reel-to-reel recordings made by his father and friends in 1971 of an enormous IBM 1401 mainframe computer singing the hymn Ísland Ögrum Skoriðby Sigvaldi Kaldalóns as it was being decommissioned.
The first ever pressing of IBM 1401, A User's Manual comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, having been reworked by Chris Bigg (v23) from his original design. Pressed on clear vinyl, two album tracks recorded in 2010 with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at the Rudolfinum, Dvorák Hall in Prague have also been added and are exclusive to this release:
KLO straight up kills it on a cover of Aaliyah’s More Than A Woman, nailing the classic vocal on a rebuilt, nearly identikit version of Timbaland’s acid-fuelled R&B instrumental. Listen, tell us we’re wrong?!
On the remix, KLO opts for a breezier, chamber-like reduction, distilled to pointillist syllables, 303 jabs and a sparing swing beat begging to go in-the-mix.
LEF comes off like a raging David Sylvain, flanked by Bill Laswell, Nils Petter Molvær, Ståle Storløkken and others.
“LEF's debut as a leader, the intriguing multi-media project HyperSomniac, is easily his most ambitious and impressive undertaking to date. LEF’s music serves as the companion soundtrack for a breathtakingonline interactive graphic novel based on dystopian tale written by LEF himself, featuring drawings by Nana Octopus Dalla Porta, animated and ported to the web by LEF and Italian software engineer Pier Luigi Rocca.
The music is performed by an all-star band featuring American bassist Bill Laswell, Norwegian guitar visionary Eivind Aarset, Norwegian future jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, thunderous Norwegian drummer Kenneth Kapstad (of Motorpsycho), British saxophonist Rebecca Sneddon (of Free Nelson Mandoomjazz) and Norwegian organist Ståle Storløkken (of Supersi-lent, Motorpsycho and Reflections In Cosmos).”
First ever vinyl reissue of Current ’93’s classic Thunder Perfect Mind , finding David Tibet approaching the height of his powers, flanked by a legendary coterie of co-conspirators; Shirley Collins, Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), Douglas P (Death In June), Micheal Cashmore, Jhonn Balance (Coil), Rose McDowell (Strawberry Switchblade) and James Mannox.
Thunder Perfect Mind takes its title from a Gnostic poem written in the ancient Coptic text, and was among the first records to feature David Tibet fully exploring an aspect of what became a key influence on his recordings. The album also acts as a sister record to Nurse With Wound’s 1992 LP of the same name, and is perhaps best known for its divine title track, as well as songs such as the epic Hitler as Kalkhi (SDM), which Tibet dedicates to “my father, who fought Hitler”, and the All The Stars Are Dead Now, which is based on a prophetic revelation given to Tibet from a reading of the Planh of William Blake.
Still, peerless in its field - the known universe.
Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow join forces for a second time since their creation of Drokk, their unused score for 2012 motion picture Dredd, to create the dark, synth heavy score for Ex Machina.
"Speaking to Gigwise Geoff Barrow said, "It's been great for Ben and I to be working with Alex again, and hopefully we have written the kind of score an intense sci-fi thriller like this needs" with Salisbury adding "we wanted to slightly get away from the type of soundtrack album that has a huge track-list with lots of short cues. Instead, we've tried to put together an album of fuller length tracks, by segueing some of our cues and creating a structure and shape that mirrors the film in some way.”
Brenda Ray meets Balearic bod Basso for a pair of dream-woven grooves pressed on natty 7”.
On A-side Crest Of a Wave they come off all seasonal, like, with a soft focus dream sequence of lilting chimes and nifty harp melded with Brenda’s nutmeg-scented coos and wistful blasts of her melodica to spellbinding effect.
B-side, they take that vibe upstairs with Basso growling Barry White, and Brenda all coy, glyding on a walking soul bassline and velveteen Fender Rhodes with a gentle smack of Italian library music.
Heads will melt for this one.
First ever reissue of a fiyah space-age funk record from Nigeria, 1978. Worth it for the big, synth-riven cut Bad City Girl alone. 2nd hand copies are known to trade for an absolute packet, so don’t sleep on this one!
Livingstone Studio present the first official reissue of Grotto's Grotto II: Wait, No Hurry, originally released in 1979. "Odion Iruoje was the A&R manager at EMI at the time,' Benson says, 'and he auditioned us, liked the material and signed us.' Odion Iruoje of course had groomed and produced Ofege. Now he was looking to repeat the formula with other high school groups such as Tirogo, Apples and Question Mark. Grotto's deep rock would be a welcome addition to this 'schoolboy rock' series.
Work on their album started immediately, with Iruoje in the producer's chair. Adapting to the tastes of the times -- as well as their own maturing musical sensibilities -- Grotto started transitioning from acid rock towards sleeker, more dance floor-friendly grooves. 'As I grew older I think I got a bit jazzier,' Benson says. 'I also listened to Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Isley Brothers, Prince and a lot of funk groups from that era.' 'Hard rock was the content of the first album,' Amenechi agrees, 'and funk/jazz/R&B the focus of album number two. Especially with the late Toma Mason Jr. joining as bassist.' The group's second album, Grotto II: Wait, No Hurry (released in 1979) reflected the growing sophistication of its members' musical outlook. Fat, funky bass grooves rubbed shoulders with jazzy flute lines; space-age synthesizer tones punctuated good, old-fashioned crunchy rock riffs."
Ideal throw a total curveball with Vanligt Folk’s doomdub body music mutations on Palle Bondo, where the Oslo/Gothenburg trio drop their punk leanings in favour of a stark sound lodged somewhere between Mika Vainio, CS + Kreme, Fever Ray, Toresch, and even Autechre - TIPPED!!!
The origins of the record are a bit cryptic and personal, which perhaps prompted the abrupt switch from their earlier styles to this, a more grown-up and pointed set of songs that vent their worries in a coolly gripping and cryptic style - not least because we can’t translate their Swedish lyrics.
However, it’s not difficult to comprehend their music - a starkly spacious but invitingly introspective sound whose icy exterior is belied by a quietly seething rage against socio-political and medical convention. In the first song, that comes out as a subtly warped take on Scando ambient dub in Kostymfest/Sken Av Palmpsalmighet, whose combo of looming darkside pads, torchlit croon and pendulous snare cracks uncannily recalls a munted Toresch, before Är Du Min Dotters Ängel plumbs a cyberpunk dancehall style somewhere to the shadier side of Fever Ray and Simone Trabucchi’s STILL.
Curiosity is only heightened on the flipside with Nipt/Gensangerin, where the vocals unavoidably conjure direct comparison with Karin Dreijer, but against a mystic synth backdrop redolent of that recent, amazing Laszlo Hortobagyi reissue, then calving off into a sumptuous mid-section of swooping subbass contours, dembow drums and pointillist hooks like something from Equiknoxx, only to finish with a wicked sample of Autechre’s Piezo strapped to gremlin vocals and spectral horror flick sounds on Mer Än Normal.
Don't miss this one.
The Wire cast a critical ear over the field on their Rewind 2017 issue, including charts, reflections and analyses.
Hessle Audio’s Ben UFO and Pangaea do the Invisible Jukebox. Lagos is subject of the Global Ear. Also includes all the usual news, reviews and listings.
Mr Robot’s Emmy winning (and three times nominee) composer Mac Quayle improves on perfection with this latest instalment of music from the critically acclaimed hit TV series ‘Mr Robot: Season 2’.
Mac Quayle’s previous credits include ‘Drive’, ‘Only God Forgives’ and ‘Spring Breakers’ with Cliff Martinez.
Juan Atkins’ archetypal Detroit electro staple No UFO’s, reissued in its original forms, and now backed with new, exclusive Moodymann and Luciano remixes.
The OG No UFO’s was first issued on Metroplex in 1985 and appears here in original vocal and instrumental mixes on the single-sided 1st disc - both seminal entires in the 313 hall of fame.
On the 2nd disc Moodymann puts an inimitably jazzy, dreamy spin on No UFO’s, seemingly taking it from the D on vacation to the Bermuda triangle, replete with seaside sounds and lush alien jazz chord interceptions, while Luciano turns it into a springy, rolling, minimal tech house track.
Experimental Italian guitarist, electro-producer and sound designer Eraldo Bernocchi joins forces with percussionist FM Einheit (a founder of the influential German industrial group Einstürzende Neubauten) and London-based cellist Jo Quail on Rosebud, a compelling mix of tranquil ambient sounds and pummeling industrial onslaughts.
"From the opening “Bloom,” an 11-minute suite that travels from evocative ambiance to caustic crescendo, to the closing theme “The Inquirer,” which emerges gradually over a haunting drone and builds to a hellacious distortion-laced guitar climax, Rosebud carries a dark, foreboding undercurrent while showcasing the trio’s uncanny group-think in the throes of organized chaos.”
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!