Forgemasters - Shards ov Light is the 21 minute soundtrack to late photographer Shaun Bloodworth’s (R.I.P.) documentary Forgemasters celebrating Sheffield’s history, “from small-scale handmade tools to large-scale forging.”
One for the kinky French soundtrack fiends: 1st of two volumes presenting the 2011 CD compilation on vinyl for the first time.
“Rising out of the smoky Parisian Mai 68 shrapnel and claiming his stake as the first French vampire movie director, the inimitable father of European Horrortica, Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has smudged the painted face of surrealist cinema for over five decades. Dragging his roots from beneath the Letterist/Situationist movements, avant-garde theatre, Belgian fine art groups and entwining them around the minds of sexual revolutionaries, the European comic book cognoscenti, the Parisian free jazz and rock scene, Rollin stopped at nothing to bring his macabre phantasies of zygotic vampirism and back- ward blood cults to Gallic cinemateques and beyond. Celebrating the immortal legacy of the late director Finders Keepers Records have compiled a detailed and comprehensive music cabinet of some of the finest musical moments from his initial directorial decade (1968-1979) that provided a much needed platform for the freak rock and free jazz that mirrored the distorted erotic visions in his own mind’s eye. Imagine Gong-Gone-Wrong meeting the Art Ensembles Of Châteauroux… Fantasy pop groups mutate and thrive within.
Featuring early recordings from mod rockers Unity, free jazz legends Barney Wilen, François Tusque and Jean-François Jenny-Clark and musical co-conspirators to Walerian Borowczyk and Fernando Arrabal, this collection unites a wide range of previously unreleased material with some of Finders Keepers’ most collectable Rollinade vinyl moments for the first collection of this kind featuring music over forty years old.”
Nourishing electronic gristle from Scando noise heroes Lasse Marhaug and Jon Wesseltoft, who chew up a right fuss at “the best studio in Oslo” for their 1st collaborative slab with Bologna’s Holidays Records.
It’s maybe best described as a case of the battle-scarred veteran duelling with a spunky newblood, as the omni-talented Marhaug brings decades of experience crossing noise, jazz, experimental electronics and extreme metal to the table, perpendicular to Wesseltoft’s electro-acoustic praxis, as heard over the past decade in collaboration with indomitable figures such as C Spencer Yeh and Okkyung Lee.
While they neglect to mention where exactly “the best studio is Oslo” is located, the duo properly put it through its paces over five intensely and intently detailed pieces, firstly building Arches from a mass of crumbled electronic scree, then coming off like a prime Masami Akita piece with the delirious flux of Cyberiad, and drawing us into something like a back alley in the plagued zones of When’s Black Death with the visceral virulence Nature Lovers. The flipped gives freer rein to the LP’s title Nature Lovers with subtler sketching of space and narrative logic in Cultivated Leisure recalling the shape of Rashad Becker’s Notional Species, and Cable Cemetery latches onto more direct, pulsating and bifurcating rhythms with a purpose that recalls some kind of cyborganic creature coming to life.
Alga Marghen return to David Behrman’s pioneering electronic experiments with this astonishing collection of live recordings marrying microprocessors with violin, sax and electrified Mbira between 1986-1989, all previously unpublished on any format. While Behrman’s name is synonymous with 20th century avant garde sonics - often checked in the same breath as John Cage, or alongside peers Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier - it may be difficult for curious neeks to grasp his wide-reaching, exploratory practice, which is where you can consider this LP a seductive and ear-dilating portal to his freely improvised, beautifully mercurial world.
Music With Memory was realised at the behest of John Driscoll and Mathias Osterwold, who conceived the phrase to describe the mixture of then newly available, portable “microprocessors”, or computers equipped with memory, with “real” musicians, namely Takehisa Kosugi (Violin) and Werner Durand (Soprano Saxophone) respectively, at their concerts held at Eiszeit-Kino in Kreuzberg, Berlin, 1986. Along with a later recording of Behrman and Fast Forward making electrified zithers sound like dizzy harpsichords, the collection renders some of the most immediately gratifying yet playfully challenging work that we’ve encountered in Berhman’s catalogue.
The A-side’s 23” piece Interspecies Talk was commissioned by John Cage and Merce Cunningham as music for the 1984 Cunningham Company dance, Pictures. It features Kosugi in flighty duet with Behrman’s electronics, which consisted of pitch sensors, or “ears” as he calls them, triggered by the violin phrases to create indeterminate “situations”, rather than “set pieces”. Whilst on one level comparable with New Age and 4th world precedents, Behrman and Kosugi’s work extends beyond those conventions to plot out gloriously absorbing new realms of gambolling chromatics and slooping phrases informed by, yet unbound from, tradition.
On the B-side, Behrman’s Circling Six finds Werner Durand’s Soprano Sax in the same role as Kosugi’s strings, used to trigger the computer in a duet of piquant yet smoothly contoured cadence and harmonised loops that sound like chorales of Welsh aliens in jazzy conversation. By comparison, the final 5 minute piece All Thumbs makes for a sweetly anomalous contrast, and maybe even the highlight for some listeners, us included. Here, Behrman and Fast Forward, transform traditional African thumb pianos - known as kalimbas or zanzas - in delicious, rhythmic flurries and twanging recursive clusters, simultabneously acting as a brilliant piece for dance, if the mood takes you, or perhaps even imagining Bach jamming with ancient Egyptians using their alien overlords’ leccy supply.
If you’re into any modern electro-acoustic works by Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi or Keith Fullerton Whitman, you owe it yourself to dive headlong into this one.
Batu, Bambounou and Parris rework tracks from Sampha’s debut album, Process in crafty style on white label for Yung Turks.
After years of exclusively instrumental production, the lord of the Timedance, Batu proves a dab hand with vocals for the 1st time, processing and drizzling Sampha as a plasmic presence over and between his liquified bleeps and anxious bass to stunning effect in one of his most detailed, subtle yet infectious plays yet.
Bambounbou also brilliantly rises to the task with Incomplete Kisses, filleting Sampha into a Reichian tizzy of phasing, percolated choral voices precipitating a tangle of modular bass knocks and warped chromatic convolutions by the track’s end - really not what you might expect - and you trust Parris to eaze the vibe by turning Blood On Me into a mix of precise, pointillist vocal chops and wide, smudged subs, reserving the vocal proper for prime emotional soul punishment.
Horoscope leaves another festering welt following his excellent 'Misogyny Stone' slab for Wharf Cat, which, like this one, recalls a fetid fusion of vibes associated with Prurient, aTelecine, Pharmakon. No poseur, Horoscope trades in grim films of textured noise, field recordings and synthesis that strongly warrant those comparisons, serving to render a unique, low lying and abstract perspective on life as a rat gnawing the big apple.
“Nature Will Keep Growing Even After You Have Lost Everything is HOROSCOPE's tenth release. It is easy to glamorize a sort of faux authenticity through negativity. When curating your experiences through creative practices, with the intention of being viewed in a certain way, you ultimately can't go past yourself. This is an ode to New York City. Using a mix of loops, treated field recordings of the city and modular synthesis, you transcend yourself and the reasons for creating by making a brand new landscape within your own purview. Recorded at 278 Broadway apt 4r in Brooklyn and this is the third HOROSCOPE release by Ascetic House.”
Following up from Finders Keepers’ reissue of “In Alpha Mood” back in 2015, sister label Dead-Cert (run in collaboration with Demdike Stare) finally give life to these restored, previously unheard archival recordings of harmonisation of biofeedback techniques and hypnotic synth sonics from Ami Shavit. Part outsider electronic album; part physiological experiment; part work of art; this is not your average new age record…
With an enviable private collection of synthesisers amassed during his travels to the US in the early 1970’s and shipped home to Tel Aviv (where he was an established kinetic artist, as well as a professor of both philosophy and Art) Ami’s main focus was the desire to combine his love of electronic music acts such as Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass and new synthesiser technology, with his interest in the relatively new technique of biofeedback - a process in which technology was used to relay information about the body’s functions in order to enable a change of physiological activity.
Combined with his understanding of alpha brainwaves (primarily attributed to a function of the brain that deals with relaxation), Ami embarked on an experiment with what he called 'Alpha Mood' - a state in which the brain works in relaxation and in which music is used as a means of helping induce its own meditative state.
The fruit of that experimentation came in the form of a single privately pressed LP aptly titled In Alpha Mood which was limited to only 500 copies and distributed exclusively by a longtime friend, agent and owner of a small local record shop in Tel Aviv. Five 1/4 inch tapes (including the In Alpha Mood master tape) represent the only remaining artefacts of Ami’s experiments - the rest having been either lost, given to friends or simply thrown away.
Undated and unannotated, these raw studio recordings proivde a rare glimpse of Ami at work in his attempts to perfect his technique and reach the plane of Alpha Mood. The A-side’s Neural Oscillations sounds like Tangerine Dream on a magic carpet flight, but the LP really comes into its own on the B-side with the much slower meter and raga-esque phrasing of Alpha Rhythms 1, and most particularly in Alpha Rhythms 2 where Shavit chills out on the distracting top lines to focus on a wide, spongy, sluggish bass tone and icy melody with a transfixing appeal recalling Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s contemporary practice.
'Colleen Et Les Boites A Musique' ("Colleen and the music boxes") is Colleen's most arresting and sublime offering to date - constructed entirely from the impossibly beautiful sounds of chiming music boxes.
Opening with the clanking and winding of 'John Levers the Ratchet', this is the perfect introduction, as if the record were being wound like a music box to run across its 40 minute life-span before returning to stillness.
The music box has, of course, been used before within a contemporary framework (Aphex Twin's "Nanou" for one), but the way Schott composes seems so obviously matched with the mechanical and naïve qualities we hear that she seems to own the concept.
"Colleen Et Les Boites A Musique" is in fact so sublime that her output to date seems to have been merely leading up to this serendipitous moment - concept and execution coming together for a wondrous display of simplicity and beauty. Like the soundtrack to your favourite half-remembered fairytale, you won't find a warmer, more inviting record this year.
Boy Harsher find a fine line thru EBM and darkwave synth-pop with ineffable élan on their debut for Ascetic House, neatly benefitting from mix and master by Maurizio Baggio (The Soft Moon, Merchandise).
Their Country Girl EP sounds like it was dialled in direct from 1986, with sleek, rolling bass arps, glass-eyed gynoid vocals and lusting synth pads seemingly construed for the dry-iced runway of the mind. It could just as easily soundtrack a hi-end fashion show as lure you into a redlit basement, feeling out immaculately realised vibes between the effortless flow and ache crooning of Motion thru the wickedly skizzy light/dark/light twist of Country Girl, to the early ‘90s synth-pop sensuality of Underwater, and with super infectious freestyle inflections that funk up and counter Jae Matthews’ perfectly aloof vocals in Westerners.
Transfixing Venezuelan field recordings from the private archive of amateur ethnomusicologist Oswaldo Lares, ranging from completely unique percussive patterns to acapella songs and remarkably electronic-sounding marimba pieces. Must be heard to be believed, ‘cos we bet a billion bucks you’ve never heard any of these before!
"After a concert of Kenyan singer Ogoya Nengo in Berlin in 2015 in a pleasant conversation Guillermo Lares told me about his father, Oswaldo Lares, a studied architect who, parallel with his professional activity, began to make field recordings of the traditional and indigenous Venezuelan music from the early 1960s onwards up until today.
His search and fascination for finding the musical roots of his country led Oswaldo Lares to visit the rural villages outside Caracas, investigating the many and varied musical cultures of the region and the complex relationship between Venezuelan folk music and its various origins, including the African (música afrodescendiente).
The vast amount of music documents in the form of sound recordings, photographs and videos accompanied by notes and studies reflect the scope of this entirely self- taught sound engineer's work and represent a passionate documentary, making his work today one of the most comprehensive and systematic that has ever been assembled by a single person in Venezuela. Oswaldo Lares as an ethnomusicologist remained an amateur in the most direct meaning of the word: amare. Whereas most studied ethnomusicologists travel around the world to explore far away continents and foreign cultures, Oswaldo began to devote much of his spare time to the generally overlooked folk traditions that existed right in his very neighbourhood.
Currently Guillermo Lares has started to promote his father's work through the Achivolares Foundation, turning it into a living archive that preserves an essential part of Venezuelan musical memory. It is a pleasure and honor of our label TAL to support the invaluable work of Oswaldo and Guillermo Lares with this album."
First in a series of Six albums by The Caretaker to be released over the next 3 years, slowly cataloguing the stages of early onset dementia. Each album will reveal new points of progression, loss and disintegration, progressively falling further and further towards the abyss of complete memory loss and nothingness...
Embarking on the Caretaker’s final journey with his first release in four years, Everywhere At The End of Time sets off with the familiar vernacular of abraded shellac 78s and their ghostly waltzes to emulate the entropic effect of a mind becoming detached from everyone else’s sense of reality and coming to terms with their own, altered, and ever more elusive sense of ontology.
The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors. In other words, Everywhere At The End of Time probes some of the most important questions about modern music’s place in a world that’s increasingly haunted or even choked by the tightening noose of feedback loops of influence; perceptibly questioning the value of old memories as opposed to the creation of new ones, and, likewise the fidelity of those musical memories which remain, and whether we can properly recollect them from the mire of our faulty memory banks without the luxury of choice
As the first in the series, and despite its typically frayed loop construction, this volume is the most lucid, as subsequent instalments will continue to move into faded obscurity and material erosion. We’ve only ingested this first volume so far, so we cannot predict whether the ensuing journey and results will be lush, tortuous or, perhaps more likely, an ambiguous weaving and unpicking of the two and all interstices between.
We encourage you to join The Caretaker on this, his final journey thru the endless haunted ballrooms and mazy corridors of his wasting mind...
Stunning side of inverted atmospheric recordings bringing the background into the foreground - one side of processed sheep recordings, plus one side of softly plangent bell or gong recordings, both relating to installation works, all appearing on vinyl for the first time. If you loved Tomoko Sauvage’s Musique Hydromantique or crys cole and Oren Ambarchi’s Sonja Henies Vei 31 and Hotel Record LPs, you need to check this out!
“"I have worked together with sheep before" - says Henning Christiansen - introducing the performance he did in front of the Brucknerhaus in Linz in July 1988. But this time he went beyond, building a "Concert-Castle" with hay blocks where thirty sheep could perform music. Another time the animals - Christiansen's obsession and passion - become the musical instruments used for his compositions: "Originally most of instrumental sounds derived from animal voices or other sounds of natural phenomena. The violins, for instance: someone found out that stretched intestines, dried bowels, could produce a sound. This has simply been civilized, refined".
Schafe statt Geigen (Sheep Instead of Violins, 1988) and "Verena" Vogelzymphon (Bird Symphony, 1990) first appeared as a small CD edition issued by Galerie Bernd Klüser in 1991. Both works, each one occupying a full side of this LP edition, extend from one of Christiansen's long standing conceptual strategies - deploying recordings of animals as stand-ins for musical instruments, sheep and birds respectively. While each work allows these source to take the natural lead, at times masquerading as field recordings, both feature subtle tonal and electronic interventions by the composer, creating strange and brilliant compositions which shift the terms and subjects of music as they were long understood. Accompanied by a twenty page booklet featuring drawings and texts by Henning Christiansen, as well as pictures of the performance by René Block.
"The background, the space where music happens is what I want to put into the foreground."
Recently, Superpitcher was invited to go on a safari in South Africa. He bought a custom made safari hat at his favorite milliner in Cologne (Jürgen Eifler) and set off with big eyes and a pair of binoculars.
"It was wild and wonderful and he saw many exotic (and big!) animals, even a leopard in a tree that told him the secret of the universe. He forgot what the leopard said because his mind was still playing and replaying the sound of what he heard on the first night of his arrival – the hypnotic and moving sound of the voices of Africa, the voices of the wonderful Tanda Tula staff choir.
There, the choir members work during the day at the camp and at night entertain the guests with their captivating voices and energetic dancing. So impressed was he with their songs and beautiful Shangaan language that he decided to record a CD for them to sell in the shop at their camp and now this precious recording is also available through Hippie Dance / Bush Recordings on vinyl and CD for you in whatever wherever camp you are."
Metavari gives extra synth flesh to his re-scoring of Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ with this batch of new edits, including extra augmentations by Sarah Davachi among others in the accompanying download code. Definitely a strong look for the sci-fi nostalgia mob!
“‘Symmetri' is Metavari's sophomore studio release led by electronic musician and composer, Nathaniel David Utesch, and debut studio LP on One Way Static Records. The work is a stand-alone edit of Metavari's 'Metropolis' re-score from Record Store Day 2017; introducing new and reconfigured material in addition to selections from the soundtrack.
Metavari is the stage name of Indiana-based electronic musician Nathaniel David Utesch and is best described as the intersection of nostalgic electronics, ambient soundscapes and off-kilter synth pop music. Since 2008, Metavari have toured extensively in the US; sharing the stage with notable acts such as This Will Destroy You, Maserati, Tortoise, Titus Andronicus, Anamanaguchi, The Appleseed Cast & Small Black.
Written and produced over the course of 20 months, the lengthy writing time stretched across a whirlwind season surrounding the miscarriage of Nathaniel and his wife's first pregnancy and coincidentally ended just after the success of their second. Nathaniel said of the writing, "The record was drenched in an incredibly dark season of our life and yet concluded at nearly the opposite. I quite literally finished the record with my newborn son in my arms." While much of 'Symmetri' was written as a re-scoring of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis,' it's still almost impossible not to hear the disparate tug and pull from Nathaniel's personal experiences during the time of the recordings.”
Rising techno star Charlotte De Witte propels the relaunch of NovaMute with a trio of bangers in the Brussels EP
Firstly playing it low-key and stealthy with the moody vox and swinging trance velocity of Brussels, then giving something to bite on with the clipped, boomy ride of Control, and opening out into widescreen big room styles with Look Around You.
Deadly Afro-disco and boogie baddness from Ivory Coast, 1982 - trimmed of the fat and leaving behind three prime pieces on this 1st ever reissue, including the trance-inducing psych-disco belter ‘Bian Kou’, a hornier funk soul workout in ‘E Clôlo’, and the slinkier soukous of ‘Miokouna’
“Kalita Records are extremely proud to announce their first release, the three choice cuts from NST Cophie’s (Ernest Koffi’s) super rare private press Ivory Coast 1980 Afro-disco album ‘Mon’Da Center’.
After moving to Paris in 1976 and having played with other well-known bands such as N’Bamina, Osibisa, and with numerous artists including Jimmy Hyacinthe and Papa Wemba, ‘Mon’Da Center’ was Ernest’s first solo album. Recorded at Studio Caroline in Paris’s 20th sector over the space of one week, this self-funded ultra-rare album regularly exchanges hands for eye-watering prices.
Pretty much unknown except to the most hardened of diggers, ‘Bian Kou’, ‘E Clôlo’ and ‘Mioukouna’ are guaranteed to set any dance floor alight, with hypnotic Afro-disco grooves, killer drums and angelic female vocals .
We hope that you love the tracks as much as we do, and invite you to join us in celebrating the musical world of Ernest Koffi!”
Following his Pacific Alley album for L.I.E.S., Krikor Kouchian serves this killer soundtrack to the documentary 'Arabie Saoudite: Les Liaisons Dangerousness' on a deluxe presentation for Jean Carval and Low Jack’s Editions Gravats. Where the French TV program focusses on the Saudi royal family’s support of Wahhabism and the West’s appeasement of Saudi foreign policy, Kouchian underlines and accentuates the content with a brooding blend of mirage-like electronics and drum machine geometries that take on a gauzy new life thru the tape format.
In tone and aesthetic Kouchian’s soundtrack feels close to the use of melancholic ambient motifs in Adam Curtis documentaries on the same subject, as the Parisian artist conjures a sort of furtively ephemeral and mystic feel that matches the clash of ancient religion and crude oil-soaked modernity explored by the documentary. However, where Curtis’ soundtracks tend to collage recurring motifs, Kouchian’s emotive nudges are perhaps less ambiguous, lending a decidedly dark, looming shadow to proceedings.
Highly Recommended if you're into Gigi Masin, Low Jack, Terekke, Newworldaquarium, Boards of Canada!
Ideal recordings follow up aces by JASSS and Vanligt Folk with an album of insane, hand-cranked, lo-fi anti-music in Gabi Losoncy and Allen Mozek’s Good Area’s Macbeth, coming off the curled back of their sides for Kye, Recital, and Hanson Records. Sounds like a sedated Yeah You or Smegma jamming with anguished alley cats on a battery of garbage cans...plus, that artwork!!!
“Once upon a time, there were two very difficult people who loved music very much. They loved music so much that they stayed together despite having clear signs that it was not necessarily the right thing to do. They made music together, or next to each other, and everything that happened, happened in the music. It was all whatever, but they still like it.
iDEAL presents Macbeth, Good Area's second LP (first one was on Graham Lambkins great KYE label). It's the best material they ever did, and their last one ever. Lo fi beauty for anyone into the calmer parts of BRAINBOMBS, maybe The DEAD C, or for you worshipping the Siltbreeze catalog OR just anyone insane enough to get into deep, weird stuff.”
Excellent second solo album from Thom Yorke, reissued.
He's joined by regular production foil Nigel Godrich, credited with production and editing, and his Radiohead bandmate Colin Greenwood chimes in with beat programming on 2nd song, 'Guess Again!'. It's a melancholy thing built from tenderly bruised bass and a filigree palette of "silver darkness" shot thru with fluoro tones reflected in the sleeve art's colour scheme.
Highlights include the feathered 2-step and phasing chords of 'The Mother Lode', the buoyant techno pulse of 'There Is No Ice (For My Drink)' and a future-fave closer, 'Nose Grows Some' are Thom Yorke at his most bruising, and, when coupled with the charms of Basinski-esque, decaying keys in 'Pink Section', or the lushly skewed harmonies of 'Interference' make for his most engrossing record yet.
Like a bag of alluring but unidentifiable pop confectionary from a stranger, Profligate’s Somewhere Else album is a deeply uncanny pick ’n mix of familiar yet surreal flavours for anyone with a wonky sweet tooth for post-punk, dream-pop and mutant industrial tastes.
The latest on Brooklyn’s Wharf Cat Records keeps up their reputation for picking fringe delicacies (think Horoscope’s Misogyny Stone, or Joey Agresta’s Let’s Not Talk About Music) with Profligate’s follow-up to a string of collaborations and releases for Not Not Fun and Unknown Precept over the past five years.
While those releases all demonstrated Noah Anthony’s diverse palette and knack for songcraft as Profligate, the addition of Elaine Kahn on vocals now arguably takes the project somewhere new and more absorbing, somewhere between Throbbing Gristle at their most contrary, and Broadcast dabbling in lo-fi, rhythmic noise.
Glass mastered CD packaged with custom silver/chrome sticker in resealable poly sleeve
59 minute of free-floating ambient dub techno bliss, threatening to be engulfed by the sheer size of it all, but keeping the listener dangled just above and at the centre of it all.
“A haunting of the spirit and soul, a near-hour long journey into some of Phase 90's most ominous territories yet. The darkest side of Dub. Field recordings extracted at The Detroit Masonic temple, an alleged location of supernatural and EVP Phenomena. Recorded live in the mix for an art installation exhibit held in Ann Arbor, MI. 2016.”
The second of six LPs issued under the title Everywhere At The End of Time, cataloguing The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia.
This second stage takes a more wistful tack as our protagonist gradually realises that all is not well and begins to rummage deeper into the recesses of his mind, masking emotions of grief, loss, fear and uncertainty.
As The Caretaker’s short term memory functions begin to more rapidly erode, the loop-based punctuation of the previous instalment begins to subtly unravel, leading his mind to drift off and ponder upon fuller segments of tea dance strings and horns which appear uncannily more inviting, seductive, and now almost even more tangible than the abbreviated reels of earlier editions.
Loop points wilt away in autumnal greys and russet rustles as new information becomes more difficult to process, making it more preferable for The Caretaker to back pedal down memory lane toward an opaque smudge of half-forgotten/remembered spaces, places and un/familiar faces which provide more comfort and clarity than the world around him.
The tracklist spells this transitional flux in poetic terms, wending from the fading beauty of A Losing Battle Is Raging to the exquisitely tense yet plasmic strings in Glimpses of Hope in Trying Times and the lilting resolution of Surrendering to Despair, before Still Feel As Though I Am Me basks in glowing embers that turn to a Quiet Dusk Coming Early, and the waltzing bliss of Last Moments of Pure Recall leads to the unshakeable pangs of sadness that light up The Way Ahead Feels Lonely like short-circuiting synapses.
It feels strange to recommend undergoing this experience, albeit in such an impressionistic and detached manner, and yet it feels like a conversely enlightening one for these strange, disingenuous and unpredictable end times that we inhabit right now.
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Bokeh Versions light up a necessary reissue of Tradition’s long-lost outer-dub oddity Captain Ganja and The Space Patrol, pressing up a damn fine and deeply psychedelic reminder of North London’s contribution to the worldwide dub sphere c. 1980 - years before Scientist and Jammy battled the space invaders.
As a secretive and sought-after outlier in Tradition’s catalogue of lovers rock and dub aces, Captain Ganja and The Space Patrol represents the group’s most esoteric and experimental urges in full effect, springing dub’s mutable framework with a sample bank of crying babies, radiophonics and library soundtrack FX and then swirling the whole thing in Paul Thomson’s cosmic synths and keys.
From the red-eyed bachelor lounge vibes of of The Breathtaking Blast thru the lush recoil and tumble of Subaquatic Swerves and the pealing oddness of The Creepy Crawl to the bawling infants perfused around Rocket Repairs’ warbly melodica and decaying drums, it’s clear to hear how this album provides perfect context for Bokeh Versions’ previous releases, from the loose schematics of Seekersinterntional to the plasmic plong of Jay Glass Dubs, and even the label’s colourfully warped charisma on the whole.
It’s totally primed for a long, hot summer…
Omar-S does that deep and gritty house hustle like no other with one last jag of the year.
Up top the 313 OG metes out the ragged blues-jazz stomp and pivot of Dancer’s Anthem, loosely chopping up some unidentified samples into a stuttering scuff and parry, wickedly keeping in a fragment of audience applause which becomes a percussive layer in its own right. It’s achingly strong this one.
Downtown, his Odawa swerves to a cooler swang with signature, ruff cut drums and a nipped ’n filtered disco bassline keeping the pressure simmering down low until a natty garage hook lets it out in the final quarters.
That A-side’s gonna get all the play…
After debuting Native and Rupert Clervaux’s CLX project, Laura Lies In deposit a raw, grimy synth noise session by Den Haag’s Jan Katasma aka Nukubus and one half of Syncom Data.
Under the title Para - which could be taken metaphorically as in-between, or as in the mental condition, - the Dutch producer spits out six gobs of masticated, livewire electronics and caveman donks with a primitivist alacrity that makes many other noisy techno or rhythmic noise folk sound a bit too fussy.
Up top, that means the lop-sided, distorted oscillations of Para 1, the early electronics oddity of Vonk, and a ersatz tribal tumper called Para 2, while down below he comes off like a Black Mecha blast from another planet with Para 3 and the head pinching intensity of GellAC, while Fear The Mindkiller sounds like he left the machines running after Syncom Data’s Den Haag 12”, only to return years later and find they’ve mutated into gristly twysts.
The Echospace plot thickens with DC Trax’s The Octal Years overview, collecting triple deep cuts from Rod Modell's archive, plus a few unreleased goodies, all dating to 2001-2006. We still return to the original Defragment: Parts 1 - 10 on 12” from time to time, so this new archival edition is very handy indeed. Prime picks for the dub techno connoisseur.
“In reflection of the many years of development of the DEMF/Movement festival since its inception coupled with the near 15-year anniversary of these releases (and the first live appearance of d e e p c h o r d @ DEMF w/Mike Schommer) we're pleased to announce the continuation of our archival edition. Many of these releases (originally appearing on Octal Records) took center stage on the walls of the dance room @ Record Time (circa 2001) canned by Detroit Legend, Mike Huckaby. This release will mark the fourth installment to the coveted series and returns to form with a stone cold classic from the DC vault. The first time ever released on CD (including unreleased material), lovingly remastered and assembled by Rod Modell.
Great measures, focus and time were spent to preserve the analog warmth and sonic integrity of the original masters. For those who don't know, these releases are considered by many some of the most inspired and influential sounds to emerge from Detroit well over 15 years ago -- a blueprint was set here for many artists to come, a step in the evolution. Expect gorgeous plumes of sound deeper than the ocean floor -- a rich analog tapestry made in the heart of Detroit, Techno City.”
A totally haunting song about and for a dead horse, performed at the site of sacrifice, as protest against the Vietnam war.
“On January 30, 1970 Henning Christiansen and Bjørn Nørgaard - a figure nearly radical as Christiansen himself - hit the Danish national consciousness when a large portion of the Danish population watched a TV broadcast performance piece in protest to the Vietnam War. Hesteofringen (The Horse Sacrifice) features the work Min døde hest (My Dead Horse, 1970) OPUS 55 for piano, voice and violin (green), a beautiful haunting fragile song featuring a poem written by Bjørn Nørgaard and performed by Lene Adler Pedersen, accompanied by Nørgaard and Christiansen on piano and (green) violin. Laden with metaphor, this beautiful, sad lullaby, is as simple and unusual as anything in Christiansen’s output. Previously unreleased.”
The third of a six album cycle cataloguing The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia, presenting some of the last coherent memories before confusion fully rolls in and the grey mists fade away. In this crepuscular, autumnal phase, recollections phosphoresce and wilt in advancing stages of entropic decay, steadily approaching a winter of no return.
Continuing to mirror the progression of dementia, using nostalgia for ballroom as an allegory of the disease, The Caretaker’s musical flow in places becomes more disturbed, isolated, broken and distant. Singular memories, and all their connotations, begin to atrophy and calcify, crumbling away with each rotation of the record - sometimes in curt scene cuts, others in quietly breathtaking reverbed fizzles; like tea lights extinguished, never to flicker again.
These are the last stages of awareness before we enter the post awareness stages, where those memories become completely detached from comprehension. On stage 3, the haunted ballroom's repertoire becomes increasingly muddled, pealing off in recursive contrails from the gestures of Back There Benjamin, to snag on the stylus in starkly reverberant knots on Hidden Seas Buried Deep, or worn down to calloused nubs such as To the minimal great hidden, and Sublime beyond loss, all leading up to some of the project’s most uncanny detachments in Libet Delay and the coruscating brass shimmer of Mournful Cameraderie, which beautifully suggest the mercurial nature of memory and its recollection.
Trevor Jackson flexes his wiry EBM muscle as PinkLunch, reviving his old moniker for a full LP of darkroom sleaze from the top drawer of his cabinet.
Douglas J McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb joins in on definitive album highlight, On The Floor, and Chloé Raunet ov C.A.R. lends gynoid vocals to the slow, ruddy jacker Inamorata, but Jckon is left to his diverse for the rest of the album, working out finely calculated variants of EBM and darker, electroid house music with highlights in the blank-eyed swagger of Other Side, in the haughty acidic thrust of Load Warrior, and with a doom core thirst recalling The Horrorist in A.N.T.I.
Brilliant reissue of Maria Monti's Il Bestiario, originally released in 1974 and a prime example of the avant-garde art-song of the 1970s.
"Known for her renderings of Italian popular songs, Maria Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career: cabaret singer in the '60s, ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the '70s, and starring in films by directors as such as Sergio Leone's Fistful Of Dynamite (1971) and Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900 (1976).
Il Bestiario is a near perfect emblem of the fascinating territory gained through collaboration. It enlisted the radical poet Aldo Braibanti as its lyricist, features arrangements and synthesizer from Alvin Curran (Musica Elettronica Viva), the baritone saxophone of Roberto Laneri (Prima Materia), as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz legend Steve Lacy.
The result is absolutely stunning, musically unique within the respective outputs of its participants' long and noted careers. Unquestionably one of the most beautiful and neglected albums of its decade."
Paleman rolls into ’18 with a heavy duty trio of UK bass techno girders on his personal label.
Skulking somewhere between the Swamp 81 sound and the dank styles of Regis, Pinch or Pessimist productions, PLMN 002 investigates fluoro grey interzones of the modern UK warehouse, establishing a cold and cavernous spatial dynamic with the shark-eyed swerve and deadly pressure of Paranoid Loop on the front, then cutting a more shadowy figure in the monotone colours and serpentine momentum of Fingers, and isolating that ghostly energy at its nerviest, clammiest with a pendulous acid mutation called Cliffview Spider.
Not to be missed!
German jazz-house, originally issued in 2001
Reissued in abridged form with Walkin’ Thru Circles [Full Expansion] on A-side and the subtler swing of Walking Thru Circles [Thump Mix] on the B-side.
Pangaea overhauls Loleatta Holloway’s obscure ‘90s house nugget Stand Up as a sort of dabke-meets-UK bass play for Salsoul.
Hingeing around a sub hit and scream stab reminding of his Inna Daze 12”, Pangaea replaces snatches of Holloway’s vocal around a snaky break broke right off some Omar Souleyman tune, resulting one of 2017’s smartest, most effective curveballs.
Beautiful outsider Italian Library obscurity reissued for the first time. Imagine Can jamming with the Velvet Underground at an observatory in the Mediterranean and you can almost taste the acid zing on these grooves.
"Perhaps the most bizarre artefact to emerge from the phenomenal world of Italian Library music. Originally scored for a 1978 RAI television documentary, the album titled Tuscan Castle and Country Seat conforms to nothing you know or understand about library music. Studying composition under maestro A.R Luciani, the young Teisco composed innovative home studio recordings that parallel the outsider technique of French soundtrack composer Francois De Roubaix.
With little resemblance to the standard cues usually found on library music LPs, this is stoned underground psychedelic music of the most eccentric kind. Imagine lyrical Moog oscillations drifting loosely over baroque and hallucinogenic atmospheres, or alternatively, think the DIY guitar jamming of the Velvet Underground and Dream Syndicate mixed with the electronics of some lesser-known Krautrock band. Wherever this recording sits among the dusty shelves of forgotten stock music, it is highly personal, deeply rewarding and without a doubt the most mind-blowing library record you will hear this year. This record is soon to be an outsider classic."
Perhaps the most important contemporary torch carrier for cold wave pop, Martial Cantarel yields his strongest work to date with ‘Lost At Sea’; a richly evocative collection of songs and instrumentals that doesn’t shy away from up-to-date sounds, but uses them inventively and nimbly at the service of the ‘floor and with an ear-snagging sharpness when consumed on headphones.
“Since composer Sean McBride unveiled his first utterance as Martial Canterel almost 2 decades ago, he has produced a body of work both substantial and alluring within the field of live analogue electronic music. Effortlessly fusing a variety of styles and influences, Martial Canterel is one of the premiere outfits utilizing analogue electronics and modular synthesizers. In particular FM synthesis is employed to produce clustered polyphonies and organic atmospheres - a staple of his signature style.
Three years have passed since Martial Canterel’s last full length album Gyors, Lassù was released on Dais Records. During this down time, McBride found himself in a state of flux, ebbing back and forth between material displacement and musical aestheticism. His expert pedigree in electronic sound and arrangement bridges the gap created by an undecidability between life at home and abroad - his new album, Lost At Sea, is an attempt for the artist to locate common ground, mutating fable with reality, exteriority and interiority.
The album's introductory track, Giving Up, has all of the hallmarks that Martial Canterel has utilized in the past…melodic chorus, upbeat rhythm and classic sequential dynamism. Where the song diverges is in its core theme of nature: nature’s return to a period of restoration after the failures and recklessness of humankind. Although this first glance refamiliarizes one with the tight, upbeat appeal typically found within the genre, Lost at Sea quickly takes a more serious and sobering tone.
The slower pace of songs like Scampia and Puszta yearn for McBride’s complex love affair with far flung destinations. Re-evaluating the political strife and social unrest in these historical locations, McBride delves deeper into political and geological reference points creating symbolic representations using mechanized percussion, white noise and various sine waves.
The conceptual nature of Lost at Sea reaches even deeper depths within the waveforms of Astralize, a track based upon academic Donna Haraway’s pre-civilized theories of human neglect after the ‘azstralization’.”
Alga Marghen sublabel, Planam presents the original LP edition of 'Handcut' from Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti's Bellow project.
On their 2nd release as a duo they have concerned themselves with "…a simple technique of cutting/destroying and amplifying vinyl records with contact microphones, creating new grooves and physical loops while capturing the sounds on a revox tape machine with long tapeloops." These loops are then subtly embellished with effect pedals and sine waves, resulting in an enigmatic array of frictional textures, ghostly melodies and effervescent reverb strongly reminiscent of The Caretaker's compositions, but with a more mysterious, unexplained clutch of source material and the presence of deep, rumbling subbass apparitions.
The label likens it to "a sort of atmospheric and modern electronic music recorded at the beginning of the twentieth century on 78rpm shellac records", and we'd be inclined to agree, but there's also shapes and tonalities which wouldn't have been present in that era, from cochlea-kicking bass hits to supple subbass frequencies.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, this is another immensely captivating and uniquely esoteric Senufo Edition, and highly recommended to listeners with a taste for slowly immersive tone and texture. Letterpressed sleeve printed by Ben Owen/Middle Press and Photographic insert by Amadeo Martegani - just beautiful stuff from end to end.
Pye Corner Audio's darkling synthetic transmissions had been hovering under the radar for a couple of years before 2012's Black Mill Tapes collection on Type brought them to a wider and grateful audience. Now, Martin Jenkins finds himself equally lauded by the likes of Sandwell District's Juan Mendez and Minimal Wave's Veronica Vasicka as by the UK hauntological set - a testament to the scope and adaptability of his stygian productions.
Nonetheless, this album release feels right at home on Ghost Box, and it follows Jenkins' contribution to the label's 7" Study Series last year. If The Black Mill Tapes focussed on the unheimlich but decidedly driving meta-techno side of the Pye sound, Sleep Games gives as much time to exploring its more abstract and oneiric peripheries. Nonetheless, rhythm is foregrounded throughout: from the woozy, tape-warped Boards of Canada-ism of 'Sleep Games', via the Xander Harris/Umberto-esque giallo-disco chug of 'The Black Mill Video Tape' through to the distant, dubby pulse of 'Palais Spectres' and the rolling toms of 'Underneath The Dancefloor'.
Eschewing the tweeness which has arguably softened the impact of recent Ghost Box releases, Sleep Games is refreshingly drug-hazed and zonked-out yet shark-eyed, minimalist and full of post-apocalyptic, cold-wave menace: you can more easily imagine this stuff soundtracking a car ride through the deserted industrial zones of coastal America than a ramble round the Belbury parish and its bucolic environs. At the same time, this feels like a Ghost Box release through and through: 'Print Through' is a radiophonic seance right from the grimoire of Eric Zann, 'Deep End' has the school textbook sci-fi sigh of classic Belbury Poly and 'Yesterday's Enemy' the occult public service broadcasting vibe of early Advisory Circle.
Laraaji brings his cherished Vision Songs to life, playing zither, Casio keyboard, gong and vocals interspersed with charming anecdotes, all documented live at London’s Brilliant Corners, September 2016. Reissued for the 1st time by Numero, Laraaji’s Visions Songs  was the sublime, gospel and soul-infused follow-up to his Celestial Vibration  and Ambient 3 (Day Of Radiance)  collaboration with Brian Eno. Blessed be the listener who gives some time to this one.
“A live, 92-minute improvised session by Laraaji based on his 1984, Vision Songs material. Until now only fragments of Vision Songs have been released, tracks such as “All Of A Sudden” found their way into the New Age / Ambient music scene. Owing to it’s unique sound, it became an underground hit and there’s more where that came from. This crossover of New Age and Gospel Soul, led by Laraaji’s vocals – channelling meditations of new thought - is distinctive in his discography. Here, you'll find a recording capturing the spirit of a particular moment in time: of Laraaji playing Vision Songs to an intimate audience 32 years after it was first recorded in his Manhattan bedroom.”
Exciting new label Lost Futures tap “into the inherent idealism of rave” with this killer 1992 techno session by Arno Peeters, Sander Friedeman and Richard van der Giessen aka CultureClash, who were originally conceived at the behest of Irdial Discs’ Akin Fernandez for an hour long live performance on his Kiss FM show.
For the first time, that show has been edited to individual tracks and made available on vinyl, some twenty five years after various failed attempts to properly release its seminal slice of dancefloor history. Fans of Psychick Warriors Of Gaia, Underground Resistance, Muslimgauze or Utrecht’s U-Trax need to check this one, pronto!
Originally converging under the moniker, The Awax Foundation, the trio from Utrecht recombined their vast, personal reserves of ethnic and traditional music samples from across the world with an Atari 1040ST, a cheap mixing desk, synths and FX to effectively assuage techno’s increasingly masculine stomp. The results essentially picked up where their fellow countrymen, Psychick Warriors Of Gaia left with 1989’s tribalist EBM templates, pushing farther along those lines to a loose, driving, hypnotic sound which swerved accusations of “ethno-techno” appropriation thanks to their sincerity and results which have evidently stood the test of time.
CultreClash thus stands a temporal crossroads which perhaps resonates more with our modern times than any other. In 1992, a decade after the swell of new age, and years after the future-primitive thrust of Chicago house, or even Detroit guys fetishising Japanese electronics and synth-pop, the techno movement was in full flow, cosign to the grasp of white europeans who, on the one hand, wanted to make it more commercial, for bigger raves and the charts, while on the other hand, others wanted to explore its esoteric, aerobic mystic potential, such as these Dutch dudes.
The results of their endeavour form a killer set of DJ tracks and a necessary time capsule from that era, hingeing all kinds of mad polyrhythms, chants and sampled instrumental tones around rolling kicks and natty electronics. In the wrong hands that could have come out terribly, but these guys got it bang right with tracks like the febrile, heatsick ace Bad Dream, or like a tuffer NAD with the brooding NYC-Nonplace vibes of Mystic (House Dub) or the mesmerising acid fuss of U.U Inlands (Halal Edit) and the rolling breakbeat bustle of Zitarz, while making room for more spacious, wistful rave kisses in the sloshing, Muslimgauze-like Mama Africa and Asian Approach, or the sufi-esque dervish, Yatiyaña.
CultureClash weren’t the first and won’t be the last to try this sound, but they did it with timeless style and effect that totally deserves this reissue, which we can’t say about many other similar attempts.
One for the dreamers of the dream.
Borderline-bonkers double feature presentation of near-mythical dadaist songcraft from 1981.
Picked up pressed to vinyl for the first by Alga Marghen sub-label Planam and A Tree In A Field 30 years after it was originally released, Die Welttraumforscher's cherished 'Herzschlag Erde' is reissued alongside its unreleased follow-up 'Verdunkelt die Sinne', together providing your recommended annual dose of esoteric Swiss/Alien electronic folk music. Much loved of largely German-speaking freaks like Mouse On Mars, Harald "Sack" Ziegler, Yello's Dieter Meier and German astronaut Hans-Joachim Roloff, Christian Pfluger aka Welttraumforscher (roughly translated to "Explorers Of The Dream World") shaped a strangely sinister and alternate reality with his sporadic catalogue of releases. 1981's 'Herzschlag Erde' cassette was his first, and hailed by the few who know it as one of his most essential.
It draws on a beguiling blend of science fiction, metaphysics and dadaism through illustrations, lyrics, and his music to create an impenetrable sense of mystique which has only been exacerbated by the fact that he rarely, if ever, plays live. The music itself is wildly playful, yet with deeply warped undertones, with really explain its cult status. It's much stranger and less self-consciously pop than much of the DIY tape stuff from this era that's been resurfacing recently, and therefore should be checked by anyone wanting a trip out of the ordinary.
Yasuaki Shimizu’s Music For Commercials  is here given a much needed first ever reissue some 30 years since it appeared on Crammed's Made To Measure library music series, which also included editions by Tuxedomoon and Hctor Zazou. Very safe to say that if you were enchanted by Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage LP or their Fairlights, Mallets & Bamboo mixes, this one is a must!
In 24 parts Shimizu unfolds a tightly packed lattice of crystalline gems and vignettes crafted for TV commercials, plus the 15 minute Ka-Cho-Fu-Getsu piece for a Computer Animation Video which is practically worth the price of entry alone.
Presumably titled after the corporations who employed him, you’ll find stacks of super sweet, pastoral 4th world emulations patched from keys, sax, gamelan, drum machines and electronics for the likes of Seiko, Ricoh, Sharp, Honda, Knorr and Bridgestone, each as exactingly cute and piquant as the last.
Known for his numerous albums, soundtracks, and collaborations including with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Bjork, this is perhaps Shimizu's most sought-after and influential work and one that perfectly encapsulates our collective yearning for peace and quiet in an increasingly commercialised, chaotic world.
Epic 10 CD Box Set containing all of Maurizio Bianchi's early 90's LP's, plus 18 previously unreleased tracks, a 30 minute live set from 1983 and 35 inserts. Limited Edition of 200 numbered copies.
"Exclusive presentation of the complete M.B. / Maurizio Bianchi recordings from the early 1980s originally issued on LP. Starting from Sterile Records' "Symphony for a Genocide" to Broken Flag's "The Plain Truth", passing through DYS' "Mectpyo Bakterium" and all the records privately issued by M.B. on his Mectpyo Sound. A slipcase with 10 CDs reproducing the 10 LP issued between 1981 and 1984, plus all the tracks by M.B. from international LP compilations and a large selection of tracks from international K7 compilations. Each CD reproduces the original artwork and layout, with a new numbered inlay card. Also included is a 84 page booklet with original atworks and collages, M.B. playlists, interviews and reviews, as well as essays by M.B. on S.P.K., Whitehouse and Come, T.G., Monte Cazazza, Metabolists, Conrad Schnitzler and excerpts from the "Dictionary of the Ultra-Glaciality". Edition limited to 200 numbered copies, including the following CDs: Symphony for a Genocide (1981) Harsh waves of electronic pulsations overload the circuitry causing sensory breakdown. Maximum electronics! Also included are the 3 tracks from the 1980 "International Compilation 1" on Die Form's Bain Total. Menses (1981) The two long siutes "Yra" and "Scent" pessimistically excludes any possibility to survive. Suicidal album. Death is a pleasure after a side of this record. Also included are the two tracks from the Hater's "Nowhere to Play" compilation (1982), as well as the very early "Milan Bruits" from Der Plan's "Fix Planet" compilation (1981). Neuro Habitat / Moerter Unter Uns (1982) M.B.'s at his creative peak. There are actually melodies present, dense and dark that mutate into harsh electronic outbursts. Also included is "Plutoniumetrio" from the Come Organisation's "Fuer Ilse Koch" compilation (1982). Regel (1982) M.B. experimentation with noise syndrome has developed into a powerful stylistic electronic music, coherent and dynamic. Also includes "Acido Prussico" from Broken Flag's "Neuengamme" compilation (1982). Mectpyo Bakterium (1981) Two extended electronic pieces which may prove to be the best compositions M.B. has created. Also included are two tracks from "40 days/40 Nights" and "International Frienship" compilations (1983). Das Testament (1982) A pulsating and visionary work dedicated to those who will suffer in the future for our choice to irreparably spoil our natural and social ambient. Also included in 30 minutes of M.B. live in Milano on January 1st, 1983. Endometrio (1980-81) M.B. takes the distance from the movement of the industrial bruitists, presenting what he calls "biologic music", sounds synthetically produced by the manipulation and transformation of pre-recorded electronic sources. Also included are excerpts from various international compilations on cassette (1980/1983). Carcinosi (1979/1982) This record represents an injection of new, more open-minded and anti-conformist methodologies. A disquieting sound dilutes and coagulates. Also included are two tracks from Broken Flag's "Axis Sally" (1983) and "Frankenstein Juke Box" compilation tapes. The Plain Truth (1983) A very atmospheric records including two long suites titled "The Plain Truth" and "M.B. 55 T.D. 56". Also included is an exclusive interview recorded at Radio popolare, Milano, on January 1st, 1983. Armaghedon (1984) Soundtrack to the film with the same title. The most obscure and elusive M.B. output. The original LP was never distributed, most of the copies were destroyed by M.B. after its release.
Finders Keepers unveil a real pearl from their stewardship of Ciani Musica Inc.: presenting Suzanne’s ‘Silver Apples Of The Moon’-like electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s satirical opera for children; ‘Help, Help, The Globolinks!’
“As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault, Finders Keepers twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in multi-disciplinary electronic music, Suzanne Ciani. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theater production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne's vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer, but also highlights her European heritage -- working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department).
Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the '80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects -- all of which would make their world premiere in New York high school theaters in April of 1980. Suzanne on the original: "The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production." For Help, Help The Globolinks!, Ciani would give Menotti's well-traveled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality. Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema; within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel -- scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as "the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie" with The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981).
Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl's Aniara or Remi Gassman's Electronics (CACK 004B-LP), this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Ciani's combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician are in equal measures here, a rare duplicity which is essential to The Globolinks!.”
Trevor Jackson heralds a 2nd mind-dump of vintage material on Previously Unreleased Volume 2 with this six-track sampler of swaggering dancefloor pressure.
The tracks all hearken back to the era of Jackson’s Playground album, trading in a satisfyingly smooth ’n gritty flow of vibes between the slow acid disco bounce of Memory Per Voice thru the haunted filter-funk and wooden drum knocks of Long System, to patch of grubby skronk on Work It, saving two highlights for the mutant post-punk dub stepper See Yourself, and the natty skank ov Stand Down (Dub).
After leaving us hanging for too long, the enigmatic R&B starlet pays up on the promise of her Cut 4 Me mixtape and Hallucinogen EP with an impeccable album of proper, star-dusted songs about love and life as “…a black woman, a 2nd generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the ‘burbs listening to R&B, Jazz and Björk”. Yh yh, count us in!
Sweeping us up in the heart-in-mouth dream sequence of Frontline’s sylvan soul and gently fading with the deliquescent sensuality of Altadena at its curtain close, Take Me Apart is arguably a modern classic blessed with widely resonating appeal. Marking a sublime demonstration of Kelela’s personal development over the years since literally everyone jumped on Cut 4 Me, her first opus is a more mature, layered and more coherent set which defines the difference between a mixtape and album thanks to its fluid logic and and intimately involving narrative structure.
Jupiter allows a moment to catch your breath in its bittersweet pirouettes before the rugged LMK - the album’s lead single - takes hold, triggering an amazing 2nd half loaded with Arca’s tell-tale pitch bends in the boogie knuck of Truth Or Dare and the almost industrially-toned drums and maaaad wide bass on S.O.S., but we’re not sure who’s responsible for the radioactive lead line of Blue Light, or the Burial-esque 2-step of Onanon, and it doesn’t really matter anyway, cos Kelela’s really the star of the show in every part.
Right in time to aid xmas (in)digestion, Chris Douglas (Dalglish, O.S.T., Scald Rougish) chews thru your grey matter as Aclds with the queasy algorithmic slosh and electronic permutation of Fuadain Liesmas - his first release for Antwerp’s exceptional Entr’acte label after decades of releases on probing imprints under myriad aliases.
Dispatched from his Berlin base, Fuadain Liesmas wriggles between the lines of convention in a way that has persistently served to reveal Douglas among electronic music’s most uncompromising operators. Following extreme abstract precedents set by the likes of Autechre, Roland Kayn and Bernard Parmegiani, Douglas doesn’t so much as pull the rug form under the listener’s feet as he systematically unthreads and reweaves it from the toes up, binding listeners into an inescapable matrix of perplexing intricacy that supposes and dangles us by a quantum thread.
For all its combustible, hellish nature and cerebral ferocity, there are moments of more meditative tranquility nestled amid Fuadain Liesmas, but it will take intrepid ears to reach and locate them in the maelstrom, as Douglas seems to set fire to all he touches, leaving a burning trail of logic in his wake.
Derek Bailey’s incredible debut solo showcase is given a necessary, expanded reissue as part of Honest Jon’s reissue series of important releases on Bailey and Evan Parker’s Incus Records. The original LP of finger-flaying improvisations and Bailey’s takes on works by Gavin Bryars and Misha Mengelberg is now augmented by an extra disc of farther improvs, including a solo show at York University in 1972.
The late, great guitar pioneer’s Solo Guitar remains pivotal testament to his endeavours in dismantling modern instrumental music and freeing it to more curious routes of expression, much in key - so to speak - with the US free jazz and improvised music which it evolved from. Love it or not, this record remains a totem of late 20th centre musical exploration.
“Recorded in 1971, Solo Guitar Volume 1 was Bailey’s first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return.
The LP was issued in two versions over the years — Incus 2 and 2R — with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey’s performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars and Willem Breuker.
All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972; a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It’s a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence and wit.”
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.
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement’s amazing first release is the final instalment in this reissue series remastered by Paul Corley and cut to vinyl for the first time after its initial release back in 2012 as a 4 x Cassette release made in a run of just 16 copies. It features 40 minutes of dank psychedelic ambience, reanimated and spatialized with hi-end studio black magick.
Completing the reissue cycle of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement’s ambient invocations, Papua New Guinea  is rendered in this new remaster by Paul Corley (0PN, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost) and sacrificed to vinyl for the first and last time on Hospital Productions. Slotting alongside 5 previous vinyl reissues of the original tape editions released over the last 12 months, Papua New Guinea loops back to the start of the saga, affording a clearer and more immersive way into one of Dominick Fernow’s most (oc)cultish projects.
The eight track dosage of Papua New Guinea generated a wave of speculation as to its shadowy provenance back in 2012. It sounded little like anything else in circulation and left heads genuinely floundering for answers to its riddling track titles and extreme aesthetics; a steeply evocative combination of near-infrasonic sub-bass tones and cold but humid environmental sounds laced with slow, looping, tribal rhythms.
It took at least another year before the project was revealed as an outlet for Hospital Productions capo Dominick Fernow, who had been quietly taking the opportunity to explore a sound putatively unfamiliar to his better known projects. Yet, with hindsight, it’s now easier to hear RSE as an inverse, endothermic alternative to the raging energies of his Prurient output or the searing, propulsive combustions of Vatican Shadow, for example.
In stark contrast to proceeding instalments’ increasing track lengths, Papua New Guinea is comprised of eight relatively concise parts, with each side of vinyl relating to one of the original tapes. The A-side seeps into consciousness in frightening style with Paul Corley’s remaster now bringing the long, slippery sub-bass descent of There Are Many Powerful Spirits Living In The Hills And Stones And It Is Not A Good Idea To Disturb Them to life with uncanny psychoacoustic subtlety, before hypnotic rhythms take possession for the duration and the listener is eventually deposited at the bombed-out ambient ecology of The Spirit Was Angry And Froze The Bulldozer So It Could Not Move. The Bulldozer Is Still There Today. What occurs between those points defies description in the manner of the strongest psychedelics, and likewise, requires deep immersion for full comprehension.
Afriqua crosses paths with R&S for a batch of jazz-taught deep house charms and electronic abstractions.
Working somewhere in the same realm as Afrikan Sciences or Theo Parrish, Afriqua pursues heavily earthed yet cosmic-yearning spirits across the record from the lustrous bass and nimble jazz ‘tronics woven into his eight minute trip Aleph, to the simmering, meter-messing flow of Opferator, and one sublime marriage of floating jazz chords, geometric bass fuss and sylvan synth pads on Thanksgiving, with the miniature sci-fi vignette Sent recalling King Britt at his most searching, in effect.
Call Super cocks a 2nd album of increasingly squirrelly electronics for Houndstooth, secreting the glittering nuts and bolts of his sound in a more fluid and dynamic brand of ambient techno mechanics.
Arriving three years on from his Suzi Ecto album, and a string of well-received DJ sets, solo 12”s and a collaboration with Beatrice Dillon over the interim, Arpo gathers Call Super’s recent studio thoughts in one place, coursing from mercurial IDM to jazzy flights of fancy and oneiric electro with a meticulous production style that’s become his trademark.
The ghosts of the 4th World, Red Planet martians, Irdiallian enigmas and golden era Warp haunt Arpo’s diffuse dimensions from the first chimes and clarinet plumes of Arpo thru the smoky electro-jazz of Out To Rust, following a silvery thread of logic that weaves between early hours dancefloor mindsets and late hours home listening from the glitchy hunch of OK Werkmeister to the sloshing brownian glitter of Music Stand, embracing Ethiopiques jazz in Arpo Sunk, and gently insistent future electro-funk with No Wonder We Go Under, and the hyaline electro-soul rubs of I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Hat.
Widely championed techno/electronica producer Objekt deposits his detailed and complex debut album on PAN.
Since 2011 at least, the Berlin resident known as TJ Hertz has been a vital cog in the European techno machine, self-releasing some of this decade's most vaunted white labels, plus 12"s with Hessle Audio and Leisure System - including this year's great split with Dopplereffekt - beside his role as software engineer for Native Instruments. With 'Flatland' he takes the opportunity to scud farther between electro and techno conventions with some proper production acrobatics, modelling a vivid 3D framework viewable from multiple perspectives, imagining "…a world in which any scene can be seen from any angle at once".
Entering via the ambient airlock chamber of 'Agnes Revenge', we're given access to a subtly evolving soundsphere of sheer, incremental gradients and whirring mechanisms interspersed with nods to radiophonic experimentation and the melodic charm of '90s Warp styles. The scuttling funk of 'One Fell Swoop' or 'Ratchet' and the keening harmonics of 'Agnes Apparatus' recall classic Plaid, whilst elsewhere the album ranges from knackered techno ('Dogma') to Powell-esque hardwave ('Strays') and Rrose-alike techno churn ('One Stitch Follows Another', 'First Witness') via augmented hip hop ('Second Witness'). It's all certain to spark the interests of the techiest bass heads and IDM fiends around.
A sublime addition to Sean McCann’s Recital Program, This Floating World is Roger Eno’s first solo LP in a decade, following on from Anatomy  and a split LP with Plumbline in 2013. Mostly solo piano expressions, but with a few intriguing embellishments of electronics in Garden, vocals on Empty Room, and sonorous chimes in Riddle, saving the detuned pearl of Out of Tune, Out of Time, Out of Here for dessert.
“This Floating World holds rustic and melancholic piano works, as grey and mossy as a country cottage. I hear the LP chiming from the dark corners of a pub, soaking in the damp wood like spilled ale.
I first fell in love with Roger’s music through his 1985 debut album Voices, which cradled many rainy and caffeinated mornings when I was living in San Francisco years back. He played on the infamous Apollo, Music for Films vol. 3, and recorded a theme for the Dune soundtrack. String pads and veils of reverb pour through those processed tracks.
I later rediscovered Roger Eno in a different light with his 1997 album The Music of Neglected English Composers. A playful and beautiful album of chamber pieces guised as the works of forgotten (and fabricated) composers from the past century. His compositional sensibilities remind me of my favorite recent English composers… Hobbs, White, Bryars, Skempton, etc.
This Floating World feels like a hybrid of these two styles, a melding of both his ambient and ‘prelude’-esque compositions. Warm and feathered furniture music.
In our communication Roger has been a real charmer, ending every email with “Roger and out.” A curious fellow, with a knack for tracing the understated beauties of this world.
Burial cements his busiest year on record with Pre Dawn/Indoors, forming a rare moonlight session away from Hyperdub for Boddika’s Nonplus.
This is Burial as warehouse shadow dancer, properly committed to the heavy hours of the rave. Pre Dawn rolls out at 140bpm with something like Tango & Ratty’s “lost” garage project, as heard under a corrugated roof beaten by acid rain. The first breakdown could have feasibly appeared on some Untrue cut, while the final passage of soul-smacking pads and distant gabber kicks delivers the classic Bevan shiver.
Indoors is perhaps meant to be what’s behind those booming kicks, on the other side of the door. Initially, furtively elegiac, it comes off as the more hardcore of the two thanks to a nagging vocal and marching, technoid rhythm, so vividly evocative of a steaming, classic rave in full rush that it’s no wonder Burial doesn’t bother with promo videos.
One of Charlemagne Palestine's best-known works, "Four Manifestations On Six Elements". "Two Perfect Fifths, A Major Third Apart, Reinforced Twice" (1973) is an electronic piece that deals with the search for the essence of timbre, sound color, through exploration of the inert chemical activity in the overtone series of tone fundamentals.
"In this genre of his work Palestine feels akin to a kind of sound alchemist - blending elements over and over again through the years searching for the Golden Sound - the essence of the chord or harmonic structure itself. In "One + Two + Three Perfect Fifths, In The Rhythm 3 Against 2, for Piano" (1973) the elements introduced are now elaborated upon on the piano.
The resonant Bösendorfer allows Palestine to create a more lively and complex variation of tones, intervals, overtones and rhythms. "One Fifth" evolves by reinforcing the fundamentals of a fifth with their higher octave. Each performance of this work is different as Palestine reinterprets these simple elements listening within them for variations of amplitude, mixture and inertia at the moment of the performance. "One + Two Fifths" deals with the way a rhythmic sonority sounds when the sustain pedal of the piano in not used, thus focusing on its rhythmic aspect. Gradually by adding the sustain pedal the external rhythmic pattern begins to internalize becoming an inert part of the whole tymbral fabric - a piece expressing the battle of rhythm versus timbre for dominance.
In "One + Two + Three" a third fifth is added - variations of melody and sonority reinforcements culminating in a rhythmic deceleration process ending the work."
Sten Hanson's work is an excellent example of sound poetry treated extensively in an electronic studio; The Sonosopher Retrospective LP covers the long period of 30 years activity.
"Fylkingen has, in the course of its many years of activity, become a familiar factor in Swedish, as well as international, musical life, a unique forum for the presentation of experimental art. Since very early it began to work in collaboration with an electronic music studio in Stockholm for the creation of technically satisfactory performance possibilities. The movement within Sweden in sound poetry/text-sound composition took hold in the early 1960s with the reorganization of Fylkingen, aiming to develop the relation between art and technology."
Parisian sound artists, Vincent Epplay, and Samon Takahashi present five often delirious, lysergic cut-ups of Pierre Clementi soundtracks: from abstracted psych-rock grooves to dynamic electro-acoustic scapes and outre collaging. Mind bending, but with an underlying sense of collected organization...
"First performed at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux in March 2009, "Soundtracks for the movies of Pierre Clemanti" is an electronic concrete music including many references to psychedelia, kraut, spontaneous sound creation of the 1960s-70s, building an intense dialogue with the specific universe of Pierre Clementi. Even if psychedelia and electroacoustic music seem to have little in common, they got intersected in the work of some advanced artists. On one side electronics entered rock and free jazz, on the other electric guitar and drums have been manipulated by adventurous modern composers. We could take Joseph Byrd, Friendsound, Faust, Supersister or Brainticket as a reference as well as Luc Ferrari, Jacques Lejeune, Bernard Parmegiani or Pierre Henry. A complete list of exchanges and collaborations would be too long to compile.
Their common background could be defined as the need to enter our unexplored inner consciousness, either through the use of drugs and lysergic substances, or through mysticism or esthetic explorations. Vincent Epplay and Samon Takahashi's music as pure experience and sonic-energy is the perfect soundtrack to the three movies by Pierre Clementi. The first two movies "Positano - Bobine 30B01" (1969) and "La Deuxième femme - Bobine J" (1967-78) are the documentation of an intense period of experiences shared with Nico, Philippe Garrel, Frédéric Pardo, Tina Aumont, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Bulle Ogier, Marc O', Viva and many others. The third movie "La révolution n'est qu'un début: continuons le combat" (1968), is a true hymn to freedom and is based around the May '68 events. Like an hallucinatory flux, the images of these three movies have been used by Epplay and Takahashi as the starting point for creating a unique sound experience. Edition limited to 300 copies with full-color sleeve, inner sleeve and insert, reproducing some very inspired scenes from the movies of Pierre Clementi."
Lavish 4CD box set includes the complete Ghedalia Tazartes recordings previously issued on cd by Alga Marghen, plus a new mini-cd titled "les danseurs de la pluie".
"Diasporas-Tazartes" is the cd edition of tazartes' first and fourth albums, "Transports" is the cd edition of Tazartes' second album complete with four bonus tracks. "Une Eclipse Totale De Soleil" is the CD edition of tazartes' third album with a long bonus track. "Les danseurs de la pluie" gives title to the complete anthology and is a 12 minutes mini-cd, presented on creative disc, including four previously unavailable tracks: two 1977 recordings from the Eclipse Totale sessions of a very wild and residential nature; and two colossal new pieces recorded in 2005."
Honest Jon’s plug a gaping hole in free improv collections everywhere with the complete sessions of Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey’s Royal  on record for the first time. Recorded live at the Royal Hotel, Luton, England on July 2, 1974, the original Incus Records LP’s Opening (Opening) and Opening (Closing) sections are now fulfilled by a 2nd disc with the Middle, Closing (opening, and Closing (closing) sections that were meant for an INCUS 44 pressing which never transpired. A major piece of experimental music.
“Braxton playing soprano and alto saxophones, and Bb and contrabass clarinets. Two volumes were planned; only one was issued, till now. This was an early transatlantic meeting between leading free improvisers. Many of Braxton’s signature techniques and ideas were gestated in such sessions. It still brims with inquisitive musical creativity and knockabout jazzbo allusiveness.”
First ever reissue of a seminal, ambitious fusion of Congolese vocals, likembe and rhythms with analog electronics and free jazz leanings, 'Noir Et Blanc' is justifiably hailed as one of the first and most influential records of its kind, or “in the same class s Byrne & Eno’s Bush of Ghosts… an imaginary collaboration between DAF and Fela Kuti” as the UK’s Melody Maker astutely put it in 1983.
Ever since its original release in 1983, Noir Et Blanc’s nine songs have informed countless DJs and dancers from the NYC new wave to Italy’s cosmic selectors and, pivotally, the swell of Belgian music that fed into New Beat and early techno. It’s no less than a stone cold classic and requires your attention pronto, if isn’t prized enough already.
In unprecedented form, Noir Et Blanc distills and renders the electric buzz of artists breaking new ground. It features Bony Bikaye, a Congolese musician obsessed with the possibilities of progressive German and American musics as much as his indigenous traditions, working with french synth nerds Claude Micheli and Guillaume Loizillon as CY1, and Algerian-born Pierre Job aka Hector Zazou, who all converge a radical attempt to mesh the mutual themes of disparate styles at the service of the ‘floor. Zazou himself has something of an eye-watering CV, having been involved with a huge number of influential projects, from ZNR to La Perversita and beyond; one of those producers with a crazy sprawling body of work you would do well to sink into.
Inarguably, the results have withstood the test of time thanks to the combination of Bikaye’s warm vocals with the minimalist tang and nudge of CY1’s metallic rhythms and Zazou’s wide scoped vision, songs such as the infectious modular dancehall prototype M’Pasi Ya M’Pampa and the roiling, alien plongs of Woa or the grubbing acid of Keba still sound utterly outlandish, out of space and time more than 30 years later, and notably feature some of the funkiest performance ever by Fred Frith.
Now ripened for rediscovery by a new generation of clued up selectors, the timeless qualities of Noir Et Blanc clearly resonate as strong as ever with the modern scene, sounding at times uncannily close to TV on the Radio clashing Congotronics, and just as likely to be played by Vladimir Ivkovic as Jon K or ATFA’s Brian Shimkovitz.
Basically one of those records that forms the square root of everything right now, and loved by those in the know.
The legendary debut of Jocy De Oliveira - and a landmark classic from the 70s Brazlian Electronic music scene. To quote Keith Fullerton Whitman, this is the "lost Tropicalia / Psych / free-Vocal / Ring-Modulator freakout / jam hybrid that you’ve only dreamt about!"
"It is difficult to overstate the importance of Jocy De Oliveira. While she remains a widely celebrated voice in her own country - Brazil, perhaps more than any other figure, Oliveira’s life and career unveils truths lingering in the shadows - histories long suppressed and lost - the sins suffered by the Latin American avant-garde, with the actualities of its astounding heights.
Oliveira began her career as a concert pianist, dedicated to the cutting edge works of the avant-garde. She left Brazil at young age to study in America and Europe, before being recruited by major orchestras across both continents - working under Stravinsky, and having pieces written for her and premiering of works by Berio, Xenakis, Santoro, Cage, and Manuel Enriquez. Her rendering of Messiaen’s Catalogue D'Oiseaux is still widely held as the definitive version. During the early 1960’s, Oliveira shifted her efforts toward composition.
A wildly restless creative mind, she embarked on a process of folding organised sounds across nearly every context it could inhabit - public and private interventions, theatre, installations, film, video, tape, as much as the concert hall - blurring the lines between performance and composition, incorporating diverse media well beyond the world of sound.
In 1961, within a collaborative theatre work written with Luciano Berio - Berio Apague Meu Spot Light, she instigated the first performance of electronic music staged in Brazil. In 1968 she joined Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood as one of the only women asked to contribute to the legendary publication Source: Music of the Avant Garde - entering its fourth and seventh editions, and became its sole Latin American contributor. Only the beginnings of what, over the coming decades, would rise as her singular and astounding body of achievement and work.
Released in 1981, during the last years of her country’s military dictatorship, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos was met by controversy before quickly sinking from view - heard by almost no one beyond Brazil’s borders. Among the most astounding realisations of electroacoustic process ever recorded - a work of shimmering beauty and potential, across its two sides, Oliveira yields works which level the field. A series of sonic stories for voice, and acoustic and electronic instruments - prepared piano, violin, percussion, synthesizers, electric celesta, etc, it the album’s singularity, culture, humanity, and introspection which can not be displaced.
Like its composer, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos is Brazilian, and to be be Brazilian, is to be many things at once. It’s works draws on a diverse range of the country’s musics and percussion traditions, as well as Indian raga structures, and Japanese Shomyo singing - inspired in part by the sounds of immigrant communities within Sao Paulo, the city where Oliveira grew up. Across the album’s breadth, electronic music returns home - distilling the entirety of Oliveira’s being, radically diverse culture, and idealism. A work of profound democracy, optimism, and truth - reforming history, and in so doing, placing the future of the avant-garde back into its own hands.
Reissued for the first time since it original release, this marks the return of one of the 20th century’s most important electronic works. Presented with the care and craft for which Blume editions has become known, these are the wonders of art - the towering heights of sounds - the realm where countless possible utopias unfold. "
Reissue of Mika Vainio's final album under the Ø moniker...
Following on from the crushing technoid scapes of 'Kilo' under his own name and the blackened alloys of his ÄÄNIPÄÄ album with Stephen O'Malley, 'Konstellaatio' reveals the revered producer at his most sensitive, teetering on the brink of the abyss and projecting to the stars. Between the goosebump-inducing panoramic pads of opener 'Otava' and the twinkling electro-dub of closer 'Takaisin' we're made privy to some of the strongest material in his whole oeuvre, and we really don't say that lightly.
His tactile manipulation of bass and sub-bass dynamics and spacious application of pure, isolated frequencies is just mindblowing, evoking imagery on sub-atomic scales. Far from being an academic exercise in production, there's an awe-inspiring and compelling sense of pathos and wonder at its core owing as much to the grandeur of Beethoven as it does the diffuse sound sculptures of Parmegiani.
It's pointless listening to this material on shit speakers because you're gonna miss half of it's extreme subtleties, but for those who know and care about this music, prepare to bunker down with one of Vainio's finest.
Pete Swanson's Freedom To Spend label unearths and dusts off this total killer from Marc Barreca for this handsome, much needed reissue
With 4th world pioneer Marc Barreca’s ace solo debut Twilight now back in circulation thanks to K. Leimer’s Palace Of Lights, Jed Bindeman and Pete Swanson’s promising new label Freedom To Spend present Barreca’s stranger successor album Music Works For Industry (1983) on vinyl for the first time after a necessary issue of Michele Mercure’s Eye Chant oddity.
As opposed to Twilight, which found Barreca working solo with Eno-esque systems-based music, Music Works For Industry finds him taking contributions from members of Seattle’s close-knit community of electronic explorers, and working them - albeit as unrecognisable from the original source - into a series of playfully spiky creations as porous to influence from synth-pop, industrial as ambient music, and sounding much rawer, primitive, skronky and surreal than most else coming from the 4th world nodes at that time.
Rendering the original tape in its entirety - no edits or altered track list - the session slips and slides between cute, almost cartoonish pulses, hooks and voices in Community Life to rudimentary, swampy funk chops in the closer Church and State. What happens in between is akin to the soundtrack for some Canadian TV for schools programme or a series of calisthenic exercises for post-punk and new wave mutants; an assembly of off-grid rhythms and dislocated sounds kerned, smudged and processed to recall a very early iteration of the ‘dances’ from Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music For Notional Species or a colder, distant precedent to the kind of crooked creations coming from Luis Delgado and Eugenio Muñoz’s Mecanica Popular studio.
Berlin’s Don’t DJ does gamelan techno for Berceuse Heroique, backed with Dreesvn’s seductive Italo/Detroit-house remix and arriving weeks after his excellent Authentic Exoticism with SEXES.
Gamelan techno is a concept we can totally get behind and Don’t DJ nails it here, working with a glancing moire of interlocking, chiming tessellations and roving bass shapes to sound something like a syncopated Sleeparchive or Charlemagne Palestine doing tribal minimalism. It’s a proper, leftfield club jam.
On the remix buttons, Dreesvn makes it slightly more centre-aligned, juggling a fine mix of Afro-cuban shuffle and sublime, slyding harmonic pitches to sound like some lost Transmat or Red Planet number.