Well-skooled mix of krautrock, Afrobeat and jazz from Amsterdam’s 9 piece instrumental ensemble, Jungle By Night
“5th album by the nine-piece instrumental collective from Amsterdam, Jungle by Night!
After almost a decade of heating up dancefloors across the globe, Jungle by Night have reached manhood. In the process of creating their 5th album, the nine-headed collective melted years of passion, friendship, and influences from krautrock, dance, jazz, afrobeat together into new instrumental prose, fluently speaking the language of their instruments.
The band is an oddball ensemble within its own cosmos. A danceable and thundering live-act, connecting with crowds like no other, with beaming fun and energy along the way.”
SHXCXCHCXSH go hammer and tongs on an outstanding 3rd volley for their Rösten label
In a masterful example of saying it without saying it, the Swedish pair skillfully swarm around techno’s 4/4 framework without ever landing on a rote kick/hi-hat pattern in all eight tracks.
Moving uncannily close to the rufige of Demdike Stare or the restless disruptions of Rian Treanor, the plough a singular path thru angular, stop-start loops and harsh textures with a cool tolerance for the kind of psychotomimetic repetitions that may drive some minds to despair, and others to utter wildstyle ecstasy.
If you’re game, these tracks have the potential to turn dancers and clubs inside out. Chow down and find your own madness in there somewhere. Best we’ve heard from SHXCXCHCXSH in their 6 years of ruffneck productions.
Camila Fuchs makes a head-turning debut on ATP with the cosmic pop of ‘Heart Pressed Between Stones’; a remarkably accomplished LP worthy of comparison with the best from Jenny Hval, her label mate Zoë McPherson, or early Fever Ray and Bjørk classics
Leading on from 2016’s ‘Singing From Fixed Rung’ and her ‘Opuntia’ EP as Camila De Laborde, the Mexico City-born, London-based artist truly blossoms on this, her 3rd release to date. It’s rare that artists of this calibre of vision and poise come around, and we reckon that ‘Heart Pressed Between Stones’ is a modern classic in waiting.
Taking her fair time to ease in with the screwed groove and wide open vox of ‘One-on-One’ and its searching, serpentine bassline, Camila maintains an impeccable poise throughout the album, threading from the veiled electronics and unmistakeably Bjørkian urgency of ‘Heatwave (Coming Towards You)’, to transition into stark, mutated psych rock in the tempered rush of ‘My Body’. She expertly plays with liminal tension again in the deliquescent dream pop friction of ‘Direct Truth’, before she gets mired in the deliciously viscous, screwed gloop of ‘Battlefield’, and totally has us by a thread with the nonplace acid-folk finale, ‘For All Stable Appearances, He Was Wild’, where her blend of organic and inorganic textures, dense electronics and spacious vocals most effectively transport and consume us.
Ambient maestro Will Long serves a definitive Celer release with ‘Memory Repetitions’, rounding up five typically widescreen, gauzy works that can’t help but lull listeners into the lush, comforting states of mind. If you’re only familiar with his deep house excursions alongside DJ Sprinkles, this is a prime place to dive into Will's prolific and much-loved output as Celer...
“Operating outside the limelight in the underground, Will Long has produced prolifically across genres, monikers, and countries since 2006. Predating his minimal house contributions under his given name to DJ Sprinkles’ Comatonse label and Smalltown Supersound, Long has put forth over a hundred collections of ambient compositions in stream of consciousness fashion under the name Celer. A native to America, Long has been based in Tokyo since 2011, where he has continued to expand upon his vault of celestial arrangements, amassing a cult following over the years by releasing them on under-the-radar labels, his own Two Acorns label, and on his Bandcamp.
Memory Repetitions serves to reflect on the labyrinthine body of work that comprises Celer.”
Supremely earthy, astrally inclined house, folk and soul blessed with guest vocal by Georgia Anne Muldrow. An outstanding session warmly RIYL Theo Parrish, STL, Beatrice Dillon...
“Klein worked for a New York church’s audio ministry; she mixed the choir, recorded the sermons and services, and later, knowing who was shouting, put parts of them in her MPC. Klein interviewed intellectuals in person to extract deep house messages from the conversations. Klein brought a close friend’s hypnotizing Detroit deep house beat to the patio of a Senegalese Sabar ensemble to ask if they wanted to respond to it.
Having learned the piano and jazz theory in her youth, Klein composes all the keys on her records. If a sound feels right, let’s go with it, is her position. Excellence of technique isn’t crucial for selecting sounds. Klein was tempted to study jazz though she ended up studying art. Her sound is a reaction to living in a world in which words are said to be powerful when they are far from adequate to describe many relations.
She was shaped by spiritual jazz, mostly from the 70s, polyrhythmic environments, and the Detroit sound at the turn of the millennium. On a scholarship in Detroit in 2005, she was welcomed by Aaron-Carl (R.I.P.) in his studio and witnessed studio setups used as tools for survival. Back in Germany, Klein missed hearing those forms of house on dance floors, so she started spinning as a kind of transatlantic communicator.
Community centers were turned into one night clubs quite a lot under the Bring Your Ass name of Klein’s celebration series, which brought the ambassadors of Detroit house in person. That’s how she gives thanks for the hospitality she has received in Detroit since 2005. One guest told her all Saturdays should be like that. Klein is an unofficial pupil of David Mancuso’s craft. We’ll take care of the details - come as you are.
Coming from Frankfurt, an early influence on her sound was her fellow student Frank Metzger, the former vocalist of Oval. After moving to Cologne in 1998, she was part of the record distribution Groove Attack for a couple of years. Stecken night club was the place for her regular DJ appearances. A-Musik is her adopted music family in her hometown Cologne.
When Klein is spinning records, she is used to going from Don Cherry to Detroit’s experimental house to Tama Walo to ESG to Jaco Pastorius to Wendy & Lisa to Aby Ngana Diop to a Salsoul Acappella layered on a rough bassline to Jaki Liebezeit to Justus Köhncke to Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to Yusef Lateef to whatever she wants to say - she is definitely not holding back.
Celebrating the openness of sound is what the new record and collaboration with Florent Kandety and Georgia Anne Muldrow does for sure. Like standing in a sound corridor between two or more clubs. Kandety gave a Senegalese sound expressing astonishment as well as his falsetto to Klein’s Zoom recorder and a personal chant through a long-distance internet phone call. The US American Muldrow tests the range of our perception with her interpretation of empathy. Klein composes keys, plays and arranges organ, bass and drums to cherish the vocals sung for her.”
The Haxan Cloak's early material is now available under his own Archaic Devices label. Here's what we said about the album when it was released on CD in 2011:
"Beguiling, unsettling and deeply mysterious, The Haxan Cloak's eponymous debut album is a riveting experience. In case Demdike Stare hadn't inspired you to read up on the pre-1900 occult, the term "Häxan" is an old German word for witchcraft, a theme shared by the two artists. But for that, and the monotone artwork aside, The Haxan Cloak takes a very different approach to his craft, one rooted in his studies in sound art and more concerned with "the very real potential and power of the actual physical properties of sound" he can elicit from treated strings and primal percussion, and the space between them. His processes summon an immersive spectrum of drones and often shocking sounds, from the nerve-jangling, near-infrasonic subbass fluctuations of 'Fall', to the stereo-dynamic fata morgana of 'The Growing'. This astonishing track is a work of pure black magic, transporting us through a digital wormhole into hallucinatory electro-acoustics and heart-quaking subs to a climax of percussion recalling both Zoviet*France and Scorn. When focussed on strings the effect is also arresting, like the petrified drones of 'In Memoriam' or the sustained dissonance of 'Parting Chant'. The finely rendered mixing and dynamics create an illusory space all of their own, much akin to Raime's breathtaking gothic architectures, but probably more connected with the likes of KTL and Sunn 0))) overlord, Stephen O'Malley..."
Modus takes strong cues from Detroit on the 2nd platter from Outer Zone - a new label attached to famed Glasgow venue, La Cheetah
Nodding to classic UR, DJ Bone, Rolando, the EP kicks off with the infectious chromatic arps and haunting pads of ‘Fait Accompli’ at a 13-bpm+ velocity that carries thru the EP, into the Rob Hood-style organ vamps and lashed hi-hats of ‘People’s Perspectives’, the heavy-slugging rudeness of ‘Dreaming’, and the whirring quantum mechanics of ‘This Connects To That’.
Bobby Krlic returns with his hugely anticipated second album as The Haxan Cloak. It's an unrelentingly bleak offering that will satisfy fans of his terrific Aurora Borealis debut, but it also has a more electronic, rhythmic feel befitting of his new label and which will potentially appeal to an even wider audience. Though it was supposedly conceived to soundtrack a soul's journey beyond this mortal coil, don't come at it expecting some blissed-out amble through Elysium; Krlic's vision of the afterlife is a decidedly gloomy and abyssal, an all-out descent into the underworld. Before you've even had a chance to get your bearings, 'Consumed' sucks you straight into a pitch-black and bottomless cave, ectoplasm dripping from its walls, ghouls circling overhead, warped bass and martial drum thumps beckoning you further into the nightmare. The presence of miasmic vocal tones and music-box chimes serves only to make the two-part 'Excavation' more terrifying, while the percussion settles into a zombie andante that reminds us of Burial, Holy Other and Scorn all at once. 'Mara' is a cunning, advanced synthesis of pin-drop sensitivity, sub-low heft and doom-metal brutality that inevitably recalls the spirit-wartorn landscapes of last year's Raime album, while 'Miste' and 'The Mirror Reflecting (Part 1)' explore the same fetid witch-crypts and burial chambers of vintage Lustmord. 'The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2)' and 'Dieu' initiate the album's climactic sequence, in which Krlic finally calls - explicitly - upon the neo-classical chops that characterised his debut: on the former, rotary strings and cooing synths make a rueful appeal to the gods, but the hope of redemption is soon extinguished by the scything drones and quivering giallo cello of 'Dieu' - you know they're willing you to hell, but you can't help but be seduced. Don't worry, closing number 'The Drop' isn't a stadium dubstep bolt-on, but rather a 12-minute epic that might just be the most fiendishly focussed and complete creation in the Haxan canon: a stunning fusion of elegiac chamber music, iron-fist industrial rhythm and widescreen cosmic dread, perfectly shaped and modulated to blow minds and empty bowels.
All the fun of the brilliant original album, sans vox. A tenner bet says you’ll be singing along anyway!
Marie Davidson is a synth-pop star for our times. Her belting 4th solo LP, ‘Working Class Woman’ is a definitive reflection of her character and current sound, including road-tested zingers from her powerful live show along with genuine surprises, while introducing a whole new wave of listeners to her charms.
In hot pursuit of the more ‘floor-friendly styles on her ‘Adieux Au Dancefloor’, and marking distance travelled since her cinematically sculpted ‘Un Autre Voyage’ for Holodeck, Marie’s 4th album inseparably binds the sound designer and dancefloor aspects of her sound in a sleek, witty, and totally captivating album which, for all it’s vintage touchstones, feels very symptomatic of 2018.
Her grooves are firmed up to direct functionality while the arrangements are as varied as anything from her intricate earlier works, resulting in big highlights on her live show favourite, the playfully raunchy EBM of ‘Work It’, and the rabid drum machine razz-out ‘Workaholic Paranoid Bitch’. But the amazing late ‘80s synth-pop-house of ‘So Right’ and the album’s two bookends of sardonic and sensual vocals, set to respectively pensive and sublime backdrops, really set this album apart from the crowd.
Vessel returns to Tri Angle with ‘Queen Of Golden Dogs’, offering a crazed leap from ‘Punish, Honey’  into wild fusions of chamber music and outernational rhythms.
Crafted over the course of one and half years while sequestered in rural Wales, ‘Queen Of Golden Dogs’ is a logical, if somewhat hyper, steroid-fed, progression from Vessel’s previous album, his 2016 turn with Immix Ensemble for Erased Tapes, and interim joyrides with Chester Giles in ASDA (the band, not the supermarket).
If one could accuse previous Vessel outings as gothic or darkside, there’s a much finer play of light/dark, texture, pace and space in Vessel’s 3rd album, demonstrating in no uncertain terms an artist in hot, active pursuit of pushing his sound in new directions, and without losing sight of himself.
Riven with heart-bleeding ecstatic noise from nose to tail, the beats are also up-for-it in a way recalling North African dervish traditions or a playfully aggressive, boisterous Shackleton, with strong examples given in the opening clash of dissonant strings and pranging clatter on ‘Fantasma (For Jasmine)’, the restless razz of ‘Glory Glory (For Tippi)’, an escalating trance whirligig named ‘Paplu Love That Moves The Sun’, and the Art Of Noise on crystal meth styles of ‘Argo (For Maggie)’.
On the other hand, his choral arrangements and chamber music proclivities lend an exquisite contrast and relief between those prang outs, ranging from precise vignettes such as the tantalising ‘Good Animal (For Hannah)’, and the sore yelps of ‘Zahir (For Eleanor)’ to the elegant harpsichord aggression of ‘Arcanum (For Christalla)’, and most impressively on the cracked, off key cadence of ‘Torno-me eles a nau-e (For Remedies).
Grimy rap killers from two of Uganda’s finest MC’s, Ecko Bazz & Biga Yut, backed with remixes from Nihiloxica’s pq and new name, Ekhe, all doing it for Nyege Nyege Tapes’ sister label, Hakuna Kulala
Moving from strength to strength after shots from MC Yallah, Demaster, Slikback and Sleeping Buddha, Ecko Bazz takes the lead on ‘Tuli Banyo’, trading bars with Biga Yut, another MC from the Gabba ghetto surrounding NNT’s Boutiq studio in Kampala.
The energy and rudeness of the original recalls early UK grime, with pq’s Mr. Slash-like rhythm held tight for the rambunctious MCs, before Leeds/London’s Ekhe reworks the ting as a grimy stepper with serious hardcore techno intentions.
Fluxion meets minimalist Savvas Ysatis in their new duo, Soluce, for a fine session of dark, gruffly textured ambient and dub techno rollers
On the 7 tracks of ‘Birth’ they vacillate beatless and rhythmic structures, sometimes finding a unique space in the middle.
‘Open’ and ’Surface’ bookend the set with bleak, greyscale, textured ambient tones, while cuts like the Porter Ricks-esque ‘Regions’ and the muggy heave of ‘Center’ are rugged forms of dub techno. In the middle they plumb murkier midrange space with the silty current of ‘Birth’, and at best, in the sloshing electroid percussion and deeply submerged bass thrum of ‘Polymorphia’.
Collapsing Market co-founder Eszaid sums up the mood of a Europe on the brink with ‘Eurosouvenir’, a raw and gloomy debut album inspired by the metaphoric symbolism of 0€ banknotes found at tourist hotspots across the continent. Highly recommended if yr into Ron Morelli, Pan Sonic, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement...
Leading on from Collapsing Market’s celebrated release of Persian Classical music by Morteza Hannaneh in 2017, ‘Eurosouvenir’ further examines Eszaid’s fascination with the connections between finance, human emotion, music and art, as previously explored in the impending atmospheres and blunted rhythms of his two previous 12”s, ‘€€€’ and ‘Geometry of Disorder’.
The nine track essay offers Louis Vial a.k.a. Eszaid’s most concentrated yet spectral designs, using samples, machines and field recordings to limn a the outlines of overbearing machinery and the feeling of impending dread. But thanks to a fine, suggestive sense of minimalist ambiguity and ghostly inference, the session isn’t necessarily pessimistic, allowing for the notion that the darkest hour always comes before dawn, and that beauty may still spring in the space between “..an idealised ancient and creative Dionysian Europe and the current one, where free market and low-cost tourism values stand.”
Working in aesthetic space somewhere between Eszaid’s fellow Paris resident, Ron Morelli, Tuning Circuits’ “power electronics” style, and the most stripped down S. English gear, the results range from pulsating steamroller rhythms such as ‘XEU.4217’, to isolated, empty stomach tones in ‘Derivation Lente’ and the subbass rumble of ‘Notre Mer’ on the first side, before opening out stealthily in the B-side to more nervously pent feelings between the harmonic shimmer of ‘Souvenir 1’, the plangent, syncopated drums of ‘Alicante’, and the tip-toe ready stepper ‘GRD.4217’.
Objekt returns with Cocoon Crush, his first LP since 2014’s Flatland. Over the past four years he has continued to challenge conventions with his club output, while maintaining his reputation as a DJ who deploys impeccable technical finesse in crafting elaborate narratives from a diverse and challenging palette of electronic music.
"Written between 2014 and 2018 in Berlin and on the road, Cocoon Crush once again sees the producer jettisoning the functional requirements of the dancefloor. Marking a further evolution from the youthful exuberance of Flatland, Cocoon Crush explores a more introspective side, with themes of human interaction resonating throughout the record as it ruminates on a spectrum of complex moods rooted in 4 years of sometimes turbulent personal experience.
Cocoon Crush represents an aesthetic departure from Flatland’s largely synthetic tonality, drawing from organic source material and natural textures to illustrate perplexing and unfamiliar sceneries in photorealistic detail. In Cocoon Crush, Objekt diverges further still from his musical influences to craft the purest manifestation of his own musical personality to date: an intriguing and enigmatic album whose reference points are hard to pin down, in which ghostly synth passages weave through mind-bending, weighty drums, and ASMR-triggering foley collages scrape and sparkle.
Through meticulous sculpting, Objekt traces a rich and impressionistic journey through claustrophobia, hope, guilt, anxiety and joy, nested in layers of sonic detail which reward with every listen."
Efficient Space offer an unprecedented survey of Australian dance music from the 1990s. Some real juicy peaches to be found inside.
“3AM Spares is a new compilation of Australian Electronic Dance Music selected by Andras and Instant Peterson, encompassing the darker sounds and later nights of the 1990s and beyond. Following on from forerunner compilation Midnite Spares, this double LP draws from local 12” releases, CDRs and the archives of community radio station 3RRR FM to make a diverse and pumping scene audible once more. No longer confined to beer barns and back rooms, this generation of producers, DJs, clubbers and ravers spilled out into pavilions, warehouses and paddocks, embracing a new culture of machine-metaphor and chemical love.
Future Sound of Melbourne’s warehouse triptych Resist The Beat embodies a time when the country’s youth united with juggernaut stamina, partying beyond the long arm of the law. Restored from the ARIA award-winning trio’s original DATs, this debut 12” incited label offers from Jeff Mills, Frank De Wulf and Carl Cox.
Released by the likes of Clan Analogue, Creative Vibes, Volition, DanceNet, Juice and Psy-Harmonics, this era’s material has evaded sufficient digital documentation until now, some lost in the decommission of Angelfire, Tripod and Geocities websites. Often these bedroom experiments and one-off collaborations existed solely for compilation inclusions, a plausible scenario for the mysterious Inner Harmony. In the case of Tetrphnm, graphic artist Jeremy Dower’s glacial sub-bass was digitised from the only known CD-R copy, preserved by the 3RRR FM library.
Many key figures of this narrative have deep roots in the DIY/post-punk family tree. Third Eye, the impressive evolution of Whirlywirld founder and industrial legend Ollie Olsen, finds common ground with I Will Go, a hypnotic concoction by Adrenalentil and Poets of the Machine associate Jandy Rainbow, a transgender artist whose liberated electronics trace back to 1978.
The most unique take on this new wave of dance music comes from Turrbal-Gubbi Gubbi woman and Stolen Generations survivor Maroochy Barambah. Recorded in New York, Mongungi incorporates two lines of a traditional Gubbi Gubbi song Gurri Nina Nami with the sound palette of tribal house, highlighting the broadening ways that identity and culture were being negotiated and manifested within club music.
A lesson in intelligent appropriation, Artificial’s Sobriquet remix bends one of the most looped samples of all time to fit a wired new generation’s interrogation of that thing called disco. Artificial’s ingenuity was vital impact to the scene, releasing three influential albums as one half of B(if)tek and establishing the WINK Awards - a music prize that recognised and encouraged subversive electronics. Her playfulness is mirrored in Blimp’s frisky garage house, recalling Paul Johnson, while Ian Eccles-Smith’s borrowing is comparatively more discrete on the chillout sampledelic collage The Slaughtering Eye.
Andy Rantzen returns to Efficient Space in two incarnations - as one half of Itch-E + Scratch-E ambient alias Screensaver, and in collaboration with General Electrik on Leather Lover, a cocked and loaded glimpse at the bottom end of Oxford street, originally recorded for the Club Kooky compilation Gay In The Life: Adventures in the Queer Underground. Reinventing himself as Hypnoblob, fellow Sydney Oz Wave artist Ian Andrews also gives us his pneumatic-drill-step Deep Down.”
A delicious warm bath of deep house music from NYC’s Bryce Hackford, mastered by Rashad Becker for Spring Theory.
Remove all clothing before slipping into the A-side’s lip-smackingly lush ‘Closing’ for best effect, and then dry off with the natty acid rub of ‘EST’, and find yourself in freefall with the slow motion elegance of ‘Landing’.
Following on from the shrouded autumn loveliness of Marsen Jules' debut album 'Herbstlaub', second album 'Les Fleurs' now finds the artist throwing open the windows and welcoming in the scent of spring. Opening through the beautiful chimes of 'Aeillet Sauvage', Jules allows a diffused soundscape to slowly bloom - enveloping the listener in a miasma of creamy vibraphone-bruised resonance that is neither overpowering nor sleight. Bolstered by the introduction of genuine instrumentation, Jules seems to have discovered a more outlandish side to his personality, with the thrumming percussion of 'La Digitale Poupre' and sonorous bass of 'Coquelicot' both exhibiting a more pronounced willingness to firm up the tacit reference points in his work. Whilst comparisons can be readily drawn with the likes of Harold Budd, Max Richter, Avro Part and even William Basinski, Marsen Jules is nonetheless utterly unique - mixing his evident love of skewed compositions with a real ear for melody. The aural equivalent of catching sight of something on a sunny day from the corner of your eye, 'Les Fleurs' shreds its source material then scatters it to the wind - creating a sound that is at once calming without becoming soporific or exhilarating without veering towards the breathless. Managing to introduce lashing of strings for 'Coeur Saignant' and not call upon the clichéd notions of cheap orchestration or dreaded 'soundtrack to an imagery film...' reference, Jules demands a wider audience for his work than the more closed-gate aspects of the leftfield sometimes allow, closing the album with 'Aeillet En Delta' wherein a honeyed breed of blunted ambience brings down the curtain in considerable style. If the summer is half as good as this musical spring, we're in for a scorcher. Essential purchase.
dBridge presents his first album in 10 years on sophomore LP ‘A Love I Can’t Explain’, radically prioritising slow, oblique, and super minimal arrangements to offer a fresh new perspective on his sound
Threaded with guest contributions by Kid Drama, Alia Freco, Lewis James, They Live, and Poison Arrow, the 12 tracks album feels more elemental, organic than previous dBridge records, swapping out romantic lust or raving spirit for a more vulnerable, introspective and personal set of expressions. You get the feeling that he’s not trying to make you bruk out or lose your shit, but rather to meditate on bass weight and reflect on a more subtle set of emotive cues.
“The ten-year gap between solo albums has seen dBridge releasing landmark collaborations and projects as part of the Autonomic movement, Module Eight, Heart Drive and exploring other Bpms as Velvit.
dBridge's journey within electronic music has seen him at the front and center of electronic music culture and then by design, as the seasons change, he has retreated to his own world to work on his next statement.
A Love I Can't Explain is the sound of dBridge making music for himself. As a man he finds himself in a new phase of his life- in love, married and a father that is no longer concerned with previous constraints and this has led to a new freedom in creation. An artist looking at the same sculpture but now from a new perspective.”
Soulfully gritty, off-kilter house from Gerry Read on Herbert’s Accidental Jr, following a fine turn for Finn’s 2 B Real Records
“Gerry Read launches his new campaign to look at Preventing Violence Against Ears in all of its forms. In partnership with the Accidental Jnr corporation, Gerry hopes that this campaign will not just raise awareness but will actively work to prevent these alarming new practices. We urge you to take notice and to assist us by making sure that your peers, foes and family alike listen closely to this important movement. Relevant recordings have been produced and are available now via both 12” vinyl and digital mediums.”
Exceptional double-pack of cosmic Italian proto house from Stump Valley, arriving on Rush Hour's modestly crucial No 'Label' after aces from Black Deer, Morgan Buckley, Jordan GCZ already in 2015.
As their story goes Stump Valley wrote 'The Magica Movida' EP in tribute to DJ Peppe - an unsung local hero of the original Italian cosmic days who bequeathed his collection of obscure acetates and wax to Stump Valley somewhere back in the mists of time.
As stewards of this inspirational collection they keep the spirit of Peppe's parties alive with six tracks of authentically slo-mo, rugged yet sophisticated drug chug primed for your next hyperstitious house party or redlit bunker phantasy.
Do not sleep on this one…
RVNG Intl mint their promising reissue label, ReRVNG with the superb first anthology of Michele Mercure’s home-brewed synth-pop and electronic experiments circa late ‘80s/early ‘90s.
It’s actually a co-release with Freedom To Spend, the Pete Swanson and Jed Bindeman-helmed reissue label that Michele kicked off with her acclaimed ’86 debut ‘Eye Chant’ in 2017. Following the mood of that long overlooked side, ‘Beside Herself’ collects 19 further songs and instrumental pieces from hard-to-find tapes, documenting a creative development from her earliest, skeletal guitar, rhythm box and tape loop sketches through the era of her mutant, theatrical synth moves on ‘Eye Chant’ and beyond.
“Michele is a natural collaborator and has made music for all sorts of contexts, film, theater, dance, etc. You get that impression though this set, you hear different sonic collaborators, but you might also be able to pick up on one track being more kinetic, another more cinematic, another taking wild turns that may be due to edits or changes in a performance or just because she made some interesting choice here or there. Spend a little time with “An Accident Waiting To Happen” or “No More Law In Gotham City” and you’ll be taken on a bit of a ride through different movements, sounds, concepts, concerns, all in about four minutes. Some of this music is functional, some of it is dysfunctional, it’s all good.
For those familiar with Eye Chant, you’ll hear some familiar elements in Beside Herself. You’ll find the cool synthesizers and beautiful samples, storytelling through pop gestures, an apparent dedication to technological and aesthetic experimentation.”
Balmy Scando disco moves from Little Dragon on ninja
“Little Dragon wanted to bring new music into the world that has an airy and fun lightness to it. “For all the lovers out there, chant along! Dance for peace and unity in this world of madness!” declare the band. Lead singer Yukimi Nagano adds that the EP is about, “The force of love. Not only between two people but the force of love in this universe as the ultimate ecstasy. Whether that is while you’re dancing at a disco forgetting where you are or just staring at the moon on a clear night, it can be anything. A swim in the ocean, a glance at a stranger--it’s a personal individual thing. Call it what you want but we have all felt it. So, embrace the great mystery of everything that your brain can’t grasp and lose track in the most beautiful sense.”
The story behind the track’s origins is as idiosyncratic and left-of-centre as you would expect from a band that have spent their career consistently playing by their own rules. "It started with Fred searching for a wedding march inspired by a Swedish prog funk folk keyboardist called Merit Hemmingson”, explain the band from their Gothenburg bunker. “Erik got inspired by the track and started singing! After Erik wrote his vocal verses Yukimi got a bit worried about his lyrical abilities and stepped in to add her part on the song. Håkan flew to Germany to record a beautifully tuned clavinet. Once the clavinet was recorded Fred and Erik added their flavour with some drums and deep synth bass. For all the lovers out there, chant along! Dance for peace and unity in this world of madness.”