Virulent highlife-soukous party starters from the Congo via Nigeria - big on ‘70s Nigerian dancefloors and still big with the legendary Picos sound systems of Colombia’s Cartagena and Barranquilla carnivals
“Since the 60s, Congolese guitar combos and orchestras have always been popular across West and Central Africa. But the ‘natural fit’ element between East Nigerian Igbo highlife and Congolese rumba and soukous made for a unique beat: highlife-soukous.
Although eclipsed internationally by Lagos, Yoruba, Fela Kuti and Afrobeat, it was highlife- soukous that you’d hear at parties all over southern Nigeria in the late 70s and early 80s.
Outside Africa, the sound proved a special favourite with Colombia’s Carnival Champeta and Pico Sound system DJs – where, even today, you can hear super-rare Bota International original vinyls booming out over 20-foot-high speaker stacks along Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the records being ‘covered up’ in the style of British Northern Soul 45s, or reggae sound system dubplates, so that competitors can’t discover the name of the tune or band.
Welcome to the mysterious world of highlife-soukous – and Bota Tabansi International.”
Purple Mountains is the new nom-de-rock of David Berman, formerly of Silver Jews (whose classic run was made somehow finite in 2009, when the voice himself, David Berman, announced his retirement from music).
"‘Purple Mountains’ is also the name of what will be known as one of his greatest albums - full of double-jointed witand wisdom, up to the neck in his special recipe of handcrafted country-rock joys and sorrows that sing legendary in cracked and broken hearts. The songs areproduced impeccably by Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle, buffed up like a hardwood floor ready to be well-trod upon for an evening of romance and dance.
The songs of Purple Mountains are a potent brew, stitched together from lifetimes, knitting the drift of the years with the tightest lyric construction Berman’s ever attempted. Honesty is archly in the air but lines of incredible bleakness somehow give way to playful distraction and the hiding of surprises for close listeners. Even still, as the songwriter once wrote, “every single thought is like a punch in the face.” It won’t take long after slapping the record on the platter for you to hear that this is one of those albums.
There are breakup records. There are apocalypse records. Then there’s ‘Purple Mountains’. Berman’s songwriter’s bone’s never been laid more bare - if redemption doesn’t come on the lyric sheet, the act of putting these songs into singing, dancing form allows them their finest end - to provide infotainment for others, embodying moments of life and truth via music that elevates with disarming warmth and a reassuring commonality, even as David himself stands outside the communal campfires."
The ‘Lineage’ EP is dBridge’s soundtrack for his photography book of the same name. Nostalgic and futuristic, the music ranges from absorbing ambient to experimental techniness, and fits the theme which emerges from the book; looking back on FWD-looking friends and family from the UK and international bass scene
“dBridge: "Photography has become the creative outlet I needed in my life, it has no expectations of me, as any hobby rightly should. I'm still in my infancy with it and I have a few different cameras but the one I'm drawn to the most is the instant photo format. Its permanence appeals to me, there's no going back, no adding unnecessary filters and repeating until you get it right. It captures a moment; warts and all.
"I'm lucky as I'm in a unique position to be able to get closer than most to my fellow music makers and listeners and point a lens into their world. Over the years I've amassed a fair amount of pictures and I often take a moment to enjoy the memories they conjure up. It dawned on me that what had started out as a photographic collection of the people I met whilst travelling through music was forming a unified image of the Bass music scene, images of the people around me who had helped shape it and are a part of its lineage. This book is a small collection of some of those people, friends and more importantly; family."
In June 2017, New Order returned to the stage at Manchester’s Old Granada Studios where Joy Division made their television debut on Tony Wilson’s So It Goes programme in 1978. For the celebrated show ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes .., New Order deconstructed, rethought and rebuilt a wealth of material from throughout their career: familiar and obscure, old and new.
"Featuring tracks such as Disorder, from Joy Divisions Unknown Pleasures and not played live for 30 years, up to 2015’s Plastic from New Order’s critically acclaimed Top 5 album Music Complete - this is the perfect document of those magical 5 nights. Listen to ‘Sub-culture’ live now: http://smarturl.it/No12kLg17Mif
The album was recorded live on 13th July 2017 and includes the full show and encore plus 3 additional tracks recorded over the residency to give listeners a full representation of the breadth of material performed. This special series of intimate shows took over Stage 1 of Manchester’s iconic Old Granada Studios for five nights in June 2017. Created in collaboration with visual artist Liam Gillick, who has previously presented solo exhibitions at venues such as Tate Britain and MoMA in New York; and orchestrated by composer-arranger Joe Duddell, a fellow son of Manchester and a frequent collaborator with the band, the live show was performed by the band with a 12-strong synthesiser ensemble from the Royal Northern College of Music. "
Gritty house throbs and flinty breakbeat steppers from Cop Envy, working deeper into styles found on their 12”s for Black Opal, Templar Sound and Cry Baby Records
‘Cotton’ lays thick bass hustle for lilting breaks seemingly lifted from Carl Craig’s edit of The Congos; ‘Rat Break’ leans into darker space lit with with sparking breaks and streaking rave duppies; ‘Low Air’ yokes back to a UKBass swivel a la Paleman or Pearson Sound; and ‘Junk Bass’ trades in deep robotic 2-step funk - think slowed down No U-Turn vibes.
Stylized new wave produced by Josh Eustis and revolving guest appearances by Jasamine White-Gluz (No Joy) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (NIN, Beck, M83, Air)
“Since the 2015 release of Drab Majesty’s debut “Careless”, and the release of the acclaimed sophomore album “The Demonstration” the following year, artist Deb Demure and collaborator Mona D. have firmly established themselves amongst the pantheon of dark synth-pop greats, establishing a devoted fan base worldwide with their singular hypnotic sound and mysterious, constantly-evolving presence.
Following intense and extensive touring in support of the first two albums, Drab Majesty escaped to the inspirational landscapes of Athens, Greece to channel the songs for their most ambitious album creation yet: Modern Mirror.
Blowing the dust off the antiquarian myth of Ovid’s “Narcissus”, Drab Majesty uses its premise as groundwork for a modern reinterpretation. Each song tells a piece of the story, in which the listener’s own self-identity has become warped and dissociated through rapidly expanding technology, losing touch with the origins of their own personalities. Setting the stage as a romantic saga of antiquity, “A Dialogue” asks the listener if they are truly in love amid a building wash of guitars and reverb. Elements of classic tragedy weigh heavily in the reflection of Modern Mirror in songs like “The Other Side”, possessing a fundamental sound that is energetic, luminous and hopeful. Fusing the sonic aesthetics of predecessors like New Order and The Cure within the cautious instruction of Greek mythology and modern science fiction, Drab Majesty has birthed a hybrid of dreamy malaise, captured for a future moment.
The first single, “Ellipsis”, romantically plays up the distorted concept of courting through modern technology in a world that has yet to adapt, while on “Long Division”, Deb’s resounding guitar cascades around the chorus shared with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz, wistfully warning us against our vanity and self-obsession. Even when hope for everlasting love peeks through in “Oxytocin”, a sparkling and stoic track sung by Mona D., we are firmly reminded our fleeting existence.
Modern Mirror is a journey of self-reflection, nostalgia, love, beauty, and heartbreak told across eight addictive and emotional synth pop anthems – a seemingly classic tale delivered unblinkingly through the frame of the modern world.”
Puce Mary, Haunter records label head Heith, producer Francesco Leali and cellist Alessandro Branca collude on two tumultuous pieces soaked up in cello-driven ambience, cavernous processing, haunting vocals and futuristic glitch sequences.
"For this first instalment we see the quartet delve deep into the study of dilated repetition counting largely on the use of a 1700’s cello built by Italian lutist Nadotti – breaking down, studying and reassembling it’s output into a meticulous yet unsettling approach.”
Two of the most radical deconstructionists of rave linguistics have teamed up! Roc Jiménez De Cisneros, half of the infamous “computer hoooligan” duo EVOL, and N.M.O. / Lag Os’ Rubén Patiño (himself a member of EVOL for one day), bring on their interest in stripping down and manipulating the basic, most functionalist elements of dance music, playing with their scale with an oddly heuristic approach.
"Hosted by Haunter Records, this collaboration gave birth to GNOMOS, an exercise in weird lattice arrangement. A trippy detour into shifting, unexpected rhythmic pattern alignments that pushes the listener's expectations and potential obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The relentless, skeletal 909 beats that composed these 5 tracks de-territorialize both the structural qualities and the cultural significance of rave tropes, making for a familiar yet totally bewildering listening experience."
Strong debut of new club musick by Tadleeh on Yegorka, the label run by Why Be and Berlin’s Janus incubator
Arriving after wayward work by Oxhy, bod, and Emiranda on Yegorka, Tadleeh plays into the label’s remit with 6 cuts full of meter-shifting rhythms and stark, reverberant atmospheres, with ace drum work in the tribal depression of ‘Kalix’, the Tarraxho slow crush of ‘Virgo?’, and the super wide, lip-bitingly strong bump of ‘Ego Will Collapse.’ We’re not too fussed when he goes big post-rock epic in ‘Believe Me I’m Lying’ and the cinematic finale, but there’s a lot of promise in the strobing, weightless forces of ‘Love Comes To Its Conclusion’ and that killer ‘Ego Will…’ cut.
Tight and tweaky 2-step garage minimalism from Crump, back for another round on Chris Farrell’s Idle Hands
Clocking in two years after the ‘Ice & Spheres’ 12”, the BCN-based Bristolian gets it dead right with the effortlessly curled subbass swing and sparing chord kisses of ‘Charcoal’, before tucking it deep= into a back room vibe with the sub-rolled dub house of ‘Bones’ in a perfectly balanced, endless ‘M5’ style ripe for the DJs and dancers.
The quietly rapturous sublime of ‘Tracing Back The Radiance’ forms Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s first new album since 2017 and a definitive entry to his golden catalogue,
Leading on from the pop-tight arrangements of ‘On The Echoing Green’, Root-Strata founder Cantu-Ledesma is accompanied on a return to glorious, smudged, widescreen canvasses by esteemed members of the U.S. experimental firmament including Mary Lattimore (Harp), John Also Bennett (Flute), Jonathan Sielaff (Bass Clarinet) and Roger Tellier Craig, among others. In two floating, durational pieces, separated by a pealing five minute ambient flute arrangement, Cantu-Ledesma and pals remind us exactly why we’ve followed his work so intently all these years.
Always a sign of good things is the fact that by 2 minutes into opener ‘Palace Of Time’, we’re fighting the urge to shut eyes and push off, which may look a bit suss at 3pm in an office full of people. However, that’s what we and many others are probably hoping for, and it’s surely delivers as the 20 minute opener flows its course of silvery piano streaks and softened metallic resonances with the warmest sentiment. The intermediary ‘Joy’ is slightly sharper focussed, as though rubbing the ears lense to allow Sielaff’s bass clarinet break the murk in slow, flitting saccades, before ‘Tracing Back The Radiance’ resumes a form of serene sonic therapy with melting sounds and ear-nuzzling timbral complexities which, in turn, relax and harmonise the world around us and make everything more manageable, even if only temporarily.
Karen Gwyer returns to DBA, reenergised and packing some of her tightest drum programming and absorbing, beatless synth arrangements
‘Man On Mountain’ is Karen’s first solo release proper since the ‘Rembo’ LP in 2017, which distilled her deeply rugged hybrid of Detroit techno and AI-style rave to widespread acclaim. Two years later, Karen bounds back with two entrancing examples of her mutant techno style flanked by two rarer excursions into black hole ambient and Carl Craig-like synth scapes that demand to be heard by her keen following.
The colourfully plumed ‘Faces on Ankles’ gets the EP into gear with a deft mix of 2-stepping drums, merry-go-round melody and LFO-style bleep riffs that carries its weight beautifully into a sort of pounding hi-tech folk dance and the cranky black hole ambience of ‘Ian On Fire’. The flipside is then given to ‘Cherries on Shoulders’, demonstrating her livewire hardware intuition at its most fluidly hypnotic, and leading into sleek synth synth churn on ‘Ribbon On Neck’ recalling C2 or Rob Lowe trips.
Schizoid decodance music from Gil on teh excellent Danse Noire, scaling from thunderous flashcore to cinematic sound design, and back.
Three years on from his debut, and following a recent remix of collaborator S S S S for Haunter, ‘Infolding’ places Gil in the immediate, pent and volatile present. ‘Swallow Ash’ sees him erupt into murderous flashcore like Croww on steds, and the mesh of tense tribal rhythms and vocal drones in ‘The Place Of Falling People’ feels like a cue from Akira.
‘Compact Renewal’ also follows in footsteps of Croww with white hot noise and deviated dembow rhythms, whereas ‘Dustgreen’ indulges a moment of loner romance, and ‘Thirty Birds’ brings the curtain down on tortuous, apocalyptic scenes.
In many ways, ‘Weather’ is the culmination of Tycho’s career as a whole – each prior step taken with intention to land on this new creative ground.
"The past 13 years have seen Tycho evolve from a part-time solo project of a graphic designer (Hansen is known internationally for his distinctive design work as ISO50) into a massively successful and world touring live band. The music, too, has fallen in line with this steep trajectory, and each release has introduced new elements to us, ever expanding into untouched sonic territory.
Hansen on the musical progression of Tycho through the years: “With each Tycho album my goal is to evolve and broaden the sound. After The Science of Patterns (2002) and Past is Prologue (2006) -- two primarily electronic solo efforts -- I began incorporating more organic sounds and instrumentation. Dive (2011) saw the addition of guitar and bass guitar while Awake (2014) took it a step further with guitars pushed to the forefront and the use of live drum performances for the first time. Epoch (2016) honed that sound further balancing the electronic and organic components that defined Tycho.” ‘Weather’ intends to reveal a more human side to the music, with the vocal and lyrical components adding a whole new dimension of warmth and life."
The original nuttah meets Adrian Sherwood in a doublet style, fixing the stepping ‘Makumba Rock’ beside the spaced-out skank of ‘Heaven & Hell’
Up top is an extended dubplate version of ‘Makumba Rock’ from the ‘Rainford’ album, featuring Perry’s gargles, hoots and cries woven alongside the lyrics on a charmingly lazy, crazed rockers riddim. Down below, they skank 10 feet wide with the speaker-worrying subs and duppy FX of ‘Heaven & Hell.’
New Age conduit Ariel Kalma’s mid-late ‘70s GRM recordings are set to blow a lot of minds with this deep dive compiled by current GRM audio restoration engineer and Transversales proprietor, Jonathan Fitoussi. Properly unnerving, beautiful proto-Lynchian vibes on this one.
Sourced from a recently excavated box of tapes recorded during late night recording sessions in the GRM’s Studio 116 - the same concrète laboratory used in Bernard Parmegiani and Luc Ferrari masterpieces - this LP delves into some of Kalma’s earliest recordings to provide an enchanting listen and reveal the groundwork that came long before his relatively recent collaborations with mutual, explorative souls Sarah Davachi and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.
The set owes a great debt of gratitude to Kalma’s pal, Jacques Darnis, who was coincidentally the GRM’s recording engineer during the ‘70s. Jacques employed his mate as assistant recording engineer, and would give Kalma a heads-up if the likes of Parmegiani has cancelled their evening booking at the studio, giving him the opportunity to record afterhours in what was one of the greatest facilities in the world at the time. Armed with food, drink and his sax, Kalma would hop in his car, bez over to the studio, and evidently make sterling use of these night time sessions.
Opening with sustained sax looped into etheric infinity on ‘Paris Flight’, the album supplies five distinct but interrelated lines of Kalma’s subconscious thought transmuted into sound. ‘Le soleil au couchant’ finds him layering vocals recorded in the crypt of the Senanque monastery into a shimmering raga-like hymnal, while the LP’s central highlight ‘Voyage au centre de la tête sees Kalma’s companion Paule Salomon whispering, heavy-lidded, over burbling drum machine pulse that turns into a psychedelic wormhole, and the B-side’s couplet of ‘Ballade sure le lac’ and ‘Japanese Dream’ find him gently spiral into the low ends of a Bosendorfer grand piano, then layer the keys with sax in most sublime, effortless style, again making thorough use of the studio’s high end microphones and tape machines.
Ferocious, previously unreleased Masami Akita works produced circa 1994’s ‘Venereology’ and ‘Hole’, now issued by Room 40 to mark the 40th anniversary of Merzbow’s conception.
“In the late 1980s, Masami Akita’s Merzbow began to shift from being a studio project into a fully fledged performative undertaking. It was a decisive period that began opening up new possibilities for his very particular approach to sound.
Across the first half of the 1990s, Merzbow began touring extensively across Europe, the United States and also in his homeland. It was during this period that the dynamism of Merzbow exploded and the physicality of volume became a primary driver for the experiential capacity of the work.
Simultaneously, Merzbow began developing a range of self made instruments and techniques for exploiting found objects as sound sources, which he used in combination with amplifiers to create a unique spectra of noise and feedback both in the studio and live.
Noise Mass catalogues a critical period within the continuum of Merzbow. It typifies the radical approaches he developed not just through his music, but also through mastering, pushing the very medium of digital audio to its limit through extreme post-production approaches.
Of Noise Masami Akita remarks,
“This was around the time Venereology was released from Relapse and the work of Merzbow became more well known to the world. Far greater quantities of that Relapse release were pressed, and much more promotion along with it. In other words, the image of Merzbow's music as it is best known in the world today came from this time. The music of Merzbow has always been a continuum, the piece added this time to Noise Mass, the revised version of Hole, is a work utilising a voice similar in style to Venereology. Listening to both Hole and Venereology, one can appreciate how these works constitute a thread of continuity through this period.”
Noise Mass is just that, a ritual of intensity and ferocity that denotes the force that is Merzbow’s approach to noise in the absolute.”
Deep house standard bearer Simoncino returns to Creme Organization for a deep and slunky session
Listen up for highlights in the percolated pressure of ‘It Up (Original Dub)’, and the killer acidic bass wobbles underlining his pendulous workouts, ‘Una Notte Con Michelle’ and ‘Timezones.’
Genre and meter-bending funk ’n soul badness from Andre Gibson’s Universal Togetherness Band
Uptown, there’s an edit of the frickin’ wild ‘Dreamality’, which comes on in fits of cool, downtempo swagger and giddy uptempo eruptions with strange, pitching vocals and freaky FX. Make no mistake though, it’s a serious dancefloor tune, bound to work crowds to the bone. Downtown they spy ‘Lucky Stars’, a pendulous, tuff groove twisting elastic boogie-disco bassline under Gibson’s club-calling vocals and natty brass.
Bare bones electro-breaks by London’s Hugo Massien, including hook-ups with DJ Haus and backed with a cracking Jenson Interceptor remix
In solo mode, Massien applies his stripped down principles to the wicked NYC/Miami/Detroit-style electro of ‘Twist & Turn’, the bendy acid funk of ‘Lust & Sound’, and the electroid deep tech shuffle of ‘Touch & Go.’
In collaboration with DJ Haus he hits a murky, spaced-out groove of sawn-off breaks in ‘Hypnotic Rhythm Sequence’ and the ruddy acid prod of ‘Random Access Memory’, with Jenson Interceptor supplying a big highlight in his hydraulic refit of ‘Twist & Turn.’
Cranky, tangy industrial downstrokes from one of Beijing’s most distinctive units, chasing their Knekelhuis LP with a killer batch for Shanghai’s Sbvkvlt, b/w remixes by Dis Fig, Citizen Boy, Tayhana
Saliva D’s Li Chao takes the reins on four bandy-legged lurchers, clocking up slow, booming industrial drums and strained chorales in a manner recalling Threshold HouseBoys Choir rituals, whereas ‘Callign’ diffracts the groove between percolate slow/fast patterns and sludgy wade, and ‘Itself’ tilts the pace upward, while processed voices and dissonant synths trade places.
Dis Fig does her reverb heavy and noisy thing to ‘Flutter’, beside a rugged Gqom refit of ‘Groan’ by Durban’s Citizen Boy, and Naafi crew’s Tayhana takes ‘Calling’ from a rugged reggaeton angle.
First new Move D solo album since 2007, anyone? Guessing there’ll be a few takers for this
Packing four solo joints, plus a sweet number from his live act with Juju & Jordash, aka Magic Mountain High, as well as hook-ups with Fred P, rEAGANZ, D-Man, Benjamin Brunn, and Thomas Kehlmann, the album may be pushing the “solo” description to its limit, but it also gives the truest reflection of David Moufang’s fraternal, soulful style.
Bonus to those divine ‘Welcome To Paradise (Italian Dream House)’ volumes, Safe Trip turn out two more peaches from the golden daze of late ‘80s/early ‘90s Italo-House.
Franco F.’s ‘Ray Tracing Sauna’ glydes in on lush, cascading and jazzy synth strokes to go deep and a little quicker than usual with heart-rushing effect.
Marika Lenny’s ‘Beat Summer (Ambient)’ is pure chuftyness, brimming with positive piano chords and urged by a nagging bassline that goes all night long.
Killer EP from Interstellar Funk and Jeroen going it twos on the Drexciya-meets-Morgan Geist electro depths of Mirror Image, backed with the former’s nimbly weightless tightrope walking of Anasazi on the other side.
Old skool Chicago acid belters from Hot Mix 5 Records, racked up for a re-release by Still Music
Strictly 1988-89 vibes inside, rounding up the slinky swing of ‘Dream Girl’ by Pierre’s Pfantasy Club next to the rude grab of Pierre’s ‘Can You Feel The Bass’ and ‘Jiggawatts’ jackers with Roy Davis Jr and co’s Phortune, plus the head-swilling churn of Armando’s ‘151’ (a staple of Jamal Moss DJ sets), the deeper touch of Coom McCool’s ‘World Turns Around’, and two tried ’n tested slices of 303 genius by Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers, ‘The Juice’ and ‘Ecstasy.’
Umberto deserts the Italo disco themes to explore rustic, dusky, cinematic panoramas in his first side for Thrill Jockey. Features pedal steel guitar played by Joe Winslowand cello and bowed banjo by Aaron Martin
“Umberto is an artist whose work is distinctly cinematic. Composer Matt Hill’s performances and delicate compositions taken together have the cumulative ability to surprise. Hill, whose Umberto moniker is an homage to director Umberto Lenzi, is an experienced and active film composer, most recently scoring the film All That We Destroy. In addition to film and commercial work, Umberto has released a number of lauded solo recordings. Hill’s compositions stand apart as beautiful as they are impenetrable, with pulsing synths that hint at 80s slasher films while pensive string passages evoke emotions without being sentimental. On Umberto’s Thrill Jockey debut Helpless Spectator, his haunting music is otherworldly and affecting alike, leaving the listener with an unsettling and profound air of mystery.
Umberto’s early recordings harken back to classic synth-driven sci-fi and horror soundtracks. Helpless Spectator uses synthesizers in an entirely different manner. Cold, looming monolith tones are now warm, softer pads that envelope the listener while guitar, cello, banjo and pedal steel add movement and light. Still, Hill unsettles with his arrangements and melodic phrasing. As a composer, Hill has moved to more extensive use of live instrumentation. In addition to playing guitar, bass, and piano himself, Hill worked with fellow composer and recording artist Aaron Martin who played cello and bowed banjo on the majority of the album. “Idaho Joe” Winslow’s pedal steel guitar adds depth and subtle countermelodies to “The Higher Room” and “Leafless Tree.””
Salty, playful jaxx from bassbin prancer Mickey Pearce, chasing up his ‘One Hundred Smiles’ LP
While it’s probably not a prerequisite for joining the Accidental family, Pearce does sound a lot like Matthew Herbert with the loopy drums of ‘Smelling Incense’, albeit more chaotic and nutty, whereas ‘Dig Me Up’ is more atypical of his style, lurking on the edge of UKF and garage and lit with dippy lead, and ‘Reflux Stance’ catches him swaggering with tresillo trills and chirruping avian synths in the EP’s slinky, rude highlight. Aces.
Restlessly shapeshifting composer Marc Richter turns out his 2nd album of the year already for Thrill Jockey with a further study in gurning dissonance following from the smeared brass and unearthly churn of ’Seven Horses For Seven Kings’
“Black To Comm masterfully manipulates sound, his alterations rendering sources unidentifiable and serving as a sort of portal to new realities. Composer Marc Richter collapses the past, present and future of recorded music into kaleidoscopic pieces that transcend genre, bristling with detail: an intense sensory sonic experience. Before After charts a hallucinogenic journey through polar extremes of emotion and to the outer reaches of sound, is a perfect companion to the darker Seven Horses For Seven Kings.
Richter’s technical approach to making music is deeply rooted in his philosophy of time. He points to a quote from early electronic pioneer Eliane Radigue: "everything is an interval, we are always in-between. And in this interval, between two states, there is a continual expression of invisible variations, imperceptible transitions." Before After exists in that fluid, liminal space, drawing on sounds and influences from disparate pasts and using these to synthesize new futures. “They Said Sleep” applies contemporary studio techniques to ancient material, creating a Chopped ‘n’ Screwed edit of an early medieval folk song. “The Seven Of Horses” expands on the language of Bulgarian Folk by adding abrasive new textures, processing piano sounds through analogue filters. Even Richter’s own material is ripe for reinvention, “Etas-Unis” and “Perfume Sample” both revisit elements of music from Seven Horses For Seven Kings with results that are entirely new and revelatory of the compositional and sound sculpting skills of Richter.
Before After was written during the same sessions that gave birth to Richter’s recent, highly acclaimed, Seven Horses For Seven Kings. The intentionally crafted companion pieces mine similar raw sonic materials to yield radically different results. Where Seven Horses was a dark work focused on anger and desperation, Before After finds faint glimmers of hope in the same sources. By reappraising the past Richter divines new futures, opening up parallel timelines and sonic universes. The album bookends the current phase of Richter’s output as Black To Comm, a decisive statement piece that leaves the future of the project tantalisingly open-ended.”
Floating Points returns with his debut 12" for Ninja Tune and a sound somewhere between Four Tet and Mathew Jonson.
Uptown he marries Kieran Hebden’s signature garage-tech-house with a tactile electro lead straight out of Mathew Jonson’s mid-’00s bag, while the flip is given to the skip and wink of ‘Coorabell’ which goes even further down the late ‘90s-into-early ‘00s proggy, minimal trance route.