Raime mutate Eski grime, post-punk, R&B, dembow rhythms and a bank of YouTube ‘Fail’ samples on this killer twelve for Different Circles, big if yr into Jon E Cash, Rapid, Rian Treanor, Gabor Lazor, Low Jack, Photek's 'Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu'...
Raime reach a pivotal moment in their catalogue with the sidewinders of Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?, their first plate for Mumdance & Logos’ Different Circles label and club collective.
After years of drilling their message home thru belligerent repetition, the crucial London duo here go fractiously febrile, ephemeral and non-linear, probing a certain sort of feminine pressure across four tracks drawing as much from grime, post-punk and jungle as afrobeats R&B and dembow rhythms, and cannily splashed with samples lifted from the kind of “Fail” videos that hog YouTube’s recommendations sidebar.
Taken in context of the dark humour and ‘ardcore hauntological spirit which binds all their work, the results form a radical rethink of the Raime sound allowing for more chaos, space and knife-edge vulnerability within their often chokingly tight productions. Where their previous productions may have felt like tunnelling into a dank rave at London’s core, their current sound better reflects the shifting mosaic of the city’s cultural, socio-economic and political landscape, effectively rendering a brutalist 3D gymnasium or in-progress construction site for their wickedly augmented ideas to cut loose, and quite literally embracing the failure, fleeting emotions and nerve-riding uncertainty that comes with the terrain.
In opener Some Things Can Happen, Just Like This they persistently switch the pattern from vaporous dembow bumps to synthetic chorales in a sort of mutant 8-bar dramaturgy, while Real People, Not Actors observes an everyday fine line between aggression and play with ravishing yet elusive 2-step design comparable to Total Freedom clashing Burial over post-codes or a broken fidget spinner.
The palpitating, rapid flux of Our Valleys Are Always Uncanny is more agitated and wild-eyed than anything else in their catalogue, perhaps imagining Skepta’s Stageshow Rhythm after the cast has left and the duppies come out to play, before The Nourishment Cycle wraps up razor-chopped samples and melodic percussion in a way that feels like witnessing a bleeding cross-section of the city come to life, all sinew and sawn-off syllables tessellating in suspenseful animation.
It’s thrilling, edge-of-seat music, a breath of fresh air that’s certain to flip presumptions of Raime on their head.
‘Blue Jays’ forms a head-turning introduction to Atlanta’s Sequoyah Murray, with a sound equally influenced by Arthur Russell, YMO and east African music
A product of his generation, the 21 year old has been writing music since 2012, guided by a percussionist father and vocalist mother to realise his music thru a mix of his own vocals and a range of software and samples.
The result: a lushly-tempered, giddy spiral of kosmiche synths and rich baritone swelling with dramatic momentum into something like an Arca ballad produced by Novo Line, neatly setting the scene for a soon come début album.
Neo-soul angel Georgia Anne Muldrow refreshes her sound on a lush, slow/fast R&B flex compatible with footwork
“An excited Flying Lotus shared news of Georgia Anne Muldrow’s signing to Brainfeeder earlier this year, prompting knowing smiles and ripples of anticipation amongst fans and commentators who recognised the perfect symbiosis of their musical pathways, heritage and spirituality.
Now, following her triumphant live set at the Hollywood Bowl in LA in support of FlyLo, Brainfeeder present a brand new track from Georgia titled ‘Overload’. Produced by Mike & Keys (The Futuristiks), ‘Overload’ addresses “the process of building loving relationships in spite of the malfunctions of Western society” according to Georgia.”
No hype, this record is the maddest belter you’ll hear this year. A rinse thru three hundred and three acid cherries pitted and sequenced, tweak for tweak, into the only rave weapon you’ll ever need.
Taking Evol's obsession with Roland’s squelchy grey box to an ultimate, logical conclusion that leaves dancefloors turned utterly inside out and begging for track ID’s, it’s the kind of idea that has been floated in raves, smoking areas and afterparties for the past 20 years but has never been executed with such precise method and inexorable effect, until now.
Taking way too many classics to mention, EVOL modulate a cascade of liquified riffs that last anywhere between 1 beat and a few bars before shifting to the next pattern, and so forth. The cumulative effect of elastic undulation is mind-bending and body-jacking in the extreme, yet uncompromisingly crafted at the immediate service of the rave.
It feels as though much of EVOL’s practice to date, from mixes for FACT and Reel Torque, to their experimental objets for Alku and blasts for Presto!?, Diagonal and BUS have been leading to this point: the ultimate acid rave tool.
‘Wet Will Always Dry ‘is the blistering début album by Blawan. Arriving 8 years after his first move, ‘Fram’ for Hessle Audio - during which time he’s forged the Karenn duo with Pariah, set up his Ternesc label, and played to the biggest crowds of gurners in the world - Blawan’s first LP is a gnashing statement of intent that finds him sticking ever closer to what’s served him well thus far, while also folding in subtle new traces of his own vocals to great effect.
Like the recent Surgeon album, Luminosity Device, Blawan’s first album finds him tactfully in tune with his modular set-up after years of coal-face experimentation. The result is a sound that lies right on the biting point between clarity and distortion, delivering a thrillingly caustic experience for dancers already locked his martial swagger.
That biting point is fully in effect in the hovering search-and-destroy synth tone that snakes around opener Klade, and it continues to defines the albums strongest moments, from the whipsmart mix of T++-alike hydraulics and kinetic lead of Tasser to the virulent, Haswellian snarl and gobble of North, to the stark, skeletal dancer Stell and Kalosi’s napalm burn.
It’s arguably more difficult than ever for a techno artist to eke out their own sound nowadays, but that’s just what Blawan’s done with Wet Will Always Dry. Bravo.
First volley of densely-packed electronic dramas by Japan’s Jigga for the U.A.E.’s Bedouin Records...
‘lillllill’ projects a post-internet style of neo-tribal percussion rituals and disembodied drones stacked with carefully used noise dynamics and swollen with subbass.
Mastered by Rashad at D&M, Berlin.
I:Cube packs 6 serious heaters on the 120th release from Versatile, the long-running label he co-operates with Gilb’R.
LP 1 throws down a sort of demented cumbia-house style lit with see-sawing accordion in Flutes Souterraines, along with the chunky electro-house jaxx of Troglo Dance before curving into psychedelic slow acid a la Tin Man or The Analord in Bifurque.
On disc 2 he restlessly shifts the pattern again to a sort of brilliantly skewed gamelan dance with La Nuit Des Rats, then synking into viscous cosmic disco chug on Ramurc, and saving the googley-eyed 6am business of Fractal P for the most lip-smacking moments of the night.
Standardly grim and grizzled monotone techno from Shifted’s Avian
introducing Desroi to the nest with five stealthy cuts, at best ion the Miek Parker-esque hydraulics of Lines Of Sight, the undulating turbulence of A Glimpse of Bliss, and his steely but chattering roller Dwell In Motion.
West Coast synthesist M. Geddes Gengras yields a lushly meditative suite of ambient music inspired by his time on Hawaiki, the big island of Hawaii, paying particular attention to glistening high register tones and a sense of wide open Pacific space
“Recorded during a vacation on the big island, Hawaiki Tapes is somewhat of an anomaly in the M. Geddes Gengras music —A series of short, improvised sequences voiced by a small plastic digital synthesizer, minimally processed in real time & jacked straight into a handheld recorder. It was made at night, on a little hotel room desk. The internal sequencer of the volca greatly influenced the pieces, since it only goes so slow and is limited in it’s voicing.
It was windy and cold for most of the trip, and the sky was gigantic and filled with massive rippling clouds that flew between the horizons in minutes. The landscape was made of endless, black rock fields with little grassy spots where the lava hadn’t hit yet. In the process, Gengras had in mind some of the formative ambient music he had listened to in his early years: Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Aphex Twin, and his focus is in the interaction between the synth, the delay and reverb effects. A perfect album for sleepless nights —A new sound statement from M. Geddes Gengras.”
Trippy, rugged and mutant electro-dub slugs from Belp on Munich’s Jahmoni Music...
Fair to say that help have coined their own sound here, melding the kind of brute but agile drum machine rhythm found on a Prostitutues release, with a madcap palette of vibes that jumps from kosmiche synths to dub and jazz in a silty mix of ambient and noise textures.
Only Now and Orogen depart terra firma in pursuit of habitable new zones, realising a stark, inhospitable sound that, in a Planet Of The Apes twist, turns out to be transmission from Urth, a parallel plane of existence practically indistinguishable from our own...
“"Unearth I and II" carves tunnels of resonance which mimic the cosmic proportions and monolithic movements of exoplanet existence. Slow, but unpredictable howls, lurks, and .00001 BPM rhythms visualize the life between the dust and atoms. Symphonies and loading docks echo a million miles away: slowed beyond belief, compressed into rhythmic ambience and flattened to unearthly oblivion. As the compositions grow on into side B of the cassette, the zero BPM landscape slowly transforms into cycles, distinctly organic and tribal, slipping out the very last, or the very first primitive signs of life on a planet, not of our own.
Only Now (Kush Arora) and Orogen (Lucas Patzek) grew up together in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have been collaborating on ambient and experimental sound projects for 19 years. In high school they began manipulating and arranging audio from minidisc field recordings, first-generation software synths, hardware samplers and FX pedals, and homemade contact mics. The sonic innovators that inspired their early work include Zoviet France, Brume, Lustmord, Alio Die, Haujobb, and Hafler Trio. They were drawn to the occult music scenes of California and beyond, and performed together from their teenage years through their 20’s at a variety of venues, from outdoor music festivals to artsy fashion shows.
Fast forward to 2015: the duo returned to the studio intending to craft some rhythmic compositions. They laid down some pummeling metallic drum work using physical modeling VST's and synths to create what can be described as WAX TRAX records meets Pole. They then decided to shatter and reform these on-time compositions, and the journey began into the aural nature of outer being, power music; drawing textures from the deep earth and subconscious.”
Sniffing at the heels of a smart début 12" for Interstellar Funk's Artificial Dance, Worries, Job Sifre slips into a grimier EBM mode for Amsterdam’s excellent Knekelhuis label.
Charged with a pharmaceutically-enhanced restlessness, the Bestaan 12” goes on darker, tuffer, kinkier than Sifre’s previous 12”, gradually bringing the energies to simmering point with the smudged EBM roil and blunted Dutch vox of Bestaan, then working a wicked ruts of White House White-styled jakbeat in Zodiak and the sourer, metallic recoil of Mars Express, and properly making your body wurk with the pendulous tattoo, Zeno Dicho before sloping off into the darkroom with the slower disco admission, At Least We Try.
SOPHIE lights up 2018 with ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides’, an exhilarating début album of upfront dance-pop, epic ballads and shocking electronic production that grasps the modern zeitgeist with jaws and both fists
Landing some 6 years since her ironically titled debut Nothing More To Say, over which time the artist has produced records for Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples (among others), Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides renders a full frontal experience that’s set to define the scene for years to come.
SOPHIE’s understanding of the links between avant-garde and pop cultures is dramatically in force across the album, matching the hyperreal pop stun of PC Music chop for chop, but also pushing the prism farther in favour of her own, equally hyperreal image. The results are comparable with Autechre and EVOL records as much as Taylor Swift or The Pet Shop Boys, veering from warped pop perfection to brutalist electronics and breathtaking rhythmic energy often in the space of a single track, brilliantly embracing contradiction as a tool of expression in a way that feels bang on the money right now.
Her trifecta of lead singles, It’s Okay to Cry, Ponyboy, and Faceshopping gild the album’s entrance with some of the strongest pop sensations felt in recent years, before matters take a dramatic turn with a plunge into the beatless trance ballad Is It Cold In The Water?, and the subsequent chest-bursting R&B gospel of Infatuation, which both appear to massage the senses in preparation for the album’s shock-out 2nd half.
In Not Okay, she pairs knock-out electronics with the sheerest rave mentasms in delirious 3D, before utterly gobbling your swede in the breathtaking, atonal wormhole of Pretending, and promptly spiralling into the vacuum-packed banger Immaterial, then embracing the Whole New World/Pretend World in a kill-‘em-all 9 minutes of endorphin-rushing dance-pop genius that’s effectively the 2018 anthem we were all waiting for.
“HESITATION is the culmination of a slow-burning penpal friendship between Reckno founder Chris Catlin (aka Yaaard), and Kit Records honcho Richard Greenan (sometimes Devon Loch). Meeting in London in 2016, the pair recorded a woozy slab of improvs, using a battered organ, guitars, a saxophone and whatever else came to hand. These takes were then stitched together into a seven track LP over the following two years.
Veering from shoegaze to crystal clear electronics and fuzzed out jazz, the results pull two ways: slow and fast, meditative and exuberant. Here is a place where time bends and bubbles, drunk synthetic choirs follow an endless skywards pulse, and plaited melodies hover in warm air like motes of dust.
Recommended if you like the heart-on-sleeve whistle alongs of Tenniscoats, Zappa's befogged guitar serpents or the creeping black magic of early Sebadoh.”
A killer selection of nine cherry-picked new wave, disco and rhythmic electronic experiments hailing from early ‘80s in The Netherlands, documenting a time when formulas weren’t set quite as rigidly they would become and artists weren’t afraid to mess around, see what happens.
Accompanied by sleeve notes from Knekelhuis’ Mark van de Maat and with input from esteemed diggers/lynchpins such as Frans De Waard, Kale Plankieren - Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981-1985 Volume I throws up some real gems primed for the ‘floor.
We’re talking Necronomicon’s fretless bass funk, cowbell tickles and louche vocals on The Top, catching the duo in dubby transition from earlier, noisier styles to disco proper - think Arthur Russell meets Ian Dury - and likewise the irresistible bounce of Don’t Forget Me by Plus Instruments, fronted by Truus de Groot around the same time she was playing shows at CBGB’s. Expect track ID requests if you’re DJing this out!
On the other hand, the more wayward bits are superb, too. Rotterdans’ Interference is a haunting piece of communal electronics full of scrapes, spectral vox and airborne pulses extracted from day-long psychedelic sessions; Boris Dzanek’s Dance is well tipped to the cold wave steppers; and Roy G. Biv really get to your back teef with the bittersweet dissonance of Ulloa’s Ring.
If you’ve been following Knekelhuis’ new and reissued releases from Smersh, Parrish Smith, De Ambassade and more, you need to check this out.
Incredible wordless exercise in voltage control and psychoacoustic trippiness from the ever unpredictable and unfathomably visionary Richard Youngs.
On this one he provides a 30 odd minute tangle that sound like Nate Young hacking into and playing a street light next to a motorway underpass. Brilliant, natch.
Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis pull out some class, knackered dark wave/EBM pop nuggets from New Jersey's Smersh c. 1984/1989, backed with a gripping remix by the widely tipped Parrish Smith.
As key protagonists of the ‘80s EBM underground, Smersh pushed a rawly expressive sound which, with the benefit of hindsight, clearly paved the way for a lot of weirdos working int he gaps between industrial, odd ball house and screwy electronics nowadays.
The two tracks on the M Appeal EP are two of the most pop-wise we’ve heard from Smersh’s sprawling catalogue, with the slow, claggy electro waltz of M Appeal  making its first appearance on wax, following woozy lines of melodic thought over grubby, pendulous machine groove leading to a real peach in the corroded EBM galvanics and near-Latin Freestyle’d vocal of Kiss Me Stupid, which is guaranteed to get a lot of spins around our way. Funnily enough they both respectively recall aspects of Dirk Desaever productions from the same era, too.
If you need any more persuasion, Parrish Smith sorts that on the B-side with a remix of M Appeal, rendering the skinny, skizzy original with big-boned and dank industrial dubbing and lashings of salty noise to taste. Already a big one with Jon K, this.
Leon Vynehall trades in vicarious nostalgia on his new album, a record inspired by his grandmother’s tales of moving to New York City from south east England in the ‘60s. The results flirt with the ’floor but are generally better defined by their sweeping string arrangements and tender use of field recordings which lends a immersive sense of space and place to Vynehall’s jazz-wise piano strokes.
“Vynehall has released two extended EP's so far, his 2014 breakthrough Music For The Uninvited (3024) - a record inspired by the funk, soul and hip-hop tapes his mum used to play on car journeys which finished the year on a plethora of 'Best of the Year' lists including Pitchfork, FACT and Resident Advisor who called it "one of the most eclectic and rewarding house records you'll hear all year" - and 2016's Rojus EP (Running Back) which saw Vynehall building more layers and broadening the depth of his music to widespread critical acclaim including DJ Mag's 'Album of the Year' and 'Best New Music' from Pitchfork for fan favourite single 'Blush'. On both, he was crafting luscious grooves that were destined to dominate dancefloors. Nothing Is Still however, is defiantly atmospheric and textural, and finds him harnessing his passion for early contemporary minimalist composers such as Gavin Bryars as well as records like Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi and Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air.
Written and predominantly performed by Vynehall with additional musicians including a ten-piece string section arranged by Amy Langley, Finn Peters (saxophone and flute), and Sam Beste (piano) whom completed the final recording sessions that took place at Konk Studio’s - Nothing Is Still was mixed by Blue May in London before making its own transatlantic flight to New York, where it was mastered at Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi.”
Husband/wife duo Shawn O’Sullivan and Katie Rose bang it right on the nose with Disparate Elements for the steadily expanding Knekelhuis label, chasing the style of their LPs for Cititrax and Robert & Leopold into dank electro, EBM and fugged-up technopop realms.
The pairing appear to bring the best out of each other in all parts. Rose’s vocals and synths vitally offset O’Sullivan’s cranky grooves, most delectably in the slippery gynoid sex tune It’s Later Than You Think, then pitched and diffracted into the mazy jacker Disparate Elements, and haunting the upper echelons of their grim brummie acid banger Aural Equivalent, whilst Central System is a pure, ‘floor knacking instrumental electro weapon.
Versatile follow the lead of Vladimir Ivkovic’s Offen Music to reissue these Selected Works by Serbian genius Mitar Subotić a.k.a. Suba a.k.a. Rex Ilusivii.
Since the 2015 issue of Rex Ilusivii’s In The Moon Cage and right up to the recent pressing of Suba’s Wayang, a whole wave of new listeners, us included, have been wowed by his imaginative electronic microcosm, and this new collection perfectly spills into ever more esoteric and experimental realms. Make sure to check for the kinky downstroke of Facedance and the 4th world dimensions of Niagara / Spomenici for something close to Conny Plank’s work on Les Vampyrettes, and definitely Fortirer et Reche for a killer sort of hardcore rave mutation. Big recommendation!
Versatile’s Gilbert adds: “It was Vladimir Ivkovic who introduced me to the world of Rex Ilusivii. A world where the spirit of a genius holds sway. I remember spending an entire night at Vladimir's house in Germany, listening to all those recovered pieces, and feeling like I had entered another space-time.
Mitar tragically left us, one November night in 1999 in Brazil, leaving behind an extensive body of work consisting of more than 500 pieces, for the most part never released. Being submerged in such a unique universe, so singular, brought me happiness. It also filled me with hope, because I tell myself that today there must be many other outstanding musicians who produce in the shadow of the traditional circuit, just for the pleasure of making music.
Listening to the music of Mitar Subotić makes you part of his world. He did not stop producing from 1983 to 1999, in different styles, but with an instantly recognizable touch.His music also marries the evolution of recording techniques with new instruments that have appeared over this time, from the TR808 to the digital samplers. It took me more than two years to select the music for this record, as each time I listened to the material it revealed other details and other possibilities.
I am extremely happy and honored to present this record to you, in which I try to do justice to the different, "versatile" facets of Suba.”
Proper rave mutations from X-Altera, the killer new alias coined by Tadd Mullinx (J.T.C./SK-1/Dabrye/Charles Manier/X2/TNT).
Striking hot and delirious, but with razor cut production packing stacks of ideas into every track, X-Altera is instantly shaping up to be one of our favourite of Tadd Mullinx’s myriad projects.
Taking inspiration from the ‘ardcore phenomenon of 1990-1993, the sound effectively works in the pocket of years before the jungle references of his Soundmurderer & SK-1 duo, hearkening back to that fertile period when everything was in flux, as shards of Detroit techno clash with Ragga Dancehall, US garage, Lowlands techno, electro and boogie-jazz style vibes in a delirious style meant to make you dance better, harder, nuttier - facking ‘ardcore, innit?
In recent years, it’s a style that many, many have tried, but more often than not become lost in translation, or simply without the actual ‘hardcore’-ness. Safe to say X-Altera has it down pat, though, taking cues from classic early 4Hero and their Reinforced label, plus the likes of Foul Play, Mark Pritchard and a plethora of unsung heroes, to put a class new spin on the classic sound and legendary era.
There are too many highlights to mention, but take it on trust this one’s a must-check if you’re into 4Hero/Dego, A Guy Called Gerald, Goldie, Lone, HATE, Global Communications.
Haunting, enlightening, spellbinding; ‘Bush Lady’ is the definitive musical opus by Alanis Obomsawin. A member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most esteemed and decorated documentary filmmakers, Alanis recorded ‘Bush Lady’ for CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster, in 1985, but was unhappy with the lead song, ‘Bush Lady’. She re-recorded the song and self-released it as part of new edition, which the marvellous Constellation have now picked up for this reissue, some 33 tours later
Combining her knowledge of traditional Abenaki songs, learnt in her home community of Odanak, with lyrics in french and english, and more modernist arrangements drawing from jazz and classical, Bush Lady paints an engrossing and unforgettable portrait of the venerable singer, songwriter, and storyteller which has somehow managed to evade the attentions of reissuers until now.
The 2-part, 13 minute long opener Bush Lady, Pt.1 + II make a transfixing introduction with Alanis’ mix of traditional and modern vocals dancing free over a tumpin’ drum and expanded with searching fiddle that beautifully tails off with her vocals in the 2nd part. Meanwhile, Theo, Pt. I + II find Alanis singing/speaking in french over a central, steady drum motif joined by the kind of lush woodwind you might expect from a mid ‘80s CBC release (think BoC feels), while Odana reserves the album’s lushest arrangement till last, with Alanis in chanson mode against a fittingly plush, almost filmic backdrop of strings and wind, and Of the Earth and of the Sea remains a timelessly universal message.
We wager some ears are about to fall madly in love with this album…
Photay’s jazzy jazz remixed for the floor in six different ways;
Hubie Davison fluffs up Screens with bustling latin flavour; Sam O.B. turns Aura into a plush soul number; Outré Lux becomes a quicksilver jungle remix in Phil Moffa’s mitts; Yonsei takes Storm on a mid-tempo dub-house glitch ride; and Tatiana Heuman unravels Off Piste with warped R&B swing.
LFI yield the aural equivalent of a queasy mushy trip with Garland’s maiden voyage, Preludes #1
An intoxicating journey, guided by sloshing percussion and probing bass plongs thru lysergically dubbed-out electro-acoustic dimensions and keening microtonal ‘tronics.
Hugo Massien plays deep into and out of Tectonic’s signature sound with four brooding, bass-heavy cuts on the cusp of dubstep, garage and electro
Proceeding his 12”s for XL, 17 Steps and E-Beamz, Advanced Aerial Threat starts out with the hollowed but threatening half step techno of the title cut, switching to plush keys and brittle 2-step in Ursa Minor, and needling yet soothing electro on Candy Flip, before Divisions From the Start steps out like Batu meets Jon Hopkins.
Salty minimal wave dirges from Laurène Exposito aka Eye, dialled in from her Alpine base to Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis, presumably via some archaic switchboard where digital technology is sniffed at.
Like her debut album, Sabine, Eye’s follow-up is defined by her palette and personalised melodic sensibility, coming out out four songs about “life changes and love’s stranges”, variously described in murky, subaquatic EBM with a sulphuric urgency on Yellow Density, or like Colleen’s sour twin on the bleeping dub noise fuss of Mucho Macho, whereas Cocktail Mexico catches a sweeter breeze sort of lo-fi electro, and the hazy weave of Go Forward.
Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990’s label marks 10 years of dancefloor domination with ‘Night Allstars X’
Pulling together classics and exclusives from Cooly G, Fiedel, Girl Unit, Altered Natives, Uninamise and many more, the set firmly does what the label set out to do; replenish modern dancefloors with what they neeed.
Since kicking off in 2008 as a clubnight working in the space between myriad UK & US forms of grime, garage, house and R&B, it’s fair to say that the way Night Slugs has balanced and recombined those styles has fed into a proper, global bass music institution whose influence is much greater than the sum of its parts.
We fondly remember listening to Bok Bok Ustream's at a time when dubstep had calcified into a bit of a joke and grime was in a muddle, while the prevailing influence of Euro and US techno was just coming out of its squeaky clean ‘minimal’ phase into something ruder after years of decelerating rates of mutation.
Bok Bok’s mixes somehow navigated these currents with remarkable vision and precision, clashing all sides of the Black Atlantic in a mutant manner that avoided the pitfalls of ‘Fidget’ and, like a few other DJs and clubnights in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester, managed to recombine styles and patterns in a way that heavily tilted the following decade of music to the point we’re at now.
On Night Slugs Allstars X, Bok Bok and L-Vis maintain their taste for dance music with 14 aces from label fam old and new, tending to their OG roots in UKF thru diamonds from Cooly G, Lil Silva and Altered Natives, while looking to the US with cold Flex Dance Music from Uninamise and Helix’s redlining trap bite HMU Joe, while DJ J Heat and Neana do it transatlantic on the hyper Jersey scud of Love, and unusually but brilliantly enough, Fiedel of MMM makes a unexpected appearance with his signature Berghain girder, Door To Manual.
Big up Night Slugs! Here’s to another 10 years of Grade A bangers.
On a long awaited solo LP (his first in 13 years!), the man from Mountains wraps up listeners in a lyrically expressive but entirely instrumental suite of new age modular synth music elliptically contoured between burbling choral voices, hyaline quivers and sonorous subs leading to moments of timeless, sublime revelation. Synth-o-naut’s will be in their element here
“The music of Brendon Anderegg is a hall of mirrors, multilayered and self-obscuring. Largely filtered through Mountains, his pioneering electronic project with Koen Holtkamp, Anderegg emerged as a solo artist in the late ‘90s. In recent years, Anderegg has become sought after for his film scoring and audio work with his studio Telescope Audio, contributing to Emmy-nominated films 102 Minutes that Changed America and 9/11: The Days After for the History Channel, and working with clients from ESPN to Laura Poitras’ Praxis Films.
June represents Brendon limiting his tools and thereby departing from his previous approaches to creating music. Folding time, space, and ambience across June’s two sides, a shimmering expanse of synthesizer-fed structure and tone emerges: a singular sonic landscape with varied emotional triggers from melancholy to playful. The music on June is a complex network of layers, combining to create a congruous whole. Collapsing history into its own contemporary sonic movements, Anderegg’s methodically created work falls in the lineage of electronic pioneers like Bernard Parmegiani, early ambient projects like Tangerine Dream, Popul Vuh, and Cluster, and puts his solo work in the realm of New Age figures like Michael Sterns and JD Emmanuel.
A singularly beautiful and challenging work, June marks the long overdue reemergence of Brendon Anderegg as a solo voice. An immersive two-side realization made for contemplative, meditative listening, June is contemporary electronic synthesis in the most literal sense of the word.”
Cómeme revel in the face of adversity with four tracks to stoke the good times
Rise X gets off to a deep and trippy start with the swollen mass of distended bass, cantering dembow breaks and devilish voices in Dark Jungle triggering a heavy vibe that bubbles thru Argentinan Ana Helder’s fizzy acid jacker Pizza Delivery, to the killlllller acid New Beat/EBM stride of Ihr Euer by Colombia’s Gladkazuka, and an infectious minimal electro bumper called Ah! Ah! Ah! from Chilean artist, Vaskular.
Erstwhile Factory Floor member Richard Smith ploughs out three ruts of wonky acid noise as L/F/D/M, backed with a crafty remix by Nick Dunton ov 65D Mavericks.
L/F/D/M’s original range from the body-swilling EBM acid of Sixteen Snakes and the atonal roiler X-Enter-O to a sizzling and slippery 303 workout named Silver Grain, whilst Nick Dunton tidies up Silver Grain in an infectious remix featuring smoother acid contours and mutant blue vocal on the D-56M Poverty remix.
Sonic Pieces give life to one of the most unusual releases in their catalogue thus far; a collection of percussive pieces from Tatu Rönkkö - a long-time friend and collaborator with Efterklang with whom he also formed the band Liima. Rönkkö is regarded by some as one of the most diverse and inventive percussionists working on the contemporary field and ‘Spheres' offers a comprehensive introduction to his expansive style, having been compared to everyone from Konono No.1 to Photek and Can’s Jaki Liebezeit.
Spheres is Tatu's debut album and it arrives after close to a decade of notorious improvised performances in kitchens around Berlin and abroad, "using the room and everything in it as his instrument”. It includes self-made instruments from everyday objects, taking his performance style to the next level. As the label explain "The kitchen and the improvisations around it have been concentrated down to 6 standalone pieces of music, produced in incredible detail. The sound hovers in the darklands between tribal experimentations, 90’s jungle ambient textures and electro-acoustic endeavours. Pieces like Then remind of a more focused Aphex Twin performing with Konono No1 in the Finnish woods. While the title track Spheres even links the sound all the way back to early Photek with it's reduced cinematic textures and explosive repetitive beats.”
The opening 5 pieces are all instrumentals before the closing piece Tekoäly features much overlooked vocal pioneer and Fonal mainstay Islaja on vocals, taking the material into much more interesting terrain. Largely accessible but also making the most of those still-alien vocals, Rönkkö weaves in and around her voice with a slowly collapsing, stop-start feel that elevates proceedings into the realm of avant-pop, bringing to a close a fine, intriguing debut.
Coyote Records launch a class début from VIO_L3T into orbit of UK drill, grime and weightless styles, backed with a signature, playfully moody remix by E.M.M.A.
Hailing from not-so-grimy Somerset, VIO_L3T fidns a balance of inner city tension and more spacious, widescreen synth feels to his first release, scanning the expansive synth intro and cold drill drums of Cloud-Tech next to the teetering dembow break structures and spiralling arps of Sentinel and the clipped, airy bump of Fragment.
E.M.M.A. gives Cloud-Tech a more immediate appeal, curtailing the intro so she can get busy with slugging bass and a more psychedelic, less glum synth arrangement in signature style.
Berlin’s Driftmachine expand their classic kosmische inspirations along dub-wise 3D vectors in a fine 4th LP for the Umor Rex label from Mexico City
“Shunter, the new album by the Berlin-based duo, is their most ambitious work to date. Although instantly recognizable, featuring their trademark Kosmische and Avant-garde sounds, it also presents a new journey into abstract and hallucinatory worlds. Filled with eerie textures, their electronic visions are darker and more vaporous than ever.
Driftmachine’s fifth album (also the fifth one for Umor Rex) offers a new perspective on their ample sound spectrum and systemic narratives. Shunter overlaps and mutates their post-industrial-dub motives. It was conceived and produced in search of a very different kind of imagery, with sections of noise and field recordings intersecting with analogue sounds; a mixture of contrasted fragments, where the usual creative process of modular-synthesis leads Gerth and Zimmer to the discovery of a dark, hazy and diffused experience. There is a protean quality to the rhythmic elements, with tempos constantly contracting and expanding, a departure from the mono-beat-rhythms of "Nocturnes" and "Colliding Contours". The first half of Shunter is made of four pieces named "Shift"; although individually separated, they are conceptually linked and can be understood as a sort of score. Imagine a late stage of the industrial revolution, with the interaction between heavy machinery and human beings. The second half of the album is not completely separated, but it has three other substantial melodic moments. Somewhere between the hauntological and the realms of archive-music, a huge range of subterranean beats and distinct patterns dotting the landscape of early electronic and post dub music.”
Legendary ethnomusicologist and field-recording pioneer, Hugh Tracey founded the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in 1954. Today, ILAM preserves thousands of historical recordings and has become the greatest repository of African music in the world. Dust-to-Digital have partnered with ILAM to present “Listen All Around” – a compilation of newly-transferred and remastered recordings that Hugh Tracey made between 1950-1958.
"The recordings presented here were made in central and eastern Africa -- specifically, the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (now Tanzania). The genre of music Tracey documented, and the focus of this double album and book is rumba and its variations -- Congolese rumba, dansi and benga. The recordings, photographs and detailed liner notes included in this set provide a rich point of immersion into the mid-20th-century music of eastern and central Africa."
Killer, overlooked proto-techno/kosmische from Düsseldorf, 1987, adding to a bevy of aces on Stefan Schneider far-reaching TAL label - already a home to records of Kenyan folk and Venezuelan field recordings.
Finally finding its audience on vinyl over 30 years since the original, self-made edition of 50 tapes, Arctica is a strong testament to the explorative experiments of Detlef Funder a.k.a. Konrad Kraft, whose homebuilt hardware sound attempted to bridge the clinical crispness of Kraftwerk and the psychedelia of Amon Düül with the density and force of industrial, post-punk and disco.
The cryogenically preserved results are a genuine oddity within their field and still sound remarkably future-proofed a whole generation later. Made using an 8-track tape recorder, a Mitec EX mixing desk, Roland JX3P and 808, Korg Monopoly, DX7, SPX90 and a Revox PR99, the 10 tracks of Arctica feel as though they’re fluidly in-between states; alternately vast, frozen, clear and melting with a rare tactility that would be further distilled into his run of razor sharp trance-techno output for the likes of Fragile in the ‘90s.
Emerging at the very start of his production arc, Arctica catches a sense of naive wonder from the man and his machines, rendering a lucid mind-flight that reveals from shockingly clear and detailed clouds of fizzing bleeps in Arc 2, to pieces which feel like huge glaciers beginning to fracture below your feet, and a number of pulsing, ruddy dancers that will be the biggest attraction to a lot of DJs digging that late ‘80s crevice between hardware experiments and early home computer efforts on the Amiga and Steinberg’s software sequencers.
Seriously, it’s just a no brainer for anyone into E.M.A.K., the more rhythmic experiments of Dome/Graham Lewis/Bruce Gilbert, or its modern antecedents in the whole Tolouse Low Trax/Offen Music/Valdimir Ivkovic axis.
Weeed have presumably smoked so much that they’ve simultaneously reversed and advanced the ageing process to give them the wisdom of ancient herbalist druids and the primal force of heavy rock elders such as Black Sabbath and Sleep
“WEEED's debut for Imprec, titled This, has an expansive musical vision and an astonishingly mature sound from a young band. Despite their relatively young ages Weeed has been together for ten years – a fact made apparent bythe fluidity and unity of their sound. Labels such as stoner/psych/jam/alt/Krautrock seem to fall short as the band draws from a deeper pool of inspiration including gnawa, traditional folk, jazz, minimalist orchestras, overtone singing and much more.
This is the product of both a desire to make such influences more apparent as well as a desire to explore the boundaries of the members' abilities to connect with each other; to become, in essence, one mind. Though the skeleton of the album was written during practices, the dynamics and fullness of each song were often reconnoitered and spawned through the improvisations which occurred during live settings and tours. The idea was discovery through the act of being present, and This was the result.
Sonically, This is an outgrowth of their last release, Meta, which saw the band beginning to experiment with ambient & vocal looping, flutes, synthesizers. Those explorations are present here, as is the notable (and permanent) addition of a second drummer, which is defined through the mixtures of tight syncopations and pulsing polyrhythms present in these songs.Recorded & produced at Bear Creek studio in Woodinville, WA, This marks a shift in sound that will only lead to further exploration into new musical territory.”
The lush promise and spirit of mid ‘90s IDM deeply informs Darling’s ’Tulipa Moves’ for Young Marco’s Safe Trip
The latest in a highly endearing volley of 12”s from the enigmatic Amsterdammer, Tulipa Moves offers a welcome dose of melodic escapism articulated through classic hardware in a manner recalling classic AFX, Plaid, Kettel and loads of stuff that already sounded charmingly nostalgic in the ‘90s with echoes of Japanese electronics, new age ambient and minimalism also bubbling to the surface.
We direct you straight to highlights in the radar ping 808s, angel breath chorales and classic AFXian bassline of Tulipa, as well as the introspective shimmy of Free Hand, and the featherlite spine strokes of The M Song (Feat. Lexi) for the finest feels, and you’ll know exactly what to do next!
The surrealist scenes of ‘Bloody Sirens’ documents London-based choral ensemble Musarc performing three works by Neil Luck at Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp, Sunday 3rd October, 2015
Luck’s 4th work composed for Musarc, following from Misty (2010), Namesaying (2013), and Any’s Responses (2015), his new piece Bloody Sirens is presented as a report from an imaginary baseball match which conceives of the singers as individuals, rathe than a singing ‘mayuss’, who read from a score that includes a skull and plenty of errors and ellipses.
Yet another singular release on the boundary-oblivious Entr’acte, Bloody Sirens presents avant garde compositions for vocals which are simultaneously timeless, ancient, yet up-to-the-moment, both democratic in organisation and collectively keening towards a framework familiar to the Slip label’s excellent vocal works by Object Collection and Laurie Tompkins, as much as a wealth of historical works.
Filigree detailed, vaporous sound designs carved from the Yamaha ex5r from XIII for Turin’s Gang Of Ducks. RIYl Visible Cloaks, Haruomi Hosono, Japanese electronics
“Eocity is the result of a study on technological failure and the imagination of a non-existent urban landscape. This project features the use of a Yamaha ex5r, one of the first synths to ever implement VL synthesis.
The Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Synthesis tone generation was born to try to accurately emulate the complex vibrations and other acoustic phenomena of real instruments and their sounds within space, but the dubious results of this technology gave birth to something more.
Its output sound happens to be cold and synthetic while being also organic and warm at the same time, welcoming the listeners into a feeling of an artificial world that is neither digital nor analog.
In this world man is not around anymore and the binary language survived him, communicating with the rest of the natural environment, in respect of its laws and dynamics, becoming one indistinct entity.
Eocity is a place that exists in between the imaginary and the real one, gently oating as a digital tactile experience.”
Panatype’s 4th physical release is an absorbing suite of electronica uniquely gelling ideas from 4th world ambience, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality in four lushly detailed scenes
Conceived in pursuit of an aesthetic that seeks to “blur the line between field recordings and synthesis in order to render invented and impossible landscapes”, Puech’s first release for Panatype extends an immersive invitation to his singular, simulated dimensions.
Using mostly modular synth, coupled with self-built devices, Puech plots out his imaginary world in electronic filigree. Blended with inspiration from the overgrowing chaos and mathematic logic of nature in a similar way to the Transflora project, his works are self-contained environments that could be considered different aspects of the same, alternate world.
As with nature, Puech’s music can veer from modest beauty to barely controlled attacks on the senses, with his favoured, extended palette of machines enabling him to emulate the complex sounds of animals, albeit mutant ones that you may expect to be limned by Ballard or Google dream, especially when it all comes together in the side-long title track.
DJ Richard follows the ‘Path of Ruin’ to his discopocalytic sophomore LP, ‘Dies Irae Xerox’; a super robust collection of darkwave ambient, EBM and Memphis rap-style instrumentals inspired by “depictions and philosophies of the antichrist and end-times”
Picking up where he left us with the darker themes of Grind , the NYC/Berlin-stationed producer pretty much leaves the slinkier house and techno themes for dust in order to better explore mutant, classic hardcore strains of electronic music in his own way.
Opener Dies Irae Xerox could easily be mistaken for the work of Hospital Productions orderly, while the scowling 808 slap downs of Pitfall and Gate Of Roses explore rugged hip hop/electro somewhere between Pametex, SALEM and Tommy Wright III. They’re some of our favourites, along with the curdling sewer juice of Tunnel Stalker and the Cortini-esque Old Winter’s Way, but the rest of the album is strong, too; especially on its fanged dancefloor aces such as the needle-toothed EBM of Vanguard, and the doomcore slug of In Broad Daylight.
Joakim presents the varied results of his recording sessions in Xavier Veilhan’s Studio Venezia, a studio/sculpture installed at the 2017 Venice Biennale, which was also visited by Brian Eno and Sebastian Tellier
Using the studio’s rare instrumentation, including an Ondes Martinet, Buchla Music Easel and Baschet Cristal, plus some other synths, as well as aleatoric input from visitors to the Biennale, as source material for the final recordings, which take cues from Cluster’s kosmiche classics to rove between pastoral scenes such as Orange (Katie, USA), to clunky techno on Innuendo (Francisco, Spain), and bittersweet baroque themes in Dream (Roberta, Italy).
Icy electro pick ’n mix from Sähkö, rifling the archives for tracks made between 2007 and 2017
Turning out the piquant sidewinder Travel Naskh by Matti Turunen a.k.a. Morphology; a very tasty bit of bitter but creamy electro dancehall harmony by 20.05.1996; some Tomutonttu-esque ambient audnuss from Nasty Boy, Ni Ko; and the slow plunge of Waterfront by Jarno Valli ov Radiopuhelimet.
Detroit’s DJ Stingray lends oil-spattered 313 muscle and torque to the maestro’s trance mutations
In Sherard Ingram’s hands, XAllegroX is stripped down for parts and retuned with tense funk on the Molto Allegro Mix, which makes sparing use of the original’s flaring supersaw synth riffs in a rugged electro framework sprung with pneumatic subs. It’s great, but just give us the Hecker remix already!
Mark Fell returns with an incredible album of rhythmelodic cadences performed with Drumming Grupo De Percussão on the Sixxen metallophone system: a set of six microtonally tuned instruments originally conceived by Iannis Xenakis in 1976.
The eight-part Intra stands out as one of Fell's most immediate and unusual releases; high in concept but also satisfying an obsession for complex polyrhythms as explored and developed by the likes of Beatrice Dillon, Don't DJ, and further out to augmented realities rendered by Kara-Lis Coverdale, Kassem Mosse and even Jlin.
Making use of a kind of conceptual future-primitivism, Fell probes the perceptive difference between ideas of simplicity and complexity by sending instructions to acoustic drummers via electronic triggers relayed through headphones, an idea he first explored on the Time and Space Shapes for Gamelan installation made in collaboration with Laurie Spiegel.
His ongoing interests in the classical Indian "Carnatic" music systems also play a big part here; its mathematical sound rules or Tala, have 35 possible combinations - many more than the usual Western structures of minor and major scales. It's this structure that imbues these recordings with such complex, propulsive and oddly pensive energies.
Concept aside, Intra is a beautiful piece of sound art which sidesteps convention and perceptions of music in a way that’s highly pleasurable, even strangely soothing in its stilted trickle of off kilter tones, revealing successive dimensions with each repeated listen.
The proto-Haçienda drill ‘Eyes Over’ forms the lead single for ‘Physical’, the first solo album by Factory Floor drummer Gabe Gurnsey for Phantasy Sound
In key with his Factory Floor output and his previous solo 12”, Falling Phase, Gabe harnesses his affected electroclash vocals in a stripped down palette of sparking drum machines and lean synth bass licks. The dub is a few shades stronger, removing the vocals and letting the drums speak to the ‘floor.
Miss Red rides a ruffneck, bubbling riddim on Dagga, the 2nd drop on The Bug’s Pressure label following his Fog link-up with Burial.
Kevin Martin a.k.a. The Bug hisself provides the saw-toothed and harshly filtered production, with Miss Red pinched and squeezed between its ragged teef on Dagga, whereas One Shot Killer weighs up a drowsier, muggier sound for the red-eyed back of the dance crew. Aces, the pair of them.