Anthoney J Hart a.k.a. Imaginary Forces a.k.a. Basic Rhythm a.k.a. East Man pushes a scowling Hi Tek take on hardcore ‘nuum styles for his newly minted label.
It’s basically instrumental grime pushed into the red, working between the 8-bar swerve of ‘Twilight’ and the aggressive jaws of ‘Future Tek’ on the front, before the boisterous Breakstep lash of ‘Nose Bleed’, and rounding out with the dank presha of ‘Mash Head’.
Fit Siegel and Sotofett galvanise their S & M Trading Co duo with Metal Surface Repair, a labyrinthine acid beauty, backed with a trackier version and a very handy beat-less version.
The A-side’s title cut is a real midnight bloom, flowering from an intro of mystic Eski flutes and layered subs into a 303-gilded masterpiece meant for deployment at the most crucial times of the dance. B-side, DJ Sotofett takes the lead on a chunkier Acid Mix emphasising the 303 and percussion, saving the floating pads for the final strokes, whereas the Synthetic Mix lets the synth and acid lines move in lush avian formation, leaving the drums aside to be dropped as a proper palette cleanser where needed.
Truly excellent work.
Shelley Parker churns up a strong mix of concrète and bass music styles in her ruffneck debut for Hessle Audio
Marking the final Hessle Audio 12” of 2018, Shelley synchs bare bones breaks with seismic subs and field recordings of Carnival and her work for choreography to serve a hyperrealistic sensation of London in flux.
From her construction site stepper ‘Red Cotton’, uncannily recalling Nomex & Scud’s ‘Piling Machine’ , thru the spectral convolutions and ricocheting echoes of Notting Hill Carnival laced into ‘Angel Oak’, and the clash of smooth pads and bagging textures in ‘Masonry Pier’, Shelley’s soundsphere is impressively unique and subtly suggestive, while the remix finds Ploy bringing the groove forward with patented percussive chops and fine-tuned dancefloor suss.
‘Sfumato’ marks the long-awaited return of BLOOM to the club and instrumental grime style he was instrumental in shaping with his pivotal, early EPs, ‘Quartz’ and ‘Hydraulics’
The Belfast-based producer has been notable by his absence from the release schedule since 2015, when he notably remixed a pair of tracks from Björk’s ‘Vulnicura’ LP. He now vaults back into the fray with ‘Sfumato’, which takes its name from a technique of painting where colours and tones bleed into one another - a smart metaphor for Bloom’s productions; frantic, multi-layered tessellations of cinematic FX and collaged rhythms spun with delirious dynamic.
“Sfumato is the most transportive expression of Bloom’s sound to date, and also his most extensive project, clocking in at six tracks. By far his most beautiful record, it features trademark crashes of gun-metal and nimble sample work, but juxtaposes them against romantic synths and ascendant pads, resulting in something as emotional as it is impactful.”
Throbbing, avant-house music by artists Sabisha Friedberg and Tyler Wilcox, aka Golden Mean for the purposes of their debut 12”, Resonance with Detroit’s Fit Sound.
A blend of droll spoken word and absorbing, pulsating subbass, Resonance is prepped in three mixes; the dry darkroom pound of the original Resonance and an unprocessed A Capella room recording of Sabisha’s stark vocal, plus a Resonance (Toxic Mix) where the elements have much more room to move, in the process recalling Jay Ahern’s slunkiest Cheap & Deep Productions.
A proper piece of post-punk history: the studio session for Bauhaus’ classic ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ available on vinyl for the 1st time! Includes early version of the dancefloor evergreen plus a haul of previously unreleased aces
“The Bela Session is a full release of Bauhaus' first studio session from January 26 1979, where the iconic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" was recorded. This is the first and only official reissue of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" on vinyl, and the first time 3 of the 5 tracks have been released. This EP has been produced directly by the band with Leaving Records, in advance of the band's 40th anniversary.
Bauhaus are a four-piece from Northampton, England, composed of Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Daniel Ash (guitar), Kevin Haskins (drums), and David J (bass). Venerated and highly influential, the band emerged from the post-punk alternative music scene of the early 80s with a string of innovative albums and a powerfully dramatic live presentation. Their music embodies a minimalistic, disconsolate style of post-punk rock unlike any other.
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" was originally released by Small Wonder Records, 1979. "Harry" was originally released by Beggars Banquet, 1982. "Some Faces," "Bite My Hip," and "Boys (Original)" are previously unreleased.”
Parris pushes off on Idle Hands again with ‘Puro Rosaceaes’, a sublime follow-up to his ‘Burr’ 12”, loaded with devilishly good Gunnar Wendel a.k.a. KMOS remix.
Vibes for days and days on this one, catching London’s low-key lynchpin Parris at his very best with the air-stepping deep house shuffle of ‘Puro Rosaceaes’, and again on a lip-bitingly deep downstroke called ’Soft Touch’ that recalls Anthony Shakir’s ‘Mr. Shakir’s Beat Store’ classic.
Proving the perfect nominee for remix duties, Gunnar Wendel a.k.a. Kassem Mosse a.k.a. KMOS feathers ‘Puro Rosaceaes’ with frayed claps and laved chords insisting a slinky dip and parry from everyone within earshot when it’s playing.
London/Bristol’s Laksa leans back to Batu’s Tiemdance with pair of swaggering aces after recent turns for Ilian Tape and Whities
Ever more eazy in his own groove, he tramples into humid, sub-tropical tribal styles on ‘The Amala Trick’, sloshing his drums on a grittily fluid downstroke with heaving subs and bristling atmospheres gelled together by lush ambient pads for a hypnotic late night blues sound, Bristol style.
‘In The Middle’ is far more up for it, wielding swivelling drums and dank duppy stabs in a percolated sort of dark garage/tribal techno trouble.
STILL’s killah dancehall riddim pack gets remixed by prime producers including Kenya’s Slikback, Príncipe artist Nídia, Low Jack outta France, and Dominican Republic/LA’s dembow badboy Kelman Duran, a.o.
Simone Trabbuchi a.k.a. STILL’s original riddims from the ‘I’ album prove to be mutably fecund source material for the remixers. Kelman Duran, whose brillaint ‘1804 KIDS’ was issued by Tabucchi’s Hundebiss in 2017, serve a big highlight with their spaced-out inversion of the virulent ‘Nazenet Riddim’, while hakuna Kuala’s Kenyan rep Slikback also hugely impresses with a hot-stepping twyst on ’Shikorina’.
Nídia nimbly feathers ‘Haile Selassie Is The Micro-Chip’ as a hypnotic Kuduro swanger, and ake sure to also check for Low Jck’s roguish cyber-dancehall version of ‘Rough Rider’.
‘Toe In The Bardo Pond’ is Rabit’s remix extension of his Jodorowsky-inspired ‘Life After Death’ album
Peering thru the Halcyon Veil into vast, imaginative, psychedelic dimensions, Rabit further projects the experimental designs of ‘Life After Death’ to suggest and invoke surreal non-places and sites of metaphysical investigation.
While it’s not made explicit anywhere, it’s possible to gauge the influence of DMT and its putative effects inside the ‘Toe In The Bardo Pond EP’, who title likely refers as much to the Tibetan Book of the Dead as the US psych band who also borrowed it for their name. Heck, the EP length is even the same as most DMT trips.
In this context, rabbit supposes a fractured, fractal trip in 5 stages, emerging with the digitised exhalation and surprisingly lush revelations of ‘Rebirth (Smoked Out)’, and un/furling inward/outward thru the origami fractals of ‘Rebirth II’, the screwed sensuality of ‘Rebirth 33’, and the percussive tumult of ‘Rebirth 4’, to culminate in the serene ambiguity of ‘Rebirth 5 (Voidness)’.
In the glistening wake of his ‘Age Of’ album, 0PN despatches a highlight of his MYRIAD live show with the title cut of ‘Love in The Time of Lexapro’.
On that standout cut, the preeminent synthesist uses his FM programming nous to connote the putative feeling of synaptic smudge and truncated emotive cadence that comes with antidepressants - in this case one of the most commonly used in the USA. It’s a unique skill, to be able to so finely and perhaps accurately limn such sensations in sound, and inarguably one of 0PN’s most appealing, and perhaps uncanny traits. A big reason why his music appeals to so many.
The Ryuichi Sakamoto rework of ‘Last Known Image Of a Song’ is another highlight, taking the original somewhere colder, more isolated, for a stepper sense of reflective introspect, while ’Thank God I’m A Country Girl’ recalls EP7/LP5 era Æ, and ‘Babylon’ sounds like an Alexander Tucker offset.
The Golden Filter kick off their 4GN3S (Agnes) label with the tight ‘80s synth-pop of ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and corresponding remixes from Kaspar Bjørke & Colder, Cooper Saver, and Fantastic Twins
TGF’s Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman channel classic Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke and stacks of Italo disco aces in the original belter, whereas Bjørke and Colder dry off the more sentimental aspects for a rasping, swaggering EBM sound, Cooper Saver takes it to the darkroom with thrumming bass arps, and Julienne Dessagne brings the vocals back in for a frothier fantastic Twins remix.
Intriguing electronic studies in strange meter, greyscale tone, and elemental techno from Taiwanese artist Jing for Steve Bicknell’s 6dimensions
Make sure to check the psychoactive techno abstraction of ‘Videodrome’ and the bristling electro of ‘Malentonion’.
Lazer-guided electro precision from Djedjotronic, leaving his debut mark on Sheffield’s CPU
Following link-ups with DeFeKT, Douglas McCarthy and Miss Kittin for his regular home at Boysnoize Records, this away-day sees Djedjotronic skilfully navigate Detroit-style alleys of the mind between the Kraftwerk/Cyborton flex of ‘Cruising’ and the Heinrich Mueller-esque ‘Celular’ ace on the A-side, and then like some rogue Ultradyne creation in the cranky, hard-ass drive of ‘Tunnel’.
I Hate Models bares his teef on the backbreaking EBM techno of ‘Spreading Plague’
Perc serves a drier remix reduction, and I Hate Models sticks with the ceramic soundspshere for the cold, ricocheting dynamics of ‘Martial Order’.
Epic 32 Track comp of exclusive tracks curated and compiled by Mumdance (also available as a limited edition 5-track vinyl sampler, and a mixed cassette) featuring a colossal haul of tracks from Space Afrika, Caterina Barbieri, Chevel, JK Flesh, Abyss X, Sleeparchive, Mumdance & Logos, Peder Mannerfelt, Nkisi, ZULI and many others...
Shared Meanings comprises 32 exclusive tracks, drawn from a panorama of contemporary electronic music—pioneers, emerging talents, brand new producers—brought together by Adams’ curatorial ear. It’s the natural next step from Radio Mumdance, the far-reaching radio project that saw Adams play back-to-back with some of his favourite artists: Nina Kraviz, DJ Stingray, DJ Storm, Surgeon, Ben UFO, Josey Rebelle and many others. Across a 97-minute session, Shared Meanings draws from the ideas and inspirations Adams’ gained across those 40 weekly shows.
The sampler 12” includes Mumdance & Logos’ massive ‘Teachers’ alongside zingers from Nkisi, Peder Mannerfelt, Caterina Barbieri and Space Afrika. On a dance tip, Mumdance & Logos pay tribute to a Chicago convention on ‘Teachers’, listing a roll-call of influential UK artists, DJs, labels and clubs in a style most famously deployed by Daft Punk, while Nkisi comes fiercely correct with the swingeing Congolese techno rolige of ‘Kinega’, and Peder Mannerfelt does his inimitable, mutant rave thing on ‘Over My Face’. But they’re only one aspect of the mix, leaving the plonging modular navigation of ‘Molecular Illusion’ by Caterina Barbieri, and the golden ambient deliquescence of Space Afrika’s piece to speak to the contrasts and breath of Mumdance’s mix and his lushly dark vision of modern dance music.
Kouhei Matsunaga at his chimeric best for Diagonal, delivering two jazzy, freehand concrète collabs with Japanese sound artist and Eartaker noise maker, Masayuki Imianishi, plus two dance-offs with himself as NHK yx koyxen and Speedy K.
Gelling Kouhei’s many sonic handles for a full spectrum showcase of style and pattern, the set is riddled with a singular mischievous genius at every fold and warp. Working with Masayuki Imianishi, he terraforms paper, radio, field recordings and synths into vivid alien ecologies of shimmering electronics and spheric melody with a highly visual quality that perhaps betrays Kouhei’s talents as an illustrator.
For virulent examples of Kouhei at the rave, NHK yx koyxen and Speedy K’s Step Move #01 is quite possibly the wonkiest peaktime juggernaut of the year, and the acid wormhole of Early Mellow Darkness sounds like the bald - as in bad - acid offspring of Luke Slater and Ed Rush.
Once again Kouhei makes us go mad at the rave, but this time with something to come home and melt into as well.
Stephen O’Malley & Peter Rehberg’s KTL find the darkest space between black metal and computer music - or presence and absence - with ‘The Pyre: versions distilled to stereo’; a score for french choreographer Gisèle Vienne.
Continuing Shelter Press’s on-going documentation of Gisèle Vienne’s work after Stephen O’Malley’s 2015 score for her ‘Éternelle Idole’ piece, ‘The Pyre’ also sees Gisèle paired with Peter Rehberg for first time since his ‘Work For GV 2004-2008’ album, serving to tie up their many, long-running and overlapping strands of practice into a mighty new KTL opus.
As almost anyone who’s heard O’Malley & Rehberg scores for Gisele’s work will surely attest, the french choreographer always brings the best out of her sonic familiars, and their work on ‘The Pyre’ is no exception. Some 6 years in the works, it has undergone multiple stages of processing since the initial seed recording made at IRCAM, Paris, 2012, with subsequent live stems overdubbed at Fennesz’s studio, and further mixing by Randall Dunn all aiding to bring the score to life as it’s own, standalone work of art.
At the service of Gisèle’s choreography - a play on the existential tension between presence and absence - KTL render some of the most pellucid and unfathomable sound designs in their considerable arsenal, layering up from near infrasonic-levels of subharmonics to filigree timbral thizz and sferic reflection, in the process creating an illusion of spatial depth and dizzy scale that beautifully spins our gauges...
Matias Aguayo tramples out mystic South American rhythms, joined by vocal from Mujaji The Rain
The combo of squashed, swaggering drums and free vocal in the original recall Toresch, while the ‘Club Mix’ is pushed forward in the mix, and the ‘Drums’ are waiting for canny DJs in-the-mix.
‘Serious’ again smartly lives up to our Toresch analogy, meshing drunken master groove with possessed vocals and police sirens in the original, and stripped down to reveal whirring funk mechanics at work in the instrumental.
Chasing up her outta-the-blue ace for PAN, Stine Janvin presents a more playful, textured and pop-wise volley of vocal and electronic manipulations for London’s Laura Lies In
‘ME/WE’ is testament to Stine’s unique, explorative subversion of musical convention, twisting from hypnagogic knot of loops in ‘Open Minded’, to thrumming rhythmic noise and discomfiting vocals referencing the #metoo movement in ‘DICK’, before sampling Muhammad Ali’s army induction refusal in the avant-dancehall of ‘ME/WE’, and hitting the pop nerve from oblique new angles compatible with Amnesia Scanner and Sega Bodega on ‘Change The Winning Team’.
“ST/NE is an alter ego and artist name of Stine Janvin, giving life to a satirical pop experiment combining field recordings, vocal samples and electronic production. ME/WE pulls inspiration from late night bar-chat philosophy, Muhammad Ali’s army induction refusal, #metoo-stories and a broken Stockhausen record materialising in 4 tracks of vocal sirenage, fractured techno and mutant trap.
Manipulated and dehumanised as it is, the vocals trace a thread throughout, tying this collection of contrasts together and resulting in a singular, cohesive and compelling EP.”
Dense, seething dread dub biz from Japan’s G36 for Kevin Martin a.k.a. The Bug’s Pressure label
Backing up G36’s solid instrumental for the last Pressure release, Nazamba’s ‘Vex’, the seismic original instrumental appears here in bad company along with the deadeye trample of ‘’Militant’, a grumbling beast named ‘Them Vs Us’, and the ten tonne steppers momentum imposed by ‘Mass Surveillance’.
Played by Kahn, Don Letts, JK Flesh, Ossia!
Hamburg’s Phil Struck joins Quiet Time Tapes’ somnolent series with a steeply acousmatic session of grayscale tones and organic electronics that feels like the results of Basic House on a febrile bender with Helm in Wanda Group’s basement, which just happens to have a secret hatch into Henry Spencer’s apartment.
Found in a half light between lo-fi, small sound scrabble and ambient queasy listening, QTT5 unfolds in eight parts along the reel’s ∞ axes, dragging the listener across the tapehead from the reclaimed mechanical ambience of 24, to zoom in on Black To Comm-alike sci-fi dankness in Telescope and document some arcane game involving rusty pipes and seagulls in CCLT, before bathing in puddled new age tones with Untitled.
Rosegate opens the B-side at a more abstract angle with piercing string glissandi, waterlogged chords and spasming electronics like something that escaped from Actress’ studio late at night, before the beautiful, mirage like Amber hovers into view like a Huerco S vision, dissipating into the noxious atmospheric swamplands of Delta and the bittersweet harmonic resolution of Oaoa at its perimeter.
The sense of ambiguity is strong and key to the appeal of QTT5, which operates right on that jagged line between OOBEy detachment, romantic introspection and discomfiting yet compelling sensations of “maybe I shouldn’t be here, but…”
On the road to a new album, HTRK deliver two more midnight pop gems with ‘Dying Of Jealousy’ and the intravenus potency of ’Summer Rain’ for their new overseers at Ghostly International
Jonine Standish’s vocals and Nigel Yang’s spidery strings on ‘Dying Of Jealousy’ are just quietly devastating in their signature way, while ’Summer Rain’ is beautifully strung out with heavy breathing 808 and syrupy Reese bass for a spine-chilling reminder of warmer times readied to crack the glass whenever you need it.
A strangely haunting yet beautiful bouquet of nocturnal, electronic blooms ranging from poignant ambient vignettes to chamber-like pop, from Brooklyn’s Faten Kanaan - a gifted musical story-teller
“Foxes is the third full-length album from Brooklyn-based artist Faten Kanaan.
The title is symbolic: an homage to the wild, untamed/unedited spirit. It's an album of uninhibited expression, a balance between playfulness and nuanced intentionality. Foxes is loosely inspired by early Surrealist automatism, made-up languages, Middle-Eastern Hakawati storytellers, and the minimalist poignancy of mimes. Here, Kanaan uses sound as an intuitive gesture to tell a wordless story.
As the narrative unfolds, each composition becomes a distinct chapter: from the uneasy turbulence of Naufragium to the swelling crescendo and gear mechanics of time passing in Pendulum, the intimate pastoralism of Wildflowers, and the mischievous meanderings of the title track.”
Second album from BNJMN, full of crisp, rolling techno and aerated electronics
“This album comes after years of experimenting but is the first time since his Black Square album on Rush Hour in 2011 that the artist has felt he has finished a cohesive body of work.
Hypnagogia is BNJMN’s third album in all, but first on this label after EPs like Coil and Amygdala—and his techno banger ‘Droid’ on the Inertia series—helped establish him as one of techno’s most interesting voices. Albums allow him to be more musically free and explore more ideas than 12”s, which are often recorded quicker and only capture a glimpse of his creativity. In the years since his last full length, the artist born Ben Thomas has done everything from strangely melodic music to darker drone-like pieces and uplifting, lighter techno.
This new one—written in two separate studios in Berlin; one small, one much larger, which you can hear in how some tracks are tighter and more intimate, and some are more expansive and dynamic--is influenced by the feeling of hypnagogia. “I’m often quite lucid at night time and I feel a lot of my ideas come from those experiences, so I wanted to present an album that sounds more dreamlike than some of my previous works.”
It results in ten tracks of atmospheric techno that ranges from deeply comforting to turbulent and edgy. There are moments of beautiful ambient reflection on tracks like ‘Glowed’ and ‘Over White Peaks’, plenty of the unique sense of melody BNJMN is known for as well as hypnotic tracks that trap you in a trance. Tracks like ‘Theta Wave’ show BNJMN is always conjuring up unique patterns and beguiling textures, while ‘Hypnagogia Pt 2’ is built on the sort of drum programming that will always lock in the floor.
Though a long time has past and he has grown plenty since his last record, there is still a common thread that unites all BNJMN’s music: melody and texture are key, but the dance floor is also always in mind.”
Mesmerisingly concentrated techno minimalism from Swiss producer Laurent Peter a.k.a. Tresque
Both cuts are all about long, arcing, incremental developments, taking at least 12 minutes to properly unfurl. ‘Espere’ works sloshing triplets into a loping, heavy-lidded zombie swagger, whereas ‘Solstici’ is more about pumping, grungy bass and glacial drone movement.
Etheric R&B with a melancholy, almost gothic soul, sounding out somewhere between Ciara and Zola Jesus...
“Skin Town's unexpected return with their new album 'Country' finds the duo upping the already high bar set on their striking dark pop gem debut 'The Room' with a dauntless artistic statement that trades clever posturing for vulnerability. Yielding their prowess with more restraint, Skin Town's 'Country' hits harder and cuts deeper - doubling down on their narcotic cocktail of strong R&B hooks, spacious bewitching productions, and marked sense of melody that puts Ukrainian American vocalist Grace Hall and Iranian American multi-instrumentalist Nick Turco in a class of their own.
Many saw that potential on their debut with support from Dazed, Interview, The FADER, KCRW, as well as artists like Tinashe shouting out Skin Town. Lamenting on the duo's unmistakable chemistry, Pitchfork says, "Turco’s synthscapes are huge and scene-stealing, while Hall’s husky voice strikes a glorious medium between Abel Tesfaye and Sade." Their latest is even more potent, a particular strain of sad dance music that feels timeless and raw.
'Country' refines Skin Town's minimal framework of tethering hip-hop/R&B rhythms to Hall's smoky, precise phrasing exploring richer atmospheres and darker concerns. Written and recorded over 3 years, the album touches upon depression, loss, hedonism, poverty, rebellion, sex work, empowerment, and love's contradictions. The album's completion was sidetracked many times with Hall suffering a string of life-threatening mysterious immune system ailments, as a result there is a lot of pain and joy in this record, made with literal blood and tears.
The opener "Bad" signals at this departure from their upbeat predecessor stripping away the beats, relying on the interplay between Turco's ringing chords, the enveloping synthwork and Hall's melancholic, rhythmic intonations. "Mute" brings back the drums, couched in a slinking hip-hop beat and a creeping synth lead. Throughout the record, Turco's productions glean from an eclectic, disparate mix: melodic Amiga tracker music, Metro Boomin', New Age, The-Dream while Hall seems ever more comfortable exploring syncopation and half-rap/half-sung excursions. This is inventive, uncanny pop music where Enya, Offset, Zola Jesus, and Future inhabit the same space.”
Edinburgh’s Parsa Jamshidi drops speaker-troubling bass and nerve-tweaking electronics in a jiggy fashion for the Copenhagen-based FLUF label
’0019AA’ is a wickedly nervy piece of future funk with blown out bass and chromatic prongs that makes us once like a robot with ill-fitted limbs.
’0019AA’ is more focussed on strange reverb recursions, with what sounds like hacked up voices tumbling down a metal tube in weightless conditions.
If you’re at all bored by the state of current electronic dance music, this will refresh your ears instantly.
Peder Mannerfelt plays into the widest angles of his “power ambient” sound on ‘Daily Routine’, a killer study into the way rave music intersects domestic life...
The 10 tracks range from decade-old productions to hyper new cut-ups of his brothers' records bought in London in summer ’88, but all betray an increasing embrace of complexity and layered, asymmetric design that will keep his ever-growing mob of followers fascinated at every turn.
The preceding single track ‘Temporary Psychosis (VIP)’ is a definitive highlight, riding the finest line between deadly rave function and pranging unpredictability, while other dancefloor highlights come on strong in the pointillist rave puncture of ‘Sissel & Bass’ featuring a killer vocal by Sissel Wincent, and the rabid churn of ‘This Machine Shares Memes’.
But that would be to neglect the album’s central pschedelic nature and the way it will be used, at home, in prosaic domesticity, where the far flung and undulating topography of pieces such as the sardonic ‘Introductions & Aspiration’, the darkside creep of ‘Cigarettes (Eurofierceness Mix)’, and the exasperated rave of ‘How Was Your Day? (Numb)’ will likely induce listeners to laugh, bruk out, curl up, and climb the walls in their own personal space.
We're v into this one...
Jeez this bangs - the return of SIlent Servant with the killer, 3-pronged attack of ‘Harm In Hand’, prepping the ground for his keenly awaited 'Shadows Of Death And Desire' album with Hospital Productions due next month.
The rotten power drums and sinewy arps of ‘Harm In Hand’ features Juan on possessed mic duties, next to the gnashing swang and rasp of ‘Damage’ and it’s virulent synths - both of them edging ever closer to EBM purity with the most direct and hard hitting production we've ever heard from Juan Mendez.
Best of all is ‘Death of Decadence’ - another proper EBM stallion layered with crazed 16th note arpeggios powered by dry, pumping kicks, with all the fat trimmed off to optimized, deadly effect.
On the strength of these, bet your bottom $ the album will be f*cking class...
Gloryland is Plyxy’s steeply enigmatic and intoxicating début tape of ambient darkness for Ascetic House. Following introductions made on the digital only release Eat Your Gods [Anti/Anti, 2017], the NYC-based Russian artist stealthily unfolds his sound as one of the strongest, most focussed suites of atmospheric mood music this side of Tarkovsky scores or Drew McDowell’s modular gremlins
“Gloryland is the seminal EP from PLYXY, the ambient/noise project of NYC-based polymath Ros Knopov. A refugee from the Soviet Union, he hails from Dnepropetrovsk, the rocket-making capital of the former Communist state. Driven by a desire for improvisation, and obsessed with process, PLYXY weaves manipulated field recordings and Soviet-era film samples through an array of analog Eurorack modules and samplers, creating cinematic environments of despair and nostalgia.”
A steeply absorbing prelude to the apocalypse by Dutch pianist Reinier van Houdt, here trading in layered electronic gloom lit up by guest narration from his Current 93 bandmate, David Tibet
“Reinier van Houdt returns to Hallow Ground with an album based on the unfinished gothic tale Igitur - a collection of texts that eventually was abandoned by its author Stéphane Mallarmé in 1869. Connecting with Mallarmé's obsessions about chance and destiny, Igitur Carbon Copies is the fragmentation of all the roots that ran under its predecessor and brings these to a provisional close: guided by David Tibet's voice reading the reworked text we descend through spheres of deserted anthems, disembodied voices, morse signals, crank calls, corroded tapes, radio statics, stones, while doing counting games. Here the acoustical spaces are manifold, blended or shifted in a heartbeat, where far and near, up and down are relative, where Riemann's god is pointless and angels are enjoying their space. Here perception is a vice that constantly hallucinates realities.
Reinier van Houdt started experimenting with taperecorders, radio's and objects at a young age. Later he studied piano at the Liszt-Academy in Budapest & the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He developed a fascination for all matters that defy notation: sound, timing, space, physicality, memory, noise, environment - points beyond composition, interpretation and improvisation. He has built himself an unusual repertoire that consistently resulted from personal quests; from composing with non-musical sources, from collaborations with composers & musicians, from research in archives or from unorthodox studies of classical music. He collaborated with artists like Francisco López, Maria de Alvear, Robert Ashley, Luc Ferrari, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Curran, John Cage, Christian Marclay, Walter Marchetti, Charlemagne Palestine and joined the legendary outsider-collective Current 93 in 2012.”
Slinky, rude, and darker-edged London house pressure from Hugo Massien, following the styles of his 12”s for E-Beamz, Tectonic, XL and 17 Steps onto Blackdown’s Keysound
Equally adaptable to glam clubs and scuzzy warehouses, the vibe of Massien’s ‘ Remnants / London Underground 2014-16 EP’ swings from spare, square-bass driven deeptech swang in ‘You’re The Only’, to grimier, electroid house rolige on ‘Lowkey’ ft. Calle Lebraun, before tucking it somewhere moodier with the shadowy skulk of ‘Pleasure System’, and shaking out the natty swivel of ‘Powerhouse’ with its whirring hi-hats and nagging bleep coda.
Rhodri Davies, Dawn Bothwell and Richard Dawson’s Hen Ogledd transmogrify from psychedelic no wave time travellers into a wild, inimitable pop unit on ‘Mogic’, their 3rd album together, their debut for Weird World.
Named for a Welsh word describing the historic region between southern Scotland and northern England, the band has grown from the locus of Davies on harp (++) and Dawson on guitar (++) to incorporate Dawn Bothwell and Sally Pilkington on vocals and multiple instruments - most curiously credited with Red Witch Violetta, Pipa Del’ochio, Mooer Green Mile, Hott’s Rombah, among others, between them.
If you copped either of Hen Ogledd’s first two LPs, logic would dictate that this one was always going to be a bit mad, but hardly anyone could have predicted where they’re going with ‘Mogic’, as the band’s combined, contemporary rationale and arcane urges fulminate a persistently unpredictable sound that ties up influence from all corners - vacillating hot-stepping post punk with plaintive folksong, rubbery primordial techno and lysergic indie-pop.
Other notable inclusions clem from sax virtuoso, Mette Rasmussen on some of the album’s strangest/seductive moments, the Canterbury-esque opener ‘Love Time Feel’ and the brilliantly daft indie-pop of ‘Tiny Witch Hunter’ with Dawn Bothwell’s seemingly sung down the wrong end of a telescope, and also the subtle but pivotal percussion of Will Guthrie. But we can very simply sum this one up as far exceeding the sum of its parts.
Gotta be one of 2018’s most beguiling, trend-oblivious pop records.
The king of Gqom meets the pioneer of Flex Dance Music on a proper dancefloor bullet for Swing Ting
This one is just deadly. Those electro patterns; the punishing subs; them bolshy horns and laser stabs; it’s a stone cold essential if you ask us, or the likes of Jubilee, Tash LC and Kode 9, who’ve all given it early play.
Le Stim’s sought-after 1980 Detroit disco diamond, reissued and available to download for the 1st time
“Le Stim was a band formed by lead vocalist Donald Jennings in the late 70s. Now an ordained deacon back in Detroit, Jennings was brought up in a gospel environment and was said to be born to sing. Growing up picking up songs from the likes of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald or Sam Cooke, Jennings frequently performed for family and friends and went on to sing for audiences in New York, St. Louis and all around Detroit.
We Crown The King is a song written in the mid 70s by the late Herbert Andrei Duncan, also from Detroit. Duncan approached Jennings with the song who was initially reluctant to sing it because it took him out of his usual vocal range. However, Duncan finally (thankfully!) managed to persuade Jennings after five years to record a tune that would prove to become a party anthem decades later.
Remembering Duncan, Jennings says: “Andrei was positive..inquisitive…. and determined. I was only 18 or 19 years old at the time and remember Andrei coming over to my house…. He had a cellphone in his car!.. I remember going to Andrei’s house, and he said he wanted to do the track. Andrei did not take no for an answer! The answer had to be yes! However Andrei didn’t have any money to record the song with. So we made a deal. In exchange for the use of his P.A., Loc (the drummer) provided the seventeen musicians for Le Stim to record ‘We Crown The King’. The session itself was recorded at a studio in Southfield, Michigan.
According to Jennings, Muhammad Ali did hear the track back then and liked it! Le Stim were in touch with Ali’s management and were about to meet him on a number of occasions which unfortunately didn’t work out.
Licensing this record has proven to be our biggest research effort as of yet and has involved visiting it’s author, Duncan’s former house in Detroit only to discover it had burned down and that his family had moved years ago. It wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of Jeremy from Rain&Shine records (NZ) who then managed to track down the family back in Texas!”
An unlikely yet riveting union, Powell Tillmans present the intense feelings of ’Spoken By The Other’, their debut collaboration for XL
Fulminated over the course of the last year, ‘Spoken By The Other’ is the result of the pair meeting at Wolfgang’s Tate retrospective in 2017, and subsequently committing their nascent relationship with a key performance commissioned for Berlin’s Atonal 2017 edition. Described as a “traumatic experience” by Powell, the show patently wasn’t enough to put them off working together again, with their “messy” formative experiments now firmed up into something remarkably unexpected from either side on ‘Spoken By The Other’.
The EP finds them both at a turning point in their respective career arcs - Wolfgang Tillmans turning away from his role as a world-renowned photographer toward music; while Powell is beginning to loosen up and diversify his bonds beyond his early, innovative dance music mutations into warped tonal designs. Fair to say they both recognise this in the other, and catalyse something probing, new and emotionally penetrating in the process.
Between the breathtakingly anxious, gurned-up vulnerability of their piloerect trance nocturne, ‘Feel The Night’, and the Arca-esque vignette ‘445’, they convey a flux of physically affective and emotionally curious sensations ranging from the visceral, textural intensity of ‘Tone Me’ to the bittersweet love note ‘Doucement’ on the A-side, and over to the sustained anxiety of ‘Speak Out (Version)’, and the smeared, bleary contours of ‘Rebuilding The Future’, where their shared passion for the wonk and oddness of reality is dissected and rebuilt in their own image.
Ruff AF post-techno glitch and knotted rhythms from Japan’s Sofheso. RIYL NHK, Autechre, Richard Devine
“First Terrace Records are honoured to present a major retrospective of prolific yet unsung noise-maker Sofheso. Having been writing, performing and recording relentlessly throughout Japan for at least the last decade, the tracks that form this archival release have been selected from a huge quantity and variety of sessions, and arranged in a way that we hope serves as a fittingly monolithic (yet ultimately penetrable) introduction to Sofheso’s singular and thrilling creative vision.
The sound is the process, and the process is architectural, layering drums and short samples into a contorting mass of concrete and steel. In photography the camera lens enjoys a vast intricacy of scaffolding or the skeletal beginnings of a modern building much more than the glossy outer layer, and just so here. There is a deep satisfaction in hearing the construction, witnessing the casting of each new sculpture. Sofheso has created a sonic language entirely his own, with which he is able to articulate seemingly infinite rhythmic and textural possibilities.”
Sote and Opal Tape present an astonishing abundance of electronic music by Iranian Sound Artists. Lovers of “unusual” (read: non-Western convention) rhythms, meters, scales and timbres will be in their element with the sheer volume and variegated quality of material inside - from Parsa’s abstract techno to blinding scapes by Leila, and a visionary astral projection by Pouya Pour-Amin. Dive in head first
“Wondering if, while untying a knot in a long rope, slowly untangling the rope from its own grip, the exact point where the knot ends and the rope begins can ever be determined, observing that the rope itself is a series of tangled strings that are a handful of woven cords of entwined strands of braided fibre of woven matter.
The same goes with the outward spiral of interlacing a series of "Girih" and putting together different pieces until eventually a pattern emerges. A pattern to which, one could keep on adding particles and details until it eventually becomes a complex, indecomposable system, a multi-layered design that has infinite detail yet is still a form that resembles the whole.
Experimental electronic musicians from Iran have marked their prints on the face of the universal experimental music scene for some time now, though the manner in which their status went from "non-existent" to "present" and from "silent" to "noisy" might somehow seem "unpredictable" to the naked eye. The way these small individual girihs have become conjoint in order to make a larger design, might at some point seem arbitrary and even accidental. Nevertheless, by following the patterns in which the branches of a river are spreading and by trailing all its curves and bends, we find a sense of order in chaos.
Now reaching the point where the scene transitions from symmetry to asymmetry -not only in relation with the outside world but also within itself- I wonder if we have been lucky enough to have reached our "Lyapunov Time". After all, isn't this transitional state of a chaotic system -this cryptic blend of order and disorder- the most productive path towards equilibrium?
This compilation is trying to transform the chapter from "individual" to "crowd", at the same time, still maintaining "independence". This inevitable spread of fractures, better not be tamed but explored, as us, musicians, are all exploring and experimenting while trying to keep our unique identities originated from our homeland, our experiences, our struggles and our principles.
In embracing the rain of "chaos" lies a power and a thrill no shelter of an umbrella can provide. However, somehow having a roof over one's head, under which, all can breathe the same air while still retaining all of their clashing ideas and their frictions, helps catalyse the emergence of -the so-crucial- "diversity" and in that sense, numerous more fruitful, well-tiled pathways towards experimentation and productivity; As extensive as geometry itself, as infinite as "fractals".
Sara Bigdeli Shamloo (SarrSew) June 2018.”
Serious grey area D&B pressure from db1, Forest Drive West, Entire and Nekiya on Ruffhouse’s killer label, UVB-76
Entire takes pole position with the lumbering yet deft halfstep rolige and sonorous sound design of ‘Two Spirits’ alongside the isolationist dancehall inception of ‘Dream Within A Dream’ by another newcomer, Nekyia.
Passing over to slightly more experienced hands, Forest Drive West insightfully toys with D&B schematics in the billowing negative space and pinched percussion of ‘Inverse’, beside the dread cold steppers drill of ‘Duppy Pulse’ by DB1.
Sully’s golden streak continues unabated with two flash forward steppers for Rupture LDN
Rolling off the back of zingers for Uncertain Hour and Foxy Jangle and a remix of 2 Bad Mice, he synchs piquant arps with slow/fast footwork/halfstep patterns, virulent mentasms and achingly well-timed shockout breakbeat in the lethal ‘Dream Sequence’, whereas ‘Epoch’ commits to a proper ’96 techstep style with lip-bitingly strong vibes practically as good as anything from that original era, if not better - sacrilege to say, we know, but seriously this is breathtaking stuff!
Príncipe knock us sideways once again with a debut EP showcase of Batida and Tarraxo by RS Produções’ DJ Narciso & Nuno Beats; a set of piquant, wavey club zingers from Lisbon’s hottest yung squad following acclaimed 2018 releases by P. Adrix, DJ Lilocox, and Niagara.
RS Produções are the next, thrilling young unit to emerge from Lisbon’s fertile club scene via Príncipe. Produced by core members DJ Narciso and Nuno Beats, ‘Bagdad Style’ supplies a crisply rugged, bittersweet taste of the crew’s hyperlocal sound, spanning electro-compatible Batida bangers alongside wonky, slower semi-tarraxos and deep, wavey house mutations. If you were snagged by Príncipe’s P. Adrix, DJ Lilocox and Niagara releases already in 2018, we guarantee this one’s unmissable.
Formed in 2014 as a close group of pals from Rinchoa, Rio de Mouro, on the edges of Lisbon, RS Produções grew wings when, in 2016, a then 17 year old Narciso knuckled down and relaunched RS as a proper crew with DJs, producers and an MC in the same model as pivotal Lisbon posse, Piquenos DJs Do Guetto. The crew have since become regular fixtures at Príncipe’s famous monthly residency in Lisbon’s Musicbox club, and their debut showcase is certain to send them spinning around the globe.
The EP is fronted by two unmissable Batida heaters from DJ Narciso in the bare bones electro percussion of ‘Caipirinha’ and the kinked metallic cargaa of ‘Constipacao do Poco’, before the slinky interplay of dissonant organ riffs and flighty pipes in ‘Guerreiro’ highlights a wicked taste for sour, battery-tang lixx that comes to inform the rest of the EP, courtesy of Nuno Beats’ slower tarraxo styles in ‘Lingrinhas’ and the super wavey spesh, ‘Futuro’, while Nuno & Narciso come together with ruder, uptempo torque in the hypnotic electro-house swang of ‘Aberturu’ and the sensuous deep Kuduro contours of ‘Hino RS’, which should leave listeners in no doubt as to the duo’s breadth and quality of club music.
Sizzling, psychedelic soul blinder from 1984, highly coveted for its deeply unusual soundsphere and use of drum machines and lysergic synths. One of the maddest experimental funk reissues since Starship Commander Woowoo? Ayeeee! 2nd hand copies trade for astronomic asking prices… if yr into the weirdest corners of Prince's vault - this ones a doozy.
“Synth chutes, synth ladders, popcorn 808 beats, dirge-y chants and busted sub-woofer hums from inner-galactic soul pioneers Nathaniel Woolridge and Anthony Freeman intertwine to create this hypnotic, mythical 1984 LP from Newark, New Jersey. The most damaged party record ever set to black, or the most partied cry of the heart ever howled into personal space. Probably both.”
Tunisia’s Deena Abdelwahed inhabits a fascinating space between tradition and technology, history and futurism in her strikingly moody debut solo album ‘Khonnar’, following from production credits on Fever Ray’s ’Plunge’ and use of her tracks in mixes by M.E.S.H. and Paula Temple. Subbass fiends need to check the final track ‘Rabbouni’, while fans of Jasss and Muslimgauze will gets strong kicks throughout...
“Deena Abdelwahed’s first album is shifting the epicenter of contemporary electronic music south. Pronounced “Ronnar“ (an essential detail so as to avoid facile misinterpretation by French- speakers) it is a term that makes the most of Tunisia’s cultural and linguistic spectrum. It evokes the dark, shameful and disturbing side of things, the one we usually seek to hide, but which Deena instead sticks our noses in with her debut. It is a testament to Deena’s coming into her own as a world citizen, and as an artist. A self-construction made of frustrations and constraints, borne of retrograde mindsets, which are not the prerogative of either the East or the West, and which she tirelessly strives to expose and break.
Throughout the 45 minutes of “Khonnar“, Deena breaks down the codes of bass, techno and experimental music, and writes the manifesto for a generation that does not seek to please or to conform, taking back control of its identity – with all the attendant losses and chaos. A new creative world order is taking shape, a new tilting point between north and south, the response of a connected and liberated youth who takes the control of the new decolonization.”
Minimal techno master Rob Hood takes the DJ-Kicks driving seat for a deft but pounding session including no less than 4 exclusive new Hood productions.
Over 72 minutes the original UR member and seminal Detroit hero sequences 22 tracks of driving dance music, Motor City style, rolling steady on the gas thru cuts from both sides of the pond, but perhaps tipping more towards European productions inspired by 313 foundations.
Robert Hood’s exclusive tracks are well worth a gander, from the hypnotic organ rider ‘Greytype I’ to the peak-time play of ‘Bond Solid’ and the trancing, acidic burn of ‘Machine Form’, and it’s also worth peeping the 16th note fangs on Ben Long & Tom Hades’ ‘The Knight Rider’, and the super fucking arid rasp of Matrixxman’s ‘Protocol (Saturation Edit)’.
But, if you really want to hear Hood in proper context, the mix lives up to the exacting standard we’ve all come to expect from a Hood mix - immaculate transitions, timing and groove control from one of the best to ever do it.
Kalita Records deliver the first ever and official reissue of Kallaloo's sought-after 1982 disco single 'Star Child', accompanied by interview-based liner notes.
"Originally released on Jeffrey Turpin's Trinidadian record label IDA, 'Star Child' has since become highly sought-after by both DJs and collectors alike as an invisible, yet astonishing piece of Caribbean disco. Unable at the time to gain the traction and success that it deserved, we hope that this re-release provides an opportunity to bring such a great record to a much wider audience.
Kallaloo consisted of various Trinidadian musicians including Keith Alexander and Peter Wayne Barkley. Keith had been well-respected as a member of the Trinidadian group Impact, and was later to become an in-demand producer and composer under the name of Keith Diamond, responsible for various hits by Billy Ocean, Donna Summer, Starpoint and Melba Moore. In contrast, Peter was a well-known recording session drummer, but after 'Star Child's' release he moved to North Carolina to pursue other interests and “was never heard from again”.
'Star Child' was recorded at Right Track Recording, in mid-town Manhattan, New York. As Jeffrey recalls, the atmosphere in the studio was “great”, with “everyone upbeat, the cream of the crop just looking for that break... everyone was talented and just wanted the chance to express their own ideas”. Five hundred copies of the record were released on IDA with a white label design, and they were sold both in Brooklyn, New York and Port of Spain, Trinidad. It was also released on a red label, however this was not to Jeffrey's knowledge at the time.
Jeffrey explains that the reason why the record didn't fare well at the time was because of the difficulty in getting the song played on the radio. As he recalls, radio stations were much more likely to play 'radio versions' of songs which lasted for a couple of minutes, rather than five or seven minute 'extended' versions such as 'Star Child', which were more suitable to a club environment. In addition, as Jeffrey explains, radio airplay is a “political business”, and also within a short while band members such as Keith got their own breaks, and the Kallaloo era was over as quickly as it had started."
Highly promising newcomer Nazar gets down to bassbin business on Hyperdub after introductions made on Kode 9 & Burial’s ‘Fabriclive 100’ mix.
From phthalocyanine grime to blown out techno and distorted drill, the ‘Enclave EP’ is one of the freshest/crankiest sessions you’ll hear from London in 2018. It’s unmistakably Hyperdub, repping fractious madness that’s compatible with Gqom, Príncipe styles and loads of deconstructed club musics, yet patently distinguished as UK rave.
Opening with the virulent weightless synths and cold bass knocks of ‘South Border’, the EP delivers a deadly payload of non-standard club pressure with the mutant Gqom of ‘Warning Shots’, and a severely blunted sort of Burial-does-drill sound in ‘Airstrike’ featuring Hyperdub’s secret weapon Shannen SP on vocals, along with the swerving murder of ‘Enclave’ on a killer Angel Ho-styled sci-fi flex, plus the Dutch Bubblers’ troubles of ‘Konvoy’ and a very smart cinematic closer with ‘Ceasefire’.
This may well be the strongest Hyperdub debut since Burial’s seminal ‘South London Boroughs’, or at least since Doon Kanda’s first entry. A must check!