Swedish producer Toxe's sharp ascent through club-cursed climes has elicited the highest praise from the start. In just a few years she has linked up with Staycore and Halcyon Veil, presented an A/V project with The Vinyl Factory, and scored KENZO's FW 2016 prints presentation with close collaborator Mechatok. Her new EP 'Blinks' is a fractal bloom of candied melodies and minor laments set in a sweep of frenetic rhythmic scenes.
On Blinks she puts that experience to good use in a bright and playful collection of phthalocyanine hooks and frenetic rhythms, sashaying from what sounds like an airborne Plaid in Honey Island thru to the slippery lead and big beats of Big Age, and over into what sounds like a late ‘90s AFX on Perfect 2, or some LP5-era Æ inspiration on Blue Warm Up.
The second instalment from Basic Channel's offshoot, Basic Replay, a reissue label convened to showcase prime influences and lesser known inspirations, the men from Berlin have selected and remastered a truly shocking follow up to Keith Hudson's 'Playing It Cool..' album reissued last year.
'Call me rambo' was originally recorded in 1986 and released on the Heavyweight label, an imprint formed by the Heavyweight soundsystem, based in the Wood Green and Tottenham areas of north London. Featuring Chester Roots at the controls and his nephew Ackie at the microphone, this is raw and dangerous english dancehall. Hailing from that blissful period in the middle eighties, when clubs could play Marley Marl next to Super Cat, or Half Pint next to early Trax records, 'Call Me Rambo' opens with a bang, racked with strafing machine gun fire and the helicopter sounds free with a Commodore 64, natty dread a go scientific an' ballistic.
Stylistically speaking, Ackie's voice is reminiscent of the great Barrington Levy, and the simply enormous, rampant rhythm sends shockwaves through any musical system - all b-boys and hardcore addicts would do well to sweep a copy of this and ask questions later. Flip the script, and Chesse retains Ackie's winning 'Don't push me' refrain, and much of the sonic elements but works the board hard, 'Rambo Gun Salute' as a part two is simply perfection, dubwise and anywise. 'Rambo Salute' takes the dub even further out, as Ackie drifts further into the mix, and Chester works it on out in true ragamuffin style. "Ramming dancehall is the priority", so the man say. This has shattered the office record for rewinds this week and is utterly essential for ALL self-respecting music fans.
A Croatian masterpiece originally released in 1977
"Rich textural pieces constructed from an unnotatable, intricate interplay of percussive squeals, scrapes and rattles, parched and pitchless woodwinds, and dislocated keyboards On the evidence here, Acezantez founded by the versatile Croatian composer and instrumentalist Dubravko Detoni merit wider recognition. Contemporary . Here are supposedly stylistic affinities between early Nurse With Wound and Detoni's music.
This Detoni (born February 22, 1937) release was the first since his LP on the Phillips Prospective series, which in the '70s was the most credible house for innovative compositional names such as Xenakis and Pierre Henry, who opened the doors to such avant-garde musical invention. Where atonality is to the fore in much avant-garde music, Deoni's sense of abrasion is met with bouts of melodic intervention. Elsewhere, heavy industrial sounds are used as percussive texture; mixed with forceful electronics and dramatic instrumental passages, they create a complex and textured series of compositions."
Thurston Moore (guitar) and Tom Surgal (drums) rinse out a heady tangle of shreds and splayed rhythms. Originally released by Bruce Russell’s Corpus Hermeticum in 1995, now edited by Bruce and reissued on vinyl for first time by London’s Glass Modern
“In 1990 I heard Thurston in a trio with Sauter and Dietrich of Borbetomagus on Forced Exposure’s Barefoot In The Head album. two free men meeting a slave, as Byron put it. I had studied The Wasteland in high school, and understood the literary allusion immediately. Then he did the solo single on Table Of The Elements in 1993. I heard the B-side - Earth/Amp (once again, the mystique of the B-side, it fucking rules) - and wrote him immediately proposing an album. ‘Make it just like Earth/Amp’ I think I said. Luckily he paid me no mind and delivered this monolithic slab of ‘Righteous Boo’. It had all the burning snake riffology I wanted, plus the Promethean poly-rhythms of the last of the original hipsters, Tom Surgal. Talk about Le Tombeau De Rudolph Grey… - Monsieur Mallarme. As we say in the record business: calm block, obscure disaster. And, as they say in the history business, the rest is… gravy.
- Bruce Russell, Lyttelton, NZ July 2018”
Raw, trippy house excursions from Montreal’s DJ Spence and Sentena a.k.a. SnP 500
Built for long sessions, SnP 500 test out three mutant patterns and vibes between the off-centre, subaquatic wriggle of ‘Eart’ and the skudgy glam swagger of ‘Rock Song’ on the A-side, before projecting into languid dream house space with the 12 minute extension of ’44’ that rolls out a super lush lather on the B-side.
E-Unity rides oblique, fresh electro/bass vectors on a smart debut for London/Bristol’s Oscilla Sound.
Perihelion works on a weightless electro flex with bubbling 808s anchoring a glittering lightshow of diffracted, hyaline tones and laser beam lixx. Morty is more emo, thanks to its creamy swirl of harmonised pads, but still with kinda dancehall/dembow grit in the pants, and A Wormhole In The 4th Wall percolates those vibes with more delirious pressure recalling cuts from the killer DJ Python album.
Smartly contrasting cuts of deep, psychedelic disco-house and brooding electro abstraction from this Amsterdam-affiliated artist and label
Still playing the incognito game as it should be done, this white label series 4th 12” keeps the levels high with the effortless, 113bpm disco swagger and pumping bass recoil of the A-side, whereas the flip gets well weird on a slanted and enchanted sort of darkroom electro sleaze, all stalking basslines, hallucinatory string sweeps and over-the-shoulder vocals that could really work a room at the right point of the night/morning.
A total must-have for sound-oriented cinephiles! This is the first ever pressing of David Shire’s OST for ‘The Conversation’, a Francis Ford Coppola classic about a wire-tapper in 1970’s NYC, brilliantly played by Gene Hackman, and featuring sound design by the living legend Walter Murch. Trust Jonny Trunk to execute the job with typically covetable results.
Like Jonny Trunk, we distinctly remember seeing this flick for the first time in the ‘90s (probably late on a schoolnight on Channel 4 in my case) and becoming utterly sucked into the film’s innovative shots and sound design, which uniquely told the story of a wire-tapper, brusquely portrayed as a Mac-wearing and neurotic loner by Gene Hackman, who memorably unravels when, on his latest job, he uncovers a murder.
Even to our naif ‘90s ears, the by-then-vintage movie soundtrack and its subtly innovative sound design felt uncannily sparse and refreshing, especially for a major studio production, and it’s not hard to understand how it’s been referenced as a genre classic countless times since then. With hindsight, we can hear how it dovetails very neatly with the minimalist and avant-garde movements of the ‘70s, arguably in the process becoming a sterling example of the way avant-garde and mainstream ideas fluidly informed each other in that decade.
The music is mostly played on piano by David Shire, who was enlisted for his first ever soundtrack job by his brother-in-law, Francis Ford Coppola. The main theme is a sort of slow ragtime jazz piece which filters thru the whole soundtrack, returning in increasingly tense and prangingly dissonant avant-garde situations that mirror the narrative’s flow of intrigue and tension. It’s not until the 5th track, ‘To The Office/The Elevator’ when this element arrives in the soundtrack, and it only really happens again in a small handful of other instances, but the contrast is so stealthy and subtle that it gets us every time, and works beautifully in balance with the airy, pensive, isolated economy of David Shire’s other pieces in the soundtrack.
Liars return with a 17-track sequel to 2017’s acclaimed album, ‘TFCF’.
"‘Titles With The Word Fountain’ was recorded during the same sessions as ‘TFCF’ but this isn’t a collection of leftover material or outtakes. Angus explains: “To me it’s more like a sequel. I chose the songs that appear on ‘TFCF’ based on how well they addressed the trauma of a failed creative relationship, whereas the material on ‘Titles With The Word Fountain’ is more playful despite revolving around the same sentiments.”
Portugal/London’s Padre Himalaya turns out an ace, multiplexed EP of pop edits, hip hop breaks, and ghetto house from Silvestre
Making his 2nd run on Padre Himalaya after a pair of 12”s with Tokyo’s Diskotopia, Silvestre diversifies his bonds in unexpected ways, swaggering from sawn-off hip hop to a rude and woozy early ‘90s breakbeat edit of t.A.T.u, and breezy Skam-style hip hop on the A-side, before switching up to a banging, rugged ghetto house swang and sped-up, NYC-style ‘90s reggaeton-hip hop for good measure.
Slugabed ropes in Sega Bodega, Kai Whiston, and Iglooghost for the colourful follow-up to his 2017 debut album
Still playing up to the role of IDM/bass jester in ‘Pandæmonium’, Slugabed gets knowingly weird at nearly every angle. Whether its sloshing baroque ‘tronics of ‘Stalker’, balmy dembow bumps in ‘Bleach’, or the wonky hip hop of ‘Winter’, his proggy ADD sensibilities are fully in effect.
However, the additional personnel help quell those tics, with Sega Bodega lending a cooler hand to the squirming brass and smudged trap beat of ‘Cool Bong’, and a rugged bite to ‘Milk’, while Kai Whiston tweaks the fuck out of ‘Winter’ with screw face rudeness, and Iglooghost renders the baroque nudges of ‘Stalker’ with a more modern sort of psychedelic and cinematic appeal.
Full flight space rock from Canada, 1980, featuring Del Dettmar of Hawkwind
“Melodic Energy Commission is a Canadian gem and an interesting branch of the Hawkwind family tree (featuring Del Delmar on electronics.) Hailing from British Columbia, their unique blend of space rock, progressive and hippie psychedelia began in 1977 as a recording-only project titled "The Melodic Energy Commission of Collected Artists."
MEC quickly released two albums: 1979's "Stranger in Mystery" & 1980's "Migration Of The Snails." The music is raw and heavily exploratory, often shifting styles radically within a single track, moving from from quiet chamber orchestras to dissonant guitar freak outs with smears of analog electronics filling in gaps along the way.
RIYL: Amon Düüll II, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Sun City Girls and Syd Barret.”
China’s Shao follows a 12” and opening credit on the ‘Dreamy Harbour’ compilation for Tresor with ‘Doppler Shift’, 6 tracks of greyscale techno and Alva Noto-esque minimalism taken from the 9-track digital release.
Picking up where his ‘Sensi (Edit)’ left us in the ‘Dreamy Harbour’, Shao heads in pursuit of a immersively textured and effortlessly rolling structures across ‘Doppler Shift’, keening from the vapourised metallic tang and shadowy bass strokes of the intro cut and into the clipped swagger of ‘Reflection Pt.1’, which recalls Carsten Nicolai & Olaf Bender’s Diamond Version gear, and then dissolving into the filigree moire of keys and swivelling bass on ‘Bubble’.
The tougher ‘Bubble (Version)’ follows fathoms deeper, l;eating to the steeply vaulted, hallucinatory sound design of ‘Atmospheric Refraction In The Desert’, which sounds something like Dylan Carlson meets Donato Dozzy, and the sublime ambience of ‘Winter 2012’ recalls Shinichi Atobe at his sylvan, ghostly best.
Introducing In Mirrors From Vancouver, B.C. Their Debut LP "Escape From Berlin" was recorded in deep isolation on location at Nite Prison in Vancouver. Produced & mixed by Johnny Jewel, the album plays as a dizzying massive singular collage.
"Acutely focused on texture & the negative space between moments, composer & poet Jesse Taylor is the core member in a revolving cast of collaborators. For this LP, his partners in crime are Suzanne, Hiromi Inada (Japan), & Andrew Grosvenor on clarinet. As enigmatic & fleeting as reflections in a hall of mirrors, these themes are fractured & textural. Taylor ambitiously asks us to look beyond the mirror...through to the other side where we imagine Phillip Glass playing chess with William Burroughs while Klaus Schulze slaves over a droning synthesizer in the corner. Sonically, we hear vapor trails from Coltrane, Carpenter, & Amon Duul.
This debut is a glance at one of the most varied artists on Italians Do It Better's roster. Johnny & Jesse have been collaborating behind the scenes since 2003. Distilled in a process strengthened by time from Portland to Montreal...Los Angeles to B.C. In Mirrors blurs the imaginary lines between genres opening with a sultry Stevie Nicks cover & closing with 14 minutes of expansive aural fusion. Perhaps Taylor's good friend, Joey Casio said it best..."Change the channel, this one is the mirror”.”
Cold blue wavey melancholy from Vanderschrick, a new earthling discovered by celebrated reissue specialists, STROOM 〰
On the A-side ‘Ochtendgrijs’ gazes into middle distance with unaffected vocals and a plaintive, minimalist backdrop of wide bass and shivering chime trees that beckon listeners to rest and reflect in its Antwerp attic air.
By contrast, the B-side may well provide the urge to dance, striking the finest balance of sexy slunkiness and introverted pop coyness that’s really pushing our buttons right now.
Very welcome reissue of Juju & Jordash’s debut EP, originally dispensed by Reggie Dokes’ Psychostasia Recordings in 2004
Dovetailing with the label’s early vibes, Amsterdam’s J&J unfurl an eternally charming and admirable spin on Detroit beatdown at its jazziest and loosest, nudged with unmistakeable nods to Dokes, Theo Parrish and KDJ, but with a certain Israeli/Amsterdam suss of their own.
Finding its feet in the deep space jazz strokes, alien synth voices and wickedly stumbling groove of ‘Hush’ starring live sax by Chris Corstens, the J&J magick flows into the properly rude KDJ-style twyst of ‘Husheesh (Acid Dub Mix)’ on the A-side, before Reggie Dokes and Ferrispark’s Scott Ferguson smooth out the kinks as Koomba Project with an effortlessly deep remix on the B-side.
Johnny Jewel reunites with Farah for the first time since their golden ’Gay Boy’ and ‘Dancing Girls’ classixxx
Farah delivers her best Cali drawl on the gently dub-fluffed disco groove ‘The Only Ones’, and with a far more sultry, latinate tug against the lilting congas and tight bass lixx of ‘Baby Girl’, while the B-side provides a very necessary instrumental mix of the ohrwurming ‘Dancing Girls’ from the pivotal ‘After Dark’ compilation, as well as the uncredited appearance of her weightless ace, ‘Shadow Of A Doubt’ tucked away at the end.
Johnny Jewel’s original vehicle, Chromatics, remind us their ineffable elan on ‘Lady’
The melancholy thizz of ‘Lady’ heads up the EP with Ruth Radeltt’s vocals skimming over needling arps and plush, strolling disco bass, also appearing as an instrumental and a dramatically stripped back and opened out ‘Lady (On Film)’ version.
‘Looking For Love’ rounds off the package with a gilded slow motion disco ace included as a shorter instrumental and a super classy 15 minute ‘Disco Version’ proper.
Pivotal, peerless DJ/selector and Minimal Wave overse’er Veronica Vasicka serves her solo debut on Downwards in ‘From Here’, a dank industrial-pop workout recorded in 2004 and now issued for the first time, backed with sick remixes by Regis, Paul Kendall (Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb) and Robert Hampson (Loop, Main) in his lesser-spotted Chasm alias.
Penned on analog synth and 4-track tape recorder in 2004, one year before Veronica established the Minimal Wave label, the ripped metal textures and spectral vox of ‘From Here’ forms a rare snapshot of her daily, diaristic working practice, putting sounds to tape as a personal form of expression that was never intended to be heard by other ears. Lucky for us then, that Downwards’ Karl O’Connor (Regis) has coaxed this dark, anxious beauty out for release, and teamed it with some very special remixes.
‘From Here’ renders Veronica in the dark, naturally working against the grain of 2004’s underground dance music trends to pursue her passion for classic and obscure strains of dance music, from New Wave to Italo and early house - all the kind that would turn up on her regular show for East Village Radio; the Manhattan, NYC station she co-founded in 2003. With hindsight, we hear Veronica as a displaced soul doing her thing in a way that would become inarguably more widespread over the coming decade and more, which was in no small part due to her focussed efforts working behind the scenes, overlapping and fomenting a nexus of musics that shared more in common than was usually acknowledged at that time.
Now appearing in 2018, ‘From Here’ perhaps finally feels at home in the skin of a scene obsessed with ghosts in the machine. And the remixes only emphasise the material’s timeless, out-of-joint nature: from a slickly arpeggiated Regis version which sounds like it could have been made any time between 1981 to 2018; thru to a pummelled and serrated industrial remix from Paul Kendall, who has previously worked on classics by Depeche Mode and Nitzer Ebb; to a killer and maybe surprising highlight from Robert Hampson as Chasm, stoking it with gnashing drum machines and keening dub FX for a sort of industrial-dub-dance-pop sidewinding outta time and place.
Burning disco/edit belters from DJ Qu, going deep into his Latino and New Jersey roots for the good of the dance
The EP is fronted by a straight-up essential heater in the raw, filtered disco loopers ‘May I Say’, and the mesmerising reversed groove of ‘Things Get Ordinary’ that will have dancers tying themselves in knots. On the back he lets fly with the masterful tribal polyrhythms and gaspin’ punctuation of ’Picazón’, and the lip-smacking deep trance workout, ‘Circumvent’.
Goshen Electric Co. happened both all at once and gradually: an electrifying culmination of Tim Showalter’s nearly two decades long love affair with Jason Molina’s craft and just one half-day in the recording studio with the members of Magnolia Electric Co..
"Better known as Strand Of Oaks, Showalter’s turn at the helm of Magnolia Electric Co. (Mike Benner, Jason Evans Groth, Mikey Kapinus, Mark Rice, Peter Schreiner) comes ahead of the Goshen, In. native’s Memorial Electric Co. European tour.
The resulting 7”. shows a sweeping range: ‘The Gray Tower’, a 2002 single and ‘Ring The Bell’, which appeared on both Songs: Ohia’s ‘Didn’t It Rain’ (2002) and Magnolia Electric Co.’s ‘Trials & Errors’ (2005). Ring The Bell’, recorded in one take, roars in with a twinge of psychedelia, thrumming with vibe; Showalter’s wail recalls Molina’s sombre, choir-boy croon but roughened with sandpaper."
Pev touches up an old classic along with a vintage archive find for his pivotal label, Punch Drunk
Sliced from the front of his debut album ‘Jarvik Mindstate’ , the lead cut ‘Bluez’ has been remastered for optimal infection with grunting subs and razor-sharp 2-step hi-hats swirled in ruffneck UK dub styles.
‘Und_92’ hearkens from the same era but has never been dished up until now. It’s a killer piece of stick ’n move 2-step science built around the sparest elements, and saving a heart-rending Detroit-style synth coda for when it matters.
UK techno legend Steve Bicknell knocks em out as The Evader for a 2nd session of ‘Awakening The Past’
Leaving his hats at home, the Lost institute founder pounds out four stripped down bass drum + synth tools on the front under the title ‘No Hats Required’, before spending his energies in two powerful truckers on the back, namely the grungy, achromatic tones and roiling momentum of ‘Power of Balance’ and the slinkier bleep techno scudder ’Shifting Illusion’ on an Ø or Colundi style tip.
Modus takes strong cues from Detroit on the 2nd platter from Outer Zone - a new label attached to famed Glasgow venue, La Cheetah
Nodding to classic UR, DJ Bone, Rolando, the EP kicks off with the infectious chromatic arps and haunting pads of ‘Fait Accompli’ at a 13-bpm+ velocity that carries thru the EP, into the Rob Hood-style organ vamps and lashed hi-hats of ‘People’s Perspectives’, the heavy-slugging rudeness of ‘Dreaming’, and the whirring quantum mechanics of ‘This Connects To That’.
The Death of The Machines series arrives at its first compilation, featuring heavy hitting EBM and industrial zingers by four new artists: Exterminador, Craow, R. Gamble, and Plastic Ivy
Classically schooled in the dark art of war dance, each operator pulls out something hard and nasty, ranging from the supremely taut, Silent Servant-esque traction of ‘Mohammad Bin Salman (Tegeler Mix)’ by Exterminador, to the gnashing drum machines and palpitating EBM pulse of Craow’s ‘Lot’ on the front, and over to the virulent synth-pop lead and muscular thrum of R Gamble’s ‘Dead Advice (Club Mix)’ and the hot-stepping quicksilver of ‘Exit Strategy’ by Plastic Ivy.
Keith Hudson, the dub dentist, was a one-off innovator with impeccable, classical lineage: his first studio recording involved former Skatalites; his earliest releases provided solid-gold hits for Ken Boothe's "Old Fashioned Way" as far back as John Holt, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy and the rest.
Like "Lloyd" Bullwackies Barnes, his collaborator here - his split from this tradition is dynamic and all his own: Hudson's mature music finds its optimum conditions away from Jamaica, in London and New York studios and for less didactic transatlantic audiences, while his dark experimentalism becomes increasingly better suited to the the LP and extended 12" than the cardinal 7" reggae format.
Original dark disco mixes from the middle>> latter seventies, drenched in the essences of deepest afro-american-jamaican funk jams. "Playing It Cool & Playing It Right" was released in 1981 on Hudson's own, american based Joint International label. It was originally intended that one of Hudson's teenage sons would voice the dubs: in the event the Love Joys, Wayne Jarrett, and inimitably Hudson himself featured at the microphone.
Like Wackies, Hudson was a Studio One devotee "I used to hold Don Drummond's trombone for him so I can be in the studio", he once recalled ˆ and the album follows Coxsone's recent strategy of overdubbing signature rhythms. While the Studio One sides were aimed at the dancefloor; Hudson's reworks of alltime classic tracks like "Melody Maker", all darkside funkadelic guitars and brooding feeling, are more psychological. Deep Barrett Brothers rhythms are remixed like you've never heard, deeper still with reverb, filters and other distortion, pitched down, everything; and overlaid with new recordings, often heavily treated, of wahwahed guitars, percussion, keyboard, voice. "Playing It Cool.." is legendary, strange, utterly compelling music.
Deathprod, Lotic, Rezzett and Total Freedom reframe Bendik Giske’s very Colin Stetson-esque use of the saxophone+vocals on ‘Adjust’
Yes you read that right - for the first time in over a decade, Deathprod lends his remix magick to this set in completely inimitable style, serrating Giske’s melodic breath control from source and turning it into a 6 minute cyclone of streaking white noise better compared with the sound of a motorway underpass or airport runway than anything remotely human-made, that is until it calves away into a sludge metal coda in the final third. Trust it’s heavily satisfying.
The other remixers step up to the mark in their own style, from Total Freedom’s lush lather, to the fractious schismatics of Lotic’s, and the sidewinding psychedelic techno keen of Rezzett.
‘Baroque Steps’ is a quiet, poetically impressionistic study on the transition from winter to spring and beyond, all painted in shimmering watercolour washes and oily slydes by Andrew Chalk (Elodie, Organum, Mirror)
Describing a passage from bright, hazy, layered harmonies, and a subsequent descent into more mulched and curdled tones, Chalk’s seamless arrangements induce increasingly hypnotic states and, in a way, could be taken as a allegory for his own, near geologic, 30 year progression from harsh grained noise to these kind of utterly sublime instrumental and electro-acoustic refinements.
“Sun-lit leaves. It is a clear blue message of hope, as it rings out on a cold winter's day. As the spring progresses, it becomes a cascade that overflows with bubbling sound, and ends with a challenge"
Joy O approaches 10 years in the game with a diversified EP smartly marking the distance travelled from his acclaimed debut ‘Hyph Mngo’ back in 2009.
Spanning shadowy UK electro-bass, weightless trance, and deep blue house styles, the ‘81b EP’ follows Joy O’s collaboration with sax player Ben Vince for Hessle Audio to render a definitively mature self-portrait of his sound in 2018.
On the A-side he tees off with the slunky lust of ‘Seed’ on a sci-fi electro tip, mixing gynoid vocals with shifty UK-style subs into killer 2nd half Reese drop, whereas ‘Coyp’ is more stripped down to ghostly rolige, and ‘Tennov6teen’ locks into a roil of entrancing arps.
The B-side is much warmer, fleshly, stretching out with the offset, Kassem Mosse-alike bubble ’n squeak of ‘Belly’, before ‘Sin Palta’, a highlight of his Dekmantel mix, appears in a more dubbed out mix, and ‘81b’ curls up at the end on a slouchy after-party bent.
A reissue of the 2nd full length from Carolyn Fok / CYRNAI, an Asian-American female solo artist from the Bay Area.
"Carolyn’s adventures in sound began with recording stories on a tape recorder at age 9 in 1976. A short time later, exploring the scattering of musical instruments and effects units her father left lying around the family home. She became especially fascinated by his TEAC reel-to-reel recorder that set off a lifelong fascination with sound design. By the age of 16 Carolyn had become inspired by industrial electronic act Cabaret Voltaire, as well as anarcho-punks Crass. Creating the stage name CYRNAI, a rearranging alphabet of Carolyn Fok, she played in several Bay Area bands including Treason, A State Of Mind, Trial and Rhythm & Noise between 1983 and 1991.
In 1986 Carolyn moved into her family’s building in downtown San Francisco providing a space to develop her own art and music for the next two decades. She was the only tenant of the five story building. The top floor had 36 abandoned rooms with building materials and holes between floors, staircases that created natural reverb. It was during this isolated time that Carolyn would start working on her second release, ‘Parts of The Insomnic Wheel,’ 60-minutes of ten untitled pieces that ran into each other. This was also the first release on cassette due time constraints of the LP. She spent many nights at the 24-hour diner across the street chatting metaphysics, parallel universes, the 5th dimension and astro-projections. Carolyn would sleep next to paper/pencil and report dream states, experimenting with mental techniques, investigating how far her mind could go.
It was a journey to unravel the ‘dark night of the soul’. Utilizing her industrial surroundings, Carolyn would bang on sheet metal and record percussion on found materials."
Jibber-jawed techno and raving deja entendu from France’s E-Talking and southern English artist Laksa on the 4th in Whities’ Blue series
E-Talking, a new moniker for one half of french pair Nummer, rolls out the decayed, snappy drums and bruxist throat singing styles of ‘Telephone Rose’, while Laksa offers a strobing, rolling flashback to raves gone-by in ‘It Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before’.
Elodie’s sublime second album presented on vinyl for the first time. Originally issued on CD in 2011 ‘La Lumiere Parfumee’ finds Andrew Chalk and Timo Van Luijk’s duo hovering into the languid, spectral forms that have charmed us ever since.
Impossibly delicate and floaty, ‘La Lumiere Parfumee’ is a like a slow motion, weightless ballet written for keys, strings, synth and brushed drums, where Chalk and Van Luijk seemingly keep their instrument’s feet from ever touching the floor. Thanks to expertly refined recording and post-production techniques, the soundfield is intimate yet psychedelically expansive, with ineffably dreamy results cradling listeners in a mid-air sound quite unlike any other in circulation right now.
When this album originally arrived it wasn’t really on our radar. At that time there was a groundswell of wishy washy neo-classical/modern ambient music that possibly occluded Elodie from our view - perhaps a case of can’t see the wood for the trees. But ever since encountering them live and then circa ‘Porte Ouverte’ , it’s become clear to us, at least, that Elodie are in possession of that rarest quality; an effortless, subliminal ability to intoxicate and draw us whole into their unique sound world.
With tremulous keys, powdered percussion, and murmuring wind instruments marbled with synth gasses, they create immaculate snapshots of crepuscular, pastoral scenes as immersive and purposefully descriptive as Japanese Gagaku soundtracks, but also every bit as humble as the most charming Cotton Goods releases. It’s a gently mystical, natural sound that warrants repeated visits, just like your favourite local beauty spot, respite bench in an inner city park, or secluded rooftop terrace of the mind.
Carsten Nicolai concludes Alva Noto’s UNI-prefixed release cycle with UNIEQAV, the 3rd and most dancefloor-focussed instalment of the series. The follow-up to Unitxt  and Univrs  pairs pendulous minimal techno and electro rhythms with wide, sheer electronic drones in a way that strongly recalls recent Monolake output as well as Ilpo Väisänen in full swang. Comparisons aside, though, it’s unmistakably Alva Noto.
Pursuing the project’s roots in the dancefloor of Tokyo’s UNIT club to a satisfyingly logical endpoint, Nicolai rolls out 12 typically mercurial yet gripping sound designs defined by their fluid dynamics and seemingly fathomless dimensions intended to render the club or your head underwater, thanks to a still remarkable grasp of purified tonal minimalism/maximalism and studied sensitivity to proprioception.
The results are filigree yet robust, firmed up for deployment on the sickest sound system you can lay your hands on, but also highly pleasurable in a headphone or sofa-inclined context, keeping us rapt and twitching from the dubwise plong and looming pads of Uni Sub and the Robert Henke-esque pressure systems of Uni Mia.
The nervous skeleton of Uni Version flows into singular Alva Noto sounds in the jabbing pointillism of Uni Clip and the staggering scale of Uni Normal, with major highlights in the widescreen drama of Uni Blue, and footwork-like rapid movement join Uni Edit, while Anne-James Chaton’s vocal lend a sharp contrast in Uni Dna.
Autechre's classic debut album from 1993, reissued for the first time in 15 years...
Go on, blink; for the first time in fifteen years Autechre’s peerless debut album, Incunabula is reissued as a facsimile copy of the original, 1993 release, replete with silver-printed gatefold jacket.
We’re not going to bang on about this too much, but you should know by now that Incunabula is one of the cornerstones of modern electronic music, one of the pinnacles of the British rave epoch and among the most life-affirming records ever, bar none.
Aye, it’s 100% essential.
Glass offers the sublime results of a collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), as performed and recorded at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut during the private opening to Yayoi Kusama’s installation marking the 110th anniversary of Johnson’s birth.
Making sterling use of the landmark architectural work’s pellucid dimensions, the pair fixed contact mics to its glass walls, which they effectively played as an “instrument”, rubbing it with rubber gong mallets to generate delicate tones which they combined with a sympathetic palette of singing glass bowls, crotales, keyboards and mixers.
The seamless performance of floating, weightless tones and exquisitely quivering timbres is without doubt one of their finest. For the duration we’re held static and spellbound by the pair’s interplay of microtonal shifts and plasmic chronics, keening the listener thru hazes of digital dust and vortices of angelic harmonics to locate, alchemise and resolve a rarified, deeply mysterious spirit before the piece closes.
As the follow-up to their OST for The Revenant  and the warbling keys of Summvs  before that, the achingly lush tension of Glass is perhaps the purest testament to the clarity of vision and endless minimalist mutability of this highly revered duo.
Hodge lends a koshing techno remix to this canny set of spacious, halfstep-leaning breakbeat workouts by Truska.
The original pressures are strongest in the skittish Pangaea styles of Lucid and Intra, while Fervous works at a slower tempo for those that need it.
We’d recommend going straight for Hodge’s stark rework of Lucid, reduced to boulder rolling kicks and dank atmospheres right out of the facility on Goldeneye the computer game.
Slum Village’s Waajeed spins out the Detroit-style beatdown hip hop instrumental, ‘Strength’ along with his own house mix and remixes by Jay Daniel and Jon Dixon.
The original is a breezy slow-motion ace blessed with blooming 313 pads, whereas Waajeed’s string mix is a super plush house track loaded with proper subs, slinky marimba melody and delicious vocal, oh and those patented Detroit strings, natch.
Jay Daniel chimes in with a reshuffle of the house mix, adding extra layers of concussion and daubs of live-sounding keys, arriving at an uplifting 2nd half denouement, while Jon Dixon opts for a deep and classic Detroit house style.
At long last the Ø & Panasonic soundtrack to ‘Sähkö - The Movie’ has finally been discovered and available for release nearly 20 years after the movie was made, and 1 year since it was premiered by the Boiler Room
Recently discovered in a box of Jimi Tenor demo tapes at the Warp offices in London, the 1995 film’s soundtrack is now compiled and issued to coincide with the Oslo memorial for Mika Vainio this September, 2018. It’s very safe to say that a lot of techno heads are going to be very happy right now.
With the exception of an edited version of ’Syväys’ from the 2012 EP of the same name, all the material here is previously unreleased, but sounds very close to material found on Mika’s legendary ‘Metri’ LP and the ‘Röntgen’ and ‘Kvantti’ EPs, or Panasonic’s ‘Vakio’, which were all produced during the same period as the film.
The techno bods really need to check for the tentative minimal techno probe of ‘Scene 1’ and the pulsating miniature ‘Scene 2’, while those with a noisier tooth will gert a good kick out of the rest.
Conch have enlisted UK legend Bakongo aka Roska on this 4 tracker of UK Funky infused club dubs.
"Turning things up a notch the label brings in young Bristol rising star Wilf on remix duties and also deliver a Dub refix of Bakongo’s “Bongo Crush” showcasing the conch sound."
Killer, oblique pop-deconstruction from NYC’s Keke Hunt a.k.a Just The Right Height. Robotically-enunciated lyrics set to spare, jagged, sawn-off hooks jabbed in on sampler and machines, RIYL Yeah You, FAY, Lolina, Klein
“Hunt’s stop and go, deconstructed songwriting is emotional and bare. Her undressing of the radio hit is so lyrically labrinthine, the urge to dance might escape you — and dance with me.
Just the right height is an investigation of pop lyricism and a satire of feminine objecthood; The perfect size, The perfect longing shape to fit inside, the perfect fit. Just the right height is a rubber mouth. Formless liquid silicone poured into a mold that mimes agency, vocalization, but says nothing; careless. An empty silhouette, inciting arousal and movement. Mouthy, Vapid, Stupid, Hot; Vain and thoughtless song.
In her album Let Forever Be Only You Tonight, Hunt writes lyrics by compiling text from an online lyric generator which outputs jumbled lines sourced from the lyrics of existing popular songs. Hunt exhales composited speech, a synonym of the virtual pop star whose personality program is compiled from the thoughts and feelings on her fans blog posts and online output; Her face surgically modified to reflect the image of her fans.
Rhythm stripped of melody is the dominant form in Hunt’s musical work. Nevertheless, Hunt intersperses her catalogue with heartfelt, melodic tracks as if to tie a polite bow on a rude package.
Hunt’s earliest released music was written in collaboration with Los angeles based painter Marisa Takal. The tracks released on their 2014 split with Odwalla88 are the product of a 3 year collaboration. Hunt has also collaborated with Multimedia Bryan Edward Collins on a project called Hard World Fashion. This album features a song co-written by Collins and Hunt. Since 2015 Hunt has released music under with tape labels such as Primitive Languages and ALL GONE tapes, under various titles, culminating in her current moniker, Just The Right Height. Let Forever Be Only You Tonight is her first full-length LP and release through She Rocks!”
Portland, OR’s Saloli debuts on Kranky with a gorgeous suite of live analogue synth meditations...
Presented as they were performed, with no overdubs or edits, ‘The Deep End’ finds Saloli swimming in rich colours swept up in gentle currents, sometimes coagulating into poignant chromatic melodies, sometimes hovering on the biting point between harmony and bittersweet dissonance, and often prone to fleeting expressions of emotion, but with an ear for charming turns of phrase that will keep listeners coming back to this one.
"Mary Sutton’s solo debut materialized in the wake of a performance she gave at a clothing-optional soaking-pool sauna: “I had never composed for synth before but wanted to make something people sitting motionless and naked in hot bubbly water would want to hear.” It was while in this headspace that she reconnected with Satie’s entrancing cyclical motifs, particularly the way “he subtly spins melodic fragments, and pivots harmonies and phrases so the repetitions feel new and surprising yet soothingly familiar, as if casting a spell.”
The nine intuitive instrumentals comprising The Deep End accomplish exactly that, threading complementary shades of soft-hued hypnosis, dazed modal introspection, icy amusement park reverie, and lunar lullaby into a prismatic suite of contemplative melody and synthetic communion. Sutton’s songs are active rather than ambient yet their structure is more suggestive than scripted, full of lulls, asymmetries, and daydreams. Each track was written specifically to be played live on an analog synthesizer, with no overdubs or post-production wizardry. The sound of Saloli is one of warm-blooded wiring, turned on and tapped into, emotive and electric, storied machines speaking through all too human hands."
First of six Bauhaus reissues due on colour vinyl for the seminal goth band’s 40th anniversary celebrations
“Mask is the band’s second album, and was released by Beggars Banquet in 1981. On their sophomore album, Bauhaus consciously stretched themselves into newer areas of music and performance, resulting in an album that was arguably even better than the band's almost flawless debut.”
Klara Lewis debuts on Editions Mego with the incredible animated sound organisms of 'Ett'.
Sampling from a palette of modified and reconstituted field recordings, Klara's debut compositions yield ten terrarium-like sonic ecologies rich in organic texture and detail enlivened by bristling electronics and insectoid rhythms. They're strange, self-contained units amounting to a complex, beguiling lattice of unique timbres, atmospheric space and coarse yet fluidly woven texturhythms, all infused with a subtle sort of ambient (de)compositional sorcery.
At its best in the wormy dub 12 minute dub 'Altered' we can draw comparisons with everything from Katie Gately's concrète sound designs to Kassel Jaeger or Senufo Editions pieces, whilst the roiling 'c a t t' bristles like a Mica Levi track, and 'Muezzin' warps serpentine strings to the drone of a call to prayer, resulting what sounds like a melting Muslimgauze effort.
There's a playfully psychedelic and synaesthetic sensitivity to the music on 'Ett', making for a wonderfully disorienting yet incisive vision of sound at its most elemental level.
'Versions' leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescence...
This second breathtaking CD leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the terryfingly deep Basic Channel production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescance. The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been to us over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
Following convention, each of these labels has offered a catalogue up on record (in this case 10" releases) before compiling the music. This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the Vocal tracks are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
An all-time classic, production masterclass - it doesn't get any better.
The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
R.I.Y.L. Grimes, Kelly Lee Owens, Phantogram, Sylvan Esso, Sophie, Toro Y Moi.
"Pure-O, the new LP by Berlin-via-Norway musician Farao, is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships. Where so much modern pop attempts to tug similar thematic threads only to succumb to naiveté and euphemism, Farao grabs these subjects and dives headlong into a neon pool of synthesizer, zither, drums, and soaring vocals without sacrificing maturity, complexity, or artistry. Musically, she references 90’s R&B, and the untapped goldmine of Soviet disco.
But the most important pillar of Pure-O – its living, breathing, biological quality-- is entirely Farao’s own. To be sure, all of the electronic ingredients are in the exact right places on Pure-O. Soviet-made synth tones ripple out fr om an undefined center lik e a Frank Stella painting, with sharply angled lines of color buzzing with concentric, hand-painted ecstasy. Rolling vocal melodies carry descriptive turns of phrase to gratifying heights, echoing in listeners’ minds long after their ears. In the spaces between all this electricity, there are shimmering microcosms of Alice Coltrane-esque acoustics that provide the album with an unmistakably rich, tactile marrow.
Perhaps, then, we’re hearing Farao’s early youth in Norway finding perfect equilibrium with her adulthood in Berlin on Pure-O. She says of the time she spent recording, “I was in the process of learning how to conduct myself while not getting sucked in to the whirlpool that is Berlin party culture,” and of her childhood “It wasn’t a place I felt stimulated creatively, and felt quite lonely there growing up, which made me turn to music as a language for a set of emotions I didn’t know how to release otherwise.” It’s precisely this relationship between quiet reflection and overstimulation that makes the album unlike anything of its genre. In an age when non-electronic pop seems like an outlier, Farao constructs a bridge of humanity from the organic to the inorganic, rounding out the hard edges and sharpening the soft ones, thereby transplanting a healthy, beating heart into modern synth-pop."
In a time when Jazz music is entering a contemporary renaissance and exciting the ears and minds of new audiences, Zombie Zombie's Étienne Jaumet offers us his unique, idiosyncratic take on the sound with the sprawling “8 Regards Obliques”, his 3rd solo album with the Versatile label.
"Jazz requires a certain freedom of technique, interpretation and improvisation that already matches Jaumet’s own production style and sonic aesthetic as well as his playful approach towards music. The eight pieces that make up the new LP were very quickly recorded; Jaumet let himself be carried away by the atmosphere without focusing too much on fine details or the laborious aspects of the composition process. The finished article is a spontaneous collection that stands out, a true mirror image of the creative process adopted by the artist. Not surprisingly, spontaneity is one of the characteristics already present in his music, in both his recorded output and his live happenings, where he leaves much room for freedom and improvisation.
“8 Regards Obliques” was recorded at the Versatile studio in less than 3 weeks with quite a basic set up: TR 808, selected synthesizers, vocals and of course the saxophone, which is a constant presence also in his previous albums. For the mix Etienne has again appealed to the maestro I:Cube, a central figure of the Versatile story and a prdigious engineer and artist in his own right. He immediately understood that it was necessary to keep the spontaneous side alive and to not over-produce the pieces or over-edit them, being constantly mindful to retain the power in the sound and in the frequencies. From Sun Ra with “Nuclear war”, Miles Davis in “Shhh / Peaceful” or “Theme from a symphony” by Ornette Coleman to “Caravan” (already quoted by many jazzmen), Etienne enjoyed revisiting classic masterpieces and paying tribute to his inspirations. He allowed himself only one personal and original composition, “Ma révélation mystique”.
‘What Light There Is’ finds Janek Schaefer feeding off and disassembling Robert Wyatt’s ‘Cuckooland’  album in his sublime style, paired with seven new, original pieces that share a captivating eldritch aura. Huge recommendation if you're into work by The Caretaker, Philip Jeck, WIlliam Basinski.
Continuing a series of releases reverential of significant British composers, writers and artists such as J.G. Ballard and John Tavener, Janek treats Robert Wyatt’s material with the same poetic license. What follows is an immersive, hypnagogic episode from the mental realm between waking life and dreamspace, gently teasing the pastoral loveliness of Wyatt’s music into a woozy, heavy-lidded parallel dimension.
As always with Schaefer’s work, the idea of nostalgia and the fidelity of memory is also key to the appeal of ‘What Light There Is Tells Us Nothing’. In the 21 minute title piece, commissioned by the Sounds New Festival in Canterbury and presented as a multi-channel radio installation, Schaefer revels in the profundity of Wyatt’s work with poignant slivers filtered into gaseous shapes suggesting a fleeting mix of pastoral glory and somnambulant melancholy comparable with the most striking Philip Jeck works, or the trace echoes of memory supplied by The Caretaker.
The other seven pieces follow with a more cinematic appeal, as though we’ve dozed off during a midday matinee programme in middle England and slipped into a silvery phantasy of medieval gallantry and posh English gentry, before nods to Schaefer’s Polish ancestry flicker into his nostalgic reverie via the bobbling loops and glitching chorales of his three ‘Corah’ pieces.
Melancholy ambient-pop beauty from Бassae, warmly tipped to fans of Inga Copeland/Lolina!
There’s little background info about this 7” other than the admission it’s “from the vaults of a mysterious Russian producer”, which ain’t saying a great deal, is it?
We can add that the A-side is a seductively gauzy ace mixing a distanced dembow bump with deliciously wistful, possibly romantic vocals and airborne melody, while the B-side is more furtive and teasing, mixing Soviet spy movie synths and Jan Jelinek-like rhythm with cold choral pads and intercepted bleep and vocal comms.
Japan’s Ultrafog conjures a montage-like tapestry of sound imagery on ‘How Those Fires Burned That Are No Longer’, a masterfully transfixing new episode from Motion Ward, who previously had us by a thread with uon’s beautiful ‘zlo’ session. Get baked and bathe in this…
“After two cassette releases for the likes of Tokyo's Solitude Solutions and Barcelona's Angoisse, Motion Ward is delighted to present the debut of Kouhei Fukuzumi's Ultrafog project on the vinyl format. "How Those Fires Burned That Are No Longer" weaves through sliding metal timbres, textured air abstractions and wistful mallet sequences. This record, like all of Kouhei's work, is a take on sound as a representation of memory. Light and translucent, each song aims for a temporal snapshot that will inevitably fade into the well of thoughts and experience.