Stone cold classic BEB material from the Aussie trio, Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (Tarcar, LST).
A frighteningly affective meditation on childhood memories, 'Hide Before Dinner' dredges similar, cobwebby partitions of the mind as Leyland Kirby's classics as The Caretaker, realising a drug fug sequence of enervated electronics, croaking death-folk and pause-button collage with an indelibly psychedelic impact.
We've all been there, we've all been kids, and we've all had a sh*t time doing it, but we're grown-up now, and can gaze back on that time with fuzzy fondness, right? F Ingers do so, and do it with thee most unheimlich attraction, coupling the kind of curdled electronics that made Tarquin's LST release 'Th Duo' so strangely fascinating, with the pastoral otherworldiness of their Tarcar output, and the much more elusive spectre of their own tortured and tortuous psyche, which is threaded thru the release like a silvery slug trail connecting them now to their snotted youth.
Perfectly summed by the label as "a relatable suburban gothic", we urge you to check the discordant sensations of 'Tantrum Time', or the murky wallow of 'Useless Treasure' and indulge the infidelities of your own, half-cut childhood recollections. Highly recommended.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike.
"From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother."
The beast from Brooklyn dry humps your ears to a pulp for Alter, first prepping with the bittersweet, crystalline tang of Burning Mattresses, then with the piercing highs and trampling force of Peña Adobe, the basic bastard bang of Smelling The Sheets, and finally swilling your lugs out with 14 minutes of coruscating metallic ‘tronics on The God In Vodka.
“Nick Klein's new record, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin,' was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, on an economic set-up. With a spartan modular synth and Korg MS-20, Klein describes the process of recording as "focused around the relentless role of filtering out and managing the anxiety of existing in a metropolitan area in the current political climate."
Though 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' starts on an almost uplifting note with the glistening melodic cycles of 'Burning Mattresses,' the asphyxia soon takes over, and the vertigo of the metropolis comes into lurching clarity for the remainder of the record. The height of the following track, 'Peña Adobe,' has the panicked terror of an archaic ringtone hitting the volume of an air raid siren, 'Smelling The Sheets' skulks rather than bangs, its momentum stifled and edgy, as if not enough was on Klein's side when making his way to the studio that day. The anguish doesn't taper, but rather culminates in the despairingly titled 'The God In Vodka.' At nearly 14 minutes, its disfigured rave stabs and blunted military tattoo-snare furiously pace into a clammy, toxic rush.
Despite the wry funerary image of its title, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' is far from a lament for better times, nor a report on descending into contemporary hell. Like a frenzied metronome, the record syncs itself with the dynamics of unrest in order to grasp the brazen tactics that perpetuate the seemingly boundless inequalities in the world today. Klein forges this link with his own minutiae in stride, tethering the conceptual motivations to a fidgeting, personalized atmosphere of rhythmic dysphoria.
Pitching agitation in this way, the record unapologetically presents itself as a soundtrack for participatory intervention, forcefully side-stepping the queues.”
The Ceramic Hobs are the band in the corner of the old man's pub round the back of the venue getting drunk before they either a) slay your senses with a mind boggling set of punk inspired psychedelia or b) fall over screaming and fighting.
"They make The Fall look as stable as U2 and the Butthole Surfers as mainstream as R.E.M. They're from Blackpool and have been going since 1985. This double LP retrospective of the North of England's most unique, overlooked and long-lasting underground band spans 25 years of recordings, with tracks taken from numerous releases carefully selected and sequenced by Philip Best (Consumer Electronics), ergot trip front cover art from John Godbert (Vibracathedral Orchestra), gatefold bad vibe intricate line drawing from Darren Brian Adcock and a twelve page booklet featuring an extended interview/essay by Chris Sienko and a band family tree. Rock music but with voodoo curse words, twisting spiralling synths and guitars, overloaded samples: the sound of impending mental collapse overpowering the unwary listener."
Positive Centre’s ISS label yields a strong group techno showing from him, Sigha, SNTS and Dadub.
Sigha steps off the edge with a cavernous scene setter Mother that dances around the event horizon of a massive black hole subbass with wiry FX and radioactive synths, then SNTS puts his back behind a sweltering hydraulic tumper liable to undo your shoelaces.
Dadub do their exquisitely layered techno thing with a vicious, snarling electro edge on From Function to Form, and Positive Centre leaves the EP with a wide open atmospheric conclusion, In Extracts.
Structure are; Christopher Shoulder (Guitar/Vocals) Maureen Bourne (Bass/Vocals) Paul Dudeney (Drums), the members of this Brighton based trio having previously served time in BANDS including DiE, MEN OH PAUSE and SPLINTERED.
"Drawing inspiration from frenetic “Pink Flag” era Wire, Aussie degenerates X, and the bleak stride of Crisis, Structure deliver jagged lines on a cold steel frame of tense dense discontent to vandalise your dirty mind.
Their debut 12" features six Structure originals, including future dance floor filler “Disco”."
Leipzig’s Vary label début local artist Salomo with a brace of adroit, jazz and techno-taught broken beats
“Leipzig's Salomo - who caught attention with his contribution to the labels previous compilation is now releasing his full solo LP via VARY. 12 tracker that provides an organic transition from house to ambient - suitable for club play, your next pool party or as a birthday gift to your mother in law. Conscious of it's inspirations, the record is a slight nod in the direction of contemporary electronic music from London, Vancouver and Detroit that still strikes with integrity & originality.”
Kat Frankie is from Sydney but in 2008 she quit her job and moved to Berlin. “I was a big fan of Chicks On Speed. In an interview they said Berlin was the best place in the world to make music, and I believed them.”
"She says she likes things ‘messy’ - untidy, teeming, excessive, rich - and the luxuriant diversity of her music reflects that. No question, Kat Frankie writes the most artistic songs you’ll hear in local pop music: rhythmically complex, like the most sophisticated R&B, with divinely intricate vocal harmonies reminiscent of old-time doo-wop and folk. Think of Florence + The Machine or Christine and the Queens. ‘Bad Behaviour’ is a major, boundary breaking work; a creative climax for an exceptional artist and an album that will continue to engage for a long time to come."
The new release explores the violence of love, the beauty of sacrifice, and the specter of impermanence.
"Anchored by its cinematic heart, "All Directions," the album ranges from the thunderous charge of "Dream State" to the sputtering, soulful lilt of "Slowly." Ryan Lott's devastating vocal on "Aquatic," guitarist Rafiq Bhatia's blooming flower melismas on "Labor," and drummer Ian Chang's nearly inhuman rhythmic calculus on "The Fool You Need" illuminate a curious and delicate balance of precision and pain.
Since 2015's Bones, the band's profile has grown in the worlds of music, dance, and film. Each member now charts their respective solo paths, and their individual adventures find a home within the purview of Son Lux. On Brighter Wounds, collaborators range from longtime cohorts Rob Moose (Y Music, Bon Iver, The National) and DM Stith (Sufjan Stevens), to new friends trumpeter Dave Douglas and reedist/instrument builder Arrington de Dionyso.
Son Lux has made invention its hallmark through continued exploration and experimentation. With Brighter Wounds, the triad NPR proclaimed "the world's most lethal band" now grips exhilaration and heartache in full embrace. In the words of the album's closing refrain, "is this what the resurrection feels like?"
Without doubt one of the most idiosyncratic artists working between Black Metal and electronic music, Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw dials in a blinding new Black Mecha album from the very limits of intergalactic techgnostic perception with Counterforce.
After initiating the project via AA for The Death of Rave, successive Black Mecha releases for Profound Lore and their own Internal Masonry Publications have plotted inimitably technoid new routes for hypnotic electronic music, expressing a densely raw, vivid hyperstition thru a disciplined rendering of arcane geometry, conceptual ballistic proprioception, and brutalist sci-fi themes.
Essentially, Black Mecha is making some of the most far out techno in the world right now, and he’s not even a techno artist. Where this past decade has seen a gaggle of roughshod interlopers offer shabby chic, defanged takes on techno, Black Mecha has sharpened his alien incisors with deadly intent and effect, producing a highly personalised music which applies just as well to proper, extreme, eyes-in-back-of-head transcendence as times of stone cold sober focus.
In that sense, Counterforce reaches where even the hardest nEuro techno bosch fests fail to deliver, as Black Mecha circumvents hard techno’s rote formula of 4-to-the-floor kicks and predictable filtering in favour of harnessing brain-eating hooks in a durational torrent of mainlining, shark-eyed rhythms and pineal-pinch noise which deliver an untrammelled, breathlessly anaerobic experience where the only predictable aspect is that the engines will keep combusting until this part of the mission is complete and the receiver is transformed.
Of course it’s not for everybody. But then again, what the f^ck is? You can take it on trust that if you’re prone to the heaviest, elemental rhythm and noise, Counterforce offers an unmissable space to immolate the senses.
RIYL Astral Social Club, Merzbow, Hypnobeat, Conrad Schnitzler.
Spellbinding aural alchemy from the maestro, William Basinski, presenting the vinyl version of his latest composition, 'The Deluge' (companion to the 'Cascade' CD edition).
Conceived at his current base in L.A., Basinski's first solo release since 2013's 'Nocturnes' renders his patented loop process in two longer form pieces plus a gorgeous orchestral denouement which at once reveals the underlying magick and heightens it with uncanny effect. In the 20 minute 'Deluge' a single, lilting piano loop unfolds in a display of deliquescent decay and delay, peeling away in frayed petals and fronds like a christmas wreath left on the front door of an abandoned house.
On the flipside's 'The Deluge (Denouement)' the loop starts to open up, initially sounding like one of AFX's prepared piano pieces off 'Drukqs' before a ghostly sleight-of-hand introduces the full string sample to breathtaking impact. This is followed by the closing 11 minutes of 'Cascade', where we view the same piano loop drift out of sight froma more pellucid, elevated angle. We hardly need to tell you that it's beautiful, life affirming stuff, but, like this record, it does bear repeating.
Áine O’Dwyer returns to MIE with Gallarais, an immersive, ghostly channelling of harp, keening vocals and acousmatic sound from the Brunel Tunnel, 50ft below The Thames in the heart of London. Gallarais acts as the follow-up to Aine’s acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners Vol. 1 And II , also issued by MIE (and Fort Evil), and locates her first sighting since the amazing Locusts and Gegenschein dyad which totally grabbed our attention in 2016.
Sensitive as ever to her surroundings, these performances, recorded between 2013-2016, continue the themes of Áine’s Anything Bright and Startling  LP, returning her to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s tunnel to farther explore its unique sonic soul or sound architexture, employing its 3-4 second acoustic decay and the environmental sounds of water pumps, overhead planes, and subterranean trains as a subtly morphing, resonant space or ‘mystic cave’ for ritual sonic investigation.
Down there, Áine communes with the outside, modern world as well as the site’s deep topography, which was carved out - most probably by Irish hands and imbued with their spirit - over 150 years ago, while also making reference to ancient Greek notions of a passage to the underworld, or dimensions not usually known by the living. In this context, Áine’s harp and vocals become timeless tools of transcendence, elegantly carrying the weight of ages into the present with an expressively freeform, improvised spirit that that links thousands of years of music as a means of connection with the unseen.
Tradition filtered thru a timeless vessel, we hear Áine’s harp flurries beautifully mingle with distant planes and trains in the opening piece, Underlight, while Cordophone captures a hauntingly jibber-jawed vocal lament, seemingly shivering in dark cold of the tunnel, and the piercing recorders or penny whistles of Mouthtoum feel to echo buskers as much as ship’s whistles.
However, the LP’s most captivating pieces are its two longest and most central to her concept of exploring a “personalised abstract heritage relating to the bean chointe, or Irish keener”. This, quite literally in Beansidhe - translating from Celtic as Banshee - where she keens thru the air between near infrasonic basses and pealing hi-registers with solemn, glossolalic vocals and stark woodblock percussions, and then joined by six other performers for Hounds of Hades, where their massed moans are joined by the guttural rumble of engines and the dank drip of the tunnel’s unheimlich and emotively charged, psychoacoustic space.
Of course, that’s all just a guide or description of the record and its roots, and to fully connect with it, you need to occupy its acres of elusive negative space or dark matter to fully appreciate the effect of its contrasts and elegiac air.
Vladimir Ivkovic’s excellent Offen Music present a superb, long-lost album by Mitar Subotić a.k.a Suba, a Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and whom sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. If you’ve been following Offen Music’s amazing records by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii, fell hard for that CultureClash LP on Lost Futures, love Muslimgauze, or hanker for lush ’90s vibes that you’ve never heard before, this one’s a total must-check!
Originally realised in 1995 at Suba’s Wah Wah Studio in São Paolo, Brazil, only shortly after the release of Subotić’s album as part of the Angel’s Breath duo with Milan Mladenović, Wayang discretely echoed that album’s esoteric pop themes and, at the time, was intended as Suba’s début release. For reasons undisclosed, the album was shelved in the archive, and he eventually released São Paolo Confessions in 1999 as the first Suba album, proper.
It may have taken over 20 years, but Wayang now finally finds its audience, and at a time when the scene has been perfectly massaged by waves of interim reissues and especially the DJs sets of Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens, whose shared rhythmic senses find a lot of common roots in this record. From the almost-junglist temporality of its opening cut, thru flashes of tribal rhythmic psychedelia, to passages of arcane incantation and some blindingly avant arrangement strategy, Suba proves he is a visionary artist and storyteller with tales for days.
After swirling our swedes for the last few months, we can assure you that Wayang is a distinctly psychotropic episode from a richly imaginative producer, with a proper play it again and again factor that hasn’t diminished since we first heard it.
Once again unveiling hidden treasures from his archive of tape loops, William Basinski releases three pieces made at his Brooklyn apartment during one night in 1982, adding a fourth composition (based on the same source material) made earlier this year.
You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we're certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer's stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years.
Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski's oeuvre there's a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. '92982.1' is outstanding, featuring lilting, gritty strings through the left of the stereo field while crumbling piano sonorities rule to the right. Far from exhibiting any signs of automation or impersonal repetition you can always hear a human hand shaping the music.
The faded, rattling chord movements of '92982.2' take on an altogether more ghostly, dissolved quality, with echo-flecked machine jolts peppering the mixdown, underlining how fragile this whole process is. The third track, meanwhile, is an extended version of a piano-based piece that appeared in its original incarnation on the Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive album (surely one of the standout albums in Basinski's entire catalogue), here stretched and developed over the course of twenty minutes. It's a beautiful study in the interplay between an instrumental performance and the medium onto which it's recorded, full of ruptures and low frequency rumble as the tape itself interferes with the flow and consistency of the music.
Finally, Basinski takes a fresh angle on his source loops with a composition recorded in February of this year. There's a markedly different character to this final entry; an unexpected cleanliness that somehow feels just right as a coda to the archival dust and dereliction of all that's come before. Its tacit stateliness serves as confirmation that all these years on, Basinski has lost none of his form, and that despite the richness of his work in the early eighties he's still a very active, utterly compelling creative force.
Following a major retrospective at The Tate St Ives, forgotten art maverick Marlow Moss (1889-1958) - a radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art - is the inspiration and the focus of this new LP from Primitive World for the Ecstatic label. Crafted from various synth improvisations, including the rare and tricky PPG Wave synth/sampler, it comes highly recommended if you’re into Peder Mannerfelt’s brut ambient, Raster Noton’s grid-based rhythmic fascinations, or Pan Sonic at their most glacial.
White On White forms a follow-up of sorts to Willis’ Ascention tape, and perhaps more aptly, leads on from his and Not Waving's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked, British female pioneer of her field - which are collected on their Walls album, Sound Houses. There’s little doubt that this new album contains some of Willis’ strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss’s work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Titled after the Moss piece which adorns the LP’s front cover, White On White forms a welcome first introduction for many to Moss’s “work, life and theories” thru a combination of visual representations - photographs of the artist and her work - with text by Lucy Howarth, curator of Moss’s recent exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv exhibition (2017), the touring Tate display (2013-15), and of course the music itself, which seeks to describe Moss’s mathematically sound geometries and evocative aesthetics thru its lattice of unique, free-floating timbres and spatialized rhythm patterns.
White On White is thus a direct result of the artist immersing himself in Moss’s oeuvre, or what is left of it (most of her pre-WWII output was destroyed in the war), with results strongly reflective of the austere clarity and modernist structure of her works, from her syncopated line drawings modelled in the helixes of Double Lines, to the rotating perspectives of her 2D-into-3D metal sculpture manifest in the illusive, Peder Mannerfelt-like designs of Matrix of the Visible, whereas the closing 9 minutes of perilous abstraction recalling Wendy Carlos’ Clockwork Orange OST in Man Guessed at a Spiritual Meaning and Imposed a Moral System both literally and metaphorically serves a sort of unsentimentally elegiac, enigmatic lament for the artist’s neglected status, which even now prompts a scratch of the head by people who should be aware of her work.
A proper ear n' eye-opener.
Berlin’s hardcore minimalist Frank Bretschneider tweaks the freqs for Shitkatapult, rolling out pronged stabs and inhuman vocals on the physical electro flow of Plastik, and with head-slapping tones swept up in a sort of drily swanging house vortex with Mechanik.
“Frank Bretschneider on the tracks: "It moves, it sings... but does it swing? Anyway, it represents the soundtrack of my life, my musical influences: some San Francisco psychedelia, some London underground, some Berlin school (old and new). Krautrock from Cologne and New York minimalism. A shot of Detroit grit, a bit of Moscow dust, a splash of Paris charm?" Bretschneider was raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in the German Democratic Republic. He is the founder of the East German underground band AG Geige and co-founder of the Raster-Noton label. He lives as a musician, video artist, and producer in Berlin.”
More goodness from the Basic Channel affiliated Wackies Crew Re-Pressed. Further adventures with Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes - the man who worked formatively in Lee Perry's Black Ark, then relocated to New York, with a crucial take on classic period Scratch production techniques and part of his equipment.
So it is no coincidence that the drifting analogue detail in the rhythm tracks owes much to Mr. Perry's classic period. Providing a bridge from the well documented seventies heyday of roots reggae into the less well covered mid eighties - all Barnes work is worth checking and this is no exception.
Delahaye has a wonderful high register falsetto styled vocal, even on the couple of lovers' cuts here sounding rootsy and deep. Featuring a great recut of The Chantell's classic Sitting in the park, and five other top quality cuts, find out why this label is held in such high regard.
Throughout the illustrious thirty-year recording career of Horace Andy, with its innumerable highs, his unmistakable falsetto has lit up just three albums of indisputable greatness - "Skylarking", for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One; "In the light", for Everton Dasilva's Hungry Town label, in queens, new york; and - with the biggest original impact, by far the most contemporary of the trio - "Dance Hall Style", for Bullwackies in the bronx.
Recorded at the tail end of the seventies, dance hall style reworks songs like "Money Money", first recorded by Bunny Lee and Derek Harriott's "Lonely woman" - alongside a version of Lloyd Robinson's "Cuss cuss" - and births bona fide classics like "Spying glass" (later covered by Massive Attack).
The musicians include Wackies regulars, men like Owen Stewart and Oral Cooke from Itopia, Ras Menilik and Jah T.; also Horace's multi-instrumentalist spar Myrie dread from the hungry town sessions. At the desk, Lloyd Barnes, Junior Delahaye and Douglas Levy coax unequalled vocal performances from Horace Andy, in correct showcase fashion, all worthwhile extended mixes. Iconic album, essential purchase.
The Necks 18th album Vertigo is an eventful, kaleidoscopic tone poem set against a darkly shimmering background. Slowly but inexorably moving forward, it crosses many frontiers yet remains true to the mission and mood established in the opening stanzas of this cinematic 44 minute journey. A work able to be viewed either as a whole, or two symmetrical halves, Vertigo sees The Necks once again offer an excursion in sound that reflects both the light and darkness of some preternatural world.
Vertigo follows their acclaimed 2013 album Open, described by SPIN as ‘the most beautiful album of the year’.
In contrast to the sustained improvisations that are their live performances, The Necks’ studio albums take shape by way of intricate crafting brought to bear throughout the entire recording and mixing process. “The discussion this time really began in earnest in the session itself, where we started to pursue the idea of having a drone running from start to finish, off which we could hang ideas,” said bassist Lloyd Swanton “But like all Necks albums we ended up in a very different place from whatever our initial notion of it had been.”
Maintaining a teetering tension between suspension and collapse, Vertigo draws on a diverse palette of sounds created in the studio by Tony Buck (drums/percussion/guitar), Lloyd Swanton (bass) and Chris Abrahams (piano/keyboards), featuring everything from homemade instruments, extended instrumental techniques and marathon explorations of sonic textures.
One piece, at the same time two. Monochrome, yet multicoloured. Dark, yet incandescent. Expansive and still. Melancholic and exhilarating. The Necks. Vertigo."
Another blinder from Basic Channel's Wackies re-issue programme finally gets its long awaited release.
Between stints in Jamaica for legends like Glen Brown and Junjo Lawes, Wayne Jarrett travelled from his Connecticut base to record this album during the same weeks as the sessions for everyone's favourite - Horace Andy's Dance Hall Style.
These are two of the great vocal reggae LPs of all time - no questions asked. With Clive Hunt in full effect, Showcase Volume One follows the six-track dub-showcase format and Wayne never sounded more like Horace with his yearning throaty gargle! Blues afficionados might even want to discuss the influence of the late, lamented Bobby 'Blue' Bland on reggae vocals, but that's by the by.
Including four unmissable Studio One versions - Azul's deadly Rockfort Rock, Sleepy's Every Tongue Shall Tell (with outrageous Isley fuzz), yet another Heptones cut via Leroy Sibbles, and a killer Drum Song.
The Metal Slug LP is the culmination of more than a year's collaborative work between Data Discs and SNK Corporation to develop an exclusive soundtrack release for the Japanese publisher's most iconic franchise and one of the most beloved shooters of all time.
"The vinyl release features the complete music from the first entry in the series (Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001), composed by Takushi Hiyamuta in 1996. Working together with the SNK Sound Team, the audio was sourced from a NEOGEO development kit in Japan and then carefully mastered at Data Discs' in-house studio in London. Pressed on 180g opaque yellow vinyl, Metal Slug is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with accompanying double-sided lithographic insert, featuring rare artwork from the Japanese archives and a special translucent OBI strip with fluorescent Pantone print. A download code for the digital album in both lossy and lossless formats is also included."
With typically subversive swerve, Die Tödlich Doris return to their earliest work with a dissection of their debut album's final track, homing in on the rhythmic noise/radio cut-up collage ‘In Der Pause’ and emphasising its fluctuating infidelities and their inherent, druggily hypnotic qualities
“In der Pause” (During the Pause) was the title of the last track on the b-side of “ “, the first album by Die Tödliche Doris. “In der Pause” was pause music, as well as the announcement of the interval between their debut album, released in 1982, and the box format project ”Chöre und Soli” that followed in 1983. The original sounds of “In der Pause” survived on a single audio tape dating from 1981.
Now, about 35 years later, Chris Dreier and Wolfgang Müller have used the material recorded on the audio tape as the source for five new tracks of pause music. The material on the original audio tape has was reworked using Moog analogue effect modules and Ableton Live. It has been supplemented with archived announcement interludes from radio and television stations, including German stations WDR, NDR and HR, Radio Italy IBF and Radio Kamerun.
“Sprechpause” was recorded in 1981 — 1982 by Chris Dreier, Nikolaus Utermöhlen and Wolfgang Müller and reworked by Wolfgang Müller and Chris Dreier in 2017.”
IDIB present a well warranted, analogue remastered Deluxe Edition of Chromatics' now-classic 'Night Drive', now including five bonus tracks.
The original tracks sound as poignantly cinematic as ever, their cover of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' still striking a tender nerve. The new tracks neatly expand the soundtrack-y feel, from the synth and Piano copulation of 'Shining Violence' to sleeve-rolling yacht disco in 'Circled Sun', through a memorably haunting duet for subtly effected bass guitar and vocals in 'Bell', to the Badalamenti-esque scoring of 'The Gemini' and a Drag Italo master stroke in 'Accelerator'. A must.
Colour us enchanted, this is a lovely suite of solo keyboard works by classical pianist Bruce Brubaker, presented as a sort of comparison between the earliest work written specifically for keyboard, and Terry Riley’s open-ended 20th century compositions
“On Codex, American pianist Bruce Brubaker sets up a clash (or a discussion) between Terry Riley’s Keyboard Study No. 2 (1965) and the Codex Faenza, a 15th century manuscript considered to be one of the very first collections of keyboard music. By putting forth the work of the performer/creator above that of the composer, this back-andforth takes the listener on a journey that is at once timeless and eminently current. Over six centuries ago, at the dawn of the 15th century, unknown scribes – authentic artists or inspired copyists, that we do not know – collected over fifty vocal compositions, some from the previous century.
Liturgical or secular, anonymous or bearing the imprint of the Ars nova’s most famous French and Italian composers (Jacopo da Bologna, Francesco Landini, Guillaume de Machaut, Pierre des Molins...), these works were transcribed on two parallel staves, which was unusual at the time and indicate that they were intended for keyboard. Thus the Codex Faenza – named after the Ravenna-adjacent town where it is kept – created circa 1420 and rediscovered in the 1930s, became an object of fascination for harpsichordists, organists and pianists the world over, as one of the oldest keyboard scores to have survived.”
Senegalese master Lamine Cissokho has played kora all his life. This has led him all over the world, to many musical collaborations and praise from the likes of Toumani Diabaté.
"Lamine is currently living in Sweden where he is constantly touring in different line-ups. Up 'til now he has released two previous solo albums. Full of great singing and rhythms- this is something else."
Dead Fader tilts in pursuit of classic ‘90s IDM and Krautrock sensations, but with an added dose of wonk and noise chaos, on his 5th album ‘Jenny153’
“John Cohen aka Dead Fader first arrived on the label in 2016, with It Works 1 - a brace of warping, high energy electronic music compositions that while largely unclassifiable in genre, maintain a gloriously vibrant, emotive sensibility that owes much to early IDM excursions, and the more abstract tenets of the Krautrock genre. That said - the artist cites anything from Kanye West to Bach and back again as informing the decidedly experimental and potentially confounding work - and his latest offering for the Milan based label continues to riff on this open ended mesh of influence to great effect.
The new LP, Jenny 153, runs out across nine tracks and operates at the fertile juncture between Classical and Club Music compositional structures, and examines the crossover points between the two disciplines. According to the artist, the work deals with themes of acceptance and an “opening up” emotionally - and a palpable sense of catharsis runs deep through the recordings. Colourful and undeniably cohesive, in spite of it’s rhythmic complexity - the recordings present a vital snapshot of the potential space that exists on the periphery of the dance music genre.”
Laurel Halo returns to album format after two critically acclaimed EPs with the driving, meditative 'Chance Of Rain'. Evolving from earlier works, it's a cerebral exploration of the intersection between rhythmic and ambient music, drawing together moments of movement and stillness, psychedelia and presence of mind.
On 'Chance Of Rain', rhythms melt with unpredictable structures, ambient drift and deep harmonic passages, while keyboard-based interludes reinforce both the far-out and contemplative aspects of the record as a whole. Halo's evolution as a live performer has directed her music's development in part, as the tracks on ‘Chance Of Rain’ are fleshed out versions of live hardware improvisations. This LP is far off from the definition of a traditional dance long player; where tracks like ‘Serendip’, ‘Chance Of Rain’ and ‘Ainnome’ invite with infectious grooves, others like ‘Oneiroi’, ‘Still/Dromos’ and ‘Thrax’ invert these energies, revealing sinister potential in the process. Again Halo's knack for illusory detail and sound design shines, and another duality feeling emerges, this time one of unearthly joy. Drawing inspiration from the music of her home state's music capital Detroit, in both harmonic and rhythmic palettes, the music showcases freedom within metric constructs, and skyward optimism in the face of decay. The album comes packaged with artwork created by her father, an NYC-born, Michigan-based visual artist whose work focuses on industrial landscapes of Michigan and the Rust Belt at large. The artwork here is an early work of his from the 1970s, reflecting the album's twisted, hopeful tone."
The Sound Wizard behind the name The Small Crowd is Martin H. His influences are all over the map and he's been remixing, producing, arranging for other artists in Sweden for some time now.
"This is his solo project where he blends his heavenly, mostly instrumental, mix of electronic music with a classical string quartet (Rosa Kvartetten).
Adventurous and beautiful."
Séance Centre, the new label manned by Invisible City Editions’ Brandon Hocura, dust down Eblen Macari’s obscure Mexican space synth suite Música Para Planetarios for its first (remastered) vinyl reissue. Any cadets into László Hortobágyi, Steve Hauschildt, K. Leimer or Rex Ilusivii/Suba need to give this a whirl!
“Mexican guitarist and ambient artist Eblen Macari’s Música Para Planetarios (Music for Planetariums) was originally composed for weekly performances in the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City to accompany a voyage through the galaxy. The album, released in 1987 was based around Macari’s solo performances using Ensoniq ESQ-1, a Korg Poly 800, two guitars and pre-hispanic Ocarinas. The expanded arrangements recorded for the album include a full stable of pre-hispanic percussion and beautiful baroque harpsichord played by Macari’s wife. This expansive interplanetary soliloquy is undoubtedly Macari’s masterpiece.
Those not familiar with Jones’ style, will listen slack-jawed at the shear anticipatory nature of his sound collage. The five lengthy tracks are based on hypnotic and somewhat menacing loops: a repetitive dub bass beat, waves of Middle Eastern strings and voices, layers of building hand percussion.
Muslimgauze’s Mullah Said masterpiece reenters orbit on its 1st ever (reshuffled) vinyl pressing, following the original CD issue in 1998, and its 2008 reissue. Recorded at Abraham Mosque - site of many Muslimgauze classics - and released as Muslimgauze 18, Mullah Said falls squarely in the category of crisp, richly layered and dubbed-out Bryn Jones productions which have cast such a strong influence on the likes of Vatican Shadow, and likewise opiated the imaginations of everyone else who crosses their path.
From the plangent call to prayer of Mullah Said to the viscerally hypnotic dissonance of Every Grain of Palestinian Sand, thru the depth-charge electro stepper Muslims Die India - now resequcned to the middle of the LP - and the strange scene of avian electronics and heart-breaking folk song in An End, this is an essential Muslimgauze album, no less.
Terrence Dixon in deadly Population One mode with remixes of his early classic Hippnotic Culture, a deeply avant techno session released by Utensil Records in 1995, retweaked for Rush Hour in 2017 - including the Rush Hour cut which inspired the Dutch titan’s moniker.
That cut sparks the set off with a mind-bending cascade of polychromatic harmonic chaos harnessed to powerful kicks, while Warped is tweaked with more 3D geometrics, and Cosmic Drill is given a slippery, iridescent new chassis. Lovechild slips down the nervous system like sonic GHB oils, and the frozen, isolated tones of Lost In Space nails that feeling with unmistakable effect.
Nobody does it quite like this guy. A must check for any followers of forward electronic music.
Some of Glasgow’s finest rework album songs from Moon Diagrams a.k.a. Moses Archuleta ov Deerhoof’s new proiect for Sonic Cathedral Recordings.
Happy Meals pinch and tuck End of Heartache into an iridescent sort of sino-synth-pop groove; Komodo Kollektif take The Ghost and the Host on a more somnolent, heavy-lidded trip.
John Tejada returns to Kompakt with his thirteenth full-length, 'Dead Start Program' - an eleven-track journey spanning a prismatic array of styles and patterns, from John's signature soulful techno tunes to the further mazy, hypnotic motifs of his trancey electro hybrids.
"Be it solo or through a host of multifaceted collaborations, Tejada keeps himself busy on all fronts in and off the club environment, be it by contributing the 44th number in Fabric's seminal mix series, playing drums for Detroit legend Daniel Bell (as DBX),testing the limits of acid with Tin Man or joining forces with the hilarious self-proclaimed "disinformationist" Reggie Watts as Wajatta.
Since his beginnings and the drop of his debut 12", 'Waxing', released through his own label Palette Recordings over twenty years ago, John has been carving out a lane of his own - combining and assembling elements from all ends of his wide-spanning spectrum of reference in a way that allows a more direct transition from the realm of the mind to the circuits of the machine, as confirmed by the deliberately limited studio setup used in the making of the present album.
Navigating across the lines, from the arrhythmic machine spook of the album's opener 'Autoseek' via the straight out thumping and jacking pulse of 'Hypochondriac' and heavy-lidded breakbeat of 'Sleep Spindle' onto the kosmische-infused vibrations of 'Telemetry', vibrant slo-mo inertia of 'Loss' and wistful club-ready winds of 'Duty Cycle' and 'Heal', John threads his way through genres and tempos with optimal chameleonic effect.
Cloaked in a beautiful sleeve art courtesy of John's long time friend Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant - another key contributor to the Los Angeles scene worldwide, based upon a picture by Mark Richards, 'Dead Start Program' draws its title from the analog start up program used to boot an old CDC 6600 computer from a dead start and which metaphorically invites in John's own words to figure a "reboot from the challenges life throws at you".
Paper Dollhouse unveil the radioactive ambient pop of new album The Sky Looks Different Here via the group's independently run MoonDome imprint. Produced by Planet Mu's Asher Levitas and featuring artwork by Finders Keepers' Andy Votel. The Sky Looks Different Here is an incredibly vivid journey through a nuclear nightside dreamworld.
"Having previously recorded two albums for Jane Weaver's Finders Keepers sub-label Bird and the Glasgow based imprint Night School, The Sky Looks Different Here features twelve tracks that draw parallels between the project's past roots in spidery post-punk electronica and a neon-lit, radioactive ambient pop sensibility. This has lead to the creation of what is sure to be the most concise and realised Paper Dollhouse record yet.
Recorded between North London's New River Studios with Asher Levitas and Nina's studio in Suffolk, together they have crafted twelve tracks of ambient electronica blended with field recordings of the surrounding studios environments, shot through a spectral technicolour narrative. One that mixes the group's signature brand of darkwave influenced left-field pop, urban field recordings and electronic composition.
The Sky Looks Different Here is a journey through a city drowning within the endless downpour of metallic rain and a radiant haze of dawn, a map through a vivid and bucolic utopia.”
Susanna Wallumrød commits her fourth full suite of cover versions with Go Dig My Grave for her home-baked label.
Working again with Giovanna Pessi, who assisted on her first set If Grief Could Wait, as well as invaluable input from longtime partner/production spar Helge Sten (Deathprod), Susanna demonstrates a rare versatility with singular takes on songs by everyone from Henry Purcell to Joy Division and Lou Reed (including a bonus on CD not found on the vinyl), and with particularly spellbinding results in the latter two of those names.
If we try to pick out why we’re more attracted to the ‘pop’ songs, as opposed to the traditionals such as The Three Ravens or The Willow Song, that may come down to the fact their simplicity seems almost overbearing when rendered in such high-fidelity - almost like receiving a folk performance in a white cube gallery or sterile space, as opposed a barn or pub backroom - yet, conversely, the recordings of Joy Division’s Wilderness and Lou Reed’s Perfect Day become devastating thru their clarity of their conveyance, aided in no small part by feral fiddles and accordion in the former, and embroidered with kalimba and fiddle on the latter.
So yeh, some work, some don’t. But when they do, christ, she’s good.
Avant techno archetypes Rrose & Lucy chow down on a 2nd batch of abstracted, side-winding aces, this time for Rrose’s Eaux label, as opposed to the 1st EP, which came out on Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts.
Bridging experimental urges and dancefloor function, their three tracks explore the club’s nether regions and lesser probed parts, firstly taking as lon as they need to bring the writhing, trilling techno organism of Inner Membrane to life, then reaching deeper inside with the visceral, sharply resonant acid dynamics of Inverted Limb, and dissolving their imagined techno body into a puddle of plasmic goop and granular electronics in Seeds of Discontent.
Ron Trent rolls out his plushest subs and signature chords on the double-deep swang ov Manchild (In The Promised Land), featuring arresting vocal by Lono Brazil, an OG member of the Chi house mob.
The full fat full vocal mix cuts a weighty but elegant figure across the front, buoyed by Trent’s wriggling Rhodes vamps and pendulous pressure systems for the 10 minute duration, while Tokyo’s husband/wife duo Nagi & Kei Sugano a.k.a. Dazzle Drums tuffen up the drums and bass for a keener sort of deep house drive lit up with piquant electronics.
The fourth LP from the musician and composer born Brian Allen Simon was created in just under a month far away from his native Los Angeles near the small town of Palaia in Italy's Tuscany region-home to some of the history's finest creators from Dante to the Florentine Renaissance painters, Puccini to Andrea Bocelli.
"It's reminiscent of Brian Eno trying to produce an ambient record for Fela Kuti or Mulatu Astatke. Hints of John Cage and Steve Reich suffuse the former UCLA music history student's deft manipulation of space, time, tension, and mood. It's a beauty that's both plaintive and prismatic. A jazz album, an electronic album, an ambient album, a classical album, an agnostic spiritual. It's Tongue-a self-contained universe, a place where emotional and intellectual articulation coalesce and are physically let go into the world through sound and human communication."
Who knows the work of Sonia Pottinger, owner of High Note and the affiliated labels, Gay Feet and Sky Note?
If not, consider this, her masterfully deft and dreamy production for Errol Brown & The Revolutionaries, a damn fine introduction to Jamaica’s greatest female label owner and producer. make sure to check for that Nyabinghi and organ groove on Bond Street Rock or the wicked simmer of The Gun Court Dub.
Factory Floor are the latest to do that electronic musician’s rite of passage; re-scoring Fritz Lang’s silent cinematic landmark Metropolis, with results shared on the 1st release thru their H/O/D Records.
After shedding a member and regathering thoughts, FF’s Nik Colk Void and Gabriel Gurnsey reveal a sleeker new sound here, easing off the brittleness of their earlier releases with more smoothly contoured, malleable designs for dancefloor fluidity.
Heart Of Data (Soundtrack Edit) is the more ‘floor focussed cut, working skittish, latinate drum trills in and around arcing synths in a way that smartly conveys the futuristic architectural designs and themes of their subject, especially when their vision really comes together in the final third. s
On the other hand, Babel (Soundtrack Edit) finds them working with almost Cumbia or Dembow shuffle on an elastic meter, sounding like techno on 33 not 45, and embedded in tactile, sticky bed of phasing synth washes for the 12 minute duration.
Metrist does his salty abstract techno thing for Where To Now?
Packing some cranky swang into the discombobulated techknots of An Soaep, coming like an itchy garage bog monster with On Golden Seize, and progressively decimating the groove in Pantomimer Tongue and the barely-standing Caccel The Horze.
Heavyweight roots reggae and dancehall dub vibes, now available to legitimately download for the 1st time. Recorded and mixed between Channel One, Joe Gibbs Studio and King Tubby’s.
Stone cold aces, especially Prince Hammer’s shuddering King Selassie M.16.
A long time in the making – Quare Groove Vol. 1 – Sounds of the Irish musical underground from the 70s & 80s..
"Stating it softly..... Irish music of the 1970's was simply not synonymous with groove music in any way. Avid music aficionado's were totally 'rockist' then (to use an old tag from the same time!) That thread tends to follow with record collecting of vintage Irish music of that time, down to this day. We'll throw a little change into that narrative here - the groove is very rare, and not a little quare! We've looked at the entire recorded music picture of what happened here on this little island into the 1980's, and we're bringing back this -----
We can't tell you that this music comes from a strange place - it comes from a steadily steep and VERY strange place! A small place that was not a little conflicted societally and politically back then - and in every way too, public and private. However it was also a time of great change. Living through it seemed like a rite of passage that moved off from some manner of dark age, and then over forward into a brighter light. Modernity beckoned, and not just with the technology!
So what can you hear here? It's no coincidence that this music also makes a similar coming of age. Recording techniques were wholly embraced here, in this era. Late 1970's Irish music saw sound engineering and music production artistry advance from previous, and in a very big way. As studio's moved away from simple and straight audio captures, the music really benefitted. So what can you hear here? We're bringing you two sides of this story on two big black twelve inch slates. The first slate has an abundantly sweet clubbier sound of past-funk groove music. The second slate gives you an edgier angle of what the post-punkers got up to, after they too got their hands on the same danceflooring. This is really but only the beginning: There's so much more to come!"
Originally released in 1991 as a limited run of 100 self distributed cassette tapes.
The 5 tracks touch upon Ambient, Dub, House and Balearic styles and show an ambition to create timeless music in the vein of Ultramarine and The Orb. 25 years later these songs finally reach a wider audience....on cassette, again....
Trim, rolling, deeper house track from Galdoors boss, Junes.
A-side he works out the subtle swing and floating pads of Circuit Rift; B-side he gets a touch freakier with the avian electronics and ruder bass on Awake, and slinks under the skin with his stealthy ace Brass Hand.
Full of cold, steely industrial techno riddled with machine spirits, the Protest EP from Berlin’s Kaltès & Nene H. is not for the casual techno observer, but rather offers a payload of stern girders for the club, reinforced by Christina Sealey (Orphx) and LAIR remixes.
In a push and pull of forces, Kaltès & Nene H.’s spine-stiffening bucker Resist contrasts with the more rolling, plangent and bittersweet appeal of Persist, but both share a blank-eyed and stomping purpose.
On the remixes, Christine Sealey ov Orphx pulverises Persist like a techno panel beater working on a dented tank, and LAIR guts and inverts the impact of Resist into numb drones and submerged rhythms.
The patron saint of glum middle class kids who covet Supreme bricks, Yung Lean is an important cultural figure, no matter whether you buy his moneyed malaise or not. We’ve kept his thing at arms length until now, mostly filtered in via yunger siblings and such, but with the Swede’s 2nd major album now right in front of us and oozing our lugs, it’s easy enough to be charmed in a way by his louche and breezily melodic brand of ennui rap.
Flanked by Stockholm locals/peers Whitearmor and Yung Sherman on production, Lean lives his life on record, taking poetic license to bridge the emotional detachment of life as young, middle class man in Scandinavia, with the style and flow straight outta southern USA.
It can be taken as an example of the classic double refraction and push n pull of influence between USA and Europe, as one mutates the other’s culture in interpretation and mistranslation; or as a seductively minimalist, wipe-clean, sterilised spin on a culture that comes from a very different place, done by a privileged, somewhat talented young guy with major label marketing behind him. Either way, we’d rather lock in a vortex of UK drill videos, but whatever floats your Supreme-branded dinghy, eh?
Debut album from Ron Morelli, founder of the influential L.I.E.S. label featuring 8 electronic variants; from House and industrial tape experiments to saturated metallic beat tracks...
There’s so much that could be said about Ron Morelli, his L.I.E.S. label, or the fact that his debut album comes to you via Hospital Productions, but instead, here are some words from the man himself.
“I’m a regular guy, enjoy a good steak, drinking beer, and occasionally a game of pro basketball, Republican talk radio... you know...all the good stuff.....” “The music on this record is about immediacy, pressure, monotony and stress. A great deal of the feelings conveyed within come from the fear and repulsion of basic human interaction....like if someone sitting behind you on the plane sneezes on you or being forced to shake the clamy hand of a stranger and the intimate paranoias of the mind and dealing with it or not. Not to make some deep intellectual fuck show of this, as it is not...it’s just stress music...jammed out quick and recorded.”
“Last year, I was staying in an area where all the hookers did their work...all they would do is smoke cigarettes, read the paper, talk on their cell phones, and spit. They would spit...A LOT. I would step in that hooker spit on the way home, often tracking it into the apartment building as I entered. This is where the title of the record comes from.”