Another Drexciyan evergreen comes up for air on reissue, packing some of their deadliest electro-techno missiles, bar none
Of course, we’re mainly talking about the immense title tune, ‘Digital Tsunami’, which is also found opening the seminal ‘Harnessed The Strom’ album. It’s a never-bettered archetype of Detroit electro-techno bristling with electric blue energy and Afro-futurist Detroit soul, driven by spine-tracing arps and uniquely evolved electro-techno DNA. The others are class too, including the wonky, prophetic sci-fi electro minimalism of ‘Aquatic Cataclysm’, the highly attuned electro-funk of ‘The Plankton Organisation’ and the blissed-out, wavey beauty ‘Birth Of New Life’.
Juju & Jordash hit the tiles with 2nd volume of their “No fuss DJ/dancer friendly” series
Up top there’s a percolated disco bubbler named ‘Flashback Slack’ and the flanging techno trip ‘Spooky Rhodes Slack’, while the flipside comes faster with the effortless juke flow and nose-drip synth tang of ‘Jupiter Slack’ and a skippy minter called ‘Heavy Swing Slack’.
The Movement box set includes the vinyl LP with its original iconic sleeve designed by Peter Saville, original album CD in replica mini album sleeve, a bonus CD of previously unreleased tracks, DVD of live shows and TV appearances plus hard backed book all housed in a lift off lid box.
"Out of the ashes of Joy Division, the remaining members decided to carry on recording under the name of New Order. The band’s debut album Movement recorded between 24th April to the 4th May 1981 at Strawberry in Stockport and featuring all new material, produced by Martin Hannett was released in 11th November 1981 on Factory Records. The vinyl LP of the original album is cut on 180g and features the 2015 remastered audio, presented in a replica of the original sleeve.
The second CD includes 18 completely unreleased tracks made from Demos, Sessions, Rehearsal Recordings and an Alternative 7” version of Temptation
Accompanying the set is a 48page hard back book which features photos and an essay"
Spellbinding harmonic ambient developments from Spanish new age pioneer and soundtrack composer Suso Sáiz, making his 2nd original outing on MFM after ‘Rainworms’ LP and ‘Odisea’ compilation. A must for Eno disciples!
Anaesthetising, effortlessly sublime, the shape and feel of ‘Nothing Is Objective’ is beautifully limned in the cover art, where smudged hues of peach, pink and grey-blue keen out of centre and off the page, seeping out of the edges into space. Sáiz’s music moves just like this, conjuring borderless frames painted with gas-like tones that offer a broad detail on lushly widescreen, cosmic spaces and events. This record is the equivalent of a vast, perfect utopia where the ideas of vulnerability and friction can’t even be conceived...
A crucial Drexicya project comes back around on remastered 12” blessed with some of James Stinson’s heaviest basslines
First served on Tresor’s Supremat sublabel in 2001 and now given cat#Tresor.271, this 12” was a stone-cold warm-up for the killer LP ‘The Opening of the Cerebral Gate’. It opens with the moody, acidic electro squelch of ‘Power of the 3rd Brain’ and only gets stronger therein with chest-rattling subbass shockwaves and subaquatic pressure of ‘Disrupted Neural Gateway’, and another untypical streamlined winner named ‘Do You Want To Get Down?’, squaring up mad, slyding squares with zig-zagging synths and sparingly used vocals in one of oddest Drexicya grooves out there.
Floating Points drops his astral disco roller 'Peoples Potential' backed with the uptempo electro-jazz of 'Shark Chase' for all the beat fiends.
The A-side has already been deployed over the previous months by sure hands from Gilles Peterson to Four Tet but the effect of heavenly harmonised contours and simple but irrefutably funked percussion certainly hasn't worn off yet.
The flipside 'Shark Chase' concentrates on the Detroit/Jazzwise end of his ouevre, using rough padded kicks a la Theo Parrish with wandering keys and a swollen electro-etched bassline to make his own mark on the style. The effect is something like Omar-S jamming with The Tribe round at C2's pad, and just as cool as you'd imagine.
Philip Glass’ previously unreleased, 1975 performance of ‘Music In Twelve Parts’ is the latest archival excavation on Paris-based Transversales Disques, the label run by the GRM’s Jonathan Fitoussi.
Performed by Philip Glass with Jon Gibson, Dickie Landry, Michael Riesman, Joan La Barbera and Richard Peck, it's one of the earliest iterations of ‘Music In Twelve Parts’, which would be fully issued the following year, 1976, to become one of Glass’ best known and loved works. Placing the previously issued Parts 1 & 2 on side A, the never-before released parts 11, 3, and 12 are cut to sides B & C, finding the piece reeling off into breathtaking chromatic dervishes and ecstatic minimalism with a truly head-spinning lushness, especially in the stunning murmurations of Part 12.
Side D is effectively a piece in its own right. Recorded for french radio by Daniel Caux - musicologist and co-founder of Shandar Records - Glass speaks in french over recordings of the rehearsals for ‘Music In Twelve Parts’, held in his NYC loft. Together with the scream of sirens, it gives some fascinating context for the piece (even if you don’t parlez francais) as it inherently highlights link between the colours of the sirens and the music which we may not have gauged otherwise.
Dungeon Acid injects psychedelic vapours into steely Detroit-inspired acid/techno on his long awaited debut album proper, recorded and edited between 2010-2019 for his pals and admirers at Ideal Recordings. RIYL Underground Resistance / Börft!
Dungeon Acid has become the most vital of drummer and producer Jean-Louis Huhta’s many projects, following a musical arc since the ‘80s which has seen him variously play with crust punk group Anti Cimex (and tour the UK alongside Napalm Death in a van with no seats), become a member of cult Swedish rave band Lucky People Centre, play ritual rock tribalism with The Skull Defekts, and duel with electro-acoustic heavyweights such as Zbigniew Karkowski and CM Von Hausswolff.
Yet for all his stylistic versatility, Huhta’s heart has consistently been found in tough, driving and psychedelic strains of house and techno indebted to Detroit since the ‘90s - eventually ending up on Detroit’s influential FIT sound imprint last year. This inspiration comes out in unexpected ways across his first Dungeon Acid album proper; working within this square but malleable meter via persistently detailed tweaks and hypnotically layered productions, where he’s unafraid to push into the red or lower the tempo and croon like a shaman conducting ancient rites.
In 9 parts he effectively joins the dots between the psychy, punkish dance trax of Börft Records and the Motor City mechanics of Underground Resistance, generating a singular, machine-borne but organic flow with big highlights between jelly-limbed acid opening, through to steely warehouse hammers, a slow and skudgy hymn to nose drip dynamics, and two belting barrels of warped Biker Bar funk that would surely make the grade in the 313 any time between the early ‘90s and now.
Dungeon Acid is brilliant testament to the art of marrying mutually exclusive bedfellows as much as it is a masterclass in dare-to-be-different house and techno, all done with hard-won skills, natural personality and warmth, with history and future at the front of the mind.
Stunning, previously unheard chapter in the saga of Igor Wakhevitch, a close peer and associate of everyone from Pierre Henry to Yves Saint-Laurent and Pink Floyd, one of the first composers of his generation to make use of Moog, Synthi AKS and ARP synthesizers. responsible for some of the most remarkable synth music known to humankind.
Among the key, pioneering ‘70s artists who brought an epic sense of poetry to the language of avant-garde synth and concrete music which emerged in the ‘60s, Wakhevitch is hailed as a cult figure for his string of classic albums including ‘Logos’, ‘Docteur Faust’, and ‘Let’s Start’ between 1970-1979, as well as production for Terry Riley, and on Salvador Dalí’s opera, ‘Être Dieu’ (‘To Be God’). Most beautifully, he opened up synth music’s 3rd eye to heavy inspiration from Hindu classical music and schools of thought, leading him to spend 30 years in India prior to the construction of this, a masterful chapter in his visionary canon.
‘Kshatyra [The Eye of the Bird]’ is a remarkable, much later work, recorded in the late 90’s on Wakhevitch’s custom Mysterious Island 88 system, and later edited for this release last year. It came to Wakhevitch as a means of mediating and reconciling his ontology (the grandson to victims of the Shoah) and his knowledge of Hindu symbolism, making use of ancient Indian classical modes and the Far Eastern-influenced styles of Jean Claude-Eloy, consistently conjuring heady modes of listening, hypnotic and transcendent, that subliminally yet potently light up the subconscious.
In eight parts he navigates a journey from celestial melody through spirit-engulfing, widescreen black hole synth dimensions and glistening visions of the sublime, before seeming to collapse the firmament into the earth and vice-versa in the chapter’s glorious, durational finale brimming with elegiac church bells, sky-scorching synths and deep abstractions.
Long a cult figure to diggers and listeners in the know, the praise and admiration for Wakhevitch’s music (by everyone from Demdike Stare to Andy Votel and the GRM’s Jonathan Fitoussi) is proportionally inverse to the availability of his music, which remains all too hard to come by. This new album is crucial as a portal to worlds unheard, and a startling introduction for many to one of the most quietly important figures in electronic music.
Recently voted one of the Top 100 British Albums of all time...
So why should you want this 1969 album in your collection? Well in addition to featuring the likes of Robert Kirby (of Nick Drake fame), Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band) and the Fairport Convention's Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick, it is also regularly cited as inspiration by Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Scout Nibblet...
Possibly sounding a bit naïve in retrospect, much of 'Just Another Diamond Day' seems to exist somewhere between the Wickerman and Bagpuss, with lyrics like "the rainbow river is a laughing stream, down in a valley by a mountain that is pine tree tall...".
After crafting one of the most enduring albums of the last few years with 2008's 'Hazyville', Actress sets his sights on the future with a crucial debut for Honest Jon's.
Wheras it's predecessor was composed over a staggered period of many, many years, this album was fashioned in a fraction of that time, lending a tangible symmetry between these shapeshifting tracks that's as loose as it is detached from the rest of the modern herd. Of the 14 tracks he's selected, we've previously encountered the first two, with the unstable space float of 'Hubble' appearing on a shady Thriller 12" and his remix of Various Production's 'Lost' reminding us how good his most overlooked cuts can be.
From here in it's all about that next-level longing, sealing the airlock and initiating pressure sequence with 'Futureproofing', before laying down the robo-boogie with 'Always Human'. Showing a teflon resistance towards easy categorisation, 'Get Ohn (Fairlight Mix)' swerves down a side street into a footwurkin' face-off by cyborgs sliding to a mutilated mix of Jon E Cash and Chez Damier played underwater. Next we hit the erogenous interzone of 'Maze' and that incapacitatingly lush bassline designed to lock into your central nervous system and send shockwaves of piloerection to every f*cking corner of your soul.
After that, we're cynically dumped into the Ferraro-esque Prince tribute 'Purple Splazsh', and on into the Detroit ghetto stalk of 'Let's Fly'. The dissonant robo-crunk of 'The Kettle Men' and closing entry 'Casanova' confirm that if anything, Actress is only suffering from a surfeit of ideas and expanded technical expertise. Proof, if it were needed, that there is a sprawling future beyond the stasis of so much contemporary electronic music.
L.A.’s Benedek pulls out a balmy disco package for Music From Memory’s Second Circle sub label.
Uptown, he delivers the liquified 4th world trumpet and keeling boogie of Earlyman Dance before swapping out the trumpet for synth keys and wilder dubbing in the Canyon Version.
Downtown, on Maca he percolates natty percussion in a clipped strut soaked in lush pads and acidic bass, while Tengu’s Mystery pulls toward YMO-esque instrumental influences, and Sixtern gives it some glam slouch.
One of Convextion’s most in-demand classics, ‘Crawling & Hungry’ is finally repressed along with his ace ‘Venus In Spurs’
A total inverted-anthem in our Pelicanneck shop back at the start of this century, Convextion’s ‘Venus In Spurs’ 12” remains a high water mark of dub techno to this day. While in any normal circumstances the A-side would be hailed a total pearl, it’s really all about the B-side’s ‘Crawling And Hungry’, one of Gerard Hanson’s very deepest emotional punishers, stretched out for 11 minutes of Basic Channel-style dub chord meditation with the additional glow of Detroit techno proper and Area54 ambience.
Ask almost anyone who knows or owns this cut, they’ll probably put it in their all-time top 10. Goes for us at least.
The fluidity of the phrasing, timbral research, complex rhythmic combinations and rare sense of improvisation make this one of the best modern jazz recordings on the Saravah label in the 1970s.
"The cello, although considered a minority instrument in the history of jazz and improvisation, has carved itself a niche, both in the USA (Fred Katz, Calo Scott, Abdul Wadud, Diedre Murray, Peggy Lee) and in Europe (Tristan Honsinger, Maarten Altena, Denis Van Hecke, Ernst Reijseger). Alongside Didier Petit, Jean-Charles Capon is one of the French virtuosi on the instrument, that he began playing professionally at the beginning of the 60s before creating the Baroque Jazz Trio. His name was rapidly linked to different cult groups for who he became the guest star (Confluence, Perception, Speed Limit), but also with many more or less well-known (free) jazz musicians including David S. Ware (with whom he recorded the impeccable duo From Silence To Music), Philippe Maté, Michel Roques, André Jaume or Joe McPhee (as part of Po Music). Jef Gilson helped get his career under way (they recorded together as far back as 1968) before Pierre Barouh, boss of Saravah records with who Jean-Charles Capon played alongside Brigitte Fontaine and Areski, offered him the opportunity to record his first album: L'Univers-solitude. In the company of Swiss percussionist Pierre Favre, Jean-Charles Capon demonstrated, in all registers, a level of invention way beyond a traditional rhythmic and melodic background, with the fluid phrasing a perfect complement to his extended range.
It is not for nothing that Jean-Charles Capon admires Duke Ellington, John Lewis and Gabriel Fauré, as can be heard on his later highly personal versions of "Mood Indigo", "Django" and "Après un rêve". As for Pierre Favre, he is not there just to make up the numbers: his timbral research and combinations of complex rhythms offer the French cellist wonderful interaction throughout this remarkable album which had finally been given a dignified rerelease."
Lush, floating vocal studies and diaphanous ambient electronic from Alis, the artist who used to be known as Subeena.
‘Paper cuts’ is a pleasant experience, convecting a meditative vibe between her Aïsha Devi-alike ritual ‘Papercuts’, the anaesthetised space and harmonic hues of ‘BCC: me’, and the blue/grey skied atmosphere in ‘Rely (Could I)’, before shifting into more blunted, folksy ambient-pop dimensions with the etheric ‘Status’ and the glossolalic keen of ‘water’.
Following the reissue of Robert Ashley’s ‘Private Parts’ last week, a reanimated Lovely Music serve this absolute pearl from David Behrman, an important and beautiful artefact of interactive computer music recorded in 1977 and featuring a primitive microcomputer manipulating and evolving improvised acoustic parts for flute, bassoon and cello. It was conceived and recorded in parallel to the arrival of the first home computers, and is one of the earliest, most subtle and satisfying examples of machine language interacting with acoustic instrumentation we’ve heard.
"On the Other Ocean” was recorded in 1977 at the influential Mills College and features Maggi Payne on flute, Arthur Stidfole on bassoon and David Behrman on electronics, feeding their improvisations into the Kim-1 microcomputer for "Harmonic Responses” - or a kind of primitive machine learning. As the label explain: "The relationship between the two musicians and the computer is an interactive one, with the computer changing the electronically-produced harmonies in response to what the musicians play, and the musicians influenced in their improvising by what the computer does."
Behrman expands: "When we went into the Mills recording studio that sunny September afternoon with the breeze blowing through the Golden Gate, we had had no previous rehearsal; Maggi Payne and Arthur Stidfole had never performed together; the simple software (typed laboriously by hand in machine language into the tiny hexadecimal keypad of the "Kim 1" microcomputer) had just been completed. I had no idea what would happen. When Maggi and Arthur began spinning off their long, calm phrases I remember being surprised. And I remember catching an expression of what looked like surprise on the countenance of "Blue" Gene Tyranny through the control room window. We did two takes, chose one and that was it."
"Figure in a Clearing” followed a similar process, but this time the main player was cellist David Gibson, once again feeding into the Kim-1. Behrman explains: "It seemed astounding in 1977 that a translucent green circuit board with a tiny brain on it could take a million instructions per second from its little memory and send commands to another device (the home-made music synthesizer) whenever its program asked it to do so. David Gibson's only "score" was a list of 6 pitches to be used in performance, and a request that he not speed up when the computer-controlled rhythm did. The timbral richness and concentrated eloquence of his playing sprang from his own sources.”
Listening to this edition over 40 years later, the thing that’s perhaps most striking about these recordings is their subtlety; where you’d perhaps expect to find heavy-handed utilisation of new technology, instead you discover slowly evolving, gently mutating pieces hiding a multitude of processes. Behrman’s work here is so startling in its beauty and subtlety that it should be used as a textbook guide for how to approach innovative technology; with patience, restraint and consideration.
Serenely calm, synth-gilded harp meditations with a slight southern gothic air from Mary Lattimore, following up her rarified outings and collaborations for Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey and Constellation Tatsu. In an age full of exhausting noise, chaos and unconscious verbalism, Mary Lattimore and Mac McCaughan’s “New Rain Duets” offers an antidote.
"Diaphanous melody emerges from the strings of Lattimores harp, at times reminiscent of a room full of antique music boxes playing different songs but in accord. The synthesizer textures from McCaughan float in and around the harps arpeggios, warm like cloud cover, then disturbed and more harshly electronic. Like the textures on Bowie’s Berlin albums with Eno, there is a constant sense of beauty and foreboding coexistent.
The collaboration’s four movements snake and float through a liminal sonic universe, without a linear sense of tension/release but rather a calm and brooding build into a widening pool of immersive sound. “New Rain Duets” proves that “cosmic music” lives not just in the notes played but also the ones in between. When rendered in such a way as this album, it yields a thing of true beauty and wonder."
Five years on from Space Is Only Noise, the once precocious composer Nico Jaar pursues that album’s blend of dancefloor mechanics, hip hop and ambient electronic pop into the more refined, layered designs of Sirens; its follow-up proper after dallying with Dave Harrington in Darkside and scoring/re-scoring films by Jacques Audiard and Sergei Parajanov, and even racking up BBC Radio 1’s mix of the year for his 2012 Essential Mix.
Whether weaving nods to Alice Coltrane with funereal torch song in Killing Time, or sounding like gothic Trentemøller doing clattery, jazzed-up D&B on The Governor, and even smoky ’50s doo-wop mixed with desiccated rocksteady groove in History Lesson, whose title is perhaps the earnest key to Sirens, Jaar’s 2nd album is slightly trickier to date than its predecessor, yet detectable nostalgic for another time and place.
We’re most attracted to its quieter moments, as with the ether drift of Leaves and its gauzy smudge of brass, strings and pads infiltrated with what we’ll assume is a sample of Nico as a child babbling to his famous father, making for a nice, innocent contrast with the rest of his earnest, pleading croons.
Still one of the best techno albums out of Berlin in this millennium so far, Shed’s seminal debut LP, Shedding The Past is finally and necessarily reissued on his own label, The Final Experiment - newly expanded to include all 12 tracks from the CD edition, and cut to heavier vinyl than the original 2008 pressing!
Thanks to the timeless cues and intent it was built on, Shedding The Past still sounds amazing today, working to an effortlessly adroit, light-footed and dynamic schematic that makes much of his subsequent work feel a bit clunky and overdone by comparison.
On release in 2008, it was a seriously big album for a techno world in flux between classic Detroit house, echoes of UK dubstep, broken beat and Braindance, and traces of tuffer Frankfurt sounds - all components of the Soloaction sound he’d developed for years prior.
Fair to say that Shed distilled those styles perfectly in his début album, as proved in its most impressive highlights such as the balletic gait of Another Wedged Chicken, the misty-eyed beauty of The Lower Upside Down and the breakbeat seduction of ITHAW, but most powerfully in its spine-freezing eternal anthem, Estrange.
Trust us: no techno collection is complete without a copy of this album.
After indulging us with the magnificent Burial Mix perfections of 'King In My Empire' and 'Jah Rule', Moritz and Mark return with a new golliath 12" on the Rhythm and Sound imprint.
Instrumentals on both sides, the most noticeable element as soon as the space echoes of the opening 'Imprint' rumble in is that the formula that has been conceived and perfected by M+M will never cease to amaze. Reverberating pops and emmited static fold themselves around the incredibly deep, rumbling bassline. Shards of dub delay infiltrate the mix, but the cathartic drift of the track is, simply put, mesmerising. 'Trace' is another choice cut, the hiss thrown deep to the fore, almost like a straight cut that was mangled by interference.
‘United’ is the incredible, ambiguous solo debut of medieval and electronic music hybrids by classically trained viola player Annie Garlid as UCC Harlo. To us it sounds like a baroque take on Arthur Russell's 'World Of Echo' treated with choral riffs.
One of the most striking debuts we've heard recently, ‘United’ introduces a patently gifted composer blossoming after many years playing on other people’s records, from early music ensembles to contemporaries such as Bill Kouligas, Caterina Barbieri and Holly Herndon. In her first solo LP Garlid reconciles these opposing poles of her work without making any concessions to her art, rendering a stellar set that ties up medieval baroque, deconstructed dance music, vaulted kosmische and hauntological ambient-pop in a measured, stately and quietly breathtaking style.
Recorded over six years in Germany, the album started as sketches made during train commutes to work in a Cologne orchestra, and was later finished in Berlin. Across its 8 tracks, Garlid weaves complex contexts into beautifully refined compositions with a preternatural patience and timeless grace that’s anything but difficult to grasp for listeners with little to no knowledge of early and classical music modes.
It’s rare to hear such a diverse yet coherent collection executed quite like ‘United’. From the opening swell of viola, mixed with trickling field recordings, synth, and Garlid’s etheric vox in ‘Ceres’, it’s clear that this is a special record, a fact only reinforced as it unfolds between the subtly daring, detached treatment of J.S. Bach in ‘Bach Gamba F*ucked’, and the celestial vectors of ‘Palimpsest/Too Near’, before the gently pendulous rhythm of ‘Lyricisty of Panic’ begins to pull influence from Baroque, as much as traditional African music and Berlin kosmiche, and ambient arabesque of ‘The Secret Lives of Plankton’ extends into lush synth zones recalling Laurie Spiegel’s ‘Unseen Worlds’.
The other side only gets more intriguing, chiming in with the synthetic serenity of Maggi Payne’s ‘Crystal’ in the floating ambience of ‘June 29th (The Third Space)’, and puckering our nerves with the bittersweet intonation of ’Sumite karissimi’, her synth version of a 14th C. work by Magister Zacharias, whilst ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’ drifts from choral meditation to flanged church bells with a surreal, waking dream quality, and the pulsing arps of her remarkable ‘Áve Giove’ brings the Lorenzo Senni inspiration into tangible focus, yet with that elusive, ambiguously oneiric quality that makes the whole album so subtly transfixing.
For the good of your health, Warp have re-pressed one of electronic music's golden moments. Like many we've lived with this album for a long time now and it safely ranks in our personal best ever list...
Maja S.K. Ratkje’s spellbinding ‘Sult’ is based on her soundtrack for the ballet suite by Jo Strømgren for the Norwegian national ballet. Leading on from her previous solo LP ‘Crepuscular Hour’, Ratkje is here accompanied by a wildly modified, out-of-tune pump organ in 9 wonderous songs that attest to her non pareil, improvisational brilliance.
Stemming from the ballet adaptation of ‘Sult’, Knut Hamsen’s classic novel about a starving writer in late 19th century Kristiania (now Oslo), Maja’s treatment closely follows its themes in the lyrics and music, but works as a distinctive document in its own right. Under song titles taken from the novel, Maja unfurls surreal, anachronistic scenes akin to a steampunk echo of olde Oslo.
Using an era-appropriate pump organ rigged with metal and PVC tubes, and a wind machine built in, along with resin threads, metal and glass percussion and bow - which she had to learn to play before recording - Maja regales the narration with a fine but beautifully loose grasp of her instrument’s chaotic analog nature, skilfully harmonising with her own, incredible vocal abilities.
Despite having never read the book or visited Oslo, Maja’s music and singing takes us right there, to the same cold cobbled streets where Hamsen wrote his semi-autobiographical account of a starving artist trying to make it, and where you might encounter images that gave rise to Edvard Munch’s ’Skrik’ . Through the resilience of her voice and the queasy, off-kilter shanty feel of the pump organ, Maja most romantically and acutely connotes that atmosphere with the timeless charm of a bard, troubadour or dramaturgist, or quite simply the ambiguous, dreamy nature of the most potent art.
The Basic Reshape of Carl Craig's 'The Climax' is without question one of the finest remixes of all time. Seminal 12" from Basic Channel....
It's a definitive, driving, hypnotic club killer that rebuilt the tribal mastery of the original into a logic-defying display of bass shuffles and aquatic percussion that kills us every time/
"Remake" Basic Reshape from 1994 relates to "Remake Uno/Duo", Carl's sample-based re-interpretation of Manuel Göttschings epochal E2-E4. Basic Channel take a radical, abstract, sample-free approach with a breathtaking slow motion groove under a multilayered sound sphere.
Instrumental version of the debut album from Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons
"As co-founder of Fuck Buttons; the highly-influential electronic duo, Andrew Hung has toured extensively with headline shows at the Kentish Town Forum, Glastonbury and Greenman Festivals, been featured on the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and all three albums have featured as Best New Music on Pitchfork. His production work has included Zun Zun Egui’s “Shackles Gift” and co-writing/ co-producing the critically acclaimed “Kidsticks” by Beth Orton.
In 2016 he soundtracked the multiple-award winning film “The Greasy Strangler”, and was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the Empire Awards. In 2018 he soundtracked director Jim Hoskins’ follow up to “The Greasy Strangler”; “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” starring Aubrey Plaza and Jermaine Clement. His debut solo album, ‘Realisationship’ was released via Lex Records in 2017"
A wonderfully fine-feathered free jazz zinger from L.A., 1978, Horace Tapscott and the Pan Peoples Arkestra’s ‘The Call’ is reissued by DJ Harv’s Outernational Sounds for the first time
“Our Music is contributive, rather than competitive” - Horace Tapscott. Working under the right kinda steam, Tapscott and company play a blinder here, sending us reeling with the deliciously complex, rolling syncopation and flighty horns of ‘The Call’, then seducing with the mellifluous appearance of Adele Sebastian in ‘Quagmire Manor at Five A.M.’ before erupting into needlepoint bebop, and back out to Adele. Percussion fiends will then be in their element with the lithe, Afro-latinate swing and frenzied paso-doble vamps of ‘Nakatini Suite’, before they switch up and out again with the heady sway of strings and wind, hunched breaks and searching clarinet of ‘Peyote Song No. III.’
A proper Bobby Dazzler, this!
Proper ’93-style breakbeat ardcore pressure from TCM’s ‘Mind Bombing’ album, reissued for all 2019 rave kru
Originally dished up on the legendary Labello Blanco, the ‘Joyrider EP’ came at the latter end of TCM’s early ‘90s run, but still fires on all cylinders between the A-side’s fractious, patchworked zinger ‘Joyrider 2 (Last Ride To Hell)’ full of dubwise handbrake turns and dancefloor G-force, before ‘The Only Solution’ gets rabid with running man breaks, junglist sirens and twilight darkcore vibes, and ‘Voice Of The Mind’ gets nutty with bruxist string tension, shrieking divas and hyper old skool vibes - one of the last of its ilk before the ’94 phase shift.
Bugged-out but slow, heaving groves from Beijing’s Zaliva-D duo. Imagine a darker, munted Tzusing meets Toresch
“Welcome to the richly rhythmic and deeply esoteric world of Zaliva-D. Based in the Chinese capital of Beijing, they’ve been circling the country’s borders for more than a decade due to the extreme difficulty of streaming music there. Zaliva-D consists of musician Li Chao and Aisin-Gioro Yuanjin, who’s responsible for their stunning live visuals.
Wrapped around a core of gut wrenchingly ferocious kicks and haunting vocals, these tracks possess a mantra-like quality and drown the listener into a world of Chinese and South East Asian textures. Forsaken, mastered by Wouter Brandenburg, is their most well-written, organic and esoteric record to date, showing a more fragile, sensitive side.”
Funky experimental Swiss producer, Bruno Spoerri’s winking synth motifs and playful grooves are subject of WRWTFWW Records’ latest vintage survey, pulling proto-techno, ecological ambient and industrial field recordings into a wide-scoped overview spanning 1971-1998 following their reissues of 1978’s ‘Voice of Taurus’ and ‘The Sound of UFOs’ , and his outings on Finders Keepers
“Rare & Unreleased 1971-1998, is a collection of never-heard and hard-to-find works by Swiss music pioneer and synth super wizard Bruno Spoerri. The album is sourced from original masters and available on a vinyl LP cut at Emil Berliner Studios (formerly the in-house recording department of Deutsche Grammophon), housed in a 350g sleeve with a superb artwork by Nicolas Eigenheer, and packed with track-by-track liner notes by Mr. Spoerri.
Rare & Unreleased 1971-1998 gives a fascinating glimpse into Bruno Spoerri’s incredibly inventive repertoire, collecting tracks from projects as diverse as commissioned music for trade fairs, the Swiss railroads, or the union of Swiss cheese makers(!), soundtracks for TV shows about ecology, live synth improvisations at Montreux Jazz Festival, and sound installations for art exhibitions. Always the adventurer, Spoerri records a pneumatic drill for the irresistible electronic bossa of "Konzert für SIG-Pressluftwerkzeuge", mixes train sounds and the EMS Synthi-100 for the joyful lo-fi funk of "Rollin’", lets overheating synthesizers take a life of their own to create the sci-fi ambient of "Waves of Montreux", and works with bees, pigs and various birds for the environmental music bliss of "Rhythm’n bees" and "Birds of Cochin". Synthzerland rejoice, it’s time for another captivating journey of sound exploration on Planet Spoerri!
Bruno Spoerri celebrated his 83th birthday in August this year. He is still experimenting, recording, customizing audio gear, improvising on stage and in the studio, collaborating (Julian Sartorius, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Marco Repetto of Grauzone, Roger Girod…), inventing new sounds and finding new creative outlets. His immense, innovative, and award-filled career started in the 1950s and covers jazz, electronic music, film and tv work, early techno, ambient, and everything in between. Mr. Spoerri has influenced an entire generation of producers and musicians, including Jay-Z who sampled his song "On My Way" (without permission) for "Versus" on Magna Carta…Holy Grail (an agreement was later arranged).”
Necessary repress of Molly Nilsson’s ohrwurm-riddled and sought-after early classic, ‘History’ , which now trades for £100 average on 2nd hand market...
““I hope you die by my side, the two of us at the exact same time, I hope we die not long from now, the two of us at the exact same time”
By the time Molly Nilsson released History, she had already established a fledgling cult status built on homemade YouTube videos and home-burnt Cdrs. Writing from a distance, it’s clear that History is the first classic album in her canon and arguably a classic of the 21st Century underground music panorama. While the methodology on History hadn’t changed from Nilsson’s previous 3 albums – it was recorded solo at The Lighthouse, Nilsson’s home studio based on a Berlin crossroads – on this record the songwriting reached a new peak and the emotional scythe cut deeper. Here, Nilsson managed to combine a cosmic, outward looking perspective with an intimate knowledge of the human condition and its place in these turbulent times. In truth, no other songwriter has excavated the modern psyche so clearly and perfectly.
The tracklist to Nilsson’s fourth album reads as an early greatest hits for Molly Nilsson followers and also serves as the perfect entry point to a whole world the artist has been building for the last 10 years. In Real Life crystalises the millenial obsession with relationships built online, with a generation paying for the baby boomer’s excesses with their anxiety towards the harshness of every day life. It’s a call to arms for a generation who fell in love on Skype. On I Hope You Die, one of Molly Nilsson’s most iconic songs, the songwriter flips the song title into a tale of doomed romance, a relationship based on miscommunications and the thrill of the other. It’s also one of the most heartfelt songs full of pathos written by anyone, an ode to obsession. Doomed romance, life lived on the flipside of day and the role of the outsider in society are themes that crop up through-out History. On Bottles Of Tomorrow, the narrator is sweeping up, in love with the night and examining the remains a society
Available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years, Outernational Sounds proudly presents a crucial document from the Los Angeles jazz underground - the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at their most together, stretching out on home turf in 1979, with the legendary Horace Tapscott at the helm.
"Horace Tapscott is one of the unsung giants of jazz music. A gifted composer and arranger, a boldly original pianist, and above all a visionary bandleader, Tapscott’s recorded footprint is small, but his legacy continues to vibrate through the Los Angeles music underground. From Freestyle Fellowship to Build An Ark, Kamasi Washington and Dwight Trible, it all traces back to Tapscott. The pianist was an organiser, and instead of chasing a successful recording career, he wanted to build a community band that would act as ‘a cultural safe house for the music.’ ‘I wanted to say, “This is your music. This is black music, and I want to present a panorama of the whole thing right here”’ said Tapscott in the late 1990s. ‘We would preserve the music on our ark, the mothership…’ That mothership was the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra – the Ark. As a culturally radical, communal big band with a visionary approach to American Black music, Tapscott’s group is second only to the other famous Arkestra, that of Sun Ra.
Tapscott had founded the group in 1961 as the Underground Musicians Association (UGMA). It changed its name to the Pan African Peoples Arkestra in 1971, and through the seventies the players lived, played and worked together. Community work and political consciousness were at the heart of the project, and for two decades they played in street, park and coffee house. With Tapscott as their guide and mentor, the Arkestra worked with theatre groups, poets and revolutionaries, ran music workshops and teaching sessions for children and adults, and played fundraisers, benefits and rallies for political and social causes both global and local.
From 1973 to 1981 their main rehearsal and concert space was the Immanuel United Church of Christ (I.U.C.C.) on 85th St and Holmes Ave. The Arkestra played there every second Sunday, developing their sound and hipping new audiences to their vision. Live At I.U.C.C., recorded in early 1979, was the only live recording the band released. In full flow, and at the height iof their powers, the group recorded here features original 1961 UGMA members Linda Hill, David Bryant and Alan Hines, alongside the powerful voices of a new generation including Jesse Sharps, Sabir Mateen, and Adele Sebastian.
Showcasing spiritualised classics from Arkestra’s songbook, including the heavy modal groovers ‘Desert Fairy Princess’ and ‘Macrame’, Live At I.U.C.C. is a rare chance to hear one of the most important, foundational bands in the music stretching out on their own thing. With the great Horace Tapscott at the piano, this is the rarely captured sound of the mothership in full flight!"
Solid, mid ‘80s Italo/NYC-styled dance trax from Masalo on the Rush Hour Store Jams series
A-side ‘New Dance’ is a dead on but slippery charge of clenched arps and cracking Linn drum punctuation lit up with slick pads to enhance your glyde. B-side ‘allows more space into the mix, to be filled with chattering vocal cut-ups while the groove holds tight.
Melvins released their album ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’ in 2018. It featured both ongoing Melvins bassplayer Steven McDonald (Redd Kross, OFF!) and Butthole Surfers and occasional Melvins bottom ender Jeff Pinkus on bass. Ipecac are now releasing a special double 10” coloured vinyl edition of the album.
“We’ve never had two bass players. We’ve had two drummers and two guitar players so it makes total sense to now have two bass players,” says Buzz Osborne. ‘Stop Moving To Florida’ is a medley of the James Gang’s ‘Stop’ and Butthole Surfers’ ‘Moving To Florida’. The band also cover The Beatles’ ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and Butthole Surfers’ ‘Graveyard’ on the eight-song release."
On his third full-length for Death Waltz Originals, PHV pushes himself sound into new avenues.
"This LP has a sleazy-club vibe and some absolutely brutal acid jams interspersed throughout its runtime, as well as his usual spooky synth sounds. The album transposes the bars and clubs of William Friedkin’s CRUISING to a night of diethyl ether rag-fueled acid house and goth vibes. Cover art by We Buy Your Kids."
A lost electronic gem of UK post punk vintage resurfaces with Kevin Harrison’s 1981 debut ‘Inscrutably Obvious’ - which is also known as ‘On Earth 2’ in its 1980 edition via Eyeless In Gaza’s Ambivalent Scale
Vacillating lo-fi disco miniatures with Gray-like percussive experiments, slinky lounge grooves with Burroughsian cut-ups and dub-funk, or shimmering avant-blues and new age/4th world incursions; there’s a hell of a lot going on with ‘Inscrutably Obvious’, and it’s all excellent to boot.
Somehow escaping wider attention until now, bar a few compilation appearances and use of his disco bits by Danielle Baldelli and TEED, Kevin Harrison’s debut LP is crammed with 17 parts that never outstay their welcome, adding up to something like a high quality, multi-artist compilation, yet remarkably all from just one gifted guy.
If you like anything from Leven Signs to Dome, The Normal, K. Leimer or early Eyeless in Gaza, you need to give this a whirl!
Perhaps the only good thing to emerge from Brexit is The Matthew Herbert United Kingdom and Gibraltar European Union Membership Referendum Big Band, herein referred to as TMHUKAGEUMRBB, and their album ‘The State Between Us’.
Presented as an album ruminating on what it is to be British in 2018, aside from the obvious shame and embarrassment, it locates a strength in numbers and our eccentricities with a cast of a thousand performers responding to the premature ejaculation of Article 50. Between them, they document an imagined journey on foot across Great Britain thru a mix of elegiac melodies with site-specific recordings of Chequers, a Welsh sheep farm, felled WWII planes, and walks along the Northern Irish border that lend a poetic, historically apt reading of a country entering the grip of madness.
Across the album’s 16 songs Herbert and co pull from every aspect of the past two years of Brexit, from interminable news cycles to a spectrum of British eccentricities, to our intrinsic links with the rest of the world, not to mention the EU. The results frame a contemplative collection of arrangements that, while sadly unlikely to change any Brexiteers minds, may at the least give them pause for thought, to reflect on all the good shit they’re so eager to extinguish.
It would be presumptuous of us to expect that all of our UK customers share our sentiment, but we’d wager a £10 that most of you do, and likewise many of our EU and RoW customers. So in effect we’re probably preaching to the choir. But in case we’re not, and you’re up for leaving the EU - and appreciate British sites like ours, or the wonderfully esoteric make-up of British culture in general - know that this could be seriously jeopardised by the clueless Tory pebbles (and those they’ve hoodwinked) who are clinging like winnets to the arsehole of Brexit. Fuck knows what we can do to remedy it apart form support albums like ‘The State Between Us’, and the wholly sensible idea of a 2nd referendum, come what may (or when May goes).
“Between 1995 and 2000 I was able to play sixteen concerts with Ornette. Before each concert he would write ten new pieces that we would work out and record during an entire week at his Harmolodic studio in Harlem, New York."
"Since he wanted me to contribute the cards (sounds) for his melodies, I was directly involved in the composition process. “Once the concert was over, the songs would never be played again. I am now the only one who has all of the recordings and the sheet music for a total of 170 pieces. And after about twenty years, I have put together the most beautiful of his melodies and ballads and recorded them for piano solo. With the exception of ‘Lonely Woman’, none of the pieces has ever been released by Ornette.”
…And the earth crack'd to reveal Scott Walker & Sunn 0)))'s colossal offspring 'Soused' in its riveting, tragic glory.
Four years on from their intended collaboration in 'Monoliths & Dimensions', the arch avant-crooner meets the robed duo (and Tos Nieuwenhuizen) at the apex of their powers, presenting a peerless, operatic vision of doom metal informed as much by Native American history and the underground US psyche as experimental jazz and electronic dynamics. We can safely say it matches and surpasses our high expectations of the project, offering a complex, widescreen portal to a chiaroscuro world slashed in black by Anderson and O'Malley and illuminated by Walker's range of possessed vocal personas, from anguished despair to internal torment and shocking convulsions.
Embarking over the bull-whipped Moog bass momentum and banking riffs of 'Brando', Walker is a disturbing yet utterly compelling presence enticing us to cross thresholds into the arcane, uncanny worlds animated by Sunn 0))), whether projecting across the molasses drone trudge of 'Bull' or alternately wilting and lashing out from the percussive attacks and abyssal tar pits of 'Herod 2014'. By 4th song 'Fetish' their path has narrowed to a 'marish corridor of re-amped synth ghouls and spectral noise before distant drums abort the pregnant drones somewhere in the final third, for closing shot, 'Lullaby' to emulsify their unheimlich resolution at its most dramatic, synth-fired and intimate. It's a genuinely remarkable session, surely one of 2014's best.
Renowned Japanese vocalist Phew meets fellow sonic alchemists Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi on ‘Patience Soup’, pushing her envelope even further than last year’s admirably uncompromising hook-up with The Raincoats’ Ana Da Silva.
“Patience Soup presents the entirety of a live performance from the trio of Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke, and Japanese underground legend Phew that took place at the Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center on November 4th, 2015.
Known to many listeners outside Japan primarily for her early collaborations with members of Can, Phew has been undergoing something of a creative renaissance in the last few years, prolifically recording and releasing a body of work that strips away the band arrangements present on most of her past releases to focus solely on her raw DIY electronics and possessed vocal stylings. Forming a perfect companion to 2017’s well-received Voice Hardcore, a series of pieces composed of only her processed voice that saw Phew push her work into the most abstract terrain yet, Patience Soup finds the trio inhabiting an uneasy landscape of moans, howls, and smeared electronic sonorities.
Presented in atmosphere-enhancing room fidelity, the set begins in crunching textural abstraction and Phew’s vocal asides, set against a backdrop of Ambarchi’s shimmering Leslie-cabinet guitar tones and O’Rourke’s synthetic slivers. A testament to the risk-taking prowess of these three master improvisers, the performance moves organically from ecstatic crescendos powered by Phew’s processed wails to moments of near-silence in which a translucent veil of lingering electronic tones is gently punctuated by O’Rourke’s chiming piano chords. Constantly shifting, both harmonically and dynamically, Patience Soup is suffused throughout with a haunted energy and shows these three established figures continuing to venture out into uncharted territory.”
Killer-mode Industrial curveballs from cult French duo Geins’t Naït recorded between 1986-1993, the first instalment in a planned trilogy of archival compilations on Low Jack’s Éditions Gravats. They make a sound somewhere in the orbit of minimal Prince/Linndrum productions played at half speed and crossed with early Muslimgauze E.g Oblique Graph. In other words, deadly gear...
Following on from the legendary duo’s class 2018 salvo on Vladimir Ivkovic’s Offen Music, Low Jack throws another curveball on Editions Gravats’ with a trove of unreleased Geins’t Naït material showcasing the sexy swivel and atmospheres that distinguished Thierry Merigout and Laurent Petitgrand’s band from the rest of the french industrial scene. Turning inspirations from the Surrealists and Situationists into a rawly fascinating mixture of slow, pendulous rhythms, chattering electronics and over-the-shoulder vocals, the results are evidently a prime fit for Gravats' expanding catalogue of psychedelic, percussive oddities.
‘Archives 1/3’ volleys 11 examples of the art brut pair hewing at the coalface of industrial music, locating rich seams of rhythm-driven experimentation that still sound vital, over 30 years later. In the process, it highlights a tangible link between early industrial musick, its tribalist reference points, and the current state of play in dancehalls across the world, where everything from ragga to techno and noise are fair game.
To be specific, DJs and dancers will be in their element with roughshod aces such as the swivelling might of ‘Fix’, the industrial martial arts of ‘Quivala’, and the squashed pressure of ‘La Plus Belle De Tout’ and ‘Abs Trac 1’, but they’re best heard in context of the whole, alongside more possessed workouts such as the Muslimgauze-in-tongues vibe of ‘Rossi Aldo’, the Godlflesh-like seethe of ‘Roman’, and the kind of necrotising, slowed-down EBM darkness in ‘Cameo’ which wouldn’t sound out of place on the ‘Decoder’ soundtrack.
Black Dice cat Eric Copeland runs roughshod around house, disco and techno in his patented ‘Freakbeat 4/4’ style for DFA
Also self-described as “late Night Flight proto tekno”, the tracks are imperfectly caught between avant-rock and messy dancefloor sensibilities in a rub n tug between some of his straightest groves and haywire hooks.
Best of the lot are ‘Pay Off’ which sounds like Larry Heard lost his shit while running through ‘Feel It’ and ended up going well off road, and likewise ‘Beat It’, which could be Arthur Russell doing acid and then making it, and the two squirming 8-bit steppers ‘Falo’ and ‘High Score Zed’.
Marja Ahti poetically manifests the super-natural and pataphysical via environmental field recordings, Buchla 200, ARP 2600, bowl gong and harmonium with ‘Vegetal Negatives’, her first proper release under this name following a run of tapes and LPs as Tsembla, and roles in Finnish psych ensembles Kiila and Kemialliset Ystävät. Imagine the sound of dolphins swimming through soil, or Wanda Group finding his true form as a bed of nettles…
‘Vegetal Negatives’ brings to light Finnish artist Marja Ahti’s deeply sensuous and texturally-aware style of holistic composition, giving voice to the natural world as a prism through which to imagine what happens when the natural order of biology and physics mutate in unreal ways.
This poetic license opens up Marja’s sound to vivid reaches of the imagination. Moving on from her string of albums as Tsembla, and her work in the Kemialliset Ystävät and Kiila ensembles, she navigates a lushly overgrown garden of the mind in four parts. Two longer sections ‘Coastal Inversion’ and ‘Chora’ offer immersive space-time manipulations, with the former meshing brittle, glassy sounds with head-wobbling acoustic chicanery to sound like some jellified gamelan orchestra, while the 12 minute ‘Chora' - laced with deeply strange, breathing organisms, most spellbindingly gives voice to the natural world, both human, and, in effect, Ur-Terrestrial.
They’re separated by two more concise works, the para-dimensional space of ‘Rooftop Garden’ with its richly evocative segues between mechanical and environmental sounds, and ’Symbiogenesis’, which sounds like phosphorescing flora singing to each other after sundown.
From Syria via L.A. and upstate New York, K Á R Y Y N makes a strong impression with debut album ‘The Quanta Series’, following a beguiling collaboration with Actress’ Young Paint Ai. No half measures here, K Á R Y Y N is a proper triple threat, writing, producing and performing every track in a dramatic, soaring heart-on-sleeve style of IDM/ambient and operatic pop RIYL Björk, Holly Herndon, Fovea Hex
“Written and recorded over a seven year period, 'THE QUANTA SERIES' tracks K Á R Y Y N’s movements across continents on a voyage of self-examination. Beginning in 2011 following the death of two relatives in Aleppo, K Á R Y Y N left her native LA for Cherry Valley, upstate New York to process her grief in seclusion. During the 18 months she lived in Cherry Valley, K Á R Y Y N wrote two songs for 'THE QUANTA SERIES'. The first was a visceral, emotional piece recorded in one take called 'TODAY I READ YOUR LIFE STORY 11:11'. The second, a musing on impermanence and understanding the impact of our choices called 'SEGMENT & THE LINE'.
Over the years that followed, K Á R Y Y N spent time living in Berlin where she wrote 'PURGATORY', a song inspired by a memory from her childhood spent in the Forty Mountains of Idlib province in Syria. As she travelled, she found inspiration everywhere, leaning into her own familial legacy, feelings of grief and love and observations on human interaction. A deep connection to her lineage is a concurrent theme in K Á R Y Y N’s work, with an interpretation of traditional Armenian folk song 'AMBETS GORAV' present on the album plus a beautiful choral patchwork called 'MIRROR ME' providing an introspective break in the album - a track about "facing yourself, the good, the bad; searching for the parts in us that have been lost."
Border Community’s Luke Abbott does effervescent solo piano niceness, logically extending his arc of refinement from his dancefloor-readied debut thru his soundtracky later works to this, his most genteel LP to date.
“FLOAT proudly welcomes their second artist into the fold. UK electronic artist and Szun Waves band member Luke Abbott, presents a special 10-track album to celebrate Piano Day 2019 – an international event series initiated by Nils Frahm which acts as a platform for piano-related projects.
“It's a very self-contained body of work, I haven't ever made music with this kind of sound pallet before” – Luke Abbott
‘Music for the Edge of an Island’ sees Abbott divert from his typically experimental electronic style to explore a more compositional approach centred around VST instruments. Rather than the usual themes of synthesis and improvisation, the album is lead by piano motifs, structured around emotive melodies and sparkling arrangements. The record began as a part of a soundtrack commission by producer / actor Jessica Hynes for her film ‘The Fight’ and ultimately became a fully-realised album. The film script had a coastal setting that created the record’s thematic idea: “I had this idea about being on the edge of England, almost ready to fall off a cliff into the sea but keeping your balance on the edge.”
Kompakt staple Jörg Burger (The Modernist, Burger/Ink ++) initiates a new compilation series, ‘Velvet Desert Music’ with 15 choice cuts strung between traces of rock, folk, country, surf, krautrock and psychedelic contemporary electronic music
“The concept shares some similarities to Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series as unlike a conventional compilation of tracks from different artists, Velvet Desert Music Vol.1 is a collection of music that creates a distinct vibe and atmosphere.
Jörg Burger is responsible for the concept and selection. The styles of music presented on Velvet Desert Music Vol. 1 play a crucial role and influence in his work for many years. Now he has created a platform for these styles. Beside showcasing his own music, Jörg Burger kept to inviting a close circle of friends and colleagues that share similar influences in their work. All of their contributions were specially composed or remixed for this collection.
Velvet Desert Music Vol. 1 features the first new Burger/Ink track since the release of their iconic full length “Las Vegas” on Harvest and Matador Records in 1996.
“Just think...from Sergio Leone to David Lynch, from Elvis in his deepest moments to Johnny Cash somewhere between amphetamine backlash and American Recordings, from Hollywood Babylon to Hotel California, from Mulholland Drive to Paris, Texas. Served with a pinch of Tago Mago and Pink Floyd at Pompeii. Then you know exactly what Velvet Desert Music is about...“ – JÖRG BURGER”
Floating Points’ personal collection of global soul, ambient, jazz and folk treasures form the latest in Late Night Tales series.
"Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points’ music taste is notoriously tricky to define, ranging from ethereal classical at one end to coruscating techno at the other, united only in a firm belief in the transcendental power of music to move hearts, minds and – yes – feet. Similarly, his production career has ranged from early experiments in dance music with breakout records such as the ‘Shadows EP’ and collaborating with legendary Gnawa master Mahmoud Guinia to his expansive album ‘Elaenia’, which met with critical acclaim upon its release in 2015.
This Late Night Tales excursion into the depths of the evening reflects his broad tastes. The globally-travelled producer has collected untold treasures on his travels from dusty stores in Brazil to market stalls near his hometown. There’s the gorgeous ‘Via Làctea’, culled from Carlos Walker’s debut album, Abu Talib’s (Bobby Wright) plaintive ‘Blood Of An American’ and Robert Vanderbilt’s gospel reworking of Manchild’s ‘Especially For You’. Raw soul and feeling oozing from each song’s pores.
At the other end of the music scale are the modernists, such as Québécoise Kara-Lis Coverdale who weighs in with the indelible ‘Moments In Love’, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith whose ‘Milk’ is an exercise in tranquility, while Sarah Davachi’s meditative mix-opener offers respite from a weary world.
We have some exclusive tracks for Late Night Tales; alongside Davachi’s offerings there is also Toshimaru Nakamura’s ‘Nimb #59’, as well as the now traditional cover version. hepherd delved into his childhood
memory for this one, a track taken from the first album his parents bought him, Kenny Wheeler’s ‘Music For Large & Small Ensembles’: Sam offers up his interpretation of ‘Opening Part 1’. Wheeler also contributes horns to Azimuth
track The Tunnel, written and performed by Norma Winstone and John Taylor who, coincidentally, are the parents of Floating Points’ drummer Leo Taylor. Closing the album, Lauren Laverne reads the suitably nocturnal poem ‘Ah! Why, Because The Dazzling Sun’ by Emily Brontë.
“I tried to find music that reflects the stillness of night. And because my musical interests lie all over the place, it’s quite difficult to distil that notion down to just a few songs. I was quite keen to have some electronic music in there but I also really wanted to have some soul music mixed in, so I had to try and find a pathway between all of this different music.” - Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) March 2019"
The mesmerising ’Ilana (The Creator)’ is desert blues maestro Mdou Moctar’s first album recorded in a proper studio and backed by a full band
Whirling at the heels of his live recordings made in Jack White’s Third Man complex, the Tuareg guitarist returns to his spiritual home of Sahel Sounds, flanked by Ahmoudou Madassane (Les Filles de Illighadad) on rhythm guitar, Aboubacar Mazawadje’s percussion, and Michael Coltun on bass, to present his magnum opus 10 some years since his debut album was distributed on SD cards across west Africa.
Mdou got to this point after his self-taught, fiery guitar skills were heard by Christopher Kirkley ov Sahel Sounds, who, after a few phone calls (Mdou dropped the first one, thinking it was a prank), secured Mdou’s ‘Tahoultine’ song for the now-seminal ‘Music From Saharan Cellphones’ compilation in 2010. A string of celebrated LPs have followed, including Mdou’s soundtrack for a Saharan remake of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’, and now on ‘Ilana (The Creator)’ he finally shows what he can do in a true studio setting, and with bios own band.
The results are wider, more layered, and immersively lusher than anything else in Mdou’s oeuvre, yet they lose none of the in-the-moment “life” found in his rawer, earlier works, or indeed his transfixing live performances across the EU and USA.
Comprising long hours of jamming in the studio, with later overdubs made in Niger, ‘Ilana (The Creator)’ harnesses Mdou and his group’s mesmerising energy in 9 songs, coursing with the kind of psychedelic feel that begs eyes closed and heads-down from the magnetic swiller of ‘Kamane Tarhanin’ thru the wide open blues space connoted by ‘Inizgam’, to the elegant, swaying rhythms and lilting harmonies in ‘Anna’, and a scorching tribute to Tuareg folklore in ‘Ilana’, with incendiary music underlining lyrics about France’s exploitation of Niger’s uranium reserves.
As part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations, Strut offer up the first new volume in their pioneering ‘Nigeria 70’ series for over 8 years, bringing together rare highlife, Afro-funk and juju from the ‘70s and early ‘80s. Compiled by collector and DJ Duncan Brooker, this new selection of tracks is receiving its first international release outside of Nigeria.
"The compilation returns to a fertile heyday in Nigerian music when established styles like highlife and juju became infused with elements of Western jazz, soul and funk and musicians brought a proud new message post-independence. Brooker places the spotlight particularly on some of the incredible Ukwuani musicians from the Delta State region as guitarist Rogana Ottah and Steady Arobby’s International Brothers Band forged their own fluid brand of highlife and soulman Don Bruce drew on the US R&B greats for a series of great albums and explosive stage shows at his residency at Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Elsewhere, the album explores the close connection between Nigeria and Benin’s music, most famously through Sir Victor Uwaifo, appearing here with a killer mid‘80s ekassa jam, as well as highlife hitmaker Osayamore Joseph on ‘Obonogbozu’ (Joseph made headlines in Nigeria for very different reasons in 2017, surviving a one month kidnapping ordeal).
Other tracks include ‘Sickness’ a 1979 lament on how all countries share troubles by Prince Nico Mbarga, the Nigerian / Camerounian star behind the smash hit ‘Sweet Mother’; reggae singer Felixson Ngasia switches to funk and disco for a heavy workout with potent lyrics around black identity; another major highlife great Etubom Rex Williams unleashes a punchy psych funk gem with ‘Psychedelic Shoes’ and Africa 70 member Pax Nicholas vocals a simmering Afrobeat groove from Jacob Lee’s Saxon Lee & The Shadows International Band."
A wistful, fractal collection of introspective songs built from fragments of other people’s voices, sounds, and music by French/Canadian artist Jean Cousin aka Joni Void
“Mise En Abyme is the second full-length by Joni Void, the avant-electronica project of France/Canada producer Jean Cousin, following his acutely accomplished and acclaimed 2017 debut album Selfless. (#8 Experimental Album of 2017 at Pitchfork, among other accolades.)
Grappling with a cascade of heartbreaks and discontinuities over the past year, Cousin calls the new album a “time-travel experiment”, as he culls sounds from devices and sources spanning childhood to the present (phones, cameras, video games, home movies) to retrieve and reframe subjective memories, histories and “regressions through former selves” through immersion in the evocative potential of the mostly wordless voices of others. The resulting sonic portraits simultaneously convey formally abstract dislocations and highly emotive warmth, interiority, humanity and specificity.
Side A especially highlights these works – the “with people” half of the album, replete with contemplative, melancholic songs, each featuring a deconstructed performance by a different female voice, propelled to varying degrees with additive rhythmic and textural layers. Side B is the “isolation” half: vocal samples continue to make appearances, including Cousin’s own voice on the vertiginous “Voix Sans Issue” and his own lyrics on the computer-narrated text-to-speech spoken word of the confessional “Deep Impression” – but the contrasting vibe is more claustrophobic, anxious and febrile.
Mise En Abyme ends with a throwback to Cousin’s pre-Joni Void keyboard-based works as johnny_ripper on the gorgeous Rhodes piece “Persistence”, while the closing exuberant maximalist jam of “Resolve” fittingly samples every previous song and locks the album into a self-referential recursive sequence.”