‘Day Of My Death’ is Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno’s noisily poetic soundtrack for Gosha Rubchinskiy’s S/S 17 show, held in the Florentine warehouse depicted on the LP sleeve
First issued in late 2016, ‘Day of My Death’ marked Buttechno’s part departure from cold, grubby, beat-driven styles and a fine embrace of billowing, textured guitar and synth noise and poetry set to ominous ambient backdrops.
Across the six tracks it’s easy to hear Milyakov germinating ideas that would be more fully explored over subsequent releases. The searchlight synth pulse of ‘Monoliths’ and the two tracts of Italian language poetry ‘Intense Low’ and ’SH Blues’ establish a cold, cinematic gaze that would be more fully explored in this year’s ace ‘La Maison De La Mort’ LP for Berceuse Heroique, while the ripping guitar lash of ‘GTR I’ feels like Stephen O’Malley kissing the sky. Factor in a piece of his signature, bare bones electro dub with ‘606 Juno’, and the strung-out, flickering flame of ‘Ambience’ and you’ve got a must-have bit of the Buttechno catalogue.
Old skool Chicago acid belters from Hot Mix 5 Records, racked up for a re-release by Still Music
Strictly 1988-89 vibes inside, rounding up the slinky swing of ‘Dream Girl’ by Pierre’s Pfantasy Club next to the rude grab of Pierre’s ‘Can You Feel The Bass’ and ‘Jiggawatts’ jackers with Roy Davis Jr and co’s Phortune, plus the head-swilling churn of Armando’s ‘151’ (a staple of Jamal Moss DJ sets), the deeper touch of Coom McCool’s ‘World Turns Around’, and two tried ’n tested slices of 303 genius by Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers, ‘The Juice’ and ‘Ecstasy.’
Blume once again expand our horizons with this remastered reissue of the sole recorded output of visual artist Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros, originally released as a small private pressing in Germany, 1970, and known by no more than a handful of heads in the years since. If you have an interest in minimalism, sacred music, the work of Fluxus, Tony Conrad, Henry Flynt, or indeed Eliane Radigue and Jani Christou - we urge you to dive head-first into this precious find from one of the best labels in the game.
Following a long but elusive line of Artist Records - records made by artists whose primary output exists within the context of visual rather than sound art (see Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwiters, Dieter Roth, Joseph Beuys etc), this highly absorbing work for organ, violin, percussion and triangle was recorded at a Franciscan church in Bensheim and follows a graphic notation system made by Muhlum-Pyrapheros (an image of which is included in the liner notes) which offered the players a common path for the recording. Originally intended as a musical accompaniment for a slide presentation of his work, Musica Nova Contemplativa is essentially an acoustic extension of his art, described by Bradford Bailey as “...a lost work from the height of musical minimalism”.
"Droning and tense, subtle melodic elements underpin sheets of tone and atonality, sculpting an incongruous sense of spacial ambience, the conception of Musica Nova Contemplativa, drew on a unique, unfixed compositional system, created by combining traditional musical notation with mobile and variable elements, expressed graphically as a system of coordinates which leave variation, interpretation, and improvisation up to the performer. Captured as eleven distinct movements, the work, with hindsight, can now be understood as lost, freestanding work of musical minimalism - echoing idiom’s roots in Fluxus and the raw temperaments of artists like Tony Conrad and Henry Flynt, threaded with touchstones in the work of Eliane Radigue, Giacinto Scelsi, and Jani Christou.
Born in Germany during 1941 and educated in philosophy and psychology, over the last half century the bulk of Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros’ artistic output has been largely oriented around painting, sculpture, and installation, each focused on the experiences of phenomena, environment, and light. Musica Nova Contemplativa, beginning as graphic score, composed in 1964, then interpreted and recorded by Mühlum-Pyrápheros on violin and Johann Georg Ickler on organ, three years later in a Franciscan church in Bensheim, is a logical extension of the artists broader concerns - seeking further territories of inclusive and expansive environments of experience. Intended as acoustic extensions of his paintings, the collective contents of the album are a metaphysical and esoteric rising in sound."
Gogeous, while-away ambient improv thought bubbles expressed in the northern wilds of Canada. A must check for fans of Jonny Nash, Suzanne Kraft and Gigi Masin works...
“Like many Canadians, Joseph Shabason and Ben Gunning like to untangle themselves from urbanity and disappear up north a few times a year. Unlike other cottage-goers, Ben and Joseph don’t while away the ur-time on jet-skis and lounge on docks reading pulpy mysteries. Instead, they bring a car full of synths, drum machines, saxophones, guitars, samplers, effects, and recording equipment to jam the days away in a cabin-fever inducing haze of wood smoke, cedar musk, hot wires and jazz sweat.
Muldrew, recorded on the northern Ontario lake by that name, is the culmination of several years of this collaborative tradition. Resisting their penchant for composition and arrangement, the duo embarked on this project with only an open framework that encouraged restraint. The result is a sparse and improvisational album, hung on enough structure for each song to evoke a distinct, albeit ambiguous mood. Space is paramount and even the most digital elements breathe with the resonance of the room and mingle with creaking floors. The resulting album is steeped in the placid stillness and northern ambience of a lake at dawn, and the emotive expanse of a forest at dusk. Imagine an ECM cottage-series, or Jon Hassell, Hiroshi Yoshimura, and John Martyn scoring a Bela Tarr film set in rural Canada. This is the future-proof music of metropolitan polyglot minds invigorated by nature’s mute refusal to follow a click-track.”
Necessary reissue of super rare recordings by Juju master Ojo Balingo and band, sung and recorded In the Yoruba language (and other indigenous tongues) for the domestic Nigerian market
Basically ‘Tabansi’ is music written by and for Nigerians, or specifically the Yoruba diaspora which nowadays makes up a fifth of the Nigerian population. Juju is distinguished from Highlife, which was written mostly for Western audiences and sung in pidgin English. While slight, the differences are crucial, and essentially Juju of the sort played by Ojo Balingo and his amazing band is the real deal Yoruban music, more often played on local instruments, sung in local tongues, and absolutely full of mesmerising West African percussive voodoo, with some era-appropriate ‘70s funk breaks and psyche Hawaiian guitars to boot.
“Popularised all over the globe by King Sunny Ade in the 1980s, juju music had actually been around for decades before. Resembling highlife music in many ways, juju could be described as a more traditionally African form, mainly played by Yoruba people for Yoruba audiences.Although the original sleeve artwork implies that this is a ‘various artists’ album, it’s pretty clear that it’s the same unnamed juju band throughout, performing two long tracks, one on each side. Side 1 calls forth more traditional juju sounds, whilst the darker Side 2 adds funk breaks galore. Psych-rock Hawaiian guitars, talking drums and political lyrics rub shoulders in this almost-unknown 70s juju rarity. Ojo Balingo, in Yoruba, means ‘rain comes’, or ‘a breeze comes’. And so it does, with this never-before reissued obscure collectors’ vinyl from the vaults of Tabansi Records.”
Dubplates and Mastering admirable assistance in reissuing this series of beautiful Wackies music can really be seen in all its glory on this 6 tracker.
Killer Pallas pressing of some understated but still sublime three part vocal harmonies. The mood is well dread with four cuts resembling prime period Black Ark Perry productions and the heartical pull of two Marley inflected numbers, making this another fine addition to the swelling back catalogue of joy emanating from Lloyd Barnes New York based Bullwackie vaults.
Ten albums culled from the deepest, weirdest co-op of record enthusiasts ever gathered under one banner. We’ve spared no expense packaging these, pairing the idea of the Art of Compilation with living and breathing art, creating little fortune cookies baked in a factory of forgotten dreams. Video games, pyramids, trading cards, matchbooks, mazes, lottery tickets, film canisters, yearbooks, and various other exercises in design absurdity.
"The previously unissued soundtrack to the 1964 western noir, discovered after 55 years in the Wayne Louis Moody archive. Sixteen languid guitar instrumentals, femme fatale dirges, and cinematic country crooners score the loneliest night of one man’s life. Packaged in a replica of the original octagonal film canister, with 36” x 27” fold out movie poster."
Pan Sonic + Charlemagne Palestine’s 20 year old drone album finally takes a new life on LP with this first pressing via Godbear following Staalplaat’s long sold-out CD
Forming the 2nd meeting on record between Palestine, Vainio and Väisänen after their 1997 hook-up with Pita (Peter Rehberg) on ‘Three Compositions for Machines’, their follow-up is slimmed down to the legendary pianist and Finnish wave shapers for an exceedingly tense, minimal, excursion marrying glacial microtonal chords licked with underlying, rhythmic subbass disturbance and occasional, off-key, distorted moraine that buckles the microtones from below.
Both sides of the equation maintain a tense equilibrium throughout the album, which, while originally divided in five parts, played thru seamlessly, whereas this new vinyl cut dedicates nearly a side per piece. Across its taut body Palestine and Pan Sonic sustain gossamer fine chords and swollen, sometimes unruly bass, appearing to under-do each other and never making any moves, but the tension just gives at point, sinking into subbass mire and slipping trains of thought out of line. It’s perhaps not entirely typical of either of them, and achieves a modest mix of their respective sensibilities.
The quietly rapturous sublime of ‘Tracing Back The Radiance’ forms Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s first new album since 2017 and a definitive entry to his golden catalogue,
Leading on from the pop-tight arrangements of ‘On The Echoing Green’, Root-Strata founder Cantu-Ledesma is accompanied on a return to glorious, smudged, widescreen canvasses by esteemed members of the U.S. experimental firmament including Mary Lattimore (Harp), John Also Bennett (Flute), Jonathan Sielaff (Bass Clarinet) and Roger Tellier Craig, among others. In two floating, durational pieces, separated by a pealing five minute ambient flute arrangement, Cantu-Ledesma and pals remind us exactly why we’ve followed his work so intently all these years.
Always a sign of good things is the fact that by 2 minutes into opener ‘Palace Of Time’, we’re fighting the urge to shut eyes and push off, which may look a bit suss at 3pm in an office full of people. However, that’s what we and many others are probably hoping for, and it’s surely delivers as the 20 minute opener flows its course of silvery piano streaks and softened metallic resonances with the warmest sentiment. The intermediary ‘Joy’ is slightly sharper focussed, as though rubbing the ears lense to allow Sielaff’s bass clarinet break the murk in slow, flitting saccades, before ‘Tracing Back The Radiance’ resumes a form of serene sonic therapy with melting sounds and ear-nuzzling timbral complexities which, in turn, relax and harmonise the world around us and make everything more manageable, even if only temporarily.
Legendary qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali and Brain Eno-collaborator Michael Brook’s 1995 album for Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records reappears on vinyl along with a previously unreleased song on the bonus download. First ever vinyl edition.
“Nusrat is generally considered to be the greatest Qawwali singer in our time. Born in 1948 in Lyallpur (now named Faisalbad after decolonisation in 1979), Nusrat was the son of a famous Qawwali vocalist— Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Trained to be a doctor but studying Qawwali tradition secretly or with his father, Nusrat only accepted the vocation of singer after a dream: Ustad came to him, ten days after his death, and asked his 16-year-old son to sing. Nusrat declined, but after his father had touched his throat, he found the gift had come to him. As the dream continued, his father took him to a holy place, the dargah of Ajámer Sharif in Rajasthan, India.
With that Vision, Nusrat devoted himself to Qawwali, his powerful voice and concentrated expression lifting the music above the vulgarisations that represented Qawwali’s populist face in the Bollywood film industry. But despite a huge back-catalogue of more traditional concert recordings, Nusrat is no purist. His collaborations with Peter Gabriel, Bally Sagoo, Massive Attack and, most recently, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder for the acclaimed Dead Man Walking soundtrack or a proposed duet with Bjork, have pushed Qawwali beyond all previous boundaries.”
Brendon Moeller surfaces with a new album on Fluxion's Vibrant Music.
"Brendon Moeller is an artist that needs no introduction. The South African born living in the US, like few of his generation constantly challenges himself with new concepts and ideas, has incorporated techno, dub, jazz, ambient, sound design, to his works throughout the years. He has collaborated with labels like Echocord, Third Ear, Electric Deluxe, Prologue, Mord to name some. "Materialize" is his first work for Vibrant Music. From his early days in various bands in the 80's and 90's, Brendon liked indie, shoegaze, ambient, moody, cinematic soundscapes.
With Materialize he has come full circle, reaching out to his early influences, but with the knowledge and experience of many years of exploration of modular synths, to create a concept space that feels intimate, and at the same time vivid evoking visual imaging. It explores the time space through a minimalist, stoic approach.
It tells the story of how we are all linked into this tree of music we call electronic music, wherever each one is coming from. A celebration of life through the mind of one of today's scholars of electronic music. A liberation from the strictness of tempo and metronomes, to reach to a more creative state."
Séance Centre source an astounding bounty from Guadaloupe’s Gwakasonné, spanning balmy slow songs and gripping, uptempo drums nodding to Afro-Cuban, Pre-Colonnial and indigenous traditions under its colourful Caribbean wingspan
““Stop here!” exclaimed Robert Oumaou as we passed a mango tree on the side of the road just outside of Point-a-Pitre, the balmy capital of Guadeloupe. He filled a plastic bag with ripe fruit, and we set off on our journey across the small Caribbean island in search of musicians he hadn’t seen in years. On the way, we shared stories in broken French and English, stopping at truck stops to eat delicious fried fish. Robert took me to his hometown, and placed a mango and a flower on the grave of his teacher and mentor, a local poet. The seeds of Vwayajé (Traveller) were sewn on this trip, but shortly after returning home, I heard that Robert was ill, and he sadly passed away in 2018. This compilation was originally intended as a way to share Robert’s brazen work with a wider global audience, but it now also serves to immortalize his indomitable spirit.
Gwakasonné is the ecstatic articulation of Robert Oumaou’s artistic and political vision, a unified expression of his interests in American jazz, pre-colonial rhythms, Guadeloupian independence, and Créole poetics. Over the course of three albums, all released in the 80s, Robert piloted a revolving cast of musicians, a venerable who’s-who of Point-a-Pitre avant-jazz pioneers, to deftly intone his creative communal concepts. The songs on Vwayajé are compiled from these three releases, Gwakasonné, Temwen, and Moun, along with an electronic mantra taken from his 2007 solo album Sang Comment Taire. Viewed from our current artistic and cultural landscape, Robert’s work is exceptionally enduring, grounded in its declarations of freedom and foundational use of the Ka (drum) and voice, and prescient in its borderless explorations of protest folk, electronics, ambient atmosphere, music from the African diaspora, and spiritual jazz. The long-form hive-mind expression of the group has parallels with similar explorations by The Grateful Dead, electric Miles, Pharaoh Sanders, and even the Boredoms, but these are only oblique references for a truly peerless sound. Like other conceptual children of Gérard Lockel, the group was part of a progressive movement of like-minded musicians, such as Serge Fabriano, Dao, Erick Cosaque, and Gaoulé Mizik, who embraced Lockel’s modernist ideals, fusing Gwo Ka drumming and tuning systems with contemporary jazz and vanguard recording technologies. Robert’s ecstatic phrasings, embrace of electronic instruments, and daring lyrics set the group apart as the beatific expression of a sagacious soul.”
After ace turns on Martyn’s 3024, Yak does it for Orson’s Version with a rudely percussive swang
Evidently a man of many tricks, Yak turns his hand to slower tempo with the same flair he applies to his uptempo, brukken beats; riding pendulous, live-sounding drums and cascading cosmic dub FX in ‘Umbra’, then clocking up the swingeing tribalist syncopation of ‘Kaepora’ on a frayed Tresillo pattern galvanised with technoid chord stabs.
Mysterious Sydney singer songwriter Justine recorded one album in ’79, which was never officially released. Left Ear have chosen two tracks for a 45 RPM 12” single, which they feel best highlights Justine’s unique vocal talents and songwriting ability. Here the crafty songstress wields melancholic soul and a funky Jazz inspired number with personal and reflective lyrics, both with an intimate and honest approach.
"Elusive Sydney songstress Justine (Bradley) almost entirely wrote, produced and arranged her sole LP in ’79, an album that was funded by a radio station as the beneficiary for emerging talent. The music was created specifically for radio play without any intention of being manufactured. Luckily however, a friend with ties to a pressing plant known aptly as ‘Midnite Flite’, managed to sneak into said plant one evening and press up a small number for the enjoyment of family, friends & those involved.
Left Ear have decided to release what they consider to be the two most significant tracks from this release onto a 12” single, now for the enjoyment of all. The A-Side will feature the haunting ‘Wordless Songs’, a melancholic soulful number which according to Justine explores the “capacity to comprehend a partner’s internal quest for authenticity and connection”. The B-side ‘Mama Didn’t Tell Ya’ is more uplifting in both tempo and arrangements comprising an extended outro, while the lyrics remain just as personal and reflective.”
Fruity jazz-funk, soul and boogie-pop flavours from 1984 Seattle via Hawaii. Newly remastered and reissued for the first time
“Maggie Herron was born in Muskegon, Michigan into a family of 12 children (she was number 9). She began taking piano lessons as a little girl and was the church organist by the age of 10.
At age 18, she hitchhiked across the US, arriving at the Olympic National Rainforest in Washington State where, in an off-the-grid cabin with an old upright piano, she began weaving pop and folk sounds with her classical training. Maggie soon started performing in Seattle alongside veteran musicians who introduced her to R&B and jazz. Her writing and performing style continued to evolve with these new influences. Eventually the Northwest’s gloomy weather propelled her further west, to Hawaii, where she has made her home ever since and continues to record and perform today.
On these songs, Maggie shows the soulful side of her jazzy chops over two mid tempo groovers that live somewhere in the great sweet spot between AOR and modern soul, with jazz as the foundation. Recorded right before the advent of the digital era, the organic grooves of her band lay the foundation for her impressive vocal range that she is taking to great heights at the end of the A-side."
Brilliant collaborative debut album of riveting noise and widescreen synths by Merzbow and Posh Isolation’s Vanity Productions featuring two longform, elemental works transmuting worries about ecological disaster into a torrent of spirit-gnawing, experimental noise that surpasses the sum of its parts.
Masami Akita and Christian Stadsgaard both hail from places with a lot of coastline vulnerable to sea level rises, ‘Coastal Erosion’ sees them grasp the nettle of impending doom with typically gauntleted grip and an unswerving intensity that speaks to clear and present concerns. While perhaps not the most obvious bedfellows for collaboration, the artists patently share an emphatic empathy for the situation that resonates through their music, where human forces of emotion intersect elemental chaos in a pair of poetically tempestuous, even harrowing works.
Merzbow’s visceral, primal roar sustains a perpetual force of attrition that constantly threatens to overwhelm VP’s widescreen, panoramic pads on both of the LP’s monolithic tracts. But it’s due to their democracy of vision that they speak as one, rather than over each other. On the A-side’s 18 minute ‘Erosion Japan’ they connote the frothing might of the Pacific tide encroaching and destroying towering walls of steel and glass with an arrestingly Ballardian quality to their instrumental description of violence and anguish. The B-side’s 17 minute ‘Erosion of Denmark’ follows with a more pensive arrangement of low-lying, unyielding drone frequencies smeared to stereo extremes and overlapped with spirit-penetrating shards of distortion, limning the prospective submergence of the Danish peninsula and its archipelagoes with a Thunbergian seriousness and intractable logic.
Taken as a profound warning or as an elegy for anthropocene extinction, ‘Coastal Erosion’ is a frighteningly powerful statement that leaves its message like the murky stain of flood waters inside the mind.
Troops, the wait is over for Ancient Methods’ debut album with ‘The Jerihco Records’, a 14-track set bristling with vocals by Prurient, Cindytalk, King Dude and Wahiba Khadri, and guest production from Regis and Orphx
For pretty much the first time we really hear Michael Wollenhaupt a.k.a the sole serving member of Ancient Methods really stretch his legs in all directions, with results ultimately ranking as perhaps the definitive industrial techno album of its generation.
Biblical in concept and scale, ‘The Jericho Records’ takes the world’s oldest, longest inhabited city as muse for a incredible showcase of futurist/primitive rhythm and sound, melding Michael’s trademark so-stiff-it’s-fuucking-funky-as-fuck drum patterns with a much broader range of instrumentation and voices than any previous AM release.
To get down to business, DJs and dancers need to clock the highlights in the cataclysmic shock of ‘Twelve Stones to Divide Jordan’s Sand’, as well as the bare-faced rage of ‘The House of Rahab’, the searing ‘Crack and Collapse In The Storm of Lights’, and the incendiary payload of ‘Omen’s Duty’ or the appearance of Prurient on the trampling thunder of ‘Walking on Cursed Soil’.
But we’d be remiss to overlook the moments of contrast in the Arabic EBM mutation of ‘Array The Troops’ featuring synths from Regis; the Muslimgauze-like meld of whirling percussion and horns in ‘The City Awakes’; or the clashing scimitars of ‘Swordplay’; while ‘The Seven Shofars’ and ‘In Silence’ impressively attest to AM’s unrepentant obsession with darkest, ritual ambient electronics.
Just hoof it all down and ask questions later.
Balmy ambient relaxants from Andrew Wilson (Andras Fox) and John Tanner (Eleventeen Eston)
"Wilson Tanner come to shore with a new album of floating melodies, lightly salted. Throwing electroacoustic conventions overboard, Andrew Wilson (Andras) and John Tanner (Eleventeen Eston) recorded this new work aboard a 1950s riverboat with a resourceful array of weatherproof electronic instruments and a long extension lead. These eight compositions pull in a by-catch of maritime folklore; of Siren and Selkie, Seagull and engine oil slick. A change of course from their debut album 69 (Growing Bin Records, 2016), the ambient temperature drops as II casts out to sea in uncertain weather and returns to the safe harbours of Port Phillip Bay.
The seafarers head out to My Gull’s poised optimism. The birds watch but do they listen? By the arrival of Loch and Key, the shoreline has dissolved completely, the boat floating in serene infinity as the rest of the world spins. Conditions soon take a treacherous turn on Killcord Pts I-III - a 12 minute odyssey that battens down the hatches as these sailors eye merciless waves and blinding ocean spray, jointly channelling Berlin-school electronics and sea legs. In the aftermath, the waterlogged bleeps of Idle survey the damage as our parched crew sound the distress signal and ultimately descend into delirium.
Known for navigating individual courses as solo musicians, Wilson and Tanner’s collective storytelling is saturated in detail, buoying between tension and harmony. II modestly stands as some of both artists’ most accomplished material.”
Buttechno’s badass Soviet boogie session ‘1984’ is back in circulation after the OG 7” and 12” have long sold out
One of Pavel Milyakov’s most in-demand platters, ‘1984’ is a furtive session of night-riding wave gear, swerving from the subzero swagger and cinematic twist of ‘Experimentator’ and the bone-dry dub-tech swang of ‘Dungeon 5’ from the OG 7”, to the noirish comms interception and blown-out valves of ‘Nau’ and the icy, sparking electro-techno-stepper ‘Cxema’, which are both exclusive to the 12” version.
Re-issue of this ultra-rare Oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca.
Combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds, with originals trading hands for £500. This is the first part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. Part 1 and 2 also available separately.
Re-issue of this ultra-rare Oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca.
Combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds, with originals trading hands for £500. This is the first part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. Part 1 and 3 also available separately.
Re-issue of this ultra-rare Oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca.
Combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds, with originals trading hands for £500. This is the first part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. Part 2 and 3 also available separately.
First ever vinyl pressing of these impossible-to-find, early Vatican Shadow tapes that were originally made in such small runs we don’t think we’ve ever seen copies of any of them for sale. The first in a series of vinyl reissues, this one features three 2010-2011 tapes: ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, ‘Mural of Saddam’, and ‘Yemeni Commandos’, remastered and repackaged with new artwork - essential picks for disciples of Muslimgauze, Prurient, Shackleton!!!
Arriving under a shroud of anonymity in 2010 with the four tracks of ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, Vatican Shadow has since become one of the most vital projects manned by Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Christian Cosmos, Exploring Jezebel), daring to grasp the nettle of US geopolitics, hijacking imagery and text from a plethora of news articles, books and government publications, and using them to adorn and title his all-instrumental productions.
He recontextualised U.S. foreign policy in a way that recalls how original industrial, noise and post-punk mutants used their art and music to express feelings towards the cold war and western socio-economics during the late ‘70s and thru the ‘80s - with a particular, explicit thread of inspiration coming from Bryn Jones’ prolific Muslimgauze catalogue.
The first two sides of the 2LP include all four cuts from Vatican Shadow’s first release, ‘Byzantine Private CIA’, taking in the cold thuds and clamouring background noise of ‘Deny Military Involvement’ alongside highlights in the militant trample of ‘Cairo Sword Unsheathed’ and the sludgy industrial dirge of ‘Gunman With Silencer’.
The third and fourth side follow with three tracks off ‘Mural of Saddam’, including the brittle, Muslimgauze-like stepper ‘Schwarzkopf Arc of Triumph’, and the furtive trip hop of ‘U.S. M1A1 Abrams Exhaust Rises Between The Hands Of Victory’, before concluding with some the project’s most sublime work in the opiated lushness of ’Shadow War In Yemen’ and ‘Asymmetric Warfare Studies Group Double Game’ from the ‘Yemeni Commandos’ tape.
Bassbin-worrying rufige from Charlie Baldwin aka Kasket aka Cocktail Pary Effect on Pinch’s Tectonic Label
In pursuit of his 2018 EP for Cold, CPE steps up to its parent label with a granite cut quartet of heaviness, displaying some serious subbass nous in the writhing minimalism of the title tune, while ‘Triops’ hinges hard drums around a heart monitor bleep, and ‘When The Gun Claps’ harness a proper bone-rattling swing groove beside the ruthless rail gunning drum attack of ‘I Feel Sick.’
Sam KDC syncs deep into the grey area between techno, D&B and noise in the ‘Omen’ album. Tempering his chest-bursting emosh tendencies in favour of more abstract signposts and textural expression, he also locks down to a hoofing style of drum programming with galvanising his galloping rhythms with alloy-cast kicks and hard-bitten percussion.
The sound is ascetic to a T, shorn of melody or soft edges and delivered with blank-eyed, bruising blows in fathomless space with the likes of ‘False Awakening’, the hydraulic pump of ‘Trial By Fire’, and the stiff churn of ‘Into The Ground’, before ‘the gnashing breaks of ‘Coup De Grace’ remind of the artist’s D&B provenance, and then it’s back to the nasty stuff with a salty alacrity in the meat-beating ‘Eye for an Eye’, the bone-rattling flow of ‘Lead Me Into Temptation’, and the wall of noise finale ‘Omen Rising.’
The Fear Ratio (Mark Broom and James Ruskin) and Kahn remix cuts from dBridge’s 2018 LP in rugged style
Following last year’s ‘Live’ EP for Skam, TFR turn ‘Nauchtlus’ into a sourly dissonant neck-snapper powered by Black & Decker drill style 808 trills - the best thing we’ve heard from them - while Kahn chases up his 2018 remix of Trends & Boylan with an unexpectedly blue, downbeat take on the sci-fi romance of ‘They Loved.’
Chances are anything you’ll listen to after sitting through this half hour masterpiece will sound a bit lifeless - El Mal Querer is the most vibrant, layered and forward facing album of the year.
Rosalía Vila Tobella is already something of a sensation in her native Spain, but this new album looks certain to propel her into the stratosphere with its immediately accessible but multi-layered fusion of traditional flamenco with the swagger of modern R&B, a kind of minimal pop variant underpinned by what feels like an almost endless succession of clever hooks.
The opening Malamente is the most immediate and hard-hitting of the 11 tracks here, but the album is basically wall-to-wall brilliance, from the subtle, almost Theo-parrish inspired EQ cuts on Que No Salga La Luna to the super fwd juxtaposition of flamenco, auto-tune, pulsing subs and motorbikes revving on De Aquí No Sales to the ultra-ohrwurm Di Mi Nombre. Even the more traditional a cappela tracks edge into deviance - the eerie, layered vocals on A Ningún Hombre closing the album on a nervy, uncompromising note.
El Mal Querer really is a perfectly formed, hyper-modern vision of pop music; structurally daring, endlessly catchy, melancholy, introspective, bursting with charisma and more ideas than any other record we’ve listened to in 2018. Apparently there’s new music in the works from Rosalía with Pharell and Arca, you should keep a v close eye on this one...
Belly dance holy grail from the organ king of Cairo, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds.
"Hany Mehanna, beloved musician and composer of the greatest artists from the Arab world such as Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, shows himself from a more experimental side on his solo albums. Originally released in 1973, ‘The Miracles of the Seven Dances’ is a pure work of genius: hypnotic organ grooves, psychedelic guitars, mystic strings and haunting percussion. Belly dance as good as it gets!"
Oake really find their gothic muse in debut album, 'Auferstehung' for Downwards.
Firmly building on the foundations of two shadowy 12"s released in 2013, the duo distill and transcend their influences across eleven stations of unrepentant gothic histrionics and industrial techno prostration. The production is now right up there with the detailed, excoriating levels of The Haxan Cloak, and also matching the rhythmic heft of label-mate Samuel Kerridge (with whom they recently formed the UF collusion), but with a kohl-eyed romanticism all of their own creation.
From the swooning black metal/shoegaze signatures and blast beats of entrance, 'Vorwort: Umiha Sien' we're manipulated with the near-religiose levels of mysticism, vacillating between shorter, doomy 'Kapital' invocations and the blasted sound of bellicose/ecstatic congregation in 'Erstes Buch: Desterieh l'Remm' to the eulogistic sludge metal drones of 'Fuenftes buch: Dreloi Wechd' and the stygian trudge of 'Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht', departing with the widescreen epic, 'Siebstes Buch: Drestan Sened'. RIYL Scott Walker & Sunn 0))), Sam Kerridge, Swans.
Enchanting studies in 17th Century Italian baroque classicism, presenting Michel Samson’s first published recording since his unparalleled work with Albert Ayler in the late ‘60s, fulfilling a longheld dream of Sean McCann’s Recital to “publish an album that gives reverence to his violin playing”
“The collection on this LP holds numerous 17th-Century works of the Italian baroque, performed by Michel Samson and his wife, Rebecca. It showcases some of the earliest music composed for the violin as a featured soloist. Rebecca accompanies on a replica – believed to be the only extant replica in the United States – of the claviorganum, a rare and curious instrument that traces back to the 15th century. Comprised of both an organ and a harpsichord integrated into a single case, the claviorganum harkens to a time of experimentation and artistry of design.
Michel’s violin was made by Francesco Gobetti in 1718; its sound carries beautifully throughout the room. Samson worked as a dealer of rare and antique violins for many years, and has an ear for majestic craftsmanship. The style adopted by Italian composers during the baroque was one of heightened lyricism, emotion, and ornamentation, especially when voiced through the violin; it is no accident that Michel’s unique approach to articulation and intonation speaks both to the present and the past. In these recordings you can hear the same joy dripping across the strings, as in his days with Ayler. It shows what beauty can be instilled inside someone. Rebecca’s playing is exquisite, too, complimenting each movement as they fold on. Please enjoy this special album.
Sean McCann [with contributions by Sarah Davachi], April 2019”
Sounds of liberation was a band – and a social movement – formed in 1970 out of the germantown & mt airy neighborhoods of philadelphia. the band consisted of seven members: khan jamal (vibraphone), byard lancaster (alto saxophone), billy mills (bass), dwight james (drums), monnette sudler (guitar), omar hill (percussion), william brister (percussionist, aka rashid salim).
"Originally conceived and formed by khan jamal, the arrival of byard lancaster in 1971 helped shift their focus and efforts into a higher gear. jamal and lancaster would work together in different configurations throughout the decade. Sounds of liberation were at the forefront of avant-garde black expression in the early 1970s, putting action behind their creative endeavors. they were as much of a community force as a band, and because of that there was a strong desire by the entire group to work with a range of different populations, from school children to inmates. they continued to do so throughout the mid-1970s.
The group issued one self-released album, new horizons – alternately titled the sounds of liberation in later pressings – in 1972, on their dogtown label. [it was reissued earlier this decade to a great deal of fanfare amongst jazz fans, by porter records.] In addition to club performances, the collective initiated happenings in elementary schools, prisons & community centers throughout philadelphia, to great success and impact in the city’s african-american and jazz community. by 1973 the band – along with their manager, george gilmore (father of r & b musician linc gilmore, of breakwater fame) – travelled to new york city for a recording session at columbia university.
This five-song session of original music (with compositions penned by jamal, lancaster and sudler) has never been released and has been prepared for this important and long-overdue lp package by group members, in collaboration with brewerytown beats records in philadelphia. This is stunning, deeply emotional free jazz – termed black liberation music by band members – created with passion and purpose by masters of the art form, and it sounds as powerful today as it did back upon its original commitment to tape."
Valerio Tricoli and Anthony Pateras’ Astral Colonels debut on vinyl with a masterful study in tension between tape and solo piano for cult Italian “industrial” label; Second Sleep.Both adept improvisors and collaborators, Revox tape maestro Tricoli brings his subtly unpredictable, ferric rifts and sleights to Pateras’ longheld focus on hallucinatory electro-acoustic phenomena, creating a seat-edge anticipation for the listener from only their fractured nudges and harmonic shifts.
The two sides contrast in their approach and appeal. On side A’s ‘The Difference of Similarity’ the music feels haunted and fractal, as though caught in a k-hole or like sleepwalking a creaky stately home, with keys wilting in the manner of The Caretaker’s music, and blown around long, wide, moonlit corridors before this playfulness contracts into colder, frozen stasis and pinched microtonal frequencies. By contrast the B-side’s ‘The Similarity of Difference’ is much brighter, allowing the keys to ring out in stumbling flights and flurries diffracted in mid-air by Tricoli’s spindly fingers on the Revox, putting his Jérôme Noetinger-styled chops to nearly imperceptible yet psychedelic use.
We look forward to slipping into other dimensions with this LP playing the background.
‘Arc 1’ is the first posthumous release of Mika Vainio’s solo material, taken from a large collection of his unreleased music. The archive series will present pieces which can be considered as completed works rather than unfinished fragments, and ‘ARC 1’ is a fittingly contemplative artefact - preserving Mika’s patient, sensuous minimalism released under his solo moniker, Ø.
Made up of two selections from an untitled recording Vainio did as Ø for the radio project Ambient City at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1994, the 34 minute work can be considered a complete, singular work, and one of the purest in Vainio's catalogue.
Working at the threshold of perception in a way comparable with fellow minimalist masters such as Eliane Radigue or Kevin Drumm, ‘ARC 1’ follows a glacial transition from elemental subbass pulses through sustained, hovering drone before almost imperceptibly changing state half way, when a field of static disruption re-organises the piece’s atoms, only for the noise to recede and reveal a more complex timbral aurora, and a final tract of isolationist ambience flickering like northern lights.
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing, Jeff Mills releases his interpretations of the Moon.
“There are influences of the Moon we can detect, measure and document as scientific facts. If these are perceived as rational explanations, then it should raise questions about the possibility of other unseen mental and metaphysical connections humans have, not just with the Moon but with all other celestial bodies in and outside this Solar System. On the flipside, as we recognize that our Sun gives us light and a lifespan, what does an even greater force in the Cosmos, perhaps the darkness [or absence of anything] affects us.
If we look at the Moon as a component in a vast configuration of integral connected parts, then an intuitive sense might lead us to a wider understanding about how deeply our relationship lies. This album and the imagination that helped to produce it should be considered as a proposition with openendedness and no foreseeable conclusion. It is a chemistry of facts and feelings based on then, now and forever”. Jeff Mills
The final part of an essential pack compiled by UK rave pioneers Fabio & Grooverider, spanning the spectrum of early ‘90s Dutch house, US garage & techno, UK hardcore and jungle zingers
Cherry picked by legendary rave figureheads Fabio & Grooverider, Part 4 spends their last barrels of badness in a patented mix of Hi-Tek Detroit soul, foundation-shaking bleep ’n bass and unmissable rushes of hardcore junglist brilliance that still works the pants off any ‘floor worth its bassbins. For anyone over the age of 30 in the UK, whether absorbed osmotically or ingested religiously, it’s a deeply familiar sound that has reverberated from cars, radios, clubs, fields and warehouses for a lifetime, and still supplies a bounty of inspiration to new generations of ravers searching for *that* sensation.
There’s some outright all-time classics in the 4th and final volume of 2019’s most vital retrospective. We’re talking mainly about side C with its knockout one-two of Brainkillers’ deeeep jungle bullet ‘Screwface’ and an early appearance from Basement Jaxx’s Simon Ratcliffe as Tic Tac Toe with ‘Ephemerol’, while the final side leaves us a mess with Ability II’s seminal ‘Pressure Dub’ into the pie-eyed innocence of ‘Don’t Go’ by Awesome 3. Factor in the Detroit galvanic of the Mayday mix for De-Lite’s ‘Wild Times’, and the bolshy brass of ‘Living In Darkness’ by Top Buzz and you have a definitive taste of an unprecedented time and place in UK culture. To use an old Manc term, it’s the fucking lick.
Salute Fabio & Grooverider each and every.
Experimental, avant-garde percussionist Jon Mueller presents some of his most impressive work in ‘Canto’, a steeply possessed invocation of reverberant doom and mesmerising vocal processes comparable with music by everyone from John Duncan and La Monte Young to Harry Bertoia and Lussuria
Last heard in these quarters on the ‘Tongues’ album, which we compared with a “life-affirming ayahuasca trip,” Jon Mueller returns with another deeply haunting suite in ‘Canto’, alchemising gongs, voice and percussion into diaphanous but filigree-detailed drone expanses that bookend a remarkable piece of sustained, extended vocal technique influenced by his studies with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, where, in Mueller’s own words: “The driving energy of drums is replaced by deep contemplation and wonder, question, confusion, darkness and ultimately, calm.”
Each titled after a Sufi text, the three tracks are intended to represent parts that create a whole, “just as a canto is a part of a longer poem.” In ‘Oil’ a lonely bell and sallow vocal mantra light the entrance to an exponentially cavernous space awash with shivering chimes and rumbling waves of metallic gong clangour - think John Duncan meditating in the middle of a ‘Sonambient’ performance by Harry Bertoia - while the layered vocal intonations of ‘Wick’ succinctly bend the mind’s eye with ancient magick, and in the final tract of ‘Flame’ he returns to an almost static space echoing with distant pulses in a way that reminds of Lussuria at his most occult and unsettling.
Splashy junglist breaks and subaquatic bass flex from Melbourne’s Pugilist, making his debut mark on Whities Blue series after turns for Artikal Music Uk and ZamZam Sounds
‘Descendent’ is the big one, churning up loose jungliest breaks and bong-bubbling FX in a way recalling recent cuts by his Aussie counterpart Air Max ’97, whereas ‘Undulate’ sounds like an Applepips release from 10 years ago, and the drier half stepper ‘Encrypted’ works out in a spooky minimal grey area akin to Felix K.
Tokyo’s Hosanna Anniversary lands this fruity jazz house session in the same week as his ace, exploratory album for Andy Lyster’s Youth
In two parts he gets loose like Jamal Moss on a kicking Chi groove, running skudgy acid lines and jazzy riffs over Part 1, then accentuating the gritty, muscular bassline in ‘Hakkenden II’.
"If you listen carefully to the first piece, “Hakkenden I”, the first thing you will notice is how the lead electric piano line and repetitive electronic motifs – known in colloquial slang as “acid lines” – follow the same melodic pattern, as if Hoshina Anniversary was sending the same powerful psychokinetic instructions to a number of instruments at the same time.In contrast, “Hakkenden II” is darker and more hallucinogenic in tone. The use of restless, arpeggio-style bass and creepy-sounding chord sequences suggest that Hoshina Anniversary momentarily lost control of his psychokinetic powers before wresting back the initiative as the recording progressed (the return of the melodies and instrumentation heard in “Hakkenden I” in the second half of the piece supports these findings)."
Exceptionally skewed, killer and asymmetric dancehall mutations from the same label that gave us that amazing Paradon’t EP a couple of years back, this one sounding like the missing link between Demdike Stare, Schaffel and Slikback 🔥
"'No idea how to categorise this! I would have called it experimental dancehall but irel.ier who made it says it’s not! Besides i don’t care how you call it - it bangs! When I played it out in Pudel (Hamburg) people were losing their shit and someone screamed in my bleeding ear “MASTERPIECE!!” so let’s just call it that!
We made 300 copies. They feature a beautiful image of your inner ear Haeckelified by some naive AI and the title (gang guan li) skilfully handwritten in Chinese calligraphy on the flip in iridescent colours.'"
Creepy as f**k dark ambient and slithering rhythms from London’s Roberto Crippa on cult Italian industrial label; Second Sleep. Continuing the pursuit of a charred, abstract electronic muse found on his LPs for Portals Editions and We Can Elude Control, Crippa’s 3rd release masterfully manipulates listeners into a hypnagogic, primordial state of mind thru a process of patiently purposeful dematerialisation.
Sounding like a mulched Mika Vainio work or Shapednoise on quaaludes, Crippa’s ‘Ascent’ either appears to enact a sisyphean struggle or even simply give up at the start, and proceed to circle whatever it was intending to ascend. The results remain low lying and even face down in the murk, melting out into rivulets of gravelly rhythm and muddy texture. But there’s a dark romance in this collapse of the senses, relishing a sensuousness that perhaps only comes after synapses are bombed out from excessive drink and drugz, or whatever takes you there, where thoughts, like Crippa’s music, flow effluent and iridescent, bubbling up strangely pleasant feelings from the dank to intensify your end times wallow.
Epically narrative-driven IDM/electronica from Canada’s Antwood on his 3rd LP for Planet Mu
“Tristan has always used conceptual frameworks to facilitate the writing process and ‘Delphi’ is no exception. This time Tristan worked with his girlfriend Olivia Dreisinger to develop a fictional character: the young lovelorn Delphi. She is represented throughout by a recurring melody, with the album developing the story around her. Deeper than this however, ‘Delphi’ represents the hurdles faced by modern lovers, and those felt personally by Tristan, as the album encompasses a wide range of his emotions. The character ’Delphi’ finds solace in escaping to a place, her namesake, the ancient Greek city. She gets lost in her fantasy, realising it is not as she had idealised.
“Olivia and I started making the album cover as soon as I knew what direction ‘Delphi’ was headed in. I took objects that had significance to me at the time of production and physically recreated them as “Delphi world” objects, so that the album’s narrative and each track are represented in the cover photo. If you flip the album over, there is a computer rendering by Paulin Rogues of the two landmarks in the ancient city of Delphi - not quite ancient or modern Delphi, somehow real life but also fantastical.”
Delphi is an album where the real and the fantastic combine, where functional club music meets evocative piano miniatures. “I ended up working on ‘Delphi’ for over a year, where it developed and grew in parallel to my own life. It became story-like, and I embraced the story-like quality of it.” Perhaps the story of ‘Delphi’ is the story of our own lives.”
Rarely has an album owed so much to production... Low return with their most daring, experimental release in years, co-produced by James Blake's man at the controls B.J. Burton, at times verging on a layered, pulsing electronic sound you'd associate with the likes of Andy Stott. Doused in distortion, throbbing electronics, submerged vocals, side-chain effects - this could easily have been a nauseating exercise in modernisation; but instead the strength of the songwriting shines through for one of Low's best = a standout full-length for 2018.
"In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.
To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.
This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative cowriters, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.
Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fightsfor the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?"
In the late spring of 1968, after years spent making his mark within the Jamaican music industry as an artist and jobbing producer, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry unveiled his own Upsetter Records label.
Over the months that immediately followed, his exceptional talent was repeatedly reinforced with the release a series of popular 7” singles, the most successful was his ground-breaking hit, ‘People Funny Boy’. By the summer of ’68, the recently launched Trojan Records had acquired exclusive rights to Perry’s productions, issuing the best of his work on the company’s flagship label, prior to creating a British version of his Upsetter imprint, early the following year. This deluxe 7” box set collection gathers faithful reproductions of the first ten 45s that showcased his work in the UK, each pressed on high quality vinyl and presented in specially created card sleeves.
Also featured within this stylishly designed collection is a fold-out poster-sized insert, featuring a detailed essay on Perry by the producer’s official biographer, David Katz.
SINGLE 1: Spanish Harlem - Val Bennett / Tighten Up – The Inspirations
SINGLE 2: Uncle Charley - Mellotones / What A Botheration - Mellotones
SINGLE 3: None Such (Busted Me Bet) - The Mellotones / Popeye Stranger On The Shore - Val Bennett
SINGLE 4: Place In The Sun - David Isaacs / Handy-Cap - Upsetter All Stars
SINGLE 5: Sentence - Danny and Lee / You Crummy - Lee Perry
SINGLE 6: Honey Love - Bert Walters / Evol Yenoh - Bert Walters
SINGLE 7: Baby Baby - Val Bennett / Barbara - Val Bennett
SINGLE 8: Uncle Desmond – Lee Perry / Bronco – Lee Perry
SINGLE 9: People Funny Boy - Lee (King) Perry / Blowing In The Wind - Burt Walters
SINGLE 10: What A Botheration - Lee Perry / Stand By Me – Upsetters
Recorded at Mills College in 1977, Robert Ashley’s iconic Private Parts has remarkably never been officially reissued on vinyl since its first pressing in 1978 - until now.
Ashley was a pioneer of the American avant-garde, member of the Sonic Arts Union (alongside David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma), the director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center and eventually the Mills College for Contemporary Music where Private Parts was recorded. Despite his interest in experimental techniques, often modulating his voice beyond recognition, on Private Parts Ashley discovered that his own, untreated voice carried its own transfixing qualities. Split into two 20 minute pieces (one told from the perspective of a man, the other of a woman), Ashley narrates a philosophically rich, often absurd, mysteriously opaque quasi stream-of-consciousness, weaving around slowly unfurling keyboard and tabla ragas played by Krishna Bhatt and Gene Tyranny.
“This is not a record, this is a story…” he tells us not long into ‘The Park’, before referencing Alvin Lucier’s “I am sitting in a room”, recorded a decade earlier - a piece famously concerned with frequencies and resonance. Was Ashley dismissing his formative tape music life, or merely producing a new kind of acoustic sleight of hand? Hard to tell, but in any event, these recordings marked a distinct new phase in his recording career; from this point on he became best known for that uniquely meditative, untreated voice.
Ashley had previously worked at the University of Michigan's Speech Research Laboratories, so it’s not a stretch to assume that his focus on ‘Private Parts’ was as much about tonality as narrative, but in any event, the impact of Private Parts was substantial, eventually adapted for television by Channel 4 in the UK (as part of Ashley’s seven-part opera Perfect Lives), but also carrying through an obvious stylistic influence on everyone from Laurie Anderson to David Byrne’s Talking Heads.
Over 40 years on, Private Parts has lost none of its potency. It’s a record that operates on multiple levels; it opens a portal into a curious narrative wormhole, but also triggers dizzying, gradual hypnosis. It makes you think of the deep, mysterious but also absurd minutiae of life - something that’s now most commonly (and far too often) referred to as Lynchian - in a way you’re unlikely to experience with any other record. And you’re unlikely to experience it in quite the same way more than once.
Tim Hecker returns with a companion piece to his recent Konoyo album.
"Anoyo (“the world over there”) draws from the same sessions with members of Tokyo Gakuso which led to the 2018 work Konoyo, but rendered starker, solemn, and stripped back, with more of a naturalist tint. Hecker’s processing here moves in veiled ways, soft refractions and whispered shrouds woven within improvisational sessions of traditional gagaku interplay, evoking a sense of vaulted space, temples at dawn, shredded silk fluttering in the rafters.
This is boldly barren music, skeletal and sculptural, shaped from wood, wind, strings, and mist. Modern yet ancient, delicate and desolate, Anoyo inverts its predecessor to compellingly conjure a parallel world of illusion, solitude, and eternal return."
Melody As Truth’s Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft make time feel precious, sublime yet impending with the slow urgency of their 2nd outing as MATstudio.
Aside from the pair’s more polished productions, both solo and in collaboration, their MATstudio output reveals more steeply psychedelic and abstract space between the notes of Nash & Kraft’s respective, mutually admiring styles. Across the two pieces it feels as though we’re hovering somewhere in the studio during the session, or even pulled into the slipstream of their FX contrails and gently toyed with, like a cat with a piece of fluff in weightless space.
“MATstudio was born out of the working processes of our Amsterdam studio. Many hours are spent here experimenting with new methods, tools and ideas. This process allows us to continue developing our interests in merging multiple production techniques to create a personal language.
MATstudio works are collages of improvisations, experiments and accidents. Many of the fragments are the results of filtering our ideas through new production techniques and tools. Some feature friends and collaborators. MATstudio works are an ode to the infinite possibilities that result in keeping a curious mind and a desire to learn.”
The endless wellspring of electronic Afro-funk and boogie spurts Nkono Teles’ cutting edge ‘80s Nigerian ‘Party Beats’ from the legendary Tabansi label. OG copies are known to trade for $700 on the 2nd hand market and it ain’t hard to hear why - this is street funk gold!
“Few creative geniuses epitomize the Tabansi label’s broad-stroke approach to music than the late Nkono Teles. Cameroun-born and Nigeria-bred, this innovative multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and engineer was one of a select handful of backroom boffins that West African artists and producers would habitually call upon when they wanted a ‘modernist’ Afro-pop sound that would appeal across borders.
A pioneer of electronics in African music, Nkono Teles was equally at home with synthesisers, drum machines, guitar effects and computer programming as traditional instruments. One of West Africa’s most prolific producers during the 1980s, Teles is credited with more than 150 productions, spanning the work of more than 100 artists and groups.
Of Nkono Teles’ three solo-artist LPs, ‘Party Beats’ is, by far, the most innovative and characteristic. He plays all instruments, and was apparently always the first to admit that singing wasn’t his forte; hence the utilization of an eleven-piece choral section! The raw electronic effects used here have always been sought-after by breaks and hip hop producers as well as DJs, with original copies of Party Beats regularly changing hands for anything up to $700.”
Into The Light take a 2nd swan dive into Dimitris Petsetakis’ divine archive and come up with a further 8 pearls of new age ambient wisdom and cinematic synth music recorded between 1980s and early ’90s, but unreleased until now. RIYL Vangelis!
“Buoyed by the success of Endless, their 2015 primer on forgotten electronic explorer Dimitris Petsetakis, Into The Light Records has worked with the Greek composer to compile a follow-up album that takes an even deeper dive into his archive of previously unreleased material. Like its predecessor, On Shores draws on music recorded in the 1980s and early ‘90s. It contains just two previous released tracks, the humid “Clearance (Part 2)” and poignant “On Endless Shores”, both of which first featured on Petsetakis’s cult 1991 album Missing Links.
On Shores offers another unparalleled insight into the picturesque and atmospheric soundscapes created in the Piraeus-based composer’s basement studio using a mixture of electronic and acoustic instruments, a wide range of global influences and a keen interest in both minimalism and new age ambience. Listeners will encounter a range of stunningly beautiful and beguiling compositions, from the creepy, slow-burn exoticism of “Pythia’s Dance” and rhythmic, otherworldly escapism of “Violated Asylum”, to the gentle bliss of “Like a Knife” and sun-bright joy of “Nearxi (Minimal Marimba Edit)”.”
After a string of seductively deep and rugged D&B, deep techno and experimental outings, Forest Drive West contributes two soporific rollers to Whities’ Blue series
The furtive ’Other’ feels out 8 minutes of agitated drums and pensive atmospheres hingeing around a full sunken subbass ballast in a calm before storm style, and ’time’ holds that tension tight but woozy with an hypnotic sense of minimalist restraint comparable to Peverelist or Batu.