More goodness from the Basic Channel affiliated Wackies Crew Re-Pressed. Further adventures with Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes - the man who worked formatively in Lee Perry's Black Ark, then relocated to New York, with a crucial take on classic period Scratch production techniques and part of his equipment.
So it is no coincidence that the drifting analogue detail in the rhythm tracks owes much to Mr. Perry's classic period. Providing a bridge from the well documented seventies heyday of roots reggae into the less well covered mid eighties - all Barnes work is worth checking and this is no exception.
Delahaye has a wonderful high register falsetto styled vocal, even on the couple of lovers' cuts here sounding rootsy and deep. Featuring a great recut of The Chantell's classic Sitting in the park, and five other top quality cuts, find out why this label is held in such high regard.
Scott Douglas Gordon (f.k.a Loops Haunt) keens to the darkside on this heavily textured and spaced out follow up to his input on the Oto Hiax LP with Seefeel’s Mark Clifford
“A composition of treatments for adapted piano harp and electric guitar.
In 2016, I managed to salvage a piano that belonged to my brother and had spent four years sitting in a garage. Getting it home nearly killed my van. The first objective was to strip the harp and mount surface transducers to it with the hope of being able to excite the strings and ultimately explore a tuneable sympathetic reverb. After a lot of trial and error, workable results were produced which became the foundations for Relief Tours.
The album was recorded over six months or so with tracks typically centering around one or two objects, some kind of treatment for the piano and improvisations on electric guitar. Experimenting with the objects is never something I’ve been particularly scientific about by any means, nothing more than the basic sequence of continuing to develop the best results that had emerged from the previous experiment. Concepts were typically very simple e.g. getting percussive overtones from the piano strings. My usual approach is to sketch some possible methods then just begin, so in this case it was tugging winds of horse hair and then settling on an angle of about 30°. This produced the deep bell like sound that can be heard on Benthic Salvage.
Certain sounds would often dictate the course of things. For example, the juddering of a rubber ball being dragged down a smooth surface would, in turn, result in trying to recreate the same percussive movement on the piano harp with a car spring and some big magnets, which then went on to provoke something else and so on. The results would influence the next decision and eventually a track would begin to take shape. Each track hosts a small group of related ideas like this with the tonal work often being the last stage; improvised reactions to the textural parts.
The physicality and movement of the sounds, and the instrument-like properties that came from experimenting with objects, both sonically and tangibly, were really the driving force behind the record.”
Released in very scarce quantity, this is Madalyn Merkey’s absorbingly ferric POP one-two for the now-defunct Chantal; a subprint of Chicago’s Lynn label, whose ace digital releases are now available on our site.
We’ve had an ear on Mills College alumni Madelyn’s work since we got snagged on her sublime Scent LP in 2012 (run, go check it!), and bar the lush archipelago of her Valley Girl  LP in the meantime, these tapes give a rare, obfuscated glimpse into her current working practice.
Just like Scent, there’s a magnetic synaesthetic attraction to these tapes. Madalyn’s dreamily riffing vocals hold the centre, intersecting warped varispeed tape loops at strange angles, sometimes gelling, but more often skewhiffed in a fragrant fuss of dust and spritzed avant-Pop ephemera.
We can hear a sort of analogue for this sound in Teresa Winter’s odder nooks and folds, but Madalyn is perhaps best compared with Louis Johnstone’s collapsing the electronics of Wanda Group into his improv folk jazz pop thing, Henry Caravan, and then fermenting the lot with a bag of Haribo and iron filings.
Singular Swiss-Nepalese-Tibetan artist Aïsha Devi emotes DNA Feelings on the 2nd album for Rob Booth’s Houndstooth.
Coming into her own in a similar way to how Arca and Lotic did on their respective solo opuses, Aïsha’s holistic approach incorporating meditation techniques, metaphysical research and ritual practice, results in a hyper-natural helix of ideas binding avant-pop nous into almost theatric backdrops where her ideas play out in transfixing, abstract form.
Aïsha moves freely between her myriad voices - from seraphic anguish to helium rave diva, thru Tibetan throat singing and autotuned R&B vamps - in a richly embroidered soundscape of sawn-off rave stabs, field recordings and weightless sensations synthesised to suggest the infinite metaphysics and feel of a place out of time and space.
In the process she metaphorically externalises the internal and eternal across an archipelago of ante-chambers leading deeper into her sonic ontology, from the rush of raved emotions in DNA ☤ ∞, to the starkly statuesque Dislocation of Alpha, melting out into diaphanous cosmic dimensions on Aetherave before the bass of Hyperlands pulls her back to earth and the primal chaos of Inner State of Alchemy, before Light Luxury veers between hardstyle and traditional instrumentals, leading to the premonitory ambient projection of Cell Stems Spa.
CV & JAB is Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett, two artists that might already be familiar to many of you from their individual work over the years for the Kranky and Spectrum Spools labels. Together they have made this slowly engrossing album for Shelter Press - who else - perhaps one of the most elusive, uncanny and multi-layered “Ambient” albums we’ve heard in what feels like a long time, a worthy follow-up to a frankly astonishing sequence of releases on the label that started with Felicia Atkinson’s modern classic 'Hand In Hand'. If you’re into anything from Chris Watson’s field recordings to Vangelis and Badalamenti at their most romantic and evocative, or even Boards of Canada’s early forays into wildlife documentary pastiche, this one will sooth your mind like nothing else.
The album is a musical interpretation of Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface, a 90m panoramic wall drawing by Zin Taylor (a reproduction of which is included as a fold-out poster that comes with the vinyl edition). Through 10 tracks they render beautiful electro-acoustic meditations on the passage of time, which follows-on from their co-work on Vantzou's No. 3 album.
Vantzou brings a wealth of experience working between auditory and visual mediums to John Also Bennett’s synthesized and acoustic sound sensitivities, which have recently applied to his action in the Forma trio and a compilation of Pauline Anna Strom’s amazing Trans-Millenia Music for RVNG Intl, with a purposefully slow and immersive flow of acoustic piano and flute wrapped up in remarkably plasmic, spatially detailed synth contours.
In 10 parts, through a combination of literal track titles and abstracted allegorical inference, they describe the movement and feelings evinced by Zin Taylor’s massive tableaux, variously transposing his imagery of Cactus with Vent into webs of crystalline harmonics that acquiesce to brownian motion, or, as with the transition of Alfred Hitchcock Haze to Rock House With Door, a vividly synaesthetic transcription of figurative drawing to brooding, doomily Lynchian sound that brings to mind a wealth of captivatingly dank and alien imagery.
The vinyl package includes a miniaturised print of Zin Taylor’s Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface to peruse while you listen, so that you, like Christina and Bennett, can also make your own interpretation, and see how far their sonic translation differs with your own. Or then again, you could ignore it entirely and let yourself drift inside their free-formed dimensions without the cues. Either way, you’re in for a beautiful, open-ended and unpredictable trip.
As the title suggests, Rejuvenate marks a rebirth for South London musician Paul White. Abandoning sampling altogether, White wrote, played and produced all of Rejuvenate's music himself, and the result is an album of playful, psychedelic pop.
"It would have been far easier for White - previously described as a 21st century DJ Shadow, often compared to Madlib and best known as Danny Brown’s go-to producer - to construct an album of loop-based, hip-hop-orientated beats. Instead, taking an ambitious left turn, he worked on honing his songwriting and instrument playing abilities and embarked on creating a totally original record worthy of sitting alongside those he’d usually sample.
Rejuvenate’s broad sonic palette includes cosmic rock, ambient, electronic, jazz, folk and more. Retaining a groove-heavy, psychedelic aesthetic throughout, White successfully melds these various influences in to his most cohesive, fully-realised offering yet.
Paul White is joined on this sonic trip by a trio of likeminded souls; British-Jamaican singer Denai Moore adds heartwarming, crystalline vocals to the aptly named Set The Tone and See Through, Zimbabwean musician and poet Shungudzo (aka Shun) shares nuggets of wisdom on Spare Gold and dreamy, melting vocals for Ice Cream Man. White reunites with his sister, Sarah Williams White, and the pair draw on childhood memories for Laugh With Me and All Around.
Paul White’s previous output includes a treasure trove of mostly instrumental solo records, plus collaborations with Charli XCX, Jehst, Homeboy Sandman, Guilty Simpson, Jamie Woon, Obongjayar, Eric Biddines (as Golden Rules) and Open Mike Eagle. More recently, White reconnected with frequent collaborator Danny Brown, producing most of the Detroit rap maverick’s mind-blowing Atrocity Exhibition album."
Deliciously uncompromising sound design from Gábor Lázár, performing a sort of virtuosic hyper-rave bondage on your ears with Crisis Of Representation; his first release for Shelter Press after a pair of releases with The Death of Rave - including his acclaimed collaboration with Mark Fell, The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making - and the ILS album for Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!? before them. If you're into mad sound design, this one comes highly recommended.
Mostly pieced together in 2015, but utilising material made as early as 2011, Crisis Of Representation forms a direct continuation of Lázár’s increasingly incisive composition techniques, offering 7 pieces (+1 bonus on CD) which unknot the same nasal drip motif in myriad permutations of possibility. With that in mind, it’s not difficult to draw an economically short line from his to Mark Fell’s music, but where Fell’s Linn grammar and SoYo accentuation tends to clip itself, Lázár’s compositions ribbon off into unnaturally fluid flights of mercurial, polychromatic acrobatics.
We could imagine that this deeply abstract yet soberly conceived techno sound is antithesis to casual listening. But, if you’re game enough to follow Gábor into the wormhole, and have the head for intense, elusive sonics, then you’ll be embraced by a unquantifiably psychedelic experience quite unlike any other, where notions of “proper” musical convention are upended and rhythm, pitch and tone become fused by your head into scintillating psychoacoustic formations of perpetual tension and amorphous resolution.
Sound artist Tomoko Sauvage adds the gorgeous, elemental waterbowl recordings of Musique Hydromantique to a wonderful run of 2017 releases on Félicia Atkinson & Bartolomé Sanson's Shelter Press. Quite possibly the most soothing hour of music you'll experience all year
It will become hard to believe once you’ve heard it, but all sounds on the LP were improvised with acoustic technique and recording - meaning no electronics, edits or overdubs - whilst they effectively sound like the microtonal output of some unique, natural synthesiser affected by subtle variables such as temperature, architecture, humidity and human presence. If Philip Corner and Eliane Radigue ever made a record together, it may well sound like Musique Hydromantique.
Using a set-up of hydrophones (underwater mics) and porcelain bowls filled with varying amounts of water, developed by the artist over the better part of this decade, Musique Hydromantique forms a meditative, experimental study in rhythm and pitch which resonates with gamelan and ancient divination techniques as much as it does with minimalist modern electronics. The results are utterly captivating in their fluid timbres and plaintively plangent structure, rendering the elusive, ever-changing and hypnotic phenomena of moving water in three diverse states or sonic sculptures that patently demonstrate a deep, underlying and innate connection between the performer, her medium, and the listener.
Clepsydra - meaning ‘water clock’ - most closely resembles a form of gamelan practice, or, even some form of minimal electronic music. For ten minutes she renders a series of exquisitely variegated sonic glyphs gestured from her struck bowls and hands changing the quantities of water, and by extension, the pitch of each bowl. Tomoko makes a real virtue of everyday sounds, resulting in a time-dilating passage of smooth glissandi, elegantly unshackling our internal clocks from the anticipation of quantised convention.
Fortune Biscuit follows in a very different style. Here, the brownian flow yields a remarkable micro-ecology of sounds that almost mimic animals, cyborganic mechanisms and insect choruses, yet they were entirely generated by a piece of porous terra cotta (biscuit) dipped into water. The scuttling patterns are perhaps understandable in that context, but we’re utterly baffled how they also make those pealing, arcing harmonic partials. In the final, 20 minute piece, Calligraphy those techniques serve to gel and diffuse her water-based sounds in even more bewildering fashion, as she employs the 10 second reverbs of an old textile factory to render her delicate, subaquatic sounds in a play of fractious drips, haptic rubs and their resonant feedback, feeling to melt time entirely and open a tranquil space for divination of your own senses in between those perceptions of time and tone.
This is a record that seems to have been designed to promote ultimate well being, it will completely engulf and subsume your senses and keep your attention rapt from start to finish. And we'd echo Tomoko's request that you listen to it at the start or end of the day for optimal results - far healthier than a spliff or night cap and will set your mood like some kind of ancient tuning fork.
Mark Fell and Mat Steel’s second EP as SND was released in 1999, a year after their debut ‘Tplay’. It continued to explore their distinct, highly individual take on electronic minimalism, House and UK Garage stripped to its bare bones.
This extended reissue features the original 6 tracks of ’newtables’, plus 6 previously unheard recordings from the same sessions - all fully remastered by Rashad Becker from the original DAT tapes. The tracks more or less split themselves into three distinct categories: the first detailing the brilliant swing and shuffle of their reduced UKG mutations, with ’22’ in particular perfecting the balance between academic reduction and kinetic, feminine motion.
The second outlines a more linear approach utilising reduced House and Techno templates, while the last includes more experimental works such as the proper fwd bass-pulse arrangements on the previously unheard B2 and the frequency fxxckery of closing track D3. This excellent reissue and the series as a whole really is a massive eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with this incredible, important early material.
Electrifyingly atmospheric live recording of the melodic maverick. A bit on the lo-fi side, but properly captures the vibe
“Greek Theater, Berkeley 1984 captures Pablo and his band in a particularly fiery live date. The recording quality is raw even when presented here in a cleaned-up form, but the bootleg sound adds character to the album, lo fidelity standing in for the rough-hewn graininess that dubwise production often offers.
Over the course of the 11 selections, the band is rock-solid, offering a live, instrumental reggae set that captivates and commands attention on the merit of the band's airtight performances.”
Jealous God call for EBM reinforcements with three new tracks from Pye Corner Audio, and a collab between Marcel Dettmann & Silent Servant.
Pye Corner Audio does it slow, grubby and inquisitive on Delay Gratification, teasing in a sort of industrial zombie cumbia, while Meet Me In The Void follows a muggier hunch into Carpenter-esque synth alleys, and The Future is a bleak as f^ck black knot of acid rolling with stygian function.
Dettmann subtly indulges his longheld passion and fascination for EBM in collaboration with Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant on The Bond, where they marry a strapping lead arp with floating, over-the-shoulder voices and booming kicks, all pinned into place by a reverberating snare that’s sure to ricochet around Berghain’s main hall like stay shrapnel.
Soundway dip back into a treasure trove of South African dance music with four edits of cuts from the prototype Bubblegum label, Heads Records, by NYC’s JKriv and Frankie Francis.
As previously covered on the killer Gumba Fire compilation, ‘Bubblegum’ was a South African pop sound that emerged from disco, and would eventually morph into Kwaito, and ultimately even Gqom in the modern day.
These edits neatly buff up the vintage gear for today’s dancefloors, swaggering in with Jkriv’s tuff edit of William & The Young Five’s soulful vocal disco burner You Turn Me On, before Frankie Francis hints at the link between this gear and Gqom in the intro of his edit to Maryanne’s Thabong, before it unfolds as a slickly arppegiated Afro-Italo killer - you really need to check this one!
Flipped Frankie Francis then draws lines between Jo’burg and Paradise Garage in a great 3AM retweak of Adaye’s party anthem Turn It Up, and for good measure, you’ll also find the uncut mix of Starlight’s Picnic, the B-side to a Gumba Fire bewt; Picnicing.
An eye-opening set of experimental electronic recordings made in the early 1970's by Italy's Teresa Rampazzi (1914-2001) - only the second collection of her work made available for public consumption - and an indispensible, crucial artefact if you're interested in the recordings of Daphne Oram, Tod Dockstader, Eliane Radigue or Delia Derbyshire.
As with the spellbinding Musica Endoscopica, this issue of Immagini Per Diana Baylon - one of her three known soundtracks for art installations - helps to place Teresa as Italy’s answer to Daphne Oram; that is, a pioneering female experimenter operating in a male dominated field since the ’50s, and an artist/musician/technician who was magnetically drawn to the emerging possibilities of analogue electronics (although she would also expand into computer composition as soon as the opportunity arose).
The 31’ 50” piece is cleft in two parts but was apparently intended to be looped for 180 minutes. Using analogue electronics as a malleable form or presence, like light itself, to subtly illuminate the pieces, and in turn create rich imagery in negative relief of the mind’s eye. The first side flows with an alien yet folksy, almost sing-song cadence, whereas the 2nd part really seems to conjure a more intense, head-long sort of e/motion from static sources, leading up to one remarkably sweet, harmonic passage that feels almost like a premonition of new age minimalism, before closing with a tract of needling, rapidly fluctuating timbres.
The coruscating, mirage-like sounds in Immagini Per Diana Baylon reflect a close understanding between both artist’s disciplines. As Teresa remarked in her notes; “The work is made of a series of sound events, with informal and aleatory features, in a continuous flux, and there is no planned predetermination in any of the various sections. This choice has been made for the sound space to adjust to the sculptor’s plastic and loose images.”
Diana’s anodised aluminium and iron on stone pieces, depicted in the accompanying insert, look to us like alien glyphs, aztec runes or debris from a space station that somehow managed to survive reentry to earth’s atmosphere, as Teresa agrees and expanded upon in 1974: “In her later artworks the objects of Diana Baylon are definitely taking flight - as if they has just gone through dense layers of atmosphere, as though they did so with the same intent… there are secret numerical ratios, symmetries not symmetrical, geometric shapes which escape the definitions of perception…”. That could arguably be a description of Teresa’s soundtrack, too.
This is definitely sound, or music, for art’s sake, as opposed to say the commercially-minded experiments of Suzanne Ciani over in America during the same era. Yet we can draw a line between the two via the balance of sleek sensitivity to timbre and austere geometry in Diana’s sculptures and Daphne Oram’s image-into-sound Oramics; a willingness and proclivity to explore synaesthetic relationships in a way which is nigh on impossible to articulate but which has provided this listener with goosebumps several times over.
Either way, it's is a recording of historical, experimental significance and a thing of great beauty - we urge you to investigate.
Room40 pair two much-loved and out-of-print Tim Hecker pieces on vinyl to mark the label's 15th year of editions and events.
The A-side finds Tim bunkered in the mine shaft at Sweden's Norberg festival on July 30th, 2005, where he coaxes out some 20 minutes of pealing chimes and reverberant cacophony making intrinsic use of the space's natural acoustics. After 10 years, thankfully 'Norberg' makes its first appearance on vinyl here.
On the other side we find the succinctly emotive eight minutes of 'Apondalifa', presenting its frayed ribbon of oxidising strings and electronics in its entirety for the first time (it was previously broken in two parts over a 7" in 2010).
If you're only familiar with Tim's better known work, this is a perfect stopgap in lieu of a new LP. Highly recommended!
Kali Malone makes a second outing on these pages in weeks with the slow, stately procession of her Organ Dirges 2016-2017 for Ascetic House.
Arriving shortly after her sublime Cast Of Mind album, this suite finds Kali stripped back to a single instrument, filling the soundfield with sustained, quivering tones enriched with a ferric, gaseous swirl.
“Kali Malone’s “Organ Dirges 2016 - 2017" is a collection of isorhythmic canons following the tradition of pipe organ requiems found in early modern music. Malone’s purified organ dirges echo embodied recollections of the piercing numbness of those battled encounters when the armours were stripped down, left with nothing other than will power, yet still standing upright as the columns of Sounion. The soothing and perceptive harmonies resonate to a presence that leans elegantly towards a courageous aftermath and a gleaming salutation. While the dirges themselves have minimal melodic and rhythmic variation, they appear in constant cyclical motion, revealing their refracted selves in a coherent yet unpredictable manner; like a rotating wheel where all spokes are perceptible but at any given moment in a different place.
Kali Malone (b. 1994, Colorado) is an American artist living and working in Stockholm, Sweden since 2012. Her solo works implement unique tuning systems in minimalist form for analog and digital synthesis often combined with acoustic instrumentation - such as pipe organ, string and wind instruments, lute and gong. Malone’s 2017 debut LP “Velocity of Sleep” was released on her own label XKatedral following tape releases put out by Ascetic House, Bleak Environment and Total Black. She is active in the groups Sorrowing Christ, Swap Babies, Upper Glossa with Caterina Barbieri.”
They’re steeply hypnotic and recommended to fans of Aine O’Dwyer or Sarah Davachi’s recent organ salvo’s
Knekelhuis pluck out a top shelf Italian cosmic disco obscurity for reissue with Meo’s ‘Fine Corsa’ , delivering a taste of the sophisticated, syncretic styles played at Rimini’s Melody Mecca. Vibes for days on this one, but the shifty syncopation of ‘Monday’s Coma’ is worth the price of entry alone
“Meo, pseudonym of Daniele Mei, is a cosmic dj from Rimini, Italy. Fine Corsa was his first record, released in 1985. In those days Meo was active in what was later considered to be the most famous Afro Dance Club in Italy: Melody Mecca. This release is an intensely creative hybrid of many styles and many colors. Even up until the present day this record continues to be very important in some preeminent European clubs. Now remastered by Brandenburg.”
Foundational techno business from 1993, documenting Mark and Moritz pelting ‘em out live at 145bpm at Waschhaus, Potsdam and setting the template for a whole genre.
Phylyps Trak is the one for the DJs.
We're more than a bit gassed to pop the cork on Lorenzo Senni's thrilling, incisive new LP, the 10th release for Boomkat Editions.
The conceptual sibling to his blinding 'Quantum Jelly' side for Editions Mego in 2012, 'Superimpositions' finds the Milan-based multi-disciplinary artist and owner of the brilliant Presto!? Records accelerating and evolving his idea of "Pointillistic Trance" - an ascetic, extreme approach to the aesthetics of '90s-style trance/hard-trance - in a broader range of song structures, hyper-lucid moiré patterns, and tantric dancefloor arrangements. Again, he "plays" a computer-controlled JP8000 Roland Digital-Analog Modelled S-Source Synthesiser to juice the most potent, searing saw wave arpeggios and spiralling melodies, finding the biting point between real-time, hands-on, emotive human input, and the sleek tension of synthesis.
From the serotonin-flooding rush of opener 'Happic' to the beautiful come down of 'PointillistiC', the album plays out a sisyphean struggle for deferred gratification, challenging limbic systems and our sense of equilibrioception thru the spine-tingling aerobic coefficients of 'Elegant, And Never Tiring' and the scything, strobing rhythmelody of the title track, to peak with the palpitating surge of 'Forever Headline' at its white hot core. It's all more effective than a triple-barelled mitsi in the jacksy, and hasn't been off our turntable all summer...
Martyn is back at his ruder garage-techno tricks for Steffi’s Dolly label
Swanging on a darker garage pivot with 41W, and a smart redefintion of Body Music with the clipped brukbeats and brooding bass steering just the right side of aggy, leaving Angels to cool off in a rolling UK/Detroit style.
Karen Gwyer returns with 'Rembo', her first full LP for Don't Be Afraid - a propulsive, functional affair dotted with colour and narrative, a record that calls firmly to the night...
"Live performance is where Gwyer's ideas come into gradual but vivid fruition, with tracks often evolving over "five or six shows" before reaching the studio. Throughout 'Rembo', dozens of shows and endless stolen studio hours have informed 38 minutes of uncompromising body music.
"What I'm doing is trying to challenge a certain way of thinking", she explains. "I feel like, without it being said, I get treated as a warm up act for DJs. And I also feel like when I go and play, I want to disprove that notion. I'm standing there for an hour, and I don't necessarily know what's going to happen. I have a loose idea, but I'm definitely working the crowd. I'd like people to shift their thinking in regards to what producers are doing, and to acknowledge the fact that there's a lot of decision making happening on a second-by-second basis, and a lot of it is improvisational."
Throughout her youth in Michigan, with Detroit on the nearby horizon, the city's time-honoured musical heritage slowly sank under Gwyer's skin. First through public radio, late night transmissions and endless cassette recordings, then on the life-changing local rave scene.
"Before the internet came along, you were listening to the radio, and you knew who the DJ was, but you had no earthly idea who the records were by", recalls Gwyer. "You just listened to the music, and you didn't listen to the people. And because you didn't ponder their personalities, you weren't engaged in the process. And I loved it, it was pivotal to me. I still have records on tape, and I have no idea who made them. I lie awake at night thinking about how am I ever going to find out what that track is? I have a snippet of it in my mind, but how will I ever know?"
'Rembo' then, is in some way a tribute to those transformative moments caught on tape. And while the pressures of raising a young family means that Gwyer has fresh pairs of young ears to potentially inspire, instead, this is a record that calls firmly to the night; an album to transport both artist and listener to dark, sweaty rooms, to shared escapism and unexpected moments of electronic transcendence..."
Autechre's classic third album from 1995, reissued for the first time in 15 years...
Completing the triumvirate of early Autechre essentials, Tri Repetae was the duo’s cranky contribution to mid ‘90s electronic music, and, like its predecessors - Incunabula and Amber - a record that completely defines certain aspects of that era for many electronica nerds, us included.
It’s possibly best known for including the peerless electro-trance swerve of Eutow - which could literally kill someone prone to AMSR in the right situations (not a bad way to gan) - whilst the rest of the LP cements some of Autechre’s sharpest, neck-snapping hip hop beats.
If you’ve only heard this album via download or streaming, or are only aware of their later gear, you’re in for total treat.
Will long returns with a second volume of 'Long Trax' following that incredible first run alongside DJ Sprinkles.
Following his sterling run of raw, politically-charged deep house releases for DJ Sprinkles’ Comatonse, Will Long (Celer) pairs samples of Afro-American figureheads with sublime, rolling grooves in a beautiful extension of the Long Trax series.
Nothing’s Changed features sparingly used snippets of Barack Obama on a lean, simple, and deliciously smooth 11 minute groove gilded with signature chord cadence, while B-side he treats Jean-Michel Basquiat to a swim in deepest house water on the hazy 10 minute movement.
Also featured is a sensitively raw and low key spin on the style with gauzy samples of Angela Davis laced into the 12 minutes of keening float in The Struggles, The Difficulties and Richard Pryor and leading Black Panther Ericka Huggins in two more signature, raw, extended deep house grooves.
Leading edge Berlin label Conditional isolate a killer cross-section of the contemporary computer and electronic music with 19 ‘Misapplications’ from rkss, Phil Julian, Calum Gunn, Ewa Justka, Maria W Horn, Renick Bell among many others
Check for deviant doom core in Ewa Justka’s Satan Is Raving; the sound of a computer crying for humanity in Phil Julian’s Pairs; haunting subaquatic abstraction by DJプチプチ; a wrapped knot of digickal gristle from Daniel M Karlsson called Rare Beauty; and an upending of proprioceptive senses in the piece from rkss.
“A group photo for Conditional’s tenth release; 19 tracks from the whole family, all sharing a disregard for genre and form. No filler.”
‘Exit Future Heart’ is the gently psychedelic and beautifully optimistic collaboration between Tokyo’s Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa and Chicago’s free music trio, Good Willsmith.
Its flight path takes in myriad strains of kosmische krautrock, jazz abstraction, IDM and all their intersections across six tracks improvised during one night on tour when Wong and Minekawa hit Chicago. As with the best Umor Rex releases, there’s a palpable but elusive soul to this record that keener ears will pick up on and trace from the jump...
“Takako Minekawa and Natalie Chami chase each other through the mix with layered angelic vocalizations that flit from operatic highs to close-mic whispers. Minekawa’s flute-like Casio tones, prominently featured in her catalog of seminal shibuya-kei pop albums starting in the mid 90s, cut through in moments of colorful melody and hover in clouds of restrained pointillist harmony.
As in her solo recordings under the name TALsounds, Chami’s signature Juno organ chords and cascading monophonic Moog blips compound through live looping and processing into the undulating bedrock of each session. Dustin Wong’s guitar shines in passages of crystalline clean tone picking and rockets into bursts of effect-soaked abstraction, capturing the glowing precision of his solo albums on Thrill Jockey and the optimistic energy of his his former noise/rock band Ponytail.
When he’s not painting the mix with smeared arpeggios and quivering synth textures, Doug Kaplan (AKA MrDougDoug, one half of Chicago label Hausu Mountain) locks with Wong into tiered guitar riffs that conjure some image, however skewed, of a rock band’s twin six-string leads. In step with the frantic, style-mashing electronic arrangements of his solo project Mukqs, Maxwell Allison (the other half of Hausu Mountain) steers a rig of synths and drum machines through shifting IDM-esque bass and drum patterns, steady krautrock-inspired beats, and bleeping 8-bit square wave patches.
Channeling a varied palette of sounds at their disposal, the Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa + Good Willsmith quintet’s extended improvisations segue through contrasting atmospheres and emotional zones. Rock backbeats pulse behind dense clouds of guitar and voice before fading into clattering arrhythmia. Empty passages embodying the Japanese notion of “ma” (or intervals of negative space) erupt for short moments with individual interjections before sinking back into near nothingness. The album ends with the quintet’s most frankly affecting session, whose title Setsunai evokes a sense of melancholic ennui or a moment of twilit reflection.
The voices of Minekawa and Chami fold together and crest over brooding chords into wailed climaxes of wordless melody, building into a holy meadow of harmonies that thicken with slow-drip synth and guitar embellishments. Taken as a whole, the quintet’s recordings pluck tones and strategies from a wide axis of seemingly opposed traditions: sentimental pop/rock-informed songcraft vs. no-holds-barred improv; self-nullifying drone and ambient stasis vs. constantly shifting electro-acoustic activity. Exit Future Heart stands as a singular document of five friends having fun, piecing together a hybridized strain of live performance that seems to gel almost too perfectly to be improvised, but that proudly displays too many idiosyncrasies and happy accidents to be composed.”
Joy O & Ben Vince do a canny impersonation of Bass Clef with two subtle fusions of saxophone and wriggly British bass music.
On Transition 2 they craft an infectious momentum with Ben’s zippy sax lines and brassy smears carried by sloshing bass and rustling drums in a manner also recalling recent Moritz Von Oswald works.
With Systems Align they conjure a more weightless, levitating effect from percolated notes and needlepoint percussion lending itself to comparison with Shackleton and Beatrice Dillon riddims.
Aïsha Devi introduces Germany-based Cuban artist Réelle on her Danse Noire label with the tense and biting club music of ‘Kissing Myself’, including a dynamic remix by Dis Fig.
Entering the same schism of queered dance-not-dance music as Loticor Ziúr on Kissing Myself - the first in a one-two of album statements - Reélle trades in a hyper-contemporary sonic language of curdled dissonance, smeared timbres and warped industrial rhythms.
Kissing Myself presents pleasingly catty, needling hi-register tones and brute bass force, and Smile seems to emulate the icky cringe of a forced, gnasher flashing selfie. At its apex, Pink recalls some fusion of Mykki Blanco’s fiercest personas and the hyper chromium convulsions of earlier Arca experiments, also making ace use of YouTube-style compression, whereas God is all unresolved ambient tension.
The Dis Fig remix of All I Have Left brings it straight to the middle of the ‘floor with bolshy rhythms and a swollen reese bass to set it right of.
After sessions with Livity Sound/Dnuos Ytivil and Mechanical Reproductions, Via Maris tests his sound at different angles for Beneath’s Mistry
Firstly pranging out with the almost Errorsmith-styled hypercolour dynamics of Shelleys, and at a more eldritch, pastoral angle with Toys, leaving Miasma to get grubby with shuddering bass and kinetic noise sculptures.
Root Strata co-owner Maxwell August Croy and Jared Blum (Vision Heat) fully commit to YMO and Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo styles for this session of far eastern electronics and spare ambient jazz gestures clearly intended for fans of YouTube recommendation algorithms.
In 16 succinct pieces, each as lovely as the next, they rotate a kaleidoscopically colourful sound that variously touches on ‘80s computer game and film soundtracks as much as the sophisticated, searching 4th world styles explored by Haruomi Hosono and Yasuaki Shimizu, or their antecedents such as Visible Cloaks in the modern sphere.
The addition of Jonathan Sielaff (Golden Retriever) on bass clarinet and Adam Hill on double bass lends proceedings a trustingly loose and expressive aspect that differentiates Kagami from their field.
Ultra clear, high register probes from a playful tuuun - sounds like a flock of nanobot birds nesting in your cochlea, where they oscillate between intense squabble and having a right old knees-up on some DIY software
“tuuun touches down on Conditional with a 14-tracker of barebone patterns and clashing frequencies, aptly titled FMTRAX after the frequency modulation synthesis the FLUF label boss used to create these mini-maximal, ascetic sounds. Beyond all that, though, it's serious FUN.
tuuun says: "I made these fourteen disembodied FM sequences using the PreenFM2 open-source DIY synthesizer, over the course of two days in Stockholm in 2017. It's a really nice little unit that I like the sound of, and it also takes scala files, so I was experimenting with trying out lots of differently-tuned scales and seeing how they sounded."
FMTRAX are rough and ready compositions, fizzing with stray overtones and breakneck arpeggiations. An unruly listen for all fans of fucked frequency fun.”
Gwilly Edmondez is the dad from Yeah You; one of the maddest, most vital duos in underground UK music right now. Slip’s Trouble Number retrospective extends a hard-to-resist invitation to peruse four decades of Gwilly’s work at the outer limits of pop music, pairing the Gnarlage of Self C30 tape with a C60 mixtape …Made Questionably and Unquestioningly by Himself, to present a cherry-picked and unflinching 90 minute portrait of a properly prophetic, pop-wizened soul in his element.
Prone to magpie whatever snags his ear and turn it to his own ends, Gwilly ransacks hip-hop, black metal, folk, power balladry and much more, adapting inventive extended vocal techniques to consolidate a syncretic blatz of bewildering musical logic and unrhymed reasoning. To the casual observer it could appear to be a study in mental health or a Dadaist play, but pay some respect to listen and Gwilly will reward closer attention with flashes of genuine pop genius mixed with baffling non-sequiturs and hallucinatory levels of captivating oddness.
The Gnarlage Of Self tape was made on Newcastle’s hottest day of 2017, in an upstairs room in Heaton, and documents finely graded states of mind between the skittish tangle of 10 Banks of Nein and the reeling soul cadence of Make Your Own World, which could arguably be considered a definitive Edmondez anthem. On the C60 tape Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself, the handrails are further erased, resulting in a tumbling sequence of slapstick songcraft and spare, improvised electronics mulched into mixtape form. It’s here where the in/sanity and truth really comes out, oozing and ranting in a disarray of bluesy declamations, gender-bent torch songs and psychotomimetic scramble drawn from auld tapes dating to the mid ‘80s, the dankest niches of UBUWEB archives, and up-to-the-minute snatches of recent live shows.
For anyone who is intrigued by or appreciates the work of Richard Youngs, Jandek, Cosmic Dennis Greenidge, Mark Wynn, Sensational or Fenriz, consider this crucial listening.
Another bewitching, enigmatic entry from Chicago’s Lynn label, this one checking Oakland/Sarasota’s D!ANA navigate a surreal traverse of mystic woodwind, abstract techno and occult sci-fi gestures with singular vision.
Smartly working out of time and place, on A.ngel of A.dmonition your protagonist D!ANA casts her spell with stealthy magick, eazing us in with stereo-shifting vocals and flute in the spectral chamber piece Hex Break, to recall elements more oblique elements of Teresa Winter in the smudged transition from windswept abstraction to thrumming techno and alien dissonance with Chaos Warp.
At the EP’s apex, The Witch Was Right pairs Prurient or Carpenter-esque synth strikes with a pall of cinematic foley, D!ANA’s vocals incant at the middle of the scene, and the sacrificial ambience of Shadow Beheading gives way to a visually evocative passage of cackles, stark lacunae and plaintive, echoic vocals leading to a poignant, if slightly cartoonish, mix of BM and new age-style synth gestures.
We’re sure you’ll agree this is a standout EP and introduction to D!ANA.
*Checks shiny envelope* … and the winner of best track title of 2018 goes to rkss for Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker… cue the sound of one hand clapping in a faraway Japanese forest
rkss’ supremely bendy ace for Berlin’s Conditional is now available here, in case you didn’t catch it first time. Might as well check the rest of the catalogue while you’re here!
“Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker is an eight channel electroacoustic composition that challenges ideas of economic and cultural values within sound art and contemporary computer music.
Drawing upon Florian Hecker’s piece Acid in the Style of David Tudor (2009), which explored the similarities of acid house and works by Tudor such as Pulsers (1976) or Neural Synthesis (1995), Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker investigates the similarities of brostep with Hecker’s work such as Sun Pandämonium (2003) and Acid in the Style of David Tudor (2009).
Using the consumer software Massive, and specifically the preset bundle Loopmasters Present Dubstep Synths Massive Presets, Buckley uses Ableton Live LFOs across multiple parameters to work with the presets in order to emulate Hecker’s work. The sounds are then placed across the eight speakers using GRM Spaces.
Brostep in the Style of Florian Hecker is released as a stereo mix of all 8 channels
Ecstatic finally issue Abul Mogard's modular landscape paintings on 'Circular Forms'.
Unfolding through a 40 minute synthesiser suite in four parts, 'Circular Forms' is one of the most captivating examples of Mogard's deeply evocative music, drawing out a sort of direct emotional quality from his limited set-up of Farfisa organs and a self-built modular system.
At this point his backstory bears repeating: Mogard worked in a Serbian factory for most of his life, and upon retirement began making synth music to remind him the harmonic buzz and drone of heavy machinery. Between 2012 - 2013 he issued his first works on tape thru Steve Moore's VCO Records, followed most recently by a gorgeous split vinyl for Emotional Response.
But this one for Ecstatic is our favourite yet, framing three misty-eyed visions with perfectly suited titles such as 'Slate-Coloured Storm' and 'Half Light of Dawn' on the front, backed with the 16 minutes of slow and tortuous valerian bliss of 'House of the River' on the back.
Seriously, don't sleep on this one until you've got it home.
A big one for the digital rave crew, Daniel M Karlsson goes thru some brilliant, mutant motions in Expanding And Overwriting for Berlin’s blossoming Conditional label - home to wickedly warped gear by Phil Juilian, rkss, Callum Gunn and more.
Measuring the right amounta experimentation and dancefloor functionality, Karlsson veers from strobing acid steppers’ recalling Æ in I Set You, thru to twitching and bewitchingly melodic gear in Gaining traction with local branches, thru dense cascading harmonics on FM Keeps Its Promises, to do Gescom-style acid kmorphosis in Proper No Proper and what sounds like Peder Mannerfelt and Rian Treanor playing ping pong on the title track. Don’t sleep on this!
“Encompassing themes of transhumanism, capitalism, electronic music history and police brutality, 'Expanding and overwriting' is a work of intense focus and attention to detail, while retaining a sense of playful wonder in its many gleaming surfaces. Moving from processed acid workouts to topologically longform FM synthesis suites, Daniel M Karlsson's inherent curiosity and individuality make for a unique, sublime listen.
Created with live coding software TidalCycles, along with processing both during recording and after, jittering rhythms boom and collide in an uncanny space, as if propelled through a viscous cloud. Monolithic tones fold in on themselves and reassemble. A new music for a new world.”
Two tidy pinches of modern Dutch minimal wave from Pascal Pinkert (Dollkraut) as De Ambassade for the Knekelhuis label - home to Parrish Smith, Maoupa Mazzocchetti
“‘Verloren’ is like a late night pink Dutch sky after a long day of heavy rain, a sign that a warm summer’s day is just ahead. It will make you sweat tonight. This long awaited follow up 7", will be released in the same form as the first: a beautifully designed disco sleeve with cardboard artwork. The vinyl features perfect-not-perfect, melancholic yet very danceable tracks. The machines in here take you back to the 80’s, but sound very contemporary nevertheless.”
Sun-blessed Balearica to sweetly unravelled deep house and lush boogie, Will DiMaggio gives a definitive taste of his production style and famed DJ sets on a 2nd shot - his 1st album - for Future Times.
At Ease was notably crafted while DiMaggio was living with roommates DJ Python, Anthony Naples, and the Exotic Dance crew in Brooklyn, and shares much in common with all the above while keeping his own watermark of originality across all 8 tracks, a fuzzy, well-worn balance of hi-tek jazz and deep house with a smudged psychedelic bent.
Check for the styles on his NWAQ-meets-Joe Claussel-like Fairview Jam, the slippery edits of Steppin W Friends, his deft rub ’n tug on UH UH OH, or the Urban Tribe vibe of For T, and, if you’re aren’t dancing, you might want to see a doctor.
Aja Ireland transposes the energy of her infamous live performances into this violent and bestially expressive shocker of a first album for Opal Tapes. Whichever angle you come at it, this one should leave you ragged and gagging for another go, if you’re of the mutant persuasion. RIYL Eartheater, Aïsha Devi, The Body
“Rarely does a debut release come with such a powerful impact as this, the self titled recording by AJA.
Maximal in approach, AJA deploys rhythmic noise, bomb heavy drum machine, convolving vocal utterance and a dedicated hell-scape of field recordings, abrupt sound design and blistering drone. These recordings feel expelled rather than composed, a lashing of energy captured. The unhinged nature of her recorded work is complimented in what are soon becoming legendary live performances wherein the AJA experience is fully realised.
As a collaborator with designer LU LA LOOP, AJA’s sounds have bruised the runway of Berlin Alternative Fashion Week. Her work within the LGBTQ community running workshops in sound art and as an advocate of promoting and increasing the presence of women in electronic music, has seen her work carry throughout Europe and more recently to Brazil. It is in within the context of transgressive art, sexual identity/ politic and grass roots teaching that AJA’s work is elevated into a neo-punk.
The self-titled Opal Tapes release opens with the swaggering, drunken lurch of “Rattles”. Claustrophobically building toward release but never achieving, AJA’s voice dominates the track in an almost wordless epiphany which is re-digested by digital bacterium. “Charge” resonates in golden tone as pylon-heavy drones fry away above, the beat, still present; remains leaden, dragging it’s weight forward. “Sweat Pearls” is arrhythmic and paranoid, stuttering kick patterns charge out draped in psychotic wailing. The A side closes out with “XLR”, a mixed resolution of glorious sound design, crunching and clunking like ancient calculators while AJA’s voice soars above.
“Tuck It, Tape It” offers minute respite before the immense energy of the B side begins it’s mission to excoriate. Breathlessly oscillating between high speed industrial ache and rubbered up cleaving, the track pushes toward palpitating levels of intensity. “Black Stain” gutturally digests to follow up, textured vocals push rich drones along while grim MS-20 sits low and stern rumbling the track forward. High energy reigns back in for closer “Marbles”. A seven minute flex over a delicate ambient backdrop which climbs up and over into a full on trance denial.
AJA is cementing her place at the front of confrontational, psycho-visceral, truly new music. Opal Tapes are enormously proud to work with her on this full debut release. Her previous work can be heard on Perc’s album “Bitter Music” (track title “Spit”) and on the recent Opal Tapes compilation “The Harvest Of A Quiet Eye”.
Dane Law dices with trance tropes, from the music to the Positiva-aping artwork, on his contribution 2017 to Berlin’s Conditional. Where the likes of Lorenzo Senni, Theo Burt, EVOL treat trance and dance music with a mix of love, irreverence and invetive ingenuity, it’s more difficult to say whether Dane is taking the piss or not here...!
“Dane Law rolls down the tinted windows for 'Back In My Life', the soundtrack to a frantic 1999 getaway down the M6.
The EP sees its source material evaporate into clouds both furious and furtive, building castles in the sky from Alice Deejay's heart-stopping chart-topper. My final tears flow onward, stopping to snatch dropped kicks from the floor, wanting you back by my side. Call me, I won't leave again. Kinetically separated and repurposed into fresh tarmac. That's where you belong.”
The Sea and Cake return to their roots, crafting refreshingly intimate pop songs, elegantly arranged on their first new album in six years.
"The Sea and Cake deliver a refreshingly intimate collection of elegantly arranged, singular pop songs. For over two decades and 11 albums, The Sea and Cake have honed a sound all their own, comprised of delicate, intertwining guitar patterns, syncopated rhythms and airy melodies. Masters of subtlety, their compositions have continually evolved - through minute alterations in texture, unusual approaches to lyrics and creative production choices.
‘Any Day’ is testament to The Sea and Cake’s artistry, song craft, and utterly unique sound. The results are intimate songs that speak to the searcher in all of us. Through shifting instrumentation and sonic exploration, the band invites you into a world that is both familiar and unexpected."
It’s our pleasure to introduce Chicago’s Lynn label to these pages with Yma’s suitably titled Embrace; a curious collection of confections crossing lines between ambient pop, sound poetry and experimental, contemporary composition in ways comparable to FAY and Teresa Winter records.
On Embrace, Yma’s voice is fragmented in myriad geometries across each song. Sometimes, as with Heart Like Ice, her clipped syllables mirror piano keys in their vaulted harmonics and wilting decays, whereas at other times they recall the diced deconstructions of Pit Er Pat’s Fay Davis-Jeffers, tessellating in rhythmelodic and harmonically textured intricacy, and other times they form a bittersweet, lullaby-like cadence as lovely as it is unsettling.
Quite importantly it all feels fresh and free of cliche, working with a natural simplicity that’s at odds with its filigree synthetic methods. Definitely one to check!
ASC preps for his Astral Projection album with a steep dive into oceanic/deep space grey area styles on the Astral Perception EP.
Arced opens this account with something like Mika Vainio’s Ø testing out a new space shuttle, taking him to the placid yet menacing downtempo sci-fi scene of Event Horizon, then over into the deftly navigated techno/D&B turbulence of Inner Space, and the starkly spacious pressure of Ring System.
Head-turning début of avant-classical torch songs and stark chamber like works infiltrated by shocks of noise and guest vocals from PAN’s new star Eartheater, plus Sunk Heaven and PC Worship. Sounds remarkably close to Arca’s recent vectors, but with less emphasis on pitch bent electronics
“NNA is honored to present ‘The Fool,’ the debut album from NYC-based duo LEYA. Violinist Adam Markiewicz (The Dreebs) and harpist Marilu Donovan have succeeded in creating an incredibly original sound for their project. They combine modernity and antiquity with their chosen instruments by taking ideas from contemporary pop and experimental music, and seamlessly integrating them into classical instrumentation and moods. Utilizing a combination of normal and detuned intervals together with ethereal layered vocals, the resulting sound of LEYA is unmistakable and haunting. It is both ancient and singular in tone, but remains open to the influences and ideas of the modern day underground in it’s structural simplicity.
LEYA aims to deconstruct the traditional connotations of the harp and violin by luxuriating in the deviant juxtaposition of ugliness vs. beauty. These two stringed instruments are most commonly associated with classical beauty, but by altering their sound through unorthodox tunings, extended techniques, amplification, and effects, Donovan and Markiewicz are able to mine the depths of their darker, more unsettling capacities. The tuning system created for Donovan’s harp is specific to the project, and was discovered by chance. Rather than being driven by scientific or conceptual intentions, this tuning is chosen based on it’s sound alone, giving LEYA a defined identity that embraces human instinct and imperfection.
The duo achieves a deeper contrast by seeking to write pop songs with simple, transparent forms. The song structures are left open and sparse in the spirit of creating clear and simple sonic terrain that is meant to grab the listener emotionally, rather than forcing them to analyze the material. The staccato harp pluckings are complemented by long, sustained notes and chords from the violin, creating a dynamic foundation of strings for the vocals to fill in the cracks and crevices. In this sense, the dual vocals are used almost as a textural element or third instrument, where the way the words actually sound takes precedence over the lyrical content. The slow, drawn-out compositional pace of these songs brings them closer to “ambient” territory, enhancing the evocative qualities of the instruments while floating carefully between eerie dissonance and the angelic higher stratospheres of transcendent beauty.
The latter half of ‘The Fool’ brings in a series of guest collaborators from the modern American experimental underground, showing the range of experience and influence that informs LEYA’s sound. Eartheater, PC Worship, and Sunk Heaven each contribute their own signature style to the tracks, but also adapt remarkably well to LEYA’s sound world, due to the open, yet firmly distinct, sonic identity established by Markiewicz and Donovan. In this sense, the power of ‘The Fool’ lies not only in it’s elegant simplicity, but in it’s ability to employ classically expressive atmosphere to suspend the listener in a blissful state of confusion, where the feeling of sound itself is more important than where it comes from.”
Mazy, full of shadowy surprises, Time Is When is the wickedly curious and hypnagogic début album from Polido, an enigmatic Portuguese artist in possession of a broad palette of electronic, instrumental and field recordings, and a proper knack for hypnotic arrangements and sequencing.
One of a great batch of releases on Chicago’s Lynn label, the chicanery of Time Is When unfolds in surreal narrative ellipses peppered with cryptic signposts that will surely leave the listener in a very pleasing somnambulant state.
Across its 14 tracks the album is prone to drift off at angles with no explanation, only to return us in stranger yet familiar dimensions. It’s a bit like they’ve drugged and kidnapped us, slung a bag over our head and put us int he boot of a car, and all we’ve got is the soundtrack-like flux to locate a sense of time or space. Let the mystery unfold…
Pali Meursault is a sound artist, composer and sound designer. His electroacoustic and sound art research takes different shapes: compositions for records, radio works, installations or performances. Environmental sound recording is central in his work, which takes from Musique Concrète and the sonic exploration of soundscapes.
"For stridulations, Meursault confronts recorded and performed sounds, composition and improvisation: field- recordings of animal communication (insects, birds and bats recorded in France, Japan and South America over almost ten years) mix and dialog with the ‘sonification’ of fluorescents tubes.
Both the environmental sound matter composition and the electromagnetic instrument have evolved with performances between 2014 and 2017. Little by little, new recordings were collected and new electrical and electronic supplies were added to the setup. The record is altogether the outcome of that process and a different take on the project, leaving the synesthetics of the flickering lights but embracing the deepness of ‘blind’ listening.
For Pali Meursault, the long research for stridulations has been a practice for deconstructing binary oppositions between nature and machine, bio- and anthropo-phony, and instead to explore the strange sonic affinities that exist between some animal voices and technological phenomena. The performances were a way of switching from a contemplative and ideologic relation to the soundscape to a praxis of noise, using animals and electromagnetic sounds as sonic qualities, possibilities, and intensities."
Mount Kimbie bring out the European big guns to rework their Love What Survives album for the gurners.
Marcel Dettmann rolls Four Years And One Day right off the bone for a killer sort of grey area techno pressure leading up to a shoegazing squall, whereas Gerd Janson reframes the same original elements as a tuff acid house groove.
The flipside is given to Ellen Allien and her U.F.O remix of T.A.M.E.D, cut at 45rpm for optimal bass traction in trademark, rolling and jacking style.
Astral Projection is the first full length ASC album for the Horo label.
"Astral Projection follows on clearly from ‘Imagine The Future’ with the development of the Grey Area sound progressing and becoming intrinsic to a large majority of ASC’s current work. But this LP is not a Grey Area addendum, Astral Projection is a luminous artistic statement from a sonic perfectionist who the term ‘sound designer’ was made to define.
An accomplished and much respected ambient producer, ASC weaves his talent for soaring emotive soundscapes with his undeniable rhythmic prowess across a cohesive 12 track sonic voyage that again accomplishes a rare goal in todays electronic music landscape - a commanding listen from beginning to end. Very few artists are as prolific and consistent as ASC, but we are confident Astral Projection will be revered as one of his finest moments in years to come.”
On Clastics Phil Julian generates some absolute ear-rippers and invasive otology for Berlin’s Conditional label.
Ranging from loud swarms to resonant prangs, lower case studies and gut-wrenching atonalities, it’s a proper, proper look for fans of Russell Haswell, Florian Hecker, Yasunao Tone, “insert favourite computer/synth noise maker here”
“The doggedly prolific and eclectic Phil Julian opens up a brand new deck of cards on the sublimely crunchy and elastic 'Clastics'.
Austerely described as 'five sets of interrelated pattern based / sequencer derived recordings', Clastics lays down a gauntlet of straitjacket electronics, fizzing and crackling into and out of life. Mutated patterns evolve and decay without a care in the world.”
Initially one of the calmer releases from Berlin’s Conditional, this one from the Toon’s co34pt soon enough takes flight into more complex and noisy designs on the pitch-shifting 22 minute ride of ‘Sines Draft (take 4)’, while ‘acid draft (take 2)’ locks into a driving acidic wormhole, and ‘rave draft (take 6)’ brings it for the EVOL fans and Monta munters with breakneck, cowie-jawing velocity
“Newcastle-based live coder co34pt lands on Conditional with a suite of exercises in reconstructing dance music form.
'Half-Live for Conditional Records' displays a wide-ranging command of genre, touching on elements of minimalism, breakbeat hardcore, bassline and old-skool rave (airhorn fans, be ready). Created and performed live in audio programming language Supercollider, these tracks play tricks on the ear, bending pitch and subverting rhythm on a whim.
Mastered loud for maximum airhorn impact.”