Heres our original review from 2004:
"After albums by Set Fire To Flames and Sylvain Chauveau, Max Richter's 'The Blue Notebooks' is the 4th release on FatCat's 130701 imprint, an outlet for more orchestrated, instrumental material. 'The Blue Notebooks' is Max Richter's second solo album, a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope. Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano melody, the album moves through gorgeous, heart-wrenching string swells of 'On The Nature Of Daylight' through to sparse but lyrical piano pieces; hazy, swirling atmospherics, avalanche pulse-beats and partially occluded melodies that recall Aphex Twin's 'Ambient Works' albums; and to reverberant organ / choir recordings.
Utilising piano, cello, violin and viola, alongside electronic beats (made using a variety of antique electronics and Reaktor), spoken word passages and the occasional field recording, other sounds were generated via old guitar pedals and vocoders. Its lovely to see the Piano making a bit of a comeback, with last week's sublime album from "Hauschka" on Karaoke Kalk, Richter's "Blue Notebooks" and the forthcoming album from Helios on the Type imprint being three of the loveliest exapmples of just how moving this timeless instrument can be. Life affirming music."
The Basic Channel don meets the folk musicians of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for a beguiling exchange and fusion of traditions crossing paths between haunting acapella vocals, virtuosic instrumentation and sublime, dub-wise 4th world panoramas.
Locating MVO diversifying his bonds along outernational vectors, just like his BC bandmate Mark Ernestus with Ndagga Rhythm Force or Obadiah, the results form a series of studio portraits and wistful, impressionistic abstractions. They transport us to a place well off the usual map, to rugged lands once crossed by The Silk Road, where preserved, ancient traditions still reveal ghostly traces of the voices and sonic cultures which passed thru them.
The original arrangements of Ordo Sakhna range from complex, airborne string flights to nerve-jangling mouth harp pieces and a few stunning acapella pieces, which to our untrained ears resemble both Middle eastern, Indian classical and Chinese traditions, whilst the Drums track would appear to catch MVO in lissom fusion with live percussionists.
The multiple MVO dubs are a huge attraction, too. None more than the jaw-dropping Facets, where drums are swept in mountainous dynamic across the stereo field, joined by Hassell-esque dream tones and twanging mouth harp in one of the master’s most abstract, mercurial works in memory, whilst Bishkek, May 2016 catches them in live form at the Kyrgyzstan edition of Unsound festival, and the rolling Draught, and its version frame the spirits of Ordo Sakhna in his signature dub techno style, with results comparable to Shackleton when he removes the straight kicks.
One for the kinky French soundtrack fiends: 1st of two volumes presenting the 2011 CD compilation on vinyl for the first time.
“Rising out of the smoky Parisian Mai 68 shrapnel and claiming his stake as the first French vampire movie director, the inimitable father of European Horrortica, Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has smudged the painted face of surrealist cinema for over five decades. Dragging his roots from beneath the Letterist/Situationist movements, avant-garde theatre, Belgian fine art groups and entwining them around the minds of sexual revolutionaries, the European comic book cognoscenti, the Parisian free jazz and rock scene, Rollin stopped at nothing to bring his macabre phantasies of zygotic vampirism and back- ward blood cults to Gallic cinemateques and beyond. Celebrating the immortal legacy of the late director Finders Keepers Records have compiled a detailed and comprehensive music cabinet of some of the finest musical moments from his initial directorial decade (1968-1979) that provided a much needed platform for the freak rock and free jazz that mirrored the distorted erotic visions in his own mind’s eye. Imagine Gong-Gone-Wrong meeting the Art Ensembles Of Châteauroux… Fantasy pop groups mutate and thrive within.
Featuring early recordings from mod rockers Unity, free jazz legends Barney Wilen, François Tusque and Jean-François Jenny-Clark and musical co-conspirators to Walerian Borowczyk and Fernando Arrabal, this collection unites a wide range of previously unreleased material with some of Finders Keepers’ most collectable Rollinade vinyl moments for the first collection of this kind featuring music over forty years old.”
One of Japan’s most revered ambient/deep house/jazz heads shares his sublimely elegant early material with Music From Memory on Early Tape Works 1986-1993 Vol.1. In good company amid the groundswell of reissued Japanese classics and obscurities currently in circulation, this collection gives a smart overview of an artist who is still active and pivotal to modern scenes, as opposed to long over the hill, and demonstrates that the classy integrity of Takahashi’s approach to sound has been there since the start of his oeuvre.
Check it for sweetest ambient treats in his languorous ace Day Dreams, as well as the pulsing kosmiche lift of You Should Believe, featuring a brilliant but as yet uncredited female vocal, and the ruder industrial/EBM styles of Signifie and Zero To One, which relate to his streak of EBM releases as DRP for Dirk Ivens’ Body Records.
"The Japanese producer and DJ Kuniyuki Takahashi is the subject of Music From Memory’s latest retrospective compilation with ‘Early Tape Works - 1986-1993’. Composed of two volumes, the compilations gather together a selection of tracks from a tiny run of privately released tape only albums, highlighting a fascinating early period in Kuniyuki’s musical output, one of which little is known.
After discovering the world of nightclubs in Japan around 1986, and the seemingly boundless freedom expressed there through music as well as art, Kuniyuki became inspired to experiment with electronic music. Excited by the possibilities of new music technology, he would begin to gather together a number of, at that time, reasonably accessible and inexpensive local keyboards, drum computers and recording equipment. This became for Kuniyuki a way in which to explore music not as such made for nightclubs, but certainly inspired by them. Setting up a home studio in his hometown of Saporro, Kuniyuki would record extensively during this period with the equipment he had gathered together, equipment such as Roland’s Juno60, TR-606, TB-303, Casio FZ-1, Korg 770, Boss DE-200, Foster A8 and a Yamaha MT44 track cassette recorder.
Driven to develop a musical language derived as much by an exploration of music technology and a desire to create new sounds, Kuniyuki was also looking to evolve the possibilities of what he refers to as a ‘new Oriental sound’. Early Tape Works - 1986-1993’ then brings together two albums of material which not only highlights the evolution of Kuniyuki’s own work but also of Japanese electronic music as a whole."
Avanti is Alessandro Cortini’s sixth album and his hauntological magnum opus; a masterful embodiment of his nostalgia for analog synth recordings wrapped up in a pall of decaying futurism. After numerous Forse volumes, a pair of LPs for Hospital Productions, a live recording tape and a collaboration with Merzbow, we’d wager that Avanti is the most substantial Cortini album to date.
In a Leyland Kirby/The Caretaker-esque gesture, Avanti investigates notions of memory surrounding music. Taking a time-capsule of old home movies made by his grandfather as a “perfect fossil of his childhood”, the NIN synthesist turns those cues into signature, billowing structures generated from the EMS Synthi AKS, resulting a record that is sore with a certain ‘hiraeth’, ‘saudade’ or ‘sehnsucht’ for a past which he comes to terms with in viscerally romantic style.
Across all seven parts, Cortini reflects the porous fragility of memory and its decaying glow quite literally in the piece’s fuzzy gaze and the inclusion of almost imperceptible “errors and mistakes”, and also metaphorically in their nostalgia-triggering strokes and wavering harmonic swells, which speak to and stimulate the limbic system with the same sort of magick defined by BoC or indeed Leyland Kirby.
They’re optimistic pieces riddled with and anchored by a sense of sadness, not necessarily cry-your eyes or rip-your-heart-out, but more a sanguine, bittersweet meditation laced with reverence to elegiac effect. For the most they come on as weather-beaten sonic postcards or hand-written missives, each introduced by ghostly voices and saying its piece as though whispering graveside or in private, keeping their messages neatly concise but impassioned in their delivery, save one final section when the feeling almost becomes too much to bear.
His canniness lies in worming out an personalising those combinations of chords, hooks which trigger feelings of nostalgia mutual to most folk who’ve grown up with the same culture and cultural connotations, and then wringing them out to the point of heartache/numbness, and practically making those gestures fulminate on contact with air, skin, nerves and infect your own corrupted memory banks.
Gorgeous 2nd album from Glasgow’s Happy Meals, dispatched via the ever-tantalising Night School a few years on from the duo’s equally endearing debut, Apéro (2014). If you're into Young Marble Giants, Vazz, Antenna, Pram etc, you'll love this.
Fruit Juice can be broadly but cleanly divided in two parts; on the hand they effortlessly charm with slower, creamily kosmiche pop pieces such as Run Round, which sounds a little like Quarantine-era Laurel Halo gone minimal wave, and the woozy psychedelic spell-casting of Fruit Float, which could be imagined as Julia Holter meets Iasos; whilst on the other hand they excel at a smartly pop-wise late ‘80s house and synth-pop style, marking up delicious gallic acid pop in If You Want Me Now and the Deux-styled Suivez Moi, and a real standout portion of mind-bending metallic techno-dub-pop in Now That You Have Me.
Coil’s unearthly garden continues to bloom posthumously with the Astral Disaster Sessions - including a whole bunch of previously unreleased and rare cuts from the Un/finished Musics recordings finally seeing the light of day, transferred from analogue tapes onto Gary Ramon’s Prescription label a year after the remastered original sessions crept out on vinyl reissue.
Notoriously recorded in the former debtors prison-turned-Iron Maiden studio beneath the River Thames, on Samhain, 1998, the Astral Disaster Sessions - Un/finished musics serves a haul of previously unreleased or hard-to-find versions of tracks from the original Astral Disaster [1999/2016] LPs, which are widely regarded a seminal highlight of Peter Christopherson, Johnn Balance, Drew McDowell, Thighpaulsandra and Gary Ramon’s time together as Coil.
On the A-side you’ll now find swirling raga-noise meditation The Sea Priestess (Early Mix) next to a sublime, previously omitted Part 2 tract of The Mothership and the Fatherland, and a skinnier, plasmic Alternative mix of The Avatars, but we imagine the big attractions for Coil fiends will be the Instrumental mix of I Don’t Want To be the One, which was previously only found on a rare 1999 promo-only Prescription sampler, and most particularly the ghostly and invasively psychedelic 14 minutes of Cosmic Disaster, which was the original working title for Astral Disaster, and has never been released on any format.
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.
A late ‘90s neo-noir ambient and D&B masterpiece - imagine if The Caretaker made fierce, unrelenting Jungle - fully remastered by Rashad Becker and reissued 21 years since its original release back in 1997.
Christoph De Babalon was a key member of Germany’s mutant splinter cells who fused UK rave music with more experimental, Teutonic techno, Ambient and hardedge politics to brutal effect during the mid-late ‘90s. 21 years later, this music has patently withstood the test of time, distinguished by a haunting atmospheric pallor and ruffneck way with Jungle that still makes us feel just as clammy and psychotic as when we first heard it (most likely on a trip to Berlin or via Christoph Fringeli’s invaluable C8 database).
For us, If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It really distills a feeling of that era, as the utopian outlook of rave’s early years had evidently given way to something much darker, more maudlin, perhaps symptomatic of ennui with dance music’s hyper-commercial land grab, or even a pre-echo of pre millennial tension. Either way it provided the perfect soundtrack to ravers who were spending more time developing virtual lives online, or (speaking from experience) who weren’t yet old enough to go raving, but were shelled with media images and 2nd impressions of the culture, which had by then morphed into the prevailing trends of garage, trance, and prog house, and was but a ghost of its original, loony self.
If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It therefore feels torn between extreme states. On the one hand it goes harder than the rest in killer rave moves such as the hardcore rattler Dead (Too), the epic amen + drone blow-out My Confession, or the cutthroat beast Water. But on the other, he goes darker, more haunting than the rest of his field with remarkable cuts such as the 15 minutes of billowing dark ambience that open the LP in Opium, or with the sublime, Gas-like suspension system of Brilliance, and the funereal, bombed-out bliss of High Life (Theme).
De Babalon effectively plotted out terrain that bridged DJ Scud’s rugged jungle breakcore with soundscaping more commonly associated to Thomas Köner or Deathprod, and in the process set the ground for myriad contemporary producers and sounds ranging from Raime and Blackest Ever Black to Demdike Stare, Pessimisst and beyond. If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It was, and still is, a deadly statement of intent, whose rhetoric and aesthetic still strongly resonate with subcultural concerns in 2018.
C L A S S I C
Finders Keepers come up roses again with dazzling, never-before-heard live documentation of two Buchla 200 concerts recorded in 1975 by Suzanne Ciani. Rightly heralded as “a distinctive feminine alternative to The Silver Apples of the Moon”. The words “Holy Grail” and “revolutionary” spring to mind! Remarkable stuff for any synth fetishists or historians of the future.
“This spring Finders Keepers Records are proud to release an archival project that not only redefines musical history but boasts genuine claim to the overused buzzwords such as pioneering, maverick, experimental, groundbreaking and esoteric, while questioning social politics and the evolution of music technology as we’ve come to understand it. To describe this records as a game-changer is an understatement. This record represents a musical revolution, a scientific benchmark and a trophy in the cabinet of counter culture creativity.
This record is a triumphant yardstick in the synthesiser space race and the untold story of the first woman on the proverbial moon. While pondering the early accolades of this record it’s daunting to learn that this record was in fact not a record at all… It was a manifesto and a gateway to a new world, that somehow never quite opened. If the unfamiliar, modernistic, melodic, pulses, tones and harmonics found on this 1975 live presentation/grant application/educational demonstration had been placed in a phonographic context alongside the promoted work of Morton Subotnick, Walter Carlos or Tomita then the name Suzanne Ciani and her influence would have already radically changed the shape, sound and gender of our record collections. Hopefully there is still chance.”
Carsten Nicolai’s Noton present a masterclass in minimalist electronic discipline with Mika Vainio, Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto’s powerfully future-proofed Live 2002 performance, recorded at Newcastle’s Baltic arts centre.
The only known recording of the trio, as far as we’re aware, Live 2002 documents three visionary artists in seamless, indivisible collaboration segueing from sublime drone darkness (Movements 1) thru what sounds like a massive computer server centre playing dancehall (Movements 2 + 4), to fiercely dense electro dynamics (Movements 6) and passages of purest, rolling techno pressure (Movements 8), intercut with bodiless, beatless electronic frequency massages.
Being familiar with each artist’s respective, individual catalogues, we’re pretty astonished at the level of democratic control between the three singular producers. While it’s maybe possible (or pedantic) to pick out who’s doing what, and where and when, ultimately the 45 minute performance is a lesson in subtlety and restraint at the service of generating powerful, coolly organised pressure systems, without recourse to convention/cliché (delete as applicable), offering electronic sounds at the purest and perhaps even egoless. Definitely no grandstanding doofus in front of a massive IPhone screen filtering dull as fuck doofs here.
Sounds like these guys share a dealer with Salem, Black Zone Myth Chant, and HTRK…
“Hailing out of Austin, abstract pop duo LACHANE makes an exquisite Holodeck debut with their self-titled cassette out 02/09/18. LACHANE's unique use of industrial trap beats and chopped & screwed vocals offers a fresh take on contemporary electronic music. Lead by producer and singer Melissa Cha, LACHANE rejects all things upbeat in favor of drudging, half-time rhythms and slowly melting synth and guitar tones. LACHANE's songwriting embraces hopelessness as a method of expressing beauty and has found a compelling union of ominous mood and dense texture.
LACHANE formed in 2015 out of Austin’s deep synth community when Cha bonded with guitarist Ryan Garl over their backgrounds in ambient music and mutual love for rap. As a result, booming sub-bass, blown out snares and bursts of hi hat triplets are the hallmark of almost every song. Cha approaches vocals like a multifaceted instrument by stacking layers of re-pitched samples and ghostly whispers underneath her live singing. Cha’s elegant voice is instantly soothing, grounding LACHANE's compositions while allowing the instrumentation freedom to mutate and decay. Garl’s bleak guitar work blends perfectly with the complex arrangements of percussion and sequenced analog synth melodies. Every element of LACHANE's new self-titled debut has been carefully crafted or destroyed to compile an engaging collection of heavy and inspiring pieces.
Songs like “Fandeath” and the first single “Ideal-I” are cathartic ballads that are tenaciously catchy despite their mournful overtones. LACHANE's dark palette brings richness out of minimalism by utilizing a thick array of treatments and processing. The gnarled samples and sound effects on “Yellow Dust” and “Cramp” construct vast and brooding soundscapes that are deliberately creepy yet undeniably alluring.
There is an undercurrent of creative brilliance throughout all eight tracks of LACHANE's haunting self-titled debut. Their raw and original style makes them a standout addition to the Holodeck roster.”
For the last while, Greg Dalton (aka Gary War) has been back in Massachusetts, after spending years working on his music down in twin Isles of Kiwi. Since returning he has popped up in the amazing psych duo, Dalthom (along with Sunburned's Rob Thomas), and even played with the legendary Bobb Trimble on a live Burger cassette, but Gaz Forth is the first new Gary War LP in over five years.
"Recorded with long-time collaborator, Daniel Rineer, as well as Robert Cathart III (Pigeons), Jeremy Pisani (Red Favorite), Kris Thompson (Abunai, Trimble), Clementine Nixon (Purple Pilgrims) and John Moloney (Sunburned), Gaz Forth hearkens back to some of the left-field pop amalgamations Mr. War had a hand in when he worked with Ariel Pink back in the early Oughts. Synths ripple at the edge of everything like space pistols fired into the face of Giorgio Moroder, there's the kind of mellotron/harmony-vocal blend one associates with Deram-era Moodies, the guitars blast out bubble-psych-readymades like runaway teenagers with scrips for Ketamine, and a bunch of the tunes remind me of what Golden Earring might sound like if heard from a great distance while riding one of those Whirling Teacup thingamabobs at full carny speed.
There's much less of a hypnagogic synth-pop approximation on Gaz than has been noted on earlier Gary War records, but the futurist space squeedle remains part of his bad-ass and trademarked sound. Certainly the presence of living (rather than robotic) drummers gives Gaz a very different pulse. As zoned as the music gets at times, there's no mistaking its rockist base, so you start thinking of its brunt in terms of subliminal glam and spacer types rather than off-gas from sad Midwesterners. Gaz is far and away the finest slab yet released by Gary War. High bore post-garage freakery of the largest available gauge. Pick up your shotgun and walk." --Byron Coley, 2017”
France’s M.A Beat! transform Laraaji’s Ocean Flow Zither into a multi-segmented complex of combustible shoegaze distortion, psychedelic electronics and strobing post techno flows. Imagine The Field clashing Black Zone Myth Chant.
"All Saints Records presents another remix from Laraaji’s most recent album ‘Bring On The Sun’, this time courtesy of french electronic trio M.A Beat! who have remixed ‘Ocean Flow Zither’. Having previously been given the remix treatment by LA based spiritual beat-maker ‘Ras G’, pioneers of the Nautilogical Cosmos ‘Seahawks’, and self proclaimed ‘blissmaker’ and co-founder of Leaving Records ‘Matthewdavid’, Laraaji’s influence is clearly far reaching, and inspires varied interpretations. In this remix, M.A Beat! highlight their favourite of Laraaji’s instruments, the zither, and add their usual setup of jazz drums, MPC, vintage synthesizers and sequencers. The group previously collaborated with Laraaji on the song ‘Brain Off’, from their recently released album ‘Sans Soleil’, and the musical connection between artists is evident, resulting in a work which honours the variety of musical worlds from which the artists draw influence.”
Dario Zenker works right at the biting point for Marcel Dettmann’s label with a handful of forceful, greyscale techno grinders in his #.4.26. cyberpunk mode.
All five tracks work to nervy, brittle or unsteady structures with special attention given to their shadowy tone, resulting murky highlights in the dry white noise sculpture of Mono Middle and with a secuctively melancholic appeal to Whenever Voi, while Free Upload goes for the 4/4 jugular, Van Cul rides razored hi-hats and undulating subs, and Past Vibration regresses to warped and stained memories of Vangelis-style sci-fi synths.
Florian Kupfer tends to contrasting shades of his sound with rugged, deeply gratifying style on L.I.E.S. 99.
Up top he unfurls the gorgeous sail of Contact, with billowing keys and martian synth harmonies dashed against bumpy kicks in a way that will turn 5am heads inside-up. On the other hand, Random Chaos finds him biting down on a tuffer, trackier groove laced with virulent arpeggio and glancing metallic percussion, before the cascading power drums of Z find their feet in a kind of keening, turbulent roil, made even more tense by its clenched drones.
Yowzers! Tokyo’s High Rise take the bleeding skin off it on reissue of their eponymous 2nd release, a truly blinding suite of turbo-charged psych shredding and diesel spitting bass revs first issued as the 2nd release on Japan’s pivotal P.S.F. Records back in 1986. Perhaps understandably, original copies of High Rise II now trade for the price of a small 3rd hand Japanese hatchback.
It’s an absolute fxcking riot, basically. From the first tinnitus-inducing blast of Cycle Goddess thru the lurching swagger of Pop Sicle these guys sound possessed. Whether that’s by good, strong acid or just a insatiable rock urge, we’re not sure, but their incendiary results will apply to fried heads and those in need of a sharp shock to the system all the same.
Cuts like Turn You Cry sounds like they were recorded at a ‘phet and whiskey-soaked lock in at Lemmy’s, and Cotton Top is the sort of tune they’d have to play behind chicken wire at a Hell’s Angels bar where the spirits are spiked with mescaline.
Take drugs. Listen to this. Have the time of your life.
Parrish Smith has quietly been making a name for himself over these last years with releases on Knekelhuis and Contort Yourself as well as with his projects Volition Immanent and Sige Bythos.
"We see him appear on L.I.E.S. in a strong fashion through four varied dense tracks. From slowbeat EBM to Belgium klang to classic Den Hague crushers this ep forges its own path taking these cues and putting Smith's unqiue spin on them. Heavy yet still possessing groove and hypnotic rhythm, damage will ensue if used correctly. Fresh stuff from this up and coming talent."
Max McFerren packs more bounce to the ounce in Complete Walkthru mode for his eponymous label
Rolling out a hefty, haughty house sound to spin your bones with the pendulous pressure of One On All Times, the wide-ass swagger of What Of Manner Of Club?, a super powerful jacker named Rolex, and the murky dub house flexer She’s Good At That.
Serious club tackle.
One of many peaches on Wackies, few are sweeter than Love Joys’ Lovers Rock Reggae Style .
Produced and originally issued by the JA/NYC bossman Bullwackie, and subsequently reissued via their Hardwax hook-up outta Germany, who’ve rightly kept it in print (this edition), Lovers Rock is all killer no filler, starring Claudette Brown and Sonia Abel riding high over killer disco-dub-edged lovers rock riddims such as the bubbling beauty One Draw and the synth-buoyed float of Let Me Rock You Now, all replete with dubs.
Add one feral vocalist to salty rhythmic noise by a L.I.E.S. rogue, engineered by a Hospital Productions don, and you get Wetware. File next to: Factory Floor, Alberich, Group A
“New York City has had a long history of dance music fused with confrontational performance. Whether it came from within the late 70’s No Wave canon projected through venues like the Mudd Club or the downtown avant-garde galleries such as The Kitchen, the feeling that influences and infects Brooklyn-based duo Wetware’s overall being as a cohesive and confrontational unit is as much enigmatic as it is familiar.
Formed in 2015, Wetware eased into its performative role with their live shows around their home base of Brooklyn, NY. Vocalist Roxy Farman, whose familiar voice was last heard on Drew McDowall’s “Unnatural Channel” album, stole audience’s attention immediately, using her body in tandem with her voice as a weaponized vehicle for the band’s anxiety filled performance. Matthew Morandi cut his teeth in the electronic music world through his solo tech-industrial project Jahiliyya Fields and partner to Inhalants, the techno collaboration of Morandi and Max Ravitz (Patricia). The synergy that’s developed between Farman and Morandi has been explosive. Wetware’s live antics and behavior has caused alarm amongst their local audiences, making Wetware the group to “not be missed” on any particular bill that they are allowed to take part in.
Wetware stepped out from their live persona and self-recorded a selection of songs that viewers had grown accustomed to and were debuted on the flawlessly curated Primitive Languages imprint. Shortly following their recorded premier was an EP collection of demo recordings on the much praised Bank NYC label. Once the band reconciled with documenting their work, they set out, with the help of engineer Kris Lapke (Alberich / Hospital Productions) to formalize their most recent output in the context of their first full length album entitled “Automatic Drawing”.
Given Wetware’s penchant for endurance, as displayed by their 3 hour long production at Koenig & Clinton Gallery in NYC in the Summer of 2017, one would expect the usual restlessness on Wetware’s debut full length. All of the apprehension and unease in Wetware seems to have been channeled into a string of cohesive electronic statements found on songs “Frequent Dreamlands” and “Ode to Joe”. Industrial dance rhythms bounce around Farman’s poetic stance on “Where Ever You Were”, causing flashbacks of an early 80’s dystopia that jumps around a confusing, uncomfortable backdrop. Interspliced with modular electronic instrumentals like the album’s opener “Pantomime”, Wetware’s devastating portrait is that of a society in peril.”
100% Silk pay tribute to their departed friends in the best way they know how. The vibe throughout is perhaps understandably melancholic but also resolute, with highlights coming in the tender deep house lightness of Sometimes by Sapphire Slows, in Maria Minerva’s mazy ‘90s house mutation Losing You, and a percolated dub workout by Golden Teacher, Four Faces, but we’re sure everyone else will have their own favourites - there’s stacks to choose from
“Sorrow’s only silver lining is the selflessness it inspires in others. The nightmare of last year’s fire in Oakland left so many of us shredded, shattered, and speechless. But a communal compassion surged up in response, with artists, allies, and acquaintances from all over the globe re-connecting and re-committing to the power and potential of independent music as a healing, unifying force. So many SILK friends and family reached out expressing the desire to contribute creatively to a relief effort it was clear the emotion deserved an outlet. Silk To Dry The Tears collects 31 such songs from a spectrum of 100% Silk alumni and affiliates, threaded across four sides of fogged house, fantasy acid, nocturnal electronics, sleepwalker pop, and rhythmic reveries of varied internal states. Totaling nearly 170 minutes, it’s a sprawl and a statement, shared in the spirit of inclusion, endurance, and empathy. Music brought us together; music will keep us together.
Paper Dollhouse unveil the radioactive ambient pop of new album The Sky Looks Different Here via the group's independently run MoonDome imprint. Produced by Planet Mu's Asher Levitas and featuring artwork by Finders Keepers' Andy Votel. The Sky Looks Different Here is an incredibly vivid journey through a nuclear nightside dreamworld.
"Having previously recorded two albums for Jane Weaver's Finders Keepers sub-label Bird and the Glasgow based imprint Night School, The Sky Looks Different Here features twelve tracks that draw parallels between the project's past roots in spidery post-punk electronica and a neon-lit, radioactive ambient pop sensibility. This has lead to the creation of what is sure to be the most concise and realised Paper Dollhouse record yet.
Recorded between North London's New River Studios with Asher Levitas and Nina's studio in Suffolk, together they have crafted twelve tracks of ambient electronica blended with field recordings of the surrounding studios environments, shot through a spectral technicolour narrative. One that mixes the group's signature brand of darkwave influenced left-field pop, urban field recordings and electronic composition.
The Sky Looks Different Here is a journey through a city drowning within the endless downpour of metallic rain and a radiant haze of dawn, a map through a vivid and bucolic utopia.”
Music freed of volume requirements associated with most modes of listening. Taken as a palette cleanser or listening exercise, the barely perceptible near-stasis of ‘Breath For Music’ serves its purpose beautifully well.
“Second Editions present a new work by composer/organist/musicologist Eva-Maria Houben. Breath For Organ is many things. A composition as contemplation. A study on listening, on deliberation. An approach to modesty. At times, it even feels like an ode to the whole history of organ music. But most importantly, at its core, it is an appreciation for an instrument as an organism. In this case, the (now displaced) pipe organ of the late St. Franziskus church in Krefeld, Germany. It is Houben's most compelling piece to date. Bold, sparse, abstract, yet vibrant and hypnotic. Determined in concept and execution. Musical existentialism.”
One of L.I.E.S.’ most minimalist industrialists presents his most impressive, and we daresay emotive work yet with Eris, triangulating a sound somewhere at the dank, raw root of Tolouse Low Trax, Dopplereffekt and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement.
The production is big boned and raw, but not lo-fi or distorted, stealthily moving from spheric dark ambient harmonics in Sanctuary to the slow, grimacing electro lurch of How To Build Cathedrals and something like Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement dubbing Laid Back on the broody romance of The Room Tonight, and an immense piece of shifty, Muslimgauze-like electro-dub in Bilocation Drift.
His Concrete Message cannily messes with the linear narrative in a style reminding of Demdike Stare’s GRM dubs, and Invasion Threat gives the record’s most thistly passage, before melting out into the subbass cess pilot of I’ll Take That One and again with the cone-worrying bass warped under the slow, cold electro pointillism of Eleventh Night.
Susanna Wallumrød commits her fourth full suite of cover versions with Go Dig My Grave for her home-baked label.
Working again with Giovanna Pessi, who assisted on her first set If Grief Could Wait, as well as invaluable input from longtime partner/production spar Helge Sten (Deathprod), Susanna demonstrates a rare versatility with singular takes on songs by everyone from Henry Purcell to Joy Division and Lou Reed (including a bonus on CD not found on the vinyl), and with particularly spellbinding results in the latter two of those names.
If we try to pick out why we’re more attracted to the ‘pop’ songs, as opposed to the traditionals such as The Three Ravens or The Willow Song, that may come down to the fact their simplicity seems almost overbearing when rendered in such high-fidelity - almost like receiving a folk performance in a white cube gallery or sterile space, as opposed a barn or pub backroom - yet, conversely, the recordings of Joy Division’s Wilderness and Lou Reed’s Perfect Day become devastating thru their clarity of their conveyance, aided in no small part by feral fiddles and accordion in the former, and embroidered with kalimba and fiddle on the latter.
So yeh, some work, some don’t. But when they do, christ, she’s good.
Avant techno archetypes Rrose & Lucy chow down on a 2nd batch of abstracted, side-winding aces, this time for Rrose’s Eaux label, as opposed to the 1st EP, which came out on Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts.
Bridging experimental urges and dancefloor function, their three tracks explore the club’s nether regions and lesser probed parts, firstly taking as lon as they need to bring the writhing, trilling techno organism of Inner Membrane to life, then reaching deeper inside with the visceral, sharply resonant acid dynamics of Inverted Limb, and dissolving their imagined techno body into a puddle of plasmic goop and granular electronics in Seeds of Discontent.
Monotonous greyscale rhythm drills from Shane English for L.I.E.S., following suit with his General Dimensions  LP a tape for Unknown Precept, and collaboration with Beau Wanzer.
A-side dishes up the blank-eyed, mid-tempo grind of 1111, with a brute bass spooked out by distant bells and groaning atmospheres, before Land-Lock ups the ante with sparkier electro drums and ear-worming vocal abstraction, but little concession to ‘progression’ or anything so frivolous.
That ascetic aesthetic informs the B-side, too. Drip dispenses tightly grained slow industrial techno la ADMX; Icon sounds like a steel factory having an after-hours bashment; and Over the Railing peers back a darkly detached scene of distant church bells and threadworn bass pulse.
A wicked Bristol sound from Kinlaw for No Corner, Corfe catches the UK outlier on a kinetic, hyper flex working between trap, vaporous ambience and rugged dub in wild style.
Pushing off with the frenetic slow/fast fuss of 2nd Cave on a Diamond Ice-meets-Autechre type tip, he percolates the vibe between raw, lo-fi, pranging dub in d.3 Hash, to something sounding like DJ Screw meets Muslimgauze in Good Court He 24, and cavernous, blown-out trap crack in Gramrcylvl5, saving the noisier shockwave tremors of Klaw 40bit and the blunted hardstep kosh of Mardnat, with its cranky Autechre sample, for a typically dark and cranky Bristolian finale.
A mutant bewt for all crooked UK ravers, in effect.
Who knows the work of Sonia Pottinger, owner of High Note and the affiliated labels, Gay Feet and Sky Note?
If not, consider this, her masterfully deft and dreamy production for Errol Brown & The Revolutionaries, a damn fine introduction to Jamaica’s greatest female label owner and producer. make sure to check for that Nyabinghi and organ groove on Bond Street Rock or the wicked simmer of The Gun Court Dub.
Factory Floor are the latest to do that electronic musician’s rite of passage; re-scoring Fritz Lang’s silent cinematic landmark Metropolis, with results shared on the 1st release thru their H/O/D Records.
After shedding a member and regathering thoughts, FF’s Nik Colk Void and Gabriel Gurnsey reveal a sleeker new sound here, easing off the brittleness of their earlier releases with more smoothly contoured, malleable designs for dancefloor fluidity.
Heart Of Data (Soundtrack Edit) is the more ‘floor focussed cut, working skittish, latinate drum trills in and around arcing synths in a way that smartly conveys the futuristic architectural designs and themes of their subject, especially when their vision really comes together in the final third. s
On the other hand, Babel (Soundtrack Edit) finds them working with almost Cumbia or Dembow shuffle on an elastic meter, sounding like techno on 33 not 45, and embedded in tactile, sticky bed of phasing synth washes for the 12 minute duration.
Post- his Paradygm Shift album, Robert Hood gears up a 3rd EP specifically crafted for the DJs, dancers.
On Red Machine the Detroit captain harnesses some serious velocity from steaming acidic drones and pounding, rounded kick drum pressure tempered by white noise surges.
In contrast, Transform is more hypnotic, deeper, rolling Basic Channel-esque bassline and his patented, singing hi-hats up to a stealthy, chord-driven peak.
Death Is Not The End direct their morbid fascinations to Greek Blues In America c. 1920s & 1930s with a great first volume focussed on the unique finger picking style of George Katsaros.
Fans of the Rebetiko style of Greek gangster folk from the same era will definitely hear echoes of that sound in Katasoras’ playing and lilting, mournful vocals, which, when perceived from another angle, perfectly illustrate the cross-fertilisation of musics between Middle-Eastern and North African styles which paralleled and fed into the American Blues via waves of immigration and newly available ethnographic recordings, many of which hailed from the Columbia Records pressing plant in Athens.
Metrist does his salty abstract techno thing for Where To Now?
Packing some cranky swang into the discombobulated techknots of An Soaep, coming like an itchy garage bog monster with On Golden Seize, and progressively decimating the groove in Pantomimer Tongue and the barely-standing Caccel The Horze.
First digital issue of 2000 And One’s Belongings EP  - a class example of the ‘90s Dutch/Detroit techno connection, featuring a Derrick or Carl-esque highlight in T Belongs To Me (Reprise), some beautifully deft programming in the weightless tone of Crystal, and the romantic optimism of Bowed.
Heavyweight roots reggae and dancehall dub vibes, now available to legitimately download for the 1st time. Recorded and mixed between Channel One, Joe Gibbs Studio and King Tubby’s.
Stone cold aces, especially Prince Hammer’s shuddering King Selassie M.16.
Finders Keepers pluck out a super disco freak from Italy’s late ‘70s cosmic disco scene, as played by members of Goblin and completely overlooked at the time - but hugely sought-after by disco diggers ever since. Original copies now trade loads of money…
“From the pumping heart of The Magnetic System comes the “dirtiest” Da-Da-dancefloor anti-jams with this lost 1979 blueprint of Italian conceptual cosmic disco played by the cream of the Goblin studio band. Ultra rare and unscrubbed, Finders Keepers finally snip the trip from the cash machine to the trash machine. Pay dirt just got dirtier.
Carving its own grubby niche as an early prototype of cosmic disco cum Italo space funk whilst simultaneously harbouring Dada hat stand satire with a junkshop glam aesthetic this ecological illogical poplitical crab cabaret clearly broke the mould before way before the jelly had set.
Fans of “other” obtuse outernational agit-camp might find a fantasy fusion between France’s J. P. Massiera and Sweden’s enviroMENTAL marvel Kaptain Zoom while trying to unravel the Madfilth tangle - but rest assured there were method men behind this madness and a portal to Italian funk royalty still festers at the bottom of the psych rap scrapheap.
Originally drip fed out of Cesare Andrea Bixio’s Cinevox stable as one of a tight grip of non-soundtrack LPs, made to test the label’s commercial potential, Madfilth would follow the band Goblin (and their non-cinematic Roller) as well as the hens’ teeth eponymous long player by the group The Motowns in what was perhaps the last-ditch attempt at custom built popsploitation - combining the skills of overqualified composers with undercooked conceptual mind farts! Naturally, after almost 40 years in the barrel, this micro-brewed oddity finally quenches the acquired taste of a new breed of shambolic psychotropic guzzlers proving that 1979 was obviously good year for fool’s gold. The Madfilth medicine has finally come to cure your psychic ills so open wide and don’t bite the spoon.
As both doctors and diggers will agree, always read the label. It is beneath the flamboyant rhythm rants and vari-speed osric slop of alt-comedic sarcy-satirist Alberto Macaro (a genetic beneficiary of a vaudevillian comic bloodline) that we find The Magnetic System maestros Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera as the sonic driving force behind this unmarked treasure trove of B-musical diamanté discoids. It will also come as little surprise that Cinevox/Dario Argento favourites Goblin were not too distant from the whiff of this curates egg with the men who many consider to be the group’s greatest assets in bass player Fabio Pignatelli alongside sports rock drummer Agostino Marangolo. It was this unison that remained consistent throughout Goblin’s career, weathering the temporary departure of Claudio Simonetti and maintaining the stylistic heartbeat of the group. Madfilth’s inclusion of Goblin synth Maverick Maurizio Guarini and the band’s mid-period guitarist Carlo Penessi (founder of the band Etna) pinpoints the jobbing Goblin session group during the time they recorded the soundtracks for the films Buio Amiga and Squadra Antigagsters. This lesser celebrated late 70’s era also witnessed the mutating Goblin rhythm section providing discoid backbeats for records such as Giorgio Farinas Discocross LP, Simonetti’s own Capricorn alter-ego and the homoerotic nightclub spin-off Easy Going - all of which, alongside Madfilth, provide a strong mutual stylistic support system for their claim to cosmic discos deep red bloodline.”
Mats Gustafsson: Tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, live electronics. Johan Berthling: Electric and double bass. Andreas Werliin: Drums, percussion and feedback.
"For 20 years Rune Grammofon have made a habit of releasing music that is beyond easy classification, in later years typified by Swedish trio Fire!, consisting of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin. All three are highly accomplished musicians, but Fire! music is not "difficult" in the sense that jazz and especially free jazz is often perceived.
Very much a tight knit unit with three equal players, Fire! has been likened to powerful guitar led trios such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with Berthling´s heavy, doom laden basslines being such a typical identifier, we can´t help but thinking of Black Sabbath´s debut album when it comes to hypnotic impact. The Hands is the trio´s sixth album and once again displays a totally uncompromising and intriguing mix of (mostly) heavy, dark and intensely burning music whether one decide on calling it jazz or rock.
The album closes on a quiet and reflective note with the appropriately titled "I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence". And we say it´s easily their best so far. Gustafsson, Berthling and Werliin came together in 2008 with the idea of a fresh approach to improvised music, with a number of influences from free jazz, psychedelic rock and noise.
Their debut album, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was released the following year to wide international acclaim. The trio is also their vehicle for rekindling their instrumental skills and playing outside their comfort zones, or collaborating with prestigious guests such as Jim O´Rourke (Unreleased? 2011) and Oren Ambarchi (In The Mouth A Hand 2012). A parallel but no less powerful project is their gargantuan Fire! Orchestra, previously a 30 piece behemoth. Now scaled down to a "mere" 13 piece, and for the first time including a string section, a new album is expected in autumn 2018."
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.
Sniffing at the heels of a smart début 12" for Interstellar Funk's Artificial Dance, Worries, Job Sifre slips into a grimier EBM mode for Amsterdam’s excellent Knekelhuis label.
Charged with a pharmaceutically-enhanced restlessness, the Bestaan 12” goes on darker, tuffer, kinkier than Sifre’s previous 12”, gradually bringing the energies to simmering point with the smudged EBM roil and blunted Dutch vox of Bestaan, then working a wicked ruts of White House White-styled jakbeat in Zodiak and the sourer, metallic recoil of Mars Express, and properly making your body wurk with the pendulous tattoo, Zeno Dicho before sloping off into the darkroom with the slower disco admission, At Least We Try.
The cuties at STROOM 〰 dish it up with extra mayo on their highly sought-after AA-side Valentine’s feature, pairing Keysha’s kinky ‘80s R&B beauty Stop It! with the starlit yacht-disco downstroke of What Is Love Today? by FG’s Romance.
Ziggy Devriendt’s selector chops are in full effect here, plucking out an absolute blinder with the onanistic coos and satin chords of Stop It!, originally the B-side to Keysha’s I’m a Thumbsucker! 12”, which is now impossible or dead expensive to buy 2nd hand, while FG’s Romance gives it some ‘80s FM swang on the B-side with What Is Love Today?
That A-side is 100% unmissable.
Project 223 marks the maiden union of two veteran UK techno producers, Lee Grainge and Steve Bicknell, who’ve clearly still got some gurns to burn with the chunky acid moves of On A Mountain.
Arriving in the wake of Steve Bicknell’s return to the fray with the 6Dimension label, whose Jing release sports vocals which uncannily resemble those attributed to Horizontal Charlie inside this 12”, the cryptically titled Project 223 (anything to do with Soul 223, a.k.a. Stasis?) get down to proper, rugged fundamentals with the search and destroy acid jaxx of Be Free, replete with that vocal, zig-zagging in classic style across the A-side, whereas Tell Me opts for a more stripped back and pent-up drive detailed with the intricacy Grainge has come to learn from his years since 1999 spent as a sound FX editor for TV and film.
They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they are making it spin better.
Jonny Greenwood presents an elegantly poised OST for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’, performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Contemporary Orchestra, and an ensemble including himself and Oliver Coates, among others
“With Phantom Thread, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey and the women who keep his world running. Phantom Thread is Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis. The film’s soundtrack includes eighteen compositions by Greenwood. It was recorded in London with a sixty-member string orchestra conducted by Robert Ziegler and is featured more prominently in the film than any of Greenwood’s scores have been before. In addition to the Academy Award nomination, the Phantom Thread soundtrack is up for a BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Its many other accolades to date include Best Score prizes from film critics’ associations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.;
The composer spoke to Variety about the process of creating a score that reflected the film’s romance and glamour: “We talked a lot about ’50s music, what was popularly heard then as well as what was being written and recorded. Nelson Riddle and Glenn Gould’s Bach recordings were the main references. I was interested in the kind of jazz records that toyed with incorporating big string sections; Ben Webster made some good ones.” Greenwood continues, “The smaller groups, and solo players, work like close-ups [and] not necessarily to accompany [a] visual, but rather, to focus your attention on and make you feel directly engaged with the characters. The bigger orchestral things often worked best for drawing you back to see the bigger situation.”
Anderson and Greenwood’s previous collaborations include the soundtrack for Academy Award–winning There Will Be Blood (2007), The Master (2012), and Inherent Vice (2014), all released by Nonesuch. Indiewire says of their collaboration: “Paul Thomas Anderson fans are well accustomed to how instrumental Jonny Greenwood’s music is to the auteur’s body of work. Whether it’s the foreboding strings in There Will Be Blood or the discordant percussion in The Master, Greenwood’s original scores expertly capture Anderson’s tones. This fact is especially true in Phantom Thread, which marks the fourth collaboration between Anderson and Greenwood.”
A much needed dose of tropical dancefloor heat!
Tropical Discotheque' is compiled by the gents behind Sofrito's clubnight of the same name, made up of nearly impossible to find vintage 'floor fillers, brand new edits from Frankie Francis and Simbad and even an exclusive cumbia from Quantic. Opening to the chugging, tugging cumbia of Banda Los Hijos de la Niña Luz 'Quiero Amançer' they wind through he infectious Afrobeat killers 'Les Ya Toupas du Zaire' and 'Maye Obi Den', via Simbad and Frankie Francis' deadly edit of Victor Uwaifo's 'Ohue', to swaying soca from Mighty Shadow, Quantic y su Conjunto los Míticos del Ritmo's authentically modern 'Cumbia de Mochilla' and a sweet calypso in Roaring Lion's 'Carnival Long Ago'. Pure party fuel!
Stone cold classic BEB material from the Aussie trio, Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (Tarcar, LST).
A frighteningly affective meditation on childhood memories, 'Hide Before Dinner' dredges similar, cobwebby partitions of the mind as Leyland Kirby's classics as The Caretaker, realising a drug fug sequence of enervated electronics, croaking death-folk and pause-button collage with an indelibly psychedelic impact.
We've all been there, we've all been kids, and we've all had a sh*t time doing it, but we're grown-up now, and can gaze back on that time with fuzzy fondness, right? F Ingers do so, and do it with thee most unheimlich attraction, coupling the kind of curdled electronics that made Tarquin's LST release 'Th Duo' so strangely fascinating, with the pastoral otherworldiness of their Tarcar output, and the much more elusive spectre of their own tortured and tortuous psyche, which is threaded thru the release like a silvery slug trail connecting them now to their snotted youth.
Perfectly summed by the label as "a relatable suburban gothic", we urge you to check the discordant sensations of 'Tantrum Time', or the murky wallow of 'Useless Treasure' and indulge the infidelities of your own, half-cut childhood recollections. Highly recommended.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike.
"From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother."
The beast from Brooklyn dry humps your ears to a pulp for Alter, first prepping with the bittersweet, crystalline tang of Burning Mattresses, then with the piercing highs and trampling force of Peña Adobe, the basic bastard bang of Smelling The Sheets, and finally swilling your lugs out with 14 minutes of coruscating metallic ‘tronics on The God In Vodka.
“Nick Klein's new record, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin,' was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, on an economic set-up. With a spartan modular synth and Korg MS-20, Klein describes the process of recording as "focused around the relentless role of filtering out and managing the anxiety of existing in a metropolitan area in the current political climate."
Though 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' starts on an almost uplifting note with the glistening melodic cycles of 'Burning Mattresses,' the asphyxia soon takes over, and the vertigo of the metropolis comes into lurching clarity for the remainder of the record. The height of the following track, 'Peña Adobe,' has the panicked terror of an archaic ringtone hitting the volume of an air raid siren, 'Smelling The Sheets' skulks rather than bangs, its momentum stifled and edgy, as if not enough was on Klein's side when making his way to the studio that day. The anguish doesn't taper, but rather culminates in the despairingly titled 'The God In Vodka.' At nearly 14 minutes, its disfigured rave stabs and blunted military tattoo-snare furiously pace into a clammy, toxic rush.
Despite the wry funerary image of its title, 'Lowered Flaming Coffin' is far from a lament for better times, nor a report on descending into contemporary hell. Like a frenzied metronome, the record syncs itself with the dynamics of unrest in order to grasp the brazen tactics that perpetuate the seemingly boundless inequalities in the world today. Klein forges this link with his own minutiae in stride, tethering the conceptual motivations to a fidgeting, personalized atmosphere of rhythmic dysphoria.
Pitching agitation in this way, the record unapologetically presents itself as a soundtrack for participatory intervention, forcefully side-stepping the queues.”
Positive Centre’s ISS label yields a strong group techno showing from him, Sigha, SNTS and Dadub.
Sigha steps off the edge with a cavernous scene setter Mother that dances around the event horizon of a massive black hole subbass with wiry FX and radioactive synths, then SNTS puts his back behind a sweltering hydraulic tumper liable to undo your shoelaces.
Dadub do their exquisitely layered techno thing with a vicious, snarling electro edge on From Function to Form, and Positive Centre leaves the EP with a wide open atmospheric conclusion, In Extracts.
Killer new tape from Idiosyncratic Estonian artist Mihkel Kleis (Edasi), exploring his funky self as Ratkiller for Jon Rust’s equally wayward Levels label following a dedicated programme on Jon’s much-loved NTS show of the same name.
Keener eared listeners who recognise Kleis’s anomalous black metal output as Edasi from the start of the decade (remember that acetone-stained tape case?!) may have trouble consolidating their memory of that artist with the same guy who released the wigged out side, Meltdown of the Highest Order on Estonia’s Porridge Bullet in 2017, but strangely, and brilliantly enough, it’s one and the same guy - equally adept at conjuring medieval metal fantasy as the severely buckled and hypnotic boogie and exotica on Filtered Relics.
If Fortress Crookedjaw did Star In Their Eyes as Delroy Edwards, it may well sound a bit like this tape, as your man gets properly salty and rugged with a six track cycle of natty, knackered drum machines and synths, sifting an array of pads and choral voices that keen between 2 minute knots of murky library synth nostalgia in Pigfunk, to the alien vignette Filtered Relics via 8-bit EBM in Colourful Guts and Tropical Palms’ lounge music in Gimmick and Clowntown.
This is the kinda gear tapes were made for.
Master drummer Milford Graves gives this month’s lead interview to maverick guitarist Alan Licht.
Young Echo do the Invisible Jukebox in advance of their long-awaited debut album; Simon Reynolds writes on prog explorer-turned-arch junglist Robert Haigh; and there's a feature on Freedom To Spend’s remarkable Ursula K Le Guin reissue, plus all the usual news, reviews, listings.