Factory Benelux highlight Vini Reilly’s acclaimed fusions of guitars and electronics circa 1987’s The Guitar and Other Machines Deluxe with remastered expansion of the original LP including his Live At The Bottom Line New York and a bonus disc of Related Works including the rare, Italy-only Greetings 3 EP.
The Guitar and Other Machines Deluxe was produced by Stephen Street, who’s maybe best known as a longtime producer/co-writer for Morrissey, and also features Reilly’s longtime associates Bruce Mitchell and viola player John Metcalfe.
It was written in response to a christmas present of “a load of electronic instruments” from Tony Wilson to Vini Reilly, who remarked at the time “I never dreamt of getting into this electronic thing, and I struggled and fought and stayed up til half seven in the morning and really worked on it. I know that Tony’s got this vision and I persevered. And I found a way of using a sequencer that isn’t like New Order – it’s my way, and it’s my music."
The results make one of Reilly’s most precious recordings, with highlights cascading from the front with Arpeggiator, thru the meditative hash haze of Jongleur Grey, to elegant wonder such as English Landscape Tradition and particularly the three bonus tracks from original CD release, notably the pulsating 28 Oldham Street (location of the now-boarded-up Dry Bar) and the delicate mingle of acoustic and electronic tones in Catos con Guantes.
As if proving his workings out for the album, you can also hear many of the album tracks played on Live in New York 10/1986 plus later recordings made at WOMAD 1988, while the Related Works disc holds some real gems in the spine-freezing styles of Vini’s Greetings 3 EP, especially his guitar and viola duet with John Metcalfe, All That Love And Maths Can Do.
Lady of Mine is the 1989 debut LP by self-made Italian-American Joe Tossini. An astoundingly honest, passionate record of cosmopolitan lounge music, he willed this charming suburban oddity into existence without any formal musical training.
"Sicilian by birth, Tossini drifted around the world between Italy, Germany and Canada, before finally settling in New Jersey. After the passing of his mother and the breakdown of a second marriage, an anxious and depressed Tossini took to songwriting as a form of therapy, crafting disarmingly candid lyrics from his extraordinary life and loves. Whatever industry savvy or musical virtuosity he lacked was made up for by unflinching resourcefulness and infectious charisma. Befriending bandleader Peppino Lattanzi at local club The Rickshaw Inn, he was encouraged to animate his singular songs with an ambitious cast of 9 players and 5 backing vocalists, sincerely credited as his Friends.
The Atlantic City basement sessions are a low budget, high romance testament to Tossinis character and the power of positive thinking. From the defiant, Casiotone samba of If I Should Fall In Love, to Wild Dreams dizzying escapism and the native tongue croons of Sulla Luna and Sincerita, Lady Of Mine hums with the inimitable magic of a true original. Piercing the heart with an effectively sparse combination of humming keys, CompuRhythm drums, horn flourishes and backing divas, ample room was left for Tossini to frankly deliver his much-needed life lessons.
Underperforming commercially at the hands of short lived label IEA Records, Lady Of Mine has since earned a place in the outsider music canon. Recently peaking interest as a cornerstone of the Sky Girl compilation, the private press trades for inordinate sums, typically with no financial benefit to its creator. Lady Of Mine is now finally reissued on the artists own terms via Joe Tossini Music, in partnership with Efficient Space, restored from original master tapes with unseen photos, extensive liner notes and Tossinis trademark wisdom.
Devoutly independent, Tossini has previously self-released the 2015 instrumental album When You Love Someone as well as two books - a new fiction novel The Devil In White and his autobiography The Account of My Life."
Canada’s Forth come with tuff local club tackle from Aquarian, E-Saggila, Basic Soul Unit, City Dance Corporation and TYVYT-IYTYI on their 2nd label showcase
Aquarian kicks off with snaking breakbeat techno rhythms, lush pads and virulent ‘90s acid lines in ‘Ten Years (Leather Jacket Mix)’, and E-Saggila follows her impressive turns for Opal Tapes and BANK Records NYC with the writhing, UK-sounding techno-electronica of ‘Reflex’.
Basic Soul Unit takes the reins B-side for the distorted snarl and rugged house heave of ‘WCK’, then City Dance Corporation debuts with the chrome-burning leads and direct techno drive of ‘Qtrak’, and another newcomer TYVYT-IYTYI wrenches out the knackered bugger ‘Beyond Reach’.
R&S wrap-up Nico Jaar’s celebrated ’Nymphs’ EPs in one handy package
Between the hazy grind of ‘The Three Sides of Audrey And Why She’s All Alone Now’, the submerged slo-mo thrum of ‘No One Is Looking At U’, the fragrant shimmy of ‘Revolver’, his blue jacker ‘Swim’, and the neo-classical nods of ‘Mistress’, this set epitomises the melodic dancefloor potential of Nico’s modern classical house style.
L.I.E.S. wrap up all three volumes of Tsuzing’s keenly sought-after ‘A Name Out of Place’ sessions for the baying crowd
Volume 1 came out in 2014 and introduced Tzusing to the rave at large with a critical balance of EBM and alter-techno vibes ranging from the clenched EBM marches of ‘1976’ and ‘Axis of Revision’, thru the off-kilter strut and blank-eyed droens of ‘ISMS (TNXILS)’, and the panting pressure of ‘No Primordial State’.
The hugely in-demand 2nd volume came out in 2015 and now trades for twice the price of this set on the 2nd hand market. It’s unmissable for good reasons including the muscular funk of ‘4 Floors of Whores’, the raucous, dissonant klangggg of ‘Frankincense And Myrrh’ and a gnashing beast named ‘O.D.D.’.
Pt. III came out in 2016 and includes one of our favourite Tzusing aces in the frazzled breakbeat bomb ‘Face of Electric’ (which works best pitched +4 or more for us), along with the swampy acid of ‘Emotional Eater’ and the gargling industrialism ‘R’.
From the archives of Syd Dale’s Amphonic & Sound Stage libraries, Moodsetters presents a stellar line-up of big-hitters from the world of British production music including members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop & The Art Of Noise.
"Late 1970's & early 1980's electronics, funk, fusion, atmospheric sound beds & morYou like library music & lush, orchestral funk? With some pastoral radiophonics on the side? A dash of late 70s jazz fusion & early 80s electronica? Tribal percussion, easy / sleazy vibes with plenty of twang, slap bass & a dollop of sauce.
Culled from the archives of Syd Dale’s brilliant Amphonic & Soundstage library, Moodsetters presents a stellar line-up of players from the world of British production music including members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop & The Art Of Noise."
‘Solo’ collects the first four solo projects by Krautrock battery Michael Rother (Neu!/Harmonia, including his albums: ‘Flammende Herzen’, ‘Sterntaler’, ‘Katzenmusik’ and ‘Fernwärme’. It also features a selection of soundtrack work, as well as previously unreleased remixes and live recordings, featuring reworks and remixes.
Travelling the astral highway between 1977’s ‘Flammende Herzen’ and 1982’s ‘Fernwärme’, the set charts Rother’s contributions to Krautrock’s latter days and its transition into what could be called ambient style with ‘Katzenmusik’ .
Naturally, it’s all driven by Rother’s trademark, insistent/incessant 4/4 pulse, which became one of the defining elements of Krautrock, and fundamentally distinguishing the style from glam rock, American funk, and other popular modes of that ‘70s era, when German artists were fervently establishing their own style of music and identity, one distinct from what had come before them and what was pushed upon them both directly via American cultural imperialism, and indirectly via its pop proxies in the UK, France and other western nations.
The new album from Brock Van Wey's bvdub project.
"Van Wey's previous n5MD album Heart- less found him harnessing the turmoil around him to create something vast, emotive, and brooding, yet somehow comforting, allowing you to cradle in its weight. Months after Heartless' release Van Wey moved from turbulent times of his native California home to the chilling winter of Warsaw Poland. A divergence. Alone against the icy cold, confined to the indoors in search of protection against the world outside, Van Wey channeled, as he always does, his surroundings as they coalesced with his self-imposed aberration. The outcome of this move, and period of near total isolation, is Explosions in Slow Motion.
Featuring four long-form songs accompanied by four “ember” vignettes, Explosions in Slow Motion is quite possibly Van Wey's most mournfully isolated work in his massive discography to date. Filled with swelling arcs of spectres from the past appearing then slowly drift away. Foggy memories of friends, loved ones, and even adversaries seem to achingly sweep across Explosions in Slow Motion's eighty-minute runtime. There is a forlorn thread of shrouded nostalgia throughout the album which by album's end leads to catharsis, acceptance and the finality of progression."
Berlin’s fonkiest blighters return with Flohio, Tommy Cash and OVS in tow on ‘Who Else’, their 4th studio album, following from 2011’s ‘Monkeytown’ and their Modeselektion mix volumes
Again proving that Berlin isn’t just all monochrome clothing and rote techno, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary chuck hip hop, electronica, house, jungle and dembow rhythms into their rave hotpot on ‘Who Else’, with signature, playful and emosh dance-pop results ripe for the biggest stages.
“This is the new album by Modeselektor. It has been in the works for two years and was made within a month. It’s a record offering essential Modeselektor, a record formed by experience, self confidence and the usual madness. It raises a question and answers it straight away. “Who Else” is yet another counteraction to boredom and formulaic approaches. Hear Modeselektor casually kicking against the pricks. Somebody’s gotta do it. Who else?
Technical knowledge and craftsmanship have improved their creative process, but in the studio they are driven by the same old things. It’s the quest for the beat they haven’t made yet, the eternal hunt for the perfect mix. No bass drum sounds like the other on this record, no snare repeats itself in a different track. Each hi-hat is tailor-made, no synth sound recycled on another occasion. This isn’t one of those predictable techno records, and that’s what makes it such an effort: the endless search for new sounds while always bearing in mind that less is more.
“Who Else” represents the sound of Berlin in all its ambivalence. It is a record freed from outside pressure, only driven by a personal ambition to once more put out a great album.”
A first time for everything: The lord of lo-fi has a “proper” studio make-over with puckered results featuring guest spots by Ariel Pink, Jason Falkner, Irwin Chusid and Lane Sternberg
“Since R. Stevie can't make a decent living on his music, he's trying to accomplish the task in the Afterlife. This album is an upgrade from the lo-fi, damaged-equipment home recording process for which RSM has become legendary. With a career-long sweep, R. Stevie took some of his best home-recorded lo-fi songs and re-recorded them with full-studio sparkle. All recordings were made in the past 15 years, with tracks captured in five U.S. states. Some compositions date from the 1970s to the 1990s, and there's a few newer tunes. The album lacks one thing: filler. Lou Reed famously said about his final Velvet Underground album: "I gave them an album loaded with hits," then he walked away. Afterlife is R. Stevie's Loaded—an album full of hits. He's walking away with a cane, a bum knee, and cataracts.
Afterlife was compiled and produced by Irwin Chusid (who oversees the musical estates of Sun Ra, Raymond Scott, and others). Chusid, a WFMU DJ since 1975, has been a compatriot of RSM since they met in 1978 after R. Stevie relocated to New Jersey from his native Nashville (to which he returned in 2010). It's often been pointed out that RSM's daddy Bob played bass with Elvis. But we won't dwell on that here.”
Just over a year after the release of sophomore album Origin and Echo, Snow Palms return with a new two-track 12”.
"A-side ‘Everything Ascending’ sees Snow Palms mainstay David Sheppard’s signature glinting electronics and crystalline glockenspiels augmented by modular synths, tapes, piano and soaring vocal flights. Over ten minutes in length, this is an undulating, inexorably unfurling odyssey, oscillating seamlessly between passages of mesmeric electronic pulse, choral-enhanced minimalism and immersive, gamelan-like ambience.
While there may be echoes of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Steve Reich and Midori Takada’s Mkwaju Ensemble along the way, ultimately, ‘Everything Ascending’ proffers a uniquely rapturous sonic realm that is pure Snow Palms. AA-side ‘Circling’, meanwhile, is a bold orchestral reimagining of one of the highlights from Origin and Echo. A response to their own remix of ‘Cycle 12’ by fellow Village Green artist and renowned film music arranger/orchestrator Matt Dunkley, this is a brilliant repositioning of Snow Palms’ music in the emotion-soaked cinematic idiom."
Bonobo opens the ‘fabric presents’ series that pledges CD, digital and vinyl releases on a quarterly basis.
"His highly textural aesthetic translates into an ethos that looks to introduce a more open musical palette without losing sight of its past.
The 2LP package features 15 of the 22 tracks from Bonobo’s opening mix for the new fabric presents series. They are the full unmixed versions, including both Bonobo’s exclusive tracks, ‘Ibrik’ and ‘Flicker’, plus his ‘Boston Common’ cut, previously limited to vinyl only."
Sleaford Mods release their fifth studio album, ‘Eton Alive’
"The new album, which features 12 new tracks from the prolific artists, was recorded in Nottingham. The record will be the first release on Jason and Andrew’s newly formed label ‘Extreme Eating’ and their first album since parting ways with Rough Trade Records.
“Eton Alive speaks for itself really. Here we are once again in the middle of another elitist plan being digested slowly as we wait to be turned into faeces once more. Some already are, some are dead and the rest of us erode in the belly of prehistoric ideology which depending on our abilities and willingness, assigns to each of us varying levels of comfort that range from horrible to reasonably acceptable, based on contribution. "
Claudia Anderson rolls out a hypnotic sort of tribal techno minimalism for Tresor following introductions made on Tresor’s ‘Dreamy Harbour’  compilation
In three cuts, ‘Structure’, ‘Involvement’, and ‘Synthesis’ she hits a smart vein of rugged tribalism compatible with classic Porter Ricks or the hypnotic attraction of Donato Dozzy.
She also makes room for more spaced-out, beat-less explorations in ‘H-1 A.P.’, and a cranky little number named ‘Momentum’ recalls the class of Torsten Pröfrock’s Dynamo gear.
Regno Maggiore poetically outlines a singular sound world somewhere between kosmiche songcraft and offworld ambience in ‘Astroveliero’, their debut for Turin’s Gang of Ducks following a brief spot on the wild 2018 set, ‘Paradisia V’
Hand or lathe-cut to wax by the label, and swaddled in future-proofing surface noise, the intently grainy results of ‘Astroveliero’ resemble a musical time-capsule from 2018, disinterred after 30 years in the ground.
In six parts Regno seems to relay a sort of avant-folk music to ears that haven’t yet been realised, using keys and ambiguous acoustic kit to conjure a suite of elegantly enigmatic expressions of emotions without any context other than its transparent medium.
Whether you’re in the here and now of 2019, or perched on higher ground in 2049, when saltwater swamps encroach up to a hundred miles inland, ‘Astroveliero’ will sound equally enigmatic and evocative of another place and time, but still distinctly human in its appeal, when compared with the detectably AI-composed music/propaganda of Neo-Europa’s syndicated centrist leaders.
Rush Hour did it again, pulling out MBO & Klein’s all time anthem, and its little known South African cover version!
Repeating the trick after excavating Teknokrat’s ‘What Did She Say’ and its Congolese rework, this time Tony Carrasco & Mario Boncaldo’s eternally influential ‘The MBO Theme’ - a staple on ‘floors from Rimini to NYC and the Chi - is placed on one side, and backed with a killer vocoder-heavy version by Warrior, which isn’t so much a remix as a cover version, ‘cos records - even huge ones like ‘The MBO Theme’ - weren’t allowed in culturally embargoed South Africa in 1983, so Warrior made do and did with killer results!
Detroit don Omar-S does deep, dubbed-out ‘90s techno-house and quick jit-techno on F.X.H.E.
In his own words: “This EP is dedicated to the year 1992 where I was heavily influenced by different forms of techno music from different parts of the earth ranging from Detroit, New York, Rotterdam,m Norway, Sweden, Chicago and especially Fast Forward on WDET.”
Berlin’s lesser-spotted Acido label makes a rare outing with ‘3 Trax’ by core duo: Dynamo Dresen & Sven Riger = Dresvn
Pairing up for the first time since 2017’s ‘Acido 25’, they turn out the jams with effortless style, from the fluid, silky acid drive of ‘Shelly Beach’, to the biting-point distortion of ‘Cole’s Farm’, with percolated live drums by Tom Page, and over to a sizzling house trek titled ‘Brunswick’ set to wrap up dancers like a birthday present with its thizzing filter chicanery and subtle bassline oscillations.
Reissue of Charles Ditto’s charming, 1987 self-portrait in MIDI, ‘In Human Terms’, available on vinyl for first time in 30 years. Expect resonant pre-echoes of styles currently pursued by James Ferraro, 0PN and Visible Cloaks
A fine addition to the mountains of reissued ’80s also-ran gems, ‘In Human Terms’ finds Texan Charles Ditto transmuting influence from Cluster, Eno and The Residents via (then) relatively new-fangled MIDI technology, to discern a fleshly, soulful humanity from purely digital sources, along with some steel drums and recordings of Fredricksburg Cicadas.
As previously heard in the 2018 Ditto collection, ‘Basso Continuo. Cyberdelic Ambient and Nootropic Soundscapes (1987-1994)’, the man has a really sensitive melodic touch and a fine grasp of spheric harmonics, especially in his warm and rounded low end frequencies which beautifully buoy the album, suspending it in imagined space between the spongiform bumps of ‘Pop’ and the curved subs of ‘Basso Continuo’.
Shabby chic dancefloor class from Brandon Knocke’s Body San for the house of 100% Silk
Steeped in faded late ‘80s vibes, the ‘Midnight’ EP says its piece in four sweetly washed out parts, sashaying from the wistful, flyaway melodies and in-the-poket budge of ‘Metro Overhead’, to the hypnotic, 10 minute tripper ‘M. Baysden’ with its chord sequence recalling Theo Parrish’s ‘Overyohead’, and thru to divine, fast and free-floating styles in ‘EZ Spirits’, coming to rest on the saucy swivel of ‘Sundress Beverage’.
Pure murder on the second of two new 45’s on Dub On Arrival, this one featuring a pair of epic ruffcut riddims from the don Jay Glass Dubs, built for big soundsystems!
Jay Glass Dubs goes deep and hard on two drum-machine-heavy winners for Dub On Arrival, the dubwise limb of Gothenburg’s iDEAL Recordings
Stepping in the wake of his sprawling, brilliant ‘Epitaph’ album, he wields scattered drums in acres of spooked-out space, only disrupted by bass stabs on the buoyant, belligerent ‘Thumb Dub’, crisply cut for extra jagged bite and punch.
On the other side’s ‘Index Dub’ he chucks his pots and pans into the echo chamber, where they spiral down long corridors of reverb until they gain terminal velocity and gel into a juggernaut steppers’ riddim - proper shckout gear.
The heaviest JGD yet? Aye.
Frothy, swinging deep house gilded with glistening synths by AFK and Bludwork for the house of 100% Silk
“South Cali classmates AFK and Bludwork come from oceans apart -South Korea and Georgia, respectively - but their intertwined social /sonic chemistry are proof that true vibe unions transcend geography.
The pair initially bonded over teacher pranks and 420 habits before rendezvousing off campus to link rigs and jam live electronics, eventually culminating in the six smog-smeared low-key bangers comprising their vinyl debut, Loyalty N Service.
Alternately coastal and concrete, the songs slide between smoky sunset house ('Akina Memory,' 'That Pain') and funked up warehouse bass ('No Equal,' 'Searchin'), tag-teaming melody, MIDI, and drum machinery into compelling composites of Pacific motion and emotion.
Blud is blunt about their bond: 'AFK is one of my most cherished friends; I'd do anything for this guy.' This is music from the heart and for the heads, pensive and propulsive, loose and liquid, raw and rising. 'One of our biggest inspirations is the Rush Hour films. We're the best Black and Asian duo since those guys.’”
Cripes, they’re back: Gustav Thomas and Elvin Brandi cough up a 2nd lump of improvised pop gristle as Yeah You for Slip, making good on the groundwork of Id Vendor (2016) and various acclaimed live shows thru another pebble-dashed batch of yelps, beats and salty noise.
Known to authorities as a father and daughter from Newcastle, Yeah You make some of the most feral, unhinged music we’ve heard in years, and most often make it in unusual places such as their black Renault Clio on the weekly drive to yoga, for example.
Krutch is the fieriest testament yet to their convention-bucking sound, swarming on the listener like an army of alley cats armed with freshly dried blackboards and led by Brandhi, who spits like a possessed Sensational in unmetered non-sequiturs over her dad’s haywire backing tracks.
We could equally construe that caterwaul as a nod to the hi-pitched hypnosis of Black Metal as much as a glimpse at genuine speaking-in-tongues mania, as the pair convey an energy and psychomimetic effect that can only be described as an extreme form of music.
Recorded while on the road to gigs in Holland, Germany, and at Aurora, Budapest this stuff lacerates senses and precedents with genuinely disarming power, dashing from the convulsive madness of Fall Freed to the DHR-style techno-pop of Skin (I Have Only Lived Once) and the festering BM cadence of SOIK CHAT video via charred bubblegum pop in Pace with a style and off-the-cuff flair that’s just utterly compelling, no matter how you look at it.
'Vacuum Boogie' is the second Floating Points release on Eglo and by far the best thing from the producer yet, kicking off with the ecstatic soul of the title track, sucking dub house styles in a boogie disco vortex...
'Truly' contrasts with a gradually phasing groove, shifting between electronic minimalism and heavy smudged disco soul like few others out there, leaving 'Argonaut' to emerge from the dubjazz echo chamber with a Drexciyan melody to die for. The production levels are just exceptional, making for one of the most enjoyable twelves of the year so far,
From four individual parts, with distinct musical pasts but also overlapping histories, a new unified chapter begins with Piroshka and the quartet’s thrilling debut album ‘Brickbat’.
"The album is named after the word for a missile, which nails the record’s heavyweight lyrics if not the music’s gorgeous, bittersweet and euphoric pop. Think of ‘Brickbat’ as a wolf in sheep’s clothing - which suits the name Piroshka, the Hungarian take on the wolfterrorised fairytale hero Little Red Riding Hood - a subtle nod, too, to a certain red hairdo that stood out in the 1990s Brit-guitar-pop scene…
The four band members are former Lush vocalist / guitarist (and former redhead) Miki Berenyi, former Moose guitarist KJ ‘Moose’ McKillop, Modern English bassist Mick Conroy and former Elastica drummer Justin Welch. The connections between them are a veritably tangled family tree. Before they lived together and raised a family, Miki and Moose were notable figures on the so-called shoegaze scene, while Elastica were Britpop peers. After post-punk pioneers Modern English split for a second time, Mick became a latterday member of Moose, while Justin joined the reformed Lush in 2015. And when Lush required a bassist for what proved to be their final show (in Manchester) in November 2016, Mick stepped in.
It was the rehearsals for that Manchester show that laid the foundations for Piroshka. “We sounded great!” says Justin. “Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought, this is the kind of band I want to be in again.” Mick agreed. “I’d seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed it was good fun too. And with Moose available, we thought, let’s all have a bash, see what happens.”
Though ‘Brickbat’ kicks off with a squeal of feedback, the album is far from a proper punk record, with as much sublime delicacy as physical force, with guitars to the fore but also electronic flourishes in all manner of spaces. Combined, they drive the nuggety melodic bombs long associated with Miki’s songwriting"
PAN kick off a super limited, 5-part, club-ready, hand-stamped white label series with killer cuts by Tzusing and M.E.S.H., available in a run of 300 copies.
Uptown, Shanghai’s Tzusing slows sino-grime down, battered with ballstic punctuation and dramatic strings in the first part, before sidewinding into an industrial dancehall style cheered on by shrieking vox in the 2nd.
Downtown, M.E.S.H. also comes with mutant dancehall pressure in the pendulous first part - think Iueke meets Front 242 at Equiknoxx’s gaff - then on a ruggeder electro pivot.
Trust, this is highly collectible, deadly gear..