Amazing proto-Drexciyan synths and alien electronics from Portugal, 1983, a first time reissue on Holuzam - a brand new label from the people behind Príncipe. Don't miss this!!!
Holuzam is a new label from Prícncipe Discos co-founders José Moura and Márcio Matos. Their first release is an expanded edition of Telectu’s freakishly immersive 1983 LP, ’Belzebu’; a 40min suite of sweltering, proto-Drexciyan synths, lilting Afro influences and subaquatic rhythms unavailable on any format since the original release, which now trades for triple figures in the 2nd hand market
Viewed from any angle, ‘Belzebu’ is an iridescent oddity in its field, and was certainly among the first of its ilk within the Portuguese music scene. It was the product of experiments by multi-instrumentalist and music writer Jorge Lima Barreto (JLB), and the co-founder of pop-rock band GNR, Vitor Rua (VR), whose shared interests dovetailed into a mutual fascination with unorthodox, improvised and electronic sounds, leading to these remarkable, home recorded conclusions in 1983.
During late 1982 and into 1983, JLB and VR channelled those notions, together with ideas picked up from the NYC minimalist and no wave scene during travels in North and South America, into a strangely prescient and non pareil sound. Homing in on a high pitched, chaotic granular squabble they termed ‘Belzebu Zero’ - which forms the original demo for the album and is included here as a bonus CD - the duo layered that sound with precise guitar strokes, drum machine, synths and FX to hypnotically immersive and dramatically alien effect.
On the A-side ‘Rotas Opera Temet’ they plunge into a 20 minute vortex of electric blue synth noise and scaly flutters recalling a prototypical Drexicyan soundtrack to a film about Atlantis. With the B-side, they take that idea fathoms further into the abyss, wrapping coruscating chords and ticking machine pulses to the high end squabble with a supremely heady sensation, especially when the rhythm opens out into a demented shift in the track’s 2nd half.
There’s a genuine genius at work in this record which is bound to enthrall and absorb listeners from myriad perspectives. Everyone from Jamal Moss fiends to Drexciyan divers and Craig Leon fans need to spend some time with this beautiful oddity....
Following hard on the heels of BBE delving into the archives of Detroit’s Strata Records and delivering their widely acclaimed and hugely in-demand exploration of J-Jazz, comes another crate digger’s delight- Ralph Thomas’ ‘Eastern Standard Time’, which dropped the USA back in in 1980, on the obscure Zebra Jazz imprint.
"This is the is the kind of “spiritual’ jazz gem that appears on You Tube and upon checking it out on Discogs reveals a price well in excess of £150.00. To have it widely available in its original vinyl format, as well as digitally and on CD, is a real treat. So, who is Ralph Thomas?
The self-produced ‘Eastern Standard Time’ features Thomas on baritone, alto and tenor saxophones as well as flute and percussion. He describes himself as a practicing ethnomusicologist whose musical vision evolved during the Sixties and it’s Thomas’ multifaceted, global approach that gives the music on Eastern Standard Time’ an engaging and distinct flavour.
"My music has always been open to different cultures and sounds Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican, Peruvian, American, Hebrew, Turkish, African, Indian and Japanese,” declares the Chicago born musician. While attending the Chicago conservatory of music in 1969 he became a member of the Chicago A.A.C.M, studying with master musicians Phil Cohran and Richard Muhal Abrams. He also recorded with well-known blues legends, Howlin' Wolf and Mighty Joe Young for the Cadet imprint of Chess records.
In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles and was employed as a session player with both 20th Century Fox and Motown – where he recorded with Marvin Gaye, Jermaine Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Rick James. In the early Eighties he was working for Quincy Jones Productions appearing on the soundtrack of Roots and The Color Purple but a passion for reggae music led him to Jamaica where he recorded with producer Jack Ruby and artists like Augustus Pablo and Gregory Isaacs.
In ’86 he moved to NYC where he collaborated with Boogaloo legend Johnny Colon and played with like-minded musical explorers Sun Ra, Don Cherry and Olatunji. However, by 1993 his restless spirit carried him to Paris where studied Ethnomusicology and performed with trumpeter Mra Oma and film-maker Ranaivo-Rajaona Hery. There were also gigs with percussionist Trilok Gurtu as well as drummer Sunny Murray and saxophone legend Archie Shepp. Upon moving to the South of France Thomas ran an art gallery and initiated his MusArt project – which has since toured in the US, Canada and Japan
After a productive stint in Chiang Mai, Thailand – where he immersed himself in Issan culture – Ralph Thomas recently relocated back to the US to live and work. Though creating a huge amount of music over the years ‘Eastern Standard Time’ remains Ralph Thomas' only album."
Autechre weigh in the labyrinthine 8 hour ‘NTS Sessions’, parsing the guts of their hard drives for gold and other precious materials dating back to 2011
The duo were initially commissioned to do a DJ residency on NTS, following their show from early 2016, but what transpired is closer in approach and results to a super extended Peel Session, featuring stacks of reworked material along with exclusive new notions generated by their infamous ‘System’ of software patches.
Given so much time to roam, they explore a full spectrum of meters, tones and alien machine feels ranging from succinct hyper-symphonies to an hour long closing passage of unfathomably deep ambient music, all sequenced with a non-linear narrative arc influenced by the stunning 3rd series of Twin Peaks, and with distant echoes of their seminal, freeform Disengage shows for Kiss firmly in mind.
Call it an album, call it a radio show, call it a massive excuse to lock yourself away for 8 hours, either way ‘NTS Sessions’ is a vital dispatch from the North Face models, with material such as the squirming tech-step of ‘North Spiral’ and the slimy electro of ‘Four Of Seven’ from the 1st session, or the footwork-esque ‘Gonk Tuf Hi’ from the 2nd, and the free-floating structures of ‘Cluster Casual’ off the 3rd volume offering some deeply satisfying rhythmic convolutions for the dancers, whereas the preponderance of durational cuts, including highlights such as the hour long ‘All End’, the breathtaking visions of ‘Turbine Epic Casual, Stpl Idle’, and the plasmic wormhole of ’Shimripl Casual’ reach deep into the most abstract, amorphous nooks of their sound in a way comparable with visionary work from Roland Kayn or Iannis Xenakis.
In other words, it’s fuucking mint.
Cass. lands on Greece’s Into The Light Records with the lush ‘Postclub Prism’, a set of phosphorescing ambient nocturnes and synth vignettes blessed with a melancholy sense of futurism.
For his first release of 2018, following a string of deliveries for Throne of Blood, International Feel and Emotional Response in recent years, ‘Postclub Prism’ follows a clear line of melodic, instrumental narrative that will firmly endear it to more romantically-inclined ears.
From the tremulous new age vox and pads of ‘1000 Superdolphins’ at its introduction, thru the sloshing, widescreen electro-dub roil of ‘Leaving’, to richly poignant pieces such as the quivering, coruscating synth miniature, ‘Albertine’, and the gorgeous, early 0PN vibes of ‘Painful Love in 96 kHz’, and the sublime nesting film dialogue samples and feather touch synth strokes in ‘Redwood’, Cass. cups your spirits with trustworthy hands for the fragile hours of the night-turned-morning.
12 part expo of lower case yet intrepid solo guitar pieces by Austrian strummer Burchard Stangl
Patient to a T, Stangl paints a wide open space with slithering licks at the root of minimalism, improvised noise and American primitive styles, paired with extra subtle field recordings by Steve bates to result uniquely spacious intersections of all above.
With ‘Best Troubador’, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy pays homage to a longtime and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard.
"A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle Haggard song, Bonny has often cited Merle’s work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009.
‘Best Troubador’ flips through his song book, landing on pages unmoored from their time and located anew. Moving from 1978 to 1969 to 2003 to 1981 allows the album to circle Haggard’s music in a simulation of thought and memory, slipping around from spot to spot as if they were discrete impressions, unknown but knowable yet."
Marcel Dettmann experiments with a spectrum of styles from broken, abstract to crunching techno functions for Ostgut-Ton
Three of them are really worth closer attention, namely the roiling, Autechrian fizz of ‘Test-File’ showing the kids how to do it weird but driving, also the T++ or Dynamo-esque lurch of ’Torch’, and a Drexciya-infected slice of EBM-techno hydrolixx called ‘Metalloid’.
Bonny sings Susanna, to simply try and save the world.
"Sonata Dwarf Mix Cosmos is an old companion of his and with the Chijimi house band +1 they bring it all back home again, this time to the space in Bonny’s place.
“As other practitioners are leaving the room in favor of novel forms of recording and distro and consumption, PALACE, fantastical and real
structures and practices. Like we are allowed into the museum at night. We can make a great essentially live record with great songs and great players because nobody else is? ‘Wolf Of The Cosmos’... is about, as much as anything, direct engagement with recorded music. So step right up to the replicant.” -
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is joined by musicians Emmet Kelly (bass guitar, voice, acoustic guitar), Cheyenne Mize (violin, slide ukulele, voice), Chris Rodahaffer (banjo, voice, acoustic guitar) and Elsa Madeline Oldham (juice harp)."
The final performance of Throbbing Gristle before their initial breakup, at the Kezar Pavillion, San Francisco on 29 May 1981.
‘Mission of Dead Souls’ documents the notorious final performance of Throbbing Gristle in their original incarnation (1975-1981). Recorded at Kezar Pavillion, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco on 29th May, 1981 and unavailable on vinyl since the early ‘90s, it’s now back on wax with a new inner sleeve including photos and a passage of text by Jon Savage
Recorded by Monte Cazzaza, long a satellite member of the band, ‘Mission of Souls’ captures the band in a period of broken relationships and internecine collapse, which definitely only adds to its historical weight as a document of the late 20th C’s most important band in its death throes.
Counting Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Peter "Sleazy” Christopherson on stage, the infamous four generate a dense black energy in ten parts, culminating in killer and now classic takes on ‘Spirits Flying’, a possessed version of ‘Persuasion U.S.A.’, and a trampling curtain call with ‘Discipline (Reprise)’.
Another gem of late ‘80s bubblegum boogie plucked out by Jo’burg, S.A.’s Afrosynth Records store-turned-label
Brimming with good times vibes as antithesis to the b/s of apartheid, Tomorrow gets on with it in super infectious style, glyding from the marimba-gilded swang of the title cut to the grubbing hustle of I’Ve Got A Friend on a haughty Grace Jones tip, then stoking the deeper fires with the simmering synthetic romance of Is This Love, and In My Mind, and rounding up with the radiant Mina Ngilijaji.
Mysterious happenings on Andrew Lyster’s Youth label from a "well known producer" involved with the label wishing to stay incognito; that probably means it's Kassem Mosse, who knows?? - in any event - this one's a killer.
Deploying a trio of slow dancehall-indebted digital dubs, EP opener Diamonds functions as a kind of late night slinker, all angular and spaced-out, as if Equiknoxx found themselves transported back to classic-era Source records via Move D / Reagenz.
Noh Mas is on a more demented Workshop tip, complete with maniacal laughing fills and righteous strings somewhere between Kassem Mosse and Madteo, while 7" closer I, I drips into being with pure slow house filth.