Adding vivid new colour to Jamal Moss’ complex harmonic spectrum, The Replicant Dream Sequence (Blue PA14 Series) documents the brilliant results of Hieroglyphic Being jamming on a Moog modular system 55 at the Moog Sound Lab in late 2016.
Oscillating between lush beatless plumes, pulsing Afro-Cubism and even two works starring a rare appearance of his own vocals - the mid-tempo swagger of Sequence 06 and the fluid techno flow of Sequence 08 - the results rank among Jamal’s most varied releases, almost encapsulating the breadth of his aesthetic in one album.
Some listeners may also like to know that the fidelity, relative to his other work, is trustfully high-end, thanks to the quality of the Moog kit and recording, meaning they feel a lot more spacious and layered than usual.
Italy’s Fabio Monesi a.k.a. Hissman gives it some welly on the Chi-style wallbangers of his Revenge EP for Glasgow’s DABJ
last found on Crème Organization and Dog In The Night Records, he’s saved some bangers for this platter, warming up with the zig-zagging triplets of Revenge, then hustling the boom for big rooms with his jerky boscher Forest Wave, and keeping it elastic, tangy with Fragment, to trample home with the cavernous warehouse tattoo and jaw-wobbling trance lines of Zulu Tribe.
The incredible 'Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984' is a beautifully dreamy follow-up to Born Bad's much-loved Francis Bebey showcase, 'African Electronic Music 1975-1982'.
Celebrating the uniquely affective timbre of the sanza, or African thumb piano, this compilation shifts focus from pop-wise anthems such as 'New Track' or 'Coffee Cola', onto the Cameroonian polymath's more stripped, rhythm-driven, and atmospheric workouts. And it's every bit as hypnotic, transcendent as that last sentence implies. Bebey's vocals are still key, but this time they're mostly used as rhythmelodic texture in chant and spectral vibings, moving further from Western styles and scales to a looser, more spacious mixture of African tradition and Western musical conventions resonating with John Hassell and Brian Eno's 4th world explorations.
That clash and exchange of ideas is exemplified in the chiming, twilit dialogue of opening cut, 'Sanza Nocturne', and the strange fusion of Baroque pipes and kicking groove to 'Africa Sanza', or to strangest degrees in the freakishly noisy, yet utterly compelling 'Tumu Pakara', while we find the more mellifluous Bebey crooning away in the Pygmy Polyphonics of 'Bissau' or the deeply spiritual 'Forest Nativity'. To be fair, it's uneccesary to draw any lines betweent he material - it's all the work of a singular genius - but for those more familiar with the last compilation, this set really steps it up and out a notch or three to spellbinding new zones.
A total must-have.
Discrepant bossman Gonçalo F. Cardoso meets Alex Jones (Angela Valid) for a 5th tape of esoteric collage cryptography, their 2nd for the ace Sucata Tapes series
Forked Piss Blues is an unsettlign 70 minute session of textured synthetic ambience and field recordings mulched to a potently intoxicating brew and foreign a sort of abstract, hypnagogic dramaturgy primed for barely conscious listening.
“Larry and Luisa return to England. While his mother is reunited with her cousins, Larry return to London, where he falls in with a group of Bohemian artists - including writer Henry Miller. Back in Corfu, Leslie gets offered a job as a policeman, Gerry saves a donkey from an abusive farmer, and Spiro forbids Margo from seeing Zoltan.”
PAN’s butterfly net captures IRISIRI, the 3rd solo album by Alex Drewchin a.k.a. Eartheater, who provides the label’s first release of 2018, and one of its most sublime since Yves Tumor’s Serpent Music or the Mono No Aware set. Alexa’s first two Eartheater albums were released at either end of 2015 to critical acclaim - Metalepsis was Fact Mag’s album of the year, and RIP Chrysalis in its top 10 - and this follow-up is a majestic effort balancing a romantic, gothic sense of introspection with wide angled cosmic scope and intuition.
Where the first two Eartheater albums formed a tempered concision of her psychedelic improvisations as frontwoman of the Guardian Alien ensemble, IRISIRI offers a more shattered looking glass perspective on Alexa Drewchin’s personal sound, each track resolving richly colourful mosaics of strings, synths and electronics riddled with trance motifs and her own three octave-range voice, itself an instrument of myriad potential, morphing from xanny mumble to angelic ambient pop tropes and keening wails.
IRISIRI stealthily casts its spell in 13 succinct sections, seamlessly flowing in a deceptively freehanded style from the harp strokes and bubbling bong of Peripheral thru something like blunted rap on Inclined, then making canny use of a Robert Miles sample in the K-holed maze of MTTM, and meshing Harthouse pulses with harps in Curtains, before going full blown Clannad in Trespasses, and tagging in Moor Mother for the fractious MMXXX, and pulling out with the teeny American angst of C.L.I.T., and a computerised meditation on OS In Vitro.
The overall effect of IRISIRI is seductive and layered with enough detail to keep us heading back for further investigation.
Wicked one-off ‘Noise Tape Reggae’ drop from Strategy for Entr’acte, originally issued on 7” in 2008
Experimenting with dub’s extremities in a way that’s even more messed up than Kevin Martin’s efforts, and predated the surreally detached, disembodied structures of Jay Glass Dubs or SKRS Intl, the silty gauze of ‘Repurposed Dub’ plunges steppers into drowned world sonics with steeply psychedelic, elusive effect, chasing its own tail ever deeper into the dub matrix before Taper’s Dub Rock sounds like a recording of a multiple sound ystems heard on a breeze from hundreds of metres away, susceptible to changes in direction of the wind and barometric pressures.
Collects every single, b-side, and rarity from the first ten years of Young Widows’ career. Includes four previously unreleased tracks.
"Since their inception in 2006, Young Widows have released four studio albums – each pushing their restless drive towards the incomparable a little further. Those albums – Settle Down City (2006), Old Wounds (2008), In and Out of Youth and Lightness (2011), and Easy Pain (2014) – were as bruising as they were brilliant, as menacing as they were mysterious. DECAYED: Ten Years of Cities, Wounds, Lightness, and Pain perfectly charts Young Widows' evolution from inspired post-hardcore trio to peerless entity crafting profound combinations of post-punk, noise rock, heavy psych, and gothic folk. The fifteen tracks in this collection originally appeared on stand-alone singles, b-side, splits with like-minded artists (including Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Pelican, Melt-Banana, and MY DISCO), and rare compilations. Four of them have never been released until now. Of the many impressive aspects of Young Widows' decade-plus run as a band, perhaps most remarkable is the quality and breadth of music they made that didn't appear on their albums. Every song here is a standout track from the evolving eras of the band, and as with all things Young Widows, DECAYED pays respect to the past while planting roots for the future."
Mindblowing electronic productions and songcraft from Africa-via-Paris circa 1975-1982!...
Cameroonian musician and cultural polymath Francis Bebey is a bona fide legend of 20th century African music, art and literature. He introduced the world at large to Manu Dibango and had a stack of hits in the French-speaking African world, but it's his little known work with electronic keyboards, organs and drum machines which is staggeringly revealed here.
Across 14 tracks, Francis cooks up a minimal but richly layered and heady concoction of frothy, improvised melodies, body-rippling rhythms and deeply endearing vocals surely ranking as some of Africa's greatest contributions to the history of electronic music. From the tinkling marimbas and offset bass hits of 'New Track' inwards, we're witnessing a unique musical manifesto in creation, at once reflecting the phased reps of Steve Reich and the burgeoning minimal wave experiments of that era yet with an instinctive freshness and lightness of the rarest, earthly substance.
More than once you'll need to pinch yourself to realise what you're hearing, and by the time you've reached the percolating 'Coffee Cola Song' you'll really need to take a moment aside; we pretty much did! We've no need to go on, just check the samples and catch your jaw.
Moog’s recording arm grips Dave Ball (Soft Cell, Psychic TV) & Richard Norris (Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve) for a turn on the rare Moog studio set-up at Surrey University. Expect lustrous psychedelic arps, pinging electro and ambient black holes
“Who do you go to for your very first session when you have just been gifted your very own top-flight ‘Stradivarius of synth based studios’? enter ‘The Grid’ …Mr David Ball: One man band of pioneering electro-pop distorters Soft Cell, part time Psychic TV personality, film soundtrack composer and all round synth afficionado & Richard Norris: eclectic beat-meister & ambient DJ, record producer, commited psychedelicist from ‘Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve’.
The 1990’s saw worldwide commercial success as The Grid Scored 10 uk chart hits, many a euro hit including 1994’s international mega-hit ‘Swamp Thing” featuring a twisted use of sampled banjos lifted from the 1970’s okie shocker movie ‘Providence. In 1996 The Grid went on a holiday and they didn't return till 2005. in the initial week of The Moog Sound-Lab in early 2015 as the studio was literally put together around them, our abiding memory was their absolutely delighted grins as each Moog unit was added to the lab.
Dave & Richard created this benchmark album of deluxe ‘tronic trax that showcased their prarie wide knowledge of electronica & their ocean deep skills as both technicians & original soundscapers - Kraftwerk-Ian werk-outs, space noise jams, and slinky grooves with subtle pop-tones.”
Scuzzy electro and IDM-acid from the Elektronik Religion capo. Make sure to check the wild torpedo of ‘Hexciya’ and the rattling funk of ‘Swollen
“Dez Williams is coming back to Bedouin with a 100% solid EP. Against Your Will is a call to a wild dance ceremony. High definition sound waves and a reference to the Drexciyan world, through timeless electro beats. A sci-fi dip into our subconscious and back to the surface, where everything seems to be untouched but it will never be the same again.”
Miami’s best freq-freaker does his speaker-busting thing for Modeselektor’s label
Paradoxically daft, crude and rude on one hand, and precisely advanced, rendered in immaculate detail on the other, Draculo is definitive Otto Von Nik Nak gear, with solid highlights in the mix of Miami Bass cone-pump and horror score synth vamps on Draculo, and some crafty ass triplets compatible with your trap, drill and dembow rhythms on Triangle Bass.
A rhythmelodic whirligig of fourth world provenance, Spencer Clarke’s Monopoly Star Child Searchers tour-only CDr album MakeMine, Macaw now comes on a new pressing and digital release via Discrepant, where it sweetly falls in place with their peerlessly wide angled catalogue.
Part of an avian trilogy also including Bamboo For Two  and The Garnet Toucan , this is some of The Skaters member’s most hypnotic gear; five tracks, 39 minutes of curdling harmonies and drum loops which may induce listeners to dance, praise nature, and book a holiday to somewhere warmer
“A deep dive into this record makes it clear why it should be re-released. Spencer’s chaotic and mysterious approach to releases, made some really hard to find or listen to due to the nature of them and how they were made available. Despite his career not being very long and that the internet has made it easier to trace most of his back catalogue, in order to understand Spencer's work some archaeology needs to be done. To better understand his own “Fourth World”, or his alien language music, and to expand its vivid musical colours, records like Make Mine, Macaw need to have the special treatment and attention they deserve.
Let’s just say that in the field of experimental-tropical-cocktail music, no one does it like Spencer Clark, especially through his output Monopoly Child Star Searchers. Make Mine, Macaw explores the best cocktail recipes through five colourful pieces, using Clark's premium technique of blurry repetition and dreamy percussions. It's “Fourth World” is one fulfilled with many dimensions that needs the attention you give to a Rubik's Cube when you play with it for the first time. After that it gets better and better. A tropical fantasy that starts in your ears, feeds your brain and changes your life. You won’t know what a pacific city sound vision is until you see one. Make Mine, Macaw makes you see one clearly.”
Young Marco welcomes us to paradise again for the concluding 3rd volume of Italian Dream House 90-94, delivering 11 cuts of beckoning, eyes-shut-in-the-dance deep house goodness
Remarkably, he’s pulled out two contemporaneous, previously unreleased treats in the Balearic breeze of Resounding Seashell by Jacy, and the beaming garage swang of Neurostate’s Dance To The House, while the rest is all cherry picked with exquisite taste and feels in place.
From the high tog depth of Optik’s drifting Illusion, thru a necessary cut of Leo Anibaldi’s 808 State nod on Universal, thru to Deep Blue’s lush downstroke, Deep Blue (The Inner Part Of Me), the hair-kissing sweetness of Cosmic Galaxy’s Walkin’ On The Moon, and the champion dream steed of Don carlos Overture, this is 100% gary-worthy gear, hotly tipped as a history lesson to anyone following current retro house sounds from Vancouver to Manchester and Berlin.
Pilooski, Daphni, Young Marco, It's A Fine Line, Populette and Etienne Jaumet respectfully remix cuts from the amazing Francis Bebey compilation, 'African Electronic Music'. Pilooski edits the pipes, chants and chiming percussions of 'Bissao' to a thumping 4/4 and Daphni whisks 'Forrest Whistle' into percolating, hi-gyrating house patterns. It's A Fine Line mix 'Le Domaine Reserve Du Colonel' as a moody blue, droning shuffler, and Young Marco teases the earworming hook of 'Coffee Cola' into a simmering disco/proto-house bubbler.
Scotland’s brightest new addition to grime, Proc Fiscal takes influence from the emotional manipulation of social media, Aphex Twin, his IRL friends, and the playful, cartoonish innocence of original grime on his smart début album for Hyperdub.
Peppered with AFXian bleeps, samples of drunk pals and comically solemn TV voice overs, Proc Fiscal renders a sort of ambient grime that reflects both his personal sonic ecology in a way that should resonate with most other folk of his generation. The club isn’t necessarily in mind here, as Insula is seemingly more concerned with the way grime is received via tinny phone and laptop speakers, in yer mate’s car, or even the after-party, and thusly more attention is placed on bright and clean mid-high frequencies rather than loads of radgy bass.
It all makes for an absorbing listen more in the mould of albums from James Ferraro and even BoC than you might typically expect from a grime/club-related producer, with perhaps only the likes of Mr. Mitch doing something similarly colourful, detailed and personable within this dimension.
The itinerant boss of Discrepant, Gonçalo F. Cardoso evacuates his mind/hard drive onto C40 tape with a richly enigmatic mosaic of location recordings and original ambient music where it’s hard it tell where one ends and the other starts. With a little defocussing of the ear and some fragrant herbs, the effect is uniquely transportive and riddled with psychedelic potential.
“A new Gonzo collage, of sounds, of scraps, of things he might use (never) again. Picking up where Ark Eulogy left us, a journey through places and times you think you know but only HE knows about. Unfinished, unmastered, unadorned, unconcluded and unperfected.”
Western Sahara’s brilliant Group Doueh hook up with french trio Cheveu. Includes 8-page fold-out liner notes.
“The random-access memory of an hourglass. On the one hand, there's Cheveu, the French three-member band, whose soundtrack has never ceased to question music codes by exceeding various genres and pushing back their limits. On the other hand, you have Group Doueh, a Sahrawi band from the Sahara desert (Dakhla). Their music spans across many styles and hammers tradition with unprecedented finds. In between both their remote musical universes dwells a sound clash. It embodies the meeting between two arts of living music day by day, two ways of transmitting, of enchanting the world or refusing to do so, of exploring the repertoire as well as tradition and creation, two visions of the collective - the list of reasons why these guys should have probably never met or could have failed to get along is quite extensive.
This piece was recorded in two weeks in Dakhla in January 2016. The mere project seemed like a surreal challenge, something that was almost impossible to achieve and for which time was going to hold major importance. It brought about a telluric big bang, an atomic creation, a story of primitive energies setting the record straight in the whole world. That is, two radically different understandings of time.”
Eccentric Finnish funk freak Jimi Tenor reconnects with drummer Ekow Alabi Savage and drummer/vibes player Max Weissenfeldt for a fine nod to Ethiopiques, jazz fusion and P-funk traditions on Weissenfeldt’s X-berg-based Philophon
"Jimi Tenor's mind will travel where his body can't go. Living in isolation in east-Helsinki suburb he picks mushrooms and has exotic musical fantasiesin the calmness of the endless. He has made a quantum connection in Berlin with rhythm geniouses Ekow Alabi Savage and Max Weissenfeldt to create his latest tour de force "Order of Nothingness".
Mind travel is easy and music is a perfect way to illustate the possibilities. Using historical failed experimental keyboard Extravoice from Hammond organ company has opened the floodgates of Jimi's creative passages. Philophon studios in Berlin has a plethora of exotic instruments and they have been extensively used in making this album. JIMI likes to switch between wind instruments and keyboards to get a creative edge.
Is there any meaning in Mysteria? Did Salvador Dali design the Chupa Chups logo? Was Finland part of the Soviet Union? Order of Nothingness might not aswer these question, but instead will confuse you a little bit more.”
The Drowning Craze were an early band of Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde, guitarist Paul Cummins and drummer Simon Godfrey, now collected on this excellent set featuring recordings spanning 1981-1982.
"The history of post punk is full of curious footnotes and sudden dead ends. Fascinating bands that flared up, intoxicated with the rush of ideas and sense of creative freedom in that fertile period where there were no rules and boundaries to creativity for groups, leaving a vapour trail of a handful of singles and inevitable John Peel sessions before disappearing back into the ether.
The Drowning Craze are typical of those bands. Their legacy is three singles and a John Peel session, a glimmer of possibility and a hint of something quite wonderful and then gone. Fortunately for them their constituent members re-emerged years later in other projects leaving them flagged up on the history train with the band’s bassist Simon Raymonde going on to play in the Cocteau Twins before setting up his own label, Bella Union and original vocalist, Angela Jaeger, joining Pigbag whilst their next singer, Frankie ‘Fun’ Nardiello, joined the esoteric Chicago industrial disco band Thrill Kill Kult.
The Drowning Craze had formed in early eighties London with Simon Raymonde - the son of Ivor Raymonde who wrote hits for Dusty Springfield, such as ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and ‘Stay Awhile’ and then string arranging for all the Walker Brothers hits. Simon played piano and violin at school but took his own tangent when punk rock arrived and bought his first bass in 1977 aged 15 and learnt the whole of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, the Sex Pistols’ first album, in one afternoon. Inspired by punk rock / post punk and John Peel he was very much a child of those times. Glued to Peel’s lugubrious tones on the radio that were signposting a way out of the crashed car of punk rock and into new musical soundscapes he would also help to carve as a foot soldier with The Drowning Craze."
Jon Hassell, dreamer of possible musics and creator of the Fourth World, alchemises ‘Listening To Pictures’; his first album in nine years, and a gorgeous reminder of his prescient, visionary brilliance which has influenced everyone from 0PN to Jamal Moss
Clad in absorbing artwork by the legendary Mati Klarwein (the artist behind classic sleeves for Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Hassell’s first three solo LPs), you instantly kinda know that Listening To Pictures is going to be special, and the music certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s effectively nine years worth of thoughts, feelings and memories since Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street [ECM, 2009] recollected and distilled into a sound that feels nostalgic but uncannily contemporary.
Fringed by a crack squad of mutual dreamers including the trio of Rick Cox, John von Seggern and Hugh Marsh on most tracks, and also the likes of Ralph Cumbers (Bass Clef) and Michel Redolfi (INA-GRM) - plus some uncredited, but hinted-at involvement by Brian Eno - the album takes shape as an exercise in ‘pentimento’, or “the reappearance in a painting of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed or painted over.” In relation to the music, that term metaphorically applies to the process whereby early motifs, gestures and ideas continue to resurface in the sound image, if only fleetingly or warped in the music’s etheric weft, embroidering coolly delirious texturhythms and harmolodic patterns for the ear to get utterly wrapped up in.
For anyone new to Hassell’s music, the juxtapositions of scale, pattern and dreamlike spaces will surely recall the style of Oneohtrix Point Never. But with the benefit of hindsight and the sounds of Listening To Pictures, Hassell makes 0PN sound like he considers U.S.A. as a Fourth World unto itself, ripe with mongrel potential. From the inception of opener, Dreaming, with its digitally crinkled nods to jazz and Germanic kosmiche, thru the relatively shorter vignettes of polymetric percussion and balmy harmony in Slipstream, and the gently roiling tension of Al-Kongo Udu, and thru to the underwater jazz of Pastorale Vassant to the weightless, glitching stepper Ndeya, Hassell and his ensemble excel in catching a music in flux, perpetually in transition, yet without ever disclosing the location or final destination, keeping our attention (de)focussed to the parts of the journey others miss out, or choose not to focus on.
As the first volume of the Pentimento series for Ndeya, a sub-label of Warp, we can hardly imagine a more teasing introduction, and can’t wait to see where Hassell takes us in the future.
Operatic gospel R&B melodrama from one-of-a-kind singer/songwriter Serpentwithfeet, mounting their solo début LP with indie-pop stable Secretly Canadian after gathering attention via an EP for Tri Angle and a cameo on Björk’s ‘Blissing Me’ single
Flanked by production from avant-garde collagist Katie Gately, cult hip hop producer Clams Casino, and recent Tri Angle signing, mmph, plus Adele songwriter Paul Epworth for one big highlight, serpentwithfeet feels more confident than ever and totally in dramatic element on Soil.
serpentwithfeet is the real deal gesamtkunstwerk - a complete package where the look is inseparable from the songs, the music and the art; a total expression of self that’s as amorphous as it is singular. Amid shapeshifting backdrops of decimated R&B, cinematic synth chorales and rugged electronics, serpentwithfeet is the consistent presence, emoting in a range of styles from R Kelly-esque sung monologues to steepled octave-hopping acrobatics and heart-wrenching torch song simplicity.
It’s bound to be divisive - you’ll either fall madly in love with it or try to forget about it instantly - but we can’t deny its pull and can see ourselves returning to this one throughout summer ’18.
Acid-electro-EBM brain eaters from Benedikt Frey for Live At Robert Johnson, located in the Frankfurt heartland of the OG industrial dance music region
A-side dispenses the rolling, buzzing body music traction of Looking Back, bitten with some very nasty ‘90s acid lines and pumping 808s, while the Hi-NRG B-side cut Clown Time sweeps the ‘floor with proper caustic fluidity, and New Now yokes the tempo back to a New Beat/electro compatible 110bpm recoil.
Afrodeutsche provides Skam’s best release this decade with Break Before Make; the British-born Ghanaian/Russian/German artist’s début album of Detroit-inspired hardware jams
For the better part of two decades in Manchester, Henrietta Rolla-Smith a.k.a. Afrodeutsche has been a fixture in the city’s underground currents, but this is the first time she’s properly revealed her solo music, making for a mesmerising addition to the legacy of Manchester’s most notorious electronic music label.
Clearly nodding to Detroit’s seminal electro-techno sound, both implied in her pseudonym’s reference to UR’s Afrogermanic; and explicitly in her moody, raw, machine-made style: Afrodeutsche exerts a a deadly and unique spin on classic styled with an effortlessness that’s not common to Skam’s typical taste for frenetic arrangements. However, on the other hand, the inherent hip hop leanings of her slower grooves, and a mutual passion for bittersweet electronics is patently self-evident across the 14 tracks of Break Before Make.
As with her ace live shows, the tracks are all built from a combination of improvisation and preparation, the result of so many years of honing her hardware intuition so she can fluidly speak and emote thru the keys and wires. In that sense, each cut unfolds with an off-the-dome linearity, with reticulated rhythms sidewinding under chromatic lixx that variously keen, layer and chatter with a sci-fi cinematic sort of encrypted abstract narration.
Essentially, it’s an unmissable album for anyone who’s been entranced by the myriad projects of Gerald Donald a.k.a. Heinrich Mueller, or anyone who enjoys interpreting machine music with proper funk and dark, yet playful soul.
Sweden’s Baba Stiltz turns on a soulful charm for XL with Showtime following a string of choice 12”s with TTT, Born Free Records, and Studio Barnhus in recent years.
Introducing himself with the hazy vibe Showtime, he gets down to earthy grooves and shimmering melodies coming of like a more palatable Jamie Lidell on Situation, before stepping up the pace to a glitching boogie disco burn with Serve, and stretching out in a lusher blend of autotuned R&B vox and rude electro bass arps on Maze.
Hilary Woods’ artistry is one of rare emotive reach. Her minimalist and compositional finesse combine with densely layered atmospheric instrumentation and dreamlike vocals to create music rich with both delicacy and intensity. Written and recorded at home in Dublin, Colt was mixed by and co-produced with James Kelly (WIFE, Altar of Plagues) in Berlin in the winter of 2017.
"After the release of two critically acclaimed EPs, Woods spent 2017 writing and recording songs on an eight-track in an abandoned flat she was living in at the time. Layering piano, synth, tape machine, field recordings, vocals, drone, unadorned beats, and old string instruments, these songs culminate in her debut solo LP Colt. Straddling the acoustic and electronic worlds, Colt is an intensely personal journey through grief, abandonment, and mutating love. Woods navigates this journey with a lyrical potency that cuts through stark piano, sensuous synth work, and textural acoustics. Somewhere between Marissa Nadler, Grouper and Julee Cruise, these songs evoke both the anguish of their content and the ecstasy of their craft.
Growing up in an artistic household on Dublin’s Northside, Woods studied film and literature, dropping in and out of fine art school. A singular vision and tenacious creativity has seen Woods cross multi-disciplinary thresholds, exploring visual and performance art alike. Her work has received critical acclaim all over Ireland with honors from the Dublin Fringe Festival and the Irish Film Institute."
Wonky, winking electro-breaks-acid from M_nus renegade Kevin McHugh for CPU
Up top he pumps out the silly, chattering IDM breaks of Slacken and the tuffer, distorted acid slugger, Punishment.
Down below he tucks away the recoiling Miami boom and cheesy AI trance pads of Creased, and a wriggly bugger named Vague Complaint.
Witness and wince at a noise/metal bromance in the making between two persistent rock diehards
“In Spring 2017, Uniform was asked to support fellow noisy, boundary-pushing duo The Body for a European tour. Having been longtime fans of the band, Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and guitarist Ben Greenberg jumped at the opportunity. During the planning phase of the tour, Berdan and Lee Buford from The Body started corresponding regularly. Ultimately, Berdan asked Buford if he and The Body cofounder Chip King would be interested in making a collaborative record with Uniform. Buford enthusiastically assented, and the seed of Mental Wounds Not Healing was sown.
A few months after the genesis of the idea, Berdan and Greenberg went to the legendary underground Providence studio Machines With Magnets, where The Body were finishing up work on their latest LP. King and Buford had a ton of cool beats and music ready that Berdan played synth bass lines over. Greenberg then played guitar over Berdan’s bass lines, and the songs began to take shape.
After the Machine With Magnets session, engineer Seth Manchester sent Greenberg stems of the tracks to work on back in Brooklyn. Berdan recorded vocals in the hallway of Greenberg's tiny apartment, and the raw intensity of that makeshift session served as the perfect counterpoint for King’s unmistakable voice. Effectively, every song on Mental Wounds Not Healing is a duet between Berdan and King. The collaboration pushes both bands far beyond their roots in industrial music and metal, creating an immersive listening experience that truly transcends genre.
The title of the record is a line stolen from the chorus of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” Most of the titles are culled from horror literature and cinema, with specific nods to Shirley Jackson, Jack Ketchum, and Elem Klimov. Thematically, the songs have to do with feeling trapped in one’s own mind, projecting images over and over again of a future in shambles before it even gets a chance to happen. It is about hopelessness, anxiety, and depression so familiar that they seem like permanent fixtures of one’s psyche and identity.”
Gantz on a bad wan, starting his 2016 with a duo of grimacing, cutthroat riddims for Blacklist after a string of shots for Deep Medi Musik.
The highly pressurised, roguish half step of Space Horror lurches and glitches on the front with a febrile, fractious tension framed by bolshy production right on the biting point.
Step On Lava hot-foots it on the flip, beat up with woodblock drums outta the murk and wound up with a searing mid-range synth that pitches into abyssal subs by the track’s close.
Lydspor One & Two is one of the last known studio recordings made by Mika Vainio before he died in a tragic accident in 2017. It was recorded at and commissioned by Moog Sound-Lab in April 2015, and comprises two extended excursions into the wires and golden filters of the lab’s rare prototype Moog Modular System 55.
Mika was so enamoured with the machine that he declared “I Could work with this machine for the rest of my life… I would need nothing else” which is probably the highest endorsement possible, and the results documented in these recordings clearly show that he got a lot out of his time in the lab.
Lydspor, meaning soundtrack in Danish, unfolds across 40 minutes into two parts. Pt.1 finds him taking a tentative minute to find his bearings before precipitating a swarming cluster buzz that engulfs the track, shelling down blunt force bass hits and torrential drones for the first 14 minutes or so, then panning out into eerie darkness in a manner so timelessly associated with Vainio as to send chills.
Pt.2 gradually picks up another head of dense drone steam to choking effect, calving away into black cloud dynamics of corrosive intensity keeping time with a metronomic, doom-laden bass pulse that edges us nearer to some abyss; full of dread and nervous energy.
These are growling, engrossing, important recordings that provide another reminder of Vainio's ability to create intense pieces of music from seemingly not very much. In his hands, elemental sounds take on a visceral, hard-hitting quality that are so full of life and energy as to genuinely defy explanation. It's an alchemy that many have tried but few have mastered; in Vainio's absence it now fees like there's a vast chasm where there was once an unstoppable force...
A more extreme companion to Kink Gong’s Dian Long LP, the haphazard, frenetic glitches of Music is Not a Copy sounds like Chinese radio transmitted via a rack array of faulty DAB radios, each tuned to a different station and algorithmically attempting to consolidate their fragmented data into each track.
It may require a firm disposition and attention span, but there’s some really wonderful material inside, especially the eroticised techno pulse of Baosha, the tonal subtleties of Shanghai Rain, and the fractured 2-step of his School Beat.
Leatherette hit the floor at full wingspan
Slyding between boogie, ‘90s R&B and boom-bap styles with original highlights in the neon greaze of Love Lust featuring Oliver St. Louis, the smudged Thriller vibes of Frsh & Clean, a couple of Pete Rock-styled numbers, and the breezy instrumental to Love Lust.
Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau’s Essaie Pas reworked for the ‘floor in multiple ways by Anthony Rother, Khidja, and Schwefelgelb
Budapest’s Khidja tweak the swagger of Complet Brouille to a Hidden Formula Mix primed for redlit darkrooms and such, and Schwefelgelb take Substance M for a prancing, uptempo EBM overhaul that prods in all the right places.
However, Teutonic electro legend Anthony Rother provides the lion’s share with four reworks of New Path ranging from a widescreen electro-trance to a soaring beatless remix, and a sharp edit.
BNJMN goes fathoms deeper for Berlin’s Bright Sounds with four tracks of hydrodynamic techno
Reticuli keeps a steady ballast on course thru widely reverberating dimensions and sublime choral pads; Neurocity follows the currents to somewhere between Lee Gamble and immersive Italian techno styles; Cloaked tends to spheric harmonics and rolling percussive pulses; and Final Network shores up somewhere close to Donato Dozzy and Neel in an epic, trance-tempered mode.
Washington, DC trio Flasher release their debut album, ‘Constant Image’.
"Recorded in 2017 at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY, ‘Constant Image’ was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, The War On Drugs) and crackles with invention. This isn’t the sound of a band finding their feet, it’s the rare sound of three people - Taylor Mulitz on guitar, bassist Daniel Saperstein and drummer Emma Baker - who know exactly what they want to achieve from the start."
Available to independent retailers on clear vinyl.
LP formats include digital download codes.
Hard on the heels of his 10th anniversary drop, Joker takes a joyride in his dinghy on the distorted/super smooth purple dubstep shanty Boat, then tramples on a moodier sort of dubstep rave style with Deploy.
Allow that lead line when it drops though, jeez.
Tight electro, techno and breaks from L.A. via London’s Hypercolour
“Returning to Hypercolour with the ‘Persona Non Grata’ EP, Mor Elian continues to flourish with four killer cuts of electro and techno infused goodness.
Following 2016’s “Drum Vortex” EP, Elian has clocked up superb releases for Delta Funktionen’s Radio Matrix label, Delft and her very own Fever AM imprint. On the ‘Persona Non Grata’, Elian serves up dusty electro beats, icy synths, headsy techno flavours and bottom end funk!”
Snail Mail’s full-length debut album, ‘Lush’, is released on Matador Records.
"It’s a debut for the record books - a refreshing marvel of songwriting and technical composition that’s both cohesive and explosive. Snail Mail’s voice rises and falls with electricity throughout, spinning with bold excitement and new beginnings at every turn."
Kiefer is a jazz pianist and beatmaker based in LA.
"‘Happysad’ is his debut album for Stones Throw, following ‘Kickinit Alone’. Kiefer has production credits for Kaytranada and Anderson Paak, has shared the stage with Terrace Martin and Moses Sumney and is a constant in labelmate Mndsgn’s live trio. ‘Kickinit Alone’ was nominated for the A2IM Libera Award for Best Jazz Album."
Début turn from Yris Den for Köln’s Magazine
Who make their way from scudding synth chorales in Venial Elevate, to brittle, swung mid-tempo rhythms recalling Tolouse Low Trax grooves in Strafen, onto tight, prodding electro on Amen Auro Atha, and a sort of cyber dancehall-electro in Veniale Excavate.
Bogdan Dražić drops a volley of salty machine workouts on TTT following blasts for Giallo Disco
Trampling in wigged-out terrain between Eric Copeland, Muscleworks era James Feraro and Lutto Lento, the Dangnabbit EP flexes sinewy muscle in four parts, starting with the Troma horror-core funk of Nag Nubia, then spitting the gob of hacked muscle and screws called Goa, Goa, Gone, before yoking up the wonky-wheeled ride of Jack Dat Wabbit, and the swaggering jakbeat, Trip This Joint with X amounta madness.
Fierce, head-gobbling modular electronic scree from D. Shan, mysterious London character behind Acolytes, here on their 2nd day release accompanied by Luke Younger’s Alter. A potent one for disciples of Whitehouse spawn, Cut Hands and Stefan Jaworzyn, or Black Mecha’s mentation electronics
One for folk who like the sensation of losing their marbles, only to find them popping out of their orifices, Rupture runs amok in 7 parts seamlessly segued to hold listeners face down into the chaos. On one side that results a transition from diamond-cut, asymmetric arps and burnt out flashcore blasts to a long tract of Cut Hands-like polymetric drum muck melded with haywire electronics in MXE666, which, if it is titled after the synthetic dissociative, is about the best description/warning you could hope for. Farther in, stereo-strafing synths and voices suck us into more tranquil currents before all heck break loose again in a tribal joyride thru nether fields of computer music and grey-matter curdling ambient tones.
High-tog ambience from Tokyo’s Chihei Hatakeyama, contrasted with icier designs for electronics and vocals from Vida Vojić, making their first solo appearance proper following their ‘Untouch’ track on First Terrace’s ‘Compilation 2’
Hatakeyama offers Heliosphere on the A-side, a conventionally gaseous and lush 19 minutes of blissful meditation, clear and direct, where duration becomes a key unlocking moments of cognitive harmony.
Vida Vojić impresses more with the cinematic sense of detail and sensations of weightless amniotic space in Unseen, and again with a sublime study in reverberant, hyaline dynamics and glossolalic vocals with the gorgeous Sfär.