Hypnotic, shadowy EBM and post-industrial pressure systems from Romania via Berlin
““A Body” is a deeply poetic work in which again and again you will hear Borusiade’s voice, sometimes dissolving and recreating meanings in mantra-like repetitions, sometimes layering itself to pagan choirs of smooth ecstasy. Then again you will also hear that voice close to you, singing, sharing an experience or a thought. It is always soft, effortless and unpretentious, but always strong, clear and precise, like the voice that speaks to you in an altered state of consciousness. It seems to come from the same person that is holding your hand, when everything else seems to fade into uncertainty while wandering through strange times and places…”
We welcome Malmö, Sweden’s FLUF label to these pages with their newest release, featuring Phil Julian on a cochlea-scrubbing session of illusive electronics made on the HP Pulse Generator.
For listeners of a more hardcore disposition, there’s some real grit to get your mental teeth into with the swarming buzz of 0010A, whilst 0010AA is a trippier blighter probing our spatial perceptions with foregrounded density and cold sharp snaps buried away in the background. You could dance to this one, if the mood takes ya.
D&B turned techno producer Dan HabarNam rolls out two grumbling swingers for Idle Hands
Firstly with the grinding bleep ’n bass shut of High Pass Rambo, then the mazy dub-techno/garage mutation Draw Your Pattern. Wicked blends of function and abstraction. Need to hear these in the dance.
Hotly-tipped producer Orlando crystallises his blend of ambient pop, dancehall and contemporary club music to exquisite degrees in his self-titled début album for Local Action. As heard on his EP, The Tide That Moves me for Gobstopper, and his remix of D∆WN’s Lazarus that same year, Orlando’s music possesses a broad dance-pop appeal that he properly taps into on this album.
Working with a flock of vocalists and co-conspirators including Mr. Mitch, Yayoyanoh, Octo Octa and Buscabulla, and assisted by exquisite engineering from Jeremy Cox and Sam O.B., Orlando has realised an enchantingly bright and breezy sound riddled with filigree production details which are always at the service of framing his songs in their own environs, rather than showing off or being weird for the sake of it.
In each song he sweetly conveys a new scene that builds up to a lush landscape. But rather than nostalgic in the usual sense, this feels like the nostalgia of someone in 2030 for the sound of 2018, as his naif melodies and wipe-clean surfaces feel entirely in the here and now and free of retro references. That results in a sublime rush of highlights between the properly optimistic opener An Early Morning Rush of Euphoria, the James Ferrao-esque modernist composition of Rock, Shells & Some Fossils, a fluid swerver named Nasty feat. Yayoyanoh and Mr. Mitch, and thru to the pirouetting instrumental figures of Explain With Your Hands, and his unmissable dancehall winner Position starring Nemesis, before the romantic couplet of Friends or Lovers and the weightless beauty Free 2 B Whoever see you off with a very satisfied feeling.
Poppin’ electro-boogie produced by Melbourne’s Benny Badge, with a Astral electro-soul rerub by his alter ego, Freekwency featuring your RDA of sax harassment by Jack Doepel.
Backed by the wobbly strut of Midnight Run and the chromatic grease slick of Korea Town.
Pivotal member of the Montréalais musical fraternity, Eric Chenaux gets right under the skin and in your head with the intoxicating, jazz-wise chops and strikingly classic-sounding vocals of Slowly Paradise; an instant modern classic if we’ve never heard one! Chenaux generates a genuinely bewildering sound which lives up to easy comparison with Arthur Russell and even Thom Yorke, balancing sweetness with a more off-kilter style that also gets to the point, yet from beguiling, perpendicular angles maybe better compared with Richard Youngs' approach to folk and post-punk/pop paradigms.
“Eric Chenaux makes conceptual music that’s not meant to sound conceptual. He operates among various 'traditions' but perhaps most broadly, Chenaux's records grapple with the relationship between improvisation and structure in very particular, unique, idiosyncratic ways – and quite without irony or cynicism, through love.
Because fundamentally, Chenaux writes love songs, which he sings in a voice honeyed and clear, while his guitar gently bends, frazzes, chortles, diverges and decomposes. This juxtaposition of his mellow, dexterous crooning and his highly experimental (and equally dexterous) guitar explorations, explodes even unconventional notions of singing and accompaniment, of tonal and timbral interplay between guitar and voice.
As a solo artist, Chenaux's improvisation methods are in certain literal ways solipsistic: as a singer-songwriter, he plays his guitar around and against his voice, challenging easy notions of harmony/harmoniousness, improvising 'with himself' in pursuit of surprising himself (and his listeners) as he unfurls ribbons of voice and instrument often to the point of seeming independence, all the better to capture – and be captured by – unforeseen, intimate moments of interdependence: a definition of freedom, as a profoundly intentional state of openness, presence and play.
Even within avant-garde currents of folk and jazz balladry, Eric Chenaux feels like an outlier. Yet his music remains wonderfully warm, generous and fundamentally accessible in spite of its irrefutable iconoclasm. While the constitutive elements of Chenaux’s solo work in recent years might suggest some underlying devotion to asceticism, the opposite is much more true: his musical reveries resist, critique and counteract austerity (in all its forms) in a joyful abandonment to the improvised space where playfulness and light-heartedness are taken seriously, and where love is invoked and expressed, without reductive or facile sentimentalism, in a full, nuanced, clear-eyed suspension/rejection of the cynical life.
Slowly Paradise is Eric Chenaux’s new solo record – a lovely collection of mostly long songs guided by soothing, buttery singing and bent, fried fretwork. It is arguably Chenaux’s most assured and essential solo work, expanding upon the critical acclaim his previous releases Guitar & Voice and Skullsplitter have rightly garnered.”
Denmark’s GOHV seem to have coined a tantric new sort of EBM techno with AA0008 for crucial electronic label, FLUF.
On 0008A they hit a mesmerising line of cloven-hoofed rhythms and intently fixed drones that gets right in your bones, up the nose, making your eyes wobble. With 0008A they only intensify the effect with more typical 16th note EBM patterns locking into a viciously unrelenting yet somehow playfully daft tattoo.
One for fans of EVOL or the Aught label.
Highwire techno pelters from Calum Gunn, member of the excellent FLUF label whose forward catalogue is now available on our site and totally worth your time.
In good company among the label’s rogue rhythm explorers, Gunn goes hard and freaky with the fast-paced kicks and scrabbling chromatic electronics of 0003A, and then like SND on a techno bent with the sheer, pirouetting top line shackled to a boshing bass drum in 0003AA.
David Burraston or Dave NYZ makes some of the most fascinating electronic music in circulation right now.
The last few years have seen a spate of uniquely beguiling releases from NYZ on multiple labels, and now we add the ace FLUF to that list with AA0009, whose 0009A sounds like a cyborg big cat purring inside your skull, alongside the microtonal drone attrition of 0009AA. If you aren’t familiar with NYZ already, we urge you to check everything this guy has done, and without delay.
*Compiling the recordings of folklorist Bruce Jackson, among the last to record work songs. New on Dust to Digital* "Folklorist Bruce Jackson was among the last to record work songs. In 1964 he visited Ramsey State Farm in Rosharon, Texas, where he met Johnnie B. Smith, prisoner #130196. A native of Hearne, Texas, Smitty was 46 years old and on his fourth prison term. In his younger days, Smitty toted lead hoe in a flat-weeding gang and led the work songs. It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good song leader in the penitentiary setting—one needed to be rhythmically, lyrically, and physically reliable, to maintain those songs over interminable hours of hard labor under an unforgiving south-central Texas sun. But J.B. also sang other songs, different songs—those he’d made up to occupy himself while chopping sugarcane or picking cotton. He referred to them as his “little ol’ songs.” The longest stretched to thirty-three verses, or more than twenty-two recorded minutes. Although Smitty knew and sang a variety of melodies, to an assortment of work songs and sacred pieces, he employed only one tune for his compositions. What changed were the tempo and the ornamentation with which he individualized them. “The Major Special,” “No More Good Time In The World For Me,” “Ever Since I Been A Man Full Grown”—each song Smith charged with its own emotional ambience, as a seasoned preacher intuits the particular colors and atmospheres that should imbue each portion of his service. Smith was paroled in 1967, a year after his final session with Jackson and the release, on John Fahey’s Takoma Records, of an LP— Ever Since I Have Been A Man Full Grown —of three of Smitty’s songs. That summer, Bruce arranged for him to sing at the Newport Folk Festival, at which he appeared on stage with Pete Seeger, and, in one of the only photos that survive of him, in the company of Robert Pete Williams and Muddy Waters. A couple of years passed before Bruce heard from him again. He had returned to Amarillo, where he preached for a while; a parole violation then sent him back to prison."
What modern electronic label would be worth its bandwidth without a sick EVOL release?
Malmö’s keen young label FLUF absorb know their role and present these two invasive mutants from the Pan-European computer hooligans, who also play up to their role with meter-bending acid modulations on 0007A, plus ten minutes of jaw-resetting acid gurns in 0007AA. Don’t listen to this one on an empty stomach.
Louis Johnston aka Wanda Group takes a minute out from being the funniest c*nt on the internet to do a mean fingerpicking blues turn as Henry Caravan for Death Is Not The End.
Think Jandek exiled to Huddersfield, where he catches a cold and can’t be arsed with chips cooked in real beef fat so he sits in a room with no furniture and records himself crying into a guitar at the heck of it all.
If you like this, we advise also checking his excellent bits on Umbro G, Indole and Reckno from the last few years.
Features an exclusive solo track as well as exclusive collaborations with Steve Spacek, Jinadu and Jamie Lidell.
Basically worth it for the Mark Ernestus remix of Equiknoxx alone, in case you didnt grab the 12" on DDS.
The artist f.k.a. Cosmin TRG tests out textured ambient techno abstractions for Opal Tapes on his latest release as Cosmin Nicolae
“Over the last decade the work of Cosmin Nicolae has been a cresting force of forward thinking electronic music. His TRG alias formed the inaugurate release on the peerless Hessle Audio with the Put You Down / Broken Heart 12” (HES001). His music has featured across Tempa, ~scape, 50 Weapons, Hotflush, the list goes on. In essence he forms an important part of the story of the cross pollination of UK “bass” music with techno and his hard work and craft has seen him maintain his fixture as a sought after talent, both producing and as a DJ.
One element which always amplified his work beyond that of many other peers is Cosmin’s dedication to crafting interesting sound from scratch, a process which precedes his production and has it roots in home- brewed experimentation with instruments, electro-acoustic process and improvisation. With this debut release under his actual name, Opal Tapes has provided a space for Cosmin to have free reign to display another, looser and more experimental side of his repertoire.
Opening track “Semnal” peers slightly at the UKG influence he has worn in his early career, the track swings forward, percussions align, but the palette of sound at use here is one of moist rustic underfloor. A forested garage, humid and rotten. “Demolare” is the first of several pieces which constrain to use an ultra-simple motif, on this occasion a bone-rattling formant beat which convolves and vibrates as gaseous synths light the way. “Simultan” evokes the Clicks & Cuts comps of yore, randomising and rearranging itself as modular systems attempt to speak a common language. “Sector Acuamarin” see’s honey sweet trembles and pin- sharp percussion dot around the stereo in another rural retreat from the science lab the remainder of the album often conjures. “Distors Util” once again revolves around the one take, the idea, allowed to bleat and operate alone in a conjured malfunction. Auxiliaries flow out to spring reverbs enriching the mass. Our A side closes with “Autopilot Escapism” where metallic membranes pip and pop atop a gorgeous perfume of digital choir, certainly one of the albums highest points.
The B opens with “Secvente” where the factory is turned back on with just enough power to clear the damp. “Jos” thumbs an ugly beat of bleating module against a harrowed soundscape, pulling back the curtain just in time to see the machines start to really fry. Odd dub shapes are thrown around during “Vapori” before “Iele” bottoms out into a dread-scape of factory churn and gut-bumping delays as the whole damn Gamelan is thrown at hyper-speed into the blender to terrifying psychedelic effect. “Sulfuric” and “Swept” close the album out with a double down of acid-burn and defected skwee.
In many ways, an impossible album to classify, it feels as if it’s creating itself at points. The ideas therein are the genesis of so many fully “functional” songs but hearing them like this brings us so much closer to someone else’s mind and fingertips.”
AA0002 is the first in a brilliant series of uncompromisingly fresh, new, experimental electronic releases from Malmö’s FLUF label, which only started in late summer 2017 and now has more than 10 diverse and killer releases to its name.
It’s an unflinching introduction to both the label and Empathic Window, an artist hailing from Buffalo, New York who terms his own releases as “Pointless (but not soulless) audio experiments and non-music”.
That’s a fair description of this release, which yields a severely cryptic maze of atonal shudders and chaotic prangs in the highly detailed electro-acoustic dynamics of 0002A, then with a more violent blast of munted vocals, white noise and rabid yet crisply jagged madness in 0002AA.
Heavily satisfying gear for more insatiable listeners, then.
Spectrum Spools follow up their stupendous Second Woman release with a sterling second entry from Brett Naucke, pursuing the intricate synthesis of his 'Seed' LP into this riveting session of multi-dimensional, crystalline designs. Expect a steeply psychotropic series of events, twysting cues from the artist’s distant childhood memories into a polymetric complex of ideas intersecting chaoticm kosmiche, avant garde and concrète disciplines, but somehow maintaining a filigree thread of narrative logic that ties it all together. RIYL Bee Mask, 0PN, MoM, Second Woman
“The Mansion finds Naucke at the peak of his powers with a fresh array of meticulously composed psychotropic tapestries. Themes based on a childhood home, now a distant memory, reveal a mysterious narrative in mind-bending sonic detail. These complex ideas fuse conflicting states of tension and beauty with an organic acumen, each track a piece of the greater whole.
The Mansion is a fine mixture of contemporary concrète structure interlaced with tightly crafted melodic arrangement and hi-fidelity electronic exploration. In addition to his stalwart synthesis, Naucke employs additional personnel featuring vocal duties from Natalie Chami (of Goodwill Smith and TALsounds) and Viola sounds from Whitney Johnson (of Matchess). Field recording, piano and other various instrumentation are also carefully implemented adding a new, deeper dimension to the Naucke oeuvre.
With his most realized set of compositions yet, The Mansion finds Naucke at the paragon of his conceptual and sonic ethos with a work that’s at once deeply meaningful and profound in it’s auditory breadth.”
Gavin Rayna Russom palms out a loose and wiry jag for Barcelona’s Modern Obscure Music, leaning heavily on a knackered acid bent (and seemingly many of the buttons in her keyboard at once) for the soundtrack to a self-made film about transition in a broader context of capitalism and death..
“After a string of releases with dancefloor intent, Barcelona based MOM returns to its more experimental side with NO MORE WHITE PRESIDENTS . For this, Modern Obscure Music welcomes Black Meteoric Star (DFA/Nation) aka Gavin Rayna Russom to the label. NO MORE WHITE PRESIDENTS is an experimental film directed by Russom and soundtracked by her Black Meteoric Star alias. This 12” contains 3 choice excerpts from the soundtrack, the whole of which she self-released last year as limited edition cassette. This is the first time any of this music has seen a vinyl release.
At the start of 2017, Gavin Rayna Russom came out as a trans woman and her transition is one of the themes explored in NO MORE WHITE PRESIDENTS , as well as broader topics such as capitalism and death. She has been releasing music since 1997 under her own name and a string of aliases. Russom collaborated with Delia Gonzalez on the acclaimed Days Of Mars in 2005, where they explored keyboard hypnotics. Russom was the driving force behind The Crystal Ark with Viva Ruiz, and for the last few years has been an integral part of LCD Soundsystem.
The music of NO MORE WHITE PRESIDENTS is dark and claustrophobic yet exciting. As far as the dancefloor goes, it is suitable only for the darkest of clubs. Stealth Technology features punishing beats, oscillating acidic synth lines and a growling bass. Three Trains is a short track where tape hiss drifts over a tough rhythmic section and a dark bassline. Coffin Maker finishes the release with jarring oscillating synths, angular beats and waves of acid. Not for the faint hearted!”
'Keeping A Record Of It' is Lonnie Holley's beautiful follow-up to last year's sublime debut album, 'Just Before Music', which seemingly came outta nowhere to the delight of many, from Raime's Joe Andrews to Deerhunter's Bradford Cox - who coincidentally helps out on this 2nd album alongside Cole Alexander (The Shins).
However, Lonnie ain't no spring chicken; he's a 63 year old visual artist from Birmingham, Alabama who's specialised in sculpture for a number of decades since finding his calling after his formative years brought up in a whiskey house and time locked up and beaten in the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children. On account of his positive, off-the-dome lyrics and penchant for bright New Age synths, we previously compared his sound with that on Lil B's 'Rain In England', but of course it's much more than that, a whole microcosmos unto itself. In 'Keeping A Record Of It' his sound is subtly fleshed out with extra layers of percussion and chiming guitars on a handful of songs.
To be honest we were worried when we initially saw the list of collaborators, but mercifully their input is relatively restrained and not at the expense of Lonnie's naked integrity. His heart-breakin', molasses-garglin' blues holler and chiming keys are still the centrepiece, beautifully so in his 2006 dedication to the Queen, 'Six Space Shuttles and 144,000 Elephants' testified and recorded at Friendship Baptist Church in Alabama, and the lo-fi futuristic meditation, 'Mind On', while the added percussions and harmonised vocal on 'Sun & Water' and the mellow bloom of of Afro-psychedelic guitars, effects and swaying drums on 'From the Other Side of the Pulpit' gently buoy his spirit instead of distracting from it, as we'd feared. Simply, it's another magical album - Lonnie Holley is a one-of-a-kind.
Using modern technology, Patrick Feaster is on a mission to resurrect long-vanished voices and sounds-many of which were never intended to be revived. Over the past thousand years, countless images have been created to depict sound in forms that theoretically could be "played" just as though they were modern sound recordings. Now, for the first time in history, this compilation uses innovative digital techniques to convert historic "pictures of sound" dating back as far as the Middle Ages directly into meaningful audio.
"It contains the world's oldest known "sound recordings" in the sense of sound vibrations automatically recorded out of the air-the groundbreaking phonautograms recorded in Paris by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville in the 1850s and 1860s-as well as the oldest gramophone records available anywhere for listening today, including inventor Emile Berliner's recitation of "Der Handschuh," played back from an illustration in a magazine, which international news media recently proclaimed to be the oldest audible "record" in the tradition of 78s and vintage vinyl. Other highlights include the oldest known recording of identifiable words spoken in the English language (1878) and the world's oldest surviving "trick recording" (1889). But Pictures of Sound pursues the thread even further into the past than that by "playing" everything from medieval music manuscripts to historic telegrams, and from seventeenth-century barrel organ programs to eighteenth-century "notations" of Shakespearean recitation. In short, this isn't just another collection of historical audio-it redefines what "historical audio" is.
Compiler bio : Patrick Feaster is a researcher and educator specializing in the history and culture of sound media. A two-time Grammy nominee and co-founder of FirstSounds.org, he has been actively involved in locating, playing back, and contextualizing many of the world's oldest sound recordings. He received his doctorate in Folklore and Ethnomusicology in 2007 from Indiana University Bloomington, where he is currently a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Culture and a member of the Media Preservation Initiative."
Dense, darkly cinematic drone works from Tehran via Newcastle
"I remember being 6 years old, locked in a closet and screaming and beating on the door until I couldn't feel my hands. I think it's because I didn't want to finish my mashed potatoes.
I remember feeling his rough, dry, red hands all over me. Moving down the length of me in the middle of the night. Putting himself inside of me. Telling me the same thing happened to him when he was my age. I knew crying didn't work. It didn't work all of the other times. I stopped after a while.
It was us in that house for years and then I was gone and I didn't see him again until I was a teenager. After that my mom found out what happened and we sealed off that part of our lives.
We got the news that he'd died alone in that house. It was 3 weeks before anyone found him. There's still a part of me in there with him that I'll never get back.
I've explored this on a few other albums but never in this depth. I didn't feel like I was a good enough writer to tackle something like that. I don't know if I am now but every road led me here. With Siavash's haunting music and never-ending friendship I felt like I could make this journey.
- Matt Finney”
Snapping at the heels of that Kaltès & Nene H. 12”, Eomac runs the voodoo on his Eotrax label with Resist All Dogma, a head-first vortex of frenetic post-footwork drums and expressive vocal drones sounding out somewhere between Xth Réflexion and Second Woman.
Brandon Rosenbluth’s Shaddah Tuum remix Reisst All Dogma, accentuating the vocal drone to sound more like Phurpa’s throat singing while and the rhythm to an insectoid flux, before Eomac leaves the rhythms to feel out a cavernous space full of reflected, echoic vocals on Everything is Covered in Blood.
Outstanding, new, rhythm-driven electronics from Guy Birkin on Malmö, Sweden’s excellent FLUF label, whose complete catalogue of releases to date are now available on this site.
Fair to say we’re head over heels for the pots ’n pans-around-an-Escher-staircase momentum of 0006A, which sounds to us like La Rolls’ Sure Is re-spun by Cut Hands and Xth Réflexion, whereas 0006AA is more obtusely experimental in a Haswellian style.
James Welsh’s writhing acid jacker Thread is reworked as a thumping party techno play by Ozel AB, then taken outdoors for a tribal shunting from Radio Slave, and given the most identikit, pedestrian house version by Big Beat survivor FC Kahuna.
Nutty avant-techno tackle from tuuun, head honcho of Malmö Sweden’s vitally upfront FLUF label.
On AA0005 he seemingly takes cues from Mark Fell and EVOL to entwine crisp, boomy 808 drum patterns with writhing acid modulations in unyielding form on 0005A in a way liable to drive dances to the brink, before allowing for some swing in his ting with the ruggeder, clipped torque of 0005AA recalling a funky adjunct to Dale Cornish’s icier rhythmic reductions or a more banging echo of Ilpo Vaisanen’s Kangaroo releases.
Known respectively for their independent work as Botany and Lushlife, Spencer Stephenson and Raj Haldar selected their collaborative mantle, The Skull Eclipses, when the album became more than just a one-plus-one combination of their individual sounds.
"The odd title was originally given to a demo beat that Stephenson sent Haldar back in 2014, but it quickly became apt for the subject matter and emotional tone that the album and group took on during creation. "The Skull Eclipses" refers to the philosophy of Solipsism, that nothing veri¬ably exists outside of the human mind, and dually to the idea that knowledge of one's own mortality makes inner peace unachievable. Happiness is "eclipsed" by the image of death, classically represented as a "skull".
Accordingly, Haldar's lyrics are a free-associative discourse on the value of life amid a growing population, Islamophobia misdirected at non-muslims via racist assumption, poverty, pharmaceutical abuse, mortality, mental illness, international conflict, political unrest, police shootings, and the continual failure of the drug-war that began when the album's creators were just children. Stephenson's trademark fractalline production, noticeably more grim and aggressive than the tie-dyed psychedelia of his Botany project, provides ample space for Haldar's shadow-self to break through. Aside from displaying a wider tempo variation than any of Stephenson's work to date The Skull Eclipses is spun from sonic threads dark enough to border on horror. Songs are glued together with interstitial bad-trip creep-ups: melting choirs, doomsday evangelists, and the Judica-Cordiglia recordings that are purported to have captured the sounds of Russian kosmonauts burning up on reentry.
Broadly, The Skull Eclipses is a post-hip hop album that harmonizes tropes of mid 90's electronic genres-- ambient, downtempo, jungle, & trip-hop-- under a hauntological umbrella. It is the first offering from a project that's as much indebted to Broadcast & The Focus Group as it is to Pete Rock & CL Smooth, but obligated to neither. Up close however, the album is a peer into the shadows by two figures uncontent with blending into the tapestry of modern music, wholly committed to creating experiences over mere content, which is pouring in from all corners of a frustrated and distracted world."
Beautify Junkyards effortlessly blend their love of English Acid Folk and Brazilian Tropicalia in a collection of songs that conjure up a warm and verdant faerie world.
"Delicate acoustic guitars evoke an autumnal England suffused with Iberian heat by other-worldly voices; the ethereal lilt of João Branco Kyron and the warm languor of Rita Vian. The production is tempered with a haunted electronic palette that anchors the band squarely in the world of Ghost Box.
Their sound is further enhanced by newest member Helena Espvall ( formerly of Espers) on guitar and cello. With João Moreira on acoustic guitar and synth, Sergue Ra on bass and Antonio Watts on drums they are altogether an astonishingly talented group of people.
The Invisible World… will be the band’s third album and their first for Ghost Box, following on from their Other Voices single in 2016.”
Solitary Dancer give Optimo Trax its 33rd and final release with three cuts of mid-tempo, stepping breaks feeling out a woozy hybrid of Memphis rap instrumentals, gamelan-type percussion and early ‘90s ambient dance music.
Arriving from Montreal via Glasgow, the EP weighs in an ace A-side of clipped hip hop breaks and feathered ambient synth swells with results recalling Mappa Mundi and Muslimgauze of that era, whereas the B-side slips off into a more serene dimension recalling Jay Glass Dubs workouts in La Donna, and Lady Pimp sounds out a killer alloy of Memphis rap-style 808 tics and gamelan tang.
Restlessly shapeshifting ‘floor workouts from Leedsian techno bairn Happa, uncoiling two devilishly detailed productions on his PT/5 Records label.
On Clouds (Sax) he packs more tweaky edits and ideas into 5 minutes than other producers do in a whole album, with a breathlessly amorphous lattice of electro mechanics, delicate electro-trance pads and ruffcut hardcore breaks demonstrating a striking upsweep in his production and arrangement style that also serves to inform the meter-bending complexities of Blademir, and in a way that shows up a lot of older producers.
One of the highlights of Malmö, Sweden’s FLUF label, Bamboo’s AA0004 hits a killer groove of minimalistic footwork compatible with OG jukers as much as Rian Treanor.
It comes off like a hyper Venetian Snares workout, but mercifully without the more onanistic elements, just wickedly teched out and intricate grooves akin to Jlin or even that Ueno Masaaki 12” on Raster Noton.
Whites mint their Blue Series with two aces from Tessela and Lanark Artefax teetering on the edge of the rave and more melancholic headspaces.
Tessela tees off with the tantric, percolated ‘ardcore pressure of Glisten, deferring ecstatic gratification in favour of a sublime, simmering slow burn. Lanark Artefax then sweetly relieves the tension with the widescreen breakbeat roller Touch Absence (Intimidating Stillness Mix), squashing jungle breaks into sticky electro patterns swept up with big bad synth stabs and choral pads strongly reminiscent of ‘90s classics by AFX, Æ, Plaid.
Glaring post-industrial ructions from DINT, one of the more mysterious avatars on Samurai Horo, backed with remixes by Ontal, Codex Empire, OAKE and ANFS.
Crashing in with the bestial bass guitar grind of Hooker like some Big Black pulveriser, the blank-eyed atonality of Shovel recalls a submerged Prurient and Skewer brings the bosch with trampling force.
On remix detail, Ontal give an unyielding hardcore techno mix of Shovel, and Codex Empire impress with an off-centre collision of Shovel and Skewer bound to leave bruised bodies in its wake.
Gauzy, nostalgic club pressures by a new wain with a silly name a la R*ss From Fr*ends.
Big on smudged bass and slinging a rolling, filtered break on everything, with a hint of Baltimore bump to taste.
One of Posh Isolation’s craftiest rhythmic minds gets down to rugged designs in First On Comedown, the follow-up to his Bidders Must Justify Their Price album and a smart rework of Sand Circles.
Morphing cues from UK grime and Arca’s expressionist electronica, the results arguably sound somewhere between the knotted, frazzled output of Italy’s Gang Of Ducks and the deconstructed designs of Acre or Filter Dread, with highlights in the crooked grime scuttle of First On Comedown and a shapeshifting creature named Rattle Me.
Warp grip DJ Nigga Fox for a blazing follow-up to last year’s heavily experimental 15 Barras 12” with Príncipe.
With Crânio, Nigga Fox reasserts his position at the vanguard of Kuduro and its mutant offshoots by pushing the levels of detail and rhythmic tension in his productions to lethal degrees, resulting some of that sound’s most warped (pun intended) and irresistibly driven workouts.
From the front he gets freaky AF with the curdling acidic glissandi and sloshing triplets of Sinistro, which tees you up for the lip-bitingly strong torque and bonkers synths of Poder do Vento and its wicked surprise switch, while Maria Costa finds him bringing the bass forward on a killer electro-tribal lurch.
Likewise, the ghosts of tradition haunt the deep forward Afro-futurism of KRK in the form of lilting folk-like melodies played electronically, wheres WAABA-JAH hears him calculating that sound on a natty half stepping sort of tarraxho drill flex, and the roiling rhythm of Karma will untangle brains and limbs in the most bewildering, re-programming style.
Gosh, crucial 1st ever vinyl reissue of King Tubby’s Concrete Dub, one of the rarest UK pressed dub records of all time!
Originally issued on Dennis Harris’ Concrete Jungle, the label also behind Ijahman Levi’s I Am A Levi, the strictly dub album Concrete Dub has become one of the most sought-after of its ilk, in no small part due to the fact that only 300 copies were originally made.
Featuring 10 King Tubby’s dubs of riddims by the Techniques, produced by Winston Riley, there’s no doubt it’s a stone cold heavyweight. And if you need any more persuasion just run check the pressures of Staga Dub and the slow suspension system of Dread Dub and you’ll definitely know what to do.
A career highpoint from one of California’s most prolific electronic musicians (aka [a]pendics.shuffle, Bell Gardens, Reverse Commuter, dubLoner, Kenneth James G., KJ Gibbs, Bal Cath, Eight Frozen Modules, and Premature Wig).
"Seeking the overwhelming vibration of the genuine sound wave and its profound echo on the soul, Kenneth James Gibson has spent his career experimenting under a variety of aliases like as many brushstrokes to an ever polymorphic palette - successively releasing as [a]pendics.shuffle, Bell Gardens, Reverse Commuter, dubLoner, Kenneth James G., KJ Gibbs, Bal Cath, Eight Frozen Modules, and Premature Wig… the list is long. Near to two years after his first incursion on Kompakt with his third studio LP 'The Evening Falls', Gibson returns with 'In The Fields Of Nothing', his second full-length delivery for the Cologne-based imprint.
A piece of intricate scales and moods, by turn streaming with the quiet flow of a small meandering rill, then suddenly veering off into an oceanic kind of tumult, 'In The Fields Of Nothing' was conceived as a proper film soundtrack with its rhythmic ebb-and-flow and deep sense of immersion, pulling the strings to an imaginary scenario where the uncanny rubs shoulders with a minute care for the immersion and deep emotional involvement of its whole.
Like entangling multiple levels of consciousness through a millefeuille of textures, piano and strings as well as a flurry of subtly FX-soaked instrumentals, Gibson reflects on his new album - created and recorded right after 'The Evening Falls' came out - as hugely inspired by the lushly forested mountain landscapes of his home region, the bewitching Idyllwild, California. With each track being an essential petal in the narrative corolla figured by Gibson, it's a breathing forest of sounds that deploys, bearing the memories of Kenneth's early morning and late night wanderings in the wild, alone and not, with the ancient trees' vital force for main companion.
An attempt at capturing a slice of these ephemeral sensations felt when striding along across the steep ridges and stony paths of the San Jacinto mountains, staring at the star-studded dome or gazing into the quiet horizon at dawn, 'In The Fields Of Nothing' eludes the single genre encapsulation, opting for the all-embracing openness of scope as it hops from droney melodic interplays ("Her Flood") and roomy string-laden folk drifts ("Further From Home") through Ligetian webs of sound ("Thirsty Lullaby", "Fields Of Everything") and poignant threnodies ("Unblinded"), onto sorrowful pop ballads ("Far From Home") and lulling ambient scapes ("To Love A Rotting Piano", "Plastic Consequence")."
Lakker’s Dara Smith follows bandmate Eomac’s lead to go solo with a batch of mad electro-folk (read: definitely not turbofolk!) mutations under the new moniker; Arad, for Bedouin Records.
The Glimpse follows thru on the mystic and historic invocations of recent Lakker releases to diffract a worldly rush of inspirations thru technoid prisms, variously keening from what sounds like Irish flocked thru a vocoder and alloyed with 2-step EBM rhythms in the title cut, whereas Inti hints at North African Arabic modes, and Fried Salt simultaneously indulges his melodic and textural fascinations in sweetly elusive style.
Baked Arms then catches him percolating Afro-Latin patterns on a bed of cranky dissonance, and We Are Bacteria Sent Out Into Space forges a mix of snappy Afro-electro drums and Bruce Haack-alike vocoder expressions, and Slua Washed finds a clash of vocoloid spirits with charred noise.
Daniel Avery calls in some smart remix back-up for his recent Slow Fade EP - one of his strongest solo releases - with Actress, Surgeon and Inga Mauer on remix duties.
Surgeon turns Radius into a well balanced ambient techno roller, whereas Actress brings up the snaky acid of Slow Fade to a sort of haunted warehouse sound, and Inga Mauer hears Fever Dream as an echo of Baby Ford & Ifach Collective’s minimal techno lust.
Master drummer Jaki Liebezeit was very pleased that the craft of drum making has not changed much over the course of time. Be it that a skin is stretched over a drum with cords or bolts or be it that the skin is out of plastic or animal hide - the principle remains the same: Either enclose a hollow space without which there would be no sound (just imagine a drum filled with clay!).
"The same applies to the perception of rhythm. Everything is reduced to the essential: the hollow space in the centre. It is the invisible that matters. All tracks on the second DRUMS OFF CHAOS EP revolve around this vacant space in the middle. A centre that is filled with - nothing.
The focus is on abstract, grooving drum music. Rhythms are reduced to their elementary nucleus to such an extent that they can be perceived as clearly singular but also as universal. And something emerges that follows universal laws such as gravity, ergonomics and acoustics.
Play what the drum demands, was one of Jaki's sayings. Together with him, DRUMS OFF CHAOS took this to heart. The album centres on rhythms that are based on simple numerical relationships allowing their richness to unfurl from within.”
Slow Sundown, Holy Motors’ debut full length release, finds the estonian dreamcatchers utilizing a sonic palette ranging from dark psychedelic pop to shoegaze-inflected western music.
"Thematically the album is comprised primarily of sad love songs centered around the idea of motion – the motion of a satellite orbiting a planet, the motion of a passenger riding shotgun in a car – as it relates to stellar-scale and existential isolation. produced by merchandise’s carson cox and recorded at brooklyn’s kutch1 studios when the band was visiting the us on tourist visas, slow sundown is a beautiful alien artifact that definitively delivers on everything we have been promised by holy motors’ work to date."