Endearingly naif Aussie art-school/post-punk pop from Melbournian J. Macfarlane’s Reality Guest, finding an ideal home on Glasgow’s Night School
““Ta Da” is the debut full length from J. McFarlane's Reality Guest - aka the solo music of Australian artist Julia McFarlane. As a member of the group Twerps, McFarlane has traversed guitar-centric, melodic pop music for some years while honing a highly unique, personal musical language. Ta Da is the first recorded unveiling of McFarlane’s affecting, oblique songwriting panache. Originally released in her native Australia on Hobbies Galore, Ta Da will be released worldwide by Night School in June 2019.
Wheezing into view with a troubled reed instrument set against a s of whoozy synth lines, Human Tissue Act is a foggy curtain the listener is invited to peel back. The dissonant notes are left to dance entwined, with clarinet heralding a Harry Partch-esque mallet percussion interlude. It’s a mood. With no resolution in sight, an audience dragged closer into uncertainty is suddenly drenched with the light of inter-weaving wah wah synth and saxophone. I Am A Toy introduces us to McFarlane’s vocal, an effortless and matter-of-fact, accented statement that quietly takes the reins. While McFarlane’s previous work in Twerps might reference 80s UK and antipodean guitar pop, Ta Da showcases a different influences immersed in psychedelic music and synths. It’s a brilliant, deft concoction swimming in Young Marble Giants-type minimalism washed with bare pop and harmony similar to Kevin Ayers making sense of a Melbourne suburb full of faces half-recognised in the blanching sun.”
Written and recorded over a two year period where ideas and arrangements were allowed to slow-cook and develop over time, in contrast with the last album "The Dragon Flies Away" which came together relatively quickly for the duo.
"The music comprises the usual (for Bamboo) mix of Horwood's flawlessly resonant folk cadence and Carlisle's pristine synth production, whilst TR808 drum machines and samples lock together with acoustic drums, themselves often given the "Tony Visconti" Eventide Harmoniser treatment of Berlin-era Bowie albums. Ancient ARP synthesisers and Mellotron flutes and horns sit next to contemporary digital sounds and samples in a hauntological tapestry over which Horwood can intone her sometimes mournful, often uplifting vocals.
The first single taken from the album, "Weeping Idols", released March 29th reflects upon a recurring theme of religious dogma and spiritual entrapment, and is accompanied by a stunning video shot by Jack Barraclough around the North Coast of Northern Ireland, taking in the Giant's Causeway and the Kinbane Castle ruin. Carlisle's infectiously colourful synth riffs and pop production, featuring sun-burst harp playing from Brighton-based singer/multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill, contrasts sharply with the darker tone of Horwood's lyric, jarring in a way reminiscent of "You Have Placed A Chill On My Heart" by The Eurythmics."
Charles Duff and Daniel Fisher have known each other since well before their respective forays into dance music.
"They serendipitously crossed paths at some point in the early 2010s with mutual friends in the NYC club kid scene. Shortly thereafter they realised they both were keen to ditch the vapid hipster bullshit that had fueled their early careers thus far in order to pursue something pure: techno. Mind you, this was at a time when it was not terribly cool to be into underground dance music. If anything, they both were greeted with massive skepticism from their peers but that didn't ultimately deter them. Both went from relative obscurity to regular slots at Berghain. And for two American kids musing in a pathetic bedroom studio, this was nothing short of a dream come true. A prophecy had been fulfilled.
The two tried their hands at numerous attempts at collaboration over a 5 year period but nothing seemed to stick. Most of it sucked horrendously according to them. But not on this occasion. The stars finally came into alignment and they were able to execute a concise group of tracks that finally made sense together. Which brings us to Threads.
Threads, an homage to the uber-dystopian BBC docudrama from the 80s, sums up their dynamic approach to tracks. It's an alienating, sinister take on techno that somehow manages to not fully lose faith in dire times. Much like life today."
Hypnotic Brazilian percussion studies for the dance, built from recordings of Berimbau, Guica, Conch Shell, Atabaque and other instruments for Optima’s righteous label, Against Fascism Trax
“In a world in which culture policies (incl. music) win nationalist tones, Brazil has lessons to give with the catastrophic failed experience of the last government and the teletubbies talk on Culture from the current one. As one sometimes feel as if one is on a time-warp from time to time, most often taken there by music, songs like March of The Berimbau here, could easy make for the perfect soundtrack for the political history of Brazil, country in which Auntie Flo got his inspiration and recorded this tracks.
From the military regime that gave Brazil bossa nova in the 60’s, the tropicália sounds of the 70’s to the pop rock era of the 80’s all the way from the rave scene of the 90’s to todays Bahia Bass, music in Brazil has always been instrumental in helping shape the political scene. One thing about the Brazilian music ’scene’ is that rarely it lends itself to extreme political views, via lyrics or otherwise, after all, carnival must be kept a happy time! The number of different cultures living in peace, side by side in Brazil has strengthen the country disapproval of hate talk in music since I can remember growing up in the interior of São Paulo state.
As per wiki: Fascism is a form of radical ultranationalism, characterised by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition… Children bedtime reading if you follow the past 15 years in Brazilian politics and the rise and fall of Brazil’s Labour Party, together with its disastrous polices on culture and synergy with de definition above; including the views of a important cultural Party branch that continuously 'preached' that Authors should need no rights over their works. That couldn’t bit music in Brazil.
Fast forward to the first 5 months of government of an unfortunate retired army officer, whose every word sounds like Trump, and whose views on culture is to extinguish the Culture Ministry and cut low the state incentives to the sector, that, so far, is not bitting music in Brazil. Hope that Auntie Flo’s music inspired everyone as the place where it was made and recorded inspired music in Brazil, as a beacon of light against any hate talk darkness.
Written by Afonso Marcondes (Sync Originals, Sao Paulo) May 2019.”
With his fully rounded debut LP ‘Origin’, Jordan Rakei dishes up some of the sweetest nu soul since Sampha’s ‘Process’ album
“Soulful, intimate and expansive all at once, Jordan Rakei’s third album, “Origin”, cuts straight to the point, in every sense of the word. The melodies are brighter, the sound is bigger and the vision behind it more finely-tuned. Switching up from the highly personal and intimate portrait he painted with 2017’s “Wallflower”, which was a way of grappling with his experience of anxiety and introversion, “Origin” is overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future - notably Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. “I’m worried that we’re losing a sense of connection,” explains Jordan, with many of the album lyrics exploring technological growth, and how it affects our sense of humanity. For example, new single ‘Say Something’ is “about speaking up for what you believe in”, a call to arms for future humans to stand up against the AI systems which govern a now-dystopian world. It follows recent single ‘Mind’s Eye’, which envisions a future world where malfunctioning tech implanted in the human body has flooded the users mind with projections of chaos. He meditates daily, something he adopted partly in response to his issues with anxiety, and something which has shaped his worldview and informed his writing and production process.
On “Origin”, Rakei has scaled up his ambitions, and is more confident in the way he goes about achieving them. Making tracks that speak more confidently, in brighter colours, and which deal with something bigger than himself. He channeled the classic songwriting and musicality of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, striving to surprise and delight with the form of his work, and always infusing it with the same effortless swing and human feel that he fell in love with listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock and 9th Wonder.”
Following on from last year's debut with Erased Tapes, Californian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Allred returns with The Cell.
"Meant as a companion piece to The Transition, The Cell picks up where The Transition left off, with David continuing the search to find his place in the world. “The Cell is about warmly acknowledging the darkness in our individual lives as a strategic method of gaining a deeper understanding of how to move forward in a vastly dissonant world with optimism, harmony and light.”
Opening with the title track, The Cell immediately draws us into David’s unique world of storytelling, displaying his peculiar skill of weaving feelings and characters with wandering melodies. The five-minute opener peaks with David’s emotional falsetto repeating “In the mind”, acting as an alarm call for himself and his surroundings. Lead track Nature’s Course finds David delving deeper into existential questions about the human condition and its relation to nature, set to a gentle, melancholy piano ballad.
“Nature’s Course is a feeling pertaining to the way our subjective human experience is subconsciously directly related to the slow steady pace of nature and our ability to cope with our inner struggles accordingly” explains David.
The Cell further cements David’s place among the American songwriting tradition, from the slow methodical spacey instrumental Mandatory Soul to the poetic solo piano number Family and the dense and continuous Lexington Hills. With each piece we are transported to David’s unusual but rich and textured little world."
Ten years, a hundred releases and countless tracks: Monkeytown is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a compilation of new and exclusive productions by the artists that shaped the label.
"These artists represent electronic music in all its shades, from more experimental to dancefloor focused approaches. Monkeytown has always tried to combine both spheres simultaneously, never neglecting fun nor freethinking. The 12 tracks from the likes of Shed, Mouse on Mars, FJAAK, Redshape, Anstam and many more showcase and celebrate the label’s continuing mission: to explore new sounds and to seek out new bangers.
Monkeytown was launched in 2009 by Modeselektor. Originally conceived as a means to release music by friends and Modeselektor’s own records, it soon developed into much more. The label and its offshoot 50Weapons became key players in connecting the various strains of dance and bass music, the scenes of Berlin, London and everyone affiliated to these. This compilation unites artist that stick with the label since the very beginning, like Siriusmo or Anstam, and newer family members like Catnapp or FJAAK.
Over the years, some renowned producers found their way to Monkeytown, among them Shed and Redshape. These two of course provide the techno and house part of this collection, while Gajek’s kraut-influenced electroacoustic piece or Alex Bank’s blissful opening ambience show that it’s not necessarily all about beats. We got a lot of beats though: Dark Sky and Robot Koch like them rolling and sweetly broken, Mouse on Mars smartly frenzied, and Modeselektor themselves contribute a multidimensional track in honor of the famous Roland Space Echo, the device which lent them their name. There’s also a world premiere inhouse collaboration by Otto von Schirach and Catnapp, a weirdo match made in heaven. Next to releasing great records, the best thing a record label can achieve is to have a sound of its own."
‘The End of Radio’ collects Shellac’s two previously unreleased Peel Sessions, recorded 10 years apart in 1994 and 2004
“The 1994 session was recorded at BBC Maida Vale Studio 3 and originally aired on John Peel’s BBC Radio One show in July of 1994. The four songs were recorded to 24-track and then mixed to stereo on the same day. While a studio version of “Crow” was released in October of 1994 on the band’s debut album At Action Park, studio versions of “Canada”, “Disgrace”, and “Spoke” would not appear on any Shellac albums until much later (1998’s Terraform and 2007’s Excellent Italian Greyhound) - making the 1994 Peel Session recordings the only official recordings of these songs for several years thereafter.
The 2004 Peel session is a “Live From Maida Vale” session recorded live to stereo in front of a small audience at BBC Maida Vale Studio 4. It originally aired in December of that same year. As with the 1994 session, this recording includes songs that were previously unreleased and would not appear as album versions until years later. (Album versions of “The End of Radio”, “Steady As She Goes”, and “Paco” were released in 2007 on Excellent Italian Greyhound.)”
Leading on from last year’s ‘A Sole Game’ album, Redshape rounds back to Delsin with a simmering batch of breaks-driven techno and electroid house
The big one is the title track, a writhing piece of techno chicanery sparked off with wobbly bass and rolling breaks, while ‘Passengers’ catches a breezy sort of Detroit house swing, and ‘Bishop’ hearkens back to his early vintage with patented, dissonant synth blushes and nagging drum programming.
‘Commissioned Work’ is a fascinating testament to the diversity of AGF’s compositions, focussing on her abstract electronic works for theatre, radio, classical ensemble, contemporary dance, installation and film work. Make sure to check out ‘smell of DAT (score)’ and the incisive inceptions of ‘myzelimPRO’
“This album is quite gentle I hope, with a few exceptions. In the last years I have been commissioned audio pieces under remarkable circumstances and I did not want to loose them to rotting hard drives. As the album title states, it is about work. Writing, performing, handling music is work. I mean that in an absolute Marxist sense. The works were written for a specific purpose like radio, theater, classical ensemble, contemporary dance, installations, film and video work. With permission of the commissioners the pieces have been thoroughly reworked for this release and are now compressed "moods" of the originals or some are processes and combinations.
Making this release was more complicated than expected and made me think about "composition" in general and how I perceive it. I drew it out on the cover artwork: position - sound - composition. Along the process it manifested the practice of sculpting audio, my process of "writing" music is closer to poetry or sculpture than the one of a classic composer or musician. Important steps like research, thinking, building a context, forming a position, collecting sound within the context, sound design, purpose, attitude, politics and eventually crafting something that is narrative or listenable in the format it is presented. I spent a lot of time finding the right tracklisting to allow a dynamic interesting listening experience of the entire work. As an electronic composer I used diverse sampling techniques, field recordings, my voice and multiple layers of digital processing and eventually mixing and mastering.
One will hear machine sounds like an East German grass cutter, a 3D food printing machine, syringes, bells, human chatter, one will hear the endangered tree-dwelling mammal species Indri "singing" a song, sonified mushrooms going wild, mycelium compositions, police dogs smelling data, ice hockey recordings from the ice court in Hailuoto (Finland), where kids play all winter only when they do not play Fortnite, one can hear rural field recordings and my body amplified with a contact microphone. Melody on this record is minimal and derived from the field, rather led towards dissonance as a form of resistance to harmony. Thanks for listening, Listening is a political activity and is the ground work for justice.”
Kaspi & Stride supply an unexpected turn of dubbed-out, sidewinding, ambient dance music as the 2nd release on Soda Gong; the label set-up by Students of Decay owner Alex Cobb to explore “work culled from a wider range of genres”.
Moving on from Cobb’s inaugural outing as Etelin with the textured ambient of 2018’s ‘Hui Terra’ side, he brings Justin Tripp (Georgia) and Jimy SeiTang (formerly Psychic Ills) into the label fold with a skudgy batch of dancefloor future-primitivism mashing tribal rhythms with stellar ambient synth strokes and wormy electronics.
The sound is a few shades away from Tripp’s work with Georgia, but miles from what we’ve heard of SeiTang, divining a sweet spot of psychedelic dance music between their own aesthetics, at best in keening electro-jazz hustle of ‘Padonki’, along with nods to tenderly soulful deep house in ‘Dwell Time’, and submerged deep techno structures within ‘Variant.’
Hyper-cubist 2-step and gutting ambience from Burial in classically old skool mood, loading some of his classiest vocal work since ‘Untrue’, b/w dense, shadowy midnight atmospheres.
Without a doubt, ‘Claustro’ is an instant Burial classic. Lathering an ear-worming R&B motif (Brandy again?) into hair-kissing, lip-smacking skip-to-my-loops, he channels Steve Gurley on the cusp of hardcore into 2-step in a way that distinctly recalls his ‘Untrue’ cornerstone, and quite possibly heralds its follow-up on the distant horizon.
Likewise, ‘State Forest’ is signature Burial, but playing deep into his isolationist aesthetic with 8 minutes of heavy tog gloom lit with sparking clippers and alien craft landing-site pads.
Fringe experiments in dance and ambient styles from Argentina’s electronic underground
"La Danza del Agua" (The Dance of Water) is an eclectic musical journey through Latin American experimentalism - a sort of unofficial companion to the Anthologies of Atypical Portuguese Music volumes but focussing on South American music themes instead. Originally released as two volumes on digital and tape versions on Papaki Records (2017, Argentina), this new concise edition presents 12 of the original 38 artists. Not to be seen as exhaustive document representing the wide styles of the even wider continent, it hopes to showcase some of its more marginal music with artists from a variety of countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia & Venezuela.
As such, this compilation shines a wider light on new and exciting sounds from the vast continent with a wide range of styles such as digital cumbias, sound experimentation, freak folk, noise, exotica, danceable beats and much more, mixed together to give life to the continuing strange world of contemporary South American experimental music.
A logical continuation of our New Weird South American explorations after releasing works from Meridian Brothers, Romperayo, Chupame El Dedo and a tape batch on Sucata sister label featuring Panchasila, Los Siquicos Litoraleños, Bardo Todol, Tomás Tello and more.”
Wigged out kosmiche electro chug from Oz! Thee Roundtable cough up a necessary 1st ever vinyl edition of ‘Planetarium’  by Ian MacFarlane ov Australia’s Cybotron - the antipodean outsider answer to Klaus Schulze or Ian Boddy
“Post-Nuclear Mind Music? Lizard Strategies? Void Spirit...? These bizarre titles are just a few of the self-coined terms that Australian electronic musician Ian MacFarlane has conjured to represent his eccentric sonic world. An artist whose unique style of electronic experimentalism has balanced dangerously close to the edge of popular convention, existing outside the mainstream and extending well beyond the fringe of any sanctioned independent scene. A futurist outsider whose extraordinary musical vision has explored the uncharted realms of consciousness and fantasy. Following a brief stint with the legendary Australian Krautrockers Cybotron, MacFarlane produced three independent solo albums throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. His debut LP Void Spirit, an experimental album issued under the pen name ‘Violet Lightning’, was followed by a further two albums published under his own name, the cosmic influenced Back From Beyond and finally the privately issued electro-ambient suite Planetarium.
Presented with hours of unreleased home recordings, The Roundtable has begun a dedicated search through the fascinating archives of this under exposed artist. Beginning with a vinyl release of the rare cassette-only album Planetarium; this private press sees MacFarlane armed with a bank of Roland synthesizers, drum machines and field recordings, spawning a mutant amalgam of German Kosmische Musik, French Library Electro and Private Issue New Age. Surrender to the stars and welcome to the first instalment of “Muzak To Moralize By”.”
‘Gold Fiction Loop Garden’ is an overlooked gem of “vintage court gardens” music by Imaginary Softwoods - the pastoral-minded solo synth project of former Emeralds member, John Elliott. So nice this one.
First despatched on (a now hard-to-find) cassette in 2016 by Elliott’s Mineral Disk label, the album revolves a beautifully tempered suite of short loops recorded 2014-2015 live to two-track digital. Using analog synths, Mellotron, and multiple arrays of configured FX processes, Elliott evokes a gentle, earthly bliss in each of the album’s nine succinct parts, steering away from the more grandiose, kosmiche scope of his work with Emeralds to connote a more intimate, personalised sort of synthetic soul warmth that’s hard to ignore once it seeps in.
Trust us; it’s quietly life-affirming stuff.
‘Arc 1’ is the first posthumous release of Mika Vainio’s solo material, taken from a large collection of his unreleased music. The archive series will present pieces which can be considered as completed works.
‘ARC 1’ is a fittingly contemplative example of Mika’s patient, sensuous minimalism released under his solo moniker, Ø. The 34 minute work was conceived for the radio project ‘Ambient City’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, 1994, and can be considered a complete, singular work, and one of the purest in his catalogue.
Working at the threshold of perception in a way comparable with fellow minimalist masters such as Eliane Radigue or Kevin Drumm, ‘ARC 1’ follows a glacial transition from elemental subbass pulses through sustained, hovering drone before almost imperceptibly changing state half way, when a field of static disruption reorganises the piece’s atoms, only for the noise to recede and reveal a more complex timbral aurora, and the piece’s final tract of isolationist ambience flickering like northern lights.
The first volume comprise of two selections from the 48:22 long untitled recording Mika Vainio did as Ø for the radio project Ambient City at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki 1994.
Stockport’s deepest stepper meets like-minded spirits Arovane and Marenn Sukie on his eponymous label
‘Transmission’ finds Synkro and Arovane knitting high tog blankets of shoegaze/IDM electronics to effortlessly whirring, halfstep D&B mechanics, while ‘Get Together’ sees Synkro and his fellow Apollo ‘naut, Marenn Sukie go aerodynamic on a quicksilver D&B roller clearly skooled in Calibre and Burial styles.
Bristol/London’s Otik tucks the groove tight in-the-pocket for DEXT Recordings, with Bruce on vacuum-sealed remix detail
In three parts Otik demonstrates a classy rhythmic nous and sharp sound design chops, variously applied to the bubbling crystalline melodies and vertiginous swing of ‘Dioxide’, next to the booming breakstep and Turkey-gobble motifs of ’Tuskanary’, before switching tack entirely into lush virtual soundscaping with ‘Theia’, while Bruce adjusts the formula of ‘Dioxide’ for a more brittle, agitated reaction.
4Hero’s Marc Mac delivers 17 summery golden-era style hiphop instrumentals raw and direct from his MPC
One of two LPs alongside the ‘Red’ side, they contain some 38 beats between them, including many which have previously starred vocals, but all available as instrumentals for the first time.
The vibe recalls classic killer Madlib and J Dilla beat tapes from over a decade ago, with tracks seamlessly segued (there are no individual track markers) and primed for listeners to drop the needle, sit back, and spark up.
Fiery mix of prog rock and Turkish psych on Beats In Space
“Anatolian Weapons, the project of Aggelos Baltas (Dream Weapons, Fantastikoi Hxoi), makes its Beats In Space Records debut with To The Mother Of Gods. A hypnotic journey through the psychedelic folk music of Seirios Savvaidis, To The Mother Of Gods testifies that music, through repetition and drone, can take us outside ourselves to a liminal space beyond thought and rationality.”
Surgeon gets back to basics with a volley of steamers built for his sets at ADE 2018
Using only a PIN Electronics Portabella synth and Roland TR-909, he fires direct and for the jugular between the needle-fanged, size 12 footer ‘Raew Trax 5’, the blistering Bunker styles of ‘Raw Trax 10’, and the exceedingly soggy sock of ‘Raw Trax 6’.
As part of their continuing reissue campaign, Domino release ‘A Different Kind Of Tension’.
"They follow the 40th anniversary re-issues of ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ and ‘Love Bites’ and the re-release of the band’s debut EP, ‘Spiral Scratch’ and ‘Time’s Up’, a 1976 collection of demos. As previously, the albums has been lovingly restored and remastered from the original ¼” tapes for the first time and comes packaged with lavish booklets containing unseen images and extensive liner notes by famed cultural commentator Jon Savage."
Tuff 2-step techno and coiled brukbeats from Stenny on his spiritual home at Ilian Tape
Presumably fresh from prayers at Ilian Tapes’ grotto to Rene Pawlowicz (Shed), Stenny steps out with four cuts clearly modelled in His image, twysting out from the subzero acid 2-step swivel of ‘Stress Test’ and chop up killer brukbeats in ‘ElasTCT’, before going harder on an electro pivot shot thru with rumbling shockwaves in ‘Adequate Force’, and tucking away early hardcore-styled rufige in ‘Fail Better (Bent Mix)’.
As part of their continuing reissue campaign, Domino release 'Singles Going Steady’.
"It follows the 40th anniversary re-issues of ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ and ‘Love Bites’ and the re-release of the band’s debut EP, ‘Spiral Scratch’ and ‘Time’s Up’, a 1976 collection of demos.
As previously, the album has been lovingly restored and remastered from the original ¼” tapes for the first time and comes packaged with lavish booklets containing unseen images and extensive liner notes by famed cultural commentator Clinton Heylin."
George & Glen Miller’s 1979 hit “Easing” - encapsulating late 70s New York in its blend of disco, soul and Caribbean soca. Restored, remastered and cut loud for the dancefloor, the 12” single features the original vocal on the A-side and the essential instrumental on the flip.
"The Miller brother’s musical journey began in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 70s. During their teenage years they formed The Groovy Millers - a five piece band made up of George, Glen and their three siblings. After a chance meeting with Lord Shorty, they went on to collaborate with one of the Soca stars of the time and firmly plant their feet in the Soca scene of the musically rich Caribbean island.
Of the five siblings it was George and Glen that pursued a career in music, and in the late 70s the two brothers made the move to North America to develop their music style. Disco dominated the airwaves at the time and a studio session with the prolific Frankie McIntosh resulted in the masterpiece that is ‘Easing’. Drawing influence from the blossoming disco and soul scene, George and Glen added Caribbean flavour to the New York sound to startling effect. Soft, subtle keys and guitars are punctuated with layered trumpet and violin riffs, complimenting George’s silken, restrained vocal. Frankie McIntosh’s arrangement shines through with what might be his finest work, placing this track on the mantle with other New York classics of the time."
Grandiose hybrids of Iranian noise complexity and operatic vocals from 9T Antiope & Siavash Amini following from their tape for PTP
“9T Antiope have made a name for themselves in the vibrant experimental music scene of Iran over the past years. Now based in Paris, Sara Bigdeli Shamloo and Nima Aghiani are expanding their stylistic scope and team up with long-time friend Siavash Amini for their debut release on Hallow Ground. After 2017’s »TAR« and »FORAS« the year after 2018, »Harmistice« is Amini’s third LP for Hallow Ground and his first in collaboration with other artists. Recorded in Paris and Tehran, the four tracks are the result of »all the long hours of speaking online, being kilometres away, it is a love child of those short times we actually got to be physically in one place.« Vocalist and lyricist Shamloo enters a dialogue with Aghiani and Amini’s sound art, which is from restrained but interlocks voice and noise with striking subtlety. »Harmistice« seamlessly blends the visceral with the sublime, the abstract with the oh-too-real.
From the very first second of »Blue as in Bleeding«, »Harmistice« evokes a sense of suspended terror. Shrill frequencies and aleatoric bursts of feedback give way to a hard-hitting bass drum until Shamloo’s voice arises from the chaos with an uneasy clarity. It’s the perfect opening for a record that is built upon stark contrasts like this one. Amini and Aghiani bring together synthetic sounds with acoustic instruments, creating a tangible tension on which Shamloo’s sometimes sensitive, sometimes emotionally detached delivery thrives. »It’s all based on a dream, a nightmare about war,« she says in regards to her lyrics that move between poetic abstraction and first person prose, blurring the lines between lived experience and sinister premonition. »Harmistice« takes inventory after the oneiric damagehas been dealt in real life.
As a whole, »Harmistice« is thus as ambiguous as its title suggests. As an all-too-lucid dream about unspeakable things that are being lent a voice it overwhelms the senses with an unheard-of volume. Drawn from the depths of the subconscious, »Harmistice« may just be the most challenging album in either 9T Antiope or Amini’s discography.”
Delroy Edwards deploys deep, classic House vibes for his second release for Funkineven’s Apron, 6 years on from his untitled first appearance.
This is Delroy at his best, embracing higher fidelities for the good of the dance. He starts off with the gentle, feelgood vibes of opener "Live and Let Live” and ends with the halfspeed robot jacker "How High is the Moon”, with the squashed drum mechanics of “Funny Styles” and the robust bassline machinations of 'Dubonnet' lifting off in between.
Deadly, classic vibes from one of the best in the game.
Fabio Orsi really takes flight with the pulsating, iridescent harmonics of ‘Sterminato Piano’ following his more grounded, brooding OP collaboration with Brian Pyle for Entr’acte.
Returning to the embrace of his mate’s Backwards label (run by same guy who managed A Silent Space circa Orsi’s ‘Osci’ LP), the formerly Berlin-based Italian artist follows his nose down two extended sides of saucer-eyed arps imperceptibly layered with field recordings and distinctively suffused with the sort of tempered, cosmic feels that Orsi has come to specialise in.
“The new work "Sterminato Piano" settles among the best things of Fabio Orsi, but also in some ways, among the most unexpected and original. After eight years in Berlin, his return to Puglia (south of Italy) is restoring new life and new creativity and new energy. In fact, the new album is full of energy and warmth, with patterns, sequences and dancefloor beats of our dreams.”
RIYL Konrad Sprenger, My Cat Is An Alien, Conrad Schnitzler
Synths, programming and guitars by Xhin, recorded and mixed in Singapore
"Bold, inventive, daring and electrifying, 'Vision Electrified' is Xhin's alchemy of IDM, jazz, techno and live instrumentation, further carving his highly unique space out in the sonic universe."
Berlin’s Wilted Woman puts a keen, gritty spin on her electro-techno styles for Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound, backed with a pumping Detroit-techno remix from Laurel Halo
Practically gnashing at the heels of her collaborative tape with Nick Klein, ‘Lon Lon Night Vision’ catches WW jamming jagged computer music textures and sub-heavy jack in the acrid pound of her title track, and switch out to a scuzzy sort of electro-trance in ‘No Stinger’. LH follows suit with a kicking remix of ‘Lon Lon Night Vision’.
Genuinely head-frying avant doodles from a perennial oddity of the late ‘70s underground, originally issued by The Residents on Ralph Records, now remastered and repackaged with a bonus LP-worth of unreleased madness.
“A biomedical scientist and an architect form a band in the early 70’s with nothing by the way of traditional musical talent or skill but with endless enthusiasm and their own unique musical sensibility. The ensuing career and creative output of this ongoing home studio / bedroom band remains one of the most significant song based ‘outre’ catalogues ever produced in the United Kingdom. This comprehensive 2 LP (+7” for first 300 copies) set contains their first official LP (originally released on The Residents legendary Ralph records label) along with an extra album of different versions and extra tracks which reside here for the first time on vinyl.
The duo Renaldo & The Loaf, originally Portsmouth based, now in Portsmouth and Mid-Wales, remain an enigma whilst amassing an enormous cult following worldwide. Their singular take on music encompasses wit, strange melodic construction and an off kilter
sensibility which successfully rendered them engaging for each emerging generation. The ability of Renaldo & The Loaf to unnerve and entertain in equal measure is what binds these songs to a musical universe outside of all other forms that existed around the time of release. The Residents are obvious spiritual heirs.
Songs For Swinging Larvae is a classic collection of confounding songs which lead the listener into a surreal world of twisted tunes and perverted pop. Songs from the Surgery is made up of improvisations, early/alternative versions of various Larvae tracks and unreleased
pieces from the same period. The results leave one laughing through a thick veil of unease. As the original Ralph records press release said of Songs For Swinging Larvae: “This is an album of primitive modernism, energetic obnoxious noises, manic high pitched vocals and sweet brilliance.”
The Trilogy Tapes and Harmonious Thelonious orbits align again for a magnetically mesmerising exploration of international rhythms and microtonal scales after 2017’s ‘Apakapa’ 12”
Under the cannily vague title ‘Unidentified Ensemble Plays…’ Stefran Schwander’s strongest project speaks to a conception of non-place, a TAZ where meters and vibes from multiple continents converse and tesselate.
‘Women’s Chorus from the Region Of…’ leads out with a grippingly effortless, heavy-lidded sway, and ‘Halb Ding’ finds a tight balance of raucously buzzing strings and horns reminding of Sote but synched with swingeing clockwork percussion. ‘Delusion (Version II)’ then cuts the lights for a locked-in play of voodoo drums and Djinn-like harmonic spectres, and ‘Unidentified Soundtrack’ digs a swirling psychedelic style nodding to Raï and Dabke styles.