Saharan guitar fire from Northern Mali, tending to a near extinct style of trance-inducing riffs and pounding, offbeat drums. 10 burning variations on a theme.
“Tallawit Timbouctou are champions of takamba, a hypnotic traditional music from Northern Mali. Built around the tehardent, the four-stringed lute and pre-cursor to the American banjo, takamba’s droning distortion comes from signature handmade mics and blown out amplifiers. Accompanied by percussion pounded out onto an overturned calabash with mind boggling time signatures, the combined effect is trance inducing.
This is the music that long ruled the North of Mali, performed at festivities, blasting out of dusty boomboxes, and beaming out from village radio stations. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, and though purportedly dating back to the Songhai Empire of the 15th century, takamba’s heyday was in the 1980s, with the introduction of amplification. Musicians found a lucrative circuit, performing in elegant weddings, creating cassettes on demand, and writing songs for their wealthy patrons. Today takamba has fallen out of popular fashion with the youth but continues to thrive in a small network of die-hard traditionalists.
Band leader Aghaly Ag Amoumine is one of the remaining renowned takamba musicians. Descended from a long line of praise singers, he spent decades traveling across the Sahel, performing in remote nomad camps and crowded West African capitals. His compositions continue to circulate today and have become part of the folk repertoire. His group Tallawit Timbouctou, based in the city of the same name, continues in the family tradition and has featured both his brother and nephew as accompanying members.
Recorded at home in Timbouctou, “Hali Diallo” is a relentless and non-stop recording, true to the form of takamba. Tracks blend seamlessly into one another, instruments are tuned mid-song, and Aghaly only pauses singing long enough for the occasional shout-out or dedication. Unfiltered and direct, as it's meant to be heard, Tallawit Timbouctou is a shining example of one of the last great takamba bands.”
Outstanding, mesmerising, modern takes on traditional Moroccan music, home-recorded at the feet of the Atlas Mountains with autotuned vocals, burbling drum machines, lush synths and cosmic, micro-tonal guitars
Giving us all the buzzes right now, Moulay Ahmed El Hassani’s ‘Atlas Electric’ is an edifying introduction to the singer-songwriter famous in his native Morocco for faithful yet modern spins on the country’s deeply rooted guitar traditions.
Urged by slinky rhythms and gilded with extra synths, the results are strung out with spellbinding spirals of effected guitar and autotuned vocals to charge the magic carpet of your mind for an unforgettable trip into scared geometries and enlightening psychedelia of a whole other calibre. Psych heads take note - this is how it’s done.
Essential purchase to fans of Sahel Sounds, followers of DJ/Ruptures global music travels, or Iraqi and Kurdish Chaabi styles.
FaltyDL kicks off Panorama Bar 07 | Part I with the appropriately titled “Paradox Garage Part 1 (With Your Love)”, blending US garage, breakbeats and chopped vocals.
"The alternative rhythms continue with Jinjé (of Vessels fame) slowly building machine-funk anthem “Big Skies”, while the B-side is reserved for Gen Ludd’s dreamy, shutter-opener “Bloods Avalanche”
It’s 35 years since the release of Daniel Johnston’s cassette recordings ‘Hi, How Are You’ and ‘Yip/Jump Music’. Now available for the first time ever as a combined double album (across three discs).
His fifth full-length album, released originally in 1983, Yip/Jump Music remains one of Daniel Johnston's most beloved albums. Much is made of Kurt Cobain's love for the record, and whenever you come across any promotional text, there's always some mention made of the Nirvana songwriter having named Yip/Jump music as his thirty-fifth favourite album of all time (similarly, you can't mention Hi, How Are You without acknowledgment of Cobain's T-shirt at the 1992 MTV Awards). The quality of Johnston's songwriting manages to cut through any such marketing hyperbole, just as it does the technical restrictions that meant the album was committed roughly to tape using unconventional instrumentation like a chord organ and the occasional ukulele. None of that matters because Johnston's lyrics and melodies are on top form, and the likes of 'Speeding Motorcycle', 'Casper The Friendly Ghost' and the wonderful, genuinely moving closing track 'I Remember Painfully' remain highlights of Johnston's discography. This may or may not be the thirty-fifth greatest album of all time, but certainly, it's eminently worthy of a place in anyone's record collection.
Hi, How Are You provides classics from the Johnston catalogue like 'Walking The Cow' and 'Hey Joe' while Continued Story yields slightly more hi-fi treats like 'Casper', the nervy new-wave of 'It's Over' and the ramshackle rock & roll of 'Ain't No Woman Gonna Make A George Jones Outta Me'. Much as with the Yip/Jump Music reissue, these recordings come from a time in Johnston's career when his creativity seemed to be at its freest, sounding relatively unburdened; there's as much joy here as there is heartbreak.
Not gonna lie, we’ve been obsessed with this record and its Shinro Ohtake’s drawn cover since 1992 when it was released. Alongside Pod, this is the best Breeders record and for us one of the finest EP’s of the 90’s.
It’s all there if you watch the video clip for ‘Safari’ - a gloriously lo-fi green screen travesty (oddly reminiscent of Prince’s Alphabet Street video) that captures the era and the genius of this band so well. Much like Pod, the material on Safari has aged so well; guitar, bass and drums stripped bare and augmented by Kim’s unique vocal style, complete with staggered breathing chorus on the title track, reaching an apex on ‘Don’t Call Home’ - at once anthemic and deadpan, so damn good.
The Lioness is the first Jason Molina project to fully turn away from the battlefield folk and deconstructed Americana of earlier Songs: Ohia recordings. At the dawn of the 21st century, the album felt modern. It aligned Molina with a new set of peers — Low, Gastr del Sol, Red House Painters and, most importantly, the influential Scottish band Arab Strap, whose producer and members were crucial in the creation of The Lioness.
"The avant- garde tones and arrangements of Arab Strap are absorbed here into Molina’s songwriting to create what would become, for many acolytes, the archetypal Songs: Ohia sound. Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions, the box set reissue, will serve as the seminal log of the era, complete with lost songs, photos, drawings, and essays from those who knew Molina best. We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different.
We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love — an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love. And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being.
These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn “Wondrous Love.” While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing/Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you."
Kevin Palmer unravels a suite of dusky, strolling groves and claggy, weathered electronics for 12th Isle’s 6th release, after gems from Ramzi, Cru Servers, Palta & Ti, and X.Y.R.
Spotted on a handful of strong underground labels such as Opal Tapes, No Corner, and Astro:Dynamics since the start of this decade, BAT has consistently brought a low key and economic yet distinctive style of hardware-derived music to the table, variously testing his chops in mutant configurations.
On ‘Enginetics & Plasmalterations’ we find his wandering vibes directed into some of his straightest-playing grooves. It starts up gingerly with the stumbling ephemera of ‘Vivi-Q Flight Path’, but finds it feet in slow, rolling structures that drift from soggy dub in ‘Orbitiara’ to the blunted, crackling jag of ‘Nick and Kev Set Controls for The waning Moon’ with Mr. Beatnik, and brilliantly shapeshifting into more asymmetric structures with the vaporous yet angular swang of ‘Unfathomed States’ and a pulsating abstract named ‘Extinct Song’.
The result is evidently BAT’s most rounded and smartly sequenced LP to date, if you ask us.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and mixed-media artist, Takehisa Kosugi has stood on the forefront of the Japanese avant-garde for over six decades. In the 1960s, he was part of Japan's first improvisational music collective, Group Ongaku, and contributed to Fluxus in New York. In 1969, he founded the influential, experimental ensemble The Taj Mahal Travellers, and in 1975 he would release his first solo album, Catch-Wave.
"Mano-Dharma '74" features improvised violin drones and voice with various oscillators, echo delays and layered tape experiments that the artist made in New York in 1967. While Kosugi's continuously changing spectrum of sound shifts gradually (almost imperceptibly), photocell synthesizers create ultra-low frequencies to disturb the crestless sound waves. The brighter the light is, the harsher the noise becomes.
Catch-Wave's second sidelong piece, "Wave Code #E-1," is a three-part performance for solo vocalist. As Kosugi describes in the liner notes (translated into English for this edition), the concept of onomatopoeia played an essential role in the type of sounds he generates with his voice, manipulated through customized electronic circuits and at times recalling Gregorian chant, throat singing and cosmic soundscapes."
Suara Semara yield a sublime new spin on traditional gamelan music. We’ll never tire of immersing in this music, and this one has only refreshed our palette no end. Highly recommended!
“This is the first professionally recorded non-reissue of Balinese gamelan to be pressed on vinyl in over 30 years.
Featuring hauntingly beautiful vocals sung in kidung style that float above the ensemble's adventurous but well grounded compositions, this album points to ritual associations while skillfully navigating new sonic and symbolic territory. As such, this album can be seen as representative of creativity that permeates the arts on Bali today.
This collection of new works for gamelan Saron Luang performed by Sanggar Alit Semara Dahana (est. 2013) of Desa Ubung Kaja emerges from one of the many junctures at which longstanding gamelan traditions meet new creativity. I Ketut Sujena skillfully navigates this crossroads by exploring new sonic and symbolic territory without abandoning performance styles recognizably derivative of the Saron Luang repertoire, which provide much of the foundation upon which subtle and more creative departures rest. The hauntingly beautiful vocals in kidung style composed by A.A. Ngurah Oka that float above these textures point to Saron Luang’s ritual associations, while choreographies by A.A. Ngurah Bagus Supartama that were inspired by ritual rejang dances point to the religious undertones permeating much creativity on Bali today.”
The debut album from Brazilian guitarist and composer Rodrigo Tavares.
"Maintaining a meditative mood across it’s nine instrumental pieces, Congo blends composition and improvisation with subtly experimental yet sophisticated arrangements that evoke the mood and rhythms of classic Brazilian artists such as João Gilberto, Dorival Caymmi, Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso. Rodrigo's work draws on elements of jazz, post rock, minimalist composition and disparate global sounds to create a deep listening experience that falls between genres and wilfully defies categorisation.
Congo is a lush soundworld that rewards exploration and will appeal to fans of music as diverse as Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society, Collocutor, BadBadNotGood, Slint or late Talk Talk, as much as it does to lovers of classic Brazilian music. Hive Mind Records are proud to be releasing Congo on vinyl in gatefold sleeve designed by Brazilian graphic artist, Andrea Gomes, and featuring the original painting of celebrated Brazilian artist, Cristiano Lenhardt."
Aussie producer Yaws fires a slew of playful, hot-wired and wonky dance music on Alien Jams
Constructed at home in Australia while dealing with UK Visa fuckries, the ‘New’ EP follows the lead of Yaws’ 12” for Purely Physical records with six tracks ripe for ruined nights on’ tiles.
The two faster joints naturally attract our attention, namely the rabid, whooping bang and parry of ‘WDB’ on a Rian Treanor-compatible flex, and the jukin’ acidic slug of ‘Hollow’, while the rest test out various jakbeat mutations, from the acid canter of ‘Burner’ to the stiff, recursive funk of ‘Reflekt, and a whipsmart percolator, ’Red Clock’.
Sames Waves is L'ALTRA's Lindsay Anderson and John Hughes of Hefty Records fame.
"Hughes first crossed paths with Anderson in 2002 when she recorded vocals for Telefon Tel Aviv's 12" single, "Sound In A Dark Room" which would appear on his Hefty Records imprint. Hefty went on to release work from her group L'Altra as well as additional collaborative vocal work with Telefon Tel Aviv and Hughes' own projects under his name and aliases such as Slicker.
Same Waves represents their first collaboration from the ground up. Anderson, a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist and Hughes, a producer and electronic musician, create a beautiful and strange hybrid of synthesized and organic elements on Algorithm of Desire. The album, equal parts pristine and weathered, lyrically and sonically explores themes of human connection, algorithmic technology, desire and artistic creation, all within the confines of a surrealist landscape. The album was recorded outside of Chicago at HFT Studio and includes several players from the Chicago jazz and improvisational scene, like Charles Rumback aka Colorlist, Macie Stewart (Ohmme), Bill MacKay, Nick Macri (Euphone), and Matt Ulery."
EOMAC tags in Demian Licht for the 3rd in a smart series of experimental collusions after 12”s with Paula Temple and Sean Carpio
On top with the cryptically mantled ‘VV Cephai’ they invoke tumultuous techno rhythms and stray, possessed voices in a buckling matrix of sagging, swampy subbass and spatialized percussion - like foot working aliens running amok on an abandoned space station - while the other side’s ‘Algol’ gyres and scuttles in polymetric hyperspace, eventually locking into a slow chugging Autonomic formation recalling styles on the new dBridge album.
This record encapsulates the life’s work of William Ferris — an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher with an unwavering commitment to establish and to expand the study of the American South.
"Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, William Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. This LP features blues and gospel field recordings made by William Ferris between 1966 and 1974. All tracks are available on vinyl for the very first time."
Utopian pop nous from Free Love, the Glaswegian pairing of Suzanne Rodden & Lewis Cook who were previously known as Happy Meals
Back on their Full Ashram label following Happy Meals’ ‘Apéro’  and 12”s for Optimo and Night School over the interim, the duo reprise a psychedelically enriched style of songwriting aimed at lounging dancefloors and pop romantic longing for a new fix.
Their 8 songs bubble with colour and breezy warmth, fanning out from the woozy charms of their Johnny Jewel-esque lead single ‘Playing As Punks’, to take in Night Jewel-alike balmy boogie in ‘Pushing Too Hard’, along with the classic synth-pop brim of ‘Et Encore’ in a way recalling Premiere Classe’ ‘Poupee Flash’, and wending on thru the Peaking Lights-like ‘Et Avant’, and proper Italo disco class in ’Tomorrow Could Be Heaven’ and ’Synchronicity’.
Very canny neo-soul steeped in vintage styles of Afrobeat, dub, calypso, broken beats
“Voiced by the band’s saxophonist Nick Richards, ‘Tell It To Me Slowly’ is an instant soul-jazz winner, with lyrics speaking about inner turmoil and a search for the truth. On the flip, ‘Sugar Cane’ features the unmistakeable vocals of Nubiya Brandon singing of harsh life lessons over an increasingly chaotic groove.
The tracks are taken from the band’s forthcoming album, ‘Jungle Run’ which effortlessly weaves together elements of jazz, soul, hip hop, African styles, Latin, dub, hip hop and electronics in a flow of thought-provoking and life-affirming music.
The single and album mark another important chapter for a band that has been consistently developing and evolving their sound since their formation in 2015 at Leeds College Of Music.”
Spiralling, psychoactive slow dance music from Ernesto González (Bear Bones, Lay Low) and Matthieu Levet (Pizza Noise Mafia). RIYL Vladimir Ivkovic, Tolouse Low Trax, Novo Line
“Matthieu Levet (Carrageenan / Pizza Noise Mafia) and Ernesto González (Bear Bones, Lay Low / Tav Exotic / Maitres Fous ...) are two musicians based in Brussels who have cut their teeth in the city’s freeform underground for well over a decade.
Having spent time at numerous shows and parties together, they solidified a friendship after a two week tour around Europe with fellow electronic explorer Accou in April 2017. It was shortly after this moment that the label Random Numbers approached the two with the initial intention of releasing a split cassette with music from their respective solo projects. Several exchanges later, the plan quickly changed into realizing a full-fledged collaboration between both musicians who, while having deep respect and interest for each other’s music since they first met, had never found the opportunity to create something together.
The result is the CARCASS IDENTITY EP: a combination of Levet’s raw and dub-infused electronics with González’s kosmische psychedelic touch. This is music meant for strange parties: the kind where dancing and laying down are equally accepted and encouraged, where there might be more silence than talking between participants, where small gestures and events reveal their transcendental meaning…”
Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the ‘founding fathers of goth’ tag that is always attached to them.
"Released in 1982, ‘Press The Eject And Give Me The Tape’ is a live album, compiled from shows across the UK from 1981 - 82. The album features a striking version of John Cale’s ‘Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores’, a particularly spooky run-through of ‘Hollow Hills’ that out-creeps the studio version on ‘Mask’ and the punk rock fuzz-out of ‘Dark Entries’. Of course, ‘Bela Lugosi Is Dead’ appears here as well, in a luxurious nine-and-a-half-minute version. Washed in feedback and ever-so subtly accelerating and decelerating, this song is the true centre of ‘Goth’ mythology."
Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the ‘founding fathers of goth’ tag that is always attached to them.
‘The Sky’s Gone Out’ is the band’s third album and was released in 1992 and mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes.
Temples of Jura roll out a synthy doozy with Fernando Pulichino’s cinematic debut as Filmico.
After releasing records for the past 10 years on modern disco labels including Bear Funk, Internasjonal and Gomma, Argentinian multi instrumentalist Flimico now commits to a classic late ‘70s/early ‘80s soundtrack style flush with warm analog synths owing much to the influence of Carpenter, Badalamenti and Johnny Jewel.
It's done with exacting amounts of emotive push and pull, coming riddled with evocative arps and bristling with bittersweet melodies that beckon eyes shut and a montage-like dream sequence to play out on the back of your ‘lids.
Berghain resident Norman Nodge stakes out four tuff and sexy jackers on his 2nd 12” for Ostgut Ton - his first solo 12” since 2011!
As big fans of his super dry but funky early 12”s with Marcel Dettmann Records, the return of lawyer-by-day, DJ/producer-by-night, Norman Noczinski is entirely welcome around these parts.
The opener ‘Tacit Knowing’ is a wicked piece of physics-defying club gear, knitting splintered breaks into a rugged jackers groove in a way we’ve hardly heard before, or quite like this at least, whilst ‘Discipline’ is exactly the kind of gear we’d expect to hear at Berghain at daft O’clock and off our chops - haughty, pounding, drilling techno that makes you dance 15% better.
Perhaps needless to say, we’re also smitten with the swingeing tribal percussion of ‘Gathering’, primed to turn the floor into a lather of limbs and hips, while ‘Embodiment’ lends a stroke of breezy dub techno class to his robust, shifty undertow, building to a proper Basic Channel-style head of steam.
"Sometimes electronic track titles give away a lot, sometimes less so. In the case of ‘loader mither’ they set you up for what you’re going to hear. In their easy humour and Northern slang they tell you that this is something very human, very immediate and rooted in rave/club culture too. But there’s also a poetry to them, whether it’s mysterious lyrically or directly emotive.
As complex melodies unwind and develop throughout, you can hear that rare sense of being allowed into someone’s inner life, following complex but very relatable emotional narratives, as they tangle around each other and emerge with fresh understanding and fresh ideas, drawing you back to this album again and again."
Cult scene-setter 1991 returns to the fray with four heavily worn-out bangers backed by a singed Rezzett remix
Patently a less-is-more kinda guy when it comes to the release schedule - after 3 releases in 2012, nowt until 2016, and now this - 1991 makes up for lost time with this knackered but energetic session for his No More Dreams label.
The OG 1991 tracks are all “up” in the mode of his ’Skogen, Flickan Och Flaskan’ 12”, as opposed to the airy drowse of his last No More Dreams outing or the gauze of his widely adored ‘High-Tech Low-Life’ and self-titled sides.
A-side brings three jacking drum machine workouts, each decayed to a mid-rangey nub of distorted recoil and splattered drums, yet able to juice a sweat from locked-in dances. On the B-side he follows suit with a shot of kinky NYC/Brum-techno swing, before Rezzett provides an EP highlight with the nimble, skippy Chicago flair of his cracking remix for the track, ’94’.
No wallowing here - just banging dance trax.
Shelley Parker churns up a strong mix of concrète and bass music styles in her ruffneck debut for Hessle Audio
Marking the final Hessle Audio 12” of 2018, Shelley synchs bare bones breaks with seismic subs and field recordings of Carnival and her work for choreography to serve a hyperrealistic sensation of London in flux.
From her construction site stepper ‘Red Cotton’, uncannily recalling Nomex & Scud’s ‘Piling Machine’ , thru the spectral convolutions and ricocheting echoes of Notting Hill Carnival laced into ‘Angel Oak’, and the clash of smooth pads and bagging textures in ‘Masonry Pier’, Shelley’s soundsphere is impressively unique and subtly suggestive, while the remix finds Ploy bringing the groove forward with patented percussive chops and fine-tuned dancefloor suss.
A proper piece of post-punk history: the studio session for Bauhaus’ classic ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ available on vinyl for the 1st time! Includes early version of the dancefloor evergreen plus a haul of previously unreleased aces
“The Bela Session is a full release of Bauhaus' first studio session from January 26 1979, where the iconic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" was recorded. This is the first and only official reissue of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" on vinyl, and the first time 3 of the 5 tracks have been released. This EP has been produced directly by the band with Leaving Records, in advance of the band's 40th anniversary.
Bauhaus are a four-piece from Northampton, England, composed of Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Daniel Ash (guitar), Kevin Haskins (drums), and David J (bass). Venerated and highly influential, the band emerged from the post-punk alternative music scene of the early 80s with a string of innovative albums and a powerfully dramatic live presentation. Their music embodies a minimalistic, disconsolate style of post-punk rock unlike any other.
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" was originally released by Small Wonder Records, 1979. "Harry" was originally released by Beggars Banquet, 1982. "Some Faces," "Bite My Hip," and "Boys (Original)" are previously unreleased.”
Parris pushes off on Idle Hands again with ‘Puro Rosaceaes’, a sublime follow-up to his ‘Burr’ 12”, loaded with devilishly good Gunnar Wendel a.k.a. KMOS remix.
Vibes for days and days on this one, catching London’s low-key lynchpin Parris at his very best with the air-stepping deep house shuffle of ‘Puro Rosaceaes’, and again on a lip-bitingly deep downstroke called ’Soft Touch’ that recalls Anthony Shakir’s ‘Mr. Shakir’s Beat Store’ classic.
Proving the perfect nominee for remix duties, Gunnar Wendel a.k.a. Kassem Mosse a.k.a. KMOS feathers ‘Puro Rosaceaes’ with frayed claps and laved chords insisting a slinky dip and parry from everyone within earshot when it’s playing.
London/Bristol’s Laksa leans back to Batu’s Tiemdance with pair of swaggering aces after recent turns for Ilian Tape and Whities
Ever more eazy in his own groove, he tramples into humid, sub-tropical tribal styles on ‘The Amala Trick’, sloshing his drums on a grittily fluid downstroke with heaving subs and bristling atmospheres gelled together by lush ambient pads for a hypnotic late night blues sound, Bristol style.
‘In The Middle’ is far more up for it, wielding swivelling drums and dank duppy stabs in a percolated sort of dark garage/tribal techno trouble.
In the glistening wake of his ‘Age Of’ album, 0PN despatches a highlight of his MYRIAD live show with the title cut of ‘Love in The Time of Lexapro’.
On that standout cut, the preeminent synthesist uses his FM programming nous to connote the putative feeling of synaptic smudge and truncated emotive cadence that comes with antidepressants - in this case one of the most commonly used in the USA. It’s a unique skill, to be able to so finely and perhaps accurately limn such sensations in sound, and inarguably one of 0PN’s most appealing, and perhaps uncanny traits. A big reason why his music appeals to so many.
The Ryuichi Sakamoto rework of ‘Last Known Image Of a Song’ is another highlight, taking the original somewhere colder, more isolated, for a stepper sense of reflective introspect, while ’Thank God I’m A Country Girl’ recalls EP7/LP5 era Æ, and ‘Babylon’ sounds like an Alexander Tucker offset.
The Golden Filter kick off their 4GN3S (Agnes) label with the tight ‘80s synth-pop of ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and corresponding remixes from Kaspar Bjørke & Colder, Cooper Saver, and Fantastic Twins
TGF’s Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman channel classic Alison Moyet and Vince Clarke and stacks of Italo disco aces in the original belter, whereas Bjørke and Colder dry off the more sentimental aspects for a rasping, swaggering EBM sound, Cooper Saver takes it to the darkroom with thrumming bass arps, and Julienne Dessagne brings the vocals back in for a frothier fantastic Twins remix.
Intriguing electronic studies in strange meter, greyscale tone, and elemental techno from Taiwanese artist Jing for Steve Bicknell’s 6dimensions
Make sure to check the psychoactive techno abstraction of ‘Videodrome’ and the bristling electro of ‘Malentonion’.
Lazer-guided electro precision from Djedjotronic, leaving his debut mark on Sheffield’s CPU
Following link-ups with DeFeKT, Douglas McCarthy and Miss Kittin for his regular home at Boysnoize Records, this away-day sees Djedjotronic skilfully navigate Detroit-style alleys of the mind between the Kraftwerk/Cyborton flex of ‘Cruising’ and the Heinrich Mueller-esque ‘Celular’ ace on the A-side, and then like some rogue Ultradyne creation in the cranky, hard-ass drive of ‘Tunnel’.
Martin Cummings AKA Northerner debuted in 2008 with ‘There’ll Be Other Holidays’ and ten years later returns to similar themes with his third album for Home Assembly ‘End Of The Holiday’. Influenced by travels to Catalan areas of Spain, the album finds Cummings at his most reflective and sonorous. The electronic ticks of his earlier ‘I Am On Your Side’ LP have been pared back somewhat but instead fit neatly in and around his expressive guitar playing.
"It’s hard to talk about a Northerner album without mentioning Vini Reilly. The shadow of the Durutti Column guitarist hangs softly over the eight pieces here. The opening track ‘Principi’ sets the tone with gliding atmospherics, exquisite arpeggios and understated beats, followed by the sweetly melancholic ‘Final D’Estiu’ which ups the tempo and beefs up the rhythms until ‘Dijous with it’s shuffling bossamba flow, cements the albums Balearic appeal. But there are other influences at play here too, something of Emeralds guitar whizz Mark McGuire can be heard in the intricate guitar embellishments and cavernous, brooding tension of ‘Nomes Jo’.
Elsewhere, the dusty bump of ‘Una Nocio’ conjures up hazy memories of early evening, poolside liveners and the widescreen ambience of ‘Arribant Al Final’ could be the soundtrack to an arid coastal drive. But before we start getting all a bit too holiday brochure, really ‘End Of The Holiday’ is an album for reflection, for change, an all instrumental ode to half remembered summers, a sound collage of a faded July postcard, it is a reminder of warmer climes, long summer days recollected fondly, as autumn slides into winter."
I Hate Models bares his teef on the backbreaking EBM techno of ‘Spreading Plague’
Perc serves a drier remix reduction, and I Hate Models sticks with the ceramic soundspshere for the cold, ricocheting dynamics of ‘Martial Order’.
Finnish electronauts Morphology play to the Firescope brief with a 4th album of crystal clear, emotionally driven and itchily funked up electro sci-fi. Helena Hauff is a big fan of Morphology, and you may be, too
“The in-demand Finnish duo Morphology joins FireScope Records for their 10-track ‘Traveller’ LP — a vision of travel to destination unknown. After having released two albums on Zyntax Motorcity and EPs on labels such as Central Processing Unit, Cultivated Electronics, Emotions Electric and Abstract Forms, Morphology’s third album continues their intensive deep-space exploration at the intersection of electronic/electro music and scientific discovery.
Awash in the beautiful sounds of hardware-derived music direct from Morphology’s command center, the album takes listeners into their skilfully crafted universe. Each track is a new world in itself of crisp
beats, deep basslines and melancholic melodies. Interspersing the frenetic pace of hyper-speed travel with ethereal landings, ‘Traveller’ is an intergalactic trip without taking off your headphones.
The radio static of ‘Distant Signal’ mysteriously invites you to tune into an otherworldly frequency. You select ‘Y’ and hit enter to get to ’Second Light’, its fluttering arp work and foreboding bassline taking travellers to the next higher dimension.
You land on the planet ’Farthest Regions’ with a touch of the Orient and misty atmosphere surrounds. A contemplative mood settles in before you take off again with ‘Hidden Variable’, its haunting sustained pads and adrenaline-fuelled beats signalling both thrill and danger. The ambient atmospherics ’Memory Fragments’ flings one lost into space for a brief interlude, before ‘Detached’ and ‘Pod Bay 8’ gears back in warp speed mode. The combined energetics of Intricate breakbeat
drum patterns, fierce basslines and spacey cold atmospherics deliver the album’s dancefloor apex.
‘Bipolar Nebula’ soars up to further stratospheric heights and a soft landing while the intelligent brain dance ’Kernel Method’ gives one to the head-nodders. The lingering final track ‘Deuteros’ algorithmically skips, taps and signs out on what has been an out of this world sonic adventure — from faraway lands to abstract spatial dimensions and beyond.”
Emotive lightning rod Brian Pyle a.k.a Ensemble Economique channels a range of feels - from electric anguish to elegiac lament - in a richly crepuscular suite dedicated to those who lost their lives in the tragic ghost ship fire in Oakland.
“The latest long-player of devotional noir by Humboldt County romantic Brian Pyle aka Ensemble Economique was originally titled Music Saves Lives, in response to the misguided backlash directed at underground artists in the wake of the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Since Pyle’s career threads through a decade and a half of Northern California’s independent experimental music community, the blow struck a uniquely deep and personal chord. As a way to process, he began recording at his coastal home studio in Manila, California, channeling inner states of mind, seeking something “more personal and intimate, the idea of love, and shining through.”
Radiate Through You delivers on its title, exuding a nuanced catharsis, alternately tempestuous and transcendent, forlorn but undefeated. Vaulted heavens of interwoven electronics ebb into hushed dirges of skeletal percussion and candlelit guitar. Roiling noise seethes, swells, and subsides as an ashen string arrangement rises in the mix, keening a somber, circular elegy, as if overtaken by memory on a long walk alone.
Two key guest appearances lend the album even more dynamism and drama: the first by Barcelona synthesist Alexander Molero on the questing, celestial opener, “Music Is Life,” the second by New Zealand psychic sisters Purple Pilgrims on the devastating finale, “Blue Hour.” Both showcase impressive shades of Pyle’s finesse as producer and muse, sparking his collaborators to new heights.
Whether taken as expressionist memorial, therapeutic song cycle, or something more ambiguous, Radiate Through You stands as a pensive, passionate statement by an enduring light of the West Coast canon, drawn from “a deep, special place of giant emotions, feelings.”
Fluxion meets minimalist Savvas Ysatis in their new duo, Soluce, for a fine session of dark, gruffly textured ambient and dub techno rollers
On the 7 tracks of ‘Birth’ they vacillate beatless and rhythmic structures, sometimes finding a unique space in the middle.
‘Open’ and ’Surface’ bookend the set with bleak, greyscale, textured ambient tones, while cuts like the Porter Ricks-esque ‘Regions’ and the muggy heave of ‘Center’ are rugged forms of dub techno. In the middle they plumb murkier midrange space with the silty current of ‘Birth’, and at best, in the sloshing electroid percussion and deeply submerged bass thrum of ‘Polymorphia’.
This is a compilation of tracks from The ON label which was active in South Africa between 1987-1992, an era following the end of the apartheid regime and defining the new sound of Young Black South Africa in the early 90s. TIP!
"The late 1980s in the rainbow nation was a time when disco was mutating into what was becoming known as Bubblegum: pop music aimed at the black population of South Africa. Bubblegum was a response to Western styles like disco and the fast spreading house music which originally came from the black ghettos of Chicago and New York. When the second Summer of Love took over the UK in 1988, first house, and other electronic music styles conquered South Africa as well. DIY - do it yourself - a motto that had already appeared in the punk movement, lifted the young local scene to the next level. With a minimal set up - keyboards, some drum machines and samplers it was suddenly possible to make music without having to rent expensive studios.
The Bees are probably the most sought after group, releasing only one album in 1988 and a handful singles that are now highly collectible.
Themba Wawelela is a prolific South African artist/producer who is best known as 'Little Big Man'.
Another star of the ON Record stable, Mafika Shabalala set himself apart from the rest with his lyrical skills, sung over the homegrown dance rhythms that soon gave rise to kwaito and later bubblegum.
Whoosha released an album called “Mosquito” in 1987, which was produced by Julian Laxton, Ronnie Robot and the late Charles Sejeng who was the voice of the group. Two tracks of that album are featured on this compilation. As the only female singer on this compilation Pamela Nkutha proves that her brand of bubblegum pop is never less than utterly fresh and original."
The minimalist mavens remerge for their 3rd collaborative album of spectral tape loops and electronics following 'Untitled' (2004) and 'Aurora Liminalis' (2013).
'Divertissement' arrives in the wake of Basinski's 'Cascade' & 'Deluge' LPs, and Chartier's latest Pinkcourtesyphone call, 'Three Themes', to plumb a sepulchral, metaphysical space existing between their respective projects.
We hear both artists' closely-related signatures - shortwave radio, tape loops, piano and electronics - filtered against and thru each other to form a slow miasma of plasmic bass texture and intangibly diffused chorales that seem to emanate from and drip down the walls, floor and ceiling in a ghostly film of microtonal drones and spiderweb tones.
The feeling of space is enchanting and as intoxicating as an ancient cathedral, lending a sense of archaeoacoustic exploration to its dimensions of buried samples and slow murmuring reverberations that really put us in our place - shut your eyes in headphones and you could be located in any number of sacred or arcane spaces, drifting from vaulted majesty to womb-like quiet and bunkered ambience, choppers flying overhead.
Carsten Nicolai concludes Alva Noto’s UNI-prefixed release cycle with UNIEQAV, the 3rd and most dancefloor-focussed instalment of the series. The follow-up to Unitxt  and Univrs  pairs pendulous minimal techno and electro rhythms with wide, sheer electronic drones in a way that strongly recalls recent Monolake output as well as Ilpo Väisänen in full swang. Comparisons aside, though, it’s unmistakably Alva Noto.
Pursuing the project’s roots in the dancefloor of Tokyo’s UNIT club to a satisfyingly logical endpoint, Nicolai rolls out 12 typically mercurial yet gripping sound designs defined by their fluid dynamics and seemingly fathomless dimensions intended to render the club or your head underwater, thanks to a still remarkable grasp of purified tonal minimalism/maximalism and studied sensitivity to proprioception.
The results are filigree yet robust, firmed up for deployment on the sickest sound system you can lay your hands on, but also highly pleasurable in a headphone or sofa-inclined context, keeping us rapt and twitching from the dubwise plong and looming pads of Uni Sub and the Robert Henke-esque pressure systems of Uni Mia.
The nervous skeleton of Uni Version flows into singular Alva Noto sounds in the jabbing pointillism of Uni Clip and the staggering scale of Uni Normal, with major highlights in the widescreen drama of Uni Blue, and footwork-like rapid movement join Uni Edit, while Anne-James Chaton’s vocal lend a sharp contrast in Uni Dna.
South African disco release. The title track ‘Dance’, written by Belgian composer Frank Degrijse, was released by Night Force and became a hit throughout Europe in 1980.
"In South Africa the song was released with permission at a slower tempo (the original 45rpm was ‘officially’ slowed down to 33rpm). Added to this are four tracks by Music Team’s in-house production team the Tom Cats - including dub reworkings of recent Afrosynth releases ‘Burnin Beat’ and ‘Searchin’, here released as ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Search For Love’ respectively. Synth-heavy oddities ‘You Are My Fire’ and ‘Shake Shake’ make up the rest of the tracklist."
The old adage “You don’t know what’s missing until it’s gone” applies to the return of Ekoplekz with ‘Library Tool Kit’ - Nick Edwards first significant release of new material since 2015’s ‘Entropik’ EP for Planet Mu
“ABOUT THE “LIBRARY TOOL KIT” SERIES: The new sub-label from WNCL Recordings features 12 short “tools” per release, for use on discotheque sound systems and home stereos alike.
ABOUT THIS RECORD: EKOPLEKZ contributes to the Library Tool Kit series with 12 unique transmissions, live and direct from his radiochronic workshop.”
A strangely haunting yet beautiful bouquet of nocturnal, electronic blooms ranging from poignant ambient vignettes to chamber-like pop, from Brooklyn’s Faten Kanaan - a gifted musical story-teller
“Foxes is the third full-length album from Brooklyn-based artist Faten Kanaan.
The title is symbolic: an homage to the wild, untamed/unedited spirit. It's an album of uninhibited expression, a balance between playfulness and nuanced intentionality. Foxes is loosely inspired by early Surrealist automatism, made-up languages, Middle-Eastern Hakawati storytellers, and the minimalist poignancy of mimes. Here, Kanaan uses sound as an intuitive gesture to tell a wordless story.
As the narrative unfolds, each composition becomes a distinct chapter: from the uneasy turbulence of Naufragium to the swelling crescendo and gear mechanics of time passing in Pendulum, the intimate pastoralism of Wildflowers, and the mischievous meanderings of the title track.”
Identified Patient and singer Hugo van Hejiningen join forces on this 4 track EP on Amsterdam's Artificial Dance.
"Earlier in the year, Red Light Radio co-founder Hugo van Hejiningen and Identified Patient joined forces to debut their new musical project, Stallion’s Stud. Artificial Dance is ready to release the first fruits of the duo’s studio collaboration.
The four-track EP digs deep into their shared love of electronics, post-punk era experimentation, DIY music culture and dubbed-out drum machine rhythms. The results are undeniably dark and intoxicating, with former punk singer Hugo fronting proceedings via mind-altering vocals and twisted lyrical flows.
Opener “Promising Promises” sets the tone for what follows, with Hugo’s spoken vocals wrapping themselves around ricocheting industrial dub rhythms and raw, delay-laden electronics. The delay trails to oblivion remain a force to be reckoned with on the creepy, fuzz-fuelled cold-wave doom of “Instrumental Aria”, while the throbbing and clanking “Unpredictable” and “Voice of No” ratchet up the intensity by several notches via end-of-days guitars, heavyweight bass and face-melting percussion."
Second releaase on Passat Continu comes from the depths of Texas. “Basso Continuo” span works from the privately pressed albums “In Human Terms” (1987) and “Texas Electric” (1989) and music released only on limited cassette pressings during the early nineties.
"Influenced by Cluster, Moondog, The Residents and Brian Eno, Charles Ditto created an intimate world of minimal pop tunes, abstract soundscapes and playful melodies wich remained in the vaults for several years."
First time on vinyl for a lost gem of the L.A. deep jazz underground, mostly recorded in 1985, with bonus side captured in 1979
“The saxophonist Jesse Sharps took over from Arthur Blythe as leader of Horace Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan People’s Arkestra. ‘He became the Ark leader…he was hardcore,’ the pianist recalls. ‘They’d all be quiet and listen to him when he talked.’
This was the period of such classic PAPA recordings as Flight 17, Live At IUCC and The Call; lit up by the funky, deep spirituality of Sharps compositions like Desert Fairy Princess, Macramé and Peyote Song II.
His own Sharps And Flats album was recorded in 1985 for Tom Albach’s legendary Nimbus West imprint, adding a stunning sixteen-minute bonus cut by the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, featuring Horace Tapscott, recorded in 1979.
A lost classic of the Los Angeles jazz underground, on wax at last!”
Originally released in 1998, this is the first official vinyl reissue of this classic from Current 93.
"Remastered by The Bricoleur, this album contains all the released versions of the album’s final track, “Chewing On Shadows”—the original album track, as well as the 2 different versions used on the expanded CD release of 2004.In a full-colour sleeve, reproducing the original paintings by David Tibet, and a 2-sided full-colour insert."
Debonaire disco-house funk from Modern Sun Records’ Marc Friedli a.k.a. Skymark
‘Facing the Funk’ comes in two mixes; the main mix with deeeep, earthy ‘80s boogie-soul vox, and an instrumental highlighting his fructified keyboard chops and percolated percussion.
Enigmatic masters of their artforms, Cortini and English meet at the apex of their powers in a breathtaking recording.
Operating at their most diaphanous, sky-scraping and apocalyptically glorious, the pair captivatingly match each other stroke for stroke in a spirit-engulfing study of coruscating harmony and saturation. The results speak to a mutual admiration for each other’s work, with each artist hailing the other’s ‘Sonno’ and ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ as important parts of their listening lives in 2014.
With this fundamental understanding and appreciation of each other’s singular approaches and practice in place, they most beautifully brogan the best out of each other in ‘Immediate Horizon’, subliminally traversing vast noumenal, psychoacoustic terrain from fathomless spatial coordinates and elusive textures, to lilting spectral melody and sore choral cadence by the piece’s close.
We can only imagine that, within the gargantuan bowels of Berlin’s Kraftwerk space, the premiere of ‘Immediate Horizon’ must have been quite incredible, especially in the way that they use density within negative space, and their skill in transitioning from pulsating cosmic ferocity to moments of stark, life-affirming beauty.