As a followup to 2017’s acclaimed Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs, Seattle based trumpeter Cuong Vu joins forces once again with guitar great Bill Frisell, bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Ted Poor on the boundary - pushing quartet outing for RareNoise Records, Change in the Air.
"With all the members of the quartet contributing compositions, this one finds the four participants on equal footing on ten adventurous originals. From Poor’s dreamy, noirish opener “All That’s Left of Me Is You” and his lonesome echo laden waltz “Alive” to Bergman’s dynamic “Must Concentrate,” Frisell’s delicate “Look, Listen” and his beguiling heartland melody “Long Ago” and Vu’s angular “Round and Round” and his edgy and electrified “March of the Owl and the Bat,” these four stellar musicians are truly on one accord and dealing with a rare level of nuance and depth of communication."
Omar S brings the weekend vibes on ‘One of A Kind’, the Detroit don’s 5th 12” of 2018
Up top he locks in a nagging garage swang with gritty drums and burning organ riff on ‘Less Pain’, then slips left into woozy Detroit disco with the delayed drums and and optimistic chords of ‘Untitled’, but the big one you’re all looking for is on the B-side, a killer riff on early ‘90s garage colourfully feathered with trancing top line and titled ‘One Of A Kind’. Nobody’s arguing, like.
“You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?” - Thelonious Monk
"Hot on the heels of Impulse’s recent unearthed Coltrane Number One hit album comes another beauty from jazz’s ‘holy trinity’. This is a previously unreleased, precious lost treasure from Monk’s most critically acclaimed line-up; Charlie Rouse on saxophone, John Ore on double bass and Frankie Dunlop on drums.
Known as the ‘High Priest of Bebop’. Without a widely agreed must-have Monk release, could this fill the void as
the Monk everyone should own? Recorded live in Copenhagen in 1963 at the peak of Monk’s career. A year later he was to feature on the cover of TIME Magazine, one of only for four jazz artists ever to do so."
Over the course of the last two decades, Detroit-based duo ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) have released six albums and nineteen EPs and singles across some of our favorite labels: Mute, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Clone Records, Third Man Records, and their own label, the revered Ersatz Audio. November 1998 marked their first release: the five-song 12" “Dispassionate Furniture”. This September, twenty years later, Dais Records is proud to announce ADULT.’s seventh full length album: THIS BEHAVIOR.
"The album began as 23 demos written and recorded in a remote cabin in the woods of Northern Michigan during the dead of winter. In total isolation, and with a reduced amount of gear (a modified version of their live setup) on the cabin’s kitchen table, the duo were completely immersed in an incessant inescapable studio of their own making – looping, repetitive analogue sequences grinding away day and night. At the end of the intense demo session, a handful of peers were enlisted by the band for the difficult task of paring down the demos into the final album.
The result is 10 tracks of uncompromising dark electronics, showcasing ADULT.’s return to aggressive and energetic dancefloor mastery. Album opener, This Behavior, alongside the follow-up, Violent Shakes, (which ascends into synths wailing like warning sirens over Kuperus’s commanding vocals) set the stage for an on-edge listen, while the heartbreaking “Silent Exchange” unfolds as a beautiful sad synth dirge. Perversions of Humankind breaks the mood – driving the listener into a slow and low groove before the frantic album midpoint of Irregular Pleasure. Does The Body Know? is the album’s post-punk anthem, with irresistible singalong “we’re out of order – we’re undefined!” The latter half of the album drives forward with “On The Edge (You Put Me…)” and “Lick Out The Content”, refusing rest and demanding movement and response. Everything & Nothing emerges slowly from sparkling synth textures, snowballing with nervous energy into an acid techno stomper before the album comes to a close on the icy landscape of In All The Debris, a goose-bump inducing slow electronic mantra that closes the curtain on a massive album."
Western Vinyl present Brocker Wey’s original score to Netflix documentary series ‘Wild Wild Country’ - the story, which you simply couldn’t make up, about a controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his assistants, and their followers in Wasco County, Oregon in the 1980s
While there’s nothing particularly outstanding about the soundtrack, it simply did its job accompanying the images without distracting from them, there are some stronger moments to be found inside on the electronic work Be Grateful for This Beautiful Home, and the grandiose symphonic swells of The Burning Ghats, with its epic piano flourishes.
RIYL Osho, brainwashing, Sainsbury's vinyl section, vinyl frames.
Mika Vainio measures out one of his finest releases to date, bar none, in the staggering 'Kilo' for Blast First Petite.
With a barely tamed sense of aggression, it more or less finds the perfect crux point between our office favourite, the beats-driven 'Oleva' (2008) under his Ø alias, and the granite hewn and bloodied metal excursion, 'Life (…It Eats You Up)' (2011), shaping ten tracks of a vivid and viscerally affective aesthetic whose themes of mass, dynamic and tone are succinctly reflected in context of his shipping-themed track titles, and surely implied by its frighteningly physical presence. It feels very much like one man taking control of his daemons, strengthening his whip hand and honing his ability to deliver deadly force where it matters, making every pause between the beats count with breathtaking efficiency.
Each ductile synth snarl, thunder-strike riff and bouldering drum occurs with space docking precision. From the midnight drop of 'Cargo', his 'Cranes' and 'Load' toil pendulous beats big as a troll's clackers, and 'Docks' places us out in the cold, waiting for the fog horn synth to deliver payload. 'Sub Atlantic' is the incredibly scary centrepiece, imagining the paranoia of listing in the hull of a sinking vessel far from shore, and 'Rust' is maybe the resultant decay manifested as pure power electronics.
For sonic thrills, the lungful oscillator decompressions and pensile Bonham bosh of 'Wreck' make for grave highlights, whilst the slow, purposeful navigation of 'Freight' and the beatless, brobdingnagian mass of 'Weight' appropriately evoke imagery of supertankers carving down narrow, manmade canals and gauging docking depths in the midst of man-eating storms.
The nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983.
"The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince’s creative process as he worked through songs which include “17 Days” and “Purple Rain” (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”, “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on his critically acclaimed Sign O’ The Times album), and “International Lover”."
Brilliant, prickly meeting between The Raincoats’ Ana Da Silva and enigmatic Japanese vocalist Phew, who pursue a tempestuous mix of avant-garde vocals and variegated electronic backdrops, from post-punk rhythmic noise to lysergic, outernational ambience.
“A bracing odyssey in industrial noise, Island is full of absorbing textures, tactile beats, and a masterfully dynamic compositional style. Each cavernous track feels like a conversation, and out of the ominous dark comes a generative hope. Ana and Phew contribute pointillist bits of spoken word in each other’s native tongues of Portuguese and Japanese, reflecting on isolation, friendship, and nature. The quotidian is made profound.
A gripping mood is set by the shared stoicism and subtle playfulness of these two cult punk icons. Each song was collectively composed by both Ana and Phew, who exchanged files via email. At times, Island evokes the sinister throb of Phew’s recent Light Sleep album (which in turn recalls Suicide). Island’s logic is one of wise minimalism. There is a feeling of discovery that will be familiar to Raincoats fans—a sense of poetry and inquisitiveness, of intuition and invention, of new languages taking shape // Ana da Silva is a founding member and songwriter of the pioneering post-punk band The Raincoats.
Across four daring full-length records, The Raincoats helped shape the timeless notion that punk is what you make it to be an act of raw expression, not any one sound. The Raincoats have offered creative and spiritual inspiration for several generations of artists, cited as a formative influence by Kurt Cobain, Carrie Brownstein, Bikini Kill, and Sex Pistols’ John Lydon. They set a crucial precedent for feminist work within a DIY punk context, marked all the while by Ana’s poetic lyrical style and innovative noise guitar playing.”
Divine gospel modern soul boogie LP written, composed and produced by Jeffrey Roberson, first released in 1982 on Black Diamond Records.
"Every once in a while, an exceptional talent impacts the gospel industry and leaves an incredible impression. The anointed and Grammy nominated Jeff Roberson is one of the those rapidly expanding gospel artist who have done just that.
Jeff Roberson was born and raised in Long Island, New York, the son of Pentecostal parents who had a compelling love for music. Actually, he is endowed by God with a melodic intrinsic distinctive rooted and grounded in the splendid tradition of the church. His keen interest and focus in music was so intense that his parents encouraged him by purchasing a piano. During his teenage years, he was significantly blessed to be tutored by the late Rev. Timothy Wright, and the late Professor Benny Cummings and the Kings Temple Choir. It was during this season of his life that he continuously developed his skills as a keyboardist and songwriter.
Not only is he a skillful world-class vocalist, his talents transcend various creative art forms such as a skillful musician, innovative producer, accomplished pianist and organist. He simultaneously projects his uncompromising vocal talents and musical gifts to an unprecedented level of artistic achievement. Simply stated he excels in the excellent - (Excerpt taken from Jeff Roberson’s biography).
“Ever since I can remember, music has been to me, as a mother is to her child. Just as the sun enhances daylight, music is my life throb. Music puts life and joy in that sacred dimension. It fills the void of darkness and brings with it New Life.”
Swans’ Norman Westberg and former bassist Algis Kizys meet Lynn Wright (Bee and Flower) under the enigmatic mantle of This Is Where for a psychedelic excursion between textured lysergic ambience and sky-clawing avant-rock eruptions
“This Is Where is the collaborative project of Algis Kizys, Norman Westberg and Lynn Wright. Having previously released a limited edition cassette tape in 2016 under the name of ALN, their self-titled album for Hallow Ground is to be considered the three-piece’s definite studio debut as This Is Where.
Recorded and mixed by Kizys, »This Is Where« delves even deeper into the psychedelic and at times cosmic drone sound previously to be heard in the New York City-based trio’s live recordings. As a logical next step after what the Swans guitarist Westberg has presented on recent solo albums like »The All Most Quiet« for Hallow Ground, it integrates three distinct musical visions into a whirling ocean of sound.
This Is Where's sound is neither dominated by the thundering brutalism of Swans - where also Kizys took over bass duties for a while - nor the gloomy Doom Pop of Wright’s Bee and Flower. Instead Kizys, Westberg and Wright use delay, reverb and effects to weave a pulsating web of sonic textures, moving effortlessly from dark depths to almost jubilant high notes. With Kizy’s roaring bass guitar as a sonic backdrop, Westberg and Wright give rise to a musical dialogue marked by density and tension.
Over the course of 40 minutes, This Is Where create a mesmerising musical experience, divided into four discrete movements. »This Is Where« is a blissful journey through space, time and most of all a yet unheard-of approach to guitar-driven Drone and Ambient music.”
Finally, a vinyl version of Susumu Yokota’s ‘Acid Mt. Fuji’ , the 2nd album of ambient-acid-techno by the Japanese legend who sadly passed away in 2015
Delivered via Germany’s Midgar, Acid Mt. Fuji arrives on vinyl at a high point of interest surrounding Yokota's work, and especially these early recordings that were made some years before he went on to pen ambient classics such as The Boy And The Tree.
While patently acid techno in form and style, on Acid Mt. Fuji it’s easy to hear the more tender, esoteric elements which would later come into sharper focus, but the original tracks completely stand on their own merits, too, with some big highlights for anyone scoping ‘90s Japanese house and techno in parallel to its ‘80s synth-pop and ambient nexus, especially in the likes of his ruggedly pendulous yet delicate Tanuki, or the slow acid churn of Oponchi and Akafuji.
Beautifully by-passing our expectations, performance artist/musician Pan Daijing’s first major work Lack yields a spellbinding demonstration, or “purgative finale”, to her improvised live performances over the past two years; offering a far more nuanced and probing suite of electronic gestures than her gnarled handful of slamming, salty tapes and 12”s for Bedouin Records, Power Vacuum or Noisekölln Tapes since 2015.
Extracted and edited from field recordings and live documentation of her concerts made in Europe, China, and Canada, Daijing aptly describes the album as “an opera piece”, from the soaring soprano and flustered strings of Phenomenon thru the convulsive industrial throb of Act of The Empress, to the possessed folk energies condensed in The Nerve Eater and the closing trance induction of Lucid Morto with an effect recalling something like Diamond Galas conducting a court ritual with Black Mecha and Jani Christou.
Daijing’s process is multi-disciplinary, featuring improvised sound and movement that feed off one another in a painstaking mental and physical practice that draws energy from the moment. The reduction and selection of the recordings which make up the album felt “more like a psychoanalytical process” explains Daijing, feeling like “this absurd, mad person ‘acting’ out the sounds… All things naturally came out of me”, and in the edit she effectively detaches and controls the listener’s gaze, offering what could be viewed as an almost voyeuristic document of those intimate, private energies.
More classic Herbert from the vaults, returning his ‘Part Four’  12” into dancefloor circulation
Possibly one of the grittiest, deepest Herbert sessions in his 20 odd years of releases, ‘Part Four’ gets down with a slow, thumping heft in the desiccated, dub-wise 105bpm recoil of ‘Pen’, while the clipped breakbeat syllables of ‘Pump’ bridges kinky US garage with UK-style rudeness and Euro minimalism.
Meanwhile ’Take Me Back’ pushes the tempo and the funk for a ruffer, skudgy swang that paves the way for so much mutant fidget house to come, and ‘Resident’ brings the jack with a deep, prancing, and playfully campy soul.
Death Waltz Recording Co. revisit what's widely considered to be one of the best horror movies of the ‘80s.
"The film is unique not only due to it lacking Michael Myers (save for a brief appearance on a TV screen) but also for its score. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth completely jettisoned their previous work and deliver nothing short of an electronic masterpiece. The lead track 'Chariots Of Pumpkins' is an epic 4/4 beat-driven synth-banger that has regularly been played by DJs over the last 10 years. The rest of the score features lush pads, Linn drums aplenty and veers from beautiful blissed-out ambient drones to sinister stinger-driven mood pieces. Absolutely outstanding stuff."
30th Anniversary Edition of Pixies’ debut releases, ‘Come On Pilgrim’ and ‘Surfer Rosa’, also includes bonus 1986 Radio Concert ‘Live From The Fallout Shelter’.
"It’s been thirty years since the release of ‘Surfer Rosa’ – a record made up of rage, religion, gore, incest and superheroes named Tony – a debut album so good that it’s now seen as a masterpiece. A year prior came ‘Come On Pilgrim’, an eight-track mini-album released in 1987 which contained cuts culled from their first ever studio session, where they famously recorded seventeen tracks in just three days.
These formative records showed the Pixies to be an alien breed; four oddball outsiders from Boston blending US underground thrash rock, indie surf pop and Spanish-language flamenco with the Biblical mythology of Frances’s childhood. They would go on to record another masterpiece in 1989’s ‘Doolittle’ but it’s the gruesome glory of ‘Surfer Rosa’, and the ruined sexuality of its cover image (a topless flamenco dancer in a crumbling Mexican bar) that set a fresh blueprint for an indie rock dynamism that not only planted the seeds of grunge (Kurt Cobain would admit that he was trying to imitate the record while writing ‘Nevermind’) but of much of the best rock music made since.
To celebrate this milestone, Pixies are playing five sold-out intimate shows at London’s Roundhouse starting this October and preceding them is the release of ‘Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa’, the thirtieth anniversary nedition which contains ‘Come On Pilgrim’, ‘Surfer Rosa’ and ‘Live From The Fallout Shelter’, a concert-cum-session that first aired in late-1986 on WJUL in Lowell, MA. Vaughan Oliver returns as designer – as with all other Pixies sleeves - to stunningly reinterpret his original artwork thirty years on, delivering a fresh take while retaining Simon Larbalestier’s iconic photographs as the centrepiece of his design."
R.I.Y.L. Tom Tom Club, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Tune-Yards, Sylvan Esso.
"On Moon 2 Ava Luna's de facto band leader Carlos Hernandez steps back, leaving space for the rest of the band members to step up and step into roles they hadn't occupied on previous albums. Felicia Douglass (now a touring member of Dirty Projectors) worked with percussion and sampler, Julian Fader experimented with synths, nearly every band member ran the computer during recording sessions, and Becca Kauffman (aka performance artist Jennifer Vanilla) composed her first song for the group "On Its Side the Fallen Fire," a deeply layered orchestral piece of Kate Bush grandeur meets Julia Holter reverie.
Compared with previous Ava Luna albums, Moon 2 has fewer sharp turns into dissonance, fewer celebratory guitar parts, none of Hernandez's signature screams. Nevertheless, the infectious buoyancy of "Deli Run" and "Walking With an Enemy," are warm and bright, and songs like "Centerline" and "Phoebe (Set it Off)" venture confidently into pop territory. The title track, paint ing the elation and tumult of a crush, is set against a swaggering reggae bassline and warbling Kraftwerk synths. "It's like, every sci-fi movie has a nightclub," says Kauffman. "These are the songs in that nightclub."……"
Canny split between veteran mechanical soundsmiths Pierre Bastien & Cabo San Roque on one side, and the none-more-enigmatic Breadwoman improvising with soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover and Dave Tucker on guitar.
“First Terrace deliver another instalment of their split series, following on from the meditative trip supplied by Chihei Hatakeyama and Vida Vojic on FTS002 & the blissful first edition from K. Leimer & Like A Villain.
On the ‘line’ side of FTS003 we hear the meeting of three veteran improvisors - Anna Homler (Breadwoman/Pharmacia Poetica), Adrian Northover (Remote Viewers) and Dave Tucker (The Fall). Born from the fertile creative friction of the London Improvisers Orchestra, they incantate together to deliver a clutch of winding, curious, mesmeric compositions.
On the ‘circle’ side we present a recording from Pierre Bastien - an artist of startling singularity and endless, joyful creativity. Recorded at Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona with Catalonian group Cabo San Roque, Pierre takes the helm of their monumental mechanical sound sculpture - the Orquestra Mecànica de la França Xica - and guides the vast array of cogs and pistons through three movements. The orchestra was made up of thirty or forty machines, all linked to Pierre’s casio keyboard.”
The Perennial Series is a new division of Lapsus Records and is dedicated to works from established artists in the universe of contemporary electronic music. The first release in this new series comes from Kettel.
"The well-established producer based in Groningen (Holland) has been releasing music for nearly two decades on respected labels including Planet Mu and Clone. In 2008 he released the spectacular "Myam James Part I" on Sending Orbs, the record label he has consistently worked with since its inception. The album -which left electronica "headz" speechless- is, in our humble opinion, a masterpiece replete with acid, electro breaks and the purest braindance style."
Peder Mannerfelt and Malcom Pardon’s Roll The Dice square off at Atonal in a live recording flipping from a mutated version of the Teddy Bears Picnic thru to cutthroat jungle and sky-collapsing power ambience
This record presents the most thrilling iteration of Roll The Dice that we’ve encountered. Where their LPs have tended toward hypnotic immersion, here they balance that effect with proper shockouts and power surge electronics that lend it to a more deviant and unpredictable experience.
In four carefully selected passages from the original performance, Mannerfelt and Pardon play into warped paradigms, firstly taking ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ to a Viking free party in the woods on ‘Intro / The Derailed’, then executing a rude transition from stark abstraction to full flex jungle in ‘Inward Spiral’, whereas ‘Potters Field’ highlights their skill in churning up epically tempered noise scales, and the parting piece of ‘Locked Hands’ sees them coagulate from suspenseful abstraction into heart-racing industrial techno.
Gaika presents his debut album, Basic Volume, after a blistering pair of self-released mixtapes 'Machine' and 'Security' and Warp-released EPs 'SPAGHETTO' and 'The Spectacular Empire'.
"The 15 track collection is co-produced by Gaika, with additional production from similarly forward thinking contemporaries, including SOPHIE, Dutch E Germ, Dre Skull and DADRAS, Aart as well as previous collaborators including Jam City, Nick Leon and Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Endless collaborator Buddy Ross.
Named after his late father’s technology company. Speaking about the album, Gaika says, “BASIC VOLUME is collection of alchemical parables for all the Immigrants who wander the earth in search of themselves”."
Róisín Murphy meets Maurice Fulton for the 3rd of four singles to emerge throughout summer 2018
On Jacuzzi Rollercoaster Róisín sounds like a curious mix of Kate Bush and Jacko, filtering from whispers to reverb-vaulted phrases in a slippery slice of midsummer disco greaze.
With Can’t Hang On they hinge around a deeper house sound percolated with squirmy acid, keyboard and dancing hi-hats, with Róisín coming on much cooler, breezier.
Tony Allen and Jeff Mills deliver a masterfully rhythmelodic salvo, joined by Jean Phi Dary on keys in four inimitable demos of drums vs drum machines
‘Tomorrow Comes The Harvest’ is everything we could have hoped for, to a T. Fela Kuti’s legendary drummer Tony Allen synchs in restless formation with Mills’ percolated, live TR-909 programming, while Allen’s bandmate from Psyco On Da Bus, Jean Phi Dary gels them together with expansive kosmiche synthlines and floating organ chords.
They start out funky, in-the-pocket with Allen and Mills in duo, pushed by Dary on ‘Locked and Loaded’, before they ease off into super loose cosmic Afro-dub-jazz in ‘Altitudes’, saving a darker sting in the tail for the closing strokes. Flipside, they keep it up and out there with splashing acid lines and soulful vamps on the teetering drums of ‘On The Run’, then stretch out with the strutting funk of ‘The Seed’.
Subs-heavy, slinky house and techno from Ahu on the 2nd Dichotomy release
Up top Ahu follows their 2017 debut album ‘Nord Dream’ with the rolling, eyes-shut, minimalist depth of ‘Skyway’, while the B-side presents the slinky percolations of ‘M-Pale’ in a way recalling classic Morphosis and Ra.H, and ‘Searching’ returns to harbour in the dawning hours with a gently pendulous bobble.
Powerful dub 1-2 from Portland, Oregon’s Alter Echo & E3 and Bristol’s Ishan Sound & Rider Shafique
Rider Shafique’s robotic vocal provides the freaky, captivating cornerstone of both sides, firstly squashed into the heaving dread momentum of Alter Echo & E3’s ‘Ah Mi Guide’, then revealed in more spacious setting on the trampling Egoless remix, which lightens up by a few tonnes thanks to a mystic melodica lead.
Perfectly moody new wave regressions from Pascal Pinkert’s De Ambassade, boomeranging back around on blue vinyl for 2018 with its 2nd vinyl pressing
The A-side’s title cut is a groggily measured shot of Dutch language vocals penned by Miriam Bruijning with Pinkert, and sung by Pinkert to his own arrangement of jangling new wave pop guitars and nippy drum machine crack.
The B-side is even better. On ‘Geen Genade’ Pinkert’s vocals mostly take a back seat to the synths and drums, which drive like a sleek European machine down long, straight, clean roads with solid drum pulse and expressive synth strokes making it come off like a Dutch-speaking John Foxx piece.
Super strong 2nd LP on Nouvelle Ambiance, a new reissue label for African music and the diaspora managed by Sofrito’s Hugo Mendez, here focussing on the way Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Abidjan, and Douala musically informed Paris during the ‘80s. Eminently danceable and packed with never-before-reissued Rumba, Soukous, Boogie, Bikutsi. Don’t sleep!
“In the early 80s a perfect storm of social, technological, political and cultural developments brought about a unique music scene centred around Paris, away from the major labels and pop charts. Musicians, ideas and styles flew between the small independent studios and labels of the French capital and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean, experimenting with new technology and drawing in a dizzying array of influences to soundtrack clubs, bars and radio stations.
Release comes with 28 page magazine format booklet featuring previsouly unpublished photos from the archives of photographer Bill Akwa Bétotè as well as interviews with producers Cyriaque Bassoka and Rigo Makengo, musicians Michel Alibo, Denis Hekimian & John Jongos and Studio Caroline owner Jacky Reggan.”
Maintaining the diverse pressure of his 12” for Livity Sound and Hidden Hawaii, Forest Drive West focuses on deep, minimal and powerful strains of dub techno for London’s Neighbourhood label
We direct you straight to the floating hydrolicks of ‘Reshape’ for the EP’s standout, then to a fine stripe of Mike Vainio/Ø or Sleeparchive-esque bleep minimalism in ‘Functional’, while the the A-side’s ‘Un’ and ‘Wait’ recall a vintage, boomy dub techno style prevalent at Berghain ten years ago.
‘FRKWYS Vol. 14 - Nue’ is a brilliant and uniquely beguiling study in non-standard tunings by Tashi Wada and his father, Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada, including input from Julia Holter, Simone Forti, Cole MGN, and Corey Fogel
Collaborating properly for the first time, Tashi and his father effectively serve an extension of the ideas in Yoshi’s classic side, ‘Earth Horns With Electronic Drones’. While we haven’t got an instrument list to hand, we can detect them using electronic synthesis, along with bagpipes, percussion, and vocals arranged at varying angles, smartly blurring their electro-acoustic distinctions at times, and at others using them quite explicitly in what may be perceived as richly dissonant tonal clashes.
In a very special way, the album is coolly tempered but riddled with wild unpredictability from song to song, starting out with the wilting electronic oscillations of ‘Aubade’, to scale the swelling bank of electronics and plangent bagpipes in the preceding single ‘Ground’, before massing in keening vocal harmony against a bed of electronics in ‘Ondine’.
The bagpipes return in a different way on ‘Double Body’, curled in almost jazzy ellipses around Corey Fogel’s slow, reverberating percussionin wonderfully unexpected ways, whereas the chiming percussive tingles of ‘Bottom Of The Sky’ recall stately Japanese Gagaku, and the pipes make another welcome return in close duet with the electronics on their self-explanatory and frankly fucking beautiful ‘Fanfare’.
For our money this is the strongest, spellbinding FRKWYS volume in its 10 year run - one of those records that restores faith, where needed, in the mysterious, inexplicable power of far out experimental music.
Seven is the magic number. Indeed, not only do psychologists theorise that the human brain can only memorise a sequence of this length, but Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - the Newcastle-based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years - have made a second album in King Of Cowards which does its damnedest to take consciousness to its very limits.
"Moreover, another notable seven is dealt with here - that of the deadly sins. As vocalist and synth player Matt Baty notes “For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression. When can guilt be converted into positive action? After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s my fire and brimstone Catholic upbringing coming into play there!” Building on the momentum this band has built since their January 2017 debut Feed The Rats, this opus sees them entering a new phase as a sleeker and still more dangerous swineherd.
The Iggy-esque drive to dementia, Sabbath-esque squalor and Motörhead-style dirt may still be present and correct, yet the songs are leaner, the long-drawn-out riff-fests sharpened into addictive hammerblows and the nihilistic dirges of yore alchemically transformed into an uplifting and inviting barrage of hedonistic abandon. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” So George Orwell noted at the end of a certain slim volume. King Of Cowards is nothing less than just such a metamorphosis, one in which - in a blur of primal urges and beastly physicality - this band shows us just which animals are really in charge of the farm."
Chromatic conjurer Tim Hecker meets traditional Japanese Gagaku musicians from the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble on ‘Konoyo’, a dreamlike dramaturgy of noise, dissonance and aching melody recorded during several trips to Japan
The Canadian’s 9th solo release ‘Konoyo’, like its predecessor, ‘Love Streams’  also finds Hecker drawn to acoustic instruments and collaboration with a larger ensemble or collective, this time working with the Tokyo Gakuso ensemble after commanding an Icelandic choir on his previous album. However, the results here have a different purpose, swapping out ecstatic density for an intently refined and spacious approach, allowing his processed sources to ring out beautifully un/true in a sort of parallel dimensional harmonic spectrum.
In ‘Konoyo’ Tim Hecker effectively establishes a whole new set and lighting design to stage his patented play of paradoxes - lone/collective; organic/synthesised; consonant/dissonant - with the synaesthetically heightened skill of director, set designer and conductor rolled into one. The results are thus among his most subtly yet richly theatrical or cinematic, riddled with romantic, if abstract, narrative and a yearning pathos, and effectively collapsing myriad traditions - electronic, acoustic, Western, Eastern, classical and new age - into a spellbindingly sonorous, mercurial triumph.
Produced by Helge Sten (Deathprod), ’14’ is the latest blinder from his avant-jazz-supergroup with Arve Henriksen and Ståle Storløkken, a.k.a. Norway’s Supersilent...
Arriving more than 20 years since the trio’s debut, ’14’ finds their improvisational formula of trumpet, voice, keys and electronics generating some of the most phantasmic sound images imaginable.
At only 33 minutes wide, ’14’ is also one the shortest Supersilent albums in memory, revolving around 12 succinct pieces ranging in length from 1 minute to nearly 6, and tiled like an abstract, tessellating mosaic of ideas, rent in 3D by Sten’s bespoke Audiovirus system of analog oscillators and vintage tape machines.
Incredible,evocative and fuucked up music for late nights and isolation - a huge recommendation.
Emergent sound artist Klara Lewis and inspirational English polymath Simon Fisher Turner fathom glorious, unpredictable and immersive compositions on ‘Care’, their collaborative debut for Editions Mego.
Embracing dualities and paradoxes of nature and technology, gender and age, aggression and fragility, the pair bring the best out of each in four expansive parts, where Fisher Turner brings over 40 years experience between pop, post-punk and the avant-garde to Klara Lewis’ fine-tuned ear for field recordings and her diaphanous production palette.
In the opening ‘8’ they establish wonderfully open parameters to their joint sound with radiant atmospheres and roiling drones ruptured by convulsive glitch, as if literally ripping between their two imaginations, before they gel around a mutual point in the mid-distance with Terre Thaemlitz-like keys and see-sawing rustic strings implying medieval melodies amid the multi timbral spatial dimensions and low end threats of ‘Drone’.
‘Tank’ then ventures into into the Middle East with the buzz of kids singing soon enough cut short by politically timed ballistics, leaving listens reeling in a fizzing mid-air streaked by stressed strings and a plangent Arabic vocal that leads into Muslimgauze-like dub rhythm and a gorgeous electronica coda, leaving us engulfed in the patient, anaesthetising and dissociative swell of ‘Mend’.
Under the Canaxis 5 name, In 1969 Can’s Holger Czukay and Rolf Dammers - his classmate from lessons under Stockhausen - made the cult detournement of ‘Folkways - Music Of Viet Nam’
Originally issued in the same year that Can came into being, Canaxis 5’s sought-after experiments on ‘Technical Space Composer’s Crew’ would also be issued by Munich’s Music Factory, who were also behind the debut release of The Can’s ‘Monster Movie’. Fair to say they’re both cult records, but the Canaxis 5 side is definitely the more experimental of the two.
On the A-side’s legendary ‘Boat Woman Song’ they hijack the aforementioned Folkways, taking its Vietnamese voices to a parallel, synthesised dimension of swirling dynamics and hypnotic widescreen drones owing much to the influential abstraction of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s electronic works. With the B-side’s ‘Canaxis’ they combine the Vietnamese vox with samples of Capella Antiqua München, imaginatively crossing vast time and space via synth wormholes to pave the way for so much 4th world and new age exploration to follow.
'Autobiography' is Jlin's soundtrack to the staged life story of eminent dancer and choreographer Wayne McGregor, which opened in October 2017 and is still running at Sadler’s Wells, London.
For an artist whose début album opened with a track called ‘Black Ballet’ - in reference to the art of Chicago footwork - the synchronicity between Jlin’s music and McGregor’s choreography is patently obvious, and this album is perhaps one of the smartest unions between those disciplines that we could hope for.
Jlin’s music has always driven us nuts in the best way - calling to mind a statement by Steve Goodman some years back, in which he effectively stated that the most exciting music to him is one that physically demands the body to move in unfamiliar ways, as he first experienced with the radical, muscle-memory reprogramming rhythms of hardcore and jungle in the early ‘90s, and especially in relative context to what preceded it.
In that sense, Jlin’s releases have persistently provided some of the most sensational music we’ve heard this decade, sparking our minds and bodies into action in the rarest, maddest, most inexorable ways by essentially, physically breaking and disrupting the mould of the same old, same old line-dancing music that too often passes for club music.
For Wayne’s ‘Autobiography’, Jlin renders his life story in a compellingly intricate musical language of syncopated pointillism, percolating her drums and symphonic orchestrations in weightless formations that mirror bodies in flight, touching the ‘floor as little as possible. But that’s only 2/3rd’s of the story, as Jlin vacillates these elegantly hardcore rhythms with gorgeous, beat-less moments of pastoral lushness, classical keys and glyding ambient pauses which, by contrast, better highlight the cyclonic torsion of her expressive rhythm programming, while simultaneously demonstrating the distance travelled between Footwork’s roots in the streets of Chicago, and its unique similarity with the so called “high art” of western culture.
Don’t get it twisted tho, we’re highlighting an obvious distinction, it’s not about prizing one over the other, but celebrating and acknowledging the brilliant results of this unusual but evidently, completely natural-fitting union of styles and patterns.
Post punk originator Robert Rental’s 1980 demo tapes, created circa his legendary ‘Double Heart’ single, surface for the first time on Optimo, thanks to the efforts of JD Twitch and Simon Dell. Unmissable for the wobbly dub groove and glossolalic croon of ‘Open Air’ and the extraordinary, incendiary synths of ‘Radio Silence’ at the very least, but the rest is gold, too!
“On an unassuming cassette, just labelled ‘Robert Rental’ in green Dymo tape, these demos have lain unheard for years amongst his family’s treasured possessions, cared-for artefacts of a life cut short far too soon.
These songs, which Robert recorded in his council flat in Battersea in 1980, provide an enticing glimpse into his all-too-infrequent solo work. On most occasions, Robert worked with Thomas Leer, Daniel Miller or other collaborators. These are rough recordings, tape hiss still in evidence, but his creativity shines through the murk, like uncut diamonds.
With these recordings Robert appears to be moving towards more recognisable song structures than most of his earlier work, which could be wildly experimental and would often involve found recordings taped directly off television.
We know 2 of these tracks from their later re-recording for the Mute Records single ‘Double Heart’ late in 1980. Robert spoke to friends of his frustration at being unable to replicate his sound in a commercial studio – it was these demos’ sound that he wanted to recreate. Sometimes having only access to the most rudimentary of equipment can hone the creative talent into something sharper and more focused – necessity is the mother of invention, indeed.
Simon Dell, 2018
I am humbled and ecstatic to be entrusted with this music and able to aid getting these songs out into the world. I have now listened to them countless times and feel they are so, so much more than just an interesting archival release, but rather a small, fully formed body of wondrous songs that deserve to be heard and enjoyed by as many people as possible. In this current era where so much music is so completely focussed on the production, with the result that often the soul is sucked out of it, it’s a pleasant shock to discover that a forgotten tape from nearly 40 years ago can be the freshest and most refreshing sounding thing ever.
JD Twitch, 2018”
The American singer-songwriter’s 8th studio album in pursuit of classic folk and country spirits...
“The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography.
Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s relationships were put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career.”
Inland’s debut LP is an epic electro-techno-acid set stemming from his soundtrack to a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière
“Based on his soundtrack for a video installation by conceptual artist Julian Charrière, Davenport has recast the material and field recordings into eight tracks of rhythmically intricate electronics and spectral, ambient techno, inspired by Charrière’s visually striking, 76-minute tracking shot through a palm plantation toward a totemic soundsystem on full blast.
Both the album and original soundtrack were created in response to the 200th anniversary of the eruption of Indonesia’s Tambora volcano in 1815, which plunged the world into darkness and caused a series of extreme weather conditions. At the time, the natural climate change crisis resulted in numerous global famines and is known throughout the northern hemisphere as “The Year Without Summer”, with global communities forced to adapt to sudden radical changes in temperature and weather.
An Invitation To Disappear offers a contemporary parallel, leading viewers – and listeners – down a seemingly endless direct path of gridded palms from dawn to dusk; a bio-commercial monoculture where ancient jungle once flourished. Light flickers between rows of fruit-laden trees and a distant fire burns in the undergrowth where the border between natural image and computer simulation breaks down. At the same time, formerly incoherent rumblings of sub-frequencies begin to transform into the contours of rhythm. This is reflected sonically in eight perspectives on the lush, synthetic jungle, made of myriad buzzing fauna, morphing melody and colossal bassweight. All paths lead toward an apocalyptic dancefloor, though speeds vary widely; rhythms dissolve from straight to broken, synth tempos operate by their own internal clocks (and logic). Juxtaposing industrial agriculture with rave culture, the album explores the industrialization and refinement of nature, and the new strange forms emerging from the synthetic grids of both.
As Inland, Davenport has previously contributed soundtracks to other installations by the Swiss-born Charrière, whose artistic practice focuses on bridging environmental science and cultural history, often taking place in remote geophysical locations, including ice fields, volcanos and radioactive sites.”
The 2nd compilation of Stereolab rarities and singles, remastered and available to download for the first time
Make sure to check their two wig-outs with Nurse With Wound, especially for the driving krautrock psychedelia of their ‘“Animal Or Vegetable [A Wonderful Wooden Reason…]” and ‘Exploding Head Movie’ charges.
A spirited suite surveying string-based works by three women, Polish cellist Resina; french pianist Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch; and Swedish-Iranian pianist Shida Shahabi. 130701 label founder Dave Howell provides our personal highlight with a field recording of fly-tipped pianos on Severn Beach
“‘The Sea at The End of Her String’ is a seven-track EP that highlights three adventurous, hugely talented female artists from the current roster of FatCat’s pioneering 130701 imprint. Featuring seven exclusive new tracks, the EP is available both digitally and in a limited edition, one-time-only vinyl pressing of 300 copies to be sold alongside a short, triple-bill UK tour. Both tour and EP feature the same three artists – French pianist / composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Polish cellist Resina and Swedish-Iranian pianist Shida Shahabi.
The EP’s title is taken from a line in Sylvia Plath’s poem, ‘Three Women’ and, whilst taken somewhat out of context, is used here to indicate both the instrumental rooting of the three artists’ music (bound to the resonating strings of the piano or cello) and to offer some suggestion of the fluidity and vastness it either draws from or expresses. Each of the three artists contributes two new tracks, and all tracks are exclusive to this EP. The track-list is completed with a field recording collage from 130701’s founder / label head, Dave Howell. Captured on wasteland at Severn Beach on the estuary of the River Severn, onto which a number of pianos were fly-tipped amongst other junk, it reveals a very different end of the string.”
The fearsome Spiritflesh enter the physical domain again with a chasmic, steeply absorbing debut album of spectral, tribal dub noise for No Corner
Also known as studio mediums Julian Smith (October) and Boris English (Borai), Spiritflesh is kind of their answer to Coil’s ElpH - a presence that inhabits the wires and circuitry of their well-stocked recording space, and which may be summoned by the most arcane, unconscious and secretive productive techniques. Of course, then again it may just be their imaginations, but who knows what’s real or not these days.
Working at a metaphysical crossroads between Radiophonic exploration and the pharmaceutical experimentation of ‘80s and ‘90s dark ambient on one level, while also nodding to the output of Lee ‘Scratch Perry’s Black Ark as much as Conny’s Studio in the Bavarian forest and the legendary Dome facilities on another, the results speak to a time out of joint and out of place, resonating with a timeless psychoacoustic dread that only comes from endless hours of spell casting at the desk.
The sounds inside really come alive with amplification, projecting a phantasmic play of electro-acoustic apparitions that lurch from and recede into its murky layers. Taking a hold with the gnashing drums and banking noise of ‘Crib’, the LP rolls into unfathomably abyssal electro-dub space in ‘Ever Impeding Doom’, tripping down the labyrinthine arps of ‘Sentient’ before plumbing dankest levels of post-punk dread a la Bourbons Qualk with ‘Beneath The Clouded Veil’, and shoring us up in a hyperreal, heatsick simulacra of tropical no-mans-land with a Ballardian descriptive relish in ‘Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again’.
Wingtip Sloat’s slashing and arty post-punk sounds weirdly contemporary these days, so what better news than to have their first new music in almost twenty years!
"The LP includes plenty of the trebly guitar blare and low-fi charm immediately familiar from the group’s classic early ’90s singles, backstopping winning and memorable tunes like “Stars Bailed Out” and “Gizzard Jett.” The bonus CD includes bric-a-brac from the Sloat rehearsal room, with found poetry, perfect ninety-second rockers (the DC-specific “Cruisin’ The Ellipse”), confusing instrumental detours, and winsome covers of Eno, Dylan, Wire, Belle & Sebastian and more."
Plush UK neo-soul from Eglo queen, Fatima, produced by Theo Parrish, Knxwledge and Floating Points and following 4 years since her debut LP, which was subsequently reissued in 2016 on Blue Note
“It's been four years since Eglo Records' Fatima released 2014's Blue Note-approved, critically acclaimed debut Yellow Memories. This September, the London- via -Stockholm, Sweden songstress, returns with her second album, And Yet It's All Love — an emotional, yet entertaining trip through the full cycle of a romantic relationship, told in Fatima's now-familiar soulful style.
From first singles "Somebody Else” and "Caught In A Lie" to "Waltz" and "Just To Hold You" — listeners are transported from first meet, the blinding honeymoon period and struggle right through to the break-up and eventual fallout. Once again, she calls on a talented array of producers and instrumentalists to paint that picture; from Stones Throw's MNDSGN, J.D Reid (Mabel, D Double E), Purist (Daupe), Taz Arnold (Kendrick Lamar), Swarvy and regular collaborator, Natureboy Flako.
Early support has already come from the likes of Gilles Peterson (BBC 6Music/Worldwide FM), Benji B (Radio 1 / 1Xtra), Toddla T, NTS Radio, Crack Magazine, Pitchfork and Resident Advisor. Up-and-coming San Francisco-based illustrator, sculptor and painter, Monica Kim Garza crafts the album artwork, placing one of her powerfully intimate nude paintings at its centre.
For the uninitiated, Fatima, has earned a reputation as one of the UK's most respected vocalists. Her debut LP Yellow Memories featured heavyweight collaborations with Floating Points, Theo Parrish and Anderson Paak producer Knxwledge. It was met with critical acclaim winning Gilles Peterson's 'Album Of The Year' at the 2014 Worldwide Awards as well as ranking No.10 in Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 20 R&B albums of the year before being re-released by the legendary Blue Note records.”
Gossamer dream-pop and wistful balearic strokes from Arturs Liepiņš and Anete Stuce’s Domenique Dumont for Antinote, reprising the midas touch of their acclaimed début, ‘Comme Ça’  with big highlights in the gently percolated pop of ‘Sans Cesse, Mon Cheri’ and ‘Le Debut De La Fin’
“August 2018: It’s already been three years since Domenique Dumont made its entrance in the music world with a debut EP named Comme Ca. Despite a seemingly very quiet musical activity (the opening song to Antinote’s compilation Five Years Of Loving Notes was the only song released by the band in 3 years) a few things have changed in-between these two summers: Domenique Dumont is no more the mysterious lone French producer we introduced last time but a Latvian duo, Arturs Liepins and Anete Stuce, which has been collaborating with “an enigmatic French artist whose existence cannot be confirmed nor denied” (sorry, but it sounds like there’s still some mystery in the air, and, again, we’re just as clueless as you might be), the duo have been touring live and, most importantly, they kept on broadening their musical palette experimenting in a definitely pop field. Eight of these experiments are now tied together in Miniatures de Auto Rhythm.
The record probably begins where Comme Ca ended: frantic but light drum programing backbones a solar and slightly melancholic melody on Le Début De La Fin (“the beginning of the end”). However, the scope gets enlarged as soon as one reaches the second tune, Quasi Quasi, or Quand, on the flip side, perhaps the most overtly pop-rock oriented song on the record with its Mediterranean guitar and emotional bridge.
The road towards the apex of the record, Le Soleil Dans Le Monde, is a narrow and windy one, punctuated by toy instrumentals like Ono Mambo Haiku or the Donkey Kong Country-friendly Message Of The Diving Bird; however it never departs from its original tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s quite pleasant to imagine these eight “miniatures” as field recordings from an enchanted world of pop music designed by some Pierre & Gilles’ disciples – or are there
musical interpretations of half-mechanical, half-organic creations from a certain Otto Rhiesem (who might have inhabited the Locus Solus villa)? There might be no definitive answers to this second set of riddles by Domenique Dumont.”
‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ serves Foodman at his playful, innovative best, fusing Footwork with jazz and ambient notions for Cameron Stallones a.k.a. Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label
The latest in a mazy line of characteristically cartoonish creations by Takahide Higuchi’s Foodman avatar, ‘Aru Otoko No Densetsu’ is his first release since a prolific 2016 period, and first vinyl issue since ‘Ez Minoku’ for Orange Milk that same year.
It feels like Foodman used the time between these releases to step outside and review his sound, returning some of his most minimal yet detailed arrangements of footwork tics, 4th world exotica, and balmy jazz references, and in a way that beautifully reflects Sun Ark’s gently psychedelic remit as much as the loose, colourful markings of his pencil, felt tip and crayon drawings, included in an accompanying booklet.
This one’s a keeper.
Bunker-breaking industrial techno and breakbeat drills by two of the tuffest doing it right now
In grey area mode for Horo, they commit the pebbledashed double-time pelt of ‘Ikari’ and a gnashing monstrance named ‘R-Amen’ on the front, with the unyielding speedier styles of ‘Vigilante’ bringing up the rear beside a J.K. Flesh-comptiable remix of ‘Ikari’ from Headless Horseman.
Keening, pastoral electronica flecked with rustic strings and modulated by ultrasonic bat recordings
“The inaugural release on enigmatic conceptual artist and Freerotation regular Aboutface’s new label Coordinates- a limited physical release series exclusively showcasing his music and original art, depicting conceptual themes and exploring the aural terrain of two sets of location coordinates around the world. Coordinates #1 explores the relationship between a human cohabiting bat colony in Lincolnshire, England, and the ancient mayan culture of the Zinacantecs from the Chiapas region in Mexico, who in their native tongue refer to their land as - Sot’s’lab (Land of Bats).
The theme is articulated through triggered ultrasonic bat recordings from the Collegiate Church to affect the rhythm and timbre of live synthesis and instrumentation, alongside the cultural history of the Zinacantecs - a bat worshiping mayan community of the Chiapas region of Mexico, influencing the tonality and mood.
The research and experimentation is used to articulate a conceptual sonic narrative of the impermanent nature of existence; the cycles of birth, prominence, decay and rebirth of all things. Exploring the ebbs and flow of religious identity, cultural tradition, the universal ecology of all living things, urbanisation and the perception of the role of the the subconscious, all locked in fleeting circles of rise and decay, phasing in and out of alignment.
Considering a connection between sociopolitical and environmental change through interspecies solidarity and utilisation of the subconscious mind.”
Reissue of "Odyshape" the second album by The Raincoats originally released on Rough Trade Records in 1981 - liner notes by Kim Gordon.
"It was The Raincoats I related to most. They seemed like ordinary people playing extraordinary music. Music that was natural that made room for cohesion of personalities. They had enough confidence to be vulnerable and to be themselves without having to take on the mantle of male rock/punk rock aggression…or the typical female as sex symbol avec irony or sensationalism. (Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth,1993). // We just really loved what The Raincoats were doing - they were a really exciting band.
I think the thing that was good about The Raincoats simply was that the tradition that they were playing in was their own and so they had an original voice. You couldn’t ignore them - they were undeniably fascinating - the interplay between the two voices and the sound of the group was something original and that was what was exciting about them. (Geoff Travis, Rough Trade Records, February 2009)"