On-U Sound prime their Dub Syndicate reissue series with Displaced Masters
It offers a peek inside their previously unreleased archive at nine stripped down, natty dubs with particular highlights in the viscous downstroke of Money Dealers, their mellifluous but gritty digi-stepper, Haunted Ground, and the judicious use of FX and vocoders on the smokers madness, All Other Roads Are Shut Off.
The Digital Afterlife catches Jamal Moss in a great mood, recorded in Amsterdam early 2016, and backed with two “prime gherkins from the Hieroglyphic pickle jar”!
That title cut is a richly harmonised house hymn vaulted with heavenly, stacked chords and haywire bleeps that open out on a clattering groove like AFX channelling Sun Ra during a sunday outdoor rave.
His flipside gives up the swanging body jerk and fruity funky house keys of Arras (Instrumental Version) and the astral glyde of Akashic Energies in classic, expressive Jamal style.
Send for the velvet britches, E.M.M.A.’s on a mad baroque-out with Mindmaze and Pumpkin Emoji for Coyote Records following her return from hiatus on The Astral Plane.
Entirely in key with modern movements, E.M.M.A. drapes rococo MIDI flute anachronisms over a killer, sub-heavy sort of drill/speed garage/grime mutation in Mindmaze, then dances around the offbeat with technoid chords and Anime soundtrack-styled 8-bit glitter in Pumpkin Emoji.
Helplessly infectious, slo-mo house from early ‘90s Durban, SA, dug up and reheated by ICE for your dancing needs. There’s been a lot of killer kwaito reissues in recent years, and this is the cream of a rediscovered crop.
Originally issued on tape and a white label 12”, Amajovi Jovi was a rallying ccall to the dance, which, in light of the post-apartheid era, could be considered a subversively rebellious gesture of zulu solidarity.
At the intersection of Chi/NYC house, West coast hip hop and zulu traditions, the six tracks work a bedevilling effect at circa 100bpm, pairing louche zulu raps with nagging garage-house hook in Amajovi Jovi, then like some squashed screw of Livin’ Joy’s Dreamer in the killlller Student Night, whilst the swing of dedication comms off like a strange dancehall tune.
The most curious charms, however, belong to Sandy B’s nods to Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, in the unique hip-house mutation Lafaki (Doggy Style) with its smooth G-funk chords, or most definitively with the crunchy breaks of Party Time.
Born Free boss Samo DJ clears his archive of three ruff cut house gems for Born Free 31
Scaling from field recordings and woozy flutes to heavy-lidded house swing and more abstract, cut-up textures in Zsou, then rolling out a super smart electro-house thing in Janet, pecked with cowbells and dusty dub chords, and cutting zig-zags across the rug with Mannen från Mallorca.
Richard Chartier ponders another poignant predicament as Pinkcourtesyphone with Indelicate Slices, the project’s ninth full length, arriving after sojourns to The Tapeworm and Champion Version in recent seasons.
This is contemporary ambient music at its most opulent and intoxicating, sashaying rococo corridors of gold and red velvet smudged to shimmering pink hues, spinning solipsistic thru a permanent twilight zone of pharmaceutical haze, self-medicated and shielded to an omnipresent darkness that lurks beyond the rose beds.
It’s immaculately smashed and illusive music that slips under the skin and stimulates the imagination with uncanny efficiency, emulating none-more-rarified feels between the old world elegance of Romantic Threat and the digital drizzle of In Voluptuous Monochrome, secreting some stunningly sensitive, psychedelic passages in the 24 minute piece Minimumluxuryoverdose and the 12 minutes of OOBE like plasmic suspense of Above Chandeliers, with the systolic pulse of Problematic Interior rendering something like a recording of an anechoic panic room.
We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"Serial killing was one of history's greatest art forms. Now it's becoming almost impossible to get a skull-drilling startup off the ground unless you murder for the corporations or governments where you have highly organized protection from any enforceable law but at the expense of sacrificing all the glory for the anonymity required to maintain employment. So, unfortunately, the days of any zit topography random commoner being able to string together a few killings to hit the big time before being caught has almost come to an end. Sad. This record, the third and final volume of my new three-LP set called Heathen Folklore, could serve as somewhat of a manual of inspiration on how one could start such a career, as risky and unpopular as it is. It gets much more fucked-up than the previous two LPs, and sometimes I think it's the best one due to that aspect.
I'd have to give it one more listen but I also think this is the LP with coded messages that could trigger an unsuspecting listener to start his/her career in extreme behavior. But killing isn't everything you know. There are many more ways to express yourself and reach the top of the charts these days. In fact, I saw Burt Bacharach three weeks ago gripping a huge fucking machete while chasing modern dance music architects off his champion ship and into deep water where they hopefully became shark bait. And to set the record straight, Jimi Hendrix did not fake his death and become Morgan Freeman nor was Hunter S. Thompson directing snuff films. But most of that other weird shit you hear about these days is probably true. And I'm working on a film called 'Being Alvarius B.' where all of you loser fucks crawl into my brain and see yourselves from my perspective and then commit collective suicide because you finally realize I was right all along. And I am. Can't wait to make more albums so I can write these album descriptions. Cocksuckers."
A masterpiece of Italian ’70s free-jazz, N.A.D.M.A.’s Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is, by any measure, a super rare and sought-after record (2nd hand copies trade for over £170) which makes this first ever vinyl repress fairly invaluable to free-jazz nuts and investigators of this prime period of Italian music.
In five parts, Franco Pardi (Alto saxophone, Bugle), Otto Davis Corrado (Baritone and Soprano Sax), Mino Ceretti (Contrabass), Ines Klok (Harp, Tmbura, Violin), Davide Mosconi (Piano), Gustavo Bonora (Viola, Violin), and Marino Vismara (Violoncello) democratically hinge around percussionist and band-leader Marco Cristofolini, falling well off-centre of jazz convention in head-melting variations of Afro-American and Indian lines of thought that sprang from the well of ‘60s jazz.
“Within the history of the Italian avant-garde, N.A.D.M.A is as obscure as they come. Mosconi later came to note as a solo artist and photographer, and Pardi and Vismara within the worlds of visual arts, but beyond a scattering of releases, Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is the lone document to have surfaced from most of its contributors. Details surrounding the band and the record are incredible scarce.
Despite the mystery, with hindsight, they rise as a definitive gesture of the movement to which they belonged. The Italian avant-garde is among the most rigorously democratic of any of the movements within 20th century sound. Like their more well know peers in Aktuala, N.A.D.M.A grew from this spirit, but realized it in far more radical forms. They are among the wildest of those connected to the movements of free-improvisation and jazz. The group's lone 1973 release is unlike anything else of its day. Soulful as hell, it blends a remarkable range of instrumentation and cross-cultural reference -- a wild imagining of the potentialities of modal folk traditions, gathered in the writhing aggressive form of free-jazz. It is an album so remarkable and striking -- among the greatest and most accomplished European efforts within the form -- that there is no explanation for why it has remained so unacknowledged through the years. It is a towering, bubbling, brilliant achievement in sound.
Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is among the greatest documents of Italian music, and among the most important within the canon of European free-jazz. As seminal as they come. Not to be missed on any count.”
Die Schachtel reboot their Zeit Composers Series with Untitled Noise’s eponymous and self-explanatory session of arrhythmic, atonal sound pressure. Untitled Noise is the duo of Michelle Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli’s debut release, articulating noise as noun and verb in voices ranging from raging tirade to slow, crushing techno and dark, blue jazz tones. A strong look for followers of Prurient, Kevin Drumm, Masami Akita.
“For the last hundred years, the line dividing music from visual art has grown increasingly obscure. Music has provided inspiration for countless artists, while art has offered the conceptual terms for music to break its own rules. Particularly within the contexts of punk, and experimental music, art schools have fed the ranks -- gifting countless rebellious and visionary minds. These are open worlds, between which positions and ideas freely meet and speak. Within it all, there lies an often unmentioned realm, far less easily defined, skirting beyond tangible grasp -- sound and music made by visual artists, which might not be music at all. Joining Die Schachtel's already singular catalog of ambitious sonic adventures from Italy, this is the strange, incongruous territory of Untitled Noise, Michele Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli's debut release. Michele Lombardelli and Luca Scarabelli are two respected visual artists who have been active in the Italian contemporary art scene for many years. While joint their project, Untitled Noise, is positioned outside of sonic manifestations of visual, artistic, conceptual terms, it cannot be entirely dislocated from this spectrum of thought. While it is not art in the visual sense, it equally makes no claims toward music, something which only the intellectual frameworks of the art-world tend to allow. Untitled Noise is a gathering a phenomena -- challenges, organizations, and interventions through sound -- an occupancy of those territories which exists just beyond our ability to define.
Evolving over four sides of this double LP -- each dedicated to a single work, one sliding seamlessly into the next, the album is an aggressive, textural gesture in noise. Built from electronic sources and tradition instrumentation, shifting between pure abstraction, sublime drone, rhythmic pulse, and broken flirtations with jazz, it rises as a melting pillar in sound. Drawn from recordings in both studio and live contexts, Untitled Noise marks the return of the Die Schachtel's sub-imprint Zeit, dedicated to ambitious contemporary gestures in sound. Where music meets the realms of art, and what is known falls away; A joining of worlds, which not to be missed.”
CoH Plays Everall is a remarkable turn by singular synthesist Ivan Pavlov, who pays tribute to the late UK electronica/industrial pioneer John Everall (Tactile/Sentrax) with six transmutations of analog material originally meant for a collaboration between the two artists, plus CoH’s Hunger collab with Jhonn Balance ov Coil.
Working somewhere between Powell’s recent New Beta jaunts, Lorenzo Senni’s circumvented trance arpeggios, and the rapid ear movements of Gábor Lázár, it’s by far some of the most colourful, kinkily swung gear we’ve ever heard from Pavlov aka CoH, but trustingly articulated with a cold northern melancholy.
Proceeding from Hallow Ground’s reissue of CoH’s Soisong and their recent issues of Dedekind Cut and Siavash Amini records, CoH Plays Everall is a real credit to their catalogue, not least as a great tribute to Everall, but also as one of the rarest glimpses of CoH in kinetic action, gambolling between electric blue nEuro-trance pulses in 2016 to the TCF black MIDI styles of Wavetrap and the hyper, head-pinching strobes of Overbeat with an energy bordering on gleeful that we’ve hardly heard from CoH before.
Seriously, any lovers of razor-sharp, forward electronics from Errorsmith to Lorenzo Senni need to check this, pronto!
35 song set which is also being released via three single LPs. We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"If you really want to know more about the music, search for the LP version descriptions online (I'm sure they were copy/pasted across many websites) where you'll discover a treasure of valuable assessments contained within. This two-CD edition is primarily being made available to facilitate 41 of my 133 'fans' who will be thrilled that it comes out on Compact Disc -- and at an affordable price in comparison to what buying all three LPs would cost. I think I pressed at least 172 copies of this two-CD so there is room for another 39 'fans' to climb aboard my champion ship. I keep hearing that many of the CDs you've acquired in the past don't work anymore. CDs are supposed to rot, scratch and die after a few years and have therefore become a flawed medium. Sounds more like a pragmatic description of humanity to me. But I have thousands of CDs. Some are commercially manufactured discs and the rest are CDRs and every single one of them works.
Yep, I hired a bearded guy from New Hampshire to check them all and many are 10, 15, or 20 years old. But my mother always told me I was blessed. Or perhaps I have a magic CD player? But people used to say the same about cassettes and now tapes are the cat's fuckin meow. In fact, I know a record store owner who recently sold an entire car full of cassettes. So don't bring your CDs when you jump aboard Julijonas Urbonas' suicide roller coaster (which hopefully gets built soon in order to facilitate plenty of you imbeciles) -- leave them behind for others to enjoy. Getting back to my new album, go find my sampler on YouTube if you want to know what it sounds like. It's better than your new album, that's for sure. Maybe I'll have to do a cassette version of this record in the future so that I can write another one of these fuckin' promotional sheets."
Echospace presents a deluxe vinyl edition of his Radius project, Obsolete Machines, nuzzling your cochlea with a painstakingly restored demo of Steve Hitchell’s earliest work, initially recorded live to tape between 1995-2000, now restored to gauzy bliss and handsomely repackaged. Oceanic, intergalactic, timeless; total manna for dub house ambient fiends!
The first plate rolls out 20 minutes of low-lying, billowing dub chord cloud dynamics with Ethersonic, backed by the stately stepper Etherscapes on a kinda thrumming, danker Ruff Way flex, beside the silty shift of Oscillation Range.
On its 2nd plate, you’ll find cv313 reshaping and reprising Ethersonic over both sides, convecting near enough 40 minutes of waterlogged dub chords, subterranean bass and scratchy percussion in the Reshape, and a more direct, upfront sort of steppers house in the Reprise.
Lock up your pets; Blackest Ever Black let Regis off the leash in two seek and destroy missions - his first new 12” in three years - coming quick on the heels of the unarchived Live In N.Y.C. 12” for Veronica Vasicka’s Cititrax.
A-side’s Version 1 is the greedier of the two, roving with that look in its eye from the first mauling bar of grumbling bass and incendiary distortion, thru a serpentine groove dissolving EBM, industrial noise techno with slow-burning, venomous effect until the final passage of paralysing strings by Asylum Ensemble.
B-side’s Version 2 appears to start on the dissecting table with the SAW-like sound of knives sharpening and talons clicking in the background, before untangling one of his fiercest lemon endeavours; a bitterly gleeful tussle of strapping EBM bassline and whipcrack snares with an over-the-shoulder vocal in the breakdown, before calving off into the abyss.
We can think of few artists who can come out of hiding so occasionally, yet remain at the front of their game, as Karl O’Connor does with The Master Side in both versions.
Take note, the master is in session.
We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"Volume One of three new LPs I am releasing simultaneously called Natural Wonder, this is the more melodic, savvy one and you might like it. Maybe I'm lying and it's the innocent, straight record so maybe you should get Vol 3 (ABDT 059CLP) instead if you're in a darker mood. But that's not really true either. Or maybe it's one of those records that grows on you the more you continue playing it... like a cancer. The musicians who played on all three albums don't deserve to be involved in these kamikaze promotional descriptions so don't blame them for any of this. They played so well on these records, in fact they play much better than you do, and their performances deserve a 'Whammy,' which is the awards show where I'm in charge and the winners get to shoot members of the music industry academy dead in their seats.
That's where it's all headed you know. . . . The modern world of record making has become so fucking dull and obedient that someone has to ram a poison dagger up your asses and since you're all under hypnosis, I promise you won't feel a thing. I could pay Dougie Jones to write this piece to match your intellect or hire a publicity company to promote it but who really gives a fuck? I'm still making records for myself and the rest of humanity doesn't speak my language anyway. By deciding to write my own album promos, I can perform some market research. For example, this album description text will undoubtedly be copy/pasted by most online retailers onto their respective sites because they don't write their own new album reviews or get too excited about music, they simply want to create the illusion that they're in business to sell records. So I could put something like: Fuck all website retailers that copy/paste this description onto their site because they are too fucking cheap, lazy or chicken shit to have an opinion to write individual album reviews -- and they probably wouldn't even notice while doing it. Anyway, back to my new album. These songs are pretty good, most likely way better than your songs, and I don't even have time to be a real songwriter, so what does that say about you? It says that you suck. And most of you do. But you should buy my new three album set because it's probably as good or better than any other LPs that will be released this year. But if you aren't ready to go all-in with confidence, then forget it. I don't want any mudskipper sub-species of the crayfish to buy my records. There are always a few speculators who'll pick up the extra copies you won't buy anyway."
Never previously issued on vinyl - a super rare Library Music LP from Japan - the sublime soundtrack for a 1986 runway show of Japan’s Mitsuhiro Matsuda’s Nicole brand.
"Jun Fukamachi’s highly coveted Nicole (86 Spring And Summer Collection - Instrumental Images) album, originally recorded in 1986 for celebrated fashion designer Mitsuhiro Matsuda’s Nicole clothing brand and never officially available before.
Only ever distributed as a limited promotional item offered to attendees and participants of the 1986 fashion show for the Nicole brand’s Spring and Summer collection, Fukamachi’s moody magnum opus has become a sort of Holy Grail for fans of Japanese ambient, jazz, and synth music alike…and rightly so!
Meticulously conceived, smooth and subtle, Nicole sounds like it came from an ethereal land where Erik Satie and Art of Noise lived together, a sublimely cinematic listening experience perhaps best described by renowned Japanese music writer Masaharu Yoshioka aka The Soul Searcher:
If you are driving down the Autobahn at 160 km/h, or even 80 km/h, and Jun’s music starts playing on the car stereo, the windshield will instantly turn into your own personal silver screen.”
MC/Producer Rocks FOE draws strength from the everyday struggle between internal and external forces, tells you all about it on a set of blocky UK hip hop big beats and more up-to-date trap and rap beats, with highlights in Fight The Good? Fight and the slow soul stroke of Red Hand of Ulster, saving best for last with Into My Own Hands.
“Rocks FOE returns to Black Acre with new, eight-track project ‘Fight The Good? Fight’ — a dark and conceptual record built around the notion of, according to Rocks himself, “everything being an internal and external battle”.
A powerful lyricist and complex story-teller, Rocks’ sound combines hyper-fierce spitting with his own, abstract beat sketches. Having released his impressive debut EP, ‘Legion’, back in 2015 — a raw, self-produced grime-rap hybrid — he has since remained dormant to the outside world, bar a quick-fire feature on Commodo’s ‘How What Time’ LP in 2016.
Written over the course of that period and entirely self-produced, ’Fight The Good? Fight’ digs deeper than ever before into Rocks’ psyche, drawing on both religious elements — “I was more or less force fed it when I was younger” — and his own experiences for much of its lyrical inspiration. He talks money, love, confusion, happiness and ambition to tell the story of his own every day battles.
Musically, ‘Fight The Good? Fight’ also broadens horizons, with Rocks widening his scope to take in sounds from beyond the sprawling urban landscape of his home town of Croydon. On tracks like ‘Nitty Gritty’ and ‘Into My Own Hands’ for example, the two tracks that bookend the record, he flows at trademark lightning speed over crunchy rap beats, but its on cuts like ‘Downpour’ and the wandering spoken-word of ‘Red Hand Of Ulster’ that he unmasks a new, more vulnerable guise. Toning down his flow to reflect and take stock, it is in these solemn, inward moments that Rocks shines the brightest.
Comfortable spitting acapella, off-beat or even in spoken word — over straight-up rap beats or woozy Commodo instrumentals — he has long been considered one of the UK’s most compelling young lyricists, but on ‘Fight The Good? Fight’, Rocks addresses his demons, calls out bullshit and comes of age proper.”
Almost 25 minutes worth of extended versions of tracks from the Negative Fascination album...
If we've got any gripes with Silent Servant's stunning debut album 'Negative Fascination', it's that some of the dancefloor tracks were just a touch short. He's heard our collective prayers and corrects that with these extended mixes, due out on 12" shortly. Album closer 'Utopian Disaster (End)' is now nearly 2 minutes longer and primed for hypnotic DJ use with a Sunn 0)))-like outro.
'Strange Attractor' is nearly twice as long and with a more subtle, building sense of tension and release, while 'Invocation Of Lust' is slightly extended for DJ play (and this only just occurred to us - doesn't it sound a bit like Maxi Jazz is about to come in with "I can't get no…"?). DJs, dancers, you know what to do… TIP!
Japan’s highly collectible City-2 St. Giga label return with this string of rugged ambient house pearls by Anthony Naples.
For his 2nd EP of the 2017 so far, Naples cooks up a very satisfying breadth of variation and vibe in Love No Border, roving from swung deep house with nagging acidic synths and tropical drum machine hits synths in The Vision (Mix NY) thru the reverberating acid house coordinates of Uforia, and a lush vignette named Glo on the A-side, to the rudderless disco loop froth and grind of Moon on the Beach on the B-side, following into a cold wave pinch entitled Age, and the Shinichi Atobe-esque floating strut of Speak To Me More.
Think quick if you’d like a copy…
Thunderous EBM tumult from Spoiled Drama, a new name to the fray on the Fleisch label outta Germany.
Check it for body-grappling highlights in the steaming charge of Another Death Experience, the strapping, churning bulk of Axiom, and the snotty banger Kisses Are Out Of Fashion, especially if you like Nick Klein, An-i or Broken English Club.
Expanded (with 8 new tracks) version of Princess Nokia’s self-released debut mixtape, 1992 including the recently released single G.O.A.T. along with standouts such as the haunting, sharply pointed Brujas and the brassy bang of Kitana.
Assuming you’re cool af and already know the original mixtape, we’ll step right onto the new cuts, covering golden era hip hop in ABCs of New York and the backpacker beats of Goth Kid, plus a pure heat-seeking missile in the stuttering keys and drill bounce of Flava, and checking out on a deep south party flex with Chinese Slippers.
Heads will roll for this one!
Charmingly loose and dusty jazz-house chops from Max Graef on Schwarz 12
A new label related to the Oye Record shop in Berlin. Check it for a smart twist on the STL-via-Theo Parrish aesthetic in Thrillhouse + Bonus Beat, for a neatly damaged piece of percolated ghetto jazz in Unbiskant, and a pair of tricksier dancers’ specials in 2 Cool For You and Really Graef Bro.
We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"This is Volume Two of my new three LP set, and it's called A Mark Twain August. Now don't go asking me what the fuck that title means but I will say that it may be my favorite of the three. My 'fans', all 133 of them, are pretty smart. I used to think only 67 people mattered on earth, now it could be far less, but it's beginning to trouble me how I've actually accumulated 133 fans. So if you're not a moron, I don't mind if you buy this record. I made more copies than I have fans so I need to expand on the audience a bit but I don't want fucking idiots buying my albums. A brand new car loses value the moment you drive it home, but my records will always go up in value (like my Dodge Ram Van which tripled in value when I drove it off the lot) so this is also an investment opportunity. If you were to walk slowly on a hot bed of coals you may discover that Don McLean never actually drove his Chevy to the levy and that the singer-songwriter is dead, just like all the poets.
What do contemporary poets and the entire Indonesian population have in common? Most of you cannot name even one of them. Homo Sapiens now love to complain and act as if they know how the world works by 'expressing' themselves on their social media networks -- that's become the new poetry. And I think there are only nine people writing songs today that I respect, I'd have to check to make sure. And the Thinking Fellars were a great band -- I could name a dozen more from the past 30 years that I'd call contemporaries, but that's about it. . . . And I almost forgot to mention that Mark Twain's old banjo appears on this record. Oh and this is better than that Wolf King of LA album by Papa John Phillips, for all those who got mesmerized by it 30 years after it came out. There's only three or four good tracks on that and A Mark Twain August has six great tracks on it, at least. "
Yamaneko, aka Talbot Fade, bravely tackles a most painful subject in the best way he knows how: the emotional, metaphysical transcendence of organised electronic sound.
Written in the year following the death of his mother, and mantled in reference to Meiro Koizumi’s succinct and quietly traumatising video installation, My Voice Would Reach You can be taken as a bardo or form of keening music, rendering a beautifully elegiac lament for a beloved soul, described in diaphanous ambient chorales, textured field recordings and oceanic drones with often gut-wrenching effect.
Broaching a subject that still, unusually, prompts uncomfortable reactions in the western world, My Voice Would Reach You conversely seeks to offer comfort and solace through an abstract exploration of “grief, acceptance, dreams, maternal influence and communication across astral planes.” Drawing on the titular installation, as well as his mother’s record collection and the immersive depths of RPG computer games - specifically FromSoftware’s range of Souls and Bloodborne titles - Talbot Fade suggests space for reflective mediation. But, like those games and the album’s subject matter, don’t expect it to be an easy experience.
In its four movements, My Voice Would Reach You occupies wide-open yet elusive ambient terrain with Gas, Tim Hecker and The Sight Below, yet when taken with the album’s themes of loss and nightmarish conditions, its isolationist detachment adopts a sincere gravity of meaning in the plangent pall and cinematic strings of Red Jeweled Brooch and chokingly so by the time you catch windswept tears in Forgiven by the Light of Spring, whilst the entire B-side’s is spent on the arcing consolation of Depths of Spring, “ushering lost souls into a new childhood”.
Kenny Dixon Jr's 'Forevernevermore' was his third album and is perhaps his definitive opus - a pure, deep, late night Detroit classic that has birthed countless immitations since its release in 2000.
It really is pretty definitive - and it holds up beautifully almost 20 years later, from his take on Chic's 'Don't you want my love' to 'The thief that stole my sad days' - there are just too many certified classics here to mention. Quite apart from anything else, Forevernevermore manages to sound experimental, sophisticated, fucked and joyous all at once - making reference to classic Piano House one moment, and deepest Techno the next, his vocal narrative offsetting pure euphoria with a sharp dose of Motor City realism.
In terms of classic House music, few have come close to anything you'll find on this album - a perfect distillation of light and shade from one of Detroit's greatest ever.
Sugai Ken follows in the vein of RVNG Intl’s Visible Cloaks release with an exquisite meditation on traditional Japanese percussion and 4th world electronics ruptured by unpredictable runs into more abstract terrain. RIYL YMO/Haruomi Hosono, Visible Cloaks, Foodman...
UkabazUmorezU works like a stage set or a variegated series of sonic scenarios, at once smartly demonstrating his compositional versatility as well as a dilated vision of the connections between Japanese tradition and western-rooted electro-acoustic practice. In a way it resonates with Visible Cloaks’ perspective on Japanese electronics as much as Foodman’s dextrous mutations of Chicago footwork, but still it’s weirder and more enigmatic than either of them.
In his own words, UkabazUmorezU is intended to reflect a “style that conjures [the] subtle and profound ambience of night in Japan.” Arguably, for someone who has never visited or experienced night in Japan (us), it does so as richly as a Murakami novel, sensitively using electronic instruments and process to emulate and evoke an intimate sense of the spiritual, supernatural recalling the effect of, say, Kenji Kawai’s Ghost In The Shell OST, but again, with a more elusive, amorphous and playful quality of his own.
Ultimately it’s a beautifully and subtly suggestive album, skillfully making use of pregnant lacnuæ and negative space, but also riddled with flighty melodic figures, and prone to wonderfully disorienting jump-cuts that ping us from serene garden and temple scenes to stranger, bestial ginnels of the Japanese mindset with an effortless sleight-of-hand.
With this pair of challenging, longform vocal works - including a recording of Kurt Schwitters’ Ur Sonate which has long been banned from being recorded by his estate - restless sound explorer John Duncan steers the vocal themes of his beguiling LP, This Bitter Earth, into the avant dimensions he’s best known for occupying since the late ‘70s.
Mantra is a 33 minute exposition of extended vocal technique where Duncan’s own vocals are layered and faded across the stereo field in an hypnotic, glacial escalation of density, calving away into a passage of fiercely tempestuous noise and back to the vocals. To be fair, it sounds nothing like the straight-played This Bitter Earth songs, but a transcendent appeal is mutual to both works.
We’re not entirely sure why the state of Schwitters banned recording of his classic, dadaist sound poem Ur Sonate, but Duncan either does/doesn’t give a fuck and so here it is in its psychotomimetic glory, 23 minutes of alien tongue joined by a 14 -part chorus, produced by Yelena Mitrjushkina for Narkissos Contemporary Art Gallery, Bologna, in Duncan’s adopted home city.
Daft, haywire, hardware techno jams. Clifford Sage’s artwork is great, though.
“Alien Jams presents a new release by Wilted Woman called Home Listener. After releasing the amazing "Diary of a Woman" on She Rocks! earlier this year, WW is back with this sublime 5 track EP. From the onset, playful synth patterns mingle and coalesce, spiralling towards dizzy culminations. At times wobbly and disjointed, WW creates stunning compositions that would work magic on the dancefloor. Each track of Home Listener feels like its own paranormal entity, living organisms that develop and grow as the music unfolds.”
On-U Sound compile the first four albums - plus a bonus disc of unreleased dubs - from Adrian Sherwood and Lincoln “Style” Scott’s Dub Syndicate nearly 20 years since any were available on CD. Packaged in fine style with a 24-page booklet of archival photos and notes by On The Wire host and font of all dub knowledge, Steve Barker, consider it a definitive survey of early Dub Syndicate.
Disc 1 fixes up The Pounding System  with extra cut, Gather At The River (Bonus Track); Disc 2 features One Way System , including Blood Shed Dub as a bonus; Disc 3 is North Of The River Thames  with Doctor Pablo’s Pablo’s African Blood addendum; Disc 4 is Tunes From The Missing Channel ; and Disc 5 holds Displaced Masters, a collection of entirely Unreleased Versions From The Vault.
Brooding but ecstatic electronic fancies for fans of Posh Isolation, Lettre D’Amort’s Chams is the 1st release on Parisian label, Abîme.
“Lettre D’Amort is a deeply personal collection of songs that were born out of transcendental experience Chams had during his teenage years. Growing up surrounded by the Alps and raised by an alpinist father, he always felt like those high mountains looming over him were "sacred places where the beauty and fear of nature merge to shape a unique atmosphere of vulnerable plenitude."
A few years ago, he went on a solo journey across the Alps and came back a changed man. His solitary journey had compounded his view of the Alps as a place of beauty and fear, and that nature is to be admired from a wary distance. From then on he started making music with the aim to translate the epiphany he had in those high altitudes into a work of art. This EP, which features on the front cover a photograph taken by his father on one of his expeditions across the Himalaya, is the first accomplished result of this project.
In terms of the sonics Chams has created, what is striking is how the EP is one of contrasting impulses. On the one hand, Chams employs bright and minimal sonics and upbeat melodies that have something of a childhood naivety to them. On the other hand, these sounds compete with darker impulses which refuse to give over to the optimism that we are initially presented with. Nowhere is this more evident than on 'Ultraviolence', where agonised screams compete with a beautiful synth melody. These two contrasting impulses evoke the childhood and upbringing of Chams, who recognises that nature is something to be both admired for it's beauty, and feared for it's tempestuousness and inability to be tamed. Despite Chams holding these two impulses in a tension with one another throughout the EP, the work as a whole is unified and coherent in its aims, and serves as a wonderful introduction to a producer wrestling with the fundamentals of life.”
Reginald Omas Mamode IV follows last year's self-titled debut album with 'Children Of Nu'.
"The 20 track album draws influence from the world around us, everyday life. As we witness rising poverty, global events, political and ethnic divisions - these factors prompt some of Reginald's themes and call for humanity to recognise we are all interconnected. We are all related. We're all brothers and sisters with common ancestry, common history and a common origin regardless of race, geographic location or belief systems. Love and compassion are universal feelings/practices we all should embrace and apply to all aspects of our lives, our interactions and our relationships, regardless of the kinship'. - Reginald Omas Mamode IV Children Of Nu' encompasses Reginald's musical and sonic influences - Afro Roots music through to jazz and soul. It draws from Africa as much as the west, an attempt to make a record that can exist in many contexts, the present, the future and past.Recorded with freedom - most tracks remain from the first take - the process of creating 'Children Of Nu' was an open ended development from a natural, intuitive, starting point. Made with minimal thought of how tracks would end up, the music was led through the creative process. Born of a moment, each track is an attempt to capture that instance, mood, feeling or subject.
Last year's self-titled debut album was warmly received, collecting critical success including Mojo ( A brand-new-retro delight'), Mixmag ( Peckham beat brilliance'), Record Collector ( Equal parts D'Angelo to J Dilla'), The Wire ( Soul music turned all the way inward') and a Bandcamp Album of the Day ( Breathing lifeforms that are equally steeped in hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz'). It was also nominated for 'Album of the Year' at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards 2017. Along with Mo Kolours, Jeen Bassa, Henry Wu, Al Dobson Jr and Tenderlonious, he's helped forge in the 22a co-operative what The FADER calls a kaleidoscopic patchwork of hip-hop, house, and groove investigations bound by one thread: a timeless belief in rhythm as a universal language’.”
Joachim Nordwall’s iDEAL catch Bob Bellevue, sound guy for NYC’s ISSUE Project Room, working hard at the biting point of electro-acoustic feedback with Yamaha Deluxe - a continuation of the powerful, element beauty contained within his Damned Piano 2CD for Anarchymoon Recordings.
Using the Yamaha CFIIIS PE Grand Piano alluded to in the title as a sort of resonant tone generator, Bellevue applies a matrix of speakers, amps, pickups, contact miss, microphones, pedals, and a laptop running SuperCollider, to render the instrument as hardly heard before, wrenching out something more akin to a Stephen O’Malley solo guitar performance, or even an imagined O’Malley duet with Reinhold Friedl.
The session breaks down to five uncompromising live performances, banking a mass of complex, reverberating harmonics from shearing hi-register tones to guttural subduction in the 1st part, then with a more patient temperament in the 2nd, making the grand joanna sound like a primeval, wounded beast in its dying minutes. The 3rd section expresses 20 minutes of liminal, Drumm-like tone control calving into cavernous growls and thunder, and the relatively brief part 4 transitions from barely perceptible bass presence to bone-rubbed shudders, with the 5th track expanding that aesthetic to sound like a location recording made in the bowels of sunken warship.
The first of 2 x 10”s, The Spectacular Empire I features Gaika coming from a noisy, abstract intro to square up alongside Miss Red on a piquant, sepulchral dancehall mutation, Battalion
Then merging from billowing Ben Frost-style digital scree to emote autotuned on a beat-less streak of Reese bass and finger-pop percussion, descending into a trap-trance blowout.
1st ever international vinyl release, newly re-cut over 2 x LPs for optimal frequency response. Now also includes Blood Shed Dub from the classic disco plate series, with sleeve notes by Michael “Dub” Shore and Steve “On The Wire” Barker. Check for the synthy squeeze of Displaced Master and pre-echoes of radge UK ‘ardcore and dubstep in the wild Drilling Equipment.
“Originally issued as a cassette on the ROIR label alongside the likes of Bad Brains, Suicide and The Contortions, this second album from 1983 is an uncompromising collection of heavy dub manners and experimental studio soundscaping. Dreader than dread roots rhythms sit alongside delay-baked post-punk instrumentals such as “Drilling Equipment” and “Synchroniser”.”
A smart handful of synthesists take Texas’ S U R V I V E to the ‘floor for Relapse.
Salon Des Amateurs’ Lena Willikens reshapes Cutthroat with a sleek, slow-rolling kosmiche-disco chassis; Not Waving accentuates the Ballardian sensuality of High Rise with a writhing tangle of acidic synths, oil-smear pads and purring, gear-shifting groove mechanics; Blondes’ Sam Haar revises Wardenclyffe as an increasingly ecstatic sort of dissonant techno traum; and Justin K Broadrick leans in on Other as JK Flesh for an insistent, stygian industrial chugger, morphing into seething jungle pressure by the close.
Torn Hawk hitches his wagon to UTTU for a tightly packed EBM session called Worm Quest, taking the examples of his Men With No Memory 2x7” down wilder back alleys of industrial dance music.
The four tracks fall somewhere between Gatekeeper’s EBM maulings on their Giza 12”, and the hi-energy Swedish EBM of Cats Rapes Dog, packing as much hi-tech funk torque into every second between the robocop dancer Wormquest and the new beat-nodding promo sample stabbed into Drain The Club on the A-side, then strangely recalling early ‘90s AFX in the taut clatter and martian melodies of Homeschooled Weirdo, saving something like a VHS Head sound with angular DX7 twang and tense techno ructions in The Paramus Achievement.
Reissue of a rare and prized Sun Ra live recording, notably starring the first ever appearance of Pharaoh Sanders on wax, and a scarce outing by Black Harold.
“"To understand the significance of the word 'featuring' on Featuring Pharoah Sanders And Black Harold, consider how infrequently Sun Ra used it and the exact way it had been used.
The October Revolution in Jazz, organized by Bill Dixon in the West Village in 1964, presented a vivid cross section of approaches to the new music, including a sextet led by Ra. For the October Revolution’s continuation, titled Four Days in December, held at nearby Judson Hall on the last days of 1964, the Arkestra performance presented Pharoah Sanders as well as a flautist (who was and remained obscure thereafter) named Harold Murray, nicknamed Black Harold.
“It wasn’t until long after Sanders had achieved worldwide acclaim with John Coltrane that Ra and manager Alton Abraham decided to issue the music they’d recorded at Judson Hall. After its first release in plain or handdecorated covers in 1976, Featuring Pharoah Sanders And Black Harold remained an exceptionally rare item in the El Saturn discography, known to a few lucky collectors. “We’re lucky to have this glimpse of what Sanders sounded like in such a different context, galvanizing the large group and in turn being inspired to make his first significant contribution on record.”
- John Corbett (excerpt from the liner notes)
Blurring the lines between time and space, Ko Shin Moon mixes acoustic instruments from various regions of the world, analog devices, traditional music, electronic arrangements, sampling and field recordings.
"As the soundtrack of a patchwork journey, the band’s first LP conveys one along a succession of hybrid territories, imaginary sound landscapes, multicolored collages: Acid Dabke, Turkish-Greek Disco, Cosmic Raï, New Beat Molam, Tibetan Ambient, Synth Wave Hindi Filmi, Rickshaw Dance Music…"
Wobbly, mid ‘80s UK dub wonders, including a daft take on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Dr. Who theme. Check for the infectious, propulsive stepper North Of The River Thames, a riff on Augustrus Pablo’s East Of The River Nile.
“Hauntological dub taking the mystical eastern melodica scales pioneered by Augustus Pablo and applying them to a unique mix of re-versioned cult themes and roots rockers.
Doctor Pablo was a key member of Creation Rebel as well as contributing to such canonical albums as Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Volume 1 and some of the early Hitrun Records sides, a pre-cursor to On-U Sound. It is also the third album appearance by the Dub Syndicate. Features the much-loved dub re-rub of the theme tune to classic British science fiction show Doctor Who.”
Natty, rickety dubs with psychedelic boogie flavour; thunk of it as balearic music for the banks of the Mississippi
“Left Ear re-introduce another ten lost tracks from Nicholas Georgieff and Virgil Work, St Louis' basement electronics duo Workdub.
The release spans material from 1989-95 and includes recordings from their sole LP and both cassette albums. Workdub’s music hardly fits into a vacuum and some might even say it’s otherworldly. Tracks like “Reach for the Stars” and “Lunar Module” reflect dreams of space-age exploration, all the while their investigation into drum machines, synthesizers, samples and digital fx’s matched with their organic live instrumentation work to create a unique atmospheric dubbed out sound.”
On his 2nd EP for Tresor, BNJMN refines his sound to a sort of keening, grittily textured greyscale techno.
Body Reflections Pt.2 steadily scales his sound from expansive, booming techno ambient techno recalling earliest AFX in Undulations, thru the slower, decayed techno bulk of Lyra to a Ben Frist-like sore point of tectonic noise quake and noise in Earth Shock, expelling any reserves of energy in the heavy-lidded but still-driving Severance, to the anxious resting point of Ghost Faction, which is arguably the most impressive ambient work in his catalogue.
Digickal mysticism from 1985 London, helmed by the master Adrian Sherwood, starring highlights in the steppin’ sino-dub ov Forever More, on a tuff but mellifluous soul flex with Forever More, the sharp-edged, recursive ricochets of Wellie, or those mad sliding chromatics in Out and About.
“Increasing access to new studio technology resulted in this splicing of dub reggae DNA with cut-and-paste sampledelia. Anticipating the later work of labels such as Def Jux, Wordsound and Anticon, this 1985 album paired crack Jamaican session musicians such as the Roots Radics’ drummer Style Scott (by this point the instrumental leader of Dub Syndicate) and The Congos’ Ashanti Roy with Public Image Limited’s Jah Wobble and Keith Levene, not to mention the restless mixing desk boundary-pushing of producer and de facto member Adrian Sherwood. A more reggaefied take on the industrial funk Sherwood was making with Tackhead during the same period, lovers of digidub, outernational sounds and even the wilder reaches of 80s hip-hop will find much to get lost in here.”
Mica Levi’s original soundtrack to an animé by acclaimed artist and Turner prize nominee Phil Collins - the film was illustrated and designed by the revered Marisuke Eguchi and is a follow-up to Levi’s award winning work on 'Under The Skin' and ‘Jackie'. Trust, this one’s a bit special.
This is Mica’s first musical accompaniment for animation, once again using her signature palette of dissonant strings and combustible electronics that just completely get to us every time. She paints a series of sweeping backdrops to the film's blend of classically-schooled anime and up-to-the-second CGI designs in a way that we find it hard to imagine any other contemporary soundtrack producer could have managed - somewhere between Arthur Russell, John Carpenter and Johann Johannsson.
The film is set in a near future where carbon-based energy is outlawed and supposes a paradoxical scenario, one where fossil fuels - the ostensible accelerator of humanity’s progress and decline - become energy for the toil against state oppression and enforced inequality. In doing so, it resonates with anime’s strong tradition of exploring eco-feminist themes and power dynamics, both socio-political and technological.
The central Delete Beach theme, a diaphanous section of airborne synth-string contours and charred guitar distortion carved in pirouetting turns-of-phrase, appears in Japanese and English-narrated versions as well as an Instrumental mix. They are divided by the beat-driven Interlude 1 and interlude 2 - which is perhaps the standout piece on the whole score and possibly in Levi’s impeccable oeuvre generally - a mix of string slashes mixed with opiated chopped ’n screwed rhythms comparable to her breathtaking deconstructions with the London Sinfonietta.
After her work underlying and exploring complex characters in Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the alien-woman metaphors of Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, Delete Beach follows suit with an impendingly tense, viscerally affective sound that reflects and conveys a sense of independence in the face of uncertainty, of a struggle against imposed forces or control systems.
It’s another beguiling testament to Levi’s role as one of the most original and eminent composers of her generation and, once again, leaves us convinced that she's more or less peerless in this field...
Ambient shoegaze duo Aris Kindt launch the new Kingdoms imprint with their second album, Swann and Odette.
"Picking up where their first record (2015â??s Floods) leaves off, Swann and Odette is an evolutionary leap forward for the duo. The sonic palette is deeper, the grooves more sparse and the melodies are given more room to seep deep within a mix so expansive it feels almost tactile."
Creamy acid house trax from Norway’s Tom Ace and Bejjer, buffed up for release by Ulli of Ullis Tapes.
Tom Ace is a N.A.T.O. fighter pilot by day, but makes lushly balanced, gently insistent acid dream such as this 12”s A-side, Return To Pollyland, by night.
Wingman for this mission is Bejjer, who keeps up his side with a simmering ambient waltz called Idiopathic Brain Modulations recalling the vibes of Moon Wheel or 1991 at their most tranquil.
The 1st iteration of Adrian Sherwood and co’s Dub Syndicate, born 1982 with The Pounding System (Ambience In Dub), prior to the crucial arrival of sticksman Lincoln “Style” Scott. Check out the splashing, sozzled dub of 10K at 0VU - 60HZ - Mind Boggles! and their spicy bubbler, Gather at the River.
“The debut Dub Syndicate set from 1982, pre-dating the involvement of mainstay Style Scott. This features various members of Creation Rebel and African Head Charge turning out a wild dub set, with hard-hitting rhythms and FX-mutated melodies phasing in and out of the mix.
Recorded quickly with track titles cheekily poking fun at the contemporary series by The Scientist which pitted him against various b-movie foes. The tunes themselves however are deadly serious, with version excursions on some classic On-U vocal cuts such as “Bedward The Flying Preacher” and “Across The Red Sea”, and a continuing commitment by producer Adrian Sherwood to take his love of reggae and filter it through his exploratory and uniquely English approach.”
Dark Entries and Emotional Rescue team up to tap Psychic TV’s legendary vein of ersatz acid house, resting the virulent acid swagger of Dave Ball’s Blue Pyramid production
Featuring middle eastern-style violin by Virginia, alongside a whirring EBM acid re-lick by Bucharest’s Khidja, plus Bezier’s breakbeat electro-acid version, and the chunky funk of MBM’s Mark Pistel.
Brooding, clunky club shot from Miruna Boruzescu, a Romanian DJ based in Berlin
Returning to Cómeme with the droning, blank-eyed industrial drama of Silent, which Berlin’s Khidja duly tucks away as a throbbing, jagged EBM tool for the DJs.
Fine-tuned and urgently punkish EBM from Japan, making up the first release on Claudio Mate and Francesco Mazzoco’s Dub Ito outlet from Italy.
Nasty late ‘80s sensibilities are subtly updated with precision and guile in 7 parts, ranging from the biting-point 8-bit chiptune inflections jabbed into their spiky missile Idiot Idiot, to the mad stop-start propulsion system of Futei, onto sludgy 110bpm variations in Mae e Narae, nimble nods to DAF and Liquid G on Pulsewave, and a seriously infectious piece of EBM weaponry in Shinigami Horimono’s remix of Idiot Idiot.