Yak exerts a canny new spin on classic rave and broken beat tropes on a fine debut for R&S landing somewhere between Lone, Shed and Djrum styles
Echoing Yak’s 12”s for Version and Martyn’s 3024, put pushing them headlong into ruder, spaced-out areas of the rave, the ‘Termina EP’ locates an artist wickedly in flux, finding their feet, but clearly in possession of their own style.
A-side racks up the devilishly playful fusion of dancing chords and latinate, ‘ardcore acid swang in ‘Wide Eye’, before testing out whirring Joe or Ploy-style rhythms in ‘Skooma’, and pushing a tight mix of Jersey kicks, cunty drums and natty electronics in ‘Stampede’, leaving him room to stretch out with IDM/footwork/jungle sound designs on ‘Termina’, and tech 2562-like mechanics in ‘Spore’.
Classic, chimeric ‘70s meld of traditional Greek music and jazz-fusion from Kyriakos Sfetsas and his Greek Fusion Orchestra
“TERANGA BEAT proudly presents Vol.2 of Kyriakos Sfetsas' 1976 "Greek Fusion Orchestra" project. Sfetsas' vision behind the formation of GFO, was to create a piece of work that would expand the boundaries of Greek traditional music. The result was a Progressive-Jazz Fusion masterpiece comprising complex and intriguing compositions, performed by Athens' best musicians of the day.
Following the success of Vol.1, Vol.2 is a compilation of musical pieces Sfetsas recorded with the group right upon the completion of the Vol. 1 material. Vol.2 is still reflective of his ambition of bringing together progressive jazz and traditional music, but it does so in a different manner. Although the element of traditional music remains present, it does not provide the compositional foundation for the songs (e.g. most pieces are no longer based exclusively on traditional musical forms). More jazzy and more complex than Vol.1, Vol.2 has a darker feeling, presenting Sfetsas not only as a musical experimentalist, but also as a demanding and distinctive composer, who truly puts his musicians through the test.
The recordings on this album are previously unreleased and form only a small part of his overall body of work with the GFO. The music was originally recorded Stereo on Reel Tape with highest standards for the time, with the modern mastering process highlighting even more their original sound quality. The result is a truly impressive and pure audiophile album, even slightly better than Vol.1 on that regard.”
Debut LP proper by pianist and composer Tim Parkinson (b. 1973); a key member of London’s avant-experimental underground, with previous releases for Editions Wandelweiser.
“'Pleasure Island' is British composer Tim Parkinson's disquieting and joyous Slip debut: play time in end times. Titled after the Disney adaptation of 'Paese dei balocchi' (or the Land of Toys) in Carlo Collodi's 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' (1883), 'Pleasure Island' is a metaphysical playground of organic and digital cohabitation, its inhabitants pacified by toys and comforts.
Alongside Dawn Bothwell, Suze Whaites, Laurie Tompkins, and Francesca Fargion, Parkinson exerts an uncannily emotional pull from an unlikely but potent alliance of ultra-minimal aesthetics, dead-beat drums, junk electronics, and mechanised mantras.
Voices are hemmed in by electronic sound. People buffeted around by machines. Words surrounded by garlands of digital interference. Time repackaged as countdown.
Tim's trash-opera 'Time With People' continues to be performed around the world, past champions of which include Object Collection, a.pe.ri.od.ic, Edges, and NEC, and he is a co-curator of London's longstanding 'Music We’d Like To Hear' series. Despite decades of fiercely independent production, this is his only piece conceived of first and foremost as an album.”
Curdled kosmische dance musicks from Daniel Magee’s Lo Kindre, following floracentric ambient sides for 12th Isle and Optimo with this suite of lo-slung, grooving charms.
With his soft-focus styles sweetly established by now, the Glaswegian artist follows his instincts into four smudged and hypnagogic ‘Private Worlds’, wending a path somewhere between the shadows of Pye Corner Audio and Conrad Schnitzler with the slow, acidic, kosmic dancehall pressure turning out supremely woozy highlights in the swirled arps of ’Syn’ up top, and the dreamy wind-tunnel lag of ‘Phocidae’ and ‘PKD’ on the butt side.
Washed-out, woozy ambient and lounge grooves from Sydney. Think Boards of Australia vibes
“Air Space Ark’s debut, “All Rivers Lead” charts the course of divergent streams of contemporary ambient music, downtempo rhythms, and electroacoustic experimentation, arriving at a calming confluence of these sources. Across the 6 songs on these two sides, they evoke a calming and contemplative headspace.”
Eliphino returns an altered beast in 2019 with a rave-ready mix of hardcore, speed garage and rude acid tweaks for the R&S-affiliated Media Fury label
Taking cues from Demsike Stare’s danceflorr gnash, the rolling heft of Joy O, and the well tucked grooves of Hessle Audio, the ‘Realistic Sex’ EP is the best thing he’s done, charging a classic but fresh energy into all five tracks, with strong highlights between the rude ’93 flex of ‘Disc Rhythm’, the haughty acid swang of ‘Remedy’, Berlin backroom vibes in ‘Realistic Sex’, and a fine mastery of 303 dynamics in ‘Formula’.
Titans of UK rave culture, Fabio & Grooverider look back on ’30 Years of Rage’, their seminal London club night, with the first of four volumes charting the ultra-classic and hard-to-find foundations of hardcore, jungle and D&B - the UK’s greatest gift to the world of the past generation.
It’s impossible to overstate the influence of Fabio & Grooverider on UK music and rave culture since they began DJing in the late ‘80s acid house phase. For a generation of UK yoof they are practically household names, and we very fondly remember tuning in to their (now defunct) BBC Radio 1 show to catch D&B before we could legally get into clubs. It’s also probably fair to say they’ve done more for race and cultural relations in the UK than any politician ever has, with their earliest, unprecedented fusions of Belgian techno with UK fast rap, Yorkshire bleep, US house, Caribbean soundsystem culture and London rare groove hustle laying a template that frankly revolutionised dancefloors across the country, bringing people together in the same space who were, to a much greater extent than today, largely, mutually exclusive. We could bang on about their importance all day, but suffice it to say they are the OG’s of UK rave.
As the label explain, their RAGE night was arguably the ground zero for Jungle. "The party was started at London's cavernous Heaven club by Fabio & Grooverider in 1988, at the height of Acid House fever that was making it's way up and down the motorways, slip-roads, fields and warehouses of the M25 and further beyond every weekend, troubling the nation, the police, your parents and the press as it went. RAGE was a different beast, it certainly channelled some of that Acid energy but pitted it against the new and exciting sounds emanating from Belgium, Amsterdam, Detroit, Sheffield, Essex and Hackney and in turn created a new style, a new sonic attitude and energy in the process. Rumbling bass-lines, narcotic synth rushes and roughly chopped and sped-up breakbeats all merged into a style that we now know as Jungle."
This first volume is a tour de force of early rave pressure, charting a course from Leftfield’s deep 1990 bass massage ‘Not Forgotten’ thru Lennie De Ice’s all-time jungle cornerstone ‘We Are IE’, the London mash-up styles of ‘Dubplate’ by Wots My Code, Foul Play’s artful jungle masterpiece ‘Being With You’, and the bawl fwd hardcore of ‘The Future’ by Noise Factory, saving Fallout’s lip-smacking classic ‘The Morning After (Sunrise Mix)’ for dessert.
Foundational bangers the lot of them.
Finn sweetly balances funked-up garage positivity and subtle melancholy in his latest volley for Local Action
A conceptual partner piece to 2017’s raved-about EP ‘Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough’, this follow-up also explores the dancefloor dichotomy of ups and downs, toggling the emotional register with MDMA-like therapeutic qualities.
Bringing the vibe up from the belly to head-thizzing effect with the filter-funk of ‘Find You’, his sample-hunting skills are in sterling effect across the EP, most poignantly in the pitched-up, Gary-jawed tremble and smooth Reese bass rolige of ‘Friends & Lovers’, and with slamming friday night Northern Soul buzz in ‘I Know, I Know’, while his title track tends to your tail feather with infectious swing, and ‘You’re Fine’ brings the EP, and this current phase of Finn’s production to a close with perfect measure of warm nostalgia and gently insistent, PLUR positivity that, quite crucially, doesn’t feel heavy-handed or overwrought, just right.
:Few label founders loom as large in the history of underground music as P.S.F Record's Hideo Ikeezumi. Over three decades and more than 200 titles, Ikeezumi's intensely critical ear guided and assembled a body of music that transcended genre; he exclusively championed artists that were uncompromising in their visions, unconcerned with trends or commercial success.
"This four-LP compilation, selected by Ghost's Masaki Batoh, is a primer of Ikeezumi's curation: a kaleidoscopic collection of previously unreleased gems from the Japanese underground. Running the full stylistic gamut from the hushed tones of Kim Doo Soo and Go Hirano to the psychedelic rock splendor of Overhang Party and High Rise this set connects the dots between generations and movements, all linked by the common thread of Ikeezumi's panoramic musical vision. The most original voices in the avant garde, psychedelia, folk, free jazz, and rock all found a home with P.S.F. Records.
Featuring exclusive music from Fushitisusha, Ghost, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Keiji Haino, Kazuo Imai, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, .es, á qui avec Gabriel, Shizuka, Masayoshi Urabe, Ché-SHIZU, White Heaven, Keiko Higuchi, Reizen, Makoto Kawashima, Niseaporia, Hasegawa-Shizuo, and Hideaki Kondo."
Crafty mix of dream-pop vocals and supple, slow grooves nodding to witch house, R&B, trip hop
“"Our Love Is The Gold" is the third proper studio album from Paco Sala following "Ro-Me-Ro" & "Put Your Hands On Me". Written over 4 years it marks a return to song-writing for the duo, employing fever-dream melodies and synth drunk hooks, balanced against off-kilter production that sets them apart from their peers.
Intense, impassioned, guttural yet enigmatic - the album documents the process of leaving London and the empowerment a new life inspires. The opening & title track is a statement of intent “are you aware of my power?” repeats Garza, leaving us in no doubt that we really shouldn’t doubt her.
Tone set, what follows is gloriously idiosyncratic and deeply personal pop, presented without compromise or concession. Direct, confident, articulate - gone are the the opiated improvisations of 2017’s "The Silent Season", though the wilful sense of adventure remains throughout. "Our Love is The Gold" is a record of awakenings and self-discovery.”
Jean-Benoît Dunckel of AIR and Jonathan Fitoussi (audio restoration engineer at GRM) develop their collaboratiuon at Xavier Veilhan’s Studio Venezia at the 57th Venice Biennale, completing the recordings at Jean-Benoit’s studio in Paris.
As the Parisians’ first collaboration, ‘Mirages’ finds Fitoussi and Dunckel curving away from prior, respective solo vectors into meditative synth music and meticulous synth-pop to arrive at a mutual conclusion of softly-played, star-eyed electronics realised between Xavier Veilhan’s Studio Venezia - the French Pavilion during the 2017 Vencie Biennale - and Studio Atlas at home in Paris.
One for country day-tripping in the sun, as well as watching the stars come out at night, ‘Mirages’ works its magick with all the slow subtlety one might imagine from a member of AIR, while Fitoussi’s avant-experimental leanings lend it a more inventive, spaced-out breeze of lush, lysergic possibility and vulnerability.
“Synthesizers amassed through the years, which on this album, conceived with precision and care over the course of one year, reveal their essence – and more importantly, their soul, going from very cinematographic parts to very direct others.
Between start and finish, a singular floating and inventive pop music unfolds. An upgraded form of instrumental electronic music, that takes the listener very far, and very high, perfectly mixing both musicians world, like fruitful pictures arisen from a desert that forgot to be arid.
Their mirages are inventive, their mirages are fertile.”
Surreal Euro oddity from double bass player Hannes d’Hoine’s Jon Doe One, joined by a quintet of guitar, flues, marimba, drums, clarinet and vacillating late night Lynchian feels with prog-jazzy turns of phrase and unexpected daubs of strange soul music. RIYL Rupert Clervaux, David Lynch, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kreng
“Jon Doe One is the alter ego of Hannes d’Hoine, a double-bass player and composer from Antwerp. His collaboration with guitarist Sjoerd Bruil and Magnum photographer Sohrab Hura, The lost head and the bird, has led to a series of live events in which the framework for Small Numbers was established. Together with a handful of guest musicians (Elko Blijweert, Michaël Brijs, Jeroen Stevens, Han Stubbe and Gert Wyninckx) the material was distilled and refined into the album’s eight tracks.”
A synth-pop zinger from 1984 Slovenia pipes up on necessary reissue from Rush Hour. While little known outside of the former Yugoslavia, Videosex’s self-titled debut album from 1984 sold in significant numbers, making superstars of the young Slovenian musicians responsible for making it. The set not only helped turn Yugoslavian teenagers on to the possibilities of Western-style electronic pop, but also inspired them via satirical, often explicit lyrics.
Revolving often satirical lyrical content about erotica, lesbianism, voyeurism and sadism, set to some of the poppiest production you’ve ever heard, it’s perhaps no wonder that the original pressing was a massive seller in the former Yugoslavian country.
After being signed following a performance at Novi Rock festival in Ljubljana, the band spent over 200 hours in the studio exacting their diamond cut sound, resulting super punchy, sprung machine rhythms, glittering synths and ohrwurming vocals, which, while sung in their native tongue, surely and playfully connote all the lascivious content of the lyrics to all listeners.
A pretty much flawless gem.
Alex Zhang Hungtai takes his instrumental work to ever more personal and moving levels on his soundtrack to a semi-autobiographical film meditating on the meaning of home in which Hungtai himself plays the main protagonist, returning to Hawaii to trace his roots. It arrives in the wake of some of his most significant artistic achievements; the stunning ‘Divine Weight’ album which knocked us off our feet in 2018, that incredible Love Theme album for Alter, and his appearance under the spotlights of The Roadhouse stage in Twin Peaks Season 3 as one half of house band Trouble alongside David Lynch’s son Riley.
Hungtai has captivated us since he emerged from Montreal’s burgeoning music scene at the early 2010’s as Dirty Beaches, and his movements since have taken turns that have been both unexpected and entirely in keeping with his unique aesthetic approach, pushing ever further into the rawly expressive style that has earned him cult-like status over the course of the past decade.
August At Akiko’s is in some respects his most unvarnished and personal work to date - infused with location recordings made in Hawaii, the music reflects the serene, introspective ambience of the film itself. Opening with the short, naked field recording of ‘Temple Bell’, and resolving with the harmonious glow and dissonant shards of keys in ‘Ocean Boy’, the soundtrack is dominated by two contrasting tracts featuring Hungtai on his favoured sax.
The first, ‘Sky Burial’ is a starkly brooding piece opening with a menacing rumble and clatter of ceremonial Buddhist music where he joins in, tentatively at first, but growing into a ripping display of wounded beast bleats and whirling shreds as febrile and roving as the background drums. In sharp contrast, the flipside is free of drums, leaving Hungtai blowing beautifully blue whims to himself. Unadorned and as vulnerable as could be, the side ends with a meditative solo piano piece which acts as a perfect distillation of the stillness and inner peace the film manages to capture so well, living in the seams between dreams, reality, and memory, with a temporality all of its own.
The Fall’s second studio album, reissued as a massively expanded 3CD clamshell box-set and a limited splatter vinyl LP with 7” single replica of their ‘Rowche Rumble’ single.
"Founded by its only constant member, Mark E. Smith, The Fall formed in Manchester in 1976 and were one of the most prominent post-punk groups in the world. Musically, there may have been several stylistic changes over the years, but it was often characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, always underpinned by Smith's distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics. “They are always different; they are always the same...” John Peel “Dragnet” is the second studio album – released 26th October 1979 - these editions celebrate the fortieth anniversary of this seminal album. Originally released through record label Step-Forward, it predicated 2 major factors in the group’s career – high productivity and high group turnover.
The album has historically garnered excellent reviews, including 4/5 in MOJO, 8.7/10 on Pitchfork and 4/5 in Q Magazine. Featuring the one and only Mark E. Smith alongside Steve Hanley (bass), Marc Riley (guitar), Craig Scanlon (guitar), Mike Leigh (drums), Kay Carroll (backing vocals) and Yvonne Pawlett (keyboards). This is the second release in Cherry Red’s new series of deluxe Fall reissues: “Fall Sound Archive”. The 3CD version comes housed in a clamshell boxset. Alongside the full album are several b-sides and alternative takes plus live shows from Retford in 1979 and Los Angeles in 1979. The boxset also features a booklet of new sleeve notes by Daryl Easlea and has been remastered by long-term Fall engineer Andy Pearce."
‘Holy Water Whisper’ is one of those purist electronic peaches that bloom regularly on Antwerp’s excellent, ever searching Ent’racte label
It is Cologne-based artist Volker Hennes’ 3rd release for the label, after 2015’s ‘Emperor Ambassador’, and follows from his 2017 action with Anthony Moore in Therapeutische Hörgruppe Köln.
Technically the nine track album was entirely produced on a Nord Modular G1 - “One track, one patch; no additional effects or over-dubbing”, while the label more poetically describe it as “Fluids flood the entire audio spectrum (20 to 20k). A solid state which is simultaneously and continuously changing.”
Echoing the stripped down approach of Yves De Mey’s recent ace ‘Exit Strategies Part 1’, the results are all dead abstract, and range from what sounds like a protein-gargling alien vocaloid in his ‘Holy Whisper’ parts, thru to bouts of ultra iridescent, deliquescent, gurning lushness in the ‘Fluid Noise’ bits, and a couple of astringent, unsettling ‘Cleaning’ numbers.
From the Catskill Mountains, Emily Sprague channels a timeless mix of new age ambience and poetry in her captivating debut for RVNG Intl. Compiling Emily’s two self-released tapes ‘Water Memory’  and ‘Mount Vision’ , this sublime package brings us right up to date with her effortlessly enchanting solo output. Across 14 parts in 80 minutes, she proves equally adept at sprawling out in longer forms, as with ‘At Lake’, as she is at capturing crystalline vignettes like the kaleidoscopic miniature ‘Huckleberry’, or the microtonal peal of ’Synth 3’, all pointing to a charming new talent coming into being.
“Emily A. Sprague’s Water Memory and Mount Vision albums are presented in new and complete detail. Emily’s work concerns the connectedness of all things, giving living, core form to the mysterious forces that guide earthly activity and human contact with them. Memory and vision, ocean and mountains, question and answer, emotions and infinity. Sunshine, lizard, sea salt.
Through sound and poetry, Emily focuses on fleeting moments of crystalline clarity and meditates on expanded lifetimes of intricate meaning-making. This vision is unfalteringly beautiful, gently profound. But, as Ursula K. Le Guin intuits in her translation of the Tao Te Ching, “In poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is the meaning. It is the truth.”
A collection of reflections are visible in the mirrored structures of Water Memory and Mount Vision, two chapters - two halves - each complemented by a written verse. As much about the presence in youthful experimentation as the permanence of transition and maturation, Water Memory is the first long-form instrumental music Emily ever channeled, generated over a year of self and sonic exploration between Massachusetts and New York.”
Drippin’ with realest ‘90s R&B flava, Devin Morrison’s debut album for Onra’s Nothing But Net label.
“If anyone from Florida tells you that something is « Bussin », it simply means that it’s tasty. Orlando-born Devin Morrison's first solo album on NBN Records, « Bussin » gives you an ill mix of flavors with eclectic inspirations rooted in 90's R&B, Gospel and Funk.
You get fresh-squeezed harmonies inspired by the likes of Take 6 & Commissioned on slow jamz like « It’s Time » and « Bussin », melodies that pierce like spears on « No » and drums that bite like gator jaws on the G Funk infused banger « The Struggle Iz Real » featuring Daz Dillinger.
Singer/Songwriter/Composer, Devin Morrison aims to show the world the sweet sound of Florida that it has yet to hear while collaborating with the finest voices the R&B, such as Grammy Award nominees KING, super talented singer from L.A. Joyce Wrice on the classic R&B duet « With You », or seasoned originals like Ace Hashimoto (aka BrandUn DeShay) on the futuristic sounding « Guaranteed ».
The opening track « It's Time » features a guitar performance from Devin's father, a solo recording artist in the early 90's known as Dah-Vi and ends up on a personal note with the spiritual jam « Fairytale » (featuring vocals from Devin's older brother, Lakks Mable) and the introspective « Love Yourself ».
As Devin tweeted, « As long as I'm alive, R&B shall be as well ». The expectations are high for this Floridian creative, and Devin Morrison is here to live up to his own.”
Exquisite shadowplay of electro-acoustic, midnight jazz, and cinematic synth tropes from James Rushford, peer and collaborator of Oren Ambarchi, Klaus Lang and many more - RIYL Jakub Ullmann, Deathprod, Felicia Atkinson
“This LP is Rushford's first solo release in a decade and the very first he has composed, performed, and recorded entirely alone. Primarily recorded in Los Angeles in 2017, The Body's Night is a single electro-acoustic suite stretching over thirty minutes, utilizing field recordings, flutes, ocarina, microphones, organ, percussion, piano, tape, analog synthesizers, viola, and voice.
True to its title, the record immediately ushers into a nocturnal, intimate, claustrophobic space where the hyper-amplified rustle of clothing and vocal mumbles are shadowed by uneasy synth tones, fluttering white noise and distant filigrees of ultra-high-pitched tones at the edges of aural perception. While the influence of contemporary composers such as Klaus Lang and Jakob Ullmann (both of whose music Rushford has performed extensively) makes itself felt in the music's attention to the liminal space between sounds, Rushford also draws on the bedroom synth explorations of '80s acts like Déficit Des Années Antérieures (DDAA) and the harmonies and production values of black metal, drawing a common thread between these influences in terms of their shared interest in atmosphere and deliberate retreat from perspicuity.
Relief from this claustrophobic atmosphere comes through the episodic structure of the piece, where like an already dark shot fading to black, each sequence retreats from your ears before you can properly grasp it. Rushford uses classical electro-acoustic techniques and plays elegantly on the fundamental ambiguity of the acousmatic situation in which you can never be sure of the source of the sound you are hearing. But rather than a tribute to the masterworks of musique concrete, this is defiantly idiosyncratic and personal music. Meticulous in production values and exploratory in timbre, tonality and form, The Body's Night is a key work from one of the most singular young composers at work today. Stunning artwork by O.B. De Alessi. Design by Lasse Marhaug. Mastered and cut at 45rpm for maximum fidelity by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.”
So you’ve heard a billion and one 4th world types emulate Afro-New Age styles, now here’s the real thing from Justus Nnakwe aka Jay U Experience, a Nigerian artist recording in NYC, 1993. This is a total pearl, we tell thee.
Uprooted by the excellent Left Ear Records after recent Soundway and Now-Again reissues of Nnakwe’s late ‘70s psych-rock jaunts with People Rock Outfit and The Hygrades, the ‘Abuja EP’ catches him years later formulating glittering rhythmelodies and saucy basslines on synths and drum machines, channelling the charms of his early work into a whole new paradigm.
The results are totally primed to dovetail with LER’s expanding international roster of oddities. On the A-side the promise of ‘Back To Motherland’ harmonises glyding pads and warm FM bass with lilting melodic percussion in creamiest style, and ‘Ancestral Call’ follows with delicious flutter of tuned drums and natty brassy melody that feels so much more effortless than the genre’s more cod pieces. The B-side sustains the charm with breezing chime trees and syn-flutes synched to grunky acidic bass in glyphic flow on ‘Okokobioko’, and ‘Abuja’ saves a twist in the tale to tread a fine line between pensive darkness and utopian new age feels.
Phil Moffa and Seth Troxler’s Lost Souls of Saturn leave the dance behind in search of new planets with a regular shuttle to Ibiza, channelling vibes from Don Cherry, The KLF and Sun Ra, while Border Community’s James Holden provides his first remix in 9 years - 13 minutes of colourfully plumed cosmic flight
“Following the release of their short film 'The Awakening' and its accompanying single, Lost Souls Of Saturn share the first remix in 9 years by revered musician James Holden. Over thirteen minutes of crisp, stratospheric elegance, Holden’s rework is both slightly mad and simultaneously blissful – like a trance-state reached through frenzied, spiritual ritual.
“I believe in serendipity: if the universe presents you with something that seems right, you should go with it”, says Holden. “When this record hit my desk was one of those moments. Recently I'd been thinking a lot about rave utopias, the pan-global fantasy painted by the early days of Future Sound Of London etc, and listening to LSOS's Jodorowskian ceremonials I felt like they'd caught the same winds. And so, although I thought I'd finished doing remixes for this lifetime, here it is; some kind of dream of a memory of a rave, the spookiness of the original slightly eclipsed by my warm feelings about Seth's good energy!””
20 years since recording addictive Kwaito anthem ’Amajovi Jovi’, Durban, S.A.’s Sandy B meets Danish producer and Kwaito fiend Simone Ahà and local singers for a woozy rude follow-up album
After reaching out to Sandy B in 2017 off the back of Invisible City Editions reissue of ‘Amajovi Jovi’, Simon Lundsgaard ended up contacting Sandy and visiting Durban for 5 weeks of Kwaito research and recording sessions. While living in Sandy’s studio, Simon cooked up 10 songs in the early ‘90s Kwaito style, including vocals by Msawawa and Saneh, which are all included here - 7 on vinyl and 3 on the bonus DL.
Let’s get it out of the way - there’s no ‘Amajovi Jovi’ part 2, but there are some worthy successors, most prominently when Sandy and Msawawa pass the mic, with Saneh on backing vox, over the natty house riff of ‘Sandy B & Msawawa’, the wicked hunch of ‘Shona Phansi’ and the slow burning berserk of ’Sikokela Rundkreds’. The rest, however, finds a canny balance of OG Kwaito directness and slightly more layered arrangements, resulting slunky highlights in the sozzled swing of ‘AmaYellow Bone’, a their late night strutter ‘Bhatara/Yim ‘Ophethe.’
Los Angeles-based Cold Showers return to Dais with their third album, Motionless, wielding a pop sound that is familiar to followers, yet more sophisticated and evolved than their previous works.
"Having traversed the realm of synth-laced post punk expertly for close to a decade, their return with the new album Motionless is a process-based album that reaches into the band’s collective quiver, melding their familiar anthem infused postpunk and lush, grand pop influences.
Motionless is Cold Showers looking inward and taking control of their creative process, while retaining all of their unique songwriting signatures. Recorded in their own studio in Los Angeles with band member Chris King at the production helm, each selection on Motionless sounds like a line drawing that quickly becomes a technicolor collage of crashing shoegazed reverberation.
As compared to their previous endeavor, Matter of Choice, the similar additions of arpeggiated electronics and more recently, string arrangements, adds a new, more sophisticated depth to Cold Showers’ already dense allegories. Tracks such as “Shine” and “Faith” stand on their own as heavy-hearted melodies that have an almost “classic” impression after only one listen. The band’s cover of Sandy Rogers’ 80’s ballad “Black Sidewalk” (only available on the LP & CD) offers proof-of-concept, never fully comfortable with their formula and challenging themselves as to what defines an amazing song. “Measured Man” and “Dismiss” have Cold Showers orbiting in the palpitations of early Factory Records and present each spin with tactical layering, rather than flooding the board. "
Deep house don Linkwood blesses his new label with a trimmed and re-shuffled pressing of much-loved debut album ’System’ following from the label’s opening gambit in 2018
Richly schooled in the classic funk, disco and house arts of Chicago, Detroit and NYC, Linkwood filters those influences thru a naturally Scottish wellspring of Gaelic soul and transmutes the results into a deepest dance music.
Now of a 10 year vintage, ’System’ is here stripped of ‘Fudge Boogie’ and ‘Chicago Pt. 2’, to be replaced with the iridescent shimmer and velvety bass of ‘Three Original Mix’ and the dub fried, crispy hustle of ‘Linkwood Lost Experiment’ to gently shake up the record, which still includes big highlights in the likes of his Carl Craig-esque jazz techno whim ’System’, the rude boogie pivot of ‘Falling’, and the Electrifying Mojo-ready flair of ‘Robot Parade’.
Massively expanded reissue - the 3CD version comes housed in a clamshell boxset including a disc of b-sides and session tracks and a live show from Mr Pickwick’s in Liverpool 1978. The boxset also features a booklet of new sleeve notes by Daryl Easlea and has been remastered by long-term Fall engineer Andy Pearce. The LP features only the original 11 tracks.
"‘Live At The Witch Trials’ offers a fascinating insight into The Fall at a very early stage of their career and also the nascent alternative scene which was pulling away from the ‘rama-lama’ punk of 1976 / 77. ‘Live At The Witch Trials’ (not a live album) was recorded at London’s Camden Sound Suite on 15th December 1978 and mixed by producer Bob Sargeant the next day. The album was released on 16th March 1979 through one of Britain’s most noteworthy punk labels, Step-Forward. No singles were taken from the album, a practice that would be commonplace for the group until 1986. By the time the album was released, drummer Karl Burns had left the band and guitarist Martin Bramah also quit shortly afterwards to form Blue Orchids, leaving Mark E Smith as the sole remaining founder member."
Norwegian ambient maestro Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere maintains his fascination with natural landscapes in The Petrified Forest, in a sort of impressionistic illustration of Archie Mayo’s 1936 film of the same name.
After imaginary trips taking us to Trømso, the Wolski forest on Poland, and more esoteric corners of his mind, this time his music inhabits a noirish world on the edge of the desert, populated by nervous and disillusioned characters who crop up in snatches of sampled dialogue across strewn across the album’s isolated, imagined interzones.
Night falls with the opening prickles of starlit synth and smooth blanket of darkness in Drifter, inviting us to scud across the endless panorama of Black Mesa pushed by spare electro downbeats, touching upon the fulgurite synth figures and charred beat stumps of Turned To Stone, whilst The Petrified Forest itself appears a totally serene space akin to one of Wolfgang Voigt’s wistful Gas spaces, and Just One Kiss recalls Pye Corner Audio waltzing into the dawn, before the album resolves with thew weightless 808 sway of This Is The End, which could almost have come from a late ‘90s AFX or Ae album.
The first solo material from producer Alex Ander, better known as part of the duo Dalhous, of Blackest Ever Black fame.
"It is not the first time that Alex Ander has collaborated with Lapsus Records. In 2016 Dalhous formed part of a dual release with Pye Corner Audio entitled "Run For The Shadows", demonstrating the strong sound connection shared by both projects. Alex Ander returns in 2019 to present his new adventure Brick Reds, Black Mauves.
His debut release for Lapsus is a four-track homonymous EP that could be considered as a soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic feature film, full of exuberant ambient and melodies in constant motion, somewhat reminiscent of names like Demdike Stare or even Scottish band Boards Of Canada. On the EP’s excellent fifth track, remix duties are expertly performed by Dalhous, giving "Cabochon" an even more introspective and experimental atmosphere, if that were deemed possible..."
Sähkö are keeping schtum about this ace enigma from “an experimental artist willing to stay anonymous on this project”, although they do mention a likeness to Nurse With Wound, Hafler Trio, Zoviet*France…
Presented under the low key moniker, …, ‘No Title’ sounds like a night in an abandoned wooden cabin in the arctic circle with CM Von Hausswolff, and only a reel to reel and a broken radio for company. Left to your devices and each other, the result is séance-like and utterly captivating, metaphorically leaving listeners in the dark surrounded by spirits that speak like the wind thru cracked windowpanes.
In the first part, any dilettantes will be scared off by the introductory 6 minutes of crackling static and looming low register tones, but those who see it thru will be subsequently immersed in doom sonic worth of Helge Sten’s Deathprod, CMvH, or Mika Vainio at his bleakest, before the piece peels away into puristic sines recalling Eleh or Eliane Radigue’s fluctuating partials as much as The Conet project.
Ultimately, the trip ends with the respite of human voices, although we’re not sure whether we were hiding from them in the first place or are welcome to hear them, as they remain at a distance, intangibly muffled and outta reach.
Our money’s on Kevin Drumm, but your guess is as good as ours.
We're onto volume 3 of Shackleton's Deliverance series and his rhythmelodic magick is in full flow.
Shack's new modular palette appears to remain unchanged from the last few releases, but it feels like he's more in control and able to follow the line of his 3rd eye. 'Headcleaner' unfurls nearly 12 minutes of chiming drum patter synched with globular subs in mutating patterns, seeming to move one way whilst the slow-arcing pads rove at another tempo entirely, making the whole piece move like some backa spoon inversion of Cut Hands that takes a Balearic trip half way thru.
With 'In Norwegen ganz verwegen' he locks into a fluidly psychedelic pulse pursuing quicksilver likembe thru a zig-zagging maze of sloshing water sounds, distant siren calls and sparring toms like the hieroglyphic soundtrack to some ancient Greek myth.
The first compilation to be released on the PAN label, Mono No Aware collates unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists including Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Pan Daijing, Sky H1, AYYA, Jeff Witscher, Helm, TCF, HVAD, Kareem Lotfy, ADR, Mya Gomez, James K, Oli XL, Flora Yin-Wong, Malibu, and label head Bill Kouligas, moving through more traditional notions of what's considered ’Ambient’, to wider variations that fall under the term.
It’s an incredibly coherent suite of tracks that quite honestly sounds like the work of a singular, multi-facted artist rather than a disparate collection of pieces, something that’s perhaps testament to Bill Kouligas’ exceptional curation skills. While the album revolves around central themes of “an empathy towards things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, in practice it serves to beautifully illustrate the label’s depths in unity and common purpose with tracks by key roster - M E S H, Bill Kouligas, Sky H1, Helm, Yves Tumor, Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell) - as well as a smart influx of extended family and new producers - TCF, AYYA, Flora Yin-Wong, HVAD & Pan Daijing, Kareem Lofty, Malibu, Oli XL - who refresh and perfectly expand the label’s already unfathomable breadth of styles, personnel and their perspectives.
It’s also by some distance the label’s most sublime release, shifting thru 16 subtly personalised and compatible pieces, with results that speak to a world of increasingly chaotic flux and instability by simultaneously mirroring its confusion while also providing an inclusive safe space away from it; offering mutual gridwork for a spectrum of expressive nuance that takes in the billowing lushness of Egyptian artist Kareem Lofty’s Fr3sh at one end, and the colder digital soul of Danish/Chinese duo HVAD & Pan Daijing at the other.
In the space between, Mono No Aware transcends vast, ostensibly detached time and space between Polish producer AYYA’s exquisite Second Mistake and Yves Tumor’s elusive/illusive Limerence to highlight their differences and similarities, vacillating the windswept dynamics of Helm’s Eliminator with ADR’s ambient-pop hymn Open Invitation and jumping from the needling peak of Mya Gomez’s justforu to Bill’s own ambiguous blend of agitated noise and aching melancholy in the rare outing, VXOMEG and in a tormented but optimistic way mutual to the M E S H and Sky H1 cuts and especially TCF’s C6 81 56.
On one level Mono No Aware helps to rescue ambient music from the clutches of neo-classical bores, and on another helps to firmly place it within context of the modern world. It’s a brilliantly curated, hugely satisfying collection of tracks from a label that never seems to rest on its laurels.
Of all Jan Jelinek’s formidable output, this album has always been t-h-e o-n-e for us. More resolved and driven than 'Loop-Finding Jazz Records' (which appeared two years later), less reliant on glitch than Farben, it was essentially Jelinek's most satisfying and complete prototype for a new kind of sample-based music deeply immersed in the spirit of Jazz, without making any direct reference to it. Finally, 20 years later, here’s another chance for the unfamiliar to join the dots.
Originally released via Move D’s Source imprint back in 1999, 'Personal Rock' is one of those albums that no one seems to ever talk about but which has resonated over the years with anyone lucky enough to have encountered it. Situated somewhere between 'Loop-Finding Jazz Records', his Farben output, Move D's Conjoint and Atom Heart's most immersive work for Rather Interesting, it's an album full of subtle production flourishes within deep House structures that belong to the pre-millenial IDM heyday, but which transcend its overly-fussy, masculine templates.
The music is brooding and deep, designed for late night immersion without resorting to cliché, bolstered by what we reckon is the most forward thinking and timeless production of Jelinek’s output over the last two decades. Impossible to pull highlights, it’s an album best experienced from end-to-end through multiple listens, drawing you into a quietly euphoric, deep blue mood.
Jan Jelinek’s iconic album 'Improvisations And Edits, Tokyo 26.09.2001’ is finally given a vinyl issue for the first time. It’s another deep blue mood piece full of fragmented Jazz loops which will be essential listening for those of you enamoured not only with 'Loop Finding Jazz Records’ but also his quiet masterpiece 'Personal Rock’, released under ther Gramm alias. If you’re as obsessed with that album as we are, this reissue is a must.
"For the original 2002 CD on Soup-Disk and Sub Rosa (Audiosphere), Jan Jelinek and the Japanese trio Computer Soup (Satoru Hori – trumpet, Osamu Okubo - toys & electronics, Kei Ikeda - toys & electronics) presented eight tracks all recorded one afternoon in the trio’s living room in Tokyo. They are excerpts from a joint group improvisation that subsequently underwent rudimentary editing, on which Jelinek and Computer Soup worked separately.
Jelinek met the three musicians at his first concert in Japan in 2001, at Tokyo’s Yellow club, where Computer Soup performed as the support act. Delighted by their free improvisation on pocket-sized electronic toys, trumpet and oscillators, he arranged to meet Hori, Okubo and Ikeda a few days later for a session at their apartment. The resulting three-hour recording, made on their living room floor, formed the basis for Improvisations and Edits. A few days later, Jelinek returned to Berlin. Over the following months, they separately chose passages from the recording that were then edited and assembled into an album.
Formed in Tokyo in 1996 as a quintet (including Shusaku Hariya and Daisuke Oishi), Computer Soup began by performing with acoustic instruments on the streets of Shibuya. Ikeda und Okubo soon switched instruments, and from then on the group’s minimalistic but densely woven sound was defined by electronic toys, oscillators and Satoru Hori’s trumpet. Their first album was released in 1997 on the Japanese label Soup Disk. Eight further releases followed."
Sarah Davachi serves her 2nd album of 2018 with ‘Gave In Rest’, offering a studio developed follow-up to her mesmerising album ‘Let Night Come On Bells End The Day’, which has quietly dominated our listening lives for months already...
As her beatific blends of early church, medieval and Renaissance musics have patiently and patently revealed over the past five years, Sarah’s works for piano, organ, synth, and woodwind demonstrate a unique gift for extracting and reworking the most affective spirits of church music to a secular appeal, effectively voicing a sort of metaphysical minimalism that could be explained as a result of deeply focused technique, but is perhaps better regarded as a timeless form of sonic alchemy.
Where her previous records were documents of a shorter time spent with her instruments, Sarah dedicated herself on ‘Gave In Rest’, spending a summer giving deeper consideration to how Renaissance musicians experimented with new instruments, forms and texture, and “how the quietude… and the openness of physical space, the stillness of altars“ in churches would have affected how they wrote. Subsequently recording with Howard Bilerman at Montreal’s hotel2tango (home of myriad, seminal Constellation recordings), Sarah brought those instrumental ideas to life with the modern addition of tape delays and chorusing effects to infuse and render shimmering new layers of timbral depth to her plaintive melodic gestures, and with a subtle yet unmistakably visceral impact.
In album opener ‘Auster’ she uses tape to slow down a recorder and open up its vibrating innards, revealing a tremulous, transfixing soul in the most humble of instruments, while the LP’s closer ‘Waking’ finds her locating elusive echoes of Baroque harmonies in that most soulful machine, beautifully realigning its putative purpose. In between, her tracks’ moods and titles chart a slow passing of day and night, from he ghostly elegance of ‘Third Hour’ to her sylvan ‘Evensong’, thru to the stately yet lip-wobbling beauty of ‘Matins’ at the album’s core, and perhaps best of all in the achingly evocative coruscation of ‘Gloaming’, a song we already know we’ll be returning to for many, many years to come.
The loaded, polysemous word ‘soul’ springs to mind, on the one hand connoting lofty notions of transcendence, contemplation and reverence, while on the other also helping to define a gentle, slow-burning modesty and broad appeal to practically anybody with ears and a functioning sense of empathy. But most of all, ‘Gave In Rest’ will strike a chord with anyone who listens properly and attentively. To use another loaded phrase, the devil is beautifully apparent in its gilded detail.
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label rustles up a reissue of this absolute classic, Annea Lockwood’s 1970 tape piece Tiger Balm - unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years. The LP also includes a pair of unreleased pieces; the vocal and percussion study Amazonia Dreaming, and the beautifully suspenseful microtonal electro-acoustic levitation, Immersion. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of musique concrète, Lockwood used a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics to open a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern.
“"Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long 'Tiger Balm' is a singular work within the cannon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. These unusual and evocative field recordings (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman's breath, a plane passing overhead), presented as no more than two sounds at once, allowed one to flow organically into the next, their shared characteristics highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations.
The B side presents two pieces for percussion available here for the first time. 'Amazonia Dreaming' (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. 'Immersion' (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood's belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds." --Francis Plagne
Dead cool but fervent Algerian pop from the ‘60s/‘70s, rife with killer Chaabi breaks and twists on rock ’n roll and French yé-yé - the first compilation dedicated to Mohammad Mazouin, and including songs impossible to find elsewhere
“Mohamed Mazouni, born January 4, 1940 in Blida (The City of Roses), a city which had just turned twenty. His memory dragged around a lot of catchy refrains by Rabah Driassa and Abderrahmane Aziz, also natives of Blida, or by 'asri (modern music) masters Bentir or Lamari. He began his singing career in those years, chosing bedoui as a style. In June 1965, Algeria adopted a Soviet-style profile where everything was planned, even music. Mazouni, he followed his path, recording a few popular tunes, but he also was in the mood for traveling beyond the Mediterranean. During the 1950s and 1960s, Mohamed was dumbfounded by Oum Kalsoum's songs and scopitones. Fully immersed, he soaked up the songs of Dahmane El Harrachi, Slimane Azem, Akli Yahiaten, or Cheikh El Hasnaoui, but also those from the crazy years of twist and rock n' roll as embodied by Johnny Hallyday, Les Chaussettes Noires, or Les Chats Sauvages, not to mention Elvis Presley.
Between 1970 and 1990, he had a series of hits. Mazouni, a dandy shattered by his century and always all spruced up who barely performed on stage, had greatly benefited from the impact of scopitones, the ancestors of music videos. His strength lay in Arabic lyrics all his compatriots could understand, and catchy melodies accompanied by violin, goblet drum, qanun, tar (a small tambourine with jingles), lute, and sometimes electric guitar on yé-yé compositions. Like a politician, Mazouni drew on all themes knowing that he would nail it each time. This earned him the nickname "Polaroid singer". Mohamed Mazouni crossed the 1960s and 1970s with his dark humor and unifying mix of local styles. Besides his trivial topics, he also denounced racism and the appalling condition of immigrant workers. However, his way of telling of high school girls, cars and pleasure places earned him the favors of France's young migrant zazous. At the end of the 1990s, the distribution of Michèle Collery and Anaïs Prosaïc's documentary on Arabic and Berber scopitones highlighted Mazouni's importance. Mazouni did not stop singing and even had a few local hits, always driven by a "wide targeting" ambition.”
Tokyo’s Hosanna Anniversary lands this fruity jazz house session in the same week as his ace, exploratory album for Andy Lyster’s Youth
In two parts he gets loose like Jamal Moss on a kicking Chi groove, running skudgy acid lines and jazzy riffs over Part 1, then accentuating the gritty, muscular bassline in ‘Hakkenden II’.
"If you listen carefully to the first piece, “Hakkenden I”, the first thing you will notice is how the lead electric piano line and repetitive electronic motifs – known in colloquial slang as “acid lines” – follow the same melodic pattern, as if Hoshina Anniversary was sending the same powerful psychokinetic instructions to a number of instruments at the same time.In contrast, “Hakkenden II” is darker and more hallucinogenic in tone. The use of restless, arpeggio-style bass and creepy-sounding chord sequences suggest that Hoshina Anniversary momentarily lost control of his psychokinetic powers before wresting back the initiative as the recording progressed (the return of the melodies and instrumentation heard in “Hakkenden I” in the second half of the piece supports these findings)."
Rolling acid house heft, sludgy electro-metal hybrids, and psychedelic house from Ransom Note boss
“Harking back to the halcyon days of hardcore, the title track marks yet another stellar entry in Clerkin’s growing catalogue of precision-tooled acid anthems. Pure sensory overload this one, and that’s LFO-K by us. ‘Some Kind of Threat’ takes the slow burn approach and arrives at a similar destination, resulting in a cyborg techno stomper that’s as hot and humid as the rainforest canopy.
Situated between these two dance floor behemoths, ‘Primary Function’ acts as something of a palette cleanser, recalling a dubbed-out Boards of Canada on a particularly warped mushroom trip. Closing things out in style, ‘Akathisia’ is as restless and jittery as its name suggests, alternating between eski synth outbursts and a bouncy fairground beat.
Timothy’s music has brought us many special moments over the past few summers and seems bound to do so again, with the new EP already getting played by the likes of Optimo, Lena Willikens and Andrew Weatherall, who memorably melted the crowd’s collective brain when he dropped Clerkin’s ‘Divisive’ at Houghton last year.
After cutting his teeth as one half of Eskimo Twins, Timothy launched his solo career in 2014 under the now-retired Heretic moniker. Having released on labels including Throne of Blood, Hard Fist and Tusk Wax, he’s now graduated to running his own Insult To Injury imprint from his new base in the Netherlands. London’s loss is Amsterdam’s gain, but thankfully he’s back on 24th May for a live set at Corsica Studios - your first chance to witness the pandemonium of ‘Unborn’.”
DFA give room for Giegling’s Edward to stretch his mind and your legs, melting out in the 12 minute cosmic pool of ‘The Lagoon’, then getting down to lysergic tribal functions with the trampling ‘Mental Drive’
“On his DFA debut, German experimental techno producer Edward largely departs from the 4/4 grid he frequents and blurs the focus towards a more slippery, improvisational vibe. Fans of his Desert Sky alias, as well as his work reshaping classic tracks by Harmonia & Eno and Rolf Trostel of Tangerine Dream, will be quite pleased with Underwater Jams. These two new songs unfold at their leisure, going off on whizzing, kosmiche-influenced tangents, all the while guided by the hand drums of percussionist Geronimo Dehler. On A-side “The Lagoon,” the freedom of the long-form composition allows Edward to go deeper and more mesmeric, while the restrained stomp of B-side “Mental Dive” allows for an introspective dance floor moment.
Though he’s been releasing music for the past decade, Edward has always been a bit enigmatic, with a majority of his discography only available on vinyl. He remains as prolific as ever – in the last year alone, Edward has toured all over the world, playing esteemed clubs from Berghain to Fabric, and splitting bills with artists like Ricardo Villalobos and Oskar Offermann. His numerous releases on Giegling, Die Orakel, and White demonstrate his penchant for combining the psychedelic and the locked-in groove, but it’s the sprawling sense of adventure that makes this release one of the more idiosyncratic in Edward’s catalog.”
In reverential mode as Floorplan, Robert Hood kicks out two deep techno-house trax on M-Plant
With 'So Glad' he brings up from the toes to your nose with powerful kicks and filtered gospel vocals that break out into full choral exultation, whereas ‘I Feel Him Moving’ swangs out with bumptier bassline and signature organ riffs.
Further to Daehan Electronics’ excavations of Liquid Liquid drummer Dennis Young’s archive, Athens Of The North pull out a Young album developed between the late ‘80s and 2004, to sit neatly alongside his late ‘80s new age/dance output
“After Liquid Liquid disbanded in 1985 I continued to record electronic music at my home studio inEdison,New Jerseybut I decided to mix the songs for "Concepts" at another studio so I could have another set of ears to help with the mixes. I was lucky when I looked in the local music ads that I to find Gabriel Farm Studios inPrinceton,New Jerseyowned and operated by Andy Gomory. Andy was a true talent, a keyboardist and arranger, we hit it off immediately. After he recorded my mixes we would record songs together. Andy played drum machines and keyboards while I played percussion, keyboards, & guitar and we both sang. When Andy and I parted ways in the late 1980's I decided to add both drums and percussion as well as overdubs from guest musicians many of which are included on this album. The albums timeframe ends in the year 2004. The later recordings have a jazz feel to it yet still had dance music elements mixed in. The title track "Primitive Substance" really sets the tone as you hear the great playing of Michael Gribbrook on Frugel horn/Trumpet and Gerry Carboy on bass. Also, my favorite song on the recording "Forgiveness" has David Axelrod (not the famous one) playing beautiful melodic bass guitar thru out.
Special thanks to Euan Fryer of "Athensof the North" for releasing this album. As I listened to the songs I decided to use for this recording it brought back memories of the hours spent adding the extra sounds and instruments to the point where I wanted to listen to them again and again to see what I missed hearing . Keep a close ear this might happen to you after hearing "Primitive Substance”.”
Lone reworks DJ Haus’ big-boned jacker ‘See U In My Dreams’ with a patented bag of tricks and lip-smacking MDMA flavour
Where the original is stripped to the essentials, Lone adds loads of new ingredients to the mix, adding restlessly killer, early ‘90s AGCG-style breakbeat torque and samples, turning the vocals into scudding, flyaway thought-bubbles, and licking it up with deft daubs of Radiophonic-like analog synths. You don’t hear this kinda break chopping every day. It’s very well done.
Maverick Afro-latin rhythms from Cómeme’s German/Chilean bosslad Matias Aguayo, notching his first new album in six years
Still as freaky as you like, and churned with rhythms that sound like a DJ divining the mythic 3rd track from rugged, disparate sources, Aguayo trustingly plays up to expectations on ‘Support Alien Invasion’, his 4th album total, landing 14 years since his seminal Kompakt debut.
"Paradoxically loose but pensile, hard but slinky, Aguayo’s 9 trax spell out a unique conception of dance music that draws from the best of Chilean and South American rhythmic heritage as well as wickedly slippery, up-to-the-second, psychoactive electronic production.
Tilting in with something like Actress meets Mark Ernestus at Machu Picchu in ‘The Fold’, the album delivers some deeply infectious workouts with the likes of ‘Pikin’, which sounds like Georgia sparring with Rian Treanor, along with the swingeing, impending drama of ‘2019’, and the bolshy oddity of ’Support Alien Invasion’, while a couple of cuts smartly tend to the downstroke in the crushed Cumbia or Tarraxho-compatible ‘Insurgentes’, and the beatless plane of ‘Between The Risings.’"
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.”
The king of Malian hip hop, Luka Productions follows up the sublime new age synth styles of ‘Fasokan’ - one of our top albums of 2017 - with a much broader window on his sound in ‘Falaw’, taking in cosmic folk, Afrobeats dance music and Indian-flavoured disco
Based in a small studio on a busy street in Mali’s capital, Bamako, Luka Productions writes beats for some of the region’s biggest artists, such as Supreme Talent Show, Ami Yerewolo, Iba One, Van Baxy, and Sidiki Diabate, earning him a reputation as one of Mali’s most prodigious and revered producers.
Luka’s 3rd release for Sahel Sounds follows the quietly stunning ‘Fasokan’ album with blend of that album’s balmier moments and the African pop and rap styles on his debut ‘Mali Kady’ tape, offering a much wider testament to the breadth and sweetness of his sound.
Meshing live traditional strings and flutes with synths and software percussion, plus myriad vocals, ‘Falaw’ fully spells out Luka Productions’ style, drifting from the title track’s languorous folk soul at one end, to the driving, UKF-compatible banger ‘Dogonodoon’ (note the reference to the enigmatic Dogon tribe) at the other, taking in a very healthy set of dance trax such as the reggaeton-like ‘Bbni’, the charming twang of Sitars on a disco beat on ‘Indienfoli’, and the devilish twyst of ‘Badjan’ alongside more fragrant, spacious and unexacting downbeat highlights in the grubbing sway of ‘Forêt’, and something very close to the ‘Fasokan’ sound with ‘A Tara’, where he gently flanges Kora strings under his hushed vocals to gorgeous, spine-playing effect.
Again, warmest recommendations for this one.
Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies return Earth to its fundamental state - raw, slow burning and sensually psychedelic - in the “witches garden” of ‘Full Upon Her Burning Lips?’, their 9th studio album marking 30 years since the band’s formation
Doing away with the increased polish of Earth’s albums since they returned with 2005’s ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the singular band now prize a more direct route to the core of their sound. Still geologic in pace, their 1000 yard stare is here as transfixing and strung out as their early “ambient metal” classics, but of course with the addition of Adrienne’s workhorse drums underlining and urging Carlson to drag every riff out to the horizon.
The album’s 10 songs are titled with reference to historic, mind-altering drugs and animals that, in Carlson’s own words, “people have always held superstitious beliefs towards”, and it’s in this timeless, countercultural frame-of-mind that Carlson really comes into his own. Like a time-travelling bard who’s somehow seen it all, from the ravages of the American civil war to the darkest side of contemporary rock culture, Carlson’s expressively detuned licks regale heavily accented, instrumental stories of life and death and the liminal spaces between, and most crucially with the labouring quality of a resident act who plays five-nights-a-week in a dusty saloon.
Two durational highlights really set the scene at the album’s dawn and midnight, where he really rinses every last bit of distorted twang from his guitar, and both cuts act as gathering/diffusion of energies for what’s to come. In the first half ‘Datura’s Crimson Veil’ gives way to the sky-searching axe calligraphy of ‘Exaltation of Larks’ and comes down to bruxist grind of ‘The Colour of Poison’ and unpredictable turns of phrase and lacunæ in ‘Descending Belladonna’. At the album’s midnight, ’She Rides an Air of Malevolence’ then parts to the nocturnal solitude of ‘Maiden’s Catafalque’, but there’s a glimmer of hope cracking over distant mountaintops in ‘The Mandrake’s Hymn’, that ultimately follows with the resolute but resigned summation of ‘A Wretched Country of Dusk’.
Masterful solo debut by Rupert Clervaux, regular collaborator with Beatrice Dillon, including the voice of Breadwoman alongside Clervaux’s own in a dreamlike recital of his poetry, set to a mix of wonderfully hypnagogic and unpredictable music backdrops ranging from twilight ambient to traces of Detroit techno, decayed solo piano, and spirited free jazz...
“‘After Masterpieces’ sets six recitals of Rupert’s poetry in unique, unpredictable and expansive musical scenery. The enigmatic and densely compacted texts, reworked and gently honed throughout the album’s slow creation, find an aerial perspective from which a lifetime of reading, listening and thinking is carefully re-mapped. The broad thematic scope takes in aesthetics, ancient mythologies, the origins of language and music, epistemology and ecology––to name just a few––all of which remain tightly intertwined, resistant to abstraction, and imbued with a sense of inquisitive ambiguity which treats all certainty with suspicion: the listener is invited to find their own threads, draw their own conclusions and think their own thoughts––as Anna Homler once aptly said of her own work, “…it’s not didactic, it’s poetic.”
Initially deriving its impetus from the mood and rhythm of the words, the album’s music utilises a wide-array of performance and production techniques. Clervaux draws on his full range of musical interests, creating long-form pieces that at turns support the recitals and then lead the way for the instrumental swathes within and between them. The sounds of ‘After Masterpieces’ revolve through the melodic ambience of ‘Her Fingers of Pink Light’; the dark electronics and multi-layered samples of ‘In Shadowlands of Like and Likeness’; the tentative interplay of piano and voice on ‘Damper and Drum’; and the riff-like patterned percussion and free improvisation of ‘Make Nature Speak.’ As the LP draws to a close, Homler and Bull join Rupert on ‘L’amore che Muove il Sole’—a sprawling anti-hymn, echoing the structure of ‘The Divine Comedy’, which discovers, in place of Dante’s heavenly paradise, a fragile optimism for positive change in the wreckage of failed grand narratives.”
Composer, author and GRM overseer François Bonnet aka Kassel Jaeger commits a beautifully surreal batch of electroacoustic works to the Latency label following their LPs by Sam Kidel and Laurel Halo.
Usually found on Editions Mego, Kassel Jaeger releases are notably admired for their attention to the finest textural detail, and for the way he classically draws a sense of dreamlike narrative from the ostensibly abstract and the non-musical. On ‘Le Lisse et le Strié’ the french composer typically puts that finesse at the service of of exploring two opposing concepts of “smooth” and “striated” within the electroacoustic sphere, where, “If the “smooth” is linked to “nomos” as an open space of organic distribution, the “striated”, on the contrary, is associated to “logos”, as an enclosed space defined by a grid.”
Working in noumenal space between the “smooth” and ‘striated” aspects, Jaeger uses alchemical process to highlight sound’s unparalleled, amorphous ability to manifest or suggest structural changes that practically don’t occur in any other framework of nature other than musical perception. His sounds emulate paradoxical, conceptual leaps between physical states, melting our perception of time and space and the “grid” in the process, and pointing to a inception of encrypted, camouflaged sound as beguiling as a magic eye image for the ear.
Tense interplay of grandiose prog noise and ascetic, Mika Vainio-esque minimalism
“New full length album by France’s most singular contemporary composer. Reflecting on ancient culture’s use and reverence for emblematic monuments which most often represent myths and stories, the album’s narrative has been infused with such symbolic and depicts an envisioned mythology, unfolding through it’s 10 aural pieces. Franck Vigroux‘s music is unique and comprised of tectonic tension, pulsating rhythms and abrasive analog textures like few can produce. Applying his own calculated personal signature in his sonic explorations his distinctiveness comes not only by his unique approach to sound but also by his incorporation of new media practices and performing arts into his A/V work.”
Hypnotic, percussion and horn-driven ceremonial music from Priangan in west Java
“This release aims to provide a spectrum of kasenian réak and its music. For this reason, on the first side it is possible to listen to a classic réak ouverture, played by one of the two founding groups, Juarta Putra. On the other side one may hear Putra Jaya Melati: one of the groups that
most attempts to push towards a contemporary, aggressive and experimental version of réak music, without leaving the cultural and spiritual background of the style behind. In this record, it is even possible to hear an electric guitar, gongs, a kendang and a very open repertoire of songs.
“Kasenian réak is a genre of performative art from the Priangan area of west Java, organized during hajatans (life-cycle celebrations) and nowadays primarily held during weddings andcircumcisions. The style, known as a seni lungsuran, is part of the greater family of Javanese horse dances, originally known in their most famous forms of jathilan and kuda lumping. Javanese horse dances, which could be as old as animistic Java, may already have been practiced before the eight century, travelling through the island and reaching Priangan in the thirties, when réak is believed to have been originated and popularised by musical groups Juarta Putra and Maska Putra. While bearing more than some resemblances with its family, kasenian réak benefits of structures and aesthetic tracts of its own, being not only one of the newest developments of horse dance if not the newest, but also its rawest and most extreme outcome.”