Silent Servant injects Alessandro Adriani’s ‘Fuoco’ with potent EBM Funk
Mannequin boss Adriani unfurls an extended mix of his murky EBM trek across the front, riddled with virulent, searching arps and pinned into place by hard working snares.
But the real gear is in the remix by EBM expert Silent Servant, who adds cracking snare reinforcements, retuned arps and shearing metallic noise to the mix with a more strapping, stroppy effect for the muscle Marys and pencil-necked geeks with slick-down side partings.
A comprehensive remastered collection of all of the Television Personalities’ ground-breaking single releases from the Peel-approved 14th Floor through to the effervescent Salvador Dali’s Garden Party EP.
"Includes the super rare Creation flexi, the TVPs as The Gifted Children, and the even rarer Caff 45 where the band tackle Stock, Aitken And Waterman. Purists will also find two shelved 45s for the Dreamworld label plus their take on Syd Barrett’s Apples And Oranges from the Beyond The Wildwood tribute album. Features the seminal Where’s Bill Grundy Now and the self-effacing Part Time Punks alongside a host of pop culture-bating gems. A celebration of the songwriting of Dan Treacy."
Infiné task Enyang Ha, Lord of the Isles, Ital Tek, and Dawan with remixing Deena Abdelwahed’s resoundingly well-received debut album
Seoul/Berlin’s Enyang Ha reworks the smoky Arabic vocal and rugged swang of ‘Rabbouni’ as a skudgy, offset techno roller with subtle, abstracted use of the vocal, while the mutant Raï rhythms of ‘5/5’ are stretched out to the horizon by Scotland’s LOTI.
The spiralling mysticism of ‘Ababab’ provides an elusive soul to Ital Tek’s tuffened-up IDM acceleration, and the enigmatic hustle of ‘Fdhiha’ is teased out into a spare, pensile stripe of broken beat acid techno by Tunisia’s Dawan.
Dry, jacking warehouse hammers from Florian Kupfer on Simoncino’s HotMix Records
Uptown he rides a big-boned square bass-line with transfixing strings, a potent haze of hi-hats, and nagging vocals buried to the hilt in-the-mix. Trust it kicks like a stoned mule. Downtown, his ‘Final Stage’ follows thru with reticulated EBM arp strapped to deep tissue massaging bass hits and percolated rimshots primed for darkroom frolics.
Romantic ambient tech-nous from 1992, dished up on vinyl and available to DL for the first time from Young Marco’s Safe Trip
Originally a CD issued by Belgium’s Buzz (now sought-after 2nd hand), ’Sublunar Oracles’ was the first of two albums released by siblings Dimitri and Stefan van Elsen as Trans-4M.
Comparable in scope and feel to early work by B12, Mappa Mundi and early projects associated to The Connection Machine, the vibe is pure, fluffy early ‘90s, marrying classic sci-fi dialogue with spaced-out synths, obligatory whale calls and ethnographic sampledelia in eight finely feathered grooves intended to cushion your come-down.
Cellular Automata is the first new Dopplereffekt album in a decade! Rudolf Klorzeiger and To-Nhan kept us waiting but the anticipation pays off with some of their most striking electro architecture to date, tangibly making good on the promise of their Tetrahymena  and Delta Wave  deliveries over the interim, which, like this one were also released by Berlin’s Leisure System.
The symbiotic duo’s last album, Calabi Yau Space  remains one of the most memorable, puristic electronic records of its decade and Cellular Automata is up there with the most distinctive of its ilk in the current sphere. To outline their intentions; “Cellular Automata approaches mathematical growth and decay as an iterative process, with each data input considered individually relative to the overall model”, which broadly translates as a lofty metaphor for refinement thru increasingly searching practice; both technical research and the fine-tuned discipline of their physical, melodic inputs.
Difficult to say really how that works out from initial listens, but in aesthetic terms at least their sound is shockingly sharp and dense yet incredibly spacious, executing that unique balance of sheer technological advance and heightened emotive response in way that’s long been key to the success of their sound, encouraging listeners to revel and marvel at both the pure sonification of their sounds and equally their near-baroque classical elegance.
If you need any prompts, check out the vast harmonic structures of Cellular Automata and the tempestuous kosmische momentum of Exponential Decay at the album’s bookends, or deeper in for the uncanny stere-imaging of Gestalt Intelligence and the nerve-biting noise of Pascal’s Reunion, or the abyssal morphosis of Mandelbrot Set for the strongest sensations, but, as you’ll understand it’s definitely best consumed as whole for the most lucid yet disorienting experience.
While the filtered, tape-fuelled obfuscation of Grouper's signature sound remains, Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill is far more resonant up front about the songs at the heart of her work.
Opening track 'Disengaged' offers a segue from the cloudy, amorphous Grouper output of old and this current strain of more easily deciphered writing: it's a mass of mesmerising magnetic hiss and soft noise, with a voice cloaked in lo-fi haze somewhere at the back. Soon after, Harris' guitar and voice emerge, reverberant and phantom-like, and yet comprehensible.
If previously you've struggled to make out Grouper lyrics, and wondered what's going on beneath that veneer of musty, degraded audio, 'Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping' offers you a way in. Those dense recording techniques have become a unique production signature and it's virtually impossible to separate Liz Harris' creative identity from that uniquely ghostly sound of hers, but now it feels like a conduit to her songs rather than a barrier. There are echoes of her earliest work on the album too, as on the wordless, partially acappella atmospherics of 'Wind & Snow', but the overall impression left by this album is one of inspired creative renewal, and the unveiling of a songwriting talent that's previously been content to dwell in shadows and deflect attention with smoke and mirrors.
A real milestone release for Harris, and a definite high point for the rejuvenated Type label, we've been unable to stop listening to this incredible album for weeks - it's an absolute must.
Following a series of impossible-to-obtain releases for her own Yellowelectric imprint and a CD compilation of her gorgeous 'A I A' set, Liz Harris seems to have settled with Kranky who are re-releasing her classic Type album 'Dragging a Dead Deer..' and this new album of previously unreleased material drawn from the same period: 'The Man Who Died In His Boat'.
It's not so hard to believe but we'll say this straight away - the material on this new set is just jaw-dropping, a worthy companion piece to 'Dragging a Dead Deer' - once again finding Harris delivering material edging ever so slightly towards more traditional 'songs' but executed with so much introspection and mystery that she really sounds unlike anyone, or anything, you'll have ever heard before. The record has an interesting backstory, as Harris explains - "When I was a teenager the wreckage of a sailboat washed up on the shore of Agate Beach.
The remains of the vessel weren't removed for several days. I walked down with my father to peer inside the boat cabin. Maps, coffee cups and clothing were strewn around inside. "I remember looking only briefly, wilted by the feeling that I was violating some remnant of this man's presence by witnessing the evidence of its failure. Later I read a story about him in the paper. It was impossible to know what had happened. The boat had never crashed or capsized. He had simply slipped off somehow, and the boat, like a riderless horse, eventually came back home." The narrative somehow enhances the songs - an achingly beautiful combination of forlorn, reverb-drenched lullabies draped in a veil of isolation reminding us of a more damaged Mark Kozelek, and indeed the classic 4AD sound with which Grouper has been compared so many times in the past.
By the time you reach the closing track 'Living Room', however, you come to the realisation that despite her best efforts to obscure her songs, Harris might just be one of the most gifted songwriters of her generation. An incredible album - possibly her finest yet.
The first Grouper album in 4 years finds Liz Harris stripped of FX, pairing her vocals with skeletal piano gestures in beautifully pregnant space. For anyone familiar with the miasmic fuzz of Grouper’s previous releases, the relative clarity is quietly shocking in effect, revealing her songs and sound at their most vulnerable, and, in the process, locating a newfound strength in fragility.
Grid Of Points was recorded in Wyoming shortly after Liz finished recording Grouper’s Ruins out in Aljezur, Portugal, and on the most immediate level it seems to describe the difference in recording locations between windswept Atlantic coastline and sparse, landlocked insularity. The seven songs were written over a week and a half, with the process curtailed by a bout of what she describes as “high fever”. What remains forms some of Grouper’s most legible lyrics and intimate instrumentation, with each piece framed by stark, unprocessed space working in the same role usually occupied by her billowing sheets of harmonic distortion.
Untreated and unfiltered, Grouper's voice rings plaintively clear, sometimes layered in ephemeral harmonies or curling off with jazz-soul wise inflections shadowed by modest piano phrasing in a crepuscular style that links back to all her previous work. Yet, in places the clarity is such that it almost feels like we the listeners have just been hearing her songs with clogged ears for the past decade and longer.
Ultimately, these results perhaps most acutely resonate with the etymology of Liz’s moniker - ‘Grouper’ as in member of a Fourth Way commune, The Group, which was inspired by the philosophy of George Gurdjieff, whose mystic meditations surely linger in the magick of Grid Of Points.
Over the last decade, we’ve come accustomed to Jason Letkiewicz releasing material under a dizzying array of aliases, each utilized to explore a different side of his multi-faceted musical persona. Now, some 14 years after he made his recording debut alongside Ari Goldman as Manhunter, Letkiewicz has joined forces with Into The Light Records to release his first album under his real name.
"The Reflecting Pool sees Letkiewicz exploring the uncomplicated and uncluttered in the pursuit of pure aural beauty. While his recent album as Opposing Currents was dense, dark, urban and industrial, The Reflecting Pool is stripped back, quiet and melodious. The contrast between the two projects is marked, with The Reflecting Pool drawing more on Letkiewicz’s love of crystalline ambient, slow burn synthesizer soundscapes, early ’80s library music and the kind of obscure electronic new age music that has been a hallmark of Into The Light’s releases to date.
The set’s 12 tracks gently ebb and flow, with Letkiewicz making great use of dusty old drum machines, effects units and a range of vintage analogue and digital synthesizers. It’s a set-up that results in a range of complimentary mood pieces and interludes, from the delay-laden military drums and lilting lead lines of “Out of Body Experiences”, to the drowsy, sunrise bliss of “Sunspot”, the bubbling Tangerine Dream style shuffle of “Mind Awake Body Asleep” and the outer-space atmosphere of “The Kill Fee”.
Throughout, Letkiewicz showcases his seemingly intrinsic grasp of mood, atmosphere and melody. It can be heard within the glacial guitar motifs, occasional beats and elongated chords of “The Reflecting Pool”, the rhythmic bustle of “Numb Drums”, the glassy-eyed melancholia of “Arhythmia” and the cinematic paranoia of “Burning Off The Morning Fog”. It’s also evident amongst the classically beat-less ambient of closing cut “Weightless”, whose alien electronics, effects-laden pulses and opaque chords recall established masters of the genre.
With The Reflecting Pool, Letkiewicz has provided us with a much-needed dose of stress-free musical escapism, at the same time offering hope that in these troubling times, love may still save the day."
Remastered UK rave classics, newly reissued by Luna-C’s Kniteforce powerhouse
The ‘Fun For All The Family’ EP is the debut blast of hardcore heat by Alex Banks and Danny Demierre’s Hyper On Experience. The vocal-lead belter ‘H.E. Anthem’ was produced, in Alex Banks’ own words “[as] a big piano tune like the ones we were hearing at raves.” The result is a rolling but hectic energy booster packing all the tricks of the day. It’s followed by the edge-of-darkcore ace ‘Frightener’ making great use of samples from ‘Breakers Revenge’ by Arthur Baker in a furious fashion, while ‘Another Rave’ feels like a mental acceleration of the daftest, nuttiest Belgian rave techno.
Rare Japanese electronic gem released for the first time ever on vinyl.
"Originally released in 2003 and conceived by Sora aka Takeshi Kurosawa. Re.sort is a miracle of Japanese electronica. Widely unknown but very necessary. Fragments and textures playfully flirt with each other, bossa nova and jazz records float in the air, an old phonograph sits by the sea. Leftfield that feels like a home away, where joyful nothings are everything. Sweet minimalism and micro melodies. Sora means sky. Let's drift."
Etheric excursions into new age ambient and folk underlaid with woozy drum machine rhythms and perfused with field recordings
“Following 2017’s Infinite Avenue and 2013’s Sleeper, Both Lines Will Be Blue is Carmen’s first full instrumental album. A 7 track collection of cosmic excursions and dubby ambient-jams, the album is written, recorded, played, produced and mixed by Carmen in her Oslo studio. The soothing atmospherics are made up of tapestries of field recordings, synths, piano, drum-programming, zither and modular sounds. Throughout, Carmen’s music is colored by experimenting with different sounds and learning new techniques or by adding new instruments to the mix.
"I’ve been playing around with instrumentals for a long time, and it was something I wanted to do more with after I finished Infinite Avenue,” says Carmen. “Leaving out my voice and lyrics got me out of my own head a bit, which I needed. Working with sound is to me the ultimate meditation and is a more unconscious way of expressing whatever is going on inside.”
The flute, played by Chilenean-Norwegian Johanna Scheie Orellana (formerly of Sassy 009), is a central part of this new album. Carmen got her in to the studio to both record melodies that she had written, as well as making plenty of room for impro/freeform. Prins Thomas also appears on the record, playing percussion on “I Could Sit Here All Day.”
“I made this track based on a Roland SH-101 sequence run through various processing,” says Villain. “The whole thing came together kind of like a jam, I wrote the flute in one take, and it just felt right. I wanted real flute on this, so asked Johanna if she'd like to come in, and we've been collaborating ever since.””
Delroy Edwards’ darkwave synth-pop band Earth To Mickey cold kick a blend of freestyle, Chicago house and lustrous gothic pop on a brilliant LA Club Resource joint.
Playing up to a sound that’s long lurked in his productions and mixes, Delroy’s duo with Mickey Van Seenus (and Xander Whistler on keys) tend to a classically effective and we dare say “grown-up” style that’s less about banging the walls and moire about sharpening up your elbows and hips into a sexy ‘80s motion.
‘Brace & Bit’ holds tight to a mix of melancholy freestyle vocals and spunky, sprung bass torque with shades-on synth vamps punctuate with killer snares and rimshots. We’d absolutely love to hear someone go in heavier on the edits with this one, but there’s always a the bonus minute of choppy ’Factory Beats’ for the DJs to get crafty with. ‘Pleasure Comes And Pleasure Goes’ balances the equation with a velvety stroke of gothic suss, where Mickey beautifully channels operatic Kate Bush-isms over puckered pizzicato arps and minimalist drum programming in the dreamiest 1984-into-2020 style.
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."