Thunderous, industrialised bass functions from Tectonic’s new lamb to the slaughter, going off like the feral child of Pinch and Ploy.
US-born, Czech based Pruvan proves his mettle in a volley of five hard alloys of post-dubstep/grime, D&B and industrial dynamics forged with a meticulous attention to detail. ‘Pozor’ lets loose insurgent bassline and skull-rattle rimshots with a seething synth edge, and ‘Beastwoman’ buckles classic grime templates into something like Ploy on ‘roids. At its core ‘Buckets’ recalls the inch tight 2-step tekkerz of Two Shell, while ‘Yoji’ comes with dread industrial halfstep levels of The Bug and Pinch, with ‘Raw Dawg’ making room for scything sound designer mutation of halfstep D&B.
Legendary toaster and vocalist Prince Far-I in the spotlight for a 40 year livication of enduring vibes by his disciples at On-U Sound
One of the most distinctive voices of his generation, Michael Williams aka Prince Far-I’s hoarse delivery earned him the sobriquet “The Voice of Thunder”, before he was tragically taken before his time; shot to death at home in 1983, aged only 39. His voice still cuts deeper than most, and ‘Cry Tuff Chants On U’ defines that fact with 11 top shelf examples in a dubwise mode recorded with On-U Sound’s in house band, Singers & Players in the years just prior to his ascension to the next plane.
Wrapping up standouts such as ‘Virgin’, with its telephone rings and booming declarations, plus the staggered drums and hunched delivery of ‘Prodigal Son’, the set encompasses the languid skank of ‘Calling Over The Distant Sea’, the storytelling styles of ‘Bedward the Flying Preacher’ and ‘Autobiography’, and buoyant echo chamber steppers ‘Quanté Jublia’ and ’91 Vibration’, plus the playful boast ‘Cha-Ris-Ma’, as a fitting tribute to a serious legacy.
Very Vladislav Delay-like levels of rhythmic ingenuity and electro-dub ephemerality from Vantaa-based Olli Aarni on ace Persian label, Active Listeners Club.
Sneaking in on ACR before everyone turns attention to EOY picks, Olli Aarni joins Daniel Karlsson as one of the non-Iranian artists on Parsa and Ramtin Niazi’s special label, which has so far explored a super intriguing corner of adventurous - and crucially listenable - computer music that piques our interests at every turn. The label bosses are present in their Ben & Jerry remix, but more of that later, as Aarni flexes some impressively supple and psychedelic tekkers that smudge the borders between subaquatic dub slosh, shoegaze and free electro-jazz in a way that’s going to make us have to rake back thru his catalogue of 10 years for the likes of Cotton Goods and Preservation.
We can’t help but recall Vlad Delay’s overlooked classic ‘The Four Quarters’ in the beautifully elusive, amorphous grids of Aarni’s ‘Valaistu Iatu’, while ‘Flipperi uimahallin aulassa’ unexpectedly weaves in forlorn vocals to that shifty matrix to properly gorgeous, febrile, chaotic dreampop effect that rewards amplification and pishes on a lot of more milquetost ambient-whatever “living room” stuff. ‘Kuivaa asfaltti katoksessa’ dials it down for a more introspective passage playing around with proprioceptive senses and quiet/loud dynamics that makes for a fine contrast with what came before, effectively shoring us up in the fine grained textural gradients and polymetric lushness of ’Nokoset bussissa’ ready to do it all again, but not before Ben & Jerry slow down and home in on the K-hole dynamic of ‘Kuivaa asfaltti katoksessa’ and play around with its plasmic goop in the lushest, tactile psychedelic style for 14 minutes - smash this at the afters and send everyone into the best spin out.
15 years on from its original release, Studio One Groups remains one of the toughest of all Soul Jazz/Studio One releases and features some of the biggest groups in the history of Reggae including Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots and the Maytals and The Heptones who all began their careers at 13 Brentford Road, under the guidance of the great producer and label owner Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd.
"Featuring many, many classic and killer tunes from The Wailing Souls, Carlton and His Shoes, The Gladiators, The Ethiopians, The Mad Lads and more. Studio One Groups brings together numerous classic artists alongside a number of rarities and delves into Studio One’s musical output in its prime in the 1960s and 70s featuring Ska, Roots, Rocksteady, Dub and more. Clement Dodd’s role in launching and nurturing Reggae groups and singers is unsurpassed and Studio One’s success was due to Dodd’s ability to see talent, surround himself with it and nurture artists.
Launching Bob Marley and The Wailers career at Studio One also meant housing Marley in a flat in the studio compound, as well as employing Marley in an A&R role, checking out the latest American soul and jazz 45s that came out for Studio One artists to cover. In similar fashion Leroy Sibbles, lead vocalist with the Heptones, became the key in-house bass player after being taught from scratch by Jackie Mittoo.
Studio One Groups were at the heart of the label’s success. The sweet three-part harmonies, so close to the heart of Jamaican music, can be heard throughout every stylistic change of Reggae music – Ska, Rocksteady, Roots and beyond - all of which are featured here in all their vocalised glory.
The album comes with excellent informative sleevenotes by the author and Studio One discographer Rob Chapman, and exclusive photography including the stunning colour picture of Bob Marley and the Wailers on the front of the release."
Well aye, it’s that time of year again and we’re all sick of hearing the same seasonal shite, but these smudged takes on the classics are offering welcome respite.
It’s very much historic classical, not modern, as Hesitation tackle the real old skool diamonds such as ye olde favourites ’Silent Night’ and ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, or the nativity naivety of ‘Away In A Manger’ with an ambient-pop lightness of touch that doesn’t feel cloying, surely refreshing their timelessness for tired ears.
‘The Last Christmas’ makes up the duo’s 3rd LP together since 2018’s eponymous debut, and warmly speaks to their fraternal familiarity and nous, cannily mostly leaving out the more religious lyrics and themes for a lowkey secular slant that treats the melodies loosely in a way to be enjoyed by all during the season of goodwill and over-imbibing. Their reedy recorder-like instrumental rendition of ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ is a lovely highlight, and the curdled vocal in ‘Oh Little Town of Bethlehem’ should raise a wry chuckle, while ’Silent Night’ is strung out like an particularly opiated Low, and ‘Away In a Manger’ is most beautifully smudged to an ambient bliss-out, with ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ rent as a gloriously slurred drone guitar version that seals the deal with a ribbon bow.
Nyawwww, good lads.
The eternally evocative and enigmatic concept of black holes fuels the musical imagination of Dr. Valery Vermulen on his debut mission for CM Von Hauswolff’s Ash International - RIYL Roland Kayn, Heinrich Mueller, Thomas Köner, Mika Vainio
Just over 100 years since German physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzchild theoretically discovered and proposed the idea of black holes - a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing — no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light — can escape from it - the mathematician-artist Dr. Valery Vermulen takes advantage of subsequent scientific research data to model and sonify a multidimensional sound experience akin to passing out in deep space. Cynics may say this stuff is up its own black hole, but lovers of free-floating, spatialized electronics will be in their element when following the music’s path into next level oblivion.
“Black holes were first theoretically discovered and proposed in 1916 by German physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzchild. Their possible existence resulted from an exact solution Schwarzchild had found of Einstein's theory of General Relativity published a year earlier. Being a long-contested concept, the existence of the first black hole, Cygnus X, was confirmed in 1971. Four decades later, in February 2016, science made another huge leap as the first merger of two black holes was observed by the LIGO – VIRGO telescope. This discovery announced a new exciting era in observational astronomy based on gravitational wave detection.
Using the latest technology, Mikromedas AdS/CFT 001 connects these fascinating scientific evolutions to the realm of electronic music. Having worked on previous astrophysics related musical projects, Vermeulen had the first idea for the album in 2016. It was not until 2018 that these conceptual ideas became a reality when Concertgebouw Brugge (BE) commissioned a new musical piece and live show for their Cosmos Festival. This work ultimately resulted in the album Mikromedas AdS/CFT 001.
The six-track album is produced using data streams generated by various simulation models of astrophysical black holes and observational data of regions in space with extreme gravitational fields.
Data used for the realization of Mikromedas AdS/CFT 001 includes gravitational wave data, data generated by black branes (i.e. higher dimensional generalizations of black holes), neutron star data, data from white dwarfs and trajectory data of elementary particles near black holes.
As a mathematician and artist, Vermeulen effectively designed and programmed new innovative data sonification, i.e. the means to translate data into sound and music, systems and techniques. These were used to transform black hole data and their associated mathematical models into engaging, moving and multidimensional sound experiences.”
The second release in David Shea's Film Series following October's ace "AM/PM", "The Art of Memory" is a selection of sample-based material that overlaid Shea's collected sounds with music recorded with Belgian classical ensembles. Quite brilliant, and completely mad.
Based on a book by Francis Yates about the history of memory techniques, "The Art of Memory" is an album that uses our preconceptions of culture to inform our listening experiences. Shea uses snippets of classical music and disrupts them with movie samples or elements he'd procured from his travels through Europe and Australia. After reading Yates' book, he attempted to use the sampler as a type of "memory theater", connecting nicely with the pieces' ultimate usage in experimental cinema.
It's fantastically forward-thinking material that feels devious and contemporary - a cross between musique concrète and plunderphonics. By fusing his own memories - recorded performances with various ensembles in Brussels - with collective memories, abstracting the sounds by cutting into them and sculpting them carefully, he creates a narrative patchwork that's effortlessly engaging.
Bumping up the super-limited and long sold out album from 2017, this expanded set of work explores the work of opera singer Mary Mazzacane, one of the first women to graduate from the Yale School of Music and the mother of Loren Mazzacane Connors.
Not much recorded music survives from Mary Mazzacane; she was working regularly on stage from the late 1940s through the '70s but recorded very little. All that remains of her creative life is this selection of songs, taken from her "barely playable" practice sessions, live performance recordings and radio broadcast acetates.
Somehow though, the aesthetic of these recordings lends a warmth and authenticity to the recordings. Mazzacane's voice is hypnotic as she leans into classics like Schubert's 'Ave Maria' and Puccini's 'Vissi d’arte' - these aren't commercial studio versions, but they show how flawless and well-oiled her voice was. "The Art of Mary Mazzacane" is the perfect partner record to Akira Rabelais' lengthy Proust tribute "À La Recherche Du Temps Perdu" - while Rabelais processed the music to sound like a foggy memory, Mazzacane's recordings already sound locked in time.
New on Shelter Press; endless* piano and tape loop variations by Australian composer and multi-disciplinary artist, Lisa Lerkenfeldt; "An unfolding fantasy through the field of time.” (*not literally endless, like, 40 mins).
We know, we know, "ambient" piano music has been lacking gas since long before Spotify-sponsored neo-bourgeois chill-out terror cells got anywhere near The BBC Proms, but hear us out. Influenced by key-gaze OG and prominent Cocteau Twins collaborator Harold Budd, Aussie composer Lisa Lerkenfeldt offers here an ivory hued fever dream - an endless piano and tape loop variation for isolated states.
"A Liquor Of Daisies" was written for three pianos, suggested as a proposal for "multiple players and machines" and dedicated to a plant: Melbourne's Xerochrysum Viscosum, the everlasting daisy. And while not much happens in almost forty minutes, it offers a much-needed glacial foil to the rapid-fire news cycle and infinite doomscroll. Slow, saturated piano tones gently toss and turn, marinating in their own hazy reverb trails. The duration and repetition pinpoints a feeling of anti-social distance and of reflection and meditation as the world contorts itself around us. Radical softness? Sure. Fans of Akira Rabelais' frosty "Eisoptrophobia" should investigate immediately.
Airtight electrobass finesse from Finland’s Sansibar, leading on from missions with MCR’s Natural Sciences and Helsinki’s Émotsiya with a sturdy haul for Belgium’s Kalahari Oyster Cult
Effortlessly funked up and subtly proggy, the seven tracks recall a tuffened take on classic styles of Shiver, Radioactiveman and E.R.P., all propulsive electro-techno grooves etched with emotive lustre, at best in the dark and sexy flow of ‘Teal’c’, the reverberant electro-breakbeat workout ‘Scully (Earth People Mix)’, and at a quickened pace in ‘Send It’, with the beatdown romance of ‘Aurora Eclipse’ recalling aspects of Cygnus X.
Salem Rashid's Bedouin imprint rounds up a selection of its releases from 2016-2018, choosing impressively grimy industrial abstraction from AQXDM, Hieroglyphic Being, J Tijn, Merzbow, Tzusing, Pan Daijing and more.
Established in the United Arab Emirates but now based in Thailand, since 2014 the Bedouin label has established themselves as a thought leader in the contemporary industrial landscape. "The Shadows in thy Glimpse" maps out their greyscale modus operandi for those that may have missed some of their best moments, collecting material from their out of print catalogue and re-introducing it into the world once more.
There aren't and dull moments either, and plenty of unmissable highlights. Hieroglyphic Being turns up assisted by the The Truth Theory Trio for 12-minute electro-jazz jammer 'The Papyrus of Ani' that, as expected from anything Jamal Moss touches, is worth the asking price alone. EKMAN's 'Alchemy' and 'Quintic' will be essential for Bedouin heads looking for blown-out grimdark electro, while Nene Hatun (now Nene H), Pan Daijing and Tsuzing show the label's outer fringes with tracks that hint at warehouse techno's booming excess but drape it in searing noise and squelchy analog electronics.
Aquarian and Deapmash's ace AQXDM melt jungle and industrial techno into a polished floor filler on 'Ballad 002', one of the compilation's clear standouts. But it's Merzbow who takes the gold (and the longest runtime) with the 15-minute 'Tomarigi, Pt.2', a searing blast of acid noise and burbling power electronix. Utter chaos, in the best possible way.
Working again alongside Norwegian noise deity Lasse Marhaug, Hilary Woods follows up 2020's incredible 'Birthmarks' album with a dense set of grim textures sculpted from orchestral strings and ethereal vocals. Like all Woods' work - it's pretty fucking special.
Woods assembled "Birthmarks" while she was heavily pregnant back in 2019 and considered her work in relation to anxiety and humanity. "Feral Hymns" arrives as a moody, transcendent follow-up and suggests a fresh artistic slate. Here, she allows herself to embrace the cavernous ambience that underpinned "Birthmarks" and impressed us so much on her 2020 contribution to our "Documenting Sound" series.
Her vocals are still present, just about, but almost completely buried beneath an orchestral mass of processed strings and crackling environmental recordings. On 'II', her voice is transformed into a resonant pad, humming beneath field recordings that sound like scraping footsteps or a fistful of pebbles tumbling down a well. Disintegrating, chattering voices appear and disappear as if captured by dictaphone, melting into her ritual drones.
'III' is more menacing, as Woods allows her stark strings to echo out on their own, before whispering resonant harmonies, building in radio static and ferric hiss. This is music for spaces in-between - for purgatory, not for hell - and Woods sounds as if she's channeling the spirits of Western religious music and Celtic traditional sounds simultaneously.
Graduate of the midwest US techno scene, Israel Vines closes a long loop with his first batch for Berlin bastion Tresor after heavy handfuls for his Eye Teeth division of Ectomorph’s Interdimensional Transmissions
Restless, direct, and suffused with a timeless technoid machine soul, ‘Voices’ marks out some of Vines’ classiest work as he toggles the pressure on the offbeat with a fine grasp of layered, atmospheric dis-content. Business techno this is not; it’s the proper stuff, resonating with recent, syncopated Regis styles as much as Dasha Rush’s rolling sleekness and the Detroit futurism of Ectomorph.
He comes out swaggering with the hissing pistons and gibberjaw vox locked into rollicking motion of ‘Breakign’, then dials up the panoramic pads on an unruly swang with ‘Culling’ and the whirring darkside finesse of ‘Downing’, tempering the rolige with surgical precision and tense sci-fi cinematic scope in ‘Keeping’, which also appears in extended, immersive forms for those who want to get right into it.
Violet’s Naive label pack Photonz first productions since 2019 - four cuts of rumpy techno shakk ’n jack and a weirdo psychy wobbler
Marching orders are served with the head-down electro-techno sizzler ‘Planetary Spirit’ and its bruxist, biting point synths, whereas ‘Badagas’ loosens up the drums with a slashing latinate hustle and rhythmelodic cadence. ‘Circumference’ is the tightest of the lot, nodding to Robert Hood’s minimal Detroit styles with modulated arps and slinky hi-hats, and ‘Earth2’ heads sharp left into a sort of slouchy, acidic psych rock breaks jaunt.
Perennially bewildering polymath Akira Rabelais unveils the most impressive durational work of his career thus far with a 4 hour smudge of classical works by the musical zeitgeist of the late 19th and early 20th century Belle Époque. It’s a highly enigmatic erosion x sublimation of the familiar in a way that's by now etched into modern canon thanks to works by The Caretaker, but Rabelais has been weaving his own uncanny shroud of infidelity over our collective memory for over two decades now, with this extended set somehow managing to play like a homage to the mixtape, to the novel, to French pre-war culture and to the modern malaise all at once. Deeply immersive, stunning work that’s essential listening if yr into works by The Caretaker x William Basinski.
The focus of the set covers the time period and culture around Proust’s 'À la recherche du temps perdu’ novels, and attempts to unravel his fascination with the illusive qualities of memory - most famously identified in his notion of “Proust’s madelaines”, outlined in the eponymous novels that inspired this release. Taking fifty-one works by Bartók, Bellini, Berg, Brahms, Caccini, Chausson, Chopin, Debussy, Delibes, Donizetti, Franck, Hahn, Jungmann, Lully, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Satie, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Wagner, and Weber, Rabelais uses his Argeïphontes Lyre software, as well as specially commissioned new recordings (Bartók's String Quartet No. 2 was recorded specifically for this album at half speed with minimal dynamics) to play with our perception of time via a prism of distortions and subliminal refractions.
In an attempt to breathe in the same creative air as the French author, Rabelais’ distils the creative potential of sound in relation to our cultural fabric; everyone knows these pieces, despite precious few of us having lived in Paris in the 1920s. They're the background sound and building blocks of our culture, from cinema to advertising, but secreted in the music’s play of decaying reverbs, you get an uneasy sense of some unknown spectre floating thru the mists of time.
Stunning, multidimensional work from a master of the artform.
Frothy classic Aphex-straddling and minimal/percolated Techno permutations from Dmytrij Wulffius, who’s perhaps best recognised for his visual artwork for Martial Canterel and Kedr Livansky over the past decade.
‘Sorang’ is Wulffius’ 2nd solo release after a 2016 batch for Ukraine’s Wicked Bass, and explores what he terms a “B-sides” sound, as in “something too strange to be danceable, with “complex ease” and rhythmical variety.” The results for pivotal label Gost Zvuk are playful and never po-faced, perhaps best primed for the after-hours session with a lightness of touch that percolates from his Aphex-like jiggles in ‘Monotone in G Minor’ to the acknowledgement of his effervescent closer ‘I Am Weird’, weaving his way thru variations of Thomas Brinkmann like techno in ‘My Cosmic Synthesiser’ and the muffled ‘Piano Song’ to the wandering melodies of ‘Heels at Pebble Beach’ and a damn classy deep house joint, ‘Typ Sounds Deep.’
An ideal roll call of Ulla, Nadia Khan, Newworldaquarium, Ben Bondy, Mister Water Wet, NAP, JR Chaparro, Haji K., and many more, help tuck Picnic’s eponymous LP beauty to bed with a sublime suite of remixes and alternate versions
One of 2021’s lushest ambient sides, ‘Picnic’ is a proper friends and family affair helmed by the duo’s mdo & Ju Ca, a pair of Melbourne-based souls who share that region’s prevailing grasp of ambient warmth and elemental utility. Where their debut LP, proper, also included guest spots from the likes of Huerco S., The Humble Bee, Dntel, and DJ Paradise, this new 'Bonus' follows suit to infuse the far flung yet mutual spirits of the modern ambient rhizome, dialling in subtle reflections on the originals, as well as new collaborations, that diffuse and extend its pleasures into the gauzy mid-distance.
Nadia Khan opens with a blissed, puce-hued rendering of ‘dewey’ that sustains the original’s sanguine atmosphere, while new work ‘leaving a conversation’ ropes in pepper (Ulla), Monkey Twenty (Pontiac Streator), and Low Flung for a sweet patch of deep-diving smudge. Picnic’s zonked hypnagogic collaboration with Mister Water Wet ‘cliff dive’ pushes those same hazy buttons, while a standout piece of loping ambient technohouse from Newworldaquarium features a steady pulse in an effortlessly brilliant manner that's somehow distinctly NWAQ - the man can do no wrong to our ears.
Other Joe supplies bass-heavy ballast in their spongiform ambient dembow take on ‘elkhorn’ that lands shades away from DJ Python’s deepest, and JR Chaparro takes time to get between the pores on on a 9 minute version of ‘folds and rips’, and Ben Bondy smushes our temples with the light-headed, domestic rustles and rumbles of his version to ‘drops in the water’.
Trust it’s all of the sweetest ambient variety, faithfully weft for downtimes in a way that's both gaseous and heavyweight.
Mica Levi furnishes the new A24 flick with a sticky sweet suite of strings chimes and trap tics, sequenced here with snatches of dialogue by the cast, inc Nicholas "Greg the egg" Braun lol
‘Zola’ is Janicza Bravo's film adaptation of a viral Twitter story written by Aziah “Zola” Wells, regaling her tale of a jag to Florida with another stripper, her boyfriend and her pimp. It’s an A24 film, so you know it’s going to get twisted, and Mica follows the narrative with a strong palette of synths, strings and rhythmelodic motifs that coolly conveys a sort of hot and sleazy Floridian atmosphere.
There are canny chops of dialogue from the film’s leads strewn throughout, including a bit of Nicolas Braun aka Greg “The Egg” from ’Succession’ for those in need of a wally fix there, while the fruitier synth flourishes can’t help but remind us of James Ferraro or Maxwell Sterling’s neon neo-classical evocations of modern day American lustre and bluster, and with a distinct twinkle of Harmony Korine-esque surreality and darkness just below the surface.
Recorded back in 1966 when the North was indeed still industrial, 'Abstractions of the Industrial North' is a collection of imaginary film soundtracks and library music recorded by Basil Kirchin.
With a very Duke Ellington set of roots (jazz drummer with big-band experience), Kirchin had made numerous dalliances into the avant-garde before embarking on his 1966 recording purge, with all these aural facets surfacing on the record. Opening with 'Prelude and Dawn', Kirchin displays an aptitude to match that of the much more renowned David Axelrod, with staccato hearted instrumentation that chimes with contemporary musical explorations.
Kirchin's musical ability is stunning, with themes and structures emerging throughout the compositions that will have you convinced they were recorded in the last decade as opposed to several decades ago. Also of interest is Kirchin's ear for future stars, with 'Pageing Sullivan' featuring a pre-Zep Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan making this both a musical curio and an astonishingly complete, forward thinking document of its time.
The legendary "lost" debut solo album from British singer-songwriter, actor and author Catherine Howe, who recorded "What a Beautiful Place" in 1971 when she was only 20 years old. Produced by jazz pianist Bobby Scott, it's a wyrd folk milestone to file alongside Vashti Bunyan's "Just Another Diamond Day".
When she recorded "What a Beautiful Place", Howe had established herself as an actor, performing in TV shows like "Doctor Who" and "Z-Cars". This helped her get a foothold in music, and she penned her first album to map her biography, drifting from Yorkshire to London and then Dorset. Sadly, the album was only available for a month after it was released, as it tanked independent imprint Reflection Records. Undeterred, Howe recorded a run of further albums, taking a break in the 1980s and '90s and returning to recording in 2005 with "Princelet Street".
In 2007, Numero Group remastered the album using a source copy (the master tapes had sadly been lost), and the wider world was finally able to hear this hidden classic. Howe was so young when it was recorded that her voice sounds almost angelic as it runs through experiences still fresh in her mind. The accompanying music too lifts these songs into blue clouds and over green hills. There's a whimsical quality that reminds of Linda Perhacs or Bridget St. John - if you squint a little, you can even hear the traces of eccentric progressive energy that would electrify Kate Bush a few years later.
Highly intriguing debut move from Aisie, venturing nine tracks of poetically aeolian sculptures on the yung Studio Thirty Three label.
Elusively contoured and gingerly melodic, ‘Halcyon Gang Poet’ renders a fine introduction to the artist and label in a fleeting brace of ephemeral, tip-of-tongue constructions free of percussion but full of rhythmelodic colour and verve. They’re chamber-like vignettes that mostly work under a 2 minute time frame, with only a few taking longer to spiel their tale, sounding something like an eviscerated Chain Reaction reduction, and maybe more acutely the scope of that enigmatic 2016 wonder by ||| ||| on Entr’acte, what landed on the cutting floor from Second Woman sessions, or those beauties from Hamburg’s Werkbund.
There’s very little info about this lot out there, just the poetic statement, "...Above all you have to hear properly the tone that comes out of this mouth, this halcyon tone, if you are not to be pitifully unjust towards the meaning of its wisdom..." which, with the music, and that playfully warped artwork, should pique the curiosity of keener listeners who appreciate a degree of mystery in an age of oversharing.
Hitch.93 laces up baga 4/4 UKG bumpers for the yung, up ’n coming Vibesey Records on a classic late ‘90s flex
All the elements are in the right place and seasoned to taste, conducting it from shoulder to toes with the torso swivelling ace ‘Trigger’ at the front, and putting it down tighter with the trim cut of ‘Yeah’, and clocking up proper cuboid bongos with swaying soul vox in ‘Your Life’, saving the serious UKG arithmetic for the chop ’n start parry of ‘High’ on a classic Steve Gurley pivot.
Arriving seemingly moments after summer's florid 'Under~Between', 'Keep Going... Under' finds Dialect in a weightless space, augmenting jazzy improvisation with subtle cybernetic webs of vaporwave-influenced synthesis.
When he revisited material recorded with Daniel Thorne's Immix Ensemble to come up with "Under~Between", Andrew PM Hunt had too many ideas to confine his work to one album. "Keep Going... Under" comes from the same set of recordings, but channeled into deeper crevices, expanding ideas that were too ecstatic for its predecessor, blasting each sound with digital processes that work like compressed air on dried moss.
The Steve Reich-influenced buzz that underpins 'Crypt' gives it a whimsical familiarity that gently evolves into brittle electronics before you even notice what's going on. 'Half Moon' meanwhile offsets jazzy woodwind gusts with bulbous oscillations, using percussion sounds like flickering stars in the distance. Our highlight is 'Mesa', a heartstring-tugger shaped by descending synth bass tones, melancholy strings and delicate, silvered chimes.
Hunt is braver with his references on 'Keep Going...' and decants each unique element into vibrant emotional spaces. If its predecessor was informed by an obsession with Buddhist concepts and animated by an interest in Harold Budd's minimalism, this smooth sequel loosens the release valve, inviting comparisons with ASA-CHANG & Junray, or even Haruomi Hosono.
0PN mounts a definitive opus with his rapturous 9th studio album, entirely produced during lockdown, with “executive production” by The Weeknd, who also supplies vocals alongside Arca and Caroline Polachek.
‘Magic Oneohtrix Point Never’ is titled after the mispronunciation of Magic 106.7, a local radio station in Boston, Massachusetts; the state where Daniel Lopatin aka 0PN grew up, and where the album was created. The radio station’s adult contemporary programming is a formative and enduring influence on 0PN’s music, and it’s clear that he’s saved this album title for some of his most accomplished tributes to his influences, but refracted thru his prismatic styles to illustrate the distance between that era, and this, with some of his most elusive, illusive and beguiling sound design wrapped up in a mix of stunningly mazy and pop-toned arrangements.
0PN is one of those artists we’d imagine took to lockdown quite naturally, sequestering themselves away to immerse in their art for the good of everyone outside. Written between March and July, the results of ‘Magic Oneohtrix Point Never’ speak for themselves as 0PN’s most broadly appealing record, typically placing avant-inventiveness and curiosity at the service of a tumultuous narrative that really needs some kind of road-trip simulation game to go along with its possessed dial-strafing.
You’re probably familiar with the album’s opening sequence, which appeared on a lead single, and includes the lushest FM synthesis of 2020 in ‘Long Road Home’, and the rest of the album follows suit with a profligate approach to genre, cutting from phased dream-pop grunge in ’I Don’t Love Me Anymore’, to hypnagogic ident collage in ‘The Whether Channel’, and The Weeknd’s romantic ‘80s power pop turn on ‘Lost But Never Again’, crucially fractured with cut-scenes and mutant jingling of the ‘Cross Talk’ parts that tie the album’s story together with something approaching a sonic-visual analog of Safdie Brothers’ choppy editing gone lysergic.
Prayers are answered with Vainqueur’s Reductions 1995-1997, a compilation of in-demand cuts from René Löwe’s seminal Chain Reaction 12”s and Elevations CD, including the vinyl premiere of Antistatic and first ever appearance of Antistatic II on any format, all available on wax for the first time in over 20 years.
For anyone who came thru during the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Vainqueur records were it - beyond Maurizio’s M-Series and the Basic Channel catalogue, they’re some of the strongest dub techno trax in existence. Now, two decades later, their influence probably looms larger than ever.
To newcomers and fiends alike, this 3LP selection provides a perfectly formed overview of Vainqueur’s most feted period (not withstanding his all-time banger Lyot , but that was a kinda one-off). The first disc revolves around the banging Reduce 1 and the monotone brilliance of Reduce 2, whilst the 2nd renders the more tender gasps and dub chords of Solanus (Original) and the heady Elevation II - both masterclasses in techno minimalism - while the 3rd disc significantly presents the flared chords of Antistatic, taken from the Elevations CD, on vinyl for the 1st time, backed with the exclusive-to-this-12” Antistatic II.
Gritty post-punk outfit Low Life investigate the "disgust and shame" of white Australia and the gloomy reality of betrayed adulthood on their dense third album. Influenced by Michaelangelo, Iggy and the Stooges and the Sydney hardcore scene.
There's a curl of thick, black smoke that surrounds Low Life; their music isn't depressing, but it's filled with anger - the kind of anger that grows from dented dreams, unfathomable reality and fragmented relationships. The band raked in acclaim for their first two albums, 2014's "Dogging" and 2019's Alter-released "Downer Edn". "From Squats to Lots..." is closer to their sophomore album, a record the press release describes as having a "nuanced flavour".
With the grim atmosphere of "Unknown Pleasures"-era Joy Division and Bowie's "Low" (apparently producer Mickey Grossman has a statue of the star in the studio), Low Life conduct a riveting noise that lifts the darkest emotions into almost jubilance. Guitars jangle beneath rugged basslines and thrash-y chords, and vocals lurch from snotty sneers to melancholy cynicism. It's a record that brings to life another side of Australia, one far from what we're accustomed to witnessing in the media. As the band themselves say: it's not for kids.
Charming Aussie jangle pop from The Dirty Three's Mick Turner and vocalist Helen Franzmann, aka McKisco. Freewheeling and positive, it's an album that does a lot with few ingredients.
Mick Turner's last solo album was 2013's "Don't Tell the Driver", and since then he'd found himself lacking a vocalist. In 2019 he was introduced to Helen Franzmann and while the two didn't live close (Franzmann was in Brisbane and Turner in Melbourne) they ferried ideas back and forth while planning to record a session for a record. But then COVID-19 happened, and instead of scrapping the plan they collaborated remotely; Turner wrote songs using drums, guitars and synths and Franzmann sung and spoke over them, shifting their focus dramatically. As the songs went back and forth between the two, they developed into something new and completely collaborative.
Listening now, it's hard to tell that "Mess Esque" was produced by musicians working miles from each other. In fact, they've still never met face-to-face, which given the intimacy of the tracks is pretty remarkable.There's a softness to the way the two assembled this record that was maybe aided by the process; there's no showing off, just an attempt to capture real feeling as the world crumbled underfoot.
Starry-eyed nocturnes and rhythmelodic pointillism from NYC’s Tristan Arp, sustaining the run of absorbing albums from Facta and K-Lone’s Wisdom Teeth label
Tristan Arp navigates an ambient safe space beyond the club where aspects of classicism leach into folk and electronic paradigms, with deft touches of feathered dance music drawing comparisons to Call Super or indeed Wisdom Teeth’s in-house sounds, from Steevio’s modular lathers to K-Lone’s ambient dembow deep house bop.
We’ve literally had gypsum in our lugs from ripping down walls recently, and can assure that Tristan Arp’s lissom Afro-Latin trills and bubbling melodies in ‘Gypsum’ are much more pleasant on the ears, forming a hypnotic bop-worthy highlight along with the the sloshing chimes of ‘From The Seams’, whereas the rest of the album is contoured for home listening, from the elegant sway of his baubly harmonics and swaying cello on ‘Pond In Moonlight’ to the levitating ambient harmonics of ‘A Clearing (In Empty Space)’ to the noctilucent aurora borealis lights of ‘Cloud Surface’ that beautifully bring it to a close.
Ilian Tape do drill with Sustrapperazzi’s batch of jazzier, colourful takes placing it shades away from likes of Nammy Wams and Carns Hill’s posher works
‘Return From Shibuya’ marks out the UK producer’s debut offering; seven tracks of drill’s archetypal glyding basses and skunk-nerved 808 tics, eazed off with jazz-taught instrumental flourishes. It lands on the Munich-bassed label’s Beat Series beside previous sides by Sleepy Rich and Packed Rich with a downbeat slant on the main’s up-to-the-moment production values, at best in the brooding, tucked flex of ‘Insatiable’, the deep south London/US strut of ‘Memphis’ and R&B hunch of ‘Date Night’.
Elko Blijweert re-creates a fabled live concert he performed at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp.
"De Nor ('the can', or prison, in comic book Dutch) is an open-air venue/sculpture/pavillion at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp. During its inaugural summer, Elko Blijweert played a live concert there that left an indelible mark on those lucky enough to witness it. What exactly did he do, you ask? Well, Blijweert basically used the entire garden as an instrument alongside an array of pre-programmed pedals, keyboards, drum machines, guitars, a mandoline, and booze-bottle flutes. This record, a re-created version of that fabled performance, is a concept album of sorts.
Your personal prison experience begins on Side One. You will be miserable! Terrified! You will fantasise about being released, or escaping, every night. The entire ordeal is narrated song-by-song with Blijweert's liner notes. Back in civilian life, Blijweert is a master multi-instrumentalist and serial collaborator. He has played with Bad Influence, Front 242, The Tone Zones, Autistik Youth, Dead Man Ray, Kiss My Jazz and countless others. Dedicated to Marc Blijweert, Elko's father."
RVNG.’s FRKWYS foster another dream union with the first/last meeting of Finnish avant-jazz legend Pekka Airaksinen and US psych spirit Ka Baird.
Recorded six months before Pekka Airaksinen departed this mortal coil in 2019, and left behind an unparalleled catalogue of solo trips and work with Sperm, ‘Hungry Shells’ sees him find an ideal foil in Ka Baird, whose freeform solo sides have come to subtly echo Pekka’s mindful psychedelia in the modern sphere.
Brought together for Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht, Holland, the pair wrote and recorded the album around rehearsals for performance at the festival, drawing on time spent together during long walks around the city’s medieval canals, as well as Pekka’s time meditating in his hotel room, for a wholly absorbing consolidation of their already complementary styles, finely sustaining the radical spirit of the late ‘60s scene that Pekka came from for an album that surely nourishes the psychedelic needs of a new generation.
It’s easy to hear each artist’s hallmarks on the record, with Pekka’s signature 808 patterns and Buddhist texts appearing alongside Ka’s shapeshifting vocals and tonal minimalism, but the results arguably transcend their inputs, eliding their spirits to achieve a sort of probing pineal insight. In a spellbinding back and forth, Ka reads Pekka’s Buddhist parables, divined during meditation, as a constant theme through the record, which is prone to lean heavily between silvery rhythmic works and passages of eye-gyring psych lushness. From the pulsating noise and trilling keys of ‘Big Stoen Small Stone’ to the whirligig of fumes, vox and 808 in ’Syzygy (For Pekka)’, thru the wormhole of ‘Grey Body’ to impishly possessed dance of ‘Roseclouds’ and their spiralling nine minute closer ‘Hungry Shells’ it all delivers at least your RDA of psychedelic goodness, and leaves a fitting testament to the durability and singularity of Pekka’s legendary oeuvre, a legacy Ka Baird is well placed to continue.
A Late 80’s slow digital dancehall killer; malevolent, sick and paranoid - prob the most essential and sought-after selection of dubs you'll ever have the pleasure of copping.
Replay Version is basically like a JA variant of Ramelzee & K Rob's Beat Bop, Once Bitten is a deadly variant featuring more detuned-synths on top of a pure skank, while "Senci Pipe" on the flip is just out and out minimal digital sorcery.
"Sides like these announced a new era in reggae... Replay Version sets the mood - malevolent, sick and paranoid, but haunting, and funky like a train, with cruelly brilliant effects..."
Morphine back with this distinctive new set from acclaimed Serbian singer Svetlana Spajić (Antony and the Johnsons, William Basinski, Marina Abramović) alongside drummer Andi Stecher and Dekorder's Guido Möbius on this border-breaking debut album, fusing traditional Serbian folk elements with experimental electronics and expressive drumming. There are few comparisons here, but it should be essential listening for anyone into the Stroom axis.
The trio's unusual world-building meshes Möbius's abstract electonics and Stecher's intuitive, almost Krautrock-esque drumming with Spajic's distinct and moving vocals. Spajic is an Serbian icon, and has performed with artists such as Marina Abramović and Robert Wilson. She's best known for her contemporary realizations of Serbian traditional music, and here she dips seamlessly from old standards into personal improvisations. All the lyrics are taken from traditional music, allowing her own interpretations of extinct forms in line with the customs of traditional village singers.
On the opener Spajic reworks a love song from Odevce, a village in what's now eastern Kosovo, wailing mournfully over Möbius's drones and loose rhythms from Stecher, who slowly builds into a ritual thrum. 'Oh My Rose Flowers' is even more unusual: Spajic sings a song from southwestern Serbia in a scale known as 'kopaonički glas' or Kopaonik mountain air, modulating long tones while Möbius adds metallic feedback and Stecher drives forward with a pounding thud. Somehow, this music has the intensity of doom metal - think early Earth or Sunn O))) - and yet exists in entirely its own musical landscape.
Oli XL's glittering Warp debut doesn't disappoint - it's just as fractal and bizarre as 2019's exceptional "Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer", welding cyberplastique bass womps to contorted vox and alien nursery rhymes. Tip!
Oli's got a new anthem in 'Go Oli Go!' - revolving around a deadpan vocal (additional coos by Emilie Palmelund), it lurches from glitchy hyper-step into shimmering post-Burial hi-gloss, with brickwall bass, twinkling piano and dramatic synths. It sounds like a complete three act play crammed into four minutes, and might be the most fwd-facing thing Warp's chanced on in a minute.
Flipside 'Cartoon Smile' is more restrained, bundling acoustic guitars and theatrical strings into a lysurgic nu-folk package, complete with demonic childish sing-along chants. Let's get Oli XL soundtracking some kind of surrealist stop-motion animated movie soon, please? Well good.
An anthology of Seefeel’s 94 - 96 work made for Warp and Rephlex, including their out-of-print studio albums Succour and (Ch-Vox), two non-album EPs, Starethrough and Fracture/Tied, and 22 bonus tracks from the Seefeel archives, many previously unreleased tracks.
Housed in a bespoke package conceived by The Designer’s Republic. All bonus material remastered from original DAT transfers by Stefan Betke aka Pole.
Sickest Kenyan drill/genge/rap crud from DJ Iche, racking up her first international release with Nyege Nyege Tapes’s rogue sibling, Hakuna Kulala
Unflinchingly upfront and echoing the viral US/UK sound, but mostly rapped in Bantu Swahili, ’Nai Yetu’ is an unmissable introduction, where needed, to the world of Kenyan urban music. It stars a stellar roll call of Mombassa’s hottest drill rappers; Natty, Buruklyn Boyz, Dyana Cods, Jovie Jovv, Da Vaji, Tulia, Wakandinali, Mbogi Genje - as well as select cuts of the more dancefloor-primed Gengetone sound from the likes of Mbogi Genje / SWAT/ Kenya Sihami/ Oksyde, and contemporary Kenyan “urban”, such as Nah Eeto / Monski/ Oksyde ft. Ares66 - BAZUU/ Mastar VK, for 74 minutes of properly crucial listening.
At the helm is DJ Iche, a central player in Mombassa, whose production and singing is heard across her mix, bridging the related but distinctive styles, and toggling the pressure in a way that mirrors the road-level heat and molten flows that links southside Chicago to London’s north/south sounds and Brooklyn right now. Like the Ghanaian drill styles showcased by the likes of Shannen SP in the UK, DJ Iche’s take on the genre portrays the young Kenyan sound at its most rugged, replete with icy minor key motifs and transfixing glyding basses, but also leaning into killlller bits juggling jungle and drill and its Gengetone parallels unique to Kenya.
Trust it’s 100% flames.
Dizzying multi-instrument devotional jams based on Afro-Arab sufi trance music from Tunisian percussionist Houeida Hedfi, assisted by production from The Knife's Olof Dreijer.
When Hefdi picked up drumming for the first time, she was already an established academic, working in economics and mathematics. But her inquisitive interest in Afro-Arab sufi trance music led her towards percussion, and she began touring alongside teaching, reaching out to Tunisian violin player Radhi Chaouali and Palestinian bouzouk player Jalal Nader, for a nine years stretch touring back and forth across Europe and North Africa.
In 2011, Hefdi met Olof Dreijer when he visited Tunisia during the production of a compilation of music composed by local women, and he agreed to produce her album. The result is a work that's decidedly modern, but intrinsically linked to Tunisian folk traditions. Hefdi was insistent that the music should use Arabic quarter tones, but the compositions aren't an exercise in simply looking to the past - her music nods to classical minimalism, contemporary post-classical sounds and modern electronic music.
The first handful of tracks express her classical influence strongly - the lengthy 'Envol du Mékong' folds in Philip Glass-style organs into expressive piano playing and bowed strings before erupting into percussive Tunisian styles. In the album's second half, the lid is blown off as Hefdi allows herself to flex a little, experimenting with drums and electronics. 'Echos de Medjerda' is a clear highlight, balancing subtle processes with trance-inducing percussive loops, and 18-minute closer 'Cheminement du Tigre' is the record's most mind-bending moment, creating a singular mood with bells, electronics, drums and evocative pads.
Raime + Valentina Magaletti's Moin project sum up their influences on a class 90 min mixtape delivered in the wake of a their ace debut album ‘Moot!'.
Marking nearly 10 years since Joe Andrews, Tom Halstead and Valentina Magaletti’s side-project emerged on their Confessions (a sublabel of Blackest Ever Black) split with Pete Swanson, the mix renders a scuzzy deep dive into their enviable record collections, racking up a feral selection of bullets that reek of beer-stained back room pub carpets, cigs and sweat. Beloved for their numerous mixtapes over the years, the group here fuck off the mixing in favour of a no frills barrage of angst-ridden, snotty vocals and wiry guitars delivered with armfuls of jittery melodies designed to an adrenalin rush. Aye, no need for ID’s on this one, just join the dots between their overarching love of underground energy in its myriad, direct and obtuse forms.
Two tracks from Overmono released on XL Recordings.
"Over the course of the pandemic Overmono have undoubtedly risen to become the most sought-after dance act of 2021. Shows at festivals like Greenman, We Out Here, Field Day and Gala were all hailed as highlights, as was their sold out, packed-out headline show at Village Underground earlier this month. Their track ‘So U Kno’ is the anthem of the summer and their ‘Fabric Presents Overmono’ compilation and mix is being hailed as one of the best the revered London institution has released."
As sampled by DJ Shadow on Latryx’s ‘Lady Don’t Tek No’, Panaché’s deep funk nugget resurfaces on Isle Of Jura
Revolving a legit sample of the bassline from Granter Flash’s ‘The Message’, the original version of ‘Every Brother Ain’t A Brother’ was produced in 1982 by Brooklyn’s Freddie Thompson and his band, Panaché - so named as an attempt to sound even classier than Chic. Their late gem is perhaps best known as the sample source for a DJ Shadow production for The Soleside Crew’s Latryx, where it remained largely untreated. This necessary reissue includes the vocal and instrumental mixes, plus Jura Soudnsystem’s remix augmented with extra conga and cowbell percussion for a dubbed out disco rap swagger.
Ulla’s recordings of phone conversations and wildlife diffuse into the most vaporous and unsettling ambient dub textures on the third in our Documenting Sound series, recorded over the last few weeks in Philadelphia and recalling Sam Kidel’s ‘Disruptive Muzak’, DJ Lostboi’s ambient hymnals and Vladislav Delay’s Chain Reaction pearls.
Pieced together from airspun recordings made in Philadelphia during spring 2020, ’inside means inside me’ holds a subtle mirror to the new world’s psychic ambiance of existential, slowburn dread. Prizing the sensitively insightful, lower case manner that made Ulla’s recent 'Tumbling Towards A Wall’ album so memorable, here the sound is more poignant, the dissociative flux used to perhaps more therapeutic effect for an ephemeral reading of the times.
In the first half, Ulla makes a subtly heartbreaking use of crackling phone calls and dub stabs, but embedded in the music’s weft they take on an unsettling resolution that’s hard to place. On the flip, more entwined conversations snag in the breeze with location recordings and scudding hypnagogic washes with a signature low key movement that keep you feeling swaddled but uneasy until the end.
Trunk celebrates 25 years of uniquely British eccentricity with this wyrd and wonderful set of unreleased gems and better-known catalog classics. Newly discovered sounds from Basil Kirchin's tape archive and - oh yeah - an unreleased cut from Delia Derbyshire make this one indispensable.
This sprawling 33-track compilation highlights the imprint's idiosyncratic accent; it's unmistakably British - snippets from Dudley Simpson's unforgettable "The Tomorrow People" soundtrack and Marc Wilkinson's "Blood On Satan's Claw" OST assure us of that - but zeroes in on the dusty jumble sale quirkiness that's slowly been lost to time.
Nothing makes that more clear than the overdubbed sleaze funk of 'Car Boot Sex Tape' or the vibe-led 'Sunbeam' from Kenny Graham And His Satellites. And since it's a celebration of all things Trunk, there are some surprises in store: a short synth jam from Delia Derbyshire, snipped from a Madelon Hooykaas/Elsa Stansfield film; and freshly sourced sounds from Basil Kirchin's tape archive. Other standout moments are more familiar: John Cameron's title music from "Kes", Tristram Cary's shuffling synth nursery rhyme 'The Electron's Tale' and John Baker's psychedelic 'JB Dubs'.
Following his side for Low Jack’s Editions Gravats, ever intriguing french avant-gardist, Èlg is portrayed at his all-over-the-place best on a mad new blast landing somewhere between his erstwhile collaborator, Ghédalia Tazartès, Frank Zappa, and Oï les Ox
Always a guess-again type of artist, Èlg is particularly elusive on ‘Dans le Salon du Nous’, a collection of “sound paintings” begun in 2019, that illustrate “multiple states of being” and deploy a plethora of strategies ranging from quiet minimalism to punkish no wave rabble and chanson with an unmistakably gallic spirit.
The 10 songs describe a transition from birth to bardo, utilising production from his brother, Mim as well as singer and organ player Marie Zachary (Fervent, the Grand Sbam), electronics from Johann Mazé (France Sauvage, Lord Rectangle), and vocals, violin and synth from Aurore Debret (Dragon du Poitou), all live engineered and comically rendered in-the-mix by Alexandre Menexiadis.
Pauline Oliveros’ astonishing drone classicism finally surfaces on vinyl for a definitive 30th anniversary edition newly expanded with material from the slightly later but related ‘The Readymade Boomerang’ album.
Recorded in 1989 in a cistern with a 45” reverb, located 14 feet below the ground in Seattle, ‘Deep Listening’ is a masterclass of intuitively divined harmony helmed by one of the 20th century’s most revered composers, accordionists and musical thinkers; Pauline Oliveros. Accompanied by her long-time Deep Listening Band collaborators Stuart Dempster (trombone, hosepipe, conch shell, didjeridu) and Peter Ward a.k.a. Panaiotis (voice, whistling), the trio generate an utterly atavistic yet future-facing music that sounds convincingly electronic but is actually entirely acoustic in origin, and is likely to leave deep listening types floored at their conception of in-the-moment composition.
Like the plangent call of mother earth lamenting for the ages, it’s hard to avoid comparisons for this record with events practically beyond human conception. Of course, it’s just three people in a very echoic space, but the results directly speak to our sixth senses in a way that really escapes concrete classification and can really only be grasped at the most elusive, spiritual level - unless you want to get into the physics of acoustic phenomenology and psychology, and to be fair that might spoil the effect. Instead, we recommend finding time and space to give this album your full attention - preferably at night, when conditions are similar to the darkness the performers experienced in the cistern - and feel yourself dematerialised, like their sounds, into a perceptive state of pure, finely graded vibrational decay and harmonic mystery.
PAN’s vinyl-only club weapon series pits E-Saggila and Exploited Body in a duel of industrialised dembow, slow-slamming tech, and martial bone rattlers. No digital, limited edition of 300 stamped white labels.
In hot pursuit of their 2019 split sessions by Slikback / Soda Plains, M.E.S.H./Tsuzing, and Toxe/Crystalmess, this one comes hungry for the reopened clubs with two parts brooding, concentrated pressure, to two parts of gnashing attack set to sever limbs and mind.
Toronto's Rita Mikhael aka E-Saggila dispenses her follow-up to a handful of albums for Opal Tapes, Hospital Productions and Northern Electronics with a scowling one-two; holding a deadly line of whirring dembow rhythms hackled with junglist shrapnel in ‘Cluebeat’, before laying the smackdown with the slow darkroom techno thrust of ’83C’ - both bound to do damage in right situations.
Helsinki’s Noah Kin, aka Exploited Body leads on from shots on Posh Isolation and Northern Electronics with the all out rail-gunning machine rhythm of ‘Alive, Expensive & Damaged’, before ramping the drama with radioactive synths and scudding drums in ’Nothing Persona’.
sleep n weep babes.
Ekman (The Trilogy Tapes, Berceuse Heroique, Creme Organisation) back with a 7" of rampant red-lining smudge for Glasgow's Lifeforms label.
'Panische' on the A plays it on a salty & sweet, vintage Dutch tip, while 'Nuance' on the B side deploys the classic Bunker blueprint, all distorted 808's and squashed cowbells - for the good of the squelch.
Dodelijk en smerig.
Full throttle, 160bpm hardcore, jungle and footwork tekkers from the rave’s leading pied piper, for Fabric’s key mix series
In the space of a few short years, Sherelle has leapt from cult quantity to headline dynamo, largely with thanks to her incendiary and highly memed Boiler Room showcase in late 2019, when she generated nuclear energy levels via a jump up dub of ‘RIP Groove.’ She’s spent the intervening pandemic building a fearsome rep as the happiest and up-for-it DJ on road, ultimately leading to this, her 27-track razz between UK and Chicago rave styles, taking in upfront Black dance music from key hotspots of NYC and LDN with a breathless, party-ready flow that’s precisely what eager yung ravers want, and are getting, right now
As with her A&R actions on the HooverSound and Beautiful labels, the mix highlights Sherelle’s roots and branches thru cuts from a close but far flung coterie of producers ranging from old skool soldiers (Aphrodite, Cloud9, Q-Bass) to relatively new skool jungle players (Dub One, Tim Reaper, Dev/Null) and US catalysts (DJ Rashad, Kush Jones, DJ Phil, AceMo), each finding a mutual axis around the 160bpm thing. With a sense of drama and intensity that’s perhaps more UK rave than US, Sherelle defines the sound at its most disciplined and up for it, spraying from the hip with a lethal disregard for our safety that can’t be prized any more, especially after 18 months of brutal club lockdown.
No prisoners, we tell ya!