Necessary vinyl reissue of Molly Nilsson’s hard-to-find 2013 debut for Night School - a filigree, lo-fi blend of aloof vocals with naif, nagging pop chops in most beguiling manner
“The Travels represents a signpost in the continuing journey that is the songs of Berlin-based artist Molly Nilsson.
Journeys offer change - the possibility of renewal - and accordingly on The Travels Molly Nilsson’s resonant voice is found curling around a new sense of optimism and wide-eyed discovery that was only alluded to in her previous work. Songs like “Dear Life” might be spiked with a barbed sense of the dejected, but the presiding feeling is one of optimism, of being in love with life despite a shield of cynicism. “Dirty Fingers” brings a melancholy recognisable from previous work but with an incessant beat and ecstatic underpinning it becomes apparent that a new force is at play here. In case the listener missed it, “The Power Ballad” brings an endearing, sincerity to proceedings that also offers a tantalising question: can you be sceptical about love but still be bewitched?
On her 5th long-player, Nilsson’s perspective is challenged and manipulated by changes in environment and psychological space: like any other traveller the protagonist brings their own set of values and emotional states and new places, colouring them with a wash of subjectivity. Like any other traveller Molly Nilsson reacts to her environment and shares her unique version of it to other people.
Based loosely on Marco Polo’s “Travels” and reading like a map of the protagonist’s geographical and inner journey, The Travels reveals new places and new emotions that are never the same to the beholder. Nilsson’s art is in turning this subjectivity into a cloak that almost anyone can don for the trip.”
Lebanese guitarist Fadi Tabbal renders a shimmering dreamworld of hallucinatory structures and ambient panoramas in the gauzy gaze of ‘Museum of Disappearing Buildings’, which now appears on Portland, OR’s Beacon Sound after an under-the-radar digital release in 2015, replete with two big highlights in the keening harmonics of ‘Wandering Turtle In a Maze of a Big Ciy’ and the awe-inspiring, trance-inducing flux of ‘Crystal Palace’. RIYL the towering cloud cities of Popol Vuh, the windswept grit of Fennesz, or Forest Swords’ at his most wistful
“Fadi Tabbal, lead guitarist with Lebanese psychedelic rock band The Incompetents and various other alternative outfits, releases his second solo album, “Museum of Disappearing Buildings”, in November 2015. This album continues further the work of sound exploration through guitar treatments, which began with “On the Rooftop Looking Up” in 2013.
While the young guitarist’s first album featured a finely-devised interaction of ambient soundscapes and John Fahey-inspired finger-picking acoustic meanderings, this second solo outing adopts a different approach: it relies on an interplay of ambient guitar drones and grainy electronics, which recalls to a degree the work of early Krautrock vanguard artists from the 1970’s, the leftfield exploration of British electro-acoustic practitioners from the mid-1970’s, as well as the radical works of American minimalistic composers from the 1960’s.
Similarly to his first outing, Tabbal preferred a radical and direct approach to composition and recording, opting for the intimacy and self-reflection of home recordings, rather than the traditional environment of a recording studio. At the heart of the album, resides one unifying concept, which finds its way into the resulting musical bed: the sketches and impossible structures and urban configurations of Russian paper architects Brodsky and Utkin.”
Veronica Vasicka and Karl O’Connor (Regis) unleash a handful of secret weapons as The Floor on Minimal Wave following their blink ‘n miss debut flexidisc 7" The Desire  for Downwards, and an outing with Oliver Ho’s Death & Leisure in summer 2017.
As The Floor, they enhance two mutual Minimal Wave favourites for the dance, firstly giving Five Times of Dust’s Computer Bank a prodding reboot, coolly accentuating the proto-techno potential of its driving mono-rhythm and cascading bleeps with lean, deadly effect, before returning attentions to Tara Cross & Unovidual’s Like I Am Comme Je Suis, highlighting its brittle jack beat, beaky synth pecks and shrill synths for bruxist effect.
If that wasn’t enough, the 12" also features two previously unreleased gems from the MW archive. A-side you’ll catch the steaming Armoured Car by Five Times of Dust’s Rob Lawrence in solo mode - think Warm Leatherette with an ultimate death wish - while Unovidual and Tara Cross’ Imponative cuts a darker instrumental swagger across the B-side.
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean (Spiritland) generate gusty electronic folk drones resonating somewhere between La Monte Young and Coil...
“The title of the debut lp from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favour of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation.
Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky and Roland RE 101 Space Echo among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm and melody subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown.
Written and recorded at Cats Abbey in November 2016 by Anthony Child and Daniel Bean.
Anthony and Daniel played the Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, symphonie, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.”
Invada present the soundtrack to Stranger Things 2, produced by S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.
Expect plenty shlocky ‘80s FM synth cues and themes bound to yank your nostalgia nozzle.
One of techno’s most prominent prism pushers follows work on Fever Ray’s 'Plunge' album to open 2018 with the masterful machine control of 'The 3D Printed Songbook', dispatched thru his Stockholm-based personal imprint.
In his highly personalised style of Scandinavian techno dub pressure, Mannerfelt pursues a signature blend of raved-up smarts with cutting-edge sound design into ever more curious, densely packed but spacious gestures on The 3D Printed Songbook by getting ever closer to grips with his elemental electronic material.
Where so much techno can feel like the work of a bored neek pushing blocks on a screen or effectively doing a colouring-in book, Mannerfelt is a sculptor who has picked techno and pure, abstract electronics as his medium, manifesting a sound which works just as well for those who appreciate the tactile sensuality of manipulated noise, as those who love dancing to irregular, warped rhythms and sensational tones.
Here, Mannerfelt blurs those distinctions and contradictions beautifully well, getting into gear with a pendulous but stuttering, sleek and jagged deep house/dancehall curl to open, before circling thru recoiling slow techno, heavy-lidded yet visceral ambient tones, to stripes of viking acid jack and the kind of depth charge dub techno that keeps Mika Vainio’s memory in earshot while unafraid to steer into new terrain.
BleeD’s yung American signings Archivist & Fugal coolly furnish the label with its strongest release yet in Undertow, rotating three tracks of menacing, entrancing deep techno backed by a steely Acronym remix.
Hailing from Seattle via Berlin, the pair have previously dispensed 12”s on secondnature and Seattle’s Medical Records en route to the Undertow 12”, which stretches out from sleek, gothic trance techno recalling an icier take on Prurient’s Through The Window on Being And Nothingness, to the drier big room boom and aqueous chords of Far Horizon, which also appears in a tunnelling Acronym remix, before passing out into the Milton Bradley-esque acidic modulations and steepled reverbs of Undertow.
Ekman comes back to bang on The Trilogy Tapes with a 3rd plate of raw, bloody-nosed electro knockers in Onomatomania after the Entropy (2014) and Aphasia (2015) sessions.
The dutch producer pull few punches between the harsh hydraulic electro-techno of Onomatomania 1, the biting point primitivism of Onomatomania 2, and the grimacing, brutish force of Onomatomania 3, saving the snap jawed acid of Onomatomania 4 to eat whatever’s left on yer bones.
MAGMA, one of the most influential of all French bands, compiled on this epic box set.
"The first ten years of MAGMA were celebrated on three memorable evenings in June 1980 at the Olympia theatre in Paris. This retrospective, reuniting most of the musicians who had performed in the group, was issued as two albums; the Retrospektïẁ I & II double-LP and Retrospektïẁ III LP. Issued first, Retrospektïẁ III comprises three titles. "Retrovision" is a long piece in the style of the album Attahk, in which the vocalists Stella Vander, Guy Khalifa, and Maria Popkiewicz turn in a blazing performance over a driving rhythm section. There is a supercharged version of "Hhai," in which the trio of Lockwood, Paganotti, and Widemann works miracles. And finally, "La Dawotsin," where, in a more muted register, the voice of Christian Vander triumphs through its mastery and profound sensibility.
Recorded, like Retrospektïẁ III, during the soirees at Olympia in June 1980, Retrospektïẁ I & II is an absolutely fundamental album in which "Theusz Hamtaahk" -- the first movement of the trilogy of the same name -- is presented for the first time. The second and third movements, "Wurdah Itah" and "Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh," were of course already well known. Although played in concert since 1974, Christian Vander had waited for years before recording it for posterity as he wanted every note to be as beautiful, magical, essential and definitive as possible. It is with the same respect for his music that he releases here the most successful version of "Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh," considered outstanding on account of two incredible improvisation from Bernard Paganotti and Didier Lockwood. Klaus Blasquiz, who did not perform on Retrospektïẁ III, is the lead vocalist on this version - and justifiably so, since he was indeed the MAGMA singer who first sang these two masterworks.
There's no doubt about it, MAGMA has left a legacy of music that defies any of the standard and convenient classifications of rock, operating instead in a realm of their own creation. Southern Lord looks forward to being part of their ever-evolving story…"
Slimzee’s OG grime label boomerangs back with badness from pivotal new wave player Boylan.
They’re both fucking lethal, riding big and bashy with search ’n destroy mentasms, hulking great subs and unflinchingly upfront sound design of Overlook, then trimming back to a molasses half step with the radioactive mid-range waves and Hermann-Esgque strings terror on They Mostly Come At Night.
Gully gang. It’s yours.
None-more-vital East African label Nyege Nyege Tapes present Otim Alpha’s melodic electro Acholi bangers on vinyl for the 1st time, following that blazing, acclaimed Sounds of Sisso compilation!
Alpha’s debut international release Gulu City Anthems features 11 songs written and recorded between 2004 and 2015 in Northern Uganda and ranges from hi-velocity bangers to more romantic mid-tempo swagger, all serving a totally infectious showcase of his plugged-in take on traditional Larakaraka wedding music that’s bound to get a lot of listeners itching for a +1 invite to one of his ceremonial sessions (crashing is always an option, too!).
Working with producer Leo Palayeng, Otim essentially computerises Acholi wedding music, weaving its traditional, see-sawing folk fiddles and call-and-response vocals with stripped, pounding drum machine polyrhythms in a sort of hypnotic, minimalist delirium. For the most part, it’s properly uptempo, with some searing highlights in the likes of his wickedly off-kilter jig Kodi Pa Barikiya (Kwan), the jabbing clash of almost cajun-style rapidfire riffs and turbo-charged toms in Toni G, or the Detroit/Chicago ghetto-compatible bang of Too Wiye Ming-Alphazo. But there’s also one super-charming piece called Agiki Ne Tye which works at a relatively leisurely 120bpm with strolling bass and bright, joyful chord cadence, presumably intended to allow the party a sweet breather.
Following Alpha’s recent, stellar introductory live show at Unsound ’17, this collection is set to impress his sound to eager ears beyond Uganda and the East African scene, and is surely destined to be lodged in record collections somewhere between your Shangaan, Konono No.1 and Caribbean soca faves - in other words; your party-starting section...
Snotty punk slingshots from Sheffield’s Nachthexen - who emerge from the same quarters as Blood Sport with a compatible style of stomping drums pebble-dashed with looping guitars and synths
Offset by authentically late ‘70s-sounding punk vocals. Sounds like your mate’s mates’ band when you were 15, which perhaps explains the Seaford Mods support slots. Not a sausage between them, either.
Lakker’s Eomac gives it some swagger on the 1st 10” from Bedouin Records’ Bastikaya Tapes.
With One Spirit he trades in a sort of itchy, abraded 2-step techno alloyed with whirligig folk melody.
On Observe The Vessel Beneath You he reshapes that template to a scratchier swang embedded in etheric atmospheres, perhaps imagining Burial lost a souk after-hours.
22 years since Pygmalion and the band’s dissolution, Slowdive swoon back into earshot with Slowdive. With hearts bleeding all over their sleeves, Slowdive captures the sound of the band at their sunny best, with a renewed optimism and timeless dreaminess to fall right into.
““It felt like we were in a movie that had a totally implausible ending...”
Slowdive’s second act as a live blockbuster has already been rapturously received around the world. Highlights thus far include a festival-conquering, sea-of-devotees Primavera Sound performance, of which Pitchfork noted: “The beauty of their crystalline sound is almost hard to believe, every note in its perfect place.” “It was just nice to realise that there was a decent amount of interest in it,” says principal songwriter Neil Halstead. The UK shoegaze pioneers have now channelled such seemingly impossible belief into a fourth studio opus which belies his characteristic modesty. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears.
Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane”, these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Birthed at the band’s talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard – “It felt like home,” enthuses guitarist Christian Savill – their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady (perhaps best known for his work with Beach House, one of countless contemporary acts to have followed in Slowdive’s wake). “It’s poppier than I thought it was going to be,” notes Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995‘s previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. “When you’re in a band and you do three records, there’s a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record.”
Drummer and loop conductor Simon Scott enhanced the likes of ‘Slomo’ and ‘Falling Ashes’ with abstract textures conjured via his laptop’s signal processing software. A fecund period of experimentation with “40-minute iPhone jams” allowed the unit to then amplify the core of their chemistry. “Neil is such a gifted songwriter, so the songs won. He has these sparks of melodies, like ‘Sugar For The Pill’ and ‘Star Roving’, which are really special. But the new record still has a toe in that Pygmalion sound. In the future, things could get very interesting indeed.” This open-channel approach to creativity is reflected by Slowdive’s impressively wide field of influence, from indie-rock avatars to ambient voyagers – see the tribute album of cover versions released by Berlin electronic label Morr Music. As befits such evocative visionaries, you can also hear Slowdive through the silver screen: New Queer Cinema trailblazer Gregg Araki has featured them on the soundtracks to no less than four of his films.
“When I moved to America in 2008 I was working in an organic grocery store,” recalls Christian. “Kids started coming in and asking if it was true I had played in Slowdive. That’s when I started thinking, ‘OK, this is weird!’” Neil Halstead: “We were always ambitious. Not in terms of trying to sell records, but in terms of making interesting records. Maybe, if you try and make interesting records, they’re still interesting in a few years time. I don’t know where we’d have gone if we had carried straight on. Now we’ve picked up a different momentum. It’s intriguing to see where it goes next.” The world has finally caught up with Slowdive. This movie could run and run…”
F*cking f*ck yes aye! Berceuse Heroique on a slow-mo/trance/new beat tip with Heap’s thumping addition to the dead handy Brasserie Heroique Edits series.
It’s going to do our heads in for weeks, months (or until someone tells us) but we can’t ID any of the OGs, which is always a good thing, but anyway you get a hulking great slug of early ‘90s acid trance screwed to a determined chug with External Error, then a badboy bit of breakbeat techno shunted to sleazy early new beat tempo in Possessed By The Drums, with the B-side’s Tripper cannily cut at 45rpm for a proper modagon lurch at 33rpm, or a wind tunnel trample on the correct speed.
Harbinger Sound immerse in the hypnotic avant-noise of Belgium’s Kanker Kommando with Low Tech 1982-88, collecting cuts from their 5 self-released tapes, plus previously unreleased material.
Originally a punk band, then a noise band, and soon enough incorporating avant-classical inspirations, the low tech-fetishists Jaak Perquy and Henk Willaerts trod their own path thru the no-man’s-land of noise in a way that evidently resonated with Harbinger Sound’s own sonic politics and conception of sound art. They prefer to structure themselves as an “albino amoeba”, a sort of single-celled organism, who relished the conceptual challenge of working with firmly established limitations - instruments, musical skills, recording-equipment - as a key conceit of the music.
Drawn from Loud Stereo .Eadphones  you’ll intercept the monotonous pulse of .Ead and something like alien morse code in Implosieve Kracht from their Naakt & Kwetsbaar  release. But the rest is all previous unheard, taking in the discomfortingly unheimlich, amniotic sensation of Slaapswandel; a Conet Project-like transmission of nursery rhyme melody and noise in Signal; and more blunted mechanical rhythms recalling NON/Robert Turman in Kwetsbaar, the locked-in mono rhythm Naakt, and what sounds like an EVP recording in the airborne oddity Count.
One of dubstep’s prime outliers comes into trippy focus with the psychedelic deviation of Dying On Acid featuring Rider Shafique for Mala’s Deep Medi Musik.
As the label has been steadily broadening its horizons over the last half decade and more, Gantz pushes the prism in his own way, mixing mutant structures and palettes with vocals in unexpected, inventive styles.
The dream-sequence strings and ghostly vocal of Elif Dikeç tumble thru a evaporating maze of digital delays and seasick rhythms on Fugazi, before Dedw8 jumps on a gnarled sort of hip hop/dubstep abstraction in Shivy recalling early ‘00s Anti-Pop Consortium, while Rider Shafique mans the industrial grind of Sharkeyes with an expressively rooted stream-of-consciousness.
Yet, the highlight is entirely instrumental, as Gantz cements and dissolves his outsider purview with a concatenated derangement of Autechrian rhythm and electronica melodies in a volatile, unpredictable style.
On its 10th anniversary, Italians Do It Better dial up Glass Candy’s I Always Say Yes for an expanded reissue, now packing no less than three new songs along with the original, dry-iced disco of the title cut and their cover of dark Day’s The Chameleon.
The extended original and chunkier Drumm Edit are chased by the crepuscular horror movie drill feels of Where Time Is Still on the front, backed with the Jean-Michel Jarre vibes of City Lights, their exquisite cover of Chameleon, and an unmissable cinematic synth panorama called Sanctuary.
WRWTFWW Records birth a vinyl edition of the soundtrack to cult ‘80s lo-fi horror, “Psychos In Love” - including the exceedingly cruddy theme tune, snatches of dialogue and charming synthy daftness. RIYL early James Ferraro or current Spencer Clarke records
“The long-anticipated, 30-years-in-the-making Psychos In Love original soundtrack: Filled with sleazy funk, macabre synths, homemade electronic kitsch, anti-grape propaganda, and rewind-worthy dialogue excerpts, Psychos In Love is the ultimate lo-fi horror-rom-com soundtrack adventure.
Housed in DIY no-budget sleeve; Loaded with extras, including words from film director Gorman Bechard, lyrics of the theme song, a promotional postcard with a picture of the cast, a poster of a woman attacked in a bathroom, and the infamous as-seen-in-the-movie "I LOVE MY VCR" bumper sticker.”
A haunting suite of solemn, sober wonders for strings, vocals and synth from Japanese improvisor Chie Mukai and NYC’s Justin Simon (Invisible Conga People), the follow-up to the reissue of Phew’s Light Sleep on Simon’s Mesh-Key label.
Finally emerging some 15 years after it was written between NYC and Tokyo, the four tracks glide from Oskar Sala-esque synth melded with acoustic guitar and Mukai’s floating vocals in Sugita Hi No, thru to an exceptional centrepiece in the gentle, listing keen of percussion, vocal and synth wheeze in Hi Tsuki, along with the more rustic strings of Nami No hate, and the Loren Connors or Jandek-like tape vignette Untitled.
Tel Aviv’s finest team up with Gina X and C.A.R. on two killer, original disco/wave productions, along with two edits of Solid Space and X Ray Pop, making up a sterling debut dispatch thru Dark Entries.
On 5 Min, Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi kit their regular spar Chloé Raumet a.k.a. C.A.R. with a ruggedly burning electro groove and spiralling FX - proper fashion party business - before the original icy synth-pop mistress Gina X pays tribute to Nyx, goddess of the night, with typically dry gynoid vocal over the stark, New Beat-compatible brilliance of Nyx Tape.
The flipside tends to Red Axes’ reputation as primo disco editors, proved in the reverberating rework of Solid Space’s Destination Moon (the original’s just been reissued on Dark Entries, too!) next to a neat trim of X Ray Pop’s wavy charmer La Machine Á Rêver.
Dark Entries cock a snook behind the curtain of Robert Rental and Glenn Wallis, jamming in a Battersea, London studio c. 1978-79. Sounds like a stoned TG joined by a salty Schnitzler, especially on the B-side’s wonky wormholer.
“Robert Rental was the stage name of Robert Donnachie (1952–2000), a British pioneer of post-punk, DIY, and industrial music. Originally from Port Glasgow, Scotland, he moved to the south of England with Thomas Leer in the late 1970s where he met Glenn Michael Wallis. Glenn was recording music with the group Heute and leaving to start his solo projects NKVD and Konstruktivists. Both were heavily involved with Throbbing Gristle and the Industrial Records crew.
In the Summer of 1979, Robert invited Glenn to his studio in Battersea to jam. Robert on guitar and Glenn on an EDP Wasp synthesizer. For each session that summer they would play for about 40 minutes, maybe longer, stoned. Robert suggested they record it, many times erasing and over recording one session for the next. The music had no titles, as they were never intended to be released. On these recordings, Robert enjoyed playing like Robert Fripp of King Crimson, while Glenn channeled Wolfgang Flur of Kraftwerk. Influenced by Krautrock bands like Can, NEU!, Cluster/Harmonia, as well as Terry Riley and Brian Eno the duo forged a unqiue brand of Industrial music. Tape loops and synthesizer sounds played backward conjure dark ambient moods.”
C.L.A.W.S.’ 2nd volume of Squirrels On Film
...heads to the darkroom with four sleazy electro cuts running from Material Squirrel’s trippy workout Material World to the New Beat-style charge of Headless by Lokier, and then over to more haughty acid house in Billy Bates’ hunky jacker Got It, and a moody psych burner from Solar.
New edition pressed on white vinyl, housed in metallic blue foil-block print jacket. Includes download code
Beautifully melancholic synth-pop from Deb Demure’s Drab Majesty project, measuring out the exquisitely goth-tinted synth cadence and disco thrum of Oak Wood and the spindly tendrils of his Durutti Column-esque instrumental Egress.
Enigmatic proto-house quantity, E Myers presents a refreshed, augmented edition of their self-released Love/Hate  12” for Dark Entries. The original, sought-after white label is now bolstered with a bonus version of Hate packed with muscular toms, all clad in new artwork and centre labels.
Love stretches out like some hazy Ron Hardy-meets-James Mason phantasia of tumbling Chicago/NYC toms, thrumming b-line and shooting star synths; Hate beats out a wood-cut tattoo of tuff drums rubbed with balloon-squeak synths to sound like Gesloten Cirkel meets Helena Hauff.
Refreshingly sparse, nimbly dubbed techno-electronica and field recordings from Tuomo Väänänen, boss of Finland’s Ljudverket label. RIYL Andreas Tilliander, Vladislav Delay...
“Typically outstanding, cultured, listenable techno by the co-founder of this excellent Finnish label, adroitly traversing dub and ambient. Nothing lunky or domineering, dystopian or Gothic, this debut LP generates senses of immediate, natural being out of field recordings (Waiting Halls, Winners, Temple) and the foibles and hiccups of the music-making process itself (New to the System, Sloth, A Small Flood).”
Noah Lennox heats up his Beach Boys schtick with gritty swing beats and some more surprising, noisily technoid detours in A Day With The Homies, holding his 1st new material since 2015 and heralding Panda Bear’s 2018 Europe + America tour dates.
A Day With The Homies starts out with a ruddy pop alacrity in Flight, fading into dusk with an extended passage of field recordings, then undermines expectations with the distorted guitar contrails and swaggering glam big beat of Part of the Math.
On Shepard Tone, he first comes off like one of Martin Hannett’s noisy studio experiments, but the song gradually blooms into a sort of experimental breakbeat hymn, with the title presumably referring to its illusive, floating vocal pitches. Nod To The Folks follows thru with a chunky cosmic pop chug and mad air raid sirens to the hot-stepping mix of skittish swing beat, harmonised pop vox and D&B style stabs on Sunset, which seems to finish off with a synth line imitating the “snooooop” off Snoop & Pharell’s Drop It Like It’s Hot. Go figure.
Reissue of the pounding, scuzzy debut solo LP of psychedelic krautrock and industrial rhythms by Henrik Rylander, aka the driving force behind Union Carbide Productions, The Skull Defekts and Saturn and The Sun with various Scandinavian accomplices.
First released in 1998, Från En Obestämd Plats I Rummet is effectively a missing link between the original long-haired German sound of the ‘70s and the current wave of psych bands attempting to emulate their forbears, including everyone from Goat to Gnod and Cavern Of Anti-Matter.
However, Rylander’s take on the pivotal, influential styles of Neu! et al is more stripped down, singularly focused, with a firm grip on biting point distortion that come out in various ways in the nervy spark of Organ1, blooming scorching hot and slow from …Och Plötsligt, or lysergic ally melting into the skinny drum machine patter of 2-7-4-8-8-2 with hazy psychedelic potency.
Factory Benelux highlight Vini Reilly’s acclaimed fusions of guitars and electronics circa 1987’s The Guitar and Other Machines Deluxe with remastered expansion of the original LP including his Live At The Bottom Line New York and a bonus disc of Related Works including the rare, Italy-only Greetings 3 EP.
The Guitar and Other Machines Deluxe was produced by Stephen Street, who’s maybe best known as a longtime producer/co-writer for Morrissey, and also features Reilly’s longtime associates Bruce Mitchell and viola player John Metcalfe.
It was written in response to a christmas present of “a load of electronic instruments” from Tony Wilson to Vini Reilly, who remarked at the time “I never dreamt of getting into this electronic thing, and I struggled and fought and stayed up til half seven in the morning and really worked on it. I know that Tony’s got this vision and I persevered. And I found a way of using a sequencer that isn’t like New Order – it’s my way, and it’s my music."
The results make one of Reilly’s most precious recordings, with highlights cascading from the front with Arpeggiator, thru the meditative hash haze of Jongleur Grey, to elegant wonder such as English Landscape Tradition and particularly the three bonus tracks from original CD release, notably the pulsating 28 Oldham Street (location of the now-boarded-up Dry Bar) and the delicate mingle of acoustic and electronic tones in Catos con Guantes.
As if proving his workings out for the album, you can also hear many of the album tracks played on Live in New York 10/1986 plus later recordings made at WOMAD 1988, while the Related Works disc holds some real gems in the spine-freezing styles of Vini’s Greetings 3 EP, especially his guitar and viola duet with John Metcalfe, All That Love And Maths Can Do.
A marriage made in dub house heaven, the Accumulate EP is 1st in a series of collaborations between Fluxion and Rod Modell aka Deepchord, to be released via the former’s Vibrant Music label.
Converging from subtle differing yet wholly compatible angles, Deepchord & Fluxion’s Transformations duo explore an elegantly widescreen sound that sounds familiar, yet remarkably altered and uncharted in either artist catalogue.
Layered from fathomless bass pads and swooning string figures, Accumulate runs to just shy of 25 minutes across the two sides, with the 13 minute Pt.1 subliminally flowing and expanding across into Pt.2 in such a lush, hypnotic manner that you’ll almost be irked at having to get up and flip the disc, but then you’ll just flop back and restart the zoot and ride out into its diaphanous, dusky sunset.
Deep house guy John Daly turns his hand to hip hop on a 2nd dispatch as West 2 West for Dublin’s All City. Imagine Dabrye getting lean with Kaman Leung and Letherette and you’re in grasping distance of the classic-rooted instrumental styles inside.
“Following last year’s well received ‘The Smoke Clears’, John Daly returns to the All City under another alias - West 2 West which was debuted on Jheri Tracks Vol 1. Equally as atmospheric as the ethereal Smoke Clears, this project is the result of his ongoing hip hop obsession. MPC workouts inspired by current listening, the result isn't quite hip hop, but sits nicely in the all city beat discography. There's an after-hours headphone feel to the set - spanning twenty-four tracks split evenly over two 12 inches - Volume 1 and Volume 2.”
Marking 20 years of Prurient and Hospital Productions’ concurrent paths, the epic 3 hr 20 minutes of Rainbow Mirror inarguably ranks among Prurient’s most compelling statements. While still the blood child of Dominick Fernow, the album’s massive scope demanded more hands on board, with Jim Mroz (Lussuria) and Matt Folden (Dual Action) lending their expertise before post-production by Shifted and mastering by Paul Corley cemented this towering work of Doom Electronics for the ages.
Offered up as ‘a portrait in perpetual tension’, and housed in cover art created as the first collage in the pre-recording era of Prurient, Rainbow Mirror draws on the project’s roots in order to locate itself in the modern day. What it finds in the process is that little has changed since Prurient and Hospital Productions’ conception in ’97 - the world is still a torrid, evil mess beyond control, and one that needs notions like Prurient to try and define its heaving mass more than ever.
Like Frozen Niagara Falls before it, echoes of the old world riddle the long, stark corridors of Rainbow Mirror, too. But here those echoes are more fragmented, distant and entropically obfuscated, emulating the effect of trying to find your own image in a hall of mirrors, or locating yourself drowning amid the clamour of more than 3 billion other people online, all saying the same, mundane shit at the same time.
With a length and intensity proportionately reflective of the world’s increasing socio-political tension and rate of homogeneity, Rainbow Mirror holds firm as a space to immolate the senses in preparation for the ever nearing eschaton.
One of Berceuse Heroique’s most reliable troopers plays into a deeper vein of bass-driven techno-house for the stalwart underground label after deposits made with Hemlock, Peder Mannerfelt Productions, Clone Basement and Livity Sound in just the last 12 months alone.
In Hodge’s now signature style of gritty groove control, he tees off with the furtive bleep techno rolige of Beneath Two Moons, reinforced 1990-style bleeps with muscular bass until a steaming siren/train sound shifts it up a gear to hypnotic drones and flying hi-hats ready for the Dj to mix out.
On the other hand, There Is A Storm Coming In lives up to its title with a tense, brooding display of industrial EBM influences, and Don’t Hold Your Breath tucks the vibe somewhere to the left of Levon Vincent and the right of Call Super with raw but classy strings and heaving subbass, before the beatless All Is Not Lost fades to close.
Berceuse Heroique rifle Black Merlin’s Archives for some proper techno ammunition on his follow-up to the superb Proto World 12”.
There’s spacehead fuel inside, taking flight with tense arpeggios in Agro, then locking into gear with the powerful techno traction of Shock and the set-jaw cosmic drive of 12515 to complete the 1st plate.
On the 2nd disc, he eazes off the gas to go into cruise control on an ‘80s FM synth mission called The Alpaca Pet Boys, recalling a mix of La Rolls’ Sure Is meets the intro of Jamal Moss’ FGTH edit, then comes into sight of lush parallel rave dimensions with the purring mid-tempo élan and cosmic yawn pads of Laz.
Another unmissable invitation to the STROOM 〰 dimension, Kyoto’s Sonoko meets Jan Van den Broeke [STRLP-003] for a suite of deliquescent, trippy dream-pop - her first new recordings since the Colin Newman and Aksak Maboul-produced La Débutante  LP and La Poupee Qui Fait Non  7”.
Slotting perfectly into one of our favourite labels right now, Les Anges, Les Bonheurs demonstrates the thizzy quintessence of Sonoko’s serene vocals and vibes in four cuts that could be called trip hop, adult contemporary or most acutely, dream pop. In that sense it’s a direct, if long overdue, continuation of the styles forged on Sonoko’s rarified debut LP, and somewhat makes up for the fact that she had to leave Europe for Kyoto after that LP didn’t quite attract the attention it warranted at the time.
Thanks to Jan Van Den Broeke, who was was a big fan of Sonoko’s album, and contacted her about collaboration via Myspace in 2009, her music now has a second wind, with results every bit as enchanting as you’d expect from a woman who included a cover of david Lynch’s In Heaven, from the Eraserhead soundtrack, on her 1st record!
The result of decades of reflection on everything from French movies and literature (Sonoko studied French lit at University in Paris in the ‘80s) to the classical European romanticism of Satie and Debussy, and Russian theater, it all adds up to a sound sweetly indebted as much to Serge and Jane as the diehard romantic notion of following your dreams, no matter how long it takes you to achieve them.
Hearts and heads will melt.
Tech-house polka, Turkish psych disco and fluffy electronica dub; a soundtrack by Console’s Martin Gretschmann aka Acid Pauli
“Acid Pauli and Nico Stojan's label Ouïe proudly presents the original film score and soundtrack album for the new German moive 'Es war einmal Indianerland' which roughly translates into 'Once upon a time there was Indian's Land', which will be released internationally on 13th October and which is centered around twelve brand new songs by Acid Pauli.
On this vinyl version you'll find a fine selection of new workls by Acid Pauli that are taken from the soundtrack.
The soundtrack of Acid Pauli aka Martin Gretschmann (The Notwist, Console) plays a central role and originates from the close collaboration between Acid Pauli and director Ilker Çatak. « When I confirmed the film project, I was at that time constantly listening to Acid Pauli’s music. Everytime I looked at the screenplay one of his mixes were playing. So I thought : it would be awesome if the film was accompanied by this kind of music. » says Çatak.
Acid Pauli’s music, as prooved on his BLD album, is as eclectic and adventurous as Acid Pauli himself : from dystopic, carnivalesque moods via moments of high intensity to deep melancholia and fragile atmosphere – boundaries are being teared down. Sometime psychedelic and far out, sometime focused, catchy with one eye on the dancefloor. But never expectable. A musical work for the adventurous.
This was the basis for a close collaboration, a joint journey to Mexico and the fascinating soundtrack of an exceptional film.
'His œuvre is much more than the stuff he made as Acid Pauli. And that’s what he offered me - it was like you’re going to a lake but instead you see an ocean.' says Ilker Çatak. 'He always grasped what I was looking for. The soundtrack is a mixture of his old and new tracks and music of artists that he knows.’”
Spanky fresh, classically schooled acid jak attacks from D’Marc cantu
Putting the ‘floor thru its paces between the zig-zagging electro-acid zinger Sequence Unknown, the hypnotic, pointillist arps and fizzing drum patterns of Audiophile, and a really tangy, more techoid one called The Carpenter’s New Saw.
First making waves with the almost cult level ‘Hype Williams’ project, and then more recently solo and as part of the group Babyfather, the new 8 track LP sees Dean Blunt step back into the shadowy role of producer for a new band called Blue Iverson.
It’s a vibesey one, this; digging a vein of smoke-hazed living/bedroom feels in eight parts that could almost be passed off as a Dam-Funk jam. Well, almost, but there’s still something off kilter and economical about the fidelity and mixing of the recording that hints it’s from the UK, or is even made to sound like the private pressed soul obscurities picked out by PPU.
Hotep strongly reminds of those lush soul bits from Yves Tumor’s Serpent Music or even selected Letherette cuts released on Alex Nut’s namesake label. The image of Lauryn Hill on the sleeve is a cherry on the cake.
Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for ‘Kosmische Muzik’ (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions.
"Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as "ethereal", they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’. Popol Vuh regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like ‘Aguirre’, ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Heart Of Glass’ & ‘Cobra Verde’.
‘For You And Me’ was their 17th album & now 28 years it holds up more than ever. While decidedly new age and world music in sound (with musical elements from the Himalayas, Ireland, Greece and Africa), this album has style and grace, and the updated sonic quality makes it a pleasure to listen to. The light pieces combined with their timeless dramatic signature sound, the majestic piano chords, the profound lyrics and the crescendos of emotions set this album apart from the banal new age mainstream. The authentic Popul Vuh spirituality permeates on every track here, prepare for goose bumps and a divine moment,in For You And Me, they created a more modern day classic, easily their best album of the 90’s.”
Night blue instrumental post rock, jazz and electronica from old Berlin faves Dictaphone, recapturing the isolated vibes of their City Centre Offices releases on a 1st slab for Denovali - their first in five years, landing ahead of promised reissues of Dictaphone’s early EP and LP
“Finally a sign of life and a new full length of the German cult trio after five years of silence. Already formed in the late nineties in Berlin, Dictaphone was born by Brussels-bred multi-instrumentalist Oliver Doerell. In 2000 Oliver Doerell found a partner in Berlin’s Roger Döring, who shares Doerell’s love for the Brussels-based music of the eighties.
In the following years the duo and several guest musicians (e.g. Stephan Wöhrmann (SWOD), Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact) & more) released the critically highly acclaimed “m.= addiction” (2002), the “Nacht” EP (2004) and “Vertigo II” (2006) via the City Centres Offices label. In 2009 the violin player Alex Stolze joined the band. During their two decades of existence Dictaphone played shows in more than 20 countries with festival appearances at Mutek, Transmediale, Unsound, Benicassim & more. Their latest release “Poems from a rooftop” from 2012 came as a very limited edition through the Berlin-based boutique label Sonic Pieces. The new album “APR 70” is the first Denovali release of Dictaphone. The label will also reissue the past repertoire of the trio.
The new album features the three Dictaphone core members Oliver Doerell (electronics, bass, guitar), Roger Döring (saxophone, clarinet) and Alex Stolze (violins) and has been composed and produced over the course of three years. While the vibraphone and the more easily distinguishable guitar among other things gave a certain presence to the tracks on the previous album “Poems from a rooftop”, “APR 70” leaves the listener with a much more muffled impression. It feels as if each of the uncountable layers of which the intricate arrangements are made has just the right amount of contrast to be visible, but there are only very few moments where one of the elements noticeably dominates the others. The cool jazz bits, analogue flourishes, hypnotic rhythms and refined electronics feed a dark serpent-like creature meandering in ever-changing morphologies through shapeless landscapes. “APR 70" is the perfect cocoon for the hazy days and the serene nights. A new incarnation, maybe even definition, of purity.
Dictaphone never make music for the sake of it, they always want to create something which was missing before. And they did.”
Saccharine Japanese boogie funk with female vox. Would cost an arm and leg to to round up all he originals on vinyl. Cultures of Soul just saved you the effort!
“Following successful disco excavation from the Caribbean to South Africa, we booked a first class ticket to Narita to bring you the latest release, Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk: 1981 to 1988. This compilation presents 12 of the most memorable and sought-after songs of the era recorded by female artists. The music is a reflection of the unbridled optimism, technological achievement, excess and exuberance of Bubble-era Japan. More than catchy melodies and funky baselines, these are reflections of a time when Japan was the center - and future - of the world.
The Bubble can be characterized as an endless, extravagant party where personal and corporate wealth soared through the explosion of real estate and stock prices. Scores of young Japanese men and women moved to cities in search of affluence, transforming them into neon wonderlands. Changes in morals, values and gender roles followed suit. Prosperity leads to indulgence, and the taste for nightlife, from flashy restaurants to glitzy discotheques, was unquenchable. A soundtrack to this new, lavish lifestyle was necessary and the latest sound, City Pop (urban pop music for those with urban lifestyles), epitomized these attitudes.
While influenced by American R&B and boogie, elements of fusion, YMO style Technopop, and adult-oriented rock (AOR) are front and center. Sung primarily in Japanese (with a word or two of English sprinkled in), City Pop is Japanese music for Japanese people. Producers like Tatsuro Yamashita, Toshiki Kadomatsu, and Haruomi Hosono were quick to embrace the latest studio equipment and technology. Synthesizers like the Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60, ARP Quadra, Moog Polymoog and Oberheim OB-8, as well as drum machines like the Linndrum, were prevalent. Digital reverb was applied liberally.
Compiled by Eli Cohen (Alliance Upholstery) and Deano Sounds (Cultures of Soul), Tokyo Nights includes tracks by Hitomi Tohyama, Junko Ohashi, Mizuki Koyama, Kaoru Akimoto, Aru Takamura, Mariko Tone, Rie Murakami, RA MU, Kikuchi Momoko and Yumi Seino. Each selection celebrates the unique traits and meticulous production that define the sound. Think sandy beaches and metropolitan skylines; illumination and romance. Embrace the feeling of movement, from a coastal highway stretching towards the horizon or the city sprawling into the future."
A pair of masterful, 16 minute cosmic dirges by a new Swiss trio, locking right between the eyes of Tony Conrad, Gnod, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, A Silver Mt. Zion with uncannily potent effect.
“La Tène's previous album 'Vouerca/Fahy', released at the end of April 2016, was rapidly out-of-print after a long series of concerts throughout France and neighboring countries. Thanks to this immediate success, they were invited to play the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival after appearances at the Sonic Protest Festival in Paris, Ring Ring in Serbia and at the Kilbi Festival in Düdingen.
Their second album, 'Tardive/Issime', was recorded in January 2017. It is to be released on September 22nd, 2017, as the first collaborative release between Les Disques Bongo Joe and three:four. If this second opus relies on the same method of composition, it employs a decidedly richer timbral palette, combining long heavy descending harmonium sweeps, relentless percussion, and the ever more precise patterns and drones of the hurdy-gurdy.
'Tardive/Issime', something of a mirror to its predecessor, nevertheless reveals a few phantoms in the course of listening, prefiguring a music still to come. La Tène is a tricephale beast discharging a singular energy in which one may detect echoes of traditional music, saturated repetition, ethereal harmonics or imaginary choreographies. All of these coexist in La Tène’s music and are freed from their origins in a unique framework.
The Franco-Swiss trio perform music wherein every influence, however profound, is distilled by patterns becoming themes. The goal is not to break models, but to make their existence solid, concrete, as fragments cleverly carved out of rock so as to be reassembled.
There are no starting points, no ending points, no standard form structures – these all disappear as the senses encounter the first shock waves. Obstacles are erected as familiarly unknown constructions of bits and pieces remembered as replicated gestures from multiple angles. La Tène’s goal is not to rearrange or reinvent living music, but rather to groove every furrow again and again until its total exhaustion.”
Perfectly twee ‘60s and ‘70s space pop adventures from the french trio, Fanny, Alice and Guillaume aka Odessey & Oracle
All crafted on classic, era-appropriate synths - Hohner Pianet N, Korg MS-20, Moog Micromoog, Korg Lambda, Farfisa Syntorchestra, Crumar Multiman S & Brassman, Korg PE-2000, Korg Stage Echo, Wem Copicat - and slung into orbit via Bongo Joe. Between the synth list and the colourfully naif artwork, you should have an accurate idea of what’s going on inside.
Your SA dance collection is set to swell with Pantsula! (The Rise Of Electronic Dance Music In South Africa, 1988-1990), a crucial survey of the much talked about - but little known - scene that sprang from bubblegum and Shangaan Disco, and laid the roots for those Kwaito and Gqom aces which would penetrate scenes and light up dancefloors far beyond the southern hemisphere.
As the excellent liner notes describe in much more detail, Pantsula music (think of Pantsula as a style, attitude rather than fixed descriptor) in 1988-90 was the soundtrack to a difficult, fractious time in SA society and politics, which was still under Apartheid and its people subject to all the shit came with it, which meant that nightclubs and shebeens (blues/after-hours joints/taverns/you know the ones) were constantly under threat of being shut down by the dibble and the authorities, even in places like Johannesburg, where black and white folk mixed more freely.
Still, where there’s a will… and all, meant that the low key shebeens acted as an incubator for Pantsula, where DJs in the backrooms of houses-cum-bars absorbed American and European influences into their own, deeply rich dance culture, resulting a sound that rudely mirrored the hard electronic jack of Chi-house, new beat or eurobeat and the sleek swing of US and Canadian garage, and even traces of Jamaican digi-dancehall, but with natty melodies and vocals familiar to Zulu culture and SA’s wealth of ethnic minorities.
Basically 4/4 house in all its variations was the common currency of Black Atlantic dancefloors, and few places mores than South Africa, which, outside of the USA, was evidently one of the Black Atlantic’s most important hotspots during the late ‘80s international house phenomenon. With that in mind, the 12 tracks on Pantsula! form a vital historic document of Afro-Futurism, catching a uniquely funked up brace of innovative, ingenious and down right infectious dance music which, with the benefit of hindsight, we’d identity among the strongest of its era. Just, it’s taken us all this long to realise.
And the tunes? 100% gold, pal, especially if you’ve a thing for the directness of new beat or the less jazzy sides of Chicago house, as it takes in absolute peaches such as Ayobayo Band’s Sorry Bra, the inimitably tangled bassline of Chaka’s Via Tembisa, the reggae-inflected lope of Go Siami from La Viva, along with pure, brimming soul aces such as The Equals New Lover, the lusty Chi-NYC-Antwerp-esque beauty of Ushelakanjani by Jazino, or the jagged sequencer funk of Scotch Band’s Watsotsama.
For anyone who enjoys dancing, or pissing off the po-po, this one's for you.
A bit of a stunner, this, from mystic Hungarian composer László Hortobágyi, recorded in 1986 for Hungaropop, and just now resurfacing in its revised 2006 form thanks to the Australia-via-Amsterdam label, Lullabies For Melodies. Worldwide credentials in check, the record also follows a worldly path, consolidating far flung ideas from Hindusthani music, bioastronomy, polynesia polyrhythmia, ancient Bali gamelan, Shruti systems and cathedral design (we could go on, and on) in a manner that defies belief and practically does so in its own sonic language.
Looking on the back cover like a monk who can shoot lasers from his eyes if you disagree with him, Hortobágyi is clearly in possession of some other, supernatural knowledge or power, or at the least he’s definitely done some heavy reading and listening. But, speculation aside, his travels and musical skooling in India since the ‘60s are a concrete source of inspiration for this sound and aesthetic, which, in a classic double refraction of ideas between East-West, is filtered thru and played by the traditional music preservationists, Gáyan Uttejak Orchestra (named after the school of musicologist, V.N. Bhátkhánde) and comes out beautifully altered in translation on Transreplica Meccano.
Noted as a masterpiece of his extensive catalogue, Transreplica Meccano is Hortobágyi’s solo debut. As far as we know, this remastered 2006 revision - previously unissued on any format - is faithful to the 31 years old original; a flying carpet woven from incredibly intricate threads of archaic musical possibility, meshing processed samples with flute, bass, trombone, modular synth, voice and strings and Indian instrumentation such as been, tabla, sitar according to classical Indian instrumental techniques and advanced synthesis.
We can hear certain parallels between this sound and 4th world musics by Hassell, YMO and co, but it’s maybe better compared with the output of Rex Ilusivii, if anyone, who also shared a fascination with Indian music which came out sounding quite futuristic gothic from his Serbian base c. the late ‘80s. We don’t want to say any more for fear of dissolving Transreplica Meccano’s enigma, or cos there’s simply too much going on to properly grasp, but we hope you’ve checked the samples and are also spellbound by now.
Swedish/UK techno duo Catharsis debut a bleak, ruggedly bass-heavy style on Kareem’s Zhark.
Stepping in line with Zhark’s sluggish brawlers from Casual Violence, Stärker and the overlord Kareem, A Purging of Demons is anchored in molasses subs at around the 120bpm mark and beaten into action with cracked, rusty percussion under sky-collapsing gothic synth atmospheres.
The vibe is obliterated and embittered, dragging dancers thru post-apocalyptic wastegrounds guided by voices from the ether in Perception Through The Circle, to trample more undulating terrain lit by background trance pollution in Summoning The Black Tongue, then raking your spine over hot coals in Bringing Forth The Hellchild, and stepping towards a sort of numbed, suspenseful mix of gothic ambition and half-stepped techno on Distress, The Mother.
RIYL Shxcxchcxsh, Huren, Shifted
Nourishing electronic gristle from Scando noise heroes Lasse Marhaug and Jon Wesseltoft, who chew up a right fuss at “the best studio in Oslo” for their 1st collaborative slab with Bologna’s Holidays Records.
It’s maybe best described as a case of the battle-scarred veteran duelling with a spunky newblood, as the omni-talented Marhaug brings decades of experience crossing noise, jazz, experimental electronics and extreme metal to the table, perpendicular to Wesseltoft’s electro-acoustic praxis, as heard over the past decade in collaboration with indomitable figures such as C Spencer Yeh and Okkyung Lee.
While they neglect to mention where exactly “the best studio is Oslo” is located, the duo properly put it through its paces over five intensely and intently detailed pieces, firstly building Arches from a mass of crumbled electronic scree, then coming off like a prime Masami Akita piece with the delirious flux of Cyberiad, and drawing us into something like a back alley in the plagued zones of When’s Black Death with the visceral virulence Nature Lovers. The flipped gives freer rein to the LP’s title Nature Lovers with subtler sketching of space and narrative logic in Cultivated Leisure recalling the shape of Rashad Becker’s Notional Species, and Cable Cemetery latches onto more direct, pulsating and bifurcating rhythms with a purpose that recalls some kind of cyborganic creature coming to life.
Batu, Bambounou and Parris rework tracks from Sampha’s debut album, Process in crafty style on white label for Yung Turks.
After years of exclusively instrumental production, the lord of the Timedance, Batu proves a dab hand with vocals for the 1st time, processing and drizzling Sampha as a plasmic presence over and between his liquified bleeps and anxious bass to stunning effect in one of his most detailed, subtle yet infectious plays yet.
Bambounbou also brilliantly rises to the task with Incomplete Kisses, filleting Sampha into a Reichian tizzy of phasing, percolated choral voices precipitating a tangle of modular bass knocks and warped chromatic convolutions by the track’s end - really not what you might expect - and you trust Parris to eaze the vibe by turning Blood On Me into a mix of precise, pointillist vocal chops and wide, smudged subs, reserving the vocal proper for prime emotional soul punishment.