Numbers introduce another new artist with Perko’s lush debut of floating dance music after recently dispensing North Sea Dialect’s gaelic folk-tronica
From Scotland but based in Copenhagen, the 23 y.o. Perko makes dance music that’s deeper than his age may suggest. It’s evidently steeped in an appreciation of natural, pastoral aspects as much as the pull of synthetic styles like Detroit techno and UK soundsystem music, adding up to a beautifully well-rounded record with strong highlights in the Vladislav Delay-like weightless dub of ‘Water Memory’, in the 2-step suspension system of ‘Rounded’, and, at its core, the sublime scene of percolated subs and dreamy, wide open space in ‘Grace’.
“The seven tracks on this EP hear Perko mining the grooves between his favourite genres for building blocks of inspiration. Drawing from UK soundsystem culture and modern experimental music, half of the record explores deeper atmospheric passages and meditative repetition, characterised by layers of subtly shifting chords, field recordings and delicate polyrhythms.
Three dancefloor cuts, spread throughout the rest of the record, retain this detail and interplay with added energy. Perko’s sense of rhythm & space is clear with 'Rounded’s glacial synths, blown out drum machines and sculpted sub sine waves. 'What Otters' forges playful UKG touches within a paperclip framework of space-echoes and sparks, whilst 'Songbirds' flips into 4/4 drive with percolated alarms and shimmering pads.
“Density, Noise, Dust, Distortion, Space…” says Perko, if you want it simple.”
Loefah’s 81 host their first release by Kahter; four tracks of squashed, electroid UK bass minimalism in the post-dubstep mode
Following in the styles of the label boss and MVP’s, Chunky or Paleman, Kahter keeps everything stripped and bad-to-the-bone, werking tightest subs and insectoid percussion in the electro swang of ’Spores’ and the wider step of ‘Impendi’ in a way that will cut across powerfully on a big rig (with a decent engineer).
Edson Natale’s genre-challenging masterpiece from 1990.
"The album combines traditional acoustic Brazilian music with ambient electronics, all the while maintaining a strong pop sensibility. The album features Mitar Subotić (Rex Ilusivii) alongside some of Brazil's finest players and vocalists."
Sterling autonomic pressure from the Miami/UK-based new signing to Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper, hitting deep in a neon purple funk zone between Actress, dBridge, Cygnus, Drexciya, DJ Python, 0PN and BoC.
A worthy follow-up to Mr. Mitch’s outstanding album ‘Lazy’; SectorSept makes a bold introduction to his melange of Floridian bass and ‘80s synth influences on ‘954’. Titled after his Fort Lauderdale zip code, it’s a lithe and loving exercise in retro-futurism, whirring with the influence of secret black technological rhythm and gilded with a mix of romantic pads and nods to their formative roots in Miami’s ‘Love 94 Smooth Jazz’ station, and days whiled away on computer games (check the trap take on N64’s ‘Golden Eye’). Far as we can tell, it’s also the label’s first by a non-domestic artist, and, as such, straddles a fine line of the US/UK’s double refractive funk dialogue, feeling caught in the gulf stream airwaves between aspects of each style with instant classic results.
First and foremost, it’s a proper album, measured with a seductive pacing and cadence that’s primed for cruising Miami’s subtropical climes as much as south London sprawl. The eight tracks are constructed radio-tight, tiling into a hazy beauty for headphone listens and club application in the right hands, traversing from the deeply rude machine funk of ‘The Programme’ to prepare late night soul glow on ’Prize’, via purest Miami bass flex recalling Cygnus’ best on ‘Be There’ and the spine-freezing pads and flutes of ‘Digital Franchise’, while the the ‘Golden Third Eye’ flip is a trill weapon, and there’s no mistaking the 0PN-via-BoC influences of ‘Intuition Segment’, and ’Tropic Universe’ is a must check for anyone on the deeper dancehall dembow tip.
Shanghai’s SVBKVLT throw down a killer 2nd ‘CACHE’ compilation bristling with exclusive new zingers from the extended label firm, including Slikback, Hyp11E, Tzusing, Hodge, Gabber Modus Operandi, 33EMYBW, Gooooose, Nahash and more.
Chasing up one of the definitive club comps of recent years, ‘Cache02’ finds Shanghai’s best label is in rude health with a full spectrum coverage of styles from hyperpop to clobbering hardcore rave, mutant drill and back-alley EBM techno by some of the most crucial artists in operation right now.
Gooooose does wicked slow/fast footwork with Memphis rap cowbells and jibber-jawed edits in ‘Cows,’ and the Sbvkvlt/Hakuna Kulala axis twysts out a properly fwd kongo-tekno thriller in ‘Mushen’ by Slikback & Hyph11E. Indonesian mentalists Gabber Modus Operandi go ham with the possessed vox and thunderous kicks of ‘Pedas,’ and 33EMYBW nails Photek-levels of martial dance moves on ‘Coupling.’
Tzusing & Hodge supply the set’s big-room peak with a steaming EBM hammer tune ‘LCD,’ and Shanghai-based UK producer Swimful makes his mark with the glyding drill synths and knifepoint grime drums of ‘Muckle.’ Impressive introductions are also made to Seoul’s NET GALA with the vivid trance futurism of ‘Alternet,’ and the weird, scorched drill soul of Nahash on ‘The Way That I.’
On a mighty first batch of 2021 Batu recalibrates dancehall and techno paradigms in proper cyberdub settings for his Timedance stronghold.
Requiring little introduction to the keenest bassbin dwellers, the Bristolian dynamo serves four seriously mutant twiss-ups that dance across the meter from pressurised dancehall to bolshy technoid swag and mercurial steppers in his dextrous, attentive style. For whatever reason it’s taken him thus far into the year to lay his cards down, but ‘I Own Your Energy’ surely makes up for lost time with Batu’s tightest expo of whirring, syncopated rhythms and sheer sound design, hustling close to equally exemplary work of late by the likes of Ausschuss, Nervous Horizon and Errorsmith for levels swingeing, UK-debted, dancefloor tekkers.
The title cut sees him shape a contemporary industrial sound palette into a inch-tight dembow dancehall bump lit with screaming machinery and metal-on-metal tones, before he ramps the tempo and drums to a martial technoid cavalcade of panel beaten percussion and light-splitting kosmische synths on ‘Inner Space’. Madder still, ‘Go Deeper’ trots out some freaky three-legged funk of a futurist variety akin to Blawan in hyperspace, and ‘Deep Breath’ reels all the way out into something almost like Tanzanian Singeli, giving us flashbacks to a mad Crystallmess set we just witnessed.
An exquisite new expanded edit of Gigi Masin's venetian nocturne, an highly intimate, impressionistic soundtrack to Venice at night.
Venezia is certain to strike chord with anyone lucky enough to have visited the city, and even if you haven’t, it’s a beautifully evocative set, marrying Masin’s balmy drift of solo keys and chiffon synth pads with absorbing mental imagery of the city’s narrow ginnels softly lit by lone street lamps that mirror the music’s plays of light and shadow.
Iranian-Canadian brothers Mohammad and Mehdi Mehrabani-Yeganeh harness the fourth world power of Jon Hassell and the spannered, electrified weirdness of New York's short-lived illbient genre on this exceptional, eccentric voyage into stateless sound. RIYL DJ Spooky, Bill Laswell, Moor Mother, Supersilent...
Over the last few years, Saint Abdullah have been quietly cooking some of the most intense genre-distorting experimental music we've heard from NYC in ages. Their PTP run - 2018's "Stars Have Eyes" and last year's "Where Do We Go, Now?" - established them as key players in the city's musical landscape, and this two volume follow-up (the second part is a cassette on Important's sublabel Cassauna) is their most convincing statement yet.
On "To Live A La West", the brothers lean into the spiritual and political fluctuation of free jazz, effortlessly melting it into their established fractured electronic backdrop. So virtuoso instrumental performance takes a front seat, whether it's Panamanian trumpeter Aquiles Navarro on subdued opening track 'A Lot of Kings', British sax legend John Butcher improvising over stuttering beats on 'Like A Great Starving Beast' or Mohammad and Mehdi themselves inhabiting a space between Alice Coltrane and Florian Fricke on cosmic jazz burners like 'Philly' or 'Nocturnal Pool Party'.
The album is a subtle statement on western living; Mohammad and Mehdi grew up in Iran but were shuttled to Canada by their parents when they were kids. So they reflect on the choices they made for acceptance, for "a life lived with less tension". "But who are we imitating?" they ask. The brothers take American music history and reconfigure it in their own mode: levitational spiritual jazz becomes as emotionally affecting as Middle Eastern classical music, and blown-out, freeform electronics that owe as much to the post-punk era as they do The Bronx, sound as cybernetic and expertly wrought as Sote's "Parallel Persia". At times their production takes on the cadence of gutter-blasted IDM, refined with the free-flowing immediacy of Rune Grammafon's Supersilent.
It's hard to express how well engineered and perfectly cooked this sound is. Fusion is a tough thing to get right - a quick dip into NYC's restaurant culture will assure you of that - but when it's good, it sounds like everything you love all at once - and nothing quite like anything you've heard before.
So, wow. This is the first ever compendium of Martin Hannett's work with Steve Hopkins as The Invisible Girls. Comprising rare and largely unheard gems from 1976 - 1987.
As the story goes, Hannett & Hopkins met at a Soft Machine show at UMIST in 1976, where the former had graduated with a chemistry degree, and was advised to tap up the latter for some weed. The smoke must have been decent ‘cos a week later they were jamming in Hannett’s Chorlton flat with Dave Tomlinson of Magazine and Visage, who would lend them his ARP 2600 synth. One month later they were creating the soundtrack for a bizarre stop motion animation, ‘All Sorts of Heroes’, which makes up much of the second half of the compilation with its fuzzy psych-funk and more atmospheric strokes of piano and synth.
The set frames a remarkable and ambitious relationship between the pair, ranging from Hannett's amazing solo gear ranging from shuddering rhythmic noise to windswept ambience and the jaw-dropping proto techno-disco sophistication of 'Space Music', plugging a fair old gap in Manchester music history, especially for fans of Factory, post punk and electronic music.
A strong look for anyone snagged on Mihály Víg’s Bela Tarr OST side, Colin Stetson, or Goblin’s giallo scores; Swiss-Bosnian accordionist Mario Batkovic moves between cinematic choral works and swirling folk-jazz electronic fusions on a captivating 3rd solo side
Batkovic’s 2nd album with Geoff Barrow’s Invada powerhouse is a melodramatic tour de force of brooding east and central European themes handled with emotive vigour. The head of the BeBa Orchestra and a skilled accordionist, he brings a masterful flair for shifting cinematic moods and soundscaping to ‘Introspectio’, leading in with the hauntingly stark choral arrangement of ‘Sanatio’ and cutting sharp left into swingeing jazz breaks and quickstep, keening accordion with thrilling style on ‘Repertio’, intruding electronics to the mix with a carmine-stained Goblin-esque feel in the needling arps of ‘Chorea Duplex’.
The 10 minute centrepiece of widescreen drones glacially brings his various elements together in a pensive vision that feels like Colin Stetson scoring a sped up Bela Tarr scene, with pulsing tones bleeding over ‘Surrogatum’ into smartly tempered dissonance. An elegiac then rushing accordion coda in ‘Primordial Finale’ lends an ideal closing sequence that wraps up his narrative in a satisfyingly succinct manner that makes the whole thing ideal for colouring your commute with a brilliant sense of drama, or however one sees fit to use it.
Can's live series continues with another pit-taped psychedelic sesh from 1975, following Spring's release of "Live in Stuttgart 1975". Unhinged music that captures the Krautrock pioneers at their most vital - outside of the studio, performing in front of a crowd of weirdos.
By 1975, Can's studio juice was running dry. That year's 'Landed' was a far cry from '71's "Tago Mago" - after losing idiosyncratic vocalist Damo Suzuki, their recorded music began to take on a more boxed-in sound. But as "Live in Stuttgart 1975" demonstrates, they were still just as ragged and rough around the edges. Like its predecessor, "Live in Brighton 1975" is another privately taped recording, remastered under the watchful eye of Can co-founder Irmin Schmidt.
It sounds exceptional given the covert nature of the recording, which is a testament to the equipment used to clean it up and producer Rene Tinner's keen ear. Split into seven sprawling sections, it features material that never made it to Can's recorded catalogue - we're guessing it may not have even been performed again - and most interesting for Can devotees, it features a rare (indistinct) vocal from guitarist Michael Karoli and an epic drum solo from Jaki Liebezeit.
With sleeve notes from Rob Young and journalist Kris Needs, it's a well assembled package that fleshes out the Can story into new dimensions.
Low End Activist’s Bruk label hosts Berlin-based Cassius Select on a brooding, grimy broken beat/dubstep tip after rhythmically inventive aces from FFT and Siete Catorce
Veteran of Hypercolour and Accidental Jr. esteem, Cassius Select is at his taut, restless best here, hovering into view with tense, scene-setting pads and fractious sampler shrapnel in ‘Dread Percent’ before getting down to business, proper, nodding to early dark garage and cusp-of-grime styles with the lurking subs and 2-step roll cage of ‘Fish Tek’ recalling Hatcha’s dub of Benga’s Star Wars’, then dipping to a minimal mid tempo dembow swing in ‘Mess Mutual’, and giving it up for early Wiley and Digital Mystikz with the spooked flutes and shifty bass functions of ’Shake Like Me’.