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.
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.
Trevor Jackson coins the Pre- label with four diverse kosmische electronic experiments written under his Dark They Were and Golden Eyed and Design Your Dreams aliases c. 2010-2014, following the final parts in his Playgroup puzzle, and ahead of the launch of his Post- label.
Where the last few years since and including his Format album have been spent on or around the ‘floor, this session is for the road or your magic carpet, catching your man spinning out 13 minutes of frothy arpeggios and pulses on Design Your Dreams, which contrasts steeply with the darkside descent of Another Time, and likewise the 31 minute slow aciddub vortex Boundary Echoes, and the abstract tonal whorl of The Lesser Light.
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.’”
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.”
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.
Horoscope leaves another festering welt following his excellent 'Misogyny Stone' slab for Wharf Cat, which, like this one, recalls a fetid fusion of vibes associated with Prurient, aTelecine, Pharmakon. No poseur, Horoscope trades in grim films of textured noise, field recordings and synthesis that strongly warrant those comparisons, serving to render a unique, low lying and abstract perspective on life as a rat gnawing the big apple.
“Nature Will Keep Growing Even After You Have Lost Everything is HOROSCOPE's tenth release. It is easy to glamorize a sort of faux authenticity through negativity. When curating your experiences through creative practices, with the intention of being viewed in a certain way, you ultimately can't go past yourself. This is an ode to New York City. Using a mix of loops, treated field recordings of the city and modular synthesis, you transcend yourself and the reasons for creating by making a brand new landscape within your own purview. Recorded at 278 Broadway apt 4r in Brooklyn and this is the third HOROSCOPE release by Ascetic House.”
Transfixing Venezuelan field recordings from the private archive of amateur ethnomusicologist Oswaldo Lares, ranging from completely unique percussive patterns to acapella songs and remarkably electronic-sounding marimba pieces. Must be heard to be believed, ‘cos we bet a billion bucks you’ve never heard any of these before!
"After a concert of Kenyan singer Ogoya Nengo in Berlin in 2015 in a pleasant conversation Guillermo Lares told me about his father, Oswaldo Lares, a studied architect who, parallel with his professional activity, began to make field recordings of the traditional and indigenous Venezuelan music from the early 1960s onwards up until today.
His search and fascination for finding the musical roots of his country led Oswaldo Lares to visit the rural villages outside Caracas, investigating the many and varied musical cultures of the region and the complex relationship between Venezuelan folk music and its various origins, including the African (música afrodescendiente).
The vast amount of music documents in the form of sound recordings, photographs and videos accompanied by notes and studies reflect the scope of this entirely self- taught sound engineer's work and represent a passionate documentary, making his work today one of the most comprehensive and systematic that has ever been assembled by a single person in Venezuela. Oswaldo Lares as an ethnomusicologist remained an amateur in the most direct meaning of the word: amare. Whereas most studied ethnomusicologists travel around the world to explore far away continents and foreign cultures, Oswaldo began to devote much of his spare time to the generally overlooked folk traditions that existed right in his very neighbourhood.
Currently Guillermo Lares has started to promote his father's work through the Achivolares Foundation, turning it into a living archive that preserves an essential part of Venezuelan musical memory. It is a pleasure and honor of our label TAL to support the invaluable work of Oswaldo and Guillermo Lares with this album."
Boy Harsher find a fine line thru EBM and darkwave synth-pop with ineffable élan on their debut for Ascetic House, neatly benefitting from mix and master by Maurizio Baggio (The Soft Moon, Merchandise).
Their Country Girl EP sounds like it was dialled in direct from 1986, with sleek, rolling bass arps, glass-eyed gynoid vocals and lusting synth pads seemingly construed for the dry-iced runway of the mind. It could just as easily soundtrack a hi-end fashion show as lure you into a redlit basement, feeling out immaculately realised vibes between the effortless flow and ache crooning of Motion thru the wickedly skizzy light/dark/light twist of Country Girl, to the early ‘90s synth-pop sensuality of Underwater, and with super infectious freestyle inflections that funk up and counter Jae Matthews’ perfectly aloof vocals in Westerners.
Recently, Superpitcher was invited to go on a safari in South Africa. He bought a custom made safari hat at his favorite milliner in Cologne (Jürgen Eifler) and set off with big eyes and a pair of binoculars.
"It was wild and wonderful and he saw many exotic (and big!) animals, even a leopard in a tree that told him the secret of the universe. He forgot what the leopard said because his mind was still playing and replaying the sound of what he heard on the first night of his arrival – the hypnotic and moving sound of the voices of Africa, the voices of the wonderful Tanda Tula staff choir.
There, the choir members work during the day at the camp and at night entertain the guests with their captivating voices and energetic dancing. So impressed was he with their songs and beautiful Shangaan language that he decided to record a CD for them to sell in the shop at their camp and now this precious recording is also available through Hippie Dance / Bush Recordings on vinyl and CD for you in whatever wherever camp you are."
Stunning side of inverted atmospheric recordings bringing the background into the foreground - one side of processed sheep recordings, plus one side of softly plangent bell or gong recordings, both relating to installation works, all appearing on vinyl for the first time. If you loved Tomoko Sauvage’s Musique Hydromantique or crys cole and Oren Ambarchi’s Sonja Henies Vei 31 and Hotel Record LPs, you need to check this out!
“"I have worked together with sheep before" - says Henning Christiansen - introducing the performance he did in front of the Brucknerhaus in Linz in July 1988. But this time he went beyond, building a "Concert-Castle" with hay blocks where thirty sheep could perform music. Another time the animals - Christiansen's obsession and passion - become the musical instruments used for his compositions: "Originally most of instrumental sounds derived from animal voices or other sounds of natural phenomena. The violins, for instance: someone found out that stretched intestines, dried bowels, could produce a sound. This has simply been civilized, refined".
Schafe statt Geigen (Sheep Instead of Violins, 1988) and "Verena" Vogelzymphon (Bird Symphony, 1990) first appeared as a small CD edition issued by Galerie Bernd Klüser in 1991. Both works, each one occupying a full side of this LP edition, extend from one of Christiansen's long standing conceptual strategies - deploying recordings of animals as stand-ins for musical instruments, sheep and birds respectively. While each work allows these source to take the natural lead, at times masquerading as field recordings, both feature subtle tonal and electronic interventions by the composer, creating strange and brilliant compositions which shift the terms and subjects of music as they were long understood. Accompanied by a twenty page booklet featuring drawings and texts by Henning Christiansen, as well as pictures of the performance by René Block.
"The background, the space where music happens is what I want to put into the foreground."
Metavari gives extra synth flesh to his re-scoring of Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ with this batch of new edits, including extra augmentations by Sarah Davachi among others in the accompanying download code. Definitely a strong look for the sci-fi nostalgia mob!
“‘Symmetri' is Metavari's sophomore studio release led by electronic musician and composer, Nathaniel David Utesch, and debut studio LP on One Way Static Records. The work is a stand-alone edit of Metavari's 'Metropolis' re-score from Record Store Day 2017; introducing new and reconfigured material in addition to selections from the soundtrack.
Metavari is the stage name of Indiana-based electronic musician Nathaniel David Utesch and is best described as the intersection of nostalgic electronics, ambient soundscapes and off-kilter synth pop music. Since 2008, Metavari have toured extensively in the US; sharing the stage with notable acts such as This Will Destroy You, Maserati, Tortoise, Titus Andronicus, Anamanaguchi, The Appleseed Cast & Small Black.
Written and produced over the course of 20 months, the lengthy writing time stretched across a whirlwind season surrounding the miscarriage of Nathaniel and his wife's first pregnancy and coincidentally ended just after the success of their second. Nathaniel said of the writing, "The record was drenched in an incredibly dark season of our life and yet concluded at nearly the opposite. I quite literally finished the record with my newborn son in my arms." While much of 'Symmetri' was written as a re-scoring of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis,' it's still almost impossible not to hear the disparate tug and pull from Nathaniel's personal experiences during the time of the recordings.”
Rising techno star Charlotte De Witte propels the relaunch of NovaMute with a trio of bangers in the Brussels EP
Firstly playing it low-key and stealthy with the moody vox and swinging trance velocity of Brussels, then giving something to bite on with the clipped, boomy ride of Control, and opening out into widescreen big room styles with Look Around You.
Deadly Afro-disco and boogie baddness from Ivory Coast, 1982 - trimmed of the fat and leaving behind three prime pieces on this 1st ever reissue, including the trance-inducing psych-disco belter ‘Bian Kou’, a hornier funk soul workout in ‘E Clôlo’, and the slinkier soukous of ‘Miokouna’
“Kalita Records are extremely proud to announce their first release, the three choice cuts from NST Cophie’s (Ernest Koffi’s) super rare private press Ivory Coast 1980 Afro-disco album ‘Mon’Da Center’.
After moving to Paris in 1976 and having played with other well-known bands such as N’Bamina, Osibisa, and with numerous artists including Jimmy Hyacinthe and Papa Wemba, ‘Mon’Da Center’ was Ernest’s first solo album. Recorded at Studio Caroline in Paris’s 20th sector over the space of one week, this self-funded ultra-rare album regularly exchanges hands for eye-watering prices.
Pretty much unknown except to the most hardened of diggers, ‘Bian Kou’, ‘E Clôlo’ and ‘Mioukouna’ are guaranteed to set any dance floor alight, with hypnotic Afro-disco grooves, killer drums and angelic female vocals .
We hope that you love the tracks as much as we do, and invite you to join us in celebrating the musical world of Ernest Koffi!”
Ideal recordings follow up aces by JASSS and Vanligt Folk with an album of insane, hand-cranked, lo-fi anti-music in Gabi Losoncy and Allen Mozek’s Good Area’s Macbeth, coming off the curled back of their sides for Kye, Recital, and Hanson Records. Sounds like a sedated Yeah You or Smegma jamming with anguished alley cats on a battery of garbage cans...plus, that artwork!!!
“Once upon a time, there were two very difficult people who loved music very much. They loved music so much that they stayed together despite having clear signs that it was not necessarily the right thing to do. They made music together, or next to each other, and everything that happened, happened in the music. It was all whatever, but they still like it.
iDEAL presents Macbeth, Good Area's second LP (first one was on Graham Lambkins great KYE label). It's the best material they ever did, and their last one ever. Lo fi beauty for anyone into the calmer parts of BRAINBOMBS, maybe The DEAD C, or for you worshipping the Siltbreeze catalog OR just anyone insane enough to get into deep, weird stuff.”
Like a bag of alluring but unidentifiable pop confectionary from a stranger, Profligate’s Somewhere Else album is a deeply uncanny pick ’n mix of familiar yet surreal flavours for anyone with a wonky sweet tooth for post-punk, dream-pop and mutant industrial tastes.
The latest on Brooklyn’s Wharf Cat Records keeps up their reputation for picking fringe delicacies (think Horoscope’s Misogyny Stone, or Joey Agresta’s Let’s Not Talk About Music) with Profligate’s follow-up to a string of collaborations and releases for Not Not Fun and Unknown Precept over the past five years.
While those releases all demonstrated Noah Anthony’s diverse palette and knack for songcraft as Profligate, the addition of Elaine Kahn on vocals now arguably takes the project somewhere new and more absorbing, somewhere between Throbbing Gristle at their most contrary, and Broadcast dabbling in lo-fi, rhythmic noise.
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Omar-S does that deep and gritty house hustle like no other with one last jag of the year.
Up top the 313 OG metes out the ragged blues-jazz stomp and pivot of Dancer’s Anthem, loosely chopping up some unidentified samples into a stuttering scuff and parry, wickedly keeping in a fragment of audience applause which becomes a percussive layer in its own right. It’s achingly strong this one.
Downtown, his Odawa swerves to a cooler swang with signature, ruff cut drums and a nipped ’n filtered disco bassline keeping the pressure simmering down low until a natty garage hook lets it out in the final quarters.
That A-side’s gonna get all the play…
After debuting Native and Rupert Clervaux’s CLX project, Laura Lies In deposit a raw, grimy synth noise session by Den Haag’s Jan Katasma aka Nukubus and one half of Syncom Data.
Under the title Para - which could be taken metaphorically as in-between, or as in the mental condition, - the Dutch producer spits out six gobs of masticated, livewire electronics and caveman donks with a primitivist alacrity that makes many other noisy techno or rhythmic noise folk sound a bit too fussy.
Up top, that means the lop-sided, distorted oscillations of Para 1, the early electronics oddity of Vonk, and a ersatz tribal tumper called Para 2, while down below he comes off like a Black Mecha blast from another planet with Para 3 and the head pinching intensity of GellAC, while Fear The Mindkiller sounds like he left the machines running after Syncom Data’s Den Haag 12”, only to return years later and find they’ve mutated into gristly twysts.
Trevor Jackson flexes his wiry EBM muscle as PinkLunch, reviving his old moniker for a full LP of darkroom sleaze from the top drawer of his cabinet.
Douglas J McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb joins in on definitive album highlight, On The Floor, and Chloé Raunet ov C.A.R. lends gynoid vocals to the slow, ruddy jacker Inamorata, but Jckon is left to his diverse for the rest of the album, working out finely calculated variants of EBM and darker, electroid house music with highlights in the blank-eyed swagger of Other Side, in the haughty acidic thrust of Load Warrior, and with a doom core thirst recalling The Horrorist in A.N.T.I.
Following up from Finders Keepers’ reissue of “In Alpha Mood” back in 2015, sister label Dead-Cert (run in collaboration with Demdike Stare) finally give life to these restored, previously unheard archival recordings of harmonisation of biofeedback techniques and hypnotic synth sonics from Ami Shavit. Part outsider electronic album; part physiological experiment; part work of art; this is not your average new age record…
With an enviable private collection of synthesisers amassed during his travels to the US in the early 1970’s and shipped home to Tel Aviv (where he was an established kinetic artist, as well as a professor of both philosophy and Art) Ami’s main focus was the desire to combine his love of electronic music acts such as Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass and new synthesiser technology, with his interest in the relatively new technique of biofeedback - a process in which technology was used to relay information about the body’s functions in order to enable a change of physiological activity.
Combined with his understanding of alpha brainwaves (primarily attributed to a function of the brain that deals with relaxation), Ami embarked on an experiment with what he called 'Alpha Mood' - a state in which the brain works in relaxation and in which music is used as a means of helping induce its own meditative state.
The fruit of that experimentation came in the form of a single privately pressed LP aptly titled In Alpha Mood which was limited to only 500 copies and distributed exclusively by a longtime friend, agent and owner of a small local record shop in Tel Aviv. Five 1/4 inch tapes (including the In Alpha Mood master tape) represent the only remaining artefacts of Ami’s experiments - the rest having been either lost, given to friends or simply thrown away.
Undated and unannotated, these raw studio recordings proivde a rare glimpse of Ami at work in his attempts to perfect his technique and reach the plane of Alpha Mood. The A-side’s Neural Oscillations sounds like Tangerine Dream on a magic carpet flight, but the LP really comes into its own on the B-side with the much slower meter and raga-esque phrasing of Alpha Rhythms 1, and most particularly in Alpha Rhythms 2 where Shavit chills out on the distracting top lines to focus on a wide, spongy, sluggish bass tone and icy melody with a transfixing appeal recalling Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s contemporary practice.