Making a smart move to Honest Jon's, Actress offers his first brand new material (discounting remixes) since his landmark 'Hazyville' album dropped in 2008.
The move signifies a subtle but essential development in his sound, preparing the ground for a hugely promising album with two mindblowing tracks. 'Paint, Straw And Bubbles' seemingly untethers his Detroit dream from terra firma, percolating his ethereal sound through a system of camouflaging filters until the joins dissolve and we're left with a remarkable feat of intangible spatial dynamics viewed with an incredibly unique depth perception. It's electro-acoustic mind-dance music for Afro-futurist stoners.
The near absence of any bass only enhances the weightlessness of the track, creating that heady sensation of an overcast day between pressure systems when everything doesn't feel quite as it should. 'Maze (Long Version)' is going to become a serious anthem. Here, Actress looks to early 80's synth wave and the cold industrial pulse of groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, pinpointing the influences of Detroit music from Model 500 and Shake which in turn so heavily informed his sonic outlook.
The warped, modern-day answer to John Bender and reams of early ‘80s freaks, Beau Wanzer rattles out a grotty lot of no wave machine misshapes on his latest self-released Untitled session.
This time out he expectorates 12 gobs of curdled electronics, barely getting into gear with the slurred, half-speed electro of Dr. Dre’s Smelly Feet - which sounds excellent on 45rpm, too - beside the V/Vm new beat styles of Front/Side View and other dank lowlights such as the blunt EBM slugger, Something Stinks and the keening hot stepper, Shock Therapy, leading up to dainty-but-fucked waltz of Happy Birthday To Me.
No doubts, this is the real deal dirt. Huff it.
Shifted gets into 2nd gear on his new label, Drifting Over
Coming with the foundation quaking subbass roll and superb depth perception of Gauze; a piece of Mike Parker-esque aquatic movement in Centipede; and, best of all, the brutally blinkered purity of A Way Beyond on a vintage Ø or Plastikman tip.
Misty-eyed deep techno missions from the Lord Of The Isles...
Minting the DFSANT label with a sublime three track turn taking us from classic Carl Craig levels of loved-up depth in B2B4, to ersatz exotic boogie in F.A.P., and filigree spring reverb control in the dusky electro of Rave May Four.
Bank Records grip Bookworms & Steve Summers for their 4th collaboration, a thistly, pastoral house groove with charming melodic progressions in STE-018, leaving Bookworms to go heads down and solo on the murky trudge of STE-101.
Florian Meyer aka Don’t DJ back on the 3rd foot for BH, following up the Musique Acephale LP and interim aces such as the wicked Paradon’t hook-up and slingshots for EM Records, Fullfridge Music, with two devilishly polymetric steppers.
Like all of Don’t DJ’s music, Wiederganger stands far out from he crowd thanks to its totally unique meter, which comes as close as any to meshing the complex intricacies of traditional African tribal percussion into grid-locked electronic music. Basically this guy has some sort of skeleton key that unlocks any beat he touches, and this fluid hydroelectric stepper is just one sterling example.
Zwischending on the flipped takes a subtler approach with finely calculated hi-hat/rimshot on a steady bumping bass. It’s electro-house in effect, but with a pendulous gait and peppered with micro shimmies that you won’t find in 99% of records you’d also call electro-house.
A sublime slice of boogie-funk, Alec Mansion has steadily gained the status of a "crate-digging classic". Accordingly, it has been near-impossible to unearth a physical copy in good condition for many years.
"Originally released in 1983, the LP arrived with impeccable credentials; programming duties were handled by Dan Lacksman (the brains behind Telex, the "Belgian Kraftwerk") whilst production came from Marc Moulin (of jazz-rock fusion heroes Placebo). At the time its merits were mainly praised by radio and studio heads. Today, Mansion's masterpiece is lauded by boogie aficionados from Liege to Los Angeles.
It was during a stay in Chicago that the Belgian took inspiration from the communal spirit and sheer power of black American funk. In a recent interview with Vice's Noisey, Mansion cited The Whispers, Prince and Chic as key touchstones in his quest for his desired sound. Upon finessing his idiosyncratic European style of funk for his self-titled sophomore LP, Mansion flirted with perfection.
Showcasing a staggering run of instant (non)-hits, this sonically stunning album can be viewed as both of its time and, yet, aeons ahead of it.
Amongst the myriad highlights, "Ou Es-Tu" recalls neck-breaking G-Funk roughly a decade before it was ubiquitous. Its swagger conjures the fantasy sound of Dam-Funk producing fellow Francophone masters Phoenix, circa United; all buzzing synths and snapping drums underpinning vocals that ooze European style.
The glorious synth-workout "Dans L'eau De Nice" boasts an inordinate amount of instrumental flourishes. Augmented by Mansion's vocal class, it still feels tight and perfectly formed like all timeless pop music, and it has since become infamous as a joyous end-of-night singalong hit for house parties.
The startlingly confident "Marche" borders on the arrogant; its sun-drenched cool inviting both awe and irresistible movement. "Quand Je Serai Grand" blasts lazer-guided synth washes over an undeniable groove that would've made Nile Rodgers swoon as he prepped Like A Virgin.
The acid squelch that propels the strutting "Laid, Bête, Et Méchant" delivers infectious bounce with enviable abandon whilst the fantastically wonky "Trop Triste" garnered renewed attention after featuring on Zaltan's beloved Quartier Choc mixtape.
On the rare occasions it appears on the secondary market, it commands eye-watering figures. A record that has eluded even the most seasoned of vinyl freaks, this officially licensed reissue enables a wider audience to now discover its undoubted genius. Dovetailing neatly with the recent interest in forgotten boogie and obscure Euro-pop, this timely reappearance of a certified lost treasure is sure to be one of the summer's essential releases. As sophisticated and multi-layered as the best of the genre, this is highly recommended if you dig for analogue boogie/synth-funk as well as the more leftfield elements of slick 80s pop.
The original artwork of both jacket and sumptuous, full-colour inner sleeve has been faithfully restored; the latter featuring Mansion's memorable lyrics emblazoned across the pleasing jazzy early 80s design. Sonically, Simon Francis' deft mastering adds clarity and muscle throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g."
LeVent are Maryna Russo (BASS) Heike Rädeker (BASS VI / VOX) Frankie Neumeier (DRUMS).
"Berlin based trio LeVent got stoned, forgot to replace their guitarist, and then kept his name anyway. Formed in August 2015, the band has kept their shit together enough to have shared the stage with a bunch of talents including Kadavar, The Underground Youth, and Die Nerven, to name a few. They also self-released a four track EP on cassette in 2016, this is their debut album coming out on 'A' recordings .
Like a drunken driver, LeVent swerves up over the curb, drives straight through the garage and total their ride somewhere out in a goat farm. Bleating at it’s most danceable, they carry listeners far away to get lost in nice nonsense, stuck in heavy forgetting, and transfixed on what was, leaving you thirsty for more. Heike from the band says “When someone comes up to you after a concert saying, "I´m going to make you a record“ you are stoked for the moment, but you don´t reckon it will happen...
Half a year later Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre called LeVent in to his Cobra Studio in Berlin. Teaming up with studio engineer Andrea Wright from Parr Street Studios Liverpool the red button got pushed."
Leipzig’s XY0815 presses forth a sci fi-styled electro mission with London’s Brokntoys
Drifting from a melancholy synotscapes, Cygonic System, to the moody stepper, Tool Matter and furtive bleeps in End Of Your Orbit, then following his hunch into the dubbed-out Octagon X and the darkly romantic themes of Pseudo Bavaria.
Texan analogue hardware hustler Bill Converse builds rickety lo-fi sheds on the bones of original acid house and Detroit techno with his rugged sophomore album; his first realised especially for a vinyl release
“Immersed in the early days of the 90s midwest rave scene, Bill began DJing at a young age in Lansing, Michigan. Luminaries such as Claude Young, Traxx, and Derrick May were key early influences. Techno, noise, ambient and tape processing are all part of his uncanny sound palette. His debut album ‘Meditations/Industry’ was released on cassette in 2013 and edited for a vinyl release in January 2016 followed by two 12” singles ‘Warehouse Invocation’ and ‘7 of 9’ the same year.
‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ is a 70 minute journey spread across two pieces of vinyl. It’s comprised of seven tracks recorded directly to tape with no overdubs, made at Converse’s home studio. At the time of recording, Bill was sending this material to Josh Vance (Josua Dorje Ngodup) for feedback. Most of the time Josh would respond in the form of artwork, and then Bill would create another track inspired by this feedback chain. Converse has dedicated this series of tracks to him.
The songs on this album reveal a sublime influence from Detroit techno, early Chicago house, and Acid. For this album Converse slightly bumped up the tempos geared for dancefloor energy. Built around vintage synthesizer lines and gritty drum machine percussion, the tracks evoke “how things have changed and how they have come to be.”
All songs were mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each LP is housed in a gatefold jacket with a painted photograph portrait by Dietmar Busse and layout design by Eloise Leigh. The gatefold conceals an otherworldly collage made by Josua Dorje Ngodup. Each copy includes a postcard featuring artwork from Bill’s sister with notes.”
Bristolian rogue Ossia (Young Echo/DJ Oa$is) bashes out the rusty booty shifter Tumult, galvanised with a blinding echo chamber inversion from his local peer, Lurka, all for the bad folk at Berceuse Heroique.
Tumult is pretty much the strongest thing we’ve heard from Ossia. Lop-sided, uneven parts of grime, ‘ardcore and dancehall tessellate in a bone-splintering, muscle-gnawing dose of UK twisup pressure sure to garner a salty grin from the ‘floor, especially with the giddy thumb piano coda that comes in at the end.
On the other hand, Lurka slips into PhoteK-hole mode with a severe rearrangement that sounds like the drums of Ni Ten Ichi Ryu tumbling down/up/along an MC Escher staircase in a gully Bristol traphouse.
Aye, you need this one, too.
Official reissue of legendary Boogie funk ’n soul from Lagos, Nigeria, 1986 by Hotline, a short-lived unit whose sole recording has evidently withstood the test of time for boogers everywhere, meaning that You Are Mine now trades for well into triple figures on the second hand market.
The sharp structures of then-contemporary American funk and boogie receive a twist of looser, natty Afrobeat flavour in six parts, with a uniquely alluring tension arising from the clash of ‘70s disco-wise grooves, bright and juicy electronics and traces of more up-to-date, ‘80s-styled vocal arrangements - an aesthetic encapsulated in the contrast between the front sleeve’s slickness and the relatively ancient looking back cover photo and text.
However, if there’s one thing that connects it all together timelessly, it’s the basic impetus at root: this is music about, and designed to stimulate, sticky friction on the ‘floor and between the sheets, with big highlights found in the dripping P-Funk of their highly desirable Doing It In Lagos, the squelching Moog winks of Desir, and the percolating popcorn vibes and falsetto vox that bubble away on Stay Close.
Move D, Jonah Sharp, Juju & Jordash build the new supergroup The Mulholland Free Clinic. Their self-titled debut LP release is the recording of their second ever improvised, all hardware live set which emphasizes the ongoing paradigm shift in live electronic music.
"Even though they've only played together on three occasions since 2013, The Mulholland Free Clinic has already been praised as one of the ultimate collaborations when it comes to underground and improvised electronic live music. Move D, Jonah Sharp, and Juju & Jordash build this so-called super-supergroup by combining their individual and mutual projects rEAGENZ and Magic Mountain High. Using an armada of analog hardware, The Mulholland Free Clinic’s self-titled debut album is the product of a live set recorded at Berlin’s emerging party series AWAY at ://about blank in August 2016. Consequently, the connected vinyl label Away Music is set to release its first long player following four 12-inches with appearances by Joe Claussell, Mr. Ties, Move D, Discrete Circuit, and its very own AWAY Soundsystem.
Their three-hour long, totally improvised jam session was edited down to a little over 80 minutes with seven tracks internalizing the motto that you won’t benefit from diverse perspectives if you aren’t open to utilizing differences. Like a well-coordinated ensemble, The Mulholland Free Clinic develops a common language by acknowledging their multi-variant range of influences and dynamics while constantly shifting, rearranging, and finally communicating ideas without beholden to any genre. Whether it’s the rich and beat-less ambiance or the synth-dominated excursions, the cosmic futurism or the overall melodic playfulness: the quartet knows its crafts mastering the off-the-cuff approach to illuminate all corners on and off the dance floor.
Using an impressive hardware-only setup (including Korg Minilogue, Roland SH-101, Roland TR 909, Roland TR 606, Yamaha DX-7, electric guitars, FX units, Akai MPC 1000, an analog mixer, and much more), the live performance isn’t just another declaration of love for classic synthesizers. By creating an environment that promotes communication, learning, and innovation the quartet also underpins the ongoing paradigm shift in live electronic music. The Mulholland Free Clinic is the artistic synthesis of improvisation and togetherness, risk and trust, consciousness and abandon . Their teamwork is an inside-out mindset. And with all collaborations, it has to start on the inside, with the heart."
Berceuse Heroique pluck four percivals from Dutch disco DJ supremo, Loud-E’s Loudiefied  album of edits, plonking them on one fine 12” for DJ use and exercise.
A staple of the whole Intergalactic FM cabal since near the start, Loud-E’s clutch of mix CDs for IFM’s Panama Racing series are a favourite of BH’s Giz, hence he cut off his favourites onto their first vinyl pressing (well effectively, ‘cos they’re edits, innit?).
You get four choice picks, all of whose names evade us right now, but consist of one part symphonic strut, a belting Afro-psych bit, some electrified rutting gear, and a killer slow-mo stroke to close.
Sublime dream collaboration between Jonny Nash and likeminded ambient soul, Suzanne Kraft
Produced in 2016 and “in close proximity to the M56 Motorway”, which, weirdly enough, lulls me to sleep every night. We’d imagine that Passive Aggressive is intended to do the same thing, operating at such lowlit and hushed levels that it’s almost hard not to be seduced to slumber by its sandman tones.
It really is best consumed whole, but if you’ve got a shorter attention span or need some highlights, check for the deliciously off key tone of Small Town and the ambient jazz nocturne, Hanging Glass Structure and you’ll instantly know the vibe.
Bruno Pronsato returns with his first new artist album in 6 years. Entitled US Drag, it's the follow-up to 2011's Lovers Do- lauded by Pitchfork as a “striking and massive statement," and decorated with a 4.5/5 rating by Resident Advisor.
"The new record, which finds the ex-punk rock drummer exploring dense, interlocking rhythms and unorthodox tuning systems, was recorded in Berlin during the second half of 2016, and features a collaboration with Liars' frontman Angus Andrew.
After the vast, complex arrangements of his previous albums, the 9 recordings on US Drag are relatively more upfront and direct, with a particular focus on bells, tuned percussion and the Sequential Circuits Six-Trak synthesizer (used to create many of the album's synth parts). Pronsato’s ongoing collaboration with Yonatan Levi continues, with the Israeli bassist appearing on the album's second track."
Cut from Ryuichi Sakamoto’s first solo album of the same name, Thousand Knives Of was released in 1978, the same year that Sakamoto’s band, Yellow Magic Orchestra also released their eponymous debut album.
Purportedly the first ever release to use a Roland TR-808, Thousand Knives Of would become a fan favourite of YMO’s live shows. Its Kraftwerkian vocoder intro and mellow, swaying beginnings are cool enough, but allow those hairy guitar chops, please.
The flipside’s Plastic Bamboo, also taken from Sakamoto’s album, makes up for the A-side with a squeaky clean yet greazy sort of Japanese electro-boogie laced with wheezing melodica-like tones and the kind of contoured synths that clearly influenced Heinrich Mueller.
Jimmy Billingham’s Holovr projects a pair of glistening electronica lightshows on Paul Smith’s reawakened and genuinely legendary Likemind label - original site of mid-’90s releases by post-Detroit/UK Techno types, As One (Kirk DeGiorgio), Stasis and Redcell (B12).
Capably picking up a silvery electronica thread 21 years since Likemind’s last release, Holovr mainstinas the tempo and feel of the Likemind sound on both sides, conjuring dreamy post-rave sensations in the floating harmonic structures, freehand acid and windswept drum programming of Split Infinity in a style that sweetly resonates with AI classics from B12, Æ or HIA, whilst the B-side’s Hillraiser wraps up a blissful side of piquant analogue froth and pinched triplet rhythms that linger, yearning in the shadows of its inspirations
The Numero Group’s dive into the deep end of America’s private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it’s time to take it easy.
"With pop music’s volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early ‘70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast—and, later, Yacht Rock—the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor.
Here, at the glassy apex of rock’s softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life."
Music From Memory and Jackson “Tapes” Bailey present a long-lost nugg of reggae soul and disco from early ‘80s London courtesy of Milton Myrie aka Caliban, a session guitarist who played on Steel & Skin’s joyous Afro Punk Reggae and for cult UK buddhist afro reggae band Ozo.
Myrie’s sole, self-produced release as Caliban, Open Mind / Digital Reggae was issued on 7” in 1984 but, as Jackson Bailey would find out when he tracked down and met Myrie, much of the original pressing remained unsold and still in his possession, along with a healthy stack of unreleased material which is previewed on this 12”, ahead of a broader compilation due later in the summer.
Digital Reggae opens the set with its breezy blend of yacht rock-friendly guitar frills and crisp metallic tang softened off by Myrie’s mellow, spirited vocal, urging the NASA that “Digital reggae will be included in the Payload of Skylab!”.
On the remix, Tapes offers a firmer take on the same elements, tuffening up the bass and slicing the vocals into curt bursts on a trampoline of studio FX, before the B-side’s Supernatural dispenses a cooled out stripe of reggae disco riding on spacey organ vamps and juicy bass work.
Burnt Friedman in mystic drummer mode for Marionette Records, following suit from their ace Kilchhofer release with a batch of archival recordings shaped as a concept record about Near Death Experiences, transcendence, featuring guest input from longterm collaborators Joseph Suchy and Hayden Chisholm
“Marionette’s fifth installment sees Burnt Friedman channeling some sinister, mystical rhythms. As if a djinn were mapping out a higher order logic map. This is some visionary work that is riddled with contradicting non-human concepts, brought to life with geometry and intuition.
‘Dead Saints Chronicles’ is an ode to drawing fascination from Near Death Experiences (NDEs). The title for the EP is inspired from a book written by David Solomon and Antony West, involving sifting through thousands of recorded NDEs, a process similar to that which Friedman used to revive pieces from his archive of DAT tapes.
Grandiose fusions of classical and future garage sensibilities
“An artist dedicated to pushing the boundaries between the classical and electronic worlds, Prayer is a producer and composer who has impressed both ends of the spectrum. After dropping Lost (2017), aimed at giving classical music a more accessible angle, Prayer's Seeing is a darker, club-orientated four-tracker.
In his words: "Seeing again explores relationships between two different areas of music; pushing for the diversification of classical music. Although more aggressive and instant than my previous work, it still fully compositional in its nature. The aim was to contrast harmony with brash rhythm, balancing perceived elegance and the abrasive."
Throbbing, avant-house music by artists Sabisha Friedberg and Tyler Wilcox, aka Golden Mean for the purposes of their debut 12”, Resonance with Detroit’s Fit Sound.
A blend of droll spoken word and absorbing, pulsating subbass, Resonance is prepped in three mixes; the dry darkroom pound of the original Resonance and an unprocessed A Capella room recording of Sabisha’s stark vocal, plus a Resonance (Toxic Mix) where the elements have much more room to move, in the process recalling Jay Ahern’s slunkiest Cheap & Deep Productions.
Fader pays a 3rd visit to Borneo Records with four tracks of sultry deep house
...elegantly carrying its weight from the dream house purr and shuffle of Just Outside Happy Village to adroit early Detroit styles in Discos Paradiso, then with a saucier marriage of rude garage-house bass and thizzing hyaline harmonics in These Percs Lately, and some Nebraska-style disco looping beatdown on Um Bilhão De Pés De Porco.
Low key deep house outta UK, 2017, laying four heavy-lidded early morning heaters built around smooth beatdown grooves, warm chords and touches of effervescent electronics, with stronger, disco-ready moves on the sub-bass stroked and astrally inclined B-side.
Ran$om Note look to Eskimo Twins’ Timothy Clerkin for their lucky 7th 12”
Twirling four pieces of chubby acid house ranging from the ‘ardcore house dip of Recursive (that vocal sample is going to sound so, so cheesy in an actual warehouse), the house-blunted Horn Track vibes of Serenade, and the rolling acid play, Execute, plus Marlon Hoffstadt’s proggier Infinity mix of Recursive.
DJ Sotofett fronts up the final instalment of Auntie Flo’s Theory Of Flo story
Turning For Mihaly into a mystic tropical vision segueing from air percussion and synth pads to more urgent slashing psyche guitars and cascading bleeps on the A-side, with Flo’s live version and aching string Reprise on the B-side.
Sub-loaded, needlepoint techno steppers from the Skudge duo
Pressing forth the flawless balance of subs, flickering hi-hats and super tight dub chords in the effortless momentum of Circles, then rolling deeper with the haunting glider, Tundra and its beautifully graded choral pads.
Freezing modern coldwave from Montréal, delivered in curt, brittle rhythms, bright synths and acutely pop-wise arrangements. Check for highlights in their mesmerising ‘Ligne brisée’ and the slick, glamorous tension of ‘Feral’ .
“Montréal synth pop Police des moeurs are one of the finest and rawest bands in the minimal synth/wave and cold wave scene.
‘Dédales’, their third full length, keeps the pure energy of their previous efforts while leaving greater room for atmospheric and textural considerations. The album will lead you into the passage zone between civilisation and wilderness, a mysterious place where truth, lies, light and darkness collide.
For fans of New Order, Martin Dupont, Rational Youth, Xeno & Oaklander.”
This diamond of a 7” features the 1st and only known recording from arch goffs Karl O’Connor and Veronica Vasicka under their Kiss The Floor alias, as originally issued by Downwards in a measly edition of 30 copies at the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair, 05/10/13. Now shackled to a ferocious solo number from Karl and The Kurbcrawlers, Same Day (Again), and proffered by Oliver Ho’s Death & Leisure it’s finally available to us mere mortals on the shop/dance ‘floor.
As you may well presume, VV and KoC’s joint effort is just a little bit good. It sounds like Veronica is singing amid over some kinda of gaunt industro dub from Karl, all ricocheting rimshot embedded in distorted, monotone and bass licked with woozy melodica, although we couldn’t confirm/deny either way. Whatever, it’s exactly as potent as we’d imagined it to be, ripe for the dankest dance parlours.
Flipside, Karl and The Kurbcrawlers get a day pass for Same Day (Again), a diesel-stained full throttle deathrocker that’s kinda like the record equivalent of those fellas you see on a sunny day prancing their droptop kit car until the kids come home.
French soundsmith Sebastien Bouchet has a well-documented knack for deep, eccentric techno and house – as well as a reputation for keeping his solo releases few and far between.
"Seeing him return to Kompakt under new monicker Sebastopol is a pretty special treat, then – his last contribution to the Kompakt label family dates back to 2014, when he dropped Speicher 77.
Opener and title track Gahalowood gets things off the launch pad quickly, thanks to its stoic kickdrum and surging synths – but it’s those vocals that really pull you in, evolving from atmospheric swabs of texture to full-blown mumblecore imbued with all the deadpan romanticism of an early 80s New Wave act. B side follow-up FLASH POOL seems equally committed to the human voice, deploying its intimate groove whispering upfront, but takes an unexpected turn into psychedelic cowbell territory where feral bleeps roam the lands and hooklines grow in the weirdest of places.
Closing cut HEAVEN presents a comparatively straightforward house arc - while still sniffing out some trippy goodness that’ll leave your thirst of sonic adventure wholly satisfied."
Untold takes the deconstructed club music thing to a logical next stage with the tattered dynamics of HEK029, his first new release since Doff , and a fine follow-up to Parris’ Your Kiss Is Sour for Hemlock.
With the fractious, febrile dynamics of Tear Up The Club it sounds like he’s been dream-stealing from Lee Gamble and BLOOM, resulting a cloud of dissected jungle and ambient tropes diffused into a delirious, elusive polymetric designs suggesting myriad options for the DJs and dancers and a remarkable headful of madness for the home or headphone listener.
Watton Res feels to invert that effect, conducting his rhythmic itchiness at the perimeter of the piece around a languid core of balearic, new age strums and convulsive bass in a sore but lush flux of ballistics and proprioception-challenging dimensions.
After a session together in a Bergen studio 20 years ago which sadly only resulted in a distorted tape, Bjørn Torske and Prins Thomas finally get back together to make music.
"Bjørn Torske is a figurehead and grand old man of the electronic music scene in Norway, inspiring and laying the foundation for producers like Prins Thomas, Lindstrom and Todd Terje.
Bjørn and Thomas' relationship goes back to the mid 90's when they first bonded over a shared passion for oddball disco, dub and detroit techno. This album is in many ways full circle with Bjorn and Thomas making music together for the first time.
Square One is a collection of loose, abstract and freeform avant-disco jams, parallel world-disco maybe? Whatever you call it, this album is a labour of love. A sound they both have traveled towards for all these years. And here they finally are, at square one.
The album was recorded live in Taakeheimen Studio, Oslo, in the spring of 2015 with both guys manning an instrument each in each overdub, piling the layers of sounds on top of each other. A year later they took the now edited tracks and mixed them down in live takes with all hands on the desk in Malabar, another Oslo studio. After a couple of rounds with some very blunt scissors the tracks became what are now included on this album.
Square One is a meeting of two minds. Probably as close to their musical soul as you can get."
The dual albums find the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald showcasing two distinct sides to the band’s music: ‘Death’ is a ‘proper’ Melvins’ release and ‘Love’ is the score to the Jesse Nieminen-directed, self-produced short also titled ‘A Walk With Love & Death’.
"“This was a huge undertaking,” explained band ringleader Buzz Osborne. “All three things: the album, the soundtrack and the film are benchmarks for us.” Drummer Dale Crover added, “‘A Walk With Love & Death’ is one giant, dark, moody, psychotic head trip! Not for the faint of heart. You’ll sleep with the lights on after listening.”
The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (The Pixies), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes / Crystal Fairy) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), were co-produced with engineer Toshi Kosai."
As one of the standout projects unveiled by the excellent but sadly now defunct /\ \ Aught label (2014-2015), Xth Réflexion’s /\ \ 05 + /\ \ 06 tapes transmitted some of the most enigmatic dub techno mutations since Chain Reaction kicked the bucket in 2003. Now brought to vinyl by a mysterious new label, Chained Library, we’re given a firmly tangible, if decidedly elusive reminder of Xth Réflexion’s raving, abstract excellence here.
Collecting /\ \ 05 + /\ \ 06 in their entirety - 10 tracks to be precise - Xth Réflexion’s first vinyl plunges listeners into a world of kinetic dub ephemera, feeling out a grayscale palette of cracked rhythms, silty chords and atmospheric grit with a sublime appreciation of flux and drift that feels to emulate the sensation or dynamic of brownian motion with an intoxicating appeal akin to the systolic diffusion of opioids or air-con in a sparsely furnished, humid room.
They scale and skid between tempos with naturally fluid agility, sucking us in with the flux of acousmatic source material, strobing dub rhythms and coruscating noise in 01 before winding up the tightly coiled, double-time flex of highlight, 02 and jabbing out the panicked underwater coda of 04 on the first disc, before the 2nd wraps up wickedly restless square bass squirm and rhythmic noise in 05 and 06, along with the desiccated structures of 07, plus the Voices From The Lake-style roil of 08 and the Lee Gamble-like immersion 10.
Striking the finest balance between abstraction and just-about-buoyant dub function, they are, by some distance, the best examples we’ve heard crawl out of the whole grey area in the last few years. A really strong look for anyone looking for solutions to grid-locked rhythm and sound problems.
P.S. if you’re worried about the packaging affecting the fidelity of the vinyl, we’re pretty sure that’s supposed to be the point, especially considering that the originals were presented on tape.
Akkord slip out of the shadows with the wraith-like jungle killer RCVR and a mutant ‘ardcore twyster, XMTR for their spiritual home; Rob Booth’s Houndstooth.
With time spent on respective solo projects since release of the Obelisk 10” , they hungrily converge on a sound somewhere between Burial and Demdike Stare with the lip-bitingly strong swerve of RCVR, seemingly reanimating the cadavers of ’94 Dillinja and Bizzy B like when you run an electrical charge thru a dead frog, triggering a golem-like creation of brittle breakbeats and arcing, slashing mentasms primed to run amok in the rave.
XMTR goes even farther backwards/forwards into the grave of UK ‘ardcore, exhuming and experimenting with the bodies of 2 Bad Mice in a back street vivisection of illegal subs and gristly breaks guided by a dread hand.
Toro Y Moi returns with a new album for Carpark...
“After 7 years of touring and recording, I found myself becoming self conscious about my position in life as a “famous” person, or at least my version of whatever that is. My dreams had become my reality, yet I was somehow unable to accept this new environment. I couldn’t help but fall into what might be described as an identity crisis. A feedback loop of fearful thoughts left me feeling confused. I felt as though I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted and needed in and out of life, and at times I felt unable to even tell what was real.
During this time of personal turmoil, I turned to music as a form of therapy, and it helped me cope with the pain that I was feeling. I’d listen to the same ambient song over and over again, trying to insulate myself from reality. I fell in love with space again.
By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artists that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognized that the common thread between these artists was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a Pop record with these ideas in mind.”
After hinting at this sound for years, Stefan Schneider and Sven Kacirek turn out as uniquely beguiling mesh of textured rhythmelodic electronics and Sofia Jernberg’s pinched, puckered vocals shaped into wistful, sorta-ambient pop songs. RIYL Kriedler, To Rococo Rot, Harmonia
“Another dose of whirring rhythms and dark drones courtesy of Stefan Schneider and Sven Kacirek. This time around they have introduced the beguiling tones of Swedish singer Sofia Jernberg on three pieces. The Düsseldorf/Hamburg duo Schneider Kacirek released their debut album Shadows Documents some three years ago (BB 175CD/LP). A coarse energy ran through Shadows Documents, drawing on the pair's various excursions to Kenya as producers. Shadows Documents was a somnambulistic interpretation of Kenyan music using drums and percussion (Kacirek) and analog synthesizers (Schneider) -- no samples. The two of them took their time working on Radius Walk. Since their debut release, they have toured extensively with the likes of John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake). The experience of playing together in live situations has influenced how they interact as musicians, a process which has helped to shape the new record. The acoustics of Sven Kacirek's studio were set up perfectly to capture the forceful sound of the drums and analog synthesizers as they melt into a compact whole. The result is a sonically more concentrated and more transparent album in comparison to its predecessor.
Dark bass drones and whirring percussion sounds figure prominently in the music. A fascination with repetitive rhythm is the common thread which runs through the musical development of both musicians: listen to Stefan Schneider in his other projects, the bands Kreidler and To Rococo Rot, and his albums with Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Further evidence can be heard on Kacirek's solo albums, in particular on his much-lauded Kenya Sessions (PING 020CD, 2011). By introducing the Swedish singer Sofia Jernberg, Schneider and Kacirek have added a new dimension to their music. They first met Jernberg in Berlin, where she performed with Kenyan singer Ogoya Nengo for whom Schneider and Kacirek had done production work in the past. As one of the most sought after vocalists on the improvised music circuit, Jernberg made an immediate impression on Schneider and Kacirek, who were quick to suggest that they work together. The splendid fruits of their labors can be savored on three tracks on the album. "Dust", "i Atlanten", and "Smiling" express both Jernberg's love of Scandinavian folk music and her mastery of improvisation. Her voice neither dominates the songs in the manner of a singer-songwriter, nor does it lean towards crossover experimentation. It feels more like a brand new genre of music.”
Jan Schulte makes his Dekmantel debut with Peace Moves, an EP of percussive soul, that captures the Salon Des Amateurs resident in full, tribal swing.
Four tracks of informed, well-paced grooves, and finely crafted beats that extenuate the German’s penchant for the mature, and fun loving heads.
Drowsy, melancholy dub-pop from New Jackson’s From Night To Night album
...backed with a dosed-up and floppy skanking Peaking Lights remix and his vocodered kosmiche boogie ace, Let The Freak Come Out At Night.
Dom & Roland’s Dubs From The Dungeon series squeeze off two previously unreleased tech-steppers from DJ Krust dating to late ‘90s.
Flip It is a clattering, boisterous roller built around distorted bass and his patented hardass drums.
Ivory Puzzle is more intriguing, harnessing devilish bass chicanery in a taut 2-step rollcage with signature attention to detail.
Proper, dirt-under-the-needle house and EBM music from Miltiadis Merentitis aka Outermost, playing faithfully to the Echovolt aesthetic with four drily salty shifters on the Intruder EP after a string of 12”s as Miltiadis for Synapsis and Nous..
We’d direct you straight to the B-side for a killer, titular stripe of EBM grind peppered with vocals from venus Volcanism that split the difference between Toresch and Lena Platonos. Theres’ also some filthy grubby gear in the decayed, underwater electro of It’s In There, and the most worn-down Jamal Moss styles in J’S Shadow World.
Jackhammer industrial grit from Adam-X, back in his downtempo (do not read as ‘chilled’) alias, ADMX-71 for L.I.E.S.
With a trio of sewer dwelling bangers at roughly 113bpm he takes in the rollicking ramrod of Nuclear Hysterics, the gaunt, writhing groove and glowering synth figures of Dire Situation, and pendulous swagger in Neutron Absorber.
"Revelation For Personal Use" is an ode to her native town and region, with all the songs being based on lyrics by local cult poet Arvid Hanssen and translated to English by artist and writer Roy-Frode Løvland.
"Anneli has written the album's eight lovely songs, plays piano and keyboards and has produced the album. It largely moves in the same musical landscape as the previous album, with the Arctic Philharmonic present on six tracks and string arranger Sindre Hotvedt, guitarist Eivind Aarset and drummer Rune Arnesen on board again. If anything, a couple of the tracks show a slightly sharper rock edge than its predecessor. Anneli Drecker's magical voice first became known through the music of her band, Bel Canto back in the 80s.
At age 17, Anneli left her Arctic hometown of Tromsø with band members Geir Jenssen (aka Biosphere) and Nils Johansen, for the pulsating indie scene in Bruxelles. Signed to the legendary Belgian label Crammed Discs, Bel Canto captured the Zeitgeist of European electronic music in the late eighties. Their two first albums, "White Out Conditions" and "Birds Of Passage" were released internationally in most territories. They won the Norwegian Grammy award “Spellemannprisen” three times, and are regarded as pioneers on the Norwegian electronic pop music scene.
With her characteristic singing style, often compared to other wonderful singers such as Lisa Gerrard, Kate Bush and Liz Frasier, Anneli has had the possibility to collaborate with many great artists. She participated in projects with Hector Zazou, Jah Wobble, Gavin Friday, DJ Krush, Tim Simenon, Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins, and Guy Sigsworth. Anneli has also co-operated with ECM artist Ketil Bjørnstad and recorded three albums based on poems by John Donne and Hart Crane. Few can claim that they have been singing duets with Morten Harket, but Anneli joined A-ha on two world tours as their guest singer. She also toured the world for more than 10 years singing with Röyksopp and co-writing a number of songs with them."
Engrossing small sound science from Milan’s Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti, aka Bellows, one of our favourite production units now marking up another mesmerising addition to their frayed, knotty microcosmos of sounds following on from LP's for our own Boomkat Editions as well as the Latency, Senufo and Planam labels.
The thing that marks Bellows apart from many of their academic peers is their interest in bass dynamics. Theirs is a careful study of rhythmic and low-end propulsion at an almost atomic level, something which elicits a kinetic, physical response which perhaps stands them alongside some of Carsten Nicolai’s more dynamic productions, as well as Raster founding mate Frank Bretschneider at his minimal best.
‘Strand’ is, however, something of a departure for the duo; the palette has been broadened via tapes, modular synthesizers, effects and samples to encapsulate a more fluid notion, from the almost Caretaker-esque fairground memory on Untitled #5 to the African stutter of Untitled #2. But its perhaps on Untitled #6 that they hit hardest, perforating a single, almighty bass thump with slivers of slippery found sounds and bass pulses - the archetypal Bellows blueprint, taken to its logical conclusion.
Ielasi and Ratti have got their fingers farther into the fissures of their very precise productions, allowing them to crack, sprout and bifurcate into floating gasps as dense and elusive as a gremlin vape chug. It’s a sound to get properly snagged on, revealing hidden depths to its asymmetric bass geometries with each new listen.
Huge Recommendation if you're into anything from classic Raster Noton to Ilpo Väisänen to Actress...
Tadd Mullinx aka Dabrye aka JTC puts his Charles Manier mask on for another dedication to his influences from the murky world of industrial EBM and wave musics.
In contrast to his previous LP, American Manier this one feels slower, more squashed and psychedelic, heaving its mass of tangled wire structures between the bookends of evil Tuning Circuits-style vocoders in Just-World Believers and Yopo (Calcium Tree) via class nods to Liaisons Dangerueses and Big Black in The Lions Of Rojava, to a salty dash of Powell-style wonkiness with Plenary Psychic Automatism and the mind-bending chromatic wormholes of Hillbrent Crysula Pagoda and Mesrop.
Smoke some mashies and put this on for a proper night in.