"Nobody—and I do mean nobody—has a funkier band than Syl Johnson! His famous Chicago outfit cooks up such powerful rhythms that there isn’t an R&B band in all the land that can come close to touching them. When Syl’s out front in the spotlight, delivering his dynamic vocals while his funky, funky band lets loose with their unstoppable rhythms, I defy anybody with two working ears not to head straight to the dancefloor."
Complete, Re-mastered and Expanded Soundtrack
"Expanded film score re-issue to H.P. Lovecraft's From Beyond, directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, Castle Freak) and starring Jeffery Combs and scream queen Barbara Crampton, it was a 1986 Science-Fiction Body-Horror film featuring an immense and dynamic score by composer Richard Band (Re-Animator, Puppet Master).
The music by composer Richard Band won the award for Best Original Soundtrack at the Catalonian International Film Festival in Stiges, Spain. Waxwork’s newly re-mastered release marks the first time that the complete soundtrack has been released on vinyl."
Tasty skanks from a new name, Butterfred, doing it for themselves on a natty white label pressing.
Calibrating Detroit, UK and Berlin styles to their own bendy balance, EP1 leans in with the laid-back eaze of Spread The Butter’s percolating dub chords and thick spread subs beside the industrial dancehall bug Dark Butter on top, then with a darker inversion of those vibes in the B-side’s squashed and gloomy stepper, Liquid Butter, and a buckled dancehall techno bumper named Butter Break.
A four track baroque masterpiece by Rian Murphy sharing vocals with his good friend Will Oldham.
Produced by Rian, with string arrangements by Jim O’Rouke and vocal harmonies by Archer Prewitt. Featuring a chorus of voices including BillCallahan, Laetitia Sadier, David Grubbs and Jim O’Rouke amongst many others.
Electro, jazz and jungle-gilded house from Vlad Gavrilov a.k.a. DJ Heure, who’s previously turned out on Lobster Theremin’s Distant Hawaii sublabel and Natural Sciences as Warren Raww. The first release on All My Thoughts, the 2nd label from Seb Wildblood alongside his personal SW imprint.
Who are we now, in the era of the internet? Former Americanmen artist Sevendeaths looks to answer this on his new album of hi-def power ambient for Luckyme.
Edinburgh-based musician Steven Shade expands on the VST-centric grandiosity of his 2013 debut Sevendeaths set ‘Concreté Misery’ with this rather enveloping new album for the Luckyme crew.
A certain cinematic quality has always been evident in the Sevendeaths sound, but he really ups the ante on ‘Remote Sympathy,’ the ten tracks benefitting from the inclusion of natural sound sources via spectral resynthesis and sampling techniques and contributions from Rafe Fitzpatrick and Iban Perez.
Fans of Jóhann Jóhannsson and the recent output on Subtext should pay attention as Sevendeaths really captures a stunning snapshot of expertly crafted drone and power ambient geared as “both a celebration of life and human strength and an acceptance of the frailty of the human spirit.”
The conceptual nature of the album doesn’t weigh too heavily on the music however, this is no forlorn exercise in noise brutality; rather the moments of darkness act as brief interludes to Shade’s undoubted capacity to sculpt and orchestrate synthesis of shimmering incandescence.
Incredible, previously unreleased early 1980's Algerian synth electronic by Ahmed Malek, compiled by Flako.
Remarkable discovery of late ‘70s/early ’80s avant ambient electronics from Arabic North Africa; originally conceived as demos or private studies by Ahmed Malek (1931-2008) - “Algeria’s answer to Ennio Morricone” - and now faithfully edited and buffed up for release by Flako. Imagine Dariush Dolat-Shahi turned into jazzy concrète mosaics by NWW and you’ve almost got a grasp of this record’s slippery wonder.
The Electronic Tapes follows Habibi Funk’s prized vinyl reissue of Malek’s Musique Originale De Films  with an unprecedented peek inside the boxes of Malek’s master tapes that were recently discovered by his family in Algiers during the soundtrack reissue process. As the tapes were effectively unfinished demos and the artist isn’t around to consult anymore, electronic producer Flako has capably stepped in to polish them off, adding only subtle flourishes of era-compatible Roland SH-2000 and Korg MS20 to sympathetically bring Malek’s electro-acoustic tapestries to life, and in a way that we can only imagine he would be pleased with.
Ostensibly sounding like some home-made new age excursion from late ‘70s Europe or North America, it’s the recurring presence of authentically Arabic scales and percussive patterns which identify this set beyond some obscure cosmic library LP from Italy or France, and closer to the rare experiments with jazz and electronics - such as Dariush Dolat-Shahi, Salah Ragab, or Ilhan Mimaroglu - from Arabic North Africa and the Middle East that we’re familiar with.
But even still, Flako’s post-processed results form a strange anachronism unto itself, skilfully weaving his improvisations on the original material in an innovative and subtle way that makes it tricky, and perhaps pointless, to distinguish between the dates of recording or who did what. Maybe it’s best left to Flako to sum the project up as: “ It’s Ahmed’s music… If anything, I feel like a member of his band, you know? I’m a part of this. That’s roughly how I see it.”
Stretched across space and time and fleshed out with imagination, the 17 tracks are just crammed with charmingly wild and kinetic ideas, setting out with a squinted synth vision recalling The Godfather theme sent into orbit, before constantly mutating thru cinematic strokes to insectoid jazz scuttle, romantic downbeats, haywire astral synth jabs and whirligig dances by the album’s close, with each allowing X amount of room for the original piece’s experimental nature and fractious arrangements.
Basically it’s not a straight-up reissue, nor is it an new recording; it’s something else and brilliant with it.
A stunning return from the deepest dub tech noise aquanauts...
Seventeen (count ‘em!) years since their split side with Techno Animal, Andy Mellwig and Thomas Köner’s legendary Porter Ricks shores up on Tresor with three cuts of brand new material as immersive as any of their ‘90s dub techno classics.
Since that last release in 1999, Mellwig has busied himself with Experimental Audio Research alongside Kevin Martin, Pete Kember and Kevin Shields, whilst Köner has continued to pursue a dark ambient zeitgeist deep below the surface, before the two remerged for a sublime remix of Ryo Murakami in 2014.
Shadow Boat dials in the duo’s first material since then, and they’ve patently not lost their lust for total dancefloor immersion. The title cut is a lushly visceral demonstration of techno at its most enigmatic, effective, diffracting beautifully elusive melodies and haunting harmonics thru silty black, subaquatic bass dynamics that leave us reeling, before the crushed, acidic chug of Bay Rouge stretches out on a more elastic sort of acidub grind punctuated with killer woodblock, and Harbour Chart comes up for air with a bad case of the bends emphasised by glitching rip-currents sure to mess with the dance.
Yorkshire’s tireless servants of the noise gods invoke clamouring ancient spirits in a combustible instalment for Cairo’s Nashazphone. Make of the priapic mummy on the back cover what you will. RIYL Sir Richard Bishop and David Oliphant’s Beyond All Defects or nightmares.
"The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower.
The working, the concept and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land." Matthew Bower & Samantha Davis, West Yorks, UK, Winter Solstice Evening 2016 File under: Alternative”
The Sublime Frequencies co-owner and erstwhile Sun City Girl collaborates with an imaginary muse against the backdrop of Cairo. A combustible, anarchic reflection of modernity every bit as cryptic, enigmatic, fractally colourful as the cover art
"Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he’s entertaining.
It’s the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage — overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop.
It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fanclub; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC’s coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service’s mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle.
Bishop’s quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat’s uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty’s Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it’s an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks.
All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R’n’B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically — the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient.
Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he’ll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what’s left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not." Seymour Glass, California, USA, September 2016”
Excellent compilation of early gear by all-female NYC No Wave trio, Y Pants, including cuts produced by Glenn Branca and originally issued on the pivotal 99 Records (Liquid Liquid, ESG, Vivian Goldman) in 1980, alongside harder-to-find compilation tracks.
Naturally marrying swooning vocal harmonies with rickety, direct grooves and gauzy FX, the Y Pants sound was rightly compared with The Raincoats out of the UK, but distinguished by a more clipped, playful style native to the No Wave scene.
This set captures them at their early best, dealing with he tribulations of laundry in the milk-bottle percussions and nagging hooks of Favourite Sweater, then with a stark, stop-start lurch and jab in Magnetic Attraction and a healthy dose of slack boogie nonchalance on Off The Hook, whereas Luego Fuego really gets under the skin with needling electronics and staccato drums to jangle yer No Wave nerve good and proper.
Well tipped to fans of ESG, Mars, The Raincoats
Moiré responds to the current state of sh*t affairs on a second album of ‘London techno’ for the Ghostly crew.
Aligning with Ghostly Intl after a 12” salvo on their Spectral division last year, the pre-eminent, perennially hat clad exponent of ‘London techno’ Moiré delivers his second album. Referring to the Orwellian nightmare currently unfolding in front of us both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the perennially-troubled nature of London’s nightlife, No Future doesn’t necessarily offer any answers. It does expand on the producer’s palette of well-crafted, robust techno and ambient leaning house previously shown on Rush Hour, Werk Discs and R&S.
Moiré reveals his junglist roots in linking up with Good Looking vet MC DRS for two tracks; Delroy Pottinger’s trademark delivery adding a new dimension to the twilit house slink of Bootleg. South London poet James Massiah also features, intoning the stuttering glide of Façade with his unique cadence. Otherwise, this is Moiré on a solo flex, delivering on the potential displayed on that Werkdiscs debut LP back in 2014 for a rewarding document of house and techno that mixes foggy tones with highly-realised rhythms.
RIYL early Kassem Mosse on Workshop, NWAQ, Terrence Dixon.
Sharp and sleek Italo disco modernism from two pairs of trusted French hands: PSG OM hits the ‘floor in a tightly packed and extended mix breaking down to dramatic chorals and killer metallic tang; also featured in a condensed Radio Edit for those that need it.
Barn Owl’s Evan Caminiti leaves most any trace of Americana for dust in the rearview of Toxic City, where he fully pursues the distorted, emotive aches and atonal themes that cropped up in Meridian (2015) into more blown-out, sci-fi-tinted headspaces, with Jefre Canta Ledesma helping frame his vision on one of the album’s biggest highlights. That sense of wistful sehsucht is still in the air of Toxic City, but now polluted by a high ppm count of diffused noise and harmonic distortion that feels more angular, choked and firmly up-to-date than the sweeping high plains sound he used to drift around.
“Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on "Joaquin", drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout "NYC Ego". On "Toxic Tape (Love Canal)", layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.”
Bleak, acrid chamber noise electronics from Paris-based Mondkopf, resonating strongly with the reverberant recordings of Alessandro Cortini or Joachim Nordwall, but better compared with the former for its swelling, emotive grip.
Raime return with a new 12" single for Blackest Ever Black, out this week and featuring two new tracks, recorded after last year's Tooth album.
The 12" weighs in at 15 mins, featuring the atmospheric slow motion dub of the title track on the A-side, coming across like a more angular take on Rhythm & Sound crossed with the eerie dissonance of Badalamenti, while the B-Side's 'Losing Track' brings the dub further to the fore with a quiet, industrial take on Ilpo Vaisanen's classic Liima Versions.
Lushest fever dream ambience from Japans Masayoshi Fujita on prepared vibraphone and Faitiche caretaker Jan Jelinek on loops and small scale electronic devices. Definitely worth booking some time off to really immersive yourself in this one, especially if you can’t afford a holiday this summer!
The following correspondence from Jelinek to Fujita gives a firm measure of Schaum’s loveliness:
"Dear Masayoshi Fujita, many thanks for the audio files. Your additional vibraphone recordings go wonderfully with the material we have already. Preparing the vibraphone with more percussion instruments was the right decision. Combined with my tightly woven synthesizer and sample loops, the result is a fragmented sense of space. I have taken the liberty of manipulating certain recordings. While listening through our improvisations, I noticed a tendency towards atmospheric sounds. I am almost tempted to call them tropical. This has strengthened my resolve to work with dense background textures - among others, I'm using material produced in connection with my radio pieces 'Kennen Sie Otahiti?' (2012) and 'Dialoge zur Anthropologie' (2013): artificial field recordings, jungle and rain forest settings that do not hide their staged, fictional character. As you know, I have long been obsessed with the tropics. This obsession involves a mental image of a specific quality of landscape: deliriously extravagant unstructuredness, hostile to life but also excessively productive. I am fascinated by the idea of installing clear minimalist forms amid such luxuriant tropical growth. Perhaps my image of the city of Brasilia is a good example. Corresponding to this, I would like to expand our liner notes to include a quotation from Robert Müller's novel Tropics, an expressionist travelogue published in Germany in 1915. It goes without saying that this work cannot be wholeheartedly embraced: its imperialistic fantasies of omnipotence and its 'master race' posturing, characteristic of that time and place, are, of course, intolerable. Tropics is fascinating as a nervous jungle phantasm that openly indulges in exoticism at the same time as deconstructing it. In this way, the main character's adventure becomes a journey into the subjective. It resembles a feverish inner delirium, exposing exoticism as a simulated, utopian perspective. What it boils down to is insubstantial, nothing but foam and froth. With best regards, Jan Jelinek”
Bright, flighty folk-pop from modern day Mali, dispensed by Awesome Tapes from Africa, ‘cos they are
“Awa Poulo is a singer of Peulh origin from Dilly commune, Mali, near the border with Mauritania. Largely pastoral and often nomadic, Peulh- (or Fula-)speaking peoples are found from Senegal to Ethiopia but predominate in the Sahel region of West Africa. Awesome Tapes From Africa is proud to release Poulo’s newest recording of highly virtuosic folk-pop, fresh from the studio, broadcasting her vision of Peulh music beyond the grazing grounds and central markets of her remote home region in southwestern Mali.
It’s not very common to find a female singer performing publicly among the Peulh. But Poulo’s mother’s co-wife is Inna Baba Coulibaly, who is a celebrated singer most Malian music fans know. Coulibaly herself was brought into music by forces outside her control when a regional music contest required an entry from her village and she was chosen to be a singer. So, set in motion by a surprising series of events, young Poulo’s entree into the music world was auspicious as she gained popularity across the region. After several locally released tapes and CDs, this record is Poulo’s first internationally-distributed record.
On Poulo Warali, she and her band combine the hallmarks of Peulh music—warm flute floating over cross-rhythmic n’goni (lute) riffs and resonant calabash gourd hand percussion—with broader Malian sounds like lightly-distorted guitar and a heavier, rollicking inertia. Shape-shifting layers of rhythm and woody overtones match Poulo’s commanding voice in a jocular yet deliberate dance.
This is a relatively rare example of Malian Peulh music played in a modern, cosmopolitan context, reflecting the mixed society of Dilly, where Bambara, Soninke and Peulh-speaking people live among each other.
Poulo’s conscious lyrics about community concerns speak to the distinctive identity of her broadly-flung people. While Peulh represents less than 10% of Mali’s melting pot of languages, the dynamic music here powerfully resonates well beyond the linguistic borders.”
Available for the first time in 25 years Death Waltz Recording Company are reissuing the score to Twin Peaks. Freshly re-mastered for this re-release and approved by both director David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti.
The greatest original TV soundtrack ever made, now given a faithfully deluxe reissue treatment courtesy of Death Waltz Recordings, newly available for the first time in 25 years! We assure you, they’ve done a sterling job on this one.
Where to start with one of the most delectably enigmatic and seductive records ever written? Badalamenti himself humbly says “I'm glad that after 25 years, Death Waltz Recording Company has re-released the original soundtrack for Twin Peaks for a new audience to enjoy. This is my defining work as a composer and I’m happy it will get a fresh listen”, whilst we’d amplify and echo that sentiment by saying we’re more stoked than Dale Cooper on his 5th cup of Joe to cradle this new edition in our mitts.
Death Waltz have taken the small liberty of shuffling The Bookhouse Boys from side A of the original, 1990 version, to side B on this 2016 edition, but, that aside, the LP remains unchanged, still glowing with Julee Cruise’s haunting vocals and framed by impenetrable layers of carmine, chiffon ambience and brushed jazz drums that prickle the skin as icily as ever.
Thing is, if you haven’t seen the series, you may be wondering what the heck all the fuss is about, and to be fair, we’re not even going to try and explain that here. But if you are among the as-yet-unconverted; we can think of few soundtracks so intrinsically attached to their storyline, mise-en-scene and surreal feel as this one, and even fewer who’ve had such a direct impact upon other artists, whether setting the tone for ’90s electronica and techno from Moby to Autechre’s Amber, to literally inspiring a band’s whole aesthetic - see: Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore.
Halcyon Veil deliver the first IVVVO EP since Mark Leckey Made Me Hardcore - his soundtrack for Raf Simons’ SS16 show. RIYL Rabit, Actress, Zomby, Soda Plains, Mark Leckey, Lorenzo Senni
On his thrilling, wide-eyed debut for Rabit’s Halcyon Veil, London-based IVVVO gets deep under the hood of rave music’s emotive mechanics and reasserts his crucial role in the borderland between lonely bedrooms and heaving clubs.
Good, Bad, Baby, Horny is a distressing but necessary distillation of contemporary worries. Largely shy of beats but heavy on symbolic, contorted references to ‘90s and ’00s pop, rave, and video games, as much as the current ecology of effluent news feeds and rampant social anxiety, it plays out like a frazzled AI attempting to parse the confusion of memory thru state of infinitely up-to-the-second hyperreality.
Its four tracks fuse visceral and highly visual sonic cues in synaesthetic rushes that mirror our sense of physicality within the framework of daily digital experience; somehow isolating the motion sick feeling of hurtling toward a shared endgame with life flashing before our eyes, whilst simultaneously remaining static at the centre of a rave and resisting the perceived tempo of reality.
Scaling from the intensely queasy sensuality of the title track’s gasps and deathly synth drop, thru the the sky-kissing guitar licks off Self Rape, to the frozen Eski shoegaze burn of I Fucked It Up and an elusive glimpse of ecstasy in Tongue Kiss Crying, the mood is perpetually high-strung yet melancholic, violent yet compassionate, perhaps best considered in terms of MDMA as a bitter salt or prism for reflective, therapeutic purposes.
It’s definitely Ivo Pacheco’s strongest work yet, and a hugely timely dispatch from one of rave’s visionary contemporary se’ers.
The return of one of the weirdest producers out there, sometimes known as DJ Yo Yo Dieting, sometimes known as Indignant Senility, this time deploying a set of syruppy chopped & screwed productions that sound something like DJ Screw processed thru guitar pedals or Lil Ugly Mane heard booming from the next block. This is basically the most satisfying out-there mixtape of the year...
Incorrigible noise mutant Pat Maher buries chopped ’n screwed hip hop in proper, cranky noise on the long awaited follow-up to his Bubblethug album as Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting. Imagine a DJ Screw tape covered in gravy, left to bake in the sun and then kneaded thru guitar pedals and you’ve got some taste of the chewy, thuggish ruggish gear on this killer dish.
While Maher may be as well known for his fractal techno as Diamond Catalog or his smeared 78 sessions in The Caretaker-esque Indignant Senility project, it was under the Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting alias that he first really got under the skin of popular consciousness, bubbling up alongside Lil B’s seminal Rain In England on Weird Forest Records c. 2010 to ruggedly reset American hip hop from oblique, avant new perspectives.
Aside from a few mixtapes, Undone Harmony Following is the project’s first appearance since then and picks up exactly where he left us, huffing up classic and little known hip hop joints and spitting them out as hazy, masticated globules of gristle and noise perfect for the muggiest, blunted listening sessions.
They’re like the sonic equivalent of a noise weirdo idly doodling graf sigils in a battered sketchbook for his own gratitude, and thankfully Undone Harmony Following allows everyone else to peer over his shoulder see what he’s scribbling; 13 raw, oozing cuts of slurred vocals and distended grooves that sag over the belt line, dripping rivulets of grease and grit, and always appearing to be on the brink of lethargic collapse.
Its ultimate value lies in that heavy-lidded space between woke and fugged-out dream lyf, and in the way which Maher drags the listener into his uniquely suspended, effected temporality that makes this record almost dangerously, druggily seductive and as vital as it gets right now...
The first new album by Grails in six years, featuring members of Om and delivering a widescreen opus influenced by Western film scores, obscure library music, and psychedelic krautrock...
"Produced by the band over the past five years, Chalice Hymnal bears some of the European psych and experimental hip-hop production techniques of founding members Alex Hall and Emil Amos' other group, Lilacs & Champagne. Amos' meditative metal band, Om, and longtime singer-songwriter project, Holy Sons, also naturally find their way into the Chalice cauldron.
Rounding out their leaner line-up, cofounder Zak Riles (also of experimental kraut-psych trio, Watter) layers finger-picked acoustic guitars into a prog-folk hybrid that pushes Grails further into the deep end, displaying a profound resonance, both musically and emotionally. No one else sounds like Grails, and on Chalice Hymnal they sound more like themselves than ever before."
On a real roll right now, Bureau B cook up a killer retrospective for Xao Seffcheque, the Düsseldorf-based Austrian artist with a mean line in NDW persiflage, coming hot on the heels of their excellent Sammlung - Elektronische Kassetenmusik, Düsseldorf 1982 - 1989 survey and Conrad Schnitzler’s Filmmusik volumes - some of the labels best in years!
Between 1980-82, Alexander Sevschek a.k.a. Xao Seffcheque was responsible for a run of outstanding (if overlooked) releases combining synths, drum machines and playful vocals in a genuinely punkish snook at the rising wave of NDW bands such as DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses and Palais Schaumburg. This prodding, sardonic attitude - manifest in a fake compilation of covers, Sehr Gut Kommt Sehr Gut and the rollicking Ja - Nein - Veillicht (Yes - No - Maybe), which includes the amazing Du und ich - may have assuaged Seffcheque’s commercial success, but left us with a body of work which perhaps endures so strongly in the modern world because of it.
We were first alerted to the stonking anomaly Du und ich by a Powell DJ set, which makes a lot of sense as both artists approach their respective wave style with a similar blend of nonchalance, adroit talent and prodding humour. That deadly cut is included in this set tucked next to select aces from Gut Kommt Sehr Gut (1981) and Ja - Nein - Veillicht (1981), taking in the revved-up and say jag of Good Friends (feat. Julie Jigsaw), which sounds like some long lost NYC no wave gem, plus rabid rock ’n roll in Pogo à Gogo, and a totally messed up take on The Residents in Why We Hate the Residents, and likewise with DAF in the rictus gibber of Sample & Hold (Wer bitter I’m Munde hat, kana night süßpricken).
Compare this stuff yourself with anything else from that era and it’s patently more unhinged, daft than practically anything else coming out of the Ruhr in the really ‘80s, yet you get the underlying sense that he did made this music because it matters. But then again, he might just be taking the piss? Ambiguity is the spice o’ life!
RIYL Powell, V/Vm, Felix Kubin
Wonderfully disorienting syncretic composition from field recording specialist Laurant Jeanneau a.k.a. Kink Gong; collapsing space into time with a suite of hybrid pieces blending unedited acoustic recordings with computer modified parts for his ever-dilated Discrepant label.
Melding contact mic recordings of various turkish instrumentation - Saz, Cura and Tanbur (played by Remi Solliez) - with archival location recordings made in South East Asia (the most common site of Kink Gong’s focus), the Berlin-based Frenchman has forged yet another surreal and alien addition to his illustrious catalogue of outernational sound collage.
Like Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music for Notional Species, a radio conflating its frequencies, or a big-eared ET with a cracked copy of Ableton, Kink Gong’s geographically decontextualised sound arrangements push the listener’s limits of perception to short-circuit the senses and create new neural pathways which transcend geography and temporality.
We know where the recordings were made, and what they’re documenting, yet the sounds and the cryptic logic behind their organisation eludes any descriptive grasp, or in terms that we already know, at least. To be quite honest, it all elicits some of the rarest sensations imaginable; a feeling of being utterly lost in unfamiliar surroundings, as in a dream, or wandering some mazy bazaar in the mind of Muslimgauze.
If you like records to light fires in your mind and synthesise new smells, sensations that aren’t understood or forgotten easily, you really need to check this one out.
Leith newcomer Joshua Sabin moulds the sounds of transit into something quite unique on this killer debut album for Subtext.
Few other labels right now are close to Subtext when it comes to genuinely engaging, rewarding exercises in concept and sound design, and their dominance continues with this rather special album from Joshua Sabin.
Terminus Drift explores how the digital age is impacting on our relationship with our surroundings, and presents Sabin as an intrepid sound explorer with field recorder by his side. A series of trips through Kyoto, Tokyo and Berlin as well as some electromagnetic fields closer to home were inspiration for Sabin, amassing field recordings of ‘sirens reverberating through station tunnels, fluctuating harmonics of subway engines, echoing tannoy systems.
It's the manner in which Sabin manipulates these sounds exclusively and moulds them into a body of work that smacks you in the face with its other dimensional qualities which particularly impresses on Terminus Drift. The ghostly remnants of a tannoy are just about discernible on the opening title track, but the shrill, crystalline dub techno fractures of U12 will have you scratching your head and wondering how he made it.
A rather neat push and pull from moments of calm and foreboding danger is present throughout - perhaps best encapsulated on the mind melting Vivo Wish - and the album suggests Sabin is quite the talent.
RIYL Emptyset, Sa Pa, Sam Kidel, Klara Lewis, WANDA GROUP.
Jens Lekman describes his new record, ‘Life Will See You Now’, playfully but also honestly, as “a midlife-crisis disco album; it’s an existentialist record, about seeing the consequences of your choices.”
"‘Life Will See You Now’ is a typical Lekman album in several ways - sly humour is key to its heartfelt nature, it inverts pop’s writing norm by making songs with sad concerns sound happy and songs with a happy subject sound sad and it plays with notions of identity and the self.
However, as the title suggests, it also represents a significant move forward, as if across a threshold. It’s the more expansive, upbeat sound of a revitalised Lekman who is just one of many characters in his new stories about the magic and messiness of different kinds of relationships."
Clap! Clap! (aka Cristiano Crisci) returns with his second album for Black Acre, following on from his colorful breakthrough debut LP 'Tayi Bebba'.
After contributions to Beating Heart’s Malawi compilation last year, Florence producer Cristiano Crisci returns to the Black Acre fold for a second Clap! Clap! album. Looking to expand on his vibrant 2014 debut album, Crisci retains the narrative-driven approach on A Thousand Skies whilst engaging with more guest artists on a series of collaborations. Planet Mu signees John Wizards feature alongside fellow South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, Crammed Discs duo OY and Italian beatmaker HDADD.
These collaborations add further colour to the Clap! Clap! world, the live instrumentation of John Wizards meshing perfectly with Crisci’s nimble-fingered sample manipulation on A Thousand Skies Under Cepheus’ Erudite Eyes. OY seem perfect studio partners for Crisci on the light hip hop flutter of Hope, whilst Ar-Raqis comes on like A Made Up Sound let loose on Ndagga Rhythm Force.
Its debatable how convincing the narrative thrust is, supposedly framed around a young girl’s journey skywards towards the stars, but Crisci’s colourful sonic vision is engaging enough.
Jaime Fennelly’s ever-evolving Mind Over Mirrors project shifts once again on this album for Paradise of Bachelors that features a full ensemble of celebrated vocalists and musicians
First introduced on Brad Rose’s sorely missed Digitalis platform back in 2011, Jaime Fennelly’s work as Mind Over Mirrors has centred around his mastery of the Indian pedal harmonium amidst an arsenal of synths and delay units. Each new MOM album has seen the Chicago-based musician take on an ever-more ambitious approach, and this debut on NC label Paradise of Bachelors is his most compelling undertaking yet. Drawing deeper from the subluminal aether, Undying Color originates from a two-week stint Fennelly spent recording in a cabin surrounded by the natural beauty of Southwestern Wisconsin late last year.
The project is no longer a solo endeavour however, but rather something closer to full-blown band. Fennelly’s mediative assemblage of synths and harmonium complemented by a cast of musicians that includes Janet Beveridge Bean (Eleventh Dream Day), Jim Becker of Califone/Iron & Wine, drummer Jon Mueller, and a returning Haley Fohr who featured on the last MOM LP. At 12-minutes long, you could call Gravity Wake the centrepiece here, Fennelly’s gently pulsing composition coaxing a sensual, personal vocal performance out of Beveridge Bean and Fohr.
But Color Dying remains at this stratospheric high throughout with Fennelly’s gift for the harmonium apparent nowhere greater than the closing melancholy of 600 Miles Around.
Self-produced American songwriter London O’Connor announces a partnership with New York City-based record label True Panther Sounds as well as the remastered official re-release of his debut album ‘OΔ’.
"Upon self-releasing ‘OΔ’ on SoundCloud, London’s diary-like accounts and immediate pop songs wooed both critics and fans alike. His energetic live show atop his one-of-one light cube impressed on both sides of the pond just months after the initial release of the album.
His first chapter ‘OATMEAL’, the present and relatable ‘Nobody Hangs Out Anymore’ and the I-hate-everything anthem ‘GUTS’ were instant streaming favourites that all wound up getting play on BBC Radio 1 and American radio stations, while the epic album closer ‘SURVIVE’ found a whole new meaning when a room full of music lovers and industry folk in France sang along in sync with O’Connor mere days after the tragic events at The Bataclan Theatre.
‘OΔ’ (pronounced ‘Circle Triangle’) is a post-any-genre narrative told through vivid and visual production he made from the contents of his backpack while sleeping on floors and couches in New York City. It details the suburban world he grew up in and fled from in Southern California years before. The cinematic album also acts as a rallying cry and arrived hand-in-hand with a direct message from O’Connor: “If when you hear it, you feel like its talking about where you live, then I want you to leave.”
The original version of the album lingers on the internet along with a tweet of his actual cellphone number. The creative direction of London’s body of art and the viscerality of its themes to overcome one’s environment liken the symbol ‘OΔ’ in the eyes of his fans to one perceived like the emblem for the Rebel Alliance."
Batu is back at the Timedance controls on this triplet of warped dancefloor deviations.
After scooping plenty of plaudits last year thanks to a series of shapeshifting records from Bruce, Ploy, Laksa and Lurka, Timedance primes for action in 2017 with three fresh productions from label boss Batu that once again demonstrate his continued studio innovation.
Leading out, Murmur dovetails between slippery polyrhythms and lurching bassweight textures before veering skywards into a succession of tunneling hardcore reductions that recall EVOL and Lee Gamble. The sound design on Groundwork is just as crafty, with Batu exploring a sense of space and dynamism that no doubt sounds mind warping on the system at the Timedance label nights down a Bristol cellar.
The shifty Whisper closes out and recalls vintage West Country dubstep but transports it well into the 23rd Century. This might just be the Bristol producer’s knottiest collection yet. Great artwork from Atelier Superplus too.
NYC post punkers Parquet Courts collaborate with rapper Bun B on a remix of ‘Captive Of The Sun’, which initially appeared on this year’s ‘Human Performance’ album.
The 12″ also features a ‘Chopped Not Slopped’ remix of the track by iconic Houston producers DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C.
First Narrows was the third Loscil album and the first in which Scott Morgan used real instruments and input from other musicians.
"Using sound sources that ranged from sampled instruments to miscellaneous lo-fi mini-cassette recordings, Morgan generated music on computer by custom programming sequencing and processing designed so that no two performances of the patches would be exactly the same. In turn, Jason Zumpano on fender rhodes piano, Tim Loewen on guitar and Nyla Rany on cello improvised over those electronic sequences. Morgan then edited and mixed the live and premixed sections together.
First Narrows is named after the first gap to the entrance of the Burrard Inlet, over which the Lions Gate Bridge spans; the main entrance into Vancouver from the Pacific Ocean. By including a loscil track on their compilation of Canadian electronica alongside artists like Tim Hecker, Polmo Polpo, Ghislain Poirier and Thomas Jirku, the intr_version label confirmed that Loscil deserves placement among the unique practitioners of electronic sound arrangement."
PAN rogues, Steven Warwick (Heatsick) and Ralph Cumbers (Bass Clef), double down for Angela Bulloch’s art imprint, ABCDLP, with Blaue Stunde, which recently debuted with a performance at la Villa Sarasin in Geneva.
Aside from the playfully droll, plaintive vocals of Heatsick, it’s difficult (maybe arbitrary) to work out who’s doing what in Die Blaue Stunde - does Angela make a contribution? - but would seem that he and Bass Clef bring the best out of each other.
The best parts are those where they hold an etheric mid-air space, as with the pinched high of Seychelles, or when Warwick is diffracted into a mutant barbershop quartet of himself on Holiday, and in the drifting ambience of Blaude Stunde where Cumbers’ softly fondles his ‘bone into creamy acidic squirts like a modern answer to Peter Zummo’s downtown experiments...
Hamburg’s Fallbeil run the acid industrial voodoo down on Mannequin’s “Death Of The Machines” series, backed with a mean Innsyter remix and coming in hot pursuit of zingers from Jass, Alessandro Adriani and December.
The Healer is star of this floorshow, catching your boys Kluentah and Wosto a.k.a Fallbeil ripping out a potent stripe of barbed 303s and cranky, snapjaw electro impulses laced with glimmers of disco that will put a rocket under any club’s sweaty buttocks.
The Innsyter remix meanwhile harnesses that groove to a tarmac-tearing, truckin’ techno groove that bites and frightens in the right places, saving the remaining wax for Fallbeil’s lacquer-crackling, freestyle electro killer, Voice of Thunder.
Paula Scassa and Théo ‘Panoptique’ Delaunay hit the timemachine and head for Nag Nag Nag on this throwback Succhiamo outing for Zaltan’s Antinote label.
Perhaps offended at the suggestion recent output has them pigeon-holed as part of the new age revival, Paris label Antinote pull a curveball on this dose of electroclash love from the newly-formed Succhiamo.
Bordeaux duo Paula Scassa (of J.C. Satan infamy) and Panoptique’s Théo Delaunay are clearly approaching Succhiamo with electroclash’s brash, rude n’ lewd spirit in mind. Both the romping title track and Al Supermercato delight in their cheap, meaty synths and over-saturated drums backed by Bassa’s delirious dominatrix delivery.
Yung squad of Parisian dubbers link up vintage Bunny Lee riddims from the ‘70s with vintage Scientist riddims form the ‘80s, clashing old skool with the new via dub and vocal effects from The Scientist Dubwize software.
Features vocals by Horace Andy and Tippa Irie, rhythms from The Aggravators and Roots Radics, and production by Scientist.
Hot jazz-house dancers from yung Ben Hauke, slinging down a ‘floor-turning debut on London’s Church featuring some of the ruggedest gear in the label’s healthy catalogue.
Uptown he cuts loose with killer garage breaks hustle, fructose Rhodes and syrupy double bass lines snaking all over I Kinda Missed It, before eventually locking into an effortless 4/4, and kicking up the tussling drums and soundsystem-ready street rave subs of She Moved To My Area.
Downtown he tucks the vibe a little deeper with he crimson-hued, blushing bustle of Take That Blame, and then on a dusty house swing with Just A Crush.
Check that A-side!
Oren Ambarchi meets octo-limbed percussionist Eli Keszler on East London's Dancing Wayang for a deeply beguiling, improvised session of drone, noise and avant-rock.
Both performers approach the project arguably at the peak of their powers - Ambarchi off a stunning run off releases in 2014, Keszler ever fine-tuning his near algorithmic proprioceptions - and utterly free to challenge and question music at its fundamental levels - time, space and timbre.
A pair of side-long, headlong pieces ensue, mapping out unfathomably turbulent terrain punctuated by visceral, collapsing walls of noise, regularly pulling the carpet from underneath your feet, metaphorically speaking, and communing in the most complex yet base gestures, from the bewildwring percussive chaos and buckling space of the A-side, to the face-melting, ecstastic expressions of Ambarchi's turnt electric guitar howl across the B-side.
The first Hemlock release of 2017 comes from Bruce, who follows aces for Timedance, Idle Hands and Hessel Audio already in 2016 with three melancholic and minimalist examples of his more avant-leaning tastes for Untold’s label.
He impresses with the eviscerated tone and hulking sound design of Before You Sleep, although the melody is little too cloying, Ghosting Season-esque. In Line makes up for that with some trippily refractive hall-of-mirrors dynamics recalling Paleman’s recent Ice Parade melting into gas, and Sweat nimbly buckles down to some very Bretschnieder-styled buzzing minimalism.
New sub-label from Mumdance and Logos’s Different Circles crew, featuring Grime producer Boylan (Oil Gang, ‘Norman Bates’) re-working Logos’s mighty 'Glass', previously only circulating amongst a handful of DJs on dubplate.
This one shouts for itself: OG grime producer/engineer Boylan runs amok with a Devil mix of Logos’ Glass, given a side to itself ‘cos basically nothing else can withstand its heat.
Boylan reduces and amplifies Glass’ original shards of jungle breaks and scything mentasms with pensile application of drop forge bass and super wide, vaulted sound design, in the process turning it into some kind of petrified rave fulgurite.
It’s quite possibly the most ferocious turn-up from the grime X hardcore X weightless nexus which has emerged in recent years, largely due to the efforts of Different Circles. One might call it a Different Circles anthem, but whatever you want to call it; this one’s massive.
Having anthologized his ‘60s songbook with 1976’s overdue long-player Positive-Negative, Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Tommy McGee was eager to place something more modern into the marketplace.
"Brass at Brunswick and MCA failed to hear a hit in McGee’s sultry-yet-assured delivery of “Now That I Have You.” Unable to find a home for the romantic anthem, McGee issued his 2-step masterpiece on his own TMG Records in 1981. McGee would revisit the composition later in the decade, dressing the tune with drum machines and synthesizers for a run of 12-inch singles. However, this 45-only version from 1976 captures the progressive soul stepper at its most organic"
De-Bons-en-Pierre is a project from Beau Wanzer & Maoupa Mazzocchetti, brought to you via Dark Entries.
Likeminded freaks, Beau Wanzer (Civil Duty, Streetwalker) and Maoupa Mazzocchetti (PRR! PRR!), yank out six grotesque and warped EBM bangers as De-Bons-en-Pierre for Dark Entries. That’s them sozzled on Orval and with crepes draped on their faces in the art insert.
Crepes is the result of a 12 hour session recorded in Brussels on April 4th, 2016 between 11:00AM and 11:00PM (CET) and documents the pair harnessing six feral machine improvisations, together with heir own messed-up vocals, all right on a red-line biting point.
We were already big fans of both operators but this collaboration is even greater than the sum of its parts, giving a winkle-picker to the glutes with the messy thrust of Seul Comme Sombre before running out some proper dancefloor belters with he insectoid electronics and snapjaw EBM groove of The Mudman Is Coming and a clattering industrial charge called The Eyebrows Salesgirl. There’s also a coupla mad ones such as the hot stepper Francine and the corkscrewing dynamics of Démissionne En Tuant Ton Patron for the nimble DJs and smashed dancers.
Smells like fun. Sounds like fun. Must be fun, then!
Brilliant electronic explorations from Konrad Jandavs aka No UFO's following up a smattering of really strong releases for Spectrum Spools, Public Information and Nice Up Int’l a few years back, returning here with his debut album proper for the always-excellent Root Strata imprint.
Making use of a range of tape machines, foley libraries and rare synthesisers; this album is a curious thing, slowly probing the listeners perception of space, texture and tone with aleatoric enigma that goes from suffocating to blissful from one moment to the next. It’s a trick that’s first evident on the opening Apocryphal Blues, wherein a dense fog of simmering drone and found sounds abruptly give way at the 100 second mark to emotive shafts of light, delicate pads and washes of sound transporting you to the haze of a summer morning. And then, all too suddenly, you hear the tape spool grind to a halt and we’re back in the midst of an apocalyptic tableau.
The rest of the album carries on in this vein, from intricate concrète passages that sound like the most terrifying Italian Library recordings ever committed to wax, to sudden displays of emotional vulnerability - such as on the simple but magnificent Classic NU Shit - sounding like the more fxcked-up elder sibling of Boards of Canada, accompanied by intimate found sounds that could have been recorded 50 years ago for all the little they give away.
The more you listen to this album the more you get sucked into Jandavs’ very peculiar sonic vocabulary, constructed with a myriad microscopic elements, yet somehow managing to avoid sounding like a sterile academic exercise. As such, it ultimately makes for one of the most unique and satisfying quiet electronic albums of the year thus far.
Under the Botany moniker, Spencer Stephenson creates rich psychological and emotional experiences through audio. His music is a thoughtful attempt to convey the non-verbal through his particular mental prism, where sounds have potent symbolism in ways that are all but forgotten in the hermetic modern world.
"He explains, “Sounds have archetypal connections to things in nature the same way visual symbols do. Low-end might be associated with thunder, or the sound of a mother's heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, or an approaching stampede, or earthquake. Low-end generally indicates something bigger and more powerful than you. Treble sounds indicate something deadly rattling through foliage or something vital like water flowing close by. Reverberation has a connection to the holy and transcendent, it implies spatial largeness. It’s fun to hear these symbols coming out of ear-buds in a world where they aren’t useful on a daily basis, but are still so subconsciously powerful."
Though Stephenson sees these constituent signi¬ers, he has a holistic vision of music "…functioning as a single pulsating thing, instead of a band with distinct parts," which parallels his idea of the universe as an ever emergent, single conscious entity-- a concept he ¬nds spiritually gratifying, and one that’s pervasive in his music. On Dimming Awe, the Light is Raw, the 28-year-old producer and composer continues dissolving the borders between his disparate-yet-beloved psych, hip hop, and ambient influences. Album standout "Au Revoir,” is a shimmering piece of sampler-psychedelia that bolsters verses by rapper Milo, and gracefully leads into the drum-less hum and crackle of “Birthjays”. Matthewdavid—the high-priest of ambient bass himself—lends a rare vocal feature to the uplifting burner “Glow-up" while the electro-inspired “Bad CGI” stitches Bambaataa chants and sci-¬ flutters to a shamanic pulse, then morphs into a late-night opiated channel-sur¬ng montage, and the seams rarely appear.
Unlike his previous album Lava Diviner (Truestory), which peaked and valley-ed through a narrative arc, Dimming Awe focuses on the artist's ever-unfolding, present state of mind. As a former jazz student, spiritual/free jazz philosophy regarding what he calls “emergent” music has increasingly become a guiding light when he creates"
Remastered reissue of The Neon Judgement’s Cockerill-Sombre (1983), including the all-time wave classic, The Fashion Party in its original form - as heard in Dave Clarke’s classic World Service and hundreds of other mixes.
We’re not gonna lie; the other tracks are just filler here: you really only need it for the minty crisp cut of The Fashion Party and Dirk Da Davo’s liner notes explaining how they made the song on a 4-track recorder in a tiny basement.
The elusive Eugene Hector a.k.a. Dro Carey a.k.a. Tuff Sherm rubs out four smartly infectious techno-house plays for Canada’s Normals Welcome label.
It was 2015 when we last heard Tuff Sherm (although Dro Carey recently made a strong show with Queensberry Rules) and he sounds more energised, colourful now than we ever remember.
A-side he hits the vibe dead on with a mesh of plasticky strings and dry, gritty bass heft that sounds Derrick May and Levon Vincent going offroad in Fonder & Denison, before cutting back to swampy acid funk with Method Men, whilst B-side yields the teasing synth lead and slinky swerve of Squire’s Skull and the skilful balance of crank, hollow techno tones and breezy house feels in Waldron Mug.
Strange but true. Good sex.
Nice ’n easy yet heavy as heck, Augustus Pablo’s King David’s Melody pulls together 11 mesmerising examples of the melodica maestro previously issued on hard-to-find singles between 1975 and 1982 thru his Rockers and Message labels.
It’s strictly instrumentals on offer, channelling the higher powers of Rastafari into fluid, ribboning melodies over beautifully cut grooves turned out by some of the island’s finest.
If we’re playing favourites, the effervescent rhythm box patter and cirrus keyboard licks of Kent Road, the collection’s sweetest number, is right up there, as is the haunting title cut, the weightless suspension of Mr. Bassie, and the disco-ready hustle of West Abyssinia. But to be fair the whole set is a dream collection.
Mega selection of of King Jammy’s digidubs, from classics to rare cuts, compiled and dished up 30 years since they revolutionised Jamaican dance music and, by turns influenced myriad stripes of soundsystem music around theBlack Atlantic and farther afield.
Lloyd James a.k.a. King Jammy, proprietor of the eponymous label, struck gold with his casio-built Sleng Teng riddim in 1985, single-handedly marking a pivotal milestone in the dancefloor which he followed up with countless riddims over the next four years, as documented in this killah pack.
Vocal for vocal - Dennis Brown, Wayne Smith, Johnny Osborne, Nitty Gritty - version for version - Heavenless, Love Punnany Bad, Far East Riddim, it’s a pure heavyweight anthology, running rare collector’s numbers such as Anthony Johnson’s Dancehall Vibes next to the pounding Original Kuff, vocalled by Chaka Demus and also included as original version, or the nattiest styles of Wayne Smith’s E20 and Little Kirk’s astute warning, Don’t Touch The Crack.
For the dancehall novice this set is a perfect jump-off point, but likewise old heads will surely appreciate a fresh cut of Jammy’s most crucial dancehall foundations.
The debut album from this Norwegian-American trio consists of two long tracks that move between intimate lyricism and hardcore expressionism, shaping one of the strongest free jazz offerings we have heard for quite some time.
"Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat´s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York´s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. Among the seemingly endless praise we can read "stalwart technique and a deep understanding of avant-garde vocabulary" (JazzTimes), "a musician of intense concentration who wants nothing more than to indulge a spirit of play, emphatic and unreserved" (New York Times), "some of the most galvanizing jazz of the past few years" (Time Out New York) and "one of the strongest, most flexible, and daring saxophonists at work today" (Peter Margasak).
A founder member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul´s 3Dom Factor and has taken part on a vast number of records. Guitarist John Hegre and drummer Nils Are Drønen have both been central on the fertile music scene in Bergen for many years, Hegre possibly most known for his long partnership with Lasse Marhaug in Jazzkammer and Jazkamer, while Drønen has played in a number of project and groups including The Last Hurrah!!. They met up with New York resident Irabagon during one of his many visits to Bergen where he has established a deep musical friendship with The Last Hurrah!! founder HP Gundersen.”