Reissue of a spellbinding jazz workout by master pianist, percussionist and organist Georges-Eduard Nouel, who hails from Martinique in the Caribbean, but played all over the world, with this his sole, solo album recorded and produced in Paris spring/summer 1975.
On Chodo , Nouel leads from the pianist’s stool on piano and Fender electric, while entrusting percussion - both conventional and the native likes of guiro, ti-bois, tambour belair - to Dany Capron, Saint-Yves Dolphin and Fabrice Raboisson, all helmed by Louis Xavier on bass guitar.
Taking its name from a festive drink consisting of egg and white rum, the results are as fortifying/intoxicating as we’d imagine that drink to be, delighting with the whirlwind of Afro-Cuban hustle in Mazurka and beautifully mellowing out with the rolling breaks and sparkling Rhodes of Chandernagor, then with the mystic cascade of percussion and shimmering vibesssss in Solingen, but saving his most sublime performances for the slinky hustle of Cesca, co-written with his Synchro-Rhythmic-Eclectic Language partner Louis Xavier, and the dramatic title track, before checking out with his take on the Bacharach and David evergreen, Alfie.
Rhythm Section’s International Black enlists Neinzer and Losian for their 2nd instalment, yielding two tracks of sidewinding ambient house and stepping dub techno.
Neinzer follows the course of his precedents for Yumé and Deep Moves with the unusual triplet wizardry of Weiblich unfurling with a Reichian poise and patience across the front; and Losian gives up the Mr. G or Jerome Sydenham-like dub techno throb of He’s My Brother on the back.
Left Ear Records pick another wavy Australian pearl off the barbie with the first ever retrospective for Peter Westheimer, covering synth-pop and tangy instrumentals recorded 1981-1993
“What do you need to know about Peter Westheimer? Well, he’s a medical doctor, played violin in the Australian Youth Orchestra, he’s been an actor, a former deputy mayor, a street theatre performer and a documentary soundtrack composer.
Peter has led such a rich life that it is no wonder that the music which pours out of him is equally diverse and detailed. The tracks compiled on Cool Change were put down across more than a decade between 1981 – 1993. Popular music landscapes were cultivated and subsequently redeveloped many times over during that period and certainly Peter’s sound evolved, but each track on Cool Change maintains a certain indescribable quality; a timbre that whispers Westheimer.
If you walk into a record store you might discover Peter’s recordings filed under the usual headings: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental or New Age. Peter has long loved blending sounds from around the globe, with both Asian and European classical influences often finding comfortable spaces beside his synth pop sensibilities within his soundscapes. In the record stores of our minds you might also file some of Peter Westheimer tracks like ’Walking On The Edge’ or ‘Elastic Smiles’ under Mutant Disco or Divergent Dance Music.
In 1985 Peter released Move, his debut album. The music on this record sounded unlike anything else of the time blending Peter’s unique brand of synth work outs with a distinct Australian aesthetic . Peter’s second and third LPs were similarly unique with Sooner Than Laughter 1986 and Transition 1992. Those 3 releases cover the period for this release with 6 previously unreleased tracks included on this compilation.”
For the first time since it’s original release in 1980, Futurismo have put together this reissue of the first solo album by Alan Vega, one half of electro punk legends Suicide.
Well this is overdue: Alan Vega’s landmark solo debut is given the deluxe reissue treatment, giving a second lick of the cherry to a definitive opus from the late, great co-founder of Suicide who passed away in 2016.
It includes the timeless gem Jukebox baby, and we could end it there to be fair. But there’s also gold to found in the shuffling blues of Lonely, the sawdust stomp of Fireball and the jangling Ice Drummer, especially if you like your jeans or leather keks tight af and can’t help pouting at yourself in the mirror at every chance.
Below kelvin, baby.
New Manchester band W. H. Lung. ...One part Neu!, two parts Talking Heads with a teaspoon of Hookworms ...
"W. H. Lung is a recording project founded in Manchester in mid-2016. Its first release, recorded at The Nave in Leeds and produced by Matt Peel, is double A-side single ‘Inspiration!' / 'Nothing Is’.
The tracks locate ideas of eternity and belonging in a peregrination through the absurdity of meaninglessness. W. H. Lung write like the conscious citizen: locate yourself, reflect.
‘Inspiration!' / 'Nothing Is' will be released on limited edition 10" vinyl via Melodic on May 12th 2017. W. H. Lung continue to write and record."
Ron Trent teases out two sultry shimmies for his Dancefloor Boogie Delites series.
A-side: Touch rolls out on a slick electro-boogie glyde dabbed with, if we’re not mistaken, vocals cut from Midnight Star’s Midas Touch over infectious drum machine trills, rudest bassline and velvet chords.
B-side: Fresh On Your Love plucks out another doozy of a vocal on some superb, percolated Linn funk and romantic synth juice.
Probably in our top 10 singles of all time, Pop Life was unfortunately released when i was too young to understand the concept of 12" vinyl and instead had to settle for the awfully pressed album version on a thoroughly worn-out vinyl copy of 'Around The World in A Day" which we still hammer to this day.
This beautifully pressed re-issue comes in full picture sleeve and is ndoubtedly one of the finest melancholy pop songs ever written, complete with totally psychedelic/random breakdown and enough bittersweet feelgood business to last a lifetime.
Fronted by Roy Montgomery, The Pin Group emerged out of the early ‘80s Christchurch, NZ post-punk scene and have become an archetype for nearly all indie bands ever since. Recommended for fans of Joy Division, Wire and Flying Nun. First ever reissue, includes liner notes by Liz Harris (Grouper)
“The Pin Group went back into the studio in January 1982 to record their third and final classic release. Featuring an expanded five-piece lineup with Mary Heney on guitar/vocals and Peter Fryer on viola, Go To Town is a work of taut perfection. Showcasing the band's dramatic chiaroscuro textures and arresting lyrics, "Long Night" and "When I Tell You" make staggeringly clear how much sonic ground The Pin Group covered in their unfortunately short tenure.”
Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders’ definitive avant-jazz opus available on vinyl again for the first time in 20 years!
Widely regarded a sacred contribution to the exploratory phase of late ’60s and early ‘70s avant-garde, modal jazz, Journey In Satchidananda finds Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders channelling a staggering flux of emotions - lushness, fury, melancholy and a spectrum of integers between - through a uniquely free fusion of far-flung styles and ideas. It’s arguably a syncretic form of Afro-American Black Classical music which distilled and looked beyond the turmoil of the civil rights movement to a more positive, open-minded and optimistically empowered sound-as-life.
There’s no way we’re going to try and break this down. But although it may be impenetrably encrypted, it’s easy to understand once you’re in the midst of it. Just an essential addition to collection.
Reissue of an outstanding and super-rare AfroFunk classic! In proper, Nigerian Afrobeat style it's got two long sides letting the groove run and run so you don't have to get up and turn it over while you're doing whatever you want to do. Fela fans will not be disappointed!
"This is an album comprised of two super-rare Afro-beat disco/funk tracks from Lagos by the band Afro Super-Feelings, led the by artist/musician Segun Okeji. Segun Okeji was the tenor sax player in Fela Kuti's Koola Lobitos band in Nigeria in the late 1960s before changing their name to Africa 70, and this record, originally released in the late 1970s, uses that first-hand experience and influence to maximum effect with a pair of devastating sidelong saxophone-led jams.
Up-tempo, chugging drums and a crack horn section, bass, guitar, organ, and backing vocals coordinate to achieve the hypnotic call/refrain/chant crescendo that was Fela's hallmark in his peak years. Players include Tunde Daudu on drums (The Benders), E. Ngomalloh on organ (Fela Kuti), Tutu Shoronmu on guitar (Fela Kuti), and others that played on releases by the C.S. Crew, Sonny Okosun, Orlando Julius, and Tony Allen."
In February of 1971, Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk fled an earthquake and a debauched L.A. music scene to claim their own slice of utopia in Denver, Colorado. After meeting and bonding at ABC-Dunhill, where Ray landed as general manager, and where Szymczyk had breezed in from New York - fresh off his first real hit as a burgeoning engineer/producer with BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone” - they’d often daydreamed about starting their own label.
"In Denver, Ray and Szymczyk settled on the name Tumbleweed Records, and through industry connections they secured multi-million-dollar financing from Gulf + Western, whose head honchos believed they were bankrolling the hippie movement’s next big thing.
But instead of producing the next Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, Ray and Szymczyk turned their sights on idiosyncratic wunderkinds like Pete McCabe, moody songwriters Robb Kunkel and Danny Holien, psych-folk rocker Arthur Gee, all the while providing a platform for more established musicians like Albert Collins and Dewey Terry (of Don & Dewey fame), while launching the career of Michael Stanley.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and, per Szymczyk, it was a “bitchin’ disco time.” Drugs, parties, poetry, celebrities, money—Tumbleweed had it all, except airplay and distribution. Two years after its storied start, the label was finished.
Ray would go on to various opportunities, including producing five country albums alongside Bill Halverson, while Szymczyk would soon skyrocket to fame after producing The Eagles’ Hotel California. Yet most of Tumbleweed's artists have been relegated to thrift store bin obscurity—until now. This landmark release not only showcases Ray’s vision and Szymczyk’s early work, but begins a major reappraisal of Tumbleweed’s catalog by bringing these songs out of the shadow of the Rocky Mountains and back into the spotlight."
Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot)’s TAL take a sharp right from releasing Kenyan folk music (Ogola Nengo And The Dodo Women’s Group) to remaster and reissue Non Band’s spunky Japanese no wave ace, Non Band on vinyl for the first time since its 1982 release.
Restored from the original version at Calyx, Berlin, the playful skronky charms of Non Band now take on a 2nd life, yielding six sharp, yelpy prongs between the jazz-bent scuffle of Duncan dancing’ to cranky, maths fusions of folk strings and warped grooves in Ghetto and the Gang Of Four-esque bass swerve of Wild Child (can’t stand it), with highlights also found in the freeness of Solar’s wordless vox, violin flights and pinched groove, or the high-tension stepper, Bap Pang.
Having come up with an annual-ish drop of 12”s since 2010, Even Brenden AKA Chmmr set aside the spring of 2016 to challenge himself to a new format: a full-length album.
“Having come up with an annual-ish drop of 12's since 2010, Even Brenden AKA Chmmr set aside the spring of 2016 to challenge himself to a new format: a full-length album. A true nostalgic, he uses Compass Point-era and early Italo sounds for inspiration and attempts to simulate these styles. This makes for a melodic, chuggy and graphic album that belongs a little more in the living room than on the dance floor.
With 10 tracks of dusty rhythms and the honest, naive and spacious themes that is Brenden's signature, it's a record designed to signal that today's technological future may not be as different as yesterday's. Features a nice-looking cover painting drawn by the late Harold Cohen's AARON program - automation at its finest. Hidden behind his Chmmr moniker is Even Brenden, whose summery debut found its way into the world via Norwegian psych-disco label Luna Flicks in 2010.
The record became somewhat of a sought after item and after making pit stops at Relish, Dødpop and Untz Untz Records, he landed on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp in 2014 and have stayed put ever since, all the while enjoying a steady habit of record jockeying and the occasional keyboard duty in Telephones' now-defunct live band. Even resides in Oslo, makes odd waves without vowels.”
Galaxy Force II (1988) and Thunder Blade (1987) – together for the first time ever on vinyl.
"Composed by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Tohru Nakabayashi, both soundtracks adopted an ambitious funk and fusion style, simulating an impressive range of real world instrumentation (think synthesizers, drums, slap bass and cowbells), which for its time and hardware limitations, is nothing short of astonishing.
And yes, there’s even a coded slap bass solo.These two brief, but remarkable soundtracks each accommodate a single side of an LP, but work together seamlessly. Galaxy Force II includes a bonus arranged version of its leading track, Beyond the Galaxy, produced by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kawaguchi (composer of OutRun, Space Harrier) and features a full studio band, complete with brass section and a keyboard solo by Hiro himself. In addition, the Thunder Blade side includes three unused tracks."
Concept suite meshing folksy neo-classical strings and electronics animated on a Buchla synth at Stockholm’s EMS.
“MimiCof's latest album, Moon Synch, is an experimental sonic link between human and celestial bodies, mind and machine, gravitational ripples and rotations. Moon Synch is the result of an intricate search for converging frequencies, a wordless account of well-modulated speeds and interlocking spheres.
Kyoto-born, Berlin-based MimiCof, who's also been releasing music under her actual name Midori Hirano since 2006, quite literally breaks new ground and ventures into uncharted territory on this album because she's chosen a whole new musical vehicle: "This LP is based on the recordings I made with a Buchla synthesizer during my residency at Stockholm's EMS Elektronmusikstudion," says the composer, sound artist and producer from Japan who grew up playing the piano, an instrument she eventually studied as well. "It was the first time I worked with an analog synthesizer - and a whole new experience."
The results of her initial Buchla explorations are utterly hypnotic, cinematic layers of samples and loops, an unfolding narrative that's based on an eclectic spectrum of recorded material: "There were no fixed references, no preconceived ideas," she says. More like "looking for the missing piece of a puzzle," MimiCof ventures further and further into a realm of electrified oscillations and sonic tides with each new track. There's a whole range of different frequencies interlacing, contracting, copulating and thus forming larger sculptures and higher crests ("Rising", "Dropping"), until the first hints of melody flare up in the outer regions of space ("Burning Lights"). Moving on and past the outer orbits, the pressure increases - bass lines cut through thick layers ("Parallel Roads"), there's an ominous vibe ("Yellow Town"), but the spirit of discovery still sets the tone, pushes things forward.
Slowly adjusting different velocities and frequencies - think of those hypnotic rotating scenes in Kubrick's 2001 (1968) - the beat fully drops with "Dropping", a single note and swathes of bass washing pulsating sine waves away. It's towards the end of "Opal" that suddenly all frequencies are truly in synch and congruent: This is the foundation for slow-moving, shimmering rays of light that finally fill up the entire space on the title track.”
Wysing Polyphonic has emerged from the Wysing Polyphonic music festival, now in its 8th year, which has programmed the likes of Beatric Dillon, Elaine Mitchener, Hannah Sawtell, Helena Hauff, Holly Herndon, James Holden, Karen Gwyer, Klara Lewis, Nik Colk Void and Russell Haswell, amongst many others, play at the Cambridgeshire centre.
"Ectopia are Adam Christensen, Jack Brennan and Viki Steiri. Previous works have included sound-tracking Jack Smith’s experimental film Normal Love (1963) and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).
"For the first release on the Wysing Polyphonic label three-piece Ectopia have created a suite of seven new works in which intricate cello and screeching and spoken word vocals are carried along on a wave of dark electronica, taking the listener on a journey into sad acid house, scratched DVDs, lipstick clogged with rolling tobacco and hangovers with absent lovers."
What began as a recording project between multi-instrumentalist Bob Jones and sound engineer Jonathan Schenke led to an un/self-titled record in 2014.
"Eaters (the new album, the band) carefully crafted over the course of two years at Doctor Wu’s in Brooklyn, NY marries rich pulsing electronics, driving beats, and guitar pyrotechnics.
It is literal and figurative “art-rock” An exploration of light, shadow, expansion, and transformation. It speaks to the vulnerability and resil- ience of the human spirit in the modern age."
First ever vinyl reissue, includes 7 bonus pieces never before on vinyl, audio restored and remastered from the original analog master tapes plus new art featured on 5 deluxe Stoughton “tip-on” jackets and slipcase including essay, archive photos and download card for MP3 of all 56 pieces...
"The music of Gurdjieff / de Hartmann is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between the Greek-Armenian spiritual teacher, G. I. Gurdjieff and Russian composer, Thomas de Hartmann. Gurdjieff traveled for twenty years in the Middle East and Central Asia to discover and develop the teaching which now bears his name. Meditative and mindful, Gurdjieff’s music stems from Eastern melodies and music he heard in remote monasteries.
From 1923 to 1929, Thomas de Hartmann worked closely with Gurdjieff at his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man outside Paris, translating into European notation the music Gurdjieff composed from his travels. The original tapes containing these tracks were recorded in the 1950s under informal circumstances with rudimentary equipment, never intended to be heard by the public. As for the instrumentation, the performance is stripped down to nothing more than a single piano (played by de Hartmann) but lacks absolutely nothing; rather de Hartmann uses the negative space between notes to revel in resonance, in turn capturing remarkable depth and meaning.
Following the appearance of a track on LITA’s I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America 1950-1990, this material, out of print on vinyl for over three decades, could be considered the seeds that would eventually grow to become the roots of what we now think of as new age music.
Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, who recorded the album G. I. Gurdjieff: Sacred Hymns for the ECM label in 1980, is among the artists to interpret this music since, but the tracks presented in this five LP box-set are the only recordings available of de Hartmann himself playing the music he and Gurdjieff composed.
Also included are seven additional recordings, never before available on vinyl, including a talk by de Hartmann about Gurdjieff’s view of the music."
4-Track companion EP to last year's "Painting WIth" album.
Animal Collective’s Painters EP is addendum to the Painting With  album, now touching down on vinyl some months after the digital edition and a year since the album sessions it sprang from. Includes three new and original tracks from those sessions plus their live favourite, a cover of Jimmy Mack by Martha & The Vandellas.
Looper emerged from Belle & Sebastian in 1997, when Stuart David (co-founder and bass player of B&S) and his wife Karn (an artist who directed the early B&S videos) collaborated for a show at Glasgow School Of Art.
"A degree show fundraiser for Stuart’s sister Karla Black (who received a Turner Prize nomination in 2011), the performance was a multi-media affair incorporating TVs, Super 8 film, 35mm slides and kinetic sculptures. Since nothing broke down and everyone clapped, they decided to keep doing it.
After a break from music for a few years, Karn went back to art school to study animation and Stuart turned his focus to studying literature and writing novels, a move to the remote countryside, post-study, prompted the creation of a new body of work.
‘Offgrid:Offline’, the band’s fifth studio album, was the result - these new songs and stories, inspired by the return to peace and quiet and influenced by indie-folk music saw Looper conscious of the very different styles of previous albums. They set out to bring together elements of each into this new work.
Structured like the first album, around a recurring melody, ‘Offgrid:Offline’ is thematically centred on the spoken word piece which gives the album its title, drawing together the musical motifs and lyrical themes throughout."
Fizzy death-disco from (Ivan) Smagghe and Rupert Cross, fresh from their MA adventures and now yanking at UK’s dancefloor tail along with hiccuping, body-grabbing remixes from Glowing Palms
“And in the final days of Great Butane, the country pulled itself asunder. Brother turned on brother, friend on friend, mother on child. In sweltering squash courts, high achievers dashed their racquets against the bright walls, grasping the graphite splinters and driving them, remorseless, into their opponent's heartless cavities. In airless, air conditioned studios, televisual presenters frothed and roared. Their eye balls foamed and their teeth melted, the viscous gloop rolling down their quivering chins like the tears of a chastised child. The poor plodded on, selling trinkets to strangers, and gossiping bollocks, barely noticing the hordes of ravenous aristocrats that circled, blue blood thrumming with the desire for cheap flesh.
As the asphalt blazed and the tides of techwaste rose, SMAGGHE & CROSS were prepared. They went to the special shed and untethered the special boat. They hoisted the mainsail and set the controls for the heart of Tir Na Nog. They performed the navigation rituals that had been passed from initiate to initiate. They observed the stations of the cross, they consulted the oracle GLOWING PALMS, they gathered knowledge of the dark arts of sea-faring and piracy from DAVID of THE JUNTO CLUB*, and they dashed caution to the wind.
A burning world at their backs, a universe at their feet, they set sail. They set sail into the night, through the day and beyond. They passed through sleep and dream, then through the crack found at the break of the day. They found themselves in the land that had been foretold. They were on their way ………… they were on their way ………… to PARADISO."
Ace retrospective of Melbourne, Australia’s new wave freaks, Ironing Music - who just appeared on that smart Oz Waves set; compiling their sole 4-track EP, along with hard-to-find compilation cuts. One of the best finds from the Medical Records/Crispy Nuggets alliance. Remastered to 180g vinyl, housed in facsimile sleeve repro
“Medical Records in collaboration with our friends at Crispy Nuggets blog are happy to reissue a very obscure Australian gem from the 1980s. Ironing Music were a three piece band from Brisbane. They originally formed in 1984 as a result of their collective love for New Order, Human League and eventually Jean Michel Jarre and Cabaret Voltaire.
Comprised of bass and electic guitar, Yamaha DX-7, melodica and an 808, they recorded a 12” single as their sole outpt in 1985 in a limited run of 250 copies (obviously excruciatingly rare now!). It was recorded in their bedroom studio with at Teac 4 track. The video clip for the “hit” Shopping Bag Women was played on several national and local television music shows. They also recorded demos in hopes of landing a LP deal which unfortunately didn’t attract any takers at the time.
They actually only played 3 gigs and were forced to disband after one of their members fell ill in 1986. The LP presented here included the original 4 track single as well as hand picked demos which nicely congeal to form a well rounded LP documenting the band’s brief existence. They can best be described as lo-fi synth pop with an emphasis on excellent pop songs and interesting synth/instrument arrangements. The first track Shopping Bag Women is infectiously catchy and just screams to be worn out in the club. Fans of early to mid 80s synth pop and new romantic will fall in love.”
First time on vinyl for Mark Van Hoen and pals’ 1994 album as Mettle. IDM techno produced on hardware that was relatively posh for that era. Now remastered and expanded to a double album with bonus tracks. 2 x 160g vinyl in gatefold feat. photos
“For Record Store Day, Medical Records continues it’s fascination with all things Mark Van Hoen this time presenting the sole album release by Autocreation entitled ‘Mettle'. Autocreation was formed in 1992 when Mark Van Hoen was roomates in West London with the other members Kevin Hector and Tara Patterson. Kevin and Tara as DJ’s at the University of London; Tara had recorded with The Hafler Trio prior to this The 3 lived in an apartment block that was full of acid house devotees, DJs, and house producers. The 3 friends spent a lot of time in cutting-edge London clubs which inspired and influenced their music. A remix they worked on - Seefeel’s “Plainsong” became the blueprint the Autocreation sound, as well as feeding back into Seefeel’s sound on their own subsequent material.
Autocreation were heavily influcenced by contemporary dub techno such as Basic Channel, early Sähkö Recordings such as ‘Ø' (Mika Vanio) as well as more pure techno such as Kirk Degiorgio and Jeff Mills. They recorded the album in late 1993, sandwiched between the recording of Van Hoen’s Locust album 'Weathered Well' and his collaboration with Seefeel’s Darren Seymour 'Aurobindo:Involution'. The album notably features heavy use of modular synthesizers (Aries 300, Digisound 80 and others), quite unique for a techno record of the time. The album was released on The Orb’s label Inter–Modo on CD only - directly following The Orb's collaboration with Robert Fripp (FFWD). Artwork was designed by The Designers Republic - responsible for the vast majority of Warp Records’ catalog and various releases by The Orb. The album is a dark, brooding ambient techno masterpiece. Similar in vein to Locust’s Weathered Well but more techno/IDM genre compliant that made it at times dance floor compatible.”
A magical piece of mosaic which makes up Alice Coltrane’s glorious catalogue, Alice Coltrane With Strings - World Galaxy  is perhaps one of her best known and cherished releases thanks to the wide appeal of her breathtaking reimagining of Rogers-Hammerstein’s evergreen, My Favourite Things and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.
Alice’s genuinely stellar contribution to the spirited body of ‘70s jazz fusion, World Galaxy is a life-affirming masterwork displaying her virtuoso harp, piano and tambura drenched in symphonic strings and voiced by Swami Satchidananda, who lends wise words to the eponymous Galaxy In Satchidananda, one of three sublime Galaxy pieces, also including the dramatic vision of Galaxy Around Oldumare and the soaring arrangements of Galaxy In Turiya.
An essential addition to any record collection!
Dead wavy, electro-tinged house striders from Brooklyn’s D. Briggs
...getting all microtonal and woozy with the glimmer of Silver Light, and then stroking it lower with he wide, swinging NYC bassline of Metal Machine, but saving the weirder grooves for a gradually stabilising jaunt in Dolphin Dance, replete with a rolling, reverberant Willie Burns remix.
Anom Vitruv returns to Total Stasis (Ramzi, Elysia Crampton CS + Kreme) - site of his Anomie  LP - with a canny turn facing off globe-scouting sounds on one side, with another side of pastoral electro-acoustic abstraction.
The stage is set with a weird newborn lamb staggering under the spotlight on the front cover (Animal  c/o Signe Marie Anderssen) and revealing three ambient-pop variants ranging from a processed lick of palm wine guitar and rubbly electronics thru to a slice of autotuned dembow dancehall, then a hypnotic swirl of raga vocals and smeared microtonal gauze.
Flipside, under an image of nocturnal woodland (Nesodden  c/o Signe Marie Anderssen), he coaxes out a sanguine, sidereal projection of twinkling, Satie-esque keys swelling to stormy drone and jet-engine electronics benefitting from Marcus Schmickler’s mastering, and fade to close on a Twin Peaks tip.
Red Pig Flower is a Japanese/Korean artist based in London who makes druggy, subtly nuanced tech-house.
Her debut solo 12” dispatches four tracks including the wonky swing of Space Jazz and Dubphon’s Villalobos-like minimalist remix, to the wistfully cinematic pipes and pinched groove of To My Rimbaud and louche shuffler, Journey Of My Dreams.
Ethereal tech-house minimalism from Italy’s Symbiosis, pursuing the vibes of their Moodymann re-edit and EPs for Optimo Trax across the side-long acid wiggle and fragrant Indian vox of El Ijo De La Madre to the hopping tribal drum cut-up and sampeld vocal of Mapuche, and the blues thrum of Jaraï.
Estonia’s wayward Porridge Bullet cough up this gnarled, expressive ace from Mihkel Kleis aka Ratkiller, a proper outsider music type who previously turned up on these pages with his rogue black metal project, Edasi, and now takes this opportunity to commit his highly idiosyncratic music to vinyl for the first time.
While Porridge Bullet are hardly known for being the straightest label around, Meltdown of the Highest Order is a cranky oddball even by their standards, seeming to smudge chopped ’n screwed hip hop noise with buckling tape FX, frazzled electronics and convulsive cut-ups in way that recalls Aaron Dilloway getting messy with Tomutonttu or Pat Maherr’s Indignant Senility in a demented face-off with his own Diamond Catalog alias, for example.
It’s one of those rare examples of an artist who can listen to and absorb myriad other sounds and transduce them into something of his own. It may bear up to the aforementioned influences - and tonnes more beside - but ultimately Meltdown of the Highest Order is distinguished by its freakiness and the way that Kleis uses that knowledge of outsider music to either sidestep and mess with convention, as with he 18 minutes of warp and slurred temporalities in the A-side’s No Need For Reason, or choose to compound and play into it with 14 minutes of uneasy, blown-out ambience in the B-side’s Delicate Toast and what sounds like a nerve-fried BoC with Flat & Decomposed.
Impenetrably encrypted electronic abstraction from Arek Gulbenkoglu, a new addition to Penultimate Press with his finely sculpted and waking-dreamlike instalment; Three Days Afterwards.
From the almost voyeuristic locations recordings which open the side to the shearing bleeps which close it, we’re spun between intensely purified microtonal oscillations and spare, pointillist percussions according an underlying logic which evades easy categorisation.
Perhaps the most northerly contributor to Cómeme’s heat-seeking sound, Charlotte Bendiks joins the label with a fine set scaling from the mellow soul shuffle of Hjemme to the pinched snare hustle of Kaia, playfully skittish and bendy electro in Tellstainnj and the dry, stepping weirdo raver Noir.
Coyote Records introduce Forever to their fold with a lush EP at the borderlands of vaporwave, grime and trap.
Hymn opens with he plangent ambient optimism of Gweilo, recalling AYYA’s recent ace on the PAN compilation, followed by the aerated Uk steppers dynamics of the title track and the chiming, gamelan-alike exercise of Rainforest, but the vibe turns darker with the nightfall of Swamped and Chemist’s more brooding remix of Hymn completing the EP’s transition from light to darkside.
Always thought Lovesexy was a massively underrated album - probably the last great Prince album - and this one is one of its standout cuts, here available in an extended 3-part / 10 minute version and Scarlet Pussy on the flip from the Camille vault...
FIS’ restless soul meets Maori sound artist Rob Thorne for a viscerally engaging suite of textural wrestles in Clear Stones, which documents the results of their recording sessions made in Berlin using a rich palette of traditional Maori instruments undergoing electronic augmentation. If you like the idea of music that emulates the copulation of Orks or sounds like Rashad Becker’s notional species at an afterparty in uncharted wilds, this record will light up your mind.
Employing the lesser heard likes of the taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments translating as singing treasures) - including the pūtātara (conch horn), pūrerehua (bullroarer), tumutumu kōhatu (stone percussion) and pūtōrino (both flute and horn) - the results represent an often surreal augmentation of their usual tonalities, with accentuation of certain elements uncannily defying the recording space and taking on encrypted new meanings when divorced from their conventional modes.
It would appear that FIS’ contributions are often barely perceptible but crucial to the transformation of the instrument’s use, persistently evading perception of the source of the sound that we’re faced with. It’s a dizzying and immersive experience to thread yourself thru, one that neatly dances around and plays into preconceptions that come with FIS’ music whilst rendering it at its most porous, naturalistic and open to elemental influence.
Misty-eyed ambient techno dream sequences from Grade 10’s Prayer in Kollaps mode.
“Across GTi007, Prayer and Coops play into each other's abilities, with Prayer's classical ear and Coop's knowledge of electronic tones unifying to create beautifully haunting landscapes. Opener 'You&I' pulls on emotive pads, building to heightened tones with just enough rumble, whilst grainy percussion and aching vocals contest for the forefront.
'Sundance' continues to explore similar territory, utilising classical harmonies with grieving pads, whilst vocal cuts rise from ambience and lay naturally over the shifting garage swing. 'Beacon' goes deeper down the rabbit hole, as fragile synths fight off the grit before blossoming through the dampened textures, unearthing a serious roller that drives with high intensity right to the finish line.
B-side 'Iris' channels alien communication before striking pads lead the way, pulling bold percussion and heartfelt vocals to help search for redemption amidst pained expression. Closer 'Luna' works as a 9-minute epic, conveying dissonant keys amongst cold and flustered breaks before clearing the fog and allowing light to shine through, with truly blissful chords that hold the torch high till closing.”
Deapmash serves a steaming plate of dancefloor carbs on Leisure System, including a sweaty banger with Benjamin Damage.
The french producer’s debut for the Berlin label yields a sidelong tool called Halcyon built around sky-clawing pads and pulsating techno architecture right out of the Untold playbook. It also features as a noisily rinsed VIP on a Special Request tip.
For slinkier, rugged dancefloor functions turn to his Solar 909 jam with Benjamin Damage for more elasticated, technoid brand of machine funk.
Dublin’s David Kittser makes full-length solo debut moves on All City Records with From Night To Night, a smart set marbled with nods to classic Theo, KDJ, Dilla, Larry Heard and Arthur Russell
"His debut release in 2011 The Night Mail on Pogo channeled early record collection heroes Aphex Twin and Orbital through to Drexciya and Projekt PM but had one foot firmly in the 21st century beaming in like some futuristic cyberballad. On the flip side Hussle Free had that mix of house and boogie sensibilities with dark and dusty synths and vocoder that would become a signature. This was followed by acclaimed releases on Hivern, Permanent Vacation, Major Problems, Apartment and most recently Cin Cin.
His debut album set for release on All City in May was recorded in Kitt’s bedroom studio overlooking Dublin bay, its nocturnal hues very much a product of the nightshift often working on headphones with the rest of his housemates fast asleep. It takes full advantage of the scope of the LP format, ebbing and flowing between deep house club ready gems and more restrained and meditative beatless moments for the morning after. The recording process yielded many eureka moments with Kitt finally nailing sounds that had hitherto proved elusive.
A key moment was getting a bank loan to buy an SP 1200 sampler - "It's a sound I've tried to get close to for almost half my life now and the only way to really nail it was to get the machine itself. It's featured on so many of my favourite records by the likes of Premier, RZA, MF Doom, Daft Punk, Moodyman and Theo” Indeed the presence of a sampler used heavily in hip-hop is no coincidence, for Kitt this record owes as much to beats and rhymes as it does to head-down club house. “My first love when it comes to samplers and drum machines is hip-hop and I've often wondered what kind of house Pete Rock or J Dilla would make. I like to think the record reflects that a bit.”
"From Night to Night" is one end of the result of his artistic persistence. Machine love alongside crafted songsmanship is evident from start to finish - the beautifully structured pop tones of Put the Love In It and the deep vocoder boogie of Found the One sit next to the machine funk of SP2 and the atmospheric ambience of Cadaquez. There's a beautiful re-imagination of DJ Shadow in the ten minutes of the deep funk of After Midnight in A Perfect World with the LP closing out, appropriately enough, with a reworking of one of his breakthrough tracks - the epic piano house vibes of Of A Thousand Leaves. Part Larry Heard, part Pete Rock, part Arthur Russell, a deftly constructed LP of musical subtleties from a considered artist mining the creative result of a lifetime's listening and making."
John Stammers released a self titled lp in 2013 it sold out immediately and was never repressed. His analogue artifact became a rare record drawing on British folk influences inspired by the sound worlds of Moondog & Sun Ra.
"Waiting Around is the first single taken from his forthcoming lp of the same name which will be out on WONDERFULSOUND this June.
This 7" includes a remix from Carwyn Ellis of Colorama who's noted for his work with Edwyn Collins amongst others. Waiting Around is produced by John Stammers and Miles Copeland."
On their new album ‘II’, L.A. Takedown align the moody grandeur of a film score with the pure melodicism of pop.
"Led by Los Angeles-based composer / multi-instrumentalist Aaron M. Olson, the seven-piece band deliver a guitar-driven take on synth-pop that’s inspired its own genre.
‘II’ ultimately leaves it to the listener to dream up their own imaginary movie for each beautifully sprawling track to live in. At turns ethereal and frenzied, groove-heavy and narcotic, ‘II’ is lush with harmonized guitar leads and inspiration from the likes of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, Japanese composer Tori Kudo and Nigerian musician King Sunny Adé, giving way to an intricately textured sound laced with jagged beats and serene washes of synth."
Boom Boom Boom Boom says Truncate’s Terminal 5 for Blueprint; kicking out the massive bass drum and nagging, salty bleeps of the title track up top, and with a drier jag recalling recent Peder Mannerfelt aces with Process, and an itchy Tribal Tool.
Pearson Sound jumps back on his eponymous label to dispatch three geometrically sound dancefloor experiments...
...pursuing typically dry but shiny textures and tones in the bumpy, Four Tet-like dimensions of Robin Chasing Butterflies, and in the dust mite dancing figures of Eels, recalling aspects of Anthony Manning’s Islets in Pink Polypropylene, before Heal Me executes a sullen Hessle-style line-dance.
Shinichi Atobe exists out of time, producing material that’s both inimitable and genuine. "From The Heart, It's A Start, A Work Of Art” was released in May and is perhaps the most unique and enduring of all of his output over the years - easily ranking among our favourite releases of the year. Curiously, it has origins going all the way back to early 2000, when three of the tracks here were originally produced and cut to acetate at D&M in Berlin (in an edition of 5!), presumably lined up as a follow-up of sorts to Atobe’s legendary "Ship Scope" 12” for Chain reaction from the same era. Alas, it wasn’t to be, and almost two decades later these tracks, re-mastered from that original acetate, make up the centrepiece of this amazing record alongside mesmerising newer productions.
The tracks here are effectively some of the Japanese producer’s earliest work, showcasing the sort of tender, feminine pressure that would bubble up on the Ship-Scope EP and later be revealed in his new productions, Butterfly Effect and World yet, for many reasons, would lay sunk in his archive for the next 17 years.
The tracks taken from that acetate are labelled First Plate 1-3 and are quite remarkable, having taken on so much added weight over the years that the incidental crackle of surface noise imbues proceedings with an added dimension that’s hard to fathom. it basically sounds like a lost transmission making its way from Paul-Lincke-Ufer at the turn of the millennium to a new, completely changed world all these years later.
The patina of crackle lends a mist-on-bare skin feeling akin to summer garden parties at Berghain in the stepping First Plate 1, and gives a foggier sort of depth perception to the hydraulic, Maurizian heft of First Plate 2, but it’s the submerged euphoria of First Plate 3 that hits the hardest; a heady, bittersweet reminder of days gone by.
The other four tracks are crisply transferred from master tapes, relinquishing a sublime, impossible to categorise House variant that recalls everything from DJ Sprinkles to Ron Trent, yet with that weird, timeless production style that by now has become something of a signature for this most distinctive and hard to categorise producer. For our money, it ranks among the finest and most distinctive in the Chain Reaction / Shinichi canon.
Belgium’s Let’s Play House gang call up Project Pablo for a bright, breezy session with Risk The Rip...
...spinning out from the strolling bassline and chiming hooks of Risk The Rip to more introspective Sun God-alike vibes in Trash Town, then getting off with the AFXian electro contours of Vibrancy Room and the intricate, nuanced lattice of brushstrokes in Out To Lunch.
Rubella Ballet were a gothic anarcho-punk band formed in autumn 1979 by former Fatal Microbes Pete Fender (guitar) and Gem Stone (bass) with vocalist Zillah Minx, and Flux of Pink Indians drummer Sid Ation.
"Sid and Zillah were living with the Poison Girls at Burghley House in Epping. Pete and Gem were the son and daughter of Poison Girls singer Vi Subversa. The band used Poison Girls equipment to jam and write songs, and their first performance was when they jumped up on the stage at a Crass concert. Zillah created and designed ultraviolet hand painted day-glo clothes for the band and dyed their hair multicolored to differentiate themselves from the death rock bands who tended to wear black, army-surplus style clothing.
For their psychedelic stage show they used nothing more than black lights, strobes, and a bit of smoke to illuminate the band. In 1980 Rubella Ballet released their first batch of material on a cassette album titled ""Ballet Bag” for Poison Girls' XNTRIX Records. Their sound went from fast punk to full on Goth, innovative like their clothing. Sounding like rather organized chaos this was the start of a very colorful part of the British anarcho-punk scene, which remains vital to this day. Lyrics tell of living under the grim rule of Thatcher's government, in haunting fashion. Despite the severity of the material, pop and even funk dimensions are discernible beneath the claustrophobic thrashing. “Ballet Bag” was a 100% DIY project, all artwork was drawn and hand-printed by the band. Each cassette came in a bag with a lyric booklet, badge and poster.
The band recorded two John Peel sessions for BBC Radio in 1982 and 1983, which are of much higher fidelity than the home-produced cassette. We’ve included 6 of those songs here as bonus tracks, complete with John Peel introductions from the original broadcast. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley."
Flying was the Italo Disco project of Marzio Benelli and Andrea Venturoli from Firenze, Italy. Marzio specialized in sound engineering at various recording studios in Milan throughout the early 1980s.
"He opened Emme Studio where we worked with major national and international artists as Claudio Baglioni, Renato Zero, Venditti, Marco Masini, Pieces, Mia Martini, Litfiba, Mick Ronson. In 1984 he met Andrea, a sound programmer who knew his way around analog synthesizers. Their first collaboration was that same year on the song “Computer Sourire” for Alexander Robotnick debut album.
In 1985 the duo recorded ‘Marilyn’, the debut single for the project Flying that was released the same year on Sound Of Italy. Their basic set up for recording was a PPG Wave 2.3 Synthesizer, Elka Synthex, Roland Jupiter-8, Roland TB-808 and TR-909 and a Gibson Les Paul guitar. They recruited producer Nicola Serena to program the DMX Oberheim drum machine. On vocals was Stefano “Fly” Matteoli, a DJ at discoteques Concorde and Sombrero in Tuscany. Backup Vocals were sisters Antonella Bianchi (Plustwo, Belen Thomas) and Marina Bianchi (Plustwo, Sue Sadlow), who was Marzio’s wife. Stefano confidently sings a haunting love story, full of tragic doubts and cruel dreams.
Hand played percussion leads the song complemented by the keyboards that complete the infectious melody, with catchy hooks, and 4/4 beats that clock in at 100 beats per minute. On the B-side, the dubbed out 8 minute “Remix Version” makes use of the Publison Infernal Machine, an innovative multi-FX processor that was the first sampler to change the speed of a song without affecting pitch."
Epic, impressionistic electro-acoustic sound travelogue of early ‘80s France by Swiss composer who studied under Stockhausen, Boulez and Gottfried Michael Koenig, among others, the first release on the newly minted Mana label run by Andrea Zarza, curator at the British Library Sound Archive, and Blowing Up The Workshop founder Matthew Kent.
“First commissioned by the French Government in 1981, the LP Rose Des Vents evolved out of a six year project by Swiss composer Pierre Mariétan to document and musicalise the sound environment of urban landscapes within France, creating an inter-geographical auditory map of cities and townships located in the suburban reaches of Paris, including Bezons, Herblay, Montmagny and l’Isle Adam.
Through a mix of field recording, interviews, vegetable market catcalls, braying animals and urban hubbub, Mariétan paints a broad, psycho-acoustically vivid and decentralised profile of metropolitan life from the period; carried to the ear through a coupling with musical studio performance and serialist compositional technique. Over an hour and forty minutes, the recording provides an intersectional and ambient passage through environmental and urban narratives, the radiophonic voice of Ana de Carvalho offering fleeting, poetic orientation with announcements of each titled scene, divining and evoking the sonorous qualities of each landscape as it comes into focus. Each scene tangible yet non-specific, the artist arranging and signalling the possibility of civic and pastoral space as a musical container for spontaneous, sonorous interactions.
Mariétan’s profile is of a rigorous yet open and exploratory composer, utilising principles of chance and curiosity in organising found sound and often negotiating or encouraging encounters with improvisatory gesture or incidental and occurring sound. In 1966 he established the outfit GERM, grouping composers and musicians dedicated to developing new meeting points between composition and improvisation. Members assist in contributing recordings and performances throughout Rose Des Vents, including musical passages on piano, synthesizer, horn and saxophone. These studio pieces, played on saxophone by Daniel Kientzy or piano by Gerard Fremy, recall and redeploy techniques developed over the lifespan of the project, where site-specific actions and concerts were performed within each of the towns.
In many ways, the album is a folding of each facet of the author’s life and work into a single representative culmination. A sympathy towards radiophonic or documentary production values is recognisable—Mariétan produced two iterations of Rose Des Vents for Alain Trutat and Jean Tardieu’s ground-breaking Atelier De Création Radiophonique on Radio France Culture ahead of this LP release—alongside the influence of his work in urban acoustics and research into forms of sound ecology. So too is the obvious pleasure taken in introducing the sweetness of music to children, with notable samples from his educational workshops and sound installations helping to internalise and evoke a sense of inquisitive delight.
It’s these components, combined with themes and concerns about the acoustic environment that resonate thirty years later and establish Rose Des Vents as such an approachable, listenable and lovely piece of experimental sound art. The conjuration of an emotional or psychological plane through musical and metaphorical synthesis allows the listener to situate themselves within the montage in a near cinematic manner, discovering an underlying sonority embedded in the psychic atmospheres of communal life.”