Trevor Jackson flexes his wiry EBM muscle as PinkLunch, reviving his old moniker for a full LP of darkroom sleaze from the top drawer of his cabinet.
Douglas J McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb joins in on definitive album highlight, On The Floor, and Chloé Raunet ov C.A.R. lends gynoid vocals to the slow, ruddy jacker Inamorata, but Jckon is left to his diverse for the rest of the album, working out finely calculated variants of EBM and darker, electroid house music with highlights in the blank-eyed swagger of Other Side, in the haughty acidic thrust of Load Warrior, and with a doom core thirst recalling The Horrorist in A.N.T.I.
Paleman rolls into ’18 with a heavy duty trio of UK bass techno girders on his personal label.
Skulking somewhere between the Swamp 81 sound and the dank styles of Regis, Pinch or Pessimist productions, PLMN 002 investigates fluoro grey interzones of the modern UK warehouse, establishing a cold and cavernous spatial dynamic with the shark-eyed swerve and deadly pressure of Paranoid Loop on the front, then cutting a more shadowy figure in the monotone colours and serpentine momentum of Fingers, and isolating that ghostly energy at its nerviest, clammiest with a pendulous acid mutation called Cliffview Spider.
Not to be missed!
German jazz-house, originally issued in 2001
Reissued in abridged form with Walkin’ Thru Circles [Full Expansion] on A-side and the subtler swing of Walking Thru Circles [Thump Mix] on the B-side.
Pangaea overhauls Loleatta Holloway’s obscure ‘90s house nugget Stand Up as a sort of dabke-meets-UK bass play for Salsoul.
Hingeing around a sub hit and scream stab reminding of his Inna Daze 12”, Pangaea replaces snatches of Holloway’s vocal around a snaky break broke right off some Omar Souleyman tune, resulting one of 2017’s smartest, most effective curveballs.
Beautiful outsider Italian Library obscurity reissued for the first time. Imagine Can jamming with the Velvet Underground at an observatory in the Mediterranean and you can almost taste the acid zing on these grooves.
"Perhaps the most bizarre artefact to emerge from the phenomenal world of Italian Library music. Originally scored for a 1978 RAI television documentary, the album titled Tuscan Castle and Country Seat conforms to nothing you know or understand about library music. Studying composition under maestro A.R Luciani, the young Teisco composed innovative home studio recordings that parallel the outsider technique of French soundtrack composer Francois De Roubaix.
With little resemblance to the standard cues usually found on library music LPs, this is stoned underground psychedelic music of the most eccentric kind. Imagine lyrical Moog oscillations drifting loosely over baroque and hallucinogenic atmospheres, or alternatively, think the DIY guitar jamming of the Velvet Underground and Dream Syndicate mixed with the electronics of some lesser-known Krautrock band. Wherever this recording sits among the dusty shelves of forgotten stock music, it is highly personal, deeply rewarding and without a doubt the most mind-blowing library record you will hear this year. This record is soon to be an outsider classic."
Alga Marghen sublabel, Planam presents the original LP edition of 'Handcut' from Giuseppe Ielasi and Nicola Ratti's Bellow project.
On their 2nd release as a duo they have concerned themselves with "…a simple technique of cutting/destroying and amplifying vinyl records with contact microphones, creating new grooves and physical loops while capturing the sounds on a revox tape machine with long tapeloops." These loops are then subtly embellished with effect pedals and sine waves, resulting in an enigmatic array of frictional textures, ghostly melodies and effervescent reverb strongly reminiscent of The Caretaker's compositions, but with a more mysterious, unexplained clutch of source material and the presence of deep, rumbling subbass apparitions.
The label likens it to "a sort of atmospheric and modern electronic music recorded at the beginning of the twentieth century on 78rpm shellac records", and we'd be inclined to agree, but there's also shapes and tonalities which wouldn't have been present in that era, from cochlea-kicking bass hits to supple subbass frequencies.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, this is another immensely captivating and uniquely esoteric Senufo Edition, and highly recommended to listeners with a taste for slowly immersive tone and texture. Letterpressed sleeve printed by Ben Owen/Middle Press and Photographic insert by Amadeo Martegani - just beautiful stuff from end to end.
Borderline-bonkers double feature presentation of near-mythical dadaist songcraft from 1981.
Picked up pressed to vinyl for the first by Alga Marghen sub-label Planam and A Tree In A Field 30 years after it was originally released, Die Welttraumforscher's cherished 'Herzschlag Erde' is reissued alongside its unreleased follow-up 'Verdunkelt die Sinne', together providing your recommended annual dose of esoteric Swiss/Alien electronic folk music. Much loved of largely German-speaking freaks like Mouse On Mars, Harald "Sack" Ziegler, Yello's Dieter Meier and German astronaut Hans-Joachim Roloff, Christian Pfluger aka Welttraumforscher (roughly translated to "Explorers Of The Dream World") shaped a strangely sinister and alternate reality with his sporadic catalogue of releases. 1981's 'Herzschlag Erde' cassette was his first, and hailed by the few who know it as one of his most essential.
It draws on a beguiling blend of science fiction, metaphysics and dadaism through illustrations, lyrics, and his music to create an impenetrable sense of mystique which has only been exacerbated by the fact that he rarely, if ever, plays live. The music itself is wildly playful, yet with deeply warped undertones, with really explain its cult status. It's much stranger and less self-consciously pop than much of the DIY tape stuff from this era that's been resurfacing recently, and therefore should be checked by anyone wanting a trip out of the ordinary.
Trevor Jackson heralds a 2nd mind-dump of vintage material on Previously Unreleased Volume 2 with this six-track sampler of swaggering dancefloor pressure.
The tracks all hearken back to the era of Jackson’s Playground album, trading in a satisfyingly smooth ’n gritty flow of vibes between the slow acid disco bounce of Memory Per Voice thru the haunted filter-funk and wooden drum knocks of Long System, to patch of grubby skronk on Work It, saving two highlights for the mutant post-punk dub stepper See Yourself, and the natty skank ov Stand Down (Dub).
After leaving us hanging for too long, the enigmatic R&B starlet pays up on the promise of her Cut 4 Me mixtape and Hallucinogen EP with an impeccable album of proper, star-dusted songs about love and life as “…a black woman, a 2nd generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the ‘burbs listening to R&B, Jazz and Björk”. Yh yh, count us in!
Sweeping us up in the heart-in-mouth dream sequence of Frontline’s sylvan soul and gently fading with the deliquescent sensuality of Altadena at its curtain close, Take Me Apart is arguably a modern classic blessed with widely resonating appeal. Marking a sublime demonstration of Kelela’s personal development over the years since literally everyone jumped on Cut 4 Me, her first opus is a more mature, layered and more coherent set which defines the difference between a mixtape and album thanks to its fluid logic and and intimately involving narrative structure.
Jupiter allows a moment to catch your breath in its bittersweet pirouettes before the rugged LMK - the album’s lead single - takes hold, triggering an amazing 2nd half loaded with Arca’s tell-tale pitch bends in the boogie knuck of Truth Or Dare and the almost industrially-toned drums and maaaad wide bass on S.O.S., but we’re not sure who’s responsible for the radioactive lead line of Blue Light, or the Burial-esque 2-step of Onanon, and it doesn’t really matter anyway, cos Kelela’s really the star of the show in every part.
Afriqua crosses paths with R&S for a batch of jazz-taught deep house charms and electronic abstractions.
Working somewhere in the same realm as Afrikan Sciences or Theo Parrish, Afriqua pursues heavily earthed yet cosmic-yearning spirits across the record from the lustrous bass and nimble jazz ‘tronics woven into his eight minute trip Aleph, to the simmering, meter-messing flow of Opferator, and one sublime marriage of floating jazz chords, geometric bass fuss and sylvan synth pads on Thanksgiving, with the miniature sci-fi vignette Sent recalling King Britt at his most searching, in effect.
One of Charlemagne Palestine's best-known works, "Four Manifestations On Six Elements". "Two Perfect Fifths, A Major Third Apart, Reinforced Twice" (1973) is an electronic piece that deals with the search for the essence of timbre, sound color, through exploration of the inert chemical activity in the overtone series of tone fundamentals.
"In this genre of his work Palestine feels akin to a kind of sound alchemist - blending elements over and over again through the years searching for the Golden Sound - the essence of the chord or harmonic structure itself. In "One + Two + Three Perfect Fifths, In The Rhythm 3 Against 2, for Piano" (1973) the elements introduced are now elaborated upon on the piano.
The resonant Bösendorfer allows Palestine to create a more lively and complex variation of tones, intervals, overtones and rhythms. "One Fifth" evolves by reinforcing the fundamentals of a fifth with their higher octave. Each performance of this work is different as Palestine reinterprets these simple elements listening within them for variations of amplitude, mixture and inertia at the moment of the performance. "One + Two Fifths" deals with the way a rhythmic sonority sounds when the sustain pedal of the piano in not used, thus focusing on its rhythmic aspect. Gradually by adding the sustain pedal the external rhythmic pattern begins to internalize becoming an inert part of the whole tymbral fabric - a piece expressing the battle of rhythm versus timbre for dominance.
In "One + Two + Three" a third fifth is added - variations of melody and sonority reinforcements culminating in a rhythmic deceleration process ending the work."
Sten Hanson's work is an excellent example of sound poetry treated extensively in an electronic studio; The Sonosopher Retrospective LP covers the long period of 30 years activity.
"Fylkingen has, in the course of its many years of activity, become a familiar factor in Swedish, as well as international, musical life, a unique forum for the presentation of experimental art. Since very early it began to work in collaboration with an electronic music studio in Stockholm for the creation of technically satisfactory performance possibilities. The movement within Sweden in sound poetry/text-sound composition took hold in the early 1960s with the reorganization of Fylkingen, aiming to develop the relation between art and technology."
Parisian sound artists, Vincent Epplay, and Samon Takahashi present five often delirious, lysergic cut-ups of Pierre Clementi soundtracks: from abstracted psych-rock grooves to dynamic electro-acoustic scapes and outre collaging. Mind bending, but with an underlying sense of collected organization...
"First performed at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux in March 2009, "Soundtracks for the movies of Pierre Clemanti" is an electronic concrete music including many references to psychedelia, kraut, spontaneous sound creation of the 1960s-70s, building an intense dialogue with the specific universe of Pierre Clementi. Even if psychedelia and electroacoustic music seem to have little in common, they got intersected in the work of some advanced artists. On one side electronics entered rock and free jazz, on the other electric guitar and drums have been manipulated by adventurous modern composers. We could take Joseph Byrd, Friendsound, Faust, Supersister or Brainticket as a reference as well as Luc Ferrari, Jacques Lejeune, Bernard Parmegiani or Pierre Henry. A complete list of exchanges and collaborations would be too long to compile.
Their common background could be defined as the need to enter our unexplored inner consciousness, either through the use of drugs and lysergic substances, or through mysticism or esthetic explorations. Vincent Epplay and Samon Takahashi's music as pure experience and sonic-energy is the perfect soundtrack to the three movies by Pierre Clementi. The first two movies "Positano - Bobine 30B01" (1969) and "La Deuxième femme - Bobine J" (1967-78) are the documentation of an intense period of experiences shared with Nico, Philippe Garrel, Frédéric Pardo, Tina Aumont, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Bulle Ogier, Marc O', Viva and many others. The third movie "La révolution n'est qu'un début: continuons le combat" (1968), is a true hymn to freedom and is based around the May '68 events. Like an hallucinatory flux, the images of these three movies have been used by Epplay and Takahashi as the starting point for creating a unique sound experience. Edition limited to 300 copies with full-color sleeve, inner sleeve and insert, reproducing some very inspired scenes from the movies of Pierre Clementi."
Honest Jon’s plug a gaping hole in free improv collections everywhere with the complete sessions of Anthony Braxton & Derek Bailey’s Royal  on record for the first time. Recorded live at the Royal Hotel, Luton, England on July 2, 1974, the original Incus Records LP’s Opening (Opening) and Opening (Closing) sections are now fulfilled by a 2nd disc with the Middle, Closing (opening, and Closing (closing) sections that were meant for an INCUS 44 pressing which never transpired. A major piece of experimental music.
“Braxton playing soprano and alto saxophones, and Bb and contrabass clarinets. Two volumes were planned; only one was issued, till now. This was an early transatlantic meeting between leading free improvisers. Many of Braxton’s signature techniques and ideas were gestated in such sessions. It still brims with inquisitive musical creativity and knockabout jazzbo allusiveness.”
The legendary debut of Jocy De Oliveira - and a landmark classic from the 70s Brazlian Electronic music scene. To quote Keith Fullerton Whitman, this is the "lost Tropicalia / Psych / free-Vocal / Ring-Modulator freakout / jam hybrid that you’ve only dreamt about!"
"It is difficult to overstate the importance of Jocy De Oliveira. While she remains a widely celebrated voice in her own country - Brazil, perhaps more than any other figure, Oliveira’s life and career unveils truths lingering in the shadows - histories long suppressed and lost - the sins suffered by the Latin American avant-garde, with the actualities of its astounding heights.
Oliveira began her career as a concert pianist, dedicated to the cutting edge works of the avant-garde. She left Brazil at young age to study in America and Europe, before being recruited by major orchestras across both continents - working under Stravinsky, and having pieces written for her and premiering of works by Berio, Xenakis, Santoro, Cage, and Manuel Enriquez. Her rendering of Messiaen’s Catalogue D'Oiseaux is still widely held as the definitive version. During the early 1960’s, Oliveira shifted her efforts toward composition.
A wildly restless creative mind, she embarked on a process of folding organised sounds across nearly every context it could inhabit - public and private interventions, theatre, installations, film, video, tape, as much as the concert hall - blurring the lines between performance and composition, incorporating diverse media well beyond the world of sound.
In 1961, within a collaborative theatre work written with Luciano Berio - Berio Apague Meu Spot Light, she instigated the first performance of electronic music staged in Brazil. In 1968 she joined Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood as one of the only women asked to contribute to the legendary publication Source: Music of the Avant Garde - entering its fourth and seventh editions, and became its sole Latin American contributor. Only the beginnings of what, over the coming decades, would rise as her singular and astounding body of achievement and work.
Released in 1981, during the last years of her country’s military dictatorship, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos was met by controversy before quickly sinking from view - heard by almost no one beyond Brazil’s borders. Among the most astounding realisations of electroacoustic process ever recorded - a work of shimmering beauty and potential, across its two sides, Oliveira yields works which level the field. A series of sonic stories for voice, and acoustic and electronic instruments - prepared piano, violin, percussion, synthesizers, electric celesta, etc, it the album’s singularity, culture, humanity, and introspection which can not be displaced.
Like its composer, Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos is Brazilian, and to be be Brazilian, is to be many things at once. It’s works draws on a diverse range of the country’s musics and percussion traditions, as well as Indian raga structures, and Japanese Shomyo singing - inspired in part by the sounds of immigrant communities within Sao Paulo, the city where Oliveira grew up. Across the album’s breadth, electronic music returns home - distilling the entirety of Oliveira’s being, radically diverse culture, and idealism. A work of profound democracy, optimism, and truth - reforming history, and in so doing, placing the future of the avant-garde back into its own hands.
Reissued for the first time since it original release, this marks the return of one of the 20th century’s most important electronic works. Presented with the care and craft for which Blume editions has become known, these are the wonders of art - the towering heights of sounds - the realm where countless possible utopias unfold. "
Haunting, deeply mystic tribal folk disco dub from 1976, plucked out and dusted down by Isle Of Jura Records for necessary reissue. Exactly the kind of gear you’d expect to hear from the cosmic discos of Italy to the stylish discotheeks of Belgium and on balearic sets in the pre-house mid ‘80s, pre-echoing the styles of Burundi Black. Includes a previously unreleased Extended Version and the glorious Anambra River.
“For the next official reissue Isle Of Jura goes back to 1976 to resurrect ‘Anambra’, the jewel in the crown of Dub, Soul & Funk outfit Ozo. ‘Anambra’ is something of a classic, a unique song that’s slow, ritualistic and spiritual, mixing African & Nyabinghi drumming with a Buddhist Sanskrit mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. An alternate version ‘Anambra River’ appears for the first time on the same 12”.”
Milan’s Giuseppe Ielasi (Bellows, Rain Text) tends to his more funked-up, maximalist side with a superb 2nd session as Inventing Masks for Error Broadcast, following up a celebrated first instalment.
If you’re a regular on these pages, you’ve no doubt heard Ielasi’s work in some form or other - whether via his plentiful mastering work (Lorenzo Senni, Catherine Christer Hennix), thru his Senufo Editions label, or most likely for his variegated collabs with Nicola Ratti in the lower case duo, Bellows or alongside Giovanni Marco Civitenga in the rhythm driven Rain Text pairing - all of which are linked by a natural sensitivity to space and tone which really sets his work apart from the field.
His solo output as Inventing Masks effectively ties all of those aspects together while also adding a most seductive sense of loping, frayed melodic richness, hustling looped samples into taut, in-the-pocket arrangements that owe as much to classic hip hop as much as broken beat house, post punk and dub production techniques.
In a sense they’re still minimalist in their dubwise economy, track titles and recycled virtuosity, but there’s far more colour and groove within these nuanced chops that you might come to expect from listening to any of his previous releases. Modestly titled by their track lengths, they turn up some proper treats between the languorous avant-jazz-funk swerve of 3’ 23”, whilst 3’ 11” sounds like Jan Jelinek gone toe-to-toe with Dego, and we can’t help but hear Lorenzo Senni’s take on ’90s trance warped into the elliptical loops of 3’ 13”, and 1’ 50” sounds like Teresa Winter trapped in a recursive nitrous high.
Turn it over and it only gets lusher with the airborne Afro-cuban percolations and breathy thizz of 3’ 19”, with the flyaway flutes and shakers of 4’ 17” recalling King Britt or Theo Parrish, before checking out on the lip-bitingly string beatdown stroke of 3’ 54”. All considered, we could hardly think of a better record to fall for this summer; it’s all just achingly on-point.
Sea-shanty house, anyone? In the hands of anyone but Bullion, a tropical house cover of the Blue Peter theme could be a shocker, but TTT know their onions and Bullion’s Blue Pedro is getting us to reach for the auld dancing clogs.
The B-side’s Muy Quimeda is also pretty nifty, this time on a swirling sort of Italo-disco-techno impulse licked up with swaying chorales from he savannah, and if that doesn’t get you then the ruddy Afro-electro-boogie swerve of Spin2Glory should see you right.
Martin Hannett’s classic production for Wythenshawe’s funkiest post punks, ACR, To Each…  bubbles back up for reissue more than 35 years since original release on Factory Records.
Cosign into play as ACR’s 1st album proper after a string of then well-received dance singles, To Each… found the group marrying them rhythmic sensibilities, influenced by American disco and Afro- latinate styles, with a gloomier, atmospheric sound, effectively imagining a more danceable adjunct to Joy Division - a fact no doubt consolidated by Martin Hannett’s signature, super spacious production.
Pivotal Detroit player Humberto Hernandez (DJ Dez, Andrés, The Rotating Assembly) continues his Drummer From Detroit series with another helping of good times latinate hustle after dropping Drum #1 in 2011, c. his much-loved New For U 12”.
The A-side packs some heavily infectious vibes with a conga-led rug-cutter in Part Three, before sidewinding into the lusher zone of tucked Afro-Cuban syncopation and Theo Parrish-like sprung synth and Rhodes in Part Four, while the B-side is reserved for a the vocal bounty of Part Five with cut-up soul vox on a broad and breezy showpiece for those who’ve got something to show.
Tommi Tokyo and Sayaka Botanic play pinball on your synapses with the body-sparking metal dance jabs of their eponymous debut as Group A for Mannequin. Over the last few years the duo have built up cult acclaim thru a tight handful of self-released CDrs and tapes and their incendiary live shows in Tokyo and more recently Berlin, which they now call home, bringing them to their first record proper.
A-side is given to the zinging bullet train momentum of T.O.P., where they hammer out a martial tattoo of drum machines, shark-toothed 16th note arpeggios and robotic vocals which, rather brilliantly, work at the intended 45rpm for brisk pacing, or at 33rpm +8, if you’re that way inclined. Think Factory Floor meet radioactive buttplugs.
B-side, they channel that energy into something like a distant, numbed echo of The Neon Judgement’s The Fashion Party with illegible vocals delivered by an 8-bit gremlin, then trap your swede in a maze of psychotomimetic delays to emulate the most intense nitrous buzz of yer lyf.
Perfectly timed for the longest nights, Timo Van Lujik (Af Ursin, Elodie) and Mark Harwood (Penultimate Press, Astor) commit their first recordings to Vang Circular, a liminal transmission of etheric timbres and oneiric chamber music gleaned from vibes, mellotron, natural reader, an iron ant, synth, metal pipes, slide guitar and a double bass.
Recorded over a weekend at Luijk’s Kulta Saha studio, Belgium in June 2017, the session unfolds cryptic coordinates for heavy-lidded astral travel from the comfort of your sofa, collapsing time and space into seven shimmering projections that, on one hand, soothe and dissolve the listener’s senses, while on the other hand, leave so much space to the imagination that you could end up somewhere quite unfamiliar and deeply surreal.
Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri surely have your back for this lush ambient / neo classical freefall session - their first collaboration - dispatched via the mutual support network of A Strangely Isolated Place.
Both hailing from the west coast of the Americas, but at its extreme ends, Argentina’s Leandro Fresco and Seattle-raised Irisarri make perfect bedfellows in La Equidistancia’s high tog quilt of diaphanous, immersive ambient music.
They might not be breaking any rules or new ground, but what they do is to tranquillise and manipulate the soul with sincere intent and sublimely romantic effect, scaling from Snowman-style panoramic overviews in Cuando El Misterio Es Demasiado Impresionante, Es Imposible Desobedecer to the insulating density of Bajo un Ocvaso Desteñido before erupting with shoegaze pathos in Lo Essential Es Invisible A Los Ojos, then seemingly descending that peak with the plangent, glacial glide of Las Palabras Son Fuente De Malentendidos to the thick, powdery texture of Entre La Niebla, and the Cortini-esque catharsis of Un Horizonte En Llamas.
Shenzhou is next up in Biosphere’s album reissue schedule.
Original issued in 2000, it finds the Norwegian artist following the wistful loops of Cirque farther down the rabbit hole, leaving behind the purely electronic contours and beat-driven elements of his early work for a subtler, textured electro-acoustic style comparable with The Caretaker and Leyland Kirby or William Basinski’s faded tape loops. Your attention is required to the mesmerising string swells of Houses On The Hill, the cinematic midnight jazz gesture of Path Leading to the High Grass, and the Deathprod-alike gloam of Lorry Shuttle Shaft.
PAN’s Afrikan Sciences and Gaël Segalen have hatched one of 2016’s most curious fusions of mystic beat geometry and electro-acoustic process with Low Doses. We’re not sure if that title’s a reference to them micro-dosing LSD - which is entirely plausible after hearing the record - or something else, but either way their debut LP is a deeply trippy dish.
Transcending styles with a deceptive effortlessness, Low Doses feels to be all about locating that elusive, near-mythical third track - a sort of metaphysical alchemy - amidst the duo’s perfectly unbalanced equations. Whilst approaching the same point from differing disciplines - Porter from a world of futuristic hard bop and hi-tech soul; Gaël from the sphere of sound design and concrète praxis - they’re clearly as much aware of their differences as they are sympathetic towards each’s overarching agenda.
At an attuned, yet defocussed and lushly amorphous mid-ground between those aesthetics, Low Doses really comes into its own as a sort of psychotropic, deep topographical journey between their mindsets, conflating sheets of street noise and organic pastoral location recordings with rhythms that seem to have spilled from the field to the club via decades of cryptic encoding.
It’s all totally jazz and definitely experimental electro-acoustic, but in a mixing oil ’n sand way that would have been almost unimaginable or deemed too mutually exclusive in the not so distant past. Ultimately, then, they’ve achieved an unprecedented, imaginative, innovative and stellar music which should only be ignored by followers of great, timeless electronic sounds at the risk of stupidity.
Washington’s finest go toe-to-twinkling toe on Future Times, with Beautiful Swimmer Max D in Dolo Percussion mode
Meshing deep house hustle with Dawit Eklund’s low key vox on the Kwaito-esque nudge of Rise, then on a more screw-faced sort of brukbeat riddled with ricochet drums and recoiling dub delays and, of course, Dawit emoting killer, autotuned vocals for the late freaks.
A welcome surprise from Nik Colk Void and Peter Rehberg, aka NPVR, 33 33 finds the Factory Floor lass and Editions Mego boss gelling in predictably fractious formation, smudging the boundaries between techno, noise, avant-garde and whatever the fuck else you want to call it.
The results are uncompromisingly abstract, visceral yet completive, finding a balanced, symbiotic equilibrium where neither attempts to outdo each other. Rather, they converse in free-flowing and jumpy dialogue, roiling from the gremlin-chatter electronics and stilted rhythm of Meantime, Pt.4 thru the piercing harmonic chaos of Twin Cases and the ruptured, throaty acidic gargle of Free Founder and the mercurial noise blatz of DEABG (#1 &2) with a logic that will only be properly known by them, but we can all have fun chasing its tail.
10 original tracks and a remix from Ancestral Voices,
"Opening number “Intimacy is Violence” does a remarkable job capturing the vibe of the album, serving as a great introduction. The track has a very industrial tone, with a strong cinematic feel to it. The following track, “Rote Zora,” follows suit with a more percussive and colorful arrangement, with a more substantial focus on rhythmic patterns.
“Cut Off From Modern Society” its combination of dark atmospheres, lush melodies, and glitchy beats. “Sudden Burst of Safety” is another excellent track worth mentioning, due to its stadium-sized drums and saturated sounds, adding an aggressive feel to the music. All in all, the album is a real sonic journey, begging to be enjoyed from start to finish!"
TAR is a poetically plotted suite of ambient/noise and modern classical composition with a real emotive pull, firmly realised by Iranian artist, Siavash Amini. It follows a pair of his albums issued on tape by Mexico City’s excellent Umor Rex to pursue a personal exploration of “the fragile tensions between an individual and a collective subconscious” - effectively opening up and inhabiting the space between waking life and nightmares/dreams.
Let’s be fair, there’s probably 20 albums a week that purport to delve into that twilight zone, but the efficacy of their vision rests on a delicate balance between the presence of the composer and their ability to subtract themselves and leave behind something more intangible,and in turn their ability to suspend our disbelief and immerse us in that space.
By sleight of hand and detail of tone and space, Amini arguably maintains that veil impeccably throughout the four sections of TAR, generating an oneiric series of visual/musical prompts which suggest riveting, yet sometimes harrowing, imagery and sensations, but like a dream its sense of “darkness” is just out of reach, impending and lurking rather than in your face or quite real.
It flows with an elemental sorcery from reverberant electronic space and caustic noise swells to sweeping strings in A Dream’s Frozen Reflection in a way that recalls subtler Ben Frost, while the stygian viscosity of Rivers of Tar recalls the most impressive aspects of Subtext’s grand statements, but again with a more nuanced, modern cinema noir appeal, and Face On The Sand reminds us of parts to Sir Richard Bishop and W. David Oliphant’s Beyond All Defects.
But it’s really all building to the denouement of The Dust We Breathe, which generates Tar’s most tumultuous and varied topography, from gripping electrical storm disturbances to keening strings and a jaw-dropping turn half way thru its 14 minute trek, towards a more glorious light that reminds of the fade out to Kara-Lis Coverdale’s Grafts.
If you know what’s good for you, check this album out.
French election politics and rave music prompt this ace compilation of winners from Low Jack, J-Zbel, and U-202 (Ron Morelli), dispatched to celebrate 3 years of hook ups between L.I.E.S. and Brothers From Different Mothers.
BFDM’s J-Zbel turns up two ‘ardcore-infected zingers on the front with a wide-eyed zinger named Nik Molina full of trancing arpeggios and strobing choral voices, then on a killer ’91 breakbeat tip with the savant brutishness of Selecta (Neneu Anthem #5).
Sharing the flipside, Low Jack plates up the spooky dancehall dub of Ice Formula Riddim somewhere between the eyes of Equiknoxx and Jay Glass Dubs, and Ron Morelli beats off the gristly, dogged noise torque of Whistler (Edit X), which sounds like one of Cylob’s Lobster Trax gone feral.
Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers.
"For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings”
Although originally released on download formats last year, 2017 saw the first vinyl release of Maxwell Sterling's stunning solo debut album 'Hollywood Medieval', remastered for this new edition complete with new artwork by the artist’s mother - Manchester post-punk legend Linder Sterling. Huge recommendation if you're into TCF, Philip Glass, Coil, 0PN, James Ferraro.
Hollywood Medieval is an album about the glaring disparities and elaborate, underlying convolutions the composer observed and felt while working as a nanny for wealthy parents during his film composition studies at UCLA in the early part of the 2010s. Using an augmented a palette of classic DX7 and Juno 60 synths along with a severely warped bank of library samples and iPhone recordings, it spells out a queasily evocative simulacra of the city in flux, animating a sort of Ballardian tableaux that’s hyper-descriptive in its rendering of the hazy, dosed-up, and often delirious transitions between Hollywood's glamour and grime, using LA's gurning facades and ostentatious wealth as prompts for a richly visual side of sawn-off emotive signposts and jazz-taut turns of phrase that vividly etch on the memory in neon freehand.
From the dizzying sugar rush of the opening sequence, Hollywood Medieval I, to its spiralling counterpoint in Hollywood Medieval II, the album is an inception-like concerto, with Maxwell smartly subverting the film score composer’s role by placing the music centre stage and allowing the narration to be carried by virtuosic flourishes owing to his classical and jazz music schooling, as he explains “one compositional intention was to push the sample libraries to their limits, testing their claims of being ‘realistic’, and finding the points at which they break and falter and become something new and less recognisable.”
From the dizzying sugar rush of the opening sequence, Hollywood Medieval I, to its spiralling counterpoint in Hollywood Medieval II, taking in the Derrick May/Sueno Latino-esque $50 Curse Removal and the Lorenzo Senni like whisked peaks of Synthetic Beach, the album is an inception-like concerto, with Maxwell smartly subverting the film score composer’s role by placing the music centre stage and allowing the narration to be carried by virtuosic flourishes owing to his classical and jazz music schooling, as he explains “one compositional intention was to push the sample libraries to their limits, testing their claims of being ‘realistic’, and finding the points at which they break and falter and become something new and less recognisable.”
In a sense, Hollywood Medieval resonates with the way Sam Kidel subverted the nature of Ambient music on Disruptive Muzak, and offers an alternative, lucid view of the hazy LA offered by Delroy Edwards Teenage Tapes and likewise, works like a present diagnosis of the dystopian future worlds dreamed up in The Sprawl’s dystopian, widescreen visions on EP1, effectively broadening and illuminating The Death of Rave’s own sonic hauntology.
Deluxe edition of Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza’s Azioni collection, comprehensively highlighting the early years of one of the most important, widely influential musical explorers at their late 1960's best. All the material here was salvaged from the archives of Gruppo member Walter Branchi, and serves to illustrate his work in the collective - along with Franco Evangelisti, Ennio Morricone, Ivan Vandor, Roland Kayn, Egisto Macchi, Mario Bertoncini and John Heineman - like some kind of document to the “big bang” of their unique electro-acoustic microcosmos.
Covering the period between their seminal, eponymous debut Gruppo Di Improvvisazione ‘Nuova Consonanza’ and the Improvisationen LP for Deutsche Grammophon - the same period during which Morricone was composing the OST for A Fistful Of Dollars and Roland Kayn was starting to realise the first strains of a sonic AI - the set documents in-depth the exhilarating friction and outlandish wonder of this unique unit of multi-disciplined and unblinkered musical thinkers and performers who smashed convention and effectively opened the doors for thousands of artists in their wake.
Funny thing is, to look at old pictures of the squad, all suited, bespectacled and with neat-ass fades, you’d hardly think that they would out-do Wolf Eyes or Smegma when it comes to creating the maddest racket you’ve never heard; but thats just what these guys did. Drawing from all corners of the compositional sphere, from free-jazz to serialism and concrète, they practically trampled on conventions with a fine-tuned experimental thrust that spun the lead of Russolo and the futurists with the live fire of Ornate Coleman and John Coltrane and the synthetic otherworldliness of Oskar Sala.
Gruppo fiends will no doubt know and love the original Azioni set, issued on 2CD+DVD in 2006 and found here cut across 2.5 sides of vinyl. However, hardly anyone in the world has heard the 100 minutes of Reazioni material, forming a major part of the attraction here; manifest in a masterly and near-telepathic system of tonal and percussive communication rent with head-spinning spatial dynamics, generating structures and sounds which arguably never existed before these recordings, which really come into their own in the quiet moments of extended technique, and a totally dilated 20 minute finale or détournement on the 5th disc.
OK, there are historic precedents in Russolo’s Intonarumori, the clatter of early Henry or Schaeffer, and the sonic architextures of Varèse and Xenakis, but nobody else had knitted sheets of plasmic electronic drones (thanks to Roland Kayn and Walter Branchi) with the sublime tensions and cues of music for film (ta to Macchi and Morricone), and the in-the-moment wit of jazz quite like these guys. And with praise due to the restoration of original tapes and remastering by Giuseppe Ielasi, the recordings still sound wildly ahead of the curve, effectively in a parallel dimension of their own.
““The songs on Some Waking Woman come up like ragged wildflowers in the unnameable heel of wasteland between the end house of the terrace and the already-dated concrete and plastic of the new business park. Too much? The songs come up from the hot gap between the weird dissociative dreamscape and the phone-alarm of a slate Tuesday morningtime. They look out from the record with a gaze that’s lost between doe-eyed affection and a murky voyeurism. They’re made of a music caught between the battered nylon-string and a layered orchestration turning between lush and gritty.
It’s between the pottery and the calcified dogshit; between the filthy rebels and the eerie loyalists; between the probable cause of an action not quite either the Frenchman’s crime of passion or the English barfight. It’s a record of between-ness – like, this is just between us, right? It’s the same gap between the ballad and the mumbled apology, the love song and the exasperated sigh. My trousers have been pulled down in the playground again. Tsk. I love you and all of love turns out to be a colossal shitshow. Tsk.
Some Waking Woman isn’t an anthem nor an elegy, although it has moments of both. It isn’t quite in the gutter, but it’s sure as hell not looking at the stars – the album has its gaze locked on the almost-clean livingroom carpet, or the overgrown tarmac country-road corner, or the PVC windowframes slowly colouring-in with dawn. In the hands of O. D. Davey, the ordinary surfaces of a life like the one everyone actually has are made to glimmer weirdly with the inevitable love, loss and resignation underneath them. The comedy underneath it all. The album’s intimate, and the recording even more so: we hear the creak in Davey’s voice, the sound of his tongue moving in his mouth, the air dragged into his lungs. It’s like being inside his head.
These are touching, intricate ballads with melodies of nursery-rhyme sweetness, but as reimagined by a failed nineties gameshow host, humming his old theme-tunes as he staggers back home pissed after closing time. But they’re songs of love, for all that; his daughters haven’t called in months. The sense is that these narrators have more love than they know what to do with; move love than they can trust themselves to handle; more love than they can believe in. Davey handles the flaws and imperfections and fractures of day-to-day living; finds the gap and digs in. This is an attention paid to the agonising and lovely awkward corners of life that don’t get talked about. This is a record as in an LP, but a record too in the sense of a setting down of something true. ”
Joey Connolly, June 2017
Gorgeous and thought provoking split LP from these two notable synthesists. Kubisch contemplates Nicolai Tesla and his concept of electrical remoteness as it applies to the modern world, making use of electromagnetic field recordings from tramways, analog machines, light systems, power stations, airports, banks, secrity systems, advertising and the sounds of discharges and activities of Tesla's own devices - recorded all over the world. Eleh's composition makes use of a new kind of spaciousness and was composed for piano & Serge STS modular synthesizers. Though Tesla was not a consideration when the piece was recorded, it takes on a new meaning and is well paired with Kubisch's.
From Christina Kubisch:
"The fgure of Nikola Tesla has fascinated me since a long time. He was the person who imagined wireless communication in an era when there was hardly electricity. He was the one who invented radio controlled devices and other new technologies beyond the generally known limits of technology. Tesla had been picking up radio signals in New York since 1895 receiving them as far as thirty miles away. He wasnot only an inventor whose work was the basis for the development of many electrical inventions and communication techniques of today but was as well a very special person, a visionary who was inable to realize many of his ideas because of money problems and as well his “diffcult” character.
I discovered his work during my studies of electronics in Milan at the end of the seventies. In that period I started to use the system of electromagnetic induction for my sound installations. Tesla had invented and patented the frst telephone amplifer in 1882 in Budapest and, without knowing about its origin I used a simple telephone amplifer with incorporated small coils to listen to the sounds in my installations.Later on my work with electromagnetic induction had developed into the series “Electrical Walks”, city walks with special headphones which make audible the usually hidden electromagnetic felds around us. In 2012 I visited the small museum of science in the city of Kosice in Slovakia. The museum had many Tesla devices in their showroom and I got a special permission to test tem. I listened with my special induction headphones to the Tesla machines and was fascinated: a thunderstorm of electromagnetic noise. It was the moment when I got inspired to make a piece aboutelectrical remoteness. Tesla grew up in a remote small village in Austria (now Croatia) where electricity, radio, cars, telephones, movies etc. were unknown. As a boy he loved nature more than everything else. But already at the age of 36, in 1893, his inventions made it possible that the world expo in the city of Chicago was illuminated by one hundred thousand electrical lamps.
The new technologies concerning light, radio, radar etc. were developing with such an incredible speed since then like today the components of the digital world. I always asked myself what Tesla would have thought about the internet, google, twitter, facebook, apps etc. Was this the vision he had in mind when he invented his system of wireless transmission of electrical signals? His working places were full of big heavy coils, oscillators, metal towers etc. by which he tried to transfer energy without wires. Today we almost forget that digital communication and storage is not based only on invisible remote waves in the ether but that it needs server rooms which are much bigger and heavier than Teslas equipment. “Teslas Dream” opens with the magnetic felds recorded in an old Austrian train station followed by the electrical melodies of old Tatra tramways in Bratislava (now almost disappeared). The sounds of discharges and activities of Teslas devices gradually come in. During the piece the electromagnetic signals change gradually from the sounds of analog machines to the more actual felds of light systems, security systems, power lines, banks, subways, airports, power stations etc. Various electrical signals of digital communication slowly merge in and change again the sound structure. The composition ends with the sounds of a luminous advertising, recorded recently in a shopping centre in Las Vegas, accompanied by the faint vibrations of other signals from the ether. Tesla wanted to reach the most remote places of the earth with electrical energy. Nothing today is remote anymore.
The glass armonica (an original instrument from the 19th century) was recorded at the Musikinstrumentenmuseum in Berlin. All other recordings were made with electromagnetic headphones and other custom made devices developed by Christina Kubisch. The original electrical feld recordings were made in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Britain, Czech republic, New York, Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam."
First domestic release proper for a cult post-punk LP with strong psychedelic and krautrock leanings
“‘More Wealth Than Money’ proved a vastly ambitious debut album, sprawling across four sides of vinyl in a way that still feels truly expansive, brave, cinematic even. From the plaintive pastoralism of ‘British Warm’ to the transcendental vistas of ‘Other Ways Of Knowing’, the album constantly surprises with its ringing trails of guitar, motorik pulse and synth rambles. From the striving incursion of ‘Sally IV’ to the softly spoken disbelief of ‘Yellow Rain’ the album is nothing short of a waking dream. Guy Smith’s vocal floats through the album in a haunting manner, at times heartfelt at others overcome. He’s on a quest to his own celestial city and we can stay for the whole journey if we only listen.
Described by the press upon its release in 1982 as an “absolutely mesmerising double album travelling through progressive rock, via industrial folk to freaky art-punk whilst sounding delightfully coherent” and “a huge slab of mindblowing dark psychedelia” the album was critically acknowledged for its peculiarly British kosmische. However for an album so indebted to the fertile soil from which it sprang, it’s curious that ‘More Wealth Than Money’ never came out officially in the UK. The band’s label Illuminated were temporarily blacklisted by their distributor because of unpaid debts and so the album was only available from the band at concerts within the UK. The bulk of the record’s sales went to mainland Europe on export.
Upset The Rhythm are now very proud to finally give ‘More Wealth Than Money’ the release it’s always deserved. On December 1st, 35 years since the album first appeared, Upset The Rhythm will be reissuing the newly re-mastered ‘More Wealth Than Money’ album, alongside a further full-length collection of demos and unreleased tracks from the album’s overlooked corners. Both the 2xCD and DLP versions also come with a booklet contextualizing the release, full of anecdotes and photos from all band members. This release follows on from 2015's ‘Return Of The Ranters’, Normil Hawaiians’ lost final album from 1985, which ultimately saw the light of day in a different age through Upset The Rhythm too.”
Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback.
"Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe Oto arranged at St. John, Hackney - 5 years ago. In 2016 they were invited to play two duo concerts – at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe Oto in London.
Otoroku is proud to present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe Oto in July 2016 the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers. Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher."
Per Martinsen AKA Mental Overdrive is one of Norwegian dance music’s founding fathers. Alongside friends such as Bjorn Torske, Biosphere, Rune Lindbaek and DJ Strangefruit, Martinsen was integral in laying the foundations of Norway’s now blossoming dance music scene during the late 1980s and early 90s. As a producer, he cut his teeth making house, techno and hardcore for Belgian imprints SSR and R&S Records at the turn of the ‘90s.
"He was a regular at the R&S studio in Ghent, programming and mixing for other artists including Joey Beltram. Since then, Per has continued to produce and release quality electronic music, both under his Mental Overdrive alias (see releases on Full Pupp, Smalltown Supersound, Rett i Fletta and his own Love OD Communications imprint), and as part of outfits such as Frost (alongside his other half, Aggie Peterson) and Illumination/ Chilluminati. Per is featured heavily in Ben Davis and Pete Jenkinson’s documentary film chronicling the rise of Norwegian dance music, ‘Northern Disco Lights’.
In addition to appearing on screen, he also wrote the incidental music featured on the soundtrack. He is also on a continuing mission to overthrow the evil empire of global capitalism through several projects touching in on other fields of artistic expression, and is very pleased that Juno Records once tagged him a “Weekend Situationist” in one of their reviews."
Loft takes their mutant party to Wisdom Teeth with Three Settlements Four Ways. Landing in the wake of a vinyl pressing for his RA-praised Turbulent Dynamics EP, the vibes and production are, by turns, much lusher, layered and knotty than previous outings, bringing Loft’s sound closer to say, Arca or Lanark Artefax.
Up top, they emerge from tremulous beginnings to open out an optimistic, airborne club blessing with the percolated drums, hyaline chorales and virulent acid lines of Filton Recall, then squashing the pressure down low with bubbling subs generating effervescent ambient chords and a spire of giddy hardstyle trance motifs in Funemployed.
Flipside he commits to more chaotic themes with the ambiguous, pranging dynamics of Oh Well We’re All Fucked, chewing up and spitting out a rainbow coloured gob of sawn-off breaks and convulsive club deconstructions, then settles into a nervy swing with the lush but agitated bump of Pottlin.
Björk blooms her most impressive album in a good while with Utopia, featuring co-production by Arca and even a guest spot by Rabit, who both aid in buoying her astonishingly lush and romantic new song cycle. As sincerely optimistic as the title may suggest, Utopia is, by Björk’s own description, her “tinder album”, projecting a positive answer to the tortuous soul-searching of Vulnicura.
We can take or leave a lot of Björk on most days. But this one got us right thurrr. Whether that’s due to the seamless integration of Arca’s virtuosic flourishes, it’s difficult to say. However, the embrace of space and nature, both real and emulated, within Utopia lends an intoxicatingly out-of-body sensation to its songs which beautifully leavens her sometimes overwrought delivery, serving to free up her spirit in the most literal and fascinatingly intangible terms.
Where Arca was brought in at the late stages of Vulnicura to warp its edges, their working relationship immediately spilled over into the recording of Utopia, forging a symbiotic and hugely fruitful relationship with the artist he formerly called his idol. Now creative partners, their powers are multiplied, manifesting the longest single piece of work in either’s catalogue, and arguably their most seductive.
You can literally hear her beaming while she sings over swooping subs, gamer FX and pirouetting harps in Awakening My Senses, whilst the folk phrasing and prettiness of Blissing Me perfectly counters her operatic tendencies. Conversely, the adroit looseness of Arca’s rhythms acutely mirror the expressive meter of Björk’s classical inflections in Body Memory, one of the album’s longest, most immersive highlights, and equally in sweetly fractious form to giddy effect on Losss, which benefits from Rabit’s push ’n pull production.
And even when talking frankly about the darker side of that tinder life in the couplet of Courtship and Sue Me, she pulls off delirious, rugged - but not overbearing - rhythms and skyward-zipping flutes keeping her spirit decidedly up and forward-looking in a way that also informs the album’s heart-cupping conclusion, Future Forever.
Wolfgang Voigt presents an incredible new chapter in the GAS saga almost 20 years since its last instalment, taking us deeper still into the recesses of that neon lit forest nightscape, just in time for that new series of Twin Peaks that's just around the corner...
Over the last two decades many listeners have become deeply familiar with Zauberburg, Königsforest, and Pop - many for the first time via the vital Nah Und Fern compilation , and with an even greater number becoming seduced and schooled via the comprehensive Box collection in 2016, which effectively sets the scene for this, Wolfgang Voigt’s keenly awaited re-arrival. Not to make him sound like christ or anything but, jeeeeez, we need this guy’s music now as badly as ever.
Under the title Narkopop, which suggests a continuation of the themes explored by its predecessor, Pop , as well as a succinct acknowledgement of his music’s putative purpose, the Kompakt kingpin floods the senses with what must be a life-threatening dose to folk who are AMSR responsive or suffer cardiac respiratory problems; you’ll either shiver yourself to a very pleasurable death or find yourself catching your breath at the point of systolic syncopation with Voigt’s inhale/exhale dynamics.
To be clear, the formula of etheric de/composition remains the same; there’s no studio skits or sidesteps into Ed Sheeraned polkapop (free ideas for the future right there, Wolfgang) - but the production and dense sense of tension is taken even further into that unique soundworld. The kicks remain as deep as your pulsatile tinnitus heard thru the pillow at night, whilst the strings are diaphanous and intangibly convective; slowly but surely directing the listener to a highly desirable state of delirium; along a spiralling Escher’s staircase to a beautiful nowhere.
It’s perhaps arbitrary to give a run thru of all the tracks because, as anyone who has immersed themselves in GAS will tell you, it’s quite likely that consciousness isn’t an option by the end of the recording, with the final tracks of his albums tending to be received by osmosis from behind closed eyelids. But, in case you have the concentration span of a long haul trucker or a tolerance for beta blockers, you’ll be well attuned to its valerian gauze and durational thrum, which picks us up at the very Leyland Kirby/The Caretaker-esque Narkopop 1, and carries thru distinct highlights in the breathtaking symphonic smudge of Narkopop 4, and the windswept aeolian harp shiver laced into Narkopop 6 before delivering us at the feet of a towering, cloud-shrouded holy mountain which gradually reveals its peak in Narkopop 10.
20 years on, it's still a sound that no one has managed to better, despite countless imitations.
Russia’s Paval Milyakov, aka Buttechno, tends to his screwier, inquisitive side for TTT with a gauzy batch of ambient, folk and house experiments, swerving between the lines of his records for Japan’s City-2 St. Giga, Collapsing Market and his Gosha Rubchinskiy AW16 soundtrack, to the dankest parts of his bedroom-baked club sound.
This is music for hanging out on cold, concrete corners in your most flammable trackies, taking in pastoral electro-folk meditation Gosha Medvedeva, his Pole-esque Slow Dub, and the skinny, bone-pinching swing of K4 on the one hand, before decorating those skeletal structures with more fleshly samples of Russia pop in the low key seduction of Poleva, and something like a roadside house rave played on empty vodka bottles, oil drums and cardboard boxes in the Brinkmann-like Metallo, and a nervily grubbing, spooked-out house ace named Super Siziy King.
This album is just so good, probably the most heavyweight, dread-filled Ambient LP you’ll hear this year, exploring post-club dimensions with eight tracks of hazy hooks, engulfing subs and grimy thizz rent in acres of space, something like Arca via Bladerunner. Beneath describes it perfectly as “uplifting whilst also being dread filled...”
Making up the first album release on Mistry after seven club-hingeing EPs from the likes of Batu, Laksa, Chevel and Webstarr, Kailin’s Fracture occupies an introspective middle-distance between perceptions of club and ambient modes of reception by disintegrating dancefloor structures into a near-metaphysical presence with mercurial, vapourising gestures. Like Schrödingers cat in a bassbin, it’s neither or, and possibly both at the same time, depending on your perception.
This paradoxical sense of detachment and immersion perhaps stems from the album’s production; originally sketched out in a 2 month haze, then left to steep for much longer, before the collection’s nuances and conflicting elements began to reveal themselves in remarkable formations such as the OOBE electro flex of Circling or the midnight quantum jazz dynamics of Gimp, or a really big highlight in the teetering, polymetric ambient pop of Respite.
No doubt it’s a fascinating and quintessential turn for Mistry, one which lives up to the label’s name and its roots in the duppie dread effect of UK soundsystem culture, yet never previously revealed by Beneath’s imprint in such absorbing and heady style before now.
Melodies International proudly moves forward with an elusive piece of mid-tempo Chicago soul originally performed by Gloria J. Jennings in 1977.
"Gloria was signed to Stage Productions as a gospel singer with pure and raw talent she had developed in the choir of her father's Southern Baptist Church. She was 16 years old at the time. To tutor her for R&B vocals, Willie C. Nance of Stage Productions spent 3 months taking the artist back and forth for vocal training 25 miles each way, 3 days per week.
At the time, Mr. Nance had made plans to work with singer and songwriter Theresa Eagins to record “Know What You Want”. However, two days before the recording was set to begin, Ms. Eagins refused to move forward with the recording as she chose to take her religious faith more seriously and forgo the singing of secular music. Hence, Stage Productions turned to Gloria Jay to perform a song that would go on to move people thousands of miles away, many years later.”
Paean to Wilson is arguably Vini Reilly and the Durutti Columns most important and consistent piece of work since the demise of the original and seminal Factory Records in the early 1990’s.
"It was commissioned MIF (Manchester International Festival of Music), July 2009. Vini had already composed pieces for Tony to listen to whilst he was ill in hospital and it was from here that the project developed. The opening night of the three sell-out festival shows formed part of the BBC2 ‘Culture Show’ coverage on the event.
Dave Simpson – MIF Review – The Guardian 20/7/09 4 out of 5 ‘ Near the beginning of the final night of the Durutti Column's 70-minute international festival tribute to Tony Wilson, A Paean to Wilson, guitarist Vini Reilly announced that he wouldn't be singing: "So you won't have to put up with my awful voice and schoolboy lyrics." If Wilson was with us, he would have chuckled. The Granada presenter-turned-Factory Records boss spent years urging his first signing to stop singing, and concentrate on the virtuosity that led Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante to call Reilly "the greatest guitarist in the world". Two years after his death, Wilson got his way, one of many lovely touches in a very personal, emotional and often warmly funny musical tribute. Wilson signed Joy Division and Happy Mondays, yet never gave up on this cult band he adored, working with them even after his legendary label went bankrupt."