Absolutely classic full length featuring nine tracks by Glass Candy.
The band's reworking of Kraftwerk's 'Computer Love' and the summery, retro disco of 'Rolling Down The Hills' have been given the re-recording treatment, having already showed up in different versions on the super hip After Dark compilation.
The duo's Italo-influenced sound is in fine form on B/E/A/T/B/O/X, with vocalist Ida No bringing some much needed personality to the genre, while Johnny Jewel (these probably aren't even their real names are they?) lays down some great synth passages on 'Last Nite I Met A Costume' and the slow funk of 'Candy Castle'.
Students of Decay proceed that tremulous Sarah Davachi beauty with Caroline No’s equally captivating collection of songs, No Language, firming up as the Melbournian’s debut solo album after nearly three decades of providing vocals and guitars to Antipodean indie-rock and pop units. If Mazzy Star was raised on Flying Nun records, she may well have ended up sounding like Caroline No.
“Recorded in early 2015 and originally released as a micro edition cassette on World News Records, No Language is the debut collection of songs by Melbourne’s Caroline No. The group’s unique, beguiling sound sits somewhere between archetypal Dunedin pop and languorous, textural improvisation. No Language was spontaneously recorded with one microphone and the serendipity of the session proves tactile in the listening experience. We hear heavily reverbed laughter, coughing, fits and starts with various processing equipment, all of which contribute wonderfully to the ephemeral nature of the music. On “Up To Downtown” vocalist Caroline Kennedy implores the band to “just try to stay in time” before lurching into what, against all odds, turns out to be a remarkably anthemic earworm of a pop song. Closer “Roomer” incorporates granular processing (perhaps a pedal someone forgot they’d brought to the session) to endearing and startling effect. Ultimately, No Language is a marvelous balancing act of a record, drawing from pop, free improv, and psychedelia in equal parts to arrive at something timeless.”
Strong debut album ruminating on the socio-political rifts in modern America, among other issues, set to production by The Roots, oddCouple, Peter Cottontale (Skrillex, SZA), and featuring Chance The Rapper, Noname, Saba and Nico Segal. Make sure to check for the psychedelic bounce of LSD and the wobbly knock on VRY BLK!
Gritty but warmly seductive tape experiments from Alex & Léopold aka Radiante Pourpre, originally issued on tape in 2014 thru the Paris-Bordeaux-Marseille label and collective, Simple Music Experience, and now cut to vinyl by Antinote.
With a murky fidelity lodged somewhere between The Caretaker or Tape Loop Orchestra’s wistful clag and the kinetic air of Bellows/Giuseppe Ielasi/Nicola Ratti, Radiante Pourpre quietly does its dilapidated thing, coaxing tape loops into lolling figures-of-eight that feed into a fizzing harmonic mulch, bubbling with nods to ghostly, bygone lounge and bossa nova styles like some sort of ferric tempura for the ears.
Austin, TX’s Holodeck reclaim their boys from the Upside Down for reissue of the LP variously known as Survive, HDXV, or HD015 for this edition.
Landing just ahead of a 2nd season of Stranger Things, the cult TV phenomenon which benefitted from S U R V I V E’s soundtrack, this LP is a perfect, in-demand reminder of what pushed the Texas synth trio into wider popular consciousness.
Killer digickal reggae originally reelased in 1990 and now reissued on vinyl for the 1st time.
This album appears in the wake of Cubiculo’s previous reissue of O. Maddo’s Hear Mi Name Call, which arrived in tragic circumstances, coming from mastering only a day after the artist had died in 2016. Includes proper DJ tackle in the hard but sweet bubblers Gun Talk and the lovers style of This Lady.
Debut album from Reptaliens featuring members of Blouse, Wampire, Brainstorm and Woolen Men.
"Portland, Oregon’s Reptaliens is the husband and wife team of Cole and Bambi Browning. The couple met on a basketball court while filming a music video for a mutual friend’s band that didn’t exist. The two knew almost instantly they were soulmates; after dating for six months they married under a blanket of smoke from the season’s forest fires.
Named in reverence for their interests in cult mentality transhumanism, and conspiracy theories, Reptaliens quickly evolved from a bedroom recording project to a full-fledged band that explores fringe pop culture through analogue synthesizers, electric guitars, melodic basslines and Bambi’s lulling vocals. The pair’s songwriting mirrors their strong connection. As Cole says, “Bambi and I write all the music. Sometimes we work together to construct songs and sometimes I’ll come home from work and she’ll have a masterpiece finished and perfectly crafted. We both add to each other’s songs and none really seem completely Bambi’s or mine. We do everything together.”
Inspired by all things science fiction, writers like Philip K. Dick and Haruki Murakami and music ranging from Paul McCartney / Wings to African artists Francis Bebey and Nahawa Doumbia, the band creates psychedelic, chameleonic dreamscapes that fall sonically and visually somewhere between abstract expressionism and surrealism. These ideas and influences all coalesce on ‘FM-2030’ - named after the renowned transhumanist writer and philosopher - the band’s debut album on Captured Tracks.
Thematically based around obsession, Bambi says she “gravitates toward other people’s obsessions and draws inspiration from them. I like to think of method acting and personify myself as the obsessor, writing from their perspective. I love pretending and creating around these personalities.” This play-acting on record translates to the band’s sincere and theatrical live performances that involve homemade costumes and on-stage guest appearances from a giant reptile man.
‘FM-2030’ was recorded at famed Portland studio The Green House with Riley Geare. As longtime active participants in the Portland music scene, Bambi and Cole called on a number of talented musicians for Reptaliens’ recordings and live performances, including Julian Kowalski (guitar), Bryson Hansen (synth) and Tyler Vergian (drums). However, Cole is quick to note, “Reptaliens is a concept more so than a band or any group of individuals. Those who are willing to let go and open themselves up to new experiences will be rewarded and emboldened. Those who want to turn away will have no choice but to look. The truth is out there."
Gebrüder’s gon’ work make it squelch
Wolfgang Voigt & Reinhard Voigt team up to trample out the strange, haunting acid swagger, sepulchral synth voices and squirrelly electronics of Sanfte Grüsse in a Grungerman style, backed with the frozen alarm bells and dry-humping motorik techno momentum of Durchdringdring with unmistakeable teutonic discipline.
Purified electro pressure outta the southern hemisphere
Jensen Interceptor gets it damn right with the precision-tooled 808 percolations and subtle, floating pads of Glide Drexler, then with frankly reckless levels of 4:4 ghetto-bass in the mechanics of Carter’s Green Factory, and cold killing it with Not Phased’s trepanning snares.
Heavy tramplin’ dubstep from far down under...
Youngsta’s Sentry give NZ’s Accept room to skank on the 3rd Sentry plate, cooking up the cement-rooted subs, recoiling dynamics and Deathprod-esque string motif of Dreader Than Dread on top, and coming super slow, low and duppy with the hulking mass of Howl.
Monotonous greyscale rhythm drills from Shane English for L.I.E.S., following suit with his General Dimensions  LP a tape for Unknown Precept, and collaboration with Beau Wanzer.
A-side dishes up the blank-eyed, mid-tempo grind of 1111, with a brute bass spooked out by distant bells and groaning atmospheres, before Land-Lock ups the ante with sparkier electro drums and ear-worming vocal abstraction, but little concession to ‘progression’ or anything so frivolous.
That ascetic aesthetic informs the B-side, too. Drip dispenses tightly grained slow industrial techno la ADMX; Icon sounds like a steel factory having an after-hours bashment; and Over the Railing peers back a darkly detached scene of distant church bells and threadworn bass pulse.
Tokyo’s Kouhei Matsunaga with a lucidly crisp set of breakbeat techno an electro tricks for DFA Records continuing his world tour of labels after 12”S with PAN, Important, Raster-Noton, Diagonal, L.I.E.S.
The prolific multi-monikered artist covers a usual breath of nuance across the 8 tracks of Exit Entrance, weaving between Rian Treanor-esque, avian electronic mixed with crunchy garage in Meeting to fiercer, grungy pressure recalling Diamond Version in Dignity, taking in a glassy beatless apex with Notice and a killer lash of bendy acid techno with Dented.
Turin’s freakiest kick off the G.O.D. CUTS series with Traag’s Money Orientated; five pieces of post Detroit techno and EBM with a noirish sci-fi atmosphere accentuated by snippets of whispered and suggestive dialogue looped and placed with psychotomimetic effect recalling output from Phork, Dale Cornish or Moon Pool and Dead Band...
“The first Ep of this series couldn't be by any other but Travis Galloway and Chris Durham aka TRAAG. The Detroit based guys have inaugurated the Gang of Ducks imprint with the magnificent White Wall ep and after that, in 2014 they released a mini-lp named UPN 50, one of the most appreciated outputs of the label.
Money Orientated ep explores the most narcotic side of their sound, which takes influence from the Michigan noise scene spitting out some bad washed EBM beats. The 5 tracks follow one another perfectly, proving that the Traag sound has become a solid thing.”
Sam Kerridge launches a major rethink of his style with the high-velocity tempos and razor-toothed bite of The Silence Between Us, new on Downwards.
Toiling somewhere between Ueno Masaaki’s Vortices for Raster-Noton, the pitching pelt of La Peste for Hangars Liquides, and the machine convulsions of Somatic Responses, he goes balls-to-the-wall with the breakneck momentum of Possession/Control, harnessing reverse-edited kicks, helter-skelter EBM bass and spectrographic noise ghouls in a surge of searing rave energy.
Flipside, those knotty, strobing pulses keen thru empty stomach inversions and bursts of tangled EBM synths on Ascension, which is effectively a snappier edit of the A-side, whilst Radical Possibilities of Pleasure sounds like a field recording from a french hardtek invaded by dildo dibble in choppers and riot gear railing lasers against any unlucky dancers.
A flipping big yes to this cranky AF, heavily-cut-up concrète beating recorded in 1963 by Karel Appel - a Dutch artist, who, as he exclaims, “I Do Not Paint / I Hit!”, and is best known for his abstract-expressionist “hits” since the ‘50s. That’s him looking like an Audint member on the front cover, and going ham on the kettle drums on the back. What a guy?!
Sounding something like Sun Ra meets Gottfried Michael Koenig for a noisy night ‘round Varèse’s place, Musique Barbare Van Karel Appel is a raucous and captivatingly unhinged blow-out transposing Appel’s intuitive, inner-child-like approach to the traditional canvas onto a sonic backdrop of wild, beat-up drums, electronic devices, and hacked-up varispeed tape FX at the University of Utrecht.
It’s never been reissued since the original release in 1963, and therefore trades for a lot of money 2nd hand to those in the know; which isn’t us by the way - meaning it’s landing some serious punches on our unsuspecting bonce.
With a sense of unadulterated, unquantised freedom akin to Harry Bertoia’s also-just-reissued Sonambient collection, Appel treats his palette with a shockingly loose and tactile fashion, sending keys and careening drums skittering down flights of imagined stairs to explosive impact zones and frantic junctures of jagged, non-melodic colour.
There’s three pieces, each as mad as the next, sending us spiralling from the arrhythmic playtime of Paysage Electronique to the hoarse holler and relatively concise, proto-No Wave jammer Poème Barbare, and, a full side roll-out of crashing timpani, wigged-out organ fiyah and spoken word in Le Cavalier Blanc.
You can safely consider our minds blown, and take that as a warning/heavy-recommendation for your own swede.
Officially available to download for the first time, including Napalm Death’s Mick Harris and Nick Bullen as Scorn, plus some hypnotic Seefeel oddities, but most worthwhile for the transfixing, rare recording of a Yanomami Group Healing ritual made by David Toop.
“Third record of a thematic series of 9, published from 1993 to 1998 called Utopian Diaries. Ancient Light and the Blackcore was released in 1995.
“It begins with Scorn at his best, Naked Sun with M.J. Harris (Lull, Painkiller) & N.J. Bullen. Followed 3 new tracks by Seefeel (As if, As track & As well) recorded during the sessions of Seccour. The first rhythm is made with scratches - at the end of the pieces we discover extraordinary recordings of an intoxicated and painful ceremony of some Amazonian Shamans - recorded by David Toop in the rainforest of Southern Venezuela (communauty of Yanomami) in november 1978. Noted in the booklet, an important text written by David Toop: 'Technicians of the Subworld', about his trip and more generally about the relation between music and intoxication (the shamans as a vivid exemple). Why are you there? the large track by Timothy Leary (voices) & DJ Cheb i Sabbah (production) is the last piece that ended this other film without image.”
First major retrospective of James Dean Brown’s legendary Hypnobeat in over 30 years!
For the uninitiated, Hypnobeat have been a dirty electronic concern since 1983, working with everyone from Tobias Freund to Helena Hauff in their time, and responsible for an endless slew of haywire, driving hardware improvisations comparable with proto-techno, EBM, electro and tribal psychedelia, but basically best referred to as Hypnobeat. Inside Prototech, you may well recognise Kilian from inclusion on a Light Sounds Dark compilation, but unless you’ve properly neeked out and collected their hard to find tapes, the rest will be new and very tasty to anyone who likes their jams live and dirty, a la Smersh, Frak, $hit & $hine, Not Waving. All tracks remastered by George Horn at Fantasy studios, Berkeley.
“Dark Entries and Serendip Lab have teamed up to release ‘Prototech’, the first vinyl retrospective by German electronic trio Hypnobeat, recorded 1984-86. James Dean Brown and Pietro Insipido formed Hypnobeat in 1983, but it was the addition of Victor Sol only a few months later that found the project reaching, as Brown puts it, “the desired level of technical sophistication.” In time, Tobias Freund also lent his talents (and equipment) to this loose-fit sonic scheme, where the protagonists sought a new, electronic manifestation of mankind’s tribal music roots. Two cassette releases surfaced – 1985’s “Huggables”, and “Specials/Spatials” the following year. By this point the Frankfurt-based group had already explored fiercely mechanical creative expression through various configurations of hardware and personnel, revolving around core ingredients such as the TR-808, TB-303 and MC-202. The project lived on in spirit as Brown activated Narcotic Syntax in the 90s. While a more modern, digital concern, rooted in the Perlon label family, NS still channeled the Hypnobeat concept of a “new tribalism”, not least on their “Provocative Percussion” double 12″ released in 2006.
For all the punky veneer, there are instances where these tracks reach staggering levels of sophistication, not least on “Slash! Buffalo Eats Brass” with its intricately programmed 303 lines and nimble beats that sound a far cry from most machine music made in 1986. Prescient “Can God Rewind?” is also dazzling in the complexity of its percussion and the richness of its synth lines in C as they throb out a bastardised version of acidic Disco straight out of the rhythm collider. Elsewhere, some tracks are more primal in their execution. Visceral opening track “The Arumbaya Fetish” was a cathartic venting of Brown’s least favourite sound on the 808, the iconic cowbell, while the astounding proto-Acid miniature “Moon Jump” places limber 303 lead lines in a hail of thunderstruck patterns. “Kilian” has a stripped down quality that speaks more to the industrial era that Hypnobeat was conceived in, and “Mission In Congo” is a raw, reverb-soaked drum workout that captures the percussive-obsessive nature of Hypnobeat perfectly. Six of the seven tracks selected on this collection were primarily powered by two 808s. “I am amazed that the release sounds like we really had a plan back then…” states Brown, but this accidental magic is in fact the raison d’etre of Hypnobeat. They weren’t the only ones prefiguring the next big revolutions in electronic music in the mid 80s, but there certainly weren’t many artists stumbling across modes of expression that sound so relevant today.”
Hyperactive anime soundtrack styles - think Squarepusher meets Foodman
“Iglooghost presents his debut album “Neō Wax Bloom”, almost two years to the day since he made his debut as a teenager on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder imprint with the “Chinese Nü Year” EP - four tracks documenting the time-traveling adventures of a gelatinous worm-shaped creature called Xiangjiao. Expanding on this story, “Neō Wax Bloom” follows the events surrounding two giant eyeballs crashing into the mysterious world of Mamu. Across its 11 tracks, Iglooghost builds a typically intense, hysterical, borderline batshit crazy soundtrack, introducing new characters to his fantastical world and inviting back old friends Mr. Yote and Cuushe for the ride.
In the words of Iglooghost:
“When a pair of giant eyeballs crash into the strange, misty world of Mamu, the mysterious forces that govern nature itself are disrupted. A life cycle of transforming creatures is thrown off balance, and the odd looking inhabitants of Mamu are forced to adapt to this calamity. These inhabitants include Yomi - a multicoloured pom-pom monk; Lummo - a wise blind witch training a band of melon coloured babies; and Uso - a sneaky bug thief hidden in a green cloak - as well as many others. As their respective stories begin to interlock, the mysteries surrounding the giant eyeballs are slowly revealed.”
Previously unreleased recordings by a co-founder of Smegma, one of USA’s pivotal free-improv groups
At the heels of their Smegma LP, Alga Marghen peer into the early recordings of their co-founder, Eric Stewart aka Ju Suk Reet Meate. Much like his pseudonym may suggest a greeting in a Yorkshire butcher’s shop, his sound suggests a documentarian approach to uncovering the oddness of upended convention, revealed in two extended movements recorded with no remixing or overdubs, and now released to the public for the 1st time.
Comprising exclusively unreleased solo material, this is quite the historic artefact, looking right back to the earliest period of his involvement with Smegma in the A-side’s four-part Something New Opus I-IV (1975-1977), which takes in spindly, bluesy string figures and unnervingly acousmatic magick with two sections of frankly fuck-knows-what smears of free jazz, concrete electronics and thumb pianos, while the B-side’s Or Feets Opus I-III (1980) checks out three solo pieces ranging from psychey guitar jamming, extended vocal technique and plunderphonics to an amazing piece of processed vocals and The Caretaker-esque shellac warping with a proper outsider bent.
“Sidestepping all normal expectations on this album, Ju Suk Reet Meate (founding member of Smegma) directly goes about casting musical spells, utilizing primitive "inner mind" techniques on hammered dulcimer, tape loops, thrift store records, a homemade synthesizer, electric guitar, saxophone, mouth sounds, and manipulated christian radio broadcasts. Recorded in Portland, Oregon, these previously unreleased recordings reflect a similar "inner-mind over limited technique matter" aesthetic as the acclaimed but seldom heard classic Solo 1978-1979, originally released on Pigface Records in 1980.”
One of the rarest Vangelis soundtracks of all surfaces on vinyl for the first time - and it’s an absolute peach.
'Amore' was released in 1973 and was Vangelis' second collaboration with movie director Henry Chapier, after recording a score for the highly obscure film 'Sex Power' a year earlier. While an LP was released for the 'Sex Power' score, in very limited quantities, nothing was released of the music for ‘Amore’, nor was the film viewable until it's eventual release on DVD a few years back.
The recordings have been surfaced from the archived masters of the album and includes half an hour of previously unreleased music - an incredible mix of highly atmospheric Library music styles and that inimitable production style, check the widescreen synth vistas and pulsating beat of opener ‘Venezia’, or its more harrowing counterpart on the album closer “Amore” for some idea of the delights held within...
10th anniversary reissue of Puzzles, the record that really helped introduce both All City the label and Hudson Mohawke the producer to a wider audience all the way back in 2007 - the year dubstep broke the mainstream, the government snubbed our snouts in clubs, and bankers had a laugh, which all makes Mike Slott and HudMo’s Heralds of Change moniker seem uncannily prescient.
Puzzles was among a raft of new releases in 2007 that ushered in the whole wonky hip hop phaseshift, which in retrospect can be heard as a kind of retaliation against dubstep’s (by then) cartoonish rave antics by focussing a return to the jazzy boom bap principles of American hip hop proper, only with one leg shorter than the other.
The six tracks inside have coolly withstood the test of time, with smoky nuggets to be (re)discovered in the hazy lean of Future and the fractal groove displacement of A Muse, reserving a definite scene highlight in the 8-bit glitter and skudged knocks of Spotted and their Timba or The Neptunes-styled banger, Work That.
Mesmerising side of two previously unreleased Charlemagne Palestine pieces, recorded by Mayo Thompson and Kurt Munkacsi, effectively revealing the groundwork for his early masterpiece, Four Manifestations on Six Elements in 1974 at the grand theatre of Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.
Untouched and unheard by Palestine for more than 40 years, a recent listening session between Palestine and Alga Marghen revealed moments of genuine beauty in the tapes which totally warranted this release, both as a historical document of the time surrounding one of his most important recordings, and as a striking new release in its own right.
Four Manifestations on Six Elements is easily one of our favourite pieces by the stuffed toy fancier, and thus it’s a total pleasure to wrap our ears around the sessions that went into its creation. On side A we find the 15 minute Voice Piece, recorded in the night of January 25th, 1974 and revealing Palestine’s cirrus falsetto occasionally rising over airborne clusters of sustained Bösendorfer chords that ebb, flow and pulse with effortlessly natural grace. By the end we’re practically floating into the 2nd set of recordings, made the same night and the next, in two takes of Bösendorfer + Voice, with more soothing, lulling cadence in Take One, where the falsetto really comes into play, and then in Take Two’s radiant ten minute play of swirling bass and shifting overtones again with that ethereal, almost childlike vocal.
Wickedly unhinged anti-music jams from best coast freqs, Smegma; recorded 1973-75 at their shared house in Pasadena, LA and previously unheard until now!
As the rest of the world was going prog, glam or soulful, Smegma were giving no fxcks and going sick on their own sound, as likely to turn on funky rockabilly as express an utterly feral combination of gibberish lyrics, ragged guitars and hit-owt-within-reach percussion that still sounds like nobody else - well, apart from LAFMS, whose number they would eventually join anyway.
Opening and closing with invasive vocals from a local C.B. radio operator called Turkey Mon, whose transmitter signal was so powerful it was picked up on the tape head as they recorded, the set variously trips in and out of consciousness from the wild group singing of Pigface Speaks - a sort of combination of native american song, free jazz scat and getting MWI - to a straight-faced garage rock cover of rockabilly classic Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache and the bubbly bop of The Taster, by LA freak and street singer Wild Man Fischer, amid the genuinely “free” flights of Requiem and the moonshine drenched avant-folk dance of Why?
Perhaps unbelievably, many of the personnel on this record - Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Ju Suk Reet Meate - are still operational in Smegma’s current touring band, which is either a testament to the sincerity of their madness, or to the appeal of making a proper daft racket, but either way they all deserve a big salute for travelling paths lesser dotted with the doo doo of convention.
On her floating follow-up to the subliminal vibes of Phobiza Dia: Vol.1 with Total Stasis, Phoebe Guillemot a.k.a. Ramzi synthesises four impeccably hypnagogic dub, house and downbeat sensations for the like-mellow-minded folks at Mood Hut.
There’s a succulent, downtempo tension to this one that gets us from the off; tentatively feeling out a humid, deeply overgrown scene inhabited by lonely sax sprites and unidentified voices grooving to natural, cumbia-grained dub rhythms with For Vanda - imagine Twin Peaks replaced somewhere warmer - before Fuma steers that feeling to a more elegant terrace scene of gentle, woody shuffle and cooing ambient pop tones.
Meanwhile Messiah coolly messes with our sense of geography, introducing tabla-like percussive cadence on a swell of bird calls and night-breeze chorales for the morning after slopes, and then takes us to the South Seas via Addis Ababa and ATL with the exquisitely warped, auto-tuned ambi-R&B-exotica of Malehaye.
John Daly blesses Dublin’s All City Records with a seductive full album of West 2 West material after making an incognito appearance as West 2 West on their 1st Jheri Tracks Compilation sampler, and exploring similar vibes on last year’s well received album, The Smoke Clears.
The boogie slouch is in fuzzy effect on 12 gauzy, offbeat grooves married with wavey synths and new age atmospheres, hardly troubling the ‘floor but still with enough momentum to get you swaying at least, with results best filed somewhere between Actress’ Thriller bits, Leatherette at the most stoned, or the kind of 313-based beats built by DJ Dez, Detroit Escalator Company or Urban Tribe.
JD Twitch ov Optimo’s Autonomous Africa serve a mellow, buoyant session of dubbed-out grooves recorded by Tafi Allstars and Mr TC between Ghana and Glasgow.
Too often these cross-continental projects can sound like spiced up tech-house, but not this time, as they find a fine, loose balance of vibes hingeing on the international language of dub, turning up heady vibes in the sloshing rhythms and echoic space of Gormedzedze, strutting punk-funk-disco with gorgeous vox on Deka Wor Wor, and a superb mesh of live drums and minimal electronics in Cantata.
Turn to the B-side and the EP really comes into its own with more psychedelic expressions in Outside Rhythm and the Sordid Sound System dub of Cantata, as dusk passes in richly evocative fashion with the star-gazing electronics and Regina Egbeako’s fragile lullaby are carried off into dreamscape on Agbe Me Nya Wo.
Sadar Bahar & Ben 'Cosmic Force' team up and come correct with these two direct disco jams ... Artwork by Cosmo Knex.. TIPP!
"The two tracker arose after Sadar Bahar discovered Ben's Utrecht based studio (housing 60 synths!). Electro fiend Ben was charmed by the electronic elements in Sadar's funk and Sadar loved Ben's ideas. Nuff said, a new NL based project was born. Nothing sampled for these tracks... only stabbing guitar, bass, sax and pounding drum programming for dance floor heat!"
Pablo Valentino drops a batch of disco-house track on his and Danilo Plessor’s MCDE label in honour of his 4 year old son, Hugo-João, and four years since he started working at the label.
A-side dispenses the lo-slung, funked-up beatdown of My Son’s Smile replete with Hugo-João’s gurgles in the breakdown, whereas Atlantic’s Calling (One For Portugal) pushes a smoother sort of deep house burn.
B-side, Brooklyn’s Ge-ology, who was last heard on Dekmantel and Sound Signature, brings the plate up to date with an infectious orchestration of piquant electronics and blustery chords on a rolling, broken rhythm, leaving Valentino on the DJ Dez style downstroke of Good Ol’ Days to close.
Italy’s DJ Plant Texture runs the claggy house and jungle-juke jams for UTTU, strengthened with a trio of Simoncino remixes.
Lloyd Goes To Mars, or LGTM herein, comes in a fidgety, warped RaveONine mix for the bumping house heads, before bifurcating into a rushing’ Jungle Mix and the collapsed breaks of his Slow08 Mix on the front.
Simoncino takes the B-side with three deeper acid rubs, at best in the ruddy 303s and foliation pads of the remix original, and also included as a Reese-styled deep Dub and rugged Bonus Beat.
Rafael Anton Irisarri unveils his latest sublime panoramas, presenting his first major solo work since 'A Fragile Geography' for Room 40. If you’re into GAS, Tim Hecker, Lawrence English or Bohren & Der Club Of Gore - this one comes highly recommended.
Mantled in reference to the socio-political upheaval it was borne in, The Shameless Years was written in a flurry of creativity at the end of 2016 when Irisarri booted up some old software in addition to his trusted palette of guitar, pedals, amps and analogue processing at his Black Knoll Studio. There, he rediscovered a mean sense of purpose that lends these recordings a thematic cohesion producing his strongest work in ten years of releasing material under his own name as well as The Sight Below, Orcas, and collabs with Slowdive’s Simon Scott, among others.
In typically gauzy vision, the album starts off from an elevated perspective with stately melodies masked by impenetrable fields of noise harmonics on Indefinite Fields - perhaps a poignant metaphor for hope thwarted by terror and confusion. It passes on into the glum marching rhythm buried beneath RH Negative’s banking walls of shoegaze distortion and the expansive lost-at-sea feel of Bastion, sustaining and building a symphonic melodic defiance against the swell, before sublimating himself to the lushness of Sky Burial, which on one hand is a deeply serious mediation on his own mortality, and on the other somehow sounds uncannily close to a shoegaze version of Careless Whisper. Such is life.
To perfectly compound and heighten the impact, Irisarri shares the weight of emotion with Tehran-based composer Siavash Amini in the LP’s final, and arguably most affective, two parts. In a subversive gesture to the travel ban on Iranians imposed by La Naranja, which is only made sweeter thru its release by a Mexican label, the pair worked remotely to realise a fitting diptych with the tempestuous glower of pealing harmonics and apocalyptic low end rumbles in Karma Krama, then tempering and moderating that rage in a palindromic passage from doom jazz to majestic harmonic clusters and back in The Faithless with a crushing sense of controlled rage that reminds us of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore at their most subdued and devastating.
Sterling new dub techno / D&B hybrids from a well known Berlin-based producer gone incognito. To be fair, it's not a new idea, but we've rarely heard it executed so effectively as on the 'Theme EP'. Four tracks coolly dance in the gaps between knackered house and Felix K's fleet-footed D&B reductions, ranging from droning halfstep swamp trudge to proper, shadow-boxing steppers rent with cavernous reverb and delay thru to tense yet lush, heaving slow/fast blown out with epic Basic Channel-style dub chords.
Tzusing follows THAT ACE cinematic LP on L.I.E.S. with this trampling collision of throat music, EBM, and industrialised trap for Bedouin Records.
There’s five tracks for the ‘floor or the BDSM dungeon, booting off with the stomping bass and throaty overtones of Flow State featuring Illsee and sinking lowing the bullet-riddled industrial trap wreckage of Shame.
The B-side signals a blank eyed sort of gabber trample with the horn wielding 風雲再起 and then a spot of late ‘80s/early ‘90s EBM swagger with 地心引力抓不住你 and 得意先生.
Shackleton tends to his roots and branches, remerging with vocalist Vengeance Tenfold for the doomy incantations of Sferic Ghost Transmits - their first collaboration since 2012’s The Drawbar Organ EPs - which acts as a more sullen counterpart to the radiant vibes of this year’s brilliant Devotional Songs with Ernesto Tomasini.
Shackleton’s input oscillates from pointillist gamelan percussions and abyssal bass thru to elusive, unfathomable electronic diffusions whilst the impish spirit of Vengeance Tenfold is, at best, a John Balance-like conduit channelling messages older than time itself.
If you can handle the portentousness, though, you’ll be absorbed into a psychedelic narrative of cryptic percussive communication, blues-hooked chants, metallic polymetric cadence and shimmering dissonant miasmas, which, as with any string substance, may leave you feeling dazed and queasy, but ultimately better for undergoing it.
Mogwai return with their 9th studio album which was recorded with producer Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Road Studios in New York State.
"Every Country’s Sun, named after a friend’s lack of knowledge in how the universe works, takes two decades of Mogwai’s signature contrasting sounds and distils it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock and transcendental euphoria. It will definitely appeal to fans of the band and will gain many new ones along the way."
Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen, who makes records and plays shows under the enigmatic name of Loney Dear, has been described as "a bafflingly brilliant genius” (LOBF).
"Consistently creating elegant, deeply stirring music, Loney Dear has been described by The Quietus as "…the obsessive work of one man, albeit one that can sing with the vulnerable delicacy of an angel and makes bedroom recordings that sound like God's own orchestra”.
On his upcoming seventh and self-titled album Loney Dear’s Emil Svanängen has undergone a rebirth, a transition and had a profound artistic awakening in which he sees this as the beginning of something very new and very potent."
Kamasi Washington continues to nurture jazz in its classical form with Harmony of Difference, a six-song sort of addendum to his roundly acclaimed master opus, The Epic  for Brainfeeder.
Premiered as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial in NYC, Harmony of Difference is a study on the musical theory of “counterpoint”, which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies”, and does so with in the hope that “witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realise the beauty in our difference”.
We’re inclined to add at this point, the putative advantages of dissonance and discord, which could also help us understand the place of friction and anarchy in humanity, and another aspect of beauty derived from difference, but Washington has decided to forget a huge other chunk of jazz exploration in this case, leading to five pieces of smooth jazz on the front deftly infusing soul and latin influences, which are all re-combined in the B-side’s sweeping sixth movement.
Special Request heralds the imminent payload of Belief System with Curtain Twitcher, including a seriously killer Peder Mannerfelt remix.
Dipping both feet and up to the gills in vintage rave styles, Paul Woolford aka Special Request manhandles slamming acid techno with Curtain Twitcher and more ravenous menatasm in its Nosey Parker Mix, while twatting out AFXian electro in Emutraxx and the wriggly Analord funk of Trippethylophosphazene.
Peder Mannerfelt is arguably star of this plate, though, with a masterfully strobing remix of Real that emulates the rush of a raver coming up off a double drop of triple barrelled mitsi’s.
Sully boomerangs back to the influential Keysound label with Escape, a full spectrum showcase of the sound previously gestated on his Carrier  album and further developed over a unique flux of grime, jungle, footwork inspired mutations during the interim.
Driven by a timeless urge to “create moments where problems go out the window for a while”, he’s crafted an immersive album touching on key aspects of the hardcore UK dance paradigm. Thema I opens the album with a sweeping elegiac ambient gesture which he returns to later in the LP, providing the scant moment of respite of an intense session taking in tool-sharpened grime starring Jendor bars on Casablanca and a nod to vintage El-B in Bullseye featuring Roll Deep’s heavily JA-accented Jamakabi.
A pair of Assembly pieces find him abstracting instrumental grime in devilish style, with superb, Zomby-esque results in the second one, before completing the LP in the junglist mould of his outstanding Blue EP, screwing across the ‘nuum timeline with grime licks squeezed into the amen rushes of Vanta and again with eski bleeps skidding thru the Remnarc-like ruff ’n tumble of X Plus Y.
Gird your loins, people, for 51 tracks, 2 hrs 35 minutes of prime, classic DAF. Think you can handle it?
As the legendary duo of Gabi Delgado and Robert Görl approach their 40th anniversary of formation, Grönland present the exhaustive, definitive Das ist DAF retrospective, including brand spanking new remixes from Giorgio Moroder and Boys Noize demonstrating the timeless resonance of their EBM/NDW classics with the modern disco.
From the razor-dancing Der Mussolini to the playful hooks and clenched twang of Im Dschungel der Liebe and the blend of daftness and steely electro-punk thrust in Kebap Träume, you’ll find the blueprints for masses of dance music to come, but more importantly these cuts still kill it cold on the ‘floor. If you’re into Powell, Ancient Methods, Not Waving or even LCD Soundsystem and don’t know DAF, sort it out with this set right now!
“Many things have been said about this band: they were called the “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk. Yet they only laugh coolly and remain tight-lipped in the face of any attempt to historicize them. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – better known as DAF – is a myth.
What we know is that they released four albums in a short time span between 1980 and 1982, and that those albums changed the history of music worldwide. Yet DAF’s international renown certainly was not based in the name: Gabi Delgado-López and Robert Görl were never looking for friendship; their expressions were invariably ones of steely, piercing stares, and they presented themselves with a precisely staged iciness that belied the ardor burning inside them.
DAF initially formed as a quintet in the confines of Ratinger Hof in Düsseldorf, alongside bands like Fehlfarben, Der Plan, Mittagspause and others, but later adopted a conceptual approach that left no space for other “young lords.” From that point on they worked as a duo. With precision percussive elements mastered in classical jazz training, a legendary Korg MS-20 and a highly fetishistic militaristic spoken-word style, they produced four albums in quick succession – records that could be construed as substitutes for sex, drugs and violence. While the first album, Die kleinen und die Bösen – on which half the tracks were recorded in Conny Plank’s studio while the B-side contained live recordings – still hinted at roots in original punk music, they then created a triptych of leathery, sweat-soaked hedonism on Alles ist Gut, Gold und Liebe and Für immer. In the early 1980s the records in the DAF box set Groenland Records is now releasing quickly made this duo the international figurehead of the music everyone now associates with the Rhine region: DAF, along with Kraftwerk and Can, were the pioneers of German electronic music. They were always in vogue. Sequencers, synthesizers, commanding drum beats and the most cutting staccato spoken-word vocals – an alliteration only disrupted by the notion of the uniform. Very few bands have managed to contrive their own look in such masterly fashion, and to even make it a subject of their work: “Was ziehst du an heut nacht?,” “Verehrt euren Haarschnitt” and – oh yes – “Tanz den Mussolini.”
DAF’s militaristic aspect is only broken by their attitude of denial, which invites us to dance in the dark with them and to follow Delgado-López’s rhythmic movements – even if he seems to be dancing entirely for himself. Perhaps it is that contradiction itself that renders this duo so eternal.
This compilation will allow you to experience the music of DAF; the darkest and hardest driving musical imperative ever to come out of Germany.”
"Snapped Ankles have emerged from the woods clutching an album that feels simultaneously modern and ancient."
"This is what dance music will sounds like when computers finally fail us. Log synths, bass guitar and sticks on taut animal skin coalesce to form fearsome primal rhythms. Fuzz guitars rubbing up against dirty rolling arpeggiated synthesisers to ignite wild white noise fires. Forest folklore passed down through generations, has made its way onto the tracks. Subjects veer from dystopian futures to railing against Swedish flat-pack furniture, from the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky to throwaway YouTube comments. High art and cultural detritus are all fair game - a brave new world indeed."
PPU slice off two of the slightly less blunted, dance-ready aces from Yu Su’s AI YE 艾葉 album for the Genero label, who also hail from Vancouver, Canada.
Hingeing around dusty kicks, tender pads and an ear-worming vocal hiccup, Infi Love sweetly flits in the mist and strobes somewhere between NWAQ, Actress and Cassy, whereas Soon (Moa Mix) finds him on a more Theo Parrish-like tip with off-kilter chords and woozy horns drifting by in a stoned beatdown hustle.
The first vinyl album release on Rabit’s Halcyon Veil label comes from Vancouver’s Will Ballantyne aka City; offering a mercurial set of metal experiments with caustic, vaporized trance riffs emulating upward motion and weightless dynamics. Highly recommended if you'e into Lorenzo Senni, Logos, Rabit or Croww...
A Goal is an Image is an elusive hybrid of experimental metal and weightless electronics distilled into 11 naturally tempestuous takes on the digital zeitgeist, ripping away its hi-fi sheen to reveal a reactive ecology of overgrown, semi-organic textures and pranging rhythms wrapped up in chaotic harmony.
Will Ballantyne has realised a mean contribution to the conversation around peripheral club music and its electronic production, morphing its perimeters between computer game and film soundtrack tropes, soundsystem-testing prangs, and styles foreign to the putative club experience. The effect is simultaneously hyperreal and severed from the daily grind; a simulacra of impossibility animated with physically reactive impact.
Across the album listeners are torn in and out of ‘the box’, perpetually reframing the sound between naturally elegant and digitally unreal environments in a way that resonates with the LP artwork. He establishes this upending uncertainty with the whorl of field recordings, processed textures and floating, Coil-like harpsichord motifs in Provinces and Your Stream, harnessing a sense of struggle against gravity in the buckshot-riddled mass of Pain/Power and with searing trance riffs nailed into place on End Zone like Lorenzo Senni running a gauntlet of snipers.
City’s experi-metal impetus bleeds thru most strongly in the glowering poise of Inevitable, and with needling bite in the towering recursive riffs of Ffaith, quite literally galvanised thru electronic process, leading to the record’s most captivating, expansive pinnacle with field recordings and sample pack presets diffused into the otherworldly detachment of SAR and his trance dress-down, Immaculate.
As Halcyon Veil’s first full length feature album, A Goal is an Image arguably epitomises the label’s aesthetic - unflinchingly upfront and uncannily emotive - and gives voice to a true outsider spirit.
Prolific siblings, Chaos In The CBD return to Mule Musiq on their tour of the houses with Comfort Zone
Laying out the balmy, minimal house subtleties of Comfort Zone for the 45rpm A-side, then switching to night mode for the dub-house ride Educate the Heart, and bowing in the direction of Ron Trent on a tribal hustle named Pressure.
Thirteen remixers including Max Cooper and Zimmer subtly adapt the melancholy sensibilities of Chirstian Löffle’s Mare in an ebbing flow of minimal tech-house and electronica for the artist’s Ki Records.
Shockingly strong new opus from USBM’s most fearsome forest dwellers, released thru their own label, Artemisia Records. Sound like it was made with wood-burning amps and elk-gut strung guitars during a total eclipse. Also features guest appearances by Anna Von Hausswolff, Don McGreevy (Earth, MMoB), Steve von Till (Neurosis), with Randall Dunn on production..
“Now, a portal into the dreamworld of Wolves in the Throne Room opens again with THRICE WOVEN. It is a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create!
The album begins with Born From the Serpent’s Eye a true thrashing black metal epic that is bisected with a haunting northern lament sung by Swedish star Anna von Hausswolff. The band worked with metal documentarians Peter Beste and Nico Poalillo to create a video for this track which captures a bonfire-lit performance in the forest near their Olympia compound.
The Old Ones Are With Us opens with the crackling of a fire and the voice of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) invoking the springtime thaw. It then storms into a dirge inspired by 90’s Finnish doom with lyrics that celebrate Imbolc, the holy day which marks the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring.
Figures from Norse mythology intertwine with personal heartbreak and rebirth in the bleak Angrboda. The song is named after a frost giantess who birthed Fenris Wolf, a beast who was destined to destroy the world and murder the gods. Fenris Wolf also appears on the cover of THRICE WOVEN in a painting by Russian occult artist Denis Forkas. Forkas’ obscure medieval painting techniques perfectly compliment the music of Wolves in the Throne Room.
A raven’s wings stir the air in the interlude Mother Owl, Father Ocean. Anna von Hausswolff returns in a duet with Turkish harpist Zeynep Oyku. Forlorn industrial atmospheres haunt the mix. Hausswolff’s lyrics, sung in Swedish, echo over a barren grey seascape.
Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon is the classic Cascadian Black Metal epic. The third eye opens to see holy rivers being born from the ice on the tallest peaks. The lyrics offer blessings to the waters of the earth as they flow from the high places to the source of darkness, the ocean.”
If Patrick Cowley, Tangerine Dream and Prince recorded the soundtrack to an educational documentary on the homoeroticism of wind sailing, it might well have sounded something like this...
“Tradewinds” The Wavesailing Film is the new LP of unreeled rot yok on Spencer Clarke’s outrageous Pacific City Sound Visions. This is a masterclass in sub-sub-genre study, chuffed up on so much positivity and salty bliss that it’s hard not to charmed by its blazing white toothed grin. Read on for an equally masterful promo text from S. Clarke:
"SOMEWHERE OUT THERE, MANY YEARS AGO THE STORY OF EVOLUTION TOOK AN UNEXPECTED TURN...
ON AN ISOLATED TROPICAL ISLAND, FAR FROM THE ACID RAIN OF CIVILIZATION A NEW BREED OF MAN
WAS BORN, HE WAS CALLED HOMOWAVESAILOR"
ALTERNATIVELY TITLED: "HOMOSWAVESAILORS", AS JACK MCCOY'S 1984 FILM ABOUT THE BIRTH OF WINDSURFING, DETAILS, THROUGH THE GAZE OF THE SPORT AS A PRE-HISTORIC ANCIENT RITUAL, THE EXPLOITS OF A FEW OF THE SPORTS ORIGINATORS. BACKING UP THE CLEAR 80'S BLUE VISUALS OF WAVES WHITE WASHED WIND BLASTED SFX, IS A VARIETY OF ORIGINAL POP AND SYNTH MUSIC MADE BY THE FILMS' COMPOSER, CHRIS EGGLETON. THERE ARE NO SONG TITLES, RATHER EACH TRACK IS SPICED-UP WITH WIND AND WAVE SOUND FX, WHICH WERE ORIGINALLY MEANT TO ACT AS SOUND ACCENTS FOR WAVE SAIL ACTION IN THE FILM. THE POP SONGS ARE BEACH-SPIKED HITS, SOUNDING LIKE NEW ZEALAND' FLYING NUN ROCK, OR BLASTED OUT PRINCE CHORUS FUNK, BUT WITH ADDED FILM SOUND FX, THE ESSENCE OF THE SILVER SCREEN BEGINS TO CREEP INTO THE MEDIUM OF AUDIO DISC! THE SYNTH MUSIC ON "TRADEWINDS' SOUNDS AS IF TANGERINE DREAM MADE INSPIRATIONAL BEACH MOVIE TRACKS DURING THE HEIGHT OF THEIR "FIRESTARTER" PERIOD. THE MIX, IS ARRANGED BY PACIFIC CITY, SO THAT THE SUMMER DOESNT CRASH AND BURN. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, PACIFIC CITY SOUND VISIONS PRESENTS :THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK TO "TRADEWINDS" ON VINYL LP. BREAK DOWN..... SHAKE DOWN..... YA BUSTED......
SPENCER CLARK, ANTWERP 2017”
The Brooklyn-based Upper Wilds feature Dan Friel (Parts & Labor) on guitar and vocals, bassist / vocalist Zach Lehrhoff (Ex Models, Pterodactyl) and drummer Aaron Siegel.
"Their fuzz-blasted debut was recorded by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets (Battles, The Body, Lightning Bolt). The album marks Friel’s first time incorporating vocals into his music since his days in Parts & Labor and retains his signature penchant for heavily distorted textures and addictive melodies.
This is big, distorted music intended to played loudly, on speakers. Upper Wilds and Thrill Jockey do NOT recommend you listen to this on earbuds, your phone, or your laptop"