On Lee Gamble’s stunning first major work since Koch , the rave dreamer reawakens to decode and interpret his hallucinations for Hyperdub, coming to terms with the idea of Mnestic Pressure - a confluence of individual and collective pressures on contemporary memory - in an astonishly febrile, vivid collision and projection of jungle and ambient structures.
With his move to Hyperdub following a string of modern classics for PAN, Lee Gamble has effectively reset his sound to realise a more intricate, restless matrix of ideas that seems to emulate the sound of a mind that’s too wired to sleep, rushing from an overload of inputs which it struggles to make sense of. In this case the struggle is perfectly sur/real, making the listener unsure of whether he’s awake or dreaming, or perhaps experiencing some combination of the two ostensibly opposing states of mind.
As with his previous releases, Mnestic Pressure finds Lee acting as a conduit or plugged in psychopomp, absorbing the physical and mental pressures of life in London and online, and then transmuting, firming up those feelings in an elusively abstract style that conveys the daily bombardment of the senses, and by turns the memory, in a way which the written word will never fully capture.
But in a marked departure from earlier releases, Mnestic Pressure reveals a subtle but decisive shift away from straighter 4/4 patterns towards a constant, broken flux of meters and velocities which can perhaps be heard to reflect the shift in popular perception of time as a linear sequence, to a more complex, difficult-to-grasp weave of timelines which expand and contract, sometimes folding in on themselves or short circuiting in a sort of Déjà vu or jolting hypnic jerks.
It’s really best consumed from front-to-back in order to really allow that tempestuous momentum to take hold, as it plays out like a live or DJ set in some of the more slippery passages, especially the psychoacoustic smudge between East Sedducke, 23 bay Flips and Swerva, and the deft transitions from You Hedonic’s amniotic suspension to the glancing arrhythmic ballistics of UE8, but the DJs will also find very useful parts to extract in the Rian Treanor-meets-Demdike Stare flex of Ignition Lockoff, and his absolutely deadly jungle bullet, Ghost.
For our money, it’s Lee’s most essential release since Diversions 1994-1996.
Canada’s Project Pablo debuts on Technicolour with a subtly shifty augmentation of his deep house style in Hope You’re Well, bringing forward the drums and opening out his dubby space with jazzy flair.
The pulsating italo-techno of Is It Dry? is the first indication of this slight but smart modification, while No Sweat rides out with a percolated, heavily swung sort of broken beat fluidity, and You Know sees him plunge that sound into deep dub dimensions, with Oh Fer Sure coming to rest at his signature, heart-warming chord patterns with a slinkier set of drums.
SAICOBAB are the Japanese quartet comprised of acclaimed vocalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO), Yoshida Daikiti (sitar), Akita Goldman (bass) and acclaimed in Japan Motoyuki ‘Hama’ Hamamoto (percussion, gamelan).
"SAICOBAB masterfully blend traditional Indian music with melodies and unexpected rhythms using unorthodox instrumentation to create utterly distinct modern ragas.
On their debut album ‘SAB SE PURANI BAB’, YoshimiO’s leaping, animated, effected vocal melodies dance fluidly through Daikiti’s intricate sitar patterns. The entrancing synergy of Goldman and Hama’s rhythmic pulse drives and shapes the aptly named SAICOBAB’s sound to one that is at once rooted in ancient tradition and wholly new. YoshimiO has been a trendsetter as a member of OOIOO and Boredoms for over three decades. She has collaborated with Kim Gordon and Sean Lennon, has been featured on the covers of The Wire and The Fader and The Flaming Lips named an album after her.
“In the seemingly impenetrable, fantastic murkiness of Japanese experimental psych pop, more often than not,Yoshimi has been a beacon.” - FADER (cover)"
Whoa, like: this is a kinda stunning debut album from 77 year old American photographer and legend William Eggleston, a contemporary of Andy Warhol in the ‘70s, who has been quietly recording himself for decades. ‘Music’ is nothing less than an American Dream recording..
“Native Memphian William Eggleston, 77, who is widely regarded to be the most important photographer of the late 20th Century, presents his debut record, Musik.
It was during Eggleston’s Sumner, Mississippi childhood, where he discovered the piano in the parlor that ignited in him a lifelong passion for music. It was a passion he carried forth his entire life, playing quite adeptly when a piano was handy: improvised turns on Bach, Handel, gospel, country, and popular selections from the Great American Songbook for friends and family. Though his travels found him rubbing elbows with Andy Warhol‘s Factory superstars in New York, where he lived for several years with Viva at the Chelsea Hotel, and observing a music scene in Memphis that included Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and his old friend and owner of Ardent Studios, engineer Jon Fry, his own music went largely unheard by the general public.
In the 1980’s, Eggleston, who disdained digital cameras and modernity in general, became surprisingly fascinated with a synthesizer, the Korg OW/1 FD Pro, which had 88 piano-like keys, and in addition to being able to emulate the sound of any instrument, also contained a four-track sequencer that allowed him to expand the palette of his music, letting him create improvised symphonic pieces, stored on 49 floppy discs, encompassing some 60 hours of music from which this 13 track recording was assembled.
Eggleston lives today in a small apartment off Memphis’ Overton Park that he shares with a 9-foot Bosendorfer grand piano and an arsenal of ultra-high fidelity audio equipment, some of which was designed by his son, William Eggleston III. The synthesizer, alas, is broken and stubbornly refuses to be repaired, so for the purpose of this project another was purchased in order to be able to play back the floppy discs, which, along with a handful of DATs and other digital media, though frail, were digitized and mastered for this and future releases.
Mr. Eggleston often says that he feels that music is his first calling, as much a part of him, at least, as his photography. We take special pride in allowing the world to hear this side of a great artist who may now be rightly called a great musician.”
San Francisco-based producer Giraffage (Charlie Yin) takes a sonic leap forward with his new record ‘Too Real’, released on Counter Records and featuring Japanese Breakfast among others.
For fans of Mura Masa, Flume, Snakehips, Porter Robinson.
In addition to her solo work as Mariam The Believer, Mariam Wallentin is one half of vocal-and-drum-duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums with husband Andreas Werliin. She is also a founding member and composer in Fire! Orchestra.
"The follow up to 2013’s debut album - the critically acclaimed ‘Blood Donation’ released on Moshi Moshi – ‘Love Everything’ is written, produced and self-released on Mariam Wallentin’s own label Repeat Until Death.. Equipped with her courageously uncompromising approach to music-making Wallentin started Mariam the Believer to focus her expression into a pop project. In total 15 musicians collaborated on the album, resulting in songs that twist and turn evolving organically with each contribution.
From vocalist virtuoso Sofia Jernberg to drone experimentalist Oren Ambarchi and free form jazz star Mats Gustavsson, it’s an eclectic roll call, yet despite that Love Everything is at its very core, a collection of pure pop melodies. On ‘Love Everything’, she lets melodies lead the way – the piano flowing with harmonies that emphasise Wallentin’s powerful and at times raw, honest voice. The songs are ripe, ready to be eaten, before metamorphosing into new structures and an unexpected richness.
Power ballads are interrupted by a change of rhythms. Enchanting vocals turn into pulsating R’n’B, new opportunities are lurking behind every corner. In Wallentin’s lyricism, the heart is a muscle pumping blood. Approaching spiritual subjects rooted in the human body and nature, she pulls esoteric themes into a context and reaches dizzying heights."
Lean Year is the debut, self-titled record by Richmond, Virginia based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson.
"What for Rex was a departure from the structured life of academia toward the uncertain contours of a creative field, for Alverson was a return to form. Having released 5 albums with his previous band Spokane, Alverson took a 10-year hiatus from music to write and direct feature films. These departures and approaches bring a transience and listlessness to the album, like a walk interrupted by both curiosity and caution. Equally informed by the minimalist folk music of Elizabeth Cotton, Karen Dalton, and Fred Neil; the tenuous, ambient, and orchestral works of Harold Budd, Brian Eno, and John Cale; the quietly pointed but tender songs of Nina Simone and Bessie Smith; and the baroque pop subversions of Love and The Left Banke—the inspirations for Lean Year are as varied as Rex and Alverson’s biographies.
Their childhoods—framed respectively by New-Age ideology and antiquated Catholic Catechism; anarchist Montessori and cold, cloistered ice arenas; the chaotic, upheaval of divorce and the strange, obligatory qualities of life-long marriage—provide footing on uneven ground for the record’s dream-like, oblique observations. Rex and Alverson co-wrote the album over the course of a year at their home in Richmond, VA and recorded it in three sessions with musician/engineer Erik Hall (In Tall Buildings, NOMO), who also performs on the record. Alverson and Hall co-produced the album’s ten tracks. For Hall and Rex, this project was a reunion of sorts, the two having met as undergraduates in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. Hall’s extensive vocabulary—ranging from jazz and pop to rock and afrobeat—informs his contributions to the record. The album often employs visual art as touchstones for the album’s narrative content: from Duchamp’s The Large Glass in “Her Body in the Sky”; the photographs of Gregory Crewdson on “Earner”; the films of Elem Klimov in “Come & See,” and Alejandro Jodorowsky on “Holy Mountain. The songs hint, both formally and lyrically at the dysfunctions of contemporary dialogue—the missteps, accidents, and deep-seated patterns that are either embraced, discarded, or broken in an attempt to build a common place in the world. Within this seemingly quiet and universal palate, each new track is a small, knowing departure from the last, a gradation in identity and form.
The album’s opener “Come & See” is at once a refutation of lives lived (“the old room feels like an ulcer”) and a desire for newer ones. On “Watch Me,” Alverson’s bare telecaster is reminiscent of his previous band, marking the slow passage of time like an electric echo of Loren Mazzacane Connors. “Waterloo Suns” conjures some of the sarcasm of Eno’s “Baby’s on Fire,” slowed to half speed, as Rex’s narrator struggles to recall a famous Kinks song. Rex’s voice cuts a deep path through the record. The hushed monotony and deceptively smooth bass lines of “Her Body in the Sky” and “Sonja Henie” (a hazy retelling of the ice skating, silent-era, movie star’s death on an airplane between continents) set her vocals against a bed of Rhodes and tape-warped echoplex. Bergman’s baritone saxophone and clarinet parts further color the foggy, intimacy of the record, and Chihsuan Yang and Matt Ulery’s sprawling strings recall Phil Ochs’ haunting orchestrals in Pleasures of the Harbor.
Unlike the confrontational, sceptical affronts of Alverson’s films, this is a music of grace. It is a sharp so-long to places we cannot fit and a gentle foot into those we don’t yet know."
Of his 12th studio album and its enigmatic title, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar offers the following: “Sometime last year, I discovered that the original name for ‘The Wild Ones’ (one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years or so) was ‘Ken’. I had an epiphany, I was physically struck by this information. In an attempt to hold on to this feeling, I decided to lift the original title of that song and use it for my own purposes.
"It’s unclear to me what that purpose is, or what the connection is. I was not thinking about Suede when making this record. I was thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era. Those were the years when music first really came at me like a sickness, I had it bad. Maybe ‘The Wild Ones’ speaks to that feeling, probably why Suede made no sense in America. I think ‘ken’ also means ‘to know’.”
‘ken’ is the follow-up to 2015’s critically acclaimed ‘Poison Season’, which received critical praise from The Guardian, MOJO and Uncut, amongst others.
‘ken’ was produced by Josh Wells of Black Mountain, who has been the drummer in Destroyer since 2012. The album was recorded in its entirety in the jam space / studio space that the group call The Balloon Factory. However, unlike ‘Poison Season’, ‘ken’ was not recorded as a ‘band’ record, though everyone in the band does make an appearance."
Addendum to the Coldcut X On-U Sound 7 x 7” boxset and album
They slice off Kajra for extra attention, rounding up the fragrant original along with a cavernous Cosmic Dub, a more percussive Maximum Dub focussing on the tabla and strings, and an acapella cut of Hamiska Iyer’s lush vocal.
Tidy Line-up including Randomer, Gilb’R, Voiski and Tolouse Low Trax...TIP!
"With a sound that is rarely classifiable, Randomer’s Dekmantel contribution is a staggered, minimally-twisted, dark, kind-of-two step, awesome thing. Versatile Records’ Gilb’R has found himself an integral part of the Dutch scene since moving to Amsterdam, and brings forth his organic, percussive grooves that have helped define his music, and label to date.
Salon Des Amateurs’ Tolouse Low Trax provides a seasoned session of amniotic, grizzled, hypnotic post-everything music, that is eerily discomforting and wonderfully pleasurable at the same time. And on the EP’s fourth track, Parisian techno wizard, Voiski adds layered organic, futuristic loops that work to stale the progress of time, and space."
Known by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s.
"Beyond her unmistakable gift of the gab, Shane is a pioneer of transgender rights, born in a male body but unabashedly living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Rob Bowman’s 20,000 word essay is Jackie’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century, telling for the first time ever Jackie Shane’s story in her own words.
This deluxe two album set is copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and a life unlike any other."
A sterling survey of the time when Peruvian music began absorbing influence from psychedelia and rock. Includes Andean classics and rarities from Lucho Neves, Los Demonios del Mantra, Los Compadres del Ande...
“A window into the full-blooded, captivating spirit of music from the Andes, ANDINA shines a fresh perspective on Peru’s multifaceted heritage. A co-release with Strut Records, the album is selected from records originally released between '68 and ‘78, upending clichéd ideas of Andean music and bringing to light the divergent, exciting traditions to have emerged from Peru’s strip of the iconic mountain range. Encompassing steady-grooving, Peruvian cumbia rhythms, transcendent folkloric harp recordings and Lima big band groups taking influence from their highland neighbours, it boasts a diversity that will appeal to fans of jazz and Latin as well as tropical-minded DJs and deep-digging collectors.
ANDINA was never intended to be a definitive overview of Andean music.The selection sees the debut release of many tracks (since their original vinyl release on Peruvian labels like Iempsa, Sono Radio and El Virrey) and reflects what we think are the most exciting insights into Andean musical culture. Not restricted to bands based in the Andes, there are entries from outsiders, in particular from the coastal city of Lima, artists who took cues from their compatriots in the mountains. The sound most represented is that of Peruvian cumbia where groups imbued a tropical, Colombian style with Andean huayno rhythms and rock-influenced electric guitars. The album also reflects the huge numbers of traditional folk records released during this era that left a bounty of atmospheric, harp-plucked huayno and carnaval to be discovered.
An avid DJ and record collector, Martin Morales (Ceviche/Andina) has once again teamed up with Tiger’s Milk co-founder Duncan Ballantyne (former Soundway label manager) and Peruvian crate digger Andres Tapia del Rio to create a series which starts with ANDINA but will later include discoveries from the Amazon and the coast of Peru.”
Anthony Shakir collaborator Tyler Dancer debuts a tuff new spin on classic Midwestern techno for Don’t Be Afraid. Bangers, the lot of ‘em!
“Fresh from collaborating with Anthony 'Shake' Shakir on their remix of Funkadelic for the 'Reworked By Detroiters' LP, Tyler Dancer makes his full solo debut for Don't Be Afraid. The 'Resisting In The Darkness' EP sees the arrival of a major new talent from America's Midwest and the first outing for a unique new voice in techno. Counting Shake, Legowelt, Marty Bonds and Jay Denham amongst those who have inspired and encouraged him, Tyler Dancer brings a deep feeling for the history and technique inherent in the music of Detroit and Chicago to his productions.
Tyler Dancer is a DJ, producer, and musician hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a student at the University of Michigan (2005-2009) he became a DJ and Training Director at WCBN FM in Ann Arbor. Known amongst the listenership & colleagues for pushing the boundaries of rock based freeform sets, Dancer gained a positive reputation for his unique historical approach to sets at house parties, dance battles, and local clubs with a focus on Detroit Techno & Chicago House alongside the music that inspired those movements. In 2014 he made the acquaintance of Manuel Gonzales aka MGUN (DBA/Wild Oats) who inspired Dancer to begin sharing his love for electronic music live and publicly under the duo's collaborative guise, 'Club Creeps'. They made their debut during the 2016 Movement Festival and continue to play live sets to this day.”
Introducing Icelandic composer and singer Högni, better known as the front man of indie rock band Hjaltalín and previous member of electronic group GusGus, as the newest addition to Erased Tapes with his solo debut album Two Trains.
"Amidst destruction on the mainland, the two locomotives Minør and Pionér transported wagons full of rock and gravel to the Icelandic seaside during the construction of the Reykjavík harbour in 1913-1917. The two metallic giants ushered in a new age in Iceland. However, soon after construction ceased the two trains were parked and have never driven since. Now they only serve to remind us of the grandeur of a bygone future. They are the only trains ever to have graced the Icelandic landscape.
The music in Two Trains embraces the spirit of the original European avant-garde and invokes these concepts in its chugging rhythms, metallic clangs and brooding choral arrangements (men's choruses are a distinctly Icelandic phenomena related to the national/romantic politics of the 19th and 20th century) while the lyrics speak of ominous clouds on the war-ridden eastern horizon and freight cars filled with gravel and dreams."
Kerri Chandler conducts a deeply soulful psychogeographic tour of NYC and the lesser-heard folds of his mind for his DJ-Kicks instalment
Weaving debonaire between personal picks of soul, jazz, hip hop, boogie and disco, including, as standard, one of his own productions in the laid-back dub reggae of Stop Wasting My Time.
Bristol bassbin buddies double down on a party sound for UTTU’s Dance Trax series
A-side they inflate the pumping ghetto jack of ‘D-Question’ and the slompy swang of ’Seven of Nine’.
B-side brings the deeper, dubwise garage schwang and strings of ‘Bashton Valed’, and a pranging sort of electro-funk in ’Tanga Toll’.
The first Scott Walker solo record is not an understated affair by any measure. Under any circumstances, it would be hard to restrain that profound, impossibly rich baritone of his, but Walker matches the flamboyance of his voice with vast orchestral arrangements and a music hall sense of theatricality.
From Jacques Brel's 'Mathilde', 'My Death' and 'Amsterdam' to other third party-penned pieces like 'Angelica', there's extroversion on an epic scale, with Walker breaking free of his teen idol roots and venturing tentatively towards the makings of the iconic figure he would later become. This album remains a curiosity however, departing from the more common formats of 1960s pop music and instead flirting with elements of MOR.
The sheer magnitude and charisma of Walker's performances will forever prevent the album from fading into irrelevance though; his impassioned reinterpretations of those Brel songs illustrating that perfectly: they tower above the French language originals, loaded with pomp and self-assurance. In truth it's all a far cry from the introspection that would later permeate Walker's own writing, which is on display here via such fine pieces as 'Montague terrace (In Blue)', 'Always Coming Back To You' and 'Such A Small Love', with its eerily droning strings.
Scott 4 is one of those albums that gets touted as one of the very best ever to be made within the parameters of popular music, and it's an accolade that's richly deserved, even if in certain quarters Scott 3 is regarded with greater affection.
Scott 4 was the first Scott Walker LP to feature nothing but songs penned by the artist himself. Gone had the Jacques Brel reinterpretations of the earlier records in favour of a more singular, resolutely personal vision. Oddly, for all its brilliance the album was largely overlooked by the record buying public, who failed to lap it up in sufficient numbers to get it in the top ten.
I suppose that's what you get for writing songs about Neo-Stalinism, Ingmar Bergman films, and quoting Albert Camus on the sleeve. The Scott Walker of the sixties is of course a very different artist to the one who currently stands at the pioneering edge of contemporary experimental music, and the lavish orchestrations of Scott 4 are a million miles from the overwhelming elliptical brilliance of 2006's The Drift, but the same levels of compositional and lyrical excellence - not to mention ambition - are evident throughout Walker's solo work.
It hardly needs to be said, but Scott 4 is one of the very greatest achievements in this artist's forty-something-year-old recording career, and can not be recommended highly enough.
Comprised of Jenifer Gelineau on violin & electronics, Omeed Goodarzi on guitar, and Edward 'Ted' Lee on bowed cymbal, Donkey No No create the sort of instrumental hallucinations you'd expect to hear in the background of a film by Jodorowsky or Arrabal.
"It's very cool, because they use the very instruments you'd hear in some shitty Ken Burns documentary, in order to play music that would make Ken's sallow head explode if he tried to wrap his noggin around it. With sometimes scratchy violin as the ostensible lead instrument, theoretical comparisons to old timey music are inevitable. But Donkey No No's sound is old timey only in as much as its tendrils are as timeless as smoke. Every note they generate heads in such weirdly trippy directions you can immediately suss why these guys are such a favorite of Gary Panter (king of the hippies).
Much of their flow is an unstoppable lateral gush, reminiscent of mid-points in long sets by classic-if-lost Bay Area bands like Patrick Kilroy's New Age trio or Serpent Power. They create an aura that is filled with breath and light in a way that few other bands have ever mustered. It's crazy to think that because they're a new band, on a label not known for its psych releases, that it's gonna take heavy duty psych heads YEARS to find the damn thing. Only when it is no longer in print, and Feeding Tube is an empty brush warehouse once again that the big boys will figure this one out. Which gives you a chance to get a jump on these turds. So do it. If you appreciate the sound of sliding through golden portals, this record was made for you. Whether you like curry or not." --Byron Coley, 2017.
Quite presciently, the disgraced pop impresario Jonathan King wrote of Scott Walker in his liner notes to Scott 2: "I have no doubt that many years from now over a space age dinner of vitamins [...] he will say: "Well the last fifty years have been great fun, but now we must get down to doing something worthwhile". And he'll mean it."
Of course the last few decades haven't quite worked out as Jonathan King would have envisaged - not for him at least - but he wasn't too far wrong about Walker taking a turn towards a more serious music later in his career, via the incredible Tilt (1995) and The Drift (2006).
Scott 2 marked something of a full stop in Walker's career too though, prompting the artist to make a concerted departure from the bombastic theatricalities of the Brel and Bacharach/David songs covered here in favour of more earnest, self-penned work. That's not to say this album is mere fluff and whimsy though: in amongst such stage school extravagances as Brel's 'Jackie', we're presented with glimmers of Walker's genius, as in 'Plastic Palace People', an early but enduring classic.
Scott 2 was released almost precisely forty years ago, and to this day, despite being described by the man himself as the "work of a lazy, self indulgent man." it's still a towering piece of work, uneven in tone but ultimately resolved by Walker's profound talent.
Following the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Film Music’ box set and ‘Irony Of Fate’, this is Mikael Tariverdiev’s score of 1975’s ‘Olga Sergeevna’.
"Bringing the composer close to recognition in the west, the magisterial score and improvisations are taken from the Soviet TV Film series ‘Olga Sergeevna’ which was directed by Aleksandr Proshkin. Based on a story by Edvard Radzinsky, the show featured several film stars with the lead role of Olga played by screen star Tatiana Doronina. Olga is a marine biologist brought from a small town to Moscow by her mentor. As the story unfolds there’s a tangled web of professional, romantic and emotional relationships with various men.
The main theme of the series is that a woman can dedicate her life to her career and feel satisfied, even when she is not particularly happy in her personal life. In the USSR, and globally, it was a revolutionary concept in the 1970s to set a TV drama around the life of a female scientist. As many critics have noted, his music, like the theme of the TV series, contradicts the lazy prejudice that any popular culture which escaped the Soviet censor could not be ground breaking or the equal of anything being made in the West. The scores improvised baroque jazz inflections were created from improvised pieces lead by Tariverdiev on keyboard, celeste, cimbalon, harpsichord and piano. Here he’s accompanied by Josef Kobzon with the Orchestra of Cinematography conducted by Emin Khachaturian along with double bassist Shakhaliev and Livshin on drums. At the time of its release, Tariverdiev had recently scored the popular ‘Seventeen Moments Of Spring and was about to work on ‘The Irony Of Fate’ when Proshkin submitted music from the score for the Union Of Composers. Having won the award, Tariverdiev travelled to LA to receive it and the offers for further film composition work came flooding in.
Unfortunately, he was not granted permission which was most likely rooted in an act of solidarity with friend and dissident director Mikhail Khalik that eventually saw him banned from the leaving the country for over ten years. In the decade that followed he had become head of the Composer’s Guild of the Soviet Cinematographer’s Union, proclaimed as the People’s Artist of Russia and in 1996 before his death had won 3 Best Composer Nika awards."
Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury return to score Ben Wheatley’s 1970s based epic shoot-out ‘Free Fire’, executively produced by Martin Scorsese.
"Compiled by director Ben Wheatley himself, the soundtrack will be released on CD and double LP, featuring the full score by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, dialogue from the film and licensed tracks (The Real Kids, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Denver).
‘Free Fire’ sees Barrow and Salisbury take a huge directional curve away from their intense, synth-based Ivor Novello award winning score for ‘Ex Machina’, with the composers curating a prog rock, free jazz, psychedelic journey influenced by bands such as King Crimson, Camel and Magma and tips its hat to the Lalo Schifrin thriller genre scores of that era."
Whacked-out techno fresh from Seoul, South Korea - perhaps the first techno 12” we’ve ever stocked from that region?!
I.M.J.U.S. or IchMariaJesusUnsereSchuld to give them their full title, venturesa flighty mix of techno sub-styles on their debut 12”, ranging from a glassy beatless etude thru the pulsing, spectral abstraction of Welcome To Scientology and the hardcore techno tristesse of After Orgie, and seeking out more abstract vectors in a grungy piece of electro, and one strip of escalating bleep techno.
The one like Detroit’s Waajeed (Slum Village, Mahogany Music) dispenses infectious deep house vibes
Includes the spry balance of floating rhodes, velvet bass and rippling congas in Get Down, then puts a jazzy donk on it with Through It All, and pulls back to heavily soulful, gospel-inflected styles with Kingdom featuring Dodi Alexander.
Recorded at the 24 track SOMA Studios, ‘Oui’ is a leaner, more pared down recording than ‘The Fawn’.
The band recorded straight to tape using contemporary technology, such as pro tools, for editing rather than manipulation. ‘Oui’ is a pop album. From the opening measures of ‘Afternoon Speaker’ to the serendipitous nature of ‘Everyday’, ‘Oui’ is a graceful recording of elegance, revealing its charms quietly and continually upon each listen.
The band recorded ‘The Fawn’ after spending most of 1996 on the road with tours of the US, Europe and Japan.
The band broadened their range of texture and sound (strings, percussion and synthesized sounds) and spent more time in the studio than ever before. Refining and redefining the songs to make it their most diverse and accomplished record to date.
Hayley Fohr tends to her Circuit Des Yeux alias after last year’s country excursion as Jackie Lynn, returning to relay a compelling tale about a pivotal, existential awakening she experienced in early 2016, all delivered via her signature vocal - somewhere between Nico, Diamanda Galas and Scott Walker - against a varied topography of brooding brass, stirring folk strings, arpeggiated keys and synths, and intermittent rocking squalls.
Reaching For Indigo is arguably set to become a modern classic in the same vein as her In Plain Speech [2015, Thrill Jockey] record, mostly thanks to a number of standout songs such as the plaintive power of Brainshift and Black Fly at its prow, and the natural, dreamlike possession of her swelling Geyser beauty and the free-floating kosmiche elegy, Falling Blonde.
It takes some sort of special virtue to make an indie-folk record that doesn’t sound super cliché nowadays, and evidently Circuit Des Yeux has it in abundance.
Morphine extend farther into S.E. Asian music traditions with a lachrymose suite of minimalist, cosmic Javanese styles, incorporating performance by label head Rabih Beaini...
“Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, performing mainly a modern and contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java, ultimately joined by their teacher and maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on Sekalipon. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful contemporary interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia.
Composed and performed by Tarawangsawelas, except Sekalipun (Traditional) featuring Tarawangsa Sunda Lugina. Produced, Mixed and Arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel, Rome.”
A killer selection of nine cherry-picked new wave, disco and rhythmic electronic experiments hailing from early ‘80s in The Netherlands, documenting a time when formulas weren’t set quite as rigidly they would become and artists weren’t afraid to mess around, see what happens.
Accompanied by sleeve notes from Knekelhuis’ Mark van de Maat and with input from esteemed diggers/lynchpins such as Frans De Waard, Kale Plankieren - Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981-1985 Volume I throws up some real gems primed for the ‘floor.
We’re talking Necronomicon’s fretless bass funk, cowbell tickles and louche vocals on The Top, catching the duo in dubby transition from earlier, noisier styles to disco proper - think Arthur Russell meets Ian Dury - and likewise the irresistible bounce of Don’t Forget Me by Plus Instruments, fronted by Truus de Groot around the same time she was playing shows at CBGB’s. Expect track ID requests if you’re DJing this out!
On the other hand, the more wayward bits are superb, too. Rotterdans’ Interference is a haunting piece of communal electronics full of scrapes, spectral vox and airborne pulses extracted from day-long psychedelic sessions; Boris Dzanek’s Dance is well tipped to the cold wave steppers; and Roy G. Biv really get to your back teef with the bittersweet dissonance of Ulloa’s Ring.
If you’ve been following Knekelhuis’ new and reissued releases from Smersh, Parrish Smith, De Ambassade and more, you need to check this out.
Dean Blunt stumps his self-released Stone Island  album on vinyl, yielding one of his more introspective collections of songs, purportedly written and recorded in a Moscow hotel room.
For recent historical context, Stone Island first landed in between The Redeemer and Black Metal, a few years after the dissolution of Hype Williams, and also features Joanne Robertson - with whom he’s just collaborated on Walhalla  - playing the female yang to his yin, just as he was establishing a solo streak as the UK’s preeminent avant bard.
Blunt’s husky croon is front and centre of his drily crafted but lush arrangements, starting out with an elegiac lament, One and cycling thru scenarios ranging from the tongue-in-cheek dad-hop beats and harps of Two, tending to his psych side with Three, then taking in something like a London 2013 Serge Gainsbourg piece in Six, and an ickily sweet angelic chorus in Eight, before Joanne Robertson chimes in on acoustic guitar for Heat.
A crucial piece of the Dean Blunt puzzle, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Melody As Truth’s 9th release is a mutual bliss-out from Antinote’s D.K. (45ACP, Slack DJ’s) and MAT’s own Suzanne Kraft, fresh from his lush Passive Aggressive LP with Jonny Nash.
The LP’s gorgeous indigo artwork signifies what to expect inside, as the pair render a smoothly contoured and graded spectrum of late night charms gently unfurling between the floating electro-jazz chamber of Xerox and a horizontal, star-gazing head cushion called Fade, taking in S.E. Asian-toned gamelan and 4th world synth washes in No Man’s Ground, and a lush segment of Vangelis-at-the-sauna vibes with Bricks In White.
Berlin based Mannequin Records pushes out some proper Industrial/EBM bangers. Raised in Pescara on the Adriatic Coast and ow based in Frankfurt am Main Antonio Barbetta is debuting on Death of the Machines as Raw Ambassador.
"The heavy four track ep is created to burn every dancefloor with full Industrial vibes and a lot of EBM influences, giving us a small insight into his violent and rough sound. Antonio is also running the Smashing Tape record label, with releases from Violet Poison, Innsyter, DJ Loser and Delivery."