Mighty ruling roots reggae session by toppa top deejay, Prince Far I, produced by Lloyd Slim and recorded at King Tubby’s in 1976
“PSALMS OF DUB is the cry of a people for a return tot he ways of righteousness. Reggae Music is predominantly “message” music. This album sends the most powerful message ever issued musically. Ranking among the greatest chant albums ever issued, the lyrics are derived almost completely from the Book of Pslams.
It is meditative music, cultural music and establishes Pricne Fari, the man with he voice of thunder, as a formidable force in music business let the good listen and rejoice. Let the wicked listen and repent. Let all mankind know God and what he requires. those who cannot read can hear the word comes clear. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear “The City of God will be established forever.”
Finally here; Raime dissect and rebuild a Jungle session under their Yally alias for Diagonal, backed with a fiercely squashed 8-bar grime lash. Cold sweats and bassbin burial styles in both cases. Artwork by Garrett Close. Directed by Guy Featherstone.
Now seven years deep into the project - but with decades of combined bassbin immersion between them - the Yally project finds Joe and Tom Raime tending to their roots in the UK’s ’90s hardcore ‘nuum and likewise finding the common bridge between theirs and Diagonal’s fetish for the sickest ballistics of jungle and London bass music.
The big, BIG highlight on this one is the A-side’s Dread Risk. Operating with all the lip-biting control and tenacity of a crack, back-alley surgeon, they replace reticulated breaks into a zombied new corpus convulsing with death gasp no wave yelps and bound up with tensile, fishing line strings and hooks to puppeteering, Frankensteinian effect right on the line between baws out bruk and stoic, eyes-shut meditation. Consider us badly snagged on this one.
Flipside, U-Eff-O is practically the A-side’s inverse, diverting all the energy downwards into quaking subbass movements and mechanical 8-bar gear grinds, offset in the upper registers by nerve jangling hi-hats and ominous shortwave interceptions, kinda some alien episode dug out of Jon E Cash’s deep freeze, from behind the curly fries and a nine bar.
Dean Blunt x Arca x Mica Levi x made-up Idris Elba quotes x Hyperdub: it’s a lot...
Fronted by that image and opening with the most unsettling, unrelenting mantra “this makes me proud to be british”, set to harp, leisure centre noise and bleeping mobiles; Dean Blunt’s got us by the gullet with his debut LP as Babyfather.
Essentially BBF - Hosted by DJ Escrow is a definitive UK hip hop album of the decade so far; a shadow-play of paranoid & surreal atmospheres, ambiguous juxtapositions, upfront infidelity and playful/dreadful intentions that perhaps best reflect street-view observations of the knackered, profane, pagan and pointedly archaic in contrast to supposedly progressive national values and the schizoid political and artistic double-speak of the “elite”.
We haven’t a clue who DJ Escrow is - quite possibly Blunt’s Quasimoto-style sped-up alter-ego, maybe his boy from home - but he’s crucial to the album; like some pop-up avatar or liminal interpreter reporting back from the zones, culminating in a passionate monologue calling for unity that’s actually undermined by the fact his voice is accelerated to cartoonish levels - perhaps as many view the situation anyway.
Peel back that shiny nike lacquer of FX tho, and you’re faced with a deepening identity crisis dealt with in the best blend of irreverence and well-meaning intent that’s really messing our heads right now.
To be honest we’re no wiser at this point than we were before hearing the album, but we definitely felt something strange in there that’s going to linger.
Burial chops out three tracks of arguably his most addictive material since 'Untrue'.
It's always interesting to see the discourse fall-out after each new Burial release, with the naysayers levelling the same old accusations of evolutionary torpor, and the lovers; well, they're just gushing love.
We can clearly see both sides of the argument, but ultimately, we still can't deny the feeling when it hits, and that overrides everything. And within bars of 'Kindred' we're crippled by it: those angelic pads, the drizzly atmosphere, that inmitable, acute, darkside rush. You just don't get it anywhere else, and as long as it's this good, we'll be cranking in the rain 'til it wears off. Blah blah blah. Long live Burial!
The Hessle Audio captain charges up two sloshing, bucking and rolling house freaks on his eponymous label after a wicked recent excursion as DJ Harlow.
It’s possible to detect common Chicago/Detroit links between his DJ Harlow 12” and these cuts, but where Harlow treats that template with a mix of classic reverence and grimy hybrids, here he melts tracky jackers patterns with wildly over-stepping FX and cascading bleeps to dizzying effect with XLB whereas Tsunan Sun veers off into tribalist breaks and rolling subs with a mix of early UK and Detroit-style techno methods to spaced-out and dreamy effect.
Footwork's most prominent standard-bearer's heavy debut album for Hyperdub. R.I.P. Rashad...
Perhaps better described as a collaborative effort - all bar two tracks feature Spinn, Addison Groove, Taso, Manny, or Earl - 'Double Cup' is the freshest missive from the rapidly ascendent and influential Chicago scene.
Over 14 fibrillating tessellations of classic funk, soul, house and jungle Rashad stakes his ground with assured swagger. When he really cuts wild the effect is remarkable: previous single, 'I Don't Give A F**k', with its minimalist bleep coda and strobing bass pulses is a big winner, as are the juicy, acid-bootied 'Double Cup' with Spinn, and the 45rpm flip of Larry Heard's 'Donnie', here as 'Reggie', or the lush-out '94 jungle styles of 'I'm Too Hi'. Tipped!
Sought-after Herbert 12" from 1996 dusted down and re-upped for the house fiends twenty years later.
Got To Be Movin’ packs strong cues from ruder Dance Mania and Chi sounds into a proper bumpy, chunky ride that also sounds pretty banging at 45rpm -8, in case you swang that way.
Underneath, there’s the suave electro-disco whistler, Fat King Fire, and the grubbing hustle of Housewife.
Venerable Ethiopian composer, Mulatu Astake is the locus of this enlightening compilation, which was first issued to the wider world on CD in 1992 and is now reissued 25 years later.
"Now, we’ve all heard the Ethiopiques series and many other reissues of Mulatu Astatke and Hailu Mergia over the past few years, but who really knows the socio-political and historical context for all this amazing music, and why it sounds the way it does? This ace set and its original liner notes from Anu Laakkonen should sort that out.
Thanks to the work of Finland’s Global Music Centre - a mobile recording studio - which travelled to Addis Ababa to record the two headline bands, whom both shared a mutual component in Mr. Astatke, the set covers early iterations of drum machine used in Ethiopian popular music, as well as sterling examples of the confluence between domestic religious and secular themes, and traces of rock, funk, pop and soul influence from America and Europe.
The A-side revolves four hypnotic demonstrations of the Ethio Stars, widely regarded the best musicians in the country at the time, gripping the head hips and shoulders with the clipped groove and floating, spectral organ of Aderech Arada, Bekifir / Menged Lay Wodike, then updating the classic Kermosew melody with synths and a big fat funk bassline, while Yetentu Tez Alew clearly nods to ‘80s boogie, but always within that definitive Ethio sound, and Tiz Baleen Gize brings Getatchew Kassa’s vocal into play.
On the other side, Tukul Band experiment with more traditional forms of Ethiopian music. Headed by Mulatu Astatke, the band jam on electrified models of traditional instruments such as the Krar - a six-string bowl-lyre nicknamed “the devil’s instrument” - along with the masinko, Ethiopia’s only bowed instrument typically played by an Azamri or bard/griot, and the washint, a bamboo flute heard on many, many Ethiopian recordings. These pieces are perhaps more urgent, compared with the cool vibes of the others, and definitely worth checking for the haunting instrumental duet in Sound of Washint & Masinko."
Person of Interest, Angel De La Guardia kicks out a handful of swanging, mutant house slugs in Eclipse for his buddy, J. Albert’s Exotic Dance Records.
Up front the pendulous Skyline (Angel’s Theme) marries whistling melody with thistly garage swing, and Eclipse imagines a fusion of effervescent breakbeat house and raving mentasms that never happened way back when, but sounds so good now.
Flipside he plays it down on a bumpy Theo Parrish style hustle, but returns to the rave from a more delicate angle with the dilated yet sleepy Jersey styles of En Route, and checks out with he acid greaze of Lost1 (capri).
Yally is a new project from Raime, designed to "explore Bass Futures indiscriminately”. The release inaugurates 12 x 12, a new series of one-sided releases from Boomkat Editions which will run over the next few months. We’ve asked twelve of our favourite artists (old and new) to contribute a release each to the series, the first instalment featuring two scudding, killer steppers productions from Raime’s expert bladesmen, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead, moonlighting here for the first time under a new alias on a rare away-day from Blackest Ever Black.
With a deep blue, skunked-out appeal right on the lip of late ’90s garage and early ’00s grime, London’s dankest duo compound, reflect and relieve the choking intensity of their recent 2nd album Tooth on the paranoid bruiser Burnt and its dread inversion Sudo, making up their most ‘floor-dedicated session in more than five years of operations.
Toeing a line in the shadows between nervy but enervated, crushed and high, both cuts transpose the indelible impression of raving in a very different London landscape - pre-smoking ban and extreme financial bifurcation - with a patently shocking sense of economy and pressure that feels as vitally subversive as ever in the face of current capitalist realism.
Drawn from muscle memory of 2-step’s transition from champagne-soaked knees-up into paradoxically dense but spacious, stoned and impending sound designs, they form a sort of coming-to-terms with that epoch’s innovations in much the same way that their Moin releases firmly grappled with inextinguishable influence from the studio genius of Steve Albini and This Heat.
Burnt pins us by the windpipe with Stanley shanked hi-hats and ratty claps whilst cavernous, amorphous subs bruise flesh and dislocated yelps of pleasure/pain break thru rictus jaws. Think El-B or Hatcha echoing out of a graveyard slot on pirate radio circa ’03. With Sudo they pronate on the tightest, simmering halfstep; harnessing illicitly overloaded, vintage Air Max PSI allowance with shoulder rolling organ motif and nerve-tying ligature, perhaps imagining the pre-echoes of earliest Hyperdub or a Black Ops joint that even Jon E Cash was too shook to issue.
Boomkat Editions began life in 2012 as an occasional series of diverse releases pressed up in limited runs and not tied down to any particular genre. Coming into the label’s fifth year, and Boomkat’s 20th year of selling independent records, the BK12X12 series will host a series of what we consider to be crucial platters from our favourite artists; producers and musicians who have defined, expanded and soundtracked modern musical spheres beyond the mainstream.
If Arthur Russell was into industrial not disco, then his World Of Echo might well have sounded something like John Roberts’ Body Four, a follow-up to the excellent Plum album on Roberts’ Brunette Editions.
Wrought with the innovative, plangent minimalism and simplicity of Russell’s cello, pedal and amp studies, Roberts’ efforts are perhaps more rugged and off kilter - also recalling certain aspects of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark in its lo-fi grain - but likewise manages to wrench a captivating sense of expressive pathos from his similar set-up of cello and sequencer in each of these relatively short, smeared windows onto his personalised practice.
Bank Records NYC enlist an Unknown Artist (purportedly Lyubocha, who was last spotted on Opal Tapes’ Contemporary Dance compilation) for their 10th volley of grotty dance trax.
Abakan feels out murky techno space between 154 and Lee Gamble which gets more acidic in the proceeding Krusheniye, whilst Novaya Kalami drags that vibe underwater with soggy bass hits and mottled brown acid flow, and Trauma rolls off the bone with a more rugged swang.
Crafty little shot from Gonçalo F. Cardoso, who was last spotted on A Study Into 21st Century Drone Acoustics  and now presents two beguiling short form pieces
Firstly the bubbling metallic polyrhythm and heat hazy summers day field recordings which give way to skronky abstract ‘tronics, acousmatic chat and eventually a downpour of static in the A-side’s Radio Kampala; then a recording of what sounds like a sliced up boxing match sprayed with machine gun fire and electronic shrapnel on the other side’s Skull Cave.
A proper oddity.
Deep but up-for-it disco house bangers from Florence, Italy’s Marco D’Aquino a.k.a. Dukwa for the purposes of this 12” with the Glaswegian Italophiles at Numbers.
Well versed in Anthony Shakir style chops, the four cuts on Shattered In A Thousand Places cook up solid US styles with an extra hint of Italian gourmet, resulting the strobing chord delicacy of Thoughts feat. Mar G on all-night-long vox, plus the pumping sasturday night pressure of Fries Friends, a skipper slice of John Swing styles in Illusory Dreams, and a rugged Frictional downstroke on Lazy.
Berlin’s Laura ODL and Eva Geist a.k.a. As Longitude carve out five grubby ruts of dubbed-out acidic chug for Amsterdam’s venue-turned-label Knekelhuis; pulling the ‘floor along at 100bpm pace thru the wavy oddity Black Rice to the piquant percolations of Pink Is Orange on the A-side, and then from the stumbling triplets of Kalte Füße to the Colin Potter-esque kosmiche hypo-dub of Blauer Part and share an analog bubblebath with Sharks Are Coming.
It’s Repitch’s 5th anniversary and they’re celebrating in style with Dys Functional Electronic Music; a 16-track album featuring bullets from label regulars such as Shapednoise, Ascion, D. Carbone, AnD & Gaja, alongside an extended, international circle of peers including Pinch, Sote, Skudge, Nuel and Mike Parker.
Pinch gets the party off on a dank footing with No Justice - kinda like that guy who’s telling gallows jokes to attendees on their first drink - and sets the vibe for a session which only gets more twisted messy as it goes on, turning up memorable highlights in Nuel’s hyper fluid D&B roller, Biopunk - definitely a first person on the floor tune - in the wretched noise convulsions of Shapednoise’s 0.1dbhisdoi’fioa (shouldn’t have tanked that bottle of vodka so early), and the guy with all the drugs up his face at once, Sote on the raging Operor, whilst Skudge get all deep in the backroom with the tales of his trip to Thailand in Buchla.M1000, and Mike Parker is among the last to leave with the pulsating sub-aqua dynamics of Ilium_Curve.
Paul Rose (Scuba) fixes trax from Isaac Reuben, Bleak, Markus Suckut and Antonio Ruscito on the first release for his Who Whom label.
Following his entry on Scuba’s Fabric 90 mix and smaller 12”, Isaac Reuben opens affairs with the misty-eyed strings, deep surging chords and driving kicks of Machines, and Bleak tests the big room ‘floor reflexes with the palpitating techno footwork of In My Soul.
Markus Suckut’s Acid Landscape proceeds to ice the room with glacial 303 modulations and glancing rimshots, and deep Italian techno specialist Antonio Ruscito glides on deepest systolic pulses to the the edge.
Reeko, Blawan, Stenny and Shifted weigh in heavy duty remixes of London’s Pris for his Resin label
Blawan goes on brute and monotone with a rumbling, knotted remix of Dodeca and Stenny keeps it flowing off centre in a nervier rework of Reef. Shifted impresses with the intricate scree and recursive rolige of his take on Devil In The Detail, and we catch Reeko at his most sullen on a gravelly version of Reef.
Lushly sentimental nostalgia for early-mid ‘90s electronica; like Special Request reworking B12 in the epic, rolling breakbeat hustle of Lost Illusions; or a long-lost FSOL archive salvage in the majestic Aura 96 (Kino Mix); then with Jesus arms for the sunrise in Gaia’s Requiem.
Who else but Andy Votel and co’s Cache Cache could dig up Gerry & The Holograms’ near-mythical post punk oddity - Frank Zappa’s mum’s favourite, apparently. Trust that they’ve gone all-out with the mirriboard jacket and typically in-depth liner notes, but it’s the other 10 NEVER BEFORE-HEARD tracks that should have you moist with anticipation. Because let’s face it, nobody knows any other tracks apart from their eponymous zinger?! Moist we tell ya!
“Gerry And The Holograms were well documented as one of Frank Zappa’s favourite ever groups and instantly recognisable as the blueprint of 80’s Mancunian electro pop, the inflated alter egos of Gerry & The Holograms (and their unrivalled brand of conceptual sarcastic synth pop) successfully remodelled, ridiculed and redefined plugged-in punk before hitting the self-destruct button and burying the evidence under a pile of hand mutilated microgrooves.
Having risen from the electronic embers of Manchester’s first genuine psychedelic band, via Vertigo commissioned prog and experimental theatre, then refined through the musical mind behind the most inspired vinyl moments of Martin Hannett, John Cooper Clarke and Jilted John.The discography of Gerry & The Holograms remains unrivalled as the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic pivotal post punk artifact from the first electronic entrenchment of pop.
A consistent inclusion on record collector wantlists, transcending both decades and musical genres, the first and only listenable two track record by this masked art rock studio duo, entitled ‘Meet The Dissidents’, originally appeared in record racks in 1979, selling out instantly only to be sequelised by a totally unplayable situationist inspired follow up which was glued into its own sleeve destroying the grooves in the process (rivalling that of Peter Saville and Durutti Column’s Debordist sandpaper re hash by at least three years).
With a lifespan shorter than the hours on their studio bill, the band would find bedfellows amongst other incognito groups like Naffi Sandwich, The Mothmen and Blah Blah Blah within the Absurd Records stable, a daring Mancunian imprint that sat awkwardly between older and younger half sister labels Rabid and Relentless. With a release library of mostly non returning faceless atonal electronic punk DIY industrial bands Absurd would spearhead and pre empt the subsequent decades of Mancunian independent record labels that followed in the footsteps of the more commercially successful Factory Records (while also drawing comparisons with Spiral Scratch, Test Pressings, Object Music and Throbbing Gristles’ Industrial Records).
Despite just one official title to their name however, the true identity behind Gerry & The Holograms would unify those sister labels and collectively play an important supporting role in Manchester’s independent music history with a story which goes back as far as most rain soaked memories can attempt to forget.”
On vinyl for the 1st time - a superb cross-section of romantic new wave funk, post-industrial and minimal synth tracks originally collected and released together in 1984 by Danielle Ciulini; a pivotal member of the Italian and European tape scene who conceived Nouances as a showcase for the breadth of underground Italian music culture, combining articles by the scene’s leading ‘zine writers and editors, together with strong musical proof .
Looking for all intents and purposes like a Crepuscule compilation, but sounding closer to something you might expect on Music From Memory or Ecstatic (who were coincidentally behind Ciulini’s Domestic Exile Collected Works 82-86), the songs on Nouances are balanced in a half light between hacking Gang Of Four funk in The Tempest’s Abc, and Minox’s exquisitely low key new wave slide into Purgatoryo on the front, whilst the other swerves from 23 Skidoo or Cabaret Voltaire styles with Rinf’s Tropical Nacht / Spass Muss Sein (live at Tenax) to a very canny stripe of gloomy gothic minimal wave from Belgium’s Twilight Ritual, I Never Called You A Dream, and not least, Danielle Ciulini’s icy hot-stepper Silences.
Visual artist Jesse Kanda (FKA Twigs, Arca) makes his musical debut with the compellingly bittersweet introspection of his Heart EP for Hyperdub.
In key with the off-kilter harmonies of his peer, Arca, but willing to pursue more abstract angles of expression, the ostensibly tart sharpness and distorted exoskeleton of Doon Kanda’s sound belies the inspirations at its core, “love, compassion, empathy” in a very similar way to which his hyperreal visual work also gets under the skin, right to the core of it.
While relatively simple, linear in construction when compared with, say, Arca’s output, the five tracks of Heart ache with a pent romantic yearn that hits home from the off: Axolotl - described by the artist as “like a chant for giving it your best try” - exemplifies that raw emotive effect with ruggedly thuggish drive and searing hook juiced for all it’s worth, but the beats barely return over the next four songs; leaving his licks lingering in wide open space like a rhythmic gymnast’s ribbon that never falls to the floor in Womb, or percolated in a curious call-and-response of evaporating bass hits and chiming strokes in Wings, before claggy trap trills infiltrate Heart’s starkly contoured chromatic dimensions.
We sense the start of a very promising musical streak from this artist. Check it!
Throbbing Gristle's second album, remastered - making for markedly superior sound quality to some previous editions - and reissued on Industrial Records.
This finds the band at their sleazy (no pun intended) and savage best, reaching an apogee of apoplectic rage on 'We Hate You (Little Girls)', and has to rank as one of the most brilliant British evocations of decay and dysfunction to appear in any art form, ever. For all the P.Orridge-helmed murk, you feel Chris Carter's presence more firmly on this album - as on the the steam-powered, laser-striped synth-wave of 'Dead On Arrival' and especially 'AB/7A', reminiscent of his recently canonized solo set The Space Between.
For all its electronic innovations, DoA also captures TG's oft-forgotten ability to rock, as heard on 'I.B.M.', 'Hit By A Rock' and 'Blood On The Floor', which locate and update the essence of the Stooges and Gen’s beloved Velvets. 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' is as disconcertingly, flagellatingly funky as it always was, and in 'Walls Of Sound' you see the roots of Whitehouse and pretty much all P.E. and harsh noise that's come since.
Never mind the bollocks, you've got Throbbing Gristle.
Moss Garden is a stunning dark ambient opus from Erik Skodvin (Deaf Center) aka Svarte Greiner: collecting his soundtracks for two installation pieces commissioned by Marit Følstad, perfectly distilling the space between waking life and nightmare as uncannily as anything else you’ll hear this side of a David Lynch flick, or that recurring dream where you’re trapped going the wrong way down an escalator into an icy fjord. If you're into Mica Levi's unique string arrangements, this one's a must.
The album marks the return of Skodvin’s most prized solo alias, trailing in the smoky wake of a recent reissue of his Deaf Center classic, Pale Ravine (2005) to effectively resolve the three year wait since he left us dangling with Black Tie, which was also released thru his label; Miasmah.
As any avowed follower of dark ambient music will likely acknowledge, there’s a fine line between numbing tonal drift and genuinely enchanted sound, and it’s one which Skodvin is patently aware of both as a listener/consumer and producer/alchemist operating within those parameters, allowing him to skilfully navigate the sound’s most subtle aspects without ever being accused of being one-dimensional, as could be applied to many others in that field.
Crucially, like the best of Greiner’s work, Moss Garden strikes a balance of almost academic stoicism and expressive pathos, using rarified technique at the service of an instinctually guided tension. He commits something more akin to one of Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient recordings, revealing a widescreen, mazy field of convulsive, recursive metallic shockwaves that open out at unfathomable, horizontal angles whilst the centre ground gains a mass of blackened drone energy, as though we’re moving ever deeper into a space as long as it is wide until we’re greeted by a frost of sylvan timbres that seem to mimic the vocal tone of its translucent inhabitants.
K Leimer’s 4th LP Land of Look Behind is a genuine ambient pearl from the early years of his Palace Of Lights label. Remastered (by Greg Davis) and reissued on vinyl for first time since 1982!
It was originally conceived and deployed as the soundtrack to Alan Greenberg’s film of Bob Marley’s funeral, taking the film’s location recordings of crowds at the funeral and Rastas in Cockpit County - high in JA’s mountainous interior - as cues and raw source material for a sublime, rhythmelodic suite of 4th World Ambient themes. The result are totally absorbing, some of the most enduring music in Leimer’s revered cache.
Opening up the process-oriented approach of his then-previous album, Closed System Potentials (1980), Leimer’s 2nd side for PoL is a beautifully ethereal, pensile thing which bears an intrinsic link to the film, which, like the soundtrack, isn’t just a straight-ahead match of sound and image; rather it’s dreamily immersive yet detached, hovering between enigmatic and sublime thanks to the use of sampled and reframed dialogue, and most subtly, in the way Leimer and his quartet of drummers - Steve Fisk, Kevin Hodges, David Keller, James Keller - also use the dialogue and street noise as cues, trigger points for syncopated patterns and weightless tones.
Like his best work with Savant, both prior and post this album, the meeting of swaying, pointillist percussion and floating electronics is key to the magic of this one, too. At many times between the chiming instrumental call-and-repsonse of Two Voices and the mix of grubbing bass, pealing synths and patina of glossolalia in The City Far Below, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in the midst of an Eno & Hassell record, but the distinction is clearly made by Leimer’s grooving suss and unfathomable sense of space, at its most compelling in the slow, crisply rolled Nyabinghi and keening pads of Testimony and Honor, or its widescreen partner piece, The Cockpit.
Colour us enchanted. This is a properly lovely record.
Hardcore techno pelters from NYC industrial survivor Collin Strange
Private Room is a straight-up, gristly wall-banger fuelled on bone-melting acid, thuggish kicks and razoring hi-hats; Private Lies throws down massive inverted kickdrums and 303s right between the eyes; Private Thoughts polishes you off with a kinkier sort of darkroom acid canter.
Smart survey of productions by members of New Order, including classic tracks released on Factory Records between 1982 and 1985. Bonus material on the CD includes the full 22 minute version of Video 5-8-6 and a Section 25 song produced by Ian Curtis and Rob Gretton in 1979!
New Order Presents Be Music is a compilation of productions by members of New Order, including classic dance and electro tracks released on Factory Records between 1982 and 1985, as well as more recent remixes for current artists such as Factory Floor, Marnie, Tim Burgess and Fujiya & Miyagi.
"The generic tag Be Music was first used in 1981 and covered studio production work by all four members of New Order: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert. Sumner often teamed with Donald 'Dojo' Johnson of A Certain Ratio, including the pioneering electro cuts featured here by Quando Quango, 52nd Street, Marcel King, Paul Haig and Surprize. Morris and Gilbert worked with Thick Pigeon, Life, Red Turns To and also 52nd Street. Although more rock orientated, Hook proved he was no slouch on the dancefloor either with the mighty Fate/Hate by Nyam Nyam.
'Producing was a really important sideline,' recalls Bernard Sumner of the Factory era. 'It's OK doing it because although all the groups are skint, you learn a lot and you're helping somebody.'
After 1985 the band focused more on producing their own records, both as New Order and solo projects such as Electronic, Revenge, The Other Two, Monaco and Bad Lieutenant. However in recent years Stephen Morris in particular has remixed several newer artists, notably London industrialists Factory Floor, as well as former Factory workers A Certain Ratio and Section 25.”
Scott Morgan’s Loscil hovers back into view with a decidedly moody album of his patented dub and ambient productions for Kranky some two years since Sea Island.
Monument Builders is a nerve-riddled and unpredictable thing and perhaps not exactly what you’d expect from him. Where once there was a sense of blue optimism to his music, there is now a brooding pensiveness manifest in its minor key arrangements and bruised, textured tone.
The album perhaps betrays a return influence from his day job as a sound director for the video game industry, as Monument Builders could soundtrack a bleak first person immersion in some dark parallel world not too dissimilar to our own, patiently plotting a course thru the resonant, widescreen space and cracked ice patterns of Drained Lake to ascend a vertiginous vortex of throbbing synths - among the most kinetic piece in his whole catalogue - in the anxiously melancholy Red Tide, pausing for murky reflection in the title track, and raising the tension again with the frosty brassy swells of Straw Dogs and coolly baffling the senses with the headlong techno velocity and strangely static poise of Anthropocene, leaving with us the OOBE, swarmed by deliquescent, dying angels in Weeds.
You don’t usually expect an artist’s most powerful piece of work to arrive fifteen years into their game, but that what Loscil has arguably achieved with his 10th solo album.
Regis compiles a killer Downwards label survey for 2017 featuring excluisve new material from DVA Damas, Autumns, Grebenstein, Sefried and Layne, veering from dank EBM to collapsing industrial structures.
Downwards send their new vanguard on road with The Immortal Eye; the mood is intensely depressive and pessimistic throughout, but, in the classic sense of gothic industrial music, the impeccably maintained atmosphere conversely acts as comfort or redemption to those need it.
Berlin’s Jan Grebenstein remerges with Seefried on the tunnelling Wufferfraction only months after their excellent Strong Proud Stupid and Superior 12”. Imagine an anxious HTRK or ToC have just run out of downers and the technoid tension becomes palpable… before, the uncomfortably stark, empty-stomach concrète churn of Layne’s Love will put you back face down again.
Autumns have flirted with Clan Destine and CF Records since their Downwards debut of eviscerated shoegaze in 2014, but they enter the B-side with a markedly different silhouette, framing spectral electronics and unheimlich voices in acres of negative, miasmic space before slipping into a pulsing techno trajectory, whilst LA’s DVA Damas clear up with the erotic asphyxiation of Shortcut To X, which is effectively a crushing reduction of by now familiar sound...
Warm, spacious deep house trax from Vancouver’s Flørist and his alter ego, V. Rosso.
Classic import house vibes here, from the romantic yearn of Windows On The World and its sublime Moving Day Dub hustle to the weightless, Martyn-meets Chez Damier-esque swing of Down & Out, to the nifty, faded pressure of M-80.
Levon Vincent caps his most productive year since 2009 with the brassy club fanfare of Berlin and NYC’s deft minimalist sound design on NS 15.
Berlin is by far one of the brightest, most optimistic club plays in over a decade of LV’s productions, simultaneously drawing on his classical/minimalist studies and Berlin’s history of economic hedonism to hypnotise with a patented blend of subs-driven pressure, martial trills and heady lead horns that nod toward Steve Reich as much as Moritz Von Oswald’s reworks for Deutsche Grammofon.
Likewise, NYC links with a fertile history of downtown experimentation and deep Black dance music roots in its intricately pointillist, pizzicato top line whilst the pounding bass is physically fierce, irresistible in the right situations.
Hauntingly tender solo debut LP from London’s Kelly Lee Owens, delivering on the promise of her excellent Jenny Hval and Daniel Avery collaborations/remixes in a full album of sylvan tech house and synth-pop beauties.
Prefaced by the head-turning single, Oleic - which featured a smart rework of Jenny Hval’s Kingsize - Kelly Lee Owens’ eponymous album introduces a well rounded yet subtly detailed sound to the world at large, one brimming with the rare promise of an artist who wants to extract something more precious, personalised from the dance music and pop prisms which clearly enthral her music.
There’s probably always going to be something about ethereal, floating vocals and the sensual contours of European tech house, when at its best, which will eternally grab our attention. And this album delivers strongly on both counts - striking an impeccable balance of classic, timeless pop songwriting and purring, contemporary electronic grooves that places it in an exulted space on the shelves.
Collaborators Jenny Hval and Daniel Avery appear on the record’s highlights; Jenny lending her poised delivery and lyrics, framed by KLO’s breathy gilding, on the baroque pop-house dream sequence of Anxi., with Avery assisting on the Fever Ray-meets-Liz Fraser stylings of Keep On Walking; whilst the rest is subtly aided by the mixing and engineering treatments of James Greenwood, who’s best known as Ghost Culture on Erol Elkan’s Phantasy Sound.
That combination of KLO’s chamber-like arrangements and Greenwood’s rendering results a string of other pearls in the strung out balearia of S.O. at the front, thru the gorgeous Arthur - which is surely a play on that library record Aphex Twin sampled on Xtal?! - whereas Evolution flexes some properly toned dancefloor muscle, and Throwing Lines could very nearly be mistaken for a cut from Grimes’ Halfaxa period.
After years of plaudits from all corners, Jacques Greene distills the ecstatic/melancholy sentiment of modern electronic house music within Feel Infinite, his debut album for LuckyMe.
Throughout the album’s 11 tracks, the Montreal-based producer synthesises the see-sawing feels of a night with pals, fingers tasting like acrid saffron and skin flush with water retention, using a range of contemporary house, R&B and electro-pop conventions to convey the warmest, user-friendly vibes.
Tom Krell (How To Dress Well) is partly responsible for one of the album’s highlights with pleading vocals on the swinging soft trance R&B gesture, True, and an uncredited female (or processed male) voice sparkles as an instrumental element across many other, with ear-snagging style in the filter-disco chops of Real Time, and cooing from the snappy 2-step structure of Afterglow.
Bambooman wickedly freshens up his palette to ear + booty-snagging effect on this winner for Matthew Herbert’s yung Accidental Jnr label.
Stepping out of the garage/hip hop paradigm and into a more inquisitive, new zones of polymetric measures and of kilter harmonics, yet without losing the subtly swung charm of his earlier releases, Bambooman embraces the present future with style in the four tracks of Shudder.
The title track lives up to its mantle with a lean display of nipped, recursive rhythms that sounds like a Beatrice Dillon groove filleted by Gábor Lázár. The combination of rude swagger, vocal stabs and slicing chords in Grasp is a little more conventional, perhaps closer to recent Joy Orbison gear, for example, whilst M1 turns back to the kind of fresh, metallic shimmy also explored by Björk producer, Spaces, and Kyrian also impresses with a bittersweet broken beat twyster that sounds like Dego with a ear-infection; all unbalanced swang and perfectly dissonant chord combos.
After an eight year break from releasing music, Scott Kannberg (founding member of Pavement and Preston School Of Industry) AKA Spiral Stairs releases his new album ‘Doris & The Daggers’.
"‘Doris & The Daggers’ was recorded over a batch of short sessions at Exactamundo studios in Eagle Rock, California. The band features Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff on drums, Kevin Drew sang on ‘Emoshuns’, Kelley Stoltz lent guitar to the summery chime of ‘AWM’ and The National’s Matt Berninger lends vocals to the bittersweet, zephyr-light ‘Exiled Tonight’."
Two celebrated veterans - anticon. co-founder Doseone and the esteemed underground rapper Mestizo - come together.
"A7PHA is the culmination of years of radical thought, lives lived on the knife's edge. Their self-titled debut record (anchored by production from Alias) absorbs that left-field energy, splinters it into component parts, and re-assembles it into something uniquely human.
Listen to "At The Altar": a song built on steely, industrial instrumental pieces, but in its final form, you can practically hear the track inhale and exhale. The breaths are strung together by Doseone and Mestizo's vocals, which flit back and forth from staccato and precise, to formless and gothic. Or check "99 Point Static," where the track builds such steam that when the bottom falls out on the coda, you get transported through to the end on raw adrenaline. A7PHA does this over and over - building massive tidal waves of raw, immovable emotions, then turning on a dime, and leaves you scrambling to keep up.
Few boast the pedigree to forge something so simultaneously listenable and invitingly bizarre. Doseone has spent two decades as one of hip-hop's most inscrutable talents, working with a who's-who of underground legends and establishing himself as one of the most dazzling technical MCs, chimerical lyricists, and creative visionaries. His contributions to A7PHA find him flexing all his undeniable vocal gifts: razor-sharp, rapid-fire cadences, an elasticity that unspools a vertiginous array of emotions. As a writer, he marries his cryptic strings of imagery to a frenzied search for something deeper. He pushes
A7PHA as far as possible into uncharted territory. For his part, Mestizo grounds the proceedings, filling the songs out with flesh and blood. His vocals on "Sicked" set the tone for the rest of the album: dense, punishing, and propulsive. If Dose is busy sliding around the seams of a beat, Mestizo cuts directly through. The Philly resident is the stone-eyed center of the record, the steady hand on the wheel while everything around him burns. But as "Hater Hate It" makes abundantly clear, he's not above some verbal acrobatics of his own. A7PHA isn't made for upscale bars or low-key gatherings. It's about shattering the facades around you, then staring, unflinching, and what's left behind. It's supposed to soundtrack minor mental breakdowns and house parties that permanently fuck up your security deposit. Doseone and Mestizo have something highly combustible on their hands, but for the time being, it seems that they know just how to handle it."
Two of the heaviest c*nts on the planet pit their wits on Concrete Desert, with Kevin Martin a.k.a. The Bug framing Dylan Carlson ov Earth’s deathly axe chops in a deeply strung out and apocalypse baiting clash of the titans.
Coming from distinctly idiosyncratic backgrounds - one steeped in generations of doom metal, grunge and bleakest country music; the other saturated with Jamaican dub, shoegaze noise and the ‘ardcore continuum - they evidently find common ground in terms of sheer heaviness on Concrete Desert, with Carlson’s glacial but sprawling gestures harnessed and sublimated in 13 super wide and crushing riddims from Martin’s triple-locked top drawer.
Making good on the promise of their Boa/Cold  hook-up, which was effectively an addendum to The Bug’s Angels & Devils LP, this fully fledged collaboration locates their sound between the eyes, overhead, all around you in plangent sheets of harmonised soreness and jellying waves of subbass pressure at a lugubrious pace that’s faithful to both artist’s individual sound.
The standout moments ring clear and true in the likes of Dog, which comes on like a rabid, overweight Raime who just swallowed Rapeman, or in the almighty, sky-collapsing keen of American Dream and the knackered halfstep slugger Hell A, but you can simply take it on trust that the whole thing is as heavy as your life.
Perc & Truss trample all over two bangers from Mumdance & Logos’ Proto LP, commanding Move Your Body to a nail-biting and noisey industrial techno agenda, then steaming thru Hall Of Mirrors with bullish, wall-banging form.
Proper mucky ruts, these.
The veteran mutant noise unit mint their new Lower Floor label with the 100th Wolf Eyes album.
Hurtling ever closer to their 20th anniversary as a band, albeit in various iterations, ‘The U$A’s longest-running homemade primitive electronic poetry & vibes trio,’ offer a semblance of hope 2017 will be alright after all with the arrival of their own label, Lower Floor Music.
Leading by example, this label - or ‘scotched taped nuclear audio radioactive front on humanity’ as they refer to it - is heralded by a new Wolf Eyes long player, ‘Undertow,’ which doubles up as the trio’s one hundredth album release by our estimations.
This is a real ugly bastard of an album, with Nate Young, James Baljo and John Olson intent on shredding minds from the off, adopting a free jazz approach to mangling discordant guitar beyond all recognition on Laughing Tides. From there, Empty Islands sounds like the heroic Pod Blotz attacking the classic shred metal sound of America and Texas spangles further, deeper into abstracted, wailing noise.
The metallic textures and Lou Reed-esque vocal mutterings of the title track are set to an irradiating metronome, setting you up for the near-fourteen-minute finale Thirteen which is Wolf Eyes at their absorbing, decimating best.
A rare, beguiling solo outing from Swedish composer and electro-acoustic expert Mats Lindstrom, the current studio director of the revered Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) Stockholm, arriving some five years since release of МИГ, a collection of archival recordings released by Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ in 2012.
If you have any knowledge of the Scandinavian avant and electronic firmament, there’s every chance that you’ve intersected Lindstrom’s name or even his work on your auditory travels. For those unaware; he’s been integral to that region’s experimental scene since the ‘80s, applying his background as an industrial technician to the construction of unique instruments, and also in pivotal role as producer and directors Fylkingen society for new music and the Stockholm New Music festival. The EMS studio he hells has played hosts to reams of releases which pass thru these pages.
This 7” gives two captivating snapshots of his live electronic practice recorded at GRAD Belgrade in a One/Scratch Memory performance with Anna Koch. They result in two succinctly precise, air-slicing movements captured with the sort of clarity and stereo depth of field that sends eyes rolling around the head when consumed via headphones; eliciting an experience akin to hearing water falling upwards in an enclosed metal space, whilst one of the sentinel bots from the matrix scans for your presence. Funnily enough, that’s the sort of place and situation we dream about near nightly.
It’s only when listening to pieces such as this that you can properly appreciate the difference between composers who think and work in 3D, using every angle of the sound field available to them, and those who paint on 2D canvasses.
Japan’s Ena cuts loose into the grey area between noise, techno and D&B with four tracks taken from his Divided: Mind 12” on Horo.
As heard in the mulched dynamics of his Soil EP, the producer is now exploring more abstract, uncertain zones of inquiry, with what sounds like Wolf Eyes doing caveman techno on the front, plus a piece of Scanio-Style hypo-noise, and a head-swallowing cut of pure atonal abstraction.
Nuel, Yves De Mey, Orphx and Shawn O’Sullivan tease Wata Igarashi’s Ciphers EP into altered shapes for Berlin’s Midgar.
Noel supplies the biggest highlight with the grittily fluid, pendulous hydraulics of his take on Ciphers; Yves De Mey gives something for your body to chew on with a crooked and bendy remix of Hailstones; Shawn O’Sullivan rolls out for the blackout moment of the night with a grumbling monotone version of Mantle; Orphx reduce Lucifero to a writhing acid lead and glumly persistent bass groove.
First new Letitia Sadier album since Something Shines . Crammed with glittering Gallic pop suss
“Another New Year, and new shapes are forming — if only we are fortunate enough to notice them! As we spin through this world, we are witness to all manner of combinations unfolding before us — familiar arcs and breaking waves alike, upon all of which it is our choice, our chance and our challenge, to possibly ride. Find Me Finding You, the new album from the new organization called the Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, manages to strike new chords while touching familiar keys in the song of life.
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding You locates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise — Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget her three albums with Monade and the long era of Stereolab)—but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album.
Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. Laetitia recognized the energy of the tracks in their initial form, and sought to preserve their vitality by not retaking too many performances — instead, the rawness in the tracks was retained and refined at the mixing stage, maintaining an edge throughout. When we hear synth lines diving, lifting and drifting, unusual guitar textures, the plucked sound of flat wound bass strings or the bottomless pulsing of bass pedals stepping out of the mix with an exquisite vibrancy, this is the sound of the Source Ensemble.
Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!”
Dead sought-after Library slab of wild and hairy disco drum rhythms and electronics from 1978. For use in pornos, sleazy bars, churches...
“The first ever repress of this Klaus Weiss musical masterpiece. And it's the first of the all new Trunk library series that is a coming this way. Time Signals is an incredible thing on many levels and for many reasons, and you will not find an original without a mortgage.
It's classic German experimental sounds and rhythms that only Klaus can really get away with, and over the years cues have turned up all over infamous hardcore porn as well as sports programming and maybe some sinister wildlife documentaries too. This is electronic, rhythmic, peculiar, and will make your brain hurt at times.”
Thrumming techno polymetrics from the Grey Area already bigged up by Mumdance; recalibrating your roll with four monotone and undulating rhythms that teeter between needlepoint hi-hats and pulsating hydrolicks, cavernous reverbs, and underwater steppers.
RIYL Sigha, ASC, Akkord…
Sun Araw totes one of his most surreal, daftest fancies with The Saddle Of The Increate, despatching the band’s first new recorded material on Sun Ark Records since the psychedelic excursion, Belomancie .
With only a few trips made on Sean McCann’s Music For Public Ensemble and alongside Laraaji on Professional Sunflower and the S. Araw “Trio” XIII to quench our thirst in the meantime, this loosely strung and sprawling set renders Cameron Stallones and the gang at their most ir/reverent and dare we say, North American; delivering a subtly funny and playful suite that’s more Billy Crystal on magic beans than Alejandro Jodorowsky on mescaline, as far as desert trips go.
Incorporating a phalanx of drummers including Butchy Fuego, Jon Leland and Caitlin Mitchell, plus Dave McPeters on pedal steel, Sun Araw come off like a gang of cattle-ranchers who lost their herd a long time ago and subsequently decided to follow old dirt tracks deep into the desert, navigating their way by the stars and with only a batch of turnt haricots for sustenance. What ensues is a progressively light-headed and sorta-mystic journey of discovery following an unstitched narrative which leads them right up to a sincere yet lysergic cover of Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released - as previously worn by Jef Buckley, Joan Baez, The Deftones, Nina Simone.
As you might expect from a trip to the desert with Sun Araw, you’ll lose your own herd quite quickly, and mirages, fata morganas and the like become commonplace; with expectations perpetually teased and thwarted from the fusion of heat-warped synth strokes and pitch-bent steel licks in A Golden Boot thru the quicksilver clip-clop of A Chute, and the tropical, latinate influences that creep over the border into Orthrus, which also features McPeters’ pedal steel at its most plangent; with Campfires framing a charmingly ludicrous scene of quiet, acousmatic rustle pierced by parping modular spurts, and even allowing for a spot of sun-dazed native folk dance in the jerky boned jig and processed croon of 40 Hooves, serving Sun Araw at his most alien and yet uncannily familiar.
This is exactly what psychedelia should be for us; weird, silly, cryptic, inexplicable - not earnestly unimaginative and derivative. It would take a fool to accuse Sun Araw of the latter, and this album should hopefully be a smoke signal to all those pedestrian churners who call their music “psychedelic”.
The Salford collective return with an album length rebuke at the ever-growing shit-stain that is the current political regime.
With many modern day musicians content on stockpiling social media kudos or chasing sync money, leave it to Tesla Tapes antagonists Gnod to offer up a dissenting voice against the post-Brexit, alternative truth-heavy, fascist malaise 2017 is currently descending into. Never a band whose sound you should second guess, the clear anger and intentions of this album’s title is more than matched by the politicised fury and antagonism unleashed within.
“It seems like we are heading towards even more unsettling times in the near future than we are in at present.” reckons Gnodder Chris Haslam. “2016 was just the beginning of what I see as the establishment’s systematic destruction of liberalism and equality as a reaction to the general public’s loss of faith in their system.”
With this renewed creative focus driving the band, ‘Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’ embellishes their hard-edged rock repetition and heavily-dubbed out underbelly with a darkly-satisfying new hue.