Henrik Schwarz and !Khave started a brand new label called Between Buttons, curated by Henrik and focused on acoustic sounds and contemporary compositions.
"Mixing up old and new technologies, experimental and more classical approaches, the label will see Schwarz forge new paths in his own work, as well as curating material from the peers he has worked with over the last 15 years. Mainly made up of acoustic sounds, piano, string quartets, self-built instruments, percussion and intriguing classicist elements with a modern twist, there will be EPs from piano virtuoso Bugge Wesseltoft, as well as other electronic producers wanting to show themselves in a different, more 'unplugged' light.
“In these times of constant turbo mode, likes and thumbs-up, we need to go back to basics,” says Henrik. “We want to move away from the idea that relentless hasty productivity is a must, and instead take time to create space, to let deas mature and to focus the mind on subtler sounds.”
Works Piano will be a four track mini album that uses a Yamaha Disklavier as the starting point and reimagines it, reworks it and alters it with various digital and recording technologies. One track is a created with a reactive algorithm and one is composed purely from altered and processed piano sounds."
The Golden Ravedays is an epic album of 24 tracks that was released in January 2017 and is stretching over 12 respective chapter albums during a one-year period.
"The sixth piece of The Golden Ravedays puzzle will be released on Hippie Dance in June 2017. Number 6 of the series introduces two further tracks of the sound adventure that Superpitcher is taking us on this year.
Side A features Protest Song. If music is a way of transporting us to other places, Protest Song takes us to a desolate, scary and loveless environment, a burnt-down, burnt-out place where the flesh of its former inhabitants is smouldering, void of goodwill and kindness in a cloud of toxic and greedy smoke. It’s all Kafka and Orwell and Suffering - the most twisted and eerie track so far in The Golden Ravedays saga. What is undeniably clear is an acute sense of regret and loss - a warning that it could have been avoided, had we only listened to our hearts and protested.
In the same vein on Side B we hear powerful Resistance. Produced after the Paris attacks of 2015 Superpitcher outdid himself with this strong message of Resistance. Where Protest Song paints a picture of under-worldly doom, Resistance’s techno beat and insistent refrain sweeps us to the surface of the muck of hatred and intolerance we’ve politically been dumped in."
Posh Isolation’s core duo - Loke Rahbek (Croatian Amor) and Christian Stadsgaard aka Damian Dubrovnik - arch up a volley of bittered power noise outbursts with Great Many Arrows, marking 200 releases for the label they started with Songs For Loviatar in 2009. Myriad solo and collaborative projects have followed over the interim, plotting out a sprawling constellation of ideas and gestures, and perhaps all preparing us for this, their most riveting vision of bloodied noise romance.
Taking its title from a historic archery competition in Kyoto, Japan, in which archers would shoot as many arrows as possible for a 24 hour period, Great Many Arrows hits its target with frightening accuracy, packing the spectacle and ferocious intensity of their ritualistic live performances into a studio context where they can utilise and manipulate a greater array of acoustic instrumentation - organs, cellos, wind and others - against more typical electronic backdrops and processing.
If their previous releases often took cues from Prurient releases, Great Many Arrows is again pretty much a conceptual re-working of Frozen Niagara Falls, where, like Dominick Fernow, they embrace an expanded palette of tonal colours to better realise their personal vision. The results are most bracing in the opening Arrow 1, which also recalls the blistered strings of Deathprod, but shot thru with fire-breathing exhortations, while making sterling use of lacunæ and piercing distortion in Arrow 2, and beautifully summing it all up in the cinematic elegance of Arrow 6 with its steepled pads and wistful accordion cadence.
Perfectly faded ambient nostalgia hailing from modern day Russia. A lush dream sequence of airy atmospheres and simmering krautrock pulses evoking hair in a gentle breeze, dry ice swirling over standard soviet issue trainers, and drifting along the River Neva in mid-winter. One of the best NNF instalments in ages...
"St. Petersburg seeker Vladimir Karpov coaxes hushed auras of keys, metronomes, fog, and feeling to evoke hazed and isolated realms, traced in altered states. His latest collection – and vinyl debut – maps the maze at “the bottom of self,” subterranean consciousness manifested from decaying synthesizer and shadowed pulse: music for fading torchlight. Labyrinth leads through six misty, mystic chambers of dreams, drones, delirium, and phasered percussion, spiraling in slow, sacred arcs, in quest of “the inner world.” Tosya Chaikina’s ghost vocals on “False Angel Lullaby” and “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors” bring a whispered hymnal mood but otherwise the LP is ambient and abandoned, obscure meditations along corridors of candlelit runes, “to find the right path, to find the true answer.”
Bristol’s Hodge chases up that ace Peder Mannerfelt collab with three loose-limbed tribal tricks playing deep into the Livity Sound aesthetic on No Single Thing. For our 2p, like the aforementioned 12”, it’s some of the best work in his arsenal, exchanging stodginess for something more agile and making us itch for the dance in the process.
The swingeing polyrhythms and screaming harpies of No Single Thing suggest a parallel dimensional link-up between Psychick Warriors Of Gaia and Shackleton c. 1990/2785 (do they even have linear time in this dimension?), whilst Light waves pinches between he eyes with pealing bleep patterns and fully pendulous drums accentuated with proper, bulbous bass (allow that Casualty-theme coda) and Joe Likes to Dance adds some salt to the dish with tart groove and dissonant nasal drip synth tang destined for smoke filled warehouses ‘round are (our) way.
CPU slice off two slo-mo highlights from Nadia Struiwigh’s debut album, Lenticular onto 12”, including the brooding mass of the title cut and her swampy midnight trek, Trip In Fiction.
The Rotterdam-based artist’s follow-up to 12”s with Rosedale Records and ADRO Records pursues an atmospheric line of enquiry on Lenticular, with grumbling bass and spidery trills elegantly carrying a top heavy payload of keening, bittersweet pads and gauzy choral work into a smudged, impressionistic space between early B12 and Æ.
Flipped she rolls on a purring slo-mo engine into awning ambient realms recalling the vibes of Joey Beltram’s Aonox album or ambient early-mid ‘90s Plastikman, but with a smudged, gauzier resolution that time-stamps it to 2017.
Drily funked-up, low-key but lush minimal house swingers from Area, getting into a Matthew Herbert like moody groove with rlgl and heading somewhere more introspective in the gauzy atmospheres and hiccuping bump of Notice.
“Idle Hands strides towards the summer with a transmission from a kindred spirit across the pond. Area, sometimes known as m50, has been flying the flag for forward thinking electronic music in Chicago for a long time. His radio shows on WNUR have a distinctive quality one step to the side of the music his hometown is best known for, while his label Kimochi Sound has released incredible music from the likes of Benjamin Brunn, Strategy and many more besides.
As a producer Area has been equally prolific since first emerging in 2007. From Ethereal Sound and Steadfast to UntilMyHeartStops and Sequencias, his various approaches to rhythm and texture are all bound together by a meditative quality that feels like a perfect fit for Idle.
On this single, both sides of the 12 continue the theme of dusty, dusky 4/4 Area is most widely known for, locking on to a house groove while sporting the abstract atmosphere of techno. Rlgl is an understated, emotional heater that uses looped up fragments as a counterpoint to the more lilting strings and static that bed the track. Notice takes a more overtly melancholic approach with its lingering, heavily processed keys that drift in between a tough set of drums. There's a punch to the track that will translate beautifully to a big system, even as the melodics spell out a more intimate listening experience.”
Bruxas came together when the two were playing backing band for the 70s James Brown-meets-Black Sabbath act, Witch. Feeling inspired, they began their collaborative musical odyssey by writing new music together in Portugal.
"(Bruxas is Portuguese for witch by the way). "It was a combination of things that sparked the idea to start Bruxas," Gardner states, "our love of 70s soundtracks, library music, African disco, and Afrobreat." Mixing together their well-honed percussive rhythms, along with layered synths and the occasional vocal, Bruxas was born; a project less on the side of fuzz-rock, and more on the side of an occultist rhythmic, devil-dance.
"We both love exotica and electronic music. I was really getting into library music while working on my last album, stuff recorded in the 70s that is difficult to classify, where traces of psychedelia can be found in almost everything. We wanted to make our own mix, and see if we could mold it into a contemporary music project, that’s easy to bring to the stage." - Jacco Gardner
The Dekmantel EP is a kaleidoscope cabinet of curiosities, unearthed from the tropical wilderness. 'Más Profundo' is the deepest of all the treasures, while 'Tropicacovas', with its wistful island ambiance, conga beats and rolling bass, soundtracks the whole affair, before delving into the jungle with 'Selva Cosmica'. Animals gasp as the energy becomes more electric, while the Dutch duo play on, with 'Plantas Falsas'. A true carnival of wild assorts. Drinks are free. Fun, and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone. "Each track is a little journey, some through Africa, others just at a fancy Italian pool party," Gardner says about the EP, "there is definitely a worldly character about them, which ties into the exotica element that connects all the tracks."
Arttu Snellman lends his taut, funked up energies to Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jr label with the strident, deep techno-house pressure of Walking On A Fine Line, backed with rawer, tracky reinforcements.
A regular character on Philpot, Clone’s Royal Oak and 4 Lux, and his own Cyblo label this decade, with work on stacks of mnml labels as Lump before that, Arttu nails a heavy infectious sound here, alloying Roberto Q Ingram’s lyrics with a steely, funked up Chicago undertow in Walking On A Fine Line and the scuffed, stripped down Bass Trakk banger, before heading into the strobes and smoke with a mesmerising dub techno momentum of Debris.
No messing. Party pressure guaranteed.
Twwth & Desto’s Signal Life introduce Inner’s bolshy fusion of R&G and industrial-strength trap with his debut four-track black label.
From the front, it sounds like they’re trying to tune to a ghost pirate radio station with the fractious, noisy swerve and piquant vocal sampled in Pain, whilst Crystal Ember veers into high-strung trap-trance. Close ratchets the intensity with strobing edits applied to rusty ballroom stabs in cone-crumpling style, and Roll Out clocks off on a see-sawing grime tip with extra punchy drums.
Embracing spontaneity on several vastly different songs (see: the intricate, slow-moving guitars of "Dreamwork" and the disjointed dance loops of "Blue Chip") and exploring the outer limits of experimental pop elsewhere.
"That goes for everything from the shimmering keys and steely percussion of "I Feel You" to the lush, melancholic melodies of "Set the Scene"-- tracks that take cues from King Tubby's dub-wise delays and murky synth-pop. Not to mention "Nowhere," a humid number that channels such richly woven reference points as the surreal '90s program Wild Palms and the artful duets of David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto..."
RIYL: Clark, Colin Stetson, Pye Corner Audio, James Holden, Sarah Neufeld, Daniel Avery.
"We’ve All Been Swimming’ marks something of a shift for Fieldhead. Previous releases have seen Elam take a detached view from the hillsides of West Yorkshire and Western Canada, but with his latest full length release the subject matter is closer and more immediate. Tensely wound synths lead throughout the album, shifting from the breathless momentum of the opening track through to pulses reminiscent of Colin Stetson on ‘Ton’.
The unique violin playing of Elaine Reynolds glides sparingly across the record, tempering the constantly shifting arpeggios and accentuating the human elements within the record’s machine-like core. The haze found on previous releases still hangs, but now it’s the haze of a crowded street or the last train home. ‘We’ve All Been Swimming’ is a concise and inspired attempt to reduce electronica down to the things that matter, with a narrative and sense of longing pervading the album reminiscent of Clark or Boards of Canada. It’s the sort of work to be devoured in one sitting - that rarest of modern day beasts - where the tracks flow effortlessly into one another and finish leaving you wanting more.
Paul Elam returns with a suite of immersive, pulsating, electronic reductions. Shifting arpeggios and minimal beats generate the forward motion, whilst the captivating violin playing of Elaine Reynolds helps to provide the narrative thrust."
Expanded 21st anniversary reissue of of Regis’ game-changing debut album, considered THE Brummie techno blueprint, re-built from original stems & including new studio versions and unreleased sequences, remastered and packaged with new artwork.
For this edition the Brum techno overlord has revisited the scene of the crime from original stems and salvaged 8-tracks tapes. The unyielding results effectively present a doctored version of his seminal - some may say game-changing - record, featuring new studio versions and unreleased sequences. It’s basically a stronger, fitter version of his most prized LP, loaded with sounds as brutally functional as the city which birthed them, but redrawn with sharper edges and elbows for 2017 dancers and DJs.
Originally recorded in September 1996 in Room 406, Digbeth, Birmingham aka Scorn’s studio - sandwiched between Tony De Vit and Broadcast’s recording spaces - Regis used 1 drum machine, 1 synth, and 1 FX unit to nail home a back-to-basics approach to techno; one inspired as much by the direct immediacy of Chicago house as the febrile DJ sets of Jeff Mills, but also drawing a crucial X factor from his background as a bit of hooligan, with form in a number of post-industrial, EBM and punk units.
When Gymnastics first hit the ‘floor it was considered shocking anathema to the swell of manicured, proggy arrangements which were by then dominating the spotlight of British dance in clubs and the media. It was loopy, stripped to the bone and shark-eyed, always moving forward and without the faintest recourse to melody or harmony - simply revelling in the gnashing tension and swerve of raw, clattering drum machines and monophonic synth jabs. Big Beat or trance it fxcking well wasn’t.
As a sound it was arguably responsible for a whole sub-genre’s worth of imitators who never quite reached its Kwik Save milk ailse levels of cold harsh reality, mainly thanks to Karl’s sly, kinky refusal of funk - doing it so dry that it actually came out so stiff it popped, just like Kraftwerk, but if they could only modulate one syllable in a Brummy accent.
21 years later its lip-biting force is now felt stronger than ever. From the grumbling refusal of We Said No and the austere wall-banger Allies that boot off the album, thru the 16th note nag of Translation to the rictus jag of Sand and The Black Freighter’s metallic bite, this is timeless, primal dance music that still causes friction wherever it’s deployed.
James Brown is dead. Long live Regis.
Penguin Cafe and Japanese producer Cornelius’ mutual admiration for one another led to them joining forces for this four-track ‘Umbrella EP’. The pair reworked and reimagined existing tracks of their own, alongside two new Penguin Cafe songs.
"Penguin Cafe was founded by Arthur Jeffes in 2009, bringing together a diverse and disparate group of musicians from the likes of Suede, Gorillaz and Razorlight, initially to perform his father Simon Jeffes’ legacy of world renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra music, ten years after his untimely death in 1997. Arthur, a composer in his own right, quickly began to create new and unique genre-defying music, with the spellbinding philosophy of the Penguin Cafe always in his mind.
The project has evolved into something at the hands of Arthur who utilises many different instruments and influences including elements of African, Venezuelan, Brazilian, bluegrass, classical, avant-garde and minimalist music — using a variety of instruments from strings, pianos, harmoniums, slide guitars, cuatros, kalimbas, experimental sound loops, mathematical notations and more. To date, the new Penguin Cafe have released two albums of fresh, innovative and beautiful music, developing from the traditional folk and jazz heritage Penguin Cafe Orchestra is known for into another realm of blissful ambience and dance music, recreated using strictly acoustic elements."
Sizzling mutations of shaabi, or Arabic pop music, from Beirut’s Raed Yassin and Swiss multi-instrumentalist Paed Conca. Imagine Mutamassik, Muslimgauze and Konstrukt on the lash after a wedding with Omar Souleyman Band, and someone’s spiked the punch… Check for maddest highlights in their dizzying harmonic swirler, ’The Odyssey of the Blue Flies’ and the intoxicating swagger of ‘Hatem Imam the Love of the Millions’
“Founded by Lebanese visual artist and musician Raed Yassin and Swiss musician Paed Conca in 2006, Praed is a band whose musical oeuvre can be described as a mixture of Arabic popular music, free jazz, and electronics. Over the years, the duo has collaborated with renowned musicians from across the globe, including Axel Dörner and Johannes Bauer from Germany, Hans Koch from Switzerland, Takumi Seino and Maki Hachiya from Japan, and Stéphane Rives from France, among others.
Praed's body of work explores the terrain of shaabi (Arabic popular music) and its interconnectedness with other hypnotic music genres. Since its inception, the duo has shown a keen interest in this music as a medium that reflects Egyptian society's complicated fabric. Through their research and thanks to numerous concerts in various Egyptian cities, Conca and Yassin discovered a strong cultural connection between shaabi sounds and the mouled music played in religious trance ceremonies. The hypnotizing psychedelic effect embedded in this genre incited Praed to explore other popular music from around the world that also employs forms of sonic delirium, such as free jazz, space jazz, and psychedelic rock, among others, and effectively incorporate these in their own musical concoctions.
The Fabrication of Silver Dreams is the duo's fourth album and their second for Lebanese independent music label Annihaya Records. Paed Conca: electric bass, clarinet, electronics, percussion; Raed Yassin: keyboards, electronics, vocals. With: Fadi Tabbal: electric guitar; Sharif Sehnaoui: electric guitar; Khaled Yassine: riq. Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut. Mastered by Stefan "Lopazz" Eichinger at Mixmastering.”
'To Where The Wild Things Are…' is a perfectly measured emulation of '60s/'70s soundtracks, library music and French Ye-Ye
Exactly the kind of gear that gets beardy Finders Keepers types and fans of Broadcast/Stereolab/Mazzy Star rubbing their cords threadbare. Soft-focused around core duo Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, they tick off a vintage studio's inventory of vinbraphone, mellotron, tremolo guitar and Moog to make a sedated sound that's easy to fall for and hard to rouse from.
Jamal Moss aka I.B.M. manhandles some proper ‘80s EBM and wave hits that were big at Medusa’s underage club nights in Chicago some time c. late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Siouxsie and the Banshees’s oft-sampled Happy House is given the Jamal Moss treatment, deferring the drop until its totally necessary, and The Psychedelic Furs’ Heartbeat is reduced and whipped into more tracky, jacking form.
The one y’all need, however, is the edit of Fad Gadget’s Collapsing New People, accentuating the groove’s sleazy vocal and atonal stabs with wildly freeform, expressive chops.
Discwoman co-founder Emma Olsen aka Umfang makes strong moves with the raw, etheric techno fundamentalisms in Symbolic Use Of Light; the Brooklyn-based artist’s 3rd album and first for Technicolor, placing her in good company amidst the label’s roster of Peggy Gou, Jay Daniel, Hieroglyphic Being a.o.
Across Symbolic Use of Light she weaves and delineates her sound in two distinct strands, teasing oscillating piquant, weightless arpeggios in Full 1, the frothier pulse of Path, and the hazy, levitating organ tones of Full 2, whilst merging those strands with variously graded degrees of techno pressure elsewhere, at best in the pensile pulses of Weight, with the power dome slammer, Where Is She, and a light-headed touch in the spare dimensions of Pop and the shimmering Wingless Victory.
Matador Records present Algiers’ second album, ‘The Underside Of Power’, recorded largely in Bristol and produced by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ali Chant and mixed by Randall Dunn (Sunn O)))), with post-production by Ben Greenberg (The Men, Hubble, Uniform).
"Touchstones on the uncompromising and impassioned album run from Southern rap to Northern soul, gospel to IDM, industrial to grime to Italo.
More pertinent than ever before, ‘The Underside Of Power’ follows Algiers’ 2015 eponymous debut which received praise from the NY Times, Pitchfork, The Quietus and others.
The record touches on oppression, police brutality, dystopia and hegemonic power structures. Its fiery lyrics encompass TS Eliot, the Old Testament, The New Jim Crow, Tamir Rice and Hannah Arendt, while carried by soulful and visceral songs, meditative moments and personal reflection. Now a four-piece, with the addition of Bloc Party founding member Matt Tong on drums."
Dekmantel’s 10th anniversary session continue apace...
...with a buggin’ electro pinger from Egyptian Lover, This That Old Skool teamed with the acidic latin freestyle electro attack of Scubatomic Love from Syracuse & Epsilove, a serene new age house kiss from Palms Trax, and the absorbingly layered electro grit of EFX Harmonic from Interstellar Funk.
An intimate investigation of the japanese Shakuhachi flute performed by virtuoso player Clive Bell, a regular contributor to the Wire Magazine.
“Asakusa Follies is a luminous scene of interplay between melody, breath, and the shakuhachi flute.
Following on from the initial triptych of electro-acoustic releases on the Cuspeditions imprint, Clive Bell’s Asakusa Follies shifts the listener away from the studio and toward the player himself. Breath is a central theme in the album where a punctuation of purring, spitting, flicking and gasping intersects the tones, overtones and noise of the shakuhachi.
The opening composition Ultramodern Variety makes it immediately apparent that this is no traditional exploration of the Japanese bamboo flute but something altogether unique. Bell’s personal shakuhachi technique is highlighted in the four solo pieces of the album, and reveals a revisionist approach to the instrument which still honours it’s traditional elements. The distant low of the album opener flutters with multiphonics, deep in tone and subdued. Golden Bat Cigarettes celebrates the meeting of breath and bamboo where the mouth and hands on wood buzz then snaps in exhale before drifting toward eerie overtones hanging amidst silence.
The two closing pieces, Five Story Pagoda and Idle Reminiscence, explore the shrill upper registers of the flute that keen in and out of silence, melody and breath-noise shifting the ears from inside Clive Bell’s mouth, to hearing from somewhere afar. A trio of shakuhachi flutes interweave to create Silk Factories, which float gently in and out of unison. Pi-Saw is double tracked on The Red Sash Society where chords abruptly drop into one another, wavering in modulation.
The Scarlet Gang is a resting point and site of contemplation. Hmong Khene is here warm and melancholic and gives the listener a moment to bask in a sensitive cycling sequence of chords. Erotic Grotesque weaves more overdubbed shakuhachi, overblown and textural with two distinct melodies intertwining as lovers in dark and empty space.
The album takes inspiration from Yasunari Kawabata’s 1930 novel The Scarlet Gang of
Asakusa. In Kawabata’s novel, the reader is lead through the vibrant and hedonistic Tokyo district by a wandering narrator, and this sense of wandering is captured in Bell’s improvisations :the shakuhachi is a restless and shifting path to follow toward contemplative calm in the bulbous swelling of reeds.”
Chile’s Vaskular makes his full debut on Cómeme with four tracks of louche but insistent latin house following from his contribution to the Gasoline set in 2014 and subsequent turns for Discos Pegaos.
He limbers up with the hip-swivelling gait and wavy synth licks of Pan Caliente, dimming the lights with Theo Parrish-style glowing chords and spare, martial shuffle in Stent, and the lights stay down for the blunted, rusty jag of Alarma, keeping the atmosphere rude and tucked-in for the downstroke of 187000 feat. Yula Kasp.
Droopy techno abstraction from Yard, making the maiden voyage on the meandyou.-affiliated Youth label.
In four parts the Portland-based producer coaxes out a greyscale spectrum of machine mumbles and squirmy 303 graffiti; testing your patience with the wobbly nothings of Void, then descending into the claggy dub-house and silty acid piece, White Fog, before giving you something to dance with in the effluent flow of Canopy, and finally ripping out a stripe of caustic 303 modulations in Marshall Acid.
Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for ‘Kosmische Muzik’ (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions.
"Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as “ethereal”, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’.
Popol Vuh regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like ‘Aguirre’, ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Heart Of Glass’ & ‘Cobra Verde’.
Originally released in 1985, ‘Spirit of Peace’ is the fifteenth album by Popol Vuh. The first track was used by Werner Herzog as original motion picture soundtrack for his documentary ‘The Dark Glow of the Mountains’. ‘Spirit of Peace’ is about making the journey into the destination and it truly achieves the meaning of the album title. ‘Yehung’ chants and beautiful intertwined mellow, yet complex guitars grooves make this album an ambient (or even a new age) masterpiece."
Marcel Dettmann indulges some youth club nostalgia for your kinky benefit with some killer EBM, New Wave and New Beat-era joints for Dekmantel’s Selectors series.
He already touched on this area in his ace DJ-Kicks mix but this one goes fully in with prime picks such as The Force Dimension’s Algorithm (Manipulating Mix), Fad Gadget’s sleazy grinder Back To Nature, the EBM gem So Mote It Be, and Twice A Man’s wavy power move Happy Life.
Factor in a quickened chop of Dirk Desaever aka A Thunder Orchestra’s Diabolical Gesture and the deadly monotone jag of Low Cool by Cabaret Voltaire, plus some weirder revelations in Rise Up Helicopter, Like A Bird from Kaa Antelope and Martin Dupont’s blinding body worker, The Light Goes Through My Mouth, and you’ve got a serious package that shows the roots of contemporary big room techno which may not be well known to the legion disciples of the Dettmann/Klock cult.
Dry and crunchy techno variants from Detroit youngblood Altstadt Echo, making his first incision on Interdimensional Transmissions’ Eye Teeth imprint after a string of 12”s for his Modern Cathedrals label.
The sound is distinctly more european than Detroit, turning up a brittle, breaks-driven groove in the titular A-side Reposed In Nihilism, whilst the B-side’s Ersatz juggles Diwali Riddim-style claps over gaunt dub chords and restless bass, and The Necessary Facade kills the lights for a hunched tri-step shuffle with stark features picked out by spotlighting chords.
Philadelphia-based artist and activist Moor Mother leaves her indelible mark on CTM x VF’s Fear Anger Love series with a thornily tortuous dispatch from the frontline of American race politics.
Collecting 10 previously unheard poems and soundscapes including collaborations with Geng, Mental Jewelery and Black Quantum Futurism, the results are no doubt a formidable follow-up to Moor Mother’s mad acclaimed Fetish Bones  LP, pursuing that record’s themes with an arguably more abstract, layered aesthetic connoting an urgent sense of confusion without any sort of clear resolution.
The Motionless Present opens the record with a knot of panic-inducing rhythmic noise and blues holler, before PTP Geng renders Moor Mother at her widest and most haunting in the strikingly weightless, beat-up sound design dimensions of This Week, and she then spirals off into splashing flashcore-meets-tribal chaos in Earthquake Hymn and the curdled, arrhythmic fizz of Day Rules.
Detached and processed field recordings open up 4 Oakland and get suppressed into the cold clam and declamations of privilege in A Way Out, with 700 Bliss joining in on the detached wormhole of 29th and a brace of collaborators help to frame, harness Moor Mother’s angry observations on “the disconnect between humanity and injustice”, with Mental Jewelry aiding on the cyber-swampy crush of Remember and a dread dub killer named Big Crime, while the side culminates in the decidedly discomfiting use of a notorious YouTube video of an unwarranted arrest, here smothered in viscous electronic noise.
Co La makes smartly kerned and trimmed co-production contributions to the charmingly upbeat and frothy electronic expressions of Tokyo’s Wong and Minekawa. RIYL Visible Cloaks, Motion Graphics or Deerhoof
“The sounds of Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa are a coalescence of the complexities of life, with the sheer joy of imaginative creation. Are Euphoria continues to dive deeper into the dreamlike technicolor tapestries their songs have always explored, blossoming forward with each cycle of loops. Completely characteristic of their style, Wong and Minekawa achieve a density of textures, timbres, beats, and harmonies while remaining totally weightless, suspended in the air.
Music in Japanese is written in two words, sound and enjoyment. Counterpoint, dissonance, odd time signatures - when all these things accumulate and coalesce in interesting and harmonious ways, it is like hearing or seeing an idyllic perception of Humanity. Like a curving line that streams up in to the sky, like a flock of birds or a school of fish, the directions and shapes change in seemingly random ways, yet create patterns that dance and seduce consciousness.
Every beat, melody, is a unique metaphor to each individual. The variety of peoples, cultures, religions, thoughts, hobbies, races, these differences molten together, the differences are the elements needed in creating harmony. The same sound on top of the same sound doesn't form harmonies. Harmony is created by differences. Depending on the desires and sentiments that go into sound, the music changes, the power of the individual's metaphor and imagination can take the listener to profound distances. Each person's impression, are all unique and completely limitless.
Takako Minekawa and Dustin Wong, sought out Co La (Matthew Papich) to co-produce the album, due to his unique ability to place sounds and build compositions, which is leading a new type of expression in music. His surreal and conceptual approach made for a perfect combination with worlds created by the songs on Are Euphoria.
Based in Tokyo Japan, Wong and Minekawa are part of a growing DIY community, frequently performing in smaller spaces such as Nanahari, Fuchi-kuchi, and Ochiai Soup. Their artistic focus is to create the unexpected. It is a scene that encourages this adventurousness. Wong and Minekawa use their considerable technical skill to create the psychedelic, surreal, and conceptual, and with dexterity and inventiveness. While Minekawa still contributes to J-Pop releases and Wong is still connected to his Baltimore roots, their joyous collaboration is as delightful and challenging as it is innovative.”
The Following Mountain is the newest solo album by experimental folk artist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon.
"Created with producer Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Regina Spektor) and Amidon’s frequent collaborator Shahzad Ismaily, it represents a new approach for Amidon, who shifts here from his previous norm of re-working traditional folk songs and presents nine wholly original compositions, with some lyrics drawing on traditional sources.
The album features a rare guest appearance by drummer Milford Graves, known initially for his work in the 1960s with free jazz legends Albert Ayler and Sonny Sharrock."