Unrelenting, techno-enforced bass music from the Tectonic camp: Constrict is a noisy, distorted lash of ‘floor cracking subs and stinging percussion; Running Man follows the ‘Running’ theme of last year’s Ghostrunner down a crankier gauntlet of mauling stabs buffered by undulating, motion sickness-induing bass hits.
Plushest deep house soul for sunday mornings and such from Jesse Futerman for Church; glyding out on the symphonic strings and woozy bass of My Favourite Merchant feat. Byron The Aquarius - who has released on Sound Signature and Wild Oats in the last few years - backed with the beatdown solo flex of See Me Ride and the airy swing of Gem, with Hidden Spheres bringing up the rear on a gentle retouch of Gem.
ASC keeps the grid malleable, mutable with another exemplary iteration of his current, hybrid techno rolige style dispensed by Berlin’s Horo label.
These are possibly the most impressive cuts from his most recent raft of productions, exerting serious groove control on the tempestuous torque and intensifying atmospheric pressure of Aphelion, before drying out to a more viscous flow in Geocentric Systems recalling Porter Ricks’ sloshiest, gravel-loaded wave dynamics.
Flipside he ratchets the levels to alarming degrees from the off with Perihelion, launching one of the most powerful industrial bleep techno assaults we’ve heard for years, and holds that line hard into the apocalyptic wastelands of Passel at the EP’s outer limits.
Horo shaman, Liam Blackburn (Akkord, Indigo) dons his Ancestral Voices mask in pursuit of the same metaphysical spirits whom inhabited his Night Of Visions (2015) album and Old Earth Voodoo 12” from earlier in 2016.
Taking its inspiration from psychedelic drugs and ritual as much as the lineage of darkside UK dance music, Yantra ploughs four deep, mindful furrows of wide drones and decelerated beats dragging us down into hypnotic halfstep temporalities.
Yantra hovers into view with floating vocal tones lapped with lush, treacly bass drones, gradually amassing a spiritual weight that tips over the edge into rolling tribal rhythm recalling Cut Hands. Eiyani follows in that wake with more impending feel, lowering the ceiling to a heavy black mass over rumbling, distant drum rolls leavened only by angelic chorales.
Priests of Mu finds Ancestral Voices at his most cinematic-visionary with tentative hooks luring jus into a scene of bleak enlightenment, whilst the shimmering steppers flux of Jadian Sun offers a glimmer of hope on the dawning horizon.
New LP from the acclaimed duo of Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, two musicians who have established themselves as powerful voices working at a unique intersection of contemporary composition, improvisation, and Asian traditional music forms.
"Either individually or as a pair, they have worked in contexts ranging from performances of traditional Persian and Javanese music to collaborations with Sunn O))), but their work together as a duo, on The Face Of The Earth (2012) and Aestuarium (SOMA 002LP, 2011), most clearly represents the central concerns of their diverse practices: a music of the inner life of sound, demanding ritualistic focus and promising heightened sensations.
On Reverse Tree, the duo expand their work together into the realm of the chamber ensemble, presenting two side-long works that feature Kenney’s voice and Kang’s viola alongside a multitude of other instrumentalists. Kang’s “Thoughts On Being Exiled To The Frontier, For Lord Wei”, inspired by a text by the Tang dynasty poet Hsueh T’ao, features an all-star international ensemble: Kang, Kenney, maverick Israeli conductor Ilan Volkov on violin, Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, and guitarists Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. The piece is primarily composed of irregular patterns of pizzicato notes and guitar harmonics, gently falling in and out of sync and providing a subtly unstable support for Kenney’s voice, which at times is reminiscent of Michiko Hirayama‘s classic performances of Scelsi. Drawing on 20th century instrumental techniques, alternate tuning systems, non-western music and the experience of nature, the piece opens a space both serene and subtly uneasy.
Kenney’s “‘Elm” features Kenney and vocalist Nova Ruth (Filastine, Twin Sista) alongside an ensemble of strings and Seattle’s Gamelan Pacifica, performing on Javanese instruments tuned to the slendro scale. An uncanny timbre created by bowing the keys of the Gamelan’s instruments, supported by bowed harmonics from the strings, is heard consistently throughout the piece. After a long introductory section in which this harmonic cloud slowly descends from shimmering high notes to rumbling bass, the vocalists enter, singing a slow and stately setting of a 19th century Surakarta poem (attributed to Mangkunegara IV). The poem deals with the idea of a form of knowledge achieved through deeds, as a practice and state of the heart.”
Fizzing chunks of Kölnisch tech house from the Kompakt family’s Reinhard Voigt; holding to a steady line of vision blurring, distorted lead and firm, polka-ish techno swagger with The Singing Saw, and under pressure of searing THX-style synthlines and strange, back-of-the-throat vocal trickery in Trust.
Faceless production entity U returns to the Phantasy fold for another two track 12”.
After ‘doing a Caretaker’ with his debut LP Vienna Orchestra for Where To Now? earlier this year, the artist known simply as U veers back towards the dancefloor for his latest ‘heavyweight’ 12” outing on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound. The label has been on full tech speed ahead of late, but Friendly Ghost offers a nice deviation as U channels Cut Hands on this exercise in spiralling bongo rhythms.
Backing that track is Ascension Hymn, an altogether stickier affair from U; close your eyes and this might initially sound like SUED man SVN in a particularly angry mood.
The sense of rampaging frustration soon gives way and any SUED comparisons are long forgotten as ‘epic’ trancey rushes and ebbs take over for the remainder of the track’s 13 minutes.
The deployment of a long lost spoken word mantra about self-fulfilment is a neat touch.
Reissue of a rare funky disco belter from ‘70s Tunisia.
“Carthago was one of those bands where the internet largely failed to provide any infos despite the fact that Carthago created some incredible music in the form of an highly infectious Tunisian take on disco music. Luckily most of the members of the 1970s musical scene of Tunis are still around to tell their story.
Carthago was founded in the late 1970s as a fusion of Dalton and a second band called Marhaba Band. Both bands frequently played at hotels and night clubs in Tunis and Sousse. They had similar musical influences and despite the fact that they were competition for the most part, they came up with the idea to join forces for a new band. Musically Carthago kept on walking on the musical path of Dalton and Marhaba but incorporated disco music, a new style that was making its way to North Africa from Europe and North America. The band had quite some success on local radio and played a number of big shows with thousands of people showing up.
The band’s concerts were a mixture of their own compositions as well as cover versions of the hits of the time from Stevie Wonder to Chicago. At the end of the 70s they went to Paris to record their only, self titled album. For our reissue we picked out two of our favorite tracks: „Hanen“ and the outstanding disco version of the Dalton track „Alech“ which has proved to work on every dance floor we played over the last two years.”
Plushly absorbing ’80s disco produce from Beesmunt Soundsystem, topping off their run of releases for Church with four prime, involving cuts for San Francisco’s HNYTRX - affiliates of Dark Entries and major party starters in their home city.
The Sensual Works EP is the strongest showcase for Beesmunt Soundsystem that we’ve heard.
Working at the slick, gay business end of the ’80s dancefloor paradigm which set a template for the last 30 years of dance music, the duo adroitly test a lean, widely dubbed electro-house and EBM style with Sensual Works, whereas Blissed Out looks farther east (or is it West from San Fran?) with diaphanous hyaline sino melodies and rolling proto-trance groove recalling classics by The Force Dimension.
They were no flukes either, as the B-side gets more forceful, clenched, with the bruxist acid drive of Playin’ Myself running like one of Gabi Delgado’s darkroom Delkom specials, and Jason ken dig chimes in with a more brooding remix of Sensual Works.
After 5 years of turning out hi-tension D&B singles, Seattle’s Homemade Weapons turns his hand to that rare thing, a debut album of exclusively D&B style mutations.
Safe to say he hasn’t compromised his sound one bit with anything like a token double bassline or a live drummer, as is too often the case with D&B LPs. Nah, the vibe is strictly for the heads with twelve tracks exploring the slightest shifts of syncopation in tendon-testing styles, with super strong results in the Rugghouse-style roll cage of Ironhead, the shadow-boxing special, Jawbox, and the clamp jaw snare bite of Red Herring.
This epic box set documents every performance from the exhibition 'Beneath the Valley of the Lowest Form of Music - The Los Angeles Free Music Society 1972-2012' at The Box, Los Angeles in 2012. The Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) is an experimental music collective founded by artists and musicians in Pasadena, California in the early 1970s. Continuously active for 40+ years, they have released over 25 albums on their LAFMS label and have released or appeared on hundreds of albums on various labels all over the world.
"In 2012, their work was the subject of a major exhibition at The Box that included photographs, visual art work, home-made instruments, recordings, ephemera, film & video. For the six week duration of the show, the gallery hosted many unforgettable concerts that captured the attitude and range of musical styles embodied by the LAFMS.
Includes performances by/of: Opening Reception Improvisation: Dennis Duck, John Duncan, Ace Farren Ford, Joseph Hammer, Mike Kelley, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Recchion, Vetza; Artificial Art Ensemble: Ted Byrnes, Ace Farren Ford, Mars Pharoah Ford, Oddrocker Orlando Greenhill, Michael Intriere; The Tenses: Oblivia & Ju Suk Reet Meate; Tom Recchion; The Doo-Dooettes: Dennis Duck, Fredrik Nilsen, Tom Recchion; Le Forte Four: Joe Potts & Rick Potts; Smegma: Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Mars Pharoah Ford, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Oblivia, Vetza; Airway: Ted Byrnes, Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Juan Gomez, Joseph Hammer, Kevin Laffey, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Recchion, Vetza; Ace & Duck / Artificial Art Ensemble: Ted Byrnes, Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Oddrocker Orlando Greenhill, Michael Intriere; Dinosaurs With Horns: Joseph Hammer & Rick Potts; Vetza & Joe Potts; Dolphin Explosion: Colette Weber Shaw & Ariel West with Dani Tull; F For Ache: Doug Harvey, Dani Tull, Marnie Weber; Eddie Ruscha, Jim Shaw, Dani Tull; Extended Organ: Paul McCarthy, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Tom Recchion, with prerecorded XO contributions by Mike Kelley; Feedback Waveriders: Antony DiGennaro, Michael Jon Fink, Paul McCarthy, Chas Smith, Brian Walsh; Artzenkraft: John Lewis; Small Drone Orchestra: Don Lewis & Eddie Nervo; Albert Ortega; Points Of Friction: Tim Alexander, Damian Bisciglia, Mitchell Brown, Joseph Hammer, Albert Ortega; Rick Potts (on altered turntables between sets; The Jrks: Joe Berardi, Kira Vollman, Rich West; Joe & Joe: Joseph Hammer & Joe Potts; Oolies: Tom Boram, Mitchell Brown, J.P. Jenkins; Rahdunes: Nate Archer & Aaron Coye."
Severely worn-down, eviscerating industrial experiments from Italy, 1982, dug up and resuscitated in its entirety by Mannequin for the first time, backed with a strong edit by Alessandro Adriani.
Fabrizio Lucarini and Silvia Innocenti’s Plath first bubbled back to the surface when Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) included their ace I Am Strange Now on his Mutazione (Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988) compilation for Strut back in 2013.
Fast fwd a couple of years and Mannequin now present I Am Strange Now as part of a 12” expansion of Plath, corralling the original’s guttural knot of spat-out vocals and whizz dick electronics alongside the proto-BM meets The Haka style of Proletarian Submission 2 (the Howl) and the burnt throbs of Telik - 12345, which could almost be a stray Conet Project transmission.
However, it’s only the boldest DJs who would dare play those bits, so Alessandro Adriani gives Proletarian Submission 2 a stronger pair of boots to stomp around on the B-side streak of numbly hypnotic, glowering EBM techno.
Bubbling up from the archive, a brilliantly warped, acidic and intoxicating décollage of soundsystem shrapnel rinsed thru the echo chamber. RIYL Tapes, Raymond Scott, Ennio Morricone, Horsepower Productions
“Shimmering hologram oases belie the bone-dry heat inna this ya ghost-bloodcl@$t-town; When tumbleweed beliefs pose as the only sign of life, it's time to step into Death's saloon; Bust down the dusty double-swinging doors even the Preacher-man dares not enter!
The Bartender has run out of liquor and listening; Sullied Doves have danced their last number; Lawmen, levelled and long-gone, litter the dance floor; Bodied outlaws doubled and draped over the bar. When the only exit is a horse-drawn hearse; Face to face with Death, who will shoot first!?!
Step into this rattlesnake-ridden realm! Dancehall Showdown is a crazy non-place world where 60’s Spaghetti Westerns, 70’s Library Synth Records and 90’s Golden Era Dancehall come together for a death-defying communion inna Yard! The old posse of SKRS and MX7 ride once again under the banner of their co-run label, ICS Library Records, off into the fringes of sound-based reality.
SKRS' OG Papa Coolbreeze reinforces their select palette, "This album is our reiteration of influences ranging from Spaghetti Western era Upsetters to Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research Inc. to early Horsepower Productions. Now the soundtrack we paint, however, is something entirely unique on its own". Simply put: there's NOTHING like it out there!
Full disclosure: this LP has been shelved for well over 3 years now with the sudden disappearance of Oklahoma's now-mythical Digitalis Recordings, who were set to release it hot on the heels of their 2012 SKRS debut LP, TheCallFromBelow. Since then, we've laboured to break more ground and lay several more keystones in the growing SKRS/ICS groundation-foundation in order to withstand its intensifying expanse and weight. Now that the ground has been prepared, we've decided to take Dancehall Showdown back into our own hands and give it the proper love and nurturing we had always intended for it.”
Classic kosmiche-skooled, industrial-toned drone works.
“Conceived in the cultural cellars of Bangkok, Thailand, and Geneva, Switzerland, this 9-track LP by Jerome, aka ‘Yantra Mandir’ and ‘The Dude of Stratosphear’, casts a wide net over experimental meditative ambient music, progressive drone, Brahmanic accents, and ritual oscillations.
Together, this work represents a 20 year journey in Geneva of musical production, artistic expression, and the melting pot of experiences fused with the rich legacy of Indian spiritual sounds.
The LP is partly a collaboration between five close collaborators, each contributing a single sound to complete the multiculti jigsaw, and partly comprised of field recordings of Bopa musicians from Rajasthan, in northern India. Added to the confluence are intricate layers of electric bass and electronic vibrations.
The name derives from ancient Sanskrit words emblematic of the overarching sound. Yantra is the Sanskrit word for mystical diagrams found in the Tantric traditions of the Indus Valley. These diagrams are used to worship dieties at home or in temples, as a meditation aid, and to activate the various benefits and occult powers as defined by Hindu astrological and Tantric texts.
Mandir is the Sanskrit word for a place in which a still mind and soul float freely search of life, peace, joy, and comfort. For centuries, the mandir has remained the nexus of a community where people forget their differences and voluntarily unite.”
Necessary reissue of an exceptionally rare solo outing by Giulia Allessandroni, one of few Italian female artists working in the field of experimental and library musics, and also wife of Alessandroni. Includes some cracking psuedo-tribal percussive works and a perky, psychy flute dancer.
“The first-ever dedicated album release by pioneering female Italian film music composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Giulia De Muittis (aka Mrs. Alessandro Alessandroni). Rare undercover pseudo-ethnological studio sessions made under her experimental alter ego Kema (The Pawnshop/Abnormal Sensations) combining the ethos of Can’s Ethnological Forgery Series (EFS) with the studio trickery of Delia Derbyshire and unshakable credentials as one of the founding figures of Giallo film music and Italian psych soundtracks.
Perhaps best known amongst fans of Italian production music and Giallo movie soundtracks as the wife of the legendary Alessandro Alessandroni, composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Giulia De Muittis was an equally formidable force who emerged from the formative years of the aforementioned anti-genres and rose to a monarchic status within the country’s vibrant, and seldom rivalled musical secret society. The cliché “behind every successful man, there is a strong woman” might not do Alessandro and Giulia’s long-running creative unison justice but one thing that rings true that in the shadows of Senor Alessandroni’s limelight (illuminated by his work with Ennio Morricone for the films of Sergio Leone and Dario Argento) remained a darker musical feminine force which in time has come to represent the duo’s finest and most sought after sonic artifacts. In a career that spanned four decades until her untimely death in 1984 Giulia’s collaborative work as a reliable creative all-rounder and pop polymath has stood the unshakable test of time like few other musicians resulting in projects like The Pawnshop, Femina Ridens, Revolver, Questo Sporco Mondo Meraviglioso, The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Tomb, Angoscia, Inchiesta Giudiziaria and Witchcraft ‘70 (Angeli bianchi Angeli neri) earning increasing “Most Wanted” status on the collectors’ market.
It is of no coincidence that Giulia’s nom de plumes, Kema and De Muittis, have in recent, more educated years, become trusted seals of approval which connect top choice composers such as Raskovich (aka Sorgini), Stelvio Cipriani, Morricone, Braen (aka Alessandroni) Amedeo Tomassi, Piero Umiliani and Bruno Nicolai amongst select others. It is, however, De Muittis’ seldom heard self-initiated solo work for small independent Italian library music imprints that reveal a unique multi-instrumentalist female composer working at her most intimate and uncompromised best.”
Reissue of an album originally released in 1982, 'Song of the Bailing Man' is an ‘inspired, invigorating, confounding, disturbing... yeah, one hell of a swinging way to go.
"Still the futility Ubu must have felt making far sighted music in a chronically near-sighted world is pressed hard into these grooves.’ (Melody Maker, David Fricke).
Classic Sega game soundtrack issued on 180g classic black vinyl for the first time Remastered from original console sound chip. Housed in 425gsm yardstick with gold flood printing. Includes 2 x lithographic prints. Sounds way heavier than we remember!
“For our seventh release in partnership with SEGA of Japan, we are delighted to bring together the complete music from the classic Mega Drive games, Golden Axe (1989) and Golden Axe II (1991), in one special package. This release features the unforgettable artwork from both games, supplied on two thick lithographic prints, with the record pressed on heavyweight classic black vinyl.
The outer sleeve features rare artwork from the 1989 Japanese edition, sourced from the SEGA archives and presented on 425gsm cardstock with gold flood printing. As always, the audio has been carefully restored and mastered using the original console as the source, ensuring these memorable soundtracks are preserved for many quests to come!”
The xx come with the Christmas hustle, catching the trio at their most upbeat, swaddled in synth pads and packing a sprung ‘90s R&B groove to rescue it from drifting into the sheepskin slippers aisle.
Released in 1980, ‘The Art Of Walking’ sees Pere Ubu ‘moving even further from the conventions of rock music - and from their own past - but still moving forward, without a doubt, and losing none of their integrity as a group.’ (Melody Maker, Chris Cutler).
Trippin’ boogie peaches from down under, courtesy of the suitably monikered Pronk and Duk Duk Secret Society, who both make music as west as their names suggest.
Duk Duk Secret Society makes the first move with a slompy bump of knackered groove and sleazy vocals in Five-Thunder Messenger (Down, Down, Down! edit) that calls to mind Design A Wave’s off-kilter disco, whereas Pronk take the rest of the record on the razz between what sounds like a stray Moon Wiring Club dispatch in Nanu Nanu, to the crunchy hip hop instro, Roadside Picnic (bonus track), and a chokingly submerged pseudo-deep house dub, Backward Waterfalls.
RIYL Heatsick, CS + Kreme, Design A Wave
Killer, cusp of the ‘90s-style techno/new beat/EBM from Device Control, coughing up only his 3rd release proper after a pair of self-released 12”s on their eponymous label.
It opens with Most People which is, quite honestly, one of the best new beat/EBM tributes that we’ve heard beyond 1990 or V/Vm’s SABAM series; from the clunky chug to the minor key vocals to that nagging top line and the militant chants, this is BANG on that belgy buck.
Lexington Avenue follows, pushing into a more abstract corner of proto-techno/industrial with wickedly offset bassline, and Pit Dynamics cuts into a seam of teeth-jarring acidic dissonance, leaving Damaged to stomp itself into a Frak-shaped hole.
RIYL Novo Line, V/Vm, Frak
Frisky funk ’n soul fuelled filter house from San Proper, packing the loose but driving disco hustle of Whaddyaknow (The Proper Vocal Version) and a stripped down but bouncing insert, Well, W, No.. (The Dub-Disco-Banger) on the A-side, backed with the much more unbuttoned psych-disco heat of Born Ready (The Rainco Disclub Bow Mix) for those who want to take the ‘floor a step farther.
Reissue of Ron Trent’s I Feel The Rhythm (1999), which is itself a riff on his Chez-N Trent bomb The Choice (1993), cut to the A-side, backed with Paul Johnson remix and an Inner Experience revision by Wamdue Project.
Francesco Baudazzi (Obtane) turns back to his Violet Poison alias for a more nuanced approach to the no-mans-land between techno, dark ambient and abstract electronic spheres.
Voices From The Hell forms the first release on Dub Ito, a new label from VP’s native Italy, with six tracks cycling thru a shady spectrum of styles; gathering momentum in the concrète rattle of Beyond The Door and diffusing that energy into the broad, tumultuous techno dimensions of the title track and a glowering abyssal sound in Prussian Blue.
However, he really comes into his own on the B-side, arching up the neck-craning industrial scope of Like A Pandora’s Box next to the uncannily resonant and majestic synth arrangement of A Blade In The Dark, which ends up sounding like a stately Steve Hauschildt piece by the close.
Canny edits of “modern percussion” from Pocketknife a.k.a. Boonlorm; trading in four nifty variations drum patterns that don’t sit easily in any preordained category.
Whether that’s mixing (what sounds like) native South American, African and gamelan tones in Pernetas, pulling Chicago house backwards thru the jungles of Borneo in Threads, or splicing field recordings from a distant south Pacific island with Dance, before giving himself the full B-side for a piece of Reichian phasing in Marimbas.
New on The Trilogy Tapes...
Burning disco and dub edit hustle from Baba Stiltz; building it up to peak times with the frisky swing and skip of Keep It Lit, bringing it down again with the sloshing skank of BB, and slipping out the side door with a drizzly bumper called We Both It’s The Last Game We Play.
In 1987, Michel Redolfi hit the California Desert road during the Fall, to catch those hypothetical poly-sensorial desert tones. He visited the Mojave Desert, Death Valley, Palm Canyon and came back with an extraordinary album of early electronic music, sparse and bright to express the crude light and the divine silences. Released in the Early Electronic series tracklisting 1 opening 5'49 2 mojave desert 7'11 3 death valley 11'26 4 palm canyon 10'20 5 too much sky / 10'00 extra track CD only
Driving gamer themes steeped in the original ‘80s aesthetic, but with much higher bit rates
“Power Glove’s crushing, synth-heavy soundtrack to the retro-futurist adventure game Trials Of The Blood Dragon, released through Invada in collaboration with Ubisoft.
The follow up to their 2013 soundtrack to Farcry 3: Blood Dragon is delivered in true Power Glove fashion, with 31 tracks of ’80s-inspired nostalgia, rippled with vast arpeggios, power synths and the odd patch of proto-house.
This soundtrack will appeal to fans of John Carpenter, Lazerhawk, Carpenter Brut and Miami Nights 1984.”
Black Merlin casts three shadowy EBM darkwave cuts for Jealous God, seeing Silent Servant, James Ruskin and Karl O’Connor’s label thru its twilight phase.
A-side is given to the hypnotic choral loops and stygian momentum of Isolation, cantering at a coolly stoic 100bpm thru pensile atmospheres and trepanning snares.
B-side, Klang picks up the pace to a prickling 120bpm jack cracked up with ricocheting claps and 16th note EBM pulses, before Tanksyport cycles off into slow, grungy industrial styles recalling Nick Klein’s sound.
Reissue of an in-demand ’98 session by DJ Clent for Dance Mania; spilling the nutty ghetto slam of 3 Feet No Pressure, the freaky juke of 3rd Wurle with those wild horns, and the frankly unhinged Let Me Hit It up top, and shelling down the tracky styles of Bang That Rat, a lethal skipper called We Bout It, and the pneumatic filth of Bang Skeet (Org.) for the players.
Late 1970s electronica from the Soviet Union / Estonia
Estonian musician Sven Grünberg released a remarkable album entitled 'Hingus' in 1981. The 23 minute title track invites us into a fascinating, futuristic world of sound, laced with Far Eastern tonality, embellished with a church organ, extremely rare synthesizers and extraordinary percussion effects.
The other two tracks, no less superb, are more in the stylistic tradition of the Berliner Schule / Berlin School (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream).
Rumpy, rugged tech-house acid minimalism, burning up the tracky drive and warm flush of pads in Fantastique on the front, and playing it down with the more sensual, simmering Detroit momentum of Holidays Everywhere, and an iced-out dub -house roller named Leguan feat. Konstantin Sibold.
Recently unearthed Peter Gordon & David Van Tieghem collaboration from 1978, featuring vocals from special guest Kathy Acker (author of post-modern classic Blood & Guts In High School).
"Fresh on the heels of Peter Gordon’s recent album with Tim Burgess, the legendary New York composer and producer has unearthed two gems from his archive: his first ever sessions with his Love of Life Orchestra partner, and fellow Arthur Russell collaborator, David Van Tieghem, dating from 1978.
Peter Gordon and David Van Tieghem’s first record – Love of Life Orchestra’s Extended Niceties – provided a fresh perspective on dance music when it was first released in 1979. More recently, it has had an ongoing presence on playlists around the world, influencing artists such as LCD Soundsystem, Blood Orange and others.
WINTER SUMMER - never before released – is the immediate precursor to the Love of Life Orchestra sessions and, like the aforementioned, sounds remarkably fresh. Gordon and Van Tieghem play all of the instruments and electronics, overdubbing on a 1” 8-track recorder in a small studio in a colonial era farmhouse 6 hours north of New York City. The result is intimate and vulnerable, yet ice cold and edgy.
“Winter," a cold-wave, proto-techno track, features a rare vocal appearance by the late Kathy Acker, author of the post-modern classic Blood and Guts in High School.
"Summer,” in contrast, is a lyrical and romantic instrumental. With Van Tieghem's drumming laying down the bedrock, the acoustic piano and varispeeded marimba take turns drifting in and out of the foreground.
The artwork for WINTER SUMMER features original, newly-created drawings by Laurie Anderson, Gordon’s longtime friend and collaborator."
Two bullets, one plate: DJ Madd gets ruthless with a vice-tight fusion of US club and classic UK jungle worries with the Danny Brown-sampling Jungle Dippa, then leans in heavily with Ring The Alarm flipping the classic sample inna up-stepping raver’s groove.
Icelandic orchestral poppers Amiina used to be part of Sigur Ros in another life and despite not having worked with the band for a few years now, the influence of the epic post-rockers is still often evident.
That's not to say that Amiina's latest full-length 'Puzzles' sounds exactly like Sigur Ros, but there is a distinct similarity to their attempts at the cinematic, the sublime and the quiet-loud dynamic. 'Puzzle' is a beautiful listening experience from beginning to end, and what it lacks in originality it just about makes up for in sheer resolve. There is never a sense that the band is anything less than sincere, and when making music this unashamedly emotional, sincerity is pretty much the most important ingredient.
Through the usual fog of strings and delicate percussion, these precious songs tiptoe and shimmy through your unconscious like the ghosts of Scandinavian faeries, and with all the charm of a well-worn Grimm missive, the album chatters to the wide-eyed child in all of us. Lurvely.
Color Tapes floor us again with a reissue of Modern Art’s debut 1982 album of bitter coldwave and aching pop dirges, forming a perfect entry point to the pivotal world of Gary Ramon, who would go on to record with Coil and Current 93, among others.
Arriving in the wake of inspirational releases from Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA and Throbbing Gristle, Modern Art’s Underwater Kites pinched those templates into a range of nervy, minimalist styles porous to influence and defined by the moody character of Gary Ramon’s vocals and his feel for expressive, evocative melody.
As the founder of Color Discs/Color Tapes, there’s reams of evidence that Ramon was a proper locus for the post-punk scene at that time, and his output can be heard as perfectly symptomatic of what was going on in England during that time.
Underwater Kite epitomise the open-ended diversity of that era, adroitly encompassing everything from wiry, Suicide-like night-stalkers such as Hello/Goodbye and spaced-out minimal wave comparable with John Bender or The Normal in TV Screen or Images In Sand, whereas Landscape From A Dream is up there with Martin Hannett and Joy Division’s most atmospheric productions, and the remarkable Tropic Of Cancer shimmies into dubbed-out 4th world electro and Monochrome Dance hits a scratchy blue boogie strut for brilliant unusual balance.
Whether you’re the crankiest wave fiend or fresh-faced newcomer, this one is really worth your time!
Named after a Dylan song, Angelina has lived all her life on the Isle Of Wight. Growing up with the blues, folk, country, gospel, jazz and rock'n'roll. She taught herself to sing by listening to Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and field recordings of country blues singers working on the land.
"Developing her own song writing style inspired by the likes of Wanda Jackson and Karen Dalton, her debut album is given a 21st Century sonic overall by fellow island dweller Rupert Brown who adds raw mechanical production and unusual instrumentation. The results are not dissimilar to those LPs coming out of Spacebomb studios (Matthew E White + co), but here tough cosmic country rubs with dustbowl soul and lyrics about isolation and celebration.
Growing up in a small coastal cottage, with the beach and country lanes as her playground, Angelina’s English father would paint (see Vagabond Saint’s artwork) and sing her to sleep every night. Her Chinese mother would teach Angelina to cook and sew whilst sounds escaped from the record player; those made great by Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, sea shanty bands, gospel, 20s jazz singers, English folkies and country blues guitarists like Mississippi Fred McDowell and Blind Willie Johnson.
Listening to those recordings, Angelina would teach herself how to sing; Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey would guide the way for the young singer as she attempted to channel their spirit through her own unique voice. “I would practice a sentence from a track for hours. I remember hearing a field recording of female country blues singers working on the land and it spoke volumes to me. I learnt loads of the songs and rehearsed in different rooms which changed the sound of my voice; the bathroom was great for that moaning blues sound with its natural reverb.”
Once, after testing out the reverb at a house party, Angelina’s musical education continued when she was taught a valuable lesson by a travelling American blues singer, who told her through a whiskey-soaked miasma, “You got the tools but ya don’t know how to use them”. Undeterred, Angelina continued looking towards her heroes – Karen Dalton (“Everything about her vocal story and sound, her voice goes straight to the jugular”), Wanda Jackson, Memphis Minnie and Jo-Ann Key. Later finding herself Stateside, learning all the jazz chords whilst staying in the home of Hawaiian slide guitar guru, Bob Brozman.
The years passed honing her sound and songcraft – Angelina could often be found braving the elements busking the isles small towns. The epiphany was finding a kindred spirit in fellow island dweller and producer/multi-instrumentalist, Rupert Brown (Roy Ayres, Pete Molinari, Jill Scott, Robbie Robertson, Daryl Hall, and resident drummer at Liam Watson’s Toe Rag studios). Giving the fruits of Angelina’s old time influences their glory through a 21st Century vision, unusual instrumentation and raw mechanical production, Vagabond Saint’s sonic cocktail accentuates the guts and grip of a true collaboration.
A process of re-sculpturing and exaggerating observations of real-life, Vagabond Saint’s lyrics are equally inspired by the art world; two tracks were written on day trips to London galleries and named after Alexej Jawlensky’s ‘Manola’ and Paul Benn ‘Vagabond Saint’, when Angelina took it upon herself to create stories for the paintings depicting loneliness, which reached out to her.
Resonating like porch-tales told by grandmothers from their rocking chairs whilst tumbleweed rolls across the dust bowls, Vagabond Saint boasts a truly rare nu-ranch sound capturing everything from isolation to celebration. Feelings that have been whistling down the wind for centuries and found a new voice in Angelina, which thankfully you don’t need a ferry to hear it no more."
After his stunning debut LP 'Break of Lights' on HAKT Recordings at the end of 2013, and releases on Nicolas Jaar's 'Other People' label, Harold Boué - better known as Abstraxion releases his second LP 'She Thought She Would Last Forever'
"Abstraxion's career has already seen many highlights, two of which have been the label he runs with Belgian producer DC Salas reaching it's ten year anniversary this year and playing in some of the best clubs in the world. With his obvious talent and ability to create a pensive beauty in his productions, there is no doubt Abstraxion's career will continue to reach new heights.
Full of reveries and hybrid explorations, Harold's second full length 'She Thought She Would Last Forever' evokes images of landscapes and forests. A stretching dark and dystopian atmosphere pervades the album, but he still manages to mesh the melancholy with an overarching and swelling euphoria. Contrasting themes of melancholia and exploring the tensions between expectation and reality. The explorative nature of the album is articulated clearly through Abstraxion's use of minor chords and organic sounds.
She Thought She Would Last Forever begins with 'An Error Occurred', a convivial albeit mysterious and energetic primer that then dives into the tight percussion and pensive vocals of 'Just What I've Always Wanted'. Title track 'She Thought She Would Last Forever' is a dramatic cut which transcends slickly into the rasping synth, and recoiling bass of 'Needed You' accompanied by the entrancing vocals of Loic Fleury from Isaac Delusion. 'Spazieren' is a 10-minute leisurely passage through dystopia that has been crafted with finesse. 'Blackout' is a minor key track whose lead synth is focused around an arpeggiator to create suspense. 'Seascape', a melancholic ambient track which shifts into the more energetic percussion of 'Not Far Away From You', picking up pace once again. 'Rinjani' is a melodic and menacing march with pulsing synth lines, leading expertly to the final track. 'Dystopia' blends otherworldly sounds from the distant future with percussion and reverb, creating space in the musical landscape and bringing Abstraxion's second album to an expansive and poignant close."
Incredibly wide and vertiginous sound designs riven with abstract and experimental post-techno geometries
“Making experimental electronic music as a comparatively rare band-like outfit finds expression in their improvisation colored, peculiar sound. Carried by the exeptional use of all kinds of (non-)instruments, voices, digital & analog hard- and software as well as a modular system »Steno« stands paradigmatically for a modern hybrid of analog-digital soundscapes constantly wandering on the dubious edge between music and noise.
Due to piling up greatly dense tracks SONGS FOR PNEUMONIA is constantly dissenting the concept of the ambient genre. Driven by the band’s enthusiasm for both electro-acoustic noises and more dancefloor sounds this album also contains tendencies of beat-structures which dissolve between shifting synth sequences and reverberant vocalising. It can be assumed that not least the presence of Stanley Schmidt (maybe familiar to you because of his activity as a House-DJ & -producer and co-founder of Rivulet Records) establishes slack connections with more rhythmic music.
As the album progresses overlapping sound-textures flow into contortion, positively poised in oscillation between digital hecticness packed in shivering clicks & cuts, and, on the other side decelerating, spheric moments. Paired with anomalous clangs & chinks plus the subtle, hard to decipher emergence of Clemens Bach’s guitar this record becomes a fascinating, multilayered offering to literally dive into.”
R&S dip into the UK pool again with two eagerly-awaited fresh Techno killers from Blawan.
The A-side 'What You Do With What You Have' revolves around a canny vocal sample of KDJ taken from a lecture at the RBMA and pitched up and down over a crunching bit of Techno rollidge guaranteed to get the dance going. The flipside 'Vibe Decorium' carves into a more swung sort of rhythm sodden with caustic acid splashes and hyping vocal samples. Imagine Marcel Dettmann smelting Pangaea in a Sheffield foundry and you've got the vibe.
Laid-back but gripping sort of radio play-cum-lounging soundtrack by I:Cube and his longtime pal, John Cravache. File somewhere between Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Franceso Cavaliere’s sides for Hundebiss, and KWC 92
“Mystery, poetry, a play of masks: artistic creation according to John Cravache. His collaboration with Versatile dates back to the beginning of the millennium. A childhood friend of I:Cube, he is 44 years old, lives in a Paris suburb, and is not a professional artist. Getting involved in writing, he has been boasting his artistic and economic independence and his crafty attitude outside of the industrial system. He gave himself time to invent a personal world, wild and funny, which eventually gave birth to the album "Cités Nomades". Even though his influences are quite varied and avant-garde (Magma, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits), they did not really affect this unclassifiable project. Poetry and mystery come before all, because John Cravache is appearing masked.
John Cravache and Nicolas Chaix (I:Cube) have recorded radio creations since the early 90s, in particular for Chimère FM in Paris, as well as numerous long improvised music sessions. At the approach of the millennium, they embarked on the creation of an album that was not completed until sixteen (!) years later. John is a poet, accomplished pianist, and registered truck driver and Nicolas, a self-taught musician, have both made the realisation of "Cités nomades" possible.
This is not an ironic pop album, this album is simply all you want. Listening will do you much good.”
Played by: Gregor Schwellenbach /Hauscka/ Daniel Brauer / Paul Frick / Erol Sarp / Lukas Vogel (Grandbrothers) John Kameel Farah.
"After the widely noticed performance at the „Acht Brücken Festival 2016” at Cologne's Philharmonic Hall, Gregor Schwellenbach, Hauschka, Erol Sarp (of „Grandbrothers“), Daniel Brandt, Paul Frick (both of "Brandt Brauer Frick") and John Kameel Farah will be releasing their interpretation of Steve Reich’s "Six Pianos" as a studio recording via FILM. The re-recording of this piece is an interpretation of Reich’s composition but still far more than just that – it is a modern approach to his idea behind it.
The basic idea came up at the beginning of the 70s at "The Baldwin Piano & Organ Company" in New York. During a rehearsal phase Steve Reich spent in this very piano store, the idea emerged of writing a composition for all the grand pianos available to him at the company. By the time of the finished piece, the actual number of pianos had settled down to six, whereof „Six Pianos” developed in 1973.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, the six pianists declare their love to Steve Reich and his composition with this release. Shaped by electronic club music as well as their classical education, they form "Six Pianos" in dignified modernity and top it off with today’s sound aesthetics and technical recording possibilities.
What you will be hearing is not the recording from the „Kölner Philharmonie” (Cologne Philharmonics) but the ensemble play of six different grand pianos in six different locations, throughout Germany. Each pianist performed his part on his piano using his typical studio equipment and passed the recording over to the next one. Thus the six characteristic and individual timbres of the performers overlay to create the overall picture – „Six Pianos” the way it should be looked at in 2016. "Pianists are soloists and lone warriors by nature”, as Gregor Schwellenbach once said. But the initiator not only won over solo artists to the greatest possible extent such as Hauschka or John Kameel Farah but also musicians from "Brandt Brauer Frick" and "Grandbrothers" as well as their ensemble partners: Jan Brauer mixed "Six Pianos" in the studio while Lukas Vogel provided delays for the b-side.
"Keyboard Study #1" by Terry Riley is a worthy b-side opposed to Reich’s composition. The piece is kind of a building set of ever lengthening, repetitive patterns played against each other with the right and left hand displaced. The composition proposes various possible combinations for the performer to choose from and repeat at will. And what the performers have chosen proves Gregor Schwellenbach’s assumption: "Especially Terry Riley’s and Steve Reich’s music are open doors for pianists socialized by pop music and their audience."
Mineralist techno from Mike Parker, leaving his debut mark on Tresor after some 20 years of productions for his Geophone label and earning rarely paralleled respect as a proper techno DJ.
The Disintegrating Sand EP contains some of Parker’s tightest productions, none more so than the triplet tweaking, nerve-pinching drive of the title track, but also in the scudding subaquatic signals of Angels in Cages and slamming, pneumatic velocity of Gyroscopic Precession.
Abstraxion returns to his own Biologic Records to release this impressive revisited album - giving Tuff City Kids, Kasper Bjørke, Vessels, Clarian, Conforce, Mattheis, Ripperton, INIT, Eduardo De La Calle, Cleveland the freedom to have their own take on tracks from Abstraxion's 'She Thought She Would Last Forever' LP .
"Ripperton's first mark on Spazieren is one of meticulous sound design and textures complemented by a poignant vocal that provides a wicked ambience. His second offering is rapt around a warm bassline with orderly percussive stabs. Init's remix has been crafted with precision - an unhurried and mysterious track that builds and anticipates smoothly due to the precise instrumentation and adept reverb that's been applied on the vocal. Conforce closes out the EP with intent by delivering a dark, forceful and abstract take on Spazieren."
Following the wheels of Primeiras Impressões and Waves from the Nautica, an eight track album taking in spiritual jazz, Brazilian fusion, disco and soul composed, performed and recorded by Marc Friedli aka Skymark.
Still fizzing from collaborations with Mika Vainio, Reinhold Friedl and Matthew Bourne in the last 12 months, Franck Vigroux gets down to some gnarly solo business with Rapport Sur Le Désordre, or Report of Disorder, which also forms part of the soundtrack to his Centaure A/V show with video artist, Kurt D’Haeseleer (as also heard in his EP for Shapednoise’s Cosmo Rhythmatic label).
Rapport Sur Le Désordre offers suitably severe closure to a series steeped in the dystopia of Eugène Zamiatine’s novel, We, including the albums Camera Police and We, plus the radio piece, D503. It ties off all their themes of state surveillance, industrial paranoia and surreality in an eight part navigation thru infernal distortion, heavily Vainio-esque boulder beats, and sheets of blinding hot electrical disturbance that shock its creaking megastructures to life.
Peder Mannerfelt continues to exert the strongest grip on 2016 with an uncompromising, killer rave pack for Joy O & Will Bankhead’s Hinge Finger.
Gurning at the heels of his amazing Controlling Body LP and nipping just in front of an almighty Numbers 12” (seriously, watch that one), he puts some formidable studio weight and experimental nous behind each of these four productions.
Cry To Your Soul arches up an array of modular scree and dismantled piano hooks that leave the dance riddled and bent, before Clear Eyes, Full Heart brings the rave at full tilt, effectively doing Neil Landstrumm’s ragga techno rave thing with a far more succinct, effective torque and optimised sense of minimalism.
Flipside he takes that minimalism one step further into the skewed lead and swanging bump of Savvy, which sounds something like Mr. Oizo cubed by Errorsmith, and The Great Attractor evacuates your head far out into the modular abyss.
Will Long X DJ Sprinkles’ journey to the heart of deep house culminates in the third and final volume in a series of three, offering the broadest yet most subtle, spine-tingling session of the lot, presenting the former’s raw and ‘floor-ready originals backed by the latter’s inimitably sumptuous overdubs.
Conceptually rooted in the queer, black politics of NYC’s late ‘80s and early ‘90s house scene - where Terre Thaemlitz cut her teeth as DJ Sprinkles - the series can be viewed as a vital reminder of that scene’s original values and sense of social democracy, especially when contrasted with the glut of contemporary, commodified representations of that music which sorely miss the mark, or weren’t even aware of the scene’s provenance to begin with.
Make no mistake, though; this is no lecture or snub at younger producers making deep house. Rather, it is evidence of the original form’s latent potential to still generate rare, precious feelings which have been lost or glossed over with subsequent, detached and over-produced translations of its original syntax and intent.
“Deep” is the key word here on many levels, from their poignant use of historical samples by civil rights pioneers Bayard Rustin, Jesse Jackson and Kathleen Cleaver, to the unfiltered innocence of Will Long’s productions and Sprinkles’ corresponding, pensile overdubs, which make utterly incredible use of the frequency spectrum to reveal acres of space in the upper registers and, on the other hand, an honestly breathtaking application of layered subbass tones that are just impossible to describe.
This one's a little bit special...