A breathtaking, ancient-sounding and otherworldly suite of electronics from Timo Van Lujik in his Af Ursin garb - the first entirely electronic record made at his Kulta Saha studio. It’s ear-watering stuff that crosses lines between early Oramics, the sheer gradients of Jaap Vink’s algorithmic tape recordings and the subtlest, classic deep/inner space soundtracks of Tarkovsky films or Vangelis interludes, but even still, those comparisons stop short of capturing the intoxicating, abstract enigma at work.
Written in respective dedication to Eric Faes (with whom Van Lujik collaborated as part of Noise-Maker’s Fifes in the ‘90s) and Xavier Bastiaensen, this is music for cutting the cord, severing communications and drifting off at tangents to the known world. Of course that’s always a nice thought and probably at the back of the mind for many sonic astronauts, but it’s one that’s impeccably explored and brought to life with unfathomable grasp of depth perception and deliquescent harmonic colouring here.
Aside from Van Lujik’s work in the Elodie duo with Andrew Chalk, we still vividly recall his Aura Legato [2005/2016] release which was brought to our attention on a Blackest Ever Black reissue. Safe to say, then, that this one sounds naught like the parallel acoustic world suggested by Aura Legato, and much closer to what we’d imagine as deep space music, setting spatial parameters at the very limits of our proprioception in a way that encourages us to think of the universe in 3D. Sounds appear above, behind, between and beyond the ears in headphones, and likewise project filigree starmaps of sound from the speakers - meshing pointillist glimmers into sweeping, moire contours that fascinate and suspend the listener from every angle.
What a record.
Nicholas Britell achieved his Academy Award-nominated score by weaving orchestral elements with Southern rap, specifically Houston’s well-documented ‘chopped and screwed’ sound, where records are slowed down and cut to shreds, repurposing the music for alternative listening situations.
"In writing the music for ‘Moonlight’ there were two distinct phases of the writing process. Britell would write music that inspired him from the early cuts of the film and his discussions with Jenkins; afterwards, Britell would begin to experiment with ‘chopping and screwing’ his own recordings.
“We didn’t take the hood to the arthouse, took the arthouse to the hood,” said the film’s director Barry Jenks. “Nick’s compositions pulse and rumble, creating a feeling in one’s chest that reminds me of the trunk rattling music of home.”
Different Circles ringleaders, Mumdance & Logos, load up their first joint plate since the seminal Proto  LP with two super wide, grittily spacious and HD hybrids of grime, techno and sci-fi sound design for their highly collectible series.
Proceeding the label’s sought-after shots from Rabit, Airhead, and two volumes of the Weightless compilation featuring Inkke, Dark0, Murlo, and the pair's own gem, Café Del Mar; this new 12" catches them carving out a quintessentially UK rave sound for 2017 from a bank of modular kit and software plugins.
On the A-side, FFS they feel to warp the club with head-compressing subbass hits and pinched claps wrapped in a slow-strobing, stop-start derangement punctuated by nutty vocals and convulsive modem noise. It’s as close as they’ve come to turning the club into a faulty anti-gravity chamber and sends dancers reeling every time.
The B-side’s BMT explores a skizzier, belligerent sound. Rolling from elusive location recordings to stuttering flashcore kicks and a flush of plasmic bell tones shredded up with combustible digital distortion, they toe a fine line between panic and dread, and a more stush, shark-eyed sort of resolution, preferring to re-calibrate and translate their influences from classic tech-step, grime and cinematic sound design, rather than merely imitate them. The result is a proper rave girder that stands out miles from the crowd.
The label's back catalogue has also just gone live on Download formats for the first time!
There is something wonderfully uplifting and naive about the mittle European B-Movie Pop and Library Music of the 1970's. An imperfect perfection of sound palette and melody, creating & encapsulating a whole world of hypnotic intrigue.
"This feeling is what comes to mind when listening to the debut album of Californian Scott Gilmore, which is reminiscent (in more modern times) of the pre “Moon Safari” Air.
The playful opening of 'E70 No.01' leads us on to the Bowie and Eno-esque shimmerings of 'Europe' and the Gainsbourg hazed moments of 'Flight Through Grey' and 'Subtle Vertigo'. The album closes with 'Walking Underground', a Valley Boy diary of the outsider looking inwards at the bizarrity of everyday life. This is a travelogue of the timeless and gently obscure, a bunch of rarities all in one place, at one time, woven together with an accomplished sense of harmony, counterpoint and vision.
From the river side of the Dordogne, to the Grünewald of Berlin, the white sands of Playa de ses Illetes and the urban sprawl of Van Nuys, this is an alternative sonic reality sent to free the mind and open the heart, as the sun rises high in the sky and the cotton wool heat envelopes us all in it's gilded cage."
Oval’s landmark 1995 album ‘94diskont’ took the world of electronic music and turned it on its head and caused Markus Popp to be credited as the creator of what was later dubbed the ‘glitch’ or ‘clicks & cuts’ style.
In celebration of Thrill Jockey’s 25th Anniversary, classic titles from Oval are finally available on vinyl again.The second disc features remixes from Jim O’Rourke, Scanner, Mouse On Mars and Christian Vogel.
Never-before-released Ondioline cuts from Jean-Jacques Perrey’s archive, curated by long-time Perrey fan and recent collaborator Wally De Backer (Gotye), this is the first release on his Forgotten Futures imprint. Includes rare tracks from early private press releases meticulously restored and remastered from original sources, Includes collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti and Dick Hyman.
"Jean-Jacques Perrey (1929-2016) was a pioneer of electronic pop music celebrated for his uniquely whimsical sampled soundworld, his groundbreaking style of rhythmic tape editing, and his early use of the Moog modular synthesizer.
Perrey was also the world’s only virtuoso of the Ondioline, a remarkable French proto-synthesizer from the 1940s.
Jean-Jacques Perrey et son Ondioline focusses on this early period of Perrey’s musical life, exploring his intimate relationship with this unusual and expressive instrument.
The compilation features never-before-released collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti and Dick Hyman, early arrangements from test pressings of beloved Perrey tunes, and cuts from highly collectible albums of early library music he recorded.
Also featured is a rare extended demonstration of the Ondioline, which receives its first commercial release.
A must for dedicated fans, and a vibrant introduction for new listeners, this release canvasses Perrey’s unparalleled mastery of the Ondioline, points towards his later sample and Moog work, and illuminates a heretofore little-explored melancholy side to his recorded work.
Curated by long-time Perrey fan and recent collaborator Wally De Backer (Gotye), this is the first release on Forgotten Futures, a new record label set up by De Backer to excavate lost works by pioneering producers and musical instrument inventors."
Addendum to the sweet batch of Timo Van Lujik-centred LPs (Af Ursine, Elodie, Lumine) newly in stock this week, Saivo documents The Belgium-based Finn farther exploring the heavily psychedelic duo, Ilta Hämärä alongside Bart De Paepe (Sylvester Anfang II, Bokrijk, Charles Vögele) for De Paepe’s Sloowax - an offshoot of the prolific Sloow Tapes label.
The scope for Saivo is perhaps more dilated than Van Lujik’s trio of new releases, and somewhat closer to the electro-acoustic wanderlust of his Af Ursin project thanks to the a mutual sense of trippiness that we’d also associate with De Paepe’s work in Sylvester Anfang II. Essentially the pair divine a sort of pineal alchemy inside, gingerly approaching from stereo extremes to frame a widescreen, lysergic sound between the eyes and around the head with beautifully illusive and elusive mixing treatments.
They first draw us in with a magickal shimmer of percussion and keys in Spektrin Huntu before seamlessly segueing into the ascendent kosmiche trajectories of Sielun Ankalo, then following the spirals of Tuoksuva to the lense-smearing astral creme of Kynttilänvalon Jumalat and the bifurcating raga drone helixes of Kuvitteellinen Alkuperä at the run-out.
That all appears to be a sort of mental preparation for the steepest leg of the journey, the summit of Tähdenlentoja on the B-side. Freed of time restraints, here they really billow outward and upwards, buoyed by updrafting strings and angel’s breath harps to a pinched highpoint where oxygen is in short supply and depth perceptions become warped, intangible.
Enchanting, rhythmelodic Cumbia meditations from modern day Colombia.
For the Baruya people of Papua New Guinea, the tsimia is the great ceremonial house. It represents the symbolic body of the tribe. In the center, the pillar structure which this building is called "grandfather". Home of all men from all the villages, all the lineages at a time, mixing all the clans, the tsimia materialize their unity. At its peak planted four or five pieces of wood carved pointing in the four directions of the sky. They are called "Nilamayé" flowers (Maye) rays (Nile). For the Baruya Sun supernatural deity is the father, the father of everyone without distinction of gender or social status. The sun is connected with all. He gave men the strength, the energy, the primordial fire.
Nilamayé is a group of Afro-Colombian music. His repertoire is inspired by music related to water seas and rivers that have been synonymous with life, joy and interbreeding. With fresh exuberance of his voices, the warm tones of marimba de chonta, deep sounds of cununos and bombos, the brightness of guasas and maracas and rhythmic exuberance of alegre drum. Nilamayé shares with listeners the "contagious joy" of the Colombian people.
Lory D tweaks the Italo-techno envelope again for his disciples at Numbers, rubbing out some of his ruddiest, deepest acid house rollers with signature flair.
Deep Acoustic finds him testing out canny percussion recording on a slinky sort of Afro-Cuban hustle underlined with a pent-up tangle of a bassline that shakes it right, before Acid CLX22 jacks the funk to sweatier levels for the freakier dancers, DJs.
Our percy, however, is the demented romp of mg-comp-strngd, a seriously bugged out acid techno play that threatens to spill out of control at any second, whilst Suoneria layers his drum box and synth into an arpeggiated spume of Analord-esque wonkiness.
Wojciech Golczewski’s second LP on Death Waltz Originals is actually a prequel to his 2015 debut Reality Check and the second part of a proposed trilogy to be finished in 2018.
"This time out the emphasis is on super minimal widescreen sci-fi ambience. The record is absolutely epic in scope and features lush synth arrangements with melody lines that bubble just under the surface creating a multi layered listen that is perfect for late nights and dark rooms."
Arriving in the most fecund phase of the Tape Loop Orchestra’s entropic lifespan, The 1915-16 Panama Pacific Expo documents TLO teaming up with members of the Exposition Orchestra, featuring the dulcet tones of the Opus 500 organ as performed by Edwin H Lemare, in dedication to one of the greatest engineering feats of humankind.
The 10” vinyl and 3” CDr both comprise two extended parts per piece, with the vinyl optimistically gazing out on the billowing widescreen panorama of Novagem, and contrasting that with an elegiac sweep of strings in Augmented Light that deeply recalls traces of Deathprod and Johann Johannsson.
Exquisite minimal wave pickings from 1982 Belgium, cooked up on their own 7” for the first time by OnderStroom Records, a division of the far-reaching and excellent Aguirre Records.
Occidental White were a one-off project formed by Bernard Vranckx (synth-FX) and Bernadette Dupont (voice, bass) along with Frédéric Walheer, the latter of whom is best regarded as co-founder of the legendary Sub Rosa label and member of Kaa Antilope and Waving Ondulata. Their sole recordings together first appeared on the (technically unofficial) compilation Walkin’ After Midnight (1982) and are hardly known beyond that set.
Thank chuff, then, for this 7”, presenting the steppers’ delight of Progress Through Research with its percolated drum machines and scribbly synths hingeing around that kind of cutesy, Belgy vocal that we can’t get enough of, and in a way that reminds of Brenda Ray and Naffi Sandwich, or any number of others from that era to be fair. Likewise, the contrasting, downtempo sway of the B-side, Should I Care also gets us right on the melancholy sweet spot, especially when quivering synth top line comes in.
‘Frozen Refrains’ is the fifth studio album by electroacoustic composer Bérangère Maximin, following releases for Tzadik, Sub Rosa and Crammed Discs.
"Across six multi-layered pieces the album explores themes of multiplicity, possible futures, subjectivity, dissonant emotions and memory as a force of imagination, reinvention and power. Its narrative is anchored in musical tradition while also challenging it, incorporating strategies of Musique Concrète and acoustic transformation.
Raised on the remote French colonial island of Reunion, Maximin takes pleasure in contradiction and contemplation, sculpting fragmented sequences of loops, signal drift and electroacoustic texture into “digital chimeras.” Her music connects digital and physical, isolation and lyricism, revealing the latent melodies."
Svreca, Pris, Nastika and Ancestral Voices explore the grey area of Pact Infernal’s The Descent  in monotone contrasts.
Top marks go to Ancestral Voices for the bombed out swagger of his Circle VIII (Fraud) remix, and runner-up prize to the enigmatic Nastika, making their first appearance beyond the Altar label with a sound reminding of FiS’ earliest tribal churners.
Lacquer crackling tech-noise from Rita Mikhael’s E-Saggila project, which has previously transmitted on Opal Tapes and Summer Iasle, and now coughs up these charred chunks for Bank Records NYC.
Scaling in pace from sluggish ruggish to breakneck pelt, Tools Of My Purpose maintains dank and nasty agenda from start to finish, pounding out the drily echoic tattoo of Lethe and the stubborn thwack of Bronze Eyelids with its gusty shoegaze lift on the A-side, and then synching the needling rattle of Shifting Wounds with evil, burned out oscillators on the B-side, peaking out at the rabid industro-techno charge of the title track.
The Vinyl version is just the original album, remastered in 2015, overseen by Prince Himself. The 2CD and 3CD editions is where it's at basically, both include a second disc of previously unreleased tracks from the vault which quite frankly is something many of us thought we'd never get to hear outside of dodgy bootleg versions. The 3CD version also includes an extra disc of b-sides and edits, plus a previously unreleased concert filmed in 1985.
2015 Paisley Park Remaster of the original tapes from the soundtrack, presenting an unheard vision of the album overseen by Prince himself before his untimely 2016 passing. The 2nd disc: From The Vault & Unreleased boasts eleven gems unearthed from the heart of Prince’s storied vault. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album.
Includes a 2nd sic - From The Vault & Unreleased boasts eleven gems unearthed from the heart of Prince’s storied vault. Six tracks that have never been released or distributed in the collector or bootleg community include: “Possessed” - the ’83 Prince solo version, never heard before; “Electric Intercourse”- the studio version not known to exist before it was discovered at Paisley; “Father’s Song” - a full, five plus minute version that prior to this fans could only find a minute and half snippet of in the movie; “We Can Fuck” - a track that has never circulated as the full, 10 minute version with these lyrics; and “Katrina’s Paper Dolls” - a finished master of the song, which has previously only circulated as a demo. Additionally, all of the material is taken from the source and mastered by Bernie Grundman, the mastering engineer who worked on the original album.
In addition to the Original Album (2015 Paisley Park Remaster) and From The Vault & Unreleased, the Purple Rain Deluxe - Expanded Edition presents a third disc of Single Edits & B-Sides, as well as the concert DVD Prince And The Revolution Live at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY, March 30, 1985. With audio and video restored from the original production master tape, it offers an exclusive vignette into the passion and power of his legendary live performances during one of the artist’s most celebrated eras
Ron Trent tests out a rawer, dub-wise tribal house sound under his new moniker; Blak Punk Soundsystem.
Vibes are laid down thick and humid in the A-side’s Red Cloud, which strongly reminds of an overgrown take on those recent DJ Sprinkles dubs of Will Long, mainly due to its huge, grubbing baseline and exquisitely spacious mixing treatment.
The B-side’s BPS Dub however feels out balmy space somewhere to the mediterranean south of Rhythm & Sound, melding lilting guitar with growling vox and spumes of dub FX for the first half, before the breeze takes it on a more stepping 4/4 trajectory. Save this for the late hours…
Batu continues to firm up a sterling 2017 run with the diffused UK bass movements of the Marius EP for DBA, sorry Hessle Audio (whose new disco bag looks a lot like the DBA ones).
Presumably aware that google searches for Batu Marius will bring up links to the Romanian composer who has nowt to do with it, the Bristol-bassed producer unfurls four cuts of fluid sub swerve and glistening chromatic convolutions across the plate, bubbling up the piquant percolations of Marius at the front, and the balearic tinged drift of Don’t at the back, and nestling the balmy swagger of Off Court and a lop-sided deep house roller called Nosema at its core.
Nomine goes all the way in with the sub-bass on this one
Layering LFO-swept bass with sentry-bot mentasms and clanking half step punctussion in Stomp, and looking eastwards again with the Distance styled sino-metal-step alloy of Slip on the back. Production is powerful on this wan.
Supple, rolling and stepping tech-house dubs from Sweden’s Joel Alter - half of the Jonsson/Alter duo for Kontra-Musik - going solo on Denmark’s Echocord label.
Check Tilted Reality for cannily pendulous bass movements and sublime, counter-clockwise pads; Elevation for a deep dwelling dub techno chord rider; and Solitude for an intimate dub house ‘step that turns into a misty-eyed and classic-sounding deep techno mystery.