Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi) spreads his wings into psych rock terrain along with the Mattson twins, Jared and Jonathan, on a charmingly familiar, yet not, new sound for the North American indie-pop hero. Check it for highlights in the fire-dancing Son Moi, the lysergic downstrokes of Steve Pink, and the shimmering summery strut of Disco Kid for some radiant viiiibes.
“Chaz Bundick meets The Mattson 2 "Star Stuff" is the kind of record that only comes about every once in a blue moon. It slips into existence by the merest margins at the very edge of universal consciousness and then expands to fill a vacuum that we didn’t know needed filling until it appeared full right before us.
The unspoken brotherly bond of the Mattson 2 and the incredibly refined and aesthetic genius of Chaz Bundick (playing both the role of musician and producer) combined to invoke this album from the ether. The Mattsons' brotherly forgetfulness acted as a catalyst for this most spectacular of collaborations: Jared Mattson (Guitar/bass/extra dimensional texture) forgot to pack a drum stool for Jonathan (Drums/Intra dimensional rythmality) for a show in Oakland in late 2014.
A mutual friend, photographer Andrew Paynter, said he knew someone nearby who might have one, that someone was Chaz Bundick. Chaz stayed to watch their show, and over the following few months they recorded with no set schedule, no set plan, no rules and no limits.
“We all got together after that first encounter, meeting at Chaz’s home studio in Berkeley. We had no set musical ideas because we wanted this to be fresh and pure and 100% collaborative... The songs started morphing and the camaraderie got so strong, inspired, and positive that it was absolutely exhilarating working together! We had the utmost trust in one another. It naturally became a joint record so it became fitting to call it a "meets" project.” - Jared Mattson”
Hauntingly restrained vocals and gently sweeping cello arrangements from Rebecca Foon a.k.a Saltland, with Warren Ellis guesting on four instrumental parts.
“A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of veteran Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon. Following the acclaimed 2013 debut I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us Foon performed Saltland live in various successful configurations, but as the concept and compositions for a new album began to materialize, she wished to further expand on an approach with her cello as primary source for all sounds on the record. Combining unadulterated, processed and sampled cellos, A Common Truth largely reflects this commitment and results in an album of gorgeous integrity, restraint, and meditative intensity. The one notable exception: longtime friend and prior collaborator Warren Ellis (Nick Cave, Dirty Three) is the album's special guest player, contributing violin, pump organ and loops to the album's four instrumental tracks.
Working with engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), Foon has produced a song cycle that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, multi-layered expansiveness. The analog warmth of Lasek’s naturalistic rock production anchors Saltland’s juxtaposition of dry and processed strings, with the placement of Foon's voice very much within the mix but never veiled or concealed; a voice described as "an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music" (Mojo, 2013). Electronic music strategies, via signal processing and re-sampling, are deployed minimally and judiciously – and all the more powerfully as such.
A Common Truth also importantly channels other strands from Rebecca's life: the record is about climate change and marks an attempt to musically translate a complex mix of emotional, social and political resonances in this regard. The album's atmosphere and pace is guided by the coexistence of optimism and despair, resolve and resignation, the intimacy of the local/personal and the hope of the global/collective. Foon has devoted much of her life in recent years to working for decarbonization, land conservation and renewable energy – as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group cooperative, as founder of the conservation charity Junglekeepers, and as co-founder of Pathway To Paris, an international concert series bringing together musicians, writers and activists to help raise consciousness toward implementation of a robust international climate agreement.
Rebecca Foon's new Saltland album A Common Truth is a compelling coalescence and fullest musical expression of the inspiring trajectories charted by this committed and renowned artist, activist and organizer. Thanks for listening.“
Temporary Residence Limited and City Slang hook up to release Volker Bertelmann's eighth full-length outing as Hauschka (includes two bonus tracks).
Never afraid of dabbling in concepts, Volker Bertelmann’s latest Hauschka album finds the German in inspired form exploring life on earth some thirty years into the future which extends to the hypothetical nature of each track title.
Seemingly not content with his reputation for inventive techniques with prepared piano, Bertelmann expands his instrumental remit on ‘What If’ through toying around with the pianola, a Roland Jupiter 4 synth and an Eventide H3000 Harmonizer.
This results in an even richer, more unpredictable Hauschka experience across the nine tracks with the titles seemingly conducting the mood of Bertelmann’s compositions. The apparent nervous, fidgeting energy of I Can’t Find Water, the solemn piano romanticism of I Can’t Express My Deep Love, and the playful instrumental harmonics of We Live a Thousand Years
Barnt, Jens Uwe-Beyer, The Field and the rest of the Köln über-group gather for a second album of freewheeling kosmische.
Seven years after Cologne Tape’s ‘Render‘ mini LP launched the Magazine label, the nine-strong crew have reconvened at the city’s Dumbo Studios for a second collection. Again reflecting that uniquely-Kölnish strain of musical creativity, ‘Welt‘ draws plentifully from both the krautrock well and the more recent minimal source championed by Kompakt et al. Repurposing Dumbo Studios to near-earth orbit on Welt 1, the Cologne Tape troopers commence in spangled, post rock territory before veering off into the gauzy, windblown ambient beat explorations of Welt 2 and the slack-jawed Krautechno bliss burn of Welt 3 (Magazine Edit).
The spectral Welt 4 marks the point where Cologne Tape really let loose, PNN affiliate Isis Lace making her presence felt through some ritualistic chants over a lolloping, improvised kraut composition. Welt 5 unfurls into some sort of spiritual Cologne-based brethren to the rainforest techno of SUED, the mood seeping into the superb Gas gone minimal kosmische immersion that is Welt 6. A brief vignette of experimentation led by grand piano on Welt 7 follows before the assembled mass combine for a space rock finale on Welt 8, whose chunky live drums sort of spoil the mood cultivated from the album’s midway point.
Taiwan-Based French sound artist Yannick Dauby renders another quietly arresting impression of the Far East Asian island for Discrepant following his first volume in 2015.
Using interviews with schoolchriden taken from the soundtrack to his and Wan-Shuen Tsai’s film, Childhood of an Archipelago, together with field recordings, found objects and subtle electronic processing, Dauby gives a personal, if abstract perspective of the Penghu archipelago’s characteristics that reveal its natural beauty in a way that really only comes from intimate contact and a keen ear.
Pivotal NYC noise figurehead Margaret Chardiet marks the 10th anniversary of Pharmakon with a mentalist projection seeking to highlight humankind’s perpetual struggle to transcend mind and body. Working at a sharp conceptual adjunct from her 2nd LP, Bestial Body , Chardiet’s tertiary album is concerned with distilling the “energy/empathy exchange” of her infamous live performances into a structure which conveys a trance state - the point at which the spirit leaves the body and reviews itself.
In that sense, Contact can be viewed as a method of getting beyond anthropocentric, solipsistic thought processes “How starkly human, so desperate for the sense of vantage over all version of its own reflection!”, by methodically and metaphorically mirroring the four stages of trance - preparation, onset, climax, and resolution - thru the album’s arrangement and intention.
Of course, the album every listener’s reception will differ but, for us at least, she’s nailed that heightened state of physical and mental awareness that really only comes with sincerely delivered and uncompromising noise music, doing so with a sense of poise and lush wretchedness that’s captivating if nothing else, holding our mental gaze like a hypnotist between the time-flattening squall and shrieks of Nakedness of Need and thru to free falling contours of Sentience to the cadaverous hulk of Sleepwalking Form and the violent resolution of No Natural Order.
Universal Sound presents this reissue of an extremely rare and in-demand spiritual jazz album by flautist/composer Lloyd McNeil.
Also a multidisciplinary painter, poet and photographer, Lloyd was born in Washington, D.C., in 1935 and thus grew up through the Civil Rights Movement of 1960s America. He studied at the Morehouse College in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King had previously been educated, and would later become one of the first black professors in the the American University system, teaching music anthropology among other subjects.
Since the 1950s he'd been playing and studying Latin music, besides his native Jazz, and from the mid-1960s he travelled widely, befriending Picasso during his Paris period and later Brazilian musicians Dom Salvador, Paulinho Da Viola and Paulo Moura during stays in Brazil and West Africa. All of this experience can be heard in this, his 1970 opus, composed for Washington, D.C.'s Capital Ballet company, a suite of elegant, refined and quietly effervescent Jazz music with rich traces of Brazilian and American jazz forms.
Milanese producer Luca ‘Piezo’ Mucci firms up his association with Idle Hands on this triplet of deadly system workers.
Fresh from relocating Idle Hands HQ to nearby St. Pauls, the Bristol stronghold expand their roster with the addition of Italian producer Piezo. A regular presence in the racks at Idle Hands with his crafty dubstep reductions, Piezo’s label debut fits right in alongside Kowton, Andy Mac, Om Unit and Rhythmic Theory.
The murky Opeq displays Piezo’s compositional craft, kicking out as monochromatic dub techno but morphing into luminescent eyes down house with ease. Novemiluano sounds like Beneath caught in slow motion, somehow capturing feelings of both stasis and perpetual movement the waves of thick sub bass and sliced percussion.
Closing on the title track, Piezo opts for another mood-heavy reduction, carving out a deeply-affecting steppas riddim that cuts through the backdrop of fizzing delay with the precision of a samurai.
Superpitcher recalls his rave days in a swirl of paisley patterned hammond organ, swooshing radiophonic FX and cantering drum machines.
1984 sounds a bit like The Magic Roundabout theme tune, and Pocket Love imagines Kraftwerk getting themselves into a frenzy, touch-typing 18 minutes of proto-techno arpeggios in their cycling shorts, whilst surrounded by naked robot versions of themselves.
Vessels, Rival Consoles, Tom Hodge, Kimyan Law, Christian Löffler and Ash Koosha on remix duties for Max Coopers’ Emergence album.
Check for Kimyam Law’s liquid/brittle footwork/D&B revision of Trust and the complex, interlocking harmonic geometries of Ash Koosha’s take on Seed, which blooms into something much more interesting than the original.
The endlessly dextrous Andreas Tilliander (TM404, Mokira) tees up a trio of stepping, skanking and bubbling dub techno variations on a relatively rare day trip under his own name.
His revered and rugged maxi-minimalist style is in full effect on this one, whether squeezed into the driving subaquatic rolige of Störet, offset into the riptide currents and odd quarter pivots of Oliveros, or in ruggedly tactile style with the early Pole-esque Risset.
A tribute to the master of minimal music, legendary Philip Glass, who turned 80 in January.
"A year ago Philip Glass handpicked some pianists to perform all of his Etudes together at the Barbican in London. Víkingur Ólafsson was one of them and according to the press he was “the highlight of the evening” (Sean and Heard International). The Financial Times claimed: “Best of all was Ólafsson in the supersensitive stillness of Etude 5”.
Víkingur Ólafsson is an up-and-coming visionary pianist not only of technical sublimity but also of remarkable entrepreneurial abilities. Besides his growing career as a traditional concert pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has also collaborated with a range of contemporary composers and artists like Olafur Arnalds and Björk.”
The mythical, mysterious and misfiled transcription disc of a lost Italian demonic religious rock opera recorded at Pierre Umiliani’s Sound Workshop by Stefano Marcucci - beat group veteran, Fernando Arrabal collaborator and Libra affiliate.
"Featuring members of the wider Casa/Ducros family and future Federico Fellini collaborators, this previously commercially unavailable mini-LP features embryonic Minimoog, ecclesiastical organs and chorus alongside a tight psych funk rhythm section from Italian library music’s golden era. Imagine Jean Pierre Massiera’s Visitors rescoring a scene from Juliette Of The Spirits, backed by a skeleton staff from Jean-Claude Vannier’s Chorale des Jeunesses Musicales de France on a foreign exchange program; on Halloween, in the Vatican...
Continuing our mission to shine light on the genuine anomalies of 70’s Italian production music, Finders Keepers Records resurrects another unlikely transcription disc from the vaults of one of Rome’s most esoteric library music archives. This bizarre one-off theatrical project, composed and recorded at Umiliani’s studio, was commissioned for a short-run demonic religious performance entitled Tempo Di Demoni, Papi, Angioli, Incensi E Cilici under the musical direction of former Italian psychedelic beat-group member Stefano Marcucci.
Instantly recognised by Flower Records founder Romano Di Bari as having commercial potential beyond its handful of church and small theatre performances in the early months of 1975, Marcucci agreed that they should commit these bizarre recordings to vinyl as a form of preservation with hope of attracting a wider commercial audience through Di Bari’s Television and Films synchronisation contacts. Sitting slightly ajar to the custom-made projects of it’s label bedfellows (swapping schedules with experimental theme-music by Alessandro Alessandroni, Gerardo Iacoucci and Anthonio Ricardo Luciani) and confusingly sharing an identical catalog number to another collectable Flower release called Ritimico by (close friend) Paolo Ferrara (LEW 0551) this album has slipped under the radar of many Library label completists over the years attracting confusion, scepticism, polarised opinion but nothing short of astonishment at the bizarre hidden synth-ridden psychedelic concept pop found behind some of the most striking duo-tone artwork to come out of Italy’s most experimental era.”
Two long term friends and internationally renowned German artists collaborate for the first time.
To Rococo Rotter Stefan Schneider steps up for the latest release on the still fresh behind the ears TAL label he runs with Sven Kacirek. Tiergarten represents a fresh creative outburst from the former Kreidler man’s long-standing friendship with the widely celebrated visual artist Katharina Grosse. The two first met whilst studying fine arts at Dusseldorf Academy in the ‘80s and remained friends as their respective creative paths deviated, resulting in a series of live performances over a seven year between 2008-15.
A decision to record an album together saw Grosse and Schneider squirrel themselves away over a two-year period using just a few synthesizers. The results on Tiergarten bring about another celebration of German musical innovation and experimentation, largely eschewing rhythm in favour of a thoroughly improvised forage through abstract clusters of sound.
RIYL Busen, Nick Edwards, Tase, KF Whitman, Mego or the General Elektro label.
Amsterdam’s party-turned-label and festival of repute, Dekmantel mark their 10th anniversary with the 1st of 10 x 12”s from their friends and extended family.
10 Years 01 kicks off with a typically tender show of ambient keys from Gigi Masin in Maja underlined by a not-so-typical shuffling groove that carries the vibe smartly as a warm-up or warm-down number. Meanwhile Vakula’s Fuck The Robot finds him on a snappy, arpeggiated electro-funk flex, and Roman Flügel takes the vibe in outerspace like some stripped back cosmic Larry Heard meditation.
Deepest strains of sino-step and mutant house from Tempa's most prolific recent contributor.
The (wu)tang of the strings and Gung-Fu film samples in 'Blind Man' remind us of Felicita's 'Bring It' with xtra subs, while the fragrant vocal and minimalist shuffle of 'To The Sky' hums a bit, and 'Nomine's Robot' tests out a sub-swung steppers' house sound.
Out of the musical effervescence in post May 1968 France were born the labels BYG and Futura Records. The concept of collective creation appeared as essential, of which Cohelmec Ensemble was a typical example
"In such procedures, individual identities can of course still express themselves but framed within a non-hierarchical common thought process with the emphasis on experimentation. Music making becomes a shared pleasure with an established vocabulary, and is often accompanied by militant left wing activism; which feeds into an ethical form of creation.
For their third, and what would turn out to be final, album the Cohelmec Ensemble chose to save for posterity their live performance work, on which their reputation was based. A concert recording was made, notable for the inclusion of trumpeter Jean-François Canape, and the group lost none of its subtlety in moving from studio to stage. On the contrary the situation galvanised them on to higher energy levels, without leaving behind the typically complex structures, to which were added potent, flowing improvisations, longer than usual, confirming the high standard of free jazz being played in France in the 1970s. This was demonstrated not only by the Cohelmec Ensemble but also, in similar or quiet different registers (who cares), by formations such Perception, Dharma Quintet, Free Jazz Workshop, Machi Oul or Armonicord."
This early release from Animal Collective was informed by the psychedelic freakouts of nineties west coast isolationists like Caroliner and Sun City Girls, the emotional hooks and bursts of punk, the textures and structures of berlin & cologne style minimal techno a la Kompakt & Basic Channel, the earthiness of Amon Duul and Can, and the organic looseness of the best of the free and improvised music world.
They are everywhere and nowhere, aware of tradition but not beholden to it, unconcerned by borders and definitions. 'Here comes the Indian' is a passionate and mind-altering new narrative, promising transcendence, intensity, articulation and the sublime...
Daniel Brandt, co-founder of Germany’s electroacoustic ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, joins Erased Tapes with his solo debut album.
"What started off as a more simplistic idea soon evolved into something a lot more complex as the London and Berlin based music producer travelled across the world, experimenting with various other artists and different instruments. From his father’s cabin based in the German countryside with access to nothing but cymbals, to being surrounded by guitars in Joshua Tree, his unexpected journey soon progressed into what became his first solo album.
Daniel played nearly all instruments himself with the only exception being fellow musicians Florian Juncker on trombone, Manu Delago on hang drum and Andreas Voss on cello. Using his Berlin studio as his main base for recording, Brandt created an album that encapsulates the idea that despite setting out with a particular creative vision, external influences and environments will always shift the process, and create an Eternal Something."
Julio Bashmore’s bringing UKFunky back with T. Williams.
Student boogie is out of the window and in comes ruggedly technofied Angolan-Portuguese inspirations on Kuduro Test, backed with the ruder, string and brass heavy roller Porta Time, plus the percolated tang of 1302 on a Sleeparchive-meets-Roska tip.
UKF is well due another revive this summer (think we missed it in 2016).
Masami Akita exercises his bestial side in a hairily psychedelic follow-up to his Wildwood (2016) CD, also for Dirter Promotions.
Wildwood II is dedicated to the Wildwood Trust, who support British wildlife through protecting endangered native species and re-connecting people with the natural environment around them.
In both parts Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow flashes his fangs and hypercolour fur in a torrent of digital noise that could be said to transcend the boundary between human and other forms of animal communication.
Anonymous white label loaded with two parts of warm, funked up deep house; rolling on the 4 with wide bass and effective piano chords on the front, then with a slinkier hustle and bustle lifted with mystic strings and vibes on the backside.
Brum’s Jayson Wynters makes a sterling addition to the DBA roster with a raw and sophisticated deep house sound on the Double Standards EP, doubling down on the vibes of his 2016 debut with Mr. G’s Phoenix G label, and backed the heck up with a wicked Kowton remix.
Fair to say we haven’t heard this kind of hypnotic house pressure from the UK since, well, a long time, or at least Mr. G’s A Good Place album. But even then Jason Wynters has got something special, unique going on here; picking us up with the Badalamenti-in-Detroit vibes of Technological Enslavement, getting hunched and gritty but debonaire pads in Double Standards, and keeping it right down there with the slower movement and haunting, hovering chords of Sonic Boxing.
In fine style, Kowton remixes Technological Enslavement his own way to sound something like a water damaged vintage Virus cut.
Le Forte Four’s Bikini Tennis Shoes is a decidedly charming slice of avant-garde tomfoolery that practically triggered the whole LAFMS (Los Angeles Free Music Society) movement back in 1974. It’s unhinged in the best way, recklessly skipping between mad, ahead-of-their-time electronic noise, covers of The Star Spangled Banner and Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring and skronky lounge music with wickedly unpredictable behaviour. Easy to hear why this is counted as a classic of American anti-music, and in case you were wondering, it’s not a difficult listen either. Just properly beguiling.
“The origins of Le Forte Four are those of the Los Angeles Free Music Society itself. Chip Chapman joined forces with Rick Potts (and shortly thereafter Tom and Joe Potts), taking up the LAFMS name in 1974. Ultimately baptizing themselves Le Forte Four, they began threading imagined lines between John Cage and The Residents, Cecil Taylor and Henry Cow – generating sounds completely unlike any of these and anything since.
The inaugural release on the eponymous LAFMS imprint with only 200 copies pressed originally, Bikini Tennis Shoes is a staggering piece of anti-music that remains as refreshingly ground-clearing today as it was when it first appeared in 1975. Its 40 minutes (parceled out across nearly as many tracks) chart forays into free improvisation, Buchla misuse, filtered noise, begrudging and damaged melodic sorties (from the Star-Spangled Banner to Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring") and healthy doses of basement pablum.
Le Forte Fouremerged out of the lethargic American '70s as a locus where, in their own words, "gamelans and ragas merged with serial and chance compositions finally melting together with instructional records and Beatles bootlegs." A wildly eclectic rummaging of postwar culture and 20th century sound, Le Forte Four’s Bikini Tennis Shoes preempts punk's outsider ethos and DIY autodidactism.”
It’s Repitch’s 5th anniversary and they’re celebrating in style with Dys Functional Electronic Music; a 16-track album featuring bullets from label regulars such as Shapednoise, Ascion, D. Carbone, AnD & Gaja, alongside an extended, international circle of peers including Pinch, Sote, Skudge, Nuel and Mike Parker.
Pinch gets the party off on a dank footing with No Justice - kinda like that guy who’s telling gallows jokes to attendees on their first drink - and sets the vibe for a session which only gets more twisted messy as it goes on, turning up memorable highlights in Nuel’s hyper fluid D&B roller, Biopunk - definitely a first person on the floor tune - in the wretched noise convulsions of Shapednoise’s 0.1dbhisdoi’fioa (shouldn’t have tanked that bottle of vodka so early), and the guy with all the drugs up his face at once, Sote on the raging Operor, whilst Skudge get all deep in the backroom with the tales of his trip to Thailand in Buchla.M1000, and Mike Parker is among the last to leave with the pulsating sub-aqua dynamics of Ilium_Curve.
Paul Rose (Scuba) fixes trax from Isaac Reuben, Bleak, Markus Suckut and Antonio Ruscito on the first release for his Who Whom label.
Following his entry on Scuba’s Fabric 90 mix and smaller 12”, Isaac Reuben opens affairs with the misty-eyed strings, deep surging chords and driving kicks of Machines, and Bleak tests the big room ‘floor reflexes with the palpitating techno footwork of In My Soul.
Markus Suckut’s Acid Landscape proceeds to ice the room with glacial 303 modulations and glancing rimshots, and deep Italian techno specialist Antonio Ruscito glides on deepest systolic pulses to the the edge.
Kicking off a series of LPs marking the 25th anniversary of Vicki Bennett’s plunderphonic alias, People Like Us, London’s Discrepant present Abridged Too Far - a compilation of her releases and live performances for John Peel, WMFU and Klang Galerie a.o. - pressed on vinyl for the first time.
The original compilation was released exclusively on Kenneth Goldsmith’s brilliant UbuWeb facility back in 2003-04 (go check it if you haven’t already!). The project’s relevance or use to anyone under the age of 35 beyond chill-out music for electro-swing raves is debatable nowadays, but for folk who still buy into that olde English sense of humour and can stomach the detritus of boomer culture, it’s good for a chuckle. Like a Barbara Windsor gif.
“"We strongly believe in the power of profit through free distribution. Often people have never heard of an artist because they aren't being distributed through as many channels as they should be, due to the very poor state of music/media distribution for non-major label music coupled with ignorance of the way that avant garde art forms infiltrate mainstream culture. Also many prints of a work are allowed to go out of circulation or are deleted for no reason other than cost effectiveness by a label/publisher. This makes perfect sense financially, but no sense whatsoever that a year's work by an artist should also disappear for such reasons. So get all of this while you can, and we completely endorse getting one's work out there, no matter what. If you don't share, your profit is limited." - People Like Us, 2004”
People Like Us is audiovisual collage artist Vicki Bennett, who has been making work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, performances, gallery exhibits and online streaming for 25 years. Since 1992, she has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and appropriation as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant.”
From hitherto little-known niches, Music From Memory pluck a reel gem of bright, warm and colourful electro-dub written in St. Louis, Missouri, 1989, yet, for all intents and purposes sounding perfectly out-of-time-and-place.
If we’re playing musical DNA, Workdub could be a close, younger cousin of Eno + Hassell and YMO, or an older, not-often-seen sibling to Max D and Actress, pretty much slotting right between their respective styles as sweetly as you could hope for.
Out of a matrix of programmed drum computers and hand-played percussions, plus MIDI-synched synths and canny recording trickery, Workdub’s debut record reveals lush windows on a wide, crisp and clean spheres, effortlessly, deftly carrying its weight from the quick-stepping but laid-back shuffle of Island Breeze thru the piquant strings and swanging roto-bass of Caravan, and into ancient electro dimensions with The Odyssey and a breathtakingly spacious remodelling of Caravan.
With a responsive rig, a bit of sunshine, and the right crowd, these tunes will melt the best ‘floors.
'Clouds' is a perfectly measured suite of warm and hazy downbeats from Gigi Masin, Marco Sterk (Young Marco), and Johnny Nash recorded in the heart of Amsterdam's red light district over one weekend in April, 2014.
It's all about louche vibes and glowing notes, gently absorbing and transducing the buzz of the streets outside the studio's open windows into eight elegantly reserved improvisations segueing between lush ambient drift, dub-wise solo piano pieces, and chiming late night jazz patter. In that sense, there's striking similarities between 'Clouds' and the recent Sky Walking album by Lawrence and co., but where they really go for the looseness, Gaussian Curve keep it supple yet tight, bordering on adult contemporary suaveness anointed with finest hash oil. Imbibe slowly.
Enlightening , infectious and mesmerising showcase of grooves from the islands of the coast of West Africa - a strong look for anyone tracing the roots of Lisbon’s current, amazing sound found on the Príncipe label!
“In Cape Verde, we had no access to electronic instruments, said Tchiss Lopes, a Cape Verdean singer baed in Rome. In Europe, we had access, but we had to adapt. Audiences expected electronic sounds, but we still stayed true to our sound. At first, the music was just to cater to Cape Verdean immigrants, but soon, people of Napoli especially started feeling it, then Rome. In the 1980s, that feeling transpired across Lisbon, Paris, Rotterdam, and Boston, as one the largest waves of migration from a single country, propelled by political instability and economic uncertainty, sent thousands of Cape Verdeans to the West's cities.
Through 18 diverse tracks, this compilation reveals how immigration from the Cape Verde Islands to Europe and the United States gave us an alternate history of the electronic music that dominated hearts and minds across the world in the late 1990s. But the story doesn't start in a major Western cultural hub, rather in the small cluster of islands 400 miles off the Senegalese coast, and offers an unparalleled insight into the longterm cultural splendor catalyzed by migration.
Movement and mobility are intrinsic aspirations of the human condition. What we've come to know as immigration is as old as civilization. Yet today we measure immigration through a series of cold data. Immigrants are either condemned as disposable threats or celebrated as entrepreneurial treasures, rarely occupying a space in between.”
Indian classical raga meets cool swinging jazz in charming fashion at the hands of Shankar Jaikishan and Rais Khan, 1968; reissued on vinyl for the first time in nearly 50 years!
Expect something familiar, but totally not, and quite different - more playful and light - when compared to the expanding number of American jazzers who were incorporating Indian influences at that time.
Mighty ruling roots reggae session by toppa top deejay, Prince Far I, produced by Lloyd Slim and recorded at King Tubby’s in 1976
“PSALMS OF DUB is the cry of a people for a return tot he ways of righteousness. Reggae Music is predominantly “message” music. This album sends the most powerful message ever issued musically. Ranking among the greatest chant albums ever issued, the lyrics are derived almost completely from the Book of Pslams.
It is meditative music, cultural music and establishes Pricne Fari, the man with he voice of thunder, as a formidable force in music business let the good listen and rejoice. Let the wicked listen and repent. Let all mankind know God and what he requires. those who cannot read can hear the word comes clear. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear “The City of God will be established forever.”
Finally here; Raime dissect and rebuild a Jungle session under their Yally alias for Diagonal, backed with a fiercely squashed 8-bar grime lash. Cold sweats and bassbin burial styles in both cases. Artwork by Garrett Close. Directed by Guy Featherstone.
Now seven years deep into the project - but with decades of combined bassbin immersion between them - the Yally project finds Joe and Tom Raime tending to their roots in the UK’s ’90s hardcore ‘nuum and likewise finding the common bridge between theirs and Diagonal’s fetish for the sickest ballistics of jungle and London bass music.
The big, BIG highlight on this one is the A-side’s Dread Risk. Operating with all the lip-biting control and tenacity of a crack, back-alley surgeon, they replace reticulated breaks into a zombied new corpus convulsing with death gasp no wave yelps and bound up with tensile, fishing line strings and hooks to puppeteering, Frankensteinian effect right on the line between baws out bruk and stoic, eyes-shut meditation. Consider us badly snagged on this one.
Flipside, U-Eff-O is practically the A-side’s inverse, diverting all the energy downwards into quaking subbass movements and mechanical 8-bar gear grinds, offset in the upper registers by nerve jangling hi-hats and ominous shortwave interceptions, kinda some alien episode dug out of Jon E Cash’s deep freeze, from behind the curly fries and a nine bar.
Dean Blunt x Arca x Mica Levi x made-up Idris Elba quotes x Hyperdub: it’s a lot...
Fronted by that image and opening with the most unsettling, unrelenting mantra “this makes me proud to be british”, set to harp, leisure centre noise and bleeping mobiles; Dean Blunt’s got us by the gullet with his debut LP as Babyfather.
Essentially BBF - Hosted by DJ Escrow is a definitive UK hip hop album of the decade so far; a shadow-play of paranoid & surreal atmospheres, ambiguous juxtapositions, upfront infidelity and playful/dreadful intentions that perhaps best reflect street-view observations of the knackered, profane, pagan and pointedly archaic in contrast to supposedly progressive national values and the schizoid political and artistic double-speak of the “elite”.
We haven’t a clue who DJ Escrow is - quite possibly Blunt’s Quasimoto-style sped-up alter-ego, maybe his boy from home - but he’s crucial to the album; like some pop-up avatar or liminal interpreter reporting back from the zones, culminating in a passionate monologue calling for unity that’s actually undermined by the fact his voice is accelerated to cartoonish levels - perhaps as many view the situation anyway.
Peel back that shiny nike lacquer of FX tho, and you’re faced with a deepening identity crisis dealt with in the best blend of irreverence and well-meaning intent that’s really messing our heads right now.
To be honest we’re no wiser at this point than we were before hearing the album, but we definitely felt something strange in there that’s going to linger.
Burial chops out three tracks of arguably his most addictive material since 'Untrue'.
It's always interesting to see the discourse fall-out after each new Burial release, with the naysayers levelling the same old accusations of evolutionary torpor, and the lovers; well, they're just gushing love.
We can clearly see both sides of the argument, but ultimately, we still can't deny the feeling when it hits, and that overrides everything. And within bars of 'Kindred' we're crippled by it: those angelic pads, the drizzly atmosphere, that inmitable, acute, darkside rush. You just don't get it anywhere else, and as long as it's this good, we'll be cranking in the rain 'til it wears off. Blah blah blah. Long live Burial!
The Hessle Audio captain charges up two sloshing, bucking and rolling house freaks on his eponymous label after a wicked recent excursion as DJ Harlow.
It’s possible to detect common Chicago/Detroit links between his DJ Harlow 12” and these cuts, but where Harlow treats that template with a mix of classic reverence and grimy hybrids, here he melts tracky jackers patterns with wildly over-stepping FX and cascading bleeps to dizzying effect with XLB whereas Tsunan Sun veers off into tribalist breaks and rolling subs with a mix of early UK and Detroit-style techno methods to spaced-out and dreamy effect.
Footwork's most prominent standard-bearer's heavy debut album for Hyperdub. R.I.P. Rashad...
Perhaps better described as a collaborative effort - all bar two tracks feature Spinn, Addison Groove, Taso, Manny, or Earl - 'Double Cup' is the freshest missive from the rapidly ascendent and influential Chicago scene.
Over 14 fibrillating tessellations of classic funk, soul, house and jungle Rashad stakes his ground with assured swagger. When he really cuts wild the effect is remarkable: previous single, 'I Don't Give A F**k', with its minimalist bleep coda and strobing bass pulses is a big winner, as are the juicy, acid-bootied 'Double Cup' with Spinn, and the 45rpm flip of Larry Heard's 'Donnie', here as 'Reggie', or the lush-out '94 jungle styles of 'I'm Too Hi'. Tipped!
Sought-after Herbert 12" from 1996 dusted down and re-upped for the house fiends twenty years later.
Got To Be Movin’ packs strong cues from ruder Dance Mania and Chi sounds into a proper bumpy, chunky ride that also sounds pretty banging at 45rpm -8, in case you swang that way.
Underneath, there’s the suave electro-disco whistler, Fat King Fire, and the grubbing hustle of Housewife.
Venerable Ethiopian composer, Mulatu Astake is the locus of this enlightening compilation, which was first issued to the wider world on CD in 1992 and is now reissued 25 years later.
"Now, we’ve all heard the Ethiopiques series and many other reissues of Mulatu Astatke and Hailu Mergia over the past few years, but who really knows the socio-political and historical context for all this amazing music, and why it sounds the way it does? This ace set and its original liner notes from Anu Laakkonen should sort that out.
Thanks to the work of Finland’s Global Music Centre - a mobile recording studio - which travelled to Addis Ababa to record the two headline bands, whom both shared a mutual component in Mr. Astatke, the set covers early iterations of drum machine used in Ethiopian popular music, as well as sterling examples of the confluence between domestic religious and secular themes, and traces of rock, funk, pop and soul influence from America and Europe.
The A-side revolves four hypnotic demonstrations of the Ethio Stars, widely regarded the best musicians in the country at the time, gripping the head hips and shoulders with the clipped groove and floating, spectral organ of Aderech Arada, Bekifir / Menged Lay Wodike, then updating the classic Kermosew melody with synths and a big fat funk bassline, while Yetentu Tez Alew clearly nods to ‘80s boogie, but always within that definitive Ethio sound, and Tiz Baleen Gize brings Getatchew Kassa’s vocal into play.
On the other side, Tukul Band experiment with more traditional forms of Ethiopian music. Headed by Mulatu Astatke, the band jam on electrified models of traditional instruments such as the Krar - a six-string bowl-lyre nicknamed “the devil’s instrument” - along with the masinko, Ethiopia’s only bowed instrument typically played by an Azamri or bard/griot, and the washint, a bamboo flute heard on many, many Ethiopian recordings. These pieces are perhaps more urgent, compared with the cool vibes of the others, and definitely worth checking for the haunting instrumental duet in Sound of Washint & Masinko."
Person of Interest, Angel De La Guardia kicks out a handful of swanging, mutant house slugs in Eclipse for his buddy, J. Albert’s Exotic Dance Records.
Up front the pendulous Skyline (Angel’s Theme) marries whistling melody with thistly garage swing, and Eclipse imagines a fusion of effervescent breakbeat house and raving mentasms that never happened way back when, but sounds so good now.
Flipside he plays it down on a bumpy Theo Parrish style hustle, but returns to the rave from a more delicate angle with the dilated yet sleepy Jersey styles of En Route, and checks out with he acid greaze of Lost1 (capri).
Yally is a new project from Raime, designed to "explore Bass Futures indiscriminately”. The release inaugurates 12 x 12, a new series of one-sided releases from Boomkat Editions which will run over the next few months. We’ve asked twelve of our favourite artists (old and new) to contribute a release each to the series, the first instalment featuring two scudding, killer steppers productions from Raime’s expert bladesmen, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead, moonlighting here for the first time under a new alias on a rare away-day from Blackest Ever Black.
With a deep blue, skunked-out appeal right on the lip of late ’90s garage and early ’00s grime, London’s dankest duo compound, reflect and relieve the choking intensity of their recent 2nd album Tooth on the paranoid bruiser Burnt and its dread inversion Sudo, making up their most ‘floor-dedicated session in more than five years of operations.
Toeing a line in the shadows between nervy but enervated, crushed and high, both cuts transpose the indelible impression of raving in a very different London landscape - pre-smoking ban and extreme financial bifurcation - with a patently shocking sense of economy and pressure that feels as vitally subversive as ever in the face of current capitalist realism.
Drawn from muscle memory of 2-step’s transition from champagne-soaked knees-up into paradoxically dense but spacious, stoned and impending sound designs, they form a sort of coming-to-terms with that epoch’s innovations in much the same way that their Moin releases firmly grappled with inextinguishable influence from the studio genius of Steve Albini and This Heat.
Burnt pins us by the windpipe with Stanley shanked hi-hats and ratty claps whilst cavernous, amorphous subs bruise flesh and dislocated yelps of pleasure/pain break thru rictus jaws. Think El-B or Hatcha echoing out of a graveyard slot on pirate radio circa ’03. With Sudo they pronate on the tightest, simmering halfstep; harnessing illicitly overloaded, vintage Air Max PSI allowance with shoulder rolling organ motif and nerve-tying ligature, perhaps imagining the pre-echoes of earliest Hyperdub or a Black Ops joint that even Jon E Cash was too shook to issue.
Boomkat Editions began life in 2012 as an occasional series of diverse releases pressed up in limited runs and not tied down to any particular genre. Coming into the label’s fifth year, and Boomkat’s 20th year of selling independent records, the BK12X12 series will host a series of what we consider to be crucial platters from our favourite artists; producers and musicians who have defined, expanded and soundtracked modern musical spheres beyond the mainstream.
If Arthur Russell was into industrial not disco, then his World Of Echo might well have sounded something like John Roberts’ Body Four, a follow-up to the excellent Plum album on Roberts’ Brunette Editions.
Wrought with the innovative, plangent minimalism and simplicity of Russell’s cello, pedal and amp studies, Roberts’ efforts are perhaps more rugged and off kilter - also recalling certain aspects of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark in its lo-fi grain - but likewise manages to wrench a captivating sense of expressive pathos from his similar set-up of cello and sequencer in each of these relatively short, smeared windows onto his personalised practice.
Bank Records NYC enlist an Unknown Artist (purportedly Lyubocha, who was last spotted on Opal Tapes’ Contemporary Dance compilation) for their 10th volley of grotty dance trax.
Abakan feels out murky techno space between 154 and Lee Gamble which gets more acidic in the proceeding Krusheniye, whilst Novaya Kalami drags that vibe underwater with soggy bass hits and mottled brown acid flow, and Trauma rolls off the bone with a more rugged swang.
Crafty little shot from Gonçalo F. Cardoso, who was last spotted on A Study Into 21st Century Drone Acoustics  and now presents two beguiling short form pieces
Firstly the bubbling metallic polyrhythm and heat hazy summers day field recordings which give way to skronky abstract ‘tronics, acousmatic chat and eventually a downpour of static in the A-side’s Radio Kampala; then a recording of what sounds like a sliced up boxing match sprayed with machine gun fire and electronic shrapnel on the other side’s Skull Cave.
A proper oddity.
Deep but up-for-it disco house bangers from Florence, Italy’s Marco D’Aquino a.k.a. Dukwa for the purposes of this 12” with the Glaswegian Italophiles at Numbers.
Well versed in Anthony Shakir style chops, the four cuts on Shattered In A Thousand Places cook up solid US styles with an extra hint of Italian gourmet, resulting the strobing chord delicacy of Thoughts feat. Mar G on all-night-long vox, plus the pumping sasturday night pressure of Fries Friends, a skipper slice of John Swing styles in Illusory Dreams, and a rugged Frictional downstroke on Lazy.
Berlin’s Laura ODL and Eva Geist a.k.a. As Longitude carve out five grubby ruts of dubbed-out acidic chug for Amsterdam’s venue-turned-label Knekelhuis; pulling the ‘floor along at 100bpm pace thru the wavy oddity Black Rice to the piquant percolations of Pink Is Orange on the A-side, and then from the stumbling triplets of Kalte Füße to the Colin Potter-esque kosmiche hypo-dub of Blauer Part and share an analog bubblebath with Sharks Are Coming.
Reeko, Blawan, Stenny and Shifted weigh in heavy duty remixes of London’s Pris for his Resin label
Blawan goes on brute and monotone with a rumbling, knotted remix of Dodeca and Stenny keeps it flowing off centre in a nervier rework of Reef. Shifted impresses with the intricate scree and recursive rolige of his take on Devil In The Detail, and we catch Reeko at his most sullen on a gravelly version of Reef.
Lushly sentimental nostalgia for early-mid ‘90s electronica; like Special Request reworking B12 in the epic, rolling breakbeat hustle of Lost Illusions; or a long-lost FSOL archive salvage in the majestic Aura 96 (Kino Mix); then with Jesus arms for the sunrise in Gaia’s Requiem.