Yves De Mey turns out a trio of razor sharp and bendy modular synth steppers for his and Peter Van Hoesen’s forward, personal imprint, Archives Intérieures, following their issue of Peder Mannerfelt’s The Swedish Congo Record album in 2015.
Anyone following De Mey’s recent releases will surely have noticed a subtle but notably tighter curve of refinement with his last three EPs - Late Night Patching 1 [Entr’acte], Drawn With Shadow Pens [Spectrum Spools], and the SM-LL 0000 split 12” - which also directly informs the carefully spare and nervy construction of this one, too.
Stripping his grooves to a bare essence that references halfstep D&B and Raster-Noton techno as much as the output of crenellated avant garde conservatories, De Mey finds an off centre, pensile equilibrium between all the above in each piece’s stark dimensions; resulting in the slick but knotted prang of Missing Clubs on the A-side, and then with a murkier sort of melted dancehall groove and darkside slashes in Summer, before scooping out your innards with the cavernous, gut-churning scrapes of The Scheldt harnessed in formation by needling hi-hat polymetrics nodding to U.S. trap from oblique angles.
With each sonic movement on the introductory self-titled EP from New York’s Wall there’s a commitment to defend a punctuated duality between curiosity and triumph.
"After all, what’s a band worth but its message. Tone and rhythm whirl together, like an emergency exit door choreographed to swing flawlessly in time to its damned and chaotic Pavlovian alarm bell. From the first rigid and cautious seconds of their EP, Wall unleash an uncanny self-awareness that methodically slips pages ripped from demented No Wave legacies through a shredder of their own design.
Their spirit is exceptional and candid; generous heaps of raw energy and inspired moments of tension demand repeat rotations on your turntable. With this debutante artefact, Wall have invited the world to witness the birth of a toxic new tempestuous bloodwave of post-punk: exactly the transfusion the scene needs to stay alive."
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise with the first ever Vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1987 Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System sequel: Simon's Quest.
"Featuring both the NES and FAMICOM versions of all 9 BMG tracks from the game. Musically, Simon's Quest is the origin of one of the most popular of Castlevania BMG, "Bloody Tears." A staple of the sonic landscape for the series, here it is as the soundtrack to your daylight encounters across the dangerous Transylvanian landscape. It is one of the catchiest 8-Bit tunes to ever come out of this era of Konami games and an example of the best of what Video Game Music has to offer"
Compilation of top notch Gospel and blues recorded between 1927 and 1967.
A mix of very well known artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Gary Davis and Robert Wilkins and more obscure folks like John Lee and Charles White. A record filled with some of Mississippi Records favorite recordings - ripping guitar work outs, soulful ballads, loping drunken jug bands and more. All songs are on the theme of travel, death and transcendence.
Got an existential crisis? This may be the record for you.
Gwaarn ya dancer! Homemade Weapons draws blood with four skittish, lip-bitingly strong shots of D&B pressure for his own label.
This is the dog’s bollocks, basically; firing the super flinty chops of Traitors like Digital with anger issues, and then a pendulous, keening body roller Keelhaul, backed with the spine-severing stepper Cicatrix and the barrelling UVB-76 styles of Overcast to polish you off.
Damiano Von Erckert doubles the tally of his DVE label with two filigree slices of broken beat and deep house hustle backed by a crafty Mall Grab remix.
DVE’s original mix of Bob Turner sits very easily on the mind with wide, breezy synths and roving bleeps framing the kind of loose and punchy syncopation and beckoning soul vocal that makes you dance way better than you actually can.
The Kölnische producer tends to the other side of that vibe on the flip with a divine bit of bumping beatdown for the heads, and we’re also partial to Mall Grab’s sensitive, Sprinkles-like balance of dark, blooming Fairlight-style bass and effervescent percussion in his remix of Bob Turner.
Having lost his name in a frankly baffling legal escapade with ex-Dictator 'Handsome Dick Manitoba', Dan Snaith has shrugged off his former moniker, emerging from the cocoon as Caribou and, if 'The Milk of Human Kindness' is anything to go by, then a protracted legal blindside would seem to sharpen the musical senses considerably.
Moving away from the smudged chalk mural sound that was 2003's 'Up in Flames', Snaith has tightened his production up considerably (taking it back to 'Dundas, Ontario' territory) whilst simultaneously moving his sound forward. Opening with the eulogistic sunshine pop of 'Yeti', Caribou assumes vocal duties as Brian Wilson washes and agitated metronome strings swell joyously, bringing to mind a vitamin C drenched re-reading of Kraut rock. Snaith's skill has always been in making variegated and structurally complex music that appears utterly unpremeditated, with the balls-out epic of 'A Final Warning' a perfect example, unfolding as it does in the most natural fashion imaginable.
Elsewhere, 'Lord Leopard' is a bouncing B-Boy double-take of the Ski Sunday theme tune whilst album closer 'Barnowl' is a rimy and penetrating Four Tet-esque collision of heavy percussion and florid aural bursts that leaves you with a real sense of foreboding.
Ripe little oddities right here from San Fran’s Ben R. Brown, self-released on Be Right Back (see what he did there?!) after a coupla beaky rattering bams for Drvg Cvltvre’s New York Haunted label.
The mood this time is weirder, furtive; working to the west of Jamal Moss and east of Lowlands new beat and EBM with the sleazy jack of Island, whereas Slomo really packs a punch in its recoiling low end, which is nimbly offset with corkscrewing drums like some grubby Beau Wanzer rocker.
Four Tet and Prins Thomas whisk Todd Terje’s as-yet-unreleased Jungelknugen into spiralling disco peaks.
Check the Four Tet mix for a crafty calculation of ribboning arpeggios and rolling, skipping groove kissed with big-room friendly pads in the mid-section, or the Prins Thomas one for a more vintage, Norsk-sounding motorik disco momentum running to ecstatic highs.
ASC dives back into the grey area on a more ghostly follow-up to the steely, ductile alloys of last year’s Geocentric Systems; in pursuit of elusive steppers spectres and IDM spirits in Solar Reaction, or a galloping acid techno muse on Crystal Moon and Astral Dreaming, and melting out into the ether with Carrier Signal.
Glasgow’s man of the moment mints his Sulta Selects series with the couiff-tweaking, Oni Ayhun-style trance lead of Nein Fortiate on top, and then with slinkier functions of Dubelle Oh XX (JVIP) on the other one.
London’s Hear Other Sounds crew flash sharp, grimy teeth on a diverse roster showcase with cuts from Scalade x Nights, Charlux, Fresh Paul and J-One.
Scalade x Nights get in first with an Endgame or Her Records-compatible slice of peaking trance pads and rasping reggaeton trills built big and wide; Chralux follows with the cold and spare ski angularity of Chanel Handbag.
Turn over and Fresh Paul creates havoc with one of the fiercest grime mutations we’ve heard in a minute Janet Again - ride of die! - and J-One rips back tot he old skool on a warped 2-step grime tip with The Fever.
Typically high standards from Perlon on this one (even the cellophane wrap is perfectly trimmed); two deep and long stripes of hypnotic, subbass-powered tech-house from Frank Greiner and Ion Ludwig’s Alter Mahnn.
Win Ganz Alter Mahnn (Brett Take) rolls out wide square bass and chugging drums peppered with nervy FX under pressure of arcing subaquatic FX designed to swirl the ‘floor. The flipside Dub Take is drier, struck with hollow wooden drums and chants back on terra firma.
Coco Bryce and FFF kick off the Diamond Life label with two strong bonds to mid ‘90s UK jungle.
Up top on Never As Good As the First Time, Coco Bryce executes a whipsmart display of breakbeat chopping anchored in massive subs and well measured pads for depth of flavour.
Raggacore specialist FFF holds back from his suffer tendencies on the flip with a DJ Crystl-style slice of worries in the dance, ’94 style on Gaze Out.
Pecknam’s Rhythm Section kill the lights and introduce International Black with two stripped down pearls from the depths of London’s house pool.
Phrased commands the A-side with the lustrous, swanging bass pressure, low-key vox and perfectly expressive 303 riffs of Man Ray lending something genuinely, if subtly, different to most everything out here right now.
Ron Obvious keeps the levels ticking over nicely with a weighty deep house stepper hingeing on killer woodblock rimshots and sumptuous subaquatic feels.
Save this for the those times.
Jesus loves the Acid. So does Matrixxman: the follow-up to his Rhythms for Dekmantel rails four wobbly lines of Roland’s finest between the brain-burrowing wiggler, Arrival; a brooding jacker named Bad Acid; the warehouse recoil of I Am Matrix; and the nasal drip of Rites.
Clinically sharp D&B steppers and rollers from the scene’s leading edge. Pure seekers on this one, setting off the nastiest swing rhythms and crushed bass in Without A Trace, whereas the fighting-lean Solitude is one for the weightless shadow-boxers and Killa somehow seems to roll in and out simultaneously = loads of fun for the dancers.
No doubt the big one is Taurus, where they really stretch out on some classic retro-future flex with golden pads and pointillist halfstep anchored in serious screw face bass dynamics. Gumshields out.
Another classic slice of senseless violence and beautiful melodies from the giallo playbook with Bruno Nicolai's score to the 1971 Sergio Martino mystery...
"After Lisa Baumer's husband dies in an airplane explosion, she becomes the beneficiary of a huge life insurance payout in his name. But things are never as they seem, and after being confronted by her husband's mistress demanding a cut, Lisa is murdered, leaving an insurance detective and crime scene photographer to solve the titular whodunnit.
Doubling the film's effectiveness is the hypnotic score by Nicolai, who himself was a master veteran of the genre with soundtracks for ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS, and THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES. TAIL opens with the main theme, a haunting melody on guitar that repeats while a thick bass lurks in the background to underline the hard edge that comes with the genre tropes. A beautiful jazzy waltzing piece on strings and piano brings some real class while electronics and brass provide nailbiting tension, which Nicolai capitalises on with avant-garde jazz techniques, the omnipresent bass grounding the more surreal and dissonant elements. A soundtrack enthusiast's wet dream, THE CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TAIL is one of the greatest scores ever recorded."
Charlie Brigden – Editor, Films On Wax
Hair shy Herrs Kehlmann and Paterson render cuts from Prins Thomas’s Principe Del Norte LP in their own hazy image; weighing up H in a fathoms deep Orbient Mix and a dub-ballasted Heaven Or Hell version, both clocking in at over 11 minutes a piece.
Sounds like Samo DJ & 5ive have been chewing on the same psychedelic substances as Sotofett and frjends on this trio of smudged and sensuous shimmies for The Trilogy Tapes.
On top, the Swedish DJ/producer and his Japanese foil, Takenori Goto a.k.a. 5ive pick out some brilliant Afro-latin drum hustle against massive, warm bass and an oily, shifting patina of trippy melodies and atmospheres unfurling with psychoactive aptitude.
Turn over and Ethno Room emulates another pineal experience with nimble drums and lolling chords embedded in hypnotic, smooth, and effortlessly pendulous subs, leaving End Game to spin ever deeper into itself like a dosed-up Nu Groove or Dream 2 Science ace.
London-based Scouse/Manc duo Jupiter-C do textbook gothic post-punk with a stylishly monochrome sound in their debut for Geoff Barrow’s Invada. Remixes supplied by Clint Mansell and East India Youth.
Berghain resident Fiedel puts his weight behind two meaty jackers, plus a very canny twist of slinky, prurient EBM that requires your attention.
The leathering kicks and insurgent noise control of Substance B forms a marked difference from recent years of Fiedel productions, which have tended toward a sort of camp UKF-EBM hybrid, whereas this one is more shark-eyed, dark and tempestuous. Likewise Track 432, which feels like a more demented take on Ben Klock’s Red Alert.
If you need any one, though; it’s S-Drive: where those UKF/Soca-style snare patterns come into play on a strapping, reticulated EBM bassline that’s tying us in fxxking knots right now.
Golden Püdel's Richard Von Der Schulenburg provides the V I S label with another ace, a gorgeous but brooding LP that comes highly recommended if you're into Roedelius, GAS, Cluster, Suum Cuique...
The spirit of German Romanticism is strong on this one, offering a timeless addition to the classic cache of Teutonic synth expressionism explored by everyone from the likes of Hans-Joachim Roedelius in the late ‘70s to Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS in the ‘90s or STL in ‘00s, and which has become so indelible from swathes of electronic music out of that country ever since.
However, this being 2017, even a country hike can go darkside, as Wanderung durch Wald und Flur subtly spells out in its transition from breezy melodies and refreshingly drizzly atmospheres to wistfully bittersweet on Sommerabend am Boberger See am 28.08.2014, to the distinctly crepuscular ambience and phosphorescing tone of Dorfbewhoner in Elmshorn am 30.07.2013, at the albums border.
It’s deeply enchanting music without the cloying frills that the term pastoral music may imply, leaving enough grit under the fingernails and mud clinging to the boots to push your imagination into new realms.
Rugged, probing electro-acoustic abstraction best located somewhere between Emptyset, Bellows, and Gottfried Michael Koenig
“Rubisco is the second full length album from Donato Epiro. Following his debut album Fiume Nero (2014), the young Italian composer has moved from the raw primordial chaos that characterised his first work to develop a reflection on how a hypothetical absence of humans and biological life could modify industrialized and civilized spaces.
Using field recordings, obscure samples and FM synthesis, Epiro draws his abstract landscapes as a series of overexposed and imprecise pictures made by concrete and organic architectures, amorphous rhythmic patterns, repetitive sequences broken by oblique elements that seems looking for a new active role into the ecosystem.
Exploring communication and transitions between the inanimate side of the existing and the living one, the sound of Rubisco seems to be pulled out from the walls of an abandoned building or captured while it is lying on the ground of empty spaces or fluctuating like fine dust through the light. It leads the listener into a form of "after rave" limbo, or a personal hiding place, where the head projects only the image of the sounds you've listened to during your human experience.
The result is a record that plays with taut minimal touches, inspired by the work of Egisto Macchi and Angus MacLise, alongside the sonic delirium recently dreamed up by the likes of Demdike Stare and Fis.”
Beatrice Dillon and Rupert Clervaux, respectively, rework Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip’s solo LP, Piano alongside contributions from Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), Lung Dart, Papa M, Brain DeGraw and other members of the indie-pop fraternity. Not going to lie; Beatrice Dillon’s desiccated concrete treatment is the only thing that really caught our ear inside.
“Listen With(out) Piano features new versions by artists including Papa M (David Pajo), Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), Spring Heel Jack, Beatrice Dillon, Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), which can be played on their own, or at the same time as the songs on Piano, to create a brand new listening experience.
The album features the work of eleven of Alexis’s favourite musicians, handpicked to create new tracks designed to work in response to the songs on Piano, the third solo album by the Hot Chip frontman. Though the record can be synched with the original Piano recordings by playing both albums on two devices simultaneously, the tracks on Listen With(out) Piano can be also be enjoyed as original songs on their own merits.
“My brief was both very wide open and very specific, and part of the pleasure for me, and now hopefully for the listeners, is to see how everyone responded so differently to the task,” Alexis explains. “The results are truly amazing, and here you have a new album that works both as a kind of electro-acoustic ambient companion piece to Piano, and as a series of musical clothes to be put onto the deliberately bare record I released.”
Expanded 2017 edition Reissue of this long-out-of-print collection of killer reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style, now including five extra tracks.
"Reggae disco updates of seminal classics by Anita Ward (‘Ring My Bell’), Chaka Khan (‘I’m Every Woman’), Michael Jackson (‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough’), Sugarhill Gang (‘Rappers Delight’, here performed by Derrick Laro and Trinity for producer Joe Gibbs) and more, all showing the hidden but inseparable link between the dance floors of New York, Kingston and London.
New bonus tracks to this collection include Derrick Harriott’s funky take on Eddie Drennon’s ‘Do It Nice & Easy’, the classic disco reggae of Risco Connection’s take on McFadden and Whitehead’s ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ and the London rare groove lovers rock take on Barbara Acklin’s soul classic ‘Am I The Same Girl’."
Jeff McIlwain re-emerges from his production slumber to deliver more aural candy for the Ghostly family on this new Lusine album.
Further settling into his latter-day groove as a producer of well-polished pop-tinged electronics, the Lusine of nearly 20 years ago has not disappeared altogether, the mechanics of his early IDM, ambient and downtempo productions still drive the creative process on ‘Sensorimotor’.
There is a more introspective yearn to this album however, a sensation most apparent in the numerous vocal contributions from Jeff and his wife, Sarah McIlwain, along with Vilja Larjosto and Benoît Pioulard. The latter’s manipulated vocals feature on the sub-Burial, hushed flutter of Witness which is destined to get synced by the CSI franchise sometime soon.
Great collection of library gems from the 70’s as sampled by the likes of J-Dilla...
"A reputed classical violinist and music teacher on the one hand, a curious jazz cat on the other. A business man and control freak, but an artist and free spirit as well. Still, rather little is known about René Costy.
Small wonder: the Belgian musician and composer was in many, if not all, respects a singular man. The lure of international show business was wasted on him and consequently, his name has remained a well-kept secret. But cream always rises to the top. Some twenty years after his passing, his work – finally – goes global.
Moreover, this being a selection out of more than 400 tracks from a virtuoso, versatile and insatiable artist, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of this compilation, which focuses on Costy’s library music production from the 70’s."
Oscar Wedren makes his first sizeable Alt Alfie statement post-divorce from Mr Top Hat on this album of snug lovers-tech for Studio Barnhus.
There was a time when Art Alfie was inseparable from Mr Top Hat, the pair delivering an endless supply of oddball tools n’ grooves on their Karvolak for ‘Deep House’ DJs who felt they had a radical streak. It seems the eccentrically-named pair have gone their separate ways however.
After a few solo outings on various compilations last year – the ‘Scando Swords II’ on Northern Electronics being the most notable – Art Alfie joins the Barnhus fray for his debut album. Forever a label welcoming of the producer with tongue lodged in cheek, Wedren’s style of emotion-dappled and ever so techy-laced house fits snugly alongside the faux trop-haus of Baba Stiltz and the Barnhus overseers.
Don’t expect any grand artistic statements on ‘Reveries Of,’ rather a collection of smartly produced boompty haus and leftfield deviations, with only the ill-advised dub house skank of Greggs Island emitting a bad odour.
More deep techno rollage from this London producer for his full Livity debut.
The pair of breakout Forest Drive West 12”s issued last year presented two distinct sides to the faceless producer; the creeping techno of his Livity reverse debut fit snugly alongside Pev & co., whilst a subsequent 12” for Rupture LDN deviated into tech-laced jungle classicism. Both records were united by a certain tension and unease. Back in the Livity fold and promoted to the main label, Forest Drive West tees up another round of moody techno dark sliders.
Jinx rolls deeper than Dozzy, peeling out an infinite array of percussive angles over a dimly -lit vocal loop and dank bassline, whilst Scanners is another FDW slow burner. Kicking off like Vessel’s Red Sex submerged in the dirty depths of the River Thames, the track remains submerged but mutates into something close to A Made Up Sound remixing Stingray.
Bubbling up from his post-everything cesspit, $hit & $hine cups another killer album boff to the grill of Diagonal with Total $hit!, his 2nd LP and 3rd full release for Powell and Jaime Williams’ indomitable imprint.
A rancid ruck of rock ’n roll and industrial entrails squeezed for sustenance and sploshed with classic ‘80s disco, Total $hit! is nothing if not a definitive Craig Clouse record; insistently playful, scatty and demented in equal measures, but with a couldn’t care less attitude that’s always refreshing and welcome around these parts.
Following his grindcore lash Teardrops for Riot Season, this one is a return to the heavy truckin’ styles last heard on Everybody’s A Fuuckin Expert with Mego and the Good White Good Green for Glasgow’s Heated Heads, depositing nine examples of his nonchalant style at its most distended, unsettling and, funnily enough, its most funked-up and effective.
He makes a big entrance with the blind-drunk swagger of Hot Shovel trammelling rabid tribal drums, grunts and pitched voices in a febrile hot mess, before Chklt Shk possibly betrays his no f**ks attitude with some of his canniest, adroit tweaks applied to what sounds like Anthony Shakir and MMM fighting over the last cubicle after a plate of bad seafood, then it’s back to twisted smiles and buckie-sloshing skank with the acrid disco nip of Long Island City.
The record’s longest, murkiest section follows with the Jacko-shampling Dodge Pot dispensing a slimy hot streak of flatulent mongrel boogie that perhaps outstays its welcome, hence the entrance of two squabbling lasses who tell it where to go, which leaves us with a version of the recumbent coke standard White Horse ready for the knacker’s yard, plus a trio of saltier, off-the-wrist jags that only serve to agitate and infect the sore he’s been prodding at ’til this point.
Let’s be fair: Total $hit! is not big or clever but, it is messy and fun; like the soundtrack to a lock-in at a boozer exclusively full of mad c*nts who were chucked out of every other place.
Gabriella Cohen’s debut solo full-length is the product of ten days and two microphones. Co-produced alongside close friend, bandmate and engineer Kate ‘Babyshakes’ Dillon, the record is the result of what Cohen describes as the “ceremony” of reflecting on a relationship.
"The album’s raw, personal side could be traced back to its place of birth at Dillon’s parents’ place in the country, or to the Brisbane streets the songs were composed in. The songs are soaked in the kind of aching nostalgia that is tinged with equal measures of sadness and triumph. On ‘I Don’t Feel So Alive’ Cohen warns: “This could be the last time we get together” and on one hand it’s melancholy but it’s in the spirit of endings that are also beginnings. After finishing the record, Cohen and Dillon hit the road down Australia’s East Coast, from Brisbane to Melbourne, a truck full of instruments and gear following in their wake.
There are two sides to Cohen’s coin though - for every moment of raw, cutting emotion, there’s one of otherworldly ethereality. It’s what makes the record feel timeless, which doesn’t mean old-fashioned - it means that the vocoder on ‘Feelin’ Fine’ and the fuzzy, frenzied drums of ‘Alien Anthem’ don’t feel at odds with the dreamy, ambling melodies and old-school ethos at the heart of Cohen’s songwriting.
‘Full Closure And No Details’ is a definitional labour of love: when Cohen talks about her collaborators she sounds like she’s talking about her family - her bass player and backing singers, ring-ins that recorded after Cohen and Dillon finished up in the country, are ‘dear friends’; and Dillon is her ‘sister’. The songs were written on Cohen’s grandpa’s nylon string guitar and ‘Piano Song’ was recorded on Dillon’s parents’ old, out-of-tune upright, the same piano she learned on as a child."
‘Everything Is Forgotten’, the new album from Methyl Ethel (Perth, Australia), is a vivid, compelling and mysterious creature, all sinewy, curvaceous pop nuggets and enigmatic currents.
"Written and recorded by frontman Jake Webb, the album was brought to life by acclaimed producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Foals), the pair’s collaboration infusing the band’s shoegaze dream-pop palate with electronic and polyrhythmic flourishes allowing Webb’s keening, gender-fluid vocals and searing poetry to take centre stage..."
“‘English Tapas’ was recorded at Steve Mackey’s (Pulp) West Heath Garage studios in London.Jason Williamson discusses ‘English Tapas’: "Andrew walked into some random pub and saw "English Tapas" scrawled on the menu board. Underneath this beautiful coupling of words were it's components, half a scotch egg, cup of chips, pickle and a mini pork pie" It says everything about this fucking place. It's comedy, it’s make do, it's ignorant and above all, it's shit"
New project from Bambooman and UK MC King Kashmere.
"Bambooman has been stirring the pot the past months with his debut ‘Feel EP’ for Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Records, gaining support from the likes of Boilerroom, Gilles Peterson and Benji B, whilst also releasing 2 cassettes on his own Health imprint from his more experimental alter-alias Grouphums, alongside a release from gloopy synth wizard Jakoby- both championed by Tom Ravenscroft and NTS Radio’s Beatrice Dillon and Tim Parker.
To proclaim King Kashmere as a Hip-Hop veteran would be to misrepresent the true genius of the artist. Although in physicality, he has been around for many years, he has in turn shown himself in many different forms and appears to be on a constant journey of musical evolution and self-exploration, with no signs of slowing down. Most notable, his recent collaborative project with producer Dr Zygote (aka The Maghreban) as Strange U, having released on the prolific Eglo records as well as cult UK label High Focus. Strange U have also appeared on a number of tracks with long-time friend and collaborator Jehst, for his YNR label.
Bambooman navigates us through audible portals and wormholes of unknown futures, made from alien textures, wonky structures and grey matter grooves, whilst King Kashmere acts as our metamorphic tour guide, casting spells of godly provocation that reflect on our doomed society and its impending apocalypse.
The record takes a familiar format of ‘producer and MC’ and twists, fragments and transports it into a new dimension of sonic exploration, whilst retaining a sharp tongue of current social commentary - a perfect articulation of the Health mission statement and a worthy benchmark for future releases.”
Finland’s promo bass music producer juggles footwork, drill and ice cold, cinematic electronics on his first new Desto EP since since his Fang Lillies link-up with Twwth for Signal Life.
His first solo outing in three years packs six cuts of squeaky clean but rude bass mutations, strafing from weightless footwork pressure in Flames thru to the percolated choral voices and crisp snap of Pulse Cathedral and what almost sounds like Derrick May doing juke in Don’t Lose Yourself.
Flipside, he hits the mark like TeeBee gone footwork with the slick Reese surges and technoid clarity of 504 Gateway Timeout, cutting sideways into the Acre or Visionist-alike designs of Do I Look Like I Give A Shit and then kills it dead, Salem hardstyles with Immortality.
A great deal has changed in the four years that've passed since 2012's Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed Why?s orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point.
"It's significant that this is the first fully home-recorded WHY? album since the project's 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf's studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. But the biggest transformation is a bit subtler. After years of eying his world, in part, with a cynical squint, Wolf here learns a new mode. While Moh Lhean never stoops to outright optimism, it chronicles our hero finding peace in the unknowing, trading the wry smirk for a holy shrug, and looking past corporeal pain for something more cosmic and, rest assured, equally weird.
A low tone opens the album on “This Ole King” as acoustic pluck and upright bass form a Western bedrock beneath Wolf’s fragile voice. But as the song pushes on, the playing gets brighter and the vocal becomes a mantra-like hum inspired by Ali Farka Touré’s blues, before rolling into a second part rich with chiming keys and twisting harmony— Brian Wilson’s kaleidoscopic vision of pop. Moh Lhean’s gorgeously psychedelic closer, “The Barely Blur” with Son Lux, puzzles over the nature of existence.
But rather than leave us with the macabre chill of death, as many a WHY? LP has, the song dissolves into the infinite—the sound of the Big Bang. Tracks: This Ole King, Proactive Evolution, Easy, January February March, One Mississippi, The Longing Is All, George Washington, The Water, Consequence Of Nonaction, The Barely Blur."
Detroit electro-techno physicist, Eric Dulan a.k.a. DJ Bone weighs in an overproof debut album of ballistic, mutant grooves as Differ-Ent for his ardent supporters at Bristol’s Don’t Be Afraid.
As the first Detroit DJ that these ears ever caught in action, Dulan’s style and sound are daed close to our heart, and thankfully they’re in full effect on his new mission statement, It’s Good To Be Differ-Ent. Scaling between futurist jit, pumping techno and whip-ready electro hydraulics, it’s arguably one of the smartest, sharpest and deadly artist portraits we’ve heard from the 313 in this decade.
It’s a supremely energetic testament to his skills and instinct as one of the world’s most electrifying DJs, and thusly primed for any ‘floor worth its sweat. But likewise, the sense of soul and passion that Dulan juices from every minute of the record translates just as easily to crosstown-weaving headphone mooches as it does to home listening and stamping your ground at the rave.
Most intriguing to us are the clutch of coiled, off-centre electro cuts strewn across the three plates: namely the lushly tempestuous opener Inhabit Tense and sleek mechanics of Compute Her on the 1st; the seismic shimmy of Motive Hate Shun on the 2nd; and especially the majestic, romantic pressure of I’m Differ-Ent or the lost Urban Tribe vibe in A Calm Bliss on the last plate.
But that’s only half the story. The other half packs a type of direct, to-the-Bone techno and house that seldom heard nowadays, and definitely not with this kind of style and force. We’re talking proper killer, synthy drama in Marvel Less, and fanged, serpentine tribal techno on Met Allergic Flew Antsy or Drum Addict, thru to the physics defying balance of below-kelvin techno and heart-warming strings on Gem In Eyes, with a ripe stripe of funked-up Detroit trance in Fasten & Shun, before it all comes together in the most thrilling way on his mutant banger Laser Eyes.
In case you’re under any illusion: this is a massive album!
Modern ambient maestro Jonny Nash returns with a diaristic suite of shimmering, golden recordings made between his travels in Bali and back home in England, throughout 2016.
As with every release Nash graced in the last few years, from the Gaussian Curve LPs with Gigi Masin and Marco Sterk to his splits with Suzanne Kraft and a sublime string of solo sides, Eden glistens with a rare allure that pays testament to the artist’s heightened sound sensitivity and near ineffably sophisticated vibe.
In Eden Jonny finds his soul somewhere between a gong bath, avant-jazz minimalism and 4th world new age, at times recalling a slightly slackened version of Elodie’s sublime tension and at others recalling the drifting scents of K. Leimer’s early work, but with an opiated smudge which is not familiar to either of them, yet distinctly unique to the seductive, quietly radiant aura of Eden.
Grey area explorations from Berlin’s Grebenstein, lowering the tone for Samurai Horo after a pair of outings on Downwards.
Entrenched in the soggiest no mans lands between gothic industrial, knackered techno and prolapsed D&B, the Gloss EP tilts in with the decidedly matte, arid tone of its titular opener, bleeding into the slow and sombre strings and slurried subs of Self, and keeps you down there with the Mohammad-like bass strokes and sepulchral ambience of Self (Version) and the suspension-testing pressure of Loss.
Sam Binga and Om Unit regroup on their BUNIT label with four rugged slowfast variations harnessing traces of boogie, jungle, acid and juke c. 85/170bpm.
The first three are all cut loud and heavy for club function, taking in Optimist Prime’s simmering swagger and the lurching acid jungle of 2000 Dogs up top, and the brassy mutation of B-More, Juke and jungle in Up and Under, but the best is saved for last with a messed up sort of psychedelic dubstep excursion called Baby Steps.
Stunning split release between Maurizio Bianchi, godfather of the Italian industrial noise scene, and Abul Mogard, the much loved and hyperstitious synthesist, conjuring a spellbinding testament to the transcendent and transportive energies of electronic music.
Although appearing to starkly contrast on the surface, both artist’s work patently shares a lust for the suggestive abstraction of raw current and its pareidolia-like capacity to generate rich and uncanny emotional responses from the end user.
On the A-side, Maurizio Bianchi serves the obfuscated, coruscating atmosphere of Nervous Hydra; a 17 minute piece of sunken, desiccated harmonic structures and warped greyscale tones rinsed with ET radio signals and distant percussion that recall the sound of embers landing on tinfoil or snow. It evokes the experience of being caught in a quietly raging whiteout with only a dying fire for company, or equally a sense of subaquatic, amniotic serenity prior to being evacuated into a much colder world.
Listeners can trust that the Italian artist’s first new work in several years is faithful to his ever-uncompromising oeuvre, but there’s also a tantalisingly elusive sense of redemption buried deep in there which marks it out from the rest of his canon and close to the work of his antecedents such as Kevin Drumm and Jim Haynes.
In that piece’s tempestuous wake, Abul Mogard brings a sense of soothing, glacial calm with All This Has Passed Forever on the B-side.
For 16 blissed minutes, Mogard spells out a nostalgic fantasy in creamy strokes of Farfisa organ and Serge modular recorded at EMS studios, Stockholm, and later combined with field recordings to elicit a wistfully widescreen paean to his days on the workshop floor accompanied by the harmonious drones and cacophony of heavy machinery.
No matter the piece’s provenance, though; it’s simply a sublime example of Abul Mogard’s gift for illusive, suspenseful ambient music which has seen his previous releases sky-rocket in 2nd hand value since their earliest, sold-out editions.
It's a beautiful set of ostensibly contrasting yet subtly, similarly spirited pieces that speak to the mystery and enigma of electronic music’s tortured, searching and romantic soul in equal measure...
UK techno boss Sigha packages powerful 2nd album for Token some five years and a dozen releases since Living With Ghosts appeared on Hotflush.
Classically skooled yet contoured and rendered with up-to-the-minute production values, Metabolism lands at the lonely forefront of techno proper, skulking between dystopian, melancholic and ecstatic moods in eleven variations, some of them playing to convention, some of them pushing that prime.
It’s at its best when dealing with physical matter, as in the melted girder torque of Down at the front, or with the tornado simulation buried into the clubbing kicks of Interior, whilst the album’s most lucent highlight, Black Massing finds the right balance of rolling pressure and thizzing high-register atmospheres.
Following up their acclaimed debut, Thought For Food, The Lemon of Pink was the album that cemented the Books as a pioneering musical force. It would become their biggest-selling album and still stands as perhaps the most beloved album in the Books' brilliant catalog.
"As with the recently reissued Thought For Food, The Lemon of Pink is repackaged with dazzling new artwork and expanded toinclude lyrics for every song for the first time ever. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, The Lemon of Pinknow boasts a warmth and clarity that surprisingly reveals an increased harmonic depth."
dBridge tramples big foot rasta style on a halfstep murder for Youngster’s boxfresh Sentry Records.
A-side; he anchors the objecting rasta samples of Fashion Dread with piledriving snares and gut-emptying subs, executing his functions with authentikal pressure. B-side; Digital Dread sharpens up with hollow-tipped snares pinning a billowing, frankly fucking overweight, subbass into place for the dance.
Exemplary, psychedelic D&B swerve from a possibly unlikely source; NYC-via-Washington DC’s 1432R, home to Afro-American and Outernational smarts from Mikael Seifu, Dawit Eklund, Ocobaya.
As far as debut introductions go, RBCHMBRS’ Estrella EP is like some super elaborate handshake that doesn’t finish until the record stops, by which time you’re sparked out, wide-eyed and wondering; what the f**k just happened?
Like one of the more rabid cuts from Demdike Stare or Turinn’s new LP has been short-circuited by Orphan Drift and dubbed-up by SKRSINTL, all three cuts run the maddest, headiest vibes; going headlong into the echoplex with scything filters and stuttering edits in Estrella, then with severely messed up, hyper punctuation in Another, before cutting shades deeper with fractured 2-step patterns and relentless chops recalling Macc & dgoHn in A’Roving.
22 years since its original release in 1995, 'On Avery Island' gets a vinyl reissue.
"Fire Records re-press Neutral Milk Hotel’s explosive 1996 debut ‘On Avery Island’. Jeff Mangum's songs are cryptic and crazed, his ideas fast and furious, and together they force the home-recording concept out of the basement and into a brave new world, a fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording. Full of rapid-fire wordplay with true and heartfelt experimentation, both ambitious and eclectic, it's not hard to see why this has been such an influential album. Part of the fabled Elephant 6 collective, Neutral Milk Hotel won over many a music critic with this cult classic.
The band are recognized as one of the most influential alternative acts to come out of the mid-90s and sowed the seeds for everything from anti-folk to the likes of Arcade Fire, Caribou and even Franz Ferdinand."