Nina Kraviz clocks up some proper overtime with a pelting remix of Marie Davidson’s ‘Workaholic’
A massive highlight of Marie’s ‘Working Class Woman’ album, ‘Workaholic Paranoid Bitch’ is here ramped to a breakneck, unyielding 150bpm with mutated vocals primed to cause utter havoc in the best raves.
Forming a sharp contrast with her ‘Emblem’ single and ratcheting levels of expectation for her debut album, ‘Stay With The Trouble (For Donna) reveals a far more rugged, driven side of Colin Self
The relatively simple inclusion of a hiccupping vocal cut-up wildly differentiates these tunes, with the vocal lending a playful EDM pop appeal to the original ‘Stay With The Trouble (For Donna)’, whereas the stripped instrumental feels for darker and steely without it, and totally primed for sweaty wall banging in the darkroom
Champions of melancholy, Low return on Sub Pop with 'Ones and Sixes' - their 11th studio album. It was co-produced by the band and engineer BJ Burton at Justin Vernon ov Bon Iver's April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and features contributions from Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.
AG returns to his Groove label with Sam Binga in tow for a fruity mix of Afro-latin disco and earthier, bass-driven swerve
Going solo, Addison Groove curls out the over 25’s kinks of ‘F1NK’, before Bam lends some bass weight to the B-side’s swingeing syncopation.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry with Mad Professor, dubbing out a digickally-inflected sound in 1989 for Ariwa
Cutting loose at Mad Professor’s Ariwa Studio in London, the pair spin out their drum machine driven riddims in playful style and fashion, riddled with nuff squirrelly FX and red-eyed synths
Shalt binds emosh post-rock/‘tronica and zeitgeist-surfing club music on ‘Seraphim’.
Check for the sweeping, crushing melodramatic sound design of ‘Preserved In Amber’, the bestial torsion of ‘Fleeting’, and the schizzy switch between cooled-out, in-the-pocket dembow bumps and post-rock angst in ‘Charred, Cleansed’.
Incredible recordings of tropical birdsong from Venezuela, made by French ornithologist Jean C. Roche c. 1969 and often referenced by David Toop
“Sub Rosa present a reissue of Jean C. Roché's Birds Of Venezuela, originally released in 1973. The bird on the cover is a potoo; this metal-looking bird is one of the sonorous curiosities of this mad nature, the sound that he produces essentially is a death song that David Toop heard on his 1978 expedition, but was unable to record, amazement playing its role.
Jean C. Roché on his recordings: "The bird songs which I had recorded in the West Indies in 1969 made me inclined to find out more about those of the nearby South American continent, and convinced me, moreover, that musically speaking, they possessed an unquestionable originality in comparison with those of Africa and Europe. I therefore decided to carry out a series of ornithological trips on this continent, starting in the north with Venezuela. With this in mind, I disembarked at Caracas on 27th May, 1972. The unusual musical volume of this tropical country made its impact known to me on my arrival in town, where the unbearably shrill chirping of the cicadas overwhelmed me each time I passed under a tree. At night fall, around even the meanest of ditches filled by the daily rain, myriads of toads and frogs struck up a concert, which, through its sheer intensity, muffled all other surrounding noises. When I penetrated the forest, I could hear bird species literally by the dozen and individuals by the hundred, all calling and singing together at dawn and at dusk."
David Toop on Jean C. Roché: "Jean-Claude Roché (b. May 11, 1931) is a French ornithologist and wildlife field recordist. Roché recorded bird songs worldwide for over 30 years and has released over 130 records out of his recordings. Among many of his amazing records, I came across Birds of Venezuela, a beautifully produced LP of birdsong. I began to plan a trip to Amazonas, to record for myself the unearthly song of potoos and Yanomami shamanism."
Deep contemplative jazz album from South african artist Bheki Mseleku - first time on vinyl!
"Celebration’s release trumpeted the emerging dawn of South Africa’s epochal changes. Sainted and blessed, Bheki Mseleku appeared as the herald of a new era, a prophet of rebirth and reconnection. This is a work signalling transition and change, and a sign of a South African music that was properly reconnected with global currents – a music that could journey far beyond the stifling combination of exile and oppression in which it had been bound.
Recognising Bheki as a kindred spirit to her late husband, Alice gave him the saxophone mouthpiece that John Coltrane had used during the recording of A Love Supreme. Coltrane was a permanent touchstone for the pianist, one of the few who Bheki felt had the same esoteric and spiritual focus as himself: ‘the only musicians I know of who were deeply into this were Coltrane, and Pharoah and Sun Ra’, he told an interviewer in 1992.
While the idioms of post-Coltrane spirit jazz are certainly to the fore on Celebration, they are energised by a swift and original musical vision, quite specific to Bheki’s music, in which whole musical systems – the marabi and mbhaqanga jazz of the townships, American jazz, European classical, and more – are seamlessly mended together by the pianist’s quicksilver musical sensibility and legendary technical ability.
Celebration was originally released on compact disc and cassette in the middle of 1992 by World Circuit. It was Bheki’s first statement under his own name, and the first recorded presentation of his personal musical vision. This vision had been tempered across two decades which had combined intense professional playing with profound personal trials in both the spiritual and earthly domains, all set against the greater backdrop of South African political turmoil and exile in Europe.
The band brought together musicians hailing from three signally important points within the interconnected, communicating spaces of the Black Atlantic continuum – North America, post-colonial Britain, and southern Africa. With them, Mseleku created the first major South African-led musical statement to be produced after the sufferance of exile was ended. The ultimate and most egregious remnant of the centuries-long colonial era, apartheid, was finally being dismantled as they played. At this critical point, Mseleku’s musical spirit work, channelled from a higher source, spoke of a time to come where all divisions might be transcended by a greater unity."
’Tomb Machines’ is a survey of work by John Powell-Jones, a Manchester-based artist whose gruesome and psychedelic illustrations have stained the sleeves of tapes and records by Moon Duo and for the Reel Torque, Diagonal and Opal Tapes labels, as well as great posters for the Faktion club events
Documenting and expanding upon ’Tomb Machines’, a body of work exhibited in February 2018 at Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Space: Great Northern, this boxset of the same name contains the first significant overview and analysis of John’s output to date, which covers a cross-section of multidisciplinary work in the fields of illustration, sculpture, screen-printing, video and music, and often simultaneously.
Without getting bogged down in art speak, John’s phantasmagoric imagination has long spoken to us on an intuitive level, consistently coming up with images that summon a sense of the eldritch, dreamlike and grotesque that’s hard to shake once encountered. In the book, Sara Jaspan’s essay provides a finer, informed grasp on the conditions and ideas that make up John’s warped weltanschauung, evidenced in the selection of physical curios to fondle and ogle over.
But perhaps of most interest to people on these pages is a red C40 containing some of the strongest music that John has put to tape. In its gurning, curdled drones and alchemical electro-acoustic atmospheres redolent of everything from Wolf Eyes and Aaron Dilloway to Gruppo at their most abstract, we possibly find the best way into his noumenal gooch between waking and dreamlike dimensions.
Porridgy breaks and skudgy techno from The Maghreban, backed with an ace, meter-messing remix by Batu running at c. 160bpm
‘Monster VIP’ is a slompy shot of breakbeat hardcore from the echoplex, whereas ‘Carpet Bombing’ traces undulating techno with zig-zagging psych-funk synth squirms.
Batu’s remix is the best thing on offer, making a rare foray into higher tempi with an initially tentative, but ultimately roguish joyride consolidating ghetto-tech, footwork and rolling UK bass styles with inimitable style.
Mad album of mutant EBM-in-dub from Vanligt Folk, pursuing the absurdities of their Palle Bondo’ 12” right down the rabbit hole - reminding us of that killer first Closer Musik album from the turn of the century.
Vanligt Folk, translating to ‘Common People’ in Swedish, here pay tribute to the ‘Hambo’ - a folk dance popular with your average, working class Jo(nas) in Sweden at the turn of the last century. But rather than recreate late 19th C. music, they explore a definition of rave and body music as folk music that’s very close to our own hearts, making fine use of primitive electronics, drum machines and nonsensical vocals in a unique form of social commentary that strives to subvert notions of nationalism, race and tradition.
The vibe therein is blunt yet phantasmic, with ruddy grooves screwing EBM to dancehall tempo and loaded up with an absurd range of voices, resulting in strong highlights in their percolated stepper ‘(O)Hambo’, or to darker degrees int he serpentine shimmy of ‘Dina Drömmar lever’, while ’TKO’ recalls Powell on mogadon, and ‘Grisebassen’ feels like ÉLG attempting to stoke a rave that doesn’t want to get going.
Four cuts of jacking Chicago acid inna London style from Downfall Recordings
Consequence follows their role on the label’s first V/A EP with the chunky but streamlined pressure of ‘They’re At It Again’, and Type-303 pursues their 12” for I Love Acid with a ruddy bit of acid juice in ’Acid Will Survive’.
The Auditor works the offbeat with natty swagger on ‘Get Down’, and Nuff Trip really makes his little grey box sing ’n squelch with ‘Free Your Soul’.
Volume five of the killer Britxotica! series, looking this time at 16 super rare and briliantly bonkers latin and percussive pop cues from the wild British Isles! All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle .
"Britxotica! (pronounced “Britzotica”) neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles British musical scene where famed UK composers as well as unknown singers and bandleaders threw convention on holiday and went wild wild wild! Put together by Jonny Trunk with DJ / tastemaker and Smashing nighclub legend Martin Green, these groundbreaking new compilations shine new light on lost and forgotten corners of British culture and sound.
For this, Part Five of our planned Britxotica! series we head to lively latin tinged dancefloors where Brits could cha cha cha to the KIrchin band, “Jump In The Line” with Frank Holder and Mambo with Ido or Don. This killer collection of British dance obscurities brings us lively sounds from the rarest UK record bins, including this time an amazing cover version of the legendary loungecore hit “House Of Bamboo” plus the stunning “Jonny One Note” by Ted Heath, the track that originally introduced John Craven’s Newsround. To sum up, this is another exciting, wild and occasionally bonkers compilation by Jonny Trunk and Martin Green, two of the UKs most wild record collectors. Also, there are men in underpants on the sleeve, What’s not to like?"
While their name night suggest a bad post-dubstep experiment, Marshstepper is actually one of the U.S. underground’s most revered live acts, here revolving core members JS Aurelius and Nick Nappa playing at Berlin Atonal 2016, flanked by Coil’s Drew McDowell, Juan Mendez a.k.a. Silent Servant, and Jonas Rönnberg a.k.a. Varg
Following records for Downwards USA and a fistful of original and live recordings via JS Aurelius’ Ascetic House label, their massed performance at Atonal is an ill-minded exorcism of guttural vox, roiling techno effluence and sheets of abstract electronics that tumbles down rabbitholes and crops up at sublime junctures, only to continue misstepping on the most acrid, foul and fucked-up ground between ritualistic, primordial electronics and white noise rage. In other words; good stuff.
A “Lost” Aegean club hit from D.E., the alias of Akis, whose ‘Into The Light’  album inspired the name of Greece’s smartest reissue label
Recorded in 1992, ‘Giant Step (Club Mix)’ is a sultry beauty marrying New Jack Swing funk with brooding synths in a way recalling early Wild Bunch or cuts from that Pablo’s Eye reissue on Stroom.
However, the B-side’s ‘Giant Step - Demo Version’ is the payload for us. Recorded in 1989, it’s more stripped down and edging on a sort of slinky, crooked new age boogie, pan pipes and all.
Music From Memory present a gorgeous, spiked, fuzzy peach of a compilation focused on the unsung downtown NYC dude whose only solo album inspired the label's moniker. Drawn from a handful of rare cassettes and the aforementioned LP, 'I Was Crossing A Bridge' fathoms oceanic, phasing string drifts alongside pulsing minimal drum computer workouts, avant-garde sound poems and unplaceable cinematic synth scenes; framing a widescreen sonic vision that was richly and inevitably informed by its proximity to the locus of punk, jazz and experimental music circa 1983-1985. During this period he worked with luminary musicians such as Rashied Ali, Byard Lancaster, Peter Zummo and Yousef Yancey, and participated in a range of performances - from spoken word to punk shows at CBGB's and The Mudd Club. And, in the best sense, he transmuted all that experience into a idiosyncratic sound perhaps best considered in terms of No wave's anything goes aesthetic yet guided by a meditative sensibility clear to hear in the shimmering zither flock of 'Deep Felt Music' or the melancholy synth inquisition, 'Inferno - Part 3', whilst the ruddy boogie groove of 'I'm At That Party Right Now' and the corkscrewing electro-funk swerve of 'Cross-Court (Get It)' prove he was anything but po-faced. Fans of Arthur Russell or K. Leimer's more experimental works are bound to fall hard for this set - a huge recommendation!
'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.
The beautifully enchanting Tower of Silence is Music From Memory’s penultimate release of 2016, compiling a number of hard-to-find releases by Milanese artist Roberto Musci, crammed with worldly fusions of far-flung instrumentation, scales and vibes absorbed and transcribed from his travels across India, Asia and Africa between 1974-1985.
Lifting tracks from Musci’s debut album, The Loa of Music as well as a number of collaborations with Giovanni Venosta, including their UK Grammy-nominated Water Messages on Desert Sand, this set forms a sort of oneiric travelogue or mystic reminiscence of Musci’s genteel journeys diffracted thru the prism of then-cutting edge technology.
Throughout Tower of Silence he effectively speaks in his own musical tongue, consolidating a world of sonic dialects into his own language, from which he spins a range of mesmerising yarns encompassing synth-fringed folk music, psychedelic drift and ritual atmospheres, which, when decrypted, find strong parallels in the related vocabularies of Coil, Jon Hassell, David Toop or Rex Ilusivii, ultimately hinting that they were all sourcing from the same rhizome of mycelia.
Killer compilation from Honest Jon's focussing on the dancehall vocal and dubs that the Unity Sounds label and sound system dropped to mad effect in the mid eighties. Recorded by a cast of talented amateurs on a Casio keyboard and four-track recorder before being tested on the Unity soundsystem...
The album was recorded by the Unity Sound label workers after the introduction of the early digital sound system, later supplemented by vocals and overdubs in the studio.
Genius throughout with spot-on mastering from Moritz von Oswald at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Informative liner notes, lush high quality sleeve makes this as essential a comp as 'Darker Than Blue'.
Legendary material, reissued with love.
The master is in session.
Johannes Auvinen a.k.a. Tin Man presents an expanded edition of his virulent début album, retitled Acid Acid Acid, with the extra Acid referring to a vintage batch of three track tacked on the end, including the ratty grind of Heated Acid, the rolling glyde of Crisp and Cozy Acid (ooooh, see what he did there?!), and the rudely slompy Jack It Acid. We hardly need to say it, but the original 10 tracks are all Class A’s, too.
Essential 303 business!