Temporal is a meditation on the transitory and fragile nature of existence. Much of the music that comprises the album was originally written to accompany theatre and dance productions. “The initial inspiration was more external than internal, in that many of these pieces began as a response to a text or a choreographic concept,” Julia explains, “but they all seemed to be coming from the same emotional world and it made sense to weave them together into a record.”
"After the threat of violent release on previous album Asperities, Temporal’s relationship to the physical world manifests itself in a more organic, human sound. The electronic manipulations are subtler, with Julia sampling voices from a theatre production and processing them into unrecognisable textures: ghosts of the source material. “I included the processed voices to acknowledge the genesis of the music and also because I wanted to incorporate vocals in a way that turned voice into texture, and blurred the lines between sonic elements.”
Follow up EP to 2017’s The New Monday, featuring a remix from Detroit produces Andrés.
"One year after Michigan-based artist Zach Saginaw released his third album as Shigeto, a genre-blending Detroit love letter called The New Monday, he returns with another eclectic display of affection for the musical community that makes Motor City music tick. The four new tracks on his Weighted EP, including a sumptuous remix from Detroit house luminary Andrés, continue to reﬁne and augment the patchwork of jazz, hip-hop, and electronics that Shigeto has built his catalog with.
But far be it from Saginaw to repeat himself. Whether it's the heavy, disjointed beats of "Fight Club" or the vibey house roller "The Line Up (feat. Ian Fink)," Weighted drops as many low-key surprises as it does smokey grooves. A track as blown-out and deceptively simple as "Ooh Ooh" might at ﬁrst feel like an anomaly coming from Shigeto—once the cacophonous production settles in, however, it clearly bears the mark of a master producer ﬂexing new muscles. And that's true of Weighted as a whole. Saginaw is pushing his music into fresh spaces, forming imaginative shapes while keeping his focus on the city and culture that so deeply inspires him."
An epic marriage made in synth heaven, Johnny Jewel reworks classics from Zola Jesus’ 10 year wide catalogue of gothic synth-pop for Sacred Bones, jointly released with Italians Do It Better to coincide with appearance of ‘Wiseblood (Johnny Jewel remix)’ in the new Steve Carrell vehicle
“This EP by Zola Jesus sees Nika Roza Danilova revisiting a pair of songs from her 2017 album, Okovi, alongside prolific composer and musician Johnny Jewel. In a nod to the maxi singles of the 1980s, the album features multiple remixed versions of the two songs, "Ash to Bone" and "Wiseblood." The track "Wiseblood (Johnny Jewel Remix)" is featured in the soundtrack to the film Beautiful Boy, directed by Felix Van Groeningen and starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell.”
Roy Montgomery channels Leonard Cohen via a Suzuki Omnichord, then paints a glorious instrumental panorama with A Silver Mt. Zion violinist Jessica Moss, on two intoxicating 12 minute songs for the exquisitely presented Okraïna label...
"My first deep exposure to Leonard Cohen was the "Bird on a Wire" documentary by Tony Palmer, which was, against the odds, broadcast on public television in New Zealand around 1974 or 1975. At age 15 or 16 I thought it was too dark. A few years later, in the late '70s, I wanted things darker. The first Cohen LP was very clever but a little too "up."
The second was too public and political for me. Songs of Love and Hate seemed more honest, more about personal failure. I liked it, although Cohen tended to disown it, especially “Dress Rehearsal Rag” and “Last Year's Man”, neither of which he performed live later on. I like “Last Year's Man” for the same reason I like Nick Drake's “Poor Boy”. It wallows and parodies at the same time. I came across the Suzuki Omnichord OM-27 because it was mentioned in relation to another Canadian, Joni Mitchell. It looked like a mystery box of potentially very good or very bad sounds, like a Bontempi chord organ customized for space travel in a Stanley Kubrick film. Irresistible...
I was fortunate to meet Jessica Moss because of the 12 hour Drone event at Le Guess Who Festival in Utrecht in November 2017. I thought it would be cool to jam with some of the other people scheduled to play their own pieces so I asked the organisers, Bob Helleur and Jacob Hagelaars, to sound out the other droners a few weeks before the festival. Jessica replied, I sent a sample piece, and we talked, more than rehearsed, a day before the performance. We did our piece live and then some months later I sent her a recorded piece to which she added her magical playing. - Roy Montgomery”
Zinging, absolutey deadly 7 Track EP from Mica Levi on her return to DDS, featuring three tracks with Tirzah (including the much sought-after Go), plus a Demdike Stare Edit.
DDS render a precious haul of Tirzah / Mica Levi zingersl, ramped up by Demdike Stare's dextrous edit of I Dare You to chase up 2014’s acclaimed Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill LP for mutant dancefloors and sun-kissed headphone journeys.
Smitten by the hugely addictive, brilliantly slippery 2-step twister on Go (there's been a video online for this track since 2011) Demdike suggested the cut for release on DDS, and were subsequently privileged to peruse the unique space-time folds and dance/pop sampledelia of Mica’s archive. As they also found out whilst compiling her last solo LP; it’s a deeply rewarding experience to explore the Mica’s output: immersing themselves in her peerless world of refractive colours, sawn-off textures and teasing arrangements.
They’ve emerged with a joyously unhinged party-ready EP, traversing the mercurial 2-step viscosity of Mica & Tirzah’s Go, to their addictively sticky ohrwurm, Dare You, and the free cosmic pop whorl of trip6love, before taking in the clanking ragga jag of More Red with Brother May, a.k.a. the London-based MC who voiced Mica’s Fact Mix 444 in 2014.
The cherry on top is a crucial Demdike edit of I Dare You, an extended serve of the original. Jus so good...
Cherry-picked disco, hip hop and new wave from John Robie, Loose Joints, Peech Boys, Material and James White & The Blacks, a.o., selected to accompany Tim Lawrence’s book ‘Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor 1980-1983’
Some total zingers inside, including George Kranz’ ohrwurm ‘Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz)’, a frisky August Darnell mix of ‘Contort Yourself’ by James White & The Blacks, and the crazy amazing instrumental version of ‘Pop Your Funk’ by Arthur Russell, placing a mean Buchla synth line over a quick trottin’ disco beat - original copies of the rare original 7” go for a pretty penny!
The video installation Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is one of the best known and loved works by Turner Prize-winning artist and Northern English emigre, Mark Leckey. It's a hugely influential piece, and the soundtrack itself has been sampled endlessly, most notably by Jamie XX on “All Under One Roof Raving”. It was the first release on The Death of Rave label back in 2012 and is now finally back in print, this time on clear vinyl.
A phantasmic and transcendent collage of meticulously sourced and rearranged footage and sound samples spanning three decades of British subculture - from Northern Soul thru '80s Casuals and pre-CJB Rave - it may be considered an uncanny premonition of the Hauntological zeitgeist which has manifested in virulent sections of UK electronic dance and pop culture since the early '00s.
This record severs the sonic aspect from the moving image, offering a new perspective on what rave culture maven and esteemed author Simon Reynolds calls "a remarkable piece of sound art in its own right." Detached from its visual indicators, Leckey's amorphous, acephalic cues are reframed as an ethereal, Burroughsian mesh of VHS idents, terrace chants, fragmented field recordings and atrophied samples cut with his own half-heard drunken mumbles.
At once recalling and predating the eldritch esthetics of Burial or The Caretaker; it's an elegiac lament for an almost forgotten spirit; an abstracted obituary to the rituals, passions and utopian ideals of pre-internet, working class nightlife fantasias, now freeze-framed forever, suspended in vinyl.
It's backed with an edit of another soundtrack to a Mark Leckey video installation: 'GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction' (2010). In stark contrast, the original video features a black Samsung Bottom Freezer Refrigerator stood in front of a green screen infinity cyc, recounting its contents, thoughts and actions as narrated by the artist in a radically transformed cadence. Taken as a wry comment on cybernetics and the ambient ecology of household appliances which permeate our daily lives, it's an unsettling yet compelling piece of sound design whose subtly affective dynamics reflect the underlying dystopic rhetoric with visceral and evocative precision. The piece has since been used in a collaboration with Florian Hecker for the Push and Pull exhibition at Tate Modern in 2011.
Rachel Zeffira’s (Cat’s Eyes) score to Sebastian Gutierrez’s ‘Elizabeth Harvest’.
"Zeffira’s ‘Elizabeth Harvest’ score contains elements of all of her musical influences, from her choral and orchestral arranging to her oboe solos and contemporary songwriting. Erik Satie’s sarabande becomes an underlying musical theme, which gradually becomes more unhinged as the score progresses. Other characters feature yet more experimental themes, where pieces were chopped, rebuilt and manipulated."
Seminal sci-fi/industrial unit Black Rain yield their last side for Blackest Ever Black with the charred post-punk basslines and industrial wasteland panoramas of the ‘Computer Soul’ EP
“Computer Soul: the final part of a sequence of Blackest Ever Black releases that began with 2011’s Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95, and a first glimpse of the project’s richly imagined future.
For this outing Stuart Argabright (Ike Yard, Dominatrix, Death Comet Crew) is joined by BR founder member Shinichi Shimokawa as well as more recent recruits, Soren Roi and Zanias (vocalist on 2015’s Dark Pool), with Otto Lindholm guesting on double bass – making for the most most group-oriented iteration of Black Rain since its earliest days. Sonically too, there is a sense of evolution but also of coming full circle: the cyberpunk techno of Argabright’s celebrated William Gibson soundtracks (compiled on Now I’m Just A Number) and extrapolations of Dark Pool’s neuromantic yearning cut with glimpses of the thrash and industrial rock energies that animated Black Rain’s incendiary live shows – and sought-after tapes for Kombinat and TPOS – in the early 90s.
More than ever, Black Rain is propelled by a powerful science-fiction/science-fact It’s not news that many of these works’ most powerful predictions and prophesies have come to pass - the replicants are already living among us - so Computer Soul projects further into several possible unforeseen futures, its events “set” in the second half of the current century, fifty or so years after those of Dark Pool. There are no more hyperpopulated metropolises….the majority have fled, those that remain are in small number. This is the ‘City of Atomic Ghost’ – cold, dubwise, stalking-panther techno, evoking a world of empty apartments devices and appliances still plugged in but running lonely without their owners...a refrigerator greeting no one with their favorite music track…Amid the bodyhammer beats and gothic string-stabs of ‘Blood Rain & Star Jelly’, the ravers/breakers/lovers propel themselves towards oblivion…asking what happens, and where to do we go, when the dance rages on past 130BPM, 160BPM, 200BPM? On the other side of oblivion, is there something else? Another time, another place, a river flowing in ancient times…Where things began or, for some, have begun again.
Where has everyone got to? Gone but perhaps not gone. Oblivion beckons - always does - but on the other side of that, something else... another time, another place, a river….and a new way of living.”
Pioneering french electro-acoustic research group INA-GRM survey 70 years of groundbreaking electronic composition highlighting similarities and distance travelled since the late 1940s
The 9 pieces range from a 1949 work by Pierre Henry, who co-founded the GRMC (Groupe de recherché de musique concrète) with Pierre Schaeffer, thru to the spellbinding polymetric percussion of Jean Schwarz’s ‘Cloches’ , a sweltering psychedelic workout in Bernard Parmegiani’s ‘Kaleidoscope II (Issu de pour en finer aver le pouvoir d’orphee)’ , the playful pulses of François Bayle’s ‘Polyrythmie (Issu de vibrations composées)’  - a big look for Florian Hecker fans - and, most recently, the psych-pop of ‘Iraq Song’ from Christan Zanési, Fennesz & Mika Vainio’s ‘GRM Experience’ album.
James Blake does melancholy luxe on his 4th album, singing about the tribulations of life in LA over properly American hip-hop/R&B-styled productions featuring guest spots from Travis Scott, Rosalía, André 3000, Moses Sumney and Metro Boomin
Landing the opposite end of the decade to his debut album, and 10 years since he emerged to acclaim with the post-dubstep-defining debut 12”, ‘Assume Form’ is James Blake’s defining opus. In 12 songs it surely outlines why his services are in demand by everyone from Beyoncé and Jay Z to Kendrick Lamar and Oneohtrix Point Never, with the sort of hook-riddled songwriting that could appeal to the whole nuclear family in a marketing man’s fantasy.
At it’s worst, Blake’s lip-wobbling affectations here sound like folksy whimsy for a teen drama soundtrack or a dating service advert for posh people. But at best, on the smudged dembow drums and glassy baubles of his exquisite ‘Barefoot In The Park’ collaboration with Rosalía, or in the chamber-like mesh of classical keys and minimalist hip hop swing on ‘Where’s The Catch’ feat. André 3000, and the warbling introspection of ‘Don’t Miss It’, or his tender ‘Mile High’ slump with Travis Scott, he’s still the sweetest blue-eyed soul boy on road right now.
Craig Clouse has gained notoriety over the years for wide arrays of stylistic moves from longform repetition & noise rock to his more recent dance/disco output on labels like Diagonal, Gangsigns, Rocket Recordings, Load, Rock is Hell, Riot Season and more.
"He’s worked throughout the years with many different collaborators but the list on “Chakin’” is stunning, here Clouse is joined by Ingebrigt HakerFlaten (The Thing, Atomic, Icepick, etc), Pete Simonelli (The Enablers), King Coffey (Butthole Surfers) & Nate Cross (Marriage).
The music on “Chakin’” is true to the spirit of Shit & Shine as we see repetitive loops but with a focus on improvisation overlayed onto the grooves…layers of Wurlizter and Rhodes electric pianos, assorted percussion, acoustic bass and more permeate throughout. Half the album was recorded live in the “Chak” and some may even recognize bits from the amazing Shit & Shine Tuesday Jazz Chat series on YouTube."
One of 2018’s most celebrated sides from hiphop’s experimental/abstract-inclined quarters
Loose and louche one minute, aggy and unhinged the next, invoking the spirit of ODB then scurrying down your lugs like crackbugs, ‘Veteran’ is a fractiously entertaining and inventively expressive album riddled with a red-eyed logic that perhaps makes most sense when consumed with a blunt between your lips.
Christoph De Babalon cuts onto Luke Younger’s Alter with the roiling gloom of ‘Hectic Shakes’, coming in the wake of an operatic link-up with WDIT and the reissue of his gothic jungle opus, ‘If You’re Into, I’m Out of It’, a total classic of its genre.
Intersecting Alter’s wide-ranging tastes from an oblique new angle, ‘Hectic Shakes’ despatches a tempestuous brace of shivering, jabbing and gnashing jungle breaks splayed with Dungeon-style synth motifs in isolationist, cinematic arrangements that fairly fall under Mark Fisher’s idea of a “depressive hedonism”.
Aye, they might not light up the pleasure centres of your average, proper-up-for-it-me raver, but those predisposed to the darkside will surely appreciate the feel of De Babalon’s style most strongly across ‘Hectic Shakes’. From the clash of grand, stygian strings and chattering cenobite breaks in ‘Harakiri’, to the scorched brass fanfare and shadow-dancing ,squat basement impishness of ‘Endless Inside’, and then thru to the pensive poise and acrid synth tone of ‘Raw Mind’, this is prime material for seeing in the end of days, for dancing in the face of annihilation.
Steven Toast returns with a new album of beautiful, surreal and whimsical soundscapes that sound like they could have been commissioned by Ghost Box.
Having spent most of the winter rewatching that fxxcking ridiculous clem fandango 'yesss' clip it's easy to conclude that Berry really is worthy of being called a polymath - and this album is for our money his most enjoyable yet. Fuelled by a bout of insomnia he decided to tackle his condition with a kind fantastical Radiphonic session split into two extended pieces that clock in at 25 minutes a piece, drawing on all manner of faux-haunting atmospherics and psychedelic tropes that recall everything from Broadcast to the spookiest ends of the Finders Keepers soundtrack series.
It's a heartwarming listen fuelled by a kind of open-hearted warmth that's rarely associated with this kind of music - whether you've dipped into Berry's music in the past or not we reckon this is well worthy of your time.
Sardonic chortle jazz featuring “music lover” Stewart Lee. File somewhere prominent (perhaps next to your Lee and Bill Hicks VHS’s) as a talking point for when your friend visits.
“At the invitation of the Exeter based free jazz trio capri-batterie, Stewart Lee spent an hour in a Bristol studio last October improvising words to their spontaneous sounds. These are the unfiltered results, collected as the 'Bristol Fashion' album.”
Thank goodness for Yo La Tengo. They are at the heart of NYC, the city so hurt and angry after 9/11 that we have to bare this horrible war that is shaking our nerves to pieces.
So very timely Yo La Tengo release their gorgeous new album to ease and calm us all into the summer sun. This thirteen track is a treasure trove of avant pop delites. From the Stereolab/Tortoise inflected joy of 'Little Eyes' to the electro waltz balladery blissout of 'Nothing But You and Me', added to in no small part by William Parker's acoustic bass drops.
Other tracks feature members of Parker's many jazz groups, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen and Roy Campbell Jr. Ira and Georgia's vocals resonate like letters written by long departed friends. 'Tiny Birds' is simply beautiful, instrumentals 'Beach Party Tonight', 'Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo' and 'Let's Be Still' are equally genius winding up with a lovely reading of Big Star's 'Take Care'. All the music on this album is blessed and essential.
Shabby chic, ‘80s-style dance jams
“Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP. An immediate follow up to their debut LP Center Parcs, the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. Once more replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro.
With Palmbomen II a.k.a. Kai Hugo, based out and working in Los Angeles, collaborations with Dutch-based partner Betonkust happen less frequently than they should - especially when you acknowledge that they do not use, or record to computers. When they do happen though, their distinctive sonic palette of saturated distortion, and warm melodic wavey house shines through. This time recorded in a bungle somewhere in the Dutch countryside, the two producers have created a concept record about Bart, a local hero and his imagined life in a parallel universe. In this reality, instead of making it in TV, Bart is a successful music producer, the track titles detailing his journey through this new and imagined life. 'Bart Is Alone Again' kicks off the record with its wistful melodies, and harmonic leads, before 'Underground Dance Floor' kicks in with its predominate bassline, and squelching deep-rooted, undercurrents of hardcore. Along Bart’s odyssey there are moments for 'Bart's Jam', an early days Warp Records / Detroit belter; 'Rejected Demo Tape' a downbeat moment of anguish; ending with 'A Series of Bad Decisions,' in which the EP plays out to somber, yet harmonious conclusion.”
Necessary reissue of fiyah South African and Turkish psychedelic jazz funk fusion from 1976, delivered by the ace Matsuli label behind that Ndikho Xaba and The Natives LP
“Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing another forgotten gem of the South African jazz diaspora – the 1976 Istanbul session featuring Johnny Dyani and Okay Temiz fusing deep roots and new routes, integrating folklore and rhythm within an experimental, avant-garde vision of love and life.
Remastered by Frank Merrit at the Carvery, Witchdoctor’s Son is presented as a deluxe gatefold sleeve including new liner notes by Francis Gooding uncovering more of Dyani’s creative collaborations with Temiz. Also included are previously unpublished photographs by Hank O’Neal.
Available for the first time since Yonca Records originally released only 1000 copies in Turkey, this album has remained an elusive and sought after landmark in South African exile Johnny Dyani’s discography.
The recording captures a complex, funky and musically together exploration of folk themes, jazz messages and popular directions. After many years together discovering both South African and Turkish sources, Temiz and Dyani were intimately versed in each other’s traditions. Side one features material arranged by Temiz, and the second has material arranged and composed by Dyani – including a stunning arrangement of Don Cherry’s Elhamdulilhah Marimba with Dyani on piano and voice.”
3rd eye-smudging, lysergic trance music experiments from Brian Close (Georgia), inspired by the Bwiti/Fang people and musical traditions of Gabon, west Central Africa
The first widely available vinyl release on France’s Good Morning Tapes (not counting their pair of micro-run PVC 7” + 10”s), ‘D. Ebando’ yields two extended ritual trance trips meant for use as meditation aids or vision quest guidance.
Using the resonant buzz of the sacred Mougongo - a sorta hybrid single-string instrument and a jews harp usually deployed in Iboga initiations - plus his more familiar arsenal of electronics and percussion, Brian Close effectively picks up where his Georgia track, ‘Mahbunzi Nahgo Pihndi Goes to the Market’ left off, invoking an electro-acoustic play of spirits akin to Rashad Becker’s ‘Traditional Music For Notional Species’ in the curdled slosh of ‘Awating’, and then really opening out into psychedelic space with the Afro-kosmiche trance-portation of ‘Bwicoming’.
Checkmate Savage is the impressive debut album by Glaswegian group The Phantom Band, who emerge from the shadows - having formerly played their gigs with bags over their heads - fashioning an intelligent take on contemporary pop, with more than a hint of krautrock sophistication sneaking into the mix.
'The Howling' actually brings to mind Bonnie 'Prince' Billy in terms of the actual songwriting and vocal melody, but the band forge a sound that verges on outright prog at times, ultimately culminating in an elegaic breakdown sequence at the end, which makes for a curiously deflated way of getting an album started. 'Burial Sounds' launches into a more persistently rock-like aesthetic, establishing swampy, blues-influenced instrumentation alongside droning electronic tones, all leading into the album's first big payoff: 'Folk Song Oblivion', a hard-riffing, tremendousl well-written piece that sets detuned, grinding verse riffs against light, uplifting chorus parts that have a faint suggestion of Pavement about them.
There's a lot of good stuff here and it's often opened up over long song durations, yet never at the listener's expense. For instance, nine-minuter 'Island' finds the band in Will Oldham mode again, although this time there's a hint of Slint's visceral post-rock thrown into the equation. All very good indeed.
Contemporary concrète artist Lionel Marchetti plays the world as an instrument in ‘Jeu De Monde’, a marvellous 6 hour suite of 20 multifaceted compositions giving voice to nature in strange, hyperreal ways, and sure to light up followers of Pierre Henry, Bernard Parmegiani, and Michel Chion. Incredible, absorbing listening.
Drawn from long unavailable editions, reworks and previously unreleased pieces realised between 1991-2018, each CD has been designed as “an audio film which tells a full story” in a strong tradition of modern french art music. The set coincidentally marks 25 years since Marchetti’s first works in this field, since when he’s established himself among Europe’s foremost practitioners of the concrète style forged by PIerres Henry and Schaeffer some 40 years prior.
Using an intricate system of synths, analog and digital manipulation, percussion, low fidelity samplers, Revox tape, vocals, prepared piano and field recordings, Marchetti renders a series of audio images, or 3D tapestries that present the world familiar yet warped, emphasising its ephemeral aspects with particular attention paid to highlighting the dark matter or negative space that binds it all together.
It’s an absorbing, labyrinthine listening experience, invoking occult metaphysics with the opening chapter’s sequence between ‘Psychopomps (Piège À Fantômes)’, the viscera of ‘Near Death Experience’, and the canny use of samples of Whitehouse and Pierre henry in the escatological scope of ‘Inferno’, whereas the ‘Natura Morte’ section limns a phantasmic, dreamlike play of nature and body horror sounds, and the ‘Océan (de la fertilté)’ chapter feels like a transmission from J.G. Ballard’s drowned world, where cities have turned into mangroves and the air crackles with comms between psycho pirates and warring survivors of sea level rises.
For anyone with a vivid imagination, this boxset is roughly the same length but infinitely more entertaining than a Netflix gouch out. We definitely know which we’d prefer to do.
Radical, immersive, alternately fierce and delicate harp & sax improvisations by highly attuned duo John Butcher & Rhodri Davies, the latest collaboration in a long-running relationship demonstrating a highly developed sense of intuition and vast knowledge of the sonic microcosmos latent in their respective instruments.
The album breaks down to three extended pieces, including a remarkable 22 minute B-side that reaches into the furthest corners of the duo’s imaginative practice.
‘Radio Guts’ opens the set with a guttural exploration of low end rumble and the smeared buzz of brass harmonics, with Butcher’s feedback oscillating their sound between threatening drone tension and sudden squeaks before collapsing into a windswept fray. ‘Lithophanie’ follows with the febrile, oneiric logic of the LP’s title, with outbursts and recursive shudders transforming into post-midnight jazz pangs and tantalising string flurries.
However, it all appears to be in preparation for their stunning ‘Chaos is the Spectre’ on the B-side, where they spend 22 minutes freely feeling out a spectrum of viscous subharmonics and a curdling midrange punctuated with shredding sax with an elusive, detached yet immersive quality, like a dream recalled after the fact..
Kleft’s Vickie McDonald takes a stance against the club politics of her native Glasgow in ‘H+ Sexualis’, a clutch of banging, killer industrial and techno mutations issued on local label Domestic Exile ahead of their highly anticipated LP edition for Cucina Povera’s ‘Hilja’
“For this record ‘H+ Sexualis’, KLEFT explores the neo-modern space where flesh is left behind. Negotiating, analyzing and tearing to shreds the relationship and balance between flesh and technology. KLEFT’s expansive and palpable sonic offerings delve into themes of transhumanism and body hacking and seep into our collective skin begging the question; can flesh ever be created digitally. Does a lack of physicality alienate human experience in a post transhumanism society? Are we all destined to be skinless yet digitally connected? Will the body become superfluous? Toward "the utopian dream of the hope for a monstrous world without gender," as stated on Donna Haraway’s essay ‘‘A Cyborg Manifesto.
This record transports us to the hyperkinetic mutation scene on the cult cyberpunk film Tetsuo The Iron Man where the organic flesh / mechanical rust of the Iron Man metamorphoses with the Metal Fetishist during the rebirth sequence and we say “LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!’’.”
A wonderful electronic obscurity from early ‘90s Italy lands on vinyl for the first time, sounding like a devilish prototype of Foodman or Max D exploits from 25 years later...
Call it MIDI-jazz, 16-bit boogie, or cubist soul, whatever, Clarence Setí’s sound is like interstellar lounge music imagined by a plugged-in new age dreamer. It’s alive with hyper-colourful melodies and unconventional rhythms, like a band of well oiled robots in turtle necks and berets jamming in the background of a Luc Besson flick, or scoring an Anime about romance between a humanoid and extra terrestrial.
Bonkers and charming in equal measures.
Regis & Surgeon’s pivotal British Murder Boys, one of techno’s greatest, shake up and recombine bleeding edge contemporary techno with provocative, enduring industrial inspirations from Throbbing Gristle and Coil on this rare outing, packaged in a deluxe 6 panel gatefold digifile
From the incendiary opening sample of Jim Jones used in ‘Hate Is Such a Strong Word’, thru a crushed iteration of ’As Above So Below’, and back to their definitive early statement ‘Don’t Give Way To Fear’ via various hacked and processed BMB components, the decorated veterans invariably make mincemeat of the shouty dilettantes who have committed to this arena in recent years.
Regis mans the mic, swaggering around Surgeon’s shredded drum patterns and egging on the intensity, but also knowing when to wind his neck in and stop short of the sort of the showboating industrial cliches that drove dancers from industrial to techno in their droves during the early-mid ‘90s. In essence, the decorated veterans’ sense of seething restraint, coupled with deadly conviction and technical expertise, makes ‘Fire In The Still Air’ a definitive BMB set for the ages, one ready and willing to trigger a riot anytime.
Just don’t call it a comeback.
Jack White’s Third Man catch Tuareg desert blues maestro Mdou Moctar live in action at their Detroit recording studios and pressing plant complex
“Mdou is a member of the Tuareg music community gestating in the remote desert city of Agadez, Niger, "where guitars are king." His music first came to the attention of Western music-lovers through the essential field recording work being done by the good folks at Sahel Sounds, first on their 2010 compilation Music From Saharan Cellphones.
While much of Tuareg music has become more distorted, faster and bombastic as of late, Mdou's soundscapes are more traditionally sparse, polyrhythmic and deeply psychedelic, with lyrics sung in the style of Tuareg nomadic poets.
His show on the Blue Stage at Third Man Records Cass Corridor was proof of how special all of this feels, especially in front of a Western audience, most of whom were seeing Mdou live for the first time. When Mdou took the stage with guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane and drummer Mahmoud Ahmed Jabra - only their faces exposed in their tunics and turbans - and began to play, there was a meditative intrigue that loomed heavy and thick in the room. Though hard to see clearly Mdou's precise and rapid-fire fingerwork on his Fender, the audience was quickly and thoroughly transfixed by his left-handed virtuosity. By the end of the psychedelic-guitar-rock-groove-explosion that was their set, it was clear that this was the show of the year.”
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.
Playful avant racket from Glasgow’s Ailie Ormston. Think Wolf Eyes moving furniture at Russell Haswell’s gaff
“The Sedate / Tony Soprano Fashion Inspo. serves as a solo release from Ailie Ormston of ******** / GUINNESS [Domino Recording Co.]. Comprised of two separate projects, the works coalesce to provide highly surged compositions. The tracks were co-written alongside one drum machine and one synth, embracing elements of chance and coincidence. Writing and recording came simultaneously, a production line of spontaneous melodies with realtime decision making ultimately determining how it sounded, as opposed to preconceived ideas.
Ormston intends to confront the traditions of presenting, performing and digesting music in an attempt to articulate a form of a contemporary condition. She aims to construct a coherent visual language that corresponds to music writing, carrying its ethos into different forms and varying modes of communication.
Side A - 001, 002, 003 and 004 were composed specifically for The Sedate, a work by artists Stasis, developed throughout 2018, concluding as a short film and a performance on a building site in Merchant City, Glasgow. Heavy drums, tiny handbags, choral synths, big earrings, a fight scene, a breather and finally, La Macarena. They are listed here in order of appearance.
Side AA - A32, A18, A67, B12 and B34 were composed in short succession post Side A, collectively known as Tony Soprano Fashion Inspo. Providing increasingly convoluted textures and arching narratives, these tracks are challenging in their multiplicity, with contrapuntal instrumentation being heard simultaneously. Multitasking is encouraged. Physical renditions of each track were realised and presented as an exhibition, An oat latte, but with no image in the foam at Market Gallery, Glasgow. An accompanying text written during this residency can be found alongside the release.”
Shed beats up down his melodic, early STP cut in breakbeat modes as Panamax and Seelow
First arriving on the STP 12” in 2007 ahead of his seminal ’Shedding The Past’ album, ‘The Fall’ is a highlight of Shed’s take on classic, mid ‘90s melodic Detroit techno.
These new remixes resplice that vibe with inspiration from early ‘90s Detroit hardcore and late ‘90s UK broken beats, wound up with swingeing torque in the tussling drums and depth charge bass of his Panamax remix, and rolling like a Gary’d to the eyeballs KMS or 69 joint in the Seelow remix.
‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’, the debut solo album by visionary post punk iconoclast Mark Stewart, is to be given a definitive reissue alongside ‘The Lost Tapes’, a newly discovered cache of unreleased material...
"‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’ is a vital chapter in the legacy of Mark Stewart & The Maffia, a project that would prove to be a revolutionary benchmark for many, from the innovators of the ‘Bristol Sound’ (The Wild Bunch, Smith & Mighty, Tricky, Massive Attack) through to the likes of Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. Collected together this set realizes an expansive restoration of one of Stewart’s most audacious statements. As it was in the early 1980s so it is now, ‘Learning To Cope With Cowardice’ is a masterwork of mutant design and a rude awakening of extraordinary bite.
Mark Stewart himself perceives ‘The Lost Tapes’ as a document that now possesses a storied significance: “It was a real adventure discovering this forbidden history, a twisted tale of Muswell hillbillies, French pirates and a Dutch schizophrenic doctor doing psychic archaeology.” Whilst Adrian Sherwood describes these works as characteristic of a distinct primitivism: “[‘The Lost Tapes’ represent] the early childhood of the songs before Mark and me conducted frenzied, scorched earth, slash-and-burn, twenty hour mental, manic editing sessions at Crass’ studios that led to birthing the finished album."
Antena’s hugely influential, by-this-point seminal electro-bossa/synth-pop masterpiece reissued in its original mini-album format for first time since 1982...
Famously touted as the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk, ‘Camino Del Sol’ remains the significant and enduring release by Antena, a trio of teenagers in Brussels, 1982. Then living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, they recorded the effortlessly timeless fusions of Latin bossa and coy pop that would become their calling card for more than three decades and counting.
‘Camino Del Sol’ speaks to a sort of south European and South American good-life that was and still is exotically out of reach for listeners in more northerly climes. Their slinky rhythms, enchanted hooks and spacious, breezy vocals occupied a uniquely light-filled space between stripped-down post-punk styles and glossier new wave promise, and all with a haunting simplicity that would futureproof ‘Camino Del Sol’ and ultimately lead it to influence over countless others in their wake.
This reissue returns the original album to it’s mini-LP format following an expanded 2LP in 2010 that also included their handful of single and compilation tracks. At only 5 tracks long, the record is just perfectly formed, running from the weightless synth-pop shimmy of ‘Achilles’ to the lilting bliss of Camino Del Sol’ and the fruity balm of ’Si C’est Que Ça’ in about the same time it takes to draw a bath, but in the finest tradition of classic pop, Antena’s music will never, ever go cold.
First ever reissue of this classic recording, emastered from the original tapes.
"Although discrete, the career of saxophonist Philippe Maté includes nonetheless several indispensable albums: be it with the Acting Trio, Jean Guérin (Tacet) or Jef Gilson (Workshop), his collaborations in a big band or quartet with Lawrence "Butch" Morris, his presence in the Saxophone Quartetand also on the brilliant L'Enfant assassin des mouche by Jean-Claude Vannier.
As for the man in the background, Daniel Vallancien, a sound engineer rarely featuring on the sleeves, the collection Actuel on the BYG label owes much to him (he is at the controls behind Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Sonny Sharrock or Steve Lacy), the same goes for Saravah for who he notably recorded Areski, Brigitte Fontaine, Maurice Lemaître or the Cohelmec Ensemble: not bad for starters! What is more, Daniel Vallancien is one of a prestigious group of French recording engineers with open ears and often themselves musicians, even if only occasionally for some, including Bruno Menny, Daniel Deshays or Jean-Marc Foussat, who have all recorded remarkable albums as leaders. Behind this collaboration was the idea ofcreating music which was free, direct and spontaneous, while having also a minimum of advance planning.
Music, according to the brief liner notes desirous to "remove itself from long and patient laboratory experiments ". So, there can be found here none of the sophisticated tools associated withelectroacoustic research, but mainly a recording mixer console, which, in the hands of Daniel Vallancien acts directly on the original instrumental sound in real time, modifying and multiplying it while respecting the natural flow. Be it Paul Méfano, Betsy Jolas, Gérard Grisey or Jacques Lejeune, many contemporary composers working in France have, at one time or another, includedthe saxophone in their work. Michel Redolfi, for example, with the GRIM and then the CIRM , experimented with saxophonist André Jaume on a convincing recording (Hardscore). Nothing, however, can compare to the singularity of the dialogue between Philippe Maté and Daniel Vallancien, which they themselves describe as being "serious, sarcastic orhumorous", with, here and there, "disturbing sounds". Words, however, even those used by the protagonists themselves, are insufficient to describe such a sonic object, difficult to identify and, it has to be said, extraordinary."
Maxwell Sterling, IVVVO, Lachrin, James Massiah, Sadaf, Alobhe and Tendency lend misfit cuts to Nyx Unchained’s first compilation
Highlights include Maxwell Sterling taking cues from Coil and Dungeon Synth styles in the glowering drones of ‘Jhonn’; the road-level London kill-count reportage of James Massiah; and the hyper paso-doble dembow collage of ‘War Text’ by Sadaf - think Kelman Duran gone haywire.
“‘Transcendence’ serves to illuminate a burning playing field of ideas. Converging acoustic and high register digital manipulation, poetry and transformative soundscapes to form a haunting veil over a dynamic sphere of sound and words.”
From cranky drones to chattering electro IDM and radioactive synth noise, Squirrels on Film’s 4th 12” explore the outer limits of electronic for the ‘floor...
“Drone, Drugs ’n’ Dissonance” creeps into life as a thunderstorm of white noise, out of which a cold-rave pulse somehow metastasizes into something resembling techno, although this is a deformed, uncivilized, unwanted mutation, separated at birth & raised in a toxic wilderness. It builds slowly before turning up in a rage of digital distortion, a black metal dub party held at the edge of a melting glacier. “Oh, Empire of Roses” is a Dada Phycho Jazz Electro number. Dissonant synth chords snake around each other in a playful ouroboros of manic future funk, never knowing if it’s starting or stopping, coming or going. Relentless bass throbs through the track, which almost threatens to bubble into classic acid electro before fizzling out.
On side two there is “Devotion to a Peacock Angel,” an angular breakdance groove for the characters in the bar scene in Star Wars. Electro dub rhythms keep stay grounded as everything else rips apart in all directions over the course of the track. On “Misfortunes of El Dorado” a soundsystem bangs in the next room, only the deepest bass escaping, shaking reality until it’s torn apart in waves of distortion, a classic techno synth string wandering over the top of everything in a full blown Techno Jazz Odyssey.”
Joe D’Amato’s 1979 gorefest Buio Omega (Beyond the Darkness) concerns a local taxidermist Frank and his dead fiancée, unable to cope with his loss he of course digs up his deceased girlfriend and preserves and stuffs her.
"This (obviously) doesn’t sit well with his housekeeper who is secretly in love with Frank, from here on in things get even more bizarre and gruesome as Frank tries to find a replacement for his ex to no avail. As bodies pile up (and get broken down in acid baths) the local police get suspicious and it all comes to a head for Frank and his housekeeper. Buio Omega is an absolutely outrageous slice of Italian sleaze and recommended to those only with the strongest of stomachs!
Goblin supplied the score to Buio Omaga and they really helped elevate the film. Synthesizers soar and drums rattle and the score is a funk filled masterpiece far better than the film probably deserves! We are thrilled to bring the full score on vinyl straight from the original masters and we have loaded it with unreleased tracks/takes & stingers from the AMS/Cinevox vaults!"
Fractured, fizzing and angular intersections of ambient-pop vocals, subtly textured electronica and processed instrumentation with a conceptual bent exploring the semantics of sound/language
“Martina Lussi’s second album fuses together disparate sound sources with a disorienting quality that reflects the modern climate of dispersion and distraction. The Lucerne, Switzerland-based sound artist released her debut album ‘Selected Ambient’ on Hallow Ground in 2017, and now comes to Latency with a bold new set of themes and processes.
The range of tools at her disposal spans field recordings, processed instrumentation, synthesised elements and snatches of human expression. The guitar is a recurring figure, subjected to a variety of treatments from heavy, sustained distortion to clean, pealing notes. Elsewhere the sound of sports crowds and choral singing merge, and patient beds of drones and noise melt into the sounds of industry and mechanics. The track titles manifest as a compositional game of deception complete with innuendos, empty phrases and claims – flirtations with perfume names and ironic assertions.
From the volatile geopolitical climate to the changing nature of music consumption in the face of streaming and digital access, ‘Diffusion is a Force’ is a reflection on fractured times where familiar modes and models change their meaning with the ever-quickening pace of communication.”
Cong Burn boss and northern english artist John Howes presents the spongiform, greyscale modular extractions of ’Cold Storage’ as the first full length album on his own label - home to releases by Lanark Artefax, Perfume Advert and Chekov, a.o.
Recorded at his Salford studio in 2018, ’Cold Storage’ finds Howes paring his music back to the barest essentials of small, textured sounds drifting in abstract dub space. Functionally titled A1 thru B4, the 8 pieces are smudged into an amorphous flow of weightless pressure systems and gently reactive atomic collisions with an immersively natural, mercurial quality.
The results are equally comparable to uon’s hypnagogic subtleties as the fluoro grey decay of Actress productions, dwelling on the liminal point between iterative process and haptic tactility, offering himself as the conduit or fleshy medium for the machines to speak thru. Quite luckily, the ghosts in his machines all have a charming, frothy story to regale in ‘Cold Storage’.
Prince Jammy dubs the Augustus Pablo production for Hugh Mundell’s Africa Must Be Free by 1983 in heaviest style at King Tubby’s studio, turning Mundell’s signature falsetto and Pablo’s melodica into an echo chamber maze of smoke and mirrors.
Stone cold superb.