Who are we now, in the era of the internet? Former Americanmen artist Sevendeaths looks to answer this on his new album of hi-def power ambient for Luckyme.
Edinburgh-based musician Steven Shade expands on the VST-centric grandiosity of his 2013 debut Sevendeaths set ‘Concreté Misery’ with this rather enveloping new album for the Luckyme crew.
A certain cinematic quality has always been evident in the Sevendeaths sound, but he really ups the ante on ‘Remote Sympathy,’ the ten tracks benefitting from the inclusion of natural sound sources via spectral resynthesis and sampling techniques and contributions from Rafe Fitzpatrick and Iban Perez.
Fans of Jóhann Jóhannsson and the recent output on Subtext should pay attention as Sevendeaths really captures a stunning snapshot of expertly crafted drone and power ambient geared as “both a celebration of life and human strength and an acceptance of the frailty of the human spirit.”
The conceptual nature of the album doesn’t weigh too heavily on the music however, this is no forlorn exercise in noise brutality; rather the moments of darkness act as brief interludes to Shade’s undoubted capacity to sculpt and orchestrate synthesis of shimmering incandescence.
Incredible, previously unreleased early 1980's Algerian synth electronic by Ahmed Malek, compiled by Flako.
Remarkable discovery of late ‘70s/early ’80s avant ambient electronics from Arabic North Africa; originally conceived as demos or private studies by Ahmed Malek (1931-2008) - “Algeria’s answer to Ennio Morricone” - and now faithfully edited and buffed up for release by Flako. Imagine Dariush Dolat-Shahi turned into jazzy concrète mosaics by NWW and you’ve almost got a grasp of this record’s slippery wonder.
The Electronic Tapes follows Habibi Funk’s prized vinyl reissue of Malek’s Musique Originale De Films  with an unprecedented peek inside the boxes of Malek’s master tapes that were recently discovered by his family in Algiers during the soundtrack reissue process. As the tapes were effectively unfinished demos and the artist isn’t around to consult anymore, electronic producer Flako has capably stepped in to polish them off, adding only subtle flourishes of era-compatible Roland SH-2000 and Korg MS20 to sympathetically bring Malek’s electro-acoustic tapestries to life, and in a way that we can only imagine he would be pleased with.
Ostensibly sounding like some home-made new age excursion from late ‘70s Europe or North America, it’s the recurring presence of authentically Arabic scales and percussive patterns which identify this set beyond some obscure cosmic library LP from Italy or France, and closer to the rare experiments with jazz and electronics - such as Dariush Dolat-Shahi, Salah Ragab, or Ilhan Mimaroglu - from Arabic North Africa and the Middle East that we’re familiar with.
But even still, Flako’s post-processed results form a strange anachronism unto itself, skilfully weaving his improvisations on the original material in an innovative and subtle way that makes it tricky, and perhaps pointless, to distinguish between the dates of recording or who did what. Maybe it’s best left to Flako to sum the project up as: “ It’s Ahmed’s music… If anything, I feel like a member of his band, you know? I’m a part of this. That’s roughly how I see it.”
Stretched across space and time and fleshed out with imagination, the 17 tracks are just crammed with charmingly wild and kinetic ideas, setting out with a squinted synth vision recalling The Godfather theme sent into orbit, before constantly mutating thru cinematic strokes to insectoid jazz scuttle, romantic downbeats, haywire astral synth jabs and whirligig dances by the album’s close, with each allowing X amount of room for the original piece’s experimental nature and fractious arrangements.
Basically it’s not a straight-up reissue, nor is it an new recording; it’s something else and brilliant with it.
Tasty skanks from a new name, Butterfred, doing it for themselves on a natty white label pressing.
Calibrating Detroit, UK and Berlin styles to their own bendy balance, EP1 leans in with the laid-back eaze of Spread The Butter’s percolating dub chords and thick spread subs beside the industrial dancehall bug Dark Butter on top, then with a darker inversion of those vibes in the B-side’s squashed and gloomy stepper, Liquid Butter, and a buckled dancehall techno bumper named Butter Break.
A four track baroque masterpiece by Rian Murphy sharing vocals with his good friend Will Oldham.
Produced by Rian, with string arrangements by Jim O’Rouke and vocal harmonies by Archer Prewitt. Featuring a chorus of voices including BillCallahan, Laetitia Sadier, David Grubbs and Jim O’Rouke amongst many others.
A stunning return from the deepest dub tech noise aquanauts...
Seventeen (count ‘em!) years since their split side with Techno Animal, Andy Mellwig and Thomas Köner’s legendary Porter Ricks shores up on Tresor with three cuts of brand new material as immersive as any of their ‘90s dub techno classics.
Since that last release in 1999, Mellwig has busied himself with Experimental Audio Research alongside Kevin Martin, Pete Kember and Kevin Shields, whilst Köner has continued to pursue a dark ambient zeitgeist deep below the surface, before the two remerged for a sublime remix of Ryo Murakami in 2014.
Shadow Boat dials in the duo’s first material since then, and they’ve patently not lost their lust for total dancefloor immersion. The title cut is a lushly visceral demonstration of techno at its most enigmatic, effective, diffracting beautifully elusive melodies and haunting harmonics thru silty black, subaquatic bass dynamics that leave us reeling, before the crushed, acidic chug of Bay Rouge stretches out on a more elastic sort of acidub grind punctuated with killer woodblock, and Harbour Chart comes up for air with a bad case of the bends emphasised by glitching rip-currents sure to mess with the dance.
Yorkshire’s tireless servants of the noise gods invoke clamouring ancient spirits in a combustible instalment for Cairo’s Nashazphone. Make of the priapic mummy on the back cover what you will. RIYL Sir Richard Bishop and David Oliphant’s Beyond All Defects or nightmares.
"The inception of an audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus and the Apep serpent. Volume one comprises of three received transmissions from the tunnels of Set via the physical envelopes of Matthew Bower and Samantha Davies operating as the occult cell known as Skullflower.
The working, the concept and guiding hand comes from Nashazphone, purveyors of artifacts, dreams and koans, who are currently re-creating and re-writing the myths and cycles of their native land." Matthew Bower & Samantha Davis, West Yorks, UK, Winter Solstice Evening 2016 File under: Alternative”
The Sublime Frequencies co-owner and erstwhile Sun City Girl collaborates with an imaginary muse against the backdrop of Cairo. A combustible, anarchic reflection of modernity every bit as cryptic, enigmatic, fractally colourful as the cover art
"Seemingly tossed-off spontaneity is the intoxicant with which Alvarius B vs Abdel Baqy Byro in Cairo is heavily laced. This 39-minute lenticular collage recalls Tangier-era Burroughs in its concealment of structure behind a veneer of arbitrary free association, with Alvarius B. delivering his take on contemporary behavioral dementia in a style that veers from the nocturnal yammer of legendary somniloquist Dion McGregor to salty neo-Yossarian ravings to the casual vitriol of a misanthrope who knows he’s entertaining.
It’s the kind of trip a modern-day Slothrup might take after smoking polyester shrubbery and over-indulging in candiru sushi served by an erotic topiary gardener in exile for masturbating on the wall outside a 19th Century French orphanage — overseen by The Sinister Extemporizer himself, Alan Bishop.
It was recorded live all over Cairo (in cars, trains, apartments, garages, cafes, bars, on rooftops, on the street) with a backline that includes little else beyond an acoustic guitar and a radio. Field recordings, glitchy wheeze underpinnings, and snippets of space murble garnish the album, but site-specific stuffing is what gives this kataif its particular flavor: a rapped tribute to the murdered members of a hardcore soccer fanclub; a pas de deux for laptop keyboard and BBC’s coverage of Gaza bombings; public demonstrations against the Muslim-Brotherhood-authored Constitution; Monte Carlo Arabic Service’s mention of the 70th anniversary of El Alamein battle.
Bishop’s quilt of screenshots depicts a consciousness informed by an increasingly universal presumption that everything public should be interactive, if only to act as a vessel for contempt. An urbane cannibal fills the twilight bazaar with bacterial karaoke and falsetto bleating slicker than a goat’s uterus before disappearing into the crowd at Snotty’s Chill-Out Pentagram. Turn a corner and it’s an improv duet for acoustic guitar and the pachyderm grind of dirty delivery trucks.
All around is mysteriously auto-tuned, proto-mahragan R’n’B crooning right out of a Saharan cellphone rave. A blue-blood places a call to an amplified insect tantrum, and is eavesdropped upon by a seductress loop. Delusional arms suppliers mansplain, as is their wont, and a beautifully dismissive monologue reduces music writers to literary dumbwaiters. The Invisible Hands take a moment to get in touch with their inner Sex Pistol. Prerecorded announcements are abused, quite comedically — the implication being that the only qualifications needed to engage in public discourse (telegenics and a piehole) are grossly insufficient.
Alan Bishop stands before you not to praise anything (especially not the pathetic aesthetic championed by pork brosnans and Illuminati blood-drinkers stumbling from one end of their bleachy little swamp to the other, where mediocre meets bland and no amount of chlamydia-flavored tofutti with ground up glass in it will protect them from the constant tularemia rain), but to bury it, deep on the shoreline of Dunning-Kruger, a parting gift from The Sibling Unmoored as he withdraws in disgust. Maybe he’ll return after Ramadan, if only to crack open what’s left of their skulls like crème brulée, harvest the enlarged amygdala, and render tiny portraits of Pepe The Frog onto their lacerated morgellons. Maybe not." Seymour Glass, California, USA, September 2016”
Excellent compilation of early gear by all-female NYC No Wave trio, Y Pants, including cuts produced by Glenn Branca and originally issued on the pivotal 99 Records (Liquid Liquid, ESG, Vivian Goldman) in 1980, alongside harder-to-find compilation tracks.
Naturally marrying swooning vocal harmonies with rickety, direct grooves and gauzy FX, the Y Pants sound was rightly compared with The Raincoats out of the UK, but distinguished by a more clipped, playful style native to the No Wave scene.
This set captures them at their early best, dealing with he tribulations of laundry in the milk-bottle percussions and nagging hooks of Favourite Sweater, then with a stark, stop-start lurch and jab in Magnetic Attraction and a healthy dose of slack boogie nonchalance on Off The Hook, whereas Luego Fuego really gets under the skin with needling electronics and staccato drums to jangle yer No Wave nerve good and proper.
Well tipped to fans of ESG, Mars, The Raincoats
Moiré responds to the current state of sh*t affairs on a second album of ‘London techno’ for the Ghostly crew.
Aligning with Ghostly Intl after a 12” salvo on their Spectral division last year, the pre-eminent, perennially hat clad exponent of ‘London techno’ Moiré delivers his second album. Referring to the Orwellian nightmare currently unfolding in front of us both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the perennially-troubled nature of London’s nightlife, No Future doesn’t necessarily offer any answers. It does expand on the producer’s palette of well-crafted, robust techno and ambient leaning house previously shown on Rush Hour, Werk Discs and R&S.
Moiré reveals his junglist roots in linking up with Good Looking vet MC DRS for two tracks; Delroy Pottinger’s trademark delivery adding a new dimension to the twilit house slink of Bootleg. South London poet James Massiah also features, intoning the stuttering glide of Façade with his unique cadence. Otherwise, this is Moiré on a solo flex, delivering on the potential displayed on that Werkdiscs debut LP back in 2014 for a rewarding document of house and techno that mixes foggy tones with highly-realised rhythms.
RIYL early Kassem Mosse on Workshop, NWAQ, Terrence Dixon.
Sharp and sleek Italo disco modernism from two pairs of trusted French hands: PSG OM hits the ‘floor in a tightly packed and extended mix breaking down to dramatic chorals and killer metallic tang; also featured in a condensed Radio Edit for those that need it.
Barn Owl’s Evan Caminiti leaves most any trace of Americana for dust in the rearview of Toxic City, where he fully pursues the distorted, emotive aches and atonal themes that cropped up in Meridian (2015) into more blown-out, sci-fi-tinted headspaces, with Jefre Canta Ledesma helping frame his vision on one of the album’s biggest highlights. That sense of wistful sehsucht is still in the air of Toxic City, but now polluted by a high ppm count of diffused noise and harmonic distortion that feels more angular, choked and firmly up-to-date than the sweeping high plains sound he used to drift around.
“Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on "Joaquin", drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout "NYC Ego". On "Toxic Tape (Love Canal)", layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.”
Bleak, acrid chamber noise electronics from Paris-based Mondkopf, resonating strongly with the reverberant recordings of Alessandro Cortini or Joachim Nordwall, but better compared with the former for its swelling, emotive grip.
Raime return with a new 12" single for Blackest Ever Black, out this week and featuring two new tracks, recorded after last year's Tooth album.
The 12" weighs in at 15 mins, featuring the atmospheric slow motion dub of the title track on the A-side, coming across like a more angular take on Rhythm & Sound crossed with the eerie dissonance of Badalamenti, while the B-Side's 'Losing Track' brings the dub further to the fore with a quiet, industrial take on Ilpo Vaisanen's classic Liima Versions.
Lushest fever dream ambience from Japans Masayoshi Fujita on prepared vibraphone and Faitiche caretaker Jan Jelinek on loops and small scale electronic devices. Definitely worth booking some time off to really immersive yourself in this one, especially if you can’t afford a holiday this summer!
The following correspondence from Jelinek to Fujita gives a firm measure of Schaum’s loveliness:
"Dear Masayoshi Fujita, many thanks for the audio files. Your additional vibraphone recordings go wonderfully with the material we have already. Preparing the vibraphone with more percussion instruments was the right decision. Combined with my tightly woven synthesizer and sample loops, the result is a fragmented sense of space. I have taken the liberty of manipulating certain recordings. While listening through our improvisations, I noticed a tendency towards atmospheric sounds. I am almost tempted to call them tropical. This has strengthened my resolve to work with dense background textures - among others, I'm using material produced in connection with my radio pieces 'Kennen Sie Otahiti?' (2012) and 'Dialoge zur Anthropologie' (2013): artificial field recordings, jungle and rain forest settings that do not hide their staged, fictional character. As you know, I have long been obsessed with the tropics. This obsession involves a mental image of a specific quality of landscape: deliriously extravagant unstructuredness, hostile to life but also excessively productive. I am fascinated by the idea of installing clear minimalist forms amid such luxuriant tropical growth. Perhaps my image of the city of Brasilia is a good example. Corresponding to this, I would like to expand our liner notes to include a quotation from Robert Müller's novel Tropics, an expressionist travelogue published in Germany in 1915. It goes without saying that this work cannot be wholeheartedly embraced: its imperialistic fantasies of omnipotence and its 'master race' posturing, characteristic of that time and place, are, of course, intolerable. Tropics is fascinating as a nervous jungle phantasm that openly indulges in exoticism at the same time as deconstructing it. In this way, the main character's adventure becomes a journey into the subjective. It resembles a feverish inner delirium, exposing exoticism as a simulated, utopian perspective. What it boils down to is insubstantial, nothing but foam and froth. With best regards, Jan Jelinek”
Bright, flighty folk-pop from modern day Mali, dispensed by Awesome Tapes from Africa, ‘cos they are
“Awa Poulo is a singer of Peulh origin from Dilly commune, Mali, near the border with Mauritania. Largely pastoral and often nomadic, Peulh- (or Fula-)speaking peoples are found from Senegal to Ethiopia but predominate in the Sahel region of West Africa. Awesome Tapes From Africa is proud to release Poulo’s newest recording of highly virtuosic folk-pop, fresh from the studio, broadcasting her vision of Peulh music beyond the grazing grounds and central markets of her remote home region in southwestern Mali.
It’s not very common to find a female singer performing publicly among the Peulh. But Poulo’s mother’s co-wife is Inna Baba Coulibaly, who is a celebrated singer most Malian music fans know. Coulibaly herself was brought into music by forces outside her control when a regional music contest required an entry from her village and she was chosen to be a singer. So, set in motion by a surprising series of events, young Poulo’s entree into the music world was auspicious as she gained popularity across the region. After several locally released tapes and CDs, this record is Poulo’s first internationally-distributed record.
On Poulo Warali, she and her band combine the hallmarks of Peulh music—warm flute floating over cross-rhythmic n’goni (lute) riffs and resonant calabash gourd hand percussion—with broader Malian sounds like lightly-distorted guitar and a heavier, rollicking inertia. Shape-shifting layers of rhythm and woody overtones match Poulo’s commanding voice in a jocular yet deliberate dance.
This is a relatively rare example of Malian Peulh music played in a modern, cosmopolitan context, reflecting the mixed society of Dilly, where Bambara, Soninke and Peulh-speaking people live among each other.
Poulo’s conscious lyrics about community concerns speak to the distinctive identity of her broadly-flung people. While Peulh represents less than 10% of Mali’s melting pot of languages, the dynamic music here powerfully resonates well beyond the linguistic borders.”
Available for the first time in 25 years Death Waltz Recording Company are reissuing the score to Twin Peaks. Freshly re-mastered for this re-release and approved by both director David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti.
The greatest original TV soundtrack ever made, now given a faithfully deluxe reissue treatment courtesy of Death Waltz Recordings, newly available for the first time in 25 years! We assure you, they’ve done a sterling job on this one.
Where to start with one of the most delectably enigmatic and seductive records ever written? Badalamenti himself humbly says “I'm glad that after 25 years, Death Waltz Recording Company has re-released the original soundtrack for Twin Peaks for a new audience to enjoy. This is my defining work as a composer and I’m happy it will get a fresh listen”, whilst we’d amplify and echo that sentiment by saying we’re more stoked than Dale Cooper on his 5th cup of Joe to cradle this new edition in our mitts.
Death Waltz have taken the small liberty of shuffling The Bookhouse Boys from side A of the original, 1990 version, to side B on this 2016 edition, but, that aside, the LP remains unchanged, still glowing with Julee Cruise’s haunting vocals and framed by impenetrable layers of carmine, chiffon ambience and brushed jazz drums that prickle the skin as icily as ever.
Thing is, if you haven’t seen the series, you may be wondering what the heck all the fuss is about, and to be fair, we’re not even going to try and explain that here. But if you are among the as-yet-unconverted; we can think of few soundtracks so intrinsically attached to their storyline, mise-en-scene and surreal feel as this one, and even fewer who’ve had such a direct impact upon other artists, whether setting the tone for ’90s electronica and techno from Moby to Autechre’s Amber, to literally inspiring a band’s whole aesthetic - see: Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore.