Balmat’s second release comes from Hoavi, aka Kirill Vasin, a Russian electronic musician whose work approaches what might be familiar reference points—deepest dub techno, atmospheric ambient, liquid drum’n’bass—with a singular point of view.
"We first became aware of Hoavi after coming across one of his tracks in a DJ mix by Leech, aka Peak Oil label founder Brian Foote; we began corresponding, which led to a massive zip file of unreleased tracks turning up in Balmat’s inbox. Music for Six Rooms has been culled down from that bounty, its disparate moods distilled into 10 profoundly immersive tracks that touch upon dream pop, dub techno, and new age, all swirled together into the headiest of ambient dreamscapes.
Active since the early 2010s, when he founded his Shells Rattle label, Hoavi has released on a number of labels including floe, Snare Tapes, Fauxpas, and Minor Notes. In October, Peak Oil will finally release his album Invariant, recorded in 2019 and intended for release in 2020, then tied up in pressing-plant backlogs for over a year. Balmat’s Music for Six Rooms follows roughly a month later; we think that the two albums offer a wonderfully complementary view of Hoavi’s talents—one rhythmic, the other largely beatless, yet both of them sensuous in the extreme.
Music for Six Rooms appears in two slightly different editions. The vinyl edition appears on a single piece of vinyl upon which some tracks have been subtly edited in length, to ensure maximum audio fidelity; the digital version features extended edits and runs some 18 minutes longer, in total, for a maximally immersive experience. All vinyl purchases include a download of the full digital album."
A mix of Free Jazz, Ambient & Experimental from drummer Berke Can Özcan on Bohemian Drips.
"Mountains Are Mountains" is a solo album that presents the sound of many moments scattered all over a period of Berke Can Özcan's (Ex-Konstrukt, Big Beats Big Times) personal time on this planet. He is a drummer, composer, writer, producer who keeps experimenting with all that is available to his one ear. Gongs, aquadrums, a vibraphone, a steel drum, a prepared piano, a vintage harmonium which smells exactly like a vintage harmonium, log drums, kalimbas, as well as his self-made instruments made of old keys, soda caps, flower pots, bamboos, the most lousy-looking pedestal fan in the world, bicycle bells, straw brooms, old toys, garden hoses and Buddhist-prayer playing machines are all played by himself.
All sounds were constructed by – or at least decorated with – sadness, passion, agony, curiosity, excitement, loneliness, bliss, nostalgia, bitterness, joy, whatever you and I and he knew that could be experienced. "Mountains Are Mountains" is yours to taste."
Legendary dub master Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell MBE does The Pop Group a dead solid version of their seminal ’79 side, ‘Y’ gutting and rendering their wiry post-punk in tightly rude but rambunctious form
Chasing up the band’s live rendition of 2020, the original 9 tracks appear here filleted for funk, with gristle tossed in the bin and Bovell effectively puppeteering their much younger limbs with specialist animist tekkers. In a proper livication, not dedication, to the band’s mutant avant dub-punk styles, Bovell bring out the studio duppies to play, finding and pronouncing the space in between the grooves in a way that totally reenergises his original work on the record while marking distance travelled from the 1979 studio sessions.
At its maddest on the likes of his GRM-style rendering of ‘Savage Sea’, the whole thing feels only just about tethered to reality, with no two bars left wanting for kinetic, corkscrewing details as Bovell’s deft hands flash across the desk. From the needlepoint step and razor cut parries of ‘Thief Of Dreams’ to the recoiling echo chamber abstraction and reggae disco thrum of ‘3:38’ this is no cursory “in dub” session, but a systemic overhaul of the album’s bones, muscle and sinew, with vocals like a possessed presence, dissected into shrieks, yelps that cut thru the smoke.
Expert-level dub punk business.
Sickest Kenyan drill/genge/rap crud from DJ Iche, racking up her first international release with Nyege Nyege Tapes’s rogue sibling, Hakuna Kulala
Unflinchingly upfront and echoing the viral US/UK sound, but mostly rapped in Bantu Swahili, ’Nai Yetu’ is an unmissable introduction, where needed, to the world of Kenyan urban music. It stars a stellar roll call of Mombassa’s hottest drill rappers; Natty, Buruklyn Boyz, Dyana Cods, Jovie Jovv, Da Vaji, Tulia, Wakandinali, Mbogi Genje - as well as select cuts of the more dancefloor-primed Gengetone sound from the likes of Mbogi Genje / SWAT/ Kenya Sihami/ Oksyde, and contemporary Kenyan “urban”, such as Nah Eeto / Monski/ Oksyde ft. Ares66 - BAZUU/ Mastar VK, for 74 minutes of properly crucial listening.
At the helm is DJ Iche, a central player in Mombassa, whose production and singing is heard across her mix, bridging the related but distinctive styles, and toggling the pressure in a way that mirrors the road-level heat and molten flows that links southside Chicago to London’s north/south sounds and Brooklyn right now. Like the Ghanaian drill styles showcased by the likes of Shannen SP in the UK, DJ Iche’s take on the genre portrays the young Kenyan sound at its most rugged, replete with icy minor key motifs and transfixing glyding basses, but also leaning into killlller bits juggling jungle and drill and its Gengetone parallels unique to Kenya.
Trust it’s 100% flames.
7 tracks from producer Unfinished Portraits released on Blundar.
"Unfinished Portraits crafts a coherent album experience that is equal parts empty space and density. Working in a seemingly collage-like fashion, the opening track juxtaposes rhythmic elements that just barely fit together; declaring upon entrance that all expectations from here on out are futile. Tension builds through a sparse palette of sounds both tactile and atmospheric. Dry, isolated clicks of digital clean trickling through a humming industrial space. Segments are abstract on their own, but stitched together still form an elegant whole. Just when you think you’re getting lost into avant experimentation, something cuts in to surprising effect. It feels “live” in a way only improvised music can."
Evan Lindorff-Ellery is a visual and sound artist based in Kingston, New York, and co-owner of Notice Recordings.
""No Water Recordings 2011" was created in Ravenswood, Chicago using a hydrophone against a bridge, above water, and a contact mike and ceramic insulator against a brick. The recordings were captured to cassette which was transferred 10 years later by Branic Howard. This album exists as an antithesis of much of Evan's recent fascinations with water, yet accommodates similar poetic endeavours."
Morphine back with this distinctive new set from acclaimed Serbian singer Svetlana Spajić (Antony and the Johnsons, William Basinski, Marina Abramović) alongside drummer Andi Stecher and Dekorder's Guido Möbius on this border-breaking debut album, fusing traditional Serbian folk elements with experimental electronics and expressive drumming. There are few comparisons here, but it should be essential listening for anyone into the Stroom axis.
The trio's unusual world-building meshes Möbius's abstract electonics and Stecher's intuitive, almost Krautrock-esque drumming with Spajic's distinct and moving vocals. Spajic is an Serbian icon, and has performed with artists such as Marina Abramović and Robert Wilson. She's best known for her contemporary realizations of Serbian traditional music, and here she dips seamlessly from old standards into personal improvisations. All the lyrics are taken from traditional music, allowing her own interpretations of extinct forms in line with the customs of traditional village singers.
On the opener Spajic reworks a love song from Odevce, a village in what's now eastern Kosovo, wailing mournfully over Möbius's drones and loose rhythms from Stecher, who slowly builds into a ritual thrum. 'Oh My Rose Flowers' is even more unusual: Spajic sings a song from southwestern Serbia in a scale known as 'kopaonički glas' or Kopaonik mountain air, modulating long tones while Möbius adds metallic feedback and Stecher drives forward with a pounding thud. Somehow, this music has the intensity of doom metal - think early Earth or Sunn O))) - and yet exists in entirely its own musical landscape.
Dizzying multi-instrument devotional jams based on Afro-Arab sufi trance music from Tunisian percussionist Houeida Hedfi, assisted by production from The Knife's Olof Dreijer.
When Hefdi picked up drumming for the first time, she was already an established academic, working in economics and mathematics. But her inquisitive interest in Afro-Arab sufi trance music led her towards percussion, and she began touring alongside teaching, reaching out to Tunisian violin player Radhi Chaouali and Palestinian bouzouk player Jalal Nader, for a nine years stretch touring back and forth across Europe and North Africa.
In 2011, Hefdi met Olof Dreijer when he visited Tunisia during the production of a compilation of music composed by local women, and he agreed to produce her album. The result is a work that's decidedly modern, but intrinsically linked to Tunisian folk traditions. Hefdi was insistent that the music should use Arabic quarter tones, but the compositions aren't an exercise in simply looking to the past - her music nods to classical minimalism, contemporary post-classical sounds and modern electronic music.
The first handful of tracks express her classical influence strongly - the lengthy 'Envol du Mékong' folds in Philip Glass-style organs into expressive piano playing and bowed strings before erupting into percussive Tunisian styles. In the album's second half, the lid is blown off as Hefdi allows herself to flex a little, experimenting with drums and electronics. 'Echos de Medjerda' is a clear highlight, balancing subtle processes with trance-inducing percussive loops, and 18-minute closer 'Cheminement du Tigre' is the record's most mind-bending moment, creating a singular mood with bells, electronics, drums and evocative pads.
Raime + Valentina Magaletti's Moin project sum up their influences on a class 90 min mixtape delivered in the wake of a their ace debut album ‘Moot!'.
Marking nearly 10 years since Joe Andrews, Tom Halstead and Valentina Magaletti’s side-project emerged on their Confessions (a sublabel of Blackest Ever Black) split with Pete Swanson, the mix renders a scuzzy deep dive into their enviable record collections, racking up a feral selection of bullets that reek of beer-stained back room pub carpets, cigs and sweat. Beloved for their numerous mixtapes over the years, the group here fuck off the mixing in favour of a no frills barrage of angst-ridden, snotty vocals and wiry guitars delivered with armfuls of jittery melodies designed to an adrenalin rush. Aye, no need for ID’s on this one, just join the dots between their overarching love of underground energy in its myriad, direct and obtuse forms.
Two tracks from Overmono released on XL Recordings.
"Over the course of the pandemic Overmono have undoubtedly risen to become the most sought-after dance act of 2021. Shows at festivals like Greenman, We Out Here, Field Day and Gala were all hailed as highlights, as was their sold out, packed-out headline show at Village Underground earlier this month. Their track ‘So U Kno’ is the anthem of the summer and their ‘Fabric Presents Overmono’ compilation and mix is being hailed as one of the best the revered London institution has released."
Another treasure trove from Death is Not the End, "Wounds of Love" collects 1960s slow rock, pop and R&B 7"s from Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Super moving stuff, that digs deeper and more meticulously than similar sets from Sublime Frequencies et al.
This bumper set unearths music that's rarely heard on this side of the world. During the 1960s, Phnom Penh was flooded by music: rock and pop records from the UK and USA, and chanson and bolero 45s from France and Latin America. The result was these sounds being absorbed into the country's musical landscape, which until that time was mostly influenced by Hindu forms and classical dance.
"Wounds of Love" looks at the Phnom Penh scene before the widely-known garage rock boom of the late 1960s, and it's a revelation. These songs are slow and romantic, undoubtedly inspired by pop and rock trends but spiked with a unique Khmer element that sets them in their own dimension. Gorgeous stuff.
Reissue of 1993's 'Synaesthetic' by A Positive Life on re:discovery records.
"This seminal release is revered and beloved by fans and followers of early 90's electronic, IDM, techno, dub and chill out music.
Key tracks include the Orb-esque 'The Calling', the magnificent 'Pleidean Communication' and the chill out dub classic 'Aquasonic' among others. This new reissue also adds the track 'Warehouse 5am' which was orginally only releases on the American cd version and not the original vinyl."
As sampled by DJ Shadow on Latryx’s ‘Lady Don’t Tek No’, Panaché’s deep funk nugget resurfaces on Isle Of Jura
Revolving a legit sample of the bassline from Granter Flash’s ‘The Message’, the original version of ‘Every Brother Ain’t A Brother’ was produced in 1982 by Brooklyn’s Freddie Thompson and his band, Panaché - so named as an attempt to sound even classier than Chic. Their late gem is perhaps best known as the sample source for a DJ Shadow production for The Soleside Crew’s Latryx, where it remained largely untreated. This necessary reissue includes the vocal and instrumental mixes, plus Jura Soudnsystem’s remix augmented with extra conga and cowbell percussion for a dubbed out disco rap swagger.
Exquisitely bittersweet free folk songcraft by Japanese improv legends Reiko & Tori Kudo of Mahar Shalal Hash Baz, adding to the illustrious roll call of A Colourful Storm’s recent, flawless run - RIYL Noise, Keiji Haino/Fushitsusha, Tenniscoats
Collecting nine songs of a ten year+ vintage, ‘Tangerine’ is as effervescent, tactile and tangy as its name suggests, presenting a “deeply human, romantic recording” that highlights the remarkable versatility, and strength in fragility, of two key players in Tokyo’s incredibly fecund experimental scene. Previously only available on a domestic CD release, the album is also notably Reiko and Tori’s last duo recording, marking the 30 year culmination of their work since their first release, as Noise with ‘天皇’ (1980), with a clear testament to their intimate familiarity - they are married, after all - oozing out of every song; from the outstanding transition from tremulous folk to string dissonance on ‘The Deep Valley of Shadow’ thru the heart strumming blues folk gurn of ‘When Seeing the Setting Sun Alone.’
Recorded during autumn, winter and spring 2011-2012 at Village Hototoguiss - a bucolic studio setting near a spa in the Japanese countryside - and also including one song record at Cafe Oto in 2009, the album feels like we’re privy to a private musical convo between lovers. Each song strikes the finest balance of puckered sweetness and intuitive rawness, each speaking to a lifelong immersion in the punk/psych/folk/free realms, as exemplified on the radical subtleties of ‘Katakana’, which exerts the uncanniest spin on smoky jazz and wizened folk, while ‘Homeless’ plays it beautifully straight for the most, but can’t help but express their slant in its closing strokes of ratty discord, and the title tune itself most curiously elides a sort of Eastern European folk tone with etheric jazz vox in the most spellbinding style.
DJ Sprinkles' classic Midtown 120 Blues, self-released by Terre Thaemlitz through their Comatonse imprint and finally available again.
Bringing deep house back into contact with its club culture roots, Terre Thaemlitz created one of the most essential house albums of the last two decades with 'Midtown 120 Blues'. Terre was originally working as a DJ under her Sprinkles alias in the gay clubs of midtown Manhattan and New Jersey in the late 80's when deep house began to blossom. It's this early period of House history which Terre has beautifully recreated over 10 tracks, making a pointed comment with the intro track taking shots at Strictly Rhythm for becoming 'Strictly Vocal' and pulling no punches towards "Most Europeans who think deep house means shitty hi-NRG vocal house".
With the intentions made clear, Terre develops a masterpiece of serene melancholy and sublime deep house crafted with the skill and dedication of someone who you know lived this music through every fibre of their being. From the rich subbass driven tones of 'Midtown 120 Blues' with plaintive pianos slowly encircling one another, to drag queen monologues over the deepest ambient brushed rhythms on 'Ball'r (Madonna-Free Zone)' or head-meltingly warm chords and caressed percussion of 'Brenda's $20 dilemna' - this will suck in and swallow you whole - transporting you to another place, another time.
A total pleasure.
please remember that we support Terre and Comatonse Recordings' efforts to keep projects offline, minor, and acting queerly. When purchasing this item, we ask you to refrain from uploading and indiscriminate sharing in any form. <3
Follow up to bio-rhythm 1 and bio-rhythm 2 on Network Records.
"It’s not normal to take 31 years to release a follow up album. But then Network was never a normal sort of record label, and often opted for the quirky rather than the quick buck. The logo was launched in 1990 and that year, along with a slew of startlingly good singles, created and issued two bio-rhythm compilations, each of which showcased cutting edge USA techno rubbing shoulders alongside its’ sparse UK bleep counterpart.
At the time the words quality and dance music compilations were not phrases shared that much. bio-rhythm 1 and it’s almost instant follow up bio-rhythm 2 bucked the trend with groundbreaking exclusive tracks, iconic minimal artwork and surreal sleeve notes. Each of the albums have been hailed by many as piece de resistance primers to electronica music.
As well as capturing the zitgeist of a blurry everything of that moment experimental time, they have endured to be acclaimed as all time iconic classics. So why was there no follow up? One reason was that things were moving so bewilderingly fast at the time for Network that the emphasis was always on the next thing, not regurgitating repetitive beat ideas. Another was that the opportunity arose to direct the acumen gained from the bio-rhythm experience at the release of two (now equally acclaimed) compilations from Frank and Karen Mendez’s cult Nu-Groove label."
Debut album from Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls' Frankie Rose and Running's Matthew Hord - a low-key synthpop marvel, finding a slippery mid-point between Cocteau Twins' dreamy melancholy and The Cure's flickering gothic glow. RIYL Chromatics, Nite Jewel, Junior Boys.
Rose and Hord's concept for Fine Place was simple; they both wanted to capture the feeling of New York City after its wealthy residents had fled during the COVID-19 outbreak. Serene but uncertain, the duo channeled their restless energy into a suite of songs that are nostalgic, melancholy, but also magical, a glass slippered step removed from the real world.
Opener 'I Can't Shake It' is almost completely electronic, with Rose's vocals reduced to a faint echo over blips and choppy beatbox drums from Hord. It suggests dystopia without claiming one style or another, before the album swerves into a different direction with 'This New Heaven', leaning into The Cure's over-arching influence and centering delayed guitars and reverb-drenched vox.
On 'Tending To Twenty', the pair hit their stride, referencing the bubbly optimism of early Detroit and bleep techno modes, using Rose's voice as a choral texture. Album standout 'It's Your House' lurches through territory marked out by Johnny Jewel's Italians Do It Better imprint but stamped with a disaffected malaise. A sweet synth arpeggio features in place of drums, reminding us of Nite Jewel's excellent "No Sun" album from earlier this year, reflecting loss and precariousness through a tarnished neon prism.
Really good this.
More than just a live session, this set of weighty, radiating interpretations features Anna Von Hausswolff on synth and vocals alongside the Sunn O))) touring band. Heavy-as-fuck ritual drone - you know it.
Recorded after their 2019 UK tour, 'Metta, Benevolence' is an impressive redevelopment of compositions from their two albums released that year - "Pyroclasts" and "Life Metal". After touring with the material for a few months, the band - featuring guest players Stephen Moore, Tim Midyett and Tos Nieuwenhuizen on top of core droners Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson - had worked on each composition to evolve them into their emotional final stages. Playing in front of an audience has the habit of shifting material, and O'Malley and Anderson embraced the change, looking to create an "all-inclusive radiation of O)))" that would support each player's interpretation of the themes.
Well, thankfully it sounds incredible. Anna Von Hausswolff's contribution on booming opener 'Pyroclasts F' is particularly noticeable, with her vocals pealing out ritualistically over the band's seismic rumble of saturated guitar and thick, modulated synth. It's Sunn O)))'s open-armed philosophy that's led to their work being so consistently engaging - It would have been easy for them to rest on their laurels years ago, but Anderson and O'Malley have continued to develop their sound and encourage the natural shifts in emphasis.
For many, a BBC session is just a formality, for Sunn O))) - it was an opportunity to basically dub a completely new album.
Posthomous release of some of the barest mechanics and deadliest Chicago House you’ll likely ever hear, mostly recorded in the 80’s and now finally released via Carson’s long time disciples at Sound Signature. Best believe that this is the OG shit, never bettered, most of it previously unreleased - all of it a total fucking education. R.I.P legend.
The cover of LeRon Carson's debut album is a reminder of another era; Carson, smiling in front of a pair of decks, bulky headphones around his neck. The Chicago icon died in 2016, but left behind a vast archive of unreleased music, much of it recorded in the 1980s when the House sound was in its wildly creative infancy. Theo Parrish has made much of his obsession with Carson's production and performances over the years - and has put out a handful of tunes on Sound Signature - but this full-length set might be the most fitting tribute, showing the depth and prescience of the producer's sound.
Only seconds into opener 'Sof n Thik' you know what you're in for - fudgy kicks thud slowly and carefully, surrounded by pillowy, soulful pads and the warmest synbass. If you're looking for the root sound that gave rise to Theo Parrish, and in turn Newworldaquarium, Actress, and Andy Stott - this is pretty much the blueprint. Carson's veil-pierced ferric fuzz has been regularly duped but never quite captured. Carson didn't just pre-empt deep, knackered grooves either - tracks like 'Baby Said to Me' and 'Say It' tickle the same loopy funk euphoric sweet spot that Daft Punk, and the later entire French touch kru, would fire into the mainstream a few years later. MLK-sampling '72nd & Ogelsby' meanwhile can't help but remind of DJ Sprinkles with its spare beatbox shuffle and painfully moving square wave bass wind.
It's impossible to overstate the resonance of Carson's tracks; writing music from the Midwest - the US dance music heartland - in the country's beleaguered '80s, they're charged with a hedonism that's far from empty. It's a jubilant cry from Black America, chiming alongside established classic material from Larry Heard, Ron Hardy, Virgo, Adonis and Steve Poindexter.
Honestly, life-changing music.
One of those releases that makes you feel like no other music exists for a hot minute, Dean Blunt returns with a second Black Metal album for Rough Trade, delving deeper into his unfathomable yet completely approachable and direct take on visceral x melancholic folk-pop. Spoiler: It’s really fucking good.
Aided on most of the songs here by Joanne Robertson’s vocal counterpoint and Giles Kwakeulati King-Ashong’s skittering drums, these songs once again connect to AR Kane’s distinct approach to the avant grade thru imperfection. In effect, it feels like Blunt manages to squeeze all the sterile sheen out of overly tasteful music, leaving a throbbing mass of flesh, blood vessels, nerve endings - exposed and beautiful. It’s what AR Kane called ‘Kaning’ (see Dhanveer Singh Brar’s excellent 'Beefy's Tune’ book for more on this) - and effectively provides a vital riposte to a world in which so much “art" is presented and consumed as a form of numbing.
And that riposte requires no explanation - a personal narative woven with little concession to anything - there’s not even a tracklisting or credits on the physical formats, instead Blunt’s ideas are wrapped up in a succession of first grade earworms, string sections here and there, billowing subs - all melancholy and ambiguous bliss.
"Flaws are discontinuities that act as tiny fissures, allowing the dim and distant, diffused gem light of pre-creation to slip thru - it is this that music existed for - a signpost, a reminder, a note.” Rudy Tambala / A.R. Kane
Black Metal 2 is as real as it gets.
Queer deep house pioneer Terre Thaemlitz hustles her entire DJ Sprinkles solo catalogue beyond the seminal ‘Midtown 120 Blues’ album in a crucial 19-track set of NYC-via-Tokyo gold, including many tracks popping their digital cherries for the first time.
‘Gayest Tits & Greyest Shits: 1998-2017 12-inches & One-offs’ sums up twenty years of action deep in the bowels of house with a precious suite drawing from rare and hard-to-find pearls scattered between the late ‘90s and end of the last decade. They span the specificities of a sound rooted in the gay scene of NYC from the late ‘80s onward, testifying to the minimalist, bass-heavy style that Sprinkles played at DJ residencies in transsexual clubs and would later take to Tokyo after moving there at turn of the millennium. For our money they’re some of the strongest, most distinctive deep house cuts of our time, holding true to the fundamentals of a style that would become mistranslated, misunderstood, and coopted by successive waves of deep house dilettantes.
Newly collected and presented in tandem with the ‘Midtown 120 Blues’ reissue, the 19 heavyweight club grooves still kill the old way, focussing on proper jackers drums and sphincter-tickle levels of subbass sparingly ornamented with samples in purist integrations of function and politics that don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. From the earliest Sprinkles cuts in ’Sloppy 42nds’ (1998), a tribute to the 42nd St. transsexual clubs destroyed by Walt Disney’s buyout of Times Square, and 2001’s ruddy nods to that classic Adonis motif in ‘Bassline.89’, thru to proper red-lit basement pressure in ‘Glorimar’s Whore House’, puckered darkroom suss in ‘Kissing Costs Extra’ or ‘Masturjakor’, and up to the heart-punching 10min+ reworks of his Terre Thaemlitz material, it’s a totally unmissable set for proper house heads and far beyond. It’s a document of phase-shifting times helmed by one of the most interesting and important artists of our age.
Please remember that we support Terre and Comatonse Recordings' efforts to keep projects offline, minor, and acting queerly. When purchasing this item, we ask you to refrain from uploading and indiscriminate sharing in any form. <3
Terre Thaemlitz digs deep into her archive for a dead strong 80 minute CD compilation of all her 'Neu Wuss Fusion’s' releases to date, including adjusted and tweaked versions of classics and hard-to-find gems dating back to ’93, including a remarkable liquid D&B cut and an utterly unmissable take on Tangerine Dream - exclusive to the set.
The overarching vibe here hits even deeper than the recent DJ Sprinkles 'Gayest Tits…' set, hovering between the edge of the floor and a late, late night flex instead of driving club pressure, with a focus on bustling breaks and spellbinding ambient jazz atmospheres.
The material here reaches back to the early ’90s, with the kick-less deep House shimmy of opener ‘Thirty Shades of Grey (Demo Version)’ harking back to their debut solo album ‘Tranquilizer’ (1994), and the ambient jazz house lather of ’Sloppy 42s’ connecting to 1999’s ‘Love For Sale’ album, both elegantly edited here, and shuffled up next to both sides of 1998’s ’She’s Hard,’ in its glorious ambient-to-breakbeat mix and rousing ‘Live At Hug Parade’ take.
The set only gets stronger on its 2nd half. The original 11:30’ mix of ‘A Crippled Left Wing Soars with the Right’ makes a welcome first digital appearance beside a mix of its ‘Steal This Record’ edit omitting the ambient breakdown, while also highlighting its incredible, liquid D&B-like ‘1-Step Forward, 2-Step Back’ version - think Calibre meets MvO Trio - seriously - and, just to absolutely polish us off, they include an e-s-s-e-n-t-i-a-l cover of Tangerine Dream’s ‘Love On A Real Train,’ re-titled and remodelled as their orgasmic ‘Sex On A Real Train’ version alongside the 12 minutes of lush, pastoral flutes and subbass in ‘She’s Hard (2007 Archive of Silence Mix.)
Utterly essential, once again.
Please remember that we support Terre and Comatonse Recordings' efforts to keep projects offline, minor, and acting queerly. When purchasing this item, we ask you to refrain from uploading and indiscriminate sharing in any form. <3
Ulla’s recordings of phone conversations and wildlife diffuse into the most vaporous and unsettling ambient dub textures on the third in our Documenting Sound series, recorded over the last few weeks in Philadelphia and recalling Sam Kidel’s ‘Disruptive Muzak’, DJ Lostboi’s ambient hymnals and Vladislav Delay’s Chain Reaction pearls.
Pieced together from airspun recordings made in Philadelphia during spring 2020, ’inside means inside me’ holds a subtle mirror to the new world’s psychic ambiance of existential, slowburn dread. Prizing the sensitively insightful, lower case manner that made Ulla’s recent 'Tumbling Towards A Wall’ album so memorable, here the sound is more poignant, the dissociative flux used to perhaps more therapeutic effect for an ephemeral reading of the times.
In the first half, Ulla makes a subtly heartbreaking use of crackling phone calls and dub stabs, but embedded in the music’s weft they take on an unsettling resolution that’s hard to place. On the flip, more entwined conversations snag in the breeze with location recordings and scudding hypnagogic washes with a signature low key movement that keep you feeling swaddled but uneasy until the end.
After releasing one of the year’s most remarkable records with ‘iki', Japanese pipe-organ builder and sound artist Yosuke Fujita returns with this remarkable 40 minute contribution to our Documenting Sound series, recorded in a cave at the foot of Mt. Fuji and featuring his custom-built pipe organ in duet with a colony of bats indigenous to the area. It’s a beautiful, quietly extraordinary trip.
Traditional Japanese gagaku, the slow and elegant form of classical court music extant since the 7th century, is once again at the heart of this material, but this time in a modulated, interwoven tapestry with what Fujita calls the "inaudible sounds” of nature around him. ‘KŌMORI.’ Named after the Japanese word for bats, revolves around three long pieces, including one for organ and bats, an organ solo, and one created solely from bat calls, all neatly captured using a Sunken CO-100K microphone capable of recording up to 100kHz, and therefore able to net the bats’ ultrasonic echolocation tekkers.
Furthering Fujiiiiiiiiiiita’s fascinations with sounds on the threshold of perception, in the first piece he presents a duet for organ and bats, tones turn to near silence, and then a strobing attack on the senses, while the 2nd part features organ solo around plaintively enchanting motifs, and the third, perhaps most moving part, commits 15 mins of totally otherworldly bat sounds ready to be deciphered by the keenest ears.
For anyone who copped ‘Iki,’ this will no doubt be a buy-on-sight item, and for everyone else, welcome to a world of utterly enthralling, surprising new sounds.
"I'm always looking for new sounds. That desire is at the heart of my life, so it remained the same in the turbulence of the coronavirus. And, I’m also looking for inaudible sounds, so it's natural for me to focus on the bat's echolocation.
Bats were the source of the viruses causing Ebola, rabies, Nipah and Hendra virus infections, Marburg virus disease, and strains of Influenza A virus. Interestingly, coronaviruses and bats are locked in an evolutionary arms race in which the viruses are constantly evolving to evade the bat immune system and bats are evolving to withstand infections from coronaviruses. My music also has to evolve."
Apartment House's latest set is a hypnotic rendition of Morton Feldman's towering late-period masterpiece, originally recorded in 1991 by Kronos Quartet and Aki Takahashi and here performed by Mark Knoop (piano), Mira Benjamin & Gordon Mackay (violins), Bridget Carey (viola) and Anton Lukoszevieze (cello).
When Morton Feldman wrote "Piano and String Quartet" in 1985, only two years before he died of pancreatic cancer, he had Kronos Quartet and Aki Takahashi in mind, but the piece has been recorded many times since it was released in 1993, and has been endlessly influential, like much of Feldman's work.
On this rendition, the dynamic range is tempered with piano and strings fluttering delicately like a whisper over a silence that feels omnipresent. When notes appear from the void, they do so with purpose, hanging like ghosts before slipping away into the aether.
Anton Lukoszevieze, leader of Apartment House, explains why he chose to record the piece:
"Piano and String Quartet, one of Feldman’s final works, is a seemingly simple work and yet it isn’t. As Philip Guston, a great friend of Feldman, wrote ‘Frustration is one of the great things in art; satisfaction is nothing.’ The length of the work (nearly 80 minutes) and the erasure of musical memory (What did we just hear?) is in fact its identity. Feldman makes simple statements, a piano arpeggio or a sustained string chord, holds these things and examines them over time. Gradually, as the sun’s light moves across a still life through the day, like a drawn out Morandi painting, the work evolves and indeed dissolves in some sense.
Using different transformative processes, Feldman illuminates his basic material and achieves the miraculous, an extended work of great beauty and enigmatic wonder. There are ghosts there, tinctures of late Schubert, Brahms and even Janaček, where beauty is a signature of passing time and an ephemeral focus on hearing and disappearing."