Optimo highlight the burned-out blues growls and chops of their favourite singer-songwriter Jacob Yates
“Optimo Music is thrilled to release the new album from Jacob Yates. Not only is he one of our all-time favourite artists from Glasgow, but he is one of our favourite artists from anywhere. Criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.
“The Hare, The Moon, The Drone” is the third album from Jacob Yates. This recording finds the band exploring dark hawthorn hedged lanes, moors and suburban, new build estates. There's something more earthy about the songs but the menace and darkness remains. Musically there is a big shift on this album, a field recording of a folk band from a dark, pine filled glen. The opener, The Car sets the scene for the rural side of the album, dank and stone cold. The tracks then shift through the woods, people turn into animals, we pass a sunlit glade, do you hear a love song? Cassie Ezeji closes the side sweetly lamenting in Gaelic as the snow falls.
Side two is a more urban affair opening with despair in a bedroom in Belgium, we visit a faith healer and drop in on your lonely mother. Lovatt recounts the story of a karaoke addicted murderer before we finally go home to our new build just outside of town where the pylons tower over Michael and his sister Rachel. It's a journey you can go on, looking out of the window of the bus, glimpses of lives glide by, cards on seats promise to help you. Ding! It's time to get off.”
Quick on the heels of his last 12” with Young Marco’s Safe Trip, Darling blesses the label with two nimble electro beauties here
Loosely working around the groove with latinate suss in the lush swerve of Sim and locking off some superb, whirring electro syncopations and chirruping alien voices in Moon Fleet.
First ever official reissue of the very rare Butterfly LP, recorded in Tokyo in 1979 by Japanese songstress Kimiko Kasai and jazz legend Herbie Hancock.
"Due to its super-rare status as a Japan-only release, this exquisite collection of covers never got the recognition it deserved at the time, despite incredibly inspired performances from Kimiko, Herbie and the supremely talented musicians assembled for the project. From heavenly drummer Alphonse Mouzon and renowned organist Webster Lewis to bassist Paul Jackson, reedman Bennie Maupin and the master percussionist Bill Summers, the legendary performers crafted amazingly good vocal versions of Herbie / Headhunters jazz-funk. Unsurprisingly, it has been heavily in demand for many years.
The LP opens with Kimiko's highly desirable version of "I Thought It Was You", an elegant take on Herbie's own anthem. Other superb re-workings include the delicately soulful "Butterfly", jazzy groover "Sunlight", the smooth and sexy "Tell Me A Bedtime Story" and the beautiful ballads "Maiden Voyage" and "Harvest Time". A wonderful example of perfectly understated and masterful jazz-funk soul fusion that shouldn't be missed, the set closes with a jaw-dropping version of Stevie Wonder's "As"."
David Moufang's catalogue must be one of the deepest and most sprawling in electronic music - he has been involved with so many projects, for so many labels, with so many different sounds over the last 2 decades that it's impossible to know where to begin - taking in elements of Techno, Jazz, Drone, House and ambient music along the way.
His collaborative venture with Benjamin Brunn started out life on the Raster Noton related Bine imprint, but it's this amazing set for Smallville that's really got pulses racing with anticipation. "Songs from the Beehive" features 7 extended tracks that take in disparate elements from across Moufang's career, merging them into an immersive wash of sounds that drive around padded beats designed for the floor, yet surrounded by sound fragments and tapestries rarely associated with Techno music.
The opening "Love the one you're with" is a case in point, over 12 minutes the track evolves from a hazy stew of audio shrapnel and loose samples to a deep and bouncy shuffle full of scattered keys and funked changes. The fact that it takes the kickdrum almost 5 minutes to make an appearance tells you a lot about the pace and compositional attitude of these tracks - slowly taking time to unfold and unravel, revealing new dimensions with every repeated listen.
"Honey" makes a welcome appearance, while the immense "Come In" exudes a breathless elegance that's all midnight keys and angular motion - it's just impossibly lovely. With really quite sublime artwork from Stefan Marx, this really is a treat for followers of Move D and great electronic music generally - we urge you to check it out.
Tasty reworks of Robyn & Kindness, with Wolfgang Voigt diffusing the rich pop sentiment of Who Do You Love into a slow tumpin’, diaphanous Gas style with Robyn’s vocals beautifully shielded by sheets of mist, then evaporated altogether and letting the strings take over in his New Romantic Mix.
Mad Professor meanwhile makes it sound like the early ‘90s with a rolling, High Voltage steppers’ dub of Electric.
Jan Jelinek’s iconic album 'Improvisations And Edits, Tokyo 26.09.2001’ is finally given a vinyl issue for the first time. It’s another deep blue mood piece full of fragmented Jazz loops which will be essential listening for those of you enamoured not only with 'Loop Finding Jazz Records’ but also his quiet masterpiece 'Personal Rock’, released under ther Gramm alias. If you’re as obsessed with that album as we are, this reissue is a must.
"For the original 2002 CD on Soup-Disk and Sub Rosa (Audiosphere), Jan Jelinek and the Japanese trio Computer Soup (Satoru Hori – trumpet, Osamu Okubo - toys & electronics, Kei Ikeda - toys & electronics) presented eight tracks all recorded one afternoon in the trio’s living room in Tokyo. They are excerpts from a joint group improvisation that subsequently underwent rudimentary editing, on which Jelinek and Computer Soup worked separately.
Jelinek met the three musicians at his first concert in Japan in 2001, at Tokyo’s Yellow club, where Computer Soup performed as the support act. Delighted by their free improvisation on pocket-sized electronic toys, trumpet and oscillators, he arranged to meet Hori, Okubo and Ikeda a few days later for a session at their apartment. The resulting three-hour recording, made on their living room floor, formed the basis for Improvisations and Edits. A few days later, Jelinek returned to Berlin. Over the following months, they separately chose passages from the recording that were then edited and assembled into an album.
Formed in Tokyo in 1996 as a quintet (including Shusaku Hariya and Daisuke Oishi), Computer Soup began by performing with acoustic instruments on the streets of Shibuya. Ikeda und Okubo soon switched instruments, and from then on the group’s minimalistic but densely woven sound was defined by electronic toys, oscillators and Satoru Hori’s trumpet. Their first album was released in 1997 on the Japanese label Soup Disk. Eight further releases followed."
Jamal Moss turns to his brightest moniker for the astral trajectories of The Anticipatory Organization on Pedro Vian’s Modern Obscure Music
These are some of the more intense, freaky Jamal Moss workouts in recent memory, gettign into orbit with the acidic glissandi and head-warping phasing of The Things We Don’t Know, then staying out there with the oddly bass-less and heady pressure of The Disbelief Habit, until you’re suitably prepped for the blinding white light jackers intensity of The Achievement Factory, one of those real golden moments in the Jamal Moss canon.
Soul Jazz’ latest album ‘Yoruba! Songs & Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In Nigeria’ is newly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria. The album is co-produced by label head Stuart Baker and Laolu Akins (founding member of the legendary 1970s Nigerian Afro-Funk/Rock group Blo).
"Yoruba!’ features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honour and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa. The enormous impact of Yoruba and West African music and culture is worldwide - from the first Afro-centric explorations of African- American jazz musicians in the 1950s such as Art Blakey, Randy Weston and Dizzy the explosion of Nu Yorican Latin music in New York City starting in the 1960s - Mambo, Boogaloo, Latin funk and soul - through to the sacred and powerful Afro-derived music of the religions of Santería in Cuba, Candomblé in Brazil and Voodoo in Haiti, which all came into existence on account of the Atlantic slave trade which began over 400 years ago.
On a wider scale West African music remains the primary root of all African-American musical forms - from New Orleans jazz to Bronx rap, gospel, soul and more. This album features songs honouring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion - Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others - as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focusing on the Bata and Dundun drums."
Music For Dreams release this debut album from Danish duo Dalholt & Langkilde.
"The sultry French spoken word vocals on opener ‘Charite’, ‘Sur Plus’, ‘Tranquille’ ‘& Je M’appelle Spacy’ certainly channel the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg & Max Berlin which compliment the euro flavour to the overall production of the album.
There is a jam like feel to most of the tracks on the album - The Moonboots faves "Bonne Nuit" and "Doucement" both sounds like a Durutti Column /Vini Reilly session made in Copenhagen.
Demise Ducha provides the vocals on tracks ‘Disco Disco’ & ‘Afrique’. Demise’s ethereal voice brings an almost Cocteau Twins feel to the tracks combined with the sweet African (soukous) guitar licks and floaty bongo rhythms are sure to propel these tracks into balearic classics on the white isle.
The album also features the track ‘Versaire’ with Copenhagen friend Emil Breum (The Swan & The Lake) soft sax tempered with atmospheric synth combine to wonderful soundscape effect, a summery 95 BPM chugger!
After releasing their debut single ‘Charite’ in 2015, and ’Sur Plus’ which featured on last years acclaimed Jockey Club (Ibiza) Sunset Sessions #4 compilation, the duo (Mads & Frederick) have been busy in the studio crafting this debut album to be released on Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams label.
Dalholt & Langkilde first met when Frederik came to view a room for rent at Mads' apartment. After five minutes they clicked and were roomies. Mads was already an experienced DJ and Frederik had played at parties with a live band, but neither had any experience making their own music. The first track ‘Charite’ was born in the summer of 2014. Charité was and old idea Mads had, that he would like Frederik to try out ... some first takes later in a gloomy dark basement studio and Charité got its first airplay at Kenneth Bagers radio show at Sonica, Ibiza. "
Hugely sought-after techno classic originally released on Berlin’s legendary Chain reaction and out-of-print for 15 years, now newly remastered from vinyl by Matt Colton at Alchemy.
A massive personal favourite of Demdike Stare's, Shinichi Atobe's 'Ship Scope' was Chain Reaction's penultimate release in 2001 and, with the benefit of hindsight, also one of the legendary label's most sublime offerings.
Phase fwd to 2015 and DDS rightly put it back into circulation with this necessary reissue arriving in the wake of Atobe's much loved archival salvage, 'Butterfly Effect', which caused quite a ripple in late 2014.
Notable not only for its unusually sweeter, dreamier ambient tone - especially when compared with the rest of the CR#'s - but also for its happily lost-at-sea feel, connoting a deeply romantic and almost shoegazy late '90s / into-the-'00s deep techno aesthetic that would essentially become washed away with the advent and normalisation of mnml techno's pristine production values.
Quite simply, it's a must-have for followers of the romantic streak in Ross 154, Convextion and classic Chain Reaction - do not miss!
With his own label and last year's feature on Alix Perez's newly conceived 1985 Music, Compa still found time to delver his 3rd MEDi release.
"With no signs of slowing down his mission to produce and share music...."
Though her instrumentation is sparse - usually just guitar, saxophone, and drums - and her voice is mellow, Yanya’s hooks are always rife with dizzying romantic insight […] NilüferYanya cements her status as one of the most promising new artists of the year.” - Pitchfork
Music From Memory mine more gold from Michal Turtle’s archive of idiosyncratic home recordings made in Croydon between 1983-85. Combining vocals like a pre-echo of Dale Cornish, together with the dreamiest electro-jazz, balmy ambient dub and languid 4th world grooves, this one has breezy summer days and long warms nights written all over its blissed out face.
“Delving further into the archives of British musician Michal Turtle, MFM 029 ‘Return To Jeka’ brings together eight previously unreleased works recorded between 1983 and 1985. Drawn from a larger archive of works the compilation highlights a fascinating period of material Michal recorded after the release of his only album.
Working as an accompanist musician at the Laban Centre in New Cross at the time, Michal there met Jonathan Smart who was currently studying Dance. After being invited to add spoken word vocals to a few of Michal’s tracks, Michal discovered Jonathan was also an accomplished guitarist; and Jonathan would add guitar to a number of recordings from this period. Vocalist Lucianne Lassalle who Michal was working with in locals bands ‘The Duplicates’ and ‘The Wicked Kitchen Staff’ and who had worked with Michal on recordings for his album, would also collaborate with Michal during this period.
While some tracks were produced with he idea in mind of a follow up to his album ‘Music From The Living Room which UK label Shout proposed but which would sadly not materialise, others were in fact demos written for student dance choreographies. Produced in the living room of his parents home in Croydon, South London and later in his apartment in Camden Town, Michal Turtle’s home recordings featured on’Return To Jeka’ continue his unique musical explorations; drawing extensively on the use of percussion and electronics they bring together elements which were not only in many aspects visionary but also sound like little else.”
'Turquoise Tortoise‘ infuses Future Soul experiments into Detroit influenced House, Broken Beat and Techno rounded up with classic boom bap sounds.
"Conceived as a loose limbed creative experiment,'Turquoise Tortoise' was not written and recorded in the classical sense of a collaboration as Astro explains: "We had the idea of doing an album together for quite a while, but with one of us living in Cologne and the other one in Berlin we never really had the chance to spend enough time together in one place and go to the studio together properly."
Unsatisfied with simply sending files back and forth via the net, they struck upon the idea to produce tracks individually, bringing them together finally on one album.
"Although we didn't make the music together it still was really important to us to have a motif and to keep keep it cohesive." Astro adds.
This was achieved by exchanging key elements/ FX taken from each of the 'completed' song and weaving them in to each of the productions as little call backs or references to each other, the smudged and trippy vibe perfectly complimenting such an approach.
Hodini's experience working with vocalists proved invaluable, as Turquoise Tortoise is the first time that Glenn has worked on a record with such a portfolio of talented featured artists - Ajnascent contributes his dulcet tones to 'Found!' and 'Viktor And The Quasar' to mesmerising effect. Longtime Astro pal Max Graef shows up to play bass on the vibey b-boy workout 'Malaysian Moped' alongside a carefree vocal contribution by knowsum. A Uk flavour come courtesy via the rap/toasting talents of Peckham's MC Pinty on the beatific 'Beautiful Music'.
The album title 'Turquoise Tortoise' can be seen as a metaphor," Astro smiles "The turtle or tortoise is often used to describe processes that move forward at a slow pace. This was often the case for the album, to bring everything together the way we wanted, so we thought it symbolizes this really well."
Back in the day, French pianist, composer and all-round jazz superstar Jean-François Quiévreux, aka Jef Gilson, was up there alongside the likes of peers John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, and Sun Ra.
"In a fitting homage to the decades-worth of sublime music, and his sad passing away in 2012, French quarter Palm Unit present a lively, honest tribute, upbeat, and contemporary re-interpretative vision of his legacy.
Gilson has been noted for changing the face of bebop with free-jazz and Afro. Along the way, his big band featured the likes of Lloyd Miler, Bill Coleman, Michel Portal, and others. With his own recording studio and label Palm Records, Gilson released music from greats including Byard Lancaster, David S. Ware, François Jeanneau, and more. He also helped embed a more ethno style to the world of jazz, inspired by his visits to Madagascar, which resulted in the famous Malagasy jazz albums. Palm Unit, a wildly eclectic super-group of jazz greats, includes uKanDanZ's saxophonist Lionel Martin, keyboardist Fred Escoffier from Le Sacre du Tympan, drummer Philippe 'Pipon' Garcia whose mostly known from his worth with the Erik Truffaz Quartet, and special guest Del Rabenja -- who played alongside Gilson in Malagasy -- on the Madagascar valiha harp.
Palm Unit plays Gilson's repertoire without any a priori, in a totally complex-free manner, reinventing it whilst preserving its original essence. The keyboards sound almost psychedelic (and often not that far from the style of Eddy Louiss on Jef Gilson's '60s albums), the sax scratches, mews, and wails, whilst the drums make the whole thing swing. Even Del Rabenja was surprised to rediscover the songs still sounding so modern, decades after they were created."
Deep, monotone, wormholing techno trips from Japan’s Igarashi, back on The Bunker NYC.
Check for the sensuous tone and effortless momentum of Train Of Thought and the crafty triplets of Broken Telephone.
James Heather presents his debut album on vinyl via Ahead Of Our Time, Coldcut’s (Ninja Tune founders) first label.
"A collection of nine conceptual solo piano pieces inspired by real world news events. The album art by Suki features layers of Indian ink bled into newspaper print. It also plots the nine latitude and longitude locations of each story’s origin. For fans of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Poppy Ackroyd, Max Richter, NilsFrahm."
Cranky, dubbed-out electro fizz from Robert Bergman and TBZ, freshly percolated for the R=A 7” series.
Their A-side is a loose churn of raw drum machines and sticky synth scree punctuated by a persistent if scatty gasp, ri[e for fans of Trevor Jackson or Not Waving at his wildest.
On the B-side Mad Sick is more desiccated, pinched and hypnotic, driving forth with effect recalling Beau Wanzer or Tuning Circuits bits.
Detroit OG’s Omar S & Brian Kage (Reference) reheat a class ‘90s vocal sample in two ways for the ‘floor
Rolling out with clipped congas and bouncing chords riddled with ‘80s Italo-disco vamps and Linn drum cracks in Thru The Madness, then bring some B-More or Jersey sounding breaks on the deeper, wider, 5am face-rolling Honk & Nik mix on the B-side.
The Trilogy Tapes get the best out of J. Albert in the Envy Turned Curiosity EP with four deadly cuts of coiled, Afro-cubed breaks and gloomy synth pads.
Picks of the bunch are the beautifully brooding hybrids of B-More, Dark Garage and UK Broken Beats with cinematic strings on Money Between Friends and the haunted swang of Envy Turned Curiosity, while Deepstate Riddim goes rude and rugged on a dubbed out breakbeat flex and Designer Life recalls the meditative blue pressure of Parris.
Italian duo t.e.s.o. convulse 9 fearsome, crunching electronic sound designs for Andrea Parker’s Aperture, landing squarely between the most oblique D’Arcangelo output, the harsh terrain of Somatic Responses, and the algorithmic asymmetries of Dalglish
“After a period of hibernation, aperture records awakens with a bang and a compelling program in the pipeline. Following their first album released on aperture at the tail end of 2015 'no.3.obliate', the Italian duo t.e.s.o. bring us their second full-length album 'costruzione 04'.
As the title suggests, the album centres around an underlying theme of construction, inspired by radical architecture, brutalism and collages from Superstudio. The concept and title evolved from the nature of the album and the process of building up tracks from a number of separate samples, much like the singular elemental materials used to assemble a structure.
Alongside their music production, the duo have previously created a multimedia installation that investigated the geometric studies of Le Corbusier in parallel to the musical production of Erik Saite and Matteo Castiglioni continues to create impressive audiovisual installations such as the recent 'Freddo Flusso' and 'neon(i)', as well as a collaboration with Danilo Randazzo. t.e.s.o. also continue to perform absorbing live sets of their own inimitable range of musical perspective and vision.
Intense, visual and structured, 'costruzione 04' again showcases t.e.s.o.'s complex, obscure and dominant beats and their oblique and sometimes challenging style.”
Much needed reissue of the second and final Stasis album following his Inspiration  LP and the Redcell : Stasis  hook-up with B12.
On this first vinyl reissue of Fromtheoldtothenew we’re reminded of the importance Steve Pickton a.k.a. Stasis played in bridging between the Artificial Intelligence scene in the UK and second wave Detroit Techno.
It's a sound that oscillates between nimbly loose salsa and breezy new age pads in Utopia Planetia and deep but rugged pressure on Behind The Smile, thru to tribal business on Beating Skins and the kind of downbeat, hip hop-leaning instrumentals that also saw him signed to Mo Wax.
Followers of classic Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Dan Curtin, early The Black Dog, Plaid, the Likemind label, B12 etc should dip in.
Krust gets on a wavy good-foot for Doc Scott's 31 with a stripped-down blend of hot-stepping ‘80s synth-pop groove and minimalist D&B in The Portal, and some prime, natty hi-tech rolige in Concealing Treachery.
Dekmantel crack the deeply rugged garage-house of Leo/Mirjam off Betonkust & Palmbomen II’s Centre Parcs EP, and repackage it with a high-velocity Legowelt remix riddled with virulent acid lines and snappy electro drums at 140bpm.
UK techno legend Steve Bicknell pulls the interstellar overdrive lever on Mind Patterns
Firstly hitting serious G-force with the face mangling dis-torque of Vein Injection, then on cruise control in the acidic quadrants of Patterns Of Suppression, and with planet-colliding force on the Preset Minds face melter.
Uncertainty Principle kicks off with five tracks of needling bleeps and bass jitters from FFT.
A smart first move, the fifth 12” keeps establishes loose but specific coordinates between the scratchy SoYo bleep ’n bass of sensory_hyperlinkfft_3abstract1, the Aleksi Perälä style tekkers of 8.7, and the pinched hyaline structures of sensory_unlinked up top, before twisting off into Alva Noto-esque glitch angularity with abstract5, and the skittish bleep flux of collective_disconnected.
Suspiciously reminds of that Distorto 12” on SCSI-AV.
Deadbeat does dub poetry alongside Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann and Mike Shannon, with results ripe for fans of the Jay Glass Dubs & Leslie Winer LP, or downbeat moments from Strategy, Andreas Tilliander or The Bug
“On his latest studio album, Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, ruminates with hard-earned wisdom and confidence upon the notion of carrying on in the face of worldwide nonsense. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve began with the simple idea of asking friends from across the globe for messages of hope. No musical input was provided beforehand, and each participant was free to interpret the request as they saw fit. Though some of the names involved will be familiar to electronic music listeners (Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann, Mike Shannon), the common thread linking all of them is their friendship with Monteith and the many hours he has spent enjoying their company over the years. As so often happens when good conversation is shared among good friends, the results are as surprising as they are inspiring, spanning original prose, dialectic word games, and timeless quotations in six languages. Each song on the album was then composed around the content received, and named after the people who did the speaking.
Ranging from the overtly political to the tenderly inspirational and many points in between, Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve provides verbal expressions of hope as diverse and rich as the experiences of the people who so generously delivered them. Musically the album sees Monteith taking his well-honed sound design abilities and widescreen arrangements to new heights, and exploring a deep interest in traditional analog recording methods to mesmerizing effect. Every sound on the record, whether generated from his tried-and-tested array of software-based tools, or from the enormous collection of guitars, organs, pianos, and percussion instruments found in the Berlin-based studio he now calls home, was recorded via microphone. Even as the very first track slowly fades into existence, it's clear that the smoke filled atmosphere of the place has penetrated the recordings to their very core. Indeed, it is no understatement to suggest that without the physical confines of the magical studio Chez Cherie, and the countless late night conversations and musical contributions of all the other beautiful souls who occupy it (T. Raumschmiere, Ben Laubner, Tilman Hopf, PC Christensen, and of course Cherie herself), this latest Deadbeat album would have been an impossibility. Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve is a document of collective action, and the power of community.”
Brilliant reissue of Maria Monti's Il Bestiario, originally released in 1974 and a prime example of the avant-garde art-song of the 1970s.
"Known for her renderings of Italian popular songs, Maria Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career: cabaret singer in the '60s, ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the '70s, and starring in films by directors as such as Sergio Leone's Fistful Of Dynamite (1971) and Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900 (1976).
Il Bestiario is a near perfect emblem of the fascinating territory gained through collaboration. It enlisted the radical poet Aldo Braibanti as its lyricist, features arrangements and synthesizer from Alvin Curran (Musica Elettronica Viva), the baritone saxophone of Roberto Laneri (Prima Materia), as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz legend Steve Lacy.
The result is absolutely stunning, musically unique within the respective outputs of its participants' long and noted careers. Unquestionably one of the most beautiful and neglected albums of its decade."
Stephen O’Malley serves Ragnar Johnson’s transcendent recordings of sacred flute ceremonies in New Guinea on his amazing Ideologic Organ label. Johnson’s Sacred Flute Music From New Guinea: Madang / Windim Mabu album was previously reissued on Ideologic organ in 2016, and was recently sampled on Björk’s Utopia album. This collection, featuring an array of mostly unaccompanied flute recordings, is equally spellbinding and worthy of your close attention.
“Crying Bamboos is a translation of the pidgin description of the sound of sacred flutes: “Mambu i cry, i cry, i cry”.
Sacred flutes are blown to make the cries of spirits by adult men in the Madang region of Papua New Guinea. Pairs of long bamboo male and female flutes are played for ceremonies in the coastal villages near the Ramu River. There are seven male initiation flute cries from Bosmun, four flute cries from Bak: Borai with occasional single garamut percussion and two flute cries from Kaean, one with vocals and hand drums. The flute players were of the last generation to have learned this skill during a complete cycle of male initiation. These previously unreleased recordings were made in 1979.”
This debut album, by keys player, composer and producer Joe Armon-Jones, is buoyant, celebratory and welcoming. With a background in jazz, he draws from influences in dub, hip-hop and soul.
"Different traditions are infused and commingled together. Soulful brass arrangements are coloured with carefully-tuned atmospherics; individual flashes of brilliance are bound into the album’s bigger picture.
He’s part of London’s young, jazz-influenced music scene. Drawn from that same close-knit circle, the album features the likes of Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and Oscar Jerome. It’s playing with those – along with Ezra Collective, which he co-founded, and touring with the likes of Ata Kak and Pharoahe Monch – which has honed his playing and grown his ideas.
It’s made for a record with an unmistakable depth. He draws on deep musical understanding, making music which is warm and has a feeling of joy. A document of his vision for bringing together his different influences, it’s also a testament to hard-earned, head-turning musical virtuosity."
Chicago sound-weaver Jessica Risker is nudging Psychedelic folk back into plain view.
"Comprised of eight aural vignettes, I See You Among the Stars is a wood-grained, amber-hued world respectfully orbiting influences like Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and the softest moments of Broadcast. Paisley fabrics fade beneath an uncovered window, while dust and smoke billow gently through the sunbeams that never fully reach the dark half of the room. I See You Among the Stars achieves what the best music in the genre does: pictures with tangible depth, color, and detail painted with only a few well-chosen pigments.
It’s apt that Risker, a musician and sound designer since her teens, embodies the dichotomous foundation that makes acid-folk so timelessly intriguing. “I tend to approach music from two different angles” she says of her process. “The first is just songwriting — melody, chord changes, lyrics — those basic elements. The second angle is more an exploration of sounds, with the idea that there are no constraints. I See You Among the Stars is an exemplar of spaced out psych-folk that seeks to convey the intimacy and introspection of a woman going about her simple matters at home, while creating an atmosphere to provide melancholy accompaniment to these very tasks.
But the final result is something much more: a polyhedral, exploratory, and mystifying peer into a detailed pop-up storybook that reflects the mind and heart of its luminous creator. "The extraordinary loving magic of Chicago’s DIY culture has produced another masterpiece of emotional clarity and songcraft. I’ve been awed watching Jessica shape these songs into perfect concise visions in basement show after coffeeshop show. It’s exciting for everyone else to finally get to see into her introspective world."
Rob Sevier, co-founder of Numero Group
Vive la Void is the new solo project of Sanae Yamada, co-founder and keyboard player of Moon Duo. RIYL Stereolab, Broadcast, Fever Ray...
"Yamada wrote and recorded the self-titled debut album over roughly a two-year period, during windows of downtime in Moon Duo’s substantial touring and recording schedule. The dense, shape-shifting atmospheres of the seven songs grew out of late-night basement experiments in the layering of synthesizer tracks, a process that also led to meditations on the changeable nature of memory and perception. The result is an undulating blend of ethereal swirl, low end thrumming, and electric crackle, buoyed by Yamada’s understated but captivating vocal melodies and her striking lyrics.
“The lyrics were a way of reckoning with my own memories and also of trying to process my reactions to the human situation,” Yamada explains. “I wanted the voice to have a kind of ghostly quality, to emerge from and recede back into the song, or to pass over it like weather. It’s one of many layers of sound, which are meant to blend together in such a way that on one listen you might hear one thing, and on another listen you might hear something else, so the music seems to change even as it stays the same.”Yamada has spent the last decade as a working musician, moving between semipermanent home bases whenever she isn’t living in a tour van. In some ways, then, it feels inevitable that Vive la Void became a meditation on the strange rhythms of long-term touring, constant relocation, and the accompanying stream of brief but compelling encounters. It’s a testament to her empathy and creativity that these songs feel both specific and universal, familiar yet tantalizingly unknowable.
“I feel like the movement of life in the sphere of consciousness is this process of trace-leaving,” Yamada reflects. “Wherever we go, whomever we interact with, whatever we touch, we leave and absorb these invisible traces, this residue of memory that lingers. I wanted the sonic textures of this record to explore that state of being there and not there, of something being with you but not tangible.”
Copenhagen’s Iceage - Elias Bender Rønnenfelt (vocals, lyrics), Jakob Tvilling Pless (bass), Dan Kjær Nielsen (drums) and Johan Wieth (guitar) - release their fourth album, ‘Beyondless’.
"After returning with ‘Catch It’, their first new material since 2013’s ‘Plowing Into The Field Of Love’, Iceage have now shared ‘Beyondless’ lead track ‘Pain Killer’, featuring Sky Ferreira (the first guest vocalist to ever be featured on an Iceage song). Additionally, the band announced March residencies in New York and Los Angeles and dates in Japan in April, with their previously announced European ‘Beyondless’ radiates joy.
It’s an album that shows Iceage finally catching up with their ambition, all the while retaining the rich character of the band’s brash beginnings. It’s important to pay attention to the journey, from ‘New Brigade’ (2011), a juvenile delinquent take on post punk, full of cold, distant condemnation and onto the ecstasy of ‘You’re Nothing’ (2013), shedding the more aggressive hardcore influence and dragging in more light, a tendency followed on ‘Plowing Into The Field Of Love’ (2014).
Throughout their career, the band’s charm has rested in their running ahead of themselves with blind confidence; on ‘Beyondless’, they are treading with a disarming assurance but no loss of charm. The album was produced by the band with Nis Bysted and Göteborg, Sweden and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios in Seattle. The album was played entirely by Iceage with additional performances by Nils Gröndhal (violin), horns by Kasper Tranberg (trumpet), Lars Greve (saxophones) and Morten Jessen (trombone)."
Boli Group present their keenly anticipated début album, N.P.D.S. on Posh Isolation. A suite of classicist chamber arrangements for Piano, Cello, Violin, Alto Sax & E-Max infiltrated by sparingly used synths, this is the sound of rarified contemplation in breezy white rooms, hovering between stately solemnity, urbane spirituality and ornate ennui...
"Hartvig is perhaps best known for his work with the group Synd Og Skam. And though less known, Brynje 1&2 is just as exceptional. Taking both technology and classicism as allegories, each group charts routes in and out of pop music, somehow arriving at an observer's distance to the distinct stylistic choices in the process. The label Visage has published the best of this, and the logic has certainly been carried into 'Boli Group LP,' the latest offering from Hartvig and his distinguished ensemble of Nina Cristante, Holger Hartvig, Thea Thorborg, and Cæcilie Trier.
There is a nearly unendurable fragility to 'Boli Group LP.' It's as if Hartvig has let the complexities of his themes stand in mourning; his narrator taking a moment to themselves behind sunglasses, exhausted for the rose-tinted lens of the prepared script. The album is willingly dramatic, though it never plateaus into melancholia. Hartvig pirouettes at the edge with the sorrowful string arrangements and the pristine timbre of the piano, the immediacy of the acoustics always binding the listener tightly to the risk. Pastoral and meditative, the electronics don't tamper with the delicate fabric being woven. They always register as supportive and understated. The synthetic hum, occasionally yielding a doleful melody as it does, manages to imbue a naiveté to this contemporary and subtly idiosyncratic chamber music.
Though the track titles lead us on, in time the examination the album provokes is that of the tension in transparency. The album's secret, barely kept through the minimalism, is its distinct folk noir quality in holding it. "boli group creating new chamber folklore embracing the playing of instruments, not the played, but that which is playing for the sake of future focus and edit into the very minerals of instrument, intuition, emotion, fragility underlying, the warning, always pulsating acts of drama, wet leaves, asphalt, pan to right, agriculture and electricity poles a container ship, lonely in horizon hoping for a clear thought, but everything existing as conspiracy the sound of a search, uncertain and always asking, for certainty is false, showing sceneries changing permanently and forever narrating, like a panorama of grey clouds, keeping humidity levels high, heating up before the release of water and lightning investigation for folk instruments. What are their songs and where will they go, over time, woven together like a piece of fabric created to stand against the lethal winds”
Always working purely on their own instincts and co-ordinates, Gnod’s pathway into unchartered territory continues to move firmly on with nary a care for the sanity of anyone in their surroundings. Chapel Perilous is a still more indomitable chapter in a transcendental travelogue from an iconoclastic institution that only gathers momentum with the passing of time. Wherever Gnod go in 2018 and beyond, expect reality to be reinvented anew, whatever the consequences....
"Chapel Perilous exists whereby the supernatural converges with the everyday - whatever one’s definition of reality, this psychological realm serves to prove it endlessly subjective and changeable. Robert Anton Wilson may have laid claim to the modern use of this phrase - as in his 1977 tome ‘Cosmic Trigger’ - yet there can be few musical outfits in the here and now more worthy of carrying on its tradition than Gnod. In more than a decade on the planet this singular Salford-birthed entity have married intrepid musical exploration with psychic fearlessness - not to mention a tendency to leave any tag or bracket one attempts to place on them utterly redundant.
In a sense, the latest adventure bearing this title evolved both from the lengthy European tour that the band embarked upon in the wake of their stripped-down and paint-stripping 2017 opus Just Say No The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine. Yet recording in Supernova studio in Eindhoven under the auspices of Bob De Wit, the band found themselves free not only to lay down two tumultuous tracks that they had been honing and hammering into shape on the road - the pulverising fifteen-minute opener ‘Donovan’s Daughters’ and the bracingly brutal ‘Uncle Frank Says Turn It Down’ - but to sculpt more abstract material, utilising dubbed-out repetition, furious riff-driven rancour, bleak soundscapes and off-the-map experimentation to create an intimidating and invigorating tableau of dystopian dread and unflinching intensity.
Persistently at the edge of wave cycles for the past decade, Matthew Weiner brings his TWINS project to Mike Simonetti’s 2MR label with a ‘floor-ready and generally easier to grasp sound in That Which Is Not Said, which is to say the acronym of his name spelt out for those who don’t know.
Eight songs variously touch on yelpy, snappy EBM recalling DAF/Suicide (Glass Breaks Glass), the cold synth-pop smarts of Depeche Mode (Taset of Peppermint), The Cure (Stuck), along with side-spins into mutant disco (Before This Runs Out) and John Bender-esque styles (The Sky Remains The Same).
The aptly named "Perfectly Unhappy" features eight new songs written with this collaboration in mind. These are enchanting and lyrical tunes, often melancholic and uplifting at the same time and will surely speak to followers of both the trio and Sheppard and attract many new ones.
"I knew from the first time I heard the trio play that I would fit right in. I loved the melodic sense and vibe and was thrilled when I was invited to guest with the trio in London in 2016. Since then we've had a chance to grow the music with tours in Korea and Norway, before Espen wrote a set of fantastic tunes for the recording session in Oslo. They played themselves and we had a ball recording, everything clicked and in two days we had made a very special album". Andy Sheppard Espen Eriksen Trio was formed in 2007 and released their first album in 2010.
4Since then they have released two more records on Rune Grammofon, and toured in 16 countries across four continents. The music relies on highly melodic and lyrical instrumentals and a “less is more” approach and is often credited for its unique voice within today’s jazz scene by the international press. To quote BBC in their review of the trio’s second album; “A wonderfully plaintive jazz record, abandoned to the lost art of melodic minimalism, stripped back and beautifully near bare. No smoke and mirrors, just the graceful chemistry of superb musicians at the top of their game”
With a career spanning over four decades, working together with the likes of George Russell and Gil Evans, Andy Sheppard is truly one of Europe’s leading saxophonists. Lately, his main focus has been with his own quartet and the trio with living legends Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, both acts recording for ECM. Eriksen´s background is ranging from jazz to pop music and the church organ, while Jenset lived and worked as a musician in Copenhagen for seven years before relocating to Norway. Andreas Bye is one of Norway´s most requested drummers in jazz and pop."
Sleazy psyche grind escaped from Green Door Studios’ exit/entrance to hell. RIYL DIV, Goldfrapp, Optimo Music
“Another fierce and unique act from the depths of the Glasgow underground appear on Optimo Music with their debut Green Door studios recorded four track EP.
Keyboard player Jim McKinven was previously in Altered Images, worked for many years in Martin Rushent's Genetic Studios, was in One Dove and previously appeared on Optimo Music as one half of Organs Of Love. He is however but one component of this transgenerational band.
They describe their music far better than we could - "Seedy Electronica, consisting of 2 Basses, Electronic Drums, Synths and Dark Vocals. Inspired by the avant-garde that influenced the electronic music scene of the late '70's and early '80's.”
V-Sor, X’s outstanding post-punk/cold-wave bullet Authors 2 bubbles back up on Peripheral Minimal.
Hailing from Lichfield in the English midlands, Morgan Bryan formed V-Sor, X in 1979. The classically skinny and drily emotive Authors 2  was his first single, and despite being admonished as lacking emotion and musicianship at the time, it clearly held its own with enough folks to be trading for over £100 on the 2nd hand market nowadays.
Thankfully that “something” isn’t just its rarity (there were only 300 copies of the original), as the A-side delivers a virulent blend of spiky arps and almost operatic, horror-film inspired gothic vox in Authors 2, whilst the B-side makes haunting turns towards what would become known as neo-folk with Station, and an unmissable mix of fluttering synths and cathartic vocals in Back Room Commentator that clearly reunite with fellow Midlanders Eyeless In Gaza.
DJ Koze fully stretches out Knock Knock, a 16-song set of soul-fuelled hip hop downbeats, disco chops and swinging tech-house workouts featuring guest spots from Speech ov Arrested Development, José Gonzalez, Mano Le Tough, Sophia Kennedy, and more.
Working to a smart, sun-kissed, optimistic agenda that’s been at the heart of Koze’s charms since the end of the ‘90s, Knock Knock will likely work a treat for anyone with their head still in that era.
From the guest spots by golden era hip hop MC, Speech from Arrested Development, to the turn by José Gonzales, and two numbers featuring Róisín Murphy, it’s almost inarguably a sound for those that miss the heyday of cheap credit, semi-guilt free smoking, and bootcut jeans. In that sense, it’s a nice escape from reality...
Nina Kraviz gives Mount Kimbie a thorough booting for the benefit of the ‘floor
Turning Love What Survives into an effortlessly rolling techno glyder peppered with dubbed-out vocal idents and pumped by a killer Italo bass arp on the front’s Main Mix, then strippibn it all back for a murkily subaquatic Tool 1, and the lean gym-bunny hop of Tool 2.
Absolutely killer set of mutant futurism from the bassbins of Brittany, France featuring 8 slow Dancehall jammmmz from Low Jack.
Editions Gravats kick off the club-ready Les Disques de la Bretagne series with exclusive re-workings of tracks from Low Jack’s half of the Glacial Dancehall tape with Equiknoxx, all making their first appearance on vinyl.
Arriving 4 years since Philippe Hallais a.k.a. Low Jack started up the Gravats label with his îlot 7”, Hallais returns to his roots with these ruddy dancehall bangers, each nipped and tweaked from the OG tape for optimal, freaky impact inna dance.
Dubwise and direct but laced with strange details that light up on repeated listens, the plate turns up some massive highlights with the loping Linn drum cracks and digickal synth torque of Partei and the rogue bogle of Brass up top, then with some killer sino-flavour on the rugged ’90s rub ’n tug of Raid Leader and the Flex Dance Music-compatible knocks and horns of Light.
You can take it on trust: this one is properly top-loaded with the heaviest gear...
Tony Allen and MCDE help wrap up Dekmantel’s year long celebration of their 10th Anniversary with a funky back-and-forth of Afrobeat and dubbed-out disco.
Afrobeat rhythmatician Tony Allen contributes Asiko, an absorbingly stark yet sumptuous workout of brittle drums and wide, sloshing bass funked up with chicken scratch guitar and featuring an almost ghostly, slightly tired or half-cut vocal dubbed out into the mix.
On the remix, MCDE evens the keel with more rolling bass heft to keep the crowd moving in the same direction, resulting something akin to something from Moritz Von Oswald or Mark Ernestus.
Another collection of handpicked, anonymous and mostly impossible to ID archival treasures selected and compied by Light Sounds Dark.
This one wades through Radiophonic detritus via some derelict industrial wastelands and what sounds like cybepunk electro played on cardboard boxes. Later on, Ambient transitions steer us deeper into a darkened space where 4th world tribalism and pagan rituals spool themselves to tape at some point over the last 50 years. Good luck shazzaming this lot...
“November 2016, 10 years of OTPMD. Vincent Bertholet, still resolute, finally realises his old dream of a ‘real’ orchestra. And thus was born the project to expand the known horizon. The orchestra became XXL by assembling accomplices from the first hour, who had never really disappeared from view, and an English string section met along the way.
From now on, they will be 14 on stage. An anniversary tour, prestigious stages and makeshift squats, unrestrained agitation as in the first days, and a larger chorus, more percussive than ever. The multi-headed Hydra gives voice in concert and the frail stages that host it groan under its weight. Nevertheless, it is in the studio that the foundation of a new adventure is forged. Back to England, in the imposing and magnificent building that houses Real World Studios. After Rotorotor (2014), John Parish is again at the controls.
It’s called Sauvage Formes, a shrewd title, because everything here is as geometric as it is organic. The incisive rhythms, doubled in XXL, trademark of the pack, mingle with the unusually melancholy brass. The guitar riffs express themselves in minimalistic cascades, and since the number of strings has tripled, they allowt hemselves the luxury of entwining with each other, like a carnal embrace without epilogue. The voices, more numerous than usual, recite, chant, lead the dance and poeticise, sometimes in French, sometimes in English, and, in the same spirit, the chorus takes the opportunity to shape the pediment of hymns to elsewhere.
Non crossing these 8 songs as beautiful as they are adventurous, it seems to be a story of a voyage, a torn logbook. On the horizon however, neither boat, nor rickety plane, neither map nor compass. Is it because the continent that is mentioned in these texts and melodies is not a known place, but rather a dream world, a land of asylum for rebels and the insubordinate, for the daring and the benevolent?
The fourth Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp album is like a road, a purpose, an ideal of shared and shareable lives. And the writing of this music is like the defences of an imaginary seafront, like an act witnessing an intertwined destiny, an extraordinary adventure. The story of a chamberless orchestra, a sensitive battalion of unlimited generosity, a wild form that never needed a master to tame its imagination and determination.”
KIller shots of spiky rock with Algerian style, Arabic vocals and tight traces of reggae, dug out from France ’77 and delivered in 2018 by Geneva’s Bongo Joe
“The 45s series goes on and presents for the first time music from the past. This fifth single focus on legendary algerian kabyle rock band Abranis founded in 1967. The band pioneered the fusion of chaabi (traditional) music with 60s-70s western rock, proudly singing in their own berber kabyle language while wearing hippy rockers outfits. Their shows - in deeply influenced by Pan-Arabism conservative Algeria - where often cancelled by governors and the band once was arrested by the police, generating riots. The band kept on playing and recording until mid 90s. This 45t presents two majors tracks from the band:
A Side: Chenar Le Blues released in 1977 have been a big hit on algerian national radio. The band response to The Doors.
B Side: Avehri released in 1983 shows the band’s obsession to merge different music styles with the North African traditional airs. This one goes strangely reggae.”