Afro-Danish saxophonist John Tchicai spent his youth playing alongside the greats- recording and performing in NYC with Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Don Cherry amongst many others.
"Following a meeting at the Coimbra Jazz festival in 2004, he agreed to record with John Coxon and Ashley Wales. The beautiful resulting album sold out almost immediately on its release in 2005 and is available here for the first time on vinyl.
Eloquently balanced between Eric Dolphy and Lee Konitz, his “wise and lyrical……” alto saxophone and bass clarinet playing make this “…..one of his finest recordings….” [Richard Williams in The Guardian]
Pangaea reworks Cuba Gooding’s ‘Happiness Is Just Round The Bend’ as a direct acid techno roller, backed with the fizzing breakbeat house momentum of ‘You Know What’s Up’
Stretching out on his Hadal label the Hessle Audio co-founder makes great use of the tune notably sampled in Mark Leckey’s ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ video, but here with wide, powerful bass and a wonky techno top line.
On the other side, ‘You Know What’s Up’ swangs out with swingeing breaks clipped and tucked into an effortlessly rolling tribal house motion licked up with twanging, honky hook.
Séance Centre serve an astonishing 2LP by L.A. composer and voice-over artist MJ Lallo, making good on the promise of her ‘Star Child’ 12” with a stellar showcase of wonderfully expressive glossolalia and bobbling drum machine patterns embedded in vast synth backdrops. What a find?! Big tip to fans of Jon Hassell, Laurie Anderson, Ramzi, Breadwoman, The Art Of Noise!!!
“Take Me With You is a revelatory voyage through the captivating universe of voice artist and poet MJ Lallo. The works on this 2LP compilation were all recorded in her home studio between 1982 and 1997, primarily using drum computer, synth and her own voice processed through a Yamaha SPX 90 digital effects unit. They range from wordless harmonizer mantras and primitive drum computer meditations, to psychedelic latin dance-floor anthems and synth-drenched end-of-the-nighters.
Lallo has created her own inimitable galaxy of sound where the human voice, liberated from the constraints of language and abstracted using digital technology, is able to explore the outer realms of human expression, like Joan La Barbara with an Eventide and a new-age sensibility. Although Lallo’s flight path is distinctly her own, her journey converges with other travellers as diverse as Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Stereolab, William Aura, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Gertrude Stein and even Terry Gilliam (whose film Brazil was a big influence on Lallo). Like something beamed in from another planet, Lallo’s work is both fascinatingly strange and strangely familiar, and will leave a lasting impression for lightyears to come.”
Digitally re-mastered featuring Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce. The original appearance of Taking Drugs was in fact a bootleg on the semi-legendary/semi-notorious Father Yod imprint in 1990, later supplemented with contemporary outtakes and cuts for the Bomp reissue in 1994 and one further song for the Space Age version in 2000.
"The original seven tracks, dated January 1986 and the first recordings to feature Pete Bain on bass, are collectively known as the Northampton Demos.
Both Sonic and Pierce have been on record as long preferring these takes to the eventual versions that surfaced for the most part on Sound of Confusion.
Certainly it's a fine set of performances, showing a definite step toward the more familiar sound of the group and away from the rougher takes on For All the Fucked Up Children of the World.
"The Sound of Confusion," aka "Walkin' With Jesus," rips along with fierce energy, Pierce's singing and the rampaging, primitive wail and rumble of the band just wonderful.
"Losing Touch With My Mind" takes things to an even higher level, a huge wallop of feedback and beat (Natty Brooker's drumming in particular delivers just what the doctor ordered), Pierce delivering the lines with a flat, cutting drawl.
On the slightly lighter tip, "Come Down Easy" is more or less fully in place (aside from singing about it being 1986!), possessing a more upfront but less vocally distinct feel than the Perfect Prescription take.
The tracks that surfaced on the later reissues come from a variety of different sessions, including the original take on "Feel So Good" and a good live version of "Things'll Never Be the Same," one of several cuts featuring Brooker's drumming replacement Rosco."
After a blazing succession of Sound System heaters, Dug Out offers a spiritual session of seminal nyabinghi grounation from Dadawah circa 1974, perhaps the most mind-expanding, important spiritual dub reissue we've heard this last decade.
It's most likely a large influence upon the work of label head Mark Ernestus in his Rhythm & Sound guise, recalling the magical spirituality of classics like 'Making History' among others in the hypntoic, shuffling pace and intangibly smoky aura that seems to evaporate from the grooves with each listen. The group is led by Ras Michael, guiding a traditional set up of nyabinghi (ceremonial Rasta drums), bass, guitar, brass and Piano organ in four extended excursions over sublime, psychedelic terrain without a worry in the world.
As with much of the best reggae, much of the magic was elicited and embellished in post production, with Lloyd Charmers and Federal engineer George Raymond apparently staying up all night after the session to mix the recording, imbuing the tracks with a dazed, wide-open and echoing personal space. Keeping the standards impeccably high, the album was lovingly restored at Abbey Road and looks every bit the classic that it is. Big up Dug Out, this going to be on rotation round here for years to come.
Demdike land a new 9-track doublepack for Modern Love; a delirious odyssey from UKG to angular and freakish rhythmic jackers, highly recommended if yr into their Testpressing series or anything from Errorsmith to Príncipe, Dem 2, Jon E Cash, Wiley to Joy Division, DJ Scud, Equiknoxx, Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir or Bernard Parmegiani...
Since the release of their album Wonderland a couple of years ago, Demdike Stare have been recording material for this new doublepack Passion; an asymmetric re-imagining of UK club styles taking in frenzied drum trax, shortwave jungle, pinging dancehall and clipped, post punk riddims.
During this time they’ve been busy curating their DDS label and have been commissioned by both the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) and the surviving members of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza to mine and rework their archives. Enlisting visual artist Michael England (Autechre, Skam, Leila), they’ve created a cinematic accompaniment for their collaborative live shows, resulting in the image which adorns this cover - a hybrid/composite portrait exploring/questioning the current use of software in creating hyper reality and the manipulation of the self. The accompanying trailer Includes documentary footage filmed at a Voguing event in NYC, Blackpool promenade and a Newark, New Jersey roller rink, smudgng the lines between live performance, documentary and sonic cinema.
Passion continues a process Demdike began on their Testpressing series of dismantling barriers between urban realism and fantasy, between experimental, pop and soundsystem cultures. It’s an outlandish configuration of avant-garde and ultimately functional club weapons designed and honed for the weightiest bassbins, and also their most direct and fuucked up record to date - a raucous, joyful 9-track smash that comes off like a night on a glamorous, neon-lit bender.
Nana Tuffour’s greatest electronic burger highlife tracks, accompanied by interview-based liner notes.
"Hailing from Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region in Ghana, Nana Tuffour is by far one of the most important exponents of modern highlife music. He studied piano at college and cut his teeth in the '70s as an organist and vocalist for the incomparable Kyeremanteng Atwede and Dr. K Gyasi’s Noble Kings Band.
Fast forward to 1981 and Ghana was at the apex of its golden age of music. This era was brought to an abrupt end by political upheaval when the military took over the government and as a result a restrictive dusk to dawn curfew was imposed between 1982 and 1984. This resulted in a total obliteration of the country's night life, and Nana just like many other prominent musicians including Pat Thomas and George Darko left Ghana for greener pastures, the most popular destinations being Nigeria and Germany. The Rheinklang Studio in Düsseldorf run by a young inimitable German sound engineer Bodo Staiger and another “exiled” Ghanaian musician Charles Amoah played a crucial role for those musicians who had chosen Germany.
This studio became the focal point for Ghanaian musicians and the birthplace of a new sound, now known as 'Burger highlife' - traditional Ghanaian highlife infused with the more up to date electronic and disco sounds of the West. It is arguable that Nana has played a crucial role in Burger highlife and developing the sound of traditional Ghanaian highlife more widely to what it is today, with his innovative use of electronic accompaniment pushing its boundaries to its creative extremes.
It is Burger highlife's transcendence of traditional musical boundaries that helps make it so accessible to listeners, appealing not only to Ghanaians back home but now highly regarded and sought-after by those in the West interested in more occidental disco and electronic sounds. We hope that you enjoy the four songs offered here, each chosen to demonstrate Nana's singular influence on the development of Burger highlife."
‘Der Osten Ist Rot’ is a wigged-out 1984 treat helmed by Can’s Holger Czukay, with drums by his legendary bandmate Jaki Liebzeit and vital synth input from Conny Plank.
Now making its first official digital release, the 1984 album was Czukay’s 3rd solo side, proper, following from ‘Movies’ , and ‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’  in pursuit of an elusive, avant and pop-wise spirit that would also be explored on its follow-up ‘Rome Remains Rome’, before Czukay set off on two seminal ambient trips with David Sylvian in 1988-’89 (recently reissued and very much worth a look-see!).
‘Der Osten Ist Rot’ is perhaps most notorious for both its balmy, mis-leading opener, the strolling new wave pop bop of ‘The Photo Song’, and its title track, an exotica-tinged cover of the 1960’s Chinese national anthem, ‘The East Is Red’, which is likely a nod to his former tutor Karlheinz Stockhausen’s ‘Hymnal’ suite of mutated anthems.
However, the fun doesn’t stop with those two - the rest of the album is a madcap ride, coolly swerving from grooving, brassy avant-disco in ‘Bänkel Rap’, to a haunting organ and vocal piece by Michy (who also turns up on Czukay’s ‘Flux & Mutability’ LP with David Sylvian), and taking in the wild studio cut-up of ‘Collage’, along with the supremely crafty, weightless gait of ‘Das Massenmedium’ which, like album closer ‘Traum Mal Wieder’ strongly recalls his work on the cult ‘Las Vampyrettes’ outing with Conny Plank, while the uncannily prescient rhythmic concrète of ‘Schaue Vertrauensvoll In Die Zukunft’ also deserves a mention.
Seekersinternational do heavyweight dub abstractions and lysergic G-funk for the brilliant Boomarm Nation.
Far less frenetic or cut-up than their recent jaunts, ‘Lost & Found Vol.2’ arrives 10 years after the 1st volume to offers some of the stickiest, most humid and synthed-out gear in their arsenal.
On the A-side’s ‘Friendly Weight’ they daub splashy, psychy synth funk on a wobbling boogie dub flex shook with wooden shakers and smoked-out for the slow dancers. The B-side’s ‘Dub Squeeze Yuh!’ follows in suit with ruddier dubbing, sending the OG synth lixx scudding into the ether around a dazed dub axis.
Upon examining the eventful life of Can bassist Holger Czukay, one might conclude that this intrepid musician was a loner. His turbulent career exuded an enduring eccentricity governed by a boundless free spirit.
Holger Czukay’s debut solo LP ‘Movies’  is, quite frankly as mad as a bag of squirrels, but super playful and cool as fuck with it. It’s his first record after striking out from Can, and he clearly had a lot of ideas brewing and ready to get out
From the Afro-inflected lilt of the guitars on his sardonic disco workout ‘Cool in the Pool’, thru the expansive future jazz and krautrock hybrid ‘Oh Lord Give Us More Money’, to the curiously fragrant balm of ‘Persian Love’, and the lysergic, grooving WTF?ness of ‘Hollywood Symphony’, this one is bona fide seminal, unique and utterly worth your time.
"Los Angeles" started out as a commission work for the Vossajazz festival, and was performed in the scenic village of Voss in western Norway in March 2018.
"A far cry from Los Angeles, but to mastermind and founder HP Gundersen there are no boundaries in music and such differences are only sources of inspiration and natural parts of his vast musical universe. For the previous album "Mudflowers" HP Gundersen "found" and recruited the perfect singer in Maesa Pullman, daughter of famed actor Bill Pullman. Coming from a musical family, she performs frequently in different musical constellations in Southern Califonia, being a profiled presence in the local roots community. A songwriter in her own right, Maesa also handles guitar and piano as well as the drums. Since the release of "Mudflowers", bass player, recording engineer and co-producer Jason Hiller has come onboard as a permanent member of the trio that currently serves as the core of The Last Hurrah!!.
Originally seen as a one-off project, it soon became clear that the chemistry between the three went much deeper and far reaching than the Americana influences that dominated parts of "Mudflowers". HP Gundersen has been a central figure on Bergen´s vibrant music scene for more than three decades, as producer, composer and mentor for many of the city´s artists. As a producer he discovered and nurtured the career of a very young Sondre Lerche, one of Norway´s most successful international exports. As well as Madrugada´s mega-hit "Lift Me" with Ane Brun, he has produced over 50 albums - including Tim Rose´s final album "American Son". He names The Beatles, early Stones, Tin Pan Alley and cosmic American country as his life changing musical epiphanies."
Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis pull out some class, knackered dark wave/EBM pop nuggets from New Jersey's Smersh c. 1984/1989, backed with a gripping remix by the widely tipped Parrish Smith.
As key protagonists of the ‘80s EBM underground, Smersh pushed a rawly expressive sound which, with the benefit of hindsight, clearly paved the way for a lot of weirdos working int he gaps between industrial, odd ball house and screwy electronics nowadays.
The two tracks on the M Appeal EP are two of the most pop-wise we’ve heard from Smersh’s sprawling catalogue, with the slow, claggy electro waltz of M Appeal  making its first appearance on wax, following woozy lines of melodic thought over grubby, pendulous machine groove leading to a real peach in the corroded EBM galvanics and near-Latin Freestyle’d vocal of Kiss Me Stupid, which is guaranteed to get a lot of spins around our way. Funnily enough they both respectively recall aspects of Dirk Desaever productions from the same era, too.
If you need any more persuasion, Parrish Smith sorts that on the B-side with a remix of M Appeal, rendering the skinny, skizzy original with big-boned and dank industrial dubbing and lashings of salty noise to taste. Already a big one with Jon K, this.
Gossamer dream-pop and wistful balearic strokes from Arturs Liepiņš and Anete Stuce’s Domenique Dumont for Antinote, reprising the midas touch of their acclaimed début, ‘Comme Ça’  with big highlights in the gently percolated pop of ‘Sans Cesse, Mon Cheri’ and ‘Le Debut De La Fin’
“August 2018: It’s already been three years since Domenique Dumont made its entrance in the music world with a debut EP named Comme Ca. Despite a seemingly very quiet musical activity (the opening song to Antinote’s compilation Five Years Of Loving Notes was the only song released by the band in 3 years) a few things have changed in-between these two summers: Domenique Dumont is no more the mysterious lone French producer we introduced last time but a Latvian duo, Arturs Liepins and Anete Stuce, which has been collaborating with “an enigmatic French artist whose existence cannot be confirmed nor denied” (sorry, but it sounds like there’s still some mystery in the air, and, again, we’re just as clueless as you might be), the duo have been touring live and, most importantly, they kept on broadening their musical palette experimenting in a definitely pop field. Eight of these experiments are now tied together in Miniatures de Auto Rhythm.
The record probably begins where Comme Ca ended: frantic but light drum programing backbones a solar and slightly melancholic melody on Le Début De La Fin (“the beginning of the end”). However, the scope gets enlarged as soon as one reaches the second tune, Quasi Quasi, or Quand, on the flip side, perhaps the most overtly pop-rock oriented song on the record with its Mediterranean guitar and emotional bridge.
The road towards the apex of the record, Le Soleil Dans Le Monde, is a narrow and windy one, punctuated by toy instrumentals like Ono Mambo Haiku or the Donkey Kong Country-friendly Message Of The Diving Bird; however it never departs from its original tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s quite pleasant to imagine these eight “miniatures” as field recordings from an enchanted world of pop music designed by some Pierre & Gilles’ disciples – or are there
musical interpretations of half-mechanical, half-organic creations from a certain Otto Rhiesem (who might have inhabited the Locus Solus villa)? There might be no definitive answers to this second set of riddles by Domenique Dumont.”
The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s.
"Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes’s similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination.
Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes’s mid-’80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager—wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all."
Bonkers, plugged-in Estonian folk and electronics from the 1980s, courtesy of Olev Muska, a recent star of Left Ear Records’ ‘Antipodean Anomalies’ compilation.
Working a stylistic niche perhaps comparable to recently surfaced reissues of NSRD’s art-pop and the synth fantasias of László Hortobágyi, the sound of Olev Muska - the son of Estonian refugees from WWII - was inspired by a need to articulate traditional Estonian music with a new, modern accent whilst preserving the culture his parents and the network of Estonian expatriates had brought to Australia.
Drawing on his studies at Sydney’s National Art School, as well as a love of psychedelia and the possibilities afforded by cheaper, newly availed synths and vocoders that complemented the stripped down, ‘runic’ nature of Estonian music, Muska reframed traditional Estonian folk songs in an unprecedented way, with results that range from novelty to freakish experimentation, often in the same track.
To our ears it sometimes sounds like cyber ceilidh music, and at others like teenage witterings after smoking banana peel, but for all the daftness Muska’s music can be commended on the strength of its innovation and wide-eyed innocence, and particularly for its dancefloor-ready aces such as ‘Eidekene Ketrab’ from his Elektrio band, and the nippy wedding music update of ‘Tantsi! Tantsi!’.
Lucy & Rrose merge as The Lotus Eaters for a dense and murky trip to the nether fields of abstract techno.
“Lucy and Rrose, now coming together as The Lotus Eaters, have established themselves separately as techno artists who are just as comfortable operating in the uncharted area of experimental music. Running their own labels (Stroboscopic Artefacts and Eaux, respectively), they have gained a cult following, both influencing and challenging the direction of techno.
Their first collaboration took the form of mutual remixes. Lucy remixed Rrose, taking on his modern classic “Waterfall” while Rrose remixed Dadub for Stroboscopic Artefacts, and shortly thereafter contributed an extended EP as part of SA’s Monad series.
Eventually, the idea of working together became inevitable. Several intense sessions in Lucy’s Berlin studio followed, using mainly analog hardware. These sessions gave birth to a new project, starting with two EPs signed Lucy and Rrose, called “The Lotus Eaters” (SA) and “The Lotus Eaters II” (Eaux). With the “Desatura” album, the first release signed under the project name The Lotus Eaters, their common work is refined further, also becoming a live act which will debut at ADE (Amsterdam) 2018.
With “Desatura,” Lucy and Rrose explore themes of physical density, emptiness, and space, creating sonic objects which can be rotated and viewed from multiple perspectives. Eschewing the typical instrumentation of techno, the duo use synthesized sound and feedback as fundamental sources to generate both textural and percussive elements. A sense of tension and weight emerge from sources that cannot be easily pinpointed. The resulting album forms a complex narrative from a paradoxically simple and restrained set of sound sources. A mysterious and profound accomplishment.”
The 5th solo album by Holger Czukay, ‘Rome Remains Rome’ bubbles up for its 30th anniversary reissue on Gronland - bastion of all things good and Krautrock
Arriving after a string of total classics such as ‘Movies’ and ‘Full Circle’’, and before his ambient outings with David Sylvian, 1987’s ‘Rome Remains Rome’ is a typically, lysegically playful and odd collection of songs tripping lines between pop, jazz and the avant-garde.
Make sure to check it for Holger’s possessed vocals on the psychedelic whirligig of ‘Sudetenland’, an appearance of then pope Karol Wojtyła on ‘Blessed Easter’, and the intoxicating drift of ‘Music in the Air’.
Second ever vinyl reissue of ACR’s first record
A collection of early demos and live recordings from 1979 gig also starring Joy Division and The Distractions. Produced by Martin Hannett, mixed by Tony Wilson.
Another warm funk gust from early ‘80s Holland, courtesy of the butter smooth Richenel. Check for the swanging ‘Rap Apocalypse’, the stark soul burn of ‘It Takes Time’, and the arcade game funk of the title cut!
“Music From Memory return with a further six tracks from Dutch musician Richenel. Continuing with recordings taken from his debut album 'La Diferencia’, originally released in 1982 on the cult Amsterdam cassette only label Fetisj, the tracks on Music From Memory’s second EP ‘Perfect Stranger’ includes alternate takes drawn from Richenel’s personal copy of the album alongside a further composition which didn’t make it onto the original Fetisj cassette.”
Perfectly moody new wave regressions from Pascal Pinkert’s De Ambassade, boomeranging back around on blue vinyl for 2018 with its 2nd vinyl pressing
The A-side’s title cut is a groggily measured shot of Dutch language vocals penned by Miriam Bruijning with Pinkert, and sung by Pinkert to his own arrangement of jangling new wave pop guitars and nippy drum machine crack.
The B-side is even better. On ‘Geen Genade’ Pinkert’s vocals mostly take a back seat to the synths and drums, which drive like a sleek European machine down long, straight, clean roads with solid drum pulse and expressive synth strokes making it come off like a Dutch-speaking John Foxx piece.
‘Music Of Northern Laos’ is the 2nd of two fascinating new LP’s recorded by the intrepid Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong) in the landlocked, mountainous, South East Asian country
Specifically illuminating music from the Luang Namtha & Phongsaly provinces, ‘Music Of Northern Laos’ provides a rare collection from a region which has been generally overlooked by the recently burgeoning ethnographic musical industry.
Replete with Jeanneau’s lucubrate liner notes and detailed track descriptions, it’s a totally transportive survey for both beginners and studious ears; covering a remarkable range of styles from the almost sea shanty-esque cadence of the qeej - bamboo pipes fitted with a reed - to quietly intimate acapella folk song; a beguiling demonstration of extended breathing/singing techniques on the tot, a fresh green bamboo played with reed; and thru to ululating songs about solitude; a rolling percussive piece played by a shaman; and a mad, buzzing piece somehow played with the palm of the hand on a bamboo tube.
Highly touted producer Hiro Kone follows her Drew McDowell link-up with a crackshot 2nd solo LP of jagged, physical rhythms and kinetic synth structures rent in acres of noumenal space on ‘Pure Expenditure’
Working intently at the point where EBM and avant-garde electronics collide, Nicky Mao a.k.a. Hiro Kone has opened up a vivid new space for phantasmic expressions of aerobic mysticism and techgnosis. Whether bending into Wetware with Roxy Farman, or taking cues from Equiknoxxx’s mutant dancehall instrumentals on ‘The Ghost of George Bataille’, Kone has consistently warped the fringes of modern, obscurantist electronica with a singular, gauntleted tactility.
On ‘Pure Expenditure’ she pursues that mix of EBM, fwd dancehall-dub and biting point electronics down ever darker lines of enquiry, uniquely probing a formerly, mutually exclusive juncture of emotively gothic themes, rudely rooted rhythms, and sheer, original sound design.
There’s almost too many highlights to mention, but if you need a jump off point, the percolated blend of Little Annie and angular modular shards in ‘Outside The Axiom’ is right up there along with the Byetone-meets-Coil pressure of her title track, and the exceptional play of sliding, bulbous shapes within sheer, hyaline dimensions in ‘Scotch Yoke, Pt. I & II’ and the pranging, sloshing designs of ‘Poortgebouw’.
White vinyl edition of Vektroid’s Vaporwave classic, Macintosh Plus’ Floral Shoppe (フローラルの専門店) now in stock, in our mitts, scorching our retinas.
Originally issued towards the start of the Vaporwave craze, in the wake of seminal early efforts by 0PN as KGB Man & Chuck Person, this album by Ramona Andra Xavier turned a playful idea into a formulaic and frankly pretty annoying style which has been riffed on by any kid with YouTube and a copy of audacity.
In some ways, that’s a great thing, but in others, it became a shit meme far too quickly, but has persisted this way ever since with little or no change to the formula. For our money, you’d be better off schooling yourself in DJ Screw, V/Vm and those early 0PN offshoots, but collectors and vape scene types surely won’t be able to resist this pink vinyl pressing - with poster - even if it means cutting down on avocados for a week or two (give the Chileans a break, eh?).
Idealist returns with his second long player this October, entitled ‘Mind Field’ and featuring eight dub-leaning cuts from the Swiss producer.
"Based out of Zurich, Switzerland, producer and DJ Idealist has become a respected figure in raw, dubby house and techno over the past five years via his releases on Echocord and his Idealistmusic and Details Series labels, picking up support along the way from the likes of Mike Huckaby, Dana Ruh, Tini and Mandar to name but a few.
Here though we see him returning to Copenhagen’s Echocord with his second long player following 2016’s ‘Firewood Street’ on his own label.
Leading on the package is ‘Explorer’, setting the tone with crunchy percussion, billowing stab sequences and airy dub swells before ‘Dimension’ employs pulsing subs, soft organ like chords and gritty analogue drums as its foundation whilst fluttering stabs and sweeping atmospherics wander within.‘Stage One’ is up next, consisting of a weight low end drive, thunderous kick and snappy clap running in unison with swirling dub echoes and tension building strings, a shining example of an effective dub-techno tool. ‘Golden Places’ offers something different, this time round embracing a walking bass groove, soft 303 style resonant flutters and cinematic strings.
‘M.I.T.H’ opens up the flips side of the release, upping the energy levels with a dynamic, robust rhythm, gritty stabs and murky modulating effects throughout before ‘Singularity’ edges things back into deeper territory with fluttering synth licks, vacillating pads and low-slung drums. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ embraces a loop driven approach next with a focus on short, sharp synth cuts, bumpy drums and skippy hats before ‘Final Cut’, as the name would suggest, wraps up the album with oscillating percussion, choppy bass hits and raw drums all unfolding with the subtle nuances prevalent throughout yet another smooth and understated addition to Idealist’s catalogue."
Hype Williams instigator and now solo raconteur, Dean Blunt, sidesteps preconceptions with a quietly psychedelic, sparse and sensual third album.
In 'The Redeemer' he tends to a wipe-clean soundworld of lite jazz fusion motifs, bluesy guitar wisps and new age synth gelled together with dreamy sound FX and distressed ansafone messages whilst nonchalant, confessional vocals dictate a drowsy internal narrative. It's a sort of surreal soul scape simulacra, an adult contemporary fantasy as seen and heard from a detached perspective, a fact accentuated by the intangible, voice-in-your-head mixing and Blunt's lounging-about-the-flat delivery, together with occasional female partners and synthetic chorales.
With 19 tracks in just under 45 minutes he's constructed an intricacy of ideas that's going to take more time and insight than we've got to fully unravel its cypher, to unweave what we may perceive to be ambiguity, or equally, a sort of provocative sincerity, but either way we're left totally beguiled and enchanted after a few listens. As glib as it may seem, the closest aesthetic comparisons we could make lie with 'R.I.P'-zoned Actress, Laurel Halo at her sparsest, or the slight sickliness of TV On The Radio's indie-soul-pop, yet ultimately it sounds quite like nowt out there.
Lower case, DIY studies in avant-garde composition and Japanese folk by Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto and Rie Nakajima for Mana Records, the label run by Matthew Kent (Blowing Up The Workshop) and Andrea Zarza (British Library)
“O YAMA O explores a certain domestic and democratic quality of everyday life, born through associations to folk music of Japan and a folding of myth, tradition, and routine; the non-spectacular and the sublime.
Formed of musician and artist Rie Nakajima and Cafe OTO co-founder Keiko Yamamoto, the group has performed since 2014 at venues and festivals such as noshowspace, Ikon Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre, Supernormal, Borealis Festival, Mayhem, and allEars Festival.
Nakajima’s performance often focuses on the use of found and kinetic objects, using modest items such as rice bowls, toys, clockwork, balloons and small motors as instruments to create a “micro orchestra”. Elements are layered into impressive and immersive atmospheres. Yamamoto alternatively floats and charges through this with body and voice; chanting, incanting, thundering, whispering, stamping on the floor.
Their debut album consolidates their musical conversations into keenly paced studio music, the duo working with additional instrumentation and a resolved focus on melody to provide vivid portraits of folkloric Japan in song.
They move between pop and the philosophical, defined by the overall space afforded to texture and movement. In small, delicate sound an intimate musical climate is established that reflects on life, telling stories of improvised clockwork, whispered dreams, small movements of the hand and the rhythm to be found in the shuffle of a deck of cards.
Grandly theatric and dramatic flourishes add solidity to these illustrations, operas driven by the swooping energy and power of Yamamoto’s voice can be playful or emotionally charged, particularly when the duo arrange themselves in ensemble with violinist Billy Steiger and percussionist Marie Roux. Production by David Cunningham creates the shadowy presence of a leftfield Flying Lizards dubwise depth that adds subtle strangeness to the atmosphere. The result is something raw, full-bodied; full of energy, grace and mystery.”
The Brooklyn based Upper Wilds features Dan Friel (Parts & Labor) on guitar and vocals, bassist/vocalist Zach Lehrhoff (Ex Models, Pterodactyl) and drummer Jeff Ottenbacher.
"The new album dramatically expands their musical scope with noise-pop epics about our colonization of the red planet. Featuring collaborations by Katie Eastburn (Young People, KATIEE), Mark Shue (Guided by Voices), Jeff Rosenstock, Aaron Siegel and Jason Binnick, ‘Mars’ is an album that is bristling with energy and passion. ‘Mars’ is pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with free download card."
Matthew Herbert’s sought-after ‘Part 5’ (1996) swangs hard back into 2018
Up top he commands your swing with the pendulous syncopation of gruff subs and hard drums in ‘Move It’, beside the slinky garage house jaunt ‘Our Love (Has Got Me Movin’)’. B-side he turns out the deep tech house of ‘UK Spring’ and the trippy, stepping tool ‘Love The DJ’, primed for the late hours and endless afters.
Having already more or less written the guidebook, manifesto and manual for understated rock music, Low's hushed acoustic minimalism and fairytale arrangements have already won them a following that's as devoted as it is large.
"The Great Destroyer", to a collective gasp of surprise, finds low turning up the controls on their amps, dusting off their effects pedals and delivering their most robust and loud release to date. It's a mark of their undisputed genius that despite this marked shift, nothing sounds out of place or forced, an effortless transition into a space that will no doubt open up a whole new raft of supporters for their unique sound.
The opening "Monkey" attaches a lyrical vitriol to a beautifully distorted, gnarly bassline, while a similarly jarring narrative follows on the sublime restrained hush of "Pissing". "The Great Destroyer" finds Low at the peak of their powers, you can almost imagine all those years of whispered sessions and candle-lit performances building up this store of noise and adrenaline, finally emerging in this beautifully angry shape.
Low-key, ambient updates of Washington Go-Go and boogie from D.C. area’s Davon Bryant a.k.a. Dreamcast
‘Outer Space’ bumps with a high-grade THC potency, distilling Go-Go into vaporous electronics, while ‘Up 2 You’ follows an old skool line of jazzy R&B boom bap, Future Times style.
Suzanne Kraft beautifully paints outside the lines on ‘SK U Kno’, offering studio-rendered snapshots of material that gradually evolved into the pieces in front of you, drawing woozy connections between wistful ambient contours and more vaporous, hypnagogic loops, into unstable House and abstracted midnight Blues. One of the loveliest/smudged listens this year, huge recommendation...
On the A-side Kraft seduces with eight minutes of wilting chords and percolated synth voices in ‘Gaze’, before ‘Vast Mute’ breezes close to the kind of DJ Screw-style magick found in 0PN’s ‘Chuck Person’s Eccojams’, but to more abstracted, hazy effect.
His B-side follows with the beautifully mellow strums of ‘To Make A Stone Weep’ probing a Jim O’Rourke-like transition from acoustic balm to digital saltiness, and then we finally get to hear the full version of ‘Accelerate Me Wildly’, which now comes with an extra 12 minutes of astral synth-scaping and GRM-like electro-acoustics before it drops into killer, airborne funk trills and levitating chords with a proper West Coast US steez.
So good this one.
Steve Hauschildt’s grasp of synthesis reaches alchemical, intuitive levels of lushness in ‘Dissolvi’, keening towards a broadly appealing ambient-techno-pop sound without losing the enigmatic, abstract, deep space quality of previous efforts. It’s his finest achievement since striking solo from the influential Emeralds and, quite honestly, isn't a million miles away from late 90's IDM keeprs like Arovane's Atol Scrap. And on we go in circular motion...
“In search of the sublime, contemporary electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has designed grids and panoramas of sound across multiple releases through the rise and dissolution of his former band, Emeralds, an American touchstone of 2000s home-recorded psychedelic noise music. Consistent with his solo work is Hauschildt’s ability to coil his craft in precise, varied, and distinctly physical forms. Gently spinning arpeggios converse with post-industrial decay. Sonic fibers sway like pendulums from static melancholy to motorik bliss. Dissolvi, the artist’s first full-length with Ghostly International, engages sublimation from an ontological perspective: by dissociating the self. Hauschildt steps out from the singular path, for the first time in a traditional studio, to compose and arrange contributions from friends. As a result, his most collaborative work to date extends a vast, vibrating framework in which to consider the state of being.
The album's title — a reference to cupio dissolvi, the Latin phrase meaning "I wish to be dissolved" — needn't be taken one-dimensionally or as purely solipsistic. It does, however, serve an apt reference. Physiological phenomena are of interest to Hauschildt. These back-of-mind ruminations find their way out. Songs are cerebral in orientation, but beyond explanation, the music is truly visceral. Involuntary eye movement inspires the serene, sanguine-nearing-suspicious "Saccade." Hauschildt feathers soft percussion beneath the echoed refrains of Los Angeles musician Julianna Barwick, together shaping a svelte suggestion of the anxieties brought about by modern-day surveillance; if everyone is being watched constantly, there is no individual, no self, only a broadly monitored and clumsily cataloged populous. The work of Chicago poet Carl Sandburg comes to mind: “I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.” The individual dissolves into the taxonomic crowd.
Minimalist techno impulses provide a stylistic through-line for Dissolvi. Understated synth phrases and drum grooves take hold in selective moments, like synchronistic structures onto which nebulous mists, like the rapturous voice of Gabrielle Herbst aka GABI on "Syncope," cling to and cloud, producing a dazzling rift in consciousness. The 7-minute centerpiece "Alienself" reiterates this creative logic, burbling like an amorphous body of water on a low-gravity planet, on the verge of dissolving, but never fully dematerializing. The album was constructed in Chicago (where Hauschildt now resides) and partially in New York. "Much of it was recorded in a windowless studio which removed elemental or seasonal references to time in the music," says Hauschildt. "The focus this time was on mixing the album and incorporating a broader set of instrumentation. I describe my compositional approach as being quasi-generative." Embracing new methods and philosophical curiosities, and in turn, expanding the range of his repertoire, Hauschildt proposes a fascinating and profoundly rich experience in listening, being, and deliquescing.”
Sludgy. stoned, avant-rock madness from NYC performance art troupe Hairbone on the exploratory Blank Forms Editions
“Despite Hairbone’s prolific, obsessively-documented life as a performance art group, Earth To Momma is the band’s first studio LP, distilling their sprawling live shows into 12 distinct pieces of lyrical, art-damaged rock and pop music. Their institutional success begs for comparisons to artists’ bands like Destroy All Monsters or Die Tödliche Doris, but Hairbone’s confusion of high and low culture fits them equally into peerdom with the classic American underground of the Butthole Surfers and Sun City Girls. A native of Mexico, de Nieves delivers bilingual incantations that are bolstered by Stead’s synthetic drum sampling and guitarist Whipple’s acid-fried neoclassical shredder excess. The record is a shapeshifting suite that fits veiled commodity critique, volcanic convulsions, blasé songcraft, and a breezy instrumental into a hallucinatory vision haunted by abject clowns and the grain of twisted emergency police calls. With tongue set firmly in cheek—through Stead’s ode to Chateau Diana bodega “wine product,” and de Nieves’s simulated Kim Gordon sighting—Hairbone maintain an irreverent authenticity in an era when the mere notion has become a barren field.
Hairbone is a New York-based power trio of artists Raúl de Nieves, Jessie Stead, and Nathan Whipple, formerly known as Haribo. Functioning mainly in the art world, Hairbone has inflicted their carnivalesque live shows upon audiences from museums to decrepit basements for nearly a decade. Each unique, narrative multimedia performance features frontman de Nieves inhabiting new personae in a sculptural actionist mode, brandishing oversized, text-emblazoned props as if they were picket signs, then proceeding to destroy them as Hairbone’s near-opera burlesque freak shows unfurl. Obliquely political, theirs is a protest music without didacticism.”
Sarah Davachi serves her 2nd album of 2018 with ‘Gave In Rest’, offering a studio developed follow-up to her mesmerising album ‘Let Night Come On Bells End The Day’, which has quietly dominated our listening lives for months already...
As her beatific blends of early church, medieval and Renaissance musics have patiently and patently revealed over the past five years, Sarah’s works for piano, organ, synth, and woodwind demonstrate a unique gift for extracting and reworking the most affective spirits of church music to a secular appeal, effectively voicing a sort of metaphysical minimalism that could be explained as a result of deeply focused technique, but is perhaps better regarded as a timeless form of sonic alchemy.
Where her previous records were documents of a shorter time spent with her instruments, Sarah dedicated herself on ‘Gave In Rest’, spending a summer giving deeper consideration to how Renaissance musicians experimented with new instruments, forms and texture, and “how the quietude… and the openness of physical space, the stillness of altars“ in churches would have affected how they wrote. Subsequently recording with Howard Bilerman at Montreal’s hotel2tango (home of myriad, seminal Constellation recordings), Sarah brought those instrumental ideas to life with the modern addition of tape delays and chorusing effects to infuse and render shimmering new layers of timbral depth to her plaintive melodic gestures, and with a subtle yet unmistakably visceral impact.
In album opener ‘Auster’ she uses tape to slow down a recorder and open up its vibrating innards, revealing a tremulous, transfixing soul in the most humble of instruments, while the LP’s closer ‘Waking’ finds her locating elusive echoes of Baroque harmonies in that most soulful machine, beautifully realigning its putative purpose. In between, her tracks’ moods and titles chart a slow passing of day and night, from he ghostly elegance of ‘Third Hour’ to her sylvan ‘Evensong’, thru to the stately yet lip-wobbling beauty of ‘Matins’ at the album’s core, and perhaps best of all in the achingly evocative coruscation of ‘Gloaming’, a song we already know we’ll be returning to for many, many years to come.
The loaded, polysemous word ‘soul’ springs to mind, on the one hand connoting lofty notions of transcendence, contemplation and reverence, while on the other also helping to define a gentle, slow-burning modesty and broad appeal to practically anybody with ears and a functioning sense of empathy. But most of all, ‘Gave In Rest’ will strike a chord with anyone who listens properly and attentively. To use another loaded phrase, the devil is beautifully apparent in its gilded detail.
Beau Wanzer carves back to L.I.E.S. for the first time since debuting under own name in 2013
There’s been no shortage of material released since his debut, but this cranky quintet of frazzled electro and offbeat industrial slurry marks up his most potent gear in years.
Uptown he coughs up the EP’s biggest dancefloor cut with the shadowboxing electro of ‘The Grim Whim’ beside the blank-eyed industrial torpor and melting acidic slosh of ‘Wick Hunny’, whilst the downtown brings the beastmode roil of ‘He Spilled My Drink’, the effluent muck of ‘Moistures’, and the acidic sputum of ‘Shitty Cough 3’.
Continuing their ongoing mission to seek out old records and boldly go where no crate digger has gone before, Finders Keepers have excavated another essential piece of cinematic history.
"It has been exactly ten years since Finders Keepers Records rst liberated Luboš Fišer’s immaculate soundtrack music for Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (Valerie A Týden Divu) from the vaults of the Barrandov Studio in Prague. As the inaugural release of an ongoing discography of previously unreleased scores from the hugely creative “Film Miracle” that occurred during and after the Czech New Wave (CNW), this score will always retain a special place in the heart of the label as well as our listeners who consistently request an updated repress of this signi cant vinyl milestone. Having grown in status from an obscure and misunderstood socialist-era art house oddity, via the hands of risqué foreign uff merchants, to nally and its rightful audience as a bona de surrealist cinematic masterpiece of world class standards, this 1970 lm adaptation of Vítezslav Nezval’s 1935 avant-garde novella (a lm that literally cross-pollinated Max Ernst’s A Week Of Kindness and Lewis Carols Alice In Wonderland) has garnered widespread critical acclaim.
Inspiring ongoing generations of visual artists, musicians, writers and lmmakers - all of whom regard this truly individualistic and inimitable surrealist lm poem to be an indelible in uence - Valerie continues to impregnate their daily artistic referential fabric."
'Phase 3 : Thones and Dominions' has been one of the more elusive Earth titles so it's great to see this oft-misunderstood gem back in circulation again.
'Phase 3' was a difficult album for Earth, and marked a transition period in between the drone-heavy 'Earth 2' and the classic rock styled 'Pentastar : In the Style of Demons'.
The album includes destructive drone tracks such as genre high point 'Tibetan Quaaludes' juxtaposed against rock riff-fests like 'Song 4'. I definitely don't have a problem with this, but I seem to remember at the time when 'Phase 3' hit the shelves in 1995 it garnered a hell of a lot of negative press from people expecting a rehash of 'Earth 2'.
'Phase 3' was never going to rework the style they had so carefully initiated, and hearing it agin now- it's a strong, powerful record and one which shows a band experimenting with sound and form.
The aforementioned 'Tibetan Quaaludes' was one of the finest pieces the band ever committed to wax, and the free-improv influenced 'Site Specific Carnivorous Occurrence' is another high point in their career. Some of these tracks were recently rediscovered and reworked on the fantastic remix compilation 'Legacy of Dissolution', which has led many to look at them under a different light, and quite rightly too.
Any Earth fans who don't own this need to add this underappreciated classic to their collection, and while this might not be the easiest intrduction to the band's catalogue; it's without a doubt worth a look.
Killer Detroit house bangers from Omar-S and Simon Black
On ‘I’ll Do It Again’ they riff on classic Chicago Trax and NYC ballroom vibes with Simon Black’s raw lyrics set to Omar’s bubbling bongos and kinky jiggle.
The B-side takes it to the bedroom with the double deep bass and heady riff of ‘The Freaky Type’ - pure smut on wax!
Peverelist feels housey on the 50th release from Bristol’s Idle Hands label, shop and bass community centre
Marking his first outing since the ‘Tessellations’ album in 2017, the Avon don plays deep into Idle Hands’ forward soulboy briefin both parts, cooking up a lean and clean sweep of percolated dub chords and slinky latinate hustle on the swingeing ‘Left Hand’, before tucking the groove tighter in-the-pocket with the plasmic apparition of ‘Right Hand’, a daring, barely-there stroke of swing music for the late night/early morning dancers and smokers.
Music From Memory's deep-shelf trawlers pluck out Victor’s swaggering Afro-boogie-dub oddity ‘Amerikan Dread’ to please even the hardest to satisfy DJs and dancers...
Dug up by Satoshi Yamamura and dubbed out by Lipelis and Androo, Victor’s impossible-to-find original 7” is now expanded to a maxi-single 12” packed with life-giving dancefloor sustenance.
Uptown you’ll find the excellent OG mix of ‘American Dread’ with its ohrwurm chorus and wide, rubbery bass along with a seriously strong ’N.Y.C. Dub Mix’ with emphasis on pendulous syncopation accentuated in its cracking snares.
On the flip Lipless goes deeper into the echo chamber with a simmering extended dub saving a superb funky synth vamp for the 2nd half, and Geneva’s Androo rests the groove in balmier climes on a slickly overhauled dub remix.
Doris Norton was Apple's first music "endorsement" and Roland affiliate, and is one of the most important female pioneers in the use of synths and in the early electro / computer music field. ‘Personal Computer’ showcases some computer game-style workouts along with some really canny cuts in the tricksy metrics of ‘Caution Radiation Norton and the psychedelic wig-out ‘A.D.A. Converter’...
“In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera "Under Ground". Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), PC (1984) – whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo – and Artificial Intelligence (1985).
While the beat-oriented style of Norton’s music aligns her with such global fellow-travelers as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, her championing of the personal computer as a tool for self-sufficient musical creativity also connects her to more artsy musicians such as Pietro Grossi, Laurie Spiegel, and the League of Automatic Music Composers. Norton’s predilection for the bright, glossy timbres of early digital instruments also recalls Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader’s bizarre 1982 one-off Erdenklang.
Later, her talent and expertise attracted the attention of IBM, who in 1986 named her as an official consultant. Already the reigning queen of the Italian electronic scene, she recorded two CDs for IBM: Automatic Feeling and The Double Side Of The Science. Influenced by her son, the musician and producer Rexanthony, Norton brought her fascination with the early days of techno into the 1990s, when she released three volumes of Techno Shock on Italian trance/hardcore label Sound Of The Bomb.
While her music remains largely out of print and inaccessible, Norton’s early records have recently begun to receive the inevitable rediscovery treatment.
"In the late sixties I had already conceived computers as “personal.” I have always trusted in the benefits of solitude; [being] alone means freedom… What’s better than a “personal” computer for materializing ideas, by oneself" (Doris Norton)”
A momentous celebration of one of the last century’s most important composers, offering insight, recognition, and critical investigation, long overdue and lovingly produced. Including an extensive, lavish 120 page book, with numerous unseen images and 10 historic, sought-after and impossible to find albums pressed on 180 gram vinyl - unquestionably one of the most beautiful and important archival releases of the year.
The perfect jump-off for anyone intrigued or beguiled by Lucier’s oeuvre and looking for a way in, ‘Illuminated by the Moon’ was recorded in October 2016 at the Alvin Lucier 85th Birthday Festival at the Zurich University of the Arts and spans pioneering classics such as ‘I Am Sitting In A Room’  thru to his recent piece for Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi, ‘Hanover’. Along with a fistful of rare works, it adds up to an unprecedented, overdue survey of Lucier’s cross-disciplinary efforts in locating the metaphysics of sound in minimalism, and is arguably the most crucial boxset of 2018 alongside Roland Kayn’s immense ’Simultan’ session.
In deliberate depth and detail, ‘Illuminated by the Moon’ highlights Lucier’s intersections with pivotal contemporaries including Joan La Barbera and Charles Curtis, right up to his work with disciples such as Sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley and virtuoso minimalist Oren Ambarchi, each proving, where needed, evidence of a deeply focussed yet open-minded approach to the phenomenology of acoustic sound.
From ostensibly simple units of sound Lucier extrapolates incredible, otherworldly dimensions, using various extended techniques and recording methods to probe ideas of auditory and musical reception and perception. In historical context, he wasn’t the only artist doing so back then, as the likes of Steve Reich with ‘Come Out’, or his group mates Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley and David Behrman in Sonic Arts Union also explored hybrids of text/speech/composition, but Lucier’s work stands out for its enduring patience and subtle playfulness in its transformative transitions of texture and tone, highlighted here in his liminal, tip-of-tongue take on ‘Nothing Is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever)’ , and the absorbing roil of his percussive piece, ‘Music For Solo Performer’ .
As with the most recent work on show, including ‘Hanover’ and a number of modern compositions from 2002-2016 with Joan La Barbera and young American cellist Charles Curtis, Lucier’s work has only grown more intently focussed and transcendent over the years and has quietly shifted the understanding of what music can be; laying a mark on history and the expectations of nearly everything to come, while radically expanding the field.
Amazing proto-Drexciyan synths and alien electronics from Portugal, 1983, a first time reissue on Holuzam - a brand new label from the people behind Príncipe. Don't miss this!!!
Holuzam is a new label from Príncipe Discos co-founders José Moura and Márcio Matos. Their first release is an expanded edition of Telectu’s freakishly immersive 1983 LP, ’Belzebu’; a 40min suite of sweltering, proto-Drexciyan synths, lilting Afro influences and subaquatic rhythms unavailable on any format since the original release, which now trades for triple figures in the 2nd hand market
Viewed from any angle, ‘Belzebu’ is an iridescent oddity in its field, and was certainly among the first of its ilk within the Portuguese music scene. It was the product of experiments by multi-instrumentalist and music writer Jorge Lima Barreto (JLB), and the co-founder of pop-rock band GNR, Vitor Rua (VR), whose shared interests dovetailed into a mutual fascination with unorthodox, improvised and electronic sounds, leading to these remarkable, home recorded conclusions in 1983.
During late 1982 and into 1983, JLB and VR channelled those notions, together with ideas picked up from the NYC minimalist and no wave scene during travels in North and South America, into a strangely prescient and non pareil sound. Homing in on a high pitched, chaotic granular squabble they termed ‘Belzebu Zero’ - which forms the original demo for the album and is included here as a bonus CD - the duo layered that sound with precise guitar strokes, drum machine, synths and FX to hypnotically immersive and dramatically alien effect.
On the A-side ‘Rotas Opera Temet’ they plunge into a 20 minute vortex of electric blue synth noise and scaly flutters recalling a prototypical Drexicyan soundtrack to a film about Atlantis. With the B-side, they take that idea fathoms further into the abyss, wrapping coruscating chords and ticking machine pulses to the high end squabble with a supremely heady sensation, especially when the rhythm opens out into a demented shift in the track’s 2nd half.
There’s a genuine genius at work in this record which is bound to enthrall and absorb listeners from myriad perspectives. Everyone from Jamal Moss fiends to Drexciyan divers and Craig Leon fans need to spend some time with this beautiful oddity....
Pivotal solo cellist and producer Oliver Coates (LCO, Apartment House) proceeds collaborations with Mica Levi and Radiohead with Shelley’s on Zenn-La, an indefatigably endearing 3rd solo album, new for RVNG Intl.
We can hardly think of many artists beyond Oliver’s own circle who can meld dance music with avant-electronic and classical instrumental expression quite like Oliver does here. From the raw electric buzz and spattered breaks underlined with layered cello in Faraday Movement, to the abraded BoC-like downbeats of Lime, thru to wayward disco treks like Charlev, Analord-style braindance in Norrin Radd Dreaming, and the final swoon between wide-open string composition and balletic IDM in Perfect Apple with Silver Mark, Oliver is making wonderful music unconstricted by convention, but patently happy to play with it.
Seekersinternational and Bad Tracking rework The Bush Chemists’ digidub gem, ‘I Came I Saw’, teetering on the edge of dread and psychedelic lushness...
The OG version of ‘I Came I Saw’ from TBC’s Light Up Your Spliff’  LP is cut at 45rpm on the A-side, bringing the massive subbass and moody strings to life in acres of haunting negative space that will impress on a big rig.
Elusive dubbers Seekersinternational get certifiably MWI on the B-side, rinsing out ‘I Came I Saw’ with hazardous FX and wickedly unstable meter, with Bad Tracking - the noisy new addition to Bristol’s RWDFWD family - trampling the same elements into a blown out soundsystem tribulation.
Penelope Trappes follows her head-turning debut solo LP with two beautifully gloomy songs, backed with an Abul Mogard remix on CD
Paving the way for ‘Penelope Two’, the follow-up to her acclaimed eponymous debut with Optimo, ‘Carry Me’ is a sashay thru bleak and funereal downbeats, leavened only by the glowing filament of Penelope’s lilt, whereas on ‘I Can Hear Your…’ she speaks to the void in stark yet intimate terms, with whispered lyrics peeling off into sonorous negative relief.
Serbian synthesist and all round enigma Abul Mogard turns ‘Carry Me’ into a 13 minute drone panorama, incrementally ratcheting the tension of the original with an opiated gothic lushness akin to Alessandro Cortini’s finest.
Official reissue of the original soundtrack of Jean-Pierre Melville's 1970 film noir classic Le Cercle Rouge composed by French soundtrack master Eric Demarsan, drawing from the orchestral spirit of the Modern Jazz Quartet, abstraction and minimalism to create a hypnotizing audio landscape. The album boasts the participation of celebrated jazz players Guy Pedersen (bass), Daniel Humair (drums), Georges Arvanitas (piano), and Bernard Lubat (vibraphone).
"Starting as a collaborator of François de Roubaix and Michel Magne in the 60s, Eric Demarsan went on to become a mainstay of French cinema soundtracks, composing for directors such as Jean-Pierre Mocky, Costa-Gavras, and Patrice Leconte among others. He also recorded the cult album Pop Symphony (for Pierre Cardin in 1970) under the Jason Havelock pseudonym.
This is the original soundtrack to Jean-Pierre Melville's classic crime thriller Le Cercle Rouge, as scored by Eric Demarsan. Apparently, Melville requested that the music should give the feeling of being trapped by fate. Not the easiest notion to represent in music, I'm sure you'll agree, but the claustrophobic, complex jazz crescendos of 'Vogel S'Enfuit', and 'Sur Les Toits's pregnant tension certainly enforce an atmosphere of menace and impending peril. There are a few easier going jazz ensemble numbers littered throughout the disc ('Avenue Paul Doumer', 'Barrage Policier') but Demarsan's at his best when he's creating tension on pieces like 'Cercle Desincarne' or 'Le Parc'. This is one of those soundtracks that's eminently listenable as an album in its own right, divorced from its intended context, so comes highly recommended."
El Deux is the Swiss electro-pop trio of Gutze Gautschi (guitar, vocals), Steno Onetz (bass), Martin Kraft (vocals, drum machine). Formed circa 1981 in Aarau by Gutze and Steno who played together in punk/New Wave band Fresh Color aka Frische Farbe featuring a pre-Yello Dieter Meier.
"Gutze’s minimal electronic compositions did not fit the concept of Fresh Color, so they formed a new project with their live mixer, Martin Kraft, on vocals. The group was quite successful with many concerts, mainly in southern Germany and various TV appearances in Germany and abroad. Between April/September 1982 they recorded and mixed their debut album ‘Nur Für Mädchen’ in 15 days at Powerplay Studios, Zurich. The LP was released later that year on Gold Records.
Influences at that time were of course the NDW “Neue Deutsche Welle'' movement and also from Gutze’s time as a musician & guitarist since 1965. Their step up for recording was a Moog Prodigy, Korg Rhythm 55 (KR-55), Simmons Drums, Casiotone 202, Guitar and Bass. We’ve added a bonus track “Video King” that was originally released as a follow up single in 1984 before the group disbanded. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios."