Detboi chases up his straight aces, the Joyride and Secrets EPs, with a 3rd bewt for Metalheadz.
The lavish keys, strings and choral voices of Blood Drops give it a classic Metalheadz intro, calving into tuff, techy styles with a big highlight in the hardstep rager Ice Cold (Blood On The Lines), then pulling a smart handbrake turn into 125bpm pressure on Groovedigger and Beast.
After a slew of acclaimed releases by Equiknoxx, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Shinichi Atobe and Mica Levi in 2017, Demdike Stare’s DDS start 2018 in typically unexpected style with a remastered reissue of the little known second album from Move D’s Conjoint ensemble. Late night listeners ’n lovers of Miles Davis, Tortoise or Jan Jelinek’s neon Jazz minimalism will love this - in our eyes a total classic.
Conjoint was the little-known but hugely regarded ensemble founded by David Moufang two decades ago, featuring techno pioneer Jamie Hodge, Deep Space Network’s Jonas Grossmann, acclaimed jazz guitarist Gunter Ruit Kraus and, most intriguingly - Karl Berger (Jazz Pianist and Vibraphone player for Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and George Clinton to name but three).
Earprints was recorded in 2000 and followed their acclaimed self-titled debut album from 1996 (a record hailed by The Wire magazine as worthy of comparison to Miles Davis’ ‘In A Silent Way’) - and this time round the ensemble were accompanied by Andrew Pekler, Anna-Lena Fiedler, Burkhard Höfler, and Kai Kroker, among many others.
Together, they flesh out a full-frequency spectrum of instrumental and electronic timbres, precisely yet louchely coalescing a timeless and cool blue sound that is entirely respectful to its roots, yet dares to imagine them in an altered context. In that respect it’s an influential, memorable precursor to Jan Jelinek’s acclaimed Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records that was released the following year.
Democratic in its construction and flush with pregnant, contemplative space between and around the notes, the lasting impression made by Earprints is indelibly classic, quietly awaiting immersion by a new wave of listeners who will no doubt marvel at its deep, layered charms. In other words - if you ain't familiar with this one - get acquainted.
Zov Zov is the alias for Oliver Ho’s most phantasmagoric, esoteric, invocational sounds and vibes. Since his Ruin Lust 10” for Shifted’s Mira label in 2013, the Zov Zov alias has run concurrent to Ho’s usual techno output and other action as Broken English Club, while this LP also introduces his Desert Burials alter ego on a bonus 7”.
In Fata Morgana he pushes off into the depths of his imagination with a free-roaming style that vacillates gamelan clangour on Casting with more bass-driven, sloshy swag ’n drone in From The Ashes, plus Cut Hands-esque percussive terror on Burning, and a wicked slice of Muslimguaze-style drums and ‘tronics nodding to middle eastern traditions in The Sands.
On the 7” he introduces Desert Burials with the serpentine post-punk dub Cages, and a starker percussive ritual called Clonk reminding of Bourbonese Qualk. We’re not too sure why he’s separated the projects like this, they sound so similar, but whatever, fans of Demdike Stare, Shackleton, Cut Hands will get a good kick outta this package.
LA’s Ahnnu lets his mind, and now yours, wander among the smeared dream sequence of Special Forces, his 2nd album for NNA Tapes and the follow-up to a pair of albums with Leaving Records.
Grubbing around the liminal edges of hip hop, ambient and electronic jazz frameworks, he yields a frayed patchwork of ideas best suited to low volume listening as a sort of Satie-esque wallpaper music, finding contemporary parallels in the faded designs of Huerco S’ Pendant output, or the dusty flickers of Bellow/Giuseppe Ielasi.
It’s a sound to put on in the background and quickly forget you did so, allowing it to perfuse your listening space like some experimental olfactory sonics or a series of subtly morphing screensavers for your living room.
After nearly three years of releases, Swing Ting serve their first vinyl release with Alexx A-Game’s Braver backed with their gorgeous instrumental version. It’s no less than a momentous occasion for the deeply rooted Manchester club night, and hopefully the first of many more vinyl releases from ST!
If you’ve stuck around for the lights-up section of any ST over the last 12 months, it’s likely that you’ve also been sent home glowing to the romantic keys and weightless bass pressure of Braver, which appears here on the A-side in original form, while the flips gives Samrai & Platt room to flex their instrumental chops, one man fondling the Rhodes and the other louchely stroking the chime tree, presumably winking at one another and occasionally raising and chinking glasses.
Gorgeous new album from Teresa Winter, an uncanny collection of ambient / dream pop / entheogenic reveries that comes highly recommended if you're into anything from Grouper to F Ingers to Leyland Kirby to Delia Derbyshire to early AFX.
Teresa Winter’s LP debut Untitled Death is a hallucinogenic wormhole of sensuously ambiguous pop and electronic experiments primed for the after-after party and altered states of reception. Realised thru a mesh of strategies from live, lo-fi tape recordings of synths, samplers and vocals to nascent experiments with algorithmic software, it's both a divine revelation of new aspects to Teresa’s sound and and expansion of The Death of Rave’s as-yet-unidentified aesthetic, which should come as a very welcome surprise to anyone who fell for her remarkable post-rave reverie, Oh Tina, No Tina, released on tape by Reckno in early 2015 to cult acclaim.
Where the artwork and collaged sound of Oh Tina, No Tina signified a serotonin-soaked pastoralism and MDMA thizziness, Teresa’s zoomed photos of magic mushrooms spattered in popping fluorescent oils which adorn the cover hint at her change of focus to a more personalised, entheogenic insight and psychoactivity, or basically a proper, lush trippiness. And just like the putative psilocybic experience, Untitled Death naturally comes on in waves of synaesthically-heightened sensuality, from strangely libidinous stirrings to utter, eat-your-heart-out euphoria with a spectrum of hard-to-explain and unexpected sensations in between.
We can hardly recall a more seductive album opener than oh, which blossoms from plaintive drum machine and chiming pads to a half- or mis-heard beckon “I really like it / when you let yourself go / I really want you inside me / I want to make you my own”, before curdling into bittersweet partials and deliquescent hooks as earworming as anything from AFX’s SAW 85-92 classic. It’s devastating in its simplicity and almost blush-worthy in effect, and is soon enough lopped curtly into the soundtrack-like enchantment of Untitled Death, which could almost be a cue from some '60 Polish or Czech art-house film, serving to neatly set up the prickling, windswept scene of romantic introspection and dereliction in Pain Of Outside - perhaps Teresa’s most accomplished and affective pop turn to date; think Maria Minerva awkwardly blissing out at 9am in the corner of a successful sesh/campsite/free party.
From that perfectly damaged side closer, the instrumental นรก and earth opens the B-side to a different sort of spine-freezing beauty and sense of abandonment with plangent, dissonant harmonics describing rugged Yorkshire wolds and coast as much as a radiant lightshow on the back of flickering eyelids. She then calmly follows the lie of the land into the uncanny valley of anatomie de l’enfer, where her signature coos and French whispers are swept in updrafts of distant, processed orchestral strings that come alive with staggering effect in her parting missive, สวรรค์ and earth, whose scale and impact appears like a vertiginous but digitally crumbling sky city fata morgana over the North Sea, possibly projected by some mad Dutch pharmacist-cum-holography genius, or just her own imagination.
In fidelity and emotive pull, Untitled Death is a properly amazing, ambiguous and spirit-beguiling record; one which treads the finest line between anxiety-inducing tristesse, lushly uncomfortable introspection, and life-affirming oddness. Play it to a garden of turnt gurners or a bedroom of quiet souls and its effects will only become magnified, more wondrous.
After issuing a string of records heavily indebted to Rephlex Records, Nina Kraviz gets her hands on the real thing with Aleksi Perälä’s Paradox album for her трип label.
Playing to the colundi scale, Perälä pounds, pinches and plasmogrifies techno and electro with Braindance virtuosity across all ten tracks of Paradox. Like his recent Simulation LP for Clone Basement Series, the tracks here are curved for the ‘floor, and maybe more specifically, Nina’s ‘floor - ready for dispatch in sweaty clubs and mammoth festival stages alike.
We recommend checking it for the whirring calculations of GBLFT1740072 (Original Mix), the percolated instrumental synth-pop brilliance of GBLFT1740067 (Original Mix), and the trancey élan of GBLFT1740068 (Original Mix).
Finders Keepers unveil a real pearl from their stewardship of Ciani Musica Inc.: presenting Suzanne’s ‘Silver Apples Of The Moon’-like electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s satirical opera for children; ‘Help, Help, The Globolinks!’
“As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault, Finders Keepers twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in multi-disciplinary electronic music, Suzanne Ciani. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theater production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne's vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer, but also highlights her European heritage -- working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department).
Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the '80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects -- all of which would make their world premiere in New York high school theaters in April of 1980. Suzanne on the original: "The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production." For Help, Help The Globolinks!, Ciani would give Menotti's well-traveled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality. Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema; within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel -- scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as "the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie" with The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981).
Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl's Aniara or Remi Gassman's Electronics (CACK 004B-LP), this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Ciani's combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician are in equal measures here, a rare duplicity which is essential to The Globolinks!.”
A striking proposition for fans of Maja S.K. Ratkje, Meredith Monk, Hildur Guðnadóttir, this new release on Sonic Pieces features a stunning clutch of stately, oneiric neo-classical, avant-garde and electronic gestures by Denmark’s experimental quartet, We like We - revolving Katrine Grarup Elbo (violin), Josefine Opsahl (cello), Sara Nigard Rosendal (percussion) and Katinka Fogh Vindelev (voice).
Like their debut A New Age of Sensibility  for The Being Music, which was also mixed by Jacob Kirkgaard, the all female quartet dash genre distinctions with a totally beguiling sleight-of-hand, with each member putting their classical training at the service of freedom of expression and playfulness, rather than stifling themselves into convention.
The result is a haunting, at times surreal, and often unpredictable clash of traditions and energies perhaps best described in terms of its vivid colours, volume changes and proprioceptive and temporal chicanery. The four proceed to converge, swarm and disperse across ten pieces with preternaturally organic dynamic.
While opener I’m Not For More gives the LP a hushed, folkwise beginning, then seamlessly melded with electronics, they continue to defy expectations at each turn. Whether shimmering like some Far Eastern ambient fantasia meets Maxwell Sterling’s Hollywood Medieval styles in Endless Harmonics, or turning inwards to focus on Spunk-like extended vocals and instrumental techniques in Distance, which acts as prelude to the almost ‘marish flares of Forest Sketches, or then probing the limits of spatial and tonal perception, Ligeti-style with the air-curdling, hair-curling tension of Time Is Local - Seventeen Days, you can call us captivated, to say the very least.
Yet another beauty from Sonic Pieces. If you were into their sublime Jasmine Guffond side or the recent slices by Christopher Berg and Otto A. Totland, your time will not go amiss here as well!
Oooshh! this strange, funky devil is a rare-as-owt gospel soul oddity from Detroit circa f**k knows (maybe late ’70s?), now newly dug out and dusted down as Jazzman’s 26th Holy Grail release. If those quizzical faces or masked dude on the cover haven’t piqued your interest, the music surely will
“Known in the record-collecting world as an incredibly rare album with just a handful of known copies, Jazzman Records present for the first time the full-length album reissue of the Two Sisters From Bagdad album as performed by LaVice & Co.. Originally intended to be sold alongside performances of LaVice Hendrick’s ambitious but ill-fated musical theater production, the album’s scarcity was swiftly ensured as Two Sisters From Bagdad ran for just two weeks at Detroit’s Bethel A.M.E. church amid poor attendances due to scant promotion. With only a handful of copies sold in that brief window, many of the remaining copies were subsequently destroyed in a basement flood, meaning that until now few people have ever heard the album in its entirety.
A varied set of jazz and gospel infused funky soul, Two Sisters From Bagdad was composed and orchestrated by two precocious young talents, E.J. Garrison and Rhodia McAdoo. It’s an album full of surprises, and is notorious for the heavy funk workout Though’s Were The Days. Not only have Jazzman Records unearthed and faithfully reissued this true obscurity as the 26th part of their ongoing “Holy Grail” series, but through interviews with Garrison and McAdoo themselves, they have uncovered the beguiling back story to the music, the play and the life and times of its original creator, the late LaVice Hendricks. As always the detail is revealed for the first time in Jazzman Records’ extensive new sleeve notes.”
Collaborative album of Sin Fang, Sóley and Örvar Smárason of Múm and FM Belfast. It combines the individual strengths of three acclaimed musicians, blends folk sensibilities with futuristic pop beats. It’s an emotive ocean of sound, melodies and miniature stories that gently washes over you. And it’s easily one of the best albums the three Reykjavík artists have been involved in.
"Imagine you commit to writing and releasing a song as fast as possible within a few days. And repeat this routine each month for one year. Doesn’t sound very promising or enjoyable, does it? You would never believe the immense beauty and intriguing shapes of these 12 songs are the result of said silly idea, a fun project basically. „I remember driving to the countryside just after finishing my last album,“ Sin Fang recollects how „Team Dreams“ came about. „My album took a really long time to make and some of the songs on the album were two years old. I thought: Wouldn’t it be fun to write a song and release it the day after? So I talked to Örvar and Sóley and we all agreed to make a song in three days every month.“
The three share quite a history together, as well as with Morr Music. Years ago, Sóley joined Sin Fang’s indie folk band Seabear, before both started out solo and regularly featured on each other’s albums. They were surely inspired by Iceland’s electronica icons múm, co-founded by Örvar Smárason, who already toured together with Seabear in the past. For this record, everyone brought their distinct sound and musical ideas to the table. There is Sóley’s ethereal presence and fantasy-tinged songscapes, Sin Fangs ability to craft powerful pop anthems and Örvar’s experience with translating emotions into heartwarming sound. Songs like „Tennis“ wander between bonfire intimacy and slow-paced beats that echo cutting-edge R&B and club productions by artist like Jam City and Kelela. The album is filled with this kind of calm eclecticism, but also leaves room for the pureness of piano ballads like „Wasted“. It’s almost like you can feel the air around you glowing and vibrating. It is a friendly reminder that quiet might still be the new loud.
Although the album might sound quite seamless, like a well planned affair, it certainly wasn’t for the trio. Sóley says for her it was about freedom and taking a welcome risk: „I thought it was a great idea when Sindri (alias Sin Fang) asked if I wanted to join him and Örvar for a collaboration. I thought the idea of not being stuck to one sound or genre was really interesting. I think differently when I make a song for this project and it has taught me a lot. Making a song just because you have to is a little fun. It might work, or it might not.“ It certainly did. This „monthly dose of subtle mayhem“, as Örvar called the songs, was destined to become a bigger whole."
Slide guitar maestro Mike Cooper expands his personalised world of abstract ambient exotica with this live recording made at Controindicazioni festival, Rome, October 2003.
Like a sort of grandpa to Spencer Clark’s improvised new age meditations, Mike Cooper has been sensitively appropriating elements of Pacific music and its environments into his music since emerging from the British blues revival in the ‘60s.
The four parts of Reluctant Swimmer were originally recorded as a seamless performance and are broken in two here, segueing from a swirl of what sounds like prepared guitar rattle pinged thru an FX pedal, to coalesce at a cosmic country cover of Van Dyke Parks’ Movies Is Magic as you’ve never heard it before, then melting out into Virtual Surfer’s humid canopy of location recordings and radiophonic chaos, and fading back into view with a take on Fred Neil’s folk rock classic The Dolphins swaddled in discordant electronic feedback.
Really can’t think of many other 75 year old guitarists whose music still feels somehow relevant thru it’s sheer, expressive abstraction nowadays. And this recording proves; Mike Cooper is pretty special.
Recorded in 1982 - first ever issue on any format! This is a missing piece of GRM legend Bernard Parmegiani’s geometric puzzle, a long-lost, little known soundtrack to a french sci fi movie of the same title, directed by Michel Treguer, and now available for the first time.
It locates Parmegiani working at his home studio concocting a richly atmospheric sound that places his fastidious appreciation of spatial dynamic and tonal detail at the service of cinematic styles perhaps closer to the output of John Carpenter or François Roubaix, rather than his GRM works, as recently heard on a pair of Recollection GRM reissues of L'Œil Écoute / Dedans-Dehors [1970/1977] and his breathtaking De Natura Sonorum .
As one of a number of film and TV soundtracks Parmegiani produced since 1962’s La poupée, his work here reveals a much lesser appreciated aspect of his important canon, which itself was formatively influenced by his roots as a sound engineer for RTF, the french national TV station. In a flux of 19 pieces we hear the grand master of technoid abstraction skilfully fitting sound to image in a wholly original, evocative and innovative manner.
In many ways, Paremgiani’s sounds here place him as a sort of gallic answer to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, conjuring myriad inventive sounds from a TR-808 drum machine, Synthi AKS, Farfisa organ and D6 clavinet which are properly alien and ostensibly challenging in character, yet make perfect sense in context. They form a strange microcosm unto themselves, taking in the nerve-jangling prangs and keening tone cluster of Générique alongside the deep space arpeggio vector of Depart, and killer, pulsating electro in Recontre Brisson, whilst the skeletal step of Pursuit has rhythmic passages that recall Drexciyan electro, and the likes of Serge Assommé, the album’s longest piece, takes Carpenter at his own game.
Rock is necessary listening for anyone who knows the classic Parmegiani releases, and a potent gateway drug for anyone new to his work.
Over the last twenty five years Robin Rimbaud – Scanner has traversed the experimental terrain between sound, space and image, connecting a bewilderingly diverse array of genres – a partial list would include sound design, film scores, computer music, avant garde, contemporary composition, large-scale multimedia performances, product design, architecture, fashion design, rock music and jazz.
"Fibolae is his first studio album since 2009, released via the independent label run by Anna von Hausswolff, Pomperipossa Records. With a catalogue busy with commissions, soundtracks and strange projects this is the first studio album since 2009’s Rockets, ‘Unto the Edge of Rockets’ (Bine Music). In this time much has changed – he lost his entire family and left the comfort of a familiar city, London, to live in a former textile factory in the UK to re-invent his life.
‘Fibolae’ offers up a world that splinters between melancholia and penetrating energy. Combining digital technologies, software and live instrumentation it is both a rhetoric of mourning and a celebration of music to empower. Warm, organic, sensual, passionate and frequently angry, it’s an album that radiates with possibilities.
As to the meaning of the title, ‘Fibolae’? There is none. It was a word that appeared to Scanner in a dream, at a time of great challenges in his life. The fact that his unconscious mind could conjure up such inventions that offer no history and context was appealing and yet it was suggestive, playful and open."
Chunky, disco and Afrobeat-leaning house tools from Rhythmic Section and 22a’s Henry Wu & Earl Jeffers ov the Ten Thousand Yen fam.
A-side they burn up roving boogie-disco bass under warm Rhodes vamps and ascendent synth FX to a class broken beat breakdown, as in proper give the drummer some - then back to the deep house hustle.
B-side they stick to a smooth but bumpy sorta Afrobeat-meets-deep house bustle in the string and piano-led heat of Hi-Life.
A sublime addition to Sean McCann’s Recital Program, This Floating World is Roger Eno’s first solo LP in a decade, following on from Anatomy  and a split LP with Plumbline in 2013. Mostly solo piano expressions, but with a few intriguing embellishments of electronics in Garden, vocals on Empty Room, and sonorous chimes in Riddle, saving the detuned pearl of Out of Tune, Out of Time, Out of Here for dessert.
“This Floating World holds rustic and melancholic piano works, as grey and mossy as a country cottage. I hear the LP chiming from the dark corners of a pub, soaking in the damp wood like spilled ale.
I first fell in love with Roger’s music through his 1985 debut album Voices, which cradled many rainy and caffeinated mornings when I was living in San Francisco years back. He played on the infamous Apollo, Music for Films vol. 3, and recorded a theme for the Dune soundtrack. String pads and veils of reverb pour through those processed tracks.
I later rediscovered Roger Eno in a different light with his 1997 album The Music of Neglected English Composers. A playful and beautiful album of chamber pieces guised as the works of forgotten (and fabricated) composers from the past century. His compositional sensibilities remind me of my favorite recent English composers… Hobbs, White, Bryars, Skempton, etc.
This Floating World feels like a hybrid of these two styles, a melding of both his ambient and ‘prelude’-esque compositions. Warm and feathered furniture music.
In our communication Roger has been a real charmer, ending every email with “Roger and out.” A curious fellow, with a knack for tracing the understated beauties of this world.
Reissue of a Polish new wave rocket originally recorded in 1986. Remastered from original analog master tapes by Damian Lipiński
"Sieikera were at the forefront of Poland's post-punk movement, and thus, are one of the most beloved bands. Formed in 1983 as a more straightforward hardcore punk band, the band honed their craft for three years before cutting their first record. By then, the band had begun experimenting with cold synthesizers and bleaker textures, tapping into the same sonic template as Killing Joke and Joy Division. Pushing their sound further and deeper against the backdrop of Poland's desolate and isolated Cold War exterior, the results were incredibly powerful and influential. Nowa Aleksandria is still regarded one of the most cherished records of the post-punk underground, featuring incisive guitars, buzzing synths, and fast-paced, blistering energy. The LP remains one of the most important recordings from the era, and continues to inspire and influence to date.
Despite its darker tone, Nowa Aleksandria was successful, with two tracks appearing on the LP3 top ten. The record would sell 50,000 copies worldwide, earning the band a respectable local following. As such, their cult expands past Poland, with countless fans across the globe. The band would split very soon after the release of Nowa Aleksandria, but over 30 years later, their tracks can still be heard in clubs in Europe and the US."
Featuring Flowdan and Killa P / Irah, The Bug releases a new big hittin’ double header. Following last years D Double E / Riko Dan face-off, ‘Box’ / ‘Iceman’ - The Bug has invited Flowdan, and Killa P & Irah to get grimey on their respective Riddims.
"'Bad’ sees both Flowdan and The Bug stretching their parameters and turning up the heat, with Flowdan summoning a fresh singjay style, the most glaring indication of his fam's Jamaican roots as he echoes Cham's classic 'Ghetto Story' with his intimate tale of growing up in "East London". The Bug also unusually constructed the whole Riddim from the manipulated layering of a single Soviet drum machine, tweaked and drenched in FX til' it rumbled heavily.
'Get Out The Way' is the first collab The Bug has conducted with Killa P since the mighty ‘Skeng’, with Killa additionally inviting Irah, from his Killaz Army crew, along for the ride. Built on The Bug's love of the Junglist / Dillinja inspired Reese bassline, it's a saw tooth exercise in dancefloor destruction, as the two MCs get lethal with the threats and intimidation.
Both tracks are already receiving some heavy dubplate slayin', with the likes of Mala, Kahn, Spooky, Pinch and Mumdance all smashing them in their sets. ‘Bad’ has already been chosen by Elijah (of Elijah & Skilliam / Butterz) as one of his Grime tunes of the year."
Lynch and Badalamenti would go on to become synonymous with one another but at the time these pieces were written their collaboration was still in its early stages.
Even so, Badalamenti pulled together music which absolutely mirrored the images we were seeing on screen from the incredible theme song to the unforgettable 'Audrey's Dance'.
A totally haunting song about and for a dead horse, performed at the site of sacrifice, as protest against the Vietnam war.
“On January 30, 1970 Henning Christiansen and Bjørn Nørgaard - a figure nearly radical as Christiansen himself - hit the Danish national consciousness when a large portion of the Danish population watched a TV broadcast performance piece in protest to the Vietnam War. Hesteofringen (The Horse Sacrifice) features the work Min døde hest (My Dead Horse, 1970) OPUS 55 for piano, voice and violin (green), a beautiful haunting fragile song featuring a poem written by Bjørn Nørgaard and performed by Lene Adler Pedersen, accompanied by Nørgaard and Christiansen on piano and (green) violin. Laden with metaphor, this beautiful, sad lullaby, is as simple and unusual as anything in Christiansen’s output. Previously unreleased.”
Richard D James' classic album from 1992, re-pressed countless times but still sounding as vital and impoirtant as it did way back when. Still probably the most uplifting and nostalgic thing in the AFX catalogue...
Arriving in the wake of his superb Transformations hookup with DeepChord, K. Soublis aka Fluxion rolls solo with a subtly diverse trio of deep dub house variants.
The powerful kicks and warm, storm-brewing chords of En Route make up the straightest and perhaps most effective track for dancefloor play, but to be honest we’re more attracted to the others, following him off road in a mix of glancing, SND-style swingers minimalism and trickling marimbas on The Place, and right down into the shuddering subs + smudged chords formula of Flick.
Death Is Not The End, following their cassette reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology, present a collection of recordings of Sacred Harp singing (a traditional sacred choral music with origins in the American South) taken from the late 1920s through to the late 1930s.
Necessary vinyl edition of Death is Not Final’s I’m On My Journey Home, Sacred Harp Singing, 1928-1934, a collection of recordings of Sacred Harp singing (a traditional sacred choral music with origins in the American South) taken from the late 1920s through to the late 1930s.
New to the BEB fold, тпсб premieres a rugged deviation of his techno sound on Sekundenschlaf, leaving 4/4 in the rear-view to focus on earthier, grubbing percussion warped into jungle and footwork styles, clad in fetid atmospheres. RIYL Rezzett, Ossia, Buttechno
“Sleep-deprived, breakbeat-driven vignettes of unclear authorship, from somewhere west of Lake Lagoda, near the Russia-Finland border.
Sekundenschlaf has significant points of correspondence with contemporary European electronic music, as well as the golden age of (early) jungle and ambient techno. But its response to tradition, and to the zeitgeist, is idiosyncratic to say the least – with an atmosphere and psychogeography rooted in the tranquility and majesty of Western Russian nature, and the anxiety and distress of the country’s post-Soviet working class.
Pastoral calm meets dissonance and unease. The music has a loose, improvised feel, but its arrangements are intricate, its melodies iridescent: cascading arpeggios that stir a sense of optimism and renewal, sighing string-pads that evoke the deepest melancholy. Rhythms simultaneously hyped-up and burned-out, collapsing in on themselves as they race to destinations unknown. All bound together with field recordings of eavesdropped conversations, blurred into abstraction, a droning subliminal menace.”
Another Japanese ambient holy grail is ticked off the wants-list with a first ever vinyl pressing of Midori Takada & Masahiko Satoh’s Lunar Cruise following the widely celebrated reissue of Takada’s Through The Looking Glass earlier in 2017.
Flanked by YMO’s Haruomi Hosono and jazz player Kazutoki Umezu, Takada & Satoh’s original recordings of Lunar Cruise richly resonate with the preceding ten years of digitized 4th world innovation as well as traces of Badalamenti and Lynch’s synth parts from Twin Peaks of the same year, all while clearly pre-echoing the reverberant synthetic spaces of Kenji Kawai’s Ghost In The Shell OST. Even 2nd hand CD copies of Lunar Cruise are trading for a pretty penny, so this vinyl edition could hardly be more welcome right now.
Working deep into the modern ambient zeitgeist, Lunar Cruise’s charms sound as appealing now as ever, catching up with Takada’s sound seven years after her debut percussive masterpiece, Through The Looking Glass to find her working with a broader, worldly instrumental palette inspired by her 1989 tour with Satoh thru Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The pieces alternate super sparse and enchantingly cybersensuous states of mind with more urgent, pealing jazz and free experimentation that breaks far out of the ambient mould into sufi-esque dervishes and rippling dance studies recalling Steve Reich in full flight.
The effect is overall more crisply urbane, angular than the pastoral tranquility perceived in Takada’s better known precedent. From the names of its bookending pieces of Iron Paradise, also reflected in their tensile nature and construction, thru to the ten minutes of stoic tonal experimentation in Chang-Dra, and driving dervish of A Vanished Illusion, a sense of urgency and control is paramount to Lunar Cruise in a way that wasn’t there in its forerunner, pointing to a tightening and vivification of Takada’s ideas that perhaps reflected the increasingly cybersensual world around her and Satoh, as opposed her earlier new age influences.
Highlights belong to In D’s precise, vivid percolations of woodblock percussion and the wistful temperament of Madorone, underlined by Hosono’s quizzical fretless bass probes, but if there’s any one definitive moment, it comes in the gently pealing gamelan and breathy synth voices of Ancient Palace, which really freezes that cusp-of-the-’90s ambient shiver somewhere between new age optimism and the numbness of cybernetic sensuality.
Jon Hassell’s entrancing Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two) - the follow-up to his seminal Fourth World Vol.1 Possible Musics featuring Brian Eno - sees a much needed reissue, now expanded with a bonus track and available on any format for the first time since the early ‘90s.
Recorded at Bob and Daniel Lanois’s Toronto studio in 1981, Dream Theory In Malaya (Fourth World Volume Two) was titled after and inspired by a paper from visionary anthropologist Kilton Stewart, whose visits to a remote tribe, the Senoi of the Malay highlands, revealed a connection between their happiness and well-being and the tribe’s morning ritual practice of family dream-telling; sharing with each other and discussing the events of their previous night’s dreams, which they would also relay to other tribes in a process of mutual education and enlightenment.
Using this knowledge, plus samples of water-drumming by a tribe from the same region, the Semelai, and his patented, processed trumpet and electronics, Hassell created a definitively solo follow-up to his work with Eno, although as he points out in the liner notes, other personnel such as the Velvet Underground’s 1st drummer, Walter DeMaria also feature.
It all revolves around the central, 10 minute Malay, where a choir of his signature, warbling harmonics scat and flit over the sound of sloshing water drumming, cut-up and processed with soft gong hits in the kind of rhythms which Autechre would reprise algorithmically many years later. Either side of Malay is a series of lush postcards which come alive in your hands, ears, from the agitated fanfare of Chor Moiré to the lissom, plasmic regaling of Dream Theory’s bowl gongs and diffused hoots, thru mind-melting display of hypercoloured harmonic plumage in Datu Bintung At Jelong.
The only, beautiful, difference between the original pressing and this is the ending. Instead of passing out with the deftly genteel romance of Gift Of Fire, it’s now extended by inclusion of bonus track Ordinary Mind, relaying 3 minutes of windswept chants and glinting, liquid drumming that perfectly animates and articulates Hassell’s dream.
Devotional Songs marks a necessary and refreshing change of direction by Shackleton; collaborating with London-based Italian castrato-style singer Ernesto Tomasini to sound like some lost Coil recordings.
The whirligig drawbar organs of Shackleton’s releases since 2012 are still in effect, but tempered in balance with Tomasini’s remarkable vocal range and some really lush, almost Detroit-style synth harmonies and ritual atmospheres whilst his signature palette of bass and drums hints at some Far and South East Asian influence in the vein of Sleazy’s Threshold HouseBoys Choir recordings.
It’s a beautifully self-contained project covering a broad range of esoteric topography from the detoxing vibrations of Rinse out All Contaminants to the sweepingly epic resolution of Father, Yiou Have Left Me, whilst unmistakably referencing some of Coil or Current 93’s most haunting moments in the chiming harmonic haze, swelling chorales and operatic drama of You Are The One, and the spirit-rousing string arrangements in Twelve Shared Addictions.
Bubbling up from the archive, a brilliantly warped, acidic and intoxicating décollage of soundsystem shrapnel rinsed thru the echo chamber. RIYL Tapes, Raymond Scott, Ennio Morricone, Horsepower Productions
“Shimmering hologram oases belie the bone-dry heat inna this ya ghost-bloodcl@$t-town; When tumbleweed beliefs pose as the only sign of life, it's time to step into Death's saloon; Bust down the dusty double-swinging doors even the Preacher-man dares not enter!
The Bartender has run out of liquor and listening; Sullied Doves have danced their last number; Lawmen, levelled and long-gone, litter the dance floor; Bodied outlaws doubled and draped over the bar. When the only exit is a horse-drawn hearse; Face to face with Death, who will shoot first!?!
Step into this rattlesnake-ridden realm! Dancehall Showdown is a crazy non-place world where 60’s Spaghetti Westerns, 70’s Library Synth Records and 90’s Golden Era Dancehall come together for a death-defying communion inna Yard! The old posse of SKRS and MX7 ride once again under the banner of their co-run label, ICS Library Records, off into the fringes of sound-based reality.
SKRS' OG Papa Coolbreeze reinforces their select palette, "This album is our reiteration of influences ranging from Spaghetti Western era Upsetters to Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research Inc. to early Horsepower Productions. Now the soundtrack we paint, however, is something entirely unique on its own". Simply put: there's NOTHING like it out there!
Full disclosure: this LP has been shelved for well over 3 years now with the sudden disappearance of Oklahoma's now-mythical Digitalis Recordings, who were set to release it hot on the heels of their 2012 SKRS debut LP, TheCallFromBelow. Since then, we've laboured to break more ground and lay several more keystones in the growing SKRS/ICS groundation-foundation in order to withstand its intensifying expanse and weight. Now that the ground has been prepared, we've decided to take Dancehall Showdown back into our own hands and give it the proper love and nurturing we had always intended for it.”
Shackleton curves back to Woe To The Septic Heart! with British-German singer-songwriter Anika as his new vocal muse, who lends a refreshing new spirit to his sound following collaborations with Ernesto Tomasini and Vengeance Tenfold in recent years.
Perhaps knowingly timed for release with UK summertime, Behind The Glass is a decidedly mid-summery album full of semi-pastoral psychedelic themes and production in Shackleton’s signature style, equal parts Wickerman soundtrack and Jarman-esque uncanniness with a dash of worcester sauce sourness dosed direct to the pineal gland.
Think ritual dogging sites, lost Spiral Tribe members attempting to find their way out of a nuclear bunker for 20 years, or pagan aliens descending at full moon over Welsh glades. The production, as ever, is incredible.
Berlin’s Don’t DJ does gamelan techno for Berceuse Heroique, backed with Dreesvn’s seductive Italo/Detroit-house remix and arriving weeks after his excellent Authentic Exoticism with SEXES.
Gamelan techno is a concept we can totally get behind and Don’t DJ nails it here, working with a glancing moire of interlocking, chiming tessellations and roving bass shapes to sound something like a syncopated Sleeparchive or Charlemagne Palestine doing tribal minimalism. It’s a proper, leftfield club jam.
On the remix buttons, Dreesvn makes it slightly more centre-aligned, juggling a fine mix of Afro-cuban shuffle and sublime, slyding harmonic pitches to sound like some lost Transmat or Red Planet number.
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."
Hilja is the sublimely half-there debut of dream pop from Glasgow-based Finnish artist Maria Rossi a.k.a. Cucina Povera. Taking her name from the southern Italian method of making-do in the kitchen, Cucina Povera works just as well to describe Rossi’s unusual, off-kilter mix of avant-garde abstraction, medieval-sounding folk and synthesised nocturnal atmospheres, which sounds to our lugs like one of the Fonal label’s folk sprites gone rogue in a parallel 4th world.
Strung out somewhere between Julia Holter’s enigmatic early work, the possessed vibes of Ectoplasm Girls, and a deeply strange episode of the Moomins, Rossi’s first release finds a fine balance of naif imagination and modestly confident vision, shaping a quietly hallucinatory and often ephemeral sound world where it’s dead easy to lose yourself within its maze of alternating physical and mental states.
Glasgow’s Night School, behind the release, aptly compare Maria’s style with magic realism, which offers a hand catch-all explanation for wtf is going on between the sylvan synths and lullaby-like glossolalia of Demetra and the worm holing in-conclusion of Totean, with results that recall Phew’s esoteric Japanese songcrasf in the multi-tracked vox of Kuparirumpu, or like one of the enchanted cuts from Felicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand LP on Avainsana, whilst Huhuilu is a dance anthem from alternate, lushly inverse dimensions.
Gorgeous music - RIYL Phew, Julia Holter, Islaja, Tongues of Light, Félicia Atkinson
‘Brasil’ was recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 1994 with a host of legendary Brazilian musicians including Sivuca, Raul de Souza and singer Joyce Moreno and has remained one of the key defining early releases from the Soul Jazz record label. Out-of-print for over 20 years, the album has now been fully digitally re-mastered for this new 2018 edition.
"The album was recorded at the height of the first wave of interest in Brazilian music in London in the 1990s. Joyce and a group led by husband, drummer Tutty Moreno, had just been Davis (and future head of Far Out Records) to perform in front f over 2,000 new young fans. Singer-songwriter Joyce had been a living legend in her native Brazil ever since the Bossa Nova movement of the 1960s and had made her first record when she was just 20 and she was described by Antonio Carlos Jobim as “one of the greatest singers of all time.”
Joyce Moreno agreed to be involved in the project to record an album in Brazil produced with a UK sensibility and Tutty Moreno’s group signed up as the house band for the project. Stuart Baker (founder of Soul Jazz Records) and Joe Davis then flew to Rio de Janeiro, searching out studios and rehearsal spaces.
During this time in Brazil more artists signed up for the project, including legendary figureheads of the Brazilian music Sivuca (who brought his own group) and trombonist Raul de Souza. Other key figures included singer / guitarist Celia Vaz, who worked extensively as arranger with the legendary Quarteto Em Cy and drummer Dom Um Romao; Wanda Sá, who played in Sergio Mendes’ original seminal bossa nova group Brasil 65 (during which time she married the artist Edu Lobo) and legendary saxophone / flautist Teco Cardoso, whose bio reads like a who’s who of Brazilian music and includes work with Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi, Baden Powell, Joao Donato, Carlos Lyra and others.
The final piece to this Brazilian jigsaw was the addition of percussionist Pirulito, whose magically create the massive sound of Rio’s Samba Schools live inside the studio. The album was recorded over one hot summer, mixed in London and then released at the end of 1994.
Over 20 years on and Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Brasil’ album manages to capture both an important cross-cultural musical moment in time between Brazil and London while at the same time sounding as fresh as if it was recorded today. Following the original success of this album Soul Jazz Records’ continued its love affair with Brazil and went on to release a host of Brazilian albums including classics such as ‘Tropicalia’, ‘Brazil 70’, ‘Bossa Nova’, a Bossa Nova cover art deluxe book with Gilles Peterson and releases by Sergio Mendes, Baden Powell, Edu Lobo and more."
Lord of the disco diggers and editors, Chicago’s Mark Grusane shares his celebrated secret stash of personal edits with BBE, and you, after compiling the peach-packed sets ‘The Real Sound of Chicago’ and ‘The Real Sound of Chicago and Beyond’ in recent years
“A highly personal selection of modern soul, disco and a little touch of boogie, these rare tracks have all been respectfully edited, chopped up or extended by Mark himself. Apart from the odd private vinyl pressing, or occasionally handing an edit over to close friends and DJs such as fellow BBE artist Sadar Bahar, Mark has never before made these tracks available (despite the throng of people waiting around to ask each time he finishes a set).
Mark Grusane first came to the attention of BBE Music back in 2010 when he was running specialist Chicago record shop Mr Peabody. He and his partner went on to create two of the label’s most sought-after soul compilations, thanks to the unmatched combination of rarity and quality expressed in the duo’s selections. Still living in Chicago, still buying and selling records, Mark has also built up a sizable discography of edits and original productions on various labels, now finding his prodigious DJ skills in high demand across the globe.
Each track on ‘The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane’ has a tale to tell, precious treasures unearthed by one of the hardest working and dedicated crate diggers in the game. From an edit he made at the age of 21 to a record he discovered last year whilst in London for a gig at The BBE Store, this collection is testament to a life spent completely immersed in music.”
Warp original, George Evelyn aka Nightmares On Wax, brings up the label’s Yorkshire roots with his 8th LP Shape The Future. Currently stationed in Ibiza, the sunniest corner of Yorkshire, N.O.W. hells as close as ever to his roots in soul, hip hop and dub with a lush downbeat suite riddled by his subtle but delightful production tics and signature, “Eaze-y” vibe.
Again, N.O.W. proves himself something of a J Dilla or King Britt of UK downbeats - ok let’s just call it trip hop - with a timeless, gently offbeat style of his own, equally adept at bringing in live players as he is chopping out patterns on the sampler and blooming them to life the studio.
You can trust it’s all laid-back as usual on this one, but if you’re looking for highlights keep ‘em pealed for the deliciously slompy beat and soul aura on Tell My Vision featuring Andrew Ashong, or likewise for the dusky string orchestration and swaggering groove of Shape The Future at the LP’s core; an excellent a cappella aside, entitled and presumably starring Tenor Fly; and the Francis Bebey-like Afrobeat-electronic charms of Gotta Smile.
Both collaborative albums from The Body and Thou are finally available together on vinyl for the first time. Raging, boundary-testing heavy metal alloy from the American South. Rip your face off and spit in the abyss business...
"The Body and Thou are bands with Southern roots that have been pushing the boundaries of heavy metal for over a decade. Both have maintained relentless touring schedules, a dedication to DIY ethics and aesthetics, and a commitment to push their respective brands of extreme music into previously unexplored territories. You, Whom I Have Always Hated is a new collaborative release that showcases both bands’ unique abilities to create music that is emotionally effecting and unrelenting.
On You, Whom I Have Always Hated, each band’s distinctive elements shine through and combine to create something more visceral than the sum of their parts. While the groups have different approaches to live performance and stylistic nuances, they share general creative ideas and have a history subsumed in themes of alienation, melancholy, and despair. They describe the new collaboration as “a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved, and treasures found.”
‘Freedom’s Goblin’ is the new Ty Segall album: 19 tracks strong, with an unrestricted sense of coming together to make an album. It wants you to get your head straight - but first, the process will make your head spin.
"Back in the ‘Twins’ days, there was talk about the schizophrenia of Ty’s outlook; today, it’s super-dual, with loads of realities all folding back on each other. We’re tracking five or six full-blown personalities, unconcerned with convention or continuity. The songs came in the flow of the year: days of vomit and days of ecstasy and escape too and days between. The rulebook may have been tossed but ‘Freedom’s Goblin’ is thick with deep songwriting resources, be it stomper, weeper, ballad, screamer, banger or funker-upper, all diverted into new Tydentities - each one marking a different impasse, like a flag whirling into a knot, exploding and burning on contact, in the name of love and loathing.
‘Freedom’s Goblin’ wears a twisted production coat: tracks were cut all around, from LA to Chicago to Memphis, whether chilling at home or touring with the Freedom Band. Five studios were required to get all the sounds down, engineered by Steve Albini, F Bermudez, Lawrence ‘Boo’ Mitchell and of course, Ty himself. The goal was getting free, embracing any approach necessary to communicate new heights and depths, new places for the fuzz to land among octaving harmonies, dancefloor grooves, synths, saxes and horns, jams, post-Nicky-Hopkins R&B electric piano vibes, children-of-the-corn psycho-rebellions, old country waltzes and down-by-the-river shuffles. Basically, the free-est pop songs Ty’s ever put on tape and one about his dog too."
Nexx Yorkshireman Rian Treanor galvanises Warp’s Arcola sub-label back to action with a deadly twyst on hyper electro and displaced dancehall in signature, deviant style.
The Contraposition EP marks Warp Records’ timely return to its SoYo roots in a concerted refresh of bleep techno and soundsystem ballistics, rendering the original template as a corrupted 3D geometry of slippery chromatic contours and polyrhythmic chronics that feel lightyears removed from their early ‘90s and early ‘00s antecedents, yet patently in key with their stripped down design and rave-wrecking purpose.
A-side, Rian focusses a wickedly nervous 2-step energy into the pointillist shadow-boxing tekkers of Contra_A1, strongly recalling his work on two preceding EPs for The Death of Rave, before then testing out something new and dynamically different with the punchy recoil and canny use of echoic negative space on Contra_A2, which all leads to a deadly acid switch-up in the 2nd half.
On the B-side he reconfigures your swang schauung with a mad meld of skittish micro rhythms and cold as f**k Euro-techno motifs on Position_B1, then like Errorsmith describing Equinknoxx swatting a nano-drone with the incisive, anticipatory bait and slap of Position_B2.
Fans of Forgemasters, Mark Fell, Jamie Duggan, Beatrice Dillon will know exactly what to to with this one.
Johnny Jewel ov Chromatics returns with the picture postcard-perfect scenes of Digital Rain, his first new album proper since Windswept , which included his work for the recent Twin Peaks: The Return soundtrack.
In the most classic sense, Johnny evokes his themes with beautiful subtlety and clarity throughout the entirely instrumental suite of Digital Rain, using filigree synthesis and a rarely paralleled feel for narrative to convey the sensation of rain on skin or hail on a roof, precisely evoking all the feelings of nostalgia you’d arguably associate with electronic music’s cinematic representations of rain, romance, and enigmatic intrigue.
It’s an ideal album for creating your own movie on the fly, acting as a sort of soundtrack to your life, likely to turn late night drives for a pint of milk into the most dramatic scenarios, or maybe turn your next commute into a Love on a Real Train (Risky Business) situation. Might want to be careful with that 2nd one, though.
One for the lovers.
The debut album from Inga Copeland, formerly of Hype WIlliams, featuring additional production from Actress
After teasing the internet with one-offs and mixtapes for the last 2 years, (Inga) Copeland (ov Hype Williams) drops a satisfyingly challenging and incisive solo debut LP proper, 'Because I'm Worth It'. Against a backdrop of forward, phantasmic dub and electronic production by herself and Actress, Copeland's vocals are a typically mercurial presence flitting between half-heard bars and spectral, detached verse such as the brilliant "with my mind over money and the other way around, cash moves everything around me/significant of what we do, say, feel, everything is just by numbers". It contains eight songs, alternating between almost-instrumental numbers and deconstructed pop.
Arriving with the prickling sonic extremes of 'Faith OG X', she posits the empowered narrative of 'Advice To Young Girls' set to Actress' oblique production, and it's not until 'Insult 2 Injury' that you're offered some sort of more conventional structure, and even then it's a flinty, bare-boned dub salved with lush Detroit chords. The furtive dub-pop collage 'Fit 1.' is the album's centrepiece, both literally and figuratively, melting Eastern accordion, Diwali-riddim claps and Burial-esque atmosphere with woozy slow techno and her most enigmatic pop vocal beside the dissolved dub meditation 'DILIGENCE', whilst 'Inga' feels like a darker parallel to fellow Estonian ex-pat Maria Minerva, and the splashing, metallic dub tang of 'l'oreal' imparts an abstract sense of urgency, numbed poise and feminine sorta dread that neatly sums up the album's paradoxes.
It's a startling, hugely enjoyable debut.
Aksak Maboul is the long-abandoned project of Konono No.1 producer Vincent Kenis and Crammed Records label head Marc Hollander.
Back in 1977 they made a fantastic album called 'Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine', a strange delicacy full of keen young ideas that would even foreshadow Detroit techno and much modern electronica, with a widely scoped "world music" twist. Seriously, check it out! 'Un Peu De Lame Des Bandits' was their follow up, originally released in 1980 and infused with a far more avant garde jazz element next to the typical international influences, from African to Balkan and whatever else they fancied.
Originally intended as a companion piece to 2011’s ‘The Moonlight Butterfly’, during the writing process Sam Prekop realized this record was going to go somewhere totally new.
Those of you who heard Prekop’s incredible ‘Old Punch Card’ LP last year will already know his surprising aptitude with modular synthesizers, but it’s still surprising to hear that he used those techniques to form the basis of ‘Runner’. Synthesizer sequences became guitar parts, and even though many of the original synthesizer tracks are long removed, the fingerprint is still there in ghostly elegance. Take ‘Harps’ for example, while this still has a buzzing synth part taking centre stage, it’s easy to hear how these kind of patterns informed the growth of the other tracks, from the joyous opener ‘On & On’ to the near post-punk grit of ‘Pacific’. While the songs themselves might not be too stylistically different from any in the band’s catalogue, ‘Runner’ is a classic case of reshuffling, where by doing a couple of things differently they’ve given an adrenaline shot to their sound, and it might be our favourite record from them in a while. Well good.
Super canny return from techno minimalist Akiko Kiyama, who makes a considered change of direction toward fractured, jazzy electronic funk as Aalko for her Tokyo-based label, Kebko Music.
Perhaps best known for her inclusion on Richie Hawtin’s DE9: Transitions mix, Akiko’s new output as Aalko bears some relation to her early work in terms of precision and minimalism, but that’s where the comparison ends.
No Man Is An Island is far fruitier and off-centre than her formative work, placing quarky sounds in unconventional time signatures with a bendy, off-centre appeal maybe best compared with the likes of FAY, Burnt Friedmann or even Foodman. Gilles Peterson is a fan, but don’t let that put you off.
Ricardo Villalobos, Max Loderbauer and Burnt Friedman dismantle Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer in bendy new ways for the ’floor and afterparty
Burnt Friedman takes the brief of Microcosmoism and runs its microtonal electronics and squirming groove to the nonplace, feeds it special gasses and returns a loose, slompy groove in patented style.
On the other hand, Villalobos strips the same elements right down to bare essentials for nearly ten minutes of swivelling drum hits wrapped up in sticky syncopation with glutinous subs and ricocheting electro-dub-steppers dynamics.
Villalobos and Loderbauer then combine as VILOD for an 11 minute reshuffle of Uncertain Grace hingeing on pendulous metallic claps and a worm farm’s worth of wriggling bass, then Villalobos goes it alone with Lenina, turning in a tangle of sloshing, splayed rhythms that sounds like a jazz band playing underwater and offers pluralised possibilities for the dancers who dare to actually express themselves, rather than just do the usual line dance and finger point. You know, that Solomun move?! Fuck that and dance to this instead.
What better time for No Age?
"Remember, they’re the ones who first brought you the hospital-bed feel good anthem ‘Get Hurt’ (2007). They know how to ecstatically rage and power on through pain, because what else are you going do?
‘Snares Like A Haircut’ sounds like the good stuff and smells like the buzzy burning off of an aura, the marine layer suddenly vanished, leaving a thin layer of smog over the songs, simmering sock gazing tunes, revved and displacing enormous amounts of sound soil. This is pure driving music, for the bus racer and the car driver, with too many signs, bells and little lights flashing away.
Recorded in a few days and mixed forever, ‘Snares Like A Haircut’ finds No Age in full on mode, because there was nothing else to do but go full on. In the songs inside the songs, the drums, the desperately voiced paens to determination, the churning and the stinging-but-shiny built into the structure, a promise from the 1980s echoes once again across today, for the undetermined in-between generation reality seekers.
With ‘Snares Like A Haircut’, No Age scrub the itch in the little moments, engage actively with the process and carve / plaster / shave something in an album shape that’ll last. You don’t have to drive but you can’t stay here. Let No Age do all the driving for you."